Episode 185

Disciple Up # 185
A Disciple’s Identity, Pt. 1
By Louie Marsh, 11-11-2020

Intro.

This is coming out on Veteran’s Day – November 11th so Thank You!

1) Jesus tells me what it TAKES & MEANS to be His disciple.

1  Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. Matthew 5:1 (ESV)

In Greek THE mountain – the Sinai of the NT

2) He begins by describing WHO & WHAT real disciples of Jesus are.

2  And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: 3  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5  “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7  “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8  “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:2-9 (ESV)

A new view of the Beatitudes.

Jesus begins the SOTM by vision casting who and what authentic disciples of him really are. All true disciples already have these characteristics. To one degree or another. No perfectionism here.

The Beatitudes contain:

  • No VERBS
  • In the 3RD PERSON
  • No COMMANDS OR APPLICATION

What are they?

  • They are simply a description of
  • They form a circle

1st Beatitude blessed are ____ theirs IS

2nd – 7thSHALL

8thIS

Is exists now, shall is a promise of something to come at some point in the future

We are in the Kingdom NOW it’s benefits will come to us, but note we are not told when.

  • The last beatitude is repeated as a transition point.

 10  “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11  “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:10-12 (ESV)

3) God’s TRANSFORMATION of me is the real blessing.

Blessed – used 55 times in the NT. Used of outward prosperity and of the gods themselves in the Greek. Yet it’s not the common Greek word for happy which isn’t found in the NT. In the Bible there’s a moral and spiritual dimension added to it.

13  And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” Revelation 14:13 (ESV)

17  If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. John 13:17 (ESV)

11  in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted. 1 Timothy 1:11 (ESV)

Many scholars translate it as happy. One well know Christian author and Pastor, and former chaplain of the US Senate Lloyd John Ogilvie said it should be translated “Congratulations!”

Test both out –

The glory of the happy God  The glory of the congratulated God

Happy are the poor in spirit – Congratulations you poor in spirit!

4) To really follow Jesus I must ABANDON myself.

3  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3 (ESV)

Poor = extreme poverty. Think starving people in refugee camp kind of poverty.

  • Discipleship means I push back against our culture’s SELFISM .

34  And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. Mark 8:34-35 (ESV)

A radical departure from our culture of selfism.

Selfism = believe in yourself, etc.

American Culture more than most tells us that life is manageable if only we try hard enough, get educated enough etc. That’s a lie. Thinking will power will get you through is a lie as well. Will power becomes won’t power quick enough.

  • Will power becomes won’t power very quickly.
  • Will power makes me SELF-ABSORBED.

 23  And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23 (ESV)

Cultures mixed message on self – need self-esteem, self-motivation. Everyone sends you all sorts of things saying “you’ve got this,” “Believe in yourself.”  People are urged to “find themselves.”

But at the same time we’re told that “Where ever you go there you are,” and “You are your biggest problem.”

So which is it? According to the greatest leader, thinker and teacher of all time – you need to become selfless!

Jesus says to listen to your doubts when you think I can’t do it, I’m not able. Because they are telling you the truth! You cannot save yourself and you cannot become like Christ by yourself.

The main problem all of us face is more than psychological it is spiritual. Problems go beyond what any of us can deal with except God alone.

AA 1st Step: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol that our lives had become unmanageable.

Christianity isn’t self-help – it is self-surrender, self-denial, dying to self and living to God.

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Episode 183

Disciple Up # 183
When God Speaks…Listen!
By Louie Marsh, 10-29-2020

Intro.  Thoughts on last week’s episode – No Place for Repentance? Sad that many leave their hidden sin as their legacy.

There are at least three times in the New Testament when God seems to have been rude to the Apostle Peter.  Three times when God interrupted and silenced Peter to make a point.  What was so important that God decided to act like this?  Let’s find out.

I) The Content of Christianity

 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.
Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.
Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters–one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.)
While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”
When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves, and told no one at that time what they had seen. Luke 9:28-36 (NIV)

 A) The Three Figures

1, Moses = the Law

2, Elijah = the prophets

3, Jesus = the New Covenant

  1. B) Peter Vs. God

1, Peter saw all three as equal and valued them that way

2, God set Jesus above them all

16“The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it.” (Luke 16:16, ESV)

The law and the prophets—till John; from then on the kingdom of God is being preached as good news, and everyone is energetically pressing into it[1]

  1. C) Christianity’s Content

1, Christ is superior to all and everything

a, That’s the whole point of the book of Hebrews!

2, To be a Christian is to realize and confess that Jesus outshines and rules over everything!

II) The Foundation of Christianity 16:13-23

 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”  They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.  And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”  Matthew 16:13-23 (NIV)

  1. A) The Divinity of Christ

1, Jesus was either Who He claimed to be – God

a, Or He was a liar or insane!

  1. B) No Compromise!

1, Compromise is a good way to solve problems!

a, But there are some things that you can’t compromise!

2, You cannot compromise on Christ’s identify

a, If we lose this – we lose the entire point and meaning of His life and teachings!

  1. C) Living This Truth

1, Obey Him!!!

a, If He really is God that’s the least we can do!!

2, Don’t argue so much!

a, It’s good to let it all hang out with the Lord.

b, One sign of spiritual growth is when I argue less and trust more!

III) The Sphere of Christianity  Acts 10: 41-48

 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen–by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.  He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.
All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.
The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles.
For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”
So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
Acts 10:41-48 (NIV)

 A) Not An Exclusive Club!

1, Not just for Jews – or the spiritual

2, But for Everybody!

  1. B) God Love Everyone

1, There can be no place for bigotry in the Christian faith!

2, That includes all types of bigotry – racial, cultural, educational, religious, etc.

  1. C) We Are All One In Christ

1, the more we realize this – the quicker the world will be won!

[1] Lenski, R. C. H. (1961). The Interpretation of St. Luke’s Gospel (p. 839). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House.

 

 

Episode 175

Disciple Up #175
Christian Men – Man Up!
By Louie Marsh, 9-2-2020

Coming Up – Hebrews

75th anniversary of the signing of the surrender accords on the USS Missouri.

Future episodes topics

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/august-web-only/why-women-read-bible-more.html

https://www.google.com/search?q=halee+gray+scott&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS791US791&oq=HALEE+GRAY+SCOTT&aqs=chrome.0.0j46j0.545j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

https://www.amazon.com/Gay-Girl-Good-God-Always/dp/1462751229/?tag=christtoday-20

https://sotb.research.bible/

Please Get In Touch!

Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Episode 174

 Disciple Up #174
Stupid Things Christians Say Pt 4
God Helps Those Who Help Themselves
By Louie Marsh, 8-26-2020

Intro.  It looks like I’ll be doing Hebrews, haven’t decided yet but am close.

The phrase “God helps those who help themselves” is a motto that emphasizes the importance of self-initiative and agency. The expression is still famous around the globe and used to inspire people for self-help. The phrase originated in ancient Greece as “the Gods help those who help themselves” and may originally have been proverbial. It is illustrated by two of Aesop’s Fables and a similar sentiment is found in ancient Greek drama. Although it has been commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin, the modern English wording appears earlier in Algernon Sidney’s work.

 

The phrase is often mistaken as a scriptural quote, though it is not stated verbatim in the Bible. Some Christians have criticized the expression as being contrary to the Bible’s message of God’s grace. A variant of the phrase can also be found in the Quran (13:11).

 

Prevailing views

The belief that this is a phrase that occurs in the Bible, or is even one of the Ten Commandments, is common in the United States. The beliefs of Americans regarding this phrase and the Bible has been studied by Christian demographer and pollster George Barna of The Barna Group. To the statement “The Bible teaches that God helps those who help themselves”; 53% of Americans agree strongly, 22% agree somewhat, 7% disagree somewhat, 14% disagree strongly, and 5% stated they don’t know.

 

Of “born-again” Christians 68% agreed, and 81% of non “born-again” Christians agreed with the statement. In a February 2000 poll, 53% strongly agreed and 22% agreed somewhat that the Bible teaches the phrase. Of the 14 questions asked, this was the least biblical response, according to Barna. A poll in the late 1990s showed the majority (81%) believe the concept is taught by the Bible, another stating 82%.

 

Despite being of non-Biblical origin the phrase topped a poll of the most widely known Bible verses. Seventy-five percent of American teenagers said they believed that it was the central message of the Bible.

 

Barna critiques this as evidence of Americans’ unfamiliarity with the Bible. He said,  It “suggests a spiritual self-reliance inconsistent with Christianity” according to David Kinnaman, vice president of the Barna Research Group. Christian minister Erwin Lutzer argues there is some support for this saying in the Bible (2 Thessalonians 3:10, James 4:8); however, much more often God helps those who cannot help themselves, which is what grace is about (the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican, Ephesians 2:4–5, Romans 4:4–5). The statement is often criticized as espousing a Semi-Pelagian model of salvation, which most Christians denounce as heresy.

 

SemiPelagianism is a Christian theological and soteriological school of thought on salvation. Semipelagian thought stands in contrast to the earlier Pelagian teaching about salvation, the Pelagianism (in which people achieve their own salvation by their own means), which had been dismissed as heresy.

 

The Persians

The sentiment appears in several ancient Greek tragedies. Sophocles, in his Philoctetes (c. 409 BC), wrote, “No good e’er comes of leisure purposeless; And heaven ne’er helps the men who will not act.”

 

Euripides, in the Hippolytus (428 BC), mentions that, “Try first thyself, and after call in God; For to the worker God himself lends aid.” In his Iphigeneia in Tauris, Orestes says, “I think that Fortune watcheth o’er our lives, surer than we. But well said: he who strives will find his gods strive for him equally.”

 

A similar version of this saying “God himself helps those who dare” better translated as “divinity helps those who dare” “audentes deus ipse iuuat” comes from Ovid, Metamorphoses, 10.586. The phrase is spoken by Hippomenes when contemplating whether to enter a foot race against Atalanta for her hand in marriage. If Hippomenes were to lose, however, he would be killed. Hippomenes decides to challenge Atalanta to a race and, with the aid of Venus, Hippomenes was able to win the race.

 

The same concept is found in the fable of Hercules and the Wagoner, first recorded by Babrius in the 1st century AD. In it, a wagon falls into a ravine, or in later versions becomes mired, but when its driver appeals to Hercules for help, he is told to get to work himself. Aesop is also credited with a similar fable about a man who calls on the goddess Athena for help when his ship is wrecked and is advised to try swimming first. It has been conjectured that both stories were created to illustrate an already existing proverb.

 

The French author Jean de La Fontaine also adapted the first of these fables as Le chartier embourbé (Fables VI.18) and draws the moral Aide-toi, le ciel t’aidera (Help yourself and Heaven will help you too). A little earlier, George Herbert had included “Help thyself, and God will help thee” in his proverb collection, Jacula Prudentum (1651). But it was the English political theorist Algernon Sidney who originated the now familiar wording, “God helps those who help themselves”, apparently the first exact rendering of the phrase. Benjamin Franklin later used it in his Poor Richard’s Almanack (1736) and has been widely quoted.

 

Islamic texts

A passage with similar sentiments can be found in the Quran:

Indeed Allah will not change the conditions of a population until they change what is in themselves.  Qur’an 13:11

 

It has a different meaning in that it implies that helping oneself is a prerequisite for expecting the help of God.

 

Trust in God But Tie Your Camel is an Arab proverb with a similar meaning. It is also one of the reported sayings of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. According to Tirmidhi, one day Mohammed noticed a Bedouin leaving his camel without tying it. He asked the Bedouin, “Why don’t you tie down your camel?” The Bedouin answered, “I placed my trust in Allah.” At that, Mohammed said, “Tie your camel and place your trust in Allah.”

 

Other historical uses

The French society Aide-toi, le ciel t’aidera (Help yourself and Heaven will help you too) played an important role in bringing about the July Revolution of 1830 in France.

 

Aide-toi et Dieu t’aidera (Help yourself, and God will help you) was the motto on the ship’s wheel of the famous UK-built Confederate sea raider CSS Alabama, captained by Raphael Semmes during the American Civil War.

 

Prevalence and assessment

The phrase is often quoted to emphasize the importance of taking initiative. There is also a relationship to the Parable of the Faithful Servant, and the Parable of the Ten Virgins, which has a similar eschatological theme: be prepared for the day of reckoning. However, the argument has been made that this is a non-Biblical concept. That’s what it is.

 

Christian Scripture

While the term does not appear verbatim in Christian scriptures, these passages are used to suggest an ethic of reliance on God.

 

Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.

Deuteronomy 28:8 – The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to.

Proverbs 13:4 – The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.

Proverbs 21:31 – The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.

Matthew 5:3-4 – God blesses those who realize their need for him; and who mourn will be comforted.

I Timothy 5:8 – If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Reliance upon God is not mentioned but is strongly implied.

 

Conversely, instances where Jesus served or healed someone would be evidence of God helping those who cannot help themselves. (See Mark 6:34; Mark 1:30-31; and Mark 10:46-52.)

 

The Real Issue:

 

Are you talking about Salvation or living life every day?

 

If you’re talking about Salvation then you are completely off of what Scripture says and are expounding a heresy.

 

3  For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4  Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5  And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6  just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: 7  “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8  blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” Romans 4:3-8 (ESV)

 

Mormon view – saved by works, and God fills in whatever gaps are left if you’ve done well.

 

“For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”

2 Nephi 25:23 [Book of Mormon]

 

If you are talking about living life then you may have a kernel of truth.

 

For while life must be lived in the Spirit and by the power of God, we are also called upon to have faith and to take the initiative.

 

Proverbs 6:10-12 – A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.

Proverbs 12:11 – He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment.

Proverbs 12:24 – Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor.

 

Just because I’m working hard doesn’t mean I’m not also trusting God!

 

Paul may say it best here:

 

28  Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29  For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. Colossians 1:28-29 (ESV)

 

But this message is spread throughout the Bible.

 

10  “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 (NASB)

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Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Episode 167

Disciple Up # 167
Sentiment VS Sentimentality
By Louie Marsh, 7-8-2020

sentiment

noun

an attitude toward something; regard; opinion.

a mental feeling; emotion:

a sentiment of pity.

refined or tender emotion; manifestation of the higher or more refined feelings.

exhibition or manifestation of feeling or sensibility, or appeal to the tender emotions, in literature, art, or music.

a thought influenced by or proceeding from feeling or emotion.

the thought or feeling intended to be conveyed by words, acts, or gestures as distinguished from the words, acts, or gestures themselves.

sentimentality

1: the quality or state of being sentimental especially to excess or in affectation

2: a sentimental idea or its expression

Call a person sentimental if he or she is led more by emotions than by reason. If you have a sentimental attachment to a favorite stuffed animal, you’ll probably even bring it to college with you. Sentimental describes a person who relies on emotions more than reason, or a novel or film that is overly emotional.

 – Vocabulary.com

The Dark Side of Sentimentality:

https://vancouversun.com/news/staff-blogs/the-dark-side-of-sentimentality

Oscar Wilde, the 19th-century British playwright and wit, summed up this edgier meaning when he wrote: “A sentimentalist is one who desires to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it.

Irish poet W.B. Yeats wrote, “Rhetoric is fooling others. Sentimentality is fooling yourself.”

Supriya Sharma, works at Indian Space Research Organization

Answered September 2, 2017

It is great to be a sentimental person.

You experience everything. Even though you get upset at little things, you find joy in the simplest of things.

You understand what a person is going through. You want to celebrate when they are happy. And you try to fix it if they are not.

You are a great listener. You understand that everyone has feelings, and give importance to them. You want to make everyone feel secure and heard.

You have the deepest relationships. People feel secure in sharing their deepest feelings with you. Because you care. You understand that every bond needs to be nurtured. That is the crux of a positive relationship.

You can easily forgive. You look to repair relationships and let go of grudges.

You feel all of life. Everything is an experience for you. You sense the little changes around you. You experience them and embrace them beautifully.

Be proud. You are beautiful 🙂

God gave us a mind to think with and emotions to feel with, don’t reverse them.

Sentimentalist Followers of Jesus

 3  Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4  rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5  Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6  He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7  Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8  Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9  Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” John 13:3-9 (ESV)

13  Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14  And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15  He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16  Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  … 21  From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22  And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23  But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Matthew 16:13-23 (ESV)

36  And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” 37  Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. 38  But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. 39  And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, Acts 15:36-39 (ESV)

Commands You Can’t Obey If You’re Sentimentalist

 16  Rejoice always, 17  pray without ceasing, 18  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19  Do not quench the Spirit. 20  Do not despise prophecies, 21  but test everything; hold fast what is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-21 (ESV)

9  I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10  not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11  But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12  For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13  God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 (ESV)

1  I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 (ESV)

 15  Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16  For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17  And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17 (ESV)

 8  See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Colossians 2:8 (ESV)

 The Bottom Line:

 Disciples of Jesus thank God for the wonderful gift of sentiment, emotion and seek to live in the now and feel every moment of it. However, they reject sentimentality as dangerous and a tempting way to give into culture and our basest desires. Being sentimental is good, but sentimentality is bad!

 

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Episode 166

Disciple Up # 166
Potpourri: Boredom & Symbols
By Louie Marsh, 7-1-2020

 American Boredom –  hat tip to Hotair.com

The survey, by market research firm OnePoll, defined a boring day as containing simply no fun whatsoever. Not even reading a HotAir post about boredom.

The average respondent reported that being bored, having no fun or dreading something was taking up about 36 percent of their life. Which works out to 61 hours every week. Or 131 days every year.

Imagine being bored or dreading every single day for that long, ever since last New Year’s Eve, in fact.

Clearly, this is a First World problem since these respondents are not spending their days dodging bullets or foraging for food.

The biggest reported culprit for American boredom seems to be having adult responsibilities like going to work and parenting.

More than 20 percent told researchers 2018 was less fun than 2017. And almost half (49 percent) said last year was the most stressful year going back all the way to 2015.

You probably remember all the excitement during 2015. That’s the year Paul Ryan became House Speaker and Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify.

Remember when you were young and all you wanted to do was grow up? Well, now nearly two-thirds of those surveyed think their life is too “grown-up.” Half of them really miss hanging out with friends. And a quarter want more birthday parties. Come to think of it, so do I.

Why not have more fun? Well, a little more than a third (36 percent) said the costs of doing some fun things were prohibitive. Thirty-five percent said they’re just too tired most times to do anything fun because they have too much work to do (32 percent).

However, the biggest culprit (66 percent) was an inability to get everyone in their family or group to agree on a fun thing to do. Besides, of course, reading HotAir.com out loud at dinner.

Still — and there’s little explanation for this apparent inconsistency – Americans reported spending upwards of $5,000 a year on fun entertainment.

“Fun is really about the escape,” said one of the study’s sponsors, Colie Edison, “breaking away from daily stressors and focusing on enjoying the moment.”

So, what would folks really rather do? A quarter of them would prefer an afternoon at an arcade to going to brunch. A fifth would rather have a sleepover with friends over going to a movie.

And 39 percent would opt out of an exercise class to choose some time at a bowling alley. Which might sound like fun and makes sense since the poll was sponsored by Bowlero, a chain of bowling alleys.

12  “All except you. Instead of honoring me, you profane me. You profane me when you say, ‘Worship is not important, and what we bring to worship is of no account,’ 13  and when you say, ‘I’m bored—this doesn’t do anything for me.’ You act so superior, sticking your noses in the air—act superior to me, GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies! And when you do offer something to me, it’s a hand-me-down, or broken, or useless. Do you think I’m going to accept it? This is GOD speaking to you! Malachi 1:12-13 (MSG)

13  But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the LORD of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the LORD. Malachi 1:13 (ESV)

 

The Power of Symbols –  Louie Marsh

 

As you can see in the post below we had a baptism yesterday. That always makes me happy and marks a great Sunday no matter what else happens as far as I’m concerned. I suspect most Ministers would agree with me on this one.

 

There are a couple of reasons for that. One, that I’ll probably write about someday, is the fact that baptisms are one of the few concrete things we in the ministry can point to as markers of progress or “success” (however you define that elusive word). Working in a business which seeks to change lives and restore the soul provides few substantial markers of progress.

 

I think another reason is the power of symbols. The Bible is full of symbols of course. From circumcision to all the symbols in the Passover dinner and beyond we seem to see them everywhere.

 

Those ancient symbols still have the power to move us today, even though they are no longer a living part of our lives. As Christians we have left behind most of the Old Testament symbols and have inherited the ones custom made for God’s New Covenant.

 

Before I preformed the baptism today I gave my customary little talk. But I did use a word that I don’t believe I’ve ever used before, a word found above, ancient. It’s a little funny to me but our New Covenant is over 2000 years old. I can’t think of anything else anywhere close to that age that we still call new or would even consider doing so.

 

Yet it is New, for it’s alive and the reality of the living Christ and the power of His Spirit still change lives today, as much as they ever did. It is new because it’s living, as real now as it was on that first Pentecost morning, and it will always retain that newness. Our faith is a constantly reoccurring springtime of the soul that is both ancient and new at the same time.

 

Part of the way that we hold on to the reality of this newness is through the symbols Christ has given us. There are two major symbols given in the New Testament, baptism is one and the Lord’s Supper is the other. Baptism is a one time act of faith, the Lord’s Supper is one enacted “as often as you do it.”  Both are done in the Name of Jesus, in memory of what He alone has done for us.

 

Thus both are ever new.

 

Beyond these two symbols there are others we can draw from the New Covenant. The Cross is probably the most striking and well known of these. You can name others, the empty tomb, descending dove, etc.

 

The danger with symbols is that they can get old, routine, mere habit. When we allow the Lord’s Supper to become mundane we are guilty of taking it in a way that does not properly discern the Body and Blood of our Lord. In so doing we lose the newness.

 

So this week as we come into contact with the various symbols of our faith, let us ask God to help us appreciate them anew, see them through new eyes, and draw from them new insight and the new spiritual life that will sustain through whatever may come our way.

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Episode 162

Disciple Up # 162
Peace Thru Meditating On Scripture
By Louie Marsh 6-3-2020

How To Meditate On God’s Word
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.

Whatever he does prospers.  Psalm 1:2-3

 

Meditation is THINKING / PONDERING about a Bible verse(s) in order to discover how I can apply its truth to my own life.

 

WHY Meditate On Scripture?

 

1) It is the key to becoming like Christ.

 

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.  Proverbs 4:23

 

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.  Romans 12:2

 

And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit. NRS 2Co 3:18

 

2) It is the key to a more fruitful prayer life.

 

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.  John 15:7

 

3) It is the key to successful living.

 

Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.  Joshua 1:8

 

Six Ways To Meditate On A Verse

 

  1. Picture It! Visualize the scene in your mind.
  2. Pronounce it! Say the verse aloud, each time emphasizing a different word.
  3. Paraphrase it! Rewrite the verse in your own words.
  4. Personalize it! Replace the pronouns or people in the verse with your own name.
  5. Pray it! Turn the verse into a prayer and say it back to God.
  6. Probe it! Ask the following nine questions…

 

S.P.A.C.E.P.E.T.S. Questions

  • Sin to _CONFESS_?
  • Promise to _____CLAIM_
  • Attitude to _CHANGE_?
  • Command to _OBEY_?
  • Example to __FOLLOW_?
  • Prayer to _PRAY_?
  • Error to AVOID_?
  • Truth to _BELIEVE_?
  • Something to __DO_?

 

Links to pages talked about in this episode:

https://unlockingthebible.org/2015/10/five-steps-to-meditating-on-the-bible/

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/17-ways-to-meditate-on-scripture/

https://ourdailybread.org/resources/how-to-meditate-on-scripture/

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Episode 157

Disciple Up #157
Wrestling with God, Sin & Self
By Louie Marsh, 4-29-2020

Thoughts on Perspective & Other People’s Struggles

Wrestling Against Sin & Satan:

12  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)

3  Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4  In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5  And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. 6  For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” Hebrews 12:3-6 (ESV)

Resisted (antikatestēte). Second aorist active indicative (intransitive) of the double compound antikathistēmi, old verb to stand in opposition against in line of battle, intransitively to stand face to face (anti) against (kata), here only in the N.T.

Unto blood (mechris haimatos). “Up to blood.” As was true of Jesus and many of the other heroes of faith in chapter Hebrews 11.

Striving (antagōnizomenoi). Present middle participle of antagōnizomai, old verb with the same figure in antikatestēte.

Against sin (pros hamartian). Face to face with sin as in Hebrews 12:1.

  • Word Pictures in the New Testament.

Wrestling – Greco-Roman Wrestling

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Roman_wrestling

Greek Wrestling

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_wrestling

Greek wrestling (Greek: πάλη, translit. pálē), also known as Ancient Greek wrestling and Palé, was the most popular organized sport in Ancient Greece. A point was scored when one player touched the ground with his back, hip or shoulder, or conceding defeat due to a submission-hold or was forced out of the wrestling-area. Three points had to be scored to win the match.

One particularly important position in this form of wrestling was one where one of the contestants was lying on his abdomen with the other on his back trying to strangle him (back mount). The athlete on the bottom would try to grasp an arm of the one on top and turn him over onto his back while the athlete on top would try to complete the choke without being rolled.

Wrestling was the first competition to be added to the Olympic Games that was not a footrace. It was added in 708 B.C. The competitions were held in elimination-tournament style until one wrestler was crowned the victor. The wrestling area was one square plethron or stremma. This event was also part of the pentathlon. Wrestling was regarded as the best expression of strength out of all of the competitions and was represented in Greek mythology by Heracles

These are the rules of the ancient sport Palé

  • No intentional hitting or kicking is permitted
  • No gouging the eyes or biting is permitted
  • It is at the discretion of the referee whether or not twisting the fingers with the intention of forcing the opponent to concede defeat is permitted
  • Grasping the genitals is prohibited
  • All other holds intended to persuade the opponent to concede defeat through pain or fear are permitted and are an integral part of the contest
  • Infractions shall be punished by immediate whipping by the referee until the undesirable behavior is stopped
  • Three points must be scored to win the match
  • A point can be scored in any of three ways:
    • the opponent’s back touching the ground at any time
    • by the opponent tapping or in some other way making clear that he concedes defeat through pain or fear
    • by the opponent making contact with ground outside the allocated wrestling-match ground with any part of his body, or by being lifted and carried out
  • After scoring a point, the opponent must be given time to rise on his feet and a few moments more before the wrestling may continue
  • The match is both started and ended at the signal of the referee

Wrestling Against God (Self):

22  The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23  He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. 24  And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25  When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Genesis 32:22-25 (ESV)

26  Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27  And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28  Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29  Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30  So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” Genesis 32:26-30 (ESV)

31  The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32  Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh. Genesis 32:31-32 (ESV)

The Hebrew verb is translated “to wrestle.” There are no Semitic cognates of this verb to assist in translating, but the cognate of “dust” (HED #75) indicates it is something done on the ground
Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary – Aleph-Beth.

Wrestling For God:

28  Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29  For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. Colossians 1:28-29 (ESV)

12  Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. Colossians 4:12 (ESV)

17  Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 1 Timothy 5:17 (ESV)

12  We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 1 Thessalonians 5:12 (ESV)

9  For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 1 Thessalonians 2:9 (ESV)

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Episode 156

Disciple Up #116
The Power of Perspective
By Louie Marsh, 4-22-2020

How we view, look at, understand and respond to everything depends entirely upon what our perspective of it is. As disciples of Jesus what perspective should we have on life? Well if we want to see things the way Jesus saw things then we need a Biblical Perspective on life.

A Definition of Perspective

 A particular perspective is a particular way of thinking about something, especially one that is influenced by your beliefs or experiences.

…a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view. – google

A Brief Explanation of Perspective

Perspective is our frame of reference, our point of view on things. You could compare it to a camera lens. If you take a picture of the same object with a wide angle lens and a close up lens you’re going to end up with two very different pictures.

The object itself has not changed, but it looks different because of why we viewed it.  Thus perspective changes how you see and interact with the world and everything and everyone in it. That’s why two people can see the same thing or hear the same news or speech and yet have two very different responses to it.

Person A might love what they hear while person B might be dismayed by the very same speech. Why? Because if Person A has a secular or cultural perspective on life and Person B has a Biblical Perspective on life then they will love, value and evaluate things very differently.

A great example of this in the New Testament are the Gospels. The Synoptic Gospels all have a very similar (but not exactly the same) perspective on the life of Jesus. John’s Gospel on the other hand is very different in perspective. A professor of mine in Bible College said it’s as if the Synoptics view Jesus from ground level and John was shooting from a crane in the air.

Some Verses Reflecting A Biblical Perspective

17  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18  as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (ESV)

17  Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 (ESV)

11  And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12  to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13  until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14  so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15  Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16  from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:11-16 (ESV)

4  though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5  circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6  as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 7  But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8  Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10  that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11  that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:4-11 (ESV)

Popular Perspectives

  • Positive – everything must be positive.
  • Political – everything evaluated in light of whatever political stance I have – and everything (or almost everything) is seen as political.
  • Intellectual – everything must “make sense” to me or it’s false.
  • Emotional – what makes me feel good is true, what doesn’t is false and bad.

Markers of a Biblical Perspective on Life

There is a God.

  • Therefore we are all ultimately accountable for our lives.
  • Therefore life can have a real purpose.
  • Eternity is real so life can extend beyond mere space and time.

The Bible is God’s Word

  • The Bible is an accurate and objective moral and spiritual authority.
  • We ought to make it our high priority to know and understand it.
  • Since the Bible records so much history, it must be important & I ought to learn from it.
  • We are accountable to obey what the Word teaches.
  • It is the ultimate authority of what is moral and what is immoral.
  • Good and bad do not change with the times or the culture.

Jesus is God’s Son and the Only Way of Salvation

  • I must make Him Lord of my life.
  • I must live life according to His commands and example.
  • If His Word is true than all others who disagree with Him must be false.
  • His Kingdom must be number one in my life and is not of this world. That means eternity is more important than time.

God Wants to Be Involved In My Life

  • The Bible teaches He answers prayer.
  • He wants us to be filled with the Spirit and let Him direct our lives.
  • Prayer should be an ongoing dialogue with God.

How This Impacts Our View of Life

  • This should change how we see death for sure.
  • This should radically how we react to suffering and the current Corona Virus situation.

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Episode 153

Disciple Up Show Notes # 153
Christian Confessions During A Crisis
By Louie Marsh, 4-1-2020

1) “I CONFESS I’M DISCOURAGED”

Refocus on Jesus –

1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2  looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)

Recognize what’s causing your discouragement

3  Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5 (ESV)

Remember that God is in this situation and is ultimately in control

10  fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)

8  For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9  Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 (ESV)

Repent – if necessary – of any ungodly thoughts and actions

 5  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Revelation 2:5 (ESV)

Reject your discouragement and embrace God’s abundance

 3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4  even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5  he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6  to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8  which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9  making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ Ephesians 1:3-9 (ESV)

Restart yourself in the race God has called you to run.

7  But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10  always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11  For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12  So death is at work in us, but life in you. 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 (ESV)

2) “I FEEL COMPLETELY INADEQUATE”

Resume for Failure
1) I don’t know enough.
2) I’m not good enough.
3) I’ve made too many mistakes.

YOU ARE A CANDIDATE FOR GOD TO USE IF

1) YOU HAVE MESSED UP BIG.
‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips…’ Isaiah 6:5

 Moses murdered a man.

  • Abraham was a liar.
  • Jacob was a cheater.
  • Rahab was prostitute.
  • David committed adultery.
  • Paul murdered Christians.Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’ Isaiah 6:8

    2) YOU ARE UNSURE OF YOURSELF.
    Moses said to the LORD, ‘O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.’ Exodus 4:10

 God doesn’t choose the prepared, He prepares the chosen.

  • The LORD said to him, ‘Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”‘ Exodus 4:11-12

    3) OTHERS THINK YOU ARE NOT.

The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13

What is God calling you to do?

3) “I DON’T FEEL LIKE PRAYING”

WHY PEOPLE DON’T FEEL LIKE PRAYING

1) You’re not sure God will answer your prayers.
2) You’re not sure you really know how to pray.
3) You get bored praying.
4) You think your requests are too small to bother God.

REDEFINE PRAYER

Prayer – communicating with God.

1) JEREMIAH: PRAY HONESTLY.

O LORD, you deceived me, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me. Jeremiah 20:7

Two Prayer Don’ts:

  • Don’t pray to be seen.

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray… to be seen by men. Matthew 6:5

  • Don’t pray long, empty prayers.They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.” Mark 12:40

2) DAVID: PRAY CREATIVELY.

Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. Psalm 33:3

Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. Psalm 5:1-2

Creative Praying
1) Try writing your prayers.
2) Try praying during routine tasks.
3) Try praying in different places.
4) Try praying in different positions.
5) Try praying by listening to God.

3) NEHEMIAH: PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING.

The king said to me, ‘What is it you want?’ Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king… Nehemiah 2:4-5

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

4) HANNAH: PRAY CONTINUALLY.
As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. 1 Samuel 1:12-13

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

4) “I DON’T LIKE A LOT OF CHRISTIANS”

Why I Don’t Like A Lot of Christians:
1. Christians can be judgmental.
2. Christians can be weird.
3. Christians can be hypocritical.

WE FORGET THE MAIN POINT

1) ABOUT OURSELVES.

… do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do. 1 Peter 1:14-15

hagios – sacred, pure, morally blameless, consecrated, set apart.

                                                                    Non-Christian       Christian

Volunteered at non-profit last month                        27%               29%

Donated to non-profit last month                              48%               47%

Gave money to the poor in last year                        34%               24%

Read their Horoscope                                              36%               36%

Have been divorced                                                  23%               27%

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking… Ephesians 5:3-4

  • We tend to accuse others.
  • We tend to excuse ourselves.2) ABOUT OTHERS.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4

 We judge rather than love.

  • We shoot our wounded.
  • We stop caring.Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31

    3) ABOUT CHURCH.
    …on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Matthew 16:18

 The church loses touch with the world.

  • Some Christians think they can make it without church.
  • The people start thinking the church is here for us.All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Acts 2:44-45

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