The last 13 year of my life I have become dependant on God communicating to me through the bible. His word is living and breathing and it has NEVER failed me- NEVER.
I prayed about a situation and asked God to give me a verse from his word. Within minutes I got “Thess 1 15″… hmm, Thessalonians doesn’t have 15 chapters, God. Then it was silent… oh oh. So I went to my bible started reading and TADA… it has chapter 1,2,3,4,5… 1-5 Michele.
Wow God the whole thing. Goodness. So I began to read and the constant theme that first chapter and most everything I ran into that day was:
Stay the course
Keep doing good
My staying the course is getting harder, my doing good is not easy. It is getting harder and I liken it to birth pains… each contraction is getting closer and with each contraction it is becoming more and more painful. I am not sure I can hang on. God, I NEED YOUR HELP!
Hope in what she will be keeps me here. Here to raise Trey in love for her when she rejects all we do. Hope, that once God is allowed in she will break free. Hope, that she will be on a dead run far from the pit she just climb out of.
Hope has a foundation friends. It’s not wishful thinking, Jimminy Cricket wishing upon a star kinda hope. It’s real. I can touch almost touch it. Hope is an extension of my faith, its confidence, and GRACE’S future accomplishments.-these come from my bibles annotations :).
Do you have hope? Hope for yourself, for someone, for a situation? I know you do, you travel a hard road with your own life. So KEEP HOPING, YOU’RE NOT FOOLISH. IT HAS A FOUNDATION IN OUR FAITH!
Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
I Timothy 4:7-8
Train – (verb) to direct the growth of (a plant) usually by bending, pruning, and tying
Training is a word that gets tossed around a lot, especially this time of year when people are making new resolutions. People, anxious for a change in their lifestyle, know that something needs to happen differently. That given no direction, things will continue to go “off-track” (did you catch the “train” (noun) reference?)
Training a Bonsai Plant
One of Webster’s definitions of “train” is to “direct the growth (of a plant) usually by bending, pruning, and tying”. In order to train a plant, especially to achieve a look or purpose that is different than its nature, specific steps must be taken. Creating bonsai plants involves several types of cutting and shaping. Contrary to popular belief, bonsai trees are not miniature plants, but in reality, are regular plants which have been shaped/created to have a particular look or effect. Wires are used to bend and reposition branches, and later the wires are removed. Leaves are removed and deadwood created to bring about other effects.
Training yourself to be godly, as directed in First Timothy, is similar. Our natural bend or form is sinful. We need to make changes in order to achieve our purpose.
What are some spiritual pruning methods available?
1) Reading the instructions. The Bible gives us direction on how to become more godly. The New Testament is chock-full of directives for us. Love one another, turn the other cheek, don’t show partiality, forgive each other, take care of widows and orphans, etc. And James tells us, if you lack wisdom, just ask God!
2) Do it! Do what, you say? See #1. Do what it says. Be a doer of the Word and not just a hearer. Faith without works is dead. You won’t get your body in shape by reading a book about good exercise. You have to actually “do” the exercise. Funny how that works.
3) Continue doing it. In my recent health journey, I learned this – As I have continued my lifestyle of eating habits, I will continue on my healthy path. But if after I have reached my “goal” I go back to my former habits, guess what? I will find myself back at the place where I started! The changes must be ongoing.
Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples.
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed.
2 Timothy 3:14
Continue steadfastly in prayer.
Let brotherly love continue.
Is it hard sometimes?
Do we fall short at times? Sure! Do you think Olympic athletes have never fallen? Do they quit if something is hard? No! When we start an exercise program, we don’t start with 100 pushups! We start with one. Then two. Then three.
Start doing one more thing today that will train yourself to be more godly. Then do another tomorrow. And guess what? In a year, a month, or even a week, that one thing will get easier and easier. And then you will do it without thinking because it will have become a habit, a lifestyle.
And just like the bonsai tree, the wire that is used to bend and reposition the branches will become unnecessary. The habit is made and the training is easier. And then we get to move on to more training in godliness. And godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
Here we stand at the beginning of a new year. Many of us are examining our lives to see where we need improvement. I felt God calling me this year to find the old paths and draw up closer to Him. The next thing He said was, “Go back to the spiritual disciplines and see where you have fallen back.“
Spiritual Disciplines, ick!
Years ago, I read on a book required in my college philosophy class, Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline. In my shallow Christianity, I thought the guy was off of his rocker. I didn’t see the need for the things written in this book.
Today, looking back, I wish I had taken it more seriously. Maybe I would have put my feet on solid ground much earlier in my life. About ten years ago, I decided to present the disciplines to my women’s group at church. This time I used Barbara Hughes’ Disciplines of a Godly Woman because I had a true desire to be known as a godly woman. Whether or not the women grasped the importance of the disciplines, I’m not certain; but it was certainly a big growth year for myself.
Spiritual Disciplines, Yes!
Would you come along with me on this journey? I plan revisiting both of the books mentioned above and another devotional type book, Disciplines of the Inner Life by Bob Benson. I’ll write at the first of each month and have guest writers share their thoughts as well. Sign up for the newsletter to receive the monthly calendar with a verse for each day that I will share about on Instagram.
What are Spiritual Disciplines?
Richard Foster says, “The Spiritual Disciplines are God’s means of grace by which we are enabled to bring our little, individualized power pack we call a human body and place it before God as a “living sacrifice”, as the wise apostle Paul put it. (Romans 12:1)
Celebration of Discipline, special anniversary Edition
It’s about a relationship with God. Because He loves us, we desire to draw close to Him and live according to His plan. The disciplines are the tools we use to draw near to Him. The lack of spiritual disciplines leaves us weak and with very little growth to our souls. As parents, wouldn’t we be sad if our child never learned to walk or speak in complete sentences? Yes, we would. And God wants us to have spiritual growth just the same.
We cannot be truly transformed into His image without the spiritual disciplines. Timothy 4:7-8 tells us to “train ourselves to be godly”. Hebrews 12:1 tells us to run the race to win by removing the things that hinder us. These things take discipline.
I know I could use a little exercise in the disciplines. It’s always easier to do this with a friend. So join me as we look at the spiritual disciplines and find out where we need improvement.
Closing Prayer from John Wesley
O God, fill my soul with so entire a love of Thee that I may love nothing but for Thy sake and in subordination to Thy love. Give me grace to study Thy knowledge daily that the more I know Thee, the more I more love Thee. Create in me a zealous obedience to all Thy commands, a cheerful patience under all the chastisements, and a thankful resignation to all Thy disposals. Let it be the one business of my life to glorify Thee by every word of my tongue, by every work of my hand, by professing Thy truth, and by engaging all men, so far as in me lies, to glorify and love Thee.
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,… let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…”
“The Lord is good to those who hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
– Hebrews 10:19,22 – Lamentations 3:25-26
Faith & Patience
A few months ago we had planned a family camping trip to celebrate our oldest son’s birthday. It turned unseasonably cold (for Mississippi in November) so we decided to rent cabins instead. All six adults and three grandchildren were gathered in the living were of one cabin, ready to share a meal together.
We joined hands and asked, “Who wants to pray?”
and Grantlee, our two-year-old grandson said, “Me!”
We bowed our heads. Grantlee closed his eyes, and with the most serious of expressions on his face, prayed the following words.
“I Grantlee Atchison, and I want it now. Amen.”
All of us burst out into laughter because it was cute and funny.
Kids! You just never know what they will say or do!
But Don’t We Act the Same?
Later, I was telling my prayer group of our cute little grandson’s prayer. As we laughed, we suddenly realized a sobering thought: Isn’t that the way we do God? We come to Him in prayer, and whether our words are eloquent or simple, we often convey this message.
Oh, it is so humbling to be preached to by a toddler. Since that fun-filled evening, I have reflected many times on Grantlee’s innocent, heartfelt, powerful prayer. “I want it now. Amen.” I laugh, but then I think, really think. Hebrews 10:19-22 assures us that we can approach God’s throne of grace with confidence. Lamentations 3:25-26 reminds us that we must wait, and the Lord will deliver an answer.
Faith and Patience Prayer
Now, when I remember that little prayer, I bow my head and say, “Lord, You know what I want and when I want it. But You also know that what I need most is what You want in Your time and Your way. Keep me asking, but waiting on You with faithful patience. Amen.”
For as long as I can remember, my greatest desire was to be a mother. And why not? God blessed me with the greatest examples of motherhood that a girl could have. My own mother was a portrait of motherhood. She had 6 children and countless foster kids. And she loved them all well. She told us often how wonderful it was to have children. Unlike many women today, she dreaded the end of summer and sending her children off to school. She wanted them around her feet, pulling on her skirt tails. There was never any doubt that she was proud to be a momma.
And then there were my godly grandmothers. Oh my goodness, if I could live up to their lives I would be so proud, but that would just pull me down from the heights of glory because they were all of the humble kind.
One thing my Grandma Dawson was proud of was that I was her namesake. And once I learned what that meant, I was proud of it too. If you look at my father, uncles, and aunt you know that she was a great example of motherhood. She was a servant of God and man. At her funeral, my Uncle said, “You could always find her on her knees, either in prayer or serving others.
Grandma Dawson (Amanda Leona) was also named for her Grandmother Amanda Hukill. Though I never knew her, she left a legacy of perseverance and faith enough for all of us. I can look to her whenever I think I have had my share of trials because she dealt with more than I ever have.
So you can see that it was easy for me to want to be a momma myself. It seemed the greatest accomplishment to me, it still does. Early on, I began reading about others that have set an example that has passed the test of time. Jackie Green’s book Only One Life speaks of many women who have left a legacy for us. There are two Susanna’s that have stood out for me as perfect examples of motherhood (physically and spiritually), Susie Spurgeon, whom I have already written about and Susannah Wesley, mother of John and Charles Wesley.
Susanna, wife of Rev. Samuel Wesley, Sr. and educated herself stayed right up with her husband (and later, her sons) in theological studies, reading anything and everything in her husband’s library. Her husband traveled often to schools and preaching, leaving her to hold down everything at home. They report that while he was away if the substitute priest was not “up to par”, she would have Bible lessons that evening in her home. This grew quickly from just her small brood to include many of the church members.
Mother of Nineteen
Susanna Wesley had nineteen children but only 10 of them reached adulthood (two of which were John and Charles Wesley, founders of Methodism). It was important to her that her children, girls included, would be given an education and she did it. All of them began their formal education at home and the girls completed their education under her teaching. She determined to have a dedicated period of study time set aside for each child, individually, each week. (When I think about this now, and factor in that she was likely pregnant or nursing the entire time, I am amazed. Yikes!)
Legacy of Discipline & Resilience
Susanna managed the gardening, cooking, and housekeeping along with the children’s studies. She kept a regular time set apart for meditation and self-examination before God, keeping of a spiritual journal and strict adherence to the Sabbath. Susanna, known as a great prayer warrior, with a houseful of activity, would pull her apron up over her head to pray; the signal for no interruptions. She expected the same devotion by her children.. to spend an allocated amount of time in Bible study and prayer. She wrote in a letter for her son Samuel:
I will tell you what rule I observed when I was young, and too much addicted to childish diversions, was this — never spend more time in mere recreation in one day than I spent in private religious devotions.
Eliza Clarke, Susanna Wesley (London: W.H. Allen & Co., 1886), 68
I have often read the writings of young people from earlier centuries and marveled at the depth of thought in young minds. Susanna’s practices, which came from the Puritan heritage, are how such depth of thought can be found. We all might take heed and learn from them.
“Mother of Methodism”
Susanna Wesley, mother of Methodism. Not only because she was the Mother of the founding men, John & Charles, but because she kept up with her husband and sons in their studies. She remained deeply involved with them in establishing the Methodist Church. As I type this, I am realizing that her disciplines stated above were carried into the new Methodist movement. The worship style of Methodism is just that. Methodical and with reason. I also wonder if it wasn’t her Sunday afternoon lessons, that sparked the idea of Sunday School classes for better learning and further teaching. can teach
The Life and Legacy of Susanna Wesley leave much for us to learn and follow. I encourage you to do some research on your own and perhaps take one area to use as an example to follow. There are many sources available for purchase; however, most of what I write today comes from the magazine Holiness Today, September/October 2018 issue which can be read online.
Now there IS a time to act, but I believe that we ought to start with prayer. We cannot face evil without first going to prayer and leaving it in God’s hands. When we go to action without God’s direction, we get what we have now. A mess. Just as the Israelites did many times.
Elizabeth Boles shared earlier this week the Reason to Pray and so many benefits to prayer. One of them is to pray for our leaders and restore our nation to God so that we can live peaceful lives. 1 Timothy 2:2
As Christians, have we truly fallen before God to pray for our nation? Oh, we say we pray and we might even throw in a sentence prayer or two now and again. But let me ask you, “When was the last time you really spent time in prayer over our nation?”
Are we desperate enough to give up a meal, get down on our knees and cry out to God over the sins of our land? Are we willing to humble ourselves and ask forgiveness? God is calling to prayer. He wants to see that we are desperate for Him to do something. Let’s start with prayer.
God promises that if we, HIS PEOPLE, will humble ourselves and repent of not only our own sins but also the sins of the nation that He will restore our land. Let’s claim it and do it. Let’s Start with Prayer.
Start with Franklin Graham’s prayer in 2016
Let’s Pray with Dr. Franklin Graham. This prayer was during the conventions in 2016, but his prayer is still valid today. Pray with him now.
A Prayer Resource to Continue in Prayer
A few years back, Anne Graham Lotz set up several Initiatives to Pray. It’s all written out to guide you through serious prayer for ourselves, our churches and our nation. You can find these prayer guides on her website. There are two that I especially like concerning our nation.
An Urgent Call to Prayer and
A Distress Call to Prayer.
Go to Anne’s website and download these prayers. Use them in your daily quiet times. it might change your own heart.
Let’s Send out a Distress Call to God
God would see that we are serious. Commit to praying for our elected officials, confess the sins of our country, and plead for God to help us turn things aroud.
Will you join me?
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Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him.
First of all, Who Should Pray?
Everyone should pray at all times of the day, every day. Everyone should let their requests be made known to God -Philippians 4:16. God will supply every need of yours (Talking to everyone) according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus -Philippians 4:19. Everyone should pray without ceasing 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
And For Whom Should We Pray?
We should pray for ourselves, our family, friends, church family, co-workers, neighbors, homeless, anyone struggling, and your enemies.
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
God also wants us to pray for our Nation -Psalm 22:28. No
matter what nation you are in. God wants everyone’s hearts, not just some. He
wants us to pray for the world –John 17:9.
When we listen, God will ask us to pray for certain people as
What Should We Pray?
There are many different ways in which we can pray. In my post “Why
We Pray and the 12 Forms of Prayer” I go through 12 ways to pray.
Here I am going to add to my list because there are so many ways that we can
1. Adoration and Blessing: Adoration is a deep love and respect, a form of worship. (Psalm 84:11, Luke 4:7). A blessing is God’s favor and protection. (Nehemiah 1:11)
2. Communion: Communion is sharing or exchanging your intimate thoughts and feelings with God, all day, all the time. (Psalm 72:15, 1 Thessalonians 5:17)
3. Petition: Petition is your formal request to God with respect for a particular cause. (1 Timothy 2:1)
4. Supplication: Supplication is when you ask or beg for something earnestly or humbly. Lifting up your needs. (Psalm 119:170, Matthew 6:9-13)
5. Intercession: Intervening and praying on behalf of another person. (1 Timothy 2:1, John 17, 2 Corinthians 1:11)
6. Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving is an expression of gratitude to God (Philippians 4:16, 1 Timothy 2:1, and a lot of the Psalms have thanksgiving prayers)
7. Praise: Praise is when you express admiration, respect, and gratitude toward God. (Acts 13:2-3)
8. Spiritual Warfare: Spiritual Warfare is when our Spirit engages in or is involved in war or conflict with our own mind or when dealing with Satan and demons. (Ephesians 6:11-12, Romans 7:23, Hebrews 2:15)
9. Agreement: Agreement is when you are in harmony or accordance in opinion or feeling with the person you are praying with or in agreement with God. (Acts 1:14, Acts 2:42)
10. Faith: Faith is complete trust, confidence, or a strong belief in God. (James 5:15)
11. Consecration: Consecration is making or declaring something. (Matthew 26:39, 1 Timothy 4:5)
12. Watch and Pray: Watch and Pray is when you are constantly aware and praying. (Matthew 26:41, Mark 14:38, Luke 21:36)
13. Immanuel prayer: There is a bit to learn with this prayer. You can learn how to do this prayer at www.immanuelapproach.com. The Immanuel approach is the same thing but a different name for Emmanuel prayer or Immanuel process. Immanuel means God with us. This prayer deepens intimacy with God, resolve past pain, and discern God’s guidance. Related scripture can be found in Matthew 28:19-20, John 14:21, John 15:4-5, and Revelation 3:20.
14. Repentance: Repentance prayer is repenting for sin asking for forgiveness. (Matthew 3:8, Luke 5:32, Acts 13:24, Mark 1:4)
15. Binding and loosing (taking authority): Binding and loosing prayer is when you bind or put chains on something or a situation, such as bind the devil against his attacks, bind under law or authority, bind to a spouse, etc. or when you loosen something such as loosening chains, break free from someone or something, break free from bondages, or to declare something that is unlawful. (Matthew 16:19)
16. Fasting: Fasting prayer is when you fast and pray, saying a fasting prayer is asking God to help you with your fast and to focus on God, rely on him for wisdom and guidance. (Esther 4:3, Matthew 6:16)
17. Declaration: Declaration prayer is like the consecration prayer- when you declare change, you declare breakthrough, or declare something in your prayer. (1 Chronicles 16:24, Psalm 22:22, Psalm 51:15)
18. Proclamation: Proclamation prayer is proclaiming your prayer. Praying out loud to God. Sometimes Satan wants us to be silent so we should proclaim and say them out loud. (1 Peter 3:19)
19. Prophetic: Prophetic prayer is having a conversation with God, not only talking to him but listening to what he has to say and acting or responding accordingly. You can pray with revelation, given to you by the Holy Spirit. You can receive prophetic insight before you pray but use that when you pray or the Holy Spirit can guide you while you pray. Prophetic prayer can be intentional or spontaneous. Know when and how to apply this prayer. Some situations require God’s immediate intervention. (1 Corinthians 14:32, Romans 16:26, 2 Peter 1:19)
20. Praying Bible verses: Praying Bible verses is when you turn to a scripture in the bible and pray it over your life or someone else that needs prayer. For example, I pray strength among other things over my children, one scripture is “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” -Philippians 4:13. So, I pray it like this “Heavenly Father, My children can do all things through him (Christ) who strengthens them. Amen”. You can do this with many verses in the Bible for strength, faith, courage, peace, provision, direction, protection, joy, compassion, justice, wisdom, guidance, hope, love, fruits of the spirit, and the full armor of God. Praying Bible verses is praying God’s Word back to him.
21. Promises: Promises prayer is praying God’s promises to you back to God. When you look for scripture that has promises that relate to your situation, pray that scripture and trust God to bring them to pass. (2 Corinthians 1:20, Psalm 106:12, Joshua 21:45)
22. Travailing: Travailing prayer is a very intense form of prayer. It involves expressing a great deal of time and emotional energy. The manifestation of the grief of the heart of God or God desiring to manifest a measure of life or growth. (Mark 6:7-13, Mark 3:13-15, 1 Kings 8: 44-45)
23. Listening: Listening prayer is when you spend time with God and just listen for what he wants of us and being obedient. (Luke 10:39)
24. Prostration: Prostration is when you put your body in a submissive position in the presence of God, whether it is kneeling or bowing, but with your hands on the ground. Submitting fully to God in prayer. (Numbers 22:31)
We should pray always: Pray without ceasing 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions will all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
When we pray we don’t have time to sin, to turn away from God or our faith. We will notice more prayers answered when we pray without ceasing and with faith.
Making time for God should be a priority in our lives. Pray when
you first wake up thanking him for letting you see and live another day. Pray
during the day about your day, safety, guidance, family, among other things.
Pray at night before bed, before you fall asleep.
OK, Where Should We Pray?
We should pray anywhere and everywhere but also God wants us to pray in our prayer closet: Go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen Matthew 6:6
can pray in your bed, in the shower, on the toilet, while making breakfast,
lunch or dinner, in your chair or on your couch, in your car, at church, at
work, at school, or anywhere else. You can make time for God at any time of
day. You can pray to God in your head all day long, having one constantly long
conversation with him.
Why Should We Pray?
1. We are God’s Children and should have a close relationship with our
Heavenly Father. He wants us to have a relationship with him. He wants us to
3. We give thanks to God for all he’s done in our lives and for our
many blessings. We have so much to be thankful for and we are beyond blessed by
our Heavenly Father. Why not take a moment out of your day to let God know how
thankful you are.
4. It helps us call on God, depend on Him and trust in Him. Having a conversation with God is one of the best parts of the day. It’s one way we really get to know him and how he works.
5. It gets our hearts ready for what God wants us to do in our lives
and what he wants to for us.
6. Gives us an opportunity to listen to God. We should take time out
of our day to listen to God and be obedient.
7. We can pray for God’s guidance. Where is God leading us, what
does God want us to do? He answers all of those questions when we pray and ask
for his guidance.
8. We can make requests, pray for our needs and desires spiritually,
physically and mentally.
9. We ask for God’s blessings. God wants to bless us and pour his
favor on us.
10. We get to Praise God. No better time of day than Praising God for
who he is. Praising and Worshiping God is such an intimate time with God, you
really don’t want to miss this time with him.
11. Show God in one way that we love him. He wants to be shown our
love. He shows us his love every day in many ways, we can show him that we love
Finally, there are many was that we can pray. I listed many ways that we can pray in “what should we pray”. Those are all ways in how we should pray. God listens to all prayers, he sees and knows your heart. There is no specific way in how you should say every prayer. As long as you are praying to God our Heavenly Father there is no wrong way to pray. God hears our hearts, even our complaints, struggles, and when we mourn.
One way we can pray to follow the pattern of The Lord’s Prayer Matthew 6:9-13
Pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows.
No matter who prays, what we pray, when we pray, where we pray, why we pray, or how we pray, we should pray to God our Father.
God wants us to pray at all times, with all requests, everywhere
we go, with all kinds of prayer because he wants to have conversations with us.
He hears us and he wants us to hear him and obey him.
Spending time with God in prayer is the best kind of relationship
we can have with God. He wants our heart and we can give him our heart by
I thank Him daily for loving us (me) so much that He sent His Son to earth to live a perfect life, to suffer the cruel death on a crimnal’s cross, but then rise again just to save us all from our sins. Praise His beautiful name! [Read my testimony of faith on my memoirs blog.] But I want to know Him more. I want to grow closer and closer to Him.
Salvation Goes Beyond the Altar
But it doesn’t stop there. Our salvation goes beyond the day that you kneel at an altar and confess your sins to God.
Yes, I believe that we are saved by grace, it is not of works lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8). Yes, I believe that we are made into a new creation. The old is gone and the new is here! 2 Corinthians Praise the Lord!
But we are also called to grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior (2 Peter 3:18). If we gave birth to a baby and that child remained a baby forever, we would be saddened. It would break our hearts if the child never learned to walk and talk and live a productive life. Yes, we would still love him but we would desire so much more for him.
The very next verse in Ephesians 2 says, For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Salvation Leads Us into Service
So our salvation should lead us into service for God .. living a life that glorifies Him and leads others to Him. ie. growing in grace
2 Peter 3 says, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. “
And the Apostle Paul exhorts us in Ephesians 4:1-6 (AMP), So I, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to you to live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called [that is, to live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior—a life that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation], 2 with all humility [forsaking self-righteousness], and gentleness [maintaining self-control], with patience, bearing with one another in [unselfish] love. 3 Make every effort to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the bond of peace [each individual working together to make the whole successful]. 4 There is one body [of believers] and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when called [to salvation]— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of us all who is [sovereign] over all and [working] through all and [living] in all.
Live a Life Worthy of the Call
So, I too, encourage you to live the life worthy of His calling. We need to work to live holy lives to the glory and honor of God and also, to be a light in the darkness so that others can find the way to Christ.
In order to “leave a legacy” for our children and those around us we must first grow ourselves. And how to do we grow? First, we study the Bible. We fill our minds and saturate our lives with His Word.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Growth through Bible Reading
Bible reading and study teach us how to live for Him. It corrects us when we are wrong, encourages our faith and keeps us on the narrow way. And because we need this encouragement in a moments notice, we should memorize the scriptures. King David said, “I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.”-Psalm 119:15. If David needed it, so do we.
Thirdly, we need fellowship with other believers. We are not an island. Without faith and encouragement of others, we would fall too easily. Solomon declared that “two are better than one because if one falls the other can help him up. Three are even better! (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12) God promises that whenever we gather together even in a group of 2 or 3, that He will be in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20) Realistically, we need each other so don’t neglect the meeting together of believers.
Growth Through Sharing
And finally, we need to share the Gospel. We are not blessed with salvation so that we can keep it to ourselves. We are commanded to “go and make disciples of all nations”. Even without this command from Jesus, sharing our faith helps us (Matthew 28:19) stronger in it. It confirms in us our belief in Christ.
Let’s do this, friends!
In the coming weeks, we will be sharing more thoughts on these four growth factors. I have searched out some fellow bloggers who can so eloquently speak on these things and I have asked them to write encouragement to us to help us grow in the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Join me here on the blog every Monday to be instructed and encouraged. Have you subscribed to receive our updates? You can do so just below in the blue bar. Just add your email address and click submit!
Growing in Grace;
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All the riches in the world, the highest education attainable, fame, and all that the world deems notable is nothing,…
compared to Almighty God and the wisdom He gives.
Accept or Reject
For centuries, some have accepted and some have rejected all that God offers us. Pray, especially during this Christmas season of love and giving, that the wisdom of our Lord will fill us. Pray that more and more people will come to know Him.
As we celebrate the greatest Gift of Love that God brings, ask for the wisdom to share Jesus with everyone you meet!
May I introduce my college friend, Glenae Atchison as a contributor to this website. You may recognize her name if you have been to my Facebook page, Leaving a Legacy. She posts there on a regular basis.
Glenae is a native of Indiana and a long time resident of Mississippi. She graduated from Asbury College in 1983 with a BS in Music Education. She and her husband, Skip have been married for over thirty years. They have two married children and three grandchildren. Glenae is active in choir, two group Bible studies, United Methodist Women, and is a certified lay servant in the United Methodist Church. Her favorite activities include singing and playing the piano, sewing, quilting, making Swedish weave blankets, and, of course, spending time with her grandchildren.
As you will see she is ‘made from the same cloth” as I. And now her first post on the subject of prayer. Continue reading →
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