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Posts Tagged ‘Lord’

The verse that’ll be looked at in this devotion is found in 2 Corinthians. It’s 2 Corinthians 4:1-6 (NIV):

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

Starting out, in verse 1, one discovers that through God’s mercy, we have ministry – the opportunity to preach/tell the gospel to others, so that they may come to know Him and His word. Since we have that opportunity to minister and make it  so other people will have hope in something that’ll last forever, we need not to lose heart.

In the second verse, we see that it talks about our sinful ans shameful nature. We are often lost because of deception and we (as flesh) distort the ways of the Lord. But it’s because of the mercy God gives us, we have no need to lose heart; faith. By telling and recognizing the truth set forward by God for us to see, we gain trust from God to help preserve the truth. When we commend ourselves so that others trust us – mind, body, and conscience – we can then tell them about the word and God, too earns their trust – when they ask him to become their Lord and Savior.

The next two verses, verses 3-4, a discovery, too made here is that for those who try to “cover” the truth; God’s word, they are blinded from it, they are not able to fully see, because thy try to destroy it. For if you blind a driver, they cannot see, ‘nor drive safely. This is the same concept for when people try to hide; cover up, the gospel, they cannot and will not be able to “drive” – live a good safe live without it. It’s like driving without a license – it’s illegal! When you can’t see or understand or accept what Christ has done or see the light of the gospel, life isn’t going to be lived full – even though it may seem like it. Life can only be lived to its fullest with Jesus (the Holy Spirit) living and working in and through you. I can’t say it won’t be easy or anything, in fact life may get harder, but with Christ all things are possible and there will always be a light and reason at the end of each journey.

In verse 5, it’s here one can see -are told- that we ourselves do not preach, for sinful flesh isn’t capable of preaching God’s holy word alone. But it’s through Christ’s work we are able to preach the gospel – God puts the words in our hearts to speak through our mouths about his word. He makes is so that the itch on our heart to go out and serve him, just like Jesus did while he was on earth.

The last verse, verse 6, talks how the God, who made this earth and said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made it so his perfect light could cut through the darkness of our hearts. He gave us the light not only to see on this world, but so that we may acquire the knowledge of how beautiful his love and glory is, in the form of Christ and when he came down, died, and rose we’d fall over in sheer awe and submission to him. Just like servants ready to serve a wonderful master, who treats them like his own children.

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This study of Prayer will be focused around verses found in Matthew. They are Matthew 6:5-8, 14-15 (NIV):

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him… For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

In the first two verses, verses 5 and 6, Jesus is telling his disciples to do something in these verses. He’s telling them not to pray for attention so that others may see “what an amazing and committed, as well as good Christian you are.” No. Instead, he tells them to go to a quiet, private place. For men (and women!) who “brag” with loud prayers so all can see receive their reward there – their human flesh’s satisfaction of people paying attention to them. But for those who leave to go quietly to a place of peace, our unseen Father above rewards us, since we went to a place in secret. Prayer is personal and powerful, don’t ruin it by making yourself look higher than others, because then you’re just babbling.

Verses 7 and 8, it’s here Jesus tells us more – do not pray like pagans! They babble on to their gods, they pray but it’s meaningless. Why? Because they don’t truly believe. They think their gods hear them for the many “praise words” and “askings” they do. When in reality, it’s nothing. When we pray and speak many meaningless words, it makes the prayer lose its “base.” God knows what you need even before you need it. He cares for you. Prayer is a way to communicate  to your Father, talk to him just like you would to your father on earth – casually and straight forward.

Now, adding in a verse not mentioned above, is verse 9: “”This, then, is how you should pray:'” In this verse Jesus is now about so show us how to properly pray.

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
 your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’”

Recognize it? It’s what people call “The Lord’s Prayer.” Though in reality, it should be called “The Disciples’ Prayer,” because of how it was meant for the disciples, Jesus already knew very well how to pray to his father. And also, see how casual it is? Now, we don’t use those lines every time, but we need to pray along those lines – down to “business” – in our own personal way.

In the last two verses, Jesus reflects on forgiveness, based on the twelfth verse: “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” If we forgive the people who do wrong against us, persecute, or tear us down, God too forgives us for our wrongs – because we recognized the wrong we’ve done to others. But if we stay stuck on the wrong done to us and don’t forgive, God won’t forgive either. For our hearts were in the wrong place, they were hard as stone with hate and other feelings.

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“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”

-2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NIV)

It’s exam day, you studied hard and long for the past few days,

and you still have butterflies and doubt stuck in your gut.

What if I missed something? You wonder, What if I suddenly

forget important pieces right before the test? What about

those “trick” questions? What if I somehow studied the wrong

material and missed a subject? What words do I use to explain

the topic asked in the short answer problems? And so on, so forth.

There are so many “what ifs” in life alone, and tests… oh tests they set a lot of people in a “worry trace.”  Just like you, I worry too; tests, pop-quizzes, and quizzes make me nervous and put me sometimes at the edge of my seat, especially pop-quizzes. I like to make sure everything is just right; I’m a perfectionist with OCD, and in an imperfect world, it’s hard to perfect precisely. With pop quizzes – and sometimes tests – I start racking through my brain trying to replay image of the things I’ve learned, trying to recall how to explain or define. Well, and I’m sure you can relate when you knew something and then forgot it. You first get up set and angered with yourself, and then the wave of panic comes through!

But do this: just stop. Stop worrying for a moment. Breath – in out, in out, in out, in out- and listen for a second. Remember that God is in control of everything. Pray to Him for peace and for a working mindset when you’re in those scenarios. Also, remember that you worked hard – at least I hope you did, for your sake – and did your best possible to know everything you were told or wisely predicted to study. As long as ou gave your best effort, that’s what counts.

Remember the verse above, it says “may the Lord of peace himself give you peace.” Peace is peace; calmness and a clear state of mind; comfort. The Lord, who created everything – feelings, thoughts, emotions – and is “the Lord of peace himself” is able to help you in all ways. So if he can do that, the I assure you that he can comfort you when your nerves are at the edge of a cliff.

Prayer is the strongest tool God has given us, it’s the (or a) way we can communicate to our Father. And just like you would tell your mom or dad the feelings your feel, tell God too, just the way you’d tell your earthly parents. I find when I pray and tell God my troubles and request help or peace, I can almost immediately feel God’s presence and peace. Now, it doesn’t happen, or it won’t happen all the time, but God is there, he’s always there; omnipresent. And he cares very, very much for you.

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