Tag: Gospel

Don’t Be A Righteous Mess

A RIGHTEOUS MESS
by Jon Walker

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 (NIV)

One Thanksgiving I woke up in a strange hospital in a distant city. I’d been moments away from carving the turkey, but groggily realized I’d been the turkey carved that day. My gallbladder was removed during emergency surgery.

Lying in the hospital, I reflected on how rough the year had been.  In less than 12 months, I had a kidney stone removed, a hernia repaired, a delicate operation on my writing hand, my gallbladder sliced out, and more painfully, my mother diagnosed with Alzheimer’s beginning our care of her.

Yet, the truth is it had been, perhaps, the greatest year of my life. I’d learned that because Christ is in me, He’s also in the middle of the mess.

And I’d learned that the mess is there to show me where I hung my hope. If our hope is based on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness, then being in a mess is an opportunity for God show us how he works in our lives — and the messes we face can provoke us into more certain belief and firmer faith.

This isn’t to suggest we cling to a Pollyanna-type faith, where we pretend everything is OK when it’s not. Truth says life hurts; life is hard, but Truth also reminds us that our life is in Christ. With the Holy Spirit empowering us, trouble becomes an opportunity to develop joy: “For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” (James 1:3, NLT)

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Don’t Know How To Pray? Just A.C.T.S. Him

Many people aren’t sure how to pray. They think that there is a special way to talk to God otherwise their prayers won’t be answered but that just isn’t true. God hears all prayers, no matter how long, short, clumsy, disorganized, boring or weird they may be.  He’s even outlined how we should pray in the Bible –

Matthew 6:9-13

New International Version (NIV)

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors

13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]
but deliver us from the evil one.[b]

That’s what the Bible says, but how does this teach you & me how to pray? Well, there is an easy way to remember. It’s called ACTS – Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication:

Adoration means to worship. Every time we go before God we owe Him worship for who He is (Luke 4:8 – Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only”).

Confession is expressing sincere regret for the wrong you have done. Ask God to forgive you of your sins. When you confess, God will cleanse you from all wrongdoing (1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness).

Thanksgiving is giving thanks to God. Thank Him for His love, forgiveness, protection, provision, mercy & grace just to name a few things (I Cor. 1:4 – I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus).

Supplication is the time during the prayer where you ask for your needs and desires and for he needs of others, including friends, family, co-workers and our government leaders (because they need prayer too!), etc. You may want to ask for things like God’s guidance and wisdom. (Phil. 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God).

So you see, anyone can learn how to pray. Just A.C.T.S.!

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