December 02, 2019
What do you do when you are in crisis? When the people around you are suffering? Or rebelling? When the nation you live in is spiraling downward spiritually and under the righteous judgment of God?
If you scan the Bible, you will discover that the men God used had an immediate and singular response.
Daniel is a perfect example. When his nation was in bondage and great turmoil, his response was untypical of most but amazingly effective.
So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. (Daniel 9:3)
Like Nehemiah and Moses and the men and women most greatly used by God, he cried out to the only One who could help. If you study their prayers, you will find they all contain similar components.
O LORD, the great and awesome God (vs. 4)
O LORD, the great and awesome God who keeps HIs covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments (vs. 4)
I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed … we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances. Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets ... (vs. 5-6a)
Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame … You have driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against You. (vs. 7-8)
O, Lord, in accordance with all Your righteous acts, let now Your anger and Your wrath turn away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain (vs. 16)
For Your sake, O Lord, let Your face shine on Your desolate sanctuary. O my God, incline Your ear and hear! Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Your name … For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name. (vs. 17-19)
We are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion. (vs. 18)
We cannot improve on this Biblical pattern. We should take this same approach with our great God as we cry out to Him for our lives, our families, our nation. We should do it fervently. We should do it by ourselves and with others. We should do it unceasingly.
And we should do it now.
October 13, 2021
October 12, 2021
It could not be worse. God is gracious in His offering of forgiveness through Jesus Christ to all who believe. Those who come to know God and obey Him will experience the best in this life and the life to come.
But what of all those who ignore God? Who will not trust Him? Who never follow and obey the one true God? The Bible leaves no ambiguity about this, and its clarity should sober us.
October 07, 2021
My son, who is planting a church in a Northern Colorado city, intentionally took me for a walk through a sculpture garden recently that is located in a prominent spot in his large city. It was beautiful, convenient, and filled with people.
To my amazement, at every 30 yards or so, there was a stone statue. The whole garden was a prayer garden, and each statue was named. The farther we walked, the more I realized it was a garden designed to help you pray to ancestral spirits. This religion is called animism and is no different from the false religions we read of in the Scripture. Paul encountered this in Athens.