Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Scripture makes it clear that our heavenly Father hears and answers prayer. Yet we all experience times when, though we pray for God to act right away, He does not. What are some reasons for the delay?
At times the Lord sees that our attention is misdirected. Our relationship with Him should have priority over any earthly matter (Mark 12:30). Yet minds and prayers can become so fixed upon a need that our gaze shifts away from Him. The Father may delay His answer until we refocus on Him. In other situations, God waits because the timing is not right for granting our request. Perhaps certain events must happen first, or people’s thinking needs to be changed.
There are also seasons when the Lord wants to stretch and grow our faith. One of the ways He accomplishes that is by having us watch for His response. The Holy Spirit will work in these times of waiting to mature us and bring forth righteous fruit (Gal. 5:22-23).
Other reasons are a wrong motive for our request (James 4:3) and the practice of habitual sin. We all fall short when it comes to God’s standard of holiness, but some of us persist in a lifestyle of disobedience. The Lord may delay His answer so He can prompt us to confess our sin and turn back to Him.
Waiting on the Lord isn’t easy—faith and trust are needed (Heb. 11:1). If His answer is delayed, check that 1) your focus is on Him, 2) your motive for asking is God-honoring, and 3) you aren’t practicing habitual sin. Then believe that His response will be for your good and His glory.
Credit: InTouch Ministries
Thursday, June 09, 2011
This is our concluding part of the lessons we have been studying from the story Jesus Christ meeting with the woman at the well which can be found in John 4:1-42.
Our last lesson focuses on evangelism. The need to spread the word, share and reach out to the unsaved when we get saved. We must show others the light, bring others to God when we see or meet Him. We are going to focus our lesson on not just one but some number of verses. The first verse is John 4:16. Here, Jesus asked the woman to go bring her husband which is a clear sign of Jesus Christ teaching her to or willing to spread the saving to the family of the woman and all her household. If the Samaritan woman had a husband by then I am sure Jesus would have saved both of them thus winning two sould instead of one to the kingdom.
Now, after Jesus told the woman to go get her husband which was one aspect of evangelising in the story, a clear picture of evangelism is painted when the woman descended into the town to tell the whole town [world] she has met the Lord and urges everyone to come and see the Christ. This is evident in John 4:28-30. The verse 28 talks about the woman leaving her pot behind and taking a step to let the others know about the wonderful man she has met. Everybody knew her as a prostitute which if it were to be today might be shameful for some of us to do. She did not let her occupation stop her from spreading the gosple. She forgot about her water pot simply because she has been promised of water that when she drinks will never go thirsty. The water pot may crack, the well may dry up but there is a fountain in God that never dries up. The water from that fountain is always fresh and taste sweet. "Come and see...." is what the woman said when she got to the town. The woman did not keep everything to herself. She went forth and told everyone, invited everyone to know and hear the amazing word, a life transforming event that has taken place in her life. She did not look down on her self, did not say she can not spread the word because she is a prostitute. John 4:39-42 tells us the end results. All we need to do is just to go and sow the seed. Take a step and sow the seed. Forget about who will water it, prune it and do the harvesting when it is time because God will open the heavens for rain to fall on the seed you have sown, He will prune it and take away all the branches that are not needed. There is nothing too hard for Him to do. Put away the fear and take the bold step. Put your past behind and focus on an oppurtunity to live a new life under the chairmanship of Jesus Christ.
What then is preventing us from doing likewise? A prostitute shared the word, before Paul because Paul he was not giving christians their peace of mind and yet he became a very big player in the kingdom business. That is the God we serve, He accepts us how we are, clears the rust on us and polishes us making us ready for use. He chooses whoever He wants. God has done a lot for you and me. Like the Samaritan woman, He has showed us great and wonderful things in our lives, brought our secrets to the open and has promised us fresh water that never dries up, water that when we drink will never go thirsty yet we prefer keeping all the Lord had done to ourselves. We do not want to share or bring others to the saving power of God. Somebody is waiting for proof, waiting to hear that story, that testimony etc to confirm that he or she is not making a wrong move concerning his or her decision to follow Christ and yet you have all those testimonies but you are sitting down with it. What are you waiting for? Forget about you being a prostitute, a thief, etc. God loves you and accepts you irrespective of whatever you have done or whoever you are. Sure there was a time I was that personal feeling that I was the worst sinner on earth at a particular time but I kept asking myself why God blesses me with a new life each and every morning?
God loves you. Let us share and bring our brothers and sisters to the saving knowledge or power of God.
Thanks everyone for reading and following the studies over the past month. Your comments are encouraging I appreciate your time and everything you sacrificed to read all the post concerning the lessons. God bless you all and continue to abide under the shadows of the Almighty. Till we come again with another post, its bye for now.