A pastor once asked his church to pray that God would shut down a neighborhood bar. The whole church gathered for an evening prayer meeting, pleading with God to rid the neighborhood of the evils of this bar. A few weeks later, lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground.
Having heard about the church’s prayer crusade, the bar owner promptly sued the church. When the court date finally arrived, the bar owner passionately argued that God struck his bar with lightning because of the church members’ prayers. The pastor backtracked, brushing off the accusations. He admitted the church prayed, but he also affirmed that no one in his congregation really expected anything to happen.
The judge leaned back in his chair, a mix of amusement and perplexity on his face. Finally, he spoke: “I can’t believe what I’m hearing. Right in front of me is a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer and a pastor who doesn’t.”
I have heard the above story all my life but I cannot vouch if it is true. The truth is some Christian believe in God, but they don’t believe in prayer. They might claim to believe prayer works, but their actions say otherwise. Some rarely pray, and when they do, they don’t expect anything to change. If we truly believed in prayer, I think we would pray more and more fervently. James 1:-6-8 Mark 11:24
In the film, Bruce Almighty, (2003) Bruce Nolan is passed over for a coveted position as a TV anchor. When he complains to God about how unfair his life is, God (Morgan Freeman) shows up and ask Bruce if he could do a better job as God. Bruce decides he could do a better job and God grants him temporary limited authority to be God. God does limit his power. He cannot violate man’s free will. His power only extends over several blocks in New York City. But you have to admit it is an interesting idea: What would you do if YOU were God? Lose that weight you have been unsuccessful in losing? End all wars; sickness, stop all natural disasters from happening, end racism. Who would you like to see win the Super Bowl? I WOULD DEFINITELY END ALL ABORTIONS!
Bruce prepares for bed but cannot sleep because he hears thousands upon thousands of prayers in his head. No problem; he’s God! He answers EVERYONE’S prayer! I mean that what God is supposed to do. Right? Everyone who bought a lottery ticket WINS! Everyone is healed instantly! There is a sudden rise in pregnancy! The stock market explodes! Everyone drives the car of their dreams ( prayer) Unfortunately, it all became chaos!
I am reminded of the Old Testament passage (1 Samuel 8) when the nation of Israel wanted a king just like the pagan nations around. God tried to dissuade them telling them what would occur if they choose a king and it was not favorable. : He (God) gave them exactly what they asked for— but along with it they got an empty heart.” (Psalm 106:15) I admit that have been times I prayed for things that I regretted it later.
I thought if I was God, I would right every wrong and punish all evildoers. If I was God, I would ask for incredible wealth so I could help people in need. If I was God, I wouldn’t do any of those things because I am like most of us; selfish!
If I were God; there are some people that better run for the hills!
What is God like? How would you describe Him? I am sure that there would be a variety of answers. Most have a wrong idea of who God is. Some people view God as kind, benevolent like a heavenly grandfather granting his children every whim they desire. On the other hand, some see God as the celestial cop; waiting to punish us as so as we step out of line. And others, fall somewhere between the two.
Those familiar with Facebook are familiar with the term “befriended.” It refers to one person who is enrolled in Facebook inviting another person to be their “friend” which enables them to share information.
Recently a new television program, God Befriended Me premiered. It is a humorous, uplifting drama about an outspoken atheist whose life is turned upside down when he receives a friend request on social media from God and unwittingly becomes an agent of change in the lives and destinies of others around him.
That got me to thinking. Isn’t that exactly what God is all about? He has called each of us to close relationship with Him. ““No longer do I call you slaves…but I have called you friends.” John 15 Abraham, the patriarch of the Old Testament was referred to as the friend of God. James 2:23.
When people think about God being your friend, they think it is sacrilegious. But Jesus, Himself, calls us His friends because He communicates with us. John 15:14 Our relationship with God is the most personal relationship we can ever have but the choice is yours. Will you accept His invitation to be His friend?
Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months and ten days. 2 Chronicles 36:9
James Baker’s influence in Washington was legendary. He could walk in and out of the Oval Office at will. One day while serving as Presidential Chief of Staff, Baker was traveling home in his limousine. He noticed a man walking alone. No reporters were around him. No security. Just a man on an empty street. Baker recognized him as the Chief of Staff of a prior administration.
“There he was, alone,” Baker said. “No reporters, no security, no adoring public, no trappings of power—just one solitary man alone with his thoughts.” That image became a constant reminder to Baker of the fleeting nature of power. “That man had it all,” said Baker, “but only for a time.”
History is littered with the names of people who rose and fell, who lived and died. But we serve a God whose power will never diminish and whose rule and reign will never end. Our God doesn’t rule for three months and ten days. His kingdom is forever.
Having a position of power does not bring inner security and fulfillment. That comes only by developing a personal relationship with God, which for me is personified in Jesus Christ. —James A. Baker
Taken from David Jeremy – Turning Point Daily Devotional
The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking? John 1:37-38
Jesus often led people by asking them a thought-provoking question. His very first question to His first followers was “What are you looking for?” What astounds me is that Jesus’ first question to those who would follow Him is not about God, sin, politics, or family history. It is a question that gives us a glimpse into the heart of Jesus. It is also a question that gives us a glimpse into ourselves.
Jesus’ question gives us a glimpse into ourselves because it forces us to examine what genuinely matters most to us. We are all looking for something. There may be no greater tragedy than a life spent looking for the wrong thing. Most of us are looking for good things—security, meaning, success, love, hope—but we’re not always certain where and how to find it. Jesus is aware that we can be distracted by the cares of the world, looking for even the right things in the wrong places and in the wrong ways. His question stops us long enough to take measure of whether the activity of our lives matches what genuinely matters.
The good news is that Jesus’ question also gives us a glimpse into His heart. In John 1:35–39 He offers these two men conversation and relationship. They answer by asking where he is staying. “Come,” Jesus replied, “and you will see.” He could have just given them the address of the house. But Jesus’ invitation shows them that He actually wants to be with them. In one short interaction, Jesus moves from a question that invites us to explore our lives and hearts, to an invitation to come and see if what we are looking for is ultimately met in Him.
As a young boy, I was always fascinated with light. I loved playing with flashlights! I was amazed that I could close myself in the darkest closet and with the flick of a switch, Shazam; there was light! As I grew older, I discovered that not all flashlights were created equal! The small flashlight that mom had attached on her keychain was no match for my dad’s multi-battery Mag Light.
I once stayed with friends for a couple of weeks on their farm. That farm had a lot of things that captured my attention. Their house was an OLD farmhouse with many antiquated things. One of those things I had never seen was push-button light switches that turned the lights off and on.
What amazed me was when you pushed the “off button”, there was a slight pause between pressing the button and when the room was actually dark. Every night I played a game with that switch. I would press the button and then try to get in bed before the room got dark. I never beat it.
In the Bible, God is referred to as light; “”…God is light; in him, there is no darkness at all.” 1 John1:5. Unlike flashlights, God’s glory (Brightness) cannot be compared. Revelation 21:23 Isaiah 60:19
But unlike the push-button lights in the farm that paused; God’s light is instantaneous; “God spoke: “Light!” And light appeared.” Genesis 1:3 (MSG) When we confess our sins and surrender our lives; we are changed instantly. Darkness now becomes light. 1 John 5:8
Medical experts tell us one the best physical exercise is walking. It has many benefits without damaging your body. Many married couples find walking together is a great way to pray together, talk over situations that need their attention, and a way to take a break from the hectic pace of life.
Marriage is a great metaphor for our walk with Christ. Amos 3:3 asks us, “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” When we invite Jesus to walk with us in this life, we become filled with His Holy Spirit and our journey together begins. He’s taking us somewhere and there will always be obstacles to overcome. We experience joy and pain, bondage and freedom, wounds and healing—but we’re on a course to victory.
In the Bible, God uses the language of walking to describe people in relationship with Him. Moses “walked” with God, Enoch “walked” with God, Adam and Eve “walked” with God in the garden, and Jesus’ disciples literally “walked” with Him throughout His earthly ministry. They walked with Jesus through the ups and downs, knowing eternal paradise awaited them in the end.
Walking with my wife is sometimes a challenge. Either she is a fast walker or I am a slow walker! Either, often she has to turn around to see if I have fallen too far behind. But God is always right there beside us.
Anyone up for a walk?