Showing posts with label Christian Practice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian Practice. Show all posts

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Praying For Those Who Irritate Us

Do you ever have annoyed, frustrated or angry thoughts about anyone? Do the attitudes or behaviors of some people send you into a fit? Are you tempted to have ill will towards those who have misused or mistreated you? 

Have you ever had fleeting or lingering thoughts of wishing problems or misfortune on others? Do you ever find yourself fussing and arguing with yourself about the life that someone lives? I could go on and on and if you profess to have never had any of these types of thoughts or feelings, then you are probably not human. 

I have been on a track for a couple of years now where the Holy Spirit reminds me to stop and pray for these persons. You see, it's not just a matter of us crushing the offending thoughts. While that is an intense and worthy process, it's not enough.

Crushing these thoughts essentially buries them but they are not dead. They are like seeds that can sprout again. God gets to the root of the problem so it can be killed. He wants us to do more than bury unpleasant thoughts about others and generate benign thoughts about people who incense us. 

Our Father God does not want us to suffer any more thoughts that sprout from roots of malevolence. He wants us to be free of malignant thoughts, no matter how mild or fleeting they are. It's a matter of immediately confessing and accepting forgiveness through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, Our Savior, and then stopping to pray for the person. It doesn't have to be a long, intense prayer. It can be brief but it should be heartfelt.

When we turn our growth over to God we begin to recognize opportunities to grow. The Holy Spirit prompts, prods and pricks us when a chance is available to do it God's way. It begins from within, where the roots that need to be purged are. God is precise. He wants it all dug out, every offensive thought that hinders. That still, soft voice of his Spirit will remind us. All we need to do is obey, like I did this morning.

The way that God does it for me is to say in my spirit, Did you pray for her?, during or after a hostile thought. He'll say in my spirit, Have you prayed for him?. He won't say I'm wrong for the thought or that I know I should not have been thinking that.

My Father understands why I had the thought and I sense his loving kindness and his mercy. Now, when thoughts like that come, I end up stopping what I'm doing and praying for the person. If I can get on my knees I do. I offer a quick prayer of forgiveness for myself and blessing for the person.

We should forgive the persons for whatever it was that made us offended, vindictive, judgmental. They may not even know us but we know of them and God is not pleased with our thoughts. He wants better for us. Sometimes, the source of our rancor is in our minds or we are just in a bad mood. At other times, our spiteful thoughts can be justified because of real, hurtful events and experiences. 

Whatever the source of these types of troubling thoughts, we don't have to suffer brushing them under the rugs of our minds where they can trip us up later. We can go further and be cleansed of them. Rather than pretend that you never have thoughts like these, submit to God and allow His Holy Spirit to help you. It will make all of the difference in your spirit, attitude and growth. Be pruned! Be purged! Be strengthened!




 

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Being A Positive-Minded Christian

Living a successful Christian life and doing things God's way requires a positive mindset. Walking in the Spirit requires a positive mindset. Being transformed by the renewing of our minds through reading the Word daily requires positive mindsets going in. Allowing our faith to be increased by God requires positive mindsets. Make no mistake, for wonderful changes to come about, we have to start with positive mindsets. We have to believe! That is positive-mindedness. 

Have you been negative-minded when coming to God in prayer? Were you raised in a negative-minded family? Have your trials and troubles in life fostered a negative mind in you? Are you so tired of life, so tired of praying, so tired of hoping that your mind is now negative to God's possibilities? Well, the Holy Spirit is our Comforter and Guide and will restore positivity and faith in us if we let Him.

Allowing the Word to sink in as we read it daily will prune us. We are the branches of Jesus Christ and we have to be regularly trimmed in spirit and attitude. This cutting process will convert and transform our negativeness to the positive-minded position that we need to be in to receive from Our Heavenly Father. 

Are you eating and drinking The Word daily? Are you reading around in The Bible rather than reading the same old scriptures that are tired to your mind and heart? Are you ensuring that you are getting a balance of The Word rather than reading The Lord is my shepherd or Our Father, which art in Heaven everyday? Are you becoming familiar with more obscure scriptures? It takes the entire Word, Old and New Testaments, to transform us and round us out to positive thinking, feeling and behaving. 



Sunday, September 18, 2022

Choosing One Day Of Rest

We are often reminded that God rested the seventh day after he created our world and Adam and Eve. How often do we follow his example and the admonition of the scriptures? We should be more pro-active in enjoying a day of rest each week because the spiritual blessings are many.

It is good to have one day per week when we totally wind down. A day when we don't do all of the stuff that we usually do becomes a day of renewal. Christians feel that Sunday is that day. We use that day for special worship-of-God activities, special Sunday meals and peacefulness.

Some people have to work on Sunday, so they choose another day of rest. Some Christians choose to set apart Saturday for special worship and renewal. It's not so much the day but the obedience to God and the scriptures that blesses us. 

Like with fasting, our minds are brought back to the knowledge, every hour of that chosen day, that we are honoring God through sacrifice. Throughout that day when we think of things that we want to do but shouldn't, we are reminded that we are sacrificing and that Jesus Christ sacrificed for us. We draw closer to God on this day of rest.

Whatever day you choose, be sure to do something different than what you usually do, something restful, peaceful and calm. Cultivate serenity, tranquility and elevated worship. Use it as a prayer-building day. Be refreshed, restored and renewed one day per week, not just spiritually but physically as well. The blessings will be abundant!

Hebrews 4:1-11

Deuteronomy 5:14 

Exodus 20:10, 23:12

Genesis 2:2-3



Friday, August 12, 2022

Loving & Letting God Repay

Don't hate and don't retaliate. We don't know the reasons why God allows us to suffer unfairness, mistreatment, harassment, persecution and other types of attacks, but he always has a plan for us.

The Word encouragingly tells us that all things, not some things, all things work together for good to those of us who love him, who are the called and always according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 We also understand that the good will of God towards us, while primarily for the World to come, is also for our present place of habitation. Luke 18:30

It is Our Father's will that some of the good that is built through trials and tribulations come to us during our present, earthly life. All things work together for good but some we will receive after we leave this dying world. In Hebrews 11:13-17,39-40, we read a summary of faithful Believers who journeyed through a life of commitment to God but left this world not having received the promise despite all that they endured.

One thing is sure. God does not and cannot lie. Every jot and tittle of his Word will come to pass. Matthew 5:18 We can have faith that none of our endurance, suffering, sorrow and tears will be wasted. If we are faithful to God and determine to not hate those who show hate towards us, and not retaliate against those who are malicious towards us, we will eventually receive good through their ill will and hurtful actions.

So we, as faithful followers of Jesus Christ, choose not to hate and not to retaliate in thought, word or deed. We choose to love (with God's love because our flesh cannot love with purity) and let God handle the repayment and vindication against those who offend. I will repay, says Our Father regarding those who are on a mission to malign others. Romans 12:19-21 Our rewards, both here and in the New Heaven and the New Earth, are worth waiting for through Godly endurance of all that he allows. We choose to love and let God.





Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Blessed Wednesday! Focus On The Positive!

God's will includes living our lives to the fullest no matter what circumstances we are in. There are many ways that we can more appreciate what God has done and live more uplifting, fulfilling lives. Giving thanks and reaching out to help others helps us to focus on the positive that serving God through Jesus Christ brings into our lives. Even though it is very difficult sometimes to feel positive, God's knows our hearts and will help us if we ask. 

We are so used to working things out for ourselves that we have been trained to not ask for help. We forget that despite how things have been or are for us, God cares about every little thing that concerns us. Just because he doesn't always change our difficult circumstances doesn't mean that he does not care. His plans are just so perfect and his blessings so great that we can't perceive them in advance.

The cares and troubles of this life easily get us down. Some of us have many more struggles than others, so we often feel hopeless and alone. Despite this, our compassionate and kind Father in Heaven is always near to help us to focus on the positive that is available to all who love him and believe in salvation through The Lamb, his precious Son, Jesus Christ.

Help is always near, through The Father, who knows everything about us, through The Son who is ever interceding for us, and through The Holy Spirit, who is given to all Believers as a comforter and a guide.

Dear Father: Increase our faith, restore unto us the joy of our salvation, uphold us with your free Spirit. Help us. We love you with a perfect love in our reborn spirits and nothing can separate us from your love. Thank you, Father! 


 

Sunday, April 10, 2022

We Never Have To Stop Praying

We never have to stop praying. We are encouraged to pray without ceasing. (I Thessalonians 5:17

There are formal and informal ways to pray. When we accept this, the many ways to pray 24/7 open up to us. We don't always have to get on our knees with a scripted intonation of phrases and quotes.

Prayer, in it's essence, is talking to God. Talking to Jesus. How much more candid, honest and heart-felt are conversational words versus rehearsed prayer speeches.

Being tired or discouraged and not feeling like praying is not even an excuse. We can ask the Holy Spirit to pray for us. He will then utter on-target words that we cannot.

Pray without ceasing and grow closer to God.



Sunday, March 27, 2022

Secret Faithfulness To God = Outward Reward

Public or outward acknowledgement is the reward that Christians who are secretly faithful receive from God.

One way or another, our private devotion to God will show outwardly. We don't have to try, we don't have to uplift ourselves to others, we don't have to beg people to believe that we know God through Jesus Christ.

When we are faithful in seeking God's face and drawing nigh to him, his power will emanate from us. When we pray, fast and give from our secret closet, God will reward us outwardly. 

We will receive some type of open acknowledgement, from God, for our secret faithfulness.

Matthew 6:6

Matthew 6:17-18

Matthew 6:3-4








Sunday, February 27, 2022

Should I Be In This Relationship?


All Christians are at various levels of growth, though we are all sisters and brothers in Christ. However, just because a person is a Christian doesn't mean that what they have to offer in association with you is pure, edifying, honest, worthy or supported by God.
When the Bible says "How can two walk together unless they be agreed?", that can pertain to Christians also. It's not only a matter for Christians in association or relationship with non-Believers. It's important to consider between Christians, especially when it comes to young Christians and those who are more experienced and advanced. We should always be asking ourselves what is a Christian Relationship in reference to our upward walk? 

Just because someone says that they are a brother or sister in Christ does not mean that they would make a good friend, spouse, business partner, spiritual mentor or other. Some Christians are constantly growing and some Christians never grow up in Christ. Many Christians want to grow and many do not. It's an individual choice which means that all Christians are not compatible.

Babes in Christ and those who refuse to submit themselves to God's requirements for growth are still carnally-minded. They are still operating in the ways of death. (Romans 8:6) Whether they will choose to grow in Christ Jesus always remains to be seen.
When it comes to romance and dating, new Christians have not yet had time to develop pure Christian dating principles. It is difficult for them to receive and understand the necessity of Biblical dating principles because they haven't yet had time to absorb enough of the Word of God to begin to manifest their transformation. Others have chosen not to eat and drink the Word daily. In doing so, they have chosen not to be transformed by the renewing of their minds. (Romans 12:2) Maybe they will later but again, maybe they won't.

We are experienced in Christ. We are advanced. We should not be embracing into our lives everyone who identifies as Christian. Wisdom and common sense tells us that we should be applying Matthew 7:20 and 1 John 4:1, in one way or another, to all of our relationships and potential affiliations. Evaluation takes time. The more the potential for our Christian advancement to be compromised the longer that evaluation should take. That means watch and wait before we embrace connections.

You say that as an advanced, growing Christian you can help the babes to higher heights in God. There is some truth to that because the Scriptures encourage the strong to help the weak. That thinking with undisciplined, unwise actions, however, is how many growing Christians have downfalls. Those downfalls become harder and harder to overcome.

Some Christians will never be compatible with us. The inability to accept this can lead to discord, disappointment, emotional exhaustion, sorrow, loss, tragedy, the undermining of our Christian faith and more. None of it is necessary if we accept the truth and value the riches of our growth, rather than the lure of compromise. 

Understanding this should also impact our Christian business relationships definition. We should always be measuring our business alliances with the ruler of God's Word and our advanced knowledge in Christ. As you well know, growing in Christ is often a lonely life. While we can look forward to rewards, even here and now, it's not easy to take that journey and stay in the path. It takes:

  • becoming more spiritually-minded everyday,
  • learning to crucify the flesh,
  • being purged and pruned by the Holy Spirit,
  • being cut by the Word of God,
  • learning to resist the devil,
  • learning how to cast down imagination,
  • learning to deny ourselves at times,
  • learning to be moderate in all things,
  • learning to walk humbly,
  • learning to not think more highly of ourselves than we should while being thankful and grateful,
  • letting God have his way,
  • learning to recognize God's will,
  • being obedient to God's will,
  • continually giving more over to God,
  • suffering with Christ in all the ways that God ordains,
  • and more wonderful things like that.
I know you get that I'm saying those last few words with tongue-in-cheek, with a little humor sprinkled in but they are oh so true. For those who want to go higher in Christ in this world, who want more of God, who want to live a life of storing up riches in Heaven where the moths and rusts of this fallen, dying world cannot corrupt them and steal our rewards, it is the desired way. Being purged by God is welcomed. It can be exhausting but we'd rather be exhausted for The Kingdom than exhausted for the world, the flesh and the devil, like we were in the old days.
Many accept Christ but never take the first step onto the narrow path of transformation and renewal. Many think they have given it all over to God. Many know that they have not. However, in their secret heart, the minute that a spiritual offense comes, the minute that they suspect that God wants more from them, they choose not to move forward. There is no compatibility with those who do not want to grow in Christ and those who are. Good Christian friends are those who are on an upward track of continual growth, similar to ours.
Those who don't want to grow think that those who are growing are fanatics and over-doers. They are still blind and conceited and will try to undermine the growing Christian and convince us in subtle ways that we don't need all of that. How do we know? We were there once! We may not have consciously tried to undermine other Christians, but we had thoughts of not needing all of that that an advanced Christian displayed. They were spiritually beyond us. 
Don't allow your hard-won development and maturity in Christ to be compromised by not recognizing the difference between you being sold-out to Christ and someone who is not. Don't be brought down by anyone who, by virtue of their lack of growth, is still dabbling in the dark places from where you came or who simply doesn't want to go higher in Christ.

Be friendly with care, mentor with care, relate with care, exhort with care, partner with care, share with care, be compassionate with care, join with care, contract with care, remembering always that the Bible makes it plain. Two cannot walk together unless they are agreed. (Amos 3:3) That goes for any association that we have or could have in this world, whether it's with one person or fifty. 


  

Sunday, February 20, 2022

From Disappointment And Confusion To Triumph

In Psalm 44:1-26, we see that God's people endured disappointment and confusion just like we do, but they triumphed in God.

It's so important to read The Word everyday and not only start each day with prayer, but to talk to God throughout the day. Through these practices, we build strength to hold on and continue to believe through similar circumstances like what they endured. We should always stay close to God because nothing here in this earth is sure.

What we consider to be God's special blessings to us can turn at any time. What's here today can be changed or gone tomorrow. Does that mean it did not come from God? No.

I don't know about you, but I'm always thanking God for all good things. However, things change. God changes things at his will and he allows things to change. God is god of all and most of the time we are not able to understand why he allows or does certain things.

As David shared in the Psalms, one day we're on top and the next it seems like the whole world is against us. God allows things that are incomprehensible and mostly he doesn't tell us why. As we grow in him, we can sometimes discern a track that he has us on and that helps us to perceive that all is well.

Our job and best mental and emotional attitude is to cling to him, whether we are up or down, prosperous or lacking, successful or struggling. Whatever the circumstance, our faith is not to be placed in those day-to-day shiftings.

It is difficult sometimes, when we're struggling in various ways, but our hope and faith is to be in God himself. We can also ask him for relief at any point. David did that many times while professing his faith and devotion to Our Father.

No matter what he was suffering, mental or emotional anguish or physical attack, he took his disappointment and confusion to his God. In the end, he triumphed because he never gave up on Our Heavenly Father. He stayed with God.




How To Accept Jesus Christ As Your Savior

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Proclaim The Lord's Death Till He Comes

 

The Apostle Paul wrote to the new church, that he had founded at Corinth, the message for all of us today, that we should proclaim the Lord's death till he comes. (I Corinthians 11:23) He is reminding us all of what took place in that upper room when Jesus had his last meal with his Disciples. 

Jesus was telling them that whenever they had a meal, to remember that though He died in the flesh He was coming back again. He was saying let your eating and drinking of sustenance be a reminder that I was resurrected and I am returning to resurrect those who have died and rapture (change) those who are still alive on the earth at that time.

What does proclaim mean? It can mean to claim and act as if. It can mean to affirm. When we choose to claim the belief that Christ is coming back, we act everyday as if we know that he is. By our actions of taking a moment to remember him when we eat and drink, we affirm that we believe Jesus is alive and coming back.

When we choose that every meal that we take will be a reminder and proclamation of Christ's resurrection and return, we then have more opportunities to remember Christ. What about the Eucharist? What about Communion?

There is nothing wrong with practicing these formal procedures and traditions. Churches, ministries and Christian groups do it differently. Some have group Communion once a week, some once a month, some occasionally, some at special events. Some use grape juice and I imagine that some use fermented or alcoholic drink because they feel that they are being true to ancient, middle-eastern tradition.

Some use crackers, some use bread. Some insist on unleavened bread and other types of baked goods. There is no perfect way that Jesus meant for us to remember him when we eat and drink. 

If we take it the way that Jesus meant it, we will find ourselves with daily opportunities to remember him. That will be many more chances than if we recognize only formal Communion services.

When we only embrace the Eucharist events, we have a tendency to forget about Christ until the next Eucharist. It's as if we are being told that this is the only valid time that we can formally honor the resurrection and return of Our Savior.

In the Upper Room, Jesus Christ was giving each person a way to remember him everyday, as often as they each ate, whether they were together or not. If they ate together, fine. If they ate alone, fine. If they ate with a group of Christians, fine. If they ate with their families, fine.

I take Communion by myself at home whenever I remember or am inspired to and with whatever I have. I don't feel that I have to have a certain bread, cracker or drink to make it valid. My heart is valid before God. 

I am also training myself to remember, whenever I sit down to eat a meal, that my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was resurrected from his death, is at the right hand of my Father God and is returning for me one day soon, whether I have died or am alive.



  

Friday, January 14, 2022

What Would We Do Without These Two?

I Am So Thankful For My Prayer And Bible Study Life!

How About You?  

It's how we get our strength to successfully endure unexpected daily challenges.

It's how we get the power to forgive and pray for enemies, real and perceived.

Through our prayer habits we become renewed each day.

Through Bible reading and study we learn the nature of The One True God.

We find ourselves becoming transformed into being more like Jesus Christ in attitude and commitment towards Our Father.

We grow in hope.



 

 

Monday, January 10, 2022

How ChurchCom Enables Impoverished Communities

Though the ChurchCom ministry is based in northern UK, its purpose and procedures can inspire ministries in other countries.

Joseph Bevan, founder of ChurchCom, has an extensive background in community development and engagement. Previously, he achieved success in a number of inner city areas of deprivation within the area of Birmingham, England.


 

One important position in which he served was as a youth and community worker and lecturer.

 

 


 

The initial vision of ChurchCom came from a government-funded role of community liaison within one of the United Kingdom's most challenged urban neighborhoods.


ChurchCom Website

Churchcom is a northern UK, non-profit organization managed by a group of community enablers. These committed ministry workers have broad backgrounds in spurring communities to engender success.

Their focus is to alleviate social poverty within specific areas of the United Kingdom. The vision of Churchcom is all about community, establishing socioeconomic hubs to bridge church with community, cutting red tape and empowering local volunteers.

They work with all community members, regardless of a faith-based or no-faith personal focus. The goal is to develop opportunities for individuals from all backgrounds to advance and succeed. 



ChurchCom Youtube Channel

A range of evangelistic preaching, teaching, worship, praise and charity-related missions, along with sharing practical evangelism skills.

Please Support & Partner with Us

Prayer is one of the most important ways you can do this.

If you would like to donate to our ministry, use the info below:

Sort Code: 30-62-61
Account No: 69068568
Name: ChurchCom munity

Feel free to get in touch:

josephbevan@live.co.uk
07852238244

All donations are used for evangelism and outreach.


 

ChurchCom Facebook Page

A vehicle of community change to tackle a variety of social evils. Includes daily devotions.


Christian Products & Services: Buy & Sell Facebook Group

A group for buying and selling Christian-themed products & services, such as books, crafts, music, etc. Come and promote your Christian creativity!


 

ChurchCom is a model of good practice for establishing socioeconomic hubs aiming to bridge church with community. 

Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:18-20

~~~~~~