Wednesday, May 28, 2008

More Powerful than Prayer

What’s more powerful than prayer? Abiding in Christ. It is only as we abide in Him that we know how to pray.

John 15:7 “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you can ask for what you want and it shall be given to you.”

Of course, if we make it our goal to abide in Christ so that we can get whatever we want, we will never succeed at either goal. If we abide in Christ, our wants will be forever altered.

Romans 6 is clear that we died with Christ, and because of that, we live with Him, too.

“For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death (which is symbolized in the immersion of baptism), we will certainly also be united in the likeness of his resurrection.”

Rom 12 adds that we should live these resurrected lives as living sacrifices. Not sacrifices that die on the altar, but sacrifices that live. Sacrifices that died with Christ and now abide in Him. We are sacrifices that live Holy lives, lives that are pleasing to God.

In this way our wants are altered to become His wants. John 15:7 is a promise, but it might be better to see it as a barometer. If I am given whatever I prayerfully want, I can be assured that I am abiding in Him, and His words are abiding in me.

But if I am not given what I prayerfully want, it demonstrates that I am not capable of understanding His heart in the matter. But our gracious Lord knows our weakness. He understands our hurt. He even understands our heart when it is out of sync with His. And He still loves. He still welcomes us. He still calls us to trust Him more. He still offers the promise. If you will abide in me….you shall have what your heart most deeply wants.

Challenge: Spend 5 minutes each morning, consciously placing yourself in His presence.

Next Topic: “What’s more gracious than salvation?”

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Our next topic is…

More powerful than prayer
More gracious than salvation
More miraculous than healing
More glorious than the image of God
More comforting than scripture
More certain than breath

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


On Sunday, we ended on Romans 15:14 where Paul says he is convinced that believers are able to “instruct” one another. We noted three conditions for his confidence.
1) We are in a community
2) We are full of goodness
3) We are filled with knowledge

As we discussed these, I neglected to mention one important thought about goodness. Goodness and “being nice” are not the same thing. Goodness is a noun that references the actions one takes when proper and right in relationship. “Goodness” is the works that come from love. That means that when Jesus looked Peter in the eye and said “Get thee behind me Satan” that was “goodness.” (Otherwise Jesus was being less than loving.) When Jesus said “woe to you, you bunch of snakes” that was “goodness.” When he wove a whip out of straw and went wild on the money changers, that was “goodness.”

The actions that come from doing right in a relationship are not always “nice” nor are they always “harsh.” That’s why being full of knowledge becomes so important.

Please remember to pray at let me know your thoughts about
- What’s after Romans?
- Do we give to the Rawanda Mission, and how much?
- Do we give to “Jack’s travel fund,” and how much?
- Should we spend $150.00 for a small coffee roaster?
- Details for this coming Sunday’s schedule (Steve has to be at the School of Medicine Graduation, Jack is graduating from the Bell Center)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Romans 14

“It’s OK for believers to hold, believe, and live by, different personal standards.”

I know that can seem contrary to what you have heard. Many of us have been taught that there is an objective standard of right and wrong to which all people will be held. But that’s only true about a relatively small number of issues.

“It’s OK for believers to hold, believe, and live by, different personal standards.”

That’s a position that’s uncomfortable. We are more comfortable with small boxes in which all “right-minded” people agree. But it’s not what the Bible teaches.

It’s possible that it is right for me to drink wine and wrong for you. It’s possible that it’s right for you to see an R-rated movie, but wrong for me. It’s possible that it’s right for the spouse of one adulterous spouse to stay committed and wrong for antoher.

“It’s OK for believers to hold, believe, and live by, different personal standards.”

The standards about which God convicts me, are standards for ME. I will answer to His standards for me. I will not answer your standards for me. I will not answer for how others live to His standards for me.

“It’s OK for believers to hold, believe, and live by, different personal standards.”

Don’t take my word for it. Read Romans 14

Friday, May 02, 2008

Where we are

This week we will meet from 3-5. We'll start at Romans 14:1. I look forward to seeing you all.