Delighting in Trinitarian Prayer

Throughout these past few months, we have looked at various terms and definitions that are pertinent to knowing about the Trinity, its development through the years, the trustworthiness, and its foundation to faith. Over the next few posts, all these things will come together as we look at what it means to delight in the Trinity and what Trinitarian prayer looks like. Many times, our prayers may not reflect a Trinitarian model.

So what to expect? More information will be put forth on each member of the Trinity taking many of the terms we looked at and putting it all together. After that, a model of prayer will be set forth that will hopefully be helpful for all of us in talking to the Triune God. Finally, I will show how this relates to my own life and how I intend to apply it.

Delighting in Trinitarian Prayer

The path into the kingdom is open. All the barriers have been removed and the King himself eagerly awaits your presence. He knows that you have something to say. He has heard your cries and wants to hear your petitions. Then you realize how inadequate you are and think, “Who am I to talk to the King?” How does one even begin to talk to the powerful King about requests that are important to a few, but are very small when compared to the business of the kingdom? Do you talk directly to Him? Are you supposed to talk to the royal publicist who will then talk to the King? Are you to talk at all? You then realize that you are before the great throne of the King and have no idea what to do with this honor.

In many cases, Christians will take the great honor of praying to the Almighty Father and truly not know or understand how to pray to the Triune God. How are Christians to pray? Do we talk directly to the Father? Or do we pray to the Son, Jesus Christ? What about the Holy Spirit? Do we pray to Him? Is it wrong to pray to the Spirit? For many, including myself, the privilege of praying to God is often taken for granted; and many times, our prayers to God do not follow a Trinitarian model. We will pray to the Father thanking Him for dying on a cross, or we pray to Jesus calling Him “Abba.” The writer intends to answer these questions and provide the reader with a model of Trinitarian prayer. Prayer is to step into the great throne room of the King of kings, who eagerly desires to have a conversation with all of us, and for us to humbly kneel in awe of the Triune God and talk to our heavenly Father through the Son and in the Spirit.

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The Modern Believer and the application of the Jubilee

Today, we finish our year of Jubilee research series by looking at the implications of this festival for the modern evangelical. It is a way to summarize what we have talked about and apply those principles for our daily living. In Christ we are free. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. This glimpse at an Old Testament festival provides many practical applications for us and how Christ and His work is a fulfillment of the Messiah.

  • In light of the biblical data, it seems that a general principle for applying the “Jubilee” is that the further we move away from the emphasis on forgiven sin and the restoration of the relationship between God and his people found in the NT, the less faithful we are to the meaning of Jesus’ Jubilee fulfillment.[1]
  • Furthermore, both the Roman Catholic Church and Protestants have all too often failed to proclaim Jubilee in the way that the NT teaches: striving for an economic and social justice that points to the reality of forgiven sin and the reconciliation of God, his people, and the world.
  • But God also designed and instructed us to rest. In fact, God considered it so important that his people rest that he built a rhythm of Sabbaths into the individual and corporate lives of Old Covenant Israel every seventh day (Leviticus 23:3), every seventh year (Leviticus 25:3–4), and every fiftieth year — the Jubilee (Leviticus 25:8–17).
    • This rhythm was intended by God to give his people regular and repeated experiences of receiving from him refreshment and provision so that they would not trust wholly in their own labors either for tomorrow’s survival or the next generation’s material security. It was a built-in spiritual discipline of laying aside works and laying hold of faith. If they observed his Sabbaths he promised them blessing (Deuteronomy 15:4–6), if they ignored them he promised them curses (Deuteronomy 28:15–68).
    • As New Covenant Israel, we now know that the fulfillment of the Sabbath is Jesus, who is both Lord of the Sabbath (Luke 6:5) and himself our Sabbath rest (Matthew 11:28). We are no longer required to keep the Old Testament Sabbath laws (Acts 15:28–29).
    • But this does not mean that we are not to rest. It means that our rest is even more profound. We rest from trying to attain holiness and God’s acceptance through keeping the requirements of the law by trusting that Jesus kept all the requirements of the law for us (Romans 8:3–5). In fact, Jesus stressed that our most important work is to believe him — a form of resting in his promises — not producing a lot of stuff for him (John 6:29). All our productivity is to flow from the rest of faith, otherwise it’s just sin (Romans 14:23).
    • But this more profound rest still must include rhythms of ceasing from work activities for the purpose of refreshment, reflection, renewal, and recalibration. [2]
  • General Implications
    • Give generously
    • Trust
    • Faith
    • Obedience
    • redemption
    • God is the Provider
    • All we have we owe to God
    • Freedom in Christ
  • Certainly there is a Biblical basis for voluntary debt forgiveness. But there is a significant difference between a debt that is paid and the mandatory forgiveness of debt.  Jubilee is clearly an example of the former and not the latter.  Jubilee is not a celebration of forgiveness of debt but of freedom from debt now paid.
  • The Jubilee presents a beautiful picture of the New Testament themes of redemption and forgiveness. Christ is the Redeemer who came to set free those who are slaves and prisoners to sin (Romans 8:2; Galatians 5:1; 3:22). The debt of sin we owe to God was paid on the cross as Jesus died on our behalf (Colossians 2:13-14), and we are forgiven the debt forever. We are no longer in bondage, no longer slaves to sin, having been freed by Christ, and we can truly enter the rest God provides as we cease laboring to make ourselves acceptable to God by our own works (Hebrews 4:9-10).
  • This year of rest typified the spiritual rest which all believers enter into through Christ, our true Noah, who giveth us comfort and rest concerning our work, and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed, Gen. 5:29. Through him we are eased of the burden of worldly care and labour, both being sanctified and sweetened to us, and we are enabled and encouraged to live by faith. And, as the fruits of this sabbath of the land were enjoyed in common, so the salvation wrought out by Christ is a common salvation; and this sabbatical year seems to have been revived in the Christian church, when the believers had all things common, Acts 2:44.[3]
  • Those that were sold into other families thereby became strangers to their own; but in this year of redemption they were to return. This was typical of our redemption by Christ from the slavery of sin and Satan, and our restoration to the glorious liberty of the children of God. Some compute that the very year in which Christ died was a year of jubilee, and the last that ever was kept. But, however that be, we are sure it is the Son that makes us free, and then we are free indeed.[4]
  • his next kinsman might (v. 25): The redeemer thereof, he that is near unto him, shall come and shall redeem, so it might be read. The kinsman is called Goel, the redeemer (Num. 5:8; Ruth 3:9), to whom belonged the right of redeeming the land. And this typified Christ, who assumed our nature, that he might be our kinsman, bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, and, being the only kinsman we have that is able to do it, to him belonged the right of redemption. As for all our other kinsmen, their shoe must be plucked off (Ruth 4:6, 7); they cannot redeem. But Christ can and hath redeemed the inheritance which we by sin had forfeited and alienated, and made a new settlement of it upon all that by faith become allied to him.[5]
  • This typified our redemption from the service of sin and Satan by the grace of God in Christ, whose truth makes us free, Jn. 7:32. The Jewish writers say that, for ten days before the jubilee-trumpet sounded, the servants that were to be discharged by it did express their great joy by feasting, and wearing garlands on their heads: it is therefore called the joyful sound, Ps. 89:15. And we are thus to rejoice in the liberty we have by Christ.[6]

[1] Chris Bruno, 100.

[2] Jon Bloom, “Lay Aside the Weight of Restless Work,” Internet, http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/lay-aside-the-weight-of-restless-work, accessed 23 November 2014.

[3] Henry, M. (1994). “Leviticus 25:1-7” Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (pp. 181–182). Peabody: Hendrickson.

[4] Henry, M. (1994). “Leviticus 25:8-22,” Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 182). Peabody: Hendrickson.

[5] Henry, M. (1994). “Leviticus 25:23-38,” Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 182). Peabody: Hendrickson.

[6] Henry, M. (1994). “Leviticus 25:39-55,” Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 183). Peabody: Hendrickson.

Concluding thoughts on the Year of Jubilee

Today, we wrap up our series on the Year of Jubilee by offering some concluding thoughts. In brief, to summarize what we have discussed these past few posts and point to the great and magnificent work of Christ. It is a great reminder of the freedom and joy we believers can experience in our Mighty Deliverer

Conclusion

While the Year of Jubilee may not have been practiced, there are many aspects of this year that the modern believer can glean. It is a time when the Israelites were called to trust God that He would provide for all their needs. Jubilee is not only a reminder for the Israelites that the land belonged to Yahweh and the Israelites were the stewards, it is a reminder for the modern believer as well that all that we have belongs to God. The Christian is to trust God, obey His will, be good stewards, and rejoice in the freedom of God’s grace and redemption through Jesus Christ. The believer may be called to practice a leap of faith much like the Israelites with the Year of Jubilee, but the Christian can be sure that even in uncertainty and trials, they can confidently trust in a faithful God. Jubilee reminds the believer even when we are not faithful, God always is because He cannot deny Himself (2 Tim 2:13). The Year of Jubilee’s “main feature was the solemnity which shewed them to be separated from other nations to be a peculiar and holy nation to God; nay, the renewal of all things had reference to this, that being redeemed anew in the great Sabbath, they might entirely devote themselves to God their Deliverer.”[1]

The Year of Jubilee typified the spiritual rest all believers enter into through Christ. He eased the burden of worldly care and labor enabling and encouraging the believer to live by faith. Just as the fruits of the land for Jubilee were enjoyed in common, so the salvation brought about by Christ is a common salvation to be enjoyed by all. Jubilee exemplified a Christian’s redemption from the service of sin by the grace of God in Christ who sets a believer free (John 7:32). As the Year of Jubilee was an expression of a resounding shout of joy and freedom, so Christians can rejoice in the liberty provided by Christ.

[1] John Calvin and C.W. Bingham, Commentaries on the Four Last Books of Moses…, 451.

Bibliography

Barker, P. A. “Sabbath, Sabbatical Year, Jubilee.” In Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch. 696-706. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003.

Babcock, B. C. “Jubilee, Year of.” In The Lexham Bible Dictionary, edited by J.D. Barry and L. Wentz. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012.

Bergsma, John Sietze. The Jubilee from Leviticus to Qumran: A History of Interpretation. VTSup 115; Leiden: Brill, 2007.

Bloom, Jon “Lay Aside the Weight of Restless Work.” Desiring God. 2013. Accessed 23 November 2014. http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/lay-aside-the-weight-of-restless-work.

Brand, C., Draper, C., England, A., Bond, S., Clendenen, E. R., & Butler, T. C. Eds. “Festivals.” In Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003. Logos Bible Software.

Bruno, Christopher. “’Jesus is Our Jubilee’…But How? The OT Background and Lukan Fulfillment of the Ethics of Jubilee,” JETS 53/1 (2010): 81-101.

Calvin, J., & Bingham, C. W. Commentaries on the Four Last Books of Moses Arranged in the Form of a Harmony. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010.

Constable, Thomas. Notes on Leviticus. Internet. Accessed 22 November 2014. Available from http://soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/leviticus.pdf.

Easton, M. G. “Jubilee,” In Easton’s Bible Dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1893. Logos Bible Software.

Gnuse, Robert. “Jubilee Legislation in Leviticus: Israel’s Vision of Social Reform,” Biblical Theology Bulletin 15:2 (1985): 43.

Hamilton, Victor P. Handbook on the Pentateuch. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005.

Henry, Matthew. “Leviticus 25.” In Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume, 181–182. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994.

Keil, C.F., and Franz Delitzsch. “The Pentateuch.”  Translated by James Martin. In Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament. Vol. 3, N.p. 1865; Reprint. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2011.

Lindsey, F. Duane. “Leviticus.” In The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament, edited by John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, 163-214. Wheaton: Scripture Press Publications, Victor Books, 1985.

Manser, Martin H. “Year of Jubilee.” Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. London: Martin Manser, 2009. Logos Bible Software.

Merrill, Eugene. Everlasting Dominion: A Theology of the Old Testament. Nashville: B & H, 2006.

North, Robert. Sociology of the Biblical Jubilee. Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1954.

Sailhamer, John H. The Pentateuch as Narrative, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992), 361.

Schiffman, L. H. “Jubilee.” The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated), edited by Mark Allan Powell. New York: HarperCollins, 2011. Logos Bible Software.

Wenham, Gordon J. “The Book of Leviticus.” In New International Commentary on the Old Testament Series. 239-334. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1979.

A Visual Synthetic Chart of Leviticus

In the past few posts, we have discussed the key themes to Leviticus and I showed how I would breakdown the book by sections. For this post, I want to provide you a visual tool of what my synthetic chart of Leviticus looks like. This will hopefully provide greater clarity on the two previous posts. Note, will many charts and outlines there are some small and minor variances, so others may see something different than I do.

First, at the top of the chart is the theme. This is a very short and concise statement on the book, almost think of it as a headline. Second, the Message Statement. This can come from the thematic outline that we did not too long ago. Basically, this expands the headline into a complete sentence about the books main message. To go with the message statement, we include the key verse for the book that supports our theme and message statement. For this example, since our theme was holiness, I used Leviticus 20:26 which says, “You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own.”

Next, we try to break down the book into sections. These are the parts of the book that seem to go together, are continuous and do not touch on a different topic. For this book, we have seven different sections. As part of the sections, we want to do another message statement. This time we don’t have to include a key verse, but we do want to provide a good summary sentence that captures the main idea for that particular section.

Next, are the subsections which are the various different parts that make up the whole of that section. Many times this will be the paragraph headings in your Bible. With this, you will be able to focus on one certain topic and see how the other parts of that section all ties together. The next part of the synthetic chart is the verses that make up that subsection. Within that paragraph or subsection, the writer will pull together the ideas that make up that subsection. Think back to diagramming a sentence in your grade school days, this is essentially diagramming a subsection. For example, if we look at the first subsection under section 1 (Laws concerning offerings and sacrifices), which is titled “laws of burnt Offerings”, we see there are two parts to this. There is Moses being called by God, and God describing the burnt offering. Yet because they are cohesive, they are part of that subsection. This is one of the hardest things for me to do because I don’t always see a very clear distinction, or I think something should be a subsection on its own. This takes a lot of practice but will be very beneficial in seeing how the book ties together. Part of this, is also providing paragraph titles in your own words for that section of verses. This will help to see what those verses talk about and provide a short headline that describes that section.

Finally, the last phase of the synthetic chart is the various themes that are seen throughout the book. Not every chapter and verse will have the same theme and not every theme will be in all the chapters and verses.  This tool provides a way to see the various themes throughout the book, where they appear and the frequency at which they appear. To do this, simply identify a theme for a particular passage, and note it under the paragraph titles and verses that are above. For example, Holiness seems to be predominant in chapter 2, verses 1 to 3 and verse 10. So we note it under the two verse sections that make up chapter 2. But, the Atonement them goes from chapter 4 to chapter 6 verse 7, so we have a long section that is noted under all of those verse sections. Part of doing the subsections, verses and paragraph titles is to help one see the themes that keep surfacing.

This is a very tedious and laborious process, but it is one that is so beneficial. It can really take your Bible study and community group teaching/Sunday school teaching to another level. This is a really great practice for getting more out of your Bible reading and helps to provide understanding to what you just read. Here is what the chart will look like:

synthetic chart of leviticus

 

Key Themes of Leviticus

This is a very brief, high-level overview of the book of Leviticus. It is designed to break down the book into sections that are easily distinguishable and provide a guide for Bible Study and improve memorization of a book.

First, we want to look at exactly what is a theme and provide a definition for it. Next, in order to reinforce our understanding of a ‘theme’ in a Biblical interpretation way, it is beneficial to form a personal definition of the word and how it is important.

As one goes through a book of the Bibles, in this case Leviticus, several themes can typically be seen. Sometimes, this can also be influenced by what is happening in a persons life and those particular ideas keep coming up. For Bible reading, the Spirit will guide and lead the reader and as they are open and listening to His leading, there will be several ideas, themes, topics that will keep coming up. There are times that the Spirit is working in us to get our attention. In general, these themes will make be fairly clear as they keep coming up in the text.

After the themes have been identified, it is good to develop a simple and concise message statement about that book. Essentially, a headline for the book. This simple, short statement will be much easier to remember than trying to think of all the different topics or events that occurred.

Finally, develop a working outline for the book. This helps in teaching Sunday school classes, adult community groups and is very beneficial for personal study. This will help in breaking the book into manageable sections to see the message the Author/author was conveying to the reader. Furthermore, this will bring greater clarity and understanding about the book and its themes.

KEY THEMES TO LEVITICUS

First, using 3-4 sources, define the meaning of “themes” (words repeated). Second, explain the importance of themes for Biblical interpretation.

  1. Theme is defined as “a particular subject or issue that is discussed often or repeatedly” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). It is also defined as “a unifying or dominant idea, motif” (“theme,” Dictionary.com). In reference to biblical interpretation, it is the “The outstanding and abiding truth (theological proposition, big idea) of the passage” (Dr. Bailey’s BE101 class notes Spring 14).

Thus, a personal definition of theme is the main subject, concept or idea that is repeated and therefore conveys the overarching motif.

  1. Themes are an important part of the Biblical interpretation because the reader takes the observations, interpretations, and applications to provide a simple and concise statement and correlate a theme to one’s life. The most reliable guide to knowing and interpreting what a story is about and what the writer wishes the reader to know is through the use of themes by means of the principle of repetition (“How to Read the Bible as Literature and get more out of it”, Leland Ryken, 1984, p. 59). Authors use themes to reinforce the key ideas or concepts that they want the reader to know. Identifying the themes and how they relate to one another in the text is a helpful tool to understanding its meaning.

Third, Identify key themes in Leviticus. (people are not themes.)

  • Holiness – The holiness of God and His call for the Israelites to be holy because God is holy.
  • Sacrifice – The offering of sacrifice was the foundational act the Israelites utilized to worship God through obedience to the sacrificial guidelines God provided.
  • Atonement – The reconciliation between God and His people by the shedding of sacrificial blood as a substitute so that the Israelites may be declared clean, pure and redeemed.

Fourth, formulate a message statement for the whole book. Fifth, develop that message in a concise working outline (with chapter and verses).

  1. Leviticus expresses God’s holiness and His requirements for Israel’s holiness; it provides guidelines for the means by which God provides atonement for sin through sacrifice.
  2. Outline of Leviticus
    1. God provides a way for Israel to approach Him by the atonement of their sins to become holy and pure through sacrifice (Chaps. 1 – 16).
      1. God provides guidelines for the laws of the sacrificial offering system for Israel and the priests to worship and be restored to Him (Chaps. 1 – 7).
      2. The ordination of the priesthood and sacrificial system and the consequences for failing to follow God’s holy guidelines (Chaps. 8 – 10).
      3. God establishes laws of purity and the Day of Atonement to cleanse and atone for Israel’s sins (Chaps. 11 – 16).
    2. God’s requirements for Israel to be holy just as He is holy through the setting forth of conditions for holiness (Chaps. 17 – 27).
      1. The Holiness Code enacted by God to protect His holiness from Israel’s sin and provide ways for Israel to be holy just as God is holy (Chaps. 17 – 25).
      2. The covenant blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience to the requirements of holiness (Chap. 26).
      3. The guidelines for vows and tithes that are to be set apart to the Lord (Chap. 27).

May 23 – Our Careful Unbelief

“Commonsense carefulness in the life of a disciple is unbelief.” God, help me in my unbelief. The Spirit of God will push into our lives to examine where He is at in our priorities. He presses the point until we learn to make Him our first consideration. When we put other things first, we do not honor Him and confusion is inserted. As I thought about this when I read, I was thinking exactly about trying to get this interview set up without ever talking it over with God. I set it up without giving Him any consideration or thought as to what is best. Let alone if it was even right for me to do this interview. I put my desires ahead of Him. I am sorry Lord. As we are reminded to not worry about our life, we should not take the pressure of our provisions upon ourselves. “it is not only wrong to worry, it is unbelief; worrying means we do not believe that God can look after the practical details of our lives, and it is never anything but those details that worry us.” This passage stung! Here I was worrying over getting an interview with Whole Foods setup and re­arranged. It was something I desired and wanted, yet I was taking it into my own hands. I was worried about the “practical details” and not trusting God to work it out. Yet, as I prayed through this, God reminded me of the bigger picture and how in this time of nine days before our 60 day notice to the apartment is due and two months until our final day on our lease happens, I was worried. I was worried that God wouldn’t work it out. I was worried that we would have to pay more money. I was worried what are we going to do and we need to do this quick and we need answers. Yet God, in His infinite timing will provide. He will give us what we need exactly when we need it. I will not worry about life, or where we will live, or what we will eat; God is working it out in His infinite wisdom for His great purpose. As I thought more about those convictions, God struck again. This time as I thought about how I didn’t want to lose money by paying month­to­month on the apartment and masking it by saying I want to be a good steward, I was convicted that money was once again a counterfeit god. The old saying of whatever is threatened to be taken away and hurts the most came true when I realized that losing all this money really upset me. While I want to be a good steward, God is will work out if and when we move and will provide the guidance, means and wisdom to lead us. I let go of my plans to move, I let go of the worry, the what is next, the questions and doubt and will trust in my God my Savior to lead our lives wherever that may be. It is not evil that chokes the Word out of us, but all the little worries and cares of this life. “The only cure for unbelief is obedience to the Spirit. God grant me obedience to trust and follow you. May I abandon all my dreams, desires, hopes, dreams, plans, career, glory, counterfeit gods, marriage and every part of my life for you. I trust in you completely. Help me in my unbelief to believe and be obedient

A Prayer for fearless words

Ephesians 6:19 – Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,

Every time I have come across this verse, it has stood out to me. I start praying that for myself. I pray that God will give me the words to speak. I pray also for the boldness and courage to speak up, let alone speak those God given words. But what I forget to do all too often is pray for other believers, especially pastors, preachers and missionaries, to be given those words to speak. On a rare occasion I might pray for them, but all too often I take what they are about to say in a church service for granted. These are the people who we should be praying for so much, which probably relates more to verse 18 when it says to pray for other believers.

But, for some reason, it hit me that I need to be more intentional about praying for our church leaders, our churches, the missionaries around the world to be open to what God is telling them to say. And to say those words. Fearlessly and boldly. But for this verse, it strikes me that Paul shows such humility in asking God for the words to say to people. A man so inspired by God and full of the Spirit showing us what it means to follow Jesus and have a heart like God. As we pray, we seek God. We ask Him for help. We are desiring to have a heart like Him. A heart to be constantly dependent on Him. That is the glimpse I see here in Paul. A man so wise and knowledgeable yet shows his humility and shows us that no matter how much we think we know we will always need words. We will always need our Father in heaven to give us those words that will pertain to that particular person or crowd. Paul shows his reliance and need for God so that God gets all the glory.

All too often I have to be reminded with asking for boldness and words like what is shown here. But Paul doesn’t just leave us this one verse to show us this, but he writes something similar in Colossians 4:2, “And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.” So one of my biggest takeaways from Ephesians 6:19 is that each day and probably on a constant basis throughout the day, I need to keep asking God for the words to say when we talk to people. It is weird how God can take a simple conversation and suddenly make it turn into a spiritual one. Sometimes we are caught off guard, sometimes we are intentional, but no matter what we need the words of God.

I think all too often I worry about saying the right words or right things to do in that moment, but what God reminds me of, if I am obedient to Him and do what He asks, it won’t matter what I say. He will work in their heart and let them hear the words they need. Essentially, God is working in them and if I have the blessing to be used as a tool then that is completely awesome. I just pray for the obedience and boldness to do what God asks.

It may be speaking words to reveal the Gospel, but it may also be showing Jesus to them in different ways. God may open doors through ways that we never thought of and it may happen without us saying a word. But to go back to something earlier in Ephesians 6, we must be prepared. Be alert like in verse 18. Keep praying to God for ways to show the Gospel. Keep praying for doors to be open. Persevering in prayer about be used for Kingdom purposes.

What I get reminded of is that God can accomplish so much through someone as weak as I am. The way it will happen will be in ways that He gets the glory. On my own, I will fail, but with the help of God and His strength and power, the impossible is possible. No one is ever too far out of the reach of God.

I pray that we will be alert to different opportunities to share God with those around us. I pray that we will be on fire for a God or at least a spark and that a spark will happen wherever we are. It is a matter of life and death. This is serious business. We need the help of God to make known the mysteries to those around us. While they may be struggling, what an opportunity to point them to the peace and hope in Christ. To show them or help them see there is a God who has a will and nothing is out of his control. While the world is full of chaos, God is our Rock and fortress. He knows us and calls us His children. We can show them, by His boldness, the mystery of why we can be called righteous and justified. That there is hope in the salvation of Christ.

So on this day, I pray that you and I and all the brothers and sisters in Christ may proclaim the Gospel and all its mysteries to the lost. Our friends. Our families. Our neighborhoods. Our work places. Our cities. Our states. Wherever. God is with you. Get out of His way and let Him work in and through you. He will give you what you need. Ask Him! Just ask your Father and He will provide. Satan will attack but pray for boldness. I hope we will all have the boldness and courage we need. I know that I need it. Pray for me as Paul said. I pray for you that we may declare the Gospel to those around us. I pray that our lives may be examples of Christ. I pray that we will show and share and be willing to share what God has done. By the grace of God, it can be done. God we need you, help us as only you can to be strong and faithful. Help us O Lord to make known these mysteries. We need you Father! We need you in all things. Give us words, your words. Help us that you get the glory. Not for ours, but all for your glory. Amen.