Being a container for the Lord….


I’ve heard the expression “desperate times call for desperate measures…” and can’t help but think sometimes my prayer life is something like that. We live in desperate times. Our country’s economy is currently very difficult and as a nation, we struggle with divisions along racial lines, not to mention our ownindividual situations of debt, personal relationships and work challenges.

Desperation - Homeless
Desperation – Homeless

Prayer, which is our communication with the Lord, is obviously influenced by these factors in our lives. One might argue that if we had no challenges in our lives, we probably wouldn’t communicate with God!

Recently, I had a conversation with someone at a fellowship gathering which went something like this:
I asked him how he was. He replied the he was very well.
I enquired after his wife and he told me she too, was very well.
An enquiry about their young son brought a similar answer.
I then asked him how Jesus was…..
There was a short silence and I could see he was a bit lost for an answer.

The thought then occurred to me, that if we are in constant communication with people, we generally know how they are and what they are currently feeling. Shouldn’t it be the same with the Lord? Shouldn’t we know what He is feeling at present ?

How are we currently communicating (praying) with the Lord? Are our prayers only born out of a place of desperation? – In other words, as our personal situations become more grave, our prayers become more intense. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with these types of prayers, but there are additional ways of communicating with our Father.

Pray - Lord Teach Us
Pray – Lord Teach Us

“Oh Lord, teach us how to pray?”

Most of us are familiar with the scripture in
in Matthew. Jesus uses this example to teach us how to pray.
It is interesting to note the following:
Firstly…
“Our Father who art in Heaven….” – Exalting HIM
“Hallowed be thy name….” – Worshipping HIM
“Thy Kingdom come….” – Desiring HIS Will
Then….
“Give us this day OUR daily bread….”

It seems our needs (if translated as ‘daily bread’) are further down the list than the position of exalting, worshipping and desiring HIS Will. A point to ponder: When we measure this against how we pray – what do we find?

The King James Version of the Bible says “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” This portrays a picture of someone who is at total peace with the Lord. Not concerned about his needs or fretting in a given situation, but just resting his head on his Father’s heart – listening….

If we go to the Lord throughout the day and place our head upon His heart, we will find the same peace and joy as we listen out for what His heart is saying to us. Not always ‘bombarding’ Him with desperate requests, but listening for His will.

John on the breast of Jesus
John on the breast of Jesus

“Give us this day OUR daily bread”. If we ask the Lord, He will not only supply our daily need, but will give us ‘bread’ for those that we come into contact with on a daily basis. It may be a physical need, a prayer and words of encouragement or perhaps just being there for them.

Let’s desire to be a container for the Lord today. Let Him use us as a vessel to bless those around us. Before we leave home today, let’s ask Him for our daily bread – that which we can deliver to others on our Father’s behalf. What a privilege to be used by Him!

From: “time with the Master…”

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Something to Celebrate? – Part Two


Last SupperIn part one we saw how wonderful it is for us to celebrate things in our lives. Our spiritual lives should be the same. We started to explore two incredible truths that are really worth celebrating. We looked at the first truth of Jesus giving up His life so that our sins may be forgotten and how to celebrate this fact. Now we will move on to the other truth and see how to celebrate real life!…..

Truth Two (of many):
Paul the Apostle in the book of Romans, explains to us that not only were our sins forgiven (by the shedding of the blood), but that our sinful NATURE was buried with Jesus, NEVER to return. This in order that we may no longer be a slave to our sinful nature. Reason to celebrate? – most definitely.Resurection Jesus

How do we celebrate this wonderful gift?

Jesus on the night He was betrayed broke bread and said, “This is My Body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” As we break the bread and proclaim His death, let us remember this powerful work that was done for us – our sinful NATURE was removed. We can now walk in the newness of life knowing that we do not HAVE TO sin anymore!

Surely, in two amazing acts that Jesus performed, we have reason to celebrate. Next time we sit with friends around a table and have communion, let us focus and be truly grateful for the freedom we have received – our sin has been forgotten, and our sinful nature removed – forever!

Yet another celebration…
What an exciting revelation – Jesus took our sinful nature into the grave with Him and when He was raised from the dead, we too, were raised together with Him, into the newness of life…” and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” Notice here that the scripture speaks in the past tense! Heavenly Places

Such a great sacrifice and work that it is, the Lord did not intend for us to focus so much on the death of Jesus as much as on His resurrection. For it is in the resurrection of life that our ability to overcome sin is found. Seriously – if we could truly appreciate that our sinful nature has been taken away – that engine that drives us towards sin – how different our lives would be. No more being a slave to do the things I do not want to do. Reason to celebrate? – Absolutely!

Once again, what better way to celebrate this truth than to demonstrate an outward sign of what we have understood inwardly – going into a pool of water, being submerged and rising up in ‘the newness of life’ for all to see. This simple act tells the world that we understand and believe that our sin nature was removed by Jesus at His death on the cross. Of course, there is little point in celebrating something unless we understand and believe it.

Yes friends, we have many reasons to celebrate in our worldly lives, but how much more do we have reason to celebrate our spiritual lives which will last forever!

Jesus intended us to live a burden free life. Forget the things of the past – as He has – and walk in a new understanding that our natures have been renewed. Reason to celebrate – most assuredly!

From: “…time with the Master…”

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).