Monday, May 22, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - May 22, 2017

Today's Reading:

Acts 27:13-44

1 Samuel 3

Psalm 51

Listen to the Bible







Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

Today I want to focus on Samuel. What a beautiful story of a young boy who could say - and mean - "Speak, Yah, for Thy servant heareth Thee." That is where we should all be! With that goal in mind, I'd like to share what it takes to speak so God will listen and listen so God will speak. Every Christian needs Effective Prayer.

Prayer is not only the vital link of communication between God and His people, it is also the breath of Heaven. While studying from the Scriptures is spiritual eating, prayer is spiritual breathing. Understanding this helps us gain perspective on how important it is to have a vital prayer life. With it, we are truly alive in Christ!   The Bible tells us that effective prayers are strong against the enemy, accomplishing much. “...The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much,” James 5:16. It is important to have an effective prayer life. Prayer is like breathing - spiritually.

Isn’t all prayer equal in power and effect? No. As we read in James 5:16, a righteous man’s fervent prayers are effectual. But when we continue to do evil, God does not respond with equal power in answer to our prayers.

1 Peter 3:12 “For the  Eyes of the Lord  are  over the righteous, and  His  ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.”

When we read that a righteous person’s prayers are effective, most of us just give up the idea of having an effective prayer life. We aren’t righteous! So, apparently the goal of effective prayer is beyond our reach. If this were true, no human would have ever had an effective prayer life. Every man, woman, and child on this planet, who has ever lived has committed sin (done evil), as it says in Romans  3:10 & 23: 

“... There is none righteous, no, not one… ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

Yet, Esther prayed and God turned the heart of a king; Daniel prayed and God stopped the lions’ mouths; Elijah prayed and fire fell from Heaven; and numerous others have prayed effectively and with power.

Righteousness is not earned, it is imputed by the life and death of our Saviour. This means that Christ’s quality of living a righteous and obedient life is accounted to the record of any sinner who claims His salvation by faith.

1 Corinthians 1:30-31  “But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in Yahweh.”

The righteousness of Christ is a free gift to all. But, this does not mean that everyone is made righteous. We have a part to play in receiving it. The Bible tells us that if we will repent from and confess our past sins, that we will be clothed in the righteousness of Christ. (1 John 1:9 and Isaiah 61:10.)

Repentance for our past sins involves us humbling ourselves before God. We are to wholeheartedly seek after Him, truly be sorry for our rebellion, and turn away from our sinful attitudes, thought-patterns, and behaviors. When we do this, Christ’s righteousness clothes us, and He establishes an open prayer-line. This is how to have effective prayers (2 Chronicles 7:14).

It is only when we don’t fully seek God and repent that we can’t pray with power. But we cannot afford to keep limping along with  weak, milk-toast, mamby-pamby, prayers. It’s time to become effectual prayer warriors! God wants His people to pray with such power that even the gates of hell cannot prevail (Matthew 16:18)! Such prayers transform lives and glorify God.

But what if you’re too busy to pray? Prioritize and MAKE time for it! Get up at 4:00 or 5:00 AM, if necessary, in order to have a vital prayer life. You cannot be a real Christian, fully alive in Christ, without breathing (praying)! Christ, our Example in all things (1 Peter 2:21), had a vital prayer life. He would often spend entire nights in prayer. It was from this prayer time that the Saviour was strengthened to minister and to meet Satan’s temptations without sin. If Christ needed to pray, how much more do you and I need to do it? To help in the process of prioritizing, consider what it means to be too busy to pray:

B = Burdened

U = Under

S = Satan's

Y = Yoke 

For a powerful perspective on prayer, I'd like to share with you a talk by Jim Cymbala called, "My House Shall Be Called a House of Prayer". It's about 53 minutes...  but life-changingly worth the watch: