The Greatest Need of Man Answered and Settled by God Part 4

Praise is due to you,a O God, in Zion,

and to you shall vows be performed.

 

O you who hear prayer,

to you shall all flesh come.

 

When iniquities prevail against me,

you atone for our transgressions.

 

Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,

to dwell in your courts!

We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,

the holiness of your temple!

 

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,

O God of our salvation,

the hope of all the ends of the earth

and of the farthest seas;

 

the one who by his strength established the mountains,

being girded with might;

 

who stills the roaring of the seas,

the roaring of their waves,

the tumult of the peoples,

 

so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.

You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.

 

You visit the earth and water it;

you greatly enrich it;

the river of God is full of water;

you provide their grain,

for so you have prepared it.

 

You water its furrows abundantly,

settling its ridges,

softening it with showers,

and blessing its growth.

 

You crown the year with your bounty;

your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.

 

The pastures of the wilderness overflow,

the hills gird themselves with joy,

 

the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,

the valleys deck themselves with grain,

they shout and sing together for joy.

–Psalms 65:1-13

Continuing our study on Psalms 65, we turn to another need that God already met for his elect and that is prayer.

Prayer

O you who hear prayer,

to you shall all flesh come.

–Psalms 65:5

Often we find ourselves in situation that we are in distress and are in need of help. We go to people that are eager to assist us. They relieve us from our low point and uplifts us. Its not wrong to go to others for help. However there is a God who is much more dependable than man. That God created a way that a mere mortal man and an eternal God can communicate. Well we know the Bible is one of those mode. We always say that in the Bible, God is communicating to man. There is another mode that man is communicating with God. That is through prayer.

But as the text states, God hears our prayers. We might find comfort in the response of people around us but God receives our prayers. Our supplications are met by our God. Prayer creates communication between man and God. In recent times, scientist established the SETI program that aims to send communications to extraterrestrial beings by sending signals to space. Unfortunately, till now, no ET has responded to signals emitted by SETI. Think about prayer and how from earth to the very place where God is we Christians can be heard by God. God established prayer as a mode of communication to Him. Look at the following verses that promises that God answers prayers:

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 1 John 5:14

He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. Psalms 145:19

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7

Now that we have tackled two essential things God gave to man, we should ponder the question: what do these two things bring to my Christian life aside from assurance?  What did God satisfied us with these truth? Come back next week and we will examine it through Psalms 65.

5 Indispensable Things You Should Know on Your First Time Preaching

So your pastor asked you to preach next Sunday. You got excited and also got all rattled up. In your mind you keep asking: what should I do? Well here are 5 helpful tips for your first baptism of fire in preaching:

  1. Prepare the sermon at hand – maybe a week or so will be the ideal time for preparing your sermon. Pray, re-read the text, add ideas and adjust it to make it powerful.
  2. Don’t forget the artillery – Bible, notebook, I-pad, and multimedia gadget etc., just the essentials. Don’t clutter the pulpit. It might also distract you. Our pastor advised me not to bring a pen. In my nervousness I might play with it. He was right!
  3. If you’re nervous don’t look at church members faces-Different reactions may distract you. Look beyond the crowd or at corners of the building if you’re not confident enough to take a glimpse.
  4. Be time conscious – not that long preaching is bad but there is another program coming after your delivered your sermon or you pastor set a time for you, then you must follow. He might let you get away with it for the first time but next time stick with the time allotment.
  5. Let the Holy Spirit guide you – with all this preparation I might say we are still human and limited. That’s why we need to pray and ask God that the Holy Spirit will lead us as we preach His Word. Let John 14: 26 and Mark 13:11 assure you He will help. He has done it in my preaching ministry for 3 years now and He will do help you too.

I would like to hear some of your tips for those who will preach. Let me see your reaction on the comment section.

5 Essential Things Every Hand-Out Should Have

I use hand outs for my Bible studies and I think it’s very useful for the listeners to assist them in learning what God’s Word wants to teach them. So here are 5 parts that I think every good hand outs should include:

  1. The outline of the lesson – again this should be just an outline not a transcript of your thank. In a way it will help the listeners to catch up and in your part you can see what you need to teach even if you got side tracked.
  2. Blank spaces – leave blank spaces which they will answer. This will not only enhance the learning process but it will get the up on their feet without falling asleep.
  3. Challenging questions – questions provoke the minds to think beyond what they learn. Ask questions that will also give them an appetite to come back and learn more.
  4. Personal information – this will make them easily get in touch with you if they want to ask more information about what you have given to them.
  5. The upcoming lesson – a teaser to look forward to. Give them the title or some bits of it so they will come back.

Thanks for reading. Which one of the five do you like?

Meeting God in Every Turning Points of our Lives Part 3

Galatians 1:17 “Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.”

 

Let’s wrap this lesson by giving you the last turning point where we should meet God:

 

1.)    Jerusalem – “Neither went I up to Jerusalem”. Believers, Paul is stating here our fellowship with the church. Jerusalem represents our church life. How’s your weekly worship? Are you consistent? How’s our Prayer Meeting? Do we go to church and have fellowship? Do we get to chat with the pastor and our church mates? Have we talked to them not just our problems but victories? If you say you’re a Christian but neglect this part of your life, then you shouldn’t be surprise why we are not living in God’s will. That’s why we don’t grow and mature as Christians. That’s why we don’t know our ministry and eventually ministries in the church that is unsupported will die. That’s why we are not moving forward. Is there a ‘Jerusalem’ in our lives that we can point to? That’s why we think every rebuke by our brothers and sisters is an attack to us personally rather that seeing that they are concern to us. That’s why our work, school, hopes and dreams are like of those who don’t believe in Christ. Then we ask when trouble strikes and feel God is far away, it is because we don’t meet God in every turning point.

 

I will ask again this question: Have we met God in all of those 3 turning points? Do you desire to have it if you haven’t experience it? My brothers and sisters let us humbly seek God and let Him restore us.

Meeting God in Every Turning Points of our Lives Part 2

Galatians 1:17 “Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.”

 

Let us go back and see those turning points of our lives and check how we are now. by looking at the past we can determine what is at stake on our future as a Christian. By taking a glimpse to these turning points it will eventually reveal how we are today and how it will affect our personal growth and the ministry God has called us to:

 

1.)    Arabia – ‘but I went into Arabia”. Arabia represents our daily encounter with God. For Paul, this is where God taught him one on one. Christians, how’s our personal and intimate relation with God? When was the last time we read our Bibles or wrestles with God in prayer? Think about it. Do we meet God in our very own “Arabia”?

2.)    Damascus – “returned again unto Damascus”. This is where Paul, by God’s sovereignty, saved him (Acts 9: 1-22). If you’re a Christian you are saved. Are you really been saved? Can we see it in your life that you have God’s salvation? Can we look back in that day that you repented and trust Jesus as Savior and Lord? Do you remember the commitment you made to follow Him? Is he still number 1 in your life today? Do you still have the “joy of salvation”? Let us search ourselves if we want to move forward in the Christian life.

 

(To be continued next week…)

How God Answers an Impossible Prayer Part 1

2 Chronicles 20: 15-17

 

“ And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

 

To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. 

Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.”

 

As King Jehoshaphat end his earnest prayer for deliverance, God sends his answer through Jahaziel. In the midst of the inevitable war, which overwhelms the people of God, here comes the divine reply to what seems a bleak moment for them. Have you come to the point that you’re drowning in distress and trials and can’t see the light in the dark tunnel? God is the God of Possibilities and let’s look on how He will answer your impossible prayer:

 

1.)    It comes with an encouragement (v. 15) – “Be not afraid nor dismayed”. We might be hanging our head so low with problems but here is God giving encouragement. Believers, why not check Psalms for some uplifting words from God. God will speak to you to that book. And remember, nothing else can wipe your fears and anxiety than God who says” Be not afraid nor dismayed”.

2.)    It comes with a promise (v. 15) – “For the battle is not yours but, God’s”. This is not your fight but God will display His power for your enemy. Are they ridiculing or dragging you down because of what you believe? Are they prospering because of their evil devices? God’s promise will not be broken because God said it and He will ensure He will do it.

 

(to be continued next week…)

4 Essential Things to Make Your Article Irresistible

There are thousands of blog posts out there. But how can you make your post stand out from the rest? Make it tempting. Make it irresistible. Here’s how:

  1. Title– Think of a title that will really catch the attention of the readers. Offer something or give some sure fire advice as a lure for your article.
  2. Short content– short content irresistible to people who don’t want to read a long article. A reader wants the stuff right now without reading the whole thing.
  3. Images– I don’t know about you but great images add some spice on the article. Insert the appropriate images to enhance the appeal of your post.
  4. Freebies – Whether it’s an MP3 or e-book, a freebie creates an appetite for a reader to take a bite on your article. Try offering it let your readers drool.

Any more tips you can add?

Used Book Finds: How Great Christian Met Christ by James C. Hefley

A collection of 40 giants in Christendom by a little know author, How Great Christian Me Christ (published by Moody Press in 1973)is one of those book that has this outstanding idea for a book but didn’t have a blockbuster hit on the market. This book which I got from Booksale (and most of the books I put a title “Used Book Finds”) has the “Who-who” personalities in Christianity. Name it this book got it. You don’t believe me? Take a shot! Spurgeon is here. Augustine is here. So is Billy Graham, John Wesley, Hudson Taylor, D. L. Moody, John Newton, Billy Sunday, Harry Ironside, Justin Martyr, George Muller is here. Impressive list isn’t it?! This brief and concise collection on how they got converted in Christianity has the best and not so best in terms of how the author tells it or the conversion is not that earth shaking. Still it’s a good read. You got to give the author the credit for the effort he has done. Anyways, I hope you enjoy this post. If you have something to share about finding great books over second hand bookstores please post a comment.

Used Book Finds: A Man’s Touch by Charles F. Stanley

I think this bestseller book is one of those pre-Intouch days of this gifted Bible teacher. Originally titled “Is There a Man in the House?’ I brought it for 15 pesos. As I scan the book you can perceive the gifted wisdom Dr. Stanley as he spiritual paints the man God intends for a family. A man or a husband must have his dimensions under full surrender to God. He must not just provide his family material things but lead his family to be Christ-like. Whew…I pray that I can do that too in the near future. This edition of this book is published by Victor Books in 1977. For more of Charles F. Stanley I encourage you to check him and his ministry over Intouch. God bless you and happy book hunting.

A.W. Tozer on Preaching the Gospel

A.W. Tozer gives an advice to evangelist on preaching the gospel:

“We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.

 

God offers life, but not an improved old life. The life He offers is life out of death. It stands always on the far side of the cross. Whoever would possess it must pass under the rod. He must

repudiate himself and concur in God’s just sentence against him.

 

What does this mean to the individual, the condemned man who would find life in Christ Jesus? How can this theology be translated into life? Simply, he must repent and believe. He must forsake his sins and then go on to forsake himself. Let him cover nothing, defend nothing, excuse nothing. Let him not seek to make terms with God, but let him bow his head before the stroke of God’s stern displeasure and acknowledge himself worthy to die.”

 

(“The Old Cross and the New by A.W. Tozer)

 

How about you, what advices can you give in sharing the gospel? Please post it on the comments.