Friday, January 18, 2013

Eph. 6:18

Eph. 6:18 Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers.

Let’s admit it; we don’t pray at all times and on every occasion.  Most of us are quite the opposite.  We crowd praying into our lives the best we can, but we don’t do a very good job of it.  We sometimes feel guilty about it when we think about it, but many of us don’t. 

Most of us know what prayer is, but I would like to suggest some other thoughts for you to consider.  Prayer is our reaching up to God.  It is our embracing God in our lives.  It is the desires of our heart for God.  It is the soul crying out in need for God.  It is a time in which we align our will up with God’s.  It is a time in which we become broken and humble before God knowing we cannot do anything apart from him.  It is what we do in life to honor Christ.  Prayer is an attitude of the heart seeking to live a godly life.  It is an attitude of praise and thanksgiving before God.  All that we do in and through Christ ought to be an act of worship, a sweet aroma ascending to the throne of God.

Prayer is done through the workings of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  It is the Spirit that guides our prayer life.  It is the Spirit that puts our thoughts and words into words that move God to act.  It is the Spirit who empowers us and enables us to labor in prayer for others.

We must never let down our guard when it comes to prayer.  Satan will do all he can do to keep us from praying.  He tries his best to discourage us from praying.  His greatest fear is that we would pray and not give up.  He knows that prayer is our life connection to God.  He knows that when we pray persistently God’s work in us and in the world will be done. 

Prayer should be a major part of our lives, not an add-on.  It should characterize who we are. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Eph. 6:14-17

Eph. 6:14-17  Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of righteousness.  For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared.  In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan.  Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Sermons have been preached on this text.  I cannot break it down here and dwell on the wonderful nuggets of truth that we find here.  What I want us to focus on is the role that we must play if we are going to effectively live in victory over sin.  The Lord provides us with all the resources we need to overcome our sinful nature, but we must take advantage of them.  We must put on the full armor of God before we can be confident enough to stand up to Satan.

If we neglect to put on any part of our spiritual armor, we become vulnerable to Satan’s attack.  Satan is a master archer and he will exploit our weaknesses.  It is only when we are standing watch over our souls and are fully equipped that we will cause Satan to flee from us. 

We need to always be inspecting our armor to be sure we have not left anything off or have allowed any part of it to fall into disrepair.  We need to take our soul’s protection very seriously.  We are at war with Satan.  We may lose a few battles along the way, but if we remain in Christ and allow him to help us, we will win the war.  Satan is on the prowl looking for ways to penetrate your armor.  Victorious are those who stay strong and fit in Christ.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Eph. 6:13

Eph. 6:13 Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm.

If we don’t use every piece of God’s armor to resist Satan, we don’t have anyone to blame when we stumble and fall.  God has provided for us ample resources to ward off all of Satan’s blows.  The ability of God to help us is not the problem, we are the problem.  We simply do not utilize the resources God has provided for us.  We don’t spend the time in the Word we need.  We don’t pray earnestly before God in repentance and need.  We don’t believe that God can or will help us.  We don’t spend time in fellowship with other believers who can encourage us and help us.  We pay little heed to those who have already been through our battles and have come through them victoriously.

It doesn’t take much intelligence to know that if we refuse the help God provides for us we are not going to be able to stand firmly on righteous ground.  We are going to grow weak and sin against God.  We cannot resist Satan on our own power.  The forces of evil are way too strong for us to withstand. 

We are constantly engaged in a spiritual war.  We cannot escape it.  The world is Satan’s playground.  If we are not in the war to win, we will lose.  Our only hope is to stay close to the heart of God, feasting on the riches of grace, putting on the full armor of his provision for us.  Without a determined commitment to overcoming the evil all around us and that which creeps into our hearts, we will never know the victory that is ours in Christ.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Eph. 5:15-17

Eph. 5:15-17 So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do.

Only a fool would live a life contrary to a life he knows to be true from God.  If we believe that God has spoken to us in his Word and that is unchangeable truth, it makes absolutely no sense at all to ignore it and do what we want to do in life.  Wisdom would tell us to be careful how we live in light of what God tells us.  It is a very dangerous thing to jeopardize our souls by ignoring God’s clear instructions on how to live.

We need to make the most of every opportunity we have to learn how to live out our faith through  His Word.  We need to always seek to discover more about ourselves so we can align ourselves up with God’s standards.  We need to see ourselves in need of more and more knowledge from Him.

We need to make the most of every opportunity we have to do good.  We live in very troublesome times.  Evil is everywhere and its getting more and more of a stronghold in the public arena.  It is imperative for the sake of souls that we don’t mess around and pass up opportunities we are given to bring Christ into the mix by doing good.

We need to give careful thought to what the Lord wants us to do.  It is so easy to mess up our opportunities by acting in ways contrary to the Lord’s desires for us.  He knows best what we can and should be doing.  We should always strive to understand our role in life.  The only way we will gain an understanding is for us to spend time in fellowship with the Lord in prayer and in his Word. 

If we seek out the Lord, he will open the right doors for us.  He wants us to best utilize our lives. He made us to fulfill a particular role in life.  Wise is he who finds out what his role is and does it.  There is no greater peace and joy in life than to be doing the good God has given us to do.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Eph. 5:6

Eph. 5:6 Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the terrible anger of God comes upon all those who disobey him.

There is absolutely no excuse for sin.  There never has been and never will be justifiable reasons to sin.  All sin is an abomination to God.  He hates it and will judge all who live in it.  We live in a day in which sin is not looked upon as that big of a deal.  So often, we gloss over it and give it very little thought.  We seldom seek forgiveness because we justify ourselves in our own eyes.  This is especially true of those of us who live in grace.  We have convinced ourselves that since our sins are forgiven we no longer have a need to seek forgiveness when we sin against God.

I believe we have taken way too much liberty in this area.  I believe that we should be concerned about our sins.  We should have humble and repentant hearts before God.  God is holy and we should respect him as holy.  We should never get to the point where we do not see ourselves in need of cleansing and forgiveness.

It shows great disrespect for the holiness of God when we get careless about sin.  Jesus died because of sin.  He died to make us holy before God.  How can we say that His death on the cross is meaningful to us when we act as if it doesn’t matter?  We are all guilty of sinning against God.  We will struggle with sin until we get to heaven.  We will win and lose some battles.  No one can escape the need for repentance.  Our attitude should always be that of a needy soul before God.  We need Christ to purify our hearts.  We need to have genuine sorrow over sin.  We need to confess our sins to Him.  And when we do, He is faithful and just and will forgive us for ALL our sins and cleanse us from unrighteousness.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Eph. 5:1-3

Eph. 5:1-3 Follow God’s example in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him.

In a perfect world, children follow the example set before them by their father.  They do it because of their love and respect for him.  Their father lives a life worthy to be followed.  Their father daily shows his love for them by his protection of them and providing for their needs.  He interacts with them.  He gives his children no cause to doubt his faithfulness and dependability.

Unfortunately we live in sin and our fathers are not ideal.  Some are good men and some are bad.  All are imperfect and do and say things that are not to be imitated.  A good father will treat his children in a loving way and is humble enough to ask for forgiveness when he messes up.  There are many things children can emulate in a good father’s life, and some things they need to ignore or improve on in their own lives.

God is our perfect father.  There is nothing about God that we should not emulate.  He is our perfect example and we should always strive to be like him in love and character.  We should treat others the same way the Lord treats us in love.  He gave his all for us.  He gave us dignity and honor by considering us worthy to die for.  He stays with us through all the ups and downs of our lives and never abandons us when we act in an unlovely way towards him. 

When we love each other in the way Christ loves us, God is well-pleased with us.  Our lives become a sweet aroma before Him.  Are you a sweet aroma before God or, do you stink up the place?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

I have been asked to participate in a blog tour with other Christian authors.  I must confess that I have failed miserably in holding up my end of the deal.  I apologize to my fellow authors for my failure.  I have been given some questions to address on this blog and then I have been asked to list the links to the blogs of other authors.  What I am doing instead is to list the links to a couple of authors that I have and to mention a few of the authors I am familar with.  I have been so blessed to get to know these and other authors and their works on a couple of sites I am on on facebook.  There are so many outstanding authors that I have become acquainted with over the past three years and their contributions to my ministry is invaluable.  I would encourage you to check out their works and get to know them as much as you can.  Facebook has many pages that are frequented often by great Christian authors that you probably have never heard of.  Good Christian books are still the best bang for your bucks.  Support Christian authors as much as you can for they are writing to honor Christ.
Lynn Baber
Dolores Ayotte
Linda Robinson
Craig Gleerup
Janie Wilkins
Frances Copeland Lucas
Candy Little
Joy Bowser
Cindy Hansen
Lisa Tortorella
Laurence Stoll


What is the working title of your book?
         C Through Marriage
Where did the idea come from for the book?
           I really sensed the Lord’s hand in what I wrote.  It flowed from my desire to offer others some of the life lessons I have learned from my pastoral and life experiences.

What genre does your book fall under?
           Christian non-fiction.  It is practical advice on how to maintain a healthy, godly marriage.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
            None. My book is not adaptable to a movie format, and even if it was, marriage is far too complex of a subject to be accurately portrayed on screen.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
             There is room for improvement in any marriage but it will take a commitment to work at it.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
              It is published by a traditional publisher.  If there will be future books on the market, I will explore additional options.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

              When the writing process began it probably was completed over a span of maybe 5 months total.  I wrote in my spare time while working full-time.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

               There is no book out there that I know of that is quite like C Through Marriage.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

                Without any hesitation, the Lord brought this book into reality.  My wife has played such an integral part of bring it to life as well.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

               I offer 48 different subject matters all beginning with the letter “C” that every godly couple will deal with at some juncture in their marriage.  It is practical advice that can be used by any couple to help strengthen their marriage.