Let's Be Inspired Together Blog Articles

 

Watch your Speed!

 

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. “ – James 1:18/19

 

Praying for a New Awakening


I long for God to do something awesome among us. But, as John Wesley said concerning revival, “God does nothing redemptively except through prayer”. So… how should we pray?

 

I believe that the prophet of old, Isaiah, has some new instruction for us in Isaiah 63:15-64:12. Open up your bible and read through these scriptures as you consider this commentary. If you don’t have your Bible handy, you can follow this link here.

 

1)      Pray Passionately! (Isaiah 63:15)

To paraphrase, Isaiah (63:15) begins by saying, “Father, your mighty heart beats with so much passion for us. But you’re holding back. We need more of you!”  Unfortunately, our religious experiences have often tamed and inoculated us against our passionate need for Jesus. Pray passionately for more passion.

 

2)      Pray in alignment with God’s history! (63:16)

God has been our redeemer in times past… and He never changes. Time and time again throughout history God has redeemed and revived his people. And he can do it again.

 

3)      Pray with sorrow (63:17)

We have all taken the wrong path and as much as we’d like to blame someone or something else, we have to take responsibility for our actions that have taken us away from God. These wrong paths have hardened our hearts towards the tender mercies of God. And that is tragically sad.

 

4)      Pray that holy people can possess holy places. (63:18)

Jesus gave himself up for the Church, longing that she be holy and spotless. As members of the Church, we need to live lives of holiness before God. As we prepare for revival, pray that God would purify us – and ask that he would begin with you.

 

5)      Pray that God will come down! (64:1)

“Oh that you would burst from the heavens and come down!” In order for real revival to come, we have to let God burst into our lives, our church, our community and every facet of this world. Pray that God would again “rend the heavens”.

 

6)      Pray that something new will happen (64:4)

There are things that God wants to say to us that we currently can’t hear and a side of God so glorious that we have not yet seen it. Pray that God would help us to know what we do not yet know and see what we do not yet see.

 

7)      Pray out of personal desperation (64:5)

Isaiah begs the question, “how can people like us be saved? “Great question! Spend some time considering how our deeds are like filthy rags (vs6) and how utterly lost we’d be without God’s grace

 

8)      Pray with an openness to be molded (64:8)

He is the potter, we are the clay. Ask God to shape and mold you further into a person that he can use mightily – even when the necessary transformation is difficult.

 

9)      Pray that God will not refuse help (64:12)

We can’t fulfill the purposes of God on our own. On a daily basis, our media screams of humanity’s need… and only through God’s help and strength can these be met. More than ever we need His holy help.

 

…let us pray

Five Things You Must Do to Connect with Your Community

Our clear call from Jesus is to partner with Him to establish His kingdom of love, peace, and power here on earth. One of the most apparent invitations to this end is found in the book of Jeremiah (29:6) where we are exhorted, as people living in exile, to seek the “peace and the prosperity of our city."

Many churches unintentionally disconnect themselves from this call, and as they do, everyone – both inside AND outside the church, experiences tragic loss. There isn’t a city official in our nation today who doesn’t want the community they govern to be peaceful and prosperous. When peace and prosperity are found in a city, everybody wins – families, governments, educational institutions, law enforcement agencies, small businesses, homeowners, citizens, churches and the kingdom of God. For our nations to thrive, our cities need to experience peace and prosperity. It is the church’s responsibility to help foster this.

Wear the T Shirts

"I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes." - Romans 1:16

God has recently been using this verse to prod me a little in my walk with him. I am embarrassed to admit that this is a verse that has drifted in and out of my Christian journey, depending on my ability and desire to understand and accept the implications of it. It is time, once again, for me to own the implications in this powerful thrust of truth.

I become a follower of the King just before my 15th birthday, and for the first two or three years, I was full of raw passion. (I still consider myself to still have great love for Jesus, although it has transitioned in much the same way that the excitement of a first date transitions to a beautiful marriage). In my passion, to ensure that all knew about Jesus, I purchased a T-shirt with the above verse emblazoned on the front. It was a white T-shirt, with big, bold and black type (think – “Frankie Goes to Hollywood”). I was very comfortable wearing it at church and around Christian friends, but I knew that the real challenge lay in my ability to boldly wear the shirt, and proclaim the verse, in the secular school I attended. This was not an easy thing to do… But I did it. Unfortunately, the only times that I would wear this was by using this shirt as an undershirt, hidden under a dress shirt.

I realized immediately that the hypocritical irony was thick. Here I was hiding an “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ” Tee shirt under other clothing.

As I remember this story, I realize that there are so often similarities between how I live now and the shameless way that I abused the message and purpose of this Tee shirt. My definition of being “ashamed” of the gospel is when any behavior, action, or thought ‘covers up’ the glory and fame of Jesus within this world, through our lives. I have to confess that as I seek to be entertained, as I embrace philosophy’s of “self-help,” as I shy away from difficult conversations and situations of pain, that I am metaphorically doing the same thing I did when I was a new Christian in High School. I am covering up my passion, trust, and belief that Jesus is the only one through which men can be saved.

As I meditate on this further, it is as if each of the actions that I have listed above is similar to me buttoning up the ‘cover up’ shirt further:

  • Button # 1... Covers up the gospel. The good news, that the Kingdom of Heaven has arrived and can begin to be lived right now. As my actions ‘cover’ the gospel, so people miss out on life that is truly life.
  • Button #2... Covers up the power of God. Wow! There is so much that God wants to do, but every time I do something that demonstrates that I am ashamed of him, his power is limited. Never has the world needed such an outpouring and a demonstration of God’s power than now… I need to be a conduit to this, not a cover from it.
  • Button #3... Covers up the offer of salvation for others. The life and love of Jesus is made visible and tangible through his Holy Spirit working through other followers of the Way - like and me. If we choose to ‘cover’ the invitation of God, then people will miss out on life that is both abundant and eternal. How selfish, and sinful, is it that our issues may get in the way of another entering heaven.

Friends…. Do not be ashamed. It is only Jesus that has good news for human kind, and it is only the power of God that can offer the world the salvation that it groans for.

Boldly wear the Tee Shirt.

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