Overcoming Evil | August 28, 2017
The last verse of Romans 12 puts the whole chapter together for us with one simple phrase. Within this phrase is the outworking of the whole chapter from a very practical mission. There is a battle raging that wants us to lose our advancement and victory in the gospel. It seeks to overcome us when we are designed to overcome it.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:21 (NASB)
A Brief History Of Prayer In The Bible | August 29, 2017
As we have been focusing on the topic of prayer in our Sunday worship gatherings over these past few months, I have had many thoughts that I would love to offer without the time constraints of Sunday morning. Therefore, I am going to share some things I have been learning about prayer in an attempt to bring clarity and motivation to those of you who would like to change your life and the world through your partnership and conversation with Father God.
The earliest conversation (prayer) we see in the Bible is between Adam and Father God. Though we have earlier one-way commands being given, this is the first two-way conversation that is recorded. Without tying in all the background of this conversation, how it comes about is a telling display of the Father's invitation to converse with Him.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
Genesis 3:8-10 (NIV)
A Brief History Of Prayer Part 2 | August 30, 2017
The second conversation (Prayer) we see in the Bible has to do with how to appropriately honor the Lord. When we disregard His Majesty, we deny His Lordship in our lives. Many people seem confused about what was going on in this episode. This is a picture of the first act of worship recorded in the Bible. Cain brought an offering and Abel brought an offering. However, there was a difference.
In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it. ”
Genesis 4:3-7 (NIV)
A Brief History Of Prayer Part 3 | August 31, 2017
We don't hear of any worship or prayer meetings for quite some time after the account with Cain. In fact, it looks like a generation or more passed before we see this phrase, "Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD." This is an interesting "coincidence" that has some theological underpinnings that would take too long to explain today but suffice it to say that Adam and Eve spent some time discipling their son to disciple the next generation.
Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the Lord.
Genesis 4:25-26 (NASB)
A Brief History Of Prayer Part 4 | September 1, 2017
This verse is one of the most inspirational verses in the Bible. It is packed with so many implications. Walking with God is the most basic concept in the Bible. Enoch learned its simplicity. So many make the spiritual life complicated or profound when the simplicity of all good news is found in the words, "...walked with God."
Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
Genesis 5:24 (NIV)