God makes covenants. They’re important to him. You probably knew that. But did you know there are different kinds of covenants? Understanding the different kinds and knowing which kind of covenant you’re now in is liberating and possibly life changing for you.
When you talk to God, do you ask him to move Heaven and Earth to meet your need or do you ask for wisdom to be led to your solution? Faith is more internal than external, it’s about trusting God to shape you rather than shaping the world. Faith doesn’t necessarily move God, it’s your response to his love and influence in your heart. Faith, is our response to what God has accomplished in Jesus.
Fear is a human emotion that is triggered by a perceived threat. It is a basic survival mechanism that signals our bodies to respond to danger with a fight or flight response. Essentially, fear is an attempt to keep ourselves safe.
If you find yourself afraid of a situation, whether real or imagined, you can position yourself before God to be empowered and conquer the fear. He designed your body to respond to your focus. Choose one of his promises in Christ, remember that Jesus conquered death for you and allow your body to change its chemistry and serve you better.
If you’re like me, the importance of prayer in your life comes and goes. I’m always communing with God in my heart but specific, directed prayer comes and goes. I’d like to give you some profound, mystical reason why I flow in and out of directed prayer but I think I just get busy and don’t take the time. However, there are times where I do feel the leading of the Lord to pray in the spirit, or with specific words, over a specific matter.
Recently I felt the Lord give me some instruction on prayer. It was more what to think than what to pray, what to think while praying to be more specific. It started with something James said, “the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
The first thing I did was look up “availeth.” I moved on to look up all the words in James’ statement. Here’s what I found…
How to End Self-Condemnation
Are you hard on yourself? That may be a good thing but it may be a bad thing. If you push yourself to be better in healthy ways, keep it up! But if you tend to compare yourself to others, or you feel like you’re not as far along in life as you’d like and you condemn yourself, stop it! I have good news for you! In this article, I’ll show you how to be free from self-judgment and condemnation.
Have you ever prayed and felt like nothing happened? Me too. Have you ever stood on a promise from God and the exact opposite happened? Me too. Maybe you were praying for provision, wisdom, the right job, a spouse or a loved one in a life threatening illness. And maybe that spouse never came, you never got the job or the loved one died. When then?
It's interesting we still have the same issues in Christianity today that Paul faced. You tell people they're free from the judgment of their sin in Christ and they’ll ask, "does that mean people can just sin and get away with it?" Well, certain people ask that. Those same kinds of people asked the Apostle Paul that on a regular basis.
There are two main sources of pain and suffering; loss and offense.
Loss is unfortunately part of this world. The world is not in the condition God created it to exist in and it’s not yet what it will be. One day God will restore all things and we’ll transition into what we know of as Heaven. Until then, we will all suffer some kinds of loss. We do have God’s promise of peace and provision in the midst of loss but it will come.
The other source of pain is offense. Offense comes when we attach significance to other’s actions. Offense is a tool of the enemy to keep us isolated but we’re also pretty good and being offended without the enemy’s help. Offense rests within the heart like a splinter. It’s a nagging pain that installs a filter. When we’re offended we look through it as a lens to the world. It skews every relationship and circumstance once the offense takes root in our heart.
In Matthew 6, Jesus gives much detail about prayer. What to do, what not to do, the attitude you should have and how to prioritize. He also makes prayer personal by describing God as your Father, that he values you and that he’ll provide for you because you are valuable. After Jesus’ discourse on prayer, he concludes with a simple yet profound statement… “so don’t worry.” Here are 9 take away’s from Matthew 6.
Here’s the progression of thought I’m addressing in this article:
Leviticus 20:10 requires death for adultery.
Jesus defined adultery as lust in your heart toward another woman rather than actual act of adultery. He raised the standard of the law from actions, to the intention of the heart. See Matthew 5:27-30
We have more than one historical record of Jesus encountering adulterers, neither time does he kill them, even though the Law requires it, why? Does Jesus contradict himself? Do the teachings of Jesus not apply to us? Should we throw out what he says because we have a New Covenant?
It’s none of that. Jesus honored the standard of the Law yet treated people in the context of love and grace. Jesus is the Word of God in action. He is God in the flesh. He is the embodiment of the righteous standard of God. Yet when he encountered a sin that required death, he lifted off every ounce of guilt, removed condemnation, forgave the person and gave them another chance.