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Consider God’s Attributes When You Pray

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Love.... snow capped mountains, cool mountain lakes and wild ...

Have you ever considered proclaiming God’s attributes when you pray?

God is Infinite

He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together. Colossians 1:17

Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. Psalm 147:5

There’s nothing He can’t do and nothing He doesn’t understand.

God is Immutable

I the Lord do not change. Malachi 3:6

His plans do not change. His promises do not change. God is dependable.

God is Self-Sufficient

God possesses infinite riches of being, wisdom, goodness, and power in and of himself (Genesis 17:1, John 5:26, Ephesians 3:16). Because God is self-sufficient, we can go to Him to satisfy all our needs. He is a never-ending well of goodness, peace, mercy, and grace.

God is Omnipotent

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. Psalm 33:6

Nothing is too hard for Him to accomplish (Genesis 18:14, Jeremiah 32:17, Luke 1:37).

Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens above – what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below – what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea. If he comes along and confines you in prison and convenes a court, who can oppose Him? Surely he recognizes deceivers; and when he sees evil, does he not take note? Job 11:7-11

God has unlimited power. God’s decisions are always in line with His character, and He has all the power to do whatever He decides to do.

God is Omniscient

Remember the former things, those of long ago; I’m God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. Isaiah 46:9-10

“God perfectly knows Himself and, being the source and author of all things, it follows that He knows all that can be known. And this He knows instantly and with a fullness of perfection that includes every possible item of knowledge concerning everything that exists or could have existed anywhere in the universe at any time in the past or that may exist in the centuries or ages yet unborn.” Tozer

Because God is all-knowing, He knows everything we’re going through today and everything we will go through tomorrow.

God is Omnipresent

Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. Psalm 139:7-10

Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? Declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? Declares the Lord. Jeremiah 23:23-24

Great comfort, brought by God’s omnipresence, is available to the Christian who struggles with the complexities and the sorrows of life.

God is Wise

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! Romans 11:33

God is infinitely, consistently, and perfectly wise.

Wisdom, among other things, is the ability to devise perfect ends and to achieve those ends by the most perfect means. It sees the end from the beginning, so there can be no need to guess or conjecture. Wisdom sees everything in focus, each in proper relation to all, and is thus able to work toward predestined goals with flawless precision. Tozer

When we see wisdom as Tozer explained, we realize just how much or limited, finite wisdom compares with the limitless, infinite wisdom of God. And how comforting and wonderful this is for man to dwell on! The fact that God can never be wiser means He is always doing the wisest thing in our lives.

God is Faithful

Know, therefore, that the LORD your God is GOD; He is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commands. Deuteronomy 7:9

If we are faithless, He remains faithful – for He cannot deny Himself. 2 Timothy 2:13

The fact that God is infinitely, unchangingly faithful means that He never forgets anything, never fails to do anything He has set out to do, nor does He ever change His mind or takes back a promise.

When we are tempted to think God has abandoned us, remember that God is unchangingly faithful and good, is always with us, and is full of wisdom.

God is Good

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good. Psalm 34:8

The goodness of God disposes Him to be kind, cordial, benevolent, and full of good will toward men. He is tenderhearted and of quick sympathy, and His unfailing attitude toward all moral beings is open, frank, and friendly. By His nature He is inclined to bestow blessedness and He takes holy pleasure in the happiness of His people. Tozer

Christians find it easier to affirm the goodness of God when things are going well. When life becomes overwhelming, that is when we begin to question God’s goodness to and for us. The equations are not: Life is good = God is good. Life gets bad = God’s goodness is questioned.

Psalm 34:19: Many are the afflictions of the righteous but Yahweh delivers Him out of them all. Even with a good God, who is sovereign over everything and has the power to do whatever He likes, good people still suffer.

God is Just

The Rock! His work is perfect. For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He. Deuteronomy 32:4

God always does what is good and right toward all men.

He is both fully merciful and fully just.

God is Merciful

I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy, and I will have compassion
on whom I will have compassion. So then it does not depend on human will or effort but on God who shows mercy.
Romans 9:15-16

For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

It is undeserved mercy, as indeed all true mercy must be, for deserved mercy is only a misnomer for justice. There was no right on the sinner’s part, to the saving mercy of the Most High God. Had the rebel been doomed at once to eternal fire – he would have justly merited the doom; and if delivered from wrath, sovereign love alone has found a cause, for there was none in the sinner himself. Spurgeon

As judgment is God’s justice confronting moral inequity, so mercy is the goodness of God confronting human suffering and guilt. Were there no guilt in the world, no pain, and no tears, God would yet be infinitely merciful; but His mercy might well remain hidden in His heart, unknown to the created universe. No voice would be raised to celebrate the mercy of which none felt the need. It is human misery and sin that call for the divine mercy. Tozer

God is Gracious

The LORD is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. Psalm 145:8

As mercy is God’s goodness confronting human misery and guilt, so grace is His goodness directed toward human debt and demerit. It is by His grace that God imputes merit where none previously existed and declares no debt to be where one had been before. Tozer

Grace is a part of who God is and not just an action he bestows. When you welcome God into your life, you welcome His grace.

God is Loving

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8

God’s love is active, drawing us to himself. His love is personal.

God is Holy

Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord Almighty. Revelation 4:8

Therefore you are to be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48

The word holy means sacred, set apart, revered, and divine. He is endlessly, always perfect. His standard for us is perfection as well.

God is Glorious

His radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays flashing from His hand, And there is the hiding of His power. Habakkuk 3:4

The glory of God is the infinite beauty and greatness of God’s manifold perfections. The infinite beauty – and I am focusing on the manifestation of his character and his worth and his attributes – all of his perfections and greatness are beautiful as they are seen, and there are many of them. That is why I use the word manifold. John Piper

Thank you, Lord, that we may approach Your throne of grace for mercy and grace. May Your powerful attributes fill our hearts and minds. May our prayers be full of Your praise. Amen.

In His grace,

Amanda

Christward, A Hopeful and Joyful Embrace of Jesus Christ of Nazareth (available at Amazon)

Humility Over Pride

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The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.

Proverbs 22:4
Spring Flowers In Bloom In A Field by Meltonmedia

There is a reward for humility and respect for the Lord. Not only does humility equip us for eternity, but there is a reward that will be experienced in these current days.

The pathways of God are beautiful and magnificent and remarkable and humbling. Initially, these discrete pathways can be missed if we do not intentionally take note of the invitations to travel them. With self-discipline, this secret garden path will become more evident to us as we direct our eyes to the well-trodden trail traveled by those who have had their heart set upon the Lord.

When we experience pride (our own or someone else’s), it is such an attention-grabbing influence that it is often difficult to ignore. The desire of the natural self is to be recognized. Therefore, choosing the way of humility can be the most undesirable alternative available. However, if we allow ourselves to be trained by humility’s instruction, the self-disciple that is required will yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Hallelujah.

To be strong in the Lord, the armor of God will be a must. We are exhorted to:

Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith…and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.

Ephesians 6:14-18

Therefore, if we are going to win the battle against pride, we must:

  • Know the truth: Humility is God’s way, pride is not
  • Desire righteousness in your heart: Humility hopefully and joyfully embraces Jesus Christ of Nazareth for all things
  • Seek peace: Humility is a loving and uniting force and is a primary pursuit
  • Faith: Humility is a faithful response in all circumstances
  • Salvation: Humility is a mark of appropriated salvation
  • Sword of the Spirit: Humility applies the Word and slays pride
  • Persistent prayer: Staying humble will require all forms of prayer, not only for self but for others

Lord, help me remember that humility is a prominent Christian grace (Romans 12:3 15:17, 18; 1 Corinthians 3:5 7; 2 Corinthians 3:5, Philippians 4:11 -13). Transform my thinking so that I may be pleasing to You (1 Peter 3:4). Help me see that humility brings tranquility to my soul (Psalms 69:32, 33), and makes me patient under trials (Job 1:22). Show my heart Your great promises to those who are humble (Psalms 147:6, Isaiah 57:15, 66:2, 1 Peter 5:5). Amen.

Thank you, Lord, for your great example of humility (Phil 2:6 8). Lead me into repentance (Lamentations 3:39), remembering that humility is the way to honor (Proverbs 16:18) and the avenue to glory.

In His grace,

Amanda

❀ Christward, A Hopeful and Joyful Embrace of Jesus Christ of Nazareth (available at Amazon)

Anna, A Prophetess Who Spread The Message

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Women in the Scriptures: Anna

There was also a prophetess, Anna…she did not leave the temple complex, serving God night and day with fasting and prayers. At that very moment (when Simeon was blessing Jesus and His family), she came up and began to thank God and to speak about Him to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

Luke 2:36-38

What a joy it must have been for Anna! Since her husband had passed away, she spent her days in the temple complex serving God night and day with fasting and prayers. She was not someone who contemplated the things of God when she could work it into her schedule or when she had nothing else to do. This prophetess made God’s Word, His heart, and His will her highest aim. As a result, God allowed her to “see” into the affairs of people and into the mind and heart of God. She received the joy of her daily pursuit! Is it our delight to spend our days pursuing God and His will for His people? Do we desire to bring heaven down (Matthew 6:10) into our hearts as well as the hearts of others?

God’s prophetess speaks only what accords with Scripture. As a result, prophetic speaking will come from someone who is in close intimate fellowship with God, is in harmony of mind and will, and has such consecration of life through the experiences of salvation. Subsequently, the prophetess finds that God gives her His unique inspiration. There are other prophetesses’ we can learn about in the Bible such as Miriam, the sister of Moses (Exodus 15:20) who was endowed with the gift of song; Deborah, the judge (Judges 4:4); Huldah, the wife of Shallum (2 Chronicles 32:22) who was consulted for a word; Isaiah’s wife (Isaiah 8:3); and Philip’s four unmarried daughters (Acts 21:9).

On the flip side, Deuteronomy 13 says that the false prophet is one who leads people away after ‘other gods’ and speaks ‘rebellion against the Lord our God’…leading us to leave the way in which the Lord our God, commands us to walk. If any believer speaks opinions that are out of line with God’s truth, then those beliefs are false and can lead another believer astray. A test of this is found in Jeremiah 23:9-22. Both in his personal life (v9-15) and in his public ministry (v16-22), the false prophet subscribes to another morality and encourages his hearers to do likewise. Consequently, Jeremiah infers, this man cannot have ‘stood in the council of the Lord’ (v18, 22). When God speaks through His Word, no one can argue. Let’s check our hearts. If we desire to be in close intimate fellowship with God, if we desire to be in harmony with His mind and will, and if we desire our life to be consecrated through the experiences of salvation, then we will be in agreement with His commands. We will not allow our mind and heart to be lead astray, and we will not lead others astray by speaking against God’s Word.

Because Anna spent her life devoted to God, she immediately recognized Jesus as the long-awaited Savior and began thanking God for the opportunity to ‘see’ His good works. In the short amount of ink given to her testimony, we find her life overflowing with favor and grace.

“She gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38).  Anna, the prophetess, is among the first to bring honor to our Lord and King. Good news is meant to be shared, and Anna shares it with everyone who was anticipating the Messiah.  Like Mary, who was at Jesus’ tomb and was allowed to be the first to share the good news of the resurrection, let’s be like these devoted women and spread God’s message.

In His grace,

Amanda

❀ Christward, A Hopeful and Joyful Embrace of Jesus Christ of Nazareth (Bible Study available at Amazon)

Mary of Rome, A Persistent Woman

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TWELVE EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN: MARTHA AND MARY : WORKING AND WORSHIPING

Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:58

Persis is mentioned only once in the Bible, but Paul’s regard for her is still relevant today. Do you think it is rare to find people who give themselves fully to the work of the Lord ~ inside and out?

In the Roman letter, Paul greets Persis as “my dear friend” (Romans 16:12). It is not clear how they were acquainted, but perhaps Persis, like Priscilla and Aquila, were expelled from Rome by Emperor Claudius around AD 50 and then returned when tension eased. Or if a native of Asia Minor, Syrian Antioch, or another area where Paul ministered, she later may have relocated to Rome to build up the church there.

However it was that Persis came to Rome, Paul commends her not by saying she worked hard in the Lord but that she “worked very hard in the Lord” (Romans 16:12). The Greek word for “labor or worked” is “kopiao,” which means “to be wearied or spent with labor; faint from weariness; to toil hard” [The Analytical Greek Lexicon of the NT, p. 237]. It comes from a root word meaning “beating.” Thus, it has reference to an extreme “weariness as though one had been beaten” [Dr. Gerhard Kittel, Theological Dictionary of the NT, vol. 3, p. 827]. Persis was a woman who gave herself fully to the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58). When we read heroic accounts of people’s lives, let’s not be fooled into thinking it was because they did not have to press in, or it did not cost them something. Aside from her personal challenges, let’s consider some of the cultural difficulties Persis most likely had to face.

  • The vast, diverse city had a population numbering in the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, which could have intimidated her.
  • Rome, though blessed materially, artistically, and educationally, was saturated with paganism.
  • Random persecution often threatened Roman Christians.
  • If Persis was an upper-class Roman, she enjoyed freedoms denied to other women. Still, overall male domination would have, to some degree, limited Persis and her ability to share the Gospel.

Despite the odds, Persis determined to serve Christ, having a persistent eternal perspective and a confident assurance of her reward. May we be like Persis! Regardless of the personal challenges, may we always give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord because we know our labor in the Lord will not be in vain. Our lives are relevant and meaningful. May God grant us the endurance to “work very hard” in Him. Amen

In His grace,

Amanda

❀ Christward, A Hopeful and Joyful Embrace of Jesus Christ of Nazareth (Bible study available at Amazon)

The Two Marys

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SPC student greets the dawn at the Ramon Crater in Israel - Center ...

After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to view the tomb.

Matthew 28:1

The day was dawning. Even a glimpse of the sun on the horizon is enough to push back the darkness and reveal the seemingly immeasurable reach of its rays. It was the perfect amount of light needed for the first human witnesses of the Resurrection.

The dawn was not the only giver of light that beautiful resurrection morning. God had already sent His angel to the tomb of the Darling of Heaven. The angel that had departed the presence of God to travel to the tomb, had such an impact upon arrival that he caused the earth to shudder (28:2). The angel wore a robe as white as snow, and his appearance was like lightning (28:3) (For interest sake, a bolt of lightning is 5x hotter than the surface of the sun and 600x brighter.) Do you recall how Moses’ face shone after he had been in God’s presence (Exodus 34:29,30)?

The presence of the angel visibly moved the two Marys so he reassured them regarding their mission. The women not only viewed garments as white as snow, but they were entrusted with sharing the most powerful, life-altering news this world has ever known.

They departed from the tomb, which once represented anguish, defeat, and uncertainty and was given the charge to testify to the power of God, which brings great joy, hope, and awe. They had no hesitation as they quickly left to be God’s witness to the rest of the disciples. Before they could get there, Jesus met them. “Good morning!” He said. In the unity of joy, both Marys fell to his feet and worshiped Him.

“Don’t cling to Me,” Jesus said, “for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and tell them that I am ascending to My Father and your Father — to My God and your God.” Mary Magdaline announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them what He had said to her (John 20:17-18).

The verb translated “cling to” does not mean to ‘touch’ and ‘handle’ to see whether His body was real. Instead, it means to ‘hold on to’ and ‘cling to.’ Moreover, it is the present imperative; and the full meaning will, therefore, be, ‘Do not continue holding Me,’ or simply, hold Me not. The old and often interrupted earthly experience is over; the new and continuous experience with the ascended Lord has not yet begun: but that Presence will be granted soon, and there will be no need of straining eyes and clinging hands to realize it (Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges).

At that time, women were not considered to be a reliable witness. However, God did not see it that way. What is impossible with man is possible with God (Luke 18:27). What will you do with the light of the Gospel that shines brilliantly into the eyes of your heart? Will you see it? Will you share it? Will you be in awe? Jesus said to the two Marys, “Listen, I have told you” (Matthew 28:7). Are you listening to what He speaks to you today in His Word? If so, what will you tell someone? God has called you to be a witness regarding how He has resurrected you. “Don’t be afraid. Go and tell…” (Matthew 28:10).

Be like the two Marys, go quickly and tell.

In His grace,

Amanda

❀ Christward, A Hopeful and Joyful Embrace of Jesus Christ of Nazareth (Available at Amazon)