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God’s will

How do we know we can count on God to supply our needs? Can we be assured that he will hear and help us when we ask for His assistance? If - and we must take into account the little word if - we meet two important conditions that He has established.
Psalm 145:19 is interpreted correctly in the Living Psalms to read: “He fulfills the desires of those who reverence and trust Him; He hears their cries for help and rescues them.”
Reverence leads to respect and respect to honor. If we honor God and if our requests are in agreement with His nature and character, what we ask for will be consistent with what He intends for us to have. When we ask for lavish and unnecessary things that will not honor Him we only deceive ourselves. Extravagance always makes a mockery of prayer and displays an irreverence to Him.
Years ago, while in college, I had a post office box that could only be opened with the right combination of letters and numbers. When I turned the small dial to the right sequence, the door would open and I could get my mail.
So it is with prayer. When we use the “right combination” of reverence and trust and our requests coincide with His plan and purpose for our lives, the “combination” will “work” and He will grant our requests.
Remember: when “my will” is consistent with “His will” prayers will be answered, God will be honored, lives changed, and His purpose accomplished on earth.
Prayer: Lord, may our lives revere, respect and honor You and our requests be consistent with Your nature. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 145:19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.
CLOSER THAN YOU THINK
Little Harry was saying his prayers before climbing into bed. In a very soft voice his mother said, “I can’t hear you!”
“I wasn’t talking to you, Mom,” he responded. “I was talking to God. And I don’t have to yell because He’s closer to me than you are and I know He’s listening!”
The Psalmist reminded us that “The Lord is near to all who call on Him, who call on Him in truth.”
Here are three guidelines for our prayers:
Make them simple. Our prayers ought to be as natural as breathing. Think of praying as a conversation with God. When children call on their father for help, they don’t use long, drawn out sentences with words that don’t make any difference. They get right to the point.
Make them sincere. We must be genuine when we go to Him in prayer. Included in this part of our prayer life would be honesty and openness. God will not put up with trying to “hide the truth” when we call on Him for help. Trying to say “It’s Your will, Lord,” when we know it’s “our” wants, won’t work. Being open with God means that we must confess our sin and ask for Him to forgive and cleanse us when we pray.
Make them specific. If you order an item on-line, it has a number to go with it. When we order from a menu, we “specify” what we want. Jesus said, “If you ask for anything” - implying a specific, identifiable item or need – “I will do it or get it for you.” Or, “Get to the point!”
God is close, compassionate, considerate and caring.
Prayer: Father, may we realize the power of prayer and the need to be simple, sincere and specific in our prayers. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 145:18 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
Little eight-year-old Betsy knelt beside her bed with her mother to say her night time prayer. “I’ve had a good day today, God. I hope You’ve planned another good one for tomorrow.”
Does God have a special plan for each little girl, old man and young lady? A plan for each of us? Really?
Before construction workers begin working on the foundation of a building, an architect has drawn elaborate plans that describe every little detail of the building. The same is true of building a ship, planting fields of grain or laying out the route for a highway. First the plan then the product. It is inconceivable that God would have no plan for man - the crowning achievement of His creation.
Even a superficial reading of the Bible reveals that all of the men and women of the Bible were guided by God’s plan for their lives. He had a plan for each of them, and He has a plan for each of us, as well.
Perhaps, the question is not whether or not He has a plan for us, but whether or not we even want it. Many try to outsmart God with their plans and end up as failures.
David prayed, “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” He believed that God had a plan for his life. Yet, he also knew that his willingness to follow it was much like the relationship between a teacher and student. He had to be “taught” to follow that plan. Quite often students have to go through a “time of testing” before they get the answers correct. But in the end, a “passing grade” is worth it all.
Prayer: Lord, may we accept the plan You have designed for each of us and follow it willingly each day of our lives! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 143:10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
A rough-and-ready cowboy applied for a large insurance policy. Worried about his life style, the agent was careful and cautious to ask questions to make sure that the cowboy would not take any foolish chances.
“Have you had any accidents?” asked the agent.
“No, not really,” he answered. “Come to think of it, though, a rattlesnake bit me and a horse kicked me once.”
“Well,” questioned the agent, “aren’t those accidents?”
“Oh no,” he responded. “They did it on purpose!”
There are no accidents in the life of the Christian – only appointments that are from God. They come from Him to let us know that He is with us and working out His will in our lives. God is always working in “everything” not as though He was bored and wanted something to do. Many things that happen to us are not good in themselves, but are good for us because they bring us closer to God.
God through His power and love is able to take every event and turn it into an experience that will fulfill His purpose for our lives. Wherever we are and whatever occurs is because of the fact that Christ is in us preparing us for that time when we will be with Him. We need a heavenly “mindset” that enables us to see beyond the moment and into our future with Him.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to develop an eternal vision that allows us to see that You are active in our lives preparing us for life with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Following the morning sermon, a young college student asked if the pastor could give him a few minutes of his time. Agreeing, the pastor asked the student to meet him in his study.
“Pastor,” the student began, “I did not completely understand what you meant by Christians being willing to do God’s will. What is God’s will for my life?”
Handing the student a sheet of paper with nothing on it, the pastor said, “It’s signing your name at the bottom of this blank sheet of paper and letting God fill it in as He chooses.”
God has a special, specific plan for each of us. It is a good plan, a pleasing plan and a perfect plan that He designed for every day of our lives. One problem most of us have is that we go to Him with what we want to do and ask Him to agree with us. That is not the way He works. Our life plans are to come from Him.
We can only be what He wants us to be and do what He wants us to do if we go to Him with a blank sheet of paper and ask Him to “fill it in.” We must go to Him with open minds, willing hearts and uplifted hands.
Prayer: Help us, Father, to willingly give up everything for You, and not give You up for anything. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Romans 12:1-2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Reading through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, reveals God’s thoughtful planning.

Nothing happened by chance. He wisely created everything to fit together very carefully and logically, in perfect harmony. The fish came after water, grass before animals and trees before birds. Then when everything was prepared, God created man. God knew what He was doing and where He was going. What a great example for us.

James gave us some insight about planning, too. He reminds us that we sometimes begin to do something without even knowing what tomorrow may bring. He seems to be making fun of us when he says, “Now listen, you who go here or there…spend a year here to carry on business…thinking you will make money, but not knowing anything about tomorrow.” Rather he says, “Focus on God’s will!” Great advice!

It is important for us to have visions of what we want to accomplish and plans to make the visions a reality. But we get into difficult situations if our focus is on our self-sufficiency or self-importance. We must humbly rely on God, looking to Him first and foremost in all that we plan to do. We must always be close enough to Him to hear His voice, and willing to change our plans when He asks. May our plans agree with His purpose.

Prayer: We ask, Father, that You guide us in all that we do and guard us from being self-centered. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: James 4:13-17 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow.

"I'm sorry, but I forgot about..." Sound familiar? It’s an often used phrase that most of us have used on many occasions. There are times when we really do forget some things. And there are times when we use that phrase when we did not forget “anything” – we just did not want to do what we had agreed to do.
Forgetfulness is a way of life for many. Rather than doing what they said they would do, they use it as an excuse for an unpleasant task. For some, it “just happens” every now and then. For all, however, it started as part of a promise or agreement that was at one time important. And, some promises are, indeed, more important than others. Especially the promises we make to God. Actually, our very life may depend on the promises we make to Him.

Solomon reminds us of this fact when he wrote, “My son, do not forget my teaching…keep my commands in your heart…for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.” Notice the two approaches to the same issue – one is negative: “Do not forget” and the other is positive: “keep them in your heart.”

“Forget” in this instance is more than allowing an obligation to escape our memory. It involves disregarding the commandments of God, replacing Him with false gods and idols and a lack of faith and trust.

Notice where God’s teachings and commandments are to be kept – in our hearts. The heart, in Scripture, is the center and seat of our inner life, including our mind, our emotions and our will. Submitting our hearts to God is a declaration to Him that His Word rules our lives.

Prayer: Lord, grant each of us a willingness and desire to enthrone You in our hearts and never waiver. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Proverbs 3:1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,
How do we know we can count on God to supply our needs? Can we be assured that He will hear and help us when we ask for His assistance? If – and we must take into account the little word if – we meet two important conditions that He has established.
Psalm 145:19 is interpreted correctly in the Living Psalms to read: “He fulfills the desires of those who reverence and trust Him; He hears their cries for help and rescues them.”

Reverence leads to respect and respect to honor. If we honor God and if our requests are in agreement with His nature and character, what we ask for will be consistent with what He intends for us to have. When we ask for lavish and unnecessary things that will not honor Him we only deceive ourselves. Extravagance always makes a mockery of prayer and displays an irreverence to Him.

Years ago, while in college, I had a post office box that could only be opened with the right combination of letters and numbers. When I turned the small dial to the right sequence, the door would open and I could get my mail.

So it is with prayer. When we use the “right combination” of reverence and trust and our requests coincide with His plan and purpose for our lives, the “combination” will “work” and He will grant our requests.

Remember: when “my will” is consistent with “His will” prayers will be answered, God will be honored, lives changed, and His purpose accomplished on earth.

Prayer: Lord, may our lives revere, respect and honor You and our requests be consistent with Your nature. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Psalm 145:19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.
Whenever we have a box delivered to our home that says, “Instructions Inside,” I immediately take it to my wife. It doesn’t matter if it is large or small or somewhere in between, I know exactly what to do with it. If it needs to be “put together,” or is “in pieces,” it’s beyond the skills and talents that God gave me. It’s another example of God’s grace: He graciously brought her to me to make up for many of my deficiencies.
That’s the way God is. Whatever we lack, whatever we need, whatever is beyond us is always available to us through His grace and guidance. With God’s Spirit within us and the fact that His Word is sufficient for us, we must then submit to Him, follow Him and depend on Him. We cannot do what He has for us to do without Him!

God knows our strength and limitations, our skills and talents. He is anxious for us to grow into the likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ. So, it is important for us to look to Him, depend on Him and follow Him because life is too difficult without Him. We often mislead ourselves if we do not recognize “where we are and where God wants us to be.” That’s why David reminded us that we need God to “show us His ways.” Like it or not, we must admit that it is too easy to confuse our ways with His ways and not accomplish His purpose for our lives or know how we can serve others.

God can only guide whom He governs. When we allow Him “to show us and teach us,” He can then lead us in the path He has laid out for us.

Prayer: Father, Your ways are perfect ways. May we willingly accept them as we submit to Your leadership. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Psalm 25:4-5 Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.
Many doubt that our God is the creator of all that is and in control of what we see as well as what we cannot see. The Psalmist is not one who has any doubt about this fact. Yet, he goes far beyond the majestic statement that we hold dear: “In the beginning God created...” In simple words he acknowledged that “Your hands,” (God) “have made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding that I may learn Your commands.” In other words, he realized that he was more than a creature that began in the mud. He was the most important part of God’s creation and needed God to give him His understanding of things.
“God,” he declared, “You not only took time to make me, but You actually fashioned me for a specific purpose in this, Your universe. I need You, God, to tell me what that purpose is!”

The word “fashioned” is a term that refers to the work of a potter making an object out of clay. Although the same clay may be used for different vessels or objects, each one has been “fashioned” for a specific purpose. The size, shape and purpose of each vessel the potter makes are always determined in the mind of the potter before he begins to form it on his wheel.

So it is with God. His Word tells us that “Before I formed you in your mother’s womb I knew you...I set you apart...I appointed you...” Although God has a plan for us, the Psalmist says we must look to Him and His Word to understand it. He has made us in His image but we must allow Him to fashion us for the purpose He has for us.

Prayer: Father, give us an understanding of Your will and a willingness to follow it all the days of our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Psalm 119:74 May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word.
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