She loves those who the Lord loves and she helps in any way she can.
In the world in which we live today, there are many people inside and outside the church who don’t believe in God’s ability to answer our prayers. Many times God answers our prayers almost before we pray them. Sometimes the answer is “no” or “not yet” but sometimes the answer is “Yes!”. We may not recognize His answer as if it came from God but I believe that many of our answers, if not all of them, do come from Him. Just like any parent or guardian, God says yes to some prayers which will give glory to Him and will help us in our journey. Then there are prayers, usually spoken in haste or anger, that God will answer “No!”.
Sometimes we can understand His reasons when we don’t get a positive answer but many times we act like a spoiled child and pitch a fit when we don’t get our way. It is the negative answers which teach us how to be truly patient and one day we will understand why He didn’t answer our request with a “yes”.
In 1 John 5:14-15 it says:
14 This is the confidence we have before him: If we ask† anything according to his will, he hears us.† 15 And if we know that he hears whatever we ask,† we know that we have what we have asked of him.†
Notice that John writes “If we ask anything according to His will…”, meaning that our request should be prayed about, and in asking Him to do one thing or another we must be in His will for Him to answer us with a “Yes!”. In other words, we should be walking with Him, studying His Word, and in a state of prayerful living so that we will know what is His will for our lives.
Unfortunately, there are many people in the church and in the pulpit, who are not walking with Jesus on a daily basis. We tend to visit Him on Sunday or on a holiday or when something goes wrong in our lives and He is the only recourse for us to turn to at the time. Other than that, we just go through our day without a thought about Him or His Word…until we really NEED Him to show up!
God does answer prayers and He hears the prayers of those who belong to Him in their hearts. The Holy Spirit speaks to Him even before we do especially when it is a request that is painful to ask for and it is during those times when God’s answer shows up before we even know that we need it. Sometimes it shows up in a way that we weren’t expecting but many times it will show up in an unexpected way and it will bring joy into our lives that we never knew we had.
Considering our prayers and our relationship with God, we need to remember that He is not a genie. God doesn’t answer at the same moment that we ask and He is not willing to give us the desires of our heart unless our desires and His are the same. Would He give us the desires of our heart? Yes, if it would bring Him glory and bring more people into His Kingdom.
We have to have a close relationship with Him in order for our requests to truly be in line with His will for our lives. Today there are many people in the church who really aren’t that close to God at all. Even though they may think they are. Some of those who think they are close to God are not and some of those are in the pulpit. Are they saved? Maybe or maybe they think they are, only God can answer that question.
That is the most important question of all. Are you truly saved like the thief on the cross? Believe in Jesus for your salvation because He is the only way. Or…will you leave the church with the idea that you’ll get around to it one day but not today. Are you sure that you will be here the next time we meet? Not one person knows that they have tomorrow as another day to make that decision. I don’t and none of you know without a doubt that you will live another day or another week. The only person who knew when He would die was Jesus and that only because He was God in the flesh.
The hymn “Amazing Grace” is truly a wonderful song and the story of the man, John Newton, is a picture of God’s abundant and amazing grace which is poured out on all of us. But, consider the grace which we all enjoy by the power of the cross and by the name of Jesus. He is our High Priest in heavenly places so we can come boldly into the throne room.
14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
God’s grace is poured out on us through Jesus and His work on the cross for our salvation. He does this because He loves us, not because He has to. Can we understand His love for us? Nope, but I am glad that we are on the receiving end of His grace rather than His wrath.
God loves us with all of His heart. It has no bearing upon our life or our reaction toward Him. Just as an example of the type of love we get from Him, look at your parents or grandparents. If they were the loving parents who they are supposed to be, you got a very small taste of God’s love through them. The same goes for your grandparents. God’s love is perfect without any conditions, we should live our lives in the imitation of it. We can’t duplicate it exactly but just by trying to live to His standard we are doing better than we can do on our own.
The grace of God and His mercy flows from His love for us and since it is infinite love, we have been the recipients of it even on our worst days. We don’t have to live up to His standards in order to receive it but we should strive toward them in our everyday lives. Because just by doing this through His Spirit, we are better people than we could be without and others will certainly notice it. When they do, they will ask you why you act the way you do even when things aren’t going your way?
God’s grace is so amazing and so penetrating to the depths of your soul until it has an effect on every part of your life. Family and friends will see the difference in your life and your attitude regardless of the problems that you are facing. Take note of your friends and your family and if you can see there are troubles, and there are likely some, get on your knees and pray to God who is the only One Who can take care of whatever the problem may be.
In our world today we live in places of both darkness and light. Sometimes it can be seen or heard or reported in the news, sometimes it is more spiritual in nature. Particularly when someone you may know seems to go off the deep end unexpectedly when you don’t see it coming and nobody can explain any reason for it. Then there are times when we see an unexpected kindness in places where it doesn’t show up very often and it seems to grow by being passed on to others because of a kindness which a stranger did.
No one seems to understand how either of these can be seen in our world. The darkness which rises on our television screens when people are killed for no apparent reason. The light which shows up when someone either gives their life to save another or when someone does something for people they don’t know and didn’t have to do it but they did.
How can both exist in our world today? Because of the war between good and evil or God and Satan. This is the reason for both being seen in our world today. Sometimes or rather most of the time, we hear about the darkness more than we do the light simply because it gets our attention and it makes a better news story. Oh, there will be a small story at the end of the news where you will hear about a kindly man or woman who does something for others and they try to make it seem as if kindness was truly rare in our world.
Sometimes kindness and love really are rare in our world, but I believe that is because it doesn’t sell well. Kindness doesn’t make good news or copy for a newspaper. Evil or darkness makes really good news stories regardless of the media which picks it up. Also, we tend to pay attention to bad news more than we do when we hear about something which is good but unexpected. Why? For the same reason that the media picks up bad news… we look at it as more interesting, even when it may be a tragedy like the school shootings in the past few years.
If we are trying to follow in Jesus’ footsteps in our life we should be doing as much as possible to spread some kindness, some light into the world. Not for fame or recognition but to bring the world’s attention to Jesus and His teachings. A small kindness may not go very far but sometimes it goes a lot farther than you think it does.