Prayer Lies

Matthew 6:5-13 (KJV)
5  And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7  But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8  Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
9  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11  Give us this day our daily bread.
12  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Main Point

Until we believe what God says about prayer we won’t be truly intimate with Him.

Introduction

Describe your prayer life in one word. Why did you choose that word in particular?

Most Christians would agree that prayer is essential, yet very few of us are satisfied with our experiences in prayer. Why do you think that is?

What are some of the things you must believe to be true about the character of God in order to pray rightly?

Why might Satan want to attack our belief system when it comes to prayer?

Prayer is a gift from God. It is the divinely orchestrated means by which we can commune with our loving Father. For that reason, the Bible is full of commands and instructions about prayer. Unfortunately, though, most of our prayer lives aren’t entirely based on these truths; instead, most of us have bought into some lie about the nature of prayer. Until we confront those lies, we won’t be able to be truly intimate with God in the way He desires.

Have a great weekend and we will see you Sunday.

Advertisements

The Salvation Experience

Crown of thorns with cross shadow

Isaiah 12:1-6 (KJV)
1  And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.
2  Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
3  Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
4  And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.
5  Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.
6  Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.

MAIN POINT

The Experience of Salvation is much greater than an Emotional or Ritualistic expression. It is understanding our position as sinful creatures and experiencing the grace of God in our lives leading to our regeneration by that grace.

UNDERSTANDING

If you were to go on the streets of America and ask, “What is the greatest need of man?” what answers do you think you would get.

Answers would be directly related to their understanding of the immediate situation. If you went to the streets of Haiti, Vietnam, Iraq or any other country, what would the answers be?

The Salvation Experience is also linked to the person’s understanding of their sinful situation and what the result of that situation will be.

This Sunday we will look at the Salvation Experience in relation to Man’s immediate situation.

See you Sunday at 9:30am. God Bless and have a great weekend!

Everlasting God • Everlasting Kingdom

Revelation 21:1-8 (KJV)
1  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6  And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Main Point

One day Jesus will make all things new and inaugurate His everlasting kingdom in the new heaven and new earth.

Introduction

Consider this.

What are some ways heaven is described in books and movies? Which one sticks out to you the most?

Is our understanding of heaven more influenced by the Bible or by the culture around us?

Why do you say so?

Most of our ideas from heaven involve wings, harps, clouds, and halos. These things have very little to do with the heaven we see in the Bible. Heaven is a radically God-centered place. It is also where all of history is headed. God is the sovereign Lord. In His nature, He is able to guide all of history to the point that He has chosen. God’s promises include a love for us that is everlasting. It is God’s love for us and His passion for His own glory that guides the world to find its fulfillment in the new heaven and earth. When Christ returns, we will see the consummation of His eternal kingdom, a place where God will make all things new and we will reign forever with Him.

Please keep our class in prayer as many are undergoing sickness and injury. We hope to see you in the morning. God bless and have a great weekend.

Bro, Randy

Everlasting God • Everlasting Love

Romans 8:31-39 (KJV)
31  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
33  Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
34  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Main Point

Nothing will ever separate us from God’s everlasting love.

Introduction

Who are the people you love most in this world? What do you love about them?

Is there anything that could keep you from loving these people? Why or why not?

Your spouse, your children, your family, your closest friends, these are the most significant relationships in your life. If asked what you love about these people, you could probably come up with endless reasons, but ultimately you don’t need a reason to love them, you just love them because you do. Likewise, God loves you because He chose to. There is no intrinsic reason for God to love you. Instead, in His grace, He set His affection on you. If you are a follow of Christ, God is for you, and He is for you because He loves you. Because God is everlasting in His nature, God is everlasting in His character. While your love will diminish and grow with time, God is ever the same and love is always the same for you because nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

It is good to be back home. Thank you for your prayers as we traveled. We look forward to seeing you this Sunday Morning. God Bless and have a great weekend.

Randy & Kelly

Everlasting God • God’s Everlasting Nature

Psalm 90:2 (KJV)
2  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Main Point

God’s everlasting nature means He has no beginning or end; He has always existed and will always exist.

Introduction

Consider the following questions.

What is one of your favorite memories from childhood? Why is it so significant to you?

What is an event you are looking forward to in the future?

The fact that we create memories and think about our past and future highlights that human beings exist in time. There is a point where our lives begin and a point where our lives will end. But while we are finite, God is infinite. God’s everlasting nature means there was never a time when God did not exist, nor will there ever be a time He ceases to exist. Unlike us, God has no beginning and no end. While we grow and learn and change, God knows all things and never changes. Time, from God’s perspective, is a continuous present. Though God is timeless, He created creatures who exist in time. Because God is everlasting, we can trust that God is continually working all of time for our good and His glory (Rom 8:28).

Romans 8:28 (KJV)
28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

God Bless and have an awesome weekend. Happy Father’s Day to all og the Dads. See you Sunday at 9:30am.

The Hebrews Initiative • A New Kind of Community

Hebrews 12:18-24 (KJV)
18  For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
19  And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:
20  (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:
21  And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
22  But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
23  To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24  And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

Main Point

The new covenant in Christ allows believers to relate to both God and others in peace and freedom.

Introduction

Do you have any strange fears? What are they?

Has there ever been anything that you were once afraid of but you now enjoy? How did it change?

Common fears or phobias include spiders or snakes, tight or high places, and public speaking. Psychologists note these fears fit into large categories, such as illness or body damage, loss of control, separation or abandonment, and humiliation or shame. Approaching God under the old covenant was a time of dread and fear. Today’s study contrasts the old covenant with the new covenant, when believers can joyfully approach God and relate to each other in community.

See you Sunday!

The Hebrews Initiative • The Discipline of Suffering

Hebrews 12:1-7 (KJV)
1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3  For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
4  Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
5  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

Main Point

If we want to finish the race of life well, we must have our focus fixed on the right thing.

Introduction

Have you ever run in a race? How did you do?

What were the keys to finishing well in your race?

If you could choose, which would you prefer, and why: lightning-bolt sprinter’s speed or a marathon champion’s endurance?

The Scriptures teach us that the Christian life is more like a marathon than a sprint. The key measure is endurance in faith. The goal is to finish well. And the prize is to hear the Lord Jesus Christ say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” But running the race of faith isn’t easy. We must train diligently and practice daily. We must embrace God’s discipline. We must keep our focus on Jesus. This was the “pep talk” of faith that the writer of Hebrews delivered to his first readers. If we want to finish the race of life well, we must have our focus fixed on the right thing.

See you Sunday!