good deeds

praying for others

Praying for Others

Welcome,

I don’t know how you pray, but I always add, “according to your will (1 John 5:14),” just to be on the safe side. Likely, in all of our thoughts as we pray, we remember the Apostle Jame’s warning, “And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.James 4:3 NLT

We are all very skilled at “couching” our prayers. This is especially true when praying for God to heal someone. We pray cautiously, and we also give God lots of “loopholes.” We justify this, so the person prayed for will not have to reason to think God failed them – or we failed them. I know these thoughts all too well. But please allow me to give you something to help your faith.

3 Jesus said to the man with the deformed hand, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” 4 Then he turned to his critics and asked, “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they wouldn’t answer him.

Mark 3:3–4

Notice that Jesus equated healing the man with doing good deeds. Also, notice that Jesus is the one doing the healing. Unless we know that God doesn’t intend to heal someone, we can be sure that our prayer is a request for Jesus to do a good deed and for Jesus – not us – to heal that person. Let’s not put our faith in our faith; instead, let’s put our faith in Jesus. He’s the one doing the healing. And then let’s keep on asking, as the widow did to the judge (Luke 18:1–8).

Glorify God and enjoy Him forever,
Gary

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Image by Godsgirl_madi from Pixabay

Hand Hold Care Help Elderly Old Senior Aged

How Do We Want to Be?

A common question is, “Who do you want to be?” Parents often ask their young kids this: “Nikki, do you want to be a scientist when you grow up?” This question gains more urgency when their children want to drop out of college! Asking “who” is important, but a better question, I think, is to ask ourselves or and our kids, “How do you want to be?”

This question is vital for each of us because it asks about our Christian character. The “how” takes us to our hearts and asks what kind of character we want to possess. Do we want to be a giver, a person who gives of his or her time, skills, manual labor, and money? Is that how you want to live?

God Cares About Your Character

Do you want to be an agent for change? Do you want to be the person that beings Jesus into difficult situations? Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to the glory of Jesus, do you want to affect your child’s PTO or change the environment of work meetings that you attend? Do you want to quell arguments, heal division, and quiet people who love to be disruptors?

Perhaps, you want to be the person that introduces Jesus to the kids at your church. You want to be that person who loves unconditionally, gives generously, and prays continually for children and young people. We aren’t limited to one of these! These are but a few of the “how’s” that Jesus, our Lord, may lead into us.

Many churches today are experiencing a free-fall in attendance due to COVID, dissension within the congregation, a crisis of relevance, and many other excuses. Nevertheless, the missing people on Sunday mornings are not released from their “hows.” Christian character isn’t something we can put on and take off.

Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.

Proverbs 28:6

Our character is our best measurement of our relationship with Christ Jesus. Godly character is life-changing for us and all with whom we come in contact. Let’s ask ourselves again, “How do I want to be?”


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Van Vw Travel Trip Holiday Vacation Road Trip

Leave Behind God’s Goodness

We all like to think that we are good people, and I am sure many of us are good’er 😉 than our goodness was in the past. But we can’t rest on our laurels… who could? Each of us is on a journey that Jesus uniquely created for you and me. In many ways, our journeys are like road trips – I love road trips.

As you and I travel on our great adventures, our landscapes change. You may start in rolling hills and progress to broad plains, and then into majestic mountains while I begin with sandy beaches. During your life and my life, we may pass through many breathtaking terrains. We can pass through the hills and mountains and still be exactly the same as we were when we started, but that’s not the point of a road trip, and that’s not the point of our lives.

God’s Goodness

It is God’s good pleasure to have us travel through many situations and stages of life. And it is His good pleasure for us to learn to do good in all circumstances. Our lives are not intended to just make it to the finish line but to help people, to possess a good character, to leave behind God’s goodness as we move forward in His will.

Today, God reminded me of this.

learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.

Isaiah 1:17

If we are obedient to Isaiah 1:17 then we will leave behind God’s goodness as we travel forward on the journeys He created for us.


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water heater

Lime of the world

I owned an old house when my wife and I were first married. Right after getting married I quit my job to start a business; oh, the optimism of youth. Well, during this time we were poor. Not just low income, we were running on fumes and our hot water heater decided we needed cooler showers and then really cold showers.

We didn’t have the money for a new one so I went down to the basement, disconnected the hot water heater from the water pipes, opened the two places where the heating coils went in and proceeded to roll and drop and bang the hot water heater for a couple of hours. Do you know why? Yep, it was full of lime. 

The heater couldn’t heat the water because the lime insulated the heating coils from the water. By the end of a couple of hours, the outside of that old beast looked like it had fallen off of a truck. But, I’d broken loose a “ton” of lime and pulled it out through the heating coil holes. 

I installed two new heating coils and the hot water heater heated water! Once I got all the stuff out that wasn’t supposed to be there then the things that belonged there worked perfectly. 

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Every Christian needs maintenance. Regular maintenance, like meeting together and encouraging each other keeps the “lime of this world” from insulating us from God and preventing us from operating correctly. If we put off this maintenance, if we don’t meet with other Christians, if we don’t get spurred on toward love and good deeds, then we get colder and colder until we no longer fulfill our appointed purpose. We’re just cold. 

We must not allow ourselves to become lukewarm. We need to be on fire, spurring others on, encouraging, and always displaying love for that is Christ’s signature on our lives. 

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