"Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz, my friends all drive Porsches I must make amends..." Janis Joplin's mockery of prayer was well deserved and, for the most part these days, still has some merit. Praying for your sleeping partner to "come to the Lord" probably isn't going to work out real well either. Using the power of prayer to bless your sinful lifestyle has never proven to get results.
While Joplin was tongue in cheek, the second example isn't. Does God answer prayer; absolutely. Does He honor willful ignorance of His way of living life while honoring our requests at the same time. Don't think so. We've got to get serious with Him if we want Him to get serious with us.
As we finish our series on the Names of God, we finish with Jesus, the best way to wrap up the series during the Christmas season.
We call Him Jesus. This week we'll take walk down memory lane in the sense that His name was actually pretty common in his day. Jim, Pete, Dave, Jesus. We say it with reverence now, 2000 years later, but not so much then. But the name had some good genes, so to speak. Lots of great history, so we get to peek behind the curtain this week, prior to Christmas.
In Psalm 25 the Lord speaks of those who are willing to allow their will to be bent by Him. That's followed by a direct connection to Him, in turn, coaching and personally instructing them in good judgement, particularly to those who will be placed in positions of authority and have the power to exact good, balanced justice in a society bent on evil. That would be helpful in today's society, bent on destruction.
The time is getting closer. Get ready.
Not by what you see or by what people whisper in your ear. That's the way most people's lives are driven. We're still on the subject of the Holy Spirit. Let's listen.
I think we're all pretty familiar with Stevie Wonder's old song of the above title. The sad thing is that I suspect Mr. Wonder sings that song with more passion and meaning than the passion we exhibit when considering the absolute wonder of the Holy Spirit and what He's been doing for us our entire lives. He's sealed us for redemption, promises to protect us for final delivery on the last day, and teaches & comforts us all the days in between. And what do we do in response? It's a very dangerous thing to ignore Him, and considering the times in which we live, very possibly the last days, we'd better get serious.
and in a deep valley, you will be. Are you doing everything right now to deepen the reservoir of truth in your life so you have the equipment to get out the other side of trouble?
My grade school years were quite memorable at St. Christopher's. It was a Catholic school back in the day when nuns still wore those long blue garments with the flying nun hood. One thing you never wanted in your life was a call to the office of our principal Sister St. Anne. Over the years she had developed an efficiently swift swing with the blister paddle. You know the one. The board with the carved handle and holes drilled from top to bottom. Just before impact, as you were holding your ankles, you could hear the air whitling through the holes. Justice delivered. Sister St. Anne is one thing. God is another.
That's a pretty weak analogy, but I'm not clever enough to come up with anything better. We're talking about God being eternal today. That's always a tough concept to wrap our head around but it's an aspect of God's being that we need to consider, particularly when life seems overwhelming.
....can't help noticing people who are full of life. God has no dead friends. This week we're talking about the Living God.
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