Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Where is The Love? Part 4 by LaShawn Sithole (Sit OH' lay)

Welcome New Readers from: Argentina, Lithuania, Hong Kong and Estonia! Welcome back to this week's readers from: US, Philippines, UK, India, Canada, Denmark, Jamaica, Netherlands, Cayman Islands and New Zealand! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

A Special Thanks to Mike Waters for allowing use of his fabulous work.(www.joyfultoons.com)

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Our Main Text:  Matthew 22:37-39
Jesus replied, “You must love The Lord Your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”


Recap from Where is the Love? Parts 1-3:

HOW DO WE SHOW THAT WE LOVE GOD WITH ALL OF OUR HEARTS?

WE TRUST HIM – Proverbs 3:5-6

WE OBEY HIM – Deuteronomy 26:16-18

WE SERVE HIM – Ephesians 6:6







HOW DO WE LOVE GOD WITH ALL OF OUR MINDS?


When we love God with all of our mind, we will:
Study…(2 Timothy 2:15)
Pray …(2 Chronicles 7:14 and 1 Thessalonians 5:17)  and
Praise Him (See the Book of Psalms for awesome examples of praise)

Picking up where we left off...

Where is the Love, Part 4

WE PRAY TO HIM

Looking into Granddaddy’s The Comprehensive Analysis of the Bible by M. Essig, Copyright dated 1922, it describes prayer as: “one of the first and sweetest duties of the Christian toward God.”



Nelson’s Student Bible Dictionary states, “Prayer is communication with God. Because God is personal, all people can offer prayers. However, sinners who have not trusted Jesus Christ for their salvation remain alienated from God. So while unbelievers may pray, they do not have the basis for a rewarding fellowship with God. They have not met the conditions laid down in The Bible for effectiveness in prayer."



Personally, I love the fellowship with God through prayer. There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING…that is No Thing like it! Nothing.

2 Chronicles 7:14 tells how prayer can truly help us when we add obedience.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

As children we were all taught little prayers that we just repeated all of the time.  I’m sure that many of you could finish this. Go ahead and try:  “God is Great, …”
How about this one?  “Now I lay me…”

As we grow in The LORD, we should spend more and more time with Him in prayer.  Ultimately it will be an ongoing all day conversation.
In fact, here are at least five personal requirements of prayer to consider:

Praying according to God’s Will - 1 John 5:14
And we are sure of this, that He will listen to us whenever we ask Him for anything in line with His Will.”

Praying without ceasing - 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Always keep on praying.”

Praying with a clean heart - Psalm 66:18-20
He would not have listened if I had not confessed my sins. But He listened! He heard my prayer! He paid attention to it. Blessed be God who didn’t turn away when I was praying, and didn’t refuse me His Kindness and Love.

Believing that we will receive what we pray for/about - Matthew 21:22
“You can get anything – anything you ask for in prayer – if you believe.” (Jesus is speaking)

Praying in Jesus’ Name - John 14:13
“You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that The Son can bring Glory to The Father.” (Jesus is speaking.)




Since prayer is our way to talk to God, we must be sure to get quiet enough, long enough to hear Him. Rick Warren said it best in The Purpose Driven Life: "We can't watch TV for three hours, read the Bible for three minutes and expect Spiritual growth."

WE PRAISE HIM                      

Praise to God is the offering of grateful homage in words or song. It is an act of worship.                                   

When we praise God, we are thanking Him for being all that we needWe are to be grateful for Who He is and not just for what He does.


The Book of the Psalms is full of amazing examples of songs of praise.  Let’s look at Psalm 107: 8, 15, 21, 30; 115:1; and 96:8.

Ephesians 1:11-14 really makes plain, just why we are to offer praise to God...

11 Moreover, because of what Christ has done we have become gifts to God that He delights in, for as part of God's Sovereign Plan we were chosen from the beginning to be His, and all things happen just as He decided  long ago.

12 God's Purpose in this was that we should praise God and give glory to Him for doing these mighty things for us, who were the first to trust Christ.

13 And because of what Christ did, all you others too, who heard the Good News about how to be saved, and trusted Christ, were marked as belonging to Christ by The Holy Spirit, who long ago had been promised to all of us Christians.

14 His presence within us is God's Guarantee that He really will give us all that He promised; and The Spirit's Seal upon us means that God has already purchased us and that He guarantees to bring us to Himself. This is just one more reason for us to praise Our Glorious God.



A personal testimony

It is so true that when praises go up – blessings come down.  One Saturday during a rare Texas snow day, I went to the home of a friend/customer of mine. I hadn’t seen her in a while so she invited me over for a visit. We had to catch up.

While there we sipped warm coffee and chatted it up.  She told me all about how God blessed her when she recently had a wreck. 

She shared with me that she lost her car, but GOD spared her life. As she had issues with the insurance people during her recuperation period, she decided to praise her way through her situation. It’s not easy to do at first but each time it becomes easier, especially if you remember what God has already done.

Know what happened after all of that?  In the end, her car was paid off, she got new one without any money down and ended up with additional cash that she wasn’t expecting. 

We praised Him.

Then I told her about how God put into my spirit how I should call this one friend and share these three particular Scriptures with her.  As soon as I did this in obedience, my phone rang offering me a speaking engagement for diversity work for which I had not asked.  

The Word says, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and it’s righteousness and all of these things shall be added unto you,” and you best believe that it's true!  This has happened for me on more than one occasion.

Just thinking on these things, we began to praise Him like crazy.  We prayed and praised so hard and so long that neither of us noticed that the lights had gone out from a downed power line! We had the light of the snow reflecting in the window and didn’t even notice the lack of electricity.

As I left her house for mine, she said, I don’t know why we were praising like that but we will know soon.  When I got home, there were two checks waiting for me. Both were unexpected as I had landed an energy brokerage client that paid of which I was unaware. I had sown that seed and forgotten about it.

When your children (or people that you do things for) sincerely thank you, your natural instinct is to want to do more.  God is the same, only better because He keeps blessing us even when we don’t deserve it.  That’s why it is important to verbally thank Him, or as Scripture says, use the fruit of our lips.

Hebrews 13:15 tells us: “With Jesus’ help we will continually offer our sacrifice of praise to God by telling others of the Glory of His Name.”

Amen. 

Thank you for Reading and Sharing. I pray that it blesses you. To God be The Glory for All that He has done and is going to do.


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Enjoy this worship song that simply says it all. Sing, Fred! Enjoy!!! Big Blessings to You!
 








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