Sunday, February 26, 2017

Prayer that moves God

Prayer that moves God

How to Stay Young series
by Dr. Charles Stanley
Viewed 2/26/2017
In Touch Ministries

Do you often wonder why your prayers go unanswered? What's the reason, why do your prayers go unanswered?

Acts 12:1-9

1 Now about that time Herod the king laid hands on some who belonged to the church in order to mistreat them.
2 And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword.
3 When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. Now it was during the days of Unleavened Bread.
4 When he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people.
5 So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.
6 On the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and guards in front of the door were watching over the prison.
7 And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter's side and woke him up, saying, Get up quickly." And his chains fell off his hands.
8 And the angel said to him, Gird yourself and put on your sandals." And he did so. And he said to him, Wrap your cloak around you and follow me."
9 And he went out and continued to follow, and he did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.
10 When they had passed the first and second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened for them by itself; and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.
11 When Peter came to himself, he said, Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent forth His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting."
12 And when he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was also called Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying.
13 When he knocked at the door of the gate, a servant-girl named Rhoda came to answer.
14 When she recognized Peter's voice, because of her joy she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter was standing in front of the gate.
15 They said to her, You are out of your mind!" But she kept insisting that it was so. They kept saying, It is his angel."
16 But Peter continued knocking; and when they had opened the door, they saw him and were amazed.
17 But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had led him out of the prison. And he said, Report these things to James and the brethren." Then he left and went to another place.
18 Now when day came, there was no small disturbance among the soldiers as to what could have become of Peter.
19 When Herod had searched for him and had not found him, he examined the guards and ordered that they be led away to execution. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and was spending time there.

Your Prayer Life - Prayer that moves God

Pray fervently TO GOD!  Not your own "homemade god," but the ONE TRUE GOD!

  • Praying Fervently
    • Put your whole heart into it
      • weep for the cause
  • Pray to God, the one true God
    • created the world
    • flooded the world
    • part the red sea
    • gave us the 10 commandments
    • gave us the be attitudes
    • broke down walls of Jericho
    • gave David the Psalms
    • gave us the prophets
    • given us His only Son
    • loves unconditionally
    • doesn't tolerate sin
    • the ultimate judge
    • etc. Biblical references
  •  He will grant any prayer that is His will for us in our lives.
    • He has to have the time
    • He get's the credit
    • It's His will
    • It's His timing
  • List your prayers!
    • Write the date down
    • Be sincere
    • Yourself/Family/Friends/Community/Leaders/World/etc.
  • Praying in agreement with each other and in the will of God
    • The deeper your hurt, pain, etc.. the more likely you'll want other to pray with you and for you.
    • We all need to be held accountable
      • It's a safety zone for us!
  • Don't just have bedtime prayers
    • Prayer is serious business
  1. personal commitment to God
  2. repent sins
  3. prayer life

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Those Feelings of Inadequacy

Those Feelings of Inadequacy 

by Dr. Charles Stanley
Viewed 1/22/2017

"Inadequacy is tough, but can be a tremendous blessing" -Charles Stanley

Exodus 4:10

"But Moses pleaded with the lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”

Judges 6:12

The angel of the lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the lord is with you!”

Jeremiah 1:4-6

The lord gave me this message: “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” 6
“O Sovereign lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!”

2 Corinthians 3:1-6

1Are we beginning to praise ourselves again? Are we like others, who need to bring you letters of recommendation, or who ask you to write such letters on their behalf? Surely not! 2The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. 3Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. 4We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. 5It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. 6He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.

Areas of Inadequacy

Although we all experience times when we feel insufficient, the areas of our shortfall are varied.
  • Work
  • Parenting
  • Marriage
  • Finances
  • Relationships

Reasons for Inadequacy

Inadequacy is a difficult experience, but it can also be a tremendous blessing. However, before we can discover the benefits, we must be willing to uncover the reasons for our struggles.
  • Feeling ill equipped. Our life experiences may lead us to feel disadvantaged.  
  • Poor self-image. When we think we’re unworthy, we’ll struggle with insecurity.
  • Comparison. Sometimes we might see ourselves as less than others.
  • Weak faith. We may feel unable to accomplish what God’s called us to do.  
  • Criticism. If criticism comes, we may lose our confidence and feel inadequate.
  • Failures. We must guard against living with a continual sense of failure.

Results of Inadequacy

When facing daunting situations, we should focus on what the Lord has promised instead of what we feel.
  • Failure to take advantage of God-given opportunities. The Lord presents us with challenging opportunities. If we allow a fear of incompetence, we’ll miss God’s plan.
  • Refusal of God’s call. When the Lord calls us to serve Him, there are three things that often trip us up: fear of failure, apprehensions about finances, and concern for family. 
  • Forfeiture of God’s designed blessing. The path to blessing is a life of obedience. We must understand that He is all-powerful, all-knowing, loving, gracious, and forgiving.
  • Lack of fulfillment. When we let our insecurities and inabilities rule our lives, there will always be something missing.  

Important Areas of Obedience

When the Lord calls us, there are two critical areas.
  • Salvation. Our responsibility is to trust Jesus as our Savior, rely upon His strength, and walk with Him in the Spirit.
  • Service. After we’re saved, the Lord calls us to serve Him. Genuine satisfaction is only found in trusting God’s Word in every situation, and living in obedience to His will.  

Daily Devotion God's Pathway to Success!

Bible in One Year: Exodus 19-21

Courage for the Christian Life: A Collapse of Courage

A Collapse of Courage

by Dr. Charles Stanley
Viewed: 1/22/2107
In Touch Ministries

Courage"The quality of mind or spirit enabling us to meet danger, face opposition, or the challenges of life  with fearlessness, calmness and firmness."

Image result for bible

Numbers 13:1-2

1The lord now said to Moses, 2“Send out men to explore the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the Israelites. Send one leader from each of the twelve ancestral tribes.”

Numbers 13:18-20

 18See what the land is like, and find out whether the people living there are strong or weak, few or many. 19See what kind of land they live in. Is it good or bad? Do their towns have walls, or are they unprotected like open camps? 20Is the soil fertile or poor? Are there many trees? Do your best to bring back samples of the crops you see.” (It happened to be the season for harvesting the first ripe grapes.)

Numbers 13:26-29 

26to Moses, Aaron, and the whole community of Israel at Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran. They reported to the whole community what they had seen and showed them the fruit they had taken from the land. 27This was their report to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. 28But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak! 29The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan Valley.”

Numbers 13:30-33

30 But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!”31But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” 32So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. 33We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!”

Image result for courage

Causes of a Courage Collapse

The Israelites came to the wrong conclusion for several reasons.

  • They forgot God’s promise. Although the Lord had promised to give them the land, the people let the negative reports overshadow and diminish what God had said.
  • They focused on their resources rather than the Lord’s. Looking at their own abilities, they saw no way to defeat the people of the land. But God has the power to do whatever is required to fulfill His promises whether we understand His ways or not.
  • They chose to listen to doubters rather than believers. When the people rejected the counsel of the two men who believed God would empower them to defeat their enemies, but instead listened to the spies who doubted Him, they made a disastrous decision. That’s why we should be careful about taking advice from those who don’t believe in the Lord’s power and promises in Scripture.
  • They left God out of the decision process. Even though Joshua and Caleb encouraged them to believe that the Lord could bring them into the land, the people didn’t even consider Him in their reasoning. We are often guilty of the same thing. Instead of seeking God’s will in the matter, we rely on information, opinions, and our own reasoning. Like the Israelites, we have the promise of His presence, power, and provision to enable us to accomplish whatever He calls us to do if we will only trust and obey Him.
  • They allowed negative reports to overshadow God’s promises. After hearing about all the obstacles that awaited them in the Promised Land, they didn’t remember all that God had done for them in the past. After being supernaturally rescued from Egypt and given divine provision in the wilderness, they had no legitimate reason for doubting that the Lord could bring them into the land. But they listened to men, not the Lord.
  • They forgot God’s previous promises and work in their lives. Instead of realizing that the Lord had brought them this far and would take them into the land, they wanted a new leader to take them back to Egypt. They refused to believe the Lord’s promise and trust Him to overcome their enemies. Any time we leave God out of the equation, we’re going to make foolish choices.

"God fulfills every promise he makes! If you leave God out of your decisions, you'll make foolish decisions." - Charles Stanley

Avoiding a Courage Collapse

Meditate on the Word of God: 

Meditation on God’s Word keeps us in line with His will. This includes reading the Scripture each day, talking to God, and bringing Him every issue that concerns us. The promises we need to strengthen our obedience are found in His Word. Scripture has the power to change our minds and attitudes from fear and uncertainty to confident courage. And it also reminds us that we are never alone if Jesus is our Savior. His Spirit lives within us, giving us guidance to know what to do and the power to accomplish it. When we trust the Lord and believe His promises, we have nothing to fear as we courageously move forward in obedience.

Just take the blessings God has for you! Don't doubt His voice!

Daily Devotion God's Pathway to Success!

Bible in One Year: Exodus 19-21