Tag Archives: obedience

Throwback Thursday: 4 Essentials for the Christian Life


But you beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. –Jude 20-21


Jude gave these commands to help his readers as they contend for the faith. They make great building blocks for any Christian. They will not make the sorrow or pain of persecution and tribulation any less, but they will give you a firm foundation.

First, build up your faith. Good, deep, daily Bible study is essential. Sound preaching and teaching are not enough by themselves. You must spend time digging into the Bible and applying it to your life.

What does it mean to pray in the Holy Spirit? It is the same thing as praying in the name of Jesus. That does not mean tagging His name at the end of your prayers. Pray according to God’s will. We know that it is God’s will for people to live holy, but there are many times when we don’t know the will of God. That is when we pray as Jesus did by submitting to the Father’s will, not our own. In this process, don’t forget to believe for miracles. We are commanded to do both.

God will never cease to love us, but we show our love for Him by obedience. In John 15:10, Jesus said, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love,” Obedience keeps you right in the middle of God’s blessings. Disobedience puts you in the place of His chastisement.

The final building block in Christian living is hope. Christians should live in the hope of the second coming. This is a purifying hope and it should cause Christians to witness to the unsaved. The greatest mercy we will receive is eternal life.

Build a good foundation that will withstand the storms of life. Deep Bible study, praying according to the will of God, obedience and hope are good Christian principles.


Copyright 2013 Carolyn Dale Newell.


Incense Rising Online Study 8

How long have you prayed for that loved one? Perhaps a child, a spouse, or a parent? The request may be for salvation or healing. How many requests have you stopped praying about? You didn’t intend to drop them from your prayer list, but for one reason, or no reason, that supplication is overlooked.

Sometimes we pray about the same thing for years, even decades. Many times, the prayer may not be answered within our lifetime.

Jesus wants us to continue bringing the same names and needs to Him. Let’s look at Luke chapter 18.

When I read the parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:2-6), I picture Granny from “The Beverly Hillbillies”. She is a spitfire, and this evil judge who does not fear God, nor regard man, has ignored her request. Someone did Granny wrong, and she wants justice. When the judge who probably can be bought, does nothing, she returns. Wagging her skinny finger in his face, she demands justice once again. She is poor and cannot bribe him, but the judge doesn’t have time for Granny. He has corrupt politicians to blackmail, so he gives her the justice she sought.

The point? If an evil judge bestows sweet Granny’s request, think what more your loving heavenly Father will do.

Jesus says that “men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1).

Don’t lose heart! Don’t become discouraged! Don’t give up!

How do you feel when you continue praying without results?

What does it look like when you “lose heart”?

Then Jesus asks his disciples an odd question:

Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)

When we cease praying, it is likely we have lost faith. Faith is synonymous with trust. Sometimes we quit asking for something because the situation has changed. Many times, we give up, lose heart.

Jesus asked this question over 2017 years ago, Is there less faith now? Is there more? Where would you fall?

Jot down Luke 18:1 on some post-it notes and place them where you will see them. I am not telling you to keep praying. Jesus is telling you to keep praying.

The next parable in Luke 18 revolves around two men praying. One is a tax collector, a deceitful character. The other is a Pharisee. He believes he has no sin. His works buy him a spot in heaven, or so he thinks.

Of the two men, which one was more righteous? Why?

We need to understand righteousness because James 5:16 says:

The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Who is a righteous man?

God sees the righteousness of Christ when He sees those who have been born again. This is called positional righteousness. Practical righteousness is when the lifestyle of a Christian is obedient to God. In other words, we cannot have habitual sin in our life and expect our prayers to be heard, much less answered. Obedience begins in the heart. Sins of attitude are still sin. What sins do you think the average believer struggles with most?

Over the next few days, ask God to search your heart, revealing all sin and cleansing you from it.

Heavenly Father, strengthen our faith. Rid us of discouragement. Cause us to be obedient, bringing You much deserved glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.