Tag Archives: prayer

Throwback Thursday: 4 Essentials for the Christian Life

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.

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STRAIGHTENING THE CURVES OF LIFE

STRAIGHTENING THE CURVES OF LIFE

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6 NkJV

Do you continually feel your life is taking detours? Do roadblocks halt your journey? Perhaps, you are steering off course.

I cannot walk a straight line. Some blind folks tend to veer. I am a veerer. I can walk on the left side of the street until I reach an intersection. After I cross Fifth Street, I find myself on the right side of the street, instead of the left side, where I wanted to be. Not only did I cross Fifth Street, but I veered over to the opposite side.

This is dangerous because a car could easily hit me.

Now that I walk with Iva, my guide dog, she keeps me on a straight path.

Sometimes in life, we find ourselves in places we did not intend to go. However, God will direct our paths, just like Iva directs me.

There are three prerequisites to this promise. First, we must trust God. We need to firmly believe He has our best in mind (Jer. 29:11). We face life’s trials with confidence in God’s plan for us.

Our trust in the Lord must be complete. Notice the word “all” in our verse. It is a small word with a large meaning. We don’t pick and choose which areas of life we will trust God with. We trust Him in all things, and with all our heart. Our minds say we trust Him, but at times, our hearts tremble. That is not trusting God with all our heart.

Next, don’t lean on our understanding. Again, we don’t give God full reign in some areas of life, but try to handle certain parts on our own. We can never and will never do life better than God.

Acknowledge God. Every matter in life can find a solution in the Bible. God’s Word gives specific directions for marriage and raising children. It instructs us in our finances.

Another way God guides us is through prayer. Start praying about your predicament. Soon, God will speak. You will read a devotional and a Scripture will pop up as you hear the Holy Spirit whisper, “That is for you.”

For a second time, the little word “all” appears. As before, that means we take it all to Him.

Once we stop attempting to fix our problems on our own. When we have complete confidence in God. When we pray and wait for His answer before making a decision. When we do all of that … God will direct our paths.

“Direct our Paths” is “kata” in Greek, and it is translated “to make straight” according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. It also means “guide” in Luke 1:79.

We know God navigates our paths better than we can, but we need to be intentional about it. Our nature leans toward making decisions without first consulting our heavenly Father. It goes against the grain to forbid worry from occupying our thoughts. When we make faith and consulting a habit, we will have the assurance that we are on the right path, the path planned by God.

Lord, we trust You, but we need to trust You in all things. Help us do that. We give You total control of the paths we walk. Help us resist being a back-seat driver to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Proverbs 3.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Memorize todays’ focal verses. Place them in your Bible or around your home as a reminder to hand it all over to God.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.