A Heavenly Relationship

Devote yourselves to prayer. Colossians 4:2

The Bible places great emphasis on prayer. We read many examples of how important prayer was to Jesus (Luke 5:16). We are taught that prayer should be for God’s benefit and not to gain favor in the eyes of men (Matthew 6:5–6), and that we need not use “many words” in an attempt to impress Him (v. 7). We are even given examples of the words we should use (vv. 9–13).

But why, exactly, is prayer so important to our Lord? Incredibly, it is an expression of His desire to have a relationship with us. Though it is impossible to explain why, our Lord wishes to know us intimately—to have a personal, two-way conversation with each of His children. Though He can read our minds, He wants us to seek Him, to love Him, and to talk with Him daily. The reason is that there is no relationship in eavesdropping!

As a father or mother, you naturally desire a close relationship with your kids. You appreciate hearing about their new discoveries and joys. When they tell you they are afraid, you quickly offer reassurance. Our heavenly Father, who loves us even more than we love our own children, responds to our prayers in the same way. Scripture tells us that “the prayer of the upright pleases him” (Proverbs 15:8). That’s true for you, your spouse, and your kids. Let’s please our loving Lord by seeking Him often in prayer.

Before you say good night…

How is your prayer relationship with the Lord?

How can you encourage each other, and your kids, to pray more often?

Heavenly Father, we are humbled that You would desire a personal relationship with us. We so want to enjoy holy intimacy with You. Help our family draw closer to You through the privilege of prayer. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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The Plan

Prophecy Thread of Week 12

Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary Definition of Truth:
Conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be. The truth of history constitutes its whole value. We rely on the truth of the scriptural prophecies.

ALL PEOPLE BLESSED THROUGH ABRAHAM’S SEED (MESSIAH)

The Lord stated that all the nations would be blessed through the seed of Abram. The initial fulfillment of this comes through Jesus Christ first coming to earth. The complete fulfillment of if will occur when Jesus Christ returns to earth and rules and reigns over all the nations.

PROMISED

THE PROMISE TO ABRAM

1957 BC, 1922 BC (U)

Gen 12:3c …and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

ABRAHAM TESTED TO SACRIFICE ISAAC

1875 BC, 1871 BC (U)

Gen 22:18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

GOD RENEWS COVENANT WITH ISAAC

1837 BC, 1821 BC (U)

Gen 26:4c …and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,

FULFILLED

FAITH OR OBSERVANCE OF THE LAW

60 AD

Gal 3:8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”

WILL BE FULFILLED

ISRAEL A BLESSING TO THE NATIONS

ONE THOUSAND YEAR REIGN

Act 3:25 And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’

Prophecies declared are in blue, prophecies fulfilled are in red, prophecies currently being fulfilled are in green, and prophecies to be fulfilled are in orange. Bold historical context dates are from Jeff Swanson’s The Plan dating system, and dates marked (U) are Archbishop Ussher’s 1658 dating system.
** The date of this prophecy is in its referential context: the verse has been moved to the time frame of its contextual orientation.

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Courage/Risk Taking – Day 10

Today’s reading is drawn from John 2:12-22.

It’s been said that failure is the back door to success. It is, and so is risk. Indeed, Henry Lee (Hank) Allen in the book Men to Men observes that “Many of the most successful people or organizations either failed many times, took several risks, or both—before they achieved.”

Allen defines risk as “having the faith to attempt something new or different even though it might be hard or lead to failure.” He maintains that “risk is not recklessness; recklessness involves little or no forethought … In contrast, those who take risks are aware that they face enormous obstacles to achievement; yet, the rewards seem well worth the effort.”*

Strong leaders boldly take calculated risks. They must do so in order to advance their cause. That’s what Jesus did when he cleared the temple in Jerusalem. When he drove out the money changers and overturned their tables, Jesus ran the risk of enraging those ancient con-artists. He risked antagonizing the religious leaders and being misunderstood by the masses. But Jesus had to take that risk; he couldn’t sit idly by as these corrupt vendors made a mockery of his Father’s house. As the Messiah, he deeply felt his “zeal” for the house of God (v. 17). He had to express that zeal regardless of the risk.

As you cultivate your leadership skills, don’t be afraid to take a calculated risk. And don’t fear failure. Both are back doors to success.

*June and Parker, eds., Men to Men, 33

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