Friday, January 30, 2009

And Lead Us Not Into Temptation. . .

But Deliver Us From The Evil One.

As we walk through this world, we want to please God by staying away from things that ensnare us. Some of these issues are small and personal. Others seem to be huge and private, between us and someone else. Then, there can be those stressors that seem to hang on to all of usthe public stories that seem to draw us in.

Temptations come in many forms and disguises. They all come to us from the enemy by way of our fallen world. How can we stay away from temptation? We need to follow God as closely as we can, asking Him to guide us in all we do.

One of the ways to stay away from these entrapping situations is through Bible study. When we do this we find out what God says about issues that affect our lives. Bible study can be done by ourselves or in a group. It can be done on a daily basis, as a part of our devotions, Or it can be done in a group every week or every other week.

Another way we can stay a way from temptation is through prayer. God will answer our prayers if we practice what He tells us in His Word. He tells us to pray and to seek His wisdom. He gives us discernment that guides us away from the temptation and closer to Him.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Forgive Us Our Trespasses As We Forgive Those Who

Sometimes even the most obedient child of God transgresses the Father’s Law. When we ask Him to pardon us, He does. What we also need to do is forgive those who have done something to hurt us.

The book of Matthew has Jesus telling the disciples, “If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14-15)

Forgiving another person is hard. But we have to do it in order to progress in our lives. Not forgiving someone who has hurt us allows that person to have control over our lives. We can become caught up remembering the hurtful action and stagnate in our personal growth. We don’t do what we did before the incident. We may lose out on some good experiences because we remember what that person said and how much it hurt. We find ourselves acting very carefully around others because we don’t want that one person to know they hurt us. We don’t share the event with others because we know they are friends with you and this one that hurt you. They might believe that person did nothing wrong; then you’d have issues with at least two people.

But, Jesus tells us to also forgive the ones who hurt us as we ask God to forgive us. God’s followers don’t view this as an option but as a command.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Give Us Today Our Daily Bread. . .

Bread, often called the staff of life, is thought of as the basic food for most of humankind. Along with the other basic needs of clothing and shelter, food consumes a lot of our income.

In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus speaks of daily bread. If bread is basic to our food requirements, why does our Lord ask the Father for daily bread? Might he be asking for what we need for each day?

As God’s children, we strive to live one day at a time. We call it living by faith. We have meetings scheduled that we have to re-schedule or cancel because of sickness or because of the winter storms that seem to keep coming through.

We stay home from midweek worship because a neighbor, when he gets home from work, will be calling the authorities about an incident the night before. We and our spouses believe they will want to talk to us, if for no other reason than to confirm the story. We don’t feel upset about the change in plans because God is giving us an opportunity to help someone we know who needs it. We could even be a part of keeping that neighbor and others along our street safe.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...