Thursday, November 27, 2014

Gratitude for God's Faithfulness



“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” –1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV

"Without worship, we go about miserable." –A.W. Tozer

“The surest index of your spiritual and emotional well-being is the degree of gratitude in your life.” –John Maxwell

As Quisqueya Christian School's High School Bible Teacher, I often have the opportunity to speak at our chapel services. This was last week's talk on "Gratitude for God's Faithfulness". Here I talk from Luke 7:36-50 and Luke 17: 11-19, a sinful woman anoints Jesus' feet and Jesus' cleansing the ten with leprosy. This talk explores the importance of, and the essential nature of, gratitude, thanksgiving and worship. Gratitude is God's will for our life.

For the Power Point for this talk, click this link here:


For the prayers from this talk, and the study questions for this talk, click this link:


Prayer of Thanksgiving

“Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.”(Book of Common Prayer, p. 101)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Satan Prowling

Statue of the Archangel Michael defeating Satan,

"We only fully grasp the gospel when we understand, as Paul did, that we are the worst sinner we know." –Tim Keller

Scripture:

"And the Lord said, 'Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.'” -Luke 22:31-32

Jesus prayed for Peter when Satan sought to attack him. Jesus prayed that Simon’s faith would not fail. Jesus prayed that sin and evil would not win the day, and when it was all said and done, that Peter would return to Him and strengthen his brothers.

Peter Himself would later write, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8, NIV). Peter understood his sinful self and the presence of evil roaming around seeking to destroy him. Nothing would delight Satan more than to devour us.

It is God’s desire to see our faith remain steady. God desires us to be strengthened so that we might live and strengthen others. We must return to Jesus, stay alert, be sober-minded, and expect God to protect us and to lead us into His way and service.

Reflection Questions:

Does your awareness of your own sinfulness eclipse the sin you see in others?

How does knowing who you are compel you towards the Gospel?

Are there areas of your life where Satan is prowling around?

How do you need to rely on Christ to help your faith to not fail?

In what ways do you need to be alert and sober-minded?

Prayer:

“Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings with your most gracious favor, and further us with your continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in you, we may glorify your holy Name, and finally, by your mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 831)


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