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Living, as we do, in the “Information Age”, it sadly becomes all too clear that obeying the call to abide in Christ is challenging at the very least in part because we are beset by demands on our time, energies, and resources. And let’s face it, not all of the information that bombards us constantly is accurate and reliable anyway… there is a whole lot of “static” attempting to drown out the lovely story of redemption and victory that the Gospel of God paints us in the Bible.

Consider, if you will, that despite how technologically savvy we are, frequent users of the internet are universally acquainted with something called “spam”. Spam, as I am sure you know, is the junk mail of our cybernetic world. Once you get an email address, it’s only a matter a time before it gets onto the lists of all sorts of businesses (some of which are legitimate perhaps, but most are not) making you the unhappy recipient of a plague of annoying emails that promise anything you have ever thought of and many things you haven’t.

You’re also under a constant onslaught of a spiritual sort of spam in the pressures you face to keep up with others’ possessions, their ambitious social schedules, and their expectations on what it means to be successful. All of these things are constantly distorting the very things most deserving of your attention, time, and even passion. The things that are temporary, time and time again, steal the investment of our best from those things that will last forever.

Perhaps you’re aware of another electronic predation, similar in some ways to spam.  It makes a lot of phony promises, highly emotional appeals, or heavy-handed threats in order to provoke you to some sort of action that betrays your personal information (so that a bad guy, who is very likely in some other country, can charge up your credit card or empty your bank account into his or her own coffers). This method, called “phishing”, often even uses the names of legitimate banking or commercial institutions to pull the wool over people’s eyes.  It works.  People fall prey to it every day.

 

Misleading messages in the world today, are “phishing” for your attention, your support, and ultimately your soul.

Misleading messages in the world today, are “phishing” for your attention, your support, and ultimately your soul.

But even more sinister than this electronic phishing (as sinister as it is), and far more deadly, is the spiritual phishing taking place around the world. False teachings and false teachers have for time out of mind deceitfully enticed people away from the truth of Christ.  Even today, pop culture flamboyantly thrusts misleading messages in front of us.  Pseudo theologians and phony philosophers perpetually bombard us with deceits that attempt to substitute themselves for truth only to place us in bondage to either sensual urges or legalistic hatemongering.

Of course, these things aren’t really new but have been slyly perpetuated throughout history, even in the earliest days of the church.  And as early Christian leaders wisely noted, such teachings distort the simple message of receiving God’s grace by faith, the forgiveness of sin and the promise of atonement, as well as the abiding work of the Holy Spirit.

Such misleading messages in the world today, are “phishing” for your attention, your support, and ultimately your soul. “…There will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master Who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep” (2 Peter 2:1-3 ESV).

I grieve somewhat over the fact that many are snared in the confusion wrought by such counterfeits. On the other hand, I smile when I think of the power of the true Gospel of Jesus. Nothing can really stand up against the “good news” of God’s love triumphing over human sin. Nor can anything really resist the reality of God’s truth housed in Jesus’ flesh as He confronted and conquered subtle snares of deceit. And certainly nothing can cover or deny the shining glory of God as revealed in Christ as He conquered the dreadful specter of death.

The peace and joy we celebrate as God’s children comes from our having genuinely placed our hope and faith in Christ Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. They come from knowing that God has bridged a gap that we couldn’t and that death has no power over us.

“…For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…. Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a Man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 20-22 ESV).

Copyright © Thom Mollohan

What wonder and awe is there in the miraculous promise given us in 2 Corinthians 5:17! “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, and the new has come!” We are not only cleansed and forgiven of our sin, but are also transformed in our spiritual essence (see 2 Peter 1:4)! Furthermore, as we are invited to join God as instruments in His hand in transforming the world, there is bestowed upon us divine purpose and meaning!

How awesome is His mercy towards the children of humanity that although we have collectively departed from our Creator, those who trust in Him are given the promise of hope in Christ Jesus! “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His (resurrected) life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have now received reconciliation” (Romans 5:10-11 ESV).

The modern era of politics has been one long saga of division and enmity between Americans. Now that we’ve turned another page and come to the end of yet another chapter (and the start of another), many speak of a desire to somehow see the chasm between the two sides bridged. A truly admirable goal. But while I too hope and pray for such a reconciliation, let us not overlook a far deeper and immeasurably wider gap that separates men and women all over our planet and all through our community from a genuine relationship with God. Nor can we overlook the unthinkable price that the Lord Himself paid in bridging that gap.

“But (God) shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 ESV).

“All this is from God, Who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19 ESV).

We are therefore agents of reconciliation, provided that we ourselves have been reconciled to God through faith in Christ Jesus. Being transformed on the inside (2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 12:2) and united with Him as His presence in us takes root and bears fruit (John 15:5), we boldly lay down our grudges, lest they return to haunt us. We swallow our pride lest it overpowers what loving words our tongues might have spoken. With our own hands we reach out to others though they may have turned their backs on us in the past, before they slip from our reach and restoration is forever lost.

 “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” - 2 Corinthians 5:20

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” – 2 Corinthians 5:20 ESV

We go in the love that moved Jesus Himself to leave Heaven’s glory in the first place (see Philippians 2:6-8) that people like you and me may be set free from sin and self into a loving relationship with God and that we might forever enjoy an eternal fellowship with each other.

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20 ESV).

There is only one thing that can set the stage for peace in the hearts of Americans. It is peace with God and thereby receiving the peace of God’s loving presence within our hearts. Such magnification and exaltation of Christ in the heart of a Believer prepares the way for humility and graciousness to bubble up in our hearts, overcoming the fear, bitterness and resentment of those on whom they’re lavished.

Do you want to conquer an enemy? Love him or her to Christ Jesus. Are you yourself tired of being captive to anger, hurt and resentment? Do you yourself need to be set free and made new? Then turn to Christ. “Working together with Him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.  For he says, ‘In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:1-2 ESV).

 

Copyright © Thom Mollohan

My Portion Forever

Several years ago, I accompanied a friend of mine who frequently led pastor conferences in different parts of the world on one of his trips to western Africa. We co-led conferences over the course of a week in various places and met a great many people, several of whom were deeply hungry for more of God in their lives.

While working for awhile at one pastor training site, my friend and I met a young woman named Halimar. Even though the conference we led was technically for pastors, Halimar wanted very much to attend and listen since what we were teaching largely revolved around the urgency of cultivating one’s relationship with God.

After we had been there a few days, we both noted Halimar’s deep love for the things of God and so we asked the site director about her history. He shared with us that Halimar had come from a wealthy Muslim family in a “Muslim only” part of the city. One night, after a friend of hers had shared with her about Jesus, Halimar chose to receive Jesus as her Lord and Savior.

When her husband heard about what she had done, he literally threw her out of the house (not even allowing her two small daughters to say goodbye). Not knowing what else could be done, Halimar went to her parents’ house. Her parents, particularly her father, were outraged. When her husband came to see if he could talk her out of “being a Christian”, her father met the man outside and, audible through an open window, said to him, “You know that you must now kill her.” “Kill her?” her husband asked. “Yes, you must kill my daughter.” And Halimar’s father let the man enter the house.

Here was a woman who grasped, at least in part, the treasure that relationship with God through Jesus truly is!

Here was a woman who grasped, at least in part, the treasure that relationship with God through Jesus truly is!

Although her husband only shouted at her to reject this “Christian way” and then stormed out without harming her physically, she felt that she was not safe in staying at her parents’ home. She left the next morning to go stay with a Christian friend on the other side of the city.

Over the next several weeks she attempted to return home, but her husband would not speak to her nor allow her to see the children. Weeks became months and, as of our visit, those months amounted to a year and a half. She continued to be denied visits with her children and was not given any form of support for her own material needs.

Nevertheless, during our short stay in her city, she sang joyfully from her heart her praise and thanksgiving for God’s love and goodness. In our brief conversations with her we noted her faithfulness even in the face of such severe rejection. I thought that it seemed rare to find such true devotion and love for God even when there was so much less to lose.

Halimar was now a pauper, having to work very difficult and menial jobs to earn what little she could for food. Though clearly a refined and intelligent lady, she was now an embarrassment for her parents. Though very much in love with her husband and desperately aching to see her children, she was an outcast from her family, utterly rejected by those called her family.

I naturally considered the extent of my own love for Him and wondered how profoundly am I convinced that God is not only the “Supreme Blesser” but is Himself the “Supreme Blessing.” I wondered if I could truly echo Psalm 73:25-26, “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

I appreciated the power in this woman’s genuine devotion to God and sensed that she indeed grasped, at least in part, the treasure that relationship with God through Jesus truly is. Now I wonder if we as Christians in more privileged places in the world are truly grasping it. If so, what joy and peace must be filling our experience!

If we are not grasping it, then let us consider how truly wonderful is God’s love for us. Let us allow Him to wash us in that love, prying from our fingers if necessary those cheap counterfeits and imposters that have promised to bring us joy and peace but have utterly failed. Let us realize only He can grant us true joy and peace.

“The works of His hands are faithful and just; all His precepts are trustworthy; they are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.  He sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name!” (Psalm 111:7-9 ESV).

 

Copyright © Thom Mollohan

Of the many practical privileges that we’ve been given as children of God, prayer is the most profound and yet most simple. It doesn’t take any great physical strength, geographic location, or material asset to avail oneself of prayer. Nor is the activity of prayer reserved for only a special “caste” or class of persons while others are shut out, dependent on others to do their interceding and supplicating for them.

Having said all that, it is good to periodically clear the air on the purpose of prayer. Prayer fundamentally has only one essential activity, that of personally approaching the throne of the Most High. Prayer also has merely one essential qualifier: the one who approaches the throne can only do so through faith in Jesus Christ’s work of atonement (His substitutionary death and His victorious resurrection from the dead).

After all, in our own fallen human nature not one of us can approach the holiness of God without judgment befalling us since a perfectly righteous judge MUST judge sin – even such sins as we might label as “inconsequential”. It is only when we have surrendered ourselves to His forgiveness that we can come to Him unafraid as He completes His work of cleansing by counting to us the righteousness that comes from Christ Jesus’ perfect life and blameless death.

Make no mistake about it. Jesus’ payment of our sins and victory over the power of death pave the way for prayer to become what God has intended it to be from before the beginning of time. Prayer is less about coming to God because you want Him to answer your prayers (whether for healing, success, comfort, or help) than it is about your coming to “meet with” Him. Supplication and even intercession for others are the secondary purposes of prayer, while fellowship between you and your Creator are its ultimate rewards.

Because of the amazing truth of this and the incredible wonder of it, He taught us in Matthew 5:9 to begin our prayers with “Our Father….” How He loves us! How He longs to catch us up into His loving embrace! Heed the secret language of close intimacy between the Father and His Son and how He offers it also to us. “Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. Whoever has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him…. If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:19b-21, 23 ESV).

Prayer must find its roots in the confidence and loving trust that only real fellowship between you and God can provide.

Prayer must find its roots in the confidence and loving trust that only real fellowship between you and God can provide.

Does this really mean that He will “show Himself to us?” Did He really mean that He Himself, accompanied by “our Father”, “will come and make themselves at home with us?” Either He means this, or it is nothing more than sentimentality. Jesus was never interested in simply being sentimental however. He could never do anything less than speak the truth for He Himself was truth then and is still truth today (see John 14:6). He said these things to those who have given their hearts to Him so that they may understand the degree to which He treasures fellowship with them.

It is right and good to come to Him with your needs ready to be lifted up to Him. It is good and even great to approach His throne with the hurts and burdens of others on your heart, offering them up to Him as you intercede. But always remember that prayer must find its roots in the confidence and loving trust that only real fellowship between you and Him can provide. It may be that He chooses to not answer your requests as you have uttered them so that the blessings for which you hunger do not eclipse the One who sends the blessings. Seek to touch His face before you try to move His hand. The heart of a father or mother is moved most deeply by the child who wants more than anything to just sit on his or her lap. So come to the Father’s throne! Come seeking His help! But come mostly because you want to know Him better.

“We… proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us – that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:2b-3 ESV).

 

Copyright © Thom Mollohan

We definitely live in a different age than the one in which I grew up. I won’t say that things are worse, because attaching that sort of interpretation might infer to some that our God has lost control of things and is somehow not as sovereign as He once was (a ridiculous notion).  Of course, I won’t say that things are better either… but times of difficulty and even suffering have a way, by virtue of their fiery trials, of bringing out the pure metal of spiritual gold and silver:  courage, the pursuit of holiness, love, and faith are all qualities that shine most brightly when brought to surface by hard times.

Some things in those “hard times” are of unimaginable proportions. For example, the horrors of ISIS seem to spread, unabated in the Middle East, as the West continues to fail in stopping their advance.  Threats of pandemic Ebola rattle our confidence in Medicine and governmental policies to restrain or contain virulent epidemics.  Terror attacks strike north of our country’s borders reminding us that even a semblance of peace is not much more than a veneer that is easily stripped away.

The Church not only has a right to speak about real life things, but must.

The Church not only has a right to speak about real life things, but must.

In our own country, American cities and towns serve as battlefields of another sort, threatening our tendency to complacency. In Houston, Mayor Annise Parker’s administration subpoenaed, according to Valerie Richardson of The Washington Times, “communications with church members and others that pertain to not only the signature-gathering effort (supporting the overturning of pro-LGBT legislation imposed upon all public entities in the city including churches) but (also) such topics as the mayor, homosexuality and gender identity” (10/22/2014).  Originally, the subpoenas included sermons, but the term was retracted after a firestorm of controversy erupted.

An attack on religious liberty in the United States, although not as obvious a form perhaps as the atrocities orchestrated by ISIS, is nonetheless a form of persecution that requires a response from those who profess the name of Jesus Christ. There are those who claim that the Church is not supposed to take part in political discussions, citing a misguided interpretation of “separation of Church and state” (which was intended to protect faith, not attack it).

I saw an example of this shortly after the well-known Christian speaker John Piper posted on October 14th via social media a viewpoint contrary to Mayor Parker’s perspective on sexuality.  Comments began to follow and one woman posted what some others haphazardly say, “The Church has no business dealing with political topics; only religious ones.”

This sentiment is echoed in Mayor Parker’s statements as relayed in Mike Morris’ story from The Houston Chronicle (10/17/2014).  Mayor Parker says, “We don’t need to intrude on matters of faith to have equal rights in Houston, and it was never the intention of the city of Houston to intrude on any matters of faith or to get between a pastor and their parishioners. We don’t want their sermons, we want the instructions on the petition process. That’s always what we wanted and, again, they knew that’s what we wanted because that’s the subject of the lawsuit.”

That may be the official reason for the city’s demands (especially as Parker seems to be hurriedly backpedaling from a negative backlash), but the facts don’t support the claim. Remember, it wasn’t references to the petition only in sermons and other communications, but also the topics of “the mayor, homosexuality, and gender identity” which were called for in the subpoenas.

But here we are. Is the woman who indignantly claimed that the church ought not to be discussing such “political topics” as homosexuality and gender identity correct?  Well, no.  The glaring problem with her statement is that everything is political given the right context.  And sooner or later everything you hold dear becomes political no matter what religious affiliation you have or personal conviction motivates you.

Racism is a moral topic. Great opponents of racism cite religious convictions against it, but it is also a political matter requiring legislation to combat it.  Immigration has a religious dialogue encircling it.  It is, of course, a political matter as well.  Nazi Germany historically told the church to mind its own business and stay out of politics.  While some did not listen, like Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was executed by the Nazis, many abdicated their roles as conscience of their society, and stood by while the Nazis killed millions of Jews, dissidents, people of “inferior race”, and those who were disabled in some way.

What determines whether or not an issue is political? Apparently, all it takes is some lawmaker somewhere writing legislation about it.  And that, ironically enough, is so broad that religion itself is a political topic.  Christianity is not about some mystical mumbo-jumbo that has nothing to do with real life, but about the spiritual realm interfacing the material one.  If your Christianity is kept separate from your daily life, your business affairs, the way you conduct yourself at home, how you report your taxes, and so on and so on, then “you’re doing it wrong.”

The Church not only has a right to speak about real life things, but must. We are compelled by both the preaching and the role-modeling of Jesus to make tangible differences in the world around us ranging from God’s design for sexuality and marriage to feeding the hungry and helping the poor.  We must deal with standing up for the rights of others when speaking about racism, unborn babies, and victims of persecution in Syria, Iraq, or Nigeria.  Those who push back on the Church’s speaking out are simply looking for a way to silence the opposition.

But we must speak out, not because it’s our political duty or because such issues are political topics, but because they are spiritual ones and our allegiance to Jesus commands it.  When we pray to God, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10), we are confessing that God’s commentary on social issues overrides our personal preferences and we are therefore agents of carrying out His plan.  In other words, how can we not speak out on social issues of the day no matter how political they are?  In some ways, everything is political.  But then again, nothing is.

An American city’s mayor has taken aim. Whether the city’s vendetta to silence the voice of the Church in the matter of sexuality will succeed or not remains to be seen.  But no matter what, God’s people must be a faithful voice, not only about “issues”, but more importantly for the Savior Who came to die for sinners.  Ultimately, it’s the Church’s testimony about Jesus Christ that is the most important call of all.

“But Peter and John answered them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20 ESV).

 Copyright © Thom Mollohan

As much lamenting as is being done concerning the virulence of horrific persecution, tough economic times and perhaps joblessness, the threat of pandemic disease, and the collapse of Biblical morality and ethics, Christians should be reminded that this is a season of opportunity for the people of God to receive a two-part blessing!

Today is definitely an age in which most of us are beyond our ability to negotiate life’s circumstances, whether we have been laid off and cannot now find a new job, we have an illness for which there is no cure and/or very little comfort, or we have broken relationships that we simply can’t fix no matter how much we may desire to do so.  Even our “constitutionally protected right to free speech” is under fire and in jeopardy.

While there may be a few (somewhere) where optimism for both the supposedly inherent goodness of human nature and “good old fashion Yankee ingenuity” may be running high, many folks have already come to the realization that such hope has been misplaced and are realizing that the circumstances that have driven them from the high places of self-sufficiency are forcing them to turn to the One Who alone really has the answers for which they’ve been seeking.

 

While there is indeed much that is challenging and even troubling about today, there are indeed pearls of great value hidden within our circumstances.  Let us not overlook them and miss the treasure that can be ours!

While there is indeed much that is challenging and even troubling about today, there are indeed pearls of great value hidden within our circumstances. Let us not overlook them and miss the treasure that can be ours!

A “desperate” situation is frequently the spiritual crowbar that God uses to pry us out of the temples of self-reliance that we erect for ourselves. Ask yourself the questions, “When am I inclined to stop what I’m doing and really turn to God? What moves my heart to really reach for His throne? When does my spirit cry out to Him in earnest?” Chances are your prayers take on a deeper and more profound quality when you’ve been shaken to your core and all the props upon which you’ve rested have been knocked out from under you.

So let us not be hasty to whine about our predicaments, but instead stop to examine our hearts and ask the questions, “How is God dealing with me through this? How is He using His Word to instruct me? What is He specifically asking of me in the midst of this trial?”

If we are sincere when we as Christians say that God has created us for intimate relationship with Himself, we should then not be surprised to find Him working out our circumstances to bring us to the point of having to choose Him over other things. Will I embrace pleasure over the joy of daily delighting in Him? Will I place power to chart my own course in life above His will for me? Will I choose to value money or other material possessions over the gift of His Son?

If we were honest, we would probably have to admit that we do those very things. And since we have allowed such things to become rivals in our affections for the God Who created us and spent His own Son’s life for us, it should not surprise us that He would permit those things to be taken away.

Can there be pleasure in pain and suffering? No, not unless it drives us to the source of a higher joy, the pleasure of which physical experience pales in comparison.

Are we quick to bow to anyone else’s authority for calling the shots with our destiny, thereby relinquishing the power and right to make our own decisions? No, not unless we see that control of our own lives is illusionary and that there is One Who not only sees into our future but has already mapped out a life of purpose and significance.

Is it easy to choose sacrifice over a life of affluence and the false sense of security that money can give to us? No, it is not, unless one is enlightened to the fact that there are riches in eternity that await those who wholeheartedly follow God that make worldly goods seem like trash.

All in all, there is a sweet victory that belongs to those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ that only begins to become evident to their eyes when the smog of worldly thinking begins to be blown away by His Spirit moving through their circumstances. Sickness, poverty, and oppression, while real enough in our temporal spheres, are only temporary after all.

“Let us press on to know the LORD; His going out is sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth” (Hosea 6:3 ESV).

In addition to teaching us reliance upon the Lord, our hardships and woes are also the arenas in which the glory of God can be seen.

For example, Christians are commanded to love one another. In fact, this is how Jesus said that they would be identifiable to the world as His followers.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35 ESV).

Christians supporting and generously helping each other bear testimony to the abiding presence of the Lord in their midst.

Also, God’s people bring glory to God by upholding His Word. Naturally, defending it as His Word to a world that is hostile to truth is part of this. But inherent in the upholding of His Word is the child of God’s love for reading it, learning it, and applying it in his or her daily living. When the Bible is taken into the heart of a man or woman, he or she is changed and the change is apparent to those around him or her. Their values are revolutionized, their character is transformed, their homes are impacted, and their work is influenced. If we see Christians whose lives make very little difference around them, we are seeing Christians who aren’t taking the Word of God very seriously, evidently not feeling the need to do so.

But many people turn to the Word when times begin to get tough. They’ve begun to realize that they need a wisdom greater than their own to navigate life’s tough choices. They thirst for the comfort of assurances that science and worldly philosophies promised to supply, but couldn’t even begin to address. The fact that our painful circumstances can drive us to search out the promises of God sheds a light of hope for those around us who don’t know where to turn.

And finally, it is true that the prayers of God’s people often begin to be lifted up in earnest only if and when we feel we’ve reached the ends of our ropes. It is through prayer that our spiritual lives can be aligned with the Lord’s Spirit. Genuine prayer is the act of one who has no hope in anyone or anything BUT God and such apparent desperation gets the attention of those around him. But better yet is the fact that in our concentration upon Him in prayer, God delivers. And if what seems to be a fanatical reliance upon God through prayer will get folks’ attention, how much more will those moments when God visibly and miraculously answers those prayers?

I want to be quick to emphasize that God answers prayers in His time and in His way, but He definitely answers prayer. And if as God’s child you allow Him to instruct your mind and heart in His ways through His Word, you will see His hand move in power and in love, giving you a story to tell others about the faithfulness of God.

“Return… to the LORD your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity!… Say to him, ‘Take away all iniquity; accept what is good, and we will pay… the vows of our lips. Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the LORD are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them” (Hosea 14:1, 2b, 9 ESV).

While there is indeed much that is challenging and even troubling about today, there are indeed pearls of great value hidden within our circumstances.  Let us not overlook them and miss the treasure that can be ours!

Copyright © Thom Mollohan

As if a Dove

God's grace and God's love     Gently touched me as if a dove Had lit upon my soul And entered in to make me whole.

God’s grace and God’s love
Gently touched me as if a dove
Had lit upon my soul
And entered in to make me whole.

 Copyright © Thom Mollohan

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