Tag Archives: Prayer

Life More Abundant

“So Jesus said again, ‘I am telling you the truth; I am the gate for the sheep. All others who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Those who come in by me will be save; they will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy, I have come in order that you might have life — life in all its fullness.

‘I am the good shepherd, who is willing to die for the sheep. When the hired man, who is not a shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees a wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and runs away; so the wolf snatches the sheep and scatters them. The hired man runs away because he is only a hired man and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd. As the Father knows me and I know the Father, in the same way I know my sheep and they know me. And I am willing to die for them. There are other sheep which belong to me that are not in this sheep pen. I must bring them, too; they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock with one shepherd.’ ” -John 10:7-16 (GNT)

I know this is a late post, but I felt it was still important to write. Over the Ten Days of Prayer, we have been discussing what it means to have Christ abide in us, why it’s important, and how it takes place. Today’s verse culminates and pulls together all we’ve learned into one simple idea of abiding in Christ: to become one flock with one shepherd.

To have a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose, given and directed by God, is to a have a life abundant and full. It is what we are all called to learn more of and do and live. May the Holy Spirit work in us as the Lord wills.

Do any of you have any testimonies of how God has worked in your lives? It could be from the time of the Ten Days of Prayer or otherwise. Remember that shared testimonies can often uplift and encourage a believer struggling with their faith.

Remember to continue praying for yourself and for others. Incorporate singing songs of God’s goodness, mercy, and love throughout your daily walk. Make plans for the future as you seek more and more to abide in Christ and have Him work in your life. Do you feel like you’re being led to a special outreach or ministry in your church or community? Let God lead, let God work – and be amazed at the abundant life He has prepared for you.

In all things, may we always give Him praise.

 

May you be blessed!

-Wandering Minstrelette

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Christ Reflected in the Church

“I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” John 17:23, KJV

After the family, the next most obvious place where Christ should be reflected is in the church.

“Well, duh,” you might be thinking, but when we sit down and look back at all the interactions with our fellow congregants, who are the true church, could we say that we have reflected Christ to them?

When the water started leaking into the children’s Sabbath School classrooms, when there’s a dispute with the church board on how to distribute funds to the various ministries, when there’s a disagreement in how the church social should be handled – do we always remember to reflect Christ?

Of course, the answer is: no. There are times when attitudes or situations get the best of us and we allow our worldly, sinful self to come through and treat our brothers and sisters in Christ quite poorly.

I just read an article last night in Visitor Magazine, a Seventh-day Adventist publication, about the rise in litigation among church going folks. The article begins:

“We are living in very litigious times. Born again Christians today in the United States file 4-8 million lawsuits every year, often against other Christians, spending $20-40 billion. There are approximately 19,000 church-scarring conflicts in the U.S. each year (an average of 50 per day). Even if Christians sue at only half the rate of non-Christians, the number of lawsuits would be 4 million, reports Ken Sande, founder of Peacemakers Ministries, in his article “The High Cost of Conflict Among Christians” (Feb. 15, 2015, peacemaker.net project).”

It goes on to say that “Critics of court-based litigation efforts today contend that the only winners are the attorneys.” There must be ways, Biblical ways, to settle disputes from the church within the church – and indeed there are. I would encourage everyone to read the above mentioned article for more information.

But I would like to say this: In the true practice of medicine, the concept is to prevent disease and illness before it starts rather than merely handling the symptoms and effects once its arrived. Of course there will be disputes and disagreements in church bodies, because they are filled with different kinds of people with different kinds of opinions and above all – we are all sinful.

If we were to remember to put Christ first in everything, most especially our disputes, then His image will be reflected not only to the members within the church, but in the outer community as well.

May we always seek to keep Christ before, beholding Him that He may shape and mold our characters. When we experience difficult, challenging, and aggravating situations, may we seek His counsel and guidance above all that we will maintain and cultivate the image of His body in our church.

Here’s a rather long, but completely relevant quote from Ellen White in her book That I May Know Him, p. 153:

“There is nothing that can so weaken the influence of the church as the lack of love…The people of the world are looking to us to see what our faith is doing for our characters and lives. They are watching to see if it is having a sanctifying effect on our hearts, if we are becoming changed into the likeness of Christ. They are ready to discover every defect in our lives, every inconsistency in our actions Let us give them no occasion to reproach our faith.

“It is no the opposition of the world that will most endanger us; it is the evil cherished right in our midst that works our most grievous disaster. It is the unconsecrated lives of halfhearted professors that retard the work of the truth and bring darkness upon the church of God.

“There is no surer way of weakening ourselves in spiritual things than to be envious, suspicious of one another, full of faultfinding and evil surmising…

“When you are associated together, be guarded in your words…. If the love of the truth is in your heart you will talk of the truth. You will talk of the blessed hope that you have in Jesus. If you have love in your heart you will seek to establish and build up your brother in the most holy faith. If a word is dropped that is detrimental to the character of your friend or brother, do not encourage this evil speaking. It is the work of the enemy. Kindly remind the speaker that the Word of God forbids that kind of conversation. We are to empty the heart of everything that defiles the soul temple, that Christ may dwell within. Our Redeemer has told us how we may reveal Him to the world. If we cherish His spirit, if we manifest His love to others, if we guard one another’s interests, if we are kind, patient, forbearing, the world will have an evidence by the fruits we bear that we are the children of God. It is the unity of the church that enables it to exert a conscious influence upon unbelievers and worldlings.”

Prayer Suggestions:

Praise God that He is joy, peace, patience, and so much more.

Praise God that He has called His remnant church to be a light to the world.

Praise God that He will finish the work He has started in the church.

Ask God to show you the sins that you need to confess privately. Claim His victory overs those sins.

Ask God for forgiveness for times when you allowed envy, suspicion, or faultfinding toward your brothers in your heart. Pray for a new heart, filled with love and compassion.

Thank God that He forgives you according to 1 John 1:9.

Ask God to prepare your heart to receive the Holy Spirit.

Pray for your family to be united and that peace and love would rule our churches.

Ask God to purify the church so visitors will sense the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Pray that church leaders will work in love, compassion, and unity to finish the work Christ gave us to do.

Pray for the worldwide unity of every congregation and church entity, based on respect for God’s Word, humble prayer, the Holy Spirit’s power, respect for accepted church policy/process, and full engagement in the mission of the church.

Pray for humility in our lives so we will be united in our submission to God’s leading and the process of the church.

Pray that we will devote more of our time to eternal values through Bible study and prayer, allowing God to fully direct His people according to His will and not our will. This will help keep us close to God and allow the power of the Holy Spirit to reverse trends of worldliness that threaten God’s church in our daily lives.

Pray for the protection of our young people and all of us from every increasing worldly influences. Pray that we will focus on the Word of God and service to others. Pray that the local churches will sponsor young people in mission outreach and service opportunities.

Pray for any personal needs you have.

Thank God for what He has done in His church and will do through the church.

Thank God that He is willing to cleanse, purify, and lead the church.

Thank God that Jesus prayed for the church that we might be one.

Thank God that He is working in on the hearts of the people you are praying for.

 

May you be blessed!

-Wandering Minstrelette

Christ Reflected in the Family

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”  1 John 4:7

In order for Christ to be present with you as you walk the streets and interact with friends, neighbors, co-workers, and the acquaintance/stranger, in order for you to truly be a witness to all others around you, Christ has to be present in your home.

It makes sense, right? That what we do in our intimate settings will affect what we do in our public settings. Faith is something that must develop and grow at home before it can exercised in the community. If nowhere else, it should be obvious by how we interact with our immediate family that Christ is abiding in us and we in Him.

Yet, so often we find that even with those whom we consider to be great spiritual role models struggle in having a Christ-like manner with those closest to them. Children, parents, spouses… They see the best and the worst in us and for whatever reason often take the brunt of the negative sides of our characters. But if we’re truly seeing to abide in Christ, wouldn’t that mean He would change how we interact with those whom we say we love most?

I’m not saying that circumstances necessarily change. Your spouse might still be obnoxious, your parents clingy, and your children untameable, but when we welcome Christ to live in our hearts and teach us how to love, our attitudes towards these individuals will change. Your changed behavior and new ways of expressing love to them might also change their behavior towards you. With this practice and discipline in the home, imagine how it would then be to encounter a difficult person outside the home. You would know better, or at least have an idea, of how to address the situation.

My home life isn’t perfect, but by the grace of God I pray that Christ will continue to shape and mold me that I might be a better reflection of Him and His love to my family. May that be your prayer tonight as well.

“If you have high aims, and purpose to reach an elevated standard, the home life is the very best discipline you can have. If you are wrong at home, you will be wrong in every aim and endeavor. Begin there to perfect a character that God will approve, that will make you a blessing at home; and when away from home, you will not fail to be a blessing to those you are brought in contact with. Religion practiced in the home will reflect beyond the home circle.” EGW, The Youth’s Instructor, April 21, 1886, par. 7.

Prayer Suggestions:

Praise God for who He is.

Praise God that He is the Father of the human family on earth.

Praise God that He wants the human family to reflect His beauty and character.

Ask God to show you which sins to confess privately. Claim His victory over those sins.

Ask God for forgiveness for times that you did not reflect God in your family.

Thank God that He forgives you according to 1 John 1:9.

Ask God to fill your heart with the Holy Spirit and make you a living example to your family.

Ask God that each member of your family be drawn closer to Christ.

Ask God to protect Christian families from the attacks of the devil, including the families of your local church. Ask God for healing where this is needed.

Pray that church leaders and their families will reflect Christ to the world.

Pray for parents to reflect Christ to their children and raise them for the Kingdom.

Pray that God will give a full understanding of Christ’s method (comprehensive health ministry), allowing all church members to meet people’s needs and follow Christ’s pattern of service to others.

Beseech the Lord on behalf of Christian families, that they may be models of how Christ can bring peace and love into homes, removing any abuse and stress through the sanctifying power of Christ’s righteousness and pointing to Christ’s soon return and the ultimate joining of God’s eternal family in heaven.

Pray for any personal needs you have.

Thank God that He is working on your family members’ hearts.

Thank God that He is willing to cleanse, purify, and abide in you and your family.

Thank God that Jesus gave us an example of how to honor our parents and love our siblings.

 

May you be blessed!

-Wandering Minstrelette

A Life That Blesses Others

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38

I want to live a life that blesses other people, in all aspects of life. I desire to see with the eyes of God that I can perceive the needs of those around me. I desire to hear with the ears of God, allowing myself to be the support and the encouragement to lift someone up. I desire to work with the hands of God that reaches out to those in need and provides the food, the clothing, the shelter that is necessary for their survival and betterment. I desire to embrace with the arms of God to comfort those who are suffering. I desire to walk with the feet of God, that my path will always be directed by the Holy Spirit and that I will always be willing to walk and spend time with others that they might come to know their value. I desire to speak with the voice of God, and lead every conversation to Christ that those whom I interact with might choose Him as Lord and Savior.

My greatest desire is to be used by the Lord for His great and wonderful purposes and to be a blessing to all whom I interact with. I might be the only Bible someone will ever read. May God work with me, mold me, that I can be best used to His glory. And may He do the same with you.

“Everyone in whose heart Christ abides, everyone who will show forth His love to the world, is a worker together with God for the blessing of humanity. As he receives from the Savior grace to impart to others, from his whole being flows forth the tide of spiritual life.” EGW, The Acts of the Apostles, 13.

Prayer Suggestions:

Praise God that He is an eternal God, a patient and loving God, He is our strength (Ps. 27:1), and He is our resting place (Jer. 50:6).

Praise God that He is willing to use us to bless others, even though we have flaws and make mistakes.

Praise God that it is not we ourselves but Christ living in us that touches and blesses lives.

Ask God to show you which sins to confess openly and which to confess privately. Claim His victory over those sins.

Ask God for forgiveness for times when your life was not a blessing to others.

Ask God for forgiveness for times when you were more concerned about being successful than serving Him.

Thank God that He forgives you according to 1 John 1:9.

Pray that God will give you faith when the devil tries to discourage you from ministering to others.

Ask God to give you a burden for souls and a love for His lost children.

Pray for an attractive, Christ-like character that will draw people to Jesus.

Pray for every member to feel a burden for soul winning and realize that heaven asks everyone to follow in Christ’s steps by sharing their personal faith with God’s guidance.

Pray for the use of every appropriate social media format to share the three angels’ messages in a creative and fresh manner with the busy people of today.

Pray for increased participation in evangelistic outreach by all church members and institutions as they support the ongoing mission of the church.

Pray for the establishment of thousands of ‘centers of influence’ (churches, health centers, daycare centers, literature centers, community outreach centers, youth centers, vegetarian restaurants, clinics, and many more), especially in large cities around the world, and pray that these centers make a huge difference in people’s lives as they experience God’s truth through Christian service.

Pray for any personal needs you have.

Thank God that He wants to use us and not the angels to be co-laborers with Him to bless others.

Thank God that Jesus set an example for us of how we can be a blessing to others.

Thank God that He is sending the Holy Spirit to work on the hearts of the people you are praying for.

“The humblest and poorest of the disciples of Jesus can be a blessing to others. They may not realize that they are doing any special good, but by their unconscious influence they may start waves of blessing that will widen and deepen, and the blessed results they may never know until the day of final reward. They do not feel or know that they are doing anything great. They are not required to weary themselves with anxiety about success. They have only to go forward quietly, doing faithfully the work that God’s providence assigns, and their life will not be in vain. Their own souls will be growing more and more into the likeness of Christ; they are workers together with God in this life, and are thus fitting for the higher work and the unshadowed joy of the life to come.” EGW, Steps to Christ, 83.

May you be blessed!

-Wandering Minstrelette

 

The Joy of Obedience

“And I will delight myself in Your commandments, which I love.” Ps. 119:47

To have joy in obedience is kind of a foreign concept in today’s society. The word “obey” is often associated with the forced will of someone with a higher status or authority on someone beneath them. Those who “have to” obey can feel slighted or repressed. What joy is there in that?

Obviously, the idea of oppression is not always the case. We all can agree that obeying the law of traffic, that red means stop and green means go, is a good law to obey because, when obeyed, it prevents people from getting hurt or killed. We can agree that a law is good, but that still doesn’t mean that there is joy in complying. We obey traffic laws because of self-preservation, not because we delight in them.

In a world where we are told that we should be free to do, feel, think, and say whatever we want, when we want, and how we want, the idea of obeying a supreme law that dictates how we should act and speak is crazy. Well, we could all agree that killing other people would cross the line. And lying isn’t good either, even though it happens a lot. Even in the “sexually free” society of Western culture, the idea of being cheated on cuts us to the core. So… maybe a law that dictates expected actions and words is not so crazy. Maybe it’s necessary.

But why should we obey them? Just like the traffic laws, people often follow God’s law because it benefits them. It becomes a burden. This was never God’s plan for His creation.

Instead, God wished that we would delight in His law because we would delight in and love Him. When we abide in Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, obeying God’s law will no more seem like a requirement, but a delight. Just as new lovers enjoy in serving one another, we will want to display our love to God through our actions and our obedience to His commandments. We find joy in obedience because we find joy in the Lord.

May we all seek to learn more of God’s law, how it shows His character and infinite love towards us, and may we come to love Him all the more for it that we may know the joy of obedience.

“There is no saving faith in Christ only as it is revealed by obedience. Every human being is under a solemn responsibility to obey God. His present and eternal happiness depends upon his willing obedience to the divine requirements. Man’s will and inclination are to be wholly yielded to God. When this is done, man will co-operate with God, showing, by precept and example, that he has chosen to be, in all his ways, under the control of his Maker. God rejoices when, like Moses, his children choose rather to serve him than to enjoy the pleasures of this world. Could the curtain be rolled back, could men behold the angelic host as they glorify God with songs of gladness and rejoicing, they would realize that obedience ever causes joy, and disobedience, sorrow. God and the angels rejoice over every victory gained by the Christian; but when temptation overcomes the soul, there is sorrow in heaven.” EGW, Review and Herald, Dec. 14, 1897.

Prayer Suggestions:

Praise God for who He is (His character). He is all comfort and the Restorer.

Thank God for Jesus, who showed us what it means to have the joy of obedience.

Than God that there is joy and peace and happiness in obeying Christ.

Ask God to show you which sins you need to confess privately. Claim His victory over those sins.

Pray for forgiveness for time when sadness and gloom marked your Christian walk.

Thank God that He forgives you according to 1 John 1:9.

Are you happy to do what God asks you to do? Pray that God will give you the willingness to obey Him and joy to do whatever He asks.

Pray that the young people in your church will discover the joy of obedience.

Pray that church leaders will gladly do whatever God is asking.

Pray for God’s love to be perfected in His church.

Pray for increased emphasis on the wonderful doctrine of biblical creation — that our earth was created in six literal, consecutive days by the word of the Lord.

Pray for a tremendous increase in spiritual support for Christian young people who attend public campuses. Pray that they become vibrant missionaries who serve others at public universities and colleges worldwide.

Pray for strong cooperation and unity between the church organization and supporting ministries in the evangelistic outreach of our church.

Plead with the Lord to nurture and provide Godly, teachable, and humble church leaders for the future who will exemplify Christ-centered leadership as His church fulfills its heaven-born mandate to the world proclaiming the three angels’ messages with Christ’s righteousness at the core.

Pray that church members and the public will understand the importance of health reform as part of the loud cry restoring humans to the image of God through Christ’s righteousness. Pray that a healthy lifestyle and temperance are accepted by all and that our bodies may be treated as temples of the Holy Spirit, allowing us to more fully receive important impressions from God.

Pray for any personal needs you have.

Thank God that through Christ you can say, “I delight to do thy will” (Ps. 40:8).

Thank God that He has His people in every city who are wistfully looking to heaven!

Thank God that He is raising up Godly, humble, and teachable leaders for the future.

 

May you be blessed!

-Wandering Minstrelette

 

More Than Conquerors

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

There is a big debate that I somehow often get involved in. A few years ago, I sat firmly on one side of the debate and now I realize that I have swung to the complete opposite side.

The debate is about perfection, and whether or not it is achievable on earth. Years ago, I would have told you, “Absolutely not! We are sinful beings and we will never be perfect until we get into heaven.”

But think about that statement… Who is it focusing on? What is it really saying about God and my faith in Him? And if we can agree that Jesus Christ is the perfect example which we are to imitate, and He lived a perfect life here on earth, then… shouldn’t we be able to do the same?

Obviously, we cannot do this in our own strength. If we were able to reach a state of perfection on our own, then there was not reason for Jesus to have come and died for us, and ours would be a salvation by works. Praise be to God that it is not, but rather we have salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Our works are a loving response to that most undeserved grace and mercy, and are necessary to fulfill God’s purposes in our lives. The book of James explains this concept beautifully.

Perfection, like salvation, is something that can only be achieved with the help of the Holy Spirit and by abiding in Christ. Christ says that anything we ask for in His name that is in accordance with His will will be granted to us. If we asked to be made perfect in Christ, perfect like Christ, don’t you think that God would answer this prayer willingly and happily? With the power of the Holy Spirit we can become more like Christ in thought, action, and character; we can leave behind all that used to draw our attention and give our full praise and worship to the only one who deserves it, our Lord and Father in heaven; we can become more than conquerors over those sins which tie us down and separate us from our Heavenly Father.

For nothing is impossible with God.

Yes, reaching a state of perfection is difficult and nearly impossible. But if we choose to submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit and His work, it can be achieved. May we stop getting in the way of the Spirit’s work to improve our lives that we might become greater tools for the gospel ministry.

“Living the life of the Saviour, overcoming every selfish desire, fulfilling bravely and cheerfully our duty to God and to those around us — this makes us more than conquerors. This prepares us to stand before the great white throne free from spot or wrinkle, having washed our robes of character, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” EGW, Reflecting Christ, 37.

Prayer Suggestions:

Praise God for who He is. Praise Him for His faithfulness and that He is a refuge.

Praise God that all you have to do is abide in Christ if you want to have victory over sin.

Praise God that Jesus obtained the victory over sin at the cross.

Ask God to show you the sins you need to confess openly and the ones you need to confess privately. Claim His victory over those sins.

Have there been times when you did not feel that you wanted to conquer sin? Ask God for forgiveness. Ask Him to put in your heart the desire to overcome sin.

Ask God for forgiveness that we, as a church, have still not overcome sin.

Thank God that He forgives you according to 1 John 1:9.

Pray that God will give you the desire to overcome sin.

Pray for family members and friends who also need to gain victory over sin.

Pray for those areas in your life where you still need to gain victory over sin. Ask Him to give you complete victory.

Ask God to help you believe that He can give you complete victory over sin.

Do you still cherish any idols in your life? Bring them before God and ask Him to put hatred in your heart for those things.

Pray that church leaders will let God give them victory over sin.

Pray that God will make you humble so you can see your weaknesses and ask for power to overcome them.

Pray for the comprehensive evangelistic plans and outreach activities all over the world.

Pray that God will continue to lead His church and give its members victory over sin.

Pray for any personal needs you have (Proverbs 3:5, 6).

Thank God that He is willing to give you His righteousness.

Thank God that He is the One “which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).

Thank God for Jesus’s sinless life and that He showed us how we can be overcomers.

Thank God that He is answering the prayers you prayed according to His will.

 

May you be blessed!

-Wandering Minstrelette

 

Abiding in Christ

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:4, 5

This blog post should have been written yesterday, I apologize for the delay.

Let’s continue thinking about the idea of being grafted into Christ. In the last blog post we saw pictures of the process involved with grafting a branch into host trunk. There was cutting, taping, and binding involved in order to give the branch every possible opportunity to cleave to its new host.

Even so, there is the possibility that the host plant, known as the rootstock (look, I did some homework!), can reject the scion (the branch or bud being grafted). Rejection occurs when the two plants are not closely related enough, so the scion is unable to meld with the host and dies or needs to be removed. This allows the rootstock to freely grow in it’s place.

How does this relate to our spiritual walk? We, as grafted branches into the true vine of Christ, must allow ourselves to cleave to Him and become one with Him that we might be able to produce fruit. What about the part regarding rejection?

Careful study of the word of God helps the reader clearly understand that rejection and separation comes from us, not from our Creator. In this, the above example is not a perfect representation. However, it is clear that one who refuses to become like Christ, to relate to Him and allow oneself to abide in Him, chooses instead to live apart from Christ. If the branch is not closely related enough to the vine, it will die.

Now, we are all sinful beings. We were all born into a world of sin and it is only by the grace of God that we can have sin removed from us, molding us ever more into the perfect image of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If we choose to abide in Christ and allow our characters to be chiseled and shaped into His perfect character, than we will be branches related closely enough to the vine that we will be accepted and improved upon. Our inner being seeks to become more like Christ as we continue to stay connected to and behold Him throughout each moment of our lives. And together with Christ, we will be able to produce wonders and fruit for the glory of God.

Father, make me an acceptable branch today that I might be grafted into and accepted by the True Vine in order to produce the fruits that will bring You glory, honor, and praise.

“All who receive Christ by faith become one with Him. The branches are not tied to the vine; they are not joined to it by any mechanical process of artificial fastening. They are united to the vine, so as to become part of it. They are nourished by the roots of the vine. So those who receive Christ by faith become one with Him in principle and action. They are united to Him, and the life they live is the life of the Son of God. They derive their life from Him who is life.”
EGW, In Heavenly Places, 56.

Prayer Suggestions:

Praise God for who He is.

Praise God that all you have to do is abide in Christ in order to have victory over sin.

Praise God for the ways He is teaching you to abide in Him.

Ask God to show you if you’re holding back from surrendering anything from Him. Confess this privately to Him. Claim His victory over those sins.

Ask God to forgive you for times when you tried to do things in your own strength.

Thank God that He forgives you according to 1 John 1:9.

Pray that God will help you to better understand your need to abide in Him and give you the desire to do so. Pray also that family and friends will abide in Him. And pray that God will teach you how to abide in Him (John 15:4).

Pray that church leaders will be filled with the Holy Spirit and abide in Christ.

Pray for greater support and interest by all church members and leaders in Christian education.

Pray for increased interest in studying the books of Daniel and Revelation.

Pray that people will understand and proclaim the sanctuary service as a beautiful explanation of the salvation process.

Pray for clear focus on Christ and His work for us during His life on earth, His death on the cross, His resurrection, His current ministry for us in the Most Holy Place in heaven, and His soon second coming.

Pray that we will devote more of our time to eternal values through Bible study and prayer, allowing God to fully direct His people according to His will and not our will. This will help keep us close to God and allow the power of the Holy Spirit to reverse trends of worldliness that threaten God’s church and our daily lives.

Pray for any personal needs you have.

Thank God for the different ways Jesus set us an example of how to abide in God.

Thank God in advance for how He is going to work and answer your prayers.

Thank God that He will teach you how to abide in Him.

Thank Him for sending the Holy Spirit to work on all the prayer requests you have prayed.

 

May you be blessed!

-Wandering Minstrelette

 

 

Christ in Us

“I am crucified in Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

One of the images Christ used to explain the Christian experience that has stuck with me is the idea of His being the True Vine, of which we are the branches (John 15). As Christians, we have to be connected to the source of life in order to produce the fruit we were designed to produce.

I have little to no knowledge of plant husbandry, but from what I understand branches receive their nutrients from the “trunk” of the plant, gathered from the soil and water surrounding the roots. In turn, the leaves on the branches collect solar energy and transform it into food for the plant and when everything combines, they produce fruit.

(Someone, please share more scientific information in you know it)

There are branches in a plant that do not do the work they are supposed to but still take energy from the trunk. A skilled plant husbandman would be able to recognize these branches and removes them so that the overall plant becomes more productive. The husbandman also knows when a branch should be grafted on to a trunk in order to help produce more fruit.

To graft something means to insert or fix something into something else. In order for the grafted object to survive, it has to connect with the life force of the host. Check out these images of how a branch is grafted on to a tree:

 

By being bound to the host branch, the branch can receive that life giving nutrients that the original branches were endowed with and become just as fruitful as any of them.

When we choose to accept Christ in our lives, to allow the Holy Spirit to work on our characters, we are deciding to be grafted into the vine that brings us not only life, but life abundantly.

May we choose to be grafted into that True Vine today.

Why are we so dull of comprehension? Why do we not cling to Jesus, and draw from Him by faith the strength and perfection of His character, as the vine branch draws the sap from the living vine? We are to look to Jesus, and as temptations close us about, climb up step by step in the work of overcoming. Abiding in Christ, we become one with Him. Then we are safe, entirely safe, against all the assaults of Satan. Christ living in the soul is revealed in the character. Man is nothing without Christ. But if Christ lives in us, we shall work the works of God. We shall represent Christ in our life, we shall talk of Christ because we meditate upon Him. We shall grow up into Christ to the full stature of men and women in spiritual understanding.

EGW, Signs of the Times, Oct. 10, 1892.

Prayer Suggestions:

Praise God for who He is (His character). Praise Him that He never changes, for His mercy, for His faithfulness, etc.

Praise God that there is no better place to be than in the middle of His love, being wholly surrendered to Him.

Praise God that He is calling you to abide in Him.

Ask God to show you if there are any sins you need to confess privately. Claim His victory over those sins.

Ask God to forgive you for times when you did not allow Him to live in your heart. Ask Him to live in your heart daily.

Can those around you see that Christ lives in you? Ask God to come into your life and shine through you and that other people will see Him in you.

Pray for family and friends who are not abiding in Christ. Pray that the fruit of the Spirit will be made manifest in their lives.

Pray that God will give you faith to receive the righteousness of Christ as your own.

Can you see traces of selfishness in your life? Surrender those to God and ask Him to make you unselfish.

Pray for a lowly and meek heart that Christ may abide in you.

Pray for an increased sense of urgency and a realization by church leaders and members that we are living at the end of time and that Jesus is coming soon as He indicated three times in Revelation 22.

Pray that we will devote more of our time to eternal values through Bible study and prayer, allowing God to fully direct His people according to His will and not our will. This will help keep us close to God and allow the power of the Holy Spirit to reverse trends of worldliness that threaten God’s church and our daily lives.

Pray for any personal needs you have.

Thank God that the “inward man is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16).

Thank God that He is willing to come and live in your heart.

Thank God that He has sent angels out to answer the prayers you have prayed during these ten days.

 

May you be blessed!

-Wandering Minstrelette

Our Greatest Gift to God: Our Being

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1

Recently I’ve been thinking about how I can better live for the Lord. There are things that have taken place in the past several months, some big and some small, that have made wonder if I am really as “Christian” as I think I am.

I think many, myself included, believe that we have offered ourselves as “living sacrifices” to God, like it says in Romans. We say, “Have Thine way with me, O Lord,” but our actions speak a very different desire.

Have Thine way with me, unless it makes me uncomfortable.

Have Thine way with me, unless it threatens my social standing and opportunities.

Have Thine way with me, unless it means I have to give up a cherished sin.

Have Thine way with me, but within my own parameters.

There was a wealthy young man who approached Jesus asking what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus answered by listing several of the second portion of the Decalogue, to which the young man exclaims, “All these I have kept since my youth.”

“One thing you still lack,” said Jesus. “Go, sell all that you have and give it to the poor. Then come, follow me.”

The young man went away sorrowful, for he had many riches. (Luke 18:18-23)

Was this man’s problem that he was wealthy? No, his problem was where he had placed his heart’s treasures and desires. It was in his riches rather than in the giver of those riches, Christ Jesus. His being had cleaved to who he was socially and economically. He believed that his good works would warrant him entrance into heaven, but he obviously felt something was lacking because he sought out Christ to question him. When he was answered, he was saddened because instead of hearing what he wanted, he was told to let go of everything that he felt made him who he was.

He didn’t understand that Christ could have used his wealth, skills, and influence to further God’s salvation, thereby making him truly rich in the storehouses of heaven. If this young man had dedicated his heart, his being, his life to Christ, how much could have been accomplished for the gospel.

How many of us are this unnamed young man?

To truly be a Christian means a great amount of sacrifice. It means aligning our will with that of our Lord’s and allowing Him to direct us in service to those around us and to the furtherance of His gospel. Only then can we say “Have your way with me Lord,” and truly mean it from the bottom of our hearts.

To truly be a Christian means to be so in tune with the Holy Spirit that we are able to recognize His voice and turn to the left or the right when He beckons us to. Our obsession with self has been released into sublime and perfect submission to our Creator who desires our good.

To truly be a Christian means to offer our lives to Christ for His purposes. He gave His life for our salvation, what less could we give than our lives for His glory?

It may seem impossible, but remember Romans 12 calls it “our reasonable service” because it is accomplished by the “mercies of God.” For nothing is impossible with God.

Will you gift God with your whole being today?

“I see before me today those whom I know God can use if they will put their dependence in Him…. It is an honor to follow the Saviour. And it is by obeying the instructions that He has given that you are to be prepared to meet Him when He comes. If you will ask God to help you to overcome what is un-Christlike in your dispositions, He will prepare you for entrance into heaven, where no sin can enter. Those who daily give the life to Jesus, and who follow on to know Him, will be greatly blessed. Say, Christ gave His life for me, and I must give my life for Him. If you give yourselves wholly to Him, you will be conquerors in the warfare against sin. The Lord Jesus will be your helper, your support, your strength, if you will receive and obey Him.” EGW, The Youth’s Instructor, June 9, 1914)

Prayer Suggestions:

Praise God for who He is: faithful, omniscient, just, and more.

Praise God that He has been waiting so long for you to give Him your whole heart.

Thank God that He does not want just some of you but that He wants you with all talents and shortcomings.

Praise God for the ways He is teaching you to abide in Him.

Ask God to you which sins you need to confess to Him. Claim His victory over those sins.

Ask God for forgiveness if you have not been surrendering your heart to Him daily.

Ask God for forgiveness for times when you used your time, money, and talents for yourself and not for Him and His glory.

Ask God to take away anything that hinders you from surrendering your time, money, strength, abilities, fears, hopes, and will. Tell Him you want to belong wholly to Christ.

Ask that God will help you to pray like Jesus, “Not my will, but Your will be done” (Luke 22:42).

Does anything hinder you from giving Him your whole heart and being? Tell Him about those things. Ask Him to make you willing to surrender them.

Pray for your family members and friends who are not surrendered (fully) to Christ. Ask God to make them willing to surrender their whole being to Him.

Pray that your local pastor and church leaders will give God their whole being.

Pray for the young people of our church to find joy in surrendering their lives to Christ and following Him. Lift them up by name.

Pray for any personal needs you have.

Thank God that He will answer according to His will and in His time.

Thank God that He is willing to take your sinful heart and make it pure and holy.

Thank God that Jesus was willing to live and die, not for Himself but for the One who sent Him.

Thank God for revealing Himself in a special way in your life during these ten days of prayer.

 

May you be blessed!

-Wandering Minstrelette

Our Greatest Need: The Holy Spirit

To all my readers, I apologize for a long absence. I dropped my story in the middle of my travels in Germany and I will wrap that up, but right now I’d rather write on current events.

Hard to believe a whole year has passed by, but it’s time once again for the Ten Days of Prayer, an initiative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to encourage united prayer at all levels of the church that we make corporately seek the will of the Lord and the promised Latter Rain that will precede Christ’s second coming.

Last year the theme was on the Fruits of the Spirit and we looked in depth at Galatians 5:22-23, along with other supporting texts. This year’s theme is a basic but extremely important one: “Abiding in Christ.”

What does it mean to abide in Christ? How does one know when Christ is abiding in us? These questions and more will be explored over the next several days.

Tonight was the first in the series and was titled, “Our Greatest Need: The Holy Spirit.”

The third member of the Godhead is often forgotten and misunderstood, but the true Christian experience can only be gained by interacting with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is a gift from God to us that we might know Him better and be empowered to do that which Christ commissioned us – to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19). And the Spirit is a gift that God desires to give each of us, but we must ask for it. The Lord is not one who will impose Himself upon anyone because of the free will which He has endowed upon us at creation.

Take some time to study the Scriptures about the Holy Spirit. Ask the Lord for the Spirit’s presence and guidance in your life. When the Spirit is welcomed in your heart, you’ll soon begin to learn what it means to abide in Christ.

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Luke 11:13

Prayer Suggestions:

Praise God for who He is, for His love, His wisdom, His holiness, and everything else.

Praise God that He will teach you how to abide in Him.

Praise God that He is more than willing to give you the greatest gift, the Holy Spirit.

Ask God for forgiveness for not appreciating the gift of His Holy Spirit as you should, and ask Him to give you a hunger and thirst for the Holy Spirit.

Ask God to reveal more of His character so that you can know Him.

Is anything hindering the Holy Spirit from coming into your heart? Tell God about those things.

Pray for the unity of the church in truth and Spirit.

Pray for every member to feel a burden for soul winning and realize that heaven asks everyone to follow in Christ’s steps by sharing their personal faith through God’s guidance.

Thank God for the gift of His Holy Spirit!

Thank God for the ways His Spirit has been working in your heart.

Thank God for how He is going to save souls for His kingdom during these ten days.

May you be blessed!

-Wandering Minstrelette