Archive for February, 2019

Forgiveness

February 17, 2019

two women walking

I am continually amazed at the awesomeness of God!  He often leads me to an article or a blog post that I desperately needed to read.  Well, the following one SHOULD,  (IMHO) BE READ BY EVERY PERSON WHO CALLS THEMSELVES A CHRISTIAN!  Yes!  It is THAT GOOD and helpful!

The link is here: Standing in Grace: Forgiveness. The author has given permission to share the post with anyone, so here I am sharing it at my TalkWisdom blog. Please pass this along to others that may need to read this truth about forgiveness!

In Christ,
Christine

*******

Copy of post:

There’s nothing better than being forgiven – that sense of relief when someone overlooks your hurtful words, or covers the cost of a breakage themselves, or gives you a hug after you’ve been unkind. Forgiveness is like the sun coming out through the clouds after a dark storm. Forgiveness, though, is not just something to be enjoyed. For the Christian, forgiveness is something to be understood, appreciated and expressed. It is a significant biblical doctrine and an essential virtue with real warnings for us if it is absent from our lives. The chances are that this is an area you (and I) can grow in, so read on for more.

The Bible doesn’t give us a textbook definition and explanation of forgiveness. Instead, it teaches about it clearly through various prayers, psalms, historical events and parables. Essentially, forgiveness involves the cancelling of punishment and the expression of kindness. When Joseph forgave his brothers in Genesis he did not pay them back for all the wrongs they did to him (Gen 50:15); instead he provided for them, “reassured them and spoke kindly to them” (Gen 50:21). He cancelled their punishment and showed them (and their children) kindness.

In his prayer at the dedication of the temple, Solomon asked God to forgive the people when they sinned so that he might cancel their punishment and show them kindness in the form of rain, freedom or the restoration of land (1 Kings 8:22-52). The same aspects of the cancellation of punishment and the expression of kindness can be found in other parts of the Bible such as the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-31) or the testimony of Paul in 1 Timothy 1:12-17:

“Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”

It’s important to grasp that forgiveness is costly to the forgiver. Offence and hurt is not simply shrugged off as if it is nothing. The aggrieved father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son gave up his rights, honour and pride to welcome back his son. God the Father gave up his son to secure our redemption and forgiveness of sin (Eph 1:7). Each of us, if facing the question of whether to forgive someone, instinctively feel what we might lose if we do so. Our loss could be things like pride, righteous indignation, relational superiority, or even something too hard to put into words, and thus we hesitate to forgive. There’s no doubt that forgiveness is costly.

That’s probably enough about the basics of forgiveness; let’s get into some points of application gathered under three headings: “We have been forgiven”, “We must forgive others” and “Forgiveness must shape our community”.

We have been forgiven

As Christians, a key part of our identity is that we have been forgiven. Psalm 32:1-2 says:

“Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.”

This blessing is something we know and love as Christians. God has blessed us with “every spiritual blessing” (Eph 1:3) including the forgiveness of sins (Eph 1:7). Using the terms explained above, God has cancelled our punishment and now shows us kindness.

Forgiveness, though, is not a once off event like, say, regeneration. As we continue to sin we continue to ask God for forgiveness. There is a brilliant promise in 1 John 1:8-9:

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us all our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Confession and the receiving of forgiveness is best seen as a regular habit like brushing our teeth or washing our clothes. In fact, in my prayer diary I have a line on my daily page labelled ‘confession’. It’s there on the (safe) assumption that I have sinned in some way in the last 24 hours and should be coming to God about it. But also I should probably grow more in being quick to confess and ask for forgiveness at any hour of the day when I sin (and am aware of it).  So forgiveness is not a once off thing. Forgiveness is something we ask for and receive from God every day of our lives.

A final point under this heading of “We have been forgiven” is that our understanding of our own forgiveness has a direct relationship with our love for Jesus. If we doubt (consciously or subconsciously) whether we have much need of forgiveness our appreciation of Christ’s sacrifice will be small. Correspondingly, our love for Jesus will also be small. There will be little joy in our Christian life and things like Bible reading, giving, and singing in church will feel tiresome.

In contrast, when we grasp God’s forgiveness for us, we will have a great and growing love for Jesus. This is explained powerfully in Luke 7:36-50 in the account of Jesus being anointed by a woman in the home of a Pharisee (a passage worth meditating on deeply). Jesus concludes his rebuke of the Pharisee with these words in verse 47:

“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little”.

The great love of the woman testifies to her appreciation of the forgiveness of her sins. Jesus challenges the Pharisee (and us) about our love for him and our grasp of our own forgiveness. To put it simply, the more we appreciate how much we’ve been forgiven, the more we will love Jesus.

We must forgive others

The second big application is that because of what God has done for us we must forgive others. There’s really no way around this. Although we are saved by God’s grace and mercy and not by our own good works (Titus 3:5) we must forgive others. It may not be easy or quick but God does call us to cancel punishment and show kindness to those who have offended us (not withstanding certain situations such as when it might be unsafe or the offender has died). Forgiveness is not optional for the Christian. In fact, withholding it from others puts our own status as forgiven children in danger.

We see this repeatedly in the teaching of Jesus, for example, in the Lord’s prayer:

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12).

Two verses on, Jesus explains the connection very clearly:

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15).

He speaks about the urgency of forgiveness in reference to our prayer life in Mark 11:25:
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your sins.”
When Peter asked Jesus how many times he had to forgive people (thinking that seven times would likely impress him) Jesus replied with the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant (Matthew 18:21-35). The message is obvious: because of God’s great mercy towards us, we should have mercy towards others (verse 33). If we don’t, we will be judged and punished like the unmerciful servant. Jesus warns us:
“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart” (verse 35).
Being an unforgiving Christian is a terrible state to be in. In fact, “unforgiving” is one of the descriptors of ungodly people in the last days:
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving…” (2 Tim 3:1-3a)

Now again it’s worth stressing that forgiveness of others is not a work that earns for us God’s forgiveness. God’s forgiveness is freely granted, and our forgiveness is nearly always partial, imperfect or ‘a work in progress’. But it does not make sense for us to be selective about forgiveness, i.e. “let it be for me but not others”. Being a Christian is about being a “forgiveness person”. Forgiveness is what we love. Therefore, withholding forgiveness from others puts our own forgiveness at risk.

In practice, how it looks to cancel punishment and show kindness will look different in case to case. It might mean stopping hating the person, not bringing up their fault ever again and no longer criticising them to others. Kindness might mean genuinely praying for their good and speaking gently and warmly with them. Perhaps our pastors can help if we’re not sure.

Now for some of us forgiveness might seem like an impossible task. As we saw before, forgiveness is costly. The world is a dark and evil place and humans have done unspeakable things to each other. So for some of us the cost might feel too great.

Yet the call for us to forgive remains in Scripture. On this point we must remind ourselves that God knows us and our stories better even than we do. We must remind ourselves that despite our suffering, God is a good God and his word (including his teaching on forgiveness) is good and what we need to hear. One of my Bible college lecturers, Mark Baddeley, has written an excellent series of posts on this topic called “Forgiveness and Repentance”.  These are well worth reading, especially in considering more complex issues.*

So forgiveness will not be easy, it might take time – even years, and it might require the help of many people. But the call remains. The next step for you after reading this post might be to talk and pray with someone so that they can help you. But we cannot do nothing. Jesus calls on us to forgive others.

Forgiveness must shape our community

Lastly, forgiveness must shape our community. Forgiveness is not just an individual activity that we pursue alone, it’s something that should be a feature of our whole church community. Our heavenly father is “forgiving and good” (Psalm 86:5) so it’s right that his people should be like him in this way.

When Paul gives a series of instructions to the church in Ephesus he says:

“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Eph 4:32).

And similarly, to the Colossians, he writes:

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Col 3:12-14).

We see from these passages that forgiveness should shape our community. Forgiveness is the opposite of bitterness and is an expression of love. For the church community, forgiveness is a like the oil in a car’s engine – always necessary so that the whole thing keeps moving. If it leaks out everything seizes up and the car breaks down. If it’s kept topped up and fresh the car can go along fine.

This communal feature of forgiveness also has a missional aspect. Our forgiveness (as an expression of love) testifies to the world about our relationship with Jesus. Being a forgiving community makes us stand out in the world. Jesus told his disciples:

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).

Being a forgiving church means that as unbelievers visit us and get to know us they will realise that something special is at work here. They will know that we are disciples of Jesus and sense that something supernatural is going on. For many, this will be a reason to investigate more and find out about Jesus.

Conclusion

We’ve covered a lot in this post about forgiveness! Forgiveness is about cancelling a punishment and showing kindness (at a cost). It is something that we have received from God because of Jesus and his sacrifice. It is something we need to pass on to others and it must shape our community.

This topic may be straightforward for you – perhaps you’ve got a few things to bring to God or you might need a small “course correction” in your Christian life. Or the topic might be very raw and painful. Either way it would be good to pray to God now: giving thanks for his forgiveness and asking for help in forgiving others. Please do speak with your Growth Group leader or pastors for help if this is a particularly tough area for you.

A good place to finish is another great verse from the Bible, this time from Micah:

“Who is a God like you, who pardons sins and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy” (Micah 7:18).

*I can’t find Mark’s posts on the internet right now but I have a copy or you can ask your own pastor.

Hat tip:

Standing In Grace.com

Your Soul Has Great Value

February 15, 2019

There are two really good posts that I wanted to share here today.  The first, from Truth 2 Freedom’s blog is entitled, Why So Many Religions and False Teachers?

There are a lot of false teachings in the world. Paganism, Gnosticism, Buddism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Taoism, Confucionism, Shaminism, even Judaism, Polytheism, Pantheism, Deism, Darwinism, Naturalism, Secular Humanism, Feminism, Agnosticism, Atheism, and Islam…ism.

All these different ways to get to God or be a god or deny God. But Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one gets to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).

Of course, not everything that claims to be of Christ is truly of Christ (Matthew 7:21). Like Catholicism, Mormonism, Unitarian Universalism, Oneness Pentecostalism, Heaven Tourism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Eastern Orthodoxy, Word of Faith, the New Apostolic Reformation, and Rob Bell.

So why all these false religions and teachers? Why would God allow there to be so many, many lies? Two reasons: Testing and judgment.

The Bible says of those who refused to love the truth and so be saved, God “sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in their unrighteousness” or their sin (2 Thessalonian 2:9-12).

InDeuteronomy 13:1-4we are told, “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ you shall not listen to that false prophet. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul.”

When it comes down to it, there are only two religions: you either worship the created or the Creator, when we understand the text.

The second one is Five Reasons Why Your Soul Matters.

When our children were very young, we spoke about the soul like this: “I have a soul. My soul is inside me. I can’t see it, but it lasts forever.”

Jim Packer says that your soul is your “conscious personal self,” the “I” that knows itself as “me.” Your soul is the identity that makes you who you really are. It is the seat of your memory, and your feelings, and your imagination, and your convictions, and your desires, and your affections.

In Mark 8:35-36, Jesus says our soul has great value. Do you know why this is? Here are five reasons why your soul matters more than anything else you have.

1.) Your soul is breathed into you by God.

The LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. (Genesis 2:7)

Grasping this is of huge importance in knowing who you are, and why your life is of such great value. Adam was created in two stages. There were two steps in the process by which God gave him life.

The first was that God, “formed the man of dust from the ground.” God formed a body. It was made from the dust of the ground. Now in this way, the man and the woman were similar to the animals: “Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens” (Genesis 2:19).

There is a second stage in the creation of Adam which shows why we are different from animals:

The LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. (Genesis 2:7)

God breathes life into this corpse, and this makes Adam different from the animals. He is more than a body. Adam is a living soul. This soul is capable of knowing God and enjoying God, and it is capable of sinning against God, something the animals cannot do.

This is at the heart of what God is saying when he says, “You are made in the image of God” (Genesis 1:26-27). God has breathed life into you and that life will never end.

2.) Your soul is the source of all your achievement.

The body apart from the spirit is dead. (James 2:26)

Think about everything that is important in your life, and you will say, “Yes, that came from my soul.” Think about this in relation to the world.

Think about music: The symphony, classic rock—where did these things come from? They came from the soul of the composer who wrote it.

Think about art: The ability to depict beauty came through the hands of the artist, but where did it come from? It came from the soul of the artist.

Then think about sports: You may say, “Surely sports depends on the body.” But James says, “the body without the spirit is dead” (James 2:26). Every great sports achievement has come through relentless commitment, disciplined desire, and the determination of the athlete, which is of course in the soul.

When I meet someone who is super fit, I want to say, “This has come from your soul. All the work you have put into sculpting your body came from a desire in your soul. Without that desire that was in your soul, you would be a couch potato!”

All that you achieve in life, everything that is achieved in the world, will arise from the life of the soul.

3.) Your soul is the cause of all your sin.

Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. (James 1:14)

Where does sin come from? James 1:14 is a very important verse in the Bible because it tells us how temptation works.

Temptation comes to us through the world, the flesh, and the devil. The problem is that, wherever it comes from, it attaches itself to the soul. Our souls are sticky toward sin. Sin attaches itself to our souls.

If this was not the case, then temptation would not be a problem for any of us. If it was pure, then when you saw a house that you couldn’t afford, your soul would say, “I can’t afford that, and I don’t need it,” and you would move on. Because of our sinful desires. When temptation comes, the soul receives it, retains it, welcomes it, embraces it and holds on to it.

The problem is that our souls are not pure. So what happens is that you see something, whatever it is, that someone else has, and you say, “That’s what I want,” and it sticks.

4.) Your soul will last forever.

Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. (Matthew 10:28)

Your life had a beginning, but it does not have an end.

One day you will die and your body will be laid in the ground. But your soul will last forever. So, “Do not fear those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul.” Your soul has an endless life. That’s why it’s so important. It’s immortal. It has a beginning, but it has no end.

I have a soul. It’s inside me. I can’t see it, but it lasts forever.

Some of you are actively trying to decide if you are going to follow Christ, knowing that it’s costly. You need to know what’s at stake. You try to save your life and you lose it. But Jesus says “If you lose your life to me, you will save it.”

5.) Your soul will experience everlasting joy or misery.

The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. (Luke 16:22-23)

Our Lord tells the story of two men who died. One of them was carried to Abraham’s side. Certainly not the poor man’s body. That would have remained on the earth. So what was carried to Abraham’s side? Not the poor man’s body—his soul!

Then we read: “The rich man also died and was buried,” so everyone knew where his grave was. His body was placed in a rich man’s tomb, with words and dates carved into it. What then was in hades? Not the rich man’s body. It was in the tomb. It was the rich man’s soul!

The point here is very simple: Death takes life from the body, but not from the soul. When you die, your soul goes on to one of two places: One is a place of great joy. The other, according to Jesus, is a place of great torment. And there is a great gulf fixed between them (16:26). You can’t get from the one to the other in either direction.

There is a heaven to pursue and a hell to avoid. You have a soul: Your soul can be saved and it can be lost. To lose your soul is the ultimate disaster, because it is the only loss from which you can never recover.

Do you see now why your soul is so valuable?

[This article was adapted from Pastor Colin’s sermon, “Valuing Your Soul,” from his series Soul Care, Part One]

Five Reasons Why Your Soul Matters — Unlocking the Bible

Hat tip: Truth 2 Freedom’s Blog

Hat tips to all links.

Prayer and Steadfast Truth

February 14, 2019

Read the Bible online, easy-to-read format for online Bible study ...

H/T:  sermoncentral(dot)com

I appreciated reading Michele Lesley’s post What is Contemplative Prayer?

One big reason I liked the post is because it led me to a comprehensive link on Contemplative prayer vs. Biblical prayer over at Berean Research.

Another reason, was because some individuals who adhere to other “paths,” so to speak, (like Buddhism) tried to convince me that transcendental meditation isn’t really the “emptying” of the mind (however, it really is) and is a healthy way to live. I can understand someone feeling that way. After all, if it calms the person down and helps him or her not to panic in a crisis situation, it is understandable that they would want to recommend what has worked for them.

However, at the Berean Research article (linked above), we are informed that this “emptying of the mind” is not wise and certainly not biblical!

From the site:

Definition of Contemplative Prayer:  A form of Christian mysticism that allegedly brings about a mystical union with God

The mystical “spirituality” that is so popular in evangelical and charismatic circles today is a yearning for an experiential relationship with God that downplays the role of faith and Scripture and that exalts “transcendental” experiences that lift the individual from the earthly mundane into a higher “spiritual” plane. Biblical prayer is talking with God; mystical spirituality prayer is meditation and “centering” and other such things. Biblical Christianity is a patient walk of faith; mystical spirituality is more a flight of fancy. Biblical study is analyzing and meditating upon the literal truth of the Scripture; mystical spirituality focuses on a “deeper meaning”; it is more allegorical and “transcendental” than literal. — David W. Cloud.

Contemplative prayer (also referred to as centering prayer, breath prayer, meditation or listening prayer) is one of the most esteemed spiritual disciplines taught in spiritual formation. In both practice and purpose, contemplative prayer stands in contrast with what Scripture teaches about prayer. Practitioners believe that one must clear the mind of outside concerns so that God’s voice may more easily be heard and that one may be united with the “divine spark” within.

Advocates of contemplative prayer believe and teach that it is a necessary practice if one desires to become more like Christ. In claiming this, however, they often appeal to the practices of ancient Roman Catholic mystic monks rather than the Word of God.

Therein lies the key within the argument!  “…they often appeal to the practices of ancient Roman Catholic mystic monks rather than the Word of God.”

If you read the entire article, you will see the difference between “contemplative prayer” vs. biblical prayer.

Here are a few important paragraphs (and Bible verse links) about biblical prayer and why Christians should adhere to them:

Biblical Prayer

Prays according to the Scriptures. Micah 7:7Ps. 4:31 John 5:1415

Prays with both spirit and mind, not one or the other. 1 Cor 14:15

Talks to God the Father (Phil. 4:6) through Jesus Christ (John 16:23) in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Understands that what God has revealed in His Word is sufficient; new revelation is unnecessary. 2 Tim. 3:16–17

Biblical Prayer

Understands that prayer is ultimately a form of worship. It should glorify God alone. John 14:1314

Understands that prayer is an act of reverence, approaching the very throne of God to receive mercy and find grace.Heb. 4:16

Acknowledges and humbles oneself before the holy God of the universe. Prayer should affirm God’s sovereignty and majesty. Matt. 6:9

“Everything in prayer revolves around who God is, what God wants, and how God is to be glorified. That is the sum and substance of proper praying. 10

The Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:2–4) offers a model of how Christians ought to pray as it “emphasizes the glory and supremacy of God.”11

Purposes to confess sin and acknowledge our position before God as rebellious sinners (e.g., Dan. 9:5–11;Matt. 6:12): “We are neither worthy of the things for which we pray, nor have we deserved them, but we ask that He would give them all to us by grace, for we daily sin much and surely deserve nothing but punishment.”12

Desires to align and submit our will to God’s. Ps. 86:11Matt. 6:10John 15:7;John 16:231 John 5:14

“While God communicates to us through the Bible, we respond to Him in prayer.”13

Pin by James on Jesus | Prayers, Prayer for family, Prayer quotesHT:  Pinterest

I suggest that every born-again Christian bookmark that Berean Research page!  Lots of additional links that will help you to discern truth vs. error.

These days, there are many churches that are being led by those who choose to go in the direction of contemplative prayer (or even worse – into heresies) which can lead people astray.  It’s sad, but true.

Young Christians (or even older Christians who are sadly biblically illiterate) can be easily led away from the true Gospel of Christ.  The Bible tells us that the closer we get to the end times, the more this will happen.

I suggest reading and studying the book of Jude carefully! It is filled with warnings to believers back when it was written!  It is filled with warnings for all believers throughout the centuries up until this very day!

Jde 1:3
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

Hat tips to all links.

Prayer and Steadfast Truth

February 14, 2019

Read the Bible online, easy-to-read format for online Bible study ...

H/T:  sermoncentral(dot)com

I appreciated reading Michele Lesley’s post What is Contemplative Prayer?

One big reason I liked the post is because it led me to a comprehensive link on Contemplative prayer vs. Biblical prayer over at Berean Research.

Another reason, was because some individuals who adhere to other “paths,” so to speak, (like Buddhism) tried to convince me that transcendental meditation isn’t really the “emptying” of the mind (however, it really is) and is a healthy way to live. I can understand someone feeling that way. After all, if it calms the person down and helps him or her not to panic in a crisis situation, it is understandable that they would want to recommend what has worked for them.

However, at the Berean Research article (linked above), we are informed that this “emptying of the mind” is not wise and certainly not biblical!

From the site:

Definition of Contemplative Prayer:  A form of Christian mysticism that allegedly brings about a mystical union with God

The mystical “spirituality” that is so popular in evangelical and charismatic circles today is a yearning for an experiential relationship with God that downplays the role of faith and Scripture and that exalts “transcendental” experiences that lift the individual from the earthly mundane into a higher “spiritual” plane. Biblical prayer is talking with God; mystical spirituality prayer is meditation and “centering” and other such things. Biblical Christianity is a patient walk of faith; mystical spirituality is more a flight of fancy. Biblical study is analyzing and meditating upon the literal truth of the Scripture; mystical spirituality focuses on a “deeper meaning”; it is more allegorical and “transcendental” than literal. — David W. Cloud.

Contemplative prayer (also referred to as centering prayer, breath prayer, meditation or listening prayer) is one of the most esteemed spiritual disciplines taught in spiritual formation. In both practice and purpose, contemplative prayer stands in contrast with what Scripture teaches about prayer. Practitioners believe that one must clear the mind of outside concerns so that God’s voice may more easily be heard and that one may be united with the “divine spark” within.

Advocates of contemplative prayer believe and teach that it is a necessary practice if one desires to become more like Christ. In claiming this, however, they often appeal to the practices of ancient Roman Catholic mystic monks rather than the Word of God.

Therein lies the key within the argument!  “…they often appeal to the practices of ancient Roman Catholic mystic monks rather than the Word of God.”

If you read the entire article, you will see the difference between “contemplative prayer” vs. biblical prayer.

Here are a few important paragraphs (and Bible verse links) about biblical prayer and why Christians should adhere to them:

Biblical Prayer

Prays according to the Scriptures. Micah 7:7Ps. 4:31 John 5:1415

Prays with both spirit and mind, not one or the other. 1 Cor 14:15

Talks to God the Father (Phil. 4:6) through Jesus Christ (John 16:23) in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Understands that what God has revealed in His Word is sufficient; new revelation is unnecessary. 2 Tim. 3:16–17

Biblical Prayer

Understands that prayer is ultimately a form of worship. It should glorify God alone. John 14:1314

Understands that prayer is an act of reverence, approaching the very throne of God to receive mercy and find grace.Heb. 4:16

Acknowledges and humbles oneself before the holy God of the universe. Prayer should affirm God’s sovereignty and majesty. Matt. 6:9

“Everything in prayer revolves around who God is, what God wants, and how God is to be glorified. That is the sum and substance of proper praying. 10

The Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:2–4) offers a model of how Christians ought to pray as it “emphasizes the glory and supremacy of God.”11

Purposes to confess sin and acknowledge our position before God as rebellious sinners (e.g., Dan. 9:5–11;Matt. 6:12): “We are neither worthy of the things for which we pray, nor have we deserved them, but we ask that He would give them all to us by grace, for we daily sin much and surely deserve nothing but punishment.”12

Desires to align and submit our will to God’s. Ps. 86:11Matt. 6:10John 15:7;John 16:231 John 5:14

“While God communicates to us through the Bible, we respond to Him in prayer.”13

Pin by James on Jesus | Prayers, Prayer for family, Prayer quotesHT:  Pinterest

I suggest that every born-again Christian bookmark that Berean Research page!  Lots of additional links that will help you to discern truth vs. error.

These days, there are many churches that are being led by those who choose to go in the direction of contemplative prayer (or even worse – into heresies) which can lead people astray.  It’s sad, but true.

Young Christians (or even older Christians who are sadly biblically illiterate) can be easily led away from the true Gospel of Christ.  The Bible tells us that the closer we get to the end times, the more this will happen.

I suggest reading and studying the book of Jude carefully! It is filled with warnings to believers back when it was written!  It is filled with warnings for all believers throughout the centuries up until this very day!

Jde 1:3
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

Hat tips to all links.


Talk Wisdom

Talk Wisdom's goal is to defend the tenets and values of Biblical Christian faith. We defend our Constitutional Republic and Charters of Freedom, especially when speaking out against destructive social and political issues. As followers of our Savior and Lord, we should boldly stand up for Jesus Christ in our present circumstances. He is our Savior, Lord, and King, and His love needs to be shed abroad in our hearts and in our world - now.

The Last Refuge

Rag Tag Bunch of Conservative Misfits - Contact Info: TheLastRefuge@reagan.com

Standing in Grace

...this grace in which we now stand. — Rom 5:2

The End Time

Exalting the name of Jesus through Christian essays

Michelle Lesley

Discipleship for Christian Women

The Acceptable Digest

"Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it ..." Song of Solomon 8:7

On the Edge Again

Life happens. I hope to encourage everyone in bad times!

Cooking with Kathy Man

Celebrating delicious and healthy food

WINTERY KNIGHT

...integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Cry and Howl

Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off. I Kings 20:11

pastorwardclinton

Pastor Ward Clinton is a pastor in the Church of The Nazarene and author of a handful of books.

GraceLife Blog

Thoughts About God's Amazing Grace

True Discernment

2 Timothy 4:3-4

Eternity Matters

We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Centinel2012

De Oppresso Liber

The Oil for Your Lamp

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." (Hosea 4:6)

Walter Bright

Refining theological understanding. Sharpening ethical rigor. Heightening devotional intensity.

Kingsjester's Blog

Opinions from a Christian American Conservative

As Seen Through the Eyes of Faith

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17) KJV

Daniel B. Wallace

Executive Director of CSNTM & Senior Research Professor of NT Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary

The Master's Table

God honoring, Christ Centered

Truth2Freedom's Blog

"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" - George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information infotainment tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and partisan activist opinion/commentary reporting - this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

Citizen WElls

Obama eligibility, Obama news

drkatesview

Thoughts on Our Constitutional Republic

We the People of the United States

Fighting the Culture War, One Skirmish at a Time

partneringwitheagles

WHENEVER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE OF THESE ENDS (LIFE,LIBERTY,AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS) IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, AND TO INSTITUTE A NEW GOVERNMENT...

Be Sure You're RIGHT, Then Go Ahead

"Our threat is from the insidious forces working from within which have already so drastically altered the character of our free institutions — those institutions we proudly called the American way of life. " -- Gen. Douglas MacArthur

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.