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A Week of Works

“Give thanks to the LORD, because he is good, and his love is eternal” – Psalm 118:1

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Once again, I am purposefully pursuing a way to give thanks and give back this holiday season.

I have been here before.  I have done this a few times.  The problem is that I am persistent.  I have not given up yet.  I am either stubborn or faithful.

I just haven’t figured out which one yet.

I think I will go with faithful.

A Week of Works (download available)

However, this time I have approached things a little differently.  There are all sorts of ways to get the work done.  My goal is to share small and simple ways to give thanks by giving back.  It doesn’t matter if you do it as an individual or as a small group, even a church ministry or family.  I have included ways to support small businesses for Small Business Saturday.  I also have shared ways to extend yourself and your outreach on Black Friday.  It is about sharing the Word.  It is about truly being thankful.

What I am most proud of (if I can say so without boasting or bragging) is that I am involved in the same efforts that I sharing.  I am involved intimately.  I am involved intentionally.  I am involved.

Follow my feed and see how I am giving thanks by giving back.

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Be sure to download the Week of Works PDF

Check out my other e-Books at Sellfy and on Lulu.

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Prayer as Humbling Work

“Prayer is humbling work.” – E.M. Bounds

Prayer has a way of humbling us.

We may or may not recognize it at all times, but prayer can help us put things in perspective time and time again.  As I noted in a previous post, prayer is endless work.  Yet, prayer is truly humbling work.

Prayer Humbles Our Egos

We are admonished by the Bible writers to pray without ceasing and to pray earnestly with expectancy.   Prayer can humble our egos because it forces us to come to grips with our own mortality and God’s mighty ability.  We begin to realize that we are limited while God remains limitless.  We face the fact that we have an ultimate end but God is endless.  We accept that we are powerless in spite of serving God who is powerful.

Our egos are humbled by what prayer can reveal to us.

Prayer Humbles Our Expectations

Our expectations are humbled through prayer.  We learn more about how God works as we see Him at work, answering our prayers without having to answer to us or anyone else.

Prayer may not change the outcome but it will most assuredly change our outlook.  Prayer may not alter our problems but it surely alter our narrow perspectives.

Trust and believe that prayer remains humbling work.

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“Never stop praying.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NLT)
Prayer is endless work.  There are all sorts of ways to look at prayer as a Christian.  One serious reality is that prayer is to be continual.  It is to be ongoing more than occasional.  Christians are to pray always and in all ways.
Pray Always
We have to stay at prayer all of the time no matter what.  We need to stay prayed up day after day, moment by moment.  We cannot simply start and stop regarding prayer.  We are to pray always.
Pray All Ways
I used to hear people start prayer with words and phrases like: “Bow your heads and close your eyes…” or “Let us pray.” Prayer does not require any type of formality or format.   There is no definitive prayer position.  You can stand or kneel, bow or lift up your head.  You can repeat your favorite verse, speak from your heart or simply commune in silence with the Lord.  Prayer is free flowing.

 

All you need to really know and do is pray continually, understanding that prayer is endless work.

Giving God Our All

“God wants our hearts as well as our minds.” – William Wilberforce, Real Christianity

 

God deserves our all.  He doesn’t just want it.  He deserves it.  In fact, God delights in our willingness to obediently follow His commands as well as our willingness to forsake everything else to follow Him.

Jesus said as much in Matthew 22:37, saying for us to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul and mind.  We can hardly accept His offer of salvation without our own form
of sacrifice and submission.  Francis Chan said it plainly in Crazy Love,”Jesus asks for everything.”

 

Giving your all to God is not as easy as it sounds.  There are times when we want to hold on to what we have brought with us.  He dare not release our baggage at the Lord’s altar or drop our burdens at the foot of the cross.  We hold onto what has been having a hold on us for whatever reason or excuse that we conjure up and believe.  We want what God has to offer us through salvation and forgiveness of sins, but we somehow miss out on loving Him with all our heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37).

If God can handle our sins, He surely can handle our troubles.

He is able. . .

He can do more than we can “ask or imagine”( Ephesians 3:20).  He wants us to give it over to Him.  And He is more than able to handle it.

He is accessible. . .

He invites us to His “throne of grace” to receive  both grace and mercy “in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16)

 

He is attentive. . . 

“Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.” – Psalm 4:3 (NIV).  He hears us and He can help us.  He pays attention to our cries and pleas to Him.

Do not neglect what God can do on our behalf.  He offers so much more than just freedom from sin’s grasp.  God gives us so much and only asks for us to trust Him.  Trust God with your worries and all that weighs heavily upon your heart.  Freely approach God with all that has held you back and release it into His hands.

Give God all of you, and then watch what He makes out of you.

“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:5 (NIV)

I Found the Answer

I was weak and weary, I had gone astray, … I found the answer, I learned to pray

I can relate.

I was weak.

I was weary.

I had gone astray.

I was not in the place or position for God to bless me.

I used to say: “Something’s got to change.” That was not the answer.

I needed to change.

The Body: Being Light in Darkness

Changing My Attitude

Lord, I thank you for changing my attitude about my calling, my ministry and my responsibility.  Continue to feed my spirit and cause me to become more and more open and obedient to You.

Changing My Approach

The Lord had to deal with me on an entirely different level.  He had to help me see how I was waiting when I need to be working.  He had to help me to see that I was forcing it, on the verge of faking, and not facing it. (The “it” was my ministry.)

Changing My Answer

I thank God for giving me the answer along with confirmation from all over the map.  My answer led to my acceptance, and then my actions.

During November, Life Path Ministries & Services will push and promote Giving Thanks by Giving Back: A Week of Works.  This will serve as a launch of our Holiday Outreach Service Team (H.O.S.T.) and the Saved2Serve Volunteer Network, both of which have been on the back burner for a few years now.  Stay tuned for more to come regarding this venture.

After all, I found the answer.

To Serve Like the Savior



You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me-John 5:39

Many of us who claim to love Christ have yet to truly live for Christ.  In essence, we cannot live for Christ until we come to learn about Him.  As we learn about Him, we begin to live like Him.  In living like Him, we come into the glorious light of illumination towards living for Him.

To serve like Christ, we must:

  • Examine the Savior (Study Jesus)
  • Exemplify the Savior (Serve Jesus)

Examine the Savior (Study Jesus)

Start with the Scriptures

Jesus Himself said in the Gospel of John that the Scriptures testify about Him.  The truth about Jesus may be learned and understood through a thorough and consistent study of the God’s Holy Word.  It is this type of study that will revolutionize your relationship with the Lord and Savior of our salvation.  Devote yourself to the daily discipline of biblical study and devotional reading.

Read Sound Doctrine and Materials

Max Lucado wrote an epic book on Jesus aptly entitled No Wonder They all Him the Savior.  It is a simple, straightforward style that presents Jesus in plain everyday language.  Such are the works of brilliant and inspiring theologians.  Find the works of E.M. Bounds, Charles Spurgeon, Andrew Murray and A.W. Tozer as well as some other notable of the faith.

Exemplify the Savior (Serve Jesus)

The New Testament teaching is clearly stated in 1 John 2:6.  We are to walk as He walked.  Andrew Murray states it plainly, saying: “As He was, so we are to be.”

Serving Jesus includes serving like Jesus.  He has given us His own earthly example.

Follow his ministry and its message and methods.  Make a clear divide between what the world accepts and what the Lord commands of us.  Live by the latter of the two.

Some additional helpful resources:

The Promise of Prayer

 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you. – 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

Prayer is a promising exercise.  Aside from its ability to help believers release tension and pressure as well as express themselves openly to God directly, prayer comes with a simple promise.

Prayer may not change the outcome.

The promise of prayer is that it can change our own outlook.

Prayer can change our outlook on matters both big and small.  It can actually alter our own perspective on our position within the midst of misery or the precipice of a problem.

“Prayers never die.” – E.M. Bounds

Once we pray, the promise still holds true.  The promise is all about change.

You may not God’s mind or His intention like the prayer of Hezekiah when called out to get his house in order through the prophet Isaiah.  Yet, prayer offers us power to change our walk along this journey of life.  You can make changes in your life due to your prayer life.

Here is how to tap into the ever-changing power and promise of prayer:

  • Put prayer into effect.
  • Take advantage of what God can offers you through prayer.
  • Always stay connected to God through an active and responsive prayer life.

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