Sin For Not Praying For Others?

May 14, 2020

Word of the day: 23 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. 1 Samuel 12:23 NIV

Reflect: Mad at somebody? How do you handle it? Take a moment to reflect on this thought. Do you pray for someone you are mad or upset with? Do you pray for someone you disagree with all the time?

Discussion Board: Let’s talk it out. I am currently in a state where I am in disagreement with people right now. It is three people I do not see any common ground. Is there a sin when you don’t pray for others? It seems like it in today’s verse. Samuel’s words in this verse make it look like there is a sin for not praying for others. But here is the truth. God wants us to pray for others that come to our hearts and minds. It is part of our responsibility as God’s people to love and pray for others even when we have disagreements with them. When you pray for a situation, God answers the way he wants to answer them. It may not go our way. But when you pray, your problem will be solved. He prepares you beforehand to get you ready for unexpected things along the way.

How do we know that God wants us to pray for others? Knowledge. It’s about reading and understanding God more. Wisdom comes with it. You will know how to react to different situations. Praying for a person you disagree with allows you to be open and not closed-minded. You are also showing God you are a part of him by doing what he asked.

Takeaway: I have to do better about praying for others that I don’t agree with, and do more about praying for those that come to my mind. What is your takeaway from today’s verse? How do you handle seeing other people you don’t see eye to eye?

Prayer: Lord, thank you for today. I pray for who we can’t agree. I pray for wisdom, love, and repetition to know you more to accomplish this. Talking to people we don’t agree with is hard, let alone praying for them. I pray for our souls to be keen to do things that we can’t do through our flesh. Thank you for our fellowship. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Ugliness

May 13, 2020

Word of the day: 14 And as Moses lifted the serpent in the wilderness, even so, must the Son of Man be raised, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:14-15 NKJV

Reflect: Let’s all learn something today about these two verses. When you don’t trust God, he will give you reasons to believe him.

Discussion Board: In this case, the Israelites were wandering into the desert. God sent a plague of snakes to punish the people for rebellion towards God. They could have died from the snakebite, but the only thing that saves them was believing God could heal them from the snakebite. The obedience that the Israelites displayed here is essential. As we stay obedient to him, remind yourself not to get involved in your plans. Jesus will not go for that. He has unique plans for you. Molding him into your strategies will not fit his plans for you.

Takeaway: How will you allow Jesus in your life today? There is a way for us to show we are faithful to him by our actions. Some people will see the bright light by you following him. How bright will the light shine for you for others?

Prayer: Father, thank you for today. I pray that our light is bright for others to attract them to the light. Our obedience depends on that. You are the only one that can change us in our ways if we open our hearts and invite you in. Otherwise, we will be carrying heavy chains, and at some point, we will give up. Let’s give it to you now. Thank you for our fellowship. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Loving God

May 12, 2020

Word of the day: 38 But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, And did not destroy them. Yes, many a time He turned His anger away, And did not stir up all His wrath; 39 For He remembered that they were but flesh, A breath that passes away and does not come again. Psalm 78:38-39 NKJV

Reflect:

Do you see anything that is true in these two bible verses? One thing I see in verse 38 is how patient he is, full of compassion, regardless of our behavior. Anybody else sees the same thing? We can sin, have other gods before us, have our addictions, yet he is there for us.

Discussion:

There is someone in our life that it takes a lot to anger them. God is no different. He is slow to anger. This type of behavior displays patience, compassion, and love. Our mouths don’t open when things are going right. That is the best time for our mouths to be open when things are beautiful. We thank God for everything. When things are not going so well, take that time to pray. I notice a lot of people are good at protesting. Take the protesting skills that you have, and apply it to God in prayer, shouting amen and praising him. When things are not going so well, he is reshaping your life, teaching you something. Here is something that scares a lot of people, but doesn’t understand the good news of it. The people of Noah’s day were allowed 120 years to change their ways. Anything you needed to shift; God allowed that time to break in 120 years. There is no bargaining for extra time. In those times, 120 years is a long time, but people procrastinated as a result of God’s punishment. We don’t see the stopwatch. But the good news is, why depend on a stopwatch if you can take time to follow him and obey him now instead of waiting until the last minute? See Genesis chapter 6 – 11:32 for the story of Noah.

Takeaway:

Life is too short to determine how many years we will live. Take time with your loved ones. Obey God and fulfill as much as you can for God. When you accomplished all he wants you to do, you will be happier with the result.

Prayer:

Father, thank you for today. Thank you for your continued love and patience for us. We do all sorts of silly things, but you continue to stay patient with us. Continue to allow us to open to you for wisdom and the right way to follow you. Thank you for our fellowship. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

World Worship

May 11, 2020

Word of the day: 3 Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” 1 Samuel 7:3 NKJV

Is this verse speaking to you? There are a lot of foreign Gods ahead in our lives or other things that are interfering with God being number one in our life. It can be money, success, material goods, pride, and anything that is an idol that is taking God’s place. That can include addictions and cars. Samuel is telling everybody in this verse to get rid of these foreign gods. We have an issue, we complain about it, but do not want to change our ways by doing what he requires of us. But some people may not understand the gravity of worshipping other gods. There comes a time where somethings don’t feel right. It is essential to rely on your friends that are spiritual that can walk you through and allow you to understand why you are feeling empty or incomplete. Repentance plays another role in improvement. Remember, Israel got punished for worshipping other gods and not putting God before other things.

Upon further studying, these idols can include thoughts or desires. Having icons can interfere with the sole purpose of God and your family. You can worship a person, but not God. You can do the same with thoughts you wish can happen or pursue your dreams without thinking, but not focus on God. Throw these away and turn to God. Why does God criticize and give punishment for idols? Well, worshipping or idolizing other gods violated the first two commandments. Exodus 20:3, you shall have no other Gods before me. Exodus 20:4, You shall not make any graven image or likeness of anything that is in heaven above, that is in the earth, or that is in water under the earth. God urges us to follow him because we do not know when we will move on from this earth. Stay encouraged to follow him, and don’t let anything interfere with you following God.

As Pastors, we should not let the number of church members, programs running, and the number of buildings be an idol. That is a sign of self-sufficient and less sensitive to the needs of God. The Devil will do anything to make sure to offer you the world and idolize him. As Jesus said, “Away from me, Satan!” The world is here to make sure we worship them. Let God be the person to worship. He has more to offer than Satan and the world.

Father, thank you for today. I pray we can come to you and worship you and not material things that are out there. It is tempting to do that, but you have more for us in permanent pleasure. Temporary pleasure is not enough, and most of us will be depressed. I pray for wisdom and guidance to get all of us to you and not worship other things. Thank you for our fellowship. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

John the Baptist

May 10, 2020

Word of the day: 26 John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. 27 It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.” John 1:26-27 NKJV

In verse 25, the Pharisees asked John what made him have the right to baptize if you are not the Messiah. In the next two verses, which are our verses of the day, he answered by saying he only baptize with water. The Pharisees do not understand who the Messiah is, which John did mention. John is helping in the act of repentance for others, so people know remorse. John didn’t feel he is not worthy to unfasten his shoes because he is not worthy of being Christ’s slave. Jesus mentions that John was the greatest prophet. One reason is that John is the greatest, why are you questioning yourself or put your pride ahead of what Jesus is praising him. When you take time to understand Christ truly, you can realize with self humbleness and not arrogance. See Luke 7:28 about Christ’s praise to John. When you give Christ all the glory for the things you do, and not credit yourself, this is how Christ rewards you. He will do great things for you and through you to others. John can attract large gatherings because of Christ. These are good things Christ is doing through him. John didn’t give himself credit. As you go through your day, remember what Christ has done for you and give him praise. You will be amazed at what Christ will do through you without you giving yourself credit.
Father, thank you for today. I pray for wisdom and humbleness as we live life. It is easy to get caught up in moments of self-praise instead of Christ’s praise. Working on this through repetitions will help us remember to praise you and not ourselves. Thank you for our fellowship. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

I want to take a moment and say happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers. It is your day. Thank you for the sacrifices, and taking the role as fathers when absent. Thank you for your unconditional love. Thank you for being you.

Memories

May 9, 2020

Word of the day: 11 They forgot what he had done, the wonders he had shown them. Psalm 78:11 NIV

When we create memories, sometimes we tend to forget them. Most of us use cameras, phone cameras, videos, whatever can allow us to remember memories. Down the road, when you are looking at photo albums, you can remember the memories behind. Ironically, my mother texts me an old picture from over 15 years ago. I only got two sentences in before she did that. Here is the overall point. The way we go about capturing our memories, let’s do the same with God, but in a way that satisfies him. I see a lot on social media about how people catch scriptures, different testimonies. These are an excellent way to remember God and memories he creates for us. For it to be eventful, we have to follow and trust God in his plans. The goal is to be faithful, not to be in our selfish ways to gain temporary pleasure. We can gain permanent pleasure with God when we are abiding by him.

Father, thank you for today. I pray for memories with you and with our family and friends. Let us remember you in our memories. Thank you for your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Last Minute

May 8, 2020

Word of the day: 40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Luke 23:40-41 NIV

Whatever crime we may have done, a sin we may have committed, mistakes made, it is never too late to have faith in Jesus. Today’s verse shows this. Earlier in the book of Luke, this criminal gave his trust to Jesus, and he forgave him. Do not hesitate to get friends and family members that do not believe in Jesus to give their life, their faith to Jesus. It is not late at all. The reality is we need some self-assessment tests to remind ourselves of our self-worth. Our sins, our crime, our mistakes do not define who you are. Those labels are not worth listening to. How else are we to learn when if we don’t make a mistake? God uses those mistakes to build ourselves and others up. Look at Earvin “Magic” Johnson. He is an activist for aids. He can teach others and lead those because of his mistake. Moral of the point? Turn to Jesus and let him use those life lessons to become a better you. Give him your faith, even if it is at the last minute.

Father, thank you for today. I pray for us to be active in bringing people to you before you come. It is never too late as faith in you is open. I pray for wisdom and the right approach to bring those to you that are not willing to listen. Thank you for our fellowship. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Work

May 7, 2020

Word of the day: 2 I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old— 3 things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their descendants; we will explain the next generation, the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. Psalm 78:2-4 NIV

Today is National Day of prayer. Take time to pray for our nation and leaders of the free world. Prayer can apply every day for our government and leaders and not on this day only—happy National Day of Prayer.

Today’s verses talk about legacies. There are things we would like to tell our children that may leave a mark. Here is a fact, I got to witness a couple of legacy moments in my grandfather as a minister. He led his ministry to bring God’s word to nursing homes. My brother and sister, including myself, attended those services. That stays with me. He was a quiet man that did most of his work quietly and let his actions speak for him. He stood out to me from this verse because there was nothing verbal he did. His was all action. God can give us legacies if we listen to him by prayer and meditations. Part of that may be being an evangelist. Listen with our ears; look through music. Read Psalms 44:1. More importantly, take time to share legacies. Sharing this will help with motivation towards our next generation of children. They can step up in ways by learning and knowing that they had ancestors that paved the way for them.

Father, thank you for today. I pray that we will acknowledge you in our prayers and meditations. Legacies is a weak topic among us because of what people may think or feel. I pray we dare to tell about our ancestors that led the way for us. Thank you for our fellowship. We give you praise. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Awareness

May 6, 2020

Word of the day: 45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” Luke 22:45-46 NIV

Today’s verse, here is something disciples lacked attention. Jesus is trying to figure out why his disciples are sleeping. Jesus did not want them to get into temptation. Having this lack of awareness to stay focused on Jesus can hurt us. Jesus asked the disciples to pray. If we are following Jesus, we can’t pretend to sleep when it is time. Be prepared for Jesus’ work at all times. Before we do any type of work for Jesus or devotions, we should take time to pray so we can be focused and devoted. Jesus asked the disciples to pray so they can prepare without him. When Jesus asks, do it. There are always reasons for things Jesus asks. His armor is protecting you from temptation and other issues that may arise. Will you listen to him when he asks you to pray?

Father, thank you for today. I pray for our ears to be open for you, attentive to you when it is time to be for you. Thank you for our fellowship. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Miracles

May 5, 2020

Word of the day: 10 Then I thought, “To this, I will appeal: the years when the Highest stretched out his right hand. 11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. Psalm 77:10-11 NIV

A lot of people use the word miracle to describe something they would never believe would happen. These are events God made happen. God will tell us that this is not a miracle. He knows your situation, so there is nothing about being a miracle. To us, yes, it is. We should never forget those according to today’s verse. Your current situations, use those memories as reminders that God can make anything work. Even when we do something so sinful, God can bring us back as long as we make an effort to go back to him and obey. Most people feel that if they commit adultery or murder someone, they think that they won’t get back to God. Take a look at David. He did both. Yet, he became one of God’s leaders. Just because you do something wicked, doesn’t mean God can’t use that to teach you and others. Even alcoholism, you will be amazed at what God can do for you to prepare yourself and others during your times of suffering. When we have heavy chains on us because of our addictions, remember to go to God in prayer, lift your hands, and let him hear your cries. What you are doing is not punishment. God can break those chains. Those are miracles for us, but not him. Today, I challenge you to think of your current situation; you don’t think he can work out for you. Go back to when he did work out your problems. How will you use that to encourage yourself to get back to God and feel more confident?

Father, thank you for our fellowship. I pray for love for each of us as we start our day. We have doubts; I pray we can remember your works and that it can get us back to you. It is not accessible during difficult times, but with the motivation of remembering, it can happen. Thank you for your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen!