Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Few Simple Rules

The Lord reminds me often (mostly because I need it). Here's a few simple rules to live by:
  • Love one another
  • Obey what God tells you to do
  • Remain in His Presence
  • Bear witness to all that He does

 Or in His words:
"I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you... I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.... A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another... You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
"If you love me, you will obey what I command... I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful... Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you... You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other... Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also... If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father... And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning."
John 13:15, 20, 34-35, 14:14-15, 15:1-2, 4-7, 16-17, 20, 24, 27 (NIV)


Monday, August 14, 2006

Prayer Changes...

I ran into a friend yesterday. He asked me how things were going, so I gave him an honest answer. He knew that I had been struggling with vocational issues and that I had been pretty frustrated. Alot of times people don't think enough about where someone else may be... they're too wrapped up in their own frustrations. But not my friend. I confess that I can often fall into the "out of sight / out of mind" trap. I don't know if my friend is more dedicated in his consideration of others than I can often be, but yesterday he thought enough to ask... so I gave him an honest answer:

"Pretty good!" I said, "Although nothing much has changed... just my attitude."

Prayer changes things. Especially me. The fundamental, most exciting thing about prayer SHOULD be the privilege we have to come into the Presence of God. The second is how it changes us. We can "serve" God in action. We can study Scripture intellectually. We can "minister" to others in our natural giftings. But we can't fake prayer.

All activities done apart from prayer puff up the ego... and are as dry as the desert. "Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up." (Luke 18:1)