Make Spending Time with God a Priority

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Photo credit: David Whitlow, courtesy of AFFIRM Films/Provident Films

At one point in the latest Kendrick Brothers movie, War Room, Miss Clara asks Elizabeth about her prayer life. Elizabeth, who is having problems in her marriage, says that she’s busy. Miss Clara comments on the fact that in spite of her busyness and lack of time for prayer, she seems to still have time to fight losing battles with her husband.

How often do we do this – get so caught up in the busyness of our lives that we neglect spending time with God? We have so much going on that we aren’t sure how to get it all done, and praying and reading the Bible are often two of the first things we let slide. Maybe you’re wondering what you’re supposed to do about it – after all, you have certain things you need to get done, and there isn’t much time left over.

The truth of the matter, however, is that we will end up finding time for whatever we consider a priority. If we prioritize spending time with God, chances are we will be able to find time to do it. The cool thing is that instead of taking time away from us, spending time with God can actually help us out in areas in which we’re struggling, including giving us the strength and energy to handle everything else well, and wisdom in how to balance it all!

Still aren’t sure why spending time with God is such a big deal? Here are some more reasons why it’s important to do so.

  • The more you spend time with Him, the more you’ll become like Him. Hang out with someone long enough, and they’ll rub off on you. Spend enough time with God, and you’ll become more like Him!
  • He knows you better than anyone else. Spending time with God is amazing, because no matter what kind of a day you’re having, He knows what you need, and how to help you!
  • You’ll find encouragement in what He has to say to you. There are days when we are in need of encouragement, and His Word is filled with uplifting, encouraging news!
  • God can give you wisdom, and tell you things you need to know, but you need to take time to listen to what He has to say.

How much importance do you place on spending time with God? Begin to make it a priority. Take the time to read God’s Word and talk to Him, and see the difference it will make in your life!

Speaking in Tongues

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When the believers in Acts 2 were baptized in the Holy Spirit, they began to speak in tongues. In numerous other places throughout Acts and the rest of the New Testament, God’s Word talks about speaking in tongues. It is something that God desires for all of His children to experience today, and willingly gives to all of them who will accept it.

Acts 2:4 says that the believers began speaking in tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. In other words, when we speak in tongues, we’re simply speaking out words that the Holy Spirit gives us. Even though we won’t recognize or understand what we’re saying, it’s from Him. Our job is to just open our mouths and speak out the words He’s giving us.

Speaking in tongues comes along with baptism in the Holy Spirit, and is important in our lives as believers. When we pray in tongues, the Holy Spirit can pray through us about things we don’t even know to pray about, or pray exactly what needs to be said about situations we aren’t sure how to pray for. Praying in tongues can help us to connect with God in a way that aids us in hearing what He has to say to us. These are just some of the reasons why praying in tongues is important for us as followers of Christ.

Speaking in tongues is something God makes available to all believers. If you’ve accepted Jesus as your Savior, then it’s for you! Are you open to this gift that God wants to give you?

Believe God for Miracles!

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Recently, the movie Do You Believe? came out in theaters, featuring the Newsboy’s hit song “We Believe.” One of my favorite scenes was where Joe is in the hospital and flatlines, only to come back to life, totally healed and restored, just a short time later. This miracle really impacts his nurse, prompting her to devote her life more fully to God. It gives her confidence that God really can do anything – even work in the situation of an unfair law suit her husband is facing. It also deeply impacts Lily’s mother, who had been with Joe both when he died, and when he came back to life.

That whole situation in the movie really caused me to think about what would happen if we would dare to ask God for the things that seem impossible to us, believing that He would grant our requests. God desires for miracles coming to pass to be more than just an inspiring scene in a movie. He wants to do that kind of thing in real life, but He needs someone to be willing to step out and ask Him in faith.

In the Bible, Jesus healed the sick, cast out demons, raised the dead, and so much more. People flocked to Jesus because of the miracles He performed. Guess what?!? God never changes! It is still His desire to do these kinds of things today, THROUGH YOU! Jesus says in John 14:12 that the same works He did, you also shall do also. Imagine how many people would be impacted for God if they saw His miracle-working power operating in your life, and flowing through you to touch others!

Mark 11:24 says that if we believe, we will receive WHATEVER we ask for in prayer! Mark 19:26 says that with God, ALL things are possible. Know that there is no situation to big for God to handle. No matter how desperate things may seem, He is willing and able to help. Don’t be afraid to trust Him for big things. Make your request in confidence, knowing that you will see what you’ve asked for come to pass, because of God’s love for you!

Powerful and Effective Prayers

Powerful and Effective PrayersWeek 42 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is drawing to a close. This week’s reading was James 3-5 and 1 Peter 1-2.

James 5:16 says that the prayers of a righteous person are effective and powerful. You have been made righteous through faith in Christ (Philippians 3:9). Therefore, your prayers are powerful and effective! Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37), and He promises that when you call to Him, He will answer you (Jeremiah 33:3). You have been given power over all the power of the devil (Luke 10:19). When you resist him, he must flee
(James 4:7)!

You have been given right standing with God through faith. You don’t need to be afraid to ask Him for what you need. He wants you to come before Him with the freedom and confidence of knowing that you are His child (Ephesians 3:12), and that He will give good gifts to those who ask (Matthew 7:11).

You are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). When you pray, know that your prayers are powerful and effective because of what Jesus has done for you!

The Right Path

pathAre you at a crossroad, wondering which way to go? Contemplating what move to make? Trying to figure out what comes next?

When pondering the future, rest assured that God has a plan for your life. He knew you before you were born. He tenderly fashioned you in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5). You are NOT an accident! God made you, and He has a purpose designed specifically for you. He knows the plans He has for you (Jeremiah 29:11), beginning with a close, intimate relationship with Him and continuing on into an abundant life (John 10:10) filled with meaning. No matter what you feel or what those around you may say, choose to believe this.

The plans God has for you are good! They are plans to prosper you, not to harm you – plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). As your Heavenly Father, He delights in seeing you thrive.  Don’t be afraid to follow His path for you.

He wants to lead and guide you in all He has for you, if you will listen. He promises that “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’ (Isaiah 30:21).”  Amidst the busyness of everyday life, take time to communicate with Him and hear His voice of guidance. Wait for it expectantly, confident  that you are His child and He wants to communicate with you. When He shows you which way to go, follow His direction. He has great things in store for you!

Whatever point you’re at in life, know that God has a plan for you – a marvelous plan, which He wants to guide you in walking out. If you’re in need of direction, take time and ask Him to show you the next step. Pray to Him, and He will answer you (Jeremiah 33:3). Trust Him to lead you down the right path for your life.