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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How Do We Pray?

By Caroline Martin

When I was a little girl I prayed for a fairy. I got right down on my skinny, scuffed up knees, squeezing my eyes shut, clasping my hands, and I would plead "Dear God, please, please may I have a fairy?" I had the feeling, at the beginning of each day, of something wonderful about to happen.

I rose very early, before the rest of my family, and after my fairy prayer, sometimes still in my nightgown, I would walk through the woods behind my house, or around the block, hoping to find a small creature who might need me. I had many invisible animals called "those animals" who followed me everywhere. I prayed for them to become real, I prayed to find lost or lonely toads, or birds, or rabbits, so that I could care for and companion with them. My prayers came straight from my child heart, as sincere as can be, filled with expectation.

As I have grown and matured my prayers have taken many shapes and forms. Venturing from spiritual path to path, searching scripture and metaphysical literature,practicing energy work, delving into the study of angels, I have gradually moved to a place of peace, and still hold a childlike sense of wonder, with God, Spirit closer to me than my breathing. How did I do this? Where am I now?

What I have found is that prayer, for me, is not about asking. It is about listening.Through a consistent practice of reflection, contemplation, and meditation I have changed completely my method of prayer. I consciously listen for the "still small voice"within my own being. And oh, the response! The songs I write come from this listening, the joy I feel, the smile in my whole being! There is a tangible presence, a leading, a loving that permeates me and, as long a I come back to it over and over,stays with me through my days.

Certainly I know what it is to struggle, to have deep sorrows, disappointments and loss.Who of us in this world does not experience these in a degree? But I know, now, there is a way through what appears to be a dark and stormy time. These words from a song I wrote reflect how I navigate the waves..

"Teach me how to love,
Show me which way to go,
Help me learn to listen,
So Thy thoughts are all that I know."

I open my heart with the same sincerity I had as a child on my knees, and I wait with the same expectation. The difference is that I am not asking for something outside of me to come into my experience. I am waiting to behold what will be revealed from the quiet of my soul. It may come as a whisper, a feeling, a nudge, a song.

"Oh sweet Soul, awaken me,
Let me know myself as Thee,
Shining bright in all I see,
Singing through eternity."

I study, diligently, writings from The Infinite Way, by Joel Goldsmith. It has become my way home. And I listen and listen some more. Even in the midst of my busiest day I step aside to listen. I still rise early, and venture into the woods near my home to wait with wonder what will unfold. And that little girl in me skips ahead and sings, grabs fistfuls of wildflowers and watches all the fairies smiling...

My newest song is "I Am Here". It came straight from God. You may listen to it, and others on my website http://dustydogcreations.com

"I Am Here" is on the stargirls cards page.
And I'd love to hear how you pray.
In our waking and listening, Caroline

Monday, November 2, 2009

Why Did Jesus Come?

By Onyekachukwu Ukeje

John 10:10 says that Christ came to give us life and life to the full. What is this life? It is the life that can be lived only through the righteousness which God gives. It is righteousness that is by faith. In Romans 1:16-17 Paul the apostle said, 'I am not ashamed of gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jews, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."'- (NIV).

It is the life that God has and lives, it is called eternal life. Remember that in Genesis 2:16-17 God told Adam, the first man, not to eat of tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. That the day he did he would surely die. We recall Adam did and died, and yet he was physically alive. It was this life of God that left him. The same way today, many are physically alive but spiritually they are dead. That is why they are bound by sin and Satan, and they are looking for a way out. That is why Jesus came to die for us, that we may have that life again, that we may be free. That's what it means to be born again.

In John 3:14-16 Jesus made it clear to Nicodemus that He would have to die a shameful death for those who believe in Him to have eternal life, 'Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.' -- (NIV). It was out of love that Christ came. Jesus is the Christ. It was love that compelled Him to the cross because we were legitimately condemned. But he decided to die in our place so that we may not be eternally lost but rather that we may have a full life in Him, in God.

And now He has purchased this life for us. By our own righteousness we could not and cannot attain this salvation. That is why God says it is by faith. Adam the first man did not have this life by works and when he lost it and all mankind with him nobody could gain it by his works. No one could qualify for this gift. Our only qualification is by faith in Christ Jesus.

If you shall confess with your mouth Jesus Christ as Lord believing in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved, Romans 10:9. "For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." -- Romans 10:10(NIV). God raised him from the dead that you truly may have life in Him forever.

If you want to receive Jesus Christ and be saved from sin, destruction and all the works of Satan pray this prayer with your whole heart: Lord Jesus, I thank You for letting me hear Your word for salvation. I acknowledge and confess my sins to You. God I thank you for raising Jesus from the dead that I might have eternal life. Forgive me. Lord Jesus I welcome you into my heart this day. I confess You as my Lord and Savior. Thank You for your mercy on me. Thank You for saving me today from sin, from destruction and from all works of Satan. I am now a child of God. Thank You Lord Jesus.

LOVE NOTE

If you have prayed that prayer from the bottom of your heart here are some things you are do to grow in God.

1. Endeavor to read your bible and pray to God every day in the name of Jesus. This God requires of us to be successful and prosperous -Joshua 1:8. 2. Worship and fellowship with other believers in a bible believing church or assembly -- Hebrews 10:25, and 3. As you have the opportunity tell others about the good news of this new life and if they are willing lead them to Jesus Christ.

Go ahead and enjoy your life in Christ now that you are a new creature in Him -- 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Onyekachukwu Ukeje is an itinerant preacher based in Enugu, Nigeria. For more articles and ebook(s) by this writer please visit http://www.faithwriters.com, and http://www.onyekachukwuukeje.com/home/ebook.htm

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Jesus' Sacrifice

By Wayne Arthur Alexander

From a historical perspective, I suppose we would regard as the most notorious of criminals - the greatest sinner of them all - to be someone like Hitler or Stalin from modern-day history or Nero from ancient Roman history. It may then come as a shock to realize that the most notorious criminal as well as the greatest sinner of all time was actually Jesus of Nazareth. Sound appalling? Stunned to hear such an accusation? Nevertheless, it's true. God never turned his back on Jesus. At the cross, however, sin took precedence and for a few hours on a Friday afternoon God turned away from his Son (Habakkuk 1:13). From the standpoint of salvation, Jesus, for a moment in time, was the worst person that ever lived.

To the Jews, Jesus' sin consisted of what was to them the brazen, uncensored claim that he was the Son of God, something no Jew would ever claim to be and live to tell others! To the Romans, Jesus was simply a man detested by his own people. The Jews wanted him dead and offered him in the place of a robber and murderer named Barabbas. This first act of sin-transference initiated a chain reaction wherein all sin was determinedly placed on the head of Jesus. He became retribution for the sin of man for all time. The burden of this indictment and the separation it caused was so great that Jesus screamed out to the heavens, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

Jesus' internal conflict at the cross accounts for his struggle in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus, the righteous one, is about to become Jesus, the most evil person that ever lived. Because he is marked by sin, Jesus must face a temporary dissolution from his Father. There is no way any of us can fathom the intensity of this moment for one who was as incredibly close to God as Jesus was. The Father must now turn his face away from the Son, the one who has experienced the Father's generous love and adoration for over thirty years. One cannot help but be deeply touched by the terrible anguish Jesus suffered. Imagine being the apple of your father's adoring eye and in a blink of that same eye you are in the throws of despair, rejected because of sins you never committed! This is what Jesus knows will happen to him and none, least of all his apostles, is close enough to God to comprehend the magnitude of his suffering. Gethsemane says it all (Matthew 26:36-46).

Reading the gospels, we learn that Jesus is the legitimate Son of God, but on the cross, he was, for a brief moment in time, the rogue Son of God. Jesus was illegitimatized in order to legitimize sonship status for all those that would one day seek reconciliation with God. Do not let such vigorous and descriptive language intimidate you. Instead, receive its full impact, as together we comprehend that moment in history when God disowned his Son, but would later reclaim him. This is the power of God! He can dismiss what is his and then reclaim it forever! Jesus' illegitimacy was only temporary, but so significant was his death in God's plan to save fallen man that Isaiah 53:10 in prophesying of this event states "Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer" (NIV).

In one fell swoop the righteousness of Jesus - before the cross - became the righteousness of future believers - after the cross - as well as vindicating faithful believers from past generations. Our legitimacy as sons of God was established at the cross. Jesus' legitimacy was reinstated after his death, for now the price had been paid in full for the sins of man. Jesus' resurrection from the dead is a permanent witness testifying to his sovereign place in eternity as the Christ (Romans 1:4). Thus, Christ's sonship is permanent and can never be taken away:

• At the cross, Jesus is the sinner; at his resurrection, Jesus is the Righteous One!
• At the cross, Jesus is a man; at his resurrection, Jesus is the Christ!
• At the cross, Jesus is the rejected teacher of the Jews; at his resurrection, Jesus is the accepted Teacher of all who will seek his wisdom!
• At the cross, Jesus is the pretentious son of God - a liar; at his resurrection, Jesus is the established and vindicated true Son of God!
• At the cross, Jesus is a soldier; at his resurrection, Jesus is the great Conqueror!
• At the cross, Jesus is the lamb of sacrifice; at his resurrection, Jesus is the Lamb that brings life!
• Before the cross, Jesus rode a donkey's colt into Jerusalem; after the tomb, Jesus rides a great white steed before all the nations of the earth!

We need to observe with great care the planning that went into the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. (As well, there is no shortfall of planning concerning his magnificent return into the earth). In Christ, all things are redefined in accordance with their true meaning. In view of such a lofty design, we need to see that the shallowness of our commitment to God along with our relentless pursuit of false religious works has placed us off guard. We are not ready for Christ's return! Have we forgotten that eternal life promises nothing for those who call on God yet remain immersed in the material contraband of this life? Do we not know that in order to truly know Christ we must totally rid ourselves of all worldliness, that we must be as Christ in order to be legitimate sons of God? Have we yet to learn that the act of Christ to save humankind is legitimized only in the believer's commitment to be as Jesus was?

We are crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20). We died too.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Wayne_Arthur_Alexander