Posts belonging to Category Understanding God’s Word



Make Your Prayers Count!

“Make Your Prayers Count!” (excerpt from chapter four):

One reason to pray early is because God’s mercies are new every morning. We read in Lamentations: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lam. 3:22-23).

You might not be a morning person, but our God is a morning God! His mercies are new every morning! Every morning when you wake up God is waiting to meet with you. He has fresh grace and mercy for you. You need only spend time with him to be strengthened for your day.

King David knew how to start a day. He writes in Psalm 57: “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn” (Ps. 57:7-8).

Robert Murray McCheyne wrote the following words in his journal on February 23, 1834: “Rose early to seek God and found Him whom my soul loves. Who would not rise early to meet such company?”

Begin your day with prayer and lay hold of God’s mercies for you in Christ. God’s mercies are new every morning.

 
This is an excerpt from my new book coming out this week called Lord, Make My Life Count! Drawing largely from the wisdom portions of the Bible, this book explores six key areas of life: 1) work; 2) rest; 3) faith; 4) prayers; 5) money; and 6) time.
 
Note: Click here to view the book on Amazon.
 
Lord, Make My Life Count!

Make Your Faith Count!

“Make Your Faith Count!” (excerpt from chapter three):

Faith means trust. We see this in the classic definition of faith found in Hebrews 11: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Heb. 11:1). That phrase “being sure” translates a word that means “substance, confidence, assurance or trust.”

Faith means trusting what you can’t readily see. The person who trusts their spouse doesn’t follow them around everywhere, checking all their phone records and reading all their emails. Why? Because they don’t have to see it in order to believe. They trust their spouse. And faith means trust.

It’s the same when we talk about having faith in God. Having faith in God doesn’t mean simply believing he exists. A lot of people believe God exists. But having faith in God means trusting him. You trust his character; you trust his promises; you trust his word.

Faith involves knowledge, assent and trust. Knowledge is important because you have to know something before you can believe it. Assent is important because you must agree with what you know before you can believe it. But it is not real faith until you take that final step which is trust.

There’s a great children’s message that illustrates this truth. First, you ask the children, “Do you believe that I exist?” That’s knowledge. Then you ask them if they believe you could catch them if they fall. That’s assent. Then you ask them, “Who is willing to stand on the edge of the stage here and fall backwards into my arms?” They may have demonstrated knowledge and assent with their answers to the first two questions, but they haven’t exercised real faith until they show their trust by actually falling into your arms.

It’s the same way with God. It’s good to believe that God exists. It is good to agree that God’s word is true. But until you trust him, until you make a conscious choice to fall into his arms and rest completely in him, then you do not truly have faith.

 
This is an excerpt from my new book coming out this week called Lord, Make My Life Count! Drawing largely from the wisdom portions of the Bible, this book explores six key areas of life: 1) work; 2) rest; 3) faith; 4) prayers; 5) money; and 6) time.
 
Note: Click here to view the book on Amazon.
 
Lord, Make My Life Count!

Make Your Rest Count!

“Make Your Rest Count!” (excerpt from chapter two):

When was the last time you felt completely rested? No anxiety; no stress; completely calm; completely relaxed. I told someone this week, “I am working hard on a sermon on rest.” Now that might sound like a contradiction but work and rest really do go together. They go together in the Bible, one following the other in Genesis chapters one and two. And they go together in life. You need a strong work ethic before you can develop a strong rest ethic.

We hear a lot about work these days, but not so much about rest. It’s been said: “We have become a generation of people who worship our work, who work at our play, and who play at our worship.” These are each vital parts of our lives, and it is essential that we get them right.

There are many of us who work hard, but we’ve never really learned how to rest…. There is a time for work and a time for play. God rested after creation, and then God gave us the Sabbath because we need rest. We need a good night’s sleep each day, we need one day of rest each week, we need mini breaks during the day, and we need occasional longer breaks to refuel and recharge.

Do you want to make your rest count? Then work hard when you work, and rest well when you rest. Don’t worship your work, or work at your play. We rest first of all because God designed us to rest.

 
This is an excerpt from my new book coming out this week called Lord, Make My Life Count! Drawing largely from the wisdom portions of the Bible, this book explores six key areas of life: 1) work; 2) rest; 3) faith; 4) prayers; 5) money; and 6) time.
 
Note: Click here to view the book on Amazon.
 
Lord, Make My Life Count!

Make Your Work Count!

I have a new book coming out this week called Lord, Make My Life Count! Drawing largely from the wisdom portions of the Bible, this book explores six key areas of life: 1) work; 2) rest; 3) faith; 4) prayers; 5) money; and 6) time.

Each day this week I will be posting an excerpt from one of the six chapters. Today’s excerpt comes from the first chapter: “Make Your Work Count!”

Part of viewing your work as God’s calling is understanding that all work is ministry. Colossians 3 says: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Col. 3:23-24).

We tend to think of ministry as the work we do in the church rather than the work we do in the world. We divide life into the sacred and the secular, but God views it all as one. Ministry simply means serving the Lord. You can do that at church, but you can also do it at your place of work. So, you might be a minister of the gospel, but you could also be a minister of accounting, or a minister of daycare, or a minister of plumbing!

Martin Luther wrote: “The idea that service to God should have only to do with a church altar, singing, reading, sacrifice, and the like is without doubt but the worst trick of the devil. How could the devil have led us more effectively astray than by the narrow conception that the service of God takes place only in the church and by works done therein.… The whole world could abound with services to the Lord … not only in churches but also in the home, kitchen, workshop, and field.” Or as Dorothy Sayers wrote: “All work done well and for God’s glory is Christian work.”

At our church we like to say we have several pastors but many ministers. We are all ministers as we serve the Lord both here in the church and in the place where God has called us to work.

 
Note: Click here to view the book on Amazon.
 
Lord, Make My Life Count!

Advance Readers – Lord, Make My Life Count!

Lord, Make My Life Count!

Free advance review copies: The fourth book in the Understanding God’s Word series will be releasing next month, and I am looking for advance readers.

The book is called Lord, Make My Life Count! It’s a short book (six chapters), and an easy read. Drawing largely from the wisdom portions of the Bible, this book focuses on six key areas of life: 1) making your work count; 2) making your rest count; 3) making your faith count; 4) making your prayers count; 5) making your money count; and 6) making your time count.

Here is the full schedule and details:
January 20-31: Sign-ups for the reading group
February 1: Advance copies distributed by email
February 1-21: Three weeks to read
February 22: Release date on Amazon
February 22-29: Post a review on Amazon

If you would like to be part of the advance reading group for this book, and you feel you can read and review the book within the allotted timeframe, just let me know and I will send you a link where you can download your free copy. Thanks for your support! (You can email me at ray@pccflorida.org)

There are a limited number of advance copies available, so be sure to sign up early! Feel free to share this post with anyone you know who may be interested in participating.
 
Note: Here are the other books currently available in the series (click on the book images to view on Amazon):

Habakkuk: The Journey from Doubt to Faith   Fruit of the Spirit: Growing More Like Jesus   Name above All Name (Isaiah 9:6): An Advent Series
 
Note: Click here for all books in the Understanding God’s Word series.