Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Closer to God

James 4:8a Come near to God and he will come near to you. 
Here are some points I found on the internet, (don't remember where, sorry) along with some comments.
Prayer – help you listen to God and petition God with your praise, requests and problems. 

Prayer was God’s idea. He created it for people weakened by sin, fickle in their commitments, who are at times overwhelmed by doubt, discouraged, and nearly always fretting about life. (Dunn)

What defines prayer? John 14:13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.

Psalm 102:7 He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.

1 Thess 5:17 pray without ceasing; (NASB)

Jesus’ secret weapon: John 5:19 "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.  Jesus was dependent on the father

J.C. Ryle  (1816-1900), a minister in the Anglican Church (Church of England), had this to say about prayer:
"I have looked carefully over the lives of God's saints in the Bible.  I cannot find one of whose history much is told us, from Genesis to Revelation, who was not a man of prayer.  I find it mentioned as a characteristic of the godly, that "they call on the Father," that "they call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ."  I find it recorded as a characteristic of the wicked, that "they do not call upon the Lord." (1 Peter 1:17; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Psalm 14:4).
"I have read the lives of many great Christians who have been on earth since the Bible days.  Some of them, I see, were rich, and some poor.  Some were educated, and some uneducated.  They came from various denominations and some were Independents.  Some loved a very structured worship service, and some liked it rather informal.  But one thing, I see, they all had in common.  The have all been "men of prayer.
"But one striking thing I observe at all the missionary stations--the converted people "always pray."

Praise Him every morning, noon, and night – to help you to start your day by saying hi to God

 Psalm 5:3 in the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
You will have this promise to think about daily, knowing that God has heard your requests for this day.

Psalm 22:3 says, "God inhabits the praises of His people."
Psalm 95:6 says, "Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care.
Bible read daily – Learn about what God wants you to do and go
Joshua 1:8   Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
Attend Church – help you to stay close to God
We are to share our experiences (Proverbs 27:17), our homes (1 Peter 4:9), and our problems (Galatians 6:2) with one another. Our faith moves us to action, to love and serve one another in words and in deeds (John 15:12-17, 1 Corinthians 12,13). Church is where faith is nurtured, sustained, and will be a basis for us sharing our faith with others outside the church.
God intends for you to be on the team—to be a member of his family. Each member belongs to all the others. The New Testament model is that all believers met together constantly, sharing everything with each other, learning from one another, and giving aid spiritually and in other ways as well. The local church is a devoted loving family with each member having a role to play.

Acts 2:24 they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Romans 8:13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
International Standard Version (©2008)
Romans 8:6 To focus our minds on the human nature leads to death, but to focus our minds on the Spirit leads to life and peace.
Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

KP Yohannan – The church, a group of believers, is God’s ordained place for discipleship.
Christian discipleship is the process by which disciples grow in the Lord Jesus Christ and are equipped by the Holy Spirit, who resides in our hearts, to overcome the pressures and trials of this present life and become more and more Christlike.
God’s plan A is for the redemption of the world. There is no plan B.  Disciple - one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another.
1 Timothy 3:14-15 (New International Version)
 14Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.
Separate yourself from the things of this world - It will help you to focus on God.
Romans 8:6-9 the mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. 9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

 K.P. Yohannan bottom line – God is calling us to alter our lifestyles, to give up the non-essentials of our lives so we can better invest our wealth in the kingdom of God. 

1 Corinthians 10:31 (New International Version)
 31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Summary Verse
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 


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