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Oct 29 2013

How does prayer glorify God?

Whatever we do must be to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31). The purpose of prayer must always be to glorify God.

Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (John 14:13)

Praying in Jesus’ name means that when a Christian comes to the Father in prayer, they come as Jesus’ representative. In other words, when we pray in His name, we claim to be acting for Him. This is akin to what we know as a power of attorney. A person with a power of attorney has the legal right to make decisions for another. They are acting in that person’s stead. However, it is limited only to the authority granted. The person with a power of attorney is acting in the place of the person who has given the power of attorney. Any decision outside the authority granted in the power of attorney is not valid and cannot be enforced. When a Christian prays in Jesus’ name, they are acting for Him. However, a Christian can only act within the realm of the Father’s will as Jesus did (Luke 22:42, John 5:30, John 6:38, Hebrews 10:7). Jesus glorified the Father in all that He did and as such, if we are acting in His stead in our prayers, it stands that our prayers will glorify God.

If we ask anything according to His will, He will hear us (1 John 5:14).

Whatever we ask is united or tied to God’s glory. In other words, only requests that are seeking God’s glory is properly motivated and answered. Three times Paul pleaded with God to remove the thorn in his side (2 Corinthians 12:7). God denied Paul his request and answered that His grace is sufficient and that His power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). God’s was glorified in denying Paul his request because God’s power was made perfect in Paul’s weakness. Paul stated “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Paul’s prayer request to have the thorn in his side remove was a valid petition of God. However, it glorified God to not grant Paul’s request because it glorified God so much so that Paul boasted of his weakness so that the power of Christ would rest upon him.

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Apr 14 2013

Two Ways

J.R. Miller, published 1913

We ought not to live in the past. We ought to forget the things that are behind — and reach forward to the things that are ahead. "Forward, and not back," is the motto of Christian hope. The best days are not any days we have lived already — but days that are yet to come.

Yet some people live altogether in their past. They love to recite the deeds they have done in former years. They believe in their old ways, and talk deprecatingly of the new ways — the innovations, the changes, of modern days. The past holds all their life’s hopes and treasures. They sit uncomforted by their graves. They mourn over its vanished pleasures as if never more would a rose bloom, or a violet pour its perfume on the air. They live as if the future had nothing for them — no joys, no hopes, nothing to be achieved, no love, no beauty. They seem like men who have been caught in a great sea of ice, and frozen fast in it, so that they cannot extricate themselves from its grip. The past holds them in a captivity, from whose meshes they cannot escape.

This is not a good use of the past. However happy we may have been in the days that are gone, that happiness will not satisfy our hearts in their present cravings. We cannot live today on yesterday’s bread. Last winter’s fires will not warm our house next winter. Last summer’s sunshine will not woo out the foliage nor paint the flowers of this summer. The past, however rich it may have been in its blessings, cannot be a storehouse from which we can draw supplies for the needs of the passing days. We cannot live on memories.

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Apr 08 2013

Excruciating, word origin

The word excruciating has an interesting origin and background.  In English, excruciating is an adjective that means, “causing intense physical agony or anguish”.  What does not seem to be commonly known about the word are the details of its Latin origin and how it came into existence.

Origin:

1560–70; < Latin excruciātus, past participle of excruciāre to torment, torture, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + cruciāre to torment, crucify (derivative of crux cross)  (excerpted from Dictionary.com)

In Latin, the word excruciating has two parts and three components.  The prefix “ex” strengthens a verb.  “Cruciare” means to torture or crucify.  In the center is “crux” which is Latin for cross.

The word excruciating came into existence and usage because the pain and agony of crucifixion was so intense that there was no prior word that would adequately express it. Therefore, a new word was needed in order to  express the agony of being crucified.

I will not go into the grisly and gory details of how crucifixion affects the human body.  There are many detailed accounts of that available if one desires to research it.  Suffice it to say that being crucified is an agonizing way to die by one of the cruelest methods ever conceived by man.

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Apr 07 2013

Our Lives, Words of God

J.R. Miller, published 1913

Orientals say that each man and woman has a message, and that only those who utter their message, are true men or women. It is interesting to think of ourselves in this way, as sent into the world with something to give out or manifest. Lowell tells us that,

“Life is a sheet of paper white
Whereon each one of us may write
His word or two — and then comes night.”

Every life is meant to be a word of God. Christ was the Word. He came to manifest in his incarnation, the whole of God’s being. Men looked into his face — and saw the effulgence of the Father’s glory, and the very image of his substance. He was in the fullest sense, the Word. But every Christian life, even the least, if it fulfills the divine thought for it — is also a word of God, revealing something of God.

It is easy to believe this of a few men, like Moses, David, Isaiah, John and Paul, through whom definite and distinct revelations have been given to the world. But there is no one to whom God does not give something to tell to men. It is not the same message for all, or for any two. To one it is a revealing of science; to another, a poet’s vision; to another, fresh light from holy Scripture; to another, a new thought of duty; to another, a special ministry of love.

Whatever our message may be, we dare not withhold it. Suppose that the beloved disciple, having leaned upon the bosom of Jesus and learned the secret of his love, had gone back to his fishing after the ascension, failing to tell men what had been spoken to him — how he would have wronged the world! Any life which fails to hear its message and deliver it — wrongs those to whom it was commissioned to carry blessing. But every life, even the lowliest, which fulfills the divine thought for it, adds its little measure to the joy and treasure of other lives.

The follower of Christ has a very definite message to deliver. Paul tells us that he is to manifest the life of Jesus in his body. Many lives of Christ have been written — but in every Christian life there should be a new one published; and it is these lives, written not in handsomely bound volumes, with fine paper and gilt edges, and with attractive illustrations — but in men’s daily lives, that are needed.

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Apr 02 2013

Can someone have peace of mind without God?

The Greek word “eirēnē” that is translated into English as “peace” has several applications such as peace between countries or between people. However, the peace that God grants to His children cannot be obtained outside of Christ for it is Christ that is the giver of His peace.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27)

Even though John 14:27 was given to His disciples, the peace of the Lord is given to all that are His. It is the “tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is.” (Thayer’s Greek Definitions).

May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace!
(Psalm 29:11)

Any person can have peace of mind without being a Christian. This can be seen all around us. For instance, a non-Christian that just secured a job has peace of mind that he or she will be able to pay their bills and feed their family. A non-Christian that goes in for a medical test to see if they have cancer has peace of mind regarding their health if they get a clean bill of health. If human beings did not have some peace about their lives, life would be very difficult and probably unbearable. Read the rest of this entry »

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