Stand with me and lift up your bible and repeat after me.
This is my Bible.
I am what it says I am.
I can do what it says I can do.
I am going to learn how to be what it says I can be.
Today I will learn more of the word of God.
The indestructible, never ending, living word Of God.
I will never be the same.
I will never be the same.
In Jesus Name
Our God is an awesome God.
Today we are going to be encouraged and reminded that our God is an awesome God. Amen?
Turn with me in your bible to the book of Psalms chapter 54 and say, “Amen” when you are there.
Psalm 54:2 says, “Hear my prayer, O God; Give ear to the words of my mouth.”
In the New Kings James Bible, the word prayer appears 113 in 106 different verses.
Our lives are so busy here on earth that we seem to forget about that.
We pray when we need something or when we hear of something that happens in life that we know needs prayer but we don’t do what Jesus taught us.
A man on Godswork.org wrote about a recurring nightmare that he had been having.
He said. "I have this recurring nightmare," he said. "My wife and children are gathered at the cemetery for my funeral. After the service, the funeral director approaches my weeping family and hands them a box containing all my earthly possessions. In the box are 35 years of my annual calendars and diaries. I read over their shoulders as they scan the appointment notes that kept me busy for so many years. It occurs to me how seldom anything of significance was ever accomplished at those gatherings. I turn to look at my tombstone. The epitaph reads, 'Joe has gone to another meeting.'"
That person could be me or you. We need to regularly ask ourselves, "In my most relationships, in my work and in my free time, in all areas of my life, am I doing what is truly important?"
Important to me? I do the mundane. I do the urgent and the pressing. But do I spend enough time with what is actually significant?
Along time ago I made a demonstration to a church service.
I filled a large, clear jar with coffee beans almost to the top. The beans, I said, represent all of the activities we accomplish in a day. Then I produced two golf balls.
"These," I said, "represent a couple of the truly important things in our lives." I asked them to think of the golf balls as time spent with a significant person, such as a family member, or doing something special for somebody else, or developing their spiritual life or just beginning that project they keep putting off. I placed the balls on top of the beans then tried to screw on the lid. I couldn't do it. There were too many beans in the jar.
"Does this remind you of a typical day?" I asked. "We're so busy doing the usual we can't seem to squeeze in anything else."
I emptied the jar and started over. "But what if we put first things first? What if we start each day doing something special, something we truly WANT to do? I placed the golf balls into the jar first. Then I poured in the coffee beans - all of them. They fell neatly around the balls and filled the jar to the top. When I screwed on the lid it fit perfectly.
And that's the secret to building the kind of life you want. I've discovered that if I can begin every day with one or two things that are important to me, the other stuff still fits into place just fine.
I don't want to just do all of the RIGHT things and never get around to the BEST things. And I certainly don't want my life summed up in the sentence, "David has gone to another meeting." So, I handle the golf balls first. And in comparison, everything else is just beans.
The most important way to do this is to develop a way of putting things first in our lives that are the most meaningful.
What do you think is most important in life?
It took me a while to learn what that was. Prayer.
When I accepted Christ into my heart a long time ago, I thought, “Okay, now what is next?”
And I did not know.
I floundered along trying to do what I thought or what I had observed others doing.
Life was not the best in that area.
I kind of felt like Tom Hanks in the movie, “Cast Away”. His plane crashes and he ended up on a desolate island by himself. For several years he suffered being by himself and actually started talking to a soccer ball that had washed up on shore. He named it and everything. He lived this way for a while before being able to return back to civilization.
I felt like that in my prayer life.
I was by myself in my prayer life and but then I realized that I had something special with that time.
Just like you.
I had something that never thought I was worthy of.
Something that I thought only special people could have.
A gift that was better than any Christmas or birthday gift.
The gift that was priceless.
A personal relationship with the Son of God who came to earth over 2000 years ago as a man to teach us how to love ourselves, be loved, and how to love others here on this planet that we live on as God the Father does.
And He is real. Not like a soccer ball. Turn with me to the book of Acts Chapter 6 and say, “Amen”, when you are there.
Acts Chapter 6, verse 4 says, “but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
Nice and simple.
Some churches in our world have taught over the years that you have to let certain people of the church know what you need prayer for. Or you have to pray to one of the saints or other figures in the Bible so they can let Jesus know what the prayer is and what it is for.
When I accepted Christ into my life, I realized one thing, I did not have to be fancy. I always look at it like the men that were next to Jesus on the cross on that day when Jesus gave His life for you and I.
One man scoffed at Him and said he wanted nothing to do with Him. The other man simply asked if he could go where Jesus was going.
Not what he had to do to get there. He knew where Jesus was going and he just asked if he could be with Him.
That’s all we have to do here on earth. Just ask to be with Him in our lives and in our daily steps.
I always tell a story of a man who was having a tough time getting a job because of his criminal past. I encouraged him to ask the Lord for help and he called me two days later. He said, “I got a job!”
I said, “What happened” and he said, “I just held the door open for Jesus when I went into the interview and I got hired right away. “
Simple isn’t it?
Just put Jesus first.
Almost every morning when I awaken, I say,” Morning Lord”
Not in my life.
I have been blessed in so many ways in life it would take days upon days to share all of the things with you that the Lord has guided me through. Every breath I take is from Him.
When you take your next breath, think about that, a gift from God.
Turn with me in your bibles to Romans chapter 12 and say, “Amen” when you are there.
Part of Romans 12:12 reads, "in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;”
Hard to do, but when we realize it and its importance, it can become a habit.
Turn with me in your Bible to Colossians chapter 4 and say, “Amen” when you are there.
Colossians 4:2 reads, “continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;”
How do you and I develop a better prayer life?
It is actually very simple.
Just talk to the Lord in your daily life. You don’t have to be fancy.
You don’t have to say, “Excuse me Lord, do have a minute.”
You don’t have to pray to someone and ask them to pass on what your prayer need is. You do not have to ask another person for their approval.
You can talk directly to Him. Personally.
You don’t have to say all kinds of fancy things to get started.
I met a man when I was a chaplain at a correctional facility in Pennsylvania. I got to know him one day when I arrived there early to minister to another man who had just had someone in his family pass away. We were walking back to His cell and we stood and waited for the door to open. As we waited, the man in the cell next to his got up and said, “Good morning Lord, what’s new?”
You just have to develop the habit, (And it is a good one to have. There are not recovery groups for the addiction to prayer) to talk to the Lord either verbally or in your thoughts.
When you accepted Jesus Christ into your heart and asked Him to be the one and only true Lord of your life, He lives in you.
He lives in you and with you every step of the way and the better your relationship grows you will feel His presence in what you do.
He can and will change you.
Have an addiction? When you are about to use again, ask Him to help you say, “No”
Have an obsession? Ask Him to help you change.
Need help with life's problems? Ask Him to help you through them.
The song that is one of my favorites and I remember it daily is, “Our God is an awesome God.” by Rich Mullins.
That song is not a joke.
Our God is an awesome God.
Let us pray..