Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Eleven Ways to Pray for Your Friends

As we look ahead to the fall, for most of us this is a time of getting back into a routine after the events and activities of summer.

In this new season take time to pray for your friends and coworkers who don't yet know Christ, and plan to invite them to church. At The Orchard we'll be celebrating our fall kick off on September 19 and we're gearing up to welcome new families into our midst. But how can we be praying for these friends of ours?

Below you'll find a list of 11 ways to pray for your friends that I've taken from my Gary Rohrmayer's blog (garyrohrmayer.typepad.com). Why not jot down the names of a couple of people that you know and begin to pray for them right now!

1. That God draws them to Himself

Jn.6:44: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him …”

2. That they seek to know God.

Acts 17:27: “God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.”

3. That they believe the Scriptures

1 Thess. 2:13: “And we also thank God continually because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God …”

4. That Satan is bound from blinding them to the truth

Mt. 13:19: “When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.”

5. That the Holy Spirit Works in them

Jn. 16:8-13: “When the Holy Spirit comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment…..He will guide you into all truth…”

6. That God sends someone to lead them to Christ

Mt. 9:37, 38: “Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.”

7. That they believe in Christ as Savior

Jn. 5:24: “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”

8. That they turn from sin

Acts 17:30-31: “God commands all people everywhere to repent.”

Acts 3:19: “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”

9. That they confess Christ as Lord

Rom.10:9-10: “if you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

10. That they yield all to follow Christ

2 Cor. 5:15: “And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”

11. That they take root and grow in Christ

Col. 2:6-7: “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thankful Citizens

I followed a pickup truck through town this morning on my way to the office. It proudly displayed an American Flag waving in the breeze above the drivers side window and a United States Marine Corp flag waving above the passenger side.

Such proud displays of patriotism are not unusual, especially from vets who served the nation honorably, but as I followed him, I found myself thinking about our citizenship as Christ ones.

Hebrews 12:28-29 tells us: Therefore since we are receiving an unshakable kingdom, let us give thanks offering acceptable worship to God, for our God is a consuming fire.

For those who are followers of Jesus Christ we are receiving a Kingdom, a blood purchased inheritance, and as such we are according to Scripture, citizens first and foremost of the Kingdom of God.

We live in a world that desperately needs us to put our citizenship on display, because when we do, people will gaze in wonder and perhaps be drawn to the King through us. However, I'm not talking about putting our citizenship on display by waving a flag from a car and certainly not by attaching a fish to the trunk, rather we ought to put our citizenship on display by living with confidence, knowing that the Kingdom that we are receiving cannot be shaken, it is certain and secure. We ought to live give thanks to God for the peace that we have in His promises and to display our citizenship by worshiping Him.

How do we do that?

Well, the writer of Hebrews goes on to give us some examples of how we can live as citizens of the Kingdom, worshiping God in a way that pleases Him. It's right there in the text in verses 1-6 of Hebrews chapter 13 (don't let the poor chapter division in our English texts fool you!). Take some time to read through it today, and let's proudly put our citizenship on display- not because we're boasting in it, but because we know that it is through Christ and Christ alone that we are receiving it, and that others can receive it too!