Archive for July, 2013

31
Jul

Co-laboring Prayer — The Heard Prayer

   Posted by: Caleb Motupalli    in Christian Life

“In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety” (Hebrews 5:7).

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a RIGHTEOUS man can accomplish much” (James 5:16).

 

Piety should not be merely for the sake of piety. Prayer must of necessity be true dependence on God for things you cannot handle yourself (not for help with decisions such as going to a barber or not). Being faithful in little things, means just that — faithfully executing the given work, not take the work back to God for execution. As foolish as it sounds, this is exactly what people are doing.

This statement on Prayer was simply a general statement about the bigger problem in our churches, who claim privilege merely because they are conduits/priests to God and nothing more. Some even claim to be self-declared ‘lords’ of some groups, thinking everyone is making prayer requests to them, the lords, and not to the Lord of Lords. It is that very same conceit that i am against.

They claim to be very pious, saying, “Prayer, Prayer” or “Namaaz, Namaaz” (aka “Lord, Lord” – Matt7:21) but inside they are ravenous wolves. As for you, brethren, do not be like them. Be pure. Without conceit.

Now consider: The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is central to the salvation of mankind. Most of us think that our Lord rose from the dead because He was God. But that negates the perfect sacrifice He offered in the capacity of being incarnate and man alone. Luke a Physician, in chapter 11 verse 20, took care to mention that the miracles that Jesus performed were, so to speak, “by the finger of God” and thus not Jesus’ own doing. John also quotes Jesus as saying that He did not do or say anything on His own initiative but by the Father (John 8:26-29; 12:49). And Jesus always told His believers that their faith has made them well, implying that it was not His doing alone. As for the miracle of all miracles, Hebrews 5:7 above reveals the secret of how Jesus Himself rose from the dead. The Life Application Study Bible has this comment on the verse: “Have you ever felt that God didn’t hear your prayers? Be sure you are praying with reverent submission (piety), willing to do what God wants. God responds to His obedient children.” Thus says the Holy Spirit through Billy Graham, “What you are, speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” So piety it is…religion it is…self-will bowed to God’s will it is…love and serve the least of His brethren it is…for God to hear and answer our prayers.

Christ offered intercessory prayers on our behalf along with a love and service to us—His brethren—to the extent of dying for us. In other words, He did not simply pray for our redemption but “He entered the most holy place …with His own blood” (Heb 9:12). The Amen came from the earthquake after He said, “Father into Your hands I commit my Spirit.”

While Christ offered once to bear the sins of many, it is not without reason that John tells us that our love for our brethren should be to such an extent that if necessary we too should lay down our lives for them (Hebrews 9:28; 1 John 3:16). Alas, what kind of faith do we see today? Let alone lay down our lives for our brethren, we have nothing except the one talent of Word to serve them with, as we pray for their various needs. Our prayers are similar to how James puts it: “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but we do nothing about their physical needs.

The Model Prayer that the Lord taught us is a kind of prayer that does not let us off the hook like how ordinary prayers do. It is really an introspective prayer that ushers us to love and co-labor with God and neighbor so that we become one.

We may find that as we pray, the answer lies within us. We may realize that we are the answer to those prayers. You maybe a lawyer, a businessman, a carpenter, an engineer, or a good cook who can invite the people who requested prayer, to your house—or if you are a company, to your board meeting—to find solutions to the questions raised during prayer.

Jesus says that if we have done good to the least of His brethren, it is the same as doing good to Him itself. James sheds light by saying that if we know the good that we ought to do and do not do it, we sin (James4:17). And Paul warns that the wages of sin is death. If religion you say is not in the vision of the Lord, it is perhaps you have not understood Him at all.

The word ‘Almighty’ is NOT a misnomer. We have a freewill that sometimes takes us astray, but God is able to correct it and put us back in course. While colaboring prayer is the only prayer there is, and that salvation is synergistic, and that it pleases God to use & work through His sons in His schemes, a case for prayerless action cannot be made. God alone is the source of power in the “electric socket”. By Colaboring Prayer we mean: By faith we are merely putting the plug in the socket to get power, while helping ourselves with goods & services. But the real good is the “hydro-electric plant”.

As for how we “pray without ceasing” (1Thess5:17), Brian Pruitt has this to say:

“There is no point except self-centered purpose in telling God our needs, or reminding Him of His needs – no matter how noble, so He might give them. He already knows and He does.

Instead, if we live consciously we will have what is needed, our attitude and thinking will be virtuous as needed, all in fulfillment of His vision – not ours, without so much as asking.”

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29
Jul

Friendship Evangelism

   Posted by: Caleb Motupalli    in Diplomacy, Social

Initially, we do need to scratch them where it itches before giving them the eternal-life-giving-food. If that means sugar-coating your bitter-pill (truth), by all means do it! But let’s not use a hosepipe to drive the amrutham down someone’s throat. Friendship Evangelism is evident in Jesus’ own ministry (Jn6:26-27). In 2Tim4:3-4, Paul is speaking of those who exchange the truth for a lie altogether; not merely in the coating.

This is not salvation-by-works as is often misunderstood. A coating is a coating. We should not go overboard in an attempt to please. Nor should we come across as a fake in our love for others. But any humanitarian aid should only serve as a sugarcoat to the eternal-life-giving-food. Use available resources for maximizing results both in quantity and quality. A point to remember here is that God does not usually call the Qualified, but qualifies the Called. But also remember that there are matthews, whom He calls, who are from the beginning, God’s works-in-progress.

In short: Give the beggar the eternal-life-giving-food. Sugarcoat if you must. If not this life, he will have the more enduring eternal-life.

Friendship here, is anesthesia before the tortuous incision by truth on the diseased hearts of men.

But in all this, let us never forget the example that Christ set for us in His costly caring for us. How we’ve been befriended! “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

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13
Jul

Present sufferings — a mere shot in the arm

   Posted by: Caleb Motupalli    in Christian Life

Our God is indeed a god of prosperity. If he isn’t then he ain’t god. Simply encourage people to have an eternal perspective, then all things will fall in line. It is sufficient to quote these five portions, paraphrased for clarity:

Matthew 16:26 – “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” will first of all procure salvation for those enslaved by mammon.

Matthew 6:19-24 – “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The lamp of the body is the eye [which can see beyond the grave]. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Matthew 6:6 – But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet (the afterlife), and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Romans 8:18 – For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Romans 2:6-8 – He will render to each one according to his works:  to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;  but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.

But woe unto those who soft-pedal God’s justice and have turned Christianity into a yes-man!

Read a related article: Just Punishment.