Please Pray For My Family

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“When God intends great mercy for His people, the first thing He does is set them-a-praying. – Matthew Henry

Our beautiful Anna Joy was born a week and a half ago but what most won’t know she was admitted back into the hospital less than a week after her birth due to a high fever and weight loss.  We are so thankful for Dr. Omar and his skill and compassion as he immediately recognized Anna did not look the right color and sent her in without delay.

After a number of tests, including a spinal tap, it was determined she has meningitis.  The original suspicion was bacterial and since has now been downgraded to viral.  It looks as though she will spend up to two weeks in the hospital hooked up to an IV and receiving constant doses of antibiotics.  Fortunately, for Anna this is not a major deal.  She will never remember it and it is very unlikely there will be any long term damage.  We praise God for this and delight in His provision.

The one that will suffer more than anyone in the family is my lovely wife Jen.  She has rarely left the hospital or the room in nearly a week.  She sleeps on an extraordinarily uncomfortable fold-out sofa, where nurses are constantly coming and going checking Anna’s vitals.  Of course it also includes the round the clock noises that are synonymous with a hospital stay.  Jen misses the other girls desperately and is challenged with all of the questions and doubts that float around in our minds when we have little else to consume our thoughts.

Psalm 139:16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.  And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.

It is hard for me to fathom the depths of this verse.  Is this not a crystal clear answer to all our questions as to who controls Anna’s outcome?  This is God’s Sovereignty on display in all its glory.  How can we doubt or have fears?

As I write this today there is little chance that Anna is in serious danger, but we didn’t know that four or five days ago and we had serious concerns about her health.  Yes, we both fully trust God in this situation, but it doesn’t mean we should not take those concerns to the Lord.  This is our opportunity to align our hearts with His as we seek Him.

This is why Believers pray.

Do we want her to be healed?  Of course, that is what “we want”, but Jesus also asked the Father “if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me.”  And then we must see what our ultimate purpose of prayer is going to be, “nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39)

Is it possible that we often miss the main point of prayer in our desires for what we want?

Matthew 6:31-34 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For after all these things the Gentiles seek, For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

As much as we desire what we desire, Believers should desire His will!  I don’t know how Jesus could make this anymore clear?

The challenge is that our will fights against the will of God consistently and passionately.  We really want what we want and somehow if we believe we are children of the King He should do what we want.  Sometimes Always His ways are higher than our ways and we just need to get out of the way and place our trust in those ways.

Acts 17:26-28 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being…

God is in complete control of all things at all times and there is not a sparrow that falls to the ground outside of His Sovereign Will.  (Matthew 10:29)

I desire prayer for my family in this time but I desire it according to His will, not what I think I want, because more often than not my desire is the wrong desire.  (Jeremiah 17:9).

I desire that we be drawn closer to God and we depend on Him more and always.

I would desire that Jen and Grace would learn to trust Him more and seek Him for all their needs.

I desire that God would be merciful and grant Madeline repentance unto faith in Christ.

I desire that I would be a fearless man of God in leading my family and proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ to all the nations.

I desire that God would be glorified and that I would serve Him with a pure heart.

Will Anna be healed?  I hope so, but I don’t necessarily hope for her physical healing, I hope for her spiritual healing.  I hope for Madeline and Lydia’s spiritual healing above all things physical.

In the end this is the only thing that matters.  You see when we only desire His will all our needs are met no matter the outcome.

Matthew Henry – The target of our prayers is always “God’s glory, and our own true happiness.”

 

Kevin

Cease from sin

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Last week I spoke about the topic of legalism and I made the assertion that most people will call you a legalist if you call sin, “sin”.  How do we balance grace with works?  John MacArthur says there are only two religions in the world.  There is the religion of human accomplishment and there is Christianity.  You can lump every false religion into the first category.  This religion of human accomplishment says you must do this to make yourself worthy of heaven.  You must do something to appease your “god”.

True Christianity says God came in human flesh and did the doing.  He lived a perfect, sinless life so sinful man could be reconciled to God.  There is nothing you can do to earn God’s redemption without the work of Christ.

Nothing! 

No prayer, no amount of sacrifice, you cannot be “good” enough to earn God’s favor; you can’t be part of a special group.  Jesus Christ went to the cross to drink the cup of God’s wrath to pay for the sins of those who would believe in Him that they could turn from their sin.

This IS the true gospel.

If you think you can do something to earn God’s forgiveness you are wrong.  If you think that being baptized or saying the sinner’s prayer or being part of a certain religious group will save you from the terrors and torture of hell, you need to stop and consider, carefully what you are counting on for salvation.

The gospel tells us we are dead in sins and trespasses, unable to save ourselves (Ephesians 2:1).  The gospel tells us we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8).  The gospel tells us it is not of works so no one can boast (Ephesians 2:9).  Clearly, we can do nothing outside of God’s work.

1 Peter 4:1-2 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

Here is the rub…  This is the difference between false conversion and true conversion.  Do you now cease from sin?  If you claim to be saved and claim to be a follower of Christ, you must cease from sin.

Disclaimer, you won’t do this to perfection.

However, if you are not striving against sin, you are not saved.  If your sin does not sicken you, you are not saved.  I hope this sounds harsh.  I would rather this be harsh and have you see your sin than live in a world of illusion and deception.

If you claim to be a Believer you will resist and fight against sin.  It will be a lifelong battle but you will grow or you must examine your life.

Believer, you are under grace, you are no longer under the law (Romans 5:1-2).  This is not a license to willfully live in sin.  Romans 6:1 What shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?  Certainly not!  How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

Are you striving against sin in your life?  Hebrews 12:3-4 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.  You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.

If this is a concept that is unfamiliar to you, I hope you will sit down and examine your life by the truth of God’s Word.  God has supplied the world with the gift of His Word and the glorious sacrifice of His Son that some will be saved.  If you are saved, you now have work to do.

Kevin