Hearing God’s Will Through the Lives of Others

Something to ponder…I felt this was worth sharing.

Lynn Pryor

God’s will is the most important matter in your life. Nothing has greater ramifications. Yet some people find discerning God’s will to be difficult to understand. This is one reason why it is crucial to be intimately involved in a local church.

God does not intend for you to live a solitary Christian life. He designed people to live in community. Scripture indicates that God adds people to church bodies as it pleases Him (1 Cor. 12:18). God involves people in churches so they can know and do His will and so churches can be built up to carry out their God-ordained assignment. If you are currently a member of a church; you are not there by accident! God has a purpose for your involvement among those people.

I currently teach a Sunday School class at my church every Sunday morning for single adults, ages 26-39. These people are earnestly…

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Two Reasons We Should NOT “Forgive and Forget”

This blog has great insight…God wants us to remember what we were before we became what we are now and what we will become by the Grace of God.

Lynn Pryor

Well-meaning adults used to tell us as kids, “Oh, just forgive him and forget it.” A playground scuffle, name-calling, and maybe even bringing the character of one’s mother into the argument would escalate into a full-blown argument and maybe an eight-year-old attempt to throw a punch. That’s when the adult entered the picture and told us to play nice. If a grudge was kept beyond the inital scuffle, adults tried to blow it off and gave us the classic cliche, “Oh, just forgive him and forget it.”

Maybe on the playground, that’s OK when all you’re doing is arguing over whose turn it is. But far too many of us get those words engraved in our minds as the virtuous approach to take with any transgression; we grow into adults thinking we’re supposed to always forgive and forget. We equate forgetting with forgiving. 

After a sermon on forgiveness, a woman…

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God’s providence and Sovereignty

Divine providence is the governance of God by which He, with wisdom and love, cares for and directs all things in the universe. The doctrine of divine providence asserts that God is in complete control of all things. He is sovereign over the universe as a whole (Psalm 103:19), the physical world (Matthew 5:45), the affairs of nations (Psalm 66:7), human destiny (Galatians 1:15), human successes and failures (Luke 1:52), and the protection of His people (Psalm 4:8). This doctrine stands in direct opposition to the idea that the universe is governed by chance or fate.

Psalm 104; Psalm 147:8-9; Psalm 147:14-18; Psalm 148:1-12

God’s sovereignty is His rule over all, His providence is His arranging things to accomplish His purposes…. How He hooks things up to accomplish whatever His purpose is in a given situation. God’s providence allows for evil. He is not evil and He doesn’t do evil but He uses it to accomplish His purposes. Our responsibility is to be aligned with God so that when He moves us, we will be ready .
Job 9:5-10; 26:7-14; 37:2-24; 38:8-41

Another clear case of divine providence overriding sin is the story of Judas Iscariot. God allowed Judas to lie, deceive, cheat, steal, and finally betray the Lord Jesus into the hands of His enemies. All of this was a great wickedness, and God was displeased. Yet, at the same time, all of Judas’s plotting and scheming led to a greater good: the salvation of mankind. Jesus had to die at the hands of the Romans in order to become the sacrifice for sin. If Jesus had not been crucified, we would still be in our sins. How did God get Christ to the cross? God providentially allowed Judas the freedom to perform a series of wicked acts. Jesus plainly states this in Luke 22:22: “The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!”

Note that Jesus teaches both the sovereignty of God (“the Son of Man will go as it has been decreed”) and the responsibility of man (“woe to that man who betrays!”). There is a balance. 

 Divine providence is taught in Romans 8:28: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” “All things” means “all things.” God is never out of control. Satan can do his worst, yet even the evil that is tearing the world apart is working toward a greater, final purpose. We can’t see it yet. But we know that God allows things for a reason and that His plan is good. It must be frustrating for Satan. No matter what he does, he finds that his plans are thwarted and something good happens in the end.

So now the Bible says that everyone is born dead in sin (Ephesians. 2:1), are by nature alienated from God and under His wrath (Ephesians. 2:3), lives in a natural state of rebellion against God such that no one seeks Him on their own (Rom. 3:11), views the gospel as foolish (1 Cor. 1:18, 2:14), and is morally incapable of accepting God’s saving ways (Rom. 8:6-7). Scripture also declares that all humanity is enslaved to sin (Rom. 6:20), hostile towards God (Col. 1:21), and unable to come to Christ unless the Father draws them (John 6:44, 65).

In other words, Scripture declares that everyone is in a state where, unless God changes the will of a person, they remain in a position where they are unable to perceive God’s saving grace and will never receive Christ as Savior.

This is why it is absolutely necessary for God to ‘violate’ our ‘free’ will, which is not free at all, but is instead enslaved to sin. In the same way that Jesus violated Lazarus’ ‘deadness’ and raised him from the dead so he could live again, every Christian is also raised back to life from their being “spiritually” dead so that they become born again (John 3) and are then able to live for God.

John Piper, in his usual logical style, puts the matter like this

Will you pray that God change his mind so that he truly sees the beauty of Christ and believe? If you pray this, you are in effect asking God no longer to leave the determination of the man’s will in his own power. You are asking God to do something within the man’s mind (or heart) so that he will surely see and believe. That is, you are conceding that the ultimate determination of the man’s decision to trust Christ is God’s, not merely his.

“What do you want God to do for Him? You can’t ask that God overcome the man’s rebellion, for rebellion is precisely what the man is now choosing, so that would mean God overcame his choice and took away his power of self-determination. But how can God save this man unless he acts so as to change the man’s heart from hard hostility to tender trust?

What I am saying is that it is not the doctrine of God’s sovereignty which thwarts prayer for the conversion of sinners. On the contrary, it is the unbiblical notion of self-determination which would consistently put an end to all prayers for the lost. Prayer is a request that God do something. But the only thing God can do to save a lost sinner is to overcome his resistance to God. If you insist that he retain his self-determination, then you are insisting that he remain without Christ.”

That being the case, ask yourself: is that really what you want? If not, and you’re someone who holds to the notion that God will not violate our will, then perhaps it’s time you rethink your position.

When Do I Depend on God … and When Do I Depend on Others?

I love this….everyone can relate to this…it is really worth reading.

Lynn Pryor

I’m thankful God led someone to invent the DVR. This one invention has brought hours back into my life simply because I can skip the commercials. (If you advertise on TV, I’m sure your product or service is absolutely wonderful; I’m talking about those other commercials.) But if I just turn on the TV to watch something, I will inevitably have to endure “a word from our sponsor.”

  • I don’t have a cat, but I can handle a cat food commercial.
  • I don’t need a luxury car, but I’ll tolerate the British voice telling me the virtues of German engineering.
  • I don’t need a injury lawyer. but I will even tolerate 30 seconds of notoriously bad acting.

But please, please stop it with the drug commercials.

I’ll be sitting in front of the TV eating someone’s leftovers I found in the frig. (Hey, I paid for that refrigerator, so whatever…

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Find Your Purpose

I love this word from Heather today…it’s so powerful and meaningful…..I wanted to share it with everyone!!

To Declare His Glory

and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it…. (Matt 10:39)

Have you ever gone searching for your purpose? Wondering what was supposed to become of your life? I have. This has sent me looking for something to do, instead of someone to become. I think we have a gross misunderstanding in the church of what it really means to find our purpose. You see our purpose is not something we do, it’s found in someone we come to know. Yes, that is where our purpose is found, in knowing Jesus.
 
I’ve chalked up a pretty good resume, accomplished some fairly impressive things and have a few pieces of paper that say I’m qualified to do this thing or that. But you see, Jesus took 12 disciples of little repute, who lacked higher education, and the impressive lives we often strive for and invested so deeply into…

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A Healthy Approach to Dealing with Betrayal

This is something we all have gone through at one time or another…..I wanted to share Heather’s words for today….this is so amazing!!

To Declare His Glory

But the fruit of the Spirit is love….(Galatians 5:22).

Have you ever had someone offer you fake love? Offering loving words to your face, but then, at the blink of an eye, they turn right around and betray you? If you have, I totally understand.
 
There is a part of me, even still, that asks God for a fuller redemption of that, wondering when and if He’s going to do it. Then there’s another part of me that says, “Heather, let it all go. Let the memories of those moments go and release them in time and space to your Heavenly Father who is working all things together for your good and for His great purpose.”
 
Betrayal is false love in the most insidious form. It’s devastating because you thought you trusted a person only to find out that the person loved themselves more than you But, you…

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Serving others as Jesus did

OK, so sometimes it’s really hard to do the right thing when everyone around you is doing the wrong thing…..so does that mean bad company corrupts good morals? Not necessarily….because as Christians we are supposed to be an example of Jesus life….being a Christian is following Jesus, being like Jesus…..there’s an old saying…”What would Jesus do?”  If we are to be like Jesus we have to live and think and act like Jesus did.  According to scripture…Jesus mingled with sinners, yet he did not sin… God wants us to be a witness to others so we can be examples of how He lived when He walked the earth.

 I was listening to Mike Donehey……and the example he gave was picture a man standing on a chair, and someone walking up to the chair and reaching up towards him….he can’t bring them up to his level….yes, they can bring him down…….but when you get off the chair, and lay face down on the ground….it suddenly becomes a different story…..you can’t bring a man down who is already serving on his face.  Get down on your face and wash some feet, then you don’t have to worry about who is corrupting who. When I become the servant of all, there’s no further place to fall.

You’re the One

Father, teach me all Your ways,

and help me to listen every day

Help me the right path to always choose ,

cuz I know with you, I’ll never lose.

Help me to be godly in your sight,

and help me to always choose what is right.

Help others to see the YOU in me,

it’s with you I always want to be.

Help me to follow your perfect plan,

You’ve had for me since life began.

Without You, I fall apart,

Your the one who guides my heart,

If only I keep my eyes on You,

I know that you will see me through.

Whenever I Set Out to Find Freedom…The Enemy Always Starts Tempting Me With Idols…

This is something we all deal with at some time, and I really thought it was worth sharing…thank you Heather for allowing God to use you in this way…

To Declare His Glory

After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah… (2 Chronicles 32:1).

Whenever I set out to do work for God the enemy always starts pushing the same old buttons of fear and control in my life. I can sense him start to whisper things into my heart and mind. Things like, “Don’t share that, you won’t be received with love. They’ll want nothing to do with you.” “Here, you need more of this in your life, because if you don’t, something bad will happen in your life.”
flee sin
 
For me, I have certain vices I turn to that control my thoughts. For some reason, indulging in them makes me feel better. It’s my way of controlling something in my life that I’m not sure how to live without. Have I grown in this area of my life? Absolutely. Am I as far…

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Hey Sin, Catch Me If You Can

It’s the little things we do sometimes that make us feel like….”this can’t be sin, there’s nothing wrong with it…I wanted to share Heather’s Blog again because I can so relate to this…..

To Declare His Glory

The wicked flee though no one pursues….(Proverbs 28:1).

As I was teaching the students at church the other day I said to them, “Whenever I was doing something wrong that my parents didn’t want me to do, I lived in fear the entire time thinking I might get caught.”

Sin is like a drug. Although we know its bad for us, we’ll do whatever it takes to have it. Even though we know its not the right thing to do, we’ll pursue it anyways and live in fear the entire time. This keeps us from being able to live fully and freely in life, but the problem is, we don’t believe we can live without our vices.

There are many people fleeing from freedom, truly believing they are somehow liberated in their rebellious ways. Yet, there is no freedom in lying to get what you want, cheating to have…

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Truth for Today

When I listen to anyone’s sermons, like Tony Evans or David Jeremiah, I like to take notes. I’m not sure exactly where I got all of this , it was just in my notes I took and I compiled them all together, so it was different resources…but I thought it was worth sharing….

If you are consistently giving in to sin, then the Holy Spirit can’t be controlling or filling your life. But if you are asking, “Will I still commit sin after learning about the filling of the Holy Spirit?”—the answer is an emphatic yes. If you are obeying Christ today and trusting His power to change you, then you are exactly where God wants you to be. Don’t agonize over the “fruit” you feel you lack. The fruit will come in due time. When you plant something, you have to make sure it is grounded securely so that deep roots will grow and flourish. Then you have to water it and nourish it daily for it to grow and produce fruit. The same is true with the Christian life.


When we allow God to implement His Word in our lives, others will draw encouragement from us and the more we grow in God’s righteousness, the stronger we become. We can only be a blessing to others when we follow God’s word and implement it into our lives.  Simply knowing about the truths of God does not mean that they have become a part of our life. It’s only when we meditate on His Word day and night, we will be satisfied.

Once you have faith in the finished work of Christ, you now have access to all the provisions of grace. But because we still live in the flesh, we are still drawn away from God.

You may find yourself committing sin and confessing it several times throughout the day. That’s not spiritual weakness; it is evidence that the Holy Spirit is working in your life! Becoming aware of sin and then dealing with it has been described as “spiritual breathing.”

Spiritual breathing involves “exhaling”—admitting your sin to the Lord as it occurs. You recognize that you have sinned and usurped the Lord’s place as director of your life. By “exhaling,” you are removing the impure, and you are claiming the forgiveness that is yours through Christ’s death on the cross.