What would happen if Christians prayed for the salvation of John Kerry and John Edwards and their families?
I'm afraid our prayers for the souls of such men are often in vain because we either don't believe God can or will save men such as they or we are praying for such a change because it would make our lives feel a little bit safer. We pray for the salvation of souls for selfish reasons or we pray without faith. Either way our prayers are empty, meaningless repititions.
Can we pray in faith believing not for the present but for all eternity?
Why are we so hard on ourselves?
God doesn't expect us to be perfect, just faithful.
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
(The following quotations are from the English Version for the Deaf)
1. Recognize that you have everything -- Christ was equal with God and as Christians we are equal with Christ and therefore, perfect in God's eyes.
"Christ himself was like God in everything."
2. Recognize that our status with God is not the measure of our service on earth.
"But Christ did not think that being equal with God was something that he must keep."
3. Relinquish our our claim to piety.
"He gave up his place with God and agreed to be like a servant. He was born to be a man and became like a servant."
4. Recognize that the position requested of us by God requires humilty and obedience even if it leads to death.
"And when he was living as a man, he humbled himself by being fully obedient to God. He obeyed even when that caused him to die. And he died on a cross."
5. Recognize that only true obedience is rewarded by God.
"Christ obeyed God, so God raised Christ to the most important place."
6. Remember that this mind is not something we create for ourselves, or assume, or contrive. It is of God and Him alone.
2:13 "God is working in you. God helps you want to do the things that please him. And he gives you the power to do these things."
This quote is from church, not from In the Presence of Mine Enemies.
"Complaining always comes from an empty heart."
When is your heart empty?
I've been thinking alot about who my enemies are. And I've decided that because I can't see them, I forget to be aware of what effect they are having on my freedom. Gracia Burnham could see the men with guns trained on her. She could feel the rocks they threw at her. She knew in a tangible way the humiliation of their treatment. And she faced what she learned about herself while in their captivity.
Because my enemies aren't tangible, I often don't realize I am in their control, that they are limiting my freedom, abusing me, keeping me from the joy of life.
I have realized that I do have enemies that take me into captivity in much the same way Gracia and her husband were taken. They burst in unaware and demand that I go with them and they keep me bound and helpless constantly running from place to place in search of safety but never toward release.
Who are my enemies? Self-pity, desire for control, unreasonable expectations for those around me, weariness, wrong focus, covetousness, jealousy, anything that takes my eyes off Christ who gives me life and freedom.
My ransom has already been paid. These captors should have no power over me because I have already been freed from them for all eternity. But I continually allow them to have control and although the source of my release is available, I choose not to take it but continue on, slogging through the mire of the jungle of my fears, frets, and failures.
Each time I am taken captive by these very real enemies, I must face who I really am, I must turn to my Savior and allow Him to release me. I cannot release myself. I must throw myself on His mercy and salvation.
Our salvation is not only a one time for all eternity salvation. It is a daily salvation from our enemies in whose presence our God has prepared a table filled with all we need.
I have read a wide variety of books, hundreds of them, and many of those more than once. Many of those books have touched my heart, enlightened my mind, challenged me, motivated me, moved me, but I have just finished one that drove me to my knees to ask God to change me.
In the Presence of Mine Enemies by Gracia Burnham tells the story of Gracia and Martin Burnham's kidnapping in the Philippines and their 1 year 11 day captivity. When I began to read it, I expected my faith to be strengthened. Instead my faith was tested, tested as God took the trials of my Christian sister and used them to put a magnifying glass over my faith and forced me to see what I really was in relationship to Him and all He wanted me to be. I was forced to see that I was far from living by faith but was rather living in the flesh, expecting God to meet me there and provide for me.
I challenge you to read this book, if you haven't already, and while you're reading, I'll share with you, a little at a time, what I found there that changed my life.