Friday, July 26, 2013

Anchor

It is amazing how much can be said in a cartoon.  Mike Waters does a fabulous job of sharing the truths found in scripture through his cartoons.

Please leave a comment with your thoughts on this cartoon.

Monday, July 15, 2013

My War on Debt BLOG

Dear Followers and Subscribers of "Well Done",

Some of my readers have been receiving e-mail copies of postings from my other BLOG "My War on Debt" and I would like for you to continue receiving these e-mail postings.  However, to continue receiving these e-mails you will need to go to the BLOG site to subscribe @ http://mywarondebt.blogspot.com  - Please also register as a follower.

If you are not familiar with my "My War on Debt" BLOG I ask that you prayerfully consider becoming a subscriber and a follower so that you too can be a part of this ministry.  Since 1996 my ministry has been as a volunteer budget counselor for Larry Burkett's Christian Financial Concepts and Crown Financial Ministries.  I have also taught money management principles using my personal book "How to Win the War on Debt" in classroom settings.  This book is now in eBook .pdf form and is a free ministry that is sent via e-mail to anyone that asks for a free copy.

The "My War on Debt" is ministry designed to introduce Jesus to those that do not know Him and also to help us all to better learn how to manage the monies that God has provided us through faithful stewardship and sharing what we know with others.  This is a positive form of sharing the Gospel with the world and I would like for you to be a part of this ministry.

Please go to the "My War on Debt" to become a follower and/or subscribe today. 

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Lord, Teach Us How to Pray

Why would we need to learn how to pray?  Is it possible we have been overlooking some of the key elements to effective prayer and which may have hindered answers to our prayers?  The answers to those questions are yes, we do need to learn to pray and to pray the way Jesus did because He always received answer to His prayers.

In Matthew Chapter 6 Jesus gives us the basic model for prayer.  It is a pattern for prayers and not just a prayer for reciting alone.  It is okay to site the prayer, but it is often sited in a group and is not necessarily a heart felt prayer expecting results from the prayer.

Jesus' model prayer is designed for us to pray daily and with the expectancy that our Heavenly Father will do His will in our lives and provide for our needs as well.  The Lord's prayer is found in Matthew 6:9-13, however I do not recommend just reading the verses without reading the whole chapter (click on the link above) in order for you to get the full meaning of why the prayer is inserted where it is location of the chapter.

In the beginning of the chapter Jesus is teaching about giving.  I believe He's referring to what we call offings.  There are tithes and then there are offerings.  Our tithes are God's and they are giving to the household of faith (our church).  Offerings are gifts above our tithes and Jesus is telling us to not make a public display of your offerings because when you do the praise and glory you get from other people is your reward.  Jesus' way of giving offerings is in secret and The Father will reward us openly.  Jesus explained the reward for this type of giving in Matthew 25 especially verses 31-46, but you must read the whole chapter to get the complete understanding.  Jesus will openly bless those that gave of themselves in service of others expecting nothing in return.  They gave out of love.  They gave with the God kind of love.

Next Jesus' teaching is on prayer and He tells us to not make a public display prayer with fancy righteous sounding words so that we are glorified by others.  Praying in this way gives us the glory and praise of men, but does not reach God.   Notice in verse 6 Jesus tells us to go into the secret place to pray.  There is a secret place found in Psalm 91 - It's called "Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God" - Please read the entire chapter before reading the rest of this lesson.  I am sure that you too are seeing the power and protection of going to God in the "Secret Place" to pray where we can trust Him to hear our prayers, answer our prayers according to His will, and to protect us from the evil one.

"Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be your name"

The beginning of this prayer is a statement of praise and worship of our Heavenly Father's name.  You can begin your prayer in your own words of worship, i.e., "O Heavenly Father in heaven, I praised your wonderful name."  Jesus called His Heavenly Father "Abba, Father", which means "Daddy".  It is okay for you to call Him Daddy, Jesus and Paul both called Him "Daddy".

Our Father is in heaven and He’s also in me hear on earth. I am His son, His partner, His manager, and His steward hear on earth.  Our prayers should always begin with worship and praise to our Heavenly Father for who He is and what He had done, is doing, and will do hear on earth and in heaven.  

"Your kingdom come.  Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven"

Our Heavenly Father’s kingdom is in heaven and is also here on earth in me.  He is my Lord and I am His servant to do His will on earth just as His will is done in heaven.  I work for Him and the work I do is to glorify Him here on earth just as it is in heaven.

"Give us this day our daily bread"

God wants and expects for us to ask Him to meet our daily bread needs everyday - there two kinds of bread He feeds us with:

  1. Bread from heaven is for us to feed on which are His Words - Feed on Jesus every day be reading His words and by doing what He says you will be like the wise man that build his house upon a rock Matthew 7:24-28. Notice the key words here: "hears these sayings of mine and does them"
  2. God provides for our daily needs through our careers and the income we earn from those careers. He is the provider of all things pertaining to your life.  We can mistakenly feel we are in charge and have had good success because of what we have done.  It's not what we have done, but rather what He has done for us so that we can have what we have.  He is a good Daddy and He often give us more than what we need.  He deserves our praise and worship for what great things He has done.
" And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors"


The key word here is "forgive" - We must forgive in order to be forgiven.  Ask the Lord to forgive you of your debts, your trespasses, and your sins and He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.  Ask the Lord to forgive you in the same manor you  have forgiven others their debts, trespasses, and sins against you. Now if you haven't forgiven others in the same way you want to be forgiven by God you may have to rethink whether you are forgiven or not.

It is very important for us to forgive because unforgiveness hinders answers to our prayers and opens the door for attacks from the evil one. Unforgiveness actually invites hardships and difficulties in our every day life. Unforgiveness opens the door unanswered prayers, lack, poverty, stress, disease, hardship, and temptations of lusts and passions we would not normally have to deal with.

We ask God to forgive us of our sins and God does forgive, but He also forgets our sins.  He does not remember them any longer.  He does not bring them up and dwell on them.  Now we on the other hand have made statements like; "I have forgiven him or her, but I will never forget what they did".  When you make a statement like this it means you would enjoy digging up those hurt you feelings you have and you secretly have not forgiven that other person.  Whenever you have the temptation to dig up those hurt feelings reject the thought to dwell on these feelings.  This is the enemy coming against you and when you succumb to his temptations you have undone the forgiveness you thought you had.  We will talk more about how to battle this in the "Lead us not into temptation" section of the prayer.

"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.  For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen"

At first glance at this phrase it sounds like God is the cause of temptation, but that is not correct.  God is not a tempter James 1:13,14.  When you read all of these verses you will see that only Satan is the tempter.  So what does it mean when He said, " . . .Lead us not into temptation."  It means testing and trials.  We are to ask The Lord for protection from testing and trials.  Some people have said that we grow through those times of testing and trials and we may, but God never intended for us to experience those trials or temptations. Testing and trials can often cause loss that can never be recovered.

On the night before Jesus' crucifixion Jesus prayed in the garden and He asked His disciples to pray so that they would not be tempted.  Jesus knew the temptations that was facing Peter that night.  He told Peter that Satan had desired to sift him like wheat, but  Jesus prayed for Peter. Luke 22:31,32 - Jesus was facing the most horrible event in His life, but He was more concerned about the testing that Peter was about to go through than His own.  I like the fact that Jesus prays to the Father on our behalf.  I love the fact that I can ask God to keep me and my family safe from evil.   It is okay to ask Him to build a hedge of protection around you and your family.  I think He expects it.

Always honor God when you close your prayer.  The Lord's Prayer concludes with worship and honor to God just like it began.  He is worthy of our praise and our worship.

Matthew 6:4 mentions praying in secret and I think God wants us to go to a secret place (Psalm 91) where we can talk to Him personally as a friend and our Heavenly Father. I think He wants us to go to this secret place to praise Him and worship Him first and foremost and then we are to ask Him for help in carrying out our daily purpose and mission in life.  Our purpose and mission in this life is what He has called us to do.  Our purpose is His will and His mission - not ours.

God expects us to let Him be our provider and trust in Him to do so. Our job is to honor and worship Him with the first fruits our lips (praise and worship) and the first fruits of our labors (tithes and offerings). God has spoken His words and His promises and He honors us by meeting our needs through our faith in Him.