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Prayer Partakers

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Prayer Partakers:

This Prayer Partakers articles reviews recorded cases in Biblical Scriptures where communication with God via prayers were answered affirmatively.

Pregnancy Prayer Partakers:

God instructed humankind to be fruitful and multiply to have children and populate our planet. What do you do when you wish to have children, yet there is no pregnancy? God has been very generous today to provide many medical & social & technological aids to help families in having children biologically & alternatively via adoption. Historically, before todays modern medical advances, primary solutions included time, prayer, & even surrogate parents. In Abraham’s son Isaac case, Isaac prayed for his wife Rebekah.  God granted his request and Rebekah his wife became pregnancy & birthed twins.

Genesis 25:19-26 (ESV): 19 These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham fathered Isaac, 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. 21 And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren. And the LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23 And the LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.” 24 When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25 The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. 26 Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

1 Samuel 1:1,5-6,11,17,19,20,26-28 (ESV): 1 There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. …  5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the LORD had closed her womb. 6 And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. …   11 And she vowed a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” …  17 Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” … 19 They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. 20 And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the LORD.” …  26 And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the LORD. 27 For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him. 28 Therefore I have lent him to the LORD. As long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there.

Interesting Pregnancy Quotations:

“How you approach birth is intimately connected with how you approach life” Quote by William Sears (The Pregnancy Book: A Month-By-Month Guide). Courtesy GoodReads.com at http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/255094-how-you-approach-birth-is-intimately-connected-with-how-you

Pregnancy Prayers Key Points:

  • God made our natural process to be fruitful & multiply.
  • God hears & grants prayers for families to have children.
  • God has provided opportunities to grow families via medical advances & adoption.

Pregnancy Prayers Discussion Points / Questions:

  • Does God still grant prayer requests for children?
  • If a good friend wanted to children, under what circumstances would you pray for them, or guide them to pray to God?
  • If God wanted you to learn some more valuable lessons before having [more] children, how would you handle it?
  • What if children were not a dear friends future who wanted them? Elaborate. What if that applied to you?
  • Why is it important in this life on how people approach pregnancy, birth, and even adoption? Share your thoughts on the pregnancy quotation.

Life Prayer Partakers:

God ultimately has authority over when & where we & our loved ones live & die. God granted prayers to bring people back to life. Scriptures record few rare occasions that this was done. One time was when Elijah brought a boy back to life. Another time was when Jesus brought a girl back to life. When Jesus the Christ who is God (shares the same nature / character with God the Father and the Holy Spirit) informed us that the girl was sleeping, that set the expectation that when she returned, she would not be sharing stories about the afterlife.

1 Kings 17:17-24 (ESV): 17 After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill. And his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. 18 And she said to Elijah, “What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance and to cause the death of my son!” 19 And he said to her, “Give me your son.” And he took him from her arms and carried him up into the upper chamber where he lodged, and laid him on his own bed. 20 And he cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, have you brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by killing her son?” 21 Then he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, let this child’s life come into him again.” 22 And the LORD listened to the voice of Elijah. And the life of the child came into him again, and he revived. 23 And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house and delivered him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son lives.” 24 And the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth.”

Mark 5:35-43 (ESV): 35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. 41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. 43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Interesting Life Partakers Quotation:

“You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.” Quotation by C.S. Lewis Courtesy GoodReads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/37597

“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one” Quotation by Bruce Lee Courtesy GoodReads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/4146

“A man’s life will not come again, once it has slipped through his teeth. And no power on earth can bring it back. This is the mortal law. Then no longer will his bones be held together by wet sinews. Then no longer the soul flutter in his mouth. But by Death’s blazing light, he is ground out and spent.” Quotation by Paul Pope (Escapo) Courtesy GoodReads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/1334716

Life Prayer Key Points:

  • God listened & acted to perform miracles to bring children back to life when asked via prayers & when asked in person.
  • God holds the keys to our life and death both in our earthly temporal life, and also for eternity.

Life Prayers Discussion Points / Questions:

  • Does God still perform miracles today, such as raising children back to life?
  • What comfort does God offer when the answer is “not this time” to miracle prayer requests?
  • Have you know any family or friends who have lost a young child to death?
  • How does God use the medical profession & technology advances to answer prayers?
  • Share your thoughts on the Life Quotations.

Wisdom Prayer Partakers:

God gave King David’s Son Solomon a dream. In the dream, God asked Solomon what he wanted. Solomon responded by asking for wisdom to rule God’s people. God recognized tremendous value in asking for wisdom. Wisdom can contribute to good eternal decision-making. God granted King Solomon his request, along with riches and long life. An even longer life was contingent upon King Solomon’s continued faithfulness. The Bible endorses our also asking God for wisdom. Wisdom is best when combined with a living faith, so we are to ask for wisdom out of our faith.  For an exploration of Wisdom & Faith & Love, consult The Three Guides articles & presentation materials later.

1 Kings 3:5-14 (ESV): 5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” 6 And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. 7 And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. 9 Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” 10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. 13 I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. 14 And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”

James 1:5-8 (ESV): 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Interesting Wisdom Quotations:

“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” Quotation by Isaac Asimov Courtesy GoodReads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/4078

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
Quotation by Mark Twain (The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain) Courtesy GoodReads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/4957

“I’m not young enough to know everything.” By J.M. Barrie (The Admirable Crichton) Courtesy GoodReads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/120011

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” Quotation by Confucius Courtesy GoodReads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/83

“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens” Quotation by Jimi Hendrix Courtesy GoodReads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/22276

Wisdom Prayer Key Points:

  • God instructs individuals having a living faith, yet who lack wisdom, to ask God for wisdom.
  • God was pleased to grant King Solomon’s request for wisdom, even providing much more than was asked.
  • God is also able to grant riches and long lifetimes.

Wisdom Prayer Discussion Points / Questions:

  • Under what circumstances should you not expect to get anything from God as a result of your prayers?
  • Explain why wisdom is best when combined with a living faith.
  • Have you asked, or do you plan to ask, the Lord God for Wisdom.
  • Share your thoughts on the interesting wisdom quotations.

Longevity Prayer Partaker:

While each of us does not know how many temporal years of life are allocated to us initially, God has shown us how to increase those years by honoring our parents. God left open options to answer his followers prayers for a longer lifespan. Followers are also referred to as Saints. God added 15 years (close to 5,500 days) of life to loyal & faithful King Hezekiah when he prayed to the Lord.

Exodus 20:12 (ESV): 12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Deuteronomy 5:16 (ESV): 16 “‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Ephesians 6:1-3 (ESV): 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”

Isaiah 38:1-5 (ESV): 1 In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die, you shall not recover.” 2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 and said, “Please, O Lord, remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4 Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: 5 “Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life.

Phillipians 1:21-28 (ESV): 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again. 27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.

Interesting Longevity Quotations:

“Like anybody, I would like to have a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will.” Quotation by Martin Luther King Jr.  Courtesy of GoodReads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/16768

“The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.” Quotation by Martin Luther King Jr. Courtesy GoodReads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/24547

“I want to live for a very, very long time, but it’s important that I take care of my body. When I am 851 years old, I don’t want to look it. No, I want to look 158.” by Jarod Kintz (Who Moved My Choose?: An Amazing Way to Deal With Change by Deciding to Let Indecision Into Your Life) Courtesy GoodReads.com at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/466989

Longevity Prayer Key Points:

  • God promises individuals longer life spans when they obey God’s commandment to honor their parents.
  • Saints of God are permitted to ask God for a longer life span. God may actively intervene to make this happen.
  • Tradeoff’s exist for Saints leaving this Earth to be with God versus staying to support God’s Mission.

Longevity Prayer Discussion Points / Questions:

  • Discuss to what age would you like to live. Are you inclined to ask God for more years of life? Explain.
  • Explore under what circumstances God is likely to decline prayers for increased longevity.
  • What are ways in which you & your family can honor your parents?
  • How could you support God’s Church, Mission, and Saints prior to your departure?
  • Share your thoughts on the longevity quotations.

Your Prayer Partaker Journey:

Our Prayer Partaker Journey is meant to provide us a lifeline to God for support through life events, whether related to family expansion, life & death, wisdom, or longevity. God documented specific circumstances where these request types were answered, as God cares deeply for the life of his true followers. God has heard & granted prayers for families to have children, and has setup a myriad of health specialists & technologies to support these request types today. Cultivate & establish a firm & stable faith to come to God with confidence with our prayer requests like when asking for increased wisdom. Reflect upon how long a life you’d like to live, since God has the power to provide followers a longer life. Remember to honor your parents as instructed in the Ten Commandments, as this is the first commandment including a promise of a longer & better life.

God’s scriptures recorded in the Bible on prayer touch upon many more topics & examples, so take some time to search the Bible (for example, on websites like https://www.biblegateway.com).

Credits:

The visual of an human ultrasound with this prayer article is Courtesy Microsoft Corporation.

Closest

Learning Prayer by Counter-Points & Points:

When we pray, we offer up our thoughts to God. Prayer can be done in public locations, in private locations, and silently in our inner beings in-between thoughts while going about our day to day activities. Prayers range from sharing our concerns with God, asking about the future, seeking justice, desiring discernment, pursuing guidance, appealing for help, and showing appreciation.

What does the Bible say about prayer as it is supposed to be done, and how it is not to be done?

Hypocrite Counter-Point Examples:

The Bible instructs Jesus Christ’s followers on how not to pray to God and on how to pray also. The ultimate aim is to show us how to pray in the context of a living faith. Since it is natural to come at prayer with many of our own & our culture’s assumptions & approaches, God’s inspired scriptures take extra care to showcase the prayer life God desires.

Matthew 6:5-6 (ESV): 5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Hypocrite Key Points:

  • Prayer is not about looking good in front of others.
  • Prayer is about turning to God personally.
  • God created people as relational beings.
  • God desires each person to have a meaningful relationship with God.
  • God intends for prayer to draw us away from hypocracy.

Hypocrite Discussion Points / Questions:

  • Is it ok to lead a group in prayer? Explain.
  • Describe circumstances under which it allowable to be seen by others when you pray.
  • How is God able to see us when we pray in secret places? [Hint: Check out the Universe Tools Paradigm Presentation later]

Verbosity Counter-Point Example:

God already knows what you want, so there is little point in taking extra steps to inefficiently communicate what you want to God.

Matthew 6:7-8 (ESV): 7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Verbosity Key Points:

  • Using many words to pray to God makes your prayers needlessly lengthier.
  • Be real with God, as God already knows what you need and want.

Verbosity Discussion Points / Questions:

  • Are shorter prayers always better? Why or Why Not?
  • Does God know what you need more than you yourself knows? Explain.

Lord’s Prayer Example:

Jesus provided a prayer, known as the Lord’s Prayer, which serves as a example of how to pray our own prayers, covering similar themes.

Matthew 6:9-12 (ESV): 9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Lord’s Prayer Key Points:

  • Joining the Christian Faith is like joining a heavenly family, where God is the Father
  • God’s name is to be honored, because of all God has done & continues to do
  • God desires us to seek our voyage on Earth to be in line with God’s will in heaven
  • God knows our daily needs and it’s reasonable to ask God to allocate provisions
  • Forgiveness of others is central to our faith & relationship with God
  • Because of personal weaknesses, we ask God’s intervention in keeping us away from temptation & evil

Lord’s Prayer Discussion Points / Questions:

  • How does our earthly father / family compare to our heavenly Father / Family?
  • List ways can we show honor to God’s name & reputation.
  • Even if you pray a lot, will God forgive your sins if you do not forgive others their sins?
  • Besides in a private location like our closest, how else can our prayers be private between us and God?

Persecuted Counter-Intuitive Prayer Example:

Intuitively, many people would normally be inclined to offer up prayers to God to punish their enemies, especially those who have caused them harm through persecution. Counter-intuitively, God instructs us to pray for our enemies out of love for them, which implies a concern for their reform & eternal well-being. Even personal human enemies are created in God’s image.

Matthew 5:43-48 (ESV): 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Persecution Key Points:

  • God instructs us to Love Our Enemies rather than Hate Our Enemies
  • God commands us to Pray for those who persecute us out of love for them

Persecution Discussion Points / Questions:

  • How willing are you to pray that your enemies will come to know God the Father, Son Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit and repent of their sins and be transformed inwardly?
  • Discuss the good that would come into many nations in the world, if each resident were to come to know & follow Jesus Christ personally.
  • God provides sunlight for both righteous and evil people. Discuss how this informs behaviors of those providing products & services to others with different religious & moral beliefs.

Good Gifts Prayer Points:

Make a habit of coming to God in prayer about your needs, because God is already inclined to give good gifts to his children.

Luke 11:5-13 (ESV): 5 And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, 6 for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him'; 7 and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. 9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Good Gifts Key Points:

  • As Heavenly Father, God wants to provide his children/followers what is good for them.
  • Ask God for the good gift of the Holy Spirit.

Good Gifts Discussion Points / Questions:

  • Is God providing a blank check when he says “For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened”? Explain.
  • What would those who properly follow God under the Holy Spirit ask for, and not ask for?

Persistent Prayer Points:

When something is important to you, it is reasonable to expect you’ll come to God in prayer persistently about it.

Luke 18:1-8 (ESV): 1 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Persistence Key Points:

  • Be persistent with God across different prayer sessions.
  • Pray during the daytime and evening too.
  • Remain faithful to God even as you Ask God for justice speedily, and wait for your prayers to be answered.

Persistence Discussion Points / Questions:

  • Does being persistent mean repeating the same words over & over again?
  • Provide examples of what is meant & what is not meant to ask God for justice.

Righteousness & Forgiveness Prayer Points:

Many people have trouble seeing their own sin, even though they find it easy to point to others’ sins & imperfections. In contrast, many other people see ways in which they’ve done wrong & need God’s forgiveness.

Luke 11:9-14 (ESV): 9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Matthew 6:14-15 (ESV): 14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Righteousness & Forgiveness Key Points:

  • Before God, all people except Jesus have sinned.
  • When we come to God, admit our sin.
  • Pray to God for forgiveness and to redirect your heart anew to repent and follow God.
  • Make sure you also forgive others so God will also forgive your sins.

Your Prayer Journey:

Our Prayer Journey is meant to lead us far away from hypocrisy to recognition of our sins, with a heart leading to repentance & forgiveness. Prayer is not meant to be an abundance of wordy verbose words, but instead sincere communication with God. Prayer is meant to recognize God’s Greatness, his ability to help us, and to direct us to desire God’s will to become increasingly more prevalent on earth, including the administration of justice. God is ready to provide good gifts like the Holy Spirit to all people who follow God the Father, Son Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit. Prayer is meant to call us to be forgiving of others, and to love & pray for others, even enemies.

The Bible has much more to share about how to pray, so take some time to search the Bible (for example, on websites like https://www.biblegateway.com).

Credits:

The Closet image visual with this post is Courtesy Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft.com).

God’s Word supports both its’ reading and explaining its’ gist (or sense) of what is being communicated from the Divine so people will understand, as is done today with books, Churches, Bible Studies, with individual believers, online sermons, articles, audio, video, and blog posts. While explanations abound about scriptures inspired by the Holy Spirit, recognize limitations to individual private interpretations to prophecies. To understand Divine Wisdom more fully, we are to aspire & to seek to advance towards spiritual maturity through learning, thoughtful reflection, and applied actions. It’s a process, so recognize the progress individually and collectively will vary.

Nehemiah 8:8-12 (ESV): 8 They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading. 9 And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. 10 Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” 11 So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.” 12 And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.

1 Corinthians 2:6-7 (ESV): 6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.

2 Peter 1:16-21 (ESV): For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Colossians 1:24-29 (ESV): 24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

Hebrews 5:11-14 (ESV): 11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Revelation 22:12-21 (ESV): 12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” 17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. 18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. 20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

 

The Bible Genesis Chapter 5 is primarily a timeline showcasing the first 1,656 years after Adam was created, and before the Great Flood on the Earth, providing a genealogy ancestry slice from Adam to Noah and his three sons Sham, Ham, and Japheth. Like any history with many dates and people, understanding and picturing this can be a challenge. The Time-Spans Timeline^2 Squared chart presented here shows the timeline in a novel way to how it is usually depicted. This one-page chart highlights the (1) birth years (2) father & sons, (3) longevities (ages), (4) relative years since Adam was created, and (5) overlapping lifespans visualizations.

Genesis 5 Timeline Squared One-Pager

Genesis 5 Timeline Squared One-Pager

You can use the above timespan chart to answer numerous timeline based trivia questions, like the following:

Genesis Chapter 5 Trivia: // Besides other sons & daughters
(1) Who was alive when Enoch was on Earth?
(2) Who could Jared not get to know?
(3) Who was Enosh’s Grandfather?
(4) Who lived a longer lifespan than Adam?
(5) Whose disclosed lifespan was the shortest?
(6) Who died 1,290 years after Adam was created?
(7) Who was Jared’s Great Grandfather?
(8) How long after Enosh was Jared Born?
(9) Who would have had no chance to know Noah?
(10) Who lived at right time to know all mentioned by name?

The Bible Genesis Chapter 5, while primarily a written recorded textual timeline, also contains a few special verses outside the timeline.

Genesis 5:1 (ESV): 1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God.

God re-iterated that humankind was created in his image, which means in the context of scriptures that people with God’s divine intervention, have the ability to be holy, loving, kind, generous, forgiving, and merciful like God. Jesus Christ who came as the Savior of the World, as the Son of God, who lived a perfect life, died to bear the sins of many people who are repentant and come to a living & enduring & growing faith. Jesus Christ is the way we come to know the truth about this life of ours, and come to know God the Father, and the Holy Spirit.

Genesis 5:2 (ESV): 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.

Because God made humankind, starting with Adam and Eve, with the ability to reproduce, future generations of Adam and Eve are a result of the biological reproduction processes Our Creator established.

The Bible Genesis Chapter 5 lifespans illustrate an untapped scientific & behavioral opportunity to increase our lifespans to hundreds of years. At the time of this writing, many people considered to live a full life have lifespans ranging from 70 to 120 years. Whether humankind will find out the secret to longer life spans is presently unknown, yet God illustrated the potential exists. At this juncture, it is speculation on whether humankind in following God and searching the sciences will be granted access to this door to longevity.

Genesis 5:28-29 (ESV): 28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he fathered a son 29 and called his name Noah, saying, “Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.”

The statement of Lamech who fathered Noah, foreshadows the the importance placed upon the birth of Noah. As history unfolded after hundreds of years, God sends a great flood upon the Earth. God spares Moses and his wife, and his sons, and their wives, and pointed to a brighter future for humankind.

Genesis 5:24 (ESV): 24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.

To better understand the mystery of how God took Enoch, please see the related presentation on the Bible Genesis Creation Account at http://www.slideshare.net/creationary/bible-genesis-creation-account and the related post at http://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/bible-genesis-creation-account-universe-tools-paradigm-comparison-literal-creator-days/, which covers Genesis Chapter 1 & 2 in the context of scriptures, and answers question about the time Our Creator used in designing, rending, and operating Our Universe. The key point is how Enoch walked with God can be thought of as similar to how digital application programs are ported from platform to platform. God is likewise able to port people to Eternal Life or Torment Forever, depending upon a righteous judgement based upon the life each person has lived. Like Elijah later, Enoch was taken & did not die. One wonders if all humankind, before our fall into sin with its’ death penalty, was originally to have this option to graduate from life on Earth to be taken by God to have a close relationship with God in Heaven.

You are welcome to download the Bible Genesis 5 Timeline Squared Presentation PDF, at http://bibleopia.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/bible-genesis-5-timeline-squared-pdf.pdf which also contains the answers to the trivia questions posed earlier.

The initial stages of human embryogenesis.

The initial stages of human embryogenesis. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Celebrate the World’s Savior:

Christians celebrate the coming of the Savior of the World, the Son of God, who is Jesus, the Christ.

Who is this World Savior Jesus?

Jesus is God and is the Son of God, and was with God the Father and the Holy Spirit when Our Universe was created.

John 1:1-3 (ESV): 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Genesis 1:1-2 (ESV): 1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

World Savior’s Nature:

Jesus has the same character (the same nature) as God the Father.

Hebrews 1:3-4 (ESV): He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

World Savior Reveals:

The only way to know God the Father is through Jesus the Son, who reveals the nature & essence of God. God’s Bible scriptures testify to the eternal life that Jesus offers.

Matthew 11:27-28 (ESV): All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

2 John 1:9 (ESV): 9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

John 5:39 (ESV): 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,

Savior Lights Our World:

Our Savior Jesus Christ shines spiritual light towards people, with the goal for us to walk a righteous life.

John 8:12 (ESV): 12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Savior’s Virgin Birth Prophesied:

Many generations ago, prior to Jesus’ birth, Isaiah prophesied Our Savior Immanuel (God with Us) Jesus’ birth will originate via a virgin birth.

Isaiah 7:14 (ESV): Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Savior’s Virgin Birth:

God sent the Angel Gabriel to Mary, who admitted she was a virgin while she was formally engaged (betrothed) to be married. The angel Gabriel revealed this pregnancy would result from God’s Holy Spirit intervention in her womb.  Scientifically this bears similarity to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) techniques.

Luke 1:26-33 (ESV): 26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

As per the Universe Tools Paradigm (see http://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/bible-genesis-creation-account-universe-tools-paradigm-comparison-literal-creator-days/), it clearly follows God capabilities to make Mary pregnant while she retained her virginity. The virgin birth is the simple part, as even today’s science a couple of millennia later are able to create virgin births using techniques like In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). The challenging portion is creating a baby that will have the exact nature of God. This was divinely orchestrated by the Holy Spirit starting in the womb.

Luke 1:34-38 (ESV): 34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Savior’s Purpose:

Our Savior’s purpose was live a perfect life without sin, and then to die as a payment for the world’s sins. This perfect life was unjustly crucified as the payment Jesus uses to pay for the sins of his repentant followers.

John 12:27-36 (ESV): 27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. 34 So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”

Savior’s Death:

The Savior Jesus laid down his life to die as a payment for the world’s sins. Consider this parallel to the love a Father has for a child, or that a husband has for his wife. It was the sin of the world that put Jesus in the situation of having to die on the cross, and the love of God for us, that brought Jesus with tears to be willing to die on the cross. Jesus’ death was a voluntary offering.

Luke 22:39-46 (ESV): 39 And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45 And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

Savior’s Resurrection:

When Jesus was on the cross on a Friday, Jesus indicated that the repentant criminal would be with him that night in paradise.

Luke 23:39-42 (ESV): 39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Using the Universe Tools Paradigm as a lens to examine scriptures (see http://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/bible-genesis-creation-account-universe-tools-paradigm-comparison-literal-creator-days/), it follows that God the Father brought Jesus back to life in paradise (in Heaven) that very Friday night. Even before Jesus was in Heaven (in paradise) that night, Jesus knew he was granted the power to raise back up his physical Earthly body on Earth on the third day, that Resurrection Sunday.

John 10:16-18 (ESV): 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me,because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.This charge I have received from my Father.”

Acts 2:22-22+2 (ESV): “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God withmighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.

On the third day, that Sunday, Jesus’ followers were not expecting Jesus to rise from the dead, despite God’s Son instructing them on this matter prior to being crucified & dead & buried.

Luke 24:1-8 (ESV): 1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 8 And they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.

Jesus’ resurrection was back to a regular human body that could see, touch, taste, and eat.

Luke 24:36-43 (ESV): 36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them.

John 20:24-29 (ESV): 24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” 26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Jesus appeared many more times to his disciples, even to more than 500 people at once, in which his resurrection was an eyewitness event that was recorded in history.

Acts 13:30-31 (ESV): 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people.

1 Corinthians 15:3-9 (ESV): 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

As we remember Jesus’ coming into our world, recommend you use your reason along with the Universe Tools Paradigm as a lens to examine scriptures (see http://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/bible-genesis-creation-account-universe-tools-paradigm-comparison-literal-creator-days/), to better understand what God was doing.

Further References:

John 1:1-13 (ESV): 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (see The Bible Gateway http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john%201&version=ESV)

Web References:

Does the Old Testament Predict the Virgin Birthhttp://www.patheos.com/blogs/joeljmiller/2012/12/does-the-old-testament-really-predict-the-virgin-birth/

English: Picture of the Abraham Lincoln statue...

English: Picture of the Abraham Lincoln statue in the Lincoln Memorial. Italiano: La statua di Lincoln al Lincoln Memorial. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The world desperately needs freedom, the freedom they can only get from Jesus, the Christ, the Savior, the Son of God, the Word of God.

John 8:31-38 (ESV):

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,
32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.
35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever.
36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you.
38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

God's Will, Our Style

Bible’s Lessons:

The Bible records many distinctive ways people lived God’s Will, even though at times rebellion, sin, and disobedience surfaced. God’s Will allows for personal style consistent with God’s Commandments, and requires repentance in response to disobedience. As you live out God’s Will, distinguish between these:

      1. God’s Will
      2. Our Style consistent with God’s Will
      3. Our Way opposing God’s Will
      4. Our Sin & Rebellion

The key point is that as people are called to follow God, that God is also calling you to bring your essential individually, and then to seek God’s help to live it out without your inner sin.

God’s Will Generally:

The Bible emphasizes the importance (a) to have faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, (b) to repent from sin, (c) pursue righteousness, (d) to love & obey God with all your being, and (e) to love your neighbor as yourself. When selecting what to do in life, evaluate your decisions in light of God’s Will generally.

God’s Will Specifically:

Complimenting the already available guidance in God’s Will generally revealed, is the further knowledge that God works to bring believers through situations to improve them & help others. This is a process where our character, skills, and faith is meant to grow beneficially individually & collectively as life’s challenges are faced.

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV): For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

God’s preparing good works for people to perform is observable in scriptures in several instances. God prophesied to Abraham hundreds of years ahead of time the slavery & release of his people, in which Moses & Aaron played a critical role. The life of Queen Ester and Mordecai evidences God’s coordination of redemptive events to protect his people from genocide. What instances do you recall from your studies of scriptures?

God’s Will Directly Articulate:

On rare occasions, God’s Will is made crystal clear via direct communication. One instance is when God asked Moses to rescue his people from EgyptPharaoh (Exodus 3).

Exodus 3:10 (ESV):  10 Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.

God’s Will and Our Style:

God permits the way in which God’s Will is lived out to incorporate our personal & collective styles to some extent. This is illustrated when God preferred Moses to directly deliver God’s Word and lead God’s people. Moses personality & style was inherently shy about speaking directly to his people, so God provided Aaron to Moses to work out God’s Will to deliver his people from physical bondage & slavery.

Exodus 4:10-17 (ESV): 10 But Moses said to the LORD, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” 11 Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” 13 But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” 14 Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do. 16 He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him. 17 And take in your hand this staff, with which you shall do the signs.”

While God’s Will does permit Our Style, Moses’ illustration encourages people to also consider whether God’s Will prefers us to embrace a style that will grow our comfort with new skills God knows we’ll be able to handle with his help. God preferred Moses to grow skills speaking directly to God’s people, even though Moses feared it. Even today, it is often reported that people find public speaking frightful.

God’s Will Indirectly Articulated & Our Style:

People will often discover God’s Will in their specific situations is implicit rather than explicit. As an illustration, Queen Ester and Mordecai both recognized that Queen’s Ester intervention looked like God’s first & primary preference for intervention on behalf of God’s people.

Ester 4:12-17 (ESV): 12 And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. 13 Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” 15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, 16 “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” 17 Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.

Mordecai previously asked Queen Ester to petition the King to rescue their people. Queen Ester agreed to risk her life by going before the King without being officially summoned, and her style was to fast first before God prior to executing this bold maneuver. Mordecai respected Queen Ester’s stylistic approach to fast first. It is reasonable to infer God did too.

Our Way Opposing God’s Will:

When facing decisions in life, evaluate your inner desires, motives, and means, to ensure they are living up to the standards God set. While your conscience can provide guidance, as can good godly council, God’s revealed word in the Bible is the ultimate authority. As an illustration, when King David’s inner being became lustful for Bathsheba after seeing her bathing on her housetop (see 2 Samuel 11), King David needed to evaluate his inner desires carefully, even though typically King David’s inner being desired to know God’s Will and do the right thing.

While in some cases, a particular action is not in & of itself immoral in the general case of God’s Will, it is still immoral to do in instances when God specifically decreed that action was not permitted. For example, Jesus instructed certain people not to publicly reveal the healing he performed for their individual benefit. They disobeyed, which caused Jesus difficulty in his outreach mission in several geographic areas.

Mark 1:40-45 (ESV): 40 And a leperf came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 And Jesusg sternly charged him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” 45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.

Our Sin & Rebellion:

When evaluating our situational liberty & latitude, evaluate decisions & desires in the light of God’s Will generally revealed to know when to repent & change. This analysis helps to distinguish Our Stylistic latitude from Our Wayward tendencies towards evil. In absence of accomplishing this effectively, sin & rebellion result. One sin has the dangerous potential to lead to many sins.

Consider how King David committed adultery, and then did not repent. This first sin lead to the first attempt at a “cover up” that did not work. King David still did not repent and instead resulted to murder in another “cover up” attempt (see 2 Samuel 11 and 2 Samuel 12). In King David’s case, God’s Will revealed adultery & murder is wrong, so King David knew these actions were not stylistic discretions, yet rather sinful disobedient rebellious actions against God. King David “cleverly by worldly standards yet unwisely by God’s standards” (cleverly yet unwisely) made plans to disobey God’s commandments not to commit adultery and not to murder. God severely punished King David by allowing evil enemies to obtain sufficient power to repay King David for his immoral actions.

In Conclusion:

Whether you receive God’s Will via direct commands or via God’s generally revealed will, carefully evaluate your inner being & decision-making process to ensure your thoughts & actions align with God’s Will. Just as God provided a lot of variety in nature, and this variety is consistent with God’s Will, so too God provided a lot of variety in people’s styles that are harmonious with God’s Will, Another way to understand it, is that in work positions, there are certain responsibilities & expectations that come with the role. Yet, within a given role, people find ways to contribute that brings out their own personal style, background, and vision through their contributions.

Review:

1. God’s Will allows for personal _______ consistent with God’s Commandments.

2. On rare occasions, God’s Will is made crystal clear via ________ communication.

3. People will often discover God’s Will in their specific situations is ________ rather than _________.

4. Consider whether God’s Will prefers us to embrace a style that will grow our comfort with new _________.

5. Evaluate decisions & desires in the light of God’s Will generally revealed to know when to ________ & ________.

6. Distinguish Our Stylistic _________ from Our Wayward _________ towards evil.

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Credits:

  • Special Thanks to Microsoft Office Images & Tools used in the creation of today’s visual.

God's Will, Our Style

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