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How to Get God’s Answers to Your Prayers

Be right with God.

He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.—Proverbs 28:13

If our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.—1 John 3:21

Published in Bible Studies

Fixed Determination

For years I nearly always closed my Meditation Moments radio show with the words “God is still on the throne, and prayer changes things!” Someone once wrote in and said, “I don’t find those words in the Bible.”

No, they’re not in the Bible, but they’re certainly scriptural and express an important truth.

Published in Prayer

The Book that Knows Me

We had two Bibles in our home when I was growing up. One was an enormous family heirloom Bible, a “handcrafted masterpiece to last for centuries,” according to the door-to-door salesman. The other was a nondescript hardback that resided on a bookshelf in the study, between Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot and Homer’s The Odyssey. (My dad was the reader in our family.) In my teens I decided to read through the hardback, starting at what seemed the only logical place, page one, but I gave up a few pages later when I came to the first excruciating genealogy.1

Published in The Bible

Faith in the Real World

What practical benefits does faith provide? Here are a few. In essence, it’s a short list of God’s promises.

 

New beginnings

The life which I now live … I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.—Galatians 2:20

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.—2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Published in Bible Studies

The Bright Boys

Unlike many of their modern counterparts, it seems that most of the bright boys throughout history had faith. How could that be? Wouldn’t their exceptional ability to reason have led them to conclude that faith was illogical and naïve? Apparently not. Sure, they didn’t have the benefit of knowing all that science has discovered since, but I don’t think that is really the answer. Science can neither prove nor disprove matters of faith, such as the existence of God.

So did they believe because it was the norm and they caved to pressure from authority and their peers? I don’t think so. Great thinkers rarely conform. They are often thorns in the sides of hidebound institutions and authorities. Their creative and incisive minds usually left authorities and peers bewildered as they performed mental gymnastics, proposed innovative theories, and solved seemingly insoluble problems.

Published in Faith

Faith and Comfort Zones

People often talk about “getting out of your comfort zone.” I hate hearing that. I confess—I like my comfort zones. I don’t like doing new things, especially things that I don’t understand or don’t think I’ll do well at. Lately, however, I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone regularly. I think about the magnitude of some new project or venture, and I start to shrivel inside, mentally backing away.

Published in Faith

Loving God with Our Minds

Jesus said that we are to love God “with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind.”1 Notice that He didn’t just refer to our heart and soul, but also to our mind. God gave human beings mental faculties. He created us to be intellectual beings, capable of rational thought, intellectual growth, critical thinking, and reasoning. He also gave us a conscience to guide us in making choices that are morally right.

The apostle Paul said, “One person considers some days to be more sacred than others, while another person considers all days to be the same. Each person must have their own convictions.”2 Paul also said in that same discourse, “If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.”3 The point he was making is that it’s important we each explore our beliefs to determine where our faith lies on various issues. Analyzing, discussing, and debating points of doctrine can be healthy for your faith, as those all require you to research, dig deep, and find the scriptural foundation for your beliefs.

Published in Faith

Whom I Have Believed

“I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him.”1 Last night, thatverse came to mind and hovered for a long time. It’s not unusual for a Bible verse to show up in my thoughts, but this time was different. The words and their richness were enhanced—they seemed “louder” or something. I turned the phrases over and over, and looked at them from all angles, meditating on what that passage meant to me.

Published in Faith

A Tale of Two Cities

In Acts chapter 17 we read about apostle Paul’s first experiences in Thessalonica and Berea, two cities in what is modern-day Greece. Both cities had Jewish populations, synagogues, and apparently a number of prominent Greeks who had converted to Judaism.

In Thessalonica, “as was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. ‘This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,’ he said.”1 Some of his listeners were persuaded, but others were not. Those who weren’t stirred up persecution, and Paul and Silas fled to the nearby city of Berea.

Published in Bible Studies

Healthy Doubts

Accepting points of doctrine without question does not come naturally to everybody. Just as God made people very different in their personalities and physical makeup, there are also different kinds of faith. Whether you need time to study and reflect and reason before reaching a place of belief, or you embrace spiritual concepts with little questioning, the goal is what counts—a living faith.

Published in Faith
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