Vision Christian radio station shared this image yesterday on social media. It has a great point that it is important to reflect back on our prayers from the past.
I am able to do this because for many years I kept prayer journals. They were basically day to a page diaries. Every day I would record the things I prayed for and my Bible readings.
This enabled me every few months to go back through my entries and see what was on my heart. I was able to review them and tick many of them off. Sometimes I would write how the prayer was answered too.
This was very encouraging for me and it really built my faith and trust in God. I had answers to prayer about health issues, prayers for my family, work issues, finances, outreach and direction from God.
I can’t tell you how many times I saw God come through for me in a difficult situation. There were times when I could see no way forward and God sorted things out for us. In the big things and the small everyday things.
A prayer journal is a great tool to record and review your prayers. It is also a great tool to build your faith and trust in God. When you see God answer your prayers, it encourages you to trust Him for more as you grow.
Maybe a prayer journal would help you?
One key foundation for us as Disciples of Christ is to know who you are and what you have in Christ. I mentioned this is previous posts earlier in the week.
Back in 1989 when I came to Christ, I had a very low, almost non-existent, self-esteem. I really thought I was a waste of space and not worth much at all.
Over time this changed to seeing myself through the lens of Scripture. I am now more interested in who God says I am, rather than the world or those around me say.
Every year that goes by I find my mind is being renewed more and more in this area. As a result I did a sermon for my church titled, “10 things God says about you in the Bible”. The summary points and verses are below.
- You are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27)
- You were chosen before the world was made (Ephesians 1:4-5)
- You were created and equipped for good works (Ephesians 2:10)
- You are adopted into His family (John 1:12)
- You have the Holy Spirit living inside you (Romans 8:11)
- You are no longer condemned (Romans 8:1)
- You are seated with Christ (Ephesians 2:4-7)
- You were knit together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13)
- You are truly loved by God (1 John 4:9-10)
- You are free in Christ (John 8:36)
To read the full message with text, audio and powerpoint you can find it here https://www.passionaustralia.org/whoyouare.html
Today I just want to remind you that God made you wonderful. You are amazing. You are special. You are loved. You are priceless in God’s eyes.
In my last post I said I would like everyone I know to do at least one year of Bible college. I had an email question asking me why I think this is so important.
I think doing one year of focused Bible college helps us to really take time out to focus on Christ, our salvation, who we are in Christ, our calling and growing in our faith.
My first year of college was done online through Tabor Adelaide. I had done previous units at Perth Bible College, but doing the year at Tabor was my first real focused effort at studying the Bible as my sole focus.
The units I did in this year were…
- Introduction to the Old Testament
- Introduction to the New Testament
- Introduction to Biblical Theology
- Introduction to Biblical Interpretation
- The Ministry of the Holy Spirit
- Christian Leadership
- Pastoral Care
- Pastoral Ethics
- Creative Living (knowing who you are in Christ)
At the time this course was called a Certificate IV in Christian Life and Ministry. These days it probably most closely aligns with the Diploma of Theology at Tabor.
I chose this course because I was already serving in my local church and I was involved with PASSIONAustralia.org. I found this gave me a good foundation for what I was doing and a good beginning to the extra studies I did after that.
For me this was a great foundation as it taught me the Bible basics and the basics of ministry. It also firmed up who I am in Christ and who I am created to be.
Romans 15:1-2 is one of my motivation passages that keep me wanting to help others grow in their faith.
The heart of these verses is that the stronger and more mature people in their faith should be helping those who are less mature in their faith to grow.
It doesn’t matter where we are along the spectrum. We might be a Christian with a basic knowledge of the Bible or a Bible college professor, or somewhere in between, we all have a part to play in helping people grow and mature in their faith.
This is a major reason why I trained to be a Pastor and I have my website PASSIONAustralia.org. My heart is for people to come to Christ and grow in their faith. I want people to become lifelong followers of Christ.
My hope is that everyone I know would do the following things…
- Come to know Jesus in a personal way and find peace with God.
- Do some basic discipleship training.
- Attend and serve in a their local church.
- Undertake at least a year of Bible college to mature in their faith.
When we do these four things we give ourselves the best chance to live the life God intended for us. To be in relationship with God, to be assured of our salvation, to know who we are in Christ, to be obedient to God’s commands and to serve Him all the days of our lives.
How about you? What passages motivate you to help people grow in their faith?
I recorded a sermon for podcast today. It was one I did several years ago for the church I was Pastor of. On the day we had a problem with our sound recording software. As a result I have been meaning to re-record it for my website.
The title is “Four lessons from Psalm 139”. If you are interested you can listen here, or read the full text here.
Psalm 136:1-9 NLT – Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.  Give thanks to the God of gods. His faithful love endures forever.  Give thanks to the Lord of lords. His faithful love endures forever.  Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles. His faithful love endures forever.  Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully. His faithful love endures forever.  Give thanks to him who placed the earth among the waters. His faithful love endures forever.  Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights- His faithful love endures forever.  the sun to rule the day, His faithful love endures forever.  and the moon and stars to rule the night. His faithful love endures forever.
Giving thanks to the Lord is a great foundation for our lives as Jesus followers. If we think about the above passage and reflect on our lives with God, we have so much to be thankful for. These are some of my things I thank God for…
- My salvation
- My family
- This world He created for us
- The hope we have in Christ
- Food in the fridge
- Clean water to drink
- A safe place to live
- People who love me
- My church
- A job that I can work at
- A mission in the world
- The ability to exercise
- Being healed of Rheumatoid Arthritis
These are just some of the things. My blog post would keep going all day!
How about you? What are you thankful for? I think it is worth reflecting on today.
Remember: Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
I became a Christian and found peace with God back in 1989. It was the best thing I have ever done. It changed the course of my life forever and my eternal destiny.
One thing I was reflecting on today is that it is especially a great time to be a Christian. Especially if you are keen to grow and keep growing in your faith.
When I came to Christ I had a Bible and various books to read and learn from. I also spoke to people who were more mature than me. As I was not really a big reader or very social, this was not as good as it could have been.
Nowdays, we have the internet with podcasts, blogs, apps, online Bibles, online dictionaries and commentaries, streaming church services, online Christian radio and online Bible colleges, as well as the things I had when I came to Christ.
Today I think there is no excuse to not be growing in our faith. With so many great resources that we can take advantage of it is a great time to be a growing disciple of Christ.
As I type I think about new Christians I know who are growing far quicker than I did all those years ago. What took me five years to learn seems to happen in a year or two. This makes me so happy!
With all the resources we have for growth today, I can’t wait to see what is available in 5-10 years time. It is truly a great time to grow as a Christian!
This is a picture from my ride this morning. Not on my cruiser this time, it is from my pedal powered version!
One of my my hobbies is fitness. I do weights and cycling. Sometimes I ride the exercise bike and sometimes it is out on my old faithful mountain bike. Today, the cooler morning and a light breeze made me want to hit the trails.
This old mountain bike has been riden since 1993. Every time I think about upgrading I look at my old bike and decide to stick with it a bit longer. It has served me well.
During my ride this morning I paused to take this picture. As I paused I thought of Psalm 65:8 NIV. It says, “The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy”.
It was a nice moment with God. Remembering all He has done for us. I also got to enjoy His creation while getting some exercise too.
How about you? Have you got any hobbies that allow you to mix fitness with your love of God and His creation?
I was doing my devotions this morning and I was thanking God for the Bible. As I prayed I was thinking of reasons why I love the Bible. Here are 10…
- It teaches me about God.
- It reveals who I am without God.
- It shows me God’s plan for salvation.
- It shows I am wonderfully made by God.
- It tells me how to relate to God.
- It tells me how to relate to others.
- It shows that I was created for a reason.
- It gives us a mission in this life to share Jesus.
- It keeps my mind busy meditating on it’s truths.
- It give me peace knowing I am right with God.
There are so many more reasons, but these are some of the simple reasons I thanked God for this morning. How about you? What would you say?
Proverbs 4:25-27 NLT – Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.  Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path.  Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.
In a world that is constantly throwing things at us that can easily sidetrack us, it is important to set a straight path for your feet. Setting a straight path for the Christian means to keep focused on God and His Kingdom.
We do this by…
1. Setting our hearts and minds on things above (Colossians 3:1-2).
2. Keeping God’s Word hidden in our hearts (Psalm 119:11).
3. Focusing on the author and perfector of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
4. Running the race set before us by God (Hebrews 12:1).
6. Praying continuously for ourselves and our fellow Christians (Ephesians 6:18).
7. Regularly meeting together with other Christians for encouragement (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Marking a straight path and keeping focused takes time and effort, but the reward is a strong and mature faith that makes a real and lasting difference in this world.