The Most Meaningful Prayer Request

From the messages of Adrian Rogers

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10

Do you know what the average prayer request is about? Physical healing. “Pray for my aunt who is a Christian and she is about to die.” “Pray for my saved uncle who is having heart surgery.” How many prayer meetings have you been to where people asked for prayer for their lost neighbor who is going to hell?

More often than not we are more interested in keeping the saints out of heaven than we are in keeping the lost out of hell. It is not a tragedy to die and go to heaven. It is a tragedy to die and go to hell. Friend, it’s time we elevated our prayers outside of the physical realm of life into the spiritual realm.

Take a look at your prayer list today—where are the lost who need to be saved? What are you doing to help them find their way?

Pruning Out the Suckers

If you asked my wife she would tell you I ruined our garden this week. You see, I had to trim the tomatoes back: suckers needed go be removed, “black spot” had to be dealt with. Before I started pruning the plants looked all bushy and healthy to her. But I knew that all that extra growth was stunting our fruit and allowing disease to set in. As an added bonus, thinning out the tomato plants also let more sun into the other plants, which I can already see an improvement in.

We let the cares of this world build up and add extra weight to our walk of life. We need to regularly examine ourselves to see what unproductive shoots, or suckers, have sprung up. And then the need to be pruned away, or as Billie says “stripped off” so our fruit will be bountiful and pleasing to God. The extra bonus here? Less unproductive things to clutter our fellowship with God always more Son in our lives!

God’s Providence

I came across thus illustration this evening and it made me think about how often God answers our prayers but not in the manner or time we think He should or will. He truly does do every thing for our ultimate good.

“God’s Providence”

After the Mutiny, some wounded soldiers were brought home from India in a vessel that was found to have water rising in her hold before the voyage was half finished; and night and day the pumps had to be kept working. The noise of the machinery most sadly inconvenienced the sick men on board; and many times they begged the chief officer to stop the pumps, so that they could rest their shattered nerves. This, of course, he dared not do; but being a God-fearing man, he prayed most earnestly that God would send a stiff gale to hasten them on their way. But only calm weather accompanied them: the calmest weather ever experienced on that voyage by any of the crew. When at last the sad journey was over, and the ship safe in dock, she was examined for the cause of the leak, when it was found that a bad hole had been made in her side below the water line, which was only covered by a sheet of copper held by two rails. Only the calm weather had saved her. The “stiff gale” prayed for most certainly would have sent her to the bottom of the sea!

How to Be “Free Indeed”

How to Be “Free Indeed”

From the messages of Adrian Rogers

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36

Living a pure life means surrendering to Jesus Christ. But some people don’t want to surrender because they say they want to be free. What if a train said, “I don’t want to run on these tracks, I want to be free”? Then off through the meadow it would go.

What if a kite said, “I want to be free. I don’t want to be tied to a string”? The string breaks and down it goes. What if a tree said, “I don’t want to be planted in the earth. I want to be free”? And it is jerked up from the earth and dies.

Everything that is truly free functions best when it functions as God made it. God made you to know Him and to love Him.

Why the wild?

Psalms 63:1 O God, thou [art] my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

Why the wild?

Something significant happens to a person as they wander in the wilderness. In the wild, in that place where all the comforts and conveniences are stripped away, in that place where the necessities of life are scarce, a person starts to focus on the things that are absolutely essential. Water! Food! There’s not much else on the mind of the weary wilderness wanderer. Why? Because they’re put in a place where the essentials aren’t taken for granted anymore. The essentials have become essential. That’s what a physical wilderness does to a physical appetite; yes, it puts priorities in their proper place. Now, the same principle applies to our spiritual life, as well. Every person who has walked with the Lord for any amount of time knows that there’s such a thing as a spiritual wilderness. It’s a place where the springs of joy seem to dry up. The heat is intense, and it seems God is allowing you to go through something different and difficult. It’s in this spiritual wilderness, in this place where so much is stripped away, that our appetite for God changes. When we’re surrounded by pleasures, our passion for God can get crowded out. We tend to focus on other things that aren’t really essential. But in the wilderness, that essential connection to God becomes essential once again. David declared that the wilderness, the spiritual wilderness, had the effect of making him hunger and thirst for God all the more. And should we find ourselves in that same spiritual wilderness, we need to recognize that it’s something God uses to refine our focus and draw us closer to His heart. Dear Lord, as You use the wilderness in our lives, help us to embrace it instead of rejecting it. A person wandering in the wilderness, where all the comforts and conveniences are stripped away, starts to focus on the things that are absolutely essential. Think about it…

– Bob Coy

How Sure is Our Hope?

And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Hebrews 6:11–12)

Today’s big question: how sure is our hope?
by Erik Lutz

After stressing the importance of continuing in the faith at the beginning of Hebrews 6, the author encouraged believers to live with “full assurance of hope” and to imitate the faithful ones of the past. The chapter then continues with a stirring declaration of just how certain our hope is and what it is founded upon.

In verses 13–14 we are reminded of God’s promise to Abraham that “blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants” (Genesis 22:17). The author of Hebrews reveals why this two-fold promise of blessing and multiplying is so absolutely certain that we can bet our souls on it—because it is the Word of God.

Every word of God is certain, but to make this certainty abundantly clear to us, God “confirmed it by an oath” (Hebrews 6:17). We read that “when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself” (Hebrews 11:13). Talk about security! When God backs up a promise with His name, there is no stopping it.

Ultimately, salvation was in view when God made this promise to Abraham, as He continued, “in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 22:18). The Lord guaranteed the coming of Jesus the Messiah, the seed of Abraham (Galatians 3:16), who would bless people in all nations of the earth. That includes you and me.

Both parts of God’s promise to Abraham—blessing and multiplying—are found perfected in Christ. These things are promised for our hope: “that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:18, emphasis added).

Only through Jesus do we have hope of eternal blessing, salvation from sin, reconciliation, and adoption as children of God—spiritual descendants of Abraham as God promised (Galatians 3:7). The Apostle Paul wrote that we who believe “are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith” (Galatians 3:9, ESV).

By faith we, like Abraham, can have full confidence of hope in God’s promises because His Word never fails.

We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf. (Hebrews 6:19–20, ESV)

Today’s big idea: we have an unstoppable hope in God’s Word, anchored in His unchanging character.

What to pray: praise God for the certainty of His wonderful promises toward His people.


Garden Harvest

Earlier this evening I shared this photo on Facebook of my tomatoes and peppers; they are small still but plentiful. I wrote that I was expecting a bounty of fruit from them. After thinking about it, prompted in part from a statement by a friend, all I have now are good prospects for a bountiful harvest. They are many things that could go wrong between now and the time the fruits ripen enough to pick: disease, pests, and weather misfortunes are some of the possible setbacks. I expect a good crop but could be very disappointed between then and now.

In our lives we anticipate, even expect, good things. Very rarely when the storms or pestilence comes in our lives are we expecting them or really ready for them. As much as we try we cannot always be in a position to control very much of what happens in the garden of our lives. But we can count on the Master Gardener to see us through all things. Patiently a gardener will wait on his crop, tending it all the while. How much more will our Lord tend to and nurture us through what ever we face?

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.


Integrity Glorifies God

“Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore, I make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.’ Then the king caused Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego to prosper in the province of Babylon.” Daniel 3:28-30

God is honored when you are faithful.

When a well-known National Football League coach was asked why he always had a Christian minister on the sideline with his team, he explained, “I’m not even sure if I believe in God, but in case there is one, I want Him on my side.” King Nebuchadnezzar seems to have had a similar attitude when he blessed the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego and decreed that anyone speaking an offense against Him would be torn to pieces and have their homes reduced to rubbish.

Nebuchadnezzar believed that certain peoples or nations had their own gods, and even though he didn’t believe that the God of the Hebrews was the one true God, he had just witnessed dramatic proof that He was more powerful than the gods of Babylon. Therefore, he acknowledged Him as the supreme God and took steps to ensure that no one would offend Him. No doubt he also reasoned that having a God like that on his side would be a definite advantage.

Regardless of Nebuchadnezzar’s motives, his decree glorified God by exalting Him over Babylon’s false gods. More important, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego’s integrity glorified God by demonstrating the power and influence of an uncompromising life. When the king caused them to prosper in Babylon, the name of the Lord prospered with them.

Suggestions for Prayer:
Pray daily to live as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego lived and to be used as they were used.

For Further Study:
According to Ephesians 3:20, what is God able to accomplish through you when you live with integrity? Are you trusting Him to do so?

(From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187,

God’s Beauty Tips

This came to me in an email newsletter and I wanted to share it with you.

“God’s Beauty Tips”

For attractive lips,
speak words of kindness.
For beautiful eyes,
look for the good in others.
To lose weight,
let go of stress, hatred, anger, discontentment, and the need to control

To improve your ears,
listen to the Word of God.
For poise,
walk with knowledge and self-esteem.

To strengthen your arms,
hug at least 3 people a day; touch someone with your love.
To strengthen your heart,
forgive yourself and others.

For the ultimate in business, casual or evening attire,
put on the robe of Christ; it fits like a glove but allows room for growth.
Best of all, it never goes out of style
and is appropriate for any occasion.

Doing these things on a daily basis will certainly make you a more
beautiful person.

– Author Unknown

On Fatherhood

Bro Buddy Merritt taught the Sunday school lesson today. It was appropriately on fathers since it was Father’s Day. We had a very good discussion on what is a father and about out Heavenly Father.

While many good points were brought out and the discussion was much broader, I took one main point from it all and that point was this: God is the perfect Father, Jesus was God in the flesh, and our goal as parents ought to be simply to emulate Christ in our lives as much as possible. The more like Jesus we are, the more pleasing we are to Him. And the better the parent and example we will be to our children and every one in our lives. The best way to be more like our Saviour? By immersing ourselves in Him:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Our daily time in the Word is what makes us know Jesus better, and to become more Christ like.