If Jesus had lived in our time, He very possibly could have used this parable: Imagine you wake up from a wonderful, deep sleep to find yourself cruising along on the tracks of a railroad in a passenger train. It's full of people laughing, talking, eating in the dining cars—all going about their day without a care—enjoying their trip. You feel bewildered because you just can't seem to remember how you got on the train. You ask someone near you, "Where did this train depart from?" To which they reply, "Well honestly, I'm really not sure,” and they continue in the conversation in which they were engaged. Even more confused now, you go to another person on the train and ask, "Where is this train headed?" To which they reply, "You know, I just don't have a clue." And they again, continue nonchalantly eating their dinner. After what seems like hours of walking through car after car, seeing countless people just going about their business as usual—talking, reading, playing games on their cell phones—and giving you pretty much the same unsure answers to your questions, you finally stand in the middle of one of the crowed, noisy cars and scream at everyone: "Does anybody know how we got on this crazy train? Does anybody have any earthly idea where we are going? Does anybody even know if someone is driving the Train?" A gruff-looking, irritated man comes up to you and snaps at you, "Look, we've all been on this train as long as we can remember. And, no, we don't know how we got on the train, we don't know where it's going, when it will get there or who's driving it. So you yell at him in a panic, "Don't you think we need to find out? Has anyone even tried to talk to the Conductor?" The grumpy man scoffs back, “We have everything we need. We are having a good time. We really don't care. Could you please just shut up and enjoy the ride?" Everyone turns back around from the drama and goes about their business again.
All of the talk in Christian circles for weeks and months now has been about the many signs of Christ's soon return and how prophecies are being fulfilled all around us. Let me tell you that I agree and it is exciting to see. But as much as it honors God to recognize His Prophecies and to anticipate His soon return, there is a much greater way to honor and please Him than simply becoming infatuated with when it will happen. When we recently spent three weeks learning how Jesus Himself taught us to pray, He taught us the proper mindset in this life—the proper focus and mentality of believers now on earth. In the very first words of the Prayer: Matthew 6:9-10—our calling in these End Days is not to slow down, give up on the world or retreat in waiting. Our calling, our prayer, our passion according to Jesus' model prayer for us needs to be bringing His Kingdom here, now; needs to be finding and doing His Will with renewed fervor now. Looking for "The Blessed Hope" of His Return does not mean “Sitting on your blessed hump!” until He returns; it does not mean sitting on our hands in giddy excitement. It means, living more sincerely, more sacrificially, more purposefully than ever before. It means less discussion and more real love. It means leaving the ways of a world bound for hell and truly living foreign to everything around us because we see such a treasure in His ways. It means becoming a completely surrendered servant to Him rather than a spoiled child wanting to be served. We have been made the literal sons and daughters of God our Father. What does that mean we are to be like in this world? We are to be about His Will while we are here, especially in these most crucial times before He Comes. We are to represent Him; love what He loves; live to be one with Him as Christ is One. Accept and glory in that fact. Join with Him as one in loving and saving this world.
Scenario: Three friends have just been informed...
Beyond the shadow of a doubt...
They have one week before the world will come to an end!
One replies:"Well, I'm going out having every experience possible!
I’ve got drugs I haven’t tried, women, drinking, stealing... Might as well be like “The Purge”… And try it all...Nothing to lose now!"
The Second replies:"Good gravy! I've got to get right with Jesus RIGHT NOW!I'm throwing everything out... I'm going to church this week...I'm done with porn, done with partying, done wasting all my time on things that won't be here in two weeks anyway! I've got to start telling everyone I love, about Jesus!"
The Third replies:"Well... I'm with those I love the most in life...I'm doing what I think I was called to do in this world...I'm walking with My Jesus…I'm loving His people with all I have...I've lived my life getting ready for this moment...
Bring it on! I'm going home to have dinner!"
This is our third and final lesson in our Series about Prayer! We are looking specifically and intently...At Jesus' Teachings and Habits in Prayer alone!
What we are learning in this Series is literally life-altering...If you will take it to heart and apply what you Hear from God's Words!
Let's recap what we have learned so far...To bring us up to our place of Study today:
TIME: Our God Paid the Ultimate Price to give us access to Him...And He deserves more than our scraps in the day!...So we should set aside ample TIME to share with Him everyday!...As well as being in Communion with Him throughout our walk!
POSTURE: Any & every POSTURE in prayer is Biblical & acceptable...Use your whole body to worship and communicate with God!
We have talked about: The Top Four Reasons we do not pray as we should...
#4- Angry at God
#3- God is displeased/Distant from God
#2- Not enough time/Too busy
#1- Prayer doesn't seem to work/Make a difference
We discussed how Prayer... Done Biblically...Absolutely makes all of the difference in the world! In helping us literally know God more intimately...
And in the fact that... According to Scriptures... AND experience: God WILL change the course of the world…On behalf of our prayers!
We have spent several weeks now showing how God's ultimate desire—even above obedience, even above service or giving—is intimacy with His people. How that one thing is literally why we are here, is the reason He gave His life, is why our sins hurt Him so deeply; how our hunger to know Him and our real love for Him are more important than anything else we could possibly give. The most natural thing to study together after learning His true heart and how to hunger and thirst for Him more is how to draw closer—how to become more intimate with Christ. The answer is so simple, and yet so difficult. If you met someone you might like to get closer to, what is the first thing you would begin doing in order to know them better? In order to draw closer? You would spend time with them; talk with them, so you could get to know them and could share with them—get to know who they are and what's important to them. The exact same thing is true with God. If we want to become more intimate and close to Him, one of the absolute most important things we can do is talk with Him—spend time with Him. Prayer is the key to deeper intimacy with God, but it is one of the hardest, most neglected, most underrated things in our Christian walk.
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