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Category Archives: Romans

A Lesson on Prayer

Many of you have never met my youngest son, Levi.  Levi is 6 years old and has a rare condition called Tetrasomy 9p.  It is a rare genetic disorder and according to the National Organization of Rare Disorders, only about 30 cases had been reported in medical literature as of 2001.  When people meet Levi, most understand there is something different about him.  The most telling feature is that is verbal language is very limited.  People do not understand why he doesn’t speak back to them; it is because he cannot.  His main form of communication is sign language and he knows about 230 words.  He understands a lot more, but his communication is hindered.

Levi is my son and a gift from God.  He is a blessing and there are things I have learned from our journey.  One lesson is how much our heavenly father longs to hear from his children.  It was December of 2015, and the age of 5, when I first heard Levi say, “Dada.”  There was an overflow of joy that is beyond description.  He knew me, I knew him, but it was a whole new experience when he was able to cry out to me.  He could call to me and get my attention, he could verbally acknowledge me as his father, and he could tell others who I am.  This is part of the message of Romans 8:14-15, “ For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ “

When we come to know God, through Christ we are able to call on God as a Father, we can call and he gives us his attention, and we have the ability to tell others who He truly is.  It is an amazing gift to us, but it is something that God desires!  He desires to hear the voice of his children initially and continually.  The way this happens is through prayer.

I long for him to be able to tell me what is wrong, what he is thinking, and what happened throughout his day.  As our Father, God desires these same things from his children.  Time does not permit me to provide multiple Scripture references, but know that God delights in communicating with his children.  Proverbs 15:8 tells us “. . . God delights in the prayers of the upright . . .” Will you talk to him today?  God desires you to hear from him, but he also wants to hear from you.

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2018 in Monitor Articles, Romans

 

What Entertains Me?

Often, when we are in the car, my kids enjoy listening to Adventure in Odyssey.  It is a radio drama and comedy that was started by Focus on the Family in 1987.  We have them on CDs and they help pass the time as we travel.  Last week, as we listened to one of the episodes, there was a scene that caught my attention.  One of the main characters on the program was set to have a debate with a “shock jock” whose rude humor and condescending remarks were often directed at Christianity.

As the show progresses, there is a scene where two repair men are listening to the program.  At the end of a tirade by the shock jock, one repairman states something to the effect of, “I love this guy!”  After listening to this scene, I was stuck with this question –  “why would someone find this rude humor and these degrading comments entertaining?”  It immediately hit me that there was something in the listener that resounded with the statements and demeanor of the shock jock.  The only reason he found it entertaining and delightful was its resonance with something within his mind and heart.

As Christians, we should often set aside time for reflective prayer.  These are Psalm 139 moments when we ask God to search our hearts and show us the wickedness in us.  However, we should also evaluate our actions and thoughts in accordance with Scripture.  I began to ask myself, “Are there things that I find entertaining and enjoyable that are sinful?”  My mind continued for over a week on this subject.  It was a worthwhile journey in prayer and repentance.

Think of the shows you find entertaining.  Does the sexual immorality resonate with the fleshly desires within your heart?  Does the filthy and the vile language resonate with your secret thoughts and desires?  As believers, why do we find such things entertaining, unless in some way they are fulfilling those guilty desires that we do not want anyone to know about.

As we sit in the beginning of a new year, I want to challenge you to search your heart and evaluate the things in which you find pleasure.  Are they godly?  Do they encourage you in the pursuit of holiness?  Our minds should be focused on the things that bring God glory? Romans 8:5 tells us, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.”  My prayer is that we will set our minds on the things of the Spirit.

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2018 in Monitor Articles, Psalms, Romans