Tag Archives: pray

Restores and Revives

On a Saturday morning, I find myself sleeping in and spending more time in the Word. It is certainly a time of refreshment for me—the sleep and the time with God. We need rest. We need God.

Today’s verse speaks about how God restores and revives. The actual word translates to mean restore, refresh, renew, or revive. When you take a closer look, the Hebrew word “shub” means to turn back or return. This return is to a state you were once in, and this return is not from an occasional nap or reading the daily verse of the day. Shub points to a revival of your life, your strength, your energy. This is something God offers you daily, but it cannot happen if we are not staying connected and being mindful of His presence every day as we go through our day.

If you are feeling tired or drained or if you would like to sleep the next week of your life away, perhaps it is a good time to for shub, to turn back to Him and allow Him to pour into you. What is needed for shub? You simply return. Be intentional about prayer and reading your Bible. As you lean into Him in prayer, as you dig deeper into His Word, you will be restored and revived. Remember this shub isn’t a cat nap that gets you to finish your day with no major issues—there’s so much more! I pray this return to your first love will restore and revive you. The fruit of this revival points to the fullness of God.

“That’s where he restores and revives my life. He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness so that I can bring honor to his name. – Psalm 23:3 [TPT]

 

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Mentor Outline

6-18-17 Mentor

A mentor is a wise & trusted counselor or teacher

The word “mentor” is not used in the Bible; many mentor relationships appear.

 

2 Thessalonians 3:7 –For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you,

Philippians 4:9 –Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me–everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

1 Peter 5:3 –Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.

1 Corinthians 11:1 –And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.

 

 

PREPARE FOR FUTURE – ALL ABOUT GROWTH /CHANGE (Embrace, Encourage, Equip, Empower)

 

Moses – Joshua (Exodus 33, Numbers 27)

  • Exodus 33:11 –Joshua assisted Moses at Tent of Meeting
  • Numbers 27 –Joshua commissioned to lead

 

Eli  – Samuel (1 Samuel 3)

  • Samuel served Lord by assisting Eli (v. 1)
  • Eli taught Samuel how to respond to God – “Speak Lord, your servant is listening”

Elijah – Elisha (1 Kings 19, 2 Kings 2)

  • Elisha was plowing the field when called to be a prophet
  • Elijah told Elisha to consider what he did for him
  • 2 Kings 2– Elisha was still beside Elijah & he was prepared when Elijah taken up

Jethro – Moses (Exodus 18)

Jethro was father-in-law to Moses – Moses had RESPECT for him (v. 7), they had CONCERN for each other (v. 7), they had COMMUNICATION with each other (v. 7), Jethro had DELIGHT for what God was doing with Moses (v. 9-10), Jethro offered ADVICE to Moses (v. 14, 17-18) and God was at the center of the advice – GOD-CENTERED (v. 19-23)

 

Samuel – Saul

1 Samuel 10:8Samuel was RELIABLE

1 Samuel 13:8-11 – Samuel took long time to show up and Saul handled offering

1 Samuel 15:26-28 –Samuel says the hard things / SPEAKS TRUTH / ACCOUNTABILITY

 

Mordecai – Esther

Esther 2– Mordecai took Esther in – she was his young cousin, her parents died – He helped when she was in need – ASSISTANCE

Mordecai told her to not disclose herself as a Jew for safety (2:9, 2:20) – GUIDANCE / DIRECTION

He had CONCERN for her – every day walked to check on her (2:11)

 

Barnabas – Paul (Acts 9, Acts 11)

INVEST in person, ENCOURAGE / MOTIVATE person (Acts 9:26-27)

Brought Saul alongside him to serve (Acts 11:22-26)

 

Priscilla & Aquila – Apollos

Acts 18 – Paul lived and worked with Priscilla & Aquila as tentmakers

Apollos knew scripture well, but only knew John’s baptism so Priscilla & Aquila took him aside and explained more accurately. (Acts 18:24, 26) – KNOWLEDGE & UNDERSTANDING

Naomi – Ruth

Naomi and Ruth had a tight bond as mother-in-law / daughter-in-law

Naomi gave Ruth ADVICE (2:22), told to be patient (3:18)

Naomi looked for BEST INTEREST in Ruth (3:1)

 

Paul – Titus

Wise instruction to young Pastor Titus – KNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTANDING, EXAMPLE FOR LIFE

 

Paul – Timothy

2 Timothy 1:3 –Timothy, I thank God for you… Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers – PRAYED FOR HIM

2 Timothy 1:12 –Paul talks about his suffering, but reminds Timothy about the importance of sharing the Good News. He says he’s suffering in prison, but not ashamed because he knows the one in whom he trusts. Reminds Timothy to carefully guard the precious truth entrusted.            BE REAL

2 Timothy 4:17 –The Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear. And He rescued me from certain death. SHARE TESTIMONY

2 Timothy 2:2 –You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. PASS IT ON

 

False Way of Life

The Psalmist declares hate for every false way of life. Other translations translate this as hating the wrong path or false propaganda. The Hebrew word “sheqer” is used here, meaning falsehood or deception. The complete verse says that the commandments of God result in understanding. When we have this understanding, the result is then hatred towards deception and falsehood.

We can better understand life and move forward living for Jesus by following the commandments of God. As we do this, we grow in our understanding and in our faith. In time, we begin to detest that which is false. God reveals to us His Truth. We aim to live by His Truth. Anything apart from that is no longer acceptable as our eyes are opened.

There are still people today who live the false way of life. Some of these people have always been blind to the Truth, while others have traded the Truth for a lie (see Romans 1:25). Today, pray that God would reveal to you hidden things to grow your understanding. Take some time to pray for those who are still on the wrong path, that eyes may be opened to the deception. Thank God for His commandments who are just, perfect, and true.

“Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life.” – Psalm 119:104 [NLT]

Search Inward

Many of us are celebrating the Lenten season. It is a season of fasting and renewal, a season that reminds us that we are but dust. Life is fragile. Life is but a breath. It is a season that looks to the Cross. We spend these weeks mindful of the shortness of life, but even more mindful of the One Who poured out His blood at Calvary so that we could have new life—life in Him. As Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the Wilderness, so we spend this time in self-reflection, repentance, and prayer.

Some people are trying to stick diligently to the removal of some item from their life. Some people may have even publicly noted an ongoing battle with trying to stay true to a vow to give up this thing for Lent. It is important to remember some things about Lent and fasting, because many get lost on the journey to the Cross. Lent instructions are not found in the Bible—it’s something that was instituted by the Church. However, with the fasting, one should be mindful that publicly boasting or grumbling is not applauded (see Matthew 6:16). Fasting is personal. The idea of fasting during Lent is to remove something that is getting in the way of your relationship with Jesus, and then replace that thing with something that will bring you closer to Jesus Christ.

Remember, Lent is all about Jesus. If you are keeping yourself from drinking soda or eating sweets but that doesn’t interfere with your relationship with Jesus, and you have not supplemented these things with more time in prayer, reading God’s Word, or spending time doing something that brings you closer to Jesus, then you are missing out. This is a time to search inward, a time to repent and renew yourself in Him. Today, whether or not you celebrate the Lenten season, take time to look inward. What is getting in the way of your relationship with Jesus? What has become a stumbling block? Pray for the removal of this from your life. Pray for a closer relationship with Jesus. Seek Him diligently today. Pray for your heart to open and spend time in the Word. Ask Him to speak to you in a new and awesome way.

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh faints for You, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” – Psalm 63:1 [ESV]

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for You, O God.” – Psalm 42:1 [ESV]

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” – Hebrews 12:1-2 [NLT]

How Quickly

One minute we seem to be all about Jesus, and the next minute we have changed our focus. Sometimes this means that we are not deeply rooted, or not rooted at all. When things are going well or when God is at the forefront of our lives, we are all about worshiping God and serving His people. We are attending church on Sunday and perhaps even interacting with a Bible study group. But then something happens. Boom. Something shakes our world and oh how quickly we do an about face. We change direction. It’s as if we are a different person. What happened to the way we were living? What happened to our focus on God?

It is important for us be deeply rooted in Christ, to have a strong foundation that will stay standing despite any circumstances that will come our way. Yes, we will falter from time to time; however, we should not sway every time to wind blows. Focus on your roots. Study the Word. Hear the Word. Spend time with fellow believers. Pray daily. Do whatever you can to be closer to God. Allow your eyes to be fixed on God. Understand that the moment will come when your world will be shaken. Hold on tight and keep pressing forward.

“At the end of the forty days and nights, the LORD handed me the two stone tablets inscribed with the words of the covenant. Then the LORD said to me, ‘Get up! Go down immediately, for the people you brought out of Egypt have corrupted themselves. How quickly they have turned away from the way I commanded them to live! They have melted gold and made an idol for themselves!’” – Deuteronomy 9:11-12 [NLT]

Seek Most

What do you seek most? The Psalmist wrote that the thing he desired most was “to live in the house of the LORD” forever. What? That was the one thing? If you had one thing to choose, would it be the same thing?

When I consider what I seek most, it really throws me for a loop. It gets me to remember again that today is just a short moment. It’s a small nothingness when compared to eternity. And yet when we pray, we likely are not saying that the one think we desire is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of our lives. How many times is that on your prayer list?

Today, remember some of the prayers this week. What are you seeking? Are you seeking the temporary? Are you fixed on Him? Is the thing you seek most to forever live in the presence of God?

“The one thing I ask of the LORD–the thing I seek most–is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in His Temple.” – Psalm 27:4 [NLT]

My Life

The Psalmist begins Psalm 25, “O LORD, I give my life to You.” This is such a simple statement. It can be translated as “I put my trust” (NIV), or “I lift up my soul” (ESV), or “I turn to You” (HCSB), or “I’m looking to You” (MSG). As we review what this verse says, we can also review what it does not say.

In this verse, the Psalmist is saying he is coming to God. He has put his trust in God. He is lifting up his prayer to God alone. He is looking to God for everything. He has turned to God. The Psalmist continues his prayer, asking that the Lord show His ways and teach him His path (v. 4). He requests that God lead him in His truth (v. 5). He asks for his sins to be forgiven (v. 7, 12).

This passage is written by a humble servant seeking God, lifting his soul to Him. There is no mention of anyone else involved. The focus is all on the Psalmist fixing his eyes on God. The focus is completely on Him. To Him alone do we lift up our souls. To Him alone do we put our trust. To Him alone, the giver of life, do we lift up our lives.

“O LORD, I give my life to you.” – Psalm 25:1 [NLT]

The Lord Will Answer

One of the easiest things to do is pray. We make it complicated. I often consider how my prayers have changed since I was little. When I was a little child, I remember the simplicity of my prayers. I was praying what was on my heart. I was pouring out my heart to God. I believed that He heard. I believed that He would answer. I didn’t try to use grand words, nor did I think a lot to attempt to say what would be good to include in a prayer. I didn’t have instructions on how to pray. I spoke to God. It was simple. And I knew He heard.

As I got older, I started to hear people pray using such perfect words. It was like poetry. The prayers they offered seemed to be exactly what I should pray. It sounded good. So I wanted to try to pray like that—I wanted to pray the way these people prayed. I thought that was the way God wanted me to pray. Oh, how long it took to realize that my lips were speaking a different language than my heart.

I have changed the way I prayed a lot over these past years. I am starting to follow the lead of this little girl I used to know—someone who has grown, but still has a lot to unlearn about prayer. One thing that hasn’t changed is my confidence that the Lord will answer my prayers. I know that when I pray what is on my heart, when I lift my heart to Him, He will answer. He is faithful. Today, give Him your heart. Don’t pray the prayer of someone else. Pray what is on your heart. Lay everything before Him. He will hear. He will answer.

“The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD will answer my prayer.” – Psalm 6:9 [NLT]

Inside Out

I remember the time wearing your shirt inside out was the cool thing. I am glad that style has since passed; however, I see my son continuing this fad due to lack of attention during the wee hours of the morning. The Bible talks about the need to clean the inside first and then the outside will be clean. So often, we try so hard to work on the outside appearance, but we never let ourselves truly get broken and made new. We think the church attendance, the volunteer hours, the reciting of some traditional prayers will show we are faithful Christians; however, the heart is hardened by sin. We want to have a nice outer appearance, but we’re inside out my friends.

No matter how much you try to clean up the outside, understand that your insides show. Yes, they show. Whatever is in your heart will overflow and pour out around you. So if you are dirty, you can use all the cover up available but it cannot hide the dirt. You might be part of the gang “which outwardly appear beautiful” but inside you are unclean.

Allow God to work on your heart. Pray for Him to break you. Yes, you read that right. BREAK YOU. It sounds painful. It likely will be painful. There are parts of you that are not meant to be the way they are right now. The same goes for me. God prunes. He breaks. He grows. He restores. You cannot grow without the pruning. You cannot be restored, without first being broken. Are you okay with being a whitewashed tomb, or would you like to be beautiful inside, with a beauty that will overflow and point to Jesus?

“You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.” – Matthew 23:26-27 [ESV]

Falling on Your Knees

Today was the big Cross Country Invitational. The event included eighteen high school teams. I am always excited when the events are nearby so I can attend and watch my daughter run. I ran back and forth taking photos. This is something Cross Country parents can appreciate. When I stood at the finish line, I saw my daughter quickly approaching. All of the sudden she fell on her knees. I prayed quietly for her as she was on her knees with her face toward the ground. It looked like she was praying. She was pouring herself out, but not just in prayer. Only a runner or a parent of a runner can understand. I wanted to run to her, but I knew what she was doing, and I knew I couldn’t touch her or she would be disqualified.

My daughter got up from her knees and finished the race, even PRed (this means she beat her personal record). As I drove home with my camera fully loaded with photos, I considered my daughter on her knees, pouring out of herself. It reminded me of a moment of prayer from the Bible that I continue to be reminded of again and again. Hezekiah received a letter that disturbed him. He took it to the Temple of the Lord and spread it out. He spread the letter out before the Lord. What an awesome example of how we should pray. When my daughter fell down on her knees with her head facing the ground it reminded me of Hezekiah’s actions.

We don’t need to always fall on our knees. Prayer is a heart action. As I quietly prayed for my daughter while she was on her knees, that prayer was heard too. Nonetheless, there’s something special about falling on your knees. You are saying God is High. You are saying He alone is in control. You are saying you trust Him. You are fully surrendering to Him. You are worshiping Him and seeking His will in the situation. Yes, there is something special about falling on your knees.

“After Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he went up to the LORD’s Temple and spread it out before the LORD.” – 2 Kings 19:14 [NLT]