Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Paul’

Love in action this year…


By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing…And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
-1 Corinthians 13:2,13

It’s love that’s going to carry us through 2014. And, it’s love in action that will help bring others closer to God during this new year.

Paul is the apostle of love. As he shared the message of the love that we ought to have for one another, he emphasized that it is paramount, the most important thing, the thing that transcends every moral code, higher than any claim that anyone makes. Nothing that the different denominations, groups, and religious sects claim matters if they don’t have love. Without love, nothing matters.

One of the most insightful things that Paul shares with us about love is that love is not an emotion. Love is an action. Love is what you do. People may say, “Oh, I get this feeling of love in my heart and I nurture it. Then, if it blossoms enough, I will love someone in action.” However, that’s not the way at all.

I remember talking with a woman who was a volunteer for New Hope, our 24-hour phone and online counseling ministry. She said, “You know, one of the hardest things about working for New Hope is, as I end the call, when I have to say, ‘God loves you and so do I.’ I don’t really know this person, so how can I say ‘and so do I’? Right? I don’t know the person from Adam.”

What she expressed is what many of us think about love, that love is an emotion that you feel for someone after you get to know him or her. If you get to know a person who’s charming enough, perhaps good looking enough, or funny enough, then you will love them. That is, until the moment they are no longer charming, funny, or attractive to you in some manner. Therefore, that love then becomes only a reaction to a person’s performance.

That’s not what love is. Love is an action.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to express love to others as you express love to me – with no expectations and no conditions. Let my love toward others be an act of worship toward you. Amen.

Devotion: How would you describe the differences between emotional love and love in action?

Looking for a Fresh New Start?.


Are you looking for change, a fresh new start? Isn’t it wonderful to know as you begin this New Year that you have God‘s Spirit with you, His Spirit carrying you, leading you, and guiding you? Do you realize that this New Year can be a year in which you can serve God with a fresh new excitement? As you’re walking with Him and being obedient to Him, you will feel the sense of His pleasure in your life.

Pleasure doesn’t come in the pursuit of happiness, but in the pursuit of holiness. Far too many miss God’s divine plan for their lives as they’re bent on pursuing all the things in this world, hoping to find some sense of joy.

As you set new goals, new priorities for the days ahead, check out where God is in your plans, in your decision-making. What’s on your calendar for today, this week, this month, this year that will make any difference for the Kingdom?

Oh, Beloved, wouldn’t you like to know that at the end of your life…not to mention the end of this day, the end of this year…you could declare, as the apostle Paul did, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7)?

Wouldn’t you like to be assured that you could experience all the difficult situations Paul faced and say in total sincerity and truth, without one drop of egotism, Follow me, be an imitator of me, even as I am of Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 3:17)? Can you imagine having such confidence?

How can you stand with such confidence as Paul did when you’re wrestling today with all the uncertainties of life, all the struggles, all the challenges that seem to keep coming your way? My friend, no matter what changes are occurring with your job, in your family, in our nation, there is only one stabilizing factor upon which you can rest: your God. He is the immovable Rock. You can hide in Him.

One thing will always remain: God. And because He is immutable-unchanging-He will always be the same, and He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). He is always there with arms opened wide, your everlasting Father God. With this New Year, cling to the fact that He will never change.

Are you troubled, is fear lurking in the shadows of your consciousness? Do you feel insecure about anything at all? Run to your protector, the One who stands waiting for you to come bury yourself in the security of all He is.

Remember, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe” (Proverbs 18:10). In this New Year, where will you run? Will it be to food, alcohol, drugs, shopping, another man? When the hounds of trouble, worry, and fear pursue you; when the dogs of temptation, corruption, and evil seek to overtake you; when your energy is spent; when weakness saps you; when you feel you cannot run any longer, where do you turn? Who is your refuge?

If you desire a fresh new start, determine He will be the One you will run to. Run to Him and bury yourself in the security of all He is.

The goal of Paul’s life was “that I may know Him” (Philippians 3:10). What goals do you have this year? Do you make New Year’s resolutions but never keep them? I pray the goal of your life will be as Paul’s that “you know Him.”

What’s going to keep you from knowing Christ? What’s keeping you from going deeper in His Word? There’s so much to learn in the Word of God, and yet we want all these frivolous other things around us, instead of paying the price to spend time studying the Bible.

What is it that keeps you from paying the price? Is it the love of things? Is it the demand of things? Start keeping a running log for the next few days and look at how much time you’re spending in the Word of God. I’m not talking about reading and having your three minutes a day. But I’m talking about getting to know the Word of God, studying it precept upon precept; Truth upon Truth.

Start today, keep a log and record your study time. Keep a pad beside your bed or keep it by a chair or wherever you’re going to study. Write down how much time you’ve spent each day for a week and then check yourself and add up that time. Then add up the number of hours in the day and subtract how many hours you need to sleep. And then look at the hours that you have left. What portion of your day do you give to the Lord?

What portion of your time does He have? How much television are you watching? How much time to sports are you devoting? What are you doing with your time? Stop and evaluate it, because someday, Beloved, you’re going to give an account to the One that said we are to redeem the time.

We’re not to let things control our life; rather we are to control the things in our life. We must redeem the time.

“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).

O Beloved, get on your knees this week, start this New Year right. Ask God to show you what you need to change to spend more time with Him. He has given you a fresh new start!

Kay Arthur
Host, Precepts For Life
Co-CEO, Precept Ministries International

A new year to be driven by love…


By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
-Ephesians 4:2

A while back, I was in Greece following the footsteps of the Apostle Paul, and we finished the trip in Athens on a hill near the Areopagus where you can see the Parthenon and the Acropolis in the background, and all the white buildings. There, I preached a sermon called “Paul: The Apostle of Love.”

And that’s exactly who Paul was. Paul was an apostle of love. Many people read Paul’s writings and they think he was strict or stern because of some of the language he uses. But truly, when you read Paul’s letters and read Paul’s story, the message that comes across over and over again is the grace and love of God towards us and the grace and love of God we ought to show towards one another. It is the same message that Jesus had – the love of God and the love of your neighbor.

This was what Paul was driven by: He was driven by the love of God that was shown to him in the cross of Jesus Christ. Paul believed that if God gave Jesus for Paul, then God loves Paul as much as He loves Jesus. And if that’s true, it also means that God loves you as much as God loves Jesus.

In 2014, let’s put sharing God’s love with others at the top of our lists of “things to do.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you so much for your unending love and for showing your love to me through your Son, Jesus Christ. Without your love, I would be lost. Help me to share that same love with everyone I meet. Amen.

Devotion: How do you show God’s love to others?

Being transformed by trust…


By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“For in Him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.'”
-Acts 17:28

When the Apostle Paul traveled throughout Athens preaching the message of the love of God, he would say, “For in Him we live and move and have our being.” Paul would say to them, “I worship a God who is not any of these things: He can’t be found in marble. He can’t be found in gold and He can’t be found in vain philosophy. But He stands here right now and He calls us His offspring.” In Acts 17, he says, “My friends, you’ve made this way too complicated. You’re God’s kids. He’s alive. He wants you. He loves you and he calls you to serve him.”

If you read enough of Paul and the words of Jesus, you get the idea that almost all of our problems in this world come from one problem: We just do not know how to receive the love and grace of God. Paul seems to hit on this theme repeatedly in all of his letters – that all of the sin, mistakes, problems, hurt, and evil in the world comes back to this one problem: People do not know – in our heads, hearts, and bones – the truth and the depth of the love of God.

I see this image of Paul anguishing in the knowledge of what could be if people could just trust in Christ. Today, w e, too, may trust in the cross of Christ, in the resurrection, in a God who loves us, who believes in us, who wants to lift us up, transform us, and carry us into his kingdom of faith, hope, and love.

Prayer: Dear Lord, your kingdom is where I want to live. Love me, lift me up, and transform me into the person you want me to be today. Amen.

Devotion: How has God in your life transformed the way you live today?

Loving one another…


By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal…And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
-1 Corinthians 13:1,13

Paul wrote one of the greatest texts in western literature, 1 Corinthians 13, about what it means to love one another. Written for all, it was first read by the Christians in Corinth, a fabulously wealthy city where anybody – former slaves or freeborn persons, people who had nothing – could go there, start businesses as merchants, and become extremely wealthy. It was a place of commerce, business, and trade. Corinth was the place that you could go to and make all your dreams come true. Because of that, Corinth was quite a competitive place – in business, sports, etc.

Paul saw that this competitive spirit was working its way into the church of Corinth when he spots two types of people:

1. The super apostle. These were people who said, “Don’t listen to Paul. Listen to me. I am so spiritual that I can do miracles, speak in unknown tongues, and do other amazing things. Don’t listen to those silly guys from Jerusalem. I am much more spiritual than they are.”

2. The legalist. These were people who said, “If you want to be a Christian, you have to follow the rules about the clothes you wear, the food you eat, and guys, you have to get circumcised. If you really want to live in the kingdom of God, you have to follow these rigid rules.”

First Corinthians 13 is primarily written to those types of people. Paul says it’s not about being super spiritual and it’s not about soul-killing legalism and religiosity. It’s simply about loving one another. That is the call to moral good.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to discover and overcome any legalistic or super religious ways, especially those that get in the way of showing your grace through love to others. Amen.

Devotion: Are you a super apostle? A legalist? Now that you’ve read the descriptions of both, how will you revise your behavior so you can be more loving towards others?

Rep. Peter King: Rand Paul ‘Disgraced His Office’ With Clapper Attacks.


Image: Rep. Peter King: Rand Paul 'Disgraced His Office' With Clapper Attacks

By Todd Beamon

New York Rep. Peter King on Thursday ripped into Sen. Rand Paul for his attack on Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, charging that his fellow Republican “disgraced his office — and he owes General Clapper an apology immediately.”

“That is absolutely disgraceful to compare General Clapper with a traitor,” King, who confirmed to Newsmax in July that he was considering a bid for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, told Wolf Blitzer on CNN.

Editor’s Note: Seniors Scoop Up Unclaimed $20,500 Checks? (See if You qualify) 

He was referring to Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency subcontractor who leaked information about the government’s vast electronic surveillance programs.Paul told Blitzer on Wednesday that Clapper posed a greater threat to the nation’s security than Snowden.

“For Senator Paul to compare that patriot, General Clapper, with someone like Snowden — who is a traitor, who has put American lives at risk — Senator Paul should be ashamed of himself,” King said. “It’s an absolute disgrace.”

Paul, who represents Kentucky, said in his interview that Clapper’s testimony to Congress in March — in which he said that the NSA “not wittingly” collected data on millions of Americans — amounted to “lying.”

Clapper later called the statement “clearly erroneous” and apologized to Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Paul told Blitzer on Wednesday that Clapper’s testimony was “probably more injurious to our intelligence capabilities than anything Snowden did.

“Clapper has damaged the credibility of the entire intelligence apparatus — and I’m not sure what to believe anymore when they come to Congress,” Paul said.

In his attack on Paul, King said that Clapper had been put “in an impossible position” in the committee’s public session, since the member who posed the question, Democratic Sen. Rob Wyden of Oregon, had obtained more specific information in a classified meeting.

“He knew that General Clapper could not give the full answer because it would let our enemies know what we were doing,” King told CNN. “The question was wrong. General Clapper gave the best answer he could.”

King, a former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, also said that he opposed a letter released on Wednesday by seven House Republicans calling for the Justice Department to begin a criminal investigation of whether Clapper had lied to Congress at the March hearing.

The letter, King said, came from “the isolationist wing of the party,” likening it to “radical left-wing Democrats of the 1960s.”

“These are people who are apologizing for America,” the senator said. “That is not the Republican tradition. That is not the tradition of Ronald Reagan. That is not a Republican position.”

King lodged into his rant against Paul as he attacked a report released on Wednesday by a presidential advisory committee that recommended the NSA be limited in how it seizes Americans’ telephone and Internet records without court approval.

“This commission is caving in to political correctness,” King told Blitzer. “The fact is no Americans have had their rights violated. No American citizens’ calls are being listened to unless they’re in contact with terrorists. No one’s name is on file, no one’s address is on file. This is a totally phony issue.”

The interview began with King endorsing the bipartisan legislation introduced by 26 senators that would tighten sanctions on Iran if it violates the nuclear deal reached with world powers last month or lets the accord expire without a long term agreement.

The senators, 13 Republicans and Democrats each, defied President Barack Obama in putting forth the sanctions bill and drew a veto threat.

“If Iran is serious about the agreement, they should have no problems with the sanctions,” King said. “The sanctions only kick in if they don’t comply with the agreement.

“The president should want these sanctions as a weapon to hold over the Iranians,” he added. “The president is making a very serious mistake in threatening to veto this bill.”

Editor’s Note: Seniors Scoop Up Unclaimed $20,500 Checks? (See if You qualify)

Related Stories:

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Sen. Rand Paul Votes Against Budget Deal, Says Sequester Better.


Sen. Rand Paul voted against the Ryan-Murray bipartisan budget deal on Wednesday, partly because he says current law is better than that legislation.

Current law includes budget caps from the 2011 sequester, and the new agreement gives relief to those.

“I think this is a step backwards for the country,” Paul told CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” after Wednesday’s 64-36 vote to pass the bill.

The House approved the bill last week, and it now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

Blitzer asked whether it wasn’t good that the bill prevents another government shutdown for the next two years, but Paul called that a “false choice.” There are more alternatives, he said, than the budget deal or a shutdown.

“A shutdown’s not good, but I’m worried about the future of the country,” Paul said. “I’m worried about a $17 trillion debt, and I’m worried about the fact that we’re borrowing $1 million every minute.”

Paul also opposed the bill because it cuts retirement benefits to current military veterans under age 62 – including combat-wounded veterans. Paul was among a group of Republican senators who wanted an amendment to restore those benefits.

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, one of the deal’s architects along with Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, has said cutting benefits to wounded vets was a mistake that will be corrected after the law is passed.

“Right now, there’s not much collegiality going on. It’s a poisonous atmosphere where the majority is just shoving things down the throat of the minority,” Paul said. “And because of it, we can’t fix legislation like this.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Greg Richter

Tag Cloud

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,693 other followers