Praying Through Psalms: 19 – 20

 Image result for heavenly hostsFather God in the Name of Jesus, we praise and worship for You are our God who rules and reigns in heavenly places. Father, You are majestic in splendor and glorious in all Your ways. Father, all power belongs to You, including all creation that was established by Your mighty hands.

Father, as we enter into Your Holy presence, we stand in awe as we come to offer up ourselves to you as a living sacrifice as we surrender to ourselves to You.

Father, all heaven declares the glory of the risen Lord, who can compare to the beauty of our Lord. The moon and stars they shine at night, the planets continue to rotate in their places while the sun, like a Bridegroom, who comes out of His chamber to embrace the earth with the Light.

Father, although we cannot hear with our natural ears the song of nature above, yet day in and day out they proclaim Your glory which can be seen throughout all the nations of the earth. From the rising of the sun until the setting of the same, the sun and moon give out their light to the inhabitants of the earth while nature basks in Your glory.     Image result for heavenly hosts

Father, You are perfect in all Your ways and Your testimony remains the same from sunrise to sunset. Lord Jesus, You are the Living Word of the Living God who came from heaven to earth to show us the way, and we celebrate You because of who You are, the Son of the Living God.

Thank You Father God, that it is by Your Word that guides and directs us the way we should go. Lord, Your Word comes with wisdom, knowledge and understanding so that whosoever has a need or a question that has to be answer, their eyes will be enlightened with understanding as they seek Your face to supply that need or that answer.

Father, in all humility we approach Your Holy throne which is pleasing in Your eyes because we know that You are our God who is our Source and our Strength and that You supply us with the grace mercy that can only be obtained through Your mighty hands.

Father, thank You that we can search for You with all of our hearts for we know Your words are purer than gold and sweeter than the honey that comes from the honeycomb. Father, as we obey Your Word, You will reward us with much-needed abundance for life and prosperity while we still remain on the earth.

Father God, we ask You to search us and help us to remain humble and upright before You. Help us Lord not to allow the sins of presumptuousness have dominion over us. Image result for heavenly hostsFather, where we need to repent show us our hearts and errors of our ways so that in Your mercy we can remain blameless and innocent from any great transgression that would so easily want to deceive or trap us.

  Father, I pray that the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts will be acceptable in Your sight, for You are our Lord, our strength and our Redeemer.

Father, I pray that You will answer Your people swiftly in the day of trouble. I pray that You who has the Name above all Names will defend, help and strengthen Your people. Lord, I pray You will grant the desires of Your people so that they may fulfill their purpose for Your eternal glory, in Jesus’Name we pray, Amen.

It Takes Faith to Worship

Our scene opens with Jesus conversing with the woman at the well and after exposing the truth with compassion to her, “The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship?'”

“Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’” (John 4:19-24).

There is no room for unbelief or doubt when to comes to worshipping the One and Only True God. Romans 10:17 writes that “Faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of God” and Jesus said: “Blessed are they who have not seen yet believe” (John 20:29).

God does not coerce or force anyone to worship Him, otherwise, they will not be worshipping Him in Spirit and in Truth. Worshipping God can only come from a pure heart with hands lifted high in surrender by faith to our King. David in Psalm 29:1-2 writes:

“Give unto the Lord, O you mighty ones,
Give unto the Lord glory and strength.
 Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name;
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”

Three times David writes the word ‘give’ which means we are to give what; we are to give “unto the Lord the glory that is due to His Holy Name” and to worship Him in the “beauty of holiness.” It is worthy to note that David compliments and encourages us by faith by calling us “mighty ones” to come forward and to worship God from a pure heart to give “the Lord the glory and strength that is due His Holy Name.

And why is this? I personally believe that when we worship God by faith which is worshipping Him in spirit and in truth that God gets so excited when He hears the song of worship coming from His children that He will take care of matters that we are not even aware of concerning us and our household in both the present and generations to come.

Notice I said the ‘song’ of worship.’ Pure worship can only come when God’s people worship Him in spirit and truth when they worship together as one in the unity of the faith. Alright, so let us now continue with how David describes the Voice of God in Psalm 29:3-9 as we worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness.”

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; (The voice of the Lord is where, it is over the waters)
The God of glory thunders; The Lord is over many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful;
The voice of the Lord is full of majesty. 

 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars, (The voice of the Lord Breaks! Hence the Lord of the breakthrough).
Yes, the Lord splinters the cedars of Lebanon. He makes them also skip like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox. (The voice of the Lord strengthens and enables them) The voice of the Lord divides the flames of fire. (The voice of the Lord separates and scatters the flames)

The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; The Lord shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth, And strips the forests bare; (and as nature responds to the Voice of their Creator Everyone in His temple says, “Glory!”

And verses 10 – 11 writes that The Lord sat enthroned at the Flood, And the Lord sits as King forever. The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.”  Selah 🙂 Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

https://www.biblegateway.com/

Benediction

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May God our Father increase your understanding of what it means for you to be His child and to have reserved for you an inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, and will not fade away.

May the Holy Spirit take you deeper into the depths of Christ’s love, and lift you to the highest heights of His glory and grace, enriching your life in every detail and through every circumstance.

May Jesus, Himself, draw you close to His shepherding heart, guiding you daily to His pastures of peace and streams of refreshment, as He continues to lead you upon the paths of righteousness that will take you to His appointed and prepared place.

Now to Him who is able to keep you from slipping and to make you stand unblemished and exultant before His glory—to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and for all time. Amen. Jude 1:24-25 Moffatt

Practical Evangelism: Taking the Roof Off

Creation Ministries International—PO Box 4545, Eight Mile Plains, QLD 4113, Australia
by Paul Price
Published: 30 July 2015 (GMT+10)
bible
The condition of mankind can be compared in some ways to an analogy developed by the late evangelist and philosopher Francis Schaeffer.1 Imagine trying to piece together
the story from a book whose pages had all been mostly ripped away, leaving only a strip of remaining type on each page. Looking at the remaining text alone, it would be
impossible to figure out the whole story. However, if we further imagine that the ripped out pieces were hidden in the attic, and you were able to find them and examine
them, then it would be possible to discern that they were indeed the missing pieces to the book in your hand, and looking at the completed pages, you could find out the
whole story. In this analogy, the book with the remaining bits of text corresponds to the facts available to all people: the external universe and human nature. The ripped out
pages represent God’s revelation to mankind—the Bible. When we compare God’s revelation to us in the Bible with the world we see around us, we find a perfect match. The
Bible, unlike any other competing claim to truth, coherently and self-consistently explains the range of evidence available to us all: the external universe and human nature.
When we compare God’s revelation to us in the Bible with the world we see around us, we find a perfect match.

The Bible uniquely explains why we see both astonishing design and tragic decay and evil. It explains the paradox of human nature: that we are simultaneously loving and evil,
caring and cruel. And unlike atheistic or polytheistic systems, the biblical worldview provides the necessary framework for the pursuit of science: a stable, predictable
cosmos governed by absolute and unchanging physical and logical laws, a habitable zone suitable for life and scientific pursuit (against all odds!), and human bodies and
minds with the innate capacity to properly observe and comprehend the universe around them. In addition, the facts of science and history available to us line up with and
provide corroboration for the claims of Scripture. Far from being an isolated, purely hypothetical solution, the biblical worldview is well-attested by many lines of evidence.
In light of this, Paul the Apostle justly proclaims that we are “without excuse” for denying God (Romans 1:20). But, as our ministry has pointed out in many places, people
generally interpret the evidence through the ‘glasses’ of their worldviews, meaning that unbelievers are often blinded to the clear and powerful evidence that exists in favor
of the Bible—they don’t see it because they don’t step outside their presuppositions.
How should we present the Gospel to those who reject the Bible?
So what, then, should we do as Christians when confronted with unbelievers who deny the Bible is true? Before proceeding, it’s important to be aware that there is no ‘magic
bullet’ in witnessing and apologetics. Ultimately, our final commitment to God is part of the internal work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and the state of the heart—not the
mind. Therefore, our job as apologists and evangelists consists of presenting the Gospel and, if necessary, removing intellectual stumbling blocks. Regardless of your skill,
there is no way to argue a person into the Kingdom of God!
With that said, however, it can be helpful to have a game plan when dealing with skeptical nonbelievers. Schaeffer took an approach he named ‘Taking the Roof Off’, which
informed Christians would do well to emulate. To truly witness to someone, we must treat them as a genuine human being. We must get to know them as an individual and
assess their worldview on its own terms. Apologetics—witnessing to skeptical nonbelievers by giving answers to their objections—if it is to be successful, must truly be a
personal interaction, and not just an academic pursuit or a chance to get in the last word. Since non-Christian worldviews inevitably break down at one point or another and
fail to explain reality, there will always be a ‘point of tension’ where the unbeliever’s worldview is at odds with the real world. It is at this critical point that the unbeliever
builds up a psychological ‘roof’ over their head to shield themselves from the reality their worldview fails to deal with. To really get through to such a person, we must ‘take
the roof off’ by showing the person the unpleasant and unsatisfactory consequences of their own belief system, and forcing them to acknowledge them head-on.2 This can
(and should) truly be an uncomfortable experience for them. Only in this way can we get down to the heart of the matter, and perhaps, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit,
shake them from their disbelief and turn them to God.
What might this look like in a day-to-day example? Imagine that you’ve just met a person and found out that they’re very interested in technology and science, and is an
atheist as a result of a commitment to a Darwinian naturalistic worldview. You might ask them, “What is the point of doing science?” Most likely you’ll get a response that
waxes poetic about the virtues of science as a means to improve the lives of people—making us happier and healthier—and leading ultimately perhaps to a new utopian age
of prosperity driven by scientific advancement. In this case we are dealing with a worldview (evolutionary naturalism) which cannot provide a basis for meaning or purpose
in life, or for the value of human life.
This unbeliever’s ‘roof’ is their irrational blind leap of faith to believe that science can solve all the problems of death and suffering in the world, and that human life has
intrinsic value apart from God. Removing their roof, exposing them to the true ugliness of the Darwinian worldview, will show them their need for God and a Savior, and
prepare them for receiving the Gospel. This is known as pre-evangelism. To do this, we need to gently point out the fact that, if Darwin was right about life being a product of
blind natural processes, then human life has no intrinsic value. In the Darwinian scheme, humans are nothing more than higher apes—in other words, we are not special.
We are just animals which happen to have evolved differently from other animals (we cannot even say ‘better’ or ‘higher’, since that would imply an objective standard
which cannot be justified). In fact, life itself is nothing special, but just represents a different configuration of the same ‘stuff’ that makes up the rest of the universe.
The only real difference between a human being and a coconut—or a rock—would be that humans have a different configuration of atoms. Therefore, there’s no point in
saying that we should do science to improve human life, because human life is not valuable in the first place! Since the intrinsic value of human life is self-evidently obvious
to all (except perhaps sociopaths), making this point should strike a chord and provide a real avenue for productive discussion.

We can go further still. This person has suggested that science is worthwhile because it can improve human lives and lead to a better world. The previous point
notwithstanding, we still have no real basis for optimism or hope for the future without God, because even under the best case scenario there’s no way human science can
achieve any lasting goals. Even secular evolutionary scientists freely admit that our planet is ultimately doomed, because our only source of the energy we need for life,
the sun, is going to eventually burn out and be extinguished:

“All things must end. That’s true for us, that’s true for the Earth, and that’s true for the Sun. It’s not going to happen tomorrow, but one day in the far future, the Sun will
run out of fuel and end its life as a main sequence star and die.”3

A better future?

Wait a minute! If we know we’re ultimately doomed as a species, then why do we hear so much grandiose optimism for the future coming from scientists? No matter how
many skyscrapers we build, or how many cures for diseases we find, we will all have to die one day—as Jesus pointed out in Matthew 6:27, our worries and efforts cannot
even add one hour to our lives. Even in a hypothetical scenario where science did succeed in greatly expanding human lifespans, we cannot live without the sun! Yet the
problem is worse. Even if we were to advance to the point that we could fly to some distant star and recolonize a totally new planet, that planet would eventually become
uninhabitable as well. This is called entropy—all things are winding down—and ultimately the whole universe will be devoid of usable energy.4 So, in other words, there’s
nowhere to run. We are doomed, and all science is doomed to ultimately be fruitless and forgotten. Science alone cannot offer us hope for the future.
Only in Christ can we find true hope, because Christ is God incarnate, and God is not limited by His creation.

So, after having taken away false hope from this unbeliever, they will stand naked in the light of the truth: their worldview presents an ultimately pointless and hopeless
reality. Now the stage is set for you to present the alternative in Jesus Christ and the true Gospel. Only in Christ can we find true hope, because Christ is God incarnate,
and God is not limited by His creation. God’s power transcends the physical decay of this universe, and as such he can offer us real hope for the future.

Of course, in the real world such interactions are almost never simple, and almost never confined to only one issue. Most educated non-believers have a whole arsenal of
objections to Christianity at the ready, and dealing with all the stumbling blocks to their faith may take time. That’s why we must get to know them as a person and deal
patiently with them, and we must take the time to get informed on how to deal with a wide range of objections and issues. Yet this is the charge we must take up as disciples of Christ, who commanded us to take the gospel to the ends of the earth—that includes your neighborhood and your college campus! As the Apostle Paul writes,

“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the
knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4–5).