A Prayer From Ravenhill

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When I read Ravenhill, I am often moved to tears by his passion for God, his plain spoken manner, and the way he calls the church back to commitment and holiness. Here’s a prayer from Ravenhill:

O God, give us more men aflame for Thee! – men sick of the monopoly of the devil here and everywhere else; men with burning hearts, brimming eyes, and bursting lips; men who fear nothing but sin, love nothing but Thy supreme will, desire nothing but to die that other men might live. Holy Father, I ask Thee in Jesus’ Name to give us these men, lest the Church continue to drift farther and farther from the norm as revealed in The Acts of the Apostles. O Lord, awake us, lest we finally have to confess, ‘I spent my lifetime twisting dynamite into curling papers’! ~ Leonard Ravenhill, 1961

 
Ready for some Ravenhill? They are not all available for Kindle, but some are.

  

  

His Angel Goes Before You

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…He will send his angel before you… ~Genesis 24:7

In the days when your faith is dry as the desert sands and the path ahead is foggy, do not be afraid. We wrestle with our own thoughts about what God should be doing in our lives. I am amazed even at my own concepts sometimes when I believe I know what a vast and holy God ought to be doing, but isn’t. But the truth is I cannot begin to understand the immense activity of a world I cannot see.

When I observe Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars,
which You set in place, what is man that You remember him, the son of man that You look after him? ~Psalm 8:3-4

Abraham and Sarah waited decades for Isaac’s appearance. It’s not hard for us to see the hand of God in their story, we read over it in a few pages. They lived it … year after barren year … in the shadow of a promise that couldn’t possibly come true. Yet, after it was naturally too late, God made it supernaturally possible.

You say you’ve waiting on a prayer to be answered? Have you wondered why God let tragedy become part of your story? Are you puzzled at the disappointment He continues to allow to exist in your life? I’ve walked those roads.

We can’t possibly see the whirl of activity all around us, like radio waves for which we have no receiver.  Abraham sent his servant to find Isaac a wife and he said to the servant that God would “send his angel” ahead of him.

It is easy to think that if God were really in control then nothing bad would ever happen to me. I don’t know why we think that way. I do know that Jesus Christ the Son of God couldn’t claim to have a life wherein nothing bad happened. He suffered in many ways through his life. Many years before Mary gave birth to the Messiah, the Psalmist wrote …

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways … ~Psalm 91:9-11

Do you remember where we see this verse show up again? This startling promise of God? The next time we hear these words they come convincingly from the lips of the Tempter.

“If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: He will give His angels orders concerning you…” Matthew 4:6

What is the lie of the devil? Isn’t it that if God is God, and Jesus is God’s Son, then certainly nothing bad will happen to him. Jesus’ response?

Jesus told him, “It is also written: Do not test the Lord your God.” ~Matthew 4:7

What are you waiting for God to do for you today? What heartache has made you wonder if He cares … or if He really exists? What painful experience has the Enemy whispering in your ear one of his favorite words… “If”.

What if God has sent his angel before you?

– Could he have protected you from pain and heartache a hundred times before?

– Has He already answered your prayer with ‘yes’, but the time for you to understand and see that has not yet come?

– Have you given up in prayer because you see no results? I have done that before. Do we realize that our years that pass are simply blinks to the Father?

We so seldom see the spiritual gears turning and falling into place, but to God it is all very visible and evident. I love this song and how it expresses faith in God’s ultimate working.

I do think it is acceptable and even needful to wrestle with God in prayer. Isaac’s son Jacob would wrestle with God and receive a new identity. How long did it take for God to give to Abraham’s generations all of the promises he first heard on a lonesome desert night? In our microwave, drive-thru, instant society we tend to question how God works. When we do, I think we should affirm that God does work. Tomorrow may be the day you see. Or maybe not.

But walk in faith, friend. He has sent his angel ahead of you and you are never walking alone.

JD

Why GriefShare?

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The basic fact of life is that every life must come to an end. No matter what efforts we make to extend our days, we have to admit that our lives are temporary. Remember the familiar verse in James?

What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  ~James 4:14

That’s why we have GriefShare. People we love and that mean so much to us are now gone. Left behind in their place are empty chairs at the table. We’d like to tell them about our day, but they are no longer able to sit down with us and listen. The experience of grief can settle in and we can find it difficult to take steps forward.

GriefShare is a 13 week support group that is led by people who know what the pain of grief is like. We watch a DVD presentation that helps us identify the characteristics of grief, how our faith interacts with grief, and how God can help us move forward.

GriefShare doesn’t solve the problem of grief. If we truly loved someone, we will always miss their presence in our lives. But the days do not have to be as painful as they are now. Here’s a segment from GriefShare. More information below.

Christina’s Story from Church Initiative on Vimeo.

If you or someone you know is suffering from grief, please share with them this information today. Encourage them to participate in this free course that offers so much consolation and information. There is a workbook that costs $15.00, and it will assist you in walking through the daily exercises of grief recovery.

Royce and Carol Ogle are my partners in leading this class. They have been helping grieving people for over 13 years. You’ll be blessed by their presence and sweet spirit. They attend Whites Ferry Road Church of Christ, which has partnered with us in presenting this material.

GriefShare begins Wednesday, January 21. We meet at Forsythe Church of Christ from 6-8 each Wednesday night for 13 weeks. You can register at our church website HERE or just show up. We look forward to this season of GriefShare because in our experience this program helps move people ahead in beautiful ways.

For more information and resources, visit GRIEFSHARE.ORG.

JD