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Faith, Obedience, and a Light Burden

Faith and obedience in the Christian life go hand in hand. We cannot have one without the other. As Rick Warren states in his devotion titled, Show Your Faith By Obedience:

Jesus calls us to a level of intimacy that can only be sustained by his constant presence in our lives. He says, “Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace” (Matthew 11:29-30 MSG).

Jesus is real, and so our response to him must be real. In other words, we can’t just say we have faith; we must show our faith by doing what God tells us to do. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, an influential theologian who was martyred under the Nazi regime, says, “For faith is only real when there is obedience, never without it, and faith only becomes faith in the act of obedience.” (Quote source here.)

Back in September 2012, I wrote a blog post on a book titled, The Dangers of a Shallow Faith,” by A.W. Tozer (1897-1963), complied, edited and published in 2012 by James L. Snyder, and near the end of that post I quoted the following from the last chapter of the book (p. 205):

The great deterrent to victorious Christian living is the idea that once we accept Jesus Christ as Savior and believe that John 3:16 is all there is to it, our life now is on automatic pilot and we can just sit back and enjoy the ride. This is the source of a great deal of disillusionment that leads to discouragement in the Christian life.

There is no such thing as automatic pilot in our Christian experience; every step is an operation of faith that will be fiercely contested by the enemy of our soul. This kind of automatic pilot thinking leads to spiritual lethargy. Breaking out from the tyranny of spiritual lethargy–whatever the cost–should be the number-one priority of every Christian (p. 205).

“Every step is an operation of faith that will be fiercely contested by the enemy of our soul.” But do we believe that? We don’t if we are running on automatic pilot and not taking seriously what Jesus said in John 14:23, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” In fact, I Peter 5:8 admonishes us to “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Obedience is not just an option to be considered but a mandate to follow for the protection of our souls.

In a chapter titled, Christian–Or Only a Student of Christianity?” taken from another book titled, The Size of the Soul,” by Tozer, speaks to the issue of our obedience by answering this question: “Are you a Christian in fact or merely a student of Christianity?”:

It will help us to locate ourselves spiritually if we face up to the rather ungracious question: “Are you a Christian in fact or merely a student of Christianity?” A lot will depend upon the answer, and if ever we should be frank, it is when we examine ourselves to see if we be in the faith. Multitudes tread a hazy path to death because they will not bring themselves under the searching eye of God. They prefer to assume everything is all right, though so to assume is always dangerous and may be deadly.

No one has any right to believe that he is indeed a Christian unless he is humbly seeking to obey the teachings of the One whom he calls Lord. Christ once asked a question (Luke 6:46) that can have no satisfying answer, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”

Right here we do well to anticipate and reply to an objection that will likely arise in the minds of some readers. It goes like this: “We are saved by accepting Christ, not by keeping His commandments. Christ kept the law for us, died for us and rose again for our justification, and so delivered us from all necessity to keep commandments. Is it not possible, then, to become a Christian by simple faith altogether apart from obedience?”

Many honest persons argue in this way, but their honesty cannot save their argument from being erroneous. Theirs is the teaching that has in the last fifty years emasculated the evangelical message and lowered the moral standards of the Church until they are almost indistinguishable from those of the world. It results from a misunderstanding of grace and a narrow and one-sided view of the gospel, and its power to mislead lies in the element of truth in contains. It is arrived at by laying correct premises and then drawing false conclusions from them.

The truth is that faith and obedience are two sides of the same coin and are always found together in the Scriptures. As well try to pry apart the two sides of a half-dollar as to separate obedience from faith. The two sides, while they remain together and are taken as one, represent good sound currency and constitute legal tender everywhere in the United States. Separate them and they are valueless. Insistence upon honoring but one side of the faith-obedience coin has wrought frightful harm in religious circles. Faith has been made everything and obedience nothing. The result among religious persons is moral weakness, spiritual blindness and a slow but constant drift away from New Testament Christianity.

Our Lord made it very plain that spiritual truth cannot be understood until the heart has made a full committal to it. “If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own” (John 7:17). The willing and the doing (or at least the willingness to do) come before the knowing. Truth is a strict master and demands obedience before it will unveil its riches to the seeking soul.

For those who want chapter and verse here are a few, and there are plenty more: Matthew 7:21; John 14:21; First John 2:4, 3:24, 5:2; First Peter 1:2; James 2:14-26; Romans 1:5; and Acts 5:32.

To sum it up, saving faith is impossible without willing obedience. To try to have one without the other is to be not a Christian, but a student of Christianity merely.(Source: The Size of the Soul,” Chapter 35)

Quotation-Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-religion-obedience-Meetville-Quotes-76129A willing obedience on our part is not to be confused with legalism (see article on on GotQuestions?org on how to avoid the trap of legalism at this link). And obedience is essential to the Christian faith. In answering the question, “What does the Bible have to say about obedience?” GotQuestions?org states the following:

The Bible has much to say about obedience. In fact, obedience is the essence of the Christian faith. Jesus Himself was “obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). For Christians, the act of taking up our cross and following Him (Matthew 16:24) means obedience. The Bible makes it clear that we show our love for Jesus by obeying Him in all things: “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15).

Obedience is defined as “dutifully complying with the commands, orders, or instructions of one in authority.” Using this definition, we see the elements of biblical obedience. “Dutifully” means it is our obligation to obey God, just as Jesus fulfilled His duty to the Father by dying on the cross for our sin. “Commands, orders or instructions” speaks to the Scriptures in which God has clearly outlined His commandments and His will. “One in authority” is God Himself, whose authority is total and unequivocal. For the Christian, obedience means complying with everything God has commanded because it is our duty to do so.

Having said that, it is important to understand that it is the spirit of obedience, not the act of obedience, that is important. The Pharisees relentlessly pursued acts of obedience to the law and by doing so became self-righteous, believing that they deserved to go to heaven by what they had done. Heaven, to them, was a reward owed to them for their good deeds, but the Bible tells us that, to God, all our righteous works are as “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). The obedience that was lacking in the Pharisees was brought to light by Jesus, who exposed their heart attitude. Their hypocrisy in obeying the “letter of the law,” but not the spirit of it, characterized their lives, and Jesus rebuked them sharply for it: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which indeed appear beautiful outside, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so you also appear righteous to men outwardly, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (Matthew 23:27-28).

Today, man is not called to obey the Law of Moses. That has been fulfilled in Christ. Man is to obey the “Law of Christ,” which is a law of love for one another (Galatians 6:2;John 13:34). Jesus Himself put it in perspective when He answered the question put to Him by Pharisees, “‘Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the prophets hang on these two commandments’” (Matthew 22:36-40).

If we love God, we will obey Him, not always and not perfectly, but our desire is to obey Him and our lives give evidence of that desire. When we love God and obey Him, we naturally have love for one another. Obedience is commanded by God, not only because it glorifies Him when we obey, but because it is the best for us. Obedience brings joy, comfort and peace in a world where such things are hard to find, mainly due to disobedience and rejection of God and His Word. (Quote source here.)

It is our love for God and Jesus Christ that brings about our obedience (genuine obedience and not the type caused by fear or legalism). And it is the Holy Spirit that empowers us to be obedient to Jesus’ commands. In fact, it brings us now full circle back to what Rick Warren had to say at the beginning of this post when he referred to Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV):

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

So what does it mean when Jesus said his yoke is easy and his burden is light? GotQuestions?org has the answer for us (see full definition at this link):

The phrase “my yoke is easy and my burden is light” is part of a larger passage (Matthew 11:28-30), in which Jesus tells all who are weary and burdened to come to Him for rest. He isn’t speaking here of physical burdens. Rather, it was the heavy burden of the system of works that the Pharisees laid on the backs of the people that Jesus was offering to relieve. Later on in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus will rebuke the Pharisees for laying heavy burdens on the shoulders of the people (Matthew 23:4).

The “yoke of the Pharisees” is the burdensome yoke of self-righteousness and legalistic law-keeping…. Jesus was saying that any kind of law-keeping is burdensome and amounts to a “heavy yoke” of oppression because no amount of law-keeping can bridge the gap between our sinfulness and God’s holiness…. The good news is that Jesus promises to all who come to Him that He will give them rest from the heavy burden of trying to earn our way into heaven and rest from the oppressive yoke of self-righteousness and legalism. Jesus encourages those who are “heavy laden” to take His yoke upon them and in so doing they will find rest for their souls. The yoke of Jesus is light and easy to carry because it is the yoke of repentance and faith followed by a singular commitment to follow Him. As the Apostle John says, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).

This is what Jesus says in v. 30. His yoke is easy and his burden light. Now, we might think that there is really no difference between the commandments of Jesus and the Jewish Law. Isn’t the same God responsible for both? Technically speaking, yes. If anything, one might argue that the commands of Jesus are even more burdensome because His reformulation of the Mosaic Law in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7) actually goes above and beyond a mere outward conformity to the Law and deals instead with the inner person.

What makes Jesus’ yoke easy and his burden light is that in Jesus’ own active obedience (i.e., his perfect fulfillment of the Law of God), He carried the burden that we were meant to carry. His perfect obedience is applied (imputed) to us through faith, just as His righteousness was exchanged for our sin at the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21). Our obedience to Jesus then becomes our “spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1). Furthermore, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit who works in our lives to mold us into the image of Christ, thereby making the yoke of Jesus easy and His burden light. The life lived by faith is a much lighter yoke and a much easier burden to carry than the heavy and burdensome yoke of self-righteousness under which we continually strive to make ourselves acceptable to God through works. (Quote source here.)

While that definition is a little heavier then I planned to get into in this blog post, it is stating some very good news in that a life lived by faith and obedience is an easier yoke and a lighter burden then trying to live it under our own power and/or self-righteousness and/or excusing-making which we tend to lean on all too easily.

I’ll end this post with some very good news from I John 5:1-5:

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensomefor everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith . . .

Who is it that overcomes the world?

Only the one who believes . . .

That Jesus is the Son of God . . . .

YouTube Video: “Born for This” sung by Mandisa:

Photo #1 credit here
Photo #2 credit here

Don’t Substitute Praying for Obeying

Lord teach us to pray“Prayer changes everything”–it’s a motto we find plastered everywhere on posters and mugs and coffee cups, and we’ve all heard it expressed over and over again. And the Bible has a lot to say about prayer, and how it is an absolutely vital part of a Christian’s life. In fact, it is his or her lifeline to the very throne of God.

Jesus taught us how to pray in Matthew 6:5-15 (NKJV) when he stated:

And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power
And the glory forever. Amen.

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

It seems as if a zillion books have been written on the subject of prayer, and it is an area that we sometimes (or often) struggle with (at least I know that I do). Often, it’s not just praying that is a struggle but also receiving an answer from God regarding those prayers. Sometimes the answer comes quickly, sometimes it takes years, and sometimes it seems as if there is no answer at all no matter how long we wait (which some folks will say is an answer in itself regardless of how unsatisfying that explanation happens to be).

I’ve been a Christian since I was a young girl, and about the time I got into my late teens or early twenties, I started hearing an expression that is fairly pervasive in the Christian culture when it comes to “answered prayers.” And it goes like this: There are three basic answers God gives us to every prayer we pray–“Yes,” “No,” or “Wait” (“wait” can also be translated to mean “God has something better in mind”). And that’s pretty much it. More often then I’d like to remember the answers to some of my prayers have remained in the “Wait” category to the point that it no longer has any meaning to me anymore, or I’ve lost interest or moved beyond what I wanted years ago–like when I’ve prayed in years past about finding a husband to the point of ad nauseam. And after many of the bad or boring marriages I’ve witnessed (along with the number of married men who tried to seduce me when I was younger), I concluded that single is far better than marrying someone just to be married and, hence, more “acceptable” to society (and the Christian culture) at large. And, I have always thought there was something not quite right in that very simplistic answer regarding how God answers prayers.

The other day I ran across a chapter titled, Does God Always Answer Prayer? in the book, Man: The Dwelling Place of God,” by A.W. Tozer (1897-1963), and compiled by Anita M. Bailey. The book in its entirety is available online at this link. Here is what Tozer stated about the subject:

Does God Always Answer Prayer?

CONTRARY TO POPULAR OPINION, the cultivation of a psychology of uncritical belief is not an unqualified good, and if carried too far it may be a positive evil. The whole world has been booby-trapped by the devil, and the deadliest trap of all is the religious one. Error never looks so innocent as when it is found in the sanctuary.

One field where harmless-looking but deadly traps appear in great profusion is the field of prayer. There are more sweet notions about prayer than could be contained in a large book, all of them wrong and all highly injurious to the souls of men.

I think of one such false notion that is found often in pleasant places consorting smilingly with other notions of unquestionable orthodoxy. It is that God always answers prayer.

This error appears among the saints as a kind of all-purpose philosophic therapy to prevent any disappointed Christian from suffering too great a shock when it becomes evident to him that his prayer expectations are not being fulfilled. It is explained that God always answers prayer, either by saying Yes or by saying No, or by substituting something else for the desired favor.

Now, it would be hard to invent a neater trick than this to save face for the petitioner whose requests have been rejected for non-obedience. Thus when a prayer is not answered he has but to smile brightly and explain, “God said No.” It is all so very comfortable. His wobbly faith is saved from confusion and his conscience is permitted to lie undisturbed. But I wonder if it is honest.

To receive an answer to prayer as the Bible uses the term and as Christians have understood it historically, two elements must be present: (1) A clear-cut request made to God for a specific favor; (2) A clear-cut granting of that favor by God in answer to the request. There must be no semantic twisting, no changing of labels, no altering of the map during the journey to help the embarrassed tourist to find himself.

When we go to God with a request that He modify the existing situation for us, that is, that He answer prayer, there are two conditions that we must meet: (1) We must pray in the will of God and (2) we must be on what old-fashioned Christians often call “praying ground”; that is, we must be living lives pleasing to God.

It is futile to beg God to act contrary to His revealed purposes. To pray with confidence the petitioner must be certain that his request falls within the broad will of God for His people.

The second condition is also vitally important. God has not placed Himself under obligation to honor the requests of worldly, carnal or disobedient Christians. He hears and answers the prayers only of those who walk in His way. “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight . . . . If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (I John 3:21, 22; John 15:7).

God wants us to pray and He wants to answer our prayers, but He makes our use of prayer as a privilege to commingle with His use of prayer as a discipline. To receive answers to prayer we must meet God’s terms. If we neglect His commandments our petitions will not be honored. He will alter situations only at the request of obedient and humble souls.

The God-always-answers-prayer sophistry leaves the praying man without discipline. By the exercise of this bit of smooth casuistry he ignores the necessity to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world, and actually takes God’s flat refusal to answer his prayer as the very answer itself. Of course such a man will not grow in holiness; he will never learn how to wrestle and wait; he will never know correction; he will not hear the voice of God calling him forward; he will never arrive at the place where he is morally and spiritually fit to have his prayers answered. His wrong philosophy has ruined him.

That is why I turn aside to expose the bit of bad theology upon which his bad philosophy is founded. The man who accepts it never knows where he stands; he never knows whether or not he has true faith, for if his request is not granted he avoids the implication by the simple dodge of declaring that God switched the whole thing around and gave him something else. He will not allow himself to shoot at a target, so he cannot tell how good or how bad a marksman he is.

Of certain persons James says plainly: “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” From that brief sentence we may learn that God refuses some requests because they who make them are not morally worthy to receive the answer. But this means nothing to the one who has been seduced into the belief that God always answers prayer. When such a man asks and receives not he passes his hand over the hat and comes up with the answer in some other form. One thing he clings to with great tenacity: God never turns anyone away, but invariably grants every request.

The truth is that God always answers the prayer that accords with His will as revealed in the Scriptures, provided the one who prays is obedient and trustful. Further than this we dare not go.

if you love me keep my commandmentsAs Tozer stated above, “The God-always-answers-prayer sophistry leaves the praying man without discipline. By the exercise of this bit of smooth casuistry he ignores the necessity to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world, and actually takes God’s flat refusal to answer his prayer as the very answer itself. Of course such a man will not grow in holiness; he will never learn how to wrestle and wait; he will never know correction; he will not hear the voice of God calling him forward; he will never arrive at the place where he is morally and spiritually fit to have his prayers answered. His wrong philosophy has ruined him.”

We live in a “how to be a Christian in one easy step” culture today where we put all the emphasis on God to do everything for us and that we aren’t expected to, or worst yet, don’t have to do anything in return (as in obedience to God and Jesus Christ) once we have said a little Jesus prayer to accept Jesus as our Savior. Tozer didn’t mince any words about that kind of philosophy either in what he stated above. And it’s a deadly philosophy that ruins people spiritually at every turn.

I ran across a devotion yesterday titled “Don’t Substitute Praying for Obeying,” in the devotional book, Tozer on Christian Leadership,” that states the following:

Don’t Substitute Praying for Obeying

So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.” —1 Samuel 15:22

Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late–and how little revival has resulted?

Considering the volume of prayer that is ascending these days, rivers of revival should be flowing in blessing throughout the land. That no such results are in evidence should not discourage us; rather it should stir us to find out why our prayers are not answered….

I believe our problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying; and it simply will not work….

Prayer is never an acceptable substitute for obedience. The sovereign Lord accepts no offering from His creatures that is not accompanied by obedience. To pray for revival while ignoring or actually flouting the plain precept laid down in the Scriptures is to waste a lot of words and get nothing for our trouble. Of God and Men, 55-57.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; show me any wicked way that needs to be corrected in my own life before revival can come. I’m praying for revival; help me to also be obeying. Amen.” (Devotion for September 23.)

As I was thinking about the implications of what Tozer has to say regarding prayer and our expectations when it comes to God answering our prayers, I thought back on these past six years since I lost my job in Houston and how, during the first couple of years, the prayer at the forefront of all of my prayer requests was my need to find a job and an income again as soon as possible. It was a very legitimate need since I am my only means of financial support (e.g., I don’t have a husband or family I can rely on for financial support). It seemed to me to be clearly obvious that this was a very viable prayer to be praying, and I had witnessed many other Christians during this time who were also unemployed finding jobs and getting their lives back from the brink of financial disaster in answer to their own prayers. That it wasn’t happening to me was a perplexity of major proportions. Was I not as “Christian” as those other folks who had prayed and received jobs? It was a real stumbling block for me those first two years as I simply did not understand what was going on and I didn’t know if there was something I was personally doing that was holding God back from answering my very legitimate request for a very viable need in my life.

During these past six years I have come to understand that there is a whole lot more going on in this world of ours that oftentimes overshadows what we think are our immediate needs. Yes, there is definitely an “obedience” factor on our part when it comes to receiving genuine answered prayers from God, but there is also a very specific area that we tend to ignore (oftentimes not on purpose) that is a part of how Jesus taught us to pray. That part is this: “Your kingdom come; Your will be done; on earth as it is in Heaven.” We rarely see God’s kingdom as He sees it in our own everyday lives.

While the answer to my prayer for a job so that I could be financially solvent again (as in a regular paycheck and keeping a roof over my head) has gone unanswered for almost six years now, I have experienced the “care” of God in miraculous ways that I never could have experienced had He just plopped down another job in front of me back when I lost that job six years ago. These past six years, while frustrating to their very core at times, have provided me with the most enlightening and awe-inspiring evidence in my life for the existence of the God that I have always said I believed in and it has, indeed, increased my faith and my understanding exponentially.

Has it been hard? You bet it has. Have I suffered loss? Of course I have. Have I had challenges that I absolutely did not know how to maneuver around and that only God could guide me through? Yes, more times that I can even count. But He has always been there every single step of the way to keep me from stepping on landmines and veering off course in the wrong direction. And he has taken care of every need of mine even if it wasn’t in the way I wanted it to be. He has been there for me when I didn’t even have a clue anymore exactly how to pray or what to pray for. And he has been there when I just didn’t want to keep going on in this trial of mine anymore and I was desperate to try and twist his arm to get me out of it.

“Thy will be done.” If we could only understand with our finite minds exactly what that means we wouldn’t be nearly are harried or hurried or as selfish as we are in this life. If we could just get a glimpse of what is really going on behind the curtain of our own lives and see this world from God’s perspective, it would humble us in a way that would change us forever, and for the rest of our lives here on earth, too. And the only way to really see that is to experience it through the trials God allows to come our way. And if we try to wiggle out of them too soon, it can ruin us spiritually.

The truth is that we don’t know how to pray or what to pray for so much of the time because we can’t see beyond our own needs or desires. And when we don’t have a vision of God “high and lifted up” in all areas of our lives our prayers can become trite and myopic and we try to answer them on our own if we have the wherewithall to do it.

Obedience to God is not an option for Christians, but it has to be done from a heart of love, and not from just following a list of rules. It has to be something we want to do (through the power of the Holy Spirit as we can’t accomplish it on our own) and not viewed as a negative as it so often is anymore. And, it is just as Paul describes in Romans 7 & 8 (click here to read that passage).

Tozer made the following statement in a chapter titled, On Wrestling in Prayer,” in the book, This World: Playground or Battleground?(available online in its entirety at this link):

The spiritual quality of a prayer is determined not by its intensity but by its origin. In evaluating prayer we should inquire who is doing the praying–our determined hearts or the Holy Spirit? If the prayer originates with the Holy Spirit, then the wrestling can be beautiful and wonderful; but if we are the victims of our own overheated desires, our praying can be as carnal as any other act . . . .

Only the Spirit can pray effectively. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26).

Well, enough said. You get the picture . . . .

My will be done . . .

Or Thy will be done . . . .

YouTube Video: “Revelation Song” by Phillips, Craig & Dean:

Photo #1 credit here
Photo #2 credit here

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Messianic Sabbath

A daily break in your day to celebrate our salvation in Yeshua (Jesus) and our abundant life through the Torah

For Such A Time As This

"...who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" Esther 4:14

The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Disciples of hope

Living the hope that comes from Christ

daily meditation

daily thoughts on scriptures

The Minstrel's Wife

A worship leader's missus and her views from the pew

From the Wisdom of our Founders

Important Quotations to Instruct and Inspire

Growing Forward

a blog for those seeking personal change for God's glory

The Old Guys

Quotes & Resources From... The Old Guys

Prime Reality Ministries

God is the Real Reality!

Flotsam and Jetsam

Random thoughts and commentaries on God's Word

Sara's Musings

Living It Out. . . on WordPress.com

Don Sweeting

Reflections on theology, worship, culture, history and the church

What's The Good Word?

Reflections on daily readings from the Scriptures

A DEVOTED LIFE

Practical Daily Devotions for the Real World

The Daily Way

A Daily Devotional from Dr. Michael Youssef

Jean Huang Photography - Los Angeles Custom Portraiture and Fine Art Photographer

"Transformational Beauty" "Maternity" "Newborn" "Children" "FineArt" Photography

Life in the Boomer Lane

Musings of a former hula hoop champion

Laura's Lens

Taking a look at the beauty around us

Perception

Photography. Life.

ILLUSTRATION AGE

THE ULTIMATE RESOURCE FOR ILLUSTRATORS

The Elliptical Saloon

Weblog for WhiteHouseMuseum.org

Thought For the Day

Bringing whatever stirs my heart

A Breath of Fresh Air

"Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God." Philippians 2:15

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Tracking events and trends in Israel, the U.S., Russia and throughout the Epicenter (the Middle East & North Africa)

ForeWords

Lectionary Musings within the Community of Christ

Of Dust & Kings

Empowering Faith. Transforming Culture.

A MINIATURE CLAY POT

"We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives" 2 Corinthians 4:7 The Message

gracefully50

On your birthday: count your candles, count your years, count your blessings.

lilies, sparrows and grass

"That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works." Psalm 26:7

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