Handling Difficult Circumstances

Scripture: Philippians 3:8-11
The apostle Paul understood how to handle tough circumstances. Even while confined in a prison cell, he kept his eyes on Christ and trusted firmly in the Savior. Therefore, despite being in chains, he was able to celebrate the Lord’s work in his life. In fact, the epistle he wrote from jail to the Philippians was filled with rejoicing and praise (Philippians 1:18; Philippians 2:18; Philippians 3:1).
Focusing on Christ is neither a natural reaction nor an easy one. Our instinct is to dwell on the situation at hand, searching for solutions or stewing over the pain and difficulty. As a result, troubles look insurmountable and overwhelm us with a sense of failure.
However, fear and defeat can’t live long in a heart that trusts the Lord. I’m not saying you will forget what you’re going through, but you can choose to dwell on His provision and care instead. He is the Deliverer (2 Corinthians 1:10). He is the Healer (Jeremiah 17:14). And He is the Guide (Proverbs 3:6). The believer who lays claim to divine promises discovers that God pushes back negative emotions. In their place, hope, confidence, and contentment take up residence (Philippians 4:11). You aren’t going to be happy about any difficult situation, but you can be satisfied that God is in control and up to something good in the midst of trouble.
The Lord’s principles and promises don’t change, no matter how severe or painful the situation is. Focus on Christ instead of the circumstances—God will comfort your heart and bring you safely through the trial. Then you will be ready to answer Paul’s call to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4).

STAY BLESSED

All Glory to God

‘For you have been given…the privilege of suffering for him.’  – Philippians 1:29 NLT
How do you live for God’s glory when you’re in severe pain? Think of Gethsemane, the garden where Jesus Himself wrestled with the will of God, saying ‘Take this cup from me’ (Mark 14:36NIV). He was talking about the cup of God’s anger. Jesus knew He’d have to drink it to the dregs. But before He did, He asked His Father if He could take it away, if there was any other way to accomplish God’s plan. Then He ended with total surrender: ‘Not My will, but Yours, be done’ (Luke 22:42 NKJV). Our prayers tend to focus on external circumstances – what’s around us that’s bothering us – more than internal attitudes – who we’re becoming through the situation. We’d rather have God change our circumstances than change us. It’s a lot easier that way. But we miss the point altogether. It’s the worst of circumstances that often brings out the best in us. And if it’s the bad things that bring out the good things, then maybe those bad things are good things when you look back on them. It’s only when you’ve been tested that you have a story to share with others. Yes, you can be saved without suffering, but you can’t mature, or serve well, without it. That doesn’t mean you seek it out, but it does mean you see it for what it is – an opportunity to glorify God. Paul, who suffered a lot, writes, ‘For you have been given…the privilege of suffering for him.’ Where did Paul find that kind of strength? ‘I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us’ (Romans 8:18 NKJV). There’s loads of glory coming our way. But first, we need to do the work God’s given us, even in painful moments.

What Now?

Ask yourself, ‘What is pain producing in my life?’ Despair and sadness, as if God didn’t exist beyond the pain? Or hope that God is alive and well, can deliver you, and has something for you to learn in the pain?STAY BLESSED

He Remembers No More

“For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more”   – Jeremiah 31:34.
When we know the LORD, we receive the forgiveness of sins. We know Him as the God of grace, passing by our transgressions. What a joyful discovery is this!

But how divinely is this promise worded: the LORD promises no more to remember our sins! Can God forget? He says He will, and He means what He says. He will regard us as though we had never sinned. The great atonement so effectually removed all sin that it is to the mind of God no more in existence. The believer is now in Christ Jesus, as accepted as Adam in his innocence; yea, more so, for he wears a divine righteousness, and that of Adam was but human.

The great LORD will not remember our sins so as to punish them, or so as to love us one atom the less because of them. As a debt when paid ceases to be a debt, even so doth the LORD make a complete obliteration of the iniquity of His people.

When we are mourning over our transgressions and shortcomings, and this is our duty as long as we live, let us at the same time rejoice that they will never be mentioned against us. This makes us hate sin. God’s free pardon makes us anxious never again to grieve Him by disobedience.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Crosswalk Daily Inspirations.

Seasoned with Salt: Speak Gracefully

Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person. — Colossians 4:6 HCSB

Seasoning is vital to any dish you make. Steak, pasta, or seafood all need the appropriate mix of spices to wow a person’s palate. One thing that can cause any dish to be a disappointment is for it to not have enough salt. Watch any cooking show and you’ll see that cooks salt everything from pasta water to ground beef to salads. Salt makes rice pop and adds an extra dose of pizzazz to spaghetti sauce. It’s an appropriate addition to almost any dish and can be found on practically every table in every restaurant. You just can’t go wrong with a dash of salt.

In the book of Colossians, Paul taught the Christ-followers to season their conversations with salt. First, he told them to make the best use of their time. In other words, share the gospel at every opportunity. Paul then went on to tell them to always be gracious in their conversations.

Grace in a conversation is like salt in a dish; you can’t go wrong.

Have you ever eaten a particular dish at someone’s home and been surprised that you liked it? Maybe Brussels sprouts have always triggered your gag reflex. Then Nana serves them one day for Sunday brunch, so you try them to be polite and discover that they’re quite tasty! It’s because they are seasoned in a way that makes them more palatable.

Our conversations with others should be the same way. We don’t always know people’s experiences. They may have had an encounter where the gospel was presented in an aggressive or harsh way or may have a past that causes them to be hesitant to listen. Our conversations should always be well seasoned, and a dash of grace is always appropriate.

Lord, remind me to always season my speech with grace. Teach me to speak the truth, but to speak it in love. May every word that comes out of my mouth point others to You.

Your Turn
Think back to a time when you tried a bite of food that you didn’t expect to like. Now think back to a conversation with someone which had previously been a painful or upsetting one… but this time it wasn’t. You felt heard, loved, understood, given space, respected. That’s truth with grace. Who needs to hear grace (with truth) from you today? Who needs you to be salt? Come share with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Devotions from the Kitchen Table

FORGIVE YOURSELF

Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me;  my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. – Psalm 32:1-5

INTRODUCTION

Forgiveness from Jesus Christ is like a recording of the bad stuff in our lives being wiped completely clean. Forgiveness is never easy. We all know how hard it is to forgive others. However, we often assume that forgiveness from God is almost automatic. In the passage for today we see the very high cost and huge blessing of God’s forgiveness. As P.T. Forsyth pointed out, first, you have to know the ‘despair of guilt’. Then you can appreciate ‘the breathless wonder of forgiveness’.

  1. Experience the relief of forgiveness

Do you ever find it difficult to forgive other people or even to forgive yourself for something you have done? The key to forgiving others and yourself is, knowing how much God has forgiven you. Forgiven people forgive.

As C.S. Lewis pointed out, ‘To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.’ As far as forgiving yourself is concerned, he wrote, ‘If God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than him.’

Through Jesus, God has made total forgiveness available to you and me. In this psalm, we see the huge difference that God’s forgiveness makes.

Release from the hand of judgment – David describes the spiritual agony of not being forgiven: ‘My bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer’.

Transparency with God – The route to forgiveness is simply to come to the Lord with no mask or pretence: ‘Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord” – and you forgave the guilt of my sin’.

A fresh start – David describes the enormous blessing of knowing you are forgiven: ‘Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit’. Imagine that in our diaries were recorded, not just our engagements and meetings, but also all our sins. The first two verses of this psalm give us three pictures of what God does with your sins. First, ‘the Lord does not count’ your sins against you. He acts as though they do not exist.

Second, they are ‘covered’. It is as if God gets out his heavenly eraser and rubs out the sinful entries in your diary: ‘Your slate’s wiped clean’ (v.1, MSG). Third, they are ‘forgiven’ (v.1a). Literally that word means ‘removed’ or ‘taken away’. The pages relating to your sins are ripped out and destroyed. ‘You get a fresh start’.

The apostle Paul quotes this psalm as evidence that through the death of Jesus for you, God credits you with righteousness by faith and that forgiveness is not something that you can earn by good works (see Romans 4:6-8). Through the cross, God restores you to a right relationship with him. Therefore, you can pray to Him (Psalm 32:6a). He becomes your ‘hiding-place’. He protects you from trouble. He guides us and His ‘unfailing love surrounds’ us. This is not earned by good works. It comes to the person who trusts in Him by faith. A proper understanding of the Old Testament shows that the path to forgiveness is repentance and faith.

Forgiveness is not a reason to sinit is an incentive not to sin. We want to stay on God’s paths. He promises that he will guide you: ‘I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you’. He does not want you to be difficult to guide like a horse or a mule that must be controlled by bit and bridle (v.9). He wants you to avoid the pain of resisting the Holy Spirit. Follow the promptings of God’s Spirit. He wants you to hear his voice daily, listen to his instruction, walk in his ways and trust in his love.

Lord, thank you that you died for me on the cross so that I can know the relief of forgiveness. I am sorry for the things I have done wrong in my life… Please forgive me.

  1. Thank Jesus for paying the price of forgiveness – Mark 15:33-47

Take time today to thank Jesus for dying for you. Jesus paid a very high price for our forgiveness. Forgiveness is not easy, but Jesus made it possible. Jesus did die on the cross for us. Sometimes people suggest that Jesus did not really die on the cross but recovered in the cool of the tomb.

However, Pilate checked that he was indeed ‘already dead’. The centurion who had overseen the crucifixion confirmed that Jesus was actually dead. Roman soldiers were experts at carrying out crucifixions. The centurion would also have faced severe punishment himself if he let a living prisoner go.

Joseph of Arimathea ‘took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock’. Joseph would have noticed if Jesus was still alive and breathing. He would not have buried a living Jesus. Jesus was ‘God-forsaken’ because of our sins. ‘… darkness came over the whole land’ (v.33). Jesus cried out, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’. Mark retains the original Aramaic words of Jesus, which mean, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’.  Jesus opened the way for forgiveness and entry into the presence of God

The curtain of the temple (see in today’s Old Testament passage, Leviticus 24:3), which was what separated people from the presence of God, was torn in two supernaturally by God from top to bottom. It was sixty feet high and at least, one inch thick. The fact that it was torn from top down (where humans could not reach it) emphasises that it was God who caused it to be torn.

This symbolised the fact that through the death of Jesus you are given access to God, because your sins are forgiven. God credits you with righteousness and allows you and me the immense privilege of an intimate relationship with him.

Lord Jesus, thank you that ‘you loved me and gave [yourself] for me’ (Galatians 2:20). Thank you that I can now enter the presence of God with boldness and confidence in your name.

  1. Understand that forgiveness is earned not by us but for us – Leviticus 23:1-24:23

We see in the Old Testament how seriously sin is taken. It is not a trivial matter. And forgiveness is not to be taken for granted. Justice required an equivalence: ‘Life for life’ (24:18); ‘fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth’ (v.20). This was never intended for personal relationships but for the law courts to prevent escalating violence. It showed the need of the appropriateness of a penalty for sin (incidentally, it was under this law of blasphemy, vv.10–16, that Jesus himself was condemned to death as we saw in Mark 14:64).

Again, we see Jesus’ death foreshadowed. Forgiveness of sins requires sacrifice, it requires a lamb. The lamb must be perfect, ‘without defect’ (Leviticus 23:12). St Paul describes Jesus as ‘our Passover lamb [who] has been sacrificed’ (1 Corinthians 5:7).

Forgiveness cannot be earned. On the Day of Atonement, ‘atonement is made for you’ (Leviticus 23:28). It is not made by you but for you. This is the radical and revolutionary teaching of the whole Bible. When you understand how forgiveness is made possible through Jesus, it takes your breath away and it totally transforms your life. And when you know that you have received total forgiveness from God, you have to forgive others and you have to forgive yourself.

Lord Jesus, thank you that you have set me free from all these Old Testament laws. Thank you that you are ‘the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’ (John 1:29). Thank you that you made atonement for me. Thank you for the breathless wonder of your forgiveness that transforms my life and eternity.

At such a crucial moment in history, when Jesus is defeating the powers of darkness, all his disciples and many followers deserted him. But the women were there at the cross. What bravery and loyalty! In a culture where women seemed to be almost ignored, Jesus empowered them: ‘Many other women who had come up with Him to Jerusalem were also there’ (Mark 15:41). You sense a movement!

 

Stay blessed!

For further inquiries please contact us on Tel Nos. 0302-772013 or 0268130615

Email: saltnlightministries@gmail.com
Website:
saltandlightministriesgh.org

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT ANGER?

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. – James 1:19-20

INTRODUCTION

Handling anger is an important life skill.  Anger can shatter communication and tear apart relationships, and it ruins both the joy and health of many. Sadly, people tend to justify their anger instead of accepting responsibility for it. Everyone struggles, to varying degrees, with anger. Thankfully, God’s Word contains principles regarding how to handle anger in a godly manner, and how to overcome sinful anger.

Anger is not always sin. There is a type of anger of which the Bible approves, often called “righteous indignation.” God is angry (Psalm 7:11; Mark 3:5), and believers are commanded to be angry (Ephesians 4:26). Two Greek words in the New Testament are translated as “anger.” One means “passion, energy” and the other means “agitated, boiling.” Biblically, anger is God-given energy intended to help us solve problems. Examples of biblical anger include David’s being upset over hearing Nathan the prophet sharing an injustice (2 Samuel 12) and Jesus’ anger over how some of the Jews had defiled worship at God’s temple in Jerusalem (John 2:13-18). Notice that neither of these examples of anger involved self-defense, but a defense of others or of a principle.

Anger and Injustice

That being said, it is important to recognize that anger at an injustice inflicted against oneself is also appropriate. Anger has been said to be a warning flag-it alerts us to those times when others are attempting to or have violated our boundaries. God cares for each individual. Sadly, we do not always stand up for one another, meaning that sometimes we must stand up for ourselves. This is especially important when considering the anger that victims often feel. Victims of abuse, violent crime, or the like have been violated in some way. Often while experiencing the trauma, they do not experience anger. Later, in working through the trauma, anger will emerge. For a victim to reach a place of true health and forgiveness, he or she must first accept the trauma for what it was. In order to fully accept that an act was unjust, one must sometimes experience anger. Because of the complexities of trauma recovery, this anger is often not short-lived, particularly for victims of abuse. Victims should process through their anger and come to a place of acceptance, even forgiveness. This is often a long journey. As God heals the victim, the victim’s emotions, including anger, will follow. Allowing the process to occur does not mean the person is living in sin.

Anger and Pride

Anger can become sinful when it is motivated by pride, when it is unproductive and thus distorts God’s purposes, or when anger is allowed to linger. One obvious sign that anger has turned to sin is when, instead of attacking the problem at hand, we attack the wrongdoer. Ephesians 4:15-19 says we are to speak the truth in love and use our words to build others up, not allow rotten or destructive words to pour from our lips. Unfortunately, this poisonous speech is a common characteristic of fallen man. Anger becomes sin when it is allowed to boil over without restraint, resulting in a scenario in which hurt is multiplied, leaving devastation in its wake. Often, the consequences of out-of-control anger are irreparable. Anger also becomes sin when the angry one refuses to be pacified, holds a grudge, or keeps it all inside. This can cause depression and irritability over little things, which are often unrelated to the underlying problem.

Handling Anger Biblically

  1. We can handle anger biblically by recognizing and admitting our prideful anger and/or our wrong handling of anger as sin (Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9). This confession should be both to God and to those who have been hurt by our anger. We should not minimize the sin by excusing it or blame-shifting. We can handle anger biblically by seeing God in the trial. This is especially important when people have done something to offend us. James 1:2-4, Romans 8:28-29, and Genesis 50:20 all point to the fact that God is sovereign over every circumstance and person that crosses our path. Nothing happens to us that He does not cause or allow. Though God does allow bad things to happen, He is always faithful to redeem them for the good of His people. God is a good God (Psalm 145:8, 9, 17). Reflecting on this truth until it moves from our heads to our hearts will alter how we react to those who hurt us.
  2. We can handle anger biblically by making room for God’s wrath. This is especially important in cases of injustice, when “evil” men abuse “innocent” people. Genesis 50:19 and Romans 12:19 both tell us to not play God. God is righteous and just, and we can trust Him who knows all and sees all to act justly (Genesis 18:25).
  3. We can handle anger biblically by returning good for evil (Genesis 50:21; Romans 12:21). This is key to converting our anger into love. As our actions flow from our hearts, so also our hearts can be altered by our actions (Matthew 5:43-48). That is, we can change our feelings toward another by changing how we choose to act toward that person.
  4. 4. We can handle anger biblically by communicating to solve the problem. There are four basic rules of communication shared in Ephesians 4:15, 25-32.
  5. a) Be honest and speak. People cannot read our minds. We must speak the truth in love.
  6. b) Stay current. We must not allow what is bothering us to build up until we lose control. It is important to deal with what is bothering us before it reaches critical mass.
  7. c) Attack the problem, not the person. Along this line, we must remember the importance of keeping the volume of our voices low.
  8. d) Act, don’t react. Because of our fallen nature, our first impulse is often a sinful one. The time spent in “counting to ten” should be used to reflect upon the godly way to respond and to remind ourselves how the energy anger provides should be used to solve problems and not create bigger ones.
  9. At times we can handle anger preemptively by putting up stricter boundaries. We are told to be discerning (1 Corinthians 2:15-16; Matthew 10:16). We need not “cast our pearls before swine” (Matthew 7:6). Sometimes our anger leads us to recognize that certain people are unsafe for us. We can still forgive them, but we may choose not to re-enter the relationship.

Conclusion

Finally, we must act to solve our part of the problem (Romans 12:18). We cannot control how others act or respond, but we can make the changes that need to be made on our part. Overcoming a temper is not accomplished overnight. But through prayer, Bible study, and reliance upon God’s Holy Spirit, ungodly anger can be overcome. We may have allowed anger to become entrenched in our lives by habitual practice, but we can also practice responding correctly until that, too, becomes a habit and God is glorified in our response.

Stay blessed!

Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sundays 5.30 am., Sunny 88.7 FM – Tuesdays 5:30 am; and Uniiq 95.7 Fm – Saturdays 7:30 pm; for our Radio Bible Study as well as Sunny FM 88.7 FM every Sunday at 3:30 pm. for Hymns and their Stories.

Got Skills?

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft!
“And I have personally appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be his assistant. Moreover, I have given special skill to all the gifted craftsmen so they can make all the things I have commanded you to make.” – Exodus 31:1-6

Reflect
God values the skills of all his people, not merely those with theological or ministerial abilities. We tend to value only those who are up front in leadership roles. We believe the notion that having influence is what really matters. But God gave Bezalel and Oholiab Spirit-filled abilities in artistic craftsmanship. Their work would outlast both Moses’ and Aaron’s leadership.

But neither influence nor longevity is anything. Instead, Moses, Aaron, Bezalel, and Oholiab submitted their skills to God and committed them to doing his work. When we do this, our skills are given great meaning and purpose.

Take notice of all the abilities God gives his people. Don’t diminish your skills if they are not like Moses’ and Aaron’s. Remember, the one you serve is more important than what you do.

Respond
What skills do you have? Have you found a way to use them? Spend time improving the skills you have and talking with God about them. As you do, you may find new opportunities open up for using them.

STAY BLESSED

Coming Together

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” – Ephesians 4:13

If you know how to listen to the voice of God, you can hear Him calling throughout the Body of Christ today. He is calling for unity. He is calling us to lay down our disagreements and come together in preparation for Jesus’ return.
Just the thought of that scares some believers. “How can I unify with someone from another denomination?” they say. “I’m not going to give up my doctrines and agree with theirs just for unity’s sake!”
What they don’t realize is this: scriptural unity isn’t based on doctrine.
Winds of doctrine, according to Ephesians 4:14, are childish. Winds of doctrine don’t unify. They divide and blow people in every direction. The Word doesn’t say anything about us coming into the unity of our doctrines. It says we’ll come into the unity of the faith.
In the past, we’ve failed to understand that and tried to demand doctrinal unity from each other anyway.
“If you don’t agree with me on the issue of tongues,” we’ve said, “or on the timing of the rapture…or on the proper depth for baptismal waters, I won’t accept you as a brother in the Lord. I’ll break fellowship with you.
But that’s not God’s way of doing things. He doesn’t have a long list of doctrinal demands for us to meet. His requirements are simple. First John 3:23 tells us what they are: to believe on the Name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another.
Once you and I come to a place where we keep those requirements and quit worrying about the rest, we’ll be able to forget our denominational squabbles and come together in the unity of faith. We’ll grow so strong together that the winds of doctrine won’t be able to drive us apart.
When that happens, the devil’s going to panic because the unity of the faith of God’s people is a staggering thing. It’s the most unlimited, powerful thing on earth.
Right now all over the world, the Spirit is calling the Church of the living God to unite. Hear Him and obey, and you can be a part of one of the most magnificent moves of God this world has ever seen.

STAY BLESSED
Source: Culled from Elolam Networks International.

Shortcutting God’s Will

Scripture: Psalm 37:1-9
In sports, construction, and travel, precision timing is essential. Rushing ahead of the plan could result in lost opportunities, future problems, or disaster. God’s plan for our life also contains time-sensitive elements. He orchestrates events to accomplish His will, bring Himself glory, and benefit us. This is why cooperation with His timing is so crucial. Instead of learning this lesson the hard way, consider what happened in the following situations from Scripture:

• Abraham and Sarah tried to gain the promised son through Hagar, resulting in domestic discord and anger (Gen. 16:1-6).
• Rebekah and Jacob used deception in an attempt to gain the Lord’s blessing, and Jacob became a fugitive (Gen. 27:1-43).
• Becoming impatient for Samuel’s arrival, King Saul offered the sacrifice himself, and God took away his kingdom (1 Samuel 13:8-14).

Refusing to wait for God’s plan brings heartache and closes doors. But trusting in the Lord’s wisdom, believing His promises, waiting for His timing, and committing our way to Him will bring the blessings of obedience.

There are no shortcuts to God’s will, and His path for us may not be easy. To cooperate with Him, we must die to self, relinquish our own desires and plans in order to pursue His, and understand that we are His servants.

Coming up with a plan and rushing ahead may seem like the best approach, but who is better qualified to lead the way—you or God? One pathway is filled with fretting and uncertainty, but the other leads to rest and blessing. Which will you choose?

STAY BLESSED
Source: Culled from InTouch Ministries.

Why We Should Pray Scripture

Jesus understood the power of God’s Word. So did David. And Moses. And the apostle Paul. And the prophets of the Old Testament. And countless other heroes of the faith. That’s why they quoted Scripture in their private interactions with God.

Here are three things you’ll discover if you follow their lead:
Praying God’s Word solidifies your relationship with the Lord.
In order to incorporate Scripture effectively into your prayer life, you have to spend time in its pages. You have to study God’s interaction with people in good times and in bad. You have to examine the way he makes all things work according to his purposes. You have to come face to face with the fact that no situation is ever beyond his control. You have to make note of his goodness, his mercy and his grace.
And you can’t do those things without developing a deeper appreciation and love for the One who loves you beyond all measure and has a unique plan laid out for your life.

Praying God’s Word fosters a healthy perspective toward Scripture.
Hebrews 4:12 says “the word of God is alive and active.” It’s not some relic from a bygone era or an ancient religious history book. It’s a tool, a weapon—a source of power, encouragement and inspiration that’s every bit as potent today as it was three thousand years ago.

To use God’s Word in prayer is to tap into its power —
• to claim the promises that Moses clung to;
• to marvel at the wonders of creation that blew David’s mind;
• to connect with the Creator and Sustainer of the universe as Job did;
• to find comfort and strength in our heavenly Father’s presence as Jesus did.

Praying God’s Word encourages an active and creative approach to prayer.
Incorporating Scripture into your prayers shows that you’re not content to rattle off rote words of praise, thanksgiving or supplication. Praying God’s Word requires forethought and preparation. When you pull Scripture into your prayer time, you’re saying to God, “This isn’t something I want to rush through. This is something I want to savor, enjoy and make the most of.”

STAY BLESSED
Source: Culled from NIV Devotional Articles.