For whom should we pray? Our default is to pray for ourselves first, asking God to bless and protect us. Are we too selfish? There is nothing wrong with praying for ourselves. However, the Bible says we should not pray only for ourselves. There are a few more people for whom we should intercede. You might be surprised.
I like to watch a movie before giving a strong opinion or recommending it. But, then there are times when I don’t need to see before giving a definite opinion. Fifty Shades Darker, the new sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey, is one of those movies. I believe there are several reasons why followers of Jesus should NOT see Fifty Shades Darker.
Hello. My name is Marvin Williams, and I am a recovering people pleaser. I wanted to be wanted and liked to be liked. I needed validation from outside sources, especially from people I admired. It was hard for me to say “no” for fear of disappointing others. If you resonate with the list above, then you might be a people pleaser. So, what are some other indicators that you are a people pleaser? How do you fix it?
Everyone wants their relationships to soar. I know I do. If you are anything like me, you want your relationships to continue to grow and ride the winds. There is one thing that keeps our relationships grounded and without the hope of taking off.
At 12:47 a.m. on November 3, 2016, after an 8-7 win over the Cleveland Indians, ESPN Senior Writer, Jayson Stark said it was possible to write or say a sentence that no living human has ever written or said: The Chicago Cubs are the champions of baseball. I know baseball is just a game. But, can we learn some life and leadership lessons from the Cubs winning the World Series? When I look at the Cubs World Series run and win, I see five life lessons.
We all do it even though we know we shouldn’t. Sometimes, we are aware when we do it, and sometimes we are not. But, we all do it, and it hurts him when we do. In Ephesians 4:30, Paul told the Ephesians to not grieve the Holy Spirit. But, what does it mean to grieve the Spirit?
Everyone, I mean everyone, goes through tough times. Someone has said we have either left a tough time, are presently in the middle of a trial, or headed toward a tough time. The issue is not determining the nature of the trial, but what should our response be to these moments. So, how should we respond to tough times?
Welcome to Theology Thursday. Each Thursday, I will attempt to define a theological concept and give practical implications for daily living. Today, I will look at God’s providence. What does it mean and what are the practical implications for believing in the God’s providence?
The Enemy Is Defeated
One of the highlights of my recent trip to Kenya was meeting Ruth. Ruth – the woman pictured – used to be the high priestess of Satan and a famous witch doctor in a small Kenyan village, outside of Tala. Her fame as a witch doctor was so pervasive that even one of the pastors I was training was one of her consistent customers. Several months ago, she surrendered her life to Jesus and burned all her paraphernalia. Praise the Lord!!!!
There is power in the cross of Jesus. This power breaks every chain and sets people free. When Jesus died on the cross, he won victories over sin, temptation, the world, death, and over the devil. Ruth’s conversion and transformation is an example of Jesus’ power to defeat the enemy.
As a result of her conversion, she is now an witnessing to people in her village. Watching her worship Jesus, made me realize the power of the gospel to transform darkness into light. Also, I understand more than ever that worship is a weapon to defeat Satan and his dark forces.
As a result of her conversion, Satan is angry and is attacking her through hurting her family. Her husband and one of her sons have died, another child is sick. Her granddaughter has sores, from the crown of her head to the soles of her feet. I don’t tend to see the enemy behind every bad thing that happens to believers. However, I believe these are malicious, Satanic attacks, designed to discourage her and tempt her to go back to working for Satan. Consequently, she experiences discouragement, and the enemy tempts her to go back to her former lifestyle.
Stand With Ruth
Though this conflict is personal, strenuous, and continual, I believe Ruth is victorious in Jesus. Let’s pray the armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) over Ruth and stand and fight with her. As we pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion, Ruth will fight and stand in God’s strength against Satan and his dark forces.
Jesus has shared his victory with us:
As it is written: “For your sake, we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:36-37
There is one sentence that I think could change the way we live our lives. It could change the way we treat our families, spend our money, do our jobs, and even relate to and interact with God. When you read and say it, you will want to shrink back. Don’t. Lean in. Embrace it. Live it. I believe it is a game changer.