Tag Archives: OBEY

PRAYING FOR OTHER PEOPLE.042518

Latin Teenager Praying

My relationship, my spiritual relationship, with God is based on the six great themes of the Bible: love, humility, gratitude, trust, obedience and service; all of which are founded on the underlying concept of surrender.  All the themes, one way or another, are brought to life, they’re empowered by surrender, to God and to other people.  In a supernatural way, this is the attitude of Jesus that flows through us when we surrender to Him.

When I pray, I usually begin by ‘praying through the themes’ one at a time, as they relate to me and my relationship with God.  Every time, I see something new about how I should love God; humble myself before Him; be thankful for all the ways He blesses me; renew my trust in Him as it relates to all my other relationships, my cares and my troubles; confess my failures in obedience and renew my commitment to do His will and not mine, to have His attitude and not mine; and as my act of service, to deny myself, die to myself, and follow (surrender to) Him; so He can use me for His purposes in this world today.

So I was praying for my son today, my youngest son Ian, who is a freshman in college and is going through some major, life-changing events and decisions that will affect him for the rest of his life.  It is a challenging time, but a truly exhilarating time, to be alive in his world.  He has asked me to pray for him, which I am always happy to do.  I do pray for him every day anyway.  Today, I started a new practice, of praying for Ian the way I pray for myself.  It opens all kinds of new doors for me to think about in praying for him; not just about what he should do or not do; but also about all his relationships, with God and with others, that I can meditate on and consider how God is moving and working in Ian’s life and the lives of those around him. (They may need a little prayer too!)

There’s a limited amount of time to ‘really’ pray (like this) for all the people that are close to me; so I think I’ll need to spend more of my ‘unstructured’ time (formerly known as leisure time, ha!), when I’m driving down the road, or waiting in the doctor’s office, or waiting for an appointment, praying in this way for others.  God only knows what the results might be, for them and for me.

 

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When I was in prison, you visited Me.

prison guard with keys outside dark prison cell

Hi, This is Tex.  My calling is discipleship: knowing, being, making and teaching others to make disciples for Jesus.  A big part of being a disciple is in being involved with “extra-church” activities, where you develop relationships with people who are NOT your garden variety church-goers.  Prison ministry is one of those activities.  I’ve been involved in prison ministry for about 16 years now, and the Holy Spirit moves in prisons in a way He hardly ever moves in traditional church.  Below is a letter from Jim, a brother of mine in the Jubilee Prison Ministry.  This story is about a prison ministry weekend that happened a few weeks ago near Houston.

I have been serving in prison on Jubilee or Kairos weekends for 17 years.  Many of you have supported my efforts over the years  (thank you!) and have often asked me what happens on these weekends.  So I thought you might enjoy the following story – I’m a CFO, cynic and pessimist but this story is miraculous (or very close to it).

I was the leader of Jubilee #1 at the Scott unit in Angleton 3 weeks ago.  One of my jobs was to assign the 25 or so talks to our volunteers.  Most of the Scott #1 volunteers were new, so I didn’t know them – so had little insight to help assign the right talk to the “right” person.  So I asked God to somehow intervene as I made “random” talk assignments.  I assigned the “Forgiving Others” talk to Joseph, one of 3 volunteers who came from San Antonio to serve.  Joseph is a relatively new Christian, and is also an ex offender, so when he heard about Jubilee he believed God had called him  and agreed to participate.  Our weekend started early Friday morning.  Joseph’s talk occurred Saturday afternoon.  Here is a summary of his talk:

“My little brother was murdered on April 1st.   I was very close to him, and was unbelievably upset, angry and full of hatred at the man who killed him.  I started planning my revenge – when, where and how I was going to kill the man who murdered my little brother.   But then I agreed to serve on this Jubilee weekend.  Continue reading

FROM WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN.101915

Beautiful female ballet dancer on a grey background. Ballerina is wearing an orange tutu, pink stockings and pointe shoes.In Luke 12:48, Jesus said to his disciples, “ . . . From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

I’ve told all my kids this verse.  I’ve explained to them that God has given them a brain and other gifts and talents and He expects them to use those gifts to help themselves and to help others.  He didn’t give them special gifts and talents so they could waste them on just themselves, or ignore those gifts and not use them for the glory of God and for the good of people.  He wants them, and all of us, to recognize the talents and gifts we have and use them to their full advantage.

This principle applies to our spiritual lives as well as to our natural lives.  ‘Course we all know that Jesus was talking about spiritual things when He told his parable about the Master and the servant.   He says, “Who then does the Master trust?”  He trusts the one who He finds doing his job, being obedient to do what God has told him to do, what He has prepared him to do, with his God-given talents and resources, not wasting his time and his talents.  I just love the concept that God trusts us, just like we’re supposed to trust Him.  We’re pleasing to God when we do His will by being obedient to work WITH God to accomplish His purposes on this earth.  How’s that for a high calling?!  He says, “Blessed is that servant whom his Master will find so doing when he comes.”

Best I can tell obedience is one of the highest virtues in a servant of Jesus Christ.  This is one of those duties we should fulfill, not grudgingly, but with all our hearts and all our souls and all our strength and all our minds.  Just like the way we’re supposed to love and trust God, with all our hearts .  .  .