Thought for the day

Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

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The Sister and the Scarf

Many years ago as I was making my way through downtown Atlanta, I ran into a sister from church. We exchanged pleasantries before she noticed a beautiful scarf in the display window of a boutique shop. Immediately she made a “B” line for the store.

Unfortunately, the store owner was locking the door as the sister approached the shop. The store owner pretended she didn’t notice the sister. However, the sister got the store owner’s attention and proceeded to plead, bargain and ultimately persuaded the store owner to open shop.

I stood there in amazement as I saw Luke 11:5-8 played out before my very eyes. Jesus said, “Suppose you have a friend and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.”

In the same chapter Jesus teaches that we must ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

I was convicted of the sister’s audacity and boldness to persist until the store owner yielded to her request. In the same way, scripture teaches that we must pray and never give up for it is this kind of persistence in which the Kingdom of God is forcefully advancing. Be persistent and faithful in prayer always; you will be amazed by the doors God will unlock for you.

** If anyone would like a special prayer request (Ephesians 6:18) please feel free to email me at sneedtx@verizon.net (your privacy will be respected and honored); I would love to pray for you. I also ask that you think of others whom you can share this message with as well.

Redemption…Position yourself to change God’s mind

redemption 2 Kings 20:1-6 “In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”

Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘this is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.”

Growing up as a kid in Beaufort South Carolina I remember the agony of not getting what I wanted from my parents. I also remember the joy I experienced when my parents had a change of heart after I reasoned with them. My joy became even sweeter knowing that I fought for what I wanted.

I would imagine my joy was pale in comparison to Hezekiah’s joy after the prophet reported back to him that God changed his mind and extended his life by fifteen years. Think about it for a second, the scriptures says Hezekiah was ill and to the point of death when the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz told him to “put your house in order, because you are going to die; and you will not recover.”

Harsh words to hear when you’re already in the dumps. However, we see from the scriptures how Hezekiah took urgent measures for a dire situation by doing the following:

1.   Hezekiah put his spiritual house in order by humbling himself before the Lord.

  • 2 Kings 20:2 “Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord.”

2.  Hezekiah reminded God of all he had done by petition and weeping.

  • 2 Kings 20:3 “Remember, Lord how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.”
  • James 4:10 “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

Hezekiah knew he had one thing going for him; it was God’s mercy. The God we serve is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4) and abounding in love for His children. Scripture (James 4:2-3) teaches that we do not have because we do not ask. And when we ask, we must ask with the right motives. Examine your heart and ask God to purify anything that restricts His blessing for your life. Perhaps your positioning may change God’s mind; at least it’s worth a shot.

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** If you are in need of prayer (Ephesians 6:18), please feel free to email me at sneedtx@verizon.net. I would love to pray for you. I also ask that you think of others whom you can share this message with.