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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Vital Sign of Prayer (and other devotionals)

The Vital Sign of Prayer

One of the truest indicators of whether an individual's spiritual life is progressing or declining is prayer.  And if your prayer life is declining, it is a sure sign your spiritual life is in need of reviving. 

Psalm 80:18 puts it this way,

Then we will not turn back from You; revive us, and we will call upon Your name.

Prayer is to the spiritual life what breathing is to the physical life.  If your breathing is shallow and intermittent, something is wrong.  It is a sign that there is a lack of health.  If your breathing is deep and regular, it is a sign of health.

I once read a story about a World War II soldier who was called in before his commanding officer and accused of spying.  The officer said, "You have been seen slipping off into a wooded area where we know enemy patrols have been seen, and we think you're passing information to them." 

The commanding officer demanded, "Why did you go there?" and the soldier said, "I just slipped away for a quiet hour of prayer."  The officer then commanded him to get on his knees and show him how he prayed.

So the soldier hit his knees, thinking he was likely to get executed for treason, and began to cry out to God.  Immediately it was evident that he had an intimacy with God.  The commanding officer stopped him and said, "That's enough.  You can go."  He turned to another officer and said, "No one could pray like that without a long apprenticeship."

Where are you when it comes to prayer?  Is it deep and regular?  Or is it shallow, sporadic, and intermittent?  If it is shallow, it is a sign that your heart needs to be revived.

~Bayless Conley~

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How is Jesus the “Glory of God”?

by R.C. Sproul

The book of James has an unusual sentence construction that links the word glory with the name of Jesus: “My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality” (James 2:1). In this verse the words Lord of glory have alternate renditions. Some translations read, “Our glorious Lord.” Still another possible translation reads, “Jesus Christ, who is the glory.”
B. B. Warfield, in his book The Lord of Glory, says, that Jesus was the glory of God, the shekinah. According to the Old Testament, the shekinah was the visible manifestation of the invisible God. The shekinah was a radiant cloud or brilliant light within a cloud that signaled the immediate presence of God. For Jesus to be identified with the shekinah was to be equated with the presence of God Himself. In Jesus we see the full manifestation of the majesty of God.
That the New Testament writers ascribed glory to Jesus was a clear indication of their confession of His full deity. Glory, in the sense it is used with reference to Jesus, is a divine attribute. It is the glory of God that He refuses to share with any man.
The angels sang “Glory to God” at Christ’s birth. The heavenly elders give glory to God around His throne. Why don’t you follow their example and give God glory today in every circumstance of your life?

~R. C. Sproul~

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