1. Sometimes we ask God to change our circumstances—heal the sick, give us daily bread, protect us from suffering and evildoers, make our political leaders just, convert our friends and family, make our work and ministries prosper, provide us with a spouse, quiet this dangerous storm, send us rain, give us a child.
2. Sometimes we ask God to change us—deepen our faith, teach us to love each other, forgive our sins, make us wise where we tend to be foolish, help us know You better, give us understanding of Scripture, teach us how to encourage others.
3. Sometimes we ask God to change everything by revealing Himself more fully on the stage of real life, magnifying the degree to which His glory and rule are obvious—Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, be exalted above the heavens, let Your glory be over all of the earth, let Your glory fill the earth as the waters cover the sea, come Lord Jesus.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
David Powlison (Praying Beyond the Sick List) notes "three emphases of biblical prayer: circumstantial prayers, wisdom prayers, and kingdom prayers...."
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
J. D. Greear shares what he calls The Generosity Matrix:
When it comes to our money, I see 6 principles the Bible puts forward. Any one of these principles, taken alone, will lead you out of balance. But holding all 6 in reverent tension can provide you with a balanced approach to your money that allows you to be freely generous with your money and also to enjoy the things that God has put into your life.The six principles are:
- God gives excess to some so that they can share with those who have less.
- Jesus’ radical generosity toward us should be to us a model and a motivation for radical generosity with others.
- The Holy Spirit must guide us as to which sacrifices we are to make.
- God delights in our enjoyment of His material gifts and gives us richly all things to enjoy.
- We are not to trust in riches and not to define our lives by the abundance of our possessions.
- Wealth building is wise.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Tim Keller on Proverbs, Community, and the Culture:
It is also noteworthy that in Proverbs wisdom constantly raises her voice in the city's public places -- the commerce/market (where the roads converge), the court/justice system (the gate), etc. (Prov 1:20-21; 9:1-4.) For years I have been struck by the fact that discipling people for faithful living in their vocation is different than other kinds of discipleship. When I try to disciple someone to do work in the church, it is more one-way (I am the expert in Bible and ministry) and information-driven (I download my knowledge.) But how do you disciple a Christian actor to think out what roles to take, or a Christian financier to think out how to invest and how to treat profits? The Bible does not give us so much hard and fast rules as 'proverbs' -- motives, goals, and values that have to be applied with wisdom to situations in the world. And that wisdom happens more through communal reflection on Scripture, especially a text like Proverbs.
How can we best integrate our faith with our work? I think we need more experienced people in a field meeting with younger persons in that field and working through a book like Proverbs in community, always applying its insights to the work they are doing in the world.