Christianity 201

January 24, 2022

Carving Out a Place for Prayer into Your Schedule

Today’s first-time writer here is Heather Knowles who lives in the  West Highlands of Scotland. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, and daughter. Her blog is An Unfinished Work of Art (tag line: Otherwise known as a Work in Progress.)

You can be a blessing to the various writers we feature by creating some traffic for their site. There’s two devotionals by Heather today, and you’re encouraged to click the titles for each, which follow, and read them on her page.

Making Time for Prayer

Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. – Mark 1:35 NLT

Is it important to make time for prayer?  Well, yes it is, but why?  I’m sure that we have all sat through sermons expounding the benefits of prayer and underlining the fact that Jesus took Himself off to pray on a regular basis, and if He needed to pray, then so do we! But actually going out of our way to make time for it?  Letting prayer “interfere” with our established daily routines?  Let’s take a closer look.  Consider for a moment your relationship with your partner, best friend, parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, anyone important in your life.

When two people first fall in love, they become a bit obsessed with each other, spending as much time as possible in each other’s company, ringing up, sending messages, cards, gifts, etc. If a relationship is ‘one-sided’, it’s not going to go very far – it takes two people to build a relationship.  Any relationship can only grow and develop as people spend time in each other’s company, as they get to know each other better and on a deeper level.

And now think about your relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  I don’t know about you, but my relationship with God can only grow, deepen and develop as I spend time with Him – not just a rushed few seconds here and there, when I can ‘fit Him in’ to my day/schedule/diary/routine, but real, quality time.  God has done His part. He speaks to us through His Word, He has given His Son, He has laid down His Life, He has sent His Holy Spirit. Now it’s up to me to do my part to grow my relationship with Him – to spend quality time with Him, to prioritize Him in my day, to listen to His promptings. I know that I am richly blessed to be in such a privileged relationship, where I can come before the throne of God and simply chat to Him.

Jesus took Himself away to pray before and after performing miracles, when He needed peace and quiet, when He needed to hear from His Father, when He wanted to strengthen and consolidate His relationship with God the Father. To grow my relationship with God, to strengthen it and to consolidate it, I need to do likewise, and it is such a wonderful blessing to be free to come to Father God to get to know Him on a deeper, more personal level.

Bonus article:

A Challenge!

Matthew 22:36-39 (NIV):  “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ““Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.””

How’s that for a challenge? You’re not following me?

Well, Jesus said that we have to love God totally and completely – that’s the most important thing to do, the first and greatest commandment.  It’s the second one that presents the challenge.

Love your neighbour as yourself. That’s a huge challenge – why?

Because I have to love myself!  In order to love my neighbour, I have to love myself.  I can only love them as I love myself.

So who is my neighbour?  Is it really only the people that live next-door?  In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus taught that loving your neighbour means more than loving your immediate circle of family, friends and next-door neighbours.  He taught that loving your neighbour means more than just being kind and considerate to people you meet in your day-to-day life.  He taught that loving your neighbour meant more than just being respectful, generous and tolerant.  He taught that loving your neighbour means searching for the outcast, the rejected, the marginalized, the abused.  It means drawing alongside them, making space for them, listening to them, getting close to them, accepting them as they are, looking for the spark of Christ in them, searching within them for the likeness of God – for He is surely there, as we are all created in His image – and then holding out the hand of love and friendship, being pro-active to right wrongs and to end injustices.

I can only love them as I love myself, and to do that I need to have a God-given perspective of who and what I am because it’s easy to be self-depreciating and to hold myself unforgiven, and to beat myself up over past mistakes, to drag up memories of past sin and feel so very, very unrighteous and unworthy.  But what does God say about who I am, and what I am?  His word tells me that I am:

  • His
  • His beloved
  • His prize
  • His bride
  • Called
  • Chosen
  • The apple of His eye
  • A new creation
  • A temple of His Spirit
  • Forgiven
  • Redeemed
  • Blessed
  • Elect
  • Victorious
  • One in Christ
  • Fearfully and wonderfully made
  • Set free

Thank you Lord for your great love for me, and thank you that you have that same love for everyone I meet, for everyone who has ever and will ever live here on earth.  Help me Lord to have a right self-image, and to see you in others, that I may love myself and my neighbour.  Amen

June 20, 2012

Who We Are In Christ

I’ve previously run the poster version on the characteristics of Christ followers, but had never seen one where someone had taken the time to provide scripture links for all the various attributes we hold to as the people of God.  So, when I found this at the blog DiveInScripture, I knew I had to reblog it here. (You might want to copy the link and send it to friends. Just copy and paste this paragraph and they can read it at source.)

 Loved by God Jhn 3:16
 Forgiven Col 1:14
 Confessing the Lordship of Jesus Over Our Lives Phl 2:11
 Saved by Grace through Faith Eph 2:8
 Loving God with All of our Hearts, Souls & Minds Mat 22:37
 Born Again Children of God Rom 8:16
 Delivered from the Powers of Darkness Col 1:13
 Redeemed from the Hands of the Enemy Psa 107:2
 Called with a Holy Calling 2Ti 1:9
 Created in His Image Rom 8:29
 Not of This World Jhn 17:16
 Of God’s Household of Faith Gal 6:10
 In Love with God 1Jo 4:19
 Seeking First His Kingdom & Righteousness Mat 6:33
 Abiding in His Love 1Jo 4:16
 Healed by His Stripes 1Pe 2:24
 Free from Fear 1Jo 4:18
 Crowned with His Loving Kindness & Tender Mercies Psa 103
 Redeemed from the Curse of the Law Gal 3:13
 Free from the Law of Sin & Death Rom 8:32
 Heirs of Eternal Life 1Jo 5:11-12
 Heirs to the Blessings of Abraham Gal 3:14
 Heirs of God & Joint Heirs with Jesus Rom 8:17
 Blessed with All Spiritual Blessings Eph 1:3
 His Workmanship Created in Christ Jesus Eph 2:10
 Strong in the Grace That Is in Christ Jesus 2Ti 2:1
 In Rightstanding with God 2Co 5:21
 Established in Righteousness Isa 54:14
 Living in His Kingdom Col 1:13
 Humbling Ourselves, Casting All Cares Upon Jesus 1Pe 5:6-7
 Getting Our Needs Met by Jesus Phl 4:19
 Able to Be Partakers of the inheritance, Giving Thanks to the Father Col 1:12
 Studying to Show Ourselves Approved of God 2Ti 2:15
 Awakening to Righteousness & Sinning Not 1Cr 15:34
 Commended to God & the Word of His Grace Which Is Able to Build Us Up Act 20:32
 Believing God’s Word Mar 13:31
 Blessed Because We Hear the Word of God And Keep It Luk 11:28
 Abiding in Jesus & His Words Abide in Us Jhn 15:7
 Always Meditating on God’s Word Jos 1:8
 Living by Every Word That Proceeds from God Mat 4:4
 Rooted & Built Up in Him & Established in the Faith Col 2:6-7
 Building Our House Upon the Rock Mat 7:24-25
 Being Transformed by the Renewing of Our Minds Rom 12:2
 Increasing in the Knowledge of God Col 1:10
 Letting His Truth Set Us Free Jhn 8:3236
 Covenanted to God Hbr 8:610
 Filled with All Joy & Peace in Believing Rom 15:13
 Doers of the Word Jam 1:22
 Sons & Daughters of God Gal 3:26
 The Body of Christ Eph 1:22-23
 Laborers together with God 1Cr 3:9
 Servants of the Most High Act 16:17
 Having the Mind of Christ Phl 2:5
 Walking in Newness of Life Rom 6:4
 Led by His Spirit Rom 8:14
 Trusting in the Lord Acknowledging Him in All Our Ways Pro 3:5-6
 Putting on the Lord Jesus Christ Gal 3:27
 Partakers of His Divine Nature 2Pe 1:4
 Walking with Love & Living by Faith 1Cr 13 & Rom 1:17
 Predestined to Be Conformed to His Image Rom 8:29
 Pressing on to His High Calling Phl 3:14
 Allowing the Greater One to Dwell in Us 1Jo 4:4
 Letting Our Request Be Known to God Phl 4:6
 Asking in the Name of Jesus Jhn 15:16
 Receiving the Request We’ve Asked For Mar 11:24
 Receiving All the Promises of God 2Cr 1:20
 Fully Convinced That What God Has Promised He Is Able to Perform Rom 4:21
 Believers Mar 9:23
 Abiding in His Rest Hbr 4:3
 Walking & Acting Like the Word Is True Jam 2:17-18
 Holding Fast Our Confidence Which Has Great Reward Hbr 10:35
 The Elect of God Col 3:12
 Filled with the Holy Spirit Act 2:42:39
 Complete in Him Col 2:10
 Going in His Name Mar 16:15-18
 Strong in the Lord & in the Power of His Might Eph 6:10
 Filled with the Knowledge of His Will in All Wisdom & Spiritual Understanding Col 1:9
 Not Moved by What We See Rom 4:19
 Strong in Faith, Giving Glory to God, Not Wavering with Doubt or Unbelief Rom 4:20
 Imitators of Jesus Eph 5:1
 Walking As He Walked 1Jo 2:6
 Praying without Ceasing 1Th 5:17
 Walking by Faith Not by Sight 2Cr 5:7
 Casting Down Vain Imaginations, Bringing Every Thought into Captivity to God’s Word 2Cr 10:4-5
 Holding Fast Our Confession of Faith Hbr 10:23
 Calling Things That Be Not As Though they Were Rom 4:17
 Fighting the Good Fight of Faith 1Ti 6:17
 Reigning in Life Rom 5:17
 Exercising Our Faith & Patience Hbr 6:12
 Considering Jesus, the Apostle & High Priest of Our Confession Hbr 3:1
 Observing & Doing the Lords Commandments Jhn 14.21

 Putting on Love Col 3:14
 Loving Our Neighbors As Ourselves Mat 22:39
 Walking in the Wisdom of God Jam 1:5
 Kings & Priest Rev 1:6
 Givers Luk 6:38
 Intercessors 1Ti 2:1
 Wearing God’s Armour Eph 6:10-18
 Doing All Things through Christ Who Strengthens Us Phl 4:13
 Daily Overcoming the Devil 1Jo 4:4
 More Than Conquerors Rom 8:37
 Overcoming by the Blood of the Lamb& the Word of Our Testimonies Rev 12:11
 Exercising Our Authority Over the Enemy Luk 10:19
 Destroying the Works of the Devil 1Jo 3:8
 Convinced That Nothing Can Separate Us from the Love of God Rom 8:35-39
 In Everything Giving Thanks 1Th 5:18
 Establishing God’s Word Here on the Earth Mat 16:19
 Receiving Abundantly, Above All We Ask or Think Eph 3:20
 Walking Worthy of the Lord Col 1:10
 Telling Everyone about Jesus Rom 16:25
 Thinking on these Things Phl 4:8
 Giving God All the Glory Rom 16:27
 Blessing the Lord at All Times. Continually Praising the Lord with Our Mouths Psa 34:1
 Definitely Looking For His Soon Return 1Th 4:15-18