CREATION

MANHOOD AND WOMANHOOD

“The fact that God first created Adam, then after a period of time created Eve (Gen 2:7, 18-23), suggests that God saw Adam as having a leadership role in his family.  No such two-stage procedure is mentioned for any of the animals God made, but here it seems to have a special purpose” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p461).

“…the curse brought a distortionof Adam’s humble, considerate leadership and Eve’s intelligent, willing submission to that leadership which existed before the fall” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p464).  “Differentiated roles were corrupted, not created, by the fall. They were created by God” John Piper, Wayne Grudem (ref#274, p35).

“God made Eve for Adam…I will make him a helper fit for him” (Gen 2:18)” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p461). Before the Fall, Eve’s role was to assist Adam in his endeavors.  But after the Fall GOD informed Eve of her now deprived nature:

“…Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you” (Gen 3:16 ESV).

“These words from the Lord indicate that there will be an ongoing struggle between the woman and the man for leadership in the marriage relationship…” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p56, [Gen 3:16]). “Eve will have the sinful ‘desire’ to oppose Adam and to assert leadership over him, reversing God’s plan for Adam’s leadership in marriage. But…Adam will also abandon his God-given, pre-fall role of leading, guarding, and caring for his wife, replacing this with his own sinful, distorted desire to ‘rule’ over Eve” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p56, [Gen 3:16]).  “…the word…has nuances of dictatorial or absolute, uncaring use of authority, rather than considerate, thoughtful rule” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p464).

“This is the way God meant it to be before there was any sin in the world: sinless man, full of love, in his tender, strong leadership in relation to woman; and sinless woman, full of love, in her joyful, responsive support for man’s leadership.  No belittling from the man, no groveling from the woman.  Two intelligent, humble, God-entranced beings living out, in beautiful harmony, their unique and different responsibilities…” John Piper, Wayne Grudem (ref#274, p52).

 “We are not sinless any more.  But we believe that recovery of mature manhood and womanhood is possible by the power of God’s Spirit through faith in his promises and in obedience to his Word” John Piper, Wayne Grudem (ref#274, p52).

The discerning HOLY SPIRIT within us proves the authenticity of His Word.  To discover the Truth we must ask ourselves: Is our viewpoint a rebellion against GOD or is our stance affirming Him?

CREATION

MAN IS IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

“The fact that man is in the image of God means that man is like God…”Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p442).  “The expression refers to every way in which man is like God” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p444).

“…when God originally created man, the reason, the emotions, and the will all worked in perfect harmony. Reason led the way in understanding the will of God, the will consented to God’s will, and the emotions delighted in doing it” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p125).

“…we are still in God’s image—we are still like God…but the image of God in us is distorted;…” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p444).

“…with the entrance of sin into man’s soul, these three faculties began to work at cross-purposes to one another and to God.  The will has become stubborn and rebellious and will not consent to that which reason knows to be the will of God.  Or, more commonly, the emotions get the upper hand and draw away both reason and will from obedience to God” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p125).

“These faculties were all implanted in man’s soul by God, but were all corrupted through man’s fall in the Garden of Eden.  Our reason (or understanding) was darkened (Ephesians 4:18), our desires were entangled (Ephesians 2:3), and our wills perverted” (John 5:40) Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p124).

“…the goal for which God has redeemed us is that we might be ‘conformed to the image of his Son’ (Rom 8:29)” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p445).  “…redemption in Christ means that we can…progressively grow into more and more likeness to God…(Col 3:10)…” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p445).

“With new birth our reason is again enlightened, our affections and desires redirected, and our wills subdued.  But though this is true, it is not true all at once.  In actual experience it is a growing process.  We are told to renew our minds (Romans 12:2), to set our affections on things above (Colossians 3:1), and to submit our wills to God (James 4:7)” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p124-225).

FATHER, thank You for the opportunity to work out all Your redemption has put in me. You give all I need, through CHRIST’s work, to gain back more and more of Your image.

“God’s highest aim in dealing with His people is in developing Christian character” E.M. Bounds (ref#64, p64).

CREATION

GOD’S PURPOSE IN CREATION

“…this original creation—the ‘wind-hovering-over-the-water’ creation, the invisible moving the visible,…” (John 3:5-6 MSG).

GOD created.  “God’s purpose for the earth is that it should become his dwelling place; it is not simply made to house his creatures….The concept of the earth as a divine sanctuary…runs throughout the whole Bible…” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p52, [Gen 2:1-3]).

Scripture exudes GOD’s passion to live with His creatures.  He chose a nation and poured His blessings upon them.  To announce to the whole world His love for His people He provided supernatural acts to save and keep them (Example: the plagues of Egypt.)

He sent another cluster of supernatural acts to the world when He sent His Son to earth.  He constantly keeps His chosen as a holy people to Himself (Deut 28:9) though we are obstinate and rebellious.

 “In all their affliction he was afflicted…in his love and in his pity he redeemed them;  he lifted them up and carried them…”(Isa 63:9 ESV)

We are in a special and in a peculiar relationship to GOD.  We are His people.  “…We have no being, we have no existence apart from our relationship to God” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#265, p 282-283).

“…They will call upon my name,   and I will answer them.  I will say, ‘They are my people’;  and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God’”(Zech 13:9 ESV).

“This blessing finds fulfillment in the church…but it finds its greatest fulfillment in the new heaven and new earth…” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p520).  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God’”(Rev 21:3 ESV).  “…we will be in the presence of God and enjoying unhindered fellowship with him” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p1164).

FATHER, For no other reason than Your love do You care for and desire to be close to the created creatures You have chosen. Such a fact elicits my praise to You.

CONFESSION

REFORMING MY FLESH OR KEEPING IT DEAD

…FATHER, I know that my natural disposition must be crucified with CHRIST (that is, my flesh must die). The word, “flesh” means my human nature which is “under the control of animal appetites” and is sensuous (ref#150, NT:4559). “Flesh” is defined as my earthly nature apart from divine influence (ref#150, NT:4561).

Flesh is the part of me I must inactivate—kill by neglect. But I am anchored so in it I naturally choose to reform it instead of kill it.

It is intuitive to me to want flesh tamed. Therefore I strive to educate my flesh—teach it to be righteous. I happily give myself over to rules and methods (ref#33, p92). Intensive church activity is a way of attempting to reform flesh. It is frightening to realize that my own flesh can produce acts that appear Christian (Matt 7:22-23) yet they are without the help or consent of You, FATHER (ref#63, p706).

While teaching my flesh to be righteous I concentrate on one sin or a file-folder of sins. I fall into using my flawed self to try to become more like CHRIST. By doing this, I am in the business of trying to conquer and refine my old-nature flesh. I try to get flesh and SPIRIT to cooperate!

But, I cannot, and You, FATHER, will not reform my flesh—even the priceless blood of JESUS can’t cleanse the flesh. The HOLY SPIRIT does nothing to improve flesh; in fact, He will not even dwell in the midst of sinful flesh. The SPIRIT will abide in me for only one reason and that is for warring against my flesh (ref#33, p94).

O LORD, continually bring me to understand the difference between operating by my flesh and working with the SPIRIT—the difference between reforming my flesh and killing it by neglect. It is only by faith and dependence on the SPIRIT that I can put to death the deeds of my flesh (Rom 8:13).

SUPPLICATION

NON CHRISTIAN Resisters

[We all have friends and family that do not want anything to do with Christianity so it is up to us to pray for their salvation. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

SAVING FAITH

…FATHER, though I did not know it, You sought me long before I sought You, enabling me to believe in You. You worked in my heart in a mysterious way, making possible my belief before I trusted You (ref#63, p 708).

Having chosen me, You called me to come to You, and when I came, You declared me ‘not guilty,’ filled me with CHRIST’s goodness, gave me a right standing with Yourself and promised me Your glory (Rom 8:30).

I have come, but I perceive ____ has not. But, if You have chosen (him/her), (he/she) will come. Not only will (he/she) come but come turning away from (his/her) former pattern of living, seeking to have (his/her) sin and guilt removed, and looking forward to entering into a genuine relationship with You that will last forever (ref#63, p710).

FATHER, I pray these three requests for ____:

  • That (he/she) obtain basic knowledge of the facts of the Gospel and approve of what (he/she) hears (ref#63, p712).
  • That (he/she) trust in CHRIST knowing that He is the only way to You (ref#63, p712).
  • And that all this leads to a decision of (his/her) will to depend on and put (his/her) trust in CHRIST as (his/her) Savior (ref#63, p712).

Thomas, the Apostle, did not make a personal decision to trust CHRIST wholeheartedly in the years he was CHRIST’s disciple or even immediately after CHRIST’s resurrection (John 20:24-28). I pray in hope that You will cause ____ to, in (his/her) time, reach the point of willfully choosing to enter into a relationship with CHRIST.

“…whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves. These are the God-begotten,…not flesh-begotten…” (John 1:12-13 MSG).

ADORATION

Chord Progression: (C F Fm C) (Ebdim Dm G7 C)

I SOUGHT THE LORD, AND AFTERWARD I KNEW

“I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew

He moved my soul to seek him, seeking me;

It was not I that found, O Savior true,

No, I was found of thee.

 

“Thou didst reach forth thy hand and mine enfold;

I walked and sank not on the storm-vexed sea,

‘Twas not so much that I on thee took hold,

As thou, dear Lord, on me.

 

“I find, I walk, I love, but, O the whole

Of love is but my answer, Lord, to thee;

For thou wert long beforehand with my soul,

Always thou lovedst me [anonymous, 1904],” Systematic Theology (ref#63, p708).

THANKSGIVING

ELECTION

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-4-27-07-pm…FATHER, Your Scripture presents a history of man in a state of sin and rebellion and Your plan to bring man back to Yourself (ref#63, p490). Before creation You selected from the human race those whom You would redeem, justify, sanctify, and glorify in CHRIST (Rom 8:29-30) (ref#56, p1630).

“…man is free in that he can and does choose what he desires or is inclined to choose. But man lacks the desire for Christ and the things of God until God creates in his soul a positive inclination for these things” R. C. Sproul (ref#80, p165).

Without Your gift of electing me I would have been unable to choose You for I simply would have not been interested. My nature from birth was to sin constantly.

Therefore I write this page thanking You for loving me and making it possible for me to love You. I also thank You for the opportunity to exercise my faith (ref#152, p136) as I pray You elect all my family, friends, and my enemies.

You forgive me and give me membership into Your family, as well as grant me growth in the Christian life. You keep me faithful to Yourself throughout life as I purpose to respond to You in faith and repentance (ref#63, p669). Thank You, FATHER, for giving me reason to live.

Blessed are You, LORD—

You daily load me with benefits.

You are my GOD of salvation;

and to You belong escapes from death (Ps 68:19-20).

 

The pillars of the earth are Yours,

and on them You have set the world.

You guard my feet

for not by might shall I prevail (1 Sam 2:8-9).

ADORATION

REGENERATION

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-4-13-20-pm “Ever-flowing Fountain of love,

words fail me;

I cannot forget You,

You who promised

to remember me;

when I teetered on the edge of destruction,

You rescued me and

relieved me beyond my fondest hopes…” Thomas a’Kempis (ref#147, p140).

Your rescue, FATHER, You call “regeneration”—the part where You act alone to bring me my spiritual new birth (Titus 3:4-7). “This new birth is viewed by Scripture as something that God does within us in order to enable us to believe” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p703).

You work in my heart in ways I could not comprehend but the result was that You enabled me to believe You, to seek You, and to trust You (ref#63, p708).

“The new birth is no mere turning over a new leaf, but is the inception and reception of a new life. It is no mere reformation but a Complete transformation. In short, the new birth is a miracle, the result of the supernatural operation of God. It is radical, revolutionary, lasting” Arthur W. Pink (ref#152, p91).

FATHER, Your Son enables me to live a new life. I now can identify myself completely with Him. “…My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress…” You, FATHER (Gal 2:20 MSG). With joy I throw away my needs for fame to proclaim Your excellencies (1 Pet 2:9).

ADORATION

JESUS IS ONE PERSON IN TWO NATURES

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.25.23 PM“…Jesus is one person in two natures…all that is in us, as well as all that is in God, is and always will be truly and distinguishably present in the one Christ” The Reformation Study Bible (ref#56, p1510, “Jesus Christ, God and Man”).

 “He is the Sovereign Lord of the natural creation and of the new creation, so that He is intimately allied to us” T. C. Horton, Charles E. Hurlburt (ref#158, p125). “We can never be separated from Him because He lives in us and we shall live and be with Him forever” (ref#158, p140).

CHRIST, since Your ascension nothing has changed about Your relationship with man.   But, since Your departure, the SPIRIT now resides in man. I can communicate with You in heaven. As the disciples who literally walked with You two millenniums ago, I walk with You now.

FATHER, You have willed that now both, Your Son and I, His little sister, can commune with one another.

“Jesus did not temporarily become man, but that his divine nature was permanently united to his human nature, and he lives forever not just as the eternal Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, but also as Jesus, the man who was born of Mary, and as Christ, the Messiah and Savior of his people. Jesus will remain fully God and fully man, yet one person, forever” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p543).

Time and space cease to be hindrances; through the SPIRIT, CHRIST is not aloof and far off. He in heaven and I on earth can be together constantly forever.

FATHER, Your CHRIST is still fully human and able to be with me as mentor and companion as well as Savior. This always has been Your plan.

THANKSGIVING

BLESSING OF THE COVENANT OF GRACE

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 11.19.07 AM…LIFE GIVING FATHER, JESUS my Messiah has come! He has lived and died and risen and atoned for my sin (ref#63, p522). He now is in heaven—in Your very presence appearing before You on my behalf (Heb 9:24). “…He has once for all at the consummation and close of the ages appeared to put away and abolish sin by His sacrifice [of Himself]” (Heb 9:26 AMP). The Covenant of Grace is now established.

FATHER, CHRIST has revealed You to me. He is the sole expression of Your glory—Your radiance; He is the perfect imprint and very image of Your nature (Heb 1:3).

CHRIST, in making possible the fulfilling of Your covenant of grace, has poured out the HOLY SPIRIT. He is a SPIRIT of power (Acts 1:8). He is the power to strip off and take away the veil between You and I, FATHER, when I turn in repentance (2 Cor 3:16). He is able to constantly transform me into Your image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another (2 Cor 3:18).

FATHER, another blessing of Your Covenant of Grace is that You imprint Your laws—upon my innermost thoughts and understanding. You engrave them upon my heart (Heb 8:10). By experience I perceive You; I know You (Heb 8:11).

And, this new covenant is an eternal Covenant of Grace (Heb 13:20). FATHER, how Your great love humbles me. Through this covenant You give me CHRIST so I might have fellowship with You forever!