Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 16

Luke 18:1-17        J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

Jesus urges his disciples to persist in prayer

18 Then he gave them an illustration to show that they must always pray and never lose heart.
2-5 “Once upon a time,” he said, “there was a magistrate in a town who had neither fear of God nor respect for his fellow-men. There was a widow in the town who kept coming to him, saying, ‘Please protect me from the man who is trying to ruin me.’ And for a long time he refused. But later he said to himself, ‘Although I don’t fear God and have no respect for men, yet this woman is such a nuisance that I shall give judgment in her favour, or else her continual visits will be the death of me!’”
6-8 Then the Lord said, “Notice how this dishonest magistrate behaved. Do you suppose God, patient as he is, will not see justice done for his chosen, who appeal to him day and night? I assure you he will not delay in seeing justice done. Yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find men on earth who believe in him?”

Jesus tells a story against the self-righteousness

9-14 Then he gave this illustration to certain people who were confident of their own goodness and looked down on others: “Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one was a Pharisee, the other was a tax-collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed like this with himself, ‘O God, I do thank you that I am not like the rest of mankind, greedy, dishonest, impure, or even like that tax-collector over there. I fast twice every week; I give away a tenth-part of all my income.’ But the tax-collector stood in a distant corner, scarcely daring to look up to Heaven, and with a gesture of despair, said, ‘God, have mercy on a sinner like me.’ I assure you that he was the man who went home justified in God’s sight, rather than the other one. For everyone who sets himself up as somebody will become a nobody, and the man who makes himself nobody will become somebody.”

Jesus welcomes babies

15-17 Then people began to bring babies to him so that he could put his hands on them. But when the disciples noticed it, they frowned on them. But Jesus called them to him, and said, “You must let little children come to me, and you must never prevent their coming. The kingdom of God belongs to little children like these. I tell you, the man who will not accept the kingdom of God like a little child will never get into it at all.”
Persistence tells us that we should keep going...
Keep storming the gates of heaven....
Stay on our knees in prayer to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ...
Persistence says..."Don't ever give up! Keep asking ... keep on seeking... keep on praying..."
Do you have that kind of persistant faith;
the faith to keep on praying and never giving up, even though you may not be seeing the results you are hoping for?
Sometimes I think we feel embarrassed when people hear us praying again and again for the same lost loved one, the same work or financial situation, the same request for clarity in some issue that seems clouded and difficult.
But the Lord tells us to keep on praying!
Keep on expecting the Lord to bring about the very best result in your situation.
He tells us plainly that persistence will be rewarded.
So whatever you do, DON'T GIVE UP!
Know and believe that YOU CAN ALWAYS COUNT ON GOD!

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