Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pray

Paul opens his letters with a prayer and ends his letters with a prayer.

These sentences are not just salutations. They are prayers to God to give grace, peace, love, and mercy to the saints from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a real happening.

Here are several prayers of salvation:

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12)


For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. (John 5:24)

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty… For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:35, 40)

For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29)

At the end of his letters, Paul asked for prayer.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (Ephesians 6:18-20)

Notice how often: at all times, with perseverance.
How? In the Spirit.
For whom? For all the saints and for himself.
What about? Whenever he opens his mouth.
The content: mystery of the gospel.
How? With boldness.
Proclaiming the gospel: with boldness, as he ought to speak.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. (Colossians 4:2-4)

The Colossian saints were to be devoted in prayer, staying awake with an attitude of thanksgiving. They were also to pray for Paul and Timothy that God would open a door for the word so that they might speak of the mystery of Christ. He wants to make the gospel very clear in the way God wants him to speak.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Prayer

In recent months I have attempted to record some of the instances of answered prayer in my life, along with Scriptures also on prayer. This will hopefully result in a book on prayer. Since I am now 88 years old, I may not be able to finish it before I go to be with the Lord, so I have decided to post what I have already written on my blog. Very little has been posted on my blog recently, but I will be using it for that now as I write portions of the book.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Witness in the Spirit

"The fruit of the Spirit is...goodness." (Galatians 5:22)

"He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord." (Acts 11:24)

Barnabas was full of the Holy Spirit. He was also a good man. This is not surprising, since the fruit of the Spirit is goodness. The text says that a great number of people were brought to the Lord. Barnabas was in a witnessing, evangelizing situation. Goodness is a necessary characteristic of the fullness of the Holy Spirit. It is also a necessary characteristic of effective witnessing.

To witness with the content of the good news without being good is to contradict with our life that which we are saying with our mouth. "Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did" (1 John 2:6). If we are going to talk good news, we must walk good news. Witnessing in the Holy Spirit is an assurance that there will be no contradiction between our walk and our talk.