I Want You to Know Him – Eph. 1:15-23 (sermon audio)

9/10/17 p.m. sermon

The apostle Paul was always ready to let the brethren to whom he wrote know that he was praying for them.  The letter to the Ephesians is no different as he tells them, “I never cease giving thanks for you and I am regularly remembering you in prayer.”  In particular, Paul prays for them to grow in the knowledge of God, in three specific ways that we will consider in this lesson.  He wanted them to grow in knowledge concerning their hope, concerning their inheritance, and concerning God’s power.
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Prayer for a Sinful Nation (Ezra 9-10)

My sermon from this past Sunday evening (9/20/15) taken from Ezra 9-10, where Ezra prays becaue of the sin of the returned exiles.   As we read the account, we must be reminded that we too should pray for our nation, even though sin is rampant.  In Chapter 10 of the text, we see the positive result of Ezra’s prayer.

Lord, Teach Us To Pray (podcast episode 30)

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spends a great amount of time compared to other sections talking about the topic of prayer.  He first teaches his disciples how not to pray, followed by a model prayer that we can use as an example even today, 2000 years later.  Please grab a Bible and join me for this study from Matthew 6:5-15.

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Facebook: Give Me the Bible: A Christian Blog

Twitter: @preachersiv

Orangeburg church of Christ

What Can Christians Do In the Wake of a Government Shutdown

Well late Wednesday night it happened.  The House and Senate passed a bill that would fund the government through about mid-January and give us a higher debt limit so we can borrow more money through about mid-February.  President Obama promised to sign this bill as soon as it made it to his desk.  I am happy that the government departments that were shut down will be reopened today. I am happy for the workers who were furloughed and will be able to return to work today.  While I am happy that once again an economic crisis was averted (that’s what the pundits say), I can’t help but think that we’re going to be back in the same place in a couple of months.  In fact, unless there is a dramatic change of attitude in Washington, I know we’re going to be back in the same place in a couple of months, because we’ve been trapped in this vicious cycle for at least a couple of years now.

If you are like me, you may have once considered yourself part of either the Democrat or Republican party, but over the course of the years, you have grown so sick of the ideologues that are plaguing our system that you have renounced any party affiliation. You are sick of the American government kicking the can down the street.   Let’s be frank about this.  President Obama is not the problem.  Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are not the problem. John Boehner and Mitch McConnel are not the problem. Ted Cruz and the TEA Party are not the problem.  At least, none of those listed are the sole problem. They are ALL part of the problem.  Washington is broken and until we get some people in office that are more concerned with what is actually best for the American people rather than what is best for their party or their ideology, Washington is going to stay  broken.

As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I typically try to stay out of political discussions.  The members of the church where I preach are varied.  We have some democrats and some republicans.  We have some liberals and some conservatives.  So I typically stay out of these discussions because my job as a minister is to preach the Bible and minister to the needs of my fellow Christians.

So what does the Bible have to say about what is going on in our country right now?  More specifically, how does the Bible say we should react to what is going on right now.  It just so happens that as I was listening to the Daily Audio Bible this morning, the New Testament passage that was read came from 1 Timothy 2.  In The Message the beginning of this chapter reads:

The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live. (1 Tim 2:1-3 MSG)

That the Bible’s answer to the question.  Pray.  Paul instructed the young evangelist Timothy to pray for everyone, and to especially pray for rulers and the governments to rule well.  That is what we ought to be doing in the wake of these happenings in Washington.  Certainly as American’s we have other things we can do (voting for example), but most of all we ought to pray for our leaders.  Pray that they will lead this nation well.  Pray that they will come together to do what is actually best for the American people.  

Paul told the Thessalonian church to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17).  Let us pray continually for everyone we know, and especially for the leaders in Washington.