Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Basics of Christianity (Pt.1)

Today I want to focus your attention on what many have called the basics of Christianity. I realize that for many what I will talk about is basic but for others it’s not. As we look to another year, there will always be things that we will need to recall. The content of this message is one of them. There are four basic duties we must constantly keep at hand. If you never neglect them they will preserve you. I will spend the next four blogs talking about them.

The first is prayer. We have said so much in the past about prayer. That’s why I mention it now. Prayer should never be kept in the past but in the present. Notice a few truths on this point. We are commanded to pray in everything. Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication.” This verse speaks for itself. It gives us the antedote to worry which is prayer. We are to pray “in everything.” What kind of prayers? “Supplications.” We are to constantly let our needs be made know to God. When we do it will strengthen us in the everyday battles. Notice the second thing Paul says in this verse. He says we are commanded to pray with thanksgiving. He says, “in everything by prayer with thanksgiving.” It’s amazing how thanksgiving or gratitude can change your perspective. We should be known as a people who are thankful. In all of Paul’s letters, he begins with this kind of attitude. We are commanded to pray in everything with thanksgiving but notice what else he says. We are commanded to pray with requests to God. He says, “Let your requests be made known to God.” It’s amazing how we allow everyone to know about our problems rather than taking them to God. He is near to those who are of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. The last point Paul makes in this verse has to do with how often we are to pray. He says we are commanded to pray always. When you’re praying “in everything” that encompasses what he says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” We are to pray all the time and as 1 Timothy 2:8 says we are to pray “everywhere.” As you apply these principles, don’t forget about your heart. Psalm 119:58 says, “I entreated Your favor with my whole heart; be merciful to Me according to Your Word.” The heart is always the issue and when we pray we are to do it with our “whole heart.” Genesis 18:27 adds the attitude of humility. It says, “Then Abraham answered and said, ‘Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord.”

Does this describe your prayer life? Do you pray and when you pray do you pray “in everything with thanksgiving, letting your requests be made known unto God?” Do you pray with your “whole heart” in “humility?” If not, then I want to encourage you to go back to the basics!

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