Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dead week ? Nope! Grace Week!

I wrote a sermon for seeker group on the sinfulness of sin. Spent my whole time in the Masters Seminary library (during Shepherd's conference) searching over scriptures just on sin and anything that could relate. So many! But I realized I only needed a couple passages - I only needed to focus on one sin - the fall. One sin is wickedly wicked. And we didn't stop at that one sin. We kept going and still do keep going.
In light of this, I glory even more so in Christ because only He can make one so evil such as I righteous before God. And because of the death I deserved, for the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), because of the eternal wrath of God I should receive, because of the pure evil of sin, I cannot call 10th week, "Dead Week," as the entire college does.
10th week I have a final group project, 2 final essays, 1 final quiz, and 1 final - all within 4 days. Yet, I cannot bring myself to call it dead week. I have to call it "Grace Week" because this is nothing close to the death I deserve. Oh how great grace is.
Today I turned in 35 pages worth of a final group project and a final essay. The final quiz is out of the way. I have one more 7 page essay and 1 final left. All of this with a broken left hand that is hard to type with. God is gracious. What a beautiful "Grace Week."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

In Jesus' Name, Amen

It is utterly astonishing to me the final words of a Christian prayer... "in Jesus' name, in Jesus' name I pray, amen."

Almost everyone prays. In fact, I think everyone does pray - even the atheist. But what gives the prayer power? Is there power in prayer? Or is there power in the one whom they/we pray to?

I remember Pastor Eric glanced over this once in one of his bible studies. He said something along the lines of, "There is no power in prayer. Rather, there is power in the one whom they pray to. In Christ. There is no power in faith. Yes, faith alone saves, but faith IN Christ. It saves because there is power in the one whom they have faith in. "

I've been thinking about this subject a lot and it has not left my mind ever since. I'm mainly just focusing on the prayer part of this. But it blows my mind that prayers can become sin (psalm 109:7) and an abomination to the Lord (proverbs 28:9). It amazes me that only one kind of prayer has true power - the prayers prayed to the one true living God. The one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). I stand amazed whenever I pray now, whether by myself or in a group. As I'm about to end a prayer, my heart jumps and beats faster and faster in excitement and in anticipation, waiting for the words, "In Jesus' name I/we pray, amen."

Oh how I've forgotten how powerful prayer was. Oh how I've taken for granted those last words of Christian prayer after praying thousands upon thousands of prayers. May it never again become just a scripted ending to every prayer. Remember the power in that name, in His death and in His resurrection. All other prayers are useless and powerless cause there is no power behind whose name they pray in, but ours we pray in the name of the one true Mediator (capital M). Let us remember this.

In Jesus' most holy perfect glorious awesome magnificent powerful name I pray,