from me to you / The Mapps Quest

Prayers Answered

So many wonderful things are going on around here!  I have just been so elated lately that I guess it’s time to write about it.  So here goes… first up, my husband.

For some time now we have been discussing the need for sound doctrine to be taught to new believers, before they ever get a chance to be swept away into ‘Contemporary Christianity’.  The thing is, there is no such thing as making Christianity ‘new and exciting’.  If God can’t excite you by reading your Bible and praying to Him, then you’ve got problems… big ones.  Why do we need stories of people going to Heaven and back to make us excited about it, when the only detailed account of it we need is written in 2 Corinthians 12.  Why do we need to invent ‘new’ ways of obtaining the Spirit when the Bible clearly tells us that if we are in Christ, His Spirit lives in us (Romans 8).

These are things that have been on my husband’s mind a bunch lately, and he feels that he should be teaching somewhere.  So about 4 weeks ago we started discussing him going to seminary, so that some day he might get to teach a class at the church or something.  Not soon after that he got a call from the main teacher at his BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) group asking him if he would like to serve.  After meeting over coffee the leader decided that it would be best if Seth became the new teaching leader for the senior high class.  Whoa!  This class has never been offered before, and now my hubbs is taking it on, as a teacher.  God is so great.

In the mean time I, too, have been feeling the need to pour sound doctrine to the masses.  Funny enough, 2 weeks ago a pastor from our church asked us to host a new Sunday school (life group) class at our church.  Prayers are just being answered in ways we couldn’t even fathom!  Also, I have been doing an online Bible study through the book of Joshua, and Psalms.  I’ve really felt led to turn this into a devotional/study for individual use.  So I am currently writing my first book based on that material.

When I told my sister about what all was going on yesterday she, too, identified an answer to prayer.  She has been feeling the need to spread the message to her church that it is only through reading the Bible and prayer that we can expect to grow and be satisfied in the Lord.  It is what we must do as Christians.  She explained that her pastor has asked her to lead the church’s Bible studys!  Wowza!  She was told that she could find the material they would be using, and when I told her about my book, she thought that might be an option.

I am just so in awe over how God sets things up.  If you don’t believe that everything is ordained and set up, and that we are under the total control of our God, maybe this blog will help you to see that we really are.  Since November I have been sitting at home with nothing to do because my photography business slowed down.  So I decided to do my online Bible study.  Do you think it was an accident that it happened that way?

God does truly give us the desires of our hearts.. but it’s the desires that He places there when we have a relationship with Him.  It is so important to know that God works everything for the good of those who love Him, those that are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).  If you don’t have a relationship with Christ, or even if you do, but you never seem to get an answer to your prayers I have some suggestions:

1. Repent.  There is a difference between repentance and apology/remorse.  Remorse blames others or circumstances, grieves over the consequences more than the sin, and turns to self.. not to God.  Repentance accepts the blame, turns from sin, and turns to God for help overcoming that sin.  Maybe the reason your prayers aren’t answered is because you are praying for things outside of God’s will.

2. Confess Christ as Lord and believe the Gospel.  You may have already done this, but not thought of what it means to call Christ Lord.  He is our King, and when you are ruled by a King, you do what He says.  What does Christ say we are to do?  You’ll never know entirely until you read His decrees found in the Bible, but to start, there is great wisdom in Ephesians 4:

“17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

3. Move on.  If you are in Christ, and have been forgiven, then you are no longer under condemnation from your sins, and you have Him to help you overcome those sins in the future.  You will still reap the consequences of those sins, as that is part of your discipline in learning how to grow.  “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” – Proverbs 3:11-12.  Learn to seek the truth that God reveals about your sins in His Word, and ask Him to change your heart so you will never do them again.

4. Make your salvation sure.  If you question each day if you are really saved, then start a journey through your Bible.  There is only 1 who can give you that answer.  Teachers, pastors, bloggers.. they are great, but can never give you the backing you need like God can through His Word, the Bible.

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