Christ Approved Inc, has a heart for the global community. We aim to strengthen, empower and inform our Christian family. Let it all out when you speak to God.
Apart of being a Christian is sharing your faith with others so that they may know the power of God as it is working but also praying with them or for them. Here is a place to leave prayer requests of your own or someone else’s. Also, we also suggest that out of the love inside you, consider praying for a few of the prayers that are posted. Prayer is a way to communicate to God through Jesus Christ. In love, we commune with God and in love we support those around us in the discipline of prayer.
Operating as usual
There is a common misconception that believers should be perfect. Pretending to have our life in order, many of us wear a happy face and speak words that sound acceptable. At times we’re ashamed to admit our shortcomings, as if they should not exist. Salvation through Jesus, however, doesn’t change the fact that sin is present in our life. When we’re born again, God forgives us and sees us as righteous. Yet our battle with sin continues till we arrive in heaven.
In fact, striving for perfection actually can be a trap that pulls us away from living a godly life. Functioning in this way is a form of relying on our own abilities. Jesus said that He came to heal the spiritually sick because they recognized their weakness. With an awareness of our inadequacy comes the realization of our need for Him.
The world sees successful individuals as powerful and self-sufficient, but Jesus doesn’t care about these qualities. Instead, He wants people to be aware of their own brokenness. This is the foundation for godliness.
We should accept our neediness and seek God passionately. Doing so allows the following attributes to develop: a hunger for God’s Word, faithful service, deepening trust, and decision-making based upon principle rather than preference. Patiently and mercifully, God matures us.
Be careful not to cover up your sins in order to look like a “good Christian.” Without recognition and confession of our sin, we are unable to rely fully on God. It is only with this awareness that we can passionately seek Him, obey in His strength, and repent when we miss the mark.
Some of us are natural planners who know what we want to accomplish and set out to achieve it, whereas others are more flexible and spontaneous. Both approaches are determined by personality, background, and other factors but come with their own dangers. The organized people may be so focused on controlling their life that they leave God out of the picture, and the easygoing folks may end up never accomplishing what God intended for them.
The Christian life is compared to a race. As believers, we are admonished to exercise discipline and self-control in order to obediently follow the heavenly Father’s plan for our life. Otherwise our efforts will be as unproductive as a boxer who throws wild punches and never hits his mark.
Going through life without any objectives leads to wasted time and energy, mindless drifting, and mediocrity. After all, you can’t aim for nothing and expect to hit a bull’s eye. This is true in relationships, work, finances, and personal goals, but it’s also true of our spiritual life. Paul’s desire to fulfill the ministry God gave him was so strong that he was willing to give up his rights in order to reach the lost with the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). Therefore, the apostle made his body his slave in order to finish the Christian life well.
One day we will all stand before Christ to give an account of our life and have our works evaluated by Him in the judgment (1 Corinthians 3:10-15). Therefore, today we must live with the goal of honoring God and bearing fruit as we seek His will.
[11/09/20] Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. -1 John 4:4
God’s grace is amazing. It not only takes care of our sin problem through the cross but also strengthens and sustains us every day of our life. The Lord never wavers in His good purpose for us, nor is He ever thwarted. His sustaining grace is the answer to our …
Difficult circumstances. Being a Christian does not exempt us from painful trials or unpleasant situations. The apostle Paul knew this firsthand. When he presented the good news of the gospel, some believed but many opposed him. In 2 Corinthians 11:23-27, he wrote that he had been in danger everywhere he went. He experienced rejection, beatings, and arrest but did not give up. God’s grace continually upheld and strengthened him.
Personal suffering. Paul also spoke about the thorn in his flesh, which caused him great torment. Three times he asked God to remove it, but the Lord did not. Why? Because divine grace was sufficient. It would cover Paul’s needs. Grace had already taken the apostle from condemned to forgiven and from outsider to beloved child. Because he experienced the undeserved love of God, this zealous persecutor of the early church became a missionary spreading the good news about Jesus.
The apostle declared that he was content with weaknesses, insults, distresses, and persecutions because he had experienced the Lord’s all-sufficient grace. He knew that God would continue to help him in every situation, and that regardless of his circumstances, living in the favor and love of God was enough. Is that true for you?
Sometimes praying for others feels like ‘laboring’. Once you understand and accept that, not having ‘tingling sensations’ when you pray won’t discourage you. You can smile and tell yourself, ‘This is the way the Bible says it will be sometimes.’
G. Campbell Morgan said, ‘A man may offer a prayer, beautiful in diction and perfect in the number of its petitions. But if it gives him gratification afterwards, that prayer cannot have been truly prayed.’ What did he mean? Simply this: you’ll feel good after you’ve prayed, but your goal isn’t to feel good about the fact that you have prayed, or that you felt particularly good during the process.
(1) Prayer is a duty. It’s like going to work. You do it because it’s a commitment, and because of the rewards it brings.
(2) Prayer is a discipline. The old–timers used to talk about ‘praying through’. Through what? Through wandering thoughts, through fatigue, through fears, and every other form of resistance and distraction. When you enter the ‘prayer zone’, Satan will fight you at every turn. But when you stand in the name of Jesus, the powers of darkness will retreat and you’ll prevail (John 14:13–14).
(3) Prayer is a delight. It won’t happen every time, but if you’re faithful to the place of prayer there’ll be times when your whole being will be conscious that God is present, answering your prayer and giving you guidance. And even when the answer isn’t completely clear, you’ll leave His presence saying, ‘Now I have peace about it.’
[10/31/20] For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.-Colossians 1:16
We focus on individual incidents, but the God of the big picture focuses on patterns. He determined twenty–four hours in each day, seven days in each week, four seasons in each year, two people in each marriage, etc. Birth is followed by infancy, childhood, youth, adulthood, old age. Imagine how different your life would be without these patterns! God created us to need patterned lives.
Patterns provide predictability, and predictability provides comfort, control and security. Simply knowing that Saturday follows Wednesday helps you get through an exhausting work week. Many of our relational issues would be resolved if we paid less attention to our negative patterns and concentrated on establishing positive ones. Does this conversation sound familiar? The husband asks, ‘Why do you always bring things up just when I’m falling asleep? Can’t you find a better time?’ The wife returns fire: ‘There’s never a better time to get your attention!’
The use of words like ‘always’ and ‘never’ only intensifies the problem. Until you understand and change your patterns, you’ll forever be attempting to put out relational fires. Establishing a simple pattern of spending an hour or two together each week (date night?) assures your wife of a set time to be heard, and your husband an opportunity to listen when he’s alert and responsive. Patterns are God’s idea. The predictability and promise they bring help defuse reactive emotions and establish an environment where you both feel loved and valued!
‘Cast all your anxiety on Him.’ 1 Peter 5:7
Learn to ‘cast all your anxiety on Him.’ Only when you have done that will you be able to ‘catch yourself’ when you begin to open the door to worry, allowing it to move in, set up shop and start doing business. What’s your top ten list of worries? Health? Money? A relationship? Children? Your looks?
Get to know your most common worries so well that you’re able to treat them like mosquitoes. You don’t procrastinate when a blood–sucking bug lights on your skin. You don’t say, ‘I’ll take care of it in a moment.’ No, you give the creature the slap it deserves. Be equally decisive with anxiety. The moment a worry surfaces, deal with it. Don’t dwell on it. Head it off before it gets the best of you. Instead of ulcerating over what your boss thinks, ask him. Before you diagnose that mole as a cancer, have it examined. Instead of assuming that you’ll never get out of debt, consult an expert, draw up a plan, and take back your power.
As long as you’re willing to live with worry, you’ll never overcome it. Instead of allowing worry to cast a big shadow over a small problem, rise up in faith and say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’ (Hebrews 13:6 NKJV) Who’s your helper? The Lord! So give your worries to Him and don’t take them back. The Psalmist said, ‘Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.’ (Psalm 55:22) Peter writes, ‘Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.’ Learn to ‘cast’.
When you neglect God you begin to ‘drift away’. Your prayers aren’t as effective. You’re no longer a godly influence on those around you. You slip back into old habit patterns. You refuse to forgive those who’ve offended you. You fail to make amends to those you’ve hurt. You start doing what’s expedient and comfortable instead of what’s right. You harbour attitudes of fear and resentment. You feed your old nature and neglect your new one. These are all signs that you need a spiritual checkup. Ask God today to highlight those attitudes, activities and relationships that need to be dealt with and start weeding them out. The good news is that when you’re obedient to God’s Word and the Spirit’s leading, you regain your spiritual vitality and God can use you more effectively.
All of us are eternal beings because we were made in God’s image (Gen. 1:26). After physical death, our spirits will live forever. Where we reside—heaven or hell—will depend on whether we have accepted or rejected Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior.
Scripture teaches that all have sinned and deserve a penalty (Rom. 3:23; Rom. 6:23). There isn’t anything we can do to earn God’s forgiveness. Knowing this, our heavenly Father sent His Son Jesus to take our sins upon Himself and experience punishment in our place. In that way, we become part of God’s family and look forward to spending eternity with Him in heaven. His only requirement for this amazing blessing is that we acknowledge we’re sinners who need a Savior and believe that Jesus died to save us (Rom. 10:9-10). Those who reject Christ will spend life after death separated from Him, but those who believe will live forever with Him.
Every person will ultimately dwell in heaven or hell, both of which are real places described in the Bible. In heaven, we’ll never again know pain, sorrow, or tears (Revelation 21:4). But hell is the opposite. A place of punishment, it will be the scene of unending agony and torment. Today’s passage illustrates this hard fact.
Eternal punishment and the reality of hell are never easy topics to consider, but they are vitally important because they will really happen. Don’t let your emotions turn you away from the truths recorded in Scripture. Instead, take heed of the warnings, and be certain you are heaven-bound.
In our homes, we use smoke detectors to warn us of fire. Our car’s dashboard has lights to indicate a malfunction. We’d be foolish to ignore these warnings. In the same way, Scripture passages warn us about the terrible consequences for rejecting God’s provision of a Savior.
The Bible tells us how to be reconciled to God so we can spend eternity with Him. We need to understand and accept the following truths:
Sin separates us from God (Rom. 3:23; Col. 1:19-22). Because of Adam and Eve’s rebellion, we are all born with a nature bent away from the Lord. His justice requires that we pay for our transgressions.
God sent His Son Jesus to make that payment for us (1 Corinthians 15:3). Only the death of one who was perfect would satisfy the Father’s righteous judgment. Jesus lived a life without sin, which qualified Him to become our substitute. He willingly took our place and died on the cross in order to pay our penalty. God accepted His death in place of ours and declared us righteous in His sight (Rom. 3:22).
Salvation is a free gift, received through faith in Jesus (Eph. 2:8-9). Our good works will neither satisfy divine justice nor pay for our transgressions. They are not what God requires for forgiveness or adoption into His family. Faith in Jesus is the only way to God (John 14:6). When we accept Christ as our Savior and Lord, heaven becomes our eternal destination.
God wants you to live forever with Him. If you haven’t yet made your eternal destination certain, do so now.
Life can hit us with the most unexpected and undesirable circumstances. When that happens, shock and pain might make us wonder, Does God really care about me?
First of all, we know from 1 John 4:8 that “God is love,” which means His very nature is characterized by compassion and concern. Love originated with the Lord, and He is our greatest example of how to express it. This truth, combined with the reality that God is holy, means He is perfect in His love—He’ll never make a mistake in the way He loves us.
Second, we know that our heavenly Father loves us, because He calls us His children. “To those who believed in His name, he gave the right to become children of God,” writes John in his gospel (1 John 1:12 NIV). Sadly, some people don’t have a parent who shows them love. But God is the perfect parent. It would be completely against His character to mistreat any of His children.
Finally, God gave the supreme demonstration of His love at the cross. We were all dead in our sins, but Christ went to the greatest length possible to give us life. The Son of God came to earth as an expression of His Father’s awesome, fathomless, infinite love and did for us what no one else could do.
After considering these three facts about God’s love, how could we not expect Him to take care of even the smallest details of our life? Look for ways He is expressing His love to you, and remember Jesus own words on the subject: “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary
17:19. If we would keep a clear conscience and a quiet mind, we must shun all excitements to anger. And a man who affects a style of living above his means, goes the way to ruin. 20. There is nothing got by ill designs. And many have paid dear for an unbridled tongue. 21. This speaks very plainly what many wise and good men feel very strongly, how grievous it is to have a foolish, wicked child. 22. It is great mercy that God gives us leave to be cheerful, and cause to be cheerful, if by his grace he gives us hearts to be cheerful. 23. The wicked are ready to part with their money, though loved, that they may not suffer for their crimes. 24. The prudent man keeps the word of God continually in view. But the foolish man cannot fix his thoughts, nor pursue any purpose with steadiness. 25. Wicked children despise the authority of their father, and the tenderness of their mother. 26. It is very wrong to find fault for doing what is duty. 27,28. A man may show himself to be a wise man, by the good temper of his mind, and by the good government of his tongue. He is careful when he does speak, to speak to the purpose. God knows his heart, and the folly that is bound there; therefore he cannot be deceived in his judgment as men may be.
Many Christians are familiar with God’s words in verse 7 of today’s reading: “Return to Me, and I will return to you.” When Malachi delivered this message to Israel, they seemed ignorant of the fact that they had left the Lord. Throughout the book, God made statements about their poor spiritual condition, and they always responded by asking how they had offended Him.
In this passage, God accuses them of robbing Him by withholding the tithes and offerings required by the Law to support the Levites and priests. God viewed their persistent disobedience to His commands as theft because they were keeping for themselves what belonged to Him. If we consider all that the Lord has given us, we must ask ourselves whether we’re robbing Him in any way. Consider these examples:
God has given us life and determined the number of our days (Psalm 139:16). Yet some of us claim that we don’t have time to read the Bible or pray. We may be busy, but it’s our responsibility to prioritize time with the Lord in the 24 hours He has allotted to us each day.
Our Father has also given us abilities, talents, and spiritual gifts, yet we oftentimes reserve their use for our career or hobby rather than for serving Him.
God is the one who has given us the ability to work and earn an income, and all He asks of us is the first portion.
Is there anything of the Lord’s that you’ve been keeping for yourself? With an obedient and grateful heart, you can joyfully give back to Him a fraction of whatever He has given you.