Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Soul Food A-La-Carte Issue 3

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.                                                                                                         - Isaiah 40:11

Sermon on Prayer: "Go Into Your Room"

Why does God promise reward for private prayer in Matthew 6? How can you make your daily prayer time the most enjoyable part of your day, instead of a drudgery or chore that is dry and boring? This message will help you actually look forward to your prayer time each day, and come away closer to God. 

If you don't have time for whole sermon, I recommend starting at the 25-minute mark. I found the most helpful parts from that point on.

The fact that someone is laboring and striving does not mean that person is being legalistic. If you were starving, and the food of life were in a locked container, and Christ died to open the container, you would not be a legalist if you walked five miles to get it. You wouldn't say, "He has secured it for me so I don’t need to put forth effort. I will just wait till the food spontaneously falls into my mouth.” 

Sermon on Prayer: Prayin' Like a Pagan

How would you naturally finish this sentence: “God already knows what you need before you ask him, therefore ____.” The way Jesus fills in that blank is surprising. And it gives us great insight into how to pray in a way that truly communes with God, rather than just saying dry words. What kinds of things can you do to cause God to be more inclined to answer your prayers? And what can you do to disincline him? You may find the answers surprising.

This message will provide you with principles that will deepen and enrich your prayer life—and your marriage and other important relationships as well (especially if you’re a man). 

Sermon on Prayer: Kingdom Praying

If you start listening at the 48-minute mark, you will get what I found to be most helpful in this sermon. It's about how to have intimacy with God in prayer by understanding the difference between calling your father and calling room service.

John Piper Sermon: I Will Not Be Enslaved by Anything

Piper tells the story of a man he was watching who was carrying a piece of trash. The man looked left and right, then through the trash over a wall. Piper asks, "When he looked left and right, why didn't he also look up?"

This sermon will help you care more about the fact that God sees your behavior, helping you walk in obedience. I found the sermon helpful.

Hebrews 13:3 says we are to pray for those in prison as if we ourselves were in prison with them. Recently the Chinese government detained an evangelical pastor and 100 people in his congregation. He gave a friend a letter to publish if he disappeared. The letter is moving. Read it here.

Article: 23 Benefits of Suffering

When we suffer, Scripture calls us to count it all joy because of all the amazing benefits that we receive through suffering. How is that possible? It is only possible when we understand and value those benefits. We often ask, "Why?" when hardships break into our lives. We can't know all the reasons, but we can know at least 23 of them. ... read more

Monday, January 7, 2019

Soul Food A-La-Carte Issue 2

In faithfulness you have afflicted me.                                                                                                                    - Psalm 119:75

Sermon by James MacDonald: I May Never Know Why
"I don't need to know the 'why's' when I know the one who knows them all." Wonderfully encouraging sermon for those times when you find yourself asking why God allowed something. Click here to listen.

Sermon on The Shield of Faith

Satan’s primary activity in your life is to destroy your faith. As long as you are behind the shield of faith, he can’t touch you. But if he can get you out from behind that shield, or destroy the shield, he can bring all kinds of devastation in your life. Here are some of his methods, and some ways to protect yourself against them. Click Here to Listen ...

Sermon: "Praying in the Spirit"

Most of us are unsatisfied with our prayer life. If you need some motivation to pray more, or more effectively, you may find this message helpful. Click here to listen.

When people study the attributes of God, jealousy is one that often gets overlooked. But that’s not because Scripture is unclear. God put it right in the 10 Commandments. 

Perhaps some readers struggle with this because they have always thought of jealousy as a bad thing. Usually it is. But there isa very good kind of jealousy that is crucial for us to understand to enjoy God's love ... Read More

What an amazing thing it is that it cost God something to redeem us. What infinite wisdom it took for Him to even conceive of a way in which it was possible for something to “cost” Him.

If the price were in gold, no matter how much it was, there would be no way for it to actually cost Him because His resources would be exactly the same after the payment as before. Any real sacrifice would be impossible. 

But God paid your debt in a way that cost Him—cost Him more than anyone has ever sacrificed or ever will sacrifice for anything. The price He was willing to pay to save you was more than you would be willing to pay yourself! We know that because of all the times we have not even been willing to give up much smaller things (petty sins) for a much higher purpose (His glory). 

What love!