Rock Star

A local radio station has a contest to see who can recognize a song from a snippet less than a second long. The prizes are usually tickets to a concert or event. Some people know the music so well that just a blurb a fraction of second long is enough to allow them to recognize the song.

I sometimes wonder how much of God’s voice people would need before they would recognize His voice.

Some of the music that is played is so unknown to me that they could play the whole recording and I still couldn’t tell you the title and artist.

God speaks to people all through their lives yet many never recognize His voice. The people who hear God’s voice and do what He asks of them will receive great reward. Failure to acknowledge God is a terrible way to lose.

Inventive Spirit

Creative people have a talent to design amazing products whether art or industrial. Some have a flair for the artistic and others invent useful devices. Creativity has its root in God

The universe from macro to micro is an example of a grand design by a very creative Person. No amount of denial from those who ignore the evidence will ever remove the truth that God created everything seen and unseen.

So it is little wonder that God delights to equip people with creative skill. In Exodus 35 we read

the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship; to make designs for working in gold and in silver and in bronze, and in the cutting of stones for settings and in the carving of wood, so as to perform in every inventive work. He also has put in his heart to teach.

We learn from this passage that God calls people by name and He equips them. First He filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God, the source of all wisdom, and gave him understanding and knowledge to craft and design metals, cut stones and carve wood. God equipped him to be inventive and to teach. Wow! If God would do all this before Jesus Christ sent the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to reside with us, how much more is available to us when we desire to serve the Lord!

The apostle James wrote that wisdom is ours just for the asking, and that there are no conditions except that someone must ask. All through Scriptures we read that the wisdom God grants is unlike the wisdom available from Google. God’s wisdom guides us into right and effective living yielding permanent results.

If you are really interested in acquiring real wisdom and you plan to use what you learn, try asking God for His Spirit to fill you and grant you wisdom and skill.

Francis Schaeffer: an Important Voice to the Church

Long before the internet, I remember viewing films of Francis Schaeffer warning of drift from truth. He spoke of the chaos and disorder evident in some modern themes of thinking and he warned of dangers to the Church and those who follow Jesus. Very few presentations had as much impact on my life as his.

What a surprise to see his name pop up in a blog by Will Graham ( where he condenses some key points from the book written by Francis A. Schaeffer “The Great Evangelical Disaster.” Will highlights 10 Concerns Francis Schaeffer took to the grave:


1.- Growing Relativism

Relativism came about due to the Enlightenment’s focus upon the autonomy of man. No longer was God to set the rules and call the shots; but rather humankind was to determine what was good and evil, true and false. Ethics and epistemology became absorbed by an inordinate passion for egoism and self-interest. Once the infallible, inerrant Word of God was openly decried; there was nothing left to take its place but human fancies.

Schaeffer realized that a church built upon the sandy-foundation of relativism could not withstand the onslaught of fallen reason. Only the non-negotiable absolutes of Scripture could enable the church to keep waging a good warfare. It was those “absolutes which enabled the early church to withstand the pressure of the Roman Empire”.1 A relativistic church would have nothing left to say to a sinful culture.


2.- Lack of Discipline

Given the resurgence of pagan relativism throughout post-modern society, many churches had fallen into the trap of downplaying Christian doctrine (absolutes) by refusing to take action against false teachers. Schaeffer identified a lack of church discipline as the real breeding ground for heretics. It was this deficiency which explained the victory of the liberal party within early twentieth-century American Presbyterianism.

Schaeffer makes clear, “Discipline had not been consistently applied by the faithful men of the church”.2 Without ecclesiastical and denominational discipline for doctrinal reasons, the church would be left vulnerable before the avalanche of false teaching.

Hence Schaeffer’s proposal: “The practice of the purity of the visible church first means discipline of those who do not take a proper position in regard to the teaching of Scripture”.3 And again: “Where there is a departure from the historic view of Scripture and from obedience to God’s Word, then those who take this weakened view need to be brought under discipline”.4 Only a high view of Scripture could justify the reestablishment of biblical discipline. If unorthodox ministers were not dealt with, how could their churches stay true to sound doctrine?


3.- Compromise

Christians, according to Schaeffer, are supposed to take a stand for the truth. But the sad mark of his age was one of continual compromise on all fronts, both doctrinal and practical. Schaeffer was upset that many servants of the Lord were no longer willing to confront society with the truth of God. Such a spirit of indifference was leading the church down the slippery slope of apostasy.

Schaffer states, “Truth carries with it confrontation. Truth demands confrontation; loving confrontation, but confrontation nevertheless. If our reflex action is always accommodation regardless of the centrality of the truth involved, there is something wrong”.5 Without a heart-felt faithfulness to the truth claims of Scripture as witnessed in the lives of theological giants like B.B. Warfield (1851-1921), James Orr (1844-1913) and J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937), evangelicalism would not be able to prepare its children for the challenges accompanying the dark days ahead.


4.- Social Work

Instead of keeping focused on the Gospel, many evangelical churches were running off in the liberal direction of “confusing the kingdom of God with a socialistic program”.6 Without denying the importance of helping the downtrodden, Schaeffer was worried at how many minsters were basing their worldview on Marxist doctrine and not upon that of Scripture.

Sin, in Schaeffer’s view, was not down to unjust social structures but to man’s intrinsic wickedness. Iniquity abounded amongst both the poor and the wealthy. The idea of man’s autonomous perfectibility did not stem from Scripture but from a fallen, man-centred Enlightenment philosophy. Even in countries where communist principles had ruled the political world, the results were disastrous with millions massacred on the altar of socialism. So Schaeffer quipped, “A socialistic program is not the answer”.7 Of course churches need to help the poor; but she must keep first things first i.e. the proclamation of the forgiveness of sins through the Lord Jesus Christ.


5.- The Temptation of Ecumenism

The World Council of Churches’ (WCC) call to ecumenical unity greatly disturbed Schaeffer. As well as the pro-Marxist leanings of the WCC, the ecumenical movement was devoid of theological conviction. Every type of non-biblical theological fantasy was being permitted for the love of church unity i.e. Dorothee Sölle’s (1929-2003) rejection of the Lord of Scripture; God being changed from a ‘Heavenly Father’ into a ‘Celestial Mother’; and non-Christian religions being extolled as means of access to the divine, etc.8

This was nothing other than false prophesy. The WCC was becoming a source of theological poison, promoting another Gospel which was no Gospel at all. Only a solid stance on an infallible and an inerrant Bible could bring down the flimsy walls of the WCC camp.


6.- Abortion

Far from assenting to rife abortion-justifying euphemisms such as the ‘quality of life’ or ‘the happiness and well-being of the mother’ or ‘the need for every child to be wanted’, Schaeffer believed that mass abortion was simply the outworking of a revived hedonistic attitude which put a person’s happiness above a sacred respect for human life.9 He was unable to understand how anyone confessing the name of Christ could remain within a pro-abortion denomination.10

In the final analysis, abortion was an all-out attack on the precious image of God which is made known through humankind. “The unborn child is a human being created in the image of God, and to deny this is to deny the authority of the Bible. It is impossible to read Psalm 139 and truly believe what it says without realizing that life in the womb is human life. It is impossible to truly believe in the Incarnation and not realize that the child conceived in Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit was indeed the Son of God from the time of conception”.11


7.- Liberalism

The fruit of theological liberalism had left many formerly-sound churches completely destitute of any spiritual power. Modernism, influenced by German Higher Criticism, had all but baptized the cardinal doctrines of the Enlightenment in the name of Christ. What did such an approach entail? Schaeffer answers: “The denial of the supernatural; belief in the all-sufficiency of human reason; the rejection of the Fall; denial of the deity of Christ and his resurrection; belief in the perfectibility of man; and the destruction of the Bible”.12

Liberal preachers like the acclaimed Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969) had no authoritative Bible left to preach from. Secular humanism took centre stage therefore any doctrine that did not put the spotlight upon man was ultimately done away with. Rather than the church influencing the world; the world took the reins of the church into her Gospel-denying grasp.


8.- Hedonism

Hedonism is the philosophy that the meaning of life ultimately revolves around one’s happiness, pleasure and feeling good at the moment. This hedonistic thrust had led contemporary society to cast off Christian morality in the name of self-fulfilment. Schaeffer was alarmed at how one’s personal welfare was gradually taking primacy over human life i.e. as in the case of abortion. As Schaeffer spells out, “We are surrounded by a society with no fixed standards and ‘no-fault’ everything. Each thing is psychologically pushed away or explained away so that there is no right or wrong. And, as with the ‘happiness’ of the mother taking precedence over human life, so anything which interferes with the ‘happiness’ of the individual or society is dispensed with”.13

Hedonism’s selfish and amoral nature was a real danger facing the church of Schaeffer’s day and the same truth abides in our generation. In some places church has become more about ‘customer satisfaction’ than the true worship of the triune God.


9.- The Loss of Propositional Revelation

Schaeffer insisted upon the need of a strong view of propositional revelation for the spiritual and academic welfare of contemporary Protestantism. Since God, the Creator of all things (language included), was truly there and had desired to communicate his Word to humankind, it was only natural that he should employ the medium of language and hence propositional sentences in order to make his will clear.

This meant that Schaeffer’s stress was not primarily upon a believer’s subjective religious experience, but upon the objective account of revelation displayed in Scripture. Experience was useful in the measure that it lined up with the teaching of the Bible. “What is our foundation?” asks Schaeffer. “It is that the infinite-personal God who exists has not been silent, but has spoken propositional truth in all that the Bible teaches”.14 Take away propositional revelation and the foundation of the Christian is obliterated!


10.- The Inerrant Scriptures

“We have an inerrant Scripture”.15 A final key worry running throughout the whole of Schaeffer’s volume is that of biblical inerrancy. He was incensed to hear of fellow evangelicals who were calling the plenary inspiration of Scripture into question by stressing that the Bible could contain geographical and historical errors despite its teaching upon religion and morals as being true (for the most part). This was the view of the Neo-Orthodox thinkers Karl Barth (1886-1968) and Emil Brunner (1889-1966).

Schaeffer disparaged such a view writing that: “The Bible is without error not only when it speaks of values, the meaning system and religious things, but it is also without error when it speaks of history and the cosmos”.16 This was the full view of Scripture as the Word of God at which the American aimed. As far as he was concerned, an errant Bible –if only in the realm of science and history- could never be infallible. Infallibility demanded inerrancy (and vice-versa)!

Although Barth, Brunner and a host of their theological colleagues had launched an anti-liberal revolution in the early decades of the twentieth century, Schaeffer was far from satisfied with their neo-orthodoxy. The chief concern for the American was their manifest lack of a “full view” of Scripture which was due to an overly subjectivist approach to theology.

Rather than saying that the Bible merely ‘contained’ the Word of God or ‘became’ the Word of God by means of an existential encounter with the risen Christ, Schaeffer was adamant that true evangelicalism confesses that “the Bible is objective, absolute truth in all the areas it touches upon”.17



To conclude, Schaeffer’s ten concerns can be traced back to the Enlightenment by which man placed his ‘autonomous’ reason over and against the authoritative revelation of God in Scripture.

It seems to be that in our day the same decision is forcing itself upon all us evangelicals: shall it be the Word of God or the thoughts of fallen humankind that determine our thinking and praxis? Were Schaeffer still amongst us today, he would doubtlessly have opted for the former. What about you?


1[1] SCHAEFFER, Francis, The Great Evangelical Disaster (Crossway: Illinois, 1984), p. 48.

2[1] P. 86.

3[1] P. 86.

4[1] P. 89.

5[1] P. 64

6[1] P. 111.

7[1]P . 115.

8[1] P. 125.

9[1] P. 108.

10[1] P. 79.

11[1] P. 108

12[1] Pp. 36-37.

13[1] P. 63.

14[1] P. 60.

15[1] P. 65.

16[1] P. 57.

17[1] P. 55.


The Best Healthcare

Canadians spent more than $228 billion on health care in 2016 representing 11.1% of GDP ( That’s $6,299 per person. In the USA, health care spending hit $10,345 per person ( Governments wrestle with trying to manage the costs while providing care for the citizens. Technological advances introduce new drugs and expensive tools to diagnose and treat people. Yet the need seems to always exceed the funds available.

The cost of healthcare is not new. The Bible records this event from 2000 years ago:

A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse— after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak (Mark 25-27).

She had endured or suffered much at the hands of many physicians: it was never suggested that they did not do the best they could, but the result was unhelpful.

She spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse. There are many who tell stories of harm caused by mistakes or misdiagnosis in hospital or by doctors, in some cases resulting in expensive procedures or even death.

She came to Jesus and touched Him in faith and was immediately healed. During His ministry on earth, Jesus healed many people of disease and afflictions, both physical and spiritual.

After Christ ascended to the Father, the early Christian Church understood that healing is available for those who call on God.

Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed (James 5:14-16a).

The requirement to submit to God is implicit in the process. If you walk in defiance or rebellion against God, it is unlikely that He will hear your call. Your own forgiveness hinges on whether you are willing to forgive everyone who has wronged you. Forgiveness is deeply related to health.

Jesus never condemned the physicians of His day, and even today, we know their value to help us heal from accidents and disasters. We all have been touched at some point in our lives by medical help. We are grateful for the doctors, nurses and other medical practitioners who spend so much of their lives helping others.

The Gospel message says that there is healing available for those who seek God’s agenda.

“If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer” (Exodus 15:26).

This option was presented to the nation of Israel – it’s application is at the personal level. Listen to the voice of God, hear His commandments (with the intent to follow), do what is right and God will protect you from diseases.

I wonder how much the load on our healthcare providers would be lessened if people committed themselves to obey the Lord God who made them.

Leadership When Things Look Impossible

Anyone who has ever been put in a position of leadership and found themselves facing an impossible situation can likely identify with Moses. Leaders are sometimes instructed by higher authorities to carry out tasks that are difficult or unpleasant while maintaining the appearance of having everything under control. It is stressful for the leader, especially when it means cutting staff or downsizing. It is also stressful for the workers who want to know what their future holds.

Unfortunately, some leaders believe that they must lie to their workers and the public saying one thing when they know it is wrong and misleading. A trusted leader quickly loses all credibility when the lies are exposed. The pressure on a leader can be enormous: instructions from the top to lie or misrepresent the truth versus the reality of breaking relationships and faith with the workers. It’s a situation that seem to have no winners.

The people of Israel were being chased by the Egyptian army to the Red Sea. Exodus 14 says they cried out to the Lord and to Moses, “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness?” The statement represents the feeling of inevitable doom and blames Moses for the situation. Everyone knew they were trapped: the sea ahead, the wilderness over land and the Egyptians behind.

As a good leader under authority, Moses recites the official line,” Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.

Then it’s as though Moses calls his boss (the Lord) and complains about the situation. Some leaders get no sympathy. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land.” So Moses raises his staff and the rest is history.

When Israel saw the great power which the Lord had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in His servant Moses.

Are you a leader? Do you serve the Lord? Are you facing an impossible situation? You can trust God’s instructions no matter how impossible the situation. Give Him the glory and don’t try to take any of it for yourself.

No one had ever heard of God making a path through the sea on which to escape, and it hasn’t happened since. So never assume that God is limited to a certain set of possibilities. When God has declared that He will care for you, His honor and glory are at stake and He will never abandon His Word.

Wicked City Saved by 10 Christians

In a world ruled by majority will, a headline declaring that a wicked city was saved by ten Christians seems impossible. Would such an event ever be reported in the news even if it happened? Would the citizens of that city ever know what tragedy had been averted? How could such a thing even happen?

A long time ago, such an event would have happened if only there had been ten righteous people in the city. There should have been many righteous people in that city but when it was inspected, not even ten could be found.

Abraham and Lot had traveled together and each acquired a large household and many possessions. It became clear to both them that they needed to separate so that there was enough pasture and water for the flocks and people. Abraham gave Lot the first choice of where he wanted to go and he chose the lush Jordan valley. So Abraham stayed in the high country.

There were some kings who also saw the benefits of the Jordan valley and mounted a campaign to defeat the rulers of the cities in the valley as far south as Sodom and Gomorrah. Victorious, they hauled off all the people and possessions as the spoils of war to Damascus and beyond. When word of this reached Abraham, he mounted a force of 318 trained fighters and defeated the kings and brought back all of Lot’s possessions, his women and people. It seems obvious that there were more than ten in Lot’s household.

One day, Abraham saw three men standing by his door. After a meal and some discussion, the men were looking down from the high country to Sodom in the Jordan valley. The Lord revealed that the outcry of wickedness had reached His ears and He was going to verify if “their sin is exceedingly grave.” Abraham knew there would be judgment. So he must have thought of Lot and his household and asked if God would destroy the city if there were fifty righteous people living there.

Fifty. Surely there must be at least fifty righteous people in Lot’s household. But then, Abraham may have remembered the people he rescued earlier and wondered how many of them were righteous. So he “negotiates” the number down to ten. Once again, Abraham is trying to rescue his nephew Lot.

Ten. Abraham couldn’t bring himself to ask for less. God agreed that He would not destroy the city if He found ten righteous people in it. But ten could not be found. The angels forced Lot, his wife and two daughters to escape and told them not to look back. Lot’s wife ignored the warning, so in the end, only three people escaped

Will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth” (Luke 18:7-9)?

If God came to our city today, would He find faith? How many righteous people might be found?

While it’s possible that God would spare a city from disaster if ten righteous people were found in it, God is sovereign and right in all His ways and will avenge the wickedness. A city can be blessed by the godly acts and prayers of the righteous, of Christians that obey the Lord and live according to His rule.

Christians must stand up against violence such as that perpetrated against Muslim worshipers in the mosque in Quebec City this week. Who knows how many lives could be saved or what judgment could be averted when Christians live and act righteously.

Rodents and Rainbows

Ground Hog Day! A day when grown adults in North America consult a rodent to predict the weather for the next 6 weeks. Depending on whether the ground hog sees its shadow or not the prediction is for 6 more weeks of winter or the immediate start of spring. Of course, people who live in areas where the ground is covered with snow for months during the winter may grasp at any hope that the snow will soon melt and green grass will appear.

Consulting rodents is only one example of irrational behavior. Israel made a golden calf and worshiped it (Exodus 32, 1 Kings 12:28). Israel consulted mediums and spiritists rather than God (Isaiah 8:19, 30:2). Hosea says they consulted wooden idols and the diviner’s wand informed them (Hosea 4:12). He says the people were led astray by a spirit of harlotry.

It wouldn’t surprise me if people are led astray by consulting rodents or inanimate objects. The Bible has much to say about wisdom and acquiring wisdom. God offers it free to anyone who asks (James 1:5). Of course, if you are going to ask God for wisdom, it seems obvious that you believe that there is a God and that He keeps His promises. God wants us to know that He is serious about His promises: He gave us the rainbow as a reminder that His promises will never fail.

So then, we have a choice: ask a rodent or trust God’s promises. As for me, I will ask for God’s wisdom and trust His promises.

Meaning of the Rainbow

The rainbow flag is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride and LGBT social movements in use since the 1970s” according to Wikipedia. Isn’t it strange that people so opposed to God’s written instructions would take one of God’s symbols and corrupt a version of it for their own use.

God defined the rainbow as a covenant between Him and every living creature on the earth. It is a promise that rain will never flood the earth like it did in Noah’s day. God says by this sign, He will remember the covenant to never destroy all life on earth by water. The rainbow is a reminder to us of God’s power and mercy (Genesis 9:8-17).

Unfortunately, there are people who use the symbol of the rainbow to thumb their nose at God, to pretend that He doesn’t exist, and to act as though God is a liar. For those who don’t understand these statements, here are the details:

God created mankind male and female (Genesis 2:24) and instructed them to be fruitful, to multiply and to fill the earth (Genesis 9:1). Any form of behavior that is opposed to this is an affront to God. It is disobedience. It is the creature telling the Creator that we will do our own thing, male with male, female with female, and so on. Intentionally disobeying God is to invite judgment. God is not mocked – those who act corruptly without repentance will be judged. God offers forgiveness to those who turn from their wicked ways and obey Him but for those who refuse to submit to God, there is no other outcome.

Ignoring God isn’t going to make Him go away. Some like to pretend that God doesn’t exist or even if He does that He is not bothered by what people do. On the contrary, His eyes see everything you do and He waits for you to realize that you need Him. If you do not respond to God, His written Word, His messengers, His warnings to you while you still live, your destiny will be to stand before the Judge – the very one you pretended didn’t exist – and to receive your sentence from a just and righteous God who will not leave sin unpunished (Exodus 34:7).

How can a loving God sentence people to hell – a place prepared for Satan and his demons? People were never intended to go to hell, but when they follow Satan, they follow him to hell. Since God has already declared in writing how He feels about homosexuality and other perversions, He would be a liar if He does not do what He said He would do when judging sin. God is not a liar. Everything He has ever done has been truthful. He is a loving God, but He is also just. He is a merciful God showing mercy where none was expected, yet He is righteous. He is faithful, keeping His promises through all generations – for those who love and obey Him that is very good news; for those who ignore or reject God that is very fearful news.

The rainbow is the promise of God’s mercy that the world will never be destroyed by flooding. It is a symbol of hope and assurance that God keeps His promises. However, the rainbow should be a symbol of sheer terror for those who resist God and intentionally rebel against Him (Revelation 20:15). The rainbow should remind them that God keeps ALL His promises, and He will judge sin and perversions.

The path to God’s love, favor and mercy is not difficult so don’t raise phony objections:

1) Admit that you are a sinner, that you have broken God’s laws.

2) Ask God to forgive you – He offers freedom at no charge!

3) Repent of your sin, turn away from sin and ask God to give you the strength to live a life according to His laws which were written for your good.

4) Worship God, the Creator of heaven and earth and all that exists, and Jesus the Son of God who died to pay the penalty of your sin so that you could go free. One God in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There is no one else like our God – no other god should be worshiped.

5) Walk in obedience to the truth you know, read the Bible to learn more, and talk to God through prayer.

6) Tell others what God has done for you, and join with other believers who also desire to follow God.

Welcome to God’s forever family!

Advice to the Recipients of Mercy

There is a clear division between those who receive mercy and those who do not. The apostle Peter identifies those who have been called out of darkness to be the people of God as those who have received mercy for the purpose of proclaiming the goodness and power of God.

Such people are treated as strangers or aliens in this world. Peter urges them to abstain from yielding to the temptations that are harmful to their souls. He doesn’t ignore the reality of temptation but urges them to abstain, show self-control, and discipline (1 Peter 2:11-12). It’s important to note that being tempted is not sin, but yielding to the temptation is. Our behavior then is a key demonstration to others of the power of God helping us to live an honorable life. In this world, someone who is not controlled by sin is different and may be viewed as strange.

In a world where there is peer pressure to do what “everyone” else seems to be doing, the people who have received mercy are to act with integrity so consistently that they become an example to everyone even while they are accused of all kinds of wrong. By their actions they proclaim the goodness and power of God.

Having received mercy, they want to show mercy to others so that they too can find the power of God to deal with the temptations that would destroy their soul. Therefore, submit to authority for the Lord’s sake and use the freedom God grants to serve Him. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the political ruler. This is not something easy to do when you see the wrongs that are committed, when people and leaders are unreasonable, but it is something God asks of the people that have received mercy.

If you do what is right and suffer for it, and patiently endure it, this finds favor with God (1 Peter 2:20).

In the Name of Jesus

Prayer in many churches seems to reflect embarrassment, a lack of understanding of to whom they pray, or just plain carelessness. I commonly hear prayers that end with “in Your name.” So what’s wrong with that?

Why is it that people seem afraid to declare that we pray in the name, power and authority of Jesus Christ? Jesus taught His disciples to pray to the Father making our requests and petitions in the name of Jesus (John 16:23-24).

Our prayers are to be addressed to our Father in Heaven. It is to the Father that we make our requests and petitions. Jesus also prayed to the Father. Our God is one God in three persons. So there are times we pray, “Come Holy Spirit, we need You.” Sometimes we offer praise in the Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. But the Scriptures are quite clear that our requests and petitions are addressed to the Father.

We were not instructed to pray in the Name of the Father. So when we pray to the Father and then conclude with “in Your name” it simply does not make sense.

What possible reasons could there be for not wanting to verbalize the Name of Jesus? Perhaps some feel that praying in the Name of Jesus is like a child’s prayer and now it is more sophisticated to pray “in Your name.

Peter makes it clear that those who are born again were redeemed with the blood of Christ – not a perishable blood, but imperishable (1 Peter 1:17-25). Our salvation is offered to us from outside our perishable world by the eternal God through Jesus Christ who was incarnated into creation. Without His act of redemption, we would be permanently lost in sin and destruction. By His resurrection, we are raised with Him to the heavens in spiritual position. We stand before the awesome God to make our requests and petitions and the only thing that keeps us from being destroyed when we approach the throne of God is the standing we have because of Jesus Christ.

Prayers guided by the Holy Spirit who also intercedes for us, addressed to the Father and in the Name of Jesus are certain to be answered. The Holy Spirit will not lead us to pray selfish “prosperity gospel” prayers but rather prayers that are part of the God’s plan. When the prayers are God’s idea, He will answer them.

Remember that the next time you pray.