Thursday, April 30, 2020

Why Do We Do Good?

During this COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been humbled by all the selfless acts I see of people who work in healthcare, food service—either restaurants or grocery stores, US mail, all delivery personnel, etc. and I know this list isn’t complete. Countless individuals risk their personal safety so we can keep ours. Thank you! And thank you to those amazing volunteers who use their creative skills to help others. Some sew masks, give balcony concerts, send encouraging or prayer-filled notes and texts, or hand out/deliver food and groceries to the needy. Others pray without ceasing.[1] I’m blown away by the good works, and it causes me to glorify my Father in heaven[2].

But it also causes me to ask why? Why do we do good? And why do times of crisis bring out the “good” in humanity?

Some might say this is what we’re taught and what we pass on to the next generation. True. We teach our children to do good, to share, to wait their turn, and to be kind to others. We discipline when they hit or bite, and when they are cruel, we say, “No, no. We don’t act that way in this house.”

With that in mind, here’s another question. Do animal parents correct wrong behavior in their young?

Now you might be saying, “This is completely unrelated to our subject.” But if you stick with me, I’ll show you how right on topic it is.

My mother loves birds, and while she has been convalescing, she and I have been online eagle watching. Up until the end of March, we watched the eagles in Hanover, Pennsylvania. However, their egg was not viable and the eagles abandoned their nest. My sister, Amy, searched for another and found one in Ashtabula, Ohio – AACS Eagles.[3] The parents, Pride, and Joy hatched two eaglets this year, Raindrop and Nestor. It’s impressive to see how gentle the parents feed their young. Still, as attentive as they are, not once have I seen the eagles correct their offspring for misbehavior. In fact, Raindrop, the older eaglet, pecks and bonks the younger when it doesn’t like what Nestor is doing or if it thinks its food is threatened. And although the mother is right there, she never says, “No, no. We don’t act that way in this nest.” Lol

Case in point:  Amy, in her search for live eagle cams, witnessed an eaglet’s murder. The one eaglet literally pecked the other to death while the parent looked on. No intervening discipline – no time outs – no scolding – no stopping the aggressive hatchling from killing the sibling. Why?

Animals, birds, and sea creatures work on God-programmed instinct. They have no understanding of right or wrong behavior, no standard of morality to live up to. And they, along with all creation, groan and labor with birth pangs together until now.[4]

According to the websites I visited, animal parents will do what humans consider discipline only if the youngster’s actions affect the parent personally.[5] Nevertheless, we have to question the motive of so-called discipline. Is it because they are trying to teach their “child” to be good and kind, or is it merely selfish behavior on the parent’s part? The websites confirm the latter.

If humans are descended from apes as evolutionists theorize, why do we discipline our young when their bad behavior does not personally affect us? What caused this morality to develop if survival of the fittest is true? And why will humans do good and risk their own safety to help or rescue someone in need?

Without a Creator—a Good[6] and Just[7] God—who has created man in His image,[8] we wouldn’t. It is He who has given mankind the desire for morality, the ability to do good and noble work, and to sacrifice for others,[9] even when they deny the God who made them,[10] and reject the Gift of Jesus who would wash them clean of all unrighteousness.[11]

So, in this time of unknowns, let’s remember God has shown us what is good and what He requires—to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him. And don’t forget to do good and share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.[12]

[1] I Thessalonians 5:17
[2] Matthew 5:16
[4] Romans 8:22
[6] Matthew 19:17
[7] Romans 3:36
[8] Genesis 1:26-28
[9] John 15:13; Romans 5:7
[10] Matthew 10:33
[11] Romans 6:23; I John 1:9
[12] Micah 6:8; Hebrews 13:16

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Seven Days of Prayer - Day 7



“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory!”[1]

Oh Lord, my God, give us the eyes to see Earth full of Your glory.

For, the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows Your handiwork.[2]

Father, so many in this world do not understand this, nor do they care that you created it all. There is no speech or language where the voice of creation does not shout, “Almighty God did this!”[3] The beauty we see and the intricacies, the depth and height of mountains and seas, and the vastness of space are Your design. All this flowed from Your TRIUNE hand, by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the image of the invisible God…BY Him, THROUGH Him, and FOR Him, all things were created in heaven and on earth—the seen and the unseen things. AND in Him, all things hold together.[4]

Right now, O LORD, because of SIN, we are fighting an unseen thing that seeks to destroy.

Abba, Father, we ask, in Jesus's name, for You to eradicate Coronavirus in all its forms and wipe Earth clean with Your mighty hand.

Lord Jesus, You were our substitute SACRIFICE, the LAMB of GOD Who takes away our SIN if we believe and receive. You died that we might live forever with You.

AND then, on the THIRD DAY, You RESURRECTED from the dead. You, O God, are ALIVE forever.[5]

But before our death comes, Lord God, You have given believers work to do.[6] Give us strength to BOLDLY PROCLAIM Your Name and then, O LORD, lift the scales[7] from the unbeliever’s eyes that they may see AND CRY:

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”[8]

“Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever…Amen!”[9]

“Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”[10]

Come quickly, Lord Jesus, as You said.[11]

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”[12]

[1] Isaiah 6:3
[2] Psalm 19:1
[3] Psalm 19:2-4
[4] Colossians 1:15-17
[5] I Corinthians 15:3-4
[6] Ephesians 2:8-10
[7] Acts 9:17-18
[8] Revelation 5:12
[9] Revelation 5:13-14
[10] Revelation 4:8
[11] Revelation 22:20
[12] Revelation 22:21

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Seven Days of Prayer - Day 6

Holy LORD, You are God and there is no other, and besides You, there is NO SAVIOR.[1] There is none like You, O Lord—You are great, and Your name is great in might.[2] You are El Roi, the-God-Who-Sees AND hears our affliction.[3] Your eyes, O Lord, run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Yourself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to You.[4]

ONLY YOU are worthy of PRAISE.

Father, here we are, once again, entering boldly into Your throne room, through our ONLY WAY—the BODY and SHED BLOOD of our LORD JESUS CHRIST. And like Your disciples after the crucifixion, we are holed up in our homes. They, out of fear of a visible enemy, we, out of fear of an invisible one.

Still, LORD, here we are, looking to You for SALVATION. And even those who do not know You personally, understand they need something beyond our human frailty to SAVE US.

Many trust in science, but science is only as good as the human brain You have created. And ALL HEALING comes from You, for You are Jehovah-Rapha, the LORD-Who-heals.[5]

So Father God, here we arethe people called by Your name, humbling ourselves, praying, seeking Your face, and turning from our wicked ways, as You asked. And we, in turn, ask You to hear from heaven, forgive our sin and heal our land.[6]

In Jesus’ name, AMEN and AMEN

[1] I Samuel 2:2; Isaiah 43:10-11
[2] Jeremiah 10:6
[3] Genesis 16:11, 13
[4] II Chronicles 16:9
[5] Exodus 15:25-26
[6] II Chronicles 7:14

Friday, April 10, 2020

Seven Days of Prayer - Day 5

Oh LORD, my God, it feels as though we are living in the days of Noah,[1] and in the days of Lot.[2] People are angry, frustrated, and in defiance because of the orders from our governmental leaders. Others are the opposite—these are working tirelessly to ensure our safety.

Father, we are facing what is humanly unknown, and yet it is not unknown to You. You alone reveal deep and secret things. You know what is in the darkness because light dwells with You.[3]

Every day, O Most High, people are dying, and until this VIRUS, I rarely considered them unless it was one with whom I was familiar. Father, forgive me. I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.[4]

However, this day You, Lord, have opened my eyes to the plight of humanity. And our plight is not the coronavirus, it is the condition of our soul.

There is coming a day when every human will be faced with Your question, “What did you do with Jesus?”

He was God in the flesh, who was led as a LAMB to the slaughter. He opened not His mouth to protest because He willingly went to the cross for us.[5] He was beaten by many and flogged with a whip containing hooks to tear the flesh.[6] His visage, His appearance was marred more than any man.[7] He was mocked and crucified—nailed to a cross.[8] It was here, God, the Father laid on God, the Son, the iniquity or sin of us all.[9]

And He did it ALL for us because of LOVE.[10] Thank you, O LORD, my God, for Your great Gift.[11]

Nevertheless, Holy God of Glory, many are dying without knowing this about Jesus, and if my heart breaks for them, how grieved are You. So Father, move Your hand this day. Open the eyes of the spiritually blind. Send Your Holy Spirit to draw all men to the Lord Jesus Christ.

He is being lifted up in this prayer. Across our nation and around the world people are remembering the day Jesus Christ was crucified. So, Lord move mightily and draw them as Your Word says, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”[12]

In Jesus’ name, Amen and Amen.

So, let me ask, what will you do with Jesus?

[1] Matthew 24:37-39
[2] Luke 17:28-29
[3] Daniel 2:22
[4] Job 42:6
[5] Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 27:12-14; Philippians 2:7-8
[6] Isaiah 53:4-5; Matthew 27:26-31
[7] Isaiah 52:14
[8] Luke 23:32-34
[9] Isaiah 53:6, 11-12; II Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 2:13-14
[10] John 3:16; Romans 5:8
[11] Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9
[12] John 12:32

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Seven Days of Prayer - Day 4

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock; You who dwell between the cherubim, shine forth! Before… THIS VIRUS …Stir up Your strength, and come and save us! Restore us, O God; Cause Your face to shine, and we shall be saved! O Lord God of hosts, how long will You… ALLOW US TO BE …fed…with the bread of tears, and given…tears to drink in great measure.[1]

Father God, we humble ourselves before You and ask You to lift us up with Your righteous right hand.[2] Only You can stop this plague. And although we, as sinful people, have no right to ask because we deserve it, we ask anyway leaning on Your great and everlasting love.[3] Lord God, you have no pleasure in the death of the wicked,[4] and Your desire is that NONE should perish, but that ALL would come to REPENTANCE.[5] Therefore, Holy, holy, holy God,

Restore us, O God of hosts; Cause Your face to shine, and we shall be saved![6]

…we beseech You, O God of hosts; Look down from heaven and see, and visit this NATION, WE BELIEVE …Your right hand has planted, THE ONE …You made strong for Yourself. Let Your hand be upon… US AND OUR LEADERS, AND ALL HUMANITY THAT …You made strong for Yourself. Then we will not turn back from You; Revive us, and we will call upon Your name. Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; Cause Your face to shine, And we shall be saved![7]

We pray all this, O Lord my God, in the name of Jesus, the Mighty One of Israel, our Lord, our Savior, and our God. Amen and Amen.

[1] Psalm 80:1-5
[2] Isaiah 41:10
[3] Jeremiah 31:3
[4] Ezekiel 33:11
[5] II Peter 3:9
[6] Psalm 80:7
[7] Psalm 80:14-19

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Seven Days of Prayer - Day 3

“…O Lord God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see…[1] OUR PLIGHT.

FATHER, WE FEEL AS THOUGH THIS VIRUS “…has laid waste the nations and their lands…[2]

Many, O LORD, have died and many work tirelessly. We pray for the families who have lost loved ones asking for Your Holy Spirit to be their comfort. We ask for strength for those who continue to work. We ask, O Most High, for patience to endure this trial.

Holy and Sovereign are You, and Almighty God, when you lift this distress of nations, allow our economies to recover quickly, but let us never forget this sample, this glimpse of tribulation. And, Glorious Lord, Let us seek you early.

With my soul I have desired You in the night, yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; For when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.[3]

Now, therefore, O Lord our God…save us…that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone.[4]

In the precious name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, we pray. AMEN and AMEN

[1] II Kings 19:15-16
[2] II Kings 19:17
[3] Isaiah 26:9
[4] II Kings 19:19

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Seven Days of Prayer - Day 2

Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God….[1]

You have set our iniquities before You, Our secret sins in the light of Your countenance. For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; We finish our years like a sigh…[2]

So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Return, O Lord! How long? And have compassion on Your servants. Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, That we may rejoice and be glad all our days! Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us, the years in which we have seen evil. Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands…[3]

Oh Lord God, we look to You for healing, comfort, and wisdom. For it is in You, Sovereign LORD, we live and breathe and have our being.[4]

Act swiftly, Holy Father, to bring an end to this affliction. In Jesus’ Name, Amen and Amen

[1] Psalm 90:1-2 NKJV
[2] Psalm 90:8-9 NKJV
[3] Psalm 90:12-17 NKJV
[4] Acts 17:28 NKJV

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