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My God is…making us competent 2 Corinthians 3:4-6

Psalm-1072 Corinthians 3:4-6 – Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God,  who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Who do you tell about Jesus?

Is there anyone you have shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with? I feel like I truly fall short on this measure. I spend a lot of my time interacting with other believers. I don’t know many unbelievers. Except in my extended family. I don’t even truly know where they all stand, and to tell the truth I’m not very confident in telling them about my faith. Why? I don’t want to risk embarrassment, I don’t want to alienate them, and I don’t want them to feel pressured to think one way or the other. I know that the Holy Spirit is the initiator of faith, but we are also called to minister and spread the word of God. I think sometimes I fail miserably.

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God.

I am sure of what I believe. Do I have doubts? Regrettably, I must say at times I do (though usually quite fleeting). But I have confidence in God. I know that God follows through on what He says, and I know that because of Jesus Christ, because of His Scriptures, because of the faith of others and because of His work through the Holy Spirit in my heart.

Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us

Notice, I am not competent because of myself. I don’t really have anything to do with my faith, except that I don’t deny it. Usually. I guess that’s where I fear I fail sometimes. When friends or relatives say things that seem pointed toward my faith or more likely my religion, I don’t always do a good job of standing up for my God, myself or my church. Recently I was able to spend time with some of my family, and we had an amazing visit. It was truly a blessing. There was a moment on one day that was really hard for me. Some one I care about deeply said something in a pointed way about Christians, and I said nothing. It wasn’t a flattering statement about Christians or Christianity. I said nothing. I didn’t know what I could say that would glorify God. I also didn’t want to get upset and ruin the time we had together. Discussing the situation with my friends, some said that maybe, because I always seem to have a comeback or answer, maybe this time, silence was the right thing. I pray it was, but I feel like I let my Lord down. That when people were throwing stones and minimizing what He has done for us, I didn’t stand up and say, “He died for all, He wants you to spend eternity with Him in Heaven.” That (or something more eloquent) is what I wished I had said.

Our competence is from God,  who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant

I don’t know what I was supposed to say, but I pray that when given another opportunity, I would be able to use the competence, use what I know to be true as worked in me by the Holy Spirit, to speak confidently. I pray I will trust God and the competence He has worked in me. I pray I will not be cowardly. That I will not miss the opportunity to have a conversation I’ve been praying to have. I want nothing more than to spend eternity with my family in heaven.

Not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life

I don’t have to live the rest of my life beating myself up over this one missed opportunity. The Holy Spirit can work in this person’s life other ways. Their faith is not dependent on me, but the Lord’s work in their lives and their ability not to reject it. I have been blessed that I no longer live under the condemnation of the law. When I don’t measure up, it’s not the end of the world. There is grace for me, grace for my loved one, and I can trust that the Lord has this at hand. While I don’t want to miss another opportunity, I don’t have to live pained by the one I missed. I will trust God, be competent and confident.

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My God is…hearing 1 John 5:14-15

1 John 5: 14-15 – This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his earwill, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

 

Are you confident approaching God? 

I know that the word confidence might throw some people off here. I have been told by several people that they are not confident in praying. Not about their confidence in God, but in their ability to pray. I don’t believe that there is any right way or wrong way to pray. Jesus did give us an example of how to pray. in the Lord’s Prayer:

 

Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.

Another good tool is to use a structure something like this: Praise (Saying who God is), confession (asking God for forgiveness for your sins), Thanksgiving (Thanking Him for all He’s done for you), and Supplication (Any requests you have on behalf of yourself or others).

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

Have you ever walked into a room, started talking to someone, then suddenly realize they can’t hear you because they’re wearing ear buds  Maybe you’re like me and when you’re working on your computer or watching TV, you’re so über focused, that you don’t hear your children when they ask you a question. Most humans have a little work to do on their listening skills. Not God. Not only does God listen to you, he hears you. He understands your full meaning. When I’m talking to my friend, we often say, “I hear ya”. We don’t just mean we’re listening (as it might be if my kids are talking loudly to me), we mean, I get it. We understand each other. Why do my friend and I feel like we understand each other? Because we’ve spent time together. We are in relationship with one another. We share our feelings, hopes and dreams with each other. We also talk about our problems and what our plans are. God wants to be in relationship with us as well. He wants us to talk to Him, through prayer about all of those things. He wants us to ask Him about anything and for anything. He understands us. God hears us. You can be confident that when you’re speaking to God, it’s not a futile task. There are no busy lines (most kids don’t even know what that is, do they?) or voice mail  You’ve got a direct line through prayer to the One who can handle all of your problems.

And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

What an amazing promise this is! I must confess, I find it hard to wrap my head around sometimes. Because of this promise, we can be confident in our prayers, assured that He’s listening, hearing and acting on what we pray. God is fully engaged in His relationship with you. He is ready to listen at the drop of a hat. He’s waiting for you to talk with Him, to turn to Him, to trust Him, to believe Him.

Are you confident approaching God?

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2013 in 1 John, My God is Hearing

 

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