Posts Tagged ‘comforter’

Grace and Comfort

October 14th, 2015

“Grace and peace to you from God our Father.” 2 Corinthians 1:2 NKJV.

Your comfort remains incomplete until shared with others.

My thoughts and comments today are about “grace and comfort.”

In the Bible, there are many descriptions of God’s attributes. Of all the writers who attempt to describe the Indescribable, I love the Apostle Paul’s description best. “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all tribulation.” 2 Corinthians 1:2-4 NKJV. Read those words deliberately – grace, peace, mercies, comfort – and embrace them personally. Were it not for His grace, there could be no peace. And were it not for His mercies, comfort would be elusive. Flowing from God’s grace and peace, mercies and comfort abound.

Life can be difficult and trying times confusing. That is when and where you and I need the One, “Who comforts us in all tribulation.” By New Testament definition, tribulation is, “pressure resulting from a too narrow place.” Maybe you presently feel discomfort in a situation with undesirable options in an uncomfortable context. Such a place is sometimes described as being, “caught between a rock and a hard place.” Tribulation is something more than a brief inconvenience from the antagonism of persons or adverse circumstances.

Paul knew such times and also knew the sufficient grace and peace he found in every experience, “We are hard pressed, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NIV. You need a powerful God with a tender heart and gentle hand, “the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.” From personal experience, Paul wrote, “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 NKJV.

Comfort is wrongly assumed as merely kind, emotional support. However, the word’s origin implies a strengthening impartation of courage and fortitude. See Acts 28:15-16 NKJV. For Paul, the Father’s purpose is clear; you are comforted by God to be a comforter of others. “If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.” 2 Corinthians 1:6 NIV. Your comfort remains incomplete until shared with others. “Therefore, comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NKJV.

Today, I pray for you to be fortified in spirit and confident in every circumstance.

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Prayer and God’s Kingdom

March 3rd, 2014

“May Your kingdom come soon; may Your will be done here on earth.” Matthew 6:10 NKJV.

Effort and energy is wasted when making life comfortable rather than valuable.

My thoughts and comments today are about “prayer and God’s Kingdom.”

In your heart is a desire to make a difference, to make yours and others’ lives better. As you are made in the image and likeness of God, kingdom building is a natural instinct; God put it there. The problem is that so many misinterpret and misapply that inner push within their heart, wasting precious effort and energy to make life comfortable rather than valuable.

Jesus’ disciples seemed to understand that prayer played a significant role but were unsure how. Hence, their simple request, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Jesus responded, “When you pray, say, Our Father in Heaven . . May Your Kingdom come soon. May Your will be done here on earth, just as it is in Heaven.” Matthew 6:10 NLT. Prayer accelerates the implementation of the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God is the central message of all Jesus came to do and teach. Following Jesus baptism and wilderness temptation, “From that time on, Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near,’” (Matthew 4:17 NIV), and during His earthly ministry, “preaching the good news of the Kingdom,” (Matthew 4:23-25 NIV), and even after His Resurrection, “. . over a period of forty days [speaking] about the Kingdom of God,” (Acts 1:1-3 NIV), everything Jesus did and taught was to reveal the absolute authority and power of the Kingdom of God in ordinary lives.

Of first importance in your prayers, have you welcomed His Kingdom into your heart and life? Unless His Kingdom is released in you, prayers are mere words, powerless and ineffective. In any heart tuned to His, there is a yearning for the full and all powerful expression of the Kingdom to come sooner rather than later. His kingdom has come; that is certain. Beyond that, prayer asserts, not the Kingdom’s arrival, but its intended fullness and influence in the lives and affairs of men. Read 1 Corinthians 4:20/15:22-26 NIV.

Being questioned by the Roman Governor, Jesus clarified, “My kingdom is not of this world.” John 18:36 NIV. Make no mistake; Jesus was clear. His kingdom is not OF this world by either origin or authority, but is IN this world by Heaven’s decree and your participation. The Kingdom of God is wherever the righteous rulership of Jesus Christ is on earth. To that end we work and pray.

Prayer aligns the accomplishment of the will of God on earth with the purposes and power of God, “. . just as it is in Heaven.” Imagine His will done on earth in your life, home and family, community, country, and our world, “. . just as it is in Heaven.” Read Romans 12:1-2 NLT. Prayer – effective and fervent – can accomplish that to the glory of God. See James 5:16-18 NKJV. Little prayers for only personal needs are inconsequential when contrasted with exercising prayer that establishes and extends the Kingdom of God more broadly. Prayer does encompass your personal needs, yet reaches well beyond and into the eternal and expansive purposes of God.

My prayer for you today is that you will exercise the power and authority of prayer wisely.

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