P is for Prayer

Prayer is important. It’s how we talk to God. If you want to get closer to God, simply start praying more. God cares about every part of our lives, so we can pray to Him about anything. Pray to God about your worries as well as with praises and thanksgiving for answered prayers.

God Answers Prayers

God does answer prayers. It’s important to note, however, that he answers prayers that are aligned with His will, and he answers them in His time. While we might easily become discouraged when we don’t see immediate results, it doesn’t mean that God hasn’t answered our prayers. It might simply be that it’s not time for delivery of our request, or He might have something better in mind.

Praying for a Promotion

When I become discouraged, I always think of two instances. The first was when I prayed for a better job. Sure, I loved my freelance writing, but I wanted to be an editor. I prayed that if it be God’s will, for Him to please bless me with a promotion to an editing job. This prayer was first sent up nearly 9 years ago when I lived in Florida. I didn’t become an editor until a couple of years ago. While it might have taken six or seven years for God to answer my prayer, He did so – when He knew the timing was right.

Praying for Healing

The other instance is when my grandmother was sick in the hospital. I prayed for God to heal her. Unfortunately, she passed away, and for a time, I was so discouraged, thinking God doesn’t answer prayer. However, a week or two after she died, God revealed to me through a very good friend that He did indeed answer my prayer. He did heal my grandmother – maybe not physically here on this earth, but she received the ultimate healing by passing from this life to the next. She has a brand new perfect body and perfect health, and best of all, she is joyful forevermore in the presence of our Lord.

Praying in God’s Will

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can go to God like He’s a genie in a bottle and expect Him to grant wishes eventually. I believe your prayers have to be aligned with His will in order for your requests to be granted. For instance, just because you ask for a promotion doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get one if that’s not what God has intended for you. I always find it best to add the caveat “if it be Your will” to my prayers. I believe that is how we are supposed to pray because as Christians we should yearn to do God’s will.

For a list of excellent Bible verses about prayer, I recommend this link: 60 Bible Verses About Prayer.

For more Bible verses about the will of God, go here: Will of God.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: P

O is for Old Testament

The Old Testament makes up nearly three-fourths of the Bible. It’s a huge chunk of it. While Jesus’s time on earth is recorded in the New Testament, the Old Testament contains prophecies foretelling of the coming of Jesus. This is just one of the reasons why the Old Testament is important.

Some Christians believe that the Old Testament is irrelevant to today’s world. They think that all you have to worry about are the teachings in the New Testament. However, that is not necessarily the case for Jesus said:

Jesus said that he didn’t come to do away with the old teachings but to fulfill them.

This doesn’t mean that we still burn sacrifices to God or anything, for Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice that made it so that we wouldn’t have to do that anymore to get forgiveness of our sins. In short, while most Christians no longer practice all aspects of Mosaic law like “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” that doesn’t mean that the teachings in the Old Testament aren’t still important for us to study and apply to our daily lives.

The following link is an excellent resource I found explaining why the Old Testament is important. I encourage you to check it out if you have a moment.

10 Reasons the Old Testament is Important for Christians

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: O

N is for Nazarene

Jesus was oftentimes referred to as Jesus of Nazareth. He was known as a Nazarene. While he wasn’t born in Nazareth, his family did eventually settle there.

What exactly is a Nazarene then? Rather than simply referring to the place, Nazareth, a Nazarene refers to a certain group of people.

Check out the following link to read all about who the Nazarenes were and why they were termed such: The Ancient Nazarenes.

Nazareth is still a city today made up various peoples, a large number of which are Christians of many denominations.

I would love to visit Nazareth one day. Can you imagine walking along the same earth Jesus walked?

Have you visited Nazareth? Please feel free to share below if you have.

Blogging A to Z Challenge: N

M is for Messiah

The Messiah is the one who was foretold would come to be the deliverer of the Hebrew people. Jesus is that Messiah. However, He came to deliver more than just the Hebrew people. He delivers all from the bondage of sin if they will simply ask Him with a sincere heart and believe in Him.

While there have been many great pretenders over the years, Jesus alone is different in that it is virtually indisputable that He is who He says He is.

More than 300 prophecies have been fulfilled through Jesus Christ. The following prophecies are only five of those 300 hundred that Jesus fulfilled, and they are arguably the five most significant proving that He is the Messiah foretold of old:

1. Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
Biblical prophecy:
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” —Micah 5:2 (NKJV)
Prophecy fulfilled:
After Christ’s birth, King Herod gathered the chief priests and scribes to ask them where the Messiah would be born. They responded by citing the Old Testament prophecy revealing that Christ would be born in Bethlehem:
They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” —Matthew 2:5-6 (NKJV)
Also, John 7:42 (NKJV) says, “Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?”

2. Jesus was born of a virgin.
Biblical prophecy:
Isaiah 7:14 (NKJV) says, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
Prophecy fulfilled:
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’” —Matthew 1:23 (NKJV)
Just as Isaiah said, the virgin Mary did indeed conceive and have a Son who is called Immanuel. Jesus being born of a virgin and the prophecy of this event show God’s infinite power and knowledge. He defied nature to bring His Son to the earth.
You can know Jesus, the Messiah.

3. Jesus was rejected by His people.
In biblical times, building foundations were built from stone, starting with a single stone placed in the corner as a guide for the entire structure. The cornerstone was essential to the structure of the building and ensured each wall would be balanced, straight and solid.
God’s Word tells us Jesus was sent to be the cornerstone for the world but, He would be rejected in the process.
Biblical prophecy:
“The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.” —Psalm 118:22-23 (NKJV)
Prophecy fulfilled:
Later in the book of Matthew, there’s a conversation in which Jesus uses David’s words from Psalm 118 to remind the religious leaders who He was:
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” —Matthew 21:42-43 (NKJV)

4. Jesus suffered with (and for) sinners
Biblical prophecy:
“Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.”
—Isaiah 53:12 (ESV)
Prophecy fulfilled:
“Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left.”
—Matthew 27:38 (NKJV)
“With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left.”
— Mark 15:2 (NKJV)
“There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.”
— Luke 23:32-33 (NKJV)
Isaiah, whose name means “salvation of the Lord,” is known as one of the greatest prophets in the Bible. The coming of Christ is foretold throughout the book of Isaiah, with Isaiah 53 explaining just how much Jesus would suffer during His sacrifice for our sins.

5. Jesus performed miracles.
Biblical prophecy:
Isaiah 35:5-6 (ESV) says, “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.”
Prophecy fulfilled:
Some 700 years after Isaiah, this was written in John 11:47 (NKJV):
“Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, ‘What shall we do? For this Man works many signs.’”
And Luke 7:21 (NKJV): “And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight.”

Billy Graham

To see a longer list of the prophecies that Jesus fulfilled, see about-jesus.org.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: M

L is for Light

The battle between light and darkness is a central theme in the Bible. God is the light, and Satan is darkness. The light represents good, while darkness represents evil. The following are some of the most notable Bible verses about light.

About Jesus Being the Light

John 8:12 – Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

John 1:5 – And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

1 John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Psalms 119:105 – NUN. Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

1 John 1:5 – This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

1 Peter 2:9 – But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Psalms 27:1 – ([A Psalm] of David.) The LORD [is] my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Isaiah 42:16 – And I will bring the blind by a way [that] they knew not; I will lead them in paths [that] they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.

John 12:35 – Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.

2 Corinthians 4:6 – For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 58:8 – Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.

Matthew 4:16 – The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

John 9:5 – As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

About Being Children of Light

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16, KJV

No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.
Luke 11:33-36, KJV

And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.
Luke 16:8, KJV

While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
John 12:36, KJV

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children . . . For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light . . . And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Ephesians 5:1, 8, 11 KJV

That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Philippians 2:15, KJV

But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
1 Thessalonians 5:4-5, KJV

Blogging A to Z Challenge: L

K is for Kindness

Kindness is a recurring theme throughout the Bible. Jesus teaches us to be kind to one another and to love one another. The following are some of the Bible verses instructing us to be kind:

Ephesians 4:32 – And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Colossians 3:12 – Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

2 Peter 1:7 – And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

Blogging A to Z Challenge: K

J is for Jesus

Jesus is the most famous figure of the Bible. He’s arguably the most famous man to have ever lived. God incarnate, He was fully spirit and fully man, a paradox. Born of the virgin Mary, He came to be known as Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.

However, He’s also the savior of all who believe in Him. He took the burden of all the world’s sin upon himself when He willingly died on the cross to save all mankind.

Who is Jesus?
Jesus is the Son of God and without sin.

How can the Son of God and God be one? It is simple yet complicated, but Jesus is part of the Holy Trinity that makes up God.

Jesus is considered the Word, or God in the flesh, come to spread the Word of God to mankind. The Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit all make up the one deity that is God.
Blogging A to Z Challenge: J

I is for Incarnate

We oftentimes hear the term incarnate in reference to Jesus Christ. (e.g. Jesus Christ is God incarnate.)

Incarnate simply means “embodied in flesh, or in human form.”

Although the term incarnate doesn’t appear in the Bible, it is clear in 1 Timothy and elsewhere that the term applies.

Incarnate is the adjective form of incarnation.
1 Timothy 3:16 KJV

What other verses indicate that Jesus was God incarnate? Feel free to post them below.

Blogging A to Z Challenge: I

H is for Heaven

None of us knows what Heaven looks like, but many artists have attempted to put their visions of Heaven down on canvas. The following are some of my favorite images.

The painting is entitled “Gate of Heaven” by Ionel Tudor Pascar.
This painting is entitled “Horse Heaven” by Janet Ferraro.
This one is entitled “Kingdom of Heaven,” artist unkown.

What do you imagine Heaven looking like? Do you have a verbal description or a visual painting or image you’ve sketched? Please fee free to share below.

Blogging A to Z Challenge: H