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3 Reasons Christians Have Victory Over Death by Warren W. Wiersbe

The 3 P’s of Jesus’ Comfort to Christians in the Face of Death:

 1)    Because of the Price Jesus Paid

1 Thessalonians 5:9-10, For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.

2)    Because of the Promise Jesus Made

John 14:1-6, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

3)    Because of the Prayer Jesus Prayed

John 17:24, “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”

 

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Warren W. Wiersbe on How To Pray Effectively: 5 Principles from John 17

Today, May 3rd, 2012 is the National Day of Prayer. On this day I’m posting an excellent excerpt from a book on how to pray from Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe. He bases this book on the “real Lord’s prayer.” What we have traditionally called “The Lord’s Prayer” in Matthew 6 is the way Jesus taught his disciples to pray. However, in John 17 we get a glimpse into the prayer life of Jesus on His way to the cross and back to glory with the Father. The best way we can learn about prayer, is to do a careful study of John 17, and see firsthand how, what, and why Jesus prayed. Without further ado – enjoy Wiersbe’s observations about our Lord’s famous prayer from John chapter 17.

These things Jesus spoke; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said. ’’Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee.” John 17:1

“Lord, teach us to pray!”

This request from one of the disciples (Luke 11:1) gave evidence of real spiritual insight. We must learn how to pray. While praying is as natural to the Christian as breathing is to a mammal, even breathing must be studied and practiced if it is to be correct. Singers and public speakers work on their breathing so that they get the most out of their voice and don’t injure it. The fact that we have been praying since childhood is no guarantee that we really know how to pray effectively.

John 17:1 Gives us some Guidelines to Follow for Effective Praying:

(1) Posture is not important

Was our Lord kneeling or standing when he offered this prayer? We don’t know. All we do know is that He lifted up His eyes to heaven (see John 11:41). Most people bow their heads and close their eyes when they pray, but Jesus lifted His head and focused His eyes on heaven. Many people fold their hands when they pray, but I don’t find this practice anywhere in Scripture. In fact, the Jews were accustomed to lifting up their hands, open to God, expecting to receive something! (Note 1 Kings 8:22; Nehemiah 8:6; Psalm 28:2; and 1 Timothy 2:8.)

Many different prayer postures are recorded in the Bible, and all of them are acceptable. Some people bowed their knees when they prayed (Genesis 24:52; 2 Chronicles 20:18; Ephesians 3:14). When Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, He began by bowing His knees (Luke 22:41); He then fell on His face as He talked to the Father (Matthew 26:39). It was Daniel’s practice to kneel when he prayed (Daniel 6:10), but King David sat when he talked to God about the promised kingdom (2 Samuel 7:18). Abraham stood when he interceded for Sodom (Genesis 18:22). So there are many postures for prayer.

The important thing is the posture of the heart. It is much easier to bow the knees than to bow the heart in submission to God. While the outward posture can be evidence of the inward spiritual attitude, it is not always so. Again, the important thing is the posture of the heart.

(2) We Pray to the Father

The biblical pattern for prayer is to the Father, in the name of the Son, in the power of the Spirit. Jesus addressed His Father six times in this prayer. (Some people say “Father” or “Lord” with every sentence that they pray. This is a bad habit that should be cured.) Four times He simply said “Father”; the other two times, He called Him “Holy Father” and “righteous Father” (verses 11 and 25). From this, I gather that it is not wrong for us to use suitable adjectives when we address our Father in heaven. However, we must be careful to mean what we say and not overdo it.

We address the Father, of course, because prayer is based on sonship. In what we traditionally call “The Lord’s Prayer” (Matthew 6:9-13), Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Our Father….” Jesus never prayed “Our Father.” We noted in chapter 1 that Jesus had a different relationship to the Father because He is the eternal Son of God. He said, “I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God” (John 20:17).

We hear people addressing their prayers to the Son and even to the Holy Spirit. Is this wrong? When Stephen gave his life for Christ, he saw Jesus in heaven and addressed his prayer to him: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” (Acts 7:59). I know of no prayer in the Bible addressed to the Holy Spirit. Since our prayers are addressed to God, and since Father and Son and Holy Spirit are all in the Godhead, technically we can address our prayers to each of them. However, the biblical pattern seems to be that we pray to the Father, in the name of the Son, and through the power of the Spirit.

Nowhere in this prayer does our Lord mention the Holy Spirit. He had in His Upper Room discourse taught the disciples about the Holy Spirit (John 14:16,17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-13). Jude 20 instructs us to pray “in the Holy Spirit,” which seems to relate to Romans 8:26, 27, verses that every serious prayer warrior should ponder. We cannot expect God to answer unless we pray in His will (1 John 5:14, 15). We discover the will of God primarily through the Word of God (Colossians 1:9, 10), and it is one of the ministries of the Spirit to teach us from the Word (John 16:13, 14).

The fact that prayer is based on sonship suggests that the Father is obligated to listen when His children call. In fact, it is more than an obligation: it is the Father’s delight when His children fellowship with Him and share their needs. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11). The Father’s heart reaches out in love to His own, and He longs to share good things with them. And the better we know our Father, the easier it is to pray in His will.

(3) We must be Yielded to the Father’s Will

A storm passed over the Florida coast and left a great deal of wreckage behind. The next day, as the men were cleaning up their little town, one man said, “I’m not ashamed to admit that I prayed during that storm last night.” One of his friends replied, “Yes, I’m sure the Lord heard many new voices last night.”

Prayer is not like those little red boxes we see in buildings and occasionally on street corners, marked USE ONLY IN EMERGENCY. I enjoy sharing good things with my children, but if they only spoke to me when they were in trouble or in need of something, our relationship would quickly deteriorate. Unless we do the will of God, our living will negate our praying.

“Father, the hour has come….” What hour? The hour for which He had come into the world. The hour when He would die on the cross, be buried, rise again, and finish the great work of redemption. You may trace this “hour” in John’s Gospel.

John 2:4 - Woman, what have I to do with you? My hour has not yet come.

John 7:30 - They were seeking therefore to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.

John 8:20 - These words He spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one seized Him, because His hour had not yet come.

John 12:23 - And Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”

John 13:1 - Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

John 17:1- Father, the hour has come….

I think it was Phillips Brooks who said, “The purpose of prayer is not to get man’s will done in heaven, but to get God’s will done on earth.” If we want to pray in the will of God, then we must live in the will of God. Prayer is not something that we do; it is something that we are. It is the highest and deepest expression of the inner person.

It is this profound relationship between practice and prayer that helps us understand such promises as Psalm 37:4: “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.” A superficial reading of this promise would lead you to believe that God is a doting Father who plays favorites with those who pamper Him. But that is not what this promise says. If we delight in the Lord, and seek to please Him in everything, then something is going to happen to our own desires. His desires become our desires. We start to say with our Lord, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work” (John 4:34). Our praying, then, is simply the reflection of God’s desires in our own heart.

There is a price to pay when we sincerely pray in the will of God. Jesus was about to receive the cup from His Father’s hand (John 18:10, 11). The Father had prepared the cup, and the hour had come. But Jesus was not afraid. Peter tried to protect the Master, but Jesus rebuked him. “The cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11). We need never fear the will of God; and, if we are in the will of God, we need never fear the answers He gives to our prayers. If a son asks for bread, will he receive a stone? If he asks for a fish, will his father give him a snake?

Living in the will of God makes it possible for us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). This command obviously doesn’t mean that we are to go around mumbling prayers. Our real praying is expressed by the desires of our heart. If our lips frame requests that are different from the desires in our heart, then we are praying hypocritically. God does not hear words; He sees hearts. So, when we live in the will of God, the desires of our heart should become more and more godly; and these desires are really prayers that constantly ascend to the Lord.

Jesus lived on a divine timetable. When He told His disciples He was going back to Judea to help Mary and Martha and Lazarus, the disciples protested. “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and are You going there again?” What was our Lord’s reply? “Are there not twelve hours in the day?” (John 11:8, 9). He knew that He was safe in the Father’s will, and that they could not kill Him until His hour had come.

God in his mercy can and does answer “emergency prayers,” but He prefers that we be in constant communion with Him. (In fact, if we seek to live in His will, we will have fewer emergencies!) If prayer is an interruption to our lives, then something is wrong.

The fact that we sustain an attitude of prayer does not mean we avoid regular times of prayer. It is the regular occasion of prayer that makes possible the constant attitude of prayer. We do not enjoy Thanksgiving dinners or holiday feasts at every meal; but we are able to enjoy those special times because we have eaten our regular meals three times a day. We begin the day with prayer; we pray at mealtime; we lift prayers to God during the day as the Spirit prompts us; we close the day in prayer. Like our breathing, our praying becomes so much a part of our lives that we are often not conscious of it.

(4) The Glory of God should be our Primary Concern

“Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee.”

The word glory is used in one form or another eight times in this prayer. What does it mean?

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word translated “glory” means “weight, that which is important and honorable.” (Paul’s phrase “an eternal weight of glory” in 2 Corinthians 4:17 carries this idea.) In the New Testament, the Greek word translated “glory” means “opinion, fame.” Theologians tell us that the “glory of God” is the sum total of all that He is, the manifestation of His character. The glory of God is not an attribute of God, but rather is an attribute of all His attributes! He is glorious in wisdom and power, glorious in His mighty works, and glorious in the grace He bestows upon us.

You have probably noticed that “The Lord’s Prayer” teaches us to put God’s concerns before our own. We pray “Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done” before we bring up our own needs-daily bread, forgiveness, and protection from sin. When our praying centers on the glory of God, we see our needs and requests in proper perspective. Matters that seemed so important have a tendency to shrink to their proper size when measured by the glory of God.

Whatever we pray about, in the will of God and for the glory of God, will be granted by our heavenly Father. When we are available to bring glory to God “on the earth” (verse 4), then God is available to provide what we need.

Was Jesus praying selfishly when He said, “Glorify Thy Son”? No, he was not. To begin with, He had shared that glory with the Father “before the world was” (verse 5). When He came to earth in His body of flesh, He veiled that glory. Peter, James, and John saw it on the Mount of Transfiguration (John 1:14; Matthew 17:1-8), but it was not revealed to anyone else. When our Lord asked the Father to glorify Him, He was only requesting the return of that which was already His.

But something more is involved. The glorification of Jesus Christ meant the completion of the great work of salvation. In this prayer, Jesus spoke as though His work on the cross were already finished. “I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given me to do” (verse 4). If Jesus Christ had not been glorified, there could be no salvation for sinners today. The Holy Spirit would not have been given. There would be no church, no New Testament, no Christian life. While our Lord did pray for Himself, it was not a selfish prayer; for He also had us in mind.

And, after all, it cost Him His life on the cross for this prayer to be answered. By no stretch of the imagination could you call it selfish.

God answered the prayer of His Son. “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus…” (Acts 3:13). In Peter 1:21 we are told that the Father “raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory….” There is a glorified Man in heaven today! In Jesus Christ, deity and humanity share glory. This assures us that one day we shall share God’s glory, for “we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2).

Jesus Christ has already given His church the glory (verse 22). The tense of the verb in Romans 8:30 has always astounded me: “…whom He justified, these He also glorified.” We are just as much glorified as we are justified, but the glory has not yet been revealed. All of creation, now travailing because of sin, is eagerly awaiting “the revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19); for only then will creation be set free to enjoy “the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:21).

“If God answers this request,” we should ask ourselves, “will it bring Him glory? And what will this answer look like when Jesus comes again?” I have discovered that testing my prayers by the glory of God is a good way to detect requests that are selfish and short-sighted.

(5) We must Pray in Faith

Suppose the Master had looked at His situation through human eyes alone. Could He have prayed as He did? No; it would have been impossible.

Suppose He looked back on His years of ministry and evaluated that ministry from a human point of view. It would have looked like failure. He had very few followers, and His own nation had rejected Him. Humanly speaking, His work had failed. Yet He prayed, “I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given me to do” (verse 4). By faith, He would be that “grain of wheat” planted in the ground, and He would produce much fruit (John 12:24).

Or, suppose He had looked around. What would He have seen? A small band of men, all of whom would fail Him in one way or another. Peter would deny Him three times. At that very hour, Judas was bargaining with the Jewish council and selling the Master like a common slave. Peter, James, and John would go to sleep in the Garden when they should be encouraging their Lord. And all of the men would forsake Him and flee.

Yet by faith, Jesus prayed, “I have been glorified in them” (verse 10). By faith, He prayed for them as they would be sent into the world to share the Gospel message. In spite of their past failures, these men would succeed! “I do not ask in behalf of these alone,” He said to the Father, “but for those also who believe in Me through their word” (verse 20). These weak men would invade a world that hated them and bring many to the feet of the Savior. Jesus saw all of this by faith.

If our Lord had looked ahead, He would have seen arrest, conviction, and death on a cross. Humanly speaking, it was defeat; but by faith, He saw it as it really was-victory! He said to Andrew and Philip, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (John 12:23). Glorified! We would have said, crucified. But he looked beyond the cross to the glory that would come. “Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

When we pray by faith, we start seeing things from the divine perspective. Faith enables us to see the invisible. Faith treats as present and accomplished that which God will do in the future. “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

In my own prayer life, God is constantly seeking to bring me back to these fundamentals. It is easy for me to get detoured by some external thing, and my Father has to remind me that effective praying must come from the heart. I must repeatedly examine my relationship to the Father to make sure I am in His will, and that I want to be in His will. (“Doing the will of God from the heart,” Ephesians 6:6.) I must examine my motives: Am I praying so that the Father will be glorified or so that I might have my own comfortable way? Am I praying by faith, basing my requests on His Word?

Perhaps all of this seems to make praying appear very complex and difficult. Really, it is not. True prayer is the by-product of our personal “love relationship” with the Father.

“He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him” (John 14:21).

About the Author: Warren W. Wiersbe is the Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary, Warren Wiersbe is the author of more than 100 books. Billy Graham calls him “one of the greatest Bible expositors of our generation.” The article above was adapted from Warren W. Wiersbe. Prayer: Basic Training. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1988, 23-32.

 

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Are You Waiting For The Lord?

I don’t know that there is anything more difficult than being blind or in the dark about what God is doing in your life. What I do know is that God is sovereign and is working behind the scenes always working to bring about His purposes for the glory of Christ. One of my favorite Bible teachers is Warren Wiersbe – here is a helpful devotional on the subject of waiting on God based on Psalm 40:1-3 from his wonderful devotional book on the Psalms called Prayer, Praise & Promises: A Daily Walk Through the Psalms. Grand Rapids: Baker, reprinted 2011. – Dr. David P. Craig

“I waited patiently for the LORD; He inclined to me and heard my cry.He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear,and put their trust in the LORD.” - Psalm 40:1-3 (ESV)

“From Mire To Choir”

 By Warren W. Wiersbe

When we wait for the Lord and wait on Him, we aren’t being idle. In this Psalm David cries out to the Lord and asks for help. He drew me up from the pit of destruction,

out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure” (v.2). Waiting on the Lord is worthwhile because of what He is going to do for us. It is not idleness, nor is it carelessness. And certainly isn’t complacency. Instead, waiting is that divine activity of expecting God to work. And He never disappoints us.

Figuratively, David had been down in a horrible pit. He was sinking in the mire. But he waited on the Lord. And God not only pulled him out of the pit, but He put him on a rock and established his footing. He said, “David, I’m going to take you out of the mire and put you in the choir.” “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God” (v.3).

Are you waiting on the Lord? Are you praying about something and asking, “O God, when are You going to do this? When are You going to work?” Remember, one of these days your praying will turn to singing. Your sinking will turn to standing. Your fear will turn security as He puts you on the rock. Just wait on the Lord. He’s patient with you. Why not be patient with Him and let Him work in His time?

Waiting for the Lord’s help sometimes forces you to your limits. But take comfort in knowing that while you wait on Him, God is working out His purposes in your life. Are you in a difficult situation, waiting for God to do something? Leave your burden with the Lord and trust Him to act. He never disappoints you when wait on Him.

About the Author: Warren W. Wiersbe is the Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary, Warren Wiersbe is the author of more than 100 books. Billy Graham calls him “one of the greatest Bible expositors of our generation.” Some of Wiersbe’s recent books include Your Next MiracleThe 20 Essential Qualities of a Child of GodThe Bumps are What You Climb OnClassic Sermons on the Fruit of the SpiritClassic Sermons on Jesus the ShepherdKey Words of the Christian LifeLonely PeopleA Gallery of GraceReal Peace: Freedom and Conscience in the Christian Life, and On Being a Leader for God.

 

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God’s Answer for Discouragement by Warren W. Wiersbe

Adapted from Chapter 26: From The Book Turning Mountains into Molehills by Warren W. Wiersbe, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992.

 This poem was written by a man planning to commit suicide.

 To whom can I speak today?

The gentle man has perished,

The violent man has access to everybody.

To whom can I speak today?

The iniquity that smites my land,

It has no end.

To whom can I speak today?

There are no righteous men,

The earth is full of criminals.

The interesting thing is this: the poem was not written by a frustrated twentieth century businessman. It is written by an Egyptian citizen over four thousand years ago. Violence and crime and corruption and thoughts of suicide are not modern problems, are they? They are ancient problems—and they have an ancient solution.

It takes little imagination to understand the mind of our anonymous Egyptian poet. He saw crime and violence all around him. The old values were changing. The good man was hanging on the scaffold and the evil man was sitting on the throne. There seemed to be no justice, no hope, no future. After pondering the situation, he decided that there was only one way out—to commit suicide.

Of course, suicide did not solve any problems. It never does. But here was a man who had absolutely no resources to depend on, no one to turn to in this hour of need. “To whom can I speak today?” he asks, and never does get an answer. It’s the picture of a lonely, helpless man at the crossroads of life, with no one to help him.

I’m sure that this picture can be multiplied many times today. All around us are frustrated people who simply don’t know what to do. Their world is collapsing around them. Everything they used to depend on has been destroyed; their foundations are gone. They don’t know where to turn, and perhaps they may be entertaining thoughts of ending it all.

It might interest you to know that some of the greatest men in the Bible had their hours of disappointment and defeat, and some of them asked God to take their lives. I’m not saying they were right; but I’m saying they went through experiences that were terribly disillusioning, and yet they came out victoriously.

For example, the great Jewish leader Moses became so discouraged one day that he asked the God of the Bible to kill him. Listen to the record from Numbers 11: “Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families…and Moses also was displeased. And Moses said unto the Lord, Why have you afflicted your servant?…Have I conceived all this people?…Have I begotten them?…I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. And if you deal this way with me, kill me…and let me not see my wretchedness.”

Moses was discouraged because he was carrying a heavy burden and the people did not appreciate his leadership. Where would the nation of Israel have been without the leadership of Moses? How often it is that those who do the most for us, are the least appreciated. When Moses heard the people weeping and complaining, his heart sank within him.

Listen to the great prophet Elijah as he sits under the juniper tree: “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.”

Elijah was discouraged because he felt he was a failure. He had met the false prophets face to face and had defeated them; yet the people had not rallied to Elijah’s side in the great revival that he had longed to see. When Queen Jezebel threatened to kill him, Elijah fled for his life. And then he asked God to kill him! If Elijah had really wanted to die, he should have surrendered to Jezebel. How often we say and do foolish things simply because we are discouraged.

Suppose God would have answered the prayers of these men and taken their lives? Think of all they would have missed. Moses would have missed seeing God’s wonders in the wilderness. He would have missed that great farewell at Jordan, recorded in the Book of Deuteronomy. He would have missed commissioning Joshua to take his place. And he would have missed seeing the beautiful land of Promise.

Elijah would have missed his fellowship with young Elisha; he would have missed the joy of training the new prophet to take his place. And he would have missed a glorious chariot ride into heaven! Yes, it’s a good thing God does not answer our prayers when we are discouraged and defeated. If He did, we would miss out on so many blessings.

Our Egyptian poet had no one to speak to. “To whom can I speak today?” was his question. But Moses and Elijah had someone to speak to: they took their disappointments to the Lord. We may not agree with their prayers, but we do agree with their praying.

Have we trials and temptations?

Is there trouble anywhere?

We should never be discouraged;

Take it to the Lord in prayer.

That’s the first secret of victory over discouragement: take it to the Lord in prayer. Open your heart; tell Him just the way you feel. The psalmist David puts it this way in Psalm 142: “I cried unto the Lord with my voice…I pouted out my complaint before Him; I showed before Him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path…Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Your name.

When life seems the darkest, then God’s dawn is about to break. He sees the end from the beginning, and He has a perfect plan for your life. “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not calamity, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). Disappointment is often “His appointment.” And God permits these difficulties to come our way, not to discourage us, but to encourage us to look away from changing circumstances to the unchanging God who is on the throne.

Even the great apostle Paul had his days of discouragement when it seemed he would have to give up. This is what he writes: “For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, regarding the affliction that happened to us in the province of Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of living. Indeed we felt as if the sentence of death had been passed against us,so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead. He delivered us from so great a risk of death, and he will deliver us. We have set our hope on him that he will deliver us yet again,” (2 Corinthians 1:8-10).

The answer to discouragement is not to run away, but to run to God. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1). That word trouble means “tight places” –“a very present help in tight places.” Moses prayed, and God met his need; Elijah prayed, and God met his need. And if you and I pray , God will meet our needs as well.

Now, when we pray, God does not always change the circumstances around us. But he does put new strength and hope within us so that we can face the circumstances courageously and keep on going. It has often been said that what life does to us depends on what life finds in us. If we are filled with doubt and despair, then life will crush us. If we are filled with faith and with God’s power, then life can never overcome us. Instead of being victims, we will be victors; for, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31).

When you are discouraged follow the counsel from God’s Word.

First, don’t do anything drastic. Never, never make an important decision when you are going through a black night of despair.

Second, turn to God and tell Him just the way you feel. Open your heart, as David did, and “pour out your complaint before Him.”

Third, wait on the Lord. He has His purposes and He has His times. To run ahead of Him would mean to miss the wonderful things He has planned for you.

Finally, rest on His promises. Spend much time with your Bible, and claim the promises of the Word. When the night is the darkest we see the stars the clearest; and when life is dark, the promises of God shine like stars.

If you are one of God’s children, and if you are seeking to do His will, you can be sure that, in spite of circumstances, “all things are working together for good” (Romans 8:28). One day soon the lights will dawn, the shadows will flee away, and you will understand why God permitted you to suffer as you did. But until that day, “Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Ps. 37:5).

*Warren W. Wiersbe is the Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary, and is the author of more than 100 books. Billy Graham calls him “one of the greatest Bible expositors of our generation.” Interestingly, Warren’s earliest works had nothing to do with scriptural interpretation. His interest was in magic, and his first published title was Action with Cards (1944).

“It was sort of imbecilic for a fifteen-year-old amateur magician to have the audacity to write a book and send it to one of the nation’s leading magic houses,” Warren says. But having a total of three books published by the L.L. Ireland Magic Company—before the age of 20—gave him a surge of confidence. In later years, he applied his confidence and writing talent to the Youth for Christ (YFC) ministry.

Warren wrote many articles and guidebooks for YFC over a three-year period, but not all his manuscripts were seen by the public eye. One effort in particular, The Life I Now Live, based on Galatians 2:20, was never published. The reason, Warren explains with his characteristic humor, is simple: it was “a terrible book…Whenever I want to aggravate my wife, all I have to say is, ‘I think I’ll get out that Galatians 2:20 manuscript and work on it.’” Fortunately, Warren’s good manuscripts far outnumbered the “terrible” ones, and he was eventually hired by Moody Press to write three books.

The much-sought-after author then moved on to writing books for Calvary Baptist Church. It was during his ten years at Calvary that Expository Outlines on the New Testament and Expository Outlines on the Old Testament took shape. These two works later became the foundation of Warren’s widely popular Bible studies known as the Be series, featuring such titles as Be Loyal (a study on Matthew) and Be Delivered (a study on Exodus). Several of these books have been translated into Spanish.

His next avenue of ministry was Chicago’s Moody Memorial Church, where he served for seven years. He wrote nearly 20 books at Moody before moving to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he and his wife, Betty, now live. Prior to relocating, he had been the senior pastor of Moody Church, a teacher at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a producer of the Back to the Bible radio program.

During all these years of ministry, Warren held many more posts and took part in other projects too numerous to mention. His accomplishments are extensive, and his catalog of biblical works is indeed impressive and far-reaching (many of his books have been translated into other languages). But Warren has no intention of slowing down any time soon, as he readily explains: “I don’t like it when people ask me how I’m enjoying my ‘retirement,’ because I’m still a very busy person who is not yet living on Social Security or a pension. Since my leaving Back to the Bible, at least a dozen books have been published, and the Lord willing, more are on the way.”

Wiersbe’s recent books include Your Next Miracle, The 20 Essential Qualities of a Child of God, The Bumps are What You Climb On, Classic Sermons on the Fruit of the Spirit, Classic Sermons on Jesus the Shepherd, Key Words of the Christian Life, Lonely People, A Gallery of Grace, Real Peace: Freedom and Conscience in the Christian Life, and On Being a Leader for God.

 

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Preachers: 10 Questions To Ask in Taking Inventory of Your Sermon by David and Warren Wiersbe

(Adapted form Elements of Biblical Preaching by David and Warren Wiersbe, Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1986)

(1) Is the message solidly based on Scripture?

(2) Does it exalt the Person and work of Jesus Christ?

(3) Will it meet the needs of the people?

(4) Is the theme a timeless truth worth talking about?

(5) Is the message organized so that I can preach it clearly and the people understand it easily? Is there a concise and clear statement of purpose? Is there a clear plan of development? Is there practical application that makes the message personal?

(6) Are all Scripture references and historical facts accurate?

(7) Is the message real to me personally so that I may make it real to others?

(8) Does the message fit into the total “preaching plan” for this church and into the context of the church’s ministry at this time?

(9) Does the message fit into the ministry of the Church at large and Christ’s concern to save a lost world?

(10) Is the message worth preaching again?

*Warren W. Wiersbe is the Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary, Warren Wiersbe is the author of more than 100 books. Billy Graham calls him “one of the greatest Bible expositors of our generation.” Interestingly, Warren’s earliest works had nothing to do with scriptural interpretation. His interest was in magic, and his first published title was Action with Cards (1944).

“It was sort of imbecilic for a fifteen-year-old amateur magician to have the audacity to write a book and send it to one of the nation’s leading magic houses,” Warren says. But having a total of three books published by the L.L. Ireland Magic Company—before the age of 20—gave him a surge of confidence. In later years, he applied his confidence and writing talent to the Youth for Christ (YFC) ministry.

Warren wrote many articles and guidebooks for YFC over a three-year period, but not all his manuscripts were seen by the public eye. One effort in particular, The Life I Now Live, based on Galations 2:20, was never published. The reason, Warren explains with his characteristic humor, is simple: it was “a terrible book…Whenever I want to aggravate my wife, all I have to say is, ‘I think I’ll get out that Galations 2:20 manuscript and work on it.’” Fortunately, Warren’s good manuscripts far outnumbered the “terrible” ones, and he was eventually hired by Moody Press to write three books.

The much-sought-after author then moved on to writing books for Calvary Baptist Church. It was during his ten years at Calvary that Expository Outlines on the New Testament and Expository Outlines on the Old Testament took shape. These two works later became the foundation of Warren’s widely popular Bible studies known as the Be series, featuring such titles as Be Loyal (a study on Matthew) and Be Delivered (a study on Exodus). Several of these books have been translated into Spanish.

His next avenue of ministry was Chicago’s Moody Memorial Church, where he served for seven years. He wrote nearly 20 books at Moody before moving to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he and his wife, Betty, now live. Prior to relocating, he had been the senior pastor of Moody Church, a teacher at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a producer of the Back to the Bible radio program.

During all these years of ministry, Warren held many more posts and took part in other projects too numerous to mention. His accomplishments are extensive, and his catalog of biblical works is indeed impressive and far-reaching (many of his books have been translated into other languages). But Warren has no intention of slowing down any time soon, as he readily explains: “I don’t like it when people ask me how I’m enjoying my ‘retirement,’ because I’m still a very busy person who is not yet living on Social Security or a pension. Since my leaving Back to the Bible, at least a dozen books have been published, and the Lord willing, more are on the way.”

Wiersbe’s recent books include Your Next MiracleThe 20 Essential Qualities of a Child of GodThe Bumps are What You Climb OnClassic Sermons on the Fruit of the SpiritClassic Sermons on Jesus the ShepherdKey Words of the Christian LifeLonely PeopleA Gallery of GraceReal Peace: Freedom and Conscience in the Christian Life, and On Being a Leader for God.

 

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Book Review: The Elements of Preaching by Warren W. Wiersbe and David Wiersbe

Very Helpful Primer on the Basics of Preaching

 This helpful handbook by father and son preaching veterans – Warren and David Wiersbe is divided into two sections. There are twenty-six preaching principles and fourteen preaching prohibitions that are developed. Each chapter is only one to two pages in length. They really pack this book in with great quotes, wisdom, and the type of advice that you can only get from preachers that have put a lot of mileage in the pulpit.

In the preaching principles section the Wiersbe’s remind us  “Methods are many, principles are few. Methods always change, Principles never do.” Here are just ten of the twenty-six topics they develop:

Preaching is the communicating of God’s truth by God’s servant to meet the needs of people.

The Preacher is a part of the message.

Preaching is an act of worship.

A sermon must have both intent and content if it is to be effective.

The sermon should be based on the essentials of the text and not the accidentals of the translation you are using.

Build your outline on the unique features of the text.

Keep your preaching within the bounds of what the text says and what the people can receive.

Preach to express, not to impress.

Sermons preached as part of a series must be independent and yet related.

Speak the truth in love.

Never be satisfied with your preaching.

At the end of the book they include a very helpful checklist for “Taking Inventory of the Message:”

  1. Is the message solidly based on Scripture?
  2. Does it exalt the Person and work of Jesus Christ?
  3. Will it meet the needs of the people?
  4. Is the theme a timeless truth worth talking about?
  5. Is the message organized so that I can preach it clearly and the people understand it easily? Is there a concise and clear statement of purpose? Is there a clear plan of development? Is there practical application that makes the message personal?
  6. Are all Scripture references and historical facts accurate?
  7. Is the message real to me personally so that I may make it real to others?
  8. Does the message fit into the total “preaching plan” for this church and into the context of the church’s ministry at this time?
  9. Does the message fit into the ministry of the Church at large and Christ’s concern to save a lost world?
  10. Is the message worth preaching again?

I have used this little book (approximately 100 pages) as a refresher, idea generator, and kick-starter for years. It’s well worth having for beginning, intermediate and experienced preachers of the Word. Perhaps the most important asset of this book is the encouragement it will give you from two men who have been faithfully delivering God-centered sermons in the trenches for years.

*Warren W. Wiersbe is the Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary, Warren Wiersbe is the author of more than 100 books. Billy Graham calls him “one of the greatest Bible expositors of our generation.” Interestingly, Warren’s earliest works had nothing to do with scriptural interpretation. His interest was in magic, and his first published title was Action with Cards (1944).

“It was sort of imbecilic for a fifteen-year-old amateur magician to have the audacity to write a book and send it to one of the nation’s leading magic houses,” Warren says. But having a total of three books published by the L.L. Ireland Magic Company—before the age of 20—gave him a surge of confidence. In later years, he applied his confidence and writing talent to the Youth for Christ (YFC) ministry.

Warren wrote many articles and guidebooks for YFC over a three-year period, but not all his manuscripts were seen by the public eye. One effort in particular, The Life I Now Live, based on Galations 2:20, was never published. The reason, Warren explains with his characteristic humor, is simple: it was “a terrible book…Whenever I want to aggravate my wife, all I have to say is, ‘I think I’ll get out that Galations 2:20 manuscript and work on it.’” Fortunately, Warren’s good manuscripts far outnumbered the “terrible” ones, and he was eventually hired by Moody Press to write three books.

The much-sought-after author then moved on to writing books for Calvary Baptist Church. It was during his ten years at Calvary that Expository Outlines on the New Testament and Expository Outlines on the Old Testament took shape. These two works later became the foundation of Warren’s widely popular Bible studies known as the Be series, featuring such titles as Be Loyal (a study on Matthew) and Be Delivered (a study on Exodus). Several of these books have been translated into Spanish.

His next avenue of ministry was Chicago’s Moody Memorial Church, where he served for seven years. He wrote nearly 20 books at Moody before moving to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he and his wife, Betty, now live. Prior to relocating, he had been the senior pastor of Moody Church, a teacher at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a producer of the Back to the Bible radio program.

During all these years of ministry, Warren held many more posts and took part in other projects too numerous to mention. His accomplishments are extensive, and his catalog of biblical works is indeed impressive and far-reaching (many of his books have been translated into other languages). But Warren has no intention of slowing down any time soon, as he readily explains: “I don’t like it when people ask me how I’m enjoying my ‘retirement,’ because I’m still a very busy person who is not yet living on Social Security or a pension. Since my leaving Back to the Bible, at least a dozen books have been published, and the Lord willing, more are on the way.”

Wiersbe’s recent books include Your Next MiracleThe 20 Essential Qualities of a Child of GodThe Bumps are What You Climb OnClassic Sermons on the Fruit of the SpiritClassic Sermons on Jesus the ShepherdKey Words of the Christian LifeLonely PeopleA Gallery of GraceReal Peace: Freedom and Conscience in the Christian Life, and On Being a Leader for God.

 

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Book Review: The Strategy of Satan by Warren Wiersbe

Understanding and Overcoming Satan’s Tactics Primer

Review by David P. Craig

 Warren Wiersbe can always be trusted to be biblical, concise, clear, and give ample practical illustrations and applications to modern life. In this short primer on Satan’s tactics and our responses to his tactics the book may be broken down in the following three ways:

First, the writer shows how Satan is the ultimate deceiver, destroyer, ruler, and accuser. In each of the first four chapters Wiersbe gives an Old Testament example in each of these four areas in order to demonstrate Satan’s target, weapon, purpose, and then tactical defenses we can use against his deceptions, evil plans, feeding our pride, and his accusations towards us.

Secondly, the middle of the book is about increasing our faith in God, and how not to give Satan a foothold in our life so as not to paralyze and immobilize us in God’s work on earth. He focuses on the positive ways we can overcome the Evil One’s tactics by trusting and obeying Christ.

Thirdly, Wiersbe gives a masterful exposition of all the armor we have been given in the battle against Satan and demons from Ephesians 6, and how Satan attacks the family, and churches as a key strategy in his arsenal of tactics.

Overall, this book is thorough, biblically sound, and very useful in its many practical applications. I highly recommend this book – especially if you have never read anything on the wiles of the Enemy and how to overcome our greatest Adversary.

*Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary, Warren Wiersbe is the author of more than 100 books. Billy Graham calls him “one of the greatest Bible expositors of our generation.” Interestingly, Warren’s earliest works had nothing to do with scriptural interpretation. His interest was in magic, and his first published title was Action with Cards (1944).

“It was sort of imbecilic for a fifteen-year-old amateur magician to have the audacity to write a book and send it to one of the nation’s leading magic houses,” Warren says. But having a total of three books published by the L.L. Ireland Magic Company—before the age of 20—gave him a surge of confidence. In later years, he applied his confidence and writing talent to the Youth for Christ (YFC) ministry.

Warren wrote many articles and guidebooks for YFC over a three-year period, but not all his manuscripts were seen by the public eye. One effort in particular, The Life I Now Live, based on Galations 2:20, was never published. The reason, Warren explains with his characteristic humor, is simple: it was “a terrible book…Whenever I want to aggravate my wife, all I have to say is, ‘I think I’ll get out that Galations 2:20 manuscript and work on it.’” Fortunately, Warren’s good manuscripts far outnumbered the “terrible” ones, and he was eventually hired by Moody Press to write three books.

The much-sought-after author then moved on to writing books for Calvary Baptist Church. It was during his ten years at Calvary that Expository Outlines on the New Testament and Expository Outlines on the Old Testament took shape. These two works later became the foundation of Warren’s widely popular Bible studies known as the Be series, featuring such titles as Be Loyal (a study on Matthew) and Be Delivered (a study on Exodus). Several of these books have been translated into Spanish.

His next avenue of ministry was Chicago’s Moody Memorial Church, where he served for seven years. He wrote nearly 20 books at Moody before moving to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he and his wife, Betty, now live. Prior to relocating, he had been the senior pastor of Moody Church, a teacher at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a producer of the Back to the Bible radio program.

During all these years of ministry, Warren held many more posts and took part in other projects too numerous to mention. His accomplishments are extensive, and his catalog of biblical works is indeed impressive and far-reaching (many of his books have been translated into other languages). But Warren has no intention of slowing down any time soon, as he readily explains: “I don’t like it when people ask me how I’m enjoying my ‘retirement,’ because I’m still a very busy person who is not yet living on Social Security or a pension. Since my leaving Back to the Bible, at least a dozen books have been published, and the Lord willing, more are on the way.”

Wiersbe’s recent books include Your Next MiracleThe 20 Essential Qualities of a Child of GodThe Bumps are What You Climb OnClassic Sermons on the Fruit of the SpiritClassic Sermons on Jesus the ShepherdKey Words of the Christian LifeLonely PeopleA Gallery of GraceReal Peace: Freedom and Conscience in the Christian Life, and On Being a Leader for God.

 

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The Importance of God’s Word

“God’s Word is a light to guide us, and we must follow. It is water to wash us, and we must bathe. It is a mirror to show us our blemishes, and we must be honest. It is medicine to heal our hurts, and we must apply it. We don’t just look at the Word to learn the Word; we must live by the Word.” – Warren W. Wiersbe (God Isn’t In a Hurry, p. 96)

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Quotes, Warren W. Wiersbe

 

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Book Review: God Isn’t In A Hurry by Warren W. Wiersbe

Help For Impatient People

I am someone who struggles with waiting. As such, I am grateful for this book. There are various topics covered in these 30 devotionals penned by this godly and wise pastor to pastors – Dr. Warren Wiersbe (once the pastor of the Historic Moody Memorial Church in Chicago). This book is the third of it’s type – the other two being Turning Mountains into Molehills, and The Bumps Are What You Climb On.

The subtitle of the book is really what all the devotionals center around: “Learning to slow down and live.” I have read this book daily for a month several times, and have flipped through it trying to find the right title to suit whatever I’ve been going through during a difficult time.

This book is full of Biblical insights and principles, encouragement, and will definitely help you to be reminded of God’s sovereignty and goodness in your life. He also encourages you by showing how important your life is in the overall plans of God. I come to this book again and again to slow down and rest in the Lord.

 
 

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Funny Story: Pastor On Salary By Faith

I heard about a pastor who candidated at a church and was called, provided that he lived by faith. He asked the six men on the committee what they meant by living by faith. What it meant was that he would have no stated salary but that he would simply trust God for his needs. The candidate made a suggestion that cost him the church: “Each of you men has a salary, so why don’t we put all of our salaries together, divide the total by seven and all of us can live by faith.” (God Isn’t In a Hurry, by Warren Wiersbe, p. 23)

 

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