Tag Archive | prayers not answered

Seeking Only Treats, John 6:26-27

Greedy.Buddy.WP

Buddy enjoys USA made turkey jerky dog treats. I am very careful about the quality of treats I feed him because I love Buddy and want him to be healthy and long lived. However, it would grieve me if, the only time I ever saw him, was when I opened up a bag of treats. I want Buddy to love spending time with me and like me for who I am.

Dogs are great in that they accept you for who you are, despite your physical appearance or personality. They love unconditionally.

After Jesus miraculously fed 5,000 people and their families by multiplying the 2 fish and five barley loaves a boy offered to Him, He and His disciples took a boat across the sea to Capernaum.  The next morning the crowd noticed that Jesus was gone and followed Him across the sea.

“Jesus answered them and said, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endues to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.'”–John 6:26-27

Jesus was admonishing the crowd that they followed Him across the sea, not because they recognized who He was–God in flesh come to visit them–but because He fed them.

God often tests us to see if we are following Him for the treats or because we recognize Who He is–God, our Creator, our Shepherd, our Lord. I believe that is why He often delays answering our prayers: to test whether we are following Him because we love and acknowledge He is Lord, or because we just want treats from Him. If He withholds our treats, will we continue to follow Him or walk away?

By continuing to follow Him even though we don’t see some of our prayers being answered, we are acknowledging He is the boss and not us, that He is worthy of our worship and praise and love for who He is, not just for being a great treat dispenser.

It seems that there is a lot of emphasis in some mainline churches on getting rich or prosperous by following God, rather than becoming more loving people and loving God. Seems to me that they would quickly fall away in times of trial or hardship, or any mild persecution. Sad as we approach the time of the dominion of the AntiChrist, many will likely fall away when following Christ becomes a matter of choosing life or death. I’m reminded of the many Christians in the Middle East and Nigeria who have lost their lives, not because they are bad people, but only because they are Christians.

It grieves me deeply and I encourage you to pray for them to be delivered from their persecutors.

But treats are nice. I love treats.

I’m still waiting for my big prayers to be answered, but He does toss me a few little treats every day to keep me encouraged that He is listening to me.

Right now Buddy is keeping me company, sans treats, because he seems to like being around me.

God bless you.

From Dawn and Buddy

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I don’t compose my blogs because I think I’m holier than anyone else and am especially qualified to give advice. I fall short every day of God’s high standards and need His gracious kindness extended to me continually. I just love God and want to share my thoughts about Who He is and how He works in our lives. And encourage you to join me in fellowship with Him. He loves you and wants to shine His light into the darkness in your life.

Falling Short of Expectations, Ephesians 2:8-10

BuddyWithBone.WP

Do you ever feel like Buddy in this photo: There are good things in life you could enjoy if you’d just make the effort to grab onto it?

Sometimes I get discouraged when I read about the great heroes of the Bible: Job, Esther, Daniel, Nehemiah, Noah and Joseph. They seem so perfect, so heroic. Job who suffered so greatly yet would not curse God nor lose his faith in God’s goodness; Esther, who was willing to sacrifice her life to save the Jewish people; Daniel, who was such a good person that his enemies could find nothing to accuse him of to get him into trouble with the king; Nehemiah, who had the wisdom to pray on the spot for God’s help in a precarious moment and to ask the king to assist him in a great and mighty task; Noah, who spent over a hundred years building a boat with absolutely no evidence there would be a flood yet believed God anyway; and Joseph, who didn’t grumble and complain no matter how unfairly he had been treated and maintained his faith in God, despite his adverse circumstances.

Sometimes I feel that being of use to God in furthering His kingdom is just beyond my grasp. I want to pick up that bone and run with it and be faithful and a good Christian. But I grumble and complain when work sucks or life doesn’t go my way; I get discouraged when I don’t see God answering my prayers; I forget to pray when under stress; and people could easily find fault with me. Despite my best efforts to serve God, I feel like I fall short every day.

Way, way short of God’s standards of how I should behave.

And then, when I start to look upward and not at myself, I remember what God says in Ephesians 2:10:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are HIS WORKMANSHIP, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we would walk in them.” (NASB, CAPS my emphasis)

  1. God didn’t choose to save me because he thought I was so wonderful. But I am HIS creation. He chose to make me and save me because He loves me. And He is the one who accepted me. He’s totally 100% good and kind, yet He chose this sinful person to be in communion with Him and His Holy Spirit indwells me.
  2. “There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.”–Romans 8:1 God knows I cannot live up to His righteous standards. That’s why Christ had to die and take the penalty for my sin, because there’s no way I can earn God’s favor. He freely chooses to love me, despite my faults, flaws and failures.
  3. Because I’m so flawed, I can boast in a good and loving God.
  4. God loves variety. I’m different from other people because God designed me that way. I’m unique and my job to do on this earth is, therefore, unique to me.
  5. God chose what works I am supposed to accomplish in my lifetime. His plan for me is not the same as the pastor’s or my friends or my fellow Christian believers. “He who began a good work in (me) will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”–Philippians 1:6  I can trust that God, as my good Shepherd Who leads me in the paths of righteousness for His namesake” (Psalm 23:3) will guide Me into accomplishing the deeds/works He wants me to accomplish.

Sometimes we feel bad because we don’t have the gifts or the accomplishments that other “Super Christians” seem to have and we don’t win those great battles. Yet one man led Billie Graham to Christ and because of that one man’s faithfulness, Mr. Graham accomplished great things for God. (I was saved through Billie Graham’s TV ministry in 1989.)

As my dad has often told me, “There’ll always be someone greater or lesser than yourself.” If I compare myself to the superstars, I’ll feel discouraged.

I have to remind myself that my relationship with God is a personal relationship and that “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14a); God didn’t make a mistake when He made me and chose me.

“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”–Psalm 46:10

So I need to stop striving and trust that God will accomplish His good purposes in my life, and when I’ve completed my God-assigned tasks, He’ll call me home to eternal joy.

God bless you, my dear reader.

***PS. If you follow my site regularly, thank you. I try to follow your site back, but sometimes I have trouble finding the follow button.

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If you aren’t born-again, you’re missing out on a wonderful love relationship. Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean that life becomes gravy street, but God will give you strength to face life. You’ll no longer be alone. You were born with a piece of your inner life puzzle missing, and only He can complete it. Please say this prayer below to begin your faith journey.

“Lord, I’ve offended you by my sin and fallen short of your standards. I accept that I can never be good enough to atone for my sins so that Jesus was punished on the Cross on my behalf. Please forgive me and save me from myself. Change me by sending the Holy Spirit to live Your life through Me.”

“Your heavenly Father (will) give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him”–Luke 11:13

Congratulations, brother or sister on becoming born-again. Please begin to read your Bible and pray that God will lead you to a Bible-based church where you can grow and fellowship with other believers. God bless you richly. Love you, my fellow believer, Dawn