Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Study of Malachi


The Bible study on the Book of Malachi titled, “The Last Word” is finished. Our ladies’ study group really enjoyed the study, and I trust your study group will as well.

The cost of each study folder is $15.00. That includes shipping. Order 10 or more and the cost drops to $12.00 each. This is a 6-week study (including the introduction week) from the book of Malachi. Each week covers a segment of the book with an in depth study of each verse, and sometimes of individual words in the verse. It’s essentially a “devotional study commentary” on the book of Malachi.

Each folder contains over 60 pages of study copy plus maps, charts, and other “goodies.”

If you’d like to order a copy, want more information, or would like to view a sample day’s study, please e-mail me at bnprayerlogue@cs.com.

I can tell you this. This is the most humbling thing I’ve ever done. It has absolutely “wrung me out!” I swore that when I got through it, I’d never do that again…

But, doncha know - I’m planning the next one!

Isn’t our God an awesome God!


Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Gift of Giving

During a recent Bible Study, a dear friend remarked that she was sometimes “convicted” that she didn’t feel “called” to go on mission trips. That, she gladly gave so that others could go, but that “going to the Dollar Store and buying crayons and goods doesn’t really ‘cost’ me anything…” she said.

As I thought about that later I was reminded of Paul’s teaching on the “gifts of the Spirit.” One of these very real gifts, tucked right in there between exhortation and leadership, is the gift of giving…

Paul says (Romans 12:6-8) “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”

Oftentimes a person will have many of these gifts, but the “gift of giving”, I believe, is coupled with the ability to make money - not that one is “independently wealthy” but that one’s needs are met, and their eyes opened to see other’s needs as well.

I have a couple of friends whose gift is truly that of making money. They just seem to do it very well - and they give very well! Not many people know about their giving. They live in a modest home and drive modest vehicles - but they give a lot away!

That is a very real gift. Ministries thrive and succeed on such gifts. For some, their gift is teaching, or preaching, or serving, but who do you think pays for those ministries? The one with the “gift of giving…” Your giving allows them to do what they do without worrying about paying the bills!

Sometimes, if “something” is easy for us to do, we don’t see the “big deal” in it, but believe me, others see it and appreciate it immensely!

So, don’t sell yourself short. If that is one of your gifts, or perhaps the word “ability” might be more easily understood, then do it - and do it with liberality!

Ask God to open your eyes to what your gift is - and then “exercise it accordingly!”

Father, thank You that You made each of us with different gifts and abilities. Help us to see where You would have us serve, knowing that we all make up the “body”, and that none of the “parts” are more important, nor less important than the others. And may all that we do, glorify You!

In Jesus’ Name - Amen.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Who Shepherds the Shepherd?

Who shepherds the shepherd?
Who leads the leader?
Who guides the guider?
Who feeds the feeder?

James 5:17 says that Elijah was a man “of like passions” as we are… and goes on to speak of his faith in prayer.

I’ve often looked at that as Elijah was a “flesh and blood man”; a human man like we are, but didn’t give a whole lot of thought to just what that meant.

But the older I get, the more I see that even being the great prophet; the great leader that he was, he still had his ups and downs, just like we do.

He had questions, he had fears;
He had troubles, he had tears…

The only difference is, once you become a leader, you can’t go back to just being a follower. You just can’t.

So where does that leave us? When you’re being “looked to” where do you look?

“I look to the mountain, where does my help come from? It comes from the LORD who made heaven and earth.”

Oh, that I could just hear that “still small voice” tonight…

James 5:17 goes on to say that Elijah “prayed earnestly”, which the commentators tell us that in the Hebrew idiom it means he “prayed with prayer.”

He “prayed with prayer…” He didn’t “say” a prayer. He didn’t “lift up” a prayer. He “prayed with prayer.”

Are you a shepherd; a leader; a guider; a feeder? To where, or to Whom do you turn?

Are you “praying with prayer?”