It’s a question probably dating back to the days when the first overhead projectors entered the church building on Sundays. Or, perhaps, it’s not a question dating to back then. Probably it’s not even a question today. Either way, I don’t care. I ask instead: What’s your image of God? Not so much how you imagine Him, but how you see Him visually at church, on the camp, while you read the Bible to your kids…
Being actively involved with photography for more than two years now, I’ve realized more than ever before how powerful a visual image can be. Moreover, how much an image can reflect and at the same time direct our perceptions of a certain subject. Take a bottle of Coke, for instance – it’s never advertised static, dry and lukewarm, with dull colors… ‘Cause, frankly, who wants a Coke like that. It more sounds like being British tea at 4pm – boring and a thing from the past (for most people, that is). The energetic and fresh Coke image also makes you wish the Coke be that way – it kind of sets the standard for you.
There’s so much thought going into graphic design when it comes to advertising. Sadly, though, there’s little thought put into the graphics and design accompanying our faith. read more
“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:12-14, NIV).
When it comes to prayer, perhaps the first thing we learn after “Amen” is “in the name of Jesus.” Yet, it seems that very often, just as with Amen, the praying on behalf of Jesus is not completely understood by the believer. What does it mean to pray in the name of Jesus? Why do I have to pray this way, and what conditions are there to it?
In the context of the passage from John, Jesus is talking to his disciples about Him being the only way to the Father and His unity with Him. This is key to understanding the prayer in Jesus’ name because it establishes the foundation – the divine authority and power which is found in Jesus, and upon which we rely as we pray to Him.
At this point Jesus also gives the condition for prayer in His name – one’s faith in Him. When believers witness miracles and supernatural experiences, it is not by their power or abilities that they occur. It is through their faith in Christ that these thing happen. Faith is, thus, the door opener for God’s power in our lives. read more
“That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:32-35, NIV).
It is not only once that Jesus is giving us an example how and what for to pray. In the gospel according to Mark (as well as in Luke 4:42) Jesus’ prayer is an example for us when to pray. This is perhaps one of the most difficult examples to follow today. But before you continue on reading about it, turn your attention to what happens before Jesus goes to pray in the morning. Throughout the whole evening before that he is surrounded by people who are sick and demon-possessed – and they want healing. And after this, as well as all the other busy days that have passed, Jesus does not try to seek an excuse but gets up before the sun has come out completely and talks to the Father.
For most people today the morning has to do with awakening, followed by quite some stress around the trip to work or school… And yet, in between of all this there’s somehow time for a coffee, a smoke for some, and perhaps a quick and unhealthy snack. But there seems to almost never be enough time for God. Thus, day after day a large number of Christians are overcome by the daily routines, stress and demands without even noticing it. Some new believers manage to find a free slot for God in the mornings, but as they grow older in their faith often things change and prayer becomes just one of the things Christians do. So far for the intimate conversation with God that all of us can remember from their first days in the faith. As we have mentioned not only once in our devotionals, in no case should we think that the longer we’re Christians the less attention we ought to pay to prayer. It never becomes automatic. read more
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“My King” by Dr. S.M. Lockridge
My King was born King.
The Bible says He’s a Seven Way King.
He’s the King of the Jews – that’s a racial King.
He’s the King of Israel – that’s a National King.
He’s the King of righteousness.
He’s the King of the ages.
He’s the King of Heaven.
He’s the King of glory.
He’s the King of kings
and He is the Lord of lords. read more