Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Prayer Power

Have you ever had anyone pray for you? I don’t mean they said they would do so when they got home, or to church, but actually stopped, put a hand on your shoulder and prayed…out loud. It could have been in your home or church, in WalMart, on the phone or at your job. Let me tell you, it is powerful stuff. I have been a “pray-er” and a “prayee“, and either way the blessings are awesome. As Christians, prayer is as vital to our spiritual well being, as water is to our physical. You can’t survive without it. 

Yes, it takes practice to pray aloud, but the words we utter are not as important as the deep desire to be in communication with God. He already knows what we need, but like a good parent, he wants us to tell him, and his Holy Spirit will always prompt and guide you to ask for the right thing. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” Romans 8:26

Monday, January 30, 2012

Only the Good Die Young

I was listening to Billy Joel’s, “Only the Good Die Young“, recently. The lyrics go like this. “They say there's a heaven for those who will wait, Some say it's better but I say it ain't...I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints, the sinners are much more fun, only the good die young…” Our culture wants people to believe that Hell is going to be a place where all the cool, fun people will gather. Singing, partying, just a continuation of the good life they had on earth. 

The story of Lazarus and the rich man paints a much different picture. “"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came when the beggar died, and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died, and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' "But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.' Luke 16:19-31. 

The saddest part of this story is that the rich man was forced to see what he missed, every day, for eternity. I think he could get used to the agony of Hell, but never the thought that he could only blame himself for missing out on paradise. Don’t buy into the party myth. Remember, too, that those in Heaven will not be able to see those in Hell, even loved ones. Do you know any “rich men“, or are you a “rich man”? Choose wisely. Happy Monday!