Search Results: thy will be done
We are trying not so much to make God listen to us as to make ourselves listen to Him; we are trying not to persuade God to do what we want, but to find out what he wants us to do. It so often happens that in prayer we are really saying, “Thy will be changed,” when we ought to be saying, “Thy will be done.” The first object of prayer is not so much to speak to God as to listen to Him.
The sovereign king of the entire universe is our Father. He has not only created us, but He has also recreated us in Jesus Christ and has provided everything we need. Paul tells the timid Timothy, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7, KJV). Unbelieving, sinful fear is contrary to what God has put in us at conversion (Rom. 8:15). We overcome the grip of fear by knowing what God has done for us through His Son. We break fear’s grip by realizing God did not give this fear to us; rather, He has given us the spirit of power, love, and self-control.
As long as I see anything to be done for God, life is worth having; but O how vain and unworthy it is to live for any lower end.
O sinner! The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked. His wrath towards you burns like fire. He looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire. He is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight. You are ten thousand times more abominable in His eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. O sinner! You have offended Him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but His hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. O sinner! It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night; that you were allowed to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other reason to be given, why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God’s hand has held you up. O sinner! There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking His pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending His solemn worship. O sinner! Yes, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell. O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in! O sinner! It is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over, in the hand of that God whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell. O sinner! You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder. And you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment!
Here are some reasons it is okay to celebrate Christmas:
1. The day itself is not really the day Christ was born. Nobody actually has the exact day down, but most believe it was not during this time of year at all. Probably it took place in the spring, not on a “cold winter’s night that was so deep.”
2. Diversity over the years has taken away much of the “Romish” flavor to the holiday. Our Catholic friends do as they wish on the night before and the day of Christmas, that is granted. But we do not have a state church. There are so many other ways Christmas is celebrated that no one really thinks about it the way the Puritans did so many years ago. The problem is not so acute because of so many years of varied expressions. At least this is true in our part of the world.
3. God can be honored in gift-giving and generosity as well as in singing carols and telling the story. They’re both important if done in the right spirit. We don’t have to make something spiritual out of giving gifts. You may make a birthday cake to Jesus if you wish, but you don’t have to. We do need to be Christian, however, about everything we do. Emphasizing the giving part of the day can heal lots of wounds, open calcified hearts, stir up gratefulness, and just be plain fun. God’s not against fun is He?
4. There may be better things to be different about. In other words, we might show our radical difference better in the way we treat other shoppers, the kindness we show to retail clerks, the warmth of our hearts, the largeness of our generosity, the thankfulness we express and really feel.
5. There are admittedly some great opportunities to make Christ known during Christmas. With all that is bad about it, we can still make our point. And we will have some sympathy for our message. For years I’ve led Christmas Eve services, short ones of only 45 minutes, but packed with meaning. The building will be full and all kinds of our friends and family will hear the truth as clearly as we are willing to express it.
Circumstances in which loneliness may be experienced. May feel lonely when:
1. Guilt causes you to feel separated from God – Ps. 25:16, from other men – Gen. 27:1-29; 32:24; 33:1-17.
2. You feel rejected, abandoned, deserted by others – Jn. 16:32; 2 Tim. 4:16, 17.
1. You are voluntarily or forcefully removed from safe, secure environment.
2. You experience the “let down” after a spiritual victory – I Kings 19:10, 14.
3. Previous successes or popularity have subsided.
4. You have suffered a defeat.
5. You are too busy chasing “success” to relate to others.
6. You are “burned out” after having tried to achieve by self-effort – Jn. 8:29.
7. You are separated from the group by leadership responsibilities, “lonely at the top” – Num. 11:14, 17; Deut. 1:9, 12; Matt 26:38-40.
8. You have suffered the loss of a loved one by death or divorce.
9. You are fearful and timid – I Jn. 4:18.
10. You feel inferior, unworthy, self-condemnation, insecure.
11. You are physically removed or separated from those you know and love.
12. Others reject or ostracize you for being different, or for nonconformity.
13. You fail to resolve conflict and misunderstanding; estrangement.
14. You fail to communicate; avoidance; repression; stuff emotions.
15. You have chosen to “stand alone” against world, sin, religion – Jer. 15:17.
16. Others are not enthused about your interests or project.
17. You don’t take the time to enjoy others and have fun together.
18. You have been prejudged, stereotyped, pegged, put in a box.
19. Your particular talents and abilities and personality are not appreciated.
20. You don’t fit in – economically, intellectually, politically, religiously, etc.
21. You don’t feel connected, bonded, able to relate – emotionally, spiritually.
22. Friends only relate on superficial level; won’t get serious and real.
23. You have been excluded from a particular social grouping.
24. You feel like an outsider, the “odd man out.”
25. Your present responsibilities (parenting, vocation, etc.) preclude or diminish the development of relationships.
26. You retire from your vocation and no longer relate to colleagues daily.
27. Another person is regarded as your “life,” and they can’t meet all your needs.
28. You do not feel a sense of oneness, unity and intimacy with your mate.
29. You have refused to receive the love and intimacy of your mate – SoS. 5:3-6.
30. You have been betrayed by a mate or a friend – Gen. 3:12.
31. You alienate others by your verbosity, accusations, insensitive comments.
32. You alienate others by using them in competitive or economic success.
33. You alienate others by criticism, negativism, sarcasm, pessimism, hostility, cruelty.
34. You alienate others by your selfishness, egotism, or spiritual pride.
35. You make work, projects, things, possessions more important than people.
36. You feel you cannot perform up to expectations.
37. Others are too preoccupied with their concerns to relate with you.
38. Crisis arises and no one offers to listen or assist.
39. You feel left behind by a fast-paced technological society.
40. Children grow up, go to school, leave home.
41. Isolated due to injury; secluded or ignored due to age (Ps. 71:9, 18).
But why is faith the means of justification? Simply because it is the action of union with Jesus Christ. Faith is our coming to Him, our trusting Him, our resting in Him. The moment we are united to Him, we are immediately endowed with all that He has secured for us. We are immediately justified before we have done a single good deed, because we are His and He is God’s. Just as a very poor woman is a very poor woman until the very moment that she marries a wealthy man. But at the moment that she becomes his wife, she becomes a wealthy woman. It is by means of her acceptance that she becomes a wealthy woman, but her acceptance does not make her a wealthy woman; it is her husband’s wealth that makes her so. So faith does not justify; Christ justifies. But faith is the act of union with Christ.
This is ever the nature of true confession of sin, true brokenness. It is the confession that my sin is not just a mistake, a slip, a something which is really foreign to my heart (“Not really like me to have such thoughts or do such things!”), but that it is something which reveals the real ‘I’; that shows me to be the proud, rotten, unclean thing God says I am; that it really is like me to have such thoughts and do such things. It was in these terms that David confessed his sin, when he prayed, “Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned and done this evil in Thy sight, that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest and be clear when Thou judgest” (Psalm 51:4).
Let thy great joy and comfort evermore be, to have His pleasure done in thee, though in pains, sickness, persecutions, oppressions, or inward griefs and pressures of heart, coldness or barrenness of mind, darkening of thy will and senses, or any temptations spiritual or bodily.
There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, “All right, then, have it your way.”
There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in hell choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it will be opened.
Your shrinking from this truth about hell is not due to your sympathy with people’s pain. It is due to your lack of sympathy with their pain. God is the one who is sympathetic. He is the one who gave His only begotten Son to rescue us from this misery and to inform us insistently, dogmatically, and compassionately that we are in for an awful end if we persist in unbelief. Don’t say that you feel for people when you blunt the edge of the word of the Spirit. What have you ever done that shows that you truly feel for sinners’ eternal pain? Denying the truth of God’s Word about it certainly offers them no help whatsoever.
If we only knew how bad we are, we would welcome chastening because this is God’s way of getting rid of sin and its habits. But chastening is resented because we cannot believe that we have done anything worthy of it (John Sanderson).
Be not afraid at His sweet, lovely and desirable cross, for although I have not been able because of my wounds to lift up or lay down my head but as I was helped, yet I was never in better case all my life… He has so wonderfully shined on me with the sense of His redeeming, strengthening, assisting, supporting, through-bearing, pardoning and reconciling love, grace and mercy that my soul doth long to be freed of bodily infirmities and earthly organs, so that I may flee to His Royal Palace, even the Heavenly Habitation of my God, where I am sure of a crown put on my head and a palm put in my hand and a new song in my mouth, even the song of Moses and of the Lamb, so that I may bless, praise, magnify and extol Him for what He hath done to me and for me… Farewell, my children, study holiness in all your ways, and praise the Lord for what He hath done for me, and tell all my Christian friends to praise Him on my account. Farewell, sweet Bible, and wanderings and contendings for truth. Welcome, death. Welcome, the City of my God where I shall see Him and be enabled to serve Him eternally with full freedom. Welcome, blessed company, the angels and spirits of just men made perfect. But above all, welcome, welcome, welcome, our glorious and alone God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost; into Thy hands I commit my spirit, for Thou art worthy. Amen.
How is the will of God done in heaven? Sadly? Burdensomely? Begrudgingly? No! It is done gladly! If I then pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” how can I not be motivated by a desire to be glad? It is a contradiction to pray for the will of God to be done in my life the way it is done in heaven, and then to say I am indifferent to whether I am glad or not. When the earth rejoices to do His will and does it perfectly, His will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven.
1. What do you believe about…everything?
2. [What is your view on] various biblical doctrines.
3. Discover how you form your views. What is the reasoning-believing process?
4. How do you handle the Bible?
Worship and Devotion:
1. How important is corporate worship? Other participation in church life?
2. How important is it to be part of a small accountability/support group?
3. What is the importance of music in life and worship?
4. What are your daily personal devotional practices? Prayer, reading, meditation, memorization.
5. What would our family devotions look like? Who leads out in this?
6. Are we doing this now in an appropriate way: praying together about our lives and future, reading the Bible together?
Husband and Wife:
1. What is the meaning of headship and submission in the Bible and in our marriage?
2. What are expectations about situations where one of you might be alone with someone of the opposite sex?
3. How are tasks shared in the home: cleaning, cooking, washing dishes, yard work, car upkeep, repairs, shopping for food, and household stuff?
4. What are the expectations for togetherness?
5. What is an ideal non-special evening?
6. How do you understand who and how often sex is initiated?
7. Who does the checkbook – or are there two?
1. If and when, should we have children? Why?
2. How many?
3. How far apart?
4. Would we consider adoption?
5. What are the standards of behavior?
6. What are the appropriate ways to discipline them? How many strikes before they’re…whatever?
7. What are the expectations of time spent with them and when they go to bed?
8. What signs of affection will you show them?
9. What about school? Home school? Christian school? Public school?
1. Own a home or not? Why?
2. What kind of neighborhood? Why?
3. How many cars? New? Used?
4. View of money in general. How much to the church?
5. How do you make money decisions?
6. Where will you buy clothes: Department store? Thrift store? In between? Why?
1. How much money should we spend on entertainment?
2. How often should we eat out? Where?
3. What kind of vacations are appropriate and helpful for us?
4. How many toys? Snowmobile, boat, cabin?
5. Should we have a television? Where? What is fitting to watch? How much?
6. What are the criteria for movies and theater? What will our guidelines be for the kids?
1. What makes you angry?
2. How do you handle your frustration or anger?
3. Who should bring up an issue that is bothersome?
4. What if we disagree both about what should be done, and whether it is serious?
5. Will we go to bed angry at each other?
6. What is our view of getting help from friends or counselors?
1. Who is the main breadwinner?
2. Should the wife work outside the home? Before kids? With kids at home? After kids?
3. What are your views of daycare for children?
4. What determines where you will locate? Job? Whose job? Church? Family?
1. Is it good to do things with friends but without spouse?
2. What will you do if one of you really likes to hang out with so and so and the other doesn’t?
Health and Sickness:
1. Do you have, or have you had any, sicknesses or physical problems that could affect our relationship? (Allergies, cancer, eating disorders, venereal disease, etc.)
2. Do you believe in divine healing and how would prayer relate to medical attention?
3. How do you think about exercise and healthy eating?
4. Do you have any habits that adversely affect health?
God’s love is active. He decided to love you when He could have justly condemned you. He’s involved. He’s merciful, not simply tolerant. He hates sin, yet pursues sinners by name. God is so committed to forgiving and changing you that He sent Jesus to die for you. He welcomes the poor in spirit with a shout and a feast. God is vastly patient and relentlessly persevering as He intrudes into your life. God’s love actively does you good. His love is full of blood, sweat, tears, and cries. He suffered for you. He fights for you, defending the afflicted. He fights with you pursuing you in powerful tenderness so that He can change you. He’s jealous, not detached. His sort of empathy and sympathy speaks out, with words of truth to set you free from sin and misery. He will discipline you as proof that He loves you. God Himself comes to live in you, pouring out His Holy Spirit in your heart, so that you will know Him. He puts out power and energy. God’s love has hate in it too: hatred for evil, whether done to you or by you. God’s love demands that you respond to it: by believing, trusting, obeying, giving thanks with a joyful heart, working out your salvation with fear, delighting in the Lord.
We need to learn how wrong it is to think of prayer as a way of getting something from God. People often think of prayer as a way of talking God into doing what they want Him to do. This is what lies behind “name it and claim it” Christianity, the idea that I can influence God by offering the right kind of prayer. But that attitude ultimately leads to hell. As C. S. Lewis once observed, “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in Hell, choose it.” Besides, why would anyone want to change God’s mind? The Bible says that His will is “good, pleasing and perfect” (Rom. 12:2). Imagine what a mess our lives would be in if God always did what we wanted Him to do! For unlike God’s will, our own wills are evil, displeasing, and imperfect.
You may spoil the Gospel by substitution. You have only to withdraw from the eyes of the sinner the grand object which the Bible proposes to faith, – Jesus Christ; and to substitute another object in His place… and the mischief is done. Substitute anything for Christ, and the Gospel is totally spoiled!… You may spoil the Gospel by addition. You have only to add to Christ, the grand object of faith, some other objects as equally worthy of honor, and the mischief is done. Add anything to Christ, and the Gospel ceases to be a pure Gospel!… You may spoil the Gospel by interposition. You have only to push something between Christ and the eye of the soul, to draw away the sinner’s attention from the Savior, and the mischief is done… You may spoil the Gospel by disproportion. You have only to attach an exaggerated importance to the secondary things of Christianity, and a diminished importance to the first things, and the mischief is done. Once alter the proportion of the parts of truth, and truth soon becomes downright error!… You may completely spoil the Gospel by confused and contradictory directions. Complicated and obscure statements about faith, baptism, Church privileges, and the benefits of the Lord’s Supper…are almost as bad as no statement at all.
While the spiritual heart is most important, most relationships start off based on physical attractiveness (see Song of Solomon). Therefore, I submit to you that we demonstrate love toward our spouse by reasonably maintaining our attractiveness. After all, according to Scripture our bodies belong not to ourselves, but to each other (1 Cor. 7:4). What we are seeing to avoid is the popular mentality that says, “Get the ring and let my attractiveness do its thing.” Moreover, if the relationships are working correctly, our death is the most painful thing our spouses and children will ever encounter. I’ve done my share of funerals. I’ve seen this up close and personal. So how can we say we love them by willfully speeding up the process toward a premature death simply due to physical neglect? Is it a loving act if our grandchildren live the majority of their lives without us because we chose an unhealthy lifestyle?
We gather together on the first rather than the seventh day of the week because redemption is even a greater work than creation and more worthy of commemoration and because the rest which followed creation is far outdone by the rest which ensues upon the completion of redemption. Like the Apostles, we meet on the first day of the week and hope that Jesus may stand in our midst and say, “Peace be unto you.” Our Lord has lifted the Sabbath from the old and rusty hinges where on the law had placed it long before and set it on the new golden hinges which His love has fashioned. He has placed our rest day not at the end of a week of toil but at the beginning of the rest which remains for the people of God. Every first day of the week we should meditate on the rising of our Lord and seek to enter into the fellowship with Him in His risen life.
Truths about Friendship – From the life of Paul [in 2 Timothy 4]:
1. Paul believed in the critical importance of having close friends – verses 9, 21a.
2. Paul knew from personal experience the pain and anguish of loneliness – verses 10b, 11a, 16a.
3. Paul knew the importance of having the right kind of friends: be discerning and selective – verses 14-15.
4. Paul knew from personal experience the pain of betrayal and abandonment – verses 10a, 16.
5. Paul had learned the importance of forgiving those who had failed him. In fact, he believed in giving old friends who had blown it another chance – verses 11b, 16b.
6. As you grow old in life, in addition to friends, you need books! – verse 13.
7. In the final analysis, when everything is said and done, Jesus will always be your best friend; the only friend you can always count on – verses 17-18.
My son, say thou thus in everything: “Lord, if this be pleasing unto Thee, let it be so. Lord, if it be to Thy honor, in Thy name let this be done. Lord, if Thou seest it good, and allowest it to be profitable for me, then grant unto me that I may use this to Thine honor. But if Thou knowest it will be harmful unto me, and no profit to the health of my soul, take away any such desire from me.”
The highest form of prayer is not, “Thy way, O God, not mine,” but “My way, O God, is Thine!” We are taught to pray, not “Thy will be changed,” but “Thy will be done."
[T]here is nothing in us or done by us at any stage of our earthly development because of which we are acceptable to God. We must always be accepted for Christ’s sake or we cannot ever be accepted at all. This is not true of us only “when we believe,” it is just as true after we have believed. It will continue to be true as long as we live… It is always, on His “blood and righteousness” alone that we can rest. There is never anything that we are or have or do that can take His place or that take a place along with Him. We are always unworthy, and all that we have or do of good is always of pure grace.
He has told us to pray, “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). And if we have ever prayed that prayer and meant it – even once – we have ourselves shut the door on thousands of things for which we might foolishly ask.