Friday, May 21, 2010

What's with the Attitude?

The Bible talks many times about the attitude we should have when we approach God in supplication. From the list in Malachi chapter one to the 'Our Father', each of them shows the proper way to come to God in prayer. Although it is addressed so often, many still are praying in a manner that does not reflect their Christian nature. Our attitude towards God should reflect the fact that God is the most important thing in our life, and that we love our neighbor as ourselves. These two statements, directly from Jesus, show us all we really need to know to be Christian.

Mathew 22: 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38T his is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Following these two commands, we find that all of the ten commandments fall into place. One cannot murder another and pretend to have loved them. One cannot be jealous of another's things and pretend to love them. One cannot lie to another, steal, or dishonor his father and mother; all the while pretending it is out of love for them. It, once again, is all about attitude towards God! When God truly comes first in your life you will take your commandments seriously. It is true that Christ died on the cross for us, and that he has washed us clean of sin. It is also true that faith in Christ is enough. Jesus however said, those who love me will keep my commands. (John 14:15) When we come to the cross and give our hearts to Jesus it should be completely! We should do it out of love, out of desperation, out of hope! It should not be a moment where we simply say, 'I believe in Christ' and then forget what he did the moment we go out of the building.

How does this apply to our lives? Our attitudes? You should be reflecting that love in every action, every day. Each time you interact with another person it should be out of love. Think carefully what this means. It means that our needs are not first. It means that we offer ourselves as servants to the world. What? As servants? Jesus, the king of the universe, came down and presented himself not as a king, but as a servant. Is he not our example? Should we not present ourselves as living images of him? When we come to the cross our old selves die. We are no longer a creature of this world, but spiritual beings, Children of God! We should act as such!

It also applies to our prayer life. When we come to God we should praise and worship him! How many times do we begin our prayers with 'Lord why me? What did I do?' Think of the 'Our Father'. This was the example that Jesus gave his disciples in how to pray.

Mathew 6:9 Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, asit isin heaven.

Jesus tells his disciples to start off their prayers with a praising of God. That God's will be done in earth, just as it is in heaven.

Hallow -To make holy; to set apart for holy or religious use; to
consecrate; to treat or keep as sacred; to reverence.

He instructs them to indicate that God's name is special and holy, to be treated with reverence. Many religious Jews will not even say God's name, even to the point of writing the English word as G-d. How much respect should we be showing knowing that God's name is hallowed? When was the last time we prayed and said God, your name alone is special and holy, how much more so are you? We should pray with God's will in mind. First and foremost! What is God's will? Romans 12:2 tells us “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” God's will is good, pleasing and perfect. His will is that all of his Children will come to Him. His will is that we worship him, and love him, as he first loved us. His will is that we love one another. So when you pray, pray in God's will. We should pray for things that help others, out of love.

God wants us to have everything we need. He doesn't always give us everything we want. Sometimes that is because what we want, will either hurt us or hurt someone else. Yet we spend a great deal of time worrying and being anxious. Jesus told us that we should stop worrying, if God clothes the flowers in the field in more beauty than even a great King, how much more so would he provide us with clothes? If God provides food for the birds in the air, how much more so will he provide food for us? (Mathew 6:25-32) God knows what we need, and he will provide! The world will make it seem to you that you are suffering and that God is not listening, but He is! Not only is he listening he is answering! We need to be still and quiet and listen to God! (Psalm 46:10)

I will close for now with words directly from our savior, words more perfect than anything I could come up with on my own. Mathew 6:33-34 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the evil thereof.”

In Christ,
Brian

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