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Not Even A Nod

Traffic was bad and everyone was cranky on that hot afternoon. I noticed a car with two young men waiting to enter traffic from a fast-food restaurant driveway. I thought it was nice when the driver ahead of me let them in.

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A Picture Of Humility

During the Easter season, my wife and I attended a church service where the participants sought to model the events that Jesus and His disciples experienced on the night before He was crucified. As part of the service, the church staff members washed the feet of some of the church volunteers. As I watched, I wondered which was more humbling in our day—to wash another person’s feet or to have someone else wash yours. Both those who were serving and those being served were presenting distinct pictures of humility.

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Memory Loss

Sometimes when we face times of trouble, we may get spiritual amnesia and forget the grace of God. But a good way of reestablishing a thankful heart is to set aside undistracted time and deliberately remember God’s past provisions for us and give thanks.

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Example That Encourages

The story is told that in the late 1800s a group of European pastors attended D. L. Moody’s Bible conference in Massachusetts. Following their custom, they put their shoes outside their room before they slept, expecting them to be cleaned by hotel workers. When Moody saw the shoes, he mentioned the need to others because he knew their custom. But he was met with silence. Moody collected all the shoes and cleaned them himself. A friend who made an unexpected visit to his room revealed what Moody had done. The word spread, and the next few nights others took turns doing the cleaning.

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The Upright Thumb

According to an African fable, four fingers and a thumb lived together on a hand. They were inseparable friends. One day, they noticed a gold ring lying next to them and conspired to take it. The thumb said it would be wrong to steal the ring, but the four fingers called him a self-righteous coward and refused to be his friend. That was just fine with the thumb; he wanted nothing to do with their mischief. This is why, the legend goes, the thumb still stands separate from the other fingers.

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Difficult People

In the book God in the Dock, author C. S. Lewis describes the kind of people we have trouble getting along with. Selfishness, anger, jealousy, or other quirks often sabotage our relationship with them. We sometimes think, Life would be much easier if we didn’t have to contend with such difficult people.

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Broken But Beautiful

Recently, my daughter showed me her collection of sea glass. Also known as beach glass, the varied bits of colored glass are sometimes pieces of pottery but often they are pieces of shattered glass bottles. Originally the glass had a purpose, but then it was casually thrown away and became broken.

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All We Need To Know

In a Fernando Ortega rendition of “Just As I Am,” Billy Graham’s voice can be heard faintly in the background. Dr. Graham is reminiscing about an illness during which he believed he was dying. As he mused on his past, he realized what a great sinner he was and how much he continues to need God’s daily forgiveness.

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Graceland

The Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, is one of the most visited homes in the US. It was built in the 1930s and named after the original owner’s great aunt, Grace. It later became famous as the home of Elvis Presley.

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Confident Access

Mont Saint-Michel is a tidal island located about a half-mile off the coast of Normandy, France. For centuries it has been the site of an abbey and monastery that has attracted religious pilgrims. Until the construction of a causeway, it was notorious for its dangerous access that resulted in the death of some pilgrims. At low tide it is encompassed by sand banks, and at high tide it is surrounded by water. Accessing the island was a cause for fear.

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18 thoughts on “Confident Access

  1. bubbles says:

    “Let us come bodily unto the throne of grace” What a blessing! We are told we can come bold. . . those of the Old Testament did not have this privilege. They went through a priest and with burt offerings. Thank you, Father, for allowing and WANTING us to talk with you. Thank you, Jesus, for making this possible.

  2. tailfeathers says:

    One needs to be careful when reading today’s message. The “we” is not everyone. The “we” only applies to the adopted children of God. God only hears one prayer from an Unbeliever and that is the prayer of a totally surrendered life begging to be saved. That prayer would most likely come in fear and trembling before a Holy God. All other prayers from an Unbeliever fall on deaf ears. As do the prayers of a Believer who is living in disobedience until confession and repentance is made.

    The Bible says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Often Christians, from lay folks to pastors, try to explain away “fear” and say it doesn’t really mean to be “afraid” but rather to “revere”. Perhaps one should look at the Hebrew and Greek words. I’m not taking anything away from “reverence” but looks at the OT & NT passages where folks from Moses to John had a personal encounter with the Living God and didn’t fall down as dead men.

    God can and will be approached at different times by different ways but I would submit that even in those times when we desire to crawl up into our Daddy’s lap, we would do well by remembering in our mind what an awesome God He is!

    1. Rocky says:

      I don’t know tailfeathers, What you say sounds good, but that wasn’t my experience. I wasn’t serving God, nor was I praying to Him. I was yelling/screaming at my father who died when I was 13 y/o. I was not asking for salvation I needed help in my time of desperation.

      I heard an audible voice that sounded like a rushing wind “Fear not, for I am with you always”

      I had no idea what to expect, but the very next day, everything that wasn’t or”couldn’t” happen took place.

      I doubt very much that my biological father did that for me, I believe that my heavenly Father intervened and my cry for help did not fall on deaf ears.

      1. tailfeathers says:

        Rocky, I can’t speak to the voice you heard in your head. I can only speak to what I know is absolutely true and that is the Word of God. And I can unequivocally state that whatever we experience, it MUST ALWAYS align with Scripture and cannot ever contradict it.

        So with that being said, let me give you just a couple things to ponder. First, Scripture plainly says that The Enemy disguises Himself as an Angel of Light. Satan and his demons are imposters and counterfeits BUT they often masquerade and angels and God.

        Second, Satan quoted Scripture to Jesus.

        Third, if you were not Born Again at the time you heard the voice, God would not have been your heavenly Father.

        Which reminds me… one of the verses that teaches about prayer is where the Disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray… “Our Father who art in heaven…” Not the “our Father”. Jesus taught that God hears the prayers of His children.

        Fifth, here are some more verses you can look up yourself which substantiates that God does not hear the prayers of everyone but only His children…
        Proverbs 15:29, Prov. 28:9, Isaiah 59:2, John 9:31, and 1st Pet. 3:12.

        There are a lot more verses that I could point to about prayer but they’re easily found no doubt if you wanna Google it.

        Bottom line, when there is a conflict between one’s experience and the Word of God, ALWAYS trust the Word.

        God Bless…

  3. TEbie says:

    Great devotion Dennis, thank you. I like reading the devotion and asking God to help me grasp what He has for me. Right away, having said that whoever might be reading this have already formed an opinion of me based on whether he or she has read my comments or may be just for the first time. My point here is GOD is KING, He can and does use each to get His will done on earth. Again the choice comes down to each of us. If the person has accepted the Lord in their life or not(hopeful they have or will), you and I can see sometimes through their walk but this depends where we are with the Lord and our situation as well. Thank God you and I are not the judge. God knows our heart and everything about us. Thank you all for your comments very good. Borrow the phrase,through prayer, we have instant access to our Father. In closing God can be faster then a microwave or even the speed of light! Ps.9:7 “But the Lord abides forever; He has established His throne for judgement. And Eccl. 12:14 Because God will bring every act to judgement, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil. Prayers of blessings to all.

  4. Rocky says:

    In addition to Mercy & Grace we can also ask God for blessings.

    Being good alone is not always enough to receive blessings from God, the prodigal son’s brother proved this. Sometimes we must ask for blessings.

    Don’t be afraid to ask for a blessing today!

  5. Randy Bridgeman says:

    Another timely devotional by ODB and an incisive perspective penned by Doc. Thanks. Might add that we should always approach worship and serve our Lord not for what we may receive from Him but because of who He is!

    Have a “good & Godly day, Saints.

  6. maska says:

    Thanks for that perspective, Doc

  7. ghost84 says:

    Amen. Thanks doc for your words.

  8. doctor-perspective says:

    As I read today’s Devotional, over and over again, the words, “Because of Jesus we can come to God through prayer anywhere, any time”, some words popped into my spirit. Those words are, “but not any how”.

    Because of Jesus, without fear, we can come to God through prayer at any of the 1440 minutes or 86400 seconds in each of the 365/6 days in any given year. 100% true. Whenever we are ready to pray, we can come to God in prayer wherever we are on the planet or even if we are on the moon. That too is 100% true.

    But is there something vital missing? Can we come to God any how or with any attitude, and expect Him to answer us? Are there any conditions for answered prayer? I will let you be the judge.

    It is a requirement for answered prayer that our hearts are clean and we forgive those who trespass against us. In Psalm 66:18, David says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear me”. In Mark 11:25-26, Jesus Himself is speaking: “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

    In James 4:3 and elsewhere, another condition is introduced; “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” The motive behind our prayer is important. God blesses us so that we can bless others for His honour and glory. God knows our heart and He sees our motive. We can’t fool Him. When we pray, we do not tell God what He does not already know. Prayer clears our channels so that He can flow through us.

    Sometimes, I am not sure what my own motives are, much less yours. So when we find ourselves in that position, revert to Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”

    John teaches that we must pray according to His will. “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14); “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:13-14)

    We have looked at a few conditions for answered prayer.We have not touched on “faith” (Mark 11:24). All of these affect the, “any how”. The good news is that God is on our side, not against us. He wants to fellowship with us more than we want to fellowship with Him. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace, any time, anywhere, but not any how.

    1. doctor-perspective says:

      If you have never repented of your sin, asked God to forgive you, and accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your Lord and Saviour, you can come to God in prayer for salvation in the name of Jesus anywhere, any how, but NOT ANYTIME. The only time you are guaranteed is NOW. “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2) It is God who is drawing you into prayer for salvation.

      1. bsbuster says:

        Excellent commentary by Doc once again!

        Doc,
        ”Because of Jesus, without fear, we can come to God through prayer at any of the 1440…”

        True but before Jesus came the Israelites had access to DOD the ”FATHER” but they foolishly indulged in all kinds of vile behavior and so periodically got what they fully deserved, namely the proverbial ”divine whoop-ass” !

        Oh! Another thought just popped up in my mind > could the holocaust have been God’s punishment for his ‘’chosen children’’ because, for 2000 years after the birth of Christ they STUBBORNLY refused to believe that he was their ‘’MESSIAH’’ ??!!

        your thoughts please..

        1. doctor-perspective says:

          God has always maintained a very intimate, personal and predictable relationship between Himself and the Israelites. That relationship has been characterized by, among other things, reward for obedience to God and punishment for disobedience. God has used heathen nations to punish Israel and then turned around and punished those heathen nations.

          God can do, and will do anything with anyone. However, when it comes to His dealing with the Nation of Israel, I treat that as “Holy Ground”. I will never try to declare “why” God does anything He does when He does not say “why”, especially when it comes to the Nation of Israel.

          We can agree that the holocaust was not reward. It was punishment. We know that Israel as a Nation has not accepted Jesus as their Messiah. We know that one day they will. We know that the holocaust fuelled the nationalistic spirit among Jews that climaxed in the re-formation of the Jewish State in 1948, as prophesied. We know that the Nation of Israel and the real estate on which that nation lives is the centre piece of prophecy and is the stage that is presently being set for the biggest climax that this world has ever seen. Those are things that we know.

          We also know that we are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. We know what our attitude to Jews must always be, and it is good to remind ourselves once again.
          “And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
          Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. (Romans 11:17-18)

          I pray for the peace of Jerusalem and that the scales will fall off the eyes of every living Jew so that they may recognize their Messiah whom they crucified, that He loves them as mush as, if not more than anyone else, and surrender to His Lordship today.

          1. tapmout says:

            @doc…your comment that our Jewish people of the holocaust from a ruthless dictator was punishment from God is very ignorant!

        2. tapmout says:

          @more ignorance!

    2. andyinhispresence says:

      Many thanks doc for the comments, but can we draw a distinction between accessing His presence and making requests, I think there is a world of difference between them. Thanks.

      1. bsbuster says:

        ”can we draw a distinction between accessing His presence and making requests,..”

        the distinction is self evident!

        1. bubbles says:

          But we can make requests. “If ye abide in me and I abide in you, ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you.”

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