Intercessory Prayer

iprayerWould your prayers spare an entire nation?  Do you pray for God’s glory, even if it costs you something?  How is it possible that such a wretchedly sinful nation as Israel (like us!) could still be in a relationship with God?  The story of Moses, a powerhouse intercessor answers these!

You know the story (Exodus 32).  Moses is up on the mountain with God for forty days, getting revelation from God.  And while he is doing that, Israel is down below getting impatient and making a golden calf.  God is hot – and rightfully so!  God notes that their sin is serious.  They have corrupted (destroyed) themselves (32:7).  They have so very quickly left the path that God commanded them (32:8a) – in such a short time turning from their God.  They have shown huge disrespect by claiming that this golden calf brought them out of Egypt (32:8b).  And, they were stubborn, obstinate, rebellious, and bullheaded (32:9).  God was hot and ready to destroy them.  Honestly, their actions reflect how we believers treat God so many times in corrupting our lives, turning from God, being unthankful, and stubbornly resisting Him.

At this point, the message of Exodus is telling Israel (and us!) how God took care of His people.  He provided for them (Exodus 16) and protected them (Exodus 17) and now we have to see what He did to enable them to continue on in a relationship with Himself – when they had sinned so absolutely terribly.  What could possibly deal with a sin like this?

God’s remedy for this situation is intercessory prayer.  God threatened to destroy Israel, but what He wanted was for Moses to pray and the nation to be spared.  God had made promises to the twelve tribes (Genesis 49), so the nation could not be destroyed.  But the nation deserved to be destroyed.  God’s solution was to set Moses to praying.  Someone has said that when God sets out to do a work, He sets someone to praying. 

God led Moses to pray in a couple of ways.  He told Moses to leave Him alone (Ex. 32:10) and He would destroy Israel.  When Moses heard that, he clearly connected Israel’s destruction to leaving God alone.  In other words, if Moses did not pray, God would destroy Israel.  Also, God stirred up Moses by offering to Moses the same promise that God had made to Abraham (Gen. 12:2) – becoming head of a great nation.  Though Moses could have personally benefitted from this, this statement immediately prompted in Moses’ mind exactly what God wanted Moses to think – Moses could not be the head of this great nation because God had already promised that to Abraham!  Such praying for Israel would cost Moses personally.

So Moses besought God (Ex. 32:11) in prayer.  God’s face was hot, hardened, harsh, and ready to execute judgment, but Moses besought God – literally meaning he “softened God’s face.”  He appeased God and changed God’s face from anger to favor.  What a beautiful picture of intercession this is! 

The prayer itself was simple.  First, Moses reminded God of His property (32:11).  Although God was ready to disinherit Israel (32:7), they were actually God’s people (32:11 – “thy” and “thou”).  Second, Moses was concerned about God’s glory based on what the Egyptians would say (32:12).  Finally, Moses claimed God’s promises (32:13).  And with this sound practice of intercessory prayer, God repented of the evil which He thought to do.  God spared Israel like He wanted to do in the first place!

Moses was a prayer warrior for Israel.  It cost him something personally in order to pray like this.  It followed the leading of God to pray like this.  It took a primary concern for God’s property, glory, and promises to pray like this.  All true intercessors must accept these things.

But maybe a bigger Intercessor is in view here.  As noted earlier, God was teaching Israel that He was providing everything that they needed for their new life with Him – including on-going cleansing for their sin!  And even though they were God’s people, they sinned horribly.  And what God “needed” in order to bring cleansing was this – an Intercessor, a Mediator, an Advocate.  He needed Someone who would set aside His own privileges (Phil 2:5-10) and give of Himself to intercede for God’s people.  The people absolutely did not deserve it; even though they were God’s people, they were still totally unworthy.  But this Intercessor would pray on their behalf and God would pardon.  If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous (1 John 2:1).  He is even at the right hand of God, making intercession for us (Romans 8:34).  He appears in the presence of God for us (Hebrews 9:24).  Glory to God, what a privilege we have – for every honest Christian knows what it is like to sin just as wretchedly as Israel had sinned.  Hallelujah, we have been given a wonderful Intercessor – an Advocate, Jesus Christ the Righteous! 

And with the model of Moses to follow – and even better, that of Jesus Christ – let us be motivated to set aside our personal desires so we can intercede for undeserving people to the glory of God!

School Updates

We are grateful for the hours of labor that have been put into our educational building that not only serves our church, but also our school’s educational needs.  The building is looking so much better!  Lord willing, we will soon have a new school sign as well!

www.CoonRapidsChristianSchool.org

Before:

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After:

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Victory Gospel Crusade

VictoryFB3The Victory Gospel Crusade is coming up and we are excited to be one of the hosting churches for this outreach.  Here are some of the ways that our church will be involved:

  • Hosting Evangelist Dwight Smith on Sunday Morning, May 15th
  • Receiving a love offering on May 15th to help with the
  • Providing RV parking for one of the four evangelists who are coming
  • Helping with outreach during the first week on Monday night, May 16th
  • Participating in at least one tent meeting service, Tuesday night, May 24th

Here is how you can help:

  • Pray earnestly for the Crusade
  • Invite someone to hear the Gospel on May 15th, and for any night of the tent meeting (May 22 – June 3).
  • Help us go canvassing and soul-winning on May 16th and any other time you are available.
  • Join us for the tent meeting on any night from May 22-June 3.
  • Like the Crusade facebook page and invite friends to attend using the events on facebook.

For more information, click on the links above!

7 Abortion Conversation Points

life-7-to-12-weeks-1316897Discussions with those who favor abortions can be difficult.  While we do believe the Bible and allow it to influence our lives, many times they do not.  Listed below are some Biblical and logical talking points for having a loving conversation with someone about this subject.

Answering the Beliefs of those Who Favor Abortions*:

Remember these general truths.  Abortion is not an eraser.  When a woman is pregnant she is already a mother; she is not “becoming a mother.”  A baby is not “on the way;” it is already here when the pregnancy starts.  Pregnancy is not a disease to be “cured” by abortion. The cure for pregnancy is birth.

 

  1. But it is only a fetus and has not yet reached viability.
  • The title of fetus is the name of a stage of human development like that of infant, child, adolescent, or teen.  All titles describe humans, they are just at various stages of development.
  • Human life begins at conception, for the genetic makeup of the child is complete at that time.  The gender, height, hair, and eye and skin colors are all decided.  They simply need time to grow.  Human beings cannot be justly and accurately labeled as “non-persons.’
  • If human life does not begin at conception, then biological fatherhood is a myth.
  • God is said to be involved in the conception of life (1 Sam. 1:19-20).  He knows the children even before conception (Jer. 1:5) and is actively involved in their life in the womb (Ps. 139:13-16).  If God has His hand in the conception of every child, He has already made the choice to give life.  No one has the right to take that choice away.

 

  1. What if the child is unwanted?

 Some would say that it is better to kill a child than raise a child that no one wants.  It misleads people into thinking that this will make every child a wanted child.  Here are some objections:

  • There is always a family that wants a child.  Children of any race and even of any sickness are wanted by other people.  Many, many couples cannot have children and would yearn to have your child.
  • This is selfishness of the parents, and Scripture teaches us to get our focus off of ourselves.
  • We do not apply this to others, so why to unborn babies?  Just because we do not want a toddler, does not mean we can kill him.  Just because we do not want someone who is sick or elderly does not mean we can get rid of them.  This is hardly a reason to kill unborn children.
  • What if your parents did not want you?
  • The child should not be punished for someone else’s actions.
  • This means that a child only has a right to exist if a child is wanted more than other things like a career or finances.  Thus, aborted children are victims not of their own failures but of the selfishness of others.

 

  1. What if I cannot afford the child?
  • There are more crisis pregnancy centers than abortion centers to help with these challenges.
  • This truly is not the case.  Very few people could truly state this.  The problem is that we do not want to give up our standard of living, our toys, and our technology.
  • God does provide for our needs!  He answers prayer.  He works through the local church to help out.  We cannot disregard God’s promises to provide; we must trust Him!

 

  1. What if the child is deformed?
  • God still made the child, even the deaf, dumb, and blind (Ex. 4:11).
  • God will be glorified through the deformity (John 9:1-3).
  • 93% of abortions are on healthy women with healthy babies.
  • Doctors and tests claiming that babies are deformed have very often been proven wrong at birth.

 

  1. What if the Mother is addicted to Drugs?
  • Medical procedures are available to wean a baby off of drugs.
  • Is it right to kill the child due to the wrong choices of the mother?
  • We do not kill adults simply because they are addicts and have harmed themselves; why should we be entitled to kill children who are addicted?

 

  1. What if the Mother was raped?
  • Less than 1% of all abortions fall in this category, so it is not nearly as big as it is made out to be.
  • Children do not always grow up to be exactly like their fathers.
  • It is not the fault of the child that the mother was mistreated, so why should the child have to pay for it?
  • Rape is an act of violence against a woman, and abortion is an act of violence against a child, this time the woman using her power to get what she wants – freedom from pregnancy.
  • These abortions victimize the woman all over again.

 

  1. But it is a woman’s own body. 
  • If the person is truly a Christian, then her body is not her own (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) but rather belongs to God.  We are to present our bodies a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2).
  • Actually, there are two bodies here.  There are two heartbeats, two sets of DNA, sometimes two different genders, two different blood types, etc.  At no time from conception onward is the baby simply a part of the woman’s body; it is constantly separate.
  • The female children who are aborted are women too, and they have rights to their bodies.
  • One person’s rights end where they infringe on the rights of another.
  • The woman should have controlled her own body to prevent pregnancy, instead of now trying to control the body of the baby in her womb.

 

*Special thanks to the Sunday School class which inspired and began this article, as well as the input from others in further developing it.

Endure Hardness in God’s Will

EndureHardnessHave you ever gone through hardness, and you know the reason why?  It was your own stupidity or sinfulness that brought on the difficulty you are facing.  Enduring hardships in life is much easier when you know you are in the will of God.  As Paul wrote a “dying letter” to his dear friend Timothy, he encouraged Timothy to endure the hardships of life.  At this time when Paul was imprisoned and awaiting execution and therefore enduring hardness himself, Paul carefully identified himself to Timothy at the beginning of the letter as “an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God (2 Timothy 1:1).”  At other times, Paul used this title as a means of commanding obedience to his message, but in this letter to his weary friend Timothy, it was a teaching tool to show Timothy that he knew he was in this hardship because of his God-given role as an apostle.  You, too, my friend, must know that you are in the center of God’s will.  Then, if hardship comes – and it will come – you can endure that hardness because you know you are exactly where God wants you!

If you want to know more about enduring hardness, why not join us on Wednesday nights at 7pm for our study?

Kids Choir Ministers

We are thankful for the kids choir singing yesterday at the rest homes of Coon Rapids. Throughout the day they saying a total of nine songs as well as quoting several verses of Scripture. I am thrilled with the opportunity to encourage our children to serve the Lord even from an early age. It’s fun feeding them lunch and one of the rest homes even gave them cake and juice. Praise the Lord!


  

Study God’s Word on Current Culture

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Should I be scared of global warming?  What is Islam?  Is there hope for substance abusers?  Should our nation go to war?  Does God approve of a free market economy?  What is a good strategy for personal purity?  Does God promise me health and wealth?  Does God care if I gamble?  How should I respond to immigration problems?

Questions like these need answers.  They arise as we are confronted with culture everyday in both our private and public lives.  We can’t escape culture, and we should not try to ignore it.  We are wise to consider cultural issues through the lens of the Word of God.  That is what this study will help you do.

The Bible is timeless. It addresses today’s culture as if God had recently inspired it.  Keep that truth in mind as you learn.  Seek to know God’s Word when you are confronted with Current Culture.

We invite you to join us this fall on Sunday mornings at 10:50 for this Adult Bible Study.  If you know someone who would like to be a part of this study, please forward this information to them, or share our post on the church facebook page.  We want people to know what God’s Word says about our Current Culture!

For more information on how our Bible Study time is set up, click here.

Bathroom Facelift

Praise the Lord for the progress that is being made on our bathroom updates! Thank you to all those who have worked so hard to make this possible. Here is a picture of the new auditorium men’s room.

  

New Sunday Evening Series

AimCE

For quite some time I have been contemplating this series and putting bits and pieces of it together.  I am excited to present God’s Word to you on this very helpful topic of “The Aim of Christian Education.”  I hope that all of the parents and teachers connected to our church will make it a priority to be here for it.  Here is the excerpt from our website:

“Are you a parent?  Home school mom?  Children’s church teacher?  Christian school teacher?  Join us as we consider the true aim of Christian education.  What is our goal in Christian education?  What does God want us to accomplish?  This series will be a help to parents and teachers and will set a focus for our own Christian school.”

Deatricks

We enjoyed having Michael and Nora Deatrick with us yesterday. They are missionaries to the Solomon Islands. They graciously invested in our older Christian school students in chapel (see picture) as well!

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