May 16, 2018

1 Peter 2:8 (NLT) — 8 And, “He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.

If you were blind and were able to live on your own I imagine that it would be very important to have your rooms arranged so that you knew where everything was. That way you could walk around without tripping and falling. It would be a very cruel person who for a good laugh would place something on the floor that you didn’t know about so that you would trip and fall.

Jesus came into the world as a light to show people the way to live. When we receive Jesus our eyes are opened and we see the obstacles that the enemy has placed in out path to cause us to fall into sin. Those who reject Jesus continue living life in the dark and they don’t perceive the things that constantly trip them up to sin as obstacles. The enemy is so good at blinding the eyes of their understanding to the truth. They think that their houses are in order and that they know where everything is and yet they keep stumbling. The enemy is also an excellent deceiver.

2 Corinthians 4:4 (NLT) — 4 Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

So when we hear about all the evil things that go on in our world it shouldn’t surprise us. Evil happens because people’s minds are blinded to the truth. They are unable to see Jesus Christ as the glorious Son of God. So we need to pray that God would shine his light into their hearts so that they can see the real Jesus and be drawn to yield their lives to him.

2 Corinthians 4:6 (NLT) — 6 For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

Once Jesus comes into their lives he will begin to rearrange the furniture so that they quit stumbling.

1 Peter 2:9 (NLT) — 9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

If it wouldn’t be for the fact that God called us out of darkness into his wonderful light we would still be stumbling around in the dark. Pray that those who don’t know Jesus will hear the call.

1 Peter 2:10 (NLT) — 10 “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.”

Pray that they will receive God’s mercy and be identified as His people. We certainly can change our world if we would but take the time to consistently pray.

2 Thessalonians 3:1 (NLT) — 1 Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you.

1 Peter 4:7 (NLT) — 7 The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.

Well the end of the world is certainly closer now than it was in Peter’s day so we probably should be more earnest and disciplined in our praying. Prayer is so important because as God’s partners we are preparing the way for him to work in the lives of people. Think of prayer as a big bulldozer preparing a road through a mountain.

Peter had experienced first hand ‘preparing prayer’. Remember when Jesus said to Peter that he had prayed that Peter’s faith wouldn’t fail and that when he turned back to God that he would strengthen his brothers? Well that pray prepared the way for God to work in Peter’s life and his faith didn’t fail and he did turn back and he did strengthen his brothers.

It was Cornelius’s prayers in Acts 10 that prepared the way for God to send Peter to tell Cornelius and his household the way of salvation through Jesus Christ.

The prayers of Jesus prepared the way for God to strengthen him as he was about to go to the cross. In the garden of Gethsemane he told his disciple to pray that they wouldn’t enter into temptation. They chose to sleep so there was no preparation for the Lord to work and as a consequence they did fall into temptation. When we pray for the sick we prepare the way for God to heal. When we pray for the unsaved we prepare the way for God to save. When we pray for Pastor Jeremy we are preparing a way for God to use him mightily in being our shepherd and bringing us the wor of the Lord.

God wants us to work together with him to accomplish his will on earth and we do that with prayer. Get the dozer out and start dozing.

Isaiah 40:3–5 (NLT) — 3 Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! 4 Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. 5 Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The Lord has spoken!”

Be Inspired Hilltop!