Scripture Reading For Today — Luke 18:1
"Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart."
The bible is replete with so many invitations from God to man, for him to make a choice on what he will do, or which way he will follow.
Early on in the history of the relationship between man and God, Adam and his wife Eve, had a choice to make whether they would obey God or the cravings of their flesh.
Many years later, the children of Israel had a similar choice to make concerning trusting God and walking in obedience to His commands, or to walk in their rebellious ways, to which God said to them — "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live." Deu 30:19.
The Psalmist in Psa 118:24, presents us with another choice that we can make with the rising of each new day — "This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it."
We can make a choice every day to rejoice or to sorrow. Our joy is not really determined by what happens or doesn't happen to us, but what we choose to do with and in our circumstances — we can choose to fix our eyes on what the enemy has done and therefore sorrow, or we could choose to fix our eyes and heart on the majesty and faithfulness of God, and rejoice at the knowledge that He has got us covered.
Our scripture text for today, Luke 18:1, also on careful meditation, can be seen to present us with another kind of choice that actually helps us in our bid to choose a better way in the previous "choice scenarios" that we earlier mentioned.
Jesus prefaced a parable that He spoke to the disciples with this admonition —
"Men always ought to pray and not lose heart."
First, we can read this in the more easily apparent understanding— we have to pray consistently and fervently and not give up; and this would be the correct way to interpret what Jesus said to the disciples.
However, we can also look at this with a deeper understanding; a choice that we are presented with in that statement, that we may not easily realise—When we look at that phrase again, we see a choice – either pray or lose heart.
In other words, there is a correlation between prayer and the state of our heart—you can pray and keep yourself from being overwhelmed by what is happening in your life, or you can neglect to pray, and as a consequence lose heart instead!
Indeed, the bible tells us in Philippians 4:6-7, that when we pray, God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand will guard our hearts and minds as we live in Christ Jesus.
As someone said, prayer should not be like a “fire extinguisher"; an equipment hangs on the wall and about which you may pay little attention until there is an emergency. Then you want it!
Some treat prayer the same way. If there is no “emergency” in life, they don’t use it. But in time of crisis they want God to listen and respond at once!
Christ was teaching His disciples a very critical truth– we ought to pray regularly, “always"; we should be persistent in our prayers and to persevere in our faith and resolve, knowing that God is perfectly just and will answer according to His faithfulness. We should do this and not give up; we need to do this, so that we do not get overwhelmed and give up!
Pastor Wale Ola
What is God saying to me in today's message?
What was ministered to me in the bible verses that I read today?
What are the changes or adjustments I need to make in my life to align with the word of God?
What is my commitment to the word for today?
What practical steps can I take to benefit from the word I have read today?
Memory Verse: 2 Corinthians 1:20
"For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us." NKJV
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for the precious promises that You have made to me in Christ Jesus. I pray that You will help me to keep my eyes on Your promises and not on my problems.
I bring myself before Your throne of grace today—I pray for Your grace to keep me strong in faith as I present every issue of my life to You in prayers; let my heart be kept strong in the rest of faith, that I will not lose heart as I wait for Your promises to be made manifest in my life.
Song For Today: Yes and Amen — Pat Barrett | Bethel Music & Housefires