Object of your Prayer

How would you characterize your prayer life? What is your attitude towards prayer? Do you tend to see prayer as the vehicle to Jesus, who is like some genie in a bottle that we command to give us our wishes? Do seek God’s hand more than you seek his face?

Some though provoking questions to evaluate your prayer life. Below is letter attributed to a Civil War soldier. This note was found on his dead body after the Battle of Gettysburg.

This soldier expresses God’s prayer priorities and the ultimate desires of the heart shaped by the Holy Spirit.

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.
            I was made weak, that I might humbly learn to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things.
            I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
            I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men.
            I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
            I was given life, that I might enjoy all things
I got nothing that I asked for,
but everything that I hoped for
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered
            I among all men am most richly blessed.

Jesus doesn’t want to deny our desires, but as we seek His face, He helps us to remove the false objects of our affections so that we will have the greater blessings He longs to lavish on us.

Grow in Grace!

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Audio Sermon: She Did What She Could

Text: Mark 14:1-13

This message was preached by Pastor Don Harrelson on Sunday January 3, 2016, at Cumberland Bible Church in Cumberland, MD.

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Audio Sermon: Why Study the Ten Commandments

Text: Exodus 20

This message was preached by Pastor Don Harrelson on Sunday January 4, 2015, at Cumberland Bible Church in Cumberland, MD.

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Audio Sermon:The Preparation of the Servant

Text: Mark 1:1-13

This message was preached by Pastor Don Harrelson at Cumberland Bible Church on Sunday September 14, 2014.

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Happy 2016

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January 8, 2016 · 10:00 am

Be an Example

Many Christians don’t know how to live the Christian life simply because they don’t have a role model to follow.

Are you being a good example to other believers? Does your life exhibit qualities that set the example for others to follow?

You might be thinking why do I have to be an example, and second, in what way am I to suppose be an example to others?

Paul in writing to Timothy commands him in 1 Timothy 4:12 that he is to be an example to other believers in his outer life and in his inner life.

In your outer life, you are to be an example in word and in conversation.

As an example in word. You are to be exemplary in your speech. You are to be honest and speak the truth in love.

Your speech is important because a person’s speech reflects what is in his heart. Your speech is to be encouraging and edifying. All types of  sinful speech must be avoided., such as angry speech, impure speech, and slanderous words.

Next, you are to be an example in conversation. Your life is to be controlled by the Word of God, and you are not to be an hypocrite.

The word conversation means conduct or manner of life.

Therefore, you are to be a model of righteous living who manifests his biblical convictions in every area of his life.

You are to be an example to other believers in what you say and how you act. You are to be an example with your lips and your life.

Paul continues to exhort Timothy to be an example to other believers. He turns from the outer life to the inner life.

First, you are to be an example in love. Biblical love is far different than the emotion our culture calls love. Biblical love is a self-sacrificing love. For example, biblical love is illustrated in in John 15:13

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Literally speaking this verse means that are you willing to die for your friends. But figuratively speaking are you willing to give them your time? Love is to be the motivation for your life– first toward God and then towards others

Next, you are to be an example in spirit. This word simply means do you have an inner enthusiasm and the excitement of a child of God. Are you passionate about God? Are you passionate about your Christian life?

Third, you are to be an example in faith. The idea here is faithfulness. It means you trust God and are faithful towards Him. Do you have an unswerving commitment? Are you someone who can be counted on?

Finally, you are to be an example in purity. This means that you live your life in such a contradistinction from that of how the world lives, thus showing how truly a godly person is to live. It means sexual purity both in actions and in the intentions of the heart.

Will you be an example for others to follow? It takes effort in cooperation with the Holy Spirit, but the dividends pay off for you and for others.

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A Biblical Focused Mind

School is back in session, and it is time for the students to put their minds back into gear. But, spiritually speaking, is your mind in gear? Is your mind disciplined in its thinking or does it wander? You might be prone to answer, “You can’t really control your mind; it just goes where it wants to go.” And that answer would be wrong.

God has given us a leash for our mind in Philippians 4:8. In this verse, He tells us what our minds need to be focusing on. Our minds are not to wander but are to be disciplined. Simply put, our minds are to think on things that are virtuous and praiseworthy. But what things are virtuous and praiseworthy?

Paul explains those things that are virtuous and praiseworthy to be things that are

  • true

That which is found in God (2 Tim. 2:25), in Christ (Eph. 4:20:21), in the Holy Spirit (John 16:13), and in God’s Word (John 17:17).

  • noble

That which is worthy or respect. Believers are to think on whatever is worthy of awe and adoration, i.e., the sacred as opposed to the profane.

  • just

That which is right. And what is right is defined by God and his character.

  • pure

That which is not besmirched or tainted in someway by evil. It is morally clean and undefiled.

  • lovely

Those  things that commend themselves by their intrinsic attractiveness and agreeableness. They give pleasure to all and cause distaste to none.

  • of good report

That which is admirable; it enjoys a good reputation, such as kindness, courtesy, and respect for others.

So let’s focus our minds on the things that God would have us to think on so that we might experience joy in our lives.

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