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Learnings on the Path to Christlikeness

Sometimes our prayers just don't seem to be answered. What does the Bible say about prayer? What are some Biblical reasons for prayer that appears unanswered?

Sleep is a struggle for some, including myself. God's word has some things to say about resting in him. God has been known to do mighty things for people while they were asleep.
Having looked at Jesus' teachings regarding money and prosperity, this fourth entry in our series on prosperity looks at the New Testament teachings on the subject. Are we to simply "be rich" because we are Christians? How does the Bible describe our labors and earnings in Christ?
This is the third entry in a series on Biblical prosperity. This article looks at what prosperity meant concerning Abraham and to how prosperity was addressed by Jesus in the New Testament. Jesus had quite a bit to say about money. Was one of those things, "Seek ye first financial blessing, that you may bless others in my name?"
This is the second of a four-part series on prosperity. This entry deals with some New Testament Greek, Job, Elijah and the Abrahamic covenant. A review of the Bible tells us that God used people from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds. Prospering to these people meant being used by God, not becoming financially wealthy.
This is the first in a four-part series on what the Bible says about prosperity. This first part deals with prosperity in the Old Testament, and looks at some of the Hebrew words and verses used to describe the prosperity of God's people.

God's view of ambition is different than our own. Consider the request of James and John. It was their desire to sit at Jesus' right hand and left hand in the Kingdom, but Jesus spoke of "his cup" and what we may have to bear in following him. The path to greatness in God's Kingdom is through service.

Do we show mercy? While God will certainly give justice to the wicked, he will also extend mercy to anyone who comes to him. We should seek God's mercy for others who are outside of his grace, just as Abraham did with Sodom.

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. -Philippians 2:3-4.

The Bible says a lot about humility and what our attitude should be like. We must learn to humble ourselves, or God will humble us, which may be the more painful route.

Within the church there are those who are true, and those who are not - the wheat and the tares. Tares, unlike obvious heretics and false teachers, look quite similar to the wheat. Because of this, we may not really know who is who, and in attempting to root out the one, we may cause damage to the other.
Not everything in life goes as we hope or plan. In these times, it is easy to ask, "What am I doing wrong? Am I truly following Christ? Is he even the one?" John the Baptist faced rough circumstances after having spent so much of himself on Christ, and so he asks these questions. How did Jesus answer him?
We are all one in Christ, and we are called to "get along." While we may disagree with others, if those disagreements aren't about core tenants of Christianity, then we still need to recognize that many of those we disagree with are our brothers. None of us are perfect in what we know, so we need to be gracious. We all can learn something, and we should be open to what others have to say.

Of course, if a core doctrine of Christianity is being maligned, then yes, we need to speak out and mark such doctrines and teachers as false.
Several times throughout John, Jesus uses the phrase "I AM" when referencing himself. He's not simply replying, "I am" as if in answering a question. He's proclaiming his deity by using the very name of God that God proclaimed of himself in Exodus 3:14, when God said to Moses "I AM WHO I AM... Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
How, and for how long does God ask us to pray? Are we heard for our longsuffering in prayer? Is the persistent widow an example of how we must keep banging on God's door to get him to respond? We'll look at these questions in this study.
Thoughts, which have varied over time, regarding how God uses us in prayer and his sovereignty regardless of what we choose to do. Ultimately, God has called us to consistent prayer, and we should strive to obey this calling.

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

What does this passage mean? Come discover the beauty of trusting in the true Vinedresser.

If you look in the Hebrew, you will see that God has many words which we translate as "rejoice." Study these different Hebrew words to see the rich tapestry of rejoicing in God!
The heart is deceitful above all things. Yet how many of us, including myself, place our trust in our own hearts? We must resist this urge, learn to not rely on our own emotions, and diligently seek the peace of God through prayer.

In Revelation chapter 4 we meet the four living creatures each having six wings and were full of eyes around and within. We should work to be like these creatures, not long looking outwardly, but also inwardly, to see if there is anything within us that needs changed.