Gene Cunningham - April 8, 2000
Simplicity in Christ #12
God's word is a sword. What is its target? (Heb 4:12). Man shall not live by bread alone (Mat 4:1-4). The word is a sword to be used in prayer (Eph 6:17-18). Sermon on the Mount was a message on the life of a disciple (Mat 6:7-13). There's no fellowship apart from participation.Committing sin quenches the Spirit (Eph 4:30). Lack of participation (omission) grieves the Spirit (1Th 5:19). How is God's name exalted? God's name is "hallowed" by the coming of His Kingdom (Eze 36:23). When is His will done? The mark of His Kingdom is when His will is done in the life of His people (Rom 14:17). What is the name being hallowed? Jesus. "What is His name?" was an Old Testament mystery (Pro 30:4, John 17:6, Phi 2:10).
Should we pray for the kingdom? (Joh 18:36-37). The Kingdom of Glory is prophetic, universal, future. It's also a Kingdom of Grace which is personal, practical, and present. It works out in human thoughts, actions and decisions. Praying "Thy Kingdom come" means let it be in me. He is creator, redeemer, mediator, but also what God desires man to become. To do that, or will has to be subordinated to His. The ills of the earth are a result of human wills running the show. The Jews longed for the King of Glory, but not the Kingdom of Grace. We want Him to control others, but surrender to His will is the only path to righteousness, joy, and peace in the Holy Spirit. For the Church Age believer, the Kingdom of Grace prepares the way for the Kingdom of Glory which includes the marraige of the church to Jesus Christ, united in a spiritual union forever. What we see as a discipline in Jesus' life is a discipline in prayer. Jesus always stresses the importance of God's word (Heb 4:12). When he exhorts the disciples he emphasizes prayer (Eph 6:17-18).
Prayer converts God's Word into His Work. "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it." (Joh 14:9-14). How can God's Word be converted to work written into our life? (Joh 10:25-38, Joh 8:31-32). We are a message to others, whether true or false (2Co 3:2-3).
You're writing a gospel, a chapter each day,
by the deeds that you do, and the words that you say.
Men read what you write, whether faithless or true.
So, what is the gospel according to you?
Jesus prayed so that the perfect Man could be a living example of the word of God in His everyday life (Mar 1:35, Luk 11:1). How much greater our need to be in prayer. What's the missing link between "greater works than these he will do" (Joh 14:12) and "I will do it" (Joh 14:14)? "... ask in my name" (Joh 14:13-14).
Prayer transforms fellowship into fruit. "He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing" (Joh 15:5-6). God has designed partnership into His plan. Without fellowship or fruit, the world harshly treats a believer. "...they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned" (Joh 15:6, Eze 16:40-41, Eze 17:9-10, Eze 19:12-14). God changes our desires, and grant them when we pray (Joh 15:7-8, Psa 37:4). The request must glorify Him. "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you." (Joh 15:16).
Prayer is the "divine alchemy" which turns sorrow into joy. "...Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full" (Joh 16:20-28). We need to seek Him until we see Him (Joh 14:21-23, Mat 5:8-9). We will see a spiritual reality when we ask (Heb 11:12, Heb 11:27). The promise illustrated by the picture when met with the prerequisite ends up in a privilege (Joh 16:23). We go to the Father in the name of the Son, by the power of the Spirit. Jesus gave the disciples one last prayer example (Joh 17:1-26).
Scripture References: John 14:21-23, Luke 11:1, Matthew 6:7-13, Ezekiel 16:40-41, John 18:36-37, John 16:20-28, Mark 1:35, John 17:1-26, Ephesians 6:17-18, John 15:6, Philippians 2:10, John 15:16, John 8:31-32, John 16:23, Matthew 4:1-4, John 15:5-6, John 17:6, Psalms 37:4, John 10:25-38, Hebrews 11:27, Hebrews 4:12, John 14:13-14, Romans 14:17, John 15:7-8, John 14:9-14, Hebrews 11:12, John 14:14, Ezekiel 36:23, Ezekiel 19:12-14, Ephesians 6:17-18, Matthew 5:8-9, John 14:12, Ephesians 4:30, Ezekiel 17:9-10, Hebrews 4:12
From Series: "2018 AYC Ladies Classes"
Nan Cunningham spoke to the ladies at the 2018 AYC Camp.