Chambersburg Bible Church

Let God be Magnified

Do you pray for yourself?  I’m not talking about asking God for “food and clothing,” though there is nothing wrong with that.  As a matter of fact, God commands and encourages His children to ask Him for their daily bread (Matthew 6:11Matthew 6:11
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11 Give us this day our daily bread.  

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)!  The kind of prayer that I’m referring to is asking the Lord to bring about real Christian growth in your life.  We have been conditioned to pray for others, but we feel that petitioning God on our own behalf is somehow self-serving and contrary to the Scriptures.  Christians rally to pray for the hungry in Africa and the devastated in Haiti, but are reluctant to bow their knees in prayer for their own spiritual growth.  Why is it that so many of us neglect prayer for our own spiritual development?  Allow me to suggest a few reasons why we avoid this kind of prayer.

A failure to understand the importance of seeking the Lord’s strength in spiritual transformation heads the list.  Many Christians think that spiritual transformation (i.e. being conformed to the image of Christ) can be accomplished through human initiative.  We conclude that Christ-  likeness is the necessary result of personal effort and determination.  While it is true that the Bible commands the believer to work out his own salvation (sanctification) with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12Philippians 2:12
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12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  

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), it also tells us that God is at work (energizing) in us making us both willing and able to undergo this radical transformation (Philippians 2:13Philippians 2:13
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13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.  

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).  Since God has determined that every Christian be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29Romans 8:29
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29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  

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) and since He is the One who is at work in us to accomplish this goal, doesn’t it stand to reason that we should pray to Him asking Him for daily power for the process?

Another reason why this kind of personal prayer never crosses our mind is because we never make Christ-likeness a priority.  We somehow think that God is really not concerned about our spiritual growth.  God is indifferent and it really doesn’t matter to Him how we live.  Beloved, the Bible declares that God’s will for us is that we be dedicated to Him (1 Thessalonians 4:31 Thessalonians 4:3
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3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:  

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).  God is far from indifferent concerning our spiritual growth.  He has willed it to be so!  Henry Martyn, a missionary to India in the early 1800’s, understood the importance of his own spiritual development.  He said:  “Let me be taught that the first great business on earth is the sanctification of my own soul.” Martyn made his sanctification a priority and he prayed about it.

Finally, I think that many believers avoid personal prayer out of discouragement.  Oh, we understand that we have the omnipotence of God at our disposal to accomplish our sanctification.  We even understand that transformation is according to His perfect will for us.  But many times we fall short of that biblical standard.  We experience failure after failure and we begin to think that the quest for Christian maturity will never become a reality for us.  We become discouraged, convinced that we are the exception to the rule and that even though God has accomplished transformation in the lives of so many others, He is powerless to bring us to Christ-likeness.  Beloved, nothing could be further from the truth!  Take heart!  In Ephesians 3:14-21Ephesians 3:14-21
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14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.  

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, the Apostle Paul prays a powerful prayer for the saints at Ephesus concerning their sanctification.  Paul concludes that prayer by praising God for His ability to accomplish the sanctification of all His children.  Let the truth of verse 20 sink into your soul.  Take heart and pray for yourself like you have never prayed before!

Posted by Pastor Yoder On May 10, 2013 Pastor's Desk

Text: Matthew 5:13-16Matthew 5:13-16
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13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. a bushel: the word in the original signifieth a measure containing about a pint less than a peck 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  

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Topic:
Admonishing the believer to fulfill his patriotic duty

On this Independence Day 2010, we should examine our patriotic duty as understood from the scripture, while also considering our freedom in Christ from sin and death.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” We as American Christians have a patriotic duty as citizens in the greatest nation on earth to stand up for and defend the freedoms God has blessed us with.

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  • Our patriotic duty to government (Romans 13:1-5Romans 13:1-5
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    13 1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. ordained: or, ordered 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.  

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    • Obedience to our government and laws
    • Prayer for our government
      • President
      • Economy
      • Law Enforcement
  • Remain educated and informed on current issues
  • Our patriotic duty to our Creator (Acts 17:22-27Acts 17:22-27
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    22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. Mars' hill: or, the court of the Areopagites 23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. devotions: or, gods that ye worship 24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:  

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    • Understanding that God is “knowable”
      • Paul was not indifferent to those who were in spiritual darkness (v 17)
      • Paul sought to make known the “Unknown God”
  • Established governments are used to promote the knowledge of God (v 27)
  • Our God offers freedom from sin and death through Salvation

Challenge

  • We celebrate America’s 234th year of proclaimed independence – God has ordained and allowed the USA to exist for these many years that men and women may have opportunity to find and know God
  • Have you found the Lord? He is near and awaiting your faith and dependence in Him!
  • Thank God for the independence of our great Nation, do your patriotic duty for our Nation and in our service for the Lord!
Posted by Pastor Yoder On April 10, 2013 Sermons

economyTrusting the Lord for material needs is, perhaps, one of the most difficult challenges of the Christian life.  Many people find sufficient faith to trust the Lord for spiritual deliverance, but find trusting Him for daily sustenance a struggle.  Relying on the benevolence of the Lord is further complicated when the economy is weak and we find ourselves groping to make ends meet. Our self-sufficiency is exposed as anemic and ineffective in meeting even our most basic needs.  The Bible reveals that the Lord not only anticipated that this would be the case, but He designed it to be so.  The Lord knew man’s tendency toward self-reliance.  He knew man “would go it alone” if he could.    The omnipotent, omniscient, and eternal God ordained that all attempts at independence would result in defeat and disappointment (Psalm 127:1Psalm 127:1
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127 A Song of degrees for Solomon. for...: or, of Solomon 1 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. that...: Heb. that are builders of it in it  

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).  The Word of God reminds us that even on our best day our attempts to meet our own needs are doomed for failure (Matthew 6:25-34Matthew 6:25-34
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25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.  

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).  In light of these truths, what is the believer to do?

Trust – Proverbs 3:5Proverbs 3:5
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5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  

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instructs the believers to “trust in the Lord with all thy heart.” The command means to trust the Lord with one’s total inner being.  The extent of trusting the Lord is revealed in the phrase “lean not unto thine own understanding.” Together these phrases communicate an unwavering and uncompromising trust in God and an unwillingness to trust in self.  Trusting the Lord is always the appropriate response for the believer in times of trouble.

Pray – Philippians 4:6-8Philippians 4:6-8
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6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. honest: or, venerable  

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admonish the believer to pray in everything.  Notice that verse 6 begins with a universal prohibition against worry.  No matter how difficult the situation, worry is never an option for the believer.  Instead, the believer is commanded to pray in everything.  Prayer is always the appropriate action for the believer in times of trouble.

Be content – In Philippians 4:11-13Philippians 4:11-13
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11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.  

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, Paul tells how he too had endured difficult times.  He learned how to abound and how to be abased.  As he reflected on his life, Paul remembered both times of “feast” and “famine.”  He found the Lord faithful in both.  There was something else Paul found.  He found contentment.  Believer, we need to remember that God is sovereign.  He is in control.  He has not forgotten us (Hebrews 13:5Hebrews 13:5
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5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  

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).  God knows our needs (Matthew 6:25-34Matthew 6:25-34
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.  

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).  Contentment is always the appropriate attitude for the believer in times of trouble.

Posted by Pastor Yoder On October 16, 2009 Pastor's Desk

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