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Category: Markethive

Why Prayer Is So Important

Five reasons why prayer is the answer when life turns upside down.

Written by Janet Perez Eckles on 18/04/2017

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: PrayerHealingReassuranceConfidenceAnxiety


The Lord is there to rescue all who are discouraged and have given up hope.

Psalm 34:18

The doctor’s news crushed me. I squirmed on the examining chair.

“There is nothing that can be done for this retinal disease,” he said as he pulled back from examining my eyes. “No one knows how long you’ll have your sight. You need to prepare for the inevitable.”

He was right. Despite my frantic search for a cure, a few months later my vision closed in completely. Horrified, anxious and desperate, I trembled at the notion that without sight, I would not be able to care for my three small sons. I tossed awake at night questioning God.

Where was He? Why didn’t He hear my prayers as I begged for a miracle? Hope threatened to leave me.

But one day God showed up. That day a friend invited me to a Christian church, and everything changed. My eyesight wasn’t healed, but my heart was. I faced my need to know Christ. I realized the emptiness that ruled my life was because I had prayer all wrong. I had asked and asked some more. But prayer required something more, something that made our communication powerful. And that involved listening.

To my relief, after months of soaking my soul in His Word, I added listening to my prayer time. And through that prayer relationship with Him, He revealed these five promises to calm my soul:

1. He will transform.

God was about to transform me as I invited Christ to be my Lord of all. And through Him, God made me righteous. He saw my tears, knew my desperation, and heard my cries. “If you obey the Lord, he will watch over you and answer your prayers.” Psalm 34:15

2. He reassures.

When loneliness tried to come in, God reassured me I wasn’t alone. His army of angels would stand with me, by me, and around me. “If you honor the Lord, his angel will protect you.” Psalm 34:7

3. He strengthens.

Those days when I lacked the emotional strength to be a mom and wife, God’s promise to provide soothed me. “You rule with strength and power. You make people rich and powerful and famous.” 1 Chronicles 29:12

4. He guards.

When tempted to succumb to anxiety, worry or fear, God’s instructions were clear and beautifully reassuring. “Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.” Philippians 4:6-7

5. He answers.

When I needed comfort to face a lifetime of blindness, or in small things like sorting my sons’ clothes or finding rides to doctors’ appointments, I trusted. I believed. And I was confident that God would help me because…“We are certain that God will hear our prayers when we ask for what pleases him. And if we know that God listens when we pray, we are sure that our prayers have already been answered.” 1 John 5:14-15

God’s healing came, not through my physical eyesight, but through the spiritual eyes of my heart. I saw how prayer is a sweetly personal conversation with Him. It’s the direct connection between me, a mere human with the divine Lord. And it’s the channel through which I receive all that’s good in order to bring peace to my nights and joy to my days.


Pray this week:

Father, I praise you because you heard my sobs at night. You saw my struggles as you’re aware of my inadequacies. And I praise you because our conversation-filled prayer gives me the confidence to believe that there is no battle I face that you won’t win for me. And there is no struggle I encounter that you won’t bring victory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

What happens the moment after you die?

Every day thousands of people will take their final breath and slip into eternity, either into heaven or into hell. Although we may never know their names, the reality of death happens every day.

What happens the moment after you die?

The moment after you die, your soul temporarily departs from your body to await the Resurrection.

https://youtu.be/YqHAio_Wf4E
Those who place their faith in Christ will be carried by the angels into the presence of the Lord. They are now comforted. Absent from the body and present with the Lord.

Meanwhile, unbelievers await in Hades for the final Judgment.

“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments… And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” ~ Luke 16:23a-24

“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” ~ Ecclesiastes 12:7

Although, we grieve over the loss of our loved ones, we sorrow, but not as those who have no hope. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:14, 17-18

While the unbeliever’s body remains resting, who can fathom the torments he is experiencing?! His spirit screams! “Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming…” ~ Isaiah 14:9a

Unprepared is he to meet God!

 

Although he cries in his torment, his prayer offers no comfort whatsoever, for a great gulf is fixed where no one can pass to the other side. Alone he is left in his misery. Alone in his memories. The flame of hope forever extinguished of seeing his loved ones again.

On the contrary, precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. Escorted by the angels into the presence of the Lord, they are now comforted. Their trials and suffering are past. Although their presence will be deeply missed, they have hope of seeing their loved ones again.

***

Dear Soul,

Do you have the assurance that if you were to die today, you’ll be in the presence of the Lord in heaven? Death for a believer is but a doorway that opens into eternal life. Those who fall asleep in Jesus will be reunited with their loved ones in heaven.

Those you’ve laid in the grave in tears, you shall meet them again with joy! Oh, to see their smile and feel their touch… never to part again!

Yet, if you don’t believe in the Lord, you’re going to hell. There is no pleasant way to say it.

The Scripture says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” ~ Romans 3:23

Soul, that includes you and me.

Only when we realize the awfulness of our sin against God and feel its deep sorrow in our hearts can we turn from the sin we once loved and accept the Lord Jesus as our Savior. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” ~ Romans 10:9

Don’t fall asleep without Jesus until you are assured of a place in heaven.

Tonight, if you would like to receive the gift of eternal life, first you must believe in the Lord. You have to ask for your sins to be forgiven and put your trust in the Lord. To be a believer in the Lord, ask for eternal life. There’s only one way to heaven, and that’s through the Lord Jesus. That’s God’s wonderful plan of salvation.

You can begin a personal relationship with Him by praying from your heart a prayer such as the following:

“Oh God, I’m a sinner. I’ve been a sinner all of my life. Forgive me, Lord. I receive Jesus as my Savior. I trust Him as my Lord. Thank you for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Does Prayer Make a Difference?

Prayer makes a difference, and it’s best if you use both channels: talking and listening.

Written by Colin Millar on 05/02/2019

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: ConfidenceGodPrayer


Then the king said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. …. And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.

Nehemiah 2:4, 8

By Colin Milar

If you look at the verses above, one of the shortest prayers mentioned in the Bible made a huge difference, and Nehemiah received everything he needed to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in just 53 days! In Nehemiah’s case, his short prayer for help in mid-sentence of answering King Artaxerxes’ question: “What is your request?” is a beautiful picture of what God calls us to do in 1 Thessalonians 5:17“Pray without ceasing.” Nehemiah prayed in the midst of a conversation because he knew, by faith, that his heart cry would make a difference.

God talks to us!

We were visiting some dear friends a number of years ago who had twin daughters, and we were building a ropes course amongst some large trees. I was balancing on the first rope six feet up, twisting and tightening the rope above me with a screwdriver. Suddenly, it sprung out of my hand and spun through the air, landing somewhere buried in the thick leaves. At the same time, I lost my balance and fell on my back safely in the blanket of leaves. 

I stood up saying, “Children, let’s look for the screwdriver!” After 5 minutes of fruitless searching, 3-year-old Christopher tapped me on the knee saying: “Daddy we need to pray!” I responded: “Let’s just find the screwdriver, son!” Another 3 minutes, no screwdriver, and a much more insistent: “Daddy we need to pray!” 

The Holy Spirit zapped my heart. I dropped to my knees beside my son, saying: “I’m so sorry son! Yes, of course we need to pray! Come, children, let’s join hands.” 

Christopher simply said, “Jesus, You know where our screwdriver is. Please show us, in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.”
  
I stood up, stepped back, and under my foot was the screwdriver. 

Is there a project, a problem, or a promise you are working on without success? And without prayer? There is nothing too small nor too large about which our Father is longing for you to ask His help. God had to send my son twice in order for me to listen and then hear, but I assure you, He is ever standing at the door of your heart, knocking and waiting for you to hear and invite Him in. (Revelation 3:20)

Just sit back, be still, and bring that situation before Him right now and remember: “Daddy we need to pray!” 


Pray this week:

Oh Lord, will You make me obedient to your Great Commission?

One of God’s best ways through which He teaches us to pray is when we “go and make disciples.” (Matthew 28:19) God has used my growing friendship with Curtis Sergeant to thrust me into the high adventure of obediently living out the Great Commission. You could share this with your online friends with our Facebook sharing button below. God can take your little bit of obedience to His Word and bring life-transforming impact to hundreds of other people’s lives.

 If you, like me, have or do struggle with being obedient to God’s Great Commission, watch Curtis’s 30 minute message on immediate, radical and costly obedience. I confess that my obedience to making multiplying disciples only came after a six-year delay from when I first attended the Steve Smith Training for Trainers to make multiplying disciples.
 


Will you ask this question to someone every day this week?: "If there was one thing we could pray now for you personally, what would it be?"

Commit to ask this question of one person a day, then pray for them out loud right on the spot and you will see how prayer makes a difference!

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Jesus Has Saved Me

How can you be sure you are saved?

Series: Look to Jesus


If you have had feelings of doubt following your decision to receive Christ, you are not alone. How can you be sure you are saved? How do Christians find confidence they will remain in their relationship with Jesus?

What must I do to be saved?

First, look to see what God says you must do to be saved. The Bible says salvation is simple. “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31) Salvation begins with “repentance” — turning from sin and depending only on Jesus, instead of yourself or someone else. When people asked Jesus what kind of human work God likes, He said, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29).

Second, what did God promise? “And this is what He promised us—eternal life” (1 John 2:25). It cost Jesus His own blood, giving up His life, to give you eternal life. But it was a free gift to you (Ephesians 2:8-9).

What the Bible says about being saved:

  • Jesus is the Good Shepherd, who has given His life for His sheep (John 10:11). No one can snatch them from His grip (John 10:28-29).
  • Those who come to Him will never be driven away (John 6:37).
  • Since God knows everything from the very beginning of time, His acceptance of you could not be a mistake. He does not take back His gifts. He does not take back His calling (Romans 11:29).
  • God's children are sealed with the Holy Spirit–God’s own Spirit, living inside you. God sees you as His own child, and you can look at Him as your Father (2 Corinthians 1:22Ephesians 1:134:30Romans 8:15).
  • You are kept in His grace, not by your good works, but by God Himself: "You are being kept by the power of God because you put your trust in Him and you will be saved from the punishment of sin at the end of the world" (1 Peter 1:5).
  • God is able to keep you from leaving your faith. He will present you clean and blameless when you meet Him in a joyful celebration of His glory (Jude 24).

As I look to Jesus, God's power and promise make me sure of my salvation.

Feelings come and go. Our mistakes sometimes make us wonder whether we are even saved. Jesus is faithful, even when we are not. God knows our struggles and gently reminds us to look to Jesus. If you are trusting only in Jesus — His sinless life, His death for you, His return from the dead, and His faithful promises — you can know that you have eternal life (1 John 5:13).

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

The Son of God

Who is Jesus?

Series: Jesus Booklet
Who is Jesus Christ?
He is the founder of the largest religion — Christianity — with over two billion followers. Those two billion believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and the Son of God. He is completely unique. The Bible says, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16). The most important decision you will make in your entire life is whether to believe in Jesus Christ or not — on that rests your eternal destiny.

Are you willing to learn about Jesus Christ today?
What makes it possible to study Jesus is that His life was one of the most well documented of any in ancient times. Three of His followers, Peter, Matthew, and John, wrote books about Jesus in the New Testament. The apostle Paul wrote extensively about Jesus within the first thirty years after His death. Two other Gospels, Luke and Mark, were written by people who traveled and spoke extensively with Peter and Paul.

Jesus can change your life today, even as He has changed others’ lives throughout history.
Come on a journey as we learn about Jesus Christ — who He really was and is today. You will find out why He is the most important Person in the world — and what He can mean to your life today.

Who did you think Jesus is? Do you believe that Jesus really was the Son of God? If you're not sure, talk to a caring Christian about it!

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How to Pray

Are you unsure of how to talk to God? Let this five-step starter guide help you begin your prayer life!

Written by Abide


PRAY NOW

A common definition of prayer is “talking to God.”  But how often do you take time to stop and listen to His response to you? 

Our prayers include asking, begging and requesting something of God.  Scripture tells us He loves the sweet smell of those prayers. However, if all we do in prayer is spend time asking, what space, time or margin is left to listen to the Lord’s response?

Only by God’s grace through faith in Christ does He allow our broken lives the experience of communing with Him.  Seeing our transformed minds connect more deeply with the peace of God.   The result is peace, stillness, renewal, centeredness, and alignment with God.

When we are mindful with our prayers, we allow God to bring our future hope into our present reality. This series will help you unlock the secrets of living in a state of calm, peaceful, active attention on the present with God through the spiritual practice of prayer.     

Have you already cried out to God today with worry about whether He is present and aware of your problems?  

Listen HERE for guidance on learning how to draw closer to the presence of God in prayer. 

This series was written by Julie Thomas

https://abide.co/prayer/1y6jig?ref=gmo

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Four Steps to Study People in the Bible

How can studying people in the Bible affect my life?

Written by Ruth on 29/01/2019

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: BibleDiscipleDisciplesTeaching


Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

1 Corinthians 10:11

Why are the stories about different people in the Bible important to study? Studying the people in the Bible is a great way to be encouraged in our walk with Jesus.

Step 1: Pick an interesting person

One of my favorite people in the Bible is Andrew. Who is Andrew? He was one of the first two disciples of Jesus! Most of us only know him as the brother of … well, we will get to that later.

Step 2: Find all references to them in the Bible

We find Andrew mentioned in: Matthew 4:18-19; Matthew 10:2; Mark 1:16; Mark 3:18; Mark 13:3-4; Luke 6:14John 1:40-44; John 6:8; John 12:20-22; and Acts 1:13

In chronological order, the first time we meet Andrew is in John 1:40 when he was still a disciple of John the Baptist. But from Matthew 4:18-19, we also know he was in business with his father and brother, and that they were partners with another father-and-sons family.

Step 3: Read the whole story

In many of the other verses above we simply read that Andrew was one of Jesus’ disciples. But John 1:40-44 again tells us that Andrew and his friend (we know this was John, the one who wrote the Gospel of John), were the first to follow Jesus. Jesus calls them to be His full-time disciples in Matthew 4:18-19. Before this, Andrew had done something very special — when he learned that Jesus, a man he already knew, was the promised Messiah, he ran to tell his brother this good news. His brother was Peter! 

Does it seem unfair that Andrew, the first one to believe in Jesus as the Messiah, was not ever asked to write one of the books of the Bible? He wasn’t the great preacher his brother became. In fact, the only other time we read of something Andrew did is in John 6:8-9 when he brought a boy to Jesus, a boy who had something Jesus used to feed a crowd estimated to be at least 15,000 people (the 5,000 is the number of men and does not count the women and children).

Step 4: Identify and apply the lessons to your life

How often do I think only important or big things are valuable to Jesus? Andrew is known only as the one who brought Peter and a little boy to Jesus. Yet, the impact from these two he brought is very great. 

Andrew did not share in importance with Peter, James, and John — he was not one of the “inner circle,” those who were closest to Jesus. That, however, did not make him less loved by Jesus.

As you study different people in the Bible, notice the things they did right as well as the things they did poorly. Pay attention to how they reacted to failure as well as to success (we often learn more from our mistakes than from our triumphs). How did they interact with others around them? Be careful not to read your own feelings into the verses. We must understand these people were just as human as we are, and they made mistakes just like we do. The Bible says that the “things that are written” are there to be examples for us (Romans 15:4).


Pray this week:

Lord Jesus, help me to be content with the place, the person, the significance of whom You have created me to be.


How satisfied are you with who you are? Talk to someone about it.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

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Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Scripture Memorization: Spiritual and Mind Exercise

The Word of God is Powerful

Written by Lois on 21/02/2017

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: GodJesusBenefits Of Memorizing ScriptureHoly Spirit


That’s how it is with my words. They don’t return to me without doing everything I send them to do.

Isaiah 55:11

Do you have enough power in your life? Is it time to try something new, such as memorizing the most powerful book, God’s written word? Is there anyone but God who can tell a fish to swallow a man and have the fish eject him to go preach? Jonah 2:15-6, “From inside the fish, Jonah prayed to the Lord his God… I was almost drowned by the swirling waters that surrounded me. Seaweed had wrapped around my head… But, you, Lord God, rescued me from that pit.” Do you find yourself in a pit? Maybe it’s time to seek Jesus in a deeper way, and it can be found in His word.

Here are ways to memorize the Bible and grow in deeper understanding and meditation of God’s word:

1. Spiritual Exercise

The Bible, God’s word is the most powerful book ever written. 2 Timothy 3:16, “Everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live.” Memorizing (committing to memory) Scripture can increase your intimacy with the living Christ Jesus. Memorization increases your intimacy with Him and can give you a way to meditate upon, (contemplate) the Word of God. Isaiah 55:11, … “That’s how it is with my words. They don’t return to me without doing everything I send them to do. ” The Father’s words will accomplish all He sends it to do. Memorization of Jesus’ words is a worthy investment of our time.

2. Mind Exercise

Memorizing may help cognitive decline due to aging. Memory Athletics has been a part of several studies on the use of memory work to battle against cognitive slow down. Try brain stimulation and increasing your intimacy with the word of the Lord Jesus who suffered for us on the cross.

3. Why And How Should I Memorize God’s Word?

Memorizing verses by topic or personal circumstances is helpful. Psalm 5:2, “You are my King and my God. Answer my cry for help because I pray to you.” Try a couple or more verses; consider memorizing whole chapters of God’s word.

Encouragements to memorize:

  1. Assurance for those lacking faith: Luke 11:13: “As bad as you are, you still know how to give good gifts to your children. But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give the Holy Spirit to anyone who asks.”
  2. Strength from the Lord Jesus to help you against sin: Ephesians 3:16, “God is wonderful and glorious. I pray that his Spirit will make you become strong followers…”
  3. Reminder Jesus is coming back: Revelation 22:12, “I am coming soon! And when I come, I will reward everyone for what they have done.”
  4. Reasons and expressions with which to praise God: Psalm 146:2, “I will sing and praise the Lord God for as long as I live.”

What Are The Benefits of Memorizing Scripture?

In Matthew 4, the Devil was tempting Jesus. Each time, Jesus answered the temptation with a correction from God’s Word. For example, in Matthew 4:10, when Satan claimed to own the kingdoms of the world if Jesus would worship him, “Jesus answered, “Go away Satan! The Scriptures say: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’”

Since we face spiritual darkness daily we should commit the Word of God by memory and follow Jesus’ example.


Pray this week:

Father, memorization is difficult for me. Will You give me the power that I need to commit Your word to memory? In Jesus’ name. Amen


Does the Bible truly have power to help me?

“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword.” (Matthew 4:12)

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How to Memorize Scripture

Be Like the Cow

Written by Dan Lee on 28/02/2017

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: GodScriptureMemorizationMeditation


Instead, the Law of the Lord makes them happy, and they think about it day and night.

Psalm 1:2

The Bible mentions many strong and noble animals — the lion, the eagle, the horse. Why would we want to be like the cow?

The reason is that after eating a stomach full of grass, the cow brings back the grass to its mouth to chew it again and digest it completely.

When we read God’s word, we have to “digest” what we read. Psalm 1 tells us to think about God’s law day and night. This means we should “meditate” scripture — think about it over and over again, so we can understand it.

If we go beyond reading, and actually keep His word in our heart, the Holy Spirit can bring scripture back to our mind anytime. This is why it is important to read the Bible everyday, if possible.

Take Jesus for example, when He was being tempted in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13), He resisted Satan’s attacks by quoting scripture that He had memorized.

So what are some practical ways we can start to memorize scripture?

1. Choose a Passage and Set a Goal

Memorizing a bible verse here and there is valuable. But a verse is just one small part of a book of the Bible. God’s word is better understood when we read the text around one verse. Choosing a longer passage of scripture helps you avoid changing the meaning of scripture or misunderstanding it.

So, try to select a paragraph or even a short chapter. You might look for a passage containing attributes of God, or one which will help you in an area of weakness. For example, if you lack joy in your life, you might choose Philippians 4, where it says “Rejoice in the Lord always . . .”

Other suggestions are: Colossians 3:1-17Matthew 5:3-12 (the Beatitudes); Ephesians 1:3-14.

Also be sure to use a Bible version that is easy to read and understand. If 17th century English is hard for you to understand, then don’t choose the King James version!

Finally, decide how quickly you want to memorize your passage. Adding one verse a day may be good. A little bit of daily progress adds up fast!

2. Make Multiple Copies of it

You probably don’t carry your Bible everywhere. Here are some other ways you can keep your memory passage with you at all times:

  • Type it on the computer and print it out. Then fold the paper so it fits your pocket or purse. Tape a copy to your bathroom mirror where you brush your teeth.
  • Use a Bible app on your mobile phone or tablet if you have one. There’s even an app for phones that are not so fancy! You can download it here. (Link to AskBible)
  • Make it easy to find on your smartphone or tablet.
  • Make an audio recording of yourself reading the passage, or use an existing audio Bible. You can then listen to it while exercising, cooking, or walking.
  • If you don’t have access to all that technology, you can write your passage out with pencil and paper!

3. Read, Listen, and Speak it over and over

As you review your passage in all these different ways, think of the words and how they sound (this helps you remember it), and also think about the meaning of the passage. Try to hear what God is saying to you through it. And the more you go over it, the more God can speak to you.

Scripture memory can help you with patience! Maybe you are in your car sitting in traffic, or in line at a store, or waiting for someone who is late. Instead of being annoyed at having to wait, pull out your scripture passage and go over it again (but please don’t read while driving!).

Then, when you have memorized the passage, review it often. And then choose the next passage to work on. I am excited to get up each morning, knowing that there is another verse to memorize!

We pray that as you memorize God’s word, hide it in your heart, and meditate on it often, the Holy Spirit will do His work in you and that you will truly be “Transformed by the renewal of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)


Pray this week:

Dear Father, thank You for Your wonderful Word, the Bible. I do want to hide Your words in my heart and let You speak to me often. Help me to do this by the power of the Holy Spirit and for Your glory. Amen.


Does this sound exciting? Hard? Challenging? Click to talk to someone who can help you.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member