When Holidays Bring Sadness

This 1-minute devotion talks about the best way to encourage those who struggle during the holidays. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible #Christmas

Holidays are always good times for spiritual reflection. They can also be wonderful times for family and friends. I hope you’re experiencing those blessings.

Sadly, it's not a positive time for everyone. 

Some people are grieving for loved ones who have passed away or moved away. 

Others are experiencing challenging, broken, or estranged family relationships.

Then there's sickness, financial problems, unemployment, etc.

Warm and wonderful memories of past holidays can bring sorrow because they are such a contrast to the present.

If you are looking forward to a wonderful season, please pray for those who are struggling and ask God for specific ways you might cheer them (James 5:13).

If you are struggling with sorrow and brokenness, please pray for others who are suffering and ask God for specific ways you might cheer them (Romans 12:15).

Are you surprised that my advice is the same to both groups? We’re always blessed when we take our focus off ourselves and focus on others! Jesus is our example (Philippians 2:3-8).

This 1-minute devotion talks about the best way to encourage those who struggle during the holidays. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible #Christmas

Does He Only See Jesus?

"When God looks at us, He only sees Jesus, not our sins!" We need to quit using this catchy phrase because it's only half true. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible

Dear Christians, we have a terrible habit of creating catchy statements that aren't scriptural.

For example: When God looks at me, He only sees Jesus. He doesn't see a single sin.

This statement is true in the legal sense only. When we enter eternity, God will see Christ's righteousness covering us (1 John 3:2: Romans 8:1). 

But this "legal position" doesn't hide our sins from God. He always has been and always will be omniscient (Scriptures).

He sees our sins and expects us to vigorously repent and reform because it will bring us wholeness, peace, and joy (Philippians 3:12-13; Romans 8; 12:1-2). 

The Bible was given to teach, rebuke, and correct the sins that God sees in us (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Jesus says, "Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent" (Revelation 3:19). 

So if you're intent on using this catchy phrase, at least say it this way: "When God looks at me for legal purposes, He sees Jesus, not my sins. But here and now He sees my sins and helps me overcome them." 
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On a similar subject: We Must Define "Forget" CorrectlyThis 1-minute devotion talks about the Scriptures that say God "forgets" our sins. 


"When God looks at us, He only sees Jesus, not our sins!" We need to quit using this catchy phrase because it's only half true. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible


Bible Love Notes

Is Repetitive Prayer a Sin?

Is repetitive prayer a sin? That depends. Scripture addresses it from two perspectives. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible #Prayer

How often should we pray about the same thing? Is once enough, or should we pray repeatedly? 

Scripture gives two perspectives:

Matthew 6:7-8 says we shouldn’t keep babbling prayers like the pagans do. 

This means we shouldn’t think repetitious prayers have some magical power. We communicate with God in prayer, we don't manipulate Him.(1)

God knows our needs, but our prayers prove our trust in Him.

That’s why we’re commanded to pray continually about everything (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Philippians 4:6).

Luke 18:1-8 tells us that God also values persistent prayer. This passage specifically mentions God's desire for justice. It's always good to pray for God's justice.

But how often should we pray about the same thing? 

Sometimes God wants us to pray long term. Other times He gives us peace to pray a request and move on. 

There's more than one right answer to this question. We need to be led by God's Spirit (Ephesians 6:18; Romans 8:26).(2)
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(1) Some of the name-it-and-claim-it beliefs are like these pagan prayers. Teachers who suggest we must use the right words when speaking about or praying about problems are teaching pagan superstition, not faith. Scripture tells us to focus on the blessings in our lives because dwelling on the hard things causes discouragement. But this doesn't mean we deny our problems or never speak of them.
(2) There is one situation where God tells us not to pray (1 John 5:16), but He will give us clear guidance if this is the case. For more on prayer, see 5 Requirements of Prayer and  Pieces Parts Bible Study.

Is repetitive prayer a sin? That depends. Scripture addresses it from two perspectives. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible #Prayer

Bible Love Notes
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