Tuesday, May 29, 2018

That name in prayer

Have you ever been in a prayer meeting where someone used the name 'Lord' as a filler? Annoying for sure, but it always makes me alert... how do I use God's name?

My new book In My Name offers a New Testament perspective on the 3rd commandment... Do not use the name of the Lord in vain. In Old Testament times people were stoned to death for misusing the name of the Lord. Thank God we live in a different time, because I believe we all use His name in vain from time to time. I quote from page 27:

"I remember a prayer meeting we attended, many years ago. We had joined together with a group of believers to intercede for a brother in our church who was very sick and much too young to die (so we thought). We took turns praying and pleading with the Lord to add some extra years to this person’s life. I remember that a certain man in this group used the name ‘Lord’ in his prayer about every four words.

At first I ignored it, but as he went on and on it began to irritate me. His prayer was sincere and passionate, don’t get me wrong. However; I suddenly had this thought: he is using the name of the Lord in vain. No, he was not swearing, but he used the name of God ineffectively. He used God’s holy name as just another word to make up his sentences.

Never before did it occur to me that even believers can misuse the name of God when talking or praying. How often have you been present in prayer meetings where His name was used as a common word? I think we can all relate to this."

Can you relate or not? Or maybe I should ask: are you using His name without thinking?

πŸ‘‰In My Name is available in Kindle format on Amazon for $2.99.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

In My Name

At the beginning of this year I specifically prayed for several things (concerning my writing activities) to come to pass 😁. It is so easy to become occupied with a thousand good causes and ideas, but really... what I want to do, and what I believe God called me to do, is to write more books.

So, there I was, staring at a blank computer screen and a journal with a huge amount of hand written pages with thoughts and questions, begging God to help me. Well, He did! He is faithful and good. During my vacation in Portugal I began to write with a very tight planning. February for writing, March for editing and proof reading, April for publishing and printing. Have you ever done this?

And so the latest title in my book series about the Ten Commandments in the 21st century has been released May 1st. In My Name is the 7th book in the series I have been working on for years now. It is a short study based on the 3rd Commandment which tells us not to use the name of the Lord in vain.

I have linked this commandment to the words of Jesus in the Lord's prayer: 'hallowed be your name'. It is one thing to claim we don’t use the Lord’s name in vain, but what do we do? Are we bringing honor to His name? Do we have a genuine love for His name? And most of all, is everything we do and say then, done in His name?

Reader's Favorite gave it a thumbs up in several 5-star reviews:

"Definitely an enlightening read!"

"Clear writing and a straightforward concise message."

"An excellent read..."

If you have read any of the previous books in this series, you will certainly enjoy this one, which encourages you to invite God's presence in daily situations. ‘Lord’ is not a word to end our sentences with when we talk to Him, nor is it a filler to make our prayers sound more holy and authentic. ‘Lord’ is His personal revelatory name and He gave it to us for use on a daily basis.

In My Name e-book is available on Amazon for 2.99. The paperback version is basically for distribution within Europe (unless you don't mind to pay the shipping costs).

If you want to do a review on your blog, I will be happy to send you a complimentary copy for reviewing purposes.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Purpose of the church (8)

Thank you very much for reading this blog series about the purpose of the church and also for your valuable comments.

"The purpose of the church is simple, namely that everyone gets to know Jesus well" I wrote in my previous blog post. Simple maybe, but apparently not so easy to implement. In personal conversations I often discover that people can faithfully go to church for years and years and yet do not know Jesus personally. That is quite tragic and I really hope and pray that we will all experience a refreshing renewal and change in the way we do/are church.

Of course, we can not solely expect that from leadership (sometimes they have no clue either), we are in this together. Let us take a look again at the words in Ephesians 4: 11-13. This time, for the sake of clarity, I used the Good News translation and cut it into pieces because the sentences are very long:
  • It was he [Jesus] who “gave gifts to people”; he appointed some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, others to be pastors and teachers.
  • He did this to prepare all God's people for the work of Christian service
  • in order to build up the body of Christ.
  • And so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God
  • we shall become mature people, reaching to the very height of Christ's full stature.

Wow, we shall become mature people (a perfect man the NKJV says) attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. What a wonderful purpose. I want that! Even if I have to sit in a pew for a while :)

I suggest that we all compare the above list (the Word of God) with our church setting and customs and ask ourselves some critical questions: Is there a five fold leadership available in my church/congregation to prepare me to serve, so that the church/congregation can grow, and do we get to know Christ better? And finally .... am I on my way to maturity?

I sincerely hope that we will be church, with a purpose!