Weekly Word Definition – Effectual Prayer

Effectual Prayer

Occurs in Authorized Version, Jas 5:16. The Revised Version renders appropriately: “The supplication of a righteous man avails much in its working”, i.e., “it moves the hand of Him who moves the world.” Easton’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Effectual Calling From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Effectual calling (or effective calling) in Calvinist Christian soteriology is a stage in the ordo salutis in which God calls a person to himself. It relates to, but different from external calling, in which a person hears the gospel message.

Wayne Grudem suggests that it is a summons from the King of the universe that has “such power that it brings about the response that it asks for in people’s hearts.” Grudem appeals to the story of Lydia: according to Acts 16:14, “The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message” (NIV).

Effectual Adjective

(of something inanimate or abstract) successful in producing a desired or intended result; effective.

Synonyms:   effective · successful · efficacious · productive · constructive · fruitful · potent · powerful · worthwhile · helpful · of help · of assistance · beneficial · advantageous · valuable · useful · of use

Society and the Christian Churches all seem to get lost in the word effectual. However, there are two other word there that “we” Christians seem to overlook.

The first word is fervent. It is the next word in the sentence. The word means to be passionate about your prayer. You should want your prayer answered so badly, you are willing to do anything in return.

The second word is righteous. According to this verse of scripture, it is not the person you are praying for that needs to be righteous, it must be you that is righteous.

To be righteous, you must be virtuous and upright. You must be decent and principled.

When and only when you attain this “righteous” state in your heart, you can pray and effectual prayer for your brother or sister in Christ. James 5:16.

Are your prayers effectual? If not, why?

Weekly Word Definition – Commend

  1. praise formally or officially. synonyms: praise · compliment · congratulate · applaud · clap · cheer · toast · salute.
  2. present as suitable for approval or acceptance; recommend. synonyms: recommend · suggest · put forward · propose · advance · approve · indorse · advocate · vouch for · speak for · stand up for · champion · support · back · plug · push.
  3. entrust someone or something to. synonyms: entrust · trust · deliver · commit · hand over · give · give over · turn over · consign · assign.
  1. It was God that Created to Universe.
  2. It was God that Created Adam.
  3. It was God that gave us Christianity.
  4. It was God that formed you in your mother’s womb.
  5. It was God that called you to salvation.
  6. It was God that gave you the words to speak today.

Did you ever notice that every word of action above is a “second party word?” If you used all the synonyms above about yourself, people would laugh at you.

If you used the synonyms above about yourself constantly, people would begin to distrust you.

If you used the synonyms above about yourself, people would eventually begin to talk negative about you and your abilities.

The best part of this definition is that the result can be changed.

  • Learn how to do your job well.
  • Let God help you communicate with others.
  • Let God help tell others about your abilities.
  • Depend on God for your daily needs.
  • Praise God in your prayers.
  • Praise God in your communications.

Don’t get me wrong, a person can be financially successful and not be a Christian. However, they are never happy, joyful, or loving. The are cold, selective, and distrustful.

I don’t know about you, but I prefer a Christian who is all the things above. I would also prefer a Christian who could introduce men to their God and recommend a true method of believing in Him. A true method of getting to know Him. A true method of communicating with Him. Let God teach you how to get the money.

Remember this about God.

God is Love.

God gives us His love.

God expects our love.

God expects us to “love one another.”

Weekly Devotional April 24, 2021

Women and Marriage

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Ephesians 5:22-24 (NKJV)

For centuries the male population of society has tried to beat the woman into submission and put her barefoot and pregnant in the home. Many have used this scripture to say this is God’s will.

Many women have used this scripture as a rebellion toward men in society. Others have used this as a reason to simply live together and not get married.

It’s funny but I would venture to say that none of them have tried to find out, as Edward R Merle once said, the rest of the story.

No one bothered to study God’s word to learn what His motives were when He inspired Paul to write this in his letter to the people of Ephesus. (2 Tim 3:16)

I once heard Bob Hope tell a joke and say, “In my house I run everything. I run the vacuum, I run the dish washer, I run the washer and drier, I run everything.” Everyone laughed.

However if you study God’s word, that’s exactly what God is telling the man to do. (Gen 2:18) God created the woman to help man. If the dishes need washing, it’s the man’s responsibility to wash them. If the fields need to be plowed and sown, it’s the man’s responsibility to plow and sow them and the women is to be his helper. The woman was never intended to be barefoot and pregnant as a slave to a man. The woman was intended to submit to the man as his helper.

When the man submits to God, it is the wife’s responsibility to help the man worship God. You see if you study the scriptures in Genesis 1 and 2, you will find that woman is the only animal created using part of the male. Therefore, when the man and woman are married they are to work and worship God as one. (Gen 2:21-24)

Therefore men, lift up your wife in the eyes of society and cherish her above all you have, just as Christ lifts up and cherishes His church. The woman is your most prized possession, not your slave!!

Weekly Word Definition – Eden

Eden – Delight.

(1.) The garden in which our first parents dwelt (Gen 2:8-17). No geographical question has been so much discussed as that bearing on its site. It has been placed in Armenia, in the region west of the Caspian Sea, in Media, near Damascus, in Palestine, in Southern Arabia, and Babylonia. The site must undoubtedly be sought for somewhere along the course of the great streams the Tigris and the Euphrates of Western Asia, in “the land of Shinar” or Babylonia. The region from about lat. 33 degrees 30′ to lat. 31 degrees, which is a very rich and fertile tract, has been by the most competent authorities agreed on as the probable site of Eden. “It is a region where streams abound, where they divide and re-unite, where alone in the Mesopotamian tract can be found the phenomenon of a single river parting into four arms, each of which is or has been a river of consequence.”

Among almost all nations there are traditions of the primitive innocence of our race in the garden of Eden. This was the “golden age” to which the Greeks looked back. Men then lived a “life free from care, and without labour and sorrow. Old age was unknown; the body never lost its vigor; existence was a perpetual feast without a taint of evil. The earth brought forth spontaneously all things that were good in profuse abundance.”

(2.) One of the markets whence the merchants of Tyre obtained richly embroidered stuffs (Ezek 27:23); the same, probably, as that mentioned in (2Ki 19:12; Isa 37:12), as the name of a region conquered by the Assyrians.

(3.) Son of Joah, and one of the Levites who assisted in reforming the public worship of the sanctuary in the time of Hezekiah (2Ch 29:12).

Easton’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Definition of Eden

  1. paradise
  2. the garden where according to the account in Genesis Adam and Eve first lived
  3. a place of pristine or abundant natural beauty

Merriam Webster

Having studied all the places listed above, I can see where each of them could be where the “Garden of Eden” had originally been.

I would like you to look at one more idea. This is not based on some post graduate work of some doctoral candidate but on the knowledge of the human heart.

The heart is a fertile place where many loves and ideas are in abundance. The heart will take a subject that is rejected by society, such as marriage is being rejected today in favor of living together with no responsibilities. The heart, on the other hand, can make someone look at marriage as something that is not just full of responsibilities, but also as a place where beauty, feelings and an abundance of joy are also contained.

Living together has no love. You may think love exists until one of the two walks away and abandons the other without warning.

Marriage is built on real love. Everything else is just the gift wrapping. The only place you can get this type of love is from God through your heart.

Sounds like a form of Eden to me.

Weekly Devotional April 17, 2021

The Second Day of Creation

Genesis 1:6-8

There are millions of people around the world who are fascinated with the heavens or as we call it, the solar system. The solar system consists of stars and planets and lots of debris that we call meteors.

Prior to 2006, there were 9 Planets. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union established new criteria to determine the existence of a planet. Basically, these criteria were to determine whether Pluto was a planet or a dwarf planet. Of course, the word dwarf had never been used before, but it kept the scientist from having egg on their face.

In 1930 the planet of Pluto was discovered. The science books named it among the planets and children including the scientists that are doubting it now, were taught it was a planet. In the late 1990’s, there arose an argument over the authenticity of the discovery of Pluto. There were several scientists who denied the planet’s existence.

Have you ever heard such a truck load of double-talk in your life? Whether you call it the Universe or heavens or sky, God created it. If God wants us to understand it or to name it or to live on it, only God Himself had the power to tell us to do it. Who cares how many other planets there are? They don’t mean anything to us anyway.

All this double-talk is designed for only one purpose. Satan wants to draw our attention away from who created all this in the first place. Satan wants to take our focus off God as the creator. If he can turn our attention away from God and get us to believe some two-bit theory about an accident happening millions of years ago, he can convince us to believe in him not God. The scientist are his pawns, and he is playing a chess game with the believers.

We as Christians must believe, above all else, that God created the earth and its universe. If we don’t believe that, then mankind is doomed to an eternity of punishment. If we believe that God lied about creating the universe, then we can’t believe that He gave His Only Begotten Son to die for our sins. If we don’t believe that God created the universe, then why should we believe that God even exists?

Scientist would have us believe that there is no afterlife and that we are simply buried in a hole or sprinkled over the earth and that is that. Not True! To begin with, science can’t produce written records prior to the creation of the world. In the bible we have the written records that the scientist can’t produce. The best science can do is a bunch of guesses and innuendos, about how maybe the world was formed. But no one knows for sure because they can’t agree among themselves about any of it.

As true Christians, we know about God’s Creation. As Christians we know about salvation because we have experienced it. We can state for fact that God exists, we can state for fact that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Even the historians agree on the fact that Jesus lived and that He died on the Cross.

Don’t listen to the speculation of scientist, listen to the fact endorsed by God!!

Weekly Word Definition – Empty

“Empty,” adjective meaning void, etc., as the translation of rēḳām, etc., occurs in the literal sense of “with nothing” (Genesis 31:42; Job 22:9); in 2 Samuel 1:22, it is equivalent to “in vain,” “hungry” (Isaiah 29:8); in some instances the meaning is comparative only; bāḳaḳ, “to gush out,” “to pour out,” “to empty” is used adjectivally (Hosea 10:1, “Israel is an empty vine”; but the Revised Version (British and American) takes the Hebrew word in its original sense of “pouring out,” rendering “Israel is a luxuriant vine”); tohu, “emptiness” (Job 26:7); kenós, “empty” is so translated (Mark 12:3); in Matthew 12:44, the Greek word is scholázō, “to be free,” “unoccupied”; “to empty” (verb) is the translation of bāḳaḳ (Nahum 2:2), of dālal, “to become poor,” etc. (Isaiah 19:6, the English Revised Version “minished,” the American Standard Revised Version “diminished”). The Revised Version (British and American) has “empty” for “vain” (Eph. 5:6), “emptied himself” for “made himself of no reputation” (Phil. 2:7), “emptied out” for “gathered” (2 Kings 22:9; 2 Chron. 34:17, margin “poured out”). The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

  1. Containing nothing; not filled or occupied:
  2. Lacking meaning or sincerity
  3. Having no value or purpose
  4. Hungry

“An empty heart is a lonely place” fill it with the Holy Spirit and you will never again be alone.

I remember back in the early 90’s, I was on my way home to my family after being gone for seven- and one-half months. We had already left our last port (Rota, Spain) and we were not due to pull into port again for another ten days.

In our haste to get out of Spain, we had not taken the time to hand out the mail that was picked up there. That afternoon, there was mail. I had been below decks when the letter came. It was a letter from my Mother-in-law (mom).

I always looked forward to my letters from mom. She always had a way of lifting my spirits, though she never even knew I had a problem.

This time was going to be different. Her letter this time was to tell me she had cancer. She had been battling cancer for several months but had withheld the news to keep me from worrying while I was deployed. She only lasted a few days after I got home. She passed in her sleep.

I wasn’t a Christian at that time. I didn’t have God in my heart, now mom was gone. The person that had kept me sane, lifted me up when I was down, gave me advise when I needed it, and gave me almost as much as my wife. She was gone.

Can you imagine how empty I felt at that moment? Can you imagine having to go through something of this nature without God?

That was the perfect example of “Empty.”

Weekly Devotional – April 10, 2021

The First Day of Creation

Genesis 1:1-5

“In the Beginning,” is a statement that the world cannot fathom. The people of the world are still seeking the answer to how the world came to be. Christians on the other hand already know the answer.

“Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as the final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.”  

Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

As Douglas Adams pointed out, this was a last-ditch effort to discount the existence of God. They contend that one stray atom grew into the world as we know it. They contend that all creation and how it works came from this atom and evolution. Well, this theory is ridiculous, to say the least. There may have been one atom involved but the creation from one atom could only have occurred if God was present and involved in the action. As for evolution, the theory is that smaller animals and plants evolved into larger ones. That these plants and animals changed to accommodate their surroundings. For these plants and animals to have changed, they had to have been created. Instead of the theory of evolution disproving God, it is the ultimate proof that God exists.

Compared to God’s Word, the Bible, man’s writings are foolishness. The world, of itself, could never imagine the works of God. To know that God exists and have proof, you must first believe and then build a relationship with God through an intense study of the bible.

We have a saying that when you finally understand how to do something or finally understand something, “a light bulb comes on.”

How ironic is it that the first thing God did after He formed the earth was to create light? When we finally believe and start to study the bible, God is quick to help us understand the bible and the “light bulb of our heart will come on.” God opens the bible for man to understand, when and if mankind is ready to know Him.

God used the light of the universe to produce the light of daytime and the absence of light to produce night. 1 John 1:5 tells us that God is Light. Our salvation is proof of this statement. All our lives we wonder in the darkness of sin and listen to all manner of heresy and foolishness from anyone who speaks. When we finally believe, a dim light appears and as we increase our relationship with God, the light gets brighter.

God is the light that lights our hearts and makes us Righteous and Holy. Without God we just wonder in a meaningless darkness and have no real purpose in life. We can be famous in the eyes of man, but we can be righteous only in the eyes of God.

The fame the world recognizes will fade away, but the righteousness God produces in our hearts is eternal and can only be produced by the God that is eternal.

And the evening and morning of the first day of creation was done just as the evening of the world’s knowledge and the morning of God’s Love are complete when we believe in Christ Jesus. AMEN!!

Weekly Word Definition – Bondage

The Definition for the week is Bondage: the state of being a slave

the tenure or service of a villain, serf, or slave

:  a state of being bound usually by compulsion (as of law or mastery): such as

  • a:  captivity, serfdom
  • b:  servitude or subjugation to a controlling person or force young people in bondage to drugs

            Merriam-Webster

Used in two senses in Scripture, a literal and a metaphorical sense.

  1. In the former sense, it refers
    1. to the condition of the Hebrews (ăbhōdhāh) in Egypt (Exodus 1:14; 2:23) which is frequently called “the house of bondage,” Exodus 13:3, 14; 20:2; Deut. 5:6. It also refers to the condition of the Hebrews in Babylonia (Isaiah 14:3) and in Persia (Ezra 9:8), where a slightly different form of the same root (abhedhūth) is used in the original. In both these cases the bondage was not so much personal as national. As a rule, individuals were not subject to individuals, but the whole Hebrew people were subject to the Egyptian, Babylonian and the Persian states. They were forced to labor on public works, and otherwise, and were denied their own freedom when the exigencies of state seemed to demand it. The former word ʿăbhōdāh is also used in Neh. 5:18 as descriptive of the subject and depressed conditions of the Hebrews in Palestine during the earlier years after their return from captivity, when they were still living under Persian suzerainty.
    2. The word bondage ʿăbhādhīm is also used to describe the slavery into which the poor Jews were being forced by their more prosperous brethren in the earlier years under the Persians in Palestine (Neh. 5:5). Here true personal, though temporary, slavery is meant.
    3. Marriage is once referred to as a bondage (1 Cor. 7:15). It wasn’t the marriage that Paul was referring to, it was the obligations concerned with marriage.
  2. It is used in the metaphorical sense only in New Testament.

 “Bondage,” is the power of physical corruption as against the freedom of life (Romans 8:21), the power of fear as over against the confidence of Christian faith (Romans 8:15; Hebrews 2:15), and especially is it the bondage of the letter, of the elements, of a ceremonial and institutional salvation which must be scrupulously and painfully observed, as contrasted with the freedom of the sons of God, emancipated by faith in Jesus Christ. This bondage is a peculiarly Pauline idea since he was fighting for Christian freedom (Galatians 2:4; Galatians 4:3, 9, 24-25; Galatians 5:1). In 2 Peter 2:19 the idea is essentially different. Libertinism, masquerading under the name of freedom, is branded as bondage, in contrast with the true freedom of righteous living. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Bondage to sin is not necessary. Those who are true Christians have nothing to do with bondage to sin. Through our faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit will guide us in a life free from sin if we will let Him. Don’t get caught up in bondage, it’s not worth it.

Weekly Devotional – April 3, 2021

God’s Love for You!

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

John 4:10 (NKJV)

I remember when I bought my first house. My ship was in the dry dock in Brooklyn, New York. My wife was stay with her parents in Douglasville Pennsylvania. She called a real estate agent in Virginia Beach, Virginia. My wife told him what we were looking for and gave him some information about us.

I left work early on Friday, Picked my wife up and we made it to Virginia late that night. On Saturday morning we met with the agent and he took us to look at houses. When we walked into the first house, it had everything my wife told him we were looking for and more. When I asked the price, it was far below the price we told him we wanted. The agent had already gotten us approved for a larger amount than we were paying so we signed the paperwork that day and moved in the next week. That agent was trying to help us because we were in the military. Today the real estate agents are trying to make a buck and won’t try to help you at all.

God is even better than that real estate agent. God wants to move us into a home that costs for more than we could ever afford. But God doesn’t get it financed for you like the real estate agent did. God will let his Son pay the price for you

God’s gift to the world wasn’t salvation, His gift to the world was the death of His only begotten Son on the cross at Calvary. Jesus died for our sins. A price we could never pay. Salvation was the result of that Gift.

Go ahead and get a drink like the women at the well did. Drink the everlasting water of salvation and remember it was God’s love for you that made it possible for you to drink. God’s love for this world is told in John 3:16. Go ahead and let God show you His love, it’s overwhelming!!!