Each of My Core Values has a subtitle that describes a litmus test by which I can determine success or failure in that area of life. For this one, it is:
Live a prayer-filled, evangelical, Word-filled life.
Let me quickly break that down. I am convinced about some things about prayer. First, I believe that I should “pray without ceasing… this is the will of Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thes 5) Also, “by prayer… let your requests be made known to God” (Phil 4) Colossians 4 teaches, “Continue steadfastly in prayer.” Jesus teaches, “whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours” (Mark 11) The LORD says, “call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.” (Jeremiah 29) Paul encourages, “Be constant in prayer” (Romans 12). “When you pray, do not heap up empty phrases” (Matt 6) “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him” (Ps 145) “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” (Matt 18) “When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matt 6) “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed.” (James 5) “Pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6) “Be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers” (1 Peter 4) “pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health as it goes well with your soul” (3 John) “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin” (2 Chronicles 7). Therefore, prayer is absolutely a good test of whether I am living with the knowledge of God.
Evangelical is rightly defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary as “of or according to the teaching of the gospel or the Christian religion” more specifically, “denoting a tradition within Protestant Christianity emphasizing the authority of the Bible, personal conversion, and the doctrine of salvation by faith in the Atonement.” It is essential that I be evangelical, because otherwise my prayers which would help with the knowledge of God, would be wrongly rooted and I would not know God as God, but rather as I imagined Him to be. Furthermore, it is the gospel and the Christian religion that teaches me how to pray as the gospel records the answer of Jesus to the request, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11) and it is the Christian religion that stores the knowledge of how to pray in books and treatises on the subject. Last, it is the Holy Spirit which enables prayer and true knowledge of God and comes as a result of personal conversion.
According to The Baptist Faith and Message, 2000: “The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.” I affirm this teaching and therefore, must be consuming and studying the Bible if I am to truly be living in the knowledge of God.
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