"Tychicus will tell you everything." Ephesians 6:21

March 24th, 2023 by Dan

Learning from Mary (and Martha)

In my book Strengthen Your Prayer Life, there are so many characters from the Bible that I “interview” about their approach to prayer. “Talking” with Mary (who sat at Jesus’ feet to learn from him), there’s much I imagine she would say:

“When you talk to Jesus, it’s not a good idea to think that just because you feel like you are left alone to do the work, that Jesus doesn’t care. After all, he is the most loving and caring being you will ever come across! So, if you feel like that, there may be something else going on.” (93)

Mary’s Prayer: “Father, we certainly remember the request of the disciples to teach them to pray. Now I want to ask that You would teach us to listen. Help us to value Your words more than our words. Help us to listen to You before we speak to You. Help us to pay more attention to what Your want to say to us than what we want to say to You. Help us to listen well so we can pray well.” (94)

“…prayer works best after we listen… to the degree we listen well, to that same degree we can pray well.” (94)

Mary, her sister Martha, and all of those who followed Jesus have much wisdom to offer us in how we approach our God in prayer! You will glean truths from several Biblical characters and their experience and teaching that will help you in Strengthen Your Prayer Life.

April 11th, 2019 by Dennis Fuqua


I recently had the privilege of facilitating another Pastors’ Prayer Summit for pastors from the Tucson, AZ area.  We drove up Mt Lemon to the town of Summerhaven, elevation, 8200 feet.  This is a small, very typical little mountain town with few year-round residences, but many nice seasonal homes settled into the hilly terrain.  At the brakes of the summit, I enjoyed wandering around the little town.

During one brake I walked up a fairly steep side road.  I enjoyed the sound of the creek next to it.  It reminded me of the time when Jesus talked about “rivers of living water.”  In John 7:37-39 He says, On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Not far up the road, I saw one crossing that used two culverts instead of one.  Right away, I noticed that most all the water was flowing out of the culvert on the left.  As soon as I asked myself why, I noticed that it was just a few inches lower than the one on the right.

Two culverts.  One with much clean water flowing through it and the other with very little flowing through it.  And even the water that was coming through the culvert on the right was rather dirty.

It struck me that the only difference between the two culverts was that one was lower than the other one.  Here was my prayer based upon what I saw.  “Father, I want as much of Your Living Water to flow through me as possible.  Let it flow through me and impact others.  Let me live like the culvert on the left.  Let me walk humbly before you and those around me.” 

Humility…  That’s what God requires of us (Micah 6:8).  That’s what Paul calls us to (Phil 2:3-4).  That is what Jesus wants us to learn from Him (Matthew 11:29).

Thank you, Tychicus

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February 12th, 2019 by Dennis Fuqua

Presidential Quotes on the Bible

This blog is being posted on February 12th, 2019. As I grew up, this was known as “Lincoln’s Birthday” and February 22nd was known as “Washington’s Birthday.” Now we don’t recognize those unique days, but rather lump the honoring of all presidents into “President’s Day” which is celebrated on a Monday between those two days.

In honor of both Abraham Lincoln and the other presidents, posted below are quotes from many presidents about the Bible. Taking this book seriously has shaped my life more than any other source.

The first few quotes are from Lincoln. Each of these quotes, by people who are more honorable then I am, and who have accomplished much more than I have, is worth of contemplation. I offer them here with the hope that they may encourage you to consider the value of not only reading the Bible, but also of letting it “read” you.

Thank you, Tychicus
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“I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all of this Book upon reason that you can, and the balance by faith, and you will live and die a better man.”  “In regard for this Great Book, I have this to say, it is the best gift God has given to man.  All the good Savior gave to the world was communicated through this Book.”   “That I am not a member of any Christian church is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular….I do not think I could myself be brought to support a man for office whom I knew to be an open enemy of, or scoffer at, religion.” – Abraham Lincoln, Sixteenth President

“It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”  
“Do not let anyone claim to be a true American if they ever attempt to remove religion from politics.” – First President of the United States – George Washington

“I have always said and always will say that the studious perusal of the Sacred Volume will make better citizens, better fathers, better husbands… the Bible makes the best people in the world.” – Thomas Jefferson, Third President

“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” – James Madison, Fourth President

“The Bible is the first and almost the only book deserving of universal attention.  I speak as a man of the world…and I say to you, “Search the Scriptures.”” “My custom is to read four or five chapters of the Bible every morning immediately after rising. It seems to me the most suitable manner of beginning the day. It is an invaluable and inexhaustible mine of knowledge and virtue.”  – John Quincy Adams, Sixth President” 

“That Book (the Bible), sir, is the Rock on which our Republic rests.” – Andrew Jackson, Seventh President

“Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet anchor of your liberties, write its precepts in your hearts, and practice them in your lives.  To the influence of this book are we indebted for all the progress made in true civilization, and to this we must look as our guide in the future. Righteousness exalteth a nation but sin is a reproach to any people.” – Ulysses S. Grant, Eighteenth President

“If you take out of your statutes, your constitution, your family life all that is taken from the Sacred Book, what would there be left to bind society together?” – Benjamin Harrison, Twenty third President

“A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.” – Theodore Roosevelt, Twenty sixth President

“When you have read the Bible, you know it is the word of God, because it is the key to your heart, your own happiness, and your own duty.”   “I have a very simple thing to ask of you. I ask every man and woman in this audience that from this day on they will realize that part of the destiny of America lies in their daily perusal of this great Book (the Bible).”   “The Bible is the one supreme source of revelation of the meaning of life, the nature of God, and spiritual nature and needs of men.  It is the only guide of life which really leads the spirit in the way of peace and salvation.  America was born a Christian nation.  America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture.” – Woodrow Wilson, Twenty eighth President

“The strength of our country is the strength of its religious convictions.  The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.” – Calvin Coolidge, Thirtieth President

“The whole inspiration of our civilization springs from the teachings of Christ and the lessons of the prophets. To read the Bible for these fundamentals is a necessity of American life.”
“The study of the Bible is a post-graduate course in the richest library of human experience.” – Hebert Hoover, Thirty first President

“We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a nation without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic.  Where we have been the truest and most consistent in obeying its precepts, we have attained the greatest measure of contentment and prosperity.” – Franklin Roosevelt, Thirty second President

“The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and Saint Matthew, from Isaiah and Saint Paul…. If we don’t have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the State!” – Harry Truman, Thirty third President

“Of the many influences that have shaped the United States into a distinctive nation and people, none may be said to be more fundamental and enduring than the Bible.”  “Inside the Bible’s pages lie all the answers to all of the problems man has ever known… It is my firm belief that the enduring values presented in its pages have a great meaning for each of us and for our nation.  The Bible can touch our hearts, order our minds, and refresh our souls.” – Ronald Reagan, Fortieth President

December 7th, 2018 by Dennis Fuqua

Masada and Prayer

I have had the privilege of being in Israel several times.  I was there again last month.   There are many, many stories I could tell!

Most of my trips have included a trip to Masada, that huge “rock” near the Dead Sea.  It is known as the place where the Romans finally conquered the Jews who had fled from Jerusalem in 70AD.  It protrudes 1200 feet above the Dead Sea.  You could put any US sports complex on top of it.  It is huge!  This little picture does not do it justice.

I have always gone up and down Masada from the East side (the Dead Sea side).  This time I ascended  the East side, but descended the West side.   We walked down the “Roman Ramp.” Do you see it in the picture?

As I came down that massive ramp, and considered how it was made, the Lord reminded me of Luke 18:1, “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.

The Roman army set up several encampments around Masada in order to conquer it.  They could not.  It was impenetrable.  Then, at some point a Roman Captain came up with an idea.  “If we put enough rocks into this huge ravine, it will become a ramp!”  So, he picked up a rock and put it in that ravine.  He ordered others to do the same.  Rock after rock were put into that ravine.  It took months.  But, eventually, they saw the ravine fill up.  They kept at it until the ravine became a ramp.  Then, the Roman army walked up the ramp, used a battering ram and broke through the wall.  Here is my question: “Which rock was most important?”  They ALL were!  Each trip and each rock mattered.  It was the long-term effort that accomplished the goal.

Why did I think of Luke 18:1?  Because sometimes, each of our prayers are like one of those rocks.   Sometimes we are called to pray for something that seems impossible, just like filling up that huge ravine did.  But, as we and others “keep on praying” each prayer matters.

It may not seem like there is any real progress, it may not seem like our prayer matters.  But, if we stop praying, we will not see the end result: we will not see the “ravine become a ramp.”

So, let’s learn from the Romans as we pray.  One rock at a time.

Thank you, Tychicus

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October 15th, 2018 by Dennis Fuqua

Satan’s key question

While preparing to share at a men’s retreat recently, I saw how a truth from Job 1 fit into what I was asked to share.  After I shared this thought, a brother asked for my notes.  I didn’t have any written out, but felt I should write something up so others could take a look.

The question Satan asks in Job 1:9 reflects one of the most important “mega-questions” anyone could ask.

The most common perspective of the book of Job generally revolves around how the righteous suffer.  Certainly, that is a major part of the story (Job was a righteous man and he suffered much!) but I am not sure that is the primary focus of its message.  Perhaps the suffering Job endured tells us more about God’s worth than about Job’s righteousness.

Here’s some background.  Job was a blameless and prosperous man.  He is described as one who “feared God and shunned evil.”  May that be said of us!  One day, Satan appeared before God.  In the conversation, Job’s name comes up.  Look at Job 1:8-11.

And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.”  (ESV)

As a result of this brief conversation, Job suffered two rounds of absolute disaster.  First, all He had (over ten thousand head of livestock, ten children, many servants, etc.) was all destroyed.  Then, he experienced sever physical sickness and pain.  After the first round of disaster, “Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” (Job 1:22)  After the second round, “Job did not sin in what he said.” (Job 2:10)

Why was Job able to go through these two terrible times and still not sin against God?  The question the evil one asked in verse 9 and the further explanation in verses 10-11 give us the answer.

Did Job fear God for no reason?  At first glance we may answer this question with a “no.”  That is, there certainly are reasons why Job feared God.  But as Satan continues to talk, we understand his question better.

The question is really an accusation.  The charge of the accuser is this: the reason Job feared God (and we could add, obeyed God, thanked God, had a relationship with God, at all) is because God protected him and blessed him.  BUT, if God took those things away from Job, Job would certainly CURSE. GOD. TO. HIS. FACE.  That is, the ONLY reason Job had a relationship with God, and the only reason anyone would have a relationship with God.  If God stopped doing those things, then HE IS NOT WORTHY to have a relationship with at all!  The accusation of the evil one is that God, in and of Himself, is not worthy to be known, walked with, followed, or loved.  The only reason anyone would follow Him is because of the “toys” He gives us.  If He were to take the “toys” away, then, surely, there is no reason to have a relationship with Him at all!

Another way to ask this question is:  “Is God worthy of a relationship because of the stuff God has given us, or is He worthy of a relationship, in and of Himself?”

The rest of the book is Job’s answer to that charge.  In essence, Job says, “I am in a relationship with God, not because He protects me from bad things, not because He gives me good things, as grateful as I am for those things.  But I walk with God because of who He is.  My walk with Him is not based upon what happens to me, but on His character and nature.”

For those of us who follow God, and have enjoyed His protection and blessing, if we are going to have an ongoing healthy walk with Him, it is essential for us to come back to this place regularly.  Is God worthy to be followed simply because He gives us good things, or because He is, in fact, good?

August 1st, 2018 by Dennis Fuqua

The B I G 5 0

All days are not the same.  For me, THIS day, August 1, is different from all other days.  Today marks 50 years since I fully surrendered my life to follow Jesus!  Best decision ever!

As I grew up, there were several significant decisions I made in relationship to my walk with Jesus.  My sister reports that as early as three years old (she was 12) I prayed a prayer to ask Jesus into my heart.  Several other times, I said, and meant certain prayers during Vacation Bible School, at Sunday School, at Summer Camp, etc.  But during my high school years, I was not fully following Jesus and His ways.  I wasn’t a bad kid, just not a fully surrendered one.

When I was 19 I was asked to be a counselor at our church’s summer camp.  Because of my past experiences with camps, I thought that would be a good idea.  While there, I had to memorize the verses that the campers memorized so I could make sure they said them properly.  Some of those verses were Romans 12:1-2.

It was late on Thursday night, August 1, 1968 as I lay on my bunk pondering those verses, that I felt such wonderful conviction from the Lord.  It was so heavy on my chest that I felt if I did not respond to His invitation to “present myself as a living sacrifice” I would be pressed right through the bunk!  That was the moment that changed the entire trajectory of my earthly and eternal life!  I simply offered all of my life and future to Him.  That decision has impacted all the other decisions of my life since then.

Two days ago, I was able to take 9 of my grandkids with me back to that same camp (Mayfield Lake Youth Camp), go to the same place where that cabin stood (it is no longer there), sit on the grass, and tell them the story.  This was the last stop on our annual “Cousins’ Camp.”  We had them memorize Romans 12:1-2.  While at the camp, we repeated those verses.  My prayer for them at the time was that they would always present themselves as living sacrifices to God.  That was my prayer then, that is my prayer now.

All days are not the same.  This one is “holy.”  I call it my personal “holiday.”

Thank you, Tychicus

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June 26th, 2018 by Dennis Fuqua

Prayin’ Around

This past month, Marilyn and I fulfilled an idea I have had for many years.  We drove the perimeter of Washington State.  When I was attending Multnomah School of the Bible (now Multnomah University) in the early 70’s, I would often drive across the Columbia River south on I-5.  At times I would think, “Ya know, it would be fun to get off at exit 1 and just drive around the state.”  The thought was never really strong, but it was persistent.  In the year 2000, we moved to Vancouver, where that exit is.  So, when the thought came to me again a couple months ago, I mentioned it to Marilyn and we decided to go for it.  So, we did.

Then, several months ago, I was thinking about specific ways Scripture tells us to pray.  We are familiar with Psalm 122:6-8 which tells us to “pray for the peace (and prosperity) of Jerusalem.”  I also saw that Jeremiah 29:7 tells us we are to pray the same things for “the city to which I have called you.”  Well, that city was…  Babylon!  God wants us to pray for His “least favorite city” in the same way He wants us to pray for His “favorite city!”

So, as we planned to drive around the state, we decided we would also “pray around” it as well.  We decided we would pray for God’s shalom to be upon each city we drove through.  That word “shalom” is a very rich word in the Hebrew language.  I think the hippies of the 60’s had it pretty close when they would greet one another with “Peace!”  What they meant was they wanted the person they greeted to have a sense of well-being, safety, security, prosperity, wholeness, etc.  That is what this word means.  So, that is what we prayed for.

So, after we drove through 22 of our state’s 39 counties, 1800 miles (on many roads I had never been on before), spent 7 nights on the road (4 nights in campgrounds, 1 in a B&B, 1 in a motel, and 1 at a friend’s house), we made it.  We estimated we prayed for about 150 cities (many I had never heard of before), got to pray with a few individuals, saw a lot of very scenic yet unused land, visited with some great folks, and talked with each other a lot!  There will be lots of stories we will tell for years to come.

I am grateful to Marilyn for being a great navigator and partner!

Thank you, Tychicus

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June 6th, 2018 by Dennis Fuqua

Watching Moses

This morning, I watched Moses ascend the sacred mountain and get the two tablets written in God’s own  handwriting.  Then, I watched as he came back down the mountain and broke them because the people already had broken them.  Then, I saw him dialogue (argue?) with God and convince Him not to wipe out all of Israel.  When God agreed, Moses ask to see His glory – and God showed it to him!  It was quite a sight.  I stepped back, just to be safe!  He got some more tablets, ascended a second time – this time he wrote on them instead of God.

No, I wasn’t watching a Hollywood DVD, I was watching on the screen of my mind.

Last year, during the incident with my infected backbone, I came to a place where I didn’t even have enough energy to read my Bible.  Weeks past without me opening and reading it.  I tried to pray, but literally would fall asleep within a minute or two.  It was not a good time.

I remember the time, at the end of May in 2017, I had a clear thought; “I can at least listen to the Bible on my phone!”  So, I began listening… and found that loved it!  I didn’t listen while doing other things.  I set time aside, leaned back in my chair, turned on my phone, closed my eyes, and watched what I was hearing.

I had never interacted with Scripture like this before.  I “saw” new things, heard old things in a fresh way, and was greatly encouraged.  So much so that, after I recovered, I continued to listen.  So, now, just over a year later, I have begun going through the Bible a second time.  Max McLean is “reading me a story” every morning.  This morning, he read (and I watched) Moses in action.

If you have not listened to Scripture recently, or if you are looking for a fresh way to interact with it, I encourage you to pursue this.  Both Bible Gateway & You Version have free audio versions available.  I am sure many other Bible Apps do as well.

Thank you, Tychicus

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May 10th, 2018 by Dennis Fuqua

Jesus’ “Favorite” Holiday

All days are not the same.  Some days are different, unique, set apart.  We call them “holy days” or holidays.  And not all holidays are the same.  Some are more special than others.

With that in mind, what would you say is Jesus’ “favorite” holiday?  Would it be Christmas, when Jesus left Heaven to come to earth?  What about “Good Friday” or even “Resurrection Day?”  I suggest Jesus favorite holiday, the day on the Church Calendar that is most special to Him, that gives Him the most pleasure is…  Ascension Day.    Today (May 10) is that day on the Church Calendar for 2018.  For some reason, most of the Church of Jesus Christ today does not recognize this day with anything more than a nob.

But, think with me about some of the significant things that took place on this day.  I will briefly highlight 4 of the many things that could be mentioned.  I encourage you to look at more of the things that took place on this day and expand on the 4 things I mention here.  See a list below.

First, and most obvious, this was the day that Jesus was taken back to Heaven.  His long journey to this earth was finally over.  It was this day that He received the ultimate “Hero’s Welcome” back to Home!  He had received His Father’s assignment, accomplished it perfectly. and now He returned to Him as the Conquering King!  And to top it all off, His enemies were now a footstool for His feet.  The glory that had been His from all eternity, the glory He had set aside when He came to earth, was now restored to Him.

Second, this was the day Jesus gave us what is appropriately called the Great Commission.  Just before He left earth, He turned to His followers and gave us His last command – to carry on His mission of disciple making.  This command should dominate all our activity.  If we are doing something that is helping people become disciples of Christ, we are obeying Him.  If we are doing something that is not helping people become disciples of Christ, we are not obeying Him.  Pretty simple, but also pretty all-inclusive.

Third, this is the day that Jesus took on His new assignment as intercessor.  His primary assignment on earth was to accomplish our salvation.  That assignment was now completed and, when He rose to Heaven, He entered into His new “job” of intercessor for the saints.  He has called us to pray as part of the Father’s overall plan to be like His Son.  As the unique God/man Jesus is the One who knows the heart and will of the Father and also the needs and struggles of mankind.  This puts Him in the most unique role to intercede for us as His followers.

The final thing I will mention here that took place that day as our accession with Him.  As surely as Scripture says that we died with Christ, were buried with Him, and united with Him in His resurrection, it also says that we have ascended with Him and are now “seated with Christ in Heavenly places.”  This day changes everything about how we can and ought to live each day.  We do not need to live this life as though this life is all there is.  Because of our place in Heaven and in Christ right now, we get to take on His perspective of life.  We don’t have to limit our perspective to this world.  We get to see things and respond to situations in an “other-worldly” manner, because, in some mysterious but very real way, we are there now.

So, as we consider this day, I invite you to join me as I worship the exalted Christ, recommit myself to obey His command to disciple, thank Him for His wonderful prayers for my life, and view life from His perspective more than my perspective.  And look at the big smile on Jesus’ face!

Thank you, Tychicus

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Ascension Day

“Today” is the day Jesus…

  • Ascended to His Fathers right hand.
  • Charged His followers to be His witnesses.
  • Gave His disciples His last earthly blessing.
  • Gave people as gifts to His church.
  • We took our place seated with Him in heavenly places.
  • Was welcomed back into Heaven as the victorious Savior.  “Well done…”  The long trip was finally over.
  • Eternal fellowship between Jesus and the Father was restored.
  • Entered into His pre-incarnate glory.
  • Sat down at His Father’s right hand and His enemies became His footstool.
  • Began His ministry of intercession for the saints.

And His disciples

  • Watched in awe as He ascended.
  • Obeyed Him by going to the upper room to pray.


Ps 110:1 The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

Matt 26:64 “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Mark 16:19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.

Luke 20:42 David himself declares in the Book of Psalms: ” ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand   43 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” ‘

Luke 24:50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them.  51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven

John 16:5 “Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. 7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

John 17:1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you… I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

Acts 1:9-11 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.  10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.  11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Acts 2:33-35 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.  34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, ” ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand   35 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” ‘

Acts 5:31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.

Acts 7:56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

Rom 8:34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

Eph 1:20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,  23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way

Phil 2:9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Col 3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

1 Tim 3:16 Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.

Heb 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

Heb 8:1 The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.

Heb 10:12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.

Heb 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

1 Peter 1:21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

1 Peter 3:22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand – with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

March 29th, 2018 by Dennis Fuqua

Jesus four prayer requests

Are you familiar with the four requests Jesus prayed in John 17?  This longest recorded prayer of Jesus not only lets us know what was on His heart during His last hours, it also shows what can and should be on our hearts as well.  These requests were so important to Him that He prayed each on twice.  His prayer can become our prayer.  Let’s look at each of these requests.

  • Glorify Your Son (V. 1 & 5)

The Old Testament word for “glory” is also translated as “weighty” or “heavy.”  Perhaps the hippies of the 60’s had it right after all.  When they would see or hear something very impressive, they would say, “heavy, man!”  That really does capture the idea behind this word.  Glory is that part of God that, when we see or hear it, causes us to be impressed!  The New Testament word for “glory” comes from the same word as “to think or consider.”  Glory is that part of God, that when we see or hear it, it causes us to stop and think more about it/Him.

When Jesus prayed that the Father would glorify the Son, He was asking that God would let people see and hear truths about Jesus that would cause them to be impressed and cause them to stop and think more about Him.

What a good prayer!  Always appropriate.  “Father, in this situation right here, right now, let me see and hear more of Jesus.  Let me be more impressed with Him and think more accurately and deeply about who He is and what He has accomplished!”

  • Protect the Saints (V. 11 &5)

Jesus knew that we needed to be protected from the schemes and tricks of the evil one.  Twice in this prayer and in other places He warns us to pray so that he would not have his way in our lives.  In fact, most of the NT authors repeat this thought.  Here it is, plan and simple.  The evil one hates us because he hates God.  If he can, he will hurt us so that he can hurt God.  He plays hard and he does not plan fair.  He is stronger than we are.  If we seek to fight him or flee from him in our own strength, we will fail.  We need help from the One who is greater and stronger than we are.  Since He is in us, we always have access to Him.

What a good prayer!  Always appropriate.  “Father, protect me and those under my care from every influence of the evil one.  Let me be aware of his schemes.   Let me be strong enough to recognize I need help beyond myself.  Let me be humble enough to call out to you and trust you to deliver me.”

  • Sanctify the Saints (V. 17& 19)

What was Jesus praying here?  What does “sanctify” mean?  Yes, it means to “be holy.”  But what does that mean?  Yes, it means to “be set apart” but what does that mean?   My favorite way to express the meaning here is “to be distinct or distinguished.”   It means I am “different.”  I am different from what I used to be and I am different from those who do not follow Jesus.  Your Word (not my word) is now the standard for my life.  It is not a list, it is a lifestyle.  It is recognizing that when Jesus changed me, He actually did change me.  I now live differently than I used to live.  My thoughts, my motives, my attitudes, my words, my actions, everything about me is now different.

What a good prayer!  Always appropriate.  “Father, sanctify me and the other believers around me.  Let me, and us, no longer be conformed to our words, but rather to Your Word.  Bring all of who I am into conformity with Your Son.  Don’t let the way I used to live be the standard for me today.  Don’t let the way others live be my standard.  Let the character and the nature of Jesus be my standard for living.

  • Unite the Saints (V. 21 & 23)

Jesus cared passionately about the unity of His Body.  His last request in this prayer was for those of us who would believe in Him through His earthly apostles would be united.  And the standard of our unity is not that we would attend the same meeting or sing the same songs.  His standard for our unity was and is the unity of the Trinity: the unity He and His Father enjoyed.  This is a unity that leads with love and true transparency, stirs in great mutual respect and appreciation for the differenced of others, and ends with a full agreement and commitment of the mission.

And this unity is not without clear purpose.  There are two “so thats” of this unity.  He wants people to see our unity so that they would believe that He really did come from the Father and that those who don’t know Him yet would believe that the Father loves them as much as He loves His Son.

What a great prayer!  Always appropriate.  “Father, we agree with Jesus’ prayer.  Let those of us who believe in You be one with one another.  Our unity matters to You and it matters to those around us.  So, let us know one another.  Let us love one another.  Let us like one another.  And let us know we need one another.  As we are committed to You and Your mission, let us walk in good relationship with all others who are committed to do the same.”

These four requests were important enough for Jesus to pray at a critical point in His life.  May they also be important enough for us to pray on a regular basis.

Thank you, Tychicus

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