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Thursday, December 6 2012
The Overcomer's Prayer
In the Holy Bible, "overcome" means to repent of the ways of the carnal-minded world and live according to the right way of God. The ministry of John the Baptist (see Ahead Of The Prophet) was a call to repentance, in order to be able to truly "walk" with the coming Messiah (see The Kingdom Of The LORD God). Their "confessing their sins" wasn't a matter of seeking forgiveness by confessing to some other sinner, but rather actively repenting before God so that Christ's Sacrifice would be applied to them (see Christ Died For Repentant Sinners).
"3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
According to the Word of God (see What Does Word of God Mean To You?), without repentance, there is no salvation.
"20:11 And I saw a great white throne [see The Harvest Prophecies], and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God [see The Eighth Day: Empty Cemeteries]; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works [see Works Means Obedience]. 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:11-15 KJV)
"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life"
We must first strive to overcome sinful behavior by repentance - an active and deliberate effort to obey the LORD, according to His Word, not our own. That is what makes a true Christian (see the Fact Finder question below). But true repentance ironically produces something else that must be overcome - the ever-present trap of self-righteousness that is found in unrepentant people.
The apostle Paul was a repentant Pharisee who became one of the greatest servants of Christ. But Paul recognized that he was still a sinner - a repentant sinner living in a world that paradoxically makes it easier to sin when one is trying the hardest not to sin (see Concupiscence).
"7:8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
Paul was a truly righteous man who knew that he was far from perfect, not a self-righteous man who claimed to be perfect. A prime example of the principle was that of a self-righteous (and therefore unrepentant) Pharisee, and an honestly-repentant, but imperfect (as all people are) publican.
"18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
True Christianity is as much about first, truly repenting, as it is ever thereafter not sinning by self-righteousness.
"4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Fact Finder: How is overcoming related to prayer?
This Day In History, December 6
1421: Henry VI, the last Lancastrian king of England, was born. He was crowned king at the age of 8 months.
1492: Christopher Columbus "discovered" Hispaniola (it wasn't a discovery for the people who were already living there); the island is now divided between Haiti and the Dominican Republic (for a map of all four of the voyages of Columbus, see Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).
1534: Quito, Ecuador was founded by Spanish explorers.
1768: The first edition of Encyclopedia Britannica was published.
1792: During the French Revolution, the Girondists decided to put King Louis XVI on trial.
1862: U.S. President Abraham Lincoln ordered the hanging of 39 native Americans for the "Sioux Uprising" in Minnesota.
1865: The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It banned slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime (e.g. "chain gangs").
1917: Over 1,600 people were killed, 9,000 injured, and an estimated $35 million damage from an explosion in the harbor at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The Mont Blanc, a French munitions ship, collided with the Belgian relief ship Imo. Sparks from the collision ignited almost 3,000 tons of explosives aboard the French ship.
1917: British troops under General Allenby entered Hebron on their way to taking Jerusalem from the Ottomans during the First World War (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Balfour Declaration).
1921: The Anglo-Irish Treaty ended the Anglo-Irish War and gave Ireland dominion status in the British Empire as the Irish Free State, but provided for the separate status for the 6 northern counties (Northern Ireland), thus partitioning the country.
1938: Germany and France signed a "treaty of friendship." Germany invaded France a year later.
1941: Franklin Roosevelt approved funds for the development of a weapon of mass destruction, which later became known as the "atomic bomb."
1973: Gerald Ford was sworn in as U.S. Vice-President following Spiro Agnew's resignation for tax evasion. With the later resignation of Richard Nixon because of the Watergate burglary and obstruction of justice cover-up, Ford became the only man to serve as U.S. President and Vice-President without ever being elected to either office.
1975: A $2.3 billion emergency loan to save New York from bankruptcy was authorized.
2006: NASA announced that photographs taken by the Mars Global Surveyor suggested the presence of liquid water on Mars.