Today’s focus is on, When you pray, look backward to the cross.
May the Holy Spirit minister deeply into our hearts, the message He has for us today. Enjoy!
SCRIPTURE: “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” ( 1 Peter 18-19 NIV)
It is good to start our prayers with the cross because it helps you have an attitude of gratitude. When you think about Jesus dying for you on the cross, it reminds you how deeply God loves you, how costly sin is, and how completely you are forgiven. Focusing on the cross thus helps us grasp a bit more what the God we worship is like—simultaneously all-powerful and a servant. Jesus who had committed no sin died for us, in doing so underwent the most humiliating, excruciating, painful form of punishment in the world at that time. Knowing we are loved in that way by the God of the universe encourages us. Taking a long look at the cross and Jesus’ suffering there is what leads us to a deeper repentance, deeper hatred of sin, deeper love for God’s Will to be done, and deeper commitment to pray and work for his kingdom to come. The cross helps us see the depth of God’s love and the wisdom of His plan.
SCRIPTURE: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)
As believers, we must prepare and be equipped for when life gets tough because life will get tough. Stormy seasons of life are inevitable. For the followers of Jesus who are living for comfort and riches, the storm only exposes these vanities. What the world may see as setbacks and losses are only the reestablishing and rearrangement of our lives to the will of God so that we might see better investment in eternal values. The greater we understand God and His ways, the greater potential of faith we have. It is important to study the scriptures and build a strong doctrinal base for our faith. Let study the Scriptures now, then when the storms of life hit, we will not be spending all our time discovering what God is like.
Source: Culled from, Growing Through The Storms Of Life, by E. Truman Herring (Vol. one)
SCRIPTURE TEXT: “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the Head of all principality and power.”—Colossians 2:9-10 Nothing needs to be added to Jesus’ Person or position to make Him more complete. Because He is the fullness of the Godhead bodily, He does need to be or have anything else. Because He is the Head of the church, He does not need to receive more authority. Because He has all power, He does not need to receive more strength.
When Jesus comes into your life, you have received completeness. If you were an empty house, He would be the complete furnishing; if you were an empty plate, He would be the complete meal. If you were a violin, He would be the symphony, if you were a book cover, He would be the manuscript, if you were a vase, He would be the floral arrangement.
SCRIPTURE TEXT: “If you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you “—Matthew 6:14 The Greek word for forgiveness used in the New Testament means “to give up the right to something” hence, to give back your right to redress or grievance. To offer forgiveness and yet hold a grudge against someone is really not forgiveness at all. Man’s forgiveness is marred by his hesitance to forget; God’s forgiveness is complete. On one occasion, Peter asked Jesus, how often am I to forgive my brother if he goes on wronging me – as many as seven times? Jesus answered, Not seven times but seventy times seven – Matt. 18:21-22. In other words, never stop forgiving!
Forgiveness never comes easy, but it is an absolute must if we are to free our lives of hatred and revenge. Forgiving each other comes so much easier when we remember that God has extended forgiveness to all who will receive Him. If you expect His forgiveness, treat your fellow men as God treats you. Try it; make it a daily part of your life. You will be better for it.
TRY THIS… If you are thinking, I just cannot forgive, may I share a formula for forgiveness that never fails. Begin to earnestly pray for the one who has hurt you, and soon you will discover God’s grace to forgive – and forget.
SCRIPTURE TEXT: “For Thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness—Psalm 18:28 When God lights up your life, He lights up your spirit with His glory. When you were outside of Christ you lived in spiritual darkness – God was a Person you did not know, He had a voice that you did not hear, and He worked in ways you could not see.
Your spirit is like a candle in need of the flame of God’s love. When God places His light within you everything changes – the voice of God becomes discernable, the ways of God become understandable, the presence of God becomes enjoyable, the will of God becomes delightful.
The beauty of being in the light and living in the light of God is that you can live in unhindered communion with Him.
PRAYER: Dear God, empower me with Your Holy Spirit to live in the light of Your word. Amen
SCRIPTURE TEXT: “For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” —Hebrews 10:36
The will of God in your life is not just for the moment, but it is also for the long haul. There are some things that you will see God do instantly, there are other things that God will do progressively, and there are still other things that God will do eventually, in His time and in His way.
The important thing is not to set a timetable on God, or expect Him to do things the way you want them to be done. In trusting His will, you must also trust His wisdom and His timing.
God’s waiting times are not meant to frustrate you, but to weave within your character, the qualities of patient endurance.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me to be patient and wait for Your appointed time. Amen