I love it when I run into an article that shares what I don’t have the time (and perhaps, the wherewithal 😉 to write! Well-crafted, concise, and comprehensive, The Nashville Statement provides answers for those curious about Christian convictions regarding sexual ethics. Click the link below to read this great article.
It’s really easy to get mired down in the day to day work of life and lose sight of the blessedness of being called to work for the Lord. Our work differs, but whatever it is, it’s an honor to be called–to be entrusted with a job for His kingdom. Matthew Henry reminded me of this in his commentary of Ecclesiastes 1.
“…a commission is a tacit pardon. Christ sufficiently testifies his forgiving Peter by committing his lambs and sheep to his trust. “
The work He gives us testifies to our belonging to Him. That can give us great joy in our day to day endeavors. Undoubtedly, Satan wants us to doubt our happy reconciliation with the Lord and the importance of our obedience. Rejoice that we have for this moment, work to do, while it is day! We have the privilege to serve our Redeemer, the Lover of our Souls.
“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ He said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ ” John 21:15
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” John 15:15
“And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.” 1 John 3:23
God loved us before time so we could love Him in this present time.–Wil Owens
So much is going on in our world today–inviting us to worry. But there is another invitation. An invitation to become one of God’s people–not exempt from trouble but guaranteed to be carried through each day with tenderness and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. Are you in this place of safety? Please join Teaching Pastor Wil Owens as he leads us through John 16 and teaches us about the promise of peace for those in Christ.
Do you miss God? Sometimes He seems so far away.
How wonderful it is to know that even though we do not see God face to face now, we are before Him always–and we have the opportunity to bless him daily with our prayers. Here in Revelation the incense rises before the actual throne of God! The days can be very long and just to know that my prayers rise front and center before the Lord of all is a comfort. And what an encouragement too. My daily walks and prayers are sweet gifts to Him. And that’s pretty amazing!
“And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.” Revelation 8: 3-4
“Let my prayer be counted as incense before you,
and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!” Psalm 141:2
Thoughts on Prayer by Matthew Henry:
- All the saints are a praying people; none of the children of God are born dumb, a Spirit of grace is always a Spirit of adoption and supplication, teaching us to cry, Abba, Father. Ps. 32:6, For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee.
- 2. Times of danger should be praying times, and so should times of great expectation; both our fears and our hopes should put us upon prayer, and, where the interest of the church of God is deeply concerned, the hearts of the people of God in prayer should be greatly enlarged.
- 3. The prayers of the saints themselves stand in need of the incense and intercession of Christ to make them acceptable and effectual, and there is provision made by Christ for that purpose; he has his incense, his censer, and his altar; he is all himself to his people.
- 4. The prayers of the saints come up before God in a cloud of incense; no prayer, thus recommended, was ever denied audience or acceptance.
- 5. These prayers that were thus accepted in heaven produced great changes upon earth in return to them; the same angel that in his censer offered up the prayers of the saints in the same censer took of the fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth, and this presently caused strange commotions, voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake;these were the answers God gave to the prayers of the saints, and tokens of his anger against the world and that he would do great things to avenge himself and his people of their enemies; and now, all things being thus prepared, the angels discharge their duty.
The work of redemption is not on man alone–it won’t be incomplete or unfinished. God Himself will come to ensure and complete the work of redemption. –Wil Owens
Acts 1: On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Wil Owens, Teaching Pastor at Clovis Evangelical Free Church explains in this two-part sermon series how the Holy Spirit not only comforts believers inwardly in all their struggles but also empowers us in the work of sharing the gospel.
It’s true. Every day is an adventure, sometimes beautiful like a vista from a mountaintop. Other times, the trail is obstructed and we find that most of our day is spent climbing over the gnarled tree roots of our daily struggles.
That’s why the very best thing we can do every morning is set our compass afresh. It doesn’t take much to get our thinking off by a degree or two–and we all know the implications of wrong thinking can be great over time. Our own human heart misinforms us. Satan is ALWAYS waiting to misinform us. Others, in their imperfections misinform us. So there is no more important work than setting our hearts aright before we venture off on the day’s journey.
And nothing does that better than the Word of God.
It’s the beginning of a new year and the perfect time to scoot on over to your nearest Bible app and find a daily reading plan that takes you through the Bible in a year. A few months ago I realized that in the busyness of life, I was becoming rusty on my recall of certain Scriptures. Another reason to take myself back to the schoolroom.
For me, the best way to get the Word into my heart is audibly. On a walk. With my dog.
On my Bible app there is a button to press which reads the passage aloud. By the end of my walk I’m as convicted and encouraged as the Holy Spirit desires. Sometimes I’m surprised at what details I had forgotten. Mostly, I am impressed with the awesomeness of God and find it easier to move forward in the day with the resolve to do my work well.
So find a reading plan and a routine that DAILY works for you. Below are some links to reading plans you might like. And may God bless you this New Year!!!
2017 Bible Reading Plans
You can check out plans on the “Bible” app by Life.church on your device OR….
5 Day Reading Schedule:
Ligonier Reading Plans: www.ligonier.org/blog/bible-reading-plans/
ESV Bible Reading Plans: www.esv.org/resources/reading-plans/
The Change Your Mind Plan: www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/how-to-change-your-mind1#When:08:01:00Z
God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgment: jimhamilton.info/2014/12/03/read-the-bible/
Read the Gospels Every Day: www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php/2016/12/19/2017-bible-reading-plan-read-the-gospels-every-day/
A King Upon the Field
At last! At last! A king upon the field!
That lay four thousand years without her Sun,
And groaning bore the necessary days
Until her longed for Sovereign be revealed.
At hand! At hand! A kingdom is at hand!
For all who are as orphans in the world,
Now brought from east and west with such a call
Which powers of hell can never countermand.
Awake! Awake! O sleeper, to His light,
Your heart of stone turned flesh beats full of life,
Once dying yet now living bend the knee
And pledge your King your love, your life, your might.
–Elizabeth Bridges Hiett