Longing for Peace And Knowledge

Longing for Peace And Knowledge

(Saturday Evening Prayer For January 27)

Heavenly Father. We come to You this evening with longing in our heart. There is a longing for peace in our spirit, our body, and in our mind. A longing for knowledge—knowledge of You and of those who walked this road before us—fuels our passion. Father, we long for rest and the strength to lay our burdens at Your feet. We also pray for the willpower to not pick them up again. Most of all, we long for home. To walk the streets of gold, to sit beside the crystal sea, but above all to kneel in Your Presence. We thank You for this desire to see You.

Be with those, this evening, who are filled with loss and overcome with grief. In the night when sorrow and pain weighs them down, remind them there is a Light that brings comfort. We know death is a part of this world, yet the comfort of the Holy Spirit sets us apart from this world. When tears fill our eyes and mourning overwhelms our hearts, there is strength and peace and comfort in You. For those who have traveled to show their love to those left behind, grant them safe journeys back home.

We pray, O Lord, for Your blessings to be poured out upon all men. Fill the spiritual needs of the burdened bearers. When we walk through the valley, let Your light shine through us so others might see You. Let us in all ways glorify Your name and never seek to build ourselves up. Keep us focused on the good things You have given us and keep us from turning back to a world of lies. Be always in the center of our thoughts, fill our hearts, and strengthen our will.

In all we do—in all we ask—we do so in the precious name of Jesus Christ, our savior.

Worthless, Unlovable, And Alone

Worthless, Unlovable, And Alone

(Saturday evening Prayer For January 13)

Heavenly Father. Thank You for showing us our worth even when we thought we were worthless. You loved us when we thought we were unlovable and walked beside us when we thought we were alone. When we feel we have no hope, the hope we have in You fills us with strength…Your strength. Thank You for allowing us to lay our burdens at Your feet rather than let them drag us down. Time and time again, Your love, the love that sent down Your only begotten Son, comes to mind. A lifetime of service could never repay all You have done for us. And this is where we see Your grace. You don’t expect us to repay it; You just want our love.

We thank You for all You have done for us. We thank You so much for our family, our friends, and those who minister to us. You have blessed us with talents and abilities, wisdom and knowledge. You have given us understanding as well as a desire to learn. May all we accumulate help spread Your word and edify our fellow man. Let us do nothing without first calling out to You in prayer. Lead and guide us in a way that will show Your glory and not our own. Thank You for our strength and our health, for allowing us to help those who need it.

Dear God, knowing all You have bless us with, we ask You to bless those less fortunate. While there are those who can work but won’t, we know there are those who can’t provide for themselves. In Your Word we are told that that if we don’t work, neither shall we eat; put the desire to work into the hearts of those who won’t. For those unable to work, guide those who are able to them that they might be cared for. Bless those who do minister to the sick and the poor, to those in need. Let their altruism inspire others.

Finally, Lord, we ask that You will be with our readers where ever they are. Be with them in all they do. Grant them safe travels and watch over them while they are home. Touch their bodies when they are sick and encourage them when they despair. Above all, show them they are not worthless in Your eyes and You loved them enough to send Your Son.

All of this we ask, and all of these we pray, in the precious name of Jesus Christ our savior. Amen.

Caesar Or God: Rendering What’s Due

Caesar Or God: Rendering What’s Due

“When they had come, they said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and care about no one; for You do not regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Shall we pay, or shall we not pay?”

But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why do you test Me? Bring Me a denarius that I may see it.”

So they brought it.

And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?”

They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”

And Jesus answered and said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

And they marveled at Him.”–Mark 12:14-17

Look at a coin. Most coins are similar in certain aspects. Each has an image, the country it represents, and an indication of value. Let’s look at the American quarter, for example. It bears George Washington’s profile on the front. In recent years, the words “United States Of America” moved from the back and now appear over his image. The coin’s value is beneath Washington and states the coin is a “Quarter Dollar”. The quarter also has the phrases “Liberty” and “In God We Trust” on either side of him. Beneath “In God We Trust”, there is a letter indicating which city is the coin’s origin.

Often, when traveling abroad, we exchange a certain amount of currency from our home country for currency from our destination. (This can either be done before we leave at a bank, or once we arrive at the airport, city center, or possibly even our hotel). We do this because the value of our currency isn’t the same as that of the country we are visiting. Today, for instance, 5 US Dollars are worth 4.096 Euros. On the other hand, that same 5 US Dollars is worth 317.75 Indian Rupees.

We are a lot like a coin.

Before we accept Jesus as our savior, we are like the coin the Pharisees showed Him. We do not bear the image of Caesar, but, rather, the image of the world. Our words, our actions, the very lives we lead show we represent the world. Even our value as a person is based on the value the world places upon us. Proverbs 10:20 tells us this. “The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; the heart of the wicked is worth little.”. Whatever we put in our heart and our mind that is not of Christ devalues us.

When we turn our lives over to Christ, however, we are no longer valued as the world places value. In Isaiah13:12, God spoke these words to the prophet. “I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold, a man more than the golden wedge of Ophir.”. When God comes into our lives, we become like a newly minted coin. We take on the image of God in spirit and truth and we become a representative of Heaven. And our value? We become priceless. With this new value we carry, we realize that–like many of the flawed coins in or out of circulation–God saw our true value all along.

Mission To Spread The Gospel Of Christ

Mission To Spread The Gospel Of Christ

(Saturday Evening Prayer For January 6)

Heavenly Father. We thank You for the blessing of a brand new year. Our prayer for this year is to be used in Your service. Utilize our gifts and abilities—that which you have given us—so others will glorify You. Keep us mindful of the mission and the goal You have chosen us for. Help us to see the opportunities You have set before us and take advantage of them. Let us also redeem the time You give us—every day, every moment—to witness for You. Help us stand on Your promises, fall on our knees, rise in triumph and grow in grace. In all we do, let our focus remain solely on You, Your Son, Your will, the lost, and Your Kingdom.

Throughout the coming year, we have two assurances; troubles will come, and You will not leave us. Let us not face the future with dread, fearing the troubles and sorrows that will surely come. Instead, O Lord, let us see the grace and mercy in all we must face. Nothing we face throughout the coming year is beyond Your control. Help us to rejoice rather than lament in our sorrow. Remind us of Your crown of thorns when the thorns of despair try to block our path. When surrounded by this world’s darkness, let the knowledge of Your power lighten our way. Nothing born of man can withstand Your divine power; let that be our strength.

Even now, we know there are those who seek to destroy Your truth and those who share it. It would be so easy to pray for Your punishment be upon them so we might be delivered. Instead, let it be our prayer that mercy may abound in their lives. Let Your glory fall upon them as it did Saul on the road to Damascus. Remove the hatred that blackens their souls and fill them with love. Turn their destructive notions of destroying Your kingdom here on earth to the desire to the enlarging of Your kingdom. Give them the mission to see souls saved and to share their testimony of redemption. Let our enemies become our brothers and sisters in Christ.

With Your help, we see the opportunity of a new great awakening in 2018. We know there must be a great falling away, yet we also know all nations shall come to Your holy mount. So fill the hearts of Your children with the fiery passion of evangelism. Unleash the glory of Your power in their words. Draw all men to You through the words and also the deeds of the Faithful. Let them strive to remain above reproach through Your strength. Unify the Church.

Almighty God, we ask these requests in the precious name of Jesus our savior. Amen.

Foundation And Cornerstone

Foundation And Cornerstone

“According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”–1st Corinthians 3:10-11

What is the foundation of your life? Is it money, power, vice, or deceit? Perhaps it is peace, goodwill, charity, or character. Regardless of what it is, if it something you have striven to create, it will not stand. You may think to yourself, “If I live my life being charitable to everyone, then, surely, my hope is secured”.  That is not true. If that is your sole foundation, then you are no better than the miser who collects all he can gather. Nothing we can make, build, or do can lay a firm enough foundation to build our lives on, nor carve a cornerstone flawless enough to support us. Only one foundation—one cornerstone—is that firm, that flawless…Jesus Christ.

In two days, Christians around the world will celebrate the birth of our savior. Although it is a joyous time, a verse comes to me that I have never considered, nor truly understood, until now. It is in Ecclesiastes 7:1. “A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of one’s birth”. Some have said that if it weren’t for our sins, Jesus’ death would have been unnecessary. The truth is, if it wasn’t for our sins, Jesus wouldn’t have had to be born. Revelation 13:8 refers to Him as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”. It took His birth to fulfill the prophecy of His death.

The birth of Jesus was far from a time of joy. From the moment He was born, His life and—by association—the lives of Mary and Joseph were in danger. King Herod knew of the prophecy of the coming of the “King of the Jews” and feared for his position. When the wise men came from the east following the star, Herod sought to trick them. He told them to let him know when they found the Child so he might come and worship as well. His true intentions were to kill the newborn king. When the wise men did not return to him, his anger was unfathomable. He ordered every male child two years and younger in and around Bethlehem killed.

By our definition, these children were too young to have done anything to deserve their fate; they were innocent. By heavenly standards, they had yet to reach the age of accountability. Again, they were innocent. Although their innocence isn’t as flawless as the innocence of Christ, they were innocents killed by an angry king. The foundation Paul tells us to take heed on how we build on it is a foundation of innocence…Jesus’ innocence.

When we ask Jesus to become our savior and forgive our sins, we are asking Him to become our foundation. We then have the opportunity to build a “new man”. Everything we do for God anchors the new us to the innocence of Christ. It is when we forget Paul’s warning that we get in trouble. When we start trying to incorporate sin into this innocence, it is like trying to anchor rotten lumber to a home’s infrastructure. No matter how nice it (or we) may look on the outside, it isn’t going to take a lot to tear us apart and reveal what’s inside.

The great thing about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is that while we are building, we can examine. And we can make a change. Pray that God will reveal the rotten lumber now so we can remove and replace it. Ask Him to show us the cracks that will allow doubt and fear to creep in so we might cover them with grace and mercy. Make Christ your cornerstone and let Him be your strength and your support in all you do.

Veterans: A Prayer Of Blessing

Veterans: A Prayer Of Blessing

(Saturday Evening Prayer For November 11)

Heavenly Father. Thank You for the blessings we call our veterans. We thank You for calling the men and women of our nation and the nations of our allies to serve. We pray a special blessing on all of those who are currently in uniform and serving in harm’s way. Be merciful and cover them in Your protection. As they face those who would seek to destroy freedom, embolden and strengthen them. In the face of unseen and cowardly assailants, watch over them. And if it be their time to fall—and they don’t know You—give them another opportunity to accept Your Son as their savior. We pray for their safe return.

We also pray for those who have served and now live the civilian life. Bless these men and women who set the example of dedication. Only You know the horrors they may have faced, and still face each night when they close their eyes. You know the day-to-day struggles many of them endure so we ask for Your guidance in their lives. Unite them with those who can help them the most, who can show them the caring and understanding they need. Bless those who have overcome the things they faced and now choose to help others. Let their wisdom and experience guide our next generation of defenders.

Dear Lord, we also pray for the families who love and support our veterans. For those whose loved ones are still serving, be with them through their times of separation. Be with them in their sorrow and their joy. Bear them up in their times of uncertainty. Surround them with Your love and the love of their communities. We thank You for the sacrifices military families have made and are willing to make. They relinquish the time they might have spent with their loved ones so they might defend the freedoms of others. We owe them a debt that only You can help us repay.

Finally, Father, we pray for those whose veterans are no longer with us. Although the loss they feel will never leave them, give them the peace to endure that loss. And if their final deployment was to Your embrace, let their loved ones know a joyous reunion awaits.

We thank You, again, O Lord for all You have given us. Bless our families, our friends, our nation, and those willing to defend us. All we ask we do so in the name of Your precious Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Give Me The Faith By Charles Wesley

Give Me The Faith By Charles Wesley

Give me the faith which can remove
And sink the mountain to a plain;
Give me the childlike praying love,
Which longs to build Thy house again;
Thy love, let it my heart overpower,
And all my simple soul devour.

I want an even strong desire,
I want a calmly fervent zeal,
To save poor souls out of the fire,
To snatch them from the verge of hell,
And turn them to a pardoning God,
And quench the brands in Jesus’ blood.

I would the precious time redeem,
And longer live for this alone,
To spend and to be spent for them
Who have not yet my Savior known;
Fully on these my mission prove,
And only breathe, to breathe Thy love.

My talents, gifts, and graces, Lord,
Into Thy blessed hands receive;
And let me live to preach Thy Word,
And let me to Thy glory live;
My every sacred moment spend
In publishing the sinner’s Friend.

Enlarge, inflame, and fill my heart
With boundless charity divine,
So shall I all strength exert,
And love them with a zeal like Thine,
And lead them to Thy open side,
The sheep for whom the Shepherd died.

Mock And Ridicule The Healer

Mock And Ridicule The Healer

The Gospels record that nearly everywhere the Savior went, He was surrounded by multitudes of people. Some hoped that He would heal them; others came to hear Him speak. Others came for practical advice. Toward the end of His mortal ministry, some came to mock and ridicule Him and to clamor for His crucifixion.”–Joseph B. Wirthlin