Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Weakness and grace


Tonight we are at a prayer and worship time with our church.  We read several Scriptures about grace.  The verse that came to mind is Eccl. 1:3:

What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?

I have been working so hard reccently. But for what?  I need to spend time with God and know His grace.  My heart is hard to His holiness and worthiness for praise.  I need to cultivate an attitude of thankfulness and gratefulness.

Heavenly Father, please forgive me for taking you for granted.  I want to appreciate you and your grace.  Lord Jesus, I want to be continually and genuinely thankful for your sacrifice and love.  Holy Spirit, I want to be consciously aware of your presence and obedient to your leading.  Please soften my hard heart.  You are full of grace, and I am weak and broken, in need of your grace.  I have no life apart from you.  I love you, and I want to walk with you.  I ask in the name of Jesus.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Delight in the Lord

Psalm 37

(3-7 ESV) Trust in the Lord , and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord , and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord ; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!

(23-24) The steps of a man are established by the Lord , when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord  upholds his hand.

This is a very tough season for me.  End of the semester.  Not much sleep.  Not much time with my wife and boys.  What am I doing?

Well, I think I have let my focus slip from delighting in the Lord.  I need to rest in Him and delight in Him.

Heavenly Father, please help me see clearly to delight in you instead of this deceitful world.  I love you, and I want to rest in you and find joy in you.  I ask in the name if Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Psalm 24
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
    And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
    who does not lift up his soul to what is false
    and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord
    and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
    who seek the face of the God of Jacob.
It is only by the grace of God, the redemption of Christ, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that I can be cleansed and purified to approach the LORD.  Verse 6 encourages me to seek Him, to seek His face - that is, to know Him as a person.
Heavenly Father, please help me seek you to know you and obey you.  I love you, and I want my life to have meaning and significance in knowing you and walking with you daily.  I ask in the name of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Precedent for praying for the Lord to lead another's heart

1 Chron 29

I have been praying for the Lord to change the hearts of some people to seek Him and obey Him, but I have recently questioned whether this is a legitimate prayer.  I am encouraged by King David's prayer in verses 17-19:

"I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. ... O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you.  Grant to Solomon my son a whole heart that he may keep your commandments, your testimonies, and your statutes, performing all, ..."

And even though the people did turn away, David was "a man after God's own heart", so I am inclined to think that David's prayer was appropriate.  I know that it is God's desire for us to seek Him, and I know that it is impossible for us to seek Him apart from the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, so it seems to me that it is appropriate to pray that the Lord moves in the hearts of people.

Heavenly Father, I love you, and I want to want what you want.  I want to pray for what you want - for your will to be done.  Lord, give me faith to pray to see you work in the lives of those who I care about.  I ask in the name of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


1 Chron 28

Last week, I started meeting with two Brothers for accountability on Thursday mornings at 6:15am.  It has been very encouraging.  We have a list of accountability questions, and we are working on memorizing Paul's letter to the Ephesians.

Also, I was invited to participate in a  training for several months for being an elder in our congregation.

So, I feel like, after three years of ad hoc accountability and leadership, I am finally restarting.  While I have been very busy with work, I feel like I am feeling much more purpose in investing in triad and congregational responsibility.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the opportunity to be part of your Body.  Lord, please help me be a useful part for building up and caring for the Body.  I love you, and I ask in the name of Jesus, the Head and Life of the Body.