“There once was a man, his name John, sent by God to point out the way to the Life-Light. He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in. John was not himself the Light; he was there to show the way to the LIGHT.” John 1:6-8 (Message)
I PRAY FOR YOU
“I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strength you with power through his Spirit in your being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love the surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-21 (NIV)
Wow, what a prayer. Paul prayed that Christ should strengthen the reason of his friends to be better able to discern between what was right and what was wrong. He wanted Christ to give them the wisdom which would keep life pure and safe.
Paul prayed that the conscience of his people should become more sensitive, to be tender and on the alert.
Paul prayed for his people to know what is right and means to do it in God’s will, not follow our will which is not strong enough to back our knowledge and to carry our intentions.
Is the secret that we should pray for the strength of Christ within our lives and the lives of those we [ray for? We know Christ will gladly come into a man’s life, but he will never force his way in. He must await our invitation to bring us his strength.
Prayer: I pray this prayer for you and all who read this today. May God’s strength enter every area of your life today and bring you His peace which surpasses all understanding. Amen
THE “LANGUAGE” OF HYMNS!
“Sing to God, sing praises to his name; prepare a way for him who rides on the clouds. His name is the Lord-be glad in his presence!” Psalm 68:4 (N1V)
“Listen, you kings! Pay attention, you rulers! I will sing and play music to Israel’s God, the Lord. Judges 5:3 (NIV)
Lutheran Church services have always been accompanied with singing several hymns. To my husband and me, it is a significant way that we communicate with God. It’s a “language” of its own, sometimes between just you and the Lord and sometimes with the entire congregation. Everyone has their favorite. Among the many great hymns we chose these four favorites:
CHILDREN OF THE HEAVENLY FATHER—we are always “his children”. Often used as a baptism hymn-verse three claims: “neither life nor death shall ever, form the Lord his children sever.” Lovely!
HE LEADETH ME—verse three “content, whatever lot I see, since ‘tis my God that leadeth me.”
I WAS THERE TO HEAR YOUR BORNING CRY—a new and fairly unfamiliar one: but eloquent in its ‘Language’ as here you can assume that He I talking to us, assuring us that he was present when we were born, was there throughout our lives and is present at our passing.,
BEAUTIFUL SAVIOR—here we now proclaim our adoration, our belief, and our praise to Christ, our Redeemer.
While typing this refection, so many other great hymns “popped into mind” such as IN THE GARDEN, HOW GREAT THOU ART, and THINE IS THEGLORY. Hymns Do have a ‘language’ all their own!
Prayer: Thank you, dear Lord, for providing us the gift of music and hymns. What a beautiful way to communicate your love and devotion to your children. Amen
THERE IS HOPE FOR ME YET
“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer 29:11 (NIV)
“There is hope for me yet,
Because God won’t forget,
All the plans He’s made for me.
I have to wait and see,
He’s not finished with me yet,
He’s not finished with me yet.”
I don’t know who wrote this song but it reminds me that God has a plan for my life and that if things aren’t going so great now, that I should wait and see what His plans are. When something happens that gets me depressed or down, I know in my heart that God has more planned for me and things will get better because of Him. God will always have love and guidance for me when I need Him. At one point in my life, I felt low and down-in- the- dumps, but was reassured when I remembered that God had bigger and better plans for me.
Prayer: Thank you for your guidance and everlasting love. I know in my heart that you have plans for me and that I have to wait and see. I promise to keep you in my heart and mind and praise you always. Thank you, Lord. Amen
PEOPLE LIVE IN TEMPTATION EVERYDAY
“ Father, lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil.” I John 4.7 (NIV)
Life is like, walking in the
Path of the darkness.
People live in temptations every day.
The people who are changing
Their lives, really struggle in
Temptations each and every day.
Temptations for most people is a
hard thing to battle.
So, if you are battling temptation,
While you are changing your life,
Just think of the bad things
You’ve done and compare them
To the good things you are
Prayer: Dear Friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Amen
“Trust in the Lord and do good; live in the land and be safe. Seek your happiness in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desire.” Psalms 37:3-4 (TEV)
This is the day the Lord has made. What a wonderful day it is going to be.
I thank you Lord for providing all that we have. Through your loving kindness you
watch over us and keep us from danger and peril. Thank you for being our
shadow and conscious when we fall into sins temptations. You lift us up when
we are down and hear us when we call upon you. What a wonderful listener you
are. If only we could listen to you at all times. Our free will gets us into
trouble so many times. Why can’t we just put our whole trust in you? Why is it
so difficult to let go and trust God? Let’s practice trusting God whole heartedly.
Don’t second guess Him, listen to Him, talk to Him, and follow His word. Be a
faithful follower of God’s son. “Jesus loves us this I know.”
Prayer: Lord, help us see that you are our protector in all that we do. Let us give you praise and thanksgivings for you surround us with blessings we do not deserve, especially your precious son, Jesus. Amen
DO YOU HAVE ROOTS?
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to live in obedience to him. Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done.” Colossians 2: 6-7 (LV)
I am not much of a gardener, but as I work in the garden I am always amazed by roots. Some are shallow, some are runners that travel just under the surface and send up shoots and some are very deep taproots. Scientifically roots hold the plant in place and are the means by which the plant get nourishment.
It is interesting that the Bible refers to roots frequently. The coming of Christ is foretold in Isaiah 11:1-2 “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse (David) and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit if the Lord shall rest upon him.”(RSV)
We once had a blue spruce tree that we needed to remove. When we cut the tree down in the late fall, we decided to save the top to use as a Christmas tree. We kept the top of that tree in a tub of water until Christmas time. I laughed when I noticed that it was sprouting. My amusement was that it didn’t know it had no roots and was not going to survive even if it was growing shoots. It outwardly looked fine, but it was basically dead except that we were giving it water. It had no way of sustaining itself.
In the parable of the seeds, we read what happens when the roots are shallow. Matthew 13:3-6(LV)“A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered some seed fell on the footpath and the birds came and ate them. Other seed fell on the shallow soil with underlying rock. The plants sprang up quickly, but soon wilted because of the hot sun and died because the roots had no nourishment in the shallow soil.”
We receive encouragement when we read St. Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians in Ephesians 3: 17 (LV) “And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down into the soil of God’s marvelous love.”
The lesson is that we need to be actively seeking to grow so that we can be deeply rooted in God. We are to seek nourishment for those roots through Bible study, prayer, meeting with other Christians and worshipping together. We are to have those taproots that do not wither in the hot sun, the drought, or even the cold of winter: but reach deep into the richness of God’s love and nourishment, so that we can grow, blossom and be fruitful. Roots really are an amazing part of creation.
Prayer: During this holiday season, let me give thanks for the best gift of all—my deep rooted faith in Christ Jesus. Amen