Father, please use this time together to draw me closer to You and to strengthen my determination to be faithful and true to You. These last few days have been a battle; sin has been battering me from all sides. I pray that I would do as Paul commands in 1 Corinthians 16:13 “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.” I am victorious in You, Almighty God, only in You.
I Thessalonians 1:8-10 (<<click here)
Jesus, I pray that Your word would ring out from me to people everywhere just as it did with the believers of Thessalonica! May every aspect of my life be a proclamation of the victory that is found only in an intimate relationship with You. Every day in every situation I have choices to make – to be loving or hateful, forgiving, to pass along gossip, to feed the monster of discontent, to go with the flow and complain about people or situations beyond my control, to stop, listen and encourage when it would be easier to ignore the whole thing – and the list could go on and on. But Lord, You have called me to be salt and light in my world (Mathew 5:13-16) Grant me the desire to do so willingly and eagerly! And as Paul proclaims at the end of this passage, what I do is all the more important for Your return is immanent! Help me to strive to make You the focal point of my life so others will be encouraged to stay true to You and walk with You faithfully. And if they do not know You that my actions would be a beacon shining on You showing them the way.
July 7th, Tues, 7:01 am
Father, thank you for a good night’s sleep. As I humbly come into Your presence I am acutely aware of my shortcomings. The Great Deceiver popped off a few rounds and I was hit. My “shield of faith” (Ephesians 6:16) dropped. I come before You asking for Your forgiveness and for the fortitude in standing strong against future assaults. Even when I stumble You are there to lift me up and set me on the narrow way once more. Praise Your holy Name – thank You for Your mercy and grace!
I Thessalonians 1:1-7 (<<click here)
Lord, I am extremely grateful for the churches I have the privilege of serving. Verses 2 & 3 of this passage, communicate a lot of how I feel being a pastor. I have wonderful people with which to walk this journey and I am thankful for them and their companionship. Living on this old earth we all need lots of prayer to keep us strong and get us through each day. I pray for them and I know many pray for me. When I pray, I “think of [their] faithful work.” Over the years we have consistently supported local ministries to help the needy, we’ve gotten behind impacting faith based films in our local community (FIREPROOF and COURAGEOUS) and been there for evangelistic events in our surrounding area (Will Graham Celebration). We pray for many people, both those close to our hearts and those we may not know – lifting up those ravaged by disease, those struggling with relationships and those struggling with the many spiritual issues in their lives. Their “loving deeds” include meals for the bereaved, letters of encouragement to those who are sick or recovering from procedures, “cheer” plates of goodies encouraging those unable to get out to church any longer, as well as, weekly contact with bulletins and CD recording of our services Lord, thank You for such loving caring people with which to serve!
And Lord we thank You for the “enduring love” You have given us. No matter what trial we may have to endure, no matter what losses we may suffer – You are there to sustain us through it all. Thank You for Your love and care!
July 6th, Mon, 5:33 am