Monday Prayers

 

 

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Father God,
You are full of grace
Even when we omit to do
The good we desire to do.
In our inner being
In our core
We long to be like You.
We delight in You
We delight in Your ways
The war is waging against our hearts and our minds
We feel like prisoners
To our own selves.
We feel wretched before You
Lacking in grace.
But You are Grace
You will rescue us from these bodies of death
Thank you Father
We are redeemed through Jesus Christ
Our Lord.
Amen.
Romans 7 v 14- 25

The Great Consumption

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‘For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life’- 2 Corinthians 5 v 4

This is an answer I can give to the next person who asks me why they should become a Christian, a follower of Christ, a believer… “So that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” Of course, this statement may then need to be broken down, depending on the person on the receiving end.

But I believe in the validity and power of this verse, these few words are packed with Gospel truth.

The word mortal is defined as the inevitability of death or that which causes death. The life of every believer is marked by a holy and miraculous transition from death to life. The moment we believed in our hearts and confessed with our mouth that Jesus is Lord is the moment when mortality became swallowed up by life- the great consumption.

As we follow Jesus, we enter into a process of His life consuming death in ours. Many dead parts of us are resurrected instantly, while others slowly and tenderly receive ‘life support’. The ways within us which cause death are consumed, swallowed up by life if we allow it. Swallowed up by the Word of God, consumed by the purifying fire of His Spirit and brought to life by the precious life-giving blood of Jesus Christ, shed for every one of us.

The next time someone asks me; “Why Jesus?” I hope my heart is stirred to declare these words. Stirred to ask them a question in return; “Would you rather have life or mortality? Death or life?”

‘In Him was life, and that life was the light of all people.’- John 1 v 4

Life is in Him. Light is in Him. When we believe, we are in Him.

Let’s get the message out to those living in the clothing of mortality. Let’s reverse the curse and bless those around us with this word of hope…

There is no need to be swallowed up by death, no reason to remain in mortality. Jesus is offering to swallow up what is mortal, and bring nothing but life. 

Monday Prayers

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Father God,

We thank You for making Yourself available, accessible, reachable.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We ask You to stir our hearts to seek You.

While You may be found.

To call on You.

While You are Near.

Let the wicked forsake their ways.

And the unrighteous their thoughts.

Let them turn to You.

For You will have mercy on them.

Let them cry out to You.

For You will freely pardon.

Keep us mindful that Your ways.

Are not our ways.

Our thoughts.

Are not Your thoughts.

As the heavens are higher.

Than the Earth.

So are Your ways higher.

Than our ways.

Your thoughts so much higher.

Than our thoughts.

This is why we need You.

Without You we can do nothing.

So we implore You Father God.

Bring our ways and our thoughts.

Into alignment with Yours.

In the name of Jesus (Messiah), Amen.

Isaiah 55 v 6-9. 

Black and White

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“What is truth?”- Pilate

‘Speak your truth’ is a popular invitation in this day and age, and most people are happy to oblige. However, I wonder if this secular trend is creeping into the Christian worldview, blurring how we receive and process the teachings and work of Jesus Christ.

I always appreciate the people in my life who call a spade a spade. I know where I stand with them, and if they are for me, I have no need to fear how they deliver their observation of the spade. Truth, when spoken out of a relationship in love is refreshing and life giving.

The trouble with speaking our truth is it leaves out an important factor- God. It is our ‘truth’, our opinion and our perception, all tainted by our prioritising of what is important to us and our immediate world. Of course, speaking our truth needn’t be something negative, but we are susceptible to the world’s way of thinking when we make it the ultimate truth in our lives.

I’ve lived long enough to know that truth is not just black and white. It is not always obvious to the human logic and sensibilities. Sometimes truth is a vibrant shade of yellow that alarms and challenges us, it stands out so we cannot ignore it.

As followers of the Christ desiring to bring light and life into every place we tread, it is imperative that we recognise our position as truth bearers.

We are carriers of truth.

I have witnessed believers engaging zealously in philosophical and intellectual religious debates with other believers. And I have also witnessed the fallout which occurs after these debates; confusion, anger, hurt, self-righteousness, justification, pride and slander.

Love is nowhere to be seen. It is a clanging symbol and sounding brass in the ears of the Almighty.

These things ought not to be.

We’ve missed it. While these debates within the church are raging, those without the knowledge of salvation and saving grace continue on oblivious of their eternal destiny.

What is truth?

‘Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’- John 14 v 6

The boundary lines of truth in society are becoming unrecognisable. One of the biggest impacts we can have as a body of believers is to recognise and cling to truth.

Truth is not a thing, a state of mind or a concept… it’s a person; Jesus Christ. Let us cling to Jesus as our very lives do depend on it.

There is a battle for truth in every sphere of influence today, and a hunger for truth like never before in history.

5 year olds need to know truth, 15 year olds need to know truth, 50 year olds need to know truth and 95 year olds need to know truth.

Let the debates rage, let the philosophers philosophise, let ‘Christians’ attack each other if they choose to. We decide for ourselves which truth we will pursue and hold fast to. I know who I’m choosing….

‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’– John 8 v 31-32

Can’t Stop the Rock

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We are hard pressed on every side but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. – 2nd Corinthians 4 v 8

I believe these words are a prophetic picture of the body of Christ today, a snapshot of the church in this hour.

The verse is brutally honest about hardships faced by the church, yet it is infused throughout with hope and a hint of victory.

Yes, we (flesh and blood people) are the church. And yes, we are hard-pressed through circumstances, often perplexed with our problems, persecuted to various degrees and struck down in ways beyond the physical.

Unfortunately, persecution has arisen from within. It can be as common to hear slander against the ‘church’ by believers as much as non-believers, sometimes more.

But we cannot be stopped. Jesus has already declared the destiny of the church;

‘…on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of death will not overcome it.’

                                                             -Matthew 16 v 18

The church is like a rock. It consists of a solid community of people, built over many generations; layer upon layer.  Formed in the midst of pressure and bound together by shared history and a deep heritage of faith.

Rocks are strong and useful for many purposes. They can be used to build and protect, they are a mighty weapon in a skilled hand. They can also be heavy and hard to carry. Awkwardly shaped, inconvenient to work with and difficult to disguise.

As we are as individuals, so it is with the church. We are the living, breathing substance of the church. The ‘body’ of Jesus Christ as a tangible resource on this earth. I imagine that as a people (the rock); we are chipping away at the darkness within society. Chip by chip, bit by bit we are making an eternal ‘dent’ that is ever weakening the fabric of evil in this world. Suddenly, it will completely break through and the light will come forth unhindered, clear for all to see. In that day, all who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

This is my prophetic picture of the church. The book of Revelation in the bible elucidates beautifully the fullness of what this will look like. It is glorious, it is solid. It is a rock. Let our words to others about the ‘church’ reflect this; reflect its beauty and strength, offer hope. When we speak against the church we speak against ourselves.

We are not crushed, we will not despair, we are not abandoned and we are not destroyed.

‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the sea, though the waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. God is within her (in us-the church) she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress ’- Psalm 46.

“What are men to rocks and mountains?”
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice