JESUS’WARNING AGAINST THE SCRIBES
While he was teaching in the Temple, Jesus asked, “How is it the religion scholars say that the Messiah is David’s ‘son,’ when we all know that David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said,
God said to my Master,
“Sit here at my right hand
until I put your enemies under your feet.”
“David here designates the Messiah ‘my Master”—so how can the Messiah also be his ‘son’?”
The large crowd was delighted with what they heard.
He continued teaching, “Watch out for the religion scholars. They love to walk around in academic gowns, preening in the radiance of public flattery, basking in prominent positions, sitting at the head table at every church function. And all the time they are exploiting the weak and helpless. The longer their prayers, the worse they get. But they’ll pay for it in the end.”
Sitting across from the offering box, he was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were make large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins—a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, “The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others have what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all.”Mark 12:38-44 (Message)
Prayer: O God, you show forth your almighty power chiefly by reaching out to us in mercy. Grant us the fullness of your grace, strengthen our trust in your promises, and bring all the world to share in the treasures that come through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savor and Lord. Amen.
CHANGING LIVES ONE PRAYER AT A TIME
“For this service you perform not only meets the needs of God’s people, but also produces an outpouring of grateful thanks to God. And because of the proof which this service of yours brings, many will give glory to God for your loyalty to the gospel of Christ, which you profess, and for your generosity in sharing with them and everyone else. And so with deep affection they will pray for you because of the extraordinary grace God has shown you. Let us thank God for his priceless gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:12-15(TEV)
Changing lives one prayer as a time is what prayer is all about. It is such a wonderful thing that Christ uses us (His body) to introduce Christ’s power to heal, to transform loves in every way into the fabric of everyday life.
The Huron Community Prayer Path ad Labyrinth is an example of how the touch of Jesus can be brought to others one prayer at a time. Each meditation station addresses special areas of prayer, i.e. 1) prayers of Praise and Worship, 2) for churches, 3) for the nation, 4) for courage, 5) from Scripture, 6) prayers for others,7) prayers of love, 8) minute meditations and 9) for new beginnings.
What a privilege for each believer to be able to share Jesus with others through prayer. As we ask God to fill others with the knowledge of His will through spiritual wisdom and understanding, we will experience great joy. We pray that others may live a life worthy of the Lord, bearing fruit in every good work, and that they grow in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with His power so that they experience endurance and patience, thus paving the way for God to demonstrate His power.
As we pray and meditate, we see things around us in the context of God’s presence. Being aware of God’s presence in all that is around us, helps us heighten our sense of living before God in praise, thanksgiving, and adoration. As we stay focused on God, we find strength and encouragement, and our prayers for others break the power of sin until those being prayed for experience God’s direction. When God directs, lives change. God loves us as we are, but He won’t let us stay that way. Praise be to God!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for providing the Prayer Path and Labyrinth and that all who visit experience Your presence. Amen
“Friends always show their love. What are brothers for if not to share trouble?” Proverbs 17:17 (TEV)
I talked with friends today and heard their joys and sorrows. I felt their pain, their happiness and shared God’s love with them. To hear their voices made me feel like time was standing still. We are young couples again, so care free, idealistic, solving all the problems of the world. We had no children or grandchildren to be concerned about, no illness, aches and pains, and job worries to contend with. Just were being ourselves, sharing, wondering if we would be like our parents.
How we have changed. For the better, I think. We’re more trusting and faithful to our God. We are more sharing of our faith with others, more caring for all and more at peace with what is in front of us. We rally around each other and others no matter what life hands each of us; job loss, illness, accident, even death. We are accepting of God’s love for us and we thank Him daily for all that we are given both physically, mentally and spiritually. God has provided friendships for us all these years. Through His unconditional love we know that He sent his only Son to die and rise for us and that we will have eternal life. Through all the years we have shared our mutual love of Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Lord, teach us each to listen to our hearts when you’re speaking. Jesus is with all who ask. Amen
“ I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already completely destroyed.” Malachi 3: 6 (NLT)
We often want our lives to be different. We say we want change - but do we really? For example, we say we want to be healthy, then we sit in a chair and watch hours of television while we munch on our favorite snacks. Or we say we want more loving relationships, then let petty annoyances and perceived hurts drive us to say angry and destructive words to those we love. By ourselves, we lack the strength and willpower to resist our selfish and self-centered inclinations. We need God's help.
Zechariah 4-6 tells us that our true source of power for accomplishing God's work is by God's spirit. We think, well I'm not so interested in God's work. I just want to lose weight, get a job, make money for my family, change my children's behavior, etc. Well God tells us that we are to take care of our bodies and
if we need will power, the Holy Spirit is our greatest resource. God tells us we should work and not be lazy - again the Holy Spirit can lead you and open doors for you to find a job. He is all knowing. You want to help others make changes in their lives? 2 Chronicles16:9 says, "The eyes of the Lord are scanning the earth in order to find godly men and women who will step forward and use their influence (Prayer) to exalt righteousness". Ezekiel 22:30 speaks about standing in the gap before God on behalf of others. Again we find ourselves in prayer.
Let us stand together in resolve to "pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests," Ephesians 6:18. As we begin together to experience God's power guiding us in prayer and answering our prayer, we will experience that power in our lives. We will grow closer to God. The Spirit is waiting to teach, lead, and empower us and to empower *you* to accomplish the mighty, miraculous work of God!
Prayer: All day long, O Lord God, You give us voice and prayer. Help us to focus on You and lift up our hearts, minds and voices that we might fill every word with the power of Your loving Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus. Amen
GOD’S GIFT TO YOU
“But by the free gift of God’s grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free.” Romans 3: 24 (TEV)
We all give or receive all types of gifts for all types of occasions; Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc. However, if we were honest with ourselves, sometimes we are disappointed with the gifts we buy or receive. They are not the right color, size or taste preference.
God has a gift for us that is perfectly gifted to us. It is a priceless gift, having cost God the life of his only Son, Jesus. God’s gift to us is freely and joyfully given to us because of God’s unconditional love.
Think of it. Are you daily enjoying God’s precious free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ? If so, take time to thank God for the most perfect gift you’ve ever given or received.
Prayer: Lord, today and every day we thank you for your gift of Jesus Christ? Amen
“In these days he went out to the mountain to pray; and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called his disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles; Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.” Luke 6:12-16 (RSV)
What a monumental day for us when Jesus chose through prayer the twelve who would shape history and our lives forever. Jesus went into a prayer session all night knowing that life on earth is full of choices and that if we want to make the right choice, those that glorify God and benefit us and others, we need God’s guidance. All of us will eventually come to places and times when we will desperately need God’s guidance.
In the Life Principles Bible, it lists seven words that may help believers from that guidance we are speaking of:
Cleaning— asking if there is anything in my life hindering me from hearing what God is saying, if to confess it.
Surrendering—submitting to the will of God.
Asking— God promises that when we ask according to His will, He hears us and that He will answer us.
Meditating— God promises that His word will be a light to our paths, and the clearer that path will become.
Believing— Mark tells us that we must believe in order to receive.
Waiting— God promises that He acts on our behalf when we wait for Him. 1 John 5:13-15 says “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of Him.”
Receiving— as we listen to God and wait for Him we receive great peace and confidence in knowing that we are making choices based on God’s guidance. Perhaps no one else will understand or agree with your decision-but you will have heard from the One who matters the most.
May you be blessed knowing that His Word is a light to your path and that as you seek God’s guidance you will know this peace. Praise be to God.
Prayer: Father, as we go out into the world today, guide us and correct us in our choices. Keep us ever mindful of You and only You. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen
WHY NOT ME, LORD?
“…,Why do you question thus in your hearts?” Mark 2:8
Have you ever been in a difficult situation, feeling helpless and sorry for yourself and asked, “Why me, Lord?” Even Moses asked the Lord, “Why hast thou dealt ill with thy servant?” (Numbers 11:11a)
We have all felt down and out at sometime, some more than others. We have each questioned either silently or verbally, “Why me, Lord?”
When I get that “Why me, Lord?” feeling, I ask myself, “Why not me, Lord?” I’m a child of God and He is with me always. All I have to do is trust God and talk to Him. Tell Him what the situation is, pray and listen to His answer, not mine. I go and find the Word and nine times out of ten the pages of the Bible will fall open to the Scripture answers I need. Thank you, Lord. Sometimes the answer is immediate and other times I have to wait. But I know that God is with me in thick or thin, so, “Why not me, Lord?”
Prayer: We sometimes forget and question your faithfulness to us when we ask, Why me, Lord?” Your unconditional love surrounds us when we ask, “Why not me?”, and we can handle anything with our faith and trust in You. Forgive us when we try to put ourselves before You. Thank you for your forgiveness and for your precious Son. Amen