Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The Idol of Perfection







Photo Courtesy Of: Edward Cisneros


As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.
For he knows what we are made of, remembering that we are dust. ~Psalm 103:13-14


We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28



The moment my first baby was born, I birthed along with her the expectation that I not only would be—but should be!—a perfect mom. You can imagine how quickly that goal fell flat! Soon I was believing that I was the only imperfect mom in the world, and my poor children had been stuck with me. 

If I have learned anything from Paul's lament at the end of Romans 7, it is this: not one of us is perfect. And we never will be! We are certainly made perfect through Christ and imputed with His righteousness, but in our own hearts we still daily battle the sin nature. 

I finally realized an important truth as I was in tears again one day over what a "horrible" mother I was: the Lord never asked me to be a perfect mom. He only ever asked me to point my kids to a Perfect Savior. 

Isn't that freeing? As we travel (and, let's face it - sometimes stumble!) down the path of sanctification, we oftentimes surprise ourselves with just how much we still repeatedly struggle with various sins. The Psalmist assures us in Psalm 103:13-14, however, that our Heavenly Father is not surprised by our struggles. He knows we are but dust, always battling the flesh and its desires. In the midst of this, He loves us with a tender compassion as He seeks to help us in our ongoing transformation of growing ever more into the likeness of Christ day by day.

Our gracious God not only lovingly walks alongside us in this journey, constantly working in our hearts, but He also sovereignly brings so much good from even the biggest sins and mistakes we make as mothers. In fact, it has been on those days when I have lost my temper at my children the worst and then, broken over my sin, gone to them in repentance and together prayed to the Lord, that I have seen my children grasp the truths of the gospel like never before.

It isn't that we choose to go on sinning that grace may abound. Rather, it is that we have a hope to cling to when we do fall again and again. Our Lord is picking us back up with never-ending grace and forgiveness, assuring us again that our children have only one Perfect Parent - our Heavenly Father Himself.

Monday, July 6, 2020

United As One

By: Joanne Viola


Unity has been defined as “the state of oneness; a whole or totality as combining all its parts into one” (from dictionary.com).

Paul in appealing to the church in Corinth wrote:

I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters,by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.” (1 Corinthians 1:10, NLT)

Unity was needed then and is desperately still needed. Today we are visiting the fourteenth psalm of ascents, Psalm 133, a beautiful psalm about unity among believers.

How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!” (verse 1)

Harmony = unity. This means that in spite of being different from one another, we live in support of one another, we encourage one another, and we have affection for one another. There is caring concern towards each other.

“For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe. Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion.” (verses 2-3a, NLT)

Much the way the oil ran down Aaron’s beard, love and harmony can spread wide and deep throughout a community. Much the way that dew falls during the night to refresh and revitalize growth, unity brings nourishment and refreshment to God’s people.

“And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting.” (verse 3, NLT)

The Lord plants His blessing on those who live in unity.
“There is great strength in unity. Together, as we stand as one, we have a combined strength, able to resist and overcome our greatest enemy, Satan.”
(The Holman Old Testament Commentary, Vol. 12, page  309)
May we remember that we may come from different nations, different families, and varied cultures but together we comprise the Body of Christ. Together we serve one God who unites us all into His family.

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash 




 

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Praying For Our Nation - Part Two

For Part One click here.
See also Sarah Geringer's timely prayer for our republic. Click here.

Last week with the Fourth of July holiday approaching I posted some scriptures and prayer points for our nation.  I am continuing on that theme this Fourth of July weekend. I believe that our prayers are critical at this time in our nation's history. I believe that God hears and answers the prayers of His people. I believe that prayers prayed in agreement with others are especially powerful. Will you join us and commit to praying together for our country?

Pray that our nation will turn to the Lord God.
"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance." Psalm 33:12 
We love the patriotic song, "God Bless America" or the more recent, "God Bless the U.S.A." However, God wants to be our Lord in order for His blessing to rest on our land.

Pray that the veil that prevents people from clearly seeing and comprehending the gospel will be removed so that they are able to see the truth and receive Christ as Savior and Lord.
"Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away" 2 Corinthians 3:16

Pray that God will bless the righteous in our nation and cut off any who have wicked or evil plans from our land.
"For the upright will dwell in the land,
And the blameless will remain in it;
22 But the wicked will be cut off from the earth,
And the unfaithful will be uprooted from it." Proverbs 2:21-22

Pray for righteous leadership over our cities, counties, states and nation- leaders who will have tender hearts that are pliable and easily led by the Lord.

"It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness,
For a throne is established by righteousness.
13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings,
And they love him who speaks what is right." Proverbs 16:12-13

"The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord,
Like the rivers of water;
He turns it wherever He wishes." Proverbs 21:1

"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
But when a wicked man rules, the people groan." Proverbs 29:2

Pray for God's Word to spread all across our nation through His people.
"But the word of God grew and multiplied." Acts 12:24

"The Lord gave the word;
Great was the company of those who proclaimed it:" Psalm 68:11

Thank you for praying with us - I believe our prayers will make a difference!  "Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven." Matthew 18:19


Friday, July 3, 2020

A Prayer for Our Republic



By: Sarah Geringer 

This week, America celebrates another birthday. This year, Christians need to pray more than ever for our country. 

If you are able, please get down on your knees and pray this prayer with a heart of representation for our republic. May this prayer inspire you and strengthen your faith. 


Heavenly Father,

We praise you for the costly gift of freedom you have provided us Americans.

Too often, we have taken our freedoms for granted.

Today, we repent from our sin and thank you for blessing us with many freedoms.

We remember the men and women who have died in service to our country. Bless their families for the sacrifices they made. Help us honor their legacies.

Lord, we acknowledge there are many failures that have led us to this point of crisis in our republic.

As a nation, we have strayed far from you in our personal lives, homes, churches, workplaces and governments for decades.

Like the Israelites, we have chased many gods, the same way pagans chase after worthless idols. Gods of comfort, wealth, success, lust, and personal preferences, just to name a few.

We have believed the lies that Satan has told us and cast aside the holy precepts in your Word to pursue life for ourselves, rather than living to glorify you.

We justly deserve your present and eternal punishment, Father.

But because of Jesus' blood and righteousness, you have set us free. We praise you, Jesus, for giving us freedom that lasts!

We know you call us to be salt in our decaying culture, Lord. You want us Christians to be the light that shines in the darkness.

Through your empowerment, we can bring your Truth back into our republic.

Lead each of us to individually return to the spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible study and meditation, worship, giving, and service, which have anchored your Church for centuries.

Empower us with your Holy Spirit to spread the Gospel in our homes, communities, states and country, one day at a time and one relationship at a time.

Help us to shine your light of life and encouragement online instead of joining the temporal, political, worldly fray.

Guide our thoughts, words and actions as we vote for our leaders. We pray for our leaders to make decisions that honor your name, and that your Truth will prevail no matter what.

We admit we have much to learn in this season of crisis. Give us open, humble and teachable spirits. 

Make us wise according to your wisdom, God--not in the false wisdom of the world. 

Help us to be your hands and feet, Jesus, as we interact with those who do not yet believe you.

O Lord of Heaven's Armies, we ask you to equip us with spiritual armor in the days ahead. We trust we are more than conquerors when we move forward in your power.

Holy Spirit, empower us as agents of a sweeping revival through our republic. May we sense an urgency in these days to share Gospel truths as never before.

We thank you in advance for the ways you will use us as citizens of heaven passing through this republic, in the remainder of this year and beyond.

We bless your name that one day, we will be able to look back on this year and see how you preserved your remnant, just as you have all throughout the centuries.

Thank you for the privilege of serving you in this republic for such a time as this.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen.



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Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and God's peace to you,





Photo from Canva.com




Thanks to BibleGateway.com for easy scripture navigation!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Delight

By: Jenifer Metzger

2020.

A little more than six months ago people were saying how 2020 was going to be their year. They would be prosperous, healthy, life would finally fall into place and everything was going to be fabulous. Everyone was excited and ready for a year with "2020 vision."

Cue January.

January wasn't as great as everyone hoped. February began with people all over the world saying "January is our trial month. February is when things will finally be great!" February wasn't so great either. Then March. Y'all. March came in like a lion! COVID19 was getting serious and life came to a screeching halt all over the world. Each new month brought a new catastrophe. Yep, 2020 has been hard to say the least.

We now begin the second half of 2020. July 1st marks a new beginning. The world is still reeling over the past six months and life is still not back to normal. Many even say we will have a new, different normal. No matter what, whether things finally begin to get back to the way they were or we find a new rhythm to life, we can trust one thing: God is in control.

Our July Bible reading plan lands us in Psalm. I love Psalm. Sometimes when I am struggling, I just park in Psalm for awhile and find great comfort.


This world is crazy, but we can still delight in God. Finances are up in the air, but we can still delight in God. There is great division in this country, but we can still delight in God. There are people broken and hurting, but we can still delight in God.

Whatever it is you have been facing, whatever trial or catastrophe has darkened your door, delight in the Father. He loves you. He looks at you and sees His precious daughter.

Please join me in reading and meditating in Psalm this summer. When we get into the Word, we find God. When we find God, we find delight.







It's time for Share A Link Wednesday! Each Wednesday we invite you to leave a link to your latest blog post in the comments. We still desire to connect women of God with one another and encourage each other in Christ. So grab a cup of coffee or glass of sweet tea, sit back and visit a few blogs. Be encouraged and share your own stories.