Prayer of Hope

A prayer of Hope in times of danger, distress, and terror.

July, 2016

I was feeling great sorrow and distress over the turmoil in our nation and world. It is obvious God has been pulling away as we have been pushing him out. The acts of terror, racial and police violence, and political uncertainty and division.

But, Christ is in me, the hope of glory! (Colossians 1:27)

In my Scripture reading and meditation today:

1. I prayed from the Psalms “I am weary from grief; strengthen me through Your word.” (Psalm 119:28)

2. I was both encouraged and challenged that when God had twice revealed plans for the ultimate destruction of Israel, twice he relented after the intercessory prayer and pleading of the prophet Amos. All is not lost, but we must plead and pray and repent! “‘Lord God, please forgive! How will Jacob survive since he is so small?’ The Lord relented concerning this. ‘It will not happen, He said.” (Amos 7:2-3)

3. I marveled in the hope of glory! “God’s mystery—Christ. All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Him.” (Colossians 1:2b-3)

So, have hope, do not be deceived and be thankful! (Colossians 1:4,7)

Pray

“O Lord, whose power is infinite and wisdom infallible… let us dwell in Your most secret place under Your shadow, where there is safe protection…

Help us to be entirely dependent on You for support, counsel, and consolation.

Strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit for every purpose of our Christian life.

In Jesus Christ’s name we pray – Amen!”

Prayer adpated from the “Puritan Prayers: Refuge”

Reading plan From the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings for Year C, Monday (July 18, 2016): Psalm 119:17-32; Amos 7:1-6; Colossians 1:27-2:7.

Healing

God can and does heal

  • Remember all the times Jesus healed and even brought the dead to life
  • I have seen people healed from health afflictions after earnest prayer in our small group

15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

James 5:15-16 (ESV)

But does not always heal

7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,[a] a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:1-10 (ESV)
  • To keep Paul from becoming conceited, or trusting in his own ability and righteousness, rather than in God’s grace and power.
  • So that Paul’s weakness would bear witness to God’s greatness.

We can’t always understand His ways

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Romans 11:33-36 (ESV)

But we can trust that all things are for our good and His glory

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28 (ESV)

And even death cannot separate us from His love!

38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39 (ESV)

“And God said”: words have meaning

Enchantment, chanting, charming, charm, glamour, cosmetics, cosmos, grammar, spell, incantation… what do they all mean, and what do they have in common?

Words have meaning! Words are magical!

Listen to “The Theology Pugcast: True Enchantment and the Consequences of Disenchantment” What an enchanting episode. https://crosspolitic.com/podcast/the-theology-pugcast-true-enchantment-and-the-consequences-of-disenchantment/ [Apple]

In [this] show Glenn begins with a marvelous series of word studies ranging all the way from “enchantment” to “cosmology”. His point is that our language is full of words that reflect a time when the world was full of meaning and words were spells that drew on those meanings. Undoubtedly, the very fact that we’ve lost the original meanings of words like “spell” and “magic” just reinforces the point that we now live in a disenchanted world.

Or do we? Tom points out in the conversation that what we actually have now is black magic. Our words now bend and twist things as we seek to dominate our world and other people. We’ve lost the “good magic” of Aslan and all we’re left with is the “black magic” of the White Witch.

Good Magic

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬ https://www.bible.com/59/gen.1.3.esv

Beware the black magic: “so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes…

Be the good magic: “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:14-15‬ ‭ESV‬‬
https://www.bible.com/59/eph.4.14-15.esv

Put away the black magic: “Therefore, having put away falsehood…

Be the good magic: “let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:25‬ ‭ESV‬‬
https://www.bible.com/59/eph.4.25.esv

Do not speak black magic: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths…

Be the good magic: “but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:29‬ ‭ESV‬‬
https://www.bible.com/59/eph.4.29.esv

Avoid the black magic: “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness…

Be children of good magic: “but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭5:6-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬
https://www.bible.com/59/eph.5.6-8.esv

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.”
‭‭John‬ ‭1:1-18‬ ‭ESV‬‬
https://www.bible.com/59/jhn.1.1-18.esv

Black Magic

“Now the serpent… said to the woman, “Did God actually say…’?””
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭3:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬ https://www.bible.com/59/gen.3.1.esv

Education: “Vindicate the honor of God!”

No longer walk as unbelievers do. Eph. 4:17

Put off your unbelieving way of life. Eph. 4:22

Be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Eph. 4:23

Raise your children in the instruction and discipline of the Lord. Eph. 6:4

Our children bear the image of God. Gen. 1:27

Render to God the things that are God’s. Matt. 22:21

Let the children come to Jesus and do not hinder them. Matt. 19:14

Teach God’s instructions to your children all day long. Deut. 6:7

Do not be deceived by the sons of disobedience. Eph. 5:6

Walk as children of light. Eph. 5:8

“Vindicate the honor of God!”

Magdeburg Confession

Reformation Day

Martin Luther’s nailing of his ninety-five theses to the church door on October 31, 1517, provoked a debate that culminated finally in what we now call the Protestant Reformation...

Reform: to make changes in order to improve.
Reformation: 16th century movement for the reform of the church.

Sola Fide, by faith alone.
Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone.
Solus Christus, through Christ alone.
Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone.

Be a light of the Grace and Truth of Jesus Christ in the darkness!

[Jesus] also said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket or under a bed? Isn’t it to be put on a lampstand? For nothing is concealed except to be revealed, and nothing hidden except to come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, he should listen!”
(Mark 4:21-29)

Scripture is the source of truth, not traditions of men.

[Jeusus] answered them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written:

These people honor Me with their lips,
but their heart is far from Me.
They worship Me in vain,
teaching as doctrines the commands of men.
(Mark 7:1-23)

 Martin Luther’s nailing of his ninety-five theses to the church door on October 31, 1517, provoked a debate that culminated finally in what we now call the Protestant Reformation…

Today, Luther’s legacy lives on in the creeds and confessions of Protestant bodies worldwide. As we consider his importance this Reformation Day, let us equip ourselves to be knowledgeable proclaimers and defenders of biblical truth. May we be eager to preach the Gospel of God to the world and thereby spark a new reformation of church and culture. (1) 

“What Is Reformation Day All About?” FROM Robert Rothwell Oct 29, 2014 www.ligonier.org/blog/what-reformation-day-all-about/

Do not be deceived by false teachers!

Then Jesus replied to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they will deceive many.
(Matthew 24:4-5)

Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared.
(1 Timothy 4:1-4)

Do not fear, even the Demons must obey Jesus!

As soon as [Jesus] got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the tombs and met Him…
When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and knelt down before Him. And he cried out with a loud voice, “What do You have to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You before God, don’t torment me!” For [Jesus] had told him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!”

“What is your name?” [Jesus] asked him.

“My name is Legion,” he answered Him, “because we are many.” And he kept begging Him not to send them out of the region.

Now a large herd of pigs was there, feeding on the hillside. The demons begged Him, “Send us to the pigs, so we may enter them.” And [Jesus] gave them permission.
(Mark 5:1-20)

Martin Luther, Sola Scriptura, The Creation Museum.

40 Days for Life: Walk Worthy

In his book, Fishers of Men, Dr. Sumner Wemp describes what it means to be an ambassador of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings:

God has chosen us (John 15:16)

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

https://www.bible.com/bible/59/JHN.15.16.ESV

We are sent into a world that is not our home (1 Peter 2:11)

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.

https://www.bible.com/bible/59/1PE.2.11.ESV

Our walk must match our talk (1 Timothy 3:7)

‘Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil. ‘

1 Timothy 3:7 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/1TI.3.7

We must abide in Him for daily instruction (John 15:5)

‘I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. ‘

John 15:5 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/JHN.15.5

Know our purpose — to seek and to save that which is lost (Luke 19:10)

‘For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” ‘

Luke 19:10 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/LUK.19.10

We are to reconcile others to God with His authority (Matthew 28:19-20)

‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” ‘

Matthew 28:19-20 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/MAT.28.19-20

Do not let kindness and truth leave you (Proverbs 3:3-4)

‘ Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.’

Proverbs 3:3-4 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/PRO.3.3-4

Our service is to be grounded and rooted in love (Ephesians 3:17)

‘so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, ‘

Ephesians 3:17 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/EPH.3.17

Pray that we each will walk worthy of the calling with which we were called!

https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/cdn.40daysforlife.com/media/devotional/devotionals%2bfall2019_17-17.pdf