LET'S PRAY TOGETHER Lord, let our souls rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us: wherever He may send us; This is the day You have made, Let us rejoice even though there is trouble and hardship. Be generous towards those in need, lead those who must lead. Lift up the sick, lonely, and suffering for Your name’s sake. may You guide us through the wilderness: protect us through the storm; may You bring us home rejoicing: at the wonders You have shown us; may You bring us home rejoicing once again into our doors. Amen
MEDITATION One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1 NIV Why do we pray? What do we think will happen? What do we want to happen? Does God listen? When we have done classes on prayer at FPCS most people’s questions center on “How”: How to pray correctly, how to avoid praying incorrectly, what is allowed, what is not allowed… I believe we have four gospel accounts to give us a dynamic picture not only of Jesus but of His disciples. We are the disciples. As humans in direct relationship with God in the flesh, they reveal many truths for us to see. When it comes to prayer, the disciples were looking to, “Get it right” also. They were looking around and “Hey, look at John, he taught his disciples how to pray why not ask Jesus how to do it so we can get it right too?” The search for a system, a method, a formula that will guarantee that God will hear and respond favorably is a basic human drive. Looking across all the centuries of human history there is a consuming desire to placate the gods properly. But the one true God is very different. He creates Adam and Eve and spends time with them. He initiates contact with Noah and Abraham. He is the one making all the moves with Moses. Then in response to the request of the people, he devises a system to keep the distance they longed for, between Himself and Themselves, while guiding them towards righteousness. Again, the Law. Does this ultimately work? No, because it sidesteps the very purpose for which we exist, RELATIONSHIP. God knows apart from real, intimate connection to Him, we will get lost. He is willing to give us what we ask for but we need to ask ourselves what is it we want. Do we want what God can give us? Or do we what God Himself? If we are just seeking a favorable answer from the “gods” then we really are just pagans at heart. What God has longed for from us is a real relationship. I know He is invisible and does not call us on the telephone, but He has established ways to connect with Him. Just because a loved one is out of touch does not mean they cease to exist or care for us. We were known by God before birth, we will have the opportunity to be with Him after this life for all eternity, so really, this is like a short trip with no cell connection. It will end and we will once again be in His presence forever. Right now, lift your heart to God and ask Him to reveal what you have been seeking; Him or his blessings. Let Him search you and be ready for His answer…
DAILY SCRIPTURE READING
Our daily scripture reading comes from the following link… http://listenersbible.com/devotionals/biy/ If you have any insights into our daily readings, please feel free to share them with me. I would encourage you to visit https://bibleproject.com/explore/isaiah/ for an overview of Isaiah and https://bibleproject.com/explore/galatians/ for an overview of Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia. These videos will help with the “big picture” and the main themes. Isaiah 47:1-49:7 God is speaking an oracle of judgment over who in chapter 47? (v 1) Why is God bringing judgment against her? (v 8) In Chapter 48 God is railing against the “idols.” What do verses 5 and 14 get at? Isn’t it interesting how God will highlight his authority by his ability to talk about what is to come. Verse 6 in chapter 49 is important. Why? What hope do we find in it? Galatians 5:7-26 What are we to do with our freedom in Christ? (13-14) Paul will go on to describe the conflict between the sinful nature and the spirit. How does he talk about these two? Take a moment and reflect on the difference between the sinful nature and the fruit of the Spirit. As we consider the fruit of both, which voice are we listening to in our own lives? Psalm 109:1-20 This is an interesting psalm isn’t it. The psalmist is voicing his frustration with others. One of the interesting notes about the psalms is that they are “real.” They express the range of what we, at times think. Have you ever felt this level of frustration with someone else? Isaiah 49:8-51:16 Chapter 49 will continue with the image of restoration. Just look at verses 8 and 9. Even though God has brought judgment upon Israel, will he forget her? Do you find any hope in this idea? Chapter 50 is interesting because in essence Isaiah is responding to accusations against him. As we have been studying Amos, I can’t imagine how much people must have despised the prophets. They didn’t bring good news! Don’t we long for Good News? But sometimes, news of judgment must come to grab our attention, when we have become complacent. Galatians 6:1-18 How do you reconcile verse 2 and verse 5? Are we supposed to carry our own loads, or one another’s? How do you make sense of these two verses? Do verses 7-10 help at all? Proverbs 23:10-18 We could make several interesting points from proverbs this morning… who is the defender of the fatherless or those most vulnerable? Does this mean we should be cautious about how our actions impact them? Or what role does discipline have? Or are we envious of sinners?