Lord God Almighty, the invisible God, You have made Yourself visible in Jesus Christ Your Son. Hallelujah!
Jesus, Son of God, You existed before anything was created since You are the Word who was with God and was God. Nothing was created except through You. I lift praises to You!
Jesus, You hold everything together and sustain everything by Your powerful Word. You are before all things—Number 1 first, before time, before creation. I praise You, Lord!
All the fullness of God dwells in You, Jesus. When I see You, I see the Father. Holy Spirit, please help me see Jesus better.
All thanks and praise to You God! I used to be alienated from You, but now You have reconciled me to Yourself through Christ’s death on the cross. So I am holy in Your sight without blemish and free from accusation because I am in Christ Jesus.
Praise You, God–Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit!
(See Colossians 1:15-23, John 1:1-3, Hebrews 1:3 and Romans 8:1.)
“The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” (Psalm 9:9-10) “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1) (Both Scriptures NKJV)
Lord, I read about people who are persecuted for their faith and praise You for being a refuge for them—the oppressed. Then I hear a testimony of how You strengthened a mom with a part-time job and 8 children at home. Yes, You are the Lord our Strength! Yet sometimes I wonder about my own unimpressive life with its few troubles—I need You too. I can’t manage life on my own.
I believe You talk to pastors and other Christian leaders, giving them wisdom and guidance. Still I feel unsure that I can hear Your voice when I just feel stupid and embarrassed and wonder what to do next.
So I will remember that You came, Jesus, giving up Your throne in glory and the honor You had in heaven from before the foundation of the world. You suffered and died, and (Hallelujah!), You rose again. You did all this so I could become a child of God and have a wonderful life with You, now and forever. Such amazing love! You care for me with overwhelming, everlasting, personal love. And Your Word says in Romans 8:32 (NLT), “Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” “Everything” must include large and small, important or not.
Therefore, I can believe You are also MY refuge and strength.
Lord, our God, I seek You today as my refuge and choose to put my trust in You, even in what seems unimportant. I love you, Lord. Thank You, Jesus, for caring for me.
“I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me….””
“For the revelation awaits an appointed time…. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” (Habakkuk. 2:1,3 NIV)
As I wait on You, Lord, my strength is renewed. [Isaiah 40:31 “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” (NASB)]
My hope is in You, Lord. I will wait for You. At the appointed time, You accomplish Your purposes—as You did with the coming of Jesus and His life, death, and resurrection.
I choose Jesus. And trust Him, And remember His love and patience and kindness. I remember the cross. I reach for and grab onto hope. I hope in Jesus. Yes, my hope is in Him.
When I’m tempted to focus on frustrations, disappointments, and loss, let me choose to get my eyes back on You, Jesus. May I gaze upon Your goodness and take in Your glory. I need to keep looking to You, the Author and Finisher of my faith (Hebrews 12:2). Amen.
I volunteer a few hours a week at a food pantry/clothes closet for low income people in our county. One day God pointed out some unloving attitudes I had toward the people I served there and even toward some co-workers. So I wrote this prayer:
“Dear Lord, I see that my attitudes toward these requesting help and those I work with don’t reflect You well. I need more of Your mind toward them. Please help me to listen to Your thoughts and see both volunteers and clients through Your eyes as I’m doing my job there. Please help me distinguish between what I can control and what I can’t. Teach me to humble myself so I don’t get angry or think myself better than anyone.
You’ve been so merciful and patient with me, and You have forgiven me again and again. I want to let your love shine through me to others. Amen.”
“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”
My train of thought has jumped its track and is chugging off toward Comparison Station with a proposed stop at You’ll-Never-Be-Good-Enough Landing. But wait! I will cry out to God for help. Then I can choose to stop the train and back it up. God will help me get my thinking onto His track—remembering His love and grace and power.
Okay, Thoughts, “All aboard for the destination of a mind set on things above where Christ is!” (See Colossians 3:1)
We tend to say things like: “Today was OK, but I think tomorrow is going to be really hard.” What we really think of as most important, or most powerful, we but after that ‘but.’ Leah was a saint who had a very difficult life. People considered her ugly. Her husband didn’t love her, and it didn’t seem like that would ever change. But (!) she learned to put God’s love after the but. We too, can find incredible life and grace by learning to put eternal truth after the ‘buts’ in our life.
To listen to the sermon, click the play button: To download, right click on the link (or do whatever you do on a Mac) and save it to your computer: Download Living Crucified Part 4
“What does glory look like?” I asked the question as I looked at Colossians 1:27. It says that God lets the Gentiles know “the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (NIV).”
Part of the answer may come in asking, “What results from ‘Christ in me’?” As Jesus lives in me, He produces Holy Spirit fruit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
Again, what does that look like? Maybe it shows up as my listening to the news the way Jesus would if He were me—not feeling threatened and not getting angry about things I can’t control. And I might remember to ask Father what parts of the news I need to pray about and how He would have me pray.
Perhaps it appears as compassion and joy in the Lord pushing out envy and self-seeking. Or a time when I experience contentment instead of jealousy and when I triumph over people-pleasing with confident trust in God’s love and care.
That sounds glorious to me. And Jesus Christ in me is making me like that.
“And we who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV).”
The beginning of the Christian life is turning away from sin and toward God (this is called “repentance”). Sometimes we fail to receive the wonder and joy of God’s grace because we have not actually repented. We are called to despair of our own efforts to make ourselves (or the world) better, and turn to God alone for hope and salvation. Only then can we be changed. When we do that, and only then, we can begin to receive the stunning riches of God’s grace given to us in Jesus Christ. This is the gate, through which we all must walk, the lifeboat that is our only hope of being saved from drowning.
To listen to the sermon, click the play button: To download, right click on the link (or do whatever you do on a Mac) and save it to your computer: Download…
I received an invitation that reminded me of a painful incident from my youth. I prayed:
“Jesus, You were there when it happened. You longed to quiet my pain, but I thought I had to handle it myself. Why couldn’t I receive Your love and comfort? Perhaps back then I knew You only as a far-away God or as a Spirit who didn’t enter the reality of my daily teenage world.
“But now I know You better. You are Almighty God, Maker of heaven and earth. You are also the God who loves each person You created. You see us, not just as a group, but also as individuals. “And You are the God of all comfort, the God who knows when a sparrow falls and who counts the stars and yet also knows the ever-changing number of hairs on my head.” (See 2 Corinthians 1:3, Matthew 10:29-30, Psalm 147:4.)
Dear Lord Jesus, Savior, Friend,
I want to sing Your praise again.
You are my life, my God, my King,
Ruler over everything.
Jesus, You are all I need.
I want to learn Your voice to heed
So I can walk in Your good plan,
Son of God and Son of Man.
Anger tries to push You off Your throne.
Bitterness turns my heart to stone
I reject these things that cling to me
And accept Your offer to set me free.
O Jesus, Lover of my soul,
Cleanse and heal and make me whole,
As I repent and seek Your face
And the kingdom of Your grace. Amen.
(See Ephesians 4:31.)