Awake!

Awake O sleeper, rise from death, and Christ shall give you light;  So learn His love, its length and breadth, its fullness, depth and height.

To us on earth He came to bring from sin and  fear release, to give the Spirit’s unity, the very bond of peace.

Then walk in love as Christ has loved, Who died that He might save;  with kind and gentle hearts forgive as God in Christ forgave.

For us Christ lived, for us He died, and conquered in the strife;  awake, arise, go forth in faith, and Christ shall give you life.  ~ hymn by F. B. Tucker

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is.”  Ephesians 5:15-16

Lord God, as we anticipate celebrating Independence Day in America may we remember the greater freedom won for us through Jesus Christ on the Cross.  We are both citizens of heaven and earth so we thank you for the gift of freedoms allowed to us under the Constitution.  Bless all the lawmakers and lawkeepers of this land that we might live in peace.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

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May 27 On The Back Burner

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Image by George Webster

2 Samuel 12:1-31;  John 16:1-33;  Psalm 119:65-80; Proverbs 16:4-5

Between the Upper Room where Jesus celebrated Passover with his disciples and the Garden of Gethsemane where He would be betrayed Jesus spoke of many things to be set on the back burner of their hearts and minds.

“All this I have told you so that you will not go astray.  They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God.  They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.  I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you.  I did not tell you this at first because I was with you…”

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can bear now.  But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.  He will not speak on his own;  he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world!”   John 16:1-4, 12-13, 33

These words simmer on the back burners of our hearts and minds as well.  The truth is that being a follower of Jesus is not all a bed of roses.  There are brothers and sisters in Christ all around the world who are physically, mentally, economically, emotionally suffering for their faith.  There’s a relative “calm” here in America, but the Father of Lies, is working hard to undermine the faith of believers.  Remember Jesus’ words when discouragement and despair threaten:  “In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world!” 

Lord God, Thank you for doing battle for us on the Cross and for winning!  Yes, we may suffer in this lifetime.  But it will be nothing compared to the ultimate suffering your Son experienced for us so that we might live victoriously now and forever!  We thank and praise you for the warnings, for the encouragement, for overcoming and for the hope of eternal life.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.