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Archive for February, 2016

I had the opportunity to speak in the chapel service for our school this morning.  My instruction was to cover one sentence of the model prayer Jesus gave us in Matthew 6 – verse 13; “lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”

As we look at the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples to pray, we see just before this plea to protect us from temptation, a request to forgive us for our shortcomings.  There are things in our lives we can’t change – decisions we have made that we can’t change – words we have said we can’t un-say.  For those things, Jesus teaches us to ask for forgiveness.  We learn from our mistakes and humbly ask for forgiveness.Praying at Sunrise

But moving forward, now we can do something about that.  We can make good decisions moving forward.  We can watch we say and do for the rest of this day.  So Jesus reminds us to ask for forgiveness for the past and then ask for direction and protection moving forward.

Here are three things we can learn from this petition in verse 13:

  1.  God will guide us and give direction if we seek it.  James 1:13-15 tells us that God does not tempt us.  We are tempted by our own evil desires and lusts.  But Jesus reminds us to pray for God to lead us and guide us away from temptations.  So our prayer should be for his guidance.
  2. We can’t do this on our own.  If left to our own, we will fall prey to our own desires.  Without God’s guidance, we will allow our focus to drift away from God and toward instant gratification and our own lusts.  James 1:15 says, “after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”  We need God to guide and protect us.
  3. God is fully capable of delivering us from evil.  Evil is anything that takes our focus away from God. When we allow God to guide our steps, we will be led away from temptation and protected from evil.

Father, we humbly ask for your forgiveness for our shortcomings up to this point and pray that you will guide our thoughts, words and actions this day.     Amen

Be blessed today!

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This past Sunday, we began a new series in our services together entitled, Church 101.  We church_101-title-2-still-16x9
are going back to the basics of what it means to be the church.  God’s church is made up of God’s people – followers in the Way.  So if a church is to be a vibrant church, it must be filled with vibrant followers.

The first step to being a vibrant follower is a commitment to growth – growth in our understanding of God, growth in our relationship with Jesus and growth in our relationships with others.

As we continue to grow in our understanding and knowledge, our relationship with Jesus grows as we experience his truth lived in out in our lives.  And as our relationship with Jesus matures, our love for one another grows.  We begin to see others as Jesus sees them.

God’s plan A for the redemption of the world is the church.  Commit today to be the church God expects by committing to be a vibrant, fully engaged follower.

Be a blessing today!

 

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