BE THE CHANGE
Psalm 67:2: “Send us out all over the world so that everyone everywhere will discover Your ways and know Who You are and see Your power to save.”
As followers of Christ we are called to be a light in the darkness. And yet, if we believe everything we see on the news, we would – like so many – be tempted to despair and give up. Praise God for the promise of His Word, which ignites the hope we have in Jesus and reminds us of the power of the cross.
The Word of God is full of inspiration, challenge and promise. It is a living guide to us all as we navigate Christian life and purpose. We need it to help us discover what it means to “be the change” in society today.
Psalm 67, a prayer for the enlargement of Christ’s Kingdom, is a good place to start. It begins with a blessing. We are blessed so that we can be a blessing.
God’s blessing is the foundation of mission, the blessing of God comes to the world through His Church.
Although God is all-powerful and doesn’t need us, He somehow wants us to partner with Him to see change happen. We are all missionaries – sent out by the One whom God sent into the world 2000 years ago. He has a part for every one of us to play.
Prayer: Father God, thank You that you have invited us to partner with You to be the change in this world. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit Who enables us to be all that You are calling us to be. Thank you that You go before us. Amen.
Exodus 34: 28 – 30 & 33 – 35
“Moses was up on the mountain with the Lord for forty days and forty nights…..Moses didn’t realise when he came down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments that his face glowed from being in the presence of God. Because of this radiance upon his face, Aaron and the people of Israel were afraid to come near him.”
“When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face; but whenever he went into the Tabernacle to speak with the Lord, he removed the veil until he came out again; then he would pass onto the people whatever instructions God had given him, and the people would see his face aglow. Afterwards he would put the veil on again until he returned to speak with God.”
We are not like Moses, “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.” What a contrast: not the old but the new, not the condemnation but the deliverance; not the letter but the Spirit; not an external God but an internal reality; not death but life; not a veil of uncertainty concerning the things of glory and heaven, but an open face beholding the glory of the Lord. “Now,” Paul is saying, “I can take any buffeting in the reality of that experience!” What resources are adequate for any buffeting, and will enable us to take the knocks?
Through the Holy Spirit we see Jesus – catching the light and reflecting the glory of the Lord who has washed us in His blood and indwells us by the Holy Spirit and will present us faultless before the throne of glory with exceeding joy; one day we will be so transformed that we will be able to see God face to face and not shrink from the vision; but not now in this human body. Our view of God is as He has revealed Himself to our heart in Jesus Christ.
Let us pray that day by day we shall be reflecting God’s glory.
The Lord is my Shepherd …. THAT’S RELATIONSHIP!
I shall not want …. THAT’S SUPPLY!
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures …. THAT’S REST!
He leadeth me beside still waters …. THAT’S REFRESHMENT!
He restoreth m soul …. THAT’S HEALING!
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness …. THAT’S GUIDANCE!
For His name’s sake …. THAT’S PURPOSE!
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death …. THAT’S CHALLENGE!
I will fear no evil …. THAT’S ASSURANCE!
For Thou art with me …. THAT’S FAITHFULNESS!
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me …. THAT’S SHELTER!
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies …. THAT’S HOPE!
Thou anointest my head with oil …. THAT’S CONSECRATION!
My cup runneth over …. THAT’S ABUNDANCE!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life …. THAT’S BLESSING!
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord …. THAT’S SECURITY!
Forever …. THAT’S ETERNITY!
Amen (so be it).
Psalm 92: An encouragement in troubled times
“We don’t know what’s happening from one day to the next; it’s a struggle just to survive.”
In these troubled times can we thrive spiritually? Is all our energy needed just to survive?
This psalm was written for the Sabbath Day. Israel’s Sabbath was a blessing – an enforced day of rest from the demands of daily life; a day for worship and praise, morning and night.
It was also a psalm written in times of trouble. Our enemies today are different from those of the psalmist. We are all deeply affected by the spread of coronavirus. Patterns of life have been turned upside-down and our government has become severely tested. Many things will never be the same again.
How can we thrive spiritually at a time like this? How can we know God’s peace with so many ‘unknowns’ every day? How can we keep spiritually healthy when Christian fellowship is taken away?
verses 1 – 4 It is always good to praise the Lord in song
verses 5 – 9 God’s deeds demonstrate that righteousness will triumph in the end.
verses10 – 15 God provides for our spiritual nourishing
In this time of trouble and uncertainty will we sing the Lord’s praises, wherever we are, even without our usual fellowship of believers or place of worship?
Are we living with the confidence that God will supply all our needs?
Are we seeking to flourish spiritually?
We are reminded in the Scriptures that there is a spiritual warfare going on in heavenly places. We are also instructed to take part in that warfare with the following promise:
Matthew 18:18-19 (The Message) “Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me; you can be sure that I’ll be there.”
Matthew 18:18 -19 (NIV)”I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in My Name, there am I with them.”
One thing I try to do day by day is to pray through the news with the awareness that sometimes there is the need to bind things on earth that are ungodly.
Items that have been in the press in the last week are:
Abortion statistics for England and Wales are the highest ever – more than 209,000 including 656 for Down’s syndrome and yet the Government wants to change the law to allow abortion up to birth.
A new divorce Bill is one step nearer. It will remove the need to prove fault. A notification system will exist where a spouse will be able unilaterally to end the marriage for any reason and the other spouse will have no right to contest.
The Government is considering relaxing Sunday trading restrictions. Any loosening of restrictions will be problematic for families who will have less time to spend together.
A clinical ethics paper published in March argues that helping terminally ill patients to die would save money and could release organs for transplant. Many countries around the world agreed. But where euthanasia is permitted, in Belgium for instance, 1000’s of patients have been subjected to euthanasia without their families’ consent, including handicapped
Today, let us pray our way through the news and pray for proposed legislation that is opposed to God. Let us take part in spiritual warfare.
Philippians 1: 3 – 11 (The Message)
A LOVE THAT WILL GROW
“Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.
It’s not at all fanciful to think this way about you. My prayers and hopes have deep roots in reality. You have, after all, stuck with me all the way from the time I was thrown in jail, put on trial, and came out of it in one piece. All along you have experienced with me the most generous help from God. He knows how much I love and miss you these days. Sometimes I think I feel as strongly about you as Christ does!
So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately.
You need to use your head and trust your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.”
Let us pray for one another as Paul prayed for the churches he had founded.
Let us pray for the Government that they will make wise decisions, not only about coming out of lock down, how to deal with the rioting, but the many other topics that they are needing to make decisions about as Bills come before parliament day by day.