O God, You are the ruler over all nations and all the peoples of the earth. As leaders and representatives of your Church gather in February pour out a new and right spirit upon us. Pour out a spirit of wisdom, of courage and power, of love and self-control according to the working of Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Lord Jesus, help us to remember the high price You paid to forgive our sins and give us eternal life with You in heaven. Help us to get the message of Your grace and love to all people that they may enjoy these blessings as well. Forgive us for being occupied with other things and help us to focus on the direct commands You have given to us. Help us to do this by the power of Your Holy Spirit. In Your Name we ask. Amen.
This past Sunday the ice and snow greatly reduced our attendance to less than half of normal. One of our church trustees shared a bit of wisdom during the prayer and share time. He said, “walk like a penguin and drive like a turtle.” That simple phrase carries a lot of practical wisdom for preventing falls and accidents on ice by causing us to walk and drive more carefully. It may not prevent all accidents, but it will reduce their number and severity. Penguins have been walking on ice for thousands of years so they should have some good experience at it.
It can also apply to the journey of life we are on. We need to walk carefully on the road of life. Morally the world is filled with icy and treacherous slick spots. Jesus warned about false ideas we think make us right with God but don’t. We see this in Matthew 6:1-18. He also warned us about false prophets and false believers in Matthew 7:15-22. He taught us to carefully look for the narrow way, the narrow path that leads to eternal life in Matthew 7:13-15. Our modern world calls us to take the journey of life too fast: “don’t think, just do and enjoy the ride”. On icy roads people with four-wheel drive will often drive way too fast forgetting that “four-wheel drive” does not equate to a “four-wheel stop”. Just as it is foolish not to drive carefully on ice, it is foolish not to carefully consider the way you live on life’s journey.
Jesus offers us a way to live life that is true and eternal. Make very sure you are walking in His ways. As Jesus said in Matthew 7:24-27, “So then, anyone who hears these words of mine and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. 2The rain poured down, the rivers flooded over, and the wind blew hard against that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock.
“But anyone who hears these words of mine and does not obey them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 2The rain poured down, the rivers flooded over, the wind blew hard against that house, and it fell. And what a terrible fall that was!” – Good News Translation.
Or in modern terms suitable for winter: you can drive carefully and get to a wonderful eternal destination, or you can drive foolishly and end up as an eternal wreck.
Holy, holy, holy are You Lord God Almighty. Create in us a desire for holiness for You are holy. Help us to lay aside our pre-conceived perceptions of Your will and to listen for the Voice of Your Spirit. We ask in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Father as we begin another work week, help us to remember no matter what we do we are to do it as unto the Lord Jesus Christ. Help those who are delegates to the 2019 General Conference to remember ultimately Whom they serve. Help all of us to remember that we will give an account of both our words and our actions. Help them all to be pleasing in Your sight. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Heavenly Father, may we as Your Church simply stop to worship You and give You glory, sing Your praises, and sit attentively to the preaching and teaching of Your Word. Help not just to listen but to obey as well. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Today in the Midwest we are in the middle of a major snow fall. This is really the first bad one this winter for us. I measured 8 inches of heavy wet snow and it is still coming down. It was too heavy for my little electric snow blower to handle and too much to drive through safely. I called someone who could plow out my driveways. I looked out and a neighbor was helping to clear one of the driveways. (His snow blower is much bigger than mine.) I felt blessed.
Obviously, we are all slowed down in this part of the country. Since God alone controls the weather and we know that He loves us perfectly, it would seem to me that He is calling us to slow down from our usual activities, help a neighbor, help a friend. As Jesus taught us, “Do for others like you would want them to do for you.” That is part of loving our neighbors as ourselves. Rather than seeing the snow as a burden, see it as an opportunity to connect with your close family and neighbors, to do good for a neighbor, and don’t forget to thank those who are working hard to clear the roads and the walkways where we live. Maybe it is exactly what we need to remind us that God is in control and to take stock of things that are important to Him.