Go and Tell

Scripture

“And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.””  ‭‭Mark‬ ‭5:19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Observation 

Jesus and his disciples went to the other side of the sea and came to Gerasenes.  There they met a man possessed by unclean spirits, and because of the number he gave himself the name legions. Jesus cast out the spirits into a herd of swine. The people demanded Jesus to leave their country so while he was boarding his boat, the delivered man came and asked to go with him.  Jesus refused but told him to go back to his home and tell everything that had happened. As he returned and told them of what Jesus did everyone marveled. 

Application

The transformations in our lives are given to point others to the glory of God. A transformed life is a testimony of the power of God over sin. When we have experienced the change in our lives that Jesus Christ brings we should tell others of what he has done. Jesus alone receives the glory and others marvel at his mercy and grace. Let us proclaim to those around us what Jesus Christ has done. 

Prayer

Lord, today as I move from an encounter with you give me opportunities to share the testimony of what you have done in my life so they may hear of your good works and give you glory. 

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All Glory

Scripture

““Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.””  ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭4:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Observation

The Lord deserves all glory, honor, and power for He created all things and by His desire all things exist and were created. 

Application

Our existence is grounded in our creator God for He desired that all things would exist thus they were created. When we come to grips with the reality that we owe our total existence to the Lord our God then it will change the course of our lives. We will live no longer for our own pleasure but the pleasures and will of God. The Lord deserves all glory and all honor for everything and everyone that existed owes their existence to God. 

Prayer

Lord today as I go about my daily tasks,  may  I give you all glory and all honor for “this is the day the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice”.  

Heart Praise

Scripture

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.”  ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭28:7‬ ‭ESV‬

Observation

The Lord protects and my heart finds refuge in him. Praise rises up within my being and I give thanks to the Lord. 

Application

The Lord provides strength and a shield against those things that can steer our hearts toward restlessness and fear. When anxiety rises the Word of God speaks into our heart words of peace and comfort. 

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:4-7

The Lord turns our restlessness to rest and praise and worship rises up out of the comfort and guidance the Lord provides. 

Prayer

Lord, I praise you and exalt you for my heart finds rest in your strength.  Today may praise rise up from the depths of my life and be ever present on my lips. 

Anxiety to Prayer

Scripture 

“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Observation

Replace anxiety with prayer, bringing your request to the Lord with thanksgiving. 

Application

Each day brings with it challenges and concerns. We have a choice to make; either we will respond with anxiety or prayer. Concerns for our children, frustrations we face at work, or changing life seasons will all stir a sense of anxiety.  May we turn these challenges into a prayer yielded to our sovereign Lord and full of thanksgiving for His care for us.   

Prayer

Lord in my everyday life may I turn the cares of this life into a prayer for your guidance. Instead of responding with worry and anxiety may I respond with a grateful heart for your tender mercy and peace. 

Perseverance in Prayer

Scripture

“praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,”. ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Observation

Active prayer takes place at all times in the Spirit and with all prayer and supplication. In prayer may we keep alert and persevere praying for one another. 

Application

Perseverance is a necessary element of prayer. We are to come back to our prayer closet seeking the purposes of God for our lives and one another. Each time we return in prayer we gain a greater understanding and clarity regarding God’s direction. Like a waiter who returns   to the table to see if more is needed, so too we go back to our Heavenly Father with perseverance asking if more is needed and requested. In our waiting for clarity we go back to the Lord to seek His vision for our life and circumstances. 

Prayer

Lord, may I not grow weary in prayer but may I persevere in seeking you for your direction in my life and that of others. 

Abiding Identity

Scripture

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”  ‭‭John‬ ‭15:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Observation

Jesus is the vine by which we, the branches, abide and stay connected to him. In Christ we are able to bear much fruit but apart from him we can do nothing. 

Application

What makes the difference in a Christians life?  The unique characteristic of a follower of Christ is that he remains connected to Jesus Christ. In him we gain our identity, strength, and direction for life. Apart from the vine, Jesus, we loose the very thing that gives us life and uniqueness. 

Today it is often hard to tell the difference between followers of Christ and none believers because we have lost our unique identity in Christ. Our identity  is not found in casual church attendance but our true identity and strength come only in our daily abiding with Christ as we seek to remain connected to him moment by moment and day by day. 

Prayer

Lord may I today stay connected to you so that I may draw my identity and purpose from you alone. 

Turn

Scripture

And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”  Luke 1:16-17

Observation

John the Baptist would turn many to the Lord. He will go in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, the disobedient to the wisdom of the just and make ready a people prepared for God. 

Application

Luke is referring to an Old Testament passage found in Malachi 4:5-6. 

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.  And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers,..”  Malachi 4:5-6

John the Baptist, empowered by the spirit of Elijah would be the messenger that would bring in the “awesome day of the Lord” when Jesus, the Messiah would appear before the people of God. As a result of his ministry, he would prepare the people of God to be received and led by their Lord. 

Twice Luke mentions to “turn”. Turn is a sign of repentance when a person changes direction from away from the Lord to the Lord. In this passage we see that many will “turn” to the Lord and the hearts of the father would “turn” to their children. These changes of direction would prepare the people of God for God’s purposes. 

John’s ministry would also turn the father’s hearts to their children. How does a father turn his heart toward his children?  I believe many fathers fall into a life of passivity when it comes to their children. They leave the guidance of his children and the next generation to the care of others. This is a radical turn for a father when he has a heart for the next generation and provides necessary guidance and direction.  

Prayer

Lord may I turn my heart to you and turn my heart to the next generation so that we may be prepared to be the people of God.