Praying Prayers of Paul for the Church You Love
ll Thessalonians 1:3
This week, take this prayer of the Apostle Paul and use it as a prompt to pray for North Wake.
We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. ~ ll Thessalonians 1:3
Meditation For Preparation
By Paul David Tripp, New Morning Mercies. April 18.
The Risk of Denial
Read: Luke 22:54-62
The Bible is dotted with story after story of people who were called by God at certain times and for certain purposes, but who were scared to death to answer his call. Moses did everything he could to get out of going back to Egypt, confronting Pharaoh and leading the children of Israel out. He was terrified to answer God's call even after God did miracles to convince him of his presence and power (Exodus 3-4). Gideon also argued with God, sure that it had to be a divine mistake for him to be called as the one who would lead Israel to a decisive victory against the Midianites (Judges 6). God had to assure Joshua that he needed not to be afraid to lead Israel across the Jordan into the Land of Promise (Joshua 1). The people of Israel rebelled against the Lord and refused to go into Canaan because they were afraid of being destroyed by the Amorites (Deuteronomy 1). The soldiers of Israel stayed afraid in their tents when confronted by the giant warrior Goliath (1 Samuel 17). Peter was afraid to identify himself as a disciple of Jesus, and with anxious curses denied his Lord (Luke 22).
Each moment of fear, each act of refusal was an act of spiritual irrationality. Each fearful person had been invited to be part of the massive history- and globe-spanning work of the kingdom of God. The One who called them created the world and held it together by his will. He has power over all things spiritual and physical. He rules every situation, location and relationship in which his call is to be followed. He is amazing in his wisdom, abundant in his grace and boundless in his love. He is saving, forgiving, transforming and delivering. What he says is always best and what he requires is always good. When he calls, he goes with you. What he calls you to do, he empowers by his grace. When he guides, he protects. He stands with power and faithfulness behind everyone of his promises. He has never failed to deliver anything he has promised. There is simply no risk in answering the call of the King of kings.
What is incredibly dangerous is how quickly we forget God and how fast our allegiance to our own purposes and plans develops. We convince ourselves that we are wiser, stronger and more righteous than we really are, and therefore we step into danger. Only grace can work to remind us that faith in God is a resting place and trust in self is a minefield. It is grace and grace alone that empowers us to follow and to rest.