Each week a member of LLC offers a short devotional to support you in your walk with Christ. We hope each week is an encouragement to you and leads you deeper in your relationship with our marvelous, ever loving God.
You heard the cry of our hearts
And you came down
Freely you gave us your love
Showing us how
Make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred let me show love
Where there is darkness let me shine light and
May your love cause us to open up
Cause us to open up our hearts
May your light cause us to shine so bright
That we bring hope into the dark
All that we do without love it means nothing
Grant us the courage to give as you're calling.
Open Up by Brilliance
A dear friend recently shared this song with me. After I listened to it several times on repeat, I got to thinking...what an incredibly awesome gift of love God gives each of us. He freely gave His love, not by force but by choice. Through His love that we each receive daily we can bring light, and hope into the world. We don't have to go far to shine brightly and share the love of Christ to a broken world. We can shine right here, in our work, our schools, our neighborhoods. My prayer for each one of us is that we truly seek God's courage to follow his calling, and shine brilliantly!
When my wife and I led the pre-school group for our church's Awana program, we simply told the children that prayer was "talking to God." As an adult reading Hebrews 4:16, "Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need," we realize there is a lot involved when we talk to Him. With boldness, we can approach the very throne of God, the creator of the universe, and request, "please sir, can I have some more?" and by the promise found in John 16:24 "...ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full," God promises to give us a joy-filled life, if we ask. Awesome! And it's not a trick. God won't send us to Africa's mission field if we ask to serve those around us (then again, he might). He won't give us a snake if we ask for a fish. He loves us! So why are we hesitant to pray that we be used to further God's ministry here on earth? Where is the sense of adventure in your prayer life? I mean, we prayerfully thank God for our food before meals, and ask Jesus to give missionaries safe travels in a foreign land, and we request quick and complete healing for the health of our family, friends, and acquaintances, but what about the big exciting stuff? Let's pray, "Lord use me, a broken, sin-filled, saved-by-grace vessel that wholly belongs to You!"
On January 19th, we hosted the youth group at our home for a movie and make-your-own pizza night. Our youth are to be commended for their teamwork, respect for one another, and cleanliness! They worked together in the kitchen, cleaned up after themselves, demonstrated good manners, engaged in mature conversation, and agreed to deposit their cell phones in a basket by the door - it was a joy to have a house full of teenagers! But what I would most like to share with you about the night is what I see on my windows now every day. A few months ago, I decided to purchase some glass markers and write Bible verses on my window so that I see God's Word frequently throughout the day. I wasn't sure what the teenagers would say when I asked if they would write Bible verses on my kitchen windows, but the response was overwhelming! And I want to share with you those verses that I get to see on my windows everyday:
Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
"Let all that you do be done with love." 1 Cor 16:14
Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I'm doing but later you will understand." John 13:7
This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
Be still and know that I am GOD. Psalm 46:10
The mind set on the SPIRIT is life and peace. Romans 8:6
1 Cor 13:8 - Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4
God is light. In Him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5
As I was preparing that morning, I asked God how to pray for our youth, what I should write on my window before they arrived. Here's what I wrote and continue to pray, not only for our youth but also for our church family:
And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Act 2:42
From time to time I write out my prayers centered on a name of God. I invite you to pray this prayer I wrote on January 6 just as Jon was coming as our pastor. I had just read another prayer written using God's name EL BETHEL and I was led to use that name for God as I wrote...
Oh, mighty and loving God, Triune in Nature and Essence. I come to you in prayer this day knowing that You are never busy, asleep, or unconcerned. Your name is El Bethel... the God of the House of God. Oh, El Bethel, You are the God of this House... this local congregation that we know as Living Legacy.
You are the Shepherd of this flock. I know that You can do all things and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. You have revealed Your purpose and Your strength in countless ways. El Bethel I give You praise for who You are.
We are a congregation that is saved by grace. You have reserved for Your own glory and our good those who love You and desire to see You continue Your work of transformation in us. I confess that we are saved by Grace and nothing can take that away but I also confess that as Your children we still have our unredeemed flesh. This can cause us to act in ways that can bring difficulty to those who serve among us. Jon has answered Your call to serve You here at Living Legacy. Help us as a congregation not to grieve the Holy Spirit as Jon challenges us by faithfully preaching the Word. We know that our ongoing transformation is Your work. And You choose to work through Your Word. May Jon, as Your Under-shepherd be diligent to study and pray. Give him...give us...a hunger for Your word - a hunger that only Your Word can satisfy. And give us the inner desire to obey Your Word.
El Bethel, the God of the House of God, thank You for making Yourself known to us. Thank You for taking up residence in the believers at Living Legacy through the death, burial, and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ. This miracle makes us a local congregation, a family. We come today in grateful thanks for Pastor Jon Weigel. I pray Your blessing on him, his wife, Dottie, and his daughters, Kate and Maggie. Jon has served as a pastor before. Dottie knows something of being a pastors's wife. Maggie and Kate know something of being 'Preacher's Kids'. These can sometimes be difficult roles. Help us as a congregation to be encouragers to this family. Help us to remember to prayer for them.
El Bethel, abide in us as individual believers and thus in Living Legacy. Set up Your home in the depths of our souls. Let your words dwell in us that we may know and live by them and for You. Reveal to us the sin we must confess and turn from so that we may be pure and blameless in Your sight. Show us how to best honor You through the temple that You have set up within us as believers.
How grateful we are to You in giving us a pastor. We love You and look forward to all You are doing and are going to do in this House of God.
In Jesus' matchless name, Amen.