A Prayer for Our Town

Dear Father,

Thank You for our town—for all we enjoy as citizens of it.

Bless our mayor, Lord, and help the city manager and city council as they deal with thorny issues and make tough decisions. Grant them wisdom.

Bless every school administrator, teacher, staff person, and bus driver. May they provide a safe environment conducive to learning.

O God, our town suffers from broken homes and lonely people, lives shattered by alcohol and drugs, pornography and immorality.

Where there are racial tensions, may prejudice yield to unity, and peace prevail.

May You bring badly needed revival to this community! May our citizens grow weary of sin and turn to You for healing.

Heal our town, dear Lord. And use us, we pray, as instruments of healing.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Making Room

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Me first!

A few days ago I watched as hummingbirds buzzed in for a landing at a feeder.

Many times one would stop drinking to chase others away, even though there were four spouts—no waiting.

Researching this, I discovered that hummingbirds are instinctively quite territorial.

But what about those of God’s creatures made in His image?

While the “default setting” for humans is Me/My/Mine, we do have a choice.

You first!

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

“Me First” is ultimately self-defeating.

But the servant mindset Jesus exemplified not only blesses others but ourselves as well.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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What I Love to See

Powerful effect

I love to see a well-used Bible—worn cover, key passages marked, and with lots of hand-written notes in the margins.

Even more so, I love to see believers whose lives are shaped by the Scriptures. They not only know the Bible, but far more important, they live it.

This is exactly what God intends (James 1:21-25).

God’s word is a guiding light (Psalm 119:105), nourishing food (Matthew 4:4; 1 Peter 2:2), and a sharp-two edged sword that pierces to the very core of our being (Hebrews 4:12).

Powerful Cause

When applied, the Scriptures can transform vile sinners of all stripes into those whose lives reflect the Christ they now serve (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

How can the Bible’s transforming power be explained in any other way than by its divine origin?

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A Better Way to Live

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My friend and I have been cleaning up an area where someone dumped a mattress, gas grill, carpet, ceiling fan, recliner, old boards, trash, etc.

What does the Bible say?

“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you . . .” (Matthew 7:12). “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).

People who live by these principles, called the Golden Rule and the Second Commandment, not only refrain from littering and dumping, but also from lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, and a host of other selfish, anti-social behaviors.

Positively, these principles promote compassion, kindness, sharing, honesty, courtesy, respect, and countless other qualities that contribute to a better world.

What does the Bible do?

The Bible, when applied, not only points us to heaven, but also transforms society—one person at a time.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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What Price Obedience?

What it cost Jesus: His blood (1 Peter 1:18-19).

What it cost John the Baptist: his head (Mark 6:17-29).

What it cost Stephen: his life (Acts 7:54-60).

What it cost Matthew: his job (Matthew 9:9).

What it cost Paul: his prestige (Philippians 3:4-8).

What it cost John: his freedom (Acts 4:1-3; Revelation 1:9).

What it cost the Hebrew Christians: their property (Hebrews 10:32-34).

What it cost Epaphroditus: his health (Philippians 2:25-30).

What it cost the Christians of Asia Minor: their popularity (1 Peter 4:1-4).

They believed it was well worth it. Do you?

What has it cost you?

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The Micah Principle Applied

What God expects

“And what does the LORD require of you, but to do justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

Seven centuries later John the Baptist challenged his listeners.

When tax collectors asked what repentance would mean for them, John answered, “Collect no more than what you have been ordered to” (Luke 3:13). Do justice!

To the crowds John said, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none . . .” (3:11). Love kindness!

John also warned that they should not boast, “We have Abraham for our father” when what they truly needed was to repent (3:8). Walk humbly with your God!

How we respond

The Micah Principle governs how we treat others and how we respond to God.

It is so powerful!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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The Center of It All, Part 2

What the New Testament says about Him

The first four New Testament books announce: The Messiah has come! His name is Jesus!

Then Acts declares: Jesus is risen and working through His people, the church!

The next 21 books proclaim: Christ is in you, and you in Him!

And finally, Revelation: He who defeats Satan is coming again! “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (22:20).

What is He to you?

Jesus is the theme of the New Testament.

But is He the theme of your life?

Is He central to your thinking, planning, and use of time and money?

May we say with Paul: “. . . it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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