Day 11: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 11: I honestly still have no idea how things will play out once we get to heaven. In the end, it doesn’t really matter, the important part is how we live our lives here on earth. Are we working towards receiving rewards, or are we more concerned with helping others find the truth that we have found?

 

23Feb 15

DAY ELEVEN

Proverbs 16
20 It pays to take life seriously;
things work out when you trust in God.

We live in a world that focuses on entertaining us. We even have shows that celebrate those who entertain us. For some reason, I turned into the Oscars last night. Not exactly what compelled me to put it on. Now don’t think that was all I was doing, it was background while playing a game with my wife. So, the Oscars. It is kind of interesting watching the award winners give their thank you speeches. Some of them feel the need to ramble on and on over their new dust collector. It made me wonder.

When we meet our maker, he has done all the judging, he has separate the sheep from the goats, will there be an award ceremony? The Bible does talk about gaining crowns in heaven. I envision that there will be no nominees or big intros but I can see us all being honoured one at a time, the glowing smile on the Fathers face as he presents us with crowns. And as we think about what we should say we don’t say a thing, we look over at the King of Kings, humbly walk over to his throne, and lay it at His feet. Honoured that He thought of us and knowing that He is deserving of all our worship and nothing we did in this life would have been possible without Him.

So in saying all this, I pray that you take life seriously. Trust God in all you do, trusting what you see on TV or in the newest blockbuster won’t help your life at all. The newest self-help book or do it yourself won’t get you anywhere. Trust God, with everything, don’t hold nothing back. Cause when you get to heaven and get a chance to see where God was involved in your life you will understand a lot clearer that God has our best interest at heart.

Dear Heavenly Father, I am done playing games. I am done following ideas of the world that only end in disaster and more sin. I pray Jesus that you will help me to daily trust in God. Asking the Holy Spirit to guide me. I will trust that all things will work out and I am going to put God first and trust Him in everything. Holding nothing back, loving others like you do. Amen

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Day 10: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 10: Over the past 2 years I have seen some marriages fall apart. I think in a four month period I was dealing with four at work alone. I wish that I have the answers and ways to restore all marriages, but the fact remains it is something between them and God. One would hope that Christian marriages would stand the test of time, but even they are breaking which breaks my heart even more. I pray for marriages built on a foundation of faith in Christ, it is never to late for one to restore what has been broken.

22 Feb 16

DAY TEN

Song of Solomon 3 The Message (MSG)

3v 1-4 Restless in bed and sleepless through the night,
I longed for my lover.
I wanted him desperately. His absence was painful.
So I got up, went out and roved the city,
hunting through streets and down alleys.
I wanted my lover in the worst way!
I looked high and low, and didn’t find him.
And then the night watchmen found me
as they patrolled the darkened city.
“Have you seen my dear lost love?” I asked.
No sooner had I left them than I found him,
found my dear lost love.
I threw my arms around him and held him tight,
wouldn’t let him go until I had him home again,
safe at home beside the fire.

If your married do you feel this way when your spouse is away. Do you worry about where he or she maybe? Maybe you and your spouse are going through a troubled time, maybe you might even be going through a time of separation

These verses paint a beautiful picture of Christs love for us. We are restless in this life looking for our lost love, but sometimes we just don’t know who He is. Jesus is waiting to be found. He isn’t that far off, We talked earlier in the challenge about a void in our lives that can only be filled by Jesus. His love can only be accepted never forced upon you.

If you are going through a rough point in your marriage, I challenge you to ask Jesus for a longing for your spouse, ask for a desire to repair what the enemy is working on destroying. Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church –  a love marked by giving, not getting. (Ephesians 5 v 22&25) If you need help, ask for it. Work with your Pastor, seek counselling, find some accountability partners (together and separately) and pray together.

If Jesus can take our messed-up lives and make them complete trust that he can taken your broken marriage and do the same. He can provide you with the longing for your spouse you once had when you were first married.

If you are single and not married I pray that if you know of married couples who are falling apart at the seams that you will pray for restoration. Maybe you have walked away from Jesus, and your life is restless and broken. Seek Jesus out and rest in His arms.

Dear Jesus, take my marriage wherever it may be and strengthen it. If it is falling apart right before my eyes, take hold and repair it. Bring the love I once had for my spouse and rekindle it. May our marriage be a representation of who You are living through us. Take control of our marriage. I trust You are in control. If I have let You out of my life, ignored you and not paid you any attention I ask you to forgive me and come restore my life in your arms. Amen

 

22 Feb 16

DAY TEN
Song of Solomon 3 The Message (MSG)

3v 1-4 Restless in bed and sleepless through the night,
I longed for my lover.
I wanted him desperately. His absence was painful.
So I got up, went out and roved the city,
hunting through streets and down alleys.
I wanted my lover in the worst way!
I looked high and low, and didn’t find him.
And then the night watchmen found me
as they patrolled the darkened city.
“Have you seen my dear lost love?” I asked.
No sooner had I left them than I found him,
found my dear lost love.
I threw my arms around him and held him tight,
wouldn’t let him go until I had him home again,
safe at home beside the fire.

If your married do you feel this way when your spouse is away. Do you worry about where he or she maybe? Maybe you and your spouse are going through a troubled time, maybe you might even be going through a time of separation

These verses paint a beautiful picture of Christ’s love for us. We are restless in this life looking for our lost love, but sometimes we just don’t know who He is. Jesus is waiting to be found. He isn’t that far off, We talked earlier in the challenge about a void in our lives that can only be filled by Jesus. His love can only be accepted never forced upon you.

If you are going through a rough point in your marriage, I challenge you to ask Jesus for a longing for your spouse, ask for a desire to repair what the enemy is working on destroying. Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church –  a love marked by giving, not getting. (Ephesians 5 v 22&25) If you need help, ask for it. Work with your Pastor, seek counselling, find some accountability partners (together and separately) and pray together.

If Jesus can take our messed-up lives and make them complete trust that he can take your broken marriage and do the same. He can provide you with the longing for your spouse you once had when you were first married.

If you are single and not married I pray that if you know of married couples who are falling apart at the seams that you will pray for restoration. Maybe you have walked away from Jesus, and your life is restless and broken. Seek Jesus out and rest in His arms.

Dear Jesus, take my marriage wherever it may be and strengthen it. If it is falling apart right before my eyes, take hold and repair it. Bring the love I once had for my spouse and rekindle it. May our marriage be a representation of who You are living through us. Take control of our marriage. I trust You are in control. If I have let You out of my life, ignored you and not paid you any attention I ask you to forgive me and come restore my life in your arms. I want my marriage to reflect your love. That the world will see that they matter to you and they matter to me. Amen

 

Day 9: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 9: Our actions speak louder than words. We say that all the time.It is kinda of ironic if you think about it. Let us stop talking about doing things and actually do them. We want people to know they are loved, great, but let’s start loving them in practical ways.

 

DAY NINE

1 John 3:18 My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love.

For the purpose of today’s devotional, I will be talking about Love as the Websters Dictionary states as (4th definition in the list) ” unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another”.

The Bible talks a lot about love. From love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, to love your enemies, to love one another. I ask the question, are we showing that love to those around us? When someone has 12 items in the 10 items or less line, are we grumbling about their lack of following direction and reading skills, or are we loving them? (I’m Guilty) When someone cuts into the parking spot are you ready to snap and confront them with some unpleasant words? (Again Guilty) When driving on a two-lane highway and someone speeds past you because you are behind a slow driver or someone won’t leave the right lane and are going slow does your frustration burn a little? (me again) Why is it so easy to get upset and angry and not as easy to show love?

What can we do in the above situations to show some practical love? I am asking God daily to help me a better person, not to let my anger get control of me. I want God’s love to resonate in everything I do, so that I won’t just talk about love but that it will be seen in me and in all I do. I pray the same for you.

We are saved by faith alone, but once Christ is in our lives we should want to do things to glorify His name by showing others His love with our actions. Helping the poor, helping families in need, assisting in your church, working in your community, sharing your faith with those around you, and so many other amazing things. So, if you are saved by grace, what are you doing to Practice Real Love?

Dear Jesus, help us today to see ways that we can practice real love. We continually say that we want others to see you through us, let what they see be a true reflection of who you are. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen

 

Day 8: Orginal 50 Days of Pray Revisited

DAY EIGHT
Today’s devotional is by Sheldon MacLeod he works at Crandall University as the Assistant Vice President (Students & Enrolment) & Registrar.

Love is one of the things most misunderstood, and taken for granted, within the culture around us. When love approaches marriage, that marriage is increasingly seen as a temporary moment of elation followed by years of drudgery that begins with fingers crossed behind wedding veils and cummerbunds in the faintly inarticulate wish that they’ll be the couple that “makes it”.
When I was in pastoral ministry full time, and even when I’m asked now, performing a wedding ceremony is always filled with mixed emotions for me, but for none of the reasons, one may think obvious. Over the years I have seen the marriage and the promise to God, and their spouse, take a back seat to almost everything else.
Too often the couple pays more attention to the endless details of the wedding than they do the critical preparation for marriage. An inordinate thought is given to the venue and lighting and photography, to the placement of the bridal party, to the little nuisances that will make “their day” special from all others. The world’s values of planning a stunning event creep into the hearts of well-meaning couples who move towards the “big day” like extras on The Walking Dead, staggering through a daze of invitations, floral arrangements, dress and tie colours, venues, meal servings, and where they will seat that awkward uncle. Too often people forget that the big day is followed by a big lifetime of work, and joy, and aggravation, and stress, and blessings, and on and on. Too often people prepare for the big day and forget that the real preparation should both precede and follow the big day, and focus more on life than on the icing on the cake.
This prayer, an adaptation from Dr Louis H. Evans’ Marriage Prayer for Bride and Groom, is a simple yet profound reminder for all of us of the beauty of love. It is an expression for ourselves or for others. It is a prayer for friends to pray excitement, for couples to pray in promise, for the hurting or frustrated to pray in hopefulness, for the broken to pray for restoration, for the single to pray in anticipation. It is a prayer that reminds us of the value of love and the fact that love, in all of its many forms, is a gift from God. It is a reminder that the icing on the cake is actually more about God and another person than it about just the icing on the cake.

Father in Heaven, thank You for this husband, ______, and wife, _______, and their commitment to Christian marriage. As we look ahead, we pray that their future will never lack the convictions that make a marriage strong.
Bless this husband, ______. Bless him as provider and protector. Sustain him in all the pressures that come with the task of stewarding a family. May he so live that his wife may find in him the haven for which the heart of a woman truly longs.
Bless this wife, ______. Give her a tenderness that makes her great, a deep sense of understanding, and a strong faith in You. Give her that inner beauty of a soul that never fades, that eternal youth that is found in holding fast to the things that never age. May she so live that her husband may be pleased to reverence her in the shrine of his heart.
Teach them that marriage is not living for each other. It is two people uniting and joining hands to serve You. Give them a great spiritual purpose in life. May they seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness, knowing that You will sustain them through all of life’s challenges.
May they minimize each other’s weaknesses and be swift to praise and magnify each other’s strengths. Bless them and develop their characters as they walk together with You. Give them enough hurts to keep them humane, enough failures to keep their hands clenched tightly in Yours, and enough of success to make them sure they walk with You throughout all of their life.
May they never take each other’s love for granted but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims, “Out of all this world, you have chosen me.” Then, when life is done and the sun is setting, may they be found then as now, still hand in hand, still very proud, still thanking You for each other.
May they travel together as friends and lovers, brother and sister, husband and wife, father and mother, and as servants of Christ until He shall return or until that day when one shall lay the other into the arms of God. This we ask through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, the Great Lover of our souls. Amen.

Rev. J. Sheldon MacLeod
February 2015

Day Seven: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts of Day Seven: Since I wrote this I have become more aware that God does truly love the world as he stated John 3:16. It is not just a catchy verse we love to quote but the truth behind it is what we need to reinforce in our lives if we want to change the world and the people around us. God Loves the world. He loves the people, he wants to have them realize this and love him back, accepting the sacrifice that Jesus made so there can be the redemption of sin that separates.

19 Feb 15

DAY SEVEN

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
1 John 4:11-12 NIV

I started the 50 Days of prayer two weeks ago with the original purpose of praying longer than 50 Shades of G, was in theaters. I have no doubt that we will reach that, but I am praying that God will reach people with this challenge and change lives.

Today I bring a devotional about love. God’s Love is complete. And as it states in the verse above it reads God Lives in us. His love is made complete in us. So that tells me that if I don’t have God living in my life that his love is still there but is incomplete. That is why so many people in the world are looking for something to complete that love. They fill it with so many corrupt things and avoid the one thing that will give them the wholeness they desire. How do we share this love that we have found to the people who seem so eager to ignore the love of God for things of this world that ultimately don’t satisfy their need of Gods love? Especially when you see every day a new post online arguing against who God is, or claiming the bible isn’t real or that Christians are confused and mixed up.

Jesus taught us to love on another. Love your enemies. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and body. Be the example. Work hard at not being a hypocrite when it comes to your beliefs. What you do on Sundays must carry on to every day of the week. We need to be teaching our Children to do the same. Setting an example for them. People will see who we are by what we teach our children.

So I challenge you to Love one another as God has loved you.

Dear Jesus, help us to be the example of your love. Help us to share your love. I pray that everyone who reads this today will be given a clear opportunity to share the love of Christ to someone today. Help us to see others as you see them and that they matter to you, so they should matter to us. Amen

Day Six: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day Six. If you aren’t from Canada, check out what is happening here. I remember growing up in church and even recently hearing that we are glad to be living in a country where there is no fear in sharing about our faith and worshiping God openly. With all that is happening and the laws that are being pushed I wonder how much longer those freedoms will be around. Don’t give up though, TRUTH will always trump evil, there will always be those who want to see past the lies and desire to experience Truth no matter the cost.

18 Feb 15

DAY Six
I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness in the exuberant earth. Stay with GOD! Take heart. Don’t quit. I’ll say it again: Stay with GOD.
Psalm 27:14
Ever notice that every couple of years a movie comes along that is so against what Christians believe in that it causes seemingly worldwide panic, that “this movie” is going to shake, break, or destroy Christians. I can think of 50 SOG, Showgirls, or DaVinci Code. But in the end, they come make some noise yet in the end when was the last time you read an article about DaVinci Code?
This is what I see, anything that Satan tries to do that is evidently evil is a high show stopper, quick fry in the pan, looks good to start, but eventually rots away and hides. The reason you don’t hear about it anymore is because it wasn’t lasting truth.
Why is the Bible still around? Why is God the same as He was back in the days of the bible? Because He is TRUTH. TRUTH endures. Gods love flows through all His creation and is consistently all around us.
The bible says not to be taken in by every new fad that comes along. If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, I quote the Psalms once again, Stay with GOD! Take heart. Don’t quit. I’ll say it again: Stay with GOD.
Dear Lord, help us to not be drawn into every new fad that stirs our heart. Help us to stay with God, even when the world tells us it isn’t important. Help us to read your word and write Your truths on our heart. Let our lives reflect this Truth, let our actions match our words as to be examples to those around us. They need to see you through us. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen

 

Day 5: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Day 5 Thoughts

It is so amazing to see how God uses people in spite of the things in their past. He can use those experiences to reach others. We must not glorify our sin, but we can use those moments as a tool in our spiritual toolbox to relate to those we are trying to reach.

 

17 Feb 15

DAY FIVE
But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master. (Romans 6:22-23 MSG)
If you have been around a while in the family of God, have you experienced a healed life? In Romans written above if talks about “A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way!”, it sounds pretty awesome.
We all want that, once we have accepted Christ into our lives it becomes our heart’s desire. But what does put-together life really mean, and why don’t I feel it?
Sin cause our lives to be broken, we think we can superglue our problems back together with quick fixes. That was never God’s true intentions. He sent Jesus to take our brokenness, gather all the pieces of our lives that God intended us to have, put us in the fire and build us back making us put together. But Jesus doesn’t stop there. Thank you Jesus that you don’t stop there.
We are still part of this world. We may sin time to time. Our put together lives will chip and crack. Maybe why you don’t feel put together is because you are not. Jesus the same one who put you back together when you asked Him into your life is right there to fix the chip or crack of sin with a bond of love stronger than any glue. He will make you new again and put back together.
But why then do I have to deal with the results of my sin if I have repented and Jesus forgave me? Look at the story of David, in his sin he committed adultery and murder. We know that he asked for forgiveness and God used David’s bloodline still to reveal Jesus. But if you read 2 Samuel you will see David still had to reap what he sowed, his son raped his half-sister, then was murdered by his other son, he lost the throne, & and had to wander alone for a time. Maybe you feel like David, you have asked God for his forgiveness but you are dealing with the fallout of your sin.
I say all this not to justify all the problems in your life, but to ask you to guard your life. Take the time to weigh out your choices. Are they pure? How will they affect your walk with God? Could there be disastrous results if I do this?

Dear Jesus, today I pray that whoever needed to hear this will be encouraged. You are the one who puts us together and I thank you so much for that. I know it cost you so much. Help us to be a people who think before we do. Weighing out our actions, looking before we go forward into a pit. I pray right now that you will renew my life, and refine my life if I have any chips or cracks. Put me back together. Thank you for your gift of eternal life.  Let my life be an example to those around me, let me see them as you do. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen