Day 13: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Day 13 Thoughts: Intimacy between Husband and Wife is so important. Just as important as communication, there is a bond that keeps you connected.  I wish I could say this is the cure for all marriages that are falling apart all around me, but I know that it isn’t the fact. Sin has wedged its way into marriage making it become a disposable commodity. But as believers, if you stay connected with Jesus, and focus on your marriage, mentally, physically, sexually and spiritual you will have a marriage that thrives. Whoever said marriage was easy obviously wasn’t married very long.

 

25 Feb 15

DAY THIRTEEN

During the rule of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest assigned service in the regiment of Abijah. His name was Zachariah. His wife was descended from the daughters of Aaron. Her name was Elizabeth. Together they lived honourably before God, careful in keeping to the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before God. But they were childless because Elizabeth could never conceive, and now they were quite old. (Luke 1:5-7 MSG)
When the course of his priestly assignment was completed, he went back home. It wasn’t long before his wife, Elizabeth, conceived. She went off by herself for five months, relishing her pregnancy. “So, this is how God acts to remedy my unfortunate condition!” she said. (Luke 1:23-25 MSG)

Let’s talk about sex. The Bible talks about sex, so why are so ashamed to bring it up. Sex between a married man and woman is a holy thing. God intended sex to be the bond that connects us to our spouse, it not only connects us physically but spiritually.

As we read above Zachariah and Elizabeth were old and could not have kids. But as you read a little further in the chapter it shows that it didn’t stop them from having sex.  It reads they lived honourable before God. He was a priest, and he was intimate with his wife. I can think of many excuses why he or his wife might not have wanted the intimacy in their relationship, or why the passion would be gone; 1) they couldn’t conceive so why have sex, 2) he was a priest and well they shouldn’t live like that, 3) they were old, and old people don’t do that.

They choose to follow God, and live honourable, they took the vow they made to one another seriously and didn’t let the passion die in the bedroom. They didn’t let their age stop them as they understood that the connection sex brings is something honoured by God because they kept the purity of marriage bed holy.

Are you spending quality time with your spouse? Is sex something you enjoy with your spouse on a regular basis, or do you only bring it to the bedroom on special occasions? A healthy sexual relationship with your husband or wife will help centre your marriage, cool your anger and focus your marriages direction. Sex with your spouse, when given freely and not thought of as a chore, will bring you to a place where there will be no desire for another. He/she will be what you long for, and you will put the effort into becoming and amazing partner for them in the marriage bed.

I wonder how many marriages fall apart due to chore sex, and not sex as designed by God.

I pray that today if you are in a marriage and you want to honour God with all you do that you take the time to show your spouse that you are in your relationship 100%. That they are important and you want to connect with them physically and spiritually.

Dear Lord, I know this topic will bring mixed feelings to some, I pray Jesus that who this needs to reach will read it and feel such a burning in their hearts to rekindle the passion for their spouse. Help us to have a desire to have an intimacy with our spouse as you have designed it. Help us who are single to wait to have sex till we are married as to enjoy what You have set aside as amazing for this who commit their lives to one another before You. Please forgive those who may have prematurely had sex before marriage, You forgive all sins and will cleanse all who ask of You. Bless all who read this today. Let our marriages be an example to those who don’t know you. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen.

Day 12: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts of Day 12: We all at some point need someone to meet us at our low points. Travelling those times alone lead us to depression and anxiety, points where we may feel like giving up on God, our families, friends and maybe even our lives. If we go through these times, then it is safe to assume others do as well. We as believers need to use our low point experiences to help others through their times. You experience may deep and hurts but it may be exactly what’s needed to free someone in need.

 

DAY TWELVE

Galatians 6:1-3 Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgiving restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.

Have you ever experienced someone admitting their sin, not from you observing their actions, but confessing something to the church as a whole. Something so big that you feel like you could pick up a stone and just start throwing it at them? Well that’s what they used to do in the Old Testament, Lucky for us we don’t do that anymore, but sometimes our words that follow an admittance of such sin is pretty much the same as throwing stones of condemnation

In Galatians 6:1 it says that we are to save our critical comments to ourselves. Critical comments lead to gossip, it is a slippery slope that will lead you down into sin yourself if you are not careful. Those times where a person publicly admits to adultery, fraud, lying, pornography and a multitude of other things, he or she is calling out for help. They realize they made a huge mistake, they may have tried to fix it on their own, have hit rock bottom and are asking Jesus and their family of believers for help. We as believers really have 3 choices here. The one part of the world says to pick up a stone and hit them while they are down. Another says that if you ignore them they will just go away, not my problem to deal with. But as written above God says to Stoop down, reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s Law, “Love one another as I have loved you.” If Christ can forgive and restore in love then why can’t we. Stoop down means getting off your pew, and going right up beside them, reaching out is to go to where they are, offering help wherever they need, sharing their burdens may mean listening to anything they have to share, not just talking but actually listening and praying.

If you don’t have anyone in your life who would Stoop Down, Reach Out, Share your Burdens or show the love of Christ in your life, I pray today that you take some time to ask God to put some Godly accountability partners into your life. We are all going to sin, we will all at some point in our lives need someone to put down the stone and kneel beside us, wrap their arms around us and just love us.

Dear Jesus, Do I have someone in my life that I trust to talk about anything with? If I don’t I ask Father that you will help me find a friend that can stand by my side in the good times and bad. A true friend who is a follower of You, who will never pick up a stone against me. Who will love me and will always be willing to ask me the tough questions. Help me to be the same for them. Jesus thank you for Your forgiveness and that you love me for who I am not who I need to be. AMEN

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

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 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