Elder's Prayer - June 25, 2017
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
As parents, we want to assure our children that we love them. Sometimes we say it; sometimes we show it.
I think God does similar things for us. He assures us of his love through his words and through his actions.
God shows his love for us through his word, where he has made himself known. He tells us what he is like, tells us of his character - immortal, holy, wise, just, gracious - and he makes promises to us.
Psalm 33:18-19 - The eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death.
Romans 8:1-2 - there is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
God has given us his word so that we can know him and have confidence in him and in his love for us.
And God shows us his love through his actions.
He gives us his Spirit as a seal, a guarantee, that he loves us. This is the Spirit that helps us to understand God's word, helps us to know what to pray when we don’t know, and unites our hearts together as one body in Christ.
God shows us his love by changing our lives. When we look at our lives over time we see change - we think differently, we act differently, we have different affections, we enjoy and love different things than we did before. We see that God is making us more like Christ, a little bit at a time.
And God shows his love for us by sending his Son to live the perfect life we cannot live and to die for us, a sacrifice that God accepts on our behalf.
God assures us of his love for us in various ways - through his words and through his actions. If we have any confidence in God's love for us, it is not found in us - rather, it is found in God.
Father, whose love is like your love? Everlasting, never failing, long-suffering, secure.
Your word tells us that if we delight in you, you will give us the desires of our hearts. And if we commit our way to you and trust you, you will act for us.
When we are still before you and wait patiently for you, you will provide for us.
Because you love us, you establish our steps. Because you love us, you raise us up when we fall.
Our hearts are prone to run after other things, other loves, yet you hold on to us, you keep our hearts from running too far.
Lord, some in our congregation, some in our families, are running away from you. We pray that you would show your love to them and stop them from running away. Remind them that your love for them is greater than anything else they might set their hearts on.
Keep our hearts from turning away from you. Though we are prone to wander, you will never leave. Help our hearts to always be faithful.
Remind us daily of the love you show for us through Christ. Remind us that his life and his death are the greatest display of love that you could show to us.
You are good. Your steadfast love endures forever, your faithfulness to all generations.