Elder's Prayer - May 19, 2019
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday
In a conversation this week with a fellow Summit Woods member, he reminded me that the proper perspective we are called to as Christians concerning our earthly possessions is one of open-handedness. We are to hold loosely to things that are in the palms of our open hands.
But, what happens when we begin to grip the things of this earth too tightly?
We can become focused on the provision-that is-on our earthly possessions-our health and wealth, rather than the provider-our Lord, who knows our needs and supplies all that we have.
If we are not careful, we can find ourselves on a path to idolatry-worshiping what we have, rather than the one who provided it.
We can become self-focused and hinder the work of God’s kingdom that we are called to.
Our priorities-the priorities of our hearts-are always in danger of becoming skewed toward self and away from God and those who he has sovereignly put in our lives.
In 2 Cor Chapter 9, beginning in v10, Paul says:
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.
What is the priority Paul is speaking of?
It is the provision of God’s word and the redemption of his people-“the harvest of your righteousness” that should matter most.
He is speaking of believers selflessly serving as God as the instruments of his grace and the joy and gratitude toward God that that produces when we hold loosely to the things of this world and make his eternal provision our priority.
It is not inherently wrong to enjoy things of the world, but we must be careful to do so with the proper perspective, always mindful that all we have is from the Lord and ultimately for the Lord
It is by God’s grace, we are spiritually enriched in every way, to be generous in every way, to serve him in every way and be increasingly thankful to God in every way.
Father, all that we have is from you. Help us to be good stewards of the time and the resources you provide for each of us.
Give us the proper perspective on life on this earth. May we look to you first in all that we do. May your priorities increasingly become our priorities.
Your word tells us that when we delight ourselves in you, you will give us the desires of our hearts. By your Spirit, may we daily find delight in your revelation of yourself in your word.
Help us to grow in the knowledge and wisdom you provide. Transform our desires from focusing on ourselves to focusing on you.
You call us to be your instruments of grace, may we serve you selflessly giving of ourselves to others with the grace you have given to us.
May we love you with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and increasingly love our neighbors as ourselves.
By your grace, conform us to the image of your Son in whose name we pray, Amen.