Sunday Devotional: Luke 19:41-44

“And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it,  saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.  For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side  and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19:41-44)

In this passage, Jesus was making his way into the city of Jerusalem.  The days were coming that He was to give His life and die for the sins of the world.  And as He was nearing the city, he saw and wept over it.  His heart was broken for the city and the people inside of it.  He loved the people and wanted them to turn and repent of their sins.  He wanted them to follow Him.  Some would do that and some unfortunately would not.  But He loved all of them.

Are our hearts broken for the places where we live?  Do we have the kind of hearts for where we live like Jesus does?  Let us pray for our cities and our countries like Jesus prayed.  Let us love on those around us and point the way to Jesus.

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Thursday Quote Day: Charles Spurgeon

This week’s “Thursday Quote Day” features another quote from pastor Charles Spurgeon:

“Delayed answers to prayer are not only trials of faith; they also give us opportunities to honor God through our steadfast confidence in Him even when facing the apparent denial of our request.” (Charles Spurgeon)

Sunday Devotional: Psalm 122

“I was glad when they said to me,
    “Let us go to the house of the Lord!”

Our feet have been standing
    within your gates, O Jerusalem!

Jerusalem—built as a city
    that is bound firmly together,
to which the tribes go up,
    the tribes of the Lord,
as was decreed for Israel,
    to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
There thrones for judgment were set,
    the thrones of the house of David.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
    “May they be secure who love you!
Peace be within your walls
    and security within your towers!”
For my brothers and companions’ sake
    I will say, “Peace be within you!”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
    I will seek your good.”  (Psalm 122)

It is a blessing to gather together to worship.  Corporate worship is something that God wants for us.  Because He knows that is a great way to honor him.  When we gather together to sing songs of praise, when we give tithes and offerings, when we study a portion of his word together, we are honoring and worshiping Him.

David in this psalm shares about the joy he has about going into the house of the Lord (which in the Old Testament days was the temple).  There they could worship the Lord, they could pray to Him and they could enjoy God’s peace among them.  Like David, we can enjoy that as well when we gather together to worship.

As we gather together to worship today, let us celebrate that we get to gather together for corporate worship.  And let us celebrate all that God has done for us and will do in the future.

Sunday Devotional: Colossians 1:3-8

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,  since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints,  because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel,  which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,  just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.”  (Colossians 1:3-8)

Encouraging one another is so important.  Paul knew this very well.  He was greatly encouraged by the Colossians and their faith.  They heard the Gospel, received it and shared it with others.  They trusted in Jesus and was faithful in following Him and their testimony showed that.  Paul loved to hear this news and encouraged Him to continue to be faithful.

Life is tough.  There are definitely times where there are struggles and hardships.  There are times when one gets beat down.  But the great thing is that God is there.  There is that hope that comes from trusting in Him.  No matter what, He’s there.  I’m grateful for that and I want others to experience that as well.

This week let us be thankful for God’s faithfulness.  Let us be thankful of the hope of salvation.  And let us share that hope with others.

Sunday Devotional: Lamentations 3:24-25

““The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in him.”

The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
    to the soul who seeks him.”  (Lamentations 3:24-25)

Patience is something that I have needed a lot of work on.  I have gotten better at patience but I still need a ways to go before I can say I’m a patient person.  This week was a real struggle for me.  I felt hurt and depression down to my soul.  God led me to these verses as a reminder.

The prophet Jeremiah knew all about hurt and suffering.  He endured a lot as a prophet serving the Lord.  Yet even in his laments, he still had this hope.  “The Lord is my portion, therefore I will hope in him.”  God is enough, even in those painful times when hope seems lost.  We are able to find our hope in Him.

Waiting is so hard.  But when we are waiting for Him, He is there.  He helps us to endure.  He helps us to persevere and overcome.  We are able to do this because of His working inside of us.

This week, let us find our hope in Him.  Let us cling to the truth that God is there for us when we wait for Him.  And even though the waiting is excruciatingly tough, He loves us so and is there to comfort us.  Let us rejoice in Him.  Because when we seek Him with all our heart, we will find Him.

Sunday Devotional: Luke 18:1-8

“And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.  He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man.  And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’  For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man,  yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’”  And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says.  And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?  I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:1-8)

Jesus loved to tell parables to help teach truths and this is another example of a parable that he told.  In this parable a widow had been wronged and went to the judge in town to get justice.  This judge, however, was not one who “feared God nor respected man” as Jesus described him.  Yet the widow kept going to him repeatedly seeking justice.  Finally the judge relented.

Jesus tells the disciples and those listening to the story that if this unrighteous judge listened to the widow and did accordingly, how much so will God who is righteous listen to his children?  Sometimes we may be praying and it seems like the widow waiting for our prayers to be answered.  But we can trust that God will answer them and that He wants us to trust Him in that.

This week, let us keep seeking the Lord in prayer.  Let us not grow weary in praying.  Let us trust in Him to answer in due time.

Sunday Devotional: Job 2:11-13

“Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him.  And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven.  And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.”

This past Friday was the tragedy that took place in Paris.  It was horrific and heartbreaking.  And it is a time where around the world there have been #PrayersForParis.  It is a time to mourn and comfort with those in Paris.  And sometimes all we can do is come alongside those who are mourning and sit with them and give a shoulder to cry on and weep with them.

Whether it’s those on the other side of the world or those that are next door, we need to pray for those who are mourning.  We need to comfort those who are hurting.  And we are to trust God will help us to have the right words to say when the time comes to speak & give glory to Him through all times.