40 Day Journey

Day 31

Offering intercessory prayer means nothing other than Christians bringing one another into the presence of God, seeing each other under the cross of Jesus as poor human beings and sinners in need of grace. Then, everything about other people that repels me falls away. Then I see them in all their need, hardship, and distress. Their need and their sin become so heavy and oppressive to me that I feel as if they were my own, and I can do nothing else but bid: Lord, you yourself, you alone, deal with them according to your firmness and your goodness.

Biblical Wisdom

Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. James 5:15-16

Questions to Ponder

  • How does seeing others under the cross of Jesus Christ cause all that “repels me” about them to fall away?
  • In what way is everyone equal under the cross?
  • How does looking at other people through the lens of God’s mercy change our feelings about them and about ourselves?

Psalm Fragment

May he judge your people with righteousness,
   and your poor with justice.
May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
   and the hills, in righteousness.
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
   give deliverance to the needy,
   and crush the oppressor. Psalm 72:2-4

Journal Reflections

  • Make a list of the people whom you would like to bring into the presence of God today.
  • Write a line or two describing the nature of your relationship with each of these people.

Intercessions

For each person listed in your journal today, pray: Lord, you yourself, you alone, deal with (name) according to your firmness and your goodness.

Prayer for Today

Forgiving and transforming God, thank you that under the cross of Christ we all stand equally together under your love and mercy.

Bible Gateway

Nurturing Great Kids, Day 6

Today’s reading is drawn from Proverbs 19:23.

Fear the Lord

The idea of being untouched by trouble is appealing to a parent. However, Proverbs 19:23 doesn’t say we won’t have trouble, it says we will be untouched by it. In other words, trouble will not affect who we are in Christ.

When we hear the phrase “fear the Lord” we might retreat with almost a hand up for protection from his wrath. That’s a misunderstanding of the concept. God should be feared out of respect for his encompassing power. Use this analogy: If I told you I fear lawn mowers, it would mean I don’t stick my hand underneath one while it’s running. But

I don’t cringe every time I see a lawnmower. I just respect its power.

When we have a healthy fear of God and teach what that looks like to our children, we help them have a good life—a life that may include trials but that recognizes God’s power even in the midst of those trials. Our children can rest content knowing God is God. Period!

Parenting Principle

Fear the Lord and rest content for that is God’s intent.

Points to Ponder

How have you come through a time of trouble, yet are untouched by trouble in the long-term?

Are your children learning to rest content? How?

What is one way you can help your children develop a proper fear for the Lord?

Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him; he refreshes the spirit of his master.

 

Bible Gateway