High Standards, Higher Grace

At Men’s Prayer Breakfast on Saturday we planned on discussing Matthew 5-7 but in the end we didn’t even get through Chapter 5 because there is so much to unpack.

One point that was brought up was the difficulty of doing a lot of what Jesus is saying.

During the discussion it came to me, “high standards, higher grace”.

We do have high standards to follow as Christians but the Grace of God far exceeds are failures.

This does not give us a license to sin or ignore God’s commands.

No it should give you hope and more reason to follow God’s commands. Because while God’s standards are high it’s not just His grace that is higher but His love and His mercy.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Matthew Chapter 5:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205&version=NIV

Love Your Enemies And Pray For Those Who Persecute You

This is from just a year ago but it seems like the Bible verse in this entry is needed more than ever. Things have gotten way worse in a short time.

The Good Word

I have heard and seen people who hold onto bitterness and refuse to listen to scripture and pray for their enemies.

It could be someone they know personally, it could be a type of person or just an entire group.

Sometimes a person views someone as their enemy because of race, religion, denominational differences, politics, etc.

They say the person or group has hurt them or that they’re enemies of God, I have even heard a person say I only pray for those who the Holy Spirit guides me to pray for.

These are all not Biblical arguments.

The Bible is clear on this matter…

Matthew 5:44 (ESV),
“44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”

None of us are worthy of God’s grace so your enemy and yourself are on the same page.

In the Bible, throughout history and today people…

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Memorial Day 2022

This Memorial Day I would like to share a prayer with you I found…

Heavenly Father, as our nation pauses today to remember those in the military who have given their lives for freedoms we enjoy, we pray You would have us all look to You for strength, comfort and guidance. Be with all who serve in our Armed Forces. Bless them and their families. Grant Your loving protection. Let peace prevail among all the nations, O God. Especially let Your mercy rest upon our land, even as we acknowledge with thanksgiving Your past goodness on this country. If it is Your will, preserve the lives of the men and women in uniform as they defend our citizenry. Most of all, we pray that You would turn the hearts of all – military and civilian – to Your holy Word where we find the true peace for our sinful souls that surpasses all understanding. Keep us repentant of sin. Move us to know, take hold and treasure your saving grace. In the name of Jesus, our Savior and Your beloved Son, who alone gives this peace and hope for eternity, we pray. Amen.”

From the Evangelical Lutheran Synod

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Source:
https://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/galleries/15-inspirational-prayers-for-memorial-day.aspx

Go to God for the Answers

Throwback Thursday post from 2019. One of my longer posts. As usual there are things I wish I could clean up and change but one of the points of this is seeing my growth as a writer and as a Christian.

The Good Word

There’s a new movie coming out next week called, “Breakthrough” it is a faith based movie and already I am seeing comments and reviews about the lack of evidence in the power of prayer and how we Christians tell others to take our faith on faith.

But the truth is if someone tells you they prayed for a miracle and the miracle occurred  how else can they prove to you that prayer works?

Atheists and agnostics want answers but in their searching they refuse to even try to go to God.

They won’t believe what others tell them because it hasn’t happened to them but
prayer doesn’t work for atheists or agnostics because they have no faith.

This is not just a secular problem, Christians often times won’t go to God for answers. I see them asking questions from groups, other Christians or Pastors. Don’t get me wrong that is…

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St. Patrick’s Day 2022

No Throwback Thursday today. Instead a St. Patrick’s Day post.

St. Patrick’s Prayer

May the Strength of God pilot us.

May the Power of God preserve us.

May the Wisdom of God instruct us.

May the Hand of God protect us.

May the Way of God direct us.

May the Shield of God defend us.

May the Host of God guard us

Against the snares of the evil ones,

Against temptations of the world.

May Christ be with us!

May Christ be before us!

May Christ be in us,

Christ be over all!

May Thy Salvation, Lord,

Always be ours,

This day, O Lord, and evermore. Amen.

Source:

https://www.irishcentral.com/culture/st-patricks-day-prayers-irish-blessings

A link my Mother sent me from the Orthodox Church Perspective…

https://www.goarch.org/chapel/saints?contentid=2365&language=en

Have a Blessed and Lucky St. Patrick’s Day,

Chris

Look Again

Throwback Thursday from a couple years ago. Forgot all about this story. Amazing how easily we forget things. Also goes along with the theme of the week, “Rest”.

The Good Word

We as human beings try to do the right thing by our standards. I often think about how I could help more and what I would do or should do if I encounter someone in need, I tell myself I would try my best to fill that need.

I was reminded recently that God knows what is best and what is needed not us.

Here’s what happened the other day, I left the grocery store and I saw a homeless man sitting on the side walk with nothing but a few bags beside him. His head was hanging sadly.

My mind immediately began to race about what to do. Do I give him money? Some of my food? Ask him what needs? All these thoughts were racing through my mind.

I decided to ask God.

I could hear the words, “Pray.”

I did exactly that. I prayed for his needs…

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What Do You Do? You Pray

Throwback Thursday. This post is from 2019. It is more relevant for me today than it was two years ago. I have gotten more and more into Biblical Study and Apologetics in the past two years and I have seen more extreme angry than ever before towards God and those who argue for Him and His Word.

The Good Word

I see many questions about God from atheists who have anger in their hearts.

They want evidence, they want proof and they demand answers.

Now the truth is I have seen many Christians ranging from your average person to highly educated apologetics present many different types of evidence from archaeological to scientific to historical to even personal accounts but they are never believed.

Often times when you do present your views they become angry and say harsh things and take a nasty tone to God. Many are upset that we even had answers to their questions.

They call their views “rational” and say they have “logic” and “reason”.

Which even in a polite conversation when you use those words to describe your atheist views we can assume since our beliefs are the opposite of the atheist that they believe our views are, “irrational”, “illogical” and “unreasonable”.

I have personal experience…

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Love Your Enemies And Pray For Those Who Persecute You

I have heard and seen people who hold onto bitterness and refuse to listen to scripture and pray for their enemies.

It could be someone they know personally, it could be a type of person or just an entire group.

Sometimes a person views someone as their enemy because of race, religion, denominational differences, politics, etc.   

They say the person or group has hurt them or that they’re enemies of God, I have even heard a person say I only pray for those who the Holy Spirit guides me to pray for.

These are all not Biblical arguments.

The Bible is clear on this matter…

 Matthew 5:44 (ESV),
“44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”

None of us are worthy of God’s grace so your enemy and yourself are on the same page.

In the Bible, throughout history and today people have prayed for their enemies and those who persecute them. We must do the same.

I understand it is hard, so ask God to soften your heart, to help shed your pride and humbly reach out to Him.

Pray even if you’re angry, sad, bitter.

Just pray and the Holy Spirit will work in you.

Have a Blessed and Prayerful Week,
Chris

Bible Verses:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205%3A44&version=ESV

Prayers For Those Who Persecute You:
https://www.openbible.info/topics/pray_for_those_who_persecute_you

Scripture Reading Plan:

Monday – 1 Samuel 17:1-23, 32-49

Tuesday – Psalm 9:9-20

Wednesday – 2 Corinthians 6:1-13

Thursday – Mark 4:25-41

Memorial Day Prayer 2021

It’s Memorial Day in America. I found a prayer that I’d like to share with you.

“Almighty God,

We thank You for bringing us together at this Memorial Day celebration to acknowledge the debt we owe to the men and women of the United States military who have guarded this country with their lives. We especially honor those who lost their lives while defending this nation. They fought on land, at sea, and in the air, always understanding that they may not come back from the mission and accepting that as part of the job. They were willing to risk death to protect this land we hold so dear and the American people along with it. We thank them for their sacrifice and promise we’ll carry on their legacy to ensure they did not die in vain.

Father, we pray that You strengthen and protect all our military personnel who are serving presently and in the future. Give them the courage to face whatever comes, protect them in battle, and help them prosper in times of peace. Watch over their families, Lord, as You watch over us all. We put our trust and faith in You and even though we don’t always understand Your ways, we accept that You have a plan for each and every one of us. Please help us fulfill our personal missions, whatever they may be. Amen.”

Thank you to all those who have sacrificed so much for the freedom of this country.

God Bless You,
Chris

Scripture Reading Plan:

Monday – 1 Samuel 8:1-22; 11:14-15

Tuesday – Psalm 138

Wednesday – 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1

Thursday – Mark 3:20-35

Source and Link To More Memorial Day Prayers
https://dying.lovetoknow.com/Prayers_for_Memorial_Day_Services#:~:text=Let%20us%20turn%20to%20You,for%20those%20who%20gave%20all.

Prayer For The Nation

I think it is important this week to offer a prayer for our nation.

Lord I want to first pray for all those affected by the violence at the Capitol, it was horrible, horrific and avoidable.

I also want to pray for those affected by the violence that has occurred throughout the year in this country.

This nation has faced tragedy after tragedy this year. I pray that we overcome, that people’s hearts are healed and their needs are met.

I want to offer prayer as we go through a transition of power in this nation. Many are hurt and angry, some are excited, others relieved.

I think it is an important reminder we must not trust in man but God.

You God, sit on a throne that is greater than any throne made by the hands of man.

I also want to call for repentance of this nation. This is not about one party or group this is about the nation as a whole. Everyone in this country should go to the Lord humbly.

The truth is we have lived very comfortably so long Lord, help us Lord to be humble and remember our brothers and sisters throughout the world who have suffered so much.

We must turn back to you and live our lives by Your will not ours and by Your Word not ours.

Thank you Lord for your continued blessings, have mercy on us God and help us return to you.
.
Amen.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (English Standard Version)

14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Links: