A simple prayer of blessing

‘May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.’
Numbers 6:24‭-‬26 NLT

These words are the Priestly blessing from the Old Testament. God told Aaron and his sons that when they pray that over people, that He will do it. It was a promise of God.

Today when someone asks me to pray for them I often pray this prayer as a part of the prayer. Or I might exchange the word “you” for their name. Like this…

‘May the Lord bless and protect {name}. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give {name} peace.’

It is a simple thing, but people often appreciate it. It is how God told the Old Testament priests to pray for the people, so I think it is a good way for us today.

Blessings,

Dave

 

 

Alive and active

I have been asked to preach in a few weeks on a particular passage from Ephesians. It is a passage that I spoke on a few years ago at my previous church.

The easiest thing to do would be to use my previous sermon and preach that again. But in reading the sermon and reading the passage again, different sections jumped out at me this time. This is not the first time this has happend to me.

My starting place with sermons is always prayer and asking God what He wants me to share. As a result of this certain words or ideas usually stand out over others. These make their way in to the final sermon.

Because I will be preaching at a different church to the one I Pastored, they have different needs and God might want to say something different to them. So I always try to be open to both the passage and the Holy Spirit.

As Pastors and preachers we need to remember the Word is God is alive and active. Hebrews 4:12 reminds us, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

God’s Word never changes. It is eternal. But the focus that God wants us to bring to a particular church on a particular day may change due to where the church is at.

This is why I love preaching. It is always fresh and new each time and God always has something to say from His eternal Word to us.

Blessings,
Dave

Lost and found

lost and found image

Jeremiah 29:13 says, “If you look for Me wholeheartedly, you will find Me.” This verse was written to the people of God in a time of exile and captivity. They were in a foreign land, under foreign rule. But God spoke to them of a time of blessing and restoration.

It is in the same chapter as the well known verse that is on bookmarks, t-shirts, cups and Bible covers. Verse 11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Even in the midst of captivity, God was speaking to the people about blessings and restoration. A time when things would be better. A key to times being better was in today’s verse – finding God as a result of seeking Him with all of their hearts.

For us today, that promise of God stills rings true. He still will be found if we search and seek for Him with all of our hearts. Just like in Luke 15 with the stories of the lost coin, lost sheep and lost son, God is still in the lost and found business.

If you feel lost and alone, or you feel like you are in a foreign land under foreign rule, I would encourage you to come back to God today. Prayerfully seek Him with all of your heart. Tell Him how you feel. Ask Him for help. Ask Him to be with you. He will come and He will be found.

Just like the people of God in the Old Testament who wandered away from God, you can come back today.

Prayer

Dear God, I feel lost and alone. I feel like I have gone my own way and not included You like I once did. Today I seek You with all of my heart. I pray today that I will find You and You will find me. I want to walk with You again. Jesus I thank You that You died on the cross for my sin. I ask You to be my Lord and Saviour again. I commit my life to You afresh. Please restore me today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

God is always working in you

Philippians 2:13 NLT – For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

I love the fact that God is always working in me to give me the desire to do what pleases Him. From the moment I came to Christ nearly 30 years I can see a big change in my life. I am not the person I used to be.

Part of this is because I committed to follow Jesus wholeheartedly I committed to read the Bible everyday, pray everyday and looks for ways to serve Him everyday. But an even bigger part is God working in me to bring about the change He wants and needs in me.

My heart has changed. My desires have changed. My goals have changed. My dreams have changed. What was all about me, is now all about Jesus and His Kingdom. And I am hoping that these changes bring glory to Jesus.

How about you? What changes have you seen in your life? How has God been working in you? I think this is worth reflecting on today.

Blessings,
Dave

Come let us sing and worship Him

Psalm 95:1-7 NLT – Come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. [2] Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. [3] For the LORD is a great God, a great King above all gods. [4] He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains. [5] The sea belongs to him, for he made it. His hands formed the dry land, too. [6] Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the LORD our maker, [7] for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. If only you would listen to his voice today!

When I read the passage above, I can’t help but want to sing and worship and kneel before my God. He IS the great King above all gods. He DOES hold everything in His hands. It ALL does belong to Him. And we ARE His people He watches over and cares for. Praise Him!