Month: July 2013

Be Content

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me” (Hebrews 13:5-6)?

 “Be content with such things as you have” is something not necessarily followed anymore. We are a blessed country, yet many people don’t see it this way. Society today says, “I want what you have,” and more people are going into debt, or committing crimes to keep up with this mentality. We see more envy and corruption among young people because they covet what they believe to be the “high life”. Our youth are killing or robbing each other because of the draw of the dollar; more people are falling victim to identity theft; small children in school shun the kids who have less. Why? I believe it’s because they were never taught to be content with what they have. The last couple of generations have increasingly grown up with attitudes of entitlement; feeling the world owes them everything because they didn’t have this or that during childhood. Once they obtain what they want, it’s not enough; they have to have the newer version. It’s a spiraling staircase that leads to nowhere but suffering. Ecclesiastes 5:10 says, “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity.”

Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” We must be content with what we have. Many are out there who truly have nothing and yet they are content because they have their lives, and their family. There are homeless people who desire to remain homeless because God meets their needs. Some of the happiest and most contented people I know are the people who live simple, uncomplicated and Godly lives without the “hurry up, I need it now” attitude. When we are content, not only in mind but also in heart, with what blessings we have right now, God rewards our faithfulness and stewardship.

Let’s Pray. Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for blessing us with this day. Thank You for granting us fresh air to breathe and clean water to drink. Because You are Jehovah Jireh, our Provider, we thank You and praise You for Your faithfulness and tender care. We can neither adequately provide for ourselves, nor can we take care of ourselves; we need You to shepherd and lead us. Father, we stand before You today asking for Your forgiveness. We are guilty of covetousness and we pray that You remove from us our pride and envy that causes us to harbor discontent in our hearts. Clean our hearts, O Lord, sweep out the dirt and debris that does not belong there. Lord, teach us how to be content, show us how to fully rely on You and Your provision. Your word tells us that You have knowledge of what we need even before we ask and we pray that we remain humble enough to ask You first. Lord, show us when we are becoming selfish and extravagant in our desires to where we want the glory and discipline us. Remove from us those earthly desires and replace them with Your desires. Show us the difference between want and need. We love You, Father, and we long to please You only. We bow at Your feet in worship and adoration. Our praise is Yours. We give You the honor. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Today’s Attitude of Worship: Let’s give thanks to God for the things we have today: for our car, our home, our computer, our cell phone, our home phone, television, running water, hot water, food and ability to cook, for our physical appendages and the things that we can do with our body, etc. Let’s praise Him for providing all of that for us; let us take extremely good care of what we have been given and He will reward our faithfulness. “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much” (Luke 16:10).

Additional Scriptures: Exodus 20:17; Psalm 119:36; Proverbs 28:16; Matthew 6:25-34

Shalom,

Prudence

***adapted from my book Today’s Bible Treasure, Simple Christianity Volume 1***

Forgiveness

FORGIVENESS

If My people who are called by My name will 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 (2 Chronicles 7: 14 New King James Version).

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered (Psalm 32: 1).

For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You (Psalm 86: 5).

But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared (Psalm 130: 4).

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matthew 6: 14-15).

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven (Matthew 18: 21-22).

“And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.” So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses” (Matthew 18: 34-35).

“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses” (Mark 11: 25-26).

Forgiveness has been heavy on my heart this week. I know there’s a bitter root in me somewhere and unforgiveness is the cause of it. Since I have recognized it, Jesus and I are working on this area to completely eradicate it.

Jesus is coming soon and His Bride (the Church) needs to be ready. We need to be without spot or blemish. We need to be pure and holy for Him. He has given us everything we need to do this through His Word, by His Spirit, and with His strength.

We must make time to sit down with God, asking Him to reveal those areas where we may have forgotten but never fully forgiven. We must address those areas, and with the help of Jesus, we must truly forgive. It’s not enough to say we forgive someone- it’s easy to say “I forgive you” – but it’s also easy to turn around and keep reminding them, and others, of the wrong done, however trivial or major it was. In time, bitterness settles in and resentment follows. Before long, we react to people or situations based out of our bitterness and all memories of saying “I forgive you” are gone.

Forgiveness is not just a word, it’s an action. God will surely help completely forgive, but we have to be willing to do it. It is not by our might, or strength that we can accomplish this, we need the help of the Lord. Some of us have been in situations where it may seem impossible to forgive, but I am here to remind you God’s Word says “…“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible”(Matthew 19:26).

To truly forgive someone, we need to have knowledge of God’s character. God is a forgiving and merciful God. All through Old Testament scripture we see proof of His mercy and forgiving nature. When Jesus taught, He taught not only about the forgiveness of the Father, but also about forgiving each other.

As humans, it is not easy for us to forgive and forget, and it can be scary. Fear has a way of crippling and hindering us, and the devil uses fear quite well. He tries to convince us not to forgive, because if so, we are saying what the other person did was ok. The devil is a liar! Unforgiveness holds us captive, and when fear paralyzes us from forgiving those who have hurt us, we are right where the devil wants us.

Today, ask the Lord to reveal to you anything you may have against anyone else. Ask God to help you to forgive. Ask Him to help you let go. It is not up to us to obtain revenge, or retribution. It is the Lord’s (Hebrews 10: 30).

Shalom,
Prudence

Who Do We Think We Are?

WHO DO WE THINK WE ARE?

And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Matthew 9:11-13 New King James Version).

If Jesus ate with sinners, what makes some of us think we are so special or elite that we absolutely cannot associate with non-believers? What makes us think we are above those who don’t know Jesus? Just because we are saved does not give us the right to look down our noses at those who don’t know salvation. We are just as bad as the Pharisees if this is what we think. We cannot continue to go to church to be fed and not take such food out into the streets, sharing it with those who need it. We are filling our spiritual bellies on Sunday and getting fat, but we are starving those out there who really need it.

Let’s look at what Jesus said: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” – Do you sit back when you are sick and expect your doctor to come to you? First of all, how can you be sure your doctor even knows about your illness? You have to call your doctor, or go to see him. Jesus went where the sinners were. He did not wait for them to come to Him. He sat Himself among them and taught them, He spoke with them, He cried for them and with them, He touched them, He healed them, He forgave them, but most of all He LOVED them.

Church is not just for Sunday’s and it is not only for the saved. We must get out there. There are people who don’t know our most precious and Holy Lord and Savior, and it is His commission that we share His Gospel with them. We must stop stuffing our spiritual faces on Sunday mornings, and save some spiritual food to give those who are starving. Fellowship is wonderful and spiritually uplifting; it empowers and encourages us to share Christ with those who are lost. Let us share our testimony and see what miracles the Lord does! There are famished, seeking, lost people who may attend a small group bible study instead of Sunday service. All we have to do is ask.

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, we come before Your throne humbled this morning. We ask that You forgive us for our complacency and laziness. We have become used to the idea that Your love and grace and gospel will be shared by others and so some of us do not share the gift of Jesus. Forgive us for being selfish, for soaking up Your food and not giving it to those in need. But we are so thankful that Your mercies are new every day and that they endure forever. Today, we ask that we be given a new chance, a new heart, a new desire and that is to bring the seeds of eternal life in Jesus more boldly to those souls that are crying out, that are lost, that are hungry. We ask that Your Spirit begin to till and fertilize the hearts of those whom You have set before us, we pray for thirsty hearts, ready to drink Your living water. We ask for the power of Your Holy Spirit to be whispering to us and showing us the fields ready for harvesting. We pray that we move aside our flesh and our human nature and allow Your Spirit to speak through us, reaching that famished heart. May we experience a deeper intimacy with You through our obedience and eagerness to share Your Son. Lord, we ask that You create new opportunities and deeper desires to bring Your Good News forth. We give You all the glory, there is nothing that we can accomplish on our own, we can only do things through You. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Today’s Attitude of Worship: If you feel you are spiritually starving today, begin to share what you know about Jesus with someone who knows nothing and just like the 5 loaves and 2 fish, what you share will begin to multiply and you will become spiritually full and encouraged to continue to share! When we bring the gift of Jesus to those who don’t know Him, we see God’s economics at work; He blesses us to be a blessing. Go on, straighten your shoulders, pick up your feet, let the Spirit guide you and then open your mouth!

Additional Scriptures: Matthew 28:18-20; Matthew 9:37

Shalom,

Prudence

Grab Some Coffee and Have A Seat

GRAB SOME COFFEE AND HAVE A SEAT

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You (Psalm 51:12-13 New King James Version).

Do you remember when you first met Jesus? Can you recall the joy in your heart,  and when the healing began to take place? Think of a time, when as a newborn babe, you shared your new found love with others. Nostalgic isn’t it?

Why is it then, that some of us, the longer we walk with Jesus, become soured and overly serious? Is it because we put expectations on ourselves of how to behave, to live, and to speak while being unable to live up to those expectations? I do believe when we place unreasonable expectations on ourselves we lose the joy of God’s presence, making our testimony stale because we are so busy trying to meet them. Stale testimony is not good seasoning among those who are lost. It takes the fun out of loving, and being loved, it takes the joy out of sharing. It limits what God can do through us as well as being highly ineffective in bringing the unbeliever to the feet of Christ.

God’s word says there is fullness of joy in His presence (Psalm 16:11). Joy in His presence. When we are in God’s presence on a regular basis we are powered by the Holy Spirit and our testimonies are more effective. We approach the lost differently, we have more control of our word choices, and we become more animated. Have you ever noticed when you are happy and excited about something you are more animated and expressive? The same goes for our Christian walk. The more time we spend with God and in His word, the more insight we gain and we are then more apt to share. We are excited for conversations with those who don’t know Jesus because we are so full of His presence we can’t help but talk about Him and what He’s done for us!

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for this gift of another morning, thank You for mercies anew and for Your grace and favor. May we be filled and empowered with Your Spirit this day! We praise You for loving and caring for us. We bow in humble worship at Your feet. Create in us clean hearts, and renew steadfast spirits within us. Do not cast us from Your presence nor take Your Holy Spirit from us! May we sit in Your presence and gaze upon Your beautiful face; replenishing and restoring our joy. Lord, there is none like You and You are worthy of all our praise. We adore You, we give You all glory. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Today’s Attitude of Worship: Are you lacking God’s presence? Have you been so busy trying to be a “good Christian” that you haven’t just let yourself “be” in the presence of God? Have a sit-down with God today, chat a bit about your personal expectations and I’ll bet He’ll tell you what He thinks you should do with your personal expectations. Just “be” in His presence, fill yourself with joy and His Spirit, allow for restoration of those moments when you first met Jesus; and then go with the Holy Spirit power and share your testimony.

Additional Scripture: Psalm 51

Shalom,
Prudence

Oh, I Really Meant To Do That, Honestly!

OH, I REALLY MEANT TO DO THAT, HONESTLY!

But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the LORD; and be sure your sin will find you out. Build cities for your little ones and folds for your sheep, and do what has proceeded out of your mouth” (Numbers 32:23-24 New King James Version).

Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 says “When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed- better to not vow than to vow and not pay.” Many people today make promises and vows with no intention of ever keeping them. Promises can be anything…such as promising to take your child somewhere, promising to help a friend with something, promising to do something for someone else at work, or volunteering to help in a ministry.  As children of God, anything we promise we need to back up; and anything we promise to someone else is also a promise to God, for in His word we are commanded to do all we do heartily and as to the Lord and not to men (Colossians 3:23).  Sometimes there are unforeseen circumstances which unavoidably keep us from meeting a promise.  In which case, we must make every attempt to let the other person know as far in advance as possible and try to remain faithful to your promise, maybe by a different route.

Jesus said to let our yes be yes and our no be no (Matthew 5:37).  Consistently not keeping our word hurts the feelings of others, causing them to view us as unreliable, and it also saddens our Heavenly Father.  When we break a promise, or make a promise we have no intention of keeping, we run the risk of having abundant blessings and God ordained responsibilities pass over because we are not faithful with the small things.  The integrity of the Christian is a powerful witness to the lost, and we need to pay special attention to our integrity.  If we have a family member, co-worker or friend who does not know the Lord, we are not a good witness if we never keep our word – either to them or to others they also deal with.  They will view us as a hypocrite and want nothing to do with “our Christianity” because they find us to be untrustworthy.

We serve a merciful God, One who desires us to grow and learn and become more faithful and trustworthy.  He desires that we keep our word; pay our vows.  His word is full of direction and wisdom, and He places role models and mentors in our paths, if we so desire.  If we find we have struggled with keeping our word, we should repent, ask for forgiveness and ask God to teach us how to be a promise keeper.  He is the best teacher, for He Himself is faithful.

Let’s Pray: Dear Merciful Father, thank You for this day.  Thank You for another opportunity to bear witness to Your goodness, Your faithfulness, Your love and Your grace.  Thank You for opening our eyes and hearts to Your voice and Your wisdom.  Forgive us for not keeping our word, it is so easy in this world to fall off the path of righteousness with one broken promise, we don’t want to stray and become hypocrites.  Father, teach us how to be faithful as You are faithful.  Teach us how to make our yes a true yes and our no a true no.  Place people in our paths who are examples to us of Your character, grant us teachable spirits, open our eyes, our ears, and our hearts to the hurt we cause others when we don’t keep our word, when we have been labeled a hypocrite by our actions, reveal to us our secret sins of being untrustworthy.  We thank You that You love us enough to discipline us and guide us back to the correct path.  We give You all glory and honor.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

Today’s Attitude of Worship: Keep your word.  Be a person of integrity.  If you struggle with keeping your word, ask the Lord to begin to help you.  If you find you say yes to things you’d rather say no to, practice simply saying no.

Additional Scriptures: Numbers 30:2; Deuteronomy 23:21-23; Psalm 50:14; Psalm 76:11

“Oh, young man, character is worth more than money, character is worth more than anything else in this wide world.” D L Moody

Shalom,

Prudence

The Lord’s Earth

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.
    The world and all its people belong to him.
For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas
    and built it on the ocean depths (Psalm 24: 1-2 New Living Translation).

One of the islands in the 1000 Islands

One of the islands in the 1000 Islands

I don’t have time to write a full devotional this morning, but I wanted to share with you the scripture that came to mind while my husband and I were on a mini-vacation this weekend. As we drove through New York state and our subsequent boat tour through the 1000 Islands, we were amazed at the beauty of God’s creation. We traveled through lush, green forests and through rolling hills on the way to our destination, and when we arrived there, the water was breathtaking. It was a weekend of restoration to our souls.

All around are reminders of God’s creative power and how the earth really is His. I’m grateful for each and every time He reveals His majesty through the wonder of nature, and I truly believe taking the time to enjoy His wonder and beauty through His earth renews and rejuvenates us.

May your day be blessed!

Shalom,

Prudence

It’s A Tight Squeeze

IT’S A TIGHT SQUEEZE

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14 New King James Version).

During the course of our Christian walk, we are going to face boulders in our path and major hills and valleys along the road.  The Bible does not say the Christians life is easy, in fact, Jesus tells us it is difficult and the gate is narrow.  He also says there are few who find it.  The Bible tells us how to get through our various trials and the kind of attitude we should have.  It does not tell us we get a free ride now because we are washed in the blood of Christ.  Yes, God opens doors and His favor can shine upon us, but I have found the bigger the blessing or opportunity, the greater the obstacle course is to receiving it. I’m not saying this is always the case; I have found God will also bless and favor completely unexpectedly as well.  He does everything according to His purpose.  We have to stay focused on Him, on His will and on the path we are walking on.

My friend, if you are traveling a road which seems easy and well-paved with little to no obstacles, go to the Lord in prayer and ask if maybe your feet haven’t strayed.  Ask Him to show you the correct path and gate to head towards.  Get yourself grounded in the Word, be vigilant in prayer, cultivate that relationship with Him and your feel will not stray.

Dear Lord, thank You for this day.  Thank You for this opportunity to praise You and to bow at Your feet in worship.  Forgive us if we have strayed far from You, draw us back to You, bring us back to the sheep fold.  Lord, we know that it isn’t easy to follow your path, and Your word tells us to count it all joy when we fall into various trials, but sometimes it can be hard to be joyful in the midst of our storms and this is where we need to lean on You.  Thank You for being our solid rock to lean against and for being our umbrella when the rain falls.  We love You and we need You more than we need anything on this earth.  We give You all the glory and honor, in Your name Jesus we pray, Amen.

Today’s Attitude of Worship: If you are going through something right now, rejoice!  If you have trials and tests, rejoice!  In all things give God praise and glory and thanksgiving!  Keep your eyes focused on Jesus and walking that narrow path – you may not be liked by everyone; you may get passed over for that promotion you wanted; you may not have all that you think you should, but if you keep your eyes focused on Jesus and walking that narrow path, you will have what God wants for you!

Additional Scriptures:   James 1:2, 12, 19-20

Shalom,

Prudence

Gathered Together

GATHERED TOGETHER

Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations (Psalm 100 New King James Version).

As I meditate on this Psalm, I believe this is a picture of what God desires for His church. There is power when gathered together in corporate praise and worship. This is a time when the Holy Spirit begins to flow, when God moves and speaks. People and hearts are changed when gathered with the assembly, singing praises and worshiping the Lord. Healings take place, miracles happen, souls are saved. During this time when the church is gathered together and united in worship and praise, hearts are prepared to hear the word of God, hearts are receptive to the correction of the Spirit, while ears and eyes become opened. When we shout to the Lord, we are letting God know that the inhibitions we placed on ourselves have been removed for His sake. When we come before His presence with singing, we are singing for an audience of One. When we enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise, we place all our trust into His hands.

As pet owners, my family and I are a kind of shepherd. When we come home after a period of absence from the house, our pets come to greet us. Our dogs are very excited and vocal to see us, and our cats will rub themselves around our ankles in greeting. They are expressing their joy and thanksgiving in knowing we have come home; they trust us to feed them, to take care of them and to love them. When we gather together as a corporate body, we need to express our joy and adoration of God to God! We shouldn’t have to be told when to stand, when to sit, when to clap. Corporate praise and worship time is practice for heaven. If we can’t express our feelings for God when we are with the Body of Christ, how will we be able to express them in heaven? Who cares what our neighbor thinks if we raise our hands or sing loudly and off key, we are not doing it to impress him/her, we are doing it in submission to God; to receive what He has for US and to bless His name. Just imagine what God could do if when we gathered together, even for one Sunday and just offered Him praise and worship as a corporate body. Imagine the healings and miracles He would bring when those that were sick came to the front of the assembly and were anointed with oil and prayed over while the assembly offered thanks and praise!

Church, it’s time to take seriously the things of heaven. It will be our ever after home, and if we can’t bring ourselves to effectively praise and worship the Lord with gladness and thanksgiving here on earth, we are going to have a hard time doing it in heaven.

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You so much for this blessing of another day. Father may You bless our comings, goings and interactions this day by reminding us to continue to walk in the fruit of the Spirit. May our feet tread joyfully upon the path that Your word illuminates for us, may be continue to be steadfast and strong in our faith. May Your strength and grace cover us as we face moments of temptations and may we have discernment to find Your options for withstanding those temptations. Father, we love You, we worship You, we praise You. Your name is great and You are greatly to be praised! All day long, we praise and bless Your name. All day long, we lift You up and exalt You. Father, forgive us for becoming statues during our church services. Forgive us for not surrendering our hearts totally to You and placing fleshly rules on our corporate gatherings because we feel that we know better than You sometimes. Father, may there be altar calls and requests for those to come to know Jesus in every church. Father, may every gathering begin with a shout to You from the assembly, may all people lift their hands in adoration and submission to You. May all come before Your presence with singing regardless of the sound of their voices, we know that what we hear with our human ears may not be what You hear. May our worship and praise be a sweet aroma to You. Father, may the definition that man has given to reverence be redefined according to Your dictionary. May stoic and stony hearts soften to joyful and glad hearts. Lord Jesus, we long to see heavenly miracles when we are gathered together, show each local church what is missing; raise up the watchman, the prophets to bring Your word to the shepherds You have appointed. Father, for such a time as this, may Your watchman and prophets purify themselves and may Your shepherds begin to feel a sense of expectancy and quickness in their spirits in anticipation of the word You are sending. Prepare the local churches, Lord, for a move of Your Spirit and for a revival. Father, may Your servants not become so concerned with programs, agendas and scripts and become concerned with the hearts that are gathered together. We bow low in worship to You, Father, and we raise our hands up high in praise and adoration. All glory and honor are Yours. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today’s Attitude of Worship: If you are feeling a disturbance in your spirit about how your church does church, perhaps God is stirring you be the agent of change and to speak to your church leaders. It’s time to take the emphasis off how church is done and put the emphasis back on God and what He’s doing; it’s time to press in as a corporate body and gather together exalting His name, preaching His word, bowing before His throne. Get before the Lord and ask Him what He desires for you to do.

Additional Scriptures: Psalm 22:22-26; Psalm 40:9-10; Psalm 89:6-8; Psalm 107:32; Hebrews 12:22-24; Mark 16: 14-18; James 5:13-15

If your heart takes more pleasure in reading novels, or watching TV, or going to the movies, or talking to friends, rather than just sitting alone with God and embracing Him, sharing His cares and His burdens, weeping and rejoicing with Him, then how are you going to handle forever and ever in His presence…? You’d be bored to tears in heaven, if you’re not ecstatic about God now (Keith Green)!

Shalom,

Prudence

By the Numbers

Yesterday, our Pastor preached an amazing message! I didn’t realize the significance of numbers in the bible, and I was fascinated by this teaching. I enjoyed it so much, I decided to share it with you!!

Best part – God is for you, always! 😉

Enjoy!!

Where the Spirit of the Lord Is

WHERE THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS

But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image (2 Corinthians 3:16-18 New Living Translation).

Independence Day has come and gone for another year, yet celebrations will continue throughout the weekend. I wonder if those celebrants have spent one moment reflecting on why we celebrate Independence Day and what it really means? Have they considered the cost paid for the ability to grill hotdogs outside and idly chitchat about sports, work and other topics? Do they realize it’s not simply a day off in the middle of the week by which we gauge the passing of summer? What if I threw a monkey wrench in and said we weren’t truly free anymore, at least not in the sense for which it was originally intended? I know, I’m stirring the pot, and I’m okay with it, just bear with me.

As I ponder this year’s Independence Day, I look at what freedom’s we no longer have. For example – freedom to speak the name of Jesus in a public governmental forum in prayer; freedom to expect the food we eat to be free from GMO‘s, additives, or chemicals; freedom to raise our children the way we were raised without fear of authoritative backlash for exercising parental rights; freedom to decide if we actually want conventional health care coverage, etc. The list could go on and on.

Within our very nation, there is derision against Christians, and there are Christians who are apathetic to what is going on overall. This morning, I woke up hearing “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” and I realized we need to sit back and allow the Holy Spirit to wash over this land. As a nation, we must turn back to God, but those whose hearts are turned away from Him are covered by a veil. As Christians who trust in the Lord, we must pray, together, for this country and our governmental leaders. We must set aside time each day to lift our voice to God, crying out for this people, for the true freedom the Spirit of the Lord brings. All our preaching to each other is not going to open deaf ears, or give sight to blind eyes, or even remove the veil – only the Spirit of the Lord is able. We must break our hearts for our land and stand in the gap, seeking revival. I’m not talking about a gathering of Christians in one place, I’m talking about each of us getting in our prayer closets, agreeing in prayer for this nation. Men and women died in battle to set and keep this country free, in a temporal sense, but Jesus Christ died on the cross to set each of us free for eternity. If we are liberated in Christ, how could we not want that for our nation?

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for this new day. You are our light and our salvation, whom should we fear? You are our fortress and strength, there is no other. Father, break our hearts for this nation, break our hearts for this people. Let not a day pass where we don’t cry out to You in prayer for our people. Father, we have stood idly by the wall for too long and today we climb to our spots and take our place in the gaps, watching and praying. Father, only You can turn the heart of this country, but we will persevere in prayer and supplication to You. There is none like You, turn the hearts of stone into hearts of flesh, breathe life into the dry bones and restore to us the joy of our salvation. We love You and we come before You with humble hearts, forgive us Lord for our apathy and resistance to challenges, forgive us for not taking our places. We stand before You in worship and adoration of You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Today’s Attitude of Worship: Ask the Lord for a specific direction to pray regarding our country and revival. We must pray every day for this nation and government, we must be broken for our land and people.

Additional Scriptures: 1 Timothy 2:1-2; Psalm 46; Numbers 14:11-19

Shalom,

Prudence

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