Please note: Zoom ONLY church tomorrow at 10 as we allow sicknesses to mellow a bit before we gather in person next Sunday.
Good Morning Love, Peace, and Joy Bringers! Incarnating or bringing to life Jesus and His ways, and God's love, peace and joy is part of our greater mission individually and as His Body. PTL and glorify His Holy Name as you reflect and celebrate how God is doing that through you and us at St. Matts. (JOY Church)!
Yesterday I ended with Rosa's prophesy that we should rename our church JOY Church because God's love and joy are flowing through and from us to many. AMEN! God is in the business of bringing His shalom to the chaos and He is doing that through us and our prayers as well. PTL! We have much to be thankful about as God's love, peace, joy and wisdom are growing in us and being incarnated through us! We are on our way to become a dynamic movement of God and world changers as we continue to work on living and loving like Jesus as we grow more fully into our new nature and created purposes for us.
As we end this year, celebrate! And as we enter the new year let us commit to Becoming More in '24. Keep seeking God and following Him to the new and next things He has planned for us. More love! More power! More of Christ in our lives! More of growing into our new nature more fully and doing more of God's purposes for us daily and along the way. More disciple making. More connecting to neighbors. More blessings. Knowing God more and making Him known more. More J.O.Y. (Jesus. Others. Yourself) living. God has amazing things in store for each of us and our fellowship as well. And for some not yet here but being sent by God.
Today, God gave me about three threads I thought He wanted to share with you from my quiet time and then He started typing the above through me. What's He saying to you today? Be still and know! I think He gave me about three sermons from this quiet time! He definitely encouraged me and reminded me of all His blessings and workings in and through us we get to celebrate! Rejoice and again I say, rejoice! I'll put the devos below for you that don't have them so you can engage with God through them. Listen! He's speaking to your heart and revealing many things to you too. PTL! Now what will you do about that?
At first I thought today was to be a day to pronounce deliverance and healing over our flock, families and friends. Let's do that now!
Father, you are our Healer and Jesus, our Great Physician and Deliverer. In Jesus name, we pronounce healing over those we know who are sick and deliverance from health troubles, addictions, and situations. By His stripes we are healed. Thank You Lord! We pray a covering of protection over ourselves, our families and friends and our church. Keep us healthy and keep using us as joy and shalom bringers. And keep us from sin and with humble, repentant hearts. Thank You Lord for your love, healing presence, deliverance, and protection. Thank You for your provision and many blessings and for using us. May we glorify your name as we steward well all your blessings. Amen.
Please keep Sarah Boyer in your prayers as her legs have been troubling her. Pray for deliverance and healing. And pray for her as she brings our message tomorrow. Thank God for the technology that allows us to gather via Zoom safely from our homes.
May you have an awesome time with the Lord today and with allowing Him to use you to bring many blessings alive as He helps you, His friend, to live and love like Jesus. Amen! May we continue to persevere in faith, grow in faith and service, and live with heaven in view no matter what we face! God is for us and with us--always! Amen.
Jesus is our peace or shalom. PTL! Here is a great prayer blog about that from Harvest Prayer today. (Other devos below)
December 30 - Jesus Is Our Peace
We can follow Jesus’ example as a peacemaker, and allow peace to rule within us. His life was foundationally peaceful, and He passed on to us His peace, which was not of the world but which has overcome the world. Read and reflect on these passages of Scripture as we focus on the peace that passes all understanding as we comprehend His coming:
- "He will stand and shepherd His flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they will live securely, for then His greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And He will be their peace" (Micah 5:4-5).
- "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27).
- "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
- "For God is not a God of disorder but of peace" (1 Corinthians 14:33).
- "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful" (Colossians 3:15).
- "Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you" (Philippians 4:9).
God of Peace, as I face this New Year spread out before me with all of its infinite possibilities, I desire to step into it fully aware of Your power and joy and transformational life living within me. I’m so thankful for the peace of Christ that rules in my heart! Give me the grace to obediently follow the plans You have for me and put into practice all that I learn, receive, hear and see in Christ!
--Adapted from the article Prayers for a Peaceful Family by Kim Butts, author of The Praying Family: Creative Ways to Pray Together. This resource is available at prayershop.org.
- Praise Jesus for calling you his friend (Jn. 15:15).
- Thank him for giving you a job to do in his kingdom—that is, to “bear fruit” (15:16).
- Confess those times when you’ve sought to do your own work rather than God’s work.
- Commit yourself to bearing fruit that will last.
- Ask Jesus for the strength and wisdom you need to carry out his commands.
- Praise God for family members and friends who also have been called by him to bear fruit. Thank Jesus for his friendship with them. Pray that they will seek to nurture that friendship with their Savior.
UR: Worth the Effort
Three days before a bomb blast rocked his home in January 1957, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had an encounter that marked him for the rest of his life. After receiving a threatening phone call, King found himself pondering an exit strategy from the civil rights movement. Then prayers emerged from his soul. “I am here taking a stand for what I believe is right. But now I am afraid. I have nothing left. I’ve come to the point where I can't face it alone.” After his prayer, there came quiet assurance. King noted, “Almost at once my fears began to go. My uncertainty disappeared. I was ready to face anything.”
In John 12, Jesus acknowledged, “My soul is troubled” (v. 27). He was transparently honest about His internal disposition; still He was God-centered in His prayer. “Father, glorify your name!” (v. 28). Jesus’ prayer was one of surrender to God’s will.
How human it is for us to feel the pangs of fear and discomfort when we find ourselves with the option of honoring God or not; when wisdom requires making hard decisions about relationships, habits, or other patterns (good or bad). No matter what we’re faced with, as we pray boldly to God, He’ll give us the strength to overcome our fear and discomfort and do what brings glory to Him—for our good and the good of others.
By Arthur Jackson
What experiences have prompted prayers for God to be honored? What advice would you give to others facing such situations?
Father, please help me to face challenging things honestly and prayerfully that are for my good and will bring You glory.
Jesus would enter the garden of Gethsemane on the evening of Passover Thursday, probably three days after the events described in John 12:27-32. Unlike the other three gospels, John doesn’t describe Christ’s anguish in Gethsemane. But he lets us know that Jesus is already tasting the sorrow coming His way. “Now my soul is troubled,” Christ said (v. 27). In Gethsemane, Jesus would pray, “Not as I will, but as you [the Father] will” (Matthew 26:39). In John, he prays, “Father, glorify your name!” (12:28). Author Warren Wiersbe says that when we experience trials, there are two prayers we can pray: “Father, save me!” or “Father, glorify Your name!” As His hour of trial approached, Jesus chose the latter, praying, “What shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour” (v. 27).
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. - Proverbs 16:3 (NRSVUE)
I work as an editor on the publishing team for the Korean edition of The Upper Room. I edit the Korean translation of the devotional guide so that our readers may comprehend it with ease.
Over the years we’ve distributed the Korean edition to many readers for free, especially individuals in hospitals, military camps, and prisons. A few years ago a generous donor began supporting our effort to distribute The Upper Room to multiple prisons across South Korea.
One day at work, I received a call from a person saying he was moved by the message of the devotional guide and asking where to buy it. I asked him, “How did you get to know The Upper Room?” He replied, “A few days ago I was released from prison, where I often read it.”
After the call I was overcome with emotion and could hardly say a word. I gave thanks that our efforts and the donor’s good intentions were bearing fruit. I don’t know what that caller’s life has been like, but I firmly believe that his life will be better than before and closer to God with The Upper Room as a companion.
Lord of hope, help us not to become weary in sharing your love with others. Amen.