Thank You for the Believers
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people—“
“Jesus, we thank You for those who claim You as Savior. Those who love you and strive everyday to serve You and live for You.
For the children, teens, young adults, older adults and elders WE GIVE YOU THANKS! We love them! We appreciate them. We need them. They are Your light in our communities. They are amazing! They come and worship with us; they pray with us, sing with us; they laugh and cry with us.
They are the ones that see the needs of others and do what they can to help. They are the ones who sweep the outside of the sanctuary because it’s needed. That gives bottled water to someone walking by because it’s too hot outside to not have water.
Thank You Lord for those who call You their Lord and Savior. We are grateful for every one of them! In Jesus Name alone, amen”
Assurance, Despite It All
“Now faith is confidence of what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Then goes the list of the faithful.
Life is unexpected, and at times disappointing and scary.
But those who remain faithful to the Living God will find assurance, peace, hope and joy through the journey.
No matter what that journey holds.
Seeking God’s Glory, Not Peoples Praise
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
It’s always nice to be recognized for the good we do. A pat on the back for something great feels good.
So imagine that feeling of gratitude and recognition from others being compounded 10X’s more!
That’s what Jesus is telling us here in Matthew 6. If we just give, just pray, just fast, without seeking to let others know- DOING SO, WHERE EVEN DETECTIVES CAN’T FIGURE OUT WHO DID IT, God will pour over us blessings 10X’s more than what it feels like to be blessed by others.
The gratitude and recognition He will give, will make anything else the world can lavish on us look like nothing.
That’s pretty amazing and something worth seeking out.
Through Christ, We Are One Body
1 CORINTHIANS 12:12-31
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues[b]? Do all interpret? Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.”
When you join God’s family, you are joining a family that is not all the same. We are made up of people of different cultures, nationalities and color. In God’s family, we strive to be one in Jesus Christ. We strive to help one another and love one another no matter our differences. It’s our differences that make God’s family so amazing and imperfectly perfect!
Because together in Christ, we find our common ground. Together in Christ, we find our value and worth. Together in Christ, we find our similarities and our joys.
In Christ we stand stronger together.
Love and Act In the Spirit
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Not Circumcision but the New Creation
See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!
Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised so that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God.
From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.”
A prayer in light of Galatians 6
“Lord May our lives show Your love by the care we show to others.
Help us to love when it’s hard and when others would have already turned away.
Help us to love enough to point out when someone is doing wrong and to do it gently.
As we help others, guard us and keep us from sin ourselves.
Help us to not judge others, or even judge ourselves against other people.
May we love with the goal of pointing them to You, the Savior of us all.
We love You Lord Jesus and thank You for the ability, through Your Spirit, to love others no matter what. In Jesus Name alone we pray, amen”
GOD is faithful and will do it.