Express His Glory in Your Life

Posts tagged ‘persecuted church’

Hearing God in Horrors of Hurt

On the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, looking to Jesus–our INTERCESSOR–is a blessed endeavor!  May you enjoy this excerpt from my devotional, Fixing our Eyes on God.

There are some wonderful, awe-inspiring revelations of Jesus that begin with “I.”  He is the I am, the Image of the invisible God, immortal, immutable, and Immanuel, God with us!  The One who is all of those things is also our Intercessor.  Scriptures tells us He lives that He can make intercession for us!  Now that is an incredible view of our Savior!

Intercessory prayer weaves its way throughout scripture.  In the Old Testament, we see God’s people, His prophets and His priests offering prayers on behalf of others.  Isaiah prophesied that the coming Deliverer would pray for sinners.

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:12

The truth of that prophesy shines forth in the New Testament as we observe Jesus praying for His disciples, His enemies and us!

Intercession is a costly endeavor that God expects from each of us.  Yet God never asks us to do anything He won’t join us in doing.  Intercession is a joint endeavor…it fulfills the prayer of Jesus in John 17 which asks the Father to bring us to unity.  Intercession unites our hearts with others, with the Spirit, with Christ and with the Father.  The fact that Jesus is our Intercessor reveals the incredible privilege we have to intercede.

Our human passions and concerns often cloud our minds.   We do not always know what to ask of the Father; we would miss countless blessings without our Intercessor!  The Spirit searches our hearts for the needs we cannot express—and sometimes do not know.  The Spirit’s unity with Christ—and His with the Father—brings the very will of God into the center of our being.

Our Intercessor’s prayers are pure and perfect, aligned with God’s purposes for our lives.  Jesus asks for exactly what we would ask—if only we understood as He does.    Our minds can only glimpse the fringes of the great mystery of unity with God through Christ.  Our intercessory prayers for others allow us to join in the very work of our Savior.  May we rejoice in His work and our privilege as intercessors!

How we live matters.

The chaos and horrors of the world pile up to make us feel helpless and hopeless.  It isn’t true.  Every life has impact; every life matters.  We must accept responsibility both for how we live and what we look at.  The children’s song I used to sing with the children is on my heart this morning:

Proverbs says that in the path of the righteous there is no death.  That doesn’t mean that any of us can always do righteously or that no one will die. It means that lives seeking God with passion and perseverance…lives seeking righteousness IN Christ emanate life.

Last evening we looked at these verses from Romans.

Romans 8:24-25New American Standard Bible (NASB)

24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

Many believe in Jesus…accept ‘fire insurance’ so to speak.  We are willing to believe in the face of what they cannot control…but then set out to control everything else.  We have a ‘confident assurance’ for eternity but doubt God’s ability to handle a car repair or a disability or …. you name whatever robs your peace.

We only believe what we live.  Peace is possible in the midst of ALL things.  I was compelled to write this this morning after reading of a recent martyrdom in the Middle East.  The article is painful to read.  It reminded me both of the reality of my faith for life…and the impact of lives focused on Jesus.  I want to be found faithful.  I want to live–and die–to the glory of God.  It takes time, focus and intentional living.  Let’s do it!

When the eight victims were forced to kneel for their beheadings, all eight prayed loudly.

“Villagers said some were praying in the name of Jesus, others said some were praying the Lord’s Prayer, and others said some of them lifted their heads to commend their spirits to Jesus,” the ministry director explained. “One of the women looked up and seemed to be almost smiling as she said, ‘Jesus!'”

 

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