Over the next couple of months we're going to be experimenting with some changes to the prayer guide. For this sermon series "Hindsight: How Easter brings clarity" we're going to try connecting the prayer guide to the Sunday messages. If you didn't get a chance to participate in the service, you can view all of our messages on our website.
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Scripture - Hebrews 12:2-3
We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete. He endured the shame of being nailed to a cross, because he knew that later on he would be glad he did. Now he is seated at the right side of God’s throne! So keep your mind on Jesus, who put up with many insults from sinners. Then you won’t get discouraged and give up.
Margo said on Sunday: "you can't follow Jesus and run your own life."
That's a difficult statement. We would probably agree with it intellectually, but when it comes down to living it out everyday, it's difficult.
Jesus lived a life of perfect faith and submitted every part of who we was, what he did, and where he went to God. It often led him to places that a good Jewish rabbi wouldn't go. Or say things that were difficult for people to hear. Or to interact with people that others walked past.
It also led him to make huge sacrifices for the sake of others. He would spend time with people even when he was tired. He taught even when he knew people were going to get angry with him. And it led him to make the ultimate sacrifice by dying on the cross so that others might have life.
Following Jesus might not lead you to a cross or to another country to preach the Gospel.
But following Jesus faithfully will force you to surrender your own agenda for your life. Your schedule, energy, finances, attention, talents, compassion, strength, gifts, and mind are no longer yours. Jesus might direct you to use them to build his kingdom at the expense of your own kingdom.
And that is an incredibly difficult pill to swallow.
But if you're willing to surrender your life to Jesus moment by moment, you'll find that killing your own agenda frees you up to experience a much better way of living.
Create some space to reflect on your life in God's presence. Sit with God and these questions to discern which of your desires and priorities are more important than Jesus and his Kingdom right now in your life.
Which of Margo's categories resonated with you?
- “I want to follow you, Jesus, but on my terms.”
- “I want to follow you, Jesus…but not just yet.”
- “I will follow you, Jesus, but first I gotta get my priorities in order.”
- All of the above
- Something else
Is there a specific part of your life that you see this excuse showing up as you try to follow Jesus?
Submit that desire and situation to God. Ask Him to transform your heart and give you wisdom and courage moving forward.
Prayers of Petition
God invites us to cast our cares on him because he cares for us. God is all-together good, already knows what we need, and is eager to give us good things. So we don’t need to pray out of anxiety or fear, but confident trust. Spend a few minutes making your requests known to God.
- For the church
- For others
- For myself
Lord make me an instrument of Your peace
Where there is hatred let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine master grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand.
To be loved, as to love.
For it's in giving that we receive
And it's in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it's in dying that we are born to eternal life.