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Archive for July, 2017

by Pastor Henry Kranenburg

So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes… Romans 1:15-16

In my experience as a pastor, I would not describe preaching as either easy or simply fun. But it can be incredibly meaningful when you sense that something in your message of God’s love connects with your listeners. So I can appreciate that Paul is – eager to preach the Gospel to the people he cares about in Rome.

Paul is eager not because he thinks he’s so good at what he does or because he would like to headline a few performances in the empire’s capital. The reason for his eagerness comes from the fact that the Gospel is the power of God. And it is power for a specific purpose.

The Gospel is not power to get a new bill of health, or to gain the friend or spouse you desire. It’s not power for financial success or fault-free parenting. It’s not power to get to heaven when you die. It’s power for salvation. And salvation has to do with getting where we need to be in our relationship with God.

Paul’s eagerness in all this is a reflection of God’s desire. God wants me to belong to Him as fully as I can in the life I am now living. That’s the point of the Gospel, and that is its power. The challenge for me is to have the same eagerness for God that God has for me.

Prayer

Dear God, sometimes we see your power mostly as a means to our ends. Help us not to use it for us but to seek you, and to know your desire that we find you. In Christ, Amen.

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Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23

Ask God for strength to endure each day in your walk with Him, unwavering in faith, setting your hope and trust in Him.

Prayer

Heavenly Father – I thank you for all you have done and continue to do for me – for deliverance from need and death. Thank you for hearing my prayers, without wavering or weakening, for my hope is in You. Thank you that I can come to You without fear, for You have promised to never leave me , nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). In spite of my imperfections, You show me Your goodness and love again and again. May Your light in my heart never be extinguished, but be seen by all, and glorify You! May Your joy be my strength as I desire to do Your will for my life, bringing praise and honor to You. Amen.

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As our nation celebrates Independence Day, may our prayer be that God would continue to “bless America.”

“While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer. ”

God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.

Words and music by Irving Berlin

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