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Archive for the ‘Devotional & Prayer’ Category

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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God knows our frailness as humans and encourages us to push on in Galatians 6:9:

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

The apostle Paul, perhaps better than anyone else, knew how wearying the spiritual battle can be. He ends his warnings about sin, the works of the flesh, and the deceitfulness of the world by encouraging the Galatians, and all believers, to remember the joyful harvest we will reap if we persevere in doing good. “As we have opportunity,” Paul says in the verse 10, “let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father – May You strengthen me in my walk with You, continuing to serve as You direct my life to do Your will, doing good – to Your glory and honor. Amen.

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You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 2 Corinthians 3:2

Did you know that you life speaks louder than words and that you may be the only Jesus some people may ever know. 2 Corinthians 3:2 says that you’re a walking letter “known and read by everyone.”

You see, some people may never go to church, read the Bible, or be exposed to Christianity in any way other than running into you at the office, school, mall, gas station, hospital – wherever you may go.

In Acts 1:8, as Jesus commissioned His disciple to go out into all the world, He said: “You will be My witnesses…”

So, now the question is: “What kind of a witness for Christ are you?”

May it be that your letting God’s light shine in you as Matthew 5:16 says:

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father – Help me to be a witness that brings You honor and glory, not shame. Amen.

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He is Risen!

May the joyous words of Matthew 28:6, ring out in your heart this Easter, and always:

He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

This is the Good News that we proclaim unto you! That Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

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Isaiah 53
1
Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2
For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
8
He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9
And they[a] made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
11
He shall see the labor of His soul,[b] and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
12
Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He 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.

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“The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters.

Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully.

He shall receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face. Selah

Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah”

Psalm 24

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