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Pray With Us

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By: Joel Polk

This past Sunday was very special for our church family. In both services, we gathered in groups to pray for how we believe God is leading us. We focused on five things that we are asking God for as a church:

1) To Be Sacrificially Diverse: Revelation 7:9-10
2) To Intentionally Multiply: Matthew 28:18-20
3) To Be Involved In Doing Justice: Micah 6:8
4) To Be Theologically Healthy: 1 Timothy 4:16
5) Spirit-Filled Revival: Ephesians 5:15-21

We want you to continue to pray with us over the coming weeks and months for these things. Please use these prayer points and the accompanying Scripture to focus your time with God.

1) Sacrificially Diverse

After this, I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:

Salvation belongs to our God,
who is seated on the throne,
and to the Lamb!

Revelation 7:9-10

Prayer Points

1) Help us see racial prejudice in ourselves and repent.

2) Help us see racial injustice in our city and act.

3) Prepare us to sacrifice to make our church diverse and unified in Christ.

2) Intentionally Multiply

18 Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20

Prayer Points

1) Help me make disciples in my neighborhood and friend-group.

2) Help me make disciples in my workplace, campus, and classroom.

3) Help me make disciples in my church.

3) Doing Justice

Mankind, he has told each of you what is good
and what it is the Lord requires of you:
to act justly,
to love faithfulness,
and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

Prayer Points

1) Open our eyes to see injustice in our city and our hearts to care about it.

2) Show us what more we can do to help current justice efforts in our city: Bradley Academy, Journey Home, Portico, Greenhouse Ministries, etc.

3) Give us a clear direction and faith to serve the marginalized.

4) Theologically Healthy

Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.

1 Timothy 4:16

Prayer Points

1) Help us repent of our indifference toward your Scripture.

2) Make us unafraid to read the Scripture, ask questions, and engage our doubts.

3) Use this church, our community groups, our elders, and each other to help us believe right things about you, God.

5) Spirit-Filled Revival

15 Pay careful attention, then, to how you live—not as unwise people but as wise— 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17 So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless living, but be filled by the Spirit: 19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music with your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of Christ.

Ephesians 5:15-21

Prayer Points

1) Will you show us how we are quenching your Spirit with our sin and move us to repent?

2) Will you make us sensitive to your Spirit?

3) Will you bring Spirit-filled revival in our church and our city?

Posted by Joel Polk with

The King We Need

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By: Brandon D. Smith

Everyone wants to be a king.

Some of us want to be the king of our workplace or the king of our house. Some of us want to be the king of our fantasy football league or the king of our neighborhood’s Christmas light displays.

Some of us treat the highway as our own little kingdom, demanding that our minions ask our permission before they change lanes or slow down.

Kings stand above everyone else, receiving praise and reverence from everyone around them. Nothing is withheld from kings, after all. They never come in second place, and they never have to acquiesce to another’s needs.

It’s good to be king.

Adam and Eve were God’s appointed rulers of his kingdom. Unlike most kingdoms we see today, they had all the power a king had. They exercised ordained dominance over their territory. They named animals, ate their fill, and had almost no one to answer to. Almost.

There was still a King on his throne. With all their privileges, they still had a restriction — the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The King knew what would happen if they ate of it. He was a good King, one who wasn’t domineering, but loving. But they didn’t care.

They ate of its fruit, and they lost all they had been given. Their lowercase-t throne was ripped out from under them.

From then on, human kings didn’t stand a chance. Sin had infiltrated the kingdom. The Earth, their delegated territory, was compromised.

The King the People Wanted

 

In 1 Samuel 8, Israel wants to install a king to make them like other nations. Despite God’s warnings, they were adamant — enough with this judge stuff; give us a king! So God gave them their hearts’ desire in King Saul. And his line of kings was no all-star lineup.

It was hit-or-miss on whether or not Israel’s king would be anywhere close to David — a man after God’s own heart — but even David failed.

Asa, Jehoshaphat, Uzziah, Hezekiah, and a few others had decent reigns overall. Ahaz, Manasseh, Amon, and Johoiakim? Not so much. The people wanted a king instead of the King, and they often paid for it.

Because of sin, Lord Acton was correct: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” History bears this out. Personal experience bears this out.

Even in a democracy like the United States with its “checks and balances,” it’s inescapable. We’re still trading peace with the King for rotting apples.

Praise be to God, our King stepped into human history in the person of Jesus Christ. He wasn’t sitting on his hands.

The Incarnation is proof that he didn’t forget his suffering people, even though they were receiving the punishment they deserved.

The kingdom of God was brought back to the decaying kingdom of the world. The curse was being reversed.

The King the People Need

 

We’re always either wanting to be king, or we’re looking to imperfect people to lead us perfectly. Our kings never fulfill us. And like Israel, we never look to the King we already have.

The King of the universe is perfect. He’s just, loving, merciful, and full of grace. He doesn’t barter with lesser kings, he can’t be bribed, and he’s not corruptible. He doesn’t just do good — he is good.

Though we live in constant revolt, lobbing grenades at his doorstep, he loves and leads. He doesn’t smite us. He doesn’t send us into exile. He still welcomes us to his table. We still can approach his throne boldly (Hebrews 4:16).

Let us go to him, saying with the wise men, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him” (Matthew 2:2).

He was born to die and raised to reign. He is a King who didn’t send orders from his throne but instead walked into battle for his people. His death was the death of death; his victory was our victory; his kingdom is our kingdom.

He’s the King we need because he’s the king we can never be, never find, and never elect. Our search was over before it began. He’s the answer to every question. He’s the King we’re longing for, and the King we already have.

Posted by Brandon D. Smith with
Tags: king

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