Saturday, March 22, 2008

praise for his glory

Father, you are an amazing God who never ceases to show your glory and grace to your people. Those who place their faith in you will never be put to shame (Ro 9:33).

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. (2 Cor 4:8-12, NIV)

You are truly faithful, even to a doubting, rebellious people. You have saved me and every one of your people through your own loving kindness, your own grace and mercy. You sent Jesus to be our ransom, to pay our debt, through your mercy. You sent Jesus to not only die for us, but to rise from the dead so that we could live forever with you, through your grace.

May I, through your Spirit, live my life for your glory, living by faith in your power and love. May I know that in all circumstances, you are in control. No plan of your can be thwarted (Job 42:2). And everything that works out according to your plan works out for the good of those who love you and are called according to your purpose (Ro 8:28).

For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified. What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He did not even spare His own Son, but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything? Who can bring an accusation against God's elect? God is the One who justifies. Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the One who died, but even more, has been raised; He also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? (Ro 8:29-35, CSB)

How unimaginably glorious it is that your people who constantly rebel against you, who have rejected you so many times, who have wished to be their own god, would be saved by you, the only one who is truly God and can save us from our own sins! How unimaginably glorious that you would, in your mercy, pay the price of our sins, and then in your grace, save us from the eternal deaths we deserved. And now, we can face any challenge, any pressure, any persecution, any temptation, any failing, any heartache, anything life offers and praise you in that time knowing that those you called will be held to the end and will be glorified in heaven so that we can glorify you forever.

I praise you for the faith shown to me through your people. Your church is to be salt and light in the world, a city on a hill serving as a beacon of hope before the world (Mt 5:13-16). And I have seen your majesty shining through your people. Joy has been faithful in her time of heartache and she trusts you for the good. She praises you in time of disaster knowing that all things are in your hand and that no matter what, your love sustains. I pray that you would meet her needs and answer her prayers. May your name be glorified and your will be done. And I praise you for M, serving you in Asia, as she has shown your majesty, persevering through trial after trial, and as she finds her care in you after leaving her friends and family behind following you to the ends of the earth. Bless her ministry and bring people to know you through her service. And hold onto those who come to faith in you in the land through all the trials that will come their way. Let the seed she sows be seed that falls on good soil and develops strong roots to withstand the rains and winds. And may those branches growing on the vine of Jesus bear much fruit.

I praise you for your faithfulness to Jennifer and me. Give us wisdom and peace to know your will and follow your direction. Help us live in such a way that you are glorified in us as we serve as your ambassadors on earth. May people see your joy in us so that they desire to find that same joy in you.

Father, I pray that through your Spirit, Jennifer and I would be godly parents for Charlotte. May we always remember the responsibility we have from you to care for her and bring her up to know you and love you. I pray that when the time is right according to your plan, you would call her through Jesus and she would hear his voice and respond to him. I pray that she would live her life for your glory, that you would bless her and protect her, that your face would shine upon her, that you would be gracious to her, that you would look with favor on her and give her peace (Num 6:24-26).

I pray that you would continue to bless my marriage with Jennifer. At a time when even the church has too often lost sight of the mysterious meaning of marriage, as a symbol of Christ and the church, help us to remain faithful and strong, loving and forgiving, encouraging and uplifting to each other for your glory. May we have a family that brings you glory by serving as a model of Jesus and the church for all in our community to see. And I pray that I would understand what it means to love my wife as Christ loved the church, that I would understand what it means to give myself up for her, that I would put her above myself and keep her good and your glory first in my mind; help me to be what you intend husbands to be, to bring her joy and satisfaction, and to bring you glory and honor and praise.

And I pray that your church would find, once again, the true meaning of marriage and would stand up and call your people to live out that meaning. May church bodies encourage and strengthen marriages and speak with boldness and love about the purposes and meaning of marriage.

I thank you for all the good you do for your people. May we realize every day that you are in control, that the entire earth is yours, that every good thing comes from you, and that only through you do we have anything. And may we live every day, and not just Easter, thinking about the greatness that comes from Jesus' death and resurrection.

I come to you and praise you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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