This past Sunday marked an important day at College Park Church. It was both Sanctity of Life Sunday and the day before Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Both are incredibly significant to our church and there was no one better to pray into such things on the behalf of our congregation than my friend, Pastor David Michael. You can read a transcript of his prayer below.
Darkness trembles before You and shadows cannot deny Your light because You are the Light—who opens eyes that are blind and brings out, from the prisons of unbelief, those who sit in darkness.
O God, grant us the grace to live in Your light. Keep our eyes on You who endured the cross and despised the shame
And yet, Lord, today marks a painful reminder of the alienation that still exists in our nation, and our city and our churches.
Forgive us, Lord, for our sins and the sins of our forefathers that have erected walls between brothers and sisters of other races. Forgive us for setting ourselves apart by differences that don't matter to you. O Lord Jesus, please shatter these walls with your reconciling power. Shatter them with your word that is sharper than a two-edged sword. Break us out of our separateness until we turn from our fear and hostility; to Christ-exalting love support and brotherhood.
Spare us, Lord, from living fruitless or wasted lives while thousands die before their first breath and thousands more live only to die forever.
Keep us courageous in our efforts to build bridges of grace that can hold the weight of truth, and as we anticipate the 46th anniversary of Roe V Wade, we pray that the day will soon come when abortion is unthinkable. We ask that no effort—in your name—to advance the cause for life and justice inside and outside the womb, would be in vain.
Spare us, Lord, from living fruitless or wasted lives while thousands die before their first breath and thousands more live only to die forever. Help us, by Your Spirit, to spend our lives and all that we have for the spread of the Gospel; the influence of Truth and the glory of Your name.
Open our ears now to your Word. Strengthen our souls and keep them well until that day when your Kingdom comes in all its fullness. That day when the clouds are rolled back like a scroll, and the trump resounds, and You descend to claim all of Your people for Yourself, from every tribe and every tongue and every race, wiping every tear from every eye—that day when racism and abortion and death shall be no more, and mourning and crying and alienation and indifference and pain will be gone forever!
All praise to You for making all things new!
To you be the glory both now and forever--Amen!
Should I play video games?
Can I wear this piece of clothing?
Should I eat fast food?
Is wearing make-up wrong?
Should I take my kids trick-or-treating?
All of these questions have to do with Christian liberty (for a great definition of Christian Liberty, see A.W. Pink's, Christian Liberty). So, how do you attempt to make decisions on such grey areas?
I recently heard Andy Naselli give an incredible lecture on the conscience at a TGC Indianapolis event. At the end of the lecture, he participated in a Q&A where he referred to a chart that Vaughn Roberts created for making decisions on Christian liberty issues. The chart (given below) lists five questions to ask yourself in sequential order:
For more resources on Christian liberty, see the following:
I recently started reading a few books. I hope you'll find something helpful in this list of current reads.
Humility, by definition, requires you seeing God for who He is and living in light of that truth. Mark it down: the vibrancy of your walk with God will never outpace your humility. How can you know if you're humble? All humble people make three confessions:
1. I can’t be everywhere-at-once.
Knowing they aren’t God; humble people realize they can’t be everywhere at once. Did you know it is possible to be with people, but not really with people? You get home from a busy day at work, you sit at the dinner table with your family, but all you’re thinking about is your to-do list and checking your email. Or you’re at home with the kids, and one of them wants to show you a craft they made, but you are too busy scrolling through your iPhone. All of us are tempted to believe that we can be multiple places at once and one of the surest ways to humble yourself is by telling yourself: when I’m there, be there. So, rather you’re with your spouse, your kids, or your friends—confess that you can’t be everywhere at once and be present with the people in front of you.
"One of the surest ways to humble yourself is by telling yourself: when I’m there, be there."
2. I can’t know it all.
Perhaps the reason why so many of us feel chained to Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Fox News, CNN, ESPN, and for those of you that are just sick, HGTV, is because we believe that we can and must know everything. We have to know what our friends are doing, what’s happening on the other side of the world, if the Colts won, and how Joanna Gaines decorates her house. Dear friend, rest in the fact that you that you don’t have to know it all because you have a God who does. Take some time away from social media this year to remind yourself that you don’t need to know everything because after all, you can’t.
3. I can’t fix it all.
One of the ways that God humbles us is by giving us things we can’t fix. I am humbled when my wife says, “My car is making a weird noise, can you look at it?” and I reply, “No. I can look at how much gas you have left, but that’s about it.” I have to sit back and confess that I can’t fix it all. This is especially important for parents to remember. Parents need to remember that they can’t make all the right choices for their kids. That’s not how God designed parenting to work. Instead, God designed parenting to humble parents to the point of saying, God, I have no power to change my child. I’m going to lead by example and teach them Your ways, but at the end of the day, You have to change their heart. So, if you're a parent, let me give you a challenge this year: set aside five minutes every day at the same time to pray for your children’s souls. Get your spouse, a family member, or a friend to pray with you at the same time each day for the entirety of 2019. And let it serve as a reminder to your soul each day: I can’t fix it all.
Humble yourself today by making these three all-important confessions.
This article is an excerpt from a sermon I preached at College Park Church. You can view the sermon here: