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Category Archives: 2 Chronicles

Mary & Martha — Luke 10:38

Luke 10:38 [NLT]
As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.

Dear God, it’s time to give Martha some props. I might be reading too much into this story, but it appears to me that they didn’t know Jesus before this visit. It looks like Jesus came to town and Martha was the one who invited him over. What I’d like to say in support of Martha is that sometimes it takes the “doer” to get the job done. Yes, the “doer” can get distracted in the midst of beauty, but the “appreciator” often won’t be in the midst of the beauty unless the “doer” helps make it possible.

My wife and I were talking about how we are like these two, with me being like Martha and her being Mary. An example of this is how we approach something as simple as a bike ride. We will both take the same 30-mile bike ride (separately because of how differently we ride), but we will approach it differently. She cruises and looks around, enjoying the country roads and beauty. The wild flowers. The pecan orchard. The new house that was just built in that pasture. I don’t see any of that. But I can tell you how long the ride took me. I can tell you the distance, the elevation gain, my average speed, and my max speed. I know every part that requires extra effort and where I can rest a little while going downhill. One could read the story of our bike riding and say that I need to learn from her (and I do), but without me there would be no ride for her because I am the one who makes sure her bike is ready to go for each ride, including making sure her brakes aren’t rubbing and airing up her tires each time.

Father, it is obviously true that I have a lot to learn from the Mary’s of the world and that you have given me a perfect example to use in my wife. But it’s also true that there are the Martha parts of me that bring something to the table as well, and I shouldn’t forget that. Please help me continue on this journey so that I can die to my strengths by sacrificing them to you and embracing the lessons you have to teach me.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

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1 Corinthians 15:50-58

1 Corinthians 15:50-58
50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.
51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die,[a] this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

Dear God, I prayed a few days ago about friends who are having health issues. Well, I have a couple to add to the list. One guy is about my age (40s) and just got diagnosed with cancer. I don’t know what kind, but he said on social media that is responds well to treatment.

I saw a Facebook post from him today that said all of the things that I would hope I would say in the face of, maybe not death, but certainly a difficult road of treatments ahead. He talked about his faith in you. He talked about his peace. He talked about the greatest commandments of loving you and loving others. It was really perfect. I am also sure that these times of faith will ebb and flow. His faith will probably be challenged and there will be moments where his words on social media will seem to him like someone else wrote them.

As I read this passage, I am thinking about him. I want you to please plant the seeds of those words deep into his heart so that they will truly grow and completely fill him.

I have other friends who are facing the imminent death of a parent. There is one in particular who is on my heart right now. Please be with his mother, his father, his siblings, him, and his entire family. These are all people of faith. Help them to truly embody the stingless-ness of death. Help them to feel your victory. Help them to find the path forward for their surviving parent. Help them, oh Lord.

Father, I give you praise, glory, and honor for all of this. Please be very present. As your eyes move to and fro throughout the earth, strongly support those whose hearts are completely yours (2 Chronicles 16:9).

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
 

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2 Chronicles 7:10-14

10 Then at the end of the celebration, Solomon sent the people home. They were all joyful and glad because the Lord had been so good to David and to Solomon and to his people Israel.

11 So Solomon finished the Temple of the Lord, as well as the royal palace. He completed everything he had planned to do in the construction of the Temple and the palace. 12 Then one night the Lord appeared to Solomon and said,

“I have heard your prayer and have chosen this Temple as the place for making sacrifices. 13 At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. 14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.  

2 Chronicles 7:10-14

 

Dear God, I spent some time on my weekly phone call with a friend today, and I told him this passage would be the topic of my prayer journal today. I mentioned that what struck me about it is that, in the midst of the celebration you assured Solomon that you had built the unfaithfulness of your people into your plans. You knew that they would stop calling on your name, humbling themselves, praying to you and seeking your face. You knew that they would develop wicked ways. And you had a plan for that.

 

I really wish that I was more faithful than the Israelites. I really wish that I had a better handle on always calling on your name, humbling myself, seeking your face and praying to you. I wish that I did not develop wicked ways. I used to really judge the Israelites when I was a boy and in Sunday school classes. How could they do that? How could they be so unfaithful? Now, I know that I am just as unfaithful as they are.

 

Father, I am here this morning. I know I’m not worshipping you perfectly. I know that, on a scale of 1-10, I am probably in about the middle of the scale when it comes to my focus on you and how awesome you are. If it counts that I at least can sit here and acknowledge my shortcomings and humble myself, then I hope it’s enough for your favor. Help me to be better. I would love to develop into the person who doesn’t need the hard times to drive me to you, but instead finds that I miss you when we are not together and worships you out of pure desire.

 

In Jesus’ name I pray,

 

Amen

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2018 in 2 Chronicles