EVENING REFLECTION – MARCH 2, 2017

rachmaninoff_vespers_web

Silence and Centering

“But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.” (Habakkuk 2:20)

CONFESSION Prayers

God of Mercy and Grace, you come to us in Jesus of Nazareth to break down the dividing walls of hostility between us; yet we maintain walls that separate and isolate. You give us the ministry of reconciliation, yet we nurse our wounds and withhold mercy and forgiveness.  You invite us to join with Peter, James, and John on the mountain of Transfiguration; yet we deny the wonders you have worked in our own lives. You bless our lives with boundless love; yet we fail to witness to that love, and so keep others from knowing you. Forgive our selfishness, we pray. Transform us by your Spirit and your Word into that which pleases you.

PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”

John 16:13

God desires to speak directly to you. As a good Father, he longs to engage with you in continual conversation. So great was his longing for communication that he’s given you the gift of the Holy Spirit. You now have access to the heart of God through the Spirit. You can know his will, hear his voice, and live with the knowledge of his love.

John 16:13 says, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” If you are a Christian, the “Spirit of truth” has come. He dwells within you. He longs to tell you how God feels about you. He longs to guide you to the Father’s perfect, hopeful, and pleasing plans (Jeremiah 29:11). His voice is perfect, full of love, and always truthful. He will never guide you into something that isn’t best for you. He will never speak hate or condemnation to you. As John 16:13 promises, he will declare to you what he hears the Father say.

Let the truth that God desires to have real, life-transforming conversations with you sink into your heart for a minute. Think about what it means for your own life to have communication with God. Your Creator longs to help you with your decisions, relationships, work, finances, and identity. God himself wants to talk with you about your life—to fully know you and be known by you.

Just as any good parent loves talking with their children, your heavenly Father loves talking to you, his child. You see, God speaking to you is so little about your ability to hear his voice and so much more about his desire for you to know him. His voice in your life is just another product of grace, God’s unmerited favor for those who believe. Like any conversation, you will only hear him when you are listening. And just like any good conversation, God longs to hear from you as well.

Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Have faith that God longs to speak to you. Draw near to him in the assurance that he is already filled with love for you. The Holy Spirit longs to have a communicative relationship with you. Let the weight of conversation with God rest on his shoulders, trust in his word and his character, and listen to whatever he would speak to you today.

As you enter into guided prayer, take time to quiet your heart and listen to the voice of the Spirit.

1. Take a moment to quiet your mind and soul. Receive God’s presence and meditate on the important truth that the Spirit speaks.

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” John 16:13

2. Now listen to God. If you have a situation, question or anything you want to ask him, now is the time! God longs for you to tell him what you want help with. If you just want to know how he feels about you, ask him! Again, the weight of God speaking is on him. Trust him and his timing. God does desire to speak to you.

3. Write down whatever God tells you. Rest in the goodness of what he’s spoken.

Communicating with God is similar to engaging in conversation with a close friend. I don’t go to my friend and ask them to tell me anything so I know they are real. Rather, I seek to know them as a person and conversation takes place as a result. Seek to know God as deeply as possible. Trust that he is real and that he speaks. Talk with him because you simply want to know him. And rest in the fact that you will have conversation with your loving heavenly Father throughout eternity. May your day be marked by life-giving conversation with the Holy Spirit.

Devotional Courtesy of First15 

Father, I thank You that You are our refuge and strength – ever present in every situation. Keep us from fear – regardless of what we see around us, may our hearts be steadfast trusting in You! (Psalm 46:1-3; 112:7) Revive and restore every faltering heart. I pray for my brothers and sisters who are ‘wandering’ in their faith journey, who are weary or confused or have somehow lost their way. Restore the joy of their salvation to them I pray! Call them back. (Psalm 80: 18-19; 51:12) Father, may we be faithful in declaring Your greatness and power to the next generation. Forgive us for being silent or intimidated. Open our mouths that we might always recount Your goodness to those around us! (Psalm 71:17-18; 78:4-6)

PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE

EVENING REFLECTION – FEB. 25, 2017

rachmaninoff_vespers_web

Silence and Centering    

“Be still, and know that I am God; – Psalm 46:10

CONFESSION Prayers

God of Mercy and Grace, you come to us in Jesus of Nazareth to break down the dividing walls of hostility between us; yet we maintain walls that separate and isolate. You give us the ministry of reconciliation, yet we nurse our wounds and withhold mercy and forgiveness. You invite us to join with Peter, James, and John on the mountain of Transfiguration; yet we deny the wonders you have worked in our own lives. You bless our lives with boundless love; yet we fail to witness to that love, and so keep others from knowing you. Forgive our selfishness, we pray. Transform us by your Spirit and your Word into that which pleases you.

PAUSE FOR  2 MINUTES OF SILENCE

2 Peter 1:3
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.

Living a godly life is possible because of the knowledge we have of God. This knowledge is acquired, daily, as we read the bible and seek after building a personal relationship with God. As we study God’s word, and spend time in prayer, we will obtain the knowledge we need to be victorious in our lives. Everyday requires new spiritual truths for the new situations and trials we will be faced with. What we learned yesterday, may not be what we need for today. Today, I will not be a quitter, because the bible says that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. This verse brings comfort and peace within me today, so I will cling to it. What the Lord has for me tomorrow may be completely different, however my focus is on what He has for me today!

VERSE FOR MEDITATION:
The Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.– John 14:17-23

PRAYER:

May the sound of Your praise be heard increasingly among us – may we all praise You, O God, that the land in which we live might yield a great spiritual harvest and Your blessing fall on us. (Psalm 67:3, 6) Open the doors of our hearts, Father, and remove every obstacle that keeps us from acknowledging our sin before You and entering into deeper relationship with You. (Psalm 66:16-20) Give to us, I pray, a fresh determination to follow hard after You. May we hear and obey Your Word and persevere through trials. (Deuteronomy 17:19) Prepare us today, to enter Your gates with thanksgiving and Your courts with praise tomorrow! May our hearts be unleashed in Your presence with overflowing joy as we worship. (Psalm 100)

PAUSE FOR  2 MINUTES OF SILENCE

EVENING REFLECTION – FEB. 24, 2017

rachmaninoff_vespers_web

Silence and Centering    

“Be still, and know that I am God; – Psalm 46:10

CONFESSION Prayers

Father of lights, you delight in your children. You sing over us with songs of redemption and grace. But we close our ears, hoping to find freedom by our own means. We are anxious; and in our anxiety, we do things that hurt ourselves and others. Help us to repent back to love; back to your songs of redemption and grace. Forgive us and renew our faith, through the work of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

PAUSE FOR  2 MINUTES OF SILENCE

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Psalm 61:1-2

Angela was exhausted as she opened her front door. She hesitated for a moment as she surveyed the aftermath of that morning s frenzy.

What had her life come to? Each day consisted of a frenzied rush as she struggled to fulfill family, work, home and volunteer obligations. There was no margin in her schedule. She realized that things had really got out of control when she stopped spending time on those things she valued most. It was her time alone that had been the first to get pushed aside. Then as she got busier, she sacrificed her quiet time with God and before she knew it, she was living a chaotic lifestyle where fun and stillness were just memories.

Many of us live like Angela–constantly on the move, stretched beyond our maximum by the demands of our lives. We know that we need to stop and seek opportunities to rest, plan and regroup, and draw closer to God. The truth is that the door to stillness is waiting for us to open it and go through. But it won t open by itself. We need to choose to make stillness part of our lives.

If we are to live wisely, we must learn to balance the time we spend in quiet and calm with the time we spend in the fray of everyday life. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, There is a time for everything. This includes a time and place to cultivate stillness in the midst of your busy, productive life.

Creating balance

It is imperative for us to get away from everything and everybody on a regular basis for thought, prayer and rest. Stillness is the key to keeping ourselves from becoming frazzled and out-of-control. It is as necessary as sleep, exercise and nutritious food. Perspective is lost when these are out of balance.

Making time – who has time?

People who make time for stillness are the people who have the energy and perspective to stay on top of their hectic lives. As we seek God for direction, He will open the door to discovering ways to implement our needed quiet times.

Scheduling quiet time

An appointment in our day-timer is a commitment most of us are able to keep. For those with preschoolers, there are ways to nurture stillness even in the midst of the lovable chaos these little ones can put into your life. Stillness can be captured in short moments of solitude. Write out Scripture verses on index cards and meditate on them while doing dishes. Keep a Bible in your car, leave early for an appointment and spend a few moments with the Lord. Try turning your radio off and praying while you travel. You may need to be exceptionally creative, but you will find the rewards worth all your attempts towards locating stillness in a busy household.

There are things that can only be accomplished as we meet the Lord in quiet. It is in our quiet times that we get a handle on so many challenging aspects of our lives. Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life& so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and that you will not be dependent on anybody (1 Thessalonians 4:11,12).

Finding a quiet place

Retreating to a quiet place helps us to discover stillness. For some it may need to be outdoors and for others it may be indoors. Quiet corners can serve as invitations to enjoy a moment of quiet. To people who are over-stimulated and worn down by the constant barrage of life, the spirit of stillness and time alone with God are lifesavers.

Steps to a quiet time with God

1. Stay in tune with God – God’s Word is the foundation of my security and strength. It is through daily Scripture reading, prayer and meditation that I can tap into God’s strength and love and get a handle on what He wants for my life.

Personally, I have discovered it to be helpful to keep my Bible and other helpful materials in a basket. This basket is often an invitation to times of prayer and a reminder when I haven t taken the time to pray.

Suggested items for a devotional basket:

  • a Bible to prepare your mind and heart to communicate with God
  • a daily devotional or other inspirational reading
  • a prayer planner
  • a pen for journaling prayers
  • note cards for when you feel moved to communicate God’s love to someone you are praying for.

2. A suggested devotional time

  • Devotional – The actual content of devotional times varies according to how much time you have available. Start by reading a brief devotional or prayer and then read the Bible for a while.
  • Prayer – A prayer planner is a helpful tool where you can record your requests and answers. It is also helpful to divide all the people and projects you want to pray for– family, friends, church, finances, etc. into seven sections so you have a list for each day of the week. Adding photos and information can also be helpful.
  • Journaling – This is an effective way to write your praise, confession, thanks and requests. A journal is a place where you can verbalize the things that are in your heart and be honest with the Lord. When you look back at what ve you ve written, you can also see evidence of spiritual growth, which results in growth of your faith. Our obedience is strengthened as we write out the promises God gives us. At times during your Scripture reading, a certain verse will hold special meaning for you. Please take a moment and write it down as this is a way God communicates His promises to us. You will also discover that by writing it out the verses can encourage you each time you reflect on your writing.
  • Note cards – When God brings someone to mind, take that moment in prayer and write an encouraging note assuring her of God’s love and your prayers.

3. Connecting with other believers

Spiritual growth takes place as we listen to God’s Word through Scripture, prayer and fellow believers and then act in obedience to that word. One-on-one times with God are essential to our growth, but alone they are not enough. We cannot live the Christian life in a vacuum. To grow we need to share love, support and prayers with other believers.

God is our shepherd and He will guide us as we seek Him. He will provide every resource we need to walk with Him. If you plan ahead and make time for those things you truly value, including times of stillness, you can be sure that God’s strength will carry you through the many demands you find on your life.

PRAYER

May we increasingly be those who trust in You, and do what is good – overcoming evil with loving good deeds. May Jesus be lived-out through us in this way I pray! (Psalm 37:1, 3; Romans 12:21) I lift up those among us who are struggling with doubt, unbelief or depression, and ask that You would keep the light of the Holy Spirit burning in their hearts – turn their darkness into light, I pray! (Psalm 18:28) (Pray for those you know, by name.) As we come together to worship You, may we truly praise You with all our hearts among the nations, and sing of You among the people! For great is Your love and faithfulness. You are worthy of all our praise! (Psalm 57:9-10)

PAUSE FOR  2 MINUTES OF SILENCE

Evening Reflection – Jan. 26, 2017

rachmaninoff_vespers_web

Silence and Centering

“Be still, and know that I am God!- Psalm 46:10

Confession:

Heavenly Father,

we come before Your throne of grace

to confess our sin.

We have been selfish instead of generous;

we have been proud instead of humble;

we have held grudges instead of forgiving;

we have proven over and over again

that we cannot be good enough on our own.

We need more of You, and less of ourselves.

 

Gracious God,

we ask for Your forgiveness

and receive it with joyful hearts.

Renew our minds

so that we may discern what is good.

Fill us with Your Spirit

so that we may be

Your witnesses in the world.

Comfort our hearts,

that we may know that we have

complete redemption by Your grace alone.

In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE

Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you… Acts 18:9-10 (NKJV)

Fear is probably one of the greatest motivators we will encounter. The “perceived” fear of what may happen can overwhelm and flood our emotions to the extent where we become immobilized and powerless, or it can prompt us to move like nothing else. These fears can become even stronger during the night. I have to believe we have all encountered this type of fear and apprehension at some point. But we are told about God’s protection for those who fear (respect, or have reverence for) Him.

The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them. Psalms 34:7 (NKJV)

God’s Word tells us He is on the throne and is in control (103:19). His Word tells us He is more than capable of protecting every one of us as His children (Ps. 91). I believe He has a work for me to do within my neighborhood, my work, and just about everywhere else I go. And yet there are times when the enemy can come and tempt me in these truths, I can stumble in my walk, and begin to doubt and to lose my peace.  This happens because I take my eyes off of God and I put them upon the situation instead.

We can see in the Book of Acts, the apostle Paul facing one of these temptations to fear one night as well. We can also see Jesus speaking truth into his life to encourage him. Jesus told him, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you…” (Acts 19:9-10).

 Keep your eyes on God—choose to be committed to keep from putting them on the things causing you to doubt and fear. Continually seek the Lord’s will for your life in every situation, not just the ones you find tempting and testing you. I want to encourage you to believe and trust God in everything—keep shining brightly and keep ministering. God’s promise to Paul applies to you, as His child—God is with you.

STUDY QUESTION: What promise can we glean from Psalms 34:7?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to trust God when everything in your body says to fear? Do you believe that He will protect you and guide you in every situation?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Seek the Lord daily through prayer and the reading His Word. You have trusted Him with your soul and salvation; trust Him for your safety, your provision, and for the proper guidance.

PRAYER: Father, thank You for delivering me from the valley of the shadow of death, and from the fear that accompanies it. Father, I choose to put my eyes upon You and to trust You. I ask for Your leading and guidance as I continue to walk in faith and as I share Jesus with others. In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

2 Minutes of SILENT PRAYER & REFLECTION.

Devotional By Scott Wright

 

 

Evening Reflection – Jan. 13, 2017

rachmaninoff_vespers_web

Silence and Centering

“Be still, and know that I am God!- Psalm 46:10

Confession:

Gracious and loving God, we come into Your presence asking for Your forgiveness.  Forgive us for aspirations that never get translated into action and for promises that we have not kept.

Forgive us for having good intentions that were not fulfilled and for the good deeds that we never got around to doing. Grant us a new vision and help us to move from intention to action.

Help us, Lord, to keep our eyes on You and to be faithful in all that we say and do. In Christ’s Name we pray. Amen.

PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE

Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me.

Psalm 55:17-18

Throughout the five decades of my Christian life, I have heard at least a hundred sermons or teachings on prayer. I have read countless books and articles on prayer. Most of these sermons, teachings, books, and articles emphasize the amazing truth that God answers prayer. The all-powerful, all-knowing, all-wise God of the universe actually listens to us and, in some mysterious and gracious way, takes our prayers into account. This is amazing and wonderful, to be sure.

In Psalm 55, David affirms the reality of answered prayer. When David cries out to God, “He rescues me unharmed” (55:18). According to this psalm, God hears David’s prayer and responds in ways that satisfy David’s longings. What a fine rationale for prayer!

But this psalm says more about prayer than this. It also illustrates the paradox of faithful prayer. Yes, David is confident that God will answer his prayers. Yet, notice verse 17: “Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.” If David is so confident that God hears his voice, if he has such assurance that God will answer his prayer, why does he cry out repeatedly? Why not simply cry out once in the morning? Why not pray once and go about his business, sure that God has heard him and will respond? Why does David keep on pouring out his heart to God if he believes that God has already heard him and will do what he has asked?

There are many answers to these questions. I’ll mention one here. Prayer is not simply a request delivery system. Yes, through prayer we make our requests of God. And, yes, through prayer, God hears us. But, of course, God knows what we need even before we ask (Matt. 6:8). And we mustn’t think that we will get what we want from God because we “babble on and on,” as if we could wear God down with endless repetition (Matt. 6:7). So why would we cry out morning, noon, and night? What would be the point of this?

One point would be to enter into a deeper, truer, and more honest relationship with God. Prayer is not just a way to communicate our needs to God. It is an invitation to relationship. It is an opening to intimacy. It is a door into the hospitality of God’s home. Thus, in times of distress or in times of rejoicing, we repeat our prayers, not because God missed something the first time we prayed, and not because repetition of prayer will somehow change God’s mind, but because our souls yearn for God’s embrace. More than answers to prayer, we need God.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

Can you think of times when you have cried out to God morning, noon, and night? What happened as you prayed?

Have you ever experienced intimacy with God as you persisted in prayer?

Are you crying out these days for something, but God has not yet seemed to answer your prayer, or at least not in the way you would hope? How are you dealing with this? Do you feel the freedom with God to continue to pray?

PRAYER:

Gracious God, thank you for the amazing gift of prayer. Thank you for inviting me to communicate with you, not just in words, but also in the opening of my heart to you. Thank you for the freedom to approach your throne of grace with boldness, confident that you will accept me and embrace me.

God, as you know, I am often perplexed when you don’t answer my prayers in a way or in a time that makes sense to me. I keep on crying out to you because I am eager for you to act as I desire. But, what I need most of all is a deeper relationship with you, the reassurance that comes from knowing you are with me, the peace that passes all human understanding.

May I know you this way today, by your grace. Amen.

By Mark D. Roberts 

2 Minutes of SILENT PRAYER & REFLECTION.

Evening reflection – Jan. 11 2017

rachmaninoff_vespers_web

Centering verse:
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest…   (Hebrews 4)

Silence: 2 minutes

Psalm 45

Beautiful words stir my heart.
I will recite a lovely poem about the king,
for my tongue is like the pen of a skillful poet.

You are the most handsome of all.
Gracious words stream from your lips.
God himself has blessed you forever.
Put on your sword, O mighty warrior!
You are so glorious, so majestic!
In your majesty, ride out to victory,
defending truth, humility, and justice.
Go forth to perform awe-inspiring deeds!
Your arrows are sharp, piercing your enemies’ hearts.
The nations fall beneath your feet.

Your throne, O God,[b] endures forever and ever.
You rule with a scepter of justice.
You love justice and hate evil.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you,
pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.
Myrrh, aloes, and cassia perfume your robes.
In ivory palaces the music of strings entertains you.
Kings’ daughters are among your noble women.
At your right side stands the queen,
wearing jewelry of finest gold from Ophir!

10 Listen to me, O royal daughter; take to heart what I say.
Forget your people and your family far away.
11 For your royal husband delights in your beauty;
honor him, for he is your lord.
12 The princess of Tyre[c] will shower you with gifts.
The wealthy will beg your favor.
13 The bride, a princess, looks glorious
in her golden gown.
14 In her beautiful robes, she is led to the king,
accompanied by her bridesmaids.
15 What a joyful and enthusiastic procession
as they enter the king’s palace!

16 Your sons will become kings like their father.
You will make them rulers over many lands.
17 I will bring honor to your name in every generation.
Therefore, the nations will praise you forever and ever.

New Testament Reading: Colossians 1:12-20

12 always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. 13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who purchased our freedom[d] and forgave our sins.

15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,[e]
16 for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him.
17 He existed before anything else,
and he holds all creation together.
18 Christ is also the head of the church,
which is his body.
He is the beginning,
supreme over all who rise from the dead.[f]
So he is first in everything.
19 For God in all his fullness
was pleased to live in Christ,
20 and through him God reconciled
everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

 Devotional

But the LORD hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. (Jonah 1:4-5 ESV)

The Bible is pretty clear that we all sin (Romans 3:23). Though some of these sins could be considered worse than others (1 John 5:16), they each still separate us from God. Some sins are out in the open, while others are hidden for years or even a lifetime.

When we are sinning, we can get into the mindset that our sin isn’t hurting anybody else or that it isn’t a big sin. In fact, Jonah probably was not thinking that running away from God (Jonah 1:3) was going to affect anybody else; boy was he wrong! God sent a storm, and almost destroyed the ship Jonah was on, because he disobeyed God.

We also learn that Jonah was comfortable with his sin, as many of us are, while those around him were not. Jonah was sleeping while men were frantically throwing their precious cargo overboard hoping that the boat would not capsize in the storm. As we sin or have a desire to do so, we must remember these lessons from Jonah.

Remember that your sin affects more than just you. You might be accustomed to the consequences of a sin, while those around you will be busy picking up the ship wreck. A secret sin might be hidden for a while, but inevitably it will affect those around us.

Is there a sin you aren’t dealing with because you feel you are the only one it affects?

5 Minutes of silent prayer

The Our Father

Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours in the kingdom, power, and the glory forever, Amen

Evening Reflection

rachmaninoff_vespers_web

Centering verse:
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,[e] just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest…   (Hebrews 4)

Silence: 2 minutes

Psalm 110:1-5, 7

The Lord’s revelation to my Master:
“Sit on my right: *
your foes I will put beneath your feet.”

The Lord will wield from Zion
your scepter of power: *
rule in the midst of all your foes.

A prince from the day of your birth
on the holy mountains; *
from the womb before the dawn I begot you.

The Lord has sworn an oath he will not change.
“You are a priest for ever, *
a priest like Melchizedek of old.”

The Master standing at your right hand *
will shatter kings in the day of his great wrath.

He shall drink from the stream by the wayside *
and therefore he shall lift up his head.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

New Testament Reading Acts 10:37-38

I take it you know what has been reported all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

Devotional

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil,’ which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires.
Galatians 5:16-17

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The fight between good and evil can really get old. This is especially true when we are talking about our own behavior. Which of us has not experienced the struggle between the Holy Spirit inside us and what Paul calls our “sinful nature”? Paul points out the difference in outcomes between both. He writes, “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. – But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The point is clear. Paul says that we need to let the Holy Spirit guide our life if we want to see the Spiritual results that our heart really desires. Today, yield to the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to assist you in everything you do. Focus on the fruit of the Holy Spirit and watch it grow.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit that is alive in my heart. I confess my struggle with my sinful nature and ask that the fruit that comes from fellowship with the Holy Spirit will grow in my life.
AMEN

By Ron Ovitt

5 Minutes of silent prayer

The Our Father

Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours in the kingdom, power, and the glory forever, Amen.