2016: Page 126

Today’s page began a little later than usual as I spent a little extra time cleaning up myself before going in to clean the building so I would be ready for the National Day of Prayer service I had a part in.  As I worked at cleaning the building I also turned my computer on in my office and found out that a cousin’s (technically my wife’s cousin, but I claim her as well) battle with cancer had ended overnight.  God had given her so much strength to represent Him well throughout this battle and she was finally able to hear the words of her Savior, “Well done, good and faithful servant!  Come and share your Master’s happiness!”  While she leaves behind a husband, a family, and many friends who will miss her greatly, they can all grieve as those who have hope knowing that Kathy had lived her life with complete trust in God and in the work of His Son, Jesus, to present her to Himself spotless and pure.  If you would, please join me in praying for the Tison family in the days, weeks, and months ahead.

As I finished cleaning and taking care of things in the building, I spent time in prayer regarding my assignment for the National Day of Prayer service.  All of the publicity for the prayer service highlighted the first half of Isaiah 58:1.  The focus seemed to be on shouting aloud and raising our voice as a trumpet in prayer without holding back.  As I read through the rest of verse 1, and the rest of the chapter, it was obvious that this was God’s instruction to Isaiah to loudly declare to His people their rebellion and sin.  While the context deals specifically with the people fasting (with wrong motives) and wondering why God didn’t notice, I couldn’t help but compare it to the response of some people in this election year questioning why God isn’t hearing their repeated prayers and answering with just the right candidate.  My part in today’s prayer service was to pray for Christian liberty and the unborn.  As I spent time with God prior to the service and then prayed at the service, I felt convicted of a need to raise my voice like a trumpet in regard to our rebellion and sin in using our freedoms for selfish purposes and in not valuing the lives of the unborn, or life in general, as we ought to.

Our modern approach to Christian liberty isn’t new — the Bible warns us about those who had turned their freedom in Christ into a license to sin.  The American culture values freedom to such a degree that we bristle at any suggestion of our need to repent.  We redefine sin so that we can say it no longer applies to us.  We become convinced that when God says, “If the Son has set you free, you shall be free indeed.”, then we ought to really be free to do whatever we want with no regard to how it damages our witness and the lives of others.  The Christian liberty that God calls us to, and that I prayed about today, is a freedom to serve everyone in a way that makes Christ known.  It is a freedom that embraces the unborn generation AND the mothers who are carrying them.  It is a freedom that values all life in a way that gives of our self to serve those that our society would like to simply throw away.  

I pray that you and I would join together in lifting up and encouraging those who mourn.  I pray that we would raise our voice, with our self first, in a call of repentance for the rebellion and sin we commit.  I pray that we would use the freedom we have in Christ in ways that serve others and not ourselves.  I pray that we would value all life and find ways to promote life and hope to the unborn and the mothers carrying them.  I pray that this path we walk each day would be the path that draws us more fully to Christ and leads to His welcoming words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

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