Encouragement and Prayer:  Let Go Of Things You Can’t Control! (07/06/21)

Encouragement and Prayer: Let Go Of Things You Can’t Control! (07/06/21)

]

~

This is the daily devotion from the book, “Holding On and Letting Go” and the companion audio from the July 6, 2021 live social media broadcast of encouragement and prayer by Impact Prayer Ministry’s director, Tom Lemler.

Here is day two and an important reminder to let go of the things you can’t control as you trust God to bring you to a place of peace and hope in the midst of chaos.

Let Go Of Things You Can’t Control

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ?”
(Matthew 6:25-27)

What part of your current situation feels most beyond your control?  How much do you worry about things you can’t change?  Are there things in the midst of your current chaos that you do have some control over?  How much does the lack of control over some things keep you from taking control of what you can?

Facing a disaster of any kind often brings with it a bewildering feeling of having no control over anything that is going on.  The truth is, even in our most controlling moments, we have far less control than we would like to admit.  When faced with loss, it is important to identify specific things that we simply can’t control.  Some of those things may well be the disaster which brought about the loss, as well as the timetable for any recovery.  Letting go of control doesn’t mean that we give up, or that we don’t put any effort into doing what we can, rather it means that we learn to accept that our recovery will take place on a timetable that will likely change often and is very different than what we would want.  Letting go of the things we can’t control can be one of the early steps toward trusting God to bring hope in the midst of our chaos.  It is important to remember that just because we can’t control what is going on, it doesn’t mean that it is out of His control.  Often times identifying what we can’t control, and then letting go of it, frees us to take appropriate action in the areas that can make a difference in our recovery.  Letting go of what we can’t control helps to bring hope not only because it shows our trust of God, but it allows us concentrate on the things we can still do.

As you pray, ask God to help you let go of the things that you can’t control.  Pray that He would give you wisdom in distinguishing between that which is simply difficult and that which isn’t yours to take care of.  Pray that your trust of Him would grow as you learn to let go of control.

In prayer,
Tom

Encouragement and Prayer:  Hold On To One Another! (07/05/21)

Encouragement and Prayer: Hold On To One Another! (07/05/21)

~

This is the daily devotion from the book, “Holding On and Letting Go” and the companion audio from the July 5, 2021 live social media broadcast of encouragement and prayer by Impact Prayer Ministry’s director, Tom Lemler.

Here is day one and an important reminder to hold on to one another as you look out for each other’s needs and share in their joys and sorrows.

Hold On To One Another

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.  If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.  And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-7)

How alone does your current situation make you feel?  Why?  Are there others affected by the same thing you are currently going through?  Do you think they feel alone?  Why?  Are there people in similar circumstances who would benefit from your willingness to hold on to them?  Do you know people who have already been through what you are dealing with that you could hold on to?  Who?

In the midst of loss, it is God’s desire to bring seeds of comfort to you through people who have received the same comfort that you now need.  No matter the loss, it will generally feel amplified if you must face it alone.  Sometimes the loss is very personal and the enemy would want you to think no one will understand.  Other times the loss is one suffered by many others and the enemy will try to convince you that people have enough grief of their own to worry about.  Neither of those could be further from the truth.  Whether in our most private pain or a very public loss, God has helped to carry others through the very nature of what you are dealing with.  While it may be fun to “rejoice with those who rejoice”, it is just as necessary to “weep with those who weep”.  Holding on to one another won’t solve all the problems, or bring back what was lost, but when those we hold on to are holding on to God, we discover we truly are not alone.

As you pray today, ask God to help you find those who will be someone you can hold on to.  Pray that God would give you the strength needed so that you can be someone others will hold on to, even in your weakness.  Pray that you would find, and be, a community that holds on to one another.

In prayer,
Tom

Living As One Who Is FREE (Sermon Audio)

Living As One Who Is FREE (Sermon Audio)

~

This is audio from a live broadcast of a devotional recap of the July 4, 2021 sermon, “Living As One Who Is FREE”, shared by Tom Lemler at the North Wayne Mennonite Church.

Text:  John 8:31-51

When we live as those who have been set free by Jesus, we live as one who is:

  • Forgiven.  John 8:31-32, 1 John 1:8-10
    • Recognizing our sinfulness as well as God’s desire and power to forgive is a big part of the truth that sets us free.  Rejecting the truth and claiming that we are without sin simply keeps us enslaved to the sin we refuse to acknowledge.  When we experience Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, we find forgiveness through the washing away of our sins by His blood  When we live as one who is forgiven, God calls us to also live as one who forgives.
  • Restored.  John 8:34-36, Luke 15:21-24
    • Living as one who is free through the power of Jesus restores us to the family as full heirs of all that belongs to God.  As those who were created by God, who were knit together by God in our mother’s womb, our freedom in Christ builds on the forgiveness of sin found through Jesus and restores us as sons and daughters of the King.  When we live as one who is restored, God calls us to also live as one who restores others.
  • Enlisted.  John 8:42, 2 Timothy 2:3-4
    • Living as one who is free means that we must live as one who has enlisted in service to the King.  Because we have enlisted, our freedom is not about is rather it is about the One we serve and the people He calls us to love in His name.  Our desire ought to always be about how we can please the One who has enlisted us to be His representative here on earth.  When we live as one who is enlisted, God calls us to also live as one who enlists others into the family of God.
  • Equipped.  John 8:49-51, 2 Timothy 3:16-17
    • I know of very few people, if any, who like to be given a task to be done without the resources to accomplish it.  Living as one who is free in Christ means we are equipped to to the very things we have been enlisted to do.  God’s promise is that He will never leave us nor forsake us and He has given us His Word and His Spirit to equip us for every good work that He has prepared for us to do.  When we live as one who is equipped, God calls us also to live as one who equips others with the truth of His Word.

Are you living as one who is FREE?
Are you helping others live as those who are FREE?

Encouragement and Prayer: Set Free! (07/04/21)

~

While I continue working on what a return to the live or recorded audio/video broadcasts will be, I will still leave some written encouragement for each day.  This week’s focus will be on praying for individuals as part of a family.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
John 8:36 (NIV)

This week’s prayer focus will be about living as those who have been set free.  God wants each one of us to live free in ways that build up and encourage one another.  In God’s kingdom, our freedom comes through complete surrender to Him and an acknowledgement of our total dependence on the work Christ has done on our behalf.  Our freedom in Christ allows us to serve people in ways that benefit them according to their need.

As you pray this week, ask God to help you understand how the freedom that He offers is different from the world’s view of freedom.  Pray that you would be careful how you use your freedom.  Pray that you would know true freedom that is found through gazing into the perfect law of God’s Word and doing what it says.

Pray for discernment and wisdom to see beyond and through the divisiveness of this world so that you would love others as God loves both you and them.

In prayer,
Tom

Encouragement and Prayer: Praying for Single Adults! (07/03/21)

~

While I continue working on what a return to the live or recorded audio/video broadcasts will be, I will still leave some written encouragement for each day.  This week’s focus will be on praying for individuals as part of a family.

“I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 7:35 (NIV)

As a follow-up to last week’s prayer focus about God being a Father to the fatherless, this week we will be praying about being the family God sets the lonely in.  As you pray this week, pray with thanksgiving for the family God provides in your loneliness.

Some are single by choice, some not.  Pray that each would be filled with great peace and hope as they serve God and rely on Him to surround them with healthy relationships.  Pray that God would fill their desire as only He can — whether that desire is to stay single or be married.

Pray for discernment and wisdom to see beyond and through the divisiveness of this world so that you would love others as God loves both you and them.

In prayer,
Tom

Encouragement and Prayer: Praying for Grandparents! (07/02/21)

~

While I continue working on what a return to the live or recorded audio/video broadcasts will be, I will still leave some written encouragement for each day.  This week’s focus will be on praying for individuals as part of a family.

“Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.”
1 Timothy 5:1-2 (NIV)

As a follow-up to last week’s prayer focus about God being a Father to the fatherless, this week we will be praying about being the family God sets the lonely in.  As you pray this week, pray with thanksgiving for the family God provides in your loneliness.

Pray that grandparents would be valued members of the family and church congregation.  Pray that their wisdom and experience would be passed on to the next generation.  Pray for the humility to treat those older than you with respect and understanding.

Pray for discernment and wisdom to see beyond and through the divisiveness of this world so that you would love others as God loves both you and them.

In prayer,
Tom

Encouragement and Prayer: Praying for Marriages! (07/01/21)

~

While I continue working on what a return to the live or recorded audio/video broadcasts will be, I will still leave some written encouragement for each day.  This week’s focus will be on praying for individuals as part of a family.

“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”
Hebrews 13:4 (NIV)

As a follow-up to last week’s prayer focus about God being a Father to the fatherless, this week we will be praying about being the family God sets the lonely in.  As you pray this week, pray with thanksgiving for the family God provides in your loneliness.

Pray that the marriages in your congregation and community would be strengthened and protected.  Pray that both husband and wife would feel loved and valued.  Pray for the courage to live in purity in all of your relationships.

Pray for discernment and wisdom to see beyond and through the divisiveness of this world so that you would love others as God loves both you and them.

In prayer,
Tom

Encouragement and Prayer: Praying for Dads! (06/30/21)

~

While I continue working on what a return to the live or recorded audio/video broadcasts will be, I will still leave some written encouragement for each day.  This week’s focus will be on praying for individuals as part of a family.

“The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him.”
Proverbs 23:24 (NIV)

As a follow-up to last week’s prayer focus about God being a Father to the fatherless, this week we will be praying about being the family God sets the lonely in.  As you pray this week, pray with thanksgiving for the family God provides in your loneliness.

Pray that dads would be involved in the lives of their children in positive and wholesome ways.  Pray that they would teach their children about God by their words and actions.  Pray that you would live in such a way that you are a delight to your father.

Pray for discernment and wisdom to see beyond and through the divisiveness of this world so that you would love others as God loves both you and them.

In prayer,
Tom