1 Corinthians 13:13
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
I received a cross in the mail and was pleased. The cross was smaller than I thought and I realized that was good, too. The message of Jesus Christ's salvation is much more compelling and eternal than I could every be privileged to say.
Salvation is from the Lord Jesus.
Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,
you who seek the Lord:
look to the rock from which you were hewn,
and to the quarry from which you were dug.
The faith and bedrock I saw my family do life with. The people who live long lives of hope.
2 Look to Abraham your father
and to Sarah who bore you;
for he was but one when I called him,
that I might bless him and multiply him.
Our blessings only come from God.
3 For the Lord comforts Zion;
he comforts all her waste places
and makes her wilderness like Eden,
her desert like the garden of the Lord;
joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the voice of song.
This is a wonderful verse. And not for the days when we feel comforted. The memory of comfort. I believe in the Son when the sun is not shining. When parents are frail and loved ones have a terminal diagnosis. When the path tells you, you must be strong to Jesus. Jesus is where you need comfort the most. We come into this world, usually alone, and to Jesus we bring our soul with Him alone. And in reality, this is the Person, This Son of God, we need the most.
4 “Give attention to me, my people,
and give ear to me, my nation;
for a law will go out from me,
and I will set my justice for a light to the peoples.
THIS is the LIGHT of Jesus within us. This is our bedrock. Weep when we must weep. To be real. To be genuine. To be sincere. To go forth. To go far.
What is Heaven? His People. To hear Jesus say, "My People."
To hear Him call us "His Nation."
5 My righteousness draws near,
my salvation has gone out,
and my arms will judge the peoples;
the coastlands hope for me,
and for my arm they wait.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
and look at the earth beneath;
for the heavens vanish like smoke,
the earth will wear out like a garment,
and they who dwell in it will die in like manner;
but my salvation will be forever,
and my righteousness will never be dismayed.
7 “Listen to me, you who know righteousness,
the people in whose heart is my law;
fear not the reproach of man,
nor be dismayed at their reviling.
8 For the moth will eat them up like a garment,
and the worm will eat them like wool;
but my righteousness will be forever,
and my salvation to all generations.”
9 Awake, awake, put on strength,
O arm of the Lord;
awake, as in days of old,
the generations of long ago.
Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces,
who pierced the dragon?
10 Was it not you who dried up the sea,
the waters of the great deep,
who made the depths of the sea a way
for the redeemed to pass over?
11 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
12 “I, I am he who comforts you;
who are you that you are afraid of man who dies,
of the son of man who is made like grass,
13 and have forgotten the Lord, your Maker,
who stretched out the heavens
and laid the foundations of the earth,
and you fear continually all the day
because of the wrath of the oppressor,
when he sets himself to destroy?
And where is the wrath of the oppressor?
14 He who is bowed down shall speedily be released;
he shall not die and go down to the pit,
neither shall his bread be lacking.
This is Prayer.
Norman Vincent Peale wrote this:
A man in Toronto at a gathering of advertising and sales people to whom I had been asked to speak. He confided to me, “I have found two things in life that made everything different for me. The first—and it was the greatest single experience I ever had—was finding Jesus Christ and committing my life to him. And the second thing was that I learned to pray. These two things,” he declared, “revolutionized my life.” And he added, “What a pity that so many human beings never find Christ and never learn to pray! They miss the greatest things in this life.”
This is what Jesus has been saying to us through the years, and really astute people make this discovery. Christ can change your life. Prayer can change your life. Some people think you only come to such a change in one certain way. Nothing could be more false.
One way in which prayer can change your life is by teaching you to think creatively. The way you think spells the difference between living life well and living it poorly. Prayer is an activity that sharpens the mind and thereby brings the believer into harmony with the great Mind. Now the mind, by which we remember and perceive and understand and dream and think—this is the divine within us. Through mind and soul, an individual has contact with God. Prayer is the con- tact of the soul with God through the mental process whereby the individual conquers his own weaknesses and enters into life abundant.
True prayer requires discipline, it requires pain, it requires the agony to think. But when you do think prayerfully with Jesus as your guide, you break free from the defeats which have encompassed you. I do not believe there is any problem, any defeat, any difficulty that cannot be overcome through prayer.
I have a friend who runs a big bakery business, which he built up from nothing. He was himself the company’s first baker, as a matter of fact, and he claims he can still make better bread and cakes than most of the present bakers. And one day he described to me a significant experience he had some years ago. He was faced with an extremely worrisome problem. He would pace the floor half the day trying to figure out a solution. He lay awake at night brooding over it.
Then, one day as he sat in his office feeling completely baffled, he chanced to glance at his mother’s picture hanging on the wall. “My mother,” he told me, “was a Kansas woman reared on the farm where I was born. She had never had much schooling. But in the hard, good life she and my father lived together she had learned many things in the school of experience. And she used to say to us children, ‘When you have a problem and you’ve worked as hard as you can at it, given it all you’ve got, and still you haven’t solved it, the thing to do is just walk away from it and think about God. But don’t talk to God about the problem. Talk to him about himself. Tell him how much you love him. Talk to Jesus and thank him for all he has done for you. Tell him you want to be his faithful follower. Have fellowship with God and with Jesus.’”
So my friend in his perplexity looked at the picture of his mother, departed long since but still living and still speaking to him in thought. And he decided to leave the problem for a while. He took out his Bible and read some passages his mother had marked in this same book. He thought about Jesus and he rededicated himself, acknowledging that he felt he had not been growing as he ought, that he’d been less than himself. Then after a time he turned back to the problem. Did he get an answer immediately? No. But now he felt calm about it. He was confident he would somehow be able to handle it. And presently—later that same day, as I recall it—he did find a satisfactory solution. So prayer is a mental process.
Oftentimes a person will complain, “I’ve prayed and prayed and I didn’t get what I wanted.” You didn’t, eh? Well, who said you were supposed to get what you wanted? Prayer isn’t a device to get you what you want. Prayer is a means of bringing you to the point where you will accept what God wants. If you’re using it just for getting what you want, you’re engaging in an improper and degraded use of it.
Why did Jesus say we get what we want if we are abiding in His Word?
Because to Live in His Word is to Abide in His Will. When His Will and our hopes align.
This is why all the family of Jesus and all the Disciples met daily to pray. Their hopes and their faith and their Love - aligned in Jesus Christ.
Help us to pray in a manner pleasing to you. To have the understanding that life is a series of rejoicing problems are solved and to continue to have hope faith and Love in all seasons.
Jesus we Lift our concerns to You. You will tenderly handle them. We lift up our Loved Ones. We lift upour communities and Churches. And this Nation. Rejoicing people all over the World call upon Jesus from Knowing His Love.
In Jesus. Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves! †