Sunday, July 16, 2017

A Prayer

Father,

You have made it so very clear. We don't have to guess what You want from us. It's right there printed in black and white. You want us to love You with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. And as we do that, Your other expectation about loving the people around us is easily met. But Father, we are such sinners even when it comes to something as clear as this. It's not that we hate You. Not at all. We feel great affection for You. We understand something of what it means that You are our Father and all the rest. We really like You. But when it comes to loving  someone with all that we are, the person that we love in that way is ourselves. We don't usually that out loud, but it's the truth. And in those moments of honesty, we see it. The person that we care the most about it us.

Father, we are ashamed when we admit that. You are the God who has done us so much good. You are the one who has created us. You are the one who gives us each breath. And when we fell into a mess, You are the one who redeemed us. We, quite literally, would be nothing without You. And yet, when push comes to shove, our default is to look to ourselves and our own welfare.

This is awful. But Jesus has come. And He has come to deal with not just sinful people like us, but selfish people like us. We really are grateful that His coming means forgiveness for our frightful sin of selfishness. Without that we would be Your enemies, something that is too terrifying to consider. But we are also very grateful that His coming means change. We don't have to stay the selfish people that we are. We can become truly human, people who live the way we were created to live. We can become people who actually do love You with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. That will be so good.

So, thank You, Father, for Jesus and the Gospel. Thank You for forgiveness. Thank You for change. Thank You that one day we will no longer need to be forgiven and we will be completely changed. Thank You that one day we will love in the way we were created to love. That will be life indeed.

And now, Father, we ask for Your blessing on the preaching of Your Word. This is a basic tool that the Spirit uses to bring about change. Bless the preaching and the hearing so that there would be much change. Through Christ our Lord Amen.

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