Elder's Prayer - February 4, 2018
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
Thanksgiving (expression of gratitude for God’s grace)
Who among us is not tempted to stand on our own perceived righteousness and good deeds? In many ways that is what our culture teaches us to value. We are taught we do things by our own strength, or to live for ourselves; pursuing earthly happiness and fulfillment above all else and seeking our own glory.
I think that describes all of us at various times and the result can be a distinctly ungrateful attitude towards our Lord. It is easy to get so wrapped up in ourselves and things of this earth that we lose sight of what is of eternal importance-our priorities and perspective become easily skewed.
We know this is not the proper perspective of the Christian life, yet we succumb to it at various times in various ways. I think the proper perspective for the Christian life is summarized well in the song we just finished singing.
Salvation what a priceless gift, received by grace through faith. We stand in robes of righteousness, we stand in Jesus’ name. The practical implication of that lyric might be scripturally stated as: I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20) (Christ, as Paul reminds us in 2 Cor 5:15) died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
We often live self-centered lives seeking glory for ourselves, but as Paul asks the Corinthians, “What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?” (1 Cor 4:7) As we go to the Lord in prayer, let’s fix our eyes on the Cross and who Christ is and the proper perspective of who we are in light of it and be thankful because of it.
Father, you know our hearts and it is for that reason you, in your infinite wisdom, recognized from the beginning our need to be transformed from selfish creatures to those who selflessly seek to love and serve you and others as well.
May we be thankful this day, that you have done so in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Help us to live each moment of each day with grateful hearts. Help us to be content in Christ-and in your sovereign goodness -- thankful that you are Lord over all.
May we learn to live as Paul did -- content -- in whatever situation. As he says, “12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
May we be increasingly like the Psalmist who says, I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High. (Ps 7:17)
We are all unworthy servants, made worthy only by the blood of Christ and His righteousness.
Let us give thanks for that this morning -- that because of Christ we are counted worthy.
Let us give thanks that Salvation is a priceless gift, received by grace through faith. We stand in robes of righteousness, we stand in Jesus name.