Reminder: Pray Canada Campaign 2019, beginning September 8. Please consider this invitation for your congregation’s participation.
“We believe God has a purpose and plan for Canada that is much greater than anything we could imagine for ourselves. And when we seek God’s heart and will through prayer, we’re aligning ourselves to be an active part of that plan. Join us as we embrace this opportunity to pray for the future of Canada like never before and believe that through us God will do great things. Our goal is to have all of Canada’s 338 ridings covered in prayer leading up to the federal election in October! Congregations across the country can adopt their riding in prayer to bless their federal leaders and all who are involved in the electoral process.
To learn more, visit www.leadinginfluence.com/praycanada
I will love God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength.
So much of God’s creation, and about life itself, points to the beauty of God’s character and His heart for everything He has made. As the pinnacle of His creation, His original plan was that we would enjoy relationship with Him as our highest priority and our greatest source of satisfaction. But beginning with Adam and Eve, who sinned in the Garden of Eden, human beings’ highest desires tend to focus on life’s gifts rather than on God Himself. We’re primarily focused on earthly goals of survival or success, on pursuing earthly pleasures, or on working through earthly problems on our own. When we recognize a need to respond to God, we usually try to engage Him on our own terms.
Our lives cannot truly please God until we’re fully committed to living for His Son, Jesus. When we accept His offer of forgiveness, we are given new hearts, a new life, and sensitivity to His Spirit, who leads us into an ever-deepening relationship with the Father as we consistently follow His promptings. Without an intentional, daily effort to focus on our love relationship with God, everyday priorities constantly pull at our attention and time—and we starve spiritually (Matthew 4:4). It may be imperceptible at first, but eventually the distance will be evident in our thinking and life choices, which will more closely match society’s patterns than God’s Word. Our ability to hear His still, small voice wanes. Discouragement can much more easily set in, and the risk of walking away from God increases.
Daily time with God in prayer, Bible reading and reflection, and obedience to what we learn and hear, helps us to stay close to the Lord. We are better able to resist temptation, recognize distractions, and live more effectively for His purposes. In the end, we remain positioned to live out His intended plan for us.
Ask and it will be granted…
- That we will remain focused on loving God as our highest priority in life.
- That we will make a consistent, daily effort to spend time at Jesus’ feet, and in His Word.
- That we will allow God to shape and lead our choices every day, so that we live out His intended purposes for us.
Matthew 22:36-40 (NLT)
- Do you feel that your love for God is at the deepest level that it can be? Why or why not?
- How is the depth of your love for God reflected in your desire to spend time with Him?
- In what ways can you make adjustments to focus on Him, His Word, and on hearing His voice more regularly?
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Mathew 4:1-11 (NLT)
The Temptation of Jesus
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.
During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.”
But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say,
‘People do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say,
‘He will order his angels to protect you.
And they will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’”
Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’”
Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.”
“Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say,
‘You must worship the Lord your God
and serve only him.’”
Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.
Matthew 6:24 (NLT)
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.”
Next month’s “I Will” statement: “I will choose to remain thankful.”