Paul prays that God's glory will be advanced, and he also prays for the spiritual well-being of believers, including himself. Let us pray earnestly, humbly, fervently, and frequently. Pray that we will know God better and be empowered to follow Him in righteousness.
Let us be a church on mission together for the glory of God, present together in spirit while physically separated. A church on mission prays and provides care and encouragement. It edifies and exhorts one another to practice integrity even while alone.
Philippians 3:20-4:1 declares that our citizenship is in heaven. This is a grace-based promise, not a merit-based wishful thinking. We eagerly await the return of our risen Lord and Savior. At Christ’s return, He will transform our lowly bodies, by His divine power, to be like His glorified body. Therefore, let us stand firm in the Lord.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd who voluntarily lays down his life for the sheep. This same shepherd provides for us by gathering us together and knowing us personally. He leads us through His word and keeps us safe and secure Him.
Isaiah 41:10 provides promises and commands in a time of fear and uncertainty. We are told not to fear or be dismayed. Then we are given the many reasons why the holy, righteous, victorious, almighty God is worthy of our trust. Let us declare: I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Psalms 34:4 (ESV)
What does it mean to be saved? Salvation is an "all of life" term that begins with a specific point in which we have been saved, delivered from the penalty of sin through faith in Christ (Romans 2:15 & Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation continues as we grow in holiness through dependance upon God's Word and the Holy Spirit. We are being saved from the power of sin (1Corinthians 1:18). In the future day of glorification, at the return of Christ, we will be saved from the presence of sin (Hebrews 9:28).
Jesus refers to Himself as the Bridegroom in Mark 2:19, thus proclaiming His divine nature and fulfilling the portrayal of God as our bridegroom in 20 books of the Bible. The disciples of Jesus did not fast while the Bridegroom was with the, but today it is appropriate to fast when seeking wisdom or in times repentance and crisis. It is also appropriate to feast in celebration of God's redeeming grace. As we await the return of the Bridegroom, "All who have this hope in Him purify themselves, just as He is pure. 1John 3:3 (ESV)
The early church was devoted to the apostles' teaching. These new believers made it a priority to be a learning community, and it is also vital for each of us to ponder and pray through scripture with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The prayer of Jesus for future believers was, "Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth." (John 17:17 ESV).
Peter's message in Acts 2 caused many of the listeners to experience deep conviction, so they asked, "Brothers, what shall we do?" Repentance is utterly necessary, full forgiveness of sins is promised, and the message of salvation is urgent. Let us respond in faith and true repentance. We will no longer be separated from God, and the Holy Spirit will empower us to live for Christ.
Peter, who just 50 days earlier had fervently denied Christ, is now preaching with boldness by the mercy of Christ and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. His sermon (Acts 2:14-21) explains from the prophet Joel that the last days had arrived, the promised gift of the Spirit had been poured out, and the world's savior had been identified. Let us ask the Father for more indwelling of the Spirit in order to fearlessly proclaim the Gospel to whole world.