The GT Weekend! ~ Whole Week 2
July 2, 2022
Rest your soul through reflective journaling,
and worshiping the Creator who
longs for intimacy with each of us!
This Week's Journeys
Prayer Journal Entry
Yahweh, You have told us we are not of this world (John 15:19) and neither is Your Kingdom of this world (John 18:36), yet we are to remain here, shining as lights in the darkness until Your return. (Philippians 2:15)
Please keep my thoughts centered on Your Kingdom, Lord, especially when the darkness seems overwhelming. Use me to reflect Your light so others may be drawn to You and a little more darkness is squeezed out of the broken places. Guide my quiet time with You, still my mind and heart so I may hear Your whispers, God.
Yahweh, you are the Shepherd (Psalm 23), the Teacher (Psalm 25:5), and the Lord of Armies (Psalm 46:7). You quench the thirst of my soul like a glass of ice water in the desert (John 4:14). I ache to be close to You, to feel Your love and warmth in my soul. Equip me to reflect this love to Your creation and renew my strength to push forward each morning against the rulers of this world in Your power. (Ephesians 6:12)
I pray for opportunities in this coming week to lift up someone who is low in spirit and point them back to You, Father. I move as You command; in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Worship Through Song
As Christ-followers, we must hold to truth when it seems hatred is around every corner and division on every billboard. Scripture reminds that our fight is not temporal but spiritual. (Ephesians 6:12)
Of course, we battle our flesh daily, but a spiritual enemy uses our physical world to attack our spiritual livelihood. The enemy’s tactics have remained the same since time began: lying, deception, misinformation, distortion, and misinterpretations of God’s truth.
How do we fight against that? First, we educate ourselves on the enemy’s battle plans, like deception through social media or the division rising up around us. (1 Peter 5:8) We must study Scripture to understand and identify truth, praying for guidance and wisdom. We can stay informed on world events through multiple sources and strain our responses through the safeguard of Scripture. Second, we engage. We must start a dialogue with those inside and outside our circle with open minds and soft hearts about the brokenness of our world with a willingness to take action. Third, we seek community. God designed us to seek support from our brothers and sisters of all backgrounds. God did not promise us a life free of storms;
He promised to be present with us through them. (Isaiah 43:2)
It’s easy to acknowledge that we live in a damaged world and that humanity is flawed, but what happens when the finger is pointed at us?
The most effective way to attack oppression, hatred, and evil, is by looking inwardly first. Zechariah reminds us to have compassionate hearts for others (Zechariah 7:9-10), and Jesus taught us to love one another as ourselves. (Matthew 22:36-39) Isaiah calls for us to repent of our sin, be cleansed, and learn what it looks like to do right in order to stand against injustice. (Isaiah 1:17)
All of these Scriptures appeal to Christ’s Church, that’s us! Imagine if the whole of believers around the globe actively lived out these verses in our everyday relationships. What peace and pushing back of oppression would result! Conquering hate and bringing unity to our communities must start at home. We must also pray fervently for leadership in our churches and our world. (1Timothy 2:1-4) Where we have the privilege to elect government officials, do so by searching the Scriptures and using your vote to elect righteous leadership. Have conversations, not debates, about what righteous leadership looks like that protects people, lifts oppression, and promotes justice. (Jeremiah 22:2-3, Proverbs 31:4-5; 8-9, Matthew 20:26-28).
It is our duty as Christ-followers to lead and pray with zealous love as God has commanded us to in order to reflect His light in the darkest places.
Have you ever heard the saying “practice what you preach?” Better yet, have you ever met anyone who could do it? I can think of one person who practiced everything He preached, and the world was quite literally saved in the process. Jesus.
He experienced sorrow, oppression, discrimination, and hatred, as well as taught about it in the synagogues, in boats, in fields and in city centers. Jesus illustrated how to suffer silently with purpose (Mark 15:3-5), but also how to boldly call out sin. (Matthew 21:12-13) He showed us how to lift up the lowly (Luke 8:43-48) and stand firm against the enemy, both spiritual and worldly. (Matthew 4:1-11; Matthew 23:1-7) More than all of that, Jesus showed us how to bring our brokenness to God in humble submission. (Mark 14:33-36)
In His submission, Jesus was renewed in His mission for God’s glory, for it is in tribulation where we develop endurance; endurance produces proven character, which produces hope. (Romans 5:1-11)
I challenge each of us as we face adversity in the next minute or the next week to rejoice at the opportunity God has allowed to further shape us into the image of His Son that we might proclaim Him all the more! (Romans 8:29)
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