Thanks be to you, our Lord Jesus Christ,
For all the benefits that you have given us,
For all the pains and insults that you have borne for us.
Most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and brother,
may we know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly, day by day.
- Richard of Chichester 1197-1253
It seemed strange to me that I was drawn to this prayer in my reading this morning, especially after beginning our new series yesterday: I Pledge Allegiance: God, Government and Me?
One thing we talked about was that the restlessness of the human condition is the result of a clear fact that human appetites are insatiable. "Human beings are able to desire everything, but unable to secure everything." No matter what political realities emerge over the next few years, our hearts will be empty without a heartfelt allegiance to our Lord Jesus Christ.
May we know You more clearly, love You more dearly, and follow You more nearly, day by day. This may be a great prayer to pray throughout the next five weeks of this series! Consider posting it around where you live, drive, or even work to remind you what life is really all about. Parents could share this entire prayer with the family- and even pray it aloud together!
Two practical matters I would like to draw to your attention in closing. First, our 10:45 service is virtually full. Your flexibility is requested if you can possibly attend the 9:00 service to leave some open seats at the more popular time. We are committed to creating empty seats at both services, as the Sunday services are the primary ways new people and people seeking God in their lives come to GFC. Also, our budget for September was under resourced by $50,000. I entrust that information to you for your prayerful consideration. Remember, giving is easy at our website: gfcnow.com/give, and...thank you!
I am excited as I consider what could be if many of us begin to pray the prayer of Richard of Chichester- day my day!
"I Pledge Allegiance" Mark 12:13-17
Government is legitimate, government is limited, God is preeminent. How much Jesus has said in Mark 12:17! In some ways it answers questions, in other ways, it creates questions. The largest question is about our allegiance. To whom, to what, and why?
THINKING IT THROUGH
Christ did not give the keys of the kingdom to Caesar nor the sword to Peter. ~Edmund Clowney
I die the king’s good servant, but God’s first. ~Sir Thomas More
This is a time when real consequence of decisions are discovered long after the original decision makers have gone. ~Os Guinness
A guest said to Lincoln, “Back in my home state people say the welfare of the nation depends on God and Abraham Lincoln.” Lincoln responded, “They are half right.”
WORKING IT OUT
In what ways were you surprised, challenged or encouraged by this message?
As you ponder the fact that government is legitimate and limited in its role, and that God is preeminent over all, what if anything is beginning to shift in your mind and heart? Why, why not?
"I Pledge Allegiance: Over and Above" Mark 12:17
Someone has written, “You cannot discuss government without discussing God.” Agree or disagree? How so? Jesus didn’t stop with “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar,” in Mark 12:17. He continued, “and to God the things that are God’s.”
Write to the side of the Scripture some of the things the verses tell you about God, what He does and who He is.
LOOKING IT UP
Psalm 100:3, 5
Daniel 4:26, 34-35, 37
Isaiah 40:6-8, 23-24
Posted on Mon, October 8, 2012
by Tom Oyler