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Prayer Points from Ed

Make use of this prayer to start your day if it helps. Use the … spaces to spend a moment reflecting.

Eternal God, You are the beginning and the end of all things. You are awesome in power and glorious in beauty and goodness.

 

You have been involved with me since before I was born. This is both a sovereignty and a kindness that I cannot even imagine. You have been pursuing, and protecting, wooing and nurturing, guiding and directing. I am mindful of Your longstanding work in my story …

 

I recognize today that You are the driving force in my life! I welcome that truth and I lean into the freedom and humility it produces in me. I pray for Your purposes for me today. I pray that I would be for others today. I pray that my agenda today would be Your agenda for me.   I submit myself right now. I give you my decisions today. I give you my time today. I give you my relationships today. I give you my body today. I give you my money today. I give you my needs today …

 

Lord God, You are the only source of real life and security and meaning. I confess that I have tried to put myself in Your place through self-salvation projects and today I relinquish all attempts to save myself.   I acknowledge Jesus Christ, fully God yet made fully man – the exact representation of God’s being.

 

Right now, I repent. I turn away from all that is not of You. And I leave everything else behind in order to follow Jesus Christ.   I am mindful of his life, his character and his sacrifice for me … I choose to begin today with that before me.

Posted by Ed Allen with

What's Your Story? Are You Ready for Change?

Today Pastor Ed continued the new sermon series "What's Your Story?" by talking about Paul's story.

Paul tells his story in Galatians 1:11-24.

Paul's point is that the good news message he conveyed to them came from God, and they shouldn't let anyone add anything to it.

Paul's primary evidence is his own story.

That tells us a great deal about the power of our own stories.

Paul's story continues in Galatians 2:1-10.

Two critical features:

1)  God was the driving force in Paul's story.

1:12 -- Everything I taught you came by revelation of Jesus Christ.

2:2 -- God is the impulse behind Paul's significant decisions.

2:7 -- His life's work and teaching was entrusted to him by God.

The primary driving force in our lives should be our connection to God:  Every decision, mindset, relationship...

We get a glimpse of Peter recognizing this in John 6:68 -- "Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life."

Paul sees his entire life in the context of God as the driving influence.

God was there all along.... "set me apart from birth."

Our entire story has God as the driving force.

Paul had come to realize that his story was a small but significant part of God's story.

When we recognize this it produces important qualities in our lives:

-- Humility

It's not primarily about me.  My story is about what God is doing in and through me.  (Galatians 2:5)  We can more fully do things for others.

Humility is a quality of a great leader, but we don't get that kind of humility without acknowledging God's part in our lives.

-- Freedom

It doesn't all depend on me!

I can let go.

God is the driving force in our story.

He's in, around, behind, and below us.

When we try to carry too much control over our lives, we're fooling ourselves and wiring ourselves for anxiety.

2)  A decision to turn means everything is affected.

Galatians 1:18-24.  Paul went from an opponent to the church's greatest advocate.

Paul's early life was a regimented self-salvation project.

He needed to be saved, not to save himself.  (Philippians 3:4-11)

At a certain point in time, Paul made a decision.

What's your story?

***

I'm going to add a personal note here and share a bit of my story.

At this point in the service, we shared Communion together.

While the cup was being passed, the Worship Team played over and over the tune of the hymn "Take My Life and Let It Be."  We sang this hymn at my wedding, so the words were playing over and over in my mind.

Several years ago, my marriage ended in divorce, which was not at all how I wanted my story to go.

But every time I hear this song, I have to remember that it's God's story.  I offered Him my life, my heart, my love.  So do I really have the right to protest when He does His own thing with those?

And God has truly been faithful.

Here are the words to the verses of the hymn that hit me the hardest.

Take my life and let it be

Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;

Take my moments and my days --

Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

 

Take my voice and let me sing

Always, only for my King;

Take my lips and let them be

Filled with messages from Thee.

 

Take my will and make it Thine --

It shall be no longer mine;

Take my heart -- it is Thine own,

It shall be Thy royal throne.

 

Take my love -- my Lord, I pour

At Thy feet its treasure store;

Take myself -- and I will be

Ever, only, all for Thee.

 

Amen.  It's your story, Lord.

***

So what's your story?

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