Sing to the Lord, and praise him! Proclaim every day the good news that he has saved us (Psalm 96.2, GNB).
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Speak these words out loud:
Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
Jeremiah 17.7 (NIV)
Read the proverb through three or four times, slowly. Pause in-between, maybe write it out by hand – savour the words, let them speak deeply to you.
Who can say, ‘I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin’? (NIV)
Can anyone really say that his conscience is clear, that he has gotten rid of his sin? (GNB)
Two days ago we read about the ‘righteous’ who ‘lead blameless lives’… today we see that Solomon isn’t quite as idealistic as we might have thought.
Yet again, this shows the importance of reading the whole Bible, not just small bits of it. Unless we read and pay attention to everything it says, we will misunderstand some things and get other things quite badly wrong.
An extremely common reaction people have when I ask them about faith is to say, ‘I’m a good person’ – by which they mean they’ve not done anything deserving of a prison sentence (or, at least, they’ve not been caught…).
I wonder how many people who say this broke lockdown laws to visit (elderly) relatives? I wonder how many people drive faster than the speed limit ‘because they need to’ – as if their needs outweigh the safety of others? I wonder how many people like to pay for things in cash because they get a discount? I wonder how many people gossip, let their anger take control, are envious of others, indulge their desires… the list goes on.
Who indeed can say, ‘I have kept my heart pure’? Pure = unblemished, like freshly fallen snow, or the shine of a new saucepan before you use it…
Of all people, only Jesus has kept his heart pure. The message of the cross is this: Jesus willingly took our sin, our mess, our impure hearts – and in exchange gives us his pure heart, clean, and fresh. That is the ‘heart’ of the gospel – and it isn’t just good news, it’s wonderful news! It’s yours, if you turn to Jesus and say sorry for your impure heart – he is so quick to forgive when we do!
Pray for Five – pray for your five friends / family from Thy Kingdom Come.
Our daily prayer sheet includes the names of everyone for whom we have a signed church family directory form – and local parishes and senior church leaders. Today we are praying for:
Widdas Family (Mandy, Mark, Sam, Sophie)
Father, please bless them with your peace, and a deep awareness of your presence with them, every day and in every way.
We also pray for: Young Families (Ark is suspended)
Please pray for our leaders and healthcare workers, and all those working to keep us safe, well, and fed. Please pray that people would unselfishly put others before themselves.
Church Family Prayer
Come Holy Spirit,
and make us one in heart and action,
so that we can serve God faithfully:
abounding in love,
maturing in holiness,
and seeking out the lost.
Help us grow as disciples of Jesus –
in commitment, in depth, and in number –
that we may be a blessing to Amington;
to the glory and praise of God the Father.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labour in vain.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus
the only way to the Father.
Psalm 127.1, Hebrews 12.2 & John 14.6
May Christ our Saviour give us peace.