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.
Even small children are known by their actions, so is their conduct really pure and upright? (NIV)
Even children show what they are by what they do; you can tell if they are honest and good. (GNB)
Jesus said, ‘By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thorn-bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit’ (Matthew 7.16-17, NIV).
The truth here is that our words and our actions betray what’s going on inside our hearts. If someone has a humble and honest heart, their actions will show that. If someone is deceitful and proud, that will become clear as well.
Here Solomon tells us that this principle applies to children every bit as much as it applies to adults. Children are often described as ‘innocents’ – and of course in many ways they are, though sadly not always.
But what children are not, is ‘innocent’, or ‘pure’. Spend five minutes watching two siblings play together and you’ll see actions that betray the truth that even children’s hearts are marred by sin: selfishness, greed, envy, and so on.
This teaches us two things. First, sin cannot be hidden, no matter how hard we pretend – it can be ignored, it can be encouraged, but it cannot be hidden. Second, sin is universal – it affects everyone, including children – we are all damaged by it.
What a depressing thing to read as we wake up this morning. But how about this. Instead of going through your day trying to pretend you are a ‘good person’, why not begin by saying sorry to God, and then living through your day in thankfulness to the God whose reserves of love and forgiveness and mercy far outweigh our capacity to stuff things up!
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:
Doug & Irene Dean, Dot Betts, Vicky Moss
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: Poverty & Deprivation in Amington
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.