Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. Luke 18:10 KJV
Two men went into the temple to pray
One a Conservative
The other no way!
The conservative began with his voice filled with pride
And thanked God that he
Was an upstanding guy!
Then he started to talk
All about his good deeds
The money he gave and the time on his knees
And how he’d avoided the casino and bar
And being holier than
All those liberals by far!
But the guy in the back
Heard his words and just wept
He knew he’s messed up and was way out of step
With the way that the Savior would want him to live
So he just bowed his head and cried “Jesus forgive!”
Now Jesus asks us to consider these guys
When we go to church and are wondering why
God seems far away and we can’t wait to go
And after it all we leave feeling low
Because God made His church
Not just for the good
Who have dotted their i’s and done all that they should
Instead it’s a clinic for the hurting and lost
Who are looking for help whatever the cost
So don’t you give up
God’s is faithful and true
If we just tell Him the truth
He'll make everything new!
He'll Make Everything New
By Peter Caligiuri
Copyright 2023 all rights reserved
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19 KJV
I love how my fellow blogger, Barbara recently suggested over on My Life in Our Father’s World that we choose a word as a theme for the year. I have been thinking about that ever since and with the New Year looming ahead I have chosen the subject of prayer as my focus for 2023. It is not that prayer is not a regular part of my life, or that this is an entirely new area for me to discover, but that my heart has been stirred, or rather pricked by the Holy Spirit about the coldness of my life. Where is the intensity that I once knew, the love of Christ that long ago brought tears to my eyes as I interceded for others? In the Fall our church completed, “40 Days of Prayer” by Pastor Rick Warren, and as our small group discussed it and I went through the journal I wished it would never end! Though the study now sits on my side table, I have determined to pursue God with a faith that works by love in my prayer life more than anything else in the coming year. What about you? What goals has God been speaking to your heart about? Maybe like Barbara, you could join the “One Word Community” to help in your journey. Whatever you do, listen to the Holy Spirit’s direction and follow Him. He alone knows the way ahead and what He has planned for our lives. Because of His love for us we can put all our trust in Him. That love is way beyond anything we can ever understand and by it alone can we know the heart of God. If you are looking for a daily devotional resource to help you in your prayer journey, I am offering here my newly revised and edited 365 Days with Jesus devotional. Each day’s reading begins with a verse, then in a short simple way applies it to everyday life and every month starts with a poem, a theme and a verse. Whatever you choose, I wish you all the best in all the 365 days that lie ahead on your path!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 ESV
While, knowing about and even praying the words of this verse over the years, my actual practice has sometimes been the exact opposite. Though on the outside, I was able to pretend I was not worried, instead my life operated more as if the Bible said:
“Worry about everything, don’t pray about your problems or be grateful to God for the things that have gone right. Instead waste all your time complaining, when you don’t understand what is going on.”
Years ago, our car broke down on the highway outside of Boston on a Friday afternoon. Before cell phones, our only hope was for a police officer to stop and call for help. I had no idea what was wrong with our car, so I paced up and down as traffic whizzed by, complaining loudly to my wife. Patiently Nancy kept calmly saying, “God is going to work this out.” I wanted to believe it, but it felt like I had a pot boiling on the inside. Finally, a patrol car stopped and called for a tow truck which came and hooked up to our car. The muffler on that truck sounded like a jet taking off and our driver cursed loudly and often at the other drivers as he weaved through traffic. Fifteen minutes later, we pulled into the parking lot of a large repair facility and my wife suddenly smiled and said, “Look! We’ve definitely come to the right place!”
“What do you mean?” I asked as our car was being unhooked.
“See the sign!” Nancy said pointing. That was when I looked up and saw that just underneath the name of the garage were the words, “Smile God loves you!”
Our car was repaired in under two hours, the owner even bought us dinner and we arrived at our destination, just a little later than we had expected. All that was great, but even better was how God showed me His peace in ways I could never understand. Now when I find myself broken down on the side of the road, God reminds me of that time and how He will still guard my heart and mind, even while I am getting towed through traffic!