Crossroads

Jeremiah 6:16a
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”

John 14:6
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.’”

Isaiah 30:21
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’”

Almighty God, our feet cannot stumble when our eyes are fixed on you.

Christ ahead of us commands us to follow; your Spirit behind us shows us the way.  Through treacherous terrain you clear a path marked by righteousness and rest.

crossroadsMeet us at the crossroads so that we may be reminded of your unchanging counsel.  Help us walk forward in faith, peaceful in the presence of a guide that cannot fail.

This we ask in the name of Christ, who gave his life upon the axis of our faith, the cross, to become the good way.

Listen to ‘Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah’ by Mark Smeby

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Moved

Genesis 43:29-31
“After [Joseph] looked about and saw his brother Benjamin, his own mother’s son, he asked, ‘Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?’  And he said, ‘God be gracious to you, my son.’  Deeply moved at the sight of his brother, Joseph hurried out and looked for a place to weep.  He went into his private room and wept there.  After he had washed his face, he came out and, controlling himself, said, ‘Serve the food.’”

John 11:33-36, 38-39a
“When Jesus saw [Mary] weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.  ‘Where have you laid him?’ he asked.  ‘Come and see, Lord,’ they replied.  Jesus wept.  Then the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’…Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb.  It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.  ‘Take away the stone,’ he said.”

Isaiah 54:7
“For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back.”

God of compassion, your secret thoughts are filled with profound concern for your people.

You allow yourself to be intimate with our emotions but restrain your hand until the chosen moment.  While salvation delays, you acknowledge our bewilderment with tears of your own.

movedHelp us wait in trust and the anticipation of your greater glory.  Do not keep your face hidden in our time of grief.

We ask this in the name of the weeping Christ, who awaits the time when his power will no longer be paused.

Listen to ‘What Wondrous Love is This?’ featuring Matthew Smith

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Book of Life

Malachi 3:16-17
“Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard.  A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.  ‘They will be mine,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘in the day when I make up my treasured possession.  I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him.’”

Psalm 87:6
“The Lord will write in the register of the peoples:  ‘This one was born in Zion.’”

Revelation 3:4b-5
“They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. Those who are victorious will, like them, be dressed in white.  I will never blot out their names from the book of life, but will acknowledge their names before my Father and his angels.”

Sovereign Lord, we ascribe glory to you as the author of history.

We commit ourselves into your family, to be known as your faithful sons and daughters.  Made holy and white, we offer our lives as pages for you to write your story upon.

book of lifeRecord us as your own in the book that celebrates life.  Make note of our new birth with the pride of a loving parent.

We know that it is only through Christ that we are counted righteous, and our names are penned in the costly ink of his wounds.

Listen to ‘Immovable Our Hope Remains’ by Sovereign Grace Music

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Sand

Hosea 1:10
“Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God.’”

Mark 1:19-20
“When [Jesus] had gone a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets.  Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.”

 Acts 21:4a, 5-6
“Finding the disciples there, we stayed with them seven days…But when our time was up, we left and continued on our way.  All the disciples and their wives and children accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray. After saying good-by to each other, we went aboard the ship, and they returned home.”

Gracious Lord, your Spirit in love fathers every spiritual family.

sandIn the unlikely sanctuaries of beaches and boats, you gather small bands of sisters and brothers.  Your church, like so many grains of living sand, grows through a few who will follow.

Keep us kneeling together as small handfuls of the faithful.  May we be disciples who sail or come ashore in answer to your call.

We ask this in the name of Christ, who waded into a sea of suffering to bring us safely onto joyful shores.

Listen to ‘Deliverance‘ by Strahan

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Coveting

Exodus 20:17
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.  You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

John 21:20a, 21-22
“Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them…When Peter saw him, he asked, ‘Lord, what about him?’  Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?  You must follow me.’”

Jeremiah 29:11
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

Thank you, O Lord, for the gift of life to our bodies, the blessing of peace to our hearts and the miracle of redemption for our souls.

You see with clarity the circumstances we view with uncertainty.  Even obscured by trouble, your plans for us are good.

covetingDraw our jealous eyes away from the path you have chosen for our neighbour.  Allow us to look upon your gentle face and replace our covetous longing with gratitude.

By Christ’s precious name we pray, unenvied in his life and death, and yet your perfect revelation.

Listen to ‘Be Thou My Vision’ by Dave Hunt

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Rock

Deuteronomy 32:3-4
“I will proclaim the name of the Lord.  Oh, praise the greatness of our God!  He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just.”

Isaiah 51:1
“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the Lord:  Look to the Rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn…”

Luke 23:50-53
“Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action.  He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God.  Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body.  Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.”

Lord God on high, like towering cliffs of granite you endure in strength for ever and ever.

rockYou are the Rock from which we are hewn.  At the very heart of our faith lies the place chiselled for Christ’s surrendered body.

May we be stones cut faithfully from your kingdom’s quarry.  Prepare us as willing hosts for your resurrection.

Hear the prayer we lift in Jesus’ name, the first to carve new life from the grave.

Listen to ‘Rock of Ages’ by Brooks Ritter

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Gates

Judges 16:2-4
“The people of Gaza were told, ‘Samson is here!’  So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate.  They made no move during the night, saying, ‘At dawn we’ll kill him.’  But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night.  Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all.  He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.”

Psalm 107:15-16
“Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.”

Micah 2:13
“One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out.  Their king will pass through before them, the Lord at their head.”

Mighty God, we praise you for your great acts of power on our behalf.

falling gate Castle Vajdahunjad in Budapest HungaryYou break through barricades that keep us imprisoned.  Despite the iron bars imposed by doubt and circumstance, you forge the way to freedom.

By your strength and mercy release us from the city of sin.  Lead us out with glad songs to a place of joy.

We ask this in the name of Christ, who broke through the gates of hell for us, carrying redemption upon his shoulders.

Listen to ‘Hail the Day’ by Simply Sing

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Shine

Exodus 34:29
“When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.”

2 Corinthians 4:6
“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

Numbers 6:24-26
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

Lord of heaven, you display your love in glorious light.

shineThough we cannot see you, we recognize your presence by radiant reflections on peaceful faces.  When you turn toward us, all shadows of shame disappear.

Look upon us with mercy and bright blessing.  Shine in our dark hearts and transform our world-weariness into glory.

We ask this for Jesus’ sake; your light made visible and the face turned to us in peace.

Listen to ‘May God Keep You’ by Ordinary Time

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Creation

Romans 1:20
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

1 Kings 4:30a, 32-34a
“Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the men of the East…He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five.  He described plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls.  He also taught about animals and birds, reptiles and fish.  Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom…”

John 1:1-3
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”

Creator King, your handiwork humbles us with bliss and wonder.

creationYou call us to examine the work of your hands so that we might know your heart.  In the study of creation’s complexities we discern your hidden truths, adding wisdom to knowledge.

Help us to love you with curious minds in the spirit of awe.  Do not let us forget to be fascinated with the world you have crafted for our home.

We ask this by the Word that spoke all things into being, our living Saviour and earth’s Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Listen to ‘All Creatures of Our God and King’ by West Coast Revival

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Jewels

Zechariah 9:16
“The Lord their God will save them on that day as the flock of his people.  They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown.”

Isaiah 62:3
“You will be a crown of splendour in the Lord’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God.”

Revelation 19:12, 16
“His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns…On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:  KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Great and mighty King, your name shines brighter than the glory of gemstones and gold.

You searched for us and unearthed us from dark places.  With loving precision you shaped us with a thousand facets to reveal your light and beauty.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABecause the touch of your hand has made us prized and precious, place us as jewels in your crown.  May we, like holy ornaments, sparkle with the splendour of your majesty.

Thank you for your mercy to us, that we should be made worthy to share in the adornment of Christ.

Listen to ‘Hast Thou Heard Him, Seen Him, Known Him?’ by Morgan Bennett

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