Sunday, July 19th
Sermon Text: 1 Samuel 17
Father, we come to you in prayer this morning as a redeemed people, gathered together to celebrate the grace that we have through your Son, Jesus Christ. In Christ, we have redemption through his blood, our sins have been forgiven; all because you God are rich in mercy and grace (Ephesians 1:7; 2:4).
Lord we know that you see all things, know all things, and are actively present in our lives today (Job 28:24; Psalm 139:7; 1 John 3:20; Matthew 10:30). So you are not surprised by what we are facing today. You are not surprised by a global pandemic that is impacting us individually. You see the pain, hurt, and disappointment we are going through. You see our anxiousness and our worries. You see our fears. And yet, you remind us over and over again not to fear, not to worry, to not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer, with thanksgiving, we are to present our requests to you. Because the peace you bring to us, which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7). You have left us with your peace; so that our hearts will no be troubled (John 14:27).
We are asking you today to remind us that you have not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love and of self control (2 Timothy 1:7) and when we do fear, we can come to you as Father (Romans 8:15). We know that if we seek you, you will deliver us from our fears (Psalm 34:4). And as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil, for you are with us; your rod and your staff, they comfort us (Psalm 23:4). You are on our side; we will not fear. What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:6). You have called us to be courageous and to stand strong, but not in our power, we stand courageous knowing your power is on display in our lives. No matter what the future holds for us, you, our all-powerful, all-knowing, are always present, calling for us to trust in you with all our heart and to not lean on our own power. You are the one who directs our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).
What then shall we say to these things? What can we say in the midst of Covid-19? What can we say in the midst of job loss and financial uncertainty and political unrest? We can say with confidence as your children, If you, our God are for us, who can be against us? You did not spare your own Son but gave him up for us all, will you not also with Christ graciously give us all things? Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For we are sure of this that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor pandemics, nor politics, nor joblessnes, nor financial hardships, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:31-39).
And that is why we stand firm and trust in your power over all things.
In Your powerful name we pray,