Election Prayer

This prayer is offered by my good friend  Pastor Craig Garriott, a minister of reconciliation in the city of Baltimore.

                                                                                                 ” ….we confess we are a flawed and fallen people who live among flawed and fallen people and leaders. (Isaiah 6:1-7) On this eve of our presidential election we confess to you that we have not been faithful in praying and making intercession with thanksgiving for our leaders and all those in authority, as your servant Paul commanded us. (1Tim  2:1-5) We confess that we are quick to judge, criticize and condemn but slow to repent, slow to speak words seasoned with grace,  slow to weep (Col 4:6;James 5:9). Forgive us, Lord. Holy Spirit, soften our jaded and calloused hearts. We need your strength to learn and live humble, repentant lives.

             And so we plead for your mercy on us and on our nation in this hour. We do not deserve your mercy. We only deserve your judgment. Yet, you have declared yourself to be the Lord, the Great King, the compassionate, gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.”(Ex 34:6,7) We need your bleeding charity, the covenant blood shed in the sacrifice of your Son. By his precious blood we boldly approach your throne as fully forgiven sons and daughters, eternally beloved, eternally welcomed and summoned to pray (Heb 4:16).

            So we pray to you Sovereign Lord, who knows the beginning from the end, who establishes all those in authority (Rom 13:1,2). Guide our hearts and minds Holy Spirit to be faithful citizens of heaven as we vote that we might be faithful witnesses as citizens to our nation. May we labor, serve and love our neighbors and our leaders even as we strive for a more perfect union.  And because you are sovereign and good we can with Paul “rejoice in you, Lord always” (Phil 4:4). For you Lord have given us a hope that will not disappoint (Rom 5:5), you have promised a better country and you have prepared for us a great city whose architect and builder is you, the Lord our God (Heb.11:10,16)  Give us hearts and wills to seek your Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven (Matt 6:10). For your glory we pray in Christ’s powerful Name. Amen”

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Baptism & The Lord’s Supper

Got to preach on 2 ordinances… Baptism and Communion at Bridgeway Community Church, Columbia, MD.

 

 

 

http://www.bcctv.org/library/player/services/2015-2016/status-update-creating-your-spiritual-profile/spiritual-connection

 

 

GaryCOP

 

“Status Update: Creating Your Spiritual Profile”

 

Images of my Profiles: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Athlinks, My Spiritual Profile…

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Key Verse for the series: 2 Corinthians 13:5

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” (NIV84)

 

The Great Commission & The Great Commandment

 

 

The Great Commission = Making Disciples who Make Disciples who Make Disciples…

 

 

Matthew 28: 18-20

Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

 

Great Commandment = Loving Others as an outgrowth of our Love for God.

 

 

Matthew 22:37-40

An expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

 

 

Jesus’ key commands, my key concern…. Jesus’ top precepts, my top priority…

 

 

 

Baptism and Communion – 2000 year history of 2 Ordinances

 

 

Baptism: What, Why, Who, How?

 

  • Modeled by Jesus

                    Matthew 3:13-17

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

 

  • Commanded by Jesus

 

  • Practice of Early Church

                    Acts 2:41

41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

21 … everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved

 

  • Demonstration of an Inner Change

                    Romans 6:3,4

all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

 

 

Communion with Jesus: Remembering Christ & Inviting His Presence

 

        A Look Back, A Current Presence, and A Look Forward

 

        1 Corinthians 11:24,25

23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

        Revelation 3:14-22

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

 

 These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

 21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

 

Communion with One Another: The Love Feast

        1 Corinthians 11:20 & 28

20 When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat

28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.

 

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Purposeful Pain

For a disciple of Jesus Christ, sickness becomes a tool in the hands of God. Job was brought to a new awareness of God through his sickness; and Paul enjoyed more of God’s grace through the thorn in his flesh. My first reaction to becoming ill should always be, “Lord, what is Your message in all this?”

Does Jesus want me to always be well? Not until He has accomplished His purposes through my sickness, for having strong, healthy bodies is not God’s first objective for His children; godliness is (1 Timothy 4:8).

“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Thy word. Thou art good and doest good; teach me Thy statures” (Psalm 119:67-68).

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Keep it to Yourself

Matthew 7:3-5 teaches us that we cannot do self-assessment when we are finger pointing. Lord help me to focus on what is in the mirror over what is that thing in my brother’s life. It seems that working on me will allow me the right perspective toward my brother, which is likely covering him in grace.

 

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Authority – the exercise and respect of it.

To my friends that are in authority, and to my friends that have seen people of their color and class oppressed by those in authority… I say “I see you”. I see you both, and I am praying for you both.

I have been reflecting on Romans 13 and Ephesians 6, in regards to the proper use and exercise of authority; as well as the right perspective toward authority. I am reminded that Paul wrote these inspired instructions during a time when those in authority were oppressive and abusive. To those in authority: I pray that you see your authority as from God, and exercise it with a sacred trust amidst grace, justice, wisdom, and self-control. To those under authority – pray for those who rule us, that they would seek to serve and protect with a divine purpose of preserving peace and the well-being of society. We’ll regularly see people get it wrong, and when we do – fear and anger are natural responses. And yet, let’s continue to work at being a righteous multi-cultural society that honors and respects one another. May justice prevail, as the just Judge watches on. It’s worth staying in the conversation…

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Bible Teaching…

 

Bible Teacher Questions: 1) “What does the passage say?” AND, 2)”What SHOULD I say based on my culture and audience?

Your study always gives you more data than is appropriate to share.  Don’t try to offer a drink from a fire-hose, but instead, find the BIG IDEA, and communicate that clearly and concisely.

firehose

firehose2

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Trusting God to run in mid August…

Trusting God to run in mid August… https://www.crowdrise.com/fundraiser/campaign-updates/953743#!/status/1

 

Well, I am still non weight bearing on my left leg, after a high ankle sprain/fibula break and surgery following a tennis injury… and yet, I am passionate about getting back & supporting a great camp that provides scholarships for under-resourced children. Will you consider sponsoring me in the River Valley Run in August?  Click HERE

Runner

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