A PERSONAL PRAYER
Dear Jesus, my Redeemer,
There are moments in my life that I prefer not to remember, times I have done things of which I am not proud. When I call these to mind, they sting and burn like poison and fog my mind with regret. They rob me of self-confidence and snatch away my sense of self-worth. I have tried to wash them away with your love, but it doesn’t seem to work. I know that they have left self-inflicted scars, and underneath those scars there is an ache, a sensitivity to touch that makes me wince when I touch them. These moments are a part of me.
And the pain I have brought upon myself, God, pales in comparison to how much I know I have hurt others and how much I must have hurt you. You were willing to die for me, and then I do these things, live this way? What shall I do with these moments of betrayal and denial? I thought you were a God who would forgive and forget… Take them away!
Maybe, God, your forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting, but instead means redemption. You are my redeemer, and you take hold of my broken decisions and use them for your glory. These moments remain a part of me to let me know the depth of your compassion which is greater even than your pain. Your love, in the face of my disloyalty and unfaithfulness, overwhelms me and propels me to give myself fully to demonstrating to you just how much I love you. Tell me what to do, God, that I might respond to your love, and live as one who has been fully redeemed.
Humbly and gratefully I pray,
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” Luke 22:61 Read both passages for this week’s sermon here: Luke 22:54-62, John 21:15-17.
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
When have you experienced the conviction of denying Jesus with your words or actions? How does a remembrance of that time influence your Christian life now?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
Stand Up and Be Counted! The research shows that studying the Bible with others is the one thing that has the greatest impact on the spiritual life of someone who has chosen to be a follower of Jesus. More than coming to church, or simply being in a small group, real Bible Study is life-changing. Because of this, we have set a goal of 2000 in Bible Study with others by the end of 2017. We currently have over 1300 people participating in regular Bible study with others, but we believe that there are others who are in Bible Studies outside the church or who are studying with a Bible Buddy that we don’t know about. Would you please let us know? You can go here and click the “count me in” button to register that you are participating in a Bible Study with others! And if you are not yet in a Bible Study, watch for our Summer Bible Challenge coming up.
This Sunday, April 9, we will begin our worship waving our Palm Branches and proclaiming Jesus as King! Our message will continue to consider Jesus’ time in Jerusalem, focusing on Peter’s denial of Jesus in the courtyard outside the house of Caiaphas, the high priest, and look forward to Peter’s reinstatement after the resurrection, found in the gospel of John. I hope you will come as we move fully into our preparation for the most significant weekend of the Christian year.
This Sunday is our Palm Sunday Family Picnic and Easter Egg Hunt on the Blanton field, from 11-1. Pray for good weather, and join the fun. Info is here.
Finally, note our Holy Week and Easter service schedule here. In addition to Sunday morning, I encourage you to join us on Maundy Thursday at either noon or 7:00p.m. for the Lord’s Supper, and on Good Friday evening at 7:00 for the service of the Tenebrae, one of the more powerful services of the whole year.
Sunday, April 9 – Palm Sunday
Jesus, Lamb of God, you are Lord of all creation. You could have entered Jerusalem in a Lexus with an armed escort, or landed in a private jet, welcomed with fanfare and cable news coverage. But no. You met the final week of your life by riding in on a donkey- no cameras, no self-congratulation. You were meek and humble and without a doubt the King. Teach us to be meek and humble like you. Amen. -Prayer by Rev. David Horton
Monday, April 10
Lord, we are grateful for the great doctors here in Houston who are working to heal your people every day. Please be with them as they diagnose, treat and heal those who are sick. Give them divine wisdom in their work and peace in their lives. Amen.
Tuesday, April 11
Lord, we pray for those who don’t believe or struggle with their faith. Put people in their lives who will show them your great love. Amen.
Wednesday, April 12
Lord, thank you for the work that our government has done in the fight against cancer. Give us a passion to continue to fight together to eliminate this disease. Amen.
Thursday, April 13 – Maundy Thursday
Father God, thank you for your gifts of beautiful flowers and spring weather. Sunsets are a great testimony to your beautiful craftsmanship. Thanks for the gifts that you shower upon us. Amen.
Friday, April 14 – Good Friday
Lord, I pray for all of those who are currently sick or hospitalized. I pray that they would know your love and healing today. Amen.
Saturday, April 15 – Holy Saturday
Lord, we pray for the underemployed and the unemployed. Be with those who are struggling financially. Amen.
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