Church at Prayer WITH - ME October 13, 2015
This is one of my very favorite verses in the Bible, “He (Jesus) went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him.” (Mark 3:13)
While Jesus continued to speak to large crowds and heal those whom He encountered, at this point in his ministry He began to “focus on a few.” We can apply that to our own lives because you and I also have the opportunity to focus on a few, no matter how many our many may be.
Our “few” are the people we spend more time with, invest our lives in, and trust our Lord to be working in their lives. If we say that we invest ourselves in everyone we know, the probability is that we are not investing enough of ourselves in people deeply enough to actually change their lives and our own lives in the process.
The process Jesus used is both simple and intensely profound. We call it the ‘with-me’ principle. Jesus called twelve to be with Him in order to send them to serve. As we spend time with Jesus, we discover ourselves growing to know, love and become more like Jesus.
At the same time, if Jesus invited a few to be with Him, so we, too, may practice the with-me principle as we invite family members, friends, church people and others into our personal lives –
that we might grow to know and love not just one another but also our Lord who invites us to be with Him.
So, the next time you attend worship, go to a movie, go out for supper, or watch some special event
on television, whom will you invite to be with you?
Joy to you – E. Stanley Ott, February 11, 2014 Vol. 13, No. 4, WITH-ME
• Give thanks and praise to God Our Father for the unequaled gift of His Son, the supreme invitation for us to be with Him.
• Pray for those who share our lives with us. Give thanks for their kind support, as we support them.
• Pray for those who touch your lives daily – spouses, family, neighbors, friends, the waitress who served you breakfast, the mechanic who fixed your car, the trash collector, the mailperson – unsung heroes, all.
• Pray for insight in finding ways to more closely follow Jesus, to be a better foot-soldier for Him in this earthly kingdom. The world cries out for hope and peace. An outstretched hand can be the conduit. Let it be yours.
• Lift up the lost souls fleeing their beloved homeland of Syria. Ask for their protection and acceptance in new lands, especially for the children.
• Give thanks for the Teen Challenge program. Pray for strength and courage for these boys, that they will walk a better road in their future, knowing Jesus walks with them.
• Pray for those in our congregation who face hard challenges – physically, mentally or emotionally. Lift up those facing serious surgery, and for their families.
• Pray for Claire and her children as she ventures out onto new pathways.
• Pray for Pastor Jeff and our church, that we may be led by the Lord’s assurance of a safe and certain future in His service.
Church at Prayer PEOPLE October 6, 2015
I remember vividly the time years ago when I proudly told my father of a number of successful programs I was leading. He said to me, “You do realize your programs won’t outlast you!”
I asked what he meant. He explained that one day other people would replace me as the leaders of the various endeavors I was leading. They would have their own sense of priorities and vision and things would change.
For awhile that bothered me! Why put effort into something that the next person would change? Then I realized two things. First, as I move on to lead other organizations I would bring my own vision to bear and that it would be different from whomever I replaced.
More significantly, I realized that while the programs might not outlast me, the people would! The people whom I had encouraged in Christian faith and practice, the friendships of the heart that had emerged among us, the things that really count would endure.
I have been greatly encouraged by people in organizations I have led who were developed in Christian faith and leadership by my predecessors - and even more encouraged by the people of faith who were with me at some point in time who continue to love and serve our good Lord.
“For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed you are our glory and our joy.” (I Thessalonians 2:19-20)
In the midst of all you are doing, are you developing people? Are you growing friendships? They
will outlast everything else.
With joy – E. Stanley Ott, October 13, 2009 Vol. 8, No. 38 PEOPLE