The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD.
For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
1 John 5:4
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:57
The song I woke up to in my mind this morning was “See a Victory,” by Elevation Worship. What a way to start the day: in victory! This is truly how we should start every day. Whatever obstacles, battles, or problems face you there is victory over them in Christ Jesus. Not one thing can exalt itself against him, so he, by default is the winner. And he lets us win with him. When we are in Christ, all that he is we are, so that makes us victorious by default, too. So if you are someone who has always seen yourself as less than, or as someone who always loses - stop! Christ doesn’t lose. Ask him to be part of his victory today, because he doesn’t now how to fail.
Now when the Pharisees gathered to [Jesus], with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed...And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?”
Mark 7:1, 2, and 5
Knowing what we know now about germs, I would definitely be giving some side-eye to Jesus’ disciples for not washing their hands, especially today! I mean it is a major part of killing the germs and viruses we can’t see. But there is another place full of things we can’t see, and it won’t matter how many times we wash our hands, we can still be unclean. The rest of this passage goes on to Jesus quoting Isaiah: “These people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” (verse 6) We need to be just as concerned about the cleanliness for our hearts as our hands. One of my personal prayer verses is Psalm 24:3-4, I often sing it, because it reminds me not only to have clean hands but a pure heart, so I can be close to God. The outside washing is important, but it will all be in vain if we are not keeping the inside clean. Jesus explained further on in Mark chapter 7, that it’s what comes out of us that defiles us. So how do we keep from having sin and wickedness come out of us? One way is washing with the water of the word (Ephesians 5:26), by having the Word of God in our minds we keep the things that would be unpleasing from ever having any room inside our hearts.
It’s so abstract sometimes, we can’t see the spiritual heart, that is beyond our human ability. But we know God can, and so spend some time asking Him how you can be clean. So you can be washed; not just your hands, but also your heart.
TVC Prayer Coordinator
"Come," [Jesus] said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
Matthew 14:29, 30
Well, we all know what happened when Peter tried to walk on the water, he sunk. He got scared, the wind was coming toward him and he became afraid. What’s so interesting is the Bible specifically says he saw the wind. Usually, wind isn’t seeable, we see the effects of the wind (John 3:8). If the wind was coming at Peter with such force it’s likely the waves would look like hills, we know from earlier in the passage the waves were buffeting the boat. So Peter, being bold, got out of the boat during a storm! At first, he did not look at circumstances, he looked at Jesus. However, what is so incredible is that Jesus was walking on that same wave infested lake. We could speculate that where Jesus walked was calm, once he was in the boat with the disciples the wind died down. Whatever the case, whether walking through the waves or calm, Jesus still called Peter to come while the wind and waves were present. Right now we have the wind and the waves of infection. We can't see this virus, but we can see the effects of it. Even still, now just as then, Jesus is asking us to walk toward him in spite of the conditions around us. Don’t give into the fear that you will sink during this time. We can walk on the waves of this virus and flatten the curve with the authority of the one and only savior: Jesus. Let us call on him just as Peter did.
Please join us as we pray corporately, Wednesdays at 7pm.
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TVC Prayer Coordinator
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
With Christ fulfilling the law of the old covenant we are charged to fulfill the law of Christ in the new covenant. And the summation of the new covenant is: Love. What a blessing to be called to love, to love Christ, love our neighbor, and love ourselves. Now is the best time to show our love to neighbors. One way to do that is to carry someone else’s burden. Let’s be honest the mental burden during this time has shifted drastically. Things that once were easy are now a challenge and our lives are not normal right now. So this creates an opportunity for a need to be met. Thankfully, Jesus gives us a normal that is out of this world! Peace that passes all understanding, joy that overflows, hope that is secure in promise. This is how we can carry each other. Still take time to care for others during this. Don’t give up on praying for your family, your friends, your neighbors. Don’t let a shift in our physical normal be a shift in our spiritual normal. Keep looking out for people so we can fulfill the law of love in Christ Jesus.
Please join us as we pray corporately, Wednesday at 7pm.
TVC Prayer Coordinator
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
Lamentations 3:21-24 (ESV)
This morning, as I was watching the sunrise this verse struck my heart: the Lord’s mercies are new every morning. When we go through sorrow or difficulties there is always an end. There is the morning of joy, after our night of grief. We will not stay struck down. We will not stay in the mire. We will not be hidden away forever.
Today, let the mercy of God meet you in your difficult places, in your joyful ones, in the in between spots. Let the Lord be your portion, he’s never too much or too little. He’s always just right. Let him show you his faithfulness today, you can trust him to be there for you in all things. Let his mercy pour over your life into every part. It is by his mercy we are saved. So let him save you today, he can be trusted to get you through anything that may come your way.
TVC Prayer Coordinator