"He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for the sake of His name" - Psalm 23:3 (NIV)
In recent times there have been sensational news of prominent church leaders who have fallen. These have ranged from leaders with global ministries leading thousands of followers like Jerry Falwell of Liberty University, Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Church, John Ortberg of Menlo Mega church to lesser known local leaders whom we might know of closer at home. Because these leaders are part of an institutional set up their Boards have often had to ask them to take leave of absence or gracefully exit for the sake of preserving the institution.
Two critical lessons here is that institutions are bigger than individuals! The other is that sin is no respecter of titles or positions. No one is beyond reproach.
Although it may strike many as odd it is actually not a rarity to find a leader who gets entangled in some morally compromising situation. Historically, there are more than ample cases. King David had a fling with Bathsheba, the wife of one of his junior officers whom he caused his death (2 Samuel 11). Abraham slept with his maid Hagar (Genesis 16: 3-4); it is said Solomon , the man who built the temple of the Lord, had 700 wives and 300 concubines!
Now if one looks at how the world handles leaders who fall there is a stark difference. Often the world seeks to hush but once the matter is open then to banish the culprit, whatever their previous record of service.
For Christians, ours is a faith of restoration and not condemnation! David fell on his knees once his sin became obvious to him and poured out his heart to God, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin” (Psalm 51:1-2). Once a believer does that, God wraps His arms around and begins the work of restoration.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, in you we seek and find restoration wherever we go astray and what a comfort to know there is no condemnation for they that believe and trust in you!
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“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”- (Philippians 4:6).
Perhaps you have heard of a certain old magical trade known as mind reading. According to this trade which has been around for millenniums and has its share of tricksters, mind readers are able to discern thought patterns of individuals before they even utter a word. There are places in the world where this, as expected, is a lucrative occupation, with practitioners, often crafty magicians, demanding hefty fees, just to tell thoughts of others.
As Christians, of course, we have an all knowing God, who has said, “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” ( Mathew 6:8). Further, our Lord has pointed out, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” ( Mathew 6:7). As Christians when we come to God, we do so with full confidence, that He already knows our needs and will meet them according to his glorious riches in heaven.
Of particular interest for us here is that while God perfectly knows our needs before we even dare utter a single word, still it is incumbent upon us to make our requests known to Him. A parent may have long noticed a child has a need for a new pair of shoes; but it is another dimension, when the child does come out and share aloud that his pair is worn out, hurting and is quite in need of a new one. The parent takes notice, especially when the matter is presented with such conviction and urgency. This is why Hannah cried out to God for a child ( 1 Samuel 1:9-18).
In our relationship with God, as the Apostle Paul advises us, it is not just enough to assume and let matters be, that after all God knows all our needs, but we too bear a responsibility to make our requests known to Him. Once we are done with that, we let God do His part, allowing “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” ( Philippians 4:7) to flood us.
So, today, do not hold back your needs from the Almighty God. He has paved the way to walk to Him through His son Jesus Christ, to present your case, bear out your heart’s desire, and let Him do His part!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise to make my requests known to you, knowing you have heard me even before I utter a single word, assured that you will meet each and every one of my needs, according to your glorious riches in heaven!