Tag

Mary Loudermilk

Browsing

“Therefore, be imitators of God as dearly loved children and live in love, just as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2, New English Translation).

Sync — short for synchronize: to set two things to the same time or value, or to update a database shared by two devices (urbandictionary.com).

To live in this digital age, we often find it necessary to sync our various electronic devices. I wear a fitness tracker; and when I go to the app on my phone, it tells me it is “syncing and refreshing.” Soon my cell phone shows the same information as my tracker. My laptop backs up my files to the cloud, which provides an exact duplicate of what I’ve done. That’s important in case my computer crashes. I can then restore everything.

How to Sync Spiritually

With all this syncing going on in life, wouldn’t it be great if we had something that could sync us with God. This would allow us to think like Him, act like Him, love like Him—you get the idea. We need to be completely like Him in our lives—totally in sync. And sometimes that’s not easy. We fail. But there is a way.

Second Corinthians 3:18 speaks of being “changed into the same image” as the Lord. But how do we take on His characteristics and allow this transformation to happen? The end of verse 18 tells us “even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” We are transformed when we allow God’s Spirit to control our lives.

When our heart beats in sync with God’s heart, things important to Him become important to us. We love what He loves; we hate what He hates. Our thoughts and actions will reflect His Spirit living and working in our life. No longer is it all about us—our goals, our ambitions, our desires. We are in sync so our values mirror His. We have His mind.

“But we have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16, NET).

Taking on His Image

As a child of God, we leave our old sinful nature behind and take on His image. We are synchronized with Him. Nothing is more wonderful than that.

“Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him” (Colossians 3:10, New Living Translation).

Prayer: Dear Lord, my desire is to become more and more like You. To think like You, to act like you, to love like You. Transform me through the power of Your Spirit so I will take on Your image and mirror Your characteristics.

 

“Work to see that the city where I sent you as exiles enjoys peace and prosperity. Pray to the LORD for it. For as it prospers you will prosper” (Jeremiah 29:7, New English Translation).

Most of us choose where we want to live. Oh, there may be some limitations if our desires exceed our budget, but we usually spend time considering many factors before making a move. We want a nice neighborhood, a good school district, and convenient shopping. We value safety and well-maintained streets. As real estate people like to say, “It’s location, location, location.”

I’d like to think it’s not only how our city can benefit us, but also how as a Christian we can benefit our city. Perhaps the most important thing we can do is pray. In reading a recent report from my city council member, I noticed revenue loss because a manufacturer closed operations. Should I make the economic well being of my community a matter of prayer? Definitely.

The words of Jeremiah in the above scripture were directed to the Israelites, who had been uprooted from their homeland and taken into Babylonian captivity. Under such circumstances, it would be so easy to complain or even grow bitter about the upheaval in their lives. But that was not what God desired from them. They were instructed to pray for the peace and prosperity of their new home. If their city prospered, they would also. That same advice is good for us today.

It’s important for us to be law-abiding citizens, but it is also important as believers to intercede for our city and cover it with prayer. The New Testament encourages us to pray for our land and especially for those in positions of leadership. I Timothy 2:1-2 says by doing so we will live quiet, peaceful lives.

“First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanks be offered on behalf of all people, even for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (NET).

Here are just a few possible prayer points:

  • The protection and well being of those who live and work in our city
  • That churches and pastors will boldly declare God’s truth
  • The administrators, teachers, support staff, and students of our schools
  • For city officials (mayor, councilmen, boards, etc.) to serve wisely and with integrity
  • Protection of our police, fire, and other emergency personnel
  • Local businesses to prosper
  • Any problem areas such as crime, unemployment, etc.
  • My own neighborhood

As our cities prosper, so will our states/provinces, and our nation. It becomes an ever-expanding circle. Let’s become an intercessor for our city. Our prayers do make a difference.

Prayer: Lord, place a burden on my heart for my city, its leaders, and its citizens. I pray for the protection, well being and blessing of each one. Give us leaders who will honor You and serve our city with integrity. Thank You for showing me the need of being an intercessor and standing in the gap with prayer.

 

“The signs of an apostle were performed with unfailing endurance among you, including signs and wonders and miracles” (II Corinthians 12:12, Christian Standard Bible).

At one time I attended a small Bible study group with ladies from various faith backgrounds. Our viewpoints may have been different, but we all enjoyed our times of fellowship, studying the Word, and praying together. I don’t remember exactly how the subject came up, but they expressed curiosity about miracles. They had read accounts in the Bible, but what about today? Do they still happen? They said their churches didn’t really talk about this. I assured them miracles do still happen, and they happen around us more than we may realize.

Miracles Still Happen

It’s one thing to declare miracles still happen and another thing to provide actual testimonies. I decided to start collecting miracle stories to share with my friends. Whenever I heard of God’s healing or intervention, I would put the story in a file on my computer. I still have that file, and it’s still exciting to read. The stories include an empty wheelchair, an eye exam, “the bus story,” healing of a heart condition, and a healing when children prayed in Sunday school class.

All of this came to mind again this morning as I read yet another miracle story on social media. It reminded me that even in our 21st Century world, God still keeps His promises, still heals, still provides. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

I grew up with the knowledge of God’s miracle-working power because my father frequently related two special events that happened to him as a new believer. One was a story of his miraculous healing of tuberculosis. The other story was of money God placed in my dad’s hand as he lay praying in bed one night. I have since experienced my own miracles and have seen the miraculous in the lives of friends and other believers.

It is important that we don’t let the stories die. Although my father has been dead over thirty years, his stories still live in my memory. He took time to recount them to me again and again. I learned as a child that miracles are for us today. They did not stop with the early church. I still believe it!

Preserving Our Testimonies

Are you building memories of the miraculous into the lives of your children? It is important that we preserve our testimonies and pass them on to the next generation. They must learn the amazing power of God still works in our lives today.

“Only be on your guard and diligently watch yourselves, so that you don’t forget the things your eyes have seen and so that they don’t slip from your mind as long as you live. Teach them to your children and your grandchildren” Deuteronomy 4:9, CSB).

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the miraculous I have personally seen and heard in my life.  I never want to forget what You have done, and I want to pass it on so the next generation will know Your might power.