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“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.” Psalm 122:1

Today is a very special day, the day we gather together in the house of the Lord to worship Him and to fellowship with our brothers and sisters.  It is a day we look forward to all week long.  I know we get together for Bible study and perhaps at other times during the week, but Sundays are special.

Most of us have heard the quote by President John F Kennedy in his speech on January 1961: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Let’s turn that around and say: “Ask not what your church can do for you, but what you can do for your church.”

I know our pastors will have spent much time in prayer and study, asking the Lord to give them the message that people need for today.  As we pray for the services, do we just pray that the Lord will bless us, or do we pray that the Lord will make us a blessing to others.  God has been so good to us, much more than we deserve.  He wants us to share our blessing with others.

As we gather together, there will be people who have come with problems and situations that they need answers for.  Those of us who have known the Lord for many years, need to be an inspiration and an example to others.  The way that we respond in the worship service, and to the message will speak to them much more than any words that we could say.  When they see us raising our hands, lifting our voices to the Lord in praise, it will let them know that God is faithful, that He has kept us through the years and that He is able to meet them as well.

David said he was glad for the opportunity to go to the house of the Lord.  Are you looking forward to what the Lord is going to do today in your local church?  We cannot expect the Pastor to do it all, each of us has a place to fill.  Let’s be vessels of the Lord today, that others may see Christ in us and be blessed.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, as we prepare for worship today, fill our hearts with a desire to be a blessing and example so that others will come to know You.

Devotion by Anne Johnston

“Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.” Psalm 68:19

Today, Autumn officially begins, and we realize that the year is almost three-quarters gone. I love this time of year when the leaves begin to change their colour and our world is arrayed in splendour.  The nights are cooler, but the days are much more pleasant after the long hot summer. While I was shopping the other day for some decorations for my apartment, I found a plaque with the words of my title on it: “Thankful, Grateful, and Blessed.”

For the past three years, I have been writing down some of the needs that have come up in my life and how God answered prayer.  There have been so many answers to prayer both for me and my family, miracles of healing, financial needs met, problems that have been solved, and just so many blessings that the Lord has bestowed on us. Last year I experienced cancer surgery, but now I am cancer free. Besides these answers to prayer that stand out, there are the daily blessings that He bestows upon us.  God certainly has been good to me and I am thankful, grateful and blessed.

I like what the psalmist, David, said, that the Lord not only gives us benefits daily, but he loads us with them.    The New Living Translation reads this way: “Praise the Lord: praise God our saviour! For each day He carries us in His arms.” 

Because of all He does for us, it is important that we take time every day to praise Him for all He has done, not only the big things, but the little things as well.  Let us always remember to be thankful and grateful because we are blessed.

Prayer:  Jesus we are so thankful for all the blessings you bestow upon us and that you daily carry us in your arms, meeting our every need.

Devotion by Anne Johnston

“We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.  For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:  And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.” Psalm 78-4-8

In Chronicles, it is said that Asaph was a descendant of Gershom the son of Levi and he is identified as a member of the Levites. He is also known as one of the three Levites commissioned by David to oversee singing in the house of Yahweh.  He wrote many of the Psalms and in this one he is showing how important it is to pass our faith in God down to the next generation, that they might pass it on in turn to their families.  I am sure that Asaph spent many hours in prayer for his children and those that would come after them.e who

In the book of Nehemiah, we can see how those prayers were still being answered many years later.  Nehemiah 11:17 reads: “And Mattaniah the son of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, was the principal to begin the thanksgiving in prayer:” Mattaniah is also mentioned in other verses in Nehemiah.  So, we see a man, several generations removed from Asaph, still following in his footsteps in prayer and worship in the Temple.

We never know how far our prayers will reach.  No doubt most of us can look back and remember parents, grandparents and even farther back who loved God and spent time in prayer for their families.  God heard every one of those prayers, stored them up and there are people serving the Lord today because of them.

Our prayers do not die with us, they will continue until the end of time.  That is why we need to take our children and our grandchildren to the Lord in prayer every day.  We pray that the Lord will be with them and with the generations to come.

Also, there may be some young people in your church, who do not have parents and grandparents praying for them.  We can become a spiritual parent to them and take them to the Lord in prayer, that God will keep them and bless them, and bless the families that they will have.

We will never know who prayed for us, maybe many generations ago.  We cannot comprehend how far our prayers will reach in the future.  But we need to be faithful in praying and leave the results with God.

Prayer:  Jesus, we bring our families to you today.  Protect them, bless them and guide them into a relationship with you that they can pass on to the next generation and the next and the next.

Devotion by Anne Johnston