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…Ecclesiastes. Now if you have that handout sheet, you see the bottom of that sheet? Do you see how many points I have? How many points? Eighteen. Okay, how many of you think I’ll actually get to all those? Not one chance I’m going to get to them. That’s why there’s not a single blank there. So I just filled them all in. There’s no way I’m going to get to every one of those points, but I have like a big point I want to explore a little bit.
We talked this last week about Death: It Stinks! That really hit some nerves with a lot of folks because we have some people in our church who are dying, and they’re in difficult circumstances. I talked to a dear lady downstairs after the first service who had a loved one die the week before. They were at a parade, and like, the guy was run over by a tractor in front of the grandkids or something. It was just like tragic! Here’s what I want you and me and all of us to remember: Death is not God’s plan. Life is God’s plan.
This is what the Bible says very clearly that Satan comes to rob, kill, and destroy. That’s what the Bible says. That’s Satan’s plan. God’s plan is life and that you have it in absolute, utter abundance. God’s gift is eternal life. Death is Satan’s gift to us in exchange for our loyalty, because we trusted Satan and his word more than God and His Word. In exchange for us committing treason against the King of the cosmos, Satan’s gift for that loyalty is death. God’s perfect will is Genesis, chapter 1, Revelation 21. That’s God’s perfect gift.
Death should always be offensive to us. Death is an intruder into God’s creation that we humanity opened the door to. But this is the good news: Death is not the last word. Life is the last word. The resurrection is the last word. Listen, this world is confiscated, usurped enemy territory, and when Jesus came, His message was, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Jesus is in the process of taking back the house, and the last enemy is death. Every time we walk down that walkway, that pathway to a graveside, it is not the end; it’s just “I’ll see you later.” That’s the hope of the Christian. That is the promise of Scripture.
Now we talked about not quitting, and it’s really important. I got a number of emails from people who said, “Could you like talk more about that?” You know what? Honestly, I don’t know a lot more about it. I know that you’re not supposed to, and we’re to hang in there. But how do you hang in there? Chapter 10 actually gives us some incredible insight in how to hang in there.
Look at verse 10, and we’re going to build everything around that this morning out of this chapter, and we’re going to come through and read the chapter, but look at this verse 10. “Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.” Okay, you understand the nature of proverbs? Proverbs are designed to make you marinate in that idea. What does it mean to sharpen the ax? Let me show you a video we shot this week down at my Uncle Danny’s farm.[Video]
I’m out at my uncle’s farm. He has a sawmill behind me here. It’s a one-man sawmill. There are donkeys in there. There are horses, and there are dogs. I’m in Ecclesiastes, chapter 10, verse 10, and it says this: “You can cut more wood with a sharp ax.” If you have a dull ax, it’s going to take a lot more energy and a lot more time.
I was thinking about when I was kid, my granddad…I really had a flashback to when there was this ice storm, and my granddad was up at the house, and my uncle was at the house, and my cousin was at the house. My granddad was in his seventies, and we were out there splitting that wood. Granddad could consistently split those logs so much better than we could, and then he started kind of kidding us about it. And he split his log, and then I would split my log, and my cousin would be trying to split his log. Granddad would split his log, sit down, and say, “Boys, what takes you so long?” He would actually agitate us. He reached down and pulled his pocket watch out, and he says, “I’ll give you five more minutes to split that wood.”
We were trying. We’d get our ax stuck down in the logs, and we really didn’t know what we were doing, and we didn’t realize we were using a dull ax. We had bad skills and we had bad tools, and the difference between why a 70-year-old guy could split more wood. It wasn’t that he was stronger than we were, although he might have been. It was that he had better skills and he knew how to use a file. Because when you use a sharp ax, you can split a whole lot more wood.[End of video]
I wonder what that really means for us. What axes do we need to sharpen? What is it that we’re spending a lot of energy on that it wouldn’t take near the energy if we would just sharpen our axes? You know, I actually have granddaddy’s ax, and it’s sharp. It’s really sharp. I called my Uncle Danny, and I said, “Danny, I want to use Granddaddy’s ax tomorrow at church,” and he goes, “Are you like mad at somebody?” I said, “No, no. I’m not at anybody in particular.”
He came this morning. Danny really is like a redneck. I mean, if you want to know what a redneck is, go look at Danny, and then you’ll understand. He’s like a walking definition of a redneck. We have security people out there directing traffic and stuff, and I told them this morning, “If you see like a redneck get out of a white truck with an ax, he’s okay. Don’t worry about him.”
This ax is over 50 years old, and I think back to times that I saw my granddad. His name was Fred. As a matter of fact, I need to make sure that name gets on here because if this ax disappears he will come after me because it is Danny’s. But the times I saw him use that…
This is not a metaphor that most of us know much about. Now some of you do. You know who you are. You know how to split wood, and you know how to use an ax, but don’t make the mistake of thinking Solomon actually knew how to use an ax. Solomon, I am sure, had no calluses on his hands, but Solomon was a really astute observer of life. Solomon, although he wasn’t always good… As a matter of fact, he really went wildly off course, and Solomon was the kind of person who literally had the world laid in front of him. He had everything, everything you could possibly imagine. He lived in unimagined luxury, and he was miserable…totally miserable!
I don’t think…I may be wrong. I didn’t research this. I don’t remember reading even one Psalm attributed to Solomon. He wasn’t like a worshiper. Like David grew up in a poor home; he was a shepherd boy. His life was completely different, and he wasn’t always on target. You know that. I mean, if the only stories you remember about David is out of Sunday school, you might go back for the unedited edition because it’s not always straightforward. It’s embarrassing, and there are some dark pages on David’s diary.
But David, although he was a great sinner, was an even greater repenter. I mean, read Psalm 51. David repented. If you had to characterize David, this is the word that they describe David: David was a man after God’s own heart. The word you see out of the Psalms over and over was rejoice. Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! Celebrate! Read that last Psalm. You know what it is? It’s a Psalm about rejoicing and how to do it. It’s like a primer on celebration. Basically, this is what he says: “Whatever you have in your hand, you raise it to God and shake it.” You have a timbrel? You have a guitar? Play it. Whatever you have, just raise your hands, raise your heart. God delights in that.
Solomon had everything you could possibly imagine and he had wisdom, but he was miserable. He died pretty miserable, but he was wise. He uses this phrase here: “Using a dull ax requires great strength.” Now how do we not quit, and how do we continue the race God has set before us? Well one of the ways we do that is we stop. One of the most important things about being able to stay on task is that sometimes you stop. You just stop. It’s time to stop. Stop, look at what you’re doing, ask yourself, Am I doing the right thing? Am I doing it the right way? Am I focused right? Stop, just stop.
I can run farther…longer…than anybody in this room if you will let me set the condition. You know that? I’m not a good runner at all. I’ve talked to people who were in like Iron Man races. I can run farther than they can. I’ve talked to these guys who run 50-mile races. I’ve talked to these guys who’ve run with horses, and they switch the horses in and out. They run the horses down, but I can run farther than anybody in this room if you’ll let me set the conditions.
You know what the condition is? I get to rest, and you don’t. If I get to rest, and you don’t, I can run from here to New York by the time I’m 70. Just book me some nice hotels along the way, tell me where the restaurants are, get a massage somewhere, yeah, I’ll run forever. You know why? Because if you stop, you can keep going. You can keep going. If you don’t stop, you will stop. You will!
If you don’t understand that part of the rhythm God made life to be, part of the rhythm that is designed and woven into the very fabric of life, and it’s not just as it should be; it is as it is that we’re supposed to stop, slow down, look around, think about it. The word that is used in the Bible is Sabbath. Sabbath. We’re to be Sabbath people.
Let’s look at this chapter. We’ll work all the way through it. Let’s see, maybe. Verse 1 is, “As dead flies cause even a bottle of perfume to stink, so a little foolishness spoils great wisdom and honor.” What do you think that means? You know, it’s pretty obvious. “Little things” mean something. “Little things” can affect a lot of things. Jesus uses this word picture that a little leaven leavens the whole lump, and He warns the disciples against the leaven of the Pharisees. He says, “Be careful you are not infected by something that may be even small, but little things can mean tons.”
Verse 2: “A wise person chooses the right road; a fool takes the wrong one.” If you’re using an older translation, it will say that a wise person chooses the right road, and the fool takes the left one. Now that’s not a political statement. It’s just the euphemism of the day. It’s the idiom that’s describing the fact that roads go somewhere, that decisions dictate direction, and direction dictates destinations. So decisions actually mean something! Ideas, the choices you make, have consequences and they have impact on the totality of your life. Roads go somewhere.
Thirdly, “You can identify fools just by the way they walk down the street!” Now what he’s describing is the fact that somebody who is foolish their lifestyle becomes very evident, and that if you look at your friends, you’ll see your future. You can identify somebody. I have people say to me sometimes, “Well it’s not fair that you might judge somebody by like what they wear or how they appear.” The reality is we do this all the time. If somebody has on a policeman’s uniform, what do we say? “Well that’s a policeman.” If somebody has a fireman’s uniform on, what do we say? “He’s a fireman.” If somebody has a football suit on, you don’t go, “Hey, there’s a great basketball player.” Now if you go to someplace and they’re all there, that’s Halloween.
I mean, we all make assumptions about somebody, and most of the time be careful because we project things in the crowd we hang with. Boy, I’ve seen this so many times. How many of you have ever worked with youth groups? Okay, you can go to a youth retreat, and there’ll be a thousand kids go to a youth retreat. It is shocking how quickly the kids who want to get in trouble find each other. I mean, it’s just shocking. It’s like radar. Everybody who wants to sneak off into the woods and smoke, it’s like, how do you find each other so fast?
Verse 4: “If your boss is angry at you, don’t quit! A quiet spirit can overcome even great mistakes.” That is really good advice. That is a great proverb, and it’s really the issue of to whom are you accountable? If you work for someone, you are accountable to them. Now everyone of you who have had somebody work for you, if you’ve ever had somebody who worked for you who would give you the humpf! humpf!, like they’re just mad, and you say, “What does that mean?” “I didn’t say anything! Humpf!”
Listen, if you work for somebody, here’s the advice: You don’t pay them to go in; they pay you! If they’re mad at you, don’t reflect that anger. Don’t reflect that back because even if you’ve made a horrible mistake, this is great advice. “Okay, I’m sorry. I made a mistake. How can we make it right?” You’ll be shocked how many people will go, “Okay, let’s see how we can fix things.”
This is going somebody upset. Listen, we need to recognize that God has set up authorities in our life, and sometimes those authorities aren’t even well-behaved. You may have loved Bush, you may love Obama, you may hate Bush, you may hate Obama, but let me tell you something. At least the way I was raised, and the way I believe the Bible teaches, we’re to respect the position even if we don’t respect the person, and I mean that thoroughly.
You know, read Romans 13 and 14 and remember that Nero was the Caesar in charge. Paul could have easily locked in on a political agenda about Nero. It would have not changed one single thing, but the story isn’t about Nero; it’s about Jesus! God uses authority. God used the Roman Empire to spread the gospel all over Europe. Bad authority! Bad government! Really evil people, but God still used them.
You know what? Let me tell you something. You may get pulled over by a police officer, and somebody speaks to you badly. If you have your kids in the car, don’t speak badly about that man. Don’t do that! If you come home and you complain about the president and your boss and every authority in front of your kids all the time, don’t be surprised when they don’t want to listen to you either because you have instilled in them this negative attitude about authority.
Verse 5: “There is another evil I have seen under the sun. Kings and rulers make a grave mistake when they give great authority to foolish people and low positions to people of proven worth. I have even seen servants riding horseback like princes—and princes walking like servants!” That’s the whole question of, Am I ready for the position I want? If you have that position, would you even be ready for it? We need to be aware that just getting the position doesn’t make that person a responsible person.
Verse 8: “When you dig a well, you might fall in.” Now basically this…Even good work can consume you. Even good work. Digging a well is a good thing, but a good thing can consume and fall in on you. “When you demolish an old wall, you could be bitten by a snake.” That was a word, that was a phrase, this is a passage the Reformers talked about a lot when they were going through the whole Reformation thing. This whole idea that if you’re trying to tear up something or tear something down, even something that needs to be torn down, that constant sense of being in attack mode can be toxic to you. If you’re constantly attacking something, tearing something down, that can just be toxic and poison you.
“When you work in a quarry, stones might fall and crush you.” Now think about what he’s saying. You can be working with these big stones and big stuff, but the bigger your ideas, and the bigger your goals, the bigger your dreams, the more potential they have to just fall in and crush you.
“When you chop wood, there is danger with each stroke of your ax.” Now what is he saying? Everything you do comes with some level of downside and potential danger. Everything you do is dangerous. You do know that. If you decide you’re going to ride in a car, that’s dangerous. If you decide to walk on the side of the road, that’s even more dangerous. If you decide you’re going to eat something, that’s dangerous. It could have toxic chemicals in it, and you could get cancer. If you decide you’re not going to eat, that’s dangerous. If you breathe, that’s dangerous. If you don’t breathe, that’s even more dangerous. There’s nothing in this life absent risk.
Verse 10, this is what we looked at: “Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom…If a snake bites before you charm it, what’s the use of being a snake charmer?” This is a funny proverb to me. I just can’t help it. I mean, it’s just a funny proverb. You know what? That God put this in here is really hilarious to me.
You do know what he’s saying. Have you ever seen somebody like charm a snake? They can do it. I mean, I’ve watched them in India. They’re not all demon-possessed. They’re just kind of move their head and they blow this little whistle. You know, you could be a great snake charmer, but if you do it after the snake bites you, it doesn’t matter.
Have you ever seen people like this where they were all ready to do the right thing after it was too late? Okay, guys, listen to me. I’ve seen this happen with a lot of guys. Their wives beg them and beg them and beg them and beg them and beg them to go to church with them, do the right thing, be a spiritual leader in their house, do the right thing. They beg them, they beg them, they beg them, and then finally this wife gets just completely, totally fed up, and she’s over the top. She can’t take it anymore, and she’s completely disinterested. Then all of a sudden, he wants to be the spiritual leader. Now the wife is like, “I don’t have any interest.”
Now, I’m not saying that women are snakes, okay? What I’m saying is if you know what the right thing (I’m preaching to myself) to do, it’s better to do it on the front end. I see this with students. Man, it comes toward the end of the school year, and they start trying to cram and get ready and get ready. Listen, if you know it was the right thing to do, start early! Start early. Timing really does matter.
“Wise words bring approval, but fools are destroyed by their own words.” Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing. “Fools base their thoughts on foolish assumptions, so their conclusions will be wicked madness; they chatter on and on. No one really knows what is going to happen; no one can predict the future. Fools are so exhausted by a little work that they can’t even find their way home.” That’s funny, isn’t it?
“What sorrow for the land ruled by a servant, the land whose leaders feast in the morning.” This is really important. “Happy is the land whose king is a noble leader…” look at this, “…and whose leaders feast at the proper time to gain strength for their work, not to get drunk.” Now if you’re looking at those notes. Leaders are judged by a higher standard, but the next point there is also incredibly important, and I don’t think I phrased it on your sheet this way, but I think this is a better way to phrase it. Parties ought to have a purpose. If you’re going to celebrate, have something to celebrate.
There are people who have such opportunity to them they can’t discipline their desires in such a way that they have everything they want available to them all the time they want, and so everything just becomes sort of meaningless to them because they don’t reserve that. If you’re going to eat a whole chocolate cake, make it for something! Don’t just eat it because you have one. If your kid graduates from college or you have some birthday or something, if you find yourself like eating way too much, and you’re going, Why am I doing this? If you do that…
Like if three times in your life you eat a whole chocolate cake, it won’t kill you. It won’t. You’ll throw up, but it won’t kill you. But if you live in such a way that parties…I’m actually saving this for downtown to tell you the truth…but if you live in such a way that you don’t celebrate good things, and you can get overbalanced in both of these things where everything’s a celebration, and when everything’s a celebration, nothing’s a celebration! Nothing really matters.
Let’s come back to this whole idea of sharpening your tools, sharpening your ax, because there’s a rhythm in the Bible. It’s really important. It’s like a pendulum. When you read Genesis, chapter 1, look at that whole section there, and you’ll see that it’s separated into days. You see that? How many days are there? Seven…seven days. It’s not a trick question.
It’s just an amazing passage. There’s this whole thing about truth that’s there. God said, God said. Then there’s this whole thing about goodness. It was good, it was good, it was good. Then there’s a whole thing about beauty in there which is absolutely amazing. It was pleasing to the eyes. On the sixth day, God did what? You see that down there? What did God do on the sixth day? He created humanity.
Now particularly downtown with college kids, I get kids all the time asking me, “Does this mean that God actually created everything in actual six days?” I always just say, “Yes,” because that’s what I believe. But you know what? I had a mentor friend, Dr. John R. Rice, who was one of the most conservative men, Bible-believing men, I’ve ever known in my life. He believed that between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 there was a gap, called the gap theory. This is where all that dinosaur stuff and everything came in there. This was a recreation. There are all kinds of huge debates about are these epilogues and all this stuff like that?
Now I’m going to tell you. Then people say, “Well how did days actually…? Were they really 24 hours because God didn’t actually create the moon until here?” Okay, let me just tell you something. When you get into all that, it’s called “adventures at missing the point.” It is. Now I’m happy for you to go out there and have those great discussions, but I want you to see something. I have an ax. Do I look like a scientist? I don’t know! I’m not even really good at chopping wood.
Here’s what I do know: God created! God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. What does that mean? Well God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light! That’s what it means. “So was this like a particle wave explosion? Was this like a…?” I don’t know! If that’s not good enough for you, there are other things in the Bible I don’t understand. I don’t actually understand the incarnation. I really don’t. I mean, I don’t. I really struggle with the whole idea that God became man. Now I believe it! Yes! One-hundred percent I believe it.
I don’t understand sovereignty and free will. Okay? Now if that disqualifies me to be your pastor, go find someone else who’s a scientist! I don’t write it; I just preach it. I don’t even understand it all. I just believe it all, every bit, front to back…except for the maps. Okay? Listen, if somebody comes up to you, you’re single, and they say, “I love you with all my heart,” you don’t go, “Including the left ventricle?” Do you understand what I’m saying to you? God created it! God created it.
If it turns out the scientists are wrong (which they often are), if it turns out that the theologians are wrong (which often they are), it doesn’t mean the world is wrong or the Word is wrong; it means that somebody’s not reading the Word right or somebody’s not reading the world right. Okay? So I guarantee you this: When we’re all dead and gone, they’re going still be preaching this Book, and it’s going to still be good. You can build your life on this. I didn’t want to get there.
When God made man, the very first day He made us, and then what did He say do? It’s the hint right here. Rest. “Wait a minute! We just got here. Don’t You have some work for us to do? There’s a lot of stuff out there.” “Nope. Here’s what I want you to do: Rest.”
It’s a really interesting word. God created this seventh day. This seventh day is actually the first day for humanity. It really is…the seventh day. This rest day, this word that is used, rest, go back and dig into the sermon archive and find the sermon The Mishkan of God. This is where God assumes the throne. This is the dwelling place. In the Old Testament when they talked about the Holy of holies, they described it as God’s mishkan, His dwelling place.
When Jesus comes and He tabernacled among us, this is the mishkan of God. This is the rest of God. This is where God invites us into being. This is a holy day. He sanctified it, He consecrated, He indwelled it, and He invited us into it. It’s not a punishment; it’s a privilege! It’s where you stop, and you go, “Good work, God. Can I have one of those peaches off that tree? What make You think about putting the fuzz on there? That’s cool.”
Have you been driving around the last few days with your eyes open? Oh my word! I stopped twice on the way to church to take pictures of trees. I know somebody’s going to pass the word around, “The pastor over at Grace is nuts. He’s like taking pictures of trees and he’s standing out there clapping and taking pictures of trees.” I think God’s like been showing off this week.
Now when God shows off, what are you supposed to do? Clap! Yeah! Wow! Have you guys been down to the house down there? There’s a red tree in front of that house. It is unbelievable! I drove down there and looked at it this morning. I just kind of sat there and stared at it a while because it’s amazing! It’s amazing. I actually learned this new phrase this past week, and I actually learned it from Yankee people. Yep, you guys have some good ideas.
I got somebody irritated with me after that. “Well we’re from Chicago. We have a lot of good ideas.” I’m like, “I married a girl from Lake Geneva, so don’t give me that.” Okay? Listen, you know what the phrase is? It’s “Tree peaking.” Yep, peaking. Like p-e-a-k. Like peaking because it comes to that whole idea of when they’re at their peak of the colors. I’m saying it wrong? It’s peaking. If they don’t say it right, we’re going to say it right down here. They don’t know how to say Ponce de Leon either. I’m just kidding, okay? I have other issues.
Here’s what we do: We work to rest. That’s what we do. We find identity in what we do. That’s our nature. We work to rest. God’s plan is that we work from rest out of our identity, that we understand who we are, whose we are. That’s how you sharpen the ax spiritually. You stop, and you go, “God, what do You want me to know? Whom did You make me to be? What am I? Who am I? What am I supposed to be like?” You spend time in this rest, and out of this rest, you work out of that identity. That’s God’s plan.
It’s not only His plan; it’s His design. It’s His command. Here’s what He said to the children of Israel, one of the Ten Commandments: “Remember the Sabbath day. Keep it sanctified because you are not slaves. You have an identity. You are sons. You are more than what you do. You are not just a robot out there. Pharaoh doesn’t own you.”
Some of you right now, you need to tell Pharaoh, the Pharaoh of your life, “I’m out of here, pal. You have ruled me too long. I’m not going to live under that kind of slavery. I am not defined by my work and my identity in this world. I’m defined by the fact that Jesus Christ came and laid down His life for me. That’s my identity. I have worth, and that worth has been assigned to me by the Creator of the cosmos, and I have you know, He’s crazy about us.” Yeah.
This is what God sent Moses to do. He says, “You go tell Pharaoh, ‘Let My children go. Let them go.'” “No I don’t have to!” “Yeah you do. You like frogs? You’re going to meet them? You like lice? You’re going to see them. You like groping around in the darkness? You’re going to feel it. Here’s My Word. Go tell Pharaoh, ‘Let My people go!'” Yeah.
You know what? Some of you are under Pharaoh’s rule. You are doing this. “You know what you are? You’re a slave! That’s all you are. That’s all you’ll ever be. You’re a slave. You’re defined by this.” No! We are not defined there. We’re defined by Jesus Christ who was the mishkan of God who laid down His life for us. You know what you need to do? You need to stop because if you’ll stop, you can actually keep going, and you can go with joy. You can go with great rejoicing.
Let’s pray: Lord, thank You for You. Lord, I thank You for a mom and a dad and a grandmom and a granddad and an uncle who taught us truth and lived it in a way that communicated love that was way, way beyond words. Lord, I feel just from some of the response of last week that there are folks who are just struggling, some with jobs, and, Lord, I thank You for…I talked to some people that are just really busy and some who aren’t busy. Lord, Lord, I thank You for those who are stepping up to the plate financially in these hard times, and my heart goes out to some of these who are going through hard times. Lord, I’m sure there are some people here who just feel completely entrapped spiritually, and they just need to be free today.
You know, before Gardner really gets into this song deep, I want to do something. If you’re here this morning…and I just feel led to do this…if you’re struggling about your work, we as a congregation…I want to pray for you. Just slip up your hand. You want pray about your work. Let me just see your hand. Okay. Get your hands up. Okay. Listen, here’s what I want you to do: If you’re struggling…keep your hand up…I want you who are around them to reach over and put your hand on their shoulder. I want more than one hand on everyone of those shoulders.
Reach over and grab that person’s shoulder. Come on. We love each other here. We’re not ashamed to pray. We need help. Let’s get a hand on everybody’s shoulder. I see people over here who have their hands up and nobody’s on their shoulders. Guys, I need pray-ers. Get over with these people. They need us to pray for them. Okay, I’m going to lead us in prayer right now, but I want you to pray with that person.
Lord, for these people, this is a hard time. Lord, Your Word says we are to ask You and Your Father and You’ll give to us, and Your Word says in the book of Deuteronomy that it is You who gives us the power to make wealth. It’s not our power. It’s not our ability, and when You give us that power and that ability, we are not to say, “It’s by my power and my might we’ve attained this wealth.”
Lord, we’re not asking for airplanes or helicopters, and we’re not asking for luxury, but these people need jobs, and they need work for their family. Lord, I’m asking You that You will do some marvelous things to open doors in a tough economy, that You will just show them and these men, these women who need work, that You’ll give them work.
Lord, we’re not asking for like riches. Lord, these people need help, and You’re our Daddy, and we’re here asking for help. Lord, there’s some other folks here who just need You and they are lost spiritually. Lord, I pray that today they’ll make their way over to one of these prayer stations and there are elders there.
Lord, I thank You for the 65 high school and middle school kids who have come to faith in the last two weeks. Lord, I thank You for the 35 kids in Kids Life who have come to faith in the last two weeks. Lord, I thank You that You are moving in our midst and calling people to You. There might be some right here who need to come.
We ask You because You’re a good Dad and You can do amazing stuff…blue skies, red and yellow trees. You change humanity. You redeem the lost. Lord, we ask You to do that. You put marriages back together. Lord, we pray for that. Lord, You say we have not because we ask not. We’re not going to be guilty of not asking. We’re asking. We’re asking You to do stuff…God stuff that everybody around us goes, “Huh, they didn’t do that; God did that.”
Lord, we are jealous for Your glory. We want Your glory to be shined forth. In Your name we pray. Amen.