Elder's Prayer - Solid Foundation
Please find below Brett Harris' notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
At the end of Matthew 7, Jesus compares his words to a solid foundation (Matthew 7:24-25); "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock."
In Acts 20, Paul is on his way to Jerusalem when he says farewell to the elders of the church at Ephesus. In talking about his future plans, he says this (Acts 20:22-24); "And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord, Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."
For Paul, the rains and floods and winds are coming. They will be wherever he is.
Yet he considers the most important thing to be the gospel - God's word of salvation to us. His life means nothing compared to finishing his task of preaching the gospel.
How do we respond when the rains, floods, and winds come our way? Are we quickly discouraged when affliction hits too close?
Where is our hope when suffering comes? Do we give up easily?
Like Paul, is our hope in the God who has made himself known to us? Is our hope in Christ, whose words are the foundation and cornerstone of our faith?
When suffering comes, do we rely on God to strengthen us, to carry us, to help us to persevere? When we know God and his word, we can experience the joy and peace and steadfastness of a relationship with God even while the rest of life around us seems to be falling apart.
Father, you are Lord of all. Everything you say comes to pass; nothing can stop you from accomplishing your will.
Thank you for the word you have given to us. Without your revelation, we would know nothing certain about you.
But you have given us your clear word. Your word tells us that if we know your word, if we believe and trust in your word, that word will be our foundation when life is difficult.
Your word is our anchor through disease, sickness, weariness, and disappointment. Through all of life's changes, your word remains the same.
Sustain us when we are weak. Keep us when we want to give up. Remind us of your word when the worries of life threaten to take our eyes off of you.