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PRAYER Journal for Sunday April 14- Third Sunday of Easter



Sermon Series from April 7 -April 21: How Shall We Live?

April 21, 2024: 4th Sunday of Easter – How Shall We Live? We Abide in Christ 1 John 3:16-24

 

Prayer Journal for 3rd Sunday of Easter, April 14, 2024

Pray:

Dear Lord,

We worship and praise you this day.  Thank you, God, for creating the heaven and the earth and collaborating with us to advance your way through Jesus Christ and the power of your Holy Spirit.  Help us to remember that we are your sons and daughters who live in your Hope.  Purify us and teach us to abide in your love.  Help us to walk together doing all the good we can in the places we can for as long as we ever can.  In the strong name of Jesus, we pray.  Amen

 

Read:  1 John 3:1-7

 

Apply:

How did you begin to come to church? Did you come with your family or a friend? When and how did you begin to feel that the church and your relationship to God by your faith in Jesus was important?

The epistle mentions purification and sin: “No one who abides in him sins” (1John 3:6, NRSV). This is a difficult verse. The key word may be “abides,” which can also mean “living in union with Christ.” Sometimes that union gives us an inner assurance that helps us avoid some situations. At other times, somebody or something (a hymn or song, an object) helps us choose between options. Have you ever had that kind of experience?

 

Yield: Release your prayer to God, and believe with God all things are  possible.

 

Engage: 

What are ways to abide in Christ? How do you try to maintain your communion with God in your daily life? What helps you to be reminded to act according to your values?

 

Remember:  (Remember who you are!)

I AM the son/daughter of a King who is not moved by the world for my God is with ME and goes before me. I do not fear because I am his.

Here are the closing paragraphs of my sermon:

Let me suggest that in addition to prayer, we need to engage our heart, mind, and body in the process of abiding in Christ with two approaches which involve right action and right belief. That is the point John is making in this text. Notice how hope sits alongside this action of purification. It is hope, claims John – or the Johannine community – that leads to a desire for purity. And the model for this purity is Jesus. We purify ourselves as he is pure (v 3). With Christ, it is fulfilled – as he is pure. For us, it is a process; we purify ourselves. We are in the process of becoming like Christ. This doesn’t mean that there is no destination, no striving, it does not mean that life will never be messy or there will be no struggles in life but it does mean that we have as much grace with ourselves as Christ would have with us.

      And how much grace is that? “See what love,” the text begins, “that the Father has given us that we should be called children of God.” See what love! Do you hear the sense of amazement? Do you hear the joy that is inherent in this mind-blowing concept? For that is what we are, John writes, children, the very children of God. Incredible! This is the hope by which we are living, hope not as in an empty or vain wish. We are living in the new reality that has redefined our existence. We enter this Easter season with grateful joy, with the celebration of a new experience of life, and a promise that drives us to follow the path of Jesus. 

       

 

 

Finally let me close with some words that have struck a chord with me from another book I have been reading from Matthew Kelly, “The Fourth Quarter of Your Life-Embracing What Matters Most”  It pairs well with our text today and is a wonderful reminder that we are all beloved children of God.  I hope you will always remember who you even during the most difficult times of life.  Hear these words my friends, and repeat them to yourselves often.



I AM the son or the daughter of a King who is not moved by the world for my God is with ME and goes before me. I do not fear because I am his.

 

May it be so!

 

God loves y’all and so do I.

 

Pastor Ben 

 

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