What's God's Heart for Your City? Day 1
January 1, 2018
Hebrews 13:9 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever…. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.”
Often on the first of the year, we reflect and pause on the investments of our time and efforts, and work toward making any necessary corrections. As we reflect, it is important to observe through the lens of reality. We must take an honest account of the way things are, and evaluate those things through the person of Jesus. What does that mean? It means that we root our financial situation not on “The Joneses,” but we must honor God (Mt. 25:14-21). We cannot root our health goals on diet fads and fitness magazines, but we must treat our bodies as temples of the living God (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
Let us not forget the good news. We submit everything before the Lord, and he is faithful, he is just, he is full of grace and mercy and power and he loves beyond measure! When we take these things onto our own shoulders they become problems… actually they become idols. We turn our compass to a new true-north of health or wealth or social capital. These things end up becoming the filter for our daily decision-making and the scorecard for what matters.
As we enter a new year, let us instead submit to reality. Let us root ourselves to God’s priorities, and his good way. Over the next ten days, we invite you all to join a process of reorientation… a look at our lives and our communities through the eyes of the Lord. Each day we encourage you to comment below on the things you are hearing. At the end of the ten days we will post a survey. It is our hope that we can discern together where God is moving in the greater Seattle region.
On this first day, we want to simply celebrate over this past year with a heart of gratitude over God’s faithfulness to our local networks, our church families and our lives. In church networks around the region we have seen amazing partnerships and unity in the body of Christ. We can celebrate over 160 church/school partnerships. We can celebrate over 60 congregations involved in our Foster Support Faith Alliance. We can celebrate rhythms of prayer in over 20 networks in the greater Seattle area. Let us thank God for his faithfulness to us during 2017!
Here are some prayer points:
Celebration / Gratitude
Praise for his faithfulness in all things!
Gratitude for relationships with our local church networks
Gratitude for our friends and family
Gratitude for our Church family
Praise for unity in the body amongst churches in cities
Thanks for impact through partnerships with schools, shelters, foster care, and other ministries of the Church.
Thanks that we are still alive, God is not done with us yet!
Thanks for God’s gifts to us, for his strength and for his calling on our lives
Thank him for where we have seen growth
Thank him for answered prayers
Celebrate those places where you are aware of God’s activity
Awakening in the body of Christ
Thank God for the fertile soil of the past, and for what God is going to do.
Celebrate newness and fresh starts
Gratitude for Redemption and the Cross
Honor and Adoration for an unchanging God. – Today, Yesterday, Forever
- Chris Gough