A Word about the Word-
Therefore, he (Christ) is able to save completely those who come to God through him,
since he always lives to intercede for them. [Hebrews 7:25]
In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. [Romans 8:26–27]
What a tremendous realization. Christ is praying for you right now! (See the first passage above.) And the Holy Spirit is praying with you, when you need it most!
Or, to memorably summarize:
Jesus prays for us.
The Holy Spirit prays in us.
Close to Home
Speaking of prayer—how is your 2021 prayer coming? Some have voluntarily told me which request for Christlikeness they have chosen. “I have chosen #7” or “Number 10 jumped off the page to me; that has to be my 2021 prayer.” It’s rather cute because I haven’t memorized what the 21 actually are. So, I really don’t know what their prayer is.
I, however, chose number 1: “Return to me the joy of my salvation.” This is what I am praying all year long. Case in point: I got home pretty late Monday. I didn’t really want to go work out. I was tired, it was cold outside, and I wanted to hang with Sue. Work out, ugh! But I knew, in the long run, that which gives me joy is certainly working out and also keeping my commitments. It ended up being a great 60 minutes of sweat!
If you are not sure to what I am referring, here is our Rhythms guide from Sunday mornings. On pages 3 and 4 you will see “My 2021 Prayer.” Have at it.
The World as It Is
What does it say on our American money? E pluribus unum (from many, one). A clear statement or motto proposed by early American leaders that was meant to define the nature of our country as “one.” A determined call for us to be one, united country, even though its people came from many different countries and lived in different states. Almost seems like an impossible dream today, doesn’t it? Please read these very wise words from Philip Yancey on the urgency for me (and you) to listen to and respect the other person whose views differ from my own.
Veteran talk show host Larry King passed away the other day. He once said that the one person he would like to interview is Mary, the mother of Jesus. King said he would want to discuss the virgin birth with her because for him, “that would settle it.” Interesting. When I was a skeptic as a university student, it was the resurrection of Christ that was pivotal for me. If he rose from the dead, then that would settle it. I became convinced Jesus arose indeed. My life has never been the same.
A Final Thought
Sometimes a good laugh is not only necessary but long overdue. Certainly you saw all of the memes of cold Bernie Sanders, sitting with his mittens everywhere and anywhere possible. He was on the moon, at the Eiffel Tower, and sitting next Forrest Gump. I even placed him on the campus of my seminary in Dallas and sent the picture to a fellow alumnus. Regardless of political allegiance, people from all over were sending me Bernie in the most hilarious places. Sometimes it is simply good to laugh.
“Every man is important if he loses his life; and every man is funny if he loses his hat and has to run after it.” [G. K. Chesterton]
I’ll catch you on the other side.