"Dedicated to strengthening and encouraging the Body of Christ."

Items for Prayer and Praise

By Lois J. Stucky

    Christian writers speak of commitment to many good things. Here are some I have read recently: commitment to serving others, to living out First Corinthians 13, to Christ's mandate, to intercession, to honor God, to proclaiming the faith, to living out the faith in the midst of today's pressures, to God's authority, to foundational principles of God's Word, to revival.

    All are good, important parts of Christian living, and we could name many more. But might nothing surpass commitment to the person of Christ Himself! It is easy for other things or persons to edge into pre-eminence in our hearts and minds. Yet in all things, Christ Himself is to have the pre-eminence. Our devotion first and foremost is to be to Him.

    Maintaining commitment does not happen naturally. It takes purpose and effort. It takes persevering – in sunshine and shadow, in storm and fair weather, in prosperity and lack, in ease and hardship, in company with others or going alone. Marriage is a commitment that must stand strong tests. And likewise must our commitment to our Lord and Savior.

    Too often we disappoint ourselves, don't we? The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, as Christ Himself warned us. We set our purpose and make a good beginning. But something happens to the follow through. We fall short of our good intentions. Thank the Lord there is forgiveness and restoration, if there is repentance. And there can be re-commitment.

    That is like revival. Once there was life, but it has ebbed out. Oh how we need and long for more and more of God's life and presence! He is so exactly what we need. He is purity; He is peace; He is joy, purpose, power, life – everything that makes for superior, abundant, effective living. Might we never lose our quest for more of Himself! Might He increase in us while we decrease.

    Many of us sense there is little time left. Might we fill it with the best living we can – living committed to our dear Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.

Pray One for the Other

    Some who write us have great problems that tax our faith and defy a solution. Perhaps you are one who feels caught in a Red Sea situation. You may have written to us about it. We are not always able to respond with a personal word, but we do try to bear these burdens up before the Lord with our heartfelt prayers.

    A letter from a brother this week told of fleeing his country in North Africa due to ethnic rivalry, but the Moslem country that houses the refugee camp does not want him as he is a known Christian. Where can he go?

    Those of you who pray for us at Herald of His Coming (we thank God for your prayers from the bottom of our hearts) please pray that we will be effective intercessors for those needs that God brings to our attention. Join your prayers for Herald readers in dire circumstances. Our united faith and prayers will make a way whereby God can show Himself strong on behalf of those caught in such dilemmas.

    Our kind, compassionate and gracious God is not reluctant to help in time of need. Rather He is eager and yearning to do for the mankind He created and loves. But He first requires prayer. For reasons we do not fully understand, He has ordained prayer as the usual avenue through which He works. He listens attentively for the heart cry. He stands ready to bring all the force of His grand and glorious being into action.

    Yet in wisdom, sometimes He waits. Sometimes He waits for targeted prayer against the enemy, to knock him out of his defenses. It may be we are pleading to God for an answer while we should be resisting the devil and withstanding him.

    Might God help us all in this strategic hour at the end of this age, to be fully committed to our Lord and His will. Though we do not fully understand many things, might we be devoted to Him, fully trusting His love and wisdom and power, in the dark if need be.

    Oftentimes drastic changes come suddenly. Perhaps sooner than we could ever think, we will be snatched away – by death or by our Lord's return. The Eternity for which this life was made will have begun! Are we ready? We suggest that commitment to our Lord is part of being ready.