A Prayer for New Life
By Dick Woodward
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.” – (Psalm 19:1-2)
At the end of summer we approach the threshold of the explosion of beautiful fall colors. While you enjoy the explosion of color this year consider the words God speaks to us every fall.
Since that beautiful color is produced by the death of those leaves, the word God is speaking to many of us is that death can be beautiful. In many ways the most beautiful reality you and I encounter in our three or four score years on earth is the death of our Lord Jesus Christ that makes it possible for us to experience salvation and enter heaven.
Paul tells us the Gospel is that Christ died so we might live and now it is our turn. We must die so Christ might live through us (Galatians 2:20). That means our death to ourselves can be beautiful.
Every spring our God speaks another word to us. That word is seen through all the resurrection around us as we see black trunks and branches of trees we thought were dead sprout to life and bloom.
The Latin root meaning of rehabilitation is “to invest again with dignity.” Do we have the faith to believe God can bring to life that which we thought was dead? Let’s apply that thought to our own life, to the lives of our children, and to secular people we know and love.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the joy and wonder of the autumn season. As we spend this time with friends and family, help to remember the many blessing you have bestowed upon us. As we reflect on the end of the harvest time, help us remember that you are in the business of bringing life out of death. Thank you that death does NOT have victory over us, and that spring will always come again. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Editor’s Note: The following is an abridged version of Words God Speaks Through Nature by Dick Woodward. To read the full devotional, follow this link.
Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your grace which You so generously, and continuously, bless us with. You are worthy of all praise and all glory.
I lift my hands in humble worship and adoration. Bless and empower my words and thoughts today, O Lord that they may be pleasing to you, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Romans 12:9-10 Don’t just pretend that You love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
1 Peter 4:8 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.
Guide and direct our relationship
I pray that You continue to guide our footsteps and our lives as we walk in agreement, according to Your will. I trust that our new relationship is a blessing from You, O Lord and I pray that You guide us and show us what we need to know.
Open the eyes of my heart, Father God, and reveal anything that is not of You. May I not go into this relationship love-blind but rather spirit-wise.
Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
Corinthians 6:14 “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”
Open the eyes of my heart, Father God, and reveal anything that is not of You. Click To Tweet
Draw us closer
Bless our relationship and draw us both even closer to You and to your will for our lives. May I never be unequally yoked.
Lord, teach and guide us that we will always seek You first in everything we do. May our love be fill with genuine affection and may we honor each other at all times.
1 Peter 3:7 In the same way, You husbands must give honor to Your wives. Treat her with understanding as You live together. She may be weaker than You are, but she is Your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. If You don’t treat her as You should, Your prayers will not be heard.
Proverbs 31:10,11 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is worth more than precious rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.
Bond us together
Bless our lives in our journey together and fill us with Your Glory. May we be bonded together, Lord, in the type of love Your Son Jesus showed on the cross.
Let our lives be a wonderful reflection of Your grace, as we abide in it forever. In Jesus’ name, I humbly pray, Amen.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
Here are seven great Bible verses when you’re entering a new chapter in your life.
Deuteronomy 31:8 “It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
When Israel arrived at the Promised Land, they sent out twelve spies and two of them came to give a very good report on the land, but the other ten of the spies were fearful and gave a bad report because they were dismayed at the inhabitants. Their fear was highly contagious and caused the nation as a whole, to not cross over and take it. If you’ve ever had to relocate, to another city or another state, then you might have somewhat of an idea how they felt, although theirs is a different circumstance, however the underlying principles of God’s being with you, and even better, “the Lord…goes before you,” should give you more peace of mind about this new chapter in life. Just think about it; He already knows the future and has “spied out” what’s ahead in time.
Second Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
When you enter into a new chapter of your life, there’s always going to be a certain amount of anxiety, but when a person relocates to heaven, now that’s a different story. When a person’s trusts in Christ, they have now become a new creation in Christ, and the old things pass away, and the new things come in their life. You’ll have new desires and passions to serve others, to love others, and to walk as Christ walked, but the old things will also pass away, however, these things sometimes pass away more slowly than others. Don’t lose hope.
Revelation 21:5 “And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
It will take God Himself, in the Person of Jesus Christ to finally bring what’s new. Not just a few things, but all things will be new. The Apostle John saw this when writing that he “saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more” (Rev 1:1). Then, “the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev 21:2). I could go on and show that pain, suffering, sorrow, and even death is now gone, and that’s new too (Rev 21:4), but even greater, “the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God” (Rev 21:3).
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
After the death of Moses, the only true leader Israel had ever known, Joshua was going to fill that role as Israel’s leader (under God). We know that God was trying to encourage Joshua by telling him that just as He had been with Moses, He would be with him, and tells him to be strong and courageous (given as imperative commands), and orders Joshua to not be frightened or dismayed (like the ten spies were), because God is going to go with them all.
Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
It seems money will always compete for our heart. If it succeeds, then contentedness is the last thing we’ll feel like. If we are able to keep our love on the right things; God, family, people, church, then we’ll not ever pursue wealth, and usually at their expense. Even the Apostle Paul had to learn how to be content (Phil 4:11), meaning it didn’t come naturally, or perhaps easily, he knew that contentment with godliness is very great gain to us (1st Tim 6:6). You can live in two tents in life; discontentment or contentment. One’s a lot more enjoyable to live in.
Psalm 37:25 “I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.”
It’s a matter of trust that brings this verse to mind. If you’re having a new beginning, whether you’re young or old, God is not going to forsake those whom He has redeemed for Himself. No one is “almost forsaken” by God. They are never forsaken. The psalmist writes from experience because he’s seen with his own eyes that the righteous were never utterly forsaken to the point of begging bread. That’s rock bottom if there is one. That or homelessness on top of it. That might be the plight of some Christians for a time, but not for eternity (Rev 21:3-4).
Genesis 12:1 “Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”
This is the newest of all chapters in a person’s life. In Abraham’s life, this would be “the” chapter of all chapters. This is a really bold move by Abram (later Abraham). He was going to leave his own nation, which was all he had ever known, his own religion, but also leave his kindred or family, and all his friends or associates, and then, go to a place that he had never seen before. Who among us could do that!? Perhaps he had heard something about the land, but that wouldn’t have made it any easier for him to uproot his entire family and then bring them hundreds of miles to an entirely new land.
If you have a new chapter in life that you’re entering into, perhaps these Bible verses can give you some comfort, confidence, and assurance that God goes with you wherever you go, but as we’ve read, He also goes before you, and is never going to leave you or forsake you. That is true, whether you’re young or old.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.