And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. (Acts 20:32)
"The Word of His Grace"
As we take on the demands of life in a fallen world, we sometimes feel that we are “running on empty.” Those demands can come from outside of us, from difficult people or stressful circumstances. They can also come from our own hearts, where we struggle against the downward pull of sin, or the lies and schemes of our “ancient foe.” To meet the demands of reality, we need for God’s grace to replenish our capacity. Beyond saving grace, we need strengthening grace.
In Paul’s farewell words to the Ephesian church in Acts 20, he knew of the demands that would surely press in upon them, to wear down their faith and steal their joy. So he commended them to God, and to the “word of his grace,” which would be able to build them up and strengthen them. The word of grace is one of the means by which God floods our hearts with his favor.
It seems Paul had something similar in mind in Colossians 3:16: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing songs and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God."
Jesus is the bread of life, and we feast upon him through the Word of God (Matthew 4:4) and spiritually as we commune with Him in the Lord’s Supper. When life drains us of energy and strength, when we are running on empty, let us draw upon the word of God’s grace for sustenance.
How to pray...
- Give thanks for “the word of his grace” which strengthens us for the demands of life.
- Pray for the preaching of the “word of Christ” in all of our sermons this fall, right up through Advent. Pray for the next 3 sermons in the DNA series; and pray for the fall series on Philippians, which begins the last Sunday in September. Especially pray that the grace of the gospel would be expressed in each sermon, capturing our hearts for the life and work to which God has called us.
- Pray that the word of Christ would dwell richly in all of our community groups. Pray that we would all encounter Christ through his word in our “circles” of community.
- Pray also for our SPLASH kids and our LBC Youth, as a foundation is being laid for a lifetime of loving and following Jesus.
For the Family
Do you ever feel really tired? After you have a busy day at school or spend an afternoon swimming in the pool your body might feel tired, which makes you want to lie down or take a nap.
But what does it feel like when your heart is tired? Have you ever felt down when your feelings were hurt, or overwhelmed in a big, noisy crowd of people, or weary when things were really busy? Everyone feels this way sometimes, and the bible has good news about it.
In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” He wasn’t really talking about rest for our bodies, like taking a nap; he was offering rest for our souls. When we know Jesus, our tired hearts are filled with God’s grace, which gives us strength when we feel overwhelmed or hopeless.
Talk about ways that you need God’s grace in your everyday lives. Pray that God will give you strength, peace, and hope when your soul feels weary.
Listen to this song at bedtime, and memorize Matthew 11:28 as a family.
"The Word of His Grace" - Mike Tilley
Mike Tilley is the senior pastor of Lake Baldwin Church, and has lived in Orlando since 1994. He and his wife, Molly, worked with a core group from the Baldwin Park community to plant Lake Baldwin Church in 2006. Mike loves teaching the Bible in a way that relates to real life. In his spare time, Mike enjoys good movies, long dinner with friends, snow skiing, hanging out with his kids and two granddaughters, and travel.
"For the Family" - Katie Pollard
Katie is the administrator and communications director for LBC. Katie and her husband, Joel, moved to Orlando from Nashville, TN in 2014, when Joel became the Director of Worship at LBC. They both grew up in Carrollton, GA and have been leading worship together since their youth group days. They were married in 2011 and have two children, Sam and Evie.