THEME: CROWNS OF GRACE
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
-An athlete runs with an aim to win and only win the prize. During the race, the athlete needs to gather strength and courage to conquer. We have seen marathon runners periodically taking water to rejuvenate themselves during the race. Some athletes give up and are disqualified from further engagement. It is in such a race that we all ran, that we may receive our crowns. As we begin this year 2021, let us ask the Lord to go before us and strengthen our feet in the races we run. To also show us the way to the imperishable crown and not the perishable crown that only lasts for a time. As we are aware, some people work hard all their lives for the perishable crowns, receive glory here on earth and end up loosing their souls in hell like we see in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). Some focus too much in accumulating wealth and forget their purpose here on earth, and matters related to spiritual growth. Proverbs 27:24 reveals that, “For riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations.” As we gather treasures here on earth, let us ask God to give us wisdom to store them up in heaven; where there is no moth nor rush and thieves cannot steal. Let us also endure to put our faith in Christ, and to love God and our neighbours as ourselves. To share the love of God with the less fortunate in our society, which qualifies us as sheep ready to inherit God’s kingdom (Matthew 25:34-36). To run the race well, we need to be guided and rejuvenated by the Holy Spirit our Helper, Strength, Councilor, Comforter, Intercessor and Guide in all matters pertaining to our lives. As we run the race, let us endure to win the prize by focusing on Christ, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.
Thank You Holy Spirit for this far that You have brought us. It is not by our power nor might but by Your Spirit Lord. We count our blessings and name them one by one. We praise You for providing for us, protecting us, preserving us, guiding our steps, sustaining us in every way and for loving us with Your everlasting love. Thank You for we have not been consumed but we are alive to glorify Your holy name. Thank You for the gift of life. We pray for all our children including those who go to school; that You may protect them and increase in them wisdom to fear You Lord. We pray for their teachers and support; staff that You may preserve them and give them patience to teach well. We pray for all our doctors and nurses; that You may protect them from harm with Your precious blood. We pray for all those who are sick; that You may heal them completely for by Your stripes we are healed. We pray for our churches; that only Your name will be praised and many will come to You. We pray for all the less fortunate in our society including all the children living in the streets; that Your hand of grace may always be upon them. Give us hearts of compassion dear Jesus so that we may minister unto them through Your love for the glory of Your name. We pray for our government and leaders; that they may fear You Lord and walk according to Your will. We pray for our nation; that You may restore our economy and liberate us from neo-colonialism. Forgive us all our sins together with our blood lines, cover us with Your precious blood and heal our land. We pray for all our family members; that You may protect us, preserve us and bless us with the dew of heaven. Thank You Lord for the ministry of angels who You send to minister unto us, to shield us and guide our ways. Thank You Lord for all those who ran their races well and minister before Your holy presence. We pray for our destinies Holy Spirit; that Your may help us to run the race You have set before us well and finish our course. Give us the strength, courage, counsel and wisdom to finish strong and receive our imperishable crowns at the end of time. Thank You for receiving and answering all our prayers which come to You as incense. Only You are holy, only You are worthy to receive all the glory and praise. Amen
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