Cornerstone exists because of Jesus. We are a people who have been transformed by the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God has forgiven us and adopted us into his family. Now, we have a whole new life.
Through the gospel, God redeems us, forgives us, and adopts us into his family. The good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection makes each one of us a new creation and gives us a new identity: children of God. This is why we can never think of the church as an organization or a building. The church is actually a family—God’s family, filled with redeemed sinners that are now his children.
Through the gospel, God forgives us, adopts us into his family, and makes us his disciples. This means that the church is not just any family. We are a family formed by God—and sent out with a purpose.
The church is a family that ministers to one another, cares for one another, and builds one another up. Each member of the family is a child of God who is uniquely gifted to bless the family and to be a light in our city.
Just like a vine grows best with a good trellis, our church family grows best with good programs. Our programs and ministries are tailored to support the community and mission God has given us.
“I so quickly forget where I came from, so easily assume that you cannot or will not bestow this same favor upon those I count as unreachable or undeserving. But you can overtake anyone. You freely give to those who can never earn the gift.”
Read Part 4: A Prayer for Building Up a Friend
In this next installment of our series on praying through Scripture, we will focus on 1 Timothy 1:12-17, which takes the form of the Apostle Paul’s personal testimony. It might also be helpful to first read Acts 9 to re-familiarize yourself with the conversion of Paul. I pray that you will be hopefully and helpfully reminded that our God loves his children and can save his children, no matter what!
Once again, the scripture is in italics, with my prayer in regular type.
“I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful.”
In my more disobedient and doubtful moments I am prone to wonder: how could you have chosen me? And yet I am so grateful. I know I would be lost, weak and wandering, without you.
“Appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent.”
I did nothing but bring shame to you, cursing you either aloud or in my heart. I was angry at you, oblivious of all you are and all you do. Why would you want a servant with this kind of history? Still, you select even those who have gone far astray.
“But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”
You offer unimaginable hope to those who are still lost in sin and darkness. I so quickly forget where I came from, so easily assume that you cannot or will not bestow this same favor upon those I count as unreachable or undeserving. But you can overtake anyone. You freely give to those who can never earn the gift.
“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”
We can count on these words, and these words bear repeating. You sent your eternally perfect Son to save us, the fatally imperfect. You are so much more loving than we are, more loving than we can even pretend to be.
“But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.”
It blows my mind that you bestowed forgiveness and favor upon this chief of sinners, and with our salvation in mind! With you, profound change is not only possible, but inevitable. And eternity is not intangible; it is real and attainable! We can strive toward it.
“To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
There is nothing like you and there never will be: you are the only God, sovereign and perfect. We can’t see you or comprehend you, yet we know you to be true and worthy because of your Word. We will never stop praising you! Amen.
Read Part 6: A Prayer to Combat Anxiety
Amy is a member of Cornerstone, Wife to Dan, and mother to Penn, Indie, and Cali.
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