Prayer Thought: That’ll Preach
“When Christ is my hope, He becomes the one thing in which I have confidence. I act on His wisdom and bank on His grace. I trust His promises and I rely on His presence. And I pursue all the good things that He has promised me simply because I trust Him. So, I am not manipulating, controlling, or threatening my way through life to get what I want, because I have found what I want in Christ. He is my hope.”
-Paul David Tripp
Oddly enough, four years ago was the first time in my life that I was able to purchase a car that had any real monetary value. Christie and I have had the incredibly good fortune and blessing to be given a few hand-me-down vehicles that have lasted the test of time. Suffice it to say, I had no previous experience with buying a vehicle from a dealership or even CarMax. It was a very interesting process for me, and as I was in the thick of it, small and unusual things began to happen. I’m certainly not a “car guy” but I found myself looking differently at every single car on the road…my “car senses” were heightened. Colors began to come more alive, make and models became a real question in my mind. And of course, price point was always an issue. I became consumed, if only for a brief few moments, by a fiendish desire to find the exact car I needed. And my thoughts followed those same lines.
What do we think about on a daily basis? What things, people, events consume our thoughts and prayers? Scripture teaches us that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matt 6:21; Lk 12:34).” So, what or who makes us happy? A new car? A spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend? These questions and a thousand others beg this one very, all-important question, “Are you preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to yourself daily, or are you allowing the things of this earth (whether positive or negative) to consume your life?”
Many of you may have already heard me quote one of my favorite authors, Paul Tripp saying, “No one is more influential in your life than you are, because no one talks to you more than you do!” So, what are we telling ourselves? About who we are and whose we are? About our own worldviews? About our own personal paradigms? About events that happen to us and around us? About which relationships are healthy and which ones are not?
Preaching the gospel to ourselves daily is a tool and reminder of how to handle answering all of these questions. When we preach to ourselves that Christ was crucified, conquered death, and now lives to intercede for those who believe in His name, our whole life’s perspective changes. We no longer preach destruction, disillusion, and despair into our personhood. Instead we are of Christ, image-bearers of the One True God. And as such, we preach life, truth, joy, understanding, and Christ’s worth IN US! This is the power of the gospel for real life situations. Decide hour by hour, day by day, moment by moment, to think of things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, excellent, and praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8). As we fill our hearts and minds with these gifts from the Lord, other difficulties, problems, and time consuming worldly habits lose their luster.
Our very worth, the ability to be in relationship with one another, to serve one another, and even to be given some comfort in life, comes solely from our position in Christ and what He has done on our behalf! Let’s praise the Lord today that we have graciously been given the opportunity to choose to preach this gospel to ourselves each and every day!
Heavenly Father, we do want to thank You for Your Son, Jesus, who paid the debt that we deserved. Thank You that because of this we have the ability to be IN CHRIST and be image-bearers. May we preach these beautiful gospel principles to ourselves on a daily basis to draw ever closer to You. In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen!
Clayton J. Elliott, Kontaktmission USA
Director of Pastoral Ministries and Prayer