Dear Cornerstone brothers and sisters,
Indeed the heavens declare the glory of God and the skies above proclaim his handiwork … oh Lord how manifold are your works, in wisdom you have made them all (Psalm 19:1; 104:24). What a majestic creator we serve! He made the skies and upholds the universe by the word of his power! He is worthy of praise and honor. This week may we pause simply to praise God for his glory, sovereignty, and power – that He sits on the throne! And may we join the heavenly multitude who sing, “The Lord our God the Almighty reigns” (Rev 19:6).
1. Ladies Mugs & Muffins at the Arendale from 10-12 on Saturday, April 20th.
2. Outreach Sunday on Sunday, April 21st.
3. This week’s devotional (see below) focuses on the theme of prayer in the church and in the home.
Have a wonderful week and may we even now be in prayer for our worship service this Sunday,
From the Pastor’s Desk
“A House of Prayer”
Matthew 21:12-13, “He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.””
On the Monday of Jesus’ final week, he entered the temple and was horrified by what he saw. He saw greed, pride, and corruption. The pure worship of the temple had been desecrated by those looking to line their pockets. And Jesus was filled with indignation. Matthew 21:12-13 tells us: “And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who bought and sold in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.””
Now much could be said about this striking scene and its meaning; but I want to focus on Jesus’ statement, “My house shall be called a house of prayer.” God had intended that his house be a place where his people met with him in a special way. The focus was to be on worship – on the Lord. And the same is true today – the Lord’s house, his church, is to be a place of prayer. I want to issue three challenges arising from this verse:
1. to church leaders: is your church a praying church. Is prayer central to all that you do? Is your ministry bathed in prayer? Practically speaking, do you have a pastoral prayer in your worship service where the pastor or elder intercedes on behalf of the people? Do you spend time daily on your knees before the Lord over your sermon, your counseling, your shepherding, etc. Oh may our churches be ‘houses of prayer.’
2. to husbands and fathers: is your house a house of prayer? Do you lead your family in prayer? Do you pray with and for your wife? your children? Do you pray that your sons will grow into mature, Godly men? Do you pray for the purity of your daughters? Do your pray for their future spouses? Do you pray that they will love Jesus more each day? Oh husbands and fathers may we lead our families in prayer!
3. to children and young people: is your room a room of prayer? Do you spend time with the Lord daily? Do you lift up your concerns, troubles, and questions to him? Do you pray for your parents? for your siblings? for your friends? Young people, I plead with you that you would begin today in cultivating the discipline of daily prayer – of spending time each day with Jesus. Do you realize that your creator, king, and best friend desires to spend time with you? Oh may the next generation of the church be one passionately committed to prayer!!
Pastor Robert Arendale