THE DESIRE TO BELONG
The desire to belong to something or someone affects us all in different ways. Belonging is so pivotal. We all need it to thrive. We should not be surprised because the Lord created us with a desire to belong to Him and to one another. He said “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Gen2:18) He has created men and women with the desire to belong to each other as a married couple and then, with children, as a family. Families then belong to a tribe or a community and ultimately to a nation. Many animals were created to belong in pairs, herds, packs, flocks etc. We need to want to belong to one another and accept and value one another. God has created us to be different and we need to discriminate between those we find we belong to closely and those we don’t. We often choose to belong to those who are the same gender or race, have similar beliefs, status in society, occupations, or belong to the same sport team, church, book club, hiking group. RSL, or LGBTIQ group. It is in those groups that we feel there are people who accept and value us. But sometimes we want to belong to a group, are rejected and find this painful.
When this need to belong is fractured or compromised and its flow interrupted it can be very unsettling experience. Being aware of loving acceptance and being heard and listened to in nonjudgmental ways when we are struggling can be very healing. True belonging can open new doors but may close others. People can belong even when they come from another race or culture. They belong when they sense they aren’t being marginalised, judged, alienated or hurt. They know they belong even when it can’t be put it into words. In the early church there were times when there was no sense of elitism, people seeking prestige or entitlement. Those who believed wanted to belong and have things in common. They sold their possessions and goods and passed them to those who had real need. They continued daily to be of one accord in the temple, breaking bread from house to house, and eating their meals with gladness and singleness of heart. (Based on Acts 2:42-47)
* That many will seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. That those who are wicked will forsake their ways and those who are unrighteous their own thoughts. Let us all turn to the LORD, that He may have compassion, and to our God, for He will freely pardon us. (Is 55:6)
* That more and more of us will desire to belong to God and belong to one another in this nation. That this desire be reflected in what we say, do or think and how we relate with each other and accept one another. That Christians be of one mind and one voice as we glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
* Thanking the Lord that we belong to a multitude that no one can count, from every nation, tribe, people and language. (Rev 7:9)
ACKNOWLEDGING TRUTH – THE SPIRIT OF GOD MOVED UPON THE FACE OF THE WATERS
The first thing God tells us in the Bible is that He created all things and that He controls all things. Most scientists who study the structures and evolution of the universe agree that the Genesis account of creation may be uncannily close to the truth (Time Magazine). New Scientific revelations about new supernovas, black holes and quarks even suggest to some scientists that there is a “grand design” in the universe. The retina in your eye contains 137 million light-sensitive cells, while the focusing muscles in your eye move approximately 100,000 times a day. Even Charles Darwin wrote in the book of evolutionary biology “To suppose that the eye could have formed by natural evolution, seems I confess, absurd in the highest degree. The truth is this “God made us, and He has a plan for our lives.”
* that even rational thinkers will have to admit that the intricacies of the human form could not have happened by chance but are the handiwork of a creator who is exposed in the Word of God.
* that the next generation will return to the truth of the biblical account of creation even as many scientists are today.
* that the Spirit of God would again move across the nations of the world revealing what has remained hidden to so many, that God is real, that He is the creator of all things as He claims and is able to transform lives from hopelessness to faith in the twinkling of an eye.
QUEENSLAND RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS TO FIGHT FOR RIGHT TO SACK GAY TEACHERS
Queensland’s Human Rights Commission has recommended controversial law changes which would prevent church-run schools from discriminating against employees on the basis of their sexuality, marital status and gender identity. It is understood that as a result the Palaszczuk government plans to relax requirements for staff in religious schools to hold certain beliefs. The proposed law changes would mean that only religion teachers could be subject to discrimination, which would still need to be “reasonable and proportionate”. Staff not directly involved in religious education could not be fired on the basis of their sexuality. Christian Schools Australia director of public policy Mark Spencer said the reforms were “radical” and many would be unaware of their consequences. “No parent is forced to choose a Christian school for their child but those who want to do so should have that right,” he said. “If the government is genuinely committed to ensuring choice in schooling, they will ensure that schools can choose staff suitable for their school, including on the basis of faith, with our unnecessary government interference.” Attorney General Shannon Fentiman said there would be “extensive consultation” with schools and teachers before any changes were made.
“Quiet! Be still.” Mark 4:39
* Please pray for Christian schools and their staff and students in Queensland. Pray that Christ will strengthen them as their faith is tested during this critical time.
* Pray for the Palaszczuk government. Pray that it will preserve the right of Queensland parents to have a choice over which school is right for their children.
* Pray that Jesus will calm this storm which threatens the existence of Christian schools in Queensland. Thank Him for His love and His omnipotent power.
PRAYING FOR ISSUES IN THE NEWS
* The Federal Government was last week handed a blueprint to prepare Australia for a potential war, recommending a rapid boost to long-range strike capabilities, the urgent acquisition of killer drones, and a major increase in the nation’s naval firepower. The report was prepared as part of the Defence Strategic Review by former defence chief Angus Houston, who declared the document was “the most important work that I have been involved with in Defence”. Pray that our government, as they review the report, will be guided into making the crucial decisions required to ensure that Australia is as prepared as we can be for any eventuality that may require the defence of our nation.
* The annual Mardi Gras parade takes place this Saturday in Sydney. This year it is part of the World Pride event taking place in Sydney at present. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has announced that he will become the first Australian Prime Minister to take part in the parade, a decision that has disappointed many people. Pray that for many taking part in the parade it will be a Damascus Road experience of an encounter with the Holy Spirit that will lead them into a journey of seeking after the person who appears to them as they parade.
PRAYING FOR OTHERS
This week let us pray for Nepal. Pray for the safety of local partners as they travel through mountainous areas to meet persecuted believers and bring courage and strength.
Source: Australian Prayer Network
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