O God, Jesus Christ promised that if we believe in Him we will also do the works that he did. May we believe with our whole hearts and minds that Jesus Christ is in You, and You are in Him and He is in us. We pray that His Spirit, your Holy Spirit, will guide us in works of faith that bring healing and comfort, joy and blessing to others. Guide us this day to those whose lives you would have us minister to. In His holy name we pray, Amen.
Lord God, eternal Father, as we begin this week and many of the businesses are beginning to open up, may we continue to observe safe practices that guard against the coronavirus. May we help those who are in need, and be patient in the restoration of our nations economy. Thank you, Father, for the generosity of so many who are giving assistance to those who have lost their income. We pray for your guidance to all who are working to develop a vaccine against coronavirus and for all who are treating and caring for the sick and dying. May we all learn to walk in the path of faith where Jesus leads us. In his name we pray. Amen.
O God, our Father, we give you thanks and praise for Jesus Christ who has opened the door of salvation to all of humanity. He is our truth, our life and our way. To know Him is to know you. Help us to be more like Him and You each day. Where we are weak, strengthen us. Where we are in need of faith, fill our hearts and minds with trust in you so that we can encourage others to believe in you. Through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Loving Father, as we walk through uncertain times, we give you thanks for Jesus Christ who is always beside us, and for our friends and neighbors who support, comfort, and walk beside us. Strengthen us to give support to others who are in need. Thank you for loving us, calling us to walk in your light and making us your people. Help us to bless others by sharing your love with them, supporting and encouraging them in their anxiety, and desperation. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
Heavenly Father, your gift of Jesus Christ to the world has opened the way for us to a lasting and loving relationship with you and all who believe in Him. May our lives be shaped after his example and may we grow in faith to become more and more like Jesus each day so that we may love as he loves. Through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, we pray. Amen.
O God of grace and glory, thank you for this new day. Show us your purpose for our lives this day so that we may become more and more like Jesus Christ in loving service and discipleship to you. May your love and your Spirit guide us into your desire for our lives. Regardless of where we are, what our job is, what our family situation is, help us to be disciples of your grace, mercy, and forgiveness and share the joy of your salvation with those we meet along our way this day. Help us be patient and observant of the ways that Coronavirus has altered our lives and our daily activities. Bring comfort and healing to those with the virus and to the families of those who have lost loved ones.
In Jesus Holy Name we pray, Amen.
Creating and Redeeming God, as we begin this new day we give you our praise and thanksgiving. May we serve you in gladness and sing songs of joy and gladness because Jesus Christ is our Shepherd. Even in the midst of broken spirits, broken hearts, sickness, disease, and financial need, we give thanks that we are the sheep of your pasture, and praise your name for your faithful love for us that endures forever. You have created us and made us your own. We glorify your name and praise you. Help us this day to share your love with others so that they will follow you and walk in your ways. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
O God, we give you thanks and praise for giving your Son Jesus Christ, who though he committed no sin, willingly endured pain and suffering on the cross for the sins of the world, so that our sins are forgiven and that we might have life eternal as your children. Like a loving shepherd Jesus brought us into your fold for safety and for the sake of your righteousness. In this same love may we reach out this day to share your love with others so they too may know your love and forgiveness and enjoy a loving relationship with You. In the holy name of Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.
My Friends in Christ
Beginning late last fall, a committee from within our VdC community has been reviewing the current NLS Bylaws. The committee was seeking inconsistences, less-than-clear statements, missing information and actions that have not been in compliance.
The attached document was submitted to the Executive Committee and approved. It shows both the existing Bylaw and the potential change. These potential changes will be voted upon by the delegates during our virtual Annual Meeting this summer.
It is the responsibility of each member receiving this notification to review and provide their feedback to their secretariat’s voting delegate (s) with feedback. This way, come the voting section of our Annual Meeting, each delegate will be informed as to how best represent their secretariat.
The Executive Committee extends our sincere thanks to the committee for their prayerful work:
Chair – G. Karl Gaston
Members – Mark Hammond, Bobbi Lind, Jim Ryan and Paul Schmidlin
If you have any questions regarding these potential changes, pleased contact G. Karl Gaston at email@example.com
You can expect further communications about the Annual Meeting and elements of the Annual Gathering as the weeks go by.
Rest in His grace and peace.
Wendy Showalter, President NLS Board
Link to PDF file.
He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls. 1 Peter 2:24-25
One of the most common images of Jesus is that of a good shepherd. Those of us who have grown up in the church can close our eyes and see the picture of Jesus the shepherd with a lamb slung around his neck. Jesus, our good shepherd, has several good characteristics that impact our lives in a momentous way.
So, “What makes a shepherd good?”
One of the identifying characteristics which Jesus gives of a good shepherd is that he is willing to lay down his life for his sheep. He is willing to give his very life to protect his sheep who are easy prey for predators. Good shepherds must protect their sheep, fight off predators and keep their sheep safe even if it costs them their lives. This is a sacrificial love. Jesus did this when he submitted himself to be crucified for our sins on the cross. Another characteristic of the love of the good shepherd is constant concern for the sheep. Jesus says that as a good shepherd he cares for his sheep. He wants the very best for them. Jesus has promised to be there for us—like a parent who sometimes can’t make things better for his or her child, but at least they can be there with the child to give the child support, strength, and comfort. As we struggle through the dark times of coronavirus or other fearful events in our lives, Jesus is always there to walk along beside us and support us.
Sheep are not merely numbers to good shepherds. Good shepherds know their sheep. They understand their sheep, and call their sheep by name. Jesus constantly invites us into a deeper relationship with him. He is never satisfied that we are just another sheep of a flock. He wants a deep relationship with each of us, and always wants our relationship with him to be more grace filled, more abundant, more trusting, giving, and sacrificial. Our shepherd is constantly seeking a closer walk with us.
Good shepherds are intrinsically good. In other words, they do not become good because of the loyalty or the behavior of their sheep. The love of the good shepherd is centered in the shepherd and is not dependent upon the response of the sheep. He searches for us even when we go astray. The good shepherd simply loves us regardless of our response to him or our behavior.
Even in days of danger from an evil and evasive coronavirus we have much for which we can rejoice, because Jesus has chosen to be a good shepherd for us. He is with us in the danger, walking with us, and searching for us when we are lost. Our lives will never be the same and contain unlimited possibilities because we have a good shepherd who cares for us. He brings us abundant life.
How and when have you felt that Jesus was with you in a fearful place in your life?
As you follow Jesus, your shepherd, is there some way you can share your abundance of life with others?
Where do you see the Good Shepherd caring for you and supporting you in