“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” – Psalm 90:17
Let’s face it: 2020 was a rough year for most people for too many reasons to list. In spite of the fact that it was a rough year, the Lord still blessed us in many ways throughout 2020. We’ve seen children in our CDC come to faith in the Lord, our children’s program is growing, we’re financially healthy, we’ve added new members, and we’ve baptized new members! The Lord is at work at Georges Creek and blessing us in tremendous ways! Now we’re coming up on a new year. A year filled with possibilities and potential. So what do we want to see happen in 2021 as a church? What should we be praying for as a church? What are we going to be directing our energies toward as a church?
Those are all good questions, and questions we all should take the time to consider as we enter this new year. As I was praying about these issues and asking the Lord for guidance for our church for 2021, I came across Psalm 90. As I’m writing this, the day is 12/30, which means Psalm 90 is one of our Psalms of the Day (if you want to learn more about Psalms of the Day and how to read through and pray the Psalms of the Day each day, check out this link on our website: Psalms of the Day (georgescreekbaptist.org)). As I came to verse 17 of Psalm 90, I thought to myself, “Here is a verse that beautifully expresses what I want our focus to be on as a church in 2021.” Let’s look at its two parts.
- Let the favor of the Lord our God be Upon Us. This is a prayer. Moses, the author of this Psalm, is praying and asking the Lord to place His favor upon the people of Israel. It may seem obvious, but Moses knew that it was right and good to pray for God’s favor. Too often Christians believe that if they just do all the right things and continue to go through with the routine of the church schedule, God will pour out His blessings upon them. And yet I wonder how many of them actually pray for God’s blessings and favor. When is the last time you specifically prayed and asked God for His blessings and favor in your life, your marriage, your family, your job, etc.? If we want to see Georges Creek flourish, and grow, and reach the community, and reach the lost, and be effective as a church, we can’t be afraid to ask for God’s favor and blessings. That’s why you’ll frequently hear me pray before my sermon and ask the Lord to bless the reading of His Word, the receiving of His Word, and the preaching of His Word- it’s because if God doesn’t bless those things, they would all be in vain. Apart from the favor of the Lord and the blessings of the Lord, all our efforts would be in vain. We can’t save anybody; only God can. We can’t grow our church; only God can. We can’t make ourselves effective ministers of the gospel and witnesses for Christ; only God can. So, therefore, we HAVE to, we MUST, pray ask for God’s favor to be upon us. This means we should pray, “Lord, let your favor be upon us at Georges Creek.” “Lord, bless us and our efforts at Georges Creek.” “Lord, would you let your favor fall upon us and bless us? Would you send us resources? Would you send us people? Would you send us out as bold witnesses in our everyday lives? Would you put us in contact with people who need to hear the gospel? Would you put us in contact with people who are right on the edge of giving their lives to You and help us share the good news with them?” “Lord, would you let your favor fall upon us at Georges Creek in such a way that we become a beacon of light in the community? Would you let your favor fall upon us in such a way that we become effective in our efforts to reach our community.” These are but a few examples of ways we can and should pray throughout 2021 (and beyond). We want the favor of the Lord to be upon us.
- Establish the work of our hands. Solomon says in Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” We can busy ourselves with the work of the Lord, but unless the Lord Himself establishes the work of our hands, our labors will be in vain. So we need to pray and ask God to bless our work and our efforts. We need to ask Him to establish the work of our hands. We can do nothing apart from the Lord (John 15:5). Whatever activities we participate in this upcoming year, whatever community outreach we attempt, whatever missions we get involved with, and whatever we do, we must ask the Lord to establish the work of our hands.
So this is our focus verse for 2021. Lord willing, we’re going to have it printed in every bulletin, so that you’ll see it often. And I want to encourage you to memorize it. It’s relatively short, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. I want to encourage you to pray daily for the Lord’s blessing to be upon us at Georges Creek and to establish the work of our hands. This is where our hearts and hands are going to be focused in this upcoming year. Let us make this verse our prayer daily: “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!”