R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Father, what a day this has been. A rough start most assuredly but with Your intervention things fell under Your direction and here I sit having worked through a portion of Sunday’s message and feeling that I need to spend some time – just me and You. Bless our time together, Father – may it be pleasing in Your sight. Amen.

1 Peter 2:13-14 (<<click here)

Lord, Paul addressed this in Titus 3 and I wrote about it way back in February of this year and though the political horizon is on the verge of change, many still struggle with what this verse is conveying. Your word states explicably, “For [Your] sake, respect all human authority…”

No matter who is (or who is going to be) in charge, someone is not going to like it. It seems that in today’s society it is almost a dead draw. In the last several elections, races have been tight – very close to 50/50. And cries have risen from both sides. Who is right and who is wrong? I truly believe that everyone must shoulder portions of both.

But where we all err is the fact that we, as a whole, do not “respect all human authority.” And, Lord, I am right in the middle of it all. I have said many unkind things. I have had many disturbing thoughts. I have grimaced more times that I would care to remember upon seeing individuals of authority speaking or even just media shots of them walking for that matter – shameful!

Lord, wherever I may be, in whatever circumstance I find myself, be it local or global, may I follow your command to R-E-S-P-E-C-T all human authority.” Because when we really get down to it, You, Lord, are the ultimate authority. Absolutely no one outranks the Creator of the universe. You have allowed every authority to be where they are good and bad. And each fulfills your purpose, no matter how ugly it may get. We do not know all your ways. We are only called to respect – You first and foremost, and then others, as well.

Dec 8th, Thurs, 8:48 pm

Correct Perspective

Sitting here, Father, many things have passed through my mind – situations, people, etc. In my quiet time with You, my mind has been anything but. In spite of the rumbling of my brain, while I’ve sat here in silence, I have prayed for some of those things and I have the calm assurance that all is well in Your hands. Thank You, Father.

Lord, in reading through a Puritan prayer this morning this phrase sticks out.

The memory of my great sins, my many temptations, my falls,
      bring afresh into my mind the remembrance
            of thy great help, of thy support from heaven,
            of thy great grace that saved such a wretch as I am.

I know, Lord, that when it comes to the failings in my past that when asked You forgive…and You forget – my sins are as far as the east is from the west. But I still remember.

This section in The Valley of Vision is a grouping of prayers of penitence and deprecation. It’s tough to read through but it helps to keep my spiritual walk in a correct perspective.

Today’s reading does just that. Memories of improprieties are unavoidable but may each thought be followed by memories of Your help, support, and grace. These things are freely given to me in bounteous supply! May I cherish them. May I hold them close to my heart, for Your love is what saves me. May I never forget. Amen.

Dec 7th, Wed, 6:26 am

 

Walk the Talk

I’m so glad, Father, for the stillness of this early morning hour. The only sounds I hear are an occasional vehicle zooming by and a lonely jet high above the house. These are the external things I hear but most importantly is that I hear Your voice within. It calls out for me to join You. I sense Your pleasure that I am here. Bless me my Father. May I clearly hear what you have for this day. Amen.

1 Peter 2:12 (<<click here)

Lord, we often hear the phrase “walk the tall.” Nothing communicates more loudly the condition of our relationship with You than the way we live out our lives in the world. I can think and write down all kinds of things in our times together – challenging things that require action! – but if I don’t “walk my talk” what good is it?

The thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians is well read (especially at weddings) but the first couple of verse of this “love” chapter fits well with what Peter is saying here.

“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.” vs 1,2

May my actions, Lord, speak more loudly and clearly than my words. May the life I lead before the world be a reflection of Whom I belong to and Whom I serve.

Dec 6th, Tue, 5:14 am

God’s Word Produces Fruit – Always!

Father, what a blessing to come together with Your family yesterday for worship. I am humbled to think that You use me to communicate Your word. It was a blessing to see the expressions on the faces of Your people as they were taking in the truth found in Your word. I love the verses in Isaiah 55 where You say,

“The rain and snow come down from the heavens
      and stay on the ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow,
      producing seed for the farmer
      and bread for the hungry.
It is the same with my word.
      I send it out, and it always produces fruit,
It will accomplish all I want it to,
      and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” vs.10-11
                                                                                 (emphasis mine)

Lord, to think that I can be used as a mouthpiece for Your word is almost beyond comprehension. But I guess You used Balaam’s donkey as well! lol (Numbers 22:21-39) Truly, Lord, all the praise, and the glory go to You and You alone. It is an honor to be used for Your purposes.

As this day begins, Lord, I would pray that the word sown in the hearts of believers across the world would even more firmly take root and grow and bear much fruit. I claim the truth of Your word that “It will accomplish all You want it to, and it will prosper everywhere You send it.” Amen.

December 5th, Mon, 5:38 am

Serving Abroad

Good morning, Father. It is good to come together with You today. With all the upheaval in life recently, help me to get back into a regular routine once more. Thank You for Your palpable presence the last couple of weeks. I couldn’t have done it without You.

1 Peter 2:11 (<<click here)

Lord, as I read this verse, it is just full! It’s difficult to focus on one point when there are so many facets to take in.

One of the first things that pop into my head is the image of a sailor serving abroad. Though he is not “home” he is undeniably a representative of “home.” While abroad everything he says and does reflect on his “home.” I have read stories and seen portrayals of sailors on shore leave who have gotten themselves into all kinds of trouble thinking they could do and say whatever they wanted because they were away from “home” and no one knew them and no one from “home” would find out – they see themselves as incognito! To many the allure of the world pulls them in and illicit behavior and carousing begin. Before they know it their reflection of “home” is dirtied and their image is tainted.

As the old song goes, “This world is not my home; I’m just a passing through.” Lord, I am Your child and my home is with You. I’m not able to get home just yet but I am serving You abroad. Help me to avoid the things of this world that are so alluring. Keep my heart and mind pure. May my focus be on what would make those at home proud.

Dec 3rd, Sat, 4:46 am

Doing it right for once.