Tag Archives: accept

A Gift

What a wonderful day You gave us yesterday, Father! It was so nice having a day together without a lot “scheduled” on our plate. What a blessing to have time to just enjoy each other’s company. Thank You for the wonderful gift!

Revelation 2:7 (<<click green)

Reading ahead just a bit, Lord, I never realized that each of the seven churches is promised a gift if they are victorious in standing with You. (It is totally awesome how regardless of how many times we read and hear Your Word that there is always something that we can learn! Great is [Your] faithfulness; [Your] mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:23)

The gift extended to the Ephesians (and to us!) is “fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.” Of course, the “tree of life” stood in the Garden of Eden at the very beginning but when we chose to disobey – to sin – we forfeited that gift of living forever in Your presence. But when we repent of our sin and accept another marvelous gift from Your hand – salvation and the forgiveness of our sin! – we will once again be able to partake of “fruit from the tree of life”.

Lord, it just baffles me that people avoid a relationship with You. We have in our very small view of things that You are a cosmic killjoy, that all that You want to do is to burden us down with an impossible list of rules and regulations. We just want to have “fun” and You just want to take that away.

But in reality that is a total bald-faced lie! You alone are the source of true joy and fulfillment. Everything we cling to in this world will only let us down – it will leave us, it will fall apart, it the long run it will only bring tears and sorrow. But not You, Lord!

I love the way the Amplified Bible translates James 1:17,

“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of lights [the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens], in whom there is no variation [no rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [for He is perfect and never changes].”

Lord, may we accept all the wonderful gifts from Your bounteous provision! Amen.

June 30th, Fri, 6:26 am

Last Bastion of My Independence

Father, what a wonderful weekend You have given me! It is indeed a rarity when Karen and I can spend a whole day together. We are truly blessed. On this Sabbath may we not just experience Your presence in a mighty way in worship – twice! – but may we feel You with us all day long! Amen!

1 Peter 3:22 (<<click here)

As I read this one verse, Lord, it is not incomprehensible but it is easily grasped. Simply put, shortly after Your resurrection You went to heaven and are “seated in the place of honor next to God.” For believers, a simple concept.

But the next few words? Even believers aren’t always on board. The line reads, “…and all the angels and authorities and powers accept [Your] authority.” Now we don’t have a problem with the concept stated. It makes sense. It fits comfortably into our theology. So, what’s the problem? The problem for many arises when we realize the necessity of fitting ourselves into the equation. Along with “the angels and authorities and powers,” do we accept Your authority?

Many of us are not bothered in the least as we comply with the ritual of worship and the basic demands of service. But in the deep recesses of our souls do we accept Your authority? Or is our inner sanctuary the one to which we cling? For the most part, whether we like it or not, a good part of our lives are controlled by outside forces – parents, spouses, teachers, bosses, etc., etc. Our inmost beings are the only thing we have left that is ours and ours alone. It may not be easy but if we are to truly be Your followers, Lord, we must accept Your authority – especially there.

Oh, Lord, my tendency is to have a death grip on that last bastion of my independence. My life is controlled on every other front. But if I am to be all I can possibly be, if I am to see the greatest fulfillment in my life here on earth…that is what must do. I must accept Your authority over my life. And as I do, it is not another weight placed upon my shoulders but it is a freedom! Instead of weighing me down, I am lifted up. I gladly accept Your authority. I joyously embrace Your promise.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Jan 29th, Sun, 6:47 am

Embrace What’s Best

Father, I am grateful that You truly care for me. I look back over the last year and can see obvious signs – answered prayers, changed mindsets, altered behaviors spiritual growth and development. Your love has enabled me to be an overcomer. Praise Your Holy Name!

Hebrews 12:11-13 (<<click here)

Over the years, Lord, I have struggled with feelings that I have not been disciplined. Verse 8, in particular, has weighed heavy on my heart. “If God doesn’t discipline you…it means that you are…not really his children at all.” I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am Your child but what about the discipline? In reading through the notes of my study Bible*, it has brought to light that a big factor when we are disciplined is my response to it. Do I fight it? Do I accept it but resent it? Or do I embrace it for what it is, Your helping me to be what I need to be?

Thinking through this reminds me of Massey when he was little. We are not opposed to spanking but I don’t recall ever having to spank him. At that point in his life a stern word could bring him to tears. He would do something inappropriate, we would verbally correct him and send him to his room, he’d wail and cry but in short order he’d come out, say he was sorry and give us a big hug. He was disciplined and has truly turned out to be a fine young man but he didn’t need more drastic measures to be taken to get through to him (another area where he was smarter than I was!)

But, that’s how I respond to Your discipline, God. I don’t fight it, I don’t resent it, I embrace it. I want to be what You want me to be, Lord. I realize that You want what is best for me. You love me…and what could be better than that?

June 6th, Mon, 6:39 am

*New Living Translation Life Application Study Bible