Tag Archives: embrace

Swollen with Pride

Lots of things clamoring for my attention this morning, Father, so struggling to sit down and get at it. I am praying for Your touch and direction for my family today – Your will be done. Amen.

1 Peter 5:5-6 (<<click here)

Young and old, Lord – many times we struggle with each other. Lack of respect plagues both sides. Lack of understanding does as well. Frustration can run high. The best thing we can do is to follow Peter’s advice and embrace humility.

In a lot of ways, I think that “pride” impacts us like an allergic reaction. Someone says something with which we don’t agree and it’s like a bee sting! We react almost instantaneously and our pride swells us up so much so that we can’t see things for what they are. I can picture someone with their eyes swollen shut! Pride works the same way many times and when it “attacks” we need a big dose of the anti-inflammatory called humility.

Our society in recent years is a ticking time bomb. Say the “wrong” thing, stand up for the “wrong” cause, express your opinion and if it differs from someone else – watch out! You might just get blown to pieces! We all just need to slow down and think…think…before we act – before we speak – before we blow up!

Love…humility…compassion…mercy…respect…all need to factor in – especially as Christians. God is the judge, not us. Yes, I realize somethings are blatant, in your face, over the top sin. But can any of us honestly throw the first stone? John 8:1-11 We are all guilty. Sin is sin and there is no ranking of them.

Young and old, black and white, men and women, any combination we can come up with…let us love one another! Lord, You said it Yourself, “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” John 15:12

Lord, help me to use the anti-inflammatory of humility to combat my reactions to pride. Help me to see through your eyes – eyes that see clearly – and to respond as You would. Amen.

Feb 15th, Wed, 9:57 am

Things of Inestimable Worth

Father, this morning I come to You with a humble and contrite heart. I am overwhelmingly blessed by You yet I still grumble and am unsatisfied with where I find myself. Far too often I take for granted things that are right before me. There are many things that I am not happy with but I neglect to cherish – to realize how much I am truly loved.

We have talked about many things in the last several months. I am sorry for complaining about situations in which You have carefully and lovingly placed me. Please forgive me for not appreciating to the fullest the beautiful things in my life.

Lord, I would ask that I would not allow minuscule, insignificant things in my life to taint my entire mindset that I would let them roll right over me to be remembered no more.

Please enable me to grasp those things, small though they may be, that in the setting of Your great love for me I wouldn’t let them pass me by. That I would hold them close, that I would embrace them, savoring them for the great value they hold – a child’s laugh, an older couple holding hands, the day-in-day-out way’s my wife shows her love for me – and the many little things of inestimable worth.

And most of all, most importantly of all, Lord, may I never, ever, forget all that You are to me. Your patience, Your grace, Your love, Your blessings upon me. Your sacrifice, the pain You took upon Yourself in my stead, may I remember every day…You are the reason I am here. You are my reason for living. May I never take You for granted.

Sept 6th, Tues, 6:21 am

In It, Not of It

Father, it is a morning of thanks. Thank You for the good sleep over the weekend. I am so grateful for Your presence and direction in yesterday’s service. And thank you for the opportunity to be with family. No matter the circumstances, I am grateful that you are by my side. Thank You, Father.

James 1:21 (<<click here)

In this passage, we are admonished to rid ourselves of the filth and evil in our lives.” In the culture in which I live, Lord, this is a great challenge. The world is replete with it. I can’t turn a TV on, walk through a checkout like, flip through Facebook or stand in any given public gathering of people without being exposed to it.

I may be exposed to it on a regular basis, and would have to be a recluse with no access to technology, to avoid it but ultimately it is my choice as to how I respond to it. I see it but that doesn’t mean I have to embrace it or take it in. I don’t have to read it or watch it or even look at it. You enable me to turn the other way – help me to do so.

That can be tough enough but the real challenge is abiding by John 17:14-19. Lord, in this passage You state that we “are not of the world, even as [You are] not of it.” But the challenge comes in living out our commission of being sent into the world.” We cannot simply run and hide. In Your strength alone can we stand strong as we are sent “into the world.”

I cannot impact the world for Your kingdom, Lord, from a distance. I must be in the midst of the fray. It is dangerous. I might get hurt – seriously even. But I cannot shirk my responsibilities. The battles must be fought if the lost are to be reclaimed! Lord, “protect [me] from the evil one” and use me as You will! Amen.

Aug 15th, Mon, 6:06 am

Catalyst for Change

Father, I am grateful for Your ever-present Spirit. Thank You for wooing me and for Your unfailing love. Regardless of the fact that I have been Your child for many years, You had much more in store for me. You knew our relationship could go much deeper. You instilled in me a burning desire to know You more and, oh, what a blessing it is! Praise Your Holy Name!!

Hebrews 13:22-25 (<<click here)

The book of Hebrews concludes with these verses and once again my study Bible* gives me food for thought. Already, Lord, You are working in my heart and mind even as we have come together this day. Hebrews under Your inspiration is a “call to Christ maturity.” And that means making You the “beginning and end of our faith.” My study Bible concludes with these words and they are oh so true,

“To grow in maturity, we must center our life on [Christ], not depending on religious ritual, not falling back into sin, not trusting in ourselves, and not letting anything come between us and Christ. Christ is sufficient and superior.”

Lord, You alone are my all-inclusive answer. If it is left up to me alone, I fail. I am not strong enough. I am not focused enough. Only when I center my life on You can I stand strong.

If only the world could learn this and embrace it! Lord, may I be a catalyst for change. Use me, stretch me, teach me and embolden me. I am wholly dependent upon You!

July 25th, Mon, 6:24 am

*New Living Translation Life Application Study Bible

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