Tag Archives: embrace

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

Great Harvest

Good morning, Father! Thank You for a good night’s sleep following a wonderful day. Words cannot begin to express my gratitude for all You did in helping me to prepare for yesterday’s message to Your people… It was not an easy road to travel but You were by my side all the way- guiding, directing, inspiring. May the word given weigh upon the hearts of all who heard it, mine included. Help us to avoid those things that lure us away from staying true (standing firm) in You, Lord. (Philippians 4:1) And then help us to embrace those things that draw us to staying true to You. May Your promise in Isaiah 55:10-11 come to fruition in our lives in a mighty way today. In it You state that You “water the earth” causing “the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry.” And verse 11 is what I claim today!

“It is the same with my word. I sent it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”

May it be so, Lord, bless Your word and may the harvest be great both in us and in the hearts of those who would receive it! Amen!!

Feb 22nd, Mon, 5:23 am

Pure as Freshly Fallen Snow

In the quiet of this morning,
I sit and feel You here.
I know You’ve something for me,
As I know that You are near.

I cherish every moment,
While I wait here at Your feet.
For nothing’s more important,
Than this time with You, how sweet!

1 Timothy 6:11 (<<click here)

“man of God… run from… evil… pursue righteousness”

Short and to the point, Lord, If we would just flesh this out every day of our lives we would accomplish Your holy will for our lives. If we truly want to be a man (or woman) of God, this is how it’s done.

“run from …evil” Why is it so alluring? We are drawn by its supposed beauty and appeal. We embrace and indulge the facade of fulfillment only, too late, to realize that in reality it is death with which we have been intimate. And when evil’s work is done, we are stained –  we are sullied. We cannot cleanse ourselves. We reek of defeat and defilement. We are undone and we cannot undo our undoneness. We are condemned. We are damned… “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips…” Isaiah 6:5 NASB Is there no hope? No, in and of myself, there is not… There may be no hope in me but, praise God, there is hope outside of me!

“pursue righteousness” “… we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear on (Jesus Christ). He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.” Ephesians 1:6-7 NLT

When we embrace You, Lord, we are saved! An intimate relationship with You brings life! The stains of our sin are as if they had never been! Washed clean, pure as the freshly fallen snow – but not just covered up – eradicated! Our aroma is the bouquet of the beauty of Christ and His wonderful gift of grace and mercy. We are victors. We are conquerors! Because of Christ we are made pure, we are made holy! We are redone to be what we were meant to be Praise God!

Lord, help me to embrace You! To find my true calling in my relationship with You. Enable me to “run from… evil…” and to “pursue righteous and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.” Amen!!

Sept 29th, Tues, 6:21 am