Tag Archives: encourage

Tough Love

Father, I need Your help this morning. Things in life are crowding into my mind. Help me to give them over to You. My rehashing over them is accomplishing nothing. This is our time. Lead me down the paths You would have me go.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 (<<click here)

Lord, this verse truly shows Paul to be a proponent of tough love. In my mind’s eye, I see him as a tough nut, not one to put up with much foolishness but also one who literally give you the robe of his back. He was a man of great love but also one who would not back down on the truth. Of course, he was just as human as I am but he truly strove to be like You in all he did.

Lord, help me, too, to be like You in all I do! This verse pulls out one small snippet of life but shows clearly how we must respond to life. Life is all about discerning situations, responding in love and patience, for myself and others to do the very best we can, even if there is some pushing involved.

Way too often we go the easiest route. We don’t warn the lazy – it’s easier to complain behind their back. It’s just too much work to change them. But if that is our response, nothing improves. Things don’t get done. We are frustrated. We think poorly of others and tear them down. Warnings with patience! Love is best.

Sometimes we respond the same way to those who are timid, though their lack of activity may be due to shyness or fear of doing something wrong. Again encouraging them with love and patience will move everyone farther down the desired path.

The path of least resistance may be easy, but unfortunately, it doesn’t really get us anywhere. Tasks don’t get done with efficiency but more importantly, we miss opportunities to love and lift each other up.

Lord, help me to invest in people with love and patience.

July 30th, 2015, Thurs, 7:46 am

Light Piercing the Darkness

Father, this day is Yours. Use me however You wish to accomplish Your will, at work, at home, with family. Help me to listen, enable me to obey.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (<<click here)

Lord, I truly believe that Your return is imminent. Help me, as Paul says, to encourage and build others up. Everyone needs this.

My brothers and sisters in You – that is fellow believers need to be encouraged and built up to not give up in their faithful service to You. Our world keeps getting darker and darker but they and I cannot allow our lights to grow dim. From a reality viewpoint, darkness cannot snuff out the light! Light pierces the darkness and will not be defeated. Darkness is merely the absence of light. So, Lord, help us to encourage one another to let our light shine all the brighter!

Those outside the faith need encouraged and built up, too! Help me to touch them with the light You have so graciously given me. It is treacherous walking about in the darkness. We’re to show them the truth of who You are, then shine Your light upon their path. Enable me to be patient and loving in all my interactions today. Permeate my person with Your presence!

Yes, Lord, You are coming soon, that is Your promise and it will happen. And as 2 Peter 3:9 states, You are not slow about Your promise, as some people think. No, You are being patient for our sake. You don’t want anyone to be destroyed, but You want everyone to repent.

Lord, praise Your name for your patience and love!

July 26th, Sun, 7:03 am

Choices

Father, please use this time together to draw me closer to You and to strengthen my determination to be faithful and true to You. These last few days have been a battle; sin has been battering me from all sides.  I pray that I would do as Paul commands in 1 Corinthians 16:13 “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.” I am victorious in You, Almighty God, only in You.

1 Thessalonians 1:8-10 (<<click here)

Jesus, I pray that Your word would ring out from me to people everywhere just as it did with the believers of Thessalonica! May every aspect of my life be a proclamation of the victory that is found only in an intimate relationship with You. Every day in every situation I have choices to make – to be loving or hateful, forgiving, to pass along gossip, to feed the monster of discontent, to go with the flow and complain about people or situations beyond my control, to stop, listen and encourage when it would be easier to ignore the whole thing – and the list could go on and on. But Lord, You have called me to be salt and light in my world (Mathew 5:13-16) Grant me the desire to do so willingly and eagerly! And as Paul proclaims at the end of this passage, what I do is all the more important for Your return is imminent! Help me to strive to make You the focal point of my life so others will be encouraged to stay true to You and walk with You faithfully. And if they do not know You that my actions would be a beacon shining on You showing them the way.

July 7th,  2015, Tues, 7:01 am

White Flags

Father, this morning I gratefully come to be with You. You are with me every minute of the day and I am sorry to say that I don’t always acknowledge You. I strive to not ignore You when You prompt me to act or speak but so many times the world is loud and I cannot hear. Sometimes I am just running ahead of You. It makes me think of a child and his mother. But even a child learns to hear his mother’s voice over the din of the crowd. And even a child learns not to run too far ahead so as to separate himself into danger.

Father, Fanny Crosby said it well, “I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice, And it told thy love to me; But I long to rise in the arms of faith and be closer drawn to thee. Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord…”

Father, with all my heart I want this to be my cry. I’m Yours,  Lord, I hear Your voice and it says You love me. But I don’t want to stay where I am – I want to be lifted up “in the arms of faith” just to be closer to You. Pull me closer to You every day. Show me Your heart so that I’m drawn to You. Amen – so be it.

Colossians 3:18-19 (<<click here)

Lord, this is definitely one of those passages that has been misunderstood on a lot of fronts. We see words like “submit” and all kinds of red flags go up! Lord, You didn’t intend for there to be red flags but white flags. When we surrender ourselves to Your love, You call us to serve You in love. And in so doing we will love others and serve them in love. All of our relationships should be driven by love!  – husband/wives, parents/children, employers/employees. Whatever relationship we find ourselves in must be governed by love.

I will not demand my own way if I truly love. I will not hurt, I will not tear down, I will not berate. I will help, I will lift up, I will encourage.

Lord, fill up my love reserves! Help me today to love – no hesitations, no holding back, no limits! Help me to love, for You surely love me – it’s the least I can do!

June 26th, 2015,  Fri, 6:30 am

Why Don’t You Call Me Home?

Good morning, Father!  Thank you for a good night’s sleep (I wasn’t up even once) and my shoulder isn’t aching at all. Praise You for this beautiful day!

Philippians 1:20-26 (<<click the green)

Lord, I pray that throughout my life that I would have the perspective of Paul, torn between joining You (i.e. leaving this earth, it’s hardship and heartache) and staying here to lift up and encourage people on their journey with You.

Reading this passage I cannot help but think of wonderful followers of You who at the end of their earthly lives were so overwhelmed by physical adversity that their only desire was to leave this earth and join You. I could never think poorly of them for they were pillars of faith, mentors, individuals who taught me much of You and things I do in following You I gleaned from their influence (Grandma Provance and Rev. Tom Lasley). But they despaired and questioned why You let them linger here – why You didn’t call them home. You had Your holy reasons and I am sure You understood their responses. It makes me cry even now to think of their heartache in their last days!

Lord, You know my heart and You surely know my love for them. Help me continue to embrace their great love for You and how they strove to serve You and talked with You for they loved You dearly but I would ask that my heart’s desire, regardless of what would happen to my body or mind – and only You know the possibilities – would be that You would grow me to the point that I would give up being with You, and all that means, so that I could encourage one more person in their walk with You, would say one more prayer lifting up the down-trodden that they would persevere and overcome by standing faithfully by Your side.

I pray here and now that You would give me a heart for the lost, that I would be constrained to have the heart and soul of Pastor Rick Warren’s dad whose final breaths on this earth were “Got to save one more for Jesus!” over and over again! Lord, please give me Your heart, Your love for Your world! At this point it is not me – forgive me! I plead for Your courage to speak exactly what needs spoken!  I plead for Your tenacity to never give up on people but to be persistent in pursuing them for Your glory!

“Open My Eyes that I may see!” what You see!  Feel what You feel!  And act as you would act! Help this to become my overwhelming desire. “Mold me, make me, fill me, use me!” Praise and glory to Your Holy Name!

May 14th, Thurs, 6:55 am