This is a Throwback Thursday post from June 17, 2015. It is my very first blog post. Two people viewed it. Hey, you have to start somewhere!
Father, thank You for Your concern in regards to my spiritual well being and development. Increase my eagerness to join with You each day.
“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us…”
It’s wonderful to see this amazing statement, which I have often proclaimed, firmly set in Your Word. To know that You loved us from eternity past should fill us with great peace and eradicate any doubt as to whose we are.
Help this to be foundational in how I think of myself and how I think of all others, even those that “Christians”* tend to reject. Father, help me to see people through the lens of Your perspective.
April 19th, Sun, 6:45 am
*A little expounding on my use of this term in this way might be helpful. So called “followers of Christ” have gotten a nasty reputation in latter years. Far too often we are haters and that’s not just a label others have put on us – many who bear the name of Christ are haters. If “sinners” don’t agree with us and they take a stand for what they believe, we don’t love them, pray for them or try to live lives before them that draw them to Christ. Instead, we blast them, berate them and out-and-out condemn them! In the Old Testament and the New, we are told over and over again, “Love your neighbor as yourself…” Read the Gospels and you will not find one example of Christ condemning a “sinner”, he loves them, forgives them and commands them to “go and sin no more” but, in no way, shape or form, does he hate them. On the other hand, He does condemn the spiritual leaders of His day. They were two-faced (hypocrites) and self-serving. They had the Law and they knew the Law but chose not to obey. I for one am grateful that he does not condemn sinners for I wholeheartedly agree with Paul when he wrote in 1 Timothy 1:15, “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.” Father, help us all to see people through the lens of Your perspective.
Good morning, Father. Thank you for waking me so we could spend some time together this morning, I cherish them. Please help me to feel so more and more. Like so many things that I do (i.e. picking up and dropped stuff) help me to not say “no” to being with You, absolutely no excuses! I love You, Father, and I want to spend time with You so I can become more like You!
Ephesians 6:10-24 (<<click this)
More and more, Lord, I am coming to understand your direction for me and the church. In recent generations we have become very militant about defending our “right” as believers. Reading this passage tells me that our only piece of defensive armor is to be Your Word. We grumble, and complain and fight against those that You have put into authority over us. But our fight is not supposed to be against flesh and blood. We are called to take our stand “against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world…mighty powers in this dark world…and evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (vs.12) Lord, You told us that the world would hate us because it hated You, but in our selfishness and pride it has come to hate us because we hate the world! …not because we love You… Your light shines upon the world showing its sinfulness. I truly believe that, at least at this point in time, You do so to draw us to you…judgment will come later. We push the world away because we judge now. Help me to be an ambassador of Your love to the world.
May 9th, Sat, 5:17 am
Father, what a beautiful day is at hand…and not just because the sun is shining and the grass is green. It’s a clean slate, as the beginning of each new day is. A day fresh with possibilities and opportunities to do what You have called us to do. A glorious day to share Your love with all those around us. Thank You, Father, for this wonderful gift!
Ephesians 6:5-9 (<<click this)
“Serve them (your employers) sincerely as you would serve Christ.” vs. 5b
Sincerely: genuinely, honestly, truly wholeheartedly, earnestly,fervently
Lord, You had me focus on the one particular family in my life this morning. I know that You sincerely love them and want what is best for them. Please be with their granddaughter this beautiful day. Pierce thru the clouds and disillusionment and give her Your wisdom and clarity! By whatever means help her to lay ahold of the truth found only in You. Whatever direction she takes may You, Lord, be at its core. Lord, I claim her for You and You alone. Satan – hands off!! You are defeated, any victories you’ve had are short lived!! Jesus I claim victory over this whole situation in the power and might of Your name – Your resurrection power will overcome. Help her Lord, she needs You! You are the answer she needs! Jesus please make yourself known to her in a clear and mighty way! AMEN!!!*
May 8th, Fri, 6:45 am
*The Lord answered this prayer that very day! A wise decision was made. There is still work to be done but God is working!
Sometimes my bed feels awfully good but more and more I just don’t want to miss this time with You, Father! May this always be the case; that is my heartfelt prayer!! I need this time together, I am dependent on it! Please, Father help me to make the most of it. Speak to me and help me hear Your direction, help me to act on it, help me to retain Your Word, help it to be something that infuses my day, please help it to impact everything else I do , say or think! Father, I am Yours to use as You will. I hold nothing back! Thank You, Father!
Ephesians 6:1-4 (<- click here)
Lord, this passage speaks to me on two fronts this morning, first honoring parents. My New Living Translation Application Study Bible notes say that “honoring” means to respect and love. With my parents – no problem but looking at other people’s parents – it’s much more complicated. And being a pastor and working in retail I see all kinds of parents. The dynamics of other couple’s relationships affects my perception of them. And of course, that can directly affect my relationships, too. The only way for me to address this mindset is to plead with You to allow me to see other couples through Your eyes. To love them, as You do. If that means I need to address certain aspects of their relationship – so be it. If that means I say nothing – then so be it. Lord, help me to be what You want me to be in my relationship with them. Also, change how I respond in my relationships in that regard as well; help me to not be negative about other people’s relationships when interacting in my personal relationships. Quite often people I love know what it’s like and don’t need me literally adding insult to injury – help me to pray for others when situations arise and to let those I love know that that will be my course of action from now on, with Your help and direction.
Secondly, I owe Massey an apology. It’s weird but two things stick in my mind as I read about not “provoking” him – RISK and matches. He and I have talked of this some but I need to make sure they are addressed from a spiritual perspective in regards to my relationship with him. I know my actions had a direct influence on him – they have in part, made him who he is. To a certain extent that might have had a positive reaction but more so it has probably affected him adversely. What’s been done can’t be undone but Lord, please, help me to continue to improve our relationship (which You have already done great things for several years!) and only if and when You direct, please help me to address these failing of my fathering.
May 7th, Thurs, 6:09 am
Father, thank You for encouraging me to share my writings yesterday.* I pray that You were glorified. I, honestly, struggle with pride to a certain degree. I lay the whole thing at Your feet, I really want You to get the credit, I want those who read it to think of You. Its weird how something like this is so simple yet in my mind it’s so complicated. But You know that I only did it (posted it) because I felt that that’s what You wanted me to do. All Glory to You!
Ephesians 5:21-33 (<<click this)
Marriage…man and woman…husband and wife. Submission to him…love (to the point of giving up his own life) for her. Mutual…edifying…sacrificial. Nothing selfish here…no taking advantage of…just giving. Unity…oneness…a melding of two. Both benefited by the giving of self. Both made better…both more like Christ. Both placing the interest of the other before the interest of self. Against the (fleshly) natural…embracing the (spiritual) nature. Rejecting the mindset of the world…embodying the mindset (the life) of Christ.
Lord, as I draw closer to You, please help me to love Karen more and more. She is truly a gift from You that is to be cherished. Help me to do all I can to lift her up, to encourage her. Shore up my patience and help my selfishness to be cast away. Please enable me to love her as You do.
May 6th, Wed, 6:39 am
*I posted a photo of my May 5th journal entry (Magnifying the Negative) to Facebook.