Tag Archives: Ephesians

Ambassador of Love

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

 

Pierce Through the Clouds

pierce through the clouds

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!

Honoring (All) Parents

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

Love – What It’s Meant to Be

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.

Reflecting Jesus

I’m glad I’m up and ready to see what You have for me today!

Ephesians 5:1-14

Father, we are to be a reflection of You, spreading Your light into an ever darkening world. I understand watching what I say, how I respond – and we know I am far from perfect. I pray that Your Spirit will prick my conscience when I am out of line.  Then I pray that I will respond to your prompting and learn to move forward with an attitude and mindset to change my ways to align with Your ways.

I understand that I am to “Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness” But how do I “expose them”? Of course the big thing that comes to mind is homosexuality. How do I expose it for what it is and still extend your love to those entangled in it?*

I know it’s not going away just because I don’t act on it. It is definitely something that I mull over quite frequently.  Speak to me, Father. Help me to respond as You would have me to…not as tradition or human mind sets would.

May 4th, Mon, 6:24 am

*I wrote this entry in my journal almost two months ago and though I knew that the US Supreme Court was looking at the same-sex marriage case, I was still struggling with my personal understanding of this extremely controversial matter. I have friends on both sides of the issue, from one extreme to the other. When the court’s decision was announced, honestly, I was grieved…I wasn’t angry, I just felt an overwhelming sadness. Over the next couple of days I wrestled with the whole thing, just trying to wrap my mind around it. I read a lot of articles from people I respect; Christian leaders whom I believe are true followers of Christ. (Here are a couple:  Chad Holtz {<- click here} – an American UMC pastor and Carey Nieuwohf {<- click here} – a Canadian pastor.)

I finally came to the conclusion that all we can really do is to apply ourselves. We have got to be true followers of Christ. And the name “Christian” cannot just be a name we slap on ourselves because we go to church. It’s not because we accepted Christ as children or were baptized or whatever – we have to live it. We have to live as Christ would have us to live. That’s the only way we are going to make any difference.

My son, Massey, and I have talked extensively on this and many other subjects and I have said over and over that we cannot legislate morality. (An excellent example is the US Prohibition of the 1920’s. The public did what they wanted, with or without legal approval. The legislature didn’t address the heart of the matter, and instead led to more problems.) It just doesn’t work. We have got to live it. We have got to impact people. We have got to touch them with Christ through our lives…and that’s the only difference we are going to be able to make.

No matter who is in leadership on whatever level of government, they are not going to be able to fix this world no matter how hard they try. We may be anxious about all the “what ifs” and none of them may happen or all of them may happen, I don’t know, but remember this – God is still in charge…period. We may think we are controlling things and are pulling all the ropes, but God is still in charge. And we know in the end He, and he alone, will be victorious – every knee will bow every tongue confess that He is Lord.

We are in the middle of it. And Paul was in the middle of it. He lived in the Roman Empire, a very oppressive world regime that ruled over every aspect of their lives and controlled multiple countries. It was by no means a nation that had any desire to follow the precepts of the one, true God. In the middle of all of this, Paul was stalwart and he rejoiced wherever he found himself serving God…and we are called to do the same.

Do not hate! That’s one thing that bothers me more than anything else is that Christ’s name is being drug through the mud. Not by people who don’t know any better, but by those who should know better. They hate and they scream their hatred! I don’t care who ‘they’ are, or how bad ‘they’ are or what ‘they’ have done – they are no greater sinners than we are. And we are the ones dragging Christ’s name through the mud. We are humiliating Him. We are tearing down His reputation because we feel that we are right and that our rights have been violated! We are in the wrong!

Love others! I don’t care who they are or what they’ve done. Love. Each. Other. Love God foremost and go forth – that is what God calls us to do. And this is just not off the top of my head; it’s not just what my dad taught me. It is where I have been struggling for days. God loves us.

I have quoted Ephesians 1:4 many times in recent days. “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us…” There are no exceptions in there. He doesn’t say I love you and choose you unless you’re a homosexual, unless you’re a Muslim, unless you’re a this or that… There is nothing in that passage that excludes anyone! Everyone is loved, everyone is chosen and we are called to be followers of Him.

So our challenge is to love each other as Christ loves us. And we know that that is way beyond anything we can wrap our mind around. We know He has loved us and given forgiveness where no forgiveness was due. We do not have one right to any forgiveness from Him, but He is merciful and He is gracious and He gives…and He gave until it killed Him. He was victorious over death and the grave and we have victory in Him. So we can be victors in our own lives.