Tag Archives: evil

A Strand of the Tapestry

Thank You, Father, for this beautiful Sabbath day. Thank You for Your Word this morning. May Your word to each of those in attendance at both services be implanted in their hearts and may the fruit it yields bring glory to You and Your kingdom. Amen.

Matthew 1:1-17 (<<click the green)

Lord, this list at the beginning of Matthew’s Gospel can be a bit overwhelming. I remember as a child, the King James Version, instead of saying “was the father of” used the word “begat”. I learned what it meant but, that’s a lot of “begats”!

It’s easy to just skim through the list. Some names are familiar – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ruth, David, Solomon. Some, as my study Bible* states, were a little “shady” – Tamer and Rahab. Others were your typical “Joe Shmoes” – regular guys like Hezron, Ram, and Nahshon. There were some evil characters as well – like Manasseh and Abijah. (Go to www.biblegateway.com and type in any of their names to find out more about them – several interesting stories!)

And this is not just any list – it is Your genealogy, Lord – Your family tree. All kinds of people contributed to who You would become. Just as we have bits of genetic material from all of our ancestors, so did You. The good, the bad…even the “shady”, all of them are a part of who You are.

AND today, You do the same with us. As followers, we are all a part of Your body – the body of believers. No matter who we are, no matter what we’ve done, when we willingly follow You, we each have a part to play in bringing Your will to fruition in this world. You are eager for us all to have a hand in seeing Your kingdom come to completion.

Thank You, Lord, for using me – for using all of us! We are all a strand in the beautiful tapestry of Your plan. May we all dedicate ourselves to eagerly do our share! Amen!

Sept 10th, Sun, 7:56 pm

A Matter of Time

Father, as I sit with You this morning, the world is just flying by! Everyone is in so much of a hurry to get to who knows where. May my mind settle on You, Father. Quiet my spirit. At this moment there is nothing more important than You. Amen.

Revelation 4:1 (<<click the green)

Lord, once again I appreciate the tools You have placed within my hands. My study Bible* gives me an excellent overview as Your word transitions from the “churches” to the future of The Church as a whole.

Verse 1 is the beginning of what John witnessed in the “throne room of heaven.” My study Bible* goes on to say, “God is on the throne and orchestrating all the events that John will record. The world is not spinning out of control; the God of creation will carry out his plans as Christ initiates the final battle with the forces of evil. John shows us heaven before showing us earth so that we will not be frightened by future events.”

Lord, one of the biggest struggles we have, as we see the evil that is so prominent in our world, is the feeling that evil is winning. I have not watched a full news program on TV in years! For me, for the most part, it is a synopsis of evil. It is composed mainly of pain and loss and violence and hatred…I don’t need that filling my heart and mind. I realize that, to some degree, I need to be aware of what’s going on in the world (and to pray for those caught up in it all) but there is no reason to immerse myself in it, soaking up every tidbit that is thrown my way.

Evil is not winning! As the old Christian cliché goes, the war has already been won! You, Lord, are the victor! Battles may still be raging, skirmishes still abound but You are the King and everything will be brought under Your control, in Your time.

May I be faithful, Lord. May I keep everything in its proper perspective. You are on the throne and, again, there will come a day, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11 It’s just a matter of time.

Aug 7th, Mon, 6:41 am

*Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation

Down the Front

Father, it is a joy to be with You this morning. May I be attentive as I see what You have for me. Draw me close to Your side. Give me a heart that wants to be like You more than anything else. Amen.

Revelation 3:4-6 (<<click the green)

One of my biggest challenges in life is keeping food off the front of my shirt. Inevitably something of vibrant color will do so, especially when I am out in public.

It happened a couple of Sundays ago. We decided to run into town after church and grab a quick bite at a well know Mexican food place. I kept my burrito in the wrapper for extra protection, leaned over the tray in a precautionary move…but to no avail! One bite and a chunk of tomato covered in meat sauce fell to my thumb, rolled down my hand and tumbled over the front of my shirt! So for the rest of the afternoon, I walked Napoleon-style with my hand over my shirt trying to cover the stain! And of course, we ran into people we knew…no surprise there!

Verse 4 here speaks of the few in Sardis who had not soiled their clothes with evil.” Sin leaves a mark, stains are unavoidable. Trying to cover them up is futile. Lord, You see it all. You witness the act and You are keenly aware of the aftermath. The older I get the more I realize that I, in and of myself…I, in my own strength and power…I simply cannot stand against sin. Inevitably I will take a bite out of something I shouldn’t be biting and it will roll down the front of my shirt and my clothes are soiled. Only in You, Lord, can I be victorious! Only in You can I avoid the temptations. Only in You can I stand strong against the evil that wants to entrap me.

Lord, may I be faithful to You. May I be victorious so that I too may “walk with [You] in white” for only because of You will I be found worthy. Amen.

July 21st, Fri, 6:49 am

Rain on Us All

As I look out this morning as the day is just beginning, it has started to rain. Father, the day is just beginning and it is not bright, though the sun is up. In the early light, everything is a dark green – the grass in the front yard, the cattails across the road creating a border to the soybeans and then corn behind them and then the line of trees forming the backdrop under a cloud laden sky.

And it continues to rain, beating down on the highway, pelting the bay window – nothing is missed, everything is wet. Lord, You have brought to mind this morning a passage from the Gospel of Matthew – a portion of Your Sermon on the Mount – and You spoke of rain.

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48 (emphasis mine)

Lord, You equally bless us all –no one is missed, everyone gets wet – and You are not just speaking of rain here. You are speaking of how you feel in regards to us all. You, in all Your holiness and perfection, choose to love us in all of our sin and imperfection. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that You are “patient…not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Lord, Your word is clear. As I read the passage from Matthew again I cannot miss it – no further explanation is needed– we are called to love and pray for our enemies. Help me, Lord, help me to be like You. Amen.

July 10th, Mon, 6:31 am

Not What I Expected

http://miniature-calendar.com/170520/

Thank You for a restful night’s sleep Father…and for waking me for our time together. Guide my thoughts both now and throughout the day ahead.

Revelation 1:12-16 (<<click green)

Lord, I’ve read and heard this passage many times in my life but what You look like here has not stuck in my mind. When I picture You, it is not like this. But I cannot box You in. I cannot limit You to my perceptions.

In these verses You, Lord, are the “Son of Man.” My study Bible* expounds on some of the detail. You are in a long robe with a gold sash across [Your] chest.” This “reveals [You] as the High Priest who goes into God’s presence to obtain forgiveness of sin for those who have believed in [You].” Thank You, Lord, for the salvation You extend to me!

Your white hair “indicates [Your] wisdom and divine nature.” Thank You, Lord, for Your all-encompassing wisdom – know all You do, You still love us and embrace us!

Your eyes “like flames of fire” “symbolize judgment of all evil.” This brings to mind Charles Wesley’s hymn, “And Can It Be” and this verse,

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray
I woke the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, when forth, and followed Thee.

Thank You, Lord, for freeing me from the evil that had me bound!

Thank You, Lord, that though You were not what I expected…but You surely are what I needed. Praise Your name!

June 15th, Thurs, 6:48 am