Tag Archives: evil

Keep a Strong Grip

It’s taken me a bit to get to this point this morning, Father, but I am ready to hear what You have for me. Help me to focus, giving You my attention.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-17 (<<click here)

Lord, I know it’s just a matter of time until You return. Your word is clear…it’s not an “if” but a “when.” As I cast my eyes over the landscape of this world evil is truly rampant – sin and all of its repercussions are in every quadrant. It may be winning millions of skirmishes but its defeat is ultimately inevitable. It’s difficult to grasp the fact that it can get any worse – but it will. Many spend an exuberant amount of time trying to figure out all the particulars but all I need to know is that it will get worse but evil will not have the final say!

Lord, help me to live out Pauls’ exhortation to “stand firm” and to “keep a strong grip on the teaching” I have received from You and from the followers after Your own heart. And I would ask that my overarching motivation would be the assurance that Your love and grace gives me – not temporary – but eternal comfort and a wonderful hope.” And may that assurance “comfort…and strengthen [me] in every good thing [I] do and say.” Thank You, Jesus, for all You are to me.

August 19th, 2015, Wed, 6:54 am

Seeing Through the Layers

Father, thank You for a productive and enjoyable day with Karen yesterday. Thank You for Your watch care over us. Thank You for our relationship. I am truly blessed! Bless her this day, Father, and help me to love her more and more each day.

1 Thessalonians 5:20-22 (<<click here)

Lord, this is a good reminder from Paul. Lots of things are proclaimed in my world. Some are obviously true and some are blatantly false. The challenge comes with those things that are in between – things that are not so clearly black and white. I am so grateful that You are there to help me to discern what is good and what is evil. Help me to listen to Your direction. Our natural tendency is to just go with the flow – we don’t wait to stick out – we want everyone to like us. Just because good people around us accept something or someone as good doesn’t mean that that is the case. And sometimes good people reject something or someone because they label them as evil and unfortunately the “love” factor is totally rejected as well. Again, Lord, I ask for discernment. Sometimes the crowd is right but sometimes Your desire is for us to see through the layers. Many wear masks – in both the realms of good and evil. Help me to see through the duplicity of some who claim to be good but who are hiding things detrimental to Your kingdom. Then help me to read between the lines, to hear between the words to see under the layers of protection to see those that many would just write off as useless. God is at the core – help me not to miss it. Help me not to just reject them because they don’t measure up to acceptable norms.

August 7th,  2015, Fri, 7:48 am

Evil for Evil…NOT!

 

I lay this day in its entirety in Your hands, Father. There are many elements in it that are unknown. Some are beyond my control. I trust You. May You receive glory whatever the outcome. Use me however You deem best. Fill me with Your love. May I be gracious but may I also stand for what is right. If need be may I be discerning enough to know when I need to fight or submit. Please guide me according to Your will. Amen. So be it!

1 Thessalonians 5:15 (<<click here)

“no…evil for evil” “do good”

Lord, this is really a very simple concept but is definitely counter-culture! Our knee-jerk reaction is to respond in like manner – you hurt me, I hurt you! (worse if possible!) But that reaction is totally, without question, not You. You, the Creator of all that is, almighty (emphasis on the all) God have every reason to punish Your rebellious (putting it very mildly) creation. And pointedly our punishment is death and rightly so. The Bible is replete with accounts where Your punishment was meted out and in every instance, it was justified. But also in every instance punishment was preceded by innumerable attempts at reconciliation! You’re patient and oh so longsuffering. Thank You for Your unsurmountable love!

Ultimately You came to teach us and love us face to face and our response was to return evil for love, ultimately nailing You to a cross… Reason for retaliation? Definitely! But did You? No!! You’re the very epitome of LOVE!  Evil… for evil is not even an option!

Lord, help me to overcome my tendencies to give evil for evil. I am not a vengeful person but I do have a temper and only You can help me temper that temper. May every molecule of my being radiate Your love! May it control my actions and my words in every situation, no matter how difficult. Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Enable me to “do good to all people.” With Your power and wisdom and love, I can do it!

July 31st, 2015, Fri, 6:44 am

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