It’s been too long, Father since I’ve sat down with You for our time together. But one thing that I am grateful for is that You have been at the forefront of my heart and mind the whole time. Several times over the last several days I have called out to You and You have kept me strong in my faith and true to my commitment to You – praise Your holy Name!
2 Timothy 1:8b (<<click here)
“With the strength God give you, be ready to suffer… for the sake of the Good News.”
Lord, a few years ago this passage would have seemed much less imminent. So many things have changed in our world in recent years… and most have not been for the best. Evil on a multitude of fronts is on the rise – just thinking of it all makes my stomach churn.
Everybody and their brother, at least in Christian circles, seems to have an opinion as to what is going to happen. We may not know specifics and we surely don’t know when but suffering is inevitable.
Lord, I don’t know if it will yet happen in my lifetime but may I be ready for it. Help me to continue to strive to make our relationship strong. Help me to sink my roots deep, deep in to Your love. Help me to fervently repel the evil that comes my way. And if that evil someday comes banging on my door may I look it square in the eye, and in Your strength “be ready to suffer… for the sake of the Good News.”
Oct 21st, Wed, 7:24 am
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 is in every quadrant. It may be winning millions of skirmishes but its defeat is ultimate 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, Wed, 6:54 am
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 right 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, Fri, 7:48 am
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, Fri, 6:44 am