Tag Archives: fear

Tough Love

Father, I need Your help this morning. Things in life are crowding into my mind. Help me to give them over to You. My rehashing over them is accomplishing nothing. This is our time. Lead me down the paths You would have me go.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 (<<click here)

Lord, this verse truly shows Paul to be a proponent of tough love. In my mind’s eye, I see him as a tough nut, not one to put up with much foolishness but also one who literally give you the robe of his back. He was a man of great love but also one who would not back down on the truth. Of course, he was just as human as I am but he truly strove to be like You in all he did.

Lord, help me, too, to be like You in all I do! This verse pulls out one small snippet of life but shows clearly how we must respond to life. Life is all about discerning situations, responding in love and patience, for myself and others to do the very best we can, even if there is some pushing involved.

Way too often we go the easiest route. We don’t warn the lazy – it’s easier to complain behind their back. It’s just too much work to change them. But if that is our response, nothing improves. Things don’t get done. We are frustrated. We think poorly of others and tear them down. Warnings with patience! Love is best.

Sometimes we respond the same way to those who are timid, though their lack of activity may be due to shyness or fear of doing something wrong. Again encouraging them with love and patience will move everyone farther down the desired path.

The path of least resistance may be easy, but unfortunately, it doesn’t really get us anywhere. Tasks don’t get done with efficiency but more importantly, we miss opportunities to love and lift each other up.

Lord, help me to invest in people with love and patience.

July 30th, 2015, Thurs, 7:46 am

Yeilding

Father, thank You for a good night’s rest, I would ask that Your hand would be upon me this day and that I would be focused and that my preparations for worship Sunday would align with what You want to accomplish. Work through me to advance Your kingdom here on earth.

Colossians 3:16-17 (<<click here)

Lord, may I never cease to be astonished at how You work in my life! I sit down and write out my opening prayer, before reading this morning’s text and already You are guiding my thoughts in the directions it should go! Praise You, Lord!

I’m to “Let the message about [You], in all its richness, fill [my life].” I’m to “teach and council… with all the wisdom” You give me. You direct me in my song selections for worship. I am so grateful that You work in my life. Help me to keep in mind at all times that I am Your representative to the world.

As I sit here this morning my mind touches on many words that deal with yielding to You – submission, control, direct, guide, give over myself; and I’m sure there are many more. From a human perspective they, many times, have a negative connotation, slavery and servitude come to mind. But in my relationship with You, the words are not negative but bring a sense of peace and security. For this relationship is not based on fear, or greed or hate or with intent to hurt and destroy. Our relationship is based on LOVE! I yield to You because I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that You want what is best for me. And even though I may not always understand, You see the big picture of my life. I love You. I trust You. What better reason do I have for giving my life to You!

June 25th, Thurs, 7:29 am

I’m the One Who Needs Forgiven

Good morning, Father! I am so grateful that this has become a regular part of my schedule. I would ask that You would help me to never take it for granted but that I will always cherish our time together. And I think that’s what is foundational is that I cherish You! I have incalculable reasons why I should cherish You, I just need help realizing them. As Your Word directs, may I love You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength!

Colossians 3:13 (<<click here)

Forgiveness – Lord, over my lifetime we have worked through so many incidents where I have needed to forgive. Most I can’t even recall but a few of them were huge! Being asked to step down from an associate pastor’ position with no reason given, being unable to refinance our home because of an employer’s comments, being encouraged to leave the nest of security in another associate pastor’s position to became a Senior pastor when I felt I wasn’t ready. In those situations the hurt, the confusion, the anger – they consumed my every thought it seems. In the heat of the moment, I was unable – make that unwilling to forgive. Together, You helping me, I have been able to forgive. Thank You, Lord, that I no longer have to carry that baggage.

And looking back, I am the better for the experiences I have had. Sometimes things just don’t make sense – we just have to move on. Sometimes people are just apathetic to our situations, but we just must press on towards our goal – and sometimes we are the problem. Many times people love us and want what is best for us but we are blinded by fear and uncertainty. When the dust finally clears we find we are the ones who need to be forgiven.

Lord, thank You for taking the hard times, the extremely difficult times of my life and using them to make me stronger, to make me more sensitive to the needs and predicaments of others, to make me more and more appreciative of what You have done for me.

June 22nd, 2015, Mon, 5:58 am

Holding On

Father, this morning my thoughts are full of family and loved ones who are going through transitions with ailing and/or aging loved ones. Once strong and independent and full of life, they now must depend upon others for their well-being. Uncertainty, loneliness, pain, anxiety, fear, embarrassment are all too familiar terms. Tears may be shed, frustrations are high and patience may be thin on all fronts.

In so many ways our hands are tied we can’t just “fix” it. We must trod this pathway of life, Lord, but may we be encouraged knowing that we do not walk it alone. Many are blessed to have family and friends to help along the way. But most importantly is that You are with us regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves.

Lord, help us to not fall into the pit of despair. We may feel overwhelmed by it all crashing down up us but in these difficult times may we not turn from You but may we lean into You – holding on for dear life – for You are life. (John 14:6)

We may struggle…even to the point of death but help us cling to the truth. Lord, may we live in Your word as recorded by Paul in Romans 8:35-39.

35Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36(As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

38And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When all is said and done, we will be with You – not just for a while, but for eternity.

“Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelation 21:3-4

Amen and amen!

Feb 8th, Wed, 6:38 am

Cloud Cover

Father, thank You for the wake-up call and for helping me to get up, too. It is early but there is already much on my mind. I pray for a discerning spirit, Father. Help me to see through all the cloud cover to the truth. Give me Your eyes with which to see. May Your love and mercy and compassion be mine.

Lord, it has been 15 minutes and I have not written a thing. I am torn. I am uncertain of which way I should go. Part of me wants to stay with the norm. It is easier. My mind and heart see the truth, it is right there. The other part of me is struggling with the cloud cover. What is true? What is false? Fear, anger, trust, genuineness, deceit, blindness, love, hate, reality all factor in. This is not just a hypothetical situation where theology and philosophy are hashed out. It involves real people, in real life. To some, it may be an inconvenience – a frustrating bump in the road. To others, it may be a life or death circumstance – a life changing situation in which their hands are tied.

Lord, nothing is hidden from You. The Apostle John says of You, “God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.”1 John 1:5 You pierce through the cloud cover. You, as light, pierce the darkness. May Your light rain down. May we see reality. May we discern the truth. Guide us with Your outstretched arm.

Lord, I feel compelled to write out one verse in particular (v12) but the whole passage is applicable. (Ephesians 6:10-18)

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”

That is where the battle is! May we abide by Paul’s proclamation in verse 18, Lord, as well.

“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”

Amen.

Jan 30th, Mon, 6:09 am