Once again a new day begins, pristine, a clean slate. The past is past and only possibilities lie ahead. Father, together let us continue to build upon the foundation You have set. May I follow You this day. Use me to impact my world for You. As Your Word teaches us to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Amen.
Revelation 2:20-23 (<<click green)
Lord, in this passage “Jezebel” is guilty of encouraging believers to take part in a lifestyle that is in opposition to Your will. She extolled “sexual sin” and eating “food offered to idols”.
In and of themselves are sex and food evil? No, of course not! Both are gifts from You! Where the trouble arises is when we take these gifts and use them outside the parameters which You have set. That is the way it is with all sin. It is when the “ME” factor takes control. It is when “I” want to do it “MY” way.
Our acts of sin are bad enough but we compile our sin when we refuse to “turn away from [our] immorality.” The applicable word here is “repent.” I understand repentance as an about face – we turn from sin and turn to God. It doesn’t do any good to just try to stop sinning. It has a nasty tendency to lure us back in. And to just stop sinning does take care of the stains we have incurred from sins we have committed. Turning to God, admitting our sin and seeking His forgiveness, takes care of the sin – it is totally eradicated! And then we can live in the power of our relationship with Him to ward off yielding to those sins again.
Lord, thank You for Your everlasting love. You are truly long-suffering. Help me this day to stand strong against whatever sins would cross my path. My strength is not sufficient – but Yours surely is! Amen.
July 18th, Tues, 6:21 am
I humbly come before You this morning, Father. This day will be full and I need Your guiding hand from start to finish. I pray for Your touch as Your front man for two worship services, may I be sensitive to Your Spirit. Then we will head out to celebrate a graduate’s accomplishments out of town with family. I pray for traveling mercies to and from. Thank you for Your love and watch care over us all. Amen.
3 John 1-8 (<<click green)
Hospitality. Googling the word got me this definition: the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.
Lord, as I read this passage and ponder on this concept, it brings many fond memories. Growing up in a pastor’s home I remember many instances of receiving and extending hospitality. I remember food and laughter, interacting with evangelists and missionaries on furlough. I remember being the guests of the loving members of our congregations. The give and take, the shared communion with fellow believers surely benefits one and all.
One of Karen and my favorite times is when we host our annual Open House prior to Christmas. In my 15 years of ministry here I have seen many faces in my home, many of whom now sit at Your banquet table. Cherished memories come to mind, as in my mind’s eye, I have walked from room to room intermingling with the different clusters of people of all ages. There has been much love and laughter, lots of smiles and joy, as we have enjoyed a meal and heartfelt interaction.
Lord, opening our homes, our lives…ourselves…to each other is vital to our growth and development. May I be a part of blessing the “ties that bind our hearts in Christian love.” May I pursue doing so more frequently. Enable me to open up my home and my heart to support and encourage those you send my way. Amen.
May 28th, Sun, 6:25 am
Father, I am so sorry that I allow little things to build up to the point that I am spiritually off balance and fall. I know You are there for me. Early on I listen closely and swat down even the slightest thought that would lure me from You. Then over time my swat time lags, they I don’t swat at all – my indiscretions are small and seemingly insignificant…but over time they multiply and begin to pile up. Why I don’t just stop and call for Your help to sweep them all out, I don’t know. That would make sense. I continue to sweep my random thoughts under the rug. But over time there are more and more of them and some are bigger than others. I try to ignore them but that rug starts to get lumpy – so much so that I stumble on occasion – I don’t fall mind You, I just stumble. And I continue on in my self-imposed “ignorance.” Again, why don’t I just stop and ask for Your help? It’s not difficult. I know You want me to. But I convince myself that I can handle it. I’m good. I’ve got it under control…but I don’t. And You watch as more and more gets thrown under the rug, calling for me to allow You to help me but I’m distracted – focused on all kinds of things and not the matters that really matter. And then it happens, it’s just too much, I stumble…I try to keep my balance but I fall. Maybe I don’t fall as hard as I have in the past but I still fall – flat on my face. And why? It makes no sense! It is all my fault… I have no one else to blame…
But You are still there. You have not forsaken me. You have not given up on me. I yield once again (for the gazillionth time?) to Your loving hand. You reach down and help me up. I consent to pulling back the rug and am swept clear once more.
Thank You, Lord, for Your patience. Thank You for Your unfathomable love. Where would I be without Your mercy. I fall into Your mighty arms. I pray that You will help me. I am stronger than I once was but I willingly acknowledge that I am utterly incapable of anything close to success on my own. I am dependent upon You. Help me to respond to Your guidance. Help me to yield to You. Help me to sweep things out of my life and not under the rug.
It’s not easy writing these things down, knowing someone else is going to read them. But I know that we all have things that we sweep under our own rugs – things we battle against but sometimes they pile up. Maybe its gossip, or laziness, or food or sex or backbiting or selfishness or self-loathing… the list goes on but Christ is there – more than willing and more than able to help us. All we must do is to call out and He is there. He is for me… and he is for you, too.
Nov 12th, Fri, 5:00 am