Tag Archives: good

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

Your Light Broke Through

Father, I’ve been here for ten minutes and am fretting over what to write You. Everything that pops into my head sounds like something I’ve already written several times in some way or another. I was stymied until You spoke into my spirit and said that You don’t mind if I repeat myself. I thought, my mother doesn’t care how many times I start off with, “Good morning, Mother.” What’s important to her is that I am calling! What’s important to You is that I am here with You. We are spending time together, and I am the better for it. Thank You, Father.

1 John 1:5-7 (<< click here)

“God is light…” and my study Bible* says that “light represents what is good, pure, true, holy, and reliable.” By nature we are not light – we are darkness which “represents what is sinful and evil.” We were not created to be that way but are that way by birth. We cannot make our own light. In fact, many don’t even realize that they are trapped in the darkness. They trudge through life stumbling blindly about trying to find their way.

And, Lord, only You can help us. Only You can shine Your light into our darkness. It shows things as they truly are. Only You can lead us out of our own darkness into Your light. And as John proclaims, “if we are living in the light, as God is in the light…the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” You are our only hope and with great gratitude, You are mighty to save!

As I’ve been writing, a song has been rambling through my mind and it is definitely worth sharing. The song is “Your Love Broke Through” by Keith Green. Light isn’t in the lyrics but love is and You are love as well!

Like a foolish dreamer, trying to build a highway to the sky
All my hopes would come tumbling down, and I never knew just why
Until today, when you pulled away the clouds that hung          
     like curtains on my eyes
Well I’ve been blind all these wasted years and I thought I was so wise
But then you took me by surprise
Like waking up from the longest dream, how real it seemed
Until your love broke through
I’ve been lost in a fantasy, that blinded me
Until your love broke through
All my life I’ve been searching for that crazy missing part
And with one touch, you just rolled away the stone that held my heart
And now I see that the answer was as easy, as just asking you in
And I am so sure I could never doubt your gentle touch again
It’s like the power of the wind
Like waking up from the longest dream, how real it seemed
Until your love broke through
I’ve been lost in a fantasy, that blinded me
Until your love, your love, broke through
Songwriters: Keith Gordon Green / Randy Stonehill / Todd Fishkind
Your Love Broke Through lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

*Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation

Mar 28th, Tues, 6:36 am

Longing for Good

Oh my, what a week – it seems like forever since I’ve sat down with You, Father! And, boy, do I feel it! The world has been none to kind – crazy work schedule and weariness has made coming together easier to say “no” to and my defenses are not as sharp so things lurking in the shadows have tripped me up. Thank You, Father, for once again helping me to my feet and in your forgiveness, to march steadily onward. (The journey of John Bunyan’s, Christian in The Pilgrim’s Progress, comes to mind)

2 Timothy 3:17  (<<click here)

Lord, I was ready to forge on ahead to chapter 4 but my eyes fell upon the last footnote for chapter 3 in my Study Bible* and I had to pause.

“We should not study God’s Word simply to increase our knowledge… We should study the Bible so that we will know how to do Christ’s work in the world. Our knowledge of God’s Word is not useful unless it strengthens our faith and leads us to do good.”

Lord, help Your Word to not just fill my brain – though that is important – but may it fill my life; may it be fleshed out in daily tasks from beginning to end. The truth of Your Word is not meant to be something that I keep to my self – it is to be shared. Your Word is fully able to “equip” me “to do every good work.”

And isn’t this for what the world is longing? Don’t we all crave and long for “good”? – love, acceptance, security, beauty (real beauty), peace, joy. And aren’t all of these things found in You. The world offers plenty of knock offs but only You offer the genuine article. May I be a purveyor of “good work.”

December 19th, Saturday, 6:19 am

*The New Living Translation Life Application Study Bible

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 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

Fix My Thoughts

 

I’m sorry it’s taken me a bit to get to this point this morning. Sometimes doing other things interjects random thoughts in my mind as I go through our time together, Father. Help me to focus on You and to glean from our time together what You need me to know.

Philippians 4:8-9 (<<click here)

Lord, how appropriate this passage is today. Our world is so full of distractions. Sometimes they are innocent enough, but they take time that is designated for other more important things (Facebook!) Sometimes they play on our weaknesses and lure us into things that are detrimental to our relationship with You. Sometimes these things are subtle, a harmless show – then a commercial pops up and that seed is planted in our mind. Sometimes our own minds truck down the path of destruction. A brief thought pricks our mind and we dwell on it, we mull it over…and look at it…examining it from different angles. You send warning flares up and we turn our backs. Before you know it we are up to our necks in trouble. So how do we avoid this oft repeated scenario? We’re “fixing our thoughts” in the wrong direction.

Through Paul You tell us in the passage to “fix our thoughts on what is true…admirable.” We are to “think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” What goes in is what’s going to come out. We can’t expect to put garbage in and to get purity out. A nice clean glass of pure water can be ruined with just a pinch of dirt. Help us not to soil our hearts.

Then also we are called to “fix our thoughts on” good stuff but if we don’t put it in to action how are we the better for it? Just as sin can flutter thru our mind and if we reject it and don’t act upon it – we’re good. But if we play with it and act on it – we get hurt.

Just as sin impacts us this way Paul’s list can impact us, as well – or not. Good can flutter thru our mind and if we reject it and don’t act upon it – we either hurt ourselves or others by not running with what positive and encouraging things could have come out of our actions.

It is much more, it being our fellowship with You and the outcome of that relationship, it is much more than good thoughts. Action is a requirement. Long term impact in our lives and in the lives of others depends on us acting on Your guidance and direction, as a result of filling our hearts and minds with what “is true and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.” When we “think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” and put those things “into practice” then that’s when You, Lord, “the God of peace will be with [us].” And again it’s a “peace that passes understanding.” Thank You, Lord for Your love and patience as we learn to follow You.

June 3rd, Wed, 7:11 am