Tag Archives: grace

A Tall Order

Father, today may I be a vessel used of You. All that I do and say, all that I have had a hand in, may it all be used by You to lift You up so others can see You more clearly. As John, the Baptist said of Your Son, “He must increase but I must decrease.” John 3:30 May this be my proclamation today.

1 Timothy 2:1 (<<click here)

I am called to pray, Lord, for all people”. This, obviously, is an all-inclusive statement and that is how it must be. As I think about the width of it, “all” includes a lot of people who don’t think like I do. It includes, literally millions who don’t think like You do! But You, very clearly call me to “ask [You] to help them.” You call me to “intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” That is one tall order! And the thing is that it is way more than people just not thinking like You do. They oppose You! Many deny Your very existence! But You called us to pray for them, to ask that You help them, to intercede on their behalf, to be thankful for them! Yes…that is a tall order but how can I do anything less. All I have to do is to look at our relationship – Yours and mine. Have I done anything to deserve Your love? No… Am I worthy in and of myself, to be accepted by You? No… The only thing that enables this sinner to stand in Your presence is that fact that I have accepted Your love and forgiveness – grace has been extended and gratefully accepted. (Thank You, Lord…)

Lord, help me to pray, and intercede and thank You for those who are not a part of Your family…yet!  And help me do it one person at a time, each and every day!

August 28th, 2015, Fri, 6:49 am

Prayer Struggle

Father, You have blessed me with so many wonderful things, a family being one of them I am so grateful to have people in my life who love me and care for me. And I am also grateful that I can love and care for them as well. We are blessed to have each other. We accept each other (for the most part) for who we are – warts and all. Thank You for Your wonderful blessing of family.

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (<<click here)

Lord, no matter which way we look at it prayer is foundational in our daily walk with You – or at least it most certainly should be! I must confess I struggle to pray. If You would have me evaluate myself, the place where I have the most opportunity for growth and improvement would be my prayer life. I have made some headway in latter months but I know I can go much deeper and wider in my intimate interaction with You. I realize prayer is more than “grace” before meals and praying from the pulpit. These are very important, as well, but if my personal prayer life isn’t what it should be every aspect of my life is inhibited.

How can I effectively pray asking You to “enable [others] to live a life worthy of [Your] call.” v11a if I struggle with prayer? I can only be more effective by persevering. I cannot give up! I benefit myself and others by that perseverance.

Help me, Lord, to do so that You will give me the “power to accomplish all the good things [our] faith prompts [us and others] to do.” v11b Then only because of Your grace in our lives will Your name “be honored because of the way [we] live…” v12a

Lord, help me to be drawn to You throughout the moments of my day.

August 18th,  2015, Tues, 5:49 am

Seasoned with Salt

Good morning, Father! It is early and I’m still a bit bleary-eyed but I am glad that once again I have the opportunity to come and sit at Your feet. I know You love me and absolutely nothing can separate me from Your love! (Romans 8:38-39) Please, bless our time together, may it be profitable for my soul. I give myself over to You – teach me, motivate me and make me act according to Your will.

Colossians 4:5-6 (<<click here)

Dictionary.com defines “wise” as “having the power of discerning and judging properly as to what is true or right, processing, discernment, judgment or discretion.” Lord, You direct us to live in this mindset. I cannot say that I have always succeeded in doing so. I truly believe that You are constantly working with me to be wiser in my day to day interactions with others. Discernment is a trait with which the Holy Spirit surely helps me. At work, at church or at home discernment helps things go along much more smoothly. Thank You for helping me to see things that make for wise interaction. Help me to make the most of every opportunity you bring my way.

After You help me to apply wisdom, discerning the situation in which I find myself, help me to be gracious. So many times extending grace to others has diffused a potentially volatile situation. Being kind and courteous goes a long way. In doing so what I then say is much more attractive to those with whom I am interacting. This whole directive is beneficial in working with others overall but Lord help me to think this way in sharing You with others.

I really don’t think I would enjoy French fries nearly as much without salt. Salty things appeal to my palate. In fact, I often crave salty things – chips, crackers, nuts, etc. Where the New Living Translation translates a portion of this passage as “attractive” others translate it as “seasoned with salt.” Lord, help me to be SALTY! May others crave my presence because I am seasoned with You. Enhance my interactions so much so that people are directed to You. Bless me today and in the days ahead with “saltiness” so I might have a “right response for everyone”.

July 4th, 2015, Sat, 5:45 am

Blackjacket!

Father, this day can go many different directions. I pray that Your hand will be upon us regardless of the direction it takes. Use us for Your glory even in the midst of the mundane. Amen.

OK…I am not a fan of stinging insects. (I’m sure those who are are few and far between!) Anyway, this past week I have been working to clean up around where we stack our wood. Now I haven’t been stung (thankfully!) and I haven’t even seen a nest but as I was working I saw, what I would classify as, a hornet! I guess technically they are a part of the yellowjacket wasp family – it is commonly known as the bald-faced hornet but one of its names is the Blackjacket. Regardless, I jumped back and scrutinized my surroundings. I saw none but the one on the wood but from then on I kept my eyes peeled for any others. I sure didn’t want to give them any reason to sting me!

Lord, why don’t we respond to sin that way? You would think that once we are “stung” by sin, we would want to avoid it. But no, we go back again and again regardless of the pain and misery that is inflicted. It would be different if it only stung us once, but like the Blackjacket, sin can sting over and over again.

I also read that they can squirt venom from the stinger into the eyes of nest intruders. The venom causes immediate watering of the eyes and temporary blindness. Doesn’t sin do the same? Its venom blinds us – it may be temporary but eventually we sin so repeatedly that our blindness no longer fades.

Lord, I may have been the fool but I am so grateful that, no matter how many stings and squirts I’ve taken, that Your grace overrides them all.

Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
T’was blind but now I see

Aug 31st, Thurs, 7:13 am

Love in the Center of It All

Father, the day is ahead and there is much to be done. I would pray that You would guide my thoughts and my actions. May I squeeze as much from it as I possibly can. May I bring glory to You through it all. Amen.

Revelation 1:4-6 (<<click green)

Here I am, Lord, at the beginning of the book that speaks of the end. For those who have had any exposure to teachings from this book we think of many horrific and terrifying things – and those will come as we move forward. Even our own culture paints the apocalypse as being that way, full of evil, death, and destruction.

Lord, You will be our judge, there is no doubt about it. But first and foremost we have to get it in our heads that we were not created to be judged – we brought that upon ourselves – it was our choice, it has been our actions that have made judgement a necessity. In all of our existence from the beginning of time until the end of time, we have been created to be loved. Love is at the center of it all!

As we begin reading these verses we don’t see anger or judgment or condemnation. In the first words of John’s letter to the seven churches we see, “peace”, “grace”, and “love”. John 3:17 tells us,

“God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”

God, You love us…period. The hymn “To God Be the Glory” has a line that clearly states Your intentions towards us,

“The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.”

Peter in his second epistle addresses the question of scoffers who say, “What has happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again?” v4 and he answers the question in verse 9,

“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”

Lord, as I begin my journey into this book, help me to look at all that will transpire through Your eyes and with Your heart. May I be a man after your own heart as I interact with people of all races and creeds, for You love them all. Amen.

June 7th, Wed, 8:23 am