Tag Archives: intimate

Vital Relationship

Thank You, Father, for answering my prayer. I am up early enough to spend some time with You. May I be attentive and receptive. Amen.

Matthew 6:5-6 (<<click the green)

I think we would all agree, Lord, that communication is of the utmost importance in any and every relationship. We have all experienced the budding of relationships, be they romantic or friend based…and communication is key. We talk about who we are, what we’ve done, where we’ve been, what we are passionate about, our struggles, our victories – anything and everything can be discussed and shared. It’s what brings us together. It’s what strengthens the ties between us. Interdependence and love make for a rock solid relationship upon which we can build our lives. If we truly care about someone, we make sure that we cut out slots of time, no matter how crazy our schedules are, to interact with them.

Doing so for others is vital to our relationships here on earth. So if it is so important in these instances, why do we struggle to do the same with You? I regularly stress the importance of developing an intimate relationship with You to my congregations. If our relationship with You is to grow, we absolutely must spend time with You.

Once again Ephesians 1:4 tells us, “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.” We don’t need to spend time with You for You to get to know us, we need to spend time with You to get to know You!

The lines of a hymn written by Joseph M. Scriven in 1855 are fitting,

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Lord, help my love for You to always be growing – may it never wane. May my heart’s desire always be to be about spending time with You each and every day. Amen.

Dec 5th Tues, 6:24 am

Choices

Father, please use this time together to draw me closer to You and to strengthen my determination to be faithful and true to You. These last few days have been a battle; sin has been battering me from all sides.  I pray that I would do as Paul commands in 1 Corinthians 16:13 “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.” I am victorious in You, Almighty God, only in You.

1 Thessalonians 1:8-10 (<<click here)

Jesus, I pray that Your word would ring out from me to people everywhere just as it did with the believers of Thessalonica! May every aspect of my life be a proclamation of the victory that is found only in an intimate relationship with You. Every day in every situation I have choices to make – to be loving or hateful, forgiving, to pass along gossip, to feed the monster of discontent, to go with the flow and complain about people or situations beyond my control, to stop, listen and encourage when it would be easier to ignore the whole thing – and the list could go on and on. But Lord, You have called me to be salt and light in my world (Mathew 5:13-16) Grant me the desire to do so willingly and eagerly! And as Paul proclaims at the end of this passage, what I do is all the more important for Your return is imminent! Help me to strive to make You the focal point of my life so others will be encouraged to stay true to You and walk with You faithfully. And if they do not know You that my actions would be a beacon shining on You showing them the way.

July 7th,  2015, Tues, 7:01 am

Love and Law

Thank You, Father, for a wonderfully productive day! You have been with me all the way and all the physical things are ready for worship. May I continue to prepare spiritually so that I may say, be and do exactly what You need. Praise Your holy name!

Matthew 5:20 (<<click the green)

When we first read this verse Lord I think we are a little shocked – even if we know who the “teachers of the religious law and Pharisees” were. Maybe I’m just not enough of a rebel but I was brought up to respect leaders in all walks of life. But regardless of how high someone is in any organization – even the church – lines can be crossed. And evil cannot be tolerated…and it must be dealt with. I’m sure there were good men amongst this nefarious crew of religiosity but they may have been few and far between, as well.

You have just proclaimed Your intent to fulfill the law as given to Moses and we are also called to be obedient to it. My study Bible* helps a great deal in understanding this law.

First of all, “there were three categories of law: ceremonial, civil and moral.” Ceremonial law dealt with Israel’s worship and it all pointed to You. Your death and resurrection fulfilled it all! So we “are no longer bound by” them but the “principles behind them – to worship and love a holy God – still apply.”

Our world is a “radically different” place from when the civil law was given to Israel for daily living. We don’t follow them specifically but Your example showed us that the “principles behind the commands are timeless and should guide our conduct.”

Lastly, the moral law (i.e. the Ten Commandments) “is the direct command of God” and we are accountable to abide by it. Lord, You abided by it in its entirety.

And that is the rub with the religious leaders of the time You walked this earth. They were so busy splitting hairs that they didn’t really take time to live out the law where it was really important. Lord, Your desire was and still most assuredly is for us to live in a loving, intimate relationship with You. We can strive to abide by every rule and regulation but unless there is relationship…it is worthless.

Lord, help me (and I know You do) to love You more every day. May there be a burning in my heart to spend time with You regularly. The more time I conscientiously spend with You the closer our relationship will be. Amen – so be it!

*Life Application Bible New Living Translation

Oct. 19th, Thurs, 3:43 pm

Do We Need a Go-Between?

Father, I’m sorry that it’s been so long. With last week’s schedule being so crazy I just didn’t make it. I ask for Your forgiveness for transgressions along the way and ask for Your strength and fortitude in the days ahead. Thank You for a wonderful day of worship yesterday. May Your hand be upon me as we prepare for this Sunday and the weeks ahead. Amen.

1 Peter 2:5b-10

“… you are a chosen people… royal priests…”

It’s easy to think that the person behind the pulpit each Sunday has some kind of special link to God and, Lord, that is true. But there is one big misconception that must be set aright. The person behind the pulpit does have a special connection to You, Lord, but no more so than any other believer! All who choose to follow You, we are all chosen people.

Once again one of my favorite verses comes to mind. Ephesians 1:4 says,

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.”

Every single one of us is chosen! We are all dearly loved by God. His desire is to have an intimately close and personal relationship with each and every one of us!

We have this mindset that we can’t come directly into Your presence but that we must have a mediator. We think a pastor or a priest must be our “go-between” to You, Lord. But that is most assuredly not the case! Your word tells us clearly that we are “royal priests”, a “royal priesthood”, and we can come directly to You anytime and anywhere – no “go-between” necessary.

Lord, may we all come boldly (and reverently) into Your presence! Draw us to You. Give us a deep yearning to be with You. Teach us. Help us. Strengthen us. Correct us. Love us. And help us to fully realize that love. Amen

Nov 28th, Mon, 5:16 am

Adopted into the Family

Over the thousands of years, Father, oh the countless multitude who have sat where I am sitting – in Your presence, spending time with, learning from You, growing in Your, being love by You. What a privilege!

Hebrews 2:11-13 (<<click here)

It’s a little over whelming, Lord, to think that because You have made me holy that I am now Your brother. I know that this is the case but it just seems so…so…intimate. I know, oh too well, who I am yet You embrace me as a cherished member of Your family.

I really don’t know a whole lot about the feelings that are associated with adoption. I know people who have been adopted but we’ve never really talked about it. I also know individuals who have adopted children and have heard some of how it has impacted their lives. As I sit here writing, it by no means does it justice but here’s a little of what I see.

Two families come to mind. In both instances, by no choice of their own, there were unable to have children and they wanted children so badly. The love they shared with their spouse they wanted desperately to share with someone else – and not just any someone but a special “someone’ who would call them Mommy and Daddy. There was a void in their lives and they wondered if it would ever be filled. God graciously enabled both of these couples to embrace beautiful additions to their families. It is truly a blessing to hear the stories they have to tell and to see pictures of their children as they continue to grow. It is obvious that the gifts they have received are not taken for granted. They are cherished, they are loved, and life could not be imagined without them.

Neither couple was coerced into bringing a child into their lives. They diligently prayed for the privilege of having a child and both were richly rewarded.

Father, it is a difficult to comprehend all You went through to bring me into Your family. You sacrificed greatly so that I could be with You. Jesus, You gave up Your very life so that I could be made holy, so that I could call You brother.

I guess what comes to mind when I think on these things are pictures of love, fulfillment, acceptance, gratitude, completeness and things being as they should be. And though these are all my personal things – intimate things – they are not meant to be kept quiet. They are things that bring great joy and are meant to be celebrated!

Feb 20th, Sat, 5:29 am