Tag Archives: invest

Balance Law with Love

Dear, precious Father, I am so grateful that You made it possible for us to have a personal, intimate relationship. That You would love me so much to pursue me even after my habitual unfaithfulness to You is astounding. Only because of Your love for me can I remain faithful to You. Sin continues to entice me and will do so throughout the rest of my life but with Your strength and wisdom, I am victorious! Praise Your Holy Name!

1 Timothy 1:1-11 (<<click here)

Lord, this passage has my head spinning! Help me focus on what You would have me see this morning.

Paul says “the law is good when used correctly.” v8 It is important for me to know the law, gaining knowledge of right and wrong but it is to my detriment (and others for that matter)  if a majority of my time is consumed in such pursuits. It’s possible that I can invest too much time in dissecting and discussing minute points of the law.

Again it’s important to know the law. But Paul stresses that “the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful…” v9a

My goal is to be “filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.” v5 I am called to live out that love and to proclaim the glorious Good News of salvation through Christ” – through You, Lord!

Being so “law” minded seems to lead us to be too legalistic and judgmental in our interactions with the world – with those who the law is for. But not one of us likes to be berated about our lifestyles and our life choices.

The old adage comes to mind. “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Lord, help me to love others as You love others. Help me to invest myself in them. Help me to be a reflection of You in their lives – genuine, wholesome, transparent, loving, truthful compassionate. Lord, shine through me!

Without a doubt, I believe that You love us. Every encounter recorded in the Gospels (the Good News) that you had with sinners was filled with compassion and understanding. You told them the truth but it was always communicated with love! You didn’t say their sin was acceptable but your overwhelming emphasis was true genuine LOVE! Use me, Lord, to love like You do!

August 22nd, Sat, 7:50 am

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

To the Work

Oh my, I am struggling this morning, Father. An early and full day at work followed by the special service at Beulah last night sure made getting up a challenge. And even being up, keeping my eyes open has not been entirely successful. But, I know spending time with You is vital to my spirits well-being. Starting off my mornings with You sets the pace and mentality for the day. May I hear you loud and clear.

James 1:27 (<<click here)

Reading this passage brings to mind the old Fanny Crosby hymn, “To the Work”.

To the work! To the work! We are servants of God.
Let us follow the path that our Master has trod.
With the balm of His counsel our strength to renew,
Let us do with our might what our hands find to do.
Toiling on… Let us hope (and trust) let us watch (and pray)
And labor till the Mater comes.

Lord, I cannot be idle. There are too many hurting and needy people in the world. There are material needs, which is an area we are most apt to respond to – we have resources and share. But there are also social needs – there are over 7 billion people on this planet but many are alone. And most importantly, the spiritual needs of humanity impact us all. We must be “to the work!”

Jesus, help me to “follow the path” that You have trod. May I daily, routinely, be about investing myself in the lives of other – at home, at church, at work, with loved ones, with acquaintances, with adversaries – with any and every one! Fill me with Your wisdom and strength so I may not grow weary of giving myself away.

Aug 21st, Sun, 5:55 am

Stand Tall

Even at this early hour Father, my mind is starting to roll. Help me to put the brakes on and to stop smack dab in the middle of Your presence. I need Your guiding hand or who knows where I’ll end up! Thank You Father, for Your steadfast love for me. I am so grateful that You never give up on me.

2 Timothy 4:13-18 (<<click here)

Reading this passage, Lord, I am made aware that the end is very near for Paul. This is his second and final imprisonment in Rome and he knew it. It must have been evident because even his supporters are much fewer in number. It sounds like things had moved pretty fast – no time to gather his things – not even his coat – just hauled off. And when he stood before the judge the first time he was alone. Scary stuff! But he is quick to share that truly he wasn’t by himself but You stood with him.

I’m sure when Timothy read this letter it was scary for him, too – I mean who wouldn’t be! This wasn’t going to end with a reprimand and a slap on the wrist. Death was looming ever closer. But Paul writes, “Timothy, please come as soon as you can” v.9

In the midst of everything Paul stood tall and he was extending an invitation for Timothy to do the same.

I cannot help but think, Lord, would I do the same? I would like to think that I would. Help me, Jesus, to invest in our relationship – the stronger it is the stronger I will be. And absolutely nothing in this world is a fair trade – not even my life.

Lord, my life is Yours – do with it as You will. Help me to stand tall, each and every day. May I not slip into the shadows but step decisively into the light of Your will. My life may not be on the line but the advancement to Your kingdom, relies on my willingness – and those like me – to step up to the call! Use me this day as You will!

Jan 8th, Fri, 6:26 am

God with Us

“Emmanuel” – God with us (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23)

“For ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?”  Romans 10:13-14

Lord, when you came to earth You gave us a wonderful gift – You gave us the gift of Yourself. And that statement is not trivial or trite or shallow. It is deep with meaning. Giving Yourself to us means You held absolutely nothing back. You are not distant or unapproachable. You are loving and compassionate. You want to be a big part of our lives. You want to be with us through the joy and the sorrow.

We can experience snippets of this kind of relationship with spouses, close friends and family…possibly. And we are so benefited by those connections. But our relationship with You takes it to a whole other level! You are not inhibited by weakness or selfishness…or death. You are there for us every moment of our lives!

Your gift of Yourself also made it possible for us to have a relationship with You. Sin separated us but because of Your sacrifice sin is eradicated and we can now approach a hold God without fear or being eradicated ourselves – sin and holiness cannot mix!

Emmanuel…what a wonderful gift with such wonderful benefits! For as Paul stated in Romans 10:13, For ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” But as we continue reading in verse 14 we see that there is a problem.

“how can they call on him…unless they believe…and how can they believe… if they have never heard…and how can they hear…unless someone tells them?”

We cannot share the gift of Emmanuel until we give the gift of ourselves to others as well. Only when we invest ourselves in others will we be able to impact them.in many instances, only when they see Your love lived out through us will be convinced of its reality.

Lord, how many people do I see every day who are hurting, who are lonely, whose life has no meaning and they wander aimlessly with no direction whatsoever. Just this week I looked into the eye of a small child. I don’t really know his mother but I know of her and as far as I know dad is not in the picture. He said, “Hi,” as little ones will and even in that short amount of contact I could feel him reaching out to me. I may be reading a lot in to it but with that little phrase and those piercing eyes, he seemed to be asking, “Do you like me? Will you love me? Would you have time for me?”

How many people, Lord…how many do I see who long to ask those questions? But they hold back. They have been so shoved down for so long that they don’t even think to ask any more.

And, Lord, we both know that I cannot meet those needs…at least not for long. Life moves on…death is inevitable. But Lord, You are more than able to do so! Lord, give me the wisdom as how to “tell them” about You…to give them real hope in someone who is not inhibited but one who is all powerful…in someone who will always be with them…in someone who knows all about them but loves them anyway! Lord, help me to proclaim, “Emmanuel!”

Dec 24th, Thurs, 8:42 am