Tag Archives: invest

I Have a Tree

Father, thank You for getting me up this morning. It was very tempting to remain in bed but I cannot, my spiritual fitness suffers if I do not take time to regularly meet with You. Thank You for caring so much about my spiritual health, not just this morning but for everything You have done so I can find salvation in You.

1 Timothy 6:20-21 (<<click here)

I would ask, Lord that you would help me to guard what You have entrusted to me. Please give me the strength and the courage and the wisdom and the love to proclaim Your Good News to everyone I can.

Our world is replete with “godless, foolish” notions and there is so much banter back and forth. Help me to invest my time, thoughts and efforts wisely – putting my efforts into things worthy of eternity and Your kingdom.

In my mind’s eye I see an orchard. I have my tree and everyone else has a tree, too. Each of our trees bears a regular harvest and that harvest is impacted by those things with which we feed and nurture our tree. We water and fertilize our trees but we can also graft in branches from other trees as well. All of these contribute to the kind of fruit we will glean from our trees and for that matter the kind of fruit others will glean as well from our trees.

Lord, my tree is a gift from You – it is my life. I have done good and bad things to my tree but it is what it is. I have freely chosen to do with it as I will. First of all, I am grateful that I have given my tree back to You. You know what is best for its growth. You have trimmed out dead and diseased patches. You have grafted in branches that strengthen me and help me to produce better fruit. I still, quite often, have to interject things that hinder my growth. But You are patient and help me little by little rid them from my life. Lord, help me to guard what You have entrusted to me. Help me to be very careful with what I nurture my tree. My greatest desire is for the Master Gardener to use my tree as He sees fit and that its fruit will nourish others for years to come.

Oct 4th, Sun, 5:59 am

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 onto 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, Thurs, 7:46 am