Tag Archives: kingdom

A Strand of the Tapestry

Thank You, Father, for this beautiful Sabbath day. Thank You for Your Word this morning. May Your word to each of those in attendance at both services be implanted in their hearts and may the fruit it yields bring glory to You and Your kingdom. Amen.

Matthew 1:1-17 (<<click the green)

Lord, this list at the beginning of Matthew’s Gospel can be a bit overwhelming. I remember as a child, the King James Version, instead of saying “was the father of” used the word “begat”. I learned what it meant but, that’s a lot of “begats”!

It’s easy to just skim through the list. Some names are familiar – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ruth, David, Solomon. Some, as my study Bible* states, were a little “shady” – Tamer and Rahab. Others were your typical “Joe Shmoes” – regular guys like Hezron, Ram, and Nahshon. There were some evil characters as well – like Manasseh and Abijah. (Go to www.biblegateway.com and type in any of their names to find out more about them – several interesting stories!)

And this is not just any list – it is Your genealogy, Lord – Your family tree. All kinds of people contributed to who You would become. Just as we have bits of genetic material from all of our ancestors, so did You. The good, the bad…even the “shady”, all of them are a part of who You are.

AND today, You do the same with us. As followers, we are all a part of Your body – the body of believers. No matter who we are, no matter what we’ve done, when we willingly follow You, we each have a part to play in bringing Your will to fruition in this world. You are eager for us all to have a hand in seeing Your kingdom come to completion.

Thank You, Lord, for using me – for using all of us! We are all a strand in the beautiful tapestry of Your plan. May we all dedicate ourselves to eagerly do our share! Amen!

Sept 10th, Sun, 7:56 pm

Pray about Praying

As I looked out this morning and saw the fog, obscuring the world around me, it makes me think, Father, as the warmth of the sun will soon disperse the fog, I would have the loving warmth of Your Son disperse the fog in my heart and mind at this early hour. May I see clearly what you have for me this day. Amen.

James 4:2-3 (<<click here)

“…you don’t have…because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong…”

Prayer. Lord, why do I struggle so with prayer? The deepening of our relationship has surely brought new depth to my prayer life but I still have a lot to learn.

I realize that prayer is a big part of how I communicate with You and how You speak with me, as well. But I read of great prayer warriors of the past who would pray for hours and then would testify to the many great things You did in their lives and in the lives of others. I have to ask, “How did they do that?”

It seems a little odd to pray about praying but I do. I want my prayer life to be effective. Regarding this passage my study Bible* says,

“James mentions the most common problems in prayer: not asking, asking for the wrong things, or asking for the wrong reasons.”

Lord, I don’t have all the answers, for sure, but I would pray, first of all, that I would remember to pray. May praise be in my heart and on my lips for the many blessings You bestow. May my prayers be pleasing to You – things that will bring myself and others closer to You and closer to fulfilling Your kingdom goals in the world around us. And then may my motives be pure… It’s hard to not selfishly pray that ones we love will not be taken from us or that they will not have to suffer, through pain and loss. Those things can draw us closer to You. Yet sometimes Your healing touch brings great glory to your name.

Grant me a discerning spirit. Give me boldness to claim Your blessing. But through it all may I be humble and grateful for all You do. Amen.

Sept 19th, Mon, 6:28 am

*Life Application Bible New Living Translation

Spheres

spheres

Thank You, Father, for the many blessings in my life. Thank You for Your mercy and the forgiveness of my sin. I come before You today only because of Your abundant provision and love. All praise to You alone.

James 1:9-11 (<<click here)

Rich or poor we stand on equal ground before You, Lord. There is not one of us that stands higher – wealth, power, strength, wisdom mean nothing. None of us fall lower – race, gender, mental faculties mean nothing. We are judged by what we do with what we have been given in regards to our relationship with You. “Things” are only tools in Your kingdom; they do not define who we are.

That, Lord, is reality. As followers of You, many of us understand that. In our relationship with You, we generally acknowledge that mentality. So why is it so difficult for us to live in that mentality in the world?

A big factor is that many of us live in two separate spheres – the sphere of the world with its rules and mindsets and the sphere of Your kingdom in the aforementioned reality. For many of us, these spheres overlap very little. For many, time spent in the sphere of the kingdom is limited. It is regulated to an hour or so each week. Whereas time spent in the world’s sphere is all encompassing – it’s rules and mindsets becoming the controlling factor of our lives. Living this way defeats us. We make no progress; we make little or no impact for the kingdom.

As lovers of You, the kingdom sphere must encompass the world sphere in our lives and how we live them. We pray “thy kingdom come, thou will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-13) But do we believe it, much less live it?

Lord, help me to abide in the sphere of Your kingdom every moment of every day. May its reality guide my decisions. May it impact everything I say and do. Enable me to use the “things” You have so graciously given me to share the reality of You with the world.

Aug 7th, Sun, 6:36 am

Going after God’s Heart

Good morning, Father! Thank You for so many things – a good night’s sleep, my wonderful wife, my exceptional son, a job that more than adequately meets my needs, a beautiful home, two churches that You have blessed me with to serve, a world of diverse variety in which to live – and my mind goes on and on! But, Father, most importantly thank You for Your love for me! For my salvation sure and free, for the awesome (and this is where this word truly fits!) sacrifice You made to make it possible for me to love You back! All praise and glory and honor to You, O God!

Colossians 3:1-4 (<<click here)

“…set your sights on the realities of heaven…” v.1b

“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10

“Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.” v.2

Lord, I have much in this world for which to be grateful – but in reality all of it is temporal. In the blink of an eye, it could all be gone…or I could be gone. There is nothing here that is forever. Only what You are involved with is eternal. When I step free from the clutches of this world nothing that I cling to here will be anything – it will all be as nothing. The only things that will remain are my relationships – my relationship with You (may it grow every day) and my relationship with others that are based on You! But even those relationships will be different – deeper, fuller, richer!

Help me to be a “man after your own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22) and in that frame of mind to be forever seeking to establish your kingdom here on earth. May I be always striving to bring others into a closer relationship with You, Lord, so that they and I will be investing in what is truly worthy of our time and energies.

June 16th, Tue, 6:06 am

Strong and True

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Father, help me to always keep You at the forefront of my life. Through thick and thin, help me to follow You with my whole heart, holding nothing back. Struggles and heartache will surely come but help me to cling to You. Wonderful blessings will surely come, as well, but in those times let the glory go to You and You alone!

Colossians 2:6-7 (<<click here)

…continue to follow CHRIST

…let your roots grow down in CHRIST

…build your lives on CHRIST

Doing these things will cause our faith to grow stronger in truth and will cause our thankfulness to overflow!

Lord, there’s a lot in these two verses! If I am consistent in following You (continue) I will be solidly grounded (roots grow down) and will be enabled to build on You as a solid foundation that will not be moved – my contribution to the building of Your kingdom will be strong and true.

Yesterday’s Our Daily Bread reading ties in here! Deuteronomy 8:11-20 stresses that when we take the credit for the blessings You’ve given us that we will fail! I can’t take the building materials You give me and use them to build what I want, where I want.  A weak foundation and shoddy construction only lead to calamity! When I am obedient and give You the credit my faith will remain strong and gratitude will come naturally.

Lord, help me to always be looking to You for guidance and wisdom and strength and courage to accomplish the tasks a hand. Fill my thoughts and actions, so I will be a light for You shining brightly in a dark world!

June 10, Wed, 7:00 am