Tag Archives: lost

Forgiveness

Father, I have innumerable reasons to be grateful. You are with me each day. You never give up on me. You never stop giving. I am so grateful for a good night’s sleep. I am grateful for a loving wife, for a beautiful family, for churches who care, for gainful employment, for a home to call my own… All gifts from Your bountiful hand. May the way I live out my life be continually mindful of Your love for me. Amen.

Matthew 6:14-15 (<<click the green)

Lord, it is important that I mull over this word – forgiveness. Where would I be without it? Lost, that is where I would be. Condemned. Damned to an eternity separated from You.

And it’s not like I have only dipped into the mighty reserves of Your forgiveness a couple of times. You graciously forgive me each and every time I come to You and humbly ask. You never withhold. You never say that I am coming to the end of the number of times You will forgive me.

O, Lord, truly, where would I be without Your forgiveness?

I readily accept Your forgiveness, so why is it so difficult to extend my forgiveness to others? If a perfect, holy God can forgive me, one who in and of myself am nowhere near perfect or holy, why do I struggle at times in forgiving those who are in the same boat as I?

What You said here in Matthew 6:14-15 is straightforward. There is absolutely no way to misinterpret Your words.

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Lord, I like to think I am a forgiving person…but there are people with which I struggle. And I am not alone, we all have people that say things that irk us, do things that hurt us and sometimes just rub us the wrong way every time we come into contact with them. And we just can’t seem to let it go. But we must.

Verse 15 from the Amplified Bible helps me focus.

“But if you do not forgive others [nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God], then your Father will not forgive your trespasses.”

Where would I be without Your forgiveness, O God? Lost, that is where I would be. Condemned. Damned to an eternity separated from You. Help me to forgive others as willingly and as generously as You forgive me. Amen.

Jan 23rd, 2018, Tues, 6:22 am

Lest I Forget

Thank You for a beautiful day with Karen yesterday, Father. Our day spent in Amish Country was filled with peace and love. Your presence and touch were felt throughout the day. I am truly blessed! I look forward to sharing this day with You as well.

Lord, how soon we forget…Houston has been reeling under the effect of Hurricane Harvey but it’s hard to believe that Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans almost 12 years ago to the day! Has New Orleans fully recovered? Mostly but not entirely. I read that only about 40% of the population of the lower 9th ward has returned – it was an oppressively poor area and people could not afford to do so. But would most of us have even thought about that if Harvey had not have come barreling in? …probably not.

Do we remember those amongst us who have lost loved ones and have had to deal with life altering changes? Have we forgotten those who have been victorious over overwhelming health issues but are still dealing with the aftermath of their battle? How about those who were vibrant members of our churches and things happened, all kinds of things could have happened, and they are nowhere to be found…do we care?

Lord, how soon we forget…

In thinking of forgetting an old hymn, Lead Me to Calvary, comes to mind. Its refrain reads,

Lest I forget Gethsemane;
Lest I forget Thine agony;
Lest I forget Thy love for me,
Lead me to Calvary.

We tend to move on with our lives. If it does not directly impact our daily comings and goings it falls away in our rearview mirror and is soon forgotten. But, Lord, we must not forget these things. And most importantly it is surely to our detriment to forget You. We go through the motions of worship and churchmanship but do we focus so much on the “things” of life that we forget You and all You have done for us?

Without You, we have no meaning… Without You, we have no future… Without You, we are lost… Lord, help us to remember. Lest I forget Gethsemane; Lest I forget Thine agony; Lest I forget Thy love for me, Lead me to Calvary. Amen.

Sept 1st, Fri, 6:57 am

Cancel Code Yellow

Thank You for this day, Father. May I follow closely by Your side with my hand firmly in Yours. Amen.

Luke 15:11-32 (<<click green)

At Kohl’s we have a protocol in place for certain emergencies – Code Blue for medical emergencies, Code Red for fire, Code Green for tornadoes and such. In my more than seventeen years of employment, I can count on one hand the number of times all three of these together have been called (thank You, Lord!). But we have a fourth one that is called multiple times each week – Code Yellow. It is a notification for associates to help locate a lost child or if we’ve found a lost child, a lost parent. Thankfully, there has never been a long-term separation and parent and child are soon reunited. One of the best things to hear is “Cancel Code Yellow”.

Lord, none of us are exempt from wandering from You. Some of us wander away for just a short period of time. Some of us have wandered for years. Your desire is to be reunited. But like the children we are, we sometimes relish in our “freedom”. But many times it is short-lived when things bigger than we are, scare the bejeebies out of us.

Unfortunately, many wander in separation for years feeling like they are beyond being reunited with You. You know different but we feel like our list of “crimes” is too large to consider reconciliation. But no list is too big for You, Lord. Your sacrifice encompassed the entirety of sin from all of mankind. Nothing is too big nor is anyone too far gone that You cannot redeem.

Lord, all of us wander. May we all see that You are not poised with a lightning bolt ready to nail us for our wandering but like the Father in Luke 15, You eagerly await our return. If we will but ask with sincerity of heart, all will be forgiven.

Thank You, Lord, for Your fathomless love and forgiveness, mercy and grace.

June 28th, Wed, 5:34 am

Grafted In

grafted

Oh, Father, the gentle, flowing thoughts of this early morning hour bring me great comfort. The world is crazy and is seemingly spinning out of control but You are the deep settled peace running beneath it all. May my thoughts be on You. May Your peace flow through me to touch the lives of others. Amen.

James 1:21 (<<click here)

Looking more closely at the second half of this verse, James directs us to “humbly accept the word God has planted in our hearts.” The KJV uses the word “engrafted.” Lord, we are spiritual beings created to have an intimately close relationship with You. But because of sin, we are rebellious and wild. Solely because of Your sacrificial death – a death we deserved because of our sin – can Your word be “engrafted” “in our hearts, for it has the power to save our souls. We are incapable of saving ourselves – salvation is found only in You.

Your word is “engrafted” in us but Romans 11:17 says that we are also grafted in” to the tree of Your making so that we can now tap into the blessings and promises of God, “sharing in the rich nourishment from” its root.

Lord, I readily acknowledge that I am utterly dependent upon You for my spiritual vitality – the sustenance I so desperately need comes only from You. I am eternally indebted to You for engrafting Your word in me and for engrafting me in You. There is no place I’d rather be! We both realize that I must remain in You throughout my life here on earth – outside of You, I am lost. How I long for the day when I won’t just have Your presence in me but I will live in Your presence for all eternity!

Aug 16th, Tues, 5:33 am

Shatter the Ceiling!

Where would I be were it not for you, Father? I would be lost. I would be drifting aimlessly. I would be enslaved. I would be forlorn…not because that is what You wanted but because of my choices. Your desire is for us to be together. And I am so glad that that is the way it is.

One of my favorite speakers is Alistair Begg, senior pastor of Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio. On a recent broadcast he spoke about being wary of becoming “lost out.” He used the phrase to refer to someone who has been a believer for many years but has made no progress spiritually for a very long period of time.

Now in the strictest of terms I probably wasn’t “lost out” but I sure felt that I was. I would surmise that truly “lost out” individuals don’t want to be that way but also don’t want to be badly enough to do anything about it.

I was very dissatisfied with where I was but felt like I was hitting the ceiling. I tried different things but got nowhere. Looking back, Lord, I can see that in reality You were steering me in the direction I needed to go. You knew my heart’s desire but I just hadn’t gotten there yet.

Then one day, and I can’t remember exactly when that was, I broke through – the ceiling shattered! I had gotten through but by no means was I “there” yet. It sounds weird saying it that way but that’s the way it was. I guess it’s sort of like striving to reach a certain level of athleticism. You work and work to cross that line and then finally you do! You did it but it still takes a lot of effort to cross that line again. Eventually crossing the line into another level of spiritual growth came more easily. For me, journaling was what did it. It was the focused outlet I needed – but it took time. It is a well-established habit in my life now but I must always be about moving onward and upward – progress is of the essence. And, Jesus, You are my inspiration and my motivation. I am so grateful for all You are to me. Draw me closer. Continue to guide and direct me. There is no place I’d rather be!

Apr 7th, Thurs, 5:33am