Tag Archives: love

I Want It MY Way!

I am so grateful for the peace of Your presence, Father. I am unworthy on so many fronts but because You intervened where I could not, I have been made worthy by accepting Your gift of grace. I humbly come before You this morning to sit at Your feet. Teach me, I pray. Amen.

Matthew 12:9-14 (<<click the green)

Before I slept last night, I read through today’s passage. When I read of Your interaction with religious leaders of Your day – the Pharisees in this case – it is easy for me to point fingers and roll my eyes at their petty shallowness. On many levels they seem like children who have ruled the playground, bullying those about them to play by the rules they have come up with. And now someone who knows the rules –actual someone who wrote the rules – has shown up and their shenanigans are over. And, as the children they are, they are none too happy and begin plotting how to rule the playground once more…even if that means eliminating the competition.

But as the adage goes when I point at someone else, more fingers are pointing at me than at them. How many time am I less than cooperative. How often do I get ticked because things don’t go my way? I want this and instead get that and am quick to make my displeasure known.

Lord, sometimes we find ourselves in places or circumstances in which we are unhappy or unsatisfied. And we grumble and fuss and complain. But how many times have You lead us to those places? How often are we where we find ourselves because You have a reason for us to be there? How many times have we thwarted Your will of reaching out and touching the lives of others because we have been too consumed by our own selfish desires and wishes?

Lord, give me Your eyes to see. May Your heart burn within my chest. May Your love consume me. Make me Your own. Use me as You will. Amen.

Apr 11th, 2018, Wed, 5:15 am

Love Is the Key

Thank You, Father, for Your guidance and hedge of protection throughout this day. Through worship and fellowship with family, it always brings great peace and security knowing You are there. As I come before You now may I be attentive to Your word. Amen.

Matthew 12:1-8 (<<click the green)

Lord Jesus, as I read of Your disciples “breaking off some heads of grain and eating them” on the Sabbath – the day set aside for rest and worship, when no work was to be done (Exodus 20:8-11) – I am not surprised by the accusations brought against them by the Jewish religious leaders of Your day.

First of all, that definition of “work” was contrived by man, not commanded by You. Secondly, they were sticklers for abiding by the Law. We are to obey the law but where they erred was by sticking to the letter of the law, to literally the nth degree. “Rule upon rule, rule upon rule, here a little, there a little” (Isaiah 28:9-13) is the law they abided – and fell – by.

But, Lord, You are a love stickler, not a legalistic law stickler. A quote from my sermon this morning, originally penned by Rev. Wes Humble, comes to mind, “When we are walking in obedience to God and loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength we will naturally love our neighbors as ourselves.” When we love You, Lord, with all that we are, the rest of the law will fall into place.

You also quote Hosea 6:6 in this passage which says,

“I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.”

My heart’s desire Lord, Jesus is to, first of all, love You with the entirety of my being – heart, soul, mind, and strength – and then to love others as myself. Abiding by your will is of utmost importance. In John 14:15 You put it very plainly, “If you love me, keep my commands.” So that is what we must do but love is the key to interpretation. May I live out my life in such a way as to please You and not just to be a stickler for abiding by the Law. Amen.

Apr 8th, 2018, Sun, 8:16 pm

Selfishness

Father, as I do every day, I need You. May everything I encounter today be filtered through You. May I walk close beside You and listen closely to Your word. Amen.

Matthew 11: 16-19 (<<click the green)

Lord Jesus, the attitude of Your generation sure sounds a lot like this generation. My study Bible* states,

“No matter what [Jesus] said or did, they took the opposite view. They were cynical and skeptical because he challenged their comfortable, secure, and self-centered lives. Too often we justify our inconsistencies because listening to God may require us to change the way we live.”

It’s all about me! Do it my way and…I might…accept you. Of course, another element in this generation is tolerance…but most often that means as long as you agree with my perspective then I am tolerant of you.

I believe that for the most part SIN = SELFISHNESS. Our culture doesn’t help but in the end, it truly is our decision and we can blame no one else. We alone feed the monster of self. We are the ones who choose to meet our wants and desires above those of others.

Love is what flips it on its head. Lord, when we love You – with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength – and we love others – as ourselves – that’s when sin is squelched. (Luke 10:27)

Lord, help me to fight that selfishness in my life. I am around it all the time, watch it on TV, hear it on the radio – selfishness permeates our society. The more time I spend with You the more that I will become like You. Make it be so!

Apr 3rd,2018, Tues, 7:02 am

Nothing Between

Father, I am truly blessed on so many fronts – family, work, church and my ongoing relationship with You! May I always count my blessings. May I never take them for granted. And may I strive to be a channel of blessing to those whose lives I touch. Amen.

Matthew 9:18-26 (<<click the green)

Reading this morning’s passage, Lord, I am reminded of an opening prayer from our time together last week. I wrote, “I am grateful [that] although there are literally millions and millions of people and situations clamoring for Your attention, that You are here with me. I don’t have to wait in line. I never have to take a number. An angel has no need to put me on hold when I call. You are always here, by my side, as we walk this journey together.”

When approached by a “leader of a synagogue” You didn’t hesitate. You didn’t put him off. You didn’t downplay his need. You “got up and went with him.”

When “a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding…touched the fringe of [Your] robe” as You were on Your way You didn’t say, “Excuse me! Wait your turn!” Nope, You turned around and she was “healed at that moment.”

There is not a hint of irritation on Your part in the whole ordeal. You dropped everything that You were doing…and You loved. You were touched by an “untouchable” (her bleeding issue made her “unclean” much like the leper) and You didn’t even flinch. Even the finality of death didn’t slow You down in the least. You weren’t impeded by the raucous crowd mourning the girls passing, even though “they laughed and jeered” at You.

I rejoice in the fact that nothing – absolutely nothing – gets between You and Your love for us!

Romans 8:35-39 speaks volumes.

“Who shall ever separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?…Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us]. For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced—beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” AMP

Amen and amen! Thank You, Lord!!!

Mar 11th, 2018, Sun, 6:32 am

Show Love…Know Me

As I look out this morning, Father, and see the snow swirling about it once again reminds me of Your mighty power and the awesomeness of Your creation! People left and right are going on about how it is time for Spring and we are less than two weeks out on the calendar from its start. Crocuses are blooming and daffodils and tulips are up 3 or 4 inches as well. But just because we clamor for it and the calendar says it is almost here, it will come when it will come. Thank You, Father, for making all things the way you did!

Matthew 9:9-13 (<<click the green)

Lord, in Your rebuttal against the Pharisees – the teachers of the law – in yesterday’s passage You challenged them to “learn the meaning” of a particular Old Testament passage. In our Bibles, the passage is Hosea 6:6 (a wonderful book of Your love for us, by the way!),

I want you to show love,
not offer sacrifices.
I want you to know me
more than I want burnt offerings.

The sacrifice of burnt offerings was a major part of reconciliation of humankind to You. At this point, it was the only point of finding forgiveness for sins in life. It may have been a major part but it by no means was the core of reconciliation. The core was supposed to have been our relationship with You! Love was, is and always will be at the core of our relationship!

As I look again at Hosea 6:6 God, You set it straight, “I want you [i.e. us] to show love…I want you [i.e. us] to know me.” Rules and regulations are important but without love, without relationship, they amount to nothing!

Lord, as this day is now rolling right along help me to show love. Draw me to You, that I may know You, more and more. Amen.

Mar 7th, 2018, Wed, 10:21 am