Tag Archives: loving

Work of the Faithful

Father, thank you for a good night’s sleep. As I humbly come into Your presence I am acutely aware of my shortcomings. The Great Deceiver popped off a few rounds and I was hit. My “shield of faith”(Ephesians 6:16) dropped. I come before You asking for Your forgiveness and for the fortitude in standing strong against future assaults. Even when I stumble You are there to lift me up and set me on the narrow way once more. Praise Your holy Name – thank You for Your mercy and grace!

1 Thessalonians 1:1-7 (<<click here)

Lord, I am extremely grateful for the churches I have the privilege of serving. Verses 2 & 3 of this passage, communicate a lot of how I feel being a pastor. I have wonderful people with which to walk this journey and I am thankful for them and their companionship. Living on this old earth we all need lots of prayer to keep us strong and get us through each day. I pray for them and I know many pray for me. When I pray, I “think of [their] faithful work.” Over the years we have consistently supported local ministries to help the needy, we’ve gotten behind impacting faith-based films in our local community (FIREPROOF and COURAGEOUS) and been there for evangelistic events in our surrounding area (Will Graham Celebration). We pray for many people, both those close to our hearts and those we may not know – lifting up those ravaged by disease, those struggling with relationships and those struggling with the many spiritual issues in their lives. Their “loving deeds” include meals for the bereaved, letters of encouragement to those who are sick or recovering from procedures, “cheer” plates of goodies encouraging those unable to get out to church any longer, as well as, weekly contact with bulletins and CD recording of our services Lord, thank You for such loving caring people with which to serve!

And Lord we thank You for the “enduring love” You have given us. No matter what trial we may have to endure, no matter what losses we may suffer – You are there to sustain us through it all. Thank You for Your love and care!

July 6th, 2015, Mon, 5:33 am

Love and Law

Thank You, Father, for a wonderfully productive day! You have been with me all the way and all the physical things are ready for worship. May I continue to prepare spiritually so that I may say, be and do exactly what You need. Praise Your holy name!

Matthew 5:20 (<<click the green)

When we first read this verse Lord I think we are a little shocked – even if we know who the “teachers of the religious law and Pharisees” were. Maybe I’m just not enough of a rebel but I was brought up to respect leaders in all walks of life. But regardless of how high someone is in any organization – even the church – lines can be crossed. And evil cannot be tolerated…and it must be dealt with. I’m sure there were good men amongst this nefarious crew of religiosity but they may have been few and far between, as well.

You have just proclaimed Your intent to fulfill the law as given to Moses and we are also called to be obedient to it. My study Bible* helps a great deal in understanding this law.

First of all, “there were three categories of law: ceremonial, civil and moral.” Ceremonial law dealt with Israel’s worship and it all pointed to You. Your death and resurrection fulfilled it all! So we “are no longer bound by” them but the “principles behind them – to worship and love a holy God – still apply.”

Our world is a “radically different” place from when the civil law was given to Israel for daily living. We don’t follow them specifically but Your example showed us that the “principles behind the commands are timeless and should guide our conduct.”

Lastly, the moral law (i.e. the Ten Commandments) “is the direct command of God” and we are accountable to abide by it. Lord, You abided by it in its entirety.

And that is the rub with the religious leaders of the time You walked this earth. They were so busy splitting hairs that they didn’t really take time to live out the law where it was really important. Lord, Your desire was and still most assuredly is for us to live in a loving, intimate relationship with You. We can strive to abide by every rule and regulation but unless there is relationship…it is worthless.

Lord, help me (and I know You do) to love You more every day. May there be a burning in my heart to spend time with You regularly. The more time I conscientiously spend with You the closer our relationship will be. Amen – so be it!

*Life Application Bible New Living Translation

Oct. 19th, Thurs, 3:43 pm

Erased?

Thank You, Father, for loving me so much! Thank You for holding on and not giving up on me. You know me through and through and still, You cherish me… Thank You, Father…

Revelation 3:5 (<<click the green)

When I was younger I struggled with remaining faithful to You, Lord, every moment of every day. In my mind, I had this picture of my name written in Your Book of Life and every time I failed You I imagined my name being erased. We all know what happens in you erase the same spot on a piece of paper too many times – a hole is worn in that spot. That’s what I thought my spot in the Book of Life looked like – a hole where my name had been.

As I’ve journeyed long with You these many years I have come to realize that that is not how You work. And once again, my opening thoughts connect perfectly with what You have given me this day. You are patient. You are loving. Your greatest desire is for me to be victorious.

Only if I would throw it all away, only if I would spurn Your love and utterly turn my back on You would my name be erased – blotted out – from Your Book of Life. You would never cast me aside.

Lord, this day as every day, I give myself over to You – to Your will, to Your wisdom, to Your strength, to Your love. Only there am I secure…safe for all eternity. Thank You, Lord, my Redeemer, Savior, and Friend.

July 23rd, Sun, 7:09 am

Honor Marriage

Father, there are so many crazy, alarming things happening across the world. And for the most part I cannot do one thing about them. The one thing I can do I will do. I will continue to acknowledge Your lordship over it all. I will pray that Your will would be done and that people would see that hope and security is found only in You.

Hebrews 13:4 (<<click here)

“Give honor to marriage…”

In an “all about me” culture this is a great challenge. Our overwhelming tendency is to look out only for ourselves and if it isn’t too inconvenient we’ll look out for others as well… maybe.

Lord, I truly believe that one of clearest testimonies of how Your love works is a strong marriage based on You. Karen and I have our struggles but overall I’d say we have a solid, loving relationship. I believe we strive to think of the other. We care for each other. We pray for each other. We encourage one another. Sure we’ve gone through hard times, we’ve said and done stupid, hurtful things but we have also sought out and extended forgiveness – with You and each other.

As with all things on this side of eternity, the key to a successful marriage is to acknowledge the fact that we, in and of ourselves, cannot do it. We must include You in the equation. Only in giving ourselves over to You can we give ourselves over to each other.

Lord, help me to continue deepening my relationship with You. Help me to continue deepening my relationship with Karen. May we as individuals and a couple be all You want us to be. Amen.

June 24th, Fri, 6:20 am

GO!

Thank You, Father, for such a good day yesterday. It was a good day at work, with a luncheon served to supervisors by our management team. I enjoyed spending time with Karen running a few errands AND we picked Massey up at the airport for Christmas break! A great ending to a great day! Thank You, Father, for Your many blessings!

2 Timothy 4:1-2 (<<click here)

”preach the word of God.” – motivated by the fact that we all will stand to be judged by God

“patiently”– everything we do – “correct, rebuke and encourage” must be done with patience – love being implied

Lord, what a call to ministry! Timothy was being admonished by Paul, as am I. Timothy was a faithful pastor, as am I. But, Lord, this is not just a call to pastors. Jesus, You said that we all are to be Your witnesses “…to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) At that moment You were speaking to Your disciples but Your Great Commission is for us all. We are believers today because Timothy and thousands like him were faithful to their mission. And it is vital that we also spread the Good News. My Study Bible* states, “Half the people who have ever lived are alive today, and most of them do not know Christ.” What a task we find before us! Lord, may we all willingly, and enthusiastically answer Your call to proclaim You to our world. And, Lord, may we be patient, though diligent, in everything we do – loving people with the love only You can provide!

Dec 22nd, Tue, 8:52 am