Tag Archives: loving

God with Us

“Emmanuel” – God with us (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23)

“For ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?”  Romans 10:13-14

Lord, when you came to earth You gave us a wonderful gift – You gave us the gift of Yourself. And that statement is not trivial or trite or shallow. It is deep with meaning. Giving Yourself to us means You held absolutely nothing back. You are not distant or unapproachable. You are loving and compassionate. You want to be a big part of our lives. You want to be with us through the joy and the sorrow.

We can experience snippets of this kind of relationship with spouses, close friends and family…possibly. And we are so benefited by those connections. But our relationship with You takes it to a whole other level! You are not inhibited by weakness or selfishness…or death. You are there for us every moment of our lives!

Your gift of Yourself also made it possible for us to have a relationship with You. Sin separated us but because of Your sacrifice sin is eradicated and we can now approach a hold God without fear or being eradicated ourselves – sin and holiness cannot mix!

Emmanuel…what a wonderful gift with such wonderful benefits! For as Paul stated in Romans 10:13, For ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” But as we continue reading in verse 14 we see that there is a problem.

“how can they call on him…unless they believe…and how can they believe… if they have never heard…and how can they hear…unless someone tells them?”

We cannot share the gift of Emmanuel until we give the gift of ourselves to others as well. Only when we invest ourselves in others will we be able to impact them.in many instances, only when they see Your love lived out through us will be convinced of its reality.

Lord, how many people do I see every day who are hurting, who are lonely, whose life has no meaning and they wander aimlessly with no direction whatsoever. Just this week I looked into the eye of a small child. I don’t really know his mother but I know of her and as far as I know dad is not in the picture. He said, “Hi,” as little ones will and even in that short amount of contact I could feel him reaching out to me. I may be reading a lot in to it but with that little phrase and those piercing eyes, he seemed to be asking, “Do you like me? Will you love me? Would you have time for me?”

How many people, Lord…how many do I see who long to ask those questions? But they hold back. They have been so shoved down for so long that they don’t even think to ask any more.

And, Lord, we both know that I cannot meet those needs…at least not for long. Life moves on…death is inevitable. But Lord, You are more than able to do so! Lord, give me the wisdom as how to “tell them” about You…to give them real hope in someone who is not inhibited but one who is all powerful…in someone who will always be with them…in someone who knows all about them but loves them anyway! Lord, help me to proclaim, “Emmanuel!”

Dec 24th, Thurs, 8:42 am

Choices

Father, please use this time together to draw me closer to You and to strengthen my determination to be faithful and true to You. These last few days have been a battle; sin has been battering me from all sides.  I pray that I would do as Paul commands in 1 Corinthians 16:13 “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.” I am victorious in You, Almighty God, only in You.

I Thessalonians 1:8-10 (<<click here)

Jesus, I pray that Your word would ring out from me to people everywhere just as it did with the believers of Thessalonica! May every aspect of my life be a proclamation of the victory that is found only in an intimate relationship with You. Every day in every situation I have choices to make – to be loving or hateful, forgiving, to pass along gossip, to feed the monster of discontent, to go with the flow and complain about people or situations beyond my control, to stop, listen and encourage when it would be easier to ignore the whole thing – and the list could go on and on. But Lord, You have called me to be salt and light in my world (Mathew 5:13-16) Grant me the desire to do so willingly and eagerly! And as Paul proclaims at the end of this passage, what I do is all the more important for Your return is immanent! Help me to strive to make You the focal point of my life so others will be encouraged to stay true to You and walk with You faithfully. And if they do not know You that my actions would be a beacon shining on You showing them the way.

July 7th, Tues, 7:01 am

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!

I 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, Mon, 5:33 am

Grace and Peace

grace and peace

Thank You Father, for that extra 30 minutes of light thoughts. Just the comfort of closing my eyes helped!  Let’s see what you have for me today!

Philippians 1:1-2

Grace and peace…

Grace – God’s unmerited favor to us

In Paul’s simple greeting he asks that we receive Your grace. Simple, but by no means shallow!  Where would I be without Your grace!  It is truly AMAZING!! Thank You, that You extend Your favor to me, I definitely don’t deserve it but You give it to me over and over again. When I’m good, when I’m bad, thoughtless, loving, careless, ignorant, when I fail, fall, stumble.  When I’m obedient and do what is pleasing in Your sight – You always extend Your grace! I’m grateful – help me to live out my life in gratitude.

Peace – to be complete and sound – a right relationship with God.

Not just an absence of conflict but a completeness found only in a right relationship with You. Lord, I would ask that today, no matter what comes my way, that I would have a peace in my life that can only be found and lived out in You. May the peace lived out in my life be a witness to You and bring You glory!

May 11th, Monday, 6:33 am