Tag Archives: relationship

Going After God’s Heart

Good morning, Father! Thank You for so many things – 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 13:14Acts 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, 2015, Tue, 6:06 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

Filthy Rags

Father, there is such great assurance in Your presence. Thank You for going before me yesterday. I realize that it is an everyday occurrence but I don’t ever want to take it for granted. I am blessed. Amen.

Matthew 3:7-10 (<<click the green)

Wow! Reading what John had to say the religious leaders of his day makes me step back a bit. He sure didn’t sugar coat it. He pretty much laid it all out and they, within just a few moments, knew exactly what he thought about them.

In our Bible study last night we discussed people of “religion” if you will. Many feel that they have the bases covered because they are so diligent in following the rules and regulations. Many feel that their eternal destiny is secure because their daddy was a believer and his daddy before him and his daddy before him, etc., etc. But John made it very clear that none of those things proved anything.

As Isaiah proclaimed “our righteous deeds…are nothing but filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:5-7) Nothing we are, nothing we can say, nothing we can do is worth anything in regards to our standing before God – it is all worthless. The only thing that is worth anything is when we turn from our way and give ourselves over to God’s way. John calls to us as well, “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.”

We cannot earn our salvation by our deeds – that is a gift from God alone – but we must show by our deeds that salvation has taken place.

Lord, I am grateful that You have offered me salvation. It was at great cost to You – your very life. You gave Your life when mine should have been forfeit – my sins should have resulted in my death. But You took my place. Lord… may I “prove by the way [I] live” that I have turned from my sinful ways and turned to You. May my life be living proof of that relationship. Amen.

Sept 26th, Tues, 6:47 am

Portraying Christ

Father, there is absolutely nothing like this time of the morning together. It is just me and You. May I cherish every moment. May I hang on Your every word. May those words be “hidden… in my hear that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11

Titus 2:9-10 (<<click here)

Lord, this passage is applicable in today’s workplace. My work ethic and how I interact with my store’s leadership team reflects directly on You. They know who I am and know that I am a follower of You. I cannot control preconceived notions of what they think that means but it is my responsibility to live my live in such a way that You are portrayed in such a way that they are drawn to the idea of having a relationship with You and are not repulsed by it.

I must admit it is a constant battle. The tedium of everyday life makes it a challenge. I know You care about this aspect of my life in that I feel Your nudges to focus and be productive. I feel Your encouragement to love others as You would, even if they are bothersome or simply hard to love.

As I sit here thinking on it may love be the driving factor in how I do my job. May I think of Your love for me and may that result in my loving You and wanting to please You in everything I do.

Jan 27th, Wed, 6:54 am

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