Zombies, Weeds and Illness

Zombie

Father, thinking over yesterday, I want to thank You for being with me throughout the day. Holy Spirit I know Your presence is with me 24/7, but there were several instances yesterday where I felt You were guiding and directing me. My response to one particular incident set the tone for the day, and because I prayed and followed You, You were glorified. I in my selfishness could have hindered Your kingdom, but because I was obedient, Your kingdom was lifted up. Thank You for working in me and through me. Thank you for patiently working with me, for chiseling away at my hard heart, for molding me more and more into Your likeness.

Colossians 3:5-11 (<<click here)

Lord, reading this passage brings so many visual images to mind – “zombies”, gardening and disease (illness) to name a few.

I’m really not a fan of anything “zombie”, but putting “to death” “sinful, earthly…lurking” things bring them to mind. We are called to “strip off [our] old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds”, but the undead regularly come back and want to eat my brain. I know this is a weird train of thought, Lord, but without You working in my life “sexual immorality, impurity, lust,…evil desires…greed…anger, rage, malicious behavior and dirty language“ don’t want to stay dead. Those things, and more, rear their ugly heads and want to destroy me!

Vegetable gardens come to mind too. We clear off a plot and work up the soil. We rid the area of rocks and debris then plant seeds in anticipation of a good harvest. But inevitably weeds show up and if we are not diligent they can overtake the good we have sewn. Evil sprouts up everywhere. We must regularly go to the Master Gardener, for help – to rid ourselves of the “weeds”, to learn how to keep disease from destroying the harvest, to discover how best to ward off critters that would eliminate the fruit of our labors.

Sometimes things can pop up that look “good” and our curiosity allows them to continue growing, but they take our time and energy from the important tasks at hand and we end up with problems. Lord, help me to fastidiously maintain my plot and to come to You at every opportunity for guidance.

Disease and illness are things we are always on guard against. Some things are easy to avoid for we know they are not good for us, but sometimes we like things that are detrimental to our health and well-being. We may love peanut butter, but if it causes an allergic reaction it could kill us.

Sometimes we come in contact with things that have never bothered us before, but You call us to let them go. Help us to be obedient or our “spiritual” health will suffer. They may even be things that we didn’t realize were hurting us, but we will need to be wary and avoid them.

Lord, You want us to keep ourselves pure and free from sin. Help me to listen to You and obey You even when it doesn’t make sense to me. Help me to continue to rid myself of my old sinful nature and to wrap myself up in my “new nature and be renewed as [I] learn to know [my] creator and become like [You].”

June 18th, Thurs, 6:21 am

Going after God’s Heart

Good morning, Father! Thank You for so many things – a good night’s sleep, 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 13:14, Acts 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, Tue, 6:06 am

Immersed in Honey

Father, I am so sorry that we have taken Your beautifully perfect creation and have twisted it to something ugly. What You meant to be purposeful and fulfilling we have warped into many things that are lost, misguided and empty. I pray that You could help me to be an instrument used by You to draw my world once again to You, for beauty, perfection, purpose and fulfillment is truly only found in You.

Colossians 2:16-23 (<<click here)

Lord, this world is a discombobulated hodge-podge of thoughts and ideas, it is a cacophony of voices pulling us all here then there. We are literally commanded to be inclusive, tolerant and expected to accept every conceivable variance of reality. “Political correctness” can tell us what we say, what we do, how we act. But Lord, You are “reality.” And You alone can set us “free from the spiritual powers of this world.” v20b

Interestingly enough with all our “open mindedness” and accepting and inclusive mentalities You are excluded. The Way and the Truth is rejected.

We press others into believing what we believe because we don’t want to be pressed into believing what You say we should believe. How ironic…we cast aside the one true God so that we can be our own gods. We in our perverted, sinful way want others to be like us because we don’t want to be told by You to be like You.

Lord, help me to keep You first and foremost in my life. You alone are reality – the world is a very cheap imitation, a house of cards ready to fall – destined to do so. The idealistic mindsets of this world are like honey – initial sweet and enticing but we cannot immerse  ourselves in them, doing so is death – we cannot move, we cannot escape, we cannot breath. Only by coming to You in repentance, humility, seeking forgiveness can we be set free.

Lord, help me not to be carried away by the “sweetness” of the world and help me to show the world who You truly are so they may be saved as well. Amen.

June 15th, Mon, 5:48 am

Nailed to the Cross

Father, thank You for this day, yesterday we will put behind us. I struggled with things, some of which I brought right away to You. Others I dwelt on and shouldn’t have. Help me subdue my critical nature especially when it not constructive or uplifting. Help me to be more attuned to You this day – guide and direct my thoughts and action so as to glorify You.

Colossians 2: 11-15

I am so grateful, Lord, that You and You alone provided me with the wonderful gift of salvation. We both know that sin can still trip me up (see above!) but it does not defeat me, it may have the upper hand in a battle here and there but because of You the war is won. And because of my relationship with You I am a conqueror as well! Because I have embraced Your wonderful gift my “sinful nature” has been cut away. Sin can still influence me to a certain point but it does not control me. I am not blinded (or blind-sided) by sin. I clearly see it for what it is and with You by my side it is defeated. I give You praise for forgiving “all [my] sins.” And for “canceling the record of the charges against [me] “ and by taking it “away by nailing it to the cross.”

You get all the credit. Only because of You can I live a life of victory over sin. Help me more and more to stand firm in Your strength. Help my love for You to grow more, and more every day and for that to persuade every aspect of my life.

June 14th, Sun, 6:45 am

Wholly Filled with the Holy

square peg round hole

Father, I’ve struggled this morning. And that’s made me put our time together off. Forgive me for wandering down a side path too far. Give me the strength! The determination to stay on Your straight and narrow path!

Colossians 2:10 (<< click here)

Interesting thoughts in my NLT Application Study Bible on this verse “… you are… complete through your union with Christ…” We all have a “vacuum” in us – a hole that we all feel the need to fill with something – anything. We’re not whole until our hole is filled with the Holy One. Lord, You truly complete us. You fill that niche like nothing, absolutely nothing, can. When we try to do so we get that whole “square peg in a round hole” situation. We end up hurting ourselves and others when we go that route.

And, Lord, when You are in our lives the way You are intended to be, You fill that void in us completely! How often do I try to squeeze something else, something foreign in the space You are in. One thing for sure – it’s not comfortable! Lord make my discomfort so palpable that it’s like having a live bug in my mouth! It is so revolting that I just have to get it out. Let Your holiness fill me wholly!

June 12th, Fri, 8:46 am

Doing it right for once.