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

Immersed in Honey

Father, I am so sorry that we have taken Your beautifully perfect creation and have twisted it into 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 – initially sweet and enticing but we cannot immerse ourselves in them, doing so is death – we cannot move, we cannot escape, we cannot breathe. 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, 2015, Mon, 5:48 am

Waist-high Pudding

Father, thank you for a good night’s rest and that You continue to help me throughout busy days. I am so grateful for this time together – it’s the best habit I’ve developed in a long time! Jesus guide me through Your word today.

Colossians 2:8-9 (<< click here)

Lord, You want this mindset not just to apply to Paul and the heresies that threatened the church in Colosse but Your desire is for me to keep my eyes on You and to study Your Word in regards to my life here and now as well.

It is so easy for us to assimilate human thoughts and mindsets into our lives. They are not always in error but they can work their way in so much so that where we at one time would not have even considered them acceptable, now – at worst – just embrace them or – at least – begin doubting why we rejected them in the past.

I feel like I’m trying to make progress through waist-high pudding – Lord, I pray for Your wisdom that I may clearly see and understand Your will. And once Your will is made clear, help me to work it out in my life as You would – strong love comes to mind, firm but not hateful, compassionate but not apathetic. Help me to be strong and courageous as well – to stand up for what is right and to stand against what is wrong. And that applies to both sides of many issues. (Here comes the pudding again!)

Side 1: this way is right / me: no, it is not

Side 1: go my way or I won’t like you / me: it is wrong but I still love you

Side 2: that way is wrong / me: yes, it is

Side 2: let’s hate and reject side 1 people / me: no that is wrong, we must love them – Jesus loves them.

Lord, You love all of us, not just those that follow You and accept Your ways. You love us but by no means do You accept our actions. Help me to be like you – to love others unconditionally but to pointedly reject actions that are opposed to Your word and Your will.

June 11th, 2015, Thurs, 8:07 am

A Shredded, Soggy Mess

Good morning, Father. Thank You for our conversation early this morning. May I stay close by Your side. Guide me. Direct me. Protect me. Amen.

Growing up we almost always had a dog. I remember that at least one of them like playing tug-of-war with an old rag or sock. We’d play until it was a shredded, soggy mess. I also remember them taking that old rag in their powerful jaws and viciously shaking their heads back and forth. It was a lot of fun.

This fond memory came to mind as I was thinking of struggles I have had along my journey of faith. Lord Jesus, You know all too well the troubles with which I have dealt.

Many times I have walked along, faithful and true. My shield of faith has helped me deflect many a flaming arrow. But there have been times, too, then my guard has been down, my shield of faith has not been in place and I have been pierced – not just by one but by many flaming arrows. …there is no one to blame but myself.

So what do dogs and flaming arrows have to do with each other?

Many times in my failings I have not so much felt pierced, but I have felt like that shredded, soggy mess of a rag. I have felt like our old adversary has taken me in his powerful jaws and has viciously shaken me in his powerful jaws…my strength and my righteousness nothing but tattered remnants. He laughs… He gloats…

But You, Lord? With eyes full of compassion, You tenderly reach down, gathering me in You mighty arms. You gently touch my wounds and as I have asked for forgiveness for my failings, You graciously bring healing to my brokenness.

I, though I deserve Your condemnation – and I would no defense otherwise – am loved. …thank You, Lord…thank You. Help me to live out each day in grateful devotion. May I lean on You as we share the yoke. You are strong. You are mighty. In You – not in myself – do I find the victory. Amen.

Oct 23rd, Mon, 11:30 pm

Sand Off the Edges

Father, You deserve all my praise and adoration. Though life can get complicated with all of our diverse personalities interacting with one another, we can find, in You, a solid place on which to stand. Thank you, Father, for who You are and that I can rely on You.

Colossians 1:15-23 (<<click here)

Lord, You are supreme. You know me through and through for You made me. You knew me before the world was created and You loved me (Ephesians 1:4) You came to live on this earth, so I (we) could be reconciled to God through You, that is Your sacrifice in giving Your life on the cross, took care of the sin that kept me from having a right relation with You. We made a mess that we were incapable of cleaning up – but we are the ones who drove the wedge between ourselves and Yourself. You, because You love us, took care of it at great cost to Yourself. We broke our relationship with You, we cut ourselves off from You, we thumbed our noses at You, we severed the link. You re-established the connection AND to beat all, in Your eyes – it’s hard for us to grasp – it’s like it never ever happened. No probationary period, no test to past, no earning back our status. Instead, You bring us into Your very presence. You who are holy made us holy and if we have accepted the fact and believe in who You are and what You’ve done for us, we are “blameless as [we] stand before [You]without a single fault.” vs.22b

I’ve heard the concept 100’s of times in my life but I sit here in awe once again, as my mind tries to grasp it all. And to think You went forward with my creation knowing that all of this would have to take place to set things straight. All of this! I deserve nothing at best and yet You freely give me everything and our relationship is as if nothing ever came between us, on Your part no hesitation, no doubt, no holding back. Thank You is nowhere sufficient.

Lord, help me to live my life with what You have done for me at the forefront. Help my gratitude to be palpable! May it influence everything! How dare I harbor anger or begrudge anyone for what I perceive as a slight against me, my loved ones or my beliefs! Forgive me, Lord, for consistently doing so!

I pray Lord that You will continue sanding off all the rough edges of my being. Please make me into what I was created to be. Amen!

June 6th, 2015, Sat, 6:54 am

Doing it right for once.