PRAYER

My prayers of gratitude and praise should be as frequent , intense and lengthy as my prayers of need and request.

  • Short prayers:
    • Thank you
    • Help
    • I will
    • I’m sorry
    • I won’t
    • I love you
    • Forgive me
    • Use me
    • Protect me

Dear God, don’t let my lack of understanding about you lead to an absence of faith in you, a reduction of love for you, an unwillingness to obey you, hesitancy to share you, and fear to praise you.

* * * * * * * * * 

When Samuel said “Speak, for your servant hears” he was not referring only to physical hearing, but also to a willingness to obey whatever he might hear. Too often my reaction is “Speak, and your servant will consider hearing.” But when that is my attitude I’m really not being a servant, am I?

Psalm 23

This psalm by the David – the poet, singer and king – is one of the most loved and studied passages in scripture. But I have found that God can take even the most familiar parts of his Word to teach and reassure me.

The last time I meditated on it these six aspects stood out.

Provision…still waters, green pastures and a prepared table

Place………..the house of the Lord

Purpose…….a path of righteousness for His names sake

Peace………..I will fear no evil

Person………the Lord

Protection….thy rod and staff

The Holy Spirit will cause Biblical information to become Spiritual illumination that will lead to personal transformation. How much He will change us through this short look at David’s masterpiece depends on our state of openness.

God Replied

Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ…” (KJV)

     I said to God “I really don’t have many chances to give a verbal witness to others about you  and your love.”

God replied ” Give and care and share. Help others in such radical ways that people will ask ‘Why did you do that?’ Then you can tell them about me.”

     I said to God “I really don’t  have many chances to give a verbal witness to others  about you and your love.”

God replied, “I will allow you to be publicly tempted and you can publicly resist that temptation. People will ask ‘Why did you act like that?’ Then you can tell them about me.”

     I said to God “I really don’t have many chances to give a verbal witness to others about you and your love.”

God replied “I will allow some tragedy to come into your life. As you continue to be loyal to me in your time of trouble people will ask ‘How can you have such faith in times like these?’ Then you can tell them about me.”

Possessions, temptations and grief are opportunities for us to develop stronger trust in God and a stronger witness for God. Is our faith strong enough that He can reach others through us?

**********

     Today I will meet some “evil” people who will enrage and oppose me, some “good” people who will frustrate me and upset me, and come Christians who will ignore me and puzzle me.

As a child of God, I am to pray for all of them and actively love each of them.

Bits and Pieces, Odds and Ends – 3

Dear Father, grant me the discipline to seek you, the patience to wait for you, the understanding to obey you, and the faith to trust you. Then grant me the insight to see the needs of others, the unselfishness to give to them, the wisdom to help wisely. Above all grant me the spirit of love toward you and all of them.

*****

When the son returned home in John 15, his father did not say “I told you so.”  He only said “Welcome home.”  Are people afraid to come back to God through our churches because they do not know which they will hear from us?

*****

Sometimes God says “Go out into the world and fight. My strong arm will protect you” Other times He ways “Sit here beside me on the couch. I’ll hold your hand while you cry.” I’m more likely to want to sit rather than fight.

*****

God blessed me yesterday. If I don’t use those blessings to help someone today, why should He bother to bless me any more tomorrow?

 

 

Hanging Out With God

James 4:8 “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you…” (KJV)

Once Saturday morning a woman was getting into the family van to run her usual weekly errands. Unexpectedly, her sixteen year-old son jumped into the “shotgun” seat.

“What do you want?” she asked.

“Nothing,” he replied.

“Are you going with me?”

“Yeah, if you don’t mind.”

“Do you want to drive?”

“No. I’m cool.”

“What do you want? Where do you want to go?”

“Nothing and nowhere. I’ve just been so busy lately I haven’t had any time to just hang out at home and spend time with you. I’ve missed you. I just want to ride along this morning.”

This is the way God wants it to be with us. He desires that we want to spend time with Him even when we’re not asking Him for anything. May we seek to enjoy His presence even when we have no agenda.

Matthew 6:33

 

Hearing Jesus

Mark 7:16 “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” (KJV)

Jesus said, “I have much more to say to you, but right now it would be more than you could understand.” (John 16:12 CEV)

What is there in our lives that makes us unable to understand what Jesus wants to say to us?

Our ignorance. We do not have enough knowledge. We would become confused and confounded. His ways are far above our ways. He knows what we can comprehend and he will not say things to us that will cloud our minds.

Our unwillingness. His words sometimes give us instructions to do things we don’t want to do. Frequently this is mixed with laziness, since being obedient often involves physical effort and commitment. Words of direction are wasted on the stubborn and the indolent.

Our pride. Pride causes old wine skins to become so brittle that new knowledge rips them apart. We are so protective of our attitudes and emotions that we refuse to hear any words – even from Jesus – that tell us we are wrong.

As followers of Jesus we must have the desire to hear his voice and the ability to understand it.

Mark 2:22