Losing My Grip

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has ordained that we should walk in them. (Eph. 2:10, KJV) 


The Ten Commandments sound like a lot of “do this” and “don’t do that”. The New Testament makes it sounds like obeying will be automatic after accepting Christ. I was caught between obeying the commandments and not doing works.

My first glimpse of Jesus’ righteousness happened while waiting in line at the store. I felt impatient. Suddenly I lost my impatience and could look around without being mad. I felt friendlier with those in front of me. My reaction was, “So this is what it feels like to be truly righteous!”

The New Testament talks about walking in the Spirit to be righteous. While studying the phrase “walk in”, I found verses with “shall” and “will.” Doesn’t this mean something definite will be done? 

Ezekiel lists better things to come. “I WILL give them one heart, and I WILL put a new spirit within you, and I WILL take the stony heart out of their flesh, and WILL give them a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 11:19, KJV, capitalization is my emphasis.) Ezekiel 36:27 seems even stronger. “I WILL put my Spirit in you and CAUSE you to walk in my statutes.”(KJV, capitalization is my emphasis.) The most encouraging verse in the New Testament is “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:10, KJV). 

One morning I asked God to help me get a grip on doing the right thing. The answer of “Let go of your grip” surprised me. I started with my thoughts, where action is conceived (James 1:15, KJV). I let go of the idea that doing dishes was a chore and it naturally followed to quit putting it off. I let go of laying in bed trying to use willpower, and just did things as they needed to be done. I have a harder time letting go of financial worries, but at least I have some peace and hope for tomorrow.

These “great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:5, KJV) describe us as being “partakers of the divine nature”.  What a blessing this is!

Prayer: Thank You that Christ Jesus has made it possible for us to do good works without depending on willpower.

Bonnie (Kansas)

The Deceiver

Be Sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8 KJV) 

        Sometimes in church when I purposely let my guard down so I can be receptive to worship, much to my dismay subversive thoughts creep in, threatening to undermine any good that may have come of attending. Initially, I mistook this disruptive inner voice as the dark side of me, but over time it has become apparent to me it springs from an evil outside influence.      While it may have fallen out of favor to call this the work of the devil, isn’t this precisely the sort of deception he specializes in? Taking advantage of my lowered defenses he masquerades in a form I am not likely to question and proceeds to try and rattle me and render my efforts to commune with God fruitless.
        Try and think of this influence as the polar opposite of conscience. While conscience provides a gentle nudge for me to put the brakes on to keep from sinning, the devil conspires to nudge me towards sin by using every intrusive means at his disposal. Once he has gained a stronghold there is no limit to the damage he can do.
        But how do we know when a thought crosses the line between temptation and sin? We experience the same twinge of self-satisfaction we have when we think we have gotten away with something. No doubt this is a sensation with which we are all familiar. Once the precedent is set, it becomes easier and easier for the devil to leave us to our own devices, allowing us to come up with all manner of evil thoughts and imaginings on our own---which is what he was after in the first place. We simply make his job easier by succumbing to his flattery and the other tactics in his bag of tricks. 

Dear Lord, Please help us to heed the Bible's instructions in Ephesians 6 to arm ourselves against the devil's trickery. Amen

Carol (NC)

Learning About Death

" Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me" Psalm 23:4 (KJV) 

        Six months ago, I began recovering from a massive stroke, which the attending physician said was “a miracle” due to the severity of the massive clot he had to remove by means of a tube from my groin. His exact words were “a Divine reprieve to a death sentence.” Another physician went even further when he told me: “Bob, you have experienced “A Miracle. I fill out death certificates all the time for each of the traumas you have experienced, and you had them all in sequence.”
        He was referring to first a month of pneumonia that had turned into “blood spitting pneumonia”; then came the stroke; then came invasive pulmonary embolisms in both lungs.
        Things are so quiet when your heart, lungs and hearing stop. I experienced “The Valley of Death” of Psalm 23. Reading this blessed Psalm is quite different than experiencing the words. It is a very wonderful peaceful quiet that I didn’t want to come back from, but Jesus had other plans, one of which is for me to testify as to what is waiting for each of His sheep. I learned Death is nothing to be afraid of- Jesus has conquered death and has gone to prepare a place for us.
        In the Valley, I couldn’t think about Jesus or talk to Him. I was blank and still. All I could feel was His presence, and that was enough.

Dear Father, help us not to be afraid of dying. Help our hearts to come to Jesus and rest in His love. His love and victory are all our fearful hearts need. Thank You, in your Son's name we pray. 

Dr. Bob (AZ)

The Scarlet Cord

Was not Rahab the harlot also justified? (James 2:25 NKJV)

Rahab was a woman with a tarnished reputation; a woman of immoral behavior. Rahab was a prostitute who lived in Jericho. When Joshua sent spies into the city, she hid these enemies of the government in her house. When she was questioned, she lied. She would probably have been rewarded for turning in the spies, yet she chose to put her life in jeopardy by not disclosing their whereabouts. In return for hiding the spies, she and her family were promised safety when the walls of Jericho would later tumble. She needed only to hang a scarlet cord from her window to spare her household. “By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace” (Hebrews 11:31). 

Rahab was King David’s great, great grandmother. This lying woman of ill-repute was in the lineage of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5). Rahab is listed in the Hebrews “hall of fame” as a woman of faith. God’s love and forgiveness know no boundaries or prejudice. The blood of Jesus Christ—the scarlet cord—can reach anyone. God’s love is amazing and His grace is divine. This story is not about Rahab’s career choice. It’s not about the lie. The point is not her moral ethics, but her faith. If you have not been washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, reach out and take hold of the scarlet cord. It is never beyond our reach!

Father of mercy, thank You for Your amazing love, mercy, and grace!

Angie (OH)

Copyright @2015 Angie Davis
WestBow Press

No Whispering

Whoever spreads slander is a fool. (Proverbs 10:18 NKJV))

“Sally told me that Linda told her that Debbie’s husband is having an affair.” “Robert heard from Don that Jim has filed bankruptcy.” “I promised not to tell anyone, but…” Gossip. Idle talk. Slander. Rumor. A rumor is information, often a mix of truth and untruth, shared without confirmation or certainty of fact. Rumors are hearsay. The archaic definition of rumor is “continuous, confused noise; clamor.” 

Gossip hurts. It is malicious. It damages another’s reputation, destroys friendships, and divides families. It is verbal assassination of a person’s character. Gossip is whispering behind someone’s back. “A whisperer separates the best of friends” (Proverbs 16:28). An English teacher once conducted an experiment on accuracy. She asked her class of fifteen students move their chairs into a circle. She whispered five sentences into the ear of the student on her left. Each student then whispered those sentences to the student on her left until the last student whispered it back to the teacher. Not one of the original five sentences had remained. And the final five sentences were in no way related to the original five sentences! Each time information is shared, the less accurate it becomes. The best way to avoid speaking gossip is to choose not to listen to it. When someone says, “I’m not supposed to tell anyone…” I immediately respond with, “Then don’t.” Hear no evil, speak no evil!

Father of all truth, help me to keep my words kind, thoughtful, and true. Set a watch over my mouth so that everything I say is pleasing to You.

Angie (OH)

Copyright @2015 Angie Davis
WestBow Press

Bugs and Big Guys

There we saw the giants…And we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight. (Numbers 13:33 NKJV)

Moses sent twelve scouts to check out the new homeland. Joshua and Caleb were included in the twelve. All twelve scouts saw the same thing: a land rich in milk and honey—and giants! Ten of the spies reported, “We saw the giants…And we were like grasshoppers in our own sight.” Joshua and Caleb saw the giants, too. But they had a different perspective. They reported, “Do not rebel against the LORD, or fear the people of the land, for they are our bread” (Numbers 14:9). Faith feeds off the bugs the enemy throws at us! 

The ten negative reports caused the people to be afraid. Some wanted to return to Egypt, and others wanted to just settle right there in the wilderness! They had a grasshopper mentality. Fear causes us to forget all the blessings from God and focus only on what we do not have. Joshua and Caleb stayed focused on doing God’s will, knowing He would be with them and bring the victory. They had a giant-killer mentality. To move from a grasshopper mentality to a giant-killer mentality, we have to believe that God goes with us into every battle. He equips us for every circumstance He brings us to. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). If you are facing a difficult challenge right now, remember that God is bigger than the biggest giant you will ever face!

Father, help me to remember that I cannot do anything in my own strength. I am thankful that You never leave me alone to face my fears.

Angie Davis (OH)

Previously published in Come to the Light
Copyright @2015 Angie Davis
 

Basket Case

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7 (NIV)

For the past few weeks, I'd been searching for our fall altar centerpiece. Last year, our maintenance crew put away the autumn decorations to prepare for Christmas. I didn't take the time to find out where they'd been stored. Now, my carelessness was catching up, and I was searching in vain for a replacement.
"Lord, when will I learn to be more responsible"?

This morning, I walked into the worship center, still stewing about my dilemma. I couldn't believe my eyes-the missing basket was back on the altar where it belonged. I hadn't told anyone it was missing, but God knew.

"Lord, when will I learn to trust You completely"?

Isn't it just like God to take care of even the little things for us? The Bible tells us to cast our cares on Him. Whatever your burden, take it to God. He is willing, able and waiting to help you.

Father, thank You for carrying my burdens, just for the asking.

Dorsee (OH)

Potter's Wheel

Here I am again, Lord, 
I place myself on Your wheel, 
shape me, mold me, fill me, 
Your hands I want to feel. 

Fashion me as you see fit, 
I wait as You work and smooth... 
Spinning around, help me stay soft, 
do what You need to do. 

Help me stay on the wheel, 
surrendered to Your doing, 
trusting in Your vision, 
trusting in Your timing... 

And tomorrow morning again, 
may You find me right here, 
still asking for Your touch, 
always staying near. 


Cindy (GA)

FAULTY REASONING

Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed. And many other signs truly Jesus did in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20: 29-31 KJV)


Applying intellectual reasoning, regardless of how well-researched it is, will never provide a satisfying explanation to the questions posed in the quest for salvation. There will always be a lingering hunger if the heart fails to make the connection to Christ on a personal level. This may or may not be an emotional, tearful, fall on the knees before the altar experience. It may well take the more subtle form of a soft flutter like angel wings in the seat of our most private feelings. But at the very least it should be an awakening to Christ’s presence and influence. 

There is more to salvation than simple belief. While all we have to do to receive God’s forgiveness is to ask for it, it carries with it the caveat of showing good faith by turning from our fallen ways. To simply go our merry way and return to life as usual after a profession of faith in Christ is an insincere, counterfeit profession which Christ can see right through and sheer folly. We cannot pull one over on the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God. As the writer of Hebrews describes with such precision:

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12).

God may not expect us to be perfect as Christ was, but He does expect us to put in the effort to aspire to be.

While we will always long for the kind of tangible manifestations the early Christians enjoyed with an earthly Jesus, He did not leave us to operate in a vacuum. In his stead He petitioned the Father to send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. 

So we should soldier on and take heart that we are every bit as precious in Christ’s eyes as those first believers. (John 14: 16-18 KJV) 


Dear Lord, Please help us to recognize that there is more to salvation than an intellectual approach can provide. Amen.

Carol (NC)

"A Man WHO ISOLATES HIMSELF SEEKS HIS OWN DESIRE" Proverbs 18:1 (NKJV) 


I've found that isolation is a primary source of emotional and mental sorrow.

When my children needed me to play with them and asked "please" I often said "no" because I was too involved in my work. When I had a stroke my wife offered to take me to a Bible study with our loving and comforting friends, I said "no' because I wanted to be by myself.

Without knowing it, I was turning my back on my little ones' love and the Holy Spirit's comfort and healing. I'm very sad that I made these choices, but it's too late now.

Looking away from our struggles, fear and pain are not easy, but it changes things. We start to understand that isolation is our enemy as we seek our own desire when we isolate. Opening our souls to our loved one's needs and the Spirit of God's healing love and power we find peace and satisfaction, and we won't have as much to regret when we are old.

Even though medical experiences such as strokes often produce a need to isolate for a time because unsteady walking and poor coordination make us afraid of being knocked down; we must be experimental and step out in faith with Jesus and find what can be safely done. In time reaching out will produce a new self-identity and new relationships. Finding a new usefulness is a gift from our concerned Father's hand.


Thank You Father God for your love and tender care. We accept that You conquered death and separation by what Your Son has done. In His name, we humbly pray.


Dr.Bob AZ

LOCKED AWAY IN ISOLATION

"A Man WHO ISOLATES HIMSELF SEEKS HIS OWN DESIRE" Proverbs 18:1 (NKJV) 


I've found that isolation is a primary source of emotional and mental sorrow.

When my children needed me to play with them and asked "please" I often said "no" because I was too involved in my work. When I had a stroke my wife offered to take me to a Bible study with our loving and comforting friends, I said "no' because I wanted to be by myself.

Without knowing it, I was turning my back on my little ones' love and the Holy Spirit's comfort and healing. I'm very sad that I made these choices, but it's too late now.

Looking away from our struggles, fear and pain are not easy, but it changes things. We start to understand that isolation is our enemy as we seek our own desire when we isolate. Opening our souls to our loved one's needs and the Spirit of God's healing love and power we find peace and satisfaction, and we won't have as much to regret when we are old.

Even though medical experiences such as strokes often produce a need to isolate for a time because unsteady walking and poor coordination make us afraid of being knocked down; we must be experimental and step out in faith with Jesus and find what can be safely done. In time reaching out will produce a new self-identity and new relationships. Finding a new usefulness is a gift from our concerned Father's hand.


Thank You Father God for your love and tender care. We accept that You conquered death and separation by what Your Son has done. In His name, we humbly pray.


Dr.Bob AZ

Shhhh! GOD IS SPEAKING TO YOU

Stand still and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10 (NKJV)


Do you always have to have the last word? I used to. I’m also the one who tries to help God out once in a while with my problems. It seems so easy, in the beginning at least, to try to resolve or figure out the answer. However, time and experience have painfully taught me to stop dead in my tracks and allow God to be God. I forget sometimes that He already knows my tomorrow and that His sovereignty has already fixed my problems, no matter how great or small.

I reflect a season in my life where I felt very hopeless and I decided in my mind to just settle for whatever life brought. Then an opportunity came for me to move 3000 miles away from home, from my parents and from my job of eight years. What a major life decision to make! I heard every reason not to go from my own conscience, parents and others around me. Was this a wise move? How would I take care of my toddler son without my family around? Where would I work?

In spite of all of these legitimate concerns, I had to stand still and listen to God. I felt deep down in my spirit that God was leading me this way, but on the outside it seemed like an unrealistic move. I surely had planned something completely different from my life, but God’s plan was slowly unfolding. The more I let go of what I thought was best, the more I could hear from Him.

As of today, I have lived thirteen years in Delaware, after moving from sunny California. It was the best decision of my life! I have grown to know the Lord as a Friend, as a Provider and as a Father; an experience that I would have never known if I allowed fear to paralyze me. 

So shut out the noise of confusion, worry and other people’s opinions. Focus your attention on the Maker of Heaven and Earth. I promise if you want to hear from God, He is speaking loud and clear. But since He’s a gentleman, He will not bogart you. God will wait until you’re ready to be quiet. So just shhh and don’t be afraid to let God have the last word; I guarantee you it will be worth it!


Dear Lord, give me the courage to stand still and hear from you. Let me not fear to release myself to your unseen guidance, for I know You know what is best for me. Amen.

GINA(DE)

Wedges

A worthless man digs up evil, while his words are as a scorching fire. A perverse man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate friends. Proverbs 16:27-28 (The New American Standard Bible)

Splitting wood is hard work. An old dairy farmer told me years ago never try to split wood while it’s warm and wet; it’s best to split wood in the winter when it’s frozen. Driving a steel wedge into the chunks of silver maple with a maul last night brought his wisdom back to mind. Intertwined wood fibers simply absorbed the energy of each blow, greatly resisting my efforts to separate it into the smaller pieces necessary for fitting into the wood stove next winter. I should have tackled the task in February when the wood was still frozen.

In some respects the analogy can be applied to the intimate relationships we enjoy in Christ. When warm and lively, these relationships resist the attempts of a few to separate us from each other and our close fellowship with the Savior. When relationships become cold and rigid, wedges can easily be driven, dividing even the most intimate of friends.

Father, protect us from people who would “maul” us and try to separate us from the love of Christ and from each other. Keep our relationships warm and alive so that we might resist the wedges of slander and strife. Amen

-DON(MA)

Just Two Commandments

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22: 37-40 KJV)

In these verses Christ is distilling the words of the Old Testament into two forthright commissions that usher in a new age of clarity and communion between God and man. Our modern lives are so fragmented it is hard for us to consider having heart, mind and soul of one accord, synchronized into a cohesive whole in our love of God. It takes a healthy spirit to do so and the only way to achieve such good health is to feed on a steady diet of God’s word. Even then it isn’t enough to just take the word in, we must digest and then act on it.

We may catch a glimpse of the kind of love expected of us in our love for family. Indeed this is the very reason God created and encouraged the family unit. But God’s love for mankind far outshines what we have come to accept as love. In a demonstration of this He saw no other way to achieve balance between justice and mercy, His immutable laws, than to sacrifice His beloved Son in our stead. Christ became a martyr for this cause in order to bridge the gap between fallen man and the divine, to offer us the unimaginable gift of eternal life, among other benefits.

But to fully claim our inheritance means setting aside self-interest. This entails venturing into an unknown, sometimes frightening world where trusting that God is working in our best interest is essential. Otherwise we will lead timid self-contained lives which fall far short of the glorious potential Christ sees in each of us. To do so is to deny ourselves the rich tapestry of life intended for us.

Dear Heavenly Father, Please help us to realize our potential for love, not only for You, but for our fellow man. 

Carol (NC)

God is Bigger

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

Several Christian men and myself started a men’s Bible study in 1984. As we learned more about God’s word, we began to challenge one another to put our faith into action. Several years later we found ourselves in the country of Haiti. Our mission was to show that it was possible to drill fresh water wells in South Haiti. The people were drinking out of caves, ponds, and rivers with devastating consequences, especially to the children.

Our small, portable water well drilling equipment and sturdy pumps had preceded us. We had been told by some in Port Au Prince that drilling here was not feasible and our first attempt was a failure. That evening, we were very discouraged, defeated and filled with doubts. Someone began playing a guitar and we all begin to sing some of our favorite hymns. The more we sang the more the hopelessness begin to fade. Inwardly, I put the whole venture into God’s hands. If we were to succeed, it would only be by God’s gracious help.

The next morning I felt refreshed, the heavy weight was gone from my spirit. We did successfully drill a well on that trip. This well was used night and day by thousands of Haitians. Since that time, the Haitians we trained have drilled many more wells providing fresh water for many more thousands of Haitians.

I remember the tears of that night well. I also feel a sense of excitement and well being as I remember the power and success God brought to our mission because we put our whole-hearted trust in the Him.

Kind Father, help us to learn to trust You fully in all of life’s circumstances and find the direction and peace You have promised. Amen.”

John (IN)

John 3:16

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Thank you Lord

Matt (IN)

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Father and Son

And said, Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3) (KJV)

While there is no doubt the unbridled candor of children and their wide-eyed wonder at the idea there is more to life than what we can readily see or hear is part of what so endeared them to Christ, there is more to the analogy than this simple comparison. Fulfilling our roles as God’s children is predicated on first forging a familial relationship with Christ, his firstborn. It involves accepting Christ’s position in the Godhead, not just as a symbol, but as a living, crucial figure in the deity. Their relationship as Father and Son patterned the reciprocal love and respect we as Christians are to imitate. Ideally, we will offer them the same unconditional love they afford us.

Although we may begin life without guile, temptation and sin contaminate our behavior soon enough. We need the framework of family, of parents in order to flourish. A child’s dependence on his earthly parents is not viewed as weakness, but as a fact of life, as our dependence on our Heavenly Father should be. If we are ever to become spiritual adults, we must first acknowledge and then accept our roles as mere children with all of the growth pains, false starts and heartfelt apologies that entails.

Heavenly Father, Please guide us in our attempts to pattern our lives after your blessed son. Amen.

Carol (NC)

The Gift of Grace

We say we are in someone’s good graces. If we are lucky some of our creditors may extend us a grace period on our debts. While both uses imply getting something for nothing, none touches on the nature and extent of God’s grace. Closer to the point is what happens when we say grace as we sit down with family for a meal. In that case, we are at least acknowledging God’s favor towards us in providing for our daily needs but still falls far short of what God’s grace towards us entails.

Webster defines this uniquely Christian doctrine as “unmerited divine assistance given man for his regeneration and sanctification.” Noble but sterile language for what Christ’s sacrificial death at the cross and the miraculous aftermath at the tomb achieved for all mankind. 

Having one’s sins forgiven, erased like a teacher wiping clean a dry erase board is no small matter. In God’s economy atonement had to be made through a blood sacrifice, and the only suitable sacrifice was a lamb without blemish, a sinless man and there could be only one of those. So Jesus did the unthinkable---he left his heavenly home and donned skin and bones, and all that involves, coming to earth not as the king he so richly deserved to be, but as a lowly babe in a filthy stable manger. He led the life of an itinerant preacher and healer, only to be martyred in a grisly death for his divine cause.

Fortunately for us, the story doesn’t end there. As if the possibility of having the sin barrier preventing us from enjoying a close relationship with God weren’t incentive enough, Jesus took his mission a step further. His resurrection did more than prove he was God’s son and as such indestructible; it extended the gift of eternal life to us as well. And all we have to do to reap this promise is repent and believe. I call that a bargain.

Heavenly Father, we praise you for offering us through your son an eternal home far from the strife and pain and disappointments of earth. Amen

Carol [NC]

MAKING A COMEBACK

“But I [Jesus] have prayed for you [Peter], that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to me, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:32 NKJV)


I am looking forward to meeting Peter when I get to heaven. I can relate to him in many ways. Peter lacked faith (Matthew 14:31); spoke out of turn (Matthew 16:22–23); acted impulsively (John 18:10); and denied Christ (Matthew 26:75). Yet Peter added 3,000 members to the kingdom of God following his sermon (Acts 2:14–41).

David was an adulterer and murderer and was the apple of God’s eye. Moses stuttered and led God’s people out of slavery. Paul persecuted Christians and evangelized his world. Jonah ran and led Nineveh to repentance. Rahab lied and was in the lineage of Christ. Martha worried. Thomas doubted. Zacchaeus was short. Abraham was old. Lazarus was dead. God can use anyone in sharing the gospel and advancing His kingdom. 

The word most missed in this passage is “when.” Jesus did not say if Peter returned to Him. He said when he returned. Jesus knew Peter would return to Him. God uses our faults and shortcomings as often as He uses our gifts and talents. We do not have to be great, rich, popular, or perfect. We just need a heart that is willing to serve. God can use us to do amazing things through our weaknesses if we let Him! 


Father, help me to always be willing to be used by You. Remind me that You have already given me the ability to do all that You ask.

Angela (OH)

LISTENING: BETTER THAN ANSWERING

“But He answered him not one word so that the governor marveled greatly.” (Matthew 27:14 NKJV) 

 


Over the years, I’ve learned to lean on our Creator more and depend on myself a lot less. I’ve also been blessed with wisdom in prayer and recognize the value of learning to be still before our Lord during my quiet time in the early morning hours. 

While reading the Gospels, I’ve realized our Lord would spend a whole night by himself, seeking purpose and revelations from God. 

In the opening verse, Jesus was before Pilate who was questioning Jesus about his identity. This verse reveals the importance of learning not to tell God how we would like Him to fix our needs. 

Peter instructs us to "cast all our anxieties on Him for He cares about you" [1 Peter 5:7]. Instead of daily dumping all my burdens upon Him, I find greater grace and calm in learning to be still in the presence of Royalty. 

“And Jesus answered and said to her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.' ” (Luke 10:41-42NKJV) 

Like Mary, I want to be in the presence of His intimacy, to listen and worship more than to dialog in prayer. Truly this brings rest to my soul. He knows my heart before I speak; so learning to listen, in prayer, is much greater than answering our Lord with instructions. It’s not for me to instruct Him. 

 

Father, thank you for teaching me that listening is far greater than crying out for help

Robert (CA)