“Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
Father, true joy is in You. As long as I find my joy in You, rejoicing comes easy and is not sullied by circumstances or happenstance.
You are true joy as the one who strengthens and completes me. You created me for relationship with You, to be One as You and Your Son are One. I can do nothing apart from You, but with You, who are strength and power in me, all things are possible for me. I am full and overflowing with all the Good You are, able to love and be loved because You make me whole.
As I seek You wholeheartedly, desiring this unity, You comfort me, granting me the mind of Christ, equipping me to see myself, others, and the challenges of this life as You see me and my life in You. By Your grace and the right and true thinking You supply, You grant unity with Yourself and with others having Your mindset; thus I have peace and favor with You and with humankind.
Thank You, my God of love and peace, for being with me and for me. Thank You for giving us Your Word, laying out before us these truths, clearly defining the way of life, that we may live it fully and abundantly with faith and trust in You, in whom we are one, made whole and complete.
Father, thank You for teaching me that it is union with You that completes me. Being love as You are love requires we truly surrender to this oneness with Father and Son provided us in the power of the Holy Presence, living and acting in us. Jesus prayed for this unity (John 17:20-23). We are perfected by this unity, for it is no longer I who live, but Christ – I am made complete in Christ.
In this vital, perfecting union, true love for all, in all seasons, and at all times is made possible for us. I thank You, Father, for revealing these things and pray to grow strong and quick in my surrendered union with You. In agreement with my Christ, amen.
Father, thank You for teaching us that love is from You, through You, and for You; for You are love and You manifest Yourself through us. We cannot truly and fully love apart from You.
Thank You that You direct our paths. Thank You for the highlights in Your word today that point me to dig deep into the subject of loving as You love. Not counting searching through the scriptures for all I can find on the subject of love, You led me to 196 days worth of written daily studies to aid me in that journey. One hundred and ninty six plus days. That tells me that this focus on growth in this area is important to You. I will begin in 3-4 days time.
As I think about that, it dawns on me how this is a continuation of my study on patience, for love is necessary to one’s ability to practice patience in difficult circumstances.
One thing that grabbed my attention today is Psalm 41:1a, which says, “How blessed is He who considers the helpless…”. That grabbed me as I realized that none of us can truly do anything apart from You. We are all helpless apart from You. Yet I expect to love well and be loved well, forgetting that You are love, and You alone are good. Only You can make our love good, fulfilling its intent and purpose.
So why am I shocked by my own struggle when I try to do something in my own strength and fall short in my love walk, thus sinning against You. And why am I devastated when another person’s love actions toward me, done without thought of You, fall so very short. And if I am surrendered and filled with You – Your love, why would I give myself to feelings of insult toward any other helpless person. Shouldn’t I better understand their limitations? As Your word advises, “love covers a multitude of sin” (1 Peter 4:8).
Father, forgive me when I forget my need of You and fall short in my love toward others. I am helpless without You. Fill me with Your power filled love so that You may love through me. Empower me to love in Your name. This I pray in Jesus name, amen.
Father, my heart’s cry and great desire is to live as if heaven matters, building up treasure there, being driven by eternity. Thank You that, through Christ, my flesh is crucified and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Empower me now to love You-Him in kind, knowing that, as one belonging to You, my flesh is crucified with its ungodly passions and desires. Fill me with Your Spirit so the fruit of Your nature is born forth in me. As I live by Your Spirit, may I be found faithful to walk by Your Spirit, giving You all glory and accomplishing Your purpose and plan for my life and living. By Your gace, make it so. In Jesus, amen.
Father, thank You for instructing me. Thank You for leading me to have a yearly focus for spiritual growth that includes a focal verse of scripture, a fruit of Your nature being established in me, and an action word. This year’s are Psalm 23 (AMPC), the fruit of patience, and instruction to “be intentional”.
Psalm 23 took me deep into trusting You as my Lord, King, and Shepherd who cares for me. I can trust You. Being intentional in practicing obedience that flows from that trust is empowering.
Then you reminded me that a focus on patience necessitates a study on all Your Word says regarding that fruit. In researching that, You led me to several devotional series focused on bearing the fruit of patience. Thank You for the depth of understanding that taught me. I pray to remember and grow strong in the intentional, faithful practice of these truths.
Now today starts the last devotional You led me to in this focus: And the Lord Shall Be King, by Vance K. Jackson. Wow. It is not specific to patience, but I knew it would be vital to me in my journey of growth in the bearing of this fruit. I barely began the first day’s reading and the switch flipped on. Not a switch of the light of new revaluation, but the switch that opened a floodgate of greater depth of commitment.
Patience is vital to right relationship with You as King. It flows out of a trust that knows You are faithful and trustworthy. Your timing is perfect, Your ways indomitable. To be impatient is to move against You and place my ways above Yours, saying that I know best the way and the time, placing myself as king.
Keeping You as Lord, waiting on You, moving with You, trusting Your ways and Your timing is vital to a life well lived. I know this. Help me better live it. I pray for the fruit of patience to be a vital aspect of my who as I bow before You. Grant me ability to intentionally be still, cease striving, be quiet, know and let You be God. Otherwise I wear myself out trying to do Your part as well as my own, doing harm instead of good. This I pray, knowing it is the heart desire of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.
“Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.” Psalms 27:14
“Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah 40:31
“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.” James 5:7-8
“Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10 AMPC (Read in several versions)
Thank You, Father, for Your Spirit that works in me, recreating in me the fulness of Your image, bearing forth the fruit of Your nature in me. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, along with the humility of Christ, having His heart to seek You as first and most vital need and necessity, possessing His way of thinking from a mind set on the things above where Christ is, and more grow strong in me as I fully surrender to Your gracious work.
Thank You, Lord, that Your Spirit transforms us who are called by Your name from the inside out, changing each of our mind, soul, spirit, and strength to fully rely on and be like You. When the flesh in us rises up and brings struggle, Your Word reveals to us that such a battle is because of double mindedness: the mind of the flesh trying to sabotage the victory of the mind of The Spirit in us who are Yours in Christ.
Father, empower each of us to realize this battle more quickly and choose You and Your ways. Thank You for growing me stronger in this battle of the minds. “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:5-8 NASB1995
Father, You instruct my heart to know that true faith takes hold of the eternal life to which I am called, taking possession now of what You promise I have with You in Christ. I make the good confession as I proclaim and stand in the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Faith is required of us who profess belief in You, for without faith it is impossible to please You. We fight the good fight of faith as we patiently trust that we will see Your goodness in the land of the living.
Coming to You, we must stand firm in faith, believing that You are, and that You are a rewarder of those who seek You. I search for You, O God, with all I know of my own heart. Reveal any place in me that fails to seek after and bow to You. I trust You to make me stand faithful and true, for You are able. In Jesus, glorify Yourself in me, and make Yourself known to and through me. Amen.
God has really been honing me in on the truth that we are already, right now, one with Him and the Father. Our power to walk through these days in victory, with strength, fully possessing ability and power to accomplish His purpose requires us to know this fact. The flesh is dead. All that remains is our eternal, glorified self in Christ.
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Galatians 2:20
When we give ourselves up fully to Him, we become whole, complete in Him, fully all He intends us to be, powered for His purpose. Trusting Him to be in us fully, the Eternal our now reality, is the beginning of the end of our constant struggle with a dead flesh.
I was grateful to read a post that rightly addresses faith, not making faith a magic wand waved at problems, but pointing to faith as a tool in life – which, by the way, is provided to us by God who grants us a measure of faith according to our need, rested on God’s faithfulness, a faith that makes us overcomers.
Jesus said, “You WILL HAVE trouble in this life.” He said that to His faith filled followers. Faith walks us through life’s storms with strength to overcome: strength to bear up under the load of the trouble and keep standing firm in Christ.
Think about it. God calls us to a stewardship. We are taught that proving ourselves good stewards of God’s good gifts makes us eligible for the privilege of being entrusted with increase for a greater stewardship. When we take the measure of faith God gives us and use it rightly as an overcomer, our measure of faith increases, like a mustard seed grows into a tree.
As I read this devotional provided by Believer’s Victory Church, thought of Job came. God pointed Job out to Satan as a righteous man. Satan accused Job of only being righteous because God was so good to him and protected him. “Take it all away and he’ll curse You,” said he. Proof of Job’s faith in God became evident through the storm. God gives us opportunities to overcome so others see the light of our faith in the work of God on our behalf, thus being drawn to learn what we know that helps us brave the challenges of life.
Thank You, Lord, for using me for Your glory and making me an overcomer in Christlikeness. Thank You for the challenges in life that have worked my faith muscles and made them strong so I can stand firm for You in the storm.
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
“In all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37
Father, may our words always be founded on the good theme of godliness, righteousness, truth, and love, honoring You with every word. May our words flow from Your heart, knowing You are first to hear, know, and receive our every thought, bringing blessing or curse to Your name. I surrender my tongue to You as Your pen: the pen of the Ready Writer. May I be known as one belonging to You by my words.
Pour forth grace upon my lips, making Your message through me a blessing to those who hear, blessing me in Christ forever. Help me remember that the words of my tongue are a sword, piercing the heart of the listener for good or for evil. May I faithfully gird the Sword of the Spirit on my thigh, O Mighty One, using it properly for Your splendor and Your majesty! In Your majesty ride on victoriously, through my words from You and for You, for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness. Let the right hand, bearing the Sword of Your Word in the power of Your Spirit, teach me awesome things. In Jesus, amen.
A statement made got me thinking about our way of love verses God’s ideal love. The preacher, talking about the fact that many of us feel “It’s hard for anyone to love me profoundly” made the point that God, our Heavenly Father, loves us profoundly.
Scripture says that God loves us so much so that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us – trading places with us: our deserved punishment for His righteous reward. God gave His only begotten Son to take our eternal death for us so we may have His eternal life.
As I listened to his words, this truth flowed through my mind: we, in our fleshly ways, too often see love as something given to those who deserve it, thus love is earned or owed. However, God loves because of who He is, not who we are or what we do. We cannot earn His love, nor do we lose His love. His love reaches out even to all who refuse Him and His ways, choosing to remain in their death of eternal separation from Him. God’s love is freely given even when we don’t deserve it; a gift of salvation through Christ available and ready for receipt with the name of everyone born to this life. But a gift is not fully ours until we receive it and fully possess it as our own.
God has chosen to love us because He is love. And He expects us to love in likeness to Him, who gives us the power of His Spirit, making us as He is. When we learn to be love, and to love as He does, then we will know love. When we know love and give it out of who we are, as God does, then we are ready for God’s use in loving each other, especially the children God blesses us to raise up to know Him.
The best gift we can give our kids is to know they are loved even when they don’t do anything to deserve it. When they understand that true love is not dependent on their do but on the nature of God, living and active in our love actions, then they are ready to receive God’s love, with hope of giving love in likeness to Him.
Truly looking like God, in godliness and Christlike fervor, requires being as He is from the inside out, which is the work and proof of His Spirit in us. Anything less is a whitewashed façade.
May our love flow from the heart of who we are in Christ. And may those benefitted by it know the love of God for themselves.
Father, we tend to fight the wrong battles, focus on the wrong enemy, and walk as defeatists while condemning others. The fight before us is not against flesh and blood pawns. It is demons and principalities that deceive and mislead.
As long as there is life and breath, as long as God is, there is hope. We are tasked to fight the good fight of faith until Jesus comes and the final victory is won. We’re not to stop living, loving, hoping, trusting, and sharing the Good News of faith until that Day and Hour.
We wear ourselves out in the fight, not realizing all we have to do is stand firm in You who are able to make Your servant stand. We tend to look at the battle ground when focus on You and Your glory enthrones You and encases us in Your victory. Forgive us this failure.
Father, teach us to pray. Teach us to praise. Teach us Your way to fight the good fight of faith. Bless us with strength and perseverance, and grant us eyes that see Your army surrounding us, fighting alongside us against the true enemies that come against Your glory, Your truth, Your righteousness, and Your justice. Grant us perseverance, faithfulness, and trust until Jesus comes and the fight is done. In Jesus, amen.
Oh, Father. I know the pain of the work of evil in family, and I know several families who are suffering the destructive force of the hand of evil. I pray You fill them with Your love, and deliver them from the self destructive power of hate, bitterness, unforgiveness, even blame toward self and feelings of guilt gets an ugly grip where it is not truth. Evil destroys lives and families if not dealt with properly. Please grant wise counsel to the hearts and minds of each family member. May they seek Your face as never before and help each other recover.
A thought came out of my mouth the other day when talking about the need to forgive. “I can’t afford to not forgive.” When I heard myself say that, Father, I knew deeper than ever the truth of that fact. Forgiveness is for my own sake, putting no obstacle between me and You who are my first, most vital need and necessity if I am to be of any use to others struck by the evil we face. In Jesus, empower these to love the unlovable for Your names sake and bring to these full healing and restoration in the process, enabling them to forgive those snared and used to work the evil done. Amen.
Father, I have several friends who are hurting so bad today. Their pain is unfathomable; it’s cause, unbearable. I cry out to You for their ability to take a posture before You that bows in surrendered acknowledgement of Your Who. I pray they can, by Your grace, be still and know YOU.
Remind their hearts who You are and of Your faithfulness to Your Word and to them. Grant them to know Your presence. Grant them Your power for each new day, new challenge, their next breath. In Jesus I pray, amaze us by Your reality working in each of us and the pain we face. Amen.
“… You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name. He is your praise and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen.” Deuteronomy 10:12-21
Thank You, Father, that You desire our heart – for us to be wholehearted toward You, practicing our faith through surrendered trust in Your faithfulness.
You have taught me that my faith can only stand firm on You when my focus is Your faithfulness. We too easily make our faith the god that determines our outcome. Faith to believe and trust You is important, for without faith, it is impossible to please You; but, as Your faithfulness did not stop because of Abram and Sarah’s faith that took a wrong turn, in their attempt to make their own way to the promise by using Hagar, so Your faithfulness will prove itself in us and our situations as we put the focus of our trust in You. You still kept Your word to Abraham. You – who know our hearts – will be found faithful by us.
It is Your faithfulness that must be our focus for our faith to stand in agreement and cooperate with You. I pray for discernment of Your promises, trust to take You at Your Word, and clear vision to follow Your lead as we keep our focus on Your faithfulness with earnest expectation and hope in You who will do it. You will accomplish Your Word. Not one tittle of Your word will fall or fail, for, however long the wait, You are faithful and will show Yourself strong. This I’ve seen. This I know of You. In You I trust. In Jesus, amen.
Thank You, Father, that You never leave nor forsake me. Your mercies are new every morning and Your compassions fail not. You know my every breath and are mindful of my every step. You count the hairs of my head and know where each is – not one missing from Your care.
My heartbeat is constant before You, my thoughts reaching to You. You are faithful, and I can trust You who care for me watchfully and care about me affectionately. The comprehension of You is a breath, a heartbeat away. I think of You and there You are: in a heartbeat, You touch me with assurance of Your loving care.
Thank You for loving me; for always drawing near to me as I draw near to You, faithfully making Yourself and Your Presence known, knowable, and evident. Here am I, O God. Make Your faithful essence flow through me as light to a dark and weary world. In Jesus, amen.
Thank You, Father God, that I can seek You and lay my cause before You, knowing You, who are faithful, will accomplish all that concerns me. Thank You that You fight for me and mine. Grant me to glorify and praise You rather than to worry and fret.
Gratitude and praise of You are weapons of war that bring down strongholds. Instead of fretting and worrying, help me glorify You, lifting You on high, fully enthroned in my life and in the situations and circumstances I lay at Your feet.
No evil can stand before You. If You are lifted up, strongholds topple at the mention of Your name, and You draw all humankind to Yourself. This I trust with grateful heart that You are working all things for good to us who love You and are called according to Your purpose. In Christ and for Your glory, amen.
“One of the greatest lessons I ever learned was that in order to seek God consistently, you need His assistance. The truth is we have an adversary. There exists a being that does not want us to succeed or to grow deeper in God.” Jovita Sheppard
I know many parents who are in deep grief over choices made and hardship suffered by their kids and grandkids in these days. I know that, for me, I have wondered what on earth happened; what I did wrong: such thoughts leading me to feeling like a failure as a parent.
None of us are perfect, and I certainly had my childhood baggage to get rid of as I learned more godly parenting skills. As Christians, we all realize our own issues and growing pains as followers of Christ and as parents, and we all hope and long to give our kids godly resources that help them live life stronger and better. When they don’t succeed at seeking and trusting God, we grieve and feel the failure. So, the other day, crying out to God again, He came clearly to my mind with this clear understanding:
“You were not a bad mother. You prayed to Me for your children and grandchildren from before they were birthed, giving them to Me. You spoke of Me to them and took them to My Word. You got them into church, and you instructed them in My ways. You continue to encourage them to seek Me. You live your faith before them and love them with My love. You have trusted My lead and followed Me as a parent. Trust me now.
“Stop beating yourself up and keep doing what I taught you to do: loving, praying, encouraging, instructing at every opportunity. They need you to be an ally and support. Don’t allow the enemy of your soul to take you into a defeated spirit where you cannot do these things with confidence in Me.
“I got you through all you experienced in life, using it to get you where you are and make you who you are. I will do exceedingly abundantly in their lives as well. You keep trusting them to Me and My glory will be known.”
Maybe you, like me, were not raised in church or taught about God and His ways. Perhaps, like me, you had to learn godly parenting through on the job training. Keep doing what God taught you to do, knowing He will not fail His good purpose and plan. He will bring good out of the mess we see.
Perhaps you have only recently become a Christian. It is not too late. Seek God and lay your cause at His feet. Trust Him to instruct you. Keep praying for those you love and live the faith you have boldly and unapologetically. Watch with earnest expectation and hope to see what God will do.
May God bless you and yours in these strategic days.
More of You, Lord. We need more of You if we are to thrive in these days.
You put us in this age and this place of habitation for a purpose. We need more of You to lead us to our destiny in Christ. And in these days of enemy attack through partial truth, confusion, flat out lies, and relevant-truth sayers, we need You to differentiate the subtle lines that trip us up and lead us astray.
We need You to control our thoughts and direct our tongues to speech that meets false understanding head on out of Your great love. Without You, we can do nothing. With more of You day by day, we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength, for nothing shall be impossible with You.
Here am I, O God. Fill me up and spill me out for Your name’s sake. In Jesus, amen.
Thank You, Father, for Your faithfulness to Yourself. You will not let Yourself down by failing one word of Your promises, proclamations and plans, for You cannot deny Yourself. And thank You for placing Your Holy Presence in me, proclaiming Your faithful alliance to me. We are wed in Holy Matrimony as one. You will not fail faithfulness to me, even when I fall from my faithfulness to You, for You cannot deny Yourself.
What a beautiful picture of a faithfulness that stands firm against temptation. Father, make all Your purposes, proclamations, and plans my own as well. Make this commitment to not fail myself, which would fail You, be my stance as well, so no temptation that fails Your purpose, proclamation, and plan will succeed in me. In Jesus, amen.
Father, relational dynamics change. Many of those changes – good, bad, or indifferent – produce a type of death, bringing a grievous loss of some part of life as we know it, requiring us to await the sprouting seeds of new life. Relationship can be in jeopardy of dying at this point when the death of what once was is caused by a betrayal, a broken promise, deep hurt, etc.. Thank You for the times You led me to stick it out, wait on You, and see the glorious sprouting of renewal that brought personal growth, stronger love, increased commitment, deeper understanding, and relational longevity.
Father, I have learned that all such relational issues, even the good of such changes as the birth or marriage of a child, can bring a loss we must grieve if we are to let go the old and prepare for new things. These good things change the dynamics of life that causes loss on one end of a great gain on the other. How we deal with the loss will either break us, or make us stronger. Help us to realize our grieving hearts, and grieve well as we watch with earnest expectation and hope for new things to come. If we can’t let go of the past, we miss out on the present and jeopardize the future. Help us trust You more so we successfully transition through life. In Jesus, amen.
I read this and ask God, “Do I fear You as I should? What does fearing You mean?”
How would you define “fear of the Lord”? I don’t quake before Him. Hebrews says I can come boldly before the throne of grace. He is my Father. I enjoy His presence. There is not a quaking fear there.
I look around at things going on in the world and quake at the fate of all involved in it when God moves against it. Do I quake enough to reach out a warning hand ready to pull them out of their pit of destruction? Is my fear of the Lord the righteous fear He calls for, expects, and is worthy of receiving? A fear that acknowledges His worthiness, respects His authority, and recognizes His justice and His right as the true Supreme Justice?
Holy Spirit, You come teaching me of sin, righteousness, and judgement. Is the understanding of these truths and humility it brings that causes my heart to crumble before Him “the fear of the Lord”? If this is it, I am there.
Father, I acknowledge Your worthiness, respect Your authority, and recognize Your right and responsibility to delve out justice. I quake at the thought of an eternity without You, Your love, Your mercy, Your grace, Your presence. Father, I need You and I cry out for those wallowing in the pit of a world set against You.
Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner in need of Your merciful grace. Let this “fear of the Lord” cause me to recognize the difference between the path of sin, the path of righteousness, and the consequences that come with Your judgment. I bow to You, my Daddy-King Jehovah in the name of my Beloved Savior, Jesus Christ, our Jehovah-Tsidkenu. Amen.
Father, the devotional author this morning prays, “I pray for my sisters who are faced with insecurities. We know that security is a basic need of women. For us to feel loved, we have to feel secure. But satan has a way of picking and poking at us where it hurts the most. …” Then she asks the question, “What are you most insecure about? Is it your looks? Your job? Being a wife or mother? Make a list of all your insecurities.”
Fear of lost opportunities is my security issue. Father, I know You led me to many, eternally productive opportunities and blessed me greatly to be part of Your Kingdom work, but in these days I look at several relationships that seem to be lesser and wonder what I missed.
Father, remove from me concerns from a past I can’t change and show me where to go from here so I don’t miss today by fretting over yesterdays.
Recognizing our insecurities, even listing them is one thing, but don’t let us stop with a list to fret over. Reveal the path ahead to freedom from these snares, for me and for my sisters and brothers in Christ. In Jesus, amen.
Father, thank You for my love relationship with Johnny. Thank You that he loves me in deep, abiding ways that satisfies my need. Help me, by Your grace, to respect him in ways that satisfy his needs. Help me… R – Respond properly to him, Rejoice over his successes, and Recognize the good You’ve placed in him. E – Edify that good, Encourage his strengths, and Exemplify him, following his lead and acting in tandem with him. S – Set my heart to Satisfy his needs and desires as aligns with Your will and way, Satiate his needs above and beyond his expectations, Supplement him by being the helpmeet he needs as he needs help. P – Set my heart to Protect his reputation by speaking highly of him, Promoting his good, and Proving him worthy of respect. E – May I cooperate with You as You Establish him as a leader among men, Enhancing his strengths where I am able, working with You to Expand his borders of influence, and doing all I can to help Equip him for success. C – Help my focus to Commune with him – listening fully with hearing ears and open heart, being careful to Communicate righteousness, truth, and love to him. May I practice Continence in my actions and reactions, adding strength to his own self-control and self-restraint, and lift my Countenance toward him in ways that lift his toward You. T – make me faithful to Toast his successes and righteous effort, Tout his good, and be always available to help Tote his load, partnering with him throughout life. In Jesus, amen.
Speaking truth in righteousness and with love, rightly using my tongue as honors You, is a constant topic for me with You, Lord. You tell my heart that my tongue is the pen of the Ready Writer. I trust You to accomplish that in evident, undeniable ways, and that each word You send through this tongue will reach ready hearers.
You have helped me break the cycle of gossip so greatly. You have taught me to keep hurts to myself so that I don’t inadvertently hurt the reputation of someone I profess to love. You’ve blessed me with trustworthy prayer partners who hold me to account and who love on those we pray for despite my pain. They know as I do that there are three sides to every relationship issue: “my perception”, “their perception”, and truth usually somewhere between the two. They encourage understanding truth, seeking restoration, and trusting You who know the truth of the matter.
Thank You for praying, accountability partners and friends. Thank You for grace and forgiveness. Thank You for love that prevails, does right despite wrong, refuses to hold a grudge: love that never fails. Thank You for helping me grow and change. I love You. Amen.
“Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always); Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]; Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 AMPC https://bible.com/bible/8/1th.5.16-18.AMPC
Father God, thank You for teaching me the joy of a grateful heart. Thank you for instructing me to know that no one can take that joy from me, and that, even in grievous circumstances, the joy of a thankful heart flourishes, for that heart knows You. That heart believes the truth about You and Your faithfulness at all times. That heart trusts Your Word, believes Your promises, accepts Your ways, walks with You in earnest expectation and hope, knowing that You always work for the good of the one whose heart loves You and who is living a life that follows You with heart desire to fulfill Your purpose.
We can always give thanks from a truly grateful heart because You are the source and cause of our gratitude. It is You we give thanks for as we remember You in every circumstance, rejoicing over the potential and assurance of experiencing You in this life, through the troubling and the good. You never leave nor forsake us. You are for us and not against us. Even in hardship and tribulation, You grow us strong as we trust in You, making us ready for the fulfillment of Your purpose and plan, as You bring us to completion, made ready and adequately prepared for our Bridegroom and King. Thank You that You are always the one we can be grateful for in every circumstance.
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for loving us all the way to the cross, and for showing us the way to take up our cross of obedience to God at all cost, and to daily follow You with every step committed to the Father’s will and way. Thank You for taking all sin onto Your shoulders and experiencing the turning back of God’s rejection for us, so we who believe and receive Your gift of eternal grace never have to know that fate. And thank You, Father, for loving us and desiring this Parent-child relationship so much that You gave Your only begotten Son to accomplish it. May we forever keep our eyes on You with grateful heart. In Jesus, amen.
What a beautiful mess. Thank You, Father, for the half inch of rain that allowed me to turn the sprinklers off last night. And even for the moisture from all that tiny hail that filled the lawn and crunched under my feet in last night’s video. What joy it is to step out into the beauty after the storm.
Thank You for the beauty after the storm and the picture of life carrying on that it gives. Thank You that out of destruction, much can be salvaged, and out of damage, strength reveals itself as restoration begins. Thank You for signs of Your protective cover.
Thank You that we can exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope. And hope does not disappoint, because Your love has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Thank You for Your faithfulness. I love You, Lord, and look forward to the future with You as we watch for the beauty You bring out of ashes.
Thank You that Your compassions fail not, and You, Abba-Father, lovingly discipline those You claim as a son or daughter. Your discipline proves our relationship with You as Father. I am grateful that You faithfully discipline me and I watch for Your loving hand that guides me on paths of righteousness for Your Name’s sake.
Father, it is true. You already know everything about us, so we can come to You humbly with each sin in our lives without fear of shocking You who already know, and we can earnestly seek Your forgiveness and grace knowing it is already there for us through Jesus Christ our Lord. He is The Way, The Truth, and The Life made for us by You who make a way where there is no way. You are faithful, so we need not fear.
However, I want more of You, so I ask for courage to truly humble myself and let You search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any evil, hurtful way in me and lead me in Your still more excellent ways. I know when I sincerely seek You to create in me a clean heart, You will shock me with the findings and amaze me with Your mercies made new every morning. In Jesus, make it so in me, I pray. Amen.
“… Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall become one flesh.” But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. …” ~ 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Many take the portion of this passage that relates to sexual sin, meant as an example of what immortality looks like in our relationship with God, and apply it’s text only to that. The immoral person that sins against their own body includes those who sin against the sexual purity God expects us to practice, but this passage is so much deeper than relations between one man and one woman. Our union with God is a marriage covenant, and any sin against God is a sin against that union. It hurts our body – our Spirit union.
Immorality: The character of being immoral; transgression of the moral law; immoral thought or action; wickedness; dissoluteness; licentiousness.
The immoral person is not moral; they are inconsistent with rectitude, purity, or good morals; they work contrary to conscience or the divine law, forgetting and neglecting union with God. These are wicked; unjust; dishonest; vicious; licentious. When we profess unity with God through Christ, yet behave immorally, we do harm to our own body, ripping at the core of that union.
Looking at this full passage, what does it say?
“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.”
There are many things in life that we can choose, do, or have within the borders of God’s Law, dictated by His moral compass, but not everything will profit us in our relationship with God. For example, we can have money. Being rich in this life is not sin. Having a storehouse of goods to see us through difficult times is not sin. But letting that treasure trove of God’s supply rule us, the trove becoming the end means, is sin. It gets between us and our God, becoming our greatest trust, our mistress, and robbing God of our affection and commitment. This is an immorality. It hurts our relationship with God and sins against our oneness with Him.
We are to be good stewards of all God blesses us to have. Rightly using the provision God blesses us to have, clinging to Him and trusting Him with and for that supply, sharing with those who have need as God leads, reveals good stewardship that God blesses with more supply, so we have plenty for our own need, and a surplus to help those in any need. Such collaboration with God, following His lead, feeds our union, making us strong in Him.
“Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.”
Our relationship with God is eternal. It is our lasting treasure. He is our exceedingly great reward. Anything that works against that truth puts a wall up in our relationship with God, just as “even looking at another woman (or man) to lust after” them puts a wall between us and our mate, robbing them of affections that rightly belong to them alone. It hurts our union with God, breaking trust, just as it does our mate in marriage. It is immoral.
“Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall become one flesh.” But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.”
Anything in life that separates us from God, robbing Him of our affection, commitment, loyalty, etc., no matter how good or innocent that thing may be, becomes a prostitute when it comes between us and God. It breaks trust. It is giving self to another in a way that rightly belongs only to God.
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”
Seeking Holy Habitation, seated at God's feet (Exodus 15:13).