“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.
I have a message for you: Your sins are already forgiven.
Jesus paid for all sin, past, present, and future; and God accepted His payment on our behalf.
God is not shocked or surprised by your sin. He knows it all and has seen it all before, yet He still sent His Son, loving us all enough to let His Son choose to pay the price we owe for the evils He did not do. And Jesus did so willingly out of love, delivering all who receive His gift of saving grace, delivering us from sin’s death – separation from God, desiring to give us life with God for all eternity.
There’s only one sin God will not forgive and Jesus doesn’t cover: the sin of refusing to believe and trust the truth of the work of God’s Spirit in birthing Christ to a virgin; living through Him, performing miracles and teaching truth; letting Him die on a cruel cross on our behalf so He (the Spirit Power of God) could raise Him to life again; taking Him up in ascension to sit on God’s throne as King of kings and Lord of lords. If we refuse to believe these truths of the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension to Lordship of Jesus Christ, only possible because of God’s work through the power of His Spirit, we cannot possess eternal life with God the Father. When we possess eternal life in Christ, He gives us the Spirit Power of God, making us a new creation, bearing the fruit of the nature and image of God in us. Eternity begins when we let God in.
Your sins are forgiven. Receive your gift by believing in Christ, receiving Him as Lord, and you will be saved to eternal Life.
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.
Past hurts, traumas, insults, bitterness, etc., harden us. We can let God deliver us and turn experience into a victory that ministers healing to others, or we can set in our hardened condition and use our past as excuse for being bitter, angry, hardened, untrusting, etc.. Our past can enslave us or we can walk free.
It may not be easy: bringing the ugly to the surface where it can be properly dealt with can hurt for a bit. It can take time as God works here a little, there a little to free us up. But the pain caused by the work of healing is better than sitting in our hardened state, becoming harder, and bringing others with us into a state of hard heartedness as we hurt them.
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.
Wow, Lord. I never thought this in this way before, but it is true. Forgiveness is a holy weapon in our hands, fighting for right relationships that You can use, protecting one’s own heart from becoming useless.
I know that bitterness and anger hinders our ability to rightly relate with others and can greatly effect our ability to trust others, which in turn fails to trust and rightly relate with You. It is a vicious cycle that must be stopped, and the weapons of war we must choose is forgiveness of hurt and harm done by flawed, broken, hurting people; love that does not take into account wrongs suffered, choosing instead to cover a multitude of sins in Christlikeness; all flowing from a love relationship with You that trusts Your faithfulness to stand in the gaps with and for us.
Father, thank You for providing spiritual weapons of war, beginning with granting us ability to take every thought captive in the obedience of Christ. I pray to have right thoughts within me when dealing with those who hurt and wound me. Thoughts that help me fight the good fight of faith, made useful to You as I relate with others. Thuoghts that help me when I must walk away from a toxic relationship to knock the dust off in testimony against them, leaving the situation in Your hands, finding healing in You that does not breed bitterness and anger in me.
Father, I pray You, make it so and grow this weapon stong in me for the glory of Your name and fulfillment of Your glorious purpose. 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
“God has better plans for us than just giving us comfort. He wants us to have shalom, a Hebrew word that means “completeness, soundness, welfare, peace.”” Alisa Keeton, The Wellness Revelation
Father, I pray Shalom for each of us and ours today. As I have come to understand it, great shalom only comes as we fully trust our God. Lack of trust in You breeds unrest. May we rest in peace now, while we have breath to live and thrive for Your glory and praise. In Jesus, amen.
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 💗🤗🙏🏼
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.
I am truly enjoying the devotional study by Alisa Keaton, The Wellness Revelation, 40 Day Journey. She makes excellent points that are helping me turn my heart to a healthier lifestyle. However, I disagree with some points on day 9. Knowing many who teach this understanding of overeating being the biblical sin of gluttony, I give my opinion based on past studies years ago by people whose names escape me, but who foever changed my focus on this battleground.
On day 9, covering what the author calls the sin of gluttony: This teaching I take issue with. The dictionary definition of gluttony as overeating used in this devo is not the biblical view of gluttony.
In Bible days, people would come together for celebrations that lasted days and centered around a constant supply of food and drink. In the guise of celebrating, many would drink to drunkenness and eat until they were so full they couldn’t take another bite. But the glutton didn’t stop there. These would make themselves throw up, emptying the stomach specifically so that they could continue their gluttonous celebration. This is not the illness experienced by the person struggling with bulimia, but the sin of the party animal. This is gluttony.
There are many issues in our lives that can lead to our overeating: bad habits formed from childhood; emotions centered on self; sin or health issues that need to be discovered having nothing to do with gluttony. Overeating is more often out of bad habits like the tendency to eat too fast, or a symptom of unrecognized sin or some mental or physical health issue that needs to be addressed.
Focusing a person on a lesser definition of gluttony when that is not the underlying issue causes their focus on food to turn to a whole different level of struggle, with the wrong enemy of their flesh targeted. And the person fighting a false understanding of biblical gluttony, who cannot get control because of ignoring the underlying cause of their symptom of overeating, falls to feelings of defeat and gives up a fight they never truly engaged in because they were standing on a battle line that was never the issue.
To win the battle of the bulge, we must discern the true issues we as individuals need to address and point our arrows at that target. Lifestyle changes take time and there are many victories on the way to the desired goals. Find a habit or a trigger point in your life with food and drink. Start there. Win that hill, then move to the next habit, sin, or health issue and target that. Maintain possession of victories won while focusing on the next goal. Little by little, hill by hill, feel better and grow stronger.
By the grace of God, you and He together have got this.
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.
Father, they could not enter Your REST because of their unbelief (Hebrews 3:18-19). Remembrance of all You have done, both in days of old and in our days, holding to You with earnest expectation and hope that You, who have shown Yourself strong before are still strong and working on our behalf for Your glory today, increases our faith to believe and trust You in the here and now challenges of life. The things we remember and choose to set our mind, heart, and hope on is vital to our ability to REST in Your faithfulness. Help us, Father, to have right thoughts within us so we believe You and trust You more. Help us to set ourselves apart to You, knowing You will use us and work good in us, to us, and through us as we wait on You and walk faithfully with You. In Jesus, amen.
Father, it is hard to fathom the number of those who chose to end their life rather than face another day. It’s devastation overwhelms me as I walk with yet another friend whose child chose that path and succeeded. We hurt, Lord, and so greatly need Your comfort and strength for the days to come.
Grant us the ability to walk with these loved ones in their pain. Grant them Your grace to help them safely navigate their grief and deal with things that must be done as life goes on.
And, Lord, as we cry out for the families and friends left to cope with the devastation left behind in the wake of suicide, we cry out for those contemplating this horrific path. Father, pour forth Your Spirit to them and turn them from their wrong thoughts, feelings, and sense of hopelessness. Help them get help, and most importantly, help them get You. You are the solution to hopeless situations. In Jesus, amen.
Suicide prevention – 1 (800) 273-TALK or simply 988.
“Nothing shall be impossible with God.” You can face another day with His help. Just reach out to Him; reach out to a believer in your sphere of influence who can help you.
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.
Seeking Holy Habitation, seated at God's feet (Exodus 15:13).