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Showing posts from February, 2012

MY LAWLESSNESS DEFEATED

As I contemplate the wondrous work of the Savior my heart is lifted from its broken state.The continual drumbeat of fears, doubts and darkness of this world slips away in this one thought: God Himself defeated my lawlessness by one act of redeeming love. Glorious God, You are the very One who gathered dust from the earth, made us in Your image and now restores life in us by the same holy breath.

OPPORTUNITY

It is said: “opportunity knocks”, but I would add: “it doesn’t stand at the door very long”. While maturity and experience can make us increasingly adverse to risk, they also offer the potential of more accurate discernment. Too much over-thinking and caution can keep us from moving forward. Love requires risk; faith demands bravery. Father, help me make the most of the opportunities You bring.

HUNGER FOR CONNECTION

Two little faces above a baby gate; I stopped and squatted to their level. These guys I know well, but we’re still at the “I know you” stage. Mostly silent stares, clunky questions; growing acceptance. Another face appeared; introductions, lot’s of smiles, conversation with a cute lisp. It was difficult to walk away. The hunger for connection we each have proclaims our longing for God. Lord, You are Love.

FROM PARALASYS TO MOBILIZED

There is no trepidation in not knowing if you can count on someone trustworthy who does. Indescribable rest is released when assurance exceeds ignorance. Knowing the greatness of God is vital for significant personal progress. The unknown paralyzes; knowing the All-Knowing One mobilizes. Therefore, I will move forward in confidence and peace. O Lord Most High, my hope and strength are in You.

SINGLE-SPACE PASSAGE

A journey of faith is at times a solitary, private path, yet I am never truly alone. While others are willing to join, inevitably there are juntures of single-space passage. When we feel desolate in our walk of faith we must remember, it is not a desertion by others, but an invitation to walk closer to God. Ever-Present Lord, open my eyes to see your omnipresence. Teach me trust when You seem just beyond my grasp.

SUFFICIENT DRAFT

I have run aground a few times, thinking I had sufficient draft. Surface appearances can be deceiving. In dealing with people, shallow love is useless; love must run deep. Every attitude that is contrary to true love for our fellow man must be exposed and replaced with godliness. Comingling of motives must cease. Father, teach me to love authentically, faithfully, consistently and tenderly.

OASIS IN THE DESERT

It is an oasis in the desert to be with someone of noble character. Instead of pulling you down, their presence lifts you higher, provoking godliness, inspiring greater things. I wish to be such a person. The effect of Christ on the disciples caused their judges to note: “these men had been with Jesus”. Would anyone be able to tell if I didn’t say? Lord, make me into an engraved man; Your image on constant display.

GOD'S IMPRINT

The diversity of people is as much a gift of God as any other treasure He offers. While differences engender many difficulties, they also provide ample opportunity to learn the many angles of love. Like a diamond turned in light, each person reveals another facet of God’s imprint upon each of us, even in those wholly unaware of His presence. I praise You Father for the beauty of Your image upon Your creation.

A MOMENT BY MOMENT BATTLE

I live in a moment by moment battle. I wish that I could say that it was solely a four-star, gallant fight against dark forces in high places. While it is a spiritual fight, mostly it is a constant battle against selfishness. Self-love, self-indulgence, self-interest, they are always insidiously present, lurking within the shadows. Shepherd of My Soul, thank You for relentless conviction and unending grace. Victory!!

FALLING FOR A FALSE IMAGE

It is a common deception to fall in love with a false image. We imagine only the good about something or someone, only to subsequently discover that we have successfully ignored the truth. Human love is delusional because it is selfish at its core. Only a godly worldview can prepare us to properly love people or things. Father in Heaven, You love the imperfect perfectly. Grant me Your love, deliver me from my own.

DEEP AND WIDE

The depth of God’s loving mercy is expressed most clearly in the moments when we have utterly disqualified ourselves from it. Even when the mind cannot conceive, the heart cannot believe and circumstances will not reveal still He unceasingly continues His Divine care. God is not good because we know it; He is good because it is His nature. Father of Mercy and Grace, unblock my blinded vision of you.

THE POWER OF PARDON

Why do we choose to remain tortured in a prison of indignation when we can run free? We each have a right to resentment; no one can take it away without our permission. Therefore, I may stew in a self-generated caldron of bitterness as long as I like or I can cancel the debt. Forgiveness is not a feeling; it is a conscious decision. Lord, You forgave us me of so much, help me release the power of pardon to others.

THE UNRESTRAINED HEART

The unrestrained heart is an easy target for enticing arguments that lead us astray. In addition to His Word and Spirit, God’s loving protection is provided by our conscience, responsibilities, disciplines, values and even fears. Lord God my Keeper, let me not be overcome by allurements, and empty arguments. Help me to stand strong in times of overwhelming tiredness or selfishness. You call me by name.

THE PERFECT STAGE OF IMPERFECTIONS

To openly live a life of faith is not a proclamation of personal perfection. In fact, the opposite is true. My imperfections become the stage upon which the amazing grace and relentless love of God are displayed. In my weakness, His awesome strength is discovered and brought to the forefront. Lord, You are my Fortress and Deliverer, reveal Yourself in me. May my failings spotlight Your exquisiteness.

GIVE SPACE

Two words came to mind while in prayer: ”give space.” The Presence of God can occupy any space, but may not be recognizable in the junk pile of an overstuffed life. I once entered a simple greenhouse surrounded by Moscow’s late winter’s ice and snow. Inside were beautiful green herbs and vegetables; life in the midst of frozen tundra. Lord, You own me. I want to yield every space to You. Grace for today.

UNEXPECTED GIFTS

Recently, huge thunderstorms dropped by. Menacing dark clouds, angry wind, brilliant lightening, explosive thunder.Minutes later, the storm left an unexpected gift: a soft golden glow through delicate mist.An indescribably beautiful moment granted by an angry storm. O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds Thy hands have made. My soul sings Your Greatness.

CRISES SMALL AND LARGE

I generally do better in big crises than with relentless small annoyances. It seems that the SIZE of a difficulty elicits different responses. In big problems I quickly realize that I must turn it over to God. With small ones I foolishly feel confident to handle them on my own, but the volume of leaking joy soon empties me. Lord, forgive my self-reliance. Help me entrust to Your hands things both large and small.

HEAVENBOUND

I have often stood bedside of a dear one passing from this life to the next. It is surreal to behold a true believer contemplate passing through the veil while I am still earthbound and preoccupied with the cares of everyday life. My time will also come, but I do not fear the shadow of death. Lord, while I remain unworthy to see You in my human condition, You my Glorious Redeemer open wide the narrow gate.

NO MANIPULATION

God cannot be manipulated by my obedience; doing His will must be an act of love and abandon, not a form of leverage. Self-righteousness postures us as feeling worthy of His favor and is the enemy of the true believer. It is the humble acceptance of His single act of redemption that invites  unrestricted blessing. Father, Redeemer, teach me to trust in Your work and not my own.

JOYFULLY CONSIDERING

What does God have in store for those who seek Him? The Scriptures are clear: protection, wisdom, success, eternal salvation, daily bread, hope, light to our path, still waters, peace, joy, unconditional love, discipline, inexhaustible forgiveness, redemption, a restored soul, purpose, when we see Him, we will be like Him. O Lord my God, here I sit in awesome wonder, joyfully considering.

SELF-GENERATED ANARCHY

Selfishness is incredibly powerful. It can easily turn liberty into indulgence and freedom into irresponsibility. There can be no outward freedom without internal freedom. Mostly what binds me, what strips away my capacity to practice genuine liberty is my own wandering heart. Master, help me to love You first and always. Deliver me from self-generated anarchy. You alone are Lord.