Monday, June 28, 2010
If you have a favorite football, basketball, soccer, hockey or baseball team, you rejoice when training begins. The fans have such hope of the team’s success for the season. Right from the first game, cheers go up for ‘your’ team to be a winner. As the season progresses, the competition heats up until the very final game. Then the season is over, win or lose. The season is over.
Did you ever think about this - the kingdom of heaven, made up of a ‘team’ of people who love God, just keeps going on. The season never ends. Yes, we are never finished. We never put our helmets on the shelf. Our protective gear must always be in place. Our special shoes are in use the entire season while we are on earth. We are to continue trusting God. We are to continue doing good. There is no ‘off’ season to doing either. We are to keep on because scripture admonishes us:
Do not grow weary in well doing for in due season you shall reap, if we do not lose heart.
Keep throwing those passes, sinking those hoops, hitting that ball, running the bases. The season isn’t over. Let’s never act as if it is…retiring to our rocking chairs to rock away our days. We are a team member, never to let up, never to let our team members down because we dropped the ball, fumbled or got tripped up. Focus. Do your best. Play your hardest. Be a part of the team. Trust in God to enable you to finish this skirmish well.
Therefore, let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:28
When the end does finally come, we do win, you know!
Heavenly Father, thank You that You have put everything in place for us to win - because you love us dearly. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
A friend of mine spends her days quietly doing good. Whether it’s singing to the glory of God, counseling with someone to encourage them or taking children under her wing, she quietly goes about doing good. The only way you would ever know what good fills her life and overflows to others is if you are the recipient of one of her loving deeds.
The other day I saw her at the grocery store. We stopped to chat a minute. She apologized for her hands being green - she’d been helping some kids with an art project. All I could think of, with a smile, was a scripture I had read that morning:
The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life. Proverbs 11:30
All I could picture was her, kneeling down, planting those seeds of good deeds and, in the process, she herself was becoming part of the life-giving process. Sure, eventually the green will fade from her hands but the good deeds she is doing are eternally recorded.
Heavenly Father, please make clear to me the deeds you want done through me. Please let me be the hands and feet of Jesus in this hurting world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
The older we get, the more ‘baggage‘ it seems that we carry. Our hurts from the past and anxiety of the future seem to fill our suitcases until we can’t stuff another thing in there.
Off we trudge, items falling all around us because, by now we can’t even get the suitcase closed to keep those things hidden. They come out at the most unexpected times - impatience in traffic, anger at a child who accidentally spills their milk, frustration on the job. There is so much baggage that it starts overflowing at the worst of times and at the worst places - causing even more baggage because we feel badly about the baggage we already have. It seems never ending.
What are we to do with all of the accumulating baggage? Scripture is plain:
Cast all your anxieties on Him for He cares for you. I Peter 5:7
God does not want us to carry our anxieties and burdens. He wants us to be free to walk with Him while He carries them.
Heavenly Father, please teach me how to let You carry the baggage. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Do you picture yourself as a strong person in God’s sight? How you view yourself will determine how you react in a given situation.
Picture this: Your children are out of sorts. One is coming down with the stomach flu. Another is cranky from lack of sleep. Your husband is stressed and is feeling the pressure of a busy work week. Your mother needs your attention. Your boss at work keeps piling on the work. Friends are calling attention to your lack of availability. You feel pulled in too many directions at once. The breaking point is near.
If you consider yourself with the strength of the Proverbs 31 woman, the word strength will define your every act. You will consistently rely on God’s strength during your busy seasons of life.
May we picture ourselves as God does - strong and competent in Him. Then our actions will follow.
She is clothed with strength and dignity.... Proverbs 31:25
Heavenly Father, please help me picture myself as You see me - clothed in strength because of Your work in me. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
“Time is so precious that it is dealt out to us only in the smallest possible fractions - a tiny moment at a time." Irish Proverb
How have you used the time God has given you this past year? Have you used it to honor and please God or to honor and please yourself? Or maybe half and half.
In order to take our lives back - to give them back to God who created us, perhaps we need to look at some potential problem areas and learn how we can do better now and into the future:
Have you squandered your time away by:
- Being so worried about a loved one's health, lifestyle or well-being that you have neglected your own health and well-being?
- Being so busy doing good works that you are serving man instead of God?
- Speaking unkind words about others, chipping away at the foundation of your marriage, your family, your church, your very own life?
- Forgetting the principles of good self-care such as nutritious meals, regular exercise and a good dose of fresh air daily?
- Being so concerned about your financial situation that you can no longer hear God’s voice telling you what to do about it?
- Falling into patterns that resemble a rut so there is nothing new, fresh and different about your life?
Enough, you say! Yes, we can all identify with at least one time waster - and we can probably write out some of our own.
Each day we have clean slate of precious minutes. Let’s TAKE BACK OUR LIVES AND GIVE THEM ANEW TO THE GOD WHO CREATED US AND LOVES US BEYOND MEASURE. He has the blueprint for each of our lives. If we follow His blueprint, we will be all He wants us to be - pleasing and honoring Him minute by precious minute.
I appeal to you therefore…by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1
, please forgive me for squandering precious minutes, hours and days. Please teach me how to better please You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.