May 16th, 2013 by Maureen
For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I Cor. 2:2
The power of Jesus’ message and person is that He is accessible. Love God. Love each other, Follow me. Feed the poor. Heal the sick. Take care of the needy. Believe that the cross is God’s gracious sacrifice that makes you welcome in His presence. It may be interesting to get all theoretical- intellectual-philosophical-theological on the gospel, but it’s not necessary. The plan of salvation is kind of idiot proof.
Lord, help me to keep grace simple.
May 15th, 2013 by Maureen
Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!
Tie them around your neck as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart. Pfov. 3:3
Jesus drew people to Himself, not only because it was obvious He was someone important but because He let those around Him know that they were important and treated them with kindness. When we are under stress and focused on “important” things, it’s easy to be unintentionally dismissive and short with people. When people, especially those close to us, are annoying or selfish, we may feel betrayed, but responding with kindness is restorative.
Lord, help me to be kind and gracious today.
May 14th, 2013 by Maureen
Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed! Truth springs up from the earth, and righteousness smiles down from heaven. Ps. 85:10-11
This sounds like a heavenly weather report to me. Conditions are favorable for God to shine down on us like the sun and pour down on us like the rain. His love and truth and righteousness and peace are the nurturing environment that His followers enjoy in His presence.
Lord, it’s a beautiful day in Your presence.
May 12th, 2013 by Maureen
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. And now, look, your house is abandoned. And you will never see me again until you say, ‘Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Luke 13:34
Jesus used a feminine analogy to illustrate God’s love here. Mothers love their children without qualification and nurture and protect their children, even when they question their choices. Mothers sometimes even make room for extra chicks under their wings.
Lord, please make sure every living soul has somebody who loves them like a Mother Hen.
May 10th, 2013 by Maureen
For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God. Heb. 7:19
Right now, at this very moment, God sees each of us as perfect. Not because we conform to a set of standards devised to measure perfection. Jesus is perfect. His blood is perfect. Perfection is the price of admission. The hope is the nearness of God not the designation of “perfect.” Focusing on perfection is like going to an amazing concert and spending the whole time looking at your ticket.
Lord, help me enjoy being at and in the show.
May 9th, 2013 by Maureen
Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both. Ecc. 11:6
Really being present in the moment takes both intentionality and spontaneity. It is often when we are kindly responding to another person, responsibly taking care of business, or joyously pursuing an interest that the grace and love of Jesus bursts out of our lives. Opportunity to communicate love and grace happens when we are aware that while we are in the moment, He is in that moment with us.
Lord, help me to simply enjoy You as I enjoy life with others.
May 8th, 2013 by Maureen
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil. 4:13
It is not the “I” in this verse that has the power; it’s the “Christ.” However much there is to do, however hard the next thing may seem, Christ is stronger and can pour that strength into each of us so that we can do what we have to do. Christ has more for us than just surviving the day. This day holds rich possibilities to discover more about Him as we do what we have to do.
Lord, help me make the most of this unique day and all its challenges.
May 6th, 2013 by Maureen
For from his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. Jn. 1:16 NIV
In place of the grace that God gave through the law of Moses we now are under the grace provided by the blood of Christ. Under the Law the required response was to offer sacrifice. Under grace the required response is surrender. It is human nature for our responses to be actions, to want to do something. But the response God is looking for to grace is that we receive, and allow ourselves to be acted upon.
Lord, thank you for this unearned grace that only Your sacrifice could accomplish.
May 5th, 2013 by Maureen
For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand…But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. Matt. 13:11, 16
Jesus often told people things they didn’t want to hear, challenging assumptions and sometimes offending. Sometimes Jesus referenced things that required research to understand. His messages often required contemplation and introspection. When His words challenge us and His teachings make us uncomfortable, He sends His Holy Spirit to help us understand and receive. We have to be willing to look and listen.
Lord, open my heart to whatever You have to say to me.
May 4th, 2013 by Maureen
You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. Luke 6:36
Not everyone is blessed with a compassionate father. Some fathers are distant, judgmental, aggressive, greedy, or selfishness. Some are completely absent. Some end up being Darth Vader. Our Daddy issues can affect the closeness, trust, or love we feel toward our heavenly Father. Even scripture may lead us project onto the Father an image of unapproachable Judge while Jesus is the approachable loving Advocate who protects us from the Father’s wrath. Not so. He is our Daddy and His compassion toward us is enormous.
Daddy, I want to grow up to be just like You!
May 2nd, 2013 by Maureen
But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. Hos. 2:14
These were Hosea’s words to his unfaithful wife. This is Hosea’s prophecy about the Lord’s words to unfaithful Israel. These are the tender words of Jesus when we fail to follow Him. When we mess up our feelings of shame and condemnation can make us want to hide from Him just when He is tenderly inviting us to walk and talk.
Lord, thank you for tender restoration; help me show tenderness rather than condemnation toward others who need to hear Your voice.
May 1st, 2013 by Maureen
Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. Heb. 10:36
Some things we just have to suffer through. Whatever doubts or struggles we experience right now has nothing to do with the love of God or the power of His cross. When our circumstances and impulses challenge our faith, when we know that nothing in ourselves can keep us in His will, we can hold on to the truth of saving grace and wait the rest of it out in His arms.
Lord, help me endure.
April 30th, 2013 by Maureen
Then, spitting on the [blind] man’s eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, “Can you see anything now?” The man looked around. “Yes,” he said, “I see people, but I can’t see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around.” Then Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes again, and his eyes were opened. His sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly. Mark 8:23-25
Even after Jesus touches us the lens through which we see the world might still be distorted. Healing may take time. Clarity might require more than one touch from Jesus.
Lord, keep your hands on my eyes.
April 29th, 2013 by Maureen
Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. Jn. 13:35
Jesus summarizes His instructions to His followers in two commandments: “Love God” and “love each other.” After all of His miracles and wisdom and power Jesus chose to rest the revelation of His truth to the world on how His followers love. If our motives for knowledge, discipline, charity, or any other “Christian” behavior is not to learn to love better we are missing the point.
Lord, use everything I learn and experience today to help me love more and love better.
April 28th, 2013 by Maureen
The next Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. They asked, “Where did he get all this wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?” Then they scoffed, “He’s just a carpenter…Mark 6:2-3a
Jesus deliberately chose to come as “just a carpenter.” He still choses “just” people to speak His message. If we dismiss God’s truth based on the job, education, economics, neighborhood, race, ethnicity, social status, gender, or age of the speaker we just might miss something amazing.
Lord, help me to receive Your truth from every source You choose to use.
April 28th, 2013 by Maureen
The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. Heb. 1:3
Rather than making Himself unattainable and unknowable, God came in the form of Jesus Christ to remove any doubts we might have about His character or His intentions. Certainly God is almighty, omnipotent, omniscient, and sovereign, but that’s not all, folks. He is also attainable, approachable, and lovable. His love and mercy, his grace and goodwill that are directed toward each of us are just as mysterious and glorious as his might.
Lord, thank you for being my friend.
April 26th, 2013 by Maureen
‘You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear?’ Don’t you remember anything at all? When I fed the 5,000 with five loaves of bread, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up afterward?” Mark 8:18-19
Fear, panic, emergency, boredom, despair, desire. Our emotions can cause spiritual amnesia. We forget what we’ve learned, seen, heard, or experienced. Too bad life doesn’t have a pause or rewind button. There are moment in our lives when we need to stop and really take in that moment. There are times when remembering those sweet moments will matter.
Lord, help me remember what I need to remember.
April 25th, 2013 by Maureen
He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor! Ps. 107:39-30 Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Mark 4:29
The Lord God knows how to still a raging storm and how to still a troubled soul. Even if the storm is still raging we can be still and let him bring our souls into Your still harbor.
Lord, thank You for times of stillness.
April 24th, 2013 by Maureen
You should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. I Pet. 3:8
It feels great to do good for others, but it also feels great to be recipients of good. Receiving sometimes takes humility but it builds security and grace. Too often we store up resentments that separate us from others rather than focusing on the acts of kindness that unite us to others.
Thank you, Lord, for all the kindnesses done toward me. Help me remember them all day.
April 23rd, 2013 by Maureen
Let my teaching fall on you like rain; let my speech settle like dew. Let my words fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants. Deut. 32:2
Many Bible metaphors cast humans as plants that are acted upon by God, soaking in nourishment and growing as a result. Merely acting on information that hasn’t soaked in does little to develop our souls or contribute to health or productivity. As we allow teaching and understanding to hydrate our souls, our roots deepen and our fruit gets sweeter and more plentiful.
Lord, integrate what I learn from You into who I am for You.