Archive for October, 2010

Survival mode

October 31st, 2010 by Maureen

May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ. 2 Thess. 3:5

Powering through life in survival mode can cause us to put our hearts in neutral. Jesus did not go to the cross to survive but to endure. Endurance develops toughness so that we can remain faithful and tenderness so that we can remain loving when we face situations that require selflessness, patience, and sacrifice

Lord help me to endure even if I don’t survive.

Don’t just do something, sit there

October 30th, 2010 by Maureen

Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. Luke 10:39

Sometimes the “to do” list seems overwhelming. Spending time developing our relationships with God and others is more important than accomplishing a bunch of tasks, doing them perfectly, and checking them off a list.

Lord, help me to spend more time just sitting at Your feet.

Unique

October 29th, 2010 by Maureen

God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. I Cor. 12:6

It makes sense that an infinite God with infinite resources and infinite creativity might not do the same thing the same way in every individual’s life. Christ should definitely be recognizable in the life of each believer but He might not necessarily be predictable. Enjoy the unexpected in one another.

Thank you Lord for all these unique people around me.

Man up

October 28th, 2010 by Maureen

Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD. Ps. 27:14

When we are hurting and desperate to make the pain stop, waiting for help, healing, answers, or relief takes courage. There are times when God’s will is pretty obvious and immediate action is the right call. But sometimes we just have to wait trusting that God is at work and will eventually provide direction about what to do next.

Oh, Lord, help me to man up and wait.

Under pressure

October 27th, 2010 by Maureen

Your justice is eternal, and your instructions are perfectly true. As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands. Ps. 119:142-143

Stress can distort the way we process what’s happening. We sometimes forget the instructions and react before we think. Listening to God and reading His word helps us decide ahead of time what we are going to do instead of trying to figure it out when we’re under pressure.

Lord, help me deal with stress according to Your instructions.

The more you know

October 26th, 2010 by Maureen

For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy. Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe. Pro. 2:10-11

Good choices happen because we have enough information to weigh and understand our options. Knowledge can only tell us the facts so we understand what will keep us safe and out of trouble. Wisdom tells us how what we know can ultimately make us happy and bring us closer to Christ.

Lord, connect knowledge and wisdom in my heart.

The Middle

October 25th, 2010 by Maureen

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Col. 2:6

Continuing to follow Christ when we’re feeling unmotivated, disappointed, or tempted is a lot harder than following when we’re really excited about God. But the truth remains the truth whether we’re feeling it or not. Beginnings are exciting, endings are gratifying, but sometimes when we’re in the middle we just have to keep following and hope our feelings will eventually catch up.

Lord, help me to keep following even when I’m not feeling it.

Beyond reason

October 24th, 2010 by Maureen

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. I Cor 13:7

Given no realistic expectation of change it seems reasonable to avoid disappointment,  save our efforts,  withdraw our resources and resign ourselves to the inevitable.  Beyond all reason and without reservation, our loving Christ chose death to redeem a race of repeat offenders and reluctant learners who show little inclination to change. Forgiveness, hopefulness, and endurance only make sense in the context of love.

Lord, help me to discard my stingy, reasoned love for Your hopeful, enduring love.

Always on his mind

October 23rd, 2010 by Maureen

Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Phil. 4:6

God wants us to talk to him about what’s on our minds so he can comfort us and help us with our problems. He is always thinking about us and providing for us, when we notice and when we don’t. He loves it when we turn to him for our needs and thank him for his help and care.

Lord, thank you helping me.

Shine on

October 22nd, 2010 by Maureen

Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous. Ps. 112:4

Being godly involves intentional choices about behavior and attitudes on our part, and imparted righteousness and work of reconciliation on Christ’s part. If anyone is capable of displaying compassion, generosity, or righteousness it is because Christ is compassionate, generous and righteous in the first place. As followers of Christ we see his light shining through incomprehensible darkness and respond to that darkness by reflecting light that originates with Him.

Lord, make me really shiny, like you.

Shift happens

October 21st, 2010 by Maureen

Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. James 1:17

Every day somebody wins the lottery and somebody declares bankruptcy. Periodically an invention or technique changes the way we do our jobs, and even our lives. We can’t predict or control the next crisis or change that comes along but we can always find stability in Christ.

Lord, help me stay in Your light when the shadows shift.

Please give

October 20th, 2010 by Maureen

You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.  2 Corinthians 9:7

God works through the hands and feet of other people to meet needs. Even though He doesn’t need our help, He loves it when we want to help. An act of kindness that takes five minutes creates an opportunity for God to impact the lives of  both the giver and the receiver of blessing.

Lord,  open my heart and my hands to the needs around me.

Put it to the test

October 19th, 2010 by Maureen

…but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. I Thessalonians 5:21

It’s okay to ask questions. It’s good for us to strip away the layers of tradition, spiritual habit, and personal preference to discover the defining truths that unite us as followers of Christ. In the marketplace of ideas the truth will stand up to scrutiny.

Lord help me to put my ideas to the test.

Don’t settle

October 18th, 2010 by Maureen

Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts. I Jn. 5:21

Warnings to stay away from sin are not there to keep us from having a good time. They are there to keep us from settling for anything less than the love, joy, peace, and purpose that God wants to give us. Sin makes us feel like we can never get enough to be satisfied while God wants to fill our hearts with His satisfying presence.

Lord, my heart is Yours.

The weakness paradox

October 17th, 2010 by Maureen

My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness. 2 Cor. 12:9

It is easy to assume that the results we achieve by leveraging our own strengths are good enough. But when God supplies the resources that get the job done, quality increases radically. Perhaps there are times when our own adequacy might be standing in the way of extraordinary results.

Lord, work through my inadequacies as well as through my gifts and talents to accomplish so much more than my paltry vision of “good enough.”

Not to worry

October 16th, 2010 by Maureen

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. I Peter 5:7

Worrying about failure can lead to doing nothing. Worrying about provision can lead to selfishness, greed, and envy. Worrying about the future can lead to missing the present.

Lord, I am putting my worry in your capable hands. Thank you.

Storytellers wanted

October 15th, 2010 by Maureen

Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness. Psalm 145:7

God sent Jesus to tell us a story about His love and redemption. Each one of us has personal stories to tell about how Christ’s love looks in our own lives. Telling those stories offers others reason to believe and to rejoice.

Lord, help us to tell our stories with joy and thankfulness.

Gentle answers

October 14th, 2010 by Maureen

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  Prov 15:1

Every day comes with irritants. We can choose to be annoyed, offended, and reactive, or we can find perspective & grace in Christ. Working the problem is more effective than working over people, even the people who may have caused the problem.

Lord, help me to be nicer.

Hanging on

October 13th, 2010 by Maureen

But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” Luke 8:46

Once a sick lady in a crowd reached out and touched the hem of Christ’s robe. She wasn’t trying to find a process for healing, she just trusted the person of Christ to meet her need. She deliberately acted on her belief and received healing.

Lord, help me to hang on to the hem when I can’t figure out the details.

Deserve has nothing to do with it

October 12th, 2010 by Maureen

But do not gloat over the day of your brother in the day of his misfortune; do not rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their ruin; do not boast in the day of distress. Oba. 1:12

It’s easy to say, “everyone deserves a second chance” when we are that “everyone.” It’s even easier to say “they got what they deserved” when someone else messes up. Whether it be reward or punishment, what we deserve is no prerequisite for God’s grace…even when our discomfort or suffering  is a result of our own stupidity, short-sightedness, or selfishness.

Lord, help me care when I really don’t.