Archive for September, 2011

Building spiritual muscle memory

September 9th, 2011 by Maureen

Never abandon a friend—either yours or your father’s. When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance. It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away. Prov. 27:10

Athletes, craftspeople and musicians engage in repetitive practice until they develop a muscle memory. They train their muscles to respond automatically to particular situations. Volunteering builds spiritual muscle memory so that whenever need arises our automatic response to need is to help without being asked.

Lord, I don’t ever want to ask whether I should help, but how I  can help.

O my goodness

September 8th, 2011 by Maureen

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. 2Pet. 1:5-7

We can’t earn our way into the Kingdom of God by being good, but we can choose how we respond to His goodness. He offers us His own character as a result of faith. Faith acts as a springboard into internalizing the nature of Christ.

Lord, I want Your goodness.

Glimpses of the Kingdom

September 7th, 2011 by Maureen

One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?”  Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs.You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you. Luke 17:20-21

The Kingdom comes, God will is done in the hands that serve, the arms that comfort, and the people who give.  We participate in it when we pray and help and love. Our responses to others’ need reveal Christ in word and deed and motive.

Lord, thanks for glimpses of Your kingdom.

Marked by pain and glory

September 6th, 2011 by Maureen

In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.  I Pet. 5:10

Suffering hurts and God knows that. He does not minimize our suffering but helps us through it as a legitimate, painful, but temporary experience. All that we go throughand how we go through it marks our lives here and now and impacts us spiritually as well.

Lord, let the marks we bear bring You glory.

Present and well-proved help

September 5th, 2011 by Maureen

God is our refuge and strength, a very present and well-proved help in trouble. Ps. 46:1 (AMP)

God is a qualified , competent, trustworthy, and compassionate leader through every form of trouble and disaster.  The old hymn, God Leads Us Along puts it like this: “some through the water, some through the flood, some through the fire, but all through the blood…through the night season He leads us along.” His proven love for us is a source of comfort and strength during dark hours.

Lord, be tangibly present and bring well-proved help to those in a night season.

Chasing trouble or chasing promise

September 4th, 2011 by Maureen

And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. 2 Pet. 1:4

Human beings have a natural instinct for making our own trouble and tend toward destructive wants and selfishness.  Even though we know the good things God promises we often choose to chase our own brand of  trouble. If we chase His truth instead He shares His own nature with us to redirect our tendencies toward spiritual health and unselfishness.

Lord,  thank you for the promises that change me.

More than customer loyalty

September 3rd, 2011 by Maureen

Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Prov.3:3

Customers consider popularity, efficiency, profit, allure, or some other personal benefit good enough reasons to stay or go. God never makes decisions about us with a consumer’s heart. Just as He is loyal and kind to us, though we have nothing to give back, our loyalty and kindness to others is not about what we can get out of the relationship.

Lord,  keep me from consumer relationships.

OK Christian

September 2nd, 2011 by Maureen

I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. Ps. 94:18-19

We all have those days, and sometimes weeks or months, that just feel off balance. Sometimes we can identify the trouble but can’t solve it and sometimes we just feel this pervasive sense of uneasiness. Rather than trying to shake it off and pretend everything is OK, lean into the comfort and support of the Lord and let Him make it more than OK.

Lord, help me feel honestly hopeful and cheerful.

Childish vs.Childlike

September 1st, 2011 by Maureen

At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and he said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way. Luke 10:21

Smarts can be used to manipulate or diminish others, like a selfish child proclaiming “Mine!” Wisdom  looks for God and thinks of others. With the enthusiasm of a child, wisdom points at all the healing, amazing, and lovely things and shouts “LOOK!”

Lord, I want to see!