Archive for April, 2012

Peace for the uninsured

April 30th, 2012 by Maureen

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Jn. 14:27

The world calls “security” peace of mind. We struggle to insure security for ourselves and our families.  “Don’t be troubled or afraid” seems like a tall order some days, but the peace of Christ is often most powerful when our circumstances don’t feel safe or secure at all.

Lord, without you I am a basket case.

Staying on point

April 29th, 2012 by Maureen

But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. John 6:27a

We live in a world driven by the immediate and the necessary, a world where our attention is constantly diverted toward perishable things that look really important. Jesus gave us eternal life as a free gift; but it takes deliberate seeking and vigilant prioritizing to live a life in this world that seeks out the eternal point in each situation and responds to that point.

Lord, when the pressure builds help me stay on the eternal point.

Reading glasses of Biblical proportion

April 28th, 2012 by Maureen

You search the Scriptures because you believe they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Jn. 5:39

Scripture without a Savior is just a rule book that is impossible to follow or a bunch of stories about a group of people and a diety who all seem to have slightly megalomaniacal tendencies. Scripture, even Old Testament Scripture, has to be read through the lens of Christ’s mission and personality.

Lord, reveal the truth of Christ in every chapter.

What’s assigned?

April 27th, 2012 by Maureen

But I have a greater witness than John…my teachings and my miracles. They have been assigned to me by the Father, and they testify that the Father has sent me. John 5:36

Jesus  let what He said and did vouch for Him. He communicated God’s presence by responding with teaching and miracles to the situations and people He encountered. Perhaps it is important for each of us to ponder what gifts and abilities the Father has assigned to us and respond to our world with those.

Lord, help what I say and do communicate Your presence.

Redemptively beneficial wisdom

April 26th, 2012 by Maureen

God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. I Cor. 1:30

Merely possessing information does not make us wise. The ability to turn information to our own earthly benefit reflects a certain kind of wisdom but, if Christ is both the source of our wisdom and the one who makes us wise, the wisdom He gives us is going to be redemptively beneficial.

Lord, when I have no idea what to do, be my wisdom.

To be that guy or not to be that guy, that is the question

April 25th, 2012 by Maureen

There are six things the Lord hates— no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue,  hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil,  feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies,a person who sows discord in a family. Prov. 6:16-19

If this behavior is detestable, then God must think a humble, truthful person who goes out of the way to protect the innocent, to support what is good and right, and to reconcile differences has it going on. Be that guy (or girl.)

Lord, help me to consciously, consistently exhibit behavior You love.

What’s your jawbone

April 24th, 2012 by Maureen

But Balaam was stopped from his mad course when his donkey rebuked him with a human voice. 2 Pet. 2:16

Ever hear a piece of a conversation or a snippet of a song or even a roadside sign that seemed like a personal message? If  those messages don’t contradict the Word of God, it’s worth considering the possibility that God is involved. Better to stay attuned to His voice and on a sane course so God doesn’t have to resort to jawbones, but He loves us enough to use some unique sources in order to drive His message home.

Lord, keep me from mad courses even if You have to bray!

True North

April 23rd, 2012 by Maureen

Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. Phil. 1:25

Paul’s life plan was not to make himself richer, more famous, more powerful, or more comfortable. Leading others toward authentic, joyful faith experiences was Paul’s reason for living. Christ was Paul’s true North so Paul kept walking and pointing others in His direction. Good plan.

Lord, thank You for being my truth North.

Off-roading

April 22nd, 2012 by Maureen

Who gives intuition to the heart and instinct to the mind? Job 38:36

God is not the source of every impulse but there are times that we instinctively know, in ways we can never explain logically, that He is inviting us to take a different route than planned.  Not every journey can be directed by GPS along an efficient expressway.  Sometimes God invites us off-roading and we intuitively  know we are supposed to go.

Lord, help me recognize and respond to the intuitions and instincts You’ve put in my heart and mind.

Morning songs

April 21st, 2012 by Maureen

Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Ps. 143:8

The truth that God loves us and has good things planned for us is often louder in the morning before the noise and distractions of the day creep in. Hearing the sound of His love in the morning is like hearing a song that keeps replaying in our heads all day. Wake up listening.

Lord, thank you for the lovely morning song.

As long as life lasts

April 20th, 2012 by Maureen

Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Heb. 6:11

When we examine our lives we tend to focus on whether we’ve chosen the right occupation, invested our time and resources wisely, spent quality time with our families, and left some kind of legacy. Maybe the questions to ask are,”Have I loved others?” and “Do others know I love them?”

Lord, teach me to love others for as long as my life lasts.

Meant for better things

April 19th, 2012 by Maureen

We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. Heb. 6:9b

What we’re meant for has to be better than what we settle for. Complacency and mediocrity shrink life down to something we can manage. We are meant to live bigger lives than we can envision or control.

Lord,  lead me toward better things.

Pray, give, serve

April 18th, 2012 by Maureen

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,  that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come. Luke 4:18-19

Whenever we become aware of an opportunity to proclaim truth, offer release, open eyes, or set free oppressed people we have a choice. Participate, enable, or ignore. It’s not a cafeteria where we can pick only the missions we feel equipped to perform or help only the people who awaken our sympathies.

Lord, show me how and when to pray, to give, or to serve.

Luke…I am your father…

April 17th, 2012 by Maureen

And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters,  says the Lord Almighty. 2 Cor. 6:18

God says, “I am your Father” and some of us hear Darth Vader. Those of us with “father baggage”  may project our trust issues with our earthly fathers onto God. This Father doesn’t disappoint, abuse or abandon. We can trust Him with our hearts, our dreams and our day to day needs. We are His treasure. We are safe in His care.

Daddy, I trust You to take care of me.

More than just just

April 16th, 2012 by Maureen

I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you? Matt. 18:32b-33.

In essence sin means that every single person on earth is in big trouble and none of us can get ourselves out of it.  Propitiation is a big word that means that Jesus has gotten us out of trouble in a way that is both just and merciful. When we are the ones who have been wronged, Christ’s grace has to factor into how we respond to whoever has wronged us.

Thank you, Jesus for merciful justice and just mercy.

Love one another. Play nice

April 15th, 2012 by Maureen

Dear friends, let us continue ot love one another, for love comes from God. 1 Jn.4:7

The very ability to express affection and concern exists in human beings because it is the nature of God. Made in His image, we are made to love. Corruption is the source of irritation, lack of grace, and meanness. Play nice.

Lord, help me to show the people You’ve put in my life how much I love them.

Don’t analyze it, just do it

April 13th, 2012 by Maureen

Your prayers and gifts to the poor have been received by God as an offering! Acts 10:4b

A sovereign God doesn’t need our prayers or our gifts to do His work in the world; yet He tells us they matter. Like any loving Father He responds to our prayers and gifts. What we offer Him affects outcomes. He doesn’t explain why. Trying to figure out the mechanics of reciprocity doesn’t respect the relationship and since God is, after all, Almighty, it’s just silly.

Lord, keep teaching me to pray and give.

Waiting on the world to change

April 12th, 2012 by Maureen

Jesus: “Would you like to get well?”

Sick man: ” I can’t. There’s no one to put me in the pool. Someone always gets there ahead of me.”

Jesus: “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk.” Jn. 5:6-8

Waiting for help and watching others reach the pool first had to be frustrating for this guy. “I can’t because…” can become a way of life. We can feel trapped and defeated by the process but Jesus can bypass the process entirely. When Jesus gives proactive instructions like “stand up and walk,” it means that we can.

OK, Lord, no more waiting, no more excuses.

 

Cake not trail mix

April 11th, 2012 by Maureen

We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us,and by our sincere love. 2 Cor. 6:6

If these characteristics in us are proof of faith then we can’t approach them like trail mix. We have to look at them like baking ingredients. If you leave the raisins out of trail mix it’s still trail mix. If you leave the the flour or baking soda out out of cake, it’s not going to be cake. Nobody starts out as cake. Only God can help us develop adequate proportions all these ingredients and then, we still need to bake awhile.

Lord, make me a cake as fast as you can. (OK, so I could use another teaspoon or so of patience.)

Delightful paths

April 10th, 2012 by Maureen

[Wisdom] will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying.  Prov. 3:17-18

The right destination, purpose, and/or companions can make any journey delightful. Even long boring stretches or treacherous hairpin mountain roads hold satisfying experiences. The wise find beauty in the view out the window and enjoy the pit stops along the way. There really is joy in the journey.

Lord, guide me down delightful paths.