Archive for May, 2012

Faith by faith

May 31st, 2012 by Maureen

By faith…Heb. 11

Hebrews 11 contains a list of familiar Old Testament names and outlines the results of their faith. These people are called a “cloud of witnesses.” Each of us can name people whose  “by faith” lives  inspired and impacted our own, and our own names may come before “by faith” in someone else’s story. This isn’t so our own names become famous (although God does have all our stories written in a book) but so Jesus name will. His kingdom advances faith by faith.

Lord, I thank you for the legacy of faith that has come down to me.

Red letter Wednesday

May 30th, 2012 by Maureen

He is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist.  Acts. 17:27b-28a

Within one week’s time our family will have observed a graduation, a birthday, and a funeral. Next  week, a wedding and an anniversary. Somehow God seems bigger and nearer on days that we mark significant life events. But whether this is a red letter day or an average Wednesday, whatever happens matters because we each matter to Him. All our living and moving and being is happening in Him.
Lord, I am so grateful that you are never far away.

Forever feast

May 29th, 2012 by Maureen

You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever. Heb. 10:34

The good things from God we experience on earth are just an appetizer. We haven’t even tasted the better things He has cooked up for us but sometimes the scent of eternity escapes heaven and wafts down to earth. Life now is a complex mix of sweet, savory, and sometimes bitter bites,  but the life to come is a feast of never ending courses.

Lord, I can’t even imagine forever but I can smell it and I’m hungry for it.

Today we remember

May 28th, 2012 by Maureen

I will give them—within the walls of my house—
a memorial and a name
far greater than sons and daughters could give.
For the name I give them is an everlasting one.
It will never disappear! Is. 56:5

We build memorials to honor those who touch our lives for the better. We remember as human beings can,  but what God celebrates as He welcomes each of His children home, what stands in heaven as memorial, reflects the eternally significant legacies of each life.

Lord, thank you for the many lives, known and unknown to me, who have impacted my present life and my eternal future.

Nobody is immune

May 27th, 2012 by Maureen

For I have a great sense of obligation to people in both the civilized world and the rest of the world, to the educated and uneducated alike. For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes. Rom. 1:14, 16

Paul used what he knew about his audience to make the message relevant to them, but never let his audience determine the content of His message. Jesus is the solution to the obvious and the hidden needs for people in every social, political, or economic strata. Nobody is immune to spiritual need.

Lord, You are mighty to save all over my city and all over this world.

Love leaves the door open

May 26th, 2012 by Maureen

Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him…“Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Mark 10:21-22

Going away sad leaves he door open. Going away mad slams it shut. Even though the man did not immediately respond to Jesus’ call, he knew Jesus loved him. Love made his departure harder, and maybe less definite.

Lord, may I always love before I speak and keep the door open.

Pardon me, your faith is showing

May 25th, 2012 by Maureen

What is important is faith expressing itself in love. Gal. 5:6b

What we really believe is expressed in the way we go about our lives forming relationships, having conversations, doing work, learning, relaxing, celebrating, and dealing with conflict. Speaking directly about our faith provides clarification on the love already evident in our lives. If “God so loved…” is the motivation behind Christ’s act of redemption then love must also be our motivation for sharing that truth.

Lord, help me grow in both my faith and my love.

Grammar gospel

May 24th, 2012 by Maureen

Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead. Rom. 14:9

We may surround ourselves with nouns that help express who we are. Adjectives may frame our personalities and intentions, but ultimately, if our lives are to tell a story there have to be verbs. Do our action verbs reflect the story we mean to tell? Are we living  in the present tense? One more thought about verbs: abide, wait, pray, encourage, reflect, and remain are action verbs too.

Lord, lead me to action that reflects Your story as I tell mine.

We might need some stinkin’ badges

May 23rd, 2012 by Maureen

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. I Jn. 3:2 ESV

We tend to be a little more understanding of mistakes when the slow cashier  is wearing a “trainee” badge or when we’re stuck behind a driving school car.  Everyone has to learn. in the  Kingdom of God we are all amateurs. Maybe we all need badges that say spiritual intern, emotional trainee, and relationship apprentice.

Lord, give us compassion for one another while we are learning and growing.

Good for the soul

May 22nd, 2012 by Maureen

And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? Matt. 16:26

Life is full of needs and wants. Out of necessity, if not out of desire or interest, we pursue survival, security,  knowledge, relationships, possessions, recognition, etc., etc. Some of these pursuits are good for our souls while others  deflect the light and love of Christ. Before we go after something it’s a good idea to ask whether it’s good for the soul.

Lord, help me examine what I want and pursue only what leads me closer to You.

Who’s the boss?

May 21st, 2012 by Maureen

For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4

God isn’t a helper who picks up the slack when we can’t handle a job by ourselves.  He is the Father who could do the job better alone but lets us help because we pick up His character and vision when we work for Him.  God gets to be the boss who defines the mission, assigns the tasks, and sets the agenda because He is the reason we live and breathe.

What’s on the agenda for today, Boss?

Going without knowing

May 20th, 2012 by Maureen

It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. Heb. 11:8

It’s when I don’t know where I am going that I become keenly aware of my need to follow Him. Faith grows in the place where the tension of uncertainty meets confidence in the character of God. Going with uncertain plans and no firm destination is okay. Knowing God knows is enough.

Lord, I have faith that You can and will direct my paths. Surprise me.

Wise love, loving wisdom

May 19th, 2012 by Maureen

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. James 3:17

Love is patient and kind…It does not demand its own way and keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. I Cor. 13: 4-6 (Par.)

Jesus showed the wisest love and most loving wisdom the world has ever seen.

Lord, help me to be lovingly wise and wisely loving.

For teachers and other mentors

May 18th, 2012 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. Prov. 2:10-11

A person doesn’t have to be famous to be profoundly influential. Young people need great mentors and teachers to equip them with knowledge, wisdom, and truth that will help them live with passion and integrity. We need those influential friends throughout our lives to keep us grounded and inspired.

Lord, I am so grateful for the network of relationships that influence my life and the lives of my children. Lord, bless each one!

His call

May 17th, 2012 by Maureen

So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. 2 Thess. 1:11

Each of us is responsible to respond to faith’s prompting without worrying about whether our responses measure up to other people’s expectations. Whether a life is worthy of His call, is…well…His call.

Lord, help me to do more, judge less, and stop worrying about being judged.

In the land of the living

May 16th, 2012 by Maureen

Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Ps. 27:13

Life on earth contains some bleak moments and hard paths. Even these rough patches are not outside His goodness. He reveals His goodness in the beauty of His creation, His faithful provision, and the love of a friend. He balances our hard times with times of celebration and restoration. God may be saving the best for last but He’s not saving everything for last.

Lord, help me see Your goodness today.

 

If you care, God cares

May 15th, 2012 by Maureen

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

We are not merely faceless players in God’s big plan, each of us is truly significant to God the way each child in a family is significant to parents. God knows what is going on in each of our lives. Our worries and cares, our delights and dreams matter to Him. He is even big enough to care about and handle the conflicting worries and concerns that arise among His children. God can be trusted with our hearts.

Here, Lord, sort this out, my worry can’t fix it.

I’ll have what He’s having

May 14th, 2012 by Maureen

 Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.” Jn. 4:34

Human beings seek physical and emotional nourishment from a number of sources, not all of which are healthy. In order to feel satisfied we may feed our stomachs, our egos, our bank accounts, etc. Rather than seeking to gain a sense of fullness for himself,  Jesus found fulfillment, satisfaction, and sustenance by focusing outward God’s purpose.  This is God’s offer of fulfillment for all His children.

Lord, I want to be nourished and satisfied by fulfilling Your purposes for me.

Mother’s Day reflection

May 13th, 2012 by Maureen

What a pleasure to have children who are wise. May she who gave you birth be happy. O my son, give me your heart. May your eyes take delight in following my ways. Prov. 23:24a-26

I am happy to be the mother of each one of my grown-up children. May they continue look to God who is the source of any wisdom I could give them. May they follow whatever of my ways that are consistent with the ways of Jesus. May they remember our journey together with delight.

Lord, whatever I have of their hearts I give back to You and pray that every corner of their hearts be Your own.

We are family

May 12th, 2012 by Maureen

When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home. Jn. 19:27-28. Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well. Rom. 16:13

Sometimes God puts together people who aren’t related and makes them family. There are mothers who need children and children who need mothers. And an extra mother or child never hurts either.

Lord, thanks for the family you’ve formed for me.