Archive for May, 2013

God of wonders

May 31st, 2013 by Maureen

stop and consider God’s wonders. Job 37:14b

When we are blessed with the opportunity to stop God’s wonders become easier to see. Vacation is an opportunity to notice and consider those wonders. There is finally time to do something new, learn something new, explore new places and meet new people. There is also an opportunity go deeper into things that may have become so familiar that we don’t see the wonder in them anymore.

Lord, show me Your wonders.

Better than world peace (or whirled peas)

May 30th, 2013 by Maureen

And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. Jn. 14:27b

Jesus peace is supernatural and extra-terrestrial. It’s better than world peace. We can travel to an environment like the beach to find peace and quiet. We can learn mental and emotional techniques to help us maintain calm during troubling times. But Jesus’ gift of peace does not depend on where we are physically or even mentally or emotionally. It begins and ends in Him.

Lord, Your peace is out of this world! Thank you for giving it to us.

Chill

May 29th, 2013 by Maureen

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Ps. 91:1

It’s okay to put everything down and rest. We are safe and secure because He is sheltering us. Nothing is going to happen on His watch…and He’s always watching out for us. He invites us to enter His rest and completely unburden ourselves of everything we’ve been carrying around. His rest restores and renews us. After, and only after, we’ve completely relaxed and taken rest in His shadow can we effectively live in His shelter.

Lord, help me to truly rest.

Jesus>everything else

May 28th, 2013 by Maureen

His one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Rom 5:18

Maybe time spent loving Jesus and enjoying the relationship is more likely to result in embracing that new life than time spent in fear and worry that something we’ve done or failed to do has upset our “right relationship” with God. Jesus performed the most powerful, effective act that has ever gone down to accomplish that relationship.

Lord, I am so grateful that Your one act is so much bigger than my many acts of doubt and failure…or any of my measly acts of righteousness either.

People who matter

May 25th, 2013 by Maureen

For God so loved the world that He sent his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. Jn.3:16

Every day we experience human interactions and we decide whether to engage or ignore people who are part of the world that God so loves. The checker at Target, the neighbor walking to his car, even the co-worker hogging the copier is a potential “whosoever.” Because they matter so much to God, we can find simple ways to let them know that they matter to us too.

Lord, help me value those around me as much as You do.

And again I say rejoice

May 23rd, 2013 by Maureen

As God’s partners,we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it.  For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation. 2 Cor. 6:1-2

What we may feel today on our end does not change the quality of the gift that comes our way from God’s end. Today God has just as much grace and just as much love for each of us as He’s ever had. Our redemption is the same today as the day each of us was saved. Rejoice again. Rejoice now.

Lord, I rejoice in Your gift today!

Fruit so sweet and fine…

May 22nd, 2013 by Maureen

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Gal. 5:22-23

It is impossible for the Holy Spirit to produce too much of this fruit. It is also impossible to fake it. True fruit is sweet and healthy. Fake fruit is saccharine and heavy. Fake fruit happens when we focus on behavior and other people’s opinions. True fruit is produced when we focus on Christ and respond to the presence of His Holy Spirit.

Lord, I want to leave a trail of true fruit wherever I go.

Keep it simple…

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.

Kind

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.

Heavenly weather

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.

Hen party

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.

The ticket isn’t the show

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.

In the spontaneous, intentional moment

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.

 

More than just survival

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.

Be a taker

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.

Look and listen

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.

Luke…I am your father!

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!

A little tenderness

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.

Believe it

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.