Archive for September, 2015

If “come to Jesus” doesn’t mean rest, you might be doing it wrong

September 7th, 2015 by Maureen

Come to me all you laboring and burdened ones and I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28

Good thing today is a holiday, we Americans need the rest. The average employed American works 47 hours a week (including second jobs). On average, we spend over 2 hours a week working on household chores and in households with young children, another 2 on childcare activities (not play). On top of that, according to recent Gallup polls, 40% of us aren’t getting enough sleep. If those who engage in church activities and Bible study view those activities as “work” (and they certainly can be) we can add another 5 hours into the mix. Rest is the opposite of doing more or trying harder or focusing on fixing our failures. Those just add to the restless stress It means being careless in His care, relaxing in His arms, and focusing on His completeness and sufficiency for us.

Lord, show me how to rest in You even while I am in motion throughout the day.

 

Unique, individual, beloved

September 6th, 2015 by Maureen

I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe. You have approached even the smallest details with excellence; Your works are wonderful; I carry this knowledge deep within my soul. Ps. 139:14 (The Voice)

This interpretation adds context for “fearfully and wonderfully made.” We are each beloved to God. We are not interchangeable units in some sort of praise chorus. We are not God’s army men for Him to play with and dispose of like players in a story. We are – each of us – major players in His story.

Lord, I am in wonder of the love and care You direct toward me as a Your individual, unique child.

Another day, another same but different story

September 5th, 2015 by Maureen

By faith Abel…by faith Enoch…by faith Noah…by faith Abraham…by faith Sarah…by faith all these…by faith we… Heb. 11

To make his point about faith the author of the Book of Hebrews told stories about people familiar to the original readers, the Hebrews. We all have lived stories that carry the same big themes. We have have lived stories that show that God is at work in our everyday lives. Each of us has a unique story and a unique voice that fits into the big story of God’s love and faithfulness. Remembering our own stories and listening to the stories of others broadens our perspectives and strengths our faith about what is going on in our lives right now.

Lord, I love how You write the same message of love and reconciliation in so many different ways.

Miracle of miracles

September 4th, 2015 by Maureen

Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord or declare all His praise? Ps. 106:2

It’s likely we are unaware of all the miracles God does in our own lives. When we notice we usually stop to thank Him, especially if it’s something obvious or unexpected. If nothing like that has happened lately, we might focus on those little things we take for granted and acknowledge all the moments that we don’t even realize that He has been at work in our lives. Every day we experience the miracle of miracles, a loving relationship with the God of the universe. That’s big.

Lord, I praise You for miraculous involvement in my life.

Stretching the truth

September 3rd, 2015 by Maureen

The Lord is near to all who call on Him; to all who call on Him in truth. Ps. 145:18

Our prayers sometimes confirm the truth we already know. Prayers for needs and prayers of thanksgiving confirm our dependence and trust. Prayers of confession confirm the redemptive sufficiency of the cross. Our prayers sometimes open us to truth we haven’t yet considered. Prayers for wisdom, understanding, intimacy, and revelation confirm that we are still lovers, learners and discoverers, still fascinated and delighted by God and still interested in whatever He wants to reveal.

Lord stretch my heart, mind, and spirit with Your truth. I never want my relationship with You to be static or complacent.

Prepare to be wow’ed today

September 2nd, 2015 by Maureen

God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecc. 3:11

There are mornings when it seems as though God has created a new shade of orange for the sun. There are times when the rippling of water confirms God’s care and attention. There are times when tears in His arms are as beautiful as diamonds. Fully experiencing these beautiful moments of awe and wonder increases awareness of and intimacy with God.

Lord, I am awed by all You have made, all that You’ve shown me of Yourself, and all You have yet to reveal.

Celebration of abundance.

September 1st, 2015 by Maureen

The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. Prov. 11:25

Unselfishness is a celebration of abundance. There is no reason to hoard our resources or fear we’ll run out. God, in His abundance, will always take care of our needs. Unselfishness contributes to a generous, refreshing environment and reminds us that we we can trust our generous Father to meet our needs and use us to meet the needs of others.

Lord, refresh someone else through me today.