Tag Results For :: "life"




Real Wealth, Rich Simplicity

August 21st, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Be good to your servant, God;
    be as good as your Word.
Train me in good common sense;
    I’m thoroughly committed to living your way.
Before I learned to answer you, I wandered all over the place,
    but now I’m in step with your Word.
You are good, and the source of good;
    train me in your goodness.
The godless spread lies about me,
    but I focus my attention on what you are saying;
They’re bland as a bucket of lard,
    while I dance to the tune of your revelation.
My troubles turned out all for the best—
    they forced me to learn from your textbook.
Truth from your mouth means more to me
    than striking it rich in a gold mine.
— Psalm 119:65-72, The Message
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A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. — 1 Timothy 6:7a, The Message

What current activity or opportunity might be distracting you from enjoying this kind of simplicity in your life? When you see unmet needs for leadership and/or service around you—in your job or community, at home, school, or church, among your friends, family, and co-workers—do you want to respond and try to meet the need according to a list of “shoulds” instead of focusing on what God has specifically called you to do?

What goes? What stays? What needs adding?

Our natural inclination when we’re under pressure is to turn away from God’s peace. Notice the symptoms: Anxiety, upset, worry, irritability, comparisons, anger, and resentment. “Lord, don’t you care?” Choosing to wait upon the Lord and trust Him with our concerns isn’t easy or automatic. We can choose to turn toward Life as we seek Christ’s help and direction, wherever we find ourselves.

What comes to mind as you ask God for discernment about distractions in your life today?



The Home I’m Made For

May 24th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.

“Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.”

John 15:1-4, The Message

Living in Christ . . . keeping His commandments. This is the deeply rooted foundation upon which believers build. Then, firmly planted, we are able to stand against the strongest winds of winter and in season bear fruit for the kingdom of God. Good works, spiritual gifts, productive maturity―all the things we associate with what it means to be the Lord’s disciple―come out of abiding. They blossom from the encouragement we receive from total dependence upon Jesus and His Word.

Lord, my life is in Your hands. Thank you for pruning and preparing me according to Your plans and purposes: You’re the home I’m made for! May I bear Your fruit, manifest Your peace, and know Your joy in response to Your life, guarded forever by the patient nurture of your steadfast love ― in Christ, I pray.

 

“I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.

“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you.”

John 9-15, The Message



Family

May 21st, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , ,

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Every Moment

May 21st, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Use all your skill to put me together;
I wait to see your finished product.

Psalm 25:21, MSG

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Sometimes I forget: Right now, and in every moment, God is making me.

Lord, as you stitch and mend me, piece by piece, lead me to recognize and receive your love in every moment — in Christ, I pray.

 

“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”
― Frederick Buechner



OK It’s Friday

May 18th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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I love that sundown on Friday marks the traditional Sabbath time, Lord.

Time to refrain, reset, and refresh. Take a deep breath and dive into Your love.

As I honor/spend time with You, will I see something new?

May your unfailing love be my comfort,
    according to your promise to your servant.
 Let your compassion come to me that I may live,
    for your law is my delight.

— Psalm 119: 76-77, NIV

 



Joining In

May 17th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

O Lord, save us; 
O Lord, grant us success.
 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
 From the house of the Lord we bless you. 


The Lord is God, 
and he has made his light shine upon us.
 With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
 up to the horns of the altar.

You are my God, and I will give you thanks;
 you are my God, and I will exalt you.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
 his love endures forever.

—   Psalm 118:25-29, NIV

 

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“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand,” declared David (Ps. 16:11, NIV). But we must take time to pray, to wait, to listen. 

How much we need to hear and heed Jesus’ promise that He will strengthen us for the journey ahead and light our way with His unfailing love, grace, and protection. With our hearts focused on God’s kingdom and our minds set on Christ, our hungry souls are strengthened, sustained, and shielded from harm.

Day by day we can lift our souls to the Lord of life, asking Him to lead us, feed us, fortify us, and make us more fruitful: “Fill my cup, Lord—I lift it up, Lord! Come and quench the thirsting of my soul; Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more—Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!”

 

Almighty God, we give Thee thanks for the mighty yearning of the human heart, for the coming of a Savior, and the constant promise of Thy Word that He was to come. In our own souls we repeat the humble sighs and panting aspirations of ancient men and ages, and own that our souls are in darkness and infirmity without faith in Him who comes to bring God to man and man to God. We bless Thee for the tribute we can pay to Him from our very sense of need and dependence, and that our own hearts can so answer, from their wilderness, the cry, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” In us the rough places are to be made smooth, the crooked straight, the mountains of pride brought low, and the valleys of despondency lifted up. O God, prepare Thou the way in us now, and may we welcome anew Thy Holy Child. Hosanna! blessed be He who cometh in the name of the Lord — Amen.

— Samuel Osgood 



Getting in Focus

May 4th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Keep your eyes straight ahead;
ignore all sideshow distractions.
Watch your step,
and the road will stretch out smooth before you.

— Proverbs 4:25-26

 

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This morning my friend Christine emailed me a copy of this useful chart published by Learning Fundamentals. Its decision tree reminds me of the nerves and synapses that somehow link my heart, mind, and soul together to create focus.

I’m glad that the key element of my decision-making design, not pictured on the chart above, is actually a Person upon whom I can rely for help with getting in focus.

Lord, I need your wisdom today as I focus amidst my distractions. I’m trusting Your Spirit will direct my heart, mind, and soul toward You first. Thank you for the life-giving guidance You alone always provide—in Christ, I pray.

 

Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.

— Phillips Brooks



Courage Patience Peace

May 3rd, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , ,

The LORD will accomplish his purpose for me.

Thy true love, O LORD, endures forever;

leave not thy work unfinished.

— Psalm 138:8, NEB

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Sometimes, I start to think: My rate of growth and how I grow is mainly up to me.

Sometimes, I need to remember: The primary facts shaping my existence, beginning with how I got here, aren’t up to me.

Lord, thank you for reminding me that I live and grow in You. May Your Spirit provide me with the courage, patience, peace, and whatever else I need today. I believe you will accomplish your purpose for me in Christ, I pray.

 

Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones. And when you have finished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.

— Victor Hugo



Bouyant

April 25th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Seek to cultivate a buoyant, joyous sense of the crowded kindnesses of God in your daily life. 

—Alexander MacLaren (1826-1910)

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“Joy, not grit, is the hallmark of holy obedience. We need to be light-hearted in what we do to avoid taking ourselves too seriously. It is a cheerful revolt against self and pride. Our work is jubilant, carefree, merry. Utter abandonment to God is done freely and with celebration. And so I urge you to enjoy this ministry of self-surrender. Don’t push too hard. Hold this work lightly, joyfully.”

—Richard J. Foster

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Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 

—1 Thessalonians 5:16, NIV



Early

April 14th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Return, O Lord! How long? And have compassion on Your servants.

Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy,
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days!

Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us,
The years in which we have seen evil.

— Psalm 90:13-15, NKLV

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I’m waiting for you, Lord.

The world we live in is not as it once was and not as it will one day be. Our anxious waiting “for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children, including the new bodies he has promised us” is not a soundless, predictable, easy process. The “foretaste of future glory” we have received from the Holy Spirit, rather than eliminating our groaning hunger for Christ and His kingdom, significantly sharpens our longing.

“Suffering makes us want to go there. Broken homes and broken hearts crush our illusions that earth can keep its promises, that it can really satisfy,” states Joni Eareckson Tada, who has lived most of her life in a wheelchair since being paralyzed in a diving accident. “Only the hope of heaven can truly move our passions off this world—which God knows could never fulfill us anyway—and place them where they will find their glorious fulfillment.”

In spite of what currently popular trends, theories, and theology may tell us, just as there is no painless birth, there is no painless life.

Like pregnancy, life can seem strangely meaningless if we discount or dismiss its eternal purpose and value in the presence of painful, confusing contradictions. But when we stop, focus our eyes of faith on Jesus, and quiet our hearts long enough to truly recognize and feel the discomfort, we find Christ waiting to meet us at the heart of our deep groaning.

I’m waiting for you, Lord.

All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy. Rom. 8:22-25, MSG