Verse for Today: 1Samuel 18-1 NIVAfter David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.
Thought for the Day: And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own, and the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
— C. Austin Miles
A saying that goes around on social media declares that good friends don't have to talk or see one another to remain best friends. How can you remain close to a person that you never speak with or see? The truth is you will grow apart, and become distant acquaintances. Best friends are different because you know everything about them and share in all their hopes and dreams from day to day.
In my relationship with God, if I should go long periods without speaking with Him or reading my Bible, we will grow apart. I can only remain close to God through prayer, and the reading of His word. He already knows everything about me, and I have an insatiable desire to know about Him. By reading my Bible, I am learning the ways of my best friend, and when I spend time with Him, I have confidence that He will listen to me and respond. I thank Him for the little things He does for me, I tell Him my troubles, and I celebrate my successes with Him. Close contact is essential for any friendship, and I honor my friendship with God by focusing on Him daily.
Prayer: Holy Father, help us to honor all of our friendships. Teach us your ways so that our friendship with you becomes an unbreakable bond. We pray in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen
Acts 3:19 (NIV) Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,
Thought for the Day: “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
Lake Superior is a cold, deep, unforgiving and unwelcoming body of water. The lake's average depth is 483 feet and its length is 350 miles and empties into the St, Mary's River. These figures are daunting. The characteristics of the lake remind me of an unforgiving spirit. Those traits are as cold, deep, unforgiving and long as Lake Superior.
Praise the Lord, we have a Savior Who is just as deep and wide as Lake Superior; however, that is where the similarities end. Jesus is bigger than any cold dark lake. He is warm, forgiving and welcoming. His love is never-ending. When we empty our hearts to The Lord, read the Bible and follow His commands, we will be able to forgive each other as He has forgiven us.
Prayer: Almighty God, Let us learn to be forgiving as we are forgiven by You. Teach us to walk in the footsteps of the One who died, on the cross, for our forgiveness. We pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.
I invited a special friend for lunch today. I had an extremely hard time deciding where we should meet. After careful consideration, I decided on my garden.
It's a lovely day with a warm spring breeze. The bright sun and cornflower sky create their own picture of perfection. A burst of scent floats on the air and tickles the nose with God's fragrance. A bench, in the middle of the garden, surrounded by riotously blooming flowers, in beds and pots, is the spot I choose. I have a nice pot of green tea steeping and cucumber sandwiches waiting. I want everything to be just right. After spending more time than usual on my appearance, I am ready to meet my friend for lunch.
I walk into the garden with great anticipation, because I know He is waiting for me. I can feel His presence. I smile and He smiles back. I sit down with Him and pour tea. I open my Bible and our lunch begins.
Psalm 119:103 King James Version (KJV)
How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Also read: Matthew 4:4
Thought for the Day: The amount of time we spend with Jesus - meditating on His Word and His majesty, seeking His face - establishes our fruitfulness in the kingdom.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for giving us your spirit. May You always be the object of our praise and adoration. Help us to follow your commands and remember that this life is a mere sojourn until we reach our forever home with You.
In the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ Amen
It was on a Wednesday, in the afternoon, when weather reports started flashing like lightening of the encroaching storm. My friend Barbara and I were at our church volunteering. We were on the second floor when another warning alarm sounded. Weather warnings were furiously flashing on her phone to take cover immediately. We headed to the basement suggested that others take the warning and go as well. We had no takers, so we went alone.
We ensconced ourselves in the ladies restroom, and together we rode out the storm. It was such a peaceful and calming experience to sit there with her and chat about inconsequential things that were happening in our lives. Barbara made a statement, while we were waiting, that will stay with me always. She has the sweetest most soothing voice, and she said to me: "If it gets really bad what better place to be than in our church?" After twenty or thirty minutes, Barbara received a notification that the worst had passed.
Upon returning to the upper level of the church, we learned that the storm never happened. The worst of it was some high winds and a sprinkle or two. The storm may never have happened, but
a beautiful thing happened that day. I have always loved Barbara, but, now, a new dimension has been introduced to our friendship--one of trust with new insights of who we are. I know in my heart that it was more than riding out a storm together; because, upon leaving the basement, my heart was full of God's love.
Thought for the Day: Colossians 3:12 (NIV)
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Prayer: Elohei Chasdi-God of my goodness, kindness, and faithfulness, thank you for sending friends to ease us through difficult situations. Show us how to express our gratitude to each other and to You. In the name of our Savior and your Son, Amen.
Have you ever invited someone to lunch, and they immediately check their "List" to see if they can work you in? If they have a vacancy, you can set a date to have lunch, and perhaps enjoy your friendship for an hour. It can be a relaxing exchange of stories, catching up and sharing ideas, or it can turn into a phone watching event. That happened to me recently, and I have to admit the experience left me feeling bereft, demeaned, hurt and more than a little angry.
I've thought about that encounter many times since. I am well aware that we all have appointments and engagements we have to keep, but careless tact can make one wonder just how meaningful the friendship is. I have come to this conclusion, if someone is gracious enough to ask you to lunch, show them the courtesy and respect that you would like to be shown. Put you phone away, and focus on the time you have available to enjoy a meal together.
When we approach God, needing to spend time with Him, He cordially invites us In. He doesn't become too preoccupied to listen to us. He gives us His full attention. The Lord shows us how important we are to Him, and how much He loves for us to seek His presence. Matthew 22: 34-40 tells us that when Jesus was asked what the greatest command was he answered: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” By obeying these commands we can convey to others the same warmth and fellowship that Jesus shared during His ministry.
Bible Verse: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12 (ESV)
Thought for the Day: In all that surrounds him, the egotist sees only the frame of his own portrait. ~J. Petit-Senn
Prayer: Elohim Kedoshim, Holy God, thank you for paying attention to our lives, and showing us how much we mean to you. Help us to show that same love and respect for others. We pray in Jesus' precious name, Amen.
Have you ever prayed and prayed for guidance, but when you received it, you resisted following where God led? In our humanness, it is natural for us to seek out our own path, and ignore where God is leading us. In order to stay within God's will, it is necessary to remember where our strength and zeal lies. Outside forces take every opportunity to draw us into the vortex of worldly pursuits. Following our own inclinations, is to set the stage for failure.
When we submit our will entirely to the Father, the outcome is amazing. Seek His will before you rise in the morning, ask Him to guide you through each day, and follow His guidance diligently. A good verse to keep handy during your daily routine: Psalms 119:133 direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
Verse for the Day: Psalm 25:9 (NIV) He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
Thought for the day: “Does it make sense to pray for guidance about the future if we are not obeying the thing that lies before us today? How many momentous events in Scripture depended on one person's seemingly small act of obedience! Rest assured: Do what God tells you to do now, and, depend upon it, you will be shown what to do next.”
― Elizabeth Elliot, Quest for Love: True Stories of Passion and Purity
Prayer: Jehovah El Elyon, Most High God, thank you for giving us direction in our lives. Please lead us to righteousness by teaching us your ways.
In Jesus Holy name we pray, Amen Published by Ruby Magazine 2017
The early morning sunshine beckons. I reach for my heavy sweater and scarf. Outside in the brisk air, I breathe in the fragrance of autumn and head toward the woods behind our house. As I advance deeper into the woods, the stillness of morning is complete. The occasional whisper of rustling leaves is the only sound. The almost bare trees raise their branches in supplication, as a flock of geese flies south without a herald of warning. The world seems to be suspended in time and holding its breath in anticipation. I find a fallen tree and sit down to rest. I begin to contemplate the changing seasons, and how they correlate to God's love for us. Matthew 24: 32-33 Jesus uses a parable about the seasons to let us know the signs to look for when his coming is near. He has rule over everything in our lives. If we have faith in his love and trust him, he guides us through all the seasons of life--he protects us in our innocence, he gives us strength during our productive years, he prepares us to persevere during middle age and gives us hope in later years. Unlike the seasons, God's love is constant and unchanging.
Genesis 8:22 ESV
While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”
Matthew 24: 32-33
Psalm 1: 3
Daniel 2: 21
Prayer: Merciful Father, we hold our arms up in supplication and pray that we learn to trust in your never-changing love. Amen
“Are you still diligently living for God and serving Him, even in these last days? Now is not the time to ease up, but to charge forward and continue living for the Lord.”~ Paul Chappell
Verse for Today: Romans12:10-11(KJV)Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, and serve the Lord.
I was contemplating old age recently, and came to the conclusion that it is a matter of personal choice to grow "old." Of course, time keeps ticking, and we don't feel as good as we used to, we don't look as good as we used to, and we don't have as much energy. What if Moses had given up, and found a rocking chair to while away the hours? Instead, at the age of eighty, he brought the Israelites out of Egypt, and for forty years led them through the wilderness. Moses lived one hundred twenty years and served God relentlessly up to the very end. He trusted God to give him the health and zeal that was needed to accomplish the task that God required of him. That same trust and zeal is available to all of us if we have faith and continue living actively for Christ. Isaiah 40:31 tells us that we will run and not grow weary; we will walk and not be faint. It is essential to understand that no matter what age we are we never lose our need to be still, listen and search our hearts and minds to determine how we can best serve the Lord.
Prayer: Father Abba, give us spirit and zeal to carry out the plans you have for us, so that we can serve You and one another. My prayers are offered in Jesus' holy name, amen.