““To fear the Lord is the beginning of freedom.” ~ Ecclesiastes 1:14a
It is a very strange fact that in giving ourselves freely to God we become free. It is in “fearing” God that we gain our very souls. To “fear” him is acknowledge that he is God and he is in control. Yet his way of control is to give us freedom of choice. We can choose him or not. We can love him or not. We can “fear” him or not. It is up to each of us.
Prayer: Intriguing God, your way to control is to turn loose. Help us to use our freedom for your kingdom. Amen
Tears are often the telescope by which men see far into heaven.
Henry Ward Beecher
When our tears come they usually flow from grief or pain. They flow for ourselves and sometimes for someone else. Tears pull us from our routine day-today existence. Whatever caused them has stopped us in our tracks. We step back from the ordinary and frequently reach out to God for help. So they do cause us to see into heaven and know that God is there. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to let your tears flow.
Prayer: Thank you, God for being our help and strength. Remind us that Jesus wept. Amen
We are not quick to ask for help. Somehow it makes us think that we are “less-than.” We feel as if we owe something to someone and we struggle to pay it back. We don’t want to be “beholding.” We are so wrong. Asking others for help does not show weakness it shows strength. Everyone needs someone else at sometime in their life. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and especially don’t be afraid to ask for prayer. You can pay back what you received by “paying it forward.” That is what God calls us to do.
Do we really understand grace? Do we get that this gift is greater than any we have ever received or ever will. The fact that grace is a free gift of God does not remove us from responsibility. It is not a get out of jail free card. Grace carries with it the fact that God loves us so much that we are given this gift before we respond…..and respond we must. Living out the message of Christ and follow his word is our response.
Generous God, you are willing to give us the gift of grace without any promise on our part. Help us to respond with hearts full of love and willingness to be your hands and feet. AMEN
The Bible shows a relentless movement toward intimacy and divine union between Creator and creatures. For this to happen, there needs to be some degree of compatibility, likeness, or even “sameness” between the two parties. In other words, there has to be a little bit of God in us that wants to find Itself. —–Richard Rohr
The must be something of God in us. God created us and breathed into us the breath of life. His breath. In doing so we became a part of him. His breath remains with us forever.
Creative God, you gave us life and a part of yourself. Help us to acknowledge this part of us and give thanks. AMEN
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” 8 So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
I have always loved the fact that Jesus first appeared to the women. I think that he knew that they would believe what they saw before them.
Lord bless those of us who believe without seeing. AMEN
Psalm 51: 10-12
10 create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from your presence,
and do not take your holy spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in me a willing spirit.
This is one of my favorite Psalms. I frequently think that my heart needs cleaning out. I have let too many unkind thoughts sneak in. Sometimes my mind is made up about someone and I see them through dark glasses. That opinion might have come from gossip or a too quick judgement on my part. My opinion colors my relationship with them. I need a new and right spirit.
Loving God, help me to clean out my heart of wrong thinking and unfair ideas. Put your spirit within me. AMEN
“Always give without remembering and always receive without forgetting.”
Too often we can get caught up in quid pro quo. That is if I do something for you then you owe something in return. This leads to not wanting accept assistance from others. It seems easier to give as that doesn’t incur an obligation. We have to understand God doesn’t expect this kind of thinking. We must be able to give without any obligation for a return and even harder for most of us take without feeling obligated. We have to think like the movie “Pay It Forward.” Kindness does move on from person to person. Give kindness and accept kindness. It’s God’s plan.
Loving God, you expect us to give and give and give. Help us to also be able to accept what is given to us. AMEN