Religion is like holding on to a rock in the middle of a raging river; faith is learning how to swim.” Source Unknown
Religion can be a wonderful thing but it is not the thing we strive for. Faith is the thing we seek. Faith is not just miraculously there one day. We have to work at. When we first start to swim we spend a lot of time sinking to the bottom. Even once we know how we can falter in a huge wave or use up all our energy staying afloat and sink. Faith is not a noun but a verb. It is not something we can hold in our grasp but something we must use. Faith is not knowing you can step out over the precipice but not being sure about it and still stepping out.
Prayer: Increase our faith day by day and give us the courage to use it. Amen
We are always on the anvil; by trials God is shaping us for higher things.
Henry Ward Beecher
We weren’t promised a rose garden. We were promised that God would never leave us. Having a life free of problems may not be the thing that makes us beautiful in God’s eyes. The Bible reminds us that pottery is put into the flame to make it beautiful. In times of trial turn to God and come out of the trial refined by him.
Prayer: Ever present God, go with us into the flame and bring us out made beautiful for you. Amen
Show me your hands. Do they have scars from giving? Show me your feet. Are they wounded in service? Show me your heart. Have you left a place for divine love?
Fulton J. Sheen
We live is such a technical age. We have machines to wash out clothes and our dishes. We don’t have to put stamps on our mail and take it to the post office. We park as close as we can to the mall so that we don’t have to walk far. Then we complain that we work too hard. Most of us have no idea what real work is. Mother Theresa had those scars on her body but great love in her heart. We need to follow her example. I wonder if when we get to heaven St. Peter will ask us these questions.
Prayer: Lord, our life is easy compared with people in other countries. Many of us don’t have to work with our hands. We are called to do your work and to be your hands and feet. Get us moving! Amen
No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.
Remember the old hymn that says “if you cannot bear the cross then you cannot wear the crown.” The Christian life is not easy. Sometimes it seems that way to us since we are at the end of an age when to be a Christian was the easy path. Everyone else (who mattered was Christian. Anyone who wanted to get with the in crowd went to church. You were accepted if you were Christian. Not so any more. The number of Christians is declining and we don’t have to go to church to be socially acceptable. It may even be becoming a detriment. What will you do then?
Prayer: Lord Jesus we have been complacent for too long. Help us to see that being Christian requires sacrifice. The cross is for us not the crown. Amen
We come up with wonderful plans for Lent. We decide to pray more, do more, give more. And then we slip. One day goes by without us doing what we planned. Don’t worry about it. Pick up the next day and just keep on. We are imperfect. God is aware of our failings. He forgives us. Get up and keep going.
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
Micah 6:8 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
8 He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
This is such a wonderful verse and sounds so simple. What could be easier? Actually the question should be what could be harder? Are we always kind? I doubt it. Do we walk humbly? For us this is counter-culture. We need to keep this verse in front of us and read it every morning.
O Lord, our God, you ask so little and yet to us it seems to be too much. Help us to write this verse on our hearts. AMEN
God made me on a morning when he had nothing else to do.———-C.F. Lloyd
We can often feel this way about ourselves. We can’t imagine that we have any skills or talents to offer. We feel useless.
One quote that I have always loved is “God didn’t make junk.” Each of us has something to offer. Each of us has gifts that God has given us. We just have to recognize them and put them to use for his kingdom. We are worthy….God made us.
Imaginative God, you made each of us unique. Help us to find and use the gifts that you have given us. AMEN
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8 New International Version (NIV)
Many times I have heard people say, “you are what you eat.” It seems to me that we are also what we think, If we spend all of our live talking about bad or unhappy things, then we are unhappy. If we concentrate on happy things, then our outlook is different. This piece of scripture hits the nail on the head. We need to be thinking of noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable things.
Direct our thoughts, Lord. We need your guidance and help to keep thinking good things. AMEN