Acts 2:38-39 “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children fro all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
Throughout scripture we are taught to repent and ask for forgiveness, seek God, confess to one another, and even leave our gifts at the foot of the cross if we have unforgiveness toward another. After reading this morning I thought about why God reminds us to repent. I cam up with this, if we never recognize what we do wrong and say, “I am sorry for _____________.” Then how can we expect someone else to admit when they are wrong.
I noticed that there seems to be many times, in any given relationship, where one of the two recognizes the importance of asking for forgiveness and the other does not really see the point. This relationship could be friends, lovers, coworkers, it does not matter. So what is the importance is seeking forgiveness? It is simple, without repentance there can be no freedom. To repent and forgive allows us to walk in step with the Holy Spirit. When we live under the illusion that we have no part in a disagreement we are stopping the Holy Spirit from moving. Forgiveness and repentance is not for the other person, it if for your freedom. So, wheather the other person in the the relationship forgives or takes responsibility, no matter how frustrated you are, is not about you. Are you doing what is right in the eyes of God? That is all that matters. The Holy Spirit will move and give you strength to live like Jesus lives, so others can be witness to the fruits of the Spirit.
Papa, I come before you broken and incomplete, seeking your forgiveness for the times I have been wrong and unforgiveing toward others. You and you alone can change someone’s heart and mind. Help me to live a life pleasing to you forgiving others as you have, and continue, to forgive me. Open my eyes to the things I do that cause heartache in others and fill me wit Your Spirit so that I am not afraid. In Jesus Name, AMEN
I Corinthians 4:1 “So then, men/women, ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God.”
I had never thought about what it really means to be a servant of Christ until last night. It is amazing what you can learn form Bible study : ). Throughout the Bible we are called to be a servant or Christ, but what does that really mean? If you look up a picture of the old boats they contained rowers. These ships usually had several decks and the lowest level, with no way of seeing whether they were going were the rowers. These were the men that caused the boat to move. This image alone made me think about how often I complain about things.
Rowers work together in order to produce movement, this movement is forward not backward. In your thinking do you look forward or backward? If you continually look backward you will not get anywhere, growth takes muscle and strength and if you row downstream you will get neither. Today I want to challenge you, work on rowing upstream this means focusuing on what God is doing for your future because your past is gone. When we serve God He is planning our future not our past. Being a servant of God forces you to look to Him to be your guide because you are a rower that cannot see where they are going. Are you trusting God with your future or looking backward to where you have been?
Father, Thank you for my past and using it to shape me into the person I am. For I know that without the challenges of my past I would not be the person I am today. Forgive me for looking backward and, in somethings, being stuck in the past. Help me to look to my future and to You as my guide. Strengthen my relationship with you so that I can work with you and not fight what you are doing in my life. I trust you Lord, lead me and guide me. In Jesus Name, AMEN
Romans 5:1-5 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Close your eyes and imagine a child with a dirty face that has been crying. Ever noticed how this looks like rivers on earth? There is a source and an ending point. The running water flows over the face and washes away the dirt: just as the Holy Spirit wash over us cleansing our hearts and minds. I had never thought about the connection until I was praying this morning and God put that image in my head. Now imagine a loving mom or dad wiping the tears away. God not only wipes away our tears he captures every single one and puts it in a jar. Not a single tear is wasted. He also washes away our sin and makes us clean.
When we allow God to flow through us, we are living water to those around us. We never know the impact we are having on people by our attitude or our words. People are watching, are you a stream of living water or a Dead Sea? Water that flows bring life, a Dead Sea is just that, dead. Allow God to flow through you into the hurting lives of those around you. Don’t look at yourself in a negative way because when you do your “water” stops flowing. Allow God’s Holy Spirit to flow through you into the lives of those you encounter today. Remember, take one day at a time, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
Father I come before you as a child seeking guidance. I ask for Your living water to flow from me to all those who are in my life and those I encounter today. Thank you for your never failing love. Wash over me and flow through me today. In Jesus Name, AMEN
1 Corinthians 1:26 “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.”
Ever really thought about your faith walk? What lead you to where you are today? When I look back on my life I can honestly say that I don’t know how people survive without faith and faith filled people by their sides. I know that without the love of God, friends, and family I would not be the person I am today.
I mess up everyday. I say the wrong thing or my thoughts are not godly, this list could go on and on, but what I do know is that even if the people I hurt cannot find it in their hearts to forgive and love a broken sinner like me I have a Heavenly Father who forgives me and continues to love me. God helps be realize my mistakes and allows me to ask for forgiveness as well as give forgiveness to those who have hurt me, whether they ask or not. The only way to do this is to stay connected with God through continual prayer. Simply saying the name of Jesus will bring peace and comfort to a broken heart. Keep your eyes fixed on Him for He is our rock and our salvation.
Father, forgive me for hurting the ones I love. Open my eyes to the things unseen and remind me that I am no long who I once was. You Lord are my rock and my redeemer. Help me to stay focused on you and spread love not hate or hurt. I was not born wise, noble, or influential but because of You I am becoming wise and influential. You made me noble by adopting me and I will be forvever grateful for your love and protection. In Jesus Name, AMEN
Matthew 11:28-39 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Feeling overwhelmed and/or frustrated with life? That means you are trying to carry a burden you were never meant to carry. God tells us that when our fuse is short and we become frustrated too easily we need to come to Him. I cannot tell you how many times I have read this verse and yet I never really analyzed what it meant to take His yoke. This morning while reading I realized that when we take up Jesus yoke it means that we are spreading out the things that overwhelm us and Jesus is taking our fruistrations and burdens upon himself, When we trust Him, He will lighten our load and give us His promise of peace and comfort.
Papa, thank you for reminding me that I do not have to face my challenges and battles alone, but that I have a might warrrior king by my side to guide and comfort me. Help me when I am feeling overwhelmed to come to you and lay my burdens down. You tell us that you will give us rest, so I come to you this morning and ask for your peace, the peace that surpasses all understanding and guidance for my day. Help me so that I don’t feel overwhelmed. I want to rely on You and You alone, In Jesus Name, AMEN
2 Timothy 1:6-7 “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did I not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.”
We all know that a fire needs oxygen to produce flames, have you ever thought about what the human spirit need in order to produce flames? Scripture tells us that we are given gifts and we need to fan those gifts into flames for the sake of God who gave us those gifts. When you accept Christ as your savior, the Holy Spirit is sealed within. With the sealing of the Spirit comes an understanding of your gifts. Some gifts allow us to make a living such as teaching, healing such as in the medical field. We also are given spiritual gifts that need to be fanned into flames by prayer and petition. We are all disciples for Christ; use God’s word to fan into flames the gifts that God has given you. (1 Corinthians 12:7-11)
Father, thank you for burning within me. Help me to know where to turn and how to fan into flames the gifts that you have given me. Forgive me when I look at others and am jealous of their gifts. Help me to rejoice with them as You work through them to bring healing and joy. Father, remind me of the gifts i am given and help me to fan them into flames, there are times when I give into the spirits of timidity and I know that is not Your spirit. Help me to be strong in the Word and be proud of the work You are doing in my life. In Jesus Name, AMEN
Colossians 3:14 “And over all these virtues put on love, which finds them all together in perfect unity.”
Have you ever had those moments in life where you were just irritated? It is something so small that it really should not matter, yet it does. This week I was challenged on several occasions to be frustrated with my job and instead of allowing that frustrations to fester and become something that it shouldn’t I took it to the Lord. I know that some of you may do this all the time, what can I say I am a slow learner, but I found so much freedom in just looking at the situation from an eternal perspective and realized that in the the grand scheme of the world it didn’t really matter. The relationship is what mattered not my frustration. This allowed me to be free and find joy in my evening instead of being irritated by something so small. God is so goood.
Father, thank you for being my rock and my strength. Thank you for love that binds us together and frees us. Most of all thank you for opening my eyes to You and my voice of wisdom. In Jesus Name, AMEN
Revelations 3:7-8 “…These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts on one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”
When things in our life seem to go wrong and we don’t have the strength left to fight another day, we have a God who is fighting for us and opening a new door. We get thrown curve balls all the time, but God knows they are coming and has already planned a way out. What we see as failure God sees as an oppertunity. Walking through difficult times, when our life seems to be falling apart, is never easy. Just know that when life seems to go wrong God is always there with an open door and promisses to prosper you. Find peace in your “failure” because God sees it as an oppertunity.
Papa, thank you for loving me and always being there ready and waiting; not only with open arms but with an open door. You promise that you have plans to prosper me and not to harm me. Today, I am asking you to guide all those who are hurting or in a storm. Father, may they find comfort in Your arms today and everyday. In Jesus Name, AMEN
2 Timothy 3:1-5 “But mark this; There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of them-selves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, gunholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of plesure rather than lovers of God- having a form of godliness but denying its power, Have nothing to do with them.”
I read this and thought, “What is the state of my heart? Am I looking out for myself or am I truly staying connected to God?” I can look around and see Paul’s words in everyday life. There is so much self in this world, I don’t what to be one who seeks and does what I want. I want to be a person that lives a Jesus life. There are days when I find it easier to follow God and be salt and light, then there are other days where I get frustrated and loose heart. I am learning more and more to trust God and listen to His Spirit.
Father, I know that I can be everything listed in this scripture that is negative. Help me to turn away from selfish ways and to fix my eyes on You and be Your light in a dark world. I don’t what people to see me I what them to see You in everything I do. Help my fickle faith. In Jesus Name, AMEN
Philippians 4:4-7 “Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again; Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Do you feel uneasy about where your life is headed? Do you look to the future with hope or fear? What about today, are you looking forward to living life today or are you feeling anxious? Each of these questions can be answered in different ways on different days based upon your feelings, season of life, or even the consequences of sin, but one thing is always true and will never change; God tells us to not worry or be anxious about anything. Now, we all know that it is easy to say those words but difficult to live out on a day to day basis. Or is it? I looked up the definition of anxious so, incase you have never looked it up here it is: experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness. We can feel these ways for a variety of reasons, but are you praying when you feel this way or do you continue to experience these emotions? I am learning more and more to pray continually in everything I do and to lean on God not my circumstances or feelings. When I feel worry, unease, fear, anger, frustration, and anxious I have been going to God. The more I do this the more relaxed and carefree I become, which are the opposite of anxiety. Join me in a journey of praying continually. Take a minute out of every hour and just say the name of Jesus and see if that simple thing does not easy some of the burdens you are carrying. Write out a simple prayer that you can pray while driving, sitting in the bathroom, or getting something out of the refrigerator. Start small but start.
Papa, you said to come to You with prayer and petition and to not worry or be anxious for anything so, here I am; your child seeking freedom form all fear, worry, and anxiety. Come Lord Jesus come, comfort my heart, mind, body, and soul. In Jesus Name, AMEN