Monday, 28 May 2012
Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Psalm 90.1,2
This verse brings a reminder of God as the dwelling place of faithful man, and the only dwelling place. For all time God has been constant and true. As I contemplate this thought I have a mental image of the word ‘strive’ with a thick red cross blocking it. God will not be found as our dwelling place through any striving. Indeed the opposite is true.
The mental picture has now changed. I see myself settling in to a soft, luxurious and welcoming armchair. It gently enfolds me without swamping me. I feel an overwhelming peace, warmth and security. This is God as my dwelling place. I will not get there by striving but rather by relaxing, by letting go of any restraints or constraints (anything I might be holding onto that prevents me from fully entering into the comfort of His dwelling place). As I do this He will lead me, taking me softly into His arms, ministering love and power gently to me.
Be my dwelling place – constantly. I truly desire to live in You, fully, in all that I am and all that I do.
Receive me now. I feel so relaxed and ready to be held and led by You. Have Your way in me, with me, and through me.
Please draw me to Your bosom. I want to feel Your heartbeat. I want the beat of Your heart to connect with me, that I might live truly in full accord with You.
I need to tell You I love You. I need to tell You because I want to. And the truth is: I love You.
Receive my love, and me, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Friday, 25 May 2012
“Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14.36
Indeed everything is possible for God. There is absolutely nothing that He cannot do, and this is so for the believer when it is God’s choice. Jesus knew what lay before Him and He did not relish His role in His humanity. Yet His commitment to the Father was stronger than his concern for Himself. Whilst He cried out for the painful cup to be taken from him, He further acknowledged God’s will in place of His own.
I do not know what is ahead of me but I want God’s will to be unfolded and outworked in my life. My simple desire is to do what He would have me do. I pray that I am available to Him for this. I pray for the removal of any barriers.
I so want to do Your will and to live in the fullness of Christ in me.
I offer myself to You and ask You to remove any deception that may exist in my thinking, and to break down and break through any barriers that might be separating me from You. I do not know what lies ahead and I do not concern myself with this, for I place my trust firmly in You. Again, I ask you to remove any hindrance to this.
My Lord Jesus trusted You implicitly and saw His sole purpose as to do Your will. Dear Lord, I seek to follow Jesus in this. I bring myself near to You. I wait for You to come near to me.
Everything and anything is possible for You. This excites me. I claim the promise also that I can do all things in you. I ask You to strengthen my faith to believe that You will do those things I know you can do. I ask to see signs and wonders and miracles. I come to You, asking these things in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1.13
Lord, I ask You to show me how You want me to receive and to act on this Scripture. I see it as an exhortation to be mentally ready to go forward, but not to jump the gun. I am to be prepared but I must look and listen for You.
The direction will come from You and not from any move that I might seek to instigate in order to control the situation. There is also hope, a great hope that I need to manifest in my life and in my living. The hope I shall try to live by is a living hope in the wonderful grace that will be given to me when Jesus is revealed. He has already been partially revealed to me and so I live in that hope. Yet I am also going to grow in Him and, as I grow, so also will that hope and grace grow in me. And it will peak when Jesus returns and then I shall know the fullness of His grace, and I will live and abide completely in it.
Dear Lord, this is my first understanding and interpretation of this Scripture. As I travel through this day I ask You to minister Your truth of these words to me. Mould and modify, if necessary, my present understanding. Lead me to a place of knowing what You want me to know in this. And please grow me in You. I pray that I will grow today in hope and in grace. And I pray that Your revelation to me will be most powerful.
I pray also that I will meet with You in wonder and in awe. Let me praise and glorify You in holy delight. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Sunday, 20 May 2012
...if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behaviour of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. ...
Instead, it (your beauty) should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3.1b-2, 4
Peter is addressing women in respect to their unbelieving husbands. Yet I see an application in His words for all of us.
Jesus has commanded and commissioned us to be His witnesses (Acts 1.8). Some people might respond to our words, but we would be wrong to seek to win people over with oratory skills. What speaks more clearly to all people, Christian and non-Christian, is our behaviour.
Peter calls us to demonstrate by our behaviour that we are true followers of Christ. We show Jesus to the world through the purity and reverence we demonstrate in our lives. It is not an external, cosmetic manifesting such as can be achieved by fine clothes, groomed appearance and the right talk and actions. Rather, it is the outward showing of the inner self. It is the manifestation, outworking, and outliving of a gentle and quiet spirit, and the truth that Jesus is with us.
I need this revelation today and I need the reality of these words to be evidenced in my life. I am no wordy evangelist, nor a bold verbal proclaimer of the gospel. Therefore I hope to witness to all by showing them the person I am by allowing myself a measure of transparency so that what is inside might be seen from the outside.
But, what is inside? How do I know that a gentle and quiet spirit inhabits me? How can I be sure that there is purity and reverence inside which will come forth in my daily living and speak to all people of my witness to Christ?
I believe the answers to these questions lie with Jesus Himself.
O Loving Jesus, My Sweet Saviour,
I love You, Lord, and my heart’s desire is to be a true, faithful and lasting witness for You.
I do not seem to be able to loudly proclaim and evangelise. I ask Your forgiveness if this disappoints You.
I do, however, experience great enthusiasm in You and I ask You to bless this and draw out this enabling in me that I might minister to many of the reality of You.
I heed the words of Your servant Peter. I pray that purity and reverence will be fundamental to the person I am and to my life and my living. I pray that You would instil in me a gentle and quiet, but strong, spirit, and I ask You to use me in ministering to others out of the holiness of the spirit that You implant in me.
Lord, I have no clear direction, yet I know that I travel every day with You. I believe You are leading me to the realisation of Your plans and purposes for me and, along the way, the dreams that You give me will be fulfilled.
I rejoice in knowing You. I ask for opportunities – many, many opportunities to bring others into a knowledge of You, and to lead them deeper in relationship with You. I pray that my own relationship with You will deepen. I open myself to You for whatever You would do.
I say again, I love you.
Thursday, 17 May 2012
As you come to him, the living Stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him – you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2.4,5
Jesus is the Living Stone. He is perfect and precious to God. But the miracle is that we are enabled to come to Him and to be made like Him. The Living Stone receives us and forms us into living stones. I believe we must be fully open to Him, allowing Him to shape us. In the analogy of stonework this may involve chipping away which, because we are not inanimate, could cause a measure of pain and distress. Yet, as we allow Him, and as He works in us, He builds us into a spiritual house. He grows us into a holy priesthood.
I see in these verses a very real invitation to become more like Jesus.
I do come, my Saviour, to You. I see You as the Living Stone, not only chosen by God but also most precious to Him. And I, also, am chosen. He has chosen me and I am precious to Him. And here, He gives me the opportunity to grow more like Jesus.
I offer myself, Lord. I want to become a living stone, as Jesus is the Living Stone. I pray to grow more like Him every day. This might involve me in painful, human “stone masonry”. I submit, Lord, maybe not entirely willingly, but I choose. I choose to submit to You for I want to draw closer to You. I so want to become part of Your royal priesthood. I want to offer spiritual sacrifices, through Jesus Christ, that are fully acceptable to You.
Lord, I come to You. With open heart and eager expectation I offer myself to become a living stone. Take me and shape me, in Jesus, name I ask. Amen.