Thursday, 26 February 2015
When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.” John 1.47
It is both sobering and encouraging to realize that, when Jesus looks on us, He sees us as we really are. He sees the truth. Even if we have created masks or false behavior to cover up pain, hurt or fear, Jesus can see right through. He sees to the heart. And the individual’s heart is the essence of the individual.
Where there is hurt, Jesus can cure. Where there is damage, Jesus can restore. Where there are masks, Jesus can remove them and reveal the beauty of the child of God that lies underneath.
I thank my God for the work He has done in me. I rejoice that Jesus sees me as I really am. I am not always happy with what He sees on the surface, but I take heart that He knows my heart, and my heart is for Him.
I am realizing afresh the honesty of our relationship. I thank You for this. I know I have many flaws and, likely, You see even more than I will admit to. Yet You forebear with me. I know You have a plan for me and You are progressively leading me forward in that plan. You are forming me into the shape You have for me. Again I thank You.
I surrender to You. I yield every aspect of myself. I ask You to have Your way completely in me. If anything is in the way of Your plan and purposes for me I pray You will remove it.
I want that You would enjoy me. I seek to do Your will, in every detail. I delight to share You with others and I ask for many opportunities to do so.
My life is so very different since You drew me to You as a travelling companion. My hope is to journey through every day in close company with You. I ask You now to draw me close, and lead me on. I ask these things of You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Monday, 23 February 2015
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” Matt. 5.9
I see a distinction between peacemakers and peacekeepers. It seems to me that peacekeepers are those individuals who look to preserve peace “at all costs”. In any likely un-peaceful situation, peacekeepers will do no good thing in resolving any issues. They simply seek to maintain a covering of “peace” over what might be serious unrest beneath.
Peacemakers, on the other hand, approach situations of unrest with a view to leading the protagonists, hopefully gently, wisely and lovingly, to review and consider their differences so as to bring resolution and a restoration of true peace.
What a difference exists between the works and motivations of peacekeepers and peacemakers.
The blessing for peacemakers is to be called sons of God. Immediately I read this I think of Jesus, the Son of God. The peacemakers’ blessing connects me with Him. Jesus was the peacemaker par excellence. Some of His most significant words to me are: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” (John 14.27). A number of years have passed since my Lord spoke these words clearly and firmly to me. He also added to them, saying, “I am making a specific gift of my peace to you. You are to receive it for yourself, and you are to dispense it freely to others.” With such a commission, how could I not give myself to be a peacemaker!
I remember Your words to me with a clarity that does not diminish. I give myself fully into Your peace and I undertake, to the best of my ability, to make peace in Your name. Let me not be tempted into peacekeeping but rather to embrace every opportunity for peacemaking. Walk with me, please, in this. I need You. Amen.
Friday, 20 February 2015
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.
What is righteousness? God is righteous. I see righteousness, therefore, as that state of being right with God. Many times I have declared my desire to live in a way that is pleasing and honouring to God. I have often prayed, asking God to help me in my quest.
I do not reach my aim of living as God would have me do, yet I take great encouragement from this verse. The words exhort me to hunger and thirst after righteousness. This is my part! I am to hunger for His ways. I am to be thirsty to satisfy Him in who I am and what I do. I am not the one to achieve this state. Achievement is beyond my abilities. I am simply to hunger and thirst. And then……..!
The assurance this verse gives me is that those who hunger and thirst will be filled. There have been rare occasions when I have experienced ravenous hunger or deep thirst. As the hunger or thirst has been satisfied – as I have “been filled”, the experience is simply wonderful. All longing is gone because fulfillment has been attained. My need is satisfied. I am fulfilled and content.
God promises this filling, fulfilment and contentment in my search for righteousness. My sensing is that complete fulfilment will come as I face Him in glory. Meanwhile I can be tasting of this as I live out my hunger and thirst.
I see You as wholly righteous. I hunger and I thirst to please You in everything – in who I am and what I do. I offer my hunger and thirst to You. I ask You, indeed, to increase these things in me. May I then experience the joy, the fulfillment and contentment of being filled by You. Let me honour You, righteous God. Amen.
Tuesday, 17 February 2015
In him was life, and that life was the light of men. John 1.4
Life is in Jesus. In fact, He is “the life”. And He gives this life as a free gift to all. Without Jesus we are relatively lifeless. The person who has received life from Jesus, who lives and breathes and has their being in Him can easily see the lack of life in those without Jesus. This life of Jesus is a deep inner spring that waters, feeds and nourishes the very essence of a person.
The life that is in Jesus is the light of all humanity. It beckons like a beacon. It attracts like a magnet. And when an individual truly catches the life in Jesus, the whole being radiates with His light.
Life and light go together. The light shines in the darkness and dispels it. The light of Jesus can dispel darkness in an individual or the whole world. Bring on the light, and let all receive the life that is in Jesus.
I rejoice that I have life in Jesus and I pray that His life will shine in me and from me like the brightest light. I want to “beam” Jesus wherever I am.
I thank You for this life that fills and invigorates me. May it consume me and flow continually from me.
I pray earnestly for those who do not have the life. They are without true light and I see them as living in shadow. O Holy One, may Your light shine upon them and Your life capture them. Draw them out of the darkness and let them live in the wonder and glory of Your light. May they let go of the things of shadow. May they see clearly the distinction that is life in the light. May they enjoy the fullness of life in You.
Lord, Holy God, let Your light shine clearly in the darkness of this world. May the true message of the passion and the triumph of Christ ring clearly across the globe, in Jesus’ name I ask. Amen.