Monday, 31 August 2015
“Give us each day our daily bread.” Luke 11.3
These words convey such a clear message. We are to concern ourselves only with provisions for the day, and we do this as each new day dawns. Jesus does not tell us to ask for today and every other day, but simply for today. I believe He is exhorting us to live one day at a time.
We are to ask God to provide. This makes so much sense. After all, isn’t He responsible for all that is? And nothing is impossible to Him! God can supply all that I need.
Furthermore, I believe these words indicate that God will, most certainly, provide for my needs – all of them. But I must be careful here. For my needs may well be different to what I think I want! I have no control over this for, in reality, God will do what He will. I, however, can rest in the assurance of His provision. I can release myself into His care each new day. I can petition Him to provide for my needs, and I can expect Him to do so.
I love You and I place myself most securely in Your arms and in Your provision. I rejoice in this new day that I can share with You. I ask, humbly, for Your provision in all things. May I know, and do, just what You would have of me. I look to You for whatever I need. I seek Your full and perfect provision, and I thank You, deeply and sincerely, for Your wonderful care of me.
Today is a gift from You to me. I receive Your precious gift. In return I give myself over to You. I ask You to have Your way fully in me. I pray that we might enjoy each other as we journey together through this day.
Oh, what delights there are as I surrender to You. I do this willingly. Take me, lead me on, in Jesus’ precious name I ask. Amen.
Thursday, 27 August 2015
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10.41, 42
Martha was concerned, perhaps overly so, about the practical arrangements and tasks. Mary separated herself so that she could focus more fully on Jesus, she sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said (v39).
There may be times to get on with physical tasks. But I know there are certainly times for us to “separate ourselves”, to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to what He has to say. We may not take in all He says in one sitting. We need to revisit, indeed to make a habit of coming to Him, unhindered by any other concerns, and giving ourselves completely to hear what He would say, and to be willing to follow anything He asks.
We need also to appropriate the assurance, for ourselves, that Jesus gave regarding Mary, that her times of sitting at His feet and waiting on Him would not be taken from her.
I love You. Lord, I can’t help myself. I feel that You have drawn me into the sweetest place in You and with You. Accept my love and lead me, please, into a lifestyle that will please and delight You.
May I know the times to give to practical things, to the “doing” of ministry. May I also know discernment in what to do and what not to do.
May I be ever willing to come to You, settle at Your feet and give myself completely to You.
May I hear and receive all that You would say to me, whether spoken or otherwise. May I learn of You as I lean upon You.
I’m here, Lord. I give myself into Your arms. Receive me. Speak to me as You will, in Your precious name I ask. Amen.
Tuesday, 25 August 2015
“Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” Matt. 12.25
Jesus had totally healed a blind and mute man such that he was able to both see and talk. The Pharisees declared that He drove out demons by the power of Satan.
Jesus countered with the above words, then continued: “If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?” (v 26)
Jesus presents a universal principle. Anything that is divided against itself will eventually fall. Sadly, I think of the Church, and the numerous splits and divisions that have occurred, and which still occur. I feel the Church needs to set aside ALL differences, and give itself over completely to the One who said, “I will build my church.” (Matt. 16.18) He also went on to say, “and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”
Jesus allows no room for dissension or division.
Jesus spoke of the “divided” individual when He said, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Matt. 6.24)
There is no place for division in God’s people, either within each individual or between persons or groups of people. I need unity in myself, and God’s Church (which is simply the community of God’s people) needs to be undivided.
God help us!
I pray firstly for myself. Let me be undivided in myself. Help me to live fully as the wholesome person You created me to be.
I pray also for the Church. Please bring a mighty, universal reconciliation to all Your people. Reunite us in right relationship with You, and with each other. Amen.
Saturday, 22 August 2015
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10.36,37
I am commanded to love my neighbour as I love myself. I am not, I hope, narcissistic in love of self, but I do feel a healthy self-regard and respect. This is how I want to relate to my ‘neighbour’.
The parable of the Good Samaritan makes clear to me who my neighbour is – everybody! What a tall order, then, to relate to all in the healthiest way, to receive them with good regard and respect.
I know I cannot do this in my own abilities. I will be more than tempted to judge. But I also know the remedy for this, and the way forward. I have previously encountered the ‘difficult-to-love’ – for whatever reasons. When I have truly struggled, I have found release by praying for the person or persons concerned and asking God to show me them as He sees them. And this is where the knockout comes! In the most unimaginable instances, God has shown me deep beauty and purity. There have been times when my breath has fairly been taken away.
This is how I desire to see my neighbour – all of them! This is not naiveté in the extreme. This, I believe, is the love of God working in me, with me, and through me.
May I love my neighbour in ways that are both pleasing and honouring to You. Let me see people as You see them. Yes, Lord, may You take my breath away with the beauty that You reveal to me in all people. You love them all. There are no exceptions. I am not at this place. Please help me to get there. Fill me, if You will, to overflowing with Your love, and lead me in the utmost sharing of it, in Jesus’ name I ask. Amen.