WHAT CONSTITUTES A SUFFICIENT APOLOGY?
Great is your mercy, O Lord. Psalm 119:156
When I’ve wronged someone, how many times do I have to say “I’m sorry” for mercy to be shown? In this world, the greater the offense, the more times a repeated apology is necessary. To match the crime, restitution can be steep as the other party decides what it’s going to take to make them happy. Continue reading
Time & Perspective
I long for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight. Psalm 119:174
When a young saint sits down with an old saint, the difference in their reactions to the stuff of life is apparent. The young one can be all spun up about some injustice, railing about how unfair it is. The old saint listens, nods with understanding, but is not rocked off his axis with shock or surprise. He has lived long enough to see it all. Continue reading
BOUGHT WITH A LIFE RATHER THAN GOLD
You were ransomed from the futile ways of your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish. I Peter 1:18-19
Suppose your child was out playing in the back yard, a place that has always been safe, a neighborhood protected by crime watch. When your back was turned, your child was snatched. Hours of anguish passed. The police and FBI were called and they set up your home with every kind of technology available, assuming that the kidnapper would contact you. A day passes. There is a phone call with a demand for ransom. You expect to see a settlement of a dollar amount but instead there is a message that calls for the life of your other child, if the kidnapped child is to live. How willing would you be to hand over another life of one you love? It would be excruciating to weigh the options. Continue reading
PRAYER FOR THE FUTURE
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19
Make a way ~ To put in place, cause, set.
Jesus, I’ve been sitting at Your feet for a long time. You’re the best teacher I’ve ever known. You know when to reveal a truth and when to ask leading questions so that I discover divine wisdom. You are not a God who delights to see His children flounder. You promise very clear direction and have so many creative ways to bring the answers to us.
I learned that You can do a new thing no matter how old I am. I learned that just because things have always been a certain way doesn’t mean they will stay that way. I learned that just because people have always acted a certain way doesn’t mean You can’t change them. I’ve seen You turn my life upside down, changing me from decades of hopeless thinking. I’ve seen You deliver and heal people I love; some even in their old age. You do make a way in the wilderness. You are the God of new things.
I am at a new faith crossroads. I’ve never been in this particular place before. Whatever has been familiar and predictable is missing. It looks like the land of no provision, a desert, and the answers for how to make my way is unclear. I’m afraid. I don’t have the power to transform the landscape of nothingness.
I spread out the future before You. There is a harvest and I am Your laborer. It is clear that, though I see a desert, You are making a new road. Put up road signs so that I don’t miss it. Let me hear the sounds of a roaring river, the rivers of Your provision. When my faith would fail me, I review our history. You have never failed me! You are wealthy beyond measure to give whatever I might need on this trek into unfamiliar territory.
I’m looking for the footprints of sandaled feet. I follow You – and I know that I don’t need to see down the road. You do. Show me the next step. Amen
NO SHAME IN HIDING
You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. Psalm 119:114
A successful hiding place is one that is never found. I can go there, tuck myself in, hear the voices of others looking for me, but rest securely in perfect concealment. When others chase us down, God promises a place of refuge, a hiding place like a cave or den. This is a place I can go, internally, to ride out the storm of others’ advances. The hunt doesn’t have to be just physical, it can be emotional, even spiritual. Continue reading
THE WORD GOD’S CHILDREN FEAR MOST
In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. Isaiah 30:15
Oh, the power of repentance and how critical it is for any who wish to access the power of God in their lives. Without it, hearing will be dull.
The word repentance has become a ‘turn-off’ for many because it is associated with the red-faced pastors who have yelled about it over the years. Their tone has been angry. There was truth but no love. Shame was inflicted without an invitation to respond to the One who bore our shame. Repentance is my friend. God wants to bless me. He wants to watch me blossom under the umbrella of His affection. He wants to share His thoughts with me and make my soul quiver with wonder. Continue reading
HE HEALS WITH TRUTH AND LOVE
For thus saith the Lord, “Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous.”
Truth and love are always paired in the context of the Gospel. We are asked to speak to others in this way because God speaks that way. The only cure for the deep pain of others’ words, words that came with no grace, is to allow God to speak the truth – and in the context of love and tenderness. I must be willing to disown the hurtful words and no longer have them define me in any way. These injurious words should be dealt with severely at the cross, in prayer.
What do I do with the hurtful attitude of the one who originally spoke it? I ask God to remove the injury of their heart’s intent. If their comment came with anger or revenge, Jesus will deal with the spirit that came with the words and cleanse me from all their effects.
“Lord, nullify the effects of these comments under the power of Your shed blood. Take these words from my mind and my heart. Remove the arrows that wounded my soul so deeply. Make it as though the words were been spoken. I forgive the person who spoke them and give up my right to take revenge. I put this person in Your hands for You to rule righteously. Arise on my behalf. Hear my prayer. Hold me, breathe over me, kiss my heart with Your living Word and may I live in abundant life. I stand today on Your promise. “The Sun of righteousness will arise with healing in his wings.” Malachi 4:2 Amen