Good morning, beloved,
I think I might change my title picture to this! I cannot stop staring at it. The light cascades over the tree and even the areas not touched by the light are enlightened. Just gets me! Our morning does not look so spectacular this morning. I am reading a series named The Beyonders, well, I’m listening to it. I’ve finally appeased my eldest. I’m not sure why I waited so long but when the last book of the series is being released in March, I can say, um, that’s why! I abhor waiting for sequels to come. Anyway, this main character, Jason, has difficulty trusting a man who betrayed him once. Actually, the entire society distrusts this man and all like him. They are a disparaged, ridiculed, accosted people and they live up to each adjective. Except, maybe, this man might be different. Maybe Jason can trust him. (I’ve not finished the book so I’ve no idea here..)
When someone wrongs us, we can have such difficulty trusting them again. They probably don’t have the reputation of this man, but we can either forgive or not. I pondered that verse from 1 Corinthians 13 over and over. Love never fails. It is never reduced to inactivity. Just kept pondering that, and thankfully, I understand first, our Morning Star will never fade in His divine love for us. He will never fail us. Humans may fail, but God will never, ever fail us. Oh, what a promise that is for us!!
Then to have the verses of the day be:
Deut. 5:17–21].” All these commands and all others are really summed up in this one ·rule [command; word]: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself [Lev. 19:18].” 10 Love never ·hurts [does wrong/evil to] a neighbor, so loving is ·obeying all [fulfilling] the law.
11 Do this ·because you know the times in which we live [L knowing the time/season]. It is ·now [oralready the] ·time [hour] for you to wake up from your sleep, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night [C a metaphor for the present evil age] is ·almost finished[advancing], and the day [C the time of final judgment and reward] is ·almost here [near; or at hand]. So we should ·stop doing [put aside; cast off] ·things that belong to [L the deeds/works of] darkness and ·take up the weapons [or put on the armor] ·used for fighting in [or that belong to; L of] the light.13 Let us ·live [walk] ·in a right way [properly; decently], like people who belong to the day. Romans 13 EXB
This week’s AWANA brought store night. My daughter came home with huge smiles and happiness. Her brothers decided it was Ella night and bought her the most expensive thing at the store..this mega-pack of My Little Pet shop or whatever that name might be.
These boys were so excited to give her this gift. So excited by her response. I wished I had been there to see this gift exchange. They behaved as children of the light. Children of the day…not holding onto to past arguments, or frustrations. Instead they gave.
I can learn a while lot from this, and most honestly, so can my boys. This love they showed their sister, they could show each other. They could give each other grace as they so easily bestow on their sister.
I come back to this post after another crushing day. When I am hurt, wounded by others, my natural instinct is to attack. I want to wound as I have been wounded. The Spirit of God prevents me from this MOST of the time. Countless numbers of texts, emails and phone calls have never been made/sent as I hash it out, how do I show grace to others? Then to add to my stress, there was more. More worry. I realized something at the end of the day. I have to believe wholeheartedly in what type out on these pages. When fellowship fails, when circumstances threaten my world, I don’t like how far I seem to be from resembling Jesus in me. I cannot see that this is a stitch in the tapestry of my life. I walk around my neighborhood crying out for peace. For more of Him and less of me…
It comes back to remembering, Love never fails.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not ·jealous [envious], it does not brag, and it is not ·proud[arrogant; conceited; puffed up]. 5 Love is not ·rude [disrespectful], is not ·selfish [self-serving], and ·does not get upset with others [is not easily provoked/angered]. Love does not ·count up [keep a record of] wrongs that have been done. 6 Love ·takes no pleasure [does not rejoice] in ·evil[wrongdoing; injustice] but rejoices over the truth. 7 Love ·patiently accepts all things [T bears all things; or always protects], ·always trusts [T believes all things], ·always hopes [T hopes all things], and ·always endures [T endures all things]. 1 Corinthians 13 EXB
I cannot love in my own flesh. I cannot trust in my own flesh but when I remember God asks me to love from His endless acceptance and love for me. I feel as though the Lord asks me the same questions as Jesus asked of Peter. This is redemption at it’s very finest.
15 When they finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” [C “These” probably refers to the other disciples (rather than the fishing gear), and could mean “Do you love me more than you love your friends?” or “Do you love me more than they love me?” The latter is more likely. This whole scene is the restoration of Peter after he had boasted of his loyalty to Jesus and then denied him.]
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “·Take care of [Tend; Shepherd] my sheep.”
17 A third time he said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter ·was hurt [grieved] because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” Peter said, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you!”
He said to him, “Feed my sheep. [C In verses 15 and 16 Jesus uses a different word for “love” (agapaō) than Peter uses (phileō); but then in v. 17 Jesus uses Peter’s word (phileō). The two terms can be synonymous, and the difference is probably stylistic. The passage is not contrasting two kinds of love; rather, Peter’s three affirmations counterbalance his three denials; see 18:15–18, 25–27] 18 ·I tell you the truth [L Truly, truly I say to you], when you were younger, you ·tied your own belt [dressed yourself] and went where you wanted. But when you are old, you will put out your hands and someone else will ·tie [dress] you and take you where you don’t want to go.” 19 (Jesus said this to ·show[indicate; signify] how Peter would die to ·give glory to [glorify] God.) Then Jesus said to Peter, “Follow me!”
God calls me to love Him first, then to follow in His steps to His calling on my life.
Pray for your pastor today:
Pray for spiritual unity in the church staff and among the spiritual leadership of the church (elders, deacons, etc.). Pray that the enemy will not be allowed to create divisions, strife, or misunderstanding among the church leaders. (Rom. 14:19; 1 Cor. 12:25)
Pray for your pastor’s wife:
Pray for spiritual unity between the pastor’s wife and others in the church—especially other staff members’ wives. Pray that the enemy will
not be allowed to create divisions, strife, or misunderstanding in any way. (Rom. 14:19; 1 Cor. 12:25) (Quotes from Revive Our Hearts)
Gifts of tin, wood, glass (Ann Voskamp, Joy Dare):
190. My mind draws a blank with tin,LOL, So I’m thankful for my sun room that has some sort of metal surrounding us and allows beautiful sunshine to stream through.
191. A cross we, as a family, made after Joshua’s unemployment. A tangible reminder of God’s precious faithfulness to provide..
192. Thank for my coffee maker. Ha!
Pray on. Pray on.
- The Key to Growing Your Church (incrediblygoodnews.wordpress.com)
- Why I Don’t Want to Love (christianthought.hbu.edu)
- Friday (February 22): “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church/” (shechina.wordpress.com)