“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with Hs is love. He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
Stay the course, though it may be hard. Remain obedient and faithful in the face of adversity. Do not rely on your possessions or your own wisdom. God is our true source of strength, peace and happiness.
Peace and love be with you.
“The commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not covet,’ and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13: 9 -10
We love ourselves enough to make sure our needs are met – food, shelter, clothing. We also take precautions to keep from being cheated, injured or hurt. This type of self-love should be extended to others. Let’s not let the fear of our help being rejected or the fear of hurting someone’s pride keep us from being sure the hungry are fed, homes are structually sound and bodies are clothed appropriately for the season. Let’s not let our differences keep us from standing up for those who are being treated unfairly. We don’t have to travel to third-world countries to “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5: 16). The family living next door may need all these things and more.
God bless you.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverb 3:5-6
Trials can help us grow, but they can also make us hard-hearted and stubborn if we are not careful. Past hurts and disappointments can make us view people and situations with suspicion rather than with love and gratitude. They can make us think every kind act has an ulterior motive and every “I love you,” is insincere. While we should not count out our ability to reason or think carefully, we should not lean to our own understanding. That kind act may have been prompted by God to encourage you. That “I love you,” may have come straight from the Lord because He knows you really need to hear it now. Don’t place your trust in your past or hold on tightly to prior hardships. Our experiences are not the source or our wisdom. God is. Place your trust in Him.
May the Lord be with you.
“He who is pregnant with evil and conceives trouble gives birth to disillusionment. He who digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit he made. The trouble he causes recoils on himself; his violence comes down on his own head. I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.” Psalm 7:14-17
Those who live to cause trouble and create strife will find themselves always embroiled in trouble and strife. The trap they are so intent on setting for others will snare them in the process. The sad reality is oftentimes innocent people are also hurt. Instead of sowing seeds of discord, plant love, kindness, patience and compassion. Don’t do evil for evil, but pray to Lord for protection against those who mean us harm, whether through violent acts or deceit. God will execute final judgment. We can take comfort and assurance in that.
God bless you today and always.
“Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ‘ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22: 37 – 39
Each Christmas, I pass out Christmas cards and candy to my co-workers. It is my way of showing my appreciation for their camaraderie and to bring a smile to their faces. A few years back at a previous employer, the last thing I wanted to do was pass out cards and candy. There had been a falling out and I was no longer a part of one team in the department. I had been moved to a different team with a different job responsibility. My former team had a get-together and made a point of letting my new team and me know that we were not invited or welcomed to attend. It hurt; I had been a part of that team since I started with the company three years prior and had considered my former teammates friends. My new team held it’s own get-together a couple of weeks later. We did not make it private and invited everyone to come enjoy the treats we assembled on a table in the back area. The teammates declined the invitation.
So, when the holiday season approached and I was purchasing the cards and candy, I had no intention of including anyone on my former team. Why should I? They had moved on and so should I. But there was something deep inside that prevented me from evening the score. I purchased cards for each of them and bought German chocolates and candy canes. I placed cards and candy on each co-worker’s desk. My new teammates thanked me; one person from my old team sent a thank you email. As I passed by their desks later that day, I saw some of my former teammates had thrown their cards into the trash. I remember feeling like a fool to have even bothered.
At the end of the workday, I stayed behind to finish a project while everyone else filed out. A member of my old team stopped by my desk. He confided that he was going through an acrimonious divorce. His wife had moved out with their children. He hadn’t seen them in weeks. He said my card was the only kindness he had been shown in a long time and would probably be the only present he would receive this Christmas. He thanked me for thinking of him.
It was at that moment I realized I wasn’t foolish for extending myself to my former teammates. The one who needed it was reached. Don’t ignore what the Lord places on your heart. It may seem foolish in a worldly sense, but spiritually you may be planting seeds of faith, encouragement and love. Your intention may be for many, but God may only need to reach one. Allow Him to use you to accomplish His will.
May the Lord be with you today.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. He kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4: 31-32
Are you at odds with someone today? Forgive him or her. Easier said than done, but forgiving someone is the hardest and simplest thing we can do to heal broken relationships. Pride may not let you want to take the first step, but take it. Don’t hold on to your hurt and anger. It’s unhealthy physically and spiritually. The way we live our lives can either please God or grieve Him. Don’t live a life that grieves our Father. Live in love with one another.
May the Lord be with you.
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1: 9-11
Paul’s prayer for the church at Philippi is a prayer we should have for all believers- to be united in the love that comes from having a greater knowledge of Christ and deeper insight – or discernment – so we can differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad, vital and trivial. Broaden your circle of influence by praying for others today.
May God continue to bless you.