“Listen, stay alert, stand tall in the faith, be courageous, and be strong. Let love prevail in your life, words, and actions.” – Some closing encouragements from the Apostle Paul’s first Epistle to the church at Corinth… And a perspective that is still just as important for us to follow today…
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)
As I read and prayed on these words this morning, God reminded me of the depth of this fundamental truth; that when we embrace the true nature of the Love He freely offers and seek to share that Love in all that we do, we clear the way for God’s peace and joy to overwhelm all those things in our lives that pull us down.
Dear Lord; Happy New Year’s Eve Father!
As my mind wandered this morning Father, drifting along this past year’s erratic path and pondering the days ahead You spoke to my heart; a whispered phrase of things to be…
“Another Chance…” You promised.
And with that I realized Lord… Every day I wake with breath in my lungs You’ve granted me Another Chance…
“I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss.
Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.” – Lamentations 3:20-23 (NLT)
Another Chance to recognize my mistakes…
And hopefully to learn from them.
Another Chance to receive Your gracious love…
And to share that love with others.
Another Chance to look with wonder at the Blessings all around me…
And Another Chance to worship; to lift my heart to You in gratefulness.
Another Chance to cast off the chains of my self-imposed guilt and failures and place them at Your feet…
And Another Chance to grow closer to You in the process.
Another Chance to read Your Word…
And know You more through each passage and verse.
Another Chance to gracefully accept the assistance of others when it’s offered…
And Another Chance to reach out to them in love as well.
Another Chance to strive for righteousness Lord…
Another Chance to draw closer to the man You desire me to become.
Thank You Father…
For Another Chance.
~Phather PhilPin It
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” – John 13:34-35 (NLT)
In this commandment to His disciples, Jesus directs us to employ a more intense kind of love in our relationships with one another; one based on a standard higher than love of ourselves…
Love one another as He loves us.
For when the world sees us reaching out to one another in truly pure, selfless, and practical examples of the love Jesus fills us with, there can be no doubt as to it’s source.
Dear Lord; Happy Thankful Thursday Father!
I fear Lord, that we miss the point far too often…
Jesus taught us to reach out to all those in need… Yet, we find ways to justify being selective with our service to others.
You make it very clear through Scripture that Your primary desire for our lives is to love… But more often than not we cling to judgment in its stead.
As the body of Christ, the church’s mission is to act as the hands and feet of Jesus and aid one another on our walk to You … However far too regularly that directive is tainted by individual ambitions and agendas.
We sit in condemnation of the sins of those around us, feeling superior for our elevated moral perspective… All the while completely missing the plank sticking out of our own eye.
We dwell on legalism and focus on how many Bible verses we can recite on command… Instead of praying for Your truths contained therein to guide our hearts…
And yet, even with all that corruption peppering our mortal lives Father…
You love us,
And comfort us.
You shower us in your mercy,
And fill our world with signs of that gracious love.
Thank You Father.
From Christ’s perfect example, the presence of the Holy Spirit within us and the blessings you pile upon us each and every day, I pray we draw ever closer to Your true intent…
And get the point.
As I continue to list some of Your many blessings in my life Father, this week I’d like to give thanks for:
676. Your nourishing and cleansing rain which is helping our new garden grow.
677. A wonderful “ministry moment” while chatting with a friend the other night.
678. Your perfect timing, even when I don’t recognize it.
679. A safe and uneventful flight for Shannon yesterday on her way to visit her family.
680. A fun evening of fellowship and good food with some dear friends.
681. A good checkup for Jonathan at the eye doctor this week, and finding an optician who takes his insurance for glasses.
682. The opportunity to visit Aidan’s class for “Culture Day” and see him be a living statue of the Greek deity Poseidon.
683. Your gentle hand holding my heart and guiding my words when upsetting situations arise.
684. Eggs cooked in bacon grease. 🙂
685. Finding a wonderful deal on some photography equipment I needed.
686. Your protection and comfort for Shannon and her family as they were hit with a tropical storm this week while she was visiting.
687. That both my boys are finished another school year as of tomorrow.
688. Simple solutions.
689. Pastor Kris receiving her well-earned official Ordination by the United Methodist Church this week.
690. That even when we “miss the point”, Your gracious love for us remains.
And so very, very much more Lord…
For it’s in Your precious name I pray,
~Phather PhilPin It