Friday 3/1 ~ A tender love, a strong love, a powerful love

The scripture for today, March 1 (3/1), is 1st Thessalonians 3:1,5 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Silver Cover-KINDLE-thumbnail“So, when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens….For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless.”

In Thessalonica, there had been a riot, and the man who had given Paul and his helpers a place to live was hauled into court. Paul just couldn’t put his host through that so “when we could stand it no longer” he left the city and went off by himself so he wouldn’t jeopardize anyone else.

Still the great Apostle Paul ~ who went everywhere preaching non-stop for decades; who stood up under beatings, stonings, hunger, and shipwrecks; who explained to church leaders how to lead their congregation; whose letters were prophecy and became scripture ~ the powerful Apostle Paul still felt very tenderly toward his fellow Christians.

He worried about how they were getting along spiritually. And when he “could stand it no longer,” he wrote back to Thessalonica to find out how they were doing.

Do you feel this way about the spiritual well-being of other people? Is there someone you need to call or write to today because you want to find out how they are?  Do you have any words of encouragement for them? Any at all?

Tender love is a powerful love. A strong love. A love that will never, ever let go.

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My prayer for Thursday

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You, Oh, Lord, are my heart, my soul, my spirit, my being. You are my sun in dark places, my courage in scary places, my gentleness in rough places. When I need you to defend me, you roar. When I need you to give me strength, you give me work to do. When I cry, you wipe away my tears. You know my heart.

Thank you for the beautiful earth you prepared for us. Oh, how I delight to hear the birds in the summertime as they warble and sing their songs to me. How I wonder when I see the ocean and imagine its depths with life great and small, dreary and colorful happily existing together there.  How I gasp when I feel the wind always turning and swirling like a top, rushing like a lion, then purring like a kitten. Such a delightful Father you are to me.

My prayer for Wednesday

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I praise you Almighty God. You are most powerful, yet most gentle. You are most gigantic, yet most minute. You are the roar and the silence. You are the silk and the sackcloth. You are the laughter and the tears. You are light but never dark. You are life but never death. You are love but never hatred. You are all that is good and right. You are my all and I worship you.

Thank you for being the Warrior King that you are. You are the winner over Satan because you are stronger than Satan.  Thank you for attacking Satan in that hidden realm where I cannot go and scaring him away from me. For fighting so many of my battles for me. For standing over me protectively and being strong for me when I am weak. I cannot imagine life without you. Thank you for my loving spouse, the church, the Bible, and your amazing grace.

Monday 1/28 ~ Keep Hope Alive

The scripture for today, January 28 (1/28), is 1st Chronicles 1:28  s found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

04-Isaac&Jacob-KindleThumbnail“The sons of Abraham: Isaac and Ishmael.”

Are you a parent with a grown or nearly-grown child who is going in the wrong direction? Have you tried everything you can think of, and nothing is working? Do you know in your heart that you have been a good example and things shouldn’t have turned out like they have?

Abraham has been called the Father of the Faithful. Yet he had one son who followed Jehovah ~ Isaac ~ and one son who followed idols ~ Ishmael. Certainly, Abraham tried everything he could to “talk some sense” into Ishmael. Certainly, he prayed earnestly for Ishmael. So, what went wrong?

Just as God has given each of us free will, our children also have free will. Just as God will never force us to follow him, we cannot force our children to follow God. You did not refrain from having your children because they may have difficulties in their life, and neither did God. And when our children rebel and break our hearts, imagine what God goes through when we rebel and break his heart.

Who knows? Perhaps your child will return to God someday in your old age, or even after you have died. If your child deep down has a good heart, that is enough for God to work with.

Keep hope alive.

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Saturday 1/26 ~ Notice them. Claim them.

The scripture for today, January 26 (1/26), is 1st Samuel 1:26f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

02-samuel-thumbnailcover“And she said to him, ‘As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.’ “

Wow!  Hannah prayed for a baby and God gave her a son!  Then she told everyone. How often do you tell someone God has answered your prayer, big or little?

Or do you wander aimlessly from prayer request to prayer request, and let the answers drift away from you unnoticed? Or worse, do you ask others to pray for something, but after once or twice you stop praying for that thing yourself? A year later, someone tells you they are still praying for your something and you have completely forgotten it.

Begin today to keep a list of your prayer requests. Write down the date you first began to pray for each. If your requests are all about yourself, expand. Begin including your neighbors, your co-workers, people you attend church with, your relatives, schools, people in the newspaper.

Then begin a second list of your answers and the dates. You will be amazed how fast your Prayers Answered list grows. Do not let the answers drift away from you unnoticed.

Notice them.

          Claim them.

                    Tell others.

And spend the rest of your life telling others and thanking God over and over and…

 

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