Temptation – Jude :24-25

begoodJude 1:

[24] Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

[25] To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. (KJV)

In the days of Jude, false idols were worshipped everywhere. Jude is telling the people that there is only one true God and unlike the idols, God can help them.

Jude is telling the people that the true God has made a way for them not to fall, but be able to stand before The almighty God, faultless. This is good news for the people.

Many knew that their idols could not do anything to help them into Heaven and along comes Jude, telling them that although they are sinners, they can still have redemption, through the True God.

God sent his son Jesus to purify his children of their sins and for that reason, Jude says that they should be praising, loving, thanking and holding the Lord in high esteem because the ones who have chosen to follow God will be with him forever and ever.

Divine Father,

Even today Lord, people worship idols. Hindus believe in many gods and goddesses. Buddhists claim there is no deity. New Agers follow the belief God is inside them and they are god and the Muslims believe in a powerful but unknowable god. Christians believe in a God who is loving and approachable.

Those of us who are Christians are blessed with you, a loving Father, who is with us at all times. You know exactly what is happening in our lives and how we behave each day. That means you know of our goodness and of our sins all the time. There is nothing we can hide from you.

You loved us so much that you sent your one and only son Jesus to the earth as a man in human form to walk among us. Because Jesus willingly died and shed his blood to cleanse us from our sins, we can be saved. Our job is to believe Jesus is your son and confess our sins, then we become your children and our names are written in the Lambs Book of Life. 

For this honour, it is our pleasure to glorify and praise you forever and ever. You are the one and only true God, worthy of our worship and so we will worship you, for all time.

In the name of your precious Son and my Lord and Saviour, I pray.

Amen

Blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be your name.

Anger – James 1: 19-20

James 1:

[19] Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
[20] For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.(KJV)

James is explaining the difference between being a good Christian vs not so good. A good Christian will listen, think before speaking and manage their tempers. We, today are no different than the people in James’ time. We need this lesson as much as they did!

Many of us don’t even listen as someone is talking to us. We are too busy wanting to respond. When it’s our time to talk (and sometimes we don’t even wait for our turn) we blurt out without thinking what our words may be saying or what effect they will have.

The Bible speaks of how the tongue has the means to kill. By speaking without thinking or by talking in anger, many times our unkind words will hurt someone to the core or will kill their spirit of life.

We may be angry at what has been said or possibly the way it has been said or perhaps we have taken offence at the body language, so we lash out in anger or perhaps even with wrath. (See definitions below).

There are many types of anger, but James uses the word wrath. James says that when we use wrath, we are not working the righteousness of God.

In this verse, James is explaining how to change and how a Christian should handle the situation.

We must learn to listen carefully to what is being said and then think about what we heard. Then we are to think about the words we are about to use. Following that we should remove anything that God would consider offensive. And then speak.

Speak only when we have something valuable to say that would be useful to the conversation.

We must never let the conversation get out of hand by speaking words of anger. We may at some point want to take them back but won’t be able to.

So, in conclusion, I believe that James is saying, listen carefully to what is being said. Remain focused on the conversation. Listen more than we speak and when we do speak, do not come with wrath because with it, we are not walking with God.

Definitions from www.merriam-webster.com › dictionary

WRATH 1 : strong vengeful anger or indignation 2 : retributory punishment for an offense or a crime : divine chastisement

RIGHTEOUS: acting in accord with divine or moral law : free from guilt or sin. 2. a : morally right or justifiable b : arising from an outraged sense of justice or morality

ANGER: enrage, incense, inflame (also enflame), infuriate, ire, madden, outrage, rankle, rile, roil, steam up, tick off, get one’s goat, rub the wrong way

Note to help remember: There is an old saying – God gave us two ears and only one tongue. This is a perfect example of how we are to listen twice as much as we talk.

Divine Father,

This is an awesome lesson for everyone. Everything is rushed including conversations. People, myself included, just don’t really listen anymore. We hear only a bit of what is being said because our minds are off thinking of the chores we must do today, or thinking of something else. We are only half listening and then when we go to speak, we fill in the gaps of what we think we may have heard. This is where everything falls apart.

Father, I am guilty of doing this and I ask right now, that you would heal every hurt that I’ve ever caused and please forgive me for all the times I have done this.

I ask Father, in the name of the Son that you would help me to become a better person. Help me to listen intently on what is being spoken to me, let me hear with my heart instead of my mind. When I do speak, allow me to speak words of love, encouragement and kindness.

However Lord, I know there will be times when I will not be pleased with something someone else has said or done. During those times of anger, please be with me and allow only righteous anger to surface.

Once the situation has been rectified, may I forgive who came against me and may I let love replace it.

I thank you Father that from now on, I will listen, think before speaking and manage my temper. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Praise your mighty name. Hallelujah.

In Jesus’s name I pray.

Amen

Suffering – Romans 8: 28

Romans 8:

[28] And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (KJV)

godshands-1This was a hard verse for me to understand. But to the best of my knowledge, I understood it to mean the following.

Paul tells us that all things work together for good to them that love God. Not some things but all things will work out for our good.

Because we love God, the Holy Spirit is also within us. He guides us and is our helper.

God wants us to live where he works for our lives…in the present. That’s where the Holy Spirit works…in the present and that is where our Heavenly Father wants us to work… in the present, as we are a part of the process.

Inevitably along come some problems, aggravations, persecutions and the like. God didn’t call them into our lives but he will take them and make them fit into the GOOD outcome he has planned for us. His word says “ALL things work for good to them that love God.”

We can relax in the knowledge and faith that our Heavenly Father has everything under control. We must watch and listen for the Holy Spirits guiding.

We don’t have to worry about tomorrow. We don’t have to call on our Father to help us, he immediately comes and makes any and all circumstances in our lives come together for our good.

Remember, it doesn’t matter what we see with our natural eyes or feel with our natural body. God is always in control of ALL things and all things are made to work in accordance to Gods will.

Divine Father,

I know Lord that sometimes I cruise along and then all of a sudden, it seems like every thing that can go wrong, does.

I usually call on you to take them away. But this particular scripture tells me that I do not have to worry about anything at all. As long as I stay close and continue to love you and have my faith that you are looking over all aspects in my life that I can rest in you.

At one time, before I knew you, I looked at bad things happening in my life as punishment for things I had done wrong. But since I’ve known you as my saviour, I have believed that it is satan throwing what he can at me and I am weak and so I accept it.

I realize now that both of these scenarios are wrong. Bad things happen in my life because I live in a fallen world. There is sin in here because of Adam and Eve and the fall of man and yes the enemy will use those sins to try to draw me away from you, but he is not the one who creates the sin. He does not have that authority, but he can use them for his purposes.

I am not exempt from bad times just because I love you and Jesus is my saviour.

I do however now know that you take ALL of the bad and use it for my good. Your goal is for all of your children to be just like Jesus. My part of this plan is to keep alert and to stay in the here and now. To keep on loving you Father, to have faith in Jesus and follow in obedience the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Did Jesus panic when he was being persecuted? Did Jesus panic when his finances were low? Did Jesus worry about where he would lay his head each night? Did Jesus worry about what he would eat or even how he could feed all the thousands of people who came to see him preaching? Does anywhere in the Bible tell us the time that Jesus panicked? No to all the above questions.

What did Jesus do? He did his part. He praised His Father that God would look after all of His needs and then Jesus followed and did what he was told to do by the Father.

He never worried because he knew he was in his Fathers care. Did bad things happen to Jesus? Was he beaten, stoned, mocked, etc. throughout his time on this earth? Yes! But everything, good and bad, came together to make Jesus the person he was.

I know Father that Jesus lived and died for a greater purpose than we will even know. Father let me be like Jesus. Let me live in the now. Let me follow you Lord and not worry about anything but continue to praise you for all you have done and everything that you are doing right now in my life. I pray my life will be lived for whatever the bigger purpose is.

Thank you Father for all you do each and every day.

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, I pray.

Amen.

Confession / Repentance – Matthew 7: 3-5

Matthew 7:

[3] And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
[4] Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
[5] Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. (KJV)

First off, we must acknowledge that everyone sins! There has never been nor will there ever be a person, other than Jesus, who has never sinned. We live in a fallen world so everyone will sin and must repent on a regular basis.

It is important for us to remember that before becoming a Christian, we were able to sin easily and comfortably and move on immediately with minimal or no feelings of condemnation. That type of life brings death. We, as Christians, do not want to go back to that!

In this piece of scripture, Jesus is telling us that sometimes we are quite unwilling to see or acknowledge our own sin and the size of it. In fact, we are more than happy to believe that we have no sin or that it’s so small that it doesn’t count.

But when someone comes along with a tiny speck of sin we tend to see it immediately and at times consider it bigger than it really is. We jump right in, giving our “wisdom” while trying to help them. This is what we are told not to do!

Is Jesus saying that we shouldn’t help our brothers? No, he is saying to recognize and work on our own sins first, so that we will be in a better position to help others if and when THEY ASK for help.

These words of Jesus are telling us to be on the watch that we don’t become hypocritical. We must learn to deal with our own sins before getting involved with others.

Now for the good news! We are so very blessed that God set a plan in place for us, even before we were born into this world. We never have to be alone dealing with our sins. Our Father sent his only son, Jesus, to the cross to die for our sins and to enable us to have direct contact with God, through Him. He has sent the Holy Spirit to be living in and working in us. We have all of these resources, but we need to use them and abide in them.

We can fight the enemy (sin) by using the Words of God. We ask for forgiveness and then when cleansed, we put on the armour of God. Once that is done, we can stand strong against the enemy and use the word of God against him.

One stipulation, first we must ask Jesus to be our Saviour and have a good relationship with Him. By abiding in the Lord, we can remove the plank in our eye and then (and only then) can we really help our brother, with love, to remove the speck in his eye, if he asks for help.

(If you have not accepted Jesus into your life yet, and want to, you can do so by going to the link in the top toolbar marked “salvation”)

Heavenly Father

Thank you that you are continually working in my life. Thank you that I am growing albeit so very slowly in this area.

Thank you for the conviction. Thank you that each time I sin, I feel worse than the time before.

Father I ask you to strengthen the conviction I feel when I do anything wrong. I want to be aware of it immediately. I want to remember how I feel during and after each sin.

Can I ever stop sinning totally? No, everyone sins every day, but what I can do is repent and be cleansed.

I want to grow in you Lord. I want to be someone you can use on this earth. I want to be someone who lives for you and loves you so much that others can’t help but see Jesus working in me. I pray that what they see in me will make them long to be your child as well.

Thank you for being such a loving Father that you will continue to chastise me and correct me when I am in the wrong.

Thank you for not leaving me as a lost cause but for continually working in me to help me become a better person.

Thank you Father that once I get rid of the plank in my own eyes, I will see clearly and you will be able to use me to help others.

Father may I always remember to stand with my armour on, ready to fight the enemy at a seconds notice. May I always have ready your Word that I can use to fight and then may I stand solidly on it. May I never again be caught unaware of satan working in my life.

In turn, I will give all of the glory to you! Now that’s the kind of feelings I long for! “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me”

All the praise and glory for you Lord.

In the name of Jesus I pray.

Amen

Faith/ Trust – Psalm 84: 10-12

Psalm 84:

[10] For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
[11] For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
[12] O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee. (KJV)

I found this Psalm hard to understand in some ways. It seemed at first to mean exactly what the words say and yet, it didn’t ring true in my heart.

Once I studied it I realized it is exactly what the words say. The hesitation I had was because I was feeling guilty for not spending as much time with the Lord as I felt I should. (Please note it says as much time as “I” not God felt I should). I also felt guilty because in some situations I was not a good representation or as close to God as I should have been.

The 10th verse says “a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.” It’s better to spend one day worshipping and being with God than a thousand days doing “other” things where the Lord is not involved.

How many times have we run out of the house in the morning, promising that we would spend time with the Father later in the day. Our day is suddenly over and when getting ready for bed, we tell God how tired we are, now promising that we will pray in the morning.

Sometimes we may even start praying at night while in bed, but then fall asleep in the middle of our prayer time. How are we giving honour to the Lord in cases like that?

We should love God enough to make Him the centre of our lives. It would be better for us and our souls to spend one day with God instead of a thousand days off doing something else.

God does not expect us to spend a whole day with him everyday (we’d never get anything done) but he does encourage us to spend some amount of time with him everyday.

That brings us to the next verse. “I’d had rather be a doorkeeper…” There was a position of doorkeeper in God’s house in ancient times. The author is saying that it would be better to be the doorkeeper of God’s house rather than to be in any position of those who were dwelling in the tents of the wicked. What good would it do us to live (even the highest position) in a beautiful tent that was full of wickedness?

As his children, God is our sun and our shield. We can enjoy the spiritual shield that he places before us to help when the enemy tries to come at us.

Because we live in a dark world, one that is full of wickedness, we know as Christians, that as long as we stay connected to God, he will give us his spiritual strength, his grace and his glory. He will shine brightly on us and teach us how to stay out of the darkness. We will put our trust in Him!

Good morning God Almighty.

I bless your holy name. You are so worthy of my worship and love. As I draw near to you this morning Lord, please know my heart and hear my prayers and praises.

May I always want to spend time with you Father, learning and growing. As I draw close to you, you will draw closer to me. It’s a never ending circle of love.

It is the perfect situation, in my opinion. I have found that by spending even a few moments with you in the morning, makes my whole day go much smoother. Thank you Lord.

I thank you that you bless me with mercy and cleanse me of my sins so I can come before you, through Jesus.

I am so very blessed Lord to be your child and to have the confidence and faith that you will watch over me while I’m on this earth, leading and guiding me along the path which leads into eternity.

Praise your mighty name Lord.

In the holy name of my Saviour, Jesus Christ, I pray.

Amen