Last night we watched a program about love and forgiveness. This morning I was reminded if either of those are conditional, they cease to be love and forgiveness. One cannot love everyone, but or forgive everyone, but! There are political figures and other celebrities that I didn’t feel I loved and have been very critical of them. As I think about Jesus on the cross and it has been told he even forgave then; shouldn’t I do the same? “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.” That is certainly not saying we should not pray about the world but genuinely know and understand there is a higher power than what we are seeing and there is no stronger power than Love.
While reading about a young man who left a “hate group” when he actually met some of the people he was supposed to hate and realized he didn’t hate them, I began my internal examination of my heart to see where I needed to love more. Philippians 4:8 reads “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable –if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” That is exactly what I want to do today, with the help of God.
It has been quite a while since we have had rain and the plants and trees look so sad and thirsty. Late yesterday afternoon, I had been pleading to God for rain as I had done recently. Then, it occurred to me that I was praying amiss. All at once I knew in my heart that God knows our every need and surely this was a need. Remembering how Jesus always became thankful before every healing, I, too, began to thank God for always being in control. In about twenty minutes, my husband asked if I heard the rain! It probably rained good for a half hour or more. Needless to say, my heart filled with gratitude and humility as I listened to the answer to my prayer. Psalm 62:8 reads, “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.”
This morning I am studying in Luke 5 where it tells about Simon and the other fishermen working all night and catching nothing. Can only imagine how tired they all were, when they see Jesus and He tells them basically to start over, continue on! This reminds me of the times I have prayed and prayed and seemed nothing was happening. They continue casting their nets, this time on the right side. The catch was so abundant that the net broke and they had to call for help. The same happens when we trust and pray, knowing the Christ is right here and seeing blessings all around. Luke 5:9 reads “For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken.”
The same happens after we have planted a seed. It may look as nothing is happening and then, we spot a sprout!
As I sit at my desk this morning, reading the Bible and praying , it occurs to me that I have every reason in the world to be joyful! So often, the carnal mind tries to come in and tell me I need to be concerned and worried, but I soon detect this message is not from God. Psalms 84:31 reads “The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever: the Lord shall rejoice in His works.” That verse tells me that if God is rejoicing in His work, then so should I.
The times I feel burdened is the exact time I think I can do something without God and I humbly turn to Him, laying all my burdens on the altar. As I become more grateful for this understanding, I soon see God everywhere and know He has never lost control; no matter what the carnal mind is screaming at us. Today is the Lord’s Day and I will praise Him.
Last year when my husband bought his car for our second vehicle, it only came with one key which was digital. He was to make an appointment and return to the dealership to have the second key made. He never went back. Today after misplacing the only key, I immediately reminded him that he should have had that second key made last year.
Then I went to pray about it but my thought was so filled with “self-righteousness” and was having a difficult time praying with that type of thinking. A light soon came on for me as I knew I couldn’t subtract to find the answer to an addition problem. Neither could I get a positive result coming from a negative. My thought immediately humbled as I thought about his patience with me so we called our service who sent out someone at no charge to open the door. The key had fallen on the floorboard.
Romans 8:26 reads “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” I knew immediately that they would be found when I replaced negative thoughts with love and gratitude.
Just hung up the telephone from making a hair appointment and smiling to myself! A short while ago, the young lady at the front desk annoyed me. She seemed pre-occupied and imposed upon with having to set up an appointment for me. I live in a small town and there are not many choices so for a while I simply overlooked her. Then one day, a light shone in my consciousness as I thought about praying about this situation. My prayer was to see through God’s eyes and that is what I began to do. Soon I saw her as God’s perfect child.
There is no way I could tell you when the transformation came but I do know that she is absolutely so delightful with me now. It changed in my thinking; I didn’t go and change her. Romans 5:1 states “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
As I was studying the prodigal son in the fifteenth chapter of Luke today and have probably read this no less that a hundred or more times, it really came to me that while it only took eight verses for this young man to come to his senses, we don’t know how much time had elapsed. It could have been a couple of weeks or several decades, but it made no difference to his father, God. To me, that is so reassuring that God is always patiently waiting for us to wake up and come to Him! Sometimes my lessons come so easy while other times there seems to be such a struggle. That is always up to me!
Gratitude and humility are the traits always needed to find the Christ and that still, small voice. Luke 15:24 reads “for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found. And they began to celebrate.” Setting aside human will and outlining and turning wholeheartedly to God is the answer.