Do You Need Patient Endurance?

Verse: Hebrews 10:36

“Patient endurance is what you need now so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” (NLT‬‬)
http://bible.com/116/heb.10.36.nlt

Love God: We rarely consider being patient with God but maybe we should. After all, He’s in charge. I’ve seen a 5-year-old wait for her mom to finish a conversation on the phone and I know the value of (and the struggle for) patient endurance!

Love Others: Do we extend that patience to others? We can only be blessed with what we also give.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for your promises to me and help me to stay patient and learn from the trials I have been blessed with. As a child waits for a parent, so I wait for you to guide me. Please grant me patient endurance in the wait.

The Verse After the Most Recited

I’ve memorized John 3:16. Almost everyone has. I think I memorized it when I went to bible camp, at age fourteen, to keep from doing dishes. Not the most saintly reason but a very teen reason for sure.

But for some reason, I also memorized the next verse and ironically it is not the most well-known. So, I thought I’d share it today to discuss in our very simple format.

Verse: John 3:17 For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved.

Love God: How often do you feel like the whole point of Jesus is to make you feel guilty about the way you live your life? Are you aware that this was not the original plan?

Love People: God seems to have had a specific goal in mind for mankind, and that takes time and thought. Do you condemn others before you think?

Prayer: Father, you are so patient with me, with all my flaws. Help me to remember that your love is here to teach me, not to judge me, for what I cannot do. Help me to do the same for others.

 

 

The Thing About Simplicity

I love quotes. They simply sum up life in a few sentences.  They also remind us of how cognizant we should be but are not.

Simplicity is a goal that either takes great concentration and effort or becomes a necessity. Mine has become the latter. Right after my last post about my goals for 2018 my husband went in for hernia surgery and due to some complications we spent the entire month of January in the hospital. It was not a great way to begin the year, let alone my goals.

I quickly became aware that I was not going to get my closets cleaned out, the garage put in order or even clean out my desk. I was not going to plan meals, send out birthday cards on time or make my grandchildren anything by hand this year. All I was going to accomplish, at that point, was making sure I had an extra change of underwear with me at the hospital.

But God is good. He understands my desire for simplicity, even if it did become a necessity more than a desire. He helped me to see that when life boils down to just surviving and helping someone recover you find the time to do the things that really matter and you just ignore the rest.  No, I don’t want to say ignore; that’s not really what you do. It’s more like you sigh heavily, feel the pang of guilt, but allow yourself to move on because you have no choice.

I want to write but I feel overwhelmed. Still, I want to share my heart in words. I can’t tell you why. I only know it is an inherent gene that God planted long ago. I simply want to write. So today, I’m going to write…simply.  Jesus taught us that all of the laws and the prophets hang on just two simple commandments; love God and love others. Jesus was the master of simplicity. I can only hope to be as good at that as He is.

Verse: John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Love God: Do you love God as much as he loves you? Could you give up everything important to you, for him?

Love People: If God loves “the world” that much he probably loves the guy in the next room with the obnoxious voice, your ex-spouse, and that annoying girl you still hate from high school. Should you consider how you feel about the people God loves?

Prayer: Father, thank you for your gift of everlasting life despite the way I treat others sometimes. Please help me to see the way you see so that I can love the way you love.

 

 

I’ll Pray For You

 

My mother says this to me often. She and I are not of the same religion. Still I am grateful when I think of my name on their altar, where she and her group of friends, some who don’t even know me, bow their heads and plead for my cause.

My friend’s daughter, a Wiccan, says she hopes the Gods smile down on me and that she will send me good energy. I have only one God but I know He loves her enough to hear her plea for energy in my behalf.

My Catholic friend says she will light a candle for me. My son-in-law says, “Insha’Allah, If God wills it,” and then gets on his knees for me at his mosque. My Pentecostal friend says she will pray over me. My aunt says she will ask the elders of her church to lay their hands on me. I am touched by their concern despite the fact that I don’t practice my faith in the same way. My neighbor, who is agnostic simply says, “I’ll be thinking of you.” I’ll take that too.

Whether these people believe in the same God I do, or not, is beside the point. My God believes in them. It doesn’t matter if He is exactly who they think He is because the God I love cares for the compassionate requests of all of His children. And when they raise their voices to Him, in whatever religious place, ceremony, ritual or language they use, I know that His translation skills are universal. His is the ear of a patient father, who feels the worth of our reaching and hears the language of our hearts.

All prayer, all concentrated love and concern for others, counts in heaven.

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:26‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/rom.8.26.esv

More from the Bible about Praying for Each Other

“I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;”
‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭2:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/1ti.2.8.esv

“Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18:19‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/mat.18.19.esv

“Therefore…pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
‭James‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/jas.5.16.esv

Sin or Mistake?

So I’m sitting in a group talking about the dumb things we do in life and I hear that new but familiar whisper in my mind, “God takes care of our sin.  He doesn’t need to fix our mistakes, we do.”

It was quite an abrupt thought actually.  I had to ask myself, “Is it a mistake when I get angry or is it a sin of judgement and unkindness?  Is it a mistake that I hurt someone’s feelings or a sin? What’s the difference and why does it matter?”

For me a mistake is something I do by accident, without premeditated thought and without contemplating the consequences.  A sin, on the other hand, is something I do knowing full well what the consequences are and not caring at that immediate moment.  Both cause regret and both should be addressed immediately but only one seems an intentional misuse of God’s gift of grace while the other seems an unintentional way to be forced to ask for someone else’s grace.

I sit back and think to myself, “The trouble is, if it’s my job to fix my mistakes, then when I sin and call it a mistake it becomes my job to take care of my sin.  So, do I really want to be held accountable for all of the sins I can’t take care of?  I think I’m pretty tied up already working on fixing all those mistakes!  It’s probably much easier to come clean, ask for God to take it and release it than to hang on to the delusion that it was ‘just a mistake’. ”

Then I hear, “Stop calling it a mistake and start asking for forgiveness and strength.”

Uh huh…noted.

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