Abstaining

1 Peter 2:11-12 NKJV Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.

How are those called by Christ’s name to witness to those who have yet to know Him?

Two things: abstaining from fleshly lusts and good works.

These instructions are given elsewhere as well.

Romans 13:14 KJV — But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

The Lord knew we needed more than just the command “don’t do”: put off fleshly lusts; He knew we needed a “do”: put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Because without Jesus, we are simply slaves to our flesh and chained to our sin.

Scripture clearly outlines what fleshly lusts leads to, that we might recognize the danger.

Galatians 5:19-21 KJV — Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

1 John 2:16 KJV — For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Scripture also gives us many verses as to those things we should be “putting on”, the gifts of the Spirit and the works of Christ.

2 Timothy 2:22 KJV — Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Galatians 5:22-24 NKJV — But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Colossians 3:12-14 NKJV — Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

God’s Word tells us that putting off the flesh and putting on Jesus Christ is a testimony to those who accuse us, to those who have yet to know Him.

It is how we shine brightly in a lost and dark world.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for these practical and understandable lessons. Lord, thank You for giving both a warning and an instruction. Thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to convict of sin, that I might not deceive myself, thinking I’m fine, when the truth is I need You daily. Thank You that Your Word brings me such peace as I daily learn to walk with You. Lord, for those who have yet to know You, please continue to use my life and the lives of others who love You as a testament to Your goodness, Your glory, Your holiness, Your truth. Lord, please let the world see the truth, turn to You and be healed. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

A lovely vacation

The past week Handsome (my nickname for my husband) was home on vacation.

We did something we’ve never done.

We stayed home together.

Past vacations have been a kaleidoscope of different activities, whether together or separate.

Twice my husband and I went to the UK and left the kids with Grandma.

Handsome and Jase have had many camping trips which included either hunting or fishing.

Two different years the kids and I flew to the UK.

Once, the three younger, my mom, and myself flew back East to visit her family.

Handsome and Bell went to Africa to attend a wedding a couple years ago.

But rarely do we all take vacation at the same time and never without a schedule.

God had put it on my husband’s heart to not schedule the time outside of previous commitments.

He and Jase headed south Tuesday, as our son had a quick doctor’s appointment and my husband had a dental appointment.

Handsome did inquire into our son’s desire for the vacation and Jase mentioned the coast.

We took Wednesday to drive over for the day.

The majority of our time was simply spent at home.

Yesterday afternoon, Jase and my husband went fishing at a nearby pond Handsome had recently discovered on a walk.

I had to laugh when I received the picture above.

Obviously the fish weren’t biting if the pole was still enough to become a perch.

But it was an excellent example of our week, and if it were a word it would be:

Restful.

Throughout the week, my husband commented on what a great vacation he was having.

I praise God for the gift!

His direction to my husband was perfect, His guidance was better than anything we would have come up with.

Because He knows what is best for us.

I again was struck by the beautiful things which occur when we trust in the Lord and follow His lead.

His work truly is perfect.

Deuteronomy 32:4 NKJV — He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your direction and guidance. Lord, thank You that You give us rest, not just physically, but eternal rest from striving against sin and spiritual death. Your salvation brings us rest. You are just and upright. You hold truth and grant us it in Your Word. Lord, thank You for Your perfect ways. Thank You for Your faithfulness, goodness, and love. Lord, thank You for teaching us daily to trust You and not to lean our own understanding. Lord, in all my ways, I want to acknowledge You. Thank You for teaching me how to do that. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

August 1

Nehemiah 8:10 KJV — Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your joy. Thank You for the strength we find only in You. Lord, on our own we can do nothing, not even stop sinning. You defeated sin on the cross and when You rose again, You defeated death. Lord, thank You so much! What blessed hope we have in salvation! Life eternal with You, where there is no more pain or sorrow. Thank You, Jesus for Your sacrifice! Thank You that through our weakness Your strength is perfected. Today, I put my trust in Your joy to be my strength. I praise Your holy name! Amen.

July 31

Colossians 4:5-6 NKJV — Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for salvation! Lord, thank You for being God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth. Thank You for giving us the guide and direction for life in Your scriptures. Please help us to be people who are redeeming the time, joining in Your work, for You are the Redeemer! Lord, help my speech to be seasoned with salt. Please help me to speak with clarity of mind and discernment. Lord, please keep me from sin, especially in the words I speak or pen. God, I long to be purified by Your Holy Spirit, that I might not sin against You. Thank You for Your work in me, in our family, and in the world. Please continue to return the prodigal, comfort the hurting, heal the sick, and save the world. Thank You. Amen.

July 30

Ephesians 4:29 NKJV — Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Dear Lord Jesus,
I praise and thank You for being God Almighty. Holy is Your name, because You are holy. Lord, please help me to obey Your Word. Lord, please set a guard upon my mouth and a watch over my heart, that the overflow would be filled with grace and love. Lord Jesus, You have high standards because sin hurts us, it mars and damages Your creation. Please teach me to follow closely after You, living in Your ways at all times, thankful for all things and joyfully surrendering myself daily. Lord, place on my heart those who need prayer and help me to be diligent to stand in the gap for each one. Lord, please help me never to categorize people as valuable or invaluable, because each one is Your creation, made in Your likeness. Please help me to value my fellow human as You do. Thank You Jesus for all Your wonderous works! Thank You for Your faithfulness and love. May the whole Earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of You! Amen.

July 29

27 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.” ’
Acts 28:27 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the truth, the life, and the direction You give us in it. Lord Jesus, please continue to soften hearts, to open the eyes, to reach those hard of hearing, because our world needs You. Our whole world needs Your healing touch on their souls. Yet, You never force Yourself upon people, You allow them to choose. Lord, please help us to choose You in every circumstance. Lord, reveal those areas we have closed our eyes or hardened our hearts, that we might repent and be healed. Teach us from Your Word, that we might walk in Your ways and be honorable before You. Lord, thank You that this is a journey and You are continually honing us as we follow after You. Lord, I want to be of those who are used by You to encourage and bless others, because You have encouraged and blessed me so much. Your gift of salvation and the joy of daily relationship with You is to precious to horde. My life is Yours. Do with me as You will. Thank You. Amen.

July 28

18 Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy.
Micah 7:18 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for being a merciful God. Lord, thank You for Your love, goodness, righteousness, holiness, and grace. Lord, I thank You for so many blessings and Your daily provision. Please continue to hone my heart, to guide my life, and to help me become more like You. Lord Jesus, thank You for saving the lost, helping the needy, comforting those who mourn, returning the prodigal and healing the hurt and sick. Thank You for all Your wonderous works. Please continue to reach this world for Your glory. Amen.

July 27

Psalm 100:1-5 NKJV — A Psalm of Thanksgiving. Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for another beautiful day. Thank You for life, the breath in my lungs, the beating of my heart, the enduring love of Your sacrifice. Thank You for salvation. Lord, thank You for Your provision, our daily bread, Your Word that holds the truths of life. Please continue to open my mind and heart to learning. Please hold me accountable to Your Word. Lord, where I have believed a lie or misunderstood a truth, please correct that in me. Please keep me from the snares of the enemy and teach me how to walk forward into Your truth. Lord, please help me walk in Your ways. Lord, please place a watch over my lips, a guard over my mind, and help me not to look at worthless things, that I might not sin against You. I love You. Thank You for first loving me. Amen.

July 26

Leviticus 19:5 KJV — And if ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, ye shall offer it at your own will.

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Lord, although we no longer sacrifice animals upon an alter, there’s something so profound in the peace offering being made by their own will. Peace offerings were to be an individual choice, not a mandatory offering. Lord, I want to offer You myself as a peace offering. To set aside my desires and my agenda for You. Lord, there is no peace outside Yours. Mankind can not have peace without You.  Thank You that it is a free gift to us when we accept Your salvation. Lord, thank You for being the Savior of the World! Lord, please heal the sick and hurting, please help the fatherless and widow, please comfort those who mourn, please return the prodigal and save the lost. Thank You. Amen.

July 25

Romans 13:12-14 NKJV — The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.Romans Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your faithfulness and love. Lord, thank You for Your Word and the direction, wisdom, and truth found within. Lord, please help us to follow these verses, to put off the things of this world and put on the things of righteousness. Lord, help us to hear Your instruction and understand Your truth. Thank You, Lord for Your incredible blessing. How great You are! Amen.

This week our family is enjoying vacation time together, so I will be sharing our daily verse and prayer, but not writing as normal.

I pray God blesses you this week. ❤️