No record

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NKJV — Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Years ago the Lord took me through a season of “studying” what love is.

Part of that was to break this verse down piece by piece and really work at understanding everything the scriptures said about what love is.

I needed to know, because I was struggling.

I couldn’t see past society’s fake version of love nor the temporary emotions that are often tagged as love.

I knew there was more, so much more, because of Jesus, and I wanted to better understand His love as well as what mine should be.

My study, years ago was with an NIV and this one section jumped to mind recently.

1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV — It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

“Keeps no record of wrongs”

That had been like a 2×4 upside my head years ago.

The Lord showed me at that time, how I had carefully logged a list of people’s wrongs against me.

I suddenly realized my “praying” for these people was actually me recounting each wrong in order from my list and telling God all about what sad things had happened to me.

Obviously, I wasn’t loving them.

Indeed, I wasn’t praying for them either.

I praise God for His patience and that He showed me my error.

It wasn’t easy nor quick, but the Lord began showing me how to love.

Starting with trashing the lists of wrongs.

When the Lord brought this back to my heart yesterday, it was with great joy.

I’d been praying specifically for a circumstance and this was the answer.

Love keeps no record wrongs, because loving means forgiving.

Matthew 6:14 NKJV — “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

Ephesians 4:32 NKJV — And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

God set the example.

Jesus paid the price.

We should love as He does.

Colossians 3:13 NIV — Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for forgiveness! What a priceless gift You have given us, both in Salvation and in life eternal with You. Lord Jesus, thank You for reminding me of this scripture and for bringing back to my heart the importance of forgiveness. Please help me to never make lists of wrongs, but instead choosing to love. Lord, thank You, that You are our righteous judge and that we can look to You and trust You for all things. Lord, please grant me wisdom, that I might be able to know what Your will is for each day. Help me to walk in Your truth at all times. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

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February 28

Today’s prayer:

Micah 6:8 NKJV — He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for showing us what is good. Thank You for reminding us that serving You is best. Only in You can we find justice, mercy, and truth. Lord, please help us to walk humbly, not just now, but every day of our lives. Please help us to put off pride, envy, and selfishness. Please remind and train our hearts to be focused upon Your Word and walking daily with You. Lord, if there’s anything sinful, anything which does not revere You in our hearts, please show it to us that we might repent. Help us to be quick to flee from evil and steadfast in putting off wickedness in every form. Please continue to train and hone us into Your perfect image. Thank You for Your long suffering. Thank You for Your unfailing love. I praise You, Lord. Thank You for all Your wonderous ways!

February 27

Today’s prayer:

Psalm 101:6 KJV — Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your mercy, grace, love, and truth. Lord, thank You for our daily bread. Please forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lord, please provide direction and guidance, help us to walk in Your ways. Help us to hear Your voice and know Your will. Lord Jesus, we want to serve You in spirit and in truth. Let lies be cut off and done away with. Let turmoil and strife be put away. Lord, please return the prodigal, save the lost, heal the sick and hurting. Please teach us unwavering faith in You, putting all our trust and hope in You alone. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for salvation. Thank You for the promise of heaven! I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Good Saturday morning

As a child I loved Saturday mornings.

I’d run from my room to the giant pillow in front of the TV and watch cartoons.

The afternoons always seemed a let down.

For some reason they were a lot less enjoyable than any other day of the week, but upon reflection it probably had to do with my perspective.

What was there to look forward to after the cartoons were over?

I love that adulthood has brought a clearer perspective.

I still enjoy Saturdays, but my joy comes from something much more satisfying.

It comes from extra time with the Lord and my family.

Some Saturdays are busier than others, but most of the tasks focus around things we do as a family.

None of us “rush” our morning unless the schedule requires it.

Often, it’s the day we get in the most talking.

Personally, I try to carve out extra time in prayer as well.

I no longer look at Saturday as my moment of self-interest, but instead as an opportunity for building.

It’s a chance to build relationships.

No matter the schedule, the expectations, nor the duties, I pray you are able to spend some of your Saturday enjoying the blessings of the Lord and building upon your relationships.

Especially with one which is most important.

After all, life is constantly changing, but Jesus is forever.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for this beautiful morning. Lord, I do not know what today holds, but I know Who holds me in today. Please continue to polish my heart to be more like You. Please fill me with Your Word and help me to see Your truth. Lord Jesus, thank You for so many blessings. Thank You for our family and another day to praise You. Thank You for sustaining us and providing for us. Thank You for loving us always. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Ice storm

The weekend before last was a new experience for me.

The weather warning was freezing rain and I thought I had a general idea of what to expect.

Of course, I should have known better.

The freezing rain began Thursday night.

It didn’t seem like a big deal until I walked out to the car Friday morning.

It was like someone had poured a coating of ice over the entire thing.

Hmm… freezing rain means it freezes as it’s raining!

(Don’t ask me why I hadn’t figured that out before.)

It took some effort, but we got it cleaned off and the steady rain helped since the temperature was no longer low.

We cleared off the ice enough to see, get into the car, and start the engine.

But I had no idea what the following night was going to be like.

My poor husband was up throughout, listening to the trees all around the neighborhood crack, break, or fall over.

I asked him to get some pictures the next morning since he was going out to assess the damage.

It was a sad and amazing landscape.

I can’t express to you the beauty!

The trees which could handle the extreme weight of every branch encased in ice was extraordinary.

But right along side these beautiful unique artwork were the broken limbs and fallen trunks of those which could not handle the weight.

The only other time I’ve seen so many trees uprooted and laying on their sides was many years ago when a child.

A severe wind and dust storm came through the city I lived in and trees all over were knocked down, roots still cling to bits of sod combing the air, unable to withstand the force of the wind.

It seems an age since I thought about that and here I am, living in a different state, realizing that weather can make an incredible mess.

But, the beauty was apparent as well.

Ice encased trees was brief, but the landscape will never be the same.

Our backyard will take many hours.

The positive side of things is the opportunity for new.

New growth in plants and trees will happen.

New trees will replace the old.

We are replacing the cedar with an apple tree.

New opportunities will be available once the clean up is finished.

It’s like our lives.

Things change, we experience loss, grief, trials, but there’s always something beautiful in it and God is always working through it.

Lamentations 3:25 NLT — The LORD is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him.

Psalm 27:14 NKJV — Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!

Lamentations 3:26 NKJV — It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the LORD.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for all Your wonderous ways. How great and awesome are Your works! Lord, oftentimes I get shortsighted, and can not see beyond myself. Please help me to live and love on a much broader scale. To walk with You in all things and to trust You in all ways. Lord Jesus, You know what today holds and I know You are holding me in today. Thank You. May those who are called by Your name live our lives understanding Your truths. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Grace like rain…

Matthew 5:43-45 NKJV — “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’. But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

God gives us direction in His Word for life and how to live.

Here He instructs us on how to love and give grace.

It’s like the rain, it should fall on everyone.

God makes it clear, we are to remember His grace for us and to extend it to others.

Psalm 145:9 KJV — The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

Of course, like all things God calls us to do, it comes with wisdom and discernment.

Matthew 7:6 NKJV — “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

Therefore, while walking in God’s grace and mercy, we treasure it for what it is, not trampling or shredding the priceless gift of God: salvation through Jesus Christ.

We also have the privilege to extend the same grace we enjoy to those around us, not exposing others or ourselves to evil and passing it off as good, but instead calling out evil and loving the sinner whose life is being strangled by that same evil.

Because true love, as exampled in Christ Jesus, reaches out to the sinner.

Romans 5:8 KJV — But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Talk about amazing, costly grace!

Jesus paid a high price to extend it to us.

For those of us who enjoy this grace, may we be quick to share it.

God’s grace showered upon us is truly a wonderful blessing.

John 1:17 KJV — For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your awesome gift of grace and mercy. How small is my understanding of what a costly gift it is, but I humbly thank You for it. Lord Jesus, please help me to remain humble before You and to remember that mankind does not see the heart, only You can. It is against the pride ridden nature of my sinful heart to want to extend grace to others, but You call me to love the same as You do. Please, Lord, help me to walk in this and continue to teach my heart Your ways. Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness and love. Thank You for this new day in which to learn more about loving as You do. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

February 24

Picture by C.B.

Today’s prayer:

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
Philippians 4:4‭-‬5 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for salvation, Your Word, Your Holy Spirit, Your mercy, and grace. Thank You that this is not our home, but we can look forward to eternity with You. Lord, thank You for loving us always in all things. Thank You for guiding us and shining Your truth into our hearts and minds. Please rid us of fear, selfish ambition, and all manner of sin, for we want nothing to come between us and You. Thank You for washing us clean, white as snow and redeeming the time. Please save the lost, return the prodigal, protect the innocent, provide for the needy, heal the sick and hurting. Please be glorified in me today. Thank You. Amen.

Simply–love

Deuteronomy 6:5 KJV — And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

God’s Word is clear, we are to love Him.

That our hearts should be devoted to Him first, most, and best.

Because life lived in any other pursuit will lead us astray, into sin, shame, pain, and eventually death eternal.

But for those who love the Lord God, the benefits are incredible.

Psalm 31:23 KJV — O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

Psalm 145:20 KJV — The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.

Being preserved by God is indeed a wonderful promise, giving us a place to find rest and peace beyond today’s trouble, past the temporary struggles, and beyond the grave.

Joshua 23:11 KJV — Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.

It’s not complicated, love God.

Luke 10:27 KJV — And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

In loving God, we find another opportunity: loving others.

Because love is a gift meant to be shared.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NKJV — Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

Love is more than an emotion and far more than any physical pleasure, it is a continued support, care, and nurture.

Romans 12:10 KJV — Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Ephesians 4:2 KJV — With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

Love is what Jesus shows us.

Hebrews 10:24 KJV — And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

Just as Jesus encouraged the disciples in loving God and loving others, we too can be encouraged in both, and encourage one another.

It’s simple: love.

Love God first, most, and best.

And in doing so love others.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for loving and guiding each one of us. Lord Jesus, thank You for living a life of love and sacrifice. You are our perfect example in all things and we are so blessed to have Your Word to teach us and Your Spirit to convict us. Please, show me where I need to grow in love. Please let me never weary of doing good, but to increase my efforts in every way to follow You with all that I am. Lord, there is nothing more awesome than You and Your love is amazing. Please continue to guide my heart, speak through Your Word, and show me Your way. Thank You for Your love. Thank You for life. I praise Your holy name Jesus! Amen.

February 22

Today’s prayer:

Isaiah 46:4 NKJV — Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you.

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Lord, there is nothing to fear and no circumstance You are not aware of. Lord, in this life, You told us we would have trials and tribulations. You told us the enemy would be after us to steal, kill, and destroy. Lord Jesus, at no time do we want to give place to the tricks, lies, or snares of the enemy. Lord, we do not want to make room for our sinful flesh either. Lord Jesus, please help us to hear Your voice, to understand Your will, to meditate upon Your truths, and to walk in humility before You. Lord, nothing on this Earth will last past the grave besides the souls of mankind. Please help us to be diligent in serving You all our days, that those who have yet to know You will be drawn to You, those who are in need or hurting will be comforted, and those who are our fellow brothers and sisters will be encouraged and supported. Please help us to love one another as Your Word teaches us to. Please guide each heart, let each one look to their own ways and surrender themselves completely before You. Lord, please purify Your people. Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your love. I love You, Jesus. May the whole Earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of You! Amen.

Thank you!

Yesterday, I was so blessed by my husband and so many others.

God answered.

I am improving.

Although, I’m not up and able to do yet, I’m able to type!

I am so humbled by the beautiful love and care of so many.

Thank you.

I also wanted to thank the Lord.

I hope you will join me in prayer.

Dear Lord Jesus,

How great and awesome You are. Your ways are incredible and Your truth is amazing. Lord, I am so humbled by all Your blessings. Lord Jesus, great is Your faithfulness and Your love is unending. What a joy, what a privilege it is to serve You. Lord, You know my heart. You know my path. You understand all the intricate details of my life. Thank You for sustaining me. Thank You for providing so much for me. Lord, there are so many who need You. There is such hurt and tragedy all around the world. Lord, You know every circumstance and each heart. Please bring people closer to Yourself. Please work through those who already know the depth of Your love and the mercy of Your salvation. Lord, let the whole Earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of You. Thank You. Amen.