Philippians 1:21For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for teaching us so many things and giving us Your truth. Lord, please continue to open our minds to learning more about You each and every day. Help us to walk in Your ways, always. Please train our hearts to be humble, loving, compassionate, quick to forgive, quick to listen, and full of mercy and grace. Lord, thank You for salvation! Through the washing of Your Word, please purify our hearts and minds. Let us not look on evil, but instead focus on You. Lord, please shut off lies, deception, and trickery. Help us to put away anything which would hinder our walk with You. Thank You for Your faithfulness and amazing love. I love You, Jesus. Amen.
Psalm 86:5 NKJV — For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for Your abundant forgiveness, mercy, and grace. Lord, how often we fail to realize the incredible measure of Your love and how far You have gone to extend forgiveness to us. Please help us to call upon You in every circumstance. To follow You with a whole heart. Lord, teach us how to forgive and how to love as You do. Lord Jesus, Your truth, Your faithfulness, Your compassion is what I want to have for others. Please guide me with Your love, Your understanding, Your will. Thank You for all You have done, are doing, and will do. Thank You. Amen.
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.
Thank You for Your faithfulness! For myself and my family, I humbly thank You. Your grace, Your mercy, Your provision, and Your truth have done so much. You have made a way in the desert. You have brought joy from sadness. You have restored that which was broken. You are sustaining us daily. Thank You! I can not say enough about all Your blessings, all Your wonderous works. You are so faithful and I can not praise You enough. Thank You. I love You, Jesus. Amen.
Psalm 34:4 NKJV — I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You so much for Your Word. It is so rich, so full, such a blessing! You have never stopped caring for Your people. Your creation is precious to You. Please, stop those who are exploiting others for their own desires. Please stop those who prey upon the innocent, the weak, the needy. Lord, let righteousness, truth, and goodness return. Raise up those who would stand up for what is right, honorable, true, and good. Lord, please return truth to our nation, our world. Lord Jesus, there is nothing and no one hidden from Your sight. Help us to remember that and to live before You with integrity. Lord Jesus, please place Your Word in our hearts and minds. Please fill us with Your truth, with grace, mercy, love, compassion, understanding, discernment, self-control, long suffering, gentleness, strength, and integrity. Please use our lives. Please help us to live for You alone. I love You, Jesus. Thank You for all Your blessings. Lord, please heal the sick and hurting, protect the innocent, return the prodigal, and save the lost. Thank You. Amen.
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord , my strength, and my redeemer. Psalms 19:14 KJV
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You, Lord for Your care and continued provision. Lord Jesus all that we have is Yours. Our lives belong to You. Please help us to walk with You daily in all these things. Please shine Your light and truth into every area of our lives. Jesus, we love You. We praise Your holy name! Thank You for all Your wonderous works. Lord, I humbly lift up the weak, the fatherless, the destitute, the lost, the hurting, and the broken. Lord, You see all. Each person’s story You know. Please continue to shine into the darkness. Please bring hope, faith, love, compassion, kindness, and so much more to our hurting world. Please let my life be used by You to reach others. Thank You so much for Your faithfulness, Your grace, Your mercy, and Your salvation. I love You, Jesus. Amen.
As I focus on praise, worship, and prayer today it seemed fitting to share part of a hymn written by Peter Scholtes.
“We are one in the spirit, we are one in the Lord. We are one in the spirit, we are one in the Lord. And we pray that all unity may one day be restored. And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”
This hymn is precious to my heart.
The first time I was touched by it was as a young adult, sitting in church.
During the offering a music video with this song was played.
Tears streamed down my face and my heart hurt so deeply.
Because although I knew many Christians, it wasn’t our love for one another which we were known for.
I remember telling God I wanted to be the kind of Christian who was known by God’s love.
We purchased a Jars of Clay CD which contains the same song.
My children have grown up listening to it.
Anne’s favorite song is this same hymn, preformed by King and Country.
Our family will be listening to this and other hymns this morning.
I will be praising the Lord.
From what I can find, Jason Upton added these lines to the original hymn.
“All praise to the Father from whom all things come, And all praise to Christ Jesus, His only son. And all praise to the Spirit, Who makes all things one.”
“And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”
1 Chronicles 29:13 KJV — Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.
Psalm 30:12 KJV — To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for beautiful songs and hymns and spiritual songs that we can sing unto You. Lord, if my breath is taken and I can’t sing, may my heart praise You even more. Lord Jesus, please continue to bring us to a place of prayer and praise, that our hearts might find all we seek in You. How great and wonderful You truly are! What a privilege and honor it is to praise Your holy name! What joy there is in my soul safely in Your hands. Jesus, I lift up those who are hurting, sick, lost, fearful, and in need, please let them each find comfort and security in You. Open their eyes, unstop their ears, and soften their hearts, that they might find joy, peace, and true love in Your salvation. Please heal our land. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.
Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament! Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord ! Psalms 150:1-6 NKJV
There is never an end to the reasons to praise God.
If every word of praise was as numerous as every drop of water on Earth, it wouldn’t be enough to compare with His mighty works.
Mind can not comprehend the length of His goodness.
Yet, just a tiny peek into His creation brings forth such reason for praise.
Add to the wonders of creation the salvation of our souls through Jesus Christ.
It doesn’t require many words or fancy music.
True praise simply requires a humble and repentant heart.
Psalm 147:1 KJV — Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.
Psalm 143:10 KJV — Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for so many things. First, for creating us and second for saving us from sin. After that Lord, thank You for providing for us, thank You for grace, truth, scripture, and Your Holy Spirit, which comforts and guides. Lord Jesus, without You, we are blind, foolish, selfish, and lost. Please continue to guide, exhort, love, and save. Please, lead me into the land of uprightness. Thank You. Amen.
Since childhood, I’ve found my mouth getting me into trouble.
Talking comes so much more naturally than being silent.
To make matters worse, if I’m nervous I normally talk more.
Not a positive trait.
Because more words means more opportunities to say something I shouldn’t.
As with all things, scripture is my go to for this area of struggle.
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. Colossians 4:6 NKJV
Always speak words of grace, seasoned with salt.
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. Ephesians 4:29 NKJV
Nothing which is spoken should poison or harm, instead words should be healing truth filled with love and grace.
Psalm 19:14 KJV — Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
The words spoken and the thoughts focused on are directly linked and need to be under the Lordship of Christ.
I have prayed these verses in my desire to speak only uplifting and encouraging words.
For wrestling with my untamable tongue continues.
It’s also a lesson I’m trying to teach.
I’ve asked more than once, “Was that kind?”
Colossians 3:12 NKJV — Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
How we speak, act, think, and respond should all be within the boundaries of protection the Lord set up in His Word.
If I’m allowing unkind speech out of my mouth, what are the thoughts of my heart?
Matthew 12:34 KJV — O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. (emphasis mine)
Therefore my speech is a mirror of my heart’s condition.
Of course, I’m powerless to train myself at all, only through the Lord Jesus and His guidance can my actions and attitudes change.
How encouraging to look backwards and see He has brought me so far from where I used to be.
How thankful I am for His patient instruction.
Conviction really is a blessing.
Thus, I’m praising God for His Word, His patient correction, and His love.
I’m also continuing to lift up my struggles in prayer.
Psalm 141:3 NKJV — Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word and Your guidance. I desperately want to sow good things in life and I know this area of words is a vital part. Please Lord, set a guard over my mouth, and a door upon my lips that I might not sin. Lord Jesus, cleanse my heart and renew my mind, that I might be able to walk in Your ways, being led by Your Spirit. Lord Jesus, I want to live in such a way as to redeem the time, please teach me daily how to do so. Thank You. I love You, Jesus.