Friday, June 26, 2009

Random Acts of Prayer

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4 NIV)

Performing random acts of kindness is a wonderful practice, doing something nice for someone for no other reason than to brighten their day. Anonymous deeds are the most gratifying. Paying the toll for the person in the car behind you or leaving flowers at a neighbor’s doorstep. But, what if we took this practice even further? What if we committed random acts of prayer by going about our days eagerly seeking out people to pray for? On the way to work, we can pray that each person on the bus has a good day and gets home safely. Walking down the street, we can look into people’s faces and see the need for prayer in their eyes or by their demeanor. We can pray that they find relief from whatever is troubling them. Passing an accident on the highway, we can pray that there are no serious injuries.

What do we get by performing these radical, random acts of wishing peace and goodwill towards others? We get to share the love of God within us, which was not meant to be hoarded and kept to ourselves, but to be offered freely and gladly to everyone. There are few things in life that provide more satisfaction.

Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us the will and desire to pray for others. May we continue to love others as you have loved us and to share that love freely, without expectation of recognition or reward, knowing that it is your will for us.

© Copyright 2009 G. Francis Johnson

Friday, June 19, 2009

Lest Any Be Hardened by Sin

Exhort one another day by day, so long as it is called To-day; lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:13 (ASV)

Disease sickens the body in the same way that sin sickens the soul, but Lyme disease has the greatest one-on-one parallel that I know. When first entering a victim’s bloodstream, Lyme bacteria are vulnerable to antibiotics. As the microorganisms remain undetected, though, they develop a drill-like appendage which allows them to move into other body cells. E
ach bacterium also develops the ability to detect the presence of antibiotics and protect itself by becoming an impenetrable, hard-walled cyst. Treatment makes the patient feel better, but the bacilli are still present, ready to reactivate.

Sometimes Lyme disease appears with a bull’s eye rash. Sometimes not. Early recognition ensures eradication. At the same time, delayed recognition makes medical complications inevitable.
It is the same with spiritual sin. Sometimes we immediately know the state of our hearts and sometimes not. The longer sin goes undetected, cysts of sin harden so that opening up to God’s love through confession and repentance becomes almost impossible. In parallel to those with chronic Lyme disease, chronic sin evades the antibiotics of God’s cleansing word, the admonition and forgiveness of friends, or the muted voice of our own consciences.

God calls us to avoid spiritual sickness or, when necessary, to recover quickly, but more importantly, He calls us to exhort others and even ourselves. He does not want his followers to be “hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Our job is to help others and ourselves move quickly into the light of His love.

Prayer: Lord, help us recognize the infection of sin and the hardening of our hearts. Help us do our job of exhortation. Amen.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Train

Teach me your way, O Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. Psalm 27:11 (NIV)

The bright moon fills the bedroom with light. A train whistle interrupts the quiet night along with a roaring engine and clicking wheels on the track. It's a freight train; passenger trains are quieter. The clatter gets louder and louder until it sounds as though the train is outside my door. I wonder where it's going. It doesn't take long for the train to pass and the night is silent again.

Life is a fast moving train. God laid out a track for me to follow. The years I spent raising children roared by quickly. Before I knew what happened, I found myself sitting in an empty house. There were many stops along the way. Listening to others caused me to make some bad choices, and I derailed. God was always there to put me back together and set me going in the right direction. Keeping in the Word, shows me which route He wants me to pursue. Living the Word helps me to stay on course.I look back and wonder where did my life go? I want the time I have left to be valuable. As I travel, God will continue to be the conductor, I am the train taking His Word to everyone.

At the end of the line, I want to stand before God and have him say to me. "Well done my good and faithful servant.

"Lord, show me how to make a difference in this world. Help me to become a better disciple for you.

© Marcella Panowicz 2009

Friday, June 5, 2009

He Will Give You Rest

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 1Peter 5:7 (NIV)

In America, we face so many enormous upheavals in our economic and financial systems that our level of fear is increasing. Some have had their investment portfolios and retirement accounts decimated in recent months. Others will postpone retirement plans for a few more years. Home foreclosures are skyrocketing; the value of many homes has plummeted. Our money is no longer as valuable as it once was, while inflation is setting in with higher prices for essential needs. More and more of us are losing our jobs. When will it end? How should we handle our anxiety and fear?

When we consider the enormity of the challenges facing our families, it seems overwhelming at times. In my anxious moments, I remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 11. He tells us to come to Him when we are weary and burdened, and He will give us rest. Jesus continues in verses 29 and 30: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Those verses speak to us of the Source of peace in anxious times. Jesus will give us rest from the weary burdens of this life. When we are fearful, we can trust Our Savior to gently care for us.

In Genesis 22:14, I find that Jehovah-Jireh is our provider. God’s provision is always adequate.

Dear Father: Thank You that I can trust You with my fears and know that You will always take care of me. Thank You for giving me rest when life seems overwhelming. In Jesus name, Amen

© 2009 Diane E. Hussey