I Ask

I make requests.

I intercede.

I come to God with my concerns.

I have the privilege of talking with the Creator of the Universe – not because I am good.

But because God is good.

This picture is the wall of my garage – the first thing I see every time I get back to my house and open up the garage door.  It’s a great reminder – something I need to remember every day no matter what my circumstances.

Daniel says in his prayer, “We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.”

I can’t earn God’s love.

I can’t work and save myself.

I can never be ‘good enough’ on my own.

I can’t look in the mirror to see what I’m worth – I have to look to the cross.  Jesus died so that I don’t have to be eternally separated from God because of my rebellion and sin.

This kind of mercy deserves a faithful heart.

This kind of grace deserves a heart that is submitted to His will.

This kind of love deserves a life lived in gratitude.  My life.

Amen, let it be so, dear Jesus.

Persistent Knocking

Our conversations with God are often filled with requests.  And, throughout the Bible, God tells us over and over to come to him with all kinds of requests.  He tells us to lay our cares at his feet and leave them.

One of my favorite parables is the story of the Persistent widow.  She knocked and knocked and continued to knock on the door of the unjust judge until he finally took care of her issue and gave her justice so he could get rid of her.  As Jesus told this story, he then tells us ‘how much more’ our heavenly Father loves us so we should have no doubt he will take care of our concerns when we ‘knock on his door’.

I have used this ‘persistent widow’ method in the middle of several stressful situations in my life.  These were times where I needed to make a decision and I needed an answer from him so I knocked on God’s door until he answered.  This meant that I prayed about this issue every time it entered my head – easily 50 to 80 times in a day.

I found that many of these times, God changed my perspective as I prayed and listened.  He has actually changed my perspective in the middle of these stressful times more often than he gave me a direct answer.  By the end of some of these days, my understanding of what was going on was drastically different at the end of the day from when I started that morning.  That’s so ‘like’ him, don’t you think?

So now I don’t usually pray for a specific answer- I pray for understanding of what is  going on and directions for how to move forward.

In Chapter 9, Daniel reminds us in his penitent prayer that we don’t make requests of God because we are righteous.  We don’t make requests because we have done a lot of good things so now its God’s turn to pay us back.

We don’t make requests because we’re ‘good enough’.

We’ll never be good enough on our own.

We can make our requests of God because he is merciful.  We can make requests because he is full of grace.

We can make requests because he loved us first and sent his Son to die for us.  Jesus makes us good enough.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Treachery and Deceit

Lies.

Conspiracies.Jan 14 2015 treachery and deceit.

Spite.

Threats.

As we read the historical account of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in Genesis, we have a clear view of man’s sin and weaknesses.  Over and over, this family lies to each other and  steals from each other.  Even members of the extended family are liars and cheaters.

We also see how patient and merciful God is.  He blessed Abraham’s family even while they were cheating and lying to each other.Jan 14 2016 b treachery and deciet

One notable exception to God’s mercy in this story are Sodom and Gomorrah.  Words must not do justice to how evil these cities were to warrant God sending down fire and brimstone upon them.  They obviously just needed to be gone so God took take of it.

But God showed mercy to Abraham’s family in spite of their legacy of treachery and deceit.

This is good news for us.

Because we mess up.  We sin.

And God sent his son, Jesus, to pay the price that needed to be paid for all of our sin for all time.

We live each day in God’s mercy.

We live each day in God’s love.  In his blessing.

Not because we have every done anything to deserve it.  We will never deserve it.

Salvation is a free gift to anyone who will believe.

And it’s the very best gift our loving Father could ever give us.

Thank you, Abba.

 

The Rising Sun……

has come to us from heaven.Oct 20 2015 the rising sun

He came because of God’s tender mercy toward us.

He came to shine on us –

  • because we were lost in darkness.
  • we were in the shadows of death.

He came to guide our feet onto the path of peace.

The question for us today is –

Are we walking in the light of the Rising Sun?

Are we listening?

Are we obeying?

Are we following the paths of peace as we live out the truth and grace Jesus brought with him from heaven?

Please help us, dear Father.