Tag Archives: grace

The Galatians One

TheFruitOne“Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control. Against these things, there is no law.”
This ornament was received during a present exchange game one year. The game got a little spicy and folks were having a little fun with it. Things were said in the heat of this silly game – about the gifts that were given. This ornament was one of the “unwanted” ones and had been traded around and bantered about. My gift had been “stolen” and replaced with this one. Needless to say, in the passion and comradery, I was not gentle or kind in my joking. My friend gently leaned over to me and quietly said, “I made that ornament.” Immediately I was humble, thinking of every joke that had been said and every silly thing bantered about the room – especially the ones that I said.
My friend, Kelly, and her husband had moved here from out of state a year prior to partner in a business venture. Once here, thru a series of very hard circumstances, the partner took the business and they lost about everything. She daily, faithfully, waited on God’s provision as they walked a precarious tightrope, making sure their 3 small children had food and shelter every day and not knowing always where it would be coming from. I had learned snippets of God’s faithfulness, patience, goodness from watching her each day. I was crushed at my words – at the unintentional slap of my friends handiwork. She wanted to participate in this gift exchange game and couldn’t afford frivolous things, so she made a glass ornament with the fruit of the Spirit painted on it. It’s a beautiful reminder each year of the lessons learned then, God’s patience with me, & a sweet friend that God brought into our lives for a moment that gracefully taught lessons for a lifetime.

I love this ornament and think of her family every year as I set it always high on the tree – where God’s Word should be in our lives.

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STOP

STOP

the day between

the day of contemplation

the day to look

on the past & reconcile

with

WHAT

JUST

HAPPENED

the day of realization

my sin put my God

on a cross

He died

in order that

we could be together

we could have life

we could

L I V E

do not throw it away

d o  n o t  p u t  i t  o n  a  s h e l f

do not hide this gift

share it

as we share it

it grows

it is living

it is breathing

from a living breathing God

He loved us first

F I R S T

while we were lost

while we were sinning

so we could

L O V E

more fully

more abundantly

more gracefully

GO


days

9 more days…
9 more days!!!
9 more days until the bills are due again. 9 more days to figure out where the money is coming from. 9 more days before things get too serious. God, we have only 9 MORE DAYS!

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens & the earth…
1:31 God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. And there was evening & there was morning – the sixth day.

If in 6 days, the God of the Universe created the whole place from nothing, then in 9 days MIRACLES CAN HAPPEN!

But there are so many, Lord, that don’t have 9 more days. Today is the reckoning for those families. They have ZERO days. No more minutes of waiting, expecting, hoping. The time for action is now, the time for Your glory has arrived. You are a God of hope, a God of timing, a God of patience. Show Your glory to those families today, Lord. Let them know who You are. Let others see Your faithfulness in their lives. Let others be amazed at Your perfect timing.

Today i pray for those who are at their last breath, the ones who are out of time, the ones who feel crushed beneath the weight of the world. today i pray for Your miracles, for the rescue that has been holding out, for You to show Your glory in their lives and thru their lives. i pray that You would shine light on their darkest hour brighter than any sun & more powerful than human explanation.

Today i pray for those with just 9 more days. i pray You would give us strength in the waiting, hope in the process, encouragement for the journey. i pray that we would be emboldened to speak of Your faithfulness, energized to accomplish the daily tasks, peace to hear Your voice in the quiet whisper.

i pray, Lord, that You would be with each of us in the waiting, each of us in the darkness, each of us in the GLORY!

2 Timothy 2:13
If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

Lord, do not deny Yourself to us today.
Bring Your joy to us this day, i pray…


trust

Psalm 33:1
“Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord; it is fitting for the pure to praise Him.”

TODAY I choose to trust God. Not just to trust Him, but to trust IN Him. To rely on his promise and to stand on the past. He is a gracious, loving, generous God who has walked us through many storms faithfully. Not because we have been faithful, but because He is faithful. He has walked us through more storms that we have created through our own poor choices as well as many that have been brought to us to make us stronger.

Psalm 33:4
“For the word of the Lord holds true and we can trust everything He does.”
I WILL rely on His promise
I WILL stand on His truth
I WILL rest in the peaceful moments
I WILL trust in the chaotic moments

It is a choice to stand in faith and remember that He is God and i am not. He is the One who looks down from heaven and sees the beginning from the end. He knows our fate before we arrive. I do not know the outcome of this day, but I trust that He does and I will choose to trust in the promise that He loves us and wants our best. He wants to bring our best out of us and sometimes that is painful.
Psalm 33:5  “He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.”

Psalm 33:18-21
“But the Lord watches over those who fear Him, those who rely on His unfailing love.”
“He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine.”
“We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield.”
“In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name.”

Today i prayed that we would choose to trust God, to trust in His love, in His promise, His future for us. I pray that we will remind ourselves of His work in the past, that we would remember where He has brought us from, that we would remember each situation that caused us fear in the past and how He was there with us always. I pray that worry would be far from our minds and far from our hearts as we take these steps into the unknown future and know that even tho we can not see what’s coming, He can. i pray that we would be patient, learning to wait on His time and not force things out of fear. i pray that we remember to rejoice in Him and trust in His holy name.

Psalm 33:22
“Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in You alone.”


strength

“Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied to Job…”

This is when we need to be most diligent in our words, but not Eliphaz. He begins by chastising: “Will you be patient and let me say a word? For who could keep from speaking out?” We are weak as humans and when we see suffering, we get angry. Sometimes lashing out at the folks who we are trying to help, encourage, or lift up. But I love Eliphaz’ next words. I heard them as if I was hearing them for the first time this past week, as if God Himself was trying to reach out and prepare me for the road ahead:

“In the past you have encouraged many people; you have strengthened those who were weak. Your words have supported those who were falling; you encouraged those with shaky knees.”

Such sweeter words spoken and i’m sure were a bright spot of sunshine to Job in his unfathomable grief. But then another chastisement: “But now, when trouble strikes, you lose heart. You are terrified when it touches you. Doesn’t your reverences for God give you confidence? Doesn’t your life of integrity give you hope?”  Yep. That’s where we are. It is so easy to encourage others in their grief. So easy to encourage others in their strife. So easy to encourage others in their distress. So easy to help them out of trouble. But when we are struck down and feeling lost, alone, and hopeless, it is almost impossible to remember our own faith, the past victories that God has walked us through, the success that we have enjoyed, the faithfulness of God

I know that Eliphaz and the other friends of Job did not accurately portray God, but they did accurately portray us as humans here on the earth. We are quick to help others and slow to remember that God helps us. We know that everyone cannot do it on their own, but think that we must. So, although Eliphaz’ words were not intelligent or helpful to Job, God used them to remind me that we need to remember His faithfulness in the past as we walk the rough and rocky path ahead. He is with us always and He does know the beginning from the end.

The words of Job have never rung clearer than they do today. we have watched and grieved as others lost jobs, but now we know the fear intimately.

Today i prayed for peace and strength as we walk down the path fearing the unknown. i pray that God would guide us and light our way. i pray that He would give us glimmers of hope and shine thru the darkness in these rough days. i thank Him for His provision, for His love, for His direction, for His comfort, for His people that surround us each day. i prayed for all the ones walking tougher roads that we cannot understand and do not know. i pray for the roads to be made smooth this day, that the rocks would be moved, and that they would have a few more easy steps than they have in the past. i pray for prayers to be answered today! for God to be glorified today! for His love to be so evident today that we could not imagine life without it! Thank you, Lord, for Your everlasting love that we could never understand.


rescued

Psalm 75:1
We give thanks to You, O God
We give thanks for Your Name is near
men tell of Your wonderful deeds…

as i read this verse, i shutter at the reality of how false it is in our American culture today. people today revel in their accomplishments, their self-worth, their abilities, their strength. More and more we dismiss the moments that are created, chosen, appointed by God. We set those aside as coincidence. we challenge our bodies to their fullest potential, forgetting the One who gave us the abilities, the strength, the power. we cry unfair when the smallest things don’t do our way and why me when the hardest issues come along. we ask God why He punishes, why He allows, why… we forget Him far too easily when things turn back to our favor and dismiss Him as a fantasy until we are desperate again. we are like the 3 year old that can only remember themselves.

Psalm 76:1&2
In Judah, God is known
His Name is great in Israel
His tent is in Salem
His dwelling place in Zion

today i pray that we would remember Him in the greatest moments, that we would look for those appointments that only He would set, that we would be thankful for the smallest blessing. today i pray that we would remember to think of others in our comings and our goings. that we would remember His death for our sins, that we would remember how much He loved and find it within to love others in the way He loves us.

Psalm 80:3
Restore us O God
make Your face shine upon us
that we may be saved…

i am

i am a sinner
i hurt the people i love
i do bad things
i get mad and say things i don’t mean
i talk about my friends when i am frustrated with them
i say things to my children that i don’t mean
i have taken what was not mine
i have used my words for evil
i sin

AGAIN…

i am a sinner
I AM the One who died for your sin
i hurt the people i love
I AM the One who loves them when you fail
i do bad things
I AM the One who causes all things to work for My Glory
i get mad and say things i don’t mean
I AM the One who comforts those who have been crushed by your words
i talk about my friends when i am frustrated with them
I AM the One who you should come to when you need help
i say things to my children that i don’t mean
I AM the One who embraces the children when they are broken
i have taken what was not mine
I AM the One who is sufficient for all
i have used my words for evil
I AM the One whose words heal and give life
i sin
When all else has failed, I AM

today i pray that we all remember who we are and where we would be without the One. the ONE who loves, who forgives, who embraces, who heals, who gives life, who is sufficient. today i am thankful that although this might be me today, it is not where God leaves me. today i pray for the strength to keep going, the endurance to finish the race, the grace to give freely when others fall short, the reminder of who i am and who i have been and who i am becoming each day that i surrender to the One who supplies all. thank You for being the One and providing each person in life that helps us grow in grace, in humility, in love, in Your word, and in strength.

God says I AM

Who is He in your life today and what does that mean to you?


John Wesley Reid

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