February 25, 2017
Loving as Little Children
While sitting on the porch overlooking the lake, I listened to the quiet voices of my grandchildren, and all is right with the world. Occasionally there is a flare up, but the disagreement is quickly resolved and they continue playing. I’ve seen neighborhood children resume playing while their parents continue arguing about who did what, etc. If only we would become like little children; loving, forgiving and trusting. Unfortunately, as we become sophisticated in our approach to life we often grow dogmatic insisting we are right. When being right becomes more important than relationships, strife strikes! The Bible tells us *“He who is of a greedy spirit stirs up strife, but he who puts his trust in the Lord shall be enriched and blessed.” Strife is a cancer that destroys relationships, causes wars, divorce and church splits. Where there is strife there is confusion and every evil work. Loving God and loving others even as we love ourselves is the royal law that displaces and uproots greed, selfishness and self-centeredness. **Loving God and loving others is the way we will win the world to Christ (John 17: 20-26). We are family. So, let’s work together and play together, preferring one another! Let’s be loving, trusting and forgiving. Let’s not be childish, but like little children; loving, forgiving and trusting. We are the children of God!
Father-God, I desire to put away childish behavior and walk in Your love which has been poured into my heart by the Holy Spirit. I am here to hide Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You. You have called me, and I choose to be humble and gentle…patient with others, making allowance for their faults because of this love. I choose to make every effort to keep myself united in the Spirit, binding myself together with peace. I pray that I will come to the unity in my faith measure up to the full and complete standard of Christ so that I will no longer be immature and I will not be influenced when others try to trick me with lies so clever they sound like truth. I choose to speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of the church, in the name of Jesus!
Scripture References: *Proverbs 28:25; **John 17:20-26; Romans 12:4-5; Romans 5:5; Psalm 119:11; Ephesians 4:1-6, 13-15
February 24, 2017
Do you Love Me?
Marriage is the stage where iron sharpens iron, and where we may choose to mature and grow spiritually. How many times would I hear Jesus ask me, “Do you love me?” It is easy to say, “Yes,” but functioning within the boundaries of love is a learning process. The question became irritating! In her quiet time the wife prayed, “Holy Spirit, set me free from procrastination. Please reveal the origin of my subconscious destructive memory that causes this feeling and behavior. Why do I wait to the last minute to get things done? Help me resolve incorrect perceptions with Truth that will make me free.” Now several days later, it was Sunday morning and the game of passive aggression was on again! It was also the morning she made an effort to be ready on time! Just before she walked downstairs she heard the usual harsh sound, “It’s time to go!” Walking toward the door where her husband was standing, she said that she needed to get her Sunday School book and Bible, and a drink of water. The game was on! “No, there isn’t time!” Then playing the game, he told her to go ahead and get her water. She said, “I will respect your ‘no’ and skip the water.” It was time to quit playing the game. She heard the silent question again, “Do you love me?” Before she could justify her actions, the Voice spoke, “If you love me, you will do as I command.” Her eyes were opened, and she realized that submitting to her husband’s idea of being on time was not about him controlling her, but about her making a choice to walk in love. She determined that morning to be punctual! They arrived fifteen (15) minutes early!
Father-God, I am Your child, born of Love! You sent Jesus to be my example and tell me how to live. Jesus, I call You, Lord, and I receive Your new command to love others just as You have loved me, and do unto my husband as I would have him do unto me. I choose to let go of passive aggression and trust You to be my shield and protection. Help me love myself as You love me so I am ready to fulfill the Royal Law of Love, and love my husband as myself. I let go of all partiality and chose to accept and love others as You have loved me. I submit to You, asking You to fill me with Light and Truth, and Peace that passes understanding. Jesus, I choose to abide in Your love by keeping Your commandments. Thank You for the Holy Spirit who is my Helper and Counselor, in the name of Jesus!
Scripture References: John 13:34-35 (CEV); James 2:8-9 (ESV); John 15:9-10 & 26 (AMP)
February 23, 2017
Born of Love
A study of God’s Word reveals that Love is the greatest thing in the world. You were created to love and be loved. Far too many people have searched for love in “all the wrong places,” and feel unloved and unlovable. When you experience God’s unconditional love you receive a different perspective on life. His Love drives fear out of doors. From early childhood your thought patterns are developed by a generational culture that has been passed down by parents and grandparents. God searches for one in every generation who will let go of man-made defenses, and trust His love to fulfill that God-shaped hole in every soul. As a child you developed mental (soulish) defenses, which enabled you to function and protect yourself from additional hurts and disappointments. When you were a child, you spoke like a child, and reasoned like a child. The very defenses that helped you function in childhood become strongholds that work against you when you are an adult. The generational thought patterns squeezed your mind into certain brain twisters that affect your relationships, and you filter almost everything through distorted thinking. But now that you have become an adult, and are secure in God’s love, you can put an end to childish things. The image in the mirror that was shaped by the familial ideas of past generations created a false you, but now that you are born of Love you can see others face-to-face. You accept the person God created you to be and you can accept others knowing that God loves them as much as He loves you…just as much as He loves Jesus!
Lord of all, I am thankful that You have given me the authority to become a child of God. I belong to God, and everyone who knows God will listen to me. But the people who don’t know God won’t listen to me. That is how I can tell the Spirit that speaks the truth from the one that tells lies. I submit my emotions to the control of the Holy Spirit who helps me imitate You, my Father. I must love others because Love comes from You and when I love others, it shows that I have been given new life. All who have received Jesus are Your children and we know You. Father-God, You are love! When I walk in love I will know completely in the same way that I am completely known, in the name of Jesus!
Scripture References: John 1:12 (AMP); Ephesians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 13 4-13; 1 John 4:6-8
February 22, 2017
Love Heals Generational Pain
Rose married on the defensive determined that no man would ever “lord” it over her! Her mother demanded that they honor their dad and obey all the man-made rules of their religion. From elementary school through high school Rose was a sounding board for her mother. Rose intensely disliked her mother’s subservient attitude and wanted to know why an intelligent, talented grown woman would act like a child. Her mother’s response did not help, “I’m as afraid of your dad as anyone of you children! I married him out of obedience to God. There’s no one else who could live with him. When you get married, study your husband so you can know his likes and dislikes and do whatever is necessary to keep the peace. I have survived through prayer and the help of the Holy Spirit. Your dad says sometimes that he prays that God will forgive him if he worships me more than Him.” Rose listened but determined that she would not be like her mother. The pain and frustration were spinning judgmental and critical thoughts of resentment and rebellion. Rose carried her mother’s pain into her marriage.
Father, in the name of Jesus I bring my life and marriage to You. Forgive me for taking up my mother’s offense and sub-consciously holding my husband responsible for my dad’s sins. Today I let go of bad feelings toward my parents, and thank You for giving me a grateful heart for my husband. I no longer filter his words and actions through my twisted perceptions. Thank You for delivering me from the fear of man, which is a snare. I have received Jesus as my Lord and You are transforming me into the Real Me…the person You created me to be. Forgive me for being judgmental and critical toward others…I choose to conduct myself with all humility, gentleness, and patience. I choose to accept others with love, and make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit with the peace that ties us together. My husband and I are one body and one spirit, just as God also called us in one hope. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all, who is over all, through all, and in all. Father, thank You for healing the pain that I carried, and helping me see my life clearly that we might live for Your glory and Your honor, in the name of Jesus!
Scripture References: 1 John 1:9; Proverbs 29:25; John 1 (The Message) Ephesians 4:2-6 (CEB)
February 21, 2017
Love Keeps No Record of Being Wronged
It would begin with me sharing something I had read, and end with me screaming that I could not have said that because I had never thought that! By the time I had listed every perceived grievance that I had endured since the day we were married, I was spent emotionally and physically, and wondered how we got here again. “God, how will I ever learn to walk according to 1 Corinthians 13? Why won’t You do something about my husband? This battle of words is overwhelming and confusing.” The next morning I sent everyone off for the day, and took my usual place on the green sofa facing the picture window. I gritted my teeth and read 1 Corinthians 13 in the Amplified Bible again! The words almost jumped off the page, “Love (God’s love in us)… takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].” I did not hold a grudge and was quick to forgive everyone, except my husband. I had kept an account and the list was growing longer almost every day! Lord, forgive me! I choose to let go of the past, and will not rehearse those perceived wrongs any longer. I choose to forgive, pardon and accept my husband as he is. It’s me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer! (I may have whined: Why is it always me? Again?) My husband wasn’t reading this chapter, I was and it was time to let go and let God!
By the grace of God, I yield to the constant ministry of transformation by the Holy Spirit. I am being transformed into a gracious woman who retains honor, and a virtuous woman who is a crown to my husband. I purpose to walk wisely that I may build my house. Houses and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the Lord. In Christ I have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward me in all wisdom and prudence. Holy Spirit, I ask You to help me understand and support my husband in ways that show my support for Christ. *Teach me to function so that I preserve my own personality while responding to his desires. We are one flesh, and I realize that this unity of persons that preserves individuality is a mystery, but that is how it is when we are united to Christ. So I will keep on loving my husband and let the miracle keep happening! Just as my husband gives me what is due me, I seek to be fair to my husband. I share my rights with my husband, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Scripture References: 1 Corinthians 3:18; Proverbs 19:14; 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 PHILLIPS; Proverbs 31:10-31; *Ephesians 5 (The Heart of Paul by Johnson) Proverbs 11:6
February 20, 2017
Daily Prayer for February 20
A Love That Pursues the Generations
The call came on this day in the year 2002! God had given our granddaughter, Leah, a baby girl! God loves strong-willed people and it was obvious from the beginning He had given Tabitha a strong-will! God chose her before the foundation of the world to love as His very own! While she was being formed in her mother’s womb, His thoughts toward her were precious. He alone knew the abilities and gifts that she would need to walk the paths that He made for her. Tabitha loves her family and playing basketball. God have her a strong compassion for others and I believe that she will grow up to be a leader! Leader’s need strong wills, which are submitted to God, and compassion. God has great plans for Tabitha who cares for others and desires to help the poor.
Father, I pray for all my family – including children, grandchildren and their children, lifting them to You as living memorials. The multitude of blessings that have come down through generations will continue to multiply and overtake them. I ask You to reveal who Jesus is to them, and they will recognize and know that You are God! Our posterity–future generations–can never escape from Your Spirit! They can never get away from Your presence! If they go up to heaven, you are there; if they go down to the grave, You are there. If they ride the wings of the morning, or dwell by the farthest oceans, even there Your hand will guide them, and Your strength will support them. They were born for such a time as this for Your purposes… to fulfill Your plans. The glory of the Lord has risen upon them in the name of Jesus.
Scripture References: Psalm 139:7-16; Esther 4:14
February 19, 2017
Daily Prayer for February 19
God’s Love vs. Human Love
It was Mother’s Day and I was away from home. Friends invited me to go to church with them, and even though I wasn’t sure that I wanted to hear another Mother’s Day sermon I decided to go. We found our seats and I read the words on the large screen behind the choir loft. It was a poem honoring mothers. I don’t remember the exact words, but it was written about “perfect” mothers who have amazing powers, who do their tasks without complaining, who care for everyone without any demands! My own mother, who practiced kindness, came close to the fitting the word picture, but she was not perfect…occasionally she reacted out of frustration! I desperately wanted to be the perfect mother, but I failed many times! My heart was stirred, and I prayed silently for hurting individuals who have been abused and neglected by their caregivers. Not every mother wanted children, some were diagnosed with mental disorders, others were alcoholics and drug addicts, and the list goes on! Human love is rooted in selfishness. Human love will never measure up to the Love of God! God’s love is perfect…He is love! God is Love and He loves His children unconditionally! His Love heals our hurts and brings us into wholeness! God’s love never fails!
Hear me as I pray, O Lord, be merciful and answer me! My heart has heard You say, “Come and talk with Me.” Lord, I am here to talk with You, and to ask You to forgive me for this unforgiveness and judgmental attitude that I have toward my parents and caretakers. Thank You for helping me even when I didn’t know that You were there. You love me and You love my parents and caretakers. I choose to forgive the caretakers and my parents for abusing, neglecting and abandoning me. I choose to believe that You will never leave me…You will never abandon me. You are the God of my salvation! Even when my father and mother abandoned me, You held me close. O LORD, teach me how to live, lead me along the right path, for my insecurities and self-rejection are waiting for me. Do not let me fall into their hands, for they are my accusers. No matter what others have done to, I am confident I will see Your goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Thank You, Father, for causing everything to work together for my good. I love You because You first loved me and I am called according to Your purpose for me. You have blessed me to be a blessing to others, in the name of Jesus!!
Scripture References: Psalm 27: 7-13 (NLT); Romans 8:28 (NLT); John 1
February 18, 2017
Learning to Love
On a beautiful spring day the back door opened and a voice said, “Well, you know what time it is…12:00…lunchtime!” Resentment and frustration immediately surfaced, but I didn’t say anything as I hung up the drying towel. I had just finished cleaning up the kitchen after the special breakfast we had enjoyed only a couple of hours earlier! As he walked out of the kitchen, I jerked open the refrigerator, pulled out the items I would need to prepare his lunch. My temperature was rising as he sat down at the dinette table, but I was determined to serve him so I walked over and slammed the plate down on the table before walking out. Quickly I made my way into the dining room, and silently cried out, “Again? I have failed again! I’ve been reading, praying and meditating on 1 Corinthians 13, but my behavior stinks! Show me what to do to prevent this from happening next Saturday, please.” The answer was so simple. The next week I prepared his lunch, wrapped it carefully and set it in the refrigerator where it would stay fresh. Now how easy was that? Of course, that is not the end of the story, but my Saturdays were more pleasant!
Father, according to Your Word I am to work out my own salvation. Thank You for helping me, for working with me! I desire to please You by learning to walk in Your Love that never fails. I choose the way of Love today for You have given me the Holy Spirit to fill my heart with Your love. I ask You to forgive me and deliver me from this selfish, self-centered, self-serving attitude, and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I choose to submit to Your Love that endures long, is patient and kind in the name of Jesus my Example and my Lord.
Scripture References: Philippians 2:12-13; 1 John 1:9; 1 Corinthians 13 (AMP)
February 17, 2017
Love is Kind
Her beauty and many talents attracted the young traveling minister to the South Georgia farm girl. They had met when he was in town to conduct a series of revival meetings where she was the pianist. After a few months of correspondence and seeing each other when he was in the area they were married. After saying goodbye to family and friends they began the drive from the town known as “Syrup City” to Cedartown Georgia. Their itinerary included stops to meet with church officials. While meeting with the overseer, they received word that the church was still looking for a parsonage. After discussing what they should do, the newly-weds accepted the gracious invitation to stay with the overseer and his family. Many years later my mother, who was kind to everyone, shared how much she learned about parenting as she watched the mother care for her six children with kind words wrapped in love. She asked the Holy Spirit to help her always speak words of kindness to her children who were yet to be born. My mother, Donnis Brock Griffin, was an example of kindness to everyone who knew her.
Father, I ask You to forgive me for using sarcasm as a defense and speaking harsh, unkind words to others. I choose to submit to the Word of God that sifts, analyzes and judges the very thoughts and purposes of my heart. Reveal incorrect thought patterns that are contrary to Your will. By the grace of God I will bring them into subjection to Jesus, who was bruised for my guilt and iniquities. The chastisement [needful to obtain] my peace and well-being was upon Him, and with the stripes that wounded Him I am healed and made whole. With the help of the Holy Spirit I choose to be kind, caring, considerate and thoughtful of others. I abide in Jesus and His Word abides in me. I am filled with light and truth, peace and love, benevolence and forgiveness. I choose to offer skillful and godly Wisdom, and submit to the law of kindness. It is my desire to be controlled by Your love that has been poured into my heart by the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, remind me to be kind to others, tenderhearted, forgiving others as You forgave me, in the name of Jesus.
Scripture References: 1 John 1:9; Hebrews 4:12 (AMP); 2 Corinthians 10:5-6; Isaiah 53:5 (AMP); Ephesians 4:32
February 16, 2017
His mother came that weekend and the “love of my life” went with her. I had been warned that this could happen, but I refused to believe that she had the power to destroy our relationship. We were planning to be married! After grieving for days on end, I decided that I would live and not die. Unfortunately, as singles we were taught and believed that we had to be married to be “complete.” (In one church a friend, who was qualified to fill a position that was open, was not hired because she was single!) Where have we failed? It appears from the Scriptures that individuals, not couples, are to be presented “mature (full-grown…complete and perfect) in Christ.” In another place we discover that the Scriptures are for “correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness. So that the man (or woman) of God may be complete….” Imagine a marriage where both the man and woman were complete in Christ! They would not be placing unreasonable demands on each other. Never look to another human being to complete you. It is only the Love of God that never fails, and He can meet all your needs.
Father-God, Your love never fails, and I look to You to meet all my needs. I thank You for giving me the desire to earnestly seek You and Your Kingdom. Thank You for loving me and teaching me that I can trust You and Your Word, and I believe that You will not fail one word of Your promise. In Jesus, my Lord, the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form – giving complete expression of the divine Nature, and I am in Him. You are my Lord and I am filled with the Great-Three-in-One…the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In Jesus I will reach full spiritual stature with or without a spouse. Christ, You are the Head of all rule and authority – of every angelic principality and power. Because of Jesus I am complete; Jesus is my Lord. I desire to be married to a born-again, follower of Jesus. Your love never fails. May Your will be done in my life, and now I enter into that blessed rest trusting and relying on You, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Scripture References: Colossians 1:27-29 (AMP); 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (AMP); Matthew 6:33; Hebrews 4:10; Colossians 2:9,