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Friday, December 13, 2019

Purpose: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



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Purpose


So anxious to

relieve distress

we grab for solutions

anything for release

like a toddler

tearing into a package

ignoring the wrapping,

the purpose or person—

mind  set only on object

missing the blessings

we settle for less.


Hebrews 12:6, “’For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.’”

Thank you for participating in this devotional reflection through Hebrews Chapter 11 as we reflected on the Lord’s definition of a life lived in faith and hope. May this Christmas bring you grace and joy as we are reminded of the Lord’s faithfulness throughout history—past, present, and future.

And in the New Year, beginning on January the 6th, we will continue to journey with new scripture seeds defining purpose as shared from Paul and Timothy in the book of Philippians.






Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Reflection: Wait: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1. Is there a promise you feel the Lord gave you that you have not seen fulfilled yet?

2. Are you still trusting or have you given up? Why?

3. What do you consider to be concrete examples of the Lord’s blessing over our definition of best?

4. Do you ever feel that you need to measure up to certain standards first in order to receive His promises? Why?

5. Do you find it difficult to keep your promises to God? What would make it easier?


Share: What promise has the Lord fulfilled for you already that gives you the strength to wait again?




Monday, December 9, 2019

Wait: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 11: 40, “since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.”

Wait,

It’s not something many of us manage to do well. And in our current instant society, it seems to be counterproductive. We each have a personal internal clock that keeps us patient for just so long—and then, we become fidgety, annoyed, irritated, and sometimes hostile. Within our own families, with our closest friends, with those we most care about.

We can’t quite understand that this long list of saints in Hebrews Chapter Eleven not only stood firm in their faith, lived and died by it, but also were willing to endure tremendous hardships without actually receiving the promise in hand. 

Instead we assume we are missing out on something good if we have to wait too long. That we are being denied something better. And it’s quite possible that is true. Because our limited sense of better now is so much less than God’s gift of best then.

When we reach out and grab for instant gratification, we might lose the blessing altogether. Like Esau did in his immediate physical hunger. Or delay the promise, like Abraham and Sarah did by trying to help God fix things our way to speed the results. To engineer a man made solution.

In fact, God’s purposes are so much deeper, and richer, and eternal that we cannot comprehend them, unless we are willing to listen and hope and trust. His provision is for perfection. His love encompasses all His people, not just a select few. We need to trust enough.

To wait.

Lord, please give us eyes to seek Your wholeness, a vision that desires grace and salvation for all, and purify our motives to be willing to wait for Your promises to be fulfilled in Your time, and not ours.


Your thoughts,


Friday, December 6, 2019

Hope: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



Hope


A dream is just a

fleeting glimpse, ideas

of delight or challenge

awakening senses to

possibilities.


Becomes hope when

acted on; building

invisible steps towards

visible reality beyond

present.


An anchor in

cold waters, chain

links rise ever

sun-ward keeping the

promise.

Hebrews 12:5, “And you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, ‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;’”

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Reflection: Promise: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry



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Reflection Questions


1. Have you ever had to relinquish a promise? Why?

2. How did it affect your faith walk?

3. Are you willing to follow a new path without any guarantee of reward or applause? What kind of path?

Share: What dream has the Lord given you that you need to build steps towards beginning now?




Monday, December 2, 2019

Promise: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 11:39, “Yet, all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised,”

Promise

The promise they followed was beyond their realization or participation. Yet they grasped the value and clung to its beyond fulfillment for themselves and their descendants. They lived into the future while in the present. Now.

How often do we become dismayed if we cannot receive immediate answers or tangible rewards? We are a society of immediate gratification. Even when we acknowledge it, there is often still a part of us that craves some applause.

Yet beauty evolves. Fruit bearing trees often take several seasons to flourish. We study and admire the cycles nature takes. We respect the wondrous perfection of a firefly’s brief lifespan as well as the longevity of a giant tortoise. Each of their days lived in the fullness of what they are.

Hope lives into God’s promises regardless of circumstances. Easier to desire than to do. Unless we live each day trusting and resting in the facts that we too can abide in His presence every moment.  And we too can grasp that gift now.

Lord, help us to walk and work in faith regardless of outward approval or censure. May it be Your Spirit’s word speaking in and through us to share Your hope.

Your thoughts,


 
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