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Friday, May 29, 2020

Works: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

                                               
                                               Works


                                                To will

                                                to work

                                                for His good pleasure

                                                not often recognized.


                                                Too often

                                                too much

                                                we choose the opposite

                                                follow man’s advice.


                                                To succeed

                                                to accomplish

                                                forget His way is opposite

                                                heart to heart instead.


Psalm 18:21, “ For I have kept the ways of the Lord, And have not wickedly departed from my God.”

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Reflection: Build: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1. Do you acknowledge that God works in each of us—even when we are blind and deaf to His Spirit? What makes it real to you?

2. How do we discern our separate will and work? What does either look like separately?

3. How do we acknowledge or experience His good pleasure?

Share: Under what circumstances have you worked out either will or work by His leading?

Monday, May 25, 2020

Build: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians 2: 12-13, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

Build

How often can we not claim obedience even in the face of truth? How often do we resist doing what is being asked—even when our own hearts agree—because we do not want to take the effort, or the possible failure, or ridicule, or… .

And yet hope continues knowing that despite our failures and self-absorption the Lord can continue to work in and through each of us with or with our understanding or knowledge of the outcome.

We can give thanks for the many times that others have carried each of us through the Spirit’s power. And trust that He can use us as well even through our weaknesses.

Thank you, Lord, for the many times You have carried us and showered us with blessings upon blessings and healings in our lives. There is no struggle beyond Your hand. May we remember to work for Your good pleasure in complete trust.

Your thoughts,

Friday, May 22, 2020

Bow: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry



                                                Bow


                                                To bow

                                                is to show

                                                honor.


                                                To one

                                                whom bestows

                                                hope.


                                                To give

                                                each person

                                                healing.


                                                To restore

                                                life by His

                                                hand.


                                                Reaching out in love.


Psalm 18:20,“The Lord has rewarded me according to His righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.”

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Reflection: Show: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


Reflection Questions


1. Why do we resist ‘bowing’ to another, even when we respect them?

2. In what ways does that affect our honor to Jesus for His gift of life.”

3. If we cannot confess in verbal response, how can we still confess in silent action?

Share: Have you ever been in a situation in which you desired to bow? Why?

Monday, May 18, 2020

Show: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians 2:10-11, “So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Show

Humility and obedience seem to be two characteristics that we try the most to avoid giving to another. We often see them as ineffective, weak, and degrading—a sign of defeat. Even though throughout history many people have bowed to show respect and honor.

Jesus went willingly to the highest end of humility by going to its deepest shame for each one of us.

We tend to resist even minor acts of humility with a self-centered resistance—sometimes without even realizing it. And when we do commit to humility and obedience outwardly, too often our inner attitude and hearts are complaining loudly, creating even more tension and possible anger.

Forgive our hardness, Lord. None of us can ever reach the level of Your heart, but please soften each of us to be Your servants with committed obedience and show others the mercy You have given in love.

Your thoughts,

Friday, May 15, 2020

Humility: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


                                               Humility


                                                For whom are we

                                                willing to be humiliated

                                                forced into obedience

                                                without anger or resistance.


                                                Even for those we love

                                                the choice is difficult

                                                endure often with resentment

                                                taunting us to resist.


                                                Forgetting His death

                                                His sacrifice brought life

                                                forever into our souls

                                                hearts changed by grace.


Psalm 18: 19, “He brought me forth also into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me.”

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Reflection: Bound: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry




Reflection Questions


1. In what situations do we need to see humility and obedience as a weakness or a strength?

2. Which is the most difficult to accept?

3. Are there situations where they are not the right course of action? Why not?

Share: When have you chosen humility and experienced healing through it?

Monday, May 11, 2020

Bound: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians 2: 8-9, “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name.”

Bound

Humility and obedience seem to be two characteristics we try the most to avoid. We see them as qualities that are ineffective, weak, and degrading.

Yet, the Lord went willingly to the highest end of humility by going into the deepest submission for all of us.

We, instead, often resist even minor acts of humility with a self-centered resistance. And when we do commit to humility and obedience outwardly, too often our attitude and our hearts are loudly complaining—creating even more tension and sometimes anger.

Lord, even though none of us can ever reach the level of Your heart, please soften each of us to be Your servants with Your obedience.

Your thoughts,


Friday, May 8, 2020

Status: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


                                               Status


                                                Status

                                                not the measure.

                                                Spirit guides

                                                not fame or fortune.

                                                Servanthood

                                                not prestige.


                                                Son of God

                                                not ashamed to

                                                Surrender

                                                not control His

                                                Sovereignty

                                                not  a weapon

                                                Salvation

                                                now a gift.

Psalm 18:18: “They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the Lord was my stay.”

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Reflection: Servant: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry


Reflection Questions


1. How does the concept that Jesus’ choice to become the lowest of the low, as we perceive a servant to be, impact you?

2. In what ways does His choice help us to see our own lives through a different lens?

3. What do you want to let go of in your life, and what do you want to choose instead?

Share: Besides Jesus, who has influenced you with this perspective? How?

Monday, May 4, 2020

Servant: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry

Philippians 2:6-7, “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”

Servant

Jesus’ choice and actions are so opposite to humankind—across all heritages. He deliberately became low in status, while we continue to push for the top of the ladder—or at least mid-way—as far enough to say we have succeeded.

And when we are in the low places, even if caused by health or finances or influence, we only see failure and often close-up or give-up on ourselves and others.

Lord, we need Your Spirit to guide us into Your heart—Your choices—Your purpose, regardless of our life status. Please show us how to become Your servants in all situations and follow Your definition of service.

Your thoughts,

Friday, May 1, 2020

Available: Purpose: Prayers and Poetry



                                                Available


                                                Days full to overflowing

                                                both with choice and demand

                                                we stay focused to meet

                                                Deadline by nightfall.


                                                So intense

                                                often blind

                                                or ignore

                                                Stress of others.


                                                Discern, Scripture reminds,

                                                be available when needed

                                                wait for guidance

                                                Direct each day with insight.

Psalm 18:17, “He delivered me from my strong enemy, And from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.”
 
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