Devotional 58: A Book of Remembrance

Malachi 3:16-18  A Book of Remembrance

16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another,
And the Lord listened and heard them;
So a book of remembrance was written before Him
For those who fear the Lord
And who meditate on His name.

17 “They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts,
“On the day that I make them My jewels.
And I will spare them
As a man spares his own son who serves him.”
18 Then you shall again discern
Between the righteous and the wicked,
Between one who serves God
And one who does not serve Him.

 

The year of 2017 is half over. It is a good time to reflect and look back at the anticipation of the first month, and what we offered to the Father for the sacrifice of praise.

What were our petitions?

What were our sins and backslidings?

What were our gains and losses?

And where does our faith in His providence stand today?

If a person shall fall seven times and rise eight, are you standing? (Prov 24:16)

New Year’s Day is much like the wedding, a splashy, extravagant affair of public celebration, extravagant dressing, feasting, and wishing each other all the best.

And then there is the marriage: the commonality of the day to day, the taking out of trash, the washing of dishes, the stress of parenting, the stress of taking care of self.

But in the midst of it all, when you forget the celebratory times, there is a book of remembrance: The Wedding Album. You go back to it, and remember, reminisce, and recapture those feelings. Hopefully, if this is you, those feelings are reinforced by your spouse in the day to day grind that leads to anniversaries, fidelity, partnership, and lifelong commitment.

Yet, sadly, it is not so between us and G-d. Indeed, in the verses before these, the people have judged G-d as not worthy of being served since the wicked prosper in the midst of the righteous. (Mal 3:13-15)

It’s still true today.

A prayer is not answered, a miracle of healing not given, a child not conceived, a financial blessing not received in time, no food, no means of transportation, and what little you have is seized by greedy oppressors under the guise of the law.

Your faith is tested, and the serpent slithers through the weed ridden garden of your life, its eyes on yours, and its sibilant question as it opens its mouth is always this:

“Did G-d really say…?”

Let us remember: the coin of gold the serpent offers for ease and quick riches is counterfeit. When the Lord brings wealth, He adds no trouble to it  (Proverbs 10:22)

The coin for your taxes, the cost of serving Christ, is in the mouth of the fish; you have to go find it, under the guidance of the Lord Jesus, being obedient to His commands, using that which you are called to do. As Peter used his fishing skills to serve, so too, you will use your own gifts. (Matthew 17:24-27)

One coin falls out at your feet, and the price is your soul; the other you must work to get out, and the reward is salvation.

In the Book of Remembrance we call the Word of the Lord, go there to see what G-d really said:

His Word says His promises are ‘yes and amen.’ It says the wicked shall be punished, the unrepentant condemned, and the dead who have faith in the atoning work of the Son of G-d shall be redeemed from the power of the grave, and live eternally in the presence of the Father, under the rule of the Son, and all will be empowered by the Spirit to give thanks and praise, doing the work of the Kingdom.

If need be, enhance His Word with a book of remembrance of your own making: a journal, a blog, a notebook and pen.  I don’t remember who said the following, but I remember the quote:

The dullest pencil is clearer than the brightest memory.’

If there is no access to these things, simply offer a prayer of thanks, or put a marker in a special place where something good happened. It can be a small stone, or you can build an altar of special items. The Father understands that in our spiritual walk, we need material reminders to bring to mind all the good things He’s done for us. Be careful of idolatry, however, and always seek to add to your book, whatever form it takes.

Maintain gratitude, remain faithful, and be obedient to Him in the face of adversity? It sounds like the stupidest thing to do. 

It isn’t. It will be rewarded. (Habakkuk 3:17-19)

He promised, and He is not a man that He should lie. (Num. 23:19)

Therefore I pray:

Father in Heaven

Today we praise you for all the good things You’ve done in our lives, for all that You will do until we are called home. Help us to complete that to which we’ve been called.

Increase our faith, and help our unbelief.

In our obscure service, let us sings songs of joy.

In our failed missions, let us give thanks and praise.

In our spiritual irresponsibility, let us meditate on Your love and willingness to restore us to fellowship with You.

As You are the Author and Finisher of our faith, so too, be the Author of our books of remembrance, and let them reflect You in us, as we stand as ambassadors of the Way in a nation that has lost it, living among people who don’t want it, and navigating a world that rejects it; for that also is according to Your Word.

You tell us that narrow is the path, few are the travelers, and yet, we ask that You strengthen our hands, enlarge our territory, and give us a spirit of boldness not worrying what we will speak, for we know the Spirit will fill us in that moment, as You have said.

And let us stand for You, remembering always, that one day we will be with You. Not because we deserve it, but because You loved us first.

In Your Name, I ask it. 

Amen.

Christmas Witness

CHRISTMAS WITNESS (Luke 2:17-18) Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

A group of unschooled men on fire with a holy message should sound like a familiar bell to our ears. Walking the streets of Bethlehem, they spread the message: Emmanuel.

At the doors of the inns where the people slept, waking the highborn and the low, with fervent, reverent whispers, with excited gestures, with joyous shouts, they spread it throughout the length and breadth of their travels, throughout the night. Whatever silence there had been was now filled with something better: Emmanuel

And all those who heard wondered that these men, not prone to talk of things fantastic, not subject to flights of fancy, walked among them with something so important to them that they could not keep silent, speaking to them of visions and angels and heavenly praise, followed by directions to where a living prophecy fulfilled lay in a manger: Emmanuel

This Christmas, let us not keep silent in the face of those who would say “Stop speaking in this Name!”  Time grows short, and there are those who would yet marvel that our own hearts burn with a holy witness, though we’ve seen Him not.  Emmanuel (G-d with us)

Amen

Christmas Lights

Luke 2:9

“And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.”

A light from Heaven suddenly overtakes you.

In your world, this has never happened. It’s night time, and you’re outside, and suddenly….

We have the gift of hindsight, but the shepherds were afraid. Greatly afraid.

Did they cry out, shield their eyes, maybe even start to run? Yet, the light was not hurting them, or blinding them, or burning them. It was just sudden.

He is the God of “suddenly.”

Remember the conversion of Saul? In Acts 9:3 we read:

“As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven.” 

We are admonished to “walk in the light, as He is in the light.” (John 1:7)

May the light of God surround you with peace, and change your life, your heart, with the news of the blessed birth of our Savior. It really doesn’t matter what day, it matters that it happened.

“The people walking in darkness, have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.”  (Isaiah 9:2)

Merry Christmas, brothers and sisters.

Devotional 37: I Fell at His Feet…

Revelation 1:10-17

10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and,[a] “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia:[b] to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me,[c] “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.

In this day, we hear the confident boasts of the faithless, the bitter, the unrepentant, the scorners and mockers, the defiant rebellious, and the witches and satanists:

“When I stand before G-d, I will say/do/ ask/ tell Him  –”

Hear the Word of the Risen Lord, for to you he will say:

“Depart from me, you cursed…”

He speaks of the fate of worthless servants, even those who profess to be sons of the kingdom, and the fate of Lucifer’s goats.

To Him, you are lawless strangers, disqualified from entry into His kingdom. You questioned His existence, did good with wrong motives, mocked His atoning death, and scorned His rising, reconciled to His Father, and reconciling you through His blood, which would have made you spotless, had you but listened.

You placed your faith in your knowledge, in the science, in reason, and yet the son of a carpenter confounded the learned leaders of His day, and taught with such authority, they bore false witness.

But this is why He came. And this is what He said would happen.

You’ve rejected the Son of Man, the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and the King of angels. He is subject to His Father, and will rule over all, and you’ve spurned His love, grace and mercy, because of your pride.

And He has told you, you will share the fate of the prideful.  In Matthew 7, we read:

I Never Knew You

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Build on the Rock

24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

And again, in Matthew 25:

41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

44 “Then they also will answer Him,[b] saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

If judgment starts with those who profess Him, how then, will you stand, unbeliever?

Here is what you will do, and all that you will be able to do:

You will fall at His feet as one dead, and if you don’t seek Him while He may be found, indeed, that is what you will be.

You will find yourself unable to speak, if indeed, the disciple who was the closest of Jesus’ inner circle, the only disciple to escape execution, could not speak, and could not stand in the presence of the holy Majesty.

Spare yourself, and cease your prideful boasting, putting faith in the transitory world, and the ever shifting sand of scientific discovery, for the mind of G-d is infinite, and His works past finding out, because they were known to Him from the beginning, and they begin and end with our Lord, Jesus.

Therefore I pray:

Lord Jesus, You came among us to call the lost, and we indeed are all lost, even those who profess You, and speak of You before men, and invoke Your Name in doing kingdom work, but don’t glorify You in their hearts, or their motives. They begin to think they are in their own strength, and tempt You to destroy them, not knowing You will simply release them into the hand of the enemy, who will, in fact, destroy them, and bring them to share his own fate.

We ask the anointing of the Helper to reveal that the unquenchable fire is no metaphor.

We ask the anointing of the Helper for discernment of pride, and wrong motives.

We beseech You to have Him ignite in us a renewal of Power to carry Your two-edged sword, to cleave hearts, and bring tears of repentance, that they, and we, might see once again the love of undeserved grace and mercy to souls otherwise doomed to twist in the fire, as a kite in an errant wind.

We would not be unprofitable servants, or cursed and lawless strangers to You, the One we profess to love above all, and prove it false by our actions.

Align us with the Your will, Lord Jesus, for it is the will of the Father that we believe on You, and Your will is not separate from His as to the work we are to perform.

It is only difficult because of our hard hearts, prideful minds, and sinful thoughts.

Yet You are long-suffering, and hear the prayers of Your servants.

Hear this prayer, Lord, for it is the cry of my heart, and the heart of every servant, and unbeliever, who reads these words.

Grant us ears to hear, and plow the hard soil of our hearts, and help us to store up treasures in Heaven, where there are no thieves, and we stand reconciled, spotless, blameless, under the Cross, redeemed by the Resurrection, and our works stand the test of fire, that we may enter into the joy of our Master.

Once again, Lord, I beseech the Throne for mercy, the Cross for grace, and the Spirit for power.

In Your Name, I ask, in faith believing.

Amen.

 

Devotional 27: Stretch Out Your Hand

Matthew 12:9-14

Healing on the Sabbath

Now when He had departed from there, He went into their synagogue.10 And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—that they might accuse Him.

11 Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other. 14 Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.

The Sabbath, the sacred day of rest, when no work is to be done, knows no rest from the Pharisees’ plotting, yet Jesus said He came to fulfill the Law, not replace it.

We read where crowds are astonished at the way Jesus teaches, because He ‘taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes,’ who taught what they were able to glean, or manipulate, to keep the people docile, uninformed, intimidated, and under control of the powerful, and wealthy, religious leaders.

Yet their jealousy persisted, and with every attempt to trap Jesus in the things He said, they lost face with the people, and control of their power.

What they failed to realize is that the Sabbath itself is given to us as a day of restoration, to rest from our labors, restore our strength, our family ties, our relationships with others and our communities, and to reflect on the goodness of the Lord.

Their question “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” was therefore a foolish one.

Jesus, ever teaching to the secrets of the heart, answers them with an analogy that speaks to their need to preserve their wealth, for livestock was wealth, and they would rescue a sheep from a well in order that they might continue to profit from it, because they loved wealth rather than G-d and their fellow man.

But men are more valuable to G-d than livestock. Isn’t that why He sent us His Son?

Also, Jesus asks something of the man with the withered hand. We don’t know if the Pharisees brought him to the synagogue to be complicit in their plans, but we do know he didn’t go unnoticed and ignored by Jesus even if that was the case.

And so, a test of faith and obedience:

“Stretch out your hand.”

Jesus doesn’t touch him, but as the hand draws closer to the presence of the Lord, it’s made whole again, and useful now to the kingdom of G-d.

Obedience and faith must be our hallmarks as believers. We must act, ‘in faith believing,’ and pray ‘as if (we’ve) already received,’ and the restoring power of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, will do its part.

Therefore I pray:

This, O Lord, is simply a prayer of praise and thanksgiving for restoring me to G-d, that I might see the light of His glory and not die, for You are the light of the world, and the bread of Heaven, and You have promised me eternal life through belief in your Name, and obedience to your Word.

Today, I stretch forth the withered hand of my faith, Lord Jesus, right where I am, right now, knowing You will make it whole again the closer it gets to Your presence.

Your unworthy servant bows low before You, to thank You for paying my debt, and granting me the mercy of Your shed blood for my sake, and Your grace to help me up when I stumble.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for making my spirit whole through Your broken body, now in glory, and seated at the Father’s right hand.

I long for the day we meet, and I am made whole anew, and forever.

Amen.

 

Devotional 25: He is Out of His Mind

Mark 3:20-21 Then the multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. 21 But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, “He is out of His mind.”

How can it be that the family of the Messiah missed the fact that He was among them?

How could it be that His mother, who pondered the sayings of Simeon, Anna, and the Wise Men in her heart on the things concerning her Son, go after Him with His siblings, believing Him to be mentally unsound?

He is unlike anything we’ve ever known, and yet He is the most accessible to the most lowly man.

“If you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father.” You’ve seen the heart of G-d toward mankind, that we be reconciled to Him through the spilled Blood of the Son, and come to Him through the risen spotlessness and glory of His resurrection, fastened in body, mind, and spirit to Him for eternity, as He was fastened to the cross for our mortality.

The cares of the day press down on us, however, and thoughts of Him fade as we go through the traffic and mayhem of daily life, suffering slings and arrows that assault our psyche when we would be holy, when our minds are in silent prayer, when we take a moment to sigh our thanks in an empty room, and request strength for the remainder of what lies ahead.

There are those who think us stupid to proclaim Him our Lord and Savior on the basis of faith alone, believing in the Promise of One long departed, yet alive and glorified. “The foolishness of the cross,” as the Apostle Paul says. Are we willing to be out of our worldly minds, and have them stayed on the One who came to save, or do we risk denial on earth to please man, and be cast into the outer darkness?

“I would that you were hot or cold.” Indeed, He’ll be more involved with you when you’re out of the will of God, then He will if you walk between earthly and heavenly realms of influence. He can convert sinners through the Spirit, but a double-minded person is wind-tossed, rudderless, without roots, and unstable.

Feed the spirit-man, for you cannot save the fleshly one; he is out of his mind.

That’s why He came to us.

Therefore I pray:

Lord Jesus, there are times I too, thought this message foolish, its standards untenable, its sacrifice of self too great a price to pay, and I turned, and backslid, and became a profane vessel unfit for service, unwashed within.

There are times I said that if your love is steadfast and eternal, I could indulge my fleshly desires, and it would be all right in the end.

There are times I said that the problem was with You, and not within me.

I, like Your family, like Mary herself, forgot who You were, and where You came from, and why. I was bent on backsliding, because it felt good, and eased my loneliness, and assuaged my pain in ways that I appealed to You to do, but You did not, for reasons I couldn’t understand.

So I went away and looked on the outer darkness waiting to receive me, and said it was good, and it was well with my soul.

Lord, forgive me. 

It’s I who am foolish, not the message of the cross.

It is my standards that are untenable, for they lead me to perdition.

It is the sacrifice of filthy rags of self- righteousness that is too great a price to pay.

And looking on the outer darkness, I am a blind sheep, unconcerned with Your worry as You leave the ninety-nine to come rescue a fool and bring him home, in love and grace and mercy.

Help me always to hear your voice when the void whispers prettily, and smells of jasmine and honey and clean earth, but holds the horrors of eternal separation from Your glory in unquenchable, agonizing fire that tortures my damned soul with no respite, and mocks the hope I once had as it burns the tears of sorrow away, and singes the cries of my hopeless, helpless heart on my tongue, and burns the praise from my throat.

Goad me along the narrow road to the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and I will not kick against them.

Amen.

 

 

Devotional 24: Cry Out All the More

Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus

46 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called.

Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.”

50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.

51 So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.”

52 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.

**********************

Bartimaeus had reached a point of weariness with his affliction, blindness, so when Jesus was near, he called to Him, his voice carrying above the excited din of the crowd as they saw Jesus approaching.

In his cry, Bartimaeus gives the designation of recognition of Jesus as the Messiah as ” Son of David,” and pleads for mercy.

Why mercy? Isn’t that something granted to the sinful? How would a blind man, begging alms, be sinful? We can only guess that Bartimaeus cursed his lot in life, and blamed God, and was angry at being treated as human refuse for depending on the patronizing, pitying kindness of strangers.

In his state, the people nearest him tell him to be quiet; he is a poor, blind beggar, and Jesus is a King, so they marked him as unworthy to be in Jesus’ presence by those who probably either ignored him everyday, or mocked him as they gave of their surplus.

Continuing to place his faith in Jesus, obeying the prompting of the Spirit within him, he cried out all the more. In his weariness with his affliction, he saw an opportunity to be free of it, and in his acknowledging of Jesus as Messiah, the faith in his cry for mercy caused Jesus to stop, and command Bartimaeus to approach.

The fickle crowd who at first told him to shut up, now tells him to cheer up, and to rise and go forward. Though none offer to help him stand, Jesus’ command also removes the human barrier of doubt, so neither will they hinder his way.

As Matthew left all, and Lazarus was loosed from his burial shroud, and the bedridden man lowered through the ceiling rose to carry his bed outside to throw it away, Bartimaeus throws aside the garment that marked him as an afflicted pauper, worthy of little more than pitied contempt and whispered judgement as to the nature of his sins, and stands before Jesus.

He answers Jesus’ question (though He knew what the man wanted; he wanted him to say it, to proclaim that he wished to be healed, and free), and says he wants to receive his sight.

Immediately, with no touching from Jesus, with no mud-making, with nothing more than the power of His Word, Jesus heals him through his conduit of faith, and tells him so:

“Go your way, your faith has made you well.”

We read that Bartimaeus did not go his way, but followed Jesus down the road, no doubt giving thanks and praise and glory to the Father.

*****************

Therefore I pray:

Lord Jesus, You admonish us to ask, seek and knock. These are not only acts of faith, but of persistence, of effort with a goal in mind of building our faith to have our prayer answered.

Help me to understand, Lord, that as I persist in my petitions to You they will not be granted without these two things:

  1. faith in You, and the promise that You said all things are possible through the Father,

2. being in Your presence, for You said apart from You I can do nothing, nor can You work in me if I possess a sullied spirit and a skeptical mind.

Help me to listen to the still, small voice when the devil’s hordes are shouting for me to be quiet, to sit down, to trouble the Master no longer, for my prayers are stillborn in my mouth.

I thank You that in Your presence, we leave the garments of our afflictions in the dirt, no longer begging for strangers’ alms, but sitting at the King’s table, partaking of the bounty of Your mercy on us, and the goodness of your grace towards us.

Let me cry out to You all the more, Son of David, that You may say to me:

“Your faith has made you well.”

Amen.

 

 

 

Devotional 8: Luke 11-19 Where Are the Other Nine?

Ten Lepers Cleansed

11 Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted uptheir voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

14 So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.

15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.

17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”

So often, when we get what we want from our Lord, when He shows us mercy by not giving us over to what we deserve, and he intercedes on our behalf, and makes clear our path, we forget to thank Him, for our hearts immediately revert to love of self, and not love of God.

Think of it as a teenager snatching money from his father’s hand, and going out to do something his father doesn’t approve, but he doesn’t care; he’s got what he wanted, and it cost him nothing.

In this story, it is the enemy of God who returns to give thanks to the Son of God, who in turn lays the glory of the miracle at the Father’s feet, but there is praise unheard, love not given, gratitude not felt by the other nine, for once they were healed, they forgot about the Healer, and the source of His power.

Yet our Father in Heaven says, “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people. (Hosea 2:23)

And yet the Word says, “The kingdom of Heaven will be of every tribe, tongue and nation.”

And we hate one another because of color, language, country of origin, and we make up reasons when we have none.

Many times did Jesus cross racial, cultural, and even gender boundaries in order to reach people; it is no wonder that Paul says, “I have been all things to all men.”

Therefore I pray:

Lord Jesus, I can tell myself that I don’t have your ‘gift of gab,’ that I don’t possess your insights, your eternal wisdom, your capacity to love. I can tell myself that You were human, yet so much more.

But that’s what you tell me everyday, isn’t it? That I’m a child of God, every bit as precious to Him as You are, if I put my faith in You, in the power and holiness of your blood, and in the glory of Your resurrection, where we will  be with each other again.

Help me, O Lord, to remember You in the good times, as well as the bad.

Let me praise You, O Lord, when my heart is clean and my s instead of when my soul is dirty. Bring me under the anointing of Your blood Lord, that I might stand unwavering with You before the cock crows three times.

Help me to know that You arise with me in the morning, and go before me to clear the path of danger

Teach me, Lord, and help me to never be hesitant in expressing my thanks to You for cleansing me, a foreigner, not your people, whom your Son has graciously dealt with mercifully.

I will listen to Him, because in Him, You are well pleased.

I will glorify You for my cleansing by His stripes, His scars, and His Love.

I showed myself to Your High Priest, and He has proclaimed me well by my faith in Him. 

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for bowing your lowly head, battered and pierced by thorns on every side, to listen to my cry, 

:”Jesus, Master, have mercy on me.”

Amen.