S – “But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” James 1:25
O/A – The perfect law, the law of liberty. This jumped out at me. It’s not us keeping the law, it comes from the freedom we have in Christ.
“When the fulfilling of the Law it is called the “law of liberty” it means that as Christians we pursue love in liberty from law-keeping as the ground of our justification or the power of our sanctification. Instead we pursue it by the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:2). We look to the Spirit of Christ for transformation so that love flows by power from within, not pressure from without. The law of liberty is the leading of the Spirit, and “where the Spirit is there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17).” John Piper
It’s all about being led by the Holy Spirit and as the verse says, by “perseverance”. We keep on keeping on. If I keep doing what I know is right by the power of His Holy Spirit and don’t forget, I will be blessed.
P – Thank you Jesus that my obedience comes from the freedom I have in you and not from a need to earn righteousness. Please help me to persevere in doing and not be a hearer who forgets.
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S – “This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life.” Hebrews 7:15-16
O – Jesus is the “other” priest. He became our great High Priest because of the power of an indestructible life. Jesus, God, is indestructible. It is impossible for anything to ever happen to God and no power is capable of destroying Him. Every fantasy we ever had about any superhero is more than fulfilled in Christ. Even in our imagination, there is none greater.
A – This indestructible High Priest is my Savior! He is my Lord. My protector. My Sovereign. Even my Friend. Mind blowing truth.
P – I bow before you Father and worship at your feet. That you in your holiness and greatness would love me and love me enough to send perfection to die for me. Words cannot express thanks. I lay my imperfect love at your feet.
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S – “…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people….always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:4b-5,7
O – Paul is telling Timothy what it will be like in the last days.
A – I don’t want to love pleasure more than God! We have so much pleasure in our culture. It’s so easy to get caught up in good food, nice homes, vacations, clothes, entertainment, so much is right at our fingertips. The more we give our flesh, the more it wants. We can easily, I easily, slip into living for the next meal, the next fun event, the next “comfort”, the next purchase. But what’s that? Those are all temporary distractions. None of that means anything in eternity. Loving God is primary, loving God is supreme, loving God is for eternity. I don’t want to “appear” godly but have no power of the Spirit in my life or to always be learning but never really encounter the truth.
P – Please Jesus, help me to keep my love for you primary in my life. Help me know how to live in the world without living for the world and its pleasures. The pleasures aren’t sinful necessarily but they can turn my eyes from you. Please help me live in balance. Please Lord, help me live in the power of the Spirit, help me know truth.
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S – “Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18
“For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11
O – Paul writes to assure us that all who believe in Jesus will be with Him forever. We will either be with Him when we die or if we are alive when He comes back, we will join Him in the air. Either way, we are with Him forever. Our job is to encourage each other with this truth and build each other up.
A – Am I doing my job? Am I encouraging others daily? Reminding them that whether we are awake or asleep, we will always be with the Lord?
P – Jesus, thank you that you will return one day. Thank you that I am yours forever and nothing can take that away. Help me live to encourage others and remind them of this truth. Help me to encourage someone today. I love you Lord.
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S – “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17
O – We should take careful thought about how we walk, how we live our lives, and not just foolishly trip along, not examining our actions. We need to be wise and make the best use of our time not wasting it just living for the moment, living for ourselves. To make the best use of our time is to understand the will of the Lord. This is imperative because the days are evil. This is not Leave it to Beaver. These are evil days. People are suffering on earth, dying, and going to hell. We can’t just skip through life picking out paint colors, and drinking tea. There’s something greater going on. It’s not sinful to enjoy the gifts we have, but it is sinful to pretend that’s all there is to life. There will be no reward in heaven for just enjoying the simple pleasures of life.
A/P – Father, I need this truth in my life. I need to live for more than just taking care of our house, decorating, shopping, cleaning, eating, and going my merry way. I know this isn’t all there is. I know people all around are hurting. I know so many in the world don’t have the gifts I do. I don’t want to live like the “princess in the tower” or the “girl in a bubble”. Open my eyes to see, to give, to sacrifice, and to be willing to serve. Thank you for all the gifts you have given me! Thank you for the privilege to learn, study, and grow. Thank you for your love.
This is a message straight to me, to my heart. I pray God will help me move beyond where I am and live more wisely.
Please share your thoughts.
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S – “O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.” Psalm 139:1-3
O – David knew how much God loved him. He trusted God wholeheartedly. What a beautiful account of how God knows us.
A – Everyone wants to be known. We all want someone to know us, really know us. It is so wonderful to know God knows me inside and out. He even knows my thoughts before I do. He knows what I will say before I speak. He surrounds me. I can’t go anywhere where He won’t be there. I can’t hide from God. He knew me when I was being formed in the womb. He knew me the instant that egg was fertilized and knew what my life would be. I’m never alone, Never abandoned. I always have His love.
P – Thank you dear Father. You know everything there is to know about me. I’m your child. Please show me if there is anything in me that is hurtful or wicked or that gives you grief. Lead me the way you want me to go.
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S – “I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 7:35
“But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” Ruth 1:16
O – Ruth is an example of devotion. She was devoted to Naomi and was determined to be faithful to her to death. Paul was writing to the Corinthians about matters concerning relationships and living in this world but I think his point is we are to live with undivided devotion to the Lord. Whatever else we do or whatever relationships we have, it should not take us from our undivided devotion to the Lord. He is first. We should say like Ruth, “wherever you lead, I will follow.”
A – Do I have undivided devotion to the Lord? I can’t say I do. I’m distracted by so many things. People, possessions, life. How do I get to where nothing can take me from my devotion to my Lord. How do I deal with the world as if I had no dealings with it? (v.31) The NLT says to “not become attached” to the things of the world. The original word means to not use it much or excessively. To not use fully or overuse. I guess it means to not be obsessed with this world. To not look to the things of the world as what we need to be happy and fulfilled. God wants us to see Him, to know Him as the primary source of all our needs. He is all we need to survive and be happy.
P – Father, please show me how to live in this world and deal with the world yet stay detached from the world. Will you show me or give me an example? Please be my strength. I am so grateful for your love and grace. But I want to be like Ruth and say that I will follow you no matter what to the death. You are the source of all I need Jesus! I love you!
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