Archive for December, 2010

Release Regret to Grasp Grace

December 28, 2010

Suggested Reading:

Matthew 26:69-75

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience… (Hebrews 10:22  NIV)

…And you forgave the guilt of my sin. (Psalm 32:5 NIV)

Sandy shared her experience of praying one morning and sensing a need to caution a neighbor to closely watch her infant throughout the day. Sandy dismissed the thought after her husband said sharing this message would cause the neighbor to think she was “loony.” Later that day, the infant died from SIDS. Sandy regretted not following through to caution her neighbor. That remorse wasn’t easy to dismiss.

The disciple Peter battled regret. Despite Peter’s claim of loyalty, Christ told Peter he would deny Him three times. When the rooster crowed a third time, Peter wept bitterly at his failure.

Peter released his regret by recognizing Christ’s love remained in spite of his denial. He knew Christ went to the cross to secure his forgiveness. A forgiveness that ignited a boldness in Peter that death threats could not silence.

 Like Peter, Sandy is releasing regret as she grasps God’s grace. In understanding God’s love she is learning to trust God’s voice and obey His instructions over the voice of others.

Prayer

Father, help us release our regret to live in your forgiveness. 

Thought for the Day

Choose today whether to live in regret in the forgiveness of God’s grace.

Prayer Focus

Receiving God’s forgiveness.

More Than A Visit: God Became Us

December 27, 2010

Suggested Bible Reading:

Philippians 2:5-11

 Today’s Scripture:

“Although He existed in the form of God…emptied Himself…being made in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:6-7

As the serpent deceived Eve causing her to question God’s goodness and love, I, too, doubt God’s love when life doesn’t turn out the way I wanted. Disappointment leads me to question if God cares or if life issues are too trivial to be detected on God’s radar screen.

The incarnation of Christ confronts my thoughts, questions, and doubts regarding God’s interest, care, and love for me. At a dark time in history when God’s children suffered and when God seemed out of touch, God did more than visit and access their condition. He entered it. He became a living human being who experienced daily life.

A God who came to earth for me cares for me. The One who faced rejection and endured bitter death blows to die for me, loves me. He who paid an enormous redemptive price will never abandon me or dismiss my needs.

Being a human I realize questions and doubts of God’s love will still come. When they do, I’ll redirect my thoughts to the depth of God’s love demonstrated in Christ’s incarnation.

Prayer:

Father, when doubts of your love arise, redirect my thoughts to your unconditional love demonstrated through Jesus.

Thought for the Day:

God made more than a visit. He became us, died for us, and now lives in us.

Prayer Focus:

To know the depth of God’s love.

Love’s Disguise and Reveal

December 19, 2010

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. John 13:15-16 (NIV)

  

The master…

Became one of His creations

Entered our broken world

Experienced our pain

Embraced our darkness to

Expose His light

 

God came near

God with us

God for us

God delivered us

God in us

Majestic Power Incognito

December 18, 2010

As always

God approaches

As promised

Deity morphed

Humanity embraced

Power descended

Entering an adolescent’s womb

Strength packaged in weakness

His birth our hope

His confinement our freedom

His suffering our release

His payment our penalty

His death our redemption

His light penetrates my darkness