It’s Monday, the second day of the week and the first day of the work week for many people. Mondays generally aren’t most peoples favorite day of the week. Have you noticed in Genesis 1:8 on the end of the second day of creation (Monday) that the day begins and ends without saying “And God saw that it was good?” Not to say that the first Monday wasn’t a good day, there were great things accomplished that day setting a foundation for the rest of the week, but there maybe something biblical about most peoples thoughts about Monday… Have a great Monday setting a foundation for a great rest of the week!
Be careful today, Satan is trying to break you. He is trying to bring you down and he has many ways of manipulation to accomplish this. Thinking back to The temptation in the garden of Eden we see Satan getting Eve to take her focus off of the blessings God had given them (eating from all of the trees of the garden, but one) and having her focus on the one tree (the tree of knowledge of good and evil) that they were not supposed to eat of. We must be watchful today not to let Satan take our focus off of the many blessings of God. So many times we have thousands of trees to eat from but we want to focus on the one tree Satan points out that God tells us to abstain from. God give me strength today to live a holy life as You are holy. Amen.
All families will all struggle at one point or another. We will have days that are difficult to show love to our spouse or days we feel that we aren’t lovable to our husband or wife. There will be tough times when we will think that our world is caving in on us and that our parents will smother us before we have the opportunity to grow up. It is helpful to remember in these trying times that God is there. When we encounter these tough times first pray. Pray for guidance, wisdom, and strength to make the correct decisions. Second pray with your family. There are few things that will bring your marriage, your parents or children closer to you than seeing your spouse, parent, or child open their heart to God and trust in Him through this life.
“You are strong when you know your weakness.” Any professional athlete knows what they need to improve on, whether it is speed, strength, or endurance. Knowing our weaknesses not only allows us to see areas of our life to give special attention to in improvement but it gives us an ability to see God do some of His best work. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). When we think “There is no way!” “Can’t you see what I am not able to do!” “I’m too far gone!” God says, “that’s ok, come with Me, I will show you what IS possible!” I can see God speaking, like a father with his child saying, “My grace is all you need, now pick up your mess, trust in me, and watch as we make something of your life.”
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Not everything that rhymes is true. Words maybe the most powerful weapon of any arsenal. Your words have the ability to build your spouse up or completely destroy their goals, day, or moment in the spotlight. Your words can bring out the best in your family or the worst in them. Father give us words seasoned with grace and spoken in wisdom, especially when we talk with our spouse, children, and parents. May we encourage each other to grow closer to You and be strengthened as we walk the narrow way. Amen.
“I’m sorry… ‘I know you are. Now apologize.’” It is easier to say “I’m sorry” than it is to apologize and actually change the action that caused harm in the first place. Apologies can be hard to accept if we know nothing will change. Families are in desperate need of children who will not only say “I’m sorry,” but who will set their mind to obeying their parents. Children are in dire need to see a model from their parents who are (humbly) admitting their imperfections and showing them how to apologize by changing to become more like Christ. Spouses are longing to see a difference in the way their husband/wife acts instead of hearing the same old “I’m sorry.” It is a difficult part of any apology but it may be the most important, to keep a marriage/family healthy, change (as part of an apology) is inevitable.
I have often read Psalms 90. Part of that chapter of scriptures is as follows: “Lord your have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever, you had formed the earth and the world. From everlasting to everlasting you are God…A thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night…We have been consumed by your anger, and by your wrath we are terrified. You have set our iniquities before you…our secret sins in the light of your countenance. All our days have passed away in your wrath. We finish our years like a sigh…Who knows the power of your anger? For as the fear of you, so is your wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (90:1-12)
Thought provoking??? Our lives have become so filled with obligations that it seems we just don’t have enough time. We have become so occupied with each day’s activities that we never get caught up. We all find a way to fill our lives to the point that there is just no time left. Instead of having control of our lives…our lives seem to have control of us. Scientists tell us that nature abhors a vacuum. The same is apparently true with our lives. We find a way of filling each day with so many activities that we are scheduled for weeks in advance. Some retired folks claim that they are busier now than before they retired.
It might be good for us to take inventory of our lives and see how we spend our time. We might slow down long enough to see what we are doing with our lives. What have we allowed to creep into our lives which now seems to control us. In the parable of the sower, Jesus taught that the person who received the seed among the thorns is like a person who allows the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches to choke the word. We become so focused on our own personal agenda that we forget to focus on the Lord’s work.
Jesus said on one occasion, “I must be about my Father’s business.” Listen friends…Is God’s Business your business or do you need to refocus your personal agenda?
“All of the water of an entire ocean cannot sink a ship unless it gets inside. Similarly all of the negativity in the world can’t get you down unless you let it get inside your heart.” We know our homes and families should be a safe haven and a place of rest but so many times, somehow, we allow negativity to creep into our marriage, parenting, or attitude as a child. It takes strength and much work to stand against Satan’s negative attacks on our families but with God on our side we can be more than conquerors and have a prevailing positive attitude in our dealings with our husband or wife, parents or children, or even that nut that fell off the family tree.
Forgiving doesn’t come easily or naturally for most of us. Many times when we find it especially hard to forgive we are emotionally hurt or emotionally tied to a situation. Emotions make a huge impact on our life but they must not be allowed to control our life, it must be Christ that controls our life. Jesus reminds us today of what He told Peter in Matthew 18:22, “Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Father help me to humbly forgive friends, family, and strangers freely letting You control my life instead of being tossed around and restrained by my emotions. Amen.
“In every moment thank God.” Giving thanks to God is more than simply putting the right words together and letting them slip out of our mouth. Giving thanks is an attitude, it comes from our heart and is shown in the way we live our life. Can God easily see in our lives today that we are thankful for where we are, for what we have, and do we also tell Him often specifically what we are thankful for?