Your perfect will

Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2; NLT).

Lord,

I want to do
Your perfect will,

No matter what you send,
To praise you still;

To love, forgive, and serve;
Grow like your Son,

And follow him to you:
Thy will be done.

O my Father,
if this cup may not pass away from me,
except I drink it, thy will be done
(Matthew 26:42; KJV).

Reach out to Christ

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💛

He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands.
Reach out your hand and put it in my side.
Stop doubting and believe” (John 20:27; NIV).

1. Reach out to Christ.
Take his way as your own.
Have faith in his teaching,
And make his praise known.

2. Reach out to Christ.
Take his truth as your guide.
Then trust in his mercy,
And walk by his side.

3. Reach out to Christ.
Take his life as your light.
Love all those you contact,
And dwell in his sight.

4. Give him your body,
Your heart, soul, and mind –
Then follow him gladly,
And serve humankind.

💛


References

1. Jesus told him, “I am the way” (John 14:6; NLT).

A person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:16; NLT).

Make known his praise around the world (Isaiah 12:5; NLT).

2. Jesus told him, “I am […] the truth” (John 14:6; NLT).

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth (John 16:13; NLT).

I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever (Psalm 52:8; NKJV).

3. Jesus told him, “I am […] the life” (John 14:6; NLT).

His life brought light to everyone (John 1:4; NLT).

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them (Romans 12:9; NLT).

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress, and refusing to let the world corrupt you (James 1:27; NLT).

The eye of the Lord is on those who fear him (Psalm 33:18; NKJV).

4. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind (Luke 10:27; NLT).

If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me (Matthew 16:24; NLT).

You welcome those who gladly do good, who follow godly ways (Isaiah 64:5; NLT).

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me (Matthew 25:40; NIV).

Forgive my ignorance

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✝️

1. Please forgive my ignorance,
And teach me, Lord, to follow you.

2. Please forgive my weaknesses;
Help me to serve in all I do.

3. Please forgive my selfishness,
Then I’ll see you in everyone.

4. Please forgive my carelessness,
So I will grow like you, God’s Son.

5. Please forgive my foolishness:
May I reflect your wise concern;

6. And please forgive my sinfulness:
Don’t punish me, but help me learn.

✝️


References

1. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them (Ephesians 4:18; NIV).

Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the right path (Psalm 27:11; NLT).

2. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all the same testings we do (Hebrews 4:15; NLT).

3. Then he [Jesus] said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23; NLT).

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me (Matthew 25:40; NIV).

4. We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

5. People ruin their lives by their own foolishness (Proverbs 19:3; NLT).

All of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18; NLT).

God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them (Exodus 2:25; NIV).

6. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbour his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities (Psalm 103:8-10; NIV).

Lord, I want to pray

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✝️

1. Lord,
I want to pray, rejoice,
And thank you.

I want to serve,
Console, forgive,
And love.

2. Lord,
I want to plead
For your forgiveness,

Then follow
In your steps,
Saved by your blood.

3. Lord,
I want to spread
Your priceless gospel,

So others learn
To worship,
And adore.

4. Lord,
I want to bear
My cross to heaven,

Where I
Will lay it down
For evermore.

✝️


References

1. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NIV).

Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all (Mark 9:35; NIV).

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us (2 Corinthians 1:4, NLT).

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us (Luke 11:4; NLT).

May the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow (1 Thessalonians 3:12; NLT).

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them (Romans 12:9; NLT; my emphasis).

2. Perhaps even yet they will turn from their evil ways and ask the Lord’s forgiveness before it is too late (Jeremiah 36:7; NLT).

Then [Jesus] said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23; NLT).

Since we have now been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation (Romans 5:9; NLT).

3. The Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. When he found one priceless pearl, he went and sold everything he had, and bought it (Matthew 13:45-6; CSB).

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16; NIV).

Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ (1 Corinthians 9:19; NLT).

4. Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23; NLT).

Then Jesus said, “Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28; NLT).

Help me, Lord

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🤎

You are to be perfect,
even as your Father in heaven is perfect
(Matthew 5:48; NLT).

1. Help me, Lord,
To follow in your footsteps,
To walk with you,
And slowly be reformed.

2. Help me, Lord,
To understand your teaching,
To sit with you,
And gladly be transformed.

3. Help me, Lord,
To love and serve, as you did,
Like you in all I feel, think, say,
And do.

4. Help me, Lord,
To live and die as you did,
For then, at last, I’ll reunite
With you.

🤎


References

1. Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23; NLT).

2. Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think (Romans 12:2; NLT).

3. We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

4. The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NIV).

Repent and turn to God

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💛

Each of you must repent and turn to God, and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit
(Acts 2:38; NLT).

1. Repent,
And turn to God.
Open your mind –
Then wait,
Until his Spirit comes
To help you.

2. Repent,
And turn to God.
Open your heart –
Then wait,
Until his Spirit comes
To teach you.

3. Repent,
And turn to God.
Open your soul –
Then wait,
Until his Spirit comes
To cheer you.

4. Repent,
And turn to God.
Open your hands –
Then wait,
Until his Spirit comes
To fill you.

5. Repent,
And turn to God.
Open your eyes –
Then see, and love, and serve
His Son
In all.

💛


References

1. He will give you another Advocate, [Comforter, Encourager, Counsellor] who will never leave you (John 14:16; NLT).

Wait patiently for him (Psalm 37:7; NIV).

The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness (Romans 8:26; NLT).

2. The Spirit teaches you everything you need to know (1 John 2:27; NLT).

3. He will give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever (John 14:16; DBY).

4. We know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love (Romans 5:5; NLT).

5. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

May the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow (1 Thessalonians 3:12; NLT).

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me (Matthew 25:40; NIV).

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them (Romans 12:9; NLT, my emphasis).

I’m sorry

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My life is spent with sorrow and my years with sighing; my strength has failed because of my guilt, and my body has wasted away (Psalm 31:10; NASB20).

1. I’m sorry that I’m nothing, Lord.
I’m sorry I’m so weak.

2. I’m sorry I can’t serve you, Lord,
And sorry I’m so bleak.

3. I’m sorry I’ve got nothing, Lord,
To show for all my years.

4. I’m sorry that I’ve wasted all my life
On sin, and tears.

5. I can only cling to you, Lord,
As I face each test.

6. I can only try to pray, Lord,
And to do my best.

7. I can only cry to you, Lord:
Father, lift me up!

8. I can only trust in you,
And drink each bitter cup.


References

1. I am nothing but dust and ashes (Genesis 18:27; NIV).

Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak (Psalm 6:2; NLT).

2. You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him (Luke 4:8; NLT).

You have taken away my companions and my loved ones. Darkness is my closest friend (Psalm 88:18; NLT).

3. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth (Matthew 25:25; NLT).

Is not all human life a struggle? Our lives are like that of a hired hand, like a worker who longs for the shade, like a servant waiting to be paid. I, too, have been assigned months of futility, long and weary nights of misery (Job 7:1-3; NASB20).

4. I was born a sinner – yes, from the moment my mother conceived me (Psalm 51:5; NLT).

You have fed us with sorrow and made us drink tears by the bucketful (Psalm 80:5; NLT).

I have cried until the tears no longer come; my heart is broken. My spirit is poured out in agony (Lamentations 2:11; NLT).

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows (John 16:33; NLT).

5. I cling to you (Psalm 63:8; NLT).

You examine us every morning and test us every moment (Job 7:18; NLT).

6. Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17; NIV).

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15; NIV).

7. O Lord, I am calling to you. Please hurry! Listen when I cry for your help! (Psalm 141:1; NLT).

You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth (Psalm 71:20; NLT).

8. Trust in God and trust also in me (John 14:1; NLT).

He has […] given me a bitter cup of sorrow to drink (Lamentations 3:15; NLT).

If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine (Matthew 26:39; NLT).

Humility

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Always be humble and gentle
(Ephesians 4:2; NLT).

The Bible tells us that God wants us to grow in humility. Mother Theresa of Calcutta, who is now a Saint, saw the process of learning to become more humble as a set of specific, concrete measures we can practice every day.

Her advice is easy to understand, but much harder to follow. Over time, though, by embracing her approach and making it our own, we can gradually learn to respond to people and events with greater acceptance and humility.

I first posted these teachings as a series of daily quotations on Twitter and Facebook. When that project was complete, I decided to draw them together, and make them available here.

Each quotation is followed by an illustrative verse from the Bible or few words of clarification. I hope very much that you will find Mother Theresa’s clear, practical advice as helpful as I do.


1. Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters:
You must all be quick to listen
[and] slow to speak
(James 1:19; NLT).



2. Aspire to live quietly,
to mind your own affairs,
and to work with your own hands
(1 Thessalonians 4:10; RSV).


3. You should mind your own business
(1 Thessalonians 4:11; NIV).



4. They have an insatiable curiosity to hear new things
(2 Timothy 4:3; NET).



5. Be patient with each other,
making allowance for each other’s faults
because of your love
(Ephesians 4:2; NLT).


6. Whoever learns from correction is wise
(Proverbs 15:5; NLT).


7. How can you say to your brother,
‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’
when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye,
and then you will see clearly to remove the speck
from your brother’s eye
(Matthew 7:4-5; NIV).



8. Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.
For you will be treated as you treat others.
The standard you use in judging
is the standard by which you will be judged
(Matthew 7:1-2; NLT).


9. He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word
(Isaiah 53:7; NLT).


1o. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
yet he never said a word

(Isaiah 53:7; NLT).


11. The wisdom from above is first of all pure.
It is also peace-loving,
gentle at all times,
and willing to yield to others
(James 3:17; NLT).

NB: This doesn’t mean letting people walk all over you. It means letting others choose, and gladly going along with their choice, rather than insisting on having your own way.



12. He was despised and we did not care
(Isaiah 53:3; NLT).



13. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way
(Isaiah 53:3; NLT).


14. A gentle answer deflects anger,
but harsh words make tempers flare

(Proverbs 15:1; NLT).



15. They brag loudly about themselves
(Jude 1:16; NLT).

Don’t do your good deeds publicly,
to be admired by others
(Matthew 6:1; NLT).


16. Whoever wants to be first among you
must be the slave of all
(Mark 10:44; NET).



17. Do not be wise in your own opinion
(Romans 12:16; NKJV).


18. Even the Son of Man came not to be served
but to serve others,
and to give his life as a ransom for many
(Matthew 20:28; NLT).


Reference

All the quotations used here can be found by doing a Google search for: “Mother Theresa humility list”. I am very grateful to Mother for putting her advice list together, and to all those who circulate various versions of it online.

Made of dread

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🖤

I’m just a worm, less than human
(Psalm 22:6; CEB).

1. I’m made of dread,
Instead of dust,

2. And cling to you in doubt,
Not trust.

3. I plead through pain,
Instead of prayer,

4. And serve you out of pride,
Not care.

5. I offer sin,
Instead of good,

6. And wait for you with fear,
Not love.

7. I seek the dark,
Instead of light –

8. Lord, may I walk by faith,
Not sight.

🖤

We walk by faith, not by sight
(2 Corinthians 5:7; NIV).

I belong to you (#2 of 2 linked prayers)

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❤️

1. Father,
May I praise your name,
Serving in all I do;
Then I will see your face, at last,
For I belong to you.

2. Jesus,
May I face each day
Bearing my cross anew;
Then I will share your joy, at last,
For I am part of you.

3. Spirit,
May I hear your voice
Teaching me all that’s true;
Then we will reunite, at last,
For I am one with you.

❤️


References

1. You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him (Luke 4:8; NLT).

Now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12; NRSV).

You and I both belong to God (Job 33:6; NLT).

2. If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23; NLT).

Share your master’s joy (Matthew 25:21; CSB).

Don’t you know that your bodies are a part of Christ’s body? (1 Corinthians 6:15; CSB).

3. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth (John 14:17; NLT).

Then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NLT).

I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one (John 17:21; NLT).

The person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him (1 Corinthians 6:17; NLT).