Just think!

Just think
How Jesus’ life

Might have turned out
If God had intervened.

Just think of all
We sinners would have lost!

Lord, may our lives
Be just the same as yours –

Facing whatever happens
With God’s help,

Rather than wanting him
To end our pain.

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

Father, if you are willing, please take this cup off suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine (Luke 22:42; NLT).

God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16; NIV).

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

Though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me (Psalm 23:4; KJV).

I was given a thorn in my flesh […] Three times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9; NLT).

GOD WHO LOVES US

God who loves us

Jesus […] emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:5-7; ESV).

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners (Romans 5:6; NLT).

Our God is a God who saves! (Psalm 68:20; NLT).

And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children (Ephesians 3:6; NLT).

For we know how dearly God loves us (Romans 5:5; NLT).


Father,
You laid aside your glory,
Pouring yourself out
To be born on earth –
For you are the God
Who lived with us.

Jesus,
You laid down your life,
Pouring yourself out
So our sins can be forgiven –
For you are the God
Who died for us.

Spirit,
You lay open your truth,
Pouring yourself out
To live in our hearts –
For you are the God
Who saves us.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
You lay bare your plan,
Pouring yourself out
To offer us eternal life –
For you are the God
Who loves us.

GOD KNOWS

God knows

…he knows everything (1 John 3:20; NIV).

For the LORD is a God who knows what you have done (1 Samuel 2:3; NLT).

‘God have mercy on me, a sinner’ (Luke 18:13; NIV).

…and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us (Matthew 6:12; NLT).

Then the way you live will always honour and please the Lord, and your lives will produce much fruit (Colossians 1:10; NLT).


Lord,
You know everything
There is to know
About us.

Throughout our lives,
You know what others think of us,
What they say and do to us,
And what consequences flow.

You know what we think of others,
What we say and do to them,
And, again,
What consequences flow.

Have mercy on us –
Forgive our sins,
As we forgive those
Who sin against us.

Heal our lives –
Help us to learn from all that happens,
Good and bad,
So we can bear fruit for you, at last.

WISDOM

Wisdom

And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too (Luke 13:4-5; NLT).

Be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NLT).

If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit (Proverbs 9:12; NLT).

Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding (Hebrews 6:1; NLT).

Our purpose is to please God, not people (1 Thessalonians 2:4; NLT).


Lord,
The good things
That come to us in life
Are not rewards;
Nor are the bad things
Punishments.

Stuff happens,
Either randomly,
Or caused by us,
Or other people –
You don’t make things happen,
Either way.

May we thank you
In all circumstances,
Good and bad,
Asking you to help us face
And come to terms
With what life brings.

Then we will grow
In wisdom,
Understanding,
And maturity –
In keeping with your purpose
For our lives.

Rewards and punishments?

Rewards and punishments? 

About this time, Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple. “Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee”? Jesus asked. “Is that why they suffered? Not at all!” (Luke 13:1-3; NLT).

The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD (Job 1:21; NLT).

Should we accept only good from the hand of God, and never anything bad? (Job 2:10; NLT).

But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction (Job 36:15; NIV).

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:4; NIV).

Be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NLT).


Father,
We don’t deserve
The good things
That happen to us –
For they are not rewards;

Nor do we deserve
The bad ones –
For they are not punishments.

Instead,
You speak to us through both,
Giving us the opportunities we need
To reach maturity.

Lord,
Thank you for everything
That happens to us –
Good and bad.
May we always be prepared
To learn from both.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

Faith

Faith

‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner’  (Luke 18:13; NLT).

For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God (Hebrews 7:19; NLT).

…let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings (Hebrews 10:22; NIV).

Father,
If only I were sinless,
I would approach you
With such confidence –
But that will never
Be the case.

Instead,
I must rely on your mercy,
And on having faith
That despite my sinfulness,
You unfailingly allow me
To draw near.

Writing

Writing

“Here I am” (1 Samuel:3:4; NIV).

“O Lord, please leave me – I’m too much of a sinner to be around you” (Luke 5:8; NLT).

“Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you” (Luke 7:6-7; NLT).

“Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:9; NIV).

…and after the fire, a still small voice (1 Kings 19:12; KJV).


Lord,
Here I am, in contemplation,
Overwhelmed by your presence,
And afraid.

Part of me wants to say:
“Lord, leave me! I’m a sinner,
And I don’t deserve to be near you.”

But a braver part of me says:
“Speak, Lord,
For your servant is listening.”

Then I write down
What you teach me,
As best I can.