I asked you all to pray for me earlier this week. Thank you so very much for your prayers. Now I am lead to pray for all of you, along with myself in this. My heart has been stirred and is now boiling with compassion and hope. I fear I have wasted time in doubt which lead to despair when all I had to do was turn around appreciate the blessings He granted me in His love and grace. For my foolishness I have been forgiven and now I turn to the Lord in strength and love.
Grace in itself cannot be earned, because it is undeserved kindness or forgiveness. We are granted so much in this life! Even when it seems we have very little, we are always missing something fundamental that we have to be thankful for. Life itself. People everywhere wish they were dead or commit suicide or kill others or simply grow old or sick before laying down, but in all of our final moments we feel the gravity of what it means to be alive. The complexity of life and of breathing this air we rarely think about. The pounding of our heart inside our chest and the pulses of thought racking our brain day in, and day out, through every waking moment and in our deepest sleep. I praise You, Oh Lord, for my breath. Praise You, for my food I ate today when many have none. Let not your light nor mercy be stifled in me but be a beacon, brighter than any sun unto the nations!
Father, every one of us live in a self-centered universe seeking our desires and selfish wants and perceived needs. We seek glory and power and money and popularity above Your will. We take what we can when we can whether it hurts someone or not. I do not want to live in a self-made hell. I want to live in You! I want to feel your glory coursing in my veins, flowing beneath my skin and hear Your words pour from my mouth! Long have I lived in darkness and futility letting sin and fear and shame and doubt control my every movement. You have cleansed me of my sin. You have pardoned me and brought me out of shame into the light that all my deeds be seen. I am unafraid to admit my mistakes in praise that you use them to the good of those who love You, Master!
I am unashamed to stand before all of you and say that I am a sinner, but by the grace of God I am whole again and I love each of you as much as myself. You are my family. I pray you feel a joy and contentment and peace that truly passes ALL understanding. An incomprehensible stillness inside that just makes you smile and cry tears of joy in a crowded room without hesitation. Worshiping in openness without reservation excites my flesh! Give them your will in clarity Father! Shine among these people that they see you instead of me. Empty me of me that I may delight in you fully! You are the One and Only. You alone are worthy and Holy. I pray these members seek your face and strive to live holy and blameless in your sight, for you see all we do in secret. Whatever we cannot admit to others, may I not deny it to myself but instead see the truth of my actions and motivations and commit my ways to you! Establish all our paths, Abba. Lay us down in green pastures beside still waters. Restore our souls that we not seek approval of others, but live to serve and make you proud! I love You! In the name of Jesus who gave up our most precious gift to give us more than we have ever deserved.
1 Corinthians 13 “If I speak in the tonguesof men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Matthew 5:43-48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
John 15:5-9 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. ‘As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.’ “
Much love, grace and peace