Scripture, Thought and a Prayer on True Friendship

Scripture: “He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends.” (Proverbs 17:9)

Thought: The wise man isn’t talking about hiding sin from God. That idea is far from behavior that is considered wise (Proverbs 28:13). What the wise man is talking about is the idea that keeps friends close – an understanding that seeks to privately help instead of publicly embarrass when an error happens. To insist on repeating a matter instead of settling it, and allowing it to stay settled, is a course that breaks the friendship. It’s a course that gives life to the mistake much longer than it deserves, and in a much more severe way it gives life to a memory of betrayal to the other party involved. Repeating the matter is the opposite of love as the book of wisdom says. It is the opposite of godliness, as a man acquainted with sin would say (Psalm 32:1). And it is a guaranteed way to transfer guilt from the original offender to the speaker of the offense (James 4:11). Finally, it ignores the golden rule of true friendship – treat your friends the way you want your friends to treat you (Matthew 7:12).

Prayer: Father help us to see sin in the lives of our friends as you see it. Help it to be acknowledged and then covered; and give us the wisdom and the heart to keep it covered by keeping private matters away from the public. Help us to be friends that can be trusted. We know in many ways that we can offend those to whom we should be close, and that our tongue often leads the way, but help us to remember the truth that your word has spoken so that we may be a friend in a way that lives up to the standard of love and mercy and faithfulness that you have given to us.

#friendship, #gossip, #scripture-thought-prayer, #trustworthy

Scripture, Thought and a Prayer on Weariness

Scripture:And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Galatians 6:9)

Thought: Weariness is a gradual condition. It doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t happen in one day. Weariness is the continual drop of water that cuts a hole through the stone below. Weariness is no small matter. It robs us of energy and vision. Yet there is a cure for such a burden – faith. A little trust and confidence goes a long way. I’m not talking trust and confidence in man. I’m talking about trust and confidence in God. There are many things that can distract us from what we’re called to do in our service to God, but those things have no effect on the Lord (Galatians 6:7); therefore, let us remember that the Lord is always working, and that he desires to help us in our burdens so that we may avoid the weariness of the soul that results in shortsightedness, as well as finding the energy and vision to help others who find themselves on the verge of the same condition (Matthew 11:29; Galatians 6:1-2).

PrayerFather help us to see a harvest that is in accordance with your will. May we see your promises by faith and hold to them. Help us to wait for you so that we may have the wings of an eagle with renewed strength. Forgive us when we get distracted and when we fail to see things as we ought. May we ever guard our heart with your word, and may your word ever be our help in moments of weariness. Thank you for the strength that you have promised, and by your grace make it readily available to us as your servants so that our faith stands as a source of help to others who also stand in need.

#heart-and-mind, #scripture-thought-prayer, #sowing-to-the-spirit, #weariness

Scripture, Thought and a Prayer on Political Haughtiness

Scripture: “Say to the king and to the queen mother, “Humble yourselves; sit down, for your rule shall collapse, the crown of your glory.”” (Jeremiah 13:18)

Thought: Politicians may enjoy playing games with political power, but many forget that their power is on loan (John 19:10-11). Those who lift themselves up through pride will fall, whether through internal political failure, external forces or mortality itself. From the book of Genesis right into the book of Revelation, the scriptures are replete with these examples that have been recorded not only for those who are reigned over but also for those who are reigning. The books of Judges, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Proverbs, Jeremiah and Daniel are so politically and governmental based that one must be blind with pride to not see it (I mean come one, there’s not hardly a book in the Bible that doesn’t say something to political leaders)…and when any politician becomes too blind see the handwriting on the wall, their crown of haughty glory will give way to a crown of lowly corrosion.

Prayer: Father, please be patient with our political leaders as you are with us. Help them to see your righteousness and to be willing to lead with the scepter of your son (Hebrews 1:8). Help us to set the proper example as your people as we lean upon your arm and trust in your providence. Strengthen those who stand for what’s right and help those who stand for the wrong to sit in humility before you so that political strife and haughtiness would give way to humility and rest.

#humility, #politics, #religion-and-politics, #scripture-thought-prayer

Scripture, Thought and a Prayer on Influence

Scripture:Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment, and cause it to give off a foul odor; so does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor.” (Ecclesiastes 10:1)

Thought: Influence can be a hard thing to get but an easy thing to lose. As we live our life in the gospel we are called, to one extent or another, to spread the fragrance of God’s grace (2 Corinthians 2:14-16). Yet a moment of intentional ignorance can become a stumbling block to others; possibly for the rest of their life. This is why soberness is a standard (1 Thessalonians 5:5-10). Folly (i.e. foolish behavior or unnecessary silliness that leads to sinful behavior as is mentioned in Ephesians 5:1-7) must be avoided not only for our personal reputation, but more importantly for the sake of our influence in Christ Jesus and for his kingdom.

Prayer: Thank you Father for the pleasing aroma given to us through Jesus, and for the covering of sin that it provides. Help us to understand its value and to guard it. Help us to put away childish things and to seek the spiritual maturity that causes your name to be glorified through the wisdom and honor you have bestowed upon us through your Son, and our Savior.

#christian-influence, #scripture-thought-prayer

Scripture, Thought and a Prayer about Sainthood

Scripture:To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Colossians 1:2)

Thought: The saints in Colosse were of the faithful brethren as much as the faithful brethren were saints. Sainthood has nothing to do with achievement or accomplishment or merit; sainthood is not “climbing” the heavenly ladder of success in God’s eyes; nor is sainthood a “class” of Christian designated by a “church hierarchy.” Paul was not recognizing two “classes” of Christians any more than he was saying the Colossians “only” loved a certain “class” of Christian in 1:4. Rather, Paul was reminding all of the Christians at Colosse about who they had become, and who they were continually called to be in Christ Jesus as citizens of God’s kingdom (Colossians 1:9-14), much in the same way that Peter told his readers to be holy in all of life’s conduct (1 Peter 1:15-16).

Prayer: Father, help us to remember our calling as your saints. Help us to see our citizenship in Heaven and help us to live our lives here in accordance with your standards of holiness. Help us to trust your restoring and reforming grace that has been made available through the blood of your son. And may we, as your people, reflect in our heart, hands and feet what the beauty of your holiness is able to accomplish with our simple clay.

#holiness, #sainthood, #scripture-thought-prayer

Scripture, Thought and a Prayer on Hypocrisy

Scripture: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.” (Matthew 23:25)

Thought: Who wants to drink from a cup that’s dirty on the outside, or eat off of a plate that has leftover food on the bottom? No one, right? But when it comes to cleanliness, how much good does it do to only wash the outside? We know the answer! And if we know the answer when it comes to dishes, then how much more so do we know the answer when it comes to our soul.

Prayer: Lord, help our righteousness to be right in your sight. Help us to focus on our heart so the things that we do in your name are done because you are in us. Help to us to be holy as you are holy, from the inside out, so we may continue to grow as disciples of your son.

#hypocrisy, #righteousness, #scripture-thought-prayer