an inspiring prayer
Heavenly Father, help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.
Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can’t make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.
Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.
Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.
Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love.
— Author Unknown
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole that he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.
At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.
The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers on your side of the path but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path. Every day while we walk back, you’ve watered them. For two years, I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”
Do not loose your hope, my dear child
For I make the new day for gladness and anticipation, rejoice and be glad in it!
And do not look to the past, or you will lose your strength
Do not reflect on concerns and those things which have happened
For they have come and gone
“Instead, be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition
Make your all of your requests known to Me
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding
Will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”
(Based on Philippians 4)
No matter how dark
your trials and worries may seem
Do not forget this…
I am your Lord God!
You are never without Me,
you always have hope.
Galatians 5:16-26 (NIV)
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[a] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited,provoking and envying each other.
Paul has spent a good bit of time in this letter to the Galatians defending the law of the Spirit, (the law of grace), against Judaizers and Jewish Christians. These people taught that Paul was relaxing or dismissing much of the OT law in order to bring the Gentiles into the church.
Of course this was not the case at all! Over and over again Paul reasoned with the church members regarding two points. (1) They had died to the Old Testament law with its strict requirements and traditions. They were now under grace through faith in the risen Savior and Son of God, Jesus Christ.
And (2) as God’s children, they are guided by the desires of the Spirit and not the sinful nature. For obviously the sinful nature drives people toward doing things which are worldly, and contrary to the Spirit. Therefore if they are led by the Spirit of Christ, they no longer lived to satisfy sinful lusts (VV 16-18). Of course, all of this applies to us today as well.
In (VV 19-21), we find a listing of some of those acts of wickedness which we are to avoid. They include sexual immorality, hatred, discord, selfish ambition, fits of rage, and so on. Paul then warns the church as he warns us that those who practice such things will not have a place in the kingdom of God.
Instead of these things, we are to practice living the fruits of the Spiritual life. There is a list of these in (VV 22-23) which include: love, joy, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the things which are pleasing to the Lord; “Against such things there is no law,” as Paul reminds us.
Finally, the Lord’s apostle tells us that we who belong to Christ have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. He encourages us to continue in our walk with the Lord by “staying in step” with the Spirit, and not to become “conceited, provoking and envying each other,” (VV 24-26).
Again, this is elementary Christianity, but we all need to be reminded of its importance often. As children of the Spirit of Christ, we need to incorporate these elements of our Lord into our daily lives, and become known by them.
By doing so, we serve as a reminder of the love Christ has for all of us who will come to Him in repentance and obedience. If we will walk with the Savior in the Light of His word, His blood continually washes us clean of sins we will occasionally commit. We find this in (1 John 1:7).
And this is part of the joy we have as children of God’s wonderful grace. As long as sin does not define our lives, and we repent of any transgressions we have engaged in, we have God’s forgiveness! Praise be to the Lord God Almighty, for He is a loving God…
- “The NIV Study Bible, copyright 1995, Zondervan”
Have you dressed yourself properly today?
Are you wearing the fruits of the spirit?
Your suit or dress speaks of your taste in clothes
But your demeanor and behavior speak of your heart and mind
Do you conduct yourself in love, joy, peace and patience?
Does your stance indicate kindness, gentleness, and self-control?
Have you dressed yourself properly today?