No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
TEMPTATION... We've all been there. Satan's silver bullet designed just for us personally. "No one will ever know; besides it won't hurt anybody!" some mysterious voice sounding like our own whispers. Even if those two statements were true, and they never really are, it would matter because something inside of us caved in to what we knew was wrong. One line of defense is to simply remind ourselves we are not alone in this temptation — others have faced it and conquered it, so we can too, by God's help and the power of his Holy Spirit.
Most Holy Father, guard my heart from temptation and my life from sin. I want to serve you with wholehearted devotion. Forgive me for my past sin, and by your grace and through your word, strengthen me with your Holy Spirit so that I may overcome the temptations that Satan uses to separate me from you. Through my Protector and Redeemer I pray. Amen.
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.
Stars. They've always been a source of constant hope for God's people. "Your descendants will be like the stars," God told Abraham. "When I see the stars, what is man that you are mindful of him?" the Psalms ask. The Wisemen from the East followed a star to Jesus. Luke reminds us that Jesus was a star of morning light come to us from heaven to shine on those in darkness. And now, we're stars. God's points of light in the dark sky of the universe. So let's make today a day where our light shines God's glory to a dark world around us.
Almighty God, the incredible expanse of your universe, with its billions of stars, exceeds my limited comprehension. But I thank you for calling me to be a place of light in the dark world around me and I pledge to shine your light today in the lives of all those I might. Through the name of the Bright and Morning Star I pray. Amen.
I don't want you to think about an orange rhinoceros flying with blue wings. Now quit. I don't want you to think about it anymore. You know there is no such thing as an orange rhino that flies, much less one that flies on blue wings. Oh course the point is simple: the more we try to not do something, the more we focus on it and insure we do what we are not supposed to do. That's why the gift of the Holy Spirit is so important. He enables and empowers us to move beyond our sin — not by focusing on it and refusing it, but by enriching us and "distracting" us with the important things of God.
Abba Father, I thank you so much for your Holy Spirit that lives in me and is now interceding with you for me. Please fill me with your Spirit so that my life more nearly reflects your will and focuses on your concerns. Through Jesus, who poured out your Spirit upon me at my baptism, I pray. Amen.
There are few things more coveted than freedom. People die for it. People pray for it. People strive for it. True freedom comes from knowing truth. Knowing truth ultimately comes by living in obedience to Jesus. Truth is not just something you think about or believe. Truth is something you do, you live. Jesus' teaching often ends with the exclamation: Blessed are you who do these things! Only by doing will we ever know the truth that liberates us.
To the only true God be glory, honor, power and praise. Father I seek not only your presence in my daily life, but also your pleasure in the choices I make. Please teach me more of your truth as I pledge to live today in obedience to your word and your will. Through Jesus the living Word I pray. Amen.
If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother."
Love! The word can mean anything. Many in the Christian community have tried to define it by a dictionary or lexicon, not realizing the key word for love, agape, is defined by action. Before Christians got a hold of agape, it meant the same thing our word today does: just about anything! But if you read 1 John, you see what love is by what God does. God demonstrates his love. He asks us to do the same for our brothers and sisters. Love must be more than talk; it must be genuinely demonstrated in action!
Precious Father, you have so graciously shared your love with me. I must confess, in my heart I intend to love others as you do, but my intentions often get washed away with "busy-ness" or timidity. Father, through your Spirit, prompt me to show my love to others in actions rather than just thought and talk. Through Jesus, your greatest demonstration of love I pray. Amen.