I am grateful that
You laid aside Your glory and majesty to graciously serve us in our
helpless dilemma, becoming helpless yourself that You might rescue
While they were
there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave
birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid
Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. –
Me: Good morning Jesus!
Jesus: Good morning Jon!
Me: I am prone to think that I need some kind of position of authority to make a difference, that I would have to be in charge of something. What authority does an infant in a feed trough have? Yet that is the way You came and You have made all the difference. I love You!
Jesus: I love you! And that is why I came in the way that I came. I want you to make a difference and know that it is not your power or authority or circumstance that makes it possible to achieve the goal set before you.
Featured photo from Garden of the Gods – Colorado Springs Colorado
I am grateful that You are loving!
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. John 15:10
Good morning Jesus!
Good morning Jon!
If I didn’t know better, from verses like Romans 5:8 (But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.), I could read John 15:10 as a statement of condition for God’s love.
“If” precedes a statement of condition, by definition. But it is not the condition that has come first to your mind. The condition is not stating that God will love you only if you behave in a particular way. The condition stated is that God – because He loves you – has prepared a beneficial (saving, growing, healthy, vibrant, giving, amazing, purpose-fulfilling, life-changing, joyful, …, and on and on) way for you to walk and has told you about it. The “if”, therefore, refers to whether you will accept His goodness and walk in the Way He has prepared; His plan for your good (Jeremiah 29:11).
“Don’t play in the street”, a parent tells his child. Is this a command?
Yes, it is.
Is it given to prevent the child from enjoying the wonders of the roadway?
It is given to protect the child whose experience is not developed enough to avoid the mortal dangers of traffic speeding along the street.
Is protection an expression of love?
Yes, it is. An expression of love by a parent meeting a critical need of the child.
Do all children obey?
No. Not all. Perhaps none obey all of the time.
Does disobedience in this matter dissolve the love of the parent for the child?
A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. – Proverbs 15:1
It seems Jesus used some harsh words, calling the Pharisees “whitewashed tombs”, “hypocrites”, “brood of vipers”, and other such things.
Which stirred up anger.
Resulting in His crucifixion, according to the eternal plan of the Father.
And resulting in the written record of unmistakable condemnation of the hypocritical behavior of the religious leaders.
Satan is also known for wrath, but of a different sort. There is no turning away or appeasement of Satan’s wrath. He is consumed and identified by it (Revelation 12:12). The Pharisees were channeling it.
Most Bible verses containing the word wrath refer to God’s. God’s wrath is against evil. Satan’s wrath is against God and those who are His.
The Greek is instructive. ὀργῆς (orgēs) wrath – intrinsically/settled and constitutionally opposed. (As used in Revelation 6:16 of the Lamb.)
Ours is usually of a lesser sort. [F]or the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. James 1:20
As you see from the Greek, God’s wrath – His opposition to evil – is precisely because He is good. He cannot be good and wink at evil¹. We visualize wrath from our own experience with anger, which unredeemed, is based in fear, and certainly not of God. His wrath and righteousness are not mutually exclusive, but complementary and protective (of us, for example).
Satan’s wrath fits the same definition but is pointed in the opposite direction; he has become constitutionally opposed to good.
I have not (ever?) meditated on Your wrath, Father. Probably, I should have. I thank You for Your wrath. I am grateful that it is Your nature to oppose evil – the corruption of Your creation under the influence of sin. I love you! Thank You for Your wrath! Thank You that Jesus bore Your wrath on my account! It was right that You oppose the evil I have done. Sometimes mindlessly, always selfishly, never justifiable. It was pure mercy that He bore my penalty.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
I am grateful for the day at home and the chance to reflect on the glorious benefit of the eternal stability of God to those who rely on Him.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. Psalm 91:4
Down toward the end of the time before Jesus’ arrest (which, from this, we know He clearly saw coming) we see this protective heart of God revealed at work in Him on our behalf.
Just at that time some Pharisees approached, saying to Him, “Go away, leave here, for Herod wants to kill You.” And He said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I reach My goal.’ Nevertheless I must journey on today and tomorrow and the next day; for it cannot be that a prophet would perish outside of Jerusalem. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it! Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’” Luke 13:31-35
Thank you Lord, that You are our shelter. Thank You that Your blood covers our sin. Thank You that I am hidden in You and that I am protected from the enemy by the great I Am. Majesty and mystery are Yours and Your deep secrets past our finding out. Yet you reveal Your love to us and draw us near.
All of 1 Peter 1 is an incredibly rich tapestry of the Life prepared for us: conceived and planned by the Father, purchased in blood by Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, stretching across history, predicted by prophets, and announced by first-century preachers; concerning grace, peace, fullness, mercy, hope, protection, salvation, eternal life, joy, praise, honor, love, glory, revelation, belief, faith, angels, and mysteries.
I am grateful for the grace that enables us to enter in to this magnificent journey with God, and to stay the course, if we are willing.
The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock. – Isaiah 26:3-4
Me: Good morning Father!
ABBA: Good morning Jon!
Me: It is not easy being steadfast in mind.
ABBA: I spoke to you about that yesterday by My Holy Spirit.
Me: You said to be mindful of what I focus my attention on.
ABBA: I did. I Am able to see all. I see the beginning and the ending, for I Am the Alpha and the Omega; the First and the Last (Revelation 22:13). I Am unconstrained by time, for time is of the physical realm and I Am Spirit (John 4:24). I do not look only on the outward appearance, but upon even the thoughts and intents of the heart (Psalm 44:21).
You do not see as I see. I designed your mind to be able to focus. I am mindful that you are but dust (Genesis 2:7, Psalm 103:14). I Am not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). Instead, I bring order out of chaos (Genesis 1:2).
I intend You to seek Me for today (Hebrews 3:15). I gave a picture of this when I provided manna for the Israelites. I satisfied their hunger in the wilderness. They were instructed to gather what they needed for the day, plus some extra the day before the Sabbath, when they were to simply rest in Me. If they tried to store it up, the manna would spoil (Exodus 16).
Jesus told you not to worry about tomorrow, for each day has enough trouble of it’s own (Matthew 6:34). That does not mean you should not plan, only that you should not worry. Worry is focused on trouble. Proper planning focuses on achievement (Luke 14:28).
Me: Thank You Father! Help me keep my eyes on Jesus my Example and my Savior (Hebrews 12:2) and to set my mind on things above (Colossians 3:1-2). Let my ears be attentive to Your Word and my hands ready to do your calling from the heart! I love You!
You are welcome! Those are prayers that I Am willing to help with, obviously, for I have told you to do these things for your own benefit; because I love you!