Spiritual Eyesight

Read Jonah 4:2 (GW)

“So, he prayed to the LORD, “LORD, isn’t this what I said would happen when I was still in my own country? That’s why I tried to run to Tarshish in the first place. I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, patient, and always ready to forgive and to reconsider your threats of destruction.”

What is the difference between holding on to a principle and having a vision?

Is my attitude today an attitude that flows from my principles or my vision of God?

Is there a freshness and a vitality in my spiritual outlook?

When a crisis happens in my life, I can be certain that the resources of my character will be revealed in how I respond. Each crisis is a test of my character and spiritual eyesight.

Principals do not come from moral inspiration, only vision.

My own idea of God and His attributes may be used to justify and rationalize my deliberate neglect of what I am to do. I may have the right idea (principal), but wherever there is vision, there is also a life of honesty and integrity.

Vision gives me the moral incentive.

If I set daily prayer aside as well as cease having God’s vision in the trivial things of life, I simply act on my own principal.

Prayer Journal tips (2)When I expect God to do greater things than what He has already done before, I correct my vision by writing Him a love letter in my prayer journal. I begin by praising and glorifying His name and describing the endless list of blessings in the greatest detail. I then humbly ask for His forgiveness for my poor eyesight and ask for His help in correcting my vision. God works miracles on my behalf every single day. He has proven that time after time. My prayer journal is written proof of it.

(c) 2016-2022 All Rights are Reserved

Where does God live?

READ 1 JOHN 4

Verses 9-10:

God has shown us his love by sending his only Son into the world so that we could have life through him. This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the payment for our sins.

What is my capacity for depression?

Is it in the gnawing physical pain from my physical disease?

Is it in the growing anguish from my sinful decisions?

Is it in the abandonment of my faith?

My capacity for depression is great. If I was not capable of depression, then I would not have the capacity for happiness. The things of life that depress me are associated with death. When I examine these things that depress me, I take in the capacity of my depression.

Depression tends to turn me away from everyone. When I call on God to step into my life, His inspiration does the most natural, simple thing. He shows me where love lives. It lives in the hearts of those who love God.

Am I in the company of believers in Christ?

Jesus Christ suffered on my behalf so I might become part of God’s family. The magnitude of His selfless gift inspires me to love others. This is my initiative to turn away from depression and back into the company of His perfect love.

Perfect love is not quick to condemn or criticize. Perfect love does not jump to conclusions or give in to quick tempers and arguments. Perfect love lives in harmony with other people. Fear does not exist where perfect love lives.

When I keep Christ’s commandment to love others then my capacity for happiness crowds out my capacity for depression.

Dear Lord, I give you all the power and glory in Christ’s name who loved me first. Forgive me for allowing the world and the pains of my body to depress me when your Son who suffered much more pain than I can ever imagine saved me from my sin. Help me to remember that my fear does not exist where perfect love resides. Thank you for the people in my life. I love you! In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen

Prayer Journal tips (2)Whenever I become depressed, I start listing in my prayer journal everything and particularly everyone in my life to whom I am grateful. The power of this exercise is God taking a hold of my heart to show me where He lives.

 

(c) 2016-2022 All Rights are Reserved

 

The Value of Love

READ MARK 14

Verses 6-9:

Jesus said, “Leave her alone! Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing for me. You will always have the poor with you and can help them whenever you want. But you will not always have me with you. She did what she could. She came to pour perfume on my body before it is placed in a tomb. I can guarantee this truth: Wherever the Good News is spoken in the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”

Love is not cautious, wise, sensible, or shrewd. Affection brings warm feelings, but love goes to the extremes.

Have I ever been driven to do something for God not because I felt like it or it was my duty, or that there was something in it for me, but simply because I love Him?

What value am I to God?

Am I just sitting around daydreaming or am I working at doing the ordinary, simple, human things that show my genuine love for Him? I am no use to God if I wish of doing only important things but neglect to focus my eyes on something other than my personal holiness. When I become overly concerned about the way I talk, the way I walk and look toward others, I miss being of value to God.

I accept that I am not much use to anyone but God Himself. My value is surrendering all that I have and do in the name of Jesus Christ. When I rise to go to work each day, I do the ‘beautiful thing’ as though it were for Christ and in those ordinary, simple, human works, God works through me. I give it all to God – the mundane and the magnificent.

Dear Lord, I give you all the praise and glory for the work of my hands. Forgive me for all my complaints in doing the work however mundane, my feelings of being unappreciated, and self-centeredness in my response. Lord, I pray that my work creates the same value that Mary of Bethany created in the heart of Jesus Christ. Lord, I also pray for those who are the recipients of my work and that they may be blessed by it. I love you! In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen

Prayer Journal tips (2)

I supplement my prayer journal writing and reading God’s Word with reading and meditating on the Christian testimonies of others. God speaks to us not only in our individual circumstances but through the lives of others.

(c) 2016-2022 All Rights Reserved.

The Encouragement of Jesus Christ

READ HEBREWS 10

VERSES 35-36

“So don’t lose your confidence. It will bring you a great reward. You need endurance so that after you have done what God wants you to do, you can receive what he has promised.”

Why have I hidden myself away?

The rougher roads of life have beaten me down and I long to secure a peaceful retreat from the world physically, socially, and mentally. My desire to live a distant, withdrawn, and secluded life, however, is diametrically opposed to what I crave.

The true test of my spirituality has come up against injustice, degradation, ingratitude, and turmoil, and simply – the world around me has made me spiritually lazy and silent.

Why do I continue to be bothered?

I have used the social and personal silence in prayer and Bible reading for the sole purpose of finding that peaceful, quiet retreat.

When my peace and joy of Jesus Christ is just that and not for the true realization of Him it is no wonder my road has become a crumbling pothole. I do not want to be stirred up. All I want is to be retired from this world.

What is wrong with me?

I am consumed with my own existence that my gaze is always cast down instead of up. I look up to see others sharing the same uneven path. We belong to Christ. My encouragement lies in our collective encouragement as we press forward in a shared faith of redemption and a life that only can be lived through Him who saves.

The peace of God that surpasses all understanding is ours.

Dear Lord, I praise Your Name in Christ Jesus who You have given to free us from our sins. Forgive me for our selfishness and I pray not only for my encouragement but for all others who come to You for forgiveness and peace. I am grateful beyond measure for Your encouraging presence. I love you! In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

Prayer Journal tips (2)Praying for others is one of the ways we can encourage each other even if we do not know their specific circumstances or name. God intimately knows their names and their circumstances. The back pages of my prayer journal are reserved for family, friends, and others who need or have requested my prayer. I pray daily that they see God’s presence and feel His comforting peace.

 

Hearing God’s Truth

Read John 14

Verse 15:

“If you love me, you will obey my commandments.”

Why do I not listen to God? Is it because I cannot hear him in my noisy world?

I listen to people I know. I listen to their personal testimonies and take them at their word. The truth is I don’t consciously and deliberately put up my hand to God to say, “stop!”

Do I love the company of misery more?

Truth is difficult to hear through ignorant ears. Love is difficult to feel when the heart is surrounded in the barbed wire of despair. Obedient advice becomes optional not imperative when I listen to someone other than God allowing the world to consume my attention and my actions.

Why am I so insensitive and obstinate to know the one who treats me as His child?

God will never tell me, “I told you so” because He loved me first. Once I realize I have constantly shown Him disrespect, I feel the shame and humiliation of my ignorance and take responsibility for my despair by actively searching for His voice.

Dear Lord, I praise Your wisdom and I ask for Your forgiveness to being easily led by foolish and self-centered pursuits. Help me to open my ears and unburden my heart to You so I may fully hear Your voice instead of the world’s. Guide me with Your peace so I may no longer be troubled or cowardly. Thank you for the Spirit of Your Truth. I love you! I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

Prayer Journal tips (2)

Examining our circumstances in a prayer journal will help us to gain perspective by opening our hearts and ears to hear God’s will in our life. Sometimes the words flow like a rushing river and other times they are like a drip from a leaky faucet. At one point in my prayer journal, I was only able to draw a small box in the middle of the page. In time God showed me the box was a metaphor for my authentic voice. The power of a prayer journal is the ability to trace the footsteps of our walk with God.

Visualizing God’s Presence

Read Isaiah 40

Verse 26: 

Look at the sky and see.
Who created these things?
Who brings out the stars one by one?
He calls them all by name.
Because of the greatness of his might and the strength of his power,
not one of them is missing.

If I am a child of God, where can I see the tremendous treasures of His holiness and His triumphs in my life? How do I see the face of God and not depend on idols?

My ability to bring my mind and thoughts into focus is to feel God’s warmth with the sun on my face, the gentle caress of my hair in the wind, see the beauty of the rosebud that may one day bloom, and the colors of autumn’s wisdom as the days fade. 

What in my life has shifted my focus away from the sunrises and sunsets that God paints for me each day? Or the soothing rain that shares my tears from heaven?

I am powerless when faced with my life’s difficulties on my own. I am unable to endure the darkness when it is God who I need. My futility in prayer is my inability to visualize God in my life when He surrounds me each day in nature. I humbly ask God’s forgiveness and boldly ask Him to correct my blurred vision to see the guiding sun and moon of His eternal presence in my circumstances and in the lives of others too.

Dear Lord, I give you all the praise and glory! Thank you for calling me by name to draw me close and by the power of your love so I may not wander away from you. I love you! In Jesus Christ’s name, I pray. Amen

Prayer Journal tips (2)Transcribe a Bible verse(s) each day in your prayer journal. Transcribing Bible verses honors God and aids in your meditative focus and memorization. When referring back to your prayer journal, your transcribed Bible verses reinforce God’s Word and His promises as they are revealed to you in your life. It will transform your prayer life!