In The Morning

“Give heed to the voice of my cry, My King and my God, For to You I will pray. My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up”.

~ Psalm 5:2-3

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, may the prayers of Your people reach You early in the morning that we might start all of our days in Your presence and with Your power. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Faithfulness

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

~ Galatians 5:22-23

The idea of the word faithfulness, as used here, seems to be that of fidelity. It denotes the believer who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit will be earnest and dependable in their words and promises. Our yea will be our yea, and our nea will be our nea. A Christian can be trusted and confided in. A closer relationship with God in Christ stirs up greater and greater faith. The Christian will grow in faith and show that faithfulness as a husband, wife, neighbor, and friend. Faithfulness in the life of Christ’s people shows our love and devotion to Him and our desire to be faithful as He is faithful to us.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, help me to be a faithful Christian; one others can confide in and depend on so that Jesus is glorified in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Love

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

~ Galatians 5:22-23

The Apostle Paul sets love as the first among the fruits of the Spirit because elsewhere he had explicitly stated without love we are but empty clanging noise. Love is the basis of our redemption in Christ, our fellowship with other believers and it should be our disposition towards a lost and dying world as well. Faithful, obedient living unto Jesus is clear evidence of our love for Him (Jn 14:15). Love is more than a mere sentiment or emotion – it is an abiding sense and deep appreciation of what God in Christ has done for you and, in turn, creates an unquenchable desire to live, love and serve in His name. It is this which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit living in the heart of the Believer.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, daily create in me a renewed and refreshed love for You and others that I might faithfully show forth the fruits of Your Spirit in my thoughts, words and deeds. In Jesus’ name, amen.

All The Fullness of God

“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height, to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

~ Ephesians 3:14-21

Prayer Life Pause: Dear Lord, I bend the knee of my heart before You in honor of Your glory, grace and mercy. May I continue to walk in the abundance of Your love and the strength of Your power each and every day. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Content vs. Complacent

” I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” ~ Phil 4:11

What is the difference between contentment and complacency? One word carries positive connotations while the other is looked down upon. We are taught to be content, but not complacent. What then, is the difference?

Outwardly, both contentment and complacency look very similar. A person who is either content or complacent can appear to be acting the same. On the surface contentment and complacency can look identical. The definition of both seems to suggest being satisfied with where you are or what you have.

Therefore the difference between contentment and complacency is not in what it appears to be on the outside, but rather what it actually is on the inside. When the Apostle Paul said that in whatever state he was in, he’d learned to be content, he was saying this from a grateful heart for what he had been given. With humility and thankfulness, Paul was at peace with who and what he was. He was content in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The difference between contentment and complacency then is one of the heart. Being content implies being satisfied with where you are, but with a willingness to move forward. While complacency implies a lack of desire to grow, improve or better one’s self.

Christians should learn to be content; thankful for what God has done for them and to avoid complacency. We should always be willing to grow and be used of the Lord in different ways while already thankful for who we are in Him. This is the key to true contentment.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Father, help me to find my peace and contentment in this world from You. Help me to love You and serve You with a view toward my place with You for all eternity. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Light Brings Life

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men”.

~ John 1:4

Light brings life. As each new day dawns, so does the vibrant moving, growing, bustling, and stirring of life everywhere. In many ways, it is the bright warmth of light that grants us the motivation, desire and inspiration to carry on with our day. The same is true of our spiritual life. In Christ is life, because He is the light of the His people which spurs us on towards greater faith and good works. Jesus is the source of all true, noble, righteous and principled deeds born in the Christian life. To the Light goes all the glory (Jn 8:12). Have you placed your faith and hope in the One who brought light into this dark world? Have you come out of darkness into Light? Does your life reflect the light of Jesus? Remember, it is light that brings life.

~ apl

Having Done All, Stand

“And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers.”

~ Acts 26:6

The Apostle Paul understood what it meant to be judged for his faith. This man who once mocked, ridiculed and persecuted Christians now stood under the same judgment of others he once stood over. Paul had come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and knew it had been promised and prophesied by God to their forefathers in Israel. Yet, the majority of the people were still blinded to this truth and self-righteously judged those who had come to confess and believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God (Mt. 16:16)

If you are judged by others for your faith in the Lord Jesus, stand firm (Phil. 4:1). Stand in humility and grace as a living testimony to the loving salvation purchased for you by your Savior. Cling to the hope that even those, like the Apostle Paul, who once judged others for their new-found faith, can be won over by the Gospel of Christ and the mercies of God seen through your faithfulness even in the most difficult of circumstances caused by the judgments, mocking and ridicule of others. And having done all, stand (Eph. 6:13).

~ apl

Into the Bosom of God

“Christ choosing solitude for private prayer, doth not only hint to us the danger of distraction and deviation of thoughts in prayer, but how necessary it is for us to choose the most convenient places we can for private prayer. Our own fickleness and Satan’s restlessness call upon us to get into such places where we may freely pour out our soul into the bosom of God.”

~ Thomas Brooks (1608-1680)

Perfection and Preservation

– 1 Thessalonians 5:24

What will He do? He will sanctify us wholly. See the previous verse. He will carry on the work of purification till we are perfect in every part. He will preserve our “whole spirit, and soul, and body, blameless unto the coming of our LORD Jesus Christ.” He will not allow us to fall from grace, nor come under the dominion of sin. What great favors are these! Well may we adore the giver of such unspeakable gifts.

Who will do this? The LORD who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light, out of death in sin into eternal life in Christ Jesus. Only He can do this: such perfection and preservation can only come from the God of all grace.

Why will He do it? Because He is “faithful”–faithful to His own promise which is pledged to save the believer; faithful to His Son, whose reward it is that His people shall he presented to Him faultless, faithful to the work which He has commenced in us by our effectual calling. It is not their own faithfulness but the LORD’s own faithfulness on which the saints rely.

~ Charles Spurgeon, Faith’s Checkbook

Sin Murdered Christ

What an accursed thing is sin, which crucified the Lord Jesus! Do you laugh at it? Will you go and spend an evening to see a mimic performance of it? Do you roll sin under your tongue as a sweet morsel, and then come to God’s house, on the Lord’s-day morning, and think to worship Him? Worship Him! Worship Him, with sin indulged in your breast! Worship Him, with sin loved and pampered in your life! O, if I had a dear brother who had been murdered, what would you think of me if I treasured the knife which had been crimsoned with his blood? – if I made a friend of the murderer, and daily consorted with the assassin, who drove the dagger into my brother’s heart? Surely I, too, must be an accomplice in the crime! Sin murdered Christ; will you be a friend to it? Sin pierced the heart of the Incarnate God; can you love it? Oh, that there was an abyss as deep as Christ’s misery, that I might at once hurl this dagger of sin into its depths, whence it might never be brought to light again!

~ Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)