Quiet Time

The mother of Jesus saith unto Him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.

~ John 2:3-5

In asking for temporal blessings, true wisdom lies in putting the matter into the Lord’s hand, and leaving it there. He knows our sorrows, and, if He sees it is good for us that the water should be turned into wine, He will do it. It is not for us to dictate: He sees what is best for us. When we ask for prosperity, perhaps the thing which we should have is trial. When we want to be relieved of a “thorn in the flesh,” He knows what we should have is an apprehension of the fact that His grace is sufficient for us. So we are put into His school, and have to learn the lessons He has to teach us.

~ W. Hay Aitken.

Devotional

Know Your Fathers Heart

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
~ 1 John 4:10

Today, I want you to read the parable of the father of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11–32). As you read, keep in mind that this son utterly rejected and completely humiliated and dishonored his father, then only returned home when he remembered that even his father’s hired servants had more food than he did! It was not the son’s love for his father that made him journey home; it was his stomach. In his own self-absorbed pride, he wanted to earn his own keep as a hired servant rather than to receive his father’s provision by grace or unmerited favor.

God wants us to know that even when our motivations are wrong, even when we have a hidden (usually self-centered) agenda and our intentions are not completely pure, He still runs to us in our time of need and showers His unmerited, undeserved, and unearned favor upon us. Oh, how unsearchable are the depths of His love and grace toward us! It will never be about our love for God. It will always be about His magnificent love for us. The Bible makes this clear: “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10 KJV).

Some people think that fellowship with God can only be restored when you are perfectly contrite and have perfectly confessed all your sins. Yet we see in this parable that it was the father who was the initiator, it was the father who had missed his son, who was already looking out for him, and who had already forgiven him. Before the son could utter a single word of his rehearsed apology, the father had already run to him, embraced him, and welcomed him home. Can you see how it’s all about our Father’s heart of grace, forgiveness, and love? Our Father God swallows up all our imperfections, and true repentance comes because of His goodness.

Do I say “sorry” to God and confess my sins when I have fallen short and failed? Of course I do. But I do it not to be forgiven because I know that I am already forgiven through Jesus’ finished work. The confession is out of the overflow of my heart because I have experienced His goodness and grace and because I know that as His son, I am forever righteous through Jesus’ blood. It springs from being righteousness-conscious, not sin-conscious; from being forgiveness-conscious, not judgment-conscious. There is a massive difference.

If you understand this and begin practicing this, you will begin experiencing new dimensions in your love walk with the Father. You will realize that your Daddy God is all about relationship and not religious protocol. He just loves being with you. Under grace, He doesn’t demand perfection from you; He supplies perfection to you through the finished work of His Son, Jesus Christ. So no matter how many mistakes you have made, don’t be afraid of Him. He loves you. Your Father is running toward you to embrace you!

Dear Jesus

Trouble and distress are woven into the very fabric of this perishing world. Only My Life in you can empower you to face this endless flow of problems with good cheer.

Dear Jesus,

I confess that good cheer does not describe my usual attitude when I’m faced with multiple problems. Difficulties tend to become my focus, obscuring my view of You. I know in my head that the world is in a state of brokenness, but my heart still yearns for a problem-free life. Help me to be realistic about the condition of this world without succumbing to despair.

Beloved, you need to remember that this fallen world is temporary: It is perishing! The world is not your true home; thus, it’s normal for you to feel uncomfortable in it. The yearnings of your heart point to your real, eternal home, so do not squelch those longings. Instead, let them serve as reminders that your ultimate destination is heaven. Nonetheless, I do want you to live well in this world for as long as I keep you here.

I have not left you to handle by yourself the trouble and distress of this life. I have poured My very Being into you, in the Person of the Holy Spirit. Make plenty of space in your heart for this glorious One. Let Him empower you to live above your circumstances. I am telling you these things so that you can experience My Peace in the midst of a problem-filled life. You will continue to have trials and frustration in this world, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.

“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”
~ John 14:2 

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. . . . For he lives with you and will be in you.”
~ John 14:16–17 

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” 
~ John 16:33

Evening Prayer

IN THE LION’S DEN 
Daniel 6:16-23

In Jesus’ Name, I Pray God’s Will for You Tonight

I pray that, as you keep your walk blameless, God will rescue you from persecutors who wrongly accuse you. May God shut their mouths, and may they find nothing to accuse you of, because your walk is blameless. I pray that none of their words hurt you, because you are innocent in God’s sight. May you walk away unscathed from accusations and persecution because you trust in God. I pray that God will protect you from your accusers.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.