How can I love others when I am sick?

Good morning Jesus,

Lord, when I am sick I don’t really feel like doing anything. Who does? Lord, I have responsibilities that require me to socially interact with many people. Whether it’s my family, friends, work, or church, I need to be uplifting and encouraging. Even when I am sick, I know that I need to do my best in living out my purpose. Today’s verse really encouraged me:

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

It’s easy for me to disregard people when I am focused on myself. When I am concerned about my health and/or when I am sick, I know that I tend to belittle other people’s thoughts and emotions when they come to me.

However, Lord your words remind me that even in my weakness, I need to show love, mercy, and humility. Jesus, you are the perfect example of showing love regardless of your physical state. For example, while you were on the cross, you asked John and the other disciples to take care of Mary in which they took her into their home (John 19:25-27). Furthermore, you could have just hung their on the cross, but you didn’t. You prayed for all us and took all of our sins upon yourself so that we may live (Luke 23:34).

Thank you Jesus. I pray Lord that I may be obedient to your word and live it out daily by helping others know you more. Help me to deny myself, deny my needs, and pick up my heavy cross and follow you (Luke 9:23).

Love,

Matthew

You have complaints, go ahead, I’m listening.

Good morning Jesus,
I want to start off today by saying, there is none like You!

Jesus, how do You take it all in? How do You take in the complaining, the whining, and the everyday problems that people share with You. Aren’t You tired of hearing everyone’s cries?

Jesus, my desire is to become more like You. I pray that you bless me with more wisdom, compassion, and energy so that I may help those that come to me for support. And that I may encourage them with a sincere heart in the hopes that I may carry some of their burdens.

The following passage is from Job 16: 1-3 (paraphrased). It is an example of what not to do in my interactions with suffering individuals:

Job states,“…you are miserable comforters, all of you! Will your long-winded speeches never end? What ails you that you keep on arguing (with me)?”

Job really didn’t need his friends to argue with him in his time of pain. Jesus, help me to remember that I need to censor my comments by keeping my words short, simple, and comforting.

The following passage is from John 24: 17-30 (paraphrased). It is a great example of being a good friend during a time of confusion:

17 Jesus asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” …27 Jesus explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. 28 As they approached the village to which they were going,Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them30 When Jesus was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.

Jesus, there is none like You! I can learn so many things about how to effectively communicate with people from this passage.

1. Ask a simple question. Jesus, You cared, that is why you asked, “What happened?”
2. Respond effectively when asked a question. Jesus, You quoted Scripture.  In any situation, we can always rely on the Word which is the absolute truth.
3. Devote your time. Jesus, You continued to be with them and went where they went. You spent time with them and carried some of their burdens.
5. Have a meal together. Jesus, You had communion. You ate and gave thanks to God.

Jesus, You had an agenda! You not only tried to meet their needs emotionally and physically, You presented Scripture and You gave thanks to God.

Thank you Lord. I now know what to do when my friends are in need.

Matthew

Another argument!

Good morning Jesus,

Thank you for being a God of peace. I am truly amazed by your many examples (John 18:1-14; Matthew 26:62, 63) of gentleness and self-control. My prayer is that I may be more like You. I would like to confess to You that I have sinned against You. I am very argumentative and egocentric. Maybe I am argumentative because I am so egocentric and that I constantly want things done my way. Please forgive me for this specific sin in my life. Lord, help me to know when and how to resolve issues peacefully in a productive manner. The following passage in Acts is a great example that schisms occur amongst the best of us and that we need to focus on our purpose especially during these times.

Acts 15:39 And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

This passage makes it clear to me that there was a faction, however they continued to work in building up the church. I believe that You want us to do the same, continue worshiping You in all circumstances. Lord, even though I may have disagreements, help me to focus on You and not my own selfish desires. My purpose in this life is not to be right, but to strengthen the church through peace and gentleness.

Love,

Matthew

Matthew 26: 62Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” 63But Jesus remained silent.

Am I normal?

Good morning Jesus,
Today I read an article by Joyce Meyer that helped me understand why at times I feel ‘abnormal.’
I know that when I am at church I feel normal.
I know that when I am meditating on Your word, I feel normal.

So when do I feel out of place or confused?

It’s when I am distracted by the world or even distracted by my own selfish desires.
For example, when I hear that I need to earn a lot of money, confusion and frustration sets in.
I’d rather hear something like, “Work hard as if you are working for God and God will bless you according to His will…”

Am I normal? 

According to Joyce Meyer, ‘normal’ is having the heart and mindset of our Lord and Savior (explained in more detail in Joyce’s article).
I believe that I am normal by struggling and fighting to be more like You.
I believe that I am normal because I want Your name to be in my daily conversation with people.
Here is the article that helped me understand normal thinking:

Is Your Mind Normal?
by Joyce Meyer August 12, 2013
http://www.christianpost.com/news/is-your-mind-normal-102038/

…I’ve discovered that when we take time to renew our minds with God’s Word, we learn how to think like God thinks, say what God says, and act like He wants us to act. Then we can have what He wants us to have – abundant life in Christ, filled with His righteousness, peace and joy. (See John 10:10 and Romans 14:17.)

How Are You Supposed to Think?

The first thing we need to understand is that when we become new creations in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:17), what is normal for the world is no longer normal for us. There’s a way we’re supposed to live that reflects the image of Christ in the world.

For example, many people in the world think it’s normal to worry, but as a Christian, worrying is not a normal way of thinking. Philippians 4:6 says we are to “be anxious for nothing” (NKJV). This doesn’t mean we won’t ever feel worried, but when we do, we can pray and give it to God so we can have His peace while we go through a hard time.

First Corinthians 2:16 says we “have the mind of Christ.” This means no matter what our circumstances may be, we can have God’s wisdom, discernment and peace to guide our decisions in the midst of them.

There are several other godly mindsets I want to mention to help you learn how to renew your mind with the Truth of the Word:

•The Made-Up Mind: Colossians 3:2 says to “set your minds and keep them set on what is above…not on the things that are on the earth” (AMP). The only way we can accomplish what we really want to do in life is by determining what God has put in our hearts to do and then setting our minds to do it. With the help of the Holy Spirit, you can make up your mind and stop over thinking your decisions.

The Humble Mind: Philippians 2:5 says to “let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus…” (AMP). A person with a humble mind is peaceful because they can wait on God’s timing and follow His direction; they don’t constantly struggle with wondering why or when. And a humble mind isn’t judgmental or critical of others.

The Focused Mind: We live in an age of distraction! It’s amazing how much information is coming at us most of the time through technology, the media and the busyness of the world around us. I’ve decided that the world probably isn’t going to change, so I have to change. I’m learning how to keep my mind on what I’m doing, rather than thinking about several things at once or what I want to do next.

You Can Choose

It was a glorious revelation for me when I realized I don’t have to think about just anything that comes into my mind. I can choose my thoughts and do my own thinking – on purpose.

There is a way to have righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit…to have victory in our circumstances and not live according to what the world views as “normal.” And it all begins with renewing our minds. The choice is up to us.

So make the decision to spend time each day reading and meditating on the Word. Pray and ask God to help you understand how to apply the wisdom you discover to your everyday life. As you do your part to renew your mind, God will do His. And you’ll love the transformation that comes with having a “normal” mind – the mind of Christ!

How should I express my love for you?

Love-song-lyrics-27831619-1024-680

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1John 3:18

I love you, O LORD, my strength. Psalm 18:1

Good morning Jesus,

Today’s verses’ made me smile because the word love is used. I admit that it’s awkward to say the word however I understand that I need to say it more often. My question is how should I express my love?

In Psalm 18, King David starts off his song by stating that he loves You. What a terrific way to begin a song, a conversation, a thought, a feeling…

King David continues on by recounting the events that led him to state that first verse.

Psalm 18:6 In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice: my cry came before him, into his ears….16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me….17 He rescued me…

King David did what was natural to him. He spoke from his heart as he expressed his deep love for God to the people. I know that when David stated, “I love, you…” he truly meant it from the bottom of his heart.

Therefore, how can I avoid the meaningless everyday ‘I love you’ statement with one thats more alive and heartfelt?

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1John 3:18

The verse in 1John helps me understand that my actions must be driven by the truth. What is the truth? That Your love for us is unconditional. When we truly understand this truth, it should leads us to behaviors and actions of love (i.e., the Great Commandment: love God and love others).

I’ve heard the phrase, ‘Actions speak louder than words.’ Yes, this is partially true, however I now understand that words of authentic love will naturally come out of me when my core is centered in You and thereby leading me to say ‘I love you!’

Love,
Matthew

What’s the meaning of life?

10Anything I wanted, I took. I did not restrain myself from any joy…  11But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless. It was like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere. Ecclesiastes 2:10-11

Good morning Jesus,

I want to start today by saying thank you. Thank you for revealing to me the purpose of life (i.e., the meaning of life). I recognize that the purpose and the passion inside of me comes from You. You have filled me with the Holy Spirit.

The book of Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite books in the Bible because it helps me focus on the true meaning of life. In the past my passion was to make a lot of money, travel all over the world, buy anything I desired…

To be honest, I still have this passion within me. However, this passion gets regulated by Ecclesiastes 2:10-11.

King Solomon (i.e., the author of Ecclesiastes) had attained everything a man could want, however he states, “…it was all so meaningless.” I don’t have everything that Solomon had but I do agree with what he has to say.

Whether we are children or adults, we know what it’s like to have a new toy or a new something. Then as time passes we lose interest and want something else. It’s a never-ending cycle.

In Ecclesiastes 12: 13, Solomon states his final conclusion… Fear God and obey his commands…

Thank you Jesus for making this my passion and my purpose.

PS. As I was listening to my Christian playlist, the lyrics from Matthew West’s song fit nicely with today’s theme:

“I don’t wanna go through the motions. I don’t wanna go through one more day.
Without your all consuming compassion passion inside of me.”

What is my purpose in this life?

Image

Good morning Jesus, Today I came across this wonderful and convicting verse…

1Chronicles 16:8 Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

It was like You were speaking to me…

‘This is your purpose Matthew!’

Yes, Lord. My purpose can be seen clearly in the 1Chronicles 16:8: 1. Praise Jesus, 2. proclaim Jesus’ name, and  3. make known what Jesus has done.

Jesus, I recognize that You died on the cross for all people, including someone like me. I know that there are many times that I forget my purpose because of my self-centeredness, however, this is no excuse. I need to focus on You and tell others about Your greatness and Your unconditional love.

Therefore, please help me to meditate on the Word daily so that I may remember my true purpose in this life, which is to glorify You all the time, not sometimes.