Kindness is such a simple gift! In these days of overloaded and stressed-out people, seek ways to be kind and pay attention to the kindness of others.
Joy can be found in many unlikely places. Where have you been surprised by joy?
1 You, Lord, showed favor to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the iniquity of your people
and covered all their sins,
3 You set aside all your wrath
and turned from your fierce anger.
4 Restore us again, God our Savior,
and put away your displeasure toward us.
5 Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger through all generations?
6 Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
7 Show us your unfailing love, Lord,
and grant us your salvation.
8 I will listen to what God the Lord says;
he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—
but let them not turn to folly.
9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
10 Love and faithfulness meet together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
and righteousness looks down from heaven.
12 The Lord will indeed give what is good,
and our land will yield its harvest.
13 Righteousness goes before him
and prepares the way for his steps. [Psalm 85, NIV]
His steps…our steps….
We aren’t ever really standing still. There is always movement. The challenge is always in the direction.
God draws me near, but do I resist? Do I see His faithfulness and provision? Am I in His path? Under His guidance?
We always have options. But His grace covers a whole lotta ground. When I wander, am distracted, and deliberately choose an ugly path He loves me and waits for me to recognize my errors. Sometimes it is a long wait while I dig in my heels and protest my justification for my behavior. Sometimes there are lots of tears, hurt, and anger. And, unfortunately, there are usually the natural consequences that are still a part of my reality.
And yet, He prepared The Way even as He prepares the way…
In the name of the Father, + Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have graciously kept me this day. And I pray that you would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into your hands I commend myself, my body, my soul and all things. Let your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.
Luther’s Evening Prayer
Come, Lord Jesus!
Injuries, pardoned. A heavy burden can be lifted through the process of forgiveness. When someone acknowledges they have injured another and has asked for forgiveness, the restoration of the relationship can be a beautiful thing. As humans, we are flawed. We injure others through our thoughts, words, and deeds. Forgiving offenses and forgiving an offender is important work, even if the end goal is not restoring a relationship.
God’s goal is always for us to be in a right relationship with Him and He did everything to make it so.
In my part of the world, the darkness of the days is getting longer. If I was looking for my hope in daylight, I would be sorely disappointed. In fact, looking to anything else other than Jesus for my hope will be unfulfilling. There are difficult and dark days, but knowing that God is the giver of all good gifts gives me the hope and assurance that He cares for me.
And He cares for you, too!
Goodness is always found in what God is doing in our lives. His goodness is sure, even as there are struggles and incredibly painful days. Sometimes His goodness is found in the simplest gift or thoughtful deed. It might come from an unexpected place.
This world has its challenges, but being on the lookout for goodness, particularly God’s goodness, is an essential part of my every day!
Sometimes, I need to step away from a situation to see it with fresh eyes. A “refresh” if you will. I often refresh my newsfeed or my email – and it gives me something new to see or focus on. How much more important is it to “refresh” how I look at things, particularly from God’s perspective.
“Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.”
What is something you love when it is fresh?
Encouragement is something I have to be intentional about seeking. I have to place the Scripture or words of God around me. Sometimes, when I receive written words of encouragement from a friend, I keep it handy. As a visual person, it is important to see words of encouragement to keep it in my mind.
What Scripture verse speaks encouragement to you?
Is this a noun or a verb? Of course, it is both. What are you devoted to? It might be a daily activity, it might be a routine, it might be an unhealthy habit.
What has your devotion? And has that devotion come at a cost?
Creation is all around us! I simply cannot look at some of the amazing animals or the body’s systems or the Earth’s position in the Universe without acknowledging a Creator.
I look at the things people have created and designed through the years and it is also a reminder. God has designed us with amazing creative abilities. Our opportunities to express creativity are endless! What is your favorite thing to create? Do you have a creation you are particularly proud of?