“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
Today, we honor the memory of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. He was not only an activist who fought against racism and for social and political change but he was also a pastor and a man of God whose ideas and beliefs on love, equality and unity among all people were rooted in the Bible. I encourage you to read King’s most famous speech, “I Have a Dream” and to learn more about this Nobel Peace Prize winner and how God used him to lead a movement.
Lord, I ask you for courage to stand up for what is right and just. Help me to love my neighbor as Christ loves us. Bring peace and healing to both the oppressed and the oppressors. Help us to always walk in your ways, Lord, as we totally surrender to Your will. Amen
Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”
If you want God to do something big in your life this year you need to have big faith and big expectations. You have to pray with expectation and you have to expect to succeed. You aren’t putting faith in your own abilities but in the power of Jesus Christ. That doesn’t mean you will get everything you want but if you let fear keep you from trying in the first place you will definitely fail. Trust in God’s perfect will for you, work hard, step out in faith and let God be in control.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
A new year is the perfect time to start over. It’s a time of new beginnings, second, third, even ninety-ninth chances. It’s okay to start over, we serve a God of new beginnings. None of us are perfect but as long as you don’t completely give up, God will work with what you have right where you are. When you seek the Lord with a sincere heart you will find Him. God hears your prayers and knows your heart. God promises that if you humble yourself, pray, seek His face and turn from your sinful ways He will hear you. Make God a priority in the coming year by making time to read His Word and spending time with Him in prayer. God loves you and wants to have a personal relationship with you but it’s up to you to seek Him.
So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. (NLT)
Doesn’t it make you feel happy when you give your children the gifts they’ve asked for? Just think about how much more your heavenly Father wants to give you good gifts from the riches of His glory. God loves you and it makes Him happy to bless you with the desires of your heart when you delight yourself in Him. God already knows what you want, what you need and what is fit for you before you ask, but He still wants you to come to Him in faith and ask. God hears your prayers and if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer according to His will.
Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.
I want to wish you all a happy and blessed Thanksgiving! Over the past few days I’ve shared with you just a few of the things I’m thankful for but there are so many that I would never be able to express them all. I’m also thankful for you, the readers of The Consecrated Woman. It’s a blessing to be able to share God’s Word with you. Thank you for your continued support. I pray that you are encouraged and inspired daily. Please keep me and my family in your prayers. As we give thanks to our Lord today let’s remember that God is good all the time and we should be thankful every day of the year. May God bless you and your loved ones today and always. Happy Thanksgiving!
Paul wrote this in a letter after he left Philippi where he had gone through some very difficult times, yet he chose not to focus on the things that had caused him pain. The holidays can be a difficult time for people who have lost loved ones but as Christians we have the hope that we will see them again someday. We should try to be like the Apostle Paul and stay focused on the positive things in our lives and appreciate the great memories we have. Thank God for giving you the strength to get through difficult times and for the great memories of the wonderful people God placed in your life. Don’t forget to pray for the people who have helped you along life’s journey while you celebrate each day.
I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents.
There will be times when you go through things so difficult you cannot see the light of day through your tears. There will be times when your faith and your patience are tested like never before. You might even feel like giving up on God but don’t give up, that’s when you need Him the most. Prayer is the most powerful weapon you have. Cry out to God, He hears you and He loves you. Continue to serve the Lord with humility through every trial and tribulation and He will see you through it. God is faithful and He promises to never leave you. With His help you can get through anything. Don’t give up, instead, give it all to God. Keep serving the Lord because it doesn’t matter who or what is against you when God is for you.
He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Jesus gave us the example of how to pray, especially when going through something difficult and life changing. First, In Luke 22:41 it says He went a little farther leaving the disciples behind so He could be alone. Intense prayer needs privacy, sometimes it just needs to be you and God alone, no one else, no distractions. Second, He knelt down and prayed. Kneeling to God shows humility, respect and honor. Third, He prayed to God saying, “Father if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Jesus knew what was ahead and He asked His Father, if He was willing, to change the outcome that had already been set in motion. Then He relinquished His own will to the will of God. We too must voluntarily hand over our stress, our problems, our worries and our lives to God and let His will be done. God has a purpose and a plan for your life and He knows everything from beginning to end. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and pray for His will to be done in your life.
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
Be encouraged, you serve a God who promises to listen to every single one of your prayers. No matter how big or how small, He hears them all. He receives your requests and petitions and answers them all in His own timing and in His own way. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes it’s no and sometimes it’s not now. It’s not always what you want but it’s always God’s will for you. You might not understand why things happen the way they do, but God knows the end from the beginning and you must trust in Him with all your heart. Therefore, pray without ceasing and pray with expectation. Keep praying, keep praising, keep worshiping because God is listening.
Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.
In life there will be times when you need encouragement and there will be times when you need to encourage others. There will be times when you go through hardships and need someone to lean on and there will be times when someone will need to lean on you. We all face temptation, trials and we most definitely all have shortcomings. As brothers and sisters in Christ we need to be there for one another sympathizing, showing compassion and praying for each another. It’s also our duty to love one another and to share the love of Christ by more than just caring about each other but by action. When God gives us the opportunity to help someone it’s our responsibility to step up and take action in whatever way we are able.