Rest: Matthew 11:28

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:28-29 (NLT)

An invitation of hope and comfort from Jesus to all; “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” He is offering you comfort and rest for your soul. He calls for all to believe in Him, to come to Him. He can heal your broken heart, give you rest and peace, and set you free from the burden of sin. He offers spiritual rest, tranquility to the weary, and hope to the lost. Come to Jesus; He is humble and gentle of heart. In Him, you will find rest for your soul. Through Jesus, we can receive comfort, happiness, peace, salvation, and rest.

Jesus came into the world to give hope, comfort, and rest to His believers. Are you holding on to your heavy burdens or giving them to Jesus; and finding peace and rest?

Prayer; We thank you, Jesus, for Your open invitation to come to you. Teach us to reach out to you; call upon your name, and give you our burdens. Jesus, you are humble and kind; let us accept your gentle yoke and find rest for our souls. Like the open outer flowers, surround the small inner flowers in the Lacecap Hydrangea; surround us in Your love and help us find rest and inner peace. Amen

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Righteous and Just: Romans 3:22-24

22 This righteousness of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ for all those [Jew or Gentile] who believe [and trust in Him and acknowledge Him as God’s Son]. There is no distinction, 23 since all have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are being justified [declared free of the guilt of sin, made acceptable to God, and granted eternal life] as a gift by His [precious, undeserved] [a]grace, through the redemption [the payment for our sin] which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,

Romans 3:22-24

God is righteous and just. His actions are right and fair, expressions of His holiness. Humans have a sinful nature, but God is good. God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) Righteousness comes from God; it is free a gift of grace to all who believe in Jesus. Christ’s death on the cross was for our sin, allowing for our justification by God’s grace, from sin to righteousness (to be right in the eyes of God). By God’s grace, belief and faith in Jesus bring salvation. Believe in God’s son Jesus, and you are saved.

God is loving, forgiving, righteous, and just. Will you accept Jesus and God’s grace?

Prayer; Our Heavenly Father, you are righteous, just, and forgiving. We thank You for Your love and grace toward us. Help us to grow in faith and love for each other. Teach us to open our hearts to You; increase in faith, and grow in righteousness. Like the bold peony flower brightens our days, let us be bold in faith and love and brighten the world. In Jesus’ loving name. Amen

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God’s Will: 1Thessalonians 5:16-18

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

What is God’s will? According to Paul in 1Thessalonians, God’s will is for us to rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances. Lofty goals for us. It would be easier if Paul said, rejoice and pray often, and remember to be thankful. How do we learn to rejoice, pray, and give thanks to the Lord more often? By looking to God in all circumstances, praying for His direction, seeing others through His loving eyes. By realizing that rejoicing and prayer bring us closer to the promises of God and the hope of Christ, our source of true joy. Even when Paul was in jail and shackled, he rejoiced in God’s goodness. In prayer, we acknowledge God, His goodness, His grace, His mercy, and His provision for us. When we trust God, we feel thankfulness for His past, His present, and His future mercies toward us. These make us want to rejoice, pray, and thank our Heavenly Father.

God’s will for us is to rejoice always, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances. When you are troubled, confused, afraid, and overwhelmed, do you stop; and take a moment to rejoice, pray, and give thanks?

Prayer; Our Heavenly Father, we are in awe of Your love and compassion for us. We rejoice in your goodness to us, we pray for Your guidance, and we thank you for Your amazing grace. Teach us to find delight in Your love and to rejoice always. Open our hearts to You. Let us embrace Your will, focus on Christ, and reach out in prayer with thanksgiving in all circumstances. Like the foxglove blossoms appear to be open and in song, let us open our hearts to you and rejoice with singing. In Jesus’ holy and loving name. Amen

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Truth: John 8:32

31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:31-32 (NLT)

To be a disciple of Christ requires being faithful to His teachings and abiding in His Word. Jesus wants us to remain in His Word to mature spiritually, grow in grace, and learn the truth. What is the truth? Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) We need to take time to know Jesus, to accept Him, and to remain faithful to his teaching. His Word, the truth, will set us free; from the bondage of sin. When we choose His will for our lives, then true freedom is found.

Do you want to be a disciple of Jesus, abide in His Word, and know the truth?

Prayer; Jesus our Light and Redeemer, we thank you for your patience and forgiveness. Teach us to follow Your teachings and abide in Your Word. Lord, help us to grow in spirituality and grace. Forgive us our sins, and guide us to the truth. Like the purple flowers and clematis vine needs support to grow upward, let us lean on Your support, grow in faith, and know the truth. Amen

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God filled life: Titus 2:11-14

11-14 God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone! We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness.

Titus 2:11-14 (MSG)

Salvation is available to everyone through the grace of God. Christ Jesus died for our sins; His sacrifice freed us from darkness and brought us into the light. The light of Jesus a shining, illuminating life, freeing us from our dark, sinful world. He transforms our life, bringing peace, hope, and direction. He opens our hearts to love and teaches us to turn our back on a godless, indulgent life, to lead a God-filled, God-honoring life. A life that reflects the life of Jesus; be self-controlled, upright, godly, and doing good works. A God-filled, God-centered life while expectantly awaiting the glorious return of Jesus.

Through God’s forgiveness and grace in Jesus, salvation is available to everyone. Is your life God-filled and God-directed?

Prayer; Our Heavenly Father, we are in awe of your grace, forgiveness, and love. You have made salvation available to all who believe in Your Son, Jesus. We thank you for Jesus, who has brought love and light into our world. Teach us to let go of worldly things and live a joyful, God-filled life. Like the allium flowers are gathered together, open to the sunlight, let us gather together, open to and transmitting the light of Jesus. Amen

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Save the World: John 3:17

God sent his Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but to save the world.

John 3:17 (GWT)

Jesus came to save people. The leaders of Israel wanted a Messiah that would rescue them from Roman rule. Jesus didn’t come to condemn or to judge people; He came to save the world. The whole world, Jews and gentiles. He was on a saving mission, showing God’s love for all His people. Jesus is still on a saving mission; He’s a Savior to all people who believe in Him. He came to lead us on the path of love, to guide us in righteousness, and to spread God’s salvation to the ends of the earth. Jesus came so the world through Him could be saved.

16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

John 3:16-17 (NIV)

God so loved the world that He gave us His one and only Son. Have you opened your heart and accepted Jesus, who came in love to save the world?

Prayer; God, thank you for Your amazing love for us. Thank you for sending Your Son Jesus to save us from our sins. Teach us to spread Your love, Your Word, Your truth, and salvation found in Jesus. Thank You for not condemning us but instead sending Your Son Jesus to save the world. Like the three petals of the trillium form a flower, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit lead us and transform our lives. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen

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Reach Upward: Philippians 3:12-14

12 Not that I have already attained this – that is, I have not already been perfected – but I strive to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus also laid hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this. Instead I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead, 14with this goal in mind, I strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12-14 (NET)

Paul’s testimony was about the way to perfection and his zeal to be perfected. He was explaining that the work of the Lord was not yet complete in him. He was still pursuing his goal, doing the work of the Lord, reaching upward toward the prize. He had a past of persecuting Christians, but he was able to leave the past behind. To focus on moving forward, reaching upward, toward the prize of heavenly life, striving for perfection to be more like Jesus.

Do you have troubles in the past that you need to release and reach upward, striving toward the prize, God’s heavenward call in Jesus Christ?

Prayer; Our Heavenly Father, we are in awe of your love and forgiveness. We thank you for your Son Jesus. He was an example of perfection, who died for our redemption. Teach us to rely on You, to leave the past behind, and reach upward toward the goal of becoming more like Jesus. Like the magnolia blossoms are open and reaching upward toward the sun, let us be open-hearted and reach upward toward the prize God has provided through Christ Jesus. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.

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Empowered: 2 Timothy1:7

For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.

2 Timothy 1:7 (NET)

Paul is writing his friend and protégé Timothy. In this encouraging letter, he reminds Timothy that the Holy Spirit empowers and directs him. Power for our life comes when we rely on Christ, who strengthens us when we are weak. This power gives us energy, courage, a spirit of love, and the ability to make sound judgments. God has given us the Spirit of love which, carries us through opposition. Strength in God’s Spirit of power and His guidance for self-control. Faith in God empowers and casts out fear.

Are you empowered; do you rely on the power of God to cast away your fear?

Prayer; Our Heavenly Father, we thank you for your love and care. Teach us to seek your direction, rest in Your strength, and rely on Your power. Lord empower us, strengthen us when we are weak. Let us embrace your Spirit of power, love, and self-control. Like the three camellia blossoms are open and closely gathered on the branch, let us have open hearts, closely gathered to the Holy Trinity. In Jesus’ Holy name. Amen

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Love One Another: 1Peter 1:21-22


21Through him you now trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 22You have purified your souls by obeying the truth in order to show sincere mutual love. So love one another earnestly from a pure heart.

1 Peter 1: 21-22 (NET)

Jesus, Son of God, was crucified for our salvation. God raised Him from the dead and exalted Him in heaven. Jesus’s victory over death into glory brings trust; we trust in God, He sacrificed His Son to save us. We have faith and hope in God’s promises and His plans for us. With belief, our hearts are open to the truth of God’s Word and His love. We need to embrace Christ’s commandment “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34). When our hope is in Christ, we are born again, and we can love one another earnestly, sincerely, and with a pure heart.

Is your heart open to love one another as Christ loved us?

Prayer; Lord, Jesus create in us a pure heart. Help us to forgive, accept, and love one another. Open our heart to Your truth and direction. Teach us to love one another earnestly, sincerely, and with a pure heart. Like the gentle, glorious beauty of the rose, let us be kind and gentle and spread Your glorious love. Amen

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Joy: John 15:11

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“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

John 15: 9-11 (NIV)

Allowing Jesus into your life, following His ways, and giving Him your burdens, brings joy to your life. Jesus did not want His followers to live in fear; He wanted them to rely on Him, to receive His peace, love, and joy. Jesus wants us to lighten our burdens by turning them over to Him. When we let go of fears and worries and take time to be still in His presence, it opens our hearts to His way. Having faith, trust in Jesus lightens our mind, calms our day, and brings us joy.

Do you let temporary problems and struggles steal away your eternal Jesus given joy?

Prayer; Jesus, our Shepherd, and Redeemer, teach us to give our burdens and fears to You. Lead us on the path of righteousness and guide our way. Help us to embrace your teachings and grow in faith. Like the glorious open flowers of the water lilies, reach upward toward the sun, let us be open-hearted and reach upward toward You, Jesus, and live in joy. Amen

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