Freedom: Galatians 5:13

For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, but through love serve one another.

Galatians 5:13 (NET)

In the United States of America, today is Independence Day, causing me to think about freedom. Freedom through Christ. How are we free? By following the teachings of Jesus and by being His disciple; by believing in Him, and walking in obedience. We obtained freedom by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Through our faith in Christ, we live in freedom, freedom from the slavery of sin; our sins are forgiven. We belong to God; we are His chosen.

In freedom, we are allowed to make choices. Choices we will be held accountable for. Our freedom is not to be used as an excuse to indulge ourselves, but instead to serve one another in love.
As the Message bible version of Galatians 5:14 states: “For everything, we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom.”

13-14It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom.

Galatians 5:13-14 (MSG)

By God’s grace, we have freedom. Is your freedom as a Christian focused on self-satisfaction or on serving others in love?

Prayer; Lord Jesus, we thank you for setting us free from slavery to sin. We thank You for the freedom you have granted us through Your grace. Guide us to use this freedom to be more like You in our actions. As the Gomphrena, Fireworks pink blossoms with tiny yellow flowers spread outward in all directions; let us spread Your love outward to others, in all directions. Amen

Steadfast: 1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:58 (NRSV)

Paul is addressing the Corinthian church, expressing his love, and asking them to be steadfast, immovable, and always excelling in the work of the Lord. Paul asks them to be steadfast, meaning faithful to the Lord, and firmly committed to His ways. He is entreating them to be immovable, firm, stable, strong in their beliefs, and uncompromised by their culture. The goal for their church and all churches; is to excel in the work of the Lord, doing His will, upholding Christian virtues, and spreading the gospel and love. Labor for the Lord is not in vain; it is to His glory and is rewarded in heaven.

Would you describe your faith as steadfast, immovable, and your behavior as excelling in the work of the Lord? How can you improve?

Prayer; Our Heavenly Father, help us be steadfast and immovable in our faith. Teach us to excel in doing Your work and sharing Your Word. Open our hearts to Your way, sharing Your love. As the crabapple blossoms enhance the tree, let our actions enhance Your kingdom. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen

Light of Jesus: John 1:5

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:5 (NIV)

Jesus, Son of God, came into the world; to be the Light of the world. When we accept Him and follow His Word, He illuminates our hearts and souls. Christ came as God’s light; to shine light into the darkness; to expel the darkness of sin.

As foretold years earlier by Isaiah;

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.

Isaiah 9:2 (NIV)

God represents goodness, light, truth, and salvation. Darkness is the absence of light and represents evil and sin. The light of Jesus glows eternally. He is the resurrection and the light.

I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.

John 12:46 (NLT)

The darkness has not overcome Jesus’ light and never will. His light is ever shining, in the past, present and future. ◊

Have you opened your heart to the light of Jesus? Do you let the light of Jesus shine and illuminate the darkness?

Prayer; Our Heavenly Father, we thank you for the light of Jesus. Teach us to walk in faith and light. Jesus, Light of the World, guide us in Your truth. Like the trillium’s white flowers glow in the sunshine, let us glow with Your illuminating light. Amen

Peace of God: Philippians 4:7

7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:7 (NIV)

Peace is something we all seem to search for. I just need a few minutes peace is an often-heard comment. How do we experience God’s peace?

When we put our problems in God’s hands, His supernatural peace calms our minds, getting rid of our anxious thoughts. How can we do this? When we are anxious, we need to reach out to God in prayer, letting go of our concerns; trusting Him.

New Living Translation
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)

Letting go of our worries and anxieties frees our minds; allowing us to focus on positive things. Trust lets us relax and experience God’s supernatural peace, a peace that transcends our understanding. We may not always get the result we want. However, God is with us and will help us deal with any inner turmoil.

Having Jesus Christ in our hearts and minds lets us focus on kindness, contentment, love, and helping one another, bringing peace to our relationships with others.

Who do you reach out to with your anxiety and worries? Do you reach out in prayer for the peace of God?

Prayer; Our Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your grace and compassion toward us. Teach us to give You our worries and concerns. Let us prayerfully reach out, finding the peace of God. Like the beautiful open flowers of the anemone, may we be open-minded and open-hearted to Christ. Amen

Full of Light – Matt 6:22

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.

Matthew 6:22 (NIV)

How is the eye a lamp to the body? When the eye is focused on worldly things, we see dimly; we don’t see the light and truth of Jesus. Our eyes are like a window. When the window is clean, light comes in and illuminates the room. When our eyes focus on worldly things, the window is dirty; the light is blocked, the room dark and dim.

But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

Matthew 6:23 (NLV)

When our eyes are good, our bodies are full of light; helping us to perceive what is true and right. Helping us to discern the correct path.
Our eyes are the gateway to our hearts and mind. They allow us to see when people are hurting, needy, or lost. Enabling us to help others and spread the light of Jesus.
When our eyes are open, and we seek His kingdom first, our bodies will be full of light; illuminating the darkness.

How is your sight? Are you seeing things clearly; is your body filled with light?

Prayer; Our Heavenly Father, may our eyes be healthy and fixed on You. May our bodies be full of light and our actions humble and loving. Teach us to perceive what is true and right. Like the Gerbera daisy glows and reflects sunlight, let us glow and reflect Your light. In Jesus’ holy and loving name. Amen

I believe in the power of prayer. If you need prayer, I would be glad to pray for you. Leave a comment or message me on the contact page. 🌺

Treasures: Matthew 6:19-21

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

Matthew 6:19-21 NLT

In these verses, Jesus is explaining to His followers how to live and act. Our life should not revolve around earthly treasures, which are easily lost or destroyed. Instead, we should store our treasures in heaven by living the way God asks us to live, by loving our neighbor as ourselves, guarding against evil, helping the less fortunate, and loving the Lord with all our hearts.

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’

Matthew 22:37b

Where is your treasure? Is it on worldly success and building wealth?

If so, that’s where the desire of your heart is; what your heart is focused on.
If our focus is on heavenly rewards, our hearts are focused on honoring God; and enjoying that treasure forever.

Prayer; Lord Jesus, teach us to store our treasures in heaven. Help us to embrace the correct priorities in life. Encourage us to love God with all our hearts, and help us to love others as You have loved us. Like orchid blossoms are beautiful to behold, let our treasures be beautiful to God. Amen

I believe in the power of prayer. If you need prayer, I would be glad to pray for you. Leave a comment or message me on the contact page. 🌺

To Serve: Mark 10:45

Butterfly Weed flowers

42 Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions use their authority over them. 43 But it is not this way among you. Instead whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Mark 10: 42-45 (NET)

In Mark 10:37, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, brothers, and disciples, requested, to Jesus; “Permit one of us to sit at your right hand and the other at your left in your glory.” This request caused the other ten disciples to become angry at this grab for power and authority (Mark 10:41). Jesus responded to His disciples. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” All power is entrusted to Jesus, the Son of Man, yet he acted as a servant, as an example, His kneeling to wash His disciple’s feet. Jesus’ teaching and His way of life illustrated the difference between worldly and spiritual greatness. He taught that the path of greatness was achieved through humility and by learning to be a servant thereby glorifying God. Jesus’ final act of service was when He gave his life as a ransom for many.

This verse is also found in Mathew:

just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Matthew 20:28 (NET)

How do you measure greatness? Do you feel to serve others is a worthy goal?

Monarch caterpillars feeding on a butterfly bush

Prayer; Jesus we thank you for your healings, guidance, and love for us. Teach us to be humble, and to help others by being Your hands and feet. Encourage us to seek spiritual goodness rather than worldly gain. Like the butterfly weed provides a host plant for monarch caterpillars and nectar for butterflies; teach us to help and to serve others. Amen

I believe in the power of prayer. If you need prayer, I would be glad to pray for you. Leave a comment or message me on the contact page. 🌺

Living Letter of Christ: 2 Corinthians 3:3

3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

2 Corinthians 3:3 (NIV)

Paul is explaining to the people of Corinth; he was just the messenger that delivered the gospel of Christ to them. Through their faith, they became living letters, letters written by the Holy Spirit on their hearts. The indwelling Holy Spirit converts and humbles our hearts filling us with the love of Christ. Now the wonder and power of God are written by the Holy Spirit in our hearts, not on tablets of stone on Mount Sinai. We become a living letter of Christ, ambassadors of love and truth to those who do not know Jesus.

Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it.

2 Corinthians 3:3 (MSG)

Are you a living letter for Christ? Have you opened your heart to the Holy Spirit? Have you accepted the truth of the gospel and have it written in your heart?

Prayer; Our Heavenly Father, we thank you for your compassion, grace, and love. Teach us to open our hearts to the Holy Spirits’ direction. Let the Holy Spirit transform us, guide us, and write on our hearts, Your truth. Like azaleas grow and flourish with blossoms, teach us to grow in Your Word and our hearts to blossom and become a living letter from Christ. Amen

I believe in the power of prayer. If you need prayer, I would be glad to pray for you. Leave a comment or message me on the contact page. 🌺

True Light: John 1:9

The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

John 1:9 (NLT)

There it was—the true Light [the genuine, perfect, steadfast Light] which, coming into the world, enlightens everyone.

John 1:9 (AMP)

John chapter one introduces Jesus and establishes that Christ was one with God. Jesus is the one, the true light. He is the source of light eternal, perfect light. For Jesus is the light of the world, in Him there is no darkness. Jesus gives light to everyone, enlightening all, with His teachings, His actions, His love. We reflect the light of Christ by believing in Him, spreading His Word, and sharing His love with others.

Are you walking in true light and reflecting it to others?

Prayer; God, Our Heavenly Father, we thank you for Your Son, Jesus, the true light, illuminating the darkness. Let us follow His teaching and actions and be enlightened. Teach us to reflect His light, and share His love with others. Like the vibrant, pure scented gardenia blossom, help us to be vibrant in our love for others and pure in our faith. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen

I believe in the power of prayer. If you need prayer, I will be glad to pray for you. Leave a comment or message me on the contact page. 🌺

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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