43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
The one who has ears had better listen!
Matthew 13:43 (NET)
You are the light of the world, Matthew states earlier in Matthew 5:14. As we live a life of righteousness, a Christian life, we become increasingly radiant, progressively brighter by growing closer to Christ. When we follow Him, trusting in Him and conforming to His ways we grow in His Spirit. A striving in love to achieve the promise of shining like the sun in the kingdom of Our Father.
Are you becoming increasingly radiant by living closer to Christ daily?
Prayer: Jesus our Savior, teach us to become increasingly radiant and draw closer to You daily. As the cluster of blossoms on the hydrangea grow, glow, and flourish in the sun, help us to grow in righteousness, and shine, flourishing in love toward each other. Lord, teach us to conform to Your teachings and become progressively brighter until we shine like the sun in the kingdom of our Father. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen
23 Sing to God, everyone and everything! Get out his salvation news every day!
1 Chronicles 16:23 The Message
23 Sing to the LORD, all the earth! Share the news of his saving work every single day!
→ 1 Chronicles 16:23 (CEB)
Sing a joyful song to the Lord, express your adoration, open your voice in praise. For God is good, he is worthy of our exaltation and praiseful worship. When we sing our thoughts are quieted, and our hearts open to God with deeper feelings. God doesn’t judge our voice he just is waiting for us to make a joyful noise and share his salvation news with others. Let the heavens shout with joy! Holy, holy is our God!
How will you express your adoration to God today? Will you sing with joy?
Prayer: Our Heavenly Father, we worship and praise You. We raise our voices to sing our love for You. Lord, we sing in thankfulness for Your forgiveness, salvation, and love. Like the bright open iris blossoms heralds, spring, help us sing open-hearted expressing our joy to You. In Jesus’ glorious name. Amen
Sing to the Lord – Hillsong Worship Lyrics
Righteous Ruler of the heavens Holy holy our God Sovereign Lord of all creation Holy holy our God
Every tribe and tongue Lift your voice as one He is greatly to be praised
Sing to the Lord Oh my soul Let the heavens Shout for joy Great is our God Great is our God
Nations come and Bow before Him Holy holy our God Angels sing Now and forever Holy holy our God
The heavens shall declare The glory of our great God
9-10 Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
Romans 12:9-10 The Message (MSG)
In this verse, the apostle Paul speaks of sincere love, a true love coming from the center of the heart. A love for others that includes compassion, actions of kindness, and charity. Not a self-serving love, but a humble, playing second fiddle love, a love which embraces everyone, especially those in need. We are reminded to run for dear life from evil including, unkindness, malice, and prejudice, and to hold on tightly to all that is pleasing to God.
What is holding you back from a sincere, open-hearted love toward others?
Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank You for Your forgiveness of our sins and Your open-hearted love for us. Teach us to love You with our full hearts and to have sincere love for others. As the individual flowers of the rhododendron radiate from the center cluster, let us radiate love to those around us. Help us to embrace compassion and carry out acts of kindness. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15 (NIV)
To let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts we need to have and maintain a relationship with God, to have a thankful, loving heart toward God a sense of unity with Him and our neighbors. To have faith in the Lord, His Word, and to trust Him always. It is an open door a choice for us to decide often moment to moment which path, to embrace ours or the Lord’s. His peace is always available.
In life, we are faced with numerous choices daily and often are stressed out looking for peace. Where do you turn to when you are confused or making decisions and need peace? Does the peace of Christ rule in your heart?
Prayer: Our heavenly Father, we praise and thank you for your love, patience, and forgiveness. Teach us to turn our faces and hearts toward you to follow Your path and to find the peace of Christ. Like the white blossom of the iberis grow close together, teach us to draw close to each other, and grow in compassion, love, and peace. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)
God is merciful and full of grace to us His people. In return, His wish is for us to renew our minds to be transformed, open to His guidance and Word. To open be open-hearted to turn to God for direction, to conform to do His will, what is good, acceptable, and perfect, learning to be more Christ-like. To focus on being good Christians pleasing in our actions and deeds.
During troubling times do you dwell on worldly problems, or is your mind transformed and focused on God?
Prayer: Our Father, we thank You for Your mercy and love. Help us to be transformed by Your love and guidance. Teach us to focus on being pleasing to You by following Your commandments, doing Your will. Like the bright yellow flowers of the Jerusalem artichoke blossoms reach united toward the sky, let us reach united toward Your kingdom. In Jesus’ Holy name. Amen
14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16 (ESV)
Jesus our great high priest sympathizes with our weakness and has mercy on us when we repent our sins. Jesus was tempted but did not sin so He can sympathize with our weakness. He shed His blood for us allowing us, to come before Him with confidence. When we confess our sins, Jesus welcomes us like a father welcomes his children, and forgives us with mercy and grace. When we have needs and pray, Jesus is waiting at the throne of grace to help us.
When you are weak and weary, in need of mercy and grace, do you turn to Jesus?
Prayer: Jesus, our loving Savior, we thank you for the mercy, grace, and help that you loving give us. We praise you for the forgiveness and peace you offer us when we bring our troubles to You. Like the beautiful full open blossoms of the cherry tree, teach us fully open our hearts to the beauty of Your love and to share Your love with others. Amen
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:17 English Standard Version (ESV)
God is with us, and He loves us with an everlasting love. He rejoices over His people with gladness. The Lord’s love encompasses us which brings tranquility and quiet peace. God takes delight in His people. God’s love is unconditional He freely gives it to those who humble themselves and seek Him. Put your faith in Immanuel, God with us, Almighty and powerful, who can save us and rejoices over us when we do good and seek Him first above all things.
God is with us and takes delight in us when we seek Him. What is hindering you from feeling God’s love?
Prayer: Lord, help us to seek You and follow your Word. In times of trouble teach us to realize that You are with us and love us with an everlasting love. Like the bright yellow pansies seem to smile with joy, let us realize that You are for us, and rejoice over us with joy. Lord, teach us to put our faith in You and find peace. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen
1 But now, says the LORD the one who created you, Jacob, the one who formed you, Israel: Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; when through the rivers, they won’t sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you won’t be scorched and flame won’t burn you.
International Standard Version (ISV)
1 But now, God’s Message, the God who made you in the first place, Jacob, the One who got you started, Israel: “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine.2 When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end –
The Message (MSG)
The Lord says to us, do not fear for, I am with you, you are mine. God, calls us by name, and He is with us when we are in rough waters. He restores our soul. When we are afraid and stuck in a difficult place it is not a dead-end because our God is with us. We need not be afraid for His light is shining, through, and the dark will not overtake us. For our Heavenly Father, has redeemed us, and He will never leave us. Our God is always with us, for we are His people.
God is with us always, for we are His people. Who do you seek when you are worried and afraid?
Prayer: Lord, we thank you for your love and compassion for us. Help us to seek you when we are afraid, overwhelmed, and in over our heads. Like the white camellia, the blossom’s center is gathered and enfolded, let us be gathered in Your name, centered on You, and enfolded in Your love. Our Father, teach us not to fear, but to reach out to You when we are in rough waters, to realize we are not alone You are always with us. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen
When I walk through deep waters
I know that You will be with me
When I’m standing in the fire
I will not be overcome
Through the valley of the shadow
I will not fear I am not alone I am not alone
You will go before me
You will never leave me
In the midst of deep sorrow
I see Your light is breaking through
The dark of night will not overtake me
I am pressing into You Lord,
You fight my every battle
And I will not fear...
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. 2 Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. 3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1-3 (NIV)
When worried and during times of stress, do we dwell on only our difficulties, or do we take time to count our blessings? It is easy to dwell on all that we are concerned about, but it is important to remember to thank the Lord for his unconditional love and His continuing blessings. To take time in prayer to give thanks to the Lord for He is God of gods, Lord of Lords, He is good, and His love endures forever.
The Lord is always open to our prayers, He is our rock and our salvation. His love endures forever. Do you take time in prayer to give thanks to the Lord?
Prayer: Our heavenly Father, we praise You and give thanks to You. Lord, You are our rock, our shelter, and our hope. We thank you, Lord, for the beauty that surrounds us, the hope we find in You, and the forgiveness that You grant us. As the bright and colorful snapdragon blossoms continue up the stem, help us to appreciate Your continuing grace and love for us. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Colossians 3:1-2 New International Version (NIV)
You have been raised to a new life with Christ, so set your hearts on things above. Focus on Jesus, who is seated at the right hand of God. Give all your anxious and troubled thoughts to Christ. Rather than dwelling on earthly things, instead, focus your attention on God, and spiritual thoughts. Let your actions reflect compassion, patience, and love for one another.
As Christians, you have been raised to a new life in Christ. When change comes, when the news is depressing and anxiety abounds, what is your mind set on?
Prayer: Our Father, we thank You for giving us a new life in Christ. Let our hearts and minds be set on things above us. Like the abundant star-like blossoms of the phlox, encourage us to blossom, reach towards the stars, and Your heavenly kingdom. Teach us to be more like Jesus, and act with compassion and love toward one another. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.