Loving Grace: Ephesians 2: 4-5

Guzmania Bromeliad

The Guzmaina plants absorb their nutrients from above. The roots only anchor it to what it is growing on rocks or trees.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even though we were dead in offenses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you are saved!

Ephesians 2:4-6 New English Translation (NET Bible)

God is rich in mercy, great in forgiveness, and amazing in grace. He loves us with unconditional, unending love. We have sinned, ignored God, and rejected His word. However, with merciful love, God has forgiven our sins and brought us salvation through His son Jesus, who died for our sins. By the grace of God, we are saved! Glory be to God!

Who do you know that needs God’s love and grace?

Prayer: Our Father, we are in awe of your care and love for us. Like the Guzmania absorb their nutrients from above and gets support from the rock, help us to reach to You for guidance and lean on You for strength and support. We praise you for forgiving our sins, giving us hope and saving us by Your grace. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen

Wonders: Psalm 65:8

Flowers I Discovered Blooming and Growing in a Rock Crevice.

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;

    where morning dawns, where evening fades,

    you call forth songs of joy.

Psalm 65:8

I am in awe when I take the time to dwell on God’s designs. The beauty of the flower in bloom, the wonder of the sea, the solo of the songbird, the stature of a tree, the wonder of sight, the perfection of a newborn, the glory of the stars, and the unconditional love God provides. When you see flowers growing and blooming in a small crevice of a rock, you realize nothing is impossible with God. Lord, Your creation raises us to songs of joy and praise.

What wonder of God’s creation fills you with awe makes you sing with joy?

Prayer: Our Heavenly Father, our creator, provider, our shelter in the storm. We thank you for the wonders that surround us, Your love which encompasses us, and the beauty of our world. Like the flowers growing surrounded by rocks and water help us to realize nothing is impossible with You. We raise our praises of joy to You! In Jesus’ holy name. Amen

Forgive: Ephesians 4:32

Croton Plant

32 Be kind and compassionate to one another,

forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”

C.S. Lewis

When we have been wronged, when others have hurt us it is difficult to forgive. Why should we be kind, tender-hearted to someone cruel who has made our life miserable? Why, because Jesus forgives our sins, our inexcusable wrongs. Harboring anger, searching for revenge, is bad for our health and bad for our souls. Try to let go of anger, try to be kind and forgive, act like Jesus.

Where is anger, or hurt holding you back from forgiveness?

Prayer: Our Father, we thank you for forgiving us and loving us with unconditional love. Teach us to be kind and compassionate to each other. Like the leaves of the croton plant, spread upward illuminated by the sun, help us to reach upward to You, Your truth, Your light, Your love. Let Your face shine, upon us, and teach us to forgive, give us peace. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen

Teach Me: Psalm 86:11

Teach me your ways, O LORD, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you.

Psalm 86: 11 (NLT)

Often we stumble and fall because we are lost in our plans, trying to go it alone. God’s truth is in the Bible, His guide for us, His word to us. God is waiting and reaching out welcoming, wanting to teach us to follow His path. When we let go of our self direction and rely on God’s foundation, His word, we find peace and live according to His truth. This truth will purify our hearts and set us free from worldly woes.

A common prayer for me is to ask the Lord to teach me His ways, and to open my heart. Where in your life do you need instruction from God?

Prayer: O Lord, teach us Your ways, guide us with Your truth. Help us to purify our hearts. Let us live together in unity as the plants grow together in the planter. Like the vines help us to reach out and spread Your love. We honor, worship, and praise You. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen

Splendor: Psalm 145: 5-6

Ranunculus blossom

I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor

    and your wonderful miracles.

Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue;

    I will proclaim your greatness.

Psalm 145: 5-6 (NLT)

When the world overwhelms, when the news is depressing, when you feel alone, take time to meditate on the glorious splendor of God’s world. Take time to focus on the intricacies of nature, the beauty of the garden, and God’s wonderful miraculous love and grace. Relax in God, rest in His word, and find peace. Remember to take time to thank the Lord for his great deeds.

Where do you enjoy and relax in the glorious splendor of God?

Prayer: Our heavenly Father, we stand in awe of the wonder of You. We thank you for Your unconditional love for us. We are filled with wonder at the majestic splendor that surrounds us. As beauty and brightness glow, in the Ranunculus blossom, teach us to radiate Your love. Jesus, we honor, praise, and worship Your Holy name! Amen

God is My Rock: Psalm 18:2

Cactus flower

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 18:2 (NIV)

David wrote this after God rescued him from his many enemies.
The Lord is our rock He protects and shelters us. He is our fortress, a place of protection, and a refuge from the storms of life. He is our strong tower of strength, hope, and stability. His salvation is like a bright shield that protects us from evil.

We can face unknown situations with confidence because God is with us. When has God been your rock, a refuge?

Prayer: Our Father, our refuge in the storms of life, we thank you for your protection. Teach us to call on you when we feel overwhelmed. Like the open cactus flower leaning against the stones, Lord, help us to lean on you. You are our rock when we are lost, afraid, and confused. We praise and worship You. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen

Pure Heart: Psalm 51: 9-10

Montauk Daisy

9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalm 51: 9-10 New American Standard Bible

God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.

Psalm 51:10 The Message

When we make ourselves available to God’s direction, and start afresh, with a renewed spirit and open hearts. Then God will blot out our iniquities and create in us a pure heart. God is waiting to build us anew have a Genesis (creation) week to transform our lives. So we are a new creation transformed by God.

Where do you need to start fresh, with a pure heart and be renewed with God’s steadfast spirit?

Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank you for your grace and forgiveness help us to make a fresh start create in us a pure heart. Like the Montauk daisy reaches toward the sun, let us reach out to You and be renewed with a steadfast spirit and shine in Your love. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen

Shield of Salvation: Psalm 18:35

Bougainvillea

You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds me; And Your gentleness makes me great.

Psalm 18:35 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your gentleness made me great.
2 Samuel 22:36 (ESV)

Psalm 18 (a Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord) David was grateful to the Lord for deliverance from his enemies. God, our shield of salvation, by His right hand, we are protected and strengthened by His power. God is mighty, but He is also gentle, as is exemplified in Jesus. Jesus felt the suffering around Him and was compassionate and caring. When we follow Jesus’ compassion it deepens our soul in love, kindling gentleness in us toward others.

Where can you share God’s shield of salvation, kindness, and gentleness with others?

Prayer: Our loving Father, our shield of salvation and strength. We are blessed by your gentleness, care, and protection. The Bougainvillea tiny white flowers glow in the showy bracts surrounding them, let us likewise be humble and glow with Your compassion and gentleness. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen

Saved: Romans 10:12-13

African Violet

12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Romans 10:12-13
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Acts 2:21
And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; Joel 2:32a

Many undertakings have difficult and complicated steps to achieve approval. The Lord, however, doesn’t require difficult and complicated procedures from us to be saved. Paul states in Romans and Luke states in Acts, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
In Luke 23:42-43, a criminal on the cross beside Jesus calls to Him, “… “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

To call on the name of the Lord means to reach out to Christ, in faith seeking salvation. God, our Father, richly blesses all who call upon Him. Today, take time to thankfully praise God, our Father, for His grace, compassion, and love. For, we are truly loved and blessed.

When in distress, who do you call out to for help?

Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank you for richly blessing us and answering our calls for help, protection, direction, and strength. Let our faith grow and blossom like the African violet’s numerous blooms. Help us to turn away from sin, call on Your name, and embrace Your gift of salvation. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen

Justice: Micah 6:8

He has told you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord really wants from you: He wants you to carry out justice, to love faithfulness, and to live obediently before your God.

Micah 6:8 (NET)

He has made it clear to you, mortal man, what is good and what the Lord is requiring from you—to act with justice, to treasure the Lord’s gracious love, and to walk humbly in the company of your God.

Micah 6:8 (ISV)

We often have a list of wants we want from the Lord, and we ask Him in prayer to help us. This scripture instead speaks to what God wants from us. Our Lord wants us to carry out justice, be faithful in love, and live obediently to His word. Some versions say to act with justice, to treasure the Lord’s gracious love, and to walk humbly with your God. What a wonderful synopsis of how to live.

What actions demonstrate carrying out justice to you?

Prayer: Dear Lord, our loving Father, we thank you for your forgiveness and grace to us. Like succulent leaves are known for their ability to hold water, let us be known for acting with justice and treasuring Your gracious love toward us. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen