Jesus, this teaching goes against our nature. We seek revenge when we are wronged, as a natural instinct of the flesh. Why, Jesus, would You have us act in this way? The answer is clear enough in all of Your teaching; one can not say they love You and continue hating their brethren.
Father, Paul is teaching us, in this letter to his young protégé, Timothy, that the law, when adhered to, does not present a problem. It is law breakers that will feel the rod of correction, sometimes physically, and sometimes in ways that simply convict us and make us feel terrible.
Father, we know that our goodness, absent the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, is more than just inadequate. When our fleshly instincts take over, we know we are running away from Your presence. Your word tells us that You delight in your saints, a designation none of us feel able to accept, yet it remains Your expectation.
Father, You have taught us that there are two overriding commandments. First we are to love You with all of our heart, mind, and strength and second, we are to love our neighbors as our selves.
We know from Your word that perfect love casts out fear. That is why, Father, we can approach You and the challenges of life with confidence. Help us remember that neither man nor evil circumstance can do anything that would destroy Your love for us or our love for You.
Father, do we not build monuments, statues and worship objects and art that amount to images of men, animals or gods? Is this as serious a sin as it was to King Saul and King Nebuchadnezzar? Give us wisdom we pray in grasping the gravity of the first and second commandments. To the extent that we look to any graven image with the honor and respect [...]