Love God and hate our neighbor…not an option.

Dear Jesus, Your half-brother James, received a great deal of specific instruction from You. James understood the Law. You taught him and us that to love your neighbor as yourself was a commandment that summarized the last 6 of the 10 commandments. We can not love a person, unsaved or not, and still be their judge. We would ourselves be breaking the Law.

Did you say enduring persecution is a good thing?

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.

Haughty, proud…not me!

Father, in your economy, a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day. We know that life is very short (described as a vapor) and eternity is forever but these tiny moments exert more leverage than we sometimes acknowledge. The moments of our lives shape our eternity. That is leverage! Help us be loving and obedient, constantly, in the midst of both our triumphs and our losses.

When is an “oath” o.k…hardly ever!

Jesus, You have taught us that the same mouth should not praise You and curse men. We know that swearing an oath is a mistake unless we are certain we can unerringly perform that oath. But swearing has become a way of life in these times. We hear people say “By God, I will do such and such” (it pains me to even quote such persons). You teach us that this is an oath from an empty headed, hard hearted person in terms of their walk with You.

The mind of Christ in me? No way…right?

Father, we can say boldly that we have access to the mind of Christ and that You teach us all things we must know, things that exceed the wisdom of man. We look to our teachers for wisdom and you tell us that Your testimony to us exceeds that of our teachers and the “ancients”, those who lived before You. How can we not look to Your Holy Word for guidance, every day? For conveying such love toward us, we are eternally grateful.

The innocence of a child…can it be sustained?

Even though childhood and youth may be “vanity”, during these wonderful years when their smiles melt our hearts and their innocence charms us, prepare their hearts to serve You and to trust You in all things.

I can’t possibly forgive that fool!

Jesus, it is so hard to not be angry, at times. Here it seems that you are reminding us that Christians shall be known by their love. You are instructing us in a new way, beyond the 6th commandment, “Thou shalt not kill”. We are, as a result of the presence of the Holy Spirit, required to be patient, kind and gentle, full of goodness, loving people who we might not feel like loving.