The perfect Independence Day; freedom from guilt!

Father, we celebrate Independence Day in the United States as a way of marking our freedom from the control of others. When we accept, by faith in Jesus, Your grace and salvation, we celebrate a different kind of freedom. We believe that freedom from dominance by Satan marks that day as the most important day in our existence.

Wisdom from within, a gift of the Holy Spirit

Your gift to us, a Spirit-filled life, is clearly something that we do not deserve nor are we able to earn it. It is a gift of grace, one that gives us access to the mind of Christ, in us, a promise and a reality that exceeds reason.

Incessant prayer! Is that even possible?

Father, Paul instructs us not to cease in our prayers for others and then tells us what specific things to pray for. These things Father, we also need to receive from You, daily. Do fill us with knowledge of Your will with all wisdom and spiritual understanding.

Will we be able to say to Jesus, “I didn’t know”?

We thank You Father for sending the Holy Spirit to encourage us and strengthen our resolve to do the right thing. That fact, along with the forgiveness of all confessed sin, due to the redemptive power of Jesus, means we will be without excuse if we say “but I did not know”.

What I am doing just feels wrong.

Some people call the obedience part “works”. That just means doing things that God has commanded, such as loving other people, being Baptized, praying to Him about every decision and about our needs and hopes and the needs of others. Works that are rooted in faith please God. Works, simply intended to earn points with God, do not please Him. Faith in Jesus makes your works noticed by God. There you have it! First God’s grace to you, second your faith in Jesus Christ and third, your works, those things you do to respond to His love. We need to know that the order cannot be reversed

Why is pride such a problem? Is there a solution?

Father, the contrast between pride and humility is always before us. We have such an inclination to allow our ego to overcome us. Help us, today, to know that it is You we seek to please and that even when we do please You, it is due to the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, not our fleshly spirit.

The mystery of the Holy Spirit…revealed!

Jesus, some recoil from the notion that blood must be shed for the forgiveness of sin. Help us learn what You have taught us, many times. Sin is deserving of death or at the very least, it prevents entry into the presence of our Holy Father. Sacrifices of animals, to cover the sins of a believer, were a very serious way of allowing a substitute to die in the place of a sinner.

Does “commending” yourself ever work?

We are so tempted to remind others of how we have served You, that it embarrasses us when we reflect on our error. Please turn our tendency to be prideful into joyful humility in serving You. Joyful humility sounds like a non-sequitur but we know that You expect both of us. It is just a little tough to do both at the same time!