A Season of Thankfulness: Day 13 – Our Comforter

Photo Credits: quotesgram.com

Photo Credits: quotesgram.com

Psalms 31:13a

“For I hear what so many are saying, the terrifying news that comes from every direction.”

Psalm 147:3

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

Psalm 30:5

“For his anger lasts only a brief moment, and his good favor restores one’s life. One may experience sorrow during the night, but joy arrives in the morning.”

On days like this when news of terror is filling the airwaves and in moments of fear, uncertainty and heartbreak, we who are in Christ have this hope: our living God is our faithful Comforter.

The rain falls on the good and the bad; all will see troubles on this earth, but it is often at the worst moments when we are closest to God.  The accusations and attack of the enemy encircle us, trying to defeat us, but if we will press in and seek God, we crucify the flesh and find ourselves at a higher place with Jesus.

Like Job, who had counselors who knew all of the religiously correct phrases, we, too, will need to go past the surface of psychology, positive thinking or religiosity offered by the world around us to arrive in Jesus’ arms and the sweetest comfort known.

True comfort does not mean having our own way.  It is a place of rest, trusting in our sovereign Father and peace in His promise to take our greatest sorrows and turn them into a place of healing, instead.  It is weeping in His presence and laying our burden at His feet, knowing that He counts every tear and that everything matters to Him.

Perhaps the greatest comfort is that Jesus chose to walk among us not just so we could understand and know Him, but so He could identify with our suffering and we could have confidence to come to Him who patiently endured the most severe suffering for us.

Lord, please ease the pain of those in shock and horror now and draw them to You – the only sure source of comfort at all times.  You are our refuge, our Healer, our living Hope.  May you be the One we run to above and instead of all else.

A Season of Thankfulness: Day 7 – In Hot Pursuit

Luke 15:4

“”Which one of you, if he has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, would not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go look for the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 Then when he has found it, he places it on his shoulders, rejoicing.”

Psalm 139:7-8

“I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.”

The heart cry of all of us is that we would be loved and accepted just as we are.  We long for our spouses to cherish us and be crazy about us.  At the root of that desire is a craving for an unconditional, secure love.

God is wild about us.  When we stray, He is jealous for us with a righteous jealousy and hunts us down.  When we hurt, He hurts.  He conveys this love a million times over in a million ways, yet we still often can miss it.

Perhaps because many of us have heard the salvation story so much we have forgotten how radical His expression of love was and is for us.  To suffer and die for someone who did not love Him back, out of a selfless, zealous, passionate love is the most amazing love found on this earth.

It is not a superficial temporary, fickle crush, but an eternal, lasting love that never gives up on us.  He defines Himself as a Shepherd who has a multitude of sheep surrounding Him, yet notices one that slips away.  Have we ever felt small, forgotten, in a sea of “more important” people?  God notices.  He is that awesome that He can see everything and everyone and not let even one go unattended to.

The security we have in Christ is unparalleled anywhere.  He calls us, saves us, but does not leave us there.  He sanctifies us through and through, pursuing us all the way to draw nearer to Him – the One our souls really need.

Lord, thank You for chasing after us when our first impulse is to wander.  Thank You for revealing and demonstrating Your amazing love to us so we could understand what it means to know our great God, Who is so much greater than ourselves, yet chooses to love us anyway.

Mundane Monday: Something in the Blood

Photo Credits: marccortez.com

Photo Credits: marccortez.com

Leviticus 17:11-14

11 “For the life of every living thing is in the blood.   So I myself have assigned it to you on the altar to make atonement for your lives, for the blood makes atonement by means of the life.  12 Therefore, I have said to the Israelites: No person among you is to eat blood, and no resident foreigner who lives among you is to eat blood.  13“‘Any man from the Israelites or from the foreigners who reside in their midst who hunts a wild animal or a bird that may be eaten must pour out its blood and cover it with soil, 14 for the life of all flesh is its blood.  So I have said to the Israelites: You must not eat the blood of any living thing because the life of every living thing is its blood – all who eat it will be cut off.’” 

Zechariah 9:11

“Moreover, as for you, because of our covenant relationship secured with blood, I will release your prisoners from the waterless pit.”

Hebrews 13:20

“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep.”

1 Peter 1:18-20 (NLT)

18 “For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom He paid was not mere gold or silver. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but He has now revealed him to you in these last days.”

Hebrews 9:22 (NLT)

22 “In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.”

I know – the picture kind of grosses you out, right?  it does me.  The sight of blood is enough to make some people pass out, strike still others with fear or disgust.  There is power in the blood, but it is not because of man’s perceptions.  What is it about blood?

Blood is life.  Without blood we cannot live and according to God’s word, without the shedding of blood we cannot live.  Our lives are costly and therefore the payment for our sins, which destroys our lives, is costly.  Spilled blood makes us aware of the value of the life lost.  Innately we know life is precious.

To sophisticated man, all this talk of blood is barbarian.  We would rather not hear or know about it.  It remind us that we are but dust and finite beings.  To need blood as our ransom is humbling.  We would rather be independent and provide for our own needs.  But alas, we cannot.

The offerings in the Old Testament were necessary before a holy God.  They might be hard for us to understand in our current culture, but God’s standard of a life for a life is borne out by the provision of blood covering our sins.

Today we remember His sacrifice in communion but can easily forget the symbolism of the cup of blood we drink.  His blood was spilled for our transgressions and should not lightly be accepted.  While we could not stand in the presence of God, the substitutionary death of His Son, Jesus, Who gave His life for our own, enables us to not just be forgiven of sins, but to have a relationship with a Holy God.

I had the privilege of attending a Bethel worship concert last week.  During that time, one of the worship leaders, Steffany Gretzinger, shared an insight into the power of God’s blood that has stuck with me.  She spoke of the dilemma many are in because of coming from a bloodline marred in sin, but then spoke of the hope we have in Christ’s bloodline, which trumps every bloodline on earth.

Sweet victory is ours!  Whatever our past, whatever sins were passed down or we ourselves committed, they have all been trumped by the King of kings and Lord of lords, Who set the standard for the wages of our sin then fulfilled them Himself – with His own blood.

How costly blood is, and how much more so from God Himself!  This amazing gift of salvation is not casually accepted; no, it is part of a covenantal relationship which holds us accountable.  We cannot continue in sin when such a cost was paid.  He Who set us free is worthy of our lives, as well.

Lord, how amazing You are – to know our need for Your covering before we ever were.  Thank You for Your sacrifice.  May we never take for granted this gift of Your life for ours.

Worshipful Wednesday: Lessons from the Past

Photo Credit: cover of book edited by Jon Quinn & Warren Berkley

Photo Credit: cover of book edited by Jon Quinn & Warren Berkley

Psalm 78:2-7

2 I will sing a song that imparts wisdom; I will make insightful observations about the past.  3 What we have heard and learned–that which our ancestors have told us– 4 we will not hide from their descendants. We will tell the next generation about the LORD’s praiseworthy acts, about his strength and the amazing things he has done. 5 He established a rule in Jacob; he set up a law in Israel. He commanded our ancestors to make his deeds known to their descendants, 6 so that the next generation, children yet to be born, might know about them. They will grow up and tell their descendants about them.  7 Then they will place their confidence in God. They will not forget the works of God, and they will obey his commands.  8 They would not be like their ancestors– a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him.

Romans 1:25-27, 32

25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.  26 For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones, 27 and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed in their passions for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.  32 Although they fully know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but also approve of those who practice them.

We are living in a historical time – the “un-Christianizing” of our country.  Well, truly this has been ongoing since the beginning of time in every culture; the fight by mankind to suppress the presence of God from our midst.

Leaders of our culture can make laws to justify the demands of their flesh, remove memorials that testify to God’s commandments, but they cannot remove them from our hearts.  His laws are written in our consciences, convincing our souls of what is wrong and right.

All of time testifies to those in the present – beckoning us to not allow the lessons learned by those who have gone before us to be lost.

If today we wonder if it is permissible to practice homosexuality, we have Sodom and Gomorrah to look to as a reminder from God.  If we wonder whether it is alright to pursue racial superiority and denounce another race, we have Hitler’s example of evil extermination and Jesus’ example of righteousness in the New Testament – talking with a Samaritan woman – shameful in that day to those who demeaned that people group and gender.  If we think we have the right to slaughter innocent children, we need only to look at the examples of wicked rulers who did the same to innocent infants and ask ourselves if this is right in the eyes of God.

The Word of God is our mirror and all of history testifies to His sovereignty and wisdom in the precepts and laws He gave to free us.  Boundaries and limits were set to bless us, but man, tempted by the enemy to pridefully think he knew better, supplanted God’s truth and replaced it with lies.  There is nothing new underneath the sun.

Worship God today that He uses the past, adorned with mistakes and triumphs – to instruct us.  We can look to cultures in the past and see what transpired when they denied God’s existence and worshiped the creation instead of the Creator.  We can also see the blessing of God upon those who chose to walk uprightly and established righteous laws for their people.

Whether we were left a legacy of faith or of wickedness in our personal lives to emulate, each day His mercies are new for us to consider how we might spur one another on toward godliness.  We must prove faithful to pass the torch of righteousness to those who come behind us.

God’s purposes are interwoven throughout man’s sins and obedience.  Praise God that we can look to the past not just for our sins and failures, but to be inspired to walk uprightly by the many examples of the faithful who did not bow their knee to the false gods of this world.

Lord, You are so awesome – outside of time and yet you care and are watchful over each of our moments.  Help our nation to fear You and to establish once again a righteous foundation for Your glory.

Worshipful Wednesday: Lessons from the Past

Photo Credit: cover of book edited by Jon Quinn & Warren Berkley

Photo Credit: cover of book edited by Jon Quinn & Warren Berkley

Psalm 78:2-7

2 I will sing a song that imparts wisdom; I will make insightful observations about the past.  3 What we have heard and learned–that which our ancestors have told us– 4 we will not hide from their descendants. We will tell the next generation about the LORD’s praiseworthy acts, about his strength and the amazing things he has done. 5 He established a rule in Jacob; he set up a law in Israel. He commanded our ancestors to make his deeds known to their descendants, 6 so that the next generation, children yet to be born, might know about them. They will grow up and tell their descendants about them.  7 Then they will place their confidence in God. They will not forget the works of God, and they will obey his commands.  8 They would not be like their ancestors– a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him.

Romans 1:25-27, 32

25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.  26 For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones, 27 and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed in their passions for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.  32 Although they fully know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but also approve of those who practice them.

We are living in a historical time – the “un-Christianizing” of our country.  Well, truly this has been ongoing since the beginning of time in every culture; the fight by mankind to suppress the presence of God from our midst.

Leaders of our culture can make laws to justify the demands of their flesh, remove memorials that testify to God’s commandments, but they cannot remove them from our hearts.  His laws are written in our consciences, convincing our souls of what is wrong and right.

All of time testifies to those in the present – beckoning us to not allow the lessons learned by those who have gone before us be lost.

If today we wonder if it is permissible to practice homosexuality, we have Sodom and Gomorrah to look to as a reminder from God.  If we wonder whether it is alright to pursue racial superiority and denounce another race, we have Hitler’s example of evil extermination and Jesus’ example of righteousness in the New Testament – talking with a Samaritan woman – shameful in that day to those who demeaned that people group and gender.  If we think we have the right to slaughter innocent children, we need only to look at the examples of wicked rulers who did the same to innocent infants and ask ourselves if this is right in the eyes of God.

The Word of God is our mirror and all of history testifies to His sovereignty and wisdom in the precepts and laws He gave to free us.  Boundaries and limits were set to bless us, but man, tempted by the enemy to pridefully think he knew better, supplanted God’s truth and replaced it with lies.  There is nothing new underneath the sun.

Worship God today that He uses the past, adorned with mistakes and triumphs – to instruct us.  We can look to cultures in the past and see what transpired when they denied God’s existence and worshiped the creation instead of the Creator.  We can also see the blessing of God upon those who chose to walk uprightly and established righteous laws for their people.

Whether we were left a legacy of faith or of wickedness in our personal lives to emulate, each day His mercies are new for us to consider how we might spur one another on toward godliness.  We must prove faithful to pass the torch of righteousness to those who come behind us.

God’s purposes are interwoven throughout man’s sins and obedience.  Praise God that we can look to the past not just for our sins and failures, but to be inspired to walk uprightly by the many examples of the faithful who did not bow their knee to the false gods of this world.

Lord, You are so awesome – outside of time and yet you care and are watchful over each of our moments.  Help our nation to fear You and to establish once again a righteous foundation for Your glory.

Mundane Monday: The Fruit of Faithfulness

Photo Credits: northwood.cc

Photo Credits:
northwood.cc

Galatians 2:16, 20

16 “Yet we know that no one is justified by the works of the law but by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by the faithfulness of Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.  20  I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Galatians 3:22

“But the scripture imprisoned everything and everyone under sin so that the promise could be given–because of the faithfulness of Jesus Christ–to those who believe.”

1 Corinthians 4:2

“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”

Sometimes in the busyness of life it is difficult to be consistent and faithful to the calling of God.  We can make many plans, but carrying them out is another matter entirely.  It takes perseverance and fortitude, conviction and diligence.

Being faithful is not always convenient nor praised.  Often unnoticed as merely doing what is expected, it is not until a long pattern of faithfulness that the fruit of that endeavor is displayed in all its beauty.

This past week as I went to get my hair done, I hear the LORD whisper to my heart – “Denise, are you available”?  “Yes, LORD.  Use me for Your glory.”  As I walked into the hair salon, I was filled with anticipation – what divine appointment would God have planned?  A new cosmetologist greeted me and four hours later the LORD confirmed to both of us that this was a move of God.  She had been asking God for answers about homeschooling and Christianity.  All of the years of home educating and walking with God stood as a witness of faithfulness which bore witness to her.

All of the challenges and interruptions through the years did not matter in that moment.  Having pushed through failures and remaining in the calling of God now mattered to another soul who needed to see someone who had gone before and demonstrated faithfulness, only by the grace of God.  Not perfection, not always success in the world’s eyes, but staying on course in Christ.

Suddenly as I shared storied from 19 years of home educating, I realized afresh how blessed I was to have heard God’s calling and held fast to it.  So many times I had doubted my ability and felt inadequate with judgment all around me.  So many hurdles I had to overcome to stay on the path, but I clung to Christ and have indeed seen fruit that now testifies to others, as well.

This week I am stepping back into the music calling God has on my life.  It is humbling.  I am surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who all are called to serve, as well.  Comparing is futile and seeking validation is, as well.  Each testimony is unique and cherished, a tool to be used faithfully to share the Gospel with the world.

Age or beauty are not as critical as character and the faithfulness of diligently preparing for the work of God.  We each have our own niche or calling that God has spoken to our hearts.  Maybe we have believed the doubts of our hearts or felt the expectations of others were meant for us.  Overcoming the mental objections and pressing on is where victory lies.

If Jesus had not been faithful, there would be no Gospel.  He chose to demonstrate to us what true faithfulness looks like. Selfless, resolute, humble.  This amazing truth we hold is not something merely for our edification – we are ambassadors and must be faithful in whatever position God has placed us in to share this cure for all that troubles the human soul.

Oh God!  We are servants of Your precious Word!  Please help us to be faithful stewards of Your truth and to refrain from distractions that pull us away from consistently serving You and Your Kingdom.

Exciting News for the Seeing Deep Blog – Published!

Photo Credits: refe99.com

Photo Credits:
refe99.com

Job 33:3

I write honestly from my heart, seeking to make the truth known.

Psalm 19:14

May my words and my thoughts be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my sheltering rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 45:1

My heart overflows with a captivating theme, for my voice is the pen of a skillful writer.

Gratitude fills my heart when I consider this past year of blogging.  Thank you so much for taking time to stop in and visit. My first blog entry was “Pain, the Beautiful Tutor”  on 5/21/14 and plunged me into the adventure of exploring a deeper walk with God through writing from my devotional time and sharing it with others.  There are many journals I have filled over the years, but this was the first time I would venture to share it with others.  I had no idea how much this blog would help me, too, as I wrote what God spoke to my heart.  It has been one of the biggest blessings in my time with God and also a blessing to meet so many wonderful fellow bloggers and readers, too.

On this one year anniversary week, it is fitting that I should hear some really good news . . . drum roll, please . . . one of my devotions is under contract to be published next year in the Upper Room Devotional!!!!  The most amazing part for me is that the devotion will be translated into more than 39 languages in over 70 editions in over 100 countries around the world, reaching almost three million people. Humbled and overwhelmed.  My hope was to be able to encourage whoever God brought along my path with the kindness and mercy that He has shown me.  If just one person would know God more and see healing in their life, it was worth it.

I am looking forward to exploring this new door for effective ministry which has opened and submitting additional works. Thank you for your encouragement this past year.  Looking forward to writing more in the coming year, all for Jesus’ glory!

Lord, thank You for the privilege of writing about You.  No words could ever sufficiently give You the glory due Your Name, but how I cherish each moment spent with You.  Be glorified here, LORD.  For Your fame alone, Jesus.  Amen.

Thoughtful Thursday: Our True Need

Job 35:9

“People cry out because of the excess of oppression, they cry out for help because of the power of the Mighty.”

Job 36:15

“He delivers the afflicted by their afflictions, He reveals Himself to them by their suffering.”

 

 

Deep inside each of us in a need – most likely there are many needs within us.  Some of the needs are hidden from our eyes and others control us, whether we are aware of it or not.  Sometimes we are ashamed to admit our needs or hurts, but ultimately all of our longings cause us to in humility see our need of God.

It is in our raw time of need that we cry out to God.  When everything is comfortable, we often do not feel compelled to ask God to help us with the basic aspects of life.  In our independence we do not want to have to need God so much and fail to see that everything we are able to do is only His grace in our lives.  We take for granted how much He has done for us and how many needs He has already met in our lives.  In reality, I needed God only when I thought I needed Him – when times were challenging.  But I need Him for every aspect of life.

God invites us to come to Him in our need.  When we come to God, He examines us.  We come wanting Him to give us something – maybe relief from suffering, but many times when we cry out to God for the affliction to stop, the affliction is the very tool He is using to heal us.

Sometimes we do not see or recognize our TRUE NEED.  We come crying out to God and leave changed, perhaps seeing our need from a different perspective.  We focus on the external, but God is wanting that hunger, that ache to open our eyes to see our need of HIM.  More than anything this world has to offer, we were made for Him and He wants to meet all of our cares with Himself.

Lord, thank you that You know what our real needs are and in Your wisdom You use our needs to bring us to Yourself.

Worshipful Wednesday: Your Mercy – Free song #4

Photo Credits: thecrackeddoor.com

Photo Credits:
thecrackeddoor.com

Psalm 51: 1-4

Have mercy on me, O God, because of  your loyal love!

Because of your great compassion, wipe away my rebellious acts! 

2 Wash away my wrongdoing!  Cleanse me of my sin!

3 For I am aware of  my rebellious acts; I am forever conscious of my sin.

4 Against you – you above all – I have sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight.

Enjoy this song, “Your Mercy” – a joyful reminder of what we have been forgiven of!

http://www.pledgemusic.com/seeingdeep
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Pledge Music Campaign Ends May 1, 2015

Denise Pass’ “Seeing Deep” recording at 56%

These past few months it has been a joy to sing and share with my family the message of God’s healing and faithfulness in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.  Thank you to each one of you we encountered at the churches we were privileged to visit.  The boys were less camera shy, but look for more pictures to be updated on our website in the coming months.

The Pledge Music Campaign to raise funds for my new Seeing Deep digital EP recording closes Friday, May 1, 2015 at 2:00 pm.  Plans to record are in the making, so if you have ordered the recording, you will receive your copy by the end of the summer, when the project is projected to be completed.  Thank you, everyone, for your prayers, support and encouragement during this process.  We are at 56% with less than two days to go!!!

If you have not yet bought the $7 recording, you still can.  You can also join in on some last minute fun.  Below are the names of eleven songs I have written for this recording.  We have to pick five songs.  Which five do you like the best?  You can hear some of them on the Pledge Music website.  Access to the songs is given after purchasing the $7 EP or donating toward the project on the website:www.pledgemusic.com/seeingdeep
Denise Pass | Seeing Deep EP

  • Seeing Deep
  • Draw Me Near
  • Layers
  • He Came
  • The Faith of a Child
  • Then Came You
  • Now You’re Here
  • How Can I?
  • All About You
  • Breaking Free
  • All Things

With your support we can make this happen.  The funds will be used to cover production costs for the EP and backing tracks.  This recording is necessary for outreach and makes this ministry possible.  Thank you!
www.pledgemusic.com/seeingdeep

All for Jesus,
Denise Pass

Copyright © 2015 Seeing Deep, All rights reserved.

Perception’s Deception

Photo Credits: cgutek.com

Photo Credits:
cgutek.com

1 Samuel 16:7

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t be impressed by his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. God does not view things the way men do. People look on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

When Samuel was choosing the future King, he was led by God.  Men tried to sway him to pick according to their own prejudice and preference, but Samuel sought God’s favor.  People were shocked that David, a mere shepherd boy who played the harp was selected.  He was the youngest, the least that anyone would have expected.  It was, perhaps, politically incorrect.

The people qualified Samuel’s choice: “but he’s taking care of the flock . . .” – not someone God would choose, would He? David might not have been esteemed as a leader in man’s eyes, but to God, who knew his heart, David was the perfect choice.  Confidence in appearance never lasts, but character endures long past looks, wealth or popularity have faded.   Waiting for God’s best requires patience, trust and obedience in God, not fear of man.

It is a humbling thing putting ourselves before man, whether it be to step out in ministry, to share what God has done, or to lead in some fashion.  We will be tested in those times to develop character and sometimes in our own hometown we will not be endorsed.  Like David, people around us know we are imperfect.  They may hold a perception of us that we cannot affect.  The true moment of freedom comes when we realize that we do not have to.

None of us wants to be misunderstood, but it is a fact of life.  People have their perceptions formed on the surface in the chalice of opinion, gossip, envy, or experience.  Whether or not there is truth behind that perception often doesn’t matter, as the power of emotion can be stronger and people are often fed opinions by the peecee police in an attempt to control outcomes.  But the humility of reserving judgment before tearing down another brother or sister is rare and needed today.

To form a viewpoint on another person without attempting to know their heart is prideful and demonic.  It is also folly to trust in what someone or something appears to be, only to be let down.   Discernment comes through prayer and the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

These same patterns of judgment and jealousy are in the body of Christ today.  They were also present in the time of Christ. Jesus’ own disciples questioned the motives of other followers of Christ casting out demons in Jesus’ name.  A competitive spirit was quickly quelled by the Master, though, who saw all working together for the glory of God.

Are we a David, being chosen for a work, or the older brother, scorning someone else who is seeking to work for the kingdom of God?  In either station, may we recognize we are nothing apart from Christ.  We are all unqualified to serve the King of kings.  Therefore no jealousy is permitted and no pride, either, in whatever position we are in.

Blind trust in someone can bring devastation, but we have to be willing enough to be vulnerable and not allow ourselves to become embittered and believe the worst in others, either.  We all need grace and need to believe we are capable of being better tomorrow than we were today – no matter what the appearance suggests.

Lord, we answer to you alone.  Thank You for calling each of us for Your glory.  We are so needful, yet You use us.  Help us to not fear man, but to serve you faithfully.  May we also not discourage another because of a weakness we see in them, either.