May 7, 2015

Read: I Thessalonians 5:9-11

There’s no two ways to look at it … “God is love,” and without His abiding Spirit in me, I’m grouchy. Just ask my children. It’s not something I’m proud of or boast in, in fact I’m often ashamed of myself. My natural desire to control everything is something that I must address every morning, every school drop-off, every after-school pick-up, every dinner time, every bath time (particularly bath time), and every night time story reading.
 
Since God is love, and since He abides in His children through His Spirit, we have the capacity to love at all times … to be patient and kind, to celebrate in the successes of others, to encourage. But, as regularly demonstrated during bath time at my house, His love doesn’t naturally ooze out of us. I have to seek Him daily.
 
I Thessalonians 5:9 says, “God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ …” I believe there are two ways to view this: 
 
1) His ultimate desire is not to destroy us, but to save us; and
2) He wants us to love those around us so deeply that they see Jesus’ love in us, are drawn to Him, and reach for Him. There is little room for “grouchiness” (or wrath) in loving people and leading them to Jesus!
 
So, my morning routine has started to include a simple prayer before my feet ever touch the floor … “Thank you for my babies. Thank you for my husband. Thank you for Jesus. They are from you.” Beginning with this focus allows me to see them – and all those whom I see throughout the day – as gifts from God, people to love, encourage, and build up (not tear down with a grouchy spirit).

Pray: 

Adoration: God is holy, mighty, gracious, and merciful. Spend time declaring your love for Him and expressing your thoughts of praise and worship.  

Confession: Ask God to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.  

Thanksgiving: Express your thankfulness to God for the blessings He has given you. When we consider that we deserve punishment because of our sinfulness, and instead God gives to us His love and mercy, our only response should be one of thankfulness.  

Supplication: Petition God for growth in your compassion and love toward others.  Offer prayers for your loved ones and others who do not know Jesus and for those in need.  Ask God to use you to tell others about Him and show His love. Offer prayers concerning your activities for this day and any special concerns you have.