Listen and silent have the same letters but they are not the same activity. Lord help me to listen to you and to other people. Truly listen. Help me to hear what is truly being said not just the words but the heart of the words. Forgive me for not always listening when I am silent.
“The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”
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“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Thank you Lord that you are the Alpha and the Omega. Thank you that you say your name is I am. I wonder and marvel that time has no hold on you. You are beyond time. Oh, time! The thing I waste, misuse, grasp at. Time that goes too slow, too fast and rarely just right. Time that I measure instead of dwell in. Lord, allow me this day to dwell only in the now not in the next.
“As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” God’s Decree.
“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”
“Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.”
“If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.”
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” Thank you that your word is always available to be a “lamp unto my feet”. Thank you that Jesus is the “light of the world”. Thank you that even if there is only a single candle that is enough light to push back the darkness. Allow me to stay close to the light.
“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” Thank you Lord for the gentle breeze that was blowing yesterday. A gentle reminder of your sweet presence. Help me to be aware of the gentle breeze of your Spirit even when the winds are roaring or the air is still.
“Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled…. But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.”
Does my live “testify” to what I believe? Does my life “testify” to the wonders of His love, mercy and grace? “I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God”. May my life today, my words, actions and deeds “testify” to who He is in me. I have seen and experienced that God is who He says He is. “I am the Alpha and the Omega” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”