Now: an Ongoing Unit of Time

Enable me to choose carefully the task for which You desire to be done by me at the moment that I may proceed in orderly fashion to clear away debris and to build anew.

Meditation Thought: “With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12)

Prayer: “Lord, I’m feeling the pressure of all the ordinary work that needs doing. Enable me to know which good resolves and works of faith are to be dealt with now – ‘now’ being an ongoing unit of time.

Enable me to choose carefully the task for which You desire to be done by me at the moment that I may proceed in orderly fashion to clear away debris and to build anew.

Enable me to be efficient, but always surrounding efficiency with a loving, understanding, wise attitude. Let me, as did Jesus, help those along my path, and not be distracted by other areas.

I seek to take the path where You have prepared the most appropriate tasks for my talents, for my interests, and for the delight and fulfillment of my spirit. For if I correctly choose this path, then the benefits will be great for many, as Your power boosts my natural abilities.

I desire to adhere to Your will for my life: I pray that You reveal to me all I need to know, and give me the strength and courage to cling to Your will despite adversity.

I am weak, Lord – so weak. But I know that if my resolve to do Your will is strong, Your power will strengthen every other weakness. And so this day, this hour, I pray that I will move with renewed spirit and mind and body and emotions to meet the challenges and the discouragements that serve as either stumbling blocks or stepping stones. With Your power to life me up above my own resources, the stumbling blocks shall become stepping stones.

Put joy in my heart,
Wings on my feet
That I may soar and swoop
In ecstasy of movement
Changing all in my path
To be enlightened by Thy Power.

The Counter-intuitive Key to Abundance

You carry within you joy, peace and hope, for you carry within you the Holy Spirit of God who is joy, peace and hope.

Meditation Thought: “Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right.” (2 Thessalonians 3:13)

Joy! Peace! Hope! These are the gifts you carry and the gifts you will find will give meaning to your life when you distribute them.

Remember, there is such a thing as a “second wind”. If you will force yourself to keep moving even when you are exhausted, you will reach a point when your “second wind” – the movement of the Spirit – will relieve you. Your will to keep moving is your faith and your faith is the mover of the power of the Spirit.

Look not at the road, or at your feet – but at your goal.

Inspire your mind with the vision of the goal before you, renew your strength with trust in the Word, lift up your emotions by receiving the gentle Spirit into your heart and cherishing Him, delighting in His company.

Seek the example of Jesus as to how to most effectively pursue your goal.

You carry within you joy, peace and hope, for you carry within you the Holy Spirit of God who is joy, peace and hope. No one can take this priceless gift from you. Only you can choose to throw it away – by rebellion, by laziness, by ignorance.

You can also generate more of this gift by giving it away to others. This is the key to the kingdom: sharing, caring enough to share all that is pure and good and true; not hoarding the treasure you find, but giving it away in joyful abandon, knowing that the more freely you give, the more abundantly you will receive.

Do you understand that as a pruned tree actually produces more fruit, so your removing all the gifts that are given to you from your own storehouse into the service of others causes an increase in the production of the gifts into your own storehouse?

If you understand this principle, and apply it in every area of your life, then you are not only perceiving the goal – total communion with and commitment to your Father – but you are rightly following the example of Jesus, who promised abundant life to those who would follow Him.

You see, the whole New Testament is but this story in many forms: although to the world it appears the way to a large harvest is to keep all you have, to the Kingdom the knowledge is given that in taking away, the opportunity is then provided for a multiplying of the branches and fruit.

All are given the opportunity to try this method, but only those who have courage to actually allow the trimming are produces of the abundant harvest.

Set your will on trust in the Lord and not trust in yourself only.

I would cultivate an orchard fair,
With blossoms blooming everywhere
Not sparsely scattered from nature wild,
But multiplied by the Spirit’s care:
Welcome, welcome, lonely tree,
The One who Ministers love to thee.

Think Lovely

To think on that which is lovely is to produce that which is lovely.

Meditation Thought: “Whatsoever things are lovely… think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

The seen reflects the unseen. The body reflects the mind. Actions reflect the will. You can control your will: will to reflect the image of God to the best of your ability at any given moment. The most effective way of perceiving God’s images in order that you may reflect them is to observe the evidence of Himself in the world: that which is lovely – ‘love-ly’, pertaining to love; not just beautiful in an aesthetic way, but reflecting the qualities of love: willing to think of others before self, considerate, orderly and not chaotic, effective in adapting to other’s personalities and needs.

To think on that which is lovely is to produce that which is lovely: both in that which is observed and in the observer.

Do not concentrate on a flaw in either another person, an object, or yourself – concentrate on all that is pleasing according to God’s definition of pleasing; this definition is clear as revealed by Christ. Delight in the Lord and all created by Him, and the qualities of His nature revealed in the Word and in the Man! This is to ‘think on lovely things’!

Birth of the Spirit

For the Spirit is Love, Wisdom, Kindness, Grace, Forgiveness, Righteousness and Glory: the Kingdom within.

Meditation Thought: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit…the Son of Man [must] be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” (John 3:6-8, 14b-15)

Like begets like: your birth in the Spirit is conceived when you choose by faith to accept the Spirit as real and desirable to live in you and guide you.

No one sees, or hears, the birth of the Spirit within you – nevertheless all can see the results of that birth. And as the Spirit grows within you, so even more clearly are the results seen: there is a marked change for the better in temperament, in personality, in emotions, in behavior, in attitude, in the physical areas: no part is left untouched by the Spirit, and no part is left unenhanced by the Spirit. For the Spirit is Love, Wisdom, Kindness, Grace, Forgiveness, Righteousness and Glory: the Kingdom within.

The very existence of the Kingdom so close to the world makes a difference in the world.

Chosen Companion

The intricacies of life are too much for you to bear alone; it was not intended for you to carry such a load alone.

Meditation Thought: “And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken [the Lord going with His people so they are distinct] I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” (Exodus 33: 14,17)

Perceived answer:

“In my presence is rest for you, for your cares shall be removed from you and then can you rest. The intricacies of life are too much for you to bear alone; it was not intended for you to carry such a load alone.

When you are weighted down, feeling compelled to move on with your burden, but also feeling unable to do so – turn to Me, seek My help; for I am glad to lift your burden from you and carry it as we go together.

I will not pry your burden from you, however – you must willingly give it to me. That is fundamental to our relationship of Father and daughter rather than a tyrant over the weak.

Until you can see Me as loving Father, ever-caring, ever present when you desire Me to be present, patient and kind, and delighting in fellowship with you – not approving or disapproving of you being a condition of that fellowship, but only our mutual love and our relationship being a condition of fellowship, then I cannot do My fullest works in you and through you.

Give Me your burden of guilt for past errors and misjudgments and behavior.
Give Me your present concerns.
Give me your Family.
Give Me your willing heart, and your loyalty to Me along with your burdens, for it is your surrender of your burden and your own self-will that will make you distinct from all other people that are upon the face of the earth.

You shall be as sun dispersing the gloom of a gray sky, as water upon a parched desert, as the bud upon the bare limb, if you will seek Me to be your chosen companion, guide, and bearer-of-your-burden.

You need not stay where you are if it is not the place where you are content: choose to move in new directions which will satisfy your soul; I created you not for ill, but for good, not to harass, but to love, not to stagnate, but to bloom.

Believe this, sense this, commit yourself to this truth. Your life shall be enriched and sweet, and you shall bring joy and peace wherever you go when I am in your presence.”

Everlasting Light

Only when we seek through a lessening of our diligence to wander into the night are we subject to the fears and terrors of the night.

Meditation Thought: “But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.  So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.” (1 Thessalonians 5:4-6)

Being children of the day, it is easy for us to be awake, alert. Only when we seek through a lessening of our diligence to wander into the night are we subject to the fears and terrors of the night.

When we keep the light of the Word firmly in our mind, the joy of the Spirit firmly caught within our heart, the ministerings to the world a habit of our body, then we are free from fear – at least we are free from paralyzing fear. We are confident because we can see through the Spirit the truth, and call upon the power of the Spirit to deal with that truth for us.

We need one thing: faith that the Spirit dwells within and is desirous of keeping us in the light.

Abundant Farming

The faithful sow with the Word, till with Truth, water with the Spirit and feed with love.

Meditation Thought: “But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you— for this reason, brothers, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith. For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 3:6-8)

Trees are planted for the purpose of bearing fruit. It is natural for them to do so – nevertheless, the knowledge that their bearing fruit is not automatic (drought, pests, floods can interfere), makes the successful harvesting of a good crop a cause for rejoicing.

The pattern exists throughout all of nature: the planting, the growing – safely, or in peril – and either a successful harvest or disappointment at the appointed time.

The farmer, however, has options – he can choose to put himself out, giving of time and energy, to promote a better crop.

And so it is with the Kingdom. The faithful sow – and then till, water, feed: yes, sow with the Word, till with Truth, water with the Spirit and feed with love, into the soil which is each person’s spirit.

And so the soil determines the fruit. But the original condition of the soil is changed in character by the tilling, the watering, the feeding. Thus the farmer must never give up in the cultivating if he wishes to have the best possible harvest of fruit.

The harvest of any fruit in rocky soil is cause for joy, as the harvest of a bountiful crop in rich soil is the cause for joy. All farmers are confronted with various conditions of soil and of weather at different times: the joy lies in having enough trust and hope to do the best job possible given the particular circumstances, knowing that without our efforts the crop will be far less or non-existent.