Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Changed- Day 3

Our reading today was from Acts 12. It is the story of how an angel appeared to Peter in jail and released him from his chains. A community of believers had been praying for this to happen, but as my devotional points out, while they were praying with conviction, they were not praying with expectation. If our Father wants to give us the desires of our hearts, as His Word states, then we must pray with conviction and expectation that He will do just that. With our expectation, though, we should realize that His answered prayer might not be in the form or time that we desire. In that case, our hearts and eyes should be open to His work in our lives.

I think when we begin praying with conviction and expectation, our hearts also have to be focused on trusting God. I know for me, I really struggle with this because I like to be in control. I like to know what is coming next. When I was little, I'm not sure there were many times I would actually wait til Christmas to sneak a peak at my gifts. Not only was I master at finding where my mom hid them, but I also mastered re-wrapping them if they were already under the tree. Sometimes when I read a book, I jump to the end if the story is too gripping and I just have to know if there is a happy ending. Even now, with situations in my future, it is hard for me to relax and trust that the Lord will provide those opportunities or desires that are on my heart. I know that I need to, I fully realize this, but it's still hard.

It is my prayer that the Creator of the universe would continue to build in me a heart that prays the things He wants for me and then waits patiently for His timing.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Changed- Day 2

Our reading today was from 1 Kings 3:1-5. Here Solomon turns to the Lord for wisdom in governing his new kingdom.

As a teacher, I think I'm suppose to be wise. I mean, I must know something, otherwise my students wouldn't be calling my name all day long. Of course there is a distinct difference between knowledge and wisdom. As an FFA advisor, "...I hope that my advice will always be based on true knowledge and ripened with wisdom." When I think about the word "ripened", of course I think of fruit that grows as a result of time and care of a plant. Is my wisdom ripened? Do I take time to pray for this everyday? Probably not.

As my role as a teacher, it is my calling to impart wisdom, but if I am not praying for Godly wisdom everyday, how am I any different from the other sources of advice that my students may go to- friends, the media, possibly harmful sources. While I pray for my students daily, an additional item to that prayer list is that I am praying for Godly wisdom that will look, feel and be given out very differently from the wisdom of this world.

Father help ripen in me wisdom that is from you and not me and not from this world. Help me seek this wisdom through Your Word and Your Spirit living in me. As I rush to meet the needs of others may you make me slow to speak and quick to listen to Your truth.

At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you." 1 Kings 3:5

May this be my prayer as well.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Changed- Day 1

Today is the first day of the BIC week of prayer and fasting. There are a couple things I decided to do this week, and blogging each day is one of them. The topic for today is Changed with the scripture Mark 5:21-34. It is the story of the woman that is healed by simply touching the end of His robe. She is healed from her suffering and Jesus acknowledges this. It is such a simply act of mercy, yet it ended her 12 years of suffering. That same act of mercy is extended to us each day.

It got me thinking about things I am suffering from. Honestly, I couldn't think of anything big right off the bat. I am in fairly good health, my friends and family are well, I have a roof over my head, and a job that allows me to love on others everyday. Nope, not so much suffering. But then I remembered what the title of the reading was- Changed. Change doesn't just have to come when we are suffering. Change should occur everyday; changing from the sinner we were yesterday to a person that is a little bit closer to the person that God created us to be. So what changes do I desire to see happen in my life? Changes that simply require me to touch the edge of His robe?

I desire to love people better. I know this one is pretty broad, but specifically love those that are hard to love- the students that drive me crazy, my parents that are sometimes difficult to love, the people I come in contact with that maybe are a little unloveable. Love is a choice and an action and something that should be distributed freely, as it is to me.

I want to love myself better. Take care of the things that need taken care of. Help de-stress my life instead of increase it. Spend time with my Creator to learn more deeply how much He loves me. Allow Him to love me more.

So I just looked at my devotional book for the week and I see the topic all week is Changed. Funny. Today, though, the theme is that Jesus healed, even without words needing to be spoken. These are the changes I have spoken, but I know Jesus sees even bigger changes that I have yet to see.

My prayer is that He changes those things in my life that I do not see. Heart issues I have not acknowledged. Oh that I might touch His robe and be healed.