Release from Self-condemnation

Devotions for those who are weary of feeling not good enough, regardless of the source of those feelings.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Repair for What Has Been Broken


Peace with God and our fellow human beings 

is about finding our respite in Him 

rather than taking it for ourselves. 

It is about finding our acceptance in Him

 rather than trying to win it from others. 

And it is about receiving love from God first 

so that we have love to give to others, 

and so are not needy before them.  

When we sin in our responses 

to precious people who know us best 

and thus have ammunition to hurt us most, 

we can rest in the peace of the knowledge 

that we are perfectly loved by the Lord 

whose power can repair what we have broken 

and what has been broken in us. 

~~~

…for not by their own sword did they win the land,
nor did their own arm save them,
but your right hand and your arm,
and the light of your face,
 for you delighted in them.
Psalm 44:3
--from day 65

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Release, Forgive, Love

Father I release those 

You bring to my mind right now 

from the responsibility to meet my needs. 

I lift to You those who have hurt and failed me. 

Forgive me the cruelties I’ve committed 

as I’ve become insensitive to their suffering. 

Help me exhibit Your nurturing love to those I have resented, 

so I may be prospered in my work and nothing will block my prayers. 

I trust You to meet my needs. 

Teach me to appropriate Your strength 

at my point of need.

 In Jesus’ name, amen.  

~~~

Is not this the fast that I choose:
 to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
 and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
 and your healing shall spring up speedily;
 your righteousness shall go before you;
 the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
Isaiah 58:4-9

--from day 64

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Remember


With two dear sisters in Christ, I've begun another 100 day journey.  We have reached week two, the chapter entitled Abide and Adhere.  As I prayed this morning about abiding in the Lord and finding our needs met in Him, I became aware of His powerful longing for us: a focused, urgent, love-fueled awareness of each one of us as His beloved. He doesn't want to lose us.  Despite all our silly wanderings and the surface fluff of over concern for appearances, He sees our hearts, and His desire is for us.

Our Lord's concern is less about whether we are able to do what He has told us to do than about whether we can be what He has asked us to be.  Like a groom asks for His beloved's hand in marriage, He asks, "Will you be mine?"  And even more heartrendingly He implores us, "Do not forget Me."

Difficult circumstances may find us more faithful to Him than when our paths become easy.
When we find our circumstances pleasant, our bodies comfortable, and all is well with our world, we must not forget Him.  Abiding consists of establishing disciplines of prayer, praise, worship, and intake of Scripture, and holding fast to those disciplines in good times and bad.  But even more than that, abiding refers to the alignment of our hearts.

Let us bind him to our hearts and display His mark of love upon not only through spiritual commitment, but through physical disciplines that enable us to walk more according to the Spirit than to the flesh.  It is difficult.  But even when our outward actions don't show this inward belonging, let us remember His love, and over time as repeatedly bring our wandering hearts back into alignment with Him, our lives will, in increasing measure, reflect His.

~~~

My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you...
Psalm 42:6

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
Deuteronomy 4:9

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Trust His Love

The Lord shall prevent the evil thou fearest, and sanctify, remove, or lighten the evil thou feelest.


Matthew Henry*

~~~


The idea that God might hurt us in order to help us is flawed logic. 

We risk attributing the devil’s work to the Lord.

Jesus was without sin, 

but He bore the results of our sin. 

The same Holy dynamic is at work in the truth that 

God works all things together for our good**; 

God does not author sin, 

but He takes responsibility for the devastation sin has caused.

 It is our Heavenly Father’s love

Christ’s sacrifice, 

and the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit

 that has won victory over all that is evil.

 The resurrection theme Jesus has woven into each of our lives 

allows us to anticipate His provision and blessing 

both in this world and in the next. 

We serve a God who has promised us good and not harm, 

a future and a hope.*** 

We can rest in the certainty of His love. 





*Matthew Henry’s concise commentary on Psalm 121, public domain
** Romans 8:28 
***Jeremiah 29:11

--from day 63