Jun 19

PRAYING NAMES: Maureen and Brian

Maureen Brian

I love to pray that people will live the meaning of their names.  Our names have meaning and for those who love Jesus, those names are written in His book of life. They are important.

Today I am praying for one of our church pastors and his wife that they will live the meaning of their names.

What about you? Do you know what your name means? How can you seek to live that meaning?

Maureen: great; sea of bitterness (a variation of Mary)

Heavenly Father, we pray Maureen will live the meaning of her name. We pray that throughout her life she will look to you to lift her above the sea of bitterness and step out in faith to walk on the water with you. We pray also that she will come to see herself as you do, knowing she can do all things, great or small, through your strength. Amen.

Brian: strong; noble

Heavenly Father, we pray Brian will live the meaning of his name. We pray that throughout his life he will stand strong in his faith in you. We pray he will always know your strength and pray also that he will recognize his nobility as a child of you—our King, Jesus. Amen.

 

NOTE: Each month I write prayers for people to live the meaning of their names. Do you have someone you would like to pray for in this way? Leave me a comment below and I will write a prayer for them in a future month.

Jun 12

THE TEMPLE OF GREAT WORTH

templeinside

 

I was reading 2 Chronicles this morning and had to stop and ponder the Temple Solomon had built in Jerusalem. When I think of ancient buildings, I tend to picture them as merely glorified ruins they are today. But this morning I was reminded that the whole Temple in Jerusalem—walls and all—were covered in gold. The underlying timber was held together with nails made of gold. Each 20-ounce gold nail would cost $26,000 today.

The doors of the Temple were made of bronze. The Temple basins and tools were made from bronze or gold. Everything was decorated with elaborate carvings also made from gold or bronze. The walls were studded with precious gems.

I wonder if folks needed sunglasses to just step inside the Temple.

Still, such a spectacularly beautiful structure could not come close to the beauty of the One for whom it was built. Our God created the heavens and the earth. Nothing is more beautiful to our human eyes than those creations.

God also created the bronze and gold minerals He then hid deep inside this beautiful earth as delightful treasures for us to discover and appreciate. He also gave us artistic skill and craftsmanship so we could create art and fill the world with even more beauty—man-made though it is—in our attempt to honor God by what we do.

No effort, no cost, no detail was skimped on when Solomon built the Temple. He knew that honoring the Lord God was worth every effort, every cost, every detail. Although God may not need a physical building and surely doesn’t need gold and bronze pillars, still our human hearts hope He understands that such things we do are done out of love for Him.

When I consider that the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in me and that my body is now His temple, I am awed even more. Maybe I don’t always think I am of great worth, but God, the Spirit has chosen to reside in me. To Him, I am of great worth. Each cell in my body is worth more than one of Solomon’s golden nails.

Jesus knows that too. The nails driven into Jesus’ hands and feet were more precious than all of Solomon’s golden ones combined. Those nails caused Jesus’ physical death—a death He gladly bore for my sake, because He valued me and you that much.

Thank you, Jesus for your nail-pierced hands. Thank you, Holy Spirit for living in me. Thank you, Father for your good plan, for your beautiful world and all who live in it. Amen.

 

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

NOTE: I found the above conceptual rendition of the Temple in Jerusalem at many locations on the Internet. I was never able however to find out who originally drew it. I therefore am not able to give proper credit to that artist, but thank him or her for creating it and sharing it with us.

 

Jun 05

BECOMING EVE: Part 5

John 3 16

Each month here at CarolPetersonAuthor.com we pause to think how our lives might be similar to the life of Eve—the first woman God created. Here are some thoughts to ponder today.

Adam and Eve committed the first (the original) sin by mankind, when they disobeyed God and ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Although God banished them from the Garden of Eden for that and did not allow them to eat from the Tree of Life, God still loved them, still provided for their needs and made good come from their disobedience—they gained knowledge of evil right then, when evil first came into the world. They also learned first hand that God had made that one rule for their ultimate good.

How can we relate those lessons to our lives in the modern world?

  • I Sin:

One of the beautiful aspects of Christianity is the realization that there is nothing we can do to earn our own salvation. We all sin and we all keep on sinning, no matter how much we don’t want to and no matter how hard we try. Fortunately, Jesus made a way for us to be forgiven—through Him.

How does the realization of mankind’s sinful nature and your personal sin, make you more grateful for God’s redemption through Jesus?

  • I Know God’s Judgment is Good:

God’s permissive will means He allows us to make mistakes. He then also allows consequences of those mistakes and sins to affect our lives. One of the greatest indications of God’s character however is how He is able to make good come from bad situations. Many times, we can later look on God’s judgment and see the good in it, even if it is difficult to live through at the time.

Think of a time when you clearly saw God’s goodness at work in a difficult situation—whether that situation was a judgment, a consequence or simply a difficult time. What can you learn from it?

  • I am Loved Despite My Sins:

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how God could love us in spite of our sinful nature and in spite of what we have done that grieves His Spirit.

Think of a time when you clearly felt God’s love, despite knowing that you were not worthy of it. How can you model that love to others?

  • God’s Rules are for My Good:

Children struggle with parental rules. God’s children struggle with His rules. But just as parents set rules for the good of their children, God also sets rules for our good.

Think of the Ten Commandments. Which do you struggle with? How might thinking about how they are for your own good help you follow them?

For the meditation questions posed earlier this year, go to the January, February, March and April posts of “Becoming Eve” on this website.

If you’d like to study more about the character and circumstances of Eve and how you might learn the lessons she has to teach, I would love for you to check out my Bible study devotional I am Eve. It is available in print or Kindle format at Amazon.com.

Amazon Eve

Older posts «