ABC’s of Thanksgiving – Letter E

Ephesians 5:20 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tell me to always give thanks to God in all circumstances in Christ Jesus/ Messiah Yeshua. Really?

Enemies, enemies, enemies. They are everywhere. Their purpose is to harm me.

~They are nice to my face while stabbing me in the back.

~They act as friends while tearing me down in front of others.

~They take my love while betraying me with their abuse.

~They make promises of hope only to purposely break them.

God, You say love them?!? How? Better still, why?

My Child,

I have many reasons for My command. Let’s just look at one.

Love your enemy. It might even be you!

Sometimes people overlook what I say. For example, when I summed up the Ten Commandments into two. The first command to “Love Me with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” means to love Me completely. Love Me in every possible aspect (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:39). Love Me in your innermost being, emotions, thoughts, efforts and energy. Love Me with utmost sincerity. In other words, love Me in the same way and extent that I love you (1 John 4:19).

The phrase connecting the two commands is most important but often neglected. “TheĀ  second is like it.” The love to be expressed in the second command must carry the same intensity and honesty as the first command.

The second command is, “Love your neighbor (friend or enemy) as yourself.” The phrase ‘as yourself’ is usually ignored. This explains how you love your neighbor. The degree of love you show for yourself will be the same extent of love you can offer others. If there is a deficiency in loving yourself, that carries over in the love you are able to show others and sometimes even Me.

You are to love yourself in the very same way that I love you. Child, self-love is not ‘conceit’. It simply means that you desire to be the best individual possible in all areas of life. That is how I love you. When you speak or think negatively about yourself or your situation, you become your own enemy. Don’t do that. Put yourself in My hands. Follow My paths. Look for My point of view. Then you will find a good friend in yourself.

Love,

Your (best) Friend (John 15:15)

—excerpt from Forgiveness, God-Style by B. L. Wade, available on Amazon

 

 

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Month of Prayers for Your Clergy – Day 29

October is Ministry/Clergy Appreciation Month. What better way to show your appreciation and support than to pray for those in charge. Pray back to God His name and word. He takes delight in that.

Pastor’s Soul (Will)

Romans 8:38, 39: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons (principalities; other heavenly rulers), neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus/Messiah Yeshua our Lord.

2 Chronicles 20:17 implied: God Who Commands Us to Stand and Observe

1 Corinthians 16:13: God Who Commands Us to Stand Firm in the Faith

How to pray: that Pastor’s devotional time, family duties and church work are carried out with stubborn and unwavering firmness. Pray that Pastor’s works bring him no regrets as he stands firm on the promises of God.

Prayer/Blessing for you, the pray-er

You are Fulfiller of My Joy (Psalm 16:11 implied). Let my actions this day be in perfect harmony with Your will that I might enjoy Your fellowship.

Month of Prayers for Your Clergy – Day 25

October is Ministry/Clergy Appreciation Month. What better way to show your gratitude and support than to pray for those in charge. Pray God’s name and word back to Him. He likes that.

Pastor’s Spirit

Colossians 2:10, 15: …you have been given fullness in Christ/Messiah, who is the head over every power and authority…and having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Genesis 2:15 implied: Initiator of Work

How to pray: Bless Pastor with the joy of living in God’s trust which allows him to work alongside God in:

~changing situations meant for harm into good;

~defeating satan’s plans to hinder spiritual growth;

~revealing God’s wisdom in dealing with pain and suffering;

~reconciling sinners to God through Jesus’/Yeshua’s sacrifice as the atoning Lamb.

Prayer/Blessing for you, the pray-er

May my life radiate with joy in spite of unpleasant circumstances. I recognize you, LORD, as Examiner and Tester of the Righteous (Jeremiah 20:12 implied).

Prayer for the Congregation

Luke 8:39: (To the demon-possessed man that was healed, Jesus/Yeshua said,) “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus/Yeshua had done for him.

Psalm 18:3 Worthy of Praise

How to pray: that each member of the congregation:

~be both hearer and doer of God’s word;

~speaks with boldness as he/she witnesses to others;

~brings no shame on himself/herself because their actions don’t match their words

Month of Prayers for Your Clergy – Day 17

October is Ministry/Clergy Appreciation Month. What better way to show your gratitude and support than to pray for those in charge. Pray God’s name and word back to Him. He likes that.

Pastor’s Prayer Life

Romans 8:31, 34:…If God is for us, who can be against us? Jesus Christ (Messiah Yeshua) is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

Isaiah 61:1: LORD Who Anoints Me to Preach Good News

How to pray: that Pastor’s quiet time before the Lord encourages him to persevere as he:

~worships God in the splendor of His holiness (Psalm 29:2);

~praises God for His attributes (Psalm 71);

~offers thanksgiving for God’s bountiful blessings (Psalm 26:7;107:22;Ephesians 5:20);

~exhibits an attitude of confession and repentance before God (Psalm 51:10) and an attitude of forgiveness for those who have grieved him (Ephesians 4:32);

~brings his petitions to God in complete faith that they will be heard and answered (Psalm 5:3;55:17);

~makes intercession for himself, family, friends, enemies and congregation (Ephesians 6:18);

~luxuriates in God’s unfailing love that surrounds him (Psalm 32:10).

Prayer/Blessing for you, the pray-er

Morning dawns. I enter my secret closet of prayer, closing the door on today’s cares. We commune. I listen and feed on Your words as I rest in You, my True Pasture (Jeremiah 50:7).