Searching Moral Inventory

A searching moral inventory is an intense evaluation of the thoughts, words and actions in our life at any moment of time. This is a very helpful practice, because it rids us of negative issues, which plague our life.

We ask God to search us and to examine our heart as if it is on trial, so that we can see if there are any wicked intents in our thoughts, which God needs to redirect (Psalm 139:23).

The cauldron filters silver and the furnace refines gold in the same way that the Lord purifies the hearts of His people (Proverbs 17:3). He sanctifies our soul, so that we can speak as one approved and entrusted by God to share His Gospel message.

It is in our best interest to walk uprightly before the Lord, blameless before Him and in our testimony to the world (Job 31:6). We no longer need anyone else’s approval, because God’s opinion of us is all that really matters (1 Thessalonians 2:4; Psalm 26:2).

We cannot always know our hidden faults and failings, but God’s Spirit will bring them to our attention if we take the time to listen (Psalm 7:9, 19:12). A searching moral inventory reveals negative emotions, thoughts of regret and revenge, as well as shameful deeds for which we need to make amends.

It will relieve repressed stress and it will cause new stress until we repent and surrender control of our life to God. Once we fearlessly confront our issues and submit our self to God’s healing scalpel, we are free from the bondage in which the past held us captive all of our life (Hebrews 4:12).

When we commit our ways to the Lord, He judges us righteously, tests our heart and metes out vengeance on those who misjudge us. He rewards each of us according to what our deeds deserve (Jeremiah 11:20; 17:10, 20:12).

We confess the root cause of the destructive behavior, which once dominated our life and God sets us free to live in His victorious grace and love. We mend relationships and are ready to face the future in the center of God’s will – the happiest place on earth.

Prayer:
Father God, at times we are afraid to search our heart too closely. We know that there are wicked thoughts, desires and attitudes lurking in the dark corners of our soul. We are often afraid of these emotions; preferring to ignore them rather than to ferret them out, discover their cause and find a resolution to these unresolved conflicts.

Help us to bless those who hurt and curse us, and to allow You to take vengeance on these ignorant people who do not realize to whom we belong. You are the King of the galaxies and You ride the wings of the wind to come to the aid of all of those who trust in You (Psalm 104:3).

Thought for the Day:
Let us take a frequent searching moral inventory of our soul, to repent of our sins, to return to the everlasting arms of the Lord from which we strayed and to ensure His blessings on our life both now and in eternity.
– Lamentations 3:40

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Loving Others as Our Self

Jesus made a point of telling us to love others as we love our self. Most of us despise our self, have grudges and disappointments and unforgiveness toward our self. We do not love our self at all (Mark 12:30-31).

Therefore, how can we truly love anyone else? We compare our self to worldly standards and find our self lacking. We listen to significant others in our life and adopt their opinion of us, even if it is negative.

We try all of our life to earn the unconditional love, respect, worth and affirmation we so desperately need. We sell our self short and give up on our self. We feel useless, hopeless, helpless and unlovable.

We are not powerful enough, rich enough, adorable enough, smart enough, talented enough, or attractive enough; we are not enough. We see our self through the eyes of others and we feel disappointed and ashamed.

However, God wants us to see our self through His eyes – as a person He cares about so much that He gave His life for us. He wants us to love our self as He loves us, and then to love others as we love our self.

We can start by accepting our self as He accepts us, just the way we are. We can make better, healthier, wiser and more nurturing choices. We can speak only kind, loving words to and about our self and others.

We can take care of our body, soul and spirit. We can accept our feelings and seek God to find resolutions for our negative feelings and unresolved conflicts. We can judge our self only through the eyes of God, not the eyes of the world.

We can stop using addictions, people, vocation and talents to make us feel better about our self. We can stop abandoning our self and taking our self and others for granted. We can stay in touch with who we are, what we need and how God is leading us all throughout our day.

Prayer:
Father God, enlighten the eyes of our understanding to see our self as You see us: as Your adopted children, co-heirs with Christ of Your entire Kingdom. Remind us to pay attention to our physical, emotional, spiritual and mental needs and to seek You on how to fulfill them.

Help us to accept our feelings and circumstances, even the negative ones, as Your tool in our life to bring us closer to total surrender to Your will and to keep us from depending on our human resources and understanding. Give us Your peace and joy as our strength. Remind us that without You we are nothing; but with You, all things are possible if we simply believe (John 15:5; Mark 9:23).

Thought for the Day:
Take the time throughout the day for a personal physical, mental, emotional and spiritual inventory; meet your needs or ask God to meet them; and then give yourself time to renew Your strength in the Lord and to rise up on wings like eagles. – Isaiah 40:31

The Most Vital Ministry

If you are an active person, a doer like I am, then sitting still and just “being” is very hard to do. ADHD affects more people than we realize, and it drives us to keep busy. We even multitask in an attempt to accomplish twice as much with our time. We do not let up until we are exhausted and fall into bed. In fact, as we lose our physical abilities, we fail to grow old gracefully.

Our hearing and eyesight diminish; our limbs freeze up or wear out; our mind wanders and our thoughts flow through it like a sieve. We may even get some terrible, dreaded disease and are bedridden, hospitalized or moved into a nursing home. We feel isolated, rejected and unloved by our family and especially by God.

When I remind the aging and infirmed that they can still pray, they look at me as if I have two heads. They know they can pray, but that is not what they want to do. They desire to be active again, to sing in the choir, to teach bible studies, to play with the babies in the nursery, to help around the church’s facilities or to cook in the church’s kitchen.

They listen to Satan’s lies and forget that God is never finished with us on this earth until our final breath. Although we can no longer perform in the ministries we once loved, there is one ministry that is always available to us. We can pray. Most people have the opinion that prayer is the least valuable of all the ministries in which a Believer may participate.

However, prayer changes things; it can move mountains (Mark 11:23). We always encounter God in our quiet times of prayer. We can pray regardless of where we are, our state of health or how old we are (Psalm 86:6-7). Many of God’s children enter a prayer ministry at a young age and recognize it as the most vital ministry given to us by God.

Prayer:
Father God, prayer keeps us connected to You, allows us to receive Your guidance, apprises You of our needs, removes our fear, proves that we have faith in You, allows us to confess all of our sins and keeps us surrendered to Your will. Remind us that through the power of prayer we can preach, cast out devils, heal the sick, cleanse the leper and raise the dead as we are guided by Your Holy Spirit (Mark 11:24; Philippians 4:6-7; James 5:16; 1 John 5:14-15; Matthew 10:8).

Thought for the Day:
Prayer is communion with God and that is what the Christian life is all about.

No Reputation

People often filter what we say through the lenses of their own experiences and come to a faulty conclusion. This gives us two options: to try to correct their perception or to ignore their remarks. I usually endeavor to clarify what I said, but if they still misunderstand, then I just change the subject. I learned to do this because of Jesus’ example. He did not attempt to maintain His reputation.

When He was reviled and misunderstood, He did not berate in return (1 Peter 2:23-24). His life was the epitome of kindness, compassion, forgiveness and acceptance, and ours can be too (Ephesians 4:32). Whether the offense is a major event, such as physical abuse, or if it consists of habitual, smaller impositions such as lies and betrayal, we can still forgive the offenders (Matthew 5:44).

When we consider the life of Christ and what He endured on this earth, it helps us not to grow weary of the way we are overlooked, discounted, abused, ridiculed and exploited (Hebrews 12:3). When we bless those who curse us and pray for those who hurt or use us (Luke 6:28), God continually blesses us and gives us so many reasons to rejoice (Psalm 109:28).

We do not act as a doormat, but we do turn the other cheek. We do not submit to abuse, but we do forgive the abuser. We can care for and nurture our needs and still love others through the love of God in us. It is only by sincerely wishing others the best, that our healing is complete. The only person in our life, which we need to impress, is God; and He loves us enough to die for us.

Prayer:
Father God, make us vessels of Your peace; when we are condemned, help us to bless; when we are wounded, help us to share Your healing love with the offender. Remind us that You did not defend your reputation and there is no reason for us to do so either. Your opinion of us is the only one that really matters. Keep us focused on eternity and help us to realize that this world will soon end.

Thought for the Day
If we do not repay evil or insult in kind, but give love in return, we will inherit God’s blessings. – 1 Peter 3:9

Just the Way We Are

Just the Way We Are

Living in fear of someone discovering our true identity often drives us just this side of insanity. We dread someone else realizing that we are just “not enough”. Not pretty enough, not smart enough, not strong enough, not kind enough, not capable enough…not enough. Jesus came to give us good news. We all fall short of the glory of God.

There is no one good enough, not even one (Romans 3:10-12, 23). Even people with a high opinion of their self have issues with insecurity. We all have little nagging doubts, which corrode our confidence and whittle away at our self-esteem. We live under a cloud of negative self-talk. We hide behind superficial masks, in hopes that no one will ever uncover just how deficient we really are.

Once we come to Christ, we can stop pretending, stop striving to be good and throw our self on the mercy and grace of God instead. He accepts us just the way we are (Romans 5:8). We need no pretenses with Him. He loves us in spite of our failings. God is our Father who cares for us, nurtures us and provides for all of our needs: spiritually, physically and in our soul – our mind, choices and emotions.

Our Heavenly Daddy gives us a sense of security as we dwell in Him and He dwells in us. His love fills in the gaps in our self-esteem and changes our opinion about our deficiencies. We no longer need to fear life and its consequences, to listen to any negative self-talk or to believe anyone else’s negative opinion of us. We are complete in Christ (Colossians 1:27, 2:10).

Prayer:
Father God, we drink from the living water of Your Word, which calms our soul and fills our spirit with godly character, Jesus’ divine nature and the fruit of Your Holy Spirit (John 7:38; 2 Peter 1:3-4; Galatians 5:22-23). When fears creep in to cripple us and render us ineffective for You and for a productive life, we can run to Jesus, who is the Rock that is higher than we are (Psalm 61:2). He gives us power over these demonic attacks and He strengthens us to prolifically bloom where You plant us.

Thought for the Day:
God provides His people with a Sabbath rest from our weary labors; for when we enter God’s rest, we stop spinning our wheels and trust Him to bless our lives with His fullness. – Hebrews 4:9-12