Goodness

For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink,
but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Ro 14:17 nlt

As children of God, we are to live a life of goodness. That seems pretty simple and straightforward and it is but is it easy? The dictionary says goodness is a state or quality of being good; moral excellence; virtue; generosity; integrity; honesty.  Easy to read the definition of goodness and I would like to say it is easy for me to live it. But I often find it difficult to be an example of goodness.

When I find myself with thoughts that are not good or generous, less than honest or pure Iheartlight have a choice. I can follow through with those thoughts or I can turn away from the darkness of them and face the Light of my life.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light
(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)
and find out what pleases the Lord.
Eph 5:8-10 niv

When I turn to Jesus I can see where the problem lies and do what I need to sweep it away. I may think I have kept my heart clean and well kept but in His light, I can see into all the nooks and crannies where dust and dirt have found their way and settled in. Then I know it is time for some housekeeping of my heart. There isn’t room for unwanted clutter in my heart. That stuff has to go to make room for more of the goodness of the Spirit.

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him,
and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.
Matt 12:35 niv

There was a time when I believed I was to be good, to have goodness shine through me to prove I was a child of God. The truth is I have no need to prove anything with whatever goodness I have in my heart. The goodness is there, has been put there so through me others can see God’s light, His goodness.

…You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession.
As a result, you can show others the goodness of God,
for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Pet 2:9 niv

Why would I let the light of life that dwells in my heart be masked with worthless thoughts? It is so easy to relax and let the light in my heart be veiled by my inattentiveness and selfishness. How sad is that?!

When I talk with Jesus He often reminds me of what I must be vigilant and aware;

Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
Prov 4:23 niv

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

 

 

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Patience

I thought I was a patient person until a couple of years ago. Patience was the word given to me in 2015 as the word to study and to think and pray about. The first thing I learned was that patience is something that God wants us to put on because He loves us and we are His people. It’s important.

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves,
you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy,
kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Col 3:12 nlt

The second thing I learned is that I am not a patient person.  The year was challenging in many ways and patience was not often my response. I don’t remember what all the challenges were they weren’t big or overwhelming just enough to require patience to see them through. Repeatedly I failed the patience test. It took awhile but I found the key to developing patience.

Rejoice in our confident hope.
Be patient in trouble,
and keep on praying.
Rom 12:112 nlt

See that last phrase, “and keep on praying”. That’s the key to most challenges in life bighttps://pixabay.com/en/flower-life-crack-desert-drought-887443/ and small. Pray! So, that’s what I did and what I still do. Learning patience is no small task for me. I haven’t conquered my impatience yet, I am a work in progress, but my failures are fewer and less often now.

God being who He is, answered my prayers with encouragement;

being strengthened with all power,
according to his glorious might,
for all endurance and patience with joy;
Col 1:11 esv

Jesus and I talk about this often. You and I were created to be like Him and we have some work to do to become who we are meant to be but we are not left on our own to do this. We have the Spirit within us, His power and might, to keep us strong and confident as we persevere with patience and joy.

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Perspective

The last few days I have been thinking about being thankful. This came about because of a conversation I had with an acquaintance. This person said there is no reason to be thankful because there is not much to be happy about and life is always hard with little of love in it.

When I was at home and thinking about our talk I wondered about my own thoughts of thankfulness. Am I only thankful when I am happy or feeling loved? Is my gratitudeabandoned-1845921_640 dependent on what I understand? My perspective is limited to time and place but is it meant to be broader?

Talking to Jesus reminded me of this;

Be thankful in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1Thes 5:18 nlt

Yes, my view of thankfulness is to be broader. It is meant to be eternal in scope. Be thankful in all circumstances, the good, the bad, and the ugly. If I am only thankful in the good am I really thankful? If I am not thankful in the bad and ugly circumstances am I seeing only with my limited eyesight and not looking through the eyes of the Spirit to see the whole picture?

And we know that God causes everything to work together
for the good of those who love God and are called
according to his purpose for them.
Ro 8:28 nlt

I am thankful. Every day there are blessings. But what about those times that are difficult when there are hurts and sorrows and it is hard to see the blessings? Am I looking at life too narrowly seeing only with perspective limited by time and place rather than with the perspective of eternity? Of course, I am! But every day I am closer to understanding life and gratitude. Today,  I am truly thankful that the Lord has a full understanding of me and still, He loves me.

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

 

Live in Harmony and Peace

I consider myself pretty even tempered and easy to get along with. I rarely get angry to the point of raising my voice or interrupting others when they are saying things I don’t agree with or like. I try to listen and consider what others have to say before I respond. When no agreement can be reached to a mutual satisfaction I can agree to disagree and not be mad or hold a grudge.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this:
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
Jas 1:19-20

However, this has been tested recently and I have had to talk to Jesus about an issue that concerns many people and is causing conflict among friends and neighbors. Tempers have flared and angry words exchanged. I have my opinion that tends to align itself with one side of the conflict but I understand the concerns of the other side. Conversations have become contentious…and loud. I have done fairly well keeping my comments fair and quiet, but I have been complaining! Jesus is clear about this,

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you.
Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, 
Phil 2:14-15a

Interesting that I can pat myself on the back for being so reasonable and able to see bothheart-1463421_640 sides of the issue and yet complain about the advocates on both sides. Seems I have some work to do on my attitude.

In a few days, this will be decided. Some will be happy and some not happy. All will be well in the eyes of those who have their thoughts confirmed and those who do not will be upset and angry. I wonder what the cost of this controversy will be. Loss of friendliness and goodwill, cordiality and peace?

Live in harmony with each other.
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
Ro 12:16a,18

To live in harmony understanding of our differences is needed and to live in peace acceptance of our differences is needed. Jesus tells us how we are to do this and I am praying that we will listen and take to heart what He has to say.

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other.
Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
Jo 13:34

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

All scripture from the
New Living Translation

Come and Talk

Prayer is many things but it is not a monologue. Sometimes there are many gathered together to pray but there is never less than two involved in any prayer. Whenever there is prayer happening there is always at least two, the person praying and God. The wondrous thing is that God wants to talk with us.

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”
Ps 27:8 nlt

grey-crowned-crane-540657_640Yes, Jesus says “Come and talk with me.” He wants to have a conversation. What is a conversation?  It is the interchange of thoughts, ideas, and information between persons. In a conversation, one person talks and the other listens then the one listening responds to what was said. It’s a give and take, a sharing. When we pray we talk to Jesus, He listens.

LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will strengthen their hearts. You will listen carefully,
Ps 10:17 hcs

Then it is our turn to listen. There are times when Jesus seems to shout, we hear Him loud and clear. Though I have found that most often He speaks quietly and we have to listen closely. And there are those times when He is silent. Those occasions can be frustrating and can make us feel He has just walked away. But He never walks away.

I waited patiently for the LORD,
and He turned to me and heard my cry for help.
Ps 40:1 hcs

The Lord always hears us and always responds but we sometimes have to wait for His response. This is not what I want when I pray. I don’t like waiting I want answers now! And that often leads to more talking…on my part. He listens and answers in His perfect timing. Waiting patiently for Jesus to speak tends to be difficult for me but I have learned that waiting prepares us for the gift He has been waiting to give us. He waits to reveal His gift until we are ready to receive it.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose.
Ro 8:28 nlt

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia