Coffee w/t Solomon: The Hard Worker and The Lazy Sluggard

Coffee w/t Solomon

Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life

Devotion 32 The Hard Worker and The Lazy Sluggard

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.  Well, this week Paul joins us in our time with Solomon as they discuss the difference between working hard and being lazy. Let’s top up our coffees and see what they have to say…

The appetite of laborers works for them; their hunger drives them on.          (Proverbs 16:26)

The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work. All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing. (Proverbs 21:25-26)

Proverbs 10:4; 10:26; 12:11; 12:14; 12:27; 13:4; 14:23; 15:19; 18:9; 19:24; 20:4; 22:13; 22:29; 24:40; 26:13-16; 28:19

hard workThere’s a fine line between being a hard working person and a workaholic, and between resting and being lazy. Living the balance is always the best way, but not always easy. There is a saying that goes, “Work hard, play hard,” which I believe sums up a proper attitude towards how we are to live our days.

We need to work. God made us to be productive and to ‘do’ something. He has given us gifts and abilities which we need to use for the good of our families and others. There is no greater sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction than putting in an honest day’s work. For many people, they may consider their work, to consist of many hours in an occupation that provides the means by which to have a roof over their head and food on the table for their families. However, our work also consists of the necessary tasks to properly fulfill all the duties of the different responsibilities or offices that we hold, like spouse, parent, or child. In all aspects of life we must be good stewards with all God has blessed us, and work at caring for the people and things with which God has entrusted each of us. By remembering that our daily work needs to encompass all of these areas of our life, hopefully, will keep us from focusing too much in one area and fall in to a workaholic state of being. Remember: God did not bless you with employment to allow your family and marriage to fall apart. In God’s eyes, your marriage and family are your first priorities and your employment is a gift in order to support them. Live in such a way as to let your employment and all you do be a blessing in your relationships with your family members. And above all, “whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)

On the other hand, by not working, by not being a proper steward of all the people and things he has entrusted to us, by being lazy, we are not fulfilling all that God desires from us. And as a result of our own actions, we will not- we cannot- even obtain what we need in order to maintain all that is needed for this earthly life, let alone survive it mentally and physically. May we not be as the servant in the Parable of the Bags of Gold where the master replies, “You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” (Matthew 25:26-29).

Therefore, with all that each day holds for you, may you “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. (Ephesians 6:7-8) And by doing so, may God commend to you “the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun. Ecclesiastes 8:15

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to do all that you would have me do this day. Help me to care for those you have put in my life. Help me not to be neglectful nor lazy, but wise and diligent. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!

Coffee w/t Solomon: Desires of the Foolish and the Wise

Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life

Devotion 31

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well. I’m posting a few hours early due to March Break occurring in our neck of the world. In any case, I hope you don’t mind. Have a blessed week!

Let’s top up our coffees and see what Solomon has to say about the desires of the hearts of the foolish and wise…

 

Desires of the Foolish and the Wise

The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires. (Proverbs 11:6)

The Lord detests those whose hearts are perverse, but he delights in those whose ways are blameless. (Proverbs 11:20)

Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy.(Proverbs 12:20)

Proverbs 10:8, 20; 11:27; 12:23, 25; 13:12, 25; 14:6, 10, 32; 15:14; 18:15; 19:22; 20:18; 28:5, 17: 29:10, 26

waterfront-home.jpgWhat is your greatest desire? What is it that you want most in this world? In all honesty, at this point in my life, I would probably blurt out, “A retirement home by the water.” Of course, there is the never ending desire for my children and family’s health and protection, as well as, mine and my husband’s. For some, it may be prestige, a certain level of success or salary. Is any one of these desires sinful? Not necessarily. In the above verses from Solomon, it’s not the actual desire that he is talking about, but how we desire to follow through with achieving our heart’s desire.

It is so easy to get caught up in our desirous ways that we set our hearts and minds on our own means by which to reach our dreams. By doing so can lead us down a very self-centred, destructive path. How many people have lost their families, marriages, employment, freedom because they let themselves get caught up in pursuing a goal by their own means. In our sinfulness, we can be drawn in to contemplating desperate and evil means in order to get what our heart desires. For these people, their desire becomes their personal obsession. This is what Solomon is referring to as foolish.

On the other hand, those who lay their heart’s desire before God, while continuing to trust him first and foremost in their life, can live day to day having the peace of knowing that if and when it happens, it will be in God’s timing; that in all things for their life, they say, ‘Thy will be done, Lord!” This is the peace of the wise. This is the delight and joy of the wise. Does this require patience, discipline, obedience and guidance? Absolutely! The perfect setting through which the Holy Spirit will be working to produce his fruits in his children.

Therefore, don’t hide your heart’s desires from the Lord, as if you can do anything in secret anyways. Instead, seek the Lord and his will for your life. Lay these hopes and dreams before him and let him have control over them for your life. Then, be patient and watchful. If they are to occur, he will permit them to happen in the perfect time, and if they are not, then may he grant you peace to let them go. But in all things, seek the Lord first, living in his redemption and forgiveness, and walking humbly and mercifully with him, each and every day. Remember that, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:1-2) Yet, as you “Take delight in the Lord, [and] he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

Prayer: Dear Lord, please forgive me when I seek to accomplish my goals pursuing my own selfish ways. Today, I lay before you my desires of _____________. I ask that you take control of their outcome. Give me the patience as I await their fulfillment and the peace in knowing that whatever the outcome, it is one according to your will for my life. Help me to always set my heart on seeking you, your love and your forgiveness through which it pleased you to redeem me, a sinner. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!

Coffee w/t Solomon: Words of the Foolish and the Wise

Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.

This week I gathered the proverbs of Solomon surrounding the words of the foolish and the wise. To join us is James. Let’s top up our coffees and see what they have to say.

Devotion 30

Words of the foolish and the wise

The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing (Proverbs 12:18)

A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them. (14:3)

The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly. (15:2)

Proverbs 10:13, 18, 21, 31; 14: 7; 15:7; 16:23; 17:7, 28; 18:6, 7; 19:1; 23:9; 25:23; 29:20  

cover mouthHow many times have you stuck your foot in your mouth? How many times have you spoken without thinking and said a foolish thing? If you are like me, you have said such things many a time. Oh how that puts us among the foolish in the above verses. However, by the grace of God, we can seek to be among the wise and strive to discipline ourselves and our tongues. As James tells us, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” (James 3:9-10) Yes we can tame the tongue one moment at a time.

In the above verses, if nothing else, I cling to the words in Proverbs 17:28, “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues,” and I strive to keep silent when I want to speak out. This sounds easy but it is challenging and one that is a constant source of humility when I see how weak I am in restraining my tongue. If it is the same for you, may we, together, pray that our Heavenly Father, guide our hearts and minds so that in him our hearts seek wisdom and our tongues bring healing, mouths are prudent, and lips promote  instruction as he so promises in Proverbs 12:18 and 16:23. May it be so!

Prayer: Dear Lord, oh how my tongue can be an untamed evil, as Jame states. Give me the strength and discipline to keep silent when you would have me be silent. Help me to seek you always, so that my words proclaim your wisdom and instruction, love and healing. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!

Coffee w/t Solomon – The Wise and Foolish Child

Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.

The remaining Proverbs of Solomon, Proverbs 10-29, are simple wise sayings of how to seek wisdom, to recognize the wise versus how to recognize the fool and avoid being one, and the consequences of both. For the remainder of the chapters, I have gathered all like-verses to avoid duplicity.

Today, we will look at the affects on parents of the wise and the foolish child . Let’s top up our coffees and get started…

Devotion 29

The Wise and Foolish Child

A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son brings grief to his mother. (10:1)

May your father and mother rejoice; may she who gave you birth be joyful! (23:25)

Proverbs 15:20, 17:25, 20:20, 23:22

family3No parent desires their children to bring grief and bitterness into their lives; parents’ ultimate hope and anticipation is only joy and rejoicing towards their children. Most parents raise their children to avoid foolish, harmful ways, and to learn healthy, positive habits. They desire to pass on resources that will help their precious babes become the best they can be, to know how to walk this earthly life on their own, and to know how to care for themselves- body, mind and spirit. Christian parents desire to teach their children to know who they are and whose they are, to know they are loved and forgiven, and that even in death,  nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39b)

Children who heed their parents’ instructions do well to equip themselves for life’s journey, but those who don’t listen- and even worse, hate or despise such instruction- by their own actions, bring upon themselves pain, destruction and death, and upon their parents, grief and bitterness.

It is no different with God and his children. How he so desires to impart his words of love and wisdom upon them and to listen to his teachings and commands, to love and respect him. Why would he have so many people throughout history, like Solomon, write his story and his teachings down for all to know? He desires them to learn from and to know him. The Creator Father desires his creation children to know the one who created them and desires them to be able to be all that he desired them to be and do, to know his love now and his love that reunites them with him for eternity, despite their sin that would lead only to rebellion, destruction and eternal death. Therefore, this week, may you- his child- be encouraged to continue to seek and cherish God’s words and instructions, and rejoice in His work of redemption through our Saviour, Jesus. Together, may we not be fools, but wise people who make our father joyful and the heavens rejoice.
Prayer: Dear Lord, may I be a wise child of yours. Help me to turn from my foolish ways and to seek you and be obedient to your ways. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!

Coffee w/t Solomon Proverbs 9:13-18

Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.

Well who’d of thought the members of The Eagle’s would join us for this week’s visit with Solomon. Let’s top up our coffees and see what this is all about…

Devotion 28

Proverbs 9:13-18

Folly is an unruly woman; she is simple and knows nothing. She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way, “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!” But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.

As Solomon shared today’s passage, I couldn’t help but think about the similarity of these words to the lyrics of Hotel California. It was as if Don Felder, Don Henley and Glen Frey- members of the Eagles and the writers of Hotel California- all sat down and joined us. Let’s break apart Solomon’s words with particular verses of Hotel California:

Folly is an unruly woman; she is simple and knows nothing. She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way,

There she stood in the doorway. I heard the mission bell and I was thinking to myself, ‘This could be heaven or this could be Hell.’ Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way.

“Let all who are simple come to my house!”

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair. Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air. Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light. My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim. I had to stop for the night.

To those who have no sense she says, “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!”

“Mirrors on the ceiling, The pink champagne on ice, And she said, ‘we are all just prisoners here, of our own device.’ And in the master’s chambers, they gathered for the feast. They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can’t kill the beast.

But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.

Last thing I remember, I was running for the door. I had to find the passage back to the place I was before. ‘Relax,’ said the night man, ‘We are programmed to receive. You can check out any time you like, But you can never leave!’

Of course we can’t leave out the chorus that sums up Hotel California, aka folly: ‘Welcome to the Hotel California. Such a lovely place (such a lovely place) Such a lovely face. Plenty of room at the Hotel California. Any time of year (any time of year) you can find it here’. (Yes, folly is ready and waiting for us but that doesn’t mean we should ever enter her doors.)

May we heed the message from both Solomon and the Eagle’s.  Don’t give in to the temptations of folly, lust or desire because the consequences may be life altering and lead you down a path from which you can never escape. Instead, be watchful and alert at all times. Cling to Christ.  “Cast all your anxiety on [Jesus] because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” (1 Peter 5:7-9a) Lay all your requests and desires before Christ and let him lead you down a safe path for your own good. It may not look so glamorous and enticing but it will provide the greatest joy and rejoicing in the end. Always take hold of the fact that Christ laid down his life for you, he has promised to never leave you nor forsake you, and he can be trusted. …If only the fellow from Hotel California had taken Christ with him from the start of his journey.

Prayer: Dear Lord, when my mind is unclear and riddled with exhaustion or anxiety, lust or desire, please help me cling to you to get me through and not give into the enticing temptations that would lead me down the road of destruction. Let my decisions be clear minded and good for me, according to your will for my life. Give me the strength and wisdom to resist folly and the courage to follow you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen!

Coffee w/t Solomon Proverbs 9:7-12

Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life

Devotion 27

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.

Today’s words from Solomon about ‘correcting sinful behaviour’ are not the easiest to follow, but they certain would benefit us, if we could follow them. Even Jesus shares his wisdom on the matter. Let’s top up our coffees and see what they have to say…

Proverbs 9:7-12

Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse. Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.

‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.’ How many times did we say that phrase as a child? How many times did we as children, or do we as adults, face bullies or gossipers or any number of verbally abusive individuals? They certainly do cross our paths, and if you are like me, your first instinct is to retaliate and to correct their ways. But Solomon is saying that we need to be careful. We need to consider to whom we are correcting or responding.

pig

Trying to correct someone who is seeking to be hurtful and looking for a reaction in their victim will simply continue to be insulting. Don’t waste your time or words. Instead just be silent and, if possible, walk away. Do not give them any ammunition to continue in their abusive behaviour toward you, and you will prevent any further abuse. Even Jesus encourages us: “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:6)

On the other hand, as someone who knows the Lord, let loving correction be received with open arms. It never feels good and it is our sinful nature to want to lash back, but don’t. Stop and listen; heed the words of correction you have received, and thank the person for caring about you so much that they would care to help you be the best, godly person you can be.

Finally, in all situations- whether being mocked or corrected- let your actions, above all, reflect the humility and love of Christ, just as he quietly endured the pain and suffering of the cross for you and me.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, it is so tempting to lash back when someone is verbally attacking me. Help me to walk away, to focus my thoughts on you, and not to enable the other person to continue in their hurtful way. Also, in those times when I sin and need to be corrected, help me to heed the correction of another and be thankful for their love towards me. Finally, in all situations help me to be the light of Christ with integrity, humility, and love. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!

Coffee w/t Solomon Proverbs 9:1-6

Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life

Devotion 26

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.

Do you enjoy hosting dinners or being invited to a friend’s home for a time of chatting, relaxing and, most likely, good food and beverage? I certainly do! Well today we are given an invitation to do just that. Let’s top up our coffees and learn of this invitation that Solomon is sharing with us…

Proverbs 9:1-6

Invitations of Wisdom…

Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars. She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table. She has sent out her servants, and she calls from the highest point of the city, “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, “Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight.”

invitation

I enjoy entertaining and having guests. It’s a time when extra care is taken to clean and tidy the house, special foods are prepared, and the good dishes are set out. It’s my hope that all my guests will feel welcomed and comfortable. If guests come hungry, their tummies will leave full. If they come feeling lonely, they will leave feeling loved. If they come with worries and burdens, they will leave with joy and a lighter load. Yes, I love having guests.

In the same way, God’s wisdom calls us. God invites us to come and learn of his ways and his wisdom; the wisdom that loved mankind- you and me-  so much that it required himself to pay the penalty and be the sinless sacrifice on our behalf. He calls us to know this type of wisdom through this love revealed in his most precious word. Just as you are welcomed into one’s home when you take that first step through the front door, so God welcomes us into his wisdom and care as we open the pages of his most precious word, the Bible.

As we dig into his words, we are comforted, we are spiritually fed, we are loved, and we are able to entrust our burdens and worries with him. He is the ultimate host and his words of wisdom radiate within our being. Not that we change outwardly, but we do change within our inmost being. Not that circumstances around us change, but our view of them is changed. And if that were not enough, he gives us an actual home to which we can go and meet him.

Not only did he give us the Bible to go to, but he gave us his church, his home where he dwells within the family of brothers and sister that are present there, where his words of love and wisdom are proclaimed to all.  A home where all people are welcomed to enter and be comforted, to be fed and nourished, and to leave their burdens at the foot of his cross.

Therefore, whether you accept God’s invitation to hear his word  by opening the pages of your Bible or the front door of your church, you will experience his ultimate love and hospitality. Through God’s wisdom and the Holy Spirit, you will begin to “walk in the way of insight.” (Proverbs 9:6b) This is not just a suggestion, but a promise! You will walk in the way of God’s insight and all the blessings that flow from him. So, God’s wisdom is calling you to be his guest. May I encourage you to accept the invitation.

Prayer: Dear Lord, you have invited me to come to you and seek your wisdom as revealed in your most holy word. Give me the desire and willingness to accept your invitation and the opening in my schedule to permit me to be your guest.  Whether by attending church or digging into the Bible, or both, help me to come to you, to rest in you, and to learn of you. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!

Coffee w/t Solomon Proverbs 8:22-36

Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life

Devotion 25

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.

I wonder if Solomon knew what and about whom he was speaking when he penned this week’s passage. Let’s top up our coffees and I will explain…

Proverbs 8:22-36

universe.jpgThe Lord brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; I was formed long ages ago, at the very beginning, when the world came to be. When there were no watery depths, I was given birth, when there were no springs overflowing with water; before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth, before he made the world or its fields or any of the dust of the earth. I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep, when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth. Then I was constantly at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.

“Now then, my children, listen to me;  blessed are those who keep my ways. Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it. Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord. But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.”

As I read today’s passage, my first thoughts were to consider it a prophecy of the Saviour of the world that was to come. But then I recalled that Solomon was speaking about God’s wisdom. But wait, could they be one in the same? Is Christ, our Lord and Saviour, the wisdom of God? As a matter of fact, he is! It is written that “Christ [is] the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:24b) Yes, everything that Solomon says about the presence of wisdom before time began is the proclamation of Christ’s presence with the Father from the beginning.

Therefore, to find wisdom, we need only to seek the one whom was born of the virgin, who healed the sick, and sacrificed himself to pay the penalty that our sins deserve and to reunite us with the Creator Father. True wisdom of the Father is found in the Son and his salvation for all mankind. In his teachings is mercy and grace, and in him is life eternal. In Jesus is the fullness of God’s wisdom for mankind.

Although it says -and holds true- in verse 36 above, that “…those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death,” we can be confident that as we seek to find wisdom and love, peace and rest for our souls, he will guide us in his truth, and we will find Jesus. In this seeking, there will be no worry of death or darkness. “For… neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, 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 our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) Therefore, go in peace and confidence, and learn of Jesus in order to learn more of God’s wisdom for your life.
Prayer: Dear God, before time you were present: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Father Creator, your wisdom, through your Word, laid the foundations of the earth. Then at your command, your wisdom became flesh and dwelt among mankind. Help me to learn of your wisdom more clearly as made plain in Christ Jesus, my Saviour. In His name I pray. AMEN!

Coffee w/t Solomon Proverbs 8:1-21

Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life

Devotion 24

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.

Let’s top up our coffees and rest in Solomon’s words for us this week….

Proverbs 8:1-21

Wisdom’s Call

Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? At the highest point along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; beside the gate leading into the city, at the entrance, she cries aloud: “To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, set your hearts on it. Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness. All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. To the discerning all of them are right;  they are upright to those who have found knowledge. Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion. To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power. By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just; by me princes govern, and nobles—all who rule on earth. I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me and making their treasuries full.

I remember as a little girl being completely wrapped up in my Mom’s arms in her big cozy, all enveloping arm chair. It was such a safe and peaceful place, especially in those moments where I was frightened or sad. I knew when I was there that all would be good; she was my protection and I was loved. Can you envision a person in your life that made you feel that way; that while in their arms you were safe and all the concerns of your life could just melt away? If not, close your eyes and envision being wrapped up in the most loving arms and being held close to one’s chest, where all your cares can be dispelled and you can fully rest in peace.

It’s this complete rest and peace that God gives us when we seek him. In him, we are completely surrounded by truth, righteousness, justice, love, good counsel and sound judgement with complete insight of what is happening in and around our lives. In him there is no wicked or hateful behaviour. In our most gracious God, who has given us complete access to knowing him through his Word and through our most precious Saviour, we can come to him and let go of all our cares, no matter how deep and troublesome, and he will carry us through them, if we let him. For he promises, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” (Proverbs 8:17) and Jesus himself calls, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) These are not empty words of the world, but promises that we can cling to when we allow our Lord to wrap us in his most welcoming arms and let His words of wisdom, forgiveness, peace and  love wash over us and renew us. Let go and let Him hold you today.

Prayer: Dear Lord, my life is filled with so many demands and burdens, some very exciting and some fearful. Sometimes it is so overwhelming, and even the blessings I have trouble enjoying. Envelope me in your arms today and throughout this week. Keep my body, soul, and mind at peace in knowing you are watching over me and are leading me in what this week brings. By the help of your Holy Spirit, guide my thoughts to seek your will and ways. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!

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