Are You Out Of Your Comfort Zone?

Why is it that I praise and seek You only in the good times but complain when things aren’t going my way? I feel like I’m barely out of Egypt, like the Israelites grumbling against You, God, for taking me out of my comfort zone and into unknown desert, only to struggle with my current situation or to be bitten by the snakes of this world. What is it that You are trying to teach me? I can’t find contentment with where I am!

How quickly You show me that if I continue grumbling and walking in my disobedience the metaphorical serpents of this world will bite me. My eyes are not seeking the One You lifted up to give me an abundant life—eternal life. I’ve been consumed living in the moment and living my way. Your truth tells me,

Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look up at the bronze serpent and live” (Numbers 21:6–9 ESV).

Your Son was lifted up on the cross to die so I could be with You forever. And when I keep my eyes looking up to You, Jesus, I see truth. I live! Your truth tells me, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3:14–15 ESV). My Savior, I lift my arms to worship You and trust You in my unknown desert!

* I Seek Truth is written in first person as if you were the one talking to your Heavenly Father. Published by Hachette/Worthy Publishing

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Can A Person Truly Love You And Still Seriously Sin?

Can a person truly love You and pursue Your glory, and still seriously sin? Can such a person be forgiven and restored? What about me? Would You turn Your back on me if I failed You?

I come to You in the stillness of the night searching Your Word. I love how You chose David and anointed him king of Israel. He was a man after Your own heart. He loved you and bravely trusted You for protection and stood firmly on Your truth. No one questioned his devotion—David’s heart belonged to You. Oh, how I long to live at that level of devotion, but I keep making mistakes.

You, gracious God, show me that David took his eyes off of You and turned from Your commands when he saw Bathsheba. David wanted her as his own, knowing it was wrong. Before long, he was covering sin with sin, thinking he could hide it from everyone, including You. But You exposed it:  

Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites (2 Samuel 12:9 ESV).

O Lord, David, who loved You with all of his heart, failed You miserably. I am in good company. I learn that in his deep sorrow, he turned back to seek Your mercy and compassion. David didn’t deny his sin or excuse it. He simply repented. Deeply and truly He turned to You and admitted everything. You, gracious God, granted forgiveness and full reconciliation. You will do the same for me.

Father, forgive me when I try to hide my sins from You. Your truth tells me, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13 NIV). Though there will be many days that I will fall even as a redeemed believer, I realize that when I come to You with a broken and contrite heart, I am brought back to You through the saving blood of Jesus. I am forgiven, Your child after Your own heart.

* I Seek Truth is written in first person as if you were the one talking to your Heavenly Father.

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He Will Calm The Trials In Your Life

Trials aren’t fun. Father, to be honest, if I see one coming, I make every effort to avoid it. I question You, Lord, when I read Your words spoken through Your servant James that tell me to consider trials as “pure joy.” Really? Pure joy?

You gently remind me of my past trials and how You were in the midst of all of them. You show me Your perspective: that difficulty and struggle are not necessarily the enemy, that sometimes You are molding my character. You are teaching me not to sin during my trials but to seek You so that I will possess everything I need in life. It is Your wisdom that helps me to discern the challenges I face. Your truth tells me, Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2–4 ESV).

Though life is sometimes difficult, I am learning total reliance upon You. So as my faith grows in Your love, so does my perseverance. I know that You are transforming me into Your likeness—a complete follower who has been nourished by Your great faithfulness in the midst of my trials. There is no doubt that when I look back on my challenges, I will see Your hand of goodness and remember Your Word: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2 ESV). Knowing Your truth, I can handle anything.

* I Seek Truth is written in first person as if you were the one talking to your Heavenly Father.

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Will I Do The Same?

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.John 13:1

It’s hard for me to think about that terrible day that You endured. Judas had already betrayed You and painful scourging and the excruciating crucifixion awaited. But in Your last few moments of freedom, You didn’t stop serving others.

Taking off Your outer garment, You served his disciples. Horrified by Your performing the task of a lowly servant, Peter tried to refuse … until You convinced him of its necessity. He had to accept the cleansing and let You serve him and save him with Your incredible grace.

Then You explained. The foot washing ceremony was not to be a onetime event. You wanted it to be a way of life for Your followers. A way of life for me. If I belong to Your kingdom, I will serve as You, my King did. And You, King Jesus served all the way to Your death.

Sometimes, in my fatigue and weakness, I am tempted to give up. Service is hard and counterintuitive. But if I want to be like You, if I want my life to count for the kingdom, I cannot live just for myself. Your truth tells me, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

Lord, I want to be like You! 

* I Seek Truth is written in first person as if you were the one talking to your Heavenly Father.

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You Separate Me

In the beginning, heavenly Father, You were there. Complete darkness, total silence. Emptiness. And then You opened Your mouth and declared: Let there be light! Your very first words spoken. Then You separated light from darkness. Little did I know as I study Your Word, the Bible, that Your radiant light didn’t come from the sun or the moon, it came from Your Son, Jesus Christ—the Savior of the world. The One who radiates Your light in a world full of darkness. My Savior!

Lord, in the beginning You separated the darkness from light. In the beginning You thought about me. You separated me, too. I no longer live in darkness. I live in Your light. I live in Your truth. A truth that has no end.

* I Seek Truth is written in first person as if you were the one talking to your Heavenly Father.

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Quit Trying So Hard

Equip me to share with others that they do not have to feel burdened by the need to appease You. The world needs to know that their sins should not keep them from coming to You because they feel that they need to do something good first to make up the deficit. Your truth tells me that You, Jesus, invites all of us to rest in You. You didn’t come into the world to condemn us, but to save us. We don’t – I don’t need to earn Your approval. It’s already given to all those who trust, believe and depend on You, Lord Jesus. It has been given to me!

* I Seek Truth is written in first person as if you were the one talking to your Heavenly Father.

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