Silence and Centering
“Be still, and know that I am God; – Psalm 46:10
Lord, You are a God who loves to hear from Your children. You desire for us to come to You in prayer to receive love, mercy, and grace. Why then, Lord, is prayer so hard for us? Why do we never seem to make time for it? Why do we regularly fail to follow up on our promises to pray for others? Why are we so embarrassed to pray aloud with others? Why do we often design our prayers to make us look good to others? Why is this so hard for us? Lord, we confess our weakness to You. We confess that we need Your grace and love in order to even desire to pray. We confess and ask for Your mercy.
PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE
Reading & Devotional:
I love Jesus. How could I not, right? He died for me and gave me a chance to be made right with God. Loving Jesus is a no-brainer to me. How about you? It gets tough when we are told in the Bible to love God and Jesus above all. More than ourselves. Even more than our kids. And even more than life itself. Ouch. Loving Jesus more than anything does not come naturally to us.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40, NIV)
Loving Jesus more than anything
I don’t know about you but this hit me hard as a mom. I have a son and a daughter and I take being their mom quite seriously, joyfully but seriously. It’s a calling to me to raise them well, teach them to love Jesus and find their peace in him. But here comes my struggle. I do say I love Jesus more than anything. And I desperately want to. But do I put my kids first anyway when it comes to following Jesus? You see, I always wonder how this or that will affect my children and make decisions based on those answers. And that’s all good – and expected in some ways- but does this make me not worthy of Jesus? Do I put Jesus above all else or not?
I’d like to think I always put God first. But my children are my weakness. Am I willing to surrender also them to Jesus? I want to. And in theory, I am sure I have. But in practice, I am not so sure.Lord, have mercy. Our primary allegiance must be to Jesus rather than to family. Yes, I understand it but do I live it? Do I make decisions solely based on my allegiance to Jesus? Or do I factor in other things too? I’m afraid I do. How about you?
How can we do it?
So the command is there, Jesus wants us to love him more than anything. It’s not our natural instinct to do so. How then can we do it? We can’t but, thankfully, God can. So we need God’s empowering grace to do it. God will provide us everything we need. Just like he provided everything for our salvation. Jesus will show us how. It starts with trusting God for wanting good things also for our kids (or for us), we don’t need to be the gatekeeper. By God’s grace, we slowly grow in our trust in God and allegiance to Jesus. And in the end, we are all better off for it. Because that’s how God’s love works. We will never be short-changed, instead, we will be abundantly blessed.
Forgive us for following you and loving you most
just in theory and not in practice.
Show us how to love you more than anything,
how to follow you without hesitation.
We want to be fully yours and worthy of you.
So we surrender ourselves, our families, our everything to you.
May only your will happen in and through our lives.
In Jesus’ precious name,
Q4U: How about you? Do you love Jesus above all? How do you do it?
Be blessed my fellow pilgrim as you embrace God for all he has for you!
PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE
The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.