Father, help us this day, not to publicly portray ourselves as Your children and then privately, in our hearts, go right on thinking wrong thoughts and doing things in private that are clearly sinful, as judged by our own hearts.
Drawing near to You in all circumstances and at all times is Your desire for us. You have told us that Your thoughts toward us exceed number. What a wonderful reality. Help us, this day, to respond to that truth by acknowledging Your presence and asking for Your guidance
Then You teach us that the scribes (lawyers) and Pharisees (religious leaders) are in the role of accusers. You did not say they accused falsely, Jesus, You said they too commit sins of various kinds and if any of them thought they were without sin, then step up and cast the first stone in the killing process.
We no longer stand outside the Holy of Holies, but we are invited behind the veil, right into Your presence and there You call us friends. Picturing that moment is both difficult and sublime. Such truth is too great for us to fully comprehend.
If we only honor the good and gentle we have not distinguished ourselves from others in the world. We are to be known by our love for You and for our neighbor and if our neighbor has been granted authority by You (You, Father are sovereign), so be it. The test is theirs.
Father, You have called us saints and yet our hearts convict us. Here You tell us to sanctify our hearts, an active process of cleansing and renewal by You, that in good conscience we might provide others with a good defense of our love for You in meekness and fear, avoiding arrogance or the suggestion of appearing judgmental.
Father, Your omnipresence in our lives and world is beyond our
comprehension. We know you have none of the boundaries of the flesh and
that You created each of us. Now You teach us that You search us, You know
when we arise and lay down, You know the words on our tongues and the
thoughts of our hearts. You encompass us, Your thoughts toward us are
greater than the sand, a quantity we can not count.
We pray for more of You in our lives this day. Keep us from seeking revenge. It is such a natural reaction Father. We could never be as Jesus was when he prayed for those who killed him if it was not for the power of the Holy Spirit in us.
If we could but remember to take Your yoke upon us, for You have no burden, where ours sometimes feels unbearable. We know Father that You see our circumstance and that you have compassion for us. Relieve us we pray, of the tendency to weigh ourselves down when You are willing to lift us up.