Dear God, sometimes we forget that we who love You have a big target on our back and that Satan is indeed looking for ways to bring us down, to break our faith and to make us doubt that You are there for us.
Being “sober-minded” is another admonition and we know that is different than intoxication from drink. You teach us that we should be orderly in our conduct, to not speak coarsely and to therefore have Your Spirit in us. You also tell us to be full of joy, so to be sober minded must not mean to be long faced and stern in our demeanor.
Jesus, all that we think, do and feel is before you. We do not face temptation alone nor do we sin in secret. Your experiences on earth are our experiences as well. You lift us up, as though we had never sinned, into the presence of the Father. Therefore, in Your righteousness, we can be bold in coming to the Father in prayer and boldly seek to serve Him, which is the essence of our purpose.
Father, it could not be more clear. You chose us for salvation. We see that we are sanctified by the Spirit, as we decide to accept Your Son, Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and when we demonstrate our belief in that truth. And what is the truth but Your Holy word. That, Father, is the Good News in a nutshell. Your Spirit, and our spirit, becomes as one and the process of sanctification ensues.
Jesus, it is so hard to not be angry, at times. Here it seems that you are reminding us that Christians shall be known by their love. You are instructing us in a new way, beyond the 6th commandment, “Thou shalt not kill”. We are, as a result of the presence of the Holy Spirit, required to be patient, kind and gentle, full of goodness, loving people who we might not feel like loving.
Paul says we are called to be “saints”. Father, You know how frail and impotent we feel, at times. Help us today, to know that when we are full of the Holy Spirit seeking to be as You Jesus, that we are, in that moment, saints.
Here You teach us that our differences are in our gifts, not our means of knowing You. No gift is better than another and we all contribute, to the best of our ability, in making the Church one body in Christ Jesus. Forgive us if we add rules and conditions that are not named by You.
We know, Jesus, that as we love God, completely, and our neighbors as ourselves, that we are no longer judged by the law but we are judged by You. The straight edge of the law magnifies our sins and we need to stop sinning, but Jesus we can not do so in our own strength and wisdom. We seek to serve You and be led by You, every day.
Even as we tell others of our love for You and Your Holy word we see that You have entrusted us with this role, not to please men, but to pass the test of focusing on Your presence in the process. Our personal righteousness is truly as filthy rags.