1 Corinthians 16

Yes, Lord! My life is in YOUR hands.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” (16:13-14 NIV)
“Keep your eyes open, hold onto the faith with all you’ve got, stand up like a man, develop your muscles. Let your every act be an expression of love.” (16:13-14 Cotton Patch Version)
“Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.” (16:13-14 MSG)
“Keep alert. Be firm in your faith. Stay brave and strong. Show love in everything you do.” (16:13-14 CEV)

These words were some that You moved Paul to pen just as he wrapped up his first letter to the Corinthians, Lord. He was encouraging their steadfastness as they awaited his visit. How applicable these words are for us today, as we await Your return visit to us!

“BE ON YOUR GUARD” — Keep me aware of the tools the enemy uses to undermine or attack my faith in You.
“STAND FIRM IN THE FAITH” — Let nothing move me from the conviction that You are faithful to all that You say.
“BE COURAGEOUS” — Fill me with a boldness that draws its strength from knowing who I am in You and because of You.
“BE STRONG” — Strengthen me with Your power by Your Holy Spirit as You guide me in facing anything.
“DO EVERYTHING IN LOVE” — Continually shape my nature so that this is a natural part of who I am. Make me a reflection of Jesus. Amen.

1 Corinthians 15:12-58

Yes, Lord! My life is in YOUR hands.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“…Christ has indeed been raised from the dead,…in Christ all will be made alive …
When you sow, you don’t plant the body that will be, but just a seed,…
But God gives it a body AS HE HAS DETERMINED, and to each kind of seed He gives its own body…
so it will be with the resurrection of the dead.
The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised IMPERISHABLE;
it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in GLORY;
it is sown in weakness, it is raised in POWER;
it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” (15:20, 22, 37-38, 42-44 NIV)

What a wondrous Day that will be, Father, when we all get to see YOU face to face!  How fantastic to think that even the very best that we’ve known here in this life can’t compare to that which You have awaiting us in our life after this life on earth!

This body I have now will one day die; and You’ll exchange it for one that can never die.

This body has been enslaved and dishonored by sin; but the new one You have for me will be gloriously unbound and free.

This body is frail; but that new one will be a powerful reflection of You.

This body is a natural, human address, a temporary dwelling for who I truly am in You; yet one day I’ll reside in a spiritual body just like Jesus’  (Php. 3:20-21)

Thank You for making my resurrection possible through Your Son’s death, burial and resurrection, as He conquered the “last enemy” (15:26 NIV), death, so that I might know new, abundant, and eternal life with YOU!  Amen.

1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Yes, Lord! My life is in YOUR hands.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“…Christ DIED for our sins according to the Scriptures,…
He was BURIED…
He was RAISED on the third day according to the Scriptures,…
He APPEARED to [several followers].” (v 3-8 NIV)

Thank You, Father, for conveying this message of hope (assurance) and mercy and freedom.  This path Jesus took was His path of victory over sin and death, as He won that battle for me!  Thank You so much, Jesus!

  • Your death stripped away my sin.
  • Your burial put aside my old self.
  • Your resurrection birthed my new self.
  • Your appearing modeled the witnessing You call me to.
  • Your ascension sets the stage for Your return to take me Home.

“…by the grace of God I am what I am…yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (v 10 NIV)

Thank You for Your grace toward me, Father.  Were it not for grace, I shudder to think of where or what I’d be.

You saw me before I was even born, and by Your grace, You chose then to love me.

You saw me in my sin, and by Your grace, You chose to forgive me.

You see me in my frail humanity, and by Your grace, You choose to transform me.

It’s by Your grace alone, Lord, that I am who I am, and that I am becoming who I will be, as You keep making me just like Jesus.  Amen.

1 Corinthians 14

Yes, Lord! My life is in YOUR hands.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it — because it does.  Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you.  Most of all, try to proclaim the truth … letting others in on the truth, so that they can grow and be strong and experience His presence with you.” (14:1, 3 MSG)

“A life of love sure sounds like something much bigger than me, Father.  It’s got to be You at work in me to transform every crevice of my life into a nook where Your love is found.  Only when You invade all of me can there be an overhaul of my character.  Here I am, Lord: surrendered, willing, open, available.  Do what You need to do so that my life more fully reflects and conveys Your love.

Thank You for the gifts You’ve given me through Your Holy Spirit within me.  Thank You for the opportunities You supply in which I may use them.  Guide me in using them.  YOU be the one directing my investment of those gifts.

Use me, Lord, as a mouthpiece for conveying Your truth to this world, which is groping around trying to find and define “truth.”  Put me into situations that call for Your truth to be presented; and I’m confident that You will supply every word, resource, or means necessary for sharing that Truth.

LOVE – GIFTS – TRUTH — all three originate in YOU alone, Father.  YOU are Love.  You give gifts.  You are Truth.  AND, YOU are MY God, my Papa, who loves me always, who showers gifts abundantly, and who trains me to walk in Truth consistently, as You make me just like Jesus.  Amen.

1 Corinthians 13

Yes, Lord! My life is in YOUR hands.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Father, a couple of chapters back, You had Paul write, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ” (11:1 NIV).  If this chapter (13) were a tangible inventory list that You used to examine my life daily, how many days would there be so few check marks to count?!

Inside me is a desire to love like You do, yet my humanity can so often push its way forward to cut in line and be what gets noticed or conveyed.  Still, Father, keep on working on my heart and mind so that this list could one day be a resume of my life in You (derived from the Amplified Bible):

  • Loves with endurance, patience and kindness
  • Loves without ever being envious or boiling over with jealousy
  • Loves without boasting, vainglory, or displaying herself haughtily
  • Loves without conceit, arrogance or being inflated with pride
  • Loves without being rude, unmannerly, or acting unbecomingly
  • Loves without insisting on her own rights or her own way, not self-seeking.
  • Loves without being touchy, fretful, or resentful
  • Loves without taking account of the evil done to her, paying no attention to a suffered wrong (Prov  19:11)
  • Loves without rejoicing at injustice and unrighteousness
  • Loves by rejoicing when right and truth prevail
  • Loves by bearing up under anything and everything that comes.
  • Loves by being ever ready to believe the best of every person
  • Loves with hopes that are fadeless under all circumstances
  • Loves by enduring everything without weakening

“And so faith, hope, love abide
[faith–conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things;
hope–joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation;
love–true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us],
these three; but the greatest of these is love” (13:13 AMP)

Here I stand before You, Lord, fully admitting that I am nothing without You, that I cannot love anyone fully without You infusing me with YOUR love.  Here I am, fill me up.  Keep making me just like Jesus.  Amen.

1 Corinthians 12

Yes, Lord! My life is in YOUR hands.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere;
    but they all originate in God’s Spirit.
God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere;
    but they all originate in God’s Spirit.
God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere;
    but God Himself is behind it all.
Each person is given something to do that shows who God is:
    Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits.” (12:4-6 MSG)

Father, how diverse and extensive is Your Church!  You’ve put us together in the manner which You know will best carry out Your plan for redeeming this world from slavery to sin.  You’ve fashioned us into a Body, setting Your Son, Jesus as the head.


“Your body has many parts–limbs, organs, cells–but no matter how many parts you can name, you’re still one body.  It’s exactly the same with Christ.  By means of His one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives.  We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which HE has final say in everything.”

Thanks for drawing me to You, Lord, to become part of those “many parts.”  Thanks too for connecting my life in varying depths to so many other parts of this Body.


“I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less.  A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge.  It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together … As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where He wanted it.”

Thanks for the different ways You’ve gifted Your people and how You place us together to work alongside one another in building Your kingdom.  You’ve fashioned this person for this role, that person for that role, and another person for another role.  Then, You even put together folks whose roles complement one another’s.  You’re more than amazing, Father!


“But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance.  For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a PART of … What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place.  No part is important on its own.”

Humility … a rare find at times … yet You have promised grace to the humble, Lord.  For any little thing I am able to do, You deserve ALL the glory, with none saved for me.  You are my Source, my Strength, my Sustainer, my Shield … Everything I say and do is for YOUR honor and glory.


So many different kinds of parts are in this Body.  Not always is it easy for some parts to coexist with other parts, but You value EACH part equally.  This whole thought is why the humility is so very necessary.  Each part is simply a “part” of a greater whole.  Each part in that whole MUST be in that whole for it to be whole.  Thanks for the reminder to value each of my brothers and sisters in Christ.  Help me to genuinely do so.


“The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t.  If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing.  If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.  You are Christ’s body — that’s who you are!  You must never forget this.”

Thank You for making me part of Your Body.  Keep me a healthy part that follows the Head everywhere and increasingly takes on His nature.  Amen.

1 Corinthians 11

Yes, Lord! My life is in YOUR hands.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.” (v 1 NIV)

How interesting to think, Lord, that at the time the Corinthians were reading this letter, they couldn’t pick up a copy of one of the gospels and read about the life of Your Son, Jesus.  Paul couldn’t tell them to imitate Jesus, because most knew very little about Him.  Instead, Paul chose to point them to a Christian they had grown to trust, with whom they had built a relationship.

With so much biblical illiteracy in our world today, Paul’s tactic is just as relevant today.  So many folks have never seen an open Bible, let alone read the words found therein, especially the gospel accounts of Your Son’s life and ministry.  What’s that leave?  My life is what they see … My words are what they hear … My attitude is what they pick up on.

As John the Baptist once said, “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30 NIV).  Father, cause there to be more of Jesus evident in my life than me.  Help me to follow Your footsteps in such a way that others become curious, then interested, then captivated until they become connected to You through examples like mine.  Only by Your grace can I become such an example.  Keep making me just like Jesus.  Amen.

1 Corinthians 10

Yes, Lord! My life is in YOUR hands.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


“These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.” (v 11 NIV).

Father, You highlight in this passage the faltering steps of Your people in the past.  You pointed out through Paul’s reflections that “these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did” (v 6).  Thank You for Your warnings that so evidently stem from Your love for me, not wanting me to fall.

Thank You for the great truths in this: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.  And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (v 13 NIV).

Thank You for Your faithfulness!  Thank You for Your guidance, protection and provision!

Help me to follow Your Son’s example … even when it’s tough.  Help me to not seek my own good, but the good of others (v 24).  In whatever I eat or drink or whatever I do, help me to do it all for Your glory, Lord.  Help me not to cause anyone to stumble.  Guide me in not seeking my own good, but the good of many, so that they might be saved (v 31-33).

Keep on making me just like Jesus, so that others see more of Him and less of me.  Amen.

1 Corinthians 8 – 9

Yes, Lord! My life is in YOUR hands.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Yet for there is but ONE GOD, THE FATHER, FROM WHOM all things came and FOR WHOM we live; and there is but ONE LORD, JESUS CHRIST, THROUGH WHOM all things came and THROUGH WHOM we live.”  (8:6 NIV)

Father, You are the Source of ALL that I have.  You are the reason that I have life.  Your Son, Jesus, is the means by which I receive all that I have.  He is the strength by which I live this life You’ve given.  Thank You for all that You provide.  Thank You for allowing me to get to know You.  Thank You for Jesus!

“…We put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ…I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some” (9:12, 22 NIV).

Father, use me to touch lives as I go.  Remove anything in me that would stand in the way of Your gospel being conveyed through me.  Make me a vessel You work through.  I wanna be just like Your Son, Jesus.  Amen.

1 Corinthians 7 (Part 3)

Yes, Lord! My life is in YOUR hands.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


“The gift of singleness,” a phrase often used to describe a person who has spent many years unmarried.  I’ve heard this terminology used at times as though this “gift” were some sort of repellant for natural desires and a booster shot for celibacy.  A few years ago, this idea was put aside in my thinking as I viewed a video of Elisabeth Elliott.

Elisabeth spoke of her life with the Lord, mentioning that, for many years, she recognized that she had been given the “gift of singleness” by the Lord.  When she met Jim Elliott, he too had been enjoying the same gift for quite some time.  During the course of their growing friendship, the Lord gave them both, what Elisabeth described as the “gift of marriage”–to one another.

Not long after the couple went to serve as missionaries to Indians in South America, Jim was killed by those he served.  Through her grieving, Elisabeth recognized and acknowledged that the Lord had given her the “gift of singleness” again.  She received that gift and continued to serve her Lord faithfully.

After some time, the Lord gave Elisabeth the “gift of marriage” again.  During her marriage to this man, he became ill and died.  Once again Elisabeth received the “gift of singleness” from her Lord.  More time passed and she was again handed the “gift of marriage” by the Lord.  The man she was married to at the time was introduced on the video.  Both he and Elisabeth continue to serve the Lord.

Hearing Elisabeth tell her story has shed a different light on the phrase “gift of singleness.” It is a gift–something given by one party to another; something that can be received or rejected by the party to whom it is given. If the gift is rejected and no other is offered, the intended recipient is left to frantically search for what s/he would rather have. In receiving the gift, one’s attitude is a key to the effect of the gift.  To receive the gift with discontent leaves one to mope and whine, because of not getting that for which one had hoped.  Receiving the gift with a thankful heart, however, allows it to be opened and enjoyed, used and shared.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights…” (James 1:17)  Our Father is the giver of all good things, supplying all our needs “according to His riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)  One’s marital status is not an indicator of character or a measure of worth.  Single or married, either state is a gift from our Father, given to us for our enjoyment and for our use in glorifying Him.

~ ~ ~ ~

Father, how wondrous it is to know that YOU are the Giver of all good things, that You have our best in mind with each thing You bless us with. Thank You for this gift You’ve given me.  Supply Your grace to receive it and use it for Your glory and to lead others into an intimate relationship with You, as You continue to make me just like Jesus.  Ame

1 Corinthians 7 (Part 2)

Yes, Lord! My life is in YOUR hands.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

An excerpt from The Path of Loneliness by Elisabeth Elliott:

With a heart at leisure…from itself, Isaiah could answer, “Here I am. Send me.”

I was pondering this matter when the Lord brought straight into my kitchen table yesterday a living example of such a heart. A bright young woman and I were eating lamb sandwiches. I asked her if she is lonely.

“Lonely? Why should I be?”

“You’re single. Most of the single people I know talk about being lonely.”

With a look of surprise and then a laugh she said, “Oh no. You see, I have a sense of expectancy every day. What does the Lord want to do with me today? I have no agenda of my own.”

No agenda of my own. There’s the key to Linda’s freedom. I continued to question her. Yes, she said, she knows what loneliness feels like–it’s isolation, when you think you can’t reach anybody, nobody reaches you, you’re cut off. You have your own agenda.

“What do you mean by an agenda?” I asked.

“Thinking there’s only one solution and God has to give you that or nothing. You have a closed mind. A closed mind is a closed heart and a closed door.”

Now I recognized the reason for the smile which seems always to light Linda’s face. I think it must come from her wholehearted acceptance of God’s “agenda.”

“I love solitude,” she said. “As I drove up here this morning [it was a dazzling winter morning of sunshine and blue sky and blue shadows on the snow] I didn’t have the radio on. I wasn’t listening to tapes. I was just quiet. I love times like that.”

The heart which has no agenda but God’s is the heart at leisure from itself.  Its emptiness is filled with the Love of God.  Its solitude can be turned into prayer.

Father, as I step aside and hand You the pen, You write out the agenda for my life. You be the one to determine where, when, how we go throughout each day.  Thank You for Your companionship along each path and throughout each activity.  Take my life and make it a vessel of blessing as We go.  Amen.

1 Corinthians 7 (Part 1)

Yes, Lord! My life is in YOUR hands.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Excerpts from 1 Cor. 7 in The Message:

“Sometimes I wish everyone were single like me–a simpler life in many ways!  But celibacy is not for everyone any more than marriage is.  God gives the gift of the single life to some, the gift of the married life to others.

“I do, though, tell the unmarried and widows that singleness might well be the best thing for them, as it has been for me.  But if they can’t manage their desires and emotions, they should by all means go ahead and get married.  The difficulties of marriage are preferable by far to a sexually tortured life as a single.

“…don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else.  Where you are right now is God’s place for you.  Live and obey and love and believe right there.  God, not your marital status, defines your life….

The really important thing is obeying God’s call, following His commands….Because of the current pressures on us from all sides, I think it would probably be best to stay just as you are.  Are you married?  Stay married.  Are you unmarried?  Don’t get married.  But there’s certainly no sin in getting married….All I am saying is that when you marry, you take on additional stress in an already stressful time, and I want to spare you if possible.

“I do want to point out, friends, that time is of the essence.  There is no time to waste, so don’t complicate your lives unnecessarily.  Keep it simple–in marriage, grief, joy, whatever.  Even in ordinary things–your daily routines of shopping, and so on.  Deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts on you.  This world as you see it is on its way out.

“I want you to live as free of complications as possible.  When you’re unmarried, you’re free to concentrate on simply pleasing the Master.  Marriage involves you in all the nuts and bolts of domestic life and in wanting to please your spouse, leading to so many more demands on your attention.  The time and energy that married people spend on caring for and nurturing each other, the unmarried can spend in becoming whole and holy instruments of God….All I want is for you to be able to develop a way of life in which you can spend plenty of time together with the Master without a lot of distractions.…Marriage is spiritually and morally right and not inferior to singleness in any way, although as I indicated earlier, because of the times we live in, I do have pastoral reasons for encouraging singleness.”

Father, may my heart and mind be wholly devoted to You above all else, above all other relationships in my life.  May YOU be at the center of those relationships, so that each one may glorify You!  Amen.

1 Corinthians 6

Yes, Lord! My life is in YOUR hands.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I’d be a slave to my whims…
“Since the Master honors you with a body, honor Him with your body! … remember that your bodies are created with the same dignity as the Master’s body …
“…OR didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. GOD OWNS THE WHOLE WORKS. So let people see God in and through your body.” (v 12-15, 19-20 MSG)

Several years ago, Lord, You helped me learn to sing a song that said, “I am not my own. I belong to You … I can’t explain how belonging to You can make me truly free. But I’ll remain in the joy that I knew when I first came to see Your love for me … There’s still one truth that I can know: I am not my own. I belong to You.”*

Some might look at the verses in this portion of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians and see chains which bind a person and hold her back. But that’s not what it means for YOU to own all of me. When YOU are the Lord and Master of my life, You set me free from all other masters. You supply security, assurance, and peace to me simply because I’m Yours.

Thank You for calling me Your own, for paying the price to redeem me from being a slave to sin. Make all of me a reflection of the You in me, Jesus. Amen.

* from “I Belong to You” as sung by Kathy Troccoli on Heart and Soul, (c) 1984 Reunion Records

1 Corinthians 5

Yes, Lord! My life is in YOUR hands.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“The LORD reigns, …Great is the LORD in Zion;
He is exalted over all the nations.
Let them praise Your great and awesome name–He is HOLY…
Exalt the LORD our God and worship at His footstool; He is HOLY…
You were to Israel a forgiving God, though You punished their misdeeds.
Exalt the LORD our God and worship at His holy mountain,
for the LORD our God is HOLY.” (from Psalm 99 NIV)

In Your holiness, Lord, You can have nothing to do with sin. Sin is not part of Your nature, nor do You condone it in Your creation. Because of Your holy love for me, a sinner, You chose to make a way to free me of that sin in me that keeps me from You. Through Your sacrifice of Jesus, I am made clean, holy and pure, as You desire for my life to be.

Thank You, too, that You made provision for my frail humanity: Knowing that I’d falter, You offer Your grace, mercy and forgiveness when I confess my sin to You, admitting that what I sometimes do is not in obedience to You. When I confess it, You promise to forgive me and purify me.

You have knit Your people together into one tapestry that You hold up for the world to see the woven image of Your Son, Jesus. Yet, when some of those threads, belonging to You, begin to unravel, become discolored or frayed, the image of Jesus cannot be seen clearly by this world. That’s when You call on one of Your people to gently, lovingly correct me or fellow sisters and brothers.

You desire purity … and that can’t happen when lives are cluttered with compromise, rebellion, and outright wickedness without remorse. Sin in the Body left without being confronted can damage the entire body, just by one person’s example and influence.

Paul wrote, “…you shouldn’t act as if everything is just fine when one of your Christian companions is promiscuous or crooked, is flip with God or rude to friends, gets drunk or becomes greedy and predatory. You can’t just go along with this, treating it as an acceptable behavior. I’m not responsible for what the outsiders [unchurched] do, but don’t we have some responsibility for those within our community of believers? God decides on the outsiders, but we need to decide when our brothers and sisters are out of line and, if necessary, clean house” (v 10-11 MSG).

Thank You for Your mercy. Thank You for being a holy God. I’m grateful for the way You blend both aspects into the way You handle us, Your children. Teach me Your ways. Give me YOUR eyes to see others as You do, so that when I encounter such brothers or sisters, You will make me a reflection of Your holiness AND mercy in their lives. Make me just like Jesus whatever it takes. Amen.

1 Corinthians 4

Yes, Lord! My life is in YOUR hands.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“…wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God … I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. Even though you have ten thousand guardians* in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became Your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me … my way of life in Christ Jesus which agrees with what I teach…” (v 5, 14-17).

“For the kingdom of God is not just fancy talk; it is living by God’s power” (v 20 NLT).

Authentic follower–that’s what Paul desired to motivate each of the Corinthian believers to become. Lord, You used his pen to convey Your will to Your people … to me. Bring to light my motives for my talk and my walk. Remove any darkness and drench me in Your light. Set my motives in line with Your Word and Your will.

Highlight the lives You’ve intersected with mine over the years and those still vitally connected who are examples of living a “way of life in Christ Jesus which agrees with what [he/she teaches or says]” (4:17 NIV). Show me lives that are living by Your power and not just talking about Your kingdom. As You reveal these examples to me (or even before), hone my own life into that kind of life that authentically follows You — where motives, talk, and action all come together to convey a true reflection of You. Make me just like Jesus, so others can see Him clearly. Amen.

* NOTE: “guardians” — “In Paul’s day, a guardian was a slave who was assigned as a special tutor and caretaker of a child. Paul was portraying his special affection for the Corinthians (great than a slave) and his special role (more than a caretaker) … Paul’s tough words were motivated by love — like the love a good father has for his children (1 Thes 2:11)”

— Notes from the NIV Life Application Study Bible, Zondervan, p. 2067.

“Your walk talks and your talk talks, but does your walk talk what your talk talks?” –as quoted by K. Thomas