Hebrews 6

Lord, You stand by Your promises so that I might stand ON those promises

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Father, You have been continually at work in me since I first surrendered my heart to You.  You have nudged me, moved me, dragged me, so that I might “leave the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art.”  You are growing me up in Him.

Thank You for giving me a taste of heaven and for making me part of the work of Your Holy Spirit.  Thank You for letting me experience the sheer goodness of Your Word and Your power within me.

Strengthen me to not drag my feet on this journey of faith with You, but rather, to “extend the same intensity toward a full-bodied hope (assurance) in You, and to keep at it ’til the finish.  Make [me] like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them.” (MSG)

Your Word says, “We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go.  It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up His permanent post as high priest for us.” (MSG)

Thank You for giving Your word in Your Word, and for standing by Your promises so that I might stand ON those promises.  Keep my faith firmly planted in Your Word.  Make my heart like the kind of soil that produces an abundance of crops so that many, many others can feast on the overflow of my heart, as they see You in me.  Make me just like Jesus.  Oh yes! (amen)

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Hebrews 5

Lord, You stand by Your promises so that I might stand ON those promises

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Once a barrier separated me from You, Father.  For many centuries a human representative whom You’d chosen could annually pierce that dividing wall on behalf of humanity, to seek Your mercy for sin.  And You “rolled back” the sin, choosing not to count it against mankind.

And THEN, in Your perfect timing and flawless design, Another was chosen by You to do what none of the other human representatives could do for us.  Your Son took on our form–fully human, fully divine–and walked among us.  “While He lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as He offered up priestly prayers to You.  Because He honored You, You answered Him.  Though He was Your Son, He learned TRUSTING-OBEDIENCE by what He suffered, just as we do.  Then, having arrived at the full stature of His maturity and having been announced by You as high priest in the order of Melchizedek. He became the source of eternal salvation to all who believingly obey Him.” (Hebrews 7:1-17)

Once a barrier separated me from You, Father.  But once for all time, for all people–including me–Your Son died to tear down that barrier and provide me free access to You!  What a blessed gift!

May this day hold moments when trusting-obedience shows itself in my heart and life.  Bless me with a peaceful heart that rests in Your mercy, grace and forgiveness, as You keep working to make me just like Jesus.  Amen.

Hebrews 4

Lord, You stand by Your promises so that I might stand ON those promises

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Father, here in this passage You’ve mentioned Your rest, Your Word, and Your Son.  You hold out to me the promise of resting in You, pulling me on toward Your goal for me.  Help me not to be disqualified through disbelief.  Rather, strengthen my faith in You as I hold to Your promises, anticipating the experience of Your rest.  At the end of this journey, I’ll surely rest with You.  Along the way, bring me refreshment and peace in Your presence, in moments alone with You.

In Your Word, You mean what You say.  What You say goes.  Your “powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying me open to listen and obey.  Nothing and no one is impervious to Your Word.”  How good to know too that Your Word not only makes an incision where needed; it also stitches up the wound, applies a healing ointment and restores wholeness to the tissues.

Your Son has served as my great High Priest, who opened the way to provide me ready access to You.  His death destroyed the dividing wall of sin between You and me, so that now You and I can freely and constantly commune.  As my high priest, Jesus, it’s wonderful to know that You are fully in touch with my reality.  You’ve been through weakness and testing, experienced it all–all but the sin.  So, You’ve made it possible for me to walk right up to You to get what You are so ready to give.  May I receive Your mercy and accept Your grace, allowing You to embrace me with Your all-consuming, perfect love. Amen.

Hebrews 3

Lord, You stand by Your promises so that I might stand ON those promises

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Jesus, You are “the centerpiece of everything [I believe], faithful in everything Your Father gave You to do.”  Help me to fix my thoughts on You, so that I’ll not forget Your constant presence and involvement in everything I do.

You, Father, are the Master Builder of this house called by my name.  You have taken up residence in my heart and You have set Your Son in charge of this house.  Help me to keep a firm grip on the bold confidence I have in You as my heart serves as the place where You dwell.

Guide me down YOUR road.  Help me to watch my step.  Protect me from any “evil unbelief lying around that could trip [me] up and throw [me] off course, diverting [me] from You, the living God.  As long as it is still Your Today, help us to keep each other on our toes so sin doesn’t slow down our reflexes.  If we can only keep our grip on the sure thing we started out with, we’re in this with You, Jesus, for the long haul.”

You have said, “You keep in perfect peace the one whose mind is steadfast, because she trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3).  Draw me to an even deeper trust in You as the things that would steal my peace increase.  Help my mind to be steadfast in its focus on YOU.  Keep me in Your Word and in Your will.  Amen.

1 Timothy 5

Father, fill me up with Your truth.

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Relationships–an entire chapter about the kinds of relationships You desire among Your people, in Your Church! …Lord, teach me what You want me to learn and to live.

You use all sorts of terms to describe how You desire us to interact:
“Do not rebuke… harshly, but exhort” (v 1).
“Treat as [family members]…with absolute purity” (v 2).
“Give proper recognition…” (v 3).
“…provide for his relatives and especially his immediate family” (v 8).
“…help those who are really in need” (v 16).
“…do nothing out of favoritism” (v 21)
“…do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.” (v 22).

Guide me, Father, in growing my relationships with others, both those related to me through my birth and those connected to me by my rebirth.  Teach me to love them like You do.  Pare away the skin of this fallen world which can cover, hide, or keep in the nutrients necessary for healthy relationships.  Continue to heal the wounds in me that hinder me from reaching out and loving others freely and fully like You love them.  Free me from the past to step forward into the future with each opportunity You supply today.  Make me just like Jesus.  And when a person has encountered me, may he or she love Him more.  Amen.

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Draw my heart toward Yours, Jesus, so that I fall deeper in love with You every moment.

1 Timothy 4

Father, fill me up with Your truth.

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“You’ve been raised on the Message of the faith and have followed sound teaching.  Now pass on this counsel to the Christians there, and You’ll be a good servant of Jesus.” (v 6 MSG)

“If you explain this to the brothers and sisters, you will be doing your duty as a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is fed by the message of faith and the true teaching you have followed.” (v 6 NLT)

Thank You so much, Father, for feeding me throughout my life with the truths of Your Message, Your Word which has produced faith in me as I look to You.  Guide me in staying firmly grounded in Your Truth and in passing it on to others.

“Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion.  Exercise daily in God–no spiritual flabbiness please!  Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.  You can count on this.  Take it to heart.” (v 7-8 MSG)

Be my Coach, my Personal Trainer, Lord.  Equip me for living, using, and teaching Your Word wherever You lead me each day.  Guide me in discerning Your Truth and in paying attention to what I allow into my mind.

“We work hard and suffer much in order that people will believe the truth, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and particularly of those who believe.” (v 10 NLT)

Stir in me, Father, that intentional energy that is focused on the purpose You’ve called me to as Your child, Your follower: To make disciples.  Remind me repeatedly of this work that You’ve put me here to do.  My current job is not what You’ve employed me to do.  It’s merely a means through I can touch lives so that I can make disciples.  You’ve supplied a home, a car, a job, a church family, neighbors, friends, acquaintances, places to do business in the community, communication means (phone, email, postal service, etc.) … all these things and more — You’ve supplied them as my tools for carrying out this ministry You’ve given me.  Help me to view these things from THAT perspective more than getting caught up in them for self-serving reasons.

“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young.  Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity … focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.  Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received … Give your complete attention to these matters.  Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.  Keep a close watch on yourself and on your teaching.  Stay true to what is right, and God will save you and those who hear you.” (v 12-16 NLT)

Let others see Jesus in me, Father:
May the words that I SPEAK or use to teach communicate solely the Truth found in YOUR Word.
May the actions of my LIFE reflect the motives, energy and activities of YOUR Son.
May the sharing of my LOVE convey the passion and authenticity of YOUR love.
May the example of my FAITH inspire others to trust in YOUR faithfulness.
May the model of my PURITY enliven the courage and endurance of others to strive to embrace YOUR virtue.

In all these things, may You receive glory, honor, and praise, as others are led toward a more intimate relationship with You, our extraordinary God, because they have encountered this ordinary servant of Yours.  Amen.

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Draw my heart toward Yours, Jesus, so that I fall deeper in love with You every moment.