Tag Archives: Devotional Thoughts

Faithfulness

Faithfulness 1


 
One of the qualities that we all desire is faithfulness. We all want to be faithful to the people and tasks that are given to us. If one is faithful, they will accomplish much in life. The world is driven by a thirst for success, and success is much easier if we are faithful to the tasks and opportunities that that come our way.
Practicing faithfulness means not being self-centered, stubborn, unbending or anything else that hinders us from doing what is good and right. I found this poem which speaks of the virtues of a faithful friend. It gives an idea of the benefits of faithfulness.
“A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter;
he who finds it finds a treasure.
A faithful friend is beyond price,
no sum can balance his worth.
A faithful friend is a life- saving remedy,
such as he who fears God finds.
for he who fears God behaves accordingly,
and his friend will be like himself.”
Author Unknown
Having such a friend shelters us from harm and adversity. That friend is of immeasurable value and is a treasure to our lives. He or she can be, and often is, the one who saves us when we are in harm’s way. They are a friend that can model for us the fear of God and help us to grow into a healthy person.
The value of faithfulness in us and those that surround us is priceless and makes us and the world a better place.

 


Faithfulness 3 Faitfulness 3


Quotes Banner

Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.
~~~Confucius
By faithfulness we are collected and wound up into unity within ourselves, whereas we had been scattered abroad in multiplicity.
~~~Saint Augustine
Nothing is more noble, nothing more venerable than fidelity. Faithfulness and truth are the most sacred excellences and endowments of the human mind.
~~~Marcus Tullius Cicero
Kindness and faithfulness keep a king safe, through kindness his throne is made secure.
~~~King Solomon
I meant what I said and I said what I meant.
~~~Dr. Seuss, Horton Hatches the Egg
The ragamuffin who sees his life as a voyage of discovery and runs the risk of failure has a better feel for faithfulness than the timid man who hides behind the law and never finds out who he is at all.
~~~Brennan Manning
Being faithful in the smallest things is the way to gain, maintain, and demonstrate the strength needed to accomplish something great.
~~~Alex Harris
There have been times of late when I have had to hold on to one text with all my might: “It is required in stewards that a man may be found faithful.” Praise God, it does not say “successful.”
~~~Amy Wilson
Because faithfulness is not a human question, but a divine one.
~~~ Sebastian Barry
God has been faithful since the beginning of time. Even today, nothing can make Him change, who He is. He remains the same and what He said, will remain the same
~~~Gift Gugu Mona

Scripture Banner

Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,” bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future.
Hebrews 3:5

So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
1 Peter 4:19

God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:9

The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
Luke 12:42-44

What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness?
Romans 3:3

Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions
Matthew 24:45-47

For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.
1 Corinthians 4:17

And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.
Hebrews 11:11

For this reason Jesus had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.
Hebrews 2:17

But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory Hebrews 3:6
Prayer Banner

Prayer

Lord, This day I desire to live with a knowledge that faithfulness brings fullness of life.Let me be faithful to you, so that I may be a faithful servant to all that is entrusted to me. I ask you to allow me to be a model of faithfulness to all our encounter. May I achieve this through your grace.

Amen

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Love Without Inquiring

“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy if anything can.”

—–Thomas Merton

Our job is to love one another without inquiring about their worthiness. That is not the entire context of the Merton quote, but I believe it is the heart of the matter. So much of our love, our service, our commitment is hinged on the worthiness of the recipient. When we think in this manner we spend a large portion of our Merton-30efforts judging our brothers and sisters. Christ never acted in such a way. He said: “Come to me, all who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” As we learn to follow the example of Jesus it lightens our burden of judgment, assessment or whatever you may call it and makes us free to love and serve.

Today’s world is certainly one of wars and rumors of wars. The greatest war that most of us have to fight is a self-inflected war of harshness and unkindness to one another. We fail to help those who are in need because we are too busy trying to find out why they are in need and too selfish to give them the simplicity of God’s love. I can only imagine what the world would really be like if we were willing to carry one another’s burden without assessing the cost, risk and worthiness of the recipient of our kindness.

Perhaps we can take a lesson from the monk when he says to us: “…love itself will render both ourselves and neighbors worthy if anything can.”

Midweek Thought 7-1

Prayer

Lord help me this day to look upon my brothers and sisters as, just that, brothers and sisters. May I see them as fruits of your creation that are worthy of my love just as they are recipients of your love. In this ONE truth we find the peace and harmony that will fill the vastness of the void that lies in our souls.

Amen


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The Road

If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.

St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church.

——John of the Cross

John of the cross is the medieval mystic who gave us “Dark Night of the Soul.” In his work he challenges us to the work of being a Christian, and the strength that comes for the journey. He tells us that the strength comes from complete union with God. This union has a price, and it is separation from the world. In that dark night of separation John finds the peace of God.

Prayer Thought

Lord help us to seek union with you and to understand its cost.

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Protecting Empty Boxes

God is always bigger than the boxes we build for God, so we should not waste time protecting the boxes.

—–Richard Rhor from Everything Belongs

Several years ago, when such things appealed to me, I bought a “high quality” counterfit Rolex watch while on a mission trip to Mexico. My fake was so good, it had the sweep second hand, a serial number, and all the rest. After about three months the stem just came off. I hesitated but decided to bring it to a jeweler to be repaired. The clerk treated me very nicely when I brought my watch into his shop. A few days later I received a call that my watch was fixed and ready for pickup. For reasons I can’t remember, my wife went to the store for the pickup. When she arrived and presented the claim ticket, she was told it would be a few minutes because my watch had been put in the safe for security reasons. Imagine that – a fifty dollar fake Rolex locked in the safe with the real ,valuable stuff! I would call that protecting an empty box.

So many of our ideas about God are so far off base, but we defend them to the last breath. Our “boxed” God is further away from the real God that we can ever imagine. Your idea. my idea of God is limited by our ability to understand the supernatural. That’s why it is childish to be so protective of our “boxed” God. Denominations have been formed, people have been imprisioned, all to protect empty boxes.

Today I challenged you to take a look a your “God Box” and determined its value. I think you will find it lacks the true awe and majesty of God, and yet you defend it on a regular basis. Let’s all try to see God as so big that we can never fit him into a box. In doing so, life becomes a journey beyond our imagination, and God becomes more majestic.

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The Bitter Conflict

We are caught in a bitter conflict between flesh and spirit. Jesus has delivered us from sin, but not from the weaknesses and desires of the flesh. We have to reproduce in our life the Cross of Christ so that, have died sacramentally to sin in baptism, we may also put to death sin in our flesh by restraining our evil desires and bad tendencies. This is the basis of monastic asceticism. (Or the Christian walk)

—-Thomas Merton from Basic Principles of Monastic Spirituality

There is not one among us who has not felt the tug of war caused by the conflict of flesh and spirit. This conflict of soul lives in everyone, and the battle rages with little relief. As we face this reality and own it, the conflict takes on a new aspect. The acknowledgement of our fleshly weaknesses allows us to turn to the spirit that is promised by Jesus. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.(John 14:26) Through this spirit we can achieve small victories over our desires, but we have to work at it, and be vigilant.

Prayer young manMerton points to a very important, and the often neglected reality of sacramental grace. Through our baptism the community lift us up so that we might die to sin. That grace is an important tool in our battle with the flesh, and one that should not be neglected. When the congregation (community) says, “-we will so order our lives after the example of Christ, that this child, surrounded by steadfast love, may be established in the faith-” that pledge is the communion of saints in action. We must never abandon the strength that can be garnered from the sacramental community.

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Out of Fuel

In 1991 an Air Canada flight ran into big trouble. Passengers were enjoying an in-flight movie on the Boeing 767 when the jumbo jet’s massive engines abruptly stopped. At first only those without earphones on noticed anything. However, soon it was apparent the jet was in trouble. The pilot came on the speaker system and announced that Flight 143 would be making an emergency landing. The 69 people on board were trapped in an agonizingly slow but inescapable descent to earth.

For a minute that seemed like an eternity, a desperate silence filled the cabin. That silence morphed into fear and gave way to screams as the landing neared. All the latest technology could not keep the jumbo jet in the air. What had happened was this: the electronic digital fuel gauge was out of order. The flight crew had depended on the figures given them by the refueling crew before takeoff. But someone on the refueling crew had confused pounds with kilograms. Therefore, eight hundred miles short of its destination, the jet simply ran out of fuel and was forced to make an emergency landing. Fortunately no one was injured.

A multimillion dollar airplane, headed in the right direction, but running out of fuel. That’s what’s happening to a lot of people today. They have everything in life and one day they wake up out of fuel.

KnowJesusDon’t let that happen to you. Jesus tells us that the power for successful living comes from God. It is the promised gift that Jesus offers us. “Peace be with you,” he says. “My peace I give to you, not as the world gives you. Let not your hearts be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me.”

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March 22 — Day 16

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

16 Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19Do not quench the Spirit. 20Do not despise the words of prophets, 21but test everything; hold fast to what is good; 22abstain from every form of evil.

“Acquire the habit of speaking to God as if you were alone with Him, familiarly and with confidence and love, as to the dearest and most loving of friends. Speak to Him often of your business, your plans, your troubles, your fears— of everything that concerns you. Converse with Him confidently and frankly; for God is not likely to speak to a soul that does not speak to Him.”

—–Alphonsus Ligouri

 


Prayer Starter — Lord give me reminders of my need for you.

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God and Love

The love of Christ is not a different love from the eternal fire in the heart of God or that which flows between the three persons of the Trinity. We are loved passionately by God.the self-sacrificing love between the three persons is the joy at the center of God. What is the response from us to such love? To silently wonder. We enter into the ebb and flow of this divine love. The Holy Spirit enables us to know something of the reality of this love in the depths of our heart.

—-Ralph Wouldham

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Renewal of Soul

“A man who teaches without doing what he teaches is like a spring which cleanses and gives drink to everyone, but it is not Retreat Pictureable to purify itself.”

 —-Abba Poeman

This thought may require some deep introspection. The idea that I would like to draw from this is the concept of our inability to purify ourselves. Purification, refinement, absolution are all needed to continue in the Christian life. There is a tendency in all of us to stop at a particular point and act as if we have arrived. Such an attitude is soul- endangering.

Undoubtedly, the most important aspect of the Christian walk is renewal. Renewal is ongoing conversion of the soul that leads to deeper understanding of sin and service. If we work and preach to others and never take time for the renewal of our souls we, just as the spring, will ultimately dry up. We must all take time to do a retreat or seek a director that will guide to the next step.

  • Are you teaching without doing?
  • Are you neglecting the renewal of your soul?

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GOD MOMENTS

 We’ve all had them.  Those special moments frozen in time.  Those moments that will be remembered when we are very old and sit daydreaming about life.  They are gifts of God to cherish into eternity.

Everything is more sharply focused in that instant, time stands still, the rest of the world disappears.  For this one tiny piece of life, everything is more precious, and God grants a brief interlude in the usual business of living.

The very last time I saw my grandmother, we shared a long, speechless look that no words could capture.  In that look, we relived a lifetime of love.  In that first second that I looked into the tiny face of our newborn son, the awesomeness of God, the Creator of life, was so real to me I could almost feel His physical presence in that room.  Touching moments.  Funny moments,   Heart-breaking moments.  Eternal moments.

Jesus must have had such moments while He was here among us.  The look of love on John’s face as he baptized him.  The look of shame on the face of the woman caught in adultery.  The look of hatred on the face of the Pharisees.  The look of heartbreak on Mary’s face as she watched her boy die.  The look of joy on the face of Peter when he saw his Savior alive again.

If we are not careful, we will let these special times slip by unnoticed.  They can never be recalled.  Once passed, they are lost in an eternity of seconds, minutes, hours, days.  Learn to recognize when you are part of something much larger than yourself.  Take notice of “God moments” in your life.

 

PRAYER:  Father – Thank you for the special moments in life that are from you.  Help me to live each one to the fullest.

Monica Boudreaux

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