Category: <span>thoughts by Suzanne Benner</span>

Jesus reconciles both us and our enemies to God, because all who come to God must come through Jesus.


For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinance, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.”  Ephesians 2:14-16 ESV

Real peace awaits those who come to Jesus.

When the angels announced peace, they didn’t mean simply a lack of open conflict. Peace on earth doesn’t come through a temporary truce that doesn’t address the underlying hostility, nor by begrudging resignation.

No, peace — the reason Jesus came — means reconciliation with God.

All our problems stem from the moment Adam and Eve’s disobedience severed our relationship with God. Sin destroyed our intimacy with God, our fellowship with other people and our contentment with ourselves.

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul addressed the division between Jews and non-Jews in that church. As Gentiles, we were excluded from God’s chosen people, the nation of Israel, from the covenants God made, and from His promise to send a Redeemer. Our situation was hopeless (Ephesians 2:12).

But then, Christ came.

Jesus destroyed the barrier, the wall of hostility — all the rules that divided Jew and Gentile, all the things that alienate people from each other. By dying on the cross, the sinless Jesus fulfilled the Law that no human could never keep. Jesus formed the bridge that reconnects us with God.

Jesus is our peace.

Jesus reconciles both us and our enemies to God, because all who come to God must come through Jesus.

Jesus preaches peace — reconciliation — to those who are near to God and to those who are far from God (Ephesians 2:17).

In Christ, we discover not only restored intimacy with God, but the pathway to healed fellowship with our family and our former friends. Jesus brings peace to our souls.

Thank you, Glorious Father, for sending Jesus to be our peace. I know that only Jesus can provide the way to be in right relationship with You. May the reconciliation that Jesus brings flow out my life to all my relationships.

By Suzanne Benner
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Further Reading

•  Life Can Bring Joy out of Sorrow by Norma Becker
•  Fully Surrender to the Lord
•  Salvation Explained


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“You will be changed into a different person.”    Doesn’t that sound glorious?


The Spirit of the LORD will come upon you in power and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.”
(1 Samuel 10:6)

These were some of Samuel’s words to Saul when he anointed him as king. God’s promise to Saul was fulfilled, as we read just a few verses later:

As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these sign were fulfilled that day.” (1 Samuel 10:9)

You will be changed into a different person.”

Doesn’t that sound glorious?

How wonderful it would be to have my failings and insecurities removed and to be remade into a different person. The promise of change has been extended to every one of us. Jesus didn’t die so that our lives could be improved or upgraded; He died so that we could be transformed.

Paul put it this way, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

That promise is for each person who accepts Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for his or her sins.

Sometimes the evidence of change is instantaneous, other times it appears more gradually, but the truth remains – if God’s Spirit lives in us we will be changed. How does believing that God has changed you affect your daily life?

Thank you Gracious God, that I am a new creation in Christ. Thank you for washing away the old and filling me with Your Holy Spirit. Help me to live in the reality that I am a different person. Amen

Action Step: Learn spiritual breathing – confessing sin and inviting the Holy Spirit to be in control – can help you become more Christ-like.

by Suzanne Benner
Used by Permission


If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


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Further Reading

Business man Skip Ast had his life completely turned around for the good, Success followed.

Getting Life Back on Track by Marvin Kehler

•  Salvation Explained


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“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  Matthew 11:29

Over the past couple of decades, Western society has emphasized the idea of lifelong learning. Rather than restricting education to formal school settings, lifelong learning promotes voluntary and continual growing in knowledge and understanding, both practical and theoretical.

Yet millennia before this current way of thinking, Jesus told his followers to become lifelong learners of him. He called it discipleship.

Over and over, the Gospel writers record Jesus saying, “Follow me.” Jesus called men, women, and children to follow his way of life and do the Father’s will as he did.

Our purpose, as Christians in the twenty-first century, is the same. We must spend our lives learning from Jesus. We must study and copy Jesus’ submission to the Father; embrace God’s words about sin, repentance, and forgiveness; follow the Spirit’s teaching on love, righteousness, and justice.

Too often we promote making disciples but forget about being disciples. In fact, we can’t produce followers of Jesus without following Jesus ourselves. It must begin with us.

Paul said, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV). Another translation puts it this way, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV).

So, as lifelong learners of Jesus, we copy Jesus, in the power of the Spirit, and urge others to copy us. Inviting fellow believers to imitate our actions spurs us to act rightly. We don’t follow Jesus perfectly, but day by day, month by month, year by year, we learn from him and become more like him as he transforms us by his Spirit.

Jesus, I want to learn from you. I want to think right. I want to hear the Spirit’s voice and obey. I know I can only do that through studying your Word and obeying it in the power of the Holy Spirit, whom you have given me.

Seek to learn from Jesus, talking with him throughout the day and following any directions he speaks into your heart.

Bu Suzanne Benner
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Further Reading

•  Christians: Lessons and Studies
•  How to Pray – an assortment or articles and tips
•  Salvation Explained

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Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.Hebrews 4:16

I need grace. Selfishness keeps me from faithfully representing Jesus every day. Pride contaminates the service I offer God. Fear submerges the longing to love Jesus most of all. Maybe you can relate.

So, when the writer of Hebrews tells us we can find grace at God’s throne, it’s a great relief. Not only can we hope to find grace, but we can come to God confidently, even boldly, expecting to receive grace.

Yet, we shouldn’t simply think positively, believe in ourselves, or conjure up confidence. Paul had a long list of good works and religious pedigree, but he didn’t put any confidence in those things (Philippians 3:3-7).

To understand where our confidence comes from, we need to look at the preceding verses in the Hebrews:

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:14-15).

Because Jesus always did God’s will and never sinned, His death paid the penalty for our sins. The confession Hebrews indicates is: Jesus is Lord; God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9).

Our confidence, therefore, doesn’t come from our own goodness, but from Jesus’ sacrifice.

The author of Hebrews urges us to daily seek God and heed His voice. The more we pursue Jesus, the more we understand our need for grace. And only those who admit their need for grace will approach the throne of grace.

Gracious God, I come before you confident that Jesus paid for my sins. I ask you for the grace I desperately need. Grace to live a holy life, to overcome temptation, to face the struggles of today and the fears of tomorrow. May your power flow through me. Amen.

By Suzanne Benner
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Further Reading

•  Reasons to be Thankful
•  The Healing – A  poem by Katy Kauffman
•  Salvation Explained

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You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”  Revelation 4:11

Sometimes we wonder if we deserve the good things we receive from others: the attention, the adoration, the awards. Our interior motivation does not always match the projected external image.

Not so with God.

Scripture tells us that God deserves our worship. In fact, God’s character and actions entitle him to all the power and glory and honor that exists.

The book of Revelation provides two of the reasons for God’s worthiness.

God deserves our praise because of his position as Creator, as seen in the verse above. Paul tells us, For by [Christ] all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him(Colossians 1:16). God not only created visible things like mountains, animals, and people; he also created invisible things like angels, gravity, and our souls. The beauty, complexity, and vastness of creation call us to worship the infinite One who made and sustains it all.

We find another explanation of God’s worth in Revelation 5:9: Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. Jesus is qualified to judge the world (the seals reveal God’s judgment) because through his righteous life and death he redeemed humankind. Jesus’ sacrifice makes him worthy.

Our only reasonable response to such power and love is worship. Yet, God allows us to choose whether we will do so or not.

Lord God, I join elders, angels, and indeed every creature in heaven and earth, who in the end will say, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13)

As you look around you, worship and praise the Creator who has provided for all our needs in wonderful ways and is also preparing us for a new, sinless creation whose glory and beauty is beyond anything we can imagine.

By Suzanne Benner
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Further Reading

•   What a Friend we have in Jesus
•   God Provides for His Own
•  Salvation Explained

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Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.”  John 5:25

Jesus came to earth to proclaim a shattering truth. You are dead. He spoke, not to corpses lying in tombs but to walking, talking, breathing human beings. In Ephesians, Paul elaborates on the words of Jesus, “As for you, you were dead in your trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).

You see, the death God spoke about in the Garden of Eden wasn’t metaphorical. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, their spirits died. Sin severed the life-giving communion they experienced with God.

The dead cannot hear.

Yet, Jesus said a time was coming when the dead would hear. In fact, Jesus ushered in that time. The gospel proclaims that Jesus came as the remedy to our devastating problem. He came to bring us life.

God, in his mercy, allows dead people — people dead in their trespasses and sins — to hear the voice of Jesus. And those who hear, those who listen, will live. “For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will” (John 5:21).

So, how do we hear the voice of the Son of God and live?

Hearing requires humility, a readiness to confess sin and repent. Hearing requires belief, an understanding that only Jesus can save. Hearing requires submission, a willingness to follow God’s way rather than our own.

Today, if you choose, you can hear the voice of Jesus and live.

Jesus, I hear your voice calling to me. I repent of my sins and know that only you can save me. Give me life. Teach me to walk in your ways and to experience life-giving communion with you.

As you ponder the mystery of Christ’s passion, reflect on the fact that humankind’s greatest act of rejection of God was God’s greatest revelation of his love.

By Suzanne Benner
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Further Reading

•  Heart Fully Committed to Him
•  Fully Surrender to the Lord
•  Salvation Explained

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“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.”  Psalm 62:1 (ESV)

The dictionary defines sacrifice as the surrender of something valuable for the sake of something even more valuable. I valued my autonomy above everything else. Like most people, I want to decide things for myself.

Although I’d known and loved Jesus from a young age, I tried to manage my life on my own. Then, for three years, pain became my constant companion. Pain revealed the truth: I am not in control.

In those days, Psalm 62 came to life for me. Sometimes I repeated Psalm 62:1, “My soul finds rest in God alone,” 50 times a day. Discover with me, the rich meaning of these words.

My — Each person has a choice. I can choose to be my own boss or I can choose to align myself with truth from God’s word.

Soul — David, the writer of this psalm addresses the deepest, most essential part of a person: who I am, my significance and my self-worth.

Finds — This journey of life involves a quest. We search for purpose, fulfillment, and satisfaction.

Rest — More than physical refreshment, we long for inner peace and a refuge from the storms of life.

In God — Finding rest is not a casual endeavour. We must immerse ourselves in the God of Scripture: The great I AM, Creator, Sustainer, Provider, Redeemer.

Alone — We find rest in God and God alone. Nothing else can satisfy. We need nothing more than Him.

Surrender yourself completely to God. The peace, life, and hope He gives far exceed anything the world can offer.

God, I seek you with all that I am because I know that I can only find what I’m looking for in you. Amen.

By Suzanne Benner
Used by Permission


If you have never walked in a relationship with Christ you can start today by committing and submitting your life to him. You can start this with a simple prayer:

Lord, thank You for dying so we can be set free from all of guilt and sin — no matter how big or small.  Your blood has erased all of our sin. Thank You so much! Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be. Amen

It starts now.


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FURTHER READING

•  Stepping Into a Personal Revival
•  Cling to the Lord

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: https://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/

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Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not.”  Exodus 16:4

When God rained bread from heaven, he gave a simple instruction: collect a day’s portion every day. As a planner, rather than a procrastinator, I find this command challenges my mindset.

I prefer to work ahead. Writing before deadlines avoids last-minute pressure. Making and freezing meals prepares for unexpected guests or for a day when I do not feel like cooking. My well-stocked pantry eliminates last minute dashes to the grocery store.

Unfortunately, my plans to decrease stress highlight some of my shortcomings. The desire to control, selfishness, and inflexibility all spring to mind.

The heart of God’s command to “collect a day’s portion every day” cries: obey today and trust for tomorrow.

Now, I realize that God no longer sends daily manna. That miracle belonged to a specific people during a specific period in history. But Jesus called himself the bread of life (John 6) and said that his followers would feed on him.

So, this Old Testament lesson teaches me.

Daily, I must come to Jesus and his Word to find nourishment for the day. I cannot stockpile communion with God. A double serving on Sunday will not feed me through the week. Instead, I must sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to his voice every day.

When we obey and trust, we discover, like the Israelites, that we have enough. “They gathered, some more, some less. But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack” (Exodus 16:17-18).

Dear Jesus, give me yourself – living bread – to sustain me. You promise to provide for me each day; teach me to come to you every day.

Thank Jesus for providing everything you need for life today. Remember he gives you the power to obey whenever you surrender to his will. Trust in God’s Spirit to provide for you tomorrow. Ask him to transform your worry about the future into confidence in him

By Suzanne Benner
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FURTHER READING

•  Prayer is Talking to God
•  Hailing the Chief– a story about how we all pray differently but often don’t even stop to fellowship with God while we are praying.

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Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.”  Genesis 5:24

The cliche “slow and steady wins the race” contains a grain of truth.

How we live today affects our lifelong journey.

The Bible tells us very little about the life of Enoch, the son of Jared. Other than his place in history, we know only three things: Enoch walked with God. Enoch did not die. Enoch pleased God.

In Hebrews we read, “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5). One of only two people who did not experience death, Enoch went directly from earth to be with God. Surely, Enoch’s faith walk was tied to his remarkable exit from this world.

The writer of Hebrews emphasizes faith as the essential ingredient to pleasing God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Clearly, Enoch believed God exists and would reward his efforts to seek him. Enoch sought God, actively, regularly, continually.

We too are called to walk with God, to daily exercise faith in tangible ways.

Reading, studying, and meditating on Scripture demonstrates faith in God’s Word as true and vital for life. Setting aside a quiet time to pray shows faith that God hears and cares. Noticing God’s provision and responding to the Holy Spirit’s conviction displays faith in God’s power, knowledge, and direction.

You too can please God by walking with him.

Holy God, I want to please you. I want my life to be characterized by my faith walk with you. May seeking you be my purpose and my aim every day.

Remind yourself often that God lives in you by his Spirit and is ever-present. Throughout the day, speak to him about anything you want; be attentive to his voice and will.

By Suzanne Benner
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•  Practicing the Presence of God
•  To Whom are You Listening?

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Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?” Proverbs 8:1

Two voices compete for our attention. One entices with dubious promises:

The woman Folly is loud;
she is seductive and knows nothing.

‘Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!’
And to him who lacks sense she says,

Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.’”
Proverbs 9:13,16-17

Wisdom, on the other hand, accurately describes reality:

Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
I open my lips to speak what is right.
My mouth speaks what is true,
for my lips detest wickedness.” Proverbs 8:6-7

The two voices in Proverbs — wisdom and folly — represent two pathways in life. Over and over, Proverbs contrasts wisdom and wise people with folly and fools.

In my mind, I see neon signs flashing on the route of folly: “Free!” “It feels good!” “Satisfaction guaranteed.” Folly tells us to live for the moment, seek pleasure, and choose instant gratification.

At first glance, the narrow path of wisdom doesn’t look appealing. Wisdom demands hard work, patience, and self-denial. Yet experience teaches us that the pain of discipline is so much lighter than the pain of regret.

When we read Proverbs in light of the cross, we realize that Jesus also described these two paths.

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14).

The idea of two voices calling out — wisdom and folly — and two paths to walk — righteousness or wickedness — was familiar to Jesus’ audience. But Jesus shocked His listeners when He said,

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Many voices battle for our attention, but only Jesus speaks the words of life (John 6:63,68; 1 John 1:1). Jesus is wisdom from God and our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30).

Are you walking on the path that is Jesus?

Heavenly Father, I want to hear Your voice and walk in Your way. Thank You for Jesus. He is my righteousness and my path. Amen.

By Suzanne Benner
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“They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. ‘We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,’ they said.Acts 14:21-22

The Book of Acts chronicles the work of the Holy Spirit in the early Church. When the disciples received the Holy Spirit, they immediately began to preach the good news of Jesus. The verses above highlight three things Paul and Barnabas did, which we can emulate.

Strengthen souls. Truth makes our souls stronger. Let us daily speak truth from God’s Word. Truths like: for my sake, the sinless Jesus became sin so that I might become righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21). My old self died when Christ died, so now I live for Jesus in his power, not for myself (Galatians 2:20).

Encourage them to continue in the faith. You are reading this devotion because you want to know the only true God. Continue to seek him. Read the Bible. Pray for guidance. Trust God for all you need.

Say that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. Remember, God never promised an easy life. Because of the brokenness of this world, we face trouble, pain, and grief. But by following Jesus, we find real life in his kingdom.

So, press on. There are souls to be strengthened. Like the early Christians, share how Jesus changed your life. Tell people how Jesus died so that our sins could be forgiven, rose again so that we could live eternally with him, and will come again to judge the living and the dead.

God, you rescued me from the dominion of darkness and brought me into your kingdom. By the power of your Spirit may I strengthen the souls of those around me, encourage them to continue to believe in Jesus and to remind believers that these troubles are not unexpected, but part of the journey into your kingdom. Amen.

By Suzanne Benner
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A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said,

‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’”  Matthew 8:2

The man with leprosy made two amazing claims in this verse. Jesus holds the power to heal — “you can”— and to decide to heal —“if you will.”

For me, believing Jesus can heal comes easily. Growing up in the church laid a solid foundation in my heart. God created all things. God took on human flesh to reveal himself to us. God raised Jesus from the dead. Since God can raise the dead, no problem in my life — physical, emotional, or relational — supersedes his power. My struggle comes in believing he will. So, the leper’s “if you will” arrests my attention.

Sometimes, for reasons beyond our comprehension, God chooses not to heal. For too many years, I resisted prayers that asked God for healing or specific things. Instead, I tried to figure out his plan and only ask for things that he would say yes to. I wanted control.

Clearly, arrogance stood in the way of belief. Refusing to ask God, unless I knew he would say yes, meant denying his complete authority over my life. I failed to acknowledge the truth that God gets to decide.

So, I ask, like a child who trusts her loving father, “If you will, you can.”

Trust requires humility. Asking admits need. Expressing our deepest desire leaves us vulnerable. By seeking a specific outcome, we risk disappointment.

Yet, we do not need to doubt God’s goodness. Righteous, loving, and merciful, God always does what brings about our good and his glory, though we may not see it immediately. So ask.

Father forgive my arrogance and my attempts to control you. I submit to your rule in my life. You can do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine. You are good. Teach me to ask with both humility and confidence. Amen.

By Suzanne Benner
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The Importance of Knowing God

Broken but Made Beautiful

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Then he said to them all:

”Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23

Luke records Jesus’ words about what it means to be his disciple. Two thousand years later, the requirements for Christ followers remain the same. Each must do three things.

      1. Deny himself or herself.
      2. Daily take up his or her cross.
      3. Follow Jesus.

Following Christ is a costly venture. Disciples renounce personal comfort and selfish desires. They do not demand their rights. Instead of seeking their own good, they seek God’s will.

Every day, as disciples of Jesus, we acknowledge that when Christ died on the cross, we died with him. The cross ended the life that sought personal gain and personal glory. Now, we live to serve God by serving others. Paul put it this way,

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ, who lives in me (Galatians 2:20).

Jesus gave up his life to save ours. He expects us to give up our lives and live for him, instead of living for ourselves.

Autonomy may be our day’s greatest idol. Everyone craves the power and freedom to make their own decisions. A three-year-old says it best, “You’re not the boss of me.”

God’s kingdom, however, does not follow the principles of this world. Jesus turned the world upside-down with an amazing pronouncement.

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it (Matthew 10:39).

He calls us to die.

This daily death brings abundant life. The temporary pleasures of this world soon end. Conversely, knowing Jesus satisfies the deep longing of our souls, eternally.

Holy God, thank you for saving me through your Son. May I daily die to sin — pride, anger, lust, greed, envy, and discontent. May I live for you alone. Amen.

By Suzanne Benner
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Foundational Core Truths about Prayer by Sylvia Gunter

Praying with Confidence

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“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2

The call to imitate God sounds impossible. Yet, just as a small child imperfectly mimics a parent’s actions, disciples of Jesus copy him. These verses in Ephesians contain a key way to imitate God: walk in love.

Love, by definition, gives time, attention, and compassion. Love spends energy, intellectual resources, and money. Love sacrifices personal interests, wants, and needs for the interests, wants, and needs of others.

Indeed, love requires sacrifice. Jesus’ sacrifice for us reveals what real love looks like. John explains what “love” is in his first letter. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:10).

The call to “walk in love” goes far beyond loving nice, similar-to-us, or likeable people. God calls us to love dirty, unattractive, and needy people, too. He commands us to love greedy, ungrateful, and adversarial people. God directs us to love these people because that is who we once were. Paul tells the believers in Rome, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

To walk in love is to daily put others ahead of ourselves. We walk in love, not because others deserve our love, but because Jesus first loved us. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another
(1 John 4:11).

Holy Spirit, fill me with your presence so that I might walk in love as Christ loves me. Amen.

By Suzanne Benner
Used by Permission

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“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.”  Matthew 25:35-36

Everyone wants to do something great for God, something noticeable and significant. Yet, Jesus tells us to care for the marginalized rather than the rich, beautiful, and influential.

In this passage, Jesus says he will return to judge all people. At the judgment, when the righteous don’t remember ever seeing Jesus and ministering to him, he says,

“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me (Matthew 25:40).

Numerous times a week, I drive to where my dad, who has advanced dementia, lives so I can feed him lunch. Some days, my dad does not speak. So, I just tell him about the day or hold his hand.

When I entered his “neighborhood”, I saw a man shuffling down the hallway. I greeted him, pointed toward the dining room, and told him that it’s lunchtime. A woman, wearing a foam helmet, barely stood five feet tall. I couldn’t understand a word she said and I don’t think she would understand much of what I’d say either. So, I smiled at her and said her name. I offered her my attention. It’s all I had to give, but for the moment, it was enough.

Simple, unremarkable, often unnoticed, actions. Yet, these precious elderly people are some of the “least of these” for whom God calls me to care.

Who is God calling you to care for today?

Heavenly Father, thank you that you know and care for people we often overlook. Remind me daily that whatever I do for the least of these, I do for you. Amen.

By Suzanne Benner
Used by Permission

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