The world’s standard…

“The essence of the world’s standard is that it sets self in the centre; the essence of the Christian standard is that it sets Christ and others in the centre.”

From my morning readings in “The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians”, Daily Study Bible Series, by William Barclay.

Bromley Solo Violin by markvall
Bromley Solo Violin, a photo by markvall on Flickr.

The focus is on service.  Not just for people we know and love, but for all of God’s creation.  Which doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t start at home, as it were.  But many of my NeedlePrayer projects are for people I have never met, and I never meet them.  But I love them because God does.

A friendship which does not grow closer…

“A friendship which does not grow closer with the years tends to vanish with the years. And it is the same with us and God.”

From my morning readings in “The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians”, Daily Study Bible Series, by William Barclay.

No Boundaries by premasagar
No Boundaries, a photo by premasagar on Flickr.

I believe that friendship to be the cornerstone of each of our lives.  And how do we grow our friendships?  By giving time to our friends.  By sharing with them.  Laughing with them.  Crying with them.  Telling them what is in our hearts.

But also, crucially, by listening to them.  Trying to understand them.  Concerning ourselves with what concerns them.

Prayer lets us do all of these things!

No matter what we are like…

“…no matter what we are like, the door is open to the presence of God.”

From my morning readings in “The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians”, Daily Study Bible Series, by William Barclay.

Entering Bond Chapel by Out Of Chicago
Entering Bond Chapel, a photo by Out Of Chicago on Flickr.

Sometimes I feel so unworthy.  It’s important to me to remember that it is not just me doing service.  The presence of God is what benefits others!  The door is open for me to visit Him, and for Him to shine through me

Grace always describes a gift…

“Grace always describes a gift, and a gift which it would have been impossible to gain for ourselves, and which we never earned and in no way deserved.”

From my morning readings in “The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians”, Daily Study Bible Series, by William Barclay.

Gift by asenat29
Gift, a photo by asenat29 on Flickr.

I always thought I had to earn worth, and I never could.  Knowing that grace is a gift from my loving Father is so wonderful!  It’s a relief, a joy!  Now I can be me, and use my gifts and my love for His glory without worrying about the score.

The effect of a great love…

“The effect of a great love is always to cleanse. When people really and truly fall in love, their love compels them to goodness.”

From my morning readings in “The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians”, Daily Study Bible Series, by William Barclay.

Pray by Saad.Akhtar
Pray, a photo by Saad.Akhtar on Flickr.

This is especially true when we fall in love with God.  As my love for God grows, I find myself growing away from selfishness and self-absorption.  I want to serve!  And serving makes my heart feel lighter and cleaner.

Father, thank you for the cleansing power of Your love and of our love for You.

God adopted us…

“God adopted us into his family as his children.”

From my morning readings in “The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians”, Daily Study Bible Series, by William Barclay.

Shower Cake by DonkerDink

Thank you, Father, that You did not make us to be pets or servants, but full children of Your love!

Good works can never earn salvation…

“Good works can never earn salvation; but there is something radically wrong if salvation does not produce good actions.”

From my morning readings in “The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians”, Daily Study Bible Series, by William Barclay.

Community Center by ccstbp
Community Center, a photo by ccstbp on Flickr.

We receive salvation as a gift, freely given.  It can never be earned, only accepted.  But once we have it, our love for God and His people should grow until we glory in good works.