Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 11.29.16

Scripture


John 5:39-47

Pray

Father please fill me up and reinforce my armor. You know the challenges and the challenging people that I am dealing with. You know my struggles and my pain. You know which people are attacking me, distracting me, and trying to pull me into darkness–and away from You. Father each day I try to put my trust and faith solely in You. Humans alway try to distract with claims that the solutions are through them, when the true and only solutions come from You. You are the source of all goodness, all greatness, and all that is right. Father keep my eyes, heart, and mind focused on You. I don’t want to be distracted, deterred, or led astray. I want to be obedient to You and honor You in every way. In Jesus’ name I pray to You as Your servant and child. Amen.

Reflection

There are countless pseudo-Christians who use God’s name like it’s a preposition or a conjunction in a sentence. There are countless individuals out there who know and say all of the Christian catch-phrases like, “God is good…all the time…and all the time, God is good!” But then they don’t give God the credit for all things good and great going on in their lives. They want to say they are ‘self-made’ and that they accomplished everything by their hard work alone. When times get bad they don’t get on their knees in prayer and then stand in their conviction that God has their back, front, and both sides. Nope. Instead they cry out about the burden they carry; they place greater importance upon their yoke and disregard everyone else’s. In their minds it’s all about them because no one has a greater burden than they do. They will regurgitate their favorite phrase as grace before a meal, but lack the substance of sincerity. They are all about the rote but not about the pure application.

As Jesus said, their minds are closed.

Many of these same people will mention God in one breath and then curse you in the next. They will say a prayer for the impoverished but then not give a dollar to a homeless person on the street. They will have the symbolic Christian fish on their car, but then give you the middle finger when you accidentally cut them off in traffic or take the parking spot they had also been eyeing. A closet full of clothes they will possess, but donate a bag full (of those clothes) they will not. They will let food spoil in their refrigerator rather than boxing it up and handing it out to those who would gladly receive and consume it. They think that the little that they do in the community is more than enough. How can you tell God that you have done “enough” of something? You haven’t had to sacrifice like Jesus, Moses, David, Daniel, and so many others who sacrificed but never said “I’ve done enough God”.

Re-read the verses for today. Visualize what Jesus is saying.

Jesus is speaking to the Jews who place their hope in Moses, yet Moses’ writings tell of Jesus’ coming and that he is the true Savior. Moses was trying to prepare the Israelites for Jesus’ arrival. They didn’t get it. Look how long it took for them to get out of the wilderness. Look how long it took for them to stop returning to worshipping false gods. Look how many times God allowed them to be enslaved after leaving Egypt. Look at how many times they watched numerous neighbors get swallowed up by the Earth.  If they don’t believe in Moses’ own words then it’s no surprise they don’t believe what Jesus has to say. They hear but they are not listening. They see but they have no vision. They touch but cannot feel. They smell but cannot distinguish. They taste but cannot savor. They know something is there but fail to recognize and distinguish. Their minds are closed and they are blind. 

That is our struggle today. We are either in the wilderness still or being enslaved again. We keep creating idols and worshipping other gods. Our Father said that we can’t serve two masters, yet we keep trying. Some of us think we can serve more than two.

Your heart can either be warm and open, or cold and closed. When it is the latter, you’re not even fully receptive to God; your feet are well planted in darkness, while a warm and open heart comes from feet planted in God’s light. A warm heart can be molded, while a cold heart is like a rock—there’s not much molding you can do with that, other than break it. 

Look at our world today. Look at the news and on social media. Look at all of the closed minds. Pray for God’s light to be received by most, because five percent is not a tipping point in our favor. We need more light than darkness to prevail. So every day put on your armor and shield, and vow to keep your eyes, mind, and heart on God–and pray that the words that come from you are more like Him and less like the enemy’s.

Questions of the Day

1. What would you like to add to today’s prayer and/or reflection?

2. What are your thoughts about today’s message?

Feel free to share your answers, prayers, comments, and reflections in the comment section below. You can also send me an email at: breakingbreadwithnatasha@gmail.com 

Please also feel free to share this post with others. We’re never quite sure who needs to hear and see what, and when! It would be awesome if whenever you run across a prayer, message, or scripture that moves you, you would kindly share it with the rest of us. You can post it on this blog or send me an email. 

Love always,

Natasha

Copyright 2013-2016. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. Prior posts from 2009-2013 are copyrighted under the name Natasha L. Foreman. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com

Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission.(www.Lockman.org)

Scripture taken from the Common English Bible®, CEB® Copyright © 2010, 2011 by Common English Bible.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. The “CEB” and “Common English Bible” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Common. English Bible. Use of either trademark requires the permission of Common English Bible.

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers

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