30 Days With Wesley – Day 30: The Send Off

30 Days with Wesley(Optional Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)

Today’s optional reading is very fitting for the 30th day of this book. It it Paul’s Biblical send off to his readers in 1 Thessalonians. He writes,

Now, may the God of peace himself cause you to be completely dedicated to him; and may your spirit, soul, and body be kept intact and blameless at our Lord Jesus Christ’s coming. The one who is calling you is faithful and will do this.

It is a beautiful send of. It fits so well for today. If you have been journeying with me through these 30 days with Wesley, I probably have never met you in person and we are not close friends. Though if you are a follower of Jesus like I am, I know that we are both on the same journey of seeking after Christ and letting him transform our lives on a daily basis.

It is this common ground that I send you off. May God keep us dedicated to him and may we be found blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus.

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen. 

How did you like the journey of 30 Days with Wesley? Let me know in the comments below.

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30 Days With Wesley – Day 22: Getting Straight To The Point

get-to-the-point(Optional Reading: 2 Timothy 2:8, 11-13)

Have you ever had someone tell you something but they aren’t direct about what they are trying to say? They skirt the issue and never really face it head on. Perhaps you have heard someone tell a story, but they take forever to tell it. This is how I am. I tell long stories at times, full of details, and it drives my wife crazy. She’ll look at me and say “Get to the point already!”

Paul writes to Timothy in 2 Timothy and he wastes no time getting straight to the point. “This saying is reliable:

‘If we have died together,

we will also live together.

If we endure, we will also rule together.

If we deny him, he will also deny us.

If we are disloyal, he stays faithful’

because he can’t be anything else than what he is.” (CEB)

In this passage, Paul gets straight to the point. So much so that I barely need to elaborate on what he is saying.

Paul lays out the simple cause and affect of each choice we make. The key element to remember is that Jesus will remain faithful to us no matter what happens because that is who he is. Wherever you are today, whatever you are facing, know that Jesus is always seeking after you and longs to be with you. You might have given up on Jesus, but he will never give up on you. Seek after him and you will find him.

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.

30 Days With Wesley – Day 21: Looking Out For Who Matters

one_finger(Optional Reading: Philippians 2:2-4)

Have you ever heard the phrase, “I’m just looking out for number one”? This phrase is all based on a mentality of keeping yourself the focus and benefactor of your life. If something is worth doing it better be beneficial to you.

Paul writes in Philippians 2:2-4:

“…complete my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, being united, and agreeing with each other. Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others.”

What is your focus in life? Are you looking out for number one or are you possibly looking out for number two? Paul calls us to unite in love and care for others. This is also shown to us through the life of Jesus. Jesus gave up everything, even to the point of his own life, for the sake of others. If Jesus was just looking out for number one, where would we be today?

I think we will also discover that when we begin to look out for who matters and live within this selfless mindset of Christ, number one will be taken care of. We will live a life of fulfillment and great joy. Who are you looking out for? Are you looking out for number one or for who matters?

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.

30 Days With Wesley – Day 20: Weakness Is Our True Strength

Weakness-Strength1(Optional Reading: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

I can admit that I am not in the best shape. I am always trying to think of ways to improve my health and build strength in my life. Just yesterday, I got sucked into a youtube ad that was telling me about how I can build muscle and burn of fat quickly and easy. I sat there for who knows how long watching this guy explain how his awesome workout plan could change my life. For a few simple payments.

Many people, including myself, are in this constant search for true strength. We try different pills, workouts, diets, machines, etc to transform our lives. There never seems to be a perfect answer.

The same is true in our minds, we are always seeking for the next big truth, the next big ah-ha moment that will bring our mind and life to the next level. Paul writes about this in 2 Corinthians 7. He even explains the secret to true strength. The truth is our weakness is our greatest strength. Paul writes of a thorn in his side. He longs for God to take it from him, but he continues to have it so that he doesn’t become conceited.

Then Paul points out the amazing truth about our weaknesses. It is in our weaknesses that God begins to make us strong. It is when we acknowledge the fact that we cannot do this Christian life without God’s grace and empowerment. I have found that within the Christian life success follows humility. If we are prideful about something, it usually comes back to bite us.  Thought when we honestly admit our weakness in an area, God blesses this weakness and uses us in spite of that weakness.

If you want true strength, you must first admit that you are weak.

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.

30 Days With Wesley – Day 19: The Path To Forgiveness

Green Path(Optional Reading: 1 Peter 4:8-11)

“Above all, show sincere love to each other, because love brings about the forgiveness of many sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

In life, we occasionally create these things call “unforgivables.” These are the things that we whisper under our breathe aloud, saying things like: “If he does that to me… I’ll never forgive him.” or “If she even says that to him one more time… I’ll never forgive her.” These are our unforgivables. Many of our unforgivables can be very serious things that have lead to broken relationships and broken families. Possibly even the loss of a loved one.

Jesus calls us to a life of forgiveness. Jesus forgave us of a great debt, therefore we are called to turn and forgive those who have hurt us. I don’t want to make it seem like I am saying that forgiveness is easy. I understand that people are facing individuals who have caused pain and loss on a huge level. Forgiveness might not come quickly to those situations, but I do believe that Jesus desires for us to move towards forgiveness. One step at a time.

Peter lays out the very first steps to beginning on the path of forgiveness in 1 Peter 4. It all comes down to love. If we can begin to show sincere love to those who have wronged us, we are taking a step towards forgiveness. It is all about baby steps. This sincere love can take on many forms. It might mean you pray for the person who hurt you. It might mean you talk to him. Or it might just mean you choose not to wish harm upon her that day.

God, may we live with sincere love for those who need forgiveness in our lives. May we be Christ to them today. May we daily take another step on the path to forgiveness.

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.

30 Days With Wesley – Day 18: Money & Happiness

money-happiness(Optional Reading: 1 Timothy 6:6-10)

Happiness and money. These two words go together in the minds of a majority of people. Most of the time, people assume that if you have more money you will have more happiness. This then fuels this inner pursuit for more money. Sometimes, the idea of money can be replaced by things. We think, “I need more money. Then I can buy that new “thing”. Then I will be happy.”

I am an Apple Mac user. I love mac products and all the technology they have created. Just this last week, Apple held a keynote to introduce the new iPhone and also revile their new product, Apple Watch. Apple understand the concept of wanting the best. At one point the keynote speaker even referred to us lusting after the new iOS operating system. Apple gets it. People believe they need money to get the newest and best product, so they’ll feel happy.

Paul write to Timothy about this idea in 1 Timothy 6:6-10. Paul writes,

Actually, godliness is a great source of profit when it is combined with being happy with what you already have. We didn’t bring anything into the world and so we can’t take anything out of it: we’ll be happy with food and clothing. But people who are trying to get rich fall into temptation. They are trapped by many stupid and harmful passions that plunge people into ruin and destruction. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some have wandered away from the faith and have impaled themselves with a lot of pain because they made money their goal.

Money is a tricky thing. Personally, I have found that the more I seek after it, the less happy I become.  There is an old adage, “The one who dies with the most toys… still dies.” Jesus doesn’t want us to spend our lives seeking after pointless treasures that we leave here on earth when we die. Rather, Jesus says: “Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

May our focus not fall away. May we stay true to what Jesus calls us to. For money, toys, smart phones, gaming consoles, tables, TV’s, cars, etc. will all fade away, but our relationship with Christ and the kingdom of God is forever.

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.

30 Days With Wesley – Day 17: Making God Visible

Schnorr_von_Carolsfeld_Bibel_in_Bildern_1860_001(Optional Reading: 1 John 4:12-13)

There were two passages that stuck with me from the daily reading this morning. Psalm 68:4-6 states,

“Sing to God, sing praise to his name,

extol him who rises on the clouds

his name is the Lord

and rejoice before him.

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, 

is God in his holy dwelling.

God sets the lonely in families,

he leads forth the prisoners with singing;

but the rebellious live in the sun-scorched land.”

and 1 John 4:12 says,

No one has ever seen God. If we love each other, God remains in us and his love is made perfect in us. This is how we know we remain in him and he remains in us, because he has given us a measure of his Spirit.

These two passages seem to complement each other. John is making a statement here. We understand that no one has seen God, but when Christian begin to show love to each other and those around them, then God begin to become visible in our love. It is in this love the God begins to show that he is the Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, and a God who sets the lonely in families.

So the simple question today is, are you hindering or helping make God visible to those around you?

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.