Reflections on Bible verses

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!

"New and Improved!" That should be stamped across the forehead of every Christian!
When we come to Christ, he makes us new and he cleanses us of all our sins.
Incredibly, this grace can be "new every morning" because of God's faithfulness and
transforming power.

God's grace and power are given to us through his Holy Spirit.
We are new and improved, and will continue to be that way until
we are completely transformed to be like Jesus! (See 2 Corinthians 3:18)

Holy Father, have your way with my heart, my will, my life, and my time. I want to yield
myself to you so that you can make me new and improved. I don't want to be satisfied with
where you have brought me. No, dear Father, I want to become more like Jesus today, and
each day of my life that follows. Thank you for your empowering grace.
In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Romans 8:15
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to
fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry,
"Abba, Father."

God is so holy, so mighty, so awesome, and yet he bids us to call him "Abba Father."
Abba was a term of endearment, familiarity, dependency, and love used by Jewish toddlers
to address their fathers. God, through the incredible gift of his Holy Spirit in us, has given us
this ultimate gift of availability, love, companionship, protection, and mighty care. Abba!
Dear Abba Father! My God, my LORD, the Sovereign ruler of heaven's armies and Creator of
the universe is also my Abba!

Abba Father, thank you for being so close and yet so mighty, so accessible and yet so holy,
so tender and yet so trustworthy. Thank you, dear Abba, for allowing me to come to you as
your loving child. In Jesus' name and by the power of the Holy Spirit I pray.

If Only…

Maybe your past isn’t much to brag about.
Maybe you’ve seen evil and you have to make a choice.
Do you rise above the past and make a difference?
Or do you remain controlled by the past and make excuses?

Many choose the convalescent homes of the heart.
Healthy bodies, sharp minds, but retired dreams.
Lean closely and you’ll hear…If only.
The white flag of the heart, if only. . .
Maybe you’ve used those words.
Maybe you have every right to use them.
Perhaps you were hearing the ten count before you even got into the ring.

Let me show you where to turn.
Go to John’s gospel and read Jesus’ words in

John 3:6.
“Human life comes from human parents,
but spiritual life comes from one Spirit.”

Your parents have given you genes, but God gives you grace.
God is willing to give you what your family didn’t.

Max Lucado
From Lucado Inspirational Reader

John 3:6 Good News Translation (GNT)

A person is born physically of human parents,
but is born spiritually of the Spirit.

What We Feel Is Not Who We Are

Our emotional lives move up and down constantly. 
Sometimes we experience great mood swings: from excitement
to depression, from joy to sorrow, from inner harmony to inner chaos. 
A little event, a word from someone, a disappointment in work,
many things can trigger such mood swings. 

Mostly we have little control over these changes. 
It seems that they happen to us rather than being created by us.

Thus it is important to know that our emotional life is not the same as our spiritual life. 
Our spiritual life is the life of the Spirit of God within us. 
As we feel our emotions shift we must connect our spirits with the Spirit of God
and remind ourselves that what we feel is not who we are. 
We are and remain, whatever our moods, God's beloved children.

Henri Nouwen
- from Bread for the Journey


For further reflection...

"Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. 
From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I."
- Psalm 61: 1, 2