A Living and Holy Sacrifice

Oh dear Father… As you know, I’m lying down yet again because I’m too tired to sit or stand. I’m thankful that You’re here with me and that I have a comfortable pillow on which to rest my head. I admit that I struggle to lie here peacefully. Please forgive me and help me to trust that You have placed me here for a good reason whether I understand what it is or not. Please help me to not covet the things that I think would be more pleasing to me to do during this time. Instead, I want to present myself as a living sacrifice, purified from sinful thoughts about my circumstances. Please renew my mind to conform it to Your will.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. 

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:1-2

Prepare Your Mind, Keep Sober in Spirit, and Fix Your Hope

Over the last couple of years, it became apparent that my health was suffering significantly each time I would leave my house to go anywhere. The resulting illness that lasted for several days was a strong motivator to simply stay home instead of participate in my previous activities. As my world gradually grew smaller, I thought it would become easier to keep my mind on things above (Colossians 3:2). I thought there would be fewer sinful distractions. How wrong I was.

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Dwell on What is True

Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
Psalm 131:2

In my process of being weaned, there are moments of discouragement. Falling tears leak my memory from my mind, making biblical truths difficult to recall. In order to compose and quiet my soul, I need to talk myself through what I know to be true though. A written list is helpful during these times; it reminds me of what I know to be true and prompts right thinking. Following is my list, provided for a special someone in need. A pdf version without links is provided at the end of the post for anyone desiring a printed version of truths “on hand” for those difficult moments.

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Prayer

The warmth of the sand surrounded my toes as I dug them into the grainy substance slightly wet with water from the receding waves. The sun massaged the muscles of my back and neck as they melted from my awareness. My eyelids closed as I listened to the birds calling to each other. My breathing slowed, and I relaxed, nothing calling for my attention but the pull of these pleasurable sensations.

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My Song in the Night

At the end of my last post, I commented, “Preaching truth to myself instead of listening to thoughts that cause despair is what I must do in order to be filled with joy, peace, and hope.” However, I also realize that prayer is essential in my desire to draw closer to God. Recently, my prayers have come in the form of pleading cries for relief and comfort. I know that God notices my tears as He did with Hannah (1 Samuel 1:10) and doesn’t grow weary of listening as written by David (Psalm 6:6-9). As I pray though, I find myself wondering, as David did in Psalm 13, “How long, O Lord”?

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Why Are You in Despair?

The battle for right thinking is hard; sometimes, it is very hard. Prolonged trials challenge the faith of a believer but have the potential to produce spiritual growth and nearness to God. Many of the Psalms illustrate this as the psalmist pours out his heart to God with words of anguish and fear alternating with praise for God and hope for His help.

As a prime example of this, Psalm 42 reflects much of what has been on my heart recently. I have felt anguish and fear after finding another breast lump. However, the Holy Spirit is bringing truths to my mind that challenge my thoughts, resulting in a spiritual war that is difficult, but bound to produce good.

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Christian Fellowship

At the end of my last post, I posed the question, “Can I be content even if I spend the rest of my days physically unable to do daily household tasks”? God has given me the opportunity to try to answer this question. My sleep deteriorated to the point that I was sleeping only 1 hour per night for several weeks, resulting in physical and mental deterioration; I felt much like Paul expresses in his second letter to the Corinthians:Read More »

The Race That is Set Before Me

Following my study of Hebrews 12:1-2 this morning, I prayed this and wanted to share it here with the hope that someone else will benefit:

Dear Father… Please help me to be able to endure today’s portion of the race that You have set before me; I know that I need Your help in order to do so. Looking at my race causes my knees to tremble, because it looks very difficult to me. I’m not strong enough to continue to bear these physical infirmities myself. Therefore, I am setting my eyes on You, the author and finisher of my faith. Please keep me steadfast on the straight course, preserving me from wandering onto paths that would make my race even more difficult. I have joy when I look to You even though this cross that I am called to bear would compel me to faint in my own strength. Thank You for setting the perfect example of how to bear a cross patiently and joyfully without fainting. I pray that You would help me to persevere until my course is finished, and I thank You for the love that promises to do so. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2

Turning Cares into Prayers

All block quotes are from “Prayer, the Cure for Care” by Charles Spurgeon

Turn everything that is a care into a prayer. Let your cares be the raw material of your prayers, and as the alchemists hoped to turn dross into gold, so do you, by a holy alchemy, actually turn what naturally would have been a care into spiritual treasure in the form of prayer. Baptize every anxiety into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and so make it into a blessing.

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