The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
If we can read this passage every morning, how wonderful our outlook will be!
To know and to understand that the love of the Lord is never-ending, to know that His mercy is ongoing, that is faithfulness is great and his mercies begin afresh each day! That’s quite the boost of confidence in our Lord. We NEED to read this and believe this everyday, don’t we?
Looking at the context of this passage through the New Life Study Bible, we are uplifted even more: Jeremiah saw one ray of hope in all the sin and sorrow surrounding him. God willingly responds with help when we ask.
How many people believe that? How many people understand that? Maybe there’s an area of your life that you think is destined to become a permanent sin in your life. Maybe it’s an addiction. Maybe it’s an abusive relationship. Maybe it’s just a poor attitude about something or someone. You can ask God to take away this burden. To help you get out of a situation. To help you steer toward a path of mercy and “steadfast love.”
Fit In Your Faith Today: Start your morning off with this passage from Lamentations. Ask yourself if you believe in God’s faithfulness and forgiveness. Understand that every day is a new opportunity for you to grow in your faith and love of the Lord.
1 Timothy 6:11
But you, Timothy, are a man of God, so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.
St. Paul has a final message to Timothy in his letter to him. But the letter is also addressed to all of us!
This is a prime example of picturing the author speaking directly to you when you read scripture. (Some translations say “But you, man of God,”)
The first thing I noticed is Paul’s language here. I love his use of the word “pursue.” And he uses the word “run” from evil. These action verbs definitely give us the impression that Paul was extremely passionate about how he viewed Christian life. There’s no sitting idly by and watching the world around us. Paul wants us to be active participants!
So how do we become active in our faith?
- Speak up! Maybe you join a committee for the pro-life movement. Perhaps you start a group yourself dedicated to feeding the hungry or helping others less fortunate in your neighborhood. If there’s something you are passionate about like a social concern or health and safety of others, start your own group or committee dedicated to awareness.
- Run! Training your body is just as important as training your mind. If you want to become active in your faith, you need to study up on it. Open your Bible, read the scriptures, go to mass, become involved in a bible study, write down and share your thoughts with others. Get them to “Train” with you!
- Sacrifice for good! Giving up something doesn’t have to mean suffering for God. Think of sacrificing something like time. Volunteer your time to help someone else. Do you use social media as a break from reality? Give up the internet and use that time to do something nice for someone else like writing them a note, praying for them, or making them food.
Fit in Your Faith Today: There are plenty of ways to stop being idle and start to being active. Stand up for what you believe in. Stop making excuses for doing works that you know St. Paul would not consider “righteous” or “godly.” Get creative and think of your own way you can run from the evil and pursue righteousness that will contribute to your faith.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
What we put into our mind determines what comes out in our words and actions. Paul tells us to program our mind with thoughts that are true, honorable, pure, lovely, right and admirable.
Do you have problems with focusing your mind on honorable and true things? Examine what you are putting into your mind through television, social media, books, music, movies, magazines, conversations, etc. What kind of information is being communicated to you?
Is this information harmful to you? Is it negative? Ask yourself if it’s even true? Is it even worthy of your time to think and daydream such things? Replace this input with better thoughts. Godly thoughts. Positive thoughts. Above all, read God’s Word and pray. Ask God to help you focus your mind on what is good and praiseworthy.
This won’t happen overnight. This takes a long time to get this thought process down. But with prayer and practice, it can happen.
Fit In Your Faith Today: What harmful thoughts have entered your mind? Do you start your day with these thoughts? Get started on the right foot and read God’s words instead of words of the secular world. Read and think thoughts that are helpful, not harmful.
Galatians 6: 1-3
Brothers, even if a person is caught in some transgression, you who are spiritual should correct that one in a gentle spirit, looking to yourself, so that you also may not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he is deluding himself.
Here’s another translation:
Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.
It can be difficult to ask for help when we are so used to being independent. But sometimes we need help. We may have sunk to a new low. We may have fallen in with the wrong crowd or just gotten into bad habits such as resentment, gluttony, or even something as seemingly harmless as laziness. After all, you might think, I’m not hurting anyone but myself with my ______ (insert bad habit here).
But hurting yourself is not healthy or holy. And it’s at that point when you need to reach out to others for help.Look to the godly and holy people in your life. Seek them out to help you get out of your rut. If you yourself are being sought, be careful not to fall into your friends bad habits. It might even be someone close to you like your spouse or parent. If you are not fully aware, you could easily be sucked into their world. Don’t let that happen. Stay true to your beliefs and your godly ways.
Extend the rope. Pull them out of that place and offer to lighten their load. Offer assistance. Work together for the common good!
Fit in Your Faith Today: Who in your life could use your kindness and goodness? Who can you call upon to help YOU get out of a difficult situation you find yourself in? Depend on others and allow others to depend on you. Be open to it!
1 John 1:1-4
What was from the beginning,
what we have heard,
what we have seen with our eyes,
what we looked upon
and touched with our hands
concerns the Word of life —
for the life was made visible;
we have seen it and testify to it
and proclaim to you the eternal life
that was with the Father and was made visible to us—
what we have seen and heard
we proclaim now to you,
so that you too may have fellowship with us;
for our fellowship is with the Father
and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
We are writing this so that our joy may be complete.
According to Life Application Study Bible: First John was written by John, one of Jesus’ original 12 disciples. He had a special relationship with Jesus. The main problem confronting the church at the time this letter was written was declining commitment. Many believers were conforming to the world’s standards, failing to stand up for Christ and compromising their faith. (Sound familiar to today?)
False teachers were everywhere and they were accelerating the church’s downward slide away from the Christian faith. John wrote this letter to put believers back on track and to show the difference between light and darkness and to encourage the church to grow in genuine love for God and for one another. He also wrote to assure true believers that they possessed eternal life and to help them know that their faith was genuine – so they could enjoy all the benefits of being God’s children.
Can you relate to the motivation that John used to write this letter? He was trying to spread love, not hate. He tried to get people out of the darkness of evil by shedding light upon them. This entire introduction to First John can definitely be applied to our world today. How many times do you turn on the tv and see the “darkness?” It can be hard to avoid all the bad news and evil that seems to flood the news channels and newspaper headlines.
We can stay on track and remember that light will overshadow the dark. Truth will reign supreme over false testimony. Good will prevail over evil. How? By being a witness to the light that John writes about in this letter. Remember that Christians back then even had doubt. They were giving in to the false teachers and forgetting about their Father in heaven. Don’t let yourself fall away from Christ, even in the toughest of times. Even when it seems like everyone around you is stuck in a bad place. Come back to the light and to the fellowship with God.
Fit in Your Faith Today: Look for the light in the darkest of places today. It may be in your own heart or someone you love who is struggling with an addiction, or a destructive habit, or someone who has just fallen into the darkness. Help them (or yourself if it’s you!) to get back to where the light shines bright.
Joshua 1: 9
Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go.
The words that were spoken to Joshua by the Lord in this passage were to encourage him to be confident that he could lead the Israelites to the promised land. Moses had just died and the people were still mourning his passing. Joshua was their newly appointed leader and this was the Lord’s “pep speech” to him.
We can take these words and make them our own. When we are being guided by the Lord to do something that maybe we feel we aren’t equipped to handle or maybe we feel we aren’t worthy, this passage can serve as our own pep speech. When we are lacking confidence in anything in life, so many words in the Bible can help us.
Put yourself in Joshua’s shoes. He probably felt a lot of pressure to live up to Moses’ reputation. He may have felt unworthy to take on this new role. But the Lord assured him that he would have his back. What a great encouragement to him this must have been and what a great confidence booster for us as well.
Fit in your Faith Today: Read the rest of the passage in the book of Joshua for even more uplifting words and pretend that God is speaking to you directly. Life is not easy, the road is always rough, but with God on our side, we can be strong and confident that we will be successful.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below-indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In yesterday’s post, we discussed how it’s easy to have an Unbelief during tough times. Similarly, we might feel like God’s love has completely abandoned us in the times when we need Him most. We still believe in Him, but we don’t believe Him. We might have faith, but we might ask ourselves, “Where is my faith now?” Almost like we lost it like we lose a set of keys. “It was right here! Where has it gone?”
This passage from the book of Romans assures us that God has not abandoned us. He gave us his Son, He would not turn around and condemn us for wrongdoing. St. Paul reminds us to have confidence, and hope, and faith that His love for us does not waiver. Our love for Him might waiver. Our faith in Him might not be in tip top shape. But His love doesn’t fail us. Ever.
Fit In Your Faith: Take one or two lines from the above scripture and commit it to memory. Pray these words on the days when you feel like God has abandoned you. Understand and have confidence that nothing ever could separate us from His love.