Abiding, Accused, Apologies, Bible, Blessing, Consequences, Forgiveness, God's Will, Scripture, Thoughts, Truth, Understanding



“So the LORD God designated a plant, and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head, to relieve him of his discomfort. And Jonah was overjoyed about the plant.”

Don’t you hate it when you have a misunderstanding with someone? They did something, but you took it wrong. Words are exchanged before the real motive is revealed. Then when it is, you feel embarrassed that you overreacted. This happens all the time.

Well…Jonah had a misunderstanding with God about this plant. He was “overjoyed” that God had provided this miraculous, fast-growing plant to give him shade. He mistakenly took that to mean God was favoring him and his actions. God was favoring him, but not for the reason Jonah thought. God wanted Jonah to sit right there and watch Him work according to His plan, not Jonah’s wishes.


Perhaps you have had a misunderstanding with God. You may think you are God’s gift to mankind. You think He has favored you above everyone else. You would not be wise to think that. God does show us favor, but it is usually not because we have done anything to deserve it. He just loves us.

Or perhaps you think God does not love you because He has not blessed you. Your understanding of God depends on God giving you stuff. God will bless us according to His will. But once again, it is not because of anything we have done.

We all need to have a correct understanding of God. That begins with understanding that without Jesus as our Savior, we are all doomed to eternal destruction. But once we make that all important decision to follow Jesus, we are in God’s family. He will protect and defend us. He will bring us through the hard times. And yes, He will bless us. Aren’t you ready to follow Him today?

I love You, Lord, and I lift my voice to worship You. O my soul rejoice.

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1 PETER 1:13

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Girding! That’s a funny word to me. The phrase “prepare…for action” could be translated as “gird.” The Greek word is only used right here in verse 13. Do you know what gird means? It has the word picture of someone wearing a long garment (as they did back in Peter’s day), reaching down, pulling it up and wrapping it around the waste. This was done when they had to move quickly or do some work which required bending and stretching. This gave them some freedom to move easily.

So, why would Peter use this word to talk about our minds? Because so many things can entangle our minds and not allow us think clearly and respond quickly. He is basically telling us to clear our minds of unnecessary things. That can be hard, can’t it? But we must do that to be ready to respond to the things of God.


This can be a fun verse to talk about with your kids. Your little ones will especially like this. Get some fabric or find a long garment, one that goes to your child’s ankles. Now, you need to wear one too. They will love that, Dad. Once you are all dressed, go outside and have a race. See how easily you can run and jump with that long garment on.

Now it’s time to “gird” yourself. Show them how to reach down, gather up the fabric and secure it around their waist. Once you have all done that, do some more running and jumping. They will be amazed at that difference. Read the verse and make the application. They will get it and probably won’t quickly forget it (or seeing dad in a dress, lol). Visuals are so good with kids.

What’s hindering your action today? Do you need to rid your mind of some things to allow it to react quickly? God will show you how to gird your mind, to prepare it for action. But you must be willing to let some things go or at least put them on the back burner. Nothing is more important than being prepared to act when God calls. Are you ready?

Cleanse my mind today, O Lord. Let my thoughts be focused on You. Show me what You would have me do.

Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Contentment, Mentoring, Parenting, Righteousness, Scripture, Thoughts


2 TIMOTHY 1:3 

I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day, 

What is your conscience? Well, the Greek word comes from two Greek words – syn (with) and eido (to know). It literally means “joint-knowing.” It’s the joining together of the moral and spiritual knowledge that only comes from God. We are all born with the ability to know right from wrong.  

Paul is reminding Timothy and himself that his thoughts are always on the Lord. His service to his God is with a sincere devotion, just as his forefathers. But wait a minute. How can Paul say that? His forefathers weren’t Christians. Of course, not. Christ had not come yet. They served Jehovah with sincere hearts according to the Law. Paul had moved beyond that now with his acceptance of Christ. 


Our children are born with the knowledge of right and wrong. We, as parents, must instill in them which path to take. And we do that by how and when we correct them. If we allow them to get away with the wrong path, they will choose it because it is usually the path of least resistance. However, if we want them to grow up as lovers of Christ, we must hold them accountable and lead them in the right path. 

Just as Paul’s faith grew from law to grace, our children’s faith will grow also. We must teach them grace because we do not want them obeying out of fear of doing the wrong things. Their walk with Christ, just like ours, is not about following a set of rules. It’s about having their minds always set on Him, so we can also serve with a clear conscience. 

How’s your conscience today? Is it fighting a battle between right and wrong? Are you struggling with choosing right because it may cause you to give up something? Don’t even go there. Don’t hesitate to follow the Lord in doing what’s right. I promise you it will be the right choice in the long run. 

O Lord my God, help me keep my conscience clean. Saturate me in Your Word so that I can hear directly from You each day. I want to walk in righteousness.