Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure. (Psalm 23:4)
Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore them, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived. (Galatians 6:2-3)
If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all God’s mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:2)
The parent said, “Child, you don’t understand. You’re with me all the time, and everything that is mine is yours — but this is a wonderful time, and we had to celebrate. This sibling of yours was dead, and they are alive! they were lost, and now found!” (Luke 15:31-32)
Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. (1 John 3:18-20)
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. (Colossians 3:12-14)
That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left — feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught. (John 14:27)
Turn your back on sin; do something good.
Embrace peace — don’t let it get away! (Psalm 34:14)
God, my God, I yelled for help,
and you put me together.
God, you pulled me out of the grave,
gave me another chance at life
when I was down-and-out.