Praying the Sermon on the Mount -On Giving-


©Katie Lloyd Photography -used with permission-

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Matthew 6: 1-4 

Father, thank you for your Word that enlightens our path and teaches us how to live the Christian life. Thank you, because you give to us, you fill our cup so that we can give to others. Thank you, because if we give it is because you have put in our hearts the desire and the will to do so. Thank you because through giving is that we can understand the joy of living an abundant life in the Kingdom of God.

Lord, thank you for the opportunities that you give us to bless others. Thank you, because when we give, we love like you love: Giving, and giving deliberately.

Forgive us, Oh Lord, for the many times that we have chosen not to give. Forgive us when we try to find ways not to be generous. Forgive us, when we have not given to the one who begs from us and when we have refused to the one who would borrow from us. Help us to give, and give and give with open hands. Not withholding anything, but remembering that You are the owner of all that we have been entrusted with.

Forgive us also when we give to be seen by others to find their favor or their praise. Work in us so that we may learn to give quietly, secretly; not even expecting a “thank you.”  Remind us that when we do a good deed we are doing it unto you and not unto men.

Thank you, Father, for the joy that accompanies giving. Thank you because that is a beautiful thing that we can treasure in the quiet of our soul.

Fill us, we pray,  with more of the joy of the Kingdom by giving us wide open eyes to see all the opportunities you put before us so that we stretch our hands to give to others.

Father, it is my prayer also that you will teach us to receive with a grateful heart, understanding that all good things come from you. Help us receive from the hands of others knowing that those gifts, those blessings come directly from your heart to us. Give us a grateful heart, a humble heart. Lord,  a heart that is always willing to give, and a heart that is always ready to embrace your gifts with gratitude.



Praying the Sermon on the Mount -On Walking Two Miles and Loving Our Enemies-



©Katie Lloyd Photography. Used with permission.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 5:38-45

Father, here I am before you, reading and meditating on the words of Jesus. Lord, forgive me for I have many times resisted the one who is evil, and have not offered my other cheek, or my cloak. I have not walked two miles with my enemies (and here I am thinking of those who are the enemies of the true gospel, those who teach false doctrines, and deceive many with arguments of men). I am so quick to judge and not quick to extend grace. Give me the same love that moved Jesus to pray for the redemption of his enemies on the cross. I so need it.

Lord, forgive me for I have not given myself to my brothers and sisters, to my neighbors. “There is always a limit,” Isn’t that what we have been hearing so many times? But in these words of my Jesus, in His life I see that Grace has no limits. Grace gives and gives and gives.

Father, help me to love by giving and praying. Help me to love with my heart and with my hands. Help me to rejoice when your rain falls on the dry land of the unjust. Help me to greet the one I don’t like, the one with whom I don’t like to share a table. Help me, Lord, to love like you have loved me.

Father, Oh Father, make me whole, make me complete in You. Make me perfect, lacking nothing; that your name may be glorified when others see my conduct not only toward those whom I naturally love but towards those that my heart wants to despise. I want to be known as your daughter and extend love and grace as You have clearly showed me in your Word to do.

In the Name of my loving Savior Jesus,



Praying the Sermon on the Mount – On Lust and Oaths-

©Katie Lloyd Photography. Used with permission.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.

And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

Matthew 5: 27-37

Father of All Graces, I come to you in Jesus’ name with a grateful heart for all your goodness, and all the benefits with whom you have crowned our days.

Lord, forgive me when I lust after the things that this world offers me, and when in my foolishness I even try to pursue them leaving aside the path of holiness. Right hands and right eyes are no longer right if they lead us wrong, and how many times I have gone wrong!

You are King over all, please, I pray, stretch your scepter over the realm of my inward lusts. Help me to guard my mind with your Word, so that I will not allow any sinful thought to remain there, and grow and be made manifest in the flesh. Help me to battle against all sin the moment it starts playing in mind. Help me, Lord! Make me pure.

Help me to put away those things, those friends, those books, that music, that __________ which I know always leads me into sin. Help me to love you more than the sin within in me. Help me remember that to be cast into hell is too great a risk to run, merely to indulge the evil eye of lust or curiosity.

Father, let you Word be always my law. No matter how much our civil laws change, no matter how many Scriptures people twist, let me always be faithful to to your Word.  Your laws are perfect from the beginning; help me as I meditate on your Word to love it more than life. More than my own “wants.”

Lord, let my words be always true, let my words be whole, complete, truthful, always in agreement with your Word and my conduct -among the saints and those around me that still don’t know you- Help me, O Father, to speak the truth in every utterance of my lips.  I pray that character and conduct  be such that all acquainted with me will have the assurance that my word is my bond. I pray that my communications will be all  “yea” in the promise and “yea” in the performance, so that there will be no need for me to appeal to God in witness of my veracity. Let my ordinary speech, my day-to-day conversation be pleasant to you and to those who hear me.

And in this age of technology in which we write our profiles, we define who we are, let us be whole, always true to You. Help us be the same person, ruled by the same God, behind the screen and in the kitchen. May our lives, all of them, be pleasant to you, Oh Father.

I pray this in the name of Jesus, my Savior and King,



 Note: All the phrases in italics are not mine, I took them from C.H. Spurgeon’s commentary on Matthew and from Arthur W. Pink’s commentary on the Sermon on the Mount.


Praying the Sermon on the Mount -On Anger and Reconciliation-

A Grace that All Can Understand


“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.”

Father, thank you for your word, for the wonderful gift that it is to have it, to be able to open it and read it, and meditate on it and be transformed by its power. Thank you, Lord.

These words that you said for us to take heed, are hard words in deed. Sometimes we live a relaxed life full of grace, without paying attention to words like these, words that call us to live in grace a more demanding life of love.

I ask you forgiveness for the words that have come out from my mouth and have hurt others.
Forgive me for the times in which I have been so angry at my children, at my husband, at my brothers and sisters that I reacted in a sinful way against them.
Forgive me, Father, for those times when I have left people hurting without asking for their forgiveness.
Forgive me for the lie that many times I have believed, the lie that says that “it is not my place to seek for a way to make a reconciliation happen.”
Forgive me when I forget that it is blessed to be a peace-maker,
and remind me that peace making is not passive,
that it always moves towards making every effort to live peaceably with others.

Father, remind me that the best offering, the best gift I can bring to you is a heart that knows how to ask for forgiveness, and how to forgive.

Don’t ever let me forget, O Lord, how much you have forgiven me.
How it was you seeking out to me.
How Jesus, on the cross, reconciled to Himself all things whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Help me live a live full of grace, Lord.

To you be the glory forever and ever,

In Jesus’ name,



Salt, Light, and the Fulfillment of the Law

@Shiloh Photography

Yesterday was a long traveling day for us which was rewarded with lots of hugs at the airport, and a delicious dinner with our friends in NC. I am sure we’ll be flooded with many opportunities to give thanks to God this week as we enjoy the fellowship with our brothers and sisters here.

Yesterday I also learned how long traveling days, and long lines at the immigration post in Miami (2hrs of line) are perfect to catch up with your memorization project. So no complaints here.

Meditating on what it means to be salt of the world and light of the world has been good and challenging. Leslie has shared on her blog some thoughts that are important to consider on how salt can lose its taste and what it means to be trampled under people’s feet.

“[W]e Christians lose our saltiness when we bind ourselves to sin, when we sacrifice our purity and potency on the altar of pleasure and worldly pursuits.”


“I suppose the good news is that we are not trampled under God’s feet. Though worthless salt, we are still salt. But we are trampled under people’s feet when they see us caught in sin.”

The verses 17-18 of Matthew 5 are wonderful. As I repeat them and learn them, I am drawn, every time, to give thanks to Jesus for fulfilling the law. It is so powerful to understand all that is encompassed there! You can read a few articles from the Table Talk magazine to help you understand
this: here and here and here.

My friends, may God be glorified in us as we salt the earth and give light to those around us (starting at home) this week as we’ll have lots of opportunities to interact with our extended family and friends.  And let us be drawn to give thanks for the work of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour.


Light Cannot Be Hidden

©Katie Lloyd Photography

Light cannot be hidden
Unless we purposely hide it.
Unless we fool ourselves
Lighting a lamp,
And when no one is seeing
Finding a basket
To hide it under.

We fool ourselves,
Pretending that no one sees,
We sin in the dark
Trying to hide our light
Under our very own baskets.
Behind and under…
Our own rights

The weak flame in our lamp
Desperately searches for oxygen
To keep burning the oil,
To keep giving light.

Our sin suffocates it
But if God has kindled it
Not one,
Not me,
Not my sin,
Not my stubbornness,
Not my hidding,
Not my fears,
Nothing can put it out.

God is light
And His light
pierces all darkness.
My darkness.
And darkness cannot prevail
Against the Light.
And sin faces Light
And Light overcomes.

Light cannot be hidden.
The Light that has shone on me
That has pierced my darkness
Is real
Is true.
Is forever.

I don’t want to hide
My lamp.
I want to shine forth.
To live my life in the Light.
Like a city set on a hill,
Like a lamp in a house.
Shining brightly before men,
Piercing the pitch-dark night.

I don’t want to hide
My lamp.
I want to shine forth.
To do good works,
Those that the Father
Prepared for me to do,
Before the world began.
That all may see
His light shining on me
Through me,
And give glory to the Father of Lights,
In whom there are no shadows,
No darkness.
No sin.



“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16


“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12


“Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” James 1:16-18


“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” Eph. 2:8-10