Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Matthew 14:28-33

Matthew 14:28-33
"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
 
"Come," he said.
 
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
 
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
 
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God." 

Word of the Father, Now in flesh appearing,
Truly You are the Son of God. Joyfully I adore You for revealing Your glory to me during the storms of my soul. Gigantic waves of sin and suffering have buffeted me. Howling gusts of doubt and distress have disturbed my peace. My distorted night vision is terrifying. Fear of the unknown and unseen has crippled me.
 
Through the dismal darkness of a restless night, I long to hear Your voice calling me to "Come." I want boldness and courage to be like Peter. While the other eleven sat in the boat paralyzed, he recognized Your voice and took a walk of faith. With my eyes fixed on You, I too will step out of my comfort zone to accomplish the impossible.
 
Lord, I just want to know Your voice, obey Your call, and behold Your glory. In difficult situations and challenging circumstances, please keep Your mighty hand on me. Gazing on You, I'll triumphantly walk by faith and experience the joy of Your power. Those who sit worried and watching will wonder at what they've witnessed. Mesmerized by the miracle, they may believe that You truly are the Son of God. Hallelujah! Amen.

Do you hear the Voice in the night calling you to "Come?" Will you risk stepping out of the boat or remain in the boat gripped with fear? I encourage you to behold His glory, step out in faith and trust Jesus. With your eyes fixed on Him, He will give you the power to walk triumphantly through the terrifying storms of your soul. 

Matthew 4:18-20

Matthew 4:18-20
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers; Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him.

Ardent Angler,
You've called me to come with You on the fishing expedition of a lifetime! It won't be easy and it won't be cheap; but it will be well worth the investment. When I'm willing to leave my past, live with You, and learn from You, You'll teach me the best kept secrets of the trade.
 
To join You on this wild and dangerous mission, I may have to forfeit my family, friends and freedom. I'll surely have to give up my comfortable lifestyle and social status. The lifelong journey will require a commitment to grueling hardships, irregular hours and arduous challenges.
 
My deficiencies and inadequacies are unimportant because You will make me a fisher of men. The Bible will train me to see and save lost souls. Like the rough and rugged fishermen on the open sea, I'll discover that my safety and success are fully dependent on You. Going where the prospects are great could require much effort, sacrifice, and risk. Patience and perseverance will be necessary as I continually cast out the net without a catch. Since fishing is a practical skill, I can only learn by doing it.
 
My ample compensation for persistence will be the satisfaction of the catch - Jesus hooked in a human heart. These are the fish that will be my joyful and triumphant trophy when I bow in adoration before You, the Ardent Angler, on Judgment Day. Yes, I will drop everything and come fishing with You to glorify Your name! Amen.

Jesus is calling faithful people to come on the fishing expedition of a lifetime. Are you willing, like Peter and Andrew, to leave your former life behind in order to follow Him on the most exhilarating eternal adventure? No special skills are necessary; only an open mind and willing spirit. When you leave your past and live with Him, He will make you a fisher of men.
 
He promises the crown of rejoicing to those who fish with Him for men: "For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy." 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20.

Friday, August 19, 2016

1 Peter 4:7

1 Peter 4:7
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear-minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.

Matthew 6:25, 27
Jesus said, "I tell you, do not worry about your life ... who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

My Creator King,
You are Ruler of everything! Your majesty fills the universe! When I look at the heavens Your hands have made - the moon and stars set in place like brilliant diamonds in the sky - I wonder, "Why do You care about us humans who blaspheme Your name? Why are You so concerned about us weaklings?" Yet, You made us in Your image and crowned us with glory and honor, and let us rule over everything You've made - the birds in the air and the flowers in the fields.

Forgive us for our little faith! Times are turbulent. Trusting You is tough as we watch our paychecks shrink and our savings shrivel. Naturally, we wonder how we'll eat and clothe ourselves this winter. Yet, You who made us and love us, command us not to worry! You are right; we can't add a single hour to our lives by worrying.

Help me O Lord to keep my eyes on the sky and watch for You instead of worrying about what may not even happen tomorrow. If I'm expecting You, I'll let go of my fears and be at peace, knowing that You'll give me everything I need today for the renown of Your majestic name. Amen.

Worry muddies our minds and prevents us from thinking clearly. It causes us to react irrationally inhibiting our self-control. With our eyes on our problems instead of God, our Creator, we're unable to persistently pray as we ought. Worrying hinders us from loving deeply and serving spontaneously.

Letting go and trusting God isn't easy. But, with His help we are able. Pour out your anxious heart to God. Tell him that your mind is uneasy, and that anxiety is paralyzing your soul. Open your Bible and focus on His faithful provision in the past. 

1 Peter 4: 10

1 Peter 4: 10
The end of all things is near. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.

Matthew 6:1-4
"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.   

"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 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. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." 
 

O Giver of Gifts,
Thank You for the wide array of talents You've given to people. As the day for Your return hastens, teach me to use my special abilities to minister to others. Whether I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, entertain strangers, encourage the sick, visit prisoners, comfort the worried, instruct the ignorant, correct the narrow-minded, or compliment the kindhearted, may I do it with a gentle and quiet spirit for the glory of Your Name.

The world truly is a stage with a vast cast of animated characters publicly performing for the applause of people. The enthusiastic audience is enthralled by the ostentatious outward show, but You notice everything that goes on behind the scenes in the hearts of each player. The praise and promotion of their faithful fans will be their pitiful prize.

I believe You're on Your way and will soon arrive on the scene, center stage, with rich everlasting rewards and recognition for everyone who has served You with a sincere and steadfast heart. While I continue waiting, please open my eyes to see opportunities to secretly and spontaneously be a blessing. With my heart set on You, I'll generously give others the glorious grace You've lavished on me.

Not to me, O Lord, not to me, but to You be the glory, honor and praise forever and ever because of Your unfailing love and faithfulness. Alleluia! Amen.

Do not neglect the gifts God's given you! Use them for His glory in these dark days. Find someone to lavish His grace on today. For being a blessing, You will receive a blessing. Go and give spontaneously.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

1 Peter 4:8

1 Peter 4:8 
The end of all things is near. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Matthew 6:14-15
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

O Father in Heaven,
With the rampant immorality and widespread left-wing liberalism in the world, how much longer will You wait before sending the Eternal King, Your Son, to rule and reign with righteousness over all the earth? I eagerly anticipate the day when the trumpet blares triumphantly and You come down from heaven and meet me in mid-air to take me home with You.

In the meantime, while I wait, prepare me for that glorious day! Break down the barriers of bitterness, and teach me to love others radically - the way You loved me. I will gladly give up my grudges for the priceless and promised peace of Your presence. When the rest of world is caught in the worrisome whirlwind that's wrecking havoc with their lives, I want to be caught in the joy of Jesus who has covered my multitude of faults and failures.

Please dear Lord, prepare me for that glorious day by giving me Your heart of mercy and showing me who I need to forgive. With Your help, I will go in love, offering them the same gift of grace You've so generously given to me to bring glory, honor and praise to Your name. Alleluia! Amen.

Who do you need to love radically and offer the gift of grace? 

Jesus couldn't be clearer: If you forgive people when they offend you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But, if you do not forgive people who have hurt you, your Father in heaven will not forgive your faults and failures. Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5:7)

Monday, August 15, 2016

1 Peter 4:7

1 Peter 4:7
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear-minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.

Jesus, My Eternal King,
I BELIEVE You are coming soon to reign on earth! Your infallible Word says so, and tells me exactly how to prepare. I need to stay alert, remain calm, and pray when everything around me is spiraling out of control, and everyone around me is panicking. In You I will have peace and rest.

You even go as far as to tell me how to pray powerful and effective prayers. Instead of praying on a public platform where my reward will be the temporal praise of man, I need to go into solitary seclusion and just be still and sincere with You. I don't need to inform You about how dismal things are. You see the utter chaos and confusion. You know exactly what's going on, and what I need to sustain me in these troubling times.

O Lord, prepare my heart for the days ahead. Teach me, by Your Spirit, to pour out my anxious heart, uneasy mind, and fearful soul to You. Help me to focus on You and Your priceless promises, instead of people and their worthless words. They will drag me into the pit of despair, but You, in Your goodness and mercy, will lift me up and reward me with inexplicable hope and happiness when I eagerly watch and wait for Your glorious return and everlasting reign. Alleluia! Amen.

Many of us are seeking advice about how to protect our assets and save our families from the pit of depression in what could be our last days here on earth. But, God never addresses those things in His Word. He tells us exactly how to protect His valuables - our hearts, minds and souls - and save our families. We need to prepare our hearts, stay calm, and remain on our knees! He is coming, and His reward will be with Him. (Revelation 22:12)

Pour out your anxious heart to God. Open your Bible and focus on His promises. His love alone will dispel all your fears. (1 John 4:18)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Psalm 34:3

Psalm 34:3
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. KJV

Sovereign God,
Hear the cry of my heart and expand my view of You today so that I can join with the heavenly hosts extolling You. O Lord, come nearer to me so that I can see You greater in size, status, and significance. I want to see you MAGNIFIED.

M - Mighty to save! Your strong hand shimmering with power will guide me to Your holy dwelling.

A - Arrayed in awesome, holy, majestic power, there is peace and protection in Your presence.

G - Great is Your love reaching out to show me the expanse of Your grace and compassion.

N - Name above all names, all created beings in heaven and earth lift You high in adoring praise because You are the Master of all the universe.

I - Incomparable wisdom, more solid than silver, more costly than gold, and more precious than rubies, open my mind to the riches of Your the Truth found in Your Word, my Bible.

- Faithfulness that reaches to the sky will irresistibly beckon me to come further in and climb higher up even when I'm afraid of new heights. With my eyes fixed on You, I will not falter or fall.

Y - Your strong hands and inconceivable mind that made the whole world formed me too! You, the Mastermind and Majestic King make masterpieces for the praise of Your glory!

To You be the majesty, the glory, and the power forever and ever. Amen.

To magnify means to see something greater in size, status, or significance. When we recognize God's size, status and significance, we suddenly see ourselves and our problems as very small.

What will you do today to magnify the Lord with me? Let us exalt His name together.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Hebrews 3:7-11

Hebrews 3:7-11
 So, as the Holy Spirit says: 
   "Today, if you hear his voice, 
    do not harden your hearts 
   as you did in the rebellion, 
      during the time of testing in the desert, 
 where your fathers tested and tried me 
      and for forty years saw what I did. 
 That is why I was angry with that generation, 
      and I said, 'Their hearts are always going astray, 
      and they have not known my ways.' 
 So I declared on oath in my anger, 
      'They shall never enter my rest.' "

Living God,
What a privilege it is to come into Your holy presence! I BELIEVE You are the steadfast, secure Rock of my Salvation. I come before You with a thankful heart because You are the Great God; the Builder of Everything. In Your holy hands are the depths of the earth, the majestic mountains, the thunderous seas, and ALL creatures including ME. O Lord, You are my Creator, King and Father.

Today, when I hear Your voice, do not let my heart be hardened in rebellion. Open my eyes that I may see the wonderful things in Your Word. I am a stranger on earth, wandering in a foreign land. Help me by Your Holy Spirit to heed Your heavenly calling, and fix my thoughts on Jesus, Your precious Son who was faithful through every temptation, trial, and test, and deemed worthy of great honor.

As I open Your Word today, judge the thoughts and attitudes of my heart. When I am tempted to turn back to bondage, the proverbial place of my past, help me to focus on the future, hold onto my faith, and keep walking forward firmly holding onto the confidence I had when I began this expedition.

Resting on the Rock of my Salvation, Jesus Christ, I will not be afraid. Instead, I will listen to Your voice, do what You ask, and stand on Your promises. Trusting in Your protection and provision, I will stop grumbling and complaining, and truly rejoice that I am part of Your royal and blessed family destined for this journey through the dangerous desert that leads to the Promised Land. Help me to be faithful and holy every step of the way so that I too will be crowned with glory and honor and found worthy of Your name. Amen.

Three times the Hebrew writer warns, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts." When you are in a difficult situation, wandering in the wilderness, and God speaks to you through His Word, do you do what He asks, or do you ignore Him? 

Today when you hear His voice, surrender Your will to His Word, and experience His quiet rest.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Luke 12:54-56

Luke 12:54-56
Jesus said to the crowd: "When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, 'It's going to rain,' and it does. And when the south wind blows, you say, 'It's going to be hot,' and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don't know how to interpret this present time?"  

God of the Times,
I BELIVE You are the Beginning and End; the First and the Last. Thank You for Your timeless Word that's still alive, active and accurate after thousands of years. You are absolutely right. When we see clouds forming in the west, we say, "A shower's coming." And, it does. When the south wind blows, we say, "Today's going to be a scorcher." And, it is. When the humidity is 100% we know a thunderstorm is on the horizon. And, it comes. When the days get longer we can be sure summer is right around the corner; and when the days get shorter we're aware that winter isn't far off. We can interpret the weather by the appearance of the earth and the sky, but we are clueless about the crisis ahead.

A confluence of conditions is combining to form the storm of the millennia, but because we've neglected Your Word we don't recognize Your activity in the world. These are crucial days. All biblical indicators point to phenomenal conditions mounting in the eastern sky. Enormous pressure is forming on all sides of Israel as evidenced in the daily news. With each passing day it appears we are getting closer to the ultimate Perfect Storm - the day when heaven and earth collide, You roar in on the rogue cloud, time is wiped out, and we are swept into eternity.

How predictable You are! We are indeed ignorant of the present times. Lord, now more than ever help me to carefully study and KNOW Your Word. By Your Holy Spirit and according to Your promise, make all the scriptural predictors plain to me, and enable me to remember them. With my eyes peeled on You, I will be able to see the incredible converging conditions and confirm my belief that You are coming back again, and possibly quite soon. Blessed assurance. Amen.

Do you understand the time in which we're living? I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to make the scriptural predictors plain to you. Then compare God's Word to the daily news and you will see with your own eyes God's terrific and terrifying activity in the world.

 
While no one knows the day or hour, the year or the month, we can know that Jesus is coming, and possibly soon. 

Jesus says in John 14:29, "I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe."

2 Thessalonians 2:10b, 12a, 13b

2 Thessalonians 2:10b, 12a, 13b
They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. All will be condemned who have not believed the truth.

From the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

Jesus,
I BELIEVE You are the Son of Glory and Living Truth. When I stop, sit and soak in the Son, my heart is warmed with wonder that You loved me and picked me from the very start to be saved. Convicted of breaking Your moral law, I was locked in the dungeon of darkness and condemned to death when you called me to come out, not because of my character, but because of Your incredible kindness. Having heard the Good News that You paid the penalty for my transgressions and pardoned me, I gratefully accepted it and wholeheartedly embraced it. Forgiven and free from the domination, deception and delusion of the licentious liar, the Devil himself, Your Spirit instantly set me apart, cleansed my heart and preserved my life.

Lord, with the increase in lewdness, immorality and corruption shamelessly surrounding and seducing me, help me to focus on the privileged life of purity I have in You. Turn my eyes from worthless toys and trinkets, and invigorate me through Your Word to love You more. With Your help, I'll lay down the temporary allures of this world for the imperishable reward of being with You. In the midst of clamor and confusion, help me to grasp the truth with all my mind. Guard my precious faith so that I will hear You, believe You, and adore You, sharing in Your incorruptible glory both now and forever more. Amen.

Jesus makes it clear; the way to eternal life is to hear His Words and believe what He says is true.

Believe the Truth and live.

You are guilty before God, the only Righteous Judge, of breaking His moral law.

The penalty for breaking the moral law is death.

Jesus paid the penalty for your transgressions by dying on the cross for you.

Live for Him, by listening to Him! His Word is Trustworthy and True.

John 5:24
Jesus said, "I tell you the
 truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."

John 8:51
Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death."

He speaks through the Holy Bible. Read, receive, and obey.