Thursday, February 23, 2017

Job 11:13-19

Job 11:13-19
If you devote your heart to him 
       and stretch out your hands to him,
if you put away the sin that is in your hand 
       and allow no evil to dwell in your tent,
then you will lift up your face without shame; 
       you will stand firm and without fear.
 You will surely forget your trouble, 
       recalling it only as waters gone by.
Life will be brighter than noonday, 
       and darkness will become like morning.
 You will be secure, because there is hope; 
       you will look about you and take your rest in safety.

 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, 
       and many will court your favor.

O Loving and Kind Father,
Have mercy on me! I know I've messed up, made wrong choices, and blatantly disobeyed You. You've seen it all and are fully aware of my unruly conduct. There's no hiding from Your omnipotent holy eyes, and no one to blame but myself. You know the truth. I cannot lie. Like a mischievous child caught in action, I'm humiliated and dreading discipline. I'd rather hide the evidence and pretend like nothing happened, but that will get me in bigger trouble. Instead, I need to reach out my hands and run into Your open arms, honestly admitting my mistakes with a broken heart. Then, You'll pity me and be generous in love.

Tenderly, You'll scrub away my guilt so that I'll have a snow-white heart filled with clean thoughts and right desires. Because of Your love, I'll be motivated to behave like the endeared child of the King.

With my eyes adoringly set on You, I'll face the world unashamed. Clean and confident, I'll stand up straight and tall, unafraid of ridicule or rejection. Only then will I forget my misery, leaving the past behind me. The brightness of Your Son will light up my life, chasing away the clouds of fear and doubt. In Your peaceful presence, I'll rest and relax because there is hope. Without a care in the world, I'll supernaturally live a life of love. My exuberant joy and inexplicable calmness will cause others to come to me for help in their time of need.

 Please dear Father, search my heart and show me anything in my life that tarnishes Your name. Give me judgment day honesty to agree with You, and humility to obey. More than anything in the world, I want to be wholeheartedly devoted to You because of Jesus who died for me. Amen.

Study the above Scripture. What is God promising you if you devote your heart to Him, stretch out your hands and get rid of your sins?

For additional reading open your Bible to Psalm 139 and make it your heartfelt prayer. Issue God a search warrant to examine your heart, and agree with Him on any and all evidence He finds against you, no matter how hard. Reach out your hands like a contemptible child crying for pity. (Psalm 51:17) Today could be judgment day and on that day you will give an account to Him for everything (Matthew 12:36). Ask Him to give you judgment day honesty to admit your mistakes, so that you can begin enjoying His promises in Job 11.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Job 7:17

Job 7:17
What is man, that You should exalt him,
      That You should set Your heart on him.

My Sweet Heart,
Your Word is too wonderful for me. I could and should live in complete condemnation but You did the unthinkable when You set Your tender heart on mine determined to show me the depth of Your compassion. Miraculously, You gave me a new life full of love and power, making me a witness to Your abundant grace. My ugliness is forever gone and I'm altogether lovely to You. Who am I to deserve such favor?

It's sheer joy to freely rise up each morning and move on despite my problems. Because of Your great love, I can fearlessly face afflictions realizing that You, the High and Lofty One whose name is Holy, agonized every minute of Your ministry and died suffering. Why should I, the lowly tainted one whose name is sinner, deserve better than You? Difficulties prove that Your caring heart is set on mine. Full of Your tender loving kindness I'll live a life of love even when problems and pressures plague me. My lips will exalt You, while my soul experiences absolute peace and rest because You've graciously chosen to lay Your heart on mine in the name of Jesus. Hallelujah! Amen.

How are you handling your troubles? Do you think you deserve better than Jesus? Consider Him. He was holy, perfect, and pure. He willingly left His home in heaven to come to earth where He was immensely tormented and died an excruciating death for you. He did it all without complaining in order to exalt you to a privileged position in His royal family. He intentionally set His heart on you! His eyes adore you!  Praise Him and thank Him for your difficulties because they prove that He cares for you enormously.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

1 Chronicles 22:19

1 Chronicles 22:19
Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God. Begin to build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the sacred articles belonging to God into the temple that will be built for the Name of the LORD.

Father in Heaven,
Thank You for Your inexhaustible love and enduring faithfulness. Because You love me beyond the limits of my imagination, I'm compelled to live a life of love, personally and passionately devoted to You.

Please help me develop a vibrant, intimate relationship with You through continual Bible study and persistent prayer. Inspire me to build a sacred place in my heart to hide Your valuable commands and priceless promises. In this sanctuary, store the treasures of Your heart so that I'll instinctively know what's most important to You.

Full of Your riches, I'll worship You with adoring faith by pouring out my life completely for You. With one heart, we'll dance together harmoniously. Motivated by overpowering love, I'll follow Your lead, deliberately laying down my life for others. The closer I get to You, the easier it will be to identify the people and purposes that matter to You. Living in pure, uninterrupted devotion to You, my spontaneous actions and positive attitudes will be a pleasant love offering attracting others to Your divine goodness.

Please search the temple of my heart and show me anything that I love more than You. By Your power and grace, I'll deliberately remove those obstacles from my life in order to be entirely dedicated to You. More than anything else in the world, I desire to worship You ceaselessly in the temple of my heart where Your precious treasure abounds because of my unwavering commitment to Jesus, Your Son. Amen.

A lofty life-long goal is to devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord. As you do, He will hide His treasure in your heart, and you'll naturally live a life of love, attracting others to His divine goodness.

Because of His inexhaustible love and enduring faithfulness are you willing to pour out your life for Him? Identify those things in your life that prevent you from just being with Him. Then, determine to give Him the first fruit of Your time each time for Bible study and prayer.

What matters to Jesus? Read Matthew 25:34-40.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Psalm 34:8

Psalm 34:8
Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Sweet Jesus,
O how I love the sweetness of Your Words. They are sweeter to my taste than the finest chocolate in the world. Your delicious concoction of promises and commands is irresistible. They satisfy my most intense craving, evoking pleasure in the deepest part of my soul.

Hidden in my Bible are surprising nuggets of truth. As I taste each one, I discover Your mouthwatering goodness that melts my heart. Your opulent promises are my source of hope. Sinking my teeth into Your sumptuous loving kindness comforts my troubled spirit. Indulging, in Your luxurious mercies, refreshes my distressed mind. Treating myself to Your bittersweet commands makes my salvation thick, rich and smooth.

Your Words, O Lord, are an attractive treat! They are my heart's delight and joy! I have tasted and experienced Your goodness. With all my heart I want to savor the magnificent flavor every day of my life, and share the sweetness with others to glorify and bless Your sweet name. Amen.

Your Bible is a delectable box of chocolates waiting to be devoured. Open it, taste and see that the Lord is good!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Ephesians 1:5-6

Ephesians 1:5-6
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. NLT

Abba, Father,
I'm thankful and joyful that You chose to adopt me into Your royal family, reserving a room for me in Your mansion in the sky. You will be my Father and I will be Your dearly loved child forever because of my relationship with Your Son. O how I love to tell of the marvelous grace You've poured out on me. 

Upon arriving in the hallowed halls of Your heaven, You'll wipe every tear from my eye. You'll crown me with compassion and clothe me with fine linen, white and clean purchased with the blood of Jesus. I'll be made new. My heart leaps for joy at the very thought of the rich inheritance for those whom You adopted in love.

Until I get there, I'll be seized by shame, suffering and sorrow. In the midst of misery, I'll live a life of love by rejoicing and giving thanks to You for bringing me into Your family. Singing sweet songs in my sadness, and powerfully pleading for patience during pain, I'll smile when I feel like crying. When others around me hear my heavenly hope they'll join in the celebration when they choose to believe the blessed and beautiful words from my lips.

Thank You, Father for my identity and inheritance. They are my joy, delight and strength. No one can ever take this treasured heritage from me. Please put a smile on my face today that reflects the love and joy in my heart because of who I am in Jesus! Amen.

Knowing that God adopted you in love, what should your response be in the midst of suffering?  How will you live a life of love in order to share in Christ's glory?

Read how Paul & Silas live out their love in prison in Acts 16:16-40. What can you learn about their example?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Deuteronomy 7:6

Deuteronomy 7:6
You are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.

My Knight in Shining Armor,
Hearing Your Holy Word thrills my heart! It stirs my soul to think that, in love, You chose me out of all the people on the face of the earth to be royal, holy, and redeemed. Who am I to deserve this kind of love?

Even though I was hiding in the dark behind a thick wall of shame, You found me, and gave Your life to rescue me. Bringing me into the wonderful light of Your love, You traded my ripped rags for a royal robe of righteousness. Miraculously Your Words changed my rough callused heart to a soft, holy one. I'm utterly ecstatic that an unbecoming person like me is no longer abandoned, but belongs to You, the High King of Heaven! Not only that, I'm Your treasured possession! Valuable! Priceless! Precious! O how thankful I am that You rescued me from the dark dungeon of my past, brought me into the wonderful light, and called me to be Yours!

I can't keep quiet about my miracle makeover! As a member of Your royal family, I'm obligated to live a life of love by publicly telling others the difference You've made in my life. Now to You who chose me, out of all the people on the face of the earth to be Your treasured possession be the glory, honor and praise forever and ever.  Amen.

God chose you in love to be His treasured possession, not because you deserve it, but because of His loving kindness. You are valuable, priceless, and precious to Him.

In the light of His love, will you fully surrender your life to be the royal priest He's called you to be? A royal priest devoted his life to serving God and speaking out for Him.