Friday, December 29, 2006

Divine Healing

2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Jehovah-rapha, Healing Lord,
How great You are! There is no Doctor like You in heaven or on earth! You compassionately and lovingly take care of Your patients who pursue You with all their heart. Thank You God for my heart transplant. Through intricate surgery, You made a Most Holy Place in my heart for Your Name. When my heart was open, You placed Your sacred laws in me. God, I rejoice that You will dwell there forever.

Divine Doctor, as I spend time with You this year, examine my heart. Find the diseases that are devouring me. Make a diagnosis. Open my mind to receive it with acceptance. Then, let the medication of Your glory fill my sick soul. Breathe new life into me. Resuscitate me and I’ll follow Your prescription for healing:
  • Humbly admitting that I’m ill and in need of Your care
  • Prayerfully asking You to wash my wounds and heal my hurts
  • Continually seeking Your advice by spending time in Your Word, the Holy Bible
  • Daily bringing my afflictions to You.
Then, You will hear my cries from heaven and cure my condition. You will heal me because of Your wonderful name, Jehovah-rapha, Lord Who Heals. Thank You for the blessing of healing grace given to Your beloved children! I am eternally grateful because of Jesus. Amen.

Open your heart for examination, listen and accept the diagnosis, no matter how painful, and you will receive the healing balm sent from heaven.

Deadly Diseases from A-Z
Abscess of Anger, Arrogance, Adultery, Alcoholism
Blisters of Bitterness, Boasting
Cut of Criticism, Complaining, Complacency
Disease of Death, Deceit, Divorce, Disrespect
Epidemic of Envy, Evil Tongue
Fever of Fear, Fornication
Gash of Gossip, Greed, Gluttony, Gambling
Hemorrhage of Hate, Hypocrisy, Homosexuality
Irritation of Immorality, Impatience, Idolatry, Impurity, Irreverence
Joints that ache from Jealousy, Judging
Kink of Killjoy, Knavery
Lesion of Lying, Laziness, Lack of Love, Lust
Malignancy of Murder
Nausea of Nagging, Nastiness
Oppression of Oblivion, Obnoxiousness, Obstinacy
Pain of Praylessness, Procrastination, Pride, Pornography
Queasiness of a Quick Temper
Rash of Rebellion, Retaliation
Sting of Sorrow, Selfishness
Toxin of Temptation
Ulcer of Unforgiveness, Ungratefulness, Unbelief
Virus of Vanity, Vengeance
Wounds of Worry, Wrong Friends, Worldly Entertainment
Yaws of Yelling
Zits of Zero Time With You

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Extravagant Love

Ephesians 5:1-2
1Follow God's example in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him. NLT

John 12:3
3Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus' feet with it and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with fragrance. NLT

Extravagant Lord of Love,
I am excited to receive another extraordinary gift from You! Delicately wrapped in a soft blanket, exhibited in an extremely simple wooden box, was the most exceptionally expensive Jar of Jesus, Heaven Scent. It contained an unusually costly ingredient – Your life. To experience its heavenly fragrance, the elegant Jar of Jesus was delivered to a young girl with a princess heart, in a smelly stable. It became her most valuable possession. Until one day, at Your exact time, the beautiful Jar of Jesus was broken to extend its sweet contents on a putrid world.

Thank You for pouring out Your extravagant onto me this Christmas. Bathe my heart in the sweetness of Your essence. Purify me with the fragrance of Your hallowed presence. Fill me with the rich aroma of Your perfume. With Your costly cologne emptied on me, I’ll experience peace in my pain and power in my problems. With the love of Jesus, I’ll exude a delightful aroma attracting others to You.

Washed in Your extravagant love, with a pure white Christmas Heart, I’ll humbly let down my hair. Without hesitation, I’ll gratefully break the bottle of my body and pour out my most precious possession for You. Selflessly serving family, friends and others this year will be a pleasing act of love and worship. Any time, any place, any price, I’ll invest all of my life in You so that the sweet fragrance Heaven Scent, will fill my surroundings. My love and adoration will beautifully honor You as Christ the glorious new born King. Amen.

Bathe your smelly heart in the sweet essence of Jesus Heaven Scent so that others will detect the delightful odor and be drawn to Christ the glorious new born King.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Triumphant Gift of Righteousness

Romans 5:17
The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over us, but all who receive God's wonderful, gracious gift of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. NLT

Holy Child,
You are the triumphant gift of righteousness given to me with love by my Father in Heaven. Sincerely sent when I was slick, slippery and slimy from sin, it was a surprise to receive such a splendid parcel. Naked, exposed and ashamed, I eagerly opened the box.

A soft smile curled from my lips when I saw the contents. There in the unadorned, wooden box, packed in straw was the most beautiful, elegant robe made by the most famous Designer of all time, You, Jesus. No amount of money could buy such a costly coat. Instantly, I tried it on to cover my shame. Admirably, it was just the right size! A perfect fit!

Clothed and unashamed, I’ll confidently stand up for what is right even when it’s painfully difficult. Wearing this gorgeous garment, bought with Your priceless blood, I’ll gracefully show Your softness and beauty to the grumpy and grouchy. Zealously zipped with love, I’ll victoriously forgive my foes, as You have forgiven me. Even when the pain is excruciating, I’ll follow Your example by exercising self-control. The most valuable gift I’ve received this Christmas is Your generous gift of righteousness.

Please dear Lord, help me to gleefully accept the unadorned box sent from heaven. With thanksgiving, I need to eagerly take out the beautiful Designer Robe of Righteousness, Jesus, packed in straw, and bought with His life. Wearing it with humility, I’ll love and serve others for the honor and glory of Your triumphant name. Amen.

The unadorned package has been sent to you. Don’t let it go unnoticed and unopened. Graciously receive the robe of righteousness and humbly wear it for the glory of the One who sincerely sent it.

For additional reading on righteous living read 1 Peter 2:21-25.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Redeeming Love

Luke 2: 37-38
37She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38Coming up to them (Mary and Joseph) at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

Redeeming Child of God!
I’ll never leave the temple of my heart! Day and night I’ll worship You with fasting and deep heartfelt prayers! Ceaselessly, I’ll give thanks to You for Your rich redeeming grace. With Your life, You’ve made a hefty deposit for me in the Kingdom of Heaven. My room is paid in full and guaranteed, signed and sealed by the Holy Spirit. Blessed assurance!

Continually, I'll praise You by telling everyone about Your redeeming love:
  • You gave up Your life to save my life.
  • You called me by name and adopted me into Your royal family.
  • You will be with me through all kinds of trials, troubles and tragedies.
  • I belong to you.
  • I am precious to You.
  • I am privileged.
  • You love me.
Thank You for giving me the richness of Your redeeming grace. Opening my Bible to Your promises, I found the Life Preserver I need to flow through the ocean of obscurity – YOU! Clinging to the Truth will prevent me from drowning in the sea of sorrow, suffering or shame. Securely fastened to You, I don’t need to be afraid of anything. I believe You’ll safely carry me through turbulence because You love me and have a special plan for my life. Eternally, my lips will praise and honor You for the gracious gift of redemption through Jesus Christ, the Redeeming Child of God. Amen.

Graciously accept God’s promised gift of redemption this Christmas. He’s given up His life to save your life! That’s reason enough to worship Him day and night in the temple of your heart. Praise Him for it by telling others what He has done for you.

Claim the redeeming promises in Isaiah 43:1-5.

Isaiah 43
The Savior of Israel
1 But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
2 When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom;
I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
4 Others were given in exchange for you.
I traded their lives for yours
because you are precious to me.
You are honored, and I love you.
5 “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.
I will gather you and your children from east and west.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Taste and See

God’s Words are sweeter to my taste than the finest chocolate in all the world! He is so good! This Christmas He has given me His irresistibly delicious concoction of promises and commands in the story of the Shepherds allowing me to taste and see divine delicacies I never noticed before.

These ordinary, scruffy men were minding their own business, tending their flock on an ordinary night when an angel of the Lord appeared before them and the glory of the Lord shone around them. For one full week, I basked in the glory of the envisioning the powerful dazzling light from heaven reflecting God’s moral beauty, perfection and presence.

These strong, unkempt men who were normally brave enough to fight off the most brutal of beasts were terrified of the magnificently bright light coming out of the sky. God’s powerful presence is terrifying, but in the midst of the stunning radiant beams from heaven afar are the angel and the heavenly hosts giving us a magnificent message from our Father in Heaven.

First the angel tells us to not be afraid of God’s powerful presence.

Next he tells us that Jesus has been born “to you” – in our hearts.

Third, the angel delivers us God's immeasurable peace - not the superficial peace of the world, but God's perfect peace - the peace that calms storms.

Jesus is in the manger of your heart saving you from any fear, shame, ridicule, rejection, humiliation, mistakes, failures, pain, suffering. He is there because God's Word says so, and His Word is always right! This is irresistibly delicious concoction of promises and commands that enables us to sing His praises at all time … including troubling times.

The light can be terrifying - and perhaps it should be because it's the glory of God – His felt presence. However, we are his children, blessed, chosen, adopted, accepted, redeemed and forgiven ... and therefore, we have nothing to fear! We don't have to shrink back or belittle ourselves. Because God’s favor rests on us, He has given us the peace of Jerusalem. That is why we can boldly stand in the light, glorifying God in the highest with our praise and worship even in the midst of our troubles and fears.

This Christmas celebrate that you’ve been chosen by God to receive the Good News. With Him in the manger of your heart, you can boldly stand in the light of His love, free from fear. Wow! What a gift!

I encourage you to treasure up all these things and ponder them in your heart ... then glorify and praise God for all the things you have heard and seen, which were just as He said they would be in His Word.

May you have the most joyous Christmas ever!

The Greatest Gift of Christmas

John 3:16
Jesus said, 16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Father in Heaven~
Your extravagant love is wonderful! It’s a wonder that You’d love a wicked and wrecked world so much that You’d gave us Your One and Only dear Son. He is all we really need this Christmas!

Today I open my hands and gratefully receive the incredible, indescribable gift sent personally to me from the hallowed halls of heaven. Claiming this costly cargo saved my life. Sunken in the scratchy sack of straw is Your sweet Son, my Savior.

The day I opened the door and brought You into my mixed up, messed up life, You promised to stay with me forever. Although I was a pitifully destitute ragamuffin, You lovingly chose, adopted, and accepted me as Your dearly loved child. You tenderly scrubbed away the dirt and grime from my past until I sparkled with purity. Then, You gave me an expensive robe of righteousness to cover my indignity.

Spotless and shameless, You graciously reserved a room for me in Your heavenly home where, as an heir, I’ll live and worship You forever. It’s paid for in full, guaranteed by Your Family seal that’s etched on my heart. This Christmas I’ll celebrate my abundant, everlasting life with You.

Realizing the magnitude of Your excessive love, I’ll burst with excitement! When I exhibit the manger on the mantle of my mind year round, I’ll remember to eagerly offer the extreme gift of grace to an imperfect, immoral and impious world. With the Star of Heaven hovering over my heart, every day will be Christmas. I’ll glorify You in heaven on high by demonstrating peace on earth and good will toward mankind. Thank You Father, for giving me Your Son! He is all I ever need and it is through Him I pray. Amen.

I hope the prayers from my heart resonate in your heart this Christmas. All we really need is Jesus!

If you’ve never opened the door of your heart to Him, He is standing out in the cold, knocking, waiting to come in and give you all these glorious gifts. Open the door and invite Him in by praying a simple prayer: "Jesus, thank you for dying for my sins. Right now I open the door and invite you to come into my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me an eternal relationship with you."

Whatever is going on in your world this Christmas, there is no greater gift you could give yourself than to receive the One who came to earth for us.

If you prayed this prayer, I would love to hear about it!

Merry Christmas from my heart to yours.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wonderful Wisdom

Matthew 2:12
When it was time to leave, they went home another way, because God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.

Wonderful Counselor,
You are an all-inspiring, all-knowing and all-wise Advisor. The depth of Your wisdom and knowledge is incomprehensible. You are always right – never wrong. In the classroom of my heart, You patiently teach me valuable life lessons repeatedly until they penetrate my brain. If I pay attention to The Book of Ancient History, I will receive the wonderful treasure of wisdom. Bound with boldness, stitched with faith, I will heed your warnings no matter how ridiculous they seem! I will remember Noah, who when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear, built an ark to save his family. How foolish he looked to the world, but in the end his reward was the richness of his life.

You will always steer me away from trouble if I will just slow down, humble myself and listen. Your Word is my directional map to the hidden treasure. When I wander off the highway of holiness, Your commands are the compass that correct me. Your laws illuminate the way and lead me. Your instructions are the gauges that guide me. Your promises protect me on the journey.

All I really want for Christmas is the wonderful treasure of wisdom wrapped in the richness of Your Word. Open to Your intelligent insight and superb suggestions, I too will boldly choose to take the unfamiliar, alternate route trusting You as my reliable Co-Pilot. Listening to Your commands, I will avoid danger, disaster, and even death.

Following You down the highway to heaven, I will shine with the brightness of Your glory leading others on the Journey to Jesus, for Yours is wisdom, knowledge, and understanding forever. Amen.

God has graciously given you the treasure of wisdom, The Book of Ancient History, The Bible. Will you take it off the shelf, dust it off, and follow Him? It may require that you take an unfamiliar detour, but the rich reward of life will be worth it.

Daniel 12:3
Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of heaven.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Offering for the King

Matthew 2:10-11
10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

Holy Child of God-
I have seen Your splendor and majesty brilliantly beaming down from heaven on high. Under the glowing streams of glory is the wonderful gift of worship. In awe of Your radiant reflection, I fall on my knees in adoration praising Your great and awesome name!

Rose of Bethlehem
Son of God Most High
Light of the World
Living Word
Wonderful Counselor
Everlasting Father
Prince of Peace
Lover of My Soul
King of Kings
Lord of Lords
And, my Best Friend
You are the worthy of the best I have to offer.
  • Generously, I give you the tarnished gold of my life. Purify me. Remove the grime, and I will glitter and glimmer becoming incredibly valuable to You. Selflessly, surrendered to You my King, I will sparkle when I sincerely worship You with a life of service.

  • Freely, I offer You my fragrant frankincense of faithful prayers flowing heavenward. The sweet sound of the song in my heart will be a pleasant perfume of praise to You, O Sovereign God.

  • Boldly, I bring to You the bitter myrrh of my brokenness. In the shining strength and splendor of Your sanctuary, You graciously accept the sacrifice of my suffering and shame, restoring my righteousness with heavenly healing.
All I really want this Christmas is to worship You with all my soul and strength like the star-guided strangers. After a long strenuous journey through darkness, I have found You in the manger of my heart. Now I want to open the glowing streams of glory, take out the wonderful gift of worship, and triumphantly sing in exultation, "Glory to God, all glory in the highest." Hallelujah! Amen.

If You have found the gift of the Christ Child in your heart, will you bow down and worship him? Give Him the tarnished gold of your life. He can make it beautiful. Present him the sweet scent of your prayers and praise. Offer him the bitterness of your suffering and sorrow. Then find someone who needs the heart of Christmas and offer them the Child of Christmas.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Searching for Knowledge

Matthew 2:1-2
1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."

Numbers 24:17
I see him, but not in the present time.I perceive him, but far in the distant future.A star will rise from Jacob;a scepter will emerge from Israel. NLT

Wondrous Star of Heaven-
God’s pure and perfect Light, Balaam an ancient sorcerer prophesied You 1400 years before You broke through the night sky. This was not to make sorcery acceptable, but to show that You are in control, and that good can come from evil.

All I really want this Christmas is knowledge of Your Holy Book. The Bible is more than a collection of creative fables and fairytales about princes and paupers in far away places. It’s Your precise Words, clearly and concisely written by holy people to speak to me. Within it are inspiring stories about real people, majestic poetry and songs, direct messages and prophesies, and most importantly Your story of visiting earth in the Person of Jesus. Thank You for making this incredible gift available to me.

At the Living Word Academy, held in the classroom of my heart, I will begin to understand the mysteries of Your will. With the Holy Spirit as my Teacher, I will learn that You are altogether authentic, totally truthful, and really reliable. As I spend time researching and studying, I will start to comprehend Your magnificent splendor. When I’m paying attention, Your words will leap to life and light the way, answering life’s deepest and most difficult questions. With problems and pressures crushing me, I will fearlessly remember Your decisions, discipline and deliverance. Reverently, I will recall Your promises, wonders, and blessings.

Full of knowledge, I will be like the Magi who knew and remembered ancient history, recognized and believed prophesy, and willingly left their familiar surroundings to follow the Wondrous Star of Heaven.

O Star of Wonder, Star of Light, Star with royal beauty bright, westward leading still proceeding, guide me to Your Perfect Light. Amen.

The Bible clearly prophesies that Christ will return to reign as King over all the earth (Revelations 22:7). Do you know and remember ancient history well enough to recognize the fulfillment of this prophesy? It’s not too late to attend the Living Word Academy. The only textbook required is Your Bible, the Living Word of God. The Teacher is the Holy Spirit. Open The Book and start studying so that you won’t miss the signs.

2 Peter: 1: 16-21
16For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the power of our Lord Jesus Christ and his coming again. We have seen his majestic splendor with our own eyes. 17And he received honor and glory from God the Father when God's glorious, majestic voice called down from heaven, "This is my beloved Son; I am fully pleased with him." 18We ourselves heard the voice when we were there with him on the holy mountain.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Spead the Word

Luke 2: 16-18
16The shepherds hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed.

Glorious Lord~
I feel the energy and enthusiasm of the shepherds as they rushed off to find the Holy Child, Lamb of God, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. When they saw him they exploded with excitement. They could not contain the Good News! It erupted from their hearts with great force. People were amazed! Jesus Christ was born! The long awaited Messiah. The promised King. Their Redeemer and Saving Grace had been born to set them free! On a normal night they witnessed a miracle as the greatest event in history happened right before their eyes.

I too have witnessed this miracle on an ordinary day. I have seen Jesus as:

A tender baby in the manger of my heart
A studious boy in the temple of my heart
An intellectual man in the classroom of my heart
On the cross suffering for my heart
Resurrected to save my heart

This Holy Child has been born in me! All I really want for Christmas is the supernatural energy and enthusiasm You gave the shepherds to go tell the Good News to all those around me! Jesus Christ is born! A miracle has happened before my eyes and I am exploding with excitement. I have seen Your shining glory and heard your gentle voice say, "Do not be afraid. I bring Good News of great joy that will be for ALL people." Holy Spirit, open ears to hear this Good News and may someone find Jesus through me this Christmas. Glory to God in the highest! Amen.

Ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of energy and enthusiasm to share the excitement of Jesus with someone this Christmas.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Powerful Light

Luke 2:8-11
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

Father in Heaven,
Today I received the loveliest greeting card from You. When I was walking through a dark valley, a brilliant array of brightness burst through the night sky, startling me. An angel surrounded by radiant beams from Your holy face, joyfully delivered a magnificent message to me. He told me I do not have to be afraid of Your powerful presence because You’ve been born in the Bethlehem of my heart to save me from fear, shame, ridicule, rejection, humiliation, mistakes, failure, pain and suffering.

I have nothing to fear because I am Your child – blessed, chosen, adopted, accepted, redeemed and forgiven. I do not have to shrink back or belittle myself. I am free to confidently step into Your holy presence. Standing boldly in the dazzling light of Your glory I’ll shine intensely for You. No matter who I am or what I’ve done, with You in the manger of my heart, I possess immeasurable power to live valiantly in the light – the same spectacular array of pure light the shepherds saw that night on a hill far away in Bethlehem.

Thank You for sending me this blessed Christmas greeting. Because I’ve heard Your magnificent message, and seen the light of Your love, Your praise will always be on my lips. When anxiety attacks me and sorrow besieges me, I’ll unreservedly step out of the darkness into the glorious streams from heaven afar. Vibrantly shining with the glory of Christ this Christmas, others will unconsciously walk into the powerful liberating light of Your presence to be set free from the tantalizing troubles that terrorize them for the praise of Your luminous name. Amen.

This Christmas celebrate that you’ve been chosen by God to receive the Good News. Jesus Christ has been born in the Bethlehem of your heart. This is the good news that brings joy, empowering you to sing His praises at all times … including troubling times. With Him in the manger of your heart, you can boldly stand in the light of His love, free from fear. Wow! What a gift!

What are you afraid of? Step into the powerful light of Jesus. There's nothing to fear. The angel is with you.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Room In My Heart

Luke 2:6-7
6The time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Beautiful Baby Jesus,
On a busy night in Bethlehem, You left Your throne and crown in heaven to come to earth for me. Because of the hustle and bustle of the season, there was no room for you at the village inn. No one in the crowded community recognized You as God. Rejected, You were offered the dark and dirty stable.

Not much has changed in 2000 years. We’re still too self-absorbed to notice You in our midst. Caught up in materialism, we’re busy buying presents, baking cookies, trimming trees, and hosting parties. We’ve forgotten the reason for the season. Today, You’re rejected at the inn of our hearts, left outside in the cold dark world.

This Christmas I just want room in my heart for You. Please come in and warm up. Every room in this heart of mine is available to You. Some of the rooms have been tightly locked for years. Behind those dark doors that won’t budge are hurt, confusion, and sorrow. I’ve been avoiding the mess in these rooms for a long time. Cleaning and removing the rubbish is hard work. I’d rather be doing fun things like shopping, baking, decorating, and entertaining.

Today, I’m inviting you to enter those secret chambers. In the hallway of hurt, wash my wounds. Show me the hidden treasure in my pain. Soak my sorrow in Your soothing solution of comfort and love. Turn my mourning to joy. Plunge beyond the locked door of my past. Purify me in the fountain of forgiveness. In your ceaseless compassion and mercy, I will discover peace in my pain and power in my problems. I will allow You to carefully pick up the shattered pieces of my past and masterfully restore my radiance.

As long as I keep You out of these dark and dirty rooms, I am rejecting You. This Christmas, I am inviting You to enter into all of my life. Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal for thy courts above. Amen.

Where do you have the Keep Out sign posted? What messy room in your life has been tightly locked for many years? This Christmas give Jesus the key and let Him in. He will clean it beautifully.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Blessed Fellowship

Luke 1: 39- 47
39At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me … 45Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"

46And Mary said:
"My soul glorifies the Lord
47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior …

This is a beautiful picture of blessed fellowship. Bewildered, Mary, having just received the incredible news that she would deliver Your Son, the Holy Child, into the cold dark world, ran to find an empathetic friend, Elizabeth. I can only imagine their mixed emotions, confusion and elation as they warmly greeted one another.

Elizabeth who was blessed with her own miracle wasn’t jealous that Mary’s miracle was superior. Instead, filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, she welcomed the young pregnant virgin and blessed her with encouraging words. Her baby leaped within her as she exalted You, Most High God.

Mary responded with her own magnificent blessing – even greater than Elizabeth’s! Together they worshipped, glorified and praised You for their astonishing wonders! What an amazing model they are for Christian fellowship!

All I really want this Christmas is the cherished gift of fellowship! Father, You have lovingly welcomed me into Your spiritual family. Being in Your family is the highest honor and greatest privilege. Nothing else comes close! In the protection of Your presence, we observe true humility. There, like Mary and Elizabeth, we learn to appreciate our own value in Christ and recognize our unique purpose. Secure and assure, we can gladly celebrate each other’s successes, knowing that You bless each of us in different ways at different times.

I will demonstrate a tender Christmas heart when I weep with those who weep. I will show a humble Christmas mind when I rejoice in the blessings of others as though they were my own. I will exemplify the true Spirit of Christmas by looking beyond someone’s past to their potential because I know by One gift You are making each of us perfect forever. Amen.

Who’s knocking on the door of your heart, seeking support and encouragement this Christmas? Open the door and warmly welcome them even if they look or speak different than you. Show them the warmth of Christmas love. Give them the precious gift of fellowship.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Fabulous Gift of Faith

Luke 1: 35, 38, 45
35The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God."

38"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said."

45Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"

God of Wonders-
You never cease to amaze me with the things You do. The world was expecting the long promised King to appear with pomp and circumstances in a plush palace, born to a rich virgin princess. Instead, the Promised One came in an unadorned package to an ordinary girl with an extraordinary princess heart, in the rural countryside, far from the royal palace.

You revealed Yourself to this normal young girl who could have been my own daughter. Though she was merely a child, she had faith to believe You. I can only imagine her fear when the angel appeared with the incredible news that she would give birth to the Son of God Most High. Yet she did not waiver in her faith. She simply believed that nothing was impossible for You. She humbly accepted the gift You gave her, and the responsibility that came with it. Then, she found a faithful friend and worshipped You with a joyful heart.

If You are pleased with me and want to grant my request, all I really want for Christmas is faith like Mary’s to believe You. I want to recognize the no-frills, wonderful gift of faith. When You speak to me through Bible study, prayer, friends, and circumstances I want to marvel at the mysteries of Your will. Confidently and graciously, I’ll accept the unembellished truth believing that its divine power will overshadow me. With the humble faithful heart of a servant, I’ll willingly accept the responsibility entrusted to me by delivering Jesus, the Holy Son of God Most High to a cold, dark, dreary world.

With a song in my heart and praise on my lips, I worship You, my adoring Heavenly Father, for offering me the fabulous gift of faith. Amen.

Have you truly received the gift of faith? If so, the angel of God Most High has spoken to you. Deliver the Holy Child to someone this Christmas … share the Good News with a lost soul, serve someone needy, love the unlovable, forgive the unforgivable, reach out and give someone Jesus.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Immortal, Invincible, Immanuel

Matthew 1:23
23 "Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son,
and he will be called Immanuel
(meaning, God is with us)."

Holy Child of Bethlehem, You were sent down from our Father in heaven to be with me today. There is no gift more impressive than immortal, invincible Immanuel, Your beautiful baby boy born to bless me.

You graciously sent this treasured gift to me when I was Your enemy. I was hateful, fearful, and prideful when You knocked on the door of my heart. Inconvenienced and irritated by the interruption, I objectionably opened the door to find Your gentle hands reaching out to give me a priceless vessel of love. The beauty of the gift You extended to me snuffed out the anger, arrogance and apprehension. I couldn’t resist receiving it and inviting You in to be with me.

In the living room, I cautiously opened Your offering by the flickering flame in my heart. I gladly received the poignant promises You gave me. You promised to live with me and be my faithful, forever Friend. You showed me that You are greater and stronger than any one or any thing I have ever known. Trustworthy and dependable, You came to defend me. With You on my side, no one could be against me! Because You live with me, all fear is gone.

Immanuel, You are with me and You are all I need this Christmas. Since You breathed the air that I breath, and experienced agony, disgrace and sorrow, You can commiserate with me. You promise to hold me up by Your mighty hand. Because You live with me, I can triumphantly face tomorrow’s tough times and tragedies.

When the decorations are dismantled, and the daily difficulties of life resume, I must not forget the priceless vessel of love I received one Christmas in the blazing fire of my heart. Daily I must cling to Immanuel, celebrating my Mighty God who will be with me until the very end of the age for it’s through His glorious gift of grace that I live and pray. Amen.

If you have received the impressive gift of immortal, invincible Immanuel, celebrate that God is with you always! Because He is with you:

  • You can face suffering
  • You can face devastating loss
  • You can face a broken heart
  • You can face financial difficulties
  • You can face legal challenges
  • You can face persecution
  • You can face betrayal
  • You can face your cross

Matthew 28:20
Jesus said, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Revelations 21:3
I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God."

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Bountiful Gift of Forgiveness

Matthew 1:21
The angel told Joseph, "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

Romans 5:15-16
15And what a difference between our sin and God's generous gift of forgiveness. For this one man, Adam, brought death to many through his sin. But this other man, Jesus Christ, brought forgiveness to many through God's bountiful gift. NLT

Luke 23: 33, 34 … they crucified him, along with the criminals. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

My Faithful Father~
The bountiful gifts You give are unbelievable! Thank You for the wonderful gift of forgiveness. It arrived when I was wondering aimlessly, staring death in the face, and destined for hell. Not knowing which way to turn, I desperately cried out to You for help. In Your infinite compassion and mercy, You heard my plea and answered, leading me to Your Son.

Laying down all the shattered pieces of my life, I knelt at the foot of the cross. There, Your precious Son shamefully hung in excruciating pain, exhausted, and asphyxiated. As the crimson blood and pure water from His open wounds dripped on me, He begged You to forgive those who drove the nails into his hands. Sadly, I was one of them! My sins held Him there!

Let those Words, "Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing," penetrate the hollow of my heart and sink deep into my brain this Christmas. No matter what I’ve done in the past, I am completely forgiven. At the foot of the cross, You gently, meticulously and painstakingly picked up each devastated piece of my life and masterfully restored my lustrous

This Christmas I want to accept the wonderful gift of forgiveness. It comes with a huge responsibility. If I accept it, I must give it away. Because You bought it for me with Your bruised, battered, and broken body, You expect me to pardon people who have inflicted me with pain. No hurt I endure on earth can compare to the agony of Your death on the cross. Thank you, Father, for giving me Your Son to save me from the absolute misery of eternal punishment. I am utterly unworthy of such an inconceivable gift.

Since my sins have been forgiven in Your name, please empower me to pass the wonderful gift of forgiveness to someone undeserving this Christmas for the honor of Your glorious name! Amen.

Because I have accepted Your gift of forgiveness, I will forgive ______________________ for the glory of Your name. Fill in the blank and obey, for it is written: "if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." Matthew 6:14

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Spirit of Peace

John 14:27 Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Good and Generous Father,
You and You alone are the giver of all good and perfect gifts. Thank You for sending the perfect gift of peace from Your heart to mine this Christmas. Choosing to walk hand-in-hand, day-by-day, minute-by-minute trusting You, I’ll unwrap its infinite power. A vicious cyclone of conflict, chaos and confusion deeply agitates my soul, but You leave me with YOUR undisturbed peace to calm my heart and mind. I claim it by:

  • Receiving it from You, my heavenly Father, who lovingly adopted and accepted me into the royal family of God, bestowing me with bountiful blessings.
  • Trusting the power of the Holy Spirit, the endless ribbon that securely ties the package of peace to my heart and mind.
  • Believing the Truth of Your Word, sincerely written by a devoted Father to his beloved child as a beautiful gift card.
  • Accepting Your Son, sent directly to me from the heart of my Father to pay the ultimate price for it.

Please cover me completely with more of Your unconstrained holy peace for protection during the turbulent storms of difficulty and uncertainty. Embraced by Your love and secured to Your unlimited power, I’ll respond with an unusually quiet contentment during pressure and pandemonium. Miraculously others will notice Your immeasurable peace through my spectacular strength, attracting them to Your Son, the only real Source of Peace. Amen.

Unwrap the gift of peace: Receive it from the Father, trust in the Holy Spirit, believe the Words He’s written to You, and be thankful that Jesus paid the price for it.

The peace of Christ freely flows to all who are determined to trust the Holy Spirit to shape them into the image of Christ.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Truth & Guidance

John 16:13-14
Jesus said, "When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you."

Holy Spirit,
You are an incredibly intellectual instructor who meets me in the classroom of my heart. When I earnestly seek You as a devoted student, I’m imparted with wisdom, knowledge and understanding of Your good, pleasing and perfect will. Please give me patience to sit still and pay attention to Your teaching. I have so much to learn and am eager to discover all the things You want me to know. The more time I spend under Your instruction, the brighter I become. Speak to me, Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus. Speak to me and teach me all things.

When I’m informed of important things, send me into the learning lab of life. Give me opportunities to test my skills through situations and circumstances surroundings me. Confident of the knowledge I’ve comprehended in Your classroom, I’ll trust You to remind me of everything I need to do Your will, Your way. The more hands on experience I get, the brighter I become. Guide me, Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus. Guide me every step of the way.

Knowing that You will only tell me what You hear from the Father, I will faithfully rely on Your textbook, the Holy Bible, to be my sole resource and reference manual. Whenever I’m uncertain of what to do next, I’ll silently sit and studiously search it. I’ll constantly communicate with You through prayer, watching and waiting until You clearly make known to me the way I should go. As I serve wherever I’m sent this Christmas, others will see the brightness of Christ illuminated in me. Be glorified, Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus. Be glorified in me. Amen.

Will you meet God in the classroom of your heart today? He’s waiting for you to show up and eager to teach you all things. I encourage you to take your Bible and go quickly. There’s so much to learn, and so little time. Start practicing the lessons and Christ will shine brightly through you this Christmas.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Hope of Heaven

Romans 5: 1-5
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Hope of Heaven~
You are my heart’s desire! I’m thankful for the perfect gift of peace You placed in my heart the moment I first believed. Accepting it placed me in a position of privilege to come into Your holy presence where mercy and grace abound. I love You, believe in You, and am filled with Your inexpressible and glorious joy!

Hidden within the gift of peace is the precious Jewel of Jesus, my Hope of Heaven. My eyes glisten as I gaze upon Your radiant glory. Through the lustrous allure, I see the brilliance of Heaven coming down from Your heart to mine. Shining brighter than the summer sun on my soul, I’m thrilled with the inconceivable gift You’ve placed on the platform of my heart.

With the Hope of Heaven in my heart, I can cheerfully embrace problems and persist through suffering. Difficulties will purify and perfect my personality, allowing me to gracefully show Your divine love to a watching world. No matter how busy, frustrated, or tired I am this holiday season, please help me to keep smiling and respond with patience and kindness.

Let the Hope of Heaven spill from my heart as I magnificently display the precious jewels of Your character this Christmas. When others see the Hope of Heaven sparkling in me, they’ll experience the true Spirit of Christmas and Christ will be magnified, exalted, and honored above all. Amen.

What a priceless gift! How will you display the Hope of Heaven this Christmas?

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. - Romans 15:13

Monday, December 04, 2006

Heart Ablaze

Luke 3:16
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

2 Timothy 1:6
Fan into flame the gift of God, which is in You.

Holy Spirit,
You are a raging fire that cannot be contained! Light the match of Your holy love and breathe Your divine power on me! With intense heat, burn away all the problems and pain from my past.

F ear may dampen my relationship with You, but a flickering flame can be fanned into radiant light again. Fan into flame the powerful gift that is in me.

I dolatry may diffuse my affection for You. Rekindle the glow by taking captive my time and thoughts and making them obedient to You.

R ebellion may smother my ability to behold Your regal glory. Ignite my faith with courage to believe and obey You.

E gotism may extinguish the flame of intimacy. Throw the fuel of Truth on it to show me how wretched, pitiful, blind and naked I am.

Melt my cold, hard heart until it’s completely malleable. Then, cast a stunning new heart for me in Your perfect image.

Utterly impassioned by You, I’ll be spiritually combustible this Christmas! Exploding with love, I’ll be tenderhearted and merciful. Bursting with joy for all that You’ve done for me, my goodness and generosity will glow brilliantly. As I crackle with unexpected kindness, people will experience the true Spirit of Christmas. Please show me someone who needs the warmth of Your love and I’ll fan into flame the fire in my heart on them for the glory of Your name. Amen.

I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to ignite a fire in your heart so that others will experience Christ when they encounter you this Christmas.

Friday, December 01, 2006

All I Really Want For Christmas is Freedom

2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Father of Freedom,
Your gifts are far too wonderful for me! Embellished in my new heart is the Spirit of Christmas that sets me absolutely FREE!! The same strong power that raised Your Son from the dead enables me to live:

Free from shame
Free from the pain of my past
Free from guilt
Free from fear
Free from selfish desires
Free to be Your dearly beloved child
Free to live in the power of Your love
Free to love and serve others
Free to stand firm on Your promises
Free to be all that You intended me to be

It’s so good to finally be FREE! Thank You, Jesus for this incredible gift bought with Your beautiful wounds. Today, I willingly walk out of the bondage of my past into the liberty of Your love. Please give me faith to BELIEVE in the true Spirit of Christmas so that I can live in the freedom of the cross every day of my life. I am forever FREE because of Jesus, the heart of Christmas! Amen.

God has given you the power to walk in freedom from your addictions, attractions, and afflictions. Have you accepted His generous gift? Accept it today with a thankful heart! With it will come peace and exuberant joy!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

All I Really Want For Christmas Is Comfort

John 14:16-17
Jesus said, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever - even the Spirit of truth." ASV

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

God of All Comfort!
With the Spirit of Christmas in my heart, I’ve also graciously received the warm, everlasting, security Blanket of Your love. Under Your soft feathers, there is peace for my confused mind, tranquility for my qualms and quandaries, and serenity to accept unchangeable circumstances. When suffering makes my heart heavy, I can fall under Your strong, supportive arms. Covered by Your promises, I’m invigorated with endurance. Beneath the mantle of Your love there is extravagant mercy and amazing grace. My pain is eased and my Spirit enlivened. Your tenderness gives me hope, healing and everlasting happiness. Thank You for this lovely, soft Comforter.

After I’m rested, I can confidently rise up with the help of Your strong hand and share my warm Comforter with someone else. Because I’ve experienced Your blessed consolation I’ll be able to soothe the sad souls around me. Please show me someone who needs the warmth of Christ this Christmas. I’ll gratefully share my Comforter with them for glory of His name. Amen.

If you are overwhelmed by confusion, doubts, and distress this Christmas allow the Comforter of the Holy Spirit to cover you with His love.

If you’ve been blessed by the Blanket of His love, share it with someone who’s brokenhearted. Let others see Christ glorified in You so that they’ll come to know the true meaning of Christmas.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

All I Really Want For Christmas Is Power

2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

My Beloved Father,
I’m unspeakably delighted with my new Christmas heart full of Your beautiful Christmas Spirit. Now, I just need extra stamina to remain connected to the power of Christ this Christmas. The immense force that raised Your Son from the dead will energize me to rise above intimidating people and uncontrollable conditions to pour out the Spirit of Christmas.

Coupled with You, I’ll have enormous strength to:

C onscientiously think of others rather than myself

H appily encourage the brokenhearted

R adically love difficult people

I ntrepidly risk my reputation to socialize with the undesirable

S acrificially offer my time, talent and treasure with a grateful heart

T riumph over tragedy

M ercifully extend forgiveness

A ccept challenging situations with a song of hope in my heart

S erenely walk through each day

Please dear Lord, attach me securely to You. Let the extraordinary power of Your Holy Spirit flow steadily from my heart enlightening others to Christ this Christmas. In His powerful name I pray. Amen.

Are you plugged into the power of Christ? He will give you immeasurable strength to be His heart and hands this Christmas. Ask Him to show you who you can pour out the Spirit of Christmas onto this year. Then watch who He puts in your path. It will likely be a stranger. Without arguing or hesitating, obey Him by doing whatever He puts on your heart.

Last Christmas, the Holy Spirit nudged my heart to write an encouraging letter to a stranger whose story I read in the newspaper. I never expected my simple act of obedience to lead to a beautiful gift of sisterly love, daily encouragement, and lasting friendship. Try it!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

All I Really Want For Christmas Is A Heart Like His

Ezekiel 36: 25-26
25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. NLT

Heavenly Father,
You are the Maker of indescribable gifts. I hurry into Your holy presence unashamed to admit that I’m in desperate need of a new Christmas heart.

Consumed with materialism, I’ve become hard pressed like a cheap plastic toy that’s heartless, mindless, and lifeless. Unscrupulous marketing convinces me to join the frenzy of panicked shoppers in the mad fight to buy the latest gizmos and gadgets. Glossy magazines persuade me to perfectly deck the halls of my home, and host impressive holiday parties. Santa Claus has replaced You as the father of Christmas. Caught up in commercialism, my heart has become greedy, hard, and selfish. By worshipping the false images of Christmas, I’ve forgotten the reason for the season.

Please wash away the waste from Christmases past. When I’m clean, lay Your compassionate Christmas heart over mine, making a tender new heart for me. Shaped like Your Son and full of Your Spirit, my perspective will radically change. Suddenly, the joy of all the holiday fury will fade beneath the pure pleasure and divine excitement of making a permanent difference in the lives of others.

Thank You for giving me an indescribable new Christmas heart full of Your beautiful Christmas Spirit. Please show me who to share the heart of Christmas with and I’ll cheerfully oblige by generously feeding them Your perfect love and offering them a taste of Your infinite mercy. I’ll graciously look beyond their diseased hearts and have a good-natured visit with them to glorify the Christ of Christmas. Amen.

What’s your heart look like this Christmas? What are you worshipping? If you want to have an incredibly different kind of Christmas, ask God, with great expectation, to give You a heart like His this Christmas. When you are focused on the things that matter to His heart, your perspective of Christmas will be radically changed, and you will be extremely content and eternally blessed.

Hear the heart of Jesus: "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' Matthew 25:34-36

Monday, November 27, 2006

All I Really Want For Christmas Is the Holy Spirit

Luke 11:13
Jesus said, "If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

Father in Heaven,
O how I adore You because You love me so extravagantly! You’re perfectly loving, merciful, gracious, forgiving, approachable, available, and ever so generous. I’m extremely thankful that I can run into Your holy presence any time, asking for anything. Eloquent words and formal etiquette aren’t necessary. You’re ecstatic when I come with a humble heart, eagerly expecting to receive much more than good gifts.

Father, the One thing I really want this Christmas is the fullness of the Holy Spirit living in me. I no longer want to restrict You to living in just one room of my heart. I want the Spirit of Your Son to have unimpeded access to my entire heart so that I can live a holy and heavenly life consumed with Your divine love. Unity with You in Spirit is the best gift You could possibly give me!

I know that I’m utterly undeserving and unworthy; and yet, because I’ve asked with great anticipation, You’ve just given me a gift that is better than my feeble mind can possibly understand. You’ve given me the Spirit of Christmas. This is the Only gift I really need. It is the Source and Giver of absolute blessings.

I love You and thank You for being the magnanimous One that You are. I’m eternally grateful that Your Spirit is living in me, strengthening me, teaching me, guiding me, comforting me, helping me, interceding for me, and keeping me for eternal glory because of Jesus. Amen.

Unashamedly go to the Father and unload your heart to Him. Persistently ask Him to fill your whole heart with more of the Holy Spirit this Christmas. The Holy Spirit is the Source and Giver of everything you’ll ever need to have the most memorable Christmas ever.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Psalm 100
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Almighty, All-bountiful, All-gracious God,
It’s sheer pleasure to worship You with heartfelt adoration and undivided attention. Your unfailing love has put a song in my heart and a smile on my face. I believe that You are Lord, my God, Creator of everything. Thank You for making me intricately and uniquely with Your strong hands. I’m Your most valuable possession. O, how I praise You!

My Good and Gentle Shepherd, knowing You intimately is the greatest joy and blessing. Your voice is music to my ears. Willingly, I follow You. With steadfast devotion, You lead me to the lush, rolling meadows in my Bible where I can devour the rich delicacy of Your Word. Faithfully, You guide me through barren deserts to refreshing streams of Living Water that quench my thirsty soul. Along the way, You staunchly defend me from the wolves of sin and temptation that hound me. Thank You for protecting and providing for me.

With unbridled excitement, I enter the heavenly gate and come into the safety of Your beautiful sanctuary. My thankful heart, tells of Your tender kindness and continuous mercy. I sing of Your infinite goodness and everlasting compassion. Your enduring love has set my feet a dancing. O how I love and worship You for all You’ve done for me, Jesus, my Wonderful Savior, Redeemer and Friend. Amen

Prepare your heart for Thanksgiving, by pondering God’s goodness. Make a list of all the gifts He’s given you. Thank Him for each one, offering Him a sacrifice praise!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Sacrifice of Thanksgiving

Psalm 107:22
22 Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving
and sing joyfully about his glorious acts.

Father in Heaven,
As a gesture of appreciation for Your miraculous mercy toward me, I’ll joyfully show the world the wonder of Your amazing love by:

S elf-expenditure – I’ll gladly abandon my own dreams for absolute loyalty to You, determinedly following You wherever You lead.

A ttitude of gratitude – I’ll quickly and gratefully stamp out my personal agenda in order to enliven a broken heart.

C rucify myself – Deliberately, I’ll kill my spirit of intolerance and indifference in order to allow You to freely work through me to do anything You choose.

R adical love – Because of the extravagant love You’ve shown me, I’ll readily demonstrate extreme compassion to those outcast by society.

I mmediate obedience – Out of fear and respect of Your almighty authority, I’ll willingly do any assignment You give me without hesitating or complaining.

F ully devoted – Attached to no one but You, I’ll notice the people and situations that burden You.

I ndividuality broken – In order to effectively aid and assist You, I’ll allow You to crush me and shape me into Your perfect image.

C hallenging – I’ll intentionally accept assignments that may be beyond my mental and physical abilities, fully trusting You to energize and equip me.

E ndurance – The power of Your Word, coupled with praise and prayer will strengthen me.

Thank You, Lord for filling me with the sweet aroma of Your love. Let my life pleasantly emulate Your essence this holiday season, attracting others to Your fine fragrance because of Jesus. Amen.

God gave up His Son for your benefit. Ask Him what He wants you to give up for His benefit this holiday season. Then, obey immediately, without hesitating or complaining, cheerfully offering Him your sacrifice with a thankful heart.

O. Chambers writes in My Utmost For His Highest: We know something is right, but we try to find excuses for not doing it immediately. If we are to climb to the height God reveals, it can never be done later – it must be done now … Always guard against self-chosen service for God … God chose the test for Abraham, and Abraham neither delayed nor protested, but steadily obeyed. eyed.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sweet Victory

1 Corinthians 15:57
Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Triumphant Lord,
You’re the Commander-in-Chief of the Army of Blessed Angels. I celebrate the sweet victory You’ve given me through Jesus Christ. Because of the glorious conquest, I can stand firm on Your powerful promises expecting You to defeat the enemy repeatedly.

My mind is the battlefield where speculation, knowledge, and thoughts take place. It’s constantly clashing with the opposition of a corrupt culture. A ferocious, frightening, and confusing hailstorm of suffering, shame and sorrow bombard me. Condemnation ruthlessly assaults me. Guilt viciously attacks me. Dying to my past is agonizing. The enemy is rapidly advancing and I need to take hold of the indispensable weapons You’ve given me to wage war with this world. Igniting the dynamite of Your Word with the matchsticks of prayer and praise, I’ll successfully demolish the adversary.

You’re my Commanding Officer. Respecting Your authority is a matter of life or death. It’s imperative that I obey Your orders, submitting my thoughts completely to Your control. With You in charge, I don’t have be fainthearted or afraid. Terror and panic won’t besiege me. I just need to comply with Your commands and rely on Your almighty armament.

Thank You for Your faithful promise to go with me, fight for me and give me the exultant victory through Jesus, Your Son. Hallelujah! The battle’s won! Amen.

Thank God for the spiritual victory! It’s a command. You no longer have to live in fear of condemnation, guilt or death. Ignite His Word with prayer and praise, and claim the sweet reward.

Deuteronomy 20:4
For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.

I John 5:3-5
3This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Keys to the Kingdom

Hebrews 12:28
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.

Holy and Awesome God-
Your splendor and majesty are breathtaking! My imagination’s running wild! I picture You seated on a glowing, golden throne high above the earth. I’m spellbound by the brilliant train of glory surrounding You.

It’s a treat for my mind's eye to visualize Your majestic kingdom as my heavenly home. I eagerly anticipate the jubilant celebration as thousands and thousands of adoring angels encircle You in beautiful worship. My heart is flooded with overwhelming joy as my name is read from the Lamb’s Book of Life. With all due respect, I confidently rise and approach the throne of grace hand-in-hand with my Best Friend, Jesus, Your Son. He presents me to You as pious, perfect and pure. Lovingly, You open Your arms wide, welcoming me to stay in the most elegant, enormous mansion my eyes have ever seen because of my relationship with Him. The keys to heaven are handed to me! It’s a gift too wonderful for words, too great to grasp!

Knowing You deeply, intimately, and personally is a joy and an honor. Because Your unshakable kingdom is in me, I’m stuck on You. When the fragile world around me is shaken and shattered, I won’t fall apart. Instead, with reverent awe, I’ll cling to You, praising You as the King who reigns with triumphant power in my heart. Your kingdom is mine forever and ever because of Jesus. Hallelujah! Amen.

The unshakable kingdom of God is in you too. Worship His Majesty with thanksgiving, in honor of all that He’s given you – a promised home in His heavenly kingdom where you’ll live happily ever after! Imagine it!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Love Dispels Fears

1 John 4:16-18
16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

God of Love,
Hot tears roll down my face as I ponder Your awesome holy love. Perfect love is Your fundamental nature. I’m overwhelmed that this unspeakable love is fully available to me.
Thank You that Jesus, Your dearly loved Son, models Your deep love and compassion. He willingly left the hallowed halls of heaven and came down to this dingy, dirty place on earth to show us how to wholly love. Knowing that He’d have to give up His life to save us from eternal anguish, He willingly endured the extreme shame and humiliation of the cross, suffering its unbearable pain to demonstrate Your unconditional love. At the cross I see Your great big beautiful heart.

Because of Your excellent love exhibited there, I can enjoy an intimate experiential relationship with You. I can live like You and love like You, confidently expecting to receive the rich, divine, imperishable, eternal inheritance You promise. Living in Your presence, I’m full of praise, power and perfect love. Enamored by You, there’s no room in my heart for fear.

God of Love, I just want to live in blessed adoration of You every day of my life demonstrating unwavering, irrepressible, triumphant faith in Your promises so that I can trust Your extraordinary love to wash away all doubt and fear in Jesus name. Amen.

Look at the Cross. Consider Jesus hanging there in pain and agony. Consider the crown of thorns pressed down on His brow. Consider the stakes driven through His hands and feet. Consider the beating He had already endured, ripping flesh from bone, so much so that He was virtually unrecognizable. Consider what He suffered. He did it all for love. He did it for us – to prove His love. Do you believe Him?

Confess your fears. Turn around and face Him. Looking into His face, thank Him for His perfect love that dispels fears.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Continuous Praise

Hebrews 13:15
Let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.

Blessed Lord Jesus,
O how I love the sweet sound of Your beautiful name! I’m utterly devoted to You because You saved me from hell and total annihilation. Not only that, but You presented me flawless before the glorious throne of my Most High God. You’ve made me indescribably pure, completely blameless, absolutely acceptable and extremely wise. I ought to be struck dead at Your feet, but You’ve put a spring in my step, a song in my heart, a smile on my face and given me a zest for living. The least I can do is continually praise You, even when it’s excruciatingly difficult.

It ought to be a joy and delight to praise Your glorious name forever and ever! Not only when all is well. Not just when I’m perfectly healthy and sound. Not only when my bills are paid and there’s food on the table. But, it is an incredible honor to stand by faith worshipping You during pain and poverty, crisis and confusion, desperation and disaster. In tough times when my heart can sing of Your great love, there is increased peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control as my sorrow turns to sheer joy in Your presence.

Help me to continually focus and determinedly place my faith in You and You alone. I want to give you my unlimited, unrestrained affection! I want to build my faith on strong determined confidence in You, my Blessed Lord Jesus. Focused on You, I won’t be able to fear or doubt. My life will be a lovely hymn of adoration resulting from my perfect, irrepressible, triumphant belief in You, my Blessed Lord Jesus whom I love with all my heart. Amen.

Think of the despicable shortfall of faith we exhibit during difficult times. Then, think of what Jesus has done for you. You deserve to die. You deserve eternal suffering. But, He has given you life abundantly. If you’re alive because of Him, ask Him to put a spring in your step, a song in your heart, a smile on your face, and give you a zest for glorious living. Then, you will be a living sacrifice of constant praise.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Praise Him For What He's Done

Psalm 65:4-5
4 Blessed are those you choose
and bring near to live in your courts!
We are filled with the good things of your house,
of your holy temple.
5 You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness
My Glorious Father in Heaven,
You are King of my heart and Lord of my life. I’m blessed that You chose me to live in Your royal family! A scruffy ragamuffin, I don’t deserve to live with the Majestic King of Heaven who rules and reigns over the universe. It’s an incredible privilege to be here where I can freely enjoy all of the rich family benefits.

  • You forget my past and give me an adventurous new life.
  • You graciously pardon my inappropriate behavior, setting me free from guilt, shame and fear of punishment.
  • You invite me to indulge in the rich delicacy of Your Word.
  • You crown me with love and compassion.
  • You wrap me in goodness and eternal beauty.
  • You give me the inconceivable opportunity to know You personally and experientially.
  • You train me to live like the child of a King.
  • Your extravagant love is ever, always and eternally available to me.

O Lord, I’m absolutely astonished and trembling with overwhelming joy. It’s sobering to think that You’ve positioned me in a haughty place that I do not deserve, the heavenly throne room where I can dwell in Your divine presence forever and ever. Filled with extreme gratitude for the awesome things You’ve done, I’ll praise you with my obedience, honor You with my devotion, and glorify You by loving others. You alone are the key to heaven because of Jesus. Amen.

Spend the day pondering all the good things God’s given you. What has He done for you? Make a list of His awesome divine deeds. With a thankful heart, praise Him by your obedience, honor Him with your devotion, and glorify Him by loving others.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Praise Him For Who He Is

Psalm 34:1-3
1 I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
2 My soul will boast in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together.

O Loving Lord,
My heart throbs every time I bless Your beautiful name! In awe of Your splendor and majesty, I inhale joyful praise and puff out sweet, long-lasting adoration. You are the pure air I breathe, O God.

My soul yearns to brag about Your greatness:
  • Your holy love is deeper than the massive oceans.
  • Your divine wisdom is higher than majestic mountains.
  • Your mighty power is stronger than the thrashing waves of the sea.
  • Your unending mercy expands to the ends of the earth.
  • Your perfect peace is quieter than a whispering summer breeze.
  • Your exuberant joy twinkles brighter than the brightest star.
  • Your incomparable goodness is exceedingly greater than the fruitful farmlands.
  • Your infinite faithfulness is more trustworthy than the dawning of the day.
  • Your continuous forgiveness flows like a cool refreshing mountain stream.
  • Your wondrous grace is more awesome than the spacious skies.

There is none like You, O Lord. Thank You for giving me a fresh vision of Your holiness. In the light of Your radiant glory, sorrow and suffering diminish, fear and shame disappear, and turmoil and restlessness dissipate, lost in the magnificent celebration of Your beautiful name. With thanksgiving, we bow down and worship You for Who You are. Together we exalt and glorify You because of Your Almighty, All-Powerful, Everlasting name! Amen.

Spend the day gazing of God’s beauty. What do you see? Make a list of His admirable characteristics. With a thankful heart, praise Him for Who He is all day long. Watch your heart lighten beneath praise and adoration.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Turn Around!

Matthew 4:17
From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

God of Wonders, I marvel at the power of Your Voice. Thank You for opening my spiritual ears to hear the very first word out of Your mouth to believers, "Repent!" I hear You commanding the Church and me to turn around. We’re going in the wrong direction! We don’t listen or pay attention to You, but follow the stubborn inclination of our misguided hearts.

We don’t want to admit the depth from which we’ve fallen. We no longer love You, or our brothers and sisters. We bicker, squabble and argue over insignificant matters when we should be falling on our knees in unity of mind and soul praying for radical change. We use not only our hearts, but our sanctuaries as a front to worship our manmade gods.

Our leaders are feeding us a pack of sugar-coated lies and we swallow them because we don’t open our Bibles and seek the Truth. Afraid we won’t come back if we know the reality of our depravity, we’re not taught to obey Your rules. We’d rather praise and dance than fall on our face in reverent fear of You. The Church You set apart for holy worship has become a place to carry out our outrageous sacrilege. Have mercy on us for desecrating Your Holy House!

Living Lord, I want to experience the fullness of Your presence and power. I admit that I was heading in the wrong direction. Frustrated by lack of results, I gave up praying for change in the Church, but because of the power of Your Word, I just made a U-turn to follow You. Fuel my heart, O Lord, with renewed passion to radically pray for change that will bring You the honor and glory You’re worthy of. Amen.

Whew! God has just stirred up my heart! Do you hear the first words from our Lord’s mouth when He began preaching to His followers? "Repent!" This word is for you and me, friends - not for the unbelievers. We’re going in the wrong direction and need to do an immediate U-turn. I urge you, turn around and follow Jesus before it’s too late – the kingdom of heaven is near.

For additional reading, I recommend Jeremiah 7. It’s a very clear illustration of the condition of the Church today and the results of disobedience.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Weak Warriors

Psalm 78:9-11
9 The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows,
turned back on the day of battle;
10 they did not keep God's covenant
and refused to live by his law.
11 They forgot what he had done,
the wonders he had shown them.

O Great & Mighty God,
Your Word is a swift, sharp sword that cuts to the very core of my soul. We, as a church are big cowards like the Ephraimites. You’ve armed us to the hilt for the spiritual battle, yet we’ve fearfully run away. We don’t believe in Your powerful, protective promises. We’ve ditched the indispensable weapons You made just for us.

Even though the Truth is readily available, we refuse to open our Bibles and access it. Because we don’t open our Bibles outside of church, we’re ignorant about Your Sacred Laws. If we don’t know them, how can we obey them? We’re busy making believers and baptizing them, neglecting to teach them to obey Your commands. We can’t instruct what we do not know ourselves. We’re a battalion of reckless rebels marching down a dangerous road.

Forgetting the high price You paid to save us from death and destruction, we’ve conscientiously objected to following You into combat. It’s each man for himself in this skirmish with the wicked world. Prayerless, we’ve abandoned our brothers and sisters, leaving them alone to fight the vicious foe. Self-absorbed, we’ve forgotten to declare the great works You’ve done. Have mercy on us for our lack of faith!

I never again want to withdrawal from the life-or-death fight with the Devil. I don’t want You to associate me with the weak and spineless Ephraimites who lost favor in Your sight.

From this day forward, I’m surrendering my life and my agenda to enlist in Your massive Army of prayer warriors. Equipped with Your Word, I’ll confidently open my mouth and speak in Your almighty power, watching until the enemy retreats. Show me a comrade who needs support today, and I’ll join them in the battle at the altar for the glory of Your victorious name. Amen.

Do you know someone in the midst of a spiritual battle? The enemy is strategically attacking Christ-followers from every vantage point. Who can you join in combat? I urge you, turn around and fight for someone in the name of Jesus. If you have a Bible and a mouth, you’re fully armed and equipped for combat.

Our pastors and spiritual leaders are under siege. The enemy is torturing and punishing missionaries worldwide. Our nation is under fierce attack. Marriages are falling apart. Children are innocent victims. There’s a whole world full of sick and suffering souls standing alone in their struggles. Everywhere there are broken hearts and shattered lives. You don’t have to look far to find someone to stand in the gap and fight with.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Spirit-Led Prayer

Romans 8:26-27
26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

Most High Priest,
Thank You for making my heart Your home. You know every nook and cranny of it. You understand the challenging circumstances, agonizing problems and incredible pressure I face. When I can’t find the words to say, You translate my inarticulate sighs. Thank You for constantly interceding on my behalf from the temple of my heart.

I’ve made prayer more difficult and cumbersome than it needs to be. All I have to do is keep the temple clean and pay attention to You. With a pure heart, when I open my Bible, You’ll tell me what’s on Your mind, prompting me to pray for specific people and situations. As I spend time in Your presence, pondering Your thoughts, I’ll gain divine wisdom and knowledge far above my feeble, finite thinking. Tuned in to You, I’ll notice the vast needs around me and joyfully bring them to Your throne, trusting You to take care of them.

Thank You for revealing Your thoughts to me, O Lord. Please search my heart and turn it into a beautiful house of prayer for the glory of Your name. Amen.

Is prayer difficult and cumbersome for you? That’s not the way God intended it to be. He’s taken up residence in your heart and made it a house of prayer. Ask Him to show you how to pray His way. It will radically change your heart for prayer.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Passionate Persistent Prayer

Deuteronomy 9: 8-10, 13-14, 17-19
8 … you aroused the LORD's wrath so that he was angry enough to destroy you … 9 I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water. 10 The LORD gave me two stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God.

13 And the LORD said to me, "I have seen this people, and they are a stiff-necked people indeed! 14 Let me alone, so that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven."

17 So I took the two tablets and threw them out of my hands, breaking them to pieces before your eyes.

18 Then once again I fell prostrate before the LORD for forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water, because of all the sin you had committed, doing what was evil in the LORD's sight and so provoking him to anger. 19 I feared the anger and wrath of the LORD, for he was angry enough with you to destroy you. But again the LORD listened to me.

O Sovereign Lord,
There’s a striking similarity between ancient Israel and the corrupt, rebellious and unruly world today. Our nation is in terrible shape! The Sacred Laws that You inscribed with Your fingers have been deliberately broken. Your Holy Name has been desecrated. With You out of sight and out of mind, we’ve become a country full of senseless, faithless, heartless, and ruthless fools who expect blessing despite our defiant disobedience.

O Lord, stir up in me a heart like Moses. He knew You intimately; therefore, he knew what was on Your heart and mind. He knew how angry You were over the blatant misconduct of his nation. Twice, he spent 40 days and 40 nights alone in Your holy presence, passionately interceding, fasting, and crying out for You to spare his people from annihilation. He believed with all his heart that You would answer him, and didn’t leave Your presence for any reason until You responded to his urgent appeal.

Lord, I can’t spend 40 minutes fasting and praying, let alone 40 days and 40 nights! Have mercy on me! Radically change my heart, O God. Draw me into the same kind of deep love relationship that Moses had with You. I want to be so enamored with You, that I’ll desire to spend endless hours in Your presence without thinking for one minute about food or drink. Fully possessed by You, I’ll fervently plea to You to spare this nation from complete obliteration. With One heart and One mind, I won’t give up until You answer me. Lord, teach me to diligently pray with enthusiasm and expectation so that Your name will be blessed in my homeland. Amen.

Dr. Henry Blackaby asked, "What kind of praying have we been doing to lead our nation to the mess we’re in?" What changes need to be made in Your life so that God can work through you?

Read Deuteronomy 9 & 10 and ask God to take you to a deeper level with your prayer life. If not you, then who will pray for our nation?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Shriveled Leaves

Isaiah 64:6-7
We all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
No one calls on your name
or strives to lay hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us
and made us waste away because of our sins.

O Divine Artist,
The vivid illustrations You paint in Your Word delight my imagination. Over the past several weeks, the dazzling autumn leaves dancing in the brisk fall air have mesmerized me. Their elegant display of rich, stunning colors that seemed so full of life tricked me. Kissed by the warm sun, they quickly withered, weakened and were swept away by a gust of wind. The once stately trees are suddenly lifeless. Dormant, there’s nothing pretty about them.

So it is with my life. I try to elegantly display my wonderful works for a watching world. I’ve wasted endless time and energy trying to impress people. In pursuit of the dreams and desires of my heart, I’ve neglected to seek the plans and purposes of Your heart for me. Like the shriveled autumn leaves that once thrived with abundant life, I’ve fallen from the Tree of Life. Blown away by the compulsion to prove my value, my works have become worthless. Fruitless, there’s nothing striking about me.

If I want to remain vibrant and productive I need to take time be with You daily. Diligently studying Your Word and communicating with You in passionate, persistent, heartfelt prayer You’ll show me what’s on Your heart and mind. When I turn around, face You, and accept the blazing Truth, my soul will dance like the autumn leaves. Devoted to You, my life will have a sacred and inexpressible charm about it that will naturally attract others to Your inexplicable beauty. In my life Lord be glorified because of Jesus. Amen.

Our works will shrivel up like the autumn leaves and be blown away; but our worship will last forever. I urge you to get connected to the Tree of Life by spending time in God’s Word and passionate, persistent, heartfelt prayer. Ask Him to show you the desires of His heart and watch as He reveals His glory. Then, you will be impressed with Him and His work.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Worship Before Work

Revelation 2:2-5
Jesus said:
2 "I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. 3 You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. 4 But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! 5 Look how far you have fallen from your first love! Turn back to me again and work as you did at first. If you don’t, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches." NLT

O Precious Lord, Who knows all and sees all,
Thank You for speaking directly to my humble heart. Nothing goes unnoticed by Your holy eyes. You see my labor of love and enduring perseverance. You know how hard I try to avoid impropriety. With all my heart, I seek the truth, steering clear of liars. Without complaining, I put up with the harassment of belligerent people. You’re aware that it’s exceedingly difficult to live morally in this corrupt culture where personal choices and alternative lifestyles are not only acceptable, but also tolerated. Graciously, You praise me for doing what’s right in Your eyes.

On the other hand, You also notice that my worship has been deluded by works. My love for You and others has grown cold. In the struggle to maintain sound teaching and moral and doctrinal purity, I’ve taken for granted Who You are. I’ve placed the significance of service above my affection and adoration for You. More concerned with what I do for You than who I am to You, I’ve fallen away from You. My usefulness is diverted and my testimony is tarnished.

Thank You for shining the light of Your Word on my heart. Broken and ashamed, I come back to the Cross. Falling on my knees, I admit how far I’ve backslid in my love relationship with You. Forgive me for spending endless energy on activities while neglecting passionate, prolonged time in prayer and studying Your Word. Lord with all my heart, mind, soul and strength I want to make You my priority again. Consumed with You my joy and zeal will return, allowing me to effectively shine Your light of love on others.

O Lord, that I may love You more today than yesterday and that my light would burn brightly before man for the glory of Your holy name. Amen.

O. Chambers writes in My Utmost for His Highest, October 19: The great enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ today is the idea of practical work that has no basis in the New Testament but comes from the systems of the world. The work insists upon endless energy and activities, but no private life with God. The emphasis is put on the wrong thing … In our Lord’s life there was none of the pressure and the rushing of tremendous activity that we regard so highly today, and a disciple is to be like his Master. The central point of the kingdom of Jesus Christ is a personal relationship with Him, not public usefulness to others.

Have you put work ahead of worship? I challenge you to stop and evaluate what you’re doing. Is your relationship with the Living Lord right? If not, the command is clear, "Turn back to Him again and work as you did at first." If you choose to disobey, the consequence is also clear, "I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches."

What did you do when Jesus first found you?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Pray Like Jesus

Matthew 26: 37-39, 42,
37 He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death … 39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."

42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done."

44 So He … went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. NKJV

O Lord Jesus,
Thank You for teaching me how to pray! Forgive me for my casual, careless prayers. My happy-go-lucky heart would rather be singing praises and dancing than falling on my face in deep sorrowful prayer. I’ve failed to follow You. My prayers have been hasty, shallow and sloppy. I wonder why they go unanswered.

Please lay Your heart over my heart, O God, and teach me to pray. O that my soul would be exceedingly anguished even to the point of death for the things that trouble You. Rather than praying as I drive down the road asking You to bless this person and that person, give me this and give them that, I want to go to the garden alone, far away from the hustle and bustle, where I can experience prayer with You.

In Your presence, I’ll fall on my face. Crying out to You in deep distress, You’ll tell me exactly what’s on Your heart. As I sit still, quietly listening to Your voice, my prayer life will change. I’ll be overcome with grief for the things that grieve You. The intense pain will be unbearable. It’ll be tempting to walk away from the severe problems and pressures you reveal to me, but Lord, with all my heart I want to follow You, even to death. I want to pray like You, Jesus, not my will but Yours be done. Amen.

Have you ever had this heart of God? Have you ever prayed like Jesus? Would you be willing to allow God to take You to a different kind of praying? Turn around and follow Jesus. He’ll teach you how to pray powerful prayers that will make a kingdom difference.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tempted to Sleep

Matthew 26:38, 40-41, 43-45
38Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."

40Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. 41"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

43When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44So he left them … 45Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near …"

Precious Jesus,
I am so sorry! You’ve invited me to join You in agonizing prayer, and I have failed you miserably! Surrounded by the sorrow of sin, overwhelmed by the misery of severe suffering, and swallowed up in the sheer terror of impending death, You’ve asked me to keep vigil, but like Peter, I’m drowsy and prone to dozing off. Forgive me, O Lord!

You know the brutal battle that lies ahead for me. Clearly, You warn me to pay attention and pray. Deep agonizing grief from the consequences of poor choices will besiege me. The intense suffering from sickness will be unbearable. The cruel killing of souls and maiming of minds will torment me to the point of overwhelming despair. With all my heart, I want to obey, but the nighttime of the soul seems eternally long. Worn out and restless, I’m tempted to drift from You during difficult times.

I beg You to awaken my spirit to the power of prayer. Teach me to pray, with passionate persistence, prayers that will crush the adversary. The hour is near when You’ll come back, and I don’t want You to find me sleeping again. I want You to be pleasantly surprised when You find me in the garden wrestling over the burdens of Your heart for the glory of Your name. Amen.

O. Chambers writes in My Utmost for His Highest, October 16: "The key to the missionary’s difficult task is in the hand of God, and that key is prayer, not work … the key is in following the Master’s orders – the key is prayer.

The Master has given you the key and ordered you to watch and pray with Him. His intense agonizing prayer in the garden gave Him the strength to face the journey to the cross. If you don’t pay attention and wrestle with Him in prayer, you’ll snap when the stress and strain do come – and it will come. Ask Jesus to teach you to pray powerful prayers that will destroy the enemy.