Monday, July 31, 2006

Living Together Happily

Psalm 133
1 How good and pleasant it is
when brothers live together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron's beard,
down upon the collar of his robes.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.

Loving Lord and Prince of Peace,
Your Words are wonderful! They persuade me to live my life for You! There’s nothing more pleasant or beautiful than living in harmony with my Christian brothers and sisters.

Brotherly love is comforting, sweet perfume to the sick and sad soul. It’s expensive! I pay for it every time I give up my selfish desires. It’s well worth the high price because the delightful fragrance cheers my spirit as I pour out Your love. The rich, heavenly scent uplifts the thoughts of the recipient, flowing from their head to their heart. Please dear Lord, give me a gracious tongue to speak pleasantly and peacefully, lavishing love, like sweet perfume on my brothers and sisters today for the glory of Your name.

Your love is like cool moisture falling fresh on sin scorched souls. As I’m around my brothers and sisters, let me shower them with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-discipline. Let Your blessings fall like dew from heaven watering and reviving us to live happily ever after with You.

O Lord, I long for the prosperous blessings You generously give to those who live harmoniously in Your family. Please show me someone who is sick or sad today and I will lavish them with the sweet perfume of Your love. Show me someone whose soul is scorched by sin and I will mist them with mercy for the blessing of Your beautiful, majestic and holy name. Amen.

It is wonderful, but not always easy, to live harmoniously in the family of God. Find someone to lavish His love on today. Comfort someone who is sick or sad. Show mercy to someone who has hurt you. Encourage someone who’s discouraged. Be a blessing!

Today I will bless __________________________________ with God’s love.

I dedicate this Prayer Pal to my small group. I cherish these dear brothers and sisters with all my heart and I’m extremely thankful for the love, patience and kindness they show not only me, but also each other! They are living proof of good and pleasant living in the family of God.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Ready For Use

Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me, melt me, mold me, fill me, use me ...

Isaiah 6:1-8
1In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. 2Hovering around him were mighty seraphim, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with the remaining two they flew. 3In a great chorus they sang, "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty! The whole earth is filled with his glory!" 4The glorious singing shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire sanctuary was filled with smoke.

5Then I said, "My destruction is sealed, for I am a sinful man and a member of a sinful race. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD Almighty!"

6Then one of the seraphim flew over to the altar, and he picked up a burning coal with a pair of tongs. 7He touched my lips with it and said, "See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven."

8Then I heard the Lord asking, "Whom should I send as a messenger to my people? Who will go for us?"

And I said, "Lord, I'll go! Send me." NLT

Living God,
You are holy and mighty,
You are King of my heart and
Lord of my life
I have mysteriously seen Your divine glory in the temple of my heart when Jesus came in and freed me from my sin. Seated high on the throne of my soul, Your Holy Spirit flame continuously burns away all the impurities within me. You crush me from my sinful nature. You reshape me repeatedly until I’m Your perfect pot. Then You wash away my guilt and shame with the precious blood of Jesus, forgiving my sins and shortcomings. When I’m clean, You fill me to overflowing with extravagant peace, Jesus joy, and heavenly hope. The painful purification process sets me apart as holy, ready to do Your will.

Purified others can see the face of my King exalted in me. Lord, I am shining for You. Please send me! I will go in the name of Jesus so that others will see and believe. You are my God and my King. All glory to You for the changes in me! Amen.

Are you willing to allow God to destroy you and reshape you for His use? If so, cry out to him, admitting your sin and weakness. Surrender to His power and He will use you.

Full of Joy & Peace

Spirit of the Living God fall fresh on me … Melt me, Mold me, Fill me…

Romans 15:13
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.

Living Water,
Crystal Clear,
Refreshing …
Fall on me! Wash me! Fill me!

I am a dirty cup, O God. Wash me with sparkling Living Water, the priceless blood of Jesus, so that I shine radiantly. I trust You to wash away the bitter brew of criticism, rejection, and humiliation. Replace it with the pleasant taste of peace. I trust You to remove the pungent solution of pride, perfection, and conceit. Replace it with the delightful taste of joy.

Filled with unexplainable peace and glorious joy, the hope of my heavenly home will spill out of me into the world in which I live, work, and play. Glistening with Jesus joy, I will invite people to come and drink from my cup full of luscious Living Water. When they sip the sweetness of my salvation, and realize that my hope is in heaven, they too will long to be cleansed by Jesus and filled with the Holy Spirit.

Please dear Lord, crush me, shape me and fill me to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus. Amen.

What is contaminating your cup? Will you hand it over to the maker and allow Him to wash it with the Living Water of Jesus? Then, you will glisten with Jesus joy and precious peace.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Perfect Pot

Spirit of the Living God fall fresh on me ... Melt me, Mold me ...

Jeremiah 18: 1- 6
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD : "Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message." So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the LORD came to me: "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD . "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand."

Living God,
You are the Perfect Potter. I am clay in Your hands. Let Your Spirit fall on me. Mold me into a treasured vessel You can use. Keep my heart soft and pliable. I want to be responsive to Your touch of greatness.

Father, into Your hands I go! Crush me. Shape me. Infuse me with grace. Cover all my defects and imperfections with Your gentle hands of mercy. Willingly and receptively I surrender myself to You. Please make me a valuable container to hold more of Jesus. Conform me into an instrument that is holy, blameless, and pure.

In the hands of my Perfect Potter, I will mold into the Perfect Pot. Just let Your Spirit fall on me, making me more flexible for Your glory. Amen

Are you willing to allow the Potter to crush you and mold you even if it requires major sacrifices?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Refiner's Fire

Spirit of the Living God fall fresh on me … Melt me

Malachi 3: 2, 3
He will be like a blazing fire that refines metal or like a strong soap that whitens clothes. 3He will sit and judge like a refiner of silver, watching closely as the dross is burned away. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold or silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the LORD. NLT

Living God,
Almighty Lord, You are the greatest Refiner in the world. Let Your Spirit fall on me and melt me. Although the process is excruciatingly painful, the result is gloriously beautiful. As I melt under the intense flame of the Holy Spirit, You skim off my impurities that rise to the surface. Only purity and holiness remain. Cleanse me with the blazing fire of my afflictions. Separate me from the corruption that renders me worthless and useless. With the dross removed, Your reflection appears in the smooth, pure surface of my soul. Others see it shining through.

Thank You Lord for the perfection process. Because of Your unfailing love and compassion, the melting procedure will not consume me. I will look with hope to my fabulous future when I am perfect in Christ Jesus. Show me Your ways. Teach me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth. You are my Perfect Savior. I long to be holy, like You. Fall on me. Melt me for Your name sake. Amen.

Are you willing to surrender yourself to the Refiner’s fire?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Set on Fire

Acts 2:3-4
3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit, Light the match and breathe on me! Set me on fire! Brand me with Your signature so that I’m Yours alone! I want to be a Christian in my heart, blazing with the zeal of Your love. With intense heat, burn away anything that isn’t of You. Turn my stubborn will to soot. Melt my cold, hard heart until it glistens with righteousness. Then, teach me with tongues of living flames what You would have me do.

Ignite me with divine power. Make me spiritually combustible today! Exploding with love, I’ll be tenderhearted and merciful. Bursting with joy because you saved me from the depths of hell, I’ll glow brilliantly for You. Blast away my sin, so that I crackle with kindness. Fully ablaze, I will not live for myself. Consumed by Your love, I’ll live to please only You. May people recognize me on the outside by Your flickering flame that’s burning in my heart. Lord, let Your righteousness shine through and be glorified in me today for Your name sake. Amen.

If you are a believer God has branded His seal on your heart (Eph 2:9). What do people see when they look at you? What do they see in your actions? Do they match the seal of God’s love burned on your heart? If not, I encourage you to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to ignite a fire in your heart so that others will see Jesus when they encounter you.

Reflect on the words to this little chorus:
Spirit of the Living God fall fresh on me
Spirit of the Living God fall fresh on me
Melt me, Mold me, Fill me, Use me
Spirit of the Living God fall fresh on me

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Cleansing Fountain

Reflections from Psalm 51
10Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Have mercy on me O God, according to Your unfailing love and great compassion. Blot out my blemishes, wash away my wickedness, and cleanse me from corruption.

I know that I have broken Your sacred laws and blatantly disobeyed You. I know I’ve done bad things. They haunt me relentlessly. I’ve hurt others causing You pain and grief. I haven’t acted like the child of a King. I’ve been a rebellious brat since I was conceived.

Cleanse me in the refreshing fountain of forgiveness! Wash away the gunk and grime so that I’m whiter than the glistening snow. Hide Your face from the ugly stains marked by the consequences of my poor choices. The marks that won’t go away are embarrassing. Please don’t pay attention to them.

Create in me a pure heart, O God by cleansing me from the inside out. Renew a steadfast spirit within me. Fill me with wholesome thoughts and desires. Please don’t cast me from Your presence! Don’t take Your power from me. I need it to live above my foolish faults and failures.

Sparkling in the Son shine I can hear joy and gladness again. I can come close to You and experience the rich full life as a child of the majestic, dignified King. Gladly, I will bring my friends to the refreshing fountain of forgiveness, praising You for Your righteousness along the way. Lord, please put a merry melody in my mind. Remove my guilt and shame so that I can sing a sweet song for You.

Build me up from my brokenness and make me prosperous in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Do you feel that you can’t come close to God because of something terrible you’ve done? God can and will forgive any sin if you tell Him about it. He will always cleanse you, but not always remove the stain. While a stain is clean; there is often a mark left behind from the sin.
David was truly sorry for his adultery with Bathseba, and for murdering her husband to cover it up. He knew his actions had hurt many people. He repented and God mercifully forgave him. No sin is too great to be forgiven.

Go to the refreshing fountain of forgiveness. Admit your sin, and it will be flushed away forever by the blood of Jesus.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Healing Hearts

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 week, 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 sad soul. Breathe new life into me. Resuscitate me and I will follow Your prescription for healing:

  • Humbly, I will admit that I am sick and sad in need of Your care.
  • Prayerfully, I will ask You to wash my wounds and heal my hurts.
  • Continually, I will seek Your advice by spending time in Your Word, the Holy Bible.
  • Daily, I will bring my afflictions, addictions and attractions to You.
Then, You will hear my cries from heaven and cure me. You will heal me because of Your wonderful name, Jehovah-rapha, the Lord Who Heals. Thank You for the blessing of healing grace given to Your beloved friends! I am eternally grateful because of Jesus. Amen.

What sickness is hindering your friendship with God? It could be spiritual - a sin that you need to confess; physical - a difficult diagnosis; emotional - a painful situation that’s hurting your heart; mental – a lie that you’re believing in your mind; or social - a broken relationship with a family member or friend.

He tells you exactly what to do to restore your friendship with Him.
  • Humble yourself and admit your weakness.
  • Pray, telling Him what ails you. Ask others to pray for you and with you.
  • Seek His face by spending time in His presence. Read your Bible.
Will you obey? If you obey, He promises to hear from heaven and heal your disease.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The King's Friend

Proverbs 22:11
He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the King for his friend.

You are my King and Beloved Friend! A pure heart is what I seek! As I read Your Word, speak to me softly showing me how to stay wholesome. Teach me Your rules for clean-heart living. I’ll recite them and rejoice in them more than riches. Reflecting on every morsel of wisdom from You, I’ll relish everything You tell me about life in order to resist doing wrong. I’ll give You my fullest respect by being submissive. Please write Your Words on my heart, O Lord, so that I can live decently as Your cherished friend.

Anoint my lips with grace so that the words that flow from them will bring dignity and honor to You. I want to speak softly and tenderly proclaiming truth, humility and righteousness. Tame my tongue to talk pleasantly and peacefully. I only want to express things that are good and helpful to build others up and bless them. With love and forgiveness on my lips, I will praise You, my King.

O King of my heart, I know that You love what is good and hate what is wrong. Create in me a clean heart. Give me a gracious tongue. Your throne endures forever and I want to be known as Your forever friend because of Jesus. Amen.

Do you have a pure heart and gracious speech? Jesus says, “For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” What are you putting into your heart?

This verse made me think of a little childhood tune …
O be careful little ears what you hear
O be careful little ears what you hear
For the Father up above is looking down in love
So be careful little ears what you hear.

O be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
So be careful little eyes what you see.

O be careful little tongue what you say
O be careful little tongue what you say
For the Father up above is looking down in love
So be careful little tongue what you say.

O be careful, dear reader, what you hear, see and say! Fill your ears and eyes with things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy then what comes out of your mouth will please the King.

To learn how to have a pure heart, I suggest reading Psalm 119:9-15.
To learn how to have gracious speech, I suggest reading Ephesians 4:17-32.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Just Thinking About the Lord

Psalm 16:8-11
I am always thinking of the Lord;
And because he is so near, I never need to stumble or fall.
Heart, body, and soul are filled with joy.
For you will not leave me among the dead,
You will not allow your beloved one to rot in the grave
You have let me experience the joys of life
And the exquisite pleasures of your own eternal presence. The Book

My Dear Friend,
You are my Lord! You light up my life, making my heart happy. O how I need you every minute of every day! You are absolutely precious to me! I’m constantly thinking of You. It keeps me out of trouble and away from temptation.

My problems and pressures turn to joy when I think about Your deep love for me. You love me so much that You died saving me from destruction and death while I was a hateful, hostile and hard-hearted enemy. Not only that, but You came back to life and chose to live in my heart! Since You’ve moved in, my life hasn’t been the same. The crud and cob webs are gone. You polished me with loving kindness and now I sparkle. I’m no longer lonely, hungry or thirsty. You’re my Provider and Best Friend! Your powerful presence is my protection. I’ve finally found peace and contentment – the exquisite pleasures of Your eternal presence living in me.

You fill my heart, body and soul with pure joy! I smile just thinking about the future You promise me! All around me are beautiful mansions. When I wish I could live in one of them, Your remind me that they pale in comparison to the palace You promise me in Paradise. I look forward with hope to the day when my sorrows and pain will cease and I’ll live happily ever with You in the beauty of heavenly holiness.

Please dear Lord, let me glow with delight from the joy of Your presence living in me because of Jesus. Amen.

Who are you thinking about today? If you think about the Lord, He promises:
-You will never stumble and fall
-You will be filled with joy
-He won’t leave you among the dead, rotting in a grave
-You’re His beloved one
-You will experience the exquisite pleasure of His eternal presence

Just thinking about my friendship with God excites me! Why He would befriend a sinner like me, is beyond my understanding. I’m choosing to believe Him and accept the cherished gift of His friendship because of Jesus! May the smile on my face reflect the joy in my heart, O Lord, because I am Your beloved friend!

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

Monday, July 17, 2006

Light in the World

1 John 1:5-7
5This is the message he has given us to announce to you: God is light and there is no darkness in him at all. 6So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness. We are not living in the truth. 7But if we are living in the light of God's presence, just as Christ is, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin. NLT

Light of the World,
You stepped out into darkness opening my eyes so that I could clearly see the way to everlasting happiness. Thank You for shining Your brilliant light into the darkness of my heart enabling me to see myself as I really am – a sinner, in need of grace. I admire You for leaving Your cozy, comfortable home in heaven to step out into a cold, dark world to rescue me. Because You made Your home in my heart the Light is always on. Darkness has disappeared and I never have to stumble again. Thank You, Jesus!

I’m delighted that Your Word shows me how to live contentedly with others. First, I need to love You deeply and spend much time alone with You. Then, when I’m with my Christian brothers and sisters I’ll:
  • Love them unconditionally even when they’re mean-spirited and ill-mannered
  • Be patient with them, tolerating and accepting our differences
  • Be kind, generously giving of my time, talent and treasure to help those less fortunate
  • Be satisfied with what I have and not be resentful of the successes, possessions or character qualities of others
  • Speak humbly about my achievements giving all the credit to You for the things You’ve accomplished through me
  • Be courteous and considerate, listening attentively to others even when what they’re saying is uninteresting
  • Set aside my selfish desires in order to appease others
  • Be cool, calm and self-controlled, not easily losing my temper
  • Do everything possible to maintain peace, conceding rather than arguing over disputable matters that are neither right nor wrong
  • Celebrate with those who are happy and cry with those who are sad
  • Go the extra mile to protect the reputation and well-being of my siblings
  • Trust others to help me with my troubles and temptations
  • Persevere with others through extreme challenges, offering them encouragement and comfort

Dear Lord, purify my heart with Your blood and let me walk in the Light of Your presence where I’ll experience a cherished friendship with You and a rich, satisfying life with other believers enjoying "koinonia" – the happy fellowship You intend for Your family because of Jesus. Amen.

What do your actions show about your love relationship with Jesus? Can others clearly see that you love God by the way you treat others? Turn on the Light and examine yourself today. Ask God to shine His Word on Your heart and point out the areas where you need improvement in order to enjoy friendship with Him and fellowship with others.

"Koinonia" is an intimate relationship with God that results in intimacy with other believers. It’s not optional! To be "in Christ" and be a member of His body requires fellowship with the Living Christ. Friendship with God is the most cherished privilege of the child of God.

Friday, July 14, 2006

God's Love Language

John 14:21
Jesus said, "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."

Jesus, You are the Lover of my Soul!
My heart leaps for joy at the sound of Your Voice! Your Words are more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. You disclose to me the deepest desires of my heart. Motivated by love, I long to please you, live in the prosperity of Your presence, and experience Your unlimited power. In loving responsiveness, I want to walk in Your way, forging an intimate, everlasting friendship with You.

Please dear Lord, give me the faith of Abraham who heard Your voice and obeyed, even when it didn’t make sense. You loved him, revealed Yourself to him, and called him Your friend. Jesus, I want nothing more than that kind of relationship with You. I want to be Your friend!

Today, as hard as it may be, I surrender my life to Your good, pleasing and perfect will. I willingly abandon my spouse, children, hobbies, career, dreams, and treasures, no matter where they came from or how they affect my life, in order to accomplish Your great commission. Intentionally, I’ll forget the past, leave the future in Your hands, and give the present completely to You. Full of Your amazing love, I’ll recognize Your eternal plan for me and joyfully respond with obedience.

Please increase my faith so that I can experience in a mighty way the realization of Your promised love to those who obey You. Amen.

What do your actions tell about your friendship with God or lack thereof?

Here are two more ways you can tell if you are a friend of God:

We have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 1 John 3: 21b – 22

We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 1 John 2:3

He speaks - I obey
I pray - He answers
Obedience is God’s love language.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Wheat & Weeds

Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43
The Parable of the Weeds
24Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27"The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?'

28" 'An enemy did this,' he replied. "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'

29" 'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.' "

The Parable of the Weeds Explained
36Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field."

37He answered, "The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

40"As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

I love the stories You tell! You create a vibrant vision of Your glory. The pictures You paint with Words are crisp and clear. Perusing and pondering them, I will discover the Only Way to eternal life and happily-ever-after living.

Two kinds of people appear to be members of Your Kingdom. Those who believe You and those who believe in You. Thank You for showing me the difference.

The good seed are those individuals who know You as their friend. You’ve sown the seed of Your Word in the soft soil of their soul. They believe what You say and grow as children of the kingdom. They’re fertilized with the Holy Spirit and watered with the Truth. The Son shines on them. They grow and multiply, spreading the good seed of Your Word in the world where it produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness. They are the rich golden grain of wheat that glistens and glows with Your glory.

The bad seed are the people who are familiar with You. The seed of Your Word falls on them but never takes root. They don’t know You personally; therefore, they can’t understand You. Sadly, they are children of the devil. Unlike the good seed, they are fed watered down truth and sugar coated lies by false teachers. They grow and multiply, spreading the shallow seed of deceptive philosophy that depends on human traditions and worldly principles. Outwardly, they look exactly like the wheat planted by You. However, upon careful examination after the harvest, You notice that their grain doesn’t glisten or glow with Your glory. Instead, it is black as night and of no value to Your Kingdom. You separate and throw these weeds into the fiery furnace where they will burn with eternal weeping and everlasting misery.

Lord, since the wheat and the weeds are growing together in the same field and impossible to differentiate with the naked eye, please help me to be non-judgmental. Only You can verify the weeds, and only You have the right to pull them. Forgive me for all the times, I’ve tried to uproot unbelievers and ripped out Your tender plants instead! Lord, I want to love You and everyone You’ve planted in the field surrounding me. Then, You will recognize me during the harvest by my glistening glow of Your glory. Amen.

God has impressed on me recently that there are two types of church members - those who are friends with Jesus and know Him personally, and those who are merely acquainted with Him.

There’s a huge difference:
His beloved friends will admit their sin, believe that He died and rose to save them from destruction, and commit to following Him. They’ll trust and obey Him. Believing that He is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do, they’ll live their lives to please Him. At the harvest, He will recognize them by their golden glow. If you are God’s good seed, you will love Him and others unconditionally. You will set aside your selfish interests for the benefit of others. What will you do today to show Him how much you love Him?

Acquaintances are only familiar with Him. They believe in Him, but don’t take Him at His Word. Denying the reality of sin, they twist the truth to make themselves and others feel good. Because they do not trust and obey Him, at the harvest, He will recognize them by the black grain they produce. If you’re growing as a weed in the field, it is of utmost importance that you befriend Jesus quickly or you will be thrown into the fiery furnace, guaranteed! God says so!

Surrender yourself to Him today by:
Admitting with your mouth that you’re a sinner in need of His grace
Believing in your heart that He died and rose again to save you from destruction
Committing to follow Him from this day forward

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I Am a Friend of God

Psalm 25:14
Friendship with the LORD is reserved for those who fear him. With them he shares the secrets of his covenant. NLT

Living and Loving God,
In awe of Your greatness, I marvel at the affection You show me. Thank You for giving me the key to Your friendship.

While You are altogether perfect and pure, I’m completely crushed and cruddy. Humbly, I come to You with my broken and contrite heart. You carefully pick up and save the pieces of my life shattered by sin. Meticulously, You fix me with the bond of Your redeeming blood. Gently, You immerse me in the sparkling Living Water of Your Word, scrubbing away the scum until I glitter and glisten with Your glory. Fixed and flushed, You fill me with Your powerful purifying presence, making me fit to be Your dearly beloved friend.

I can’t wait to hear Your Voice. You’re my Prayer Pal! When I call out to You in prayer, You always answer. Trusting You, I open my Bible and You clearly speak to me. You show me Your thoughts and plans. You give me wisdom and knowledge to understand Your unfamiliar and mysterious ways. Respectfully, I listen to Your wise counsel and commands. Looking up to You, I believe every Word You say. I want to please and obey You. Impressed with who You are, I don’t want to desecrate Your name or berate Your reputation. You are Holy God and I am merely a sinner in need of grace!

Because I honor and respect You, You invite me to come be with You, just as I am. Beside the warm fire in my heart, You share with me Your secrets and promises. I’m consumed by Your persistent love for me. You never lose Your patience! You’re always kind and forever faithful! Gently, You take my hand and guide me to Your hidden treasure. O the irresistible joy that fills my heart when I see all the riches You have for me! I just want to stay near You! I never want to break away from this sweet fellowship! I am tickled that You have chosen to confide in me! I am Your beloved friend because of Jesus! Hallelujah! Amen!

Wow – what a promise! God guarantees us His friendship when we love and respect Him! Friendship with a Holy God is almost unimaginable! It’s the most valuable gift we’ll ever receive when we choose to believe Him!

If you haven’t accepted God’s priceless gift of friendship, I encourage you to go to Him in prayer. Give Him your sin shattered life and tell Him you want to be His lifelong companion. Then, spend time cultivating the relationship by reading Your Bible, praying, and fellowshipping with His other friends. Obey Him and He will fill you with overwhelming joy!

Jesus said, "You are my friends if you do what I command." John 15:14

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Blessing of Peace

John 20: 19-22
19On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"

20After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." 22And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit."

Prince of Peace,
It’s comforting to know that no door can shut out Your presence. There is no lock strong enough to keep You out! Blessed assurance! I cherish the moment when You came, stood in the living room of my heart and spoke a blessing of peace to me.

What a joy it was to see Your mighty nail-pierced hand and feel the warmth of Your amazing love. It’s the hand that was hammered to the cross to blot out my blemishes, erase my errors and fix my flaws. It’s the hand that forever changed me and gave me new life. There is precious peace in Your pardon.

I rejoice at the sight of the spear-torn flesh in Your side. From it spewed the innocent blood that made me holy, pure, and blameless in Your sight. A fountain of water flowed from Your wound to heal me of mine. Because of Your torn flesh, nothing can separate me from You – no grief, no fault, no fear. There is peace in Your presence.

Finally, You breathed on me and filled me with Your Spirit. You empowered me to go persuade people to drop their differences and pursue friendship with You. I am required to confidently and courageously tell the life-changing story of my extreme encounter with my crucified Lord. There is peace in Your power.

Please dear Lord, come stand in the living room of my heart today. Breathe a fresh blessing of peace on me. Renew the Holy Spirit power with in me and remind me of my mandatory mission. Then, I will go speak a blessing of peace to others for the praise of Your glorious kingdom. Amen.

Have you seen the nail-pierced hand and spear-torn flesh of Jesus? If so, go tell others the difference it made in Your life. It’s not optional.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Transform Your Mind

Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

O Great God,
You are the most famous artist of all time. I could search the whole wide world and find no one as creative or talented as You.

Unscrupulous con artists continually corrupt Your creation. The world presses people into cookie cutter patterns that perform for power, possessions and pleasure. It uses symbols of status to stamp us with success. When we conform to their hard pressed image we become heartless, mindless and lifeless like plastic toys and trinkets.

You however, have a unique technique for sculpting original works of art that are eternally beautiful, valuable and useful. All we have to do is stay soft and pliable in Your meticulous hands every day. Throughout the lifelong process, our eyes will turn toward You, our Designer, when we open our Bibles. Meditating on Your sacred Scriptures will form our true character. They’ll expose the rough spots of rebellion that need to be scraped away. They’ll correct our cracks, flaws, and blemishes. They’ll squeeze us and change us into Your perfect plan. Through the heat of life we’ll come out of the fiery furnace glazed with Your glory.

With Your Holy Word permanently etched on my heart, my mind will be altered to live Your way. Please don’t let con artists squeeze me into the rigid mold of the world. I want to remain soft and pliable in Your skillful hand where I can be shaped into a pleasantly perfect pot to pour out Your extraordinary love. Please dear Lord, transform my mind today, making me an eternally beautiful, valuable vessel for the praise of Your most creative name. Amen.

What pattern of the world is pressing you today? What will you do differently to prevent con artists from corrupting you?

Turn your eyes toward Jesus by opening your Bible and meditating on His sacred Scriptures. He will transform your mind enabling you to demolish the stronghold of sin and temptation and take captive your thoughts making them obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Worship the Lord

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.

Father God, I worship You with gladness and wholehearted devotion. You are the sweet Song in my heart. I know, with confident assurance, that You are GOD, my creator, Elohim. I rejoice because You uniquely designed me and I belong to You. I know You, hear Your voice and follow You. A dependable provider, You lead me to green pastures where I can graze on Your Word until my heart’s content. You guide me to steams of living water in my Bible, where I can drink until I’m satisfied. A reliable protector, You defend me from the wolves of sin and temptation that hound me.

Father, I willingly enter the gate and come into Your presence with a thankful heart and praise on my lips. You're my Good Shepherd. Strong and mighty, You're always with me, Emmanuel. I gratefully adore You for Your goodness, love and faithfulness. Your name is Wonderful! Your love delightful! Your faithfulness is infinite! I'm constantly praising You because of Jesus, my Savior, Redeemer and Friend. Amen

Prepare your heart for corporate worship this weekend, by pondering God’s goodness. Make a list of five blessings you received this week. Carry it with you when you go to church. Before the service starts, reflect on your blessings, thank God for each one and offer them to Him as a sacrifice praise!

I’m blessed and thank God for:
  1. The USA where I’m free to worship Him openly – July 4th was Independence Day
  2. Rest, relaxation and refreshment – I was on vacation this week
  3. Precious time with my family – picnics, pleasure, and play time
  4. Friends – I had breakfast with a girlfriend yesterday, dinner with another last night, and quality time with Jesus, my Best Friend in between!
  5. The beautiful flowers in my garden – especially for the surprise sunflower that poked its pretty face through this week. A squirrel, digging in my pot this spring, planted it. At the time, I wasn’t very happy with him … but now I’m tickled with the treasure he left me!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Shield of Faith

Ephesians 6: 14, 16
Stand firm then … and take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Matthew 6:33
Jesus said, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well."

Almighty God~
You are strong and powerful! Thank you for the mighty weapons you give me to battle the rulers and authorities who want to control me with their power. Because I understand my dire need for protection, I will intentionally put them on each day with determination to defeat the devil.

When Satan’s fiery arrows of insult impede and induce my tender heart, the shield of faith will protect me. The family crest is drawn in the precious blood of Jesus, telling the enemy that I belong to You.

There is a story in Mark 8: 21-36 about a synagogue ruler who believed Jesus could heal his dying daughter. The ruler sought Him, found Him, fell at His feet, and earnestly pleaded with Him. Jesus responded to this man’s faith by walking with him and healing his daughter. Along the way, they encountered a hopelessly suffering woman. She heard about Jesus, believed He could heal her of a lifelong of affliction, determined to find Him, and touch Him. Because of her persistent faith, she was healed, set free, and sent out with peace.

Please dear Lord, give me a shield of faith to:
Seek You in life’s most difficult moments
Fall at Your feet
Tremble in fear
Tell You the whole truth
Not be afraid
Walking beside You with the shield of faith in place, there will be peace and freedom because I believe in the power of Jesus the One and Only. Amen.

Will you seek Jesus for your hopeless situation? Then fall at His feet, tremble in awe of His holiness, don’t be afraid to tell Him the whole truth, and just BELIEVE. He will touch you and heal you.

You now have prayer for the full armor of God: truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, God’s Word, and prayer. I encourage you to know your weapons. As you get dressed in the morning, put on each piece for the protection you need. May God bless and protect you when you are wearing His armor.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Be An Instrument Peace

Ephesians 6:14-15
Stand firm … with Your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

Matthew 5:9
Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God."

O God of Love and King of Peace~
I come before You with a humble and contrite heart seeking the blessing of Your beloved child. I want to climb the mountain and stand in Your holy place. Wash my feet and fit them with a good pair of walking shoes for the journey. I will then take Your outstretched hand and begin walking boldly in faith. Together we will spread the Good News about the Gospel of Peace. Satan wants me to believe that telling others the Good News is hopeless and worthless. As I power walk with You, make me an instrument of Your peace.

I want to know You more intimately and deeply day by day so that I can administer peace to a broken and hurting world. As I come to You in Bible Study and prayer, in obedience and fully surrendered, please fill my life with more of You and Your holy, just and perfect love. You are love! Fill me O God, with so much love that it will overflow into the world in which I live, work and play. Help me, dear Lord, to focus on my relationship with You rather than my relationship with people. Then Your love will naturally flow out of me and into every person I encounter. I will naturally be an instrument of Your peace.

Please, dear Lord, bless my beautiful feet as I faithfully love the people You’ve put in my life. Thank You God for giving me Jesus and making His love complete in me. Thank You for Your laws. Let me carefully, deliberately, and intentionally obey them so that a wicked watching world will see Your beautiful love and peace shining through me because of Jesus, the Lover of Peace, Jehovah Shalom. Amen.

Who can you share God's peace with today? Put on your walking shoes and go, be an instrument of peace!

Where there is hatred, I will show Your love.
Where there is injury I will never judge.
Where there is striving, I will speak Your peace
to the people crying for release.
Where there is blindness I will pray for sight.
Where there is darkness I will shine Your light.
Where there is sadness I will bear their grief.
I will be Your instrument of peace.
Prayer of St. Francis

Monday, July 03, 2006

Guard Your Heart

Ephesians 6:14
Stand firm then, with the … breastplate of righteousness in place.

2 Corinthians 5:21
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

1 Peter 2:21-25
21To this You were called, because Christ suffered for You, leaving You an example, that You should follow in his steps.

22"He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." 23When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds You have been healed. 25For You were like sheep going astray, but now You have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of Your souls.

Righteous God~
You are my Shepherd and the Overseer of my soul. Holy and awesome is Your name! I praise You with all my heart for Your wonderful works. It is a delight to think about them. They are glorious and magnificent! Your righteousness endures forever! It is the foundation of Your throne

I am unfit to approach Your holy throne. My righteousness is nothing more than torn and tattered rags. Bare naked and disgraced, I have nothing to offer You but my hollow heart. Humiliated and ashamed of my rotten rags, by faith, I gratefully accept the costly robe of righteousness You freely offer me. Bought with the blood of Jesus, it has immeasurable worth! It truly is the greatest transaction of all time. I give You nothing and You give me amazing grace! Your deeds are great!

The glorious and magnificent robe, protects my heart and covers my shame enabling me to stand firmer and taller before the adversary. Clothed and unashamed, I will show compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience even to the inconsiderate, unkind, proud, abrasive, and impatient. Zipped with love, I will forgive those who hurl insults at me, as You have forgiven me. Even when the pain is excruciating, I will follow Your example and exercise self-control. You are the Perfect Example of righteousness. With the robe of righteousness in place, I will follow in Your footsteps. By Your grace, I will seek to live a holy life so rivers of blessings will flow through me for Your name sake. Amen.

Gratefully exchange your shameful sack of sin for the radiant robe of righteousness freely offered to you by Christ Jesus. Praise Him that you can appear holy, blameless and pure!

To put on righteousness, choose to follow Jesus. He is righteousness. Put Him on your heart first each day by spending time in His Word, and He will protect you from the father of lies today. This too will help you demolish the stronghold of sin and temptation and make your thoughts holy, pure, and obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)