Wednesday, February 28, 2007

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

Dear Friend,
In awe of Your greatness, I marvel at the affection You show me. Thank You for giving me the key to Your friendship.

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, February 27, 2007

Clean Heart Living

Psalm 119:9-11
9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.

Blessed Writer of the Word,
O how I cherish the wisdom recorded in Your Holy Scriptures. It teaches me about Your holy character and divine nature. An amazing documentary on love, it tells the dramatic story of my rescue from death and destruction. It reveals that You chose and adopted into Your holy family. I must; therefore, learn to love You and live like a divine child.

It is essential that I open the Book of Life, my Bible, and read it fervently. It will teach me precisely how to live with integrity in a relativistic society that doesn’t take You seriously. The more time I spend studying and applying Your rules for righteous living, the more I’ll become like You. Gradually, my heart will become more sincere and my mind unadulterated.

Out of deep heartfelt devotion, I’ll passionately pursue You. Spending intense time alone with You, my heart will synchronize with Yours. Pleasing You will be my only ambition. Rather than tirelessly trying to make people happy, I’ll spend my energy respecting and praising You in everything I say and do.

Daily digging into the sacred Treasure Chest of Your Word, I’ll uncover Your costly commands and precious promises. Gingerly picking each one up, I’ll methodically study them. Memorizing their fine details, I’ll recognize their great worth during conflict and crisis. Tucked securely in the pocket of my heart, they’ll prevent me from offending You.

O blessed Writer of the Word, thank You for imparting me with wisdom to do Your will, Your way for the glory and honor of Your holy name. Amen.

How can you practice clean-heart living? The Bible says it’s easy as 1-2-3 …
1) Live according to God’s Word.
2) Seek Him with all your heart and obey His commands.
3) Hide His Word in Your heart so that you won’t offend Him.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Knowing You Jesus

Philippians 3:8
I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.

Dear Jesus,
You are the deepest desire of my heart. The power and possessions I once persistently pursued are worthless. The accolades and accomplishments I aggressively accumulated are insignificant. The pleasures and treasures of the world can’t come close to knowing You, Jesus. Please show me all the clutter in my life that needs discarded to make room for more of You.

I want to know You more and more each day. My greatest aspiration is to be more like You in every way. I’m inferior and inadequate. My trinkets and trophies can’t save me. They’re meaningless to You. All You want is all of me. Knowing You personally and passionately is the only thing that matters. My relationship with You is the most important thing in all of my life.

Clear the clutter from the home of my heart to make room for Your all-consuming power. Using that mighty power, I’ll overcome evil and temptation. In Your strength, I’ll die to my past addictions and attractions. Sharing in Your suffering, I’ll lay down my former lifestyle to follow You, Jesus.

Thank You for preserving History so that I can have heavenly hope. After the excruciating pain of death, joy comes in the “mourning” - beautiful life that never ends.

There is no greater thing than knowing You, Jesus. You mean the world to me. The most valuable treasure of all time is found in You – sweet salvation. With a spring in my step, a song in my heart and a smile on my face I will praise You for Your magnificent greatness in Jesus name. Amen.

If you were standing before the throne of God and He asked you, "Do you love me with all your heart, mind, soul and strength?" could you honestly answer, "Yes, Lord, You are my most important relationship." How will you prove it?

What are you willing to give up to know Christ better? Time each day for Bible study and prayer? Approval from friends and family? Your personal plans, ambitions, and dreams? Knowing Christ is worth the sacrifice.

Today I will give up _______________ in order to know you more, Jesus.

Go and obey. Jesus said, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching." John 14: 23

Friday, February 23, 2007

Acceptable Gifts for the King

Psalm 40: 6-8
6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but my ears you have pierced;
burnt offerings and sin offerings
you did not require.
7 Then I said, "Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.
8 I desire to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart."

Holy Love,
Thank You for piercing my ears with the bold truth. Finally, I’m beginning to understand how to live a life of love. Offering You my time without heartfelt devotion is inadequate. Presenting You my talent without wholehearted dedication is insufficient. Halfheartedly giving You my treasure out of obligation is inappropriate. You don’t want religious ceremonies and showy performances. All that You desire is my wholehearted devotion.

It will please You when, by faith, I humbly come to the foot of the cross admitting my faults and failures allowing the bond of Your blood to fix and fortify me. Realizing the high price you paid to correct my defects will give me a deeper desire to walk and work with You. I’ll willingly give up family, friends and freedom in order to spend time getting to know You. The more I know You, the more readily I’ll give up my possessions and plans in order to experience Your almighty power. Forfeiting my comfortable lifestyle and important position to endure pain and hardship will perfect my faith, make me shine purer and brighter, and draw others to You.

Please dear Lord, write Your commands on my heart so that I’ll remember to obey them. I desire nothing more than to walk and work with You so that my gifts will be adequate, sufficient, and appropriate for the King of my heart. Amen.

God doesn’t want your rituals and routines. He wants your whole heart devoted to Him. What are you willing to give up in order to please Him? Will you give up hobbies, television or work in order to spend time with Him? Will you give up shopping and sports in order give more of your money to Him? Would you be willing to give up your home and career in order to go where He sends You?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Tough Choice

Matthew 6:24
Jesus said, "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."

My Dear Master,
Your Word is my startling wake up call. It is loud and clear. Today, You’re asking me to make a difficult choice. Will I love You more than the almighty dollar? Living in a materialistic culture, it’s a tough decision.

The world is calling me to join in the hot pursuit for power, prestige, and possessions. Everywhere I turn there is another attractive demand for my time and energy. The Prince of Darkness is fully intent on toppling me from my lofty and safe haven with You. People everywhere delight in his lies. Consumed with materialism they’re hard-pressed like heartless, mindless, and lifeless plastic toys. Caught up in commercialism, they’re greedy, miserable and selfish. I can’t possibly listen to them and follow You.

With all my heart, mind and soul, I want to love You more than status and stuff. Rather than being fascinated by wealth, I want to be mesmerized by all the magnificent riches of heaven. Captivate my mind with pure and clean thoughts. Clear thinking is priceless and will help me make right decisions. Fill my heart with precious love and give me glorious everlasting life. No amount of money can buy access to heaven, a peaceful mind or lively heart. Enthralled with You, I’ll authentically live a life of love by being generous, kind and altruistic.

Instead of chasing the almighty dollar, today, I choose to passionately pursue You, Jesus, the One and Only source of all blessings and happiness. Amen.

Can you honestly say you love God more than money? One test is to ask which one occupies more of your thoughts, time and effort. Whatever you store up, you will spend much time and energy thinking about.

Dig deeper by reading Luke 12:16-21.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Set Your Heart on Him

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

His Heart is Set on You

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

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

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

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

Monday, February 19, 2007

Thinking of 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 light up my life and make my heart happy. O how I need You every minute of every day! You’re absolutely precious to me! With You always on my mind, I’ll never trip over trouble or temptation.

Sweet Love, just thinking about Your relentless affection, chases away my problems. You love me so much that You died saving my life. You could have left me rot in the wreckage of despair, but instead You compassionately rescued and revived me. Gently holding me in Your hands, You blessed me with a brand new life. Your powerful presence protects me while You patiently build me up and teach me how to experience the exquisite pleasures of eternity. Thank You for your loving kindness.

I smile just thinking about spending the future with You! All around me are extravagant mansions. When I wish I could live in one of them, You remind me that they pale in comparison to Your promised palace in Paradise. I look forward with hope to the day when my difficulties will disappear and I’ll live happily ever after with You in the beauty of heavenly holiness.

Precious Lord, help me live a life of love from the joy of Your presence that’s always in my heart 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 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 His cherished gift! May the smile on my face reflect the joy in my heart and may I live a life of love because of Jesus.

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

Friday, February 16, 2007

A Devoted Heart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Taste & See

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

In the Classroom of My Heart

Do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day. (2 Peter 3:8) It could be a thousand years before God’s vision for Prayer Pal is fulfilled, but He is patiently teaching me that His ways are higher than my ways. (Isaiah 55:9)

Do you have any idea how hard it is for an Influential Dominant personality to be still and WAIT? God wired me with high-energy to be a “go-getter.” Naturally, I know how to make things happen, but my ways are surely not God’s ways. Spiritually, I need to allow Him to be in the Driver’s seat for this mission and go along for the ride or we might end up in the ditch.

Isaiah 50:10-11 says:

Let him who walks in the dark,
who has no light,
trust in the name of the LORD
and rely on his God.

But now, all you who light fires
and provide yourselves with flaming torches,
go, walk in the light of your fires
and of the torches you have set ablaze.
This is what you shall receive from my hand:
You will lie down in torment.

O. Chambers writes: “Whenever God gives a vision to a Christian (as He’s given me with Prayer Pal), it is as if He puts him ‘in the shadow of His hand.’ The saint’s duty is to be still and listen. There is a ‘darkness’ that comes from too much light – that is the time to listen. The story of Abram and Hagar in Genesis 16 is an excellent example of listening to so-called advice during a time of darkness, rather than waiting on God to send light. When God gives you a vision and sends darkness, wait. God will bring the vision He has given you to reality in your life if you will wait on His timing. Never try to help God fulfill his Word.”

My friends, this is my challenge: to trust in the Lord and rely fully on Him during uncertainty. He has given me a vision, but I don’t know where I am or where I’m going. I have the ability in the flesh to go light a fire. It would be easy for me to chase this dream and persuade publishers to look at “me.” It wouldn’t be hard for me to warm my way into the hearts of influential people, earning their approval and favor. But, God clearly warned me that doing it my way will result in torment. His ways are higher than my ways, and with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day.

While waiting in the dark can be draining and frustrating, God encouraged me to persevere – again through Chambers.

“Jesus said to Peter, ‘Feed my sheep,’ but He gave him nothing with which to feed them (John 21:17). You have to be nourishment for other people’s souls until they learn to feed on God. Until others learn to draw on the life of the Lord Jesus, directly, they will have to draw on His life through you. You must literally be their source of supply until they learn to take nourishment from God. We owe it to God to be the best for His lambs and sheep, as well as for Him.”

While Prayer Pal is daily nourishment for souls, it can drain me completely. Chambers calls it "spiritual exhaustion." I must remember where my Source of power lies, and daily replenish my supply. It is a privilege to feed God’s sheep, but please pray that I won’t become spiritually exhausted performing this labor of love.

A Valentine From God

I have loved you
with an everlasting love.
Jeremiah 3:31

Dear Child of God,
You are precious and honored in My sight.
I created you for My glory and I love you.
Your heart belongs to me.
In love, I chose and adopted you.

My loving kindness never ends.
I don’t easily get angry and
I won’t nag or scold you.
My arms are wide open; come to me.
In love, I’ll accept and redeem you.

I will love your forever.
I will not ever abandon you.
No matter what you’ve done in the past,
I’ve completely forgotten about it.
In love, I’ve forgive you.

I will strengthen you and increase your power.
You will soar like an eagle through the storms.
You will run and not grow weary.
You will walk and not be faint.
In love, I’ll lead and guide you.

I will be with you forever.
There’s no need to be afraid or distraught.
I will always help you.
I will hold on to you tightly.
In love, I’ll bless you and make you happy again.

My beloved, you are my eternal valentine!

Love, Your Father in Heaven

You are special and you are loved. Do you believe God? He wants you to be His valentine, not just today, but always and forever.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Heart Shaped For Love

Romans 5:5
For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

My Dear Father,
You make my heart throb with inexpressible joy! Because Your Son, Jesus, unashamedly brought me to You, I am full of the sweet essence of Your Spirit. Absorbed in Your irresistible affection, I can live peacefully in Your presence free from criticism, judgment or condemnation.

In Your grip of grace, I’ll courageously accept problems and difficulties believing that they’re for my good. Engrossed in Your softness, I’ll expect You to gently polish me with patience to tolerate unfriendly people and unexpected circumstances. Because You care so deeply for me, I know You’ll painstakingly work on me until I shine with Your glory. The process will likely be agonizing, but it will be worth it as I become more and more like You every day.

My heart’s one desire is to be so personally close to You, that Your sweetness instinctively pours out of me like a fragrant perfume. Consumed with Your overwhelming love, no matter how busy, exhausted or frustrated I am I’ll keep smiling and spontaneously respond with patience and kindness. No matter how sick, lousy or hurt I feel, immersed in You, I’ll have a heart shaped for love that praises Your glorious name. Amen.

How will you develop a heart shaped for love?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Forgiven in Love

Ephesians 1:7
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace.

Psalm 32:1-2
Blessed are they
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man
whose sin the Lord will never count against him.

Blessed Redeemer,
You are not only the Lover of My Soul, You are the Most High and Holy Judge. Your Words sweep me off my feet! Thank You for accepting my pitiful plea and declaring me “not guilty.” I’m blessed beyond words! My only response is to fall on my knees in humble adoration.

Overwhelming joy pours from my heart because in love You served my death sentence. Mercifully, You’ve forgiven and forgotten my rebellious, deliberate, stubborn misdeeds. I’m eternally thankful that my daily unintentional, accidental mistakes will never be counted against me. Blessed assurance! Your rich, abundant grace has brought me into an everlasting intimate relationship with You! Your love enthralls me!

Breathe on me, Holy Spirit. Subdue my stubborn will. Tame my temptations. Control my conduct. Heal my hurts. Right my wrongs. And, teach me to live a life of love so that I will forgive others as You’ve forgiven me. Put a smile on my face today that reflects the joy in my heart because my defiant disobedience has been redeemed by One incredible deal for the praise of Your glorious name. Amen.

If you have nothing else to smile about today, be happy that in Love your sins are forgiven and forgotten forever. That’s worth celebrating! Who do you need to forgive because of Love?

Jesus, said, “I cancelled that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?”

Read the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant. Matthew 18:21-35

Friday, February 09, 2007

Redeemed in Love

Ephesians 1:7
In him we have redemption through his blood.

Jesus, My Redeemer,
Your love is absolutely amazing! That You would leave your majestic home in heaven to come to this wretched place on earth to save hateful people is unfathomable. I might die for someone really special, like my child, but I’d never die for someone who despises me. Yet, that’s exactly what You did for me. While I was Your vilest offender, You intentionally died for me.

Laying down Your life, You bridged the grand canyon that separated us. Your broken body made the Way for me to safely cross over into Your glorious everlasting kingdom. I no longer have to fear falling to my death and eternal punishment because You took my hand, called me “friend” and graciously brought me into Your Father’s presence. How can I ever thank You?!

I can’t begin to comprehend why You’d choose to rescue a horrible person like me. Your thoughts are greater than my thoughts and Your ways are wider than my ways. It’s a mystery I’ll never understand, but like a naïve child, I’ll believe that You blessed, chose, adopted, accepted and redeemed me in Love.

Out of deep, heartfelt gratitude, I’ll rejoice in this wonderful relationship I have with You. Because You’ve redeemed me in Love, I’ll live a life of love by building bridges for others to come into Your presence. I’ll trust You to be my best, most devoted, and loyal Friend to the very end. All glory to You for saving me from the eternal hole of hell and sending me to Your magnificent, majestic, most high kingdom where I will live happily ever after because of Jesus. Amen.

Thank God for His redeeming love! 1 Peter 1:22 says, “Love one another deeply and from the heart.” How will you love others with the redeeming love of God – even those who hate you?

Dig deeper by reading: Romans 5:6-11

Redeemed in Love

Ephesians 1:7
In him we have redemption through his blood.

Jesus, My Redeemer,
Your love is absolutely amazing! That You would leave your beautiful, majestic, celestial home in heaven to come to this wretched, ugly, hell hole on earth to save hateful, hostile humans is unfathomable. I might die for someone really special, like my child, but I’d never die for someone who despises me. Yet, that’s exactly what You did for me. While I was Your vilest offender, You intentionally died for me.

Laying down Your life, You bridged the grand canyon that separated us. Your broken body made the Way for me to safely cross over into Your glorious, royal, everlasting kingdom. I no longer have to fear falling to my death and eternal punishment because You took my hand, called me “friend” and graciously brought me into Your Father’s presence. How can I ever thank You?!

I can’t begin to comprehend why You’d choose to rescue a horrible person like me. Your thoughts are greater than my thoughts and Your ways are wider than my ways. It’s a mystery I’ll never understand, but like a naïve child, I’ll believe that You blessed, chose, adopted, accepted and redeemed me in Love.

Out of deep, heartfelt gratitude, I’ll rejoice in this wonderful new relationship I have with You. Because You’ve redeemed me in Love, I’ll live a life of love by leading others into Your presence. I’ll trust You to be my best, most devoted, and loyal Friend to the very end. All glory to You for saving me from the eternal hole of hell and sending me to Your magnificent, majestic, most high kingdom where I will live happily ever after because of Jesus. Amen.

Thank God for His redeeming love! 1 Peter 1:22 says, “Love one another deeply and from the heart.” How will you love others with the redeeming love of God – even those who hate you?

Dig deeper by reading: Romans 5:6-11

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Accepted in Love

Ephesians 1:6
To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. NKJV

O Gracious Father!
Your Words are a love sonnet to my soul! I just want to sit in the warmth of Your presence, listening to them until they penetrate the deepest part of me. Why in the world would You – Holy and Perfect Father – chose, adopt and accept a scruffy child like me?

Because I can’t grasp the depth of Your love, I try to earn Your acceptance by doing good things, not realizing that I’ll never measure up to Your holy standard. Only when I work in relation to Your Son are the things I do acceptable and pleasing to You.

Shamefully, I try to hide my faults from You. Unfortunately, I can’t conceal anything from Your holy gaze. If I’d only humble myself and admit what I’ve done wrong, You’d lovingly cover up my mistakes, accepting my inadequacies.

As though Your acceptance is non-existent, I often run off looking for approval of important people. Deceived, demoralized, and disappointed, I hesitate to return to You. Too proud to admit my poor judgment, I fear You’ll reject me. In reality, You’re eagerly waiting for me to come back.

Please give me a fuller understanding of Your glorious grace so that I’ll quit seeking approval and begin seeking Your face. When I stop running away from You and start running into Your open arms, I’ll realize that I’m totally accepted in Love. In Your strong grip of grace, I’ll show my heartfelt gratitude by living a life of love when I accept others despite their idiosyncrasies for the praise Your Beloved Name. Amen.

Are you trying to earn God’s acceptance by works? Are you avoiding Him because of something You’ve done? Are you afraid He’ll reject you, if you go back to Him?

Listen to His promise. He has accepted you in Love. Stop seeking His approval; you’re already approved by Him.

If you’ve done something awful, stop avoiding Him and go tell Him about it. His Word says if we confess our sins, He’s faithful and just and will forgive our sins. (1 John 1:9)

If you’ve wandered off looking for approval from man, go back to Him, He’s waiting for you. (Luke 15:11-32)

His Word says, “Nothing can separate you from His love.” (Romans 8:35-39)
For another look at the Father’s glorious gift of acceptance read Luke 15:11-32.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Adopted in Love

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

Romans 8:17
And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. NLT

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Chosen in Love

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

1 Peter 2:9
9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

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

Even though I was hiding in the dark behind a thick windowless wall of shame, You found and chose me out of the multitudes. You brought me out of the darkness into the light. Exposing my ripped rags, You made me royal. Bringing me into Your home, Your Words miraculously changed my hard, heavy heart to a soft, holy one. I’m utterly ecstatic that an unbecoming person like me is no longer abandoned, but belongs to You, the High King of Heaven! Not only that, I’m Your treasured possession! Valuable! Priceless! Precious! O how thankful I am that You chose me in love to come out of the darkness into the wonderful light!

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

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

In the light of His love, will you fully surrender your life to be the royal priest He’s chosen you to be? A royal priest is committed to working and speaking out for God.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Blessed in Love

Deuteronomy 7:13
He will love you and bless you.

Ephesians 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

O God My Father,
What a blessing You are! Because of my friendship with Your dear Son, You’ve lovingly lavished me with all the riches of heaven. Pouring out Your glorious grace on me, You exchanged the ashes of my broken heart for a crown of beauty turning my sad days to glad days. My heart leaps for joy because of Your great love!

Pitying me, You looked beyond my imperfections. It delighted You to trade my tattered clothes of despair for a garment of praise. Handing me the Book of Love, a Holy Bible, You gave me wisdom and knowledge to understand the mysteries of Your Word. In the blessing of Your love, humiliation turned to honor enabling me to proudly display Your majestic splendor.

A changed person, full of glory and grace, I’ll begin rebuilding ruined relationships. From the wreckage and rubble, I’ll build lasting friendships that bridge others to Your heavenly kingdom. Because You’ve doubly blessed me with a beautiful new beginning, I’ll live a life of love. Blessing others, I’ll celebrate the everlasting legacy available to me because my relationship with Your own dear Son. Amen.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Read Ephesians 1:3-14. Make a list of all the spiritual blessings God gives you because of your friendship with His Son. How will they help you live a life of love?

Dig deeper by reading Isaiah 61.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Love Enough To Give

2 Corinthians 9:7
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

O God My Father,
Majesty, honor and power belong to You. Everything in heaven and on earth is Yours. Riches and glory come from You. High and lifted up, You rule and reign over everything. Your mighty hands are strong enough to build a magnificent Church full of faithful followers.

Who are we that we should be able to give You anything? Everything we have is Yours. Help us to use the rich resources You’ve so generously given us to build Your church into a beautiful temple where people can divinely encounter You.

One stone does not make this ornate, palatial structure, or even a single wall. We’re all living stones – valuable gems, precious treasures – uniquely shaped by You for a particular purpose. As we’re intricately interconnected our efforts are multiplied and a holy and sacred palace arises from Your Almighty Foundation, Jesus Christ

With our hearts set firmly on You, we’ll love enough to cheerfully give our personal treasures to build a glorious place to worship You, the High King of Heaven. Stir in the Spirit of every able bodied believers to industriously volunteer their time, expertise, and wealth. The job of building a strong Church is enormous and requires a plethora of rich resources.

Young and inexperienced, we need to carefully follow the work instructions found in our Bibles. When the work is done right, people entering our sanctuary will meet You personally. As we genuinely give back to You with happy hearts what is rightfully Yours, we’ll not only build strong Churches, but also strong bridges connecting people in our communities to Your heavenly kingdom.

Together, we give You thanks and jubilantly celebrate everything You’ve given us in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Time is precious in this busy world. Money is prized in our materialistic society. Expertise is priceless in an intellectual culture. It all came from God. Do you love Him enough to give it all back to Him?

I encourage you to read 1 Chronicles 28 & 29. I wonder what the church would be like if people responded the same way today? What would happen if we ALL acknowledged God? What would be the result if EVERYONE served him with wholehearted devotion and a willing mind? What would it be like if we desired to serve Him above all else? Envision the outcome if we came together, as strong living stones, to do the work we’ve been created to do? Imagine the temple we could build for our Holy God, if every believer in the church gave with heartfelt devotion all of their time, expertise, and wealth to building Churches and bridges for God’s Kingdom!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Live a Life of Love

Ephesians 5:1-2
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Extravagant Lord of Love,
I’m in awe of You and Your amazing love. The way You woo me, nurture me, and care for me is astonishing! Like a tenderhearted Father, You show me how to properly behave in the Book of Love, the Holy Bible. Watching You, I’ll learn how to live a life of love. Teach me to:

Talk wholesomely with thanksgiving
Encourage others
Never take advantage of anyone
Discipline my mind to think clearly
Expose the activities in my life that are futile
Respect and obey Your authority
Have a happy heart despite my circumstances
Excel at doing what’s good, right and true
Avoid religious smooth talkers
Radically love without expecting anything in return
Take time to be with You

With all my heart, I want to figure out what pleases You and then do it, making the most of every change I get to shine Your light into the world. Radically change my heart today, making it like Yours. Putting the interests of others before my own, I’ll find that it truly is more blessed to give than to receive. Thank You for loving me with everlasting love and drawing me to You with cords of kindness. To You be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 5 tells us exactly how to live in the family of God. Dust off your Bible and read it, or click on the link provided to read it on-line. Make a list of at least five specific ways you can live a life of love. Then, do it with a joyful heart.