Thursday, May 31, 2007


Revelation 1:17-18
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. Write, therefore, what you have seen.”

O Lord my God, how great You are!
You are the First and the Last; the Living One. Clothed with glorious splendor and breathtaking majesty, radiant light surrounds You. The clouds are Your chariot. Exalted in power, You ride on the wing of the winds. Totally preoccupied with Your magnificent greatness, I don’t have time to think about my own suffering and solitude. This stunning vision of Your glory in the midst of my despondency and despair causes me to fall completely prostrate at Your feet as though dead.

Stunned into dead silence, I can’t argue with You about Your purpose or plan; I can’t rationalize my attitudes and actions; there are simply no excuses or words to express; only dead silence. Absolutely still, there’s no more wrestling over my own hopes and dreams; no more wandering off in my own direction. Lying there, as a dead man at Your holy feet, unreservedly surrendered to Your holiness, my sole desire is to feel Your touch of greatness and hear Your tender voice of compassion.

Eternal Father, just as You picked up John in the midst of his suffering and seclusion, reach out Your strong right hand and touch me. Your almighty hand is my refuge. Supported by Your everlasting arms, I can experience inexpressible peace and comfort, trusting You to thwart off anyone or anything that tries to destroy my spirit. Secure and safe in the sanctuary of Your ascended glory, I’ll hear You tenderly say, “Do not be afraid, my child. You will not perish but prevail. No one can ever pluck you from My mighty grip of grace. I Am the Almighty One who holds the keys of death and Hades. I have freed you from eternal bondage and empowered you to live forever and ever. Go. Serve me through your suffering.”

O God, what incredible awe I feel kneeling before You! Your right hand has given me shelter, strength and security to survive and serve You through extreme suffering and solitude. In my despondency and despair, O Lord, be magnified. Blessed be Your glorious name. Amen.

If you are in the middle of a hopeless situation, remember that the power available to John is also available to you. What vision are you missing because you are preoccupied with your problems and your pain?

In the midst of misery focus on Jesus because when you’re mesmerized by His beauty, there’s no time to think of yourself. John’s fixation resulted in his prostration before the Holy One. Surrendered, silent and still at the feet of Jesus, he was given an assignment. Perhaps He has an assignment for you too. In order to receive it, you must get your eyes off yourself and unreservedly gaze at the greatness of God.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Gazing at God

Romans 8: 33-34
Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

Revelation 1: 13-16
Among the lamp stands was someone "like a son of man," dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty!
You are so good to me! You graciously give me all things! Your promises are powerful! They sustain me through suffering, seclusion and shame.

Gazing on Your majesty, I see Jesus, the Son of Man who experienced suffering, seclusion, and shame. He is beside You, dressed like a High Priest in a robe reaching down to His feet. He understands my pain and problems, and is pleading to You on my behalf.

The golden sash around His chest tells me He is a King who has full authority over everything that takes place in my life. His soft white hair reveals His wisdom and purity. He knows exactly what to allow into my life to make me holy, pure and blameless. Through my troubles, He is transforming me into the His likeness.

With angry eyes blazing like fire, He is serious and will avenge anyone who tries to hurt me. His feet are like bronze glowing in a furnace, ready to trample in judgment anyone who condemns me. Justification and condemnation belong to Him and Him alone! He will not tolerate anyone else doing His job.

When He speaks, His thunderous voice roars like the sound of water rushing over Niagara Falls. It drowns out all other sounds. With my attention focused on the Living Word of God, I can’t hear those who criticize and convict me. I only hear His piercing voice pardoning me.

He holds me in His strong right hand like the seven stars. Nothing can snatch me from His mighty grip of grace. He holds on to me tightly even when I let go of Him.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Lords Army is in charge of me. He gives me the weapon I need to combat the enemy, the Sword of His Word. Swiftly taking it, I confidently march forward inflicting anyone who insults me.

Gazing on the radiant face of the Son of Man, I know that in my desolation and isolation He is overruling me. No one else can accuse or defend me. He alone is the Holy, Almighty Judge and NOTHING can separate me from His love.

Thank You Lord for Your priceless promise in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Who is accusing you, God or man? Whose authority are you under, God or man? Who is pleading your case, God or man? In whom will you place your trust, God or man?

Choose to believe God and you will be blessed!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Eternally Secure

John 10:27-30
Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one."

My Ever Loving Father and Almighty Shepherd, Jesus Christ,

You are my powerful Protector and one and only Owner. O how Your sweet voice resonates deep within the inner ear of my soul. The longer I walk with You the more definite and distinctive it becomes.

You are the Great Shepherd of my weak, vacillating, trembling soul. Bought with Your precious, priceless blood, my heart is permanently branded with the seal of Your Holy Spirit. You can easily identify that I belong to You. You know everything about me. You know when I sit or stand. When I’m far away, You know my every thought. You chart the path ahead of me, and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment, You know where I am. This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe! I can never be lost to Your Spirit!

How precious it is to think that You give me eternal life – permanent life that never ceases; imperishable, immortal everlasting life that never ends. People and problems will persistently pull at me. Trouble and temptation will tirelessly tug at me. Sickness and suffering will steadily assail me. Through it all, I will not perish but prevail. No one or no thing can ever snatch me from the grip of Your almighty, tight-fisted, nail-pierced hand. You paid too high a price to ever let me go. As Your absolutely treasured possession, You firmly hold onto me even when I let go. Blessed assurance!

O Lord, I believe that You are faithful to all Your promises. Without reservation or hesitation, I’m choosing to believe that You’ll keep me eternally secure as I follow You. Keep my inner ears extremely sensitive to Your gentle whispers from heaven. Hearing You, I will immediately, resolutely and joyfully obey You bringing glory, honor and praise to Your powerful name. Amen.

If you are one of God’s chosen sheep, you are branded with the seal of the Holy Spirit. The seal guarantees that you are His possession, bought and paid for with the priceless blood of Jesus. (Ephesians 1:13) He paid too high a price to ever let you go.

His sheep listen to His voice and obediently follow Him, not making up their own whimsical rules as they roam to and fro. His sheep imitate Him. As you read the Word of God, what do you see Jesus doing? Are you following Him producing spiritual fruit that will bring glory, honor and praise to Him?

Jesus promises His sheep who listen to His voice and follow Him eternal security. You can choose to believe Him or argue with Him about this incredibly powerful promise. His Word says, according to Your faith it will be done to you (Matthew 9:29). Are you standing on the promises of Christ the Lord?

Standing on the Promises

Friday, May 25, 2007

Praise the Lord

Psalm 92:1-5
It is good to praise the LORD
and make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning
and your faithfulness at night,
to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
and the melody of the harp.
For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD;
I sing for joy at the works of your hands.
How great are your works, O LORD,
how profound your thoughts!

O Lord Most High,
It’s a delight and honor to sing of Your wonderful works. In humble adoration, I gratefully thank You for Your ever loving kindness each morning. Your unbelievable mercy has kept me from complete obliteration. Each evening, I fondly remember Your incredible faithfulness. With a cheerful song in my heart, I love to tell of Your excellent greatness! My eyes have seen Your magnificent handiwork in the refuge of the mighty Cross!

Merrily, I sing the praises of my drastically changed life. Your marvelous, infinite, matchless grace has miraculously covered all my past, present and future stains. Clothed and unashamed, I’m free to come into Your holy presence and worship You. With sheer confidence, I can stand up and assuredly sing with all my heart, “How great is my God!”

Jesus, You mean the world to me! Your amazing grace and profound thoughtfulness have made me glad. I’ll sing of Your love forever because of the blessed promise I have in Your gloriously beautiful name. Amen.

It is good to praise the Lord! Bless Him for keeping you from complete obliteration. If you’re alive today, thank Him! It’s only by His amazing grace!

Reflect on the lyrics to Grace Greater Than Our Sin

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!

Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide;
What can we do to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Light in the Darkness

Psalm 27:1-5
The LORD is my light and my salvation--
so why should I be afraid?
The LORD protects me from danger--
so why should I tremble?

When evil people come to destroy me,
when my enemies and foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.

Though a mighty army surrounds me,
my heart will know no fear.
Even if they attack me,
I remain confident.

The one thing I ask of the LORD--
the thing I seek most--
is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
delighting in the LORD's perfections
and meditating in his Temple.

For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
he will hide me in his sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock. NLT

High King of Heaven,
Your Holy Word, the Bible, clearly illuminates the way for me. In the light of it, I never have to be afraid. In the dark, things appear distorted and misconstrued. I’m disillusioned, perceiving people and problems as bigger and more threatening than they really are.

Please dear Lord, may I live in the security of Your holy house every day of my life? Looking deep into Your blazing holy eyes, with my Bible open, I’ll contemplate Your powerful promises in the temple of my heart. Teach me in Your presence, to remain cool, calm and collect under pressure. At home with You, I’ll be safe from the vicious attacks of those seeking to destroy me.

O Lord, my God, I desire nothing more than to live happily in the tranquility of Your presence for the rest of my life. Please give me more faith to confidently and consistently rely on You, believing that as my beloved Father You will go the extra mile to protect and conceal me for the honor of Your high and holy name. Amen.

David encountered many frightening people and situations, but wasn't provoked by a sinful fear of man. When you're afraid, do as David did, turn to your King. Open your Bible and enter into the holy presence of our great, big God. Your perception will change when you seek His power, peace and protection. What scary person or situation do you need to trust in God for today?

If you can read this Psalm and say that it expresses the desire of your heart, then your fear is not a sinful fear of man.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Giants and Grasshoppers

Numbers 13:28, 31, 33
But the people living there are powerful, and their cities and towns are fortified and very large. …"We can't go up against them! They are stronger than we are!" …We even saw giants there... We felt like grasshoppers next to them, and that's what we looked like to them!"

Merciful Father,
You are compassionate and gracious; slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, forgiving our wickedness, rebellion and sin. Your Words remind me repeatedly how much I’m like the Israelites. You’re leading me on the journey of a lifetime. You’ve promised me abundantly rich blessings and a full life. I’ve witnessed marvelous wonders – a drastically transformed life, miraculous healing, release from problems that have plagued me, freedom from addictions and much more. Yet, I still listen to and believe the naysayers. Forgive me O God, for not believing You.

I’m surrounded by powerful people who try to prevent me from advancing Your kingdom. They devour me with doubt and discouragement. They attack my abilities and adequacy. Their criticism makes me feel unworthy and unacceptable. They preoccupy me, stealing my time, talent, and treasure. They exaggerate the risk, telling me the mission is too dangerous or too difficult. Anxiety and apprehension besiege me. Their negative opinions have caused me confusion and chaos, robbing me of my hope and my joy. O God have mercy on me for forgetting who You are and allowing these individuals to control my life.

Please dear Lord, set me free from the devastating control that people have on me. Fill me with more of Your mighty power so that in Your strength I’ll courageously stand up against the opposition. Help me to make right choices based on Your wisdom, not intimidation. When I’m confronted by “big” people, please turn my eyes toward You. Gazing at Your awesome majesty, I can’t look at myself or others. Focused on You, I’ll be able to march forward victoriously, claiming blessed new territory for Your kingdom, honor and glory because of Jesus. Amen.

Who must you break free from in order to move forward to the land of blessing? Who’s holding you back, casting doubts on your dreams? Will you believe them or turn to God, trusting Him and Him alone to prosper and protect you?

Did you know that the command, “Do not be afraid” appears 65 times in the NIV Bible?

Being afraid is not wrong in itself. As creatures living in a sinful world we should be afraid at times. The problem is when fear forgets God. – Ed Welch, When People are Big and God is Small.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The High Rock

Psalm 61:1-4
Hear my cry, O God;
listen to my prayer.
From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the foe.
I long to dwell in your tent forever
and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.

Mighty God,
You are My Rock, My Strong Tower, My Most High Dwelling Place, My Refuge, My Shelter

I praise You for majestic mountains. In the breathtaking beauty of nature, I see pillars of glory and feel the extraordinary glow of Your existence. You are a perfect, powerful, and prominent pinnacle of unimpeded protection. I want to climb the spectacular summit and hide in Your sanctuary forever where calamities cannot crush me, death cannot devour me, sadness cannot smother me, pain cannot press me, and anxiety cannot attack me

Thank You for making the holy, high, unmovable, unshakable Rock accessible to me through Jesus Christ. My heart is weak. I am depending on You to be my strength and my shield. With Your help, Almighty God, I will climb Your pristine peak and find powerful protection. Peacefully, I’ll rest in the safety of Your presence because You alone are my Rock and my Salvation. Amen.

A mighty fortress is our God! If your heart is faint call out to Him. Follow His Voice to the high and holy Rock of Jesus Christ. Rest in the safety of His presence where He promises to hide and protect you. This is the only safe place to be during the storms of life.

Friday, May 18, 2007

A Song of Praise

Recently, my heart has been troubled and my spirit disturbed by bad things happening to innocent people: The Virginia Tech Massacre, a local family slain, and children suffering the consequences of their parent’s sin; bomb threats in high schools, conflict in the church, and wars in the world. You don’t have to look far to be appalled by the headline news.

In my despair, I poured out my soul like the Psalmist. “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?” (Psalm 42:5) I then opened my Bible to 2 Chronicles 20 and God gave me these words:

2 Chronicles 20: 15, 17, 21-22

This is what the LORD says to you:

“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you. "

Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:

"Give thanks to the LORD,
for his love endures forever."

As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the enemy.

This prompted me to take up my position, stand firm and wait for the deliverance of the Lord. Immediately, I began to sing and praise the Lord like the Israelites. As I did the Lord, indeed, set the ambush against the enemy. The power of praise set my heart, mind and soul free, and armed me with strength.

I will praise You, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all the marvelous things You have done.
I will be filled with joy because of You.
I will sing praises to Your name, O Most High.

You are a shelter for the oppressed,
a refuge in times of trouble.
Those who know Your name trust in You,
for You, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for You.

Lord, have mercy on me.
See how my enemies torment me.
Snatch me back from the jaws of death.
Save me so I can praise You publicly,
so I can rejoice that You have rescued me.
(Psalm 9)

I love You, Lord;
You are my strength.

You are my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
In You I find protection.
You are my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.
I called on You, Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and You saved me from my enemies.

You reached down from heaven and rescued me,
from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,
but You supported me.

You led me to a place of safety;
You rescued me because You delight in me.
You, Lord, rewarded me for doing right;
and restored me because of my innocence.

You light a lamp for me.
You, my God, light up my darkness.
In Your strength I can crush an army;
with my God I can scale any wall.

Your ways are perfect.
Everything You promise proves true.
You are a shield for all who look to You for protection.

You arm me with strength,
and make my way perfect.
You make me as surefooted as a deer,
enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
You train my hands for battle;
and strengthen my arm to draw a bronze bow.
You have given me Your shield of victory.
Your right hand supports me;
Your help has made me great.

You gave me victory over my accusers.
The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock!
May the God of my salvation be exalted!
(Psalm 18)

Scour the Psalms and write down all the ways God is strong, mighty, and powerful. If you dwell in the shelter of the Most High, then His strength, might and power are in you. Rest on His promises. This battle is His, not yours.

Whatever is troubling your spirit today, remember what the Lord says to you in His Word. Take up your position, stand firm, do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out and face tomorrow, the Lord will be with you. His Word says so. Do you believe Him?

Open your mouth and begin to loudly sing and praise Him. The enemy that’s attacking your heart, mind, soul, and strength will be destroyed by the dynamite of praise!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Angels Watching Over Me

Psalm 91:9-16
If you make the Most High your dwelling—

even the LORD, who is my refuge-
then no harm will befall you,

no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you

to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands.

"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;

I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble,

I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him

and show him my salvation."

Lord, Most High,
Thank You for making my heart Your home. You are my safe haven. I come in, shut the door, and rest in the shadow of Your almighty presence. From heaven on high, You order a battalion of angels to watch over me wherever I go. If I climb the highest, most majestic mountain, You are there. If I sink deep within the sea of sadness, You are there. In the darkness of distress and discouragement, You are there. In the light of love and laughter, even then, You are there. Thank You for the angels that surround the shelter of my heart, Your home.

Because I love You, I trust You to:

  • Rescue me from sin and suffering
  • Make me strong and mighty
  • Answer me when I call You
  • Be with me in times of trouble
  • Deliver me from evil and temptation
  • Honor me with the prosperity of Your presence
  • Satisfy me with a full life
  • Give me everlasting life and happiness

I know that problems will pursue me and danger will distract me, but with You living in my heart, I’ll survive. With the angels watching over me, I’ll bravely trample trouble beneath my feet and loudly proclaim “You, O God, are my fortress, my loving God. You are my strength and my refuge.”

Please dear Lord, make my heart Your home today and send those beautiful, powerful angels to protect me as I come and go in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Imagine! If you are a child of God and have invited Him to live in your heart, He has sent His beautiful, powerful angels to protect you! Claim and believe His precious promises. Live in the fullness of His blessing. No matter your circumstances, He’s there, watching over You, protecting you within the walls of His Mighty Fortress. Praise Him!

I’m reminded of the childhood lullaby, Angels Watching Over Me:

All night, all day, angels watching over me, my Lord.
All night, all day, angels watching over me.

Sun is a-setting in the West;
angels watching over me, my Lord.
Sleep my child, take your rest;
angels watching over me.

All night, all day, angels watching over me, my Lord.
All night, all day, angels watching over me.

Copyright and Author unknown

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

God's Promise In the Rainbow

Recently, I was asked to speak to a group of women on the topic of prayer. Being a writer and not an experienced speaker, I was stressed out one night, wondering what in the world I was doing. Complainingly I asked God, “Who am I to teach women to pray your heart? How am I ever going to remember all this material?” In bed that night, tossing, turning, and tormented, I couldn’t rest.

The following morning I went to our sun porch, sat on my prayer chair wrapped in a soft blanket with my warm cup of coffee, ready to protest my assignment. Through the window I could see the silver sun rays beaming brightly through the ominous grey sky. Strangely, the rain began to fall and before I could utter a single word, I saw the most magnificent rainbow.

Then, I opened my Bible, prepared to thank God for His glorious presence and promise. Turning to John 14, Jesus gave me these final words, “The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you.”

Enveloped in the peace of His presence, the anxiety dissipated. Full of His power, I fearlessly stepped out of my comfort zone. Faithful to His promise, the Holy Spirit, indeed, reminded me of everything the Lord had spoken to me. Using Alvin Vandergriend’s Prayer Cycle, I enthusiastically taught an audience of about thirty women the Secret to Answered Prayer: Praying God’s Heart.

The most frequent comment I heard was, “Your face glows.” I wouldn’t know! I can’t see it. But, I would say that’s God’s glory shining through my heart. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.

In his power and with persistent prayer support, I accomplished my mission and the people noticed my radiant face. To God be the glory!

The next time you see a rainbow, remember God’s promise.
Photo copyright of

Finding Rest

Psalm 62:5-6
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;

my hope comes from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation;

he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

O my Strength! You, my God, are my Fortress, my Mighty Rock, My Refuge. Peacefully resting in the presence of Your upright, unmovable shelter, I will not be afraid or discouraged. Your divine providence will save me and Your powerful grace will support me. You’ll readily supply all my needs, and strengthen me for the impending battle. Surrounded by the thick walls of Your mighty bulwark, people can’t harm me and problems can’t destroy me.

You alone are my Rock and my Refuge. People are as unpredictable as the wind. When I put my hope in their power and promises, I’m bound to be disappointed, discouraged and discontent. People, no matter how influential, don’t have an ounce of strength to shield me from deadly peril.

You, on the other hand, are steady, solid, and secure. You never change Your mind or change the rules. With my heart cheerfully set on Your promises, I can expect to receive unlimited power, unparalleled peace, and unrivaled protection. Daily pondering Your Word and communicating with You through prayer, my faith will increase to an unwavering steadfastness. My sheer joy in Your strength will swell into a holy triumph and I will sing of Your love for You alone are my hope, my Fortress, my loving God. Amen.

If you are pressed beneath problems, crushed under crisis, or pursued by people, run into the safety of Almighty God’s unfailing bulwark. A bulwark is a wall-like structure built to keep out attackers.

He’s expecting You. Open Your Bible and read His Word. Begin with this Psalm. Pray with expectancy. Resting on God’s holy, unchanging words, you’ll find unlimited power, unparalleled peace, and unrivaled protection.

A Mighty Fortress is Our God! A Bulwark never failing!
Photo courtesy of

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Lesson at the Well: Build Bridges

John 4:5-9
He came to a town in Samaria. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?"

The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

Thank You for the lessons I learn when I take time to sit with You at Jacob’s well in Samaria. From the time I was little I was taught to separate myself from the world. I’ve been warned about places I should not go and people I should not be seen with. Surely, prominent people would judge me by the company I keep.

The lesson You teach me at the well is not to discriminate based on race, religion, gender, or government. This woman was from a dreadful place, a despised race, and living a disgraceful lifestyle. Under no circumstances would a respectable Jewish man talk to such a dishonorable character. You could have haughtily turned Your back on her saying, “I don’t relate to people like that.” But, instead You risked Your reputation to approach and speak to her.

Your Word says that if I have faith in You I will do what you did and even greater things. Surely, You will judge me by the company I keep. The truth is You didn’t keep company with outgoing, good-looking, or successful people. Even though You were a King, You associated with the forlorn, the friendless, and the forgotten. In order to do great things I’m going to have to radically change my mindset.

Jeopardizing my social status, I’ll have to force myself to spend time in places I never dreamed of going, with disreputable people. I’ll have to set aside my prejudices and proactively look for them where they are, relate to them as they are, and walk with them – stride by stride toward You. Please open the eyes of my heart and energize me with holy courage and compassion to intentionally go into unnatural and uncomfortable social settings for the explicit purpose of building bridges to the kingdom of heaven in Jesus name. Amen

How are you willing to risk your reputation to keep company with the kind of people Jesus associated with? What radical changes do you need to make to your lifestyle?

Surely, we will be judged by the company we keep. There’s nothing wrong with hanging out with good and godly friends. The problem occurs when they’re the only people we choose to associate with.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Go Two by Two

Luke 10: 1-3
The Lord sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you.”

Lord of the Harvest,
You are such an awesome teacher! I marvel at the way You teach me each day as I spend time with You reading my Bible. Doing the work of the gospel alone is intimidating, exhausting, and not at all the way You intended it to be. You don’t expect us to “go” single-handedly, but rather to “go” collectively.

You’ve shown me that two are better than one. Together we can strengthen and encourage one another. We can pick each other up after a fall, protect one another and hold each other accountable. As a team that has witnessed Your miracles, our testimony is extremely powerful and effective. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.

Please dear Lord, give me a clear vision of the ripe crop right here in my community. Equipped with power, passion, and prayer, I’ll dedicate my skills to diligently work plucking people for Your kingdom. The harvest is plentiful! I expect You to send other faithful followers to join me in the field. Together, we’ll gather the unsaved souls in our neighborhood. Knowing that You’re following right behind us, we’ll be confident that You’ll pick up our produce and carry them right into Your glorious kingdom in Jesus name. Amen.

Who is ripe for picking in your neighborhood? These disciples weren’t better educated, more capable, or of a higher status than other followers of Jesus Christ. They had no unique qualifications.

If you’ve received Jesus Christ as Lord of your life, you’re equipped with the power of the Holy Spirit. Ask God to unleash the power and to give you a clear vision of the harvest field. Then mobile a prayer team and go to work. Think of creative ways to show Jesus to your neighbors. Pluck the fruit one by one expecting the Lord of the Harvest to be right behind you picking them up.

It’s our job to bring the people to Him. He does the work of saving them.

Here are a few creative ways to reach out to your neighbors:
1. Have a picnic. Invite another family of believers, along with one or two unsaved families. Tell stories about what God has done in your life.
2. Join with another believer to organize a pick-up game of kickball or basketball with the children in the neighborhood. Teach them to “play” like Jesus – fair and square.
3. Set up a lemonade stand and offer free lemonade and hotdogs on a hot summer day. Initiate conversation with those who stop by. Listen to their problems and offer to pray with them. Your generosity will show and tell them about Jesus.
4. Offer to do yard work for a shut-in person, single-mother, or a person with special needs. It’s the perfect time to plant posies that will bloom all summer for them to enjoy as a reminder of Christ’s love for them, as shown through you. Your kindness will show how much you love them.
5. Hold a Vacation Bible School for the neighborhood children in your backyard. On the last day invite the parents and share the simple truth about Jesus. .

Email me your creative ideas for outreach this summer and I’ll selectively publish them. Two minds are better than one!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Praise the Name of the Lord

Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together.
Psalm 34:3

Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name.
Psalm 30:4
Almighty God
Alpha and Omega
Author and Perfecter of our faith
Blessed Redeemer
Bread of Life
Breath of God
Creator of Heaven and Earth
Consuming Fire

I will praise your name, O LORD, for it is good.
Psalm 54:6
Desire of nations
Everlasting Father
Eternal King
Faithful God
Friend of sinners
Firstborn of all creation
Sing the glory of his name;
make his praise glorious!
Psalm 66:2
Great God of the universe
Glorious Lord
Gentle Shepherd
Holy One
Hope of Heaven
Healer of My Soul
Image of the invisible God
Praise be to his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.
Psalm 72:19
Judge of the living and the dead
Jesus Christ my Lord
King of kings
King of glory
Kindred Spirit
Lord Most High
Lover of my soul
Light of the world
I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
Psalm 86:12
Merciful Father
My Master
Name above all names
One and Only wise God
Only begotten Son
Prince of Peace
Let them praise your great and awesome name— he is holy.
Psalm 99:3
Quiet Savior
Quick Deliverer
Resurrection and life
Righteous One
Rock of my salvation
Sovereign Lord
Strong Tower
Spirit of the Living God

Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Psalm 103:1
Understanding Father
Unchanging Friend
Victorious Lord
Voice of the Lord
Very Great Reward
Word of God
Wonderful Savior
Wisdom of God
I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Psalm 145:1
Xpected One
Xalted King
Xceeding Joy
Your Fear
Your Holy One
Your Heavenly Father
God tells us 68 times in the Bible to either Praise His name or Exalt His Name. It will lift your spirits, bless your heart, and please your Lord if you obey. Prepare your heart for worship by praising His excellent name!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Chosen To Go

1 Peter 2:9-10
But 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. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

High and Heavenly King,
Hearing Your Holy Word thrills my heart! It stirs my soul to hear you say:

I am chosen
I am royal
I am holy
I belong to You

I praise You my Savior for finding me in the dark dungeon of despair. My Knight in Shining Armor, You rescued me and brought me out into the luminous light.

I was saturated in sin when You sought me.
I was chagrin with the crimson stain of shame when you chose me.
In my ripped rags, you made me royal.
My heart was hard and heavy when you made me holy.
Deep in debt, You redeemed me, purchasing me with the precious blood of Your Son.
I am jubilant that a broken, unbecoming being like me, would be belong to You!

I can’t keep quiet about my conversion! Your incredible mercy changed me. As a member of Your royal family, I am assigned to reign on earth to serve You. I must tell the inspiring story of my salvation and capture the curiosity of seeking souls. People all around me are in the same dark dungeon of despair that once detained me. They’ll die in there if I don’t rescue them for You. This is a mandatory mission! Urgently, I must go so that they will not perish in the poisonous pit of sin. Time is running out. Please dear Lord, give me the stamina I need to accomplish Your great commission.

To You who loved me enough to seek me, chose me, redeem me, and make me holy – be the glory and power forever and ever. Amen.

Claim your God-given identity and go in the power of the Holy Spirit on the mandatory mission to save souls!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Called To Be Holy

Romans 1:5-6
Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

Lord Jesus,
Truly, You are the Son of God! Your generous gift of grace is amazing! It came to me in the promised gospel when You lovingly called my name. Gratefully, I acknowledged You, believing that You lived, died, and rose into heaven.

The moment I responded to Your call, You adopted and accepted me into Your family. You chose me to be a holy, pure and blameless ambassador, representing the kingdom of heaven to a helpless and hopeless world. Setting me free from evil and temptation, You put holy fear in my heart and insisted that I live within Your limits. Out of sincere respect and honor, I’ll obey the parameters You set for me.

While I wait in the quietness of Your presence, teach me to be holy as You are holy. Search my heart and mind. Speak to me through Your Holy Word. Point out any wrong way in me. Immediately, I’ll turn around and go in a different direction. Bless me with wisdom, knowledge and understanding of Your will and Your way. Then, I will make wise choices.

Thank You for calling me out of all the people in the world to belong to You. Gratefully, I accept the responsibility that comes with it. For Your namesake, I’ll willingly follow the rules of Your family so that others will see You when they’re watching me. Amen.

If you are a believer, you have a call and a task. God has called you to be a holy, pure, blameless ambassador so that you can truthfully represent His kingdom on earth. Will you take time to develop holiness so that you can represent the One and Only True God to a watching world?

Take Time To Be Holy
William D. Longstaff, c.1882
Copyright Public Domain

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Magnificent Love

1 John 3:16-23
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth.

Dearest Father in Heaven-
Your divine love is incredibly remarkable! That You would leave Your beautiful, majestic, celestial sanctuary in the sky to come to this hideous hole on earth to rescue hateful humans is unfathomable. I might die for someone really special, like my spouse or 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 worst offender, You intentionally died for me. Hallelujah! Thank You, Jesus.

In light of the high price You paid to purchase my freedom, I ought not think twice about giving up my comfortable lifestyle for unpleasant people. I believe You put arrogant, obnoxious, mean-spirited individuals in my life to teach me to love Your way. Remind me daily of my own idiosyncrasies. I don’t like to admit it, but You know I’m far from perfect. Instead of uttering idle, meaningless chatter, help me to actively love unlikable people the way You love me. Recognizing my own unworthiness, will be my first step toward tolerating and showing mercy to them.

Please dear Lord, fill me with so much of Your magnificent love and mighty power that my vibrant faith will be contagious, proving to the watching world that I am Your beloved child. Because I long to make You happy, I’ll try my best to obey You by loving others in the name of Jesus. Amen.

How can you show the selfless love of Christ to an unlovable person today? It’s not easy and it’s not optional. It’s a command from the High King of Heaven who has paid a high price for you. It’s the least you can do to honor and glorify Him.

Jesus didn’t come to rescue good people, he came to save sinners. He expects us to love them too; after all, we’re amongst the throng!