Friday, June 29, 2007

Psalm 126
When the LORD restored his exiles to Jerusalem,
it was like a dream!
We were filled with laughter,
and we sang for joy.
And the other nations said,
"What amazing things the LORD has done for them."
Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us!
What joy!

Restore our fortunes, LORD,
as streams renew the desert.
Those who plant in tears
will harvest with shouts of joy.
They weep as they go to plant their seed,
but they sing as they return with the harvest. NLT

How Great You are O Sovereign King! There is none like You! There is no God but You! I have heard You with my own ears.

Lord, overwhelming sorrow tries to take me away from You. Battered and bruised by the battle with the enemy, a fountain of tears flow from my eyes. Wounded and worn out, I weep. Gripped by grief, I’m a miserable mess. In anguish I cry out to You: “Here I am. Rescue me! Restore my fortune! Swing open the heavenly gates! Bring me back to Your pleasant palace.”

Graciously, You answer me and restore me to the prosperity of Your presence. You tell me to sow the seed of Your Word in the ground around my grief. You promise a huge harvest!

Obediently, I plant kernels of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and discipline in the soil surrounding my sadness. I water them with the steady stream of tears that flow down my soft face. And, then I patiently wait through the season of sorrow for the promised heavenly harvest.

When I joyfully return with baskets full of bountiful blessings I will share a foretaste of glory divine with those around me. They will notice that You have done amazing things for me! Together, we will sing, laugh and celebrate a yield of sweet succulent spiritual fruit. I believe that You will turn my hard situation into an enormous reward for the praise of Your glory! Amen.

What has taken you away from your Sovereign King? It could be sin, addiction, false teaching, idolatry, ministering to someone needy, a new job, busyness, or love to name a few. Identify the thing that holds you captive and break free! Plant the seed of His Word in the soil of your situation, water it with your tears and patiently endure while it grows. Then reap the bountiful blessed harvest and celebrate the amazing things the Lord has done!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Jeremiah 17:5-8
This is what the LORD says:
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.

He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.

"But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.

He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."

My Wise and Wonderful King,
You are an amazing word artist. Your illustrations are quite clear. I see a crossroad with two distinct choices: I can fear people or I can fear You.

If I choose to depend on my family and friends to make difficult decisions, and carry me through my dilemmas, I’ll be dry and lifeless like a stunted shrub in the desert. Impoverished and spiritually weak, I won’t have any strength to be productive. My hard work will be in vain and my blessing basket will be empty.

However, if I choose to rely on You, the Divine Gardener, I will flourish like a lush green tree planted by a gaily flowing spring of fresh water. Spending time in Your Word, my Bible, will nourish and strengthen me. When I allow others who are rooted in You to be my support system, I won’t bend and break under the pressure of problems. Drawing deep into the steady Source of Living Water, Your Spirit flowing in and through me, I’ll be exceptionally fruitful in scorching seasons of intense pain. Not only will I have enough vigor to meet my own needs, but I’ll also have energy to meet the needs of others.

Thank You for Your wise instruction. At the crossroads, I want to make the right choice: to follow Your Word and Your wisdom. Please give me a greater desire to dig deeper into Your presence so that I’ll take the way of Your will during tough and troubling times. I want to confidently face challenges, believing that You will bless me with peace, protection, and power in Your holy presence for the honor and glory of Your blessed name. Amen.

The more we allow those who ridicule God to affect our thoughts and attitudes, the more we separate ourselves from the Source of nourishment. Delight in spending time in God’s Word and develop a support system of people who love the Lord. Then, you will have the strength to stand up under the pressure of difficult people, problems and pain. You will be blessed with the delicious juicy fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. Full of the Spirit, your countenance will be happy even when your heart is sad.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Proverbs 24:30-34
One day I walked by the field of an old lazybones, and then passed the vineyard of a lout; They were overgrown with weeds, thick with thistles, all the fences broken down. I took a long look and pondered what I saw; the fields preached me a sermon and I listened: "A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next? Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life, with poverty as your permanent houseguest!" MSG

Wise and Wonderful Lord,
Your Words paint a powerful picture that causes me to stop and think about what my life will look like if I neglect spending time with You. Unattended, wild grass and weeds will grow up everywhere. The roots of thick prickly briars, my unconfessed sin, will choke out what was at one time vibrant vegetation. When I become indifferent and inattentive to Your Word, my life will fall apart like the broken down fence. O Lord have mercy on me! Show me how to guard against neglect. Don’t let me become sluggish or lazy in my walk with You.

You are the Divine Gardener. Your Word, the Holy Bible, is pure Miracle Grow for my withering soul. Every time I come to You, You faithfully water me with miracle food that perks me up, filling me with vitality. You pull the weeds and prevent them from strangling me every time I confess to my mistakes. You immediately repair the broken pieces of my life when I bring them to You in prayer. When I miss a day or two, I begin to imperceptibly droop. When I miss three or four days, I really sag downward. Eventually, I’ll die spiritually. O Lord help me to be responsible in my daily walk with You! My life depends on it.

There’s a world of wrecked believers all around me. They are laying in ruins like the broken picket fence, choked out by the unattended weeds of their own sin and shame. Many have neglected their responsibility to You for so long that they’re virtually dead. Please show me a believer who needs miraculous new life today and I’ll use the gifts You’ve given me to immerse them in Jesus, reviving their spirit for Your name sake. Amen.

How is your relationship with Christ? Are you guarding it carefully? Are you leaning on Him in the hard times, or have you abandoned Him?

Jesus loves you! He hasn’t turned from you. You’re redeemed and forgiven. He’s wants to restore you. Will you allow Him to? Cry out to Him in prayer. He will hear you. Open your Bible and look for Him. He will reveal Himself to you.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

John 15: 9-11
Jesus said, "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

Holy Gardener & Divine Vinedresser,
Cultivate my heart to produce exuberant, extravagant, extraordinary love. I long for Your amazing love to exude from my pores so that it will be seen and felt by everyone I come in contact with. Saturate me with Living Water. Fertilize me with Your Word. Graft me permanently to You so that I will produce delicious juicy fruit for Your kingdom. As I grow in my relationship with You, submitting to Your snips and clips, Jesus will propagate from me into the lives of others.

Filled with Jesus Joy, my face will shine, my eyes will sparkle, my mouth will laugh, and my feet will dance. O Holy Gardener, please shape me in such a way that people will keep coming back to pluck more of the plump, luscious fruit produced from my branch. Create in those around me a ravenous hunger for more Jesus Juice! Make me a healthy source of spiritual nourishment. Release the flow of Divine Sap through the branch of my life as I rest and grow on Your glorious Vine. I am Yours O Lord, because of Jesus! Amen

Do you hear the words of Jesus? He says that He loves you. Do you believe Him? You will demonstrate that you believe Him when you obey His commands. If you remain in his loving hands and submit to doing His will His way, you will produce extravagant love and exuberant joy. Apart from Him your branch will be brittle and broken by bitterness and fear. Claim God’s promise and release the everlasting sweet “sap” of His Spirit into your life.

David Wilkerson writes in his June 11, World Challenge Pulpit Series: “Listen to these words sung by David: ‘Glory and honor are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.’ (1 Chronicles 16:27). The root word for ‘gladness,’ in the New Testament, means ‘jumping for joy.’ God’s heart leaps for joy over those enjoying the fullness of perfect love. Let the Lord put gladness in you now, today. Your glad heart will ‘shock and awe’ all those who are fearful around you.

Right now the world is drowning in fear. Humankind trembles over global warming, fear of terrorist attacks, nuclear warfare, a shaky economy, the AIDS plague, mass murders, the rise of Islam, political chaos, widespread addictions to drugs, alcohol, and porn.”

If we remain in His loving hands, we will not be afraid, but glad. Our lives will produce the fullness of God’s perfect love and a world full of worried witnesses will wonder why we are so happy. Remain in Love.

Monday, June 25, 2007

One Saturday morning I was on my knees in the strawberry patch picking sweet, delicious fruit from the never ending vines when this verse came to my mind.

John 15:5 Jesus said, “If you remain in me, and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

Heavenly Gardener-
You are the Divine Vinedresser. Jesus is the never ending Vine with deep roots. I am the branch. Apart from Him I am nothing but deadwood. Connected to Him, the sweet "sap" of the Spirit flows to my heart, mind and soul producing plump, juicy, succulent fruit.

O Lord, while I remain in Your care, please cultivate in me more of Your extravagant love so that I’ll have a soft spirit of forgiveness. Even when I’m shaded by the darkness of difficulty, put a smile on my face and sunshine in my heart, reflecting the joy of Jesus, my Hope of Heaven.

Grow peace in the soil of my soul as I yield to Your painful pruning. Produce in me patience that becomes more luscious with each irritating snip. Let the moisture of my tears develop delicious fruit resulting in a prosperous harvest of grace and mercy. Use the clippings from my branch to transplant kindness in the dirt of despair, and goodness in the soil of sorrow.

Pick up my leaves when they get dirty and wash them. Cleanse me, Jesus! Saturate me with the fertilizer of Your Word and increase my faith. As I spend time under Your care, please keep the soil of my soul tender and teachable. Constantly pull the weeds of faulty thinking that threaten to choke my mind. O please, Divine Gardener, do whatever it takes to grow everlasting fruit from me for the glory of Your kingdom.

Ask the Heavenly Gardener to cultivate everlasting fruit from your branch on the Vine. It will require you to succumb to His painful sheers as He snips and shapes the unruly shoots. Fully surrendered to His care, you will be astonished at the incredible crop Christ creates from you.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Psalm 100
Shout for joy to the LORD , all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
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.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
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!

I’m blessed and thank God for:
1. The USA where I’m free to worship Him openly
2. Rest, relaxation and refreshment
3. Precious time with my family
4. Friends
5. The beautiful flowers in my garden

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Psalm 51:10-12
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.

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.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

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)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ephesians 6:18
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Matthew 26:41
Jesus said, "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

My Dear King~
I confidently come to Your holy temple, to the heavenly throne to receive mercy and find comfort in my time of need. I come with reverence because You are my King. You hear my voice and answer. You are my wise Counselor and Best Friend. Forgive me for watering down my true feelings and not telling You the whole truth. You love when I share my heart openly, honestly and sincerely. When I cannot find the words to say, You hear my silence.

Like a loving Father, You know the weaknesses that lead me into temptation. I climb up into the high and holy fort where I watch for the enemy to sneak up on me. From my safe tower, I shoot a prayer heavenward. Boldly, I ask for more faith to believe, and more power to receive. Surrendered to Your authority, You defend me every time. In Your strength, I defeat the power of sin and temptation. The impossible is suddenly possible.

Triumphantly, I claim the peace prize to guard my heart and mind. With peace oozing from my heart, the words flowing from my mouth will naturally spread Good News of Your great love. By Your grace, I will be more joyful in the hope of my salvation, more patient in my affliction and more faithful in prayer. Then I will claim the final victory for Your name sake. Amen.

Prayer is a powerful weapon when coupled with the sword of the Word. Do you use them together effectively to fight the enemy of sin and temptation?

“Prayer keeps us in communication with the Commander-in-Chief. As we pray, He directs us, guides us, protects us, and even shows us the parts of His Word that are needed for the victory at any given moment. We must learn to pray God’s Word back to Him. Our spiritual weapons for defeating the enemy are the Bible and prayer.” – Dave Butts, The Devil Goes to Church

Add prayer to the tools God gives you to combat the enemy to demolish the stronghold of sin and temptation and make your thoughts obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

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.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Ephesians 6:17
Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Matthew 4: 1 – 11
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."

Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written:

"He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone."

Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test."

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."

Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only."

Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

My Jesus,
What an incredible and awesome teacher You are! Oh how I love Your principles. I meditate on Your laws all day long. Your lessons make me wiser than my enemies. When You write them on my heart, they are always with me. I have more insight than many influential, intelligent individuals when I carefully study Your Word. It infiltrates my heart and mind. I have more understanding than highly regarded, respected, religious leaders when I listen to and obey Your holy Scriptures.

You sympathize with my weaknesses because You were tempted in every way, yet were without sin. When I’m weak and hungry, longing to satisfy my deepest dreams and desires, You understand. Please give me patience to wait for You to feed me. Your Words are sweet to my taste. They are like rich, creamy chocolate to my mouth. They are the only thing that will satisfy my craving.

When I’m feeling insecure and inadequate, disillusioned and disheartened, You empathize. Please give me simple faith to believe that You are who You say You are, and can do everything You say You can do.

When possessions, power, and prestige are pursuing me, You commiserate with me. Please give me Holy Spirit power to resist worldly pleasures and worship You and You alone.

People will try to twist Your Words and take them out of context. Save me from lying lips and deceitful tongues. Give me more knowledge to recognize errors of interpretation and believe only the truth. By Your grace, I will try to memorize Scripture so that when I’m tempted, I can be like You in every way. Your Word will be the sharp sword I use to combat the enemy. With a complete understanding of Your principles for living, along with an obedient heart, I will walk on the pathway of righteousness. I long to be more like You, Jesus. It is through You I pray for power to triumph over temptation. Amen.

Are you prepared to be like Jesus and battle the enemy with the Word of God? If not, what will You do about it?

The sword of the Word is another tool God gives you to demolish the stronghold of sin and temptation and make your thoughts obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Friday, June 15, 2007

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.

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 Matthew 9:18:26 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 by faith seek Jesus for your hopeless situation? 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 and heal your heart and mind.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Guard Your Mind

Ephesians 6:17
Take the helmet of salvation.

Ps 27: 1-3
The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
When evil men advance against me
to devour my flesh,
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.

O God my Savior~
Thank You for noticing and rescuing me when I was an unnoticed, unattractive, and unpopular cripple child. Not only did You notice and rescue me; but You also adopted and accepted me into Your loving family. In Your home, You healed and sanctified me. You made me righteous and holy. I was near death, but now I’m ALIVE! Thank you for the gracious gift of Your salvation! I’ll wear it as a helmet to protect my head.

I’m surrounded by bullies who try to prevent me from advancing Your kingdom. They devour me with doubt and discouragement. They attack my abilities and adequacy. They make me feel unworthy and unacceptable. They preoccupy me, and then steal my time and treasure. Anxiety and fear besiege me.

When I trust in You and Your saving grace the brilliant, illuminating light transforms my mind. In the luminosity, my fearful thoughts are changed. You shine truth on deception and empower me to make right choices. As I spend time with You, I see things that are noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. With my mind renewed, reeducated, and redirected I begin to think like Jesus. Wearing the helmet of salvation protects me from brutal barbarians. With complete confidence in Your strong power, one by one they stumble and fall.

Thank You for freeing me from their devastating power. Out of love and gratitude, I’ll set aside my fears, trust You, and go where You send me to serve others with love, kindness and gentleness. I’ll march forward victoriously, claiming new territory for Your kingdom, honor, and glory because of Jesus. Amen.

Will you put on the helmet of salvation, trusting God to protect your mind from the bullies who try to prevent you from advancing God’s kingdom by pounding you with doubt and discouragement?

Putting on the helmet of salvation is another way to demolish the stronghold of sin and temptation and make your thoughts obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Instruments of 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 holy mountain and stand in Your sacred 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.

Help me to focus on my relationship with You rather than my relationship with people. Knowing You more intimately and deeply, I can administer reconciliation 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. When Your love freely flows from me I will supernaturally make right wrong relationships. I will be an instrument of peace.

Please, dear Lord, bless my beautiful feet as I faithfully love the people You’ve put in my path. Thank You for making Your love complete in me. With honor and gratitude, I’ll carefully, deliberately, and intentionally obey You 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 so you need to share God's peace with today? Put on your walking shoes and go, make right a wrong relationship. Then, you will 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

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

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.

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 filthy 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 exercising self-control. You are the Perfect Pattern of righteousness. With the robe of righteousness in place, I’ll seek to live a holy life so rivers of blessings will flow through me for Your name sake. Amen.

Gratefully exchange your shameful sackcloth 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. 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)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Buckle Up to Truth

Ephesians 6:14
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around Your waist.

John 8:42-47

Jesus said to them, "If God were Your Father, You would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. Why is my language not clear to You? Because You are unable to hear what I say. You belong to Your father, the devil, and You want to carry out Your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, You do not believe me! Can any of You prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't You believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason You do not hear is that You do not belong to God."

Thank You for giving me direct access to Your Word, the Truth. What a blessing! When I seek You with all my heart and mind, You show me Your ways. You teach me and guide me. Your love and truth protect me. Thank You, Jesus!

Forgive me for not believing You! I recognize that Satan is the father of lies. There is no truth in him. Everywhere I go he is trying to deceive me. He entices me with lucrative language that sounds sumptuous. Please don’t let me give in to his lies, not even for one minute. He’ll subtly suck the life right out of me. Give me strength to cling to the fullness of life and Gospel of Truth. Please keep Your mighty hand on me. Help me to clearly understand and believe You. When I spend time with You, the Perfect Teacher, I’ll learn how You think and speak, and therefore how I should think and speak. You are the Perfect Example, showing me how to live. You give me the power to live like You. Thank You that the Truth is no longer etched on cold stone tablets, but carved on my heart through Your warm-blooded flesh as I spend time with You. What a blessing!

Please dear Lord, buckle the belt of truth around my waist so that I’m protected when Satan lures me with his counterfeits that look good. Surrounded by Your promises I’ll remain tightly fastened to You. Attached to You, I’ll believe that You are who You say You are: the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Amen.

Do you believe God? What He says is true! Buckle the belt of truth around your waist by spending time in His Word, then your mind will be prepared to battle the father of lies.

This is one way to demolish the stronghold of sin and temptation and take captive your thoughts making them obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Friday, June 08, 2007

Wise Counsel

Psalm 16:7-8
I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I have set the LORD always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.

Secure and Steadfast God,

All You do is just and good! Thank You for graciously counseling me. Your timeless Words are very wise. Your timely advice is always right. Teach me to make good decisions that will please You. Tune my ears to recognize Your Voice, my mind to understand Your Words, and my heart to obey Your Ways. When I’m too exhausted to think clearly, in the silence of my soul, speak to me. Tomorrow is sure to be another exhilarating day with more unexpected twists and turns.

Please go ahead of me. I’m utterly dependent on Your wise guidance to lead me through uncertain situations. It is vital that I remain in constant communication with You by reading my Bible and praying. You know the way that will lead me to all Your hidden promises. Willingly, I’ll take Your strong right hand, walking through briars, thorns, and thickets. I won’t try to avoid pain, trouble and failure. Connected to You, they won’t hurt me.

Dear Lord, please give me the courage to hold on tightly, trusting that You know exactly where You’re taking me. Following Your reliable instructions, I’ll be secure and steadfast. Looking forward to the riches of heaven, eternity with You and everlasting happiness, my heart and lips will cheerfully sing a sweet song to the glory of Your holy, awe-inspiring name. Amen.

I need God’s counsel for __________________________________________. Pray, asking Him for wisdom. Open Your Bible and listen to His Voice. Obey His instruction and He will reward You with Words from heaven – the Truth! Then, you, too, will know that He is trustworthy and dependable. Praise Him!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

God's Sufficient Grace

2 Corinthians 12:7-10
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Eternal, Invisible, Almighty God-
Thank You for the prickly thorns of trouble and temptation sent to me by Satan. I now know that You authorized him to deliver them to me to keep my heart humble. I’ve repeatedly asked You to remove the pain of my afflictions and addictions. Instead You empowered me with grace to endure them. Your magnificent grace is enough to enlighten and enliven me. It is sufficient to strengthen and soothe me. When I am worn-down, weak, and weary from sadness, sickness, and sin, please purify my heart and fill it with faith to believe in Your almighty power.

By faith, I believe You will turn my hurts to hope, my loss to life, and my difficulties to determination. In the turmoil twisting around me there is a purpose. During chaos and confusion, Your power is manifested and magnified in me. Rather than dreading trials and tests, I need to delight in them. Instead of focusing on my inadequacies and insecurities, I need to focus on Your unfailing, everlasting promises to me. You have pledged to keep me, protect me, and teach me. You’ve promised to abide in me and be my strength. Now, I need to walk in faith by acknowledging, accepting, and acting on Your holy name – El Shaddai. To Your all-sufficient, all-powerful, almighty name be the glory forever and ever. Amen

Identify the prickly thorns sent by Satan to torment You. Thank God that they were sent to keep you focused on Him. Instead of focusing on your difficulties and despair, focus on God’s unfailing, everlasting promises. Search the Scriptures. Acknowledge God’s faithfulness, accept His powerful promises, and act in faith. Then, you will discover extraordinary delight in the midst of your despondency.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Battle of the Mind

2 Corinthians 10:3-5
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

O God You are my Knight in Shining Armor! You rescue me and train me to fight fair and square. Your promises are the bedrock on which I firmly stand.

I’m fighting impurity and unrighteousness in a hateful, hostile world! Everywhere I turn, I’m bombarded with bullets of temptation. My mind is the battlefield where speculation, knowledge, and thoughts take place. Skirmishing with sin in a corrupt culture is a dangerous place to exist! I need You, God Almighty, to reach down from heaven and snatch me out Satan’s perilous grip.

By Your Spirit, I’ll claim the divinely powerful promises You’ve given me to destroy the barbarians who manipulate my mind with masterful marketing. Wielding the swift, sharp sword of Your Word, I’ll slash warped philosophies and cut through barriers erected against the Truth. You are my Commander-in-Chief. With my thoughts completely submitted to Your control, You’ll order every loose idea, emotion, and impulse to obedience.

As a loyal solider in the Army of Angels, please train and equip me with godly principles so that I’m adequately prepared to fight for what’s right in my uncivilized, unscrupulous surroundings. I want to know my Commander and recognize His rumbling voice. I want to believe Him! I want to trust Him! Above all, I want to obey Him and live triumphantly in the blessing of His fortified castle forever and ever! Amen.

What do you need to do to prepare your mind for the immense spiritual battle with evil and temptation in the uncivilized and unscrupulous society where you live, work and play?

Spiritual warfare is a reality that must be faced! It won’t go away. It is time to prepare ourselves to wage war, not as the world does, but with the weapons provided by the Spirit of God. – Dave Butts, The Devil Goes to Church

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Weak Warriors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, June 04, 2007

Victory in Jesus

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, June 01, 2007

Standing on the Promises of God

The Lord always keeps his promises.
Psalm 145:13

They believed his promises and sang his praise. (Psalm 106:12)

You will never abandon the godly.
You will keep them safe forever. (Psalm 37:28)

You bless the godly, O Lord;
You surround them with your shield of love. (Psalm 5:12)

When doubts fill my mind,
Your comfort gives me renewed hope and cheer. (Psalm 94:19)

The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them. (Psalm 34:7)

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.

He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.

He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.

He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

The Lord gives righteousness
and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

He does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities. (Psalm 103:2-6, 10)

The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life. (Psalm 121:7)

The LORD is God,
and he has made his light shine upon us. (Psalm 118:27)

The LORD has sworn
and will not change his mind (Psalm 110:4)
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. (Psalm 34:18)

Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16)

The LORD protects the simple-hearted. (Psalm 116:6)

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake. (Psalm 23:1-3)

The LORD upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down. (Psalm 145:14)

You have given me your shield of victory.
Your right hand supports me;
your help has made me great. (Psalm 118:35)

The LORD watches over all who love him. (Psalm 145:20)

God is exalted in his power. (Job 36:22)

Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be shaken but endures forever. (Psalm 125:1)

With promises like this to pull us on, dear friends, let's make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts us, both within and without. Let's make our entire lives fit and holy temples for the worship of God. (2 Corinthians 7:1 MSG)

Are you standing on the unfailing promises of God? Standing on His promises you cannot fall or fail. His promises will enable you to calmly sail through the storms.

To create this list, I searched through the Psalms for God’s promises from A-Z. Doing an exercise like this is invigorating. Try doing it for yourself! God gives us innumerous promises throughout the entire Bible. Search the Gospels for the everlasting promises of Christ our King or look for the beautiful promises stated in the writings of the prophets. Getting your eyes off yourself and onto the Living Word of God will give you delight in your despair.