Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Perfect Pots

Spirit of the Living God Fall Fresh on Me. Melt me. Mold me.

Isaiah 64:8
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
O Perfect Potter,
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.
You have a distinctive 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 skillful hands every day. As we wait quietly 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 image. Through the heat of life we’ll come out of the fiery furnace strengthened with Your power and glazed with Your glory.
With Your Holy Word permanently etched on my heart, it will be radically changed to look like Your heart. Knowing Your heart and mind, I’ll be concerned for the things that burden You. Lord, I want to be yielded and still in Your dexterous hand where I can be shaped into a pleasantly perfect pot to pour out Your extraordinary love. Please transform my heart and mind today, making me an eternally beautiful, valuable vessel for the praise of Your most creative name. Amen.
Oswald Chambers writes, "Unless we have the right purpose intellectually in our minds and lovingly in our hearts, we will very quickly be diverted from being useful to God. Paul’s whole heart, mind, and soul were consumed with the great purpose of what Jesus Christ came to do, and he never lost sight of that one thing: ‘Jesus Christ and Him crucified." 1 Corinthians 2:2) God is at work bending, breaking, molding and doing exactly as He chooses. We have to be in God’s hand so that He can place others on the Rock, Jesus Christ. Let Him have His way." –My Utmost For His Highest, October 25.
Do you know what’s on the heart and mind of God? Are you burdened for the things that burden Him? Ask God to lay His heart over yours.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Refiner's Fire

Spirit of the Living God Fall Fresh on Me … Melt me

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

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

Thank You Lord for the perfection process. Because of Your unfailing love and compassion, the melting procedure will not consume me. With Your help I will have patient endurance to bear up under the pain and pressure, knowing that You are making me into a glimmering jewel that reflects Your image. With hope, I look forward to my fabulous future when I am made perfect. I yearn for holiness.

Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me. Melt me for the glory of Your name. Amen.

What refining process are you going through at the moment? Refining is tedious and time consuming. It is painful, but when the process is over, the result is a glimmering jewel that reflects the face of the Refiner. Know that through the fiery trials in life, you will appear more like Jesus.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Set on Fire

Acts 2:3-4

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 26, 2007

Distinguishing God's People

Matthew 25:31-40
Jesus told this story about the kingdom of heaven:
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. "

Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.''I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Jesus, Ruler of All Nations,
I eagerly anticipate the day when You come in splendor and majesty. Seated on the magnificent heavenly throne glowing with glory, people from every nation, tribe and tongue will gather in awe of You. The rich will stand with the poor, the strong with the weak, and the godly with the ungodly. Quickly, You’ll distinguish those who belong to Your royal family from those who don’t. At that moment, all other distinctions will disintegrate and we’ll be eternally divided.

I excitedly look forward to the great blessing that awaits me when You call me to come forward. Happily, I’ll receive my long awaited rich inheritance, the Kingdom of Heaven, provided by You, my loving Father. Purchased with Your priceless blood, this precious place has been prepared for me years ago by Your Spirit. It’s an incredible gift, You’ll present to those You recognize as Your children.

Please dear Lord, show me someone who is famished today, physically, emotionally, or spiritually. In Your name, I’ll feed their body, mind and soul. Lead me to someone wandering in the desert, withered, weary, and weak. I’ll lead them to Your fresh spring of Living Water where they can wash and drink until they’re satisfied. Open my eyes to see a stranger and I’ll reach out in friendship inviting them into the center of my activities. If I see someone in my circle of influence who needs clothed today, physically or spiritually, mercifully, I’ll give them the shirt off my back, and offer them Your rich robe of righteousness.

All around me people are sick and suffering. Lovingly, I’ll stop to soothe their sore souls. Many are imprisoned to their addictions and transgressions, forgotten and failed by a society who finds them demented, destructive and deceitful.Admittedly, I find these people unattractive, unappealing, and unapproachable. Please dear Lord, fill me with more of Your amazing love.

Humbly, I’ll lay aside my intolerance, indifference and insecurities to fulfill Your mission of mercy. Willingly, I’ll comfort the faint, raise the fallen, and point the forgotten to You, the One and Only Way to eternal life and everlasting happiness. I hope and pray that You’ll recognize me on judgment day by the way I treat the least, the last and the lost in Your name. Amen.

Are your eyes open to faint, fallen, and forgotten people? They are everywhere. Jesus clearly calls us to be missionaries of mercy. Who will you serve today in His name?

Today I am going into a maximum security prison to wash the feet of a fallen brother. Pray that I will be a blessing to him, and that everyone in that meeting room will see Jesus, our King.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Life With the King

Leviticus 26:11-13
I will live among you, and I will not despise you. I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people. I, the LORD, am your God, who brought you from the land of Egypt so you would no longer be slaves. I have lifted the yoke of slavery from your neck so you can walk free with your heads held high. NLT

O Holy One,
I’m still mesmerized by Your greatness! Your power has left me speechless. Your love has taken my breath away. I’m awestruck by Your mercy and justice. Though You are preeminent and transcendent beyond my comprehension, I marvel at Your immanency. I’m flabbergasted that someone with Your prominence and power would leave the Celestial City to live with me.

Did I hear You correctly, Holy God who rules the universe? You will not despise me? You will walk with me? You will be my God? I will belong to You? It’s unfathomable that someone in Your eminent position would accept and adopt a beat up, burned out, unkempt ragamuffin like me. Yet, by Your grace, You invited me to live with You. Bringing me in from the dirty, noisy, sinful streets, You placed me right in the middle of Your royal family with everyone else who doesn’t deserve to be there. That’s amazing!

I cherish the distinguished position You’ve given me. Knowing that I’m loved by the greatest King of all time, I no longer have to hang my head in shame. Walking with poise and dignity, I’m free to follow You all of my days because I believe Your precious promises. Jesus, You are my King. Amen.

Do you believe the promises from the mouth of God? They’re His gift to you. Write them on the tablet of your heart and remember them! It is imperative to believe the words of the King more than you believe anything else.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Married Without Shame

Isaiah 54:4-5
“Fear not; you will no longer live in shame. The shame of your youth and the sorrows of widowhood will be remembered no more, for your Creator will be your husband. The Lord Almighty is his name! He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of all the earth. NLT

Holy One of Israel,
My Creator and Redeemer,
Lord Almighty,
God of all the earth,
In reverent awe of who You are, I quietly come to You, just as I am – blind, naked, and poor; dirty, unattractive and lame; exhausted, anxious and embarrassed. I’m unfit to appear before the King of kings and Lord of lords. I come by faith, expecting to receive a miracle makeover.

Graciously, You extend Your compassion and mighty hand to touch me and take away my shame. With a stroke of Your greatness You forgive and forget all that I’ve ever done. My grief is gone because my mistakes no longer define me.

Not only do You take away my indignity, You do the utterly inconceivable – You choose to love and marry me despite my past. United with You in holy Oneness, nothing can separate us. I belong to You. As Your cherished friend, You create an atmosphere of security where I can dwell and flourish. Meditating on the loving promises from Your mouth, my Bible, You change my mundane existence into glorious living color. The sweetness of Your transforming love makes my heart flutter.

I’m delighted that I no longer have to be afraid or ashamed. I’ll never again be disappointed or discouraged as long as I trust You, my Bridegroom, more than anyone else. O Holy One, please give me more faith to believe You because You are the only true Lover of My Soul. Amen.

Does shame define you? Do you live in fear of your reputation? If so I encourage you to meditate on the loving promises from the mouth of God. Do you hear what He’s saying to you in these Scriptures?

From the above Scripture, write down His amazing promises; ponder them until they penetrate your heart. They are His precious gift to you.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Learning to Fear the Lord

Psalm 34: 9, 11
Let the LORD's people show him reverence,for those who honor him will have all they need.
Come, my children, and listen to me, and I will teach you to fear the LORD. NLT

Holy One of Israel,
With all due respect I come to You, bowing down before Your majesty. Silently, I gaze upon Your mysterious, glorious presence. Approaching Your throne, with overwhelming gratitude I‘m certain that You’ll teach me to love and respect You. It is an incredible privilege to sit under Your divine instruction. Please give me a tender heart, a teachable spirit, and a yielded will to learn to properly honor and revere You above every other person or thing that exists.

Admittedly, I’d prefer to learn in a comfortable, pleasant setting, but because of Who You are, I’m willing to attend the classroom of Your choice even if the conditions are rough and harsh. You know the best place to impart wisdom on me. Using the Holy Bible as my textbook, I’ll learn of Your inconceivable love and Your holy anger. I’ll understand that while You’re compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love, You also punish the guilty. Love and justice are both expressions of Your holiness that I need to be familiar with.

O wise and wonderful Teacher, tune my ears to listen amidst all the commotion and confusion going on around me. Help me to remain poised and focused on the importance of each perfectly planned lesson. Empower me to tirelessly study Your Words every day of my life. Write them as notes on my heart so that I’ll remember them through life’s challenging tests. Above all, may I always keep in mind, that You are and have the Only right answer, JESUS. As I grow by grace, in the knowledge of Your holiness, I’ll be eager to do Your will, Your way because I am respectfully Yours. Amen.

Consistent Bible reading is a tough assignment! You may need help with it. Ask someone to pray for you. Get a “study buddy” – a brother or sister you can meet with regularly to share the lessons you’re learning in the classroom of your heart. In doing so, you’ll be praising and honoring your holy God, blessing one another, and inspiring each other to persevere through the difficult tests.

Reverence is much more than sitting quietly in church, it includes doing God’s will His way.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pleasing People

John 12:42-43
Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God. NIV

Eternal and Righteous God,
Thank You for opening the eyes of my heart to see my faults and shortcomings. Have mercy on me! I’m as guilty as the legalist Jewish leaders of the early church. I call myself a Christian in my heart, but am afraid to admit it in front of people. I too, love the praise of man more than praise from You. The truth is, I rarely think of pleasing You.

Frightened of losing my prestigious place in the community, I temporarily hide my faith in the closet where I can conveniently access it when I need it during a crisis. People might think I’m a fool, ignoring and criticizing me, if I admit I’m Your follower, so I conceal it. I want to be liked and respected by everyone. A people pleaser, I’m too scared of ridicule to stand out and publicly acknowledge the great distance You went and the exorbitant price You paid to save me. Forgive me, O God for I have sinned against You.

I refuse to speak up, terrorized by the thought that I won’t communicate clearly and will look stupid before my family and friends. I fear being rejected by them more than I fear eternal separation from You. I admit that I’m a coward and plead with You to pardon me for being more concerned with what others will think of me than about disobeying, dishonoring, and disrespecting You.

O Lord, will you kindly change my timid heart? Fill me with fresh power to boldly proclaim the Way, the Truth and the Life right where You’ve placed me even if it means I’ll offend someone. You’re not interested in my popularity; You’re concerned about rescuing dead and decomposing lives buried beneath the rubble of sin and shame. Whenever I open my mouth to speak, please give me the right words to confidently communicate the message of Your amazing love. O Lord, help me to get my eyes off myself and love others enough to risk my life and reputation to save them for the glory of Your name. Amen.

Are you like me, afraid to share your faith for fear of rejection and ridicule from family and friends? If so, Jesus has some strong words for us: "If anyone acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will openly acknowledge that person before my Father in heaven. But if anyone denies me here on earth, I will deny that person before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33 NLT

Jesus stood in stark contrast to this Pharisaic concern. He did not show favoritism; instead he reached out to male and female, rich and poor, and all races and ages. His teaching was not done by first taking a poll of what was popular; instead, he spoke truth that was often unpopular but could penetrate the heart. – Ed Welch, When People Are Big and God Is Small

Friday, October 19, 2007

God's Handiwork

Psalm 8:3-6
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beingsand crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him ruler over the works of your hands

O Lord my God, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! The poet who wrote these verses years ago was properly dazzled by the night sky; however, if he could have looked through the Hubble Telescope for a scant ten minutes he would have undoubtedly fainted in wonderment. Even with our biggest and best telescopes directed at the stars that are billions upon trillions of miles away, we still can’t see the outermost edge of the universe. It’s mind-boggling to consider the cosmos as Your handiwork! I stand in reverent awe of Your enormous creativity.

What is man that You care so much for him? Compared to the cosmic galaxies, man is minuscule. Compared to You, we are nothing. If there is anything more stunning than the sheer scale and splendor of the universe, it’s the revelation that in all of Your greatness, we really do matter. It’s bewildering that You made us in Your image, crowning us with glory and honor. Though we’re nothing in contrast to the magnificent magnitude of creation, we’re extraordinarily valuable because we carry the signature of our Heavenly Designer. Because of our great worth in Your sight, You’ve assigned us the awesome responsibility of taking care of Your wonderful works.

Please dear Lord, give me a deeper understanding of who You are as the Divine Artist of the universe. Balance it with a healthy, humble view of myself as Your valued curator. With an accurate perception, I’ll worship You rather than the works of Your hands. Appropriate insight, will make me more cognizant and appreciative of Your gloriously brilliant works of art. Mindful of Your priceless creation, I’ll protect it, display it, and love it in honor of Your holy and majestic name, O Lord. Amen.

To respect God’s majesty we must compare ourselves to His greatness. When we look at creation: the cosmic galaxy, mighty mountains, or titanic ocean we feel small. To feel small is a healthy way to get back to the reality that God is big and people are little. Humility, however, means proper respect for God, not self-worthlessness and self-depreciation.

God considers us highly valuable. He has chosen us to be the crown of His creation. He has entrusted us with His fine art. How do you treat God’s creation? Use your resources wisely because He holds you accountable for your stewardship.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Gaze of God

Proverbs 29:25
Fearing people is a dangerous trap,
but to trust the LORD means safety.

Psalm 33:18
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love.

Great God Almighty,
You are bigger than my feeble mind can imagine. From Your majestic throne in the lofty skies, You look around at all the people You’ve made, watching over everything we do. You know us personally, deeply and intimately because You shaped each one of us with Your hands. As Your treasured possessions, You’ve promised us a prominent place in Your kingdom where we’ll live safely and happily ever after.

With this heavenly hope, why, O God, am I so consumed with fear of what people will think of or do to me? Forgive me for seeing people as “bigger” than You. Have mercy on me for allowing people to rule over me, giving them the right to tell me what to think, feel and do. Afraid of their thoughts and opinions, fearful that they will see my flaws and failures; I hide behind thick walls built with money, accomplishments, and busyness. Deep within my heart, I want to be perceived as great at something!

I’m sorry Lord for fearing the eyes of other people when the gaze I ought to fear is Your holy gaze. O Lord, You know everything about me. You have searched my heart. There’s no hiding anything from You. You know when I stand up or sit, when I come in or go out. I’m never, ever out of the sight of Your penetrating holy gaze. Therefore, I should tremble in fear of You, and Your holy judgment. When Your Word convicts me of wrongdoing and I confess my mistakes, You’ll pardon me generously. Entering the safety of Your presence, You promise to make me holy and unashamed by covering me with the blood of Your dear Son, Jesus Christ.

Please help me stay away from the dangerous trap set by man. O Lord, will You kindly give me a fresh perspective of who You are and who I am in You so that I can confidently live my life authentically before You and others? Please let my heart brim over with contagious joy as I step out from behind the wall of shame to claim the beauty of Your own holy name. Amen.

How is your private life different from your public life? Are you hiding behind a wall of shame; afraid of what other people will see in you? I encourage you to come out in the open, talk to God in the light of His Word, and admit your weaknesses. Entering into the safety of His presence, He will cover all your past, present, and future flaws and failures with blood of His own dear Son.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Battle's Won

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.

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

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

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Conquer Your Fears

Romans 8:35-39
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Lord of Love,
I come to You seeking mercy and grace. Forgive me for fearing man. Please drive out my fears in the name of Jesus, Your Son. Every day I worry about what others will think of me, say about me, and do to me. I’m concerned that they will kill my ambitions, hopes, and dreams. Frightened of man’s condemnation, I live in constant apprehension. Paralyzed by fear, I’m tentative to open my mouth and speak for You. I’m sorry, Jesus.

Today, I’m claiming the truth! Your love drives out fear. You didn’t give me a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of love, power and sound mind. With Your Spirit living in me, I have no reason to worry. You and You alone are the Ultimate Judge. In Your Supreme Court, I’m already declared innocent and spared eternal punishment. Thank You, Jesus.

Nothing anyone thinks, says or does can separate me from You. From this day forward, I’m choosing to focus on Your perfect love living in me. Relying on it, I will conquer my fears. Please dear Lord, quiet my heart and give me confidence to trust in Your perfect love for the glory of Your name. Amen.

Do you worry about what others will think of you, say about you, or do to you? Do you live apprehensively as a people-pleaser? Resolve your fears by focusing on God’s endless love. Then, allow Him to love others through you.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pluged Into Power

Romans 7:4, 6
So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

Jesus, Lover of my soul, it’s an honor to be united and living with You, the most powerful King of heaven and earth. Connected to You, I’m filled with love, strength and a clear mind. I’m coupled with the same power source that raised You from the dead. Wow!

Joined with You, I can selflessly serve others sweet fruit …
I can love the unlovable, forgive the unforgivable, and approach the unapproachable, only by Your power
I can smile when I feel like frowning, only by Your power
I can lay down my harmful weapons and be a peacemaker, only by Your power
I can endure difficulties without condemnation, only by Your power
I can show kindness to the least, the lost and the last, only by Your power
I can do good deeds, only by Your power
I can trust You, believing You’re sufficient to meet all my needs, only by Your power
I can put on a gentle, quiet, humble heart only by Your power
I can exercise self-control, self-discipline, and a sound mind, only by Your power

Please dear Lord, attach me securely to You today so that I can serve You with all my heart at any time, in any place, and any situation in the power of Jesus, Risen Lord, for Your pleasure and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Are you plugged into the power that will enable you to bear sweet fruit and serve others selflessly? Find someone – the least, the last or the lost – to serve in the power of the Holy Spirit today.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Autumn's Reflection

Psalm 104:1
O LORD my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

O Lord, You are incredibly awesome! Wrapped in an elegant garment of brilliant light, You are dressed in golden splendor and sparkling majesty. You stretch out the skies like an unending tent over the entire universe. You send glimmering rays from heaven to glisten on the water. A blazing Holy Spirit Wildfire ignites hearts and souls with Your glory.

As the brisk breeze blows puffy white clouds, You ride them like Your chariots. The winds are Your messenger. Sometimes they quietly whisper, rustling the colorful autumn leaves. Other times they’re a thunderous roar rebuking raging rivers into the ravines.

You are an amazingly sophisticated artist. You’ve wisely designed day and night, land and sea, plants and animals, man and woman, each with a unique purpose for Your pleasure. The earth is full of Your glorious goodness.

How many are Your works O Lord! Your glory endures forever! When I look on the magnificent high, jagged peaks rising abruptly from the flat valley, I am captivated by Your wonderful creativity. Gazing upon spectacular splashing waves suddenly lifting from the deep sea, I am spellbound by Your splendid beauty. Seeing You as You truly are, my only response is to exalt You in the beauty of Your holiness and sing praises to my Creator King. Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, all thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea! Amen.

Take a walk through nature and worship the ground you walk on. It’s God’s private property.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Autumn's Glory

Hebrews 1:3
Christ is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature. (ESV)

O Glorious Lord,Thank You for autumn, the wondrous time of year when You naturally display Your radiant glory. The joyous explosion of color that bursts over the landscape breathes life into my soul. Blazing, multi-colored palettes of fall foliage are a spectacular backdrop for Your jaw-dropping beauty. You are the exact imprint of the stunning vistas that mesmerize me.
As I spend time in Your nature, open the eyes of my heart and enlighten my mind to see the glory of Jesus. Forgive me for the excessive attention I pay to insignificant people and things. Have mercy on me for Christ’s sake. Complete the fascinating design You began in me. Make me a showcase to display the magnificent, splendid, wonderful glory of Your grace.
Shine the light of the Gospel into my heart. Set me ablaze like the fall foliage as I focus clearly on Your glorious face. Transform me into Your brilliant, majestic, beautiful image. My blessed hope is in the day when I'll perfectly radiate Your glory because of Jesus. Amen.

When I ponder autumn’s beauty, I’m acutely aware that it is exceedingly more beautiful than me. I’m deeply moved and humbled. By nature, I do not live beautifully. My heart is too often consumed with concern about my glory rather than God’s. This revelation through God’s gloriously beautiful creation helps me keep things in perspective: God is BIG and beautiful. People are significantly smaller and less attractive.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Shriveled Leaves

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Eternal Word

1 Peter 1: 24-25
"All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.

The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the LORD blows on them.
Surely the people are grass.

The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever."

Glorious One,Thank You for the beautiful lessons of autumn. With a gentle breath from heaven the dry, yellowed grasses wave impassively in the chilly fall air. The leaves, while glistening with dazzling colors, begin to crackle and drop from their branches, blowing here and there. The pretty pallet of posies that peeked in my window all summer has long since faded. As I reflect on the sights of the season, I’m reminded that life is short. Like the flowers, fame and fortune will fade. Good health will eventually wilt and wither. Beauty will flee like the falling leaves.

Only Your Word lasts forever. Your perfect promises are the same today as they were yesterday, and will be tomorrow. I’ve got to stop looking to people and possessions for pleasure. They could perish in a heartbeat leaving me disappointed and disillusioned. Instead, I need to focus on the power of Your everlasting promises. They are altogether trustworthy and all that I need to live happily ever after in the beautiful kingdom of heaven. Eternal glory is Yours because of Jesus. Amen.

Take a fresh look at the sights of autumn. Life too is fleeting. How will you spend it?
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Monday, October 08, 2007

Disturbing the Peace

Romans 16:17-20
I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

O Wise and Knowledgeable God,
You are exalted in power and perfect in knowledge. There is no teacher like You. At the Living Word Academy held in the classroom of my heart, I begin to understand the mysteries of Your Will. I learn to differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad, fact and fiction. With the Holy Spirit as my teacher, and the Holy Bible as my textbook, I learn that You are altogether authentic, totally truthful, and really reliable.

Lord, I just need more knowledge of Your Holy Bible so that I can apply the Truth to all situations and circumstances in the laboratory of life. Proud people will try to disturb my peace by planting poisonous seeds in the soil of my soul. Subtly, they’ll distort the facts by telling cleverly invented stories. Cunningly, they’ll deflate one point while inflating another. Devious professionals will convincingly entrance me with demonic illusions. They’ll deceptively water down Your Word with smooth talk and flattery. If I feed the seeds they plant, division and dissension will sprout.

Your Word clearly and concisely counsels me to avoid them! By Your grace I will joyfully obey. If I pay attention in class and diligently study Your Word, it will leap to life preventing the seeds of deceit from sprouting in my soul. Please dear Lord, be gracious to me. Teach me good judgment to distinguish between truth and lies. With my heart set on You, the problems and pressures that are pounding me will soon be replaced with perfect peace. God of grace be with me today, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Do you know God’s Word well enough to separate fact from fiction? I encourage you to spend time in the classroom of your heart, learning all you can about the Truth, so that no one will disturb your peace of heart and mind.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Worship the King

Psalm 95:1-7
Come, let us sing to the LORD!
Let us give a joyous shout to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come before him with thanksgiving.
Let us sing him psalms of praise.
For the LORD is a great God,
the great King above all gods.
He owns the depths of the earth,
and even the mightiest mountains are his.
The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
His hands formed the dry land, too.
Come, let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before the LORD our maker,
for he is our God. NLT

Lord, You are a great and awesome God! You are King of kings! Maker of mighty mountains and surging seas! Owner of the depths of the earth and lofty skies! You rule and reign from heaven on high!

In reverent awe, I come just as I am, humble, meek, and poor, to worship You in the splendor of Your sovereignty. I’m not worthy to climb the mighty majestic mountain into Your presence. I can’t stand on this holy ground without purifying my heart. With a clear conscience, I’ll enter the beauty of Your holiness to adore You with deep devotion.

Because Your precious Son bought me with His priceless blood, I’ll come before You with thanksgiving exalting You above the heavens. Seeing Your radiant face, I’ll kneel before Your throne and anoint Your feet with the sweet aroma of joyful praise.

With my hands, I’ll extol You. With my lips, I’ll lift You up. With my feet, I’ll serve You. With my tongue, I’ll sing of Your unfailing love and faithfulness. Gladly, I’ll give my life to You in worship. Please receive my humble sacrifice of praise because I love and adore You above all, my great God and King. Alleluia. Amen.

Prepare your heart for corporate worship by focusing on God’s reverence. Then, go in awe of Him and be blessed!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Expanded View

Romans 11: 33-36
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?" "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?" For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Wise and Knowledgeable King,
Please expand my view of You. From afar, You are an intriguing blip on the horizon. Reduced by distance, You are too manageable to be marvelous and too small to be significant. However, as I come closer, I am absolutely astonished by the vast view of who You are and what You have done for me.

I marvel at Your extravagance and generosity
I’m awestruck by Your wisdom and knowledge
I’m mesmerized by the hidden treasures in Your Word
I wonder at Your pathways that are too complex to chart
I’m amazed at Your never-ending brilliant mind
I’m captivated with Your constant rightness
I’m stunned at Your unlimited resources

Up close I can see and experience You as the Creator of everything. I can touch the power that makes all things exist. I can be certain that You intend all things for Your glory. Please dear Lord, draw me closer and keep expanding my view of You. I want to be obviously caught-up in knowing You deeply. As my view of You becomes greater, my view of my man will become smaller. Rather than living to please people, in view of Your grace and mercy I will passionately pursue a purposeful life pleasing to You. I will praise and adore You now and forever more. Amen.

What is your view of God? Do you see Him from a distance and unapproachable, or up close and touchable? Walk nearer to Him and He will expand Your view. One thing I see when I come nearer to God is ________________________________.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Depth of Love

Ephesians 3:14-19
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

I kneel before You Father astonished by the rich gifts You’ve lavished on me: the family name, the family image and the family fortune. Being chosen and adopted into Your family is the highest honor and greatest privilege I’ll ever receive. Nothing else will ever come close.

Today I’m claiming the priceless family promise of power to change the way I think and perceive myself. You don’t see me the way I see myself: unattractive, unworthy, and unlovable. You see me as Your beloved child. Please give me faith to believe and power to grasp:

The width of Your love: wide enough to reach the whole wide world, while also touching the homosexual, the prostitute, the adulterer, the murderer, the addict, the abuser, the abused, the obsessed, the rich, the poor and much wider than I can imagine.

The length of Your love: long enough to cover my entire life, longer than my rebellion, hatefulness, apathy, arrogance, ignorance, and much longer than I can visualize.

The depth of Your love: deep enough to feel my severely broken heart that no one else understands, deeper than my insecurities and fears, and still deeper than I could ever dream.

The height of Your love: high enough to stretch from heaven to earth to show me the way to all Your hidden treasures and higher than my simple mind can possibly understand.

Father, if I could comprehend and claim Your limitless love, then I’d look to You and You alone for love. I’d stop seeking approval from my parents, spouse, children, and friends. I wouldn’t fill my life with trinkets and treasures. I’d no longer crave the desires and lifestyle that once held me captive. I’d long for You and You alone.

Dear Lord, please fill me to overflowing with the inexhaustible love of Jesus today. With all my heart, I want to receive and accept the infinite love You bestow on Your children for the glory of Your name forever and ever. Amen.

Have you received and accepted God’s lavish gift of love, promised to His children? He’s not waiting for you to be perfect. It’s yours to claim today, just as you are. If you don’t feel worthy of accepting it, please pray and ask Him to give you the power to accept it. It’s a life changing gift.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Believing God

Hebrews 11: 1, 6
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 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.

Great God in Heaven~
You are the One and Only True and Living God~
You are King of kings, Lord of lords, God of gods~
There is none like You. Ruler of heaven and earth, all authority submits to You. You’re the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Just as You empowered, prospered, and protected Noah, Abraham, and Moses, You will empower, prosper, and protect me. Just as You directed and led Joshua, Gideon and David, You will direct and lead me. By studying Your Ancient Words, and paying attention in the classroom of my heart, I’ve learned that You’re always trustworthy and faithful. Though I haven’t seen You with my physical eyes, I’ve seen You with the eyes of my heart. I’m absolutely sure You are who You say You are, and will do what You say You will do. I’m certain You have a special plan for my life that involves something bigger than I can imagine; something only You can do.

Please dear Lord, give me faith to trust You to lead and guide me through tough times and rough terrain to the promised land of prosperity. Based on history, I’ll confidently expect a breathtaking surprise around frightening bends and unfamiliar borders. Earnestly, I’ll follow You up the steep peaks of pressure and down the slippery slopes of uncertainty. Please take away my anxiety and fear so that I can enjoy the exhilarating, exciting escapade that leads to rich rewards. With all my heart I want to please You by passionately pursuing You wherever You go. Please bless me today because I believe in the power of Your name. Amen.

How do you know that God exists? What one adjustment will you make in your life to pursue Him today? He promises to reward those who earnestly seek Him.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Stumbling Blocks

Luke 17:1-3
Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves.”

O Lord My God,
Have mercy on me! Increase my faith and change me from the inside out! Search my heart and reveal my weaknesses so that I can be on guard against sin. Because we live in a fallen world surrounded by all sorts of evil and temptation we’re bound to stumble and fall. Sometimes I’ll set-up the obstacle, other times I’ll trip over it.

O righteous God who searches hearts and minds, search me and point out any offensive way in me. Shine Your light on my heart and reveal my weaknesses and vulnerabilities so that I’ll notice the obstructions in front of me. With eyes wide open I’ll avoid the dangerous pitfalls that I’m most likely to plunge into.

Where I’m strong give me grace to be sensitive to my surroundings so that I won’t hinder others. Show me the weaknesses and susceptibility of my family and friends. Aware of the difficulties that cause them problems, I’ll practice love, patience and self-restraint. Woe to me if I cause someone to fall! I’d be better off dead!

Please cover me with humility, kindness and love to stand firm in all situations. I long to please You and glorify our family name. Amen.

Your faith is strong in an area if you can survive contact with sinners without being shaped into their image. It is weak in an area if you must avoid an activity in order to protect yourself from falling. Whenever in doubt, ask yourself: “Can I do it without sinning? Will my attitudes and actions influence others for the good?”

Identify your strengths and weaknesses. One thing I will do today is ____________________ (action) in order to prevent ______________________ (name of a person) from stumbling.

One thing I will do today is stop nagging in order to prevent my child from stumbling. (My constant badgering annoys him and causes dissension in our family.)