Friday, October 31, 2008

Listen Carefully

Psalm 85:8-9
I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying,
for he speaks peace to his faithful people.
But let them not return to their foolish ways.
Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
so our land will be filled with his glory. NLT

Amazing, Loving, Wonderful King,
You are beautiful beyond description! You display Your brilliance and glory radiantly in the rich colors of creation. Even though we ignore You, You faithfully bless us with Your prosperous presence each day. You’re right where You’ve always been, doing what You’ve always done, creating spectacular miracle moments from heaven on high.

If we would just look up to You, acknowledge Your greatness, and admit our stupidity, You’d forgive the awful things we’ve done. Lovingly, You’d rescue us from death and destruction. You’d revive our stone-cold hearts with Your precious blood, giving us a fresh new start. Gladly, You’d restore our laughter.

God of Help, I’m concerned for the impotent church that desires to reach lost people with pleasant programs and plans that exclude the Truth. If we want to live in the prosperity of Your presence, we must diligently study Your Holy Word, paying careful attention to what You say when we open our Bibles each day. Listening to You, we’ll know right from wrong, never having to live foolishly again. Accepting and respecting Your authority, love and loyalty will miraculously come together. Goodness will bond with peace and our great land will be inexplicably blessed with everlasting happiness. Our vividly changed lives will spectacularly display Your brilliance and glory because of Jesus. Amen.

Pray for revival in the church, and let it begin with you. Study God’s Word daily so that you will know the Truth and obey it. Choose to live differently, wisely, brilliantly, according to God’s Word so the His glory will shine through you, drawing others to Him like the rich colors of creation.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rejected Law

Romans 1:21, 28-32
Although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

King of Creation,
Your invisible qualities have been clearly seen since the beginning of time. The heavens proclaim Your perfect nature. The skies display Your brilliant handy work. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make You known. Even though their voice is never heard their message has moved through the whole world and their words to the ends of the earth. Everyone everywhere sees Your glory. There’s no excuse for not knowing You! You, O God, deserve our praise forever and ever!

Even though we know You perfectly well, we fail to accept and worship You as the One and Only True God. We pretend to know it all, but are really quite stupid. Foolishly, we’ve traded Your prosperous, pristine beauty for worthless, tarnished trash. We’ve shrouded the Truth with wicked lies.

Pornography, homosexuality, and adultery have become acceptable standards. We tolerate the killing of unborn babies, while viciously fighting to save wild animals. We cry out, "God bless America", but we’ve removed You from the classroom, the courtroom and the currency. We deny Your intelligent design, deliberately, spitting in Your face, as we invent new ways to ruin the rich life You intended for us. We’re a nation full of senseless, faithless, heartless, and ruthless fools who expect blessing despite our defiant disobedience.

Something has gone terribly wrong! This isn’t the way You created it to be! Have mercy on us for disrespecting and desecrating your Holy Name, O God. There’s no fear of Your sacred laws or holy judgment. It’s a free for all world. Though Your Word is freely and readily available, it also freely and readily rejected. We’ve rebelled against You, our Creator, and we don’t deserve to live.

I’m thankful that Your Word convicts me of my wrong beliefs and behaviors. I want to relinquish my tarnished treasures in order to live happily in your beautiful, prosperous presence. By Your strength that’s within me, change the desires of my heart and mind. With all due respect, I'll love and obey You, bringing honor to Your perfect nature, Jesus, my Creator King. Amen.

Will you acknowledge and cry out to God for the sin of our nation today? Will you pray for changed hearts and transformed minds? Will you admit and turn from your own wicked ways?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Extreme Faithfulness

Zephaniah 3:1-5
How terrible it will be for rebellious, polluted Jerusalem, the city of violence and crime. It proudly refuses to listen even to the voice of the LORD. No one can tell it anything; it refuses all correction. It does not trust in the LORD or draw near to its God.

Its leaders are like roaring lions hunting for their victims--out for everything they can get. Its judges are like ravenous wolves at evening time, who by dawn have left no trace of their prey. Its prophets are arrogant liars seeking their own gain. Its priests defile the Temple by disobeying God's laws. But the LORD is still there in the city, and he does no wrong. Day by day his justice is more evident, but no one takes notice--the wicked know no shame.

My Forever Faithful King,
You are an amazing word artist. Your illustration of ancient Israel is strikingly similar to our disgusting, corrupt and unruly world today. Violence and crime permeate the whole earth. No place is sacred, clean or safe. Rebellious self-righteous leaders refuse to acknowledge Your Highness. They won’t listen to Your wise counsel. Pompous and proud, they ignore You.

Like rapacious lions waiting to pounce the most vulnerable prey, leaders are using their influential positions to pad their pockets while plundering the poor. Judges behave like voracious wolves ready to rip apart Your Sacred Laws like a fresh carcass, leaving barely a trace of Your divinity. Everywhere false prophets are twisting the truth, attempting to capitalize on their sweet sounding lies. It’s difficult to know who to trust. Even our preachers desecrate Your Sanctuary by using Your Holy Word as a weapon to maim and kill souls.

Lord, I just want to cry when I think about the mess we’ve made of Your beautiful land! We accuse You of failing to protect us when bad things happen, but in reality we haven’t heeded Your warnings. Not much has changed since the ancient days.

O Sovereign God, the one thing that makes my soul leap for joy in the midst of the current chaos and confusion is that You’re smack-dab in the middle of it with us. Man hasn’t changed and neither have You. Immersed in modern culture, You’re just as holy, righteous and sovereign as You were in the Beginning. You’ve never made a mistake and You’ve never failed. Consistently, day after day, for thousands of Years, You’ve patiently and lovingly pardoned countless people, saving them from death and destruction. Yet, wicked men and women without conscience or shame persist in evil. O Lord, how much longer will You tolerate us?

Please give me a deeper desire to walk humbly with You. Quiet my raging soul so that I’ll hear Your sweet voice rejoicing when I choose to do what is right in this counter-Christian culture. Until You come to take me home, Lord, make me an everlasting witness of Your amazing love and extravagant grace to a wicked watching world because of Jesus. Amen.

As a nation, America has turned away from the One and Only Living God and become a rebellious, corrupt country –full of contempt, violence, and greed. It proudly refuses to listen to the voice of the LORD. Defiant, it refuses all correction. It does not trust in the LORD or draw near to God.

Its leaders are like roaring lions hunting for their victims--out for everything they can get. Its judges are like ravenous wolves at evening time, who by dawn have left no trace of their prey. Its proud preachers are arrogant liars seeking their own gain. But thank God, He is still here. His Word says so.

Pray that God will not give our nation the leader we deserve in this upcoming election.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

In the End: Be Blameless

1 Thessalonians 3:12-13, 4:7
May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.

For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.

Holy Lord,
I must constantly remind myself that You’re the perfect Model of holiness. You’re more loving and powerful than I can possibly imagine. I marvel at the beautiful new life You’ve given me. It’s Your plan to make me exactly like Your own dear Son. Please enlarge my heart with more of Your love. Strengthen me with Your almighty power so that I’ll be scrupulous and blessed in Your pristine presence.

Full of Your amazing love and great power, my lips that once spewed angry, hateful, filthy language will now sing lovely songs of praise and thanksgiving. My mouth that once deceived will now declare the truth. My tongue that ceaselessly complained, will gratefully compliment. My lustful eyes that used to notice attractive people, will now compassionately see the problems and potential of others. My ears that listened to the pressure of people will now tremble at the sound of Your voice. My hands that were once busy building wealth, will instead build rich relationships. Please continuously replace my greedy desires with generosity and contentment. Then, when You ride in on the chariot of clouds with all Your holy ones, I will be ready to greet You.

O Lord, let the sweetness of Your excessive love flow out of me onto a hemorrhaging world. Even when my own pain is excruciating, with my eyes focused on Your holiness, I’ll emanate joy. In times of crisis and conflict peace will exude me. Let my words and actions be an angelic love song that draws others to Your healing and holy presence. In my life Lord be glorified for Your namesake. Amen.

If Christ rides in on the clouds with all His holy ones today, would you be ready? Pay attention to your words and actions. Do they epitomize holiness? Look for an opportunity to express God’s love to someone, even if you yourself are being squeezed.

God’s purpose is not simply to make us beautiful, plump grapes, but to make us grapes so that He may squeeze the sweetness out of us. - Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest

Monday, October 27, 2008

In the End: Be Holy

1 Peter 1:15-16
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy.”

Blessed King,
Approaching Your divine throne, with overwhelming gratitude I’m captivated by Your holiness! Your presence is pristine and Your power is petrifying. Though You are preeminent and transcendent beyond my understanding, I marvel that You come close to me. Shrouded in Your beautiful love, I’m unable to speak. Your mercy and justice take my breath away.

The moment I heard Your voice and responded, I was adopted and accepted into Your beloved family. From the billions of people in the world You chose me to be a holy, pure and blameless ambassador, representing Your kingdom to a dark, desperate and hurting world. Out of deep love and gratitude, I’ll respectfully submit to Your authority by obeying Your commands. When You suddenly sweep in on the clouds, I want You to find me holy as You are holy.

Please help me to take time to be holy each day. The more time I spend silently in Your company, and actively in Your classroom, the more I’ll become like You. As I peruse my Bible and pray, look deep into my heart. Teach me and test me. Scrutinize the words that flow from my mouth. Examine every one of my thoughts and motives. Show me anything that’s unpleasant to You. Gratefully, I’ll agree with You and change my ways for the praise and honor of Your glorious name. Amen.

God is the Model of all holiness. He is holy in all His ways. If we are to be like Him, we must be holy in all that we do and say. In this life we will never be as holy as He is, but we should strive to be holy because He is holy.

Isn’t it true that we tend to behave like those we associate with? Who are you hanging out with? Who does your behavior and attitude reflect? People will mimic the God whom they worship.

Friday, October 24, 2008

In the End: Don't Worry

1 Peter 4:7
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear-minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.

Matthew 6:25, 27
Jesus said, “I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

My Creator King,
You are Ruler of everything! Your name is renowned everywhere in all the world. Your majesty fills the universe! When I look at the heavens Your hands have made – the moon and stars set in place like brilliant diamonds in the sky – I wonder, “Why do You care about us humans who blaspheme Your name? Why are You so concerned about us weaklings?” Yet, You made us in Your image and crowned us with glory and honor, and let us rule over everything You’ve made – the birds in the air and the flowers in the fields.

Forgive us for our little faith! Times are turbulent and trusting You is tough as we watch our paychecks shrink and our savings shrivel. Naturally, we wonder how we’ll eat and clothe ourselves this winter. Yet, You who made us and love us, command us not to worry! You are right; we can’t add a single hour to our lives by worrying.

Lord, have mercy on us and help us to trust You day to day for our provision. Life is so much more than food and clothing. Now is the time to look at the birds. They don’t plant, harvest or horde stuff in a storage shed. They simply depend on You day to day, and You faithfully feed them. We are more valuable to You than birds!

Why worry about what we’ll wear? Look at the fabulous fall foliage! The trees, right now, are decked out and more dazzling than royal robes! They don’t work to make their appearance stunning. Your hand has clothed them splendidly! How much prettier will You dress us when we surrender our way to Your will?

Help me O Lord to keep my eyes on the sky and watch for You instead of worrying about what may not even happen. If I’m expecting You, I’ll let go of my fears and be at peace, knowing that You’ll give me everything I need today for the renown of Your majestic name. Amen.

Worry muddies our minds and prevents us from thinking clearly. It causes us to react irrationally inhibiting our self-control. With our eyes on our problems instead of God, our Creator, we’re unable to persistently pray as we ought, according to His will. Worrying hinders us from loving deeply and serving spontaneously in the midst of the whole money mess in the world.

Jesus taught this lesson immediately following His instruction on serving God and Money.

Admittedly, letting go and trusting God isn’t easy! But, with His help we are able. Pour out your anxious heart to God. Tell him that your mind is uneasy, and that anxiety is paralyzing your soul. Open your Bible and focus on His faithful provision in the past. Then, you will be well-fed and dressed appropriately for His return.

In the End: Love Deeply

1 Peter 4:8
The end of all things is near. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Matthew 6:14-15
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

O Father in Heaven,
With the rampant immorality and widespread left-wing liberalism in the world, how much longer will You wait before sending the Eternal King, Your Son, to rule and reign with righteousness over all the earth? I eagerly anticipate the day when the trumpet blares triumphantly and You come down from heaven and meet me in mid-air to take me home with You.

In the meantime, while I wait, prepare me for that glorious day! Reveal any bitterness or unforgiveness in my heart so that it won’t conceal the seal of Your Spirit on me. Break down the barriers of bitterness, and teach me to love others radically – the way You loved me. I will gladly give up my grudges for the priceless and promised peace of Your presence. When the rest of world is caught in the worrisome whirlwind that’s wrecking havoc with their lives, I want to be caught in the joy of Jesus who has covered my multitude of faults and failures.

Please dear Lord, prepare me for that glorious day by giving me Your heart of mercy and showing me who I need to forgive. With Your help, I will go in love, offering them the same gift of grace You’ve so generously given to me to bring glory, honor and praise to Your name. Alleluia! Amen.

Who do you need to love radically and offer the gift of grace in order to prepare for Christ’s glorious return? Don’t let a grudge cover the seal of His Spirit on your heart.

Jesus couldn’t be clearer: If you forgive people when they offend you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But, if you do not forgive people who have hurt you, your Father in heaven will not forgive your faults and failures. Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5:7)

I encourage you to take care of this serious business today, before it’s too late.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

In the End: Give Spontaneously

1 Peter 4: 10
The end of all things is near. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.

Matthew 6:1-4
"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

O Giver of Gifts,
Thank You for the wide array of talents You’ve given to people. As the day for Your return hastens, teach me to use my special abilities to mercifully minister to others. Whether I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, entertain strangers, encourage the sick, visit prisoners, comfort the worried, instruct the ignorant, correct the wrong-minded, or compliment the kindhearted, may I do it with a gentle and quiet spirit for the glory of the Gift Giver.

Your Word clearly warns me how to work in these last days. The world truly is a stage with a vast cast of animated characters publicly performing for the applause of people. The enthusiastic audience is enthralled by the ostentatious outward show, but You notice everything that goes on behind the scenes in hearts of each player and it does not please You. The praise and promotion of their faithful fans will be their pitiful prize instead of Paradise.

I believe You’re on Your way and will soon arrive on the scene, center stage, with rich everlasting rewards and recognition for everyone who has served You with a sincere and steadfast heart. From heaven, You’ve been watching every merciful act done out of the spotlight for Your glory. While I continue waiting, please open my eyes to see opportunities to secretly and spontaneously be a blessing. With my heart at attention, in adoration of You, I’ll generously give others the glorious grace You’ve lavished on me.

Not to me, O Lord, not to me, but to You be the glory, honor and praise forever and ever because of Your unfailing love and faithfulness. Alleluia! Amen.

Do not neglect the gifts God’s given you! Use them for His glory in these dark days. Find someone to lavish His grace on today. For being a blessing, You will receive a blessing. Go and give spontaneously.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In the End: Pray Persistently

1 Peter 4:7
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear-minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.

Matthew 6:5-8
Jesus said, "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Jesus, My Eternal King,
I know You are coming soon to reign over the earth! Your infallible Word says so, and tells me exactly how to prepare. I need to stay alert, remain calm, and pray when everything around me is spiraling out of control, and everyone around me is panicking. In You I will have peace and rest.

You even go as far as to tell me how to pray powerful and effective prayers. Instead of praying on a public platform where my reward will be the temporal praise of man, I need to go into solitary seclusion and just be still and sincere with You. I don’t need to inform You about how dismal things are. From Your perspective in Paradise You see the utter chaos and confusion. You know exactly what’s going on, and what I need to sustain me in these troubling times.

O Lord, prepare my heart for the days ahead. Teach me, by Your Spirit, to pour out my anxious heart, uneasy mind, and fearful soul to You. Help me to focus on You and Your priceless promises, instead of people and their worthless words. They will drag me into the pit of despair, but You, in Your goodness and mercy, will lift me up and reward me with inexplicable hope and happiness when I eagerly watch and wait for Your glorious return and everlasting reign. Alleluia! Amen.

Many of us are seeking advice about how to protect our assets and save our families from the pit of depression in what could be our last days here on earth. But, God never addresses those things in His Word. He tells us exactly how to protect our valuables (our hearts, minds and souls) and save our families. We need to prepare our hearts, stay calm, and remain on our knees! He is coming, and His reward will be with Him. (Revelation 22:12)

Pour out your anxious heart to God. Tell him that your mind is uneasy, and that your soul is paralyzed by fear. Open your Bible and focus on His promises. His love alone will dispel all your fears. (1 John 4:18)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Tough Choice

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

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

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

With all my heart, mind and soul, I want to love You more than status and stuff. Rather than being fascinated by wealth, I want to be mesmerized by all the magnificent riches of heaven. Captivate my mind with pure and clean thoughts. Clear thinking is priceless and will help me make right decisions in the dark days ahead. Fill my heart with precious peace and love so that I can calmly pour it out on people who are panicked and perplexed by their spiraling problems.

O Lord, thank You for the gift of glorious everlasting life. No amount of money can buy access to heaven, a peaceful mind or lively heart. Enthralled with You, I’ll authentically live a life of love by being generous, kind and altruistic at all times. Instead of chasing the almighty dollar, I choose to passionately pursue You, Jesus, the One and Only source of all blessings and happiness now and forever. Amen.

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

I encourage you, in these dark days of uncertainty, to read your Bible, pray earnestly, and think about what really matters: God.

Monday, October 20, 2008

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? We are certainly living in tumultuous times. Fear is everywhere – the global economy, the presidential election, and widespread war are a few. Resolve your fears by focusing on God’s endless love. Then, allow Him to love others through you.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Plugged 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 words that are 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.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Autumn Reflections

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.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Autumn Glory

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

2 Corinthians 3:18
All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him. (MSG)

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.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

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.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

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?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Life's Last Contest

Hebrews 10:35-38
Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while,
"He who is coming will come and will not delay.
But my righteous one will live by faith.
And if he shrinks back,
I will not be pleased with him."

King of Eternity,
You are Lord of my heart! I know that soon, and possibly quite soon, You are coming back, and that makes my heart want to sing: “Hosanna! Glory to the King of kings!”

Lord, as the days become increasingly darker and pitch black with terror, prepare me to enter the final round of life’s last contest. When I can’t see through the gloom and doom please give me courage and confidence to stand my ground! I know my stuff, and I know YOU. Don’t let me shrink back in fear or throw away my faith just before Satan is forever vanquished. Help me to:

Draw nearer to You with an honest heart fully trusting that my guilty conscience has been sprinkled with Christ’s precious blood, and I’ve been made right and ready to hail Your glorious entrance. (10:22)

Hold on tightly without wavering to the blessed hope of heaven, expecting You to keep Your promise. (10:23)

Think of creative ways to love others and do good deeds, and motivate others to do the same. (10:24)

Frequently spend time with other believers for encouragement and endurance, especially now that the day of Your return seems so imminent. (10:25)

By doing the right things, I will have nothing fear or dread because I’ll remember that beautiful blessings wait for me. You are absolutely sincere and will richly reward me for waiting through the tribulation. With a wink of the eye, You’ll whisk me away in the wind, taking me to the home I’ve always longed for. Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest! Amen.

Are you ready for the final round of life’s last contest? Soon, and possibly quite soon Jesus will suddenly show up on the scene. Hebrews 10: 22-38 tells us exactly how to prepare. I encourage you to be ready!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Psalm 2:1-2
Why do the nations conspire
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth take their stand
and the rulers gather together
against the LORD
and against his Anointed One.

Sovereign Lord who made the galaxies and grasslands; the ocean and every organism, You spoke through the mouth of David thousands of years ago words that permeate my mind in this present age:

Why do the nations conspire
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth take their stand
and the rulers gather together
against the LORD
and against his Anointed One.

While Herod Antipas and Pontius Pilate, the Gentiles and the people of Israel plotted against Your Son, the Holy One whom You anointed, and Hitler and his henchmen hatched a horrific plan to annihilate the Jews whom You chose and blessed, they were only carrying out the plans you set in motion beforehand.

And, now the tyrants are at it again. Nations, under the domination of a fanatical group of radical Shiite Muslim clerics, have repeatedly expressed a desire to use nuclear weapons to wipe out the nation of Israel, and are on an accelerated course to build an atom bomb capable of incomprehensible destruction that will obliterate not only Israel, but also much of Europe.

Consider these threats, O Lord, and give Your faithful followers courageous confidence to compress our fears and do what we know is right during these terrifying times of conflict. Give us a holy boldness to sound the alarm and waken the sleeping Church. Surround our nation with an army of angels, and unite us in fervent prayer. Give our leaders godly wisdom as they face critical events in the weeks and months ahead.

Holy Spirit, swiftly sweep across the globe preparing hearts to accept Your Son and enter Your Kingdom before untold tragic events unfold. Change the hearts of ruthless leaders who wish to do harm to Your beloved people. O Lord, we urgently plead for the peace of Jerusalem through the name of Jesus, the King of the Jews, who will one day soon establish his eternal empire on earth forever and ever. Amen.

We are living in frighteningly dangerous times, and sadly most of the Church is complacent and indifferent, just as much of the world was ignorantly unresponsive while Hitler was exterminating millions of God’s people during World War II. Devastation is coming and most proclaimed Christians won’t know what hit them. Instead of experiencing God’s peace, they’ll experience sheer panic because they’re unprepared!

Prepare by reading the History Book, Your Bible, God’s Word. Repent, seek God’s face, and be proactive for the sake of righteousness. Above all let’s raise our voices together in prayer!

This Prayer Pal is based on the Believers Prayer in Acts 4:23-30

Monday, October 06, 2008

Trusting in Princes

Psalm 146:3-5
Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortal men, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God.

Governing God of the Universe,
I praise You with the harp of my heart, while my soul sings, “My God how great thou art.” You are the Maker of the sky and soil, the ocean and every organism in it. Forever faithful and true, You’re absolutely authentic, totally trustworthy, and completely dependable. You will always do what You say You will do.

So, why do we put our trust in activists who know nothing about “real” life to advocate for our quality of life? Why do we trust the government to scoop up billions of dollars in bad mortgages, made by our poor choices, to bail us out from beneath the financial flood? Why do we trust lobbyists and lawyers with liberal agendas to legislate laws that will lighten our load?

While the money we cherish and cling to for dear life is stamped “In God we trust,” we’ve stomped You right out of the picture, choosing instead to trust in the proud princes of Washington and Wall Street who operate self-centered programs based on personal gain and greed and can’t guarantee us a dime. When they die their pork-barrel projects and self-motivated plans die with them, leaving us helpless and hopeless. Lord, have mercy on us!

Why do we trust self-serving officials to help us, when we have You, the High King of Heaven who keeps His promises forever and ever? Help me today, to trust more in You than I do in the leaders of this land. You guarantee me a rich inheritance and a home in heaven where I will live in the land of love forever and ever because of Jesus who makes my heart sing. Hallelujah! Amen.

Are you trusting in the government for your future or the God who governs the universe?

God consistently defends those who have been wronged, and always feeds the hungry. Time after time, He releases people imprisoned to their past, gives sight to those who are blinded by deception, and lifts up the fallen. God loves good people, protects strangers, and always side with orphans and widows. Without fail, He brings to an end the work of the wicked. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and sing His praises.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Test of Faith

Job 1: 6-12
One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?"

Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."

Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil."

"Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."

The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger."

Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

God Most High who rules over the universe from the heavenly throne, all power and might belong to You. Nothing can happen without your permission. Satan has to answer to Your Highness. Knowing and believing the truth about Your sovereignty makes it easier to obey Your command to rejoice and give thanks in ALL things.

When others mistreat me, I can give thanks. In the midst of misfortune, I can rejoice. Through difficult circumstances You’re building and strengthening my character. If I believe You are who You say You are, God Most High, who rules and overrules everything in heaven and earth, I’ll trust Your perfect love to see me through the storm.

Just because I’m walking closely with You doesn’t mean You won’t allow bad things to happen. Many people have superficial faith, believing You when things are going well, but denying You when life gets rough. Adversity destroys superficial faith, but strengthens real faith. Do I really believe You? If I do, I will cling tightly to You. You will be my Life Line. Firmly attached to You with the belt of Truth, I will praise Your heavenly name, and recognize You for who You are and not for what You give.

It helps me to know that Satan has to ask Your permission to torment me. While You allow him to do so, to test my faith, You also put limits on him. He can take away all my possessions, and my family, but He can’t destroy me! I am Yours! Please dear Lord, give me faith to believe so that I can stand firm like Job through the storms of life. Amen.

During difficult circumstances do you cling to the Life Line of God Most High or do You abandon Him? Faith isn’t faith until it’s tested.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Trust in God's Name

Psalm 20:7
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

Almighty God-
You are my One and Only true source of escape and protection. Forgive me for relying on chariots and horses: family and friends, money and materialism, desires and dreams for security.

In times of distress, I need to run right into Your all-sufficient strong arms. Rather than collapsing during crisis and conflict I can stand firm with You. When inadequacy and insecurity immobilize me I can aggressively look them in the eye and boast in Your powerful name, declaring:

Jehovah-Jirah The Lord will provide
Jehovah-Nissi The Lord is my banner
Jehovah-Tsidkenu The Lord is my righteousness
Jehovah-Shalom God is peace
Jehovah-Rapha The Lord will heal
El Roi My God sees
El Shaddai My God is Almighty
Adonai Lord, my Master

I may lose my friends and family, money and materialism, desires and dreams but I will never, ever lose my relationship with You. Trusting in Your love, mercy and grace is my only source of hope, joy and peace in this troubling world.

Assured of the saving power of Your strong right hand, I will rejoice in You, celebrating the victory by singing the wonders of Your glorious name forever. Amen.

In these troubling days, who or what are you placing your trust in?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Strong Tower

Proverbs 18:10-11
The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.
The rich man’s wealth is his strong city,
And like a high wall in his own esteem. NKJV

O God Most High, You are my castle in the sky, my steadfast strength and my eternal security.

The rich rely on their wealth for cheer and comfort. Attacked by the law, they use their wealth to buy a defense. Insulted in the streets, the dignity of a thick wad of bills is their revenge. Should they become sick, they can afford the most prestigious healthcare. Pleasures and help are at their beckon call. Wealth is their shelter, strength and security – a citadel made of clapboard that crumbles when the financial market falters.

Prominent people flaunt their power, possessions, and positions. Condescending, contemptuous, and conceited they’re driven by personal gain and recognition. Superiority, success and status rise up like tall walls around them to protect their egos – a refuge made of drywall that disintegrates on their big heads.

But Your name, O Lord, is a strong tower! Wisdom, truth, mercy, justice, power, eternity, and immutability are the granite pillars of grace that sure up our eternal security. When the hideous hounds of trouble and temptation terrorize us, and the wicked wolves of corruption and conflict are hot on our tails, the right thing to do is to drop everything and run for our lives straight through Your castle gate and into You where the brutal beasts cannot besiege us.

Give me courage to run, O God - run to You when things get tough. In the safety of Your presence, teach me about Your impeccable character. By faith, I will believe You. Trusting in Your magnificent name, I will learn to fully rely on You, the One and Only Strong Tower. Blessed be Your mighty name forever and ever. Amen.

In times of trouble do you depend on money or character to save you, or do you run into the Strong Tower of the Almighty? No amount of money on earth can keep your secure. Your name will never save you. Drop everything and run to Jesus – His salvation is sure.