Monday, May 31, 2010

John 4:23-24

Jesus said, "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

Father in Heaven,
You are omnipresent. I can worship You any time and any place. You don't care where I worship. You're interested in how I worship. With Your Spirit hovering over me, I can worship in the driest desert, in the darkest valley, on the highest mountain, in the quiet country, in the busy city, in my home or in my car or in my office. Wherever I am, You are there helping me worship. How do I know?

You have given me Your Spirit as Counselor to lead me in all truth, and have promised He will never leave me. (John 14:16,17)

You have sent Your Spirit to teach me all things and remind me of everything You've ever spoken to me. (John 14:26)

You have filled my heart with joy and with Your Spirit. (Acts 13:52)

You have given me Your Spirit and filled my heart with love. (Romans 5:5)

My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19)

Full of Your love, when I study my Bible, You will teach me, tucking the truth in the hollow of my heart. When the truth is in me, I can worship You in Spirit by obeying Your commands. Every where I go, every thing I do, think, or say can be a delightful act of worship when I deliberately chose to follow You. Because I am full of You, I will make music in my heart, meditate on Your Words, and pray without ceasing, always giving thanks to You, in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Everything you do can be an act of worship when You are filled with the Holy Spirit and the truth of His Word. Worship Him today with everything that's in you.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Psalm 16: 7-8

I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.

I have set the LORD always before me.
Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Secure and Steadfast God,

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

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

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

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

Thursday, May 27, 2010

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Psalm 78: 9-11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

John 10: 27-30

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

My Ever Loving Father and Almighty Shepherd,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, May 24, 2010

Isaiah 40:11

He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.

Good and Gentle Shepherd,
So tenderhearted and compassionate, You certainly love Your sheep! You carefully lead us to the lush mountain pastures in our Bibles where we can graze to our heart's content on the fertile food of Your Word. Faithfully, You guide us through barren deserts to refreshing streams of Living Water to quench our dry and thirsty souls.

Along the way, You protect us from animalistic humans who threaten to attack our character. Prone to wandering off, we slip into clefts of criticism and condemnation, plunge into ravines of rejection and ridicule, and sink deep into depressions of disgrace and despair. In our times of trouble, You never fail to hear our cry, find us and set us free. Your sheep are Your most prized possession!

Bruised and bloodied from the fall, You meticulously bandage our broken hearts. Scooping us up in Your powerful arms, You hold us close to Your loving heart and carry us to safety. Resting in Your presence, we have nothing to fear. You are bigger than the people, problems and pressure pursuing us.

Thank You dear Shepherd for diligently doing Your job twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, year in and year out. Because of Your hard work I'm alive and well. I know from experience that danger lurks around the bend. It's crucial that I trust and obey You. Huddled in Your flock, there's protection, provision, and perfect peace because of Jesus. Amen.

Are you sticking with the Shepherd or have your wandered away from the flock? You are valuable to Him! He wants to take care of you, but you need to follow Him.

If you've lost your way and are stuck, cry out to Him. He'll find you right where you are, pick you up in His strong arms, and carry you close to His heart to the safety of His presence where there's protection, provision and perfect peace.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Psalm 92:1-5

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

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

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

Jesus, You mean the world to me! The amazing works of Your hands have made me glad. I'll sing of Your love forever because of the blessed promise I have in Your gloriously beautiful name. Amen.

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

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Numbers 13:28, 31, 33

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Psalm 61:1-4

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

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

I praise You for majestic mountains. In the breathtaking beauty of nature, I see pillars of glory and feel the extraordinary glow of Your existence. You are a perfect, powerful, and prominent pinnacle of unimpeded protection. I want to climb the spectacular summit and hide in Your sanctuary forever where:

Calamities cannot crush me
Death cannot devour me
Sadness cannot smother me
Pain cannot press me
Anxiety cannot attack me
Thank You for making the holy, high, unmovable, unshakable Rock accessible to me through Jesus Christ. My heart is weak. I am depending on You to be my strength and my shield. With Your help, Almighty God, I will climb Your pristine peak and find powerful protection. Peacefully, I'll rest in the safety of Your presence because You alone are my Rock and my Salvation. Amen.

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

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Recently, my heart has been troubled and my spirit disturbed by all the bad things happening in the world: multitudes being sucked in and deceived by the feel-good teaching in the seeker-sensitive, culturally-relevant Church; wars and rumors of wars, nations pitted against nation as proud leaders jockey for more power; horrifying famines and deadly diseases afflicting millions of innocent people; shocking earthquakes and devastating storms; unemployment and financial disaster wrecking lives and livelihoods; increased immorality, violence, and hatred. You don't have to look far to be appalled by the headline news.

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

2 Chronicles 20: 15, 17, 21-22
This is what the LORD says to you: "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You light a lamp for me.
You, my God, light up my darkness.
In Your strength I can crush an army;
with my God I can scale any wall.
Your ways are perfect.
Everything You promise proves true.
You are a shield for all who look to You for protection.

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

You gave me victory over my accusers.

The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock!
May the God of my salvation be exalted!
(Psalm 18)

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

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

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

Monday, May 17, 2010

Psalm 91:9-16

If you make the Most High your dwelling-
even the LORD, who is my refuge-
then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands.

"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

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

Because I love You, I trust You to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright and Author unknown

Friday, May 14, 2010

Psalm 62:5-6

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

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

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

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

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

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

A Mighty Fortress is Our God! A Bulwark never failing!

Luke 18: 9-14

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men - robbers, evildoers, adulterers - or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'

"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

My Father in Heaven,

Holy is Your name. There is no God like You in heaven or earth. I am unworthy to come into Your awesome presence. I come humbly, to the Most Holy Place as a despised and despicable person in need of divine mercy. Unable to face You, I bow down, crying out, "Have mercy on me, a sinner!" I lift my hands to You, Lord, to show my desperate need for grace!

Lord, forgive me for all the times I am full of myself like the Pharisee. I trust in my own abilities. I look down on others with contempt and disrespect. It makes me sick to think of how haughty and proud I can be of my accomplishments and myself. My heart is deceitful above all things. It is beyond cure!

Please give me a gentle and quiet spirit. Keep my heart humble and teachable. With an attitude of gratitude, I will dress myself in humility, wrapping the belt of truth around me. Covered in gentleness, I will:

· Ensure that my actions bring glory to You and not me
· Honor others above myself
· Refuse to be judgmental
· Forgive as You have forgiven me
· Risk failure to conquer unfamiliar territory for You
· Take You more seriously, and myself less seriously
· Confess my weaknesses to a friend, and seek help, advice and prayer

Please dear Lord, teach me wisdom so that I can honor You with humility. Then, I will experience Your glory. Not to me, O Lord, not to me, but to Your name be the glory because of Your love and faithfulness. Justify me through Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Pride gets the best of everyone from time to time. Take off pride today and put on humility before you fall. Proverbs 16:18

Matthew 15: 21-28

Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession."

Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us."

He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."

The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.

He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."

"Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."

Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.


In Your presence You never fail to teach me! Today You taught me how to keep my family from destruction. It's not enough for me to be there for my children. They need more than my friendship. My listening ear and open line of communication will not save them. These things are important, but unless they are on-fire for You, and in love with You with wholehearted devotion, they are drifting spiritually and in danger of suffering terrible demon possession. A lukewarm spirit can lull them into evil and temptation. You have shown me that Satan wants to rob my family of their genuine, fervent faith.

Like this woman, I must persistently seek You for my children. You may test the tenacity of my faith by not responding to me or rebuffing me with harsh words. Like the woman, I will not go away until You hear the cry of my heart and give me what I need for my family! Please give me more Holy Spirit power to remain steadfast and determined in my pursuit for more of Jesus for my children. I will not settle for crumbs! I want the fullness of Your grace and mercy for them. I am boldly approaching the throne of grace with confidence to present their desperate needs to You. I may not see them get right with You, but with Your power I will erect roadblocks and obstacles to stop their race to hell. On my knees, I will pray down conviction on them and pray up protective hedges around them. Please send godly role models into their lives.

If not me, then who will pray for my children? I cannot resign them to fate. I must sweat and labor in intercession for their souls. Whatever it takes Lord, I am going to do battle for them with the swift sword of Your Word and the power of prayer until one of us goes home to be with You. God, please save my children in the name of Jesus! Amen

Do you diligently seek Jesus for Your family - children, grandchildren, saved and unsaved relatives? If not you, then who will seek Jesus to heal and save them from destruction?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Luke 18:1-8

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said:"In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.'

"For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' "

And the Lord said,"Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

Honorable Judge~

Your great compassion and mercy are unending. I am dreadfully needy like the widow, but have not been as persistent with my prayer life. Rather than constantly complaining to You about my on-going problems and pressures, I easily give up and give in. Forgive me for my lack of faith! Thank You for reminding me that I should always pray and not quit! If an unjust person buckles under my continuous badgering how much more will an honorable and patient Judge like You pity me when I keep pestering?

Please dear Lord, increase my faith so that I'll persistently plead with You like the widow. I'm worn down by my physical and spiritual battles. I've been enduring a barrage of troubles and heartache. Tired of the stress and weary from the fight, I'm ready to give up! I long for an easier way! I'm tempted to slip away to a place far from people, away from my problems and struggles; to a place where things are quiet and peaceful. But, Lord, I don't want to miss the blessings You have for those who stick with You through the hard times.

By faith, I'll hang around and incessantly cry out to You day and night. As I persevere, please develop my character, faith, and hope. In time, when You are sick and tired of hearing me You'll respond with the right answer to my situation. Please have mercy on me, Your chosen child. Hear my prayers and answer quickly! Give me faith to endure and believe that You won't put me off permanently. I know that You love me deeply because of Jesus. Amen.

Is there something you have given up praying for because you feel like God is not listening? Do not give up! Be persistent like the widow. God may delay answering, but His delays always have good reason. As you persist, He will develop your character, faith and hope.

If a corrupt judge caves in to constant pressure, how much more will a great and loving God answer to us? If you know He loves you, you must believe He will hear your cry for help.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Romans 8:26-27

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

Most High Priest,

Thank You for making my heart Your home. You know every nook and cranny of it. You understand the challenging circumstances, agonizing problems and incredible pressure I face. When I can't find the words to say, You translate my inarticulate sighs. Thank You for constantly interceding on my behalf from the temple of my heart.

I've made prayer more difficult and cumbersome than it needs to be. All I have to do is keep the temple clean and pay attention to You. With a pure heart, when I open my Bible, You'll tell me what's on Your mind, prompting me to pray for specific people and situations. As I spend time in Your presence, pondering Your thoughts, I'll gain divine wisdom and knowledge far above my feeble, finite thinking. Tuned in to You, I'll notice the vast needs around me and joyfully bring them to Your throne, trusting You to take care of them.

Thank You for revealing Your thoughts to me, O Lord. Please search my heart and turn it into a beautiful house of prayer for the glory of Your name. Amen.

Is prayer difficult and cumbersome for you? That's not the way God intended it to be. He's taken up residence in your heart and made it a house of prayer. Ask Him to show you how to pray His way. It will radically change your heart for prayer.

Friday, May 07, 2010

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 doubt, disgrace and distress 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
This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Matthew 9:10-13

While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"

On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Merciful Father-

I continuously marvel at the fact that You love, chose, and adopted me despite my indecent life, impure motives, and improper attitudes. Mercifully accepting my broken life, You took me into Your heavenly workshop and turned me into a sacred masterpiece fit for a King. My beautiful new eyes will easily recognize lost and lonely souls. With a divine perspective, I'll be able to see beyond their faults to their possibilities.

Unnoticed, unhealthy people all around me are dying for the gift of friendship. Like Matthew, I'll find common ground with them. Risking my reputation, I'll spend time mixing and mingling with them, showing them Your tender mercies. Exposed to You they may be radically changed into valuable works of art for Your purpose and pleasure.

Father, forgive me for making this life a popularity contest. Often I'm more concerned about my rituals, routines, and reputation than I am about restoring relationships. It's not about ME. It's all about YOU. Please enlarge my heart and fill it with more of Your merciful love. Open my eyes to see who needs a touch of Your greatness today and I'll obediently reach out to them in the spirit of friendship because of Jesus. Amen.

Invite a lost and lonely soul into the core of your life today. Be courteous and authentic to them. Spend frequent time with them. Allow the Master to touch them through you.

God says, three times in his Word, "I desire mercy, not sacrifice." Matthew 9:13, 12:7 and Hosea 6:6. He doesn't want our rituals and routines! He wants our relationship! And, when our hearts are enlarged, full of Him, we'll have a spirit of forgiveness and restoration.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Matthew 5:10-12

Jesus said, "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven."

Jesus, Generous Giver of Great Gifts,

Thank You for the promise of bountiful blessing when I choose to do what is right to follow You. The kingdom of heaven is mine! A great reward awaits me in heaven! Hallelujah!

I admit that I am fearful of harassment, criticism, and rejection. It frightens me to be tested, ridiculed and mocked. It scares me to be scorned, criticized, and misunderstood. I'm afraid of being spat upon and beaten. Fear of man is the obstacle that hinders me from making right choices.

I want to live a life pleasing to You. I desire the rich, abundant treasure You promise in heaven. It's mine to keep forever! Breathe fresh power on me. I want to serve You, my Master, with wholehearted devotion. I want to diligently work the fields, plant the seeds, water the crop, weed the thorns, and reap the harvest for You. I want to conscientiously serve You even when the scorching summer sun is searing my soul, and the wicked winter winds are wildly whistling, "worry". I want to have the heart and resilience of beautiful Queen Esther who in the midst of her difficult circumstances said, "If I perish, I perish."

I know how the story ends! If I thoroughly do my job, I will receive a fortune beyond my imagination when I arrive at my destination in the kingdom of heaven. People may think they've killed me, but when You call my name and I arise to claim my priceless prize, they will watch in bewildered wonder. Please give me a resilient Spirit so that I can focus on the end of the story and the riches of Your glory. Amen.

Claim the two promises: the kingdom of heaven, and a great reward. They are yours when you set aside your fears and courageously labor for the Lord. What is He asking you to do? It may involve a whole lot of effort, sacrifice and risk. He gave His life for you. Are you willing to give your life for Him? The rich rewards are only for those who obey and endure hardships.

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Matthew 17:1-8

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters-one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah."

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!"

When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. "Get up," he said. "Don't be afraid." When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. NIV

Jesus,I love and adore you. You are more than a great leader and awesome teacher. You are the Son of God. All power and authority are Yours. My only adequate response is to fall on my face and worship you in the beauty of Your holiness.

I am like Peter. You invited him to be with you on the mountain, but he wasn't content unless he was busy doing something - building you a shelter. So it is with me. You invite me to come into Your presence, be still and listen. But, like Peter I am not comfortable with silence and my natural response is to do something. Teach me dear Lord to come into Your presence quietly and reverently. In Your strength, I will sit still, shut up, and pay attention. I will revere and respect You for Who You are - the Son of God.

Thank you for taking me with you to the top of the highest mountain. There, I have seen a vision of Your glory and experienced awesome moments of wonder. Away from religion, routines, and reality, I never want to leave this peaceful place. It is good to be in the presence of the Most High.

Struggles await me in the valley below. Admittedly, I don't like conflict or confusion. On the mountain with You, I can see clearly and relax in the safety of Your shelter. But, I can't stay here. You command me to "go down and not be afraid." Out of fear and respect, in Your strength and power, I will obediently get up and go to the valley where multitudes are wrestling with decisions, distress, and disease. There I will boldly tell those who are burdened, bitter and broken to look up and notice the Son of God who breaks through barriers.

Please show me people who need Jesus today. With Your help, I will show them Your glory because of my own divine encounter on the holy mountain. Hosanna in the name of Jesus! Amen.

Have you sat still and silent on the mountaintop? Have you seen God's glory and experienced His presence? If so, get up and go down into the valley today. Now more than ever, people everywhere need Jesus. Boldly tell them about your divine encounter with the Son of God.

Monday, May 03, 2010

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