Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Revelation 4: 10-11

The twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
"You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being."

My Creator King,
You alone are the King who reigns in power over the entire universe, and You alone are worthy to receive glory and honor and power because You created all things.

Why then, if I believe this, am I so contradictory? If You alone are worthy of ALL praise - and You are - why then do I pursue pleasing people for their praise? Why do I relish rewards and recognition from mere man? Why do I long to stand in the spotlight to be seen? And, why am I offended when others don't give me credit for the work I've done? My heart is deceived, and my thoughts are distorted.

Thank You for opening my eyes to see how subtly Satan seduces me and steals my glorious golden life. He'd love nothing more than for me to be focused on the attention, applause and accolades of people. Oh, that all sounds so wonderfully harmless. Yet, it is a lie, straight from the pit of Hell. If I cash in on it, I cheat You, the Lamb of God, of the glory and honor and praise that rightfully belongs to You, hampering Your work in the process. Apart from You, I would not even exist. In the Throne Room in Glory, I will be compelled to cast down my crowns, and give You all the credit for anything good I've ever done.

Please, dear Lord, give me power to abandon all my misguided ambitions, and faith to believe that You are in control, and have a plan and purpose for me that's vastly beyond my dreams, for the glory and praise of YOUR name, both now and forevermore. Amen.

Are you cashing in on the attention, applause and accolades of people, cheating God of the glory, honor, and praise that rightfully belongs to Him? Apart from Him, you wouldn't even exist. He deserves complete credit for every good thing you've ever done.

Unreservedly abandon your misguided ambitions. His Word says, "He stoops down to make me great." Psalm 18:35

Monday, August 30, 2010

Revelation 4:8

Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come."

Eternal and Most Holy God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, You are the glorious One, seated on the throne conducting the official business of the universe. Holy, holy, holy, are You, Perfect, All-wise, Almighty Judge.

Thank You for opening the door to Your throne room and giving me a glimpse of Your glory. I can only imagine the contagious choir I will hear when I step into Your holy presence. Day and night, there will be a continuous crescendo of praise as all the redeemed ceaselessly sing harmonious, thankful choruses honoring You, the Conquering King who reigns victoriously. Humbly bowed at Your nail-pierced feet, worship will be uninterrupted and uninhibited, forever and ever. Positioned for service, I will reverently join the elders, unreservedly laying down the praise of my accomplishments, accolades, and awards. Apart from You, there are no rewards or recognition. All glory, honor, and power belong to You, the Host of Heaven.

Inscribe this magnificent vision on my heart today and help me to live a sincere life of serious worship so that when I enter the holy of holies I'll be properly prepared to behold Your beauty. Following the example of the twenty-four elders, my praise will be constant, not sporadic; united, not divided; warm and genuine, instead of cold and calculated; highly charged with energy and activity, rather than smug and sleepy; humble, not haughty. O Jesus, with all my heart, I anticipate the day when I will join the crescendo of eternal praise. Hallelujah! You are worthy! Amen.

Practice continuous praise today!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Matthew 2:2, 11

Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

Holy Child of God-
I have seen Your splendor and beauty brilliantly beaming down from heaven on high. Under the glowing streams of glory is the wonderful gift of worship. In awe of Your radiant reflection, I joyfully come, falling on my knees in adoration to worship Your Majesty! You are the:

Ardent Angler
Word of the Father
Son of God
Abba Daddy
Blessed Word of God
Truthful Teacher
Lamb of God
Bread of Heaven
Glorious River of Life
Healer of Hearts
Breakfast Server
Lover of My Soul
Lord of the Dance
The Way, the Truth and the Life
My Beloved King

You are the worthy of the best I have to offer.

Generously, I give you the tarnished gold of my life. Remove my impurities so that I will glitter and glimmer and become increasingly more pure and valuable to You. Selflessly surrendered to You, I will sparkle when I worship You, my Master, with a life of sincere service.

Freely, I offer You the fragrant frankincense of my faithful prayers flowing heavenward. The sweet sound of the song in my heart will be a pleasant perfume of praise to You, O Holy King.

Boldly, I bring to You the bitter myrrh of my brokenness. In the stunning splendor of Your sanctuary, You graciously accept the sacrifice of my suffering and shame, and restore me with heavenly healing.

I have come to worship You with all my soul and strength like the star-guided sojourners. After a long strenuous journey through darkness, I have found You in the home of my heart. Now I gladly open the glowing streams of glory, take out the wonderful gift of worship, and triumphantly sing in exultation, "Gloria, In Excelsius Deo." Hallelujah! Amen.

If You have found the gift of the Christ Child in your heart, will you bow down and worship Him? Give Him the tarnished gold of your life, allowing Him to remove the impurities. He can make you beautiful no matter how much tarnish you've accumulated. Present him the sweet scent of your prayers and praise. Offer him the bitterness of your suffering and sorrow. Then find someone who needs the heart of Christmas and offer them the Holy Child of Christmas.

Christmas isn't a season. Any day is Christmas when Christ is born in the manger of a human heart.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mark 6:31

Because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."

Jesus, Lover of My Soul,
Truly I am Your Beloved, the Bride You are preparing to reveal in all her beauty before the courts of heaven. Thank You for this intimate invitation for a romantic rendezvous.

The hustle and bustle of this world is overwhelming! Captivated in a commercialistic culture, it's easy to be swept away by the incoming splurge of media overdose and the unending noise of voices that are trying to sell me something.

Following the furious advertising frenzy I neglect my finances, mistreat my family, and ignore my friends. With Prozac, my smart phone and GPS, I frantically run here, there and everywhere making the most of every moment convinced I am called to live large, pursuing life with purpose, passion and gusto! I scarcely have time to eat or sleep! Help me, Jesus! I need relief!

That's when I heard You gently whisper, "Come, my lover, let's go away to a quiet place and spend some time alone together. You need to rest." Going on this romantic escapade will cost me valuable time, but my bag is packed and I'm ready to go.

In stillness, silence and solitude, You'll hold me in Your embrace, touch me with Your love, and kiss me with compassion. Away from the chaos and commotion, You'll shine me up and give me a reflective heart. Proudly wearing it, I'll return home relaxed, refreshed, and rejuvenated. My family will marvel at my miraculously cool, calm and quiet demeanor.

Instead of travailing over the treasures of this world, I'll tenderly touch them with the Love of my life, You Jesus. Passing over the pressure to overindulge and splurge, I'll be a more patient and pleasant person. Wearing Your Heart, I'll embrace the multitude of needs in my own home. Doing life Your way, my credit cards won't be maxed out. Instead of spending money, I'll credit family and friends with kindness that will be remembered for years to come. Together we will live happily and harmoniously because of You, the One who romantically called me away and gave me a reflective Heart. Alleluia! Amen.

Can you hear the Lover of your soul gently whispering to your heart, "Come, my lover, let's go away to a quiet place and spend some time together?" Are you willing to put aside your agenda and activities in order to go away with Him? If you do, He will bless you a reflective heart that other's will notice.

Ask Him to help you create the time and space you need to draw close to Him. Then, take your Bible, and go! Find a quiet place and just BE with Him. He doesn't want you to do anything. Just be still and silent. In solitude, He will share His secrets with You, giving you the rest you long for in the midst of the noise and frenzy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Matthew 25: 34

Jesus said, "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world."

Jesus, You are my Beloved King and Heavenly Father,
This sacred invitation makes me giddy with excitement! I can't wait for the Day when You open the Lamb's Book of Life, recognize me as Your blessed Bride and call me to come. Joyfully, I'll come to You, triumphantly claiming the vast inheritance promised me before the creation of the world - the kingdom of heaven!

I long for the Day when You will carry me away in the Spirit to a high and mighty mountain and show me the spectacular view of the Holy City coming down from heaven. Your glory shining more brilliantly than a very precious jewel will surely take my breath away. I'll marvel at the high jasper walls around the Golden City. The gates made of a single shimmering pearl will be stunning. The foundations of the City walls will be decorated with more priceless gems than I could ever dream of. The pure gold streets, translucent as glass, will lead right to Your magnificent throne at the City Center where people from every nation, tribe and tongue will be worshipping You with one heart. The very thought of the splendid scene captivates me!

From Your high and holy throne You'll make everything new. All of my defects and deformities will be made perfect. All my sin-seared scars will be removed. All my problems and pain will be gone. You will wipe every tear from my eyes. There will be no more death. No more crying. Never again will there be any darkness. Nothing dirty, defiled or deceitful will get into the City. Things will never be the same! In purity, splendor and safety, I will live and rule with You forever and ever.

I don't want to miss this promised place because I'm unprepared. Help me by Your Holy Spirit to pray, praise and persevere until I reach Paradise, the Promised Land. Hallelujah! Amen!

We ought to be eagerly preparing for this glorious Day when we will meet the Lover we've always longed for by purifying ourselves daily through prayer, praise and perseverance. He's going to come in a flash, at the twinkling of an eye, when we least expect it. The time to prepare for Paradise is now!

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you prepare. This is one invitation you don't want to miss!

Jesus promises, "He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son." Revelation 21:17

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

John 14:6

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

You are the Narrow Way into the Divine Dance! Without You no one can come into Your Father's house. Thank You for revealing the Truth to me. By Your grace I will enter. Taking Your strong arm, I believe You will triumphantly escort me to the throne room of heaven where I will see the long awaited King of Glory surrounded by an exulted choir of angels singing: Glory to God, all glory in the highest. O come let us adore Him. O come let us adore Him. O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

From there, I believe You will show me to all the treasures of heaven. Arm in arm, You will joyfully usher me to the room You promised, prepared and paid for me in advance. This is the blessed life I've always longed for! Glory, hallelujah!

Multitudes will try to work their way into the wedding feast of the Lamb, but that won't gain them access. Important people will seek to use their influence for acceptance; while, that may have been effective here on earth, for this gig, they'll have to know You intimately. Powerful people will be promptly stopped when they make every effort to push their way through. The rich will attempt to buy their entry, but tickets for the Main Event aren't for sale. They're free, bought by the blood of the Lamb, and readily given to all those who humbly acknowledge You as Sovereign Lord of the Dance.

Thank you for inviting me to Heaven, Your Father's House. United with You, I will gladly come and live with You forever there. Alleluia. Amen.

Dear one, make heaven your earnest desire! Jesus is coming for those who long to be with Him there!

People today want to believe that all paths, all roads, and all faiths lead to God; they want to believe that all religions are equal. They want to believe that all people will be saved. Jesus cuts through all this nonsense about other paths, other faiths, and other ways into Heaven, His Father's House: He is the Way we go. He is the Truth we know. He is the Life we live. Apart from Him, there's no Way in! Believe!

Jesus said to crowd, "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to." Luke 13:24

Monday, August 23, 2010

Luke 14: 16-23

Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.'

"But they all alike began to make excuses."

Lord of the Dance,
You are the Blessed Owner of the House and have invited us to the greatest event of our lives: The wedding feast of the Lamb! What an honor it is to be invited to the grandest gala in the kingdom of heaven! We don't deserve to come taste Your delicious delicacies. Only by grace can we enter! Sadly, many of us will miss the Divine Dance because we're too wrapped up in our personal plans. Accepting the invitation at this time would be an inconvenience.

O My Adoring King, YES! I'll gladly come to glorify Your Majesty! Wearing the shining robe of righteousness bought for me by Your Son, I'll joyfully take my place at the table. Tasting the sweetness of Your Holy Word, I'll savor the rich flavor of Your forgiveness. Every morsel from Your mouth will satisfy me. I've waited all my life to dance with You in the kingdom of heaven, and I wouldn't miss this celestial celebration for anything in the world. Hallelujah! Thank You, Jesus for inviting me to come to the wedding feast of the Lamb!

Some of my cherished friends will miss the grandest gala of their lives because they are too busy with other activities. Please slow them down long enough to receive the invitation, recognize the significance of it, and respond accordingly. I don't want any of them to miss the Divine Dance glorifying Your Holy Lamb. Amen!

God's Word says, "Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!" Revelation 19:9.

You've been invited to the grandest gala in the kingdom of heaven: the wedding feast of the Lamb. Have you received the invitation, recognized the significance of it, and responded accordingly? Or, are you simply too busy to be inconvenienced?

Another magnificent event in History missed by the multitudes was the King's birth 2000 years ago. The city of Bethlehem was bustling with commerce. Merchants were consumed with making money. Ordinary people were going about their everyday routines without ever considering that the King lay in the arms of a teenage peasant girl in a smelly manger on the outskirts of town. They simply were too busy doing the mundane to notice.

Don't miss the next big event: the wedding feast of the Lamb that will be held when Christ returns. Just because it hasn't happened in almost 2000 years, doesn't mean it couldn't happen today. All prophesies will be fulfilled. Are you prepared to dance with the King if He comes today?

If not I encourage you to accept His invitation by admitting that you're a sinner in need of grace - the ticket to get into the celestial ball. Believe in your heart that Jesus is the Lamb of God who died for your sins, and rose to glorious life. Confess with your mouth that He is Lord of the Dance. Then, you will be prepared when He comes.

Friday, August 20, 2010

John 21: 12

Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast."

Chief Cook and Breakfast Server,
Your faithful and divine provision bewilders me! When all hope is gone, the net of my heart is empty, and my vision is distorted by tear soaked eyes, in the distant darkness You affectionately call me to come have breakfast.

When You unexpectedly show up to serve breakfast in the dawn of despair, many will watch with wonder, but I want faith to see, hear, and believe. Please give me crystal clear vision to recognize You. I long to know You more dearly so that I can see You more clearly. Familiar with Your voice, I'll respond without hesitating.

After a long and difficult night, following Your simple command, I'll toss the empty net of my heart into the sea of blessings. You will fill it beyond my wildest imagination, exceeding my immediate need. Surprised by Your divine provision, I'll triumphantly shout, "It is the Lord!" and joyfully come have breakfast with the King.

Please help me to spend concentrated time with You in my Bible so that when You come unexpectedly I'll see while others just stand still staring. In the midst of my desperate dilemma, I don't want to miss the boatload of blessings or breakfast with the King. Please give me eyes to see, ears to hear, and faith to believe. Amen.

What is your hopeless situation? Do you hear the King calling you to come have breakfast? He's there waiting to serve you a surprise if you look beyond the tears. Tell Him today that you want to know Him, see Him, hear Him, and believe Him when your heart is empty and He shows up unexpectedly.

John who loved Jesus the most, and who stayed closest to Him in His suffering was the first to recognize Him. Peter was the most zealous, and reached Jesus first. Others stayed in the boat, drug the net, and brought the boatload of blessings to shore. Each served the Lord in his own way and was uniquely blessed by the King's provision of breakfast.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Luke 9:11

He welcomed them and healed those who needed healing. Healer of Hearts,

How great You are! There is no Doctor like You in heaven or on earth! You compassionately and lovingly welcome the patients who persistently pursue You.

Thank You for my miraculous heart transplant. Through intricate surgery, You made a Most Holy Place in my heart for Your Name. When my heart was open, You placed Your tender heart in me. I rejoice that You will dwell with me forever.

Divine Doctor, as I spend time with You, examine my heart. Find the diseases that are devouring me. Make a diagnosis. Open my mind to receive it with acceptance. Then, let the medication of Your grace fill my sick soul. Breathe new life into me. Resuscitated, I'll follow Your prescription for healing:

Humbly admitting that I'm ill and in need of Your care

Prayerfully asking You to wash my wounds and heal my hurts

Continually seeking Your advice by spending time in Your Word, the Holy Bible

Daily bringing my afflictions to You.

Then, You will faithfully hear my cries from heaven and cure my condition. Warmly welcoming me, You will heal me because of Your wonderful name, Jehovah-rapha, Lord Who Heals.

Thank You for the blessing of healing grace given to all those who joyfully, expectantly come! I am eternally grateful because of Jesus. Amen.

Jesus compassionately welcomes all those who persistently pursue Him for healing. Open your heart for examination, listen and accept the diagnosis, no matter how painful, and you will receive the healing balm from heaven.

Deadly Diseases from A-Z
Abscess of Anger, Arrogance, Adultery, Alcoholism
Blisters of Bitterness, Boasting
Cut of Criticism, Complaining, Complacency
Disease of Death, Deceit, Divorce, Disrespect
Epidemic of Envy, Evil Tongue
Fever of Fear, Fornication
Gash of Gossip, Greed, Gluttony, Gambling
Hemorrhage of Hate, Hypocrisy, Homosexuality
Irritation of Immorality, Impatience, Idolatry, Impurity, Irreverence
Joints that ache from Jealousy, Judging
Kink of Killjoy, Knavery
Lesion of Lying, Laziness, Lack of Love, Lust
Malignancy of Murder
Nausea of Nagging, Nastiness
Oppression of Oblivion, Obnoxiousness, Obstinacy
Pain of Praylessness, Procrastination, Pride, Pornography
Queasiness of a Quick Temper
Rash of Rebellion, Retaliation
Sting of Sorrow, Selfishness
Toxin of Temptation
Ulcer of Unforgiveness, Ungratefulness, Unbelief
Virus of Vanity, Vengeance
Wounds of Worry, Wrong Friends, Worldly Entertainment
Yaws of Yelling
Zits of Zero Time With You

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Revelations 22:1, 17

The angel showed me a pure river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." Let each one who hears them say, "Come." Let the thirsty ones come-anyone who wants to. Let them come and drink the water of life without charge. NLT

Glorious River of Life,
There's perfect peace in Your pristine presence. You are a steady stream of Living Water, gaily flowing down from above into my heart. You meander through the fearfully dark valleys of despair and blistering deserts of discouragement. Sometimes You're a rushing torrent, other times a quiet trickle.

Thank You for the life saving invitation to come, drink and live. Seared by sin and suffering, parched by problems and pressure, and dehydrated by difficult dilemmas, I'm dying of thirst. Graciously, I come. Freely, I drink from the endless Glorious River of Life, Your Word, the Bible. As I spend time reading, reflecting and responding to it, let the Spirit of Truth fill me. With each sip of sacred Scripture, strengthen, sustain, and satisfy me. Open my eyes to see people who are dying of thirst, desperate for drink. Saturated with Your love and joy, I'll eagerly invite them to come, drink and live at the Glorious River of Life. Amen.

Did you hear the Spirit of God say, "Come and drink the water of life?" He is expecting you! Go sip the sweetness of His Word. After you've been strengthened, sustained, and satisfied, go invite another sin scorched soul to come, drink and live. It's an open invitation!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

John 6:35

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry."

Bread of Heaven sent down from Glory,
I bless Your sweet name! Coming to You, I fall on my knees in absolute adoration of Who You are. Hungry and humble, I seek nourishment for my starving soul. Empty, I cry out to You: Feed me! Fill me! Sustain me! There's nothing I crave more than tasting the richness of Your Holy Word. Eating to my heart's content, the deepest longings of my soul will be forever satisfied. Sufficiently full of the Bread of Life, I'll desire nothing more than to live a life of love.

Savoring the divine flavor of Your goodness in my heart, I'll have ample resources to feed the hungry hearts surrounding me. With Your blessing I'll share the Bread of Life with those who are:

Ravished for redemption, riches and relationships
Famished for forgiveness, friends and fellowship
Starved for salvation, security and sympathy
Hungry for healing, honor, and a hero
Longing for love, life and laughter

Lord, here I am. Take me, bless me, break me, and use me to joyfully feed the multitudes from the overflow of my heart. Thank You for faithfully providing my daily Bread. I love You, and You are all I need! Amen.

Is your heart hungry? Discouraged? Disillusioned? Disappointed? Jesus warmly welcomes you to come and eat the Bread of Life sent down from Glory - His Word. In it You will find redemption, riches, and relationships; forgiveness, friends, and fellowship; salvation, security, and sympathy; healing, honor, and a Hero; love, life and laughter - all the things you need to live abundantly. Come, eat and live!

Ask the Holy Spirit to make you desperately hungry for the Bread of Life.

Monday, August 16, 2010

John 1:35-40

The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!"

When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?"
They said, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?"

"Come," he replied, "and you will see."
So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him.

Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah."

Lamb of God,
Like the disciples, I heard someone talking about You too. Curiously, I pursued You until You turned around and spoke to me. Unreservedly, I asked where You were staying, and you invited me to come and see. Eagerly, I went with You.

To my surprise You went to the door of my heart. There in the cold, dirty stable of my soul is where You were staying. When we stepped in together, You lit a fire in the hearth and brushed away the cob webs in my mind. After talking with You for a while, my heart became warm and my mind clear. Soon I realized that You were the Messiah who came to live with me. Overwhelmed with the joy of Your presence, I hurriedly ran and invited others to come and see!

Thank You, Jesus, for coming to the home of my heart and taking up residency there. Bursting with blessing, I will excitedly point others to the Lamb of God. Intrigued, they too will follow You, ask where You're staying, and unexpectedly find You in the manger of their heart.

Holy Spirit, please bless me with courage and enthusiasm to go and tell others about You. I love You and want nothing more than to glorify Your long expected, holy name. Hallelujah! Amen.

Don't miss the Messiah! He's right there at the door of your heart waiting to come in, light the fire, clear away the cob webs and live with you. Don't let him standing out in the cold, invite Him in. Then, enthusiastically go and tell others to come and see Him.

If you've never invited Him in, please do! Pray: Lord Jesus, I know that You are the Messiah. Please come in and live with me. Light the fire in my heart. Clear the cob webs from my mind, and teach me Who you really are. I want to know you and live with you forever. Amen.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Luke 18:18-23

A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good-except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'"

"All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said.

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.

Truthful Teacher,
O how honest You are! Your Word is sharper than the sharpest dagger, cutting swift and deep into my innermost thoughts and desires, exposing them for what they really are. Everything about us is bare and wide open; seen by Your ever-living eyes; nothing can be hidden from You to whom we must explain all that we have done.

Like the rich religious leader, we often come to You with zeal and determination to purchase our ticket to heaven. Recognizing that You are the Grand Ticketmaster, we politely approach You and smoothly ask, "Good Master, what will a ticket to heaven cost me?" Unimpressed with our performance, You slash right through the thick flattery and cut to the heart of the matter.

Rather than accepting our personal affluence and influence, You painstakingly point out the one thing we lack, demanding the high price of our personal security and identity. Freely, we can join You on the journey to heaven, but first we'll need to sell our creature comforts, investing the cash in the coffers of heaven - society's rejects - the undeserving, unattractive, and undesirables. Sadly, like the rich religious leader, we often turn and walk away without a word. The price is more than we're willing to pay.

Forgive me O Lord for being so short-changed and short-sighted. Please touch my lifestyle with Your love. Show me the possessions that possess me. Willingly and wisely, I'll sell them or give them away, to make a safe investment in Your heavenly kingdom. In return, You'll bless me with Your identity and the eternal security of living with You in heaven forever and ever. Amen.

This invitation to come is extended to anyone willing to get rid of anything that has become more important than God in their life. Few are willing to invest the high price.

What possesses you? Anything that preoccupies your time or thoughts will prevent you from accepting this gracious offer. With a joyful and triumphant heart throw off the things that are hindering you from faithfully coming to follow Him. He will show you where to invest the proceeds.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Blessed Word of God,
You are my Heavenly Haven of Rest. Yes, I gratefully accept Your heartfelt invitation to come! You know I'm worn out and weary from warring with the world! The battle is fierce. Afflictions assail me. Problems pursue me. Temptation torments me. Religious leaders impose their self-righteous rituals and routines on me. People press me to perform for a temporary prize. The weight of it all is crushing me! Thank You for giving me access to Your heavenly home, a haven of rest.

There in Your workshop, You'll design and make a yoke to perfectly fit me. Having never worn such an awkward apparatus, when I initially take it and put it on, it will be incredibly uncomfortable. Struggling and crying, I'll relentlessly try to get out from under it. However, if I stop kicking and screaming and submit to it, putting my shoulders to the task of pulling the burden, I'll quickly find that the yoke You've made for me makes my life easier.

You are a Gentleman; a humble Master. Never cruel, mean-spirited or harsh, You genuinely care for Your children. Take my stubborn and obstinate heart, and teach me to surrender to Your will, assuredly knowing that nothing will harm me, but that every burden I've been called to pull has been placed there by You for my good. Show me how to triumphantly work through tough and troubling times Your Way. With my life deliberately devoted to Your service, I'll joyfully be Your hands and feet whenever and wherever I go.

No matter the cost, I faithfully accept Your generous invitation to be at one with You. In perfect relationship with You, I'll be satisfied and others will seek the Heavenly Haven of Rest, Jesus in me. Alleluia! Amen.

Jesus is calling anyone, anywhere who hears the invitation from the Blessed Word of God to come and find rest for their weary souls. The price is high - it will cost you your life - but the dividends are out of this world! Will you come, take and learn?

Jesus was a trained carpenter. In those days, carpenters didn't build houses and furniture. Carpenters usually spent their time building farm implements. Jesus must have carved out a lot of ox yoke as He was growing up in Nazareth. Now, as our Savior, He is still carving out individualized, perfectly fitting yokes for each of His children. It would do us good to learn to surrender to the yoke, because nothing fits our lives so well as the plan which Jesus designed for it. When we are surrendered to His will, we can be absolutely sure that He will allow nothing to harm us, but that every burden we are called upon to pull has been placed there for our good, Romans 8:28. We can also know that when we get back to the barn, we will see that all our labor has not been in vain, Romans 8:18.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mark 10:13-16

People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

Abba Daddy,
Thank You for giving me ears to hear Your soft, tender voice calling me to come into Your Kingdom. You didn't invite me because of my impeccable appearance or my impressive knowledge. Quite the contrary! With dirty, scuffed up knees, torn and tattered clothes, a runny nose, sticky fingers and a smeared up face, I humbly crawl up on Your great big lap full of wonder and gratitude. Though I am very small, You lovingly welcome me without any education or intellectual understanding.

As a dearly loved child, You gently immerse me in the sparkling Living Water of Your Word, scrubbing away the scum from my past until I glitter and glisten with Your glory. Touching my hurts with Your redeeming blood, You miraculously heal them. Fitted with the priceless robe of purity my indignity is completely covered. With a twinkle in Your eye, You hand me the keys to Your heavenly home where I am free to live happily ever after in Your adoring presence.

Graciously wearing Your crown of compassion, I simplistically and unreservedly, accept Your generous gifts of love.Because of Your openhanded kindness, I will stand up straight and tall, unafraid and unintimidated by big people. Clean, clothed, and confident, the world that rebuked me will witness with childlike wonder the Holy Child in me. Hallelujah! Thank You, Daddy for taking me in Your strong arms, touching, and blessing me. Amen!

Do you hear the soft tender voice of Jesus calling you to come? He's not calling those who are impeccable and impressive. He's not calling the big, important and intellectual people. Rather, the invitation to come is extended to those who are full of the wonder and gratitude of a child. Do you hear Him? He's waiting with arms wide open to bless you! He's reaching out with His amazing grace and wants to touch you with His forgiveness, hope and a brand new life so that He can claim you as His own. Let nothing hinder you from going to Him.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Matthew 14:28-33

"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."

"Come," he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God."

Word of the Father, Now in flesh appearing,
Truly You are the Son of God. Joyfully I adore You for revealing Your glory to me during the storms of my soul. Gigantic waves of sin and suffering have buffeted me. Howling gusts of doubt and distress have disturbed my peace. My distorted night vision is terrifying. Fear of the unknown and unseen has crippled me.

Through the dismal darkness of a restless night, I long to hear Your voice calling me to "Come." I want boldness and courage to be like Peter. While the other eleven sat in the boat paralyzed, he recognized Your voice and took a walk of faith. With my eyes fixed on You, I too will step out of my comfort zone to accomplish the impossible.

Please give me faith to focus on You, forgetting the fierce waves and ferocious wind. Forgive me for all the times I've fearfully stayed in the boat and missed divine endeavors. I'm sorry for the times I was skeptical of Your power, presence and provision. Even in my faithlessness, please graciously reach out and pick me up!

Lord, I just want to know Your voice, obey Your call, and behold Your glory. In difficult situations and challenging circumstances, please keep Your mighty hand on me. Gazing on the glow of Your face, I'll triumphantly walk by faith and experience the joy of Your power. Those who sit worried and watching will wonder at what they've witnessed. Mesmerized by the miracle, they, too, will believe that You truly are the Son of God. Together, we'll worship You for the great things You have done. Hallelujah! Amen.

Do you hear the Voice in the night calling you to "Come?" Will you risk stepping out of the boat or remain in the boat gripped with fear? I encourage you to behold His glory, step out in faith and trust Jesus. With your eyes fixed on Him, He will give you the power to walk triumphantly through the terrifying storms of your soul.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Matthew 4:18-20

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers; Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him.

Ardent Angler,
You've called me to come with You on the fishing expedition of a lifetime! It won't be easy and it won't be cheap; but it will be well worth the investment. When I'm willing to leave my past, live with You, and learn from You, You'll teach me the best kept secrets of the trade.

To join You on this wild and dangerous mission, I may have to forfeit my family, friends and freedom in order to spend concentrated time learning the most effective way to fish for men. I'll surely have to give up my comfortable lifestyle and social status. The lifelong journey will require a commitment to grueling hardships, irregular hours and arduous challenges.

My deficiencies and inadequacies are unimportant because You will make me a fisher of men. The Bible will train me to see and save lost souls. Like the rough and rugged fishermen on the open sea, I'll discover that my safety and success are fully dependent on You. Going where the prospects are could require much effort, sacrifice, and risk. Patience and perseverance will be necessary as I continually cast out the net without a catch. Since fishing is a practical skill, I can only learn by doing it.

My ample compensation for persistence will be the satisfaction of the catch - Jesus hooked in a human heart. These are the fish that will be my joyful and triumphant trophy when I bow in adoration before You, the Ardent Angler, on Judgment Day. Yes, I will drop everything and come fishing with You to glorify Your name! Amen.

Jesus is calling faithful people to come on the fishing expedition of a lifetime. It won't be easy and it won't be cheap. It will cost you everything. Are you willing, like Peter and Andrew, to leave your former life behind in order to follow Him on the most exhilarating eternal adventure? No special skills are necessary; only an open mind and willing spirit. If you leave your past and live with Him, He will make you a fisher of men.

He promises the crown of rejoicing to those who fish with Him for men: "For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy." 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20.

Friday, August 06, 2010

In the End: Give Generously

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 fields of flowers! They 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.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

In the End: Give Generously

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 the 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, August 04, 2010

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.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

In the End: Prayer 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 His 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)

Monday, August 02, 2010

Hebrews 3:7-11

So, as the Holy Spirit says:
"Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
during the time of testing in the desert,
where your fathers tested and tried me
and for forty years saw what I did.
That is why I was angry with that generation,
and I said, 'Their hearts are always going astray,
and they have not known my ways.'
So I declared on oath in my anger,
'They shall never enter my rest.' "

What a privilege it is to come into Your holy presence and sing to the King! You are the steadfast, secure Rock of my Salvation. I come before You with a thankful heart because You are the Great God; the Builder of Everything. In Your holy hands are the depths of the earth, the majestic mountains, the thunderous seas, and all creatures including ME. O Lord, You are my Creator, King and Father.

Today, if I hear Your voice, do not let my heart be hardened in rebellion. Open my eyes that I may see the wonderful things in Your Word. I am a stranger on earth, wandering like the Israelites in a foreign land. Your commands are vastly different than the laws of the land. Don't let me stray from them. Help me by Your Holy Spirit to heed Your heavenly calling, and fix my thoughts on Jesus, Your precious Son who was faithful through every temptation, trial, and test, and deemed worthy of great honor.
As I open Your Word today, judge the thoughts and attitudes of my heart. When I am tempted to turn back to bondage, the proverbial place of my past, help me to focus on the future, hold onto my faith, and keep walking forward firmly holding onto the confidence I had when I began this expedition. Resting on the Rock of my Salvation, Jesus Christ, I will not be afraid. Instead, I will listen to Your voice, obey Your commands and stand on Your promises.

Trusting in Your protection and provision, I will stop grumbling and complaining, and truly rejoice that I am part of Your royal and blessed family destined for this journey through the dangerous desert that leads to the Promised Land. Help me to be faithful and holy every step of the way so that I too will be crowned with glory and honor and found worthy of Your name. Amen.

Three times the Hebrew writer warns, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts." When you are in a difficult situation, wandering in the wilderness, and God speaks to you through His Word or His people, how often do you ignore Him? Hear His Words! Pay attention or pay the consequences.

Today if you hear His voice, surrender Your will to His Word, and experience His quiet rest.