Friday, October 29, 2010
Creator of all living things~
Thank You for the fabulous, fragile gift of life. I will cherish every day as a valuable present from You, my loving Father. Forgive me for tossing miracle moments aside to worry about insignificant incidences. Often I spend more time securing my life on earth, than I do thinking about where I will spend eternity.
Life is short! I don't have long to stay here. Enlighten my mind to Your Holy Spirit and fill my heart with more grace so that I'll be ready when You call my loved ones or me home. This is a picture perfect day that You have made. I'll rejoice and be thankful for it. Living in the blessing of each precious moment, I'll joyfully love and serve others because today could be my last chance. Please just give me more of Jesus to focus on the most important matters today for Your namesake. Amen.
You just don't know when your life will be interrupted by a tragic event. It is imperative that you live each day like it's your last. Don't miss an opportunity to tell someone you love them. Give someone a hug today. Call a friend. Be a friend. You too, could find your life suddenly shattered.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
"Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?"
"Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay him?"
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
Wise and Knowledgeable King,
Please expand my view of You. From afar, You are an intriguing blip on the horizon. Reduced by distance, You are too manageable to be marvelous and too small to be significant. However, as I come closer, I am absolutely astonished by the vast view of who You are and what You have done for me.
I marvel at Your extravagance and generosity
I'm awestruck by Your wisdom and knowledge
I'm mesmerized by the hidden treasures in Your Word
I wonder at Your pathways that are too complex to chart
I'm amazed at Your never-ending brilliant mind
I'm captivated with Your constant rightness
I'm stunned at Your unlimited resources
Up close I can see and experience You as the Creator of everything. I can touch the power that makes all things exist. I can be certain that You intend all things for Your glory. Please dear Lord, draw me closer and keep expanding my view of You. I want to be obviously caught-up in knowing You deeply. As my view of You becomes greater, my view of my man will become smaller. Rather than living to please people, in view of Your grace and mercy I will passionately pursue a purposeful life pleasing to You. I will praise and adore You now and forever more. Amen.
What is your view of God? Do you see Him from a distance and unapproachable, or up close and touchable? Walk nearer to Him and He will expand Your view. One thing I see when I come nearer to God is ________________________________.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I kneel before You Father astonished by the rich gifts You've lavished on me: the family name, the family image and the family fortune. Being chosen and adopted into Your family is the highest honor and greatest privilege I'll ever receive. Nothing else will ever come close.
Today I'm claiming the priceless family promise of power to change the way I think and perceive myself. You don't see me the way I see myself: unattractive, unworthy, and unlovable. You see me as Your beloved child. Please give me faith to believe and power to grasp:
The width of Your love: wide enough to reach the whole wide world, while also touching the homosexual, the prostitute, the adulterer, the murderer, the addict, the abuser, the abused, the obsessed, the rich, the poor and much wider than I can imagine.
The length of Your love: long enough to cover my entire life, longer than my rebellion, hatefulness, apathy, arrogance, ignorance, and much longer than I can visualize.
The depth of Your love: deep enough to feel my severely broken heart that no one else understands, deeper than my insecurities and fears, and still deeper than I could ever dream.
The height of Your love: high enough to stretch from heaven to earth to show me the way to all Your hidden treasures and higher than my simple mind can possibly understand.
Father, if I could comprehend and claim Your limitless love, then I'd look to You and You alone for love. I'd stop seeking approval from my parents, spouse, children, and friends. I wouldn't fill my life with trinkets and treasures. I'd no longer crave the desires and lifestyle that once held me captive. I'd long for You and You alone.
Dear Lord, please fill me to overflowing with the inexhaustible love of Jesus today. With all my heart, I want to receive and accept the infinite love You bestow on Your children for the glory of Your name forever and ever. Amen.
Have you received and accepted God's lavish gift of love, promised to His children? He's not waiting for you to be perfect. It's yours to claim today, just as you are. If you don't feel worthy of accepting it, please pray and ask Him to give you the power to accept it. It's a life changing gift.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Great God in Heaven~
You are the One and Only True and Living God~
You are King of kings, Lord of lords, God of gods~
There is none like You. Ruler of heaven and earth, all authority submits to You. You're the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Just as You empowered, prospered, and protected Noah, Abraham, and Moses, You will empower, prosper, and protect me. Just as You directed and led Joshua, Gideon and David, You will direct and lead me. By studying Your Ancient Words, and paying attention in the classroom of my heart, I've learned that You're always trustworthy and faithful. Though I haven't seen You with my physical eyes, I've seen You with the eyes of my heart. I'm absolutely sure You are who You say You are, and will do what You say You will do. I'm certain You have a special plan for my life that involves something bigger than I can imagine; something only You can do.
Please dear Lord, give me faith to trust You to lead and guide me through tough times and rough terrain to the promised land. Based on history, I'll confidently expect a breathtaking surprise around frightening bends and unfamiliar borders. Earnestly, I'll follow You up the steep peaks of pressure and down the slippery slopes of uncertainty. Please take away my anxiety and fear so that I can enjoy the exhilarating, exciting escapade that leads to rich rewards. With all my heart I want to please You by passionately pursuing You wherever You go. Please bless me today because I believe in the power of Your name. Amen.
How do you know that God exists? What one adjustment will you make in your life to pursue Him today? He promises to reward those who earnestly seek Him.
Monday, October 25, 2010
You are the Creator of everything. Because You have unlimited power, You never grow tired or weary. You are always available to re-energize me and refresh my strength during the seemingly hopeless storms of life. Like an eagle, in the midst of the storm, I spread my wings of faith to embrace the wind. Placing my dependency on You and You alone, I'll experience quiet wonders:
· Your bliss balances my burdens
· Your power pick ups my problems
· Your peace pacifies my pain
· Your tenderness touches my troubled heart
Soaring will become an adventure of discovering just how faithful You are when I'm in the stratosphere over the storm. It will be an exhilarating experience! I'll no longer be content to stay inside where it is relatively safe and secure. I'll want to walk outside and live by faith in the midst of the storm.
Please use the storms in my life:
· To take me higher in my relationship with You
· To fall deeper in love with You
· To grow stronger my faith in You
· To walk more vigorously with You
· To bear more fruit for You
Use the wicked winds of life to grow my wings of faith. Just as the strong gales make it possible for the eagles to soar, so sin, suffering and sorrow make it possible for me to rise above the tempest of temptation. Please dear Lord, just give me more confidence to wait through the mourning with renewed strength, and not grow weary. As I fly, I will focus on Your beautiful face and live for Your future glory because of Jesus. Amen.
What storm are you facing? Are you soaring through it with Holy Spirit power?
Sunday, October 24, 2010
O Lord, You are incredibly awesome! Wrapped in an elegant garment of brilliant light, You are dressed in golden splendor and sparkling majesty. You stretch out the skies like an unending tent over the entire universe. You send glimmering rays from heaven to glisten on the water. A blazing Holy Spirit Wildfire ignites hearts and souls with Your glory.
As the brisk breeze blows puffy white clouds, You ride them like Your chariots. The winds are Your messenger. Sometimes they quietly whisper, rustling the colorful autumn leaves. Other times they're a thunderous roar rebuking raging rivers into the ravines.
You are an amazingly sophisticated artist. You've wisely designed day and night, land and sea, plants and animals, man and woman, each with a unique purpose for Your pleasure. The earth is full of Your glorious goodness.
How many are Your works O Lord! Your glory endures forever! When I look on the magnificent high, jagged peaks rising abruptly from the flat valley, I am captivated by Your wonderful creativity. Gazing upon spectacular splashing waves suddenly lifting from the deep sea, I am spellbound by Your splendid beauty. Seeing You as You truly are, my only response is to exalt You in the beauty of Your holiness and sing praises to my Creator King. Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, all thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea! Amen.
Take a walk through nature and worship the ground you walk on. It's God's private property.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
No one calls on your name
or strives to lay hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us
and made us waste away because of our sins.
O Divine Artist,
The vivid illustrations You paint in Your Word delight my imagination. Over the past several weeks, the dazzling autumn leaves dancing in the brisk fall air have mesmerized me. Their elegant display of rich, stunning colors that seemed so full of life tricked me. Kissed by the warm sun, they quickly withered, weakened and were swept away by a gust of wind. The once stately trees are suddenly lifeless. Dormant, there's nothing pretty about them.
So it is with my life. I try to elegantly display my wonderful works for a watching world. I've wasted endless time and energy trying to impress people. In pursuit of the dreams and desires of my heart, I've neglected to seek the plans and purposes of Your heart for me. Like the shriveled autumn leaves that once thrived with abundant life, I've fallen from the Tree of Life. Blown away by the compulsion to prove my value, my works have become worthless. Fruitless, there's nothing striking about me.
If I want to remain vibrant and productive I need to take time be with You daily. Diligently studying Your Word and communicating with You in passionate, persistent, heartfelt prayer You'll show me what's on Your heart and mind. When I turn around, face You, and accept the blazing Truth, my soul will dance like the autumn leaves. Devoted to You, my life will have a sacred and inexpressible charm about it that will naturally attract others to Your inexplicable beauty. In my life Lord be glorified because of Jesus. Amen.
Our works will shrivel up like the autumn leaves and be blown away; but our worship will last forever. I urge you to get connected to the Tree of Life by spending time in God's Word and passionate, persistent, heartfelt prayer. Ask Him to show you the desires of His heart and watch as He reveals His glory. Then, you will be impressed with Him and His work.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
all their glory is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the LORD breathes on them.
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
But the word of our God stands forever."
Thank you for the beautiful lessons of autumn. With a gently breath
from heaven the dry, yellow grasses wave impassively in the chilly
fall air. The leaves, while glistening with dazzling colors, begin to
crackle and drop from their branches, blowing here and there. The
pretty pallet of posies that peeked in my window all summer has long
since faded. As I reflect on the sights of the season, I'm reminded that
life is short. Like the flowers, fame and fortune will fade.Good health
will eventually wilt and wither. Beauty will flee like the falling leaves.
Only Your Word lasts forever. Your perfect promises are the same
today as they were yesterday, and will be tomorrow. I've got to stop
looking to people and possessions for pleasure. The could perish in a
heartbeat leaving me disappointed and disillusioned. Instead, I need to
focus on the power of your everlasting promises. They are altogether
trustworthy and all that I need to live happily ever after in the beautiful
kingdom of heaven. Eternal glory is Yours because of Jesus. Amen
Take a fresh look at the sights of autumn. Life too is fleeting. How will
you spend it?
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
2 Corinthians 3:18
All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him. (MSG)
O Glorious Lord,
Thank You for autumn, the wondrous time of year when You naturally display Your radiant glory. The joyous explosion of color that bursts over the landscape breathes life into my soul. Blazing, multi-colored palettes of fall foliage are a spectacular backdrop for Your jaw-dropping beauty. You are the exact imprint of the stunning vistas that mesmerize me.
As I spend time in Your nature, open the eyes of my heart and enlighten my mind to see the glory of Jesus. Forgive me for the excessive attention I pay to insignificant people and things. Have mercy on me for Christ's sake. Complete the fascinating design You began in me. Make me a showcase to display the magnificent, splendid, wonderful glory of Your grace.
Shine the light of the Gospel into my heart. Set me ablaze like the fall foliage as I focus clearly on Your glorious face. Transform me into Your brilliant, majestic, beautiful image. My blessed hope is in the day when I'll perfectly radiate Your glory because of Jesus. Amen.
When I ponder autumn's beauty, I'm acutely aware that it is exceedingly more beautiful than me. I'm deeply moved and humbled. By nature, I do not live beautifully. My heart is too often consumed with concern about my glory rather than God's. This revelation through God's gloriously beautiful creation helps me keep things in perspective: God is BIG and beautiful. People are significantly smaller and less attractive.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Keeper of the Hidden Treasure,
O how I cherish Your promises! I can be absolutely sure that You'll lead me to the vast cache of valuables that are veiled in the Vault of Your Word.
Taking Your hand, You'll lead me to the precious Pearls of patience perfected in the patriarchs who journeyed through the valley ahead of me. You'll guide me to opulent promises more stunning than rainbow-colored Opals refined in dry and desolate deserts. Steering me through the hidden passages of Scriptures, I'll have unimpeded and unlimited access to Your most precious possessions. In the Treasury of Your Word, I'll be awestruck by:
Truth more timeless than Topaz
Righteousness radiating more richly than Rubies
Everlasting love more beautiful than Emeralds
Almighty Power greater than ancient Amethyst
Saving grace more splendid than Sapphires
Understanding more brilliant than Diamonds
Redemption more reflective than pure gold
Endurance more genuine than Garnets
Security more sure than Spinels
O Lord, I stand in awe of You! You are Sovereign King, Owner of Everything! Your gracious generosity takes my breath away. To find the infinite inheritance of heaven, I simply need to follow You through the intimidating valleys of darkness and intensely dry deserts of despair, accepting Your treasured promises one by one as a token of Your matchless love and kindness toward me, the child You chose and called by name. Alleluia, thank You Jesus. Amen.
God promises to give you treasures that are hidden the Vault of His Word; secrets only unveiled in the valley darkness. If you're presently confused, in the dark, not sure where God's leading you, open your Bible and ask Him to show you what's most valuable to Him today. Consider the Word He gives you a gem of great worth. Claim it. Write it on the tablet of your heart, reflect on it throughout the day, and remember it's a gift to you, the child He chose and called by name.
Spinel is the great impostor of gemstone history: many famous rubies in crown jewels around the world are actually spinels. The most famous is the Black Prince's ruby, a magnificent 170-carat red spinel that now adorns the Imperial State Crown of England in the British Crown Jewels after a long history: Henry V even wore it on his battle helmet! The Timur ruby, a 361-carat red spinel now owned by Queen Elizabeth, has the names of some of the Mughal emperors who previously owned it engraved on its face: an undeniable pedigree! http://www.gemstone.org/
Friday, October 15, 2010
O Great God of Peace~
Humbly I come to You admitting my anxiety and fear. Facing an extreme challenge my stomach is bound in a bundle of knots! By faith, I need to step out, buckle up to You, and grasp Your Word with all my might. With my adrenalin pumping, I need to deeply inhale Your sensational power in preparation for the dreadful drop of uncertainty ahead.
Together, we'll wind through the nauseating twists and turns of trials and tribulations. In the dark tunnel of distress, I'll scream out, tantalized by terror! You'll hear the cry of my heart and bring me into the radiant light of Your presence. Suddenly, I'll see and know that You were always right there beside me; holding me. The safety mechanisms of faith guarded me from danger.
Although I was scared to death, I'll gladly step out of my comfort zone again for the sheer thrill of experiencing the joy of Your inexplicable power and peace. Confident of Your almighty protection, I'll turn my problems to praise, my agony to adoration, and my worry to worship. You didn't bring me this far to let me fall. I believe that You have a plan bigger than I can imagine around the next sharp bend. Please dear Lord, give me courage to face scary situations fearlessly trusting in the power of Your Almighty name. Amen.
What extreme challenge is God asking you to take? Don't be afraid to step out, buckle up to Him and grasp His Word with all your might. Under His protection, you will experience the sensation of His peace and He will bless you with sheer joy as you experience His power!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
I praise and adore Your Holy Word. If I would just slow down and talk to You through prayer, You would faithfully listen to me! If I would just turn around and face You, perusing my Bible, You would speak to me! The problem is I'm too busy wallowing in the ditch of despair. Up to my neck in mud and muck, I'm constantly trying to pull myself out of sticky situations. Unfortunately, the harder I try, the deeper I sink.
I need You, Jesus, to come to my rescue! Come, pull me out of the hopeless pit! Set my feet on solid ground. Wash away the slime of sin. Cleanse me from the miserable mire of my mistakes. Rinse away the froth of fear. Breathe new life into me. Put a joyful song in my heart. Steadily and securely, I'll walk in Your ways, singing praises to the One who sought, found and saved me from severe destruction.
Please dear Lord, pay attention to my plea! Pick me up while I wait. Bless me with joy and peace to go where You send me in Your name, proclaiming the Way, the Truth and the Life. Amen
Are you despondent in the ditch of despair, exhausted trying to dig your way out? Stop digging and wait for Him. Peruse your Bible and pray, asking for His help. Then, He will:
1) Pay attention to your plea
2) Pull you from the pit
3) Plant your feet on solid ground
4) Protect your steps
5) Put a joyful song in your mouth
Waiting patiently on the Lord will pick you up from your despair, causing you to praise Him. It will make you shine like the Son, lighting the way out of the pit for others who are up to their necks in messy situations. In your current circumstances, are you grumbling or glistening for Him?
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
O Dear God!
It makes me sick to think how much I'm like the Israelites! I have seen Your mighty works! I too was a slave. Addictions, attractions and afflictions owned me. I was held captive by power, prestige, and possessions. Satisfaction, security, and significance seized me. The excruciating work was unending. I was hopeless and helpless until You came along and miraculously purchased me. Setting me free, You promised me a bigger, better and brighter future - a gloriously beautiful home in heaven, and a fortune beyond my imagination. I was eager and excited to pursue a new life with You.
Sadly, I've lost focus and forgot all that You've done for me. Wandering in the wilderness, I can no longer see heaven on the horizon. The hope I had for a great fortune is gone. I've lost sight of You and am unhappy. I don't like the uncomfortable living conditions. It's not what I expected. Sin, suffering and sorrow have scorched me. I'm parched by problems and pain. Kicking and screaming like a spoiled child, I want to go home! I crave the pleasures and treasures left behind. I can't wait for You! I'm going to do it my way!
O God, have mercy on me for my little faith! I don't want to be like the contentious Israelites! I see what happened to them. You gave them exactly what they asked for - but along with it they got an empty heart! Please don't let my heart be empty! Fill it with to overflowing with Your love and power. Then, in the midst of my misery, I'll rejoice and give thanks to You for accomplishing Your will in my life. I'll be able to sing sweet songs of salvation in my sadness, and powerfully plead for patience during pain. Full of You, I'll smile when I feel like crying and keep walking vigorously toward the heavenly home You promised because of Jesus. Amen.
Are you like me, unable to wait while wandering in the wilderness? I encourage to you to make a list of all the miracles God has done for you. Carry it with you as you walk with Him and remember His promises! He didn't promise it would be easy. He did promise to supply you with sufficient strength to endure all situations. Will you believe Him?
A few of the miracles God has given me:
He set me free from my sins. He adopted me and gave me a new life, despite my deficiencies. He allows me to represent His kingdom on earth. He entrusts me with His Word. He walked with me slowly through the valley of death, allowing me to pick a beautiful bouquet of blessings as we went. He has changed by heart of stone to a heart of flesh. He has been so good to me! I hope I'll always remember!
"Life is hard, but my heart is harder. I'd rather complain than rejoice in my circumstances."
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
I'm thankful for Your on-going instruction on how to wait for You. When I feel lost and alone, I shouldn't grumble, complain or make a lot of noise. Rather, I should be still, silently expecting You to lead me to the good fortune I'm seeking.
You'll open up the sacred Treasure Chest of Scripture when we're alone together. Diligently, I'll dig through it perusing each costly command and precious promise. While I wait, I'll ponder them, prayerfully asking You, the Owner, perplexing questions. In response, You'll give me a complete understanding of Your amazing grace and incredible love. I'll discover that there is nothing more valuable than Your priceless blood that purchased my pardon. Accepting it will prosper me with glorious power to endure problems and pressures peacefully. Carrying the bright and beautiful jewels of power, peace and patience in my heart will illuminate the Way through the darkness of difficulty to heaven where I can anticipate living happily ever after with You.
Jesus, You are the Good Fortune that I seek. In You, are all the riches of heaven that will satisfy the deepest desires of my heart. Please give me more patience to seek You while I wait for the glory of Your name. Amen.
What are you seeking while you wait for your trial to end?
I encourage you to peruse your Bible for God's commands and promises while you wait. Examine them carefully. Cover them in prayer. When you do, you'll discover the Good Fortune you've always been seeking and be satisfied.
Monday, October 11, 2010
for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.
Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret-it leads only to evil.
For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.
I'm overwhelmed by the secrets You share with me when I open my Bible and my heart. Your Word corrects my wayward thinking. All these years I've been waiting for passing pleasures. Fame and fortune will fade. Good health will eventually wilt and wither. Beauty will flee like a dying flower. The hustle and bustle will come to a screeching halt when I appear before Your holy throne. In the meantime, I'm waiting in the outer courts to see You. In the classroom of my heart You tell me precisely how to be productive while I wait. This is a difficult lesson for my stubborn soul. Please help me to practice until I can perform it beautifully for You.
While I wait, I should:
1. Believe that You'll be faithful to Your promises (v3)
2. Do good deeds (v3)
3. Remain in the place where You put me without wandering off or wishing for greener pastures (v3)
4. Enjoy Your provision and protection (v3)
5. Hang out with You, enjoying Your friendship as I read Your Word and pray (v4)
6. Hand over everything to You - my life, my family, my job, and my possessions - with confident expectation that You will care for them better than I can (v5)
7. Be calm and quiet in the waiting room - no grumbling and complaining about the long wait! (v7)
8. Never be envious, angry, or anxious (v1, 7, 8)
For practicing patience, You promise to give me the desires of my heart - a deeper, more intimate relationship with You. You are the only Way to peace and everlasting happiness! While I wait, You promise to sustain me and keep me safe. You'll make me glow with the purity and warmth of the Son. Please help me practice relying on Your loving kindness and sovereignty. I'll perform beautifully for You, my King, by trusting in Your power, protection and provision day by day. Waiting won't be a waste of time, but a worthwhile investment in the kingdom of heaven. Amen.
What will you do while you wait?
Wow! God taught me several lessons today that will require a lot of extra practice to perform!
1. It's easy to desire someone else's fame, fortune, health or lifestyle. I need to learn to be content where I am, with the things I have.
2. Caught in the hustle and bustle of the world, I realized that my irritation and anxiety while waiting in traffic, doctor offices, and airports is a waste of energy. While I'm huffing and puffing about the situation, I could practice praying!
3. Often, I pursue passing pleasures, without even pondering God's promises!
Minutes after I wrote this, I went to the post office to buy some stamps. I walked in and noticed that the guy in front of me had about six huge boxes to ship! With a big sigh and roll of my eyes, I huffed out the door to the self-service stamp machine.
Two hours later, I found myself in a line at the grocery store with a seemingly incompetent cashier. Again, I found myself irritated and annoyed! Aware of my attitude, I began to pray for her.
This is going to be difficult journey!
Friday, October 08, 2010
My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.
I admit I'm a most impatient child! Even though You promise special blessings for those who quietly wait, it's a very difficult assignment for me! I'm living in a fast-paced world where we drive fast cars through fast food restaurants, gobbling the grub as we speed down the freeway. Instant cash at ATM's and instant information on the internet provide for instant gratification. And I wonder why waiting is hard!
Please dear Lord, slow me down! I want off this race track! Rather than speeding to keep up with everyone else, worrying about my security, career and relationships, I want to deliberately depend on Your provision and protection. Instead of pursuing power, prestige, and possessions for pleasure, I want to down shift, allowing You to take me to everlasting happiness. Zooming through life I miss out on opportunities to serve You; consequently, also losing the rich rewards You pay Your workers.
At break-neck speed my perception is poor and my vision distorted as in the darkness of night. I simply can't see clearly! Going at a slower, safer speed I'll begin to see You for who You really are: loving, kind and reliable. I'll come to depend on You for power, provision and protection. I'll learn to trust Your principles, promises and purposes. Concentrating on Your goodness, I'll find peace and hope in Your Word, the Bible.
Please fill me with patience to endure the long, silent night of my soul, eagerly expecting the definitive morning when the Son will rise and warm my heart with heavenly hope for Your namesake. Amen.
Most of us are waiting for something - a promotion or pay increase, a diagnosis or cure, a birth or a death, a trial or a verdict, a wayward child to come home, to overcome an addiction or bad habit, to win the lottery or lose a few pounds, for a voice at Verizon to pick up the phone or a computer to respond ...
What are you waiting for? Are you impatient, like me, trying to devise your own schemes and plans to get ahead? I encourage you to slow down and go with God. In His Word you will find the only Way to peace and everlasting happiness.
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Thank You, Lord, for showing me the secret path to the high throne of heaven. It is not through weeping or working. It isn't through studying or serving. Offering my time without heartfelt devotion is inadequate. Presenting my talent without wholehearted dedication is insufficient. Halfheartedly giving my treasure out of obligation is inappropriate. You don't want religious ceremonies and showy performances. The only walkway to the peace, contentment and security of a throne-life is to follow You with all my heart.
It will please You when, by faith, I humbly come to the foot of the cross admitting my faults and failures allowing the bond of Your blood to fix and fortify me. Realizing the high price You paid to correct my defects will give me a deeper desire to walk Your way. I'll willingly give up family, friends and freedom in order to spend time getting to know You better. The more I know You, the more readily I'll abandon my ambitions in order to do Your will. Forfeiting my comfortable lifestyle and social status to suffer hardship will perfect my faith, make me shine purer and brighter, and draw others to You.
Believing that I am who You say I am: a chosen child who is holy and blameless in Your sight, today I choose to freely set aside my dreams and desires to follow You to the throne room of heaven where I'll have access to Your almighty power, divine authority and perfect guidance. Claiming my proper position beside You, my eyes will constantly be drawn to You, my strength will only come from You, and my actions will be wholly pleasing to Your name. Hallelujah! Amen.
God is ready and willing to show you the way to the throne room of heaven where you will find peace, contentment, and security in all circumstances. He promises to share the secret path with the humble. (Psalm 25:9, 14)
He doesn't care how much you weep or work; study or serve. He doesn't care how good or bad you've been. It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor; neat or unkempt. All He wants is your whole heart devoted to following Him wherever He goes at any cost.
David Wilkerson writes, "This is the sacrifice every believer must make if He is to know the mind of God. The Lord never shares his plans with those who hold onto their own devices. Why would He direct anyone who's determined to go their own way?"
"Dear saint, the throne room is now open to you. Accept what Christ has done, and boldly take your position with him, by faith. He accepts your resigned will. Now, ask Him to open the eyes of your understanding. And confess, 'I believe what the Lord says about me: that I'm a conquering prince. I also believe that I'm where He says I am: in the throne room of heaven. I'm sitting with Him in a place of authority over all of Satan's works. Hallelujah, Amen."
World Challenge Inc., Publications, Time Square Pulpit Series August 2, 2004
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Thank You God my Father for clearly differentiating between appropriate laughter and inappropriate laughter. In Your home there is no tolerance for vulgarity.
Laughing at obscene stories, foolish talk and coarse jokes is forbidden. Unfortunately, the world we live in is full of entertainment that is morally repugnant. The movie and television industry either makes comedy of that which is holy, right, and good, or has us cracking-up at the crude, profane, and disgusting. Magazines promote passion and pleasure, while radio blares blaspheme. This momentary humor is merely a short-lived vapor that passes quickly, leaving a void in the soul that will lead to the brink of destruction. Forgive me for finding this kind of filth funny.
Godly laughter on the other hand is an expression of our heartfelt appreciation for the generous gifts You've so graciously given us. As we hang out with You in Bible study and prayer, we'll be entertained with wholesome stories that will build up our character. We'll be amused and amazed by Your transforming touch of greatness on our lives. We'll laugh at things that are good, right and true. Encouraging words that are lovely and admirable will put a smile on our face and a song in our heart. This life-giving laughter will fill the hole in our heart with love, joy, and peace that will lead us to everlasting hope.
Please dear Lord, give me a deeper appreciation for the good gifts You've given me. Help me to avoid being amused by immorality, and anoint my lips with praiseworthy words that will make a soul stooped over from the weight of sorrow smile because of Jesus. Amen.
Laughter speaks louder than words. Can people recognize that you are from the family of God by the things that make you laugh?
Be careful to understand the difference between biblical laughter and worldly laughter. One brings Him the glory, the other defamation.
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Thank You for divinely appointing times to weep and mourn, as well as, times to laugh and dance. When everything around me seems to be falling apart, the only way to find stability and security, peace and joy is to climb up on Your great big lap, pour out my heart, and trust You to work out the details for my good and Your glory.
You are the Creator of tears. They are absolutely precious to You! Collecting them in a bottle, You carefully record each and every one of them in Your book. I'm worn out from sobbing and You know it. All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with tears. Overwhelmed by the heavy weight of the burdens You've laid on my back, tears have become my steady diet while proud people knock on my door wondering where in the world You are. Overcome by pain and problems, I cry out to You for grace and mercy. Amazingly, in the midst of complete chaos and confusion, You hear my heart-shattered soul weeping for release, and come to my rescue.
Lovingly You pick up my crushed spirit, and carry me into Your splendid home. Trusting You to tenderly wipe away my tears, my multitude of hurts begin to heal. Gradually, You fill the hole in my heart with love and laughter. With the anguish gone, I can jubilantly jump down from Your great big lap to dance, laugh, and celebrate Your love that is better than life. My lips glorify You, O Lord, the Creator of laughter and tears, who graciously restores broken hearts for the glory of Your name. Amen.
There is a time to weep and mourn, and a time to laugh and dance.
Read through the Psalms and look at the sorrows that made this man after God's own heart weep: He mourns over sin - his own, as well as, the sins of others; in physical anguish, when his bones are crushed, he agonizingly pours out his heart to His Father in heaven; distressed in times of loss, defeat and discouragement he expresses heartfelt sadness. There is an appropriate time to weep and mourn.
On the other hand, God doesn't want us to constantly sulk. He created laughter and dancing and ordered time for them too. The Psalms are full of appropriate times for laughter and dancing - usually after deliverance. Discover them and let your heart sing.
Monday, October 04, 2010
A happy heart makes the face cheerful,
but heartache crushes the spirit.
Proverbs 17: 22
A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bone.
Father in Heaven-
I praise You for Your incredible ancient wisdom.
A casual glance at the world, with its wars, hatred, violence and evil makes me sad. Every day I see and hear horrible accounts of hurting people who in turn, inflict injuries on others. It grieves me that so many people in my community are crushed and hopeless. Yet, in the midst of crisis and catastrophe, there are stories and images that provoke a chuckle and a smile.
Thank You for the great gifts of laughter and cheer. A merry heart is used to bring healing and wholeness to that which would otherwise be brittle and broken. You know we need a good dose of cheer in these difficult days to bring a smile to our faces. A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down curing a crushed spirit and broken heart.
Please dear Lord, help me to unwrap Your enduring joy, peace and contentment when everything else around me seems to be falling apart. I don't have to stay in the dark dungeon of despair. Since You sent Your Son to rescue me, my glum days can change to glad days. With my heart, soul and mind focused on living happily ever after in the kingdom of heaven, I'll naturally smile and warmly greet others with a kind and encouraging word. Please make me a bubbling fountain of laughter where people can come, drink and be healed for Your namesake. Amen.
Who can you offer a spoonful of sugar today? There are hurting people everywhere. Take time to stop and notice them. Smile and offer them a kind word of encouragement. It may just be the medicine they need to cure their crushed spirit.
Friday, October 01, 2010
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Praise the LORD with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.
For the word of the LORD is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
Creative Composer and Conductor,
You've written a symphonic song in my soul fit for a King. My heart is the harp that harmoniously believes You. Mastering the magnificence of Your mercy, my mind makes a marvelous accompaniment. With clean hands, pure motives, my eyes on You and a lot of practice, I'm able to perform a concerto of thankful praise worthy of Your holy ears.
Long before Handel, Mozart or Beethoven, You orchestrated a work of unequaled portions. Your Holy Word is a classical masterpiece that perfectly expresses truth and righteousness. Larger than life, it contains drama, death, rebirth, strife, and resistance. The fact that it is still published, respected, recognized and read worldwide after thousands of years is a testament to its power and impact. The more I read it and know it, the more impressed I am with it, and the more I appreciate it.
Please dear Lord, help me to develop an exquisite taste for the harmonization of Your Holy Composition. With my eyes fixed on You, my ears tuned to You, and my heart set on You, I'll use every endowment I possess to rhythmically pursue You. My heart will be full of holy joy and goodness as I earnestly love others in Your name, meticulously playing each self-contained movement as an opus of divine praise.
Watching from Your lofty throne in heaven, You won't miss my glorious showing of grace. In unison with You, my heart will perform the Hallelujah Chorus because of Your holy Name. May Your unfailing love rest on me, O Lord, because I put my hope in You. Amen.
Praise is appropriate and fitting of anyone who has clean hands and a pure heart. Even if you can't play an instrument, you ARE the instrument. You are part of God's Great Symphony. You will accompany Him beautifully when your heart is in unison with His.
His Word is the most famous composition ever written. If you haven't developed a keen interest in it, Mozart's biographer says in his book that "The masterpieces of the Romans and Greeks please more and more through repeated reading, and as one's taste is refined - the same is true for both expert and amateur with respect to the hearing of Mozart's music [or classical music]." The bottom line: the more you know a piece the better it becomes.
The same is true of your Bible, God's Holy Composition, the more you read it and know it, the more impressed you'll be with it, and the more you'll appreciate it. Before you know it, you'll have acquired an exquisite taste for it, and be filled with holy joy!
Live a life of praise by following the most Creative Composer and Conductorof all time!