Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Psalm 93:3-4

The seas have lifted up, O LORD,
the seas have lifted up their voice;
the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.

Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
mightier than the breakers of the sea-
the LORD on high is mighty.

O Lord God Almighty,

You are the Maker of the spacious steel blue seas teeming with countless creatures. A continuous column of white-capped waves wildly pound their applause while living organisms, large and small, gaily dance beneath them lifting praise to Your high and holy name. Girded with surging strength, who is like You, O Lord? All creation worships You!

You, O Lord, are mightier than the roaring water and stronger than the billowing breakers. When we surrender to Your almighty authority, admitting our faults and frailties, You hurl them into the deep, dark sea of forgetfulness covering them completely with the blood of Jesus. Powerful torrents of mercy sweep over ALL of our BIG bad behaviors. Steady streams of grace from heaven flood over our middle-sized mistakes. And soft showers of love fall from your throne washing away our tiny little temptations.

I just want to join the celebrating sea and shout, "Glory! Hallelujah!" when the waves of glory roll over me! Hallelujah, thank You Jesus for surging over me! Amen.

Ponder the mighty power of God. Give Him your sins and He will hurl them into the deep dark sea of forgetfulness. Gratefully receive His forgiveness and join the sea by lifting up your voice to praise His high and holy name.

Micah 7:19 You will hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Nahum 1:3, 7

His way is in the whirlwind and the storm.

The LORD is good,
a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him.

O Wild and Wonderful One!

Your Word is both frightening and fabulous. It leaves me trembling and troubled, yet confident and courageous. It's scary to think You allow storms to rage, putting me in mortal danger. Fiercely determined to bring me to the end of myself, You want me to be fully dependent on You. When the sun is shining and the sea is calm I don't need a Savior.

You let the wild winds of the world whistle their threats to destroy me. Temptation sets my soul spinning like a tornado. Sucked into it, my heart is slammed, smashed and shattered.

Sorrow swirls around me bringing with it the gale winds of grief. Whirling and twirling, I'm consumed by its catastrophic cyclone. Confused by the chaos of uncertainty, I'm dizzy and disheartened.

You give sickness the right to swallow me like a titanic storm surge on the mighty sea. Sin is used to shake, quake and break the feeble foundation of my life. Hurricanes of hardship leave me destitute and devastated. Crippled and crying, I desperately need a Savior!

Divine Disrupter, in the midst of vicious whirlwinds, it's comforting to know that You care for me. In the center of problems and pressure, You are my Savior. Bringing me into the safety of Your presence, You shield me and heal me. Trusting You with my troubled soul, Your supernatural power rests on me. In Your strength I can stand firm through the fiercest storms certain that You are thoughtfully and thoroughly working out Your perfect plan for my life - a plan that will bring glory to Your Wild and Wonderful name. Amen.

Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble." God's way is in the whirlwind and the storm. Are the wild winds whistling their threats to destroy you? Are the storm surges swallowing your soul? Trust the powerful promise of God: He cares for you!

His word says all the days of your life were written in His book before even one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16) He is the Author of your life story. He has a purpose and plan for every event in your life. He is not concerned about your happiness; He cares only about your holiness. Using hardships, He draws you nearer to His own dear heart.

Reflect on the lyrics of the age-old hymn: Near to the Heart of God

There is a place of quiet rest,
Near to the heart of God.
A place where sin cannot molest,
Near to the heart of God.


O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God,
Hold us who wait before Thee
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of comfort sweet,
Near to the heart of God.
A place where we our Savior meet,
Near to the heart of God.


There is a place of full release,
Near to the heart of God.
A place where all is joy and peace,
Near to the heart of God.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Matthew 8:23-27

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"

He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!"


Thank You for opening my eyes to see the wonderful things in Your Word. By them You preserve my life. In them I find confidence, comfort and courage.

Often I find myself in the same boat as the disciples - caught without warning in a dangerous situation. In the ferocious storms of the soul, I lose power and am in the dark. Colossal waves of worry crash over me. Mighty moaning winds of fear and doubt violently toss me about threatening to throw me into the wicked sea of unrighteousness. Hopeless, helpless and paralyzed, I cry out to You, "Lord, help me! I'm drowning!"

When the raging storms of life overtake me, often I respond as though You're asleep and unaware of the terror in the night. Forgive me for failing to recognize Your presence, protection and power. I'm nothing but a coward with a faint heart and crippled faith. How many blessings do I miss because of my fear in the storm?

Beneath the raging tempest of even the perfect storm are still waters deep within the sea. When gale winds scream like demons in the dark, please give me faith to stop what I'm doing, let go of the troubling thoughts, and plunge into Your Word. Then, the rampant storm will subside and there will be peace beneath the surface, in the hollow of my heart. Deep within the sea of my soul, I'll find confidence, comfort and courage to wait through the fearsome fury and dreaded darkness. With One voice, You'll preserve my life, irrevocably changing me because of my extreme encounter with the One who calms the seas and quiets hearts in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Is a storm surrounding you? Are the mighty moaning winds of fear and doubt violently tossing you about threatening to throw you into the sea of unrighteousness? Ask God for faith to believe in His presence, protection and power. Then plunge into His Word, and discover the peace beneath the surface, in the hollow of Your heart.

Friday, August 26, 2011

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!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

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.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

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.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

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.

Monday, August 22, 2011

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.

Friday, August 19, 2011

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.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

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.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

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.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

In the End: Don't Worry

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

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

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

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

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

Why worry about what we'll wear? Look at the fabulous 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.

Monday, August 15, 2011

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.

Friday, August 12, 2011

In the End: Love Deeply

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 11, 2011

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)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

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.' "

Living God,

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.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Magnify the Lord

Psalm 34:3
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. KJV

Sovereign God,

Hear the cry of my heart and expand my view of You today so that I can join with the heavenly hosts extolling You. O Lord, come nearer to me so that I can see You greater in size, status, and significance. I want to see you MAGNIFIED.

M - Mighty to save! Your strong hand shimmering with power, will guide my eyes to Your holy dwelling.

A - Arrayed in awesome, holy, majestic power, I will find peace and protection in Your presence.
G - Great is Your love, higher than the heavens, reaching out to show me the expanse of Your grace and compassion.

N - Name above all names, I will notice all created beings in heaven and earth lifting You high and honoring You, calling out in adoring praise that You are the Master of all the universe.

I - Incomparable wisdom, more solid than silver, more costly than gold, and more precious than rubies, I will see at once Your vast knowledge when my mind is open to the Truth found in Your Word, my Bible.

F - Faithfulness that reaches to the sky will irresistibly beckon me to come further in and climb higher up even when I'm afraid of new heights. With my eyes fixed on You, I will not falter or fall.

Y - Your strong hands and inconceivable mind that made the whole world formed me too! You, the Mastermind and Majestic King made me a masterpiece for the praise of Your glory!

Help me dear Lord, to look up at You, grasp Your unparalleled splendor, and declare Your matchless glory. When I see Your size, status, and significance I will humbly fall to my knees in reverential worship exalting Your name among the army of angels. To You be the majesty, the glory, and the power forever and ever. Amen.

To magnify means to see something greater in size, status, or significance. When we recognize God's size, status and significance, we suddenly see ourselves and our problems as very small.

What will you do today to magnify the Lord with me? Let us exalt His name together.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Discerning the Times

Luke 12:54-56

Jesus said to the crowd: "When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, 'It's going to rain,' and it does. And when the south wind blows, you say, 'It's going to be hot,' and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don't know how to interpret this present time?

God of the Times,

You are the Beginning and End; the First and the Last. Thank You for Your timeless Word that's still alive, active and accurate after thousands of years. You are absolutely right. When we see clouds forming in the west, we say, "A shower's coming." And, it does. When the south wind blows, we say, "Today's going to be a scorcher." And, it is. When the humidity is 100% we know a thunderstorm is on the horizon. And, it comes. When the days get longer we can be sure summer is right around the corner; and when the light gets lesser we're aware that winter isn't far off. We can interpret the weather by the appearance of the earth and the sky, but we are clueless about the crisis ahead.

A confluence of conditions is combining to form the storm of the millennia, but because we've neglected Your Word we don't recognize Your activity in the world. These are crucial days! All biblical indicators point to phenomenal conditions mounting in the eastern sky. Enormous pressure is forming on all sides of Israel as evidenced in the daily news. With each passing day it appears we are getting closer to the ultimate Perfect Storm - the day when heaven and earth collide, You roar in on the rogue cloud, time is wiped out, and we are swept into eternity.

How predictable You are! We are indeed ignorant of the present times. Lord, now more than ever I need to carefully study and KNOW Your Word. By Your Holy Spirit and according to Your promise, make all the scriptural predictors plain to me, and enable me to remember them. Then, with my eyes peeled to the news, I will be able to see the incredible converging conditions and confirm my belief that You are coming back again soon. Blessed assurance. Amen.

A storm of biblical proportions is rising in the eastern skies. Do you understand the time in which we're living? I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to make the scriptural predictors plain to you. Then open your Bible and study Ezekiel 38 and
39, and Matthew 24. Compare God's Word to the daily news and you will see with your own eyes God's terrific and terrifying activity in the world.

Jesus says in John 14:29, "I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe."

Henry Blackaby, recently published an excellent article in Herald of His Coming entitled; Do You Understand the Time In Which You Live? Click here to read and select "Articles From Our Current Issue."

Friday, August 05, 2011

Remarkable Advice

2 Thessalonians 3:10b-12

We gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat."

We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat. And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.

Master, Jesus,

Sometimes Your Word stings! Admittedly, I have a somewhat skewed view of work. I'd rather be painting, singing, writing, playing, vacationing, golfing, camping, sailing, skiing, horseback riding, biking, hiking ... anything but working! I can be a "busy body" - busy fooling around and not accomplishing anything. In view of Your imminent return, work seems tragically meaningless because I must leave everything I've earned with my knowledge and skill for the heathens who will be left behind. Anxious, and disillusioned, it's tempting to throw up my hands and quit in despair, questioning the intrinsic value of hard work in this world. My over emotional attitude is wrong!

Change my mind and outlook, Lord! I want nothing more than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in my work. These providential pleasures are gifts from Your good and generous hand. Enlighten me to see my occupation as an opportunity to develop my talents and use my treasures to fulfill my God-given purpose, bringing praise, exaltation and honor to Your magnificent name.

Empower me to be diligent, dedicated, and devoted to my employer. Out of deep respect and awe for You, I will work enthusiastically, not by way of eye-service, as a man-pleaser, but as Your humble, faithful servant, doing Your will with gladness of heart and eternal values in view. Amen.

With all the chaos and confusion in the world, and in light of Christ's imminent return, its easy to feel like work is pointless. But God's Word is clear: if you don't work, you won't eat. Not only does He want to find us watching and waiting for Him, but He also wants to find us working, using the talents and treasures He's given us to fulfill His purpose in our lives.

Be a good example in the work place. Be diligent, dedicated, and devoted to your employer out of respect for God.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Remarkable Truth

2 Thessalonians 2:10b, 12a

They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. All will be condemned who have not believed the truth.

2 Thessalonians 2:13b

From the beginning God chose youto be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.


You are the Son of Glory and Living Truth. When I stop, sit and soak in the Son, my heart is warmed with wonder that You loved me and picked me from the very start to be saved. Convicted of breaking Your moral law, I was locked in the dungeon of darkness and condemned to death when you called me to come out, not because of my character, but because of Your incredible kindness. Having heard the Good News that You paid the penalty for my transgressions and pardoned me, I gratefully accepted it and wholeheartedly embraced it. Forgiven and free from the domination, deception and delusion of the licentious liar, the Devil himself, Your Spirit instantly set me apart, cleansed my heart and preserved my life.

Lord, with the increase in lewdness, immorality and corruption shamelessly surrounding and seducing me, help me to focus on the privileged life of purity I have in You. Give me love for Your laws rather than love for loot. Turn my eyes from worthless toys and trinkets, and invigorate me through Your Word. Obediently, I'll lay down the temporary allures of this world for the imperishable reward of being with You. Firmly perched on the pinnacle of Your immovable, unchangeable promises, I'll faithfully keep Your teachings to the end, and live. As I grasp the truth with all my might in the midst of all the clamor and confusion, please dear Lord, guard my precious faith so that I will hear You, believe You, and adore You, sharing in Your incorruptible glory both now and forever more. Amen.

Jesus makes it clear; the way to eternal life is to hear His Words and believe what He says is true.

Believe the Truth and live.

You are guilty before God, the only Righteous Judge, of breaking His moral law.

The penalty for breaking the moral law is death.

Jesus paid the penalty for your transgressions by dying on the cross for you.

Live for Him, by listening to Him! His Word, no matter how difficult or painful, is Trustworthy and True.

John 5:24
Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."

John 8:51
Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death."

He speaks through the Holy Bible. Read, receive, and obey.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Remarkable Deception

2 Thessalonians 2: 1-3

Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way.

King of Prophecy,

You alone are God! There is none like You. You are incomparable and irreplaceable. From the very beginning You have been telling Your people what's going to happen in the end. According to Your Word, everything You plan will come to pass, for You do whatever You wish. (Isa 46:9-10)

Thank You for preserving Your long and rich history through the ancient words penned by inspired men personally picked by You, and printed on the pages of my Holy Bible. Help me to remember the things You have done in the past, and not react recklessly to rumors of Your return. According to Your Word, every eye will see You on that earth-shattering day. (Rev 1:7)

Your Words to the Thessalonians comfort me, and challenge my conduct. There are lessons to be learned from these remarkable people who were fervent for You to come and carry them away from their problems, pressure, and pain caused by intense persecution. Though Paul had clearly taught them to stand on the truth, in their hopeless despair, they had quickly forgotten and fell for a lie finding themselves in a frenzy of fear.

Today, all the events in the Middle East where Israel is concerned - the constant wars, and rumor of wars coupled with terroristic threats - causes our minds to question if the day of the Lord has already come. Reports of mad cow disease, swine flu, and avian flu tend to propel us into pandemonium. Wicked weather and increased natural disasters make it difficult to avoid the whirlwind of worldwide chaos and confusion. In the midst of all the current commotion it's easy to lose heart and hope, and wonder if we missed the great gathering, and are going through the great tribulation - Your remarkable retribution reserved for those who refused to believe.

Lord, help us to remember who you are: the Master of Time and Space - not even Your own Son, or right hand angels know the day or hour set for Your return. Remind us of who You say we are: dearly loved by You, washed by the blood of Jesus, purified by the Holy Spirit, and chosen to be saved from destruction because we believe the Truth of the gospel. Because we will one day share in Your glory, give us the power to calmly stand with Jesus, on Jesus, and in Jesus, quietly focusing on Him, so that we will not fall for the flagrant lies that lead to a fury of fear and confusion. By Your amazing grace, eternally encourage us, renew our blessed hope, and strengthen us for every good deed and word so that we will always be ready to bring glory, honor, and blessing to Your Name above all names. Amen.

In troubling times it is so easy to take our eyes off Jesus, the Word of God, and fall for the father of lies who wants nothing more than to rob us of God's promised rest. Turn your eyes upon Jesus today, and see Him standing with you.

David Wilkerson writes, "All around us the world is breaking down. But we see Jesus! We see him in our present trials. We him standing with us in our pain, our suffering, our crises, all things. Most of all, we see Jesus getting all things ready for his coming. Hallelujah!" World Challenge Pulpit Series, April 5, 2010.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Remarkable Retribution

2 Thessalonians 1:6-7

God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.

Just Judge,

You hold the keys of death and Hades. No matter what, You are the Author and Finisher of life.

Struggling to find meaning and hope amid a sea of hostility, Your Words comfort and commend me, giving me courage to continue on this hard road that ultimately leads to heaven. Along the way my faith is growing, along with my love for others. You're not surprised by the slander that comes from Satan's scoffers because I submit wholeheartedly to You. My afflictions and poverty don't alarm You. According to Your Word, these trials that test my faith are to be expected, and prove that I am worthy of Your kingdom. You promise if I am faithful, even to the point of death, I will receive the incorruptible crown of life. (Rev 2:8-10)

According to Your Word I will one day stand victoriously on the banks of the glassy sea with my heavenly harp singing:

Great and marvelous are Your deeds,
Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
King of the ages.

Who will not fear You, O Lord,
And bring glory to Your name?
For You alone are holy.

All nations will come and worship before You,
For Your righteous acts have been revealed.

Then I will gaze in wonder, through Your blaze of glory, and witness seven stunning angels deliver seven horrific plagues from the golden bowls filled with Your holy wrath on those who caused me trouble. Blessed assurance, I will watch from the sidelines as they are punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from Your presence, power, and majesty forever and ever. (Rev 15)

According to Your Word, You promise to keep me from the hour of trial that is coming upon the whole world to test those who did not believe in You. Because I believe You are coming soon, I will cling tightly to my faith so that no one will steal my crown. If I stand firm, I will be given the right to sit with You on Your throne. (Rev 3:10-11, 21)

With my eyes focused on my fabulous future, I will walk through tough times in Your strength, with joy and thanksgiving in my heart so that You will be increasingly glorified in me, and I in You, according to Your grace and the Lord Jesus Christ, my Triumphant King for Yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

If you are in the thick of the battle, severely suffering, ponder these true promises of the One who calls you by name. Read what is to come for those who are troubling you.

Read Revelation 14:14 - 16, 19-20

No wonder God tells us to pray for those who persecute us!

Monday, August 01, 2011

More Remarkable Instructions

1 Thessalonians 5: 16-22

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.

Faithful and True,

What You say You will do! I'm eternally grateful for Your remarkable Instruction Book, my Bible. In it You give me everything I need to live a life of godliness and holiness. Help me by Your Spirit to read, hear and obey You.

Guide me along the path of Your commands because that's where true happiness is found. Walking with You, I will always be joyful because I know You're leading me heavenward. Aware that You are constantly with me like a devoted friend, I'll communicate with You throughout the day even if my comments are brief.

In life's painful circumstances, when I can see little or no good, I'll look beyond them to Your tender heart and strength, giving thanks that Your goodness is never-changing, Your love is unbudging, and Your plans for my life and the lives of my loved ones are far greater than my highest thoughts can reach.

When I feel that little nudge of Your Spirit in my heart and hear that small whisper of Your voice in my ear pointing me in a specific direction, instead of dousing the flames of Your Spirit with doubt, I'll quickly say, "Yes Lord, I'll do what you say. I'll go where You send me. I'll obey what You tell me to do!" and, then step out in faith and watch as Your power is demonstrated to me and through me.

Because the time is near, and according to Your Word, You are coming soon, I will seriously read, hear and take the prophecy in Your Word to heart, even when others make fun of me, so that I won't be caught off guard and unprepared on that Day. I believe You are Faithful and True and will do exactly what You say.

Eager to see Your pure and perfect face, I will abandon my shameful ways, and attempt to catch my wandering thoughts and bring them to the obedience of Christ so that the devil will not get a foothold on my mind and humiliate me in Your presence.

Because Your instructions are good, I long to habitually obey them! Purify and perfect me - mind, body and soul - so that I will be found fit for the coming of my long expected King. I believe You are completely honest and according to Your own Word, You will come - please come quickly I pray in Jesus name. Amen.

Set your heart of seeking the Lord. He is completely Faithful and True, and He is coming back for His children. Since we don't know when, we better have our lives and relationship in order so that we're ready on that remarkable Day. Study God's Instruction Book, your Bible, for yourself. Obey His commands, and He will purify and perfect you. God is not a liar!

He did evil because he did not set his heart on seeking the Lord. 2 Chronicles 12:14

Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. Revelation 1:3