Tuesday, July 31, 2012

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.

Monday, July 30, 2012

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)

Friday, July 27, 2012

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.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

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, July 24, 2012

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."

Monday, July 23, 2012

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.

Friday, July 20, 2012

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.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

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.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

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!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

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

Monday, July 16, 2012

1 Thessalonians 5:13b-15

Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
Blessed Word of God,

There's nothing like the Sacred Scriptures for training us to live like children of the Light. Thank You for teaching me Your ways. In the remarkable light of Your impending arrival, help me to develop godly habits. Paying attention to Your instructions, I will put them to practice in my heart and do my best to keep them to the end. With Your help I will:

Warn those who rebel against Your rules and wreck havoc in their lives that spills over into the church.

Encourage those who are disheartened and doubting their decision to follow You by getting close to them and speaking tenderly to them about Your promises in order to teach them that trials will make them stronger in faith.

Hold onto the weak in faith and not let them fall as I show them with cords of kindness how to stand up and walk with You.

Be patient with everyone; today's scamps may be tomorrow's most solid leaders.

Do my best to love and forgive those who mistreat me and others, killing their malice with kindness.

By habitually following Your remarkable instructions, I will be a blessing to the pastors and elders whom You've called to be my earthly keeper, proving that I love, honor, and respect not only them, but also You. Since unity is vital to the health and growth of the church family and Your kingdom, I will joyfully do my part to bear with the burdens of others so that together we will be found worthy of the Name above all names.

In my life O Lord, be magnified in majesty, grace and power. Amen.
What do your actions in the house of God say about your love, respect and honor for not only Him, but also your pastors and leaders? God's Word is clear: we are not to be a burden to them but a blessing.

Our Father in heaven cannot stand our bickering and backstabbing! The time to get right with God and each other is today. Tomorrow may be too late.

Personally, I want to be at the award ceremony in heaven cheering for my beloved pastors and elders when they receive the crown of everlasting glory for their works prompted by faith, labor motivated by love, and hope inspired by God's great and precious promises that are securely kept there for all believers. It is my pleasure to work cooperatively with them to keep peace in the house of God.

Friday, July 13, 2012

1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13

Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.

You are Head of the Church, the High Priest, and Chief Shepherd. I will honor and respect You by valuing the pastors and elders You have appointed to shepherd my soul. I will love these dear men because they regularly lead us to streams of Living Water in our Bibles where we can refresh our thirsty spirits. Tirelessly, they feed us the Word of Life, Truth about You, nourishing both the newborn and mature followers. Patiently, they teach us what is right and help us see the errors of our ways. Gently they correct us and train us so that we will be prepared and properly equipped to do good work for Your Kingdom.

Because they are men of integrity who willingly keep watch over us like doting Dads, day in and day out, year after year, and are accountable to You, I will make every effort to live harmoniously with my church family so that their work will be a joy. Their battles and burdens are many; they don't need to be bogged down with a bunch of bickering and backstabbing.

In view of the fact that You've ordained them, I will readily accept them and the authority You've given them. Instead of criticizing them, I will be quick to compliment them for their works prompted by faith, labor motivated by love, and hope inspired by Your many great and precious promises. Since they are godly examples, it will be a pleasure to pray for them, work with them, and support them so that when the Chief Shepherd appears with all His precious sheep, they will be deemed worthy to receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor. Lord, today I ask that You strengthen their hearts and encourage them so that they will be blameless and holy in Your presence on that Day. Amen.
Speak a word of appreciation to your pastors and elders today. Write a note. Send an email. Make a phone call. Leave a voice mail. Make them smile, and you will make your Father in Heaven smile.

Suggested prayer for our church leaders: That our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

Thursday, July 12, 2012

1 Thessalonians 5: 4-6

You, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.
Pure Father of Light,

I stand in awe and amazement when I think of who You are, and who I am. That the God of the Galaxies would love and care about me enough to bring me out of the dreadful darkness into the remarkable light is incomprehensible. You are the Master of Time and Space. On that earth-shattering Day when Christ abruptly arrives on the clouds to carry away His Bride, the Church, You will be both the Superior Judge and the Righteous Criterion.

The wakeup call has been ringing continuously. Having waited for 20 centuries for Your promised appearance, and been aroused by many false alarms throughout the ages, it's easy to see why people have become cynical and apathetic. Admittedly, it's tempting to hit the snooze and fall back to sleep. By Your great Spirit, shake me and wake me up. Through Your Word, my Holy Bible, enlighten me with knowledge of end times so that I won't be caught dozing and doubting when Your Son, the Founder of my life and faith returns.

The very thought of standing face to face with You stirs me to clean up my act. Captivated and cleansed by the Cross of Christ, I'm forgiven and free from the dark and defiant life of indulgences, indecencies, and indifferences that one time incapacitated me. Instead of leisurely lying around in my silky soft pajamas, in Your strength I will get up and put on the mighty under armor of faith and love to guard my heart from the seductive arrows of Satan. Crowned with the blessed hope of my salvation, I will have peace of mind knowing that dead or alive, one day possibly quite soon, I am going to see the Christ the risen King. Until then, I long to be so in love with You that when You come You will find me willingly working, witnessing, worshipping, and worthy of Your high calling. Amen.
Consider yourself warned. Christ is coming. While we do not know the times and dates, we can know with confidence that His arrival will be sudden and surprising. If He were to return today or tomorrow, would you be ready or would you be ashamed to meet Him?

Don't be caught sleeping! Ask yourself, "Do I want to be caught doing this when Christ abruptly arrives on the clouds. Live expectantly!

Warren Wiersbe writes, in his book, Be Ready: Living in the Light of Christ's Return, "There is a difference between being ready to go to heaven and being ready to meet the Lord. Anyone who has sincerely trusted Christ for salvation is ready to go to heaven. Christ's sacrifice on the cross has taken care of that. But to be ready to meet the Lord at the Judgment Seat of Christ is quite another matter."

Jesus said, "Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed." Revelation 16:15

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

1 Thessalonians 4: 15-17

According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
Blessed Father,

Thank You for recording these incredible revelations from the apostle Paul to give me remarkable hope! Because you could return any day, I am urged to be watchful, waiting and ready. Expectancy and holy fear of being left behind causes me to keep clean and put on the robe of righteousness daily so that I will be ready in a heartbeat. At the blink of an eye You could be on my doorstep to pick me up, give me an imperishable new body, and carry me home.

Your authoritative words give me extraordinary comfort and assurance. On that day, when I hear Your voice boom, the loud trumpet fanfare and the unmistakable cry from an angel, there will be a remarkable reunion in the sky when I meet You face to face, and see with my own eyes all my loved ones who fell asleep and died in Your strong arms remarkably resurrected. They will not be dead, but fully and physically alive, and You will bring them back with You. What a day of rejoicing that will be. I don't have to grieve as one who doesn't have hope! With a single triumphant breath of Life, I believe death will be vanished forever!
Expecting Your imminent return from Glory, live and in person, Blessed Father, permeate my heart with confidence and purity so that I can unashamedly stand before You when Your Son, Jesus my Lord, arrives in the air to pick up the Church and carry us to our high-flying home in heaven to live with You there forever and ever. Amen.
Who do you know who has fallen asleep in the arms of Jesus? As Christians we have wonderful assurance and hope because of Jesus' resurrection and promised return. Who do are you longing to meet in the sky? I can't wait to be reunited with my Dad who I miss tremendously.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

1 Thessalonians 4:7

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

Hebrews 12:14
Without holiness no one will see the Lord.
Holy Father,

You have chosen me out of all the billions of people on the planet to be Your beloved child. I didn't pick You; You picked me, and bought me with the priceless blood of Your Son. Seeing beyond my problems to my potential, You brought me into Your holy household, cleaned me up, clothed me in a costly robe of righteousness, and covered my imperfections and impurities. Purified and empowered, You commanded me to keep the laws of Your Kingdom, and stay away from the corrupt customs of my country.
With all my heart, I want to live a remarkable lifestyle like the Thessalonians who knew You and followed You. By Your power, I will stay far away from sexual immorality that will wreck and ruin my relationship with You. Create in me holy desires so that I will crave Your pure Word and not the filthy garbage of the flesh. Focusing on Your promises, when Satan hurls fireballs of lust through the windows of my eyes, shoots arrows of temptation through my heart, and sets snares to trap my feet You will be pleased when I bring my thoughts and body under the control of Your Spirit. Divinely empowered, You will smile when I walk in holiness undeterred by the allures of the world.

Teach me, Holy Father, who You are so that I will have the proper respect for Your authority. I desire nothing more than to keep the laws of Your Kingdom. With my own eyes I long to see You in all Your splendor and majesty, and not haphazardly run into the lake of burning sulfur. For Your namesake, according to Your Word make me holy. Amen.
Holiness is not only a command, it's demanded of God's people. We are called to live in this corrupt culture, but not comply with it. Keep God's commands, follow His instructions, and when you obey He will make you holy, according to His Holy Word. (Leviticus 20:7)

Click to read: God's Commandments

Monday, July 09, 2012

1 Thessalonians 3:8

For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.
Your Eternal Word, O Lord, stands firm forever in heaven. The horizons can't contain Your commands. By them my life was saved.

All around me are fear and trembling in the midst of a global shakedown. The economy is humiliating lofty lifestyles. Strong earthquakes, horrific fires and violent storms are crushing communities. There's no end in sight to the wars and conflicts around the world. Proud people are sarcastically saying, "Where is your God?" Some supposed believers, scared sick by the darkness, despair, and difficulties, are hopelessly throwing up their hands and walking away from You; while others are seeking to be soothed with smooth sounding words that are insecure and insincere.

Your instructions, O Lord, are my only hope. They promise to hold me up in bad times. When the rest of the world is quaking and quivering, I want to stand firm on them like the Thessalonians. As I reflect on them day and night, enlighten the eyes of my heart to see the Blessed Hope to which You have called me. With my eyes laser focused on You, I will never forget:

Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, my Savior and Redeemer who joyfully endured the excruciating cross, scorning its shame, and ultimately sat down at the right hand of Your high and holy throne in heaven.

Because of Your rich mercy I am alive with Christ, and seated with Him in the heavenly realms where I have unlimited access to Your mighty power 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Through Him, I can cheerfully handle any problem, pressure or pain that pierces my heart.

Lord, when You come on the clouds with the heavenly host, and it could be any day now, I want to be ready and waiting, standing obediently on the platform of Your promises. I can't wait for the Soul Train to come from Glory to carry me away to live with You forever in the unshakable Kingdom of Heaven. Yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
How is faith holding up these days? Are you laser focused on Jesus, God's Word? Will you be found waiting and ready like the Thessalonians, standing obediently on the platform of God's promises? Or will you be wondering around looking for an easier way out? God's Word is clear:

Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come. 1 John 2:18

I challenge you to get in the Word and know Jesus intimately so that you won't be led astray by the masses of flattering teachers whose words sound good but in reality are insecure and insincere. No one is going to want to be messing around and missing the Soul Train. The whistle is blowing. It's approaching the station, many have a ticket but will miss their ride to Glory because they simply aren't ready and waiting, obediently standing on the platform of God's promises.

Friday, July 06, 2012

1 Thessalonians 2:17-18, 3:5

Dear brothers and sisters, after we were separated from you for a little while (though our hearts never left you), we tried very hard to come back because of our intense longing to see you again. We wanted very much to come to you, and I, Paul, tried again and again, but Satan prevented us.

That is why, when I could bear it no longer, I sent Timothy to find out whether your faith was still strong. I was afraid that the tempter had gotten the best of you and that our work had been useless. NLT
God Almighty,

Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to You forever and ever! Amen!

I hate to think of that great dragon - the ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world. I'd much rather look upon You and Your Kingdom and salvation and power and the authority of Christ, but sometimes it's helpful to take a good hard look at the beast so that we won't be deceived by him. Thank You for causing me to do that today.

The ancient serpent, he is more crafty than any of the wild animals You made. From the beginning of time, he has been a twister of words, a deceiver, and Your accuser. He was a murderer from the get-go, killing Adam and Eve and all mankind. There is no truth in him. He is a liar and the father of lies.

From the Thessalonians, I learn that he is the one who interrupts my ministry. It is he who blocks us from being with other believers. And, he is the robber who steals our hope, joy and rewards. He doesn't want us to win the race; so, he sets up obstacles of oppression, opposition and affliction to try to trip us, trick us and take us off course. His goals is to render the efforts of the evangelist useless.

Lord, please give me the discernment of Paul to recognize who is behind the assaults and attacks on my faith. When I am tempted to shrink back in fear and walk away from You, help me to remember the one who introduced me to Christ, and those who nurtured me. My unfaithfulness would render their work useless and defame Your name. Thinking clearly, I will chose to run with all my might toward the prize of the high calling. The finish line is just ahead! You are coming and I can't wait to stand with them in Your presence in Glory where we will receive the Crown of Perseverance for overcoming that great ancient serpent. Deliver me from evil and temptation I pray in Jesus name. Amen.
Run, Beloved, run! The finish line is just ahead! Jesus is coming!

What do you do when you are tempted to turn away, to give in, or to give up because of pressure, affliction, or the cost of obedience? Stop and think of those who introduced you to Christ, and those who nurtured you in Christ. How will your actions impact not only them, but the reputation of Christ, who suffered for you?

Thursday, July 05, 2012

1 Thessalonians 3:3-4

But you know that we are destined for such troubles. Even while we were with you, we warned you that troubles would soon come-and they did, as you well know. NLT
My Father in Heaven,

Mighty is Your name! Why am I so surprised by the pressure and pain that pursues me? Your enduring Word warns me repeatedly to expect problems. When I signed up to follow Your Son, Jesus Christ, I should have well known there would be a price to pay. Believers everywhere are tolerating terrible trials because of Him. In fact, in the view of the rest of the world, my troubles are tiny.

Many people are following in the footsteps of Your dear Son, Jesus, receiving the same harsh treatment from their countrymen that He received from the Jews. Just as prophets in the past braved abuse and whips, chains and dungeons, and were stoned and slaughtered, so are 21st century believers living under brutal regimes. Missionaries serving in cruel countries are being heckled and chased out of town by people who have made a career of opposing Christ.

Help me remember the exemplary conduct of those heroes of faith. When the heat is turned up, help me to behave in a manner worthy of Your call by standing up for what I believe in so that I will not discredit the Blessed Message of Christ. Convinced of what I believe, and confident in whom I believe, I will not shrink back or shy away from unfriendly fire. With my mind set on You, my courage will show them that they are full of hot air and up against a fearsome force. By Your strong hand, surely I will be victorious and they will be defeated.

Lord, train me in deep wisdom to understand these hard truths and harsh realities so that I will not falter or fail You when the fiery darts come my way. I long to make You a proud Papa and glorify our family name. Amen.
What trouble is chasing you? Don't let it alarm you, and don't give up on God. Set your mind on Christ. Look at the heroes of faith who endured extreme hardships. If they did it, you and I can too!

Matthew 5:11-12
Jesus said, "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

2 Timothy 3:12
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

1 John 3:13
Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

1 Thessalonians 3:7

So we have been greatly encouraged in the midst of our troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. (NLT)
God, my Father,

Turn my way and look kindly on me as You always do those You personally love. Your Word is wonderful to me! The teaching of it, empowered by Your Spirit, gives light so that even the simple-minded like me can understand it.

According to Your Word, I should not be surprised by the suffering of Your saints. It is a resounding theme in the Book of Life - part of the calling You consider me worthy of. Steady my steps by Your promises so that the Tempter will not tear down the faith that has been built up in me. Rescue me from the grip of the wicked world so that my faith will not falter.

I long to live life Your way, being like the Thessalonians who made their spiritual parents proud. Smile on me and show me how to make my spiritual parents beam with joy. They have and are continually enduring difficulties, dilemmas, and distress as they boldly deliver the Blessed Message of Hope in their communities. Knowing that I am standing firm with You will be a remarkable source of encouragement to them, refreshing their hearts, and inspiring them to live for Your unshakable Kingdom.

Clear the obstacles from our path. Pour on us Your love so it fills our lives and splashes over on everyone around us. Infuse us with strength and purity so that we will stand together confidently in Your presence on that glorious day when our Master Jesus arrives with all his faithful followers. Amen.
Faithful reader, who introduced you to Christ? Who nurtured you in faith? Have you been tempted to turn away and give up? What do you think your faithfulness means to the one(s) who brought you to Christ?

I encourage you to pick up the phone and call someone who has inspired you in faith, write them a letter or send them an email telling them how God is working in Your life. I can guarantee you it will bless their socks off, and encourage them to persevere.

A few years ago I was inspired to do this very thing. Not knowing where my spiritual Dad was after 25 years, I wrote a three page testimony of my walk with the Master. Concealing my identity, I mailed it to every man with his name in the local phone book. On the top I wrote, "This letter is intended for the former guidance counselor at my high school. If you are not that man and choose to read on, may you be richly blessed. If you are that person, you can contact me at (my email address)."

Little did I know that this precious saint was persecuted for sharing his faith in the public schools, and was fired from his job. Like Paul, that didn't stop him from continuing to preach to students that Jesus saves! I can only imagine how blessed he was the day he received that letter in the mail after 25 years.

A spiritual Dad and daughter were reunited, and I am sure he's beaming with joy as he reads this Prayer Pal. Had he not risked his life to rescue me from the flames of Hell, and revive my heart, I wouldn't be writing it. One day, infused with strength, we will stand together in Glory.

Monday, July 02, 2012

1 Thessalonians 2: 19-20

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.
Father in Heaven,

Thank you for calling me into Your unshakable kingdom and radiant glory. Pondering Paul and his relationship with the people of Thessalonica, I am impressed with his remarkable joy:

After being beaten bloody and put behind bars for spreading the Word that Jesus saves, he was empowered and delighted to continue to do it.

Deeply devoted to his spiritual children, he was thrilled to live with them and work with them.

An exemplary example, He received immense pleasure comforting, encouraging, and urging them to live lives worthy of You and Your kingdom.

Watching them live out their faith and work through their troubles brought him incredible bliss.

Being with them was an intense desire of his heart because they were his pride and joy!

According to Your Word, You are coming, and possibly quite soon. On that remarkable day, You will host a spectacular awards ceremony for those who persevered in the game of life. In Your presence, I want to hear You call my name, enthusiastically go forward, and proudly receive the revered Soul Winner's Crown that will be bestowed on those who sacrificed their lives to rescue people from the fiery flames of Hell, and revive their hearts.

Help me dear Lord, by the power of Your Word, to hold unswervingly to the Blessed Hope of Heaven and fearlessly and faithfully share it with others. While many will snicker at it and walk away, those who accept it will bring me the same remarkable joy that the Thessalonians brought to Paul. When my family and friends reject me for my faith, I will be securely knit forever with my dearly loved spiritual family and Christ. Living with them and working with them will be an incredible blessing. Comforting, encouraging, and urging them to live lives worthy of Your family name will be an enormous honor. Watching them live out their faith and work through their troubles will bring me remarkable joy. My pride and joy, it will be a privilege to stand with them in Your presence when Jesus our Master appears in all His glory, splendor and majesty. Amen.
The crowns we wear in heaven must be won on earth. Will you receive the Soul Winners Crown for sacrificing your life to rescue people from the fiery flames of Hell, and revive their hearts?