Friday, September 28, 2012

Phil 4: 11-13, 19

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Jehovah Jireh,
My Sufficient Supplier,

Thank You for showing me the secret to a satisfying life: Relying on your promises, looking for Your provision, and depending on Your power.

Satan tries to seduce me with human solutions to satisfaction, security and significance. Cleverly, he convinces me that I can't be happy without certain possessions. Subtly, he persuades me that I'm insignificant without a prominent position. Masterfully, he manipulates me to look for respect and approval from powerful people. Cunningly, He confuses me, complicating my problems by making them seem bigger than really are. Discontent with who I am, where I'm going, and what I have, it's tempting to reach into his bag of tricks for an instant, momentary solution.

The more I know You, the less likely I'll be to buy into his smooth sales pitch. Full of Your wisdom, I'll be wary of his gimmicks. Relying on Your promises, I'll have a clear perspective. I'll realize that trinkets and treasures can't buy eternal pleasure, only Your precious blood can. Prominent positions aren't as prestigious as they appear when I understand that all authority belongs to You. Suddenly, people I perceived to be strong will appear weak and unimportant. Abruptly, the dimension of my difficulties will diminish when I realize that they're part of Your plan to purify and perfect me for a greater purpose.

I need to hang out with You more frequently by reading Your Word, praying ceaselessly, and socializing with other believers. Then, I'll be able to rest on Your promises. Knowing who You are will supply me with the satisfaction, security and significance I'm seeking. I'll be content when I believe that I am who You say I am: Your beloved child, an heir to an unimaginable inheritance. I'll be satisfied knowing where You're taking me: heaven, my glorious, eternally beautiful home. And, while I wait, I'll be happy with what You've given me: peace, provision and a quiet place for my soul to patiently rest.

Please help me to be joyful and thankful in all circumstances believing that You'll generously supply all my needs in the name of Jesus, Your Son. Amen.
What are you relying on today for your source of satisfaction, security and significance?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Psalm 62:1-4

I wait quietly before God,
for my salvation comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
My fortress where I will never be shaken.
So many enemies against one man--
all of them trying to kill me.
To them I'm just a broken-down wall
or a tottering fence.
They plan to topple me from my high position.
They delight in telling lies about me.
They are friendly to my face,
according to what they have done. NLT
Almighty God-

My soul silently waits for You. My rest is in You alone. You are my rock and my salvation. Nothing can ever separate me from You! I run to You for shelter and protection. There, I calmly, quietly, patiently wait for the wicked world to pass.

The world is pursuing me, tempting me to join in the pursuit for power, prestige, possessions, and pleasure. Everywhere I turn, there is another demand for my time, talent, and treasure. The Prince of Darkness fully intends to topple me from my lofty and safe haven with You. All around me, people delight in his lies. They try to lure me by speaking persuasive words that sound good, pleasing and delightful, but in their hearts, they are deceitful. Before getting too excited about new attractive ideas, I will carefully examine the things I hear against Your Word. Please fill me with more knowledge and wisdom so that I can determine if I am hearing the Truth.

The temptation to abandon You can sneak up on me as a whisper of doubt. I will overcome the whisper of temptation by pouring out my heart to You. You will help me as I pray and diligently study Your Word. I will be devoted to You because You are strong, loving and dependable. I will love You with all my heart and soul. I will follow and fear You since You are my hope and my salvation. I will do my best to keep Your commands because I long for the promised reward to those who love and obey You. I believe You when You say, "The Son of Man is going to come in His Father's glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what he has done."

Instead of chasing the world, I am choosing to pursue You, Jesus, the One and Only. Amen.
Who are you chasing the world or the Lord?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A     Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
        Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name.

B     Bless the Lord, O my soul.
       All that is within me bless His holy name.

C     Come let us adore Him!
        Call on His name!

D     Declare His glory throughout the whole earth.
        Tell the whole world of his wonderful works.

E     Enter His gates with thanksgiving.
       Extol Him for His excellent greatness!

F     Forget not all His benefits.
       He faithfully forgives and forgets all our sins.

G     Great is the Lord and worthy of praise.
        Glory in His holy name.

H     Holy! Holy! Holy is the Lord Almighty!
       Who was and is and is to come.

I       I will sing praise to my great God and King.
        I will sing and make music in my heart.

J       Joyful, Joyful I adore You,
        God of Glory, Lord of Love.

K      Know that the Lord is God.
         It is He who made us, and we are His.

L      Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
         Let the heavens rejoice, let the whole earth be glad;
        Let everyone say, "The Lord reigns!"

M     Maker of heaven and earth -
        Splendor and majesty are before Him,
        Strength and glory are in His sanctuary.

N     Not to me O Lord, not to me,
        But to Your name be the glory because of You love
        and faithfulness.

O     Our God is a God who saves!
        O Lord My God, how Great thou art!

P     Praise be to the Lord;
       To God our Savior who daily bears our burdens.

Q    Quickly, I'll tell the Good News.
       My Lord lives and rules and reigns from heaven on high.

R     Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous.
       Remember the wonders He has done.

S     Shout for joy to the Lord all the earth!
       Shout for joy before the Lord , the King.
T     To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb,
       Be praise and honor and glory and power forever and ever.

U     Unto You I sing, O Lord;
        The One who rides across the ancient heavens,
        Whose mighty voice thunders from the sky.
        God is awesome in His sanctuary.

V     Victory is Yours, O Lord.
       You have made me glad with the joy of Your presence.

W     Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
        To receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength,
        And glory and honor and praise.

X     Exalt the Lord our God and worship at His holy mountain.
        Be exalted, O Lord in Your strength;
       We will sing and praise Your might.

Y     Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
       You are my God and I will give You thanks forever and ever.

Z     Zion hears and rejoices!
       For You O Lord, are the Most High over all the earth,
       You are exalted far above the gods.
A Song of Praise For My King was written by reading the Psalms and making a list from A-Z of various ways the psalmist praised the Lord. It follows the pattern of the psalmist in Psalm 119 where each of 22 sections begins with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Try writing your own song of praise and adoration. I can guarantee it will put a smile on your face, a song in your heart and a spring in your step!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Isaiah 46: 4, 6-7

I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Some pour out gold from their bags
and weigh out silver on the scales;
they hire a goldsmith to make it into a god,
and they bow down and worship it.

They lift it to their shoulders and carry it;
they set it up in its place, and there it stands.
From that spot it cannot move.
Though one cries out to it, it does not answer;
it cannot save him from his troubles.
Lord, how much we Americans are like the Israelites - stubborn-hearted and far from righteous! Have mercy on us and teach us to put You in Your proper place.

Captivated by concrete things we can touch and see, we pour out our wealth to build bigger houses to hold our fine collection of treasured possessions. We light them up and show them off like trophies in a display case. At the same time we're erecting the homes of our dreams, we're paying premiums to plastic surgeons to make us new images.

Lifting up our treasures, we proudly carry them around on our broad shoulders bragging about our success as we continually strive to improve and impress. Bogged down beneath the dead weight of debt we cry out from behind our fake faces to our big houses to save us, but they cannot. They are merely inanimate objects that stand still, stiff, solid and silent - cold as concrete.

If we'd only invest our time opening our Bibles and contemplating the Abstract we'd comprehend that You are an amazingly animated Architect who intricately designs human souls with a firm foundation that will stand forever, made to store Your imperishable, invaluable inheritance. Strong and secure, You and You alone will sustain us and carry us through the storms. Bogged down beneath the dead weight of debt when we sincerely cry out to You to save us, You'll rush in and rescue us to display Your glory.

To whom can we compare You or count as Your equal? You are incomparable! You are God and there is no other. There is none like You. Teach us O God to put You in Your proper place, and to trust in the Abstract so that we won't be bogged down by the concrete. Amen.
Strolling along the waterfront in beautiful Balboa Beach, California I was mesmerized by the parade of grandiose homes. Behind the well-lit glass of every house, I gazed and gasped at the fine collections of pretty possessions that were perfectly exhibited for everyone passing by to see. In front of the homes luxurious boats were docked on the inlet with the moon beams glistening on their masts. Shiny Mercedes, BMWs and Lexuses were parked in the narrow streets.

Leaving town, a vast Cosmetic Surgery Center captured my attention. Enthralled by their large homes, luxury toys, and fake faces, I found myself wondering: Who answers them when they cry out in the storms? They aren't immune to trouble. Who rescues them when the floods come? Sadly, these things will not save them. They are merely concrete.
We would be wise to live simply, build on the Abstract foundation of Jesus Christ, and display His glory. Unbelievers are on the outside looking into our lives. What do they see when they look at you and your lifestyle? Do they see the concrete or the Abstract?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Psalm 34:19

A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all.

2 Corinthians 1:9-10

Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.

Every time I open the newspaper there's another article relating to cancer. Recently in the local paper there was a gigantic headline: SCARED SICK. It reported that Americans are scared sick of getting cancer.

Everything seems to be harmful to humans - the air, the sun, and a plethora of consumables. Household products like laundry detergent and oven cleaner and pet-flea control contain deadly toxins. Personal items like lipstick, deodorant, and talcum powder are under suspicion. It's not safe to eat processed meat. Fresh fruits and vegetables are coated with contaminants. Plastic baby bottles, granite counter tops, and ordinary office supplies are a health risk. Most recently, the fear-tinged tizzy has been on cell-phones, our artificial appendage.

While the media frantically feeds us fear, one researcher boldly announced, "Cancer scares the Hell out of us." As well it should! Another researcher commented, "As a society we are so focused on the sound bite of getting an answer. We don't dig deeply enough to understand the nuances."

O Lord, have mercy on us! It's easier to focus on fear and seek intellectual answers than it is to dig deeply into Your Word and understand the truth. Your Word is full of promises that have stood the test of time. Those who know You have no reason to be scared sick. You never promised we'd live on Easy Street, but rather reside on Rough Road. A head-on collision with cancer is inevitable - for ourselves or someone we know. But, we don't have to be afraid because we have a Savior!

Indeed in our hearts we'll feel the inescapable sentence of death when we, or someone we love, receives a cancer diagnosis. But, when we know You and Your faithful promises, we'll be confident that it's happened so that we won't rely on our own mind or strength, but fully trust You - the One who raises the dead - to keep us from the doom of eternal damnation. Instead of being scared of it, we'll believe that You'll deliver us through the deadly peril to Heaven where we'll live and reign with You forever and ever because of Jesus our Savior. Hallelujah! Amen.
Are you, like the majority of society, consumed by the fear of cancer? It's wise to live healthy, eat right, exercise regularly and avoid deadly toxins, but there's no reason to be scared sick when you know the Savior. Determine to know your Savior more so that when you receive the inevitable sentence of death, you won't be scared of it, but trust instead, that He will deliver you from it's deadly peril to Heaven where you will live forever.

I know firsthand the truth of God's Word. Both of my parents have received the death sentence. God has delivered my Mom from death's grip and healed her, while delivering my Dad to Heaven's Gate. If anyone is destined for a head-on collision with cancer it's my family and me, but we're not scared of it. We have the hope of heaven - Jesus! Glory, hallelujah!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Luke 13:14-19
Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, "There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath."

The Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Doesn't each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?"

When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

Then Jesus asked, "What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches." 

Kind and Compassionate Healer of Hearts,
So often I miss the wonder and delight in Your marvelous work. Unhappy that someone undesirable has received an unfair advantage, I hurriedly stomp off in a huff. I'd be happier to see an animal untied, than an undeserving human set free. I'd be more contented leading pigs to pond water, than sin-scorched souls to the fountain of forgiveness. I worry more about feeding my Chia Pet protein enriched plant food, than I do about nourishing hungry hearts with eternally rich Bread of Life.

Lord, have mercy on me! I'm no better than the hypocritical religious leaders. When I consider my own lack of compassion, I'm left speechless and ashamed! A person of unclean lips, I'm unworthy of even carrying Your sandals. I need to turn around and look at You.

Please enlarge my heart and bless me with a burden for the hidden treasures of Your heart: the rejects of society. In the garden of my growing heart, plant a tiny, little seed of grace that will gradually develop into a strong limb for disadvantaged people to safely land. Perched on the firm branch of my faith in You, sin-scored souls will drink from the River of Life, Your love, flowing out of me. I'll generously feed their hungry hearts the Bread of Life, Your Word, coated with irresistible honey from the Rock. Nestled securely on Your life-saving limb, they will heal and become whole. Instead of resenting them, I'll rejoice when You restore and release them.

Please show me someone deemed unworthy by society and I'll offer them comfort on my sturdy branch of faith for the benefit of Your beautiful everlasting Kingdom. Amen. 

Do you despise people who perpetually receive government handouts? Does it repulse you that your tax dollars pay to incarcerate prisoners? Do you resent when Jesus calls forward the unworthy and unattractive and offers them the same amount of grace He offers you? Do you think you deserve more than them because you have a job or have never been charged with an offense?

Listen to the words of Jesus. He says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." He doesn't promise the kingdom of heaven to the rich and well-kept, but to the needy.

Admit your own hypocritical tendencies. Then, ask the Holy Spirit to enlarge your heart and bless you with a burden for the hidden treasures of His heart. Ask Him to give you the awareness of Christ to notice the undesirables; the compassion to speak to them and for them, and the power to heal them. Then look for an opportunity to let someone land and lodge on the life-saving limb of Your faith in Jesus Christ.

Is your faith strong enough to sustain their heavy load?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Romans 15:1-4
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me." For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 

God of Hope,
Your Words are more brilliant than diamonds. Thank You for preserving Ancient History to teach me. In the classroom of my heart I gain knowledge, wisdom and discernment. I develop insight to help me differentiate between right and wrong. Reading and studying Your Great History book, is the wisest thing I could ever do. It prepares me for the biggest test of my life - loving and accepting others.

Fully aware of the facts, I'll know that my selfish pride and prejudice leads to dissension, disagreement, and disconnect. Following Your perfect example, I'll offer my body as broken bread. Just as You gave up Your rights to glory and power, I'll give up my rights to recognition and rewards. Because You left Your lofty, holy and pure position in heaven and came to earth to bear my sin and shame, I'll leave my hoity-toity pedestal of prominence to bear with the faults and failures of others. Since You graciously removed the barrier of sin that separates me from You, I'll voluntarily take down the walls of intolerance that divide me from others. United, we'll glorify You with one heart and one mouth by accepting one another.

Familiarity with the past will help me better understand the future. Primed with faith, I'll have endurance, encouragement, and confidence to keep an optimistic outlook of loving unity throughout each day. As I diligently read and study my Bible, Your Ancient History book, please fill me with joy and peace. I trust that the Hope of Heaven will spill from my heart by the power of the Spirit that is within me. May my attitudes and actions bring praise to our glorious family name forever and ever! Amen. 

The lessons we learn from God's Word are tremendous! If we seriously take the time to study and practice our lessons, we'll fulfill our call to be holy. We'll be people of peace and joy. A delight to be around!

What lesson is God teaching you in the classroom of your heart?  Are you practicing it? Are you ready for the biggest test of your life - to love and accept others unconditionally?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Romans 7:12-13
The law itself is holy and right and good.

But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my doom? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God's good commandment for its own evil purposes.  

Righteous King~
          Honorable Ruler of Heaven & Earth~
                   I tremble in fear of Your Highness. Standing in awe of Your holy, right and good law, I praise You with an upright heart. Your spoken Word is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. It's pure joy to my heart, mind and soul, guaranteeing my rich heritage forever.

          Completely righteous, fully trustworthy, and thoroughly tested, Your rules awaken my conscience, warning me of dangers. Satan has set a snare for me. Don't let me be lured by his lies, choked by his charm, or suffocated by sin. He wants to use Your wise Words for his wicked ways. He is the twister of truth.

          O Lord, open my eyes that I may see all the wonderful things in Your law. Hide Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You. Teach me knowledge and good judgment. Let me understand so that I can obey with all my heart. I don't want sin to rule over me.

          When I'm confused, Your law counsels me. When I'm sinking in the sea of sin, it's the life preserver that saves me. When I'm consumed with sorrow and sadness, it comforts me. When I'm weak and weary, it strengthens me. Blinded by the shadow of darkness, Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

          I'll delight in Your laws, meditate on them daily, and try to never neglect them. Use them O Lord, to preserve my life, according to Your love through Jesus I pray. Amen. 

God's laws aren't meant to restrict us, but protect us. Be thankful for their convicting power because they save your life!

To grasp the goodness, righteousness and holiness of God's Word, I encourage you to read the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119. Highlight all the ways God's laws benefit you. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

John 16:7-11
Jesus said, "But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned." 

Your Spirit is my wise and wonderful Counselor sent from the heart of God. While living in our land, You left an enormous legacy for ordinary, uneducated people like me. Your well-preserved Ancient Words recorded by a beloved disciple two thousand years ago, point me to the power of Your Spirit.

When Your Words descended on the open pit of heart like a tongue of fire, they arrested and convinced me that I was heading toward eternal destruction on the highway to Hell. Guilty of violating every one of Your holy standards for living, they fully persuaded me to turn around and pursue a radically different lifestyle.

Certain that You have gone to the Father in Heaven and are watching every move I make, I want to respectfully respond to all kinds of people and consistently make right choices that will result in rich everlasting rewards. As I spend time with You in Bible Study and prayer, clothe me with Your sweet spirit of compassion. Advise me in my daily decisions so that my actions will always be kind and courageous, and my attitudes will always be positive and encouraging, proving that the ruler of godless living, Satan himself, has been rightly judged, convicted and condemned.

With Your help, I will quietly leave a legacy of love that points others to the life changing power of Your Spirit, and honors Your time-tested wise and wonderful advice. All glory to my Counselor, Comforter, Helper and Friend. Amen. 

Jesus left the legacy of His Sweet Spirit for you. What legacy will you leave for others: one of love or one of nagging condemnation?

We'll never persuade people to stop pursuing worldly pleasures with long-winded arguments. We'll never convince people that they're going down a dangerous road to death and destruction. Heeding the wise and wonderful advice of God's Spirit is the only way to change the world. Following Him, our attitudes and actions will speak louder than words.

Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with more of His power and love. Full of His goodness, you will be known for your pure heart and honest motives, proving that the ruler of this godless world has been judged, tried, and convicted. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Psalm 82:2-7
How long will you defend the unjust
and show partiality to the wicked?
Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless;
maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.
Rescue the weak and needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
"They know nothing, they understand nothing.
They walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken."
"I said, 'You are "gods";
you are all sons of the Most High.'
But you will die like mere men;
you will fall like every other ruler."

O Great God who governs from beyond the galaxies,
You are the Mighty Magistrate righteously ruling and reigning over all the earth. From Your high and holy throne in heaven, You pronounce explicit orders for maintaining justice and peace. Without ever blinking an eye, Your global gaze is inescapable.

Obviously my poor performance hasn't gone unnoticed or You wouldn't ask, "How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked?" You know that I'm inclined to show favoritism to influential individuals who can increase my position. You've watched me inaccurately interpret Your Word to intentionally impress people. You've seen me inappropriately intimidate the inferior to prevent them from being promoted. As a representative in the courts of heaven I'm utterly ignorant and ineffective! I can't begin to understand holy justice!

I admit that I've taken advantage of my deputy duties and made poor decisions. Humbly, I come to Your most high bench, pleading with You to instruct me. Beneath the Cross of Jesus, teach me holy justice. Under Your gracious authority, I'll practice integrity, defending the powerless and making sure the underprivileged get a fair deal. With Your help, I'll boldly stand up and speak out for the innocent, publicly indicting those who abuse them. Under Your Wise Counsel, I won't tolerate social injustice.

One day, possibly soon, each of us - rich and poor, strong and frail, wise and foolish - will drop down dead and appear before Your throne equally naked and empty-handed. The only riches we'll retain from our lives here on earth are those we've invested in the treasures of heaven: society's rejects. For that reason, I'm committing my time and talent to practicing holy justice for the honor of Your everlasting kingdom. Amen.

It's so much easier to defend the way of the world than it is to fight for the Kingdom of God. God has asked you a profound question, "How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked?" What is your response?

Loving undesirables isn't a natural tendency. The only way to cultivate a heart for the hidden treasures of God is to ask the Holy Spirit to grow it in you. Read the Gospels specifically looking for those whom Jesus defended. At the top of a blank piece of paper make three columns. Label the columns: Good, Bad and Ugly. As you read, place the people Jesus defended in the appropriate column. It may surprise you.

May the Lord richly reward you as you seek to save the His treasures. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Psalm 77:13
Your ways, O God, are holy.
       What god is so great as our God?

Isaiah 40:25
To whom will you compare me?
       Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One.

Hosea 11:9
I am God, and not man-
       the Holy One among you.

Holy God,
There is none like You! You are vastly different and far greater than Your creatures. Who can grasp Your unlimited wisdom? Who can comprehend the depths of Your love? Your awesome love and absolute justice are above my limited understanding; they are holy.

Your exquisite love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens; Your faithfulness to the skies. You sit enthroned above the earth. You stretch out the heavens like a canvas, making a gigantic tent for Your home. Gazing down on us from Your high and lofty view, we must seem like molecular organisms. Yet in Your vastness, nothing gets lost or goes unnoticed. I can't possibly appreciate Your astronomical loyalty.

Your power is that of the Almighty; it can be compared to no one else's. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains - unattainable, majestic, and beautiful. Your justice and mercy are deeper than the ocean - inaccessible, pristine, and titanic. In Your transcendence, You reduce princes to paupers. I stand in awe of Your magnificent holiness.

Please dear Lord, expand my view of Your preeminence. Gasping at Your supremacy, I'll tremble in Your awesome presence, fearing You and You alone because You alone are the Lord God Almighty, and You alone are holy, holy, holy. All glory, honor and praise belong to You, the One Great God, who rules and reigns over all the earth from heaven above. Hallelujah! Amen. 

Take some time alone with God today, meditating on His holiness. Read Psalm 36:5-9 and Isaiah 40:22-26

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Psalm 57:1-2, 5
Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me,
for in you my soul takes refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.

Be merciful to me, O Bird of Paradise. Be merciful to me! It's a jungle out there!

Conceal me under the cascading plumage of Your beautiful wings high in the branches of Your holy habitat. Perched in the shadow of Your presence with a bird's eye view of the world, I'll trust You to fulfill Your purpose for me. Close to You, an agency of heavenly angels will surround me with sounds of love and faithfulness. O beautiful Lord, my soul is safe in You.

With my heart hanging on You, I'll be prepared for rainy seasons when problems pour down, tribulations thunder, and spiteful words strike. In anxious moments and frightening storms, from beneath the warmth of Your ornamental feathers my tongue will be Your glory. My soul will awake with the morning songbirds and sing of Your boundless mercy and unfailing truth.

My prayer O Lord, is that You will be high and lifted up in my surroundings when I sing of Your grace in turbulent times. Waiting for the wicked world to pass by, my actions and attitudes will crown You with glory and honor and majesty while You work out Your perfect plan in the stress and strife. O that my performance will resonate to all the earth that You are the prettiest Bird of Paradise worthy of all man's praise. Hallelujah! Amen. 

What trouble is chasing you? Picture God as a beautiful Bird of Paradise inviting you to take cover under the shadow of His wings until the problem passes. Fly to Him and be safe. In the shadow of His presence exalt Him and let His glory be seen throughout the earth in you. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Psalm 33:8-9
Let all the earth fear the LORD;
let all the people of the world revere him.
For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.

My Creator King,
Your dramatically designed world compels me to stop and wonder at who You are. Praise supernaturally pours from my heart when I recognize that You are the Maker of EVERYTHING. This is Your world and everything in it belongs to You. Your magnificent creative power far surpasses man's prowess and imagination.

Man can make spectacularly tall buildings, but they'll never reach the limitless sky. We can send a man to the moon, but no one can go near the sun. Impressive men can rule and reign over nations, but ultimately they will bow before Your Majesty. You, Almighty God, spoke one word, making the whole world for Your plan, purpose and pleasure. It's inconceivable to even the most intelligent mind.

You speak, crippling a busy city with a hurricane or snow storm. One strong breath from heaven can create winds that slow our supersonic jets, making us late for important destinations. That same burst of air from Your lips can pick up our sturdy homes, turning them into match sticks. At the sound of Your thunderous voice, heavy rains, lightening and hail force the cancellation of our public events. The high seas command the respect of even the best built ocean liners. Your mouth immobilizes the earth.

I thank You Father, for everything and anything that humbles me before the mystery of life. When my heart is laden with fear and anxiety attacks my soul, help me remember that You're bigger than anyone or anything. Please keep me from the folly of worshipping people and their inanimate objects. You alone are God and I bless Your holy name. Amen.

Today, consider the greatness of God. In awe of His marvelous power, let go of your fear of people, and worship Him alone by trusting Him to take care of you, His treasured creation. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ephesians 1:17-20, 2:6
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. That the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you: the riches of his glorious inheritance, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.

Glorious Father, how I love the words You speak to me. They are music to my ears. Buried beneath busyness and brokenness, I fail to remember my privileged and powerful position. Because You lovingly chose and adopted me, I am seated with You on the high throne of heaven where You rule over everything from galaxies to governments. No name and no power are exempt from Your almighty authority. You are in charge of it all, and have the final word on everything - always and forever. O Lord, give me deeper intelligence and insight into Who You are.

Flood my heart with light so that I can plainly see the rich and glorious treasures of heaven that belong to me, Your chosen child. Help me to understand and appropriate the greatness of Your mighty power at all times. The same force that raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at Your right hand is available to me. Unleash that strength in me, O Lord, so that I can resist evil, overcome temptation, and continually live in the peaceful, pleasant prosperity of Your presence.

When everything around me seems to be falling apart, help me to remember my high position next to Your throne in heaven. By faith, I will access Your authority and appropriate Your power, trusting that the One who controls and commands the cosmos will work out the details for my good and Your glory. Hallelujah! Amen. 

God has given you a heavenly position and you can live a throne-life. His Word says, that He has chosen and adopted You (Ephesians 1:4,5) and seated You with Jesus in the heavenly realms where You can live contentedly. He didn't set you there to live a joyless, despairing life under the enemy's foot, but to live freely, victoriously and happily no matter your circumstances.

Ask the Lord to give you a fresh revelation of Who He is. Ask Him to open the eyes of your heart and show you His treasures. He promises to give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places so that you may know that He is the Lord who calls you by name (Isaiah 45:3). He longs to give you power to crush the enemy under YOUR foot. Ask Him for it and begin living a throne-life. 

Friday, September 07, 2012

Revelation 13:1, 5-8
And I saw a beast coming out of the sea.

The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast-all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.
Almighty Authority,
I am so thankful for the unlimited access You've given me to Your whole Word. Unlike people in repressed regions, I don't have just a few well-worn pages, but the entire Book, divinely directed and dictated by You. Usually, I prefer to ponder the pleasantries rather than the penalties, but today You made me take a hard look at the frightening future.
Out of the "sea" a beast will come in the form of a phenomenal politician. Suddenly arriving on the scene after a colossal catastrophe, he will carefully craft a story that sounds religiously soothing. Cool, calm and collect under extreme pressure, he will seemingly have all the right answers at exactly the right time. The world will be wooed by his astonishing intelligence and supernatural abilities. Dynamic and good-looking, he will undoubtedly be a dominating charismatic capable of banding together people from diverse backgrounds and unlikely places for a common purpose.

With astute managerial abilities, he will not only command a mighty military, but also be in charge of the worldwide economy. Fascinated by his forceful display of power, plenty of people will pursue him for their own profit. A highly popular, praised and promoted individual with strong personal influence; he will be morally proud and profane, misleading, manipulating, and motivating the majority to accomplish his well-devised and devious plan.

Please enlighten me with Your Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that I may really know You and not be duped by an imposter. Claiming Your incomparably great power, I will bravely stand up for my beliefs, and patiently endure dissension, discrimination and difficulty because my name has been written in the Lamb's book of life since the beginning. Blessed assurance! Amen.
Could the Antichrist already be in the world today just waiting to be appointed to power?
It is inevitable that he is coming. He must in order to fulfill the words of prophesy, and prepare the way for Christ's visible return to earth.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Revelation 7:14-17
They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Therefore, they are before the throne of God
     and serve him day and night in his temple;
  and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.
Never again will they hunger;
     never again will they thirst.
  The sun will not beat upon them,
     nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd;
     he will lead them to springs of living water.
  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Promises, Precious promises, O how I delight in Your promises! O how I cherish the wonder working power of the blood of the Lamb.

You guarantee that in this world we'll have all kinds of trials and tribulations. We'd be naïve to believe that we won't be despised and disdained for faithfully following You. Afflictions, adversities and atrocities are bound to affect us. Yet, if we persist and don't give up, You promise we'll come through the tragedies with white-washed robes - bleached by the blood of the Lamb. Blessed assurance!

Dressed in white linen, we'll be led into Glory. Enthralled by our beauty, You'll endow us with the privilege of being priests in the Temple of Heaven. Delighting You day and night with songs of praise and the sweet scent of prayers will be enchanting. With my ear pressed close to my heart, I can almost hear the melodious music. With my nose in the air, I can almost smell the fragrance of prayer.

In the safe shelter of Your presence, we'll have access to Your boundless buffet. Our starved souls that insistently sought satisfaction will be content at last. Under the shade of Your canopy, the scorching sun will no longer sear our souls. You'll lead us to ceaseless streams of refreshing water. With a soft stroke of Your hand, You'll gently wipe every tear from our swollen eyes and we'll never again have reason to cry.

O Lord, why do I dread dying when You promise me all this? Please dear Lord, permanently paint a pleasant picture of Paradise in my mind to prevent me from discouragement and despair while I wait for You to return and take me to live with You there. Amen.
Ponder the promises of heaven, and ask the Lord to permanently paint them on your mind.

Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb
Elisha A. Hoff­man,Spir­it­u­al Songs for Gos­pel Meet­ings and the Sun­day School(Cleve­land, Ohio: Bark­er & Smell­ie, 1878)

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?


Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you walking daily by the Savior's side?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Do you rest each moment in the Crucified?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?


When the Bridegroom cometh will your robes be white?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Will your soul be ready for the mansions bright,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb;
There's a fountain flowing for the soul unclean,
O be washed in the blood of the Lamb!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Revelation 5:6-9
I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song.
King of the Universe,

You are the Sacred Lamb of God, omnipotent, omniscience, and omnipresent. Perfect in power and knowledge, Your presence is everywhere. Because You were slaughtered, You and You alone, are worthy to step forward, take the secret scroll, sever its seals and open it. Your right to rule the world was and is and always will be undisputable, unquestionable, and undeniable.

With Your precious blood You purchased people from every tribe, tongue, and nation to build for Yourself a kingdom full of priests to rule and reign over all the earth. Instead of resisting Your will, disputing Your purpose, and complaining about Your ways, I must immediately start submitting to Your almighty authority. Falling in step with the rest of the universe, it is imperative that I recognize Who You are, change my haughty attitude, and fall down in reverent awe of You.

Taking up a harp, with my eyes focused on You standing on the throne of my heart, I'll practice plucking a lovely cord for the King when I live harmoniously with others. Holding out my golden bowl full of passionate, persistent prayers, I'll honor You, hasten Your coming, and attract the hopeless, helpless and heartless to the sweetness of Your splendor. By maintaining one accord within the multicultural, multilingual, and multiracial body of Christ, I'll reproduce the crescendo of thunderous praise that will one day, possibly quite soon, resonate throughout all of creation:

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
  to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
  and honor and glory and praise!

Thank You for giving me a guided tour through the gates of Glory, and allowing me a glimpse of the gala events at the throne of grace. To the Sacred Sacrificial Lamb who sits on the throne, be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever! Amen.
I can't wait to get to heaven to see the magnificent Throne Room where the King of the Universe conducts His official business, and to find out for sure what's on that secret scroll. Absolutely no one but Jesus, the Sacred Sacrificial Lamb who was slain, is worthy of taking it from the King, severing the seals, and opening it. According to God's revealed Word, the Truth, our only response will be to reverently worship the Only One who has the right to rule and reign over all creation. We can practice for the priestly performance for which He purchased us by:

     Living harmoniously with others.

     Praying for the hastening of Christ's return, as well as, for others.

     Being united in worship with other believers.

When we all get to heaven
What a day of rejoicing that will be
When we all see Jesus
We'll sing and shout the victory!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Revelation 4:8

Day and night they never stop saying:
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,
who was, and is, and is to come."
Eternal and Most Holy God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, You are the glorious One, seated on the throne conducting the official business of the universe. Holy, holy, holy, are You, Perfect, All-wise, Almighty Judge.

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

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