Friday, May 31, 2013

Romans 1:5-6

Romans 1:5-6
Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

Lord Jesus,
Truly, You are the Son of God! Your generous gift of grace is amazing! It came to me in the promised gospel when You lovingly called my name. Gratefully, I acknowledged You, believing that You lived, died, and rose into heaven.

The moment I responded to Your call, You adopted and accepted me into Your family. You chose me to be a holy, pure and blameless ambassador, representing the kingdom of heaven to a helpless and hopeless world. Setting me free from evil and temptation, You put holy fear in my heart and insisted that I live within Your limits. Out of sincere respect and honor, I'll obey the parameters You set for me.

While I wait in the quietness of Your presence, teach me to be holy as You are holy. Search my heart and mind. Speak to me through Your Holy Word. Point out any wrong way in me. Immediately, I'll turn around and go in a different direction. Bless me with wisdom, knowledge and understanding of Your will and Your way. Then, I will make wise choices.

Thank You for calling me out of all the people in the world to belong to You. Gratefully, I accept the responsibility that comes with it. For Your name sake, I'll willingly follow the rules of Your family so that others will see You when they're watching me. Amen.

If you are a believer, you have a call and a task. God has called you to be a holy, pure, blameless ambassador so that you can truthfully represent His kingdom on earth. What will you do to develop holiness so that you can represent the One and Only True God to a watching world?

Take Time To Be Holy
William D. Longstaff, c. 1882
Copyright Public Domain

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God's children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

1 John 3:16-23

1 John 3:16-23  
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth.

Dearest Father in Heaven-
Your divine love is incredibly remarkable! That You would leave Your majestic sanctuary in the sky to come to this hideous hole on earth to rescue hateful humans is unfathomable. I might die for someone really special, like my spouse or my child, but I'd never die for someone who despises me. Yet that's exactly what you did for me.

In light of the high price You paid to purchase my freedom, I ought not think twice about giving up my comfortable lifestyle for unpleasant people. I believe You put arrogant, obnoxious, mean-spirited individuals in my life to teach me to love Your way. Remind me daily of my own idiosyncrasies. I don't like to admit it, but You know I'm far from perfect. Instead of uttering idle, meaningless chatter, help me to actively love unlikable people the way You love me. Recognizing my own unworthiness, will be my first step toward tolerating and showing mercy to others.

Please dear Lord, fill me with so much of Your magnificent love that my vibrant faith will be contagious, proving to the watching world that I bear Your name. Amen.

How can you show the selfless love of Christ to an unlovable person today?  It's not easy and it's not optional. It's a command from the High King of Heaven who has paid a high price for you. It's the least you can do to honor and glorify Him.

Jesus didn't come to rescue good people, he came to save sinners. He expects us to love them too; after all, we're amongst the throng!  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Daniel 1: 3-4, 17, 19

Daniel 1: 3-4, 17, 19
Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility- young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king's palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.

To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds. 

The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king's service.

Most High King of Heaven,
You have chosen and adopted me into Your royal family. Because You have made me righteous, I have no defects. All of my deformities were made perfect at the foot of the cross. You have lavished me with wisdom and understanding to know the mysteries of Your good, pleasing and perfect will. I am qualified to serve You, my high and heavenly King.

This world is not my home. My home is in heaven. Like Daniel, I am a foreigner in a strange place. The wholesome language I speak is uncommon here. The Christian literature I'm familiar with is abnormal. It's imperative that I adapt to the way of life in the community where I live, work and play.

You've put me here to spread the Good News that Your kingdom is available to everyone who believes. I can only do that by earning the trust and respect of those around me. Please give me the desire to be like Daniel. I need to go beyond the pleasant walls and protection of my church and immerse myself in a corrupt culture. Clinging to my faith and trusting in Your power, I'll infiltrate people with the truth about You in words they'll understand. By developing meaningful relationships and clear communication, I'll connect my community to Your kingdom for the praise of Your name. Amen.

You don't have to go to another land to learn a new language. Study the current culture in your community. You'll probably discover that people don't speak or act like you. In order to serve them for God, you need to know their values and traditions.

Dare to be a Daniel by building bridges with non-believers. Ask God to give you the wisdom, knowledge and courage of Daniel to boldly live out your life in your neighborhood. Find a non-church related group and begin interacting with them.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

John 4:34

John 4:34
"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work."

Sovereign King of the Smorgasbord-
Forgive me for craving the wrong things! I think more about nourishing my body than my soul. Please fill me with so much of Jesus that I will desire nothing more. There is an endless line of hungry people right behind me if only I'd open my eyes and notice! 
Empower me to do Your will and share the Bread of Life and Living Water, my Sweet Jesus, with the hordes of hungry and throngs of thirsty begging for something better. Let me serve them passionately, persistently, and pleasantly, making it my personal business. Its hard work but the wages and benefits are never-ending. No other job offers an eternal life insurance policy. No other business in town offers forgiveness, redemption, and healing. No other place serves all- you-can-eat love and compassion. Only at the Savior's Smorgasbord will people eat and be satisfied.

The hours are limited, closing time is near. I must urgently accomplish the mandatory mission to feed the multitudes by giving them Jesus. Open my eyes to see discouraged, dissatisfied, and disgusted individuals:
Ravished for redemption, riches and relationships
Famished for forgiveness, friends and fellowship
Starved for salvation, security and sympathy
Hungry for healing, honor, and a hero
Longing for love, life and laughter

I will immediately bring them to Your Smorgasbord where they can gorge themselves with grace and be satisfied with the name of Jesus. Amen

There's a starving society surrounding you! You've been given a mission - to do the will of Jesus, feed them the Bread of Life. Will you obey?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Matthew 9:35-36

Matthew 9:35-36
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Jesus, You are the King of Compassion!
If I follow You, I can easily see what You have been doing. The problem is I'm prone to wandering. Distracted by my own agenda, my mind is so focused on finishing my mission that I'm oblivious to the multitudes surrounding me. Forgive me for my lack of compassion! Open my eyes to see the lost souls entangled in the rush of life. Give me a sensitive spirit to stop and set them free. You're not asking me to sell church. You're asking me to:

Teach them by the example of my peaceful lifestyle what it means to know the Shepherd and be sheltered in the safety of His arms.

Preach the Good News by telling them the story of how You rescued me from Satan's snare and brought me to the safety of the sheepfold.

Nurse their wounds caused by the disease of despair and sickness of sin.

Please give me a heart like Yours to teach, preach, and heal. Please fill me with fresh faith and Holy Spirit power to notice the harassed and helpless hordes crying for release. I will follow You and do the things I see You doing to bring glory and honor to Your name. Amen.

Ask God to put the name of one lost sheep on your heart and in your mind today. Begin to pray specifically for their release.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Titus 2:12-13

Titus 2:12-13
For the grace of God teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

God of Grace,
You are a most excellent Teacher. If only I'd stop, sit still and listen, You'd lead me by Your truth and teach me for You are the God who saved me! School me in Your ways so that I'll turn my back on godless, indulgent living. Take my hand and show me how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life while I wait for the blessed hope - the glorious appearing of the Immortal, Invincible, Incorruptible, Almighty King.

Surely You desire for me to be grounded in the truth of the Bible. Help me to carefully study, prayerfully consider, and aptly apply great wisdom so that I won't be swayed by the smooth rhetoric of false teachers. Expand my knowledge so that I won't be deceived by devastating circumstances. Show me how to think clearly when emotions are tugging on the strings of my heart.

In this pagan and hostile world, instruct me to do Your will. By Your good Spirit, lead me on level ground. Following You, I'll exercise good judgment and carefully control my desires, tongue, and passions. Under Your divine discipline I'll willingly do whatever is good and right in all situations, no matter how difficult. You'll train me to be peaceable, considerate and humble toward everyone. My lips overflow with praise because You are the One who teaches me to be excellent and productive.

God of Grace, You have been so kind and loving toward me. By Your matchless mercy, You generously gave me a rich new life along with a hefty inheritance. Because You are faithful and true, I eagerly expect that some day soon, You will appear in all Your glory, sweep me off my feet, and carry me away to live with You forever and ever because of Jesus. Amen.

Are you struggling with saying "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions? If so, ask the God of grace to teach you. He desires nothing more than for you to be grounded in the truth. Then, open your Bible and carefully study it. Prayerfully consider the Scriptures you've read, and aptly apply them.

Practice godly living while you wait for the glorious appearance of the King. "Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." James 1:22.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

2 Peter 3: 10-12

2 Peter 3: 10-12
The day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.

Most High and Holy Judge,
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne. Unfailing love and truth walk before You as attendants while You patiently wait for people to admit their mistakes and change their ways so that no one will be permanently destroyed.

But You will not be silent forever. Someday, and possibly quite soon, a raging fire will consume everything in Your way until the whole earth is exposed. From where the sun rises to where it sets You will summon all humanity for judgment.  Please help me to:

Be holy by spending time with You each day in intimate friendship, reading Your Word, praying and making friends with other believers. I want to know and recognize You.

Be godly by demonstrating love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I want You to know me and recognize me by my Christ-like characteristics.

Be watching by remaining alert and paying attention so that I won't be surprised or alarmed when You show up.

Make every effort to be spotless, pure and at peace with everyone.

Be on guard so that I won't be misled by false teachers with a feel good message that twists the truth and justifies inappropriate activities.

Keep growing deeper in my understanding of You and Your amazing kindness.

Since everything here today will be gone tomorrow, it is essential that I live my life for You. I joyfully anticipate my new home in heaven where I'll live happily ever after with You, my Lord and King. Thank You for warning me of what's to come and telling me precisely how to prepare! I praise You for Your wonderful Words! Amen. 

God clearly tells us that He will come at an unexpected time. Do You believe Him? Are you ready if He comes tonight? How will you prepare to meet Him? Will you recognize Him? Will He recognize You?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Psalm 119:9-11

Psalm 119:9-11
How can a young man keep his way pure?
By living according to your word.

I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.

I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.

Blessed Writer of the Word,
O how I cherish the wisdom recorded in Your Holy Scriptures. It teaches me about Your holy character and divine nature. An amazing documentary on love, it tells the dramatic story of my rescue from death and destruction. It reveals that You chose and adopted me into Your holy family. I must; therefore, learn to love You and live like a divine child.

It is essential that I open the Book of Life, my Bible, and read it fervently. It will teach me precisely how to live with integrity in a relativistic society that doesn't take You seriously. The more time I spend studying and applying Your rules for righteous living, the more I'll become like You. Gradually, my heart will become more sincere and my mind unadulterated.

Out of deep heartfelt devotion, I'll passionately pursue You. Spending intense time alone with You, my heart will synchronize with Yours. Pleasing You will be my only ambition. Rather than tirelessly trying to make people happy, I'll spend my energy honoring and praising You in everything I say and do.

Daily digging into the sacred Treasure Chest of Your Word, I'll uncover Your costly commands and precious promises. Gingerly picking each one up, I'll methodically study them. Memorizing their fine details, I'll recognize their great worth during conflict and crisis. Tucked securely in the pocket of my heart, they'll prevent me from offending You.

O blessed Writer of the Word, thank You for imparting me with wisdom to do Your will, Your way for the glory and honor of Your holy name. Amen.

How can you practice clean-heart living? The Bible says it's easy as 1-2-3 ...
1)    Live according to God's Word.
2)    Seek Him with all your heart and obey His commands.
3)    Hide His Word in Your heart so that you won't offend Him

Monday, May 20, 2013

Jeremiah 17:5-8

Jeremiah 17:5-8

This is what the LORD says:
"Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.

He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.

"But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.

He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."

My Wise and Wonderful One,

You are an amazing word artist. Your illustrations are quite clear. I see a crossroad with two distinct choices: I can fear people or I can fear You.

If I choose to depend on my family and friends to make difficult decisions, and carry me through my dilemmas, I'll be dry and lifeless like a stunted shrub in the desert. Impoverished and spiritually weak, I won't have any strength to be productive. My hard work will be in vain and my blessing basket will be empty.

However, if I choose to rely on You, the Divine Gardener, I will flourish like a lush green tree planted by a gaily flowing spring of fresh water. Spending time in Your Word, my Bible, will nourish and strengthen me. When I allow others who are rooted in You to be my support system, I won't bend and break under the pressure of problems. Drawing deep into the steady Source of Living Water, Your Spirit flowing in and through me, I'll be exceptionally fruitful in scorching seasons of intense pain. Not only will I have enough vigor to meet my own needs, but I'll also have energy to meet the needs of others.

Thank You for Your wise instruction. At the crossroads, I want to make the right choice: to follow Your Word and Your wisdom. Please give me a greater desire to dig deeper into Your presence so that I'll take the way of Your will during tough and troubling times. I want to confidently face challenges, believing that You will bless me with peace, protection, and power in Your holy presence for the honor and glory of Your blessed name. Amen.
The more we allow those who ridicule God to affect our thoughts and attitudes, the more we separate ourselves from the Source of nourishment. Delight in spending time in God's Word and develop a support system of people who love the Lord. Then, you will have the strength to stand up under the pressure of difficult people, problems and pain. You will be blessed with the delicious juicy fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. Full of the Spirit, your countenance will be happy even when your heart is sad.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Proverbs 24:30-34

One day I walked by the field of an old lazybones,
and then passed the vineyard of a lout;
They were overgrown with weeds,
thick with thistles, all the fences broken down.
I took a long look and pondered what I saw;
the fields preached me a sermon and I listened:
"A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there,
sit back, take it easy-do you know what comes next?
Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life,
with poverty as your permanent houseguest!" MSG 
 Proverbs 24:30-34

Wise and Wonderful Lord,
Your Words paint a powerful picture that cause me to stop and think about what my life will look like if I neglect spending time with You. Unattended, wild grass and weeds will grow up everywhere. The roots of thick prickly briars, my unconfessed sin, will choke out what was at one time vibrant vegetation. When I become indifferent and inattentive to Your Word, my life will fall apart like the broken down fence. O Lord have mercy on me! Show me how to guard against neglect. Don't let me become sluggish or lazy in my walk with You.

You are the Divine Gardener. Your Word, the Holy Bible, is pure Miracle Grow for my withering soul. Every time I come to You, You faithfully water me with miracle food that perks me up, filling me with vitality. You pull the weeds and prevent them from strangling me every time I admit my mistakes. You immediately repair the broken pieces of my life when I bring them to You in prayer. When I miss a day or two, I begin to imperceptibly droop. When I miss three or four days, I really sag downward. Eventually, I'll die spiritually. O Lord help me to be responsible in my daily walk with You!  My life depends on it.

There's a world of wrecked believers all around me. They are lying in ruins like the broken picket fence, choked out by the unattended weeds of their own sin and shame. Many have neglected their responsibility to You for so long that they're virtually dead. Please show me a believer who needs miraculous new life today and I'll use the gifts You've given me to immerse them in Jesus, reviving their spirit for Your name sake. Amen. 

How is your relationship with Christ? Are you guarding it carefully? Are you leaning on Him in the hard times, or have you abandoned Him?

Jesus loves you! He hasn't turned from you. You're redeemed and forgiven. He's wants to restore you. Will you allow Him to? Cry out to Him in prayer. He will hear you. Open your Bible and look for Him. He will reveal Himself to you.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

John 15: 9-11

John 15: 9-11
Jesus said, "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."

Holy Gardener & Divine Vinedresser,
Cultivate my heart to produce exuberant, extravagant, extraordinary love. I long for Your amazing love to exude from my pores so that it will be seen and felt by everyone I come in contact with. Saturate me with Living Water. Fertilize me with Your Word. Graft me permanently to You so that I will produce delicious juicy fruit for Your kingdom. As I grow in my relationship with You, submitting to Your snips and clips, Jesus will propagate from me into the lives of others.

Filled with Jesus Joy, my face will shine, my eyes will sparkle, my mouth will laugh, and my feet will dance. O Holy Gardener, please shape me in such a way that people will keep coming back to pluck more of the plump, luscious fruit produced from my branch. Create in those around me a ravenous hunger for more Jesus Juice! Make me a healthy source of spiritual nourishment. Release the flow of Divine Sap through the branch of my life as I rest and grow on Your glorious Vine. I am Yours O Lord, because of Jesus! Amen

Do you hear the words of Jesus? He says that He loves you. Do you believe Him? You will demonstrate that you believe Him when you obey His commands. If you remain in his loving hands and submit to doing His will His way, you will produce extravagant love and exuberant joy.  Apart from Him your branch will be brittle and broken by bitterness and fear. Claim God's promise and release the everlasting sweet "sap" of His Spirit into your life.

David Wilkerson wrote in his World Challenge Pulpit Series: "Listen to these words sung by David: 'Glory and honor are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.' (1 Chronicles 16:27). The root word for 'gladness,' in the New Testament, means 'jumping for joy.' God's heart leaps for joy over those enjoying the fullness of perfect love. Let the Lord put gladness in you now, today. Your glad heart will 'shock and awe' all those who are fearful around you.

Right now the world is drowning in fear. Humankind trembles over global warming, fear of terrorist attacks, nuclear warfare, a shaky economy, the AIDS plague, mass murders, the rise of Islam, political chaos, widespread addictions to drugs, alcohol, and porn."

If we remain in His loving hands, we will not be afraid, but glad. Our lives will produce the fullness of God's perfect love and a world full of worried witnesses will wonder why we are so happy. Remain in Love.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

John 15:5

John 15:5
Jesus said, "If you remain in me, and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

Heavenly Gardener-
You are the Divine Vinedresser. Jesus is the never ending Vine with deep roots. I am the branch. Apart from Him I am nothing but deadwood. Connected to Him, the sweet "sap" of the Spirit flows to my heart, mind and soul producing plump, juicy, succulent fruit.

O Lord, while I remain in Your care, please cultivate in me more of Your extravagant love so that I'll have a soft spirit of forgiveness. Even when I'm shaded by the darkness of difficulty, put a smile on my face and sunshine in my heart, reflecting the joy of Jesus, my Hope of Heaven.

Grow peace in the soil of my soul as I yield to Your painful pruning. Produce in me patience that becomes more luscious with each irritating snip. Let the moisture of my tears develop delicious fruit resulting in a prosperous harvest of grace and mercy. Use the clippings from my branch to transplant kindness in the dirt of despair, and goodness in the soil of sorrow.

Pick up my leaves when they get dirty and wash them. Cleanse me, Jesus! Saturate me with the fertilizer of Your Word and increase my faith. As I spend time under Your care, please keep the soil of my soul tender and teachable. Constantly pull the weeds of faulty thinking that threaten to choke my mind. O please, Divine Gardener, do whatever it takes to grow everlasting fruit from me for the glory of Your kingdom. Amen.

Ask the Heavenly Gardener to cultivate everlasting fruit from your branch on the Vine. It will require you to succumb to His painful sheers as He snips and shapes the unruly shoots. Fully surrendered to His care, you will be astonished at the incredible crop Christ creates from you.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Psalm 89:15-17, 24

Psalm 89:15-17, 24
Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship,
for they will walk in the light of your presence, LORD.

They rejoice all day long in your wonderful reputation.
They exult in your righteousness.

You are their glorious strength.
Our power is based on your favor.

My faithfulness and unfailing love will be with him,
and he will rise to power because of me. NLT

O Lord God Almighty!
          There is none like You!
                   You are my glory and my strength! Walking in the light of Your presence, I'm pleased to proclaim Your wonderful works. Pondering what You've done sets my heart a dancing! I was weak and unworthy of even the simplest spiritual assignment when You chose me, changed me and charged me with telling people everywhere about Your unmistakable reputation for changing lives.

An ordinary person with no extraordinary talent or training, I was inadequate and unqualified for the job. Nevertheless, You persistently pursued me, promising to empower me. When I finally stopped and surrendered, You sent the Holy Spirit to train me. Using the Bible, You taught, tested and equipped me. In the brilliant light of Your presence, I learned to trust Your wisdom and seek Your advice. Soon my empty mind was filled with knowledge and my hollow heart was filled with Your unending love. Your vivacious energy gave me the courage and confidence to conquer my fears.

Before I knew it, I was doing the impossible. Surprisingly, my accomplishments were exceeding my expectations! Knowing who You are and what You can do was the secret to my success. Apart from You I am incompetent and incapable, but with You I can achieve unbelievable things. All that I am and have I owe to You, my Glorious Strength. Blessed be Your wonderful name! Amen.

God calls us to perform tasks we can't do with our own brains or abilities to prove his unfailing love and faithfulness. What extreme challenge has He given you? Has He asked you to take the test of sickness and suffering? Or are you experiencing a job loss and financial challenges? Maybe your assignment involves legal matters that are complex and beyond your comprehension. Perhaps He's asking you to move to a new job, state, or country. Whatever the assignment, stop arguing and agree to the task. Admit your weakness and ask Him to teach, test and equip you. As you learn to trust His wisdom and seek His advice, you too will accomplish unbelievable things and people everywhere will witness God's unmistakable reputation for changing lives.

Apart from Him you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Monday, May 13, 2013

John 4:23-24

John 4:23-24

Jesus said, "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

Father in Heaven,

You are omnipresent. I can worship You any time and any place. You don't care where I worship. You're interested in how I worship. With Your Spirit hovering over me, I can worship in the driest desert, in the darkest valley, on the highest mountain, in the quiet country, in the busy city, in my home or in my car or in my office. Wherever I am, You are there helping me worship. How do I know?

According to Your Word, My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. You have filled my heart with love, with joy and with Your Spirit.

Full of Your Presence, when I study my Bible, You will teach me, tucking the truth in the hollow of my heart. When the truth is in me, I can worship You in Spirit by obeying Your commands. Every where I go, every thing I do, think, or say can be a delightful act of worship when I deliberately chose to follow You. Because I am full of You, I will make music in my heart, meditate on Your Words, and pray without ceasing, always giving thanks to You, in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Everything you do can be an act of worship when You are filled with the Holy Spirit and the truth of His Word. Worship Him today with everything that's in you.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Psalm 16:7-8

Psalm 16:7-8
I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.

I have set the LORD always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.

Secure and Steadfast God,

All You do is just and good! Thank You for graciously counseling me. Your timeless Words are very wise. Your timely advice is always right. Teach me to make good decisions that will please You. Tune my ears to recognize Your Voice, my mind to understand Your Words, and my heart to obey Your Ways. When I'm too exhausted to think clearly, in the silence of my soul, speak to me. Tomorrow is sure to be another exhilarating day with more unexpected twists and turns.

Please go ahead of me. I'm utterly dependent on Your wise guidance to lead me through uncertain situations. It is vital that I remain in constant communication with You by reading my Bible and praying. You know the way that will lead me to all Your hidden promises. Willingly, I'll take Your strong right hand, walking through briars, thorns, and thickets. I won't try to avoid pain, trouble and failure. Connected to You, they won't hurt me.

Dear Lord, please give me the courage to hold on tightly, trusting that You know exactly where You're taking me. Following Your reliable instructions, I'll be secure and steadfast. Looking forward to the riches of heaven, eternity with You and everlasting happiness, my heart and lips will cheerfully sing a sweet song to the glory of Your holy, awe-inspiring name. Amen.

I need God's counsel for __________________________________________. Pray, asking Him for wisdom. Open Your Bible and listen to His Voice. Obey His instruction and He will reward You with Words from heaven - the Truth! Then, you, too, will know that He is trustworthy and dependable. Praise Him! 

Thursday, May 09, 2013

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

2 Corinthians 12:7-10
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 

Eternal, Invisible, Almighty God-
Thank You for the prickly thorns of trouble and temptation sent to me by Satan. I now know that You authorized him to deliver them to me to keep my heart humble. I've repeatedly asked You to remove the pain of my afflictions and addictions. Instead You empowered me with grace to endure them. Your magnificent grace is enough to enlighten and enliven me. It is sufficient to strengthen and soothe me. When I am worn-down, weak, and weary from sadness, sickness, and sin, please purify my heart and fill it with faith to believe in Your almighty power.

By faith, I believe You will turn my hurts to hope, my loss to life, and my difficulties to determination. In the turmoil twisting around me there is a purpose. During chaos and confusion, Your power is manifested and magnified in me. Rather than dreading trials and tests, I need to delight in them. Instead of focusing on my inadequacies and insecurities, I need to focus on Your unfailing, everlasting promises. You have pledged to keep me, protect me, and teach me. You've promised to abide in me and be my strength. Now, I need to walk in faith by acknowledging, accepting, and acting on Your holy name - El Shaddai. To Your all-sufficient, all-powerful, almighty name be the glory forever and ever. Amen

Identify the prickly thorns sent by Satan to torment You. Thank God that they were sent to keep you focused on Him. Instead of focusing on your difficulties and despair, focus on God's unfailing, everlasting promises. Search the Scriptures. Acknowledge God's faithfulness, accept His powerful promises, and act in faith. Then, you will discover extraordinary delight in the midst of your despondency. 

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Psalm 78:9-11

Psalm 78:9-11
The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows,
turned back on the day of battle;
they did not keep God's covenant
and refused to live by his law.
They forgot what he had done,
the wonders he had shown them.

O Great & Mighty God,
Your Word is a swift, sharp sword that cuts to the very core of my soul. We, as a church are big cowards like the Ephraimites. You've armed us to the hilt for the spiritual battle, yet we've fearfully run away. We don't believe in Your powerful, protective promises. We've ditched the indispensable weapons You made just for us.

Even though the Truth is readily available, we refuse to open our Bibles and access it. Because we don't open our Bibles outside of church, we're ignorant about Your Sacred Laws. If we don't know them, how can we obey them? We're busy making believers and baptizing them, neglecting to teach them to obey Your commands. We can't instruct what we do not know ourselves. We're a battalion of reckless rebels marching down a dangerous road.

Forgetting the high price You paid to save us from death and destruction, we've conscientiously objected to following You into combat. It's each man for himself in this skirmish with the wicked world. Prayerless, we've abandoned our brothers and sisters, leaving them alone to fight the vicious foe. Self-absorbed, we've forgotten to declare the great works You've done. Have mercy on us for our lack of faith!

I never again want to withdrawal from the life-or-death fight with the Devil. I don't want You to associate me with the weak and spineless Ephraimites who lost favor in Your sight.

From this day forward, I'm surrendering my life and my agenda to enlist in Your massive Army of prayer warriors. Equipped with Your Word, I'll confidently open my mouth and speak in Your almighty power, watching until the enemy retreats. Show me a comrade who needs support today, and I'll join them in the battle at the altar for the glory of Your victorious name. Amen.

Do you know someone in the midst of a spiritual battle? The enemy is strategically attacking Christ-followers from every vantage point. Who can you join in combat? I urge you, turn around and fight for someone in the name of Jesus. If you have a Bible and a mouth, you're fully armed and equipped for combat.

Our pastors and spiritual leaders are under siege. The enemy is torturing and punishing missionaries worldwide. Our nation is under fierce attack. Marriages are falling apart. Children are innocent victims. There's a whole world full of sick and suffering souls standing alone in their struggles. Everywhere there are broken hearts and shattered lives. You don't have to look far to find someone to stand in the gap and fight with.