Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Acts 2:3-4

Acts 2:3-4
They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit, Light the match and breathe on me! Set me on fire! Brand me with Your signature so that I'm Yours alone! I want to be a Christian in my heart, blazing with the zeal of Your love. With intense heat, burn away anything that isn't of You. Turn my stubborn will to soot. Melt my cold, hard heart until it glistens with righteousness. Then, teach me with tongues of living flames what You would have me do.

Ignite me with divine power. Make me spiritually combustible today! Exploding with love, I'll be tenderhearted and merciful. Bursting with joy for my salvation, I'll glow brilliantly for You. Blast away my sin, so that I crackle with kindness. Fully ablaze, I will not live for myself. Consumed by Your love, I'll live to please only You. May people recognize me on the outside by Your flickering flame that's burning in my heart. Lord, let Your righteousness shine through and be glorified in me today for Your name sake. Amen.

If you are a believer God has branded His seal on your heart (Eph 2:9). What do people see when they look at you? What do they see in your actions? Do they match the seal of God's love burned on your heart? If not, I encourage you to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to ignite a fire in your heart so that others will see Jesus when they encounter you.

Isaiah 40:11

Isaiah 40:11
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
       He gathers the lambs in his arms
       and carries them close to his heart;
       he gently leads those that have young.

Good and Gentle Shepherd, 
So tenderhearted and compassionate, You certainly love Your sheep! You carefully lead us to the lush mountain pastures in our Bibles where we can graze to our heart's content on the fertile food of Your Word. Faithfully, You guide us through barren deserts to refreshing streams of Living Water to quench our dry and thirsty souls.

Along the way, You protect us from animalistic humans who threaten to attack our character. Prone to wandering, we slip into clefts of criticism and condemnation, plunge into ravines of rejection and ridicule, and sink deep into depressions of disgrace and despair. In our times of trouble, You never fail to hear our cry, find us and set us free. I BELIEVE Your sheep are Your most prized possession.

 Bruised and bloodied from the fall, You meticulously bandage our broken hearts. Scooping us up in Your powerful arms, You hold us close to Your loving heart and carry us to safety. Resting in Your presence, we have nothing to fear. You are bigger than the people, problems and pressure pursuing us.

Thank You dear Shepherd for diligently doing Your job twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, year in and year out. Because of Your hard work I'm alive and well. I know from experience that danger lurks around the bend. It's crucial that I trust and obey You. Huddled in Your flock, there's protection, provision, and perfect peace because of Jesus. Amen.

Are you sticking with the Shepherd or have your wandered away from the flock? You are valuable to Him! He wants to take care of you, but you need to follow Him.

If you've lost your way and are stuck, cry out to Him. He'll find you right where you are, pick you up in His strong arms, and carry you close to His heart to the safety of His presence where there's protection, provision and perfect peace.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Matthew 28: 16-20

Matthew 28: 16-20
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

I BELIEVE You are the King who sovereignly rules the universe, and supremely rules on the throne of my heart. I submit my whole life to Your divine authority. Clearly, Your parting Words commission me to GO to every community in every country telling people of every culture to repent and believe in You for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

Please fill me with Holy Spirit power to GO with brave boldness. Open my eyes to see all the sick, sad souls surrounding me. Open my ears to hear the sound of people marching to hell. Give me a sensitive spirit to stop and share the Only Way to eternal life. It's not optional. It's a mandatory mission from the One I call King, Lord and Master. To disobey would be disrespectful insubordination.

Since I can't fathom the thought of anyone spending eternity in torment, I'll courageously and confidently conquer my fears and GO as You command. One day every tongue will confess You are God, one day every knee will bow to the glory of Your Most High and Holy Name. I exalt You, O Lord, above the heavens. Let Your glory be over all the earth! Alleluia! Amen.

Do you believe the One who rules the universe? Do you acknowledge Him as your King, Lord, and Master? If so, you've been given a mandatory mission to spread the Good News: Our God Reigns! It's as easy as ABC.

A = Admit you are a sinner
B = Believe Jesus died for your sins
C = Commit your life to Him

Friday, April 25, 2014

John 21: 1- 7, 12

John 21: 1- 7, 12
Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. "I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

He called out to them,"Friends, haven't you any fish?"
       "No," they answered.

He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some."When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!"

None of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. 

I BELIEVE You are the Lord, the great I AM, who is always with me. On bright days, Your presence warms my heart. On deep, dark days filled with discouragement and disappointment You are just as present. On days of despair when all hope is gone and the net of my heart is empty, and my vision is distorted by tear soaked eyes, I can't recognize You standing right in front of me. I can't hear Your voice. Are You there?

Please open my eyes to see while others just stand still staring. Open my mind to perceive while others parade around pondering. Many will watch, but I want to see, hear, and believe. Give me crystal clear vision to recognize You through the haze of hopelessness. When You affectionately call me I want to know Your voice. Unclog my ears so that I'll hear You say, "Friend, haven't you any hope?" Then I need faith to follow Your simple command to toss the empty net of my heart into the sea of blessings. You will fill it beyond my wildest imagination and exceed my immediate need! I'll jubilantly shout, "It is the Lord!" and others will notice You because of my faith.

Please dear Lord, take my desperate dilemma and turn it into innumerous blessings for Your glorious name. Give me eyes to see, ears to hear, and faith to BELIEVE. Amen.

What is your hopeless situation? Do you see the Lord standing in front of you? He's there if you look beyond the tears. He's calling, "Friend, haven't you any hope?" Tell him today that you want to know Him more dearly so that you can clearly see Him, hear Him, and believe Him when your heart is empty.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Luke 24: 13-16, 28-32

Luke 24: 13-16, 28-32
That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was.

They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if he were going on but they pressed him: "Stay and have supper with us. It's nearly evening; the day is done." So he went in with them. And here is what happened: He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, they recognized him. And then he disappeared.

Back and forth they talked. "Didn't we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us?"MSG

I BELIEVE You walk with me and talk with me every day; yet how often do I fail to recognize You in my circumstances? Feeling heartbroken and abandoned, I turn to friends to discuss my situation. I must look ridiculous wallowing in self-pity while You are right beside me. Open the eyes of my heart Lord, to clearly see You in the middle of my hopelessness.

When I am down in the dumps and crying the blues over my losses, please come along side of me and talk to me like a friend when I prayer. Set my heart on fire. Nothing will thrill me more than Your voice when I read my Bible. With my heart consumed by You, I will live in absolute expectancy, trusting You to do what You say You will do. I want more than the blessing of my daily bread! I want ALL of YOU, JESUS! Please take the Holy Spirit wildfire that's burning within me and use it to ignite faith, hope, and love in others for the glory of Your name. Amen.

How do you see Jesus in the middle of your hopeless situation?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

John 20: 19-22

John 20: 19-22
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said,"Peace be with you!"

After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit."

Prince of Peace,
I BELIEVE that no door can shut out Your presence. There is no lock strong enough to keep You out! Blessed assurance! I cherish the moment when You came, stood in the living room of my heart and spoke a blessing of peace to me.

Seeing Your mighty nail-pierced hand makes my soul sing. Hammered to the cross, Your holy hand blotted out my transgressions and vindicated me. There is precious peace in Your pardon.

My heart flutters at the sight of the spear-torn flesh in Your side. Because of Your wound, nothing can separate me from You - no grief, no fault, no fear. There is perfect peace in Your presence.

With a single breath of heaven, You filled me with Your Spirit, empowering me to confidently and courageously tell the life-changing story of my extreme encounter with my crucified Lord. There is prevailing peace in Your power.

Please dear Lord, come, stand in the living room of my heart today. Breathe a fresh blessing of peace on me. Then, I will go speak a blessing of peace to others for the praise of Your glorious kingdom. Amen.

Have you seen the nail-pierced hand and spear-torn flesh of Jesus? If so, go tell others the difference it made in Your life. It's not optional.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Job 19:25-27

Job 19:25-27
I know that my Redeemer lives,
       and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
       yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him
       with my own eyes-I, and not another.
       How my heart yearns within me.

Jesus, My Redeemer,
I BELIEVE after three days in a dark tomb, You defeated death and bounced back to glorious life - not as a stiff cold corpse, but as an able-bodied man who could walk and talk.

My Redeemer lives! 
Your empty grave guarantees it! 
Your faithful followers witnessed it!  

And, I BELIEVE that one day, possibly quite soon, the heavens will split open and You will stand upon this earth with fire in Your eyes and a sword in Your hand. You will be endowed with integrity, nobility and strength. At Your appearance, every man, woman, and child will be knocked off their feet and acknowledge that You are Lord of lords, and King of kings. Undoubtedly, I will see my Faithful Knight, the Prince of Peace crowned with beauty and majesty.

Though disease and death may destroy my body, and darkness may obstruct my view, I BELIEVE with all my heart that one day I will personally stand with heaving lungs and a throbbing heart, gazing on Your glory with my own two eyes. In Your power I will have a mountaintop view of the Triumphant One who bought me and set me forever free to live eternally. O how my heart dances with desire! Hallelujah! Amen.

How confident are you that one day soon the heavens will burst open and Jesus, your Redeemer, will to stand upon the earth? Do you believe that after this time of extreme darkness, disease, and even death that you will see Him in all His splendor with your own two eyes?

Does the very thought of seeing the Risen Redeemer set your heart dancing with desire?

O how my heart yearns within me! Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Matthew 28:1-10

Matthew 28:1-10
Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to see the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, because an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled aside the stone and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.

Then the angel spoke to the women. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn't here! He has been raised from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come; see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples he has been raised from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember, I have told you." 

The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to find the disciples to give them the angel's message. And as they went, Jesus met them. "Greetings!" he said. And they ran to him, held his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Don't be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there." NLT 

Living Lord,
O how I wonder what I miss when I don't seek You early in the morning. Undoubtedly, these women didn't expect the excitement that was about to unfold!

In the shadow of sorrow and sadness, they were jolted to their feet. An angel surrounded by the radiance of Your glory swiftly moved the huge stone, calmed their fears and proclaimed the Good News! You most certainly were alive.

The empty tomb guarantees it.
The angel assures it.
The women witnessed it.

As You promised, all my sins were buried in that tomb with You. My old way of life was gone forever, forgiven and forgotten in a cold, dark, empty grave. As You arose, so did I to a bountiful, beautiful new life.

Because You live, I can face tomorrow.
Because You live all fear is gone!
Because I know You hold the future
And life is worth the living just because You live.

Fill me dear Lord with the same reverent fear and exuberant joy You gave these dear women. Exploding with excitement, I will go tell the Good News to all those around me! "Jesus is alive! "

Holy Spirit, open the ears of those near me to hear this Good News. May someone receive the glorious gift of eternal life today because they have seen You resurrected in me. Amen. 

O how I wonder what we miss when we don't seek to worship Him early in the morning. Undoubtedly, we miss many exciting encounters with the Lord! I challenge you to get up early tomorrow morning, while it's still dark outside, and go to the grave. Seek Him! There you'll find an empty tomb and abundant new life! Go quickly! Worship Him!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Luke 23: 50, 55-56

Luke 23: 50, 55-56
The women, who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

Thank You for the amazing lesson I learn from these devoted women who bravely followed You. Like best friends, they fearlessly walked with You through the dark, difficult valley of death. While the other disciples abandoned You under mounting pressure, these courageous ladies stayed at the Cross until every last gruesome detail was finished and cleaned up.

Heartbroken, they went home and prepared their most valuable possessions - spices and perfume, to lovingly and respectfully care for Your dead body. Deep in despair, they rested and waited through a long Friday night and endless Saturday mourning for the appropriate time to serve You.

During my own frighteningly Friday's - times of extreme crisis and confusion when I just want to run away and hide, give me the courage to stick around until every shocking detail is worked into something magnificently beautiful. In their wildest dreams, these women couldn't have imagined the spectacular ending to the story; but, because of their wholehearted love and commitment, they were the first to witness the miracle of Your astonishing resurrection.

Please dear Lord, give me strength to endure excruciatingly painful conditions, a sensitive heart to serve You in the midst of my misery, and faith to remain at the grave through my grief. Just as You turned their tragedy into triumph, I can expect You to turn my own dark Fridays and endless Saturdays into resurrection Sundays for the glory of Your name. Amen.

Between yesterday's tragedy and tomorrow's triumph will you leave God or linger at the grave until He's glorified?

Your Good Friday could be disease or death, affliction or addiction, divorce or separation, heartache or hardship, disaster or destruction. Whatever your misfortune, look forward with hope to Easter Sunday when your mourning will turn to joy.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

John 19:38-42

John 19:38-42 
Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate's permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus' body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. 

Holy Spirit,
Thank You for opening the eyes of my heart to see that I too am guilty of being a secret follower of Jesus like Joseph and Nicodemus. I call myself a Christian in my heart, but am afraid to admit it in front of people. Frightened of losing my prestigious place in the community, I too hide my faith in the closet. A people pleaser, I'm too scared of ridicule to stand out and publicly acknowledge my allegiance to You. Forgive me, O God, for my half-hearted commitment. 

On that dreadfully dark Friday, these two casual disciples witnessed the unbelievable signs and wonders of the Cross. They experienced the unusual daytime blackout and the thunderous earthquake that shook open the gates of heaven. They saw the dead rise from the grave and knew beyond a shadow of doubt that You were Who You said You were. Recognizing the great distance You went and the exorbitant price You paid for them, they opened their mouths and spoke.

Having seen You die, their hearts were enlivened to ask for Your bloodied, bruised and battered body. Out of gratitude they bravely came out of hiding to give You a proper burial. Radically changed by Your death, they risked everything: their prominent positions, their social status, and their livelihoods to ensure that You were treated with deep heartfelt respect and dignity. 

O Lord, will you kindly change my timid heart by Your death? Embolden me to come out of hiding, confidently stand up, open my mouth and speak out for You no matter the cost. With a fully devoted heart, I'll willingly risk my reputation to bring You glory and honor because You died for me. Amen.

Are you a secret follower of Jesus Christ? Do you hide your faith from your friends and fellow workers? This is an appropriate time to come out of the closet and let others know your allegiance to Him.

Jesus has some strong words for us: "If anyone acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will openly acknowledge that person before my Father in heaven. But if anyone denies me here on earth, I will deny that person before my Father in heaven." Matthew 10:32-33  NLT

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Matthew 27:50-51

Matthew 27:50-51
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.

O Living Word of God!
I'll never understand the depth of Your incredible sacrifice, nor will I comprehend the high cost of it. I BELIEVE Calvary's Cross was the place where Your Spirit unmistakably collided with miserable man. The earth trembled, and rock hard, unmovable hearts shattered into a million pieces. Mine was one of them.

The curtain separating me from You was torn in two from heaven to earth as Your body was violently ripped by the soldiers' whips, cruelly torn by the crown of thorns, horribly crushed by the weight of the Cross, and split open by the piercingly point of the carpenter's nails. In the repulsiveness of Your broken and bloodied body, I find the magnificence of an open door to eternity. The veil of guilt and shame that kept me hidden from You was removed, revealing all that it cost You to save me. 

By the way of Your precious, priceless blood I can boldly walk into Your High and Holy presence. Approaching Your gracious, glorious throne, in awe of Who You are and what You've done, all I can do is bow down and worship You for the indescribable, inexplicable, incredible gift of life You've given me! Hallelujah, thank You Jesus! Amen.

Ponder the indescribable, inexplicable, incredible gift of the Cross.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Galatians 2:20

Mark 15:24

They crucified him.

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.


Suffering Servant,

I BELIEVE You emptied Yourself of divine power, lived as a human, and humbly, obediently, and voluntarily suffered the shameful death of a criminal. When the soldiers swung the hammer, driving the spikes into Your flawless hands and feet, the blood began to trickle and then gush covering all of my faults and failures. All of my pains and disfigurements, all of my pretenses and deceits, all my passions and desires were completely killed - not controlled, concealed or counteracted, but crucified with You - dead and buried. On the Cross, my individuality was completely broken and my Spirit was made at-one with Yours. My death certificate was signed and sealed by Your blood.

At the same time, my birth certificate was signed and sealed by Your Spirit, giving me a revolutionary new life. I no longer have the rights and privileges of the past. I've been liberated to live a radically different lifestyle on a higher plane. Fully surrendered to Your supremacy, my sole motivation is to humbly, obediently, and voluntarily suffer to do Your will Your way because of Jesus, the Son of God who died for me. Amen.


Ask God to search your heart and show you anything you haven't surrendered to Him. Then nail it to the Cross, no matter how painful. Crucified with Him, His blood will cover all of your faults and failures allowing you to live a victorious new life.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Matthew 21: 12-14

Matthew 21: 12-14
Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. "It is written," he said to them, "'My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are making it 'a den of robbers.'"

The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.  

Jesus, You are my Refiner, Reformer, and Redeemer.
 I BELIEVE You turned my whole world upside down for my good and Your glory, the day I swung open the door of my heart, allowed You in, and crowned You King of my life.

Stomping into enemy territory, You killed my bad temper, conquered my mean mouth, and cast out my pride. You drove out the buyers and sellers that corrupt my soul: covetousness, criticism, and complacency. You emptied out many nasty and naughty things: nagging and narcissism, negativism and niggardliness, haughtiness and hypocrisy. You toppled the tables of temptation and brought down the benches of bitterness. You cleared away the idols, impurities and irreverence I had carried into Your holy house for my personal pleasure.

Lovingly, You opened my blind eyes to see the corruption and deception caused by my religiosity and pomposity. With eyes wide open, I saw how much You loved me when I realized how You died for me. Humbly, I exchanged the limping of my unbelief for firm faith. Now I am drawn to love You, trust You, and serve You. Refined, reformed, and redeemed, turn my heart into a holy house of prayer fit for the Most High King. Amen.

Prepare your heart for Easter by allowing Jesus to topple the tables of temptation and benches of bitterness in the temple of your heart. Ask Him to reveal the buyers and sellers that are corrupting your soul. Allow Him to remove the idols, impurities and irreverence that rob Him of His rightful place of highest honor in your life. Ask Him to purify your heart and make it a holy house of prayer.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mark 11:9-11

Mark 11:9-11
Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!"
"Hosanna in the highest heaven!"
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts.

You, O Lord, are my Savior, my Conqueror, and my glorious King.
I BELIEVE You rode triumphantly into the temple of my heart and captured me with affection. You didn't come galloping in on a high-powered war horse, but trotting on a poor little pony. You didn't come wielding a sword to subdue me, or with an army of men to coerce me. You came with gentleness, and seized me peacefully. Because of Your tender love and mercies I will not die a pitiful prisoner of war, but will live eternally in Your everlasting kingdom.

Recognizing You as the Prince of Peace on a pony, I exultingly salute You, and cheerfully welcome You into my heart and home. My heart throbs with holy joy because One so great as You has come to dwell in one so weak as me. Because You are my strength, my song, and my salvation, today and every day, I jubilantly join the celebratory parade of past prophets and present saints proclaiming, "Hosanna! You are the God who saved me! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven! Glory to Your name!" Amen.

Prepare for Palm Sunday by reflecting on the day Jesus rode into your heart. How did His arrival impact you? Celebrate the day He captivated You by proclaiming loud hosannas, "My God saves!"

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Matthew 26:38, 40-41, 43-45

Matthew 26:38, 40-41, 43-45
Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them. Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near."


Precious Jesus,
I BELIEVE You've invited me to join You in agonizing prayer, and I have failed you miserably. Surrounded by the sorrow of sin, overwhelmed by the misery of suffering, and swallowed up in the sheer terror of impending death, You've asked me to keep vigil, but like Peter, I'm drowsy and prone to dozing off. Forgive me, O Lord!

You know the brutal battle that lies ahead for all Christians. Clearly, You warn me to pay attention and pray. Deep agonizing grief from the consequences of poor choices will besiege me. The intense suffering from sickness will be unbearable. The cruel killing of souls and maiming of minds will torment me to the point of overwhelming despair. With all my heart, I want to obey, but the nighttime of the soul seems eternally long and I'm worn out and restless.

I beg You to teach me to pray powerful prayers that will crush the adversary. The hour is near when You'll come back, and I don't want You to find me sleeping again. I want You to be pleasantly surprised when You find me in the garden wrestling over the burdens of Your heart for the glory of Your name. Amen.


O. Chambers writes in My Utmost for His Highest, October 16: "The key to the missionary's difficult task is in the hand of God, and that key is prayer, not work ... the key is in following the Master's orders - the key is prayer.

Jesus has invited us to watch and pray with Him. His intense agonizing prayer in the garden gave Him the strength to face the journey to the cross. If you don't pay attention and wrestle with Him in prayer, you'll snap when the stress and strain do come - and it will come. Ask Jesus to teach you to pray powerful prayers that will crush the enemy.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Matthew 26: 31, 33, 35

Matthew 26: 31, 33, 35

Then Jesus told them,"This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:
   " 'I will strike the shepherd,
      and the sheep of the flock will be scattered."

Peter replied, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will."

Then, Peter declared, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the other disciples said the same.

Hours later the self-confident Peter disowns Jesus. (Matthew 26:69-75

Dear Jesus,
I'm dreadfully like Peter! I too have spent many intimate moments with You. Over the years, I've sat, sipped and supped with You, enjoying the rich blessing of Your friendship. In the classroom of my heart, You taught me Your precepts, promises and purposes so that I could do Your work in this world.

Yet, when challenged by angry, arrogant hate mongers, I'm prone to stand around and watch while politically-correct people insult, mock, and abuse You. Worried about my reputation, I tend to stay at a distance hoping no one will notice my relationship with You. Tantalized by pride, like Your flock of beloved disciples, I deny and desert You to save my name.

Please give me the courage to stand up for You during threatening situations. Break down the stronghold of pride on my mind. Take my wandering thoughts captive and bring them back to You. With my mind under Your control, my heart will be protected. Instead of impulsively reacting to peer pressure, I'll conscientiously stand up to defend You, bringing glory and honor and praise to You, my lifelong teacher and friend. Amen.

Might we be guilty, like Peter, of trying to follow Christ, but with cowardice? Are you ashamed to be seen carrying a Bible? Ashamed to be seen giving thanks? Ashamed to be seen with other Christians? Have you denied Your Lord for fear of ridicule or rejection? If so, admit it with deep heartfelt sorrow, repent and determine to learn from your mistakes.

Christ can use those who recognize their failures. From this humiliating experience Peter learned important lessons that would later help him when he assumed leadership of the church.