Thursday, August 28, 2014

Psalm 93:3-4

Psalm 93:3-4
The seas have lifted up, O LORD,
the seas have lifted up their voice;
the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Nahum 1:3, 7

Nahum 1:3, 7
His way is in the whirlwind and the storm.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Matthew 8:23-27

Matthew 8:23-27
Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 25, 2014

Revelations 22:1, 17

Revelations 22:1, 17
The angel showed me a pure river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." Let each one who hears them say, "Come." Let the thirsty ones come-anyone who wants to. Let them come and drink the water of life without charge. NLT

Glorious River of Life,
There's perfect peace in Your pristine presence. You are a steady stream of Living Water, gaily flowing down from above into my heart. You meander through the fearfully dark valleys of despair and blistering deserts of discouragement. Sometimes You're a rushing torrent, other times a quiet trickle.

Thank You for the life saving invitation to come, drink and live. Seared by sin and suffering, parched by problems and pressure, and dehydrated by difficult dilemmas, I'm dying of thirst. Graciously, I come. Freely, I drink from the endless Glorious River of Life, Your Word, the Bible. As I spend time reading, reflecting and responding to it, let the Spirit of Truth fill me. With each sip of sacred Scripture, strengthen, sustain, and satisfy me. Open my eyes to see people who are dying of thirst, desperate for drink. Saturated with Your love and joy, I'll eagerly invite them to come, drink and live at the Glorious River of Life. Amen.

Did you hear the Spirit of God say, "Come and drink the water of life?" He is expecting you! Go sip the sweetness of His Word. After you've been strengthened, sustained, and satisfied, go invite another sin scorched soul to come, drink and live. It's an open invitation!

Friday, August 22, 2014

.John 6:35

John 6:35
Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry."

Bread of Heaven,
bless and adore Your hallowed name. Hungry and humble, I plead with You to feed, fill, and sustain me. Help me to crave nothing more than the richness of Your Holy Word. Eating to my heart's content, the deepest longings of my soul will be satisfied. Sufficiently full of the Bread of Life, I'll desire to live a life of love.

Savoring the divine flavor of Your goodness in my heart, I'll have ample resources to feed the hungry hearts surrounding me. With Your blessing I'll share the Bread of Life with those who are:

Ravished for redemption, riches and relationships
Famished for forgiveness, friends and fellowship
Starved for salvation, security and sympathy
Hungry for healing, honor, and a hero
Longing for love, life and laughter

Lord, here I am. Take me, bless me, break me, and use me to joyfully feed the multitudes from the overflow of my heart. Thank You for faithfully providing my daily Bread. I love You. You are all I need! Amen.

Is your heart hungry? Discouraged? Disillusioned? Disappointed? Jesus warmly welcomes you to come and eat the Bread of Life sent down from Glory - His Word. In it You will find redemption, riches, and relationships; forgiveness, friends, and fellowship; salvation, security, and sympathy; healing, honor, and a Hero; love, life and laughter - all the things you need to live abundantly. Come, eat and live!

Ask the Holy Spirit to make you desperately hungry for the Bread of Life.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

John 1:35-40

John 1:35-40
The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!"

When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?"
They said, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?"

"Come," he replied, "and you will see."

 So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him.

Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah."

Lamb of God,
Like the disciples, I heard someone talking about You too. Curiously, I pursued You until You turned around and spoke to my heart. Unreservedly, I asked where You were staying, and you invited me to come and see. Eagerly, I went with You.

To my surprise You went to the door of my heart. There in the cold, dirty stable of my soul is where You were staying. When we stepped in together, You lit a fire in the hearth and brushed away the cob webs in my mind. After spending time with You my heart became warm and my mind clear. Soon I realized that You were the Messiah who came to live with me. Overwhelmed with the joy of Your presence, I hurriedly ran and invited others to come and see!

Thank You, Jesus, for coming to the home of my heart and taking up residency there. Bursting with blessing, I will excitedly point others to the Lamb of God. Intrigued, they too may follow You, ask where You're staying, and unexpectedly find You in the manger of their heart.

Holy Spirit, please bless me with courage and enthusiasm to go and tell others about You. I love You and want nothing more than to glorify Your long expected, holy name. Hallelujah! Amen.

Don't miss the Messiah! He's right there at the door of your heart waiting to come in, light the fire, clear away the cob webs and live with you. Don't let him standing out in the cold, invite Him in. Then, enthusiastically go and tell others to come and see Him.

If you've never invited Him in, please do! Pray: Lord Jesus, I know that You are the Messiah. Please come in and live with me. Light the fire in my heart. Clear the cob webs from my mind, and teach me Who you really are. I want to know you and live with you forever. Amen. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Luke 18:18-23

Luke 18:18-23
A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good-except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'"

"All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said.

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.

Truthful Teacher,
O how honest You are! Your Word is sharper than the sharpest dagger, cutting swift and deep into our innermost thoughts and desires, exposing them for what they really are. Everything about us is bare and wide open; seen by Your ever-living eyes; nothing can be hidden from You.

Like the rich religious leader, we often come to You with zeal and determination to purchase our ticket to heaven. Recognizing that You are the Grand Ticketmaster, we politely approach You and smoothly ask, "Good Master, what will a ticket to heaven cost me?" Unimpressed with our performance, You slash right through the thick flattery and cut to the heart of the matter.

Rather than accepting our personal affluence and influence, You painstakingly point out the one thing we lack, demanding the high price of our personal security and identity. Freely, we can join You on the journey to heaven, but first we'll need to get rid of anything that has more importance than You in our lives, and start taking care of society's rejects - the undeserving, unattractive, and undesirables. Sadly, like the rich religious leader, we often turn and walk away without a word. The price is more than we're willing to pay.

Forgive me O Lord for being so short-changed and short-sighted. Please touch my lifestyle with Your love. Show me the possessions that possess me. Willingly and wisely, I'll sell them or give them away, to make a safe investment in Your heavenly kingdom. In return, You'll bless me with Your identity and the eternal security of living with You in heaven forever and ever. Amen.

What possesses you? Anything that preoccupies your time or thoughts will prevent you from accepting this gracious offer. With a joyful and triumphant heart throw off the things that are hindering you from faithfully coming to follow Him. He will show you where to invest the proceeds.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Matthew 11:28-30

Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Blessed Word of God,
You are my Heavenly Haven of Rest. Gratefully, I accept Your heartfelt invitation to come! You know I'm worn out and weary from warring with the world! The battle is fierce. Afflictions assail me. Problems pursue me. Temptation torments me. Religious leaders impose their self-righteous rituals and routines on me. People press me to perform for a temporary prize. The weight of it all is crushing me! Thank You for giving me access to Your heavenly home, a haven of rest.

You are a Gentleman; a humble Master. Never cruel, mean-spirited or harsh, You genuinely care for Your children. Take my stubborn and obstinate heart, and teach me to surrender to Your will. Help me to understand every burden I've been called to pull has been placed there by You for my good. Show me how to triumphantly work through tough and troubling times Your Way. With my life deliberately devoted to Your service, I'll joyfully be Your hands and feet whenever and wherever I go.

No matter the cost, I faithfully accept Your generous invitation to be at one with You. In perfect relationship with You, I'll be satisfied and others will see the Heavenly Haven of Rest, Jesus in me. Alleluia! Amen.

Jesus was a trained carpenter. In those days, carpenters didn't build houses and furniture. Carpenters usually spent their time building farm implements. Jesus must have carved out a lot of ox yoke as He was growing up in Nazareth. Now, as our Savior, He is still carving out individualized, perfectly fitting yokes for each of His children. It would do us good to learn to surrender to the yoke, because nothing fits our lives so well as the plan which Jesus designed for it. When we are surrendered to His will, we can be absolutely sure that He will allow nothing to harm us, but that every burden we are called upon to pull has been placed there for our good, Romans 8:28. We can also know that when we get back to the barn, we will see that all our labor has not been in vain, Romans 8:18.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Mark 10:13-16

Mark 10:13-16
People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. 

Abba Daddy,
Thank You for giving me ears to hear Your soft, tender voice calling me to come into Your Kingdom. You didn't invite me because of my impeccable appearance or my impressive knowledge. Quite the contrary! With dirty, scuffed up knees, torn and tattered clothes, a runny nose, sticky fingers and a smeared up face, I humbly crawl up on Your great big lap full of wonder and gratitude. Though I am very small, You lovingly welcome me without any education or intellectual understanding.

As a dearly loved child, You gently immerse me in the sparkling Living Water of Your Word, scrubbing away the scum from my past until I glitter and glisten with Your glory. Touching my hurts with Your redeeming blood, You miraculously heal them. Fitted with the priceless robe of purity my indignity is completely covered. With a twinkle in Your eye, You hand me the keys to Your heavenly home where I am free to live happily ever after in Your adoring presence.

Graciously wearing Your crown of compassion, I simplistically and unreservedly, accept Your generous gift of love. Because of Your openhanded kindness, I will stand up straight and tall, unafraid and intimidated by big people. Clean, clothed, and confident, the world that rebuked me will witness with childlike wonder the Holy Child in me. Hallelujah! Thank You, Daddy for taking me in Your strong arms, touching, blessing me, and changing me. Amen!

Do you hear the soft tender voice of Jesus calling you to come? He's not calling those who are impeccable and impressive. He's not calling the big, important and intellectual people. Rather, the invitation to come is extended to those who are full of the wonder and gratitude of a child. Do you hear Him? He's waiting with arms wide open to bless you! He's reaching out with His amazing grace and wants to touch you with His forgiveness, hope and a brand new life so that He can claim you as His own. Let nothing hinder you from going to Him.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Matthew 14:28-33

Matthew 14:28-33
"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."

"Come," he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God." 

Word of the Father, Now in flesh appearing,
Truly You are the Son of God. Joyfully I adore You for revealing Your glory to me during the storms of my soul. Gigantic waves of sin and suffering have buffeted me. Howling gusts of doubt and distress have disturbed my peace. My distorted night vision is terrifying. Fear of the unknown and unseen has crippled me.

Through the dismal darkness of a restless night, I long to hear Your voice calling me to "Come." I want boldness and courage to be like Peter. While the other eleven sat in the boat paralyzed, he recognized Your voice and took a walk of faith. With my eyes fixed on You, I too will step out of my comfort zone to accomplish the impossible.

Lord, I just want to know Your voice, obey Your call, and behold Your glory. In difficult situations and challenging circumstances, please keep Your mighty hand on me. Gazing on You, I'll triumphantly walk by faith and experience the joy of Your power. Those who sit worried and watching will wonder at what they've witnessed. Mesmerized by the miracle, they may believe that You truly are the Son of God. Hallelujah! Amen.

Do you hear the Voice in the night calling you to "Come?" Will you risk stepping out of the boat or remain in the boat gripped with fear? I encourage you to behold His glory, step out in faith and trust Jesus. With your eyes fixed on Him, He will give you the power to walk triumphantly through the terrifying storms of your soul. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Matthew 4:18-20

Matthew 4:18-20
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers; Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him.

Ardent Angler,
You've called me to come with You on the fishing expedition of a lifetime! It won't be easy and it won't be cheap; but it will be well worth the investment. When I'm willing to leave my past, live with You, and learn from You, You'll teach me the best kept secrets of the trade.

To join You on this wild and dangerous mission, I may have to forfeit my family, friends and freedom. I'll surely have to give up my comfortable lifestyle and social status. The lifelong journey will require a commitment to grueling hardships, irregular hours and arduous challenges.

My deficiencies and inadequacies are unimportant because You will make me a fisher of men. The Bible will train me to see and save lost souls. Like the rough and rugged fishermen on the open sea, I'll discover that my safety and success are fully dependent on You. Going where the prospects are could require much effort, sacrifice, and risk. Patience and perseverance will be necessary as I continually cast out the net without a catch. Since fishing is a practical skill, I can only learn by doing it.

My ample compensation for persistence will be the satisfaction of the catch - Jesus hooked in a human heart. These are the fish that will be my joyful and triumphant trophy when I bow in adoration before You, the Ardent Angler, on Judgment Day. Yes, I will drop everything and come fishing with You to glorify Your name! Amen.

Jesus is calling faithful people to come on the fishing expedition of a lifetime. Are you willing, like Peter and Andrew, to leave your former life behind in order to follow Him on the most exhilarating eternal adventure? No special skills are necessary; only an open mind and willing spirit. When you leave your past and live with Him, He will make you a fisher of men.

He promises the crown of rejoicing to those who fish with Him for men: "For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy." 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

1 Peter 4:7

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

Matthew 6:25, 27
Jesus said, "I tell you, do not worry about your life ... who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

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

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

Help me O Lord to keep my eyes on the sky and watch for You instead of worrying about what may not even happen tomorrow. If I'm expecting You, I'll let go of my fears and be at peace, knowing that You'll give me everything I need today for the renown of Your majestic name. Amen.

Worry muddies our minds and prevents us from thinking clearly. It causes us to react irrationally inhibiting our self-control. With our eyes on our problems instead of God, our Creator, we're unable to persistently pray as we ought. Worrying hinders us from loving deeply and serving spontaneously.

Letting go and trusting God isn't easy. But, with His help we are able. Pour out your anxious heart to God. Tell him that your mind is uneasy, and that anxiety is paralyzing your soul. Open your Bible and focus on His faithful provision in the past.