Wednesday, November 26, 2014

1 Chronicles 29:35

1 Chronicles 29:35
Now, our God, we give you thanks,
        and praise your glorious name.

O Lord, It is a joy to give thanks and bless Your glorious name!

Truthful Teacher, I'm overwhelmed by the truths You teach with me when I open my Bible and my heart. Thank You for correcting my wayward thinking.

Healer of Hearts, there is no Doctor like You in heaven or on earth! Thank You for transplanting Your heart into mine, healing me and giving me a vivacious new life full of love and strength.

Almighty Attorney, You defend me from the allegations brought against me by proud people with personal agendas. Thank You for standing up for me.

Narrator of Life Changing Love Stories, You have written the brilliant biography of my life - a fantastic novel of drama, power, romance, and intrigue. Thank You for my life story. 

King of Compassion, approaching Your divine throne, I'm overwhelmed by Your kindness. Your mercy and justice take my breath away.  Thank You for your compassion.

Sufficient Supplier, You show me the secret to a satisfying life: Relying on your promises, looking for Your provision, and depending on Your power. Thank You for satisfying the desires of
my heart.

Great God who governs from beyond the galaxies, You are the Mighty Magistrate righteously ruling and reigning over all the earth. Patiently, You pardon people who plea with You. Thank You for Your righteousness.

Irresistible Lover of My Soul, You light up my life, making my heart happy. You are absolutely precious to me! Thank You for loving me intimately.

Victorious Lord, You're the Commander-in-Chief of the Army of Blessed Angels. I celebrate the sweet victory You've given me through Jesus Christ. Thank you for the glorious conquest!

Indescribable Light, because You made Your home in my heart the Light is always on. Darkness has disappeared and I never have to stumble again. Thank You for releasing me from darkness.

Negotiator of Great Deals, the bargain You made for me is unbelievable! You'd serve my death sentence so that I could be free. Thank You for defending, saving, and freeing me.

Good and Gentle Shepherd, You are my powerful Protector and one and only Owner. O how Your sweet voice resonates deep within the inner ear of my soul. Thank You for taking care of me.  

Peruse your Bible and think about Who God is to you. Thank Him for Who He is. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Psalm 107:22

Psalm 107:22
Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving
      and sing joyfully about his glorious acts.

Father in Heaven,
As a gesture of appreciation for Your matchless mercy toward me, I'll joyfully show the world the wonder of Your amazing love by: 

Self-expenditure - I'll gladly abandon my own dreams for absolute loyalty to You, determinedly following You wherever You lead.  

Attitude of gratitude - I'll quickly and gratefully stamp out my personal agenda in order to enliven a broken heart. 

Crucifixion of self - Deliberately, I'll kill my spirit of intolerance and indifference in order to allow You to freely work through me to do anything You choose. 
Radical love - Because of the extravagant love You've shown me, I'll readily demonstrate extreme compassion to those outcast by society.

Immediate obedience - Out of fear and respect of Your almighty authority, I'll willingly do any assignment You give me without hesitating or complaining.

Full devotion - Attached to no one but You, I'll notice the people and situations that burden You.

Individuality broken - In order to effectively aid and assist You, I'll allow You to crush me and shape me into Your perfect image.

Challenge - I'll intentionally accept assignments that may be beyond my mental and physical abilities, fully trusting You to energize and equip me.

Endurance - The power of Your Word, coupled with praise and prayer will strengthen me.

Thank You, Lord for filling me with the sweet aroma of Your love. Let my life pleasantly emulate Your essence this holiday season, attracting others to Your fine fragrance because of Jesus. Amen.

God gave up His Son for Your benefit, ask Him what He wants You to give up for His benefit this holiday season. Then, obey immediately, without complaining. Cheerfully offer Him your sacrifice with a thankful heart.

O. Chambers writes in My Utmost For His Highest: We know something is right, but we try to find excuses for not doing it immediately. If we are to climb to the height God reveals, it can never be done later - it must be done now ... Always guard against self-chosen service for God ... God chose the test for Abraham, and Abraham neither delayed nor protested, but steadily obeyed.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Psalm 100

Psalm 100
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Almighty, All-bountiful, All-gracious God,
It's sheer pleasure to worship You with heartfelt adoration and undivided attention. Your unfailing love has put a song in my heart, a spring in my step and a smile on my face. I believe that You are Lord, my God, Creator of everything. O, how I praise You!

My Good and Gentle Shepherd, knowing You intimately is the greatest joy and blessing. Your voice is music to my ears. With steadfast devotion, You lead me to the lush, rolling meadows in my Bible where I can devour the rich delicacy of Your Word. Faithfully, You guide me through barren deserts to refreshing streams of Living Water that quench my thirsty soul. Along the way, You staunchly defend me from the wolves of wickedness that threatens to devour me. Thank You for protecting and providing for me.

With unbridled excitement, I enter the heavenly gate and come into the safety of Your beautiful sanctuary. My thankful heart, tells of Your tender kindness and continuous mercy. I sing of Your infinite goodness and everlasting compassion. Your enduring love has set my feet a dancing. O how I love and worship You for all You've done for me, Jesus, my Wonderful Savior, Redeemer and Friend. Amen.

Prepare your heart for Thanksgiving, by pondering God's goodness. Make a list of all the gifts He's given you. Thank Him for each one, offering Him a sacrifice praise!

Friday, November 21, 2014

I Kings 11:9-12

I Kings 11:9-12
The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord's command. So the Lord said to Solomon, "Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen."

Sovereign King,
Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. When I look into it, concentrating on it, I marvel at the miracles You have done and the judgments You have pronounced.

King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other nations of the earth. World leaders sought an audience with him to hear the wisdom You put on his heart. Though You put him in power, gave him inconceivable riches and a renowned reputation, he cherished his foreign wives and their fraudulent gods more than You. His haughty attitude came with a high price resulting in holy justice. Not only did You divide a dynasty, but You also caused a whole lot of adversity, anxiety, and animosity for future generations. Yet, in perfect mercy You kept Your faithful love promise to his father, King David, by allowing Solomon to retain his wealth and position for the rest of his life. Rather than ripping everything away from him, You graciously allowed a remnant of his line to remain in order to accomplish Your greater purpose.

You are the Lord my God, and Your divine judgments are in all the earth! You remember Your faithful love covenant forever, the word You commanded for a thousand generations. It is "we the people" who break the covenant. As a nation, we are in many ways similar to ancient Israel both in our righteousness and transgressions. Though You have made us the richest, wisest, and mightiest nation on earth, we have pompously forsaken Your moral law in order to please foreigners and the fraudulent gods they have freely brought into our beloved land.

I pray that our leaders will seek You while You can be found, and call on You while You are near. I ask that You stir up righteousness in their hearts quickening them to renounce their disdainful ideas, and turn to You the only Living God. When we are again one nation under God, following Your rules for prosperity, wisdom and power, we will be wildly blessed--beyond our enemies. These are the words from Your mouth. They will not return empty. In these present days, will You accomplish what You desire to achieve the purpose for which You sent them for the glory of Your name? Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly! Amen.

Pray for our leaders so that we don't end up in the same predicament as Israel did under Solomon's reign. Unless "we the people" willingly turn around and follow God completely, we will someday have to pay an exorbitant cost. God's character is unchanging. His Word brings both hope and judgment.

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. I Chron 16:11

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Psalm 146:3-5

Psalm 146:3-5
Do not put your trust in princes,
   in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
   on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
   whose hope is in the LORD their God.

Governing God of the Universe,
I praise You with the harp of my heart, while my soul sings, "My God how great thou art." You are the Maker of the sky and soil, the ocean and every organism in it. Forever faithful and true, You're absolutely authentic, totally trustworthy, and completely dependable. You will always do what You say You will do.

So, why do we put our trust in activists who know nothing about "real" life to advocate for our quality of life? Why do we trust the government to bail us out from beneath the financial flood? Why do we trust lobbyists and lawyers with liberal agendas to legislate laws that will lighten our load? 

While the money we cherish and cling to for dear life is stamped "In God we trust," we've stomped You right out of the picture, choosing instead to trust in the proud princes of Washington and Wall Street who operate self-centered programs based on personal gain and greed and can't guarantee us a dime. When they die their pork-barrel projects and self-motivated plans die with them, leaving us helpless and hopeless. Lord, have mercy on us!

Why do we trust self-serving officials to help us, when we have You, the High King of Heaven who keeps His promises forever and ever? Help me today, to trust in You alone rather than the leaders of this land. You guarantee me a rich inheritance and a home in heaven where I will live in the land of love forever and ever because of Jesus who makes my heart sing. Hallelujah! Amen.

Are you trusting in the government for your future or the God who governs the universe?

God consistently defends those who have been wronged, and always feeds the hungry. Time after time, He releases people imprisoned to their past, gives sight to those who are blinded by deception, and lifts up the fallen. God loves people, protects strangers, and always sides with orphans and widows. Without fail, He brings to an end the work of the wicked. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and sing His praises.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Matthew 1: 1, 6-11

Matthew 1: 1, 6-11
This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:

King David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah's wife,
Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:

Sovereign God of all my ancestors,
Let Your name be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to You. You change the seasons and the years. You take presidents, kings, and prime ministers away, and put new ones in place. I praise You that whenever power changes You remain unchanged.

As much as I find genealogies BORING, I thank You for preserving ancient history so that we can see how You order governments, principalities, and dynasties for Your glory. I believe the kingdoms of the world are Yours, and You appoint whomever You want to rule them. I'm grateful that I can look back and see that there really is nothing new under the sun. Both good and bad leaders are in the lineage of the Messiah. Likewise good and bad leaders will be in place until You return. Precious Lord, knowing You guide the future as You did the past, gives me hope and confidence to believe that this journey will have a joyous end.

I pray that our governmental and church leaders today may know that You are the ruler over everyone. You give power, strength, and glory to whomever You choose in order to accomplish Your heavenly purposes here on earth. Yet, You are not a dictator. Give world leaders a Spirit of wisdom and revelation that they may know You personally and intimately. Open the eyes of their hearts to recognize that everything they have comes from the storehouses of heaven. In awe of who You are, may they willingly choose to bend their knee to Your absolute authority, and lead with righteousness, justice, and mercy.

Thank You for the blessed hope that You are coming, and possibly quite soon, to rule and reign on earth with righteous, justice and mercy forever! Even so, come Lord Jesus! Amen.

There really is nothing new under the sun. I have spent a good bit of time in God's Word trying to understand why He would allow unscrupulous politicians to rule in power, not only in our nation, but throughout the world. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Just as He allowed atrocious leaders in the very bloodline of the pure and perfect Messiah to accomplish His purposes, He will do the same to usher in Christ's return. May this give you hope and confidence in the days ahead; days, which may become quite difficult. As He protected those who were wholeheartedly devoted to Him in ancient history, like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, He will protect those of us who seek Him wholeheartedly today. Guaranteed!

The time to seek Him is NOW! The time to pray for our government and church leaders is NOW. Prayer can change history; but most importantly prayer will change your heart.

To help me understand the genealogy of Jesus and the ancient kings God used to fulfill prophecy, I created the following synopsis.

  • David, a shepherd boy and a man after God's own heart, was also an adulterer, deceiver and murderer.
  • Solomon, the richest and wisest man who ever lived was not satisfied with what God gave. He preferred innumerous wives and permitted their idols to be brought into the temple.
  • Rehoboam, led by blind ambition sought the counsel of immature friends over the counsel of God and his wise elders.
  • Abijah sounded regal and like a true man of God, but he was no more than a resounding gong, because he did not worship the Lord.
  • Asa, reputed for being a good king, did not finish well because relied on insight from the king of Syria rather than the High King of Heaven.
  • Jehoshaphat, a relatively good and godly man, aligned himself with the vile King Ahab of the northern kingdom and his wicked wife Jezebel. Worst of all, he accepted Ahab's daughter, Athaliah, as a wife for his son Jehoram, an alliance that would bring deadly consequences.
  • Jehoram reigned for eight years and nothing good came from him.
  • Uzziah was a great administrator and popular politician whose downfall was pride.
  • Jotham did just about everything right. Consequently, he became mighty because He prepared his ways before the Lord his God. Yet, still he accomplished little during his 16 year reign.
  • Ahaz was known as the epitome of evil.
  • Hezekiah's track record is just as impressive as his father Ahaz's was ignominious. Just as Ahaz's sin nearly enslaved his people, so Hezekiah's righteousness redeemed his.
  • Manasseh, the wickedest monarch, reigned longer than any other king in Israel's history - 55 years. He blatantly worshipped idols and publicly practiced pagan rituals. He caused his children to walk through fire, used enchantments, and witchcraft, as well as wizards which provoked the Lord's anger.
  • Amon did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as did Manasseh his father ... but trespassed more and more. His plans were cut short when his own officials conspired against him and assassinated him.
  • Josiah, for as wicked as his father and grandfather were, was exceedingly righteous. Not only did he tear down the altars of the Baals, smash the Asherah poles, and purify and repair the Temple, but he also found the Book of the Law, read it to the people and made a covenant to observe it. More than anything, however, Josiah, like Hezekiah, brought salvation to his people. After finding the Book of the Law, Josiah sent his officials to consult with the prophetess Huldah, who delivered this message: "Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place ... [But] Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God ... Behold I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Daniel 11:32

Daniel 11:32
By smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action. NASB 

O Sovereign Lord of Heaven's Armies,
Your words are truth, and You have promised these good things to Your people.

The days we're living in are not so different from the days of Daniel. Mad men have come into power and are corrupting our churches by mandating political correctness. Eventually, they may completely prohibit us from congregating to worship. Forcing us to change our Scriptures, accept sexual immorality, and teach our children government approved propaganda is a reality. Anticipating the abolishment of our rights, and the associated atrocities is causing many Christians angst. 

Lord, I pray that you will arouse the complacent church from her sin-induced stupor. We have become a desolate sanctuary stoned on rituals and routines, high on prosperity and pleasure, entangled in emotions and entertainment. The time to sober up and surrender our whole hearts, minds, and souls to seeking You is NOW. We need much more than a Sunday social, even if the preacher is passionate teacher. We need to KNOW You personally and intimately in order to draw on Your power inwardly in the day of distress. You promise that those who KNOW their God will display strength and take action.

Today, I want to display strength and show action. I want to be a Daniel and risk standing up for righteousness, expose the exploits of evil, endure persecution when necessary, triumph through suffering, and accomplish great things for Your glory. Since there is no other way to have spiritual power except through the knowledge of You, I ask that You stir in my heart an unappeasable appetite for righteousness, and an unquenchable thirst for Your Word. I want to live courageously as a faithful follower filled with ALL the fullness of Christ.

O Lord, lean down and listen to me. Open Your eyes and see our despair. See how the church that bears Your Name is swaggering and about to be swallowed up by smooth talking swindlers. I make this plea, not because we deserve Your help, but because of Your mercy and because I revere Your Name. Amen.

We too can have the spiritual power of Daniel to do God's will and to make a positive impact on the godless world in which we live. As our knowledge of Him increases and our friendship with Him becomes more intimate, He makes His power more readily available to us. The people who KNOW their God will display strength and take action. They will be full of faith instead of fear, believing God will save their soul.

When you read your Bible, look for truths about God's character, and promises He makes to those He has chosen. Write them on a sticky note or index card that you can carry with you. Think about God frequently throughout the day by pondering your truth card. In each new situation ask yourself, "How would I respond if I really knew (believed) this truth about God?"

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hebrews 10:35-38

Hebrews 10:35-38
Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while,
   "He who is coming will come and will not delay.
    But my righteous one will live by faith.
   And if he shrinks back,
      I will not be pleased with him."

King of Eternity,
You are Lord of my heart! I know that soon, and possibly quite soon, You are coming back, and that makes my heart want to sing: "Hosanna! Glory to the King of kings!" 

Lord, as the days become increasingly darker and pitch black with terror, prepare me to enter the final round of life's last contest.  When I can't see through the gloom and doom please give me courage and confidence to stand my ground! I know You, and I know Your Word. Don't let me shrink back in fear or throw away my faith. Help me to:

Draw nearer to You with an honest heart fully trusting that my guilty conscience has been sprinkled with Christ's precious blood, and I've been made right and ready to hail Your glorious entrance. (10:22)

Hold on tightly without wavering to the blessed hope of heaven, expecting You to keep Your promise. (10:23)

Think of creative ways to love others and do good deeds, and motivate others to do the same.  (10:24)

Frequently spend time with other believers for encouragement and endurance, especially now that the day of Your return seems so imminent. (10:25)

By doing the right things, I will have nothing to fear or dread because I'll remember that beautiful blessings await me.  You are absolutely sincere and will richly reward me for waiting through tribulations. With a wink of the eye, You'll whisk me away in the wind, taking me to the home I've always longed for. Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest! Amen.

Are you ready for the final round of life's last contest? Soon, and possibly quite soon Jesus will suddenly show up on the scene. Hebrews 10:22-38 tells us exactly how to prepare. I encourage you to be ready!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Proverbs 22:11

Proverbs 22:11
He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the King for his friend.

You are my King and Beloved Friend! A pure heart is what I seek! As I read Your Word, speak to me softly showing me how to stay wholesome. Teach me Your rules for clean-heart living. I'll recite them and rejoice in them more than riches. Reflecting on every morsel of wisdom from You, I'll relish everything You tell me about life in order to resist doing wrong. I'll give You my fullest respect by being submissive. Please write Your Words on my heart, O Lord, so that I can live decently as Your cherished friend.

Anoint my lips with grace so that the words that flow from them will bring dignity and honor to You. I want to speak softly and tenderly proclaiming truth, humility and righteousness. Tame my tongue to talk pleasantly and peacefully. I only want to express things that are good and helpful to build others up and bless them. With love and forgiveness on my lips, I will praise You, my King.

O King of my heart, I know that You love what is good and hate what is wrong. Create in me a clean heart. Give me a gracious tongue. Your throne endures forever and I want to be known as Your forever friend because of Jesus. Amen.

Do you have a pure heart and gracious speech? Jesus says, "For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks." What are you putting into your heart?

This verse made me think of a little childhood tune:

O be careful little ears what you hear
O be careful little ears what you hear
For the Father up above is looking down in love
So be careful little ears what you hear.

O be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
So be careful little eyes what you see.

O be careful little tongue what you say
O be careful little tongue what you say
For the Father up above is looking down in love
So be careful little tongue what you say. 

O be careful, dear reader, what you hear, see and say! Fill your ears and eyes with things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy then what comes out of your mouth will please the King.

To learn how to have a pure heart, I suggest reading Psalm 119:9-15.
To learn how to have gracious speech, I suggest reading Ephesians 4:29-32.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Job 16:19-21

Job 16:19-21
Even now my witness is in heaven;
       my advocate is on high.
My intercessor is my friend
       as my eyes pour out tears to God;
on behalf of a man he pleads with God
       as a man pleads for his friend.

Almighty Attorney,
I appeal to You in heaven on high where You witness every move I make. You know everything about me. You have searched my heart. There's no hiding anything from You. You know when I stand or sit, when I come in or go out. I'm never, ever out of the sight of Your holy penetrating gaze.

You've seen my sin, suffering and sorrow. You've listened to my friends angrily attack my character. Their arrogant arguments and long-winded lectures have pierced Your perfect ears. Without knowing all the facts, they lay blame on me based on their biased beliefs. Even though I've not intentionally done anything wrong, they attempt to coerce a confession. I've been judged, rejected and ridiculed. Stripped of my status, my shame has not gone unnoticed. Depressed and disgraced, I pour out my tears to You, O God!

I need an Almighty Attorney to defend me from the allegations brought against me by proud people with personal agendas. They don't know my heart; but, You do because You're my heart's Constant Companion. Knowing me personally, intimately, and deeply, You are the Only One who can honestly reveal all the evidence against me. It's only a matter of time until I die and I need my case heard and settled quickly, once and for all.

I am so grateful to have You as my Witness, Advocate, Intercessor and Friend negotiating for me in the presence of God, the Sovereign Justice. Because I have the most Almighty Attorney in all of heaven and earth, Jesus Christ, even though I'm guilty as charged, no accusations against me can stick! I won't receive the punishment I deserve. Alleluia! Praise the Lord! I will absolutely be pardoned because of Your respectable reputation and righteous name. Amen.

When sin, suffering and sorrow seize your soul, the enemy will attack you, disguising himself as your friend. He will blame your problems on your behavior; but God's Word says their accusations carry no weight. In the end He will listen to the evidence presented against you by Jesus who is His One and Only Witness, your Advocate, Intercessor, and Friend. There is nothing more important than being in right relationship with Him. He will speak on your behalf.

You are going to die. And, it may be very soon. When th at happens, you will fall into the holy hands of the Sovereign Justice, God Himself. It is urgent that you set yourself right in His sight - and if possible in the eyes of others. The only way to do that is by trusting in the respectable reputation and righteousness of the Almighty Attorney, Jesus Christ. He is the Only One who can speak in God's Court. You are utterly dependent on Him.

My faith has found a resting place,
Not in device or creed;
I trust the ever living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.

I need no other argument,
I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.

Enough for me that Jesus saves,
This ends my fear and doubt;
A sinful soul I come to Him,
He'll never cast me out.