Monday, November 30, 2015

John 8:12

John 8:12
Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

Jesus, You are the Light of the World,
Your radiance fills the whole earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. Before You created life, You spoke and created light to separate the world from impenetrable darkness. Great are You Lord and mighty in power! 

Thank You for leaving the hallowed halls of heaven and stepping out into the wreckage of this cold, dark, and wicked world so that I could see the light of Your love and live. In the light, You exposed the mess I made of my life. Lovingly picking me up, You cleaned me out, filled me with the oil of Your Spirit, and made me into a dazzling luminary to brighten the world. Following You, I can carry the light of life into the dense darkness of death, disease and despair; sickness, suffering and sorrow.

Lord, You know how dark these days are. With the Light of the World eclipsed by heathenism in the hearts of the benighted millions, guide me by the lamp of Your Word. Following You, I won't fumble and stumble through frightening darkness, but will purely, patiently and peacefully illuminate Your love by helping and encouraging those who are lost and alone. Blazing with Your glory this holiday season, use me to lead hopeless, helpless, and hurting people into the light where they will find goodness, grace and an abundant new life. To God be the glory for the radiant gift of Light! Amen.

I don't have to tell you that we're living in dark days of uncertainty. Hordes of people are hopeless, helpless and hurting this holiday season, horrified by the unknown. They're stumbling through the darkness because they can't see the Light. If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, don't hide your light. Follow Him. Open your Bible and do the things you see Him doing. His Word is a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path. Let the light of life shine brightly through you by helping or encouraging someone for Jesus today. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

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 24, 2015

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 23, 2015

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.

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 20, 2015

1 Kings 15:3

1 Kings 15:3
Abijah committed all the sins his father had done before him; his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his forefather had been.

2 Chronicles 13:14, 18
Judah turned and saw that they were being attacked at both front and rear. Then they cried out to the Lord. The Israelites were subdued on that occasion, and the people of Judah were victorious because they relied on the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 

Faithful God of our forefather David,
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures through all generations. You are trustworthy in all Your promises and faithful in all You do. Compassionate and gracious, I'm thankful that You are slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Who is like You, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and Your faithfulness surrounds You.  Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; love and faithfulness go before You. Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim You, who walk in the light of Your presence, Lord.
Help, O Lord, for godly leaders are fast disappearing!  Leaders who are loyal to You have vanished from the earth! O, gracious God, may our leaders not be like Abijah who flattered You with lip service when his heart was full of deceit. Turn their stubborn, strong-willed, and seditious hearts toward You so that they will be men of integrity like David. May they be people who will willingly live by Your standards, sincerely honor You, and promptly restore religion to our land. Teach them to acclaim You, and to walk in the light of Your presence, Lord, so that bountiful blessings from heaven will fall on our beloved land.

LORD, just as You gave Abijah the liar victory when his people cried out to You in order to preserve the promise You made to King David, be merciful to us as we cry out to You for our nation. We are being attacked from the front by fearless and faithless politicians and from the rear by ritualistic and relevant religion. In Your love and faithfulness protect the church that bears Your name, and forever keep the country that was founded on Your principles. Amen.

Many of our leaders, political and religious, sound regal, like true men of God, but they are no more than resounding gongs. They cry, "God bless America" only when a crisis occurs, but their hearts are far from God.

Pray that their hearts would turn toward God, and that God would be merciful, as He was to Abijah, and not destroy the land we love.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

2 Chronicles 14:5-6

2 Chronicles 14:5-6
Asa removed the pagan shrines, as well as the incense altars from every one of Judah's towns. So Asa's kingdom enjoyed a period of peace. During those peaceful years, he was able to build up the fortified towns throughout Judah. No one tried to make war against him at this time, for the Lord was giving him rest from his enemies. NLT

Unrivaled Incomparable King,
Thank You for recording the long and rich history of Your kingdom on earth. You alone are the incorruptible, incomprehensible, indispensable Supreme Ruler of the universe. There is none like You. Only You can command leaders to do Your bidding. Everything You plan comes to pass because You do whatever You wish, whenever You wish, with whomever You wish. Unchangeable and unstoppable You alone are brilliantly magnificent.

Like Asa who expelled the pagan shrines from the land of Judah, give our leaders the guts to topple the highly prized gods that are obliterating our country. Expunge the shameless political action committees that arrogantly spend obnoxious sums to advocate for or against political candidates. Extinguish self-absorbed entitlement acts that pervert and profane the sanctity of life and marriage. Eradicate the dim-witted monetary policies of elite corporate leaders that are pulverizing our once powerful economy into oblivion. Grant our leaders courage to remove from their high positions colleagues and friends who misrepresent righteousness just as Asa deposed of his own grandmother because she made a repulsive Asherah pole.

Invade the hearts of our leaders. Disrupt their personal agendas. Disturb their peace. Spur them to grapple with greater spiritual truths. Restore institutional integrity to our land. Prompt our leaders to revert to the articles of our constitution founded on godly principles. Stir them, as only You can, to return to Your precious Word that's worth more than silver and gold. Urge them to seek You and follow Your commands so that they will think and act like authentic life-giving leaders. With the pagan shrines shattered, and You alone in Your proper place, we will be able to rest, rebuild our economy, restore our national security, and regain international respect.

Lord, will You in Your mercy and grace, please hear the cry of my heart, and act to reinstate Your glory to the land I love? Amen.

Because he got rid of all the pagan shrines and altars in the cities of Judah, God kept the peace in Asa's kingdom. He will do the same for us if we remove the idols from our government. Pray that our leaders will turn toward God so that our prosperity will be rebuilt, our national security will be restored, and we will be respected and at peace with the rest of the world.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

2 Chronicles 10:8, 12:14

But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him ...He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord.

My Only Wise King,
True wisdom and power are found only in You. Counsel and understanding are Yours. Yes, counsel and sound judgment belong to You. Insight and strength come from You. Deceivers and deceived are both controlled by You. You lead counselors away, stripped of good judgment and turn wise judges into fools. You remove the royal robe of kings, leading them away with ropes around their waist. You lead priests away stripped of status; and overthrow those with many years in power. Trusted advisers are silenced by You, and the insight of elders removed. You pour disgrace upon princes and disarm the strong. You build up nations and destroy them; expand nations and abandon them. You strip kings of understanding and leave them wandering in the pathless wasteland. Groping in the darkness without light, You make them stagger like drunkards. (Job 12)

Since blind ambition can be spiritually mortal, I ask You, in the name of Jesus, to send wise counselors to the leaders of the land I love. By the power of Your Spirit, instruct them and teach them in the way they should go. Keep Your loving eye on them and advise them so that they won't lead like Rehoboam who preferred the unsound recommendations of his rebellious friends over the sage suggestions of his elders. Because he arrogantly abandoned Your law after he became strong, choosing instead to be self-sufficient, You forced his country to eat the fruit of his folly, and it was anything but fun for seventeen long years.

Holy Spirit, rouse in the hearts of our leaders a desire for righteous knowledge that is sound and fair even if it means they have to humble themselves, step across the aisle, and receive it from the opposition so that our great nation will stand united and strong for many years to come bringing glory, honor and praise to One who gives her holy wisdom and divine power. Amen.

From whom do you seek counsel? Do you seek it from those who truly know God's Word and live by it? As Christians, advice from those who are spiritually sound is nothing less than a gift from God.

Pray that the leaders of our nation would seek divine counsel so that we can avoid the treacherous path chosen by Rehoboam.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

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

Monday, November 16, 2015

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.

Friday, November 13, 2015

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."