Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hosea 10:12-14

Hosea 10:12-14
Sow righteousness for yourselves,
    reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;
    for it is time to seek the Lord,
until he comes
    and showers his righteousness on you.
But you have planted wickedness,
    you have reaped evil,
    you have eaten the fruit of deception.
Because you have depended on your own strength
    and on your many warriors,
 the roar of battle will rise against your people,
    so that all your fortresses will be devastated-

O Great and Mighty God whose Name I adore,
 Thank You for blessing our sweet land of liberty with prosperity. Forgive us for using it to make American idols. How much longer will You tolerate us?

We should not be surprised when we are incapacitated by government grid lock, debilitated by a devastating load of debt, or incarcerated for sharing our faith. Days of distress and difficulty should not stun us. Without Divine intervention, our indifference to immorality will immobilize the mission of the church. O God, who is slow to anger and full of steadfast love, forgive us for turning the fear of the Lord into a free-for-all frolic to suit our fancy.

Precious Lord, surely, it's time for this bemused nation to seek Your face! Remind us that real freedom is not in a constitution penned by founding fathers, but is written in the precious blood of Jesus on human hearts at the foot of the cross. Using Your strong arm, break up the fallow ground in the hard hearts of not only our leaders and legislatures, but also the church that bears Your name. Rain down righteousness so that the seed of Your Word can begin to take root in our lives. As we read our Bibles, propagate our souls with Your precepts. Fill our minds with wisdom and understanding of Your ways so that as a nation, we will return to our Christian roots and reap the fruit of unfailing love and mercy.

God, despite our rebellion, please bless America, the beautiful land I love. Stand beside her, and guide her thru the night with a light from above. Restore her to Your glory for Your name sake. Amen.

As a church we need to confess our irresponsibility and apathy, and plead with God Almighty to have mercy on our nation. God makes it quite clear in His Word that we will reap what we sow.

The time to seek the Lord for our nation is today.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Philippians 2: 10-11

Philippians 2: 10-11
At the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ
 is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
There's just something about Your Name. It carries ALL authority and ALL power in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. There is no place where the power and authority of Your Name does not reach. If I go up to heaven, it is there. If I go down to the grave, it is there. If I ride the wings of the morning, it is there. If I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there Your Name is proclaimed. Kings and kingdoms will pass away, but Your wonderful life-giving, life-saving almighty Name will endure forever.

In this nation, we have profaned Your Name. Contemptibly, we have made gods to suit our own interests. We sneer at Your design for marriage. We laugh at Your idea of life. We do whatever pleases us. Searcher of hearts and minds, You are not deceived. Those who reject Your Name, neglect Your law and make a fool of Your sacrifice on the old rugged Cross will not get away with it forever.

Jesus, my solace is in knowing Your wonderful, life-giving, life-saving, almighty Name. Exalted to the highest place, You are the Majestic Righteous Honorable Judge, seated on the Great White Throne of Justice. One day, possibly quite soon, all mockers - kings and great men of wealth, along with the drunks and men of little stature, will regretfully stand together to face You. Before being cast into the eternal Lake of Fire each will bow before You and confess that You are Jesus Christ the Lord.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, O how I love Your name! Jesus, Jesus, Jesus for as long as I live I will sing glory to Your wonderful, life-giving, life-saving, almighty Name. Amen

In these dark days when immorality is increasing at record pace and injustice seems to be prevailing, we can take solace in knowing that one day, possibly quite soon, the mockers, great and small, will bow their knee and confess the Name of Jesus.

You may be among those who have refused to make that confession, but the Day of Judgment will come and you will then declare that Jesus Christ is Lord. God's Word guarantees it.

The tragedy is that if you wait till then it will not be a confession unto salvation, but of condemnation.

If you say with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved from the punishment of sin. Romans 10:9

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Revelation 2:9-11

Revelation 2:9-11
I know your afflictions and your poverty-yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.

Judge of the Living and the Dead, 
You are the first and the last who died and came to life again. Just as You spoke and everything came into existence, You will have the final word. Thank You for pouring out commendation, comfort and confidence. 
You commend me for the way I've handled hardships. You've seen my problems and my poverty, yet because of Your grace I am rich. An enormous inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade is waiting for me in Glory. Hallelujah! 
Comforting me, You tell me to not be afraid of impending trials and tribulations. Against a sparkling backdrop of opulence and affluence, arrogant people from the synagogue of Satan bash me for my beliefs. The devil will test my faith by tempting, accusing, and deceiving me. For a while, I may be his prisoner of war - isolated, despised, and tortured. 
Finally, You tell me to remain confident, even to the point of death. For deliberately giving up my rights, killing my selfish desires, and focusing on the future I will walk through the fire and not be burned. Instead of being destroyed by the flames, I will be purified in the furnace proving that my faith is genuine when I walk out on the other side glowing with Your glory. 
Please help me to inhale the sweet fragrance of grace like fresh spring air as I walk through seasons of suffering. For overcoming extreme obstacles, I will be blessed with the victorious golden crown of everlasting life. Blessed assurance because You say it is so! Amen. 

If you have an ear on the side of your head bend it toward your heart and listen to Jesus. Life is full of suffering and sadness. Satan will tempt, accuse and deceive you. Jesus knows. Hang in there. Inhale grace like the fresh spring air and walk with confident assurance through the flames. When destruction comes, and it will, you will not be hurt.  He promises those who don't give up the victorious crown of life.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Revelation 2:2-4, 7

Revelation 2:2-4, 7
I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

Lover of My Bleeding Soul, 
I BELIEVE You know me intimately! I've been busy and it hasn't gone unnoticed. You acknowledge that I've plugged away without giving up when the going got tough. It pleases You that I've taken a stand against immorality. You're well aware of the fact that I know my Bible and can accurately discern truth from error. 
Yet, you also notice my shortcomings. While I've done great and glorious works, I've walked away from my love relationship with You. I know You. We've been married for years. We live together, but the honeymoon is over, and we barely communicate. I come and go, while You wait at home in my heart for me, never grumbling or complaining.

O my God! How far have I fallen? Show me. Help me rekindle our sacred romance. When we first met I couldn't wait to be with You. The love letters You wrote me every day in red ink on the pages of my Bible made my heart flutter. I longed to talk to You for hours. What's happened to us? 
Spiritual busyness and stalwart religiosity have displaced my first love. I've abandoned our sacred romance for a cheap one-night stand. Prostituting You for less intimate lovers who promised me pleasure: prosperity, possessions, and prominence. My light has diminished.
O Lover of My Bleeding Soul, forgive me for walking away from You. Help me to be a faithful bride who adores her bridegroom. Light up my life again with Your love that never burns out and I will stay with You forever in our secret little garden where You promise I will eat from the tree of life. Blessed assurance. Hallelujah! Amen.

Has work replaced your worship? If you have one ear on the side of your head bend it toward your heart and listen to Jesus. He longs for His bride to come home. Return to your first love and He promises to give you the right to eat from the tree of life in Paradise.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Revelation 1:3,7

Revelation 1:3,7
Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. 
Look, he is coming with the clouds, 
      and every eye will see him, 
   even those who pierced him; 
      and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. 
So shall it be! Amen.

Living One, who was dead but now lives and reigns forever and ever. Please give me ears to hear and a heart to believe the sobering Words written by Your holy hand. Though many generations have anticipated Your return, and never actually witnessed it, let me not lose faith. Your Words are always true and always right. 
You are coming and You say the time is near. To You a thousand years are like a single day. It's ridiculous for us to try to figure out Your schedule. However, we can be sure that one day the sun will stop shining, the light of the moon will be dispelled, the stars will fall from the sky, heaven will breathe and You will blow into town on a chariot of clouds. Your astonishing arrival will be highly visible and blatantly obvious. Even those who never knew You will stop, drop and look up in wonder.
Before the media can inform us or warn us of this monumental event, there will be such a colossal catastrophe that everyone everywhere will know beyond a shadow of doubt that something extraordinary has happened. There will no escaping it. Those who know You will realize what's going on and will not be surprised. Those who've ignored You will panic in the pandemonium. According to Your Word these things will happen.
O Lord, thank You for telling us everything we need to know ahead of time, and for the double blessing for those who hear and believe it. Let us not be ignorant, but wisely watch and wait for the great day when You will triumphantly come on a cloud revealing Your glory, honor and power finally and forever. Amen.

Christ's return will be noticeable by everyone. He tells us everything we need to know to recognize it. Don't be ignorant. Prepare yourself by reading Matthew 24, Mark 13, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
God promises you will be doubly blessed when read your Bible, hear His Words, and take them to heart. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Malachi 4:1-2

Malachi 4:1-2
"Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire," says the LORD Almighty. "Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall."

Commander of Heaven's Armies,
You paint a frighteningly vivid picture of the day of judgment that's coming. Repeatedly, You warn us in Your Word that You are coming like a thief in the night. We do not know when, but we do know how. 
A huge ball of fire will peal off from heaven with a deafening rumble of thunder and blinding lightning that will cause unbelievable doomsday disaster on earth. Grasping for straws, desperate people will cry out for their leaders to save them. Because our political leaders, business leaders, and spiritual leaders have made a series of catastrophic choices, they will be fully engaged and powerless to contain the blazing inferno. Since we the people allowed them to build our country with highly combustible materials like debt, deceit, greed, and egotism we should not be surprised when it's all gone in a flash.

But, You promise those who acknowledge You will walk through the scorching heat and not be burned; the smoldering smog will not overpower them. Like silver, gold and costly gems that are refined and purified when they pass through a furnace, those who revere You will come out on the other side bursting with brilliance. 
Thank You Lord for awakening my heart to the harsh reality that You are coming. When You do, may I be found a faithful follower who has built with imperishable, eternal treasures on the bedrock of Jesus Christ. Amen.

If today were Judgment Day. how would you fare? Will you come through the fire unscathed, or be devoured by it? Consider the consequences of your choices today.

Turn from your sin, believe in Jesus, and walk in His ways rather than the ways of the world.  

Friday, June 17, 2016

1 Peter 3: 10-12

1 Peter 3: 10-12
Whoever would love life 
      and see good days 
   must keep his tongue from evil 
      and his lips from deceitful speech. 
He must turn from evil and do good; 
      he must seek peace and pursue it. 
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous 
      and his ears are attentive to their prayer.

Guide to the Good Life,
Thank You for clearly pointing me in the right direction. If I want to enjoy a good life and see many happy days, here's what I need to do:
I must refrain from evil or hurtful language, and be perceptive, peaceful and polite, thinking of others more than myself. In Your realm, revenge and sharp-tongued sarcasm are never acceptable. You expect the ambassadors of Your kingdom to rise above the stabbing pain of criticism and cynicism, and bless those who inflict it by praying for them. 
I must also turn my back on immorality and cultivate healthy, honest relationships. The Righteous Book of Rules, my Bible, will help me set good moral standards, and identify dangerous situations before I stumble into them. I will overcome obstacles by earnestly looking for them, immediately exposing them, and dealing with them in the light of Your love. Instead of grumbling about them, I will fervently pray for a peaceful resolution; then stand up, and sincerely speak the truth sensitively.
Please give me the tenacity to continually search for and maintain peaceful resolutions. For doing what's right, You will reward me by turning Your ear toward me, and listening and responding to my requests. I will be blessed with a life I love and many good days because I've carefully followed the Guide to the Good Life. Amen.

God promises you a life you'll love and many good days, if you control your tongue, turn from immorality, do good deeds, and seek peace. For doing what's right even when it feels wrong, He promises to reward you by listening and responding to your prayer requests. 
On the other hand, if you choose not follow His Guide to the Good Life, and pursue selfish solutions, He will turn his face from you. 
Would you rather that God turn His face toward you or away from you?
Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Hebrews12:14

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Proverbs 16:6

Proverbs 16:6 
Through the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil.

Reigning Ruler of the Universe,
As the Creator of everything, You and You alone have the exclusive right to rule the world. Your rules are always right because You are infallible. If only I'd listen to You, I'd avoid danger. Help me develop a deeper respect for Your almighty authority. The more I know You, the more I'll revere You. Awaken my senses to Your unsurpassable power and justice. 
With the thunderous voice of authority, and the snap of a finger You tell the lightning exactly where to strike. When You open Your mouth the mountains tremble. At Your command the clouds dance over the earth. The storehouses of hail and snow are under Your control. You appoint the sun to shine by day and tell the stars and moon to light up the night sky. Stirring the sea, You whip up the waves. Because everything under heaven obeys Your orders, I ought to too. 
Since one day, possibly quite soon, I'll appear before Your sacred throne and answer to You for the things I've done, arouse my heart with holy fear. Inspired by Your supreme sovereignty, I'll turn from my selfish desires and seek to satisfy You. Your righteous rules will show me truth, expose my rebellion, correct my mistakes and prompt me to live in reverent fear of the Only One who has the right to reign and rule over the Universe. Amen.

Is your heart aroused with a holy fear of God? Ponder the righteous rules inscribed by His holy hand in the sacred Scriptures. They will show you truth, expose your rebellion, correct your mistakes and prompt you to live reverently before the Reigning Ruler of the Universe.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Brave Heart: A Story of Courage, Confidence and Conquer

While I work I meet the most fascinating people. This is Kim Nguyen. I met her in October 2015 at Richmond SHRM Annual Conference. My company was a sponsor of the event, and I was an exhibitor. After hearing me talk about my career transition, she reached out to me for some coaching. I helped her articulate her passion and ideal position; and then, encouraged her to pursue it with all her heart. She has just been offered her dream job working for the State of Virginia. When we met to celebrate her success, I learned her incredible story of overcoming adversity.
A native of Vietnam, she migrated to America with her parents, two brothers, and grandma when she was 11. Together they escaped Vietnam on a cargo vessel along with 4,000 other people. They spent 4 days at sea with no food or water. Her mother was pregnant with her sister. Their ship began taking on water and was sinking when an SOS was sent. They were rescued by a Danish cargo ship. They had to cross from one ship to the other on a scary ladder. One slip of the foot and her destiny would have been swallowed by the sea.
4,000 people. It was chaos. People were pushing and pressing in on her to escape the sinking ship. She became separated from her family. 11 years old, she crossed the ladder and landed safely on the Danish vessel; alone; lost; heading to an unknown destination.
Dehydrated, famished, and weak, she fainted in the hot sun on the ship's deck. The ship's crew miraculously came to her rescue. Scooping her up, they took her to their quarters and fed her chicken noodle soup. She shared her bowl with a lost boy who she imagined was her brother. The crew somehow took her photo, developed it, and posted it on the various decks. (This was long before cell phones and internet technology.)
Her mom was sick from the pregnancy, malnutrition, and the loss of her daughter. Her dad was despondent thinking his daughter perished at sea. But grandma was strong and set out looking for her. After two days grandma found her and she was reunited with her family.
They landed in Hong Kong and spent six months in a refugee camp. Because her dad fought with the US Marines in Vietnam her family was granted asylum in the US.
They were deported to Fort Indian Town Gap, a short distance from my home, and spent a month there. A church in VA was looking to sponsor a family of 5 or 6. Since they were a family of 5 1/2, the church sponsored them. She received a private school education in America where she learned to speak the English language impeccably. She went on to Princeton and got a job working for the Federal Reserve. After 20 some years she was outplaced and our paths crossed. Last year, in pursuit of her dream job, she went to Harvard, earned a certificate in Human Resources Management, and passed her SHRM Certification exam without ever having worked in the field of Human Resources.
I have never met a braver heart. She is courageous, confident, and a conqueror. I am blessed to call her my friend.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart 
and lean not on your own understanding; 
in all your ways acknowledge him, 
and he will make your paths straight.

All-Knowing One, 
You are my Leader and Guide on this journey through life. When I try to figure out where You're taking me, I only end up lost and confused. Who can understand You? My thoughts are not Your thoughts, neither are my ways Your ways. Just as the heavens are far above the earth, so are Your ideas far superior and brighter than mine. You are always right, always good and always loving. 
You, O God, are perfect in knowledge. Exalted in power, who has taught You? No one! Who can teach You? No one! You are the Master Mind of the universe. No mind on earth is equal to You. No one can begin to grasp Your greatness. Yet, we feebly try to.

Please humble me Lord Jesus and teach me Your ways. Give me a fresh revelation of Who You are and I will acknowledge You in all my ways. With a proper perspective of You, I'll trust You with all my heart and not rely on my own foolish wisdom. When I read my Bible You will light my way, make my path straight and lead me on the highway to heavenly happiness and holiness. Thank You for this guarantee if I obey. Amen.

God promises to make your paths straight if: You trust Him with all your heart, stop relying on yourself, and acknowledge Him in all your ways. 
The way to trust Him and acknowledge Him is to know Him. The only way to know Him is through His Word, the Bible.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Psalm 67:5-6

Psalm 67:5-6
Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Then the earth shall yield her increase;
God, our own God, shall bless us. NKJV

O Glorious God, You are my God! 
Thank You for Your Living Word that tells us exactly how to work the land to produce bountiful
blessings! We need to join together as believers and plow the field with praise even in the midst ofour own problems and pain. Then the whole world will see how You work. The godless will see how You save.  We need to joyfully shout:
       Our God is a God who saves! (Ps. 68:20)
     Awesome are You, O God!
         You give power and strength to Your people. (Ps. 68:35)
L       Your love stands firm forever. (Ps. 89:2)
          You're eagerly waiting to give the gift of eternal life to everyone!
          (Rom. 5:17)
V        You will rescue the weak from violence. (Ps. 72:14)

A        Direct access to Your wide open spaces of grace and glory are available
           to all know Your Son.  (Rom. 5:2, Heb. 4:16)
T         You will take Your people into glory; (Ps. 73:24)
            And, free them from tyranny and torture. (Ps. 72:14)
I          Instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance;
            They will inherit unimaginable blessings and everlasting joy! (Isa. 61:7)
O       You will rescue the oppressed, 
           because their lives are precious to You. (Ps 72:14)
N       There is no condemnation for those who belong to You! (Rom. 8:1)
O Lord, let us together be happy and shout for joy because You judge us fair and square. Eventhough You've seen the depth of our debt, You've graciously paid it in full with the blood of YourSon. 
Display Your exuberance in us, O God! Let Your face shine on us. Mark us with grace and blessing 
so that the whole world will witness that a wonderful Savior You are! Hallelujah! Amen! 

Jesus says you will be judged by the fruit you bear. (Matthew 7:17-19)
God's Word clearly tells us how to be blessed with everlasting fruit. We, the people of God, all of
us together, need to start singing His praises! 
Instead of complaining we ought to be complimenting.
Instead of arguing we ought to be agreeing.
Instead of blaming we ought to be blessing.
Instead of grumbling we ought to be grateful.
Instead of accusing we ought to be interceding.
At all times we should praise Him with our words. Then, the whole world, not just our individual
communities, will see how He works. As we shout for joy during our difficulties people will hear and be saved! 
Join me in plowing the fields with praise! Together we will be blessed with fruit that lasts forever.

When we intentionally turn our complaints to praise, God will surely smile on us and bless our hearts. 
God's Smile - His affirmation comes in the form of grace and blessing. When God smiles on you, you 
can feel it in every part of your life. - Henry Blackaby.