Wednesday, August 31, 2016

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 30, 2016

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.

This invitation to come is extended to anyone willing to get rid of anything that has become more important than God in their life. Few are willing to invest the high price.

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. 

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 unintimidated 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.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

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. 

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 great 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.

Friday, August 19, 2016

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. 

1 Peter 4: 10

1 Peter 4: 10
The end of all things is near. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.

Matthew 6:1-4
"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.   

"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." 

O Giver of Gifts,
Thank You for the wide array of talents You've given to people. As the day for Your return hastens, teach me to use my special abilities to minister to others. Whether I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, entertain strangers, encourage the sick, visit prisoners, comfort the worried, instruct the ignorant, correct the narrow-minded, or compliment the kindhearted, may I do it with a gentle and quiet spirit for the glory of Your Name.

The world truly is a stage with a vast cast of animated characters publicly performing for the applause of people. The enthusiastic audience is enthralled by the ostentatious outward show, but You notice everything that goes on behind the scenes in the hearts of each player. The praise and promotion of their faithful fans will be their pitiful prize.

I believe You're on Your way and will soon arrive on the scene, center stage, with rich everlasting rewards and recognition for everyone who has served You with a sincere and steadfast heart. While I continue waiting, please open my eyes to see opportunities to secretly and spontaneously be a blessing. With my heart set on You, I'll generously give others the glorious grace You've lavished on me.

Not to me, O Lord, not to me, but to You be the glory, honor and praise forever and ever because of Your unfailing love and faithfulness. Alleluia! Amen.

Do not neglect the gifts God's given you! Use them for His glory in these dark days. Find someone to lavish His grace on today. For being a blessing, You will receive a blessing. Go and give spontaneously.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

1 Peter 4:8

1 Peter 4:8 
The end of all things is near. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Matthew 6:14-15
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

O Father in Heaven,
With the rampant immorality and widespread left-wing liberalism in the world, how much longer will You wait before sending the Eternal King, Your Son, to rule and reign with righteousness over all the earth? I eagerly anticipate the day when the trumpet blares triumphantly and You come down from heaven and meet me in mid-air to take me home with You.

In the meantime, while I wait, prepare me for that glorious day! Break down the barriers of bitterness, and teach me to love others radically - the way You loved me. I will gladly give up my grudges for the priceless and promised peace of Your presence. When the rest of world is caught in the worrisome whirlwind that's wrecking havoc with their lives, I want to be caught in the joy of Jesus who has covered my multitude of faults and failures.

Please dear Lord, prepare me for that glorious day by giving me Your heart of mercy and showing me who I need to forgive. With Your help, I will go in love, offering them the same gift of grace You've so generously given to me to bring glory, honor and praise to Your name. Alleluia! Amen.

Who do you need to love radically and offer the gift of grace? 

Jesus couldn't be clearer: If you forgive people when they offend you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But, if you do not forgive people who have hurt you, your Father in heaven will not forgive your faults and failures. Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5:7)

Monday, August 15, 2016

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.

Jesus, My Eternal King,
I BELIEVE You are coming soon to reign on earth! Your infallible Word says so, and tells me exactly how to prepare. I need to stay alert, remain calm, and pray when everything around me is spiraling out of control, and everyone around me is panicking. In You I will have peace and rest.

You even go as far as to tell me how to pray powerful and effective prayers. Instead of praying on a public platform where my reward will be the temporal praise of man, I need to go into solitary seclusion and just be still and sincere with You. I don't need to inform You about how dismal things are. You see the utter chaos and confusion. You know exactly what's going on, and what I need to sustain me in these troubling times.

O Lord, prepare my heart for the days ahead. Teach me, by Your Spirit, to pour out my anxious heart, uneasy mind, and fearful soul to You. Help me to focus on You and Your priceless promises, instead of people and their worthless words. They will drag me into the pit of despair, but You, in Your goodness and mercy, will lift me up and reward me with inexplicable hope and happiness when I eagerly watch and wait for Your glorious return and everlasting reign. Alleluia! Amen.

Many of us are seeking advice about how to protect our assets and save our families from the pit of depression in what could be our last days here on earth. But, God never addresses those things in His Word. He tells us exactly how to protect His valuables - our hearts, minds and souls - and save our families. We need to prepare our hearts, stay calm, and remain on our knees! He is coming, and His reward will be with Him. (Revelation 22:12)

Pour out your anxious heart to God. Open your Bible and focus on His promises. His love alone will dispel all your fears. (1 John 4:18)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Psalm 34:3

Psalm 34:3
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. KJV

Sovereign God,
Hear the cry of my heart and expand my view of You today so that I can join with the heavenly hosts extolling You. O Lord, come nearer to me so that I can see You greater in size, status, and significance. I want to see you MAGNIFIED.

M - Mighty to save! Your strong hand shimmering with power will guide me to Your holy dwelling.

A - Arrayed in awesome, holy, majestic power, there is peace and protection in Your presence.

G - Great is Your love reaching out to show me the expanse of Your grace and compassion.

N - Name above all names, all created beings in heaven and earth lift You high in adoring praise because You are the Master of all the universe.

I - Incomparable wisdom, more solid than silver, more costly than gold, and more precious than rubies, open my mind to the riches of Your the Truth found in Your Word, my Bible.

- Faithfulness that reaches to the sky will irresistibly beckon me to come further in and climb higher up even when I'm afraid of new heights. With my eyes fixed on You, I will not falter or fall.

Y - Your strong hands and inconceivable mind that made the whole world formed me too! You, the Mastermind and Majestic King make masterpieces for the praise of Your glory!

To You be the majesty, the glory, and the power forever and ever. Amen.

To magnify means to see something greater in size, status, or significance. When we recognize God's size, status and significance, we suddenly see ourselves and our problems as very small.

What will you do today to magnify the Lord with me? Let us exalt His name together.