Friday, December 22, 2017

2 Timothy 1:7

2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Almighty God,
          My Beloved Father,
                   I'm unspeakably delighted with my new Christmas heart full of Your beautiful Christmas Spirit. Now, I just need extra stamina to remain connected to the power of Christ this Christmas. The immense force that raised Your Son from the dead will energize me to rise above intimidating people and uncontrollable conditions to pour out the Spirit of Christmas.

Coupled with You, I'll have enormous strength to:
Conscientiously think of others rather than myself
Happily encourage the brokenhearted
Radically love difficult people
Intrepidly risk my reputation to socialize with the undesirable
Sacrificially offer my time, talent and treasure with a grateful heart
Triumph over tragedy
Mercifully extend forgiveness
Accept challenging situations with a song of hope in my heart
Serenely walk through each day

Attached securely to You, the extraordinary power of Your Holy Spirit will flow steadily from my heart enlightening others to Christ this Christmas. In His powerful name I pray. Amen.

Are you plugged into the power of Christ? He will give you immeasurable strength to be His heart and hands this Christmas. Ask Him to show you who you can pour out the Spirit of Christmas onto this year. Then watch who He puts in your path. It will likely be a stranger. Without arguing or hesitating, obey Him by doing whatever He puts on your heart.

One Christmas the Holy Spirit nudged my heart to write an encouraging letter to a stranger whose story I read in the newspaper. I never expected my simple act of obedience to lead to the beautiful gift of sisterly love, daily encouragement, and lasting friendship. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Have a very merry Christ-centered Christmas!!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Luke 2: 16-18

Luke 2: 16-18
The shepherds hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed.

Glorious Lord~
I feel the energy and enthusiasm of the shepherds as they rushed off to find the Holy Child, Lamb of God, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger just as You said they would. When they saw Him they exploded with excitement. Unable to contain the Good News, it erupted from their hearts with great force. 

People were amazed! Jesus Christ was born! The long awaited Messiah. The promised King. Their Redeemer and Saving Grace had been born to set them free! On a normal night they witnessed a miracle as the greatest event in history happened right before their eyes.
I too have witnessed this miracle on an ordinary day. I have seen Jesus as:
A tender baby in the manger of my heart
A studious boy in the temple of my heart
An intellectual man in the classroom of my heart
On the cross suffering for my heart
Resurrected to save my heart
This Holy Child has been born in me. All I really want for Christmas is the supernatural energy and enthusiasm You gave the shepherds to go tell the Good News to all those around me. Jesus Christ is born! A miracle has happened before my eyes. I have seen Your shining glory and heard your gentle voice say, "Do not be afraid. I bring Good News of great joy that will be for ALL people." Holy Spirit, open ears to hear this Good News and may someone find Jesus through me this Christmas. Glory to God in the highest. Amen. 

Ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of energy and enthusiasm to share the excitement of Jesus with someone this Christmas.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Luke 2:8-11

Luke 2:8-11
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

Father in Heaven,
Thank You for inviting me to participate in the shepherds story. When I was walking through a dark valley like them, a brilliant array of brightness burst through the night sky, startling me. Surrounded by radiant beams from Your holy face, a messenger joyfully delivered a magnificent message to me. He told me I do not have to be afraid because You were born in the Bethlehem of my heart to save me from my sins. 

With You in my heart, I do not have to shrink back or belittle myself. I am free to confidently step into Your holy presence. Standing boldly in the dazzling light of Your glory I can shine intensely for You. No matter who I am or what I've done, with You in the manger of my heart, I possess immeasurable power to live valiantly in the same spectacular array of pure light the shepherds saw that night on a hill far away in Bethlehem.
Thank You for sending me this blessed Christmas greeting. Because I've heard Your magnificent message, and seen the light of Your love, Your praise will always be on my lips. When anxiety attacks me and sorrow besieges me, I'll unreservedly step out of the darkness into the glorious streams from heaven afar. Shining with the glory of Christ this Christmas, others will unconsciously walk into the powerful liberating light of Your presence to be set free from the tantalizing troubles that terrorize them for the praise of Your luminous name. Amen. 

This Christmas celebrate that you've been chosen by God to receive the Good News. Jesus Christ has been born in the Bethlehem of your heart. This is the good news that brings joy, empowering you to sing His praises at all times ... including troubling times. With Him in the manger of your heart, you can boldly stand in the light of His love, free from fear. Wow! What a gift!
What are you afraid of? Step into the powerful light of Jesus. There's nothing to fear. Jesus is near. 

Ezekiel 36: 25-27

Ezekiel 36: 25-27
Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. NLT

Heavenly Father,
You are the Maker of indescribable gifts. I am unashamed to admit that I'm in desperate need of a new Christmas heart.

Consumed with materialism, I've become hard pressed like a cheap plastic toy that's heartless, mindless, and lifeless. Unscrupulous marketing convinces me to join the frenzy of panicked shoppers in the mad fight to buy the latest gizmos and gadgets. Glossy magazines persuade me to perfectly deck the halls of my home, and host impressive holiday parties. Santa Claus has replaced You as the father of Christmas. Caught up in commercialism, my heart has become greedy, hard, and selfish. By worshipping the false images of Christmas, I've forgotten the reason for the season.

Please wash away the waste from Christmases past. When I'm clean, lay Your compassionate Christmas heart over mine, making a tender new heart for me. Shaped like Your Son and full of Your Spirit, my perspective will radically change. The holiday fury will fade beneath the pure pleasure and divine excitement of making a permanent difference in the lives of others.

With an incorruptible new Christmas heart full of Your beautiful Christmas Spirit I will cheerfully share the heart of Christ with difficult people who cause division and discord. Thinking of You, I'll tenderly touch them with Your amazing love allowing them to feel the warmth of Your extravagant kindness, and the softness of Your extravagant grace through my words and actions. Looking beyond their stony, stubborn hearts, I'll have a good-natured harmonious visit with them to glorify the Christ of Christmas. Amen.

What's your heart look like this Christmas? What are you worshipping? If you want to have an incredibly different kind of Christmas, ask God, with great expectation, to give You a heart like His this Christmas. When you are focused on the things that matter to His heart, your perspective of Christmas will be radically changed. The presents and people won't matter; His purpose will be the only thing that's important.

Will you touch prickly people for Him with your kind words and gracious actions in order to show them the heart of Christ? This is your opportunity to shine in the darkness like the radiant Christmas Star!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Luke 2:15-18

Luke 2:15-18
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

God of Glory,
May my response to the Good News that You have been born to bring peace on earth be like that of the shepherds who hastily left everything they were doing and sought the Christ child. They didn't wait for a more convenient time, until their shift was over, or a replacement arrived; instead, they made it a priority and went immediately. In the midst of shopping, decorating, and entertaining help me to seek You first because Your Word says that those who seek You find You when they seek You with all their heart. You are the everlasting Gift of Christmas. When You trim the home of my heart with the twinkling lights of Your love, those I entertain this Christmas will notice my inward peace and genuine joy.

Like the shepherds, I want to see You lying in the manger. With my mind's eye focused on You instead of the holiday hustle and bustle, I'll notice the unending length of Your amazing grace streaming down from heaven into the hollow of my dark, damp, and dirty heart. Mesmerized by Your infinite mercy, I'll bow down and adore You allowing You to light up my life so that it reflects the wonders of Your love.

After witnessing the wonderful new birth of Christ in the manger of my own heart, like the shepherds, I'll eagerly spread the Good News wherever I go this Christmas, leading prickly people to the peace, joy, and hope of Christmas - Jesus, Your own dear Son - for the glory, honor and fame of Your name. Amen.

I challenge you to take time over the next week to STOP, DROP everything and seek the Child of Christmas. Read and re-read the Christmas Story as told in Luke 1 and 2 until the Holy Spirit shows you a fresh revelation of God's glory. Then worship and adore Him.

If you seek Him first, none of the other presents will matter. He is the only lasting Gift, and the only Gift people need this Christmas. Having spent time with Him, instead of noticing your neatly decorated home, people will notice your newly adorned heart. Then, when you entertain family and friends, and prickly people get under your skin (and someone will) you will be able to show them God's infinite grace and love - the heart of Christmas, Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Hosea 11:1

Hosea 11:1
"When Israel was a child, I loved him,
       and out of Egypt I called my son.

Matthew 2:13-16
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.

How dark the ancient of days were; yet, in the midst of the dense darkness was a bright light leading to the great escape. This gives me great hope for the future. When there seems to be no way, You will make a way.

You established the authority of Herod the Great, the hard-hearted Governor of Galilee, through a fundamentally centralized bureaucracy, a well-built citadel, and large army of conditioned soldiers who subdued opposition and enforced order. Popular, charming and successful, under his influence the region prospered economically and culturally. Yet, despite his wide-spread acceptance and significant achievements he was insecure, intimidated, and indignant. When this invidious tyrant's throne was threatened, in his fury, he intentionally eradicated all male infants who could possibly interfere with his personal plans and power.

He thought he was in control of his district and his destiny, but in reality he was nothing more than a powerless pawn in Your almighty hand. Outwitting Your rival, You strategically picked up Your Token Child and moved him to Egypt for safe keeping until the opposition was defeated and declared dead.

This gives me great hope for the future. Disheartened by the leadership of popular, charming and successful rulers who promise to prosper our country with sweeping reforms, I can look back and see that leaders are nothing more than defenseless pawns, moved and manipulated by Your master mind. I don't know the strategy You have to keep believers in this deteriorating nation safe, but with history as my guide, I will believe through the oppressive darkness, that You will make a Way to spare us from destruction for the glory of Your name. Hallelujah! Amen.

The Bible is a fabulous history book that can calm your nerves and give you hope in harrowing times. If your heart is heavy open the Bible, and ask the Holy Spirit to show you how mightily God has moved in the past. He is unchanging, faithful to every promise, and will make a way out when there seems to be no way.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Isaiah 9:1-2

Isaiah 9:1-2
Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan-

The people walking in darkness
       have seen a great light;
       on those living in the land of the shadow of death
       a light has dawned.

 Matthew 4:12-14
When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali- to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah. 

Your Word is marvelous. This Christmas as I study prophecy, I'm awestruck anew by the wondrous way You work. Your thoughts surely are higher than my thoughts, and Your ways are far too superior for my simple understanding. Your infinite timeline is immeasurable, beyond my limited intellectual capacity. 

700 years before the Word became flesh the holy prophet, Isaiah, predicted precisely where You would go and what You would do. The days were utterly dark and the nation was wasting away from wickedness when he courageously offered these unpopular words of hope that rendered him a fool by public opinion.

Who would have guessed that hundreds of years later Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah, would start his ministry in this very same dark district plagued by prostitution - people looking for cheap thrills and quick fixes to life's perplexing problems? Blessed assurance, the promised Light had come to the promised land!

The radiance of Your glory makes my heart throb and swell with joy. Love's Pure Light, in You there is no darkness at all. Locked in the deep dark dungeon on death row, haunted by the demons of our past, we desperately needed our dirty deeds exposed so that we could be restored and released to live differently. You, my Everlasting Light, came to do just that!

Thank You for shining the Light of Your love on me. Setting aside my fears and stepping out into it, my chains fell off and I was set free forever because of Your tender mercy. Because You died, went to Hell and came back for me, I never have to walk in darkness again. Blessed assurance!

The days may be dark, but I have the Inextinguishable Light. Thank You for the blessed hope I receive and the lessons I learn when I sit down, open my Bible, and study Holy History with You. Hallelujah! Amen.

Doesn't it make your heart throb and swell with joy, when You consider how faithful God is to His promises?

My prayer is that the fulfilled prophecies that God's showing me will bless you with hope this holiday season. I pray that you will see the Light of Jesus in these dark days. I'm amazed anew, as I carefully study God's Word, that the entire Bible is essentially good vs. evil - light vs. darkness. The times we're living in really aren't that unusual.

 We need to be the light in the world that leads lost souls to Jesus - the keeper of the key that will set them forever free. With the power of the Holy Spirit, we will have the courage of Isaiah to stand up and speak out so that others will be enlightened and encouraged in troubling times. Where will you carry your light? 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Isaiah 61:1

Isaiah 61:1
 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
       because the LORD has anointed me
       to preach good news to the poor.
       He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
       to proclaim freedom for the captives
       and release from darkness for the prisoners.

Luke 4:21
Jesus said, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

Thank You for the timeless truths in Your Holy Word. 700 years before You were born, in the darkest, most dismal days in Israel's history, the prophet Isaiah predicted that good news was coming for the destitute, destroyed, and detained. People could expect a whole new life. Blessed hope!

Help was on the way. But, it took a long time coming. Waiting sure does take a lot of fortitude in our frantic fast-paced, free-wheeling world ruled by instant results and immediate rewards. Blind to the fact that we're spiritually bankrupt, we don't recognize how badly we need an internal overhaul. No amount of money can bail us out of our pecuniary predicament, only the age-old blood of Jesus can. That's the good news people need to hear this Christmas.

 Buried beneath the rubble of wrecked relationships, crushed hopes, and shattered dreams our badly bleeding hearts are hidden behind thick-skinned walls of pride. While smugness may conceal the gashes inflicted by Satan, it won't stop the gushing; only Your compression, compassion, and comfort will completely cover and cure the wounds. That's the healing we really need this holiday season.  

Controlled by commercialism and easy credit we are a nation held captive by covetousness which will only be compounded this Christmas as we strive to be more significant in our spheres of influence. We don't realize that facades and fears restrain us. Constrained by compulsions, we need You to come set us free with the key to contentment, Jesus.

Imprisoned in the dark dungeons of our past, Satan has locked many of us up and thrown away the key. Good for nothing, we're hopelessly terrified and urgently need You to show up with the key that unlocks the door to everlasting love, life and light. Confessing with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believing in our heart that You raised Him from the dead, our past will be immediately forgiven and forgotten and we will be forever free!

Lord, thank You for the hope You've given me because of Jesus, the long awaited Messiah, who came to teach me, heal me and set me free forever. Hallelujah! Amen.

Hang on to the hope of heaven in these dark and dangerous days. God is true to His Word. We may have to wait a long time, but God will do what He says He will do. We must believe. He is coming again, possibly quite soon, to rule the earth forever.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Numbers 24:17

Numbers 24:17     
Balaam, the sorcerer said, "I see him, but not in the present time. I perceive him, but far in the distant future. A star will rise from Jacob; a scepter will emerge from Israel." NLT

Matthew 2:1-2
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."

Your Word is my hope and my light in these dark and dreary days. 1400 years before You gloriously broke through the night sky, Balaam, a stingy sorcerer and soothsayer was well paid to convince Your people to compromise their moral standards. Despite the fact that he was a tool in Satan's hand, You used him to mysteriously point the way to Bethlehem.

Today, the very large and rapidly growing emerging church is blindly leading multitudes of biblically illiterate people who claim to be Christians to Hell by the teachings of modern-day Balaams. Their watered-down messages are designed to bring in warm bodies and cold cash. In this New Age era, truth is not only unclear and uncertain, but also bad for business.  No wonder the days are so hopeless and dark. The only true light has been all but extinguished.

Lord, protect me from the secretly destructive heresies and cleverly invented stories that are running rampant through the Church today. At the Living Word Academy, held in the classroom of my heart, teach me by Your Spirit to diligently seek, genuinely love, and absolutely believe the Truth of Your Word. Full of knowledge, I will be like the Magi who recognized a nugget of truth in the middle of a whole lot of fiction, and willingly left their familiar surroundings to follow the Wondrous Star of Heaven.

O Star of Wonder, Star of Light, Star with royal beauty bright, westward leading still proceeding, guide me to Your Perfect Light. Amen. 

God's Word is absolute Truth. Abundantly clear, it will be your only hope and light in the blackest night. How well do you know it? Do you love it? Do you believe it?

It's not too late to attend the Living Word Academy. The only textbook required is Your Bible, the Living Word of God. The only Teacher required is the Holy Spirit. Open The Book and start seeking Truth before it's too late.

Peter says, "They (false teachers) have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam who loved the wages of wickedness." 2 Peter 2:15
John MacArthur writes in The Truth War:
Genuine love for truth is built into saving faith. It is therefore, one of the distinguishing qualities of every true believer. In Jesus' words, they have known the truth and the truth has set them free (John 8:32). Nothing in all the world is more important or more valuable than truth.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Micah 5:2

Micah 5:2
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
      are only a small village among all the people of Judah.
   Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you,
      one whose origins are from the distant past. NLT

Luke 2:11
The Savior-yes, the Messiah, the Lord-has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! NLT

Thank You for publishing and preserving Your ancient Words. They give me hope and joy in these troubling times. During Israel's darkest days, You announced something major through a minor prophet. Hidden within this tiny little book in the Bible, written by the humble hand of a holy man is a great BIG treasure. The long awaited King would be born in the tiny little town of Bethlehem. The "house of bread" would cradle the "Bread of Life." How amazing is that!? After 700 long years of waiting this prophecy was finally fulfilled.

Because of that experience please give me greater confidence in the divinely inspired messages penned by Your spirit-filled scribes. In this age of uncertainty and lawlessness, help me to pay close attention to what they've written. Similarly, more than 2000 years ago, these influential saints clearly expressed the reality of Your imminent return to rule and reign over the entire earth. Under Your godly guidance, they unmistakably proclaimed that one day death would lose its sting and darkness would lose its power.

Admittedly, I am worn out from waiting! Through tear-stained eyes, I strain to see Your promises. Yet, Your Word is the only flickering light I have in this place. Help me to hold it up and put my hope in it until it diffuses itself in my mind like the dawning of a new day and shines like a bright morning star in the hollow of my heart. Then, I will carry it like a prophet into my own small town to give others the hope of heaven this holiday season for the glory of Your faithful name. Hallelujah. Amen. 

God has given us a great book full of fulfilled prophecy, the Holy Bible, proving that He is faithful. We would be wise to pay attention to it. It may be the only light we have in the coming days, and a candle we can carry into our own dark communities while we wait for the Lord's impending return.

2 Peter 1:19-21
We have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Isaiah 9:6

Isaiah 9:6
 For a child is born to us,
      a son is given to us.
   The government will rest on his shoulders.
      And he will be called:
   Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
      Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Your Words light up my life and give me bright hope! My Spirit leaps within me when I consider Your unfailing love and everlasting faithfulness! These verses teach me wonderful truth and firm-up the foundation of my faith.

700 years before Christ's birth, during one of Israel's deepest, darkest depressions, You passionately promised them that the gloom and doom wouldn't go on forever. Their dreary, devastated land would one day burst forth with a dazzling light and they would see Your glory. A special little boy would be born. He would be their Savior and Sovereign Ruler. The weight of the whole world would rest on His shoulders. Blessed assurance!

This little boy would be called Wonderful Counselor because His godly wisdom would preserve their lives and prosper them. Known as Mighty God, His holy power would bind up broken hearts, shatter walls of shame, and pardon people imprisoned to their past. He would be their Everlasting Father. This Prince of Peace would show up to rescue them from the dominion of death and damnation. After saving the warring world, He would rule it forever with fairness and integrity. Blessed hope!

During this holiday season, help me to know You by these endearing names and better understand Your impeccable character. With a fresh revelation of Your faithfulness, I won't falter and fumble through the fearsome fog, but will firmly stand on Your promises trusting that You are who You say You are and will do what You say You will do for the honor of Your name. Amen.

In gloominess God gives us glimpses of His glory. He shows us repeatedly that He is true to His Word and will do what He says He will do.

When was the last time you sought His wonderful counsel? Do you know Him as Mighty God? How have you witnessed His power? Do you believe He is Your Father forever - that He will never abandon you or give up on you? Has the Prince of Peace rescued you from the dominion of death and damnation? Do you believe He is coming to rule the world forever with fairness and integrity?

The more you know Him, the more you'll trust Him! Blessed assurance! Let Him be your hope this holiday season.

2 Peter 1:19-21
We have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 7:14

Isaiah 7:14
All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son. NLT

Luke 1:26-28, 31, 38
God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. Gabriel appeared to her and said, "Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you! You will conceive and give birth to a son."

Mary responded, "I am the Lord's servant. May everything you have said about me come true."

God of Wonders-
Your Words never cease to amaze me. In the midst of political upheaval and unbelief You graciously blessed Israel with a vision of Your glory. While their backs were blatantly turned on You, and their disaffection was disguised by showy religious rituals and routines, You told them a spectacular secret. "Psst - Listen up! Look for this: A girl who is a virgin will miraculously get pregnant, and give birth to a son." 700 years later, this Word became flesh when You revealed Yourself to a poor peasant girl with an extraordinary princess heart.

Lord, let these words console me during political unrest and unbelief. You know the grave state of affairs not only in this nation, but also in the Church and around the world. Proudly parading as pious people, we're so desperate for change that we've voted for personal prosperity and pleasure separating ourselves from Your peace and protection. Like the Israelites 2700 years ago, we're in the dark about Your riches and our poverty. Unable to perceive that we're lost and perishing, we don't trust You to lead us out of the mess we've made. We want politicians to protect our future, and that's exactly what You've given us.

In the midst of this mayhem, give me unwavering faith to believe that all earthly government is short-lived. One day, and possibly quite soon, You will come back and run the world with honesty and integrity that will never end. While I wait, give me childlike faith and humble adoration, expecting it to happen as You have said it would, without signs and wonders, simply because I believe that all things are possible for You in the name of Jesus. Amen. 

Instead of trusting politicians to protect your future, trust the only One who can guarantee you a future - Jesus Christ. Put your hope in heaven.

2 Peter 1:19-21
We have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

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. 

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."

Friday, November 24, 2017

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 21, 2017

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 20, 2017

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 17, 2017

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.