Saturday, September 30, 2017

Revelations 22:1, 17

Revelations 22:1, 17
The angel showed me a pure river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." Let each one who hears them say, "Come." Let the thirsty ones come-anyone who wants to. Let them come and drink the water of life without charge. NLT

Glorious River of Life,
There's perfect peace in Your pristine presence. You are a steady stream of Living Water, gaily flowing down from above into my heart. You meander through the fearfully dark valleys of despair and blistering deserts of discouragement. Sometimes You're a rushing torrent, other times a quiet trickle.

Thank You for the life saving invitation to come, drink and live. Seared by sin and suffering, parched by problems and pressure, and dehydrated by difficult dilemmas, I'm dying of thirst. Graciously, I come. Freely, I drink from the endless Glorious River of Life, Your Word, the Bible. As I spend time reading, reflecting and responding to it, let the Spirit of Truth fill me. With each sip of sacred Scripture, strengthen, sustain, and satisfy me. Open my eyes to see people who are dying of thirst, desperate for drink. Saturated with Your love and joy, I'll eagerly invite them to come, drink and live at the Glorious River of Life. Amen.

Did you hear the Spirit of God say, "Come and drink the water of life?" He is expecting you! Go sip the sweetness of His Word. After you've been strengthened, sustained, and satisfied, go invite another sin scorched soul to come, drink and live. It's an open invitation!

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. 

Matthew 11:28-30

Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Blessed Word of God,
You are my Heavenly Haven of Rest. Gratefully, I accept Your heartfelt invitation to come! You know I'm worn out and weary from warring with the world! The battle is fierce. Afflictions assail me. Problems pursue me. Temptation torments me. Religious leaders impose their self-righteous rituals and routines on me. People press me to perform for a temporary prize. The weight of it all is crushing me! Thank You for giving me access to Your heavenly home, a haven of rest.

You are a Gentleman; a humble Master. Never cruel, mean-spirited or harsh, You genuinely care for Your children. Take my stubborn and obstinate heart, and teach me to surrender to Your will. Help me to understand every burden I've been called to pull has been placed there by You for my good. Show me how to triumphantly work through tough and troubling times Your Way. With my life deliberately devoted to Your service, I'll joyfully be Your hands and feet whenever and wherever I go.

No matter the cost, I faithfully accept Your generous invitation to be at one with You. In perfect relationship with You, I'll be satisfied and others will see the Heavenly Haven of Rest, Jesus in me. Alleluia! Amen.

Jesus is calling anyone, anywhere who hears the invitation from the Blessed Word of God to come and find rest for their weary souls. The price is high - it will cost you your life - but the dividends are out of this world! Will you come, take and learn?

Jesus was a trained carpenter. In those days, carpenters didn't build houses and furniture. Carpenters usually spent their time building farm implements. Jesus must have carved out a lot of ox yoke as He was growing up in Nazareth. Now, as our Savior, He is still carving out individualized, perfectly fitting yokes for each of His children. It would do us good to learn to surrender to the yoke, because nothing fits our lives so well as the plan which Jesus designed for it. When we are surrendered to His will, we can be absolutely sure that He will allow nothing to harm us, but that every burden we are called upon to pull has been placed there for our good, Romans 8:28. We can also know that when we get back to the barn, we will see that all our labor has not been in vain, Romans 8:18.

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.

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. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

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.

1 Peter 4:7

1 Peter 4:7The 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 4:8

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)

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.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Luke 9:11

Luke 9:11
He welcomed them and healed those who needed healing.

Healer of Hearts,
How great You are! There is no Doctor like You in heaven or on earth! You compassionately and lovingly welcome the patients who persistently pursue You.

Thank You for my miraculous heart transplant. Through intricate surgery, You made a Most Holy Place in my heart for Your Name. When my heart was open, You placed Your tender heart in me. I rejoice that You will dwell with me forever.

Divine Doctor, as I spend time with You, examine my heart. Find the diseases that are devouring me. Make a diagnosis. Open my mind to receive it with acceptance. Then, let the medication of Your grace fill my sick soul. Breathe new life into me. Resuscitated, I'll follow Your prescription for healing:

Humbly admitting that I'm ill and in need of Your care.

Prayerfully asking You to wash my wounds and heal my hurts.

Continually seeking Your advice by spending time in Your Word, the Holy Bible.

Daily bringing my afflictions to You.

Then, You will faithfully hear my cries from heaven and cure my condition. Warmly welcoming me, You will heal me because of Your wonderful name, Jehovah-rapha, Lord Who Heals.

Thank You for the blessing of healing grace given to all those who joyfully, expectantly come! I am eternally grateful because of Jesus. Amen. 

Jesus compassionately welcomes all those who persistently pursue Him for healing. Open your heart for examination, listen and accept the diagnosis, no matter how painful, and you will receive the healing balm from heaven.

Deadly Diseases from A-Z
Abscess of Anger, Arrogance, Adultery, Alcoholism
Blisters of Bitterness, Boasting
Cut of Criticism, Complaining, Complacency
Disease of Death, Deceit, Divorce, Disrespect
Epidemic of Envy, Evil Tongue
Fever of Fear, Fornication, Faithlessness
Gash of Gossip, Greed, Gluttony, Gambling
Hemorrhage of Hate, Hypocrisy, Homosexuality
Irritation of Immorality, Impatience, Idolatry, Impurity, Irreverence
Joints that ache from Jealousy, Judging
Kink of Killjoy, Knavery
Lesion of Lying, Laziness, Lack of Love, Lust
Malignancy of Murder
Nausea of Nagging, Nastiness
Oppression of Oblivion, Obnoxiousness, Obstinacy
Pain of Praylessness, Procrastination, Pride, Pornography
Queasiness of a Quick Temper
Rash of Rebellion, Retaliation
Sting of Sorrow, Selfishness
Toxin of Temptation
Ulcer of Unforgiveness, Ungratefulness, Unbelief
Virus of Vanity, Vengeance
Wounds of Worry, Wrong Friends, Worldliness
Yaws of Yelling
Zits of Zero Time With You   

Psalm 93:3-4

Psalm 93:3-4
The seas have lifted up, O LORD,
the seas have lifted up their voice;
the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.

Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
mightier than the breakers of the sea-
the LORD on high is mighty. 

O Lord God Almighty,
You are the Maker of the spacious steel blue seas teeming with countless creatures. A continuous column of white-capped waves wildly pound their applause while living organisms, large and small, gaily dance beneath them lifting praise to Your high and holy name. Girded with surging strength, who is like You, O Lord? All creation worships You! 

 You, O Lord, are mightier than the roaring water and stronger than the billowing breakers. When we surrender to Your almighty authority, admitting our faults and frailties, You hurl them into the deep, dark sea of forgetfulness covering them completely with the blood of Jesus. Powerful torrents of mercy sweep over ALL of our BIG bad behaviors. Steady streams of grace from heaven flood over our middle-sized mistakes. And soft showers of love fall from your throne washing away our tiny little temptations.  

I just want to join the celebrating sea and shout, "Glory! Hallelujah!" when the waves of glory roll over me! Hallelujah, thank You Jesus for surging over me! Amen.       

Ponder the mighty power of God. Give Him your sins and He will hurl them into the deep dark sea of forgetfulness. Gratefully receive His forgiveness and join the sea by lifting up your voice to praise His high and holy name.

You will hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.  Micah 7:19

Hebrews 2:1-3

Hebrews 2:1-3So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. The message God delivered through angels has always proved true, and the people were punished for every violation of the law and every act of disobedience. What makes us think that we can escape if we are indifferent to this great salvation that was announced by the Lord Jesus himself? It was passed on to us by those who heard him speak. NLT

My Life Preserving Lord,
O how I love Your Word! It is the Truth that saves my life. Completely right, fully trustworthy, and thoroughly tested, it awakens my conscience, warning me of dangers. I shudder to think that I could become lazy, spiritually negligent, caught up in prayerlessness, and go for days without seeking You!

I need You, Jesus! Securely fastened to You, I won't be afraid when I'm in the current of difficulty. Clinging to You, I won't drift away and drown in the sea of despair. When I'm confused Your Words will counsel me. Consumed with sadness and sorrow, they will comfort me. When I'm weak and weary, ready to quit the fight, Your Words will give me strength to persevere. O Lord, how can I flee the consequences if I choose to float away from You?

Please give me a deeper desire to diligently seek You daily! I don't want to let life's craziness and confusion distract or disturb our friendship. Help me to listen carefully through the constant noise and commotion so that I won't be swept away by false teachers and fall from my secure position. I need to hear the Truth with my heart, stand on it, read it, pray it, obey it, and walk in the light of it every single day of my life!

Growing in the truth and knowledge of my Life Preserving Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I'll gladly give You all the glory and honor from now until the end of time! Amen.

The Bible clearly warns that it's possible for devoted believers to drift from Jesus.

What will you do today to draw closer to God? If you aren't taking active steps to stick by Him, through Bible Study and prayer then you may be drifting into dangerous, uncharted water without a Life Preserver!

Job 38:1-3, 24-25, 35-37

Job 38:1-3, 24-25, 35-37
Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said:
 "Who is this that darkens my counsel
       with words without knowledge?

 Brace yourself like a man;
       I will question you,
       and you shall answer me.

What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
       or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?

Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
       and a path for the thunderstorm?

Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
       Do they report to you, 'Here we are'?

Who endowed the heart with wisdom
       or gave understanding to the mind?

Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
       Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens?

Holy, Holy, Holy are You Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of Your glory! Woe is me! I think I know it all and have all the answers, but Lord have mercy, I cannot speak. I'm confused, lost and completely in the dark. My knowledge is miniscule and my view is distorted. Who do I think I am to question You, Lord God Almighty, Ruler of All Nature? Like Job, I cannot explain such common events as summer storms.

Holy Maker of All Nature, You do whatever pleases You in heaven and on earth. You shroud Yourself in darkness, veiling Your face with thick storm clouds. From Your high and holy throne Your thunderous voice rumbles, commanding the lightning to electrify the earth. The whole world witnesses Your magnificent display of power and trembles. Holy, Holy, Holy are You Lord God Almighty.

From Your secret, sacred hiding spot, You come in awesome majesty. Opening Your mouth, You roar like a ferocious lion causing the wicked, wild winds to whip and whistle. At the clap of Your hands the rain crates from heaven tip, drenching the dry and desolate land. The whole earth experiences Your exuberance and exalts You: Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty.

O Lord, You are unsurpassable in power! Your sovereignty is unquestionable. An unparalleled genius, no one can ever outwit You. You are God above all gods! Have mercy on me for my unrestrained controlling character. It is You who endows me with wisdom. Apart from You I am an unintelligible fool!

Help me to always remember my insignificant, imperfect, and ignorant position before the immortal, invisible and incomprehensible King of Glory. With this proper perspective of You, I'll submit myself like the summer storms to Your supreme authority because You are Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty. Alleluia, Amen. 

God speaks through the summer storms. The next time you experience a scary storm think of God's challenge to Job. Just who do you think you are to challenge the Lord God Almighty? Consider Who is in control and submit to His supreme authority. Remember His right to your absolute love, the wretchedness of your offenses against Him, and your unquestionable need of His mercy and grace.-

Nahum 1:3, 7

Nahum 1:3, 7
His way is in the whirlwind and the storm.

The LORD is good,
a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him.

O Wild and Wonderful One!
Your Word is both frightening and fabulous. It leaves me trembling and troubled, yet confident and courageous. It's scary to think You allow storms to rage, putting me in mortal danger. Fiercely determined to bring me to the end of myself, You want me to be fully dependent on You. When the sun is shining and the sea is calm I don't need a Savior.

You let the wild winds of the world whistle their threats to destroy me. Temptation sets my soul spinning like a tornado. Sucked into it, my heart is slammed, smashed and shattered.

Sorrow swirls around me bringing with it the gale winds of grief. Whirling and twirling, I'm consumed by its catastrophic cyclone. Confused by the chaos of uncertainty, I'm dizzy and disheartened.

You give sickness the right to swallow me like a titanic storm surge on the mighty sea. Sin is used to shake, quake and break the feeble foundation of my life. Hurricanes of hardship leave me destitute and devastated. Crippled and crying, I desperately need a Savior!

Divine Disrupter, in the midst of vicious whirlwinds, it's comforting to know that You care for me. In the center of problems and pressure, You are my Savior. Bringing me into the safety of Your presence, You shield me and heal me. Trusting You with my troubled soul, Your supernatural power rests on me. In Your strength I can stand firm through the fiercest storms certain that You are thoughtfully and thoroughly working out Your perfect plan for my life - a plan that will bring glory to Your Wild and Wonderful name. Amen.  

Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble." God's way is in the whirlwind and the storm. Are the wild winds whistling their threats to destroy you? Are the storm surges swallowing your soul? Trust the powerful promise of God: He cares for you!

His word says all the days of your life were written in His book before even one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16) He is the Author of your life story. He has a purpose and plan for every event in your life. He is not concerned about your happiness; He cares only about your holiness. Using hardships, He draws you nearer to His own dear heart.

Reflect on the lyrics of the age-old hymn: Near to the Heart of God.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Matthew 8:23-27

Matthew 8:23-27
Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"

He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!"

Thank You for opening my eyes to see the wonderful things in Your Word. By them You preserve my life. In them I find confidence, comfort and courage.

Often I find myself in the same boat as the disciples - caught without warning in a dangerous situation. In the ferocious storms of the soul, I lose power and am in the dark. Colossal waves of worry crash over me. Mighty moaning winds of fear and doubt violently toss me about threatening to throw me into the wicked sea of unrighteousness. Hopeless, helpless and paralyzed, I cry out to You, "Lord, help me! I'm drowning!"

When the raging storms of life overtake me, often I respond as though You're asleep and unaware of the terror in the night. Forgive me for failing to recognize Your presence, protection and power. I'm nothing but a coward with a faint heart and crippled faith. How many blessings do I miss because of my fear in the storm?

Beneath the raging tempest of even the perfect storm are still waters deep within the sea. When gale winds scream like demons in the dark, please give me faith to stop what I'm doing, let go of the troubling thoughts, and plunge into Your Word. Then, the rampant storm will subside and there will be peace beneath the surface, in the hollow of my heart. Deep within the sea of my soul, I'll find confidence, comfort and courage to wait through the fearsome fury and dreaded darkness. With One voice, You'll preserve my life, irrevocably changing me because of my extreme encounter with the One who calms the seas and quiets hearts in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Is a storm surrounding you? Are the mighty moaning winds of fear and doubt violently tossing you about threatening to throw you into the sea of unrighteousness? Ask God for faith to believe in His presence, protection and power. Then plunge into His Word, and discover the peace beneath the surface, in the hollow of Your heart.

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.

Hebrews 3:7-11

Hebrews 3:7-11
 So, as the Holy Spirit says:
   "Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
   as you did in the rebellion,
      during the time of testing in the desert,
 where your fathers tested and tried me
      and for forty years saw what I did.
 That is why I was angry with that generation,
      and I said, 'Their hearts are always going astray,
      and they have not known my ways.'
 So I declared on oath in my anger,
      'They shall never enter my rest.' "

Living God,
What a privilege it is to come into Your holy presence! I BELIEVE You are the steadfast, secure Rock of my Salvation. I come before You with a thankful heart because You are the Great God; the Builder of Everything. In Your holy hands are the depths of the earth, the majestic mountains, the thunderous seas, and ALL creatures including ME. O Lord, You are my Creator, King and Father.

Today, when I hear Your voice, do not let my heart be hardened in rebellion. Open my eyes that I may see the wonderful things in Your Word. I am a stranger on earth, wandering in a foreign land. Help me by Your Holy Spirit to heed Your heavenly calling, and fix my thoughts on Jesus, Your precious Son who was faithful through every temptation, trial, and test, and deemed worthy of great honor.

As I open Your Word today, judge the thoughts and attitudes of my heart. When I am tempted to turn back to bondage, the proverbial place of my past, help me to focus on the future, hold onto my faith, and keep walking forward firmly holding onto the confidence I had when I began this expedition.

Resting on the Rock of my Salvation, Jesus Christ, I will not be afraid. Instead, I will listen to Your voice, do what You ask, and stand on Your promises. Trusting in Your protection and provision, I will stop grumbling and complaining, and truly rejoice that I am part of Your royal and blessed family destined for this journey through the dangerous desert that leads to the Promised Land. Help me to be faithful and holy every step of the way so that I too will be crowned with glory and honor and found worthy of Your name. Amen.

Three times the Hebrew writer warns, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts." When you are in a difficult situation, wandering in the wilderness, and God speaks to you through His Word, do you do what He asks, or do you ignore Him?

Today when you hear His voice, surrender Your will to His Word, and experience His quiet rest.