Friday, March 16, 2018

Philippians 3:8

Philippians 3:8
I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ.

Sweet Jesus,
You are the deepest desire of my heart. The power and possessions I once persistently pursued are worthless. The accolades and accomplishments I aggressively accumulated are insignificant. The pleasures and treasures of the world can't come close to knowing You, my precious Savior. Please show me all the clutter in my life that needs discarded to make room for more of You.

Give me the Spirit of wisdom and revelation that I may know You more each day. Enlighten the eyes of my heart to the blessed hope to which you've called me. Show me the riches of my glorious heavenly inheritance. My greatest aspiration is to be more like You in every way. Knowing You personally and passionately is the only thing that matters. Everything else fades away like a fresh cut flower.

Put in my heart Your all-consuming, incomparably great power. Using that mighty power, I'll overcome evil and temptation to live vibrantly, victoriously, and virtuously in this fallen world. There is no greater thing than knowing You, Jesus. You mean the world to me. The most valuable treasure of all time is found in You - sweet salvation. O, how I cherish what You have done for me! With a spring in my step, a song in my heart and a smile on my face I will earnestly praise You for Your surpassing greatness in Jesus name.  Amen.

Is Jesus your most valued treasure? Are you willing to joyfully give up everything to know Him more?

If you were standing before the throne of God and He asked you, "Do you love me with all your heart, mind, soul and strength?" could you honestly answer, "Yes, Lord, You are my most treasured possession." Would your lifestyle prove it?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Isaiah 43:10

Isaiah 43:10
 "You are my witnesses," declares the LORD,
       "and my servant whom I have chosen,
       so that you may know and believe me
       and understand that I am he.
       Before me no god was formed,
       nor will there be one after me."

Immortal, Invincible, Incorruptible Almighty King,
Yours is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor. Everything in heaven and earth belongs to You. You are exalted as head over all. You answer to no one. When You rise from Your throne, Your enemies scatter. The keys to Heaven and Hell are in Your holy hands.  There never was nor ever will be anyone like You. You are perfect, pure and pristine.

Yet, in love, You chose to reveal Yourself to a rebel like me. And, in love, You decided to rescue, revive, and restore me. No one can ever reverse the renovation You've done to my heart, mind and soul. I am Your witness. You are God and there is no other! Apart from You there is no Savior. Because of what I have seen with my own two eyes, I am inspired to tell others Who You are.

Precious Lord, it is an honor to be close to You. The more intimately I know You, the more assuredly I believe and understand You. Your praise is always on my lips. 

O Lord, how can I ever thank You for selecting me to be Your witness in the world? So that I will never shame Your holy name, help me to know You dearly, believe You wholeheartedly, and understand how to live a life of love that glorifies Your name. Amen.

You are God's witness in the world. A witness is one who has a story to tell. As His servant it is your duty to tell others about God's revolutionizing love. He has uniquely chosen you in love to know, believe, and understand Him. What are you doing to foster your relationship with Him? You can only tell what you know.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Psalm 40:6-8

Psalm 40:6-8
Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
       but my ears you have pierced;
       burnt offerings and sin offerings
       you did not require.
Then I said, "Here I am, I have come-
       it is written about me in the scroll.
I desire to do your will, O my God;
       your law is within my heart."

Holy Love,
Thank You for piercing my ears with the bold truth. Finally, I'm beginning to understand how to live a life of love. Offering You my time without heartfelt devotion is inadequate. Presenting You my talent without wholehearted dedication is insufficient. Halfheartedly giving You my treasure out of obligation is inappropriate. You don't want religious ceremonies and showy performances. All that You desire is my wholehearted devotion.

It will please You when, by faith, I humbly come to the foot of the cross admitting my faults and failures allowing the bond of Your blood to fix and fortify me. Realizing the high price you paid to correct my defects will give me a deeper desire to walk and work with You. I'll willingly give up family, friends and freedom in order to spend time getting to know You. The more I know You, the more readily I'll give up my possessions and plans in order to experience Your almighty power. Forfeiting my comfortable lifestyle and important position to endure pain and hardship will perfect my faith, make me shine purer and brighter, and draw others to You.

Please dear Lord, write Your commands on my heart so that I'll remember to obey them. I desire nothing more than to walk and work with You so that my gifts will be adequate, sufficient, and appropriate for the King of my heart. Amen.

God doesn't want your rituals and routines. He wants your whole heart devoted to Him. What are you willing to give up in order to please Him? Will you give up hobbies, television or work in order to spend time with Him? Will you give up shopping and sports in order give more of your money to Him? Would you be willing to give up your home and career in order to go where He sends You?

I need to get off Facebook and put my face in the Book. I need to unplug my Smart Phone and plug into God's call for my life. These are two huge distractions that keep my heart preoccupied. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Job 11:13-19

Job 11:13-19
If you devote your heart to him
       and stretch out your hands to him,
if you put away the sin that is in your hand
       and allow no evil to dwell in your tent,
then you will lift up your face without shame;
       you will stand firm and without fear.
 You will surely forget your trouble,
       recalling it only as waters gone by.
Life will be brighter than noonday,
       and darkness will become like morning.
 You will be secure, because there is hope;
       you will look about you and take your rest in safety.

 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid,
       and many will court your favor.

O Loving and Kind Father,
Have mercy on me! I know I've messed up, made wrong choices, and blatantly disobeyed You. You've seen it all and are fully aware of my unruly conduct. There's no hiding from Your omnipotent holy eyes, and no one to blame but myself. You know the truth. I cannot lie. Like a mischievous child caught in action, I'm humiliated and dreading discipline. I'd rather hide the evidence and pretend like nothing happened, but that will get me in bigger trouble. Instead, I need to reach out my hands and run into Your open arms, honestly admitting my mistakes with a broken heart. Then, You'll pity me and be generous in love.

Tenderly, You'll scrub away my guilt so that I'll have a snow-white heart filled with clean thoughts and right desires. Because of Your love, I'll be motivated to behave like the endeared child of the King.

With my eyes adoringly set on You, I'll face the world unashamed. Clean and confident, I'll stand up straight and tall, unafraid of ridicule or rejection. Only then will I forget my misery, leaving the past behind me. The brightness of Your Son will light up my life, chasing away the clouds of fear and doubt. In Your peaceful presence, I'll rest and relax because there is hope. Without a care in the world, I'll supernaturally live a life of love. My exuberant joy and inexplicable calmness will cause others to come to me for help in their time of need.

 Please dear Father, search my heart and show me anything in my life that tarnishes Your name. Give me judgment day honesty to agree with You, and humility to obey. More than anything in the world, I want to be wholeheartedly devoted to You because of Jesus who died for me. Amen.

Study the above Scripture. What is God promising you if you devote your heart to Him, stretch out your hands and get rid of your sins?

For additional reading open your Bible to Psalm 139 and make it your heartfelt prayer. Issue God a search warrant to examine your heart, and agree with Him on any and all evidence He finds against you, no matter how hard. Reach out your hands like a contemptible child crying for pity. (Psalm 51:17) Today could be judgment day and on that day you will give an account to Him for everything (Matthew 12:36). Ask Him to give you judgment day honesty to admit your mistakes, so that you can begin enjoying His promises in Job 11.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Job 7:17

Job 7:17
What is man, that You should exalt him,
      That You should set Your heart on him.

My Sweet Heart,
Your Word is too wonderful for me. I could and should live in complete condemnation but You did the unthinkable when You set Your tender heart on mine determined to show me the depth of Your compassion. Miraculously, You gave me a new life full of love and power, making me a witness to Your abundant grace. My ugliness is forever gone and I'm altogether lovely to You. Who am I to deserve such favor?

It's sheer joy to freely rise up each morning and move on despite my problems. Because of Your great love, I can fearlessly face afflictions realizing that You, the High and Lofty One whose name is Holy, agonized every minute of Your ministry and died suffering. Why should I, the lowly tainted one whose name is sinner, deserve better than You? Difficulties prove that Your caring heart is set on mine. Full of Your tender loving kindness I'll live a life of love even when problems and pressures plague me. My lips will exalt You, while my soul experiences absolute peace and rest because You've graciously chosen to lay Your heart on mine in the name of Jesus. Hallelujah! Amen.

How are you handling your troubles? Do you think you deserve better than Jesus? Consider Him. He was holy, perfect, and pure. He willingly left His home in heaven to come to earth where He was immensely tormented and died an excruciating death for you. He did it all without complaining in order to exalt you to a privileged position in His royal family. He intentionally set His heart on you! His eyes adore you!  Praise Him and thank Him for your difficulties because they prove that He cares for you enormously.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Psalm 34:8

Psalm 34:8
Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Sweet Jesus,
O how I love the sweetness of Your Words. They are sweeter to my taste than the finest chocolate in the world. Your delicious concoction of promises and commands is irresistible. They satisfy my most intense craving, evoking pleasure in the deepest part of my soul.

Hidden in my Bible are surprising nuggets of truth. As I taste each one, I discover Your mouthwatering goodness that melts my heart. Your opulent promises are my source of hope. Sinking my teeth into Your sumptuous loving kindness comforts my troubled spirit. Indulging, in Your luxurious mercies, refreshes my distressed mind. Treating myself to Your bittersweet commands makes my salvation thick, rich and smooth.

Your Words, O Lord, are an attractive treat! They are my heart's delight and joy! I have tasted and experienced Your goodness. With all my heart I want to savor the magnificent flavor every day of my life, and share the sweetness with others to glorify and bless Your sweet name. Amen.

Your Bible is a delectable box of chocolates waiting to be devoured. Open it, taste and see that the Lord is good!

Thursday, March 08, 2018

1 Chronicles 22:19

1 Chronicles 22:19
Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God. Begin to build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the sacred articles belonging to God into the temple that will be built for the Name of the LORD.

Father in Heaven,
Thank You for Your inexhaustible love and enduring faithfulness. Because You love me beyond the limits of my imagination, I'm compelled to live a life of love, personally and passionately devoted to You.

Please help me develop a vibrant, intimate relationship with You through continual Bible study and persistent prayer. Inspire me to build a sacred place in my heart to hide Your valuable commands and priceless promises. In this sanctuary, store the treasures of Your heart so that I'll instinctively know what's most important to You.

Full of Your riches, I'll worship You with adoring faith by pouring out my life completely for You. With one heart, we'll dance together harmoniously. Motivated by overpowering love, I'll follow Your lead, deliberately laying down my life for others. The closer I get to You, the easier it will be to identify the people and purposes that matter to You. Living in pure, uninterrupted devotion to You, my spontaneous actions and positive attitudes will be a pleasant love offering attracting others to Your divine goodness.

Please search the temple of my heart and show me anything that I love more than You. By Your power and grace, I'll deliberately remove those obstacles from my life in order to be entirely dedicated to You. More than anything else in the world, I desire to worship You ceaselessly in the temple of my heart where Your precious treasure abounds because of my unwavering commitment to Jesus, Your Son. Amen.

A lofty life-long goal is to devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord. As you do, He will hide His treasure in your heart, and you'll naturally live a life of love, attracting others to His divine goodness.

Because of His inexhaustible love and enduring faithfulness are you willing to pour out your life for Him? Identify those things in your life that prevent you from just being with Him. Then, determine to give Him the first fruit of Your time each time for Bible study and prayer.

What matters to Jesus? Read Matthew 25:34-40.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Ephesians 1:5-6

Ephesians 1:5-6
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. NLT

Abba, Father,
I'm thankful and joyful that You chose to adopt me into Your royal family, reserving a room for me in Your mansion in the sky. You will be my Father and I will be Your dearly loved child forever because of my relationship with Your Son. O how I love to tell of the marvelous grace You've poured out on me. 

Upon arriving in the hallowed halls of Your heaven, You'll wipe every tear from my eye. You'll crown me with compassion and clothe me with fine linen, white and clean purchased with the blood of Jesus. I'll be made new. My heart leaps for joy at the very thought of the rich inheritance for those whom You adopted in love.

Until we get there, we'll be seized by shame, suffering and sorrow. In the midst of misery, help us to live a life of love by rejoicing and giving thanks to You for bringing us into Your family. Singing sweet songs in sadness, and powerfully pleading for patience during pain, we'll smile when we feel like crying. When others around us hear our heavenly hope they'll join in the celebration when they choose to believe the blessed and beautiful words from our lips.

Thank You, Father for our identity and inheritance. They are our joy, delight and strength. No one can ever take this treasured heritage from us. Please put a smile on our faces today that reflects the love and joy in our hearts because of who we are in Jesus! Amen.

Knowing that God adopted you in love, what should your response be in the midst of suffering?  How will you live a life of love in order to share in Christ's glory?

Read how Paul & Silas live out their love in prison in Acts 16:16-40. What can you learn about their example?

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Deuteronomy 7:6

Deuteronomy 7:6
You are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.

My Knight in Shining Armor,
Hearing Your Holy Word thrills my heart! It stirs my soul to think that, in love, You chose me out of all the people on the face of the earth to be royal, holy, and redeemed. Who am I to deserve this kind of love?

Even though I was hiding in the dark behind a thick wall of shame, You found me, and gave Your life to rescue me. Bringing me into the wonderful light of Your love, You traded my ripped rags for a royal robe of righteousness. Miraculously Your Words changed my rough callused heart to a soft, holy one. I'm utterly ecstatic that an unbecoming person like me is no longer abandoned, but belongs to You, the High King of Heaven! Not only that, I'm Your treasured possession! Valuable! Priceless! Precious! O how thankful I am that You rescued me from the dark dungeon of my past, brought me into the wonderful light, and called me to be Yours.

I can't keep quiet about my miracle makeover. As a member of Your royal family, I'm obligated to live a life of love by publicly telling others the difference You've made in my life. Now to You who chose me, out of all the people on the face of the earth to be Your treasured possession be the glory, honor and praise forever and ever.  Amen.

God chose you in love to be His treasured possession, not because you deserve it, but because of His loving kindness. You are valuable, priceless, and precious to Him.

In the light of His love, will you fully surrender your life to be the royal priest He's called you to be? A royal priest devoted his life to serving God and speaking out for Him.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Deuteronomy 7:13

Deuteronomy 7:13
He will love you and bless you.

Ephesians 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

O God My Father,
What a blessing You are! Because of my friendship with Your dear Son, You've lovingly lavished me with all the riches of heaven. Pouring out Your glorious grace on me, You exchanged the ashes of my broken heart for a crown of beauty turning my sad days to glad days. My heart leaps for joy because of Your great love!

Pitying me, You looked beyond my imperfections. It delighted You to trade my tattered clothes of despair for a garment of praise. Handing me the Book of Love, a Holy Bible, You gave me wisdom and knowledge to understand the mysteries of Your Word. In the blessing of Your love, humiliation turned to honor enabling me to proudly display Your majestic splendor.

A changed person, full of glory and grace, I'll begin rebuilding ruined relationships. From the wreckage and rubble, I'll build lasting friendships that bridge others to Your heavenly kingdom. Because You've doubly blessed me with a beautiful new beginning, I'll live a life of love. Blessing others, I'll celebrate the everlasting legacy available to me because of my relationship with Your own dear Son. Amen. 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Read Ephesians 1:3-14. Make a list of all the spiritual blessings God gives you because of your friendship with His Son. How will they help you live a life of love?

Dig deeper by reading Isaiah 61.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Psalm 16:8-11

Psalm 16:8-11
I am always thinking of the Lord;
And because he is so near,
I never need to stumble or fall.
Heart, body, and soul are filled with joy.
For you will not leave me among the dead,
You will not allow your beloved one to rot in the grave;
You have let me experience the joys of life,
And the exquisite pleasures of your own eternal presence. The Book

Jesus, My Dear Friend,
You are my Lord! You light up my life, making my heart happy. O how I need You every minute of every day! You are absolutely precious to me! Constantly thinking of You keeps me out of trouble and away from temptation.

My problems and pressures turn to joy when I think about Your deep love for me. You love me so much that You died to save me from destruction and death while I was Your hard-hearted enemy. Not only that, but You came back to life and chose to live in my heart. Since You've moved in, my life hasn't been the same. The crud and cob webs are gone. You polished me with loving kindness and now I sparkle like a gem. I'm no longer lonely, hungry or thirsty. You're my Provider and Best Friend. Your powerful presence is my protection. The exquisite pleasures of Your eternal presence living in me is my peace and prosperity. 

I smile just thinking about the future You promise me! All around me are beautiful mansions. When I wish I could live in one of them, You remind me that they pale in comparison to the palace You promise me in Paradise. I look forward with hope to the day when my sorrows and pain will cease and I'll live happily ever with You in the beauty of heavenly holiness.

Please dear Lord, let me glow with glorious delight from the joy of Your presence living in me because of Jesus. Amen. 

Who are you thinking about today? If you think about the Lord, He promises:
You will never stumble and fall
You will be filled with joy
He won't leave you among the dead, rotting in a grave
You're His beloved one
You will experience the exquisite pleasure of His eternal presence

Just thinking about my friendship with God excites me! Why He would befriend a sinner like me, is beyond my understanding. I'm choosing to believe Him and accept the cherished gift of His friendship because of Jesus! May the smile on my face reflect the joy in my heart, O Lord, because I am Your beloved friend!

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Psalm 103:1-5

Psalm 103:1-5
Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-

Who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,

Who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,

Who satisfies your desires with good things.

Our Loving King~
We bow before Your heavenly throne in awe of Your Majesty. You are Lord Most High. Your name is Holy! Thank You for the priceless gifts You generously give to Your beloved children.

You forgive ALL our mistakes - past, present and future; BIG, Middle-sized, and small. The next time we choose to wallow in a sea of self-pity remind us that You don't harbor a grudge. In love, all our sins were erased at the Cross with the precious blood of Your Only Son. Thank You, Jesus!

You are the Great Physician who touches and heals our heart disease. Gently, You mend the deep gashes, scrape away the calluses, and bandage our injured souls.  By Your stripes we are healed. The capillaries preventing Your love from steadily flowing through us are unclogged. Thank You for providing heavenly healing.

Reaching Your long fingers into the messy muck and mire of our lives, You pull us out of the polluted pit and redeem us. With the sludge of sin washed away by the blood of the Lamb, we sparkle and shine like brilliant diamonds. We are free to live above shame and reproach. Thank You for changing us. 

Because you are a doting and loving Father, You crown us with love and kindness. We don't deserve to be forgiven, healed, or redeemed, but it delights You to give us these treasures. You are pleased to embrace us and teach us to walk Your way. Thank You, Father, that Your hands are wide enough to hold the whole world.

In Your presence the desires of our hearts are satisfied. You give us a never-ending supply of Bread from Heaven, Your Holy Word. Our thirsty souls are continuously quenched with fresh water from the River of Life. There is nothing more rewarding or tranquil than communing with You. Thank You for Your plentiful provision.

Recognizing the incredibly good gifts You've given us in the name of Jesus, we stand up and sing to You, our Father and King! Make us a blessing today! Amen.

If You are a child of God, You are a child of the King and the heir of these incredibly good and generous gifts. Have you claimed the benefits of His royal family? They are yours and they are free! Please accept them gratefully and be satisfied.

Knowing and accepting all the incredible gifts God has given us should make us giddy with excitement. We didn't deserve a single one, but the God of grace gladly bestowed grace upon us. What would your attitude look like if you accepted these gifts with a thankful heart? 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Exodus 33:11

Exodus 33:11
The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.  

Faithful Friend,
I'm astonished that You have chosen to speak friend to friend with a rebel like me. You're prominent, perfect, and pure. I'm insignificant, imperfect and impure. My life is in shambles! Of all the beautiful and gifted people in the world who seem to have so much to offer, You've chosen to chat with me. I have no beauty, no gift, and no clout. While some people wouldn't be caught dead associating with me, You, Most High King, are delighted to call me "friend".  How can this be?

It is a mystery I will never understand. My heart dances within to hear You calling and inviting me to hang out with You - the Immortal, Invincible, Incorruptible King. It's not the rich and famous You desire to be with, but lowly people with humble hearts. Thank You for stooping down to speak to me face to face when I come to You with an open heart, mind and Bible. I yearn to hear Your Voice.

O how I desire to know You deeply, personally, and intimately. Keep the fire burning in my heart and consume me with passion. I never want to break away from this sweet fellowship we enjoy. I'm tickled that You'd speak to me friend to friend! Hallelujah! Amen.

Friendship with God is attainable. Moses was far from prominent, perfect and pure. He wasn't great or glamorous either. In fact, after committing murder he was wandering in the wilderness when God chose to befriend him.

No matter who you are, what you've done, or where you've been the Immortal, Invincible, Incorruptible King is calling you into uninterrupted intimacy with Him. Respond to Him with an open heart, mind and Bible, and He will speak to you face to face as a man speaks to a friend.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Romans 12:2

Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.

O Great God,
You are the most famous artist of all time. I could search the whole wide world and find no one as creative or talented as You.

Unscrupulous con artists continually corrupt Your creation. The world presses people into cookie cutter patterns that perform for power, possessions and pleasure. It uses symbols of status to stamp us with success. When we conform to their hard pressed image we become heartless, mindless and lifeless like plastic toys and trinkets.

You however, have a unique technique for sculpting original works of art that are eternally beautiful, valuable and useful. All we have to do is stay soft and pliable in Your meticulous hands every day. Throughout the lifelong process, our eyes will turn toward You, our Designer, when we open our Bibles. Meditating on Your sacred Scriptures will form our true character. They'll expose the rough spots of rebellion that need to be scraped away. They'll correct our cracks, flaws, and blemishes. They'll squeeze us and change us into Your perfect plan. Through the heat of life we'll come out of the fiery furnace glazed with Your glory.

With Your Holy Word permanently etched on my heart, my mind will be altered to live Your way. Please don't let con artists squeeze me into the rigid mold of the world. I want to remain soft and pliable in Your skillful hand where I can be shaped into a pleasantly perfect pot to pour out Your extraordinary love. Please dear Lord, transform my mind today, making me an eternally valuable vessel for the praise of Your most creative name. Amen.

What pattern of the world is pressing you today? What will you do differently to prevent con artists from corrupting you?

Monday, February 26, 2018

Psalm 27:4-5

Psalm 27:4-5
One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.

O Mighty King of Heaven,
There is one thing I ask: that I may live in Your presence all the days of my life and gaze upon Your beauty. I will seek You in the temple of my heart. In Your presence, I will be safe when trials, tragedy and trouble test me. Your power and promises will divinely protect me. Securely positioned in You, my lips will offer You a sacrifice of praise.

When I look for You at the throne of grace, I will find You. Gazing into the warmth of Your fiery eyes, I can expect You to mercifully hear my voice and answer me. When my earthly friends and family cannot comfort me, You will coddle me in Your strong arms. It's Your divine guidance I'm seeking. With my Bible wide open, my eyes will be fixed on You. Reveling in You, I won't be crushed by my circumstances. In the splendor of Your holiness I'll be still and wait with a calm and quiet heart while You work out the details for Your glory.

Living happily ever after with You is my only hope, peace and joy in this sad, sad world. You keep me from fainting under pain and pressure. O Lover of My Soul, I want nothing more than to live in uninterrupted intimacy with You all the days of my life. You are my Strong Man, and I simply want to stay in Your blessing where You will lift me up and be magnified. Amen.

If you are facing trial, tragedy or trouble, seek God. To seek is an action that means to search for, strive for, ask for, or head for something. Open Your Bible and begin looking for Him. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. He is unchanging. He was the same yesterday as He is today. He will be there in all His glory if you take the time to search for Him. When You find Him, gaze upon His character. Write down His noticeable attributes so that you won't forget them in the midst of your crushing circumstances. In His presence You will be blessed with hope, peace and joy.

This Psalm brings me such incredible comfort in a world at war and full of sorrows upon sorrows. I have memorized it and ponder it and pray it frequently. God has set us high upon the Rock of Jesus Christ. Nothing can come into our lives without going through Him. Safe in Him, we can sacrifice shouts of praise because we know that should we meet death, we will be ushered immediately into His presence where we will live happily ever after. No more war. No more sorrow. There is no greater thing than to be in the presence of the Almighty King. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Isaiah 60

Dear Faithful Reader,
Oops!  I took a little detour. On January 12, I leaped out in faith, and walked away from the consulting firm I had been working for during the past three years. You can read about how God led me on the Much More post on my blog:

It was time to Arise and Shine! I don't have to tell you that we are living in very dark days. Sadness surrounds us.  

Isaiah 60 says, "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See darkness covers the whole earth, and thick darkness is over all peoples, but the Lord arises upon you and his glory appears over you. You will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy ... to the honor of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for He has endowed you with splendor."

At my desk, I have posted a note a friend gave me in December. It says, "You are a positive force this world desperately needs." The positive force that's with me is the Holy Spirit who energizes the light of Jesus to shine through me. Jesus is what this world desperately needs.

Isaiah continues, "I will make peace your governor, and righteousness your ruler. The Lord is your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory, and your days of sorrow will end. The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the Lord; in it's time I will do this swiftly." 

Now, I know this is a message to Israel, but it's also a message to the Church. God's kingdom is on earth today. We are the kingdom. You are the kingdom. I am the kingdom.

My responsibility is to arise and shine. Unfortunately, it caused a pause in Prayer Pal.

I've spent the past month in a flurry of activity - setting up my own consulting practice. Tax Payer Id. DUNS #. Registering as a woman owned small business on SAM, the government web site. Buying domain names and setting up accounts. Filing for a fictitious name. Reaching out to contacts. Designing logos. Setting up QuickBooks. All the activities that go with starting a business.

In the middle of all of it, my Mom turned 80. We threw a big surprise bash for her, bringing home family from across the state and nation to celebrate her beautiful life.

Additionally, God has brought me alongside two families with children battling cancer. I've been busy shining the light. 

I will now try to get back to regularly publishing Prayer Pal.

As I come to mind, please pray for me. I believe God is the Dream Giver, and I'm expecting Him to make my dream a reality. It's a big, audacious dream; one that I cannot achieve on my own. But with God all things are possible. My mission is to glorify God and magnify Jesus as I explain and proclaim biblical principles.

A man came up to me after I spoke at a recent business conference. He said, "Beth, you speak 'spiritual principles' in business language." He was not a follower of Jesus, but of eastern mysticism. But, he recognized the light in me, and I told him it was Jesus.

Peace is indeed my governor and righteousness my ruler. I am trusting God with all my heart, believing that He is Sovereign over everything.

Join me on this adventure by following my blog.

To God be the glory!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

1 Peter 4:9

1 Peter 4:9
Open your homes to each other without complaining.

Luke 14:12-14
Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." 

Father in Heaven-
Thank you for giving me the miracle of a Christian home. This home is not mine. It belongs to You. Often the details of entertaining consume me. I want to impress people with my meticulous well kept place, my clever decorating, and my gourmet cooking. I am so busy with the preparations that I forget WHO I am serving.

Empower me to put people before things. Instead of putting away the dirt, I will put away my pride and allow others to see my humanness. Shape my home into a place free of false pretensions where people can relax and be themselves.

Open my heart to a needy family in my community. I will obediently open my home as a place of rest and healing for them. It is my desire to use the gifts You've lavished on me to glorify You. I am Your humble servant, please show me how to practice biblical hospitality for Jesus' name sake. Amen.

The root word of hospitality is "hospital." Hospitals are places to rest and heal. Our homes should be places where people can come to rest and heal. Do you receive exquisite meals at a hospital? Are hospitals fussily decorated? Do hospitals only serve friends and family?

Think of your home as a hospital. Consider inviting to your home: the elderly neighbor who is always alone, the neighbor who's recovering from surgery, the family that just received devastating news, the neighbor that's unemployed, or someone new to your community.

What's keeping you from demonstrating biblical hospitality? Resolve to set aside your agenda to be more hospitable this year.

Just this week a friend who has a daughter with Downs Syndrome called me. They were locked out of their house on a frigid winter evening. Off the cuff, I invited them to come to my home, and to stay for dinner. They were incredibly grateful for a warm place to wait, a warm chicken dinner, and warm conversation. It didn't matter that my sink was full of dirty dishes, the floors needed vacuumed, and dried up poinsettia leaves had fallen all over the dinner table. All that mattered was their safety and our sweet time of fellowship. When we die people won't remember how clean our homes were. They will remember the warm welcome we gave them even when it was inconvenient. 

Psalm 39:4-5

Psalm 39:4-5
"Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
      Remind me that my days are numbered-
      how fleeting my life is.
You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
      My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
      at best, each of us is but a breath." NLT

Heavenly Father~
          Creator of all living things~
                   Thank You for the fabulous, fragile gift of life.  I will cherish every day as a valuable present from You, my loving Father. Forgive me for tossing miracle moments aside to worry about insignificant incidences. Often I spend more time securing my life on earth, than I do thinking about where I will spend eternity.

Life is short! I don't have long to stay here. Enlighten my mind to Your Holy Spirit and fill my heart with more grace so that I'll be ready when You call my loved ones or me home. This is a picture perfect day that You have made. I'll rejoice and be thankful for it. Living in the blessing of each precious moment, I'll joyfully love and serve others because today could be my last chance. Please just give me more of Jesus to focus on the most important matters today for Your namesake. Amen. 

You just don't know when your life will be interrupted by an unexpected event. Resolve to live each day like it's your last.  Don't miss an opportunity to tell someone you love them. Give someone a hug today. Call a friend. Be a friend.

Most importantly, tell them about Jesus because it may be your last chance.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Psalm 130:5-6

Psalm 130:5-6
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
       and in his word I put my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
       more than watchmen wait for the morning,
       more than watchmen wait for the morning.

I admit I'm a most impatient child! Even though You promise special blessings for those who quietly wait, it's a very difficult assignment for me! I'm living in a fast-paced world where we drive fast cars through fast food restaurants, gobbling the grub as we speed down the freeway. Instant cash at ATM's and instant information on the internet provide for instant gratification. And I wonder why waiting is hard!

Please dear Lord, slow me down! I want off this race track! Rather than speeding to keep up with everyone else, worrying about my security, career and relationships, I want to deliberately depend on Your provision and protection. Instead of pursuing power, prestige, and possessions for pleasure, I want to down shift, allowing You to take me to everlasting happiness. Zooming through life I miss out on opportunities to serve You; consequently, also losing the rich rewards You pay Your workers.

At break-neck speed my perception is poor and my vision distorted as in the darkness of night. I simply can't see clearly! Going at a slower, safer speed I'll begin to see You for who You really are: loving, kind and reliable. I'll come to depend on You for power, provision and protection. I'll learn to trust Your principles, promises and purposes. Concentrating on Your goodness, I'll find peace and hope in Your Word, the Bible.

Please fill me with patience to endure the long, silent night of my soul, eagerly expecting the definitive morning when the Son will rise and warm my heart with heavenly hope for Your namesake. Amen.

Most of us are waiting for something - a promotion or pay increase, a diagnosis or cure, the death of a loved one, a trial and verdict, a wayward child to come home, to overcome an addiction or bad habit, to win the lottery or lose a few pounds, for a voice to pick up the phone or a computer to respond.

What are you waiting for? Are you impatient, like me, trying to devise your own schemes and plans to get ahead? I encourage you to slow down and go with God. In His Word you will find the only Way to peace and everlasting happiness.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Galatians 6:2

Galatians 6:2
Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

John 13:34-35
Jesus said, "So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." NLT

Glorious Lord,
You are my wonderful Savior! When I stumbled and fell over shame, You found me, and compassionately picked me up in Your strong arms. Injured and weak from the fall, You resiliently carried my wounds on Your body to Calvary. There, You disinfected my sore soul with Living Water from the gash in Your side and cleansed me with the antiseptic of Your blood. You covered every mistake I ever made and ever will make.

Miraculously, You healed me and gave me a vivacious new life full of love and strength. You promised to continually carry all of my problems. Leaning on You, I won't stumble and fall from the weight of my anxieties. I'll stand up tall under stress, affectionately praising Your mighty power!

All around me are indignant, hurting people who have stumbled
and can't get up. The weight of their troubles is more than they can bear. Please enlarge my heart. Fill me with a spirit of compassion to notice the fallen people in my path. Just as You mercifully care for me daily, I resolve to graciously stoop down, pick them up, and carry their load. Since You went a great distance to save and strengthen me, I'll go the extra mile to lift up needy people. I'll voluntarily go out of my way to attentively listen to them, boosting their spirits with kind words of encouragement and prayer. Make me a mighty magnet to draw others to You for mercy. In doing so, I'll fulfill Your command to love others, and show the watching world that I belong to Jesus through whom I live and pray. Amen.

If you know someone who's struggling financially, deliver groceries to their door. Secretly pay their utility bill or their rent.

If you're aware that someone has received devastating news, pick up the phone and call them. Tell them you're thinking of them and ask how you can help.

Go visit an elderly or disabled person. Take along a balloon bouquet to brighten their surroundings. Your presence will make their day.

Relieve weary parents of small children by taking the children for an afternoon.

Write a letter to a prisoner who's been forgotten by society. Tell them about God's forgiveness. Show them His mercy.

Offer to pray for someone who is hurting and do it on the spot. It will bless their heart to hear their name being carried to the throne!

Ask God to give you a spirit of forgiveness and forbearance. Ask for an enlarged heart and a spirit of compassion. He will be delighted to give you these things! Then, open your eyes. Look around and you will see someone close by who has fallen and needs your help. Show them that you are a Christ follower by lightening their load today.

Find someone with a load heavier than your own, and help them carry it today. It's not optional!