Monday, April 30, 2018

Psalm 92:1-5

Psalm 92:1-5
It is good to praise the LORD
       and make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning
       and your faithfulness at night,
to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
       and the melody of the harp.
For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD;
       I sing for joy at the works of your hands.
How great are your works, O LORD,
       how profound your thoughts!

O Lord Most High,
It's a delight and honor to sing of Your wonderful works. In humble adoration, I gratefully thank You for Your ever loving kindness each morning. Your unbelievable mercy has kept me from complete obliteration. Each evening, I fondly remember Your incredible faithfulness. With a song in my heart, I love to tell of Your excellent greatness! My eyes have seen Your magnificent handiwork!

Merrily, I sing the praises of my drastically changed life. Your marvelous grace has miraculously covered all my past, present and future mistakes. Clothed and unashamed, I'm free to come into Your holy presence and worship You. With sheer confidence, I can stand up and assuredly sing with all my heart, "How great is my God!"

Jesus, You mean the world to me! The amazing works of Your hands have made me glad. I'll sing of Your love forever because of the blessed promise I have in Your gloriously beautiful name. Amen.

It is good to praise the Lord! Bless Him for keeping you from complete obliteration! If you're alive today, thank Him! It's only by His amazing grace.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Zechariah 10:2

Zechariah 10:2
The idols speak deceit,
       diviners see visions that lie;
       they tell dreams that are false,
       they give comfort in vain.
       Therefore the people wander like sheep
       oppressed for lack of a shepherd.

Glorious, Ever-living, Creator,
I BELIEVE Your infallible, inerrant, inspired Word is a treasure chest of holy joy available to everyone who believes in You.

Rather than seeking Your perfectly wise counsel, we seek fabricated advice, distorted dreams and vain comfort from false teachers. Instead of truth, they deliver a subjective, superstitious, shallow brand of spirituality that causes confusion, contradiction, and false hope. Not satisfied with You alone, our carnal curiosity has us looking for feel-good mystical experiences. The Church in America is wandering like lost sheep without a shepherd, vulnerable to danger, deceit, and seduction.

Forgive us, O Lord, for trading Your eternal treasures for temporary trash. Will You graciously step in and rescue Your precious people from these religious, smooth-sounding charlatans? Replace their barefaced lies with Absolute Truth.

Open our ears to accurately hear the reality of Your infallible, inerrant, inspired precepts, promises, and purposes. Help us to be satisfied with You, and You alone. Focused on You, we'll worship You above all the deceptive and unpredictable pleasures this world has to offer.

You are worthy O Lord to receive glory and honor and power, because You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being. Amen.

What have you exalted above God's infallible, inerrant, inspired Word in your life? 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Psalm 116:3-6

Psalm 116:3-6
  The cords of death entangled me,
       the anguish of the grave came upon me;
       I was overcome by trouble and sorrow.
  Then I called on the name of the LORD :
       "O LORD, save me!"
  The LORD is gracious and righteous;
       our God is full of compassion.
  The LORD protects the simplehearted;
       when I was in great need, he saved me.

Lord of Life,
I BELIEVE you are gracious, righteous, and full of compassion.

I was intertwined in a web of confusion, trapped by trouble and seized by sorrow. Satan choked me with his charm, strangled me with his shams, and was slowly killing me with his lies. 

In fearful desperation, I cried out to You, "O Lord, Save me!" In Your loving kindness, You rescued me and saved my life. I didn't deserve to be released from Satan's snare, but because You abound in love and mercy You set me free. Unwrapped from the cords of death that entangled me, I'm free to stand upright and tell others the wonders of Your love.

Because You have done great things for me, I will extol You.  With a grateful heart I will always praise You for caring enough to save me, keep me, and wash me with the crimson blood of Your Dear Son through whom I live and move and have my being. To Him who is seated on the throne of heaven, and to the Lamb, be glory and honor and praise forever and ever! Amen.

How will you worship God with all your heart this week for His wonderful work of salvation?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Isaiah 53:6

Isaiah 53:6       
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
       each of us has turned to his own way;
       and the LORD has laid on him
       the iniquity of us all. 

Darling Lamb of God,
I BELIEVE You've carefully led me through Heaven's Gate where I can live safe and secure surrounded by Your limitless love. You faithfully take care of ALL my needs. Yet, disgruntled with my lot in life, I deliberately chose to wander off in search of greener pastures seeking gods to suit my own desires. Beyond the safe confines of Your community, I live dangerously, making unwise choices. Taking wrong turns, I end up in precarious situations, falling prey to power-hungry people.

Rather than letting me perish in a pit, You voluntarily gave Your life to save me from death. Though I blatantly chose to go my own way and do my own thing, You willingly carried the deep gashes from my deadly decisions on Your body accepting the blame for every wrong move I ever made.

How can I ever thank You for giving Your life to safely bring me back into the sheepfold where I can heal in the peace and protection of Your prosperous presence because of Jesus, the Darling Lamb of God who was slain. Hallelujah! Amen.

Consider how far you have strayed from the sheepfold of God and the awful trouble you've gotten yourself into. Then consider the wonder of the Darling Lamb of God who came to save you by taking on all of your iniquities. What does this mean to you? How will you respond?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

John 10:9

John 10:9
Jesus said, "I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures."

Jesus, Lamb of God,

I BELIEVE You are the Heavenly Gate! Thank You for swinging wide the door of righteousness so that everyone who believes in You can come through and be saved from sin and death.  Laying down Your life, You made an opening for me to access Your holy throne in heaven.  

Within the walls of Your gated community, there is safety, security, and shelter. Through the Heavenly Gate lies a peaceful place of rich, luscious life where the Son always shines brightly. In the presence of Your majesty, I graze on Your glorious grace day and night when I read my Bible. My life will overflow with love when I persistently obey You and point people on the broad road leading to ruin to the narrow Gate of Righteousness leading to the lush green pastures of Your eternal love.

I rejoice and exalt You, the One Way to everlasting life. Amen.

Thank God that the Gate of Heaven has been open to you! Share the joy of your discovery with someone traveling the road to ruin.

Monday, April 23, 2018

John 1:29

John 1:29
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"

Jesus, Lamb of God worthy is Your Name! All power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise belong to You, the precious Lamb who was slain!

Your limitless love is too much for my meager mind to grasp.  No one - no, not one - is worthy of Your Holy Love. From the purist to the vilest, we stand equally condemned in Your most high and holy court. Shamefully destitute, our only recourse is to come to the foot of the cross where You, the unblemished Lamb of God, took on the imperfections and blame of the entire world, dying for the benefit of all mankind. Thank You for Your boundless mercy and unending grace freely offered to all who voluntarily come.

By Your blood, cleanse my conscience and heal my heart. With a renewed mind and soul, I'll willingly lay down my life to radically love others as You have loved me. Enthusiastically, I'll point them to the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power forever and ever! Amen.

What can we say to such magnanimous love? We are acceptable to God not because of our obedience, but because of the death of Christ, the perfect Lamb of God. He came for no other reason than to take away the sins of the world. How will you respond to Him?

Friday, April 20, 2018

Matthew 26: 37-39, 42,44

Matthew 26: 37-39, 42,44

He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death ... He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying,"O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."

Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying,"O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done."

So He went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. NKJV

O Lord Jesus, 
Thank You for teaching me how to pray! Forgive me for my casual, careless prayers. My happy-go-lucky heart would rather be singing praises and dancing than falling on my face in deep sorrowful prayer. I've failed to follow Your example. My prayers have been hasty, shallow and sloppy. I wonder why they go unanswered.

Please lay Your heart over my heart and teach me to pray. O that my soul would be exceedingly anguished even to the point of death for the things that trouble You. Rather than praying as I drive down the road asking You to bless this person and that person, give me this and give them that, I want to go to the garden alone, far away from the hustle and bustle, where I can experience prayer with You.

In Your presence, I'll fall on my face. Crying out to You in deep distress, You'll tell me exactly what's on Your heart. As I sit still, quietly listening to Your voice, my prayer life will change. I'll be overcome with grief for the things that grieve You. The intense pain will be unbearable. It'll be tempting to walk away from the severe problems and pressures you reveal to me, but Lord, with all my heart I want to follow You, even to death. I want to pray like You, Jesus, not my will but Yours be done.  Amen.
 

Have you ever had this heart of God? Have you ever prayed like Jesus? Would you be willing to allow God to take You to a different kind of praying? Turn around and follow Jesus. He'll teach you how to pray powerful prayers that will make a kingdom difference.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Psalm 62:5-6

Psalm 62:5-6
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
       my hope comes from him.

 He alone is my rock and my salvation;
       he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

O my Strength! You, my God, are my Fortress, my Mighty Rock, My Refuge. Peacefully resting in the presence of Your upright, unmovable shelter, I will not be afraid or discouraged.  Your divine providence will save me and Your powerful grace will support me.  You'll readily supply all my needs, and strengthen me for the impending battle. Surrounded by the thick walls of Your mighty bulwark, people can't harm me and problems can't destroy me. 

You alone are my Rock and my Refuge. People are as unpredictable as the wind. When I put my hope in their power and promises, I'm bound to be disappointed, discouraged and discontent. People, no matter how influential, don't have an ounce of strength to shield me from deadly peril.

You, on the other hand, are steady, solid, and secure. You never change Your mind or change the rules. With my heart cheerfully set on Your promises, I can expect to receive unlimited power, unparalleled peace, and unrivaled protection. Daily pondering Your Word and communicating with You through prayer, my faith will increase to an unwavering steadfastness. My sheer joy in Your strength will swell into a holy triumph and I will sing of Your love for You alone are my hope, my Fortress, my loving God. Amen.

If you are pressed beneath problems, crushed under crisis, or pursued by people, run into the safety of Almighty God's unfailing bulwark. A bulwark is a wall-like structure built to keep out attackers.

He's expecting You. Open Your Bible and read His Word. Begin with this Psalm. Pray with expectancy. Resting on God's holy, unchanging words, you'll find unlimited power, unparalleled peace, and unrivaled protection.

A Mighty Fortress is Our God! A Bulwark never failing!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Psalm 91:9-16

Psalm 91:9-16
  If you make the Most High your dwelling-
       even the LORD, who is my refuge-
  then no harm will befall you,
       no disaster will come near your tent.
 For he will command his angels concerning you
       to guard you in all your ways;
 they will lift you up in their hands.

 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
       I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
       I will be with him in trouble,
       I will deliver him and honor him.
 With long life will I satisfy him
       and show him my salvation."

Lord, Most High,
Thank You for making my heart Your home. You are my safe haven. I come in, shut the door, and rest in the shadow of Your almighty presence. From the heights of heaven, You order a battalion of angels to watch over me wherever I go. If I climb the highest, most majestic mountain, You are there. If I sink deep within the sea of sadness, You are there. In the darkness of distress and discouragement, You are there. In the light of love and laughter, even then, You are there. Thank You for the angels that surround the shelter of my heart, Your home. 
  
Because I love You, I trust You to: 
Rescue me from sin and suffering 
Make me strong and mighty 
Answer me when I call You 
Be with me in times of trouble 
Deliver me from evil and temptation 
Honor me with the prosperity of Your presence 
Satisfy me with a full life 
Give me everlasting life and happiness

I know that problems will pursue me and danger will distract me, but with You living in my heart, I'll not just survive, I'll thrive. With the angels watching over me, I'll bravely trample trouble beneath my feet and loudly proclaim "You, O God, are my fortress, my loving God. You are my strength and my refuge."

Please dear Lord, make my heart Your home today and send those beautiful, powerful angels to protect me as I come and go in the name of Jesus. Amen. 

Imagine! If you are a child of God and have invited Him to live in your heart, He has sent His beautiful, powerful angels to protect you! Claim and believe His precious promises. Live in the fullness of His blessing. No matter your circumstances, He's there, watching over You, protecting you within the walls of His Mighty Fortress. Praise Him!

I'm reminded of the childhood lullaby, Angels Watching Over Me:
 
All night, all day, angels watching over me, my Lord.
All night, all day, angels watching over me.
Sun is a-setting in the West; angels watching over me, my Lord.
Sleep my child, take your rest; angels watching over me.
All night, all day, angels watching over me, my Lord.
All night, all day, angels watching over me.
 Copyright and Author unknown

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

2 Chronicles 20: 15, 17, 21-22

Recently, my heart has been troubled and my spirit disturbed by all the bad things happening in the world: multitudes being sucked in and deceived by the feel-good teaching in the seeker-sensitive, culturally-relevant Church; wars and rumors of wars, nations pitted against nation as proud leaders jockey for more power; horrifying famines and deadly diseases afflicting millions of innocent people; shocking earthquakes and devastating storms; unemployment and financial disaster wrecking lives and livelihoods; increased immorality, violence, and hatred. You don't have to look far to be appalled by the headline news.

In my despair, I poured out my soul like the Psalmist. "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?" (Psalm 42:5) I then opened my Bible to 2 Chronicles 20 and God gave me these words: 

2 Chronicles 20: 15, 17, 21-22
This is what the LORD says to you:

"Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's."

"You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you."

Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
       "Give thanks to the LORD,
       for his love endures forever."

As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the enemy.

This prompted me to take up my position, stand firm and wait for the deliverance of the Lord. Immediately, I began to sing and praise the Lord like the Israelites. As I did the Lord, indeed, set the ambush against the enemy. The power of praise set my heart, mind and soul free, and armed me with strength.  

I will praise You, Lord, with all my heart;
      I will tell of all the marvelous things You have done.
I will be filled with joy because of You.
      I will sing praises to Your name, O Most High.

You are a shelter for the oppressed,
      a refuge in times of trouble.
Those who know Your name trust in You,
      for You, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for You.

Lord, have mercy on me.
      See how my enemies torment me.
      Snatch me back from the jaws of death.
 Save me so I can praise You publicly,
      so I can rejoice that You have rescued me.
(Psalm 9)

 I love You, Lord;
      You are my strength.

You are my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
      In You I find protection.
   You are my shield, the power that saves me,
      and my place of safety.
 I called on You, Lord, who is worthy of praise,
      and You saved me from my enemies.

 You reached down from heaven and rescued me,
      from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
 They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,
      but You supported me.

 You led me to a place of safety;
      You rescued me because You delight in me.
 You, Lord, rewarded me for doing right;
      and restored me because of my innocence.

 You light a lamp for me.
      You, my God, light up my darkness.
In Your strength I can crush an army;
      with my God I can scale any wall.
 Your ways are perfect.
      Everything You promise proves true.
      You are a shield for all who look to You for protection.


You arm me with strength,
      and make my way perfect.
 You make me as surefooted as a deer,
      enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
 You train my hands for battle;
      and strengthen my arm to draw a bronze bow.
 You have given me Your shield of victory.
      Your right hand supports me;
      Your help has made me great.

You gave me victory over my accusers.
    
The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock!
      May the God of my salvation be exalted!
(Psalm 18)

Scour the Psalms and write down all the ways God is strong, mighty, and powerful. If you dwell in the shelter of the Most High, then His strength, might and power are in you. Rest on His promises. This battle is His, not yours.

Whatever is troubling your spirit today, remember what the Lord says to you in His Word. Take up your position, stand firm, do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out and face tomorrow, the Lord will be with you. His Word says so. Do you believe Him?

Open your mouth and begin to loudly sing and praise Him. The enemy that's attacking your heart, mind, soul, and strength will be destroyed by the dynamite of praise! 

Monday, April 16, 2018

1 Corinthians 15:57

1 Corinthians 15:57
Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Triumphant 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. As a result of His glorious conquest, I can stand firm on Your powerful promises expecting You to defeat the enemy again and again.

My mind is the battlefield where speculation, knowledge, and thoughts take place. It's constantly clashing with the opposition of a corrupt culture. A ferocious, frightening, and confusing hailstorm of doubt, disgrace and distress bombard me. Condemnation ruthlessly assaults me. Guilt viciously attacks me. Dying to my past is agonizing. The enemy is rapidly advancing and I need to take hold of the indispensable weapons You've given me to wage war with this world. Igniting the dynamite of Your Word with the matchsticks of prayer and praise, I'll successfully demolish the adversary.

You're my Commanding Officer. Respecting Your authority is a matter of life and death. It's imperative that I obey Your orders and submit my thoughts completely to Your control. With You in charge, I don't have be fainthearted or afraid. Terror and panic won't besiege me. I just need to comply with Your commands and rely on Your almighty armament.

Thank You for Your faithful promise to go with me, fight for me and give me the exultant victory through Jesus, Your Son. Hallelujah! The battle's won! Amen. 

Thank God for the spiritual victory! It's a command. You no longer have to live in fear of condemnation, guilt or death. Ignite His Word with prayer and praise, and the battle's already won.

 Deuteronomy 20:4
For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.

I John 5:3-5
This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Monday, April 09, 2018

John 21: 1- 7, 12

John 21: 1- 7, 12
Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. "I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

He called out to them,"Friends, haven't you any fish?"
       "No," they answered.

He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some."When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!"

None of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. 

Jesus, 
I BELIEVE You are the Lord, the great I AM, who is always with me. On bright days, Your presence warms my heart. On deep, dark days filled with discouragement and disappointment You are just as present. On days of despair when all hope is gone and the net of my heart is empty, and my vision is distorted by tear soaked eyes, I can't recognize You standing right in front of me. I can't hear Your voice. Are You there?

Please open my eyes to see while others just stand still staring. Open my mind to perceive while others parade around pondering. Many will watch, but I want to see, hear, and believe. Give me crystal clear vision to recognize You through the haze of hopelessness. When You affectionately call me I want to know Your voice. Unclog my ears so that I'll hear You say, "Friend, haven't you any hope?" Then I need faith to follow Your simple command to toss the empty net of my heart into the sea of blessings. You will fill it beyond my wildest imagination and exceed my immediate need! I'll jubilantly shout, "It is the Lord!" and others will notice You because of my faith.

Please dear Lord, take my desperate dilemma and turn it into innumerous blessings for Your glorious name. Give me eyes to see, ears to hear, and faith to BELIEVE. Amen.

What is your hopeless situation? Do you see the Lord standing in front of you? He's there if you look beyond the tears. He's calling, "Friend, haven't you any hope?" Tell him today that you want to know Him more dearly so that you can clearly see Him, hear Him, and believe Him when your heart is empty.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Luke 24: 13-16, 28-32

Luke 24: 13-16, 28-32
That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was.

They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if he were going on but they pressed him: "Stay and have supper with us. It's nearly evening; the day is done." So he went in with them. And here is what happened: He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, they recognized him. And then he disappeared.

Back and forth they talked. "Didn't we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us?"MSG

Jesus-
I BELIEVE You walk with me and talk with me every day; yet how often do I fail to recognize You in my circumstances? Feeling heartbroken and abandoned, I turn to friends to discuss my situation. I must look ridiculous wallowing in self-pity while You are right beside me. Open the eyes of my heart Lord, to clearly see You in the middle of my hopelessness.

When I am down in the dumps and crying the blues over my losses, please come along side of me and talk to me like a friend when I prayer. Set my heart on fire. Nothing will thrill me more than Your voice when I read my Bible. With my heart consumed by You, I will live in absolute expectancy, trusting You to do what You say You will do. I want more than the blessing of my daily bread! I want ALL of YOU, JESUS! Please take the Holy Spirit wildfire that's burning within me and use it to ignite faith, hope, and love in others for the glory of Your name. Amen.

How do you see Jesus in the middle of your hopeless situation?

Thursday, April 05, 2018

John 20: 19-22

John 20: 19-22
 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"

After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit."

Prince of Peace,
I BELIEVE that no door can shut out Your presence. There is no lock strong enough to keep You out! Blessed assurance! I cherish the moment when You came, stood in the living room of my heart and spoke a blessing of peace to me.

Seeing Your mighty nail-pierced hand makes my soul sing. Hammered to the cross, Your holy hand blotted out my transgressions and vindicated me. There is precious peace in Your pardon.

My heart flutters at the sight of the spear-torn flesh in Your side. Because of Your wound, nothing can separate me from You - no grief, no fault, no fear. There is perfect peace in Your presence.

With a single breath of heaven, You filled me with Your Spirit, empowering me to confidently and courageously tell the life-changing story of my extreme encounter with my crucified Lord. There is prevailing peace in Your power.

Please dear Lord, come, stand in the living room of my heart today. Breathe a fresh blessing of peace on me. Then, I will go speak a blessing of peace to others for the praise of Your glorious kingdom. Amen.

Have you seen the nail-pierced hand and spear-torn flesh of Jesus? If so, go tell others the difference it made in Your life. It's not optional.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Job 19:25-27

Job 19:25-27
I know that my Redeemer lives,
       and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
       yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him
       with my own eyes-I, and not another.
       How my heart yearns within me.

Jesus, My Redeemer,
I BELIEVE after three days in a dark tomb, You defeated death and bounced back to glorious life - not as a stiff cold corpse, but as an able-bodied man who could walk and talk.


My Redeemer lives! 
Your empty grave guarantees it! 
Your faithful followers witnessed it!  
I BELIEVE IT! 


And, I BELIEVE that one day, possibly quite soon, the heavens will split open and You will stand upon this earth with fire in Your eyes and a sword in Your hand. You will be endowed with integrity, nobility and strength. At Your appearance, every man, woman, and child will be knocked off their feet and acknowledge that You are Lord of lords, and King of kings. Undoubtedly, I will see my Faithful Knight, the Prince of Peace crowned with beauty and majesty.

Though disease and death may destroy my body, and darkness may obstruct my view, I BELIEVE with all my heart that one day I will personally stand with heaving lungs and a throbbing heart, gazing on Your glory with my own two eyes. In Your power I will have a mountaintop view of the Triumphant One who bought me and set me forever free to live eternally. O how my heart dances with desire! Hallelujah! Amen.

How confident are you that one day soon the heavens will burst open and Jesus, your Redeemer, will to stand upon the earth? Do you believe that after this time of extreme darkness, disease, and even death that you will see Him in all His splendor with your own two eyes?

Does the very thought of seeing the Risen Redeemer set your heart dancing with desire?

O how my heart yearns within me! Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King!

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Matthew 28:1-10

Matthew 28:1-10
Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to see the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, because an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled aside the stone and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.

Then the angel spoke to the women. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn't here! He has been raised from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come; see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples he has been raised from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember, I have told you." 

The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to find the disciples to give them the angel's message. And as they went, Jesus met them. "Greetings!" he said. And they ran to him, held his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Don't be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there." NLT 

Living Lord,
O how I wonder what I miss when I don't seek You early in the morning. Undoubtedly, these women didn't expect the excitement that was about to unfold!

In the shadow of sorrow and sadness, they were jolted to their feet. An angel surrounded by the radiance of Your glory swiftly moved the huge stone, calmed their fears and proclaimed the Good News! You most certainly were alive.

The empty tomb guarantees it.
The angel assures it.
The women witnessed it.

As You promised, all my sins were buried in that tomb with You. My old way of life was gone forever, forgiven and forgotten in a cold, dark, empty grave. As You arose, so did I to a bountiful, beautiful new life.

Because You live, I can face tomorrow.
Because You live all fear is gone!
Because I know You hold the future
And life is worth the living just because You live.

Fill me dear Lord with the same reverent fear and exuberant joy You gave these dear women. Exploding with excitement, I will go tell the Good News to all those around me! "Jesus is alive! "

Holy Spirit, open the ears of those near me to hear this Good News. May someone receive the glorious gift of eternal life today because they have seen You resurrected in me. Amen. 

O how I wonder what we miss when we don't seek to worship Him early in the morning. Undoubtedly, we miss many exciting encounters with the Lord. I challenge you to get up early tomorrow morning, while it's still dark outside, and go to the grave. Seek Him. There you'll find an empty tomb and abundant new life. Go quickly! Worship Him!

Monday, April 02, 2018

Luke 23: 50, 55-56

Luke 23: 50, 55-56
The women, who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

Jesus,
Thank You for the amazing lesson I learn from these devoted women who bravely followed You. Like best friends, they fearlessly walked with You through the dark, difficult valley of death. While the other disciples abandoned You under mounting pressure, these courageous ladies stayed at the Cross until every last gruesome detail was finished and cleaned up.

Heartbroken, they went home and prepared their most valuable possessions - spices and perfume, to lovingly and respectfully care for Your dead body. Deep in despair, they rested and waited through a long Friday night and endless Saturday mourning for the appropriate time to serve You.

During my own frighteningly Friday's - times of extreme crisis and confusion when I just want to run away and hide, give me the courage to stick around until every shocking detail is worked into something magnificently beautiful. In their wildest dreams, these women couldn't have imagined the spectacular ending to the story; but, because of their wholehearted love and commitment, they were the first to witness the miracle of Your astonishing resurrection.

Please dear Lord, give me strength to endure excruciatingly painful conditions, a sensitive heart to serve You in the midst of my misery, and faith to remain at the grave through my grief. Just as You turned their tragedy into triumph, I can expect You to turn my own dark Fridays and endless Saturdays into resurrection Sundays for the glory of Your name. Amen.

Between yesterday's tragedy and tomorrow's triumph will you leave God or linger at the grave until He's glorified?

Your Good Friday could be disease or death, affliction or addiction, divorce or separation, heartache or hardship, disaster or destruction. Whatever your misfortune, look forward with hope to Easter Sunday when your mourning will turn to joy.