Religion

Ron Guitar

Faith is Something We Do

Thursday 09.20.18

Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house. Matthew 12:29 (New International Version NIV)

Jesus broke into the Strong Man’s house. He overpowered him and tied him up and took his treasure. That treasure is us.

Dear God,

Thank You for rescuing me from the dominion of darkness and ushering me into Your victorious Kingdom. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Wednesday, 09.19.18

But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 1 Corinthians 12:18-20 (New International Version NIV)

10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Luke 16:10-13 (New International Version NIV)

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7-8 (New International Version NIV)

God assigns our roles in the Body of Christ. Several principles interact with God’s choice. First, be faithful in what God has given you to do. Until we are faithful in little things, he won’t entrust us with big things. Second, if we don’t use what He has given us, it will be taken away. Third, we reap what we sow. Irresponsible behavior can create consequences that limit the effectiveness of our service. Be faithful with what God has given us, let’s serve Him when given new opportunities, and let’s honor Him with our choices so that Satan cannot use our failure to interfere with our service.

Dear God,

Help me see my opportunities to serve in Your Kingdom. Please grow my effectiveness in Your service so that I can bring You glory and be a blessing to the Body of Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Tuesday 09.18.18

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Romans 12:9 (New International Version NIV)

Our love can’t be faked. That means that we hate things that are evil. We not only stay away from them, but we disdain them. At the same time, we commit ourselves to lovingly drawing closer to what is good and righteous. In our intentions, there are no shades of gray, only a passionate desire for what is right, good, and holy.

Dear God,

Help me live up to what You have declared me to be. Fill me with Your love and drive out anything evil that dwells in my heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Monday 09.17.18

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 2 Corinthians 11:30 (New International Version NIV)

Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 2 Corinthians 11:24-27 New International Version (NIV)

One of Paul’s recurring themes throughout 2 Corinthians is that God’s strength is made perfect in weakness. In 1 Corinthians, he emphasizes that the strength, wisdom, and power of God are shown in what is normally a sign of weakness and humiliation. Paul wasn’t a wimp — remember all that he endured and kept on serving the Lord. He knew that even with all his training and talent, he wasn’t skilled, smart, or strong enough to do all that needed to be done for the Kingdom of God. But he knew that when we recognize our insufficiency, God takes our weakness and uses it powerfully when we offer ourselves to Him.

Dear God,

Thank You for all those times that You have strengthened me when I was under trial, given me wisdom when in a difficult situation, or empowered me when I faced situations and opportunities greater than my ability to handle. I know Your grace continues to propel me through my service to You. Thank you, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Sunday 09.16.18

Dear God,

How amazing it is to compare our life to the caterpillar that is surrounded by the cocoon and struggles until it emerges a beautiful butterfly. I pray that as I struggle through life’s challenges, I lean on You and allow the cocoon of Your love to surround me and the circumstances and trials to help mold me into the beautiful creature You want me to become. Thank You for all You do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Saturday 09.15.18

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (New International Version NIV)

Dear God,

Fill me with Your peace. Touch my mind and remind me that I don’t need to worry. You are my God and maker. You will handle it for me. May I talk with You, spend time in Your Word and before Your throne of grace. May I fellowship with other Christians, those who will encourage me. I give You my concerns and ask that You will work out all to my good and Your glory. Thank You for loving me, carrying my burdens and providing my needs. Thank You for Jesus Christ my Savior and the hope He has given. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Friday 09.14.18

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 (New International Version NIV)

The Lord’s great love and mercy will enable you to thrive today and in the days to come. Each new day brings a fresh supply of God’s incredible resources. God is faithful to make sure we have them each day.

Dear God,

Thank You for sustaining me and promising me endless days at the end of my life’s journey. May You perpetually find love and praise on my lips and in my heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Thursday 09.13.18

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28-29 (New International Version NIV)

Every man-made empire will eventually topple. Every man-made structure will decay and fall. God, however, has given us a kingdom that won’t rot or ruin and no thief can break in and steal it away.

Dear God,

Thank You for giving me a place in Your incomparable, indestructible, and unconquerable Kingdom. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Wednesday 09.12.18

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:17-18 (New International Version NIV)

Jesus lived redemptively. He sought to make a difference in the lives of others. His goal wasn’t getting even, getting what was rightfully His, or even winning the arguments. His focus was to interact with people redemptively and to leave them more blessed than where He found them.

Dear God,

Forgive me for the grudges I’ve harbored and the evil things I’ve thought about others. Help me to see and to value them as Jesus does. Amen.

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Tuesday 09.11.18

“I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. Luke 12:8 (New International Version NIV)

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15 (New International Version NIV)

Let’s make sure that we don’t fall into the trap of Peter during the night of Jesus’ arrest — strong when in the presence of friends and weak in the presence of those who are hostile. Let’s be ready to share our faith with friends with “gentleness and respect”. Let’s be willing to be openly identified as one of Jesus’ disciples and show it by our words and deeds. Let’s confess that Jesus is our Lord by our lives and our lips for all the world to see.

Dear God,

Give me courage and wisdom to acknowledge Jesus as Lord before my friends, co-workers, and colleagues in a way that honors Christ and that is respectful of them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Monday 09.10.18

For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 1 Corinthians 11:29 (New International Version NIV)

Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf. 1 Corinthians 10:17 (New International Version NIV)

Holy communion is not only a time we remember the incredible sacrifice Jesus made to save us from our sins but also a time to remember we are the Body of Christ, His physical presence on this earth. Whatever happens to one of us matters to the rest of the Body. Every time we partake of this sacrament, let’s remember the other members of Christ’s Body around us. Let’s commit to be the presence of Christ in the world and do His work.

Dear God,

Thank You for the first incarnation of Jesus when He became flesh and lived on earth. Thank You for His second incarnation through His Body, the Church. Help me to value other members of His Body more. Bless me with wisdom and courage as we seek to truly minister as His presence in our world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Sunday 09.09.18

I came across this prayer in a church bulletin (author unknown).

Almighty God,

Waiting is hard for us. It doesn’t matter whether it is waiting in line at a grocery store or waiting for our food at a restaurant. We want, what we want, when we want it. And, Lord we confess that we treat You with the same impatience. We come to You in prayer and we want an immediate response. We sometimes treat You like our spiritual butler rather than our Lord and Savior. Forgive us, Lord, and teach us how to wait. For it is in the waiting that we learn to live by faith and not by sight. In the name of Christ the Risen King we pray. Amen.

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Saturday 09.08.18

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 2 Peter 1:3-4 New International Version NIV)

Dear God,

Your Word tells me that you’ve given me divine power to live my life as You want me to; to escape evil desires and to experience Godly living. Help me to draw strength from Your power and to practice moral discipline. Help me to work at knowing You better, developing perseverance, doing Your will, and loving others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Friday 09.07.18

…be made new in the attitude of your minds… Ephesians 4:23 (New International Version NIV)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform 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. Romans 12:1-2 (New International Version NIV)

We can’t renew ourselves. We can guard ourselves from corrupting influences. We can offer ourselves to God and come to better discern His will. Ultimately, however, God must do the renewing, not just when we are saved, but daily. Only God’s grace can sustain, empower, and renew us. Let’s offer ourselves to Him. Then, let’s confidently ask for His grace to empower, perfect, and renew us.

Dear God,

I offer myself to You and ask for Your grace to empower, perfect, and renew me. Cleanse my heart and make me new in mind and spirit. I want to share Your love, empowered by Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Thursday 09.06.18

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27 New International Version (NIV)

What part of the Body are you? What’s your function, your purpose? How are you blessing others in the Body of Christ? Who is someone in the Body who does a great deal of service for others who needs your encouragement and praise? Who is someone who feels neglected and lonely who needs your love to be shown to them?

Dear God,

Help each person in our church family to find their gifts of service and to use those gifts in ways that touch others with Your grace for Your greater glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Wednesday 09.05.18

16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Romans 12:16 (New International Version NIV)

For most of us “Don’t be conceited” is a command for someone else. I’ve never met anyone who felt they were conceited. But, when we’re looking for someone with whom we want to associate, we seldom look for someone ignored by the crowd, forgotten by the pretty people, and easily overlooked by others. We want to “hang out” with those who are important, who are superstars, or at least who carry some clout. We believe we deserve to be noticed and valued, too. On second thought, perhaps that’s where the commands in this verse come from.

Dear God,

Thank You for making and designing me in Your image to bring You glory. Help me to not be proud and conceited. Give me the grace to see those with whom You want me to associate. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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Tuesday 09.04.18

The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous stands firm. Proverbs 12:7 (New International Version NIV)

This is eventually true in every culture. An evil leader is murdered by his even more evil successor. Ruin comes to the one who brings ruination on others. But ultimately, this result will be fully true only when Jesus comes and judges all people justly. Then, God’s righteousness will shine like the sun and reign with Him in heavenly glory which will not fade away. Justice with mercy, love with strength, and life without death are in the city God has prepared for those who love Him.

Dear God,

May Your Kingdom come with power in our world. May Your will be done here on earth just as it is done in heaven. Overthrow the wicked and let those You have made righteous in Jesus stand in the presence of Your glory and grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Monday 09.03.18

“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:28 (New International Version NIV)

God gave us His Word to bless us. We receive the blessing when we obey it. On the other hand, Jesus reminded us when we know the will of God and don’t obey it, we are foolish.

Dear God,

Thank You for revealing Your will to me through the Scriptures so I can walk in Your blessing. Thank You for speaking to me through Your Son so I can know Your heart as I apply it to my life. Thank You for wanting to bless me and protect me from evil. Forgive me for the times that I have not been obedient. With Your help, I commit to live intentionally in Your will and to live obediently to Your word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Sunday 09.02.18

Dear God,

Thank You for always being there for me; I know if I stumble and fall, I will fall into Your grace. I praise You and bow before You in prayer with a humble spirit and grateful heart. You are my stability in a world gone mad, my comfort when my heart is sad, and the sunshine of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Saturday 09.01.18

Dear God,

I know You love me. You have shown me in so many ways, the greatest being sacrificing Your Son to become my Savior. I know You are concerned about even the little things in my life and want to direct me in all my ways. Forgive me when I don’t listen and stumble and stray. Lead me by Your Holy Spirit. Make me a blessing to You and to others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Friday 08.31.18

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6 (New International Version NIV)

Humility doesn’t come natural to us. We are shameless self-promoters. We love to tell the world, even in sly ways, that we are good parents, good students, good friends, and not to mention just plain “with it”. Maybe we’re just begging for God to oppose us.

Dear God,

Grant me the grace to recognize an opportunity today to not take credit. Keep me quieter and giving all credit to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Thursday 08.30.18

Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. John 12:26 (New International Version NIV)

We can’t out serve, out love, or out give Jesus. He longs to bless us. He longs to pour out heaven’s riches and grace upon us. Even more incredibly, He longs to honor us. When our lives are over, God will honor all who have served His Son and blessed others in Jesus’ name.

Dear God,

I know that I can’t earn Your grace, but I want to serve others in Jesus’ name and help them find Your grace. Amen.

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Wednesday 08.29.18

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15 (New International Version NIV)

While misery may love company, grief tends to make us withdraw and hide. Let’s remember those who have lost loved ones. Let them know how you valued their loved one and miss them too. Keep these folks in your prayers and in your social plans, as well. Also remember to affirm others by rejoicing in their blessings.

Dear God,

Give me eyes to see and a heart to offer loving care to those around me who are grieving. Use me to be a blessing to those in sorrow. Help me to encourage and support the joy of those who are rejoicing around me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Tuesday 08.28.18

I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. Matthew 12:6 (New International Version NIV)

He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. John 1:27 (New International Version NIV)

Jesus is greater than the greatest thing ever built by human hands. He is greater than the most “holy” place you have ever been. Jesus is more awesome and holy than the most awe-inspiring place you have ever visited. Jesus is far greater than the most inspiring event you have ever attended. Nothing else, no one else, can hold a candle to Him. As John the Baptist reminded us, the greatest religious leaders of all time are not even worthy to untie His sandals.

Dear God,

Thank You for revealing to me the Way, the Truth, and the Life through Jesus. Forgive me for the times I may have misused His name or underestimated His glory. Restore in me the child-like sense of joyous wonder that I need to have in His presence. Amen.

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Monday 08.27.18

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:27-28 (New International Version NIV)

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— Colossians 1:21-22 (New International Version NIV)

True rest comes from knowing God. Only Jesus can fully reveal God to us. Only Jesus can take away the burden of seeking to please God without an understanding of grace. Only Jesus can remove the burden of our past sins and enable us to stand holy, blameless, and free from accusation before Almighty God.

Dear God,

Thank You for sending Jesus to fulfill the Law and to bless me with Your grace. May I never take that grace for granted. Empower me to serve You with joy and gladness that come from the burdens of my sinfulness and failure lifted by Your grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Sunday 08.26.18

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (New International Version NIV)

Dear God,

Here I am. I too am persuaded that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate me from Your love that is in Christ Jesus my Lord. My identity isn’t in my job, my profession, nor any other thing, but in You. I am convinced that no matter what happens, I am precious in Your sight and Your love, grace, and mercy will always sustain me. Thank You so much. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Saturday 08.25.18

Merciful Savior,

We confess to You and to one another that we fall far short of being all that You created us to be. We have not loved You with our whole hearts, preferring instead to pursue our own way, erect idols of our own making and secure our own needs. We have not loved our neighbors. In fact, very often our neighbors are invisible to us. We have failed to love ourselves as well. We overindulge our bodies and are impoverished in soul and spirit. We grasp tightly to the hurts of yesterday rather than entrusting them to Your healing and forgiving grace. Forgive us, Lord. Grant us the desire and the Faith to let go, putting all our days – past, present and future – in Your hands. For the sake of Christ our Lord , we pray. Amen. (Author unknown)

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Friday 08.24.18

When a brother or sister is down, we shouldn’t gossip, condemn, criticize, and “kick” them while they’re down. Instead, it is up to us to pray for, pick up the phone or make a visit to show that we care. Ask if they’re all right and if we may pray with them. Let’s be sincere in reaching out to lift them up.

Dear God,

Thank You for Your gracious love and for the love of fellow believers. Remind us through Your Holy Spirit that as the body of Christ, we are to encourage and exhort one another. May we be instruments to help draw them to You. Let us not forget even one. Thank You for Your mercies. May we also be merciful. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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Thursday 08.23.18

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:24 (New International Version NIV)

Sacrifice is never easy. Despite His disciples’ lack of courage and faithfulness during his last hours, Jesus truly believed that His sacrifice would bring the best out in them, and then also lead them to share His grace and glory with many others. It should do the same for us.

Dear God,

Thank You for all that You did to ransom me from sin and death. Thank You Lord Jesus for leaving heaven and living here among us. Thank You for being a person of compassion and character. Thank You for enduring the cross and entering death for me. I look forward to seeing You when You return in glory. Amen.

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Wednesday 08.22.18

Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 1 Corinthians 12:14 (New International Version NIV)

The human body is an amazing collection of many parts. When the body is healthy and these different elements of the body work in concert with one another, the human body can do amazing things. The same is true with the Body of Christ. As long as we do our part and offer it for the good of the whole, Christ can do amazing things through us.

Dear God,

Help me know my place in the Body of Christ so that I can serve faithfully and productively and bring glory to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

-0-

Tuesday 08.21.18

And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you. Hebrews 12:5 (New International Version NIV)

As much as I didn’t like it at the time, I am thankful that my parents loved me enough to discipline me, to guide me lovingly, and to encourage me repeatedly. This discipline and training has given me so many blessings. Now if I can just learn to recognize and appreciate the Lord’s discipline in my life the same way. The lack of love is not hate, but indifference. The opposite of concern is an unwillingness to discipline. Thank God that He loves us and knows us enough to be involved in our lives and discipline us in the direction of heaven.

Dear God,

Help me to recognize Your discipline and correction in my life. I want to live for You with an undivided heart, pleasing You in thought, word, and deed. I confess that sometimes my heart is rebellious, or my resolve is weak. Thank You for helping me recognize my loss of spiritual direction through Your loving discipline. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Monday 08.20.18

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 (New International Version NIV)

There is a time in our walk with God in which He sets us in a place of isolation. It’s a place in which all past experiences are useless. It’s a time of such stillness that it can disturb the most faithful if we don’t understand that He is the One who has brought us to this place for only a season. It is as if God has placed a wall around us, presenting no new opportunities, simply inactivity.

During these times, God is calling us aside to fashion something new in us. It’s a place of nothingness designed to call us to prayer and faith. It’s not a comfortable place, especially for a task-driven believer. Our nature compels us to “do something”, while God is saying, “Be still and know that I am God.” The sign that you’ve been brought into this place is when God has removed things from your life and you can’t seem to change anything.

Many people live a very planned and orchestrated life. But for people in whom God is performing a deeper work, He brings them into a time of quietness that seems almost eerie. They can’t see what God is doing. They just know that He is doing a work that can’t be explained to themselves or others.

Has God brought you to a place of nothingness? Be still and know that He really is God. When this happens, your nothingness will be turned into something you will value for the rest of your life.

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Sunday 08.19.18

…weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5 (New International Version NIV)

Dear God,

Thank You for this day. Sometimes my world just seems dark; challenges abound, stress creeps in, I can’t seem to see “the light at the end of the tunnel.” But I know You are there to carry me through. Your Word tells me that “weeping may stay for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Lift me up, and give me strength, so that I may emerge victorious over the darkness and continually be filled with joy and praise. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Saturday 08.18.18

Dear God,

I pray for all the people in my life. Meet their special needs. Show me who needs Your special touch. Bring their needs to my attention. Work through me to minister to them. Father, I pray specifically for… (tell God who is on your mind and what specific situation/need). Please intervene. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Friday 08.17.18

There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD. Proverbs 21:30 New International Version (NIV)

No matter how great the plans, if we don’t walk with God, there won’t be a spiritual success. Let’s commit to serve the Lord. As we make plans for the coming days, make sure that those plans are made based on the LORD’s revealed will in Scripture and prayerful consideration of what our God wants us to accomplish.

Dear God,

Thank You for being near. Help me know Your will each day. Bring the people into my life who will help me love You more, serve You effectively, and bless others in meaningful ways. May You be glorified in all that I do, think, and say. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Thursday 08.16.18

For the sake of his Great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own. 1 Samuel 12:22 (New International Version NIV)

God won’t be unfaithful even when His people don’t deserve His grace. Why God would love and preserve us and our Israelite ancestors is nothing short of miraculous.

Dear God,

Your grace has not only saved me, but it sustains me even when Satan tries to use my failures to make me doubt Your love. Thank You for triumphing over my unworthiness and giving me righteousness so that I will be fit for Your kingdom and glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Wednesday 08.15.18

For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 1 Corinthians 12:13 New International Version (NIV)

In God’s family, the Holy Spirit makes us one. The Spirit is not only God’s presence and power in us, but the Spirit is also God’s spiritual DNA that connects us to each other and to our Father. This spiritual bond transcends human family, race, nationality, gender, and any other human barrier. The Spirit’s presence ensures that we are God’s children and function as Jesus’ Body here on earth.

Dear God,

Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Thank You for making my body a place that is a holy dwelling place for Your presence in the Holy Spirit. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for pouring out the Spirit and making me new. May the Holy Spirit continue to work in my heart to tear down any wall of prejudice that may exist toward any of my brothers and sisters in Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Tuesday 08.14.18

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:4-5 (New International Version NIV)

An arm detached from the body is just a dead and useless body part. We belong to each other because we belong to Christ. We find our freedom to be what God has made us to be, and the Body finds its power and usefulness as we each offer ourselves to be used for the good of the Body and the work of the Lord.

Dear God,

Thank You for making me a part of something that is living, dynamic, powerful, and eternal. Thank You for giving me special abilities and gifts to use in the Body of Christ. Help me find and use my gifts and abilities for the good of Your people and to glorify You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Monday 08.13.18

… and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:26 (New International Version NIV)

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4 (New International Version NIV)

Scripture challenges us to believe that the real, living part of us made by God will never die even though our physical bodies die. It’s incredible to know that we are immortal and eternally joined with Jesus.

Dear God,

I do believe that because of Jesus, I will never die. Bless me so that I can make every minute count while I am here in this life. I look forward to seeing You face to face. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Sunday 08.12.18

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 (New International Version NIV)

Dear God,

I often get caught up in the “daily grind.” I concentrate on what must be done, and don’t stop and reflect on what You want. Forgive me. I’m sorry. What do You want to do through me today? What do You want me to accomplish for a purpose greater than myself? Help me to have pure motives and a willing heart. Grant me the grace to let my light shine so others may see Your good works. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Saturday 08.11.18

Dear God,

Many are the wonderful works You’ve done. Open my lips and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. You put songs of praise in my heart. You give new life to my steps and peace to my soul. You lift me up and place me on solid ground. May my life bless You and my Words exalt You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Friday 08.10.18

I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD. Psalm 104:33-34 (New International Version NIV)

Singing is a wonderful gift from God to help us express our joy, excitement, sorrow, and victory. It is also a gift from us to God, to help us communicate our respect, appreciation, love, and confidence in God. So, let’s sing, praising God for what He has done, is doing and will do in our lives.

Dear God,

Exert Your will over my life so I more closely reflect Your holy character. Forgive and release any bitterness and anger which I have held against those who have wounded me. Empower me to resist the temptations and deceptions of the Evil One. Make my life a glorious witness to Your grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Thursday 08.09.18

When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.” Acts 11:18 (New International Version NIV)

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28 (New International Version NIV)

Breaking through racial and cultural barriers is never easy. Thankfully, God’s Spirit doesn’t let us settle comfortably into our prejudices. Instead, we are challenged to break through racial hatred and cultural ignorance. Let’s press on until the triumphant promise of the Gospel is fulfilled.

Dear God,

Bless all those who are trying to cross cultural, linguistic, and nationalistic barriers to share the grace of Jesus with those who don’t know You and don’t honor Your Son as Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Wednesday 08.08.18

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 (New International Version NIV)

We can be joyful in hope and we can be patient in affliction because we have been faithful in prayer. No matter what our situation is, we can pray with joy because of our hope in Christ. We can remain patient, persevering through affliction, by presenting our requests and intercessions to God with thanksgiving. Prayer is God’s gift to us so that we can be patient and joyful, even when things don’t appear to be going well.

Dear God,

No matter what struggles I face, You assure me of ultimate victory. No matter the hardship or burden, I know You will help me through it and bring me into Your presence. Until that day of ultimate victorious joy, free my heart from discouragement by the power of Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Tuesday 08.07.18

Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord”, except by the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:3 New International Version (NIV)

… that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10-11 (New International Version NIV)

Jesus is Lord whether we choose to recognize it or not. Let’s get on board while it matters most to us and to those we love.

Dear God,

I want Your Son, Jesus, to be my Lord until the Day He comes to take me home. In the name of Jesus Christ, my Savior and my Lord. Amen.

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Monday 08.06.18

Do not conform 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. Romans 12:2 (New International Version NIV)

Sooner or later we all must decide: Will I be a nonconformist and refuse to be squeezed into the mold of the world? Will I be God’s own person, an alien and an exile in the world, put here to have a redemptive influence? Until we cross the line and live totally for the Lord, we won’t be able to fully recognize God’s will for us. There are no sideline disciples. Or back-seat driver Christians. We either choose the Lordship of Jesus, or we reject it. So, what’s your decision?

Dear God,

Forgive me for the times that I have hedged on my commitment to You. Grant me the grace to passionately live for You. I want to be transformed to be like Jesus Christ. My Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Sunday 08.05.18

Dear God,

Thank You for having a purpose for my life and for telling me what Your expectations are through the Bible. I know You are disappointed when I fail to meet Your expectations, just as I am when I expect a family member to be responsible and to do something that they don’t do, or when they make wrong choices in life. Sometimes I feel frustrated or angry and other times heartbroken. Help me to be kind-hearted and long-suffering with them, like You are with me. Guide me to handle those disappointments with integrity; to remain quiet when I should and to speak up when I should. Give me the thoughts, words, and actions You want me to have. Forgive me for disappointing You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Saturday 08.04.18

Dear God,

Thank You for taking care of me and my family. Inspire me through Your Holy Spirit with fresh ideas for showing Your love to my neighbors, friends, family and all who are needy. Guide me and minister through me to do Your will every day. Make me be a blessing in Your name. Let my face radiate from the joy of my salvation and the peace of Your Spirit. Let the words from my mouth speak truth in love. May the fruit of Your Holy Spirit grow within me and flow out of me in abundance. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Friday 08.03.18

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11:21 (New International Version NIV)

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:6-7 (New International Version NIV)

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; Philippians 1:21-23 (New International Version NIV)

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39 (New International Version NIV)

If You had only been there Lord! If you have ever stood at the grave side of a loved one, like Martha, these thoughts probably crossed your mind, too. Where is Jesus when we hurt? Why couldn’t He be here to help us? There are a couple of crucial answers to remember. First, Jesus is with us in our moments of loss and grief. The Church is Jesus’ Body and every act of kindness, support, comfort, and help is Jesus working to alleviate our grief. Second, while He may not have kept our loved one from passing from this life to the next, He has been the abiding and unbroken presence for each Christian who has died physically. Paul reminds us that when Christians die, they go to be with Christ and God’s loving presence is never lost to them.

Dear God,

Grant me the grace to see Jesus’ ministering presence in my times of loss and grief. Help me see Him in the comforting presence of the Holy Spirit who abides in me. Help me see Him in the acts of love and kindness Your people do to help me. Help me see ways that I can serve as Jesus’ presence to someone else who is experiencing grief. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Thursday 08.02.18

“Woe to the worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! May his arm be completely withered, his right eye totally blinded!” Zechariah 11:17 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus is not only our redeemer, He is also our Chief Shepherd. When the earthly shepherds of His sheep do not lead faithfully, He will demand harsh justice. This is a warning to all who lead that they must do so faithfully and tenderly.

Dear God,

Raise up in Your Church leaders of conscience, courage, and compassion to shepherd Your sheep and to lead them with the heart of Jesus. If I can be used in this capacity, please use me to bless Your people and to serve with Your heart for people. In the name of Jesus, my shepherd. Amen.

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Wednesday 08.01.18

He [Barnabas] was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord. Acts 11:24 (New International Version NIV)

When the Holy Spirit lives in us, He produces fruit and conforms us to the character of Christ. No wonder Barnabas’ influence was so great on the lives of those who lived in Antioch; his life was under the influence of God’s Spirit.

Dear God,

I want my life to be influential for the good of the Gospel and the growth of Your Kingdom. I offer myself to You as a living sacrifice, asking that You conform me to the nature of Your Son Jesus and bring forth in me the fruit of Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Tuesday 07.31.18

Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. Luke 3:5 (New International Version NIV)

I like Global Positioning Systems (GPS). A voice comes on and tells me how far I must go and when to turn. However, sometimes I get off course and the voice says: “Recalculating.” The GPS is telling me I have gone off course and it is now recalculating the route based on my wrong turn. Sometimes we can make wrong turns in our spiritual lives. We think we are going the right direction only to discover it was never God’s will for us to make that turn.

Amazingly, God can make our crooked roads straight. He has an ability to make blunder turn out right. While there may be some consequences to those decisions, He will always allow our actions to work together for good if we repent and seek Him to make things right. These lessons can even contribute to greater wisdom in our lives if we learn from our mistakes.

God’s omnipotence is always one step ahead of our incompetence. God knows we will misstep. God has a plan for our lives even with that misstep figured in.

Dear God,

It’s comforting to know that You’re never out of the equation no matter how bad I mess up. Grant me the grace to be humble and contrite so You will straighten my course so I can flow in Your perfect will for my life.

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Monday 07.30.18

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (New International Version NIV)

Dear God,

Satan constantly picks at me and tries to make me stumble. Help me to remain alert and to be under the Holy Spirit’s control at all times. I want to draw near to You, so the devil will flee. Protect my family and me from harm and evil. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Sunday 07.29.18

Dear God,

I want to follow the example Jesus gave to serve others with excellence. Help me have the right attitude toward the people in my life and to show genuine concern for others. May You be glorified in all I think, say, and do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Saturday 07.28.18

Dear God,

Thank You for the comfort You provide through Your Holy Spirit, my brothers and sisters in Christ, and through dear friends. Help me show grace and love to those who are hurting. Give me wisdom for ministering to people who have serious illness and who live day to day with the effects of incurable disease; to those who have issues with which I can identify; to people who are grieving; to people who are struggling to overcome and live with life-altering disabilities. Thank You for the health You have given me and for all the many blessings You have bestowed upon me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Friday 07.27.18

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love. 2 John 1:3 (New International Version NIV)

God promises that His grace, mercy, and peace will be with us. How comforting that reminder can be when we feel overwhelmed with the hectic activity and uncertainties of life. God’s grace, mercy, and peace are not gifts that the world gives. When we make time to step aside from our daily routine and allow God to intervene, we can be sure that the grace, mercy, and peace of God and of Jesus Christ will be there with us.

Take some time to step aside and feel God’s grace, mercy and peace.

I pray God’s grace, mercy, and peace upon you.

Dear God,

Thank You for Your promise to be with us. Teach us to step aside and receive Your gifts with open arms. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Thursday 07.26.18

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100 (New International Version NIV)

No matter what your day looks like, God is present with you. You can enter God’s presence, simply by saying, “thank you”.

Dear God,

In my busyness give me the grace to remain in a posture of thankfulness, so I may remain in Your presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Wednesday 07.25.18

I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always. 1 Samuel 2:35 (New International Version NIV)

I once imagined a conversation with Jesus. It went something like this: “Ron, I chose 12 ordinary men to build my Church. While an unlikely group, I wanted people to express my life where they spend most of their time and experience most of their challenges. However, today we have a problem. My Church is not being represented in daily life. So, I’ve decided to call several people to serve me in this arena.

You remind me of my servant Jacob. What a manipulator and controller he was before I did my work in him. You are a man who can awaken my servants. However, for you to fulfill My plan and destiny for you, I must remove some things you rely upon. This will draw you closer to Me. It will be painful at first, but necessary. It will take several years. The result will be quite amazing. You will engage many others in a whole new focus in my Church that has been lost since those early days. I plan to do this with many others as well. My plan is designed to raise up an army before I return. It is time for you to go now. You know what you must do. “

What kind of conversation might Jesus have with you about your life? What catalyst is needed to bring you in alignment with the purposes and plans of God?

Dear God,

Thank You for allowing me to talk to and experience Your presence in my life. Be gentle, but firm with Your servant. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Tuesday 07.24.18

Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless. Ecclesiastes 5:10 (New International Version NIV)

I have had several successful people confide that they have made a lot of money and will soon be able to retire and do just about anything they want.

When someone thinks they’ve built a financial tower that is so tall it almost reaches heaven, God often decides to shake it to its foundations.

God does this to demonstrate who is the source of wealth to turn us back to trusting Him completely. He did it in my life, and He’ll do it in your life too because He loves us too much to allow us to continue down this destructive path.

Money is mentioned more than 2,000 times in scripture. Jesus used it many times in illustrating an important lesson. He spoke of being a good steward of the resources He entrusts to us. He wants a return on His investment and He wants us to stay away from making money an idol in our lives.

Jesus understood that He was here on earth only to do the will of the Father.
As we look at our relationship with God and our use of money, we, like Jesus, are here to do the will of the Father in all areas of life. This means seeking to live a life that is totally yielded to His purposes.

Money, independence, and security are often the things people seek. Check your motives today and see if your financial life can stand Jesus’ scrutiny. Are you operating as a steward of the financial resources He has entrusted to you?

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Monday 07.23.18

And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:16-17 (New International Version NIV)

Everyone needs the gift of freedom and boundaries in their life to succeed. God set up the ultimate environment in the Garden of Eden. He gave Adam and Eve responsibility to manage the animals, the agriculture and every activity. He gave them specific instructions as to how things were to be done but gave them freedom of expression for fulfilling their tasks.

He also told them what was off limits. He wasn’t trying to withhold from them. He was trying to protect them.

If you are a leader, it is your responsibility to clearly define the responsibilities of those under your care. They should know clearly what freedoms and boundaries they have in carrying out their duties. They should be given the freedom and authority to enforce the decisions that will impact their success or failure.
Establishing freedoms and boundaries allows accountability between management and worker.

It’s important to have a clearly defined job description with measurable goals. Without a clear definition of your freedom and boundaries you don’t know what you can and can’t do within the scope of your job and this is setting yourself up for failure.

Dear God,

Help me clearly understand my freedoms and boundaries in the way in which I am expected to accomplish the tasks You place before me. In Jesus’ name, Amen

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Sunday 07.22.18

Dear God,

Bless those who are studying Your Word and those who are studying to advance their careers and ministries. I also pray for those who are not so diligent; give them the desire to succeed and to give their best. Help them to understand what they must do to reach their potential. For those who are trying, bless their efforts and encourage them. As they take tests, grant that their minds be clear and the knowledge they need will come forth as they answer the questions before them. Grant them Your peace, wisdom, and direction. Keep their priorities straight, with You at the center of their lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Saturday 07.21.18

It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. 34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. 35 He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 36 You make your saving help my shield; your help has made me great. 37 You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way. 2 Samuel 22:33-37 (New International Version NIV)

Dear God,

It is You who arms me with strength and makes my way secure. Thank You for training me for daily obstacles, battles, and spiritual hurdles. Keep my feet on solid ground. Help me be a witness of Your saving grace to my family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors. May all glory and honor be unto You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Friday 07.20.18

Teach them [God’s commandments] to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 11:19 (New International Version NIV)

Moses gives us three crucial messages about God’s commandments. First, as parents, it is our responsibility to teach them to our children. It is not the responsibility of the government, or of the schools, nor even our churches. Second, we are to teach them in the everyday course of life as a family. Third, we are to teach them continuously by both our words and our lives as we raise our children.

Dear God,

Bless me as I seek to impart my faith to others, especially to those in my family. Bless me with a consistent and faithful witness to them, the right words to say when the time is right, and the sensitivity to say it with loving respect. Grant me the courage to live as a strong Christian example for my children and grandchildren. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Thursday 07.19.18

As the LORD commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua, and Joshua did it; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses. Joshua 11:15 New International Version (NIV)

Joshua is one of my favorite Bible heroes. He was a great servant to Moses. He refused to be swayed by his peers or by the crowd when he spied out the Promised Land. He followed in the footsteps of a great leader and was a great leader himself. Joshua was obedient to God and did all that God had commanded him to do, as well as what God had commanded Moses that he should do. Joshua was faithful as a servant and a leader.

Dear God,

When the story of my life is told, may I be viewed as one who was faithful to all that You have asked of me. I want to serve You with my whole heart and with a life that brings You glory and praise. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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Wednesday 07.18.18

Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus. Acts 15:37-39 (New International Version NIV)

Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 2 Timothy 4:11 (New International Version NIV)

Conflict at work, in ministry, or marriage is inevitable as we are working closely with others. God has wired each of us differently and we can view circumstances differently. One person can see a situation and conclude something totally different from another.

There are times when differences and conflicts can’t be resolved. It doesn’t mean that one person or the other is evil or sinful. It just means that the difference of opinion or the personality clash has no solution.

We see an example of this in the relationship of Paul and Barnabas, two partners in Christian ministry who had a sharp disagreement regarding a young man named Mark. Barnabas wanted to take Mark on a missionary journey. However, Paul refused. Mark had disappointed him once before and Paul didn’t want to give him another chance. In the end, Paul and Barnabas agreed to disagree and to part company. Paul went one way; Barnabas and Mark went another. Sometimes, that’s the only solution to a disagreement.

The rest of the story is found in 2 Timothy 4:11. Paul writes from his prison cell in Rome and tells Timothy, “Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.” Sometime after the disagreement between Paul and Barnabas, Mark redeemed himself and became a valued partner in Paul’s ministry. In fact, as Paul faced execution in Rome, he wanted his friend Mark at his side.

Whenever there is disagreement, make sure you maintain support of the person at the same time you disagree with their position. Avoid personal attacks and implying motive behind someone else’s position. This will allow you to disagree and still maintain a relationship.

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Tuesday 07.17.18

“Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle” Psalm 144:1 (New International Version NIV)

You’ll never experience God in powerful ways by acquiring Bible knowledge alone. It is only when that knowledge is used in the heat of battle that you will know the reality of what you’ve learned intellectually. Otherwise, it remains only an exercise in spiritual gymnastics that yields little fruit.

David became a great warrior and leader at an early age. His training ground was his job as a shepherd. When wild animals sought to take his sheep, he personally fought them. This was his early preparation for future battles. Goliath was the real competition that revealed how well his training prepared him.

Today, our churches often look more like luxury cruise liners designed to entertain its passengers and make them feel good instead of a battleship designed to train an army for war. The average member watches from the sideline.

In sports you discover how well you handle pressure by competing. You can practice all you want but never know how you will do until you enter the game and test what you’ve learned and practiced when there is pressure added to the equation. In battle you discover how well you are trained by what you do on the battlefield.

Have you ever prayed with someone in public? Have you ever personally led someone to Christ? Have you ever served others for the sake of the Gospel? Have you ever taught a Bible study? If you said no to these questions, you are not engaged in the game.

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Monday 07.16.18

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (New International Version NIV)

Dear God,

Help me to be strong and courageous and not be discouraged. No matter what I face, I know that You are with me wherever I go. May You be glorified through my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Sunday 07.15.18

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (New King James Version NKJV)

Dear God,

Thank You for Your strength and protection. Thank You for my Savior. Whenever Evil comes at me with temptations, I will remind him that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and has saved me. Because of that, I can rebuke Satan through standing upon Scripture and leaning on You for my help. Jesus was the perfect example of this as He countered Satan’s temptations with Scripture. May I open my eyes, ears, and heart to Your word and Your prompting. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Saturday 07.14.18

Dear God,

Help me to live a holy life, acceptable to You and a witness to my world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Friday 07.13.18

And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 2 Corinthians 11:14 (New International Version NIV)

We need to constantly be aware that we are in a battle. While Christ has already won the decisive battle, don’t be fooled; the evil one will do everything he can to deceive all people and confuse the lost. We must stick to God’s plan — living His truth, listening for His voice in Scripture, and following the lead of His Spirit.

Dear God,

Grant me the ability to discern truth and resist the deception of Satan. Empower me by Your Spirit as I seek to live victoriously for you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Thursday 07.12.18

For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face. Psalm 11:7 (New International Version NIV)

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. 1 John 3:1-3 (New International Version NIV)

There is no greater promise for those who seek to be righteous and just. We will see God face to face. What an incredible blessing. What a future. What an incredible Father we have.

Dear God,

Thank you for Your great promises. I look forward to the day that I get to see You face to face and share in Your eternal presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Thursday 07.12.18

For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face. Psalm 11:7 (New International Version NIV)

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. 1 John 3:1-3 (New International Version NIV)

There is no greater promise for those who seek to be righteous and just. We will see God face to face. What an incredible blessing. What a future. What an incredible Father we have.

Dear God,

Thank you for Your great promises. I look forward to the day that I get to see You face to face and share in Your eternal presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Wednesday 07.11.18

The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Matthew 11:5 (New International Version NIV)

The clear sign of the Messiah’s presence was a time of true blessedness for all who knew and followed him. How glorious it will be and all the blessings we will share when He comes again.

Dear God,

I am joyfully looking forward to the glorious blessings that await me and my brothers and sisters in Christ when our Savior returns. In anticipation of that Day, I thank You in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Tuesday 07.10.18

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44 (New International Version NIV)

Some years ago, a conflict arose with a dear friend and mentor that we were unable to resolve. I never imagined he would go from being one of my best friends to an enemy. I asked God to show me how I should treat him, and the words of Jesus came to mind, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Surely, God couldn’t mean I was to love my former friend after the way he hurt me and refused to reconcile.

As I argued with God, I remembered that Jesus, before He was betrayed, got down on his knees and washed the feet of Judas Iscariot, His enemy. I then knew what God was calling me to do. I had to wash the feet of my Judas.

He was a Christian businessman and I decided to bless this man by continuing to promote his business and ministry.

Even though he never reconciled with me, I knew that I did what God called me to do. I washed the feet of my Judas. I passed the test.

God doesn’t promise that if we forgive there will be a happy ending. He doesn’t promise that the man who refuses to pay a bill will suddenly write a check. He doesn’t promise that the one who rejects reconciliation will instantly soften his heart. Jesus forgave His executioners, but that didn’t keep them from nailing Him to the cross.

The true test isn’t about getting the results we want. It’s about proving that we trust God enough to forgive our Judases. It’s an exercise in obedience. Every leader whom God uses in a significant way must pass the Judas Test.

God wants to know if we are willing to be imitators of Jesus. How can we say we are followers of Christ if we won’t wash the feet of our Judases?

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Monday 07.09.18

If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 1 Corinthians 3:14 (New International Version NIV)

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10 New International Version (NIV)

That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ Hebrews 3:10 (New International Version NIV)

There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12 (New International Version NIV)

In a job performance review, employers want to see if you have done what was desired of you in a way that has produced results. If you do well, you will be affirmed and may even get a bonus or pay raise. If you fail to live up to expectations, you could get fired.

The Bible has its own performance review. It is called the “Judgment Seat”.
The Bible says there is a way that seems right to a man, but the end is death. There is a way that God wants you and me to operate on the earth. He has given us His Word as our instruction manual to know His ways of doing things.

How well do you know the instruction manual? Have you read only a few parts here and there? Are you well versed on the intricacies of His ways so that you will be able to have a glorious “performance review” when the time comes?
Take time every day to get your instructions for His ways of living your life. Your reward will be great.

-0-

Sunday 07.08.18

Dear God,

Bless all teachers. Place Your anointing upon their lives, work and their ministry. Give them everything they need to be a positive life-changing influence upon those they teach. Keep them safe from all harm. Bring to their minds the lessons they need to teach and the ability and skills to do what is right and good. May they be salt and light in the world. May they rely on Your strength and grace to accomplish that which You would have them do. Bless them as they bless others with whom they work and teach. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Saturday 07.07.18

Dear God,

Sometimes, it seems I’m “in the fire.” Things are hectic, I’m bombarded with trials and temptations. Please help me through the fiery times. Make me a better person, a more faithful Christian, and a living testimony to Your grace. I need Your strength, because I can’t do it alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Friday 07.07.18

Instead, they were longing for a better country — a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:16 New International Version (NIV)

God has promised us in that preparations for our arrival at our heavenly home are being made. If God is longing for us to join him, then surely, we can have a deep longing to be with him. Let’s desire that heavenly country.

Dear God,

Thank You for all You’ve done to save me. Thank You for not being ashamed of me. Thank You for preparing for my arrival at home with You. With so much to look forward to, may I live a victorious life empowered to be holy by Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thursday 07.05.18

Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. Proverbs 11:4 (New International Version NIV)

What is your primary investment? Only righteousness offers a truly long-term benefit.

Dear God,

Grant me the grace to value what is good, holy, and righteous. Empower me to develop those qualities in my character. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

-0-

Wednesday 07.04.18

The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing. Proverbs 10:28 (New International Version NIV)

When we seek righteousness, our future is full of joy. Don’t let the darkness around you steal away the glorious dawn of joy.

Dear God,

Forgive me for the times I’ve grown depressed and melancholy over the condition of my world and culture. Thank You for the promise of victory and of glorious blessings that lie ahead. Help me keep my eyes on You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Tuesday 07.03.18

But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. 9 For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people And I will hope in your name, for your name is good. Psalm 52:8-9 (New International Version NIV)

When we thank God during difficulty, we grow roots. When we thank God in front of others, we grow like the olive tree in this verse. We grow in our trust of God, and we mature in our faith. Olive trees can have thick trunks with age, and as we practice giving God credit instead of taking credit we can grow sturdy in our faith.

Dear God,

Keep me mindful to give You the credit for anything and everything for Your greater glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Monday 07.02.18

14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:14-16 (New International Version NIV)

Esther was a Jewish orphan living in Persia after her people were taken into captivity from Jerusalem. She was raised by her cousin Mordecai.
An edict was sent out to bring all the virgins to the king’s palace from the surrounding regions to replace Queen Vashti who found disfavor with the king. Esther was one of the young women taken and was ultimately selected to be the next queen.

Mordecai had a high-ranking position in the government that allowed him to learn of a plan by an official of the king to kill all of the Jews.

One way to prevent this edict would be if Esther asked for an audience with the king to request that the plan be abandoned on her behalf. However, to request an audience before the king was a serious matter. If he refused to give her audience, the penalty was death.

Out of concern for Esther, Mordecai warned her that if she acted she may well die and if she did nothing, God would use someone else to save their people. Mordecai was giving her a choice.

It was at this time she made her famous statement, “If I die, I die.” Esther realized this could be the reason God created her – to save her people from destruction.

We are given a choice every day. Are you willing to be the person God uses to impact the future destiny of a people? Many of us are silent Christians simply letting the status quo reign while we sit quietly by watching. You may well have been created for such a time as this to be a catalyst to stand in the gap for some situation in your community.

Dear God,

May I always be faithful to the calling You have placed upon me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Sunday 07.01.18

Dear God,

Help me to be sensitive to other people’s needs and feelings. Help me to always make other people feel special and valued. May my words and actions draw them to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Saturday 06.30.18

Dear God,

Some mothers are saints, angels on earth – loving, nurturing, giving, guiding; others are lacking and need some help; still others have given their child up for adoption. What a difficult and selfless act, to realize that you are not able to provide what a child needs and think of that baby above all. Comfort and bless these mothers. Work in the lives of those who may not be so deserving but are in need of mercy. Mothers are so influential. Grant wisdom, strength, and faith to them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Friday 06.29.18

The Lord detests those whose hearts are perverse, but he delights in those whose ways are blameless. Proverbs 11:20 (New International Version NIV)

I wouldn’t want to be on God’s “I detest” list. A perverse heart is a heart that allows what is evil, impure, warped, greedy, dishonest, and violent to hold sway over a person’s attitudes, views, and opinions. Ultimately such a heart shows up in a person’s outward actions. Our hearts can be changed by coming to God in repentance, confessing our alliance with what is evil and ungodly, and asking God to cleanse us and make us new by His Holy Spirit.

Dear God,

Create in me a new heart and renew Your Holy Spirit’s presence in me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Thursday 06.28.18

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. Hebrews 11:3 (New International Version NIV)

Where did matter, energy, and time come from? How did our universe come to possess order and structure? By faith, we know it came from the articulated design of God.

Dear God,

Thank You for the wonderful world that You made. Thank You for the principles of order that govern our world and help us understand it. I am awed by the majesty of Your creation. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

-0-

Wednesday 06.27.18

“Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed. Acts 13:36 (New International Version NIV)

When you come to end of your days, will God be able to say you served your purpose in your generation?

God was able to say this about the life of David, even though David made some incredibly bad choices in his life. Because David repented each time he erred, his purpose was accomplished on earth as God had designed it.

Success is fulfilling the purpose for which God made you. It has nothing to do with wealth, accomplishments, or stature in life. It comes from living a life of obedience to God. This will fulfill the purposes that God had in mind when He made you.

Dear God,

May I fulfill every purpose for which You made me, so You can say I served Your purpose for my own generation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Tuesday 06.26.18

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:2-5 (New International Version NIV)

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12 (New International Version NIV)

Sports can teach us lot of valuable life lessons if we’ll let it. Sometimes we buy into the idea that if we do all the right things and execute perfectly, we are guaranteed success. However, in sports, as well as in life, success is not guaranteed.

If you bring a smothering perfectionism to the game, you will probably leave with a lousy disposition, because your game will never meet your expectations.

You can make a great baseball pitch and the batter might still hit a home-run.
We must accept that in sports, as in life, outcomes don’t end the way we always hope.

Jesus came to be Savior of the world. He was a perfect human being without sin. He did all the right things. The result was death on the cross because a short term positive outcome was not God’s plan for the situation.

We need to keep the big picture in mind when short term outcomes don’t turn out well. The Bible calls this perseverance.

Dear God,

Grant me the grace to accept bad outcomes even when I have done all the right things. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Monday 06.25.18

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38 (New International Version NIV)

Peter addressed these encouraging words to a crowd that had gathered on Pentecost. Some were distressed because they realized that Jesus was in fact the Messiah. But now that Jesus was gone, it seemed too late for them to do anything. Peter proclaimed that Jesus was not gone—he had risen and poured forth his Holy Spirit.

The Scripture tells us not to worry, all is not lost. There’s still time to change your mind and turn around your life. God always longs to reconcile you to Himself.

In what areas of your life do you feel as though all is lost?

What must you do to turn things around? How is God calling you to reconciliation?

Dear God,

You are always there, reaching out to me and calling me to Yourself. Draw me into Your loving embrace and fill me with Your spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Sunday 06.24.18

Dear God,

Sometimes it’s hard to manage my time. There is so much to do. Help me prioritize my activities to align with Your will. Help me to know when to say “no” to requests that would take away from what You want me to do. Help me to always love and care for those lives in my circle of influence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Saturday 06.23.18

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:7-10 (New International Version NIV)

Dear God,

I submit myself to You and ask for strength to resist the devil so that he will flee from me. I want to come near to You and feel your presence. Purify my heart and keep me single-minded. Forgive me for not taking things seriously sometimes. Forgive my sins that grieve and disappoint You. I humble myself before You for You are worthy of all praise, honor and glory. Lift me up to the place You would have me be. Thank You for the joy You have given me. I give You all my love in Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Friday 06.22.18

Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 1 Corinthians 11:11(New International Version NIV)

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:26-29 (New International Version NIV)

We are all one in Christ Jesus. Satan, however, constantly tries to divide us through our differences. One of his most effective means of division has been to divide men and women whether in families or churches. We need to realize that we need each other and commit to placing value on each other. We need to choose to unite around our Savior.

Dear God,

Give me the courage to value and esteem all others as You value me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thursday 06.21.18

He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.'” Luke 11:2-4 (New International Version NIV)

Rather than long, ornate, and lofty prayers, God wants us to speak with Him about the most basic everyday issues of our lives.

Dear God,

Thank You for always being near. Do Your will in my life and use me for Your greater glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

-0-

Wednesday 06.20.18

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. 1 Corinthians 10:26 (New International Version NIV)

When we talk about contributing to the work of God, we must remember that it is all His. He doesn’t need our gifts to do His work. We do however, need to share the blessings He has entrusted to us to be put into useful service to others for God’s greater glory.

Dear God,

Be with me as I seek to be a faithful steward of Your wonderful gifts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Tuesday 06.19.18

“David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. ‘I cannot go in these,’ he said to Saul, ‘because I am not used to them.’ So he took them off.” (1 Samuel 17:39 New International Version NIV)

David, the shepherd boy, heard the challenge from the Philistines to send someone to fight Goliath. No one volunteered to fight except David. King Saul reluctantly agreed and offered David his armor. David put on the unwieldy equipment, but quickly concluded he couldn’t fight in this heavy armor.

God equips each of us in such a way that is unique to our strengths and abilities. David knew who he was and wasn’t. David was trained as a shepherd to use a slingshot. David showed great maturity in realizing he couldn’t be effective with the King’s armor.

God allows each of us to develop skills that are unique to our life. He won’t call you to use someone else’s tools.

Skill alone is not enough. They are only half of the equation. They must be mixed with faith. It is only when the two are combined that God’s power is released and manifested in the physical realm.

Sometimes we admire the talents of others and seek to emulate them. The temptation arises to be someone we’re not. This is a mistake. Let God live His life through the unique you.

Dear God,

Mix the unique talents You have given me with faith, so Your power will be manifested through me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Monday 06.18.18

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20 (New International Version NIV)

A pastor friend of mine told me that a couple within his congregation was having financial trouble and asked me if I would meet with them. We met. I listened to their story for a while and then suggested that we pray.

As we began to pray the wife dissolved into tears. She cried, “I knew that you were going to make us confess our financial indiscretions.” They confessed all sorts of other sins that they had committed. In short, they didn’t have a financial problem – they had a sin problem.

Many Christians are unfamiliar with the concept that prayer is two-way communication with God. Receiving answers to prayer is not just for especially gifted Christians. Hearing from God is for every believer.

Dear God,

When I face challenges in my life, show me the source of the problem. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Sunday 06.17.18

Dear God,

I want to bring my burdens and concerns to You and not keep picking them up and worrying about them. May my life be filled with joy and peace through Your Spirit. May you be the center of my home. May I be more Christlike in my daily life. Forgive me of my sins and guide my steps. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Saturday 06.16.18

Dear God,

I want to bring my burdens and concerns to You and not keep picking them up and worrying about them. May my life be filled with joy and peace through Your Spirit. May you be the center of my home. May I be more Christlike in my daily life. Forgive me of my sins and guide my steps. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Friday 06.15.18

Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue. Proverbs 11:12 (New International Version NIV)

The wise don’t have to prove their wisdom by disrespecting others and putting them down. Instead, they hold their tongues and let their lives speak what is good, honorable, righteous, and true.

Dear God,

Grant me wisdom in the way I use my speech. May it be a blessing to others and a source of praise to you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

-0-

Thursday 06.14.18

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 (New International Version NIV)

“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:23-24 (New International Version NIV)

“I believe, but help my unbelief!” That’s what the father of the boy with convulsions said to Jesus. This must sometimes be our prayer, too. Faith isn’t always perfect or mature. The believers in the book of Hebrews stayed at it; they believed and acted with a relentless assurance that somehow, some way, God would act and deliver. Let’s also stay at it with that kind of faith.

Dear God,

I believe, but help my unbelief. Mature and empower my faith so that my life will be a consistent testimony to Your presence and grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Wednesday 06.13.18

Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25 (New International Version NIV)

Going to church for most folks isn’t very appealing. Doing things as an act of discipline or doing things for others isn’t very popular or seen as something necessary. The Holy Spirit’s message, however, reminds us that we need to go to be with God’s people because they need us to encourage them. I think the Lord would prefer us to think of it as “being” church rather than “going” to church.

Dear God,

Bless the Christians with whom I regularly meet. Bless them through my words, attitude, and influence as we join to honor You and encourage each other. Thank You for giving me people with whom I can share my journey home to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

-0-

Tuesday 06.12.18

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind… Romans 12:2 New International Version (NIV)

Transformation of our communities will only happen if we equip, affirm, and send believers into the community. We won’t see change come through pastors and prayer alone. It will come through those who are in places of power who are also in relationship with pastors and intercessors.

How might God use you to impact your community?

-0-

Monday 06.11.18

Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. Colossians 4:12 (New International Version NIV)

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him… 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:17, 24 (New International Version NIV)

Many of us have been entrenched in the “secular versus sacred” model for so long that it can be difficult for us to view our work as a ministry. Scripture tells us that we are to glorify God in all that we do. Having people pray for us to fulfill our purpose and calling is consistent with the will of God for every individual.

While the idea of having people intercede in prayer for us may be a new concept to you, we need to remember the examples we find in the New Testament of believers praying for one another such as Epaphras in the scripture above.
Is prayer a regular part of your time with God? Are you in relationship with others who are praying for you?

-0-

Sunday 06.10.18

Dear God,

Thank You for the privilege of being able to commune with You through prayer. Thank You for speaking to me through Your Word and teaching me through life’s circumstances. Thank You for the beautiful birds that sing, for the sun that shines, for the rain that replenishes the earth. Reveal Your power, love, and presence to unbelievers in a mighty way; that they would know that You are God. With love and happiness that comes from the peace You give, Amen.

-0-

Saturday 06.09.18

Dear God,

Your Word tells me to cast my cares upon You. I don’t want to be a worrier, but one whose faith is strong to trust You. I want to bring those burdens and concerns to you, and not keep picking them up and worrying about them. May my life be filled with joy and peace through Your Spirit. May You be the center and the heart of my home. May I be more like Jesus and less like the world. Help me, have mercy upon me, dear God. Forgive me of my sins and guide my steps. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Friday 06.08.18

Having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 2 Timothy 3:5 (New International Version NIV)

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Galatians 5:18 New International Version (NIV)

The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade.13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. Acts 5:12-14 (New International Version NIV)

This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, 24 but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 9:23-24 (New International Version NIV)

God never called us to live by Christian principles. He calls us to live in relationship with Him. One of the weaknesses of the Church today is that many teach people principles without the relationship.

The western church is big on ten step programs, “how-to” methods and “formulas”. While there is a place for establishing principles to change negative behavior, we are not called to have a relationship with principles, but a living God.

Living by principles is rooted in a system of learning and is dependent upon our strength instead of being led and empowered by the Holy Spirit. This makes our Christian experience a religion instead of a relationship.

We read about principle-based followers in the book of Acts. “The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people”. Yet there was a group of followers who liked being taught but never entered the game.
The prophet Jeremiah tells us about the nature of God and His desire for every believer. Have you been guilty of living a life based on principles instead of knowing the One who authored the principles?

Dear God,

Be Lord over my life. Keep me focused to spend time with You every day. By the power of Your Holy Spirit lead and guide me through every moment of my day.

-0-

Thursday 06.07.18

“While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there” Acts 17:16-17 (New International Version NIV)

Paul was burdened for Athens when he saw all the idols in the city. He began a strategy to transform his city by “reasoning” in both the synagogue and the marketplace every day.

To transform a neighborhood, city or nation, it must take place in two areas; the “marketplace” and the local church.

We can transform cities across this nation through Holy Spirit-led collaborative coalitions made up of the body of Christ (Church), intercessors and the marketplace. This is God’s plan to rid our cities of idols and to restore His spiritual foundations.

If we follow God’s will, we will begin to see the idols in our cities removed. Why not start with yours?

Dear God,

Here I am Lord. Equip and send me to those in the Church and marketplace to encourage Godly roles in business, government, education, media and the arts. Raise up Godly “marketplace” leaders who will lead with a biblical worldview. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Wednesday 06.06.18

“Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you” … Exodus 31:14 (New International Version NIV)

Chick-fil-A is a business that has a Christian testimony without ever saying a word.

The company’s stated corporate purpose is “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us, and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.” This company is a notable example of a business that is modeling Christian values and producing a quality product in the competitive fast-food industry.

One of the defining distinctions of Chick-fil-A is that the restaurants are not open on Sundays. From the time Truett Cathy, the company’s founder, started in the restaurant business in 1946, he believed that God wanted him to honor the Sabbath by keeping the stores closed on Sundays. (Though the Biblical sabbath is Friday sundown to Saturday sundown, most Christians celebrate Sunday as a day of worship and as “Sabbath”). Although Cathy was challenged on this idea many times by shopping mall operators, he always held that “we will have more sales in six days than those who are open for seven.” This has proven to be true, and today it is no longer an issue to fulfill the malls’ requirement to remain open on Sunday.

At a Chick-fil-A restaurant, you can tell something is different about the people and the atmosphere. Although the employees don’t wear their faith on their sleeve, the fruit of the company is known by many; especially the many young restaurant employees who receive educational scholarships each year. The company also focuses on character-building programs for kids, foster homes, and other community services.

Dear God,

Thank You for Your servants who are willing to take a public stand in the business and workforce environment. Lord grant me the grace to do likewise. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Tuesday 06.05.18

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (New International Version NIV)

If you’ve ever been through a major crisis, you know what a desert experience feels like. While you are in the pit of adversity, you feel that your world is collapsing, that your life is out of control and that God is silent. The silence is deafening. You feel isolated and alone. You question God’s love, His care for you, and even His existence.

Although you didn’t know it at the time, your fears were unfounded. Even when it seems that God is distant and silent, He is still there, firm and reliable. In your desert experience, God is teaching you to go deeper into your relationship with Him. You may think that your life is out of control, but, God still protects you from the forces that surround you.

-0-

Monday 06.04.18

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. Matthew 22:37-38 (New International Version NIV)

Jesus’ response to the Pharisee leaves no room for doubt. We are called to surrender our heart, soul, and mind to God. It is the greatest and the first commandment because it asks everything. Discipleship is not for the half-hearted. To follow Jesus is to grow continually in a deep love relationship with God. As in any relationship, as we grow closer to the one we love, we gradually take on the person’s characteristics. Our intentional living of the first commandment offers us the chance to draw near to the mind and heart of God and to share the fruit of our relationship with the world.

Dear God,

Reveal anything that keeps me from loving You with all my heart, soul, and mind. Help me to surrender myself more fully to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Sunday 06.03.18

Dear God,

I know You sometimes allow pressures in my life to bring attention to an issue You want me to take care of. Father reveal to me anything that stands in the way of fellowship between You and me. I want to turn from any wrongdoing, and do the right thing no matter what. Thank You for all You do, and for the fellowship we share through prayer. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Saturday 06.02.18

Dear God,

You have done so much for me. I have witnessed Your hand of blessing, your miraculous power in my life and the lives of those I love, and You keep blessing me. Forgive me for everything I’ve done, said or thought that was not pleasing to You. Keep me, my family, and my church family safe from all danger and harm. Help me to maintain a Christ-focused attitude. Clear my mind of distractions so that I can hear You and obey You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Friday 06.01.18

They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 11:9 (New International Version NIV)

What a glorious day of blessing that will be. We will know God personally. We will sing a song of joy because we know God. Let’s anticipate that day and join our hearts together in pursuit of God. Don’t settle for merely a factual knowledge about God. Come to really know Him by sharing in His work, by sharing in His character, and seeking His presence in your life.

Dear God,

Be near to me. Make me aware of Your presence no matter what today brings. I want You to be my eternal Shepherd and the one whom I know as my Redeemer, Savior, and Friend. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Thursday 05.31.18

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 (New International Version NIV)

As humans, we are often quick to quibble over things we feel are important to us when others don’t share our enthusiasm. This problem is often more a sign of insecurity than it is a mark of sincerity. We are to do what we do based on our commitment to honor the Lord, not because others do it or approve of it. At the same time, we need to be careful about judging others for what they do or do not celebrate, eat, or drink.

Dear God,

Forgive my foolishness and silliness. I get so worked up over meaningless things and lose my focus on the matters and people that are important to You. May all I do be done as a conscious decision to honor and respect You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Wednesday 05.30.18

Discipline me, Lord, but only in due measure—not in your anger, or you will reduce me to nothing. Jeremiah 10:24 (New International Version NIV)

I love a request that a good friend regularly makes of the Lord: “Humble me gently, Father.” Transformation is challenging work and requires even more patience on God’s part than it does on our part. We thank God for His grace which lets us admit our sin and yet still come into His holy and awesome presence. Thankfully He doesn’t treat us as we deserve, but as we need.

Dear God,

I sin. I don’t like it that I do, but I still find myself succumbing to some of my long-standing weaknesses. Please correct me and put me on the path of righteousness. Even more than wanting to please You, I want to honor You. Rid my heart of duplicity, deceit, and spiritual weakness. Nurture me in holiness. Change me to be more like Christ the Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

-0-

Tuesday 05.29.18

The angel of the Lord gave this charge to Joshua: 7 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in obedience to me and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here’.” Zechariah 3:6-7 (New International Version NIV)

George Washington said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” In His Prayer at Valley Forge, he prayed “Almighty and eternal Lord God, the great Creator of heaven and earth, and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; look down from heaven in pity and compassion upon me Thy servant, who humbly prostrates myself before Thee.”

On another occasion he said, “To the distinguished character of a patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of a Christian.”

America was founded as a Christian nation. The founding fathers had a deep faith. Today, there is a movement designed to remove God from our history and our foundations. When we do this, America will no longer be good. And when America ceases to be good, we will cease to be great.

Dear God,

I pray that this generation might acknowledge and embrace their Godly heritage and that You will raise up leaders who lead from a Godly foundation.

Monday 05.28.18

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother – which is the first commandment with a promise – that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3 (New International Version NIV)

One of the great tragedies of today’s society is the minimizing of the work performed daily by a stay-at-home parent. Men and women who decide to stay home to raise their kids are a rare breed. They must overcome the stigma of comparison to others who pursue careers outside the home. They fail to get the feelings of accomplishment that can come from a career. They are the unseen missionaries of our day. There will be a special reward for these selfless servants.

Ida Stover met David Eisenhower in college and they were subsequently married. She was known as a firm but gentle disciplinarian and was deeply religious. As a pacifist, she wasn’t in favor of her son attending West Point but decided to let him go. She was the mother of Dwight David Eisenhower, one of the greatest Generals and U.S. presidents.

Mary Litogot grew up on a farm, and met her future husband, William Ford, when he came to work on their farm. Mary was self-sufficient and a diligent worker. She encouraged her son’s interest in machines early on. He later said, “I have tried to live my life as my mother would have wished. I believe I have done, as far as I could, just what she hoped for me.” She was the mother of Henry Ford.

Without the commitment of a stay-at-home parent we wouldn’t have some of our greatest leaders. “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother”. Abraham Lincoln.

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Sunday 05.27.18

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24 (New International Version NIV)

Dear God,

Show me the areas in my life that haven’t come under the lordship of Christ and would prevent me from being used fully by You. Lead me in Your everlasting way. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Saturday 05.26.18

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31-32 (New International Version NIV)

Dear God,

Thank You for Your many blessings. Thank You for my family. Thank You for Your encouraging touches and miracles during pain and suffering. Thank You for teaching me through life’s circumstances and for giving me strength to endure the journey. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Friday 05.25.18

Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess… Deuteronomy 11:8 (New International Version NIV)

God’s desire that we obey His will is not arbitrary, impulsive, or demanding. He wants us to reflect His character, find His blessings, and receive His strength. Let’s not look at obedience as something we must do, but as a blessing we get to discover.

Dear God,

Thank You for revealing Your will and calling me to obey it. I know Your desire is to share Your blessings with me and bring me into Your eternal presence. In Jesus’ name I thank You. Amen.

-0-

Thursday 05.24.18

The righteous will never be uprooted from their true homeland for no one and no power can steal it, corrupt it, destroy it, or take it away. Proverbs 10:30 (New International Version NIV)

Dear God,

Thank You for declaring me righteous by the atoning death of Jesus. Transform me more each day to be righteous in all I say, think, and do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Wednesday 05.23.18

23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 New International Version (NIV)

Freedom in Christ is greater than any other kind of freedom. God entrusts it to us to use it wisely for the good of others.

Dear God,

Thank You for the many gifts and spiritual freedom You have given me. Empower me to use it to bless others and build them up, rather than bringing glory to myself. Help me see others as the place of Your work in the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Tuesday 05.22.18

“Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-who is forever praised. Amen” Romans 1:24-25 New International Version (NIV)

The boiling frog is a fable describing a frog being slowly boiled alive. The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it won’t perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. The story is often used as a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of threats that arise gradually.

Our nation is suffering from the “boiled frog syndrome” analogy. Decisions that seem innocent enough later deeply impact us. Whether the issue is abortion, euthanasia, or simply a lack of spiritual influence over society, the changes seem logical to the unregenerate mind but reveal the moral compass of the nation has been removed.

Sadly, church attendance is rapidly declining. More and more believers are seeing the local church as irrelevant to the world they live in and believe they are not being taught how to apply the Bible to the complex world of work where they spend 60-70% of their time. It is not a question of them being taught the Bible; it is a question of making it relevant to their world.

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Monday 05.21.18

“Noah did everything just as God commanded him” Genesis 6:22 (New International Version NIV)

9 This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. 10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. Genesis 6:9-10 (New International Version NIV)

17 This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. Isaiah 48:17 (New International Version NIV)

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5 (New International Version NIV)

When God chooses to do something on the earth He uses people to accomplish it. It is a partnership that is very one sided. God got the worst part of the deal.

God got to a very bad place with the human race. He decided to start over. He was going to wipe out the entire population and begin afresh. God placed His entire plan around one man. The Bible says Noah did everything just as God commanded him. He didn’t argue with God. He didn’t take short cuts. He listened, and he obeyed.

When it came time to execute God’s plan, God told Noah how to build a boat. He gave him the dimensions; the height, width, space requirements – everything he needed to complete the task.

God will instruct us in performing our work too. He has given us the tools, the creativity, and the drive to accomplish what He placed us on earth to do. That partnership requires us to listen and obey.

Dear God,

Grant me Your wisdom and understanding to succeed in Your call. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Sunday 05.20.18

26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 1 Corinthians 1:26-27 New International Version NIV)

17 This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. Isaiah 48:17 (New International Version NIV)

God is raising up believers who are experiencing the power of God in their daily life and how the spiritual impacts the physical. Because of their obedience God is giving them victories in very unusual ways.

When is the last time you allowed God to give you a strategy to be successful in your life’s call and bring glory to His name? This is His desire for you.
If you pray regularly, irregular things will happen on a regular basis.

-0-

Saturday 05.19.18

58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58 (New International Version NIV)

Dear God,

In the days I have left on this earth give me the strength to stand firm. Let nothing move me from the purpose You have for me. Give me the desire to always give myself fully to Your work, and remind me that my labor is not in vain. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Friday 05.18.18

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6 (New International Version NIV)

Some folks serve God out of fear, a sense of obligation or perhaps because their parents did. How about because of your faith in what God has done and will do for you?

I believe that God sent Jesus to die for my sins so I could be forgiven, cleansed, and adopted as His child and share in His presence forever. God longs to share His blessings and reward those who believe in His love and grace.

Dear God,

Thank You for my faith and all those who helped me come to know You and Your grace. Bless me as I seek to share this faith with my family and friends. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Thursday 05.17.18

How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? Hebrews 10:29 (New International Version NIV)

God’s saving grace and the sacrificial death of Jesus is incredible. But to reject it, to reject Jesus and all that He did to bring it, is to court disaster and reject any source of true grace.

Dear God,

Thank You for Your gift of grace. Empower me with the ability to share it so others can know Your salvation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Wednesday 05.16.18

27 But some scoundrels said, “How can this fellow save us?” They despised him and brought him no gifts. But Saul kept silent. 1 Samuel 10:27 (New International Version NIV)

Some folks didn’t want Saul to serve them as King because of his simple background and non-aristocratic family history. We tend to do the same thing today. We label people and discount their ability to lead or serve because of their heritage or past. God, however, doesn’t look at a person’s pedigree. He searches the heart. If you choose to serve in God’s Kingdom, stick close to the Lord, because you will be criticized. Don’t react to every little criticism; instead, devote yourself to serving the Lord boldly.

Dear God,

Forgive me when I doubt Your selection of leaders. Grant our congregation the ability to discern who Your leaders are in our midst. Give them courage to lead unselfishly and faithfully. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Tuesday 05.15.18

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (New International Version NIV)

How much time do you spend every day “leaning on your own understanding”? How far are you going into your day before you ask God what He has for you that day? When you start your day acknowledging God, you can hear more clearly what He has for you. Try starting each day acknowledging your Father and then notice if your path doesn’t become clearer.

-0-

Monday 05.14.18

God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good…

Genesis 1:31 (New International Version NIV)

The first chapter of Genesis describes how God created light from darkness, brought order out of chaos, separated the land from water, and created the human family. God looked at all He had made and found it very good. God’s love surrounds us today with the same intensity as it did on that very first day of Creation.

Dear God,

Help me be a person who reflects Your goodness, especially to those who are most in need of a sign of Your love and kindness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Sunday 05.13.18

Dear God,

It’s hard to fight the battles in life. However, it is in the midst of battles that we learn to be truly effective warriors. Likewise, during living, let me learn to be an effective Christian. Guide and direct me. Give me wisdom and strength for the day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Saturday 05.12.18

Dear God,

Bless those who are weary in their labors. Give them strength, encouragement, peace, motivation, wisdom, guidance, and rest. Provide for their every need. Answer the desires of their hearts. Restore their exhausted minds and bodies. Invigorate their spirits. Give them the grace to trust Your ever-present help. Help those who suffer from unbelief, that they will believe as they see Your love and power at work in their lives. Bless those who love You. Thank You in the name of Jesus, who promised to give rest to those who are weary and heavy-laden, amen.

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Friday 05.11.18

22 For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own. 1 Samuel 12:22 (New International Version NIV)

God won’t be unfaithful. He will act to show His character and honor even when His people don’t deserve His grace. God loves and preserves us by His grace, love, and faithfulness.

Dear God,

Your grace sustains me even when evil tries to use my own failures to make me doubt Your love for me. Thank You for triumphing over my unworthiness and giving me righteousness so that I will be fit for Your kingdom and glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-o-

Thursday 05.10.18

21 Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21(New International Version NIV)

One of my mentors used to remind me that the number one goal in dealing with difficult people or circumstances is this: Don’t become what you hate. He wasn’t talking about hating the person, but despising their evil, wicked, petty, and sinful actions and motivations. We don’t overcome the evil with underhanded and dishonorable means. We overcome evil by doing what is right and filling our hearts and lives with goodness.

Dear God,

Bless me with the character to resist those who are critical, cynical, and vengeful toward me. Help me respond in a way that reflects the character and Lordship of Christ. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

-0-

Wednesday 05.09.18

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15 (New International Version NIV)

While misery may love company, grief tends to make us withdraw and hide. Let’s remember those who have lost loved ones Let them know how you valued their loved one and miss him or her, too. Keep these folks in your prayers and in your social plans, as well.

Dear God,

Give me eyes to see and a heart to offer loving care to those around me who are grieving. Make me a blessing to those in sorrow. Grant me the grace to encourage and support the joy of those who are rejoicing around me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Tuesday 05.08.18

26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 1 Corinthians 1:26-27 New International Version NIV)

17 This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. Isaiah 48:17 (New International Version NIV)

God is raising up believers who are experiencing the power of God in their daily life and how the spiritual impacts the physical. Because of their obedience God is giving them victories in very unusual ways.

When is the last time you allowed God to give you a strategy to be successful in your life’s call and bring glory to His name? This is His desire for you.
If you pray regularly, irregular things will happen on a regular basis

-0-

Monday 05.07.18

6 The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. 1 Samuel 10:6 (New International Version NIV)

22 So they inquired further of the Lord, “Has the man come here yet?” And the Lord said, “Yes, he has hidden himself among the supplies.” 1 Samuel 10:22 (New International Version NIV)

If you want to experience something you’ve never done, you must do something you’ve never done. You can’t go with God and stay where you are.

God often must radically change us if we are going to fulfill His purposes. Saul was about to be anointed by Samuel as the first king of Israel. Samuel told Saul that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon him in power; he would prophesy and be changed into a different person. Up to this point, Saul had never prophesied or led a group of people. He had also never had to be accountable to a prophet and to God for his every action.

Saul took a leap of faith right away and prophesied with the prophets just as Samuel said he would. How exciting that must have been. Yet, when Samuel called the entire nation of Israel together to announce him as Israel’s first king in history, Saul was nowhere to be found. This part of the story is humorous. When they call Saul’s name, he doesn’t come forward. He has hidden himself among the supplies.

The story of King Saul should be an encouragement to us all. God continues to pick the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. Your greatest setback can be thinking that there’s no way that God can use you. However, the reality is that He can and will, if we respond to the unfamiliar places He takes us.

-0-

Sunday 05.06.18

Dear God,

Protect and bless our Christian leaders. Grant them wisdom and guidance and surround them with Your angels for their tasks are difficult. Block Evil’s attempts to harm them or sidetrack them. Help them stay focused on the tasks and the missions to which You have called them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Saturday 05.05.18

Dear God,

Calm my spirit today. Forgive me of gossip or worry about the people and circumstances that surround me. Replace anger with peace. Keep me focused on Jesus. Help me to focus on what I need to accomplish today, and what You want me to do. Put away all wrong thoughts and keep me from wrong actions. I want to be a steady, stable, godly person who is a pleasure to be around and a loving witness of Your mercy and glory. May I be an instrument that produces a sweet, soothing sound, uplifting spirits and pleasing the Master Conductor. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Friday 05.04.18

20 “Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 1 Samuel 12:20 (New International Version NIV)

Israel wanted a King. This crushed Samuel’s heart and angered God with the people’s lack of faith. Samuel, however, reminds them that while they have stumbled and fallen, they must not abandon the Lord himself. Instead, their political concerns must give way to their total allegiance to God and their willingness to serve him fully.

Dear God,

Forgive me for the sinfulness, short-sightedness, and silliness that I have, at times, shown. I want to serve You with my all of my heart, cleansed by Your forgiveness and the transforming power of Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thursday 05.03.18

19 Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. Proverbs 12:19 (New International Version NIV)

Speaker of the House, Sam Rayburn said “Tell the truth the first time, then you won’t have to remember what you said.” This truism is good advice. Telling a lie seems gratifying at the time, but it nearly always catches up with us and gives us the added burden of trying to remember what we said and why. Truth endures; a lie is a momentary illusion that ends up a trap filled with burdens.

Dear God,

Forgive me for lying, exaggerating, and withholding the truth when it is needed. I want my heart and my lips to be invested in forever. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

-0-

Wednesday 05.02.18

14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 1 Corinthians 12:14 (New International Version NIV)

The human body is an amazing collection of parts, vital organs, systems, and interdependent structures. When the body is healthy and these different elements of the body work in concert with one another, the human body can do amazing things. The same is true with the Body of Christ. If we do our part and offer it for the good of the whole, Christ can do amazing things through us.

Dear God,

Help me know my place in the Body of Christ so that I can serve faithfully and productively and bring glory to the Lord and his Body. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Tuesday 05.01.18

17 So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah. 18 She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough. Ruth 2:17-18 (New International Version NIV)

The story of Ruth provides an excellent illustration of the connection between spending time in the presence of God and receiving physical provision. Naomi was married to Elimelech. They had two married sons. Elimelech died and ten years later both sons also died. Ruth was married to one of the sons.

The other daughter-in-law moved back to her family, but Ruth, despite Naomi’s encouragement, insisted on staying with Naomi. The only way for the family line to continue would have been for Ruth to marry another son or direct relative. Now, through a custom known as the kinsman redeemer, Ruth could be married to a relative in the family line. Times were tough, and most people made a living by farming. Naomi had a relative named Boaz who was a prominent land owner and farmer. She sent Ruth to glean in the fields of Boaz all day in hopes of picking up excess grain left behind by the harvesters.

Ruth stayed in the fields all day and yielded just one ephah of grain. It is a picture of sweat and toil for very little return. However, something happens later in the story. Naomi realized the only way Ruth was going to have any kind of future is if a kinsman redeemer came to her rescue. She instructed Ruth to go to the threshing floor where Boaz would be and to quietly sit at the feet of Boaz all night. This would be a sign of submitting her life to Boaz. He would have to exercise his right to be her kinsmen redeemer.
Later, Boaz sends Ruth home and takes the necessary steps to become her redeemer. But before he sends her home, he gives her six ephahs of barley – six times what she got spending all day in the fields.

If we are going to succeed in fulfilling God’s destiny for our lives, we must have a life of intimate worship and devotion to Jesus. Why not start spending more time at the feet of Jesus.

Monday 04.30.18

15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15 (New International Version NIV)

Living a balanced life is evidence of a Spirit-led life. People work long hours for many reasons which can lead to significant problems in our lives.

One reason people over work is that they often think they must work longer hours to keep up with their workload. This is often the surface reason people give to the question of working long hours. Like any compulsive behavior, there is usually something beneath this behavior. As a recovering workaholic myself, I can tell you the root of overworking is often a fear of loss and a need for self-acceptance created by performance.

The fear of loss issue can be a fear of what will happen if we don’t work long hours. A fear that there may not be enough money or an inaccurate view of what is enough makes us drive ourselves to greater levels of achievement, believing a financial reward will insure us against potential financial disaster. This usually operates at a subconscious level. When one operates at this level you often find those around them will feel shamed if they don’t work at the same level and can be intimidated by the unspoken or spoken directive that long hours are required. This leads to a whole new set of problems.

A second reason people work long hours is their need to gain self-acceptance and esteem from their jobs. It is rewarding to see something come from our efforts. However, when we begin to be driven to work, it becomes an unhealthy condition. We are looking to gain self-esteem needs from our performance instead of being secure in our position in Christ.

To avoid work becoming an idol and a compulsive behavior, we must maintain a balance that provides time to spend quality time with the Lord, our families and fellow believers. Sometimes the greatest exercise of faith is to work only forty hours a week. This insures that the outcome of our work is dependent upon God, nor our self-effort.

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Sunday 04.29.18

Dear God,

It’s hard it is to see Your children hurting when they don’t communicate with You and one another, when they are self-centered, out of Your will, and following the wrong paths. They get too busy to nourish the important relationships in their lives. I pray for husbands and wives who have grown apart or are on the verge of divorce, for children who are rebellious, for parents who are too busy and for those who are bitter or hurt. Touch their hearts and minds and show them the way. Expose the root of the problem through the Holy Spirit and through Your Word. Turn around those lives that are headed the wrong direction. And God, for the families that are doing well, protect them from the evil one; surround them with Your angels; and keep them under Your wings of love and guidance. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Saturday 04.28.18

Dear God,

I pray for Christian men: that husbands will love their wives as Christ loved the church; that fathers will patiently nurture their children; that men will answer Your call to serve in the church, home, and community; that You will help men to find the careers You want for them and to exercise the gifts and abilities You have given them. Help them to manage their money well for You and to give to Your work and take care of their responsibilities. I pray for men in leadership positions, that You will give them a servant’s heart and eyes to see and think like Jesus. Encourage men to stand strong for what is right and bless them when they do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Friday 04.27.18

18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 1 Corinthians 12:18-20 (New International Version NIV)

10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?

13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Luke 16:10-13 (New International Version NIV)

14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things .Come and share your master’s happiness!’

24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Matthew 25:14-30 (New International Version NIV)

7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7-8 (New International Version NIV)

The Apostle Paul reminds us that God assigns our roles in the Body of Christ. Several principles interact with God’s choice. First, be faithful in what God has given you to do. Until we are faithful with little things, He will not entrust us with big ones. Second, if we don’t use what He has given us, it will be taken away. Third, we reap what we sow. Irresponsible behavior can create consequences that limit the effectiveness of our service. We need to be faithful with what God has given us, let’s serve Him when given new opportunities, and let’s honor Him with our choices so that Evil can’t use our failure to interfere with our service.

Dear God,

Help me see my opportunities to serve in Your Kingdom. Grow my effectiveness in Your service so that I can bring You glory and be a blessing to the Body of Christ. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Thursday 04.26.18

13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 1 Corinthians 12:13 (New International Version NIV)

In God’s family, the Holy Spirit makes us one. The Spirit is not only God’s presence and power in us, but the Spirit is also God’s spiritual DNA that connects us to each other and to Him. This spiritual bond transcends human family, race, nationality, gender, and any other human barrier. The Spirit’s presence ensures that we are God’s children and function as Jesus’ Body here on earth.

Dear God,

Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Thank You for making my body a place that is a holy dwelling place for Your presence. May the Holy Spirit continue to work in my heart to tear down any wall of prejudice that may exist toward any of my brothers and sisters in Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Wednesday 04.25.18

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12 (New International Version NIV)

Living according to rules and regulations and by our own human efforts is a trap set by a spirit of religiosity that we can all fall into. The religious spirit discourages a genuine love of God and will thwart the activity of God under the banner of religious righteousness and dogma. It also motivates believers to live out their faith in legalistic and rigid ways.

This often causes believers to compartmentalize faith activities to their local church alone and discount the idea that Christianity could transform their community, city, or nation as “overzealous,” “naïve” or even doctrinally wrong.

Beware of this when trying to encourage faith in your life. Remember, Stephen was the first martyr in the early church at the hands of religious leaders. You will find your greatest resistance often comes from those in the religious community.

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Tuesday 04.24.18

So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant” Joshua 24:13 (New International Version NIV)

God called the people of Israel to leave Egypt and come out of slavery in order to enter their own Promised Land. It meant they had to change the only way of life they had known. Instead of being told what to do by a taskmaster, they were now being led by God into the desert with the ultimate goal of entering the Promised Land.

Every believer has a Promised Land. It’s the place where you receive all God intended for you to receive. However, many of us are still living in Egypt where we sweat and toil in response to the taskmaster of our work and lifestyle of busyness.
You will know when you are beginning to experience your Promised Land when you experience God’s rest while simultaneously fulfilling your life’s call. You will begin to receive things you never built or planted. Things become easier because we are receiving them as a fruit of our call instead of a goal.

I began to experience this new way of living as I began to be obedient to doing things based on His direction versus my perceived outcome. Provision began to follow obedience. Projects began to get done. God brought the people to me to get things done. There was no longer a tendency to manipulate outcomes that I wanted to have happen. God was giving me my Promised Land as I yielded to Him.

Are you living in your Promised Land?

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Monday 04.23.18

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17 New International Version (NIV)

20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21 New International Version (NIV)

Evil always defines your life based on your past; God defines you by your future.
“You’re never going to change!” “You always do that!” Perhaps you’ve heard these words or something similar. Words can define us if we let them. Failure can motivate change or sends us into self-sabotage and shame.

The cross paid the price for that. Have you accepted the payment on your behalf?
Allowing others to define who we are is contrary to who God’s word. It allows a spirit of rejection and shame to define us.

When we come to know Christ our spirit is reconciled to Him. However, our soul requires regeneration. This is a long-term process. The Bible calls it sanctification. It is God’s responsibility to guide our maturity process as we yield ourselves to Him.

The next time someone tries to define you based on your past, remind them you are “becoming” a new creation. No one is righteous enough to judge another. Accept God’s process in yourself and in others. Judge not lest you be judged.

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Sunday 04.22.18

Dear God,

Here I am to worship You. Here I am to declare that You are my God and lift up Your name. I praise You above all things in heaven and earth. You are the Almighty, all-powerful and all-knowing God. Hold me in Your hand and watch over me. Thank You for Your love and protection and Your tender mercies. Thank you for reminding me of who You are and who I am. Without You, I am nothing. With You, I am forgiven, blessed, and victorious. Through Christ Jesus, I am made righteous. Thank You for saving my soul and carrying me through this life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Saturday 04.21.18

3 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

James 3 (New International Version NIV)

The Book of James tells us all about the tongue. It’s so small but can do so much harm. I can speak words that bless and words that curse. A few words can uplift, encourage, and do positive things in a person’s life and a few words can also put down, discourage, and ruin a person’s life.

Dear God,

Forgive me of allowing words to leave my mouth that harm others and dishonor You. Grant me the grace to keep my words honest and positive; that they will inspire and challenge others to greatness. Show me who You want me to encourage through my words. Help me to affirm someone close to me today, that they will be blessed, and You will be glorified. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Friday 04.20.18

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:17-18 (New International Version NIV)

Jesus lived to make a difference in the lives of others. His goal wasn’t getting even, getting what was rightfully His, or even winning the arguments. His focus was to interact with people and to leave them more blessed than where He found them.

Dear God,

Forgive me for the grudges I’ve harbored and the evil things I’ve thought about others. Help me to see and to value them as Jesus does. In His name I pray. Amen.

-0-

Thursday 04.19.18

12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 New International Version (NIV)

We can keep our circumstances from determining our mood; emancipate ourselves from the limitations that life deals us; rejoice in hope and be patient in affliction if we are faithful in prayer. No matter what our situation, we can pray with joy because of our hope in Christ. We can remain patient and persevering through affliction by presenting our requests and intercessions to God with thanksgiving.

Prayer is God’s gift to us so that we can be patient and joyful, even when things don’t appear to be going well.

Dear God,

Thank You that no matter what struggles I face, You assure me of ultimate victory. No matter the hardship or burden, I know You will help me through it and bring me to Your presence with boundless joy. Until that day of ultimate victorious joy, please deliver me from discouragement by the power of Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Wednesday 04.18.18

9 Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the fighting men draw near and attack. 10 Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say “I am strong!” Joel 3:9-10 (New International Version NIV)

God is assembling an army of believers who are willing to profess their faith in the workplace. This segment of society has been largely silent, yet it has the greatest potential for societal transformation.

God’s people will begin to see their vocations as instruments to defeat the forces of evil and usher in the Kingdom of God.

God has called you to transform your view of yourself and your work. He desires to use you and your work life to impact your community. Are you ready to beat your plowshare into a sword and your pruning hook into a spear?

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Tuesday 04.17.18

13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. Acts 16:13-14 New International Version (NIV)

Paul encountered a business woman named Lydia. Some believe she was Paul’s first known convert. I find it interesting that his first known convert was a woman and an entrepreneur.

This encounter with Lydia and her women associates ultimately opened the way for ministry in that region. God often worked in and through women in the early church. Lydia was an influential businesswoman, and the gospel was affecting all strata of society, just as it does today.

Lydia was a dealer of cloth mainly used by members of the royal families and Roman senators who were required to have a purple band around the edge of their togas, or robes. Purple cloth was both valuable and expensive in the culture of the first century. It was often worn as a sign of nobility or royalty. Lydia’s ministry would be to the upper-class business community.

Lydia’s heart was like the good soil in the parable of the sower. When she heard the word of God, she received it with joy and obeyed the words of the apostle.

Dear God,

Who are the “Lydias” You have placed in my circle of influence? Like Paul, make me an instrument to bring the Gospel to influential women. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Monday 04.16.18

4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 New International Version NIV)

Dear God,

Grant me the grace to be obedient and dependent upon You and give You all the praise and glory, so that You will demonstrate Your power that all people may know of Your mighty acts and the splendor of Your Kingdom. My desire is to be able to say, with the Apostle Paul, “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power”. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Sunday 04.15.18

Dear God,

Thank You for this day and for meeting my needs. Increase my faith to be as constant as Your love for me. Strengthen my spirit through Your Holy Spirit. May I be a faithful witness for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Saturday 04.14.18

Dear God,

Grant me the grace to love other people the way You want me to. Prepare me so that I respond in righteousness when attacks come from those who would act under an unholy power. Help me to be a vessel of honor to You and a light in the darkness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Friday 04.13.18

16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Romans 12:16 (New International Version NIV)

For most of us “Don’t be conceited” is a command for someone else. I’ve never met someone who felt they were conceited. But, when we’re looking for someone with whom we want to associate, we seldom look for someone ignored by the crowd, forgotten by the pretty people, and easily overlooked by others. We want to “hang out” with those who are important, who are superstars, or at least who carry some clout. We believe we deserve to be noticed and valued, too. On second thought, perhaps that’s where the commands in this verse come from.

Dear God,

Thank You for making and designing me in Your image to bring You glory. Help me to not be proud and conceited. Give me the grace to see those with whom You want me to associate. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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Thursday 04.12.18

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Romans 12:11 (New International Version NIV)

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:15-16 (New International Version NIV)

Jesus made it clear that God wants us to be passionate about our Christian life.

Dear God,

I confess that I haven’t been on fire for You as often as I would have liked. Kindle in me a renewed zeal and passion for You and Your work in the world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

-0-

Wednesday 04.11.18

29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Matthew 14:29-30 (New International Version NIV)

19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19 (New International Version NIV)

There is always a risk when we attempt something never done before. Naysayers seem to come out of the wood work. Sometimes we fail the first time out.

Success is the continuous journey towards the achievement of predetermined worthwhile goals. Winston Churchill said, ” Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Everybody fails. It’s part of the process that leads us to maturity and success. Successful people don’t think of failures as defeats. They think of them as lessons.

If you hope to succeed, learn everything you can from your failures. Failure is usually a far better teacher than success if we are willing to learn.

God never gets mired in our failures. He is constantly viewing our lives with future success in mind.

Don’t let past failures keep you from future successes.

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Tuesday 04.10.18

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:7-9 ( New International Version NIV)

Whenever something unusual happens in our daily life, it is often an indication that God is up to something. We need to have a heightened sense of awareness of what God may want to do in these situations.

God wants to move into our lives supernaturally by giving us insights into the needs of people for His greater glory.

Jesus often spoke supernaturally into the lives of others based on the circumstance of the moment. He often spoke of their current condition in life and invited them to make a change.

The next time an unusual situation develops, be aware that God may be creating such a circumstance to bring His glory into the situation.

Dear God,

As I go about my day, help me to recognize the situations that are open doors for bringing Christ into the circumstance and the grace to realize that You are the one orchestrating the circumstance. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Monday 04.09.18

18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18 New International Version (NIV)

24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. Romans 8:24-25 (New International Version NIV)

We often tend to place our hope in things we can make happen: (Like: If I practice diligently, I can learn and master the guitar, or I can make a relationship work if I work at it) That’s not hope, it’s worldly optimism.

Optimism can be defined as being confident of the future or success of something. Hope is a feeling that something wanted might happen.

Unlike optimism, which is a belief that things will be positive, hope is an ability to strive for excellence in the face of obstacles.

If the world waters our greedy hopes everyday by bombarding us with ads, shouldn’t we intentionally water a real seed of hope?

Where in your life could you use more hope?

Dear God,

Teach me to plant righteous seeds of hope in Jesus and His Kingdom and not greedy worldly ones. Teach me to nurture and water them and let them take root. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Sunday 04.08.18

26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. John 12:26 (New International Version NIV)

We can’t out-serve, out-love, or out-give Jesus. He longs to bless us by pouring out heaven’s riches and grace upon us. Even more incredibly, He longs to honor us. When our lives are over, The God of the universe will honor all who have served His Son and blessed others in Jesus’ name. What an unbelievable example of God’s incredible grace!

Dear God,

Help me follow the will of Jesus and serve others in His name. I know I can’t earn Your grace, but I want to serve others in Jesus’ name and help them find Your grace. In the name of my Lord Jesus, Amen.

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Saturday 04.07.18

Dear God,

I Know that You have called every Christian to a mission for Your kingdom. By Your grace, I will seek and follow Your guidance, allowing You to work through me to accomplish Your purpose. If my mission is to feed the hungry, take care of my family, reach out to the hurting, work with a group of children, preach to the multitudes, or lead a nation, however big or small, I want to pursue it and bring glory to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Friday 04.06.18

28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:28 (New International Version NIV)

God gave us His Word to bless us. We receive the blessing when we obey it. On the other hand, Jesus reminded us when we know the will of God and don’t obey it, we are foolish.

Dear God,

Thank You for speaking to us through Your Word so we can know Your will and walk in Your blessing. Thank You for speaking to us through Jesus Christ, the living Word, so we can know Your heart as we apply it to our lives. Thank You for revealing Your will to me through the Scriptures. Thank You for wanting to bless and protect me from evil. Forgive me for the times that I have ignored Your will or been disobedient to it. By your Grace, I commit to live intentionally in Your will and live obediently to Your Word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-0-

Thursday 04.05.18

38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” Luke 19:38 (New International Version NIV)

Blessed are we who live our lives in the name of the Lord. But do we always remember what it means to be a disciple? We must remind ourselves that our lives are about dying as well as rising. There is no resurrection without death. Life in the Lord requires glory one day and dejection the next. As disciples we have hope because we know that God is in control.

My prayers often turn to new Christians. They are a light to those who have been sitting in the pews for years. They come to us with varying paths and different stories – some lovingly supported in their conversion, but others facing the wrath and derision of family and friends who can’t figure out why they have suddenly “found religion.” Their conscious choice to brave the demands of a Christian way of life reminds me never to become complacent in living out my discipleship.
How do you live your life in the name of the Lord?

Dear God,

In the moments of bliss but also the moments of battle, help me to stand with and for You. I want to do Your will. I freely place my whole being in Your hands. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Wednesday 04.04.18

15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. John 13:15 New International Version (NIV)

In this Scripture we are given a clear directive. Follow the model of Jesus’ life. We can serve as Jesus served. We can forgive as Jesus forgave. We can pray as Jesus prayed. We can heal as Jesus healed. We can embrace and bless and love as Jesus did. We can look to the Father as Jesus did.

In an uncivil world where lives and love are overcast by arrogance, pride, selfishness, fear, and anger, we have a model of light who renounced all of these so that all whom He encountered may have full life and may know true love.

May we recall Jesus’ bold model and do the same.

Dear God,

Keep me forever mindful of Jesus’ bold model and do the same. Bless me with what I need to be like Jesus in the world. Amen.

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Tuesday 04.03.18

12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. 14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.” Exodus 17:12-14 New International Version (NIV)

During a great battle, God told Moses if he outstretched his arms they would be victorious in battle. As long as he held up his arms, Joshua and his warriors were winning. When he grew weak and he could no longer hold up his arms the momentum changed. Aaron and Hur held up his arms for him and they were victorious.

We often look at our leaders as if they are supposed to live a magic life that has no trials and tribulations and never a wrong move. Our pastors are no different than we are. Like us, they are up to their neck in alligators trying to drain their own swamp with so much to do and so little time as they struggle with their own calling.

In our weakness and disappointment, God is calling His flock to support our pastors. Perhaps God is calling you to be an Aaron and Hur.

Dear God,

Give us the grace to come to the aid of our pastor as brothers and sisters in Christ despite our personal disappointments, needs and wants. Make us mindful that our Spiritual leaders are human and have go through the same struggles as any other human. Your Word says where to or three are gathered in Your name, You are there also. Father, we circle our pastors in prayer. Give us the strength to hold up arms. In the name of Jesus, the victor over sickness and death. Amen.

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Monday 04.02.18

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (New International Version NIV)

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[ neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (New International Version NIV)

“It is almost impossible to believe that 50 years ago today I left Imeson Airport in Jacksonville, Fl. heading to basic training in Amarillo, TX. Needless to say my Mom was a basket case as being in the military in ’68 was something most parents feared for their children. It was a day I will never forget…I witnessed my father crying for the first time in my life as he shared with me that now he knew why his father cried when he left home for navy submarines in WW II. I left thinking that life would go on as planned. I would return to live in Jacksonville…I never did…my girlfriend at the time, KB, and I would continue our relationship…we didn’t…and life would be a breeze…it wasn’t. I wouldn’t want to do it again but I wouldn’t trade my military experience for anything. It’s amazing when you look back on life how each event you experienced has such an effect on your path! Walk each step with good intentions!” Carl Harbin, my longtime friend and brother in Christ.

Well said, Carl. This really hit home. 50 years ago, April 1st, I was on the way to San Antonio for basic training. It was also the first time I ever saw my WWII vet father cry and yes it changed my life in many ways.

Dear God,

Thank you for my brothers and sisters who serve and served our country, most of us not knowing that it would alter our lives forever. Grant me the grace to fully understand that there are no good things or bad things until You get through with them and that all things work together for good for those that love You and seek Your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Sunday 04.01.18

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Matthew 28:1-10 (New International Version NIV)

Jesus told us how we can choose life, and He offered Himself as a sacrifice on the cross. He then rose miraculously from the dead, taught His disciples in Galilee, and rose to heaven where He joined His father and continues to set the captives free. The birth of Jesus led to a torturous and public death. And it is the clearest expression of God’s love for us.

Dear God,

Give me the boldness to humbly proclaim that Jesus overcame the power of death and allowed us to experience a life of true freedom. In Jesus’ Name.

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