Today's Good News

May 2001

05/01/01    Psalm 13:1 and 5
O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
When my heart is breaking I go to Jesus. I pour out my feelings to Him. I am able to talk through my problems with him. The end result is that Jesus comforts me in my distress. He encourages me. He helps me to get the right perspective. He gives me peace.

05/02/01    Psalm 14:2-3
The Lord looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if there is even one with real understanding, one who seeks for God. But no, all have turned away from God; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not even one.
I am careful to remember that I am saved by grace. The temptation for me is as I minister to pat myself on the back and exclaim what a good boy am I. The truth is that Christ died for me a sinner. His death cost the Father. I am valuable to God because He has chosen to make me valuable. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

05/03/01    Psalm 15:1-2
Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill? Those who lead blameless lives, and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
My lifestyle must come from God’s Word. The world worships itself. The world always wants the easy way. If I live my life based on the Word of God I will enjoy consistent fellowship with Jesus.

05/04/01    Romans 1:2
This Good News was promised long ago by God through His prophets in the holy Scriptures.
I am no longer at war with God. The rest of the Good News is that He is no longer at war with me. Jesus Christ paid the price for my sin. I am a child of God and grafted into the family of God.

05/05/01    I Corinthians 15:1
Now let me remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then and still do now, for your faith is built on this wonderful massage.
Jesus lived a perfect life, died on the cross for my sin and was resurrected from the dead by the power of God. I asked him to forgive me of my sin and He did. He lives in my new heart and guides me in the right way. Jesus is God.

05/06/01    Psalm 16:1
Keep me safe, O God, for I have come to you for refuge.
My thoughts turn to the Lord quickly in troubled times. I want to be the kind of person that is always thinking about Jesus. I sing songs of praise to soften my heart. I read the Word of God to make me aware of how great God is. I thank Him at all hours of the day. I find that the more my activities include Him, the easier it is to keep my heart focused on Jesus.

05/07/01    Psalm 16:2
I said to the Lord, “You are my master! All the good things I have are from you.”
Tithing is the only way I can prove to myself that I really believe all I have comes from the Lord. When I give Jesus more control of the things I hold, He is able to give me all the things He controls. God is good, all the time.

05/08/01    1 Corinthians 15:3-4
I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me-that Christ died for our sins, just as the Scripture said. He was buried and he was raised from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures say.
God did it for me. He provided all the proof that I need to know that He cares for me. He sent His son to die for me. He let Him suffer for me. He raised Him from the dead so that He could reconcile me to His presence. Jesus is Lord and is able. I am His younger brother and am enabled. Christ in me, my hope of glory.

05/09/01    1 Corinthians 15:20
But the fact is that Christ has been raised from the dead. He has become the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again.
Satan always attacks the Word of God first. He is always suggesting that God isn’t interested in me. The truth is that God has said in His Word that Jesus was raised from the dead by His power. That same power is available for me to live my life in this world and in the world to come.

05/10/01    Psalm 16:5-6
Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance!
My soul cries out to God, I want Him. I want communion and fellowship with Him over silver or gold. I am willing to be who I am and not what I want to be as long as I have Jesus. The Lord is my happiness therefore I can rejoice in who he is and not in what I have.

05/11/01     Psalm 17:6
I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray.
I know that God hears me and Jesus is always concerned for my well-being. There are times when things are tough that I remind the Lord that I know He is there and would he please listen closely. Then I pour out my heart.

05/12/01    Psalm 17:14
Save me by your mighty hand, O Lord, from those whose only concern is earthly gain.
People don’t always do things the way I think they should. Rather than give them a piece of my mind, the Lord encourages me to give my anger and pain to Him. He will know how to deal with it. He also knows who is evil and who isn’t. He is teaching me that dealing with evil is His job. Dealing with me is my job.

05/13/01 Psalm 18:1-3
I love you Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold. I will call on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, for He saves me from my enemies.
Sometimes when life gets thick and nothing seems to go right, the Lord acts. He clears away my yesterdays and shines on my tomorrows. That is the time when I just want to hug God. Oh Lord you are my everything. Thank you for taking care of me.

05/14/01 Psalm 18:28-29
Lord, you have brought light to my life; my God, you light up my darkness. In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall.
Victory is mine. This is not something I have done. Jesus did it. Jesus has made my life victorious. He is my strength. Without Him I can do nothing.

05/15/01 Psalm 19:1-2
The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.
Life has a way of slipping by. It closes in without my realization. Things happen and cause me pain. I respond in foolish ways. But then I step out in the night to clear my head. There before my eyes is the glory of the Lord. Twinkling, shining, pointing at me, it declares His majesty. He is in control, great and powerful. Jesus my Lord, and King, thank you for reminding me of your majesty.

05/16/01 Psalm 19:7
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
God’s Word directs my path. When I am wrong it reaches deep inside of me and challenges my direction. As a child of God I can be confident that the Word of God will give me the advice I need to stay close to the Lord.

05/17/01 Psalm 23:1
The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need.
The Devil has no happy old men. I have determined that for all the days of my life, when I am unhappy I am going to the shepherd. I am a sheep. Sheep are foolish, to put it bluntly stupid, and in need of direction, guidance and care. The Lord is my shepherd. He gives me all of those things. If I live to be old I will die a happy man.

05/18/01 Psalm 23:4
Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
I am a child of God. I know my redeemer lives. I can be confident that when I stray, He will bring me back. Sometimes He will chasten me. Sometimes He will protect me. But He will always be there. He is carefully watching over me.

05/19/01 Psalm 24:1
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.
I lay claim to so much. This is my car. This is my house. These children belong to me. Everything on earth belongs to the Lord. He died for me that I would have a chance to claim Him. I claim Jesus as Lord. Now He belongs to me. I am His and He is mine.

05/20/01 Psalm 28:1
O Lord, you are my rock of safety. Please help me; don’t refuse to answer me. For if you are silent, I might as well give up and die.
Everything around me changes, but not the Lord. The Lord seeks my best good. He is there for me. He is working out the events of my life according to His pattern. Praise the Lord who is in control of my chaotic life.

05/21/01 Psalm 30:10
Hear me, Lord, and have mercy on me. Help me, O Lord.
I cannot move forward without the mercy of God accompanying me. In His mercy and by His grace He saved me. In His mercy and by His forgiveness he reconciles me to Himself every time I bend the knee and repent. In His mercy and by His power He keeps me by His side. O Lord thank you for your merciful kindness.

05/22/01 Psalm 31:1
O Lord, I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be put to shame. Rescue me, for you always do what is right.
I can live a Christian life. It is not complex. I do not have to be scanning the future and wringing my hands worrying about whether or not I got it right. I must simply commit myself each day to do the next right thing.

05/23/01 Psalm 32:1
Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!
Satan is always alert to how I feel and especially when life throws me a curve ball. It is those times that the accuser comes and reminds of what a worthless Christian I am. My response is just like David’s, oh what joy that I am forgiven. Jesus won the victory and has forgiven me of all my sin. The Lord rebuke you Satan. He has forgiven me.

05/24/01 Ephesians 1:3
How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we belong to Christ.
In Christ, I have the power to do God’s will. I can do the right thing. I can change. It doesn’t mean that it will be easy but it does mean that I can. When I submit to Jesus I am under the authority of the all-powerful Savior, Christ the Lord.

05/25/01 Ephesians 1:6
So we praise God for the wonderful kindness he has poured out on us because we belong to his dearly loved son.
God has chosen to love me. He has graced me by adopting me into his family. Christ my Savior has brought me from death to life. I am alive in Christ. I belong to the Lord.

05/26/01 Psalm 33:4
For the word of the Lord holds true, and everything he does is worthy of our trust.
Today moral constraints have been thrown away and every man does what is right in his sight. I cannot live that way. I bent the knee to the Lord and asked Him to take control of my life. His Word gives me the direction that I need for living a Godly life. God’s Word is trustworthy.

05/27/01 Psalm 33:20-21
We depend on the Lord alone to save us. Only he can help us, protecting us like a shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we are trusting in his holy name.
Circumstances may frown upon us but God never takes his eye off of me. I may not see the end of the tunnel but the Lord is there. The day may be dark but He is the light. He holds the future parallel with the present. Nothing takes him by surprise and he never forgets about me.

05/28/01 Psalm 34:1-2
I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak His praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are discouraged take heart.
I lead a life that is filled with the unknown. Some days are good. Some days are bad. There are no bad days when I am with the Lord. There are no bad situations when I am with the Lord. Everything that happens comes under His scrutiny. Nothing catches Him by surprise. I am complete in Christ and I can praise Him in all things. Victory is mine.

05/29/01 John 3:3
Jesus replied, “I assure you, unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God.”
I have established a personal relationship with the Lord. Being born again births me into the Kingdom of God. I am the only one that can make that choice for me. Have you made that choice for you? If you haven’t you will not see the Kingdom of God. Remember, God sets the standard. You and I choose whether or not we will bend the knee to the Lord.

05/30/01 John 3:18
There is no judgment awaiting those who trust him. But those who do not trust him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God.
Judgment day is a reality. Jesus said it was coming. He also said that no one would escape responsibility for his or her choice. For me it is a call to ministry. I must tell everyone I come into contact with about Jesus. I need to make sure that they know I love the Lord and care for them. There are some that will speak ill of me because I do this. I need to come to grips with the suffering that talking about Jesus will bring. The fact remains that I am still responsible for telling my story. Ministry is my responsibility. I may not be a pastor. I may not even be a good speaker but I still have a responsibility to tell others about Jesus.

05/31/01            Psalm 33:1
Let the godly sing with joy to the Lord, for it is fitting to praise him.
Jesus has me on his heart.  His love for me is unstoppable.  Therefore whatever condition I find myself in I can praise Him.  The Lord is worthy of all praise, honor and glory.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.  Jesus is the King.

April 2001

04/01/01    Psalm 1:3
They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail. Their leaves never wither and in all they do they prosper.
Life sure has a lot of ups and downs. It attacks us like a storm. I have found that the Lord will protect me in the storm. He has me in His grip. My responsibility is to remember that He is in control and to ask Him to meet my needs. Jesus is everything to me.

04/02/01    Mt. 8:1-3
Large crowds followed Jesus as he came down the mountainside. Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached Jesus. He knelt before him, worshipping. “Lord,” the said, “if you want to, you can make me well again.” Jesus touched him, “I want to,” he said. “Be healed.” And instantly the leprosy disappeared.
Leprosy was an incurable disease ending in death. The leper was desperate and came to the Lord in desperation. Every-time I feel that way, I cry out Lord, help. And he does. Jesus responds to our desperation.

04/03/01    Psalm 2:1
Why do the nations rage? Why do the people waste their time with futile plans?
I am bought with a price. God created me and has a plan for my life. I can live, work, play and flourish amidst the activities of life with full confidence that the Lord is in control. I am not alone. I am important to Jesus.

4/04/01    Psalm 3:1-2
O Lord, I have so many enemies; so many are against me. So many are saying, “God will never rescue him!”
Sin is my enemy. It overruns me on a regular basis. What I say I won’t do I turn right around and do. But there is forgiveness with the Lord. Jesus understands my weakness. The Lord is intensely interested in my growth and my victory. He rescues me every day.

04/05/01    Mt. 8:8
Then the officer said, “Lord I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed!
Ever feel like the Lord was far away? Carelessness in our devotional life can cause that. At other times our sin causes us to feel that God is far away. Remember, the Lord Jesus is never far from us. He is always close by. When we feel He is far away, that is when Jesus is close at hand. Cry out, help, and He will respond.
04/06/01    Psalm 3:3
But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts my head high.
I felt the pressure of potential failure. It made me irritable and sullen. When I realized my emotions I asked Jesus to change my heart. He stopped the pressure. He fixed my heart.

04/07/01    Psalm 4:1
Answer me when I call, O God who declares me innocent. Take away my distress. Have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
My faith grows by the way I respond to everyday life. It’s like athletic training. If I want to be able to handle the big challenges of life I must be faithful in the everyday challenges.

04/08/01    Psalm 4:4
Don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you. Think about it overnight and remain silent.
Set a guard over my mouth Lord. Help me to hold my tongue. Equip me to keep my mouth shut until my brain has had time to understand the situation. Remind me O Lord that I never have to apologize for what I don’t say.

04/09/01    Psalm 5:1
O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning, listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I will never pray to anyone but you.
I struggle with past misdeeds, and make outrageous promises for the future. Unless I am willing to harness my heart and deal properly with things as they happen I will never mature as a child of God. God does not continue to punish me when I have confessed past misdeeds and asked for forgiveness. He is not impressed with future promises. Jesus wants me to depend on him and change the way I live my life.

04/10/01    Psalm 5:7
Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house; with deepest awe I will worship at your temple.
Christ died so that I might have forgiveness for my sin. God cleans me up so that I can worship Him. He is a loving Lord who seeks fellowship with His child, me.

04/11/01    Mt. 27:27-29
Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire battalion. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. They made a crown of long sharp thorns and put it on his head, and they placed a stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery, yelling, “Hail! King of the Jews.”
I am always reminded when I read these verses, I was there with the soldiers. My sin is personal with God. It pains him to see me suffer by choice over and over again. He aches with me as I make bad decisions. His heart is broken when I live a careless life. Lord please forgive me, a sinner.

04/12/01    Mt. 27:31
When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.
Sin always takes us further than we meant to go. The journey back is much more difficult than we thought that it would be. Just remember, God forgives our sin, but the people around us take a long time to forget.

04/13/01    Mt. 27:35-37
After they had nailed him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. Then they sat around and kept guard as he hung there. A signboard was fastened to the cross above Jesus’ head, announcing the charge against him. It read: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”
It took the blood of Christ to forgive my sin. It took the blood of martyrs to conquer the Roman Empire. What has Christ called you to do? It will take personal sacrifice and surrender to beat back the enemy.

04/14/01    Mt. 27:54
The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “Truly, this was the son of God!”
Maybe it took an “earthquake” for the Lord to get your attention. It did for me. One of the things I committed to do, as a parent was to make sure that my children heard about Jesus. I have tried to share with them in a way that is real. I have depicted my own conversion experience as honestly as I can. My prayer has always been that they make the right choice and not waste their life in darkness.

04/15/01    Mt. 28:1
Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to see the tomb.
I am saved by grace. A weak sinner who was focused on my own wants and needs. I wasn’t looking for God He came looking for me. I praise Him that He did. Thank you Lord for saving me.

04/16/01    Psalm 6:1
O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage.
I am good at taking my eyes off the Lord. I am grateful for His lavish mercy when has to discipline me. His gentleness is astounding. His love is deep and comforting even in the midst of his discipline.

04/17/01    Psalm 7:1
I come to you for protection, O Lord my God. Save me from my persecutors- rescue me!
When someone mistreats me, I immediately want revenge. Why the very idea of them mistreating me! The great tragedy is that revenge is a consuming emotion. It often hurts me more than the object of my anger. Christ will stand for me. Christ will comfort me. Revenge is best left to the Lord.

4/18/01    John 20:19-20
That evening, on the first day of the week, the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. As he spoke, he held out his hands for them to see, and he showed them his side. They were filled with joy when they saw their Lord!
I’ve walked down dark alleys. The fear would be so heavy on my heart that I could barely breathe. When I got to the light it was as if the world had been lifted off my shoulders. Jesus’ presence lifted the excruciating weight of the future off the disciples shoulder. Now they knew, He was alive.

4/19/01    John 20:21
He spoke to them again and said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
The Father is my authority for the proclamation of the Gospel. The Lord Jesus empowers me speak. I proclaim freedom to the captives and life to the dead. I have Jesus in my heart. The world needs Christ.

4/20/01    Psalm 9:1
I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
When I praise God I discover more about Him. He is worth of all my praise. His nature is praiseworthy. My praise blesses me with an expanding awareness of who God is. He is King of kings, and Lord of Lords forever in control of me. Bless the name of the Lord.

4/21/01    Psalm 9:7
But the Lord reigns forever, executing judgment from his throne.
The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. This reminds me of who I am and who God is. I experience myopia on a regular basis. I elevate myself to God’s position and seek to control my life. This is a mistake because I always mess up. I am then called to account. This helps me to refocus my lifestyle and let God be God.

4/22/01    Psalm 9:13
Lord have mercy on me. See how I suffer at the hands of those who hate me. Snatch me back from the jaws of death.
Do the next right thing. I can do this because I know that my Lord lives. He lives to give me direction. He lives that I might have life. He is faithful in enabling me to live a Godly life. He lives in me.

4/23/01    Acts 3:15
You killed the author of life, but God raised him to life. And we are witnesses of this fact!
Jesus is alive. Sometimes I forget that. His activity in my life quickly reminds me that He is alive. As I face the ups and downs of life I am not alone. He is alive.

4/24/01    Psalm 10:17
Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will listen to their cries and comfort them.
I learned about helplessness first hand when facing a personal crisis. Why I can’t even defeat the common cold. But the Lord stood by me and helped me survive. He will do that for you if you will ask him. Bless the Lord Oh my soul and all that is within in me praise His holy name.

4/25/01    Psalm 11:1
I trust in the Lord for protection. So why do you say to me, “Fly to the mountains for safety.”
All around me are voices giving directions. Do this and do that but they never have the authority of the Word of God. His Word gives me the wisdom and guidance I need to make right decisions about life.

4/26/01    Psalm 11:4
But the Lord is in His holy Temple; the Lord still rules from heaven. He watches everything closely, examining everyone on earth.
I sometimes think that the unseen things I do have no effect on anyone but me. I am wrong about that. The Father sees them and often times my actions break His heart. He cares for me. He is intimately involved in everything I do. God loves me and He has a plan for my life.

4/27/01    Matthew 9:2
Some people brought to him a paralyzed man on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Take heart son! Your sins are forgiven.”
I need courage and forgiveness. Courage enables me to deal with all those dark yesterdays that claw at my today’s. Courage equips me to accept the forgiveness of my sin. Forgiveness outfits me for a relationship with the Father and service to my fellow man. I call on Jesus as I live each day of my life.

4/28/01    Matthew 9:6
“I will prove that I, the Son of Man, have the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, take your mat and go on home because you are healed.”
Jesus healed my heart. It was so desperately wicked. Jesus healed it. Today he healed my hurt, hurt that was caused by my own selfishness and ego. He is faithful in His healing. He meets the exact needs that I have in my life. What a Savior.

4/29/01    Psalm 12:6
The Lord’s promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace purified seven times over.
I do not see the big picture in life. Because of my humanity I often make decisions based on limited knowledge. The Lord is faithful to guide me in those decisions. My faith in Him enables me to make right decisions. His love for me equips me to trust Him.

4/30/01    Matthew 20:16
“And so it is, that many who are first now will be last then; and those who are last now will be first then.”
My Jesus encourages me. He tells me of His love. He reminds me of His activity. He never leaves me alone. Then one day, He says, I will stand before Him and He will declare for all to hear about my relationship with Him. Jesus is everything to me.

March 2001

03/01/01    1 Kings 12:8
But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the elders and instead asked the opinion of the young men who had grown up with him and who were now his advisers.
The advice we seek is the advice we take. I must constantly remind myself that the Lord will give me the wisdom I need to make good decisions. That includes helping me to know the right people to listen to.

03/02/01    1 Kings 17:24
Then the woman told Elijah, “Now I know for sure that you are a man of God, and that the Lord truly speaks through you.”
Elijah’s actions confirmed his claim. I can only act like Jesus when He is in control. I act like me when I am in control. Check how you are acting and you will know who is in control.

03/03/01    1 Kings 19:1-2
When Ahab got home, he told Jezebel what Elijah had done and that he had slaughtered the prophets of Baal. So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: “May the gods also kill me if by this time tomorrow I have failed to take your life like those whom you killed.”
Spiritual battles often come after victories. Satan is always seeking whom he can devour. When we have spiritual success we are placed on Satan’s most wanted list. Be careful in victory, failure comes when we think we can stand in our own strength.

03/04/01    1 Kings 19:9
…the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
My needs are met in Jesus. In His presence I learn wisdom for living. He personally gives me power to change. Christ makes me whole.

03/05/01    2 Kings 2:6
Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, for the Lord has told me to go to the Jordan River.” But again Elisha replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, I will never leave you.” So they went on together.
If you want to do what the Lord says, hold on. Time is our enemy. Forget the time and hold on to the Lord. What you must do may take more time than you thought but victory will be worth more than you can imagine.

03/06/01    2 Kings 5:14
So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times, as the man of God had instructed him. And his flesh became as healthy as a young child’s, and he was healed.
Do you feel defeated and ineffective? God can use you. God’s power is gloriously strong through our weakness. You are a super star called of God to do a super work. No one else is assigned your task. Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.

03/07/01    2 Kings 6:16-17
“Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened his servant’s eyes and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.
Are you backed into a corner? Can you not see a way that things will work out? I pray that the Lord will open your eyes and that you will see the angels of victory that our great God has sent to you. Be encouraged, the Lord is on your side.

03/08/01    2 Kings 13:1-2
Jehoahaz son of Jehu began to rule over Israel in the twenty-third year of King Joash’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria seventeen years. But he did what was evil in the Lord’s sight…
Jesus forgave my sin. This enables me to have a relationship with God the Father. God pours out His grace upon me in limitless quantities. There will never be a day when my need exceeds God’s grace.

03/09/01     2 Kings 19:1
When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the Temple of the Lord to pray.
Sometimes life has driven me to my knees. Right now I am fine. I am rejoicing in Zion. But the times when bad things happened I made a beeline to the presence of God and cried out, Lord please help me? And He has every time.

03/10/01    1 Chronicles 2:12
Boaz was the father of Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse.
Chronicles helps us to see the family relationships of the people that we read about in the Bible. The daily problems I face are the same problems that the people in the Bible faced. Sin is everywhere. I must choose to be a child of God. God is able to take care of me. I am important, not for what I do but because of who my Father is.

03/11/01    1 Chronicles 16:8
Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done.
What has God done in your life? Who have you told about it? The Gospel message is simply telling others how the Lord has saved us. Folks that have a hard time talking about the Lord may not have anything to say.

03/12/01    1 Chronicles 16:15
He always stands by his covenant, the commitment he made to a thousand generations.
I can trust the Lord. I can trust his Word. I can trust his actions. In every way and at all times I can trust the Lord.

03/13/01    1 Chronicles 17:20
O Lord, there is no one like you; there is no other God. We have never even heard of another god like you.
Our struggle is not with flesh and blood. We struggle against the unseen enemies of God. I am discovering that the battle is the Lord’s. My responsibility is to praise God and recognize who He is. God will take care of the enemy.

03/14/01    2 Chronicles 6:40
O my God, be attentive to all the prayers made to you in this place.
I am a new creature in Christ, the temple of the living God. God is concerned about everything that happens in my life. He listens attentively to me. He wants me to talk with Him. I am seeking to make the Lord Jesus the focus of my life.

03/15/01    2 Chronicles 20-21
Then King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out to God in heaven. And the Lord sent an angel who destroyed the Assyrian army with all its commanders and officers.
God is not controlled by the world. The world is under His control. Take your world and submit it to the Lord. He will bring order to the chaos.

03/16/01    Ezra 1:2
This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build him a Temple at Jerusalem in the land of Judah.
God created you for good. He has given you at least one spiritual gift and assigned you a project. Don’t give up. God will see you through.

03/17/01    Ezra 8:22
For I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to accompany us and protect us from enemies along the way. After all, we had told the king, “Our God protects all those who worship him, but his fierce anger rages against those who abandon him.”
I believe the Lord. Sometimes when I believe there is a nervous trembling in my soul. God is faithful. That encourages me to move forward. Prayer and action are vital for our spiritual growth.

03/18/01    Nehemiah 1:1
These are the memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah. In late autumn of the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes reign, I was at the fortress of Susa.
The three most important points to remember in real estate are location, location and location. In our relationship with the Lord, the three most important points to remember are surrender, surrender, and surrender.

03/19/01    Nehemiah 4:14
Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the leaders and the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord who is great and glorious, and fight for your friends, your families, and your homes!”
Satan is our enemy. People sometimes forget that it takes spiritual warfare to conquer our enemy.

03/20/01    Nehemiah 9:6
You alone are the Lord. You made the skies and the heavens and all the stars. You made the earth and the seas and everything in them. You preserve and give life to everything, and all the angels of heaven worship you.
I want to know you Lord. I want to fellowship with you. I want to constantly praise you for who you are. You are glorious and worthy of all praise.

03/21/01    Esther 4:13-14
Mordecai sent back this reply to Esther; “Don’t think for a moment that you will escape there in the palace when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance for the Jews will arise from some other place but you and your relatives will die. What’s more, who can say but that you have been elevated to the palace for just such a time as this?”
Get the message. God has a plan for your life. You are special to Him.

03/22/01    Job 1:1
There was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless, a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil.
When Job saw evil he turned the other way. When evil entered Job’s mind he changed his thoughts. When confronted by evil actions Job immediately did the right thing. Avoiding evil requires immediate action.

03/23/01    Job 1:17
While he was still speaking, a third messenger arrived with this news: “Three bands of Chaldean raiders have stolen your camels and killed your servants. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
Bad things happen to good people. Please remember, when catastrophe hits the Lord Jesus Christ is still there. Jesus stands with us as we go through the destructiveness of life.

03/24/01    Job 2:10
But Job replied, “You talk like a godless woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong.
Job mourned his situation but did not blame God. Too often I find myself condemning my current situation and accusing God. My failure is sin. Thanks be unto Jesus forgives my sin.

03/25/01    Job 3:25-26
What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come to be. I have no peace, no quietness. I have no rest; instead only trouble comes.”
Dark days are going to come. Jesus brings light to dark days. He reveals his love and concern in a very real and encouraging way. If you are going through a difficult time, ask the Lord Jesus to help. When you ask He will respond.

03/26/01    Job 6:8
“Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant my hope.”
God answers prayer. Faith gets me to the answer. Time is our enemy and it never encourages me to wait. Sometimes the answers aren’t the ones I want but His answers are always what I need.

03/27/01    Job 6:17
“What are mere mortals, that you should make so much of us?”
God has his eye on me. He created me for a unique purpose. His concern for me is not increased or decreased by my success or failure. The Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross for me. His victory gives me victory. He cares for me.

03/28/01    Job 14:1-2
“How frail is humanity! How short is life, and how full of trouble! Like a flower, we blossom for a moment and then wither. Like the shadow of a passing cloud, we quickly disappear.”
I want my life to count. I want to be used of God to equip and serve my fellow man. I must never forget that the day passes quickly. What I seek to do I must do today. There may be no tomorrow.

03/29/01    Job 19:25
“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last.”
When I believe that Jesus lives, my life is different. I have an anchor that steadies my soul. Fierce storms may come but I will survive. Life may get out of hand but I never will. I know that Jesus lives. He lives in my heart.

03/30/01    Job 42:1-3
Then Job replied to the Lord: “I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. You ask, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I and I was talking about things I did not understand, things far too wonderful for me.”
I was saved by the wonderful intervention of Jesus Christ into my life. His forgiveness saved me. My surrender enabled a relationship. The natural man cannot accept God’s way. I cannot refuse it, to whom would I go?

03/31/01    Psalm 1:1
Oh the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with scoffers.
I see folks on street corners a lot. Some are self-proclaimed authorities on religion. They are the wrong people to stand with. The church is the bride of Christ. That is where I need to be.

February 2001

2/01/01    Ex. 34:14
You must worship no other gods, but only the Lord, for he is a God who is passionate about his relationship with you.
God really wants to spend time with me. He is passionate about how He feels about me. God is interested in how I feel and in what I am doing. I am important to Him.

2/02/01    Ex. 34:29
When Moses came down the mountain carrying the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, he wasn’t aware that his face glowed because he had spoken to the Lord face to face.
If I spend time with God it shows. When I spend time with the Lord, I operate under His direction. The only way that I can grow and mature is to be with the Lord. People know when I have been with the Lord.

2/03/01    Ex. 40:34-35
Then the cloud covered the Tabernacle and the glorious presence of the Lord filled it. Moses was no longer able to enter the Tabernacle because the cloud had settled down over it and the Tabernacle was filled with the awesome glory of the Lord.
Moses worship of God was overshadowed by God’s presence. God presented Himself in His glory and it totally ejected Moses from the Tabernacle. When was the last time that your worship was stopped by the presence of God? Maybe the Lord is waiting on you. Glory, praise and honor to God in the highest, from whom all blessings flow. Come Lord Jesus.

2/04/01    Lev. 8:34
What has been done today was commanded by the Lord in order to make atonement for you.
The death of Jesus was commanded before time began. The cross was not an afterthought. It was God’s thought of you. When Jesus died on the cross, his blood cleansed you from all your unrighteousness. God cares for you.

2/05/01    Lev. 18:1-3
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say this to your people, the Israelites: I, the Lord, am your God. So do not act like the people in Egypt, where you used to live, or like the people of Canaan, where I am taking you. You must not imitate their way of life.”
Pagans act like pagans. Christians act like Christians. Who do you act like?

2/06/01    Num. 3:1
This is the family line of Aaron and Moses as it was recorded when the Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai:”
Moses and Aaron were real people. You and I are real people. Tell me today who you will follow, the world or the Lord? You are the only person that can choose Jesus as Lord of your life.

2/7/01        Num. 6:24-26
‘May the LORD bless you and protect you. May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you. May the LORD show you his favor and give you his peace.’
Age has a way of catching up with us. My body is beginning to fail but my Father never fails. His peace is very real. I need it to face tomorrow. That peace bears testimony in my spirit about eternity. Heaven is a real place. I’ll be there one day not too long from now.

2/8/01        Num. 12:3
Now Moses was more humble than any other person on earth.
Humility has never been my strong suit. Born poor, I have had to fight and scrap for each and every success. When I look back I see the hand of God effectively working in my life. The Father’s love is undeserved. Yet his care and concern cause me to bend my knee humbly before Him in praise and adoration. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

2/9/01        Num. 13:30-31
But Caleb tried to encourage the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!” But the other men who had explored the land with him answered, “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!”
Fear destroys our fellowship with Jesus. When I trust Him He dispels fear. I can trust His actions even when I can’t see His activity. Jesus loves me and has a plan for my life. His love is powerful. His plan is good.

2/10/01    Num. 20:12
…the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!”
This is a haunting passage. Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land because of his disobedience. Lord, help me to wake up and obey you. I want to be useful and useable. Forgive me when I fail.

2/11/01    Deut. 1:29
“But I said to you, ‘Don’t be afraid! The Lord your God is going before you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt.”
Life can be scary. A midnight phone call can strike terror in one’s heart. The confidence that we have from the Father is that when life happens, the Lord stands with us.

2/12/01    Deut. 4:1
‘And now, Israel, listen carefully to the laws and regulations that I am about to teach you. Obey them so that you may live…’
Every step I take is a journey somewhere. The caution in God’s Word is a call to obedience. Obedience equips me to live a Godly life.

2/13/01    Deut. 6:4-6
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today.”
My humanity separates me from God. Sin blinds my soul. It destroys my ability to function in the spiritual realm. I can never do enough or be good enough to deserve a relationship with the Lord. Jesus forgives my sin. He provides for the relationship I need with the Father.

2/14/01    Deut. 14:2
You have been set apart as holy to the Lord your God, and he has chosen you to be his own special treasure from all the nations of the earth.
Failure reminds me of my inadequacy. It causes me to see myself in a negative light. The Word of God reminds me that God treasures me. He is carefully watching over the course of my life. When I fail, the Father hurts with me.

2/15/01    Deut. 32:3-4
I will proclaim the name of the Lord; how glorious is our God! He is the Rock; his work is perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is.
I can trust the Lord. When everything else fails, God never fails. Even when things look bleak, the Lord is still on His throne. I belong to him.

2/16/01      Joshua 1:1
After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant.
My God lives. He is Lord of life. In him I can find the light that I need to negotiate each day. He gives me the strength that I need to keep on keeping on. He is alive and He gives me life.

2/17/01    Joshua 4:8
So the men did as Joshua told them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan River, one for each tribe just as the Lord had commanded Joshua. They carried them to the place where they camped for the night and constructed the memorial there.
Do you keep a spiritual journal? You should. The journal becomes our touchstone with the miracles that the Lord works in our lives. Oh yes, there have been miracles. Do you remember them? If you do, it will help you to stand in the time of testing.

2/18/01    Joshua 6:22
Then Joshua said to the two spies, “Keep your promise. Go to Rahab the prostitute’s house and bring her out, along with all her family.”
Matthew 1:5 reminds us that Rahab was the mother of Boaz in the line of King David. God’s glory is best expressed through my weakness. The tragedy is that too often I think that I can help God out by doing things my way or on my schedule. God’s way in God’s time is the only way that things work out well for everyone involved.

2/19/01    Judges 3:9
But when Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord raised up a man to rescue them. His name was Othniel, the son of Caleb’s younger brother Kenaz.
There will be a day in each one of our lives that we will find ourselves in real trouble. It will be caused by oversight, getting too busy or some other form of sin but be assured it will happen. When that day comes cry out to the Lord. He will respond.

2/20/01    Judges 7:4
But the Lord told Gideon, “There are still too many! Bring them down to the spring, and I will sort out who will go with you and who will not.”
There is nothing that is too hard for God. If the Lord has called you to do it He will make it happen. What is hard for us is to believe that the Lord can work through our limitations and weaknesses to accomplish the task he has set before us. He can. Just believe.

2/21/01    1 Samuel 2:2
No one is holy like the Lord! There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.
I always think that I know what is best for me. Only when I mess up things am I confronted with the foolishness of my thinking. God is Holy. That means He is different than I am. My holiness comes from God. Christ died for my sin and gave me a relationship with the Lord. Christ is my everything.

2/22/01    1 Samuel 3:19
As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him and everything Samuel said was wise and helpful.
My devotional life with Jesus enables me to grow. Growth is difficult and generally happens through trials and tribulation. If I want to become like Jesus, I will need to commit myself to making Christ first in my life.

2/23/01    1 Samuel 12:1
Then Samuel addressed the people again: “I have done as you asked and given you a king.
Be careful what you ask for. You may get it. A few times I have wanted something with all my heart only to get it and discover the consequences of my choice.

2/24/01    2 Samuel 1:27
How the mighty heroes have fallen! Stripped of their weapons, they lie dead.
You and I will die one day. Life moves on and time waits for no one. Remember that you only have today to do what the Lord has called you to do. Be about the Lord’s business.

2/25/01    2 Samuel 5:3
So there at Hebron, David made a covenant with the leaders of Israel before the Lord. And they anointed him king of Israel.
Kings come and go. Godly kings are few and far between. Worldliness is easy to acquire. Godliness requires obedience and humility. Our humanity must be surrendered to the gracious hand of God. David recognized who the real leader was. My prayer is that you and I will do the same.

2/26/01    2 Samuel 15:31
When someone told David that his advisor Ahithophel was now backing Absalom, David prayed, “O Lord, let Ahithophel give Absalom foolish advice!”
Ahithophel was Bathsheba’s grandfather. While .he was serving David he was plotting David’s downfall. You may one day have a close friend or advisor that does you wrong. Remember to respond as David did and let the Lord deal with it. When we love the Lord we do not have to fear what the world is doing.

2/27/01    1 Kings 8:23
Solomon prayed, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven or earth. You keep your promises and show unfailing love to all who obey you and are eager to do your will.”
There is only one God, the Lord. He is king of kings and Lord of Lords. This triune God knows me better than I know myself. He loves me and wants me to know Him. That is an amazing truth.

2/28/01    1 Kings 11:1-2
Now King Solomon loved many foreign women… The Lord has clearly instructed his people not to intermarry with those nations, because the women they married would lead them to worship their gods.
God favors no man. My sin separates me from the Lord and causes me to walk in darkness. Christ’s death on the cross provides forgiveness from my sin. I can choose to accept God’s offer of forgiveness or I can go my own way. Doing it my way results in death. Doing life God’s way results in eternal life.

January 2001

1/01/01     Gen. 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
I was an auditor for many years it seems a lifetime ago. One of the things I learned in auditing was that everything has a beginning. Big audits and small audits all start at the beginning and develop one step at a time. This year as you face big projects and small projects, remember that you need to always start with the Lord. Then under His guidance you can complete your project one step at a time.

1/02/01    Gen 3:21
And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.
Satan is a master at taking the blessings of God and turning them into something that winds up being a curse. As you begin this new year, join with me in reviewing your daily activities to make sure that you have not slipped into bad habits and let God’s blessing become a curse.

1/03/01     Gen 6:5
Now the Lord observed the extent of the people’s wickedness, and he saw that all their thoughts were consistently and totally evil.
Stinking thinking habits are hard to overcome. Me, my and mine are always proposing that I count more than someone else. The Lord wants me to think about what is good for others. I am the only one that can deal with a self-centered heart.

1/04/01    Gen 7:5
So Noah did exactly as the Lord had commanded him. He was 600 years old when the flood came, and he went aboard the boat to escape, he and his wife and his sons and their wives.
God always does exactly as he says. The goal in my life is to do exactly as the Lord says. Often I do not accomplish this goal. When I don’t, I go to Jesus and ask him to forgive me of my sin and he does. Jesus is the reason we can have a relationship with a Holy God.

1/05/01    Gen 11:4
Let’s build a great city with a tower that reaches to the skies, a monument to our greatness! This will bring us together and keep us from scattering all over the earth.
Best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. The world is always attempting to be it’s own god. The Lord is God and there is no other. He made us.

1/06/01    Gen 12:1
Then the Lord told Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s house and go to the land that I will show you.”
Sometimes the Lord calls us to unknown places. We can trust the Lord. Where ever He leads is a good place to be. It is much easier to trust the Lord when we are letting Him guide us each day. His words of direction remind us of how much He loves us; how totally He is in charge of our lives.

1/07/01    Gen 14:19-20
Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing: “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed by God Most High who has helped you conquer your enemies.”
We don’t always need to know where we are going as long as we know whom we are following. God is in control. Even when we wind up in strange places or unusual circumstances, the Father is not caught by surprise.

1/08/01    Gen 15:6
And Abram believed the Lord and the Lord declared him righteous because of his faith.
I tend to be impatient. I want everything to happen right now. My impatience is a symptom of sin. The sin is lack of trust. I am the only one that can control me. I often critique myself with a harsh 20/20 hindsight. Jesus doesn’t critique me; He calls me to repentance for my lack of trust. He forgives me and energizes me to stay the course that God has called me to journey.

1/09/01    Gen 17:1-2
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to make you into a mighty nation.”
I have a covenant with the Lord. I called upon Jesus Christ to save me and be Lord of my life. He did. The Word of God says that He will never let me go. That’s a powerful covenant. Thank the Lord that it is.

1/10/01    Gen. 17:9
“Your part of the agreement,”    God told Abraham, “is to obey the terms of the covenant. You and all your descendants have this continual responsibility.
There are no grandchildren in the family of God. All of us become children of God the same way, by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. My life is my responsibility. Bad luck, evil friends, or poor parents does not change the fact that I and I alone am responsible for making the eternal decision in my life. Will I accept Jesus as Lord of my life or will I deny Him and perish?

1/11/01    Gen 18:32
Finally, Abraham said, “Lord, please do not get angry; I will speak but once more! Suppose only ten are found there?” And the Lord said, “Then, for the sake of the ten, I will not destroy it.”
Lot gave up everything when he moved to Sodom. He certainly didn’t change any of the people in Sodom. There were not even ten righteous people in Sodom. I sometimes wonder, am I making a difference where I am? Do the people I come into contact with know that I am living a Godly life? Do they know it by the way I care for them? Secret Christianity is dead Christianity. Everywhere a secret Christian looks people are perishing in their sin.

1/12/01    Gen. 21:1
Then the Lord did exactly what he had promised.
My youngest child wanted to go to Paris when she was six. I promised her that when she was fifteen that I would take her to Paris. Ten years passed too quickly. When the time came I really didn’t want to go to Paris. But, we did go. It was the best trip I have ever taken. It was a joy to see Paris through the eyes of a fifteen year old. It blessed me exceedingly. God never breaks a promise. There are more than 7,000 promises to us in the Bible. Find them, memorize them, remind God of His promises and you will be blessed. God always keeps His promises.

1/13/01    Gen. 22:1
Later on God tested Abraham’s faith and obedience. “Abraham!” God called. “Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.”
Wow. God spoke and Abraham answered. Sometimes when I am praying the silence is deafening. I am learning that that is the time to search for sin in my life. Lord, point out my sin and cleanse me. He always does. I wish my response were always immediate like Abraham’s. I confess that my relationship is not always pretty. I am hard headed, foolish, self-centered, and a lot of those other things just like you. But, when I do accept responsibility for my sin, confess and change, God speaks.

1/14/01    Gen 25:8
“Then Abraham…died in a good old age, an old man and full.”
That was the way the original Hebrew text read. When Abraham died, he was full of trials and temptations, victories and rewards, and reminders and reassurances. He believed God, lived his life patiently and died doing what God had told him to do. He was a friend of God. I will never be an Abraham. But, when I die I don’t want my epitaph to read, “He generally did what God told him to do.” Even though my life is only a supporting role in the kingdom, I want it to be said of me, “He did what God said.”

1/15/01    Gen. 28:16
Then Jacob woke up and said, “Surely, the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it.”
The Lord spoke to Abraham at Beer Sheva. He met with Jacob at Bethel. Moses meeting with God was in the wilderness. Paul’s meeting was on the road to Damascus. I meet with the Lord daily at a particular place in my home. Where do you meet with God? Are you aware the Holy One is there? He is.

1/16/01    Gen. 32:26
Then the man said, “Let me go for it is dawn.” But Jacob panted, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
The greatest challenge that I face in my life each day is my relationship with the Lord. Will I trust Him? Will I spend time with Him? Will I do what He says? God is interested in my obedience.

1/17/01    Gen. 35:1
God said to Jacob, “Now move on to Bethel and settle there. Build an altar there to worship me-the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother, Esau.”
I am experiencing a move this week. It is disconcerting and upsetting. In my spiritual walk God calls me to move on from my old habits of sin. Christ provides forgiveness and healing. I am charged with the responsibility of not returning to the comfort of old habits. I am to pick up new ways and focus on Christ.

1/18/01    Gen. 39:23
The chief jailer had no more worries after that, because Joseph took care of everything. The Lord was with him, making everything run smoothly and successfully.
Sometimes life can look like a jail. Notice what Joseph did, he excelled in jail. God may not answer all our questions but He will meet all of our needs. When life seems like a jail, excel.

1/19/01    Gen. 37:23-24
So when Joseph arrived, they pulled off his beautiful robe and threw him into the pit. This pit was normally used to store water, but it was empty at the time.
Joseph went from the pit to the palace as Pharaoh’s chief assistant. It was not a pretty journey. The road was filled with hardship, disappointment and thirteen long years. What a training program. Next time you are in the pit, remember Joseph’s pit. The Lord cares for you. You too are on a training program in service to the master.

1/20/01    Gen. 41:53
At last the seven years of plenty came to an end.
The most powerful tool that I have for dealing with the ups and downs of my life is an attitude of gratitude. I am learning to say thank you more often. I am convinced that if I will focus on enjoying what I have my life will be richer and fuller. Life is a gift. All of the blessings that I receive make this gift of life more enjoyable.

1/21/01    Gen. 45:8
Yes, it was God who sent me here, not you!
God has his eye on you. He knows everything you do. Your life is valuable to Him. Wherever you are God meant it for good. You can be joyous, even as Paul in the midst of a Roman prison. Remember, you are not alone. God cares for you.

1/22/01    Ex. 2:15
And sure enough, when Pharaoh heard about it, he gave orders to have Moses arrested and killed. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and escaped to the land of Midian. When Moses arrived in Midian, he sat down beside a well.
You did what you thought was right and the end result was disaster. Next time disaster strikes, find your well and sit beside it. Mediate on God’s encouraging words for discouraged disciples. Is there anything too hard for God?

1/23/01    Ex. 3:7
Then the Lord told him, “You can be sure I have seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries for deliverance from their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering.”
My life never happens in a straight line. Good and bad seem to be always intertwined. The events of my daily life do not define my relationship with my Father. Our relationship is based on my confidence in His promises. God is faithful. I can trust in Him.

1/24/01    Ex. 5:1-2
After this presentation to Israel’s leaders, Moses and Aaron went to see Pharaoh. They told him, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go….”
“Is that so?” retorted Pharaoh. “And who is the Lord that I should listen to him and let Israel go?”  People who do not know God will not listen to you or me. Our job is not to force people to change. We are to care for those around us and give them the opportunity to see our loving and powerful Lord at work in our lives. It is God’s job to change hearts. He changed ours.

1/25/01     Ex. 8:19
“This is the finger of God!” the magicians exclaimed to Pharaoh. But Pharaoh’s heart remained hard and stubborn. He wouldn’t listen to them, just as the Lord predicted.
Obviously I would never do anything like this. The tragedy is that unless I pay close attention to the way I live I will miss God’s directions. Lord, help me to recognize your intervention in my life.

1/26/01    Ex. 15:27
After leaving Marah, they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees. They camped there beside the springs.
Marah was a place of bitter dispute and heartache. Elim was a place of rest and comfort. Elim was only 5 miles down the road from Marah. When the bitterness of life clouds your heart remember that rest and comfort are just a little ways down the road.

1/27/01    Ex. 20:2
“I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt.”
God is almighty. What I think does not change that truth. Jesus Christ has revealed God in a way that I can see and understand. My responsibility is to accept Jesus as Lord. I am not responsible to decide who God is.

1/28/01    Ex. 20:7
“Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.”
God is not mocked. When I misuse the name of God I am mocking Him. I have a hard time dealing with the common cold. I think that it is a real mistake for me to attempt to fight with God.

1/29/01    Ex. 23:1
“Do not pass along false reports. Do not cooperate with evil people by telling lies on the witness stand.”
I have a strong desire to be liked. Sometimes I find myself saying things to be liked. When I omit the truth I commit an untruth. A white lie is a real lie. My prayer is Lord help me to be truthful or to keep my mouth shut.

1/30/01    Ex. 31:16
“The people of Israel must keep the Sabbath day forever. It is a permanent sign of my covenant with them. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but he rested on the seventh day and was refreshed.”
I realized one day that the Lord was on my side. His rules and regulations were to help me. His limitations were not oppressive but protective. Today when all around us diseases are rampant, the solution to many of them are to follow the prescription for life that the Lord lays out for us in the Bible.

1/31/01    Ex. 32:5
When Aaron saw how excited the people were about it, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be festival to the Lord.”
Religious leaders are people too. We must always be careful who we follow and what we do as a result of their leadership. I am responsible for my relationship with the Lord. I am responsible for the things I do or don’t do. Following folly will make me foolish.

December 2000

December 1    Luke 1:26-28
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!
I am hurting over the untimely death of a dear friend. His family is hurting. As I sit here and pray I am reminded that God is always with me. There is never a time when I sin too great or ignore too long that the Lord isn’t with me. As we begin this Christmas season rejoice with me, the Lord is with us.

December 2    Luke 1:30-31
“Don’t be frightened, Mary,” the angel told her, “for God has decided to bless you! You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus.
The unknown is a major part of my everyday life. Developing events often startle me. I can be overwhelmed by unforeseen disappointments. Children having a car accident, reoccurrence of cancer in a loved one, a major mistake at work, a momentary lapse of attention, and the list seems endless. Any one of these things could happen. Any one of them could cause significant chaos in my life. Only God can deal with fear. My prayer is that He will continue to deal with my fear each day. He has and he will.

December 3    Luke 1:32-33
He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
Jesus is Lord. I don’t make him Lord, I submit to Him who is Lord. His kingdom is not coming it is here with us. But, He will return. When He comes back He will take us with Him.

December 4    Luke 1:37
For nothing is impossible with God.”
I grieve over the many failures in my life. I am saddened by the times I have failed the Lord. But my God is able to take all that I haven’t done and make something out of it.

December 5    Luke 1:50
His mercy goes on from generation to generation, to all who fear him.
Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Father help me to know your concern and love for me and to grow in my understanding of the responsibility that I have to you. Make me aware of my sin. Help me to mature in Christ so that I am not overcome by the world or my own foolishness.

December 6    Matthew 1:18
Now this is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit.
God entered His creation under the same restrictions that I live under with the same resources that are available to me. When I pray, I see God at work in my life. The Holy Spirit speaks to my heart about God’s creative work in me. I want to be like Jesus and the Lord can make it happen.

December 7    Matthew 1:20-21
As he considered this, he fell asleep, and an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to Mary. For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
I have had to make some hard decisions in my life. Some of those decisions were scary. When I went before the Lord during the decision making process I sensed the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart encouraging me to be at peace. God’s peace gave me the courage to move ahead and make the right decision.

December 8    Matthew 1:22-23
All of this happened to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and he will be called Immanuel (meaning, God is with us).”
I treasure my quiet times with the Lord. I am learning that if I will be consistent in having a daily quiet time, the Lord will be faithful to meet with me. As I submit my heart and actions to him I am learning more about His faithfulness in maturing me. By confrontation, and comfort, the Lord is steadily changing me into what He created me to be.

December 9    Luke 2:1-3
At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own towns to register for this census.
I had a reprobate alcoholic tell me that I was a cold person. I fussed and fumed for days about this. Well I never. How could anyone like that know what God wants? Then I was reminded that a Roman emperor participated in the most critical, historical event in the history of man in. I knelt before the Lord Jesus and asked Him to give me a warm heart.

December 10    Luke 2:4
And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.
Do not despise a small beginning. God can use me. He can use you. Whatever we have done, whatever we are doing, God can use us. God measures the extent of our usefulness.

December 11    Luke 2:7
She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn.
I often panic when catastrophe strikes? Lord where are you, I cry? I am here, He says. Right where I don’t want to go. Mary quietly went to the stable and delivered the king of the universe. I complain about air conditioning, an implied or intended slight, and an improperly squeezed toothpaste tube. Lord, help me to function joyously at the stable.

December 12    Luke 2:8
That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news of great joy for everyone!
Are you afraid of God? Are you afraid that if you get before Him and tell Him about yourself that He will somehow be disappointed? Don’t be afraid. God loves you. Spend time getting to know Him.

December 13    Luke 2:11
The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David!
All around us are people wanting to manipulate the system. Generally they are looking for more material things. Jesus didn’t come to give us a Mercedes. Jesus came to save us from our sin. Sin is a terrible thing. It separates the sinner from a growing relationship with the Father.

December 14    Luke 2:12
And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!”
The power of God is strongest in the one the world sees as vulnerable. When I love my enemy, God’s power courses through my soul. When I forgive my adversary, the Lord’s power is at work in my heart. God’s power enables me to meet people’s needs as His agent. Praise our all-powerful Father from whom all blessings flow.

December 15    Luke 2:13
Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others – the armies of heaven – praising God: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors.”
Peace is a valuable commodity. When a crisis strikes I can ask the Lord to give me peace. He does. I am immediately encouraged because that peace signals His presence. The presence of the Lord causes me to glorify Him.

December 16    Luke 2:15
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Come on, let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
I lead an ordinary life. When the Lord speaks to me my ordinary life is transformed. The transformation is not because of something I have done. Jesus is the transformer. He gives me value and purpose. What a wonderful thing this is.

December 17    Luke 2:17-19
Then the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary quietly treasured these things in her heart and thought about them often.
When we know the Lord and experience the power of His presence we tell everyone about Him. Witnessing to others about what Christ has done in our lives is a simple task. The task is difficult when we don’t have anything to say about our relationship with Jesus.

December 18    Luke 2:20
The shepherds went back to their fields and flocks, glorifying and praising God for what the angels had told them, and because they had seen the child, just as the angel had said.
The night was cold but the shepherd’s hearts were hot. For us to change a cold world we need hot hearts. The presence of the living Lord creates a hot heart. A hot heart praises God and loves a lost world.

December 19    Luke 2:21
Eight days later, when the baby was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel even before he was conceived.
Jesus is at work in my life. I can have confidence that He will guide me to pray about the right things. I can say this because of His promise in His Word and His faithfulness to me. Jesus is alive and He lives in my heart! His presence brings peace.

December 20    Luke 2:22
Then it was time for the purification offering, as required by the law of Moses after the birth of a child; so his parents took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.
Holiness is an activity, not a position. When my speech is evil and my heart is cold I am cutting myself off from God’s warm presence. I can tell you I’m holy and say all the right words but if I am not walking with the Lord I will not be an effective disciple. When I walk with Jesus I will be like Him. I will love the Lord and love the brethren.

December 21    Matthew 2:13
After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up and flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to try to kill the child.”
Divine guidance comes only to prepared hearts. My prayer this Christmas is that I will be faithful in preparing my heart. That means that I will do what is necessary to get alone with the Lord for prayer and Bible reading each day. In my prayer time I will be careful to ask the Lord to search me, point out my hidden faults and cleanse me. I need the Lord to lead me or I will wind up at the wrong place.

December 22    Matthew 2:20
“Get up and take the child and his mother back to the land of Israel, because those who were trying to kill the child are dead.”
Is anything too hard for God? I can trust Him with my life, my daily needs, and my future. He will guide me. He will take care of me. This I know. The Lord is faithful.

December 23    Matthew 2:23
So they went and lived in a town called Nazareth. This fulfilled what was spoken by the prophets concerning the Messiah: “He will be called a Nazarene.”
God is at work in me in every activity of my life. The out of the way places are used to build character and faithfulness. The little places are proving grounds. The Lord will shape me and mold me for His use. My responsibility is to be available.

December 24    Matthew 2:4-6
He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law. “Where did the prophets say the Messiah would be born?” he asked them. “In Bethlehem,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote: ‘O Bethlehem of Judah, you are not just a lowly village in Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’ ”
God does not hide his plans from us. The Lord works in His world according to a plan. The plan is specific for each one of us. His plan for me is an important plan. It is the most valuable plan that I could have. I do my best when I work God’s plan. God cares for me.

December 25    Matthew 2:1-2
Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We have seen his star as it arose, and we have come to worship him.”
I need help. Life passes so fast and change happens so often. So many things surprise me. They often defy attempts at control. I began a search for the one that brings order out of chaos. I found Jesus. He brought me to the Father. He gives me joy in my heart and hope in my daily life. His way is the right way. His love never ceases.

December 26    Matthew 2:11
They entered the house where the child and his mother, Mary, were, and they fell down before him and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
When Christ touched my life, my immediate reaction was to give. When Christ came into the lives of Biblical characters, they each responded with an attitude of giving. I think it is true that when we have Jesus in our hearts we want to give to others. We want to share our joy and we want to share our wealth.

December 27    Luke 2:48
His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son!” his mother said to him. “Why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.” “But why did you need to search?” he asked. “You should have known that I would be in my Father’s house.”
My faith is not boring. I find that my earnest desire is to spend time with the Lord. The more I know Him the more exciting are our meetings. My Father has me on his heart. Knowing this inspires me to seek out fellowship with Him.

December 28    Mark 1:9
One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and he was baptized by John in the Jordan River.
Obedience is better than sacrifice. I can make a sacrifice and not be changed. When I obey the Lord, I will be changed. That’s what God is calling me to do. I am to be changing into the likeness of His son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

December 29    Luke 3:23
Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his public ministry. Jesus was known as the son of Joseph. Joseph was the son of Heli.
Time is not my friend. Satan often uses time to convince me that I am too slow or any other of a myriad of shortcomings. Jesus willingly served where God put Him until the right time. Help me Lord to wait calmly, patiently for the right time.

December 30    Mark 1:12
Immediately the Holy Spirit compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness. He was there for forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him.
Wilderness experiences are no fun. I confess that I need them. The Lord uses them to help me stay on the right track. The truth is that once a wilderness time is completed I do not want to repeat that experience again. The Lord is faithful. When you find yourself in the wilderness remember that He will minister to you too.

December 31    Luke 4:3-8
Then the Devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, change this stone into a loaf of bread.” But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People need more than bread for their life.’ Then the Devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. The Devil told him, “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them – because they are mine to give to anyone I please. I will give it all to you if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God; serve only him.’ ”
Temptation comes to each of us. Sometimes it is carelessness on my part. Other times it is the result of disobedience. Maybe it may be for a reason that I will never know. The reason I am tempted isn’t important. What is critical is my response to the temptation. If I succumb to the temptation then I have sinned. If I stand fast when tempted then I have not sinned. That is simple and it is true.

November 2000

November 1             John 1:1
In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God.

The older I get the more surprised I am at the multitude of problems we can have in our lives.  Sometimes my plea is Lord when will I grow up?  God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not surprised by anything.  They have been there since before things began before there was anything.

November 2             John 1:2
He was in the beginning with God.

Death and failure are formidable opponents.  We are ineffectual in putting off our death, it is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgment.  Sometimes it seems to me that failure is an equally unbeatable foe.  Jesus has defeated them both.  The Word says that God’s plan was in place when time began.

November 3             John 1:3
He created everything there is. Nothing exists that he didn’t make.

We live in a time when the foolishness of man has declared that there are no absolutes.  The world that we live in is being slowly destroyed by man’s refusal to recognize God’s absolutes.  Abortion, divorce, hate, evil acts, and war are just a few of the evils that mankind has unleashed upon itself by refusing to recognize God’s absolutes.  This verse is an absolute.  The corollary is that God is in charge.

November 4             John 1:4
Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone.

Man is a sinner, dead in his trespasses and sin.  Jesus brings life.  The life that Christ gives opens the eyes of the blind and gives them light so that they might see.  Thank you Lord for giving me life.  Why don’t you pause and give the Lord thanks for your life.  It is a blessing.

November 5             John 1:5
The light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

When Jesus came into my life, he exposed all of the evil that I had done.   I felt remorse, shame, and heartache.   He forgave me and pulled me out of the darkness into His eternal light.  Praise His name.   Jesus is the name above every name.

November 6             John 1:12-13
But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn! This is not a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan – this rebirth comes from God.

I am a child of God.  By His own testimony He brought me into His family.  I am alive in Christ and appointed to do good works.  Help me Lord to be faithful in taking care of your creation.

November 7    John 1:14
So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father.

Jesus is the Son of God, the promised Messiah, the resurrected Lord, a descendant of King David, who meets all of the criteria for the Savior. We need to be saved. Only the Lord can save us. Jesus is Lord.

November 8    John 1:16
We have all benefited from the rich blessings he brought to us – one gracious blessing after another.

God gives me blessings in bucketfuls, not with an eyedropper. His blessing more than meets every need I have. His blessing is based upon His love and not on my goodness or hard work. God pours out His blessing on me because of His love for me.

November 9    John 1:17
For the law was given through Moses; God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.

Jesus is God. I want to know Jesus. I want to know Him more. I want to understand what He says and what He did when He walked the earth. I want to do things that way. When I live and act like Jesus I am pleasing the Father.

November 10    John 1:18
No one has ever seen God. But his only Son, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart; he has told us about him.

God came in the flesh. His name is Jesus. The stones condemned me. Jesus forgives me. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. He came so that I might know how I should live.

November 11    John 1:33-34
I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘When you see the Holy Spirit descending and resting upon someone, he is the one you are looking for. He is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Son of God.”

I know Jesus through His Word. I experience Jesus by His work in me. Second hand faith is not faith. I must know Jesus to have believing faith.

November 12    John 1:36
As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and then declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!”

Jesus came to die for me. God was not deceived. God’s plan of salvation was developed for me before time began. The Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, died for me that I might have life. His blood covered my transgressions and set me free. I am a child of God.

November 13    John 1:41
The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother, Simon, and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means the Christ).

When I met Jesus I wanted to tell everybody I knew. The shackles and chains that held me in bondage to sin were broken and I felt joyously free. I wanted to share that joy. I still want to share that joy. In Christ is freedom from everything that condemned me. In Christ I am free.

November 14    John 2:7-8
Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled to the brim, he said, “Dip some out and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So they followed his instructions.

Miracles are the work of God. I am always leery of people who have to go through incantations and dramatics to perform their miracles. The Lord speaks and anything He says is reality. When you need a miracle go directly to Jesus and ask Him. He will not disappoint you.

November 15    John 2:16
Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Don’t turn my Father’s house into a marketplace!”

Jesus was passionate about His commitment to God. He pushed out the things that hurt the worship experience. I must carefully look at the things in my life that take my attention away from God. Anything that keeps me from worship must be removed. Only I can clean the temple that I live in.

November 16    John 2:18-19
“What right do you have to do these things?” the Jewish leaders demanded. “If you have this authority from God, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.” “All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

Jesus lays out the challenge to me. I am the one that cried crucify, crucify. I am the one that nailed the nails. The miracle has been done. The Father raised Him from the grave, and seated Him at His right hand. Believe or crucify? The miracle is done.

November 17    John 2:23-24
Because of the miraculous signs he did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many people were convinced that he was indeed the Messiah. But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew what people were really like.

I am surprised how quickly I can commit a sin. I realize I am fallible but it always stuns me at how fallible I am. One moment I am praising the Lord and the next moment taking a brother to task without all of the information. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to apologize for my desperately wicked heart. Jesus knew those people in Jerusalem and He knows me. That Jesus would save me is an eternal blessing. He knew me and yet He still forgave me. By grace I am saved. What a wonderful thing grace is.

November 18    John 3:3
Jesus replied, “I assure you, unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God.”

My relationship with the Lord is a first person relationship. I am a sinner. I must recognize my sin and ask the Lord Jesus to forgive me of my sin. His Word declares that when I ask Him to forgive me He will. His forgiveness is total and complete and eternal. Praise God.

November 19    John 3:6
Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven.

When Jesus forgave me of my sin, the Holy Spirit gave me a new heart and spiritual life. The guidance of the Holy Spirit keeps me on track. The Holy Spirit comforts me and resides in my heart. Just like prophets of old the Holy Spirit puts the power of God in my daily life.

November 20    John 3:8
Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

There are things that the Lord does that you or I will never understand. When I was born again, I knew that I was different. I was changed. My life has never been the same. Every time I face a crisis the Lord has intervened. The focus of my life changed. People became important. Over a period of years everything I had ever done I put before the Father. The Word began shaping and molding my heart. God was at work on me and I have experienced this first hand. I can’t explain the new birth but I have experienced it.

November 21    John 3:12
But if you don’t even believe me when I tell you about things that happen here on earth, how can you possibly believe if I tell you what is going on in heaven?

Do you have a problem dealing with reality? I do. I always want to do the things I can’t. My mind is often someplace else. Like a little child dissatisfaction with what I am doing now comes easily. A mature child of God disciplines their life to be who they are and function well where they are. O Lord, help me to grow up.

November 22    John 3:16
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

Spiritual superiority is a dangerous state of mind. I am saved by the grace of God. My responsibility is to love God with all my heart and soul and my neighbor as myself. The only one who could claim to be spiritually elite walked to the cross and died for my sin. I am reminded that every lost person that I come into contact with needs Jesus.

November 23    John 3:17
God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.

I have to be careful about the way that I look at others. Condemned criminals need Jesus. Retirees without Jesus are heading towards eternal separation from the Father. Little children need Jesus. Every person I meet needs Jesus. The Father is concerned about every single person that has been born. Can my concern be any less?

November 24    John 3:18
“There is no judgment awaiting those who trust him. But those who do not trust him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God.

I am too lenient on myself when I judge the things that I do. I want to make excuses, and alibi and cajole God. The truth is that truth judges us. If I sin, I have sinned. If I am not a child of God, I am not a child of God. Sin is never justifiable. Salvation is something I must accept.

November 25    John 4:4-7
He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.”

Jesus really ministered to the Samaritan woman. I’ve been to that well in Israel. I know it is there. The story of Jesus’ concern speaks to my need time and again. When I feel badly about my situation, or myself I will journey in my mind to the well. I sit down at the well and talk with Jesus.

November 26         Psalm 86:1
Bend down O Lord, and hear my prayer; answer me, for I need your help.

I cannot remember a day when I have not desperately needed the Lord. I am weak but He is strong. Life happens so quickly and bad things happen out of the blue. O Lord I need your help.

November 27         Psalm 91:1
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

If the Father is going to be my protector I must spend a lot of time with him. Quantity time with the Lord prepares me to face the world daily. Moment by moment I am reminded of His presence and power.

November 28         Psalm 99:1
The Lord is king! Let the nations tremble! He sits on his throne between the cherubim. Let the whole earth quake!

When everything around me seems in trouble, the Lord is there. My life is hidden with Christ in God. I am not alone. The remedies for the impossible situations in my life rest with God. He can fix anything.

November 29         Psalm 100:1-3
Shout with joy to the Lord, O earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

God is present. I can sing His praise in any situation. When I sing His praise I release in my heart His power. There is power in praise. There is healing in praise. Praise ye the Lord.

November 30         John 4:42
Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe because we have heard him ourselves, not just because of what you told us. He is indeed the Savior of the world.”

Salvation is first person. It is my opportunity to end the war and be at peace with God. I am the one that chooses to accept His offer of peace. I am the one that chooses day by day to spend time with him. First person, first place, God is my Savior.

October 2000

October 1    2Samuel 22:31
“As for God, his way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
I always get into trouble when I begin with “I know.” My learning experiences are forged on the anvil of self-centeredness. My mistakes are underwritten by my lack of knowledge. How much better things go when I begin with Lord help me. He does every time. Father help me to learn to come to you first and last.

October 2     Psalms 2:12
Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of your pursuits – for his anger can flare up in an instant. But what joy for all who find protection in him!
Christ is the rightful king of my heart and life. I am to submit to Him ever day, all day. Christ has chosen to be with me. Submission to Him is my choice.

October 3     Psalms 5:11
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Protect them, so all who love your name may be filled with joy.
I am a child of THE KING. My life is hidden in Christ with God. Death has been conquered. His victory is at my disposal. He will never ignore me. I am His. This means that in all things and anything I can rejoice.

October 4    Psalms 7:1
I come to you for protection, O LORD my God. Save me from my persecutors – rescue me!
My life is a product of good and poor choices. My poor choices create dramatic confrontations with the deceiver. The evil one seeks to devour me. The Lord is my protector and He will intervene. Hurt, pain or stupidity will not destroy me. My God is able to deliver me.

October 5    Psalms 9:9-10
The LORD is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O LORD, have never abandoned anyone who searches for you.
I am God’s child. He will not leave me. When my faith is weak, God is there. When my sins mount up, God is there. I am His child forever. God will not leave me.

October 6    Revelation 22:7
“Look, I am coming soon! Blessed are those who obey the prophecy written in this scroll.”
Jesus may come today. He may come tomorrow. He is coming soon. The question I must answer: am I living with His return in mind? My actions answer that question.

October 7             1 John 3:21
Dear friends, if our conscience is clear, we can come to God with bold confidence.

Some days I approach God smugly and line out my interests and needs in my quiet time.  He gently calls me to account for unconfessed misdeeds.  My smug attitude disappears quickly.  My heart expresses its sorrow for foolish presumption.  The Father has again helped me to grow in my confidence in Him.   I am never disappointed when I trust God.   I give evidence of that trust each time I approach Him in prayer.

October 8             1 John 5:4
For every child of God defeats this evil world by trusting Christ to give the victory.

I want to earn my way.   I want to control my life.  Both of these actions before a loving and holy God are worthless.  Only in Christ can I claim victory.  I cannot stand up to evil.  I am not equipped to repudiate the sin that so easily entangles me.  But I can do all things through Christ.  He withstands evil and repudiates sin.  I submit to Him.

October 9             1 Peter 1:5
And God, in his mighty power, will protect you until you receive this salvation, because you are trusting him. It will be revealed on the last day for all to see.

I am a child of God.   I am bought with a price.  My value and worth is grounded in the work that Christ did for the world.  And God can take care of me.  He has.  He does.  He will.   I am His and He is mine.  Praise the Lord from whom all blessings flow.

October 10             1 Peter 1:9
Your reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.

Time will be no more.  I will never again fail.  In that day when I stand before Jesus, He will place that crown of eternity on my head and I will be like Him.  Wow!  What a Savior.

October 11             1 Peter 1:21
Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And because God raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory, your faith and hope can be placed confidently in God.

The lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world was slain for me.  But it didn’t end there for the lamb that was raised conquering death and the grave destroyed sin and evil forever.  The power that raised the lamb lives in me.  He is alive.  His victory insures my life forever.

October 12             1 Peter 1:7
These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

Feel the burn.  Love the pain.  The end result is that I will be more like Jesus.  This is easy to say.  It is also hard to live out in daily life.  My soul screams for ease.  Luxury is easily incorporated into my expectations.  Lord help me survive the trials in a way that honors and glorifies you.

October 13 Joh 1:17
For the law was given through Moses; God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.

I am good at directing other folk’s lives. I can see their faults and correct their deficiencies. However, I am not quite as skilled at fixing my own life. I make excuses and develop reasons why I am as flawed as I am. The Law helps me to recognize my sin. Christ empowers me to accept responsibility for my sin. Christ forgives my sin. Christ gives me the ability to do something about my sin.

October 14 James 1:6
But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

I can trust God. He will align my desires with His purposes. When I go to Him I can approach Him with full confidence that I can ask Him for anything. His way is the best.

October 15 James 2:1
My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim that you have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people more than others?

God created each one of us in His image and for His purposes. We are bought with a price and valuable to the Father. The ground at the cross is level. The blood Jesus shed cleanses each one of us. God is love and we are called to love as He loves.

October 16 James 2:5
Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him?

God is concerned for the poor. It isn’t pretty to be poor. It isn’t easy surviving when you are poor. The poor have plenty of problems. Real faith is fashioned by our response to real problems.

October 17 James 2:10
And the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as the person who has broken all of God’s laws.

I struggled about this passage for years. Then I heard an excellent illustration. Take a glass of water and put one large drop of raw sewerage in the glass of water. Do you have partially clean water? No. With one drop of raw sewerage we have contaminated a whole glass of water. So too can one sin contaminate our entire life.

October 18 James 2:14
Dear brothers and sisters, what’s the use of saying you have faith if you don’t prove it by your actions? That kind of faith can’t save anyone.

When I am rude to my family, I am hurting God. When I mistreat a nobody, I am mistreating the Lord. God is concerned that I serve Him obediently and care for my neighbor. My faith is expressed by how I live my life.

October 19    James 2:17
So you see, it isn’t enough just to have faith. Faith that doesn’t show itself by good deeds is no faith at all – it is dead and useless.

We struggle to make sense out of our lives. People and events often make us feel little and weak. I am only responsible to God for what I can do. I will not be accountable for what I cannot do. The work the Lord assigns me is valuable work in the kingdom. I am required to be about the Lord’s business.

October 20    James 2:23
And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, so God declared him to be righteous.” He was even called “the friend of God.”

Active obedience demonstrates that my faith is real. My works are the results of my faith. My heart is new. My life is refocused. I am a representative of the Lord of the universe. How could I act any other way than the way that He would act?

October 21    James 2:24-25
So you see, we are made right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.
Rahab the prostitute is another example of this. She was made right with God by her actions – when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road.

We are defined by the way we see ourselves. If we conclude that we are without hope and helpless we will live self-centered, mean spirited lives. On the other hand if we recognize whom our father is we will change the way that we live. The needs of our neighbor will become important in our daily lives.

October 22    Hebrews 4:11
Let us do our best to enter that place of rest. For anyone who disobeys God, as the people of Israel did, will fall.

God has already made provision to meet all of my needs. It is my responsibility to recognize this. I hurt God heals. I need God gives. God will take care of me.

October 23    Hebrews 4:1
God’s promise of entering his place of rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to get there.

I cannot save myself. I am not able to logic my way into the family of God. Only when I bend the knee to the Father and accept the work that Christ did for me on the cross will I find salvation. By grace we are saved so that none can boast.

October 24    Hebrews 6:1
So let us stop going over the basics of Christianity again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start all over again with the importance of turning away from evil deeds and placing our faith in God.

God’s call to me is to change. I must stop being irritable, give it to God and He will heal me. I must change my vision from self to others and God will give me what I need to make that change. The Christian life is a journey of change. God is constantly chipping off everything on me that doesn’t look like Jesus. What a Father.

October 25    Hebrews 6:18
So God has given us both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can take new courage, for we can hold on to his promise with confidence.

God has his hand on me. He has given me more than 7,000 promises in His word. I can live my life based on His word and put His promises to work in my life.

October 26    Hebrews 11:1
What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.

I keep a miracle log. I speak to God about things and keep a list of His activity in dealing with the things that I talk with Him about. Each time I get an answer I record the date and the answer. When I face a problem or a failure I go to my miracle log. I am confidently assured by my Father’s work in my life that He hasn’t forgotten me. He speaks to me through His actions. My faith is strengthened. Lord I believe help my unbelief.

October 27    Revelation 1:2-3
John faithfully reported the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ-everything he saw. God blesses the one who reads this prophesy to the church and he blesses all who listen to it and obey what it says. For the time is near when these things will happen.

God speaks to me from His heart. I am not alone. The world is not swirling out of control. God is concerned about my electric bill, and my sin. He wants me to live my life with immediacy. I must learn how to respond with good for evil. I must live with a heart for my neighbor and an ear for the shout of His return.

October 28             Eph. 3:14-15
When I think of the wisdom and scope of God’s plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.

I am overwhelmed when I think about what heaven will be like.  God wants me to be with Him throughout eternity.  Time is banned in heaven.  Pain and suffering are not there.  Scary thoughts and fear have never entered the gates of heaven.  One day I will be there.  Will you be there with me?  If you love Jesus you will.  It’s just that simple.  God said it and I believe it.

October 29             Eph 3:17
And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love.

God’s love reaches into every corner of my existence.  He loves me when I am good and when I am bad.  His love reaches deep into my soul and confirms His care for me.   I talk with the Father so that I can understand where I am.  I don’t have to be concerned about where God is for God is love.

October 30             Isa 8:13
Do not fear anything except the LORD Almighty. He alone is the Holy One. If you fear him, you need fear nothing else.

God doesn’t change but I do.  I choose my relationship with the Lord.  If I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior I am a child of God.  If I choose myself as Lord of my life I am an enemy of God and will be eternally separated from the Father.  God so loved the world that He came.  His coming enabled me to have a clear choice, His way or my way.

October 31             Psalm 37:34
Don’t be impatient for the LORD to act! Travel steadily along his path. He will honor you, giving you the land. You will see the wicked destroyed.

Time is such an enemy.  It tyrannizes me.  It whispers in my ear that God will not act.  Time is the author of impatience.  Time pleads with me to do it my way.  My prayer for you and me is that I will forget the time and wait patiently upon the Lord to act.

September 2000

September 1, 2000                 Mt 5:1
One day as the crowds were gathering, Jesus went up the mountainside with his disciples and sat down to teach them.

Images are powerful.   When I sit before the Father and read the Word of God I sense the master teaching me.  Jesus the master teacher lives in my heart.  When I read His Word He instructs me in the way I should go.

September 2, 2000    Mt 5:3
“God blesses those who realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them.

Christ brings rivers of blessing into my life.  I am always in the presence of the Lord.  I am a sinner saved by grace.  My way is always tainted by my human nature.  His way is always underlined by His perfection.  On bent knee victory is mine.  Without Him I can do nothing.

September 3, 2000     Mt 5:4
God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

My sinfulness causes me pain.  I am sometimes overcome with remorse for foolish words or harsh actions.  Out of my sorrow and grief I discover the heart and hand of God.  He blesses me in my recognition of my sin.  His comfort cures my sorrow.  My gratitude for His saving grace is an encouragement for my soul.

September 4, 2000    Mt 5:5
God blesses those who are gentle and lowly, for the whole earth will belong to them.

The world feels the superior authority of truth, purity, justice, kindness, love, and faith.  When I understand this I am blessed.  My first responsibility is to God.  To quietly submit to His Word, submit to Him in prayer and to obediently serve Him.  When this mindset controls me I am blessed.  There is wonderful joy and blessing when I let God be God and act like His beloved child.

September 5, 2000     Mt 5:6
God blesses those who are hungry and thirsty for justice, for they will receive it in full.

The world destroys.  My God creates.  All around me is evil and injustice.  I strive to help, to encourage and to be just in all my dealings.  Spiritual good is found in Jesus.  He is our righteousness.  When I hunger and thirst for justice, I find it here and now in Christ.

September 6, 2000    Mt 5:7
God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

The merciful are never the wisest.  They are seldom the richest.  Yet out of the mouth of God comes His promise of blessing that flows from mercy.  My prayer is that when I have an advantage that I will be merciful.  Just as the Lord is merciful to me.

September 7, 2000    Mt 5:8
God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.

True Christianity lives in my heart.  Out of my heart come the direction and the intent for all that I do.  Doing my own thing, going my own way sets me up for an impure heart.  My focus, my surrender controls my relationship with Jesus.  Only Jesus cleanses hearts.  My heart must be pure.  My heart will govern my life.  God will use a pure heart.  Jesus is willing to cleanse my heart.

September 8, 2000    Mt 5:9
God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.

We are first pure before God and then we are peaceable before men.  This cuts me to the quick.  My life sometimes is embittered and embattled.  On occasion my heart boils and my actions towards others are unkind.   O Lord forgive me and bless me with peace.

September 9, 2000     Mt 5:10
God blesses those who are persecuted because they live for God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

My sin persecutes me much more than my righteousness.  My tendency is to drift away from the proclamation of the Gospel.  I keep a quick list of reasons. The truth is that I simply lose focus and rest on what has been.  We will be criticized and persecuted when we proclaim Jesus as Lord.  Help me Father to proclaim Jesus as Lord at every opportunity.

September 10, 2000    Mt 5:11-12
“God blesses you when you are mocked and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers.   Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted, too.

The Holy Spirit will personally intervene in my spirit when I am under persecution for proclaiming the Gospel.  Jesus states this as a fact.  I can fashion my life and my witness around this promise from my Father.  When I am proclaiming Jesus I am doing work assigned by the Father to me.  He will not forget my actions.  He will reward them now and later.

September 11, 2000    Mt 5:13
“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it useful again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

Loneliness is a depressing experience.  I have struggled with it much of my life.  I have found that acting like a child of God dispels my loneliness.  When I am spending time with Him I experience His presence.   When I am caring for others I experience His presence.  I have a responsibility to others.  I am just passing through, not staying.  If I deny this responsibility the world will grind me down and ignore me.

September 12, 2000    Mt 5:14-16
You are the light of the world – like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

What I do reflects on God.  He shines through me.  The light is not mine; it is evidence of God’s control of me.  No light, no control; bright light, total control.  This is not a difficult theological concept.

September 13, 2000    Mt 5:17
“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to fulfill them.

God’s Word speaks of Jesus from Genesis to Revelation.  It is God’s message to me about His activity in the world.  The Word reveals Christ.  Christ is the Word.

September 14, 2000     Mt 5:18
I assure you, until heaven and earth disappear, even the smallest detail of God’s law will remain until its purpose is achieved.

The Lord will not forget me.  His will is to preserve even the minutest points of the law.  He died for me and He will not forget me.  My God is concerned about me.

September 15, 2000     Mt 5:19
So if you break the smallest commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Purity, devotion, time with God, caring for others, these things are considered unimportant in modern day America.  We extol the virtues of personal freedom and self-expression and condone murdering babies.   Those that trust and follow God are ridiculed.  This will last only a short time.

September 16, 2000     Mt 5:20
“But I warn you – unless you obey God better than the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees do, you can’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven at all!

In the midst of living life my way, I enumerate for God all that I am doing for Him.  But Jesus questions me deep within my soul.  He asks me if I love Him?  If you love me you will take care of the hurting, provide for the weak, and be kind to those that hate me.   Lord help me remember that love is an activity not a state of mind.

September 17, 2000     Mt 5:21-22
“You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the high council. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.

The worst sin is the one I don’t do.  Jesus says the worst sin is the one I do.  I may look to you like I am an upstanding Christian but God knows my thoughts.   If I don’t guard my thoughts they will poison my heart.  A poisoned heart hurts God’s children.

September 18, 2000    Mt 5:23-24
“So if you are standing before the altar in the Temple, offering a sacrifice to God, and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there beside the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

I cannot love God if I hate my brother.  My actions towards others are an indicator of my relationship with the Lord.  Jesus changes me from the inside out.  When Christ is in control I love His creation.  When I am in control I cannot get along with His creation.

September 19, 2000    Mt 5:25-26
Come to terms quickly with your enemy before it is too late and you are dragged into court, handed over to an officer, and thrown in jail. I assure you that you won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny.

My world seems so personal.   It is full of things I want and things I do.   The real world is impersonal.  People hurt and people die every day.  I must consider reality when I am dealing with others.  Humility and kindness will carry me many miles.  Hardheartedness will only cause grief.  Life is real.  Jesus really does love me.  Tomorrow is in His hands.

September 20, 2000    Mt 5:27-28
“You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

This is a word of caution for fathers and sons.  Our sin always begins in our heart.  The things we do today that grieve the Lord, we thought about yesterday.  A life of purity begins with the things that we think about and look at.

September 21, 2000    Mt 5:29-30
So if your eye – even if it is your good eye – causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.  And if your hand – even if it is your stronger hand – causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

Accountability for sin is hard.  I am always blaming my wife, my children, my employer, my friends or my childhood for the evil I do.  The truth is that no matter what I say or think, I am responsible for my sin.  Holy Spirit help me to have a pure heart and clean hands.  Guide me to focus my actions on Jesus.

September 22, 2000    Psalm 100:2
Worship the LORD with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy.

I am called to worship.  It is an opportunity for me to rejoice in the providence of the Lord in my life.  It is a charge to joyfully recount in my heart the precious moments with the Lord.  In the worship experience, God is the audience and I am onstage.  The Lord encourages me to think of the future.  What a wonderful eternity lies ahead.  Great is the Lord.  He is worthy of all my praise.

September 23, 2000    Mt 5:33-34
“Again, you have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’  But I say, don’t make any vows!

My children when disciplined would proclaim I promise I will never do that again.  The Father cautions me to be careful about my promises.  When I sin, I can come to him for forgiveness and He will forgive.   I cannot say what I will or won’t do in the future because I am human.  God is eternal and He can and will keep his promises.

September 24, 2000    Mt 5:38-42
“You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘If an eye is injured, injure the eye of the person who did it. If a tooth gets knocked out, knock out the tooth of the person who did it.’  But I say, don’t resist an evil person! If you are slapped on the right cheek, turn the other, too. If you are ordered to court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.

I have an ego bigger than Texas.  When someone mistreats me I always proudly respond with justified anger.  Jesus says I should be careful how I respond to mistreatment.  Kindness and forgiveness are acts of a conqueror.  I am more than a conqueror in Christ.

September 25, 2000    Mt 5:43-45
“You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies!  Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and on the unjust, too.

My dad was not a good man.  I prayed for him most of the time until he died.  It hurt to pray for him.  The things he did destroyed or injured the lives of a dozen people that trusted him.  This is what Jesus is talking about.  We are to pray for those that hurt us.  Christ is calling us to pray for the forgiveness of those that are responsible for the hurt and pain that we will carry with us all the days of our life.

September 26, 2000    Mt 5:46-48
If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

I am a sinner saved by grace.  My tendency to sin must never stop me from seeking to become Christ like.  I strive to be like Him.  I fail, repent, regroup and try again to grow in Christ likeness.  Then one day I will stand before Him.  Perfect and complete He will say well done my good and faithful servant perfect in Christ.

September 27, 2000             Hebrews 11:3
By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

God is true.  He is not waiting on me to form the universe.  His truth is not dependent on my belief.  My relationship is formed by my faith that God is true.  That faith changes everything in my life.  No longer am I alone, by faith He is with me.  No longer are life’s obstacles destructive, by faith they are formed into something useful in my life.  I am complete in Christ.

September 28, 2000             Hebrews 11:4
It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. God accepted Abel’s offering to show that he was a righteous man. And although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us because of his faith.

Attitude is everything.  When I see God’s love and resources I am different.  I am not at the mercy of the world.  God is in me.  Christ uses me to take the message of salvation to the world.  I am a world changer.

September 29, 2000             Hebrews 11:6
So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

I love the Lord.  I love my neighbor.   When I am under the Lord’s direction I am different.  Separate from the world, serving the world.  Faith in God equips me for usefulness in His family.

September 30, 2000             Hebrews 11:7
It was by faith that Noah built an ark to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about something that had never happened before. By his faith he condemned the rest of the world and was made right in God’s sight.

Rejection is a normal reaction by the world.  Service is a normal reaction for God’s children.  When I am a new creature in Christ, rejection does not hamper my service.  God is real.   His reality shepherds me through the pain and heartache of criticism and disdain.  I do what the Lord says.

August 2000

August 1, 2000                 2Th 3:5
May the Lord bring you into an ever-deeper understanding of the love of God and the endurance that comes from Christ.

I sought a deeper understanding of God’s love.  He spoke to me when my heart was broken.  I could feel His love.  He loved me through His broken heart.  He calls me to love with a broken heart.

August 2, 2000                 1Ti 1:5
The purpose of my instruction is that all the Christians there would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and sincere faith.

My life is composed of experiences.  I contain all of the experiences that I have gone through.  I don’t like some of the things I have experienced.  God has often used those unwanted events to help me grow as His child.  My love grows out of His love for me.

August 3, 2000                 Isa 2:22
Stop putting your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath. How can they be of help to anyone?

My big stumbling block is entrusting my future to man.  Education, hard work, commitment and loyalty to the things that are outlined by society are sure fire ways to succeed.  One day I will die.   That date is unknown to me but known to God.   My future is in his hands.  Help me Lord to do all my planning with you first.

August 4, 2000                 2Ch 13:10
“But as for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not abandoned him. Only the descendants of Aaron serve the LORD as priests, and the Levites alone may help them in their work.

I must live by the Lord’s standards if I am going to represent Him.  There is a standard of Holiness that the Lord God has commanded.  I am not free to do what feels good.  I am called to do what is right.  My challenge is always to do the next right thing.

August 5, 2000                 Mt 25:44-45
“Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ And he will answer, ‘I assure you, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

Everyone wants to feel important.  The Lord says that my job is to make sure that I respond to everyone as if they are as important as I am.  People need love.   Everyone I meet is worthy of my love.

August 6, 2000                 Ps 5:2
Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I will never pray to anyone but you.

I am learning that a healthy awareness of my own vulnerability to life is important.  Rising early to greet the Lord enables me to claim the peace I will need for the days activities.  Seeking His strength prepares me to face the unknown with strength.  My God is in control.  I can relax because He is in charge.

August 7, 2000                 Heb 6:10
For God is not unfair. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other Christians, as you still do.

God’s eye is always on me.  He never forgets what I have done or what I need.  I can face disappointment and failure with the sure confidence that the Lord will remember me.

August 8, 2000                 Heb 10:24
Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds.

Every person I meet needs an encouraging word.  The Lord is teaching me not to be fooled by their status.  Most people are hurting from the weariness of life.  I can encourage them by being the Lord’s agent of encouragement.

August 9, 2000                 Heb 13:1-2
Continue to love each other with true Christian love.  Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it.

God has called me to care for the people I come into contact with.  It would be nice to care for movie stars or the rich and famous.  Providentially the Lord has called me to reach out to co-workers, family, friends and all of those I come into contact with.  I must bloom where I am planted not dream about another flowerbed.

August 10, 2000                 Heb 13:5
Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never forsake you.”

My worry is so often related to money.  Will I have enough for this and enough for that?  Now in my fifties, after never having missed a payment or gone without, I still worry about money.  Satan has an inside track on me.  I can believe in the miracle of healing but worry about paying the light bill.  Never means never.  Help me Lord to trust you with this month’s money worries.

August 11, 2000                 Jas 2:5
Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him?

I want to be rich in faith but I don’t want to be poor.  Sometimes I am not willing to go to the school that teaches certain spiritual gifts.  What I really want to do Lord is be what you want me to be.   Help me to be me.

August 12, 2000                 Jas 2:8
Yes indeed, it is good when you truly obey our Lord’s royal command found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

I am always checking what I am doing to make sure it is moral.  I guard my speech even to the point of making sure I ask the Lord to help me watch what I say.   I am meticulous in coming before the Lord every day.  I must confess that my self-righteousness often creates in me a hard heart toward sinners.  Lord plow up the hard ground of my heart so that I will love as you love.

August 13, 2000                 Jas 2:12
So whenever you speak, or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law of love, the law that set you free.

My good deeds today don’t offset being snappy or grouchy towards my wife or children.  I must constantly check my frustration at the door before I enter my home.  Everyone I deal with is due civility and kindness.

August 14, 2000                 1Pe 1:8
You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him, you trust him; and even now you are happy with a glorious, inexpressible joy.

I love Jesus though I have not seen Him.  My relationship is through the eye of faith.  He has walked through the valley of the shadow of death with me.  He has carried me through dark days and endless nights.  My heart has been warmed by His care and concern.  My Lord is here for me.

August 15, 2000                 1Pe 1:22
Now you can have sincere love for each other as brothers and sisters because you were cleansed from your sins when you accepted the truth of the Good News. So see to it that you really do love each other intensely with all your hearts.

I can love you because I am loved.  Your worthiness is based upon our relationship with the Father through the Son.  I am His, He is mine and we are brothers and sisters.  The love of God binds us together.

August 16, 2000                 1Pe 2:17
Show respect for everyone. Love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God. Show respect for the king.

Every time I criticize a brother or sister in Christ I have three fingers of condemnation pointing back at me.   I must forgive because I am forgiven.   I must not judge for I am not wise enough to know all the circumstances of the situation.  I must love because I am loved.

August 17, 2000                 1Pe 4:8
Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.

My possessions, power or status mean nothing in eternity.  I will spend eternity with people.  People count.   When I am caring for people I am making an eternal investment.

August 18, 2000                 1Pe 5:14
Greet each other in Christian love. Peace be to all of you who are in Christ.

I want peace.  When I am lying awake at 3 a.m. peace clears my mind so that I can go back to sleep.  When I face impossible situations peace enables me to deal with the issues clearly.  When I fail peace paves the road to recovery.  When I succeed peace reminds me to be humble.  Peace is a genuine blessing from the Father that equips me to live life in the now.

August 19, 2000     1 Pe 2:11
Dear brothers and sisters, you are foreigners and aliens here.  So I warn you to keep away from evil desires because they fight against your very souls.

This is not my home.   Neither my work nor my play is eternal.   People are the only eternal things that I know.  I must watch carefully how I live so that I don’t get things turned upside down.  New cars, the top job, higher pay, fancy vacations, or world renowned venues are not eternal.  I must carefully watch what I focus my life on so that my soul will be focused on eternal things.

August 20, 2000     2Ch 14:11
Then Asa cried out to the LORD his God, “O LORD, no one but you can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O LORD our God, for we trust in you alone. It is in your name that we have come against this vast horde. O LORD, you are our God; do not let mere men prevail against you!”

You are not alone.  You were bought with a price.  God will take care of you.  You are the apple of His eye.  Be encouraged and be blessed, the Lord of all creation is focusing His love and attention on you.  Whatever you are facing God will be there to help you.

August 21, 2000     1 Pe 5:6
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in His good time He will honor you.

The bad things that happen in my life the Lord can use for good.  My responsibility is to bend my knee in the presence of the almighty God of the universe and trust Him.  Humble submission will permit the Lord to bless me with his love and guidance.  Self-will separates me from the Lord. Humility unites me with the Father.  Lord give me the wisdom to bend the knee to you in all things.   Not my will but thy will.

August 22, 2000     Ps 7:9
End the wickedness of the ungodly, but help all those who obey you. For you look deep within the mind and heart, O righteous God.

When I am crying out against the wicked my heart accuses me of my own sin against God.  My deepest yearning as I plea for help is, Lord cleanse me.  My cries for help results in God calling me to go to the wicked and plead with them to come to the Him.

August 23, 2000     Ps 9:12
For he who avenges murder cares for the helpless. He does not ignore those who cry to him for help.

Help me Lord today.  I spend too much time worrying about tomorrow.  I need help this moment for this problem.  My life always gets confused and overwhelmed when I recount my strength.  Lord help me, a weak servant that gets off course so easily.  I need the Lord right now.

August 24, 2000     Isa 1:17
Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the orphan. Fight for the rights of widows

Sin defiles my soul.   It affects every aspect of the way that I live.  Part of my response to God for saving me is to diligently learn to do good.  I am not living my daily Christian life for the world to watch.  I am on mission for the Lord Jesus Christ.  I am to become His arms and feet.  I am to encourage as He encourages.  I may be the only Jesus that many lost people ever see.

August 25, 2000     Isa 8:17
I will wait for the LORD to help us, though he has turned away from the people of Israel. My only hope is in him.

Many that name the name of Christ ignore the true and living God.  They do it by their priorities, their lifestyle, their selfishness and their denial of His power in their lives.  The result is that God ignores them and their lives give no evidence of the activity of the risen Lord.   I am basing my life, my hope on Jesus.   He saved me.  He helps me.  He disciplines me.   I know Him.  Time with Jesus is time well spent.

August 26, 2000     Isa 43:22
“But, my dear people, you refuse to ask for my help. You have grown tired of me!

My God is not a God of just the big things.  He is Lord of all.   His concern touches everything that I think and do.  Nothing in my life is outside the purview of the Father.  I am His child and He is Lord of my life.

August 27, 2000    Mr 9:24
The father instantly replied, “I do believe, but help me not to doubt!”

Lord please help me as I struggle with unbelief in my life.  Every time I express my confidence in you, unbelief beats at my door.  Time screams it won’t happen.  The day pushes me to try things my way.  But Lord help me in the persistence of my unbelief to simple trust in you.  At the appointed time I will see your victory.

August 28, 2000     Isa 59:16
He was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. So he himself stepped in to save them with his mighty power and justice.

I bend the knee before a Holy God.  I recognize that He is talking about me.  How often I stand quietly before the oppressed.  Evil has its way.   How Lord, can I stand against the oppressor?   Without you Lord I would utterly fail.   Praise the Lord for the salvation that He brings in Jesus.  Not because of my work but because of His love.

August 29, 2000     Pr 3:27
Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.

My neighbor deserves my best.  Not because of his goodness but because of God’s love.  My value is in Jesus.  As a younger brother, I am called to care for people.  All people.  Any people.

August 30, 2000     Da 9:18
“O my God, listen to me and hear my request. Open your eyes and see our wretchedness. See how your city lies in ruins – for everyone knows that it is yours. We do not ask because we deserve help, but because you are so merciful.

My God helps me because He wants to.  The Lord loves me.   I have accepted that love by bending the knee before Him and asking Jesus to forgive me of my sin and come into my heart and save me.   I am saved from eternal wandering.  I am no longer dead in my sin, my Father has brought me into His family.

August 31, 2000    Lu 6:42
How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

My heart gets cold so quick.  When I condemn my brother of his sin, at the same time I am concealing a greater sin in my own heart.  The worst sins are always the sins that I don’t do.  Jesus says that my sin is the worst sin that I can do.  I am called to deal with my life and recognize the evil in my heart.  Otherwise I will become a member of the religious crowd that focuses their lives on the things they don’t do and never recognize the evil they do.  Help me Lord.