Today's Good News

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.

July 2000

July 1, 2000                Ps 48:9
O God, we meditate on your unfailing love as we worship in your Temple.

Lord, when I am in church please help me to focus on you.  Help me Father to set aside the cares and worries of this world.  Call me into your presence.  Instill in me an awareness of your activity in my life.

July 2, 2000                 Lu 14:26
“If you want to be my follower you must love me more than your own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, more than your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.

I am called to a life of focus and sacrifice.  Christ is not waiting for me to make him a second choice in a mult-option life.   Christ is first of all or not at all.  Love the Lord.

July 3, 2000                 Lu 15:20
“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.

Our children have a will of their own.  Even though I have not succeeded as a parent, I can wait.  I can pray.  One day as I am praying I will be able to look down the road and see that precious child of mine returning home.  God has a plan.   My part is to pray that God’s plan will be done.

July 4, 2000                 Lu 16:13
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

There are not fence sitters in the kingdom of God.  I must take my stand and live accordingly.  Lord, help me to see that the way I live is a reflection of the type of relationship that I am developing with you.  Too often I let myself be fooled into thinking that I am not in control of how I respond to the evils of this world.  The real reason I am overrun by the world is because I am not letting you control my life.

July 5, 2000                 Lu 20:46
“Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they love to parade in flowing robes and to have everyone bow to them as they walk in the marketplaces. And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and at banquets.

Father forgive me for the times I respond to life situations as a religious hypocrite.  I know that you love people most.  Help me to love people the way you do.  Help me to put people ahead of self.

July 6, 2000                 Joh 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.

Lord, I want to be like Jesus.  Give me the growth experiences that will help me to be more like Him.  Even though He was God, He denied Himself and did your will.   I am just a simple man, help me to deny myself and do your will.  Not my will Lord but your will.

July 7, 2000                 Lu 7:47
I tell you, her sins – and they are many – have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”

How easily I forget the day I was saved.  I was dead in my trespasses and sin with a clear view of eternal punishment, Christ forgave me.  I had nothing and no one and then suddenly I had everything.  I can remember those first few days, the sweet fellowship with Jesus and the gentle peace that I felt to the depths of my soul.  Let’s do it again Lord.  I want to go back to that day and never forget that every day can be just like that first day.  Jesus loves me this I know.

July 8, 2000                 Lu 10:27
The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

God chose me before the foundation of the world.  He chose that I be a part of His family and represent him on earth at this point in space and time.  God chose you before the foundation of the world.  He appointed you to be His representative on earth at this point in space and time.   God chose each one of us to be his and provided that we could enter His family by faith in Jesus Christ.  My responsibility and your responsibility is to think of and act towards each person the way that God has acted towards us.  Love them.

July 9, 2000                 Ps 100:5
For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

I love my children.  I am disappointed with them at times but I still love them.   How wonderful that we have a loving father who loves each one of us.  Thru thick and thin He is faithful and loving.  This comforts me when I bend before my Father in confession and receive His forgiveness.

July 10, 2000               Ps 86:5
O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask your aid.

Sometimes my pain is so great all I can do is cry out to the Lord and ask Him to help me.  He has.  He does.  He will.  I am not required to meet some formulaic requisite to receive God’s help.  When help is needed I am often not able to do anything but cry out.

July 11, 2000               Lu 11:42
“But how terrible it will be for you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest part of your income, but you completely forget about justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but you should not leave undone the more important things.

I consider myself a religious person.  Maybe even what you might call a religious leader.  The only people Jesus criticized were religious leaders.  This causes me to evaluate how I look at others and how I handle myself.  The question I ask myself when confronting others about morality and righteousness is how would God deal with me if I had done this.  My charge is to never lower the standard but always lift up the person.

July 12, 2000               Ps 86:15
But you, O Lord, are a merciful and gracious God, slow to get angry, full of unfailing love and truth.

I still get aggravated with the way other folks drive.  It can be very irritating, even maddening.  Biblical truth is timeless.  There were no cars when this verse was written.  In the heart of the Lord, He knew that I would need reminding about his actions toward me so that I could survive driving on today’s highways.  Timeless truth cures momentary lapses in judgment.

July 13, 2000              Lu 11:43
“How terrible it will be for you Pharisees! For how you love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the respectful greetings from everyone as you walk through the markets!

Many people struggle with low self-esteem.  I know that I do.   Low self-esteem pushes us to do odd things.   It sometimes causes us to want recognition whether it is warranted or not.  Some people that deal with the invisible Lord as a vocation need recognition from people.  They have not developed their relationship with the Lord.   Jesus loves me, this I know.  I know it by His Word, by the work of the Holy Spirit in my heart and by the testimony of His work in my life.

July 14, 2000               Ps 89:2
Your unfailing love will last forever. Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens.

God is bigger than any of my problems.  My problems will only last a lifetime.  God is eternal.   God’s love and faithfulness is forever.   I can sing and rejoice.  The Lord is good and His mercy is everlasting.  Praise the Lord.

July 15, 2000               Joh 1:17
For the law was given through Moses; God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.

The eternal Lord came into my world and destroyed sin.  He is my savior from all of the forces that seek to destroy me.  Bless the Lord, oh my soul and all that is with me.

July 16, 2000               Joh 14:21
Those who obey my commandments are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them, and I will love them. And I will reveal myself to each one of them.”

God alone knows the future.  I am charged with the responsibility of preparing for what will come soon.  When I live by God’s standard, my life will be different.  I will love those that I am in the world with.  I will care for the weak and downtrodden.  I will seek justice for the helpless.  God knows what will happen.  I must trust Him with my future.  Lord help me to do this day by day.

July 17, 2000 Ps 89:14
Your throne is founded on two strong pillars – righteousness and justice. Unfailing love and truth walk before you as attendants.

Whatever problem I face, God is able.  He is strong enough to save me.  He is equipped to deal with all my sin.  My weakness is not a surprise to Him.  My unfaithfulness does not diminish His strength.  God’s power, majesty, and ability is founded upon Himself.  God is able.

July 18, 2000               Joh 8:42
Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me.

My actions reveal who I am.  Any surprise that people are suffering as they are in America.   If I conduct my life under the authority and power of God, I am His child.  If I choose to go my own way I will suffer the consequences.

July 19, 2000               Ps 89:28
I will love him and be kind to him forever; my covenant with him will never end.

Jesus was not an afterthought of our wonderful God.  Jesus was God.   I can be confident that as I live my life, Jesus will provide all of the resources that I need to live my life as a child of God.   I am a child of God, brother to the incarnate Word and heir of eternity.

July 20, 2000               Ps 90:14
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.

I am reminded that I must make time to be with the Lord.  Daily I must come before Him and quietly seek His guidance.  I can expect to receive grace, comfort, wisdom, mercy and His gentle involvement in my life.  When I ignore these daily times with Him, His involvement in my life is not so gently at times as He gets my attention.

July 21, 2000              Joh 8:44
For you are the children of your father the Devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning and has always hated the truth. There is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Hatred of the truth, lying, and evil intent always aligns us with evil.  We cannot separate our attitudes from our actions.  If what we do is evil then we are being evil.  If we love God we will do the right thing.

July 22, 2000              Ps 91:14
The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.

God watches over us in time of great stress and fear.  He is a trustworthy Father.    When I am knee deep in life, I stop and ask the Lord to help me.  I believe the Lord.  He will rescue me.  The Father loves me so much that He never takes His eyes off of me.

July 23, 2000              Joh 12:25
Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who despise their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

I am constantly battling my ego.  Inside of me there is a drive to be successful, to be recognized, and to have my way.  God has a purpose for my life.  He wants to have His way with me.  I am the only one that can surrender my way to His way.  If I do surrender than I win.  If I do not surrender then I lose.  God has first place or no place.

July 24, 2000              Ps 94:18
I cried out, “I’m slipping!” and your unfailing love, O LORD, supported me.

I am overwhelmed by God’s love.  Just the mention of need and my Lord responds.  Whenever I am down and out I know that my redeemer lives because He lives and resides in me.  He changes me from the inside out.  He comforts me in times of trouble.  My God meets my need.

July 25, 2000              Joh 13:1
Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He now showed the disciples the full extent of his love.

I have a hard time comprehending the depth of the love of Christ.  He knew He would be betrayed and yet He still washed the Disciples feet.  I am a difficult person.  My defensiveness is often offensive.  I am asking the Lord to give me the wisdom and strength that I need to change the way I react to others.

July 26, 2000              Ps 97:10
You who love the LORD, hate evil! He protects the lives of his godly people and rescues them from the power of the wicked.

I can’t ignore God’s commands and love Him.  I cannot live like Satan and claim to be a Saint.  When I look at my life, all that I do must square with God’s Word or it is not of God.  All of us are special but no one has a “free day of sin” card!

July 27, 2000               Joh 13:1
Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He now showed the disciples the full extent of his love.

I am totally overwhelmed by God’s act of love.  He died for me.  He knows the sins I have committed and the sins I will commit and He died for me.  The question that nags at my soul is am I living for Him?  He died and I am called to live.  Help me Lord to become more like you.

July 28, 2000               Ps 98:3
He has remembered his promise to love and be faithful to Israel. The whole earth has seen the salvation of our God.

The birth of Christ validates God’s love for me.  In His mercy He saw my need and sent a savior.  I was in great need of a savior and Christ made me a child of God.  No longer on the outside I am a child of the King and a member of His household.  His eye is always on me therefore I too can cry out Father as I face the daily grind of life.

July 29, 2000               Joh 13:34
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.

Loving others was required in Leviticus 19:18.  The new requirement was to love as Jesus loved.  Lord give me the willingness to spend time each day searching the Scriptures to discover what you think about everything in my life.  Then Lord help me to take that information from my mind and put it in my heart so that I will change the way I act.

July 30, 2000               Joh 13:35
Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

I am discovering that people are a lot more concerned about how I act than what I think.  My doctrine may be pure but if my life or lifestyle is worldly I will turn many away from Jesus.

July 31, 2000               Joh 14:15
“If you love me, obey my commandments.

By faith I ask the Holy Spirit to give me the power to live like Jesus.  When I search the Word of God the Holy Spirit tells me what the Lord expects of me.  Obedience is an essential element of my relationship with the Lord.   If I do not obey, I will not grow in Christ.

June 2000

June 1, 2000                Eph 5:25-26
And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God’s word.

How should I love my wife?   I must be willing to sacrifice my life for her.  In addition to being willing to die for my wife, I must be willing to live with my wife.  She must be first in my life.  Next to Jesus, my wife comes first.  The way that I show her that I am living for her is to make sure that everything I do is as though I were doing it for myself.  Loving my wife is the way I demonstrate how deeply I love the Lord.

June 2, 2000                Php 4:1
Dear brothers and sisters, I love you and long to see you, for you are my joy and the reward for my work. So please stay true to the Lord, my dear friends.

I find that it is easier for me to relate to machinery than it is to people.  Machinery is predictable and fixable.  People are different.  They are difficult to understand and impossible to fix.  But Christ came for people.  He was concerned that each one of us know Him and through Him have forgiveness for our sin.   Help me Lord to love people.

June 3, 2000                1Th 3:6
Now Timothy has just returned, bringing the good news that your faith and love are as strong as ever. He reports that you remember our visit with joy and that you want to see us just as much as we want to see you.

Friends come into my life as a blessing from the Lord.  When pain and anguish come, my friends are the first to offer comfort and encouragement.  The Lord is good and perfect.  The friends that he sends me always seem to minister to me at the right time.   One must first be a friend to have friends.

June 4, 2000                Ps 33:18
But the LORD watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love.

Thank you Lord for watching over me.  In the midst of good and bad it is a blessing and encouragement to know that you watch over me.  When I am tempted to sin I am reminded that you are watching over me and it gives me strength.  In victory it helps me to keep my feet on the ground to know that you are watching over me.

June 5, 2000                Eph 6:23
May God give you peace, dear brothers and sisters, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Strife and discord are conquered by the peace of God.  God’s peace makes me grateful when I am overwrought and misdirected by the chaos of life.  His peace calms my fears and gives me renewed strength.

June 6, 2000                Eph 6:24
May God’s grace be upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.

My home and my church are difficult places to live the Christian life.  Family members and church members know I am human.  So many times my real self comes through.  God’s grace ministers to my heart and enables me to be the kind of person that God created me to be.  Thank the Lord for his wonderful grace.

June 7, 2000                Ps 33:22
Let your unfailing love surround us, LORD, for our hope is in you alone.

I am not hoping in a strong dollar.  My life does not revolve around a strong stock market.  I am totally sold out to live my life based on the unfailing love of the Lord.  He loves me and has my best good at heart.

June 8, 2000                Php 1:8
God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.

I have friends scattered around the world.  I miss Rick and his family on mission in West Africa.  I miss Greg and his family who minister in Israel.  I miss Doc who now lives in Texas.  And the list is lengthy.  Some of my friends have moved to other states, some I’ve moved away from but all Christian brothers.   One day we will be together in eternity.   But for now, I really miss them from the bottom of my heart.  Thank you Father for these wonderful friends.  Please bless them while we are apart.

June 9, 2000                Php 1:9
I pray that your love for each other will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in your knowledge and understanding.

I pray for a long list of people each day.  I pray that friends will be protected and blessed.  I pray that the Lord will bless those that are not friends.  I pray for the lost people that I know that God would save them.  Everyone needs prayer.  Put each person you know on your prayer list.

June 10, 2000              Php 1:16
They preach because they love me, for they know the Lord brought me here to defend the Good News.

The Lord uses people.   He is so faithful in using me.  I am often amazed when he takes my feeble work and blesses it.  I am weak but he is strong.  He wants me to be faithful in serving Him.

June 11, 2000              Ps 37:37
Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future lies before those who love peace.

I am cautioned by the Lord to be patient in well doing.  At the proper time He will bless my work and me.  God has a timetable.  My job is not to determine His timetable but instead I am to do His work.

June 12, 2000              Php 2:1
Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and sympathetic?

I minister for the Lord.   I am required to remember that God is the audience.  I work for Him and always in His sight.  I care for others not because they have been kind to me but because Christ gave His life for me.  I am under orders and well equipped to serve where the Lord puts me.

June 13, 2000              Php 2:29
Welcome him with Christian love and with great joy, and be sure to honor people like him.

I always fail when I try to judge others.  God calls me to love people not judge them.  My heart is unruly.   God’s love controls my heart.

June 14, 2000              Eph 5:28
In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife.

I love my wife.  The longer we are together the more my love grows.  She ministers to me when I am down.  She rejoices with me in victory.  Over and over she encourages me to serve the Lord.  I think that I have the best wife in the world.  She is perfect for me.

June 15, 2000              Ps 31:23
Love the LORD, all you faithful ones! For the LORD protects those who are loyal to him, but he harshly punishes all who are arrogant.

I always get in trouble when I get ahead of God.  The situation looked so simple.  The timetable was moving so slow.  I tried to hasten the work and everything fell apart.  Immediately I went before the Lord and cried out for help.  Only when I refuse to bend the knee does disaster strike.

June 16, 2000              Col 1:3-4
We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard that you trust in Christ Jesus and that you love all of God’s people.

Christ Jesus is my only hope.  He alone is the way of salvation.  In Christ we pray for others.  In Christ we minister to others.  Without Jesus I can do nothing.

June 17, 2000              Col 1:7-8
Epaphras, our much-loved co-worker, was the one who brought you the Good News.  He is Christ’s faithful servant, and he is helping us in your place.  He is the one who told us about the great love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you.

People count.  When I forget the people that are actively involved in my life the Holy Spirit will nudge me to remembrance.  When I love Jesus, I love people.

June 18, 2000              Col 2:2
My goal is that they will be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have full confidence because they have complete understanding of God’s secret plan, which is Christ himself.

I like secrets.  I want to be first on the list when things are told.  I know a secret.  Jesus is God’s everything.  Now you know it too.  Anything in my life that needs fixing Jesus is able.  All of the power and resources of God are available to me in Jesus Christ.

June 19, 2000              Ps 59:17
O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love.

Experience is a harsh taskmaster.   I have had close acquaintances that for one reason or another became former friends.  They no longer have the kind feelings for me that they once had.  The tragedy is that I am probably the cause of their change of allegiance.  When I sin against the Lord, He still loves me.  I can go to him in repentance and still be loved and encouraged.  But there are times when I go to Him without realizing my need for repentance and His love does not fail.  God loves me because I am his child.

June 20, 2000              Col 3:14
And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony.

I fail miserably at many things but I can love.  My love releases peace in my heart and puts grace in control of my life.  Love can mend my broken heart.

June 21, 2000              Col 3:19
And you husbands must love your wives and never treat them harshly.

I have aged to the point where I am finally beginning to realize the tremendous value of my wife.  Her value far exceeds her weight in diamonds.  I am training my self to measure my responses with a realization of her value and contribution to my life.  My wife is the key to most of the success that I experience.

June 22, 2000              Ps 40:10
I have not kept this good news hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness.

I learned a long time ago that if I kept my eyes focused on Jesus and developed a close relationship with him I would be a good witness.  When I tell folks about Jesus I am simply telling them about what I am experiencing.  If you are having a hard time witnessing, go back to Jesus and ask Him to let you experience Him in your daily life.  When you do, witnessing will become second nature.  Tell folks about your best friend.

June 23, 2000              Eph 6:10
A final word: Be strong with the Lord’s mighty power.

Satan is seeking to devour me.   I know it.  I experience it.  The power of God rescues me.  Everyday when I wake up, my immediate prayer is Lord help me today.

June 24, 2000              Ps 36:7
How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.

My background is such that I have a habit of measuring everything.  I seek to think and express myself in evaluative ways.  God’s love is immeasurable.  It is enough to encourage me in my failure.  It seeks me when I am in despair.  It never fails.   I belong to Him.

June 25, 2000              Ps 36:1
Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts.  They have no fear of God to restrain them.

I have discovered that my heart will lead me into sin.  It is deeply inclined towards self gratification and self fulfillment.  Self so easily rules my heart.  But the Lord faithfully touches me when I am going my own way and reminds me that He is in charge.  He quiets the whispers in my heart and redirects my path.  Thank you Lord for holding onto me.

June 26, 2000              1Th 3:12
And may the Lord make your love grow and overflow to each other and to everyone else, just as our love overflows toward you.

My love grows day by day.  Things that I once ignored, the Lord is bringing to my heart.   Weeping for the lost is making an entrance in my life.  Hurting for the helpless is a new experience.  Love is an action that when shared grows and grows.

June 27, 2000              1Th 4:9
But I don’t need to write to you about the Christian love that should be shown among God’s people. For God himself has taught you to love one another.

I cannot deny the example of love that Jesus taught.  He loved those that hated him.  He forgave the Romans who crucified Him.  He prayed for the religious who vilified him.  Help me Lord to grow in Christ.

June 28, 2000              1Th 4:11-12
This should be your ambition: to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we commanded you before.  As a result, people who are not Christians will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others to meet your financial needs.

I must be faithful on a daily basis to do everything I do as unto the Lord.  I am accountable for my skills and my gifts and must seek to use them to the fullest for the Lord.

June 29, 2000              Ps 31:15-16
My future is in your hands.  Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.  Let your favor shine on your servant. In your unfailing love, save me.

Have you ever struggled with waiting on God?  That seems to be another of my greatest weaknesses.  God knows my needs.  He is aware of my difficulties.  He has a plan.   Help me Lord to not only say I believe this but to work this out in my life.

June 30, 2000              Ps 32:10
Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the LORD.

God will work out His blessings, plans and good things in my life.  If I will bend the knee of control to him I will experience His loving hand on my life.  If I do not bend the knee to the Lord, I will experience the frustration of life that all pagans experience.  God is in control.   I need to let Him have control of me.

May 2000

May 1, 2000                1Ti 1:14
Oh, how kind and gracious the Lord was! He filled me completely with faith and the love of Christ Jesus.

One night at a revival the preacher said that I had as much of Christ as I wanted.  That changed me.  It put me on notice that the Lord was available for me.  I realized that Christ was willing to spend as much time with me as I wanted.  The depth of my relationship with Christ was a result of the time that I spent with Him.

May 2, 2000                1Ti 6:10
For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

I am concerned about the benchmarks I let creep into my life.  What is it that makes me do what I do?  Is it my love for Christ or a passion for money?  When all I do revolves around money, I must take careful steps to change what I am doing.  I found in my own life once that even my tithing became an issue for it was a point of pride and complaint.  Lord look what I have done now you should respond in the way that I want.  Money can indeed be a root of evil when it gains control of my life.

May 3, 2000                1Ti 6:11
But you, Timothy, belong to God; so run from all these evil things, and follow what is right and good. Pursue a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.

That’s right.  Run from evil.  I promise you that every time I walk, crawl or saunter from evil it defeats me.  Be assured that you cannot stand in the presence of evil.   Run.

May 4, 2000                Ps 33:18
But the LORD watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love.

I believe that the Lord will watch over and care for me.  Whatever the result, the Lord is faithful.  Every time I respond to life based on the faithfulness of the Lord, another particle of ignorance is stamped out of my life.  God is good, all the time.

May 5, 2000                Ps 40:10
I have not kept this good news hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness.

I experience real joy and excitement in the Lord when I share with others what He is doing in my life.  My feelings tend to be fairly moody and more often than not express themselves in negative ways.  When I realize my feelings are taking center stage and request that He intercede, He does.   My feelings change.  The confusion or hurt or pain stops.  I must tell you that the Lord is faithful to me in helping me to deal with my every day life.

May 6, 2000                Ps 45:1
My heart overflows with a beautiful thought! I will recite a lovely poem to the king, for my tongue is like the pen of a skillful poet.

I love the Lord with every fiber of my being.  He is worthy of my total focus and the very best of my thoughts.  He wants to spend time with me and I am committing myself this day to increase the amount of time I spend with the wondrous Lord God.  Christ the King is a glorious king that is trustworthy and true.   Praise the name of the Lord.  Blessing and honor and mercy and grace belong to Him.

May 7, 2000                Ps 57:10
For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

There have been dark nights at hospitals when I clung to this passage.  Several nights by a phone waiting to hear of or from a loved one this verse spoke to my heart.   I have found in all of my ways that the Lord has been loving and faithful to me.  And by faith I am confident that this will last through out eternity.

May 8, 2000                Ps 59:10
In his unfailing love, my God will come and help me. He will let me look down in triumph on all my enemies.

In my heart of hearts He said that He would never leave me alone.  This was important to me.  As a child loneliness was my constant companion.  I was different and weak.  The Lord assured me that He was on my side and that I would never be lonely again.  I had but to recognize His constant presence and He would deal with my enemy loneliness.  That is one enemy I no longer fear.

May 9, 2000                2Ti 1:13
Hold on to the pattern of right teaching you learned from me. And remember to live in the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus.

Have you ever held on so tight that the blood threatened to burst out of your fingers?  Have you been challenged so maliciously by the evil one that you literally had to hold on to keep from getting lost in sin?  Many people have.  Holding on helped me to come back.  When I got back I found out that what I had held on to was holding on to me.

May 10, 2000              2Ti 2:22
Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right. Pursue faith and love and peace, and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

I am responsible for the friends that I choose.  My friends have a terrific impact on the way I respond to the issues of life.  In my own life I find that my friends often come to my rescue when I am facing life’s greatest trials.  If I didn’t have friends like that I would be in trouble.  Thank you Lord for my friends.  They are a blessing from you.

May 11, 2000              Mt 22:39
A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Have you ever struggled with caring for an unlikable neighbor?  I have.  It is a deep, heart-wrenching struggle.  I want to comply with God’s requirement.  I want to do right.  But then the unlikable one does something even more detestable.  Help me Lord to put my beliefs into action.

May 12, 2000              Lu 6:27
“But if you are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you.

I have a hard, hard time actualizing this command in my life.  I turn to the Lord for the strength I need to make myself do this.  Every time I face an enemy with love I have to go back to the Lord Jesus for strength.   I cannot love my enemy without the intervention of God’s grace in my heart.

May 13, 2000              1Jo 4:7
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

I know I am saved because of my love for others.  Love is a choice.   I choose to love others.  Love is an action.  I treat others with respect and kindness.  By this I know that I am saved for the Lord Jesus Christ has changed the way that I act towards those that He died for.

May 14, 2000              1Jo 4:8
But anyone who does not love does not know God – for God is love.

Casting stones is never fruitful.   Love removes fear and hate from our lives.   If you are ruled by fear and hate for people, then you are not controlled by love.  If you are not controlled by love, you do not belong to the Lord.  If you do not belong to the Lord, you are dead in your trespasses and sin and Satan is your father.

May 15, 2000              Ps 40:16
But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “The LORD is great!”

Praise is a powerful part of worship of the Lord.  Praising God helps me to keep my perspective on who God is and who I am.  The Lord is worthy of all my praise and honor.  His glory is beyond my ability to comprehend.  Praise empowers me in my worship of the Lord Jesus who died for me that I might have life.

May 16, 2000              Ps 42:8
Through each day the LORD pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.

I am drenched in the love of God.   The Lord has singled me out for His blessing and concern.  He has singled you out too.  Do not forget that the love of God is adequate for anything that you will face today.  His love for you is renewed each day.

May 17, 2000              Ps 44:26
Rise up! Come and help us! Save us because of your unfailing love.

Oh boy.  I need your help today Lord.  The trouble comes without warning.  The failure seizes me by the throat.  Hurry and save me.

May 18, 2000              1Th 5:8
But let us who live in the light think clearly, protected by the body armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.

My defeat comes when I am not thinking clearly.   I let the events of the day overwhelm my conversations with the Lord.  I get stampeded into action.  Do it now.  Solve it this way.  It’s so easy I won’t bother God with this.  But, when defeat looms I draw near to God.   The Lord renews my mind.  Why oh why Lord do I stray so quickly to my own way?   Help me to keep my focus on you.

May 19, 2000              1Th 5:13
Think highly of them and give them your wholehearted love because of their work. And remember to live peaceably with each other.

Criticism may be proper in many professions but when it spills over into my personal life, it is wrong.  See everything.  Overlook a lot.  Criticize a little.  This mindset enables me to take others to the throne of God instead of to the hardness of my heart.

May 20, 2000              Ps 45:7
You love what is right and hate what is wrong. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.

The Lord Jesus guides me to focus on what is right.   The Holy Spirit touches my heart when my way veers from the proper direction.   Christ is my focus.  I am his focus.  We each become the pride and joy of Jesus as we live our life in Him.

May 21, 2000              Ps 48:9
O God, we meditate on your unfailing love as we worship in your Temple.

How many times have I blown it?  Maybe a million times?  The question at the point of failure is will he forgive me this time?   His answer is always yes, His love never fails.  I fail but He doesn’t.

May 22, 2000              2Ti 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

I am God’s property.  The Lord owns the title deed to my life.  Christ died that I might have an abundant life.  Satan seeks to kill, steal and destroy.  In Christ I am victorious.  Live the Life.

May 23, 2000              2Ti 1:9
It is God who saved us and chose us to live a holy life. He did this not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan long before the world began – to show his love and kindness to us through Christ Jesus.

God would that no one be lost.  This spurs me to evangelism.  I must tell everyone about Jesus.  He saved me.  I want them to know.  He forgives me.  I want to tell everyone.  He enables me to be what I always wanted to be.  Praise the Lord that I am saved and you should be too.

May 24, 2000              2Ti 3:2
For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.

I have cautioned my heart on this verse.  Who are the ungrateful scoffers?  Shouldn’t I be careful in my depiction of others that I not stand like the Pharisee in condemnation?  It is pitiful that society as a whole seems to fit this description.  Help me to pray Lord for the lost.  Help me to cry for those dead in their trespasses and sin.  Forgive me Lord when my life resembles a pagan life instead of a Godly life.

May 25, 2000              Tit 3:4
But then God our Savior showed us his kindness and love.

I was dead in my sin and He set me free.  Often I think about my life and how different it would have been if the Lord had not come.   He was searching for me and found me and gave me life.  The richness of his mercy and grace increases exponentially as I walk with Him.  My troubles sideline me for a moment but then God shows me kindness and love and life resumes.

May 26, 2000              Jas 1:12
God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

My testing generally comes from my own poor preparation for battle.  The spiritual war is swirling all around me and I act as though I didn’t have a care in the world.  Help me this day Lord to watch and pray.  Encourage me to always be girded for battle.

May 27, 2000              Ps 33:22
Let your unfailing love surround us, LORD, for our hope is in you alone.

Failure is feared more than death.  But God’s love never fails.  Whatever I do, wherever I am, God’s love does not fail.   In failure He brings victory.  In success He provides assurance.  God’s love does not fail.  When all else around me is falling apart, God’s love stands firm.  I am His and He is mine.  God’s love does not fail.

May 28, 2000              Ps 36:7
How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.

In the darkest hour of the darkest day, God’s love is comforting and encouraging.  All of us have had that kind of experience.  When we ask Him, He will respond.  His response is love and protection.  God is faithful, righteous and just.  His love is greater than all my hurts.

May 29, 2000              Ps 36:10
Pour out your unfailing love on those who love you; give justice to those with honest hearts.

Jesus is the living water of life.  His love is what I am so desperately in need of all the time.  In the hour of my need His love is there.  When I am not thinking about Him, He is thinking about me.  His love reaches into my life and gives me a platform for living.  His love is the gift of abundant life.

May 30, 2000              Ps 37:37
Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future lies before those who love peace.

What each one of us needs with out exception is peace.   Peace is that comforting agent that encourages me to live an abundant life.   Loneliness breeds desperation.  Peace instills confidence.  Peace enables me to sit quietly through the storms of life with confidence and assurance that God is in control.  I am not alone.

May 31, 2000              2Th 1:3
Dear brothers and sisters, we always thank God for you, as is right, for we are thankful that your faith is flourishing and you are all growing in love for each other.

God is thinking about you this very moment.  I am sharing my concern for you with the Father.  I am asking Him to touch you with love and grace.  He has placed you in this world as His co-worker.  What has he called you to do?  You can do it.  Be busy about the master’s work.

April 2000

April 1, 2000 Ps 31:23
Love the LORD, all you faithful ones! For the LORD protects those who are loyal to him, but he harshly punishes all who are arrogant.

I don’t often think of myself as a faithful one.  It is difficult for me to evaluate my thoughts, actions and emotions over the course of a day and get a sense of rightness or wrongness.  I am always prejudiced in my favor.  God sees all things and knows my sin better than I do.  He too is prejudiced in my favor because of Jesus.  Father I want to be faithful.  Forgive me when I am not and restore me when I drift away.

April 2, 2000 Ps 26:3
For I am constantly aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth.

The previous day had been a washout and the night came all too quickly.  In my morning devotional, I was reassured of His love by Him as I asked for forgiveness.   God’s love never fails.  When I am weak, He is strong.  I can trust the Lord when all else about me fails.

April 3, 2000  Mt 10:37
If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.

This is a difficult requirement.  I can see my parents and appreciate the specific things they do for me.  I see my children and have a love for them deeper than they will ever know.   Lord help me to grow in my trust for you so that I see all of the wonderful things that you do for me and know them in my inner being.   This will enable me to develop the kind of love that places you first.

April 4, 2000  2Pe 2:13
Their destruction is their reward for the harm they have done. They love to indulge in evil pleasures in broad daylight. They are a disgrace and a stain among you. They revel in deceitfulness while they feast with you.

I always think of others when I think of double mindedness.  An accusatory finger points at that evil person.  Recently in my holiest moment I noticed that when I pointed my index finger at another person, there were three fingers pointing back at me.  My own duplicity and evil had found me out.  Lord forgive me in my moments of double mindedness.

April 5, 2000 1Jo 3:18
Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions.

The standard response by a clerk when I go into a retail store is “how can I help you?”  Father, help me to grow in Christ likeness so that when I meet people in need my response will be “how can I help you.”

April 6, 2000 1Jo 3:16
We know what real love is because Christ gave up his life for us. And so we also ought to give up our lives for our Christian brothers and sisters.

My family is really difficulty to deal with.  Some of them are Christians but they are very immature Christians and tend to be very self-centered.   I am grateful they are saved and really would fight to the death for them.  My difficulty is getting along with them.  It is very troubling for me to consider their desires ahead of mine.  Help me Lord to be willing to live with my family and not demand my rights.

April 7, 2000  Mt 19:19
Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

Time is a priceless commodity.   We only have so much of it.  I am just now beginning to realize that Jesus is saying that I must make time to think about, to care for and to spend time with my parents and my neighbor.  God loves people most of all.

April 8, 2000  Mt 22:37
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’

Stop signs and speed limits irk me.   I have developed the California stop habit and push my speed to utter most limits of societal acceptability.  I am discovering that the Lord is not calling me to develop an ability to live my way to the very limits of acceptability but to surrender myself to him.  For me this is a daily, lifelong challenge.

April 9, 2000  Mr 10:21
Jesus felt genuine love for this man as he looked at him. “You lack only one thing,” he told him. “Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

What I do with my life is the evidence of my love for Jesus.  I struggle with anger and low self esteem a lot.  When I let His love conquer my anger and heal my low self esteem, it is evidence that I have given up all things and am following Him.  Help me Lord not to protect old habits and foolish ways.

April 10, 2000  Ps 31:16
Let your favor shine on your servant. In your unfailing love, save me.

Every breath I take is evidence of God’s love for me.  When I kneel before Him I am declaring my love for Him.  The difference is I am only making a declaration and God is making a statement of fact.  God cannot lie.  Unfortunately I can.  Help me Lord to think of you as you are and not as I am.  Help me to look beyond what I can see, feel and touch and by faith grab hold of your promises.

April 11, 2000  Ps 31:7
I am overcome with joy because of your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul.

I am hurting about a lifelong problem.  This problem is seldom far from me.  It always inserts itself in my thoughts in times of trouble.  Oh Lord, remember me in my despair and send a sense of joy to heal my hurt.  He always heals me because He constantly loves me.

April 12, 2000  Ps 25:7
Forgive the rebellious sins of my youth; look instead through the eyes of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O LORD.

Lord, when will I grow up?  Even now, I do things that shock me at the immaturity of the act.  I am so easily upset.  Oh Father, help me to grow up.  Put a watch over my heart that I might not sin against you.

April 13, 2000  Mt 23:6
And how they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the most prominent seats in the synagogue!

Confession time.  I am guilty.   I want to be lauded for my humility.  Singled out for my kindness.  Uplifted for my sacrifice.  I am a sinner of the highest order for in my piety I seek exaltation of myself.

April 14, 2000  Mark 12:30-31
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’  The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

One day I will see God’s grace.  No not an emotion but a person, the Lord Jesus Christ.  His grace enables me approach God the Father.  The grace given me by the Lord Jesus Christ enables me to have the kind of relationship with God that my sin works against.

April 15, 2000  Ps 25:10
The LORD leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all those who keep his covenant and obey his decrees.

Do you ever have those philosophical days where you scrutinize yourself?  When I do I have a bad day.  I just cannot measure up.  Oh I can fool you but I can’t fool me.  Then, in prayer as I cry and plead with the Lord, Jesus reminds me that I never measured up.   He measures up for me.  Praise God for He is worthy of praise.

April 16, 2000  Ps 32:10
Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the LORD.

I always question my faith when I am suffering.  How, why, for what reason and on I go.  If I were is a choice phrase.  What happened?  Then the Lord patiently reminds me that   life is a journey of pain for everyone.  His promises are true but life will attack them with full force.  My relationship with Him is a relationship of faith.  Faith in Jesus equips me to survive in this life and stand in the experience of failure and sorrow and pain.

April 17, 2000  1Jo 2:15
Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you.

What does this mean?  Can I not like a spring day?  What about the joy of travel or loving my job?  Must I reject everything around me, pack up and trudge out to a deserted area?  Lord Jesus I struggle with this.  My answers change some times but the question is still there every time I read 1 John.  Help me Lord to answer this question honestly and rightly by the way I live.

April 18, 2000  Mark 12:33
And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbors as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”

I know the right things to do.  Two problems.  Sometimes in my rebellion I just don’t want to do the right thing.  Other times through laziness or self-centeredness I foolishly do the wrong thing.  Both are sins.   Father I repent of my sinful ways today.   Help me to change.

April 19, 2000  Lu 6:35
“Love your enemies! Do good to them! Lend to them! And don’t be concerned that they might not repay. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to the unthankful and to those who are wicked.

I find in my life that the way I act puts me in the camp of the enemies of God.   My position is saved by my action is of the world.  Lord forgive me when I act like your enemy.  Bring me back into your loving presence.

April 20, 2000  1Jo 2:5
But those who obey God’s word really do love him. That is the way to know whether or not we live in him.

Have you ever called anyone a hypocrite?  Jesus did.  It is heart breaking that he called those that claimed to be intensely committed to God hypocrites.  That causes me to look at myself.  Am I who claim to be an intense follower of God a hypocrite?  Am I obeying God’s Word?  If I am not obeying, no matter how intense my proclamation, I really am a hypocrite.  Help me Lord to life my life in obedience to you.

April 21, 2000  Ps 40:11
LORD, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me. My only hope is in your unfailing love and faithfulness.

Some days I get out of bed on the wrong side.  I feel it and know in my morning devotional time.  I’m hurried and insensitive to the movement of the Lord.  Before the day is over I am crying out, Lord please guide me.   In the midst of my confusion Christ encourages me and guides me through the trial or tribulation that the day holds.

April 22, 2000  1Jo 3:17
But if anyone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need and refuses to help – how can God’s love be in that person?

I am my brother’s keeper.  I cannot ignore a person in need.  My sin and guilt was so great and Christ died for me.  His love compels me to help others.  His love calls me to see the need around me and do something about it.

April 23, 2000  1Jo 3:14
If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to eternal life. But a person who has no love is still dead.

How do I talk about this?  I cannot judge another person as to their salvation.  Maybe this simple definition of one who is alive is a reassurance for me in my daily walk.  God’s Word gives me a clear word on the reality of my faith.  I am because He is.  My love evidences my life.

April 24, 2000  Ps 26:8
I love your sanctuary, LORD, the place where your glory shines.

Lord thank you for reminding me of your precious presence.  Help me Father to remember to complain to you in private and praise you in public.  Encourage me Lord to prepare for public worship.  And Father when I come to your sanctuary help me to see you.

April 25, 2000  1Jo 2:7
Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment, for it is an old one you have always had, right from the beginning. This commandment – to love one another – is the same message you heard before.

I am called to express my love through self-sacrifice and service.  My faith is real when it reaches beyond my friends and touches my enemies and persecutors.  My growing relationship with the Lord will result in growing relationships with others.

April 26, 2000  1Jo 3:11
This is the message we have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

He died for me.   When he met the soldiers on the Mt. of Olives he did it for me.  He endured the ignominy and persecution for me.  He was battered and bruised for me.  His pain was my gain.  He died for me.   And when He said “Father forgive them” He meant me.  Thank you Jesus for saving me.

April 27, 2000  1Jo 3:23
And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us.

My faith is an action.  When I am His I become yours.  I serve Jesus by serving you.  I love Jesus by loving you.

April 28, 2000  Ps 59:16
But as for me, I will sing about your power. I will shout with joy each morning because of your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety in the day of distress.

The pain is so great the power seems far away.  Only when I force myself will I say it and then I shout, the Lord is good and worthy of my praise.  In the midst of destruction I will trust thee.  When my power is gone I know He is strong.  Praise the name of the Lord.

April 29, 2000  Ps 57:3
He will send help from heaven to save me, rescuing me from those who are out to get me. My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.

There is a lot going on in the spiritual realm.  The Father does not tell us a great deal about it.  I think that He doesn’t because my mind is so tiny and my thinking is so shallow.  I believe.  He reminds me of His personal help coming to me and I accept it.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

April 30, 2000  Ps 33:5
He loves whatever is just and good, and his unfailing love fills the earth.

There is nothing I can do that is hidden from God.   Help me to conquer my private sins that I keep hidden from view and turn to again and again.  Search me and cleanse me from all my sin and put me on the everlasting way.  Confession heals me of my unrighteousness.  God is faithful to renew my fellowship with Him.