Today's Good News

Category - Devotionals

May 2004

5/01/04 Psalm 32:1
Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!

SIN
Sin colors the way we look at life. Sin demands that we put self first. Sin enslaves the heart so that we only see the world through the filter of evil. Sin destroys society, murders babies and all the other hot topic issues in today’s society that are on the surface illogical. Sin is evil beyond our ability to comprehend. When our sin is forgiven, there is a tremendous weight lifted off of our heart and lives.
5/02/04 Psalm 32:2
Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of sin, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!

FORGIVENESS
Jesus’ death and resurrection were required for my forgiveness. Sin is horrible and despicable. Sin is destructive to my relationship with the Father. Jesus forgives my sin. My daily time with Jesus is critical for me to live close to the Lord.
5/03/04 Psalm 32:11
So rejoice in the LORD and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!

FORGIVENESS
Forgiveness is a key for a growing relationship with the Lord. Obedience is necessary. I am called to obey the Lord. Obedience is more important to God than my sacrifice. Lord help me to obey You.

5/04/04 Psalm 33:1
Let the godly sing with joy to the LORD, for it is fitting to praise him.

PRAISE
Praise is a heart thing. The Lord lives in my heart. He knows what I am thinking. Genuine praise for the Lord begins in me. It starts with obedience, continues through a daily relationship and is evidenced by the way I live my life. Offering up praise to the Lord is the result of a heart filled with a relationship with the Lord. When Jesus is on my heart His praises will be on my lips!
5/05/04 Psalm 33:12
What joy for the nation whose God is the LORD, whose people he has chosen for his own.

JOY
Choosing Jesus is my responsibility. When I choose Christ the Lord chooses me. Tragically, freedom means that some will not choose the Lord as their savior. Pray for the lost. Live for the Lord.
5/06/04 Psalm 34:5
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.

JOY
Everything I do goes before the Lord. Those people that don’t pester the Lord with the small things in their lives don’t get answers for the big things. Jesus is Lord of all things.

5/07/04 Psalm 35:27
But give great joy to those who have stood with me in my defense. Let them continually say, “Great is the LORD, who enjoys helping his servant.”

JOY
You and I can have joy. Our relationship with the Lord will place joy in our hearts. We can also pray for those we love and those we know to have joy. Joy is the inner confidence we have that the Lord is effective in our lives.
5/08/04 Psalm 40:8
I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your law is written on my heart.”

JOY
I study the Word of God so that I might gain wisdom in how to live like Jesus. The Word guides me each day. Jesus speaks to me through His Word. Living my life for Jesus will result in a life that is under the authority of the Lord. When I know that the Lord is in control the result is great joy! Joy is part of the Christian lifestyle.
5/09/04 Psalm 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!”

JOY
Jesus will change your life. Commit yourself to serving Jesus and your life will change. You will become a person that you like and respect. People around you will become those that you love and enjoy being with. Real joy is a product of your relationship with the Lord.
5/10/04 Psalm 43:4
There I will go to the altar of God, to God – the source of all my joy. I will praise you with my harp, O God, my God!

JOY
When I go to the Lord I am spending time with joy. The Lord loves me and has my best good in His heart. It is pure joy to know that no matter what happens I have an eternal relationship with the Lord.
5/11/04 Psalm 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.

JOY
The more I become like Jesus the greater joy I will experience in my life. The things I think, the things I do will produce joy because my heart is serving and focused on the Father.
5/12/04 Psalm 51:12
Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.

FORGIVENESS
I want to make sure that I am living right. I want to make sure that I am not habitually sinning. The Father will give me His joy as I spend time with Him and put what He says into action in my daily life. When I am with Jesus I will have joy.

5/13/04 Psalm 68:3
But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be filled with joy.

JOY
When I am in the presence of the Lord I will have joy. The choices I make each day determine the joy that I will experience that day. Events, activities and accomplishments don’t create joy. A living and growing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way to have joy as the foundation of an active life.

 

5/14/04 Psalm 69:32
The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God’s help live in joy.

JOY
God is with me. My faith in Him gives me the spiritual eyes that I need to see Him at work in all areas of my life. The world’s actions are easy to see. The activity of the Lord is discerned in our relationship with Him. Seeing the Lord at work in our lives is His gift to us to encourage us as we serve Him.

 

5/15/04 Psalm 70:4
But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “God is great!”

GIFT Salvation is a gift that comes from the Lord. It is all of Him and fully available for any one of us to claim. We choose the Lord but He has already chosen us. I belong to Jesus because I accepted His gift. I want to know the Lord better each day.

 

5/16/04 Philippians 4:4
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice!

REJOICE
Circumstances do not affect my joy. My joy is rooted and grounded in the eternal Lord. I can be myself and live my life with the full knowledge that I count, my life is valuable and the Lord Jesus Christ will walk every step with me. I belong to Him.

 

5/17/04 Philippians 1:25
I am convinced of this, so I will continue with you so that you will grow and experience the joy of your faith.

FRIENDSHIP
We serve Christ together. It is our responsibility to honor, respect, care for and help each other. Jesus brings us together. Our service together adds strength to what we are doing in the Lord.

5/18/04 Ephesians 3:8
Just think! Though I did nothing to deserve it, and though I am the least deserving Christian there is, I was chosen for this special joy of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ.

EVANGELISM
I am called to share Christ with everyone I meet. This is not difficult. Out of my growing relationship with Christ, the Lord of glory, I am able to talk authoritatively about what the Lord is doing in my life. Evangelism is simply telling. If I don’t have a growing relationship with Jesus there won’t be anything to talk about.

 

5/19/04 Galatians 5:22-23
But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.

HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit points us to Jesus. He doesn’t serve at our beck and call; He simply guides us to the Lord Jesus. When we come to Jesus we will change. If I am not changing day by day, I am refusing to listen to the Holy Spirit and fellowship with Jesus.

 

5/20/04 Romans 14:17
For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

JESUS
Jesus is God’s everything. When the Holy Spirit leads us to Christ we have an opportunity to live under His control. If I refuse to spend time with Jesus and refuse to obey Him I will fail as a Christian. There is no Christianity apart from Christ.

 

5/21/04 Romans 4:8
Yes, what joy for those whose sin is no longer counted against them by the Lord.”

FORGIVENESS
I am free in Jesus. Free from all those past failures. Free from my current mistakes. In Jesus I am free to come to the Father and grow in my relationship with Jesus. Jesus is strong enough to forgive my sin and overcome my sinfulness.

 

5/22/04 John 17:13
“And now I am coming to you. I have told them many things while I was with them so they would be filled with my joy.

ALIVE
Jesus is alive. He lives in me. He lives in you. Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior of life. When I live with Jesus one day I will walk with Him and talk with Him face to face.

 

5/23/04 John 16:22
You have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.

JOY
Joy is the result of letting Jesus have control of your life. Everything you do will come under His scrutiny. My faith equips me to do what Jesus says. Obedience is the stairway to a life of growing faith in Jesus and faithful service to Jesus.

 

5/24/04 John 15:11
I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!

JOY
My sin had a death grip on me. I was blind in my sinfulness and the things of God were not interesting. One day I accepted His offer of eternal life in Christ Jesus. My sins were washed away and Jesus came to stay. I now have joy each day.

 

5/25/04 Luke 19:6
Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.

JOY
When you come to Jesus you will have joy. Joy in your heart that the world cannot take away. Christ knows what you need and will work in your heart to equip you to deal with the obstacles you face each day. In Christ I can accomplish the plan that the Lord has for my life.

 

5/26/04 Luke 10:21
Then Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit and said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding the truth from those who think themselves so wise and clever, and for revealing it to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.

JOY
Joy is not something you have because of your position or status in the world. Joy is in you because you have become a child of God. You have given your life to Jesus and are alive in Christ for eternity. Jesus is with you and equips you to deal with your life.

 

5/27/04 Luke 2:34
Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, “This child will be rejected by many in Israel, and it will be their undoing. But he will be the greatest joy to many others.

WORLD
The world will never accept Jesus. The very mention of His name causes an immediate reaction of rejection. Jesus loves you. He will be your strength and joy. Ask Christ to lead, guide and direct you each day.

 

5/28/04 Luke 2:10
but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news of great joy for everyone!

GOOD NEWS
You have good news in Jesus. Jesus loves you. You are no longer at war with the Lord. You have new life in Christ. God has a plan for your life and you are living it. You count and the things you do have eternal value. Good news from the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

5/29/04 Jeremiah 31:25
For I have given rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing.”

JOY
Life sidetracks us. It beats us down. Jesus equips us to see the truth of life. He is my joy. In Christ I have a growing relationship. The Holy Spirit guides me moment by moment. The weariness of life is replaced by an awareness of the eternal and an invigorating relationship with the Lord. God is in control.

 

5/30/04 Isaiah 61:10
I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.

VALUE
The world only values the rich and famous. The poor and ordinary are shoved aside. In Christ you are a child of the Creator. Your value and worth is immeasurable by heaven’s standards. God loves you. The life you are living is a life that is precious to the Father. Christ died for you.

 

5/31/04 Isaiah 61:3
To all who mourn in Israel, he will give beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, praise instead of despair. For the LORD has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory.

JOY
Jesus is involved in your life. That is one of the Lord’s 7,000 plus promises in the Bible. You are not alone. Your work is important. Every person you meet is valuable. The life you live is a life that Jesus died for. Be encouraged. The Lord is with you.

April 2004

4/1/04 Matthew Mt 27:64
So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body and then telling everyone he came back to life! If that happens, we’ll be worse off than we were at first.”

WORLD
The world is always trying to control God. It thinks its power, plans and privileges will have an affect upon the eternal Lord. God’s plans will not be changed. You and I are charged with the responsibility of living in submission to the Lord Jesus. We ask Him for direction and obey His Word. Let us make sure that we are not joining in with the world and trying to control the Lord. It makes for a very disappointing experience.

4/2/04 Mark 6:14
Herod Antipas, the king, soon heard about Jesus, because people everywhere were talking about him. Some were saying, “This must be John the Baptist come back to life again. That is why he can do such miracles.”

WORLD
The world is always looking for miracles. Not to change their lives but to control their environment. For a Christian, miracles are simply a part of everyday life. Jesus opens our eyes to the activity of the eternal God in our everyday life. The Father wants a relationship with us, gives each one of us equal access and is always looking out for our best interest in love. What a miracle, that the Lord would be interested in me. I cannot control my world but I can surrender to the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. That surrender creates the ultimate miracle of a daily relationship with the Lord. Jesus saved me and wants to spend time with me. Thank you Lord.

4/3/04 Mark 8:35
If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will find true life.

SERVICE
I am called to imitate Jesus. I am blessed to be able to grow in Christ likeness. God loves people most of all. When I act like Jesus I will serve those that I am with.

4/4/04 Mark 10:17
As he was starting out on a trip, a man came running up to Jesus, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what should I do to get eternal life?”

SURRENDER
Jesus calls me to surrender my life to him. This is not to deprive me of anything. Only Jesus knows the end from the beginning and everything that I will need each day. My surrender to Him first gives me eternal life. My surrender to Him daily gives me wisdom, mercy and grace. There is great joy in a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

4/5/04 Mark 10:29-30
And Jesus replied, “I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, will receive now in return, a hundred times over, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property – with persecutions. And in the world to come they will have eternal life.

TRUST
Jesus tells me that I can trust Him. The physical world is passing away. If I cast my lot with the things of this world my entire life will be a journey of diminishing returns. Everything that I think counts will be destroyed. All the things I trust in are passing away. Jesus focuses on people. Christ teaches me how to care for and serve people. People are eternal. Jesus died for people. I can trust Jesus for my salvation, my life now and the life to come.

4/6/04 Mark 10:45
For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.”

SACRIFICE
Jesus paid the price for my sin. His sacrifice has paid my debt and is exactly what I needed to be able to have a relationship with Him. I will incur the wrath of the world as I live for Jesus. I have full access to His empowerment of me as I live for Him. I can serve Jesus.

4/7/04 Mark 16:8
The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, saying nothing to anyone because they were too frightened to talk. Then they reported all these instructions briefly to Peter and his companions. Afterward Jesus himself sent them out from east to west with the sacred and unfailing message of salvation that gives eternal life.

FEAR
Jesus calms my fears. He is able to deliver me and will. I can live for Jesus and serve Jesus because He is Lord. His Lordship extends to every aspect of my life and reaches from this moment until eternity and beyond.
Jesus loves you.

4/8/04 Luke 4:4
But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People need more than bread for their life.’ ”

CHOICES
Life is full of choices. You and I make too many choices without the Lord’s guidance. We must make a living. We must work hard. We must allocate time every day without fail to get the Lord’s guidance for our life. A life poorly lived will create a poor life. Jesus would that we lead an abundant life.

4/9/04 Luke 6:9
Then Jesus said to his critics, “I have a question for you. Is it legal to do good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing harm? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?”

CHOICES
Everyday we choose to serve the Lord or serve self. Self-serving people are always looking for ways to blame someone else for their problems or difficulties. Those that serve the Lord are focused on caring for those around them. God loves people most of all. Life is real and bad things happen. Sometimes we do not nor will not know why. The issue is not why something happened. The issue is will I serve the Lord?

4/10/04 Luke 7:22
Then he told John’s disciples, “Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard – the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.

CHOICES
I choose Jesus. I choose to take everything that happens to me to the Lord. I choose to live in spite of the problems. I choose to serve and to sacrifice and while doing both to rejoice. Paul sang in a Roman prison. I will sing as I rejoice in the life that the Lord gave me. My life is merely a shadow and one day in eternity the real me will stand before the Lord of Glory for ever and ever and ever. Jesus is Lord.

4/11/04 Luke 8:14
The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity.

CHOICES
I am responsible for my life. I make the hard choices. I am the one that controls my time. I am the one that chooses to let the grace and wisdom of God pour out on my life or refuse the Lord’s help.

4/12/04 Luke 8:55
And at that moment her life returned, and she immediately stood up! Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat.

CHOICES
Real life is composed of real choices. There is no place in our lives to separate “church” from “daily life.” Jesus is God’s everything and He, the Lord, must be involved in all that we do. Miracles happen when we least expect it. When we are constantly with Jesus, He will constantly be guiding and directing our path. It is on the pathway of surrender and suffering for the Lord that miracles happen.

4/13/04 Luke 9:7
When reports of Jesus’ miracles reached Herod Antipas, he was worried and puzzled because some were saying, “This is John the Baptist come back to life again.”

CHOICES
The world is always self-centered and consistently chooses power, privilege and personal gain. Herod was superstitious and religious. His concern was not for John or the things of God. You and I are called to focus our life on the Lord. We will consistently operate out of weakness, selflessness and sacrifice. The Lord will consistently be glorified and victorious when we let Him have control of us.

4/14/04 Luke 12:25
Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not!

CHOICES
There are too many bad things to worry about in the world. I can spend my life in worry about things and events that I cannot change or I can give myself to Jesus and let the Lord change me. When I change the Lord will be victorious. All those things the world worries about will be non-issues in my life.

4/15/04 Luke 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.

CHOICES
For the world, love is always an emotion. Those that follow Jesus understand that love is an action. When my life is focused on Jesus and I love Him with all my heart, my actions to all those that I live with, family, friends and strangers will be care and concern. Real love is evidenced by Jesus working through me. In the flesh I will always put self first. In Christ I will put Jesus first. When Jesus is first I will be able to love people.

4/16/04 Luke 15:22-24
“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger, and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening in the pen. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

CHOICES
Self centered people destroy their lives. Christ focused people identify where they are self-centered and self-serving and change. It takes real change to be able to forgive those that mistreat us. The truth is that when we learn to forgive we learn to live. Life isn’t about what I can get. Real life is about what I can give.

4/17/04 Luke 15:32
We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!'”

CHOICES
Love never gives up. Love is not a game where we win or lose. Love is a lifestyle that says “I value people.” God loves people most of all and that includes all people. I must be about the business of including people in my life and learn to stop excluding them. People have worth and value. When I forgive and love I am acting like Jesus.

4/18/04 Luke 17:33
Whoever clings to this life will lose it, and whoever loses this life will save it.

CHOICES
Jesus gives me life. When I stop claiming my rights and surrender to the Lord I will gain real life. I will reap what I sow. A life that sows mercy, grace and forgiveness will harvest great rewards in this life and the life to come. Give your life to Jesus and you will inherit an abundant life.

4/19/04 Luke 18:18
Once a religious leader asked Jesus this question: “Good teacher, what should I do to get eternal life?”

CHOICES
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. I cannot do enough good to claim eternal life. I can surrender my life to Jesus and receive as His gift eternal life. People instinctively strive to know the Creator. Jesus is Lord and will give us that relationship with the Lord that we so desperately desire.

4/20/04 Luke 18:29-30
“Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you, everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, will be repaid many times over in this life, as well as receiving eternal life in the world to come.”

CHOICES
Life is simple, solutions are hard. If I choose the Lord I will be able to deal with the great issues of my life that I will face as I journey towards the end of my life. People forget that life is a journey. In the process of this journey I plan today for the unknown events of tomorrow. I don’t know what will happen but I do know the One in charge of all things. He has my best interest at heart. Jesus loves me.

4/21/04 Luke 20:36
And they will never die again. In these respects they are like angels. They are children of God raised up to new life.

CHOICES
When we die in the Lord we will go immediately into His presence. We will be equal to the angels in spirituality, maturity and immortality. We are different from the angels in that we chose Jesus. What joy throughout eternity we will have as children of God. Think about the majesty and glory of the Lord. And we will be there forever. With that in mind, choose today to forgive someone you are holding a grudge against. That person the Holy Spirit has been prodding you to witness to, simply tell them about what Jesus has done for you. Let them know and let them decide.

4/22/04 Luke 21:34
“Watch out! Don’t let me find you living in careless ease and drunkenness, and filled with the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware,

CHOICES
When I choose Jesus as my Lord and Savior I choose eternal life. The result of my choice will change my daily lifestyle. If I am the same today that I was before I knew Jesus, then chances are very good that I don’t know Jesus. When we know the Lord we will change.

4/23/04 John 4:36
The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!

CHOICES
God is in control. He will use me in a way that best fits me. If the Lord uses me to proclaim I can rejoice. If the Lord uses me to experience the harvest I can rejoice. The key is for me to choose to walk with the Lord everyday. Not because the world is blessing me but because the Lord loves me and I love the Lord.

4/24/04 John 5:24
“I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.

CHOICES
The most important decision a person will ever make is to choose Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It has eternal consequences. It has current consequences. Choosing Jesus puts me in the Family of God. I am a child of God. My Father is actively involved in my daily life. I am actively seeking to serve the Lord.

4/25/04 John 5:26
The Father has life in himself, and he has granted his Son to have life in himself.

LIFE
Jesus gives life. It is a life that is joyous and abundant. It is a life that teaches me about the value and worth of every person.

4/26/04 John 5:28-29
Don’t be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to judgment.

CHOICES
I can choose Jesus as Lord and Savior of my life. Life is short and surprising. The things of the world will overrun us, distract us and abuse us. I may have chosen to put off making that decision. I may not get another chance. Jesus is coming back. Whatever I have chosen when that happens will be my choice. It will be too late to change if I have spent my life committed to the world and ignored the Lord.

4/27/04 John 5:39
“You search the Scriptures because you believe they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!

LIFE
Eternal life is in Jesus. It is His gift to us when we choose Him as Lord and Savior. Knowing about Jesus and not accepting Him is fatal. Salvation comes through Christ by faith to me. There are no grandchildren in God’s family.

4/28/04 John 5:40
Yet you refuse to come to me so that I can give you this eternal life.

LIFE
I came to Jesus because He loved me and offered me something unique, life. The world is blind, uncaring, misdirected, only the strong win, and caught up in destruction. Jesus cares for each and every person created. He would that none be lost. I wanted to be a part of that. Anyone can come to Christ. Jesus gives life.

4/29/04 John 6:27
But you shouldn’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that I, the Son of Man, can give you. For God the Father has sent me for that very purpose.”

LIFE
Life is a vapor. It disappears rapidly. We have one chance. Time lost is time gone. I choose Jesus. He gives me life.

4/30/04 Mark 7:20
And then he added, “It is the thought-life that defiles you.
LIFE
I am responsible for what I think. Out of my heart come the things that I am focused on. Time with Jesus is the time that I give Him those bad, evil, misdirected thoughts. When I give them to Jesus He will give me the right kind of things to think about. I have a choice, I can surrender the evil in my heart to Jesus or spend a lifetime of being overrun and misdirected by myself.

March 2004

3/1/04 Matthew 6:27
Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not.

WORRY
I must confess that I am a worrier. This is a habit that I slip into and must constantly take before the Lord. Worry is an indication of my lack of faith and often times is me simply trying to control my world instead of trusting the Lord to control it. Don’t worry. God is in control.

3/2/04 Matthew 4:4
But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every word of God.’ ”

WORD
Jesus loves me. I am in the most intimate contact with Christ when I am reading the Word of God. I must come to the point where the Bible is a key element in my everyday life. In the Word of God I find the instructions I need for daily life.

3/3/04 Matthew 6:25
“So I tell you, don’t worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn’t life consist of more than food and clothing?

WORRY
I must work hard but not worry. I must live with joy and not be constantly evaluating what I don’t have. Life is passing quickly. It is most important that I trust the Lord, obey Him and live life.

3/4/04 1John 2:9
If anyone says, “I am living in the light,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is still living in darkness.

OBEDIENCE
I will not naturally love everyone. When I find I am having trouble loving a brother or sister in Christ I take it to the Lord. One of the significant steps in maturing as a Christian is to function in obedience. Everyday I go with my problem to the Lord and trust that what the Lord commands, the Lord will facilitate.

3/5/04 Matthew 7:14
But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.

OBEDIENCE
Life is always pulling me to be undisciplined. The self is always seeking to be first, served and most important. Obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ dictates that I learn to discipline myself. I must make that initial commitment to Jesus. I am the only one that can ask for salvation for me. I am responsible to develop a daily life with Jesus.

3/6/04 Luke 9:24
If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life.

SURRENDER
Jesus is Lord. When I believe that and live my life with that as a basic commitment, I will grow. Spiritual growth is developed in the everyday mundane activities of life. My life is a gift from the Lord. I can rejoice in my gift from the Lord!

3/7/04 Luke 10:25
One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what must I do to receive eternal life?”

ETERNAL LIFE
Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. Belief results in change. I belong to the Lord and I will live like a child of God. Jesus loves me. This impacts everything I do, and say and think.

3/8/04 Luke 11:36
If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight is shining on you.”

LIGHT
When I let Jesus have control of my life I will change. I will become more like Christ. It will change the things I do and say. What I have done spiritually will radically change the actions I take in daily life. I belong to the Lord.

3/9/04 Luke 12:15
Then he said, “Beware! Don’t be greedy for what you don’t have. Real life is not measured by how much we own.”

VALUE
It is important that I understand how much Jesus values me. When I see how important I am to the Lord I will begin to understand how critical it is for me to see how valuable and worthwhile every person I meet is. God loves people most of all.

3/10/04 Luke 12:22
Then turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “So I tell you, don’t worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food to eat or clothes to wear.

WORRY
When am I to stop worrying? When I get what I ask from the Lord or after? The intent is that I not worry before or after. I am to submit myself to the Lordship of Jesus. When my daily life is God focused I can trust the Lord to deal with any concerns I might have in the appropriate way. Sometimes I may not like the way the Lord deals with my daily concerns but I can still trust Him. Jesus loves me.

3/11/04 Luke 12:23
For life consists of far more than food and clothing.

LIFE
The physical realm is an important part of our life. It is not to be the overriding emphasis of our life. This life will soon end and we will spend eternity with the Lord. Tomorrow may never come but eternity will. My life is purposeful and important. I need to develop to the point that I understand this. Help me Lord.

3/12/04 Mark 3:4
Then he turned to his critics and asked, “Is it legal to do good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing harm? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they wouldn’t answer him.

LIFE
Jesus loves people. Christ died for people. His focus is on you and me. If I love Jesus with all my heart and am intent on serving Him I will learn to love people. God loves people most of all.

3/13/04 Mark 4:18-19
The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the Good News, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for nice things, so no crop is produced.

LIFE
God made you and me for a purpose. He did not make me to be someone else. Where I am with the gifts and skills I have is where Jesus wants me to grow, mature and succeed. I am equipped to do what the Lord called me to do. I am not equipped to do what the Lord called you to do. When I try to be someone else I will only live a life of failure and frustration.

3/14/04 John 1:4
Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone.

LIFE
When I am with Jesus I will have life. The more I know Jesus the more life I will have. Life comes from Christ. If I am not connected to Jesus I will live a frustrating and futile existence.

3/15/04 John 3:6
Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven.

LIFE
Real life is what Jesus gives. Anything else is simply marking time until death. If I want to find joy and fulfillment I will spend time with Jesus. I will learn what the Lord has for me and will get guidance from Christ for each day.

3/16/04 John 3:14-15
And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so I, the Son of Man, must be lifted up on a pole, so that everyone who believes in me will have eternal life.

LIFE
Jesus brings life. He connects us with eternity. In Christ I have access to the Father, wisdom for daily living and power to accomplish what the Lord created me to do. Jesus is Lord of life and is Lord in my life.

3/17/04 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.

LIFE
Jesus has saved me and given me eternal life. Not a promise of pie in the sky bye and bye but real life right now. Jesus has won the victory and will equip me to lead an abundant life right now. The catch, I must surrender my heart and my life to him and live my life in obedience to Christ. Jesus is Lord.

3/18/04 John 3:36
And all who believe in God’s Son have eternal life. Those who don’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life, but the wrath of God remains upon them.”

LIFE
Human existence without Jesus is a walking death. If I do not have Christ I do not have life. Those who do not know Jesus are dead in their trespasses and sin and blind to all the things of God. I have life and am called to share this life with everyone I meet. I am not responsible for what they do but I am responsible for telling everyone about the life of Christ in me.

3/19/04 John 4:14
But the water I give them takes away thirst altogether. It becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

LIFE
Without Jesus I have no hope. All of the dreadful things that confront me day by day are in control. My life has no meaning. In Christ life makes sense. Christ gives to each one of us those things that life seeks to rip away from us. Jesus provides for each one of us wisdom, mercy and grace in a world that is always seeking to rob our joy. Jesus is Lord.

3/20/01 Matthew 9:18
As Jesus was saying this, the leader of a synagogue came and knelt down before him. “My daughter has just died,” he said, “but you can bring her back to life again if you just come and lay your hand upon her.”

LIFE
Jesus cares for me. He knows the miracles that I need to accomplish His purpose. When I am surrendered to the Lord and living to serve Him I will have those things that are necessary for my service. Jesus loves me and is willing for me to have an abundant life.

3/21/04 Matthew 10:39
If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for me, you will find it.

LIFE
Life without Jesus is simply an illusion. The Bible says that those without Jesus are dead in their trespasses and sin. Life in Christ is a gift that I can receive if I will ask for it. Their must be a surrendering of my will to the will of the Lord. When I do this I have life. Life in Christ is real life. Eternity begins now.

3/22/04 Matthew 11:5-6
Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him about what you have heard and seen – the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.

LIFE
Jesus is life. In Christ we are loved and valued. Jesus knows everything about us and still loves us. Jesus has a plan for our life. His plan is for us to be joyous servants, properly equipped to serve Him and care for those we life together with in life.

3/23/04 Matthew13:22
The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the Good News, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares of this life and the lure of wealth, so no crop is produced.

MESSAGE
Jesus is Lord. He is in control. He offers us the free gift of reconciliation with God and eternal life. This gift is something that we put to use now. If I go back to depending on myself and living for myself I will not grow in the Lord. When I come to Jesus I give Him control of my life.

3/24/04 Matthew 14:2
When Herod Antipas heard about Jesus, he said to his advisers, “This must be John the Baptist come back to life again! That is why he can do such miracles.”

WORLD
The world is only interested in getting God to be a showman. The world only wants God to do things for it. The Lord is in control. He wants us to have a relationship with Him. He cares for each one of us and is looking out for our best good.

3/25/04 Matthew 16:25
If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life.

SACRIFICE
I cannot see the spiritual world. I believe by faith that there is a Lord and that He is in control. Our world is passing away. We are deteriorating day by day. When I ask the Lord to take control of my life I come under attack from this world’s spiritual realm. Jesus gives me life and will deal with that. Jesus is Lord and I can give Him Lordship in my life.

3/26/04 Matthew 19:16
Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good things must I do to have eternal life?”

ETERNAL LIFE
Man always wants to be in control. Man’s idea of doing good puts him in control of God. There is no surrender in self-righteousness. Eternal life is a gift. I either accept God’s gift by faith or refuse it.

3/27/04 Matthew 19:17
“Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “Only God is good. But to answer your question, you can receive eternal life if you keep the commandments.”

ETERNAL LIFE
God is good. Man wants to control God. God has provided His way for eternal life in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the way the truth and the life. There is no other way to the Father. Jesus is the only way.

3/28/04 Matthew 19:29
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will have eternal life.

ETERNAL LIFE
I am just passing through this world. I am a sojourner. Eternity with the Lord is my goal. As I pass through this life the Lord has some things He wants me to accomplish. I am His hands and feet and when I am doing His will I am speaking for Him. The Lord wants to use me as His servant.

3/29/04 Matthew 20:28
For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.”

LIFE
This world is a place of service. When I come into the family of God I come to serve. The Lord has a plan for my life and there are things that He wants me to do that only I can do. I am the only person that can talk with some folks about Jesus. I need to be about the Lord’s work. This life is short and the work is important. I must be about the Lord’s work now.

3/30/04 Matthew 21:32
For John the Baptist came and showed you the way to life, and you didn’t believe him, while tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even when you saw this happening, you refused to turn from your sins and believe him.

HARD HEARTEDNESS
Be careful. Our relationship with the Lord is based on what we do not on what others say and do. You and I are responsible for our decisions. Jesus is Lord. Hard-hearted people are dead in their trespasses and sin. Be careful. Don’t let anyone else speak for you.

3/31/04 Matthew 25:46
And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

LIFE
Jesus is our righteousness. When I ask Christ into my heart I have life. I have eternal life right now. It is a reality. I have everything I need for an abundant life in the Lord Jesus Christ. Right now.

February 2004

2/1/04 Jude 1:24
And now, all glory to God, who is able to keep you from stumbling, and who will bring you into his glorious presence innocent of sin and with great joy.

TRUST
Trust God.  Read His Word.  Get to know His voice.  Deceivers will be evident when we know the voice of the Living Lord Jesus.  Trust the Lord and He will not fail you.

2/2/04  3 John 1:4
I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children live in the truth.

TRUTH
When we know Jesus we will know the truth.  The world is always trying to deceive.  The only way we can make wise decisions and not fall into deadly sin is to listen to the Lord Jesus and obey Him.

2/3/04  2 John 1:12
Well, I have much more to say to you, but I don’t want to say it in a letter. For I hope to visit you soon and to talk with you face to face. Then our joy will be complete.

TRUTH
There is a great deal of false teaching in the world.  You and I must grow in Christ and combat false teaching that can trap us to live ungodly lives.  If I will spend time with Jesus, false teaching will always be evident.  If I have a question about what I am doing or the way I am living I can ask the Lord and He will correct my life.  Our life must always square with the Word of God.  If it doesn’t we are living an ungodly life.

2/4/04  1 John 1:4
We are writing these things so that our joy will be complete.

TRUTH
Truth is the basis for our fellowship with the Lord and with each other.  If I know the truth of God and practice the truth then I can live in fellowship.  If I am ignorant of God’s truth or do not practice the truth then I am out of fellowship.  The truth is in the Word of God and is given to us by Jesus.

2/5/04  1 Peter 4:13
Instead, be very glad – because these trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering, and afterward you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory when it is displayed to all the world.

TRIALS
When we suffer for Jesus, He will be with us.  Suffering prepares me for the next opportunity of service.  Suffering is always an opportunity for growth.  Suffering itself is not enjoyable but when I suffer for Jesus my life will be changed.  I will know Him better.  The end result is that I will be stronger and more useable.

2/6/04  1 Peter 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.

JESUS
One of the common phrases of the day is “seeing is believing.”  We see Jesus.  We see Him as He works in our hearts.  We see Him as He ministers to our hurts and heartaches.  His hand is visible as He works in our lives directly and through others.  Jesus is alive.

2/7/04    1 Peter 1:6
So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while.

SUFFERING
I don’t like to suffer.  But when I feel the hand of the oppression of evil and know that I have not been the cause of what I am going through I remind myself to take heart.  For the moment it is painful.  For a short time there will be dark clouds.  But the Lord will use this time of trouble to help me grow.  I will see His love, I will feel His encouragement and I will be better equipped to serve the Lord.

2/8/04  James 1:2
Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy.

SUFFERING
Evil is always seeking to destroy each one of us.  Don’t be surprised when trouble comes to you.  Instead, use this experience as an opportunity to speak with the Lord.  Talk with Him specifically about what you think.  Explain your reasoning even if it is through tears.  Then listen, trust and learn.  Once you see the Lord at work in your problems you will begin to see Him at work in your everyday life.  The more you recognize the activity of the Lord in your life the stronger you will become in serving Him.

2/9/04  Hebrews 12:2
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven.

SUFFERING
We are victorious in suffering when we trust the Lord.  The suffering and trouble may continue but our love for Jesus grows.  God loves me.  God is always good.  As this confidence grows in my heart my ability to express my love for Jesus and experience His love for me will grow.  Jesus loves me.

2/10/04            Hebrews 10:34
You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail. When all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew you had better things waiting for you in eternity.

SUFFERING
When your trouble is more than you can stand and your suffering is overwhelming ask the Lord to help you see just a little glimpse of heaven.  Heaven is where we will see Jesus face to face.  Heaven is where we will know the Lord without any limitation.  Just a little glimpse of heaven will help you to survive through your troubles and thrive.  We are just passing through and heaven is our home.

2/11/04            Hebrews 1:9
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.”

EVIL
I want to be able to hate evil.  I want to see evil for the vile and venomous thing that it is.  Never again do I want to cozy up to my secret sin.  No more will I set aside my time with Jesus for a little reveling in evil.  Evil looks good but it conceals death.  Help me Lord to always be focused on You.  The Lord Jesus is life and light and is worthy of all our attention.

2/12/04            Philemon 1:7
I myself have gained much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because your kindness has so often refreshed the hearts of God’s people.

ENCOURAGEMENT
People always need encouragement.  I can be an encourager.  I can affirm others value and worth by listening to them, showing them respect, asking their opinion, and in many other ways that clearly express my value of them.  Also, I can be kind.  Kindness is a habit.  It is a good habit.  It is inexpensive but valuable.  Kindness is simple and yet speaks to the complex depths of the human heart.  I am representing Jesus in all that I do.

2/13/04            2 Timothy 1:4
I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again.

FRIENDSHIP
Christ brings people together.  My Christian brothers and sisters will be with me in eternity with Jesus.  It is important for me to build friendships today that will be eternal relationships.  Jesus loves each one of us and you are a treasure in human form.  I want to value what Jesus values.  The Lord Jesus values friendships.

2/14/04            1 Thessalonians 3:9
How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy in the presence of God.

GRATITUDE
We have a choice.  We can ignore the people around us and miss many opportunities for growth.  Or we can choose to see those around us as blessings from the Lord and interact with them accordingly.  One of the most amazing experiences you will ever have is to see people respond positively to being treated positively.  We are always where we are.  Where we are is the place where we should be praying, serving and rejoicing.

2/15/04            1 Thessalonians 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.

SERVICE
I can serve the Lord where I am placed.  Those that I serve with will become closer than I could have ever imagined.  When they go elsewhere to serve it is a personal loss.  I should pray for them.  Any opportunity to visit with them will bring great joy.  God loves people most of all.

2/16/04            1 Thessalonians 2:20
For you are our pride and joy.

PEOPLE
People count with the Lord.  People are eternal.  We are here to serve people.  Our growth is focused on helping us build our relationship with the Lord and learning to serve the ones Jesus died for.  Jesus loves me.  I need to be constantly growing in my ability to love and serve people.

2/17/04            1 Thessalonians 2:19
After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what is our proud reward and crown? It is you! Yes, you will bring us much joy as we stand together before our Lord Jesus when he comes back again.

PEOPLE
The focus of the Christian life is to become more like Jesus.  Jesus died for people.  He is the Creator and has chosen to use you and me to reach the lost and build the family of God.  I am a bond servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I am responsible to care for His children.

2/18/04            1 Thessalonians 1:6
So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord.

SUFFERING
Suffering is a normal part of the Christian life.  I will suffer because I care for the lost.  I will suffer because I bring light into a dark world.  I am always striving to share the Gospel because I love people.  Lost people will often respond negatively to me, even when I struggle to serve them.  Saved people will sometimes respond negatively to me because they are human.  Suffering is real and it is normal.

2/19/04            Colossians 1:11
We also pray that you will be strengthened with his glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need. May you be filled with joy,

HOLY SPIRIT
The Lord will be with you as you seek to grow.  The Holy Spirit will help you deal with the negative aspects of your life and the negative ways that people may choose to deal with you.  Jesus is Lord and He will equip you to lead an abundant life.

2/20/04            Psalm 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.

JESUS
On a tough day, during hard times, I turn to Jesus.  I spend time with Him.  I open the Word of God and let the Lord speak to my heart.  As I seek refuge in Christ I find joy which changes my emotions and refocuses my perspective.  I am reminded of whose I am and of where I am headed.  I am just a pilgrim representing the Lord here on earth.  Jesus is Lord.

2/21/04            Psalm 9:2
I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.

JOY
Joy does not come from things or emotions.  It is the result of the activity of the Living Lord in our hearts.  When I spend time with the Lord and surrender my will to His the result is an abiding sense of the Father’s love and concern.  When I have the right perspective, Jesus as Lord, then I will have real joy in my life.

2/22/04            Psalm 16:11
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.

JOY
I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sin and take control of my life.  When I did this I became a member of the family of God.  God loves me.  He will spend time with me.  I have a once and forever relationship with Jesus and will eternally be with Him.  That is real joy, knowing that the Lord loves me and holds me in the palm of His hand.

2/23/04            Psalm 19:8
The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight to life.

LIFE
My life belongs to Jesus.  All that I do and have belongs to Him.  I am valuable and my life is worthwhile because I belong to the Lord.  If I obey the Lord, live by His commandments and do the things that I can, I will have a successful life.  If I live my life focused on what I can’t do or don’t have, the evil one will always have control of me.  I will not have joy but instead will lead a life of desperation.  God loves me and obedience to the Lord will produce joy in my life.

2/24/04            Psalm 21:6
You have endowed him with eternal blessings. You have given him the joy of being in your presence.

JOY
Everything I have and all of my gifts and skills belong to the Lord.  What I don’t have and cannot do are not the things that control me.  My life belongs to Jesus.  Real life is disciplining what I can do and controlling what I have as a sacrifice to the Lord.  I can have the kind of relationship with the Lord that will enable me to have real joy in life.

2/25/04            Psalm 22:26
The poor will eat and be satisfied. All who seek the LORD will praise him. Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.

JOY
Jesus brings joy to any person’s life.  His joy is found in everyday situations.  Christ’s joy is not lost or found in things but in our relationship with Him.  In Jesus we are complete.  In Christ we find fulfillment.  We can rejoice in our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

2/26/04            Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trust in him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

HELP
When I am in trouble I call on the Lord.  If I am sad or discouraged I call upon the Lord.  Jesus is never too busy to help me.  Jesus is Lord and He is Lord of my life.  I can take every aspect of my life to Jesus and have full confidence that the Lord will hear me and help me.

2/27/04            Psalm 30:5
His anger lasts for a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may go on all night, but joy comes with the morning.

SIN
The Lord loves me and wants me to have an abundant life.  His activity in my life will sometimes cause me discomfort but the end result will be a closer walk with the Lord.  God hates sin but loves the sinner.  I must make sure that I am always confessed up and Christ focused.

2/28/04            Psalm 30:11
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,

POWER
I go to the Lord with my troubles and woes.  I plead with Him to help me even when I have caused my own problems.  When I discover that Jesus has responded in a way that I can understand I rejoice.  Seeing the Lord in the everyday things of my life underscores His love for me and the natural result is great joy.  Rejoice in the Lord, He loves you.

2/29/04            Psalm 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.

CARE
Jesus cares for me.  He knows what I will face and how I will handle it and is always seeking to help me grow.  When I face defeat or commit the same sin the 1,000 time Jesus still listens to me as I confess my sin and seek His help.  What a Savior.  He really cares for me.  Jesus loves me.

January 2004

1/1/04                       Psalm 62:7
My salvation and my honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.

LIFESTYLE
The way I live makes a difference. If I live like the world I will suffer the same way the world suffers. If I have accepted Jesus and have not changed I am not living a Christ like life. I will not grow. I will not have spiritual power. My life will be in endless chaos. When I follow Jesus I change. I become Christ like and God fearing. Jesus brings grace and peace into my life and the Lord will walk with me.

1/2/04                       Galatians 5:14
For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

LOVE
Jesus loves me and has given me the privilege to love others. People need love. Everyday I can act like Jesus because I can choose to love.

1/3/04                       Galatians 5:15
But if instead of showing love among yourselves you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

CONFLICT
Choices define our lives. We can choose to gripe and criticize everything others do or we can choose to be kind and understanding and accept people as they are. Our responsibility is not to be on a mission to change others. We are responsible to change from the way we act to the way Jesus would have us act. I must become more like Jesus.

1/4/04                       Galatians 5:22-23
But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.

HOLY SPIRIT
I am either acting like Jesus or acting like the world. I am called to change. The Holy Spirit will guide me to become more like Jesus.

1/5/04                       Galatians 5:24
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.

LIFESTYLE
I cannot live like the world and become more like Jesus. A Christian life is a Christ like life. I study the Word to discover the truth. As Jesus speaks to me I listen and apply His Words to my life.

1/6/04                       Galatians 5:26
Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another.

LIFESTYLE
People count with the Lord. Jesus died for us as individuals. He knows each person. When I become more Christ like I will care for people the way Christ does.

1/7/04                       Galatians 1:3
May grace and peace be yours from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

PEACE
Peace in our daily life is a blessing. Peace comes directly from the heart of God. When I am filled with peace I am Christ controlled.

1/8/04                       Galatians 1:4
He died for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live.

WORLD
The world is my adversary. I am at war with the evil that controls the world. I am called to be different. I am charged with the responsibility to be a light in the darkness.

1/9/04                       2 Corinthians 13:11
Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Rejoice. Change your ways. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.

JOY
Choices are important. I choose to spend time with God. I choose to let Jesus have control of me. I choose to do the things that Christ calls me to do. Joy is also a choice. When I see things through the eyes of Christ I will rejoice. Jesus brings joy into a committed life.

1/10/04                       2 Corinthians 1:2
May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you his grace and peace.

GRACE
Grace is a blessing. It is the Lord Jesus giving us what we need and cannot earn. Life is always changing. But I can have absolute confidence that the Lord Jesus is always working for my good. God’s grace is a blessing.

1/11/04                       1Corinthians 14:33
For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the other churches.

PEACE
I am to be an agent for peace. Peace is a gift from God. It is a gift that we can give others. Peace is important. I am to be vigilant to pray for peace and to be a peaceful person.

1/12/04                       Romans 16:20
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

WORD
I must be careful as I live my life. I must be diligent in searching the Word of God for wisdom, mercy and grace. Only the wisdom of the Lord can outwit and defeat Satan. I must know what the Lord wants me to do. I discover the Lord’s directions and guidance as I spend time with Him and study His Word.

1/13/04                       Romans 15:13
So I pray that God, who gives you hope, will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in him. May you overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

HOPE
Hope comes from the Lord. The Lord is at work in us changing us into His likeness. Each day we become a little more like Jesus. Our growing hope will spill out of us into the lives of others. Those around us will be encouraged as they see the Father pouring Himself into us.

1/14/04                       Romans 14:17 –
For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

LIFESTYLE
Everything I do affects others. My life is always under inspection. Doing unto others as I would have done to me is a requirement. People are fragile and in need of special care. Jesus loves people.

1/15/04                       Romans 12:18
Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible.

FORGIVENESS
People are human. They are often difficult to deal with and because they are human they will often do the wrong thing in dealing with me and you. I must learn to forgive and forget. Forgiveness is an essential element in Godly living.

1/16/04                        Romans 8:6
If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace.

HOLY SPIRIT
God does not bargain with us. He knows the end from the beginning and has complete knowledge about our needs. Either I surrender control of my life to the Holy Spirit or I wallow in spiritual failure and sin. There is no fence sitting when it comes to a Christian lifestyle.

1/17/04                        Romans 5:1
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.

PEACE
As a child of God I can live my life based on fact and not emotion. The fact is that when Christ is in control of my life I have peace with God. This is not something I earn; it is a part of the gift of salvation. God gives us peace.

1/18/04                        Acts 16:36
So the jailer told Paul, “You and Silas are free to leave. Go in peace.”

PEACE
Peace comes because of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is in control of my life, He loves me and is always seeking for my best good. I can trust the Lord.

1/19/04                        Acts 10:36
I’m sure you have heard about the Good News for the people of Israel – that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.

FAMILY
I am part of the family of God. I belong to the Lord. I represent the Lord and His kingdom here on earth. One day I will be with Jesus and see Him face to face. Right now I can walk with Him and talk with Him by faith. By faith I have peace with God and can live a peaceful life.

1/20/04                        Acts 9:31
The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it grew in strength and numbers. The believers were walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

FEAR
Fear God is the first step of Godly wisdom. Once I realize who God is everything else will fall into place. God is so awesome, if I ever get a glimpse of His majesty I will serve Him with gladness.

1/21/04                        John 20:21
He spoke to them again and said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

PEACEMAKERS
You and I are peacemakers. We are to sacrifice our lives for the brethren. That includes our spouses, children, neighbors, friends and enemies. This is a hard saying for the lost. But for the children of God it is a part of their daily life. Our God is an awesome God.

1/22/04                        John 16:33
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

HOME
The world is not our home. Our lives are hidden in Christ with God. Christ has won the victory over death and has given us life. An abundant life that is worthy and victorious. Pray today that the Lord will let you see the awesome victory in your life.

1/23/04                        John 14:27
“I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

FEAR
Do not fear. Do not be troubled. Jesus is with you. He is the Lord. He loves you and is alive to give you wisdom, mercy and grace and to teach you to be victorious in daily living. He is alive.

1/24/04                        Matthew 5:9
God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.

PEACE
Peace is a natural state for God’s children. As the children of God live their lives before a troubled world the result is peace everywhere they go. The world is chaotic and lost. A child of God is at peace and knows that Jesus is in control and loves them.

1/25/04                        James 3:17
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no partiality and is always sincere.

WISDOM
Wisdom fills us with knowledge of God. We understand that Jesus is Lord and is in control. Wisdom guides us to spend time with Jesus, to read His Word and to let Christ guide us. Wisdom produces a life that values others and equips us to be servant of the Lord High God in this lost and dying world.

1/26/04                        James 3:15
For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and motivated by the Devil.

SIN
When we are close to Jesus; He will show us our sin. He will call us to account and guide us to seek forgiveness. His forgiveness will change us. I will give up my sinful thoughts or actions and replace them with Christ like actions. A Christian lifestyle involves constant change and growth.

1/27/04                        James 1:5
If you need wisdom – if you want to know what God wants you to do – ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking.

OBEDIENCE
God requires my obedience. If I ask Him what to do and have a spirit that is willing to do what God says, the Lord will give me spiritual wisdom. Jesus loves me and is always seeking my best good.

1/28/04                        2Timothy 3:15
You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.

SALVATION
God is seeking the lost. Jesus would that no one die lost. You and I are part of God’s plan to tell everyone about Jesus. We do the telling and Jesus does the saving. Today tell a lost person about Jesus.

1/29/04                        Galatians 5:13
For you have been called to live in freedom – not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love.

FREEDOM
People count. I am loved. I can help those around me. I can be myself. I can have confidence that the Lord will listen to me and guide me in the way that I should go. I have freedom in Jesus.

1/30/04                        Colossians 1:28
So everywhere we go, we tell everyone about Christ. We warn them and teach them with all the wisdom God has given us, for we want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ.

GOSPEL
The Gospel message is a message that every human being needs to hear. It is simply the story of our relationship with Jesus. It involves what we think and do and say. Our lives proclaim who controls us. If I am following Jesus it will be very easy for me to tell others about the Lord.

1/31/04                        Colossians 1:9
So we have continued praying for you ever since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you a complete understanding of what he wants to do in your lives, and we ask him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom.

PRAYER
Prayer is work. It is a work that is a worthy endeavor for every child of God. I need to be in constant prayer for the lost. I need to pray for my life. I need to be in prayer with the Father about every aspect of my life. A Christ like life includes much time in conversation with Jesus.

December 2003

12/01/03                      Psalm 43:5
Why am I discouraged? Why so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my savior and my God!

HOPE
Jesus is always faithful. I can hope in Christ. When I face the impossible, the Lord is there. I may not see the solution but the Lord Jesus Christ always has a solution for me. God is good. I am His child. Jesus is with me.

12/02/03                      Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.

HELP
I am not alone. In failure or defeat I can go to the Father and find strength. I pickup my Bible and begin my journey. I talk with Jesus. He listens to me. My heart cries out the truth as I see it and Jesus listens. I spend time with Jesus. I continue talking with Him. At some point the Lord will speak to me. The result will be that I will get what I need to move ahead. I may continue to suffer but I will be changed. I will not feel hopeless and I will not feel alone. The Lord is with me.

12/03/03                      Psalm 46:11
The Lord Almighty is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.

HELP
The world is a tough place. I often feel like I am pushed around by life. The Lord is my fortress. He is the defense against a pointless life. Jesus has a plan for me and His plan is for good. I am important. I count. The Lord says so and proves it by His protection of me.

12/04/03                      Psalm 49:15
But as for me, God will redeem my life. He will snatch me from the power of death.

HELP
Jesus died for me. Jesus was raised by the power of God from the dead. His power gives life to me. One day I will die but at the point of death Jesus will take me into the presence of the Lord. God loves me.

12/05/03                      Psalm 50:15
Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.

TRUST
Trust in the Lord. When life is blue and I am too, I trust in the Lord. My life is bound up in Christ. I have no other advocate, I have no other source. Jesus is able to save me now, enable me now and will keep me safe for eternity. I belong to the Lord.

12/06/03                      Psalm 50:23
Giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.

SERVICE
I choose salvation. God came looking for me but I am presented with the opportunity to choose Him. When I choose Christ I am saved and I belong to Jesus. If I belong to Jesus I will follow Him. If I wander away from the Lord, Jesus brings me back. If I stumble and fall Jesus picks me up.

12/07/03                      Psalm 51:10-12
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence, or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.

RENEWAL
I have troubled days. I have disappointing experiences. I am prone to sin. My daily devotional is the time that I must surrender to the Lord. If I will surrender my will to Jesus He will take control. If Jesus is in control I will change. My sadness will become gladness. My hopelessness will change to hope. Joy will be restored. Jesus will change me from rebellion to responsibility. I will experience renewal and my heart will willingly serve the Lord.

12/08/03                      Psalm 55: 17-19
Morning, noon and night I plead aloud in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice. He rescues me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me, even though many still oppose me. God, who is king forever, will hear me and will humble them.

LIFE
I am not very wise. It is hard for my ego to admit this but the truth is I am not very wise. I cannot see into the future. I cannot see the spiritual forces of evil arrayed against me. I cannot act against unseen germs. Jesus sees all of these things and knows what I will do even before I do it. I can become wise by trusting Jesus. If I talk with Christ about everything and know that He already knows what I don’t know then I will become wise. Wisdom results in obedience to the Lord. When I obey Jesus I am acting wisely.

12/09/03          Psalm 56: 3-4
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. O God, I praise your word. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?  What can mere mortals do to me?

COURAGE
Fear seeks to hide in us.  It prods us to excuses.  It wasn’t my fault.  I’m not responsible.  I don’t care.  The truth is fear stops us from doing the right thing.  I am responsible for me.  I am the only one that can make right choices for my life.  When I spend time with Jesus on a daily basis, Christ will give me the courage I need to live a Holy life.

12/10/03          Psalm 57:1
Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!  I look to you for protection. I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until this violent storm is past.

MERCY
God is rich in mercy.  He sees us intentionally do the wrong thing and He continues to forgive us.  Jesus is with us and even in our foolishness does not ignore us.  So many bad things in my life have been caused by lack of vigilance or just outright sinfulness.  Yet the Lord Jesus loves me.  Thank you Lord for your mercy.

12/11/03          Psalm 58:11
There truly is a reward for those who live for God; surely there is a God who judges justly here on earth.

PRESENT
God is here with us.  We often do not pay attention and seldom do we really believe that the Lord is actively involved in the minute events in our lives.  But the Lord is here.  Nothing escapes the attention of the Lord.  My hurts and losses are His hurts and losses.  The Lord loves me and will enable and equip me to face the reality of my life and become more like Jesus.

12/12/03          Psalm 61: 1-3
O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! From the ends of the earth I will cry to you for help, for my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.

HELP
God will help me.  He has never let me down.  The evidence of my many years is that the Lord is faithful and trustworthy.  God is good and is seeking my good.  When I surrender to Christ and let Him lead me good is always the result.

12/13/03                      Matthew 2:3-6
Herod was deeply disturbed by their question, as was all of Jerusalem. 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.’”

KING
God loves me and wants to help me live a Godly life but I must never forget that Jesus is the King.  Each one of us has the opportunity for a personal relationship with Jesus.  This relationship with the Lord will equip us to live Godly lives and to proclaim the love of Christ to all.  And in addition it will instill in my heart a longing to see the Lord Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  Jesus is coming back.

12/14/03                      Luke 1:26-28
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!”

SOVEREIGNTY
God is at work in our world.  The Lord Jesus has me and you on His heart.  We are always on the mind of the Lord.  The birth of Christ, his death on the cross and his resurrection from the grave were not afterthoughts.  God has a plan for my life and your life.  God is love.

12/15/03                      Luke 1:30-33
“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. 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!”

KINGDOM
Kings and kingdoms come and go but Jesus will never disappear.  He is here now for me and you so that we can live an abundant life and be involved in His work in the world.  This world will pass away.  One day Jesus will come back for all of His children.  Hurry and tell everyone you know that Jesus loves them.  Christ is coming back.

12/16/03                      Luke 1:46-49
And Mary responded: “Oh, how I praise the Lord.  How I rejoice in God my Savior! For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and now generation after generation will call be blessed. For he, the Mighty One, is holy and he has done great things for me.”

OBEDIENCE
God loves obedience more than sacrifice.  Obedience requires daily time with Jesus in prayer and in His Word.  Forgiveness is a critical element in a Christ like life.  If I don’t practice the  basic elements of my Christian faith I will not grow.  The power of God in my life is my choice.  Will I let the Lord Jesus have control of me or will I control myself.

12/17/03                     Matthew 1:18-21
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. Joseph, her fiance’, being a just man, decided to break off the engagement quietly, so as not to disgrace her publicly. 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.

BIRTH
The birth of Jesus was planned before time began. God knew that we needed help and He always planned to provide it. At the right time Jesus was born. He lived a perfect life. From birth to death my need was on the heart of Jesus. He died for me that I might be free.

12/18/03                      Luke 1:68-70
Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited his people and redeemed them. He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of his servant David, just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago.

SALVATION
God provided my salvation. I need it and cannot earn it. It is a grace gift. Jesus loves me and is always seeking my best good.

12/19/03                      Luke 1:76-79
And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.

SIN
You and I must deal with sin in our lives. The testimony of the Word of God is that sin is a pervasive, serious issue for all of mankind. When I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior, it does not put me in a position of priority. It places me in a position of responsibility. All I have to do is tell about what Jesus has done for me. Jesus is the light of the world and all need Him.

12/20/03                      Luke 2:1-5
NOW in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.

BIRTH
I have days when I feel alone and helpless. We are never alone and we are never beyond the ability of the Lord to help us. He will not forsake you. Jesus knows exactly where you are and what you need. Ask Him for it. Trust in the Lord.

12/21/03                      Luke2:1-7
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 the census. 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. He took with him Mary, his fiancé, who was obviously pregnant by this time.
And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 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.

BIRTH
Jesus came into our world. He lived His life with the same resources available to each one of us. The Lord is powerful and able to save. The Lord will enable us and equip us to lead worthwhile lives and serve a valuable purpose. Your life counts with Jesus.

12/22/03                      Luke 2:8-11
That night some shepherds were in the fields outside of the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared to 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! The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the City of David!”

FEAR
Do not be afraid. Your life is important. You count with the Lord. You may not understand what is going on and you may have feel like running but stand firm. The Lord is with you. Here is the good news. Jesus loves you and created you for a good purpose. Bless you today.

12/23/03                      Luke 2:11-14
“The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the City of David. And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!” 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.”

LIFESTYLE
Jesus wants me to spend time with Him. When I spend time with Jesus I get to know Him. The more I know Jesus the better equipped I am to live my life. Jesus is life and in Him I can find everything I need for an abundant life.

12/24/03                      Luke 2:16-19
The shepherds ran to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in a manger. Then the shepherd 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.

GOOD NEWS
God has come to be with us. I am not at the mercy of the world the Lord is here. My life counts because Jesus has given me life. His life provides the light that I need to live a worthwhile and rewarding life. Hallelujah.

12/25/03                      Isaiah 9:6
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His ever expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule forever with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David. The passionate commitment of the Lord Almighty will guarantee this!

KING
Jesus is here. He came for me so that I would have real life. I belong to Jesus. I spend time with Jesus. He is the king. He is Lord. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

12/26/03                      Luke 2:28-32
Simeon took the child in his arms and praised God, saying: “ Lord, now I can die in peace! As you promised me, I have seen the Savior you have given to all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel.”

PROMISES
God never forsakes His child. The Bible has 7,000 plus promises that the Lord has made to His children. Read the Word. Find His promises. Claim them for your life and see what the Lord will do. God is faithful.

12/27/03                      Isaiah 11: 1-5
Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—yes, a new branch bearing the fruit from the old root. And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. He will delight in obeying the Lord. He will never judge by appearance, false evidence, or hearsay. He will defend the poor and the exploited. He will rule against the wicked and destroy them with the breath of his mouth. He will be clothed with fairness and truth.

PROMISE
Christ fulfilled this promise from God. He has come to us. He knows us. In Jesus we have righteousness. This gives us access to the Father. When we pray we are literally entering the inner chambers of the Lord. God will hear us and will answer us. The Lord is here and I belong to Him.

12/28/03                      Psalm 63:7-8
I think how much you have helped me; I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I follow close behind you; your strong right hand holds me securely.

LIFESTYLE
So many people live quiet lives of desperation. At the edge of their mind is a nagging sense that nothing is going to work out right. Jesus fixes lives. When I ask Christ into my heart, Jesus gives me a new heart. The Lord will guide me to grow and encourage me to service.

12/29/03                      Psalm 64: 10
The godly will rejoice in the Lord and find shelter in him. And those who do what is right will praise him.

LIFESTYLE
I am a child of God. The Lord is active in my life. Everything I say and do comes under His scrutiny. The Holy Spirit will guide my heart and hands. I will live a life that is precious to the Lord Jesus Christ. I will look to Jesus to deal with the issues I face each day and ask Him for wisdom, mercy, and grace.

12/30/03                      Psalm 66: 8-9
Let the whole world bless our God and sing aloud his praises. Our lives are in his hands, and he keeps our feet from stumbling.

WISDOM
Quiet time with the Lord is where I will find the wisdom I need to live my life in the real world. The world is always troubled. Everyday someone in the arena of public life is claiming that they know what to do. If I am not led by the Holy Spirit of God I will not know what to do.

12/31/03                      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.

LOVE
Jesus knows everything about me and still loves me. He calls me to obedience because He loves me. He knows what is best. Every day I must deal with my feelings. My emotions are constantly changing. One day I am happy and another day I am sad. I must learn to live my life in the light of the Lord’s love. Joy is a promise I can claim. Not because only good things happen but because the Lord loves me and is on my side. The Lord is good, all the time.

November 2003

11/1/03 1John 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?

GIVING
Stinginess is evil and not acceptable in a Christian lifestyle. Each time we see someone come to the Lord the first thing they do is give. When we belong to Jesus we stop looking at our wealth as something to hoard and begin to see it as belonging to Jesus. If I am accountable for the resources that the Lord has let me use I will use those resources for His children.

11/2/03 Psalm 26:3
For I am constantly aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth.

LOVE
God’s love nurtures me in my Christian lifestyle. His love will pull me away from sin. I will quickly confess my sin and seek forgiveness. His love provides for that forgiveness. The love of God is my constant companion. It enables me to be myself and still be in close relationship with the Lord. Jesus is God’s love and He lives in my heart.

11/3/03 Matthew 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.

FIRST
God is first and only. There is no competition for Him. He is the Lord and there is no other. As I review my life and evaluate my options putting God first makes everything else fall into its proper place. A life focused on Jesus is a life that will be well lived.

11/4/03 2Peter 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.

EVIL
Lost people always act like lost people. They may be powerful, beautiful and kind but if they are lost they are dead in their trespasses and sin. I must never accept the world’s declaration of what is right and what is wrong. I must obey the law but only Jesus can guide me in spiritual truth.

11/5/03 1John 3:18
Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions.

ACTIONS
People count with God. My actions speak louder than my words. If I love someone I will help them. I will respect them. I will show them courtesy and respect. There is no place in the Christian faith for road rage or selfish indignation. If I love the Lord I will love people.

11/6/03 Psalm 33:5
He loves whatever is just and good, and his unfailing love fills the earth.

JESUS
Jesus is God. If I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior I will do what He says. When I obey Jesus and live my life under His control I will please God.

11/7/03 Matthew 19:19
Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

OBEDIENCE
If I have not surrendered my life to Jesus I am lost. I do not have a relationship with the Father and am dead in my trespasses and sin. I need Jesus. Christ has paid the price for my failure which is called sin. If I love Jesus and have turned my life over to Him I will have a relationship with the Lord.

11/8/03 Matthew 22:37
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’

LOVE
Love is a positive response. I am to do all that I can to love and serve Jesus. I can trust God with all that I cannot do. By loving the Lord and living the way Jesus says I will become more like Christ. Life happens but a Christian lifestyle must be planned. Jesus will guide me to live the right way.

11/9/03 Mark 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.”

POSSESSIONS
This passage is not praising poverty it is requiring that we put God first. What does your money mean to you? Is your money a barrier to serving the Lord? Is your money your servant or your master? Whatever stands between you and the Lord must be removed. God is first and there is no other.

11/10/03 Psalm 31:16
Let your favor shine on your servant. In your unfailing love, save me.

LOVE
I need love. I need love that holds me accountable but cleans me up when I stray. I need love that calls me back to the right way when I purposely walk the wrong way. God’s love is eternal and powerful and able to keep me in His family. I am grateful for the love that Jesus has birthed in my heart and developed in my life.

11/11/03 1 Peter 2:20
For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

ENDURANCE
The trials of the moment are difficult to endure. If I will remember who I am serving and what the Lord is trying to accomplish with me I will be able to endure. Endurance is the classroom where I build my love and confidence in the Lord.

11/12/03 Psalm 25:7
Forgive the rebellious sins of my youth; look instead through the eyes of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O LORD.

SIN
Sin is a constant struggle. I will never outgrow my need for Jesus to deal with and forgive my sin. When I find myself feeling smug and self-righteous I know it is time to get back on my knees before the Lord. I am a great sinner. The closer I get to Jesus the more clearly I see my sin.

11/13/03 Matthew 23:6
And how they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the most prominent seats in the synagogue!

SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS
Evil has a way of deceiving even good people. Evil suggests that God is sometimes in error or forgetful or weak or many other things. Evil slowly but surely if left unchecked encourages me to step up to the next spiritual level influencing me to stand in judgment over God’s people. Evil fools me into thinking that I am good and worthy of adulation and respect. It births a pride in me that blinds me to my own foolishness and sin. Jesus forgives sin and gives wisdom to the foolish.

11/14/03 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.”

LOVE
God is love. Everything about God radiates His love. I must love God. When I love God, I will love His creation. I cannot see God. I can see my brother. My love for God is expressed by the way I treat His creation.

11/15/03 Psalm 25:10
The LORD leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all those who keep his covenant and obey his decrees.

LOVE
Christ’s love will not cease. Through all of the days of my life and into eternity Jesus loves me. His love will enable and equip me to live my life. Christ will deal with my sinfulness, loneliness, failure, success and any other aspect of my life. I can count on the Lord.

11/16/03 Psalm 32:10
Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the LORD.

LOVE
I will never live outside of the love of Jesus. I asked Him into my heart and I belong to Him. Jesus is aggressively active in my life seeking my best good. I sense and see His interest and concern for me many times each day.

11/17/03 1John 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.

ACTIONS
I am a traveler just passing through. This world is not my home. I am on a journey to the Master’s throne. I am responsible for the things that I take on this journey. I am responsible for what I plan and practice as I journey towards a face to face meeting with Jesus. The Lord is my father and I am going to see Him.

11/18/03 Luke 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.

LOVE
Love is an action. It is what I do with and for people. I cannot fall into the habit of dividing people into groups that I like and groups that I dislike. This is a sin. I am wrong when I do this. My action must be to ask the Lord to change me so that I can see people the way the He sees them.

11/19/03 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.”

OBEDIENCE
God loves obedience. When I am obedient I grow in my relationship with the Lord. Christ directs, equips, enables and empowers me to become more obedient. I become obedient by spending time with Jesus and doing what He says.

11/20/03 1John 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.

LIFESTYLE
The Christian life is simple. If I spend time with Jesus and do what He says I am living a Christian life. If I devote all my time to worldly pursuits, no matter how good, I will obey and follow the world. This is not complicated. Christians act like Christ.

11/21/03 Psalm 40:11
LORD, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me. My only hope is in your unfailing love and faithfulness.

LIFESTYLE
It is okay for me to talk with Jesus about everything happening in my life. I don’t do this to manipulate the Lord. I talk with Jesus about everything so that I am open to hearing from Him about anything. The more time I spend with Jesus the more I will act like Christ.

11/22/03 Psalm 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.

LIFESTYLE
Trust is an action. When I trust the Lord I will change the way I act. In the midst of chaos I will have peace. At the point of failure I will see victory. My life will belong to the Lord and my ego will be placed in His hands. Trust in the Lord shapes me so that I will live like Jesus.

11/23/03 1John 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.

LOVE
Christianity is a commitment of the heart. It is not just an outward compliance to a set of dos and don’ts. My faith creates selflessness and sensitivity to the needs of those around us. The way I feel towards people is the evidence of my faith.

11/24/03 Psalm 26:8
I love your sanctuary, LORD, the place where your glory shines.

CONFIDENCE
Praise, worship and fellowship are critical for my spiritual growth. The church is where I will learn to pray with the family of God express my closeness to the Father by loving the brethren. Jesus inhabits His church and uses the church to minister to the needs of individual Christians and organize the body of Christ to take the Gospel to the world. It is important for me to be an active church member.

11/25/03 1John 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.

LOVE
My love is expressed by self sacrifice, giving and service. You are important. I recognize your importance by service. I facilitate your growth and learning experience by my giving and self sacrifice. When everyone in a church does this the church of the Lord will prosper and grow. Love is the unifying mark of the Christian community.

11/26/03 1John 3:11
This is the message we have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

LOVE
When I meticulously obey the Word of God as I read it and demand that you do the same thing I am simply a modern day Pharisee. God is love. Love is basic to the character of God. When I develop a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ I will become like Jesus. If I become like Jesus I will love you. My faith will change the way I act.

11/27/03 1John 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.

JESUS
Jesus is God’s everything. Christ is the only way to the Father and I am the only one that can accept Christ for me. There are no grandchildren in God’s family. People count with God. The way I treat people reflects the relationship I have with Jesus.

11/28/03 Psalm 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.

POWER
God is so good. God is always good. When the world is treating me bad I can go to the Father and He will treat me good. This world is not a reflection of my relationship with the Father. The Word of God tells me that God is always good.

11/29/03 Psalm 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.

HELP
Jesus is always with me. Every breath I take every move I make includes the living presence of Jesus. I grow in grace and maintain joy when I am constantly aware of the presence of Christ.

11/30/03 1John 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.

LOVE
Real love is an action. It includes significant personal sacrifice. Love is not negotiating my best good. Love is surrendering my interests for your best good. Love involves sacrifice.

October 2003

10/01/03 Galatians 6:7-8
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

RESULTS
What I think each day matters. The actions I take as a result of what I think are critical. My entire life is made up of individual choices. Today I must choose to do the right thing. Jesus is returning soon.

10/02/03 Galatians 5: 19-22
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not *inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

FRUIT
Christ must be in control of everything I do. I must spend enough time with Jesus so that I am prepared for every thing that will happen to me each day. The fruit of the Spirit is the result of a Christ centered life.

10/03/03 1 John 3:16-18
We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.

SACRIFICE
Sodom and Gomorrah were condemned for their selfishness. If I hold on tightly to what the Lord has given me then I am acting selfish. Who I am and what I have is all from God. My life is to be a life of trust. I trust the Lord for what I need and God trusts me with what He gives me. I am my brother’s keeper.

10/04/03 Luke 6:35
Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

PEOPLE COUNT
People count. Jesus died for me and He died for each one of us. There are no specially favored children in the family of God. We are all the objects of God’s love.

10/05/03 John 15:13
Greater love has no one than this, that one *lay down his life for his friends.

SACRIFICE
Sacrifice involves giving. It will cost me. It will honor God. The world will call it ridiculous and will not understand. I will be blessed by every single sacrifice I make for Jesus. I will see a lost person saved, a friend encouraged, or maybe even a dismal situation brightened. When I sacrifice is when I am most like Jesus.

10/06/03 John 15:9-11
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey me, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father and remain in his love. I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!

OBEDIENCE
The Lord calls me to obey him so that I might enjoy His presence and peace. Jesus knows the future and He knows what is best for me. The Lord loves me and you.

10/07/03 John 16:20
Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy

JOY
The Lord loves me. This is for eternity. Whatever happens, whatever difficulty comes my way Jesus will not desert me. I belong to the Lord. I can share in His joy because the victory over death has been won.

10/08/03 Hebrews 12:2
[Let us fix] our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

JESUS
If I make Jesus the focus of my life I will never be caught short. I will experience real life and be equipped daily to face life with courage and strength. When Jesus is in control the peace of God is present.

10/09/03 John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

COURAGE
Truth is the foundation of courage. If I know Jesus and understand His love for me I will have courage. I may not know the answer to the problems I face but I belong to the One who does know the answer. Jesus loves me and He will never leave me. I can count on that.

10/10/03 Hebrews 12:14-15
Try to live in peace with everyone, and seek to live a clean and holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you will miss out on the special favor of God. Watch out that no bitter root of unbelief rises up among you, for whenever it springs up, many are corrupted by its poison.

HOLINESS
The end result of time spent with Jesus will be my understanding of life and how Jesus would have me live it. When I live my life the way Jesus directs I will act like Jesus. Holiness is being like Jesus.

10/11/03 Philippians 4:6-7
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

ANXIETY
The Lord is good. Every thought that the Lord Jesus has toward me is a thought for good. Jesus brings peace. When I trust Jesus and have his peace my life will become peaceful.

10/12/03 Ephesians 4:1-2
THEREFORE I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love.

DAILY WALK
I am called to base my life on Jesus and not my circumstances. Circumstances change but Jesus never changes. The Lord is alive and lives in my heart.

10/13/03 Colossians 1:9
So we have continued praying for you ever since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you a complete understanding of what he wants to do in your lives, and we ask him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom.

PRAYER
We need to pray for each other. Our lives are fast paced and often full of obstacles. Prayer equips us for real life.

10/ 14/03 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.

LIFE
Life is a blessing from the Lord. Every breath I take every moment I live is another opportunity for me to be a blessing to someone. Life in Christ is a journey of opportunity.

10/ 15/03 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.

WISDOM
When I run away from evil I am listening to the Lord. Evil actions stimulate us through curiosity first. When we experience the evil we find ourselves seduced by its attraction. Run from evil or you may be overrun by evil.

10/ 16/03 Mt 22:39
A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

LIFE
When I love someone I treat them with respect and honor. When things go wrong I give them the benefit of the doubt. I look out for those I love and I do for them. If I love my neighbor I will treat them like someone that counts. I count with God. My neighbor should count with me.

10/ 17/03 Lu 6:27
“But if you are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you.

LOVE
Love involves sacrifice and service. I must struggle with this statement; do good to those that by their actions do not deserve good. I serve those that the Lord loves. God loves people and people count. I will strive to pray for, be kind to and value even those that hate me. Lord help me to do this.

10/ 18/03 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.

LOVE
Love is a natural response by God for man. I am to love those I come into contact with. I am to do them good and to care for them just like the Lord cares for me. I must focus my heart and my life on Jesus to do this.

10/ 19/03 1Jo 4:8
But anyone who does not love does not know God – for God is love.

LOVE
I cannot hate someone and love God. Hate and love are mutually exclusive. When I find myself feeling hate or acrimony towards someone I am wrong. It doesn’t matter why I have these feelings, I am just wrong. At that time I must immediately get before the Lord and confess my feelings and ask Jesus to change those feelings. Then I must be willing to change. God does not make deals so that I can stay in sin and serve Him.

10/ 20/03 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.

SALVATION
Whatever else may happen to me, this I know, Jesus has saved me. The Lord said ask and He would save me. I asked and He did save me. I will sin and I will make mistakes but I can live the rest of my life with this confidence, Jesus loves me and has saved me forever.

10/ 21/03 1Thessalonians 5:12-13
Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and warn you against all that is wrong. Think highly of them and give them your whole-hearted love because of their work. And remember to live peaceably with each other.

HONOR
Our Christian leaders are not perfect but they are striving to serve us and the Lord. Appreciate your pastor and encourage him. Be a blessing to those that labor before the Lord for you.

10/ 22/03 2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

SELF-DISCIPLINE
I need the Lord. If I am to grow in the Lord I must spend time with Him. I can organize my life to make the Lord first. I can do this because the Lord will give me the wisdom, and self-discipline to accomplish this. I can do all things through Christ.

10/ 23/03 2 Timothy 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.

SALVATION
God cared for me. He saw my need and came looking for me. Christ is the source and substance of my salvation. I am saved by the grace of God and by His grace I will be with Him for eternity.

10/ 24/03 2 Timothy 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.

EVIL
Evil is always evil. There is no middle ground. When we start the process of bargaining with evil we have lost the fight to stand for right. Evil questions God and destroys us. There is nothing about evil that you or I can accept. Jesus forgives our sin but we are the ones that decide to do the right thing.

10/ 25/03 Titus 3:4
But then God our Savior showed us his kindness and love.

LOVE
God loves me. He knows all about me and still loves me. Christ came that I might have life. Jesus moved me from a life that is full of sin to a life that is led by the Holy Spirit. That life begins right now and continues into eternity. Jesus is Lord.

10/ 26/03 James 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.

TESTING
Life is serious and passes too quickly. I know the Word of God; I know the requirements necessary for me to live a Godly life. Jesus will equip me to face the daily difficulties of life. If I will accept His power and put it to work in my life I will stand. If I purpose to go my own way and live by my own power I will fail. Love is an action. If I love the Lord I will do what He says.

10/27/03 1Timothy 1:14
Oh, how kind and gracious the Lord was! He filled me completely with faith and the love of Christ Jesus.

ADEQUACY
I do not feel adequate to properly love and serve the Lord. God has made provision for this. Salvation is not by works. God has graced us in Jesus Christ so that we might be totally adequate to build a relationship with Him. It is because of Jesus that I can declare that I love the Lord and He loves me.

10/28/03 1 Timothy 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.

HAPPINESS
Man’s way is always the wrong way. If I focus my life on external circumstances I will never succeed in the Christian life. God has all of the resources that I need to accomplish His plan for my life. If I measure everything by dollars and cents I will never be happy. If I measure everything by Jesus Christ I will have real joy.

10/29/03 1 Timothy 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.

OBEDIENCE
Run from evil. Actively fight the battle of faith. Be obedient to Jesus. Spend time with the Lord. Ignore the world and its constant clamor for things and position. Jesus is God’s everything and He is everything I need.

10/30/03 Ps 33:18
But the LORD watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love.

OBEDIENCE
God loves obedience more than sacrifice. The Lord is not seeking to barter with me for the least that I can do to accomplish His will and work. God knows all things and He knows me. I can trust the Lord.

10/31/03 Ps 57:10
For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

FAITHFULNESS
God is faithful. Jesus will never leave me. His commitment to me is greater than I can think, see or comprehend. The Lord is faithful to me. He guarantees that His faithfulness will extend forever and ever and ever. God is faithful.

September 2003

9/01/03      John 1: 1-5
In the beginning, the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God. He was in the beginning with God. He created everything there is. Nothing exists that he didn’t make. Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone. The light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

LIGHT
Christ gave me life. This new life gives me light for living. I am no longer in bondage to sin and foolishness. I can serve the Lord and live a Christ-like life.

9/02/03      John 1:10-13
But although the world was made through him, the world didn’t recognize him when he came. Even in his own land and among his own people, he was not accepted. 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 rebirth resulting from human passion or plan—this rebirth comes from God.

NEW BIRTH
I am a new creature in Christ. Old things have passed away. I am alive in Jesus. I have value and worth and the Lord has a plan for my life.

9/03/03 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
Jesus is with me. He is with me when I am good and when I am bad. He is interested in everything I do. He wants me to learn how to mature into a Christ-like person. I cannot do this without His power, mercy and grace. I can do all things through Christ.

9/04/03 John 1:16-17
We have all benefited from the rich blessings he brought to us—one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.

RESOURCES
I have everything I need in Jesus. He will meet my every need. I am called to obedience and trust. My life is to be surrendered to Him and focused upon Him.

9/05/03 John 1:18
No one has ever seen God. But his only Son, who himself is God, is near to the Father’s heart; he has told us about him.

JESUS
Jesus is God’s everything. I can trust the Lord Jesus with my life, my needs and my future. The more I know Him now the more I will know Him in eternity.

9/06/03 Hebrews 1:1-2
Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. But now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he made the universe and everything in it.

JESUS
Jesus died for my sin. He knows everything about me and still loves me. He is always with me. Jesus is not a doting grandparent and at times must discipline me but He still has my best interest in mind. Jesus is my elder brother and takes me into the throne room of the Lord God.

9/07/03 Hebrews 1:3
The Son reflects God’s own glory, and everything about him represents God exactly. He sustains the universe by the mighty power of his command. After he died to cleanse us from the stain of sin, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God of heaven.

GOD’S SON
He died for me the worst of sinners. He paid my price on Calvary. Jesus reveals to me the love of the Father. He is a great and mighty Lord and a gentle, faithful, loving friend. What a Savior. Thank you Lord.

9/08/03 Colossians 1: 15-17
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation. Christ is the one through whom God created everything in heaven and earth. He made the things we see and the things we can’t see—kings, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities. Everything has been created through him and for him. He existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together.

CREATOR
Jesus is the Creator of all things. Majestic and mighty Christ has always been and will always be. There was never a time when Jesus wasn’t Lord. I don’t make Him Lord, I accept Him as my Lord. Christ is my King.

9/09/03 John 14:6
Jesus told him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one can come to the Father except through Me.”

WAY
Jesus is the way. There is no other way except through Him. Many question it and many doubt it but it is still the truth. It has nothing to do with man’s limited abilities. I cannot question or even second guess God. Jesus is the only way to the Father.

9/10/03 Deuteronomy 18:15
The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like [Moses] from among you, and you must listen to that prophet.

PROPHET
The Lord foretold His coming. Now He is here. He lives in me. He guides my life. One day very soon He will come back. Come Lord Jesus.

9/11/03 Isaiah 7:14
All right then, the Lord himself will choose the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and call him name “Immanuel”—“God is with us.”

WITH ME
Each of us has many tough days. Christ is always with us. Failure may rear its ugly head but Christ is still with us. He will not leave us nor will He forget us. Jesus is with us.

9/12/03 Galatians 4:4-5
But when the right time came, God sent his son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.

FREEDOM
I am free in Christ. Free from all of the deceit and misdirection that the enemy can throw my way. Free from sifting by the Evil One. I am free to live and free to serve. I am a child of God set free.

9/13/03 Matthew 11:28
Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

REST
Life is difficult. When the process of dealing with the difficulty of life becomes more than I can bear I must return to Jesus and let Him help me. Christ will carry my load and give me rest. Even when I have gotten off course and ignored Him, He will not ignore me.

9/14/03 John 16:33
(Jesus said), “I have told you all of this so that you might have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

PEACE
I am not alone. Christ is with me. He is my peace. If I will seek Him and serve Him I will find the peace that is so elusive in the lives of people. Peace is the result of Jesus ruling my life.

9/15/03 Matthew 24:4-6, 13-14
Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you. For many will come in my name saying, ‘I am the Messiah.” They will lead many astray. And wars will break out near and far, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must come, but the end won’t follow immediately…. Those who endure to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the world, so that all nations will hear it; and then, finally, the end will come.”

RETURN
Jesus is coming back. He is coming back soon. I am to be constantly alert to His return. If I live with this realization it will change the way that I live my life. Come Lord Jesus.

9/16/03 Matthew 24: 44
You also must be ready all the time. For the Son of Man will come when least expected.

SECOND COMING
Time with the Lord everyday is critical for my spiritual health. If I don’t spend time with Jesus I will not know what He wants me to do nor will I know the things I need to change. My goal is to be ready every minute of every hour of every day to meet the Lord.

9/17/03 Psalm 30:1
I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me. You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.

VICTORY
I can live my life in victory. The circumstances of my situation do not determine the reality of God’s love and presence. I belong to Jesus. He will not let me go.

9/18/03 Psalm 31:1
O Lord, I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be put to shame. Rescue me, for you always do what is right.

COURAGE
Courage is a choice. When I trust God and live under the rule of His Word and the encouragement of His promises I will develop a Christian lifestyle. I will become more like Jesus in everything I do. Jesus is the reason that I can claim an abundant life.

9/19/03 Psalm 32:1-2
Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!

JOY
Joy is always based on perspective and never a result of my circumstances. From a Roman prison Paul the Apostle declared “rejoice, again I say rejoice.” Jesus is alive and I can have joy. God is in control. My life is important. I count. Jesus will never leave me. At death Jesus will personally escort me into the presence of God.

9/20/03 Psalm 33:4-5
For the word of the Lord holds true, and everything he does is worthy of our trust. He loves whatever is just and good, and his unfailing love fills the earth.

TRUST
Every thought the Lord Jesus has towards me is a thought for good. I can trust Jesus. I can trust Him with my future, He is faithful right now and Christ has forgiven me of my sin. His blood was shed for me. What a Savior. What a friend I have in Jesus.

9/21/03 Psalm 34: 4-5
I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me, freeing me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.

HEARS
God hears me when I pray. He knows my needs and He will help me. My Lord Jesus is trustworthy and true. He will equip, facilitate, encourage and enable my life. The Lord is good all the time.

9/22/03 Psalm 34:15
The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help.

WATCHFUL
Life will make us wonder if the Lord is here. So many times I am surprised by things that happen. The Lord Jesus is never surprised by anything and is always seeking to help us prepare. Life is every day. I am called to focus on Jesus so that He can prepare me for each day.

9/23/03 Psalm 35: 9-10
Then I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be glad because he rescues me. I will praise him from the bottom of my heart: “Lord, who can compare with you? Who else rescues the weak and helpless from the strong? Who else protects the poor and needy from those who want to rob them?

JOY
I can have joy. I can celebrate each day. What a wonderful God I serve. Not an idol that I can appease or manipulate. My Lord Jesus is able to do more than I can think or imagine and He loves me.

9/24/03 Psalm 36: 7-9
How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings. You feed them from the abundance of your own house, letting them drink from your rivers of delight. For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see.

LOVE
God’s love is precious. It enables me to live. His love equips me to deal with my life. I am precious to Jesus. He cares for me far more than I care for myself. Christ died for me and now lives in me so that I can live a righteous life.

9/25/03 Psalm 37:3-4
Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

TRUST
Every person I meet is valuable to Jesus. When I value the people I meet I am declaring my own value and worth. When I do good I am always receiving good. Life works that way. Jesus is Lord.

9/26/03 Psalm 37: 18-19
Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent, and they will receive a reward that lasts forever. They will survive through hard times; even in famine they will have more than enough.

SURVIVAL
Jesus cares for me. My life is important to the Lord. He will stand with me in hard times and see me through. I can celebrate now because the Lord will never desert me. I will survive.

9/27/03 Psalm 39: 6-7
We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth for someone else to spend. And so, O Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.

HOPE
Wealth can be squandered. Good health will end. God’s love for me is eternal. I can put all of my hope and trust in the Lord because He will be with me throughout eternity. Now I see Him by faith but one day soon I will stand before the Lord and see Him face to face.

9/28/03 Psalm 40: 1-3
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be astounded. They will put their trust in the Lord.

TRUST
God’s timing is always perfect. He hears me and He will always help me. I have joy this moment because the Lord loves me. I can trust Jesus.

9/29/03 Psalm 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.

LOVE
Love is of God. It comes to me from the Lord Jesus because He has chosen to love me. It is a gift and it is eternal. My life is in Christ, and He is the light of my life. All the things I do come under the scrutiny of Jesus. I can trust Him. Jesus loves me.

9/30/03 Psalm 28:1
O Lord, you are my rock of safety. Please help me; don’t refuse to answer me. For if you are silent, I might as well give up and die.

TRUST
I can live my life with this assumption, Jesus loves me. I can trust the Lord because He is faithful. His love is relentless and eternal. The Lord is my strength and I can trust Him.

August 2003

8/01/03 Acts 4:12
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

SALVATION
Jesus saves.  When I come to Jesus, repent of my sin, and ask Christ to save me, He is faithful and righteous to give me new life.  He is the only way that I can be saved.

 

8/02/03 Acts 13:47
For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “`I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’

EVERYONE
Everyone needs Jesus.  Each person in the world needs Jesus.  I will never be wrong when I share Christ.  My responsibility is to share what Jesus has done for me.  I am not responsible to make someone decide what they will do with this gift from God.

 

8/03/03 Romans 1:16
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

GOSPEL
The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is a powerful word.  When I heard that God loved me it changed my outlook on life.  When I asked Christ to forgive me of my sin and save me it gave me new life.  One day I will stand face to face with the Lord and hear Him say that I will be with Him throughout eternity.  The Gospel is a great message from the heart of God to His creation.

 

8/04/03 Romans 13:11
And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

TIME
Time is a fierce foe.  If we are in a hurry there is never enough time.  If we are starting a new work there seems to be more than enough time.  The truth is that the only time I have is right now.  Now is when I must share Jesus.  Now is when I can be a witness.

 

8/05/03 2 Corinthians 1:6
If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.

ACTIONS
What I do for Jesus counts.  It tells those around me that I am serious about what I believe.  I follow Jesus and my life is different.  I may never know the impact of the way I live on someone else.

 

8/06/03 2 Corinthians 6:2
For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.

SALVATION
The activity of the Holy Spirit in my heart urges me to accept Christ as Lord and Savior.  If I act on that decision I have salvation.  If I only think about salvation and do not accept Jesus as Lord and Savior I am not saved.  Putting off accepting Christ is a deadly trap that many otherwise good people fall into.  Now is the time to accept Jesus.

 

8/07/03 2 Corinthians 7:10
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

BEHAVIOR
Jesus changes me.  If I am a follower of Christ I will try to live and act like Jesus.  The way I know this is that the Holy Spirit will keep me from getting way off-base.  When I do wrong things, the Lord will prompt me to correct my actions.

 

8/08/03 Ephesians 1:13
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

TRUTH
God in Christ died for my sin and for the sin of every single person.  Each one of us is valuable to the Lord.  Accountability demands that the cost of my sin be paid and Christ paid that price.  Whatever the world may say this is the truth.

 

8/09/03 Philippians 1:19
For I know that as you pray for me and as the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will all turn out for my deliverance.

PRAYER
I am not at the mercy of the world.  I can intercede in prayer for you and whatever you are facing.  I can ask you to pray with me.  Prayer changes me and faithful prayer of righteous people changes the world.

 

8/10/03 1 Thessalonians 5:5
For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night.

OWNERSHIP
I belong to the Lord.  I am not at the mercy of circumstances, or my own inadequacies.  I am a child of God.  I am at peace with the Lord and have access to Him.  Jesus is Lord of my life.

 

8/11/03 1 Thessalonians 5:9
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

FINISH
I can trust God as I grow old.  Death is a reality that all of us will face one day.  The race that I have run, my life, will not be discredited by the activity of age.  The Lord will see me through.

 

8/12/03 2 Timothy 2:10
Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

SALVATION
People count.  Jesus died for people.  I can do all within my power to share the Gospel with everyone.  The Lord uses people for evangelism and every person is worthy of hearing the Gospel.  I can persevere but I must remember that it is my responsibility to tell about Jesus and it is God’s responsibility to save individuals from their sin

8/13/03           Hebrews 2:3
What makes us think that we can escape if we are indifferent to this great salvation that was announced by the Lord Jesus himself? It was passed on to us by those who heard him speak,

ONE WAY
Jesus died for my sin. Christ rose from the dead by the power of God. His death and resurrection paid the price for my sin. It is a gift from God. If I ignore the gift of Jesus I will be called upon to stand in judgment by myself.

8/14/03         Hebrews 9:28
so also Christ died only once as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again but not to deal with our sins again. This time he will bring salvation to all those who are eagerly waiting for him.

SECOND COMING
Jesus is coming back. He will come back in glory, and power and honor. All things will come to a halt. All of creation will be judged. Everything will change. This is an encouragement and a warning. Jesus is Lord.

8/15/03         1 Peter 2:2
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,

MATURITY
People are dead in their trespasses and sin. When Christ comes in He forgives our sin and gives us life. Life begins at that point. We are not robots and therefore have to grow in spiritual things. Spiritual growth takes time and attention. If I study God’s Word and let the Holy Spirit lead me everyday I will grow.

8/16/03        Revelation 7:10
And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

SALVATION
Salvation is priceless and plentiful. Christ is able to save anyone that turns to Him. We cannot explain salvation to a lost world, we can only proclaim it. When a person comes to Christ and accepts salvation everything changes. They realize what a great blessing and wonderful joy it is to be a child of God.

8/17/03       Revelation 12:10
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.

END THINGS
Satan has lost. You and I are living in the victory Christ has won. Our responsibility is to see through the dark glass by faith and live in confidence that our Father loves us.

8/18/03 Job 11:18
You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.

HOPE
My trust in the Father is grounded in His work in Christ. The power of God in me makes the difference in the life I live. I spend time with Jesus to get direction and guidance on dealing with my life. Christ gives me hope for the future.

8/18/03      Job 11:18
You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.

HOPE
My trust in the Father is grounded in His work in Christ. The power of God in me makes the difference in the life I live. I spend time with Jesus to get direction and guidance on dealing with my life. Christ gives me hope for the future.

8/19/03      Psalm 9:18
But the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish.

HELP
I am called to help the helpless. I am to be the willing servant of the Lord in this world. When I help the helpless I am doing the work of Christ in a needy world. Jesus wants to use me.

8/20/03      Psalm 25:3
No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.

HOPE
I am to focus my life on Jesus. Everything I do must be under the guidance and control of the Lord. I am so limited in my understanding of the world that I cannot survive without His guidance. Jesus expects me to have a willing heart.

8/21/03      Psalm 25:5
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

HOPE
I can choose to give God control of my life. I can refuse to let emotions control me. I am responsible for my life and Jesus will equip me to live it. I can do all things through Christ.

8/22/03      Psalm 25:21
May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.

HOPE
All of my confidence for today and for the future is in Christ. There is nothing I do that is beyond the reach of Jesus. The Lord will see me through failure and through success. The Lord is near and I trust Him.

8/23/03      Psalm 31:24
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.

STRENGTH
When failure and difficulty strike I can respond with confidence. Jesus will stand with me and give me the courage, wisdom, mercy and grace that I need to survive. I do not have to fear. The Lord is with me.

8/24/03      Psalm 33:18
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,

WISDOM
The enemy will always try to get my eyes off of the Lord. Many times my adversary will succeed. It is a real blessing for me to realize that the Lord will not take His eyes off of me. I am the focus of His attention and the beloved of His heart. The Lord is with me.

8/25/03      Ecclesiastes 9:4
Anyone who is among the living has hope –even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!

CHOICE
We will die one day. Until that day I can choose to follow the Lord and live under the Lord’s watchful eye. If I fail to choose the Lord before I die I will not get another chance. Death ends choice.

8/26/03      Isaiah 40:31
Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

LIFE
Life is to be lived with an understanding of the resources of God. The Lord will not desert me. His love and concern will not be dissipated. The Lord will not leave me behind nor will He permit the evil one to have control of me. I belong to the Lord.

8/27/03      Psalm 33:20
We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.

ETERNITY
I am a child of God. I am to live my life with an awareness of heaven and the life to come. He uses me to care for the hopeless and helpless. The Lord cares for me because I belong to Him. I am able to live in victory because Jesus saved me.

8/28/03      Psalm 40:1
I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.

HELP
The Lord will not desert me. Jesus will meet my needs. He has made provision for me that perfectly fits my life. The Lord’s plan for me is perfect. I have value and worth and my life is important to the Father.

8/29/03      Psalm 40:4
Oh, the joys of those who trust the LORD, who have no confidence in the proud, or in those who worship idols.

JOY
Joy is not based on my circumstances. It is not dependent on my abilities or good luck. Joy comes from the Father. It is the inescapable confidence that God loves me. Jesus saved me and I have a growing, maturing relationship with the Father. I can trust the Lord.

8/30/03      Psalm 40:6
You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings. Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand – you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings.

OBEDIENCE
God loves obedience. My relationship with the Father is not based on clever insight or careful choice. I am called to listen to the Lord and do what He says. God knows me and He knows what I need. He will not overlook me or be stingy with the things that I need. The Lord is a loving Father and He loves me.

8/31/03      Psalm 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.

FAITHFUL
God is faithful. He is always on time. I can live my life with the utmost confidence in His care for me and His provision for me. I can live an abundant life.