Today's Good News

October 2004

10/01 Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

MAJESTY
You and I have the wonderful privilege of having a relationship with the creator. Imagine for a moment what it would be like to be able to walk into the Oval Office in Washington at anytime. In Christ we have the privilege as His child to come in and visit with our Creator at any time. Spend more time with Jesus. He is our strength and constant companion.

10/02 Genesis 2:2
On the seventh day, having finished his task, God rested from all his work.

SABBATH
I tend to be a workaholic. My life is tied up in my work. I must learn to rest. I need to mature to the point that I recognize that when I am rested I work better. Also, when I am rested I can serve the Lord better. Jesus wants me, not my work. Salvation is by grace and the effectiveness of God’s grace does not require my work. I think for most of us this is a tough lesson. The Lord really does love me.

10/03 Genesis 2:15
The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and care for it.

WORK
I am called to be a faithful worker. There is a job I am called to do. Part of my relationship with the Lord and my self-respect is based upon my willingness to do good work. Laziness creates many problems. A proper work ethic equips me to mature as a servant of the Lord.

10/04 Genesis 3:9-10
The LORD God called to Adam, “Where are you?” He replied, “I heard you, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”

REPENTANCE
I am saved by grace. The Lord knows everything I do. It is imperative that I come quickly to His throne of grace and confess my sin. When I harbor my sin I will suffer. When I repentant and change I can rejoice.

10/05 Genesis 8:1
But God remembered Noah and all the animals in the boat. He sent a wind to blow across the waters, and the floods began to disappear.

FAITHFULNESS
The Lord Jesus is always faithful. He will never leave you alone. When you find yourself stranded, at the end of your strength, the Lord is with you. He knows where you are and what you need. I am grateful the Lord knows where I am and what I need.

10/06 Genesis 12:4
So Abram departed as the LORD had instructed him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.

OBEDIENCE
The Lord does not hide His plan for our life from us. Obedience to what the Father is calling us to do is critical. When I know that the Lord wants me to do a certain thing or go in a certain direction I should be willing to listen and obey.

10/07 Genesis 14:14
When Abram learned that Lot had been captured, he called together the men born into his household, 318 of them in all. He chased after Kedorlaomer’s army until he caught up with them in Dan.

LOYALTY
Lot chose the easy route and the best land. Abram stayed where he was and prospered. He also continued to love Lot. I am responsible for the way I feel and respond to others. When someone close is in trouble I need to be helpful. Their actions and reactions do not determine what I will do. Love is my motivation and my forgiveness of someone is automatic.

10/08 Genesis 21:31
So ever since, that place has been known as Beersheba – “well of the oath” – because that was where they had sworn an oath.

COMMITMENT
Do what you say, say what you do. Life is happening moment by moment. The ordinary, daily activities of our life are the substance of who we are and what we are seen as. Do the next right thing.

10/09 Genesis 22:7-8
Isaac said, “Father?””Yes, my son,” Abraham replied.”We have the wood and the fire,” said the boy, “but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” “God will provide a lamb, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both went on together.

OBEDIENCE
Do you think God will provide your lamb? The Father gives us 7,000 plus promises in His Word. Obedience is first and foremost in reaping the results of the promises we claim. Obey now. Weakness or circumstances never excuse us from obedience.

10/10 Genesis 26:23-25
From there Isaac moved to Beersheba, where the LORD appeared to him on the night of his arrival. “I am the God of your father, Abraham,” he said. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you. I will give you many descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will do this because of my promise to Abraham, my servant.” Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the LORD. He set up his camp at that place, and his servants dug a well.

TRUST
I can trust the Lord. In victory and defeat I can trust the Lord. One of His praiseworthy characteristics is trustworthiness. As Jesus steadfastly walked to the cross we see trust in action. I can trust the Lord.

10/11 Genesis 35:13-15
Then God went up from the place where he had spoken to Jacob. Jacob set up a stone pillar to mark the place where God had spoken to him. He then poured wine over it as an offering to God and anointed the pillar with olive oil. Jacob called the place Bethel – “house of God” – because God had spoken to him there.

FAITHFULNESS
Keep a spiritual journal. When the Lord speaks to you record it and remember it. Use it to remind you of how faithful the Lord is. It will be valuable during your times of struggle and difficulty. The Father speaks to us a lot. The problem is that we aren’t good listeners. Our faithfulness is based on His character and not our experience.

10/12 Genesis 39:23
The chief jailer had no more worries after that, because Joseph took care of everything. The LORD was with him, making everything run smoothly and successfully.

FAITHFULNESS
God is faithful. He loves us. Victory is not the measurement of our success in our spiritual relationship. We must be broken to accomplish the plan that the Father has for us. The Lord’s victory will come from our brokenness. The Lord will use us as we are available.

10/13 Genesis 46:2-3
During the night God spoke to him in a vision. “Jacob! Jacob!” he called. “Here I am,” Jacob replied. “I am God,” the voice said, “the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will see to it that you become a great nation there.

VICTORY
We are victorious when we let the Lord use us. We don’t have to know what every step will be. Obedience and a listening ear are required. The Lord will use you. His plan for you is perfect. You are important to Him.
10/14 Exodus 1:8
Then a new king came to the throne of Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done.

OBEDIENCE
People don’t have to know who we are for the Lord to use us. Guns and armies don’t conquer evil. Only in Christ will we ever accomplish the eternal purposes that the Lord has lined out for our lives. Jesus is God’s everything.

10/15 Exodus 4:1
But Moses protested again, “Look, they won’t believe me! They won’t do what I tell them. They’ll just say, ‘The LORD never appeared to you.'”

TRUST
You know when the Lord speaks to you. You know the right thing to do. Trust the Lord. Trust Him to know what is best for you. Don’t just rely on your mind, trust in the Lord and faithfully serve Him. Do what Jesus says.
10/16 Exodus 12:11
“Wear your traveling clothes as you eat this meal, as though prepared for a long journey. Wear your sandals, and carry your walking sticks in your hands. Eat the food quickly, for this is the LORD’s Passover.

OBEDIENCE
We are trained to question orders. It is important in a free society to make sure that we understand what we are doing and why we are doing it. When Jesus gives us orders we are called to obey. Spiritual wisdom comes from the Lord. I am called to a relationship with Jesus so that I know when He is speaking to me. When Jesus speaks I need to develop a habit of obedience. This is impossible for the human mind but normal for the surrendered heart.

10/17 Exodus 15:2-3
The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my victory. He is my God, and I will praise him; he is my father’s God, and I will exalt him! The LORD is a warrior; yes, the LORD is his name!

VICTORY
My life is valuable. Jesus died for me. His grace and mercy is effective and effectual in my life. I can walk in victory. I can rejoice in all things. I am not forgotten, second class, a loser or too late. I am a child of God and as such participate in His victory with every breath I take.

10/18 Exodus 20:1-2
Then God instructed the people as follows: “I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt. “Do not worship any other gods besides me.

SALVATION
The Lord has rescued me. I am no longer dead in my trespasses but am now alive in Jesus. Christ has set me free. How remarkable and miraculous. I belong to Jesus. He is Lord.

10/19 Leviticus 19:2
“Say this to the entire community of Israel: You must be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.

HOLY
Our Lord is unique and one of a kind. He demands that we be holy just as He is holy. Holiness marks us as different from the world. We recognize who we belong to and who we serve. We are not tied to the things that are passing away nor are we overwhelmed by the spirit of defeat. Our God is Lord. Jesus has rescued me from death to life. I am is here with me.

10/20 Numbers 13:31-33
But the other men who had explored the land with him answered, “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” So they spread discouraging reports about the land among the Israelites: “The land we explored will swallow up any who go to live there. All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. We felt like grasshoppers next to them, and that’s what we looked like to them!”

TRUST
Trust is not a thought. Trust is the way we act in light of the trustworthiness of the person we trust. I love the Lord. One of His primary characteristics is His love for me. I can trust the Lord whatever obstacles I face. When I get a word from the Lord to do something I can trust Him to provide.

10/21 Numbers 21:4
Then the people of Israel set out from Mount Hor, taking the road to the Red Sea to go around the land of Edom. But the people grew impatient along the way,

OBEDIENCE
I am called to obedience. The Lord is in control and has a plan for me. As I work His plan it is imperative that I listen to Him and do what He says. If I am to follow the Lord I must be committed to being obedient. One of the critical elements of Christian maturity is obedience.

10/22 Deuteronomy 6:4-5
“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.

LOVE
If I love the Lord it will radically change my life. I will no longer gaze at the physical world, daily enumerating the things and opportunities I don’t have. My focus will be on Jesus. I will listen to Him every day and as best I can obey Him. My divided heart will be united in a singular focus on serving the Lord.

10/23 Deuteronomy 34:4
Then the LORD said to Moses, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I told them I would give it to their descendants. I have now allowed you to see it, but you will not enter the land.”

OBEDIENCE
The world criticizes Christianity. Our tenets of love, service and surrender are out of step with the focus of the world. Jesus did not mislead us. The glitter of the world is superficial. Our obedience to Jesus changes us to the very marrow of our soul. I must be about my Father’s business because too many lost people are depending on me to share the Gospel.

10/24 Joshua 2:17-18
Before they left, the men told her, “We can guarantee your safety only if you leave this scarlet rope hanging from the window. And all your family members – your father, mother, brothers, and all your relatives – must be here inside the house.

PROMISES
There are 7,000 plus promises from the Lord in the Bible. It is a message written to you and me about our Creator’s great love for us. The Lord is faithful and trustworthy. He will see us through disaster, tribulation and failure. He is a great and mighty Lord.

10/25 Joshua 24:15
But if you are unwilling to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.”

COMMITMENT
Choices are the everyday events that shape our lives. Will I choose to organize my time to have a daily quiet time with the Lord? Will I choose to do the next right thing in every aspect of my life? Godly choices create a mature Christian life.

10/26 Judges 4:14
Then Deborah said to Barak, “Get ready! Today the LORD will give you victory over Sisera, for the LORD is marching ahead of you.” So Barak led his ten thousand warriors down the slopes of Mount Tabor into battle.

VICTORY
I woke up in victory today. Jesus paid the price for my sin. He broke the chains of bondage to sin that separated me from the Lord. Every step I take today is a step of victory. The victory belonged to Jesus. Now throughout eternity I will live in His victory.

10/27 Judges 6:36-37
Then Gideon said to God, “If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised, prove it to me in this way. I will put some wool on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me rescue Israel as you promised.”

TRUST
Are you willing to do what the Lord has asked you to do? The Lord will give you touchstones of confidence when you are committed to doing the right thing. The problem in too many Christians lives is that they are committed to themselves and not to the Lord. Jesus will give us direction for our lives.

10/28 Judges 16:20
Then she cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” When he woke up, he thought, “I will do as before and shake myself free.” But he didn’t realize the LORD had left him.

RELATIONSHIP
The Lord never changes. He loves us and is always seeking our best good. When you find yourself at the end of your rope and your entire world has crashed in upon you, stop and seek the Lord. Often times because of omission or commission we have forgotten our relationship with the Lord. Jesus will be right where you left Him, seeking to help you live your life.

10/29 Judges 18:31
So Micah’s carved image was worshiped by the tribe of Dan as long as the Tabernacle of God remained at Shiloh.

WORSHIP
What a friend or respected associate believes is not what we need to learn and follow. We must follow Jesus. We can only do that when we have a personal, growing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. You are the only person that can make the right Godly choices for your life. Get busy and seek the Lord.

10/30 Ruth 4:17
The neighbor women said, “Now at last Naomi has a son again!” And they named him Obed. He became the father of Jesse and the grandfather of David.

CONTROL
God is in control. I often do not understand what the Lord is up to. This I know. Jesus loves me. The Lord is at work seeking my best good. He will not forsake me. I can trust the Lord because He knows what He is doing.

10/31 1 Samuel 1:26-27
“Sir, do you remember me?” Hannah asked. “I am the woman who stood here several years ago praying to the LORD. I asked the LORD to give me this child, and he has given me my request.

PRAYER
God answers prayer. Sometimes He says no. Sometimes He says yes. Sometimes it seems as though the Lord is simply being quiet. We can trust the Lord. We can talk with Him about anything and everything. I am learning to unburden my heart before the Lord and listen for His guidance.

September 2004

9/01/04 Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.

STRENGTH
When I face insurmountable obstacles that overwhelm me and take me to the very edge of my trust I cry out to the Lord. He has never failed me. The Lord Jesus is always close by to help me.
9/02/04 1 John 1:9
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.

REPENTANCE
Sin entangles me so easily. I can truthfully say that it is a struggle at times not to sin. I can be so self-centered and so demanding. That gentle call from the Lord is always faithful to remind me who I belong to. When I hear His Word I immediately agree with Him, yes I have sinned again. My heartfelt response is forgive me Father. He does. I am renewed. The Lord is good.

9/03/04 Psalm 37:17
For the strength of the wicked will be shattered, but the LORD takes care of the godly.

FAITHFUL
The Lord is victorious. He has provided everything I need for life in the Lord Jesus Christ. Each one of his children has a different need and Jesus will provide what all of the Father’s children need. He has won the victory. Each one of us live in victory everyday.
9/04/04 Hebrews 3:14
For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.

FAITHFUL
Jesus has given me a new heart and put His spirit in me. I can trust Him to take me straight through life to that day when I will see Him face to face. The Lord is always faithful and I can live with the confidence that He will keep me for eternity. Nothing can steal me out of His hands. Christ has won the victory and I am victorious in Him.
9/05/04 Psalm 32:4
Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.

DISCIPLINE
The Father will deal with me when I wander from His side. His hand will reach out and bring me back home. He will not desert me. I will not lose Him. He will forgive my sin.

9/06/04 2 Thessalonians 3:3
But the Lord is faithful; he will make you strong and guard you from the evil one.

STRENGTH
I am a child of the King. Jesus has saved me and grafted me into the family of God. I belong to Him. The evil one can abuse me, trick me, cause me to make mistakes and even mess up my work but he cannot take me away from the Father. Jesus has saved me unto eternity and His victory has been won. Every day of my life and into eternity I am living in the victory of Jesus.
9/07/04 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.

STRENGTH
My strength is in Christ. As I know Him better I become stronger. My relationship with Him is my strength in troubled times. His presence brings peace. His love encourages me and equips me to see beyond problems to solutions.
9/08/04 1 Thessalonians 1:3
As we talk to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and your continual anticipation of the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

INTERCESSION
We need each other. The Christian life is a life of partnership. We pray for each other. What a privilege to take brothers and sisters in Christ before the Lord praying for their daily lives, ministries and safety. I am praying for you.

9/09/04 Psalm 22:19
O LORD, do not stay away! You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!

STRENGTH
I need the Lord. So many of the things I face each day happen outside of my control. Life moves so quickly that I need the Lord’s help to keep focused. My prayer each morning is for the Father’s wisdom, mercy and grace as I go through the day. When surprises come I often need His immediate help. Without exception the Lord helps me at my point of need.

9/10/04 Ephesians 1:1
This letter is from Paul, chosen by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. It is written to God’s holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus.

HOLY
Holy doesn’t mean religious. Holy means that we are different. It means that we act like Jesus. Jesus cared for people, all people. Christ died for our sin so that we might have an eternal relationship with Him. The problem in the Christian community today is that not many Christians want to die to self and serve. Suffering and discipline are keys in the Christian faith. Holy simply means that I act and live like Christ.

9/11/04 Psalm 18:32
God arms me with strength; he has made my way safe.

SAFETY
A life focused on Christ is secure from destruction. You and I as the children of God are outfitted for eternity. This phase of existence, life on earth, is simply a short step into eternity. I belong to Christ and the world cannot destroy me.

9/12/04 Acts 13:43
Many Jews and godly converts to Judaism who worshiped at the synagogue followed Paul and Barnabas, and the two men urged them, “By God’s grace, remain faithful.”

FAITHFUL
I must be growing in Christ-likeness. Faith is an action and not a thought. If I am faithful I am living a Christ-like life. Faithfulness is expressed by the way I live my life each day. A Christ focused life is a faithful life.

9/13/04 Psalm 18:1
I love you, LORD; you are my strength.

STRENGTH
I must know the Lord to have His strength. If my life is focused on Christ and my actions are controlled by Him I will be like Him. If I am becoming more like Jesus I am growing closer to the Father each day. It is out of this relationship with the Father that I get strength to face every aspect of my life.

9/14/04 1 Corinthians 10:13
But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.

TEMPTATION
God is good. I am a sinner. If I will accept responsibility for my sin and confess it to the Lord, He will forgive my sin. Everyone faces temptation. Everyone faces a lot of temptation. Each one of us develops our spiritual strength based upon our willingness to let the Lord have control of our life. Habitual sin can be beaten if I am willing to focus on Christ and let Him have me. It takes time, and discipline under the Father’s hand to deal with temptation.

9/15/04 Psalm 10:10
The helpless are overwhelmed and collapse; they fall beneath the strength of the wicked.

RESPONSIBILITY
Wealth is temporary. The wealthy too often prey upon the poor, weak willed and uneducated. I am called to help the helpless. Each one of us must be willing to help the unfortunate. Christ calls us to service and sacrifice. It is tough helping the helpless. It will not be appreciated this side of the heaven. But when we do for those that cannot do for themselves we are doing for the Lord. He uses His children on their knees to change the world.

9/16/04 1 Corinthians 4:5
So be careful not to jump to conclusions before the Lord returns as to whether or not someone is faithful. When the Lord comes, he will bring our deepest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. And then God will give to everyone whatever praise is due.

WORTH
God’s system of evaluation is different than mankinds. You cannot properly evaluate what another person thinks, feels or does. What we can do is focus our heart on serving the Lord. In addition we can focus our heart on being grateful for those we serve. Service is a basic element of growing in Christ-likeness. As I serve the Lord I will grow. Sometimes our growth surprises even us. People count with Jesus.

9/17/04 Psalm 84:1
For the LORD God is our light and protector. He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will the LORD withhold from those who do what is right.

RIGHT
Right is not popular. Right will often make you look weak. Right will sometimes cost you money. When you and I commit ourselves to doing the next right thing we will find that we are constantly growing in Christ. Do the right thing.

9/18/04 Luke 16:10
“Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones. If you cheat even a little, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.

INTEGRITY
Life is happening right now. What I do is important. The way I treat people is critical. My actions as I live my life each day are an indication of my relationship with the Lord. People count with Jesus.

9/19/04 Psalm 17:7
Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways. You save with your strength those who seek refuge from their enemies.

SAFETY
Problems are universal. People are unique. The way that I deal with the problems I face is important to the Father. The Lord is with me and He is my shield and protection. He will equip me to face my problems.

9/20/04 1 Corinthians 4:5
So be careful not to jump to conclusions before the Lord returns as to whether or not someone is faithful. When the Lord comes, he will bring our deepest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. And then God will give to everyone whatever praise is due.

JUDGMENT
I am responsible for the way that I live. When I sin I should be quick to confess my sin and change. I am not responsible for the way that others live. Judgment belongs to God. I am responsible to care for people and serve the Father.

9/21/04 Psalm 18:2
The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold.

PROTECTION
I have everything I need in the Lord Jesus Christ. He will lead me right now and will never leave me. I can have complete confidence in the Lord. This world cannot destroy me. Eternity is my home.

9/22/04 Colossians 1:2
It is written to God’s holy people in the city of Colosse, who are faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. May God our Father give you grace and peace.

BLESSINGS
We are God’s children. His love for us is eternal. Every thought that the Lord has towards us is a thought for good. Each day we are recipients of His watch care and blessings. Grace gives us what we need and cannot earn. Peace keeps us in constant communion with the Father. What a joy to be a child of God.

9/23/04 Psalm 18:39
You have armed me with strength for the battle; you have subdued my enemies under my feet.

CHALLENGES
Life is filled with problems. The Lord doesn’t eliminate all of our obstacles and problems. He outfits us to deal with real life. I am able to deal with whatever challenges I face because the Lord is on my side.

9/24/04 1 Thessalonians 5:24
God, who calls you, is faithful; he will do this.

LOVE
I cannot fully comprehend the Father’s love for me. It is a love that is so deep and so wide that He will stand with me through all of the ups and downs of my life even when I am the one causing the ups and downs. His love is so powerful that it can reach into the foolishness I often do and bring me back to His side. I am beloved of God. And you are too.

9/25/04 Psalm 23:3
He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
STRENGTH
God is able. He is able to equip me. He is able to guide me. He is able to defend me no matter what predicament I face. The Lord is my strength and His strength is limitless. The Lord is my guide and He always knows the right path. He will not let me stray too far from His side.

9/26/04 2 Timothy 2:13
If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.

FAITHFULNESS
I can trust the Lord. Every promise that He gives me He will fulfill. The Lord Jesus will never fail me. I can live my life with the knowledge that Jesus is with me. The Lord is knowledgeable about every thing I do and He is never surprised. Jesus is faithful.

9/27/04 Psalm 29:11
The LORD gives his people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace.

PEACE
I belong to Jesus. The Lord has made provision for me for eternity that begins right now. Jesus knows all that I will do and all that I will need. His love and concern for me is complete. He will equip me to face my life. His strength is more than adequate for every need that I will have.

9/28/04 Hebrews 10:32
Don’t ever forget those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering.

FAITHFULNESS
The Lord is with us. We are the focus of His activity. The human condition means that I will tend towards forgetting how important my relationship with Jesus is. Jesus is the source of all that I do in my relationship with the Father. Jesus is God’s everything. I start with Jesus and one day will see Him face to face. I should be faithful in maintaining my passionate relationship with Him. One of my prayers is for Jesus to keep me close and help me to maintain my deep love for Him.

9/29/04 Psalm 44:3
They did not conquer the land with their swords; it was not their own strength that gave them victory. It was by your mighty power that they succeeded; it was because you favored them and smiled on them.

SPIRITUAL STRENGTH
The Lord will fight our battles. The Lord will equip us in the hour of temptation. But for me to be victorious I should be ready now and not wait for the trial. It is so important for me to maintain a daily, sensitive relationship with Jesus that equips me to walk with Him moment by moment.

9/30/04 Psalm 33:17
Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory – for all its strength, it cannot save you.

STRENGTH
Our strength is in the Lord. Everything we have in this world will pass away. Things cannot help us. Our relationship with the Lord is eternal. It will not pass away. I am strong in the Lord. I am weak in me. The Lord is my Savior and strength.

August 2004

8/01/04 Revelation 7:12
They said, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and forever. Amen!”
PRAISE
The Lord Jesus is worthy of my praise. He is God’s everything. I can rejoice in life and live in death because of the Lord Jesus. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
8/02/04 Revelation 5:12
And they sang in a mighty chorus: “The Lamb is worthy – the Lamb who was killed. He is worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.”
PRAISE
Jesus is glorious. He is too wonderful for words. I have a personal relationship with Christ. He knows me and all about me and He still loves me. What a blessing. What a savior.

8/03/04 Revelation 3:8
“I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can shut. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me.
PATIENCE
You and I labor in an evil world. It appears that evil is triumphant. Christ is on His throne. He has the power to destroy evil and rule immediately and yet He has the character that waits patiently upon the Father. As we struggle with evil we know that Christ will one day conquer all things. This day we wait patiently upon Him to return. Come Lord Jesus. We will be waiting.

8/04/04       1 Peter 4:11
Are you called to be a speaker? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Are you called to help others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then God will be given glory in everything through Jesus Christ. All glory and power belong to him forever and ever. Amen.

DISCIPLINE

Will I do what I can or will I whine about what I am not?  People waste a lot of energy trying to be something they aren’t.  If I will serve the Lord with what I have I will be used where I am.

 

8/05/04       James 4:6
He gives us more and more strength to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, “God sets himself against the proud, but he shows favor to the humble.”

DISCIPLINE

Humility is a choice.  I don’t have to prove my spirituality.  The truth is every single person is a sinner of whom I am chief.  The sin in me is the only sin I must deal with.  If I can internalize this it will help me to walk humbly with my Lord Jesus.

 

8/06/04       Hebrews 13:9
So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your spiritual strength comes from God’s special favor, not from ceremonial rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them.

DISCIPLINE

Our society thrives on certification.  Certification proves that I have achieved a certain skill or knowledge.  It is so difficult for us to resist the certification of our spiritual relationship with Jesus.  The only relationship we will ever have with the Lord Jesus is a personal relationship.  It takes time and commitment on my part.

 

8/07/04       2 Timothy 1:8
So you must never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for Christ. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the proclamation of the Good News.

SHARING

I can only share what I know and believe.  If I don’t know Jesus I cannot share Him.  If I know Jesus and my belief is weak I will not share Him with others.  What I must do is start where I am.  Belief grows out of my relationship with the Lord.  As my relationship grows my sharing will increase.

 

8/08/04       Colossians 2:19
But they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For we are joined together in his body by his strong sinews, and we grow only as we get our nourishment and strength from God.

RELATIONSHIP

If I want to grow in my relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ I will spend time with Him.  There is no shortcut to spiritual growth.  It takes time, consistency and discipline.  Grow, know and share.  This is a good thing.

 

8/09/04       Philippians 4:13
For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.

SUCCESS

What is it you feel Christ wants you to do?  Have you hesitated to do it?  Is fear the cause?  Are you hesitant to think that the Lord would use you?  Many Christians feel this way a lot.  Take what you have to the Word of God.  For example you may have a sense you should share with a particular person.  Take it to the Word and ask Jesus to give you strength to do the next right thing.  He will lead you each step of the way.  You are a winner and the Lord will use you.

 

8/10/04       Ephesians 3:16
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit.

STRENGTH

I want to be strong in my faith.  People around me encourage me to be strong in my faith.  The key to strength is found in a growing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  I have a choice.  I can spend time with Jesus and grow strong or I can develop a pattern of inconsistency in my time with the Lord and suffer.  The world knows when we are weak and will exploit our weakness.

 

8/11/04       1 Corinthians 1:25
This “foolish” plan of God is far wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is far stronger than the greatest of human strength.

STRENGTH

The Lord knows what is going on.  He knows me.  He will not let me be destroyed.  The Lord is good and every thought that the Lord has towards you and me is a thought for good.

 

8/12/04       Romans 5:4
And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation.

STRENGTH

I grow in strength by putting to work what the Lord tells me in my daily time with Him.  If I am not spending time with the Lord I will not grow in strength.  If I am spending time with the Lord and do not actively obey Him I will not grow in strength.  Strength and obedience go hand in hand.

8/13/04 Luke 10:27
The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

LOVE

Love is the way we should live. It should be the reason for our actions and it should be beneficial for others. It creates a mindset that looks at others with respect and appreciation. It puts in our hearts a deep concern for the importance of what others are doing and need. People need Jesus. When we love the Father with all of our heart we will live the way that Jesus lived.

8/14/04 Zechariah 12:5
And the clans of Judah will say to themselves, ‘The people of Jerusalem have found strength in the LORD Almighty, their God.’

TRUST

Jesus is in my heart and is my Lord. What I have is sufficient. All I need is Jesus.

8/15/04 Zechariah 4:6
Then he said to me, “This is what the LORD says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the LORD Almighty.

TRUST

What has the Lord called you to do? He has called you to be his light where you are. We are only useable where we are. Tomorrow never comes. What I don’t have will never be available. Look to Jesus. Give Him what you have and He will use and bless you.

8/16/04 Habakkuk 3:19
The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He will make me as surefooted as a deer and bring me safely over the mountains.

TRUST

Do you believe God is powerful enough to use you? Do you believe the Lord Jesus died for your sin and lives in you? If you do, then live like it. Be a servant and warrior of the Lord High God.

8/17/04 Habakkuk 1:11
They sweep past like the wind and are gone. But they are deeply guilty, for their own strength is their god.”

JESUS

The world discards the helpless. The world has no time for second best. The Lord makes each one of us valuable and worthy in Himself. Jesus in us is the power of God to make our life important and valuable.

8/18/04 Psalm 144:1
Bless the LORD, who is my rock. He gives me strength for war and skill for battle.

JESUS

Jesus equips me to face the powers and principalities of the air. They are seeking to devour me. The world wants me to fail. It is seeking to belittle and minimize the value of my life. Jesus makes my life valuable. He gives me a worthy purpose and equips me with the power and resources to accomplish His purpose.

8/19/04 Psalm 147:10
The strength of a horse does not impress him; how puny in his sight is the strength of a man.

STRENGTH

The Lord is adequate for any situation that we face. He loves you. He will enable you to face the reality of your life. He brings victory to failure, usefulness to the outcast and help to the helpless. Jesus has not forgotten you. Go to Him for your strength.
8/20/04 Psalm 68:35
God is awesome in his sanctuary. The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!

STRENGTH

God loves people most of all. He loves you and will help you right now. Go to Him in prayer. Ask Him specifically for what you need. Get to know Him. Recognize His concern for you. The Lord will meet your needs.

8/21/04 Psalm 71:7
My life is an example to many, because you have been my strength and protection.

STRENGTH

The presence of God will bring peace to our hearts and to our lives. When we spend time with Him, He will nourish us and equip us to face real life. Every day life is learning to deal with obstacles in a positive and victorious way. Jesus will teach us how to do this. When we get to know Jesus we will find that joy will come looking for us.

8/22/04 Psalm 73:26
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.

LIFE

Life is always changing. The power that the Lord Jesus gives us is the ability to deal with our lives in abundance. What ever I face, what ever changes, the Lord Jesus never changes. He is always there with me.

8/23/04 Psalm 75:10
For God says, “I will cut off the strength of the wicked, but I will increase the power of the godly.”

LIFE

Eternal life is difficult for us to comprehend. Jesus stands with us now. He enables us to do the will of God where we are. As we look at this model we can have great confidence that the Lord is working in us for our good. When I go to be with the Father, Jesus will be with me every step of the way.

8/24/04 Psalm 81:1
Sing praises to God, our strength. Sing to the God of Israel.
PRAISE

It is good to praise the Lord. Praise opens our eyes to His greatness and awesome power. Praise shows us the value of His promises to us. Praise helps us see the Lord and to see His great love for us. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. I love my, thank you Father for giving it to me.

8/25/04 Psalm 86:16
Look down and have mercy on me. Give strength to your servant; yes, save me, for I am your servant.

SALVATION

Salvation is a gift. When Christ comes into our lives He saves us for eternity. As we build a relationship with the Father, He saves us for His use and fellowship. Yes Lord I am your servant.

 
8/26/04 Psalm 96:6
Honor and majesty surround him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

WORSHIP

Worship is special. It is time when we come together with brothers and sisters to praise the Lord. But, immediately it is more than we can imagine because the Lord is there with us. He is healing and revealing. He is encouraging and loving. Our wondrous praise of the Father results in a wonderful over flow to us of the love of God.

8/27/04 Psalm 105:4
Search for the LORD and for his strength, and keep on searching.

SEEK

I am to seek the Lord. I am to seek Him at all times not just when I am hurting. When I develop a heart that is seeking for the Lord I will participate in all of His riches and glory. His blessings will be mine and my service will be His. We serve a wondrous Lord who loves each one of us.

8/28/04 Psalm 118:14
The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my victory.

VICTORY

I have great needs but none as great as my need to be with Jesus. I have great opportunities but none so great that I will be distracted from Jesus. In Christ I have everything I need for eternity. In Christ I have the victory that I have so long sought. In Christ I am in the Father. It is a glorious victory when I see that all of my needs are met in Jesus.

8/29/04 Psalm 138:3
When I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me the strength I need.

STRENGTH

When I have a need, Jesus has a help. When I have a hurt, Jesus has a healing. The more I know Him the more I want to be with Him. Jesus is glorious and mighty and loving. I want to know Him more.

8/30/04 Psalm 65:6
You formed the mountains by your power and armed yourself with mighty strength.

STRENGTH

Sin has a hold on man. Jesus destroys sin. I am facing a world that is always seeking to deceive me and pull me away from the Lord Jesus. Jesus has the strength I need so that I can live a holy life, different than the world. This life I live, I live in Christ.

8/31/04 Psalm 59:9
You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue me, for you, O God, are my place of safety.

STRENGTH

What do you need for Jesus to do? Ask Him and He will help you. What do you need to become more like Christ? Ask Him and He will change you. What do you need to survive in change? Ask Jesus and He will enable you to survive. What is it that blinds you to your relationship with Jesus? Ask Him and He will give you light. Jesus will meet your need.

July 2004

7/1/04    Joshua 24:14-15
“So honor the LORD and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD alone. But if you are unwilling to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.”

RELATIONSHIP
I must know the Lord by knowledge and experience. Knowing about Jesus doesn’t give me spiritual strength. Knowing Him in a personal and real way gives me the spiritual strength that I will need to serve Him today.
7/2/04    Judges 2:10
After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the LORD or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.

RELATIONSHIP
In America today too many people know about Jesus but do not know Him as their Lord. Abortion and sexual immorality cannot coexist with spiritual maturity. I need to make sure that my life reflects His control of me and that I am constantly telling others about Jesus.

7/3/04 Jeremiah 31:29
“The people will no longer quote this proverb: ‘The parents eat sour grapes, but their children’s mouths pucker at the taste.’

RELATIONSHIP
Political Christianity does nothing to impart spiritual strength. People who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior will be doomed to lives of spiritual poverty. I know Jesus. I must do all I can for my children to hear about Christ and have an opportunity to accept Jesus. Everyone needs Jesus.

7/4/04    Revelation 3:20
“Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends.

RELATIONSHIP
No person has to be lost. For each person it simply requires conviction, repentance, acceptance and faith for salvation in the Lord Jesus. Four steps to eternity. These four steps are the same for every person. Jesus is the only way to the Father.

7/5/04    Deuteronomy 4:36
“ Out of the heavens He let you hear His voice to discipline you; and on earth He let you see His great fire, and you heard His words from the midst of the fire.

RELATIONSHIP
People lead lives that are filled with fear. They are afraid of failure, rejection, their past, their future, pain, sickness and on and on. The truth is that many of the things we fear never come true. When we see Jesus, His presence will end our fears. The Lord Jesus will give us the courage we need to live an abundant life.
7/6/04    Mark 9:24
The father instantly replied, “I do believe, but help me not to doubt!”

RELATIONSHIP
We want to believe. We want to grow. What is in our way? We forget that Jesus is alive and lives in our hearts. We must call on Him to come and lead, guide and direct us. It is in the living presence of Christ that I can find the full resources of the Lord. I can trust the Lord.

7/7/04    1Kings 12:11
‘Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’ “

DISCIPLINE
Discipline is like life. We must start where we are and develop a lifestyle of discipline. Talk is always easier than performance. Solomon’s son refused to listen to the advice of the elders. Pampered, spoiled people always think they have more complete knowledge than they really have. Start today where you are and begin your journey toward a lifestyle of holiness.

7/8/04    Job 5:17
“Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, So do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.

DISCIPLINE
Salvation through Jesus Christ gives us a personal relationship with the Lord. He is our father and He knows what is best for us. When we get off course the Father will put us back on course. He knows what we need to accomplish that.

7/9/04    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.
RELATIONSHIP
You and I are called to live as children of God. When we spend time in the Word of God and hide the Word in our heart we will be better equipped to recognize and deal with sin in our lives. If you find yourself at the mercy of some old sinful habit, get before the Lord with the Word of God and ask Jesus to help you grow and change. Then get up and do the next right thing.

7/10/04    1 Timothy 6:12
Fight the good fight for what we believe. Hold tightly to the eternal life that God has given you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.
DISCIPLINE
When we know what to do we can put that to work in our daily lives. We control our hands and mouth and feet. The Word of God administered by the indwelling Spirit of God will cleanse and guide our hearts. If the heart is wrong our actions will simply reflect it.
7/11/04    Psalm 50:17
“For you hate discipline, And you cast My words behind you.

DISCIPLINE
We serve the Lord. Too many want to control their relationship with the Lord and either have the Lord serve their interests or at worst be equally in charge. We cannot see the future. We know so very little. A Christ like life acknowledges the Lord’s control, submits to His guidance and functions within the parameters of one who is a servant. We serve the Lord.

7/12/04    Proverbs 3:11
My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loathe His reproof,
DISCIPLINE
A Christian must learn to listen to the Father. When we listen we never get off course. Yes we will suffer the slings and arrows of fate but we will not be defeated nor will we go down the wrong road in life. The sooner we hear what the Lord is telling us to do and then do it the sooner the chaos in our lives will stop.

7/13/04    Proverbs 6:23
For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; And reproofs for discipline are the way of life

DISCIPLINE
When we walk with the Lord we will be walking in the light. Our hearts will not fool us nor will our feet get us on the wrong path. If you find yourself in the wrong place doing wrong things stop where you are and turn to the Lord. Read His Word, ask His advice and do what the Lord says. You will find that the return will be quick and your soul will rejoice.

7/14/04    Revelation 3:18
I advise you to buy gold from me – gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. And also buy white garments so you will not be shamed by your nakedness. And buy ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.

RELATIONSHIP
The Lord wants to make us rich in a Godly lifestyle. We can have His peace, comfort, presence and power. When we lean on Him, seek to know Him and surrender our will to His we will have these things. A Christian life is a life that is filled with and directed by the Lord Jesus Christ.

7/15/04 Proverbs 12:1
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, But he who hates reproof is stupid.

DISCIPLINE
Pride separates us from the Lord. None of us ever know enough to be beyond correction. I must humble myself and maintain a teachable attitude. If I do this I will grow in my ability to serve the Lord Jesus and my ability to care for others. A willing spirit and humble heart are two elements of spiritual growth.

7/16/04 Proverbs 13:1
A wise son {accepts his} father’s discipline, But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

TEACHABLE
A know it all knows nothing. The tragedy of life is to think that you can do what you like and not suffer the consequences. My prayer is that the Lord will help me to listen to those He sends my way. A good friend will tell you when you are messing up. Listen and accept good advice. We were created to work together. Isolation leaves us open to the great deceiver.

7/17/04 Proverbs 13:18
Poverty and shame {will come} to him who neglects discipline, But he who regards reproof will be honored.

PRIDE
Pride is a destructive task master. It blinds ones eyes to the truth and causes spiritual blindness. Be careful how you live. Pay attention to what your friends say. Pride slips in so quietly and strikes so quickly that many good people are led astray. Many otherwise good works have been destroyed by pride. Sin always gets the upper hand in the life of a person filled with pride.

7/18/04 Proverbs 15:5
A fool rejects his father’s discipline, But he who regards reproof is sensible.

WISDOM
It is right to listen to the advice and counsel of wise friends. It is especially important to learn to listen to the Father. The Lord is quick to show us the right way and always has our best interest at heart. Remember we are servants who are about our master’s business.

7/19/04 1 Corinthians 9:27
but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

DISCIPLINE
Spiritual discipline applies to everyone. If the Lord has given you a special gift, it comes with additional responsibilities. We are always servants. A highly prized and recognized gift requires that we spend even more time disciplining our lives and our lifestyles. Each one of us is responsible for the way we live.
7/20/04 1 Timothy 4:7
But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;

DISCIPLINE
Life will try to sidetrack you as you serve the Lord. Daily we are to get before the Father for guidance and instruction. When we do not spend time with the Father we quickly fall into various traps. Sin is a deceiver. Be careful how you live each day.

7/21/04 Philippians 4:11-13
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.

DISCIPLINE
Each one of us is responsible to make right choices. If we look at what we don’t have we will often give the enemy an opportunity to accuse us of failure or worthlessness or any other deprecating value that he can hurl. Remember, you are beloved of the Lord. Your relationship with the Father is based on the work Jesus did. Christ commends us to the Father not our accomplishments.

7/22/04 1 Timothy 4:8
for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

DISCIPLINE
Spend time with the Lord. Spend time with Jesus everyday. The better you get to know Jesus the more equipped you will be to deal with your life. All spiritual power in the life of a Christian comes from the Lord Jesus Christ.

7/23/04 2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

DISCIPLINE
When Jesus is in control of our life we are able to discipline our lives. Too many Christians are hanging on to hidden sin in their lives and Jesus is not in control. Sin destroys our spiritual power and as long as we continue in sin we will have absolutely no power. Give the hidden sin in your life to Christ. He will forgive your sin and clean up your life.

7/24/04 Hebrews 12:5
and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him;

DISCIPLINE
The Lord will discipline His children. There is only so far that you can go from the Father before He responds with a disciplining hand. His discipline is designed to wake you up and call you out of your sin. Respond in repentance when the Father disciplines. If you do you will walk in victory.

7/25/04 Hebrews 12:7-8
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?   But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

DISCIPLINE
Sin is so prevalent in this world. No matter how hard we struggle we wind up sinning. The Father disciplines us so that we will not fall by the wayside. Rejoice in discipline. Let the Father’s discipline be a stepping stone for you to walk closer to Him.

7/26/04 Hebrews 12:11
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

DISCIPLINE
The agony of physical preparation in sports continues at every level of participation. You and I will agonize in our spiritual growth. Some days will be tougher than others. My joy is through the recognition of His presence and concern in the midst of the discipline process. The Lord is indeed with me.
7/27/04 Revelation 3:19
‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.

DISCIPLINE
Discipline is the irrefutable proof of the Father’s concern for me. I feel His answers and experience His work in the physical realm. His presence takes me to His throne room where I bow before Him and ask for forgiveness and guidance. Wisdom, mercy and grace come from this audience with my Father. He loves me.

7/28/04 Isaiah 38:16
Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You have restored my health and have allowed me to live!
RESTORATION
The Lord Jesus will not leave us to our own devices. In the midst of our wandering He will intervene. His love will work in us and on us to accomplish His desired goal. The Lord seeks to have a relationship with us and He is committed to outfitting us to spend time with Him.

7/29/04 1 John 3:15
Anyone who hates another Christian is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.
HATE
Hate is something the world does. It is a sin. It separates us from usefulness and will often require the intervention of the Lord Jesus to cure. If you discover that you hate someone immediately go to the Lord and confess your feelings. Ask the Lord to change your hate to forgiveness. He will.
7/30/04 1 Timothy 1:5
The purpose of my instruction is that all the Christians there would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and sincere faith.
LOVE
Love is something we do. It isn’t a thought or a warm fuzzy idea. Christ like love comes from a life that is devoted to Christ. When we are full of Jesus we will care for others the way that Jesus cares for us. Christ is our role model.

7/31/04 Colossians 4:2
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.
PRAYER
Prayer takes time. Our personal interest will always seek to sidetrack us. Prayer will not happen without discipline and commitment. Everything will attempt to divert us from focused prayer. A lifestyle that includes devotion to prayer is what close friends of Jesus do.

June 2004

6/01/04 Genesis 3:16
Then he said to the woman, “You will bear children with intense pain and suffering. And though your desire will be for your husband, he will be your master.”

CONFLICT
You and I face conflict everyday. It is important for our survival and growth as a child of God that we give the Lord our attention during times of conflict. I cannot see the future but I can talk with the Lord. Claiming His promise to always be with me I can know that He hears me. As I walk through conflict the Lord will draw me closer to Him if I will let Him. My moment by moment obedience opens the door to a closer relationship with Christ.

 

6/02/04 Genesis 41:52
Joseph named his second son Ephraim, for he said, “God has made me fruitful in this land of my suffering.”

PROSPERITY
Growth and prosperity often come during times of significant difficulty. As Paul noted I am to give thanks in all things. The Lord is on your side and is seeking to bless you. Listen to Jesus and obey his Word. He will not leave you in the midst of your crisis.

 

6/03/04 Exodus 3:7
Then the LORD told him, “You can be sure I have seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries for deliverance from their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering.

SUFFERING
Suffering is a difficult subject for Christians just as it was for Job. The truth is that we do not know what tomorrow holds. Until we get there we don’t know how the journey will develop. Life is full of ups and downs but the Lord is always the same. Jesus is our closest friend. Tell Him of your love right now. He will listen and you will be blessed.

 

6/04/04 Numbers 14:34
“‘Because the men who explored the land were there for forty days, you must wander in the wilderness for forty years – a year for each day, suffering the consequences of your sins. You will discover what it is like to have me for an enemy.’

DESERT
Have you ever felt alone? We do that to ourselves. Somehow life gets off-balance and one day we wake up feeling alone. Be assured that you aren’t. Jesus will not leave you. He will stand by you through today’s conflict or difficulty. Ask the Lord to speak to your heart a word of encouragement. He will.
6/05/04 Deuteronomy 16:3
Eat it with bread made without yeast. For seven days eat only bread made without yeast, as you did when you escaped from Egypt in such a hurry. Eat this bread – the bread of suffering – so that you will remember the day you departed from Egypt as long as you live.

SUFFERING
My suffering has drawn me closer to Christ. I have been encouraged by Him at the point of my greatest need. Feeling the touch of God’s hand in the midst of a great crisis is an experience that you will never forget. Today is calm. Tomorrow may be chaotic. Jesus is with me through both.

6/06/04 Judges 2:18
Whenever the LORD placed a judge over Israel, he was with that judge and rescued the people from their enemies throughout the judge’s lifetime. For the LORD took pity on his people, who were burdened by oppression and suffering.

SUFFERING
I do not understand suffering. I do not have an eternal viewpoint nor do I know all that I would need to know to understand suffering. I do know Jesus. I do know that He suffered and died for me. I believe that He loves me. As I live my life day by day that knowledge is adequate to give me strength to face the day. Knowing about Jesus doesn’t bring power for living. Knowing Jesus is the key to living an abundant life.

6/07/04 2Kings 14:26
For the LORD saw the bitter suffering of everyone in Israel, and how they had absolutely no one to help them.

SUFFERING
Our pain does not escape the Lord’s attention. I am living my life as an object of the love and activity of God. Christ in me gives me access to all of the resources of God. I am His child and have a right to call upon Him in time of need. He will answer and He will help.
6/08/04 Psalm 22:24
For he has not ignored the suffering of the needy. He has not turned and walked away. He has listened to their cries for help.

SUFFERING
Complete knowledge would be a great thing. I don’t have complete knowledge about what goes on in the world. God does. As a result of His complete knowledge He came to this world so that I might be saved. His salvation brings me into a complete relationship with Him. Life in Christ is a complete life.
6/09/04 Psalm 34:6
I cried out to the LORD in my suffering, and he heard me. He set me free from all my fears.

SUFFERING
Suffering’s goal is to destroy me. Jesus stands with me. He will not allow me to be destroyed. I do not have to fear that which can only destroy the body. Christ is my Savior from destruction and to an eternal relationship with the Lord. In Christ I can live a courageous life.
6/10/04 Psalm 69:29
I am suffering and in pain. Rescue me, O God, by your saving power.

SUFFERING
Short prayers can have powerful results. If I know that the Lord will rescue me, a prayer of help is simply a statement of fact. I don’t know what the Lord will do or how He will do it but He will. He has promised me that He would help me. His promises are always true.

6/11/04 Revelation 2:9
“I know about your suffering and your poverty – but you are rich! I know the slander of those opposing you. They say they are Jews, but they really aren’t because theirs is a synagogue of Satan.

SUFFERING
Our steps are guided by the Lord Jesus. One thing I can depend on is His love for me. When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I know that Jesus will be right beside me. He will not let me be destroyed.

6/12/04 Revelation 1:9
I am John, your brother. In Jesus we are partners in suffering and in the Kingdom and in patient endurance. I was exiled to the island of Patmos for preaching the word of God and speaking about Jesus.

SUFFERING
In this world we will suffer. The tragedy is that the lost suffer even more. You and I are called to proclaim Christ as Lord by the way we live and the things we say. Jesus is Lord and He will stand with us as we endure. Rejoice, Jesus is Lord.
6/13/04 1Peter 5:9
Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.
SUFFERING
Growing and becoming more like Jesus is our goal. As we grow in Christ likeness we will become an affront to the world. Our faith in the Lord will change the way we see our lives. We are not alone and this is not the end. There is joy in our journey as we serve a risen Savior.

6/14/04 1Peter 4:19
So if you are suffering according to God’s will, keep on doing what is right, and trust yourself to the God who made you, for he will never fail you.

SUFFERING
I am never glad when I go through times of suffering. It is a complex human experience. I am glad when I get through suffering and see the work it has done in my life. As long as I focus on Jesus and not the suffering I will come through it well.

6/15/04 1Peter 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.

SUFFERING
I love Jesus. I want to know Him more and more. As I develop an abiding awareness of Jesus in my life, the trials and tribulations I face become part of the work that I do. I know that the Lord loves me and I know that Jesus is with me. His presence equips me to stand firm wherever I experience life.

6/16/04 1Peter 2:21
This suffering is all part of what God has called you to. Christ, who suffered for you, is your example. Follow in his steps.

SUFFERING
Our life is hidden with Christ in God. This is a promise that we can base our lives on. The world can cause me pain but it cannot destroy me. I belong to the Lord Jesus and in Him I can live and move and breathe.

6/17/04 1Peter 1:11
They wondered what the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward. They wondered when and to whom all this would happen.

SUFFERING
One day I will see Jesus face to face. When the fires of persecution, tribulation or just pain are roaring I stop and think about what that day will be like. On that day of translation I will move from this life to life with Jesus. My eternal life will be transformed from this physical world to that spiritual realm where everything is perfect. Jesus is Lord of my life.

6/18/04 James 5:13
Are any among you suffering? They should keep on praying about it. And those who have reason to be thankful should continually sing praises to the Lord.

ATTITUDE
The Lord is with me. He guides me on my way. As I walk with Him my heart must learn to praise Him in all things. When I am suffering, I am to focus on Jesus. When I am celebrating, I am to focus on Jesus.

6/19/04 James 5:11
We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. Job is an example of a man who endured patiently. From his experience we see how the Lord’s plan finally ended in good, for he is full of tenderness and mercy.

SUFFERING
Suffering often does not provide answers. We may never know the reason or the results. But we do know Jesus. He is the great comforter. In Christ we have peace with God. Through Christ we have strength for living. With Christ we cannot be defeated.

6/20/04 James 5:10
For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

SUFFERING
Evil hates good. If you are serving the Lord and are suffering don’t be surprised. Use suffering as a reminder to walk more closely with the Lord. Change your daily routine to spend more time with Jesus. Get into the Word of God and claim His promises. There is much work to do. There is a great need for more prayer warriors. Fight the good fight. Be faithful with your time.

6/21/04 Hebrews 10:33
Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things.

SUFFERING
This is the normal Christian life. Care for others and hold on when you are undergoing suffering. Jesus has not forgotten you. The Lord has not misplaced the plan for your life. You are valuable to Jesus and He will not let you suffer alone. Jesus will stand with you and comfort you as you experience suffering.

6/22/04 Hebrews 10:32
Don’t ever forget those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering.

FIRST LOVE
Remember the miracles. Remember His touch. Remember how grateful you were that your life had changed. The grind of daily living sometimes robs us of our joy. Stop where you are suffering and ask the Lord to put the joy of your salvation back into your heart. Reclaim your intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus. When our eyes are focused on Jesus we will not stumble.

6/23/04 Hebrews 2:18
Since he himself has gone through suffering and temptation, he is able to help us when we are being tempted.

TEMPTATION
Everyone experiences temptation. Only a few choose to let the power of God deal with the attacks of the world. You cannot overcome the world. Jesus overcame the world and His power in you will enable you to live a victorious Christian life.

6/24/04 Hebrews 2:10
And it was only right that God – who made everything and for whom everything was made – should bring his many children into glory. Through the suffering of Jesus, God made him a perfect leader, one fit to bring them into their salvation.

SALVATION
It all begins with Jesus. Everything we need to become a child of God and to be a child of God resides in the Lord Jesus Christ. When I fail I still have a relationship with the Father through Jesus. When I succeed I still have a relationship with the Father through Jesus. Jesus is God’s everything.

6/25/04 2Timothy 4:5
But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at bringing others to Christ. Complete the ministry God has given you.

CHRISTIAN SERVICE
Be what the Lord called you to be. If you suffer Christ will comfort you. If you fail the Lord will help you to learn and grow. If you succeed the Lord will guide you to the next step. As long as we keep our eyes on Jesus we will lead a profitable Christian life.

6/26/04 2Timothy 3:11
You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra – but the Lord delivered me from all of it.

SECURITY
You are safe in Jesus Christ. This world cannot destroy you. You may lose everything here but you will not lose the most important thing-eternal life. You have an eternal relationship with the Lord God through His son Jesus Christ.

6/27/04 2Timothy 2:9
And because I preach this Good News, I am suffering and have been chained like a criminal. But the word of God cannot be chained.

WORD
The Lord will not lose. You will not be destroyed. Focus your life and heart on Jesus. Let all that you do reflect His love and life and you will be free. Real freedom is found in absolute commitment to Jesus. Serve the Lord. Live you life. Rejoice, Jesus is Lord.

6/28/04 2Timothy 2:3
Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

SUFFERING
If you love Jesus you will suffer. This world cannot stand His name or His presence. If you are filled with Christ the world will seek to destroy you. The enemy is like a roaring lion seeking whom he might destroy. Stand fast, suffer in service and live faithfully. When you do this you will defeat the world.

6/29/04 2Timothy 1:12
And that is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.

FAITH
Serve Jesus with confidence. Know that there will be difficult days. Experience the living presence of the Lord Jesus as you seek to know Him more. Walk with Christ and talk with Him about everything you face in your life. Remember when Jesus aggressively deals with the obstacles you face. Be confident that the Lord will not forget you.

6/30/04 2Thessalonians 1:5
But God will use this persecution to show his justice. For he will make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering,

SUFFERING
Suffering brings us closer to the Lord. Suffering equips us to grow in faith. Suffering is necessary for us to be equipped to conquer the world. If you are seeking to deal with the sin in your life and are actively serving Jesus you will suffer. Have faith in the Lord for His deliverance because Jesus is already victorious over the world.

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.