Today's Good News

February 2007

02/01          Ephesians 4:23
Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes.

OBEDIENCE
What do you want to accomplish in your relationship with Jesus?  A growing relationship requires obedience and discipline.  It takes a commitment to daily devotionals, consistent Bible reading and application for us to become what the Lord has called us to be.

 

02/02          Ephesians 4:24
You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness – righteous, holy, and true.

CHANGE
Whatever you are right now must change.  Our life in Christ is a life that is in the process of change daily conforming us to the image of Jesus.  So much of the normal Christian life involves failure on our part because sin is so pervasive and we are so weak.  But we must change and the only way we can change is to give the focus of our life to Christ.

 

02/03          Ephesians 4:25
So put away all falsehood and “tell your neighbor the truth” because we belong to each other.

TRUTH
We put pressure on ourselves by trying to be something we are not.  In Christ we can be ourselves.  We can develop a life of transparency so that the only one we are trying to please is Jesus.  Our dealings with our neighbors can be a pleasant affair where we stop trying to one up them and simply become their friend.

 

02/04          Ephesians 4:26-27
And “don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil.

ANGER
Anger destroys us.  It is a foothold for Satan to blind our eyes and manipulate us into harming ourselves.  Anger causes us to do stupid things.  It is critical for us to confess our anger and ask the Lord to forgive us and heal us.

02/05          Ephesians 4:28
If you are a thief, stop stealing. Begin using your hands for honest work and then give generously to others in need.

STEALING
Malachi comments that when we do not tithe we are stealing from God.  No one has clean hands when it comes to sin.  We are to begin each day confessing our sin and seeking His mercy, wisdom, strength and understanding to deal with the day.  Change is important for growth.  Let Jesus cleanse and change your life.

 

02/06          Ephesians 4:29
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

TALK
Too many of us talk too much.  We are to be alert to the activity of the enemy in our life.  If you were saved as an adult foul language may be a habit that you have to change.  Give it to Jesus and He will redeem your speech.  Also, if you find yourself falling back into this bad habit stop when you realize it, confess it, ask for strength from Jesus and change.

 

02/07          Ephesians 4:30
And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he is the one who has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

DIFFERENT
We are different than the world.  We talk differently, we focus our life on service to others and not self, we sacrifice for the cause of Christ.  Look at your life.  Is it different from those around you that are lost.  If it is not then take it to the Lord and ask Him what you should change.  Our difference doesn’t create a holier than thou attitude instead it creates humility of heart that enables us to minister to those that need us.

 

02/08          Ephesians 4:31
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior.

ACTION
We are called to action.  Discipline in spiritual matters is our challenge.  How can I change the things I do?  Focus on Jesus, confess our failure and do the next right thing.  Our hearts and minds focused on Christ will change the things our mouth, hands and feet do.  We are on notice, a Christian life is a Christ centered life.

 

02/09          Ephesians 4:32
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

FORGIVENESS
Forgiveness is a two way street.  We forgive and we are forgiven.  We are responsible for the way we live and for the choices we make.  Choose to forgive.

 

02/10          Ephesians 5:1-2
Follow God’s example in everything you do, because you are his dear children.  Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him.

ACT
What we do and say is our responsibility.  We choose the way we spend our time.  If we spend time with Jesus we will be equipped to face the trials as they come, to stand in the face of tribulation and to do the next right thing.  If we choose to not spend time with Jesus we will have a crippled spiritual life and fail to grow into the likeness of Jesus.

 

02/11          Ephesians 5:3-4
Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people.  Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes – these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.

PLAIN TALK
The Christian life is not a spiritual buffet.  We don’t pick and choose the lifestyle we like.  The Bible presents a life that is abundant in Christ.  We either live the way Christ calls us to live or we will find ourselves overrun by the world.

 

02/12          Ephesians 5:5-7
You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God.  For a greedy person is really an idolater who worships the things of this world.  Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the terrible anger of God comes upon all those who disobey him.  Don’t participate in the things these people do.

LIFE
Real life is a life that is given to Jesus and operates under Christ’s control.  We are weak and easily burdened.  We have very incomplete knowledge.  Seldom will we be able to discern by ourselves the difference between two good paths.  Jesus will give us the wisdom, mercy, grace and understanding that we need to make day to day decisions.  The decisions made daily under His direction will fit together as a whole to under gird and enable us to live an abundant life.

 

02/13          Ephesians 5:8
For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it!

LIGHT
Light makes our pathway easy to walk and removes fear from us.  Anytime I am over come by darkness I will stumble and not be able to see the right way to walk.  When I ask Jesus for light He will give me enough to see the way to go and to walk in that way right now.  He knows the end result.  I know Him.

 

02/14 Ephesians 5:9-10
For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.

LIGHT
Our surrender is the avenue that the Lord gives us the wisdom, mercy, grace and understanding we need to live and grow. His light will draw us near, encourage us, and equip us to do what is pleasing to the Father. To become more like Jesus we must live an obedient life.

02/15 Ephesians 5:11-13
Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But when the light shines on them, it becomes clear how evil these things are.

CHOICES
How will I live? Will I surrender self to service through Christ or will I permit myself to be overrun by the world? Choice is our responsibility. I cannot save myself but I can accept the wooing of the Holy Spirit and be saved. I cannot summon up grace out of what I can do but I can surrender myself in obedience to Jesus and receive His grace.
02/16 Ephesians 5:14
And where your light shines, it will expose their evil deeds. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

LIGHT
I have spent more than thirty years ministering in prisons, homeless shelters and to those suffering. I am acutely aware of the presence of evil and have learned when evil is near to steel myself with the Word and prayer. The work of the world is destruction. Our work in Christ is reconstruction. We do not have to cower in the face of the enemy, we are to be obedient to the Lord Jesus and be about His work.

 

02/17          Ephesians 5:15
So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise.

RESPONSIBILITY
The only person who can change me is me.  Change is a choice.  Christ in me accomplishes the change but I must first choose to change.  Christ likeness is a call to separation, I am to be Holy.  It is a call to service.  Holiness separates us from sin and unites with people.

02/18          Ephesians 5:16
Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days.  Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do.

ACTIONS
Our actions speak loudly.  We are the representative of Jesus in this world.  Everyday we have a chance to be a positive influence in a world of chaos and disappointment.  We can change the world one action at a time.  Do what you can and do not become paralyzed by what you cannot do.

 

02/19          Ephesians 5:18
Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you.  Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts.

ACTIONS
We are to be where we are.  We give what we can.  We face today as a child of God under the control of the Holy Spirit.  Time with Jesus will renew our spirit and fill us with peace and joy.  Disunity, disharmony and chaos is always pushing us to seek a solution to our problems in bottle or by a pill.  Jesus is the solution to our difficulties.

 

02/20          Ephesians 5:20
And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

THANKS
We have much for which to be thankful.  Thank you Lord for life.  Thank you Lord for giving us your presence, power and guidance.  Thank you for our peace.  Thank you Lord.  Thank you Lord.  Thank you Lord.

 

02/21          Ephesians 5:21-24
And further, you will submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  You wives will submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord.  For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; he gave his life to be her Savior.  As the church submits to Christ, so you wives must submit to your husbands in everything.

SUBMISSION
Submission is required of all of us.  We submit to Jesus.  We submit to each other in Jesus name.  We are on a mission for Christ.  That mission calls us to be servants.  Servants submit to the one being served.  Our service brings honor and glory to Jesus.  Servitude is a choice.  Only a heart guarded by Jesus can live a life of holy submission.

 

02/22          Ephesians 5:25-29
And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God’s word.  He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish.  Instead, she will be holy and without fault.  In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies.  For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife.  No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for his body, which is the church.

LOVE
Love is evident by the way we live and the things we do.  As I live my life I am charged with the responsibility of glorifying Jesus by the things I do.

 

02/23          Ephesians 5:30-33
And we are his body.  As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”  This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.  So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

UNITED
A man a woman are united into one when they are married.  They become a unit.  That man and woman no longer are able to make unilateral decisions.  They walk to together, serving and obeying Jesus, and glorifying the Lord in all they do and say.  Two becomes one to serve as the representative of the Lord Jesus.

 

02/24          Ephesians 6:1-3
Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do.  “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first of the Ten Commandments that ends with a promise.  And this is the promise: If you honor your father and mother, “you will live a long life, full of blessing.”

HONOR
The family is an opportunity for us to glorify the Lord.  There is strength in the family.  Maturity is evidenced by the way we deal with our family.  A father or mother who destroys their family destroys the opportunity for them to be given honor.  Children are to honor their parents.  A parent loses that right when they destroy a child.  Jesus calls us to be good parents and good children.  When we mess us Jesus is able to restore us.  But honor is always a two way street.

 

02/25          Ephesians 6:4-9
And now a word to you fathers. Don’t make your children angry by the way you treat them.  Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord.   Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear.  Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ.   Work hard, but not just to please your masters when they are watching. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart.  Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.  Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.  And in the same way, you masters must treat your slaves right. Don’t threaten them; remember, you both have the same Master in heaven, and he has no favorites.

EQUALITY
Each one of us has equal access to the Father.  No one of us is in a special position with the Lord so that we can claim entitlement.  I can only change me.  The only one I can correct is me.  I am the one called to serve.  How others choose to do and live does not give me permission to be evil or bad.  I am responsible for the things I do.

 

02/26           Ephesians 6:10-12
A final word: Be strong with the Lord’s mighty power.  Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil.  For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.

DANGER
Our spiritual self is always in danger.  Behind what we can see is the spiritual realm.  The forces of evil and darkness are always, always trying to misdirect us and trip us up.  Now that we belong to Jesus, they know that we cannot be claimed but we can be misdirected.  Salvation is eternal but right now we are about the master’s work.  Be careful how you live and quick to confess your sin.

 

02/27          Ephesians 6:13-17
Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm.  Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.  For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared.  In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan.  Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

EVIL
Now is when we must be alert.  We don’t know when our very best will be needed but we know it will be therefore we are always equipped to join the spiritual battle at a moments notice.  Jesus is Lord and we are partner’s together with Christ in proclaiming the Good News to all.

 

02/28          Ephesians 6:18
Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere.

PRAY
Prayer is hard work.  Prayer is necessary.  Prayed is a choice.  Please pray.  Please pray consistently.  Please pray continuously.  Prayer is what we must learn to do when we feel weak, ineffective, and at our wits end.  Prayer is critical for a normal Christian life.

January 2007

01/01               John 3:6
Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven.

NEW YEAR
We can claim new life in Jesus Christ.  You know someone that needs to hear about your new life.  There is no such thing as a secret Christian.  Purpose to make this year the year that you faithfully share your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ by word and deed with everyone you meet.

 

01/02              Romans 6:8
And since we died with Christ, we know we will also share his new life.

PARTNER
You and I are partners together with Christ.  Yes, we will have eternal life in heaven with Him.  But eternal life is life like the Father has.  It is quality not quantity.  Our new life is for this moment.  The Lord has a plan for our lives and will equip us to accomplish His plan.  Let’s focus our minds and hearts on serving Him this year!

 

01/03          Ephesians 3:1-2
I, Paul, am a prisoner of Christ Jesus because of my preaching to you Gentiles. As you already know, God has given me this special ministry of announcing his favor to you Gentiles.

WHO
People count with Jesus.  All people no matter where they are or what they have done.  Humanity is fragile and smeared through and through with sin.  Jesus died so that we might have the gift of freedom from sin.  He paid the price for every single person.  You and I are called to share from our hearts what Jesus is doing in us to every one that we meet.  Our sharing will be in word and in deed.  So that no one may be lost.

 

01/04          Ephesians 3:3
As I briefly mentioned earlier in this letter, God himself revealed his secret plan to me.

CALL
Paul’s call and our call is from God Himself.  His will is not hidden and His plan is revealed in Jesus.  You know that person that has been mean, evil, wicked and bad to you?  Christ died for that person.  The call to each one of us is to take our life seriously and see our value.  When we begin to understand that we are about God’s business we will develop an attitude of gratitude and an iron will that refuses to let the world write worthless across our life.

 

01/05          Ephesians 3:4
As you read what I have written, you will understand what I know about this plan regarding Christ.

STUDY
Go to God’s Word every day.  Read His Word as though your life depended on it because it does.  Listen as He speaks to you.  Let His Word reveal your life to you.  His Word will infuse you with wisdom and knowledge and give you the power you need to live the life the Creator, our Lord Jesus Christ, has given you.

 

01/06          Ephesians 3:5
God did not reveal it to previous generations, but now he has revealed it by the Holy Spirit to his holy apostles and prophets.

SECRET
Jesus is God’s secret plan.  His good news has come to man.  We are partners together with Him in proclaiming His coming and His sacrifice.  His grace gives each one of us a chance to partake of a quality of life like God’s right here and right now.  The world cannot defeat us because the victory has already been one.  Jesus is Lord.

 

01/07          Ephesians 3:6
And this is the secret plan: The Gentiles have an equal share with the Jews in all the riches inherited by God’s children. Both groups have believed the Good News, and both are part of the same body and enjoy together the promise of blessings through Christ Jesus.

PLAN
God so loved the world that He gave His only son that each one of us have the opportunity to ask God to save us.  We are wonderfully privileged with access to the gift of forgiveness in Jesus Christ.  We ask Him for forgiveness and He promises us that He will forgive us.  God’s free gift is salvation and He would that everyone be saved.

 

01/08          Ephesians 3:7
By God’s special favor and mighty power, I have been given the wonderful privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.

GO
We do not have to wait to tell others about Jesus.  We do not have to be specially trained to tell others about Christ.  Just as a little child exudes that which creates joy you and I can simply tell of the joy we have in Christ.  Once we were lost now we are free.  Once we were dead in our trespasses and sin and Jesus has removed that burden from us.  We are new creatures in Christ.  The Lord Jesus speaks to every fear and shortcoming that we have felt.  Tell others about what He has done in your heart and life.

 

01/09          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.

TELL
Life is to be lived.  When Christ is in control of us He will speak through our hearts and change what we do and say.  Once we were self centered and egotistical and everything we did had us at the center of it.  In Christ we have a new freedom.  We bend the knee to Jesus and rise to serve Him.  Our service claims control of us and permits the Lord to use us.  We simply tell others about the Lord we love.

 

01/10          Ephesians 3:9-10
I was chosen to explain to everyone this plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning.  God’s purpose was to show his wisdom in all its rich variety to all the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms. They will see this when Jews and Gentiles are joined together in his church.

UNITY
The only unity available for mankind is in Christ.  Jesus brings all races of humanity together.  There is no superior group; likewise there is no group that is inferior.  We are one in Christ.  The church does not bend to the will of lost humanity.  The church proclaims Christ and Him crucified, dead and risen to a dead and lost humanity.  Accepting the gift of forgiveness in Christ and coming into the family of God binds us together in Jesus.

 

01/11          Ephesians 3:11-13
This was his plan from all eternity, and it has now been carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.  Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come fearlessly into God’s presence, assured of his glad welcome.  So please don’t despair because of what they are doing to me here. It is for you that I am suffering, so you should feel honored and encouraged.

LIFE
Life is real.  It can be and often is tough and disappointing.  When we partner together with Jesus to live our lives under His control and serve Him we do not bypass the reality of life.  Instead we are equipped to live our life with abundance.  Jesus will walk every step with us.

 

01/12          Ephesians 3:14-15
When I think of the wisdom and scope of God’s plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.

GRATITUDE
We are free in Jesus.  We have inestimable value and worth in Christ.  His plan for us is good.  Hallelujah in Jesus we are free.  Christ has come and joy is present.  His peace and power guides us every moment of every day.  His life equips us to give our lives so that all may hear His good news.  Come Lord Jesus.

 

01/13          Ephesians 3:16
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit.

STRUGGLE
The battle for our salvation is won.  The struggle for growth in Christ is our daily work.  People count with Jesus and people are always where our struggle is the greatest.  Pray for wisdom in all of your encounters with people: at home, at work, at play.  Pray especially those hard to get along with people that the Lord would bless them and equip you to deal with them.  When we pray for others the Holy Spirit will give us spiritual eyes that will enable us to change.  In life the goal is not to change others but in fact to change ourselves.  The Holy Spirit will strengthen you daily in your journey of faith and growth.

 

01/14          Ephesians 3:17
And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love.

TIME
It takes time to become like Jesus.  In fact it takes a lifetime.  With that in mind begin today to organize yourself to be controlled by Jesus.  We do this by daily quiet time, daily prayer and daily studying His word.  The Word of God is active and alive and works in us to enable us to hear the Master’s voice.

 

01/15          Ephesians 3:18
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is.

TODAY
His love is absolute.  Stop right now and think for just a moment of the one that you love the most.  It is important for us to remind ourselves of how we love others and what about them makes us love them.  Now, think about how Jesus loves you with a complete, total and all-knowing love.  Jesus is our best friend.  The Creator of the universe desires time with us.

 

01/16          Ephesians 3:19
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

HURT
Jesus knows all about us.  He also knows that when we come into the family of God we still live in a lost world.  This world is a tough place and we will often face the pain of life.  The fullness of God is that spiritual activity emanating from God that pulls us away from the horrors of this world into the reality of the spiritual realm.  We know that when we face this world that the Father is reaching into our hearts and mind and filling us full of himself so that we can be what he created us to be: ourselves!

 

01/17          Ephesians 3:20
Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.

GROWTH
We struggle with growth.  We grow because the Lord Jesus is in us and filling us with his wisdom, mercy, grace and understanding so that we might serve Him and live aright.  We receive His power when we ask for it and always get more than we ask for.  Our knowledge is of such a limited scope the Lord is ahead of us equipping us for what is next even while we are dealing with what is now.  Spend time with Jesus and He will prepare you for the future.

 

01/18          Ephesians 3:21
May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen.

PRAY
We are to pray for the church.  We are to pray that all might know Jesus.  More than we realize our lives are absolute.  Our commitment for the things of Christ is in the process of becoming absolute.  One day we will stand before Jesus and see the Lord in His absolute glory.  Today pray.  Pray as the Holy Spirit leads you.  Pray that you might be what the Lord created you to be.  This is the day for joy and peace.  This is the day for confidence.  Pray.

 

01/19          Ephesians 4:1
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.

CALL
Jesus is seeking us.  His seeking is that all might be saved and they we might be saved.  We are unique and special.  The life we are given is worthy and valuable.  If I recognize my value I will begin to see others value.  Recognition of value creates within us courage to grow and be of use.  We are most useful when we see ourselves as Jesus sees us: beloved of God and of immeasurable value and worth.

 

01/20          Ephesians 4:2
Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.

WORTH
Our value is built into us by the Father.  Knowing that we can look at others the same way the Father looks at us: with love.  When I love someone I am in a position of bestowing grace upon them: giving them what they need and do not earn.  When I live graciously I grow exponentially.  Sowing is a spiritual discipline that will benefit each one of us beyond our ability to comprehend.  One of the specific things that graciousness does in us is to stretch our spiritual souls that we might be filled to an even greater extent by the Holy Spirit.

 

01/21          Ephesians 4:3
Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves together with peace.

PEACE
Peace is a gift from God.  I ask for peace and live peacefully.  Peace creates unity.  If I am peaceful and give peace to others I become partners together with others.  The result is that we are all seeking the benefit of others.  As we live in peace we are better equipped to tell others about what the Lord is doing in us.  As we proclaim Jesus by word and deed we are seeking that others might know Him and have His peace.

 

01/22          Ephesians 4:4
We are all one body, we have the same Spirit, and we have all been called to the same glorious future.

JESUS
Jesus is central for our faith.  Jesus is the lynchpin that brings the spiritual realm to us.  We are in the family of God and we live here on earth as His children united in Christ.  This unity is not based on our work nor is it based on our victory but in fact is based on the saving grace of the Lord Jesus.  Our future is to be with Jesus in eternity.  But, because of what Jesus has done and the victory He has won we are one in the Spirit now.

 

01/23          Ephesians 4:5-6
There is only one Lord, one faith, one baptism,  and there is only one God and Father, who is over us all and in us all and living through us all.

JESUS
Jesus is God’s everything.  We have everything we need in Jesus.  My life is directed by Christ.  My work is empowered by Jesus.  The results of what we do depend on Jesus.  Jesus is Lord and we can trust Him.

 

01/24          Ephesians 4:7
However, he has given each one of us a special gift according to the generosity of Christ.

GIFTS
Our gift is not to make us feel superior to others.  It is an obligation for service given to us by Jesus.  The greater our gifts the greater our obligation to do what Jesus calls us to do: serve Him.  The world elevates the gifted.  The world rewards the gifted.  Jesus uses our gifts to accomplish His purpose in the world.  But his gift to us can only be used when we give it to Him for His use.  We do, we are, we become, we are victorious in surrender.  Bend the knee and let Jesus have your life today.

 

01/25          Ephesians 4:8
That is why the Scriptures say, “When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.”

USABLE
Jesus has a plan for our life.  His plan is perfect.  He gives us the gifts we need to accomplish His purpose.  Jesus knows what we are going to face and He will use our gifts to accomplish His goals today.  We are to be about our master’s business.

 

01/26          Ephesians 4:9-10
Notice that it says “he ascended.” This means that Christ first came down to the lowly world in which we live.   The same one who came down is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that his rule might fill the entire universe.

ABLE
Jesus knows with full experiential knowledge what we face each day from the world.  The world is always seeking to enslave us and to use us.  Jesus is seeking to use us to help others.  The world focuses on our gift and separates us from others by fooling us into celebrating our gift.  Jesus knows what we will face and calls us to give up ourselves and exercise His gift for others.  His rule will fill the universe as we serve Him.

 

01/27          Ephesians 4:11-13
He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.  Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ,  until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ.

UNITY
Jesus makes us whole.  As we grow towards Christ likeness we participate in His work of unity.  Becoming more like Jesus outfits us to help others in their journey of growth.  Becoming more like Jesus means that we are about His work of equipping enabling others to become an ever greater part of the activity of His family.

 

01/28          Ephesians 4:14-15
Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth.  Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.

HEAD
Christ is all and in all.  His indwelling spirit gives us wisdom to live our lives.  He guides us to the truth and equips us to live truthfully.  As we mature in Christ we are equipped with His power and strength to live solid, Godly lives and not be overthrown by the world.

 

01/29          Ephesians 4:16
Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

WORK
We are to be ourselves.  Jesus makes us whole and He is the one who made us.  I love my life and I love Jesus.  We have what we need and we don’t need what we don’t have.  We are His creation and He is our joy and life.

 

01/30          Ephesians 4:17-19
With the Lord’s authority let me say this: Live no longer as the ungodly do, for they are hopelessly confused.  Their closed minds are full of darkness; they are far away from the life of God because they have shut their minds and hardened their hearts against him.  They don’t care anymore about right and wrong, and they have given themselves over to immoral ways. Their lives are filled with all kinds of impurity and greed.

LIFE
Resolve to let Christ have control of your mind and heart.  When we give Him our attitude and our fear He will give us light and life.  I Claim who you are and forget what you cannot be, for He has a special plan for you.  Claim life.  Claim His presence.  Claim joy.  Jesus is alive and He lives in you.

 

01/31          Ephesians 4:20-22
But that isn’t what you were taught when you learned about Christ.  Since you have heard all about him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception.

CHOOSE
The world seeks to destroy our choice.  Jesus gives us the right and power to choose how we will live.  Will I live in strength and peace?  Will I claim the right to make good and wise decisions for my life?  Can I find the power to do the right thing all the time?  Yes, in Christ we find everything we need to live an abundant life.

December 2006

12/1            John 1:1
In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God.

GOD
God was concerned about each of us.  God wanted to communicate Himself to us in a way that our small minds could understand so He came to us and revealed Himself to us in the flesh.

 

12/2            John 1:2-4
He was in the beginning with God.  He created everything there is. Nothing exists that he didn’t make.  Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone.

GOD
Jesus created all things.  He always was with God and always was God.  The life He gives is a life of quality that is the kind of life that God has.  It is a gift of spiritual life that births us into God’s kingdom.

 

12/3            John 1:5-8
The light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.  God sent John the Baptist to tell everyone about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony.  John himself was not the light; he was only a witness to the light.

TESTIMONY
John testified to the coming of Jesus.  He sensitized those that were seeking God so that they would recognize the Lord when He appeared.  We are witnesses of the Lord Jesus.  We testify to what He has done in our life and to the new life that He has given us.

 

12/4            John 1:9-11
The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was going to come into the world.  But although the world was made through him, the world didn’t recognize him when he came.  Even in his own land and among his own people, he was not accepted.

ACCEPTANCE
Life in Christ is a gift.  It is God attempting to give us life like His.  This life is eternal and this life outfits us for our life here in the world.  It is spiritual life that enables us to be a servant and communicator of God’s love.

 

12/5            John 1:12
But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.

SALVATION
God’s message to us is that He loves us and is seeking to give us life.  His life equips us to live life.  His love under girds all we are and is the foundation for us to be what He created us to be-His children.

 

12/6            John 1:13
They are reborn! This is not a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan – this rebirth comes from God.

LIFE
Spiritual life like God’s life is the gift that we are offered.  This rebirth puts and new heart and new mind inside of us.  No longer are we dead in our trespasses but become alive in Christ.  Life as a child of God is our gift.

12/7            John 1:14
So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.  And we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father.

DIVINE
We cannot comprehend God.  God so loved us that He chose to let us see Him in a form we could comprehend-Jesus Christ.  Jesus stepped into our world, in our form and presented to us the essence of God’s character-LOVE.  For God so loved us that He wanted us to see that love in a form we could understand.  Jesus is God.

 

12/8            John 1:15-18
John pointed him out to the people. He shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before I did.'”  We have all benefited from the rich blessings he brought to us – one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.  No one has ever seen God. But his only Son, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart; he has told us about him.

DIVINE
God told us He was coming and He came in the flesh.  Jesus was fully God and fully human.  He displayed God’s love for us and communicates God’s interest in us.  Jesus is Lord.

 

12/9            John 1:19-23
This was the testimony of John when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John whether he claimed to be the Messiah.  He flatly denied it. “I am not the Messiah,” he said.  “Well then, who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?””No,” he replied.”Are you the Prophet?”  “No.”  “Then who are you? Tell us, so we can give an answer to those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?”  John replied in the words of Isaiah: “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare a straight pathway for the Lord’s coming!'”

ANNOUNCEMENT
God is in control of all things.  This control extends to all things meaning that you and I can live our lives with the assurance that the Lord Jesus knows where we are, what we are going through and what we need to face each day.  As we meet Him in the morning we can be confident that He is preparing us for the opportunities we will face that day.  Jesus said He was coming and He came to us.

 

12/10          John 1:24-28
Then those who were sent by the Pharisees asked him, “If you aren’t the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, what right do you have to baptize?”  John told them, “I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not know, who will soon begin his ministry. I am not even worthy to be his slave.  This incident took place at Bethany, a village east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.

ANNOUNCEMENT
The Bible was lived out with real people and real places.  God came to us.  The Creator came to the creature.  We so often miss the magnitude of this great event.  The potter is trying to communicate with the clay.  His desire for us is motivated by His love for us.  When I pray Jesus is listening.  He wants me to accomplish His plan for my life more than I want it.  His focus never wavers even when I lose my way.  He is there waiting for me to come to Him and commune with Him.  Pray in this way “Our Father….”

 

12/11          John 1:29-31
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!  He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Soon a man is coming who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before I did.’  I didn’t know he was the one, but I have been baptizing with water in order to point him out to Israel.”

MOMENT
John identified Jesus as the Lamb of God.  Jesus was the one that everyone had been waiting for.  The Lord was now with us and He will never leave us.  I pray to a God who is alive and here.  He knows me, He loves me and He has a plan for my life.  Jesus declares that I have value and purpose.

 

12/12          John 1:32-33
Then John said, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him.  I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘When you see the Holy Spirit descending and resting upon someone, he is the one you are looking for. He is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’

IDENTIFICATION
The Lord will help you to identify His activity in your life.  Our faith is not a myth nor do we believe in a myth.  We believe in Jesus who walked this earth with us and now lives in our hearts.  When we surrender our life to the UNIQUE ONE-Jesus Christ-He lives in our hearts and equips us to live a life of value and worth.  Jesus loves you and me.

 

12/13          John 1:34
I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Son of God.”

TESTIMONY
John the Baptist was obedient.  The Lord revealed His presence to him and John bears testimony that Jesus is God.  He is Lord of all and in all.  God has come to earth and sojourned with His creation.  He lived by faith under our restrictions and we crucified Him.  He saved us.

 

12/14          John 1:35-36
The following day, John was again standing with two of his disciples.  As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and then declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!”

HERE
God was here.  We crucified Him and He was resurrected and is here and alive today.  He lives so that we might live.  His grace gift to us is a meaningful life and eternal life.  We belong to Him and He is with us.

 

12/15          John 1:37-39
Then John’s two disciples turned and followed Jesus.  Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them. They replied, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?”  “Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place, and they stayed there the rest of the day.

TEACHER
Jesus came to give us life and to teach us how to live.  His act of love and devotion was so that we would know how God cared for us.  God is love and His love gives us what we are searching for-life like His.

 

12/16          John 1:40-41
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who had heard what John said and then followed Jesus.  The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother, Simon, and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means the Christ).

BELIEF
When we know Jesus we tell others about Him.  We simply relate what we know-He saved me-He loves me.  When we tell others about what God has done in our life it will prompt them to see what the Lord can do in their life.  Our responsibility is not to make people accept Jesus.  We simply tell others what He has done for us.  They then have the same opportunity we had, to see Him and choose what we would do.

 

12/17          John 1:42
Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “You are Simon, the son of John – but you will be called Cephas” (which means Peter).

KNOWN
You are known by the Lord.  He knows you and is seeking you and would that you might know Him.  It is your choice.  Choose Him.  If you do choose Him determine to do all that He would have you to do.  God loves obedience.

 

12/18          John 1:43-46
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, be my disciple.”  Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown.  Philip went off to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”  “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from there?” “Just come and see for yourself,” Philip said.

THE CALL
Jesus calls each one of us to come and follow Him.  Some listen and some do not.  Each one of us has an opportunity to come and see.  When we see Him and accept Him we can always be confident that He indeed was calling us because He died for each one of us and is this moment seeking lost souls.  When we come into the family of God we are in the family of God.

 

12/19          John 1:47
As they approached, Jesus said, “Here comes an honest man – a true son of Israel.”  “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked.  And Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.”

OBEDIENCE
When we follow Jesus we will know what to do.  He will tell us.  When we obey Jesus He will give us the strength to live with confidence in obedience as we serve Him.  Our service is a part of our walk of faith.

 

12/20          John 1:49-50
Nathanael replied, “Teacher, you are the Son of God – the King of Israel!” Jesus asked him, “Do you believe all this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.”  Then he said, “The truth is, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down upon the Son of Man.”

BELIEF
I believe in Jesus.  I believe in Jesus because He sought me out.  His truth is not dependent on my word.  He came from His throne in glory and took on the form of a man, living a perfect life and dying for me.  His death paid the cost of my sin.  I believe in the eternal Christ who gave me life and lives this moment in me.

 

12/21          Luke 2:1-4
At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire.  (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  All returned to their own towns to register for this census.  And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.

CONTROL
All of us struggle to control our lives.  We want to be safe and find peace and joy.  Jesus is always in control.  Whatever we face, however difficult it may seem it is not out of the Lord’s control.  Jesus has a plan for your life and will guide you in the way you should go.

 

12/22          Luke 2:5-7
He took with him Mary, his fiancé who was obviously pregnant by this time.  And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.  She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn.

EVENTS
The events in your life do not determine God’s love for you.  His only son Jesus was born in as poor, destitute condition as one could face.  You are of great value to Christ and He loves you.  He has chosen to do this.  He does not base His love on your righteous work.  His love is His gift to each one of His children.

 

12/23          Luke 2:8-14
That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep.  Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news of great joy for everyone!  The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David!  And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!”  Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others – the armies of heaven – praising God:  “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors.”

GOOD NEWS
Jesus is good news for you and me.  He is here with us and lives in us.  His presence equips and enables us to live an abundant life.  We do not live a life of quiet desperation.  We are not seeking glory on a world stage.  Our life is valuable in God’s economy and we will have the faith, strength and resources we need to accomplish His plan in us.

 

 

12/24          Luke 2:15-20
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Come on, let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”  They ran to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.  Then the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.  All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary quietly treasured these things in her heart and thought about them often.  The shepherds went back to their fields and flocks, glorifying and praising God for what the angels had told them, and because they had seen the child, just as the angel had said.

FOUND
God is looking for us.  He does not forget us.  His love is greater than we can imagine.  The Good News is that we can choose to be found.  As you celebrate Christmas remember who loves you.

 

12/25          Matthew 2:1-2
Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking,  “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We have seen his star as it arose, and we have come to worship him.”

WORSHIP
We choose to worship.  We choose to honor and serve Jesus.  Today choose to worship Him.  He is the risen Lord and is due all honor and glory.  Take a few minutes today to tell the Lord how much He means to you.  Lord we love you.

 

12/26          Matthew 2:3-4
Herod was deeply disturbed by their question, as was all of Jerusalem.  He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law. “Where did the prophets say the Messiah would be born?” he asked them.

BIRTH
The world worships knowledge.  We can worship the Lord.  Our choice is simple-will we follow Jesus in obedience?  When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior (He still is whether we accept it or not) so many things become clear.  His Word speaks wisdom and guidance to us.

 

12/27          Matthew 2:5-6
“In Bethlehem,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote:  ‘O Bethlehem of Judah, you are not just a lowly village in Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’ ”

VALUE
What the world values the Lord disdains.  Sin has a death grip on mankind.  Only in Christ can we break the bondage of sin and permit the Lord to stamp our lives with His judgment.  His judgment of us is that we are the beloved and have great value to Him.

 

12/28          Matthew 2:7-8
Then Herod sent a private message to the wise men, asking them to come see him. At this meeting he learned the exact time when they first saw the star.  Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!”

SEARCHING
What we search for we often get.  If we are searching for power we may get it but we will discover the worthlessness of power.  Fame is an evil taskmaster.  Wealth seduces and abuses us.  When we search for Jesus we will find Him.  We will discover that Jesus has been searching for us all of our life.  When we bend our knee in submission to Him as Lord and Savior we find our searching is over.  Jesus is God’s everything.

 

12/29          Matthew 2:9-10
After this interview the wise men went their way. Once again the star appeared to them, guiding them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!

JOURNEY
Jesus never leaves us on our personal journey of life.  He will not abandon us nor does he wait for us to perform to some expected norm for Him to listen to us or hear us.  Jesus wants to be involved in every aspect of our life.  Let Him have control of you.

 

12/30          Matthew 2:11
They entered the house where the child and his mother, Mary, were, and they fell down before him and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

WORSHIP
Worship Jesus.  He is worthy of all of our love and adoration.  His character is love.  He gives each one of us value and worth daily.  Our life is a struggle but Jesus will see us through.

 

12/31          Matthew 2:12
But when it was time to leave, they went home another way, because God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.

DIRECTION
A new year is begins tomorrow.  Let Jesus give you direction for this New Year.  Let Christ have control of your life.  Spend time with Him each day.  Spend enough time with Jesus to hear what He is saying to you.

November 2006

11/01          Ephesians 1:11
Furthermore, because of Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us from the beginning, and all things happen just as he decided long ago.

CHOSEN
Jesus said whosever will may come.  When claim that offer and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior we become the CHOSEN of God.  Jesus died for each one of us as if there were no other of us.  His life gives us new life eternally.

 

11/02          Ephesians 1:12
God’s purpose was that we who were the first to trust in Christ should praise our glorious God.

PURPOSE
What a glorious Lord we serve.  We can but proclaim His glory and magnificence.  He is gracious and merciful.  He loves beyond compare.  His concern for His creation is beyond description therefore with all creation we each shout glory to God in the highest.  Jesus is Lord.

 

11/03          Ephesians 1:13
And now you also have heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.

IDENTIFICATION
We come into the family of God and we are known.  Jesus knows who we are, where we are and what we need to serve Him.  Where ever we are we can participate in His victory and claim His victory for our life.  His lordship is permanently stamped on us with the indelible Holy Spirit.  His claim upon us is eternal.

 

11/04          Ephesians 1:14
The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us everything he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God.

GUARANTEE
The Spirit of God evidences to us in our spirit of God’s ownership of us.  Our faithfulness to be used by Him and grown by Him is always encouraged by the Holy Spirit.  Discipline for daily living is our responsibility.  Eternal life is God’s gift to us.

11/05          Psalm 124:1-5
If the LORD had not been on our side – let Israel now say –if the LORD had not been on our side when people rose up against us, they would have swallowed us alive because of their burning anger against us.  The waters would have engulfed us; a torrent would have overwhelmed us.  Yes, the raging waters of their fury would have overwhelmed our very lives.

PROTECTION
Eternity is our gift.  We will live and reign with Jesus for eternity.  Nothing on this earth can destroy us.  In the world we will have trouble and every day of our life will be challenging.  Jesus is with us and will be with us from this moment into eternity.  Therefore we can rejoice because we belong to Him.

 

11/06          Ephesians 1:15-17
Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for Christians everywhere, I have never stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.

GROWTH
Our spiritual growth comes from the Lord.  Our daily discipline of time with Him is our choice.  We must spend time with Jesus to grow as we should.  Growth is a choice, but His salvation is a gift.  All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

 

11/07          Ephesians 1:18
I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future he has promised to those he called. I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance he has given to his people.

LIGHT
Light keeps us from stumbling in the dark.  It lights our path so that we can move apace from place to place.  Light is critical for the functioning of society.  Jesus is life and light.  When we have Jesus we have light.

 

11/08          Ephesians 1:19-20
I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.

POWER
Everyone is seeking power to accomplish their goal, find their way and fulfill their needs.  When we come to Jesus we relinquish our weak power and surrender our lives to Him.  He then gives us power to accomplish His goal.  Amazingly when we surrender to Jesus to accomplish His goal we discover that this is the way to abundant life.  In surrender we acquire real power for life.

 

11/09          Ephesians 1:21
Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else in this world or in the world to come.

AUTHORITY
Jesus has real, eternal authority.  When we serve Him we come under His authority.  We use His eternal authority to rule our lives and to guide our daily steps.  Jesus is the life and light for mankind.  In Him is abundance and victory.

 

11/10          Ephesians 1:22-23
And God has put all things under the authority of Christ, and he gave him this authority for the benefit of the church.  And the church is his body; it is filled by Christ, who fills everything everywhere with his presence.

CHURCH
The church is the Bride of Christ.  It is His body on earth.  In this world His body was broken and abused by evil.  Remember as the Bride of Christ we have all authority and power for eternity and therefore can live broken and spilled out for humanity.  Love the Lord and be in His church.

 

11/11          Psalm 124:6-7
Blessed be the LORD, who did not let their teeth tear us apart!  We escaped like a bird from a hunter’s trap. The trap is broken, and we are free!  Our help is from the LORD, who made the heavens and the earth.

VICTORY
We are victorious and live in victory.  We will not be destroyed.  We will not be overcome.  In this world we will live with many trials and tribulations.  In this world we may appear to fail.  When we are serving Jesus and walking with Him we are living in victory.

 

11/12          Ephesians 2:1-2
Once you were dead, doomed forever because of your many sins.  You used to live just like the rest of the world, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.

ONCE
We are no longer at the mercy of the evil one.  He can bruise us and trouble us but he cannot defeat us.  Jesus is Lord and we serve the risen Savior.  Life in Christ is life eternal.  In Jesus we are alive and well throughout eternity.

 

11/13          Ephesians 2:3
All of us used to live that way, following the passions and desires of our evil nature. We were born with an evil nature, and we were under God’s anger just like everyone else.

SALVATION
There is only one way to have eternal life and that is to accept Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior.  This is a gift, it is simple and yet is eternal.  It is hard for people to swallow this idea that only God can save us because everyone is dead in their sins until they accept Christ.  This is the truth of God.

 

11/14          Ephesians 2:4-5
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so very much, that even while we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s special favor that you have been saved!)

SALVATION
Jesus was searching for you when you met Him.  Salvation is His gift to anyone that will ask Him into their heart.  If you asked Christ into your heart you are saved.  No thing or idea can take this away from you.

 

11/15          Ephesians 2:6
For he raised us from the dead along with Christ, and we are seated with him in the heavenly realms – all because we are one with Christ Jesus.

SALVATION
Jesus has provided salvation for us.  He gives us a new heart.  We are reborn into His kingdom.  New life in Christ is new life.  Jesus is Lord of all.

 

11/16          Ephesians 2:7-8
And so God can always point to us as examples of the incredible wealth of his favor and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us through Christ Jesus.  God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.

GIFT
Grace has come to you.  Jesus was looking for you when you were lost.  Your salvation is a grace gift from the Lord.  He doesn’t need our help to complete His saving gift.  Our work is surrender and service.  Doing the next right thing is always the right thing to do.

 

11/17          Ephesians 2:9-10
Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.  For we are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

WORK
Our work is surrender and service.  It involves daily quiet time, Bible study, church, works of service and telling others what Jesus has done in our life.  Our work is not an activity for salvation because salvation is a gift from the Lord.  Our work is a result of His love for us.  His desire is that our surrender and service will permit Him to use us to the fullest in this life.

11/18          Psalm 75:1
We thank you, O God! We give thanks because you are near. People everywhere tell of your mighty miracles.

MAJESTY
I love the Grand Canyon.  It is majestic.  I love a misty street scene.  It has a quiet beauty.  I love a snow capped mountain.  What great beauty.  I love a see a new born baby.  It is pure and pretty.  Jesus is more majestic and beautiful than anything our minds can conjure up.  The beauty of this world is simply incomparable to the beauty of Jesus.

11/19          Psalm 75:2-5
God says, “At the time I have planned, I will bring justice against the wicked.  When the earth quakes and its people live in turmoil, I am the one who keeps its foundations firm.  “I warned the proud, ‘Stop your boasting!’ I told the wicked, ‘Don’t raise your fists!  Don’t lift your fists in defiance at the heavens or speak with rebellious arrogance.'”

CONTROL
Jesus is in control.  We do not have to live lives of quiet despair.  We can rejoice in who we are and what the Lord has assigned us to do.

 

11/20          Psalm 75:6
For no one on earth – from east or west, or even from the wilderness – can raise another person up.

LIFE
The Lord created all things and is over all things and at the same time knows all things.  Jesus gives us life as a gift.  It is eternal life and it brings us into the family of God.  His power is the power that creates new life.

 

11/21          Psalm 75:7-8
It is God alone who judges; he decides who will rise and who will fall.  For the LORD holds a cup in his hand; it is full of foaming wine mixed with spices. He pours the wine out in judgment, and all the wicked must drink it, draining it to the dregs.

EVIL
God has won the victory over evil.  We can appropriate that same victory over evil in our lives if we obey the Lord.  Obedience is the pathway to a powerful life and victory over sin.  Do the next right thing.

 

11/22           Psalm 75:9-10
But as for me, I will always proclaim what God has done; I will sing praises to the God of Israel.  For God says, “I will cut off the strength of the wicked, but I will increase the power of the godly.”

PROCLAMATION
When we accept new life in Christ and permit Him to have control of our life we will constantly be singing God’s praises.  Knowing Jesus and interacting with Him every day causes us to constantly talk about what Jesus is doing and to change our actions to the way Christ calls us to live.

 

11/23          Psalm 100:1-5
Shout with joy to the LORD, O earth!  Worship the LORD with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy.  Acknowledge that the LORD is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.   Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name.  For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

JOY
Joy is an interactive gift from the Lord.  When we praise Him we sense and feel the joy of His presence.  When we kneel before Him and glorify Him joy washes over us.  Fellowship with the Lord produces joy in the heart.  Spend time with Him today telling Him of all the wonderful things He has done in your life.  Before the end of the day you will be walking in joy.

 

11/24          Ephesians 2:11-12
Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders by birth. You were called “the uncircumcised ones” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from God’s people, Israel, and you did not know the promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope.

HOPE
Hope is not wishful thinking.  Hope changes us and empowers us.  Hope connects us with the promises of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Hope paves the way for us to look toward the certainty of our eternal life.  Hope reminds us of our value and encourages us as we seek to do that which the Lord created us for.  Hope is the connecting pathway for me to grow in mature in Christ.

 

11/25          Ephesians 2:13
But now you belong to Christ Jesus. Though you once were far away from God, now you have been brought near to him because of the blood of Christ.

NEAR
Salvation in Christ has brought us into the presence of God.  We will never be alone.  We will always be heard and the Lord is always seeking to comfort us.  In this world we will have trouble but the Lord is with us every moment of our life.

 

11/26          Ephesians 2:14
For Christ himself has made peace between us Jews and you Gentiles by making us all one people. He has broken down the wall of hostility that used to separate us.

PEACE
Jesus is our peace.  In Christ we have the gift of peace so that we can lead abundant lives.  Our responsibility is service.  We are to live with the full knowledge that the Lord is on our side and that He loves us totally.  People count with Jesus and we are called to make people count in our lives.

 

11/27          Ephesians 2:15-16
By his death he ended the whole system of Jewish law that excluded the Gentiles. His purpose was to make peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new person from the two groups.  Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.

PEACE
Jesus brings peace.  When we accept Christ He breaks down the barrier of sin and death between Himself and us and between people.  In Christ we can live a life of joy and peace knowing that God loves us and that we count.  Since we have value we value all those we come into contact with.  The more value we place on others the greater our own sense of value.  Jesus brings life and meaning to life.

11/28          Ephesians 2:17-20
He has brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and to us Jews who were near.  Now all of us, both Jews and Gentiles, may come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.  So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.  We are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets.  And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.

CITIZENSHIP
We are citizens of heaven.  We are members of God’s family.  Here on earth we represent Him.  Since we have citizenship we have rights and responsibilities.  The Lord will safeguard our rights.  We must accept and live up to the responsibilities of a member of the house of God.

 

11/29          Ephesians 2:21-22
We who believe are carefully joined together, becoming a holy temple for the Lord.  Through him you Gentiles are also joined together as part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.

UNITY
Our unity is in Christ.  The world will be a place of pain and suffering until Jesus comes back.  We live in Christ.  We live by Christ.  Today we serve Christ.

 

11/30          Psalm 101:1-2
I will sing of your love and justice. I will praise you, LORD, with songs.  I will be careful to live a blameless life – when will you come to my aid? I will lead a life of integrity in my own home.

TODAY
What I do now has eternal consequences.  Just as a rock tossed into a pond creates far reaching ripples, what I do affects the world I live in.  My strength is in Christ.  The motto for today is “do the next right thing.”

 

October 2006

10/01                    I Thessalonians 5:6-8
So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be sober.  Night is the time for sleep and the time when people get drunk.  But let us who live in the light think clearly, protected by the body armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.

READY
We live in a dangerous world.  Safety is always an illusion.  But we are not beaten down and overrun by fear.  We must always be alert to the activity of evil in the world especially today.  Jesus is Lord.  He will give us what we need to deal with the danger that we face every day.

 

10/02          I Thessalonians 5:9-10
For God decided to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. 10 He died for us so that we can live with him forever, whether we are dead or alive at the time of his return.

SALVATION
Jesus brings us into God’s family.  We belong in eternity and can live like it.  The world cannot defeat us nor can it destroy us.  We are just passing through.

 

10/03          I Thessalonians 5:11-13
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.  Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and warn you against all that is wrong.  Think highly of them and give them your wholehearted love because of their work. And remember to live peaceably with each other.

ENCOURAGEMENT
Say a word of encouragement to someone today.  We will discover encouragement for ourselves as we value others and encourage them.  What we do is an investment in our future.

 

10/04                    I Thessalonians 5:14-15
Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy.  Encourage those who are timid.  Take tender care of those who are weak.  Be patient with everyone.  See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to everyone else.

RESPONSIBILITY
I am responsible for the way I act.  My hands and feet are to be dedicated to the activity of the Lord moment by moment each day.  We are indeed our brother’s and sister’s keeper.  I am to help each person that I come into contact with and to do the good that I can as I walk in Christ daily.

 

10/05                    I Thessalonians 5:16-18
Always be joyful.  Keep on praying.  No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

LIFE
You and I are responsible for the way we respond to our lives.  If we are in constant contact with Jesus we will be changed from the way we act to the way Jesus acts.  Jesus wants us to be a part of His work on this earth.  He wants us to know that we are loved and useable.  I claim joy.  It is our right.

 

10/06          Genesis 3:21
And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.

SUFFICIENT
What we need is what Jesus provides.  He loves us.  He is seeking our willing commitment and usability.  The question for me is am I seeking a relationship with Jesus?  I am giving this day to the Lord.  One day I will be with Him for eternity.

 

10/07                    Genesis 6:5
Now the Lord observed the extent of the people’s wickedness, and he saw that all their thoughts were consistently and totally evil.

LOST
Without Jesus we are dead in our trespasses and sin.  In Jesus we have eternal life and the privilege of relationship and fellowship with the Lord.

 

10/08          Genesis 7:5
So Noah did exactly as the Lord had commanded him.  He was 600 years old when the flood came, and he went aboard the boat to escape, he and his wife and his sons and their wives.

OBEDIENCE
Obeying the Lord is for our good.  We may not see how it benefits us but the eternal truth is that it does.  Every thought the Lord has towards us is a thought for good.  God is love.

 

10/09          Genesis 11:4
Let’s build a great city with a tower that reaches to the skies, a monument to our greatness!  This will bring us together and keep us from scattering all over the earth.

MAN
Man’s plans are always self-focused.  More, bigger, better are the mantras of a society without God.  Jesus is focused on people.  He is concerned that each one of us has an abundant life.  He is willing and able to give anyone of us an abundant life.  God is love and in Him there is no evil.

 

10/10          Genesis 12:1
Then the Lord told Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s house and go to the land that I will show you.”

OBEDIENCE
Jesus is seeking to use us.  When He calls us to service our response is to be yes.  The greatest obstacles to joy in service is one’s insistence that they can’t, they don’t know how, they don’t have the money and they don’t have the time.

 

10/11          Genesis 14:19-20
Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing: “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.  And blessed by God Most High who has helped you conquer your enemies.”

ETERNITY
The Lord is the fullness of perfection and of love.  His blessing is valuable for our spiritual well being.  He is worthy of all our praise.  In Jesus we have the fullness of the Godhead bodily, bringing to each one of us peace for our life.  We live in victory.  His presence brings joy.

 

10/12          Genesis 15:6
And Abram believed the Lord and the Lord declared him righteous because of his faith.

BELIEVE
We are to believe in Jesus.  This belief will impel us to a changed life.  In Jesus I can do all things.  Those things I do are things that glorify the Father and bless all with whom I come into contact.  The activity of my faith is service to others.

 

10/13          Genesis 17:1-2
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.  I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to make you into a mighty nation.”

FAITHFULNESS
Christianity changes who we are and how we live.  Our insides are different.  It outfits us to have a relationship with the Lord High God.  What we are inside equips us to do what we do in our daily lives.  Our service is possible because of the faithfulness of our life.

 

10/14          Genesis  41:53
At last the seven years of plenty came to an end.

CHANGE
The world is always changing.  Prosperity comes and goes.  Tomorrow may be much different than today.  Yet one thing remains the same-Jesus.  Jesus never changes.  He never forgets us.  We will always belong to Him.  In a fast paced world that never caters to the individual we have a solid anchor in Jesus.

 

10/15          Genesis  45:8
Yes, it was God who sent me here, not you!

CONTROL
We can surrender our lives to Jesus and gain control of our life.  In Christ we are equipped to face our life.  There is valuable and unique worth in each person’s life.  We can find our value in Christ.  When Jesus is in control we can see.

 

10/16          Exodus 2:15
And sure enough, when Pharaoh heard about it, he gave orders to have Moses arrested and killed.  But Moses fled from Pharaoh and escaped to the land of Midian.  When Moses arrived in Midian, he sat down beside a well.

TIME
Doing the wrong thing puts us in the path of danger.  Jesus is always on time.  He will take us from where we are to where we need to be.  In this crisis in Moses’ life the Lord guided him to the place where he would be trained to be useful.  Do not fear, the Lord will do the same thing in each one of our lives.  Jesus will use us if we will let him.

 

10/17          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.”

KNOWN
Jesus knows us.  He knows what we are going through and His every thought for us is a thought for good.  Accept His blessing today.  Rejoice in your salvation.

 

10/18          Exodus 5:1-2
After this presentation to Israel’s leaders, Moses and Aaron went to see Pharaoh.  They told him, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go….”
“Is that so?” retorted Pharaoh.  “And who is the Lord that I should listen to him and let Israel go?”

JESUS
He is the great and mighty Lord, the creator of all things, our peace, our joy, our sustainer, the Holy One, who died for us and offers to us the gift of an eternal relationship.  Jesus is Lord.

 

10/19          Exodus 8:19
“This is the finger of God!” the magicians exclaimed to Pharaoh.  But Pharaoh’s heart remained hard and stubborn.  He wouldn’t listen to them, just as the Lord predicted.

CONTROL
Jesus is in charge.  He knows all things and can do anything.  Ask Him to change you to be His perfect servant.  He will change and equip you.

 

10/20           Exodus 15:27
After leaving Marah, they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees.  They camped there beside the springs.

DESPERATION
We cry out in desperation, “Lord, Help.”  At the point of our greatest failures we will find real victory in yielding to Jesus.  And just down the road we will find the victory that we are longing for.

 

10/21           Exodus 20:2
“I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt.”

SALVATION
Jesus rescues us from the desperate life all mankind experiences without Christ.  His salvation is a grace gift that restores us completely.  In Christ I have everything I need to serve the Lord.
10/22          Exodus 23:1
“Do not pass along false reports.  Do not cooperate with evil people by telling lies on the witness stand.”

HONESTY
Lying will put us in a bind.  Not only is it wrong it will often line us up with evil people.  Daily we are to prepare ourselves for battle being on the alert and ready to live like Jesus.  Forgiveness is available.  Strength to change is also available.  We are never at the mercy of sin.  Discipline in our spiritual journey and faith in the Lord Jesus will equip us to stand in the hour of testing.

 

10/23          Ephesians 1:1-2
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. 2 May grace and peace be yours, sent to you from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

GRACE
Jesus comes to us giving us what we need and cannot earn.  He is with us every moment of every day.  His love for us is an activity that is focused on us.  His grace brings into our hearts His presence and concern for us.  We can live each day knowing that He is with us.

 

10/24          Psalm 122:1-5
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.” 2 And now we are standing here inside your gates, O Jerusalem. 3 Jerusalem is a well-built city, knit together as a single unit. 4 All the people of Israel – the LORD’s people – make their pilgrimage here. They come to give thanks to the name of the LORD as the law requires. 5 Here stand the thrones where judgment is given, the thrones of the dynasty of David.

WORSHIP
Worship is a part of the normal Christian life.  Jesus is worthy of all our worship.  Worship equips us to face life’s great issues with an awareness of whose we are and to whom we belong.  Focus on His majesty and glory.  Jesus is Lord.

 

10/25          Ephesians 1:3
How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we belong to Christ.

JESUS
We are on mission for Jesus, sojourners in this world.  Our mission is to believe that He has a plan for our life, that we are valuable and that Jesus will use us to achieve His plans.  We are blessed in Jesus with everything we need to live an abundant life.  All of our life we are either dealing with trouble now or going to be dealing with trouble.  Jesus equips us to rejoice and live.  His victory is available for our life.

 

10/26          Ephesians 1:4-5
Long ago, even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.  His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure.

MINISTRY
Jesus equips each one of us for ministry.  Our usefulness is rooted in His ownership.  Our salvation is a gift.  Our relationship is a gift.  Our growth is a choice.  We discipline ourselves to spend time with Him and to remember the lessons that He teaches us.  Jesus would that each one of us lead abundant lives as members of the royal family of God.

 

10/27          Ephesians 1:6-7
So we praise God for the wonderful kindness he has poured out on us because we belong to his dearly loved Son.  He is so rich in kindness that he purchased our freedom through the blood of his Son, and our sins are forgiven.

OWNERSHIP
When we come into the family of God we belong to Him.  He has shown us His love and commitment.  We are no longer slaves to sin nor can this world defeat us.  We are valuable and useful.  Today is the day of victory and peace and joy.  We can claim it.

 

10/28          Ephesians 1:8
He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

VALUE
We are the focus of God’s love.  Where ever we are whatever we are doing we belong to Him.  We can live with confidence and assurance that the Lord will be with us and will give us the wisdom we need to deal with our life.  When our life is hard our Lord is close.

 

10/29          Ephesians 1:9
God’s secret plan has now been revealed to us; it is a plan centered on Christ, designed long ago according to his good pleasure. 10 And this is his plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ – everything in heaven and on earth.

CHRIST
Jesus is God’s everything.  He is in charge.  We become useable when we give Him control of our life.  The Lord is able to use us where we are for His glory and honor.  In Christ we partake of the victory of the Lord.  In Christ we can deal with every obstacle that presents itself.  When Jesus rules our life, joy and peace are present.

 

10/30          Psalm 122:6-9
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper.  O Jerusalem, may there be peace within your walls and prosperity in your palaces.  For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “Peace be with you.”  For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek what is best for you, O Jerusalem.

PEACE
Peace is in short supply in today’s world.  You and I can have peace in Jesus.  The Lord is coming back.  When He does peace will reign.

 

10/31          Psalm 123:1-4
I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven.  We look to the LORD our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.  Have mercy on us, LORD, have mercy, for we have had our fill of contempt.  We have had our fill of the scoffing of the proud and the contempt of the arrogant.

FOCUS
We all face trouble every day of our life.  Our call is to focus our minds and our hearts upon Jesus.  When Jesus is the center of our life, we will be equipped to handle the onslaught of the world.  We will not fail.  We will not be irrelevant.  We will be equipped and ready to face each obstacle as an opportunity.  Focus on Jesus and He will give you what you need to live an abundant life.

September 2006

9/1              2 Kings 17:35-36
For the LORD had made a covenant with the descendants of Jacob and commanded them: “Do not worship any other gods or bow before them or serve them or offer sacrifices to them.  Worship only the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt with such mighty miracles and power. You must worship him and bow before him; offer sacrifices to him alone.

WORSHIP
Think about Jesus.  Place Him foremost in your thoughts.  Every thought of fear or failure, of anxiety or defeat bring to Jesus.  Discuss your plans with Him and ask Him which way you should go.

 

9/2              Psalm 121:1-3
I lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.  He will not let your foot slip– he who watches over you will not slumber;

FOCUS
We will find victory in Jesus.  He wants all of us.  All of your fears and confidence, putting ourselves in His hands to lead, guide and protect.  Our fellowship with Him results in friendship for living.

 

9/3              Judges 4:14
Then Deborah said to Barak, “Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?” So Barak went down Mount Tabor, followed by ten thousand men.

FEAR
We can do what Jesus calls us to do.  We are not at the mercy of our inadequacies.  What ever we need to do what the Lord has called us to do He will give it to us.  The word for us today is “Go.”

 

9/4              Luke 8:18
Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.”

LISTEN
It takes time for us to listen to Jesus.  We need to spend time with Him every morning and every night.  The more time we spend with Jesus the better we get at listening because we soon run out of things to say.

 

9/5              Joshua 24:14
“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.

IDOLATRY
We must guard against making anything in our life an idol.  The world is aggressive and is always seeking to trip us up.  Be alert and on your guard.  We must throw away our idols.

 

9/6              Judges 16:20
Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.

ALERT
We are called to live life with care.  We are to be on the alert for our own foolishness and the onslaught of evil.  When we think we okay is immediately before the attack begins.  Careful living requires that I spend time with Jesus, reading His word and talking with Him.

 

9/7              Psalm 122:1
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”

CHURCH
We go to church because it is important for us to participate in corporate worship of the Lord Jesus.  We go to church because it helps us grow.  We go to church because the Lord has an appointment with us.

 

9/8              Exodus 20:1-3
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.

IDOLS
What do you do that stands in the way of serving the Lord?  You know in your heart what it is and you are often saddened by your continued abuse of your focus on Jesus.  This too can be changed.  Get before the Lord, confess your sin, accept forgiveness and restore your faithfulness in your relationship with Jesus.

 

9/9              Exodus 20:17
“Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else your neighbor owns.”

VALUE
You are valuable to Jesus.  Not your gifts or your wealth or any other thing that the world looks at as value-you count with Jesus.  When you kneel before the Father, remember that He is waiting right now to hear from you.

 

9/10            Exodus 20:20
“Don’t be afraid,” Moses said, “for God has come in this way to show you his awesome power. From now on, let your fear of him keep you from sinning!”

REVERANCE
God is great, God is good.  We belong to Him.  Our love and recognition of His greatness and power calls us to obedience.  Do not look upon your relationship as a sometime thing.  You and I are important to Jesus and it is an all time thing.

 

9/11            Numbers 9:15-16
The Tabernacle was set up, and on that day the cloud covered it. Then from evening until morning the cloud over the Tabernacle appeared to be a pillar of fire.  This was the regular pattern – at night the cloud changed to the appearance of fire.

SIGHT
Our sight is one of faith.  We see now only darkly but one day the magnificent light of the Lord will be displayed before our very eyes.  As you keep a journal of your prayer time and time with Jesus be sure to write down your requests.  You will see His presence as He is faithful in meeting your needs.  The Lord will even surprise you as He turns what the world meant for evil into a blessing and strength.  Be sure to “see” the Lord.

 

9/12            Psalm 125:1
Those who trust in the LORD are as secure as Mount Zion; they will not be defeated but will endure forever.

SECURITY
Our security is not from flesh and blood.  Our security is in Jesus.  He will not forsake us.  He has won the victory and our life is lived in His victorious entourage.  Rejoice and march, Jesus is in control.

 

9/13            Gen. 22:13-14
Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering on the altar in place of his son.  Abraham named the place “The LORD Will Provide.” This name has now become a proverb: “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”

NEED
We are confused by the difference between wants and needs.  Our sinful nature spurs our wants.  The heart of the Father is to meet our needs.  Jesus will meet every need that we have.

 

9/14            2 Tim. 3:1-2
You should also know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.  For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.

REALITY
The world never changes.  It is always sinful, and always serving those interests that are in direct opposition to the Lord.  Jesus loves us, is always interested in our best good.  Let us look to Jesus and not be fixated on the world.

 

9/15            Acts 2:16-18
No, what you see this morning was predicted centuries ago by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God said, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.  In those days I will pour out my Spirit upon all my servants, men and women alike, and they will prophesy.

PROPHESY
We are filled with the Spirit of God and are called to tell everyone about Jesus.  Prophesy at its very basic meaning is simply forth telling.  Tell everyone about Jesus.

 

9/16            1 Thess. 5:3-5
When people are saying, “All is well; everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall upon them as suddenly as a woman’s birth pains begin when her child is about to be born. And there will be no escape.  But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief.  For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night.

LIGHT
Darkness has no property.  It is simply the absence of light.  When we give our hearts to Jesus and focus our lives on Him we are constantly walking in the light.  Spend time with the Lord now.  One day we will see Him face to face and will spend eternity with Him.

 

9/17            Luke 24:1-3
But very early on Sunday morning the women came to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared.  They found that the stone covering the entrance had been rolled aside.  So they went in, but they couldn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus.

FEAR
The women were afraid.  Their love for Jesus overcame their fear.  When we live a life devoted to spending time with Jesus we will also be able to face our fear and do the right thing.  Jesus will calm our fears, strengthen our hearts and give us the wisdom we need to live an abundant life.

 

9/18            Luke 24:13-16
That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles out of Jerusalem.  As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened.  Suddenly, Jesus himself came along and joined them and began walking beside them.  But they didn’t know who he was, because God kept them from recognizing him.

SIGHT
We want to see Jesus.  We belittle ourselves about our fears and frustrations.  Too often we think if only I.  Jesus gives us the sight we need to do what only we can do.  Rejoice because you are valuable to Him.

 

9/19            Psalm 42:21
I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and stand before him?

HOLINESS
The world burdens us.  The world abuses us.  The world seeks to separate us from those things that build our relationship with Jesus.  When we know this and experience the reality of struggle that developing a consistency of Christ likeness in our lives causes our spiritual being cries out to see Jesus.  You Lord are everything to us.

 

9/20            1 Corinthians 13:1
If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth but didn’t love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal.

ACTION
What we do speaks louder than words.  If I love I will change.  If I love I will set aside my pride, ego and self-centeredness.  If I love I will give the rude driver more room.  If I love I will make others more important than myself.  And when I do this I will grow and become the person I always knew that I would be.

 

9/21            Psalm 84:10-12
A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.  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.  O LORD Almighty, happy are those who trust in you.

TIME
Time distorts our view of life.  The ravages of time destroy our bodies and work against our ability to serve.  We are constantly on the alert to using our time well.  But Jesus is in charge of time.  His timing is never off.  He will never forget where we are.   He always knows what time it is.

 

9/22            2 Corinthians 5:1
For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down – when we die and leave these bodies – we will have a home in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.

HOME
Our home is waiting for our arrival.  Our family members who have died in the Lord are waiting for us.  There is no time in heaven and when we get there it will be as though we were always there.  When things really spin out of control I remember about my home.  We are sojourners and this place is not our home.

 

9/23            2 Corinthians 5:2-4
We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long for the day when we will put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.  For we will not be spirits without bodies, but we will put on new heavenly bodies.  Our dying bodies make us groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and have no bodies at all. We want to slip into our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by everlasting life.

AGING
None of us will age gracefully.  Aging brings many unwanted changes.  My prayer for each one of us is that we grow in Christ likeness.  As we mature in Christ I pray that our maturity will be greater than our age.

 

9/24            2 Corinthians 5:5-7
God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.  So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord.  That is why we live by believing and not by seeing.

FAITH
Faith equips me for use.  Faith conquers failure.  Faith enables me to love the unlovely and to serve the ungrateful.  Faith is my victory.

 

9/25            Matthew 5:13
“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it useful again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

CHRISTIAN
We will be known by the way we act.  If we act like Jesus the world will immediately identify that we are different.  Many times the world will respond negatively to us.  Do not fear nor be downtrodden.  Jesus conquered this world and so will we.

 

9/26            Matthew 5:14-15
You are the light of the world – like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see.  Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all.

CHRISTIAN
Be who you are.  Live like you should.  Rejoice because Jesus lives.  Remind yourself that you are a sojourner just passing through.  Make sure that what you do reflects well on Jesus.

9/27            Hebrews 7:19-21
For the law made nothing perfect, and now a better hope has taken its place. And that is how we draw near to God.  God took an oath that Christ would always be a priest, but he never did this for any other priest.  Only to Jesus did he say, “The Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow: ‘You are a priest forever.'”

JESUS
Jesus is God’s everything.  He will deal with our problems.  He will fix our spiritual being.  He is seeking to have a relationship with us.  He died for our sin.  He loves you and me.

 

9/28            Mark 14:32
And they came to an olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.”

CARE
Jesus thought about you there in the Garden of Gethsemane.  He knew your struggle with sin and the desperate need for forgiveness that each one of us has.  He willingly shed His blood so that we might have life.  Jesus leads us in His victory.

 

9/29            Titus 2:11
For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.

GRACE
Grace works among us.  It is the activity of God giving us what we need and cannot earn.  We need grace every moment of every day.  Jesus has enough grace to meet each one of our needs.  It is given freely and of great worth.  Grace is greater than all of our sin.

 

9/30            Matthew 5:3
“God blesses those who realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them.

NEED
We are blessed when we know our need for Jesus.  We need to be saved.  We need to grow.  We need grace and wisdom to deal with daily life.  We need strength for the journey of life.  We need joy so that we can recognize the value of our life.

August 2006

August 1              1 Chronicles 29:10-11
Then David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly: “O LORD, the God of our ancestor Israel, may you be praised forever and ever!  Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O LORD, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things.

POWER
You and I get all that we have from the Lord.  When we recognize who He is and what we are life becomes worthwhile.  He is Lord and we belong to Him.

 

August 2              Jeremiah 15:19-20
The LORD replied, “If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak words that are worthy, you will be my spokesman. You are to influence them; do not let them influence you!  They will fight against you like an attacking army, but I will make you as secure as a fortified wall. They will not conquer you, for I will protect and deliver you. I, the LORD, have spoken!

SECURITY
The world cannot destroy us.  Failure, disappointment, defeat, discouragement do not have a hold on us because we belong to Jesus.  Rejoice and be thankful.  Our Father is in control.

 

August 3              Hebrews 13:6
That is why we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

LIFE
We have real life in Jesus.  This life is effective to carry us into and through eternity.  Remember who you are and whose you are.  Jesus will not forsake you nor will He leave you in a lurch.  Move forward.  Jesus loves you.

 

August 4              Psalm 111:1
Praise the LORD! I will thank the LORD with all my heart as I meet with his godly people.

THANKSGIVING
There is tremendous strength and encouragement in thanksgiving.  It blesses our hearts.  It lifts our minds.  It opens us up to the inner working of the Holy Spirit.  Give thanks in all things and praise the Lord.

 

August 5              Psalm 111:3-4
Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails.  Who can forget the wonders he performs? How gracious and merciful is our LORD!

MERCIFUL
It is difficult to be merciful.  Our egos are usually in full control.  Mercy is important for us to establish as a basic part of our character.  When we are merciful we are more like Jesus.  Mercy is a powerful tool in our spiritual growth.  When slighted or wronged we are called to be merciful, especially when we are right.

 

August 6              2 Samuel 22:2-4
“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, my high tower, my savior, the one who saves me from violence.  I will call on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, for he saves me from my enemies.

WHOLENESS
What we don’t have or can’t do tracks us down and pulls us towards the wrong path.  We walk by faith and full assurance.  The Lord is able, will be able and is presently active and able to deal with what we are facing.  Jesus is indeed our rock.  Jesus will walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death and shadow of destruction.  He is alive and lives in us.

 

August 7              Psalm 119:1-3
Happy are people of integrity who follow the law of the LORD.  Happy are those who obey his decrees and search for him with all their hearts.  They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths.

HAPPINESS
Happiness is a result of what we are.  Obedience flows from our heart and is the result of the Holy Spirit living in us and controlling us.  Happiness is never easy nor is it the thing we seek.  We want to be more like Jesus.  When we act like Jesus happiness is always present.

August 8              Revelation 22:6-7
Then the angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true: ‘The Lord God, who tells his prophets what the future holds, has sent his angel to tell you what will happen soon.'”  “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed are those who obey the prophecy written in this scroll.”

RETURN
We serve a living Lord Jesus who is coming back.  The early church was looking for Him everyday.  It affected the way they did business, and lived.  Jesus is coming back.  His return will be soon.

 

August 9              Psalm 146:1-4
Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, I tell myself.  I will praise the LORD as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God even with my dying breath.  Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.  When their breathing stops, they return to the earth, and in a moment all their plans come to an end.

PRAISE
Life comes from the Lord so I will praise Him.  He loves me and paid the price on the cross for me so I will praise Him.  I have a friend in Jesus so I will praise Him.  He provides for my every need so I will praise Him.

 

August 10            John 1:1-4
In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  He created everything there is. Nothing exists that he didn’t make.  Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone.

WORD
The Word of God, Jesus, guides us each moment.  We discover about the character of our Lord in his Scriptures-The Word.  There is light in a relationship with Jesus.  He will give us the wisdom, mercy and grace to keep moving forward in faith as we serve Him.

 

August 11            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.

JOY
Our joy does not depend on circumstance.  It is not limited by our position in society.  Our joy is the result of recognizing who God is and who we are.  We are loved and protected.  There is great joy for a child of the Lord.

 

August 12            John 2:15-16
Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and oxen, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables.  Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Don’t turn my Father’s house into a marketplace!”

FOCUS
The Christian life is a life of single-minded focus.  The world will quickly overwhelm me if I am undisciplined.  Only when I am under the control of the Holy Spirit will I walk and live like Jesus.

 

August 13            Galatians 6:1-2
Dear brothers and sisters, if another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.  Share each other’s troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

RESPONSIBILITY
You and I are responsible for those around us.  We must commit ourselves to pray for others.  We are to be helpful to others.  Our life and testimony must be Christ like.  The world will not change if we don’t change it.

 

August 14            John 4:9-10
The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”  Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

LIFE
Life comes from a relationship with Jesus.  Our lineage, position, importance, capability or disability has no bearing on our standing with the Father.  We become a member of the family of God by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  Life is a gift from the Father.

 

August 15            Isaiah 44:1-2
But now, listen to me, Jacob my servant, Israel my chosen one.  The LORD who made you and helps you says: O Jacob, my servant, do not be afraid. O Israel, my chosen one, do not fear.

CHOSEN
Who so ever will may come to Christ for life.  When I come to Jesus and ask Him to save me I become chosen of God.  Salvation is a once and forever event.  When I come into the family of God I will never be cast out.

 

August 16            Matthew 11:20-24
Then Jesus began to denounce the cities where he had done most of his miracles, because they hadn’t turned from their sins and turned to God.  “What horrors await you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have sat in deep repentance long ago, clothed in sackcloth and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse.  I assure you, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on the judgment day than you!  And you people of Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to the place of the dead.  For if the miracles I did for you had been done in Sodom, it would still be here today.  I assure you, Sodom will be better off on the judgment day than you.”

CAREFUL
Jesus loves people.  Religious fervor will not give us a relationship with Christ.  Salvation is a gift from the Father.  Our life is based on the payment Jesus made for our sin by dying on the cross.  His shed blood gives you and me access to the Family of God.  Jesus is Lord and seeks each one of us to bestow upon us the gift of life.

 

August 17            Isaiah 44:9-10
How foolish are those who manufacture idols to be their gods. These highly valued objects are really worthless. They themselves are witnesses that this is so, for their idols neither see nor know. No wonder those who worship them are put to shame.  Who but a fool would make his own god – an idol that cannot help him one bit!

IDOLS
What has your attention?  That is your idol.  If anything takes a bigger place in our lives than Jesus then that is our idol.  An idol cannot do anything for us.  Idols quickly become heavy burdens that will grind us down and leave us in desperate situations.

 

August 18            Matthew 5:1-12
One day as the crowds were gathering, Jesus went up the mountainside with his disciples and sat down to teach them.  This is what he taught them: “God blesses those who realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them.

CONFIDENCE
A confident life does not look at its strengths and assets.  A confident life puts life issues into the hands of Jesus.  Whatever our gift, whatever our blessing we must constantly come back to Jesus.  Jesus is life and the giver of life.  His presence is required to lead a normal Christian life.

 

August 19            Nehemiah 4:14-15
Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the leaders and the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your friends, your families, and your homes!”  When our enemies heard that we knew of their plans and that God had frustrated them, we all returned to our work on the wall.

ACTIVE
Our Lord is active.  He is involved in our lives.  He is ahead of us and knows our needs before we do.  When we bend the knee and seek His wisdom, mercy, grace and leadership He gives it to us.  Jesus is alive and lives in us.

 

August 20            Isaiah 30:7
Egypt’s promises are worthless! I call her the Harmless Dragon.

WEALTH
Wealth is not a safe harbor in times of trouble.  The world changes quickly and without warning.  When we place our confidence in things of this world we are basing our life on shifting sand.  When we build our life with Jesus at the center we are putting our confidence in the eternal Lord.

 

August 21            Zechariah 14:20
On that day even the harness bells of the horses will be inscribed with these words: SET APART AS HOLY TO THE LORD. And the cooking pots in the Temple of the LORD will be as sacred as the basins used beside the altar.

RETURN
Jesus is coming back.  He is coming back for His children.  The timing of this is not an issue.  We can have confidence in His wisdom and live our life knowing that the Lord of all will not forget us.

 

August 22            Isaiah 9:4
For God will break the chains that bind his people and the whip that scourges them, just as he did when he destroyed the army of Midian with Gideon’s little band.

DELIVERANCE
The Lord is our deliverer.  He will make a way for us to get back on the right path.  When we find ourselves at the end of our abilities we can live one moment at a time trusting the Lord.  He is faithful.  We are His beloved.

 

August 23            1 Samuel 17:11
When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken.

CHALLENGE
The Philistines had challenged Israel.  They were deeply afraid because of the might of the opposing forces and size of Goliath.  When you find yourself overwhelmed and outnumbered go to Jesus and ask Him to fight your fight.  He will give you the wisdom, mercy, grace and understanding to overcome that which is seeking to destroy you.

 

August 24            Joshua 10:7-8
So Joshua and the entire Israelite army left Gilgal and set out to rescue Gibeon.  “Do not be afraid of them,” the LORD said to Joshua, “for I will give you victory over them. Not a single one of them will be able to stand up to you.”

WORK
Victory in Jesus sometimes requires hard work and patience on our part.  A good work ethic at work and at home will often be used by the Lord.  He will equip us but we must walk the walk.

 

August 25            Isaiah 25:1-2
O LORD, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God. You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now you have accomplished them.  You turn mighty cities into heaps of ruins. Cities with strong walls are turned to rubble. Beautiful palaces in distant lands disappear and will never be rebuilt.

PRAISE
The Lord Jesus is worthy of all our praise.  He loves us and is seeking for our best good.  We are encouraged to praise the Lord in all areas of our life.  Praising Him strengthens us.  Praising Him fills us with and awareness of His greatness and glory.  Thank you Lord for saving us and making us part of your family.

 

 

August 26            Matthew 16:6
“Watch out!” Jesus warned them. “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

EASY
It is so easy for us to go astray.  Not in evil but in the absence of love.  Life is hard, disappointing and unfair.  But we must guard against becoming hard as we live in the world.  Obedience is key.  Do the next right thing.  Maintain a glad and grateful heart.

 

August 27            Matthew 11:28-30
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.”

HURTING
We hurt because of many different things.  Sometimes it is our fault and sometimes it isn’t.  Always we have access to Jesus.  He will walk with us as we struggle through hurt.  He will comfort us and give us strength.  We can live our life with the absolute assurance that Jesus will never forsake us or fail to help us deal with our life.

 

August 28            Isaiah 26:3-4
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you!  Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock.

TRUST
Trust affects my view of life and it changes the way I respond to others.  It is an activity of the mind and heart.  Trust is developed in concert with Jesus.  We spend time with Him.  We study His word.  We take that word into our heart and let the Holy Spirit work on our inner being.  Once we are living under His control we will begin to act like Jesus.

 

August 29            Luke 4:4
But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People need more than bread for their life.’

SPIRITUALITY
Our life in the spirit is a personal journey between us and Jesus.  The way others know that I am spiritual is not because I tell them but by the way I treat them.  Our spiritual self needs guidance, healing, strength, peace and direction and we get this by spending time with Jesus.

 

August 30            1 Kings 18:21
Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How long are you going to waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent.

CHOICES
We have just as much of Jesus as we want.  Our life in Christ is developed by time with Jesus.  Our heart is changed by letting Him have control of us and guiding through life’s complications moment by moment.

 

August 31            Isaiah 40:13
Who is able to advise the Spirit of the LORD? Who knows enough to be his teacher or counselor?

LORD
I can have full confidence in Jesus.  He is God’s Everything.  I begin with Jesus.  I stay with Jesus and I will wind up with Jesus.  Trust that this is true, experience His presence, stay in His word and let Him change you.

July 2006

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

TRUST
We can know Him and trust Him with our daily life.  Jesus is the resource for our life.  He is faithful, he does listen and He will be our strength and protector.  Help is always near, we are never alone and Jesus loves each one of us as if there was no one else.

 

July 2                   Psalm 55:22
Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles.

ANSWERS
The world is full of questions.  We struggle to find the correct answer to our problems and many times wind up frustrated and disappointed.  Stop and pray.  Talk with Jesus about your problems and give Him the time and trust to answer you.  He will.  He will tell you what you need to do to deal with your troubles.

 

July 3                   Psalm 138:7
Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will preserve me against the anger of my enemies. You will clench your fist against my angry enemies! Your power will save me.

DAILY
Life is lived one moment at a time.  Our relationship with Jesus equips us to live our life this very moment.  He will not let us be destroyed.  He will not fail to help us.  Jesus is life and in Him we find the resources to appropriate and activate His life in us.

 

July 4                   1 Corinthians 4:10-13
Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you are so wise! We are weak, but you are so powerful! You are well thought of, but we are laughed at.  To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, without enough clothes to keep us warm. We have endured many beatings, and we have no homes of our own.  We have worked wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us.  We respond gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world’s garbage, like everybody’s trash – right up to the present moment.

JOY
Joy is a gift from Jesus and is never something we find in the world.  Surrender and obedience always conquers the bluff and bluster of impending doom.  Rejoice in your life and His strength.

 

July 5                   2 Timothy 2:16-17
Work hard so God can approve you. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.  Avoid godless, foolish discussions that lead to more and more ungodliness.

REALITY
Life is real and it demands my attention and hard work.  Salvation in Christ is a reality and it is a gift from the Lord.  My salvation is not to indemnify me against eternal separation.  Salvation gives me access to the Father so that I can be the person the He created me to be.  In this world hard work is required.

 

 

July 6                   Hebrews 12:1-4
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.

LIFE
Life is a marathon not a sprint.  What we do each day is important and how we relate our spiritual knowledge with our daily life impacts others.

 

July 7                   Deuteronomy 4:30-31
“When those bitter days have come upon you far in the future, you will finally return to the LORD your God and listen to what he tells you.  For the LORD your God is merciful – he will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors.

FORGIVENESS
Sometimes we lose our way.  Pride seeks to keep us on the wrong track.  If you are not as close as you once were stop right now and simply ask Jesus to bring you back to where you should be.  Jettison pride.  Follow Jesus.

 

July 8                   Psalm 94:12-13
Happy are those whom you discipline, LORD, and those whom you teach from your law.  You give them relief from troubled times until a pit is dug for the wicked.

DISCIPLINE
You and I want to run our own lives.  Too often we don’t look for the Lord’s way until we are in trouble.  Oh we say all the right things but our heart does otherwise.  Jesus knows our heart and He knows when we need help to return to the guided path.  His discipline equips us to do that.

 

July 9                   Proverbs 3:11-12
My child, don’t ignore it when the LORD disciplines you, and don’t be discouraged when he corrects you.  For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.

DISCIPLINE
Who is it causing your pain?  What are you tripping over?  Ask the Lord if He is trying to get your attention.  Could it be that hate has you sidelined?  Is there someone you have mistreated?  The Lord will lead you on the right path.  Let Him have His way with you.

 

July 10       Acts 14:21-22
After preaching the Good News in Derbe and making many disciples, Paul and Barnabas returned again to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia, where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that they must enter into the Kingdom of God through many tribulations.

TRIALS
The normal Christian life includes many difficulties and tribulations.  All around us is a lost world and we struggle to make sense out of it.  Jesus struggles with us and He will never leave us.  In the midst of adversity we have a right to grow.  Adversity can show us the kind of person that we’ve always known we should be.  Adversity is not a description of what kind of Christian we are.  It is a testimony to who we belong to.

 

July 11       Psalm 69:1
Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck.

PRAYER
Conversation with Jesus is important.  It is always important.  We often forget the great need for relationship with Christ when things are going well.  Then in the midst of trouble we remember our need for His help.  Pray then at your point of need and when things get better remember your need for prayer.  Spend time with Jesus all the time.

 

July 12       Romans 8:1
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

SALVATION
Jesus gives us the gift of salvation.  When we claim it He commits to us for eternity.  Our eternal relationship is eternal.  I belong to Him not based on what I’ve done but because of what He has done.  Lord thank you for your gift of salvation.

 

July 13       Psalm 73:3
For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.

NEED
Jesus will meet our needs.  He will not shortchange us.  We were not given life to experience constant deprivation; we have everything we need in Christ.  When heartache hits and the green-eyed monster of jealousy comes calling go to Jesus and talk with Him about your pain and He will meet your need.

 

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

TRUST
We can trust the Lord.  Our value is ensured by His faithfulness.  Do not be fooled and especially never think that your life isn’t special.  We belong to Him and He lives in us.  Our life counts and we are worthy in Jesus.

 

July 15       Romans 5:3-5
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us – they help us learn to endure.  And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation.  And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

TRUTH
Our life is valuable.  We are encouraged by the Holy Spirit to move towards Jesus.  Whether we are rich or poor, winning or losing we can keep growing.  Jesus loves us and we can function day by day with this knowledge.  As we live life we will be astonished at how much we can do when we live day by day.  Today is important.  What we do now counts.

 

July 16       Romans 8:17-18
And since we are his children, we will share his treasures – for everything God gives to his Son, Christ, is ours, too. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.  Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will give us later.

SUFFERING
Suffering is real.  Suffering is part of the normal Christian life.  Jesus walks with us through our suffering and equips us to withstand the destructiveness of this world.  We are not alone.  Jesus is Lord.

 

July 17       Psalm 73:17-20
Then one day I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I thought about the destiny of the wicked.  Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction.  In an instant they are destroyed, swept away by terrors.   Their present life is only a dream that is gone when they awake. When you arise, O Lord, you will make them vanish from this life.

SUFFERING
Our suffering is just for a short time.  Let us lay aside the fears and cares and worries of this life and share Jesus with all of those we meet.  Sharing Christ will change my life and cause me to begin looking at the lost with a heart of concern.

 

July 18       Romans 8:28
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

CALLED
If a person belongs to Jesus they are called.  This call demands a response.  The thoughts and activities of our lives are the response that we make to the call of Christ to follow Him.

 

July 19       2 Corinthians 4:17-18
For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever!  So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.

SUFFERING

When we have trouble and are suffering it is real.  Our confidence in Jesus is not an admonition to discount the impact of suffering and trouble.  Our confidence in Jesus is an affirmation of our faith.  We suffer and we survive because of our fellowship with the Lord.  He is in control and we are under His protection.  We can stand, we can rejoice, we can live relevant and valuable lives because Jesus is Lord.

 

July 20       2 Timothy 2:12
If we endure hardship, we will reign with him. If we deny him, he will deny us.

ENDURANCE
We have those days when it seems that our problems are overwhelming.  Nothing will change, the pain will never end, and the failure is so catastrophic that we feel in our hearts that we are losers.  All I can say is that is the time when we must simply hang on.  We never have complete knowledge.  We cannot divine the future.  But we belong to the one who owns the future.  Hang on because Jesus is Lord.

July 21       James 1:2-3
Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy.  For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

TROUBLE
Most of us never look for trouble, it comes unbidden.  Most of us do not make preparations for joy, it comes unbidden.  Life happens.  What we can make preparations for is to grow in our time with the Lord and let Him have control of us.  As He controls us our heart will constantly rejoice and we will face the activities of life with a clear sense of His presence and our value.  We have much to offer.  We are partners together with the Lord in our world.

 

July 22       James 1:12
God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

ENDURANCE
Endurance is not required to be pretty nor do we receive a grade.  Endurance is showing up.  Am I praying?  Am I changing?  Is Jesus the center?  These are the basics of endurance.  For a moment, a day and sometimes longer we may be overwhelmed and on the sideline but still we pray.  When all else has failed still we pray.  We endure.

 

July 23       1 Peter 1:7
These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

FAITH
We hold on not because we are strong but because we have the unshakeable confidence that the Lord Jesus is holding on to us.  We bend but do not break.  We fail but do not lose.  The world turns its back upon us but the sweet warmth of the face of the Lord Jesus looks on as we struggle and survive.  He will not fail us.  He will not leave us.  He will not assign us an ignominious task.  Jesus is Lord.

 

July 24       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
We cannot see tomorrow.  We cannot change the past.  We can live now.  Whatever we face we can succeed and survive.  Jesus is with us.  He will give us His strength to face the difficulties of today.

 

July 25       Psalm 55:16-17
But I will call on God, and the LORD will rescue me.  Morning, noon, and night I plead aloud in my distress, and the LORD hears my voice.

ANSWERS
Yes is the answer when we have a need.  Yes the Lord will be with us.  Yes the Lord will strengthen and comfort us.  Yes the Lord will see us through.  Yes we will always be in His family.  Yes, yes, yes, Jesus loves us.

 

July 26       Psalm 138:3
When I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me the strength I need.

ANSWERS
Needs come from us and answers come from Jesus.  He will answer you and His answer will always meet your need.  Jesus is Lord and we belong to Him.  Do not falter and do not fear for the Lord is with you.

 

July 27       Romans 8:2
For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death.

FREEDOM
Real freedom stretches through eternity.  Jesus is able to meet the needs of each one of us as if there were no other of us.  Take your needs to Jesus and He will meet them.

 

July 28       2 Corinthians 10:3
We are human, but we don’t wage war with human plans and methods.

WAR
Remember that the world, the flesh and the devil are seeking to discourage and destroy you.  You do not have the strength to defeat these authorities by yourself.  Only Jesus can provide the strength you need to fight the fight of faith.  Go to Jesus every day and ask Him for strength to face that day.

 

July 29       Philippians 4:8
And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

THOUGHTS
The battle is in our minds.  Our hands and our feet are controlled by what we think.  Our attitude is controlled by our heart.  Lift up your mind and heart to Jesus and ask Him to change what you think about.  Think about Him.  Think about the wonderful blessings that Jesus has place in and on your life.

 

July 30       Colossians 1:13
For he has rescued us from the one who rules in the kingdom of darkness, and he has brought us into the Kingdom of his dear Son.

LIGHT
We live and walk in the light.  Jesus is the light of the Lord God come to us.  Read His Word, let Him have control of your mind and heart and bend your knee in service to Him.  Live your life as a child of the King and know that you are precious and beloved.

 

July 31       James 1:21
So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your souls.

ETERNITY
Claim the power that Jesus has given you and let Him clean your mind.  Once our minds are properly focused our hearts will get right.  A pure heart will do things that honor Jesus.  Honor Jesus by the way you life.

June 2006

June 1        Ephesians 1:15-17
Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for Christians everywhere, I have never stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.

PRAYER
I pray for you.  We pray for each other.  Prayer is an exercise of faith.  When we pray we are letting the Lord mold us and shape us.  The Lord will teach us as we pray.

 

June 2        Ephesians 3:14-16
When I think of the wisdom and scope of God’s plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit.

PRAYER
We are a guest of the Lord on this earth.  Our time is short and the days pass fast.  Prayer brings us into the presence of the Lord.  He is in control.  He is not limited by time.  He knows what tomorrow will bring.  As we speak to Him and put our life into His hands we will grow in faith and in knowledge of Jesus.

 

June 3        Philippians 1:3-6
Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.  I always pray for you, and I make my requests with a heart full of joy because you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.  And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.

PRAYER
There is no place for jealousy in the kingdom.  We are called to be prayer warriors for each other and to rejoice as the Lord uses anyone of us.  Time with Jesus is time well spent.  Time with Jesus is more time that He can use us in His work.

 

June 4        Philippians 1:9-11
I pray that your love for each other will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in your knowledge and understanding.  For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until Christ returns.  May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation– those good things that are produced in your life by Jesus Christ – for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

PRAY
Intercede for brothers and sisters in Christ.  Pray for their well being, for their strength and wisdom and that they will grow in their likeness of Jesus.  Pray as though someone is depending on you because they are.

 

June 5        Colossians 1:11-12
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, always thanking the Father, who has enabled you to share the inheritance that belongs to God’s holy people, who live in the light.

REALITY
Time with Jesus is time well spent.  He is Lord and is willing to lead, guide and direct our lives.  His love for us is beyond our ability as mortals to comprehend but by faith we can experience that love and live with His love.  Joy and peace are gifts of His love and you and I can claim that each day.  We live in the light when we focus our time, talent and resources on Christ.

 

June 6        Colossians 3:12
Since God chose you to be the holy people whom he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

CHOSEN
When we accept the gift of life in Christ we are the chosen.  His choosing us results in our daily lives being different than those that have chosen the world.  In Christ we have access to His strength, wisdom, mercy and grace to deal with our moment by moment existence.  We have joy in Christ no matter what the world does to us.

June 7        2 Peter 1:5-7
So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better.  Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness.  Godliness leads to love for other Christians, and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone.

CHOICE
Every act, every thought in our lives is a choice.  We can choose the power of God to change us into Christ likeness.  We can choose His joy and peace.  We can live a life of value and worth because He values us and gives our lives eternal worth.  Joy in Jesus is our choice.

 

June 8        Joshua 1:8
Study this Book of the Law continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed.

GOD’S WILL
The Lord wants us to spend time with Him.  He has given us His Word so that we might have the answer book to the problems of life that each one of us faces.  Obedience is critical.  Without obedience we will doom ourselves to second class citizenship in the family of God.  We will have no power to face the onslaught of evil in the world.  Spend time with Jesus and He will equip you to deal with your life.

 

June 9        Psalm 119:11-12
I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.  Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your principles.

WORD
We are never at the mercy of the world.  The WORD of God will always give us the wisdom we need to face the moment.  We read His Word daily.  His Word gives us what we need as we grow into Christ likeness.

 

June 10      Psalm 105:1
Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done.

GRATITUDE
Our attitude is affected by our gratitude.  We determine how we see things.  Will we let the world define the way we evaluate our life and circumstances?  We can claim His wisdom, mercy and grace and the ability to see our life through His eyes.  We are beloved and the object of His care and concern.  Jesus is Lord.

 

June 11      Proverbs 12:15
Fools think they need no advice, but the wise listen to others.

LIFE
The Word calls us to seek good counsel.  We are called to live our lives wisely.  People count.  Growing in Christ likeness calls us to live in community.  We are not islands.  We are created with a need to be of service and to do the right thing.  Doing the next right thing sometimes requires that we need to seek the advice of others so that we do the best right thing.

 

June 12      Matthew 7:7
“Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened.

PRAY
We are called to pray.  Pray for the needs of others.  Pray for our friends.  Pray for our country.  Pray that we might be useable and useful.  Pray as though your life depended on it.  Pray that you might become more like Jesus.

 

June 13      John 7:37-38
On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “If you are thirsty, come to me!  If you believe in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow out from within.”

TIME
Time with Jesus is time well spent.  Time is our adversary.  Time corrupts our bodies.  Jesus is over time.  When we turn our hearts and minds to Christ He will effectively use our time and give us enough time to glorify Him.  It is all about Jesus.

 

June 14      John 10:3-4
The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they recognize his voice.

RECOGNITION
Read the Word.  Spend time with Jesus in prayer.  Obey His revealed Word and His activity in your heart.  When we do this we will not be deceived.  We will always recognize our Lord Jesus as we follow Him.

June 15      Romans 12:2
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.

THINK
Think about Jesus.  Spend time in the Word of the Lord.  Look for His activity in your life.  Listen as the Word resounds in your heart.  Bend your knee when the Word speaks to you.  Rejoice and praise the Lord.  Set aside the accomplishments and defeats of this world and revel in His love.  Jesus loves you and me.  Doing this will renew your mind.  His presence will point specifically to your solution.

 

June 16      Philippians 4:6
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

CONFIDENCE
You and I can know that the Lord Jesus will not fail us.  We know this by knowing Him.  We read His Word.  We obey His commands.  We praise Him for all that He does for us.  We remember the good things He does and the times that He has encouraged us at the very depths of our soul.  We have confidence in His presence because we know He loves us.  We talk to Him.  Out of our intimacy with Jesus will flow His peace and strength.  He will remove our fear and replace it with confidence.

 

June 17      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.

WISDOM
Wisdom is not hidden from us.  Our Lord wants us to be wise in our well doing and to be equipped for each day.  His wisdom comes from His heart, bathed in love and offered to us if we want it.  Wisdom for today is our choice.  Will I choose His way or not?  That is always the question.

June 18      Psalm 62:1
I wait quietly before God, for my salvation comes from him.

SURVIVAL
His Word speaks to the needs of our life each day.  Fear, failure, disappointment, and the future are just some of the obstacles we are confronted with every day.  For us to survive as a victorious servant of the Lord God we must put on His strength, wisdom and peace.  We were made for this day.  He is able to equip us to live it.

 

June 19      Psalm 62:5-7
I wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.  My salvation and my honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.

STRENGTH
Our power comes from Jesus.  It is not a hope or a wish or a false front it is in us.  His power connects us to Him.  Day by day our time with Jesus builds within an awareness of His presence and concern.  He will not leave us nor has He put us here to be destroyed.  We belong to Him and this is our place.

 

June 20      Isaiah 40:29-31
He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak.  Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up.  But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

STAMINA
When what you are facing is more than you can bear, give it to Jesus.  Giving away our heartache and defeat takes surrender.  Time with Jesus enables us to intellectually let go of it.  More time with Jesus in His Word gives us the power to say and think that yes we can give it to Him.  The Holy Spirit with us effectively equips us to experience His strength and conquering power in us and to know in our hearts that He is with us.  New strength comes and we continue in Him.

 

June 21      Isaiah 41:10
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

VICTORY
Victory is His.  When we surrender our lives to Him by what we think, say, and do, we participate in His victory in the daily activities of our lives.  Jesus is Lord.  When He is Lord of us we know His victory in us.

 

 

June 22      Isaiah 41:13
I am holding you by your right hand – I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, ‘Do not be afraid. I am here to help you.

DO NOT FEAR
The message from Jesus to you today is do not fear.  What you are facing is real but Jesus is able.  The life you are living may be disappointing but Jesus is our victory, peace and joy.  Do not fear for the Lord has come and He is in you.

 

June 23      Jeremiah 31:25
For I have given rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing.”

VALUABLE
You count with Jesus.  You are valuable to Him.  What you are doing day by day is critical in the Kingdom.  Rejoice and let Him have your weariness and sorrow.  Rejoice and know that you are important to Him.  Jesus loves you.

 

June 24      Nahum 1:7
The LORD is good. When trouble comes, he is a strong refuge. And he knows everyone who trusts in him.

HEART
Jesus knows your heart.  He knows what you are going through and He has not forgotten you.  We don’t know how things will work out now but we do know that the end result will be good.  Claim His presence and strength and He will work in and through you towards your best good.  Do not let your heart be troubled because you are the object of His love.

 

June 25      Matthew 11:28-30
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.”

SURRENDER
Salvation is the Lord’s gift to you.  Spiritual victory is the result of you giving your heart, soul and mind to Jesus.  Let Him know all about you and constantly seek His face.  Peace and joy will claim your heart and wisdom will guide your feet.  His work through you will become a daily activity and your burdens will disappear.  There is victory in the presence of the Lord.

 

June 26      John 14:1
“Don’t be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me.

LORD
Jesus is Lord.  Spend time with Him.  Seek His face and trust totally in Him and He will renew you day by day.  His power will seek you out.  His joy will become a trusted friend.  His wisdom will guide your every step.

 

June 27      Psalm 9:9-10
The LORD is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.  Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O LORD, have never abandoned anyone who searches for you.

CONFIDENCE
Too often we think in our hearts that Jesus really can’t use us.  We know our sin and we know all of the promises we have made and never kept.  But the Word of God says that He is our forgiveness and in Him we have the totality of God more than able to meet our needs and use us.  If we want to know Him and be used by Him let Him begin now.  Today is where we start.  Make this your day of change.  Place your confidence in Him and begin to live as though He were in charge of your life because He is.

 

June 28      Psalm 34:4
I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me, freeing me from all my fears.

NOW
Do it now.  Ask the Lord to loose you from all that holds you back from serving Him.  Ask Him to come and live in you and change you to what He wants you to be.  Forget the past and move forward in Him.  Do it now and you will experience the presence of the living Lord who is more than able to use you and make your life as valuable as you know in your heart it is.

 

June 29      Psalm 37:23
The steps of the godly are directed by the LORD. He delights in every detail of their lives.

REVEL
Revel moment by moment in Jesus.  He knows you and is more than willing to discuss every detail of your life.  Let Him bring you through the boot camp of spiritual preparation.  Surrender to Him so that you may be properly equipped and able to deal with your life and serve others.  In service you will find everything you have been looking for all your life.  Jesus is Lord and you belong to Him.

 

June 30      Colossians 3:13
You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

FORGIVENESS
Quickly forgive.  Learn the joy of forgiving others and the strength that comes from bending the knee and letting Jesus cleanse your heart.  Do not hold a grudge.  It only ensnares you in the wickedness of the world. Quickly forgive and you will grow in Christ likeness.

May 2006

May 1                   Romans 1:4
And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to be the Son of God when God powerfully raised him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit.

JESUS
Jesus is adequate to meet whatever need we have.  He is always able.  His power is not limited and His concern for us is always great.  Jesus is Lord.

 

May 2                  Romans 1:8
Let me say first of all that your faith in God is becoming known throughout the world. How I thank God through Jesus Christ for each one of you.

YOU
Jesus knows you.  He has not forgotten where you are and what you are going through.  Remember that His power is most effective in our submission and obedience.  Treat the people you meet every day as if they are important and you will become important.  Trust and obey and Jesus will use you.

 

May 3                  Ephesians 1:3-5
Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.  I always pray for you, and I make my requests with a heart full of joy because you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.

PARTNERS
We are participating together with Jesus Christ as ministers of the mystery of God: God loves you and has provided a way for you to be a member of His family.  He has a plan for your life that is important.  We are co-workers spreading the Good News.  Jesus has come that we might be free.

 

May 4                  Ephesians 1:6
And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.

WORK
Obey Jesus.  It may seem that what you are doing isn’t changing the world but it is.  We are world changers when we let Jesus lead us.  Daily equip yourself by His Word and His presence and go change the world.

 

May 5                  Ephesians 1:7
It is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a very special place in my heart. We have shared together the blessings of God, both when I was in prison and when I was out, defending the truth and telling others the Good News.

HEAR
We are never more than one generation away from paganism.  It is so critical that as we partner with Jesus we tell others about Him.  We must share the Gospel by Word and we must share the Gospel by what we do.  It is always a balance.  When people know we care they will care about what we know.

 

May 6                  Ephesians 1:8-9
God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.  I pray that your love for each other will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in your knowledge and understanding.

LOVE
Love is evidenced by what we do.  It is an action.  When I treat people like I would like to be treated I am expressing human love.  When I treat people like Jesus treats me it is a Christ like love.  Jesus loves me.  I need to love people.  It is a very simple process-when I am a Christian I will care for others especially those that are hard to love.

 

May 7                  Ephesians 1:10
For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until Christ returns.

LIFESTYLE
Jesus is Lord.  When we surrender to Him we will change.  Change is fundamental in the Christian life.  Our lifestyle is always being drawn by the world.  His Word guides us to live like Him.  When I live like Jesus I will change the way I live.

 

May 8                  Ephesians 1:11
May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation – those good things that are produced in your life by Jesus Christ – for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

LIFESTYLE
Do the next right thing.  I cannot focus on the future.  Life is lived in the now.  I am charged with the opportunity to connect with our Lord Jesus on a moment by moment basis and live as He would have me live.  Guidance and direction come from Jesus.  If I spend time with Him and listen to Him I will do the right things.

 

May 9                  Ephesians 1:12-13
And I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News.  For everyone here, including all the soldiers in the palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ.

LIFESTYLE
I do not look to the world to know how to live.  How I live is not dictated by my circumstances.  Wealth or poverty do not define me.  If I live in a close relationship with Jesus I will become more like Christ.  If I focus on the world and the things of the world I will be tossed about like a rowboat in heavy seas.  Jesus is Lord.

 

May 10                Ephesians 1:14
And because of my imprisonment, many of the Christians here have gained confidence and become more bold in telling others about Christ.

PROCLAMATION
By truth and word and deed we share the Gospel.  When I am weak He is strong.  When I am yielded He is active.  Telling the Gospel story is simply speaking about my relationship with Jesus.  I will always share what is Lord of my life.

 

May 11                Ephesians 1:15-18
Some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives.  They preach because they love me, for they know the Lord brought me here to defend the Good News.  Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me.  But whether or not their motives are pure, the fact remains that the message about Christ is being preached, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.

GOSPEL
The Gospel is for all.  Jesus died that all might have forgiveness.  It is not a private event nor is it an event that is limited in scope.  I do not decide how the Lord will work in the world.  I only participate in His activity of telling the world of His salvation and love.

 

May 12                Ephesians 1:19-20
For I know that as you pray for me and as the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will all turn out for my deliverance.  For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that causes me shame, but that I will always be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past, and that my life will always honor Christ, whether I live or I die.

FINALLY
Lord don’t let me mess up now.  Even in Paul there was an awareness of the devastating impact of sin in the life of a believer.  I am to be on the alert.  I am to constantly be striving to grow into Christ likeness.  The Lordship of Jesus in my life is a daily activity.  I let Him have control.  I am the one that must obey.  The Christian life is not an end, it is a reflection of the Lord in my life.

 

May 13                 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. Amen.

MESSAGE
We can have a relationship with Jesus.  He is alive.  He offers us the free gift of salvation.  This gift equips us to live now and forever.  I rejoice in Jesus because He paid a price I couldn’t pay and gave me a relationship I couldn’t earn.  Jesus is Lord.

 

May 14                 Romans 4:25
He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised from the dead to make us right with God.

MESSAGE
Jesus did it all.  My life has value and worth because as a child of God I am in partnership with the Lord of the universe seeking to do His will and follow His guidance.  Peace and joy are a part of this partnership.  Significance and usefulness are a result of this partnership.  Jesus provides all of this for each one of us.  Christ is our salvation.

 

May 15                 Romans 10:9
For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

SALVATION
Salvation is gift from the Father.  It is offered to each one of us as if there were no other of us.  It is a free gift that once accepted is eternal.  I don’t earn salvation.  I don’t lose salvation.  This gift is literally the presence of the Lord in an eternal relationship with each on of us that accept His free gift forgiveness of sin and eternal relationship.

 

May 16                 Acts 3:15
You killed the author of life, but God raised him to life. And we are witnesses of this fact!

PURPOSE
The purpose of God will not be thwarted.  What man means for evil the Lord can use for good.  Be alert, be grateful and serve willingly.  Our lives count in Jesus.

 

May 17                 Acts 2:23-24
But you followed God’s prearranged plan. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to the cross and murdered him. However, God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life again, for death could not keep him in its grip.

LIFE
Very often we face the fear of the unknown.  What will happen if and what if and on and on.  Jesus changes that for us.  He has faced the final conflict and by the power of the Father defeated death and the unknown.  In Christ we find confidence for our life.  In Christ we live in victory.

 

May 18                 John 11:25
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life.   Those who believe in me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again.

VICTORY
My life counts.  What I do and say is important to Christ.  He uses each one of us in His plan to share life with every person.  We are messengers and members of His family.  Eternal life although difficult to imagine is ours.  Jesus would that all find Him.  That is my goal.

 

May 19                 1 Corinthians 1:14-15
I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, for now no one can say they were baptized in my name.

JESUS
Jesus is our everything.  I live in Him.  In Christ we have access to the Father and power for living.  In Christ I find my service and the fulfillment of my life.  In Christ I live in victory and will not succumb to defeat.  Jesus is Lord.

 

May 20                 John 2:19
“All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

LIFE
This life is a mirage that is always seeking to seduce man.  This world condemns, destroys and defeats us.  Life in Christ gives us truth.  We are somebody.  The Father does hear our prayers.  Our life has value and worth and the Father is patiently using us as His messengers.  Life in Christ is victory.  Life in Christ is eternal.

 

May 21                 John 20:18
Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.

POWER
The Lord gives us the power to be ourselves.  He makes our pathways safe and this world cannot destroy us.  The Lord Jesus gives us the strength we need and the wisdom to deal with crisis now.  His strength is always a present strength that equips us to obey Him.

 

May 22                 Mark 14:3
Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had leprosy. During supper, a woman came in with a beautiful jar of expensive perfume.   She broke the seal and poured the perfume over his head.

VALUE
People count.  All people count.  Jesus makes us whole.  His love forgives us and brings us into the family of God.  Life lived in Christ is a life that is worthwhile.  Obedience is the foundation for this life in Christ and produces joy and confidence in our hearts.  Peace becomes a reality in our lives each day.

 

May 23                Psalm 23:3
He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.

GUIDANCE
It is all about Jesus and His love for each one of us.  As I grow in Christ I discover that I am better equipped to deal with those that spitefully abuse me.  People count with Jesus and as I become more like Christ they count with me.  Not so that I can achieve my goals but so that they can know Him and the power of His resurrection in their life.

 

May 24                Psalm 23:4
Even when I walk through the dark valley of death,  I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.

DISCIPLINE
Just as the soldier must learn discipline I too must at times be disciplined.  His discipline creates strength and wisdom.  His discipline is all about my best good.  When I bend the knee quickly to His discipline I find strength, peace and joy that much quicker.

 

May 25                Psalm 23:5
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You welcome me as a guest, anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.

LIFE
Life is difficult.  It demands that we learn to live with the unknown.  Faith is responding to life with the realization that Jesus loves me.  His love underscores my value and my life.  Christ is my hope of glory and serving Him is my response.

 

May 26                Psalm 23:6
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.

PURSUIT
Jesus is always looking for you and for me.  I am always on His heart.  Every thought He has for me is a thought for good.  Good or bad, rich or poor, the Lord is with me and is working out His good plan for my life.

 

May 27                Ephesians 1:21
For to me, living is for Christ, and dying is even better.

ETERNAL
We cannot control the world.  We can control our life.  In Christ we have everything we need for real life.  Worth, value, joy and peace are products of our eternal relationship with Jesus.  Think with me today how truly wonderful it is that Jesus loves us.

 

May 28                Ephesians 1:22-24
Yet if I live, that means fruitful service for Christ. I really don’t know which is better.  I’m torn between two desires: Sometimes I want to live, and sometimes I long to go and be with Christ. That would be far better for me, but it is better for you that I live.

RELATIONSHIP
The more I know Jesus, the more I want to see Him.  Time passes so quickly and it is so difficult for us to see the good we do that at times my yearning is to finish my course and be with Him.  Yet I know that He has a perfect time for me and by faith I know that His plan for me is much better than any emotion I feel or plan I could work up.  Life is Christ and in Him I live and move and breathe.

 

May 29                Ephesians 1:25-26
I am convinced of this, so I will continue with you so that you will grow and experience the joy of your faith. Then when I return to you, you will have even more reason to boast about what Christ Jesus has done for me.

JESUS
Each one of our lives is so personal and unique.  And yet in our very uniqueness we find a common thread, Jesus is our Lord.  Your victory in Christ brings me joy.  Your love for Jesus encourages me to love Him more.

 

May 30                Ephesians 1:27-28
But whatever happens to me, you must live in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ, as citizens of heaven. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing side by side, fighting together for the Good News.  Don’t be intimidated by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself.

VICTORY
We belong.  We count.  Our master is the creator and ruler of all things and we know Him as Lord and Father.  His spirit resides in us and as we voice our prayers we know that He is with us to encourage us and direct us how to pray.  There is sweet joy in knowing that He is the giver of life and the sustainer of our life.  Jesus is Lord and in Him we have eternal victory.

 

May 31                Ephesians 1:29-30
For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him.  We are in this fight together. You have seen me suffer for him in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of this great struggle.

SUFFERING
You will suffer for your faith.  So often it seems like bad luck or so unfair that we experience difficult times.  Sometimes this is just life but often it is the spirit of the evil one seeking whom he might devour.  As committed servants we are sometimes in the line of fire.  The powers and principalities of this world do not like us prevailing against them and they will strike out against us.  Do not worry.  If you are suffering for your faith you are in good company.  Jesus loves you.