Today's Good News

July 2007

July 1         Psalm 118:1-4
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.  Let the congregation of Israel repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.”  Let Aaron’s descendants, the priests, repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.”  Let all who fear the LORD repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.”

Gratitude is a key element in our relationship with the Lord.  I can do nothing.  Jesus is Lord and in Him I have all things.  The trouble in our journey begins when we begin to think we can do it.


July 2         Psalm 118:5
In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and rescued me.

Satan is our adversary.  The enemy is seeking whom he might devour.  When we face problems we have a savior.  We cannot stand against the wiles of Satan and we need rescuing.  Jesus is able.


July 3         Psalm 118:6-7
The LORD is for me, so I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?  Yes, the LORD is for me; he will help me. I will look in triumph at those who hate me.

Fear destroys us.  It grabs our sanity and causes us to do foolish things.  In Jesus we do not have to fear.  In Jesus we have what we need for living courageously.  When Jesus reigns in our heart fear is kicked out.


July 4         Psalm 118:8-13
It is better to trust the LORD than to put confidence in people.  It is better to trust the LORD than to put confidence in princes.  Though hostile nations surrounded me, I destroyed them all in the name of the LORD.  Yes, they surrounded and attacked me, but I destroyed them all in the name of the LORD.  They swarmed around me like bees; they blazed against me like a roaring flame. But I destroyed them all in the name of the LORD.  You did your best to kill me, O my enemy, but the LORD helped me.

Call upon Jesus to help you and He will meet your need.  When troubles come call upon Jesus.  We grow in Christ by giving Him every aspect of our lives.  Trust in the Lord and you will never be disappointed.


July 5         Psalm 118:14-18
The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my victory.  Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the LORD has done glorious things!  The strong right arm of the LORD is raised in triumph. The strong right arm of the LORD has done glorious things!  I will not die, but I will live to tell what the LORD has done.  The LORD has punished me severely, but he has not handed me over to death.

Victory is a fact that we can live with every day.  We are not pleading or scrambling to live a victorious life.  Living in Christ is the victorious life.  Victory is mine because I belong to the one who is the victory-Jesus Christ.


July 6         Psalm 118:19-20
Open for me the gates where the righteous enter and I will go in and thank the LORD.  Those gates lead to the presence of the LORD, and the godly enter there.

We who are in Christ have the privilege of entry into the presence of the Lord.  We are given this right by Jesus.  Great problem then talk with the Lord.  Small problem then take it to the Father.  We have a relationship with the Lord and as a result of this relationship we have friendship with God.


July 7         Psalm 118:21-23
I thank you for answering my prayer and saving me!  The stone rejected by the builders has now become the cornerstone.  This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous to see.

Jesus answers our prayers.  The problem is not the answer the problem is our knowledge.  Now we know only a little but one day we will have full knowledge.  Dealing with life is a dynamic, interactive event.  We can pray with the confidence that the Lord is answering our prayers.


July 8         Psalm 118:24
This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.

We are now creatures.  Now is the time for prayer.  Now is the time for victory.  Now is the time that the Lord will help us.  Pray for joy and peace and live with the awareness that you have it.


July 9         Psalm 118:25-29
Please, LORD, please save us. Please, LORD, please give us success.  Bless the one who comes in the name of the LORD. We bless you from the house of the LORD.  The LORD is God, shining upon us. Bring forward the sacrifice and put it on the altar.  You are my God, and I will praise you! You are my God, and I will exalt you!  Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.

The Lord is for us.  He will save us as we face the challenges of life.  He has saved us in the past, He will save us in the future and He is busy at work to save us right now.  Now is the time that we live.  Now is the time we find the Lord.  Ask Him to guide you on a successful path.  Praise the Lord.


July 10       Mark 1:1-4
Here begins the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.  In the book of the prophet Isaiah, God said, “Look, I am sending my messenger before you, and he will prepare your way.    He is a voice shouting in the wilderness: ‘Prepare a pathway for the Lord’s coming! Make a straight road for him!’   “This messenger was John the Baptist. He lived in the wilderness and was preaching that people should be baptized to show that they had turned from their sins and turned to God to be forgiven.

When we come to Jesus we are forgiven.  This forgiveness is complete and perfect.  It is not based on my works or my standing.  It is a gift from God.  His forgiveness equips us to be spiritually alive and partners with Him in proclaiming Jesus.


July 11       Mark 1:5
People from Jerusalem and from all over Judea traveled out into the wilderness to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.

The key element in our confession of our sin is change.  I was following sin and now I am following the Lord.  When we confess our sin He forgives us.  When you are struggling to grow remember that change is critical in our spiritual growth.


July 12       Mark 1:6-8
His clothes were woven from camel hair, and he wore a leather belt; his food was locusts and wild honey.  He announced: “Someone is coming soon who is far greater than I am so much greater that I am not even worthy to be his slave.    I baptize you with   water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!”

The Holy Spirit is now here.  He is able to lead, guide and direct your path.  Spend time with Jesus.  Let the Holy Spirit change you.  You will find that His change is an equipping change that will enable you to have an abundant life.  Claim your spirit filled life by asking the Lord Jesus to lead you.


July 13       Mark 1:9
One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and he was baptized by John in the Jordan River.

Who do you love?  Do you love Jesus?  Do what He says.  Doing what He says requires that we know Him and that we spend time with Him.  Read the Word.  Pray to the Lord.  Do what He says.


July 14       Mark 1:10-11
And when Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens split open and the Holy Spirit descending like a dove on him.  And a voice came from heaven saying, “You are my beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with you.”

The Father loves obedience more than sacrifice.  We are seeking to please Him with our lives and with our relationship.  We do this when we are obedient.  Think for a moment, what has He told you to do?  Please, go and do it.  In the act of obedience you will experience His “well done.”


July 15       Mark 1:12-13
Immediately the Holy Spirit compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness.  He was there for forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him.

Obedience is always costly.  We give up worldly ways and momentary sensation to accomplish eternal goals.  Living with eternity in mind will enable us to deal with the perishable things the world offers.  It will cost us but it is an eternal investment.


July 16       Mark 1:14-15
Later on, after John was arrested by Herod Antipas, Jesus went to Galilee to preach God’s Good News.  “At last the time has come!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Turn from your sins and believe this Good News!”

We can have forgiveness and peace with God.  The Good News is that Jesus saves us from our sin and gives us new life.  This life is right now and throughout eternity.  Jesus gives us a life that counts with a relationship that equips us to have friendship with God.


July 17       Mark 1:16-17
One day as Jesus was walking along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother, Andrew, fishing with a net, for they were commercial fishermen.  Jesus called out to them, “Come, be my disciples, and I will show you how to fish for people!”

Jesus is calling you.  He is calling you to change.  Christ is calling you to accept His as the focus of your life.  You choose the way that you will live.  You will succeed or fail based on your choices.  When we choose Jesus as our focus we succeed.  When we choose anything other than Jesus we fail.


July 18       Mark 1:18-20
And they left their nets at once and went with him.  A little farther up the shore Jesus saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, in a boat mending their nets.  He called them, too, and immediately they left their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men and went with him.

The right choice for life is to choose Jesus.  He will reside in our hearts.  He will build a relationship, be our friend and equip us to fellowship with Him.  We each have inestimable value.  Choose Jesus and claim your position in eternity now.


July 19       Mark 1:21-22
Jesus and his companions went to the town of Capernaum, and every Sabbath day he went into the synagogue and taught the people.  They were amazed at his teaching, for he taught as one who had real authority quite unlike the teachers of religious law.

We have authority in Christ.  We do not belong to ourselves but instead put ourselves into His hands and claim authority as His representative.  He gives us the authority to choose.  We have the authority to lay down our life for others.  We can serve and willingly die to self.  No man can claim authority over us because we have died to self and are hidden in Christ with God.


July 20       Mark 1:23-24
A man possessed by an evil spirit was in the synagogue, and he began shouting, “Why are you bothering us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are the Holy One sent from God!”

The world is busy explaining away evil.  It wants to make excuses for murderers, liars, cheats and truly evil people.  The truth is that evil really exists and we are confronted by it everyday.  Evil is seeking to destroy us and pops up at the time when we are weak.  We cannot fight evil but Jesus can.  When you find yourself facing evil turn from it and ask Jesus what to do.  He will not forsake you.


July 21       Mark 1:25-27
Jesus cut him short. “Be silent! Come out of the man.”  At that, the evil spirit screamed and threw the man into a convulsion, but then he left him.  Amazement gripped the audience, and they began to discuss what had happened. “What sort of new teaching is this?” they asked excitedly. “It has such authority! Even evil spirits obey his orders!”

Jesus gives all glory to the Father who in turn magnifies Him.  With a simple word the Lord deals with evil.  Imagine the kind of things that Jesus could do in your life.  Think of the difficulties, those that are evil and those that are simply difficult, that you face each day.  What power we have been given to have Jesus alive in us.  Ask Him to use you to magnify Him.


July 22       Mark 1:28-31
The news of what he had done spread quickly through that entire area of Galilee.
After Jesus and his disciples left the synagogue, they went over to Simon and Andrew’s home, and James and John were with them.  Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. They told Jesus about her right away.  He went to her bedside, and as he took her by the hand and helped her to sit up, the fever suddenly left, and she got up and prepared a meal for them.

Jesus is the great healer.  We can go to Him with our infirmities.  Our goal is to glorify Jesus and He will enable us to do that.  We present ourselves to Christ with absolute confidence of His love and His commitment to us and we go forth to be the person we were created to be.  As we do this we glorify Him.  His glory equips us to be and to do in the midst of the ordinariness of our lives.


July 23       Mark 1:32-33
That evening at sunset, many sick and demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus.  And a huge crowd of people from all over Capernaum gathered outside the door to watch.

Hope is a powerful tool in the Christian life.  Once we see His love for us and know that Jesus is on our side what can defeat us?  We have hope in Him.  We are able to move forward in Jesus because of His present love and our eternal relationship.


July 24       Mark 1:34
So Jesus healed great numbers of sick people who had many different kinds of diseases, and he ordered many demons to come out of their victims. But because they knew who he was, he refused to allow the demons to speak.

What has you down?  What evil is telling you that you are not worthy of the attention of the Creator of all?  Be of good cheer, hope in Christ.  Take a moment where you are and in the condition you find yourself in to tell yourself that Jesus is Lord.  He is Lord of your life and He loves you.  Every thought that Jesus has towards you is a thought for good.  Jesus the Great Healer will heal you.


July 25       Mark 1:35
The next morning Jesus awoke long before daybreak and went out alone into the wilderness to pray.

Time with Jesus is time well spent.  We are called to pray.  Jesus shows us the need for prayer.  Our hearts cry out to spend time with Jesus.  Organize your day so that everyday you spend time with Jesus.  Discipline yourself for this joy.  Life filled with Jesus is a life of abundance and joy.


July 26       Mark 1:36-38
Later Simon and the others went out to find him.  They said, “Everyone is asking for you.”  But he replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too, because that is why I came.”

Jesus has come and this is Good News.  Jesus is here and available is wonderful news.  When we ask Christ into our heart and permit Him to have Lordship of our daily life we will naturally share with others what Jesus is doing in us.


July 27       Mark 1:39
So he traveled throughout the region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and expelling demons from many people.

There is victory in our life when Jesus is in control of our life.  The things that trouble us and overwhelm us will be dealt with by the Lord.  He will give us the wisdom, mercy, grace and understanding we need to stand in the hour of difficulty.


July 28       Mark 1:40-41
A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you want to, you can make me well again,” he said.  Moved with pity,  Jesus touched him. “I want to,” he said. “Be healed!”

Jesus offers healing for our life.  Go to Him with your needs and you will come away with His resources.  Jesus will never fail you nor will He overlook you.  Spend time with Him and He will shepherd your life.


July 29       Mark 1:42
Instantly the leprosy disappeared the man was healed.

Healing is an act of God.  It is His choice as to how He will heal us and it is done His way.  The Lord will heal us.  Jesus loves us.  Every thought He has towards you is a thought for good.  Discipline yourself to build a relationship with Jesus and He will spend time with you.


July 30       Mark 1:43-44
Then Jesus sent him on his way and told him sternly,  “Go right over to the priest and let him examine you. Don’t talk to anyone along the way. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy, so everyone will have proof of your healing.”

Miracles or what we call miracles are to magnify the Lord.  Every day of our life is a miracle.  We are called to glorify Jesus.  Identify His activity in your life.  Thank Him for it.  An attitude of gratitude will enable us to see the activity of the Lord in our life every day.


July 31       Mark 1:45
But as the man went on his way, he spread the news, telling everyone what had happened to him. As a result, such crowds soon surrounded Jesus that he couldn’t enter a town anywhere publicly. He had to stay out in the secluded places, and people from everywhere came to him there.

Jesus loves you.  His love is so great that He loves you in spite of your disdain for Him.  Today spend time thinking about His love.  Think of the wonderful blessings He has bestowed upon you.  Think of your gratitude for answered prayer and the way that prayers were answered.  Thank Him from your heart and let that gratitude fill your soul.  Thank you Lord for your love for us.

June 2007

June 1        1 Peter 1:1-2
This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.  I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the lands of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, the province of Asia, and Bithynia.  God the Father chose you long ago, and the Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed Jesus Christ and are cleansed by his blood.  May you have more and more of God’s special favor and wonderful peace.

Jesus said that whosoever call upon His name shall be saved.  If you have called upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and accepted Him as your Lord and Savior He has accepted you.  He has forgiven your sin and made you a part of the family of God forever.


June 2        1 Peter 1:3
All honor to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for it is by his boundless mercy that God has given us the privilege of being born again. Now we live with a wonderful expectation because Jesus Christ rose again from the dead.

Suffering?  Experiencing failure?  Life not the way you would like?  Stop for a moment and count your real blessings.  You are a child of God.  You have an eternal relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ who gave you the gift of eternal life by His death on the cross.  Jesus is alive and He will talk with you right now.  Tell Him how you feel and claim your joy.


June 3        1 Peter 1:4
For God has reserved a priceless inheritance for his children. It is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.

A Texas wildcatter who had been extremely wealthy and extremely generous lost everything.  He lived in the YMCA for many years unable to afford anything else.  A reporter interviewing him asked “do you regret having given away so much money?”  The man said “no I don’t, because the only thing that can’t be taken away from me is what I gave away.”
Your wealth is hidden in Christ for eternity and it will never disappear.  Store up riches in heaven where moth and rust cannot destroy nor can anyone ever take it away from you.

June 4        1 Peter 1:5
And God, in his mighty power, will protect you until you receive this salvation, because you are trusting him. It will be revealed on the last day for all to see.

Salvation is a gift.  Salvation is God’s realm.  When I submit and from my heart ask for salvation the Father is a gracious giver and protector of me.  “Whosoever will may come!”


June 5        1 Peter 1:6
So be truly glad!  There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while.

Joy has nothing to do with this world.  Joy is a spiritual gift given by Jesus to His followers.  We can claim joy in the midst of chaos.  All around us the outlook may be dim and yet in our hearts and souls we have joy.  Jesus is alive.  He is coming back.


June 6        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.

Each one of us will see eternity sooner than we think.  Tomorrow seems to stretch endlessly.  One day there will be no more tomorrows for we will stand face to face with Jesus.  My prayer for you and for me is that in that day we will hear “well done my good and faithful servant.”  Serve Jesus now.  Change now.


June 7        1 Peter 1:8
You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him, you trust him; and even now you are happy with a glorious, inexpressible joy.

Seeing is believing so the world says.  Believing is seeing so our spiritual self says.  We trust Jesus because He loved us.  Love those you are with.  You will find as your love grows your trust of Jesus will grow.  The Lord is with you.


June 8        1 Peter 1:9-10
Your reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.  This salvation was something the prophets wanted to know more about. They prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you, even though they had many questions as to what it all could mean.

When we trust we change.  We live in the face of insurmountable odds that are literally overcome by our faith.  We begin to live by eternal principles.  The constant swirls of negative opinions and worldliness no longer have us in their grip.  God has a plan from our life and is using us.


June 9        1 Peter 1:11
They wondered what the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward. They wondered when and to whom all this would happen.

The Lord is active in our life.  He is seeking to guide us.  We need to stop and listen.  We should refocus our hearts so that as the Lord speaks we hear.  Read the Bible as though our service depends upon it because it does.  Jesus will lead, guide and direct us but we need to be willing servants.


June 10      1 Peter 1:12
They were told that these things would not happen during their lifetime, but many years later, during yours. And now this Good News has been announced by those who preached to you in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.

Angels are watching as your life unfolds.  You are important to the Lord and where you are is the most important place in the world.  Each one of us is unique.  You and I count.  The people we know and interact with each day are the people we will have an impact upon for Jesus.  Be calm.  Claim joy and peace.  Jesus is Lord.


June 11      1 Peter 1:13
So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the special blessings that will come to you at the return of Jesus Christ.

As difficult as it may seem right now your life is not out of control.  We can exercise self-control by giving ourselves to Jesus.  Use His strength.  Use His joy and peace.  You are very worth in Jesus.  Praise the Lord.


June 12      1 Peter 1:14
Obey God because you are his children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of doing evil; you didn’t know any better then.

Do what the Lord says.  When you fail stop at the moment you realize your failure, confess it, and change by doing what Jesus says.  Obedience is important.  Obedience is one of the key elements in our growing relationship with Jesus.  Obey the Lord and you will enjoy real freedom.


June 13      1 Peter 1:15-16
But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you to be his children is holy.  For he himself has said, “You must be holy because I am holy.”

We are holy when we act like Jesus.  Jesus loves people.  To be holy we must develop a strong and compassionate love for others.  If we love people we will act like Jesus.


June 14      1 Peter 1:17
And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites when he judges. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as foreigners here on earth.

Our only claim on eternity is through Jesus.  We don’t belong here for we are but dust soon to be gone.  We are to live as a foreigner where ever we are on earth because this world does not belong to us.  Our claim in Christ lies in heaven.  Now we see as thru a glass darkly but one day face to face we will see what we have dreamed and prayed about all of our life.


June 15      1 Peter 1:18-19
For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver.  He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.

You are precious to the Lord.  He knew all about you and still died for you.  He forgives your sin when you claim Him as Lord and Savior.  Think about Jesus for He is always thinking about you.


June 16      1 Peter 1:20
God chose him for this purpose long before the world began, but now in these final days, he was sent to the earth for all to see. And he did this for you.

You are special to Jesus.  We live best in community and we live best knowing that we are special.  Being special does not preclude someone else being special.  Life in Jesus is not a win/lose event but instead a win/win proposition.  Rejoice because you and your life are special to Jesus.


June 17      1 Peter 1:21
Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And because God raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory, your faith and hope can be placed confidently in God.

We serve a great God with limitless power.  His power is directed towards you so that you may live a life of service that results in great honor to the Lord and eternal joy and peace for you.  Our service to the Father is a reflection of our partnership and trust in Him.


June 18      1 Peter 1:22
Now you can have sincere love for each other as brothers and sisters because you were cleansed from your sins when you accepted the truth of the Good News. So see to it that you really do love each other intensely with all your hearts.

Jesus breaks down the barrier walls that sin and evil create.  The Lord is our Savior and strength.  We are beloved and victorious in Jesus.  Because of His love for us we can love one another.


June 19      Psalm 136:1
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.

Do you love me?  So many people ask this question or think it everyday.  One may feel they are unworthy, especially if the object of our questions doesn’t know what we have done.  Amazingly our conscience will accuse us, “if you knew.”  Jesus knows everything we think and do.  He still loves us.  HE KNOWS and HE LOVES YOU.


June 20      1 Peter 1:23-25
For you have been born again. Your new life did not come from your earthly parents because the life they gave you will end in death. But this new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.  As the prophet says, “People are like grass that dies away; their beauty fades as quickly as the beauty of wildflowers. The grass withers, and the flowers fall away.  But the word of the Lord will last forever.”  And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.

Jesus gives us life.  This life begins now and lasts forever.  Our life is real life.  Whoever we are wherever we might be we know that we are loved and valuable.


June 21      1 Peter 2:1-2
So get rid of all malicious behavior and deceit. Don’t just pretend to be good! Be done with hypocrisy and jealousy and backstabbing.  You must crave pure spiritual milk so that you can grow into the fullness of your salvation. Cry out for this nourishment as a baby cries for milk, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.

Our actions represent who we are.  We should think about what we do and how we do it before we act.  We are not alone and we do not just represent ourselves.  As a result of our new life in Christ we have become ambassadors of the Lord.  Our thoughts should be am I doing things the way Jesus would do them?


June 22      1 Peter 2:4-5
Come to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by the people, but he is precious to God who chose him.  And now God is building you, as living stones, into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are God’s holy priests, who offer the spiritual sacrifices that please him because of Jesus Christ.

We will grow in Christ because the Lord is active in our life.  We can become more like Jesus because the Lord is shaping us.  Change is afoot.  Jesus will not leave us adrift nor will He abandon us as we seek to serve Him.


June 23      1 Peter 2:6-8
As the Scriptures express it, “I am placing a stone in Jerusalem, a chosen cornerstone, and anyone who believes in him will never be disappointed.  “Yes, he is very precious to you who believe. But for those who reject him, “The stone that was rejected by the builders has now become the cornerstone.”  And the Scriptures also say, “He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that will make them fall.”  They stumble because they do not listen to God’s word or obey it, and so they meet the fate that has been planned for them.

Do you want to change?  Surrender yourself moment by moment to the activity of the Lord Jesus in your heart and life.  Change is a choice.  Lord I want to change.  His activity in you will change you.  Don’t worry or fret because His change in you will guide you closer to Him.


June 24      1 Peter 2:9-10
But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are a kingdom of priests, God’s holy nation, his very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.  “Once you were not a people; now you are the people of God. Once you received none of God’s mercy; now you have received his mercy.”

God is at work in you.  He will make you useable and useful.  As you do your daily Bible reading let the Holy Spirit enlighten your heart.  As you pray be confident that the Lord is listening and that He will answer you.  Therefore you can live with the confidence that the power for living a Godly life is available for you.


June 25      1 Peter 2:11-12
Dear brothers and sisters, you are foreigners and aliens here. So I warn you to keep away from evil desires because they fight against your very souls.  Be careful how you live among your unbelieving neighbors. Even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will believe and give honor to God when he comes to judge the world.

Our actions and words communicate to others what we believe.  Tragically what we believe is often much different than the way we act.  We are responsible for the way we act.  What we do impacts those with whom we have daily contact.  Pay attention to what you say and do.  Make sure that you are surrendered to the Holy Spirit and He is controlling you.


June 26      1 Peter 2:13-16
For the Lord’s sake, accept all authority the king as head of state,  and the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish all who do wrong and to honor those who do right.  It is God’s will that your good lives should silence those who make foolish accusations against you.  You are not slaves; you are free. But your freedom is not an excuse to do evil. You are free to live as God’s slaves.

Spiritual freedom comes through personal surrender.  Pride must be relinquished and we must die to self.  We are called to evaluate the life we are living.  Ask the Lord Jesus to change you so that you can be useful and usable in His service.


June 27      1 Peter 2:17-18
Show respect for everyone. Love your Christian brothers and sisters.  Fear God. Show respect for the king.  You who are slaves must accept the authority of your masters. Do whatever they tell you not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are harsh.

We are called to surrender.  We are to surrender our pride and selfishness.  The old saying “if it doesn’t matter who gets credit, there is no limit to the good we can do” is still in effect.  We are most effective as a kingdom leader when we are on our knees before Jesus.  We are to pray, prepare and perform.  Recognition is not our goal in kingdom service.  We do what we do for Jesus.


June 28      1 Peter 2:19-20
For God is pleased with you when, for the sake of your conscience, you patiently endure unfair treatment.  Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing right and are patient beneath the blows, God is pleased with you.

Do the next right thing.  Serve Jesus with a joyful heart.  Our lives are hidden in Christ with God and we are called to see the world through spiritual glasses.  Give your anger, pain and failure to Jesus and He will enable you to keep on.


June 29      1 Peter 2:21-23
This suffering is all part of what God has called you to. Christ, who suffered for you, is your example. Follow in his steps.  He never sinned, and he never deceived anyone.  He did not retaliate when he was insulted. When he suffered, he did not threaten to get even. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.

Judgment begins with us.  I do not fool Christ.  I can take my case to Him and He will carry me through the suffering in this world.  I can also remember that time here is just an interim to eternity.  Nothing lasts long.  Everything we do for Jesus lasts for eternity.  Learn from your pain and call on Jesus name to give you the power to survive.


June 30      1 Peter 2:24-25
He personally carried away our sins in his own body on the cross so we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. You have been healed by his wounds!  Once you were wandering like lost sheep. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.

Joy and peace are available for us from Jesus.  We ask Him and He will give it to us.  He also gives us power to do the next right thing.  We are no longer dead in our trespasses nor are we enslaved to sin.  In Jesus we have the wisdom to follow the right path straight to Him and into eternity.

May 2007

May 1         I Thessalonians 1:1
This letter is from Paul, Silas, and Timothy. It is written to the church in Thessalonica, you who belong to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  May his grace and peace be yours.

We have favor with God.  He cares for us.  He is focused on each one of us individually.  It is critical for us to understand that grace is a gift from God and is a significant part of our relationship with God.  His grace is a part of our uniqueness.  We are individually made for a relationship with God and His grace is a key enabler for us to have that moment by moment walk with Him.  Jesus gives us access to the Father, He died for us and paid the price for our sin.  God’s grace is always offering us a growing closeness with the Father.  May God’s grace be with you this moment.


May 2         I Thessalonians 1:2
We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly.

We are valuable and useful.  All of us are important in the Lord’s eyes and it is important that we begin to see others as Jesus sees them.  That person you have a hard time getting along with is worthy in Christ.  The person that wronged you is worthy in Christ.  Your enemy is worthy in Christ.  Each one of us in Christ deserves recognition for our value therefore you and I are charged with the responsibility to treat others as we would treat ourselves.


May 3         I Thessalonians 1:3
As we talk to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and your continual anticipation of the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus is coming back.  The predominant idea in early Christianity was the realization that Jesus was coming back.  Time is irrelevant to the Lord.  His charge to you and me is that we be ready.  Christianity is always a now activity.  Spend time with Jesus now so that you will grow in Christ likeness now.


May 4         I Thessalonians 1:4
We know that God loves you, dear brothers and sisters, and that he chose you to be his own people.

We each have a choice.  We can choose to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior or we can deny Him.  Do not ever believe anyone that says you cannot choose Jesus.  He died that all might be saved.  Every one of us can choose.  Choose Jesus today and He will not turn you away.


May 5         I Thessalonians 1:5
For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true. And you know that the way we lived among you was further proof of the truth of our message.

The world is a tough place.  Things often seem unfair and in fact they are.  Jesus makes our life different.  He gives us eternal life and friendship with God.  Jesus takes the difficulties and hardships that we face and enables us to survive and thrive.  The wisdom, mercy, power and grace that we need to survive equip us to turn those difficulties and hardships into opportunities for growth, strength, service and an abundant life.  Real Christianity is based upon our relationship with Jesus.  Life is a gift and Jesus is the gift giver.


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

Joy in the Lord is a gift that we accept.  His joy is eternal, unilateral and totally beyond the things of this world.  When His joy is accepted by us it becomes our joy.  Ask Jesus to give you His joy in everything you do.


May 7         I Thessalonians 1:7
As a result, you yourselves became an example to all the Christians in Greece.

Jesus is our example and we live as He lived before a watching world.  Our testimony is what we say and what we do.  Love is what differentiates us.  When we love others like Jesus loves us everything in our life will change.


May 8         I Thessalonians 1:8-9
And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Greece, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don’t need to tell them about it, for they themselves keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the true and living God.

Jesus loves you and me.  He calls us to lead a Godly life.  We talk about what Jesus is doing in our life and do for others as Jesus Himself would do.  Talk the talk, walk the walk and you will be a world changer where ever you are.


May 9         I Thessalonians 1:10
And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment.

We don’t think much about judgment.  The world totally ignores the implications of eternity.  New life in Christ begins now and takes us into eternity.  When we believe in Jesus we have accepted God’s way of dealing with our sin.


May 10       I Thessalonians 2:1-2
You yourselves know, dear brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not a failure.  You know how badly we had been treated at Philippi just before we came to you and how much we suffered there. Yet our God gave us the courage to declare his Good News to you boldly, even though we were surrounded by many who opposed us.

Living a Christian life takes courage.  It takes courage to do the next right thing.  It takes courage to live openly as a committed Christian.  Sometimes we look at the stories of great Christian leaders past and present and wish that we could be that way.  If you believe in Jesus and live a committed Christian life you are that way!  Jesus is Lord.


May 11       I Thessalonians 2:3
So you can see that we were not preaching with any deceit or impure purposes or trickery.

Today we can think of several big name ministers that were using trickery to build their kingdom.  Paul calls us to be plain spoken and to live a pure life.  When we follow Jesus and submit ourselves to Him we will never fall into the group that uses trickery to proclaim Jesus.  Today the Lord has you on His mind.  Strive to make sure He is on your mind.


May 12       I Thessalonians 2:4
For we speak as messengers who have been approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He is the one who examines the motives of our hearts.

Sometimes people will accuse you of being deceitful.  Make sure that as you live your life in Christ that you are proclaiming the Gospel.  If you will listen to Jesus and do what He says you will never go wrong.


May 13       I Thessalonians 2:5
Never once did we try to win you with flattery, as you very well know. And God is our witness that we were not just pretending to be your friends so you would give us money!

Our life must be focused on Jesus.  If we are living with one foot in the spiritual realm and one foot in the world we will ultimately fail.  Worry will draw us off course.  Greed will upend our ministry.  Ego will bring us down.  Daily we need to get with Jesus and tell him our problems and trust Him with the solution.  Jesus will never fail.


May 14       I Thessalonians 2:6
As for praise, we have never asked for it from you or anyone else.

Praise is detrimental to spiritual growth.  Praise if not given to Jesus will cause us to do things that are not right for a follower of the Lord Jesus to do.  We are to praise Him.  We are His servants.  We give Him all praise, honor, and glory.


May 15       I Thessalonians 2:7
As apostles of Christ we certainly had a right to make some demands of you, but we were as gentle among you as a mother feeding and caring for her own children.

Jesus calls us to be His servants.  We do not claim our rights because we have lain them aside to serve.  We trust Jesus for everything.  We follow Him in all things.  We begin each day with Him so that we will let Him have first place in our hearts.  I serve you Lord and never myself.  Today I claim my right to serve and willingly bend my knee before the Father and those He has sent me to serve.


May 16       I Thessalonians 2:8
We loved you so much that we gave you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.

My life is valuable and I willingly give it to the Lord Jesus.  My life is ever changing because I am surrendered to the Lord.  I will become closer to the Lord as I serve and out of my service I will develop an understanding of the value of those around me.  People count with Jesus and with me.


May 17       I Thessalonians 2:9
Don’t you remember, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked among you? Night and day we toiled to earn a living so that our expenses would not be a burden to anyone there as we preached God’s Good News among you.

My service to others is a way that I can learn about wealth.  Anything I have that I cannot give away controls me.  When I toil for the Gospel I am toiling for the Lord.  When I sacrifice for the Gospel I am sacrificing for others.  Getting out the Good News is part of my acceptable service.


May 18       I Thessalonians 2:10
You yourselves are our witnesses and so is God that we were pure and honest and faultless toward all of you believers.

We are to deal with life with reverence.  The course of our life is so important and valuable.  So many need to hear what we have to say.  Our life and our actions are always on trial.  A watching world needs to have no accusation of our purity and honesty.  We are living before the Lord and a lost world.  Be attentive to what you say and do.


May 19       I Thessalonians 2:11-12
And you know that we treated each of you as a father treats his own children.  We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy.  For he called you into his Kingdom to share his glory.

When we come into the Family of God we are given eternal life.  It begins right now and lasts forever.  We are on mission for Christ in this world and we will only be able to accomplish that mission in this life.  Every moment of every day we are to be about the Lord’s work.


May 20       I Thessalonians 2:13
And we will never stop thanking God that when we preached his message to you, you didn’t think of the words we spoke as being just our own. You accepted what we said as the very word of God which, of course, it was. And this word continues to work in you who believe.

All honor and glory and praise are due the Lord Jesus.  He is partnering with us in this life.  Claim his strength and do all that you do for His honor and glory and praise.


May 21       I Thessalonians 2:14
And then, dear brothers and sisters, you suffered persecution from your own countrymen. In this way, you imitated the believers in God’s churches in Judea who, because of their belief in Christ Jesus, suffered from their own people, the Jews.

Suffering is a part of the normal Christian life.  We suffer for living and proclaiming Jesus as Lord.  Denying self is a part of our suffering.  Bending the knee in service is another part of our suffering.  The world proclaims our rights we willingly give up our rights.  Do not fear Jesus is always here.  As you live today live a life of commitment and surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ.  He will encourage you and heal you.


May 22       I Thessalonians 2:15-16
For some of the Jews had killed their own prophets, and some even killed the Lord Jesus.  Now they have persecuted us and driven us out. They displease God and oppose everyone by trying to keep us from preaching the Good News to the Gentiles, for fear some might be saved. By doing this, they continue to pile up their sins. But the anger of God has caught up with them at last.

Do people know that you are a Christian?  They should.  Are you bringing honor and praise and glory to God by the way you live?  You should.  When we are not living for the Lord we are living for the Evil One.


May 23       I Thessalonians 2:17-20
Dear brothers and sisters, after we were separated from you for a little while (though our hearts never left you), we tried very hard to come back because of our intense longing to see you again.  We wanted very much to come, and I, Paul, tried again and again, but Satan prevented us.  After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what is our proud reward and crown? It is you! Yes, you will bring us much joy as we stand together before our Lord Jesus when he comes back again.  For you are our pride and joy.

Each one of us will face difficult struggles as we seek to serve the Lord.  Struggle is also a part of the normal Christian life.  A Christian life will be a life of joy.  Joy in knowing the Lord.  Joy in service to the Lord.  Joy in experiencing the growth and development of fellow believers.  Joy is a gift from the Father and we can have it in any situation.


May 24       I Thessalonians 3:1-3
Finally, when we could stand it no longer, we decided that I should stay alone in Athens, and we sent Timothy to visit you. He is our co-worker for God and our brother in proclaiming the Good News of Christ. We sent him to strengthen you, to encourage you in your faith, and to keep you from becoming disturbed by the troubles you were going through. But, of course, you know that such troubles are going to happen to us Christians.

Trouble will come.  You will need strengthening.  Teach your heart to recognize trouble and when it comes go immediately to God’s Word.  His Word will give you the wisdom you will need to face that trouble and the strength to get whatever help you need.


May 25       I Thessalonians 3:4-5
Even while we were with you, we warned you that troubles would soon come and they did, as you well know.  That is why, when I could bear it no longer, I sent Timothy to find out whether your faith was still strong. I was afraid that the Tempter had gotten the best of you and that all our work had been useless.

Our faith is fashioned in the fires of difficulty and trouble.  When overwhelmed, rejoice for the Lord’s victory in your particular situation is going to strengthen you.  When you work through that fire you will discover that you will be equipped to help someone else go through a fire similar to yours.  Faith is shaped on the spiritual battlefield.


May 26       I Thessalonians 3:6
Now Timothy has just returned, bringing the good news that your faith and love are as strong as ever. He reports that you remember our visit with joy and that you want to see us just as much as we want to see you.

We can rejoice with others when they have experienced a time of trial.  We can rejoice as we go through trials.  As long as Jesus is the focus of our life we will survive and thrive.  And one day we will rejoice together with Him in Heaven.


May 27       I Thessalonians 3:7
So we have been greatly comforted, dear brothers and sisters, in all of our own crushing troubles and suffering, because you have remained strong in your faith.

We are encouraged by others as they work out their faith with fear and trembling.  It encourages us because we may have experienced the same thing and know what the outcome will be.  It may encourage us because we haven’t gotten there yet and know that when we do we will come through victorious as friends have.  The common experience of all Christians is the intervention of the Lord Jesus in the impossible situations of our life so that we will experience victory.  Jesus is Lord.


May 28       I Thessalonians 3:8
It gives us new life, knowing you remain strong in the Lord.

Isolation is a tool used by the deceiver.  Be in church.  Be with other Christians.  Share your faith and experiences.  Listen as others share their faith and experiences.  But for the grace of God there goes each one of us.  Claim His grace and mercy, build strong friendships and serve others.  Relationships encourage our growth and strength.


May 29       I Thessalonians 3:9
How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy in the presence of God.

Share a kind word with everyone you meet.  Recognize the value of each person you meet and you will be amazed at how valuable you become.  We never know the importance of a kind word.  Sometimes those we encourage are on their last leg.  We also do not realize the boost that encouraging others gives to us.  Together we stand.  Divided we are an easy target.  Serve Jesus by caring for the saints.


May 30       I Thessalonians 3:10
Night and day we pray earnestly for you, asking God to let us see you again to fill up anything that may still be missing in your faith.

People need people.  We need to pray for one another.  We need to work together with others.  We need to learn patience and kindness.  Be gentle.  Be confident in failure and humble in victory.  Jesus is Lord.


May 31       I Thessalonians 3:11-13
May God himself, our Father, and our Lord Jesus make it possible for us to come to you very soon.  And may the Lord make your love grow and overflow to each other and to everyone else, just as our love overflows toward you.  As a result, Christ will make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy when you stand before God our Father on that day when our Lord Jesus comes with all those who belong to him.

Jesus will return.  He is coming back.  Do not fear.  Ask for joy and peace.  Pray for the saints and serve with confidence.  The victory is won.  We belong to Jesus.

April 2007

April 1        Colossians 2:15
In this way, God disarmed the evil rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross of Christ.

We have power because Jesus gives it to us.  We can overcome whatever difficulty we are facing.  It may take time and it may not unfold in the way that we determine but we will be victorious.  Jesus is at work every moment providing for our needs.  Pray, pray and pray that you might be fully aware of His power in you.


April 2        Colossians 2:16-17
So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new-moon ceremonies or Sabbaths.  For these rules were only shadows of the real thing, Christ himself.

Obedience begins in our heart and works out in our daily life.  When our life is focused on Jesus we will do the right thing.  Focusing our life on rules will create a sense of self-satisfaction, and will lull us into thinking about how good we are.  Focusing our life on Jesus will help us identify our mistakes, take corrective action and have confidence in the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.


April 3        Colossians 2:18
Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on self-denial. And don’t let anyone say you must worship angels, even though they say they have had visions about this. These people claim to be so humble, but their sinful minds have made them proud.

People are always willing to speak for God but few are willing to sacrifice for their faith.  Many will stand to receive accolades but few will suffer condemnation for their faith in Jesus Christ.  When someone claims to be speaking for the Lord be very careful.  Their life and actions will soon reveal for whom they are really speaking.  Jesus wants our obedience and service to one another and seldom needs us to speak for him.  Historically His great servants have been suffering saints that do not walk the halls of the powerful and mighty but instead serve at the gates of hell proclaiming that Jesus is Lord.


April 4        Colossians 2:19
But they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body.  For we are joined together in his body by his strong sinews and we grow only as we get our nourishment and strength from God.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus is our daily need.  We can do nothing without Him and often go awry when we seek to do it our self.  Our desire is to be His will and our activity is to be obedience.  Time with Jesus equips us with the spiritual nourishment we need for daily living.


April 5        Colossians 2:20-22
You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the evil powers of this world.  So why do you keep on following rules of the world, such as, “Don’t handle, don’t eat, don’t touch.”  Such rules are mere human teaching about things that are gone as soon as we use them.

We who are members of the family of God, born again in Christ, have eternity etched into our heart.  Christ is our master and His will is our guide.  If we are to survive and grow we will spend time with Jesus each day.   This is our choice.  Will we throw off the chains of worldly enslavement or will we continue to be overrun by the cares and worries of this world?  Only in Jesus can we find the strength to live a Christ like life.


April 6        Colossians 2:23
These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, humility, and severe bodily discipline. But they have no effect when it comes to conquering a person’s evil thoughts and desires.

We much prefer rules over relationship.  Jesus calls us to a living, holy, relationship.  We live every moment of our life with Him.  We seek to obey Him and submit our innermost desires and hopes to Him.  We seek His forgiveness of our sin and confess our weakness in struggling with sin to Him.  Jesus is Lord and we live because of Him.  He gives us life and light and we seek to let Him make us in His image.


April 7        Colossians 3: 1
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honor and power.

We are under the authority of the living Lord Jesus.  He is our righteousness and He is our life.  We live moment by moment with the understanding that His desire is that we have a good and perfect life.  All good things come from Him.  When we experience the results of evil He is there to lead us through them.  Seldom will we avoid live but in Jesus we can live life.


April 8        Colossians 3:2
Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth.

Heaven is a great place where God resides.  We will one day see Him face to face.  We will live together with Him throughout eternity.  We belong to Him, we serve Him and we will live eternally under His authority.  Golden streets, walls of precious jewels all will fade in comparison to the matchless joy of seeing Jesus.  Worthy is the Lamb and worthy of all our praise and honor.  Jesus is indeed Lord.

April 9        Colossians 3:3
For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.

The world operates under the idea that it is alive.  Anyone with Jesus is dead in their trespasses and sin and only sees and knows those things that are passing away.  They are enslaved to the spirit of the world and are not able to see the things of God.  Lost people always act like lost people.  Those of us alive in Christ are charged with the responsibility of sharing with others the life that we have.  Jesus uses our heartache and tragedy to proclaim real life in Christ.  Jesus uses broken people to spread the Gospel.


April 10      Colossians 3:4
And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

I must confess that this is a hard thing to understand.  What I do know is that Jesus loves me.  He loves me so much that He died for me.  The power of God that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power available for us who are alive in Christ.  Jesus is our life.  Jesus is the Lord of all that we see, feel and know.  All glory to God the Father and to the Lord Jesus Christ.


April 11      Colossians 3:5-6
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires. Don’t be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is idolatry.  God’s terrible anger will come upon those who do such things.

Jesus is Lord of our life.  We are in control of the choices we make.  Our choice must be to claim the power for living that Jesus offers us.  It is a moment by moment, every day, and every action choice.  Will I control my life or will I let Jesus control it?  When we are in control failure is always present.  When Jesus is in control we move from victory to victory.  Surrender your life to Jesus and choose to do the next right thing.


April 12      Colossians 3:7-8
You used to do them when your life was still part of this world.  But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language.

Jesus calls us to let Him have control of our life.  If we go our own way we will continue to be dominated by whatever weakness we struggle with.  If we let Jesus have control we will change.  It is really hard to let Jesus have control of our life.  It is a lifelong journey.  We need encouragers, Bible study, prayer and a willingness to change to become what we can be in Christ.  It will never happen without our surrender to Jesus.


April 13      Colossians 3:9
Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old evil nature and all its wicked deeds.

We behave the way that our leader behaves.  If we are in control of our life we will behave with shortsightedness, pride, anger and wickedness.  If Jesus is in control of our life we will be new creatures in Christ.  Look at yourself.  Are you acting the way that Jesus would act?  If you are keep growing and stay in the Word.  If you are still acting like you have always acted, and overwhelmed by the pressures of the world then change.  Let Jesus have control right this moment.  Lord Jesus help us to give you control of our lives.


April 14      Colossians 3:10-11
In its place you have clothed yourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you.  In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free.  Christ is all that matters and he lives in all of us.

The world is always seeking unity.  We create organizations to do it and yet we are unable to create it.  Jesus gives us a new heart.  Our new heart is creating in us new activity, new thinking and a life like Jesus.  When Jesus is in control there will be unity.  When Jesus is in control our new nature will deal with others as Jesus deals with us.


April 15      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.

We are responsible.  We are responsible to pray.  We are responsible to apply spiritual knowledge to the way we live, act and worship.  Every day we get up we are faced with one choice-“how will I live today?”  I can choose to live as a child of God or I can choose to live a defeated, disappointing life.  Choose to live.


April 16      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.

We live each day reveling in the wonderful fact that we are saved.  Thank you Lord for our salvation.  We also live with the fact that we are sinful creatures even after we are saved.  Have mercy Lord on us.  With the realization that all of our life is lived between victory and mercy we must always be aware of the responsibility we have to be forgiving of others.  But for the grace of God there go I.


April 17      Colossians 3:14
And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony.

Love forgives all, helps all and is victorious over all things.  When we love is when we are most like Jesus.  When we love it costs us.  When we love it benefits us.  When our life is based upon a commitment to love one another it will change the way we think and feel and act.  Jesus loves me and you.


April 18      Colossians 3:15
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are all called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

Peace is a gift from God.  We should be asking for peace each day as we face the rigors of daily life.  Peace equips us to grow.  Peace gives us clear thinking.  Peace encourages others.  Peace is a gift that the whole world is looking for.  Peace be unto you.


April 19      Colossians 3:6
Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise. Use his words to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

The Word of God is the food that we seek for spiritual growth.  His Word is alive and active in our heats, and soul and mind.  His Word is at work in us to outfit us to face the trial that is coming.  We never know how or when that trial will come but Jesus does.  His Word is the fortification for us each day that we live enabling us to serve, grow and stand in the face of all odds.


April 20      Colossians 3:17
And whatever you do or say let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through him to God the Father.

We are agents of the Lord High God.  Jesus will use us to represent Him if we will let Him.  Our goal is to be so much like Christ that when someone sees us they see Jesus.  As agents we can claim the power of the one that we are representing to face the challenges of life.  Do not fear for the Lord is active and alive in us.


April 21      Colossians 3:18-22
You wives must submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord.  And you husbands must love your wives and never treat them harshly.  You children must always obey your parents, for this is what pleases the Lord.  Fathers, don’t aggravate your children. If you do, they will become discouraged and quit trying.  You slaves must obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Obey them willingly because of your reverent fear of the Lord.

Jesus is our focus.  When our desire is to please Him everything else will fall in place.


April 22      Colossians 3:23
Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

Are you focused on what you can do or what others do?  When we look to Jesus as our Lord and master, we no longer worry about what the world says.  Who are we listening too?  The world wooing us into the game of measuring ourselves by others or are we listening to Jesus as He guides us day by day.


April 23      Colossians 3:24
Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and the Master you are serving is Christ.

Our goal is to honor and glorify the Lord Jesus.  Our reward for that is eternal life beginning right now.  In Christ we have value and worth.  Not because of what we can do but because of the One who owns us.  Jesus is Lord.


April 24      Colossians 3:25
But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done.  For God has no favorites who can get away with evil.

Sin is pervasive and sly.  Sin is seeking to destroy you.  Do not take your relationship with the Lord lightly.  Let Christ have control of your life and He will point out those things that you need to quit or change.  Jesus will give you strength to face the day and peace and joy to revel in it.


April 25      Isaiah 49:15-16
“Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for a child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on my hand. Ever before me is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins.

The clamor by people when they are caught in the destruction of their own sin always singles out God as the responsible party.  Immediately the declaration is that only if you had remembered.  God never forgets.  When we come to Him and ask to be a part of His family He “etches” our name in the palm of His hand.  You are remembered.  You will not be forgotten.  Claim His power and presence in your life today.


April 26      Colossians 4:3-4
Don’t forget to pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to preach about his secret plan that Christ is also for you Gentiles. That is why I am here in chains.  Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.

We must tell about Jesus as we go about our daily lives.  But it is also important to remember our friends and others that are busy spreading the Gospel message each day.  Prayer seems so easy but when we recognize how little we pray we understand the commitment that it takes to be consistent in prayer.  Pray for me as I pray for you.


April 27      Colossians 4:5-6
Live wisely among those who are not Christians, and make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be gracious and effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone.

A self focused life will destroy you and everyone around you.  Lift up your eyes to Jesus and ask Him to cleanse you and to use you.  Listen to those around you and be an encourager of everyone you meet.


April 28      Colossians 4:7-10
Tychicus, a much loved brother, will tell you how I am getting along. He is a faithful helper who serves the Lord with me.  I have sent him on this special trip to let you know how we are doing and to encourage you.  I am also sending Onesimus, a faithful and much loved brother, one of your own people. He and Tychicus will give you all the latest news.  Aristarchus, who is in prison with me, sends you his greetings, and so does Mark, Barnabas’s cousin. And as you were instructed before, make Mark welcome if he comes your way.

Rejoice in the Lord for the friends He has sent you.  Be a good friend, long suffering and kind.  Encourage your friends.  Be hesitant to give them advice instead choosing to listen and encourage.  Your love for them will be a significant element in a good friend making right choices and doing what God has called them to do.  Amazingly living this way is like making regular deposits in a bank account and one day you will be able to have good friends that will help you in your hour of need.


April 29      Colossians 4:11-13
Jesus (the one we call Justus) also sends his greetings. These are the only Jewish Christians among my co-workers; they are working with me here for the Kingdom of God. And what a comfort they have been!  Epaphras, from your city, a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings. He always prays earnestly for you, asking God to make you strong and perfect, fully confident of the whole will of God.  I can assure you that he has agonized for you and also for the Christians in Laodicea and Hierapolis.

Pray for your friends.  Pray for them regularly and consistently.  Pray for their well being, for their family, for their work and for their good health.  Pray that they will be faithful to the Lord and ask the Lord what you can do for them.
April 30      Colossians 4:14-18
Dear Doctor Luke sends his greetings, and so does Demas.  Please give my greetings to our Christian brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and those who meet in her house.  After you have read this letter, pass it on to the church at Laodicea so they can read it, too. And you should read the letter I wrote to them.  And say to Archippus, “Be sure to carry out the work the Lord gave you.”  Here is my greeting in my own handwriting PAUL.  Remember my chains.  May the grace of God be with you.

Grace is great than our sin.  Grace is greater than our failure.  Grace is abundant.  Whatever you have done that causes you to be hesitant before the Lord ask His forgiveness and His grace will inundate your soul.

March 2007

March 1                Colossians 1:1-2
This letter is from Paul, chosen by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy.  It is written to God’s holy people in the city of Colosse, who are faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. May God our Father give you grace and peace.

I pray that you are accepting the full measure of grace that Jesus has for you today.  It is adequate to deal with the life you are living.  It will equip you with the ability to accomplish what the Lord has called you to do.  Grace upon grace is our claim.  Grace upon grace is the gift that we are receiving today.


March 2                Colossians 1:3-4
We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard that you trust in Christ Jesus and that you love all of God’s people.

I am praying for you.  Not by name necessarily but for you as a brother or sister in Christ.  We are to be constantly in prayer and we are to pray that Jesus be glorified by our lives and the lives of each one of His children.  We sometimes get so caught up in the reality of life that we forget to pray for the brethren and to pray for their victory in Jesus this day.  I am praying for you.


March 3                Colossians 1:5
You do this because you are looking forward to the joys of heaven as you have been ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News.

We now live in eternity.  As the children of God saved by His grace as a result of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ and our confession of His salvation we are now living in eternity.  Our relationship with each other will be different in heaven but no truer than it is this moment.  Think about the reality of seeing Him face to face.  Think of the joy of seeing loved ones and lost friends again.  Heaven is going to be a great place that we begin realizing now.


March 4                Colossians 1:6
This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is changing lives everywhere, just as it changed yours that very first day you heard and understood the truth about God’s great kindness to sinners.

Jesus came to pay the price for our sin.  Jesus gives us a relationship with God if we simply ask.  Sin is so devastating and it affects all of mankind.  The Good News is that people can be freed from sin.  We are partners together with the Lord Jesus in sharing His good news.


March 5                Colossians 1:7-8
Epaphras, our much loved co-worker, was the one who brought you the Good News. He is Christ’s faithful servant, and he is helping us in your place.    He is the one who told us about the great love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you.

Friends and co-workers are special.  A friend shared the Gospel with us.  We are to tell everyone we meet about the confidence we have in Jesus.  We are also called to be wise in well doing.  I want to make sure that I am like Epaphras.  I want to be found faithful every day.


March 6                Colossians 1:9
So we have continued praying for you ever since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you a complete understanding of what he wants to do in your lives, and we ask him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom.

Wisdom is the application of truth from the Lord to our lives.  I can know many things and yet still be dead in my sin.  It is wise to know Jesus as Lord and savior.  It takes wisdom to come to grips with sin in our lives.  A Christian life well lived and growing in Christ is a tough journey of grappling with the powers and principalities of the air and our own habits of sin.  It takes wisdom from the Father for us to accomplish this.  Pray for wisdom.


March 7                Colossians 1:10
Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and you will continually do good, kind things for others. All the while, you will learn to know God better and better.

When we listen to Jesus, do what He says we will always walk in the right way.  The Holy Spirit will protect us from sin and foolishness and will equip us to stand in the hour of testing.  We never know ahead of time when this will be but we will always be ready in time to face the challenges of life.  Take time to grow in Christ today.  Spend time in the Word of God and let Jesus have your attention.


March 8                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.

The Gospel message is that God is searching for lost mankind and He has come in the flesh to reclaim the lost.  When Jesus reclaims us He offers us eternal power.  We are weak because we want to do things our way.  Our prayer for one another is that we will spend time with Jesus, live life His way and thereby we will live by His power and strength and not ours.


March 9               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.

God cares for us.  He is concerned about mankind’s lostness.  The Father would that no one be lost.  Jesus came to find us and take us to the Father.  You and I are partners’ together with Christ in His search for the lost.  We spread the Gospel through our words, actions and prayers.  Pray for the lost.


March 10             Colossians 1:14
God has purchased our freedom with his blood and has forgiven all our sins.

We cannot work our way to the Father.  Jesus provided access to the Father by shedding his blood and paying the price of our sin.  We are burdened by our sin.  The accuser is always pointing at our sin and laughing at us.  We are to recognize our sin and ask the Father to forgive us of our sin.  Even after salvation we continue to need daily forgiveness.  God loves you and me.  He forgives us of our sin when we confess with our mouths and stop sinning.  Jesus gives us the strength to live a Holy life dependent upon Him.


March 11             Colossians 1:15
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation.

Jesus loved us before anything was created.  He continues to love us and His love is constantly seeking us.  We declare the injustice of the current situation and Jesus still loves us.  We make the wrong choice and Jesus still loves us.  We look at ourselves and really have a hard time believing we can be forgiven and Jesus still loves us.  Jesus loves you and me.


March 12             Colossians 1:16
Christ is the one through whom God created everything in heaven and earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see kings, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities. Everything has been created through him and for him.

All that is was created by Christ.  All that will ever be is created by Jesus.  We live in His world.  His rules are in control.  Those that violate His rules suffer the consequences.  When we come to Jesus for salvation we are submitting to the One who is in fact our Lord.  Life in Christ is life.


March 13             Colossians 1:17
He existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together.

We are held in the hand of Jesus.  Sometimes we may think no one is thinking about us or that no one cares about us but Jesus always cares.  He is with us, he is thinking about us and our welfare is always uppermost in His mind and heart.  You are valuable.  You are loved.  Jesus cares for you.


March 14             Colossians 1:18
Christ is the head of the church, which is his body. He is the first of all who will rise from the dead, so he is first in everything.

Jesus is number one.  His focus is on you and me.  We are His number one.  What you are doing day by day matters.  You and the people you know are important to the Lord.  Stop for a moment and think about what you are doing.  Does it seem important to you?  It does to Jesus.


March 15             Colossians 1:19-20
For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and by him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of his blood on the cross.

The world has no peace.  So often we get caught up in our fears and we have no peace.  Do not be fooled by the world.  In Jesus we have peace.  In Christ we have access to the Father.  He loves us and He is focused on our life.  Our journey is a straight line toward the day when we will stand face to face with Jesus.  Claim His peace today.


March 16             Colossians 1:21-22
This includes you who were once so far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions, yet now he has brought you back as his friends. He has done this through his death on the cross in his own human body. As a result, he has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.

Jesus is our friend.  He is closer than a brother or sister.  He knows us and sees all we do and yet He is still our friend.  He has paid the price for our friendship.  Because of His death, burial and resurrection we can come to the Father as beloved children because our friend has prepaid the price of our friendship.

March 17             Colossians 1:23
But you must continue to believe this truth and stand in it firmly. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed by God to proclaim it.

Truth is from God.  Science, math and every other field of higher learning are always dealing with what they know the truth to be and it is always changing.  New things are discovered, and the world is changing.  Jesus never changes.  Jesus knows the end from the beginning.  He is the truth and we can build our life on Christ.  When we know Jesus we know the truth.


March 18             Colossians 1:24
I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am completing what remains of Christ’s sufferings for his body, the church.

Suffering is not something we seek out.  Suffering is never pleasant.  Suffering will come.  When we live for Jesus we will experience suffering.  Suffering without Christ has no value.  Suffering for Christ has eternal implications.  We learn truth in our suffering.  We will experience the presence of the Lord when we suffer.  We belong to Jesus and He is belongs to us.


March 19             Colossians 1:25-26
God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his message in all its fullness to you Gentiles.  This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to his own holy people.

Today we know the secret.  Jesus is Lord.  Jesus is our resource.  One of the things we can teach ourselves to do is to remember what problem we were faced with and how it was resolved.  Often times when we got to the problem is wasn’t a problem.  If we begin to see His activity in our everyday life we can begin to get a sense of the magnitude of His love for us.  The proclamation of the Gospel is simply our telling others about our relationship with Jesus.  Ask Him for a word to share and then remember to share it.


March 20             Colossians 1:27
For it has pleased God to tell his people that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. For this is the secret: Christ lives in you, and this is your assurance that you will share in his glory.

Jesus is alive today.  He is with us and instructing us.  He will change our hearts to hearts of joy and give us wise counsel.  Talk with Him.  Listen as He talks.  Do not condemn yourself for He has forgiven you.  Change the way you see yourself and your life.  Your life and all of its moments are important to Jesus.


March 21             Colossians 1:28-29
So everywhere we go, we tell everyone about Christ. We warn them and teach them with all the wisdom God has given us, for we want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ.  I work very hard at this, as I depend on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.

We must ask Jesus for His power.  It is readily available.  Living life should be a life in Christ.  His Word is important.  Read the Bible as though your life depended on it because it does.  We will not lose our salvation by not reading the Bible but we will lose the personal victory in daily living that is empowered by reading and knowing His Word.


March 22             Colossians 2: 1-2
I want you to know how much I have agonized for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for many other friends who have never known me personally.  My goal is that they will be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have full confidence because they have complete understanding of God’s secret plan, which is Christ himself.

We are encouragers.  We are prayer warriors.  When we encourage someone we are giving them a view from the Lord’s perspective.  They are His and their life is His and our encouragement will remind them that the Lord is intensely interested in them.  When we pray for others before the Father we are partnering together with Jesus to be active in their life.  Encourage someone and pray for those around you today.


March 23             Colossians 2:3
In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Wisdom is so critical in each one of our lives.  Jesus will give us the wisdom we need to capitalize on the knowledge He gives us for living.  When your focus is on Christ you will do the right thing and the next right thing.  We can live in victory and the world cannot destroy us.  Jesus loves you.

March 24             Colossians 2:4-5
I am telling you this so that no one will be able to deceive you with persuasive arguments.  For though I am far away from you, my heart is with you. And I am very happy because you are living as you should and because of your strong faith in Christ.

Do not let the world overwhelm you.  Do not look to the events in your life and conclude that you are not important.  Do not let the circumstances surrounding you today suggest that He is not listening.  He is and He cares for you.  Victory is a choice.  When we choose to become like Jesus and focus on His activity in our life we are living in victory.


March 25             Colossians 2:6
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to live in obedience to him.

God loves our obedience.  He knows that when we obey we will have victory.  Obedience is always our responsibility and choice.  When I obey His power in me grows.  When I disobey I become weak in living a Christian life.


March 26             Colossians 2:7
Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done.

Thanksgiving destroys a godless attitude.  When we thank Jesus for the life He gives us we are empowering His activity in our life.  An attitude of gratitude disarms the world’s attempts to abuse us and misuse us.  Our gratitude is one of the foundations for walking in a Christ like manner.  Thank you for partnering with me in sharing an encouraging word.  Pray for me and this ministry.


March 27             Colossians 2:8
Don’t let anyone lead you astray with empty philosophy and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the evil powers of this world,  and not from Christ.

The Word of God, the Bible, was given to us for direction, wisdom, encouragement, promises and all of the other things that equip us to combat the evil powers of this world.  We must read the Bible and be diligent in remembering what it says.


March 28             Colossians 2:9-10
For in Christ the fullness of God lives in a human body, and you are complete through your union with Christ. He is the Lord over every ruler and authority in the universe.

America is overwhelmed with fear and worry.  When Jesus is Lord he equips us to deal with whatever we face in life.  We are no longed in bondage to sin.  We are not helpless.  The world cannot destroy us.  Be of good cheer because Jesus is here.


March 29             Colossians 2:11-12
When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. It was a spiritual procedure the cutting away of your sinful nature.  For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to a new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.

We have new life in Christ.  We have exchanged the defeatism that dogs the steps of the lost.  We pray for the lost.  We rejoice in our new life and that rejoicing spills over into everything we do.  Our salvation does not make us better that others but it does make us part of the family of God.  Our rejoicing is what we share with the lost.  We have a testimony and witness to our new life.  Share what you have with everyone you meet.


March 30             Colossians 2:13
You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ. He forgave all our sins.

We are forgiven.  This releases us from the bonds that have so tightly held us to genetic replication.  We do no have to act like a lost parent.  We are not controlled by the things that the lost are controlled by.  We are members of the Lord’s family.  We are His and He is ours.


March 31             Colossians 2:14
He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross.

Jesus has disposed of the record of our lostness.  He removes our sin for eternity and here and now.  Do you remember when you were defeated?  Jesus doesn’t.  Do you still suffer from secret sin carried from the old life into your new life?  You shouldn’t be and don’t have to be-confess your sin.  What you did do He has forgotten.  What you are doing He will forgive.  Change and obey.

February 2007

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

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 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 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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!'”

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.

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.”

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.’

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.”

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!”

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.

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).

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).

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.

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.”

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.”

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.”

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.

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.’ ”

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!”

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!

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.'”

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.

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.

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.”

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 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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’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.”

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.”

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.

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.”

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.

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!

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.

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.”

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?”

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.

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.

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.”

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.”

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.