On Wings Of Eagles

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Monday, August 31, 2009

God is more powerful then the powers of the world

God does not like bullies, oppressors, or exploiters. Those who control by intimidation and violence are detestable and an abomination to the LORD. We are not to idolize, praise, or reward those who have risen to power by exploiting others. God is all powerful and can overcome anything the world can throw at us.

Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways, for the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence.
— Proverbs 3:31-32

Dear LORD, I know the powers of this world are great and I know that you are more powerful then them. Please break the power of those who persecute and abuse your people. In Jesus name. Amen.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Loving God

Sometimes the most important things are not hard to understand. God wants us to love him with every fiber of our being and to also love those around us. All of his demands on character really boil down to honoring these two great principles that transcend law and bring the character of God to hearts.

[Jesus replied,] "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: `Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."
— Mark 12:30-31

Dear Lord, I love you. I love you for your plan to send your Messiah as a descendant of Abraham and David. I love you for your unfailing love. I love you for listening grace to hear my prayers. I love you for sending Jesus and for starting your church. I love you dear God, in Jesus name, Amen

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A patient tongue

Responding quickly to aggravation, threat, insult, or difficulty suggests strength to many folks today. However, responding hastily out of anger is foolish. This response seldom produces the desired long term effect and nearly always compounds the problems that need to be addressed. Patiently dealing with frustrating and painful situations shows understanding and is nearly always more fruitful in the long run.

A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.
— Proverbs 14:29

Dear Lord, I ask for patience and self-control. I know these virtues are part of the fruit of your Spirit's presence in my life, so I ask that the Holy Spirit have more impact on my heart and life. Please give me the understanding and wisdom to keep my mouth shut until I have had an opportunity to pray and think about the issues and people involved. In Jesus' name , Amen.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bad things happen, God is there

Bad things happen in life. Satan has a part to play in the bad things. Our own sins and their consequences also play a part. The rebellion against God and the spiritual weakness in those we love bring hurtful things into our life. Sometimes, God even disciplines us to awaken us out of lethargy or to correct some sinful problem in our lives. Yet in all these things, we have an incredible promise: If we love God and are seeking to honor his call in our lives, our Father in heaven will work out all of the things going on in our life for our good.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
— Romans 8:28

Dear Lord, it is so good to know your promise to work out all things in my life, both good and bad, for my good. I ask, for faith to believe this promise is true during painful and difficult times. I ask for patience, O God, to hang on to my convictions when trying times persist. I believe your promise and look forward to what you will eventually make of me when you are finished with your work. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Filling of the Holy Spirit

When we became Christians, we were not only cleansed by the Holy Spirit; we were also filled with the Holy Spirit. John speaks of this as our anointing. The Spirit helps us hear the truth about Jesus and keeps us from surrendering that truth to false teaching that would diminish either side of Jesus' identity -- Jesus, "God with us" or "God like us." We abide in Jesus when we hold on to both of these incredible truths.

As for you, the anointing you received from him [the Spirit] remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit — just as it has taught you, remain in him.
— 1 John 2:27

Dear Lord thank you for sending Jesus to save me. May I never surrender my sense of wonder or my deep feelings of appreciation for all that Jesus was, is, and always will be. Thank you for sending me your Spirit to help me safeguard the truth about your Son and my Savior, in Jesus name, Amen

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

God understands

Isn't it incredible! Even in those times when my words are blocked and my heart is heavy, God hears my prayers. It is not because I speak well, wise, or faithful enough to pray as I should. No, it is because God has graciously placed his Spirit in our hearts to make known what my words cannot capture and my mind cannot say. God hears my groanings, my yearnings, my heartbreaks, and my heart-cries. He knows what I cannot think, but only feel. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, He answers those unuttered prayers with His presence, grace, and power.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
— Romans 8:26

Dear Lord I am comforted by knowing that even if I don't know what to say, you know what I mean to say. I trust you to answer my longings as you see fit, for I know that you know what I need far more than I know how to ask for it. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Godly Character

Character is measured by the love and faithfulness we genuinely display in our daily lives. These are not simple virtues that we can fake. Merciful love is displayed when we have power over another but choose to treat them with kindness and genuine concern. Faithfulness is being a person of truth -- genuine and trustworthy in word and deed. These virtues need to be a part of our everyday lives and permeate our very identity. When they do, others will notice and God will be pleased.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.— Proverbs 3:3-4

Dear Lord I praise you for your example of strength and mercy, holiness and compassion, love and faithfulness. Carve these character traits on my heart as I submit myself to your will and open my life to your Spirit's transformational power. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The truth will set you free

Truth is not something we just know; it is something we live. Jesus reminds us that we must not only know His teaching, but we must also obey it. However, obedience is one of the proofs of our discipleship and a doorway to freedom and truth.

"If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
— John 8:31-32

Dear Lord please forgive me for taking obedience to your will so lightly. Sometimes your way seems so hard. However, deep in my heart I do believe that your will is a blessing and not a hindrance. Use me to help others find joy in obeying you, too. In Jesus' name, Amen.

S. M Lockeridge's "My King"

This is one of the best descriptions of our Lord.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What is your source of significance?

What is your source of significance? This proverb challenges us to view the world upside down to the rest of culture. Humility and association with the lowly and oppressed are valued by God. Abusive power and arrogance are not. God didn't just give us this proverb; he sent us his Son to demonstrate it. Now if we can only learn to live it. Ah! But Jesus does give us the opportunity to demonstrate it when he says, "Follow me!"

Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.
— Proverbs 16:19

Dear Lord I recognize my weakness to temptation, to the lure of my culture's facades, and to the pressure to be like the "popular crowd. Please use me to be a difference-maker in my world by including those who are left out, forgotten, and disenfranchised. In Jesus name. Amen.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Don't let your circumstances get you down

As Paul faced the difficulties of imprisonment, he was more concerned about the people in Ephesus than he was about himself. Rather than keeping Tychicus close at hand for his own personal benefit, Paul sent him back to bless the people in Asia Minor. Even in his time of difficulty and danger, Paul was concerned more to bless than he was to be blessed. Isn't that a great example to us today? We so often get upset about our minor inconveniences and ruin our attitude toward everyone around us. Paul's example should convict us and lead us to be a blessing to others regardless of our circumstances.

I am sending him [Tychicus] to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.
— Ephesians 6:22

Dear Lord forgive me for letting my difficulties ruin my attitude. I want to be a blessing to others no matter my personal circumstances. Convict me with your Spirit when I begin to focus too much on myself and my situation. Expand my heart with your grace so that I can use my inconveniences, problems, struggles, and challenges to be opportunities to share and to display your grace. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Wisdom from God

God used his wisdom to create the world and all that is in it. Through His discernment, He appointed to each being and to each item its place in his dazzling display of diversity. He has chosen to share that wisdom and discernment with those who reverence him and search for his wisdom. If we will use that wisdom and discernment we will possess the greatest of all jewels and a blessing that will enrich our life.

My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.
— Proverbs 3:21-22

Dear Lord I know that you will bless me with wisdom if I ask. I am asking for that wisdom. I want to live a holy life that is clearly a reflection of your character and in honor of your holiness. Bless me with wisdom and discernment as I face the day-to-day decisions that I must make that impact the lives of others. In Jesus name. Amen.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

We Belong

"We belong!" That's what the apostle Paul is telling us. We're not outsiders or second-class citizens or "Johnny come lately" children of God. Because of grace, we belong! We are part of God's house! The foundation of that house is made up of the apostles and prophets. The cornerstone of that house is Jesus himself. Incredibly, we are also a part of this holy house of God. We belong!

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
— Ephesians 2:19-20

Dear Lord thank you for bringing me into your people by grace through faith in Jesus. Thank you for making me an important part of your house. Forgive me for the times that I have doubted my importance to You and awaken in me the fact that I belong to you, to your people, and to your house. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

When waves crash around us

This is a posting that can be found on Ron's Reflections ( He has a good name) Ron has been a pastor since 1989 serving churches in Mississippi and Alabama. I was really touched by it. May God use it to help you face the tough times.

A number of years ago I was having a tough time. My youngest son was critically ill… I was trying to complete my doctorate… and the pressure at church was immense. At the time I was also dealing with some anger and resentment issues that hadn’t been resolved from 25 years earlier. Even though I was a pastor, I felt like I waves of despair were crashing all around me.

One day I went to the local Christian book store. Upon walking in I saw a picture on the wall and was immediately struck by it. What I saw was exactly how I felt. If you look closely at the picture to the right, you will notice a man standing in the door as the wave engulfs the lighthouse.

I pictured myself as that person… about to be hit hard by a wave he should have know was coming. Obviously if he didn’t do something quick he could be washed away.
Then I saw something else about the picture… something encouraging.
The man must not have been worried about the storm. Probably because he’d been through them before. And because of his past experience he had to have known that the lighthouse was secure and wouldn’t be affected by the waves. He knew the foundation of the lighthouse was trustworthy. So he could open the door… step out into the storm… and still be safe.

Luke 6:47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.

God used a picture to encourage me. He reminded me that He is my foundation and that no matter what may come into my life, I was secure and had no need to worry. Regardless of how harsh the storm, He was Lord of the storm!

He promised never to leave or forsake me. I could cast all my anxiety upon Him because He cared for me. He would not put more on me than I could handle. His grace was sufficient for when I am weak, then I am strong.
The same is true for you when Jesus is your Savior.

Our Love is of God

We love others because God has first loved us. Our Heavenly Father taught us how to love in Jesus. Our Abba Father has given us security and confidence so we can love more fully. Our Holy and Almighty God loved us boldly and sacrificially so we could properly understand and define love. We are not the source of love; God is. We are not the great example of love; God is. We tend to be careful and share our love with only those with whom we want to share it: God's love is expansive and open to all. We love because he first loved us.

We love because he first loved us.
— 1 John 4:19

Dear Lrod forgive me for the times that I have been careful and guarded with my love of your children. Please help me to love others as you have loved me. I ask especially for today that I might use your love to touch someone who needs it in a special way, whether they respond favorably to that love or not. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Is God Dancing on your Patato Chips?

Not too long ago I had "one of those days." I was feeling pressure from a
Writing deadline. I had company arriving in a couple days and the toilet was clogged. I went to the bank, and the trainee teller processing my deposit had to start over three times. I swung by the supermarket to pick up a few things and the lines were serpentine. By the time I got home, I was frazzled and sweaty and in a hurry to get something on the table for dinner.

Deciding on Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup, I grabbed a can opener, cranked open the can, then remembered I had forgotten to buy milk at the store. Nix the soup idea. Setting the can aside, I went to plan B, which was leftover baked beans. I grabbed the Tupperware container from the fridge, popped the seal, took a look and groaned. My husband isn't a picky eater, but even HE won't eat baked beans that look like caterpillars.

Really frustrated now, I decided on a menu that promised to be as foolproof as it is nutrition-free: hot dogs and potato chips. Retrieving a brand new bag of chips from the cupboard, I grabbed the cellophane and gave a hearty pull. The bag didn't open. I tried again. Nothing happened. I took a breath, doubled my muscle, and gave the bag a hearty wrestle. With a loud pop, the cellophane suddenly gave way, ripping wide from top to bottom. Chips flew sky high. I was left holding the bag, and it was empty.

It was the final straw. I let out a blood curdling scream. "I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!" My husband heard my unorthodox cry for help. Within minutes he was standing at the doorway to the kitchen, where he surveyed the damage: an opened can of soup, melting groceries, moldy baked beans, and one quivering wife standing ankle deep in potato chips. My husband did the most helpful thing he could think of at the moment. He took a flying leap, landing flat-footed in the pile of chips. And then he began to stomp and dance and twirl, grinding those chips into my linoleum in the process!

I stared. I fumed. Pretty soon I was working to stifle a smile. Eventually I
Had to laugh. And finally I decided to join him. I, too, took a leap onto
The chips. And then I danced. Now I'll be the first to admit that my
Husband's response wasn't the one I was looking for. But the truth is, it
Was exactly what I needed. I didn't need a cleanup crew as much as I needed an attitude adjustment, and the laughter from that rather funky moment provided just that.

So now I have a question for you, and it's simply this: Has God ever stomped on your chips? I know that, in my life, there have been plenty of times when I've gotten myself into frustrating situations and I've cried out for help, all the while hoping God would show up with a celestial broom and clean up the mess.

What often happens instead is that God dances on my chips, answering my
Prayer in a completely different manner than I had expected, but in the
Manner that is best for me after all. Sometimes I can see right away that
God's response was the best one after all. Sometimes I have to wait weeks or months before I begin to understand how and why God answered a particular prayer the way he did. There are even some situations that, years later, I'm still trying to understand. I figure God will fill me in sooner or later, either this side of Heaven or beyond.

Do I trust Him? Even when he's answering my prayers in a way that is
Completely different from my expectations? Even when he's dancing and
Stomping instead of sweeping and mopping:? Can I embrace what He's offering? Can I let His joy adjust my attitude? Am I going to stand on the sidelines and sulk, or am I willing to learn the steps of the dance he's dancin' with my needs in mind? I'll be honest with you: Sometimes I sulk. Sometimes I dance. I'm working on doing more of the latter than the former. I guess the older I get the more I realize that He really does know what He's doing. He loves me and I can trust Him. Even when the chips are down.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Difficult challenges

Paul knew hardship: As we can see in 2 Corinthians 11:22-33 there is a list of just some of the difficult challenges he had to face. His "present sufferings" make most of our difficulties seem not so bad by comparison. However, Paul could say confidently that the glory he would have with Christ (cf. Col. 3:1-4) would be so incredible, with blessings so fantastic, that his hardships are minor in comparison. That same glory will also be ours!

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
— Romans 8:18

Dear Lord, you are awesome, glorious, and majestic. I praise you for reaching down and saving me by your grace. Father, most of the time my faith is strong and I feel confident about my future. However, at times my faith becoames weak when I’m confronted with difficult things. Give me courage and boldness, to face those challenges with the conviction that they are actually minor in comparison to the glory you will share with me when Jesus returns. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, August 17, 2009

We are chosen by God

Were you ever chosen last? Were you ever the one no one wanted on his or her team? Isn't it remarkable that God chose us in Jesus Christ! Isn't it amazing that we are loved and wanted by the King of the Ages and his Son, Jesus Christ! Not only that, we weren't chosen out of pity, but to make a difference. We're chosen to bear fruit that will endure! To help insure that productivity, Jesus has promised we can ask for God's blessing on our work for his Kingdom and he will bless us. How incredible that is!

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.— John 15:16

Dear Lord give me a heart that is open to your work and a vision that is as big as your grace. May my prayers ask for things that bring you glory, expand the borders of your kingdom, and reach beyond the limited things that so often distract me. In Jesus' name. Amen

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Is your frying pan to small?

Here is a great email I recieved, what a great explanation of Philippians 4:13

Two men went fishing. One was an experienced fisherman, the other wasn't. Every time the experienced fisherman caught a big fish, he put it in his ice chest to keep it fresh. Whenever the inexperienced fisherman caught a big fish, he threw it back.

The experienced fisherman watched this go on all day and finally got tired of seeing the man waste good fish. "Why do you keep throwing back all the big fish you catch?" he asked.

The inexperienced fisherman replied, "I only have a small frying pan."

Sometimes, like that fisherman, we throw back the big plans, big dreams, big jobs, big opportunities that God gives us. Our faith is too small.

We laugh at that fisherman who didn't figure out that all he needed was a bigger fryingpan, yet how ready are we to increase the size of our faith?

Whether it's a problem or a possibility, God will never give you anything bigger than you can handle. That means we can confidently walk into anything God brings our way.

You can do all things through Christ
Philippians 4:13

Unfailing Love

Can your faith hold during trying times? I hope mine can! This is a Psalm written during trying times. However, no matter how difficult the situation, the Psalmist still knows who God is and what he can do when he decides to do it. Even in trial he doesn't lose sight of the blessing that comes from the presence of the LORD.

Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.
— Psalm 31:16

Dear Lord , make your presence known in my life.Help me to always be confident that you are there; I just need to experience your presence and receive your deliverance. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Abba Father

Ab-ba. Listen to a baby and you will hear these basic early sounds. Incredibly, Jesus showed us, and the Spirit enables us, to speak to God with these syllables of familiarity, trust, vulnerability, dependency, and intimacy. The Spirit is our guarantee that we don't have to be afraid of God, but that we can approach him as our loving and tender Father who always listens to our hearts and seeks to bless our lives.

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.
— Romans 8:15-16

Abba Father, you are glorious and majestic. Your deeds are awesome. Your power, O LORD, is unfathomable. Your grace, Almighty God, is wonderful. Thank you, Holy and Righteous Father, for allowing me to approach you as my always near and ever present Abba. Please make your nearness clear in my life today, and every day that follows. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Turn your worries over to God

I received this in an email and thought it was well worth thinking about.

To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who has failed his exam and has to repeat a grade.
To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who has given birth to a pre-mature baby.
To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of ONE DAY, ask a daily wage laborer who has eight kids to feed.
To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask someone who is on his deathbed.
To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who has missed the train.
To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask a person who has survived an accident.
To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who has won a silver medal in Olympics.

Let’s take the time to treasure every moment we have and as our verses say today lets not worry about the things we have no control over.

25 “Therefore I tell you do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Matthew 6:25-27

Dear Lord I pray that I will take each moment that you give me as a gift. Help me not to worry about the things that come my way but instead take them to you and leave them with you. In Jesus name Amen.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Greater Love has no man....

Words communicate and explain. We can tell people that we love them. We can explain how precious they are to us. Actions validate and confirm. When we sacrifice our wants for another, we show our respect and affection. When we sacrifice ourselves, our wishes, and our preferences for a friend, we give the greatest of all gifts and prove our love beyond any doubt.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
— John 15:13

Dear Lord thank you for loving me enough to send Jesus as a ransom for my sins. Jesus, thank you for your loving sacrifice that not only saves me, but shows me the full extent of your love. In Jesus' name I thank you. Amen.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

God disciplines us for a reason

Discipline, even when it is not falsely confused with punishment, is sometime considered irritating, and unnecessary. The lazy and sinful part of us wants no boundaries or rules, even if they are good, and no direction because it might conflict with what we want to do. But the Lord disciplines out of love to bless us. It is a sign of his delight. Why? Because He is not content to leave us unchanged, unmotivated, and disinterested. He wants to move us closer to our goal: Jesus!

My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
— Proverbs 3:11-12

Dear Lord I confessI don't like discipline all that much. However, Lord, deep down I know that your discipline is for my good and my spiritual blessing. Please help me better know and use the situations in my life to become more like Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

God's Blessings

Romans 8 reminds us over and over again of the blessings of the Holy Spirit's living in us, as God's children. The Spirit in us is our guarantee that we will be raised from the dead! Because the Spirit that gave Jesus life and raised him from the dead is in us, we can have confidence in our resurrection. Mortality will not claim us -- our bodies may die, but the real and living part of us will go to be with Jesus (see Philippians 1:19-23). The Holy Spirit's life-giving power is stronger than death. Even though our bodies may die we will live, through the Spirit of God we are victorous.

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
— Romans 8:11

Dear Lord, thank you so much for the gift of the Holy Spirit. To know that the power of the same Spirit who helped create the universe and who raised Jesus from the dead also lives in me is so amazing to me. Thank you have for living inside me, to bless me, mold me, develop me, and help me to look like Jesus. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, August 10, 2009

God's Faithfulness

God is holy, righteous, and just. But, as important as these qualities are, he reveals them within his compassion, graciousness, patience, and overflowing mercy and love. We cannot only obey, worship, and reverently respect God; we can also love, appreciate, and adore him! Maybe the greatest challenge, however, is to reflect the character of God in our own lives in the ways that we interact with other people as well as the ways that we view him!

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
— Psalm 103:8

Dear Lord, I not only trust in you, but I appreciate your faithfulness, your mercy, your love, your graciousness, and your patient compassion. Please help me show each of these virtues more fully in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Soaring like an Eagle

Did you know that an eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it breaks?

The eagle will fly to some high spot and wait for the winds to come.

When the storm hits, the eagle sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm.

While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring high above it.

The eagle does not escape the storm; it simply uses the storm to lift itself higher. It rises on the winds that bring the storm. When the storms of life come upon us ... and all of us will experience them ... we can rise above them by setting our minds and our belief toward God. The storms do not have to overcome us; we can allow God's power to lift us above them.

God enables us to ride the winds of the storm that bring sickness, tragedy, failure and disappointment into our lives. We can soar above these storms. Remember, it is not the burdens of life that weigh us down; it is how we handle them. ~ Author Unknown ~

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Joy of the Lord

Today during church during the greeting time I was reminded by a young lady the importance of “Joy” not by a word that was said but by the joy that showed all over her face. It made me think about how important it is to not only have the joy of Christ but to share it with those we come into contact with. Thanks for the lesson you taught me this morning.

We find in Nehemiah 8:10: "Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

Joy is important because the "joy of the Lord is your strength!" This Joy produces strength, and this strength is needed to to face the battles or fights along the way. As seen in 1st Timothy 6:12 you are called to "fight the good fight of faith" Sometimes I think we lose that fight because we don’t have the joy. Let’s take the lesson I learned this morning and share the Joy that God gives us to those we come into contact with.

Dear Lord I pray that the joy you promise for me I will take it and let it show in my life. I want to have a joy that those I come into contact with will see it and want to have the same relationship I have with you. Help me to always seek after your joy. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Wise vs foolish

When you hear a command from Scripture, do you wince? How about rationalize? How about transferring the responsibility to someone else? Or, do you obey the command to honor the Father? A wise heart accepts the commands of God as a blessing and a safeguard. A fool finds a way around the personal application of the command. Let's ask ourselves honestly, "Which of the two am I?"

The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.
— Proverbs 10:8

Dear Lord, thank you for loving me enough to show me your truth and your commands. Please use my obedience to form your character in me and to make my example to be a good influence to those you have placed in my life. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Being content with what God has given to us

So what does it take for us to be content? Paul reminds Timothy that as long as we have food and clothing, we should be able to be content. It's when our desires get out of that channel, when covetousness and greed take over, that our lives get out of control and we replace God with a hunger for what is idolatrous.

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
— 1 Timothy 6:7-8

Dear God please forgive me for being caught up in the lifestyle of greed and covetousness, of excess and extravagance. Help my heart to be content with the blessings you have given to me. Help me find my joy in you and your people whom you have put into my life. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Delight in the Truth

Love does have its delights. One of those delights is in what is authentic and genuine -- TRUTH! So as Jesus' disciples, we are not deceitful, manipulative, or coercive in our relationships. Instead, we are transparent, intimate, and honest. Why? Because true love delights in truth.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
— 1 Corinthians 13:6

Dear Lord, as you pour your love into my heart through your Holy Spirit, please refine my love to be genuine and true, without guile, manipulation, and deceit. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

In all things TRUST God

There are times in each of our spiritual lives when we face challenges far too big for our own resources and strengths. Zerubbabel faced such a challenge. God sent a prophet to remind him, and us through him, that our greatest victories will not be won by our power and might. No, these greatest victories, the ones that catch us up in God's great story of salvation, will occur when we trust that God's power is greater than our weakness and God's might is greater than our insufficiencies. The real question that each of us must face is very simple: in our personal lives, and in our ministry efforts, where do we place our trust and what is the source of our confidence? Are they in our abilities, skills, insight, and strength or God's?

He answered, "Do you not know what these are?" "No, my lord," I replied. So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty."
— Zechariah 4:5-6

Dear Lord please forgive me, for trusting in my own power too much. Forgive me, God, for being overwhelmed and scared by the obstacles, challenges, and opportunities placed before me. Through your great stories of faithfulness and victory in the Old Testament, please help me to trust that your power is at work in me. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Our Destiny

"The world and its desires are passing away, but the one who does the will of God lives forever." Our destiny and future are not limited to the boundaries of existence tied to our little blue planet. Our future and our hope burst the boundaries of mortality and are tied to our faith in a resurrected and victorious Savior who is coming back to bring us to his eternal home. This faith is displayed by doing God's will even when most in our culture chooses to chases things that are not forever.

For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
— 1 John 5:4

Dear Lord, Thank you, for the assurance of victory, immortality, reunion, and joy. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Answer to your Prayers

We know God paid a high price to redeem and forgive us in Jesus. If he has gone to such great lengths to purchase our pardon, what will he refuse us that is good, right and holy? So if God answers our prayers "No!", then it is for our good and the eternal well being of those for whom we've prayed. His intent is to bless, not wound. His desire is to redeem. His commitment is to work things out for our ultimate good (Rom. 8:28) as he is transforming us to be more like his beloved Son (Rom. 8:29).

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
— Romans 8:31-32

Dear Lord, I confess that I am sometimes impatient and disappointed when my prayers do not seem to get the response I want. Please calm and quiet my doubting heart. Please remind my spirit of your rich grace. Bring your comfort and assurance through the ministry of your Holy Spirit to me. I do believe that you want to bring me your blessing and grace, so while I may not always understand the bad things that happen in my life, I do trust that you are at work to make them all turn for my good and your glory. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Help my eyes to be open

Jesus came to preach good news, to bind up, to bring deliverance, to offer release, to proclaim grace, and to offer comfort. If Jesus has sent us into the world as the Father sent him (John 20:21-23), shouldn't we be teaching and serving as he did?

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn ...
— Isaiah 61:1-2

Dear Lord through the power and wisdom of your Spirit, who wants to powerfully work in me, please open my eyes, dear LORD, to help me see those you put in my path with whom you want me to share your grace, deliverance, and comfort. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Free from the power of sin

"You are mine! My righteousness and glory are yours! Enter into your Father's eternal reward!" One day, all of us who belong to God will hear something like this. If we are in Christ and living for him, we don't face judgment, only welcome, before God. His Spirit lives in us. His grace has set us free from the power of sin and death. His Son has paid the price for our sins. We are children of God!

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.— Romans 8:1

Dear Lord I thank you for your mercy and grace. Your steadfast and redeeming love never ceases. Your mercies are endless. Your love is new each and every morning as your Spirit fills my life. Your hope gives me the stregnth to face each day. Thank you! In Jesus'. Amen.