On Wings Of Eagles

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Keep digging

Isaiah 58:11 (ESV)
And the Lord will guide you continually
    and satisfy your desire in scorched places
    and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
    like a spring of water.

Bill Bright tells an amazing story in his book, "How You Can Be Filled with the Holy Spirit".

During the Great Depression, poverty swept across America like a whirling tornado, ripping up dreams and scattering hopes to the wind. One such poverty twister hit a small part of Texas where a man named Yates ran a sheep ranch. Struggling even to keep food on the table, Yates and his wife did all they could to survive. Finally, they had to accept a government subsidy or lose their home and land to the creditors.

One day, in the midst of this bleakness, a geologic crew from a large oil company came knocking. With Yates' permission, they wanted to drill a wildcat well on his property, promising him a large portion of the profits if they struck oil. "What could I lose?" thought Yates, and he signed the papers.

The oil crew immediately set up the machinery and began drilling. Five hundred feet down, they came up dry. Eight hundred feet, dry. One thousand feet they sunk the shaft, and still no oil. Finally, at a little over eleven hundred feet, they tapped into one of the richest oil reserves in Texas. The hole sprayed its black wealth high into the air, and soon the well was pumping eighty thousand barrels of oil a day.Overnight, Yates and his family became millionaires. His property, once called Yate's Field, became known as Yate's Pool. And soon hundreds of oil wells dotted the land where once only sheep grazed.

Hmm. What if they had stopped at a thousand feet?? I believe that there is a well of blessing within us that is just waiting to be found. And the victory will only come when we dig for it. We need to press in when the circumstances look their bleakest! We need to believe that the blessing is there for the taking and not stop when we get discouraged and don't see the fruit of our labor! We need to expect great things and rich oil in the Spirit! Because this is what the Lord has for each one of us!

Our breakthrough is just under our feet! Be encouraged! Keep digging! God has more in store than you can imagine!


Dear Lord, we pray that we would keep digging. Help us prepare for the breakthrough that You have for each of us today. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Fists in a melon

Philippians 4:11 (ESV)
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.

Charles Swindoll wrote about these men who bring in animals from Africa for American zoos. They say that one of the hardest animals to catch there is the ring-tailed monkey. For the Zulus of that continent, however, it's simple. They've been catching this agile little animal with ease for years.

The method the Zulus use is based on knowledge of the animal. Their trap is nothing more than a melon growing on a vine. The seeds of this melon are a favorite of the monkey. Knowing this, the Zulus simply cut a hole in the melon, just large enough for the monkey to insert his hand to reach the seeds inside. The monkey will stick his hand in, grab as many seeds as he can, then start to withdraw it. This he cannot do. His fist is now larger than the hole. The monkey will pull and tug, screech and fight the melon for hours. But he can't get free of the trap unless he gives up the seeds, which he refuses to do. Meanwhile, the Zulus sneak up and nab him.

There's a pretty clear moral to this story, wouldn't you say? If we really want to be free, we must let go of the things we love. The more we hold on to our earthly posessions, the more frustrated we will get and eventually, we will be entrapped.

Let's let go of the worldly things we've been holding on to. God has much greater things for us to be doing than sitting here with our fists in a melon!


Dear Lord, Give us the courage and strength to let go of the things that keep us from experiencing the best that God has for us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Take the time to be quiet

Psalm 46:10 (ESV)
 “Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!”

"Before refrigerators, people used ice-houses to preserve their food. Ice-houses had thick walls, no windows, and a tightly fitted door. In winter, when streams and lakes were frozen, large blocks of ice were cut from the frozen waters, hauled to the ice-houses, and covered with sawdust. Often these ice-blocks would last well into the summer.

One man lost a valuable watch while working in an ice-house. He searched diligently for it, carefully raking through the sawdust, but didn't find it. His fellow workers also looked, but their efforts, too, proved futile. A small boy who heard about the fruitless search slipped into the ice-house during the noon hour and soon emerged with the watch.

Amazed, the men asked him how he found it.

"I closed the door," the boy replied, "lay down in the sawdust, and kept very still. Soon I heard the watch ticking.

So often life can become so hectic that it becomes hard to find time to sit still and just listen to what the Lord is saying. But Jesus often secluded himself, so that He could commune intimately with His Father. In these days and in this hour it's so imperative that we spend time in our own prayer closets, so we can clearly hear what our Father is saying to us, through His still small voice. If we do, we may find some wonderful and valuable things that others have missed.

The question isn't whether God will speak, but whether we will take the time to be quiet and still enough to hear His voice. Let's be sure to take that time to hear what He's saying to us!


Dear Lord, we pray today that we would take the time to listen. Help us not get so busy that we don’t hear Your voice. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Look up

Psalm 98:1 (ESV)
Oh sing to the Lord a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm
    have worked salvation for him.

Years ago, a young sailor went to sea for the first time. Not long after setting sail his ship encountered a heavy storm and the sailor was commanded to go aloft and trim the sails. About three quarters of the way up, the young sailor made the mistake of looking down. The roll of the ship combined with the tossing of the waves made for a frightening experience. The young man started to lose his balance. At that moment, an older sailor underneath him shouted, "Look up, son! Look up!" The young sailor did as he said -- he looked up, and regained his balance.

Similarly, when our focus is on the circumstances that we face, the waves of life, we can easily lose our balance and our direction. But when we change our focus and simply "look up", our internal spiritual compass fixed on the Lord will restore our stability, and enable us to finish the assignments we’ve been given and get to the top!

Are you feeling unstable today? Look up! The Lord will steady you. Heaven is your goal and God will provide the power and direction to bring you safely there!


Dear Lord, help us to keep our eyes up. Help us to keep our eyes on You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

God surely will

Hebrews 11:6 (ESV)
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

One of the greatest stories of the Bible is David and Goliath. It's such a good story, in fact, that the world has come to make common use of it! A prime example of this is when the underdog faces an invincible champion in just about any sport on national television, commentators always seem to make mention of David and Goliath.

Imagine the scene at the time of David. The children of Israel were small compared to the Philistines. And here they are faced with this enormously frightening giant, Goliath, champion of the Philistines.

All the Israelites shook in their sandals, saying Goliath's too big for us to hit! All but one -- young little David. Instead of fearing Goliath's enormity, David saw his size to be an advantage! He said, on the contrary -- Goliath is too big to miss! That day, David became a hero for the Israelites and his name would be remembered well --even to this day.

It all depends on our point of view -- the way we see our circumstances. We can either walk in doubt, asking "Can God do this thing?" or walk in faith, proclaiming "God surely will!"

We all have some scary Goliaths to face in our lives. You may be facing one right now. Have faith, my friend! In our greatest distresses God wants to show Himself powerful! Let's walk in faith for His victory!


Dear Lord, help us face the giants that come into our live knowing that You already have it taken care of. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

God has an app for that

Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

When I was growing up in the 1980's we had a rotary dial phone. You put your finger in a numbered spot on a circular dialer which clicked as it returned to its place and registered the 7 or 10 numbers you selected. It took a full 10 to 20 seconds to complete a call and was really annoying if the number had a lot of 8s or 9s! Then came touch-tone phones. You pushed a button, it beeped, and you could make a call in two and a half to three seconds. Back in those days, a phone was simply an instrument to talk with someone voice to voice. Nowadays, phones are "smarter"; they are "smart" phones; and they do everything even start your coffee maker before you wake up. You can send or receive emails, text, Facebook, "Skype", play games, study languages, listen to music, record love letters, pay your bills, watch movies...your phone can be the interface for your life, and it is, for many people!

These days when you get a phone -- a "smart phone", the first thing you do is to find the best “apps” for it. Thousands and thousands of apps are available, with more being created every 5 minutes. Your apps define the interface of your life. Let us think about it in a little different way.

...there's God apps... throughout the Scriptures, and they're FREE -- thousands of them, every one "GUARANTEED" to be a top-level "interface" for your life! Check out the love app! [Matthew 22:37-39] Or the Spiritual Fruit App! [Galatians 5:22-23] Or the Unity App! [Ephesians 4:2-6] The Scriptures are just filled with apps to apply to the interface of your life!

Spend some time in God's free "App Store" today, it's just an opened Bible away! Apply God's apps to your life -- you'll be dialing into His will, purposes, power, and His infinitely interesting universe!


Dear Lord, we thank You for the opportunity we have to come to Your App Store.  Help us to dial into Your will with the many apps You have for us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Let's offer our bodies, minds, and hearts again

Romans 12:1-2 (ESV)
12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

A woman once asked John Wesley what he would do if he knew that he would die at midnight the next day. "Why, Madam," he replied, "just as I intend to spend it now. I would preach this evening at Gloucester, and again at five tomorrow morning, after that I would ride to Tewkesbury, preach in the afternoon, and meet the societies in the evening. I would then go to Martin's house...talk and pray with the family as usual, retire myself to my room at 10 o'clock, commend myself to my Heavenly Father, lie down to rest, and wake up in glory."

So many people wonder what God's will is for their lives. John Wesley seemed to be quite confident that He was already walking in it!

We all need to work on offering our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God and no longer conforming to the pattern of this world but being transformed by the renewing of our minds. THIS, before anything else, is God's will for our lives! THEN, the Word says, we WILL be able to test and approve what His good pleasing and perfect will is!

Let's offer our bodies, minds, and hearts again to the Lord today and commit ourselves wholeheartedly to His perfect plan for our lives.


Dear Lord, help us to offer our bodies, minds and time completely to You. Help us to always be faithful in serving You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

The pebbles are many

Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV)
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[a] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

There is a story about three cowboys crossing the desert on horseback by night. Suddenly, as they reached a rocky spot, a voice came from heaven and commanded them: "Friends, pick up some pebbles, put them in your pockets and do not look at them till morning." The men looked at each other in astonishment and began to do as they were told. The voice went on to promise that if they obeyed, they would be both glad and sad. The perplexed men put a few pebbles each in their pockets and went on their way.

As the very first sign of dawn arrived, the cowboys pulled out their pebbles. To their amazement, the ordinary pebbles they had picked up the night before, had all been transformed into diamonds, rubies, and other precious gems. At that moment, they realized the significance of the promise that they would be both glad and sad. They were happy to see their beautiful treasure, but sorry -- oh so sorry -- that they had not collected more.

All of us were once ordinary looking pebbles -- shabby, discolored pebbles among many others of the like -- seemingly nothing special. But we were so mercifully picked out of the dust and gently placed for safekeeping into the pocket of the faithful saints who loved us or prayed for us or shared the Gospel with us and took us along on their journey. And God continues to refine us that we would become precious gems when morning comes. Thank God for His great mercy!

It is yet dark -- and the pebbles are many. We still have a little more time to pocket as many as we can. But morning is drawing near! We don't want to regret that we didn't get more! Love, share, pray in faith!


Dear Lord, help us along the way to fill our pockets with the pebbles along the way. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Let’s make some commitments

Luke 9:23 (ESV)
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

When missionary Dr. David Livingstone was working in Africa, a group of friends wrote him: "We would like to send other men to you. Have you found a good road into your area yet?" Dr. Livingstone sent this message in reply: "If you have men who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don't want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all."

There’s a big difference between just being interested in doing something and actually making a commitment to doing it! Just being interested allows us the freedom do a thing only when our circumstances permit. But making a commitment to do that thing means accepting no excuses and no reservations -- it means putting aside our fears and reservations moving forward till we see the end result! Dr. Livingstone was looking for results, and this required men of commitment!

Let’s make some commitments! Our Lord, our families, our friends, our jobs and our congregations are awaiting us!


Dear Lord, help us make the right commitments.  Help us then not make excuses and back out from them. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Win them over with love

Romans 12:20-21 (ESV)
20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Between the years 1861-1865 the United States found itself in the midst of a bitter civil war over the issue of slavery, and several other serious disagreements. By the time the North won the war nearly 620,000 soldiers had perished. There were many in the North who were so embittered that the South had dragged them into such a deadly conflict that they wanted the South to pay dearly.

At the end of the war, a group of Southerners gained an audience with President Abraham Lincoln. His gentle, kind and friendly personality quickly softened the hearts of his once-hardened foes and the Southerners left the interview with a deep respect for the man who had been their bitter enemy. Not long afterward, a northern congressman criticized Lincoln for "befriending the enemy!" He suggested that he should have had them shot for being traitors instead of welcoming them!

I love Lincoln's response. He said, simply , "Am I not destroying my enemies by making them my friends?"

As we serve the Lord –- we can expect our share of enemies. Don't let a root of bitterness grow up because of them –- but rather, seek to win them over with gentleness, kindness, and even love. Show your enemies the Lord's grace and His peace through your Spirit-controlled response...and in so doing, you'll "heap coals" upon their heads! Satan wants to provoke you through their hatred and opposition. Don't let him! Instead, shock your enemies –- not with angry retaliation...but with Spirit empowered LOVE! Win them over with love.


Dear Lord, we pray that we would love our enemies and win them over to You by showing them love. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Character truly counts

Proverbs 11:3  (ESV)
The integrity of the upright guides them,
    but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.

Bobby Jones was one of the greatest golfers to ever compete, uniquely known for winning the "Grand Slam" of golf winning all four major tournaments in the U.S. and Britain in a single year. In 1925, early in his career, having reached the final playoff in the U.S. Open, at a certain point in the match, Jones was setting up to strike his ball which was in the rough just off the fairway. His iron accidentally touched the ball. He immediately became angry with himself, turned to the marshals, and called a penalty on himself.

But the marshals had not seen the ball move, so they left the decision to Jones, whether to invoke the penalty -- a two-stroke penalty. Bobby called the penalty on himself, not knowing that he would lose the tournament by a single stroke.

When praised for his honesty, he replied, "You may as well praise a man for not robbing a bank!" Jones may have lost the tournament, but his character was legendary and today the United States Golf Association's award for sportsmanship is known as the "Bobby Jones Award."

It's been said, "Character is what you do when nobody is watching. Character is how you treat people who can do absolutely nothing for you. Character is how you react when the pressure is on. Character is deciding beforehand that you are going to do the right thing."

Every day we're faced with decisions -- many of which are made when no one is watching, at least no one we can see. But let's purpose in our hearts to do the right thing -- because character truly counts. We may not see the dividends immediately -- but be assured that God is keeping track of our decisions, and He will make good on every one!


Dear Lord, we pray that we would make decisions that are right and blessing even when nobody is looking. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Each of us is called to the mission field

Daniel 12:3 (ESV)
And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

Most people have never heard of the first overseas missionary from America to Burma, Adoniram Judson. Judson was a brilliant man who learned to read when he was only 3. He went to college when he was just 16. He graduated valedictorian of his class at the age of 19. He was the son of a pastor, having been raised with Godly values, however while in college, he met a student named Jacob Eames, a deist who denied the miracles of the Bible. By the time Judson finished college he had turned completely from the Lord. For a short while, he lived a vagabond and reckless life, until a series of God-incidences turned his life inside out.

During this time, he left to visit his uncle, but instead, unexpectedly encountered a pious young man who amazed him by his strong Christian convictions, yet without being strict or dictatorial. The Lord placed this young man in the path of Judson to recapture the heart of the prodigal.

The very next night, he stayed at a small village inn where he had never been before. The innkeeper apologized that his sleep might be interrupted because a critically ill man was staying in the next room. The following day, as Judson was leaving, he asked the innkeeper about the sick man, and was informed that the man had passed during the night. Judson then asked the innkeeper, “Do you know who he was?” The man replied, “Oh yes. Young man from the college in Providence. Name was Eames, Jacob Eames.”

Upon hearing it was his old friend that just passed, Judson could hardly move. He stayed there for hours pondering death and eternity. He thought, if Jacob Eames was right, then his death was just a meaningless event. Judson could not believe it, and said, “That hell should open in that country inn and snatch Jacob Eames, his dearest friend and guide, from the next bed-this could not, simply could not, be pure coincidence.”

From that moment forward, Judson knew God was real. He rededicated his life and became a missionary in Burma for nearly 40 years. Before he died, he translated the Bible into Burmese, and planted over 100 churches.

Perhaps God will place someone in your path today because He wants you to be a light so that his or her life might be turned around! With the greatest harvest fast approaching, each of us is called to the mission field – the one right outside our door!


Dear Lord, help us be the light for You today. Help us be the encouragement to someone that needs Your love. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The right investment

Colossians 4:5 (ESV)
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.

Life can get so hectic sometimes -- we often try to do too many things at once. But when our schedule gets that hectic, we need to start investing in some quality time with the Lord. The important word here is "investing".

Did you know that God is the best broker in town? When we invest our time in worship, prayer and the reading of His word, He takes that time and multiplies it many times over! When we give the Lord our time, He gets our minds focused and can even give us new ideas for how we can get things done better and more efficiently! I’ve heard testimony after testimony about this and seen God at work in my own life in this area. It really works!

I heard it said once that "proof of love is the investment of time". Do we have something to prove today? Let’s start by spending more time with the Lord. Spending time in His presence is the greatest investment we could ever make!


Dear Lord, help us to invest our time in the things of You. Help us to read Your Word, pray to You and worship You together with others. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Trust in Him

Psalm 56:3 (ESV)
When I am afraid,
    I put my trust in you.

Missionaries Dick and Margaret Hillis found themselves caught in China during the Japanese invasion. The couple lived with their two children in the inland town of Shenkiu. The village was tense with fear, for every day brought terrifying reports of the Japanese advance. At the worst possible time, Dick developed appendicitis, and he knew his life depended on making the long journey to the hospital. On January 15, 1941, with deep foreboding, Margaret watched him leave.

Soon the Chinese colonel came with the news. The enemy was near and townspeople must evacuate. Margaret shivered, knowing that one-year-old Johnny and two-month-old Margaret Anne would never survive as refugees. So she stayed put. Early next morning she tore the page from the wall calendar and read the new day's Scripture. It was Psalm 56:3 -- What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

The town emptied during the day, and the next morning Margaret arose, feeling abandoned. The new verse on the calendar was Psalm 9:10 -- Thou, Lord, has not forsaken them that seek thee.

The next morning she arose to distant sounds of gunfire and worried about food and her children. The calendar verse was Genesis 50:21 -- I will nourish you and your little ones. An old woman suddenly popped in with a pail of steaming goat's milk, and another straggler arrived with a basket of eggs.

Through the day, sounds of warfare grew louder, and during the night Margaret prayed for deliverance. The next morning she tore the page from the calendar to read Psalm 56:9 -- When I cry unto Thee, then shall my enemies turn back. The battle was looming closer, and Margaret didn't go to bed that night. Invasion seemed imminent. But the next morning, all was quiet. Suddenly, villagers began returning to their homes, and the colonel knocked on her door. For some reason, he told her, the Japanese had withdrawn their troops. No one could understand it, but the danger had passed. They were safe.

Margaret glanced at her wall calendar and felt she had been reading the handwriting of God.

God's handwriting is all around us but so often in the midst of the wars we face, we neglect to take notice. Let's make an effort to see His merciful hand at work in our lives today. He cares for us more than we can imagine!


Dear Lord, thank You for always caring and being there for us. Help our eyes be open to all that You do for us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Be monopolized by the Holy Spirit

Luke 11:13 (ESV)
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

While attending Moody Bible Institute I read and learned a lot about D.L. Moody.  To this day the lessons I learned are influential in my personal life. One of the stories I read was about how D.L. Moody was preparing to lead a revival throughout England to which an elderly pastor protested and said, "Why do we need this 'Mr. Moody'? He's uneducated, inexperienced, etc. Who does he think he is anyway? Does he think he has a monopoly on the Holy Spirit?"

A younger, yet wiser pastor stood up and responded, "No, but the Holy Spirit has a monopoly on Mr. Moody."

Do you truly want to be monopolized by the Holy Spirit? Let's face it -- the degree of fullness of the Spirit of God is in direct proportion to the intensity of our true desire. The reality of the spirit-filled life is -- we have as much of God as we truly want.

Let's seek to have a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him. Let's allow the Holy Spirit to monopolize our lives and in doing so -- we'll be empowered to do the great things God has called us to do in these days!


Dear Lord, we pray that we would allow You to monopolize our life so that we can become the person You want us to be. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A lesson from a smart mule

James 5:11 (ESV)
Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

Here is a great story with a great lesson for each of us.

Some time ago, an old mule fell into an abandoned well which was no longer in use. The farmer who owned him tried and tried to pull the mule up out of the well -- however after many attempts he realized he was not going to be able to rescue his mule. So the farmer decided to solve two problems simultaneously--- by burying the mule in the well. Tragic as it was, he would, bury the mule alive, and in the process, prevent future accidents of this kind by filling up the well hole.

Taking a shovel, the man began to toss shovel fulls of dirt on the animal to bury him. However, following every toss of soil, the stubborn mule simply shook the dirt clean off his back. This caused the floor beneath him to steadily rise. The relentless farmer continued to shovel, while the stubborn mule persisted in shaking off the annoying dirt. This mutual perseverance eventually raised the mule up to ground level, where he could happily walk out of his impossible predicament...free at last.

We all have, somehow or other, fallen into a hole a time or two. Some of us give up after a few attempts to escape, resigning to a state of imprisonment in our predicament -- but this is not God's intent for our lives. His will is for us to persevere -- become stubborn like a mule -- fight, kick, and continually toss the dirt off our backs -- until we get out of the hole!

Life for many of us can be a series of trials, or just one or two seemingly endless ones. But perseverance is an essential quality of true disciples -- and as we press in, press through, and press on, deliverance will finally come, often in the most unexpected way. The floor will rise each and every time we shake off the dirt. So take a lesson from a stubborn mule and a relentless farmer. Be tenacious! Don't let the trials of this life get the better of you.


Dear Lord, give us the strength and endurance to keep moving and not give up. Help us be the encouragement to those around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

We have so much to be thankful for

Psalm 100:4 (ESV)
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him; bless his name!

Most of you know the story an Indian named Squanto and his first thanksgiving celebration with the Pilgrims. However, you might not know that over a decade before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, English traders were trading with the Indians throughout the region. Squanto’s amazing story really originated then.

An Englishman named Captain Hunter had kidnapped several Indians and sold them into slavery, one of whom was Squanto, sold into slavery in Malaga, Spain. There, Squanto was bought by a Spanish monk, who treated him well, freed him from slavery, and taught him about Christianity. Eventually, Squanto made it back to England, and worked in the stables of a man named John Slaney. It was there that Squanto learned English.

Upon Squanto’s return home in 1618, he learned that his tribe had been wiped out from an epidemic, probably smallpox brought by early English colonists. As you might imagine, he was devastated and couldn’t understand how God could allow this to happen.

Shortly afterward, a friend named Samoset introduced him to the Pilgrims. Because of Squanto’s history and understanding of English, Squanto was able to communicate with them. He also taught them how to survive there, how to fish, hunt, and how to plant corn. As a result, Governor William Bradford asked him to serve as his ambassador to the Indian tribes. Bradford accredited Squanto for the survival of the Pilgrim colony and saw that without God's providential hand in providing Squanto -- the colony would not have survived.

If you think about the story of Squanto, it can remind us of the story of Joseph and the providence of God, even in the worst of situations. Joseph was sold into slavery, thrown into prison, accused and abused…. but all of these things were worked out for the purpose of saving the Jewish people. The story of the survival of the Plymouth colony rested on an Indian who was kidnapped, sold into slavery, returned home to see his tribe wiped out, and yet through these events was used by God to preserve the Pilgrims who came to America with this purpose, "for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith". (Mayflower Compact, November 11, 1620)

We have so much to be thankful for even despite the tough times in which we live.  While times are hard, we’re thankful to be alive for such a time as this! So we’re entering His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise today, knowing that our God is providentially in control of everything that is going on around us.

Dear Lord, we want to be thankful for the many things that we have. Help us not focus on the negative things but look to the positive. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Fountain of Youth

Psalm 103:5 (ESV)
Who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

From the moment we were conceived we began aging, growing older by the day. We may slow down the physical aging process by exercising, eating right and other natural techniques – but we cannot ultimately stop it. This mortal flesh, our outer man, is "wasting away" and moving toward decay as we await the immortal bodies promised us in the Resurrection.

Yet this scripture offers us a renewal of our youth. And we see some remarkable examples of this, especially in the Old Testament. It is said of Moses at the age of a hundred and twenty that "his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone." (Deuteronomy 34:7) Caleb had this testimony: "So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then." (Joshua 14:10-11). Even after the flood of Noah's day, it seems we have some access to longevity and vigor.

We have all heard of the "Fountain of Youth". You can still drink from a spring in St. Augustine Florida, commemorating the Spanish explorer, Ponce De Leon's legendary search for it. Ponce's body is long gone. And however long he survived, I suggest he was looking for the wrong "Fountain".

Our Spring of Living Water, our source of youth and vigor is our God, our Father in Heaven, His Son Jesus, and His Presence and His indwelling Holy Spirit. The Way, the Truth, and THE LIFE, lives within every born again believer. Dwelling in His Presence is the fountain of renewed youth for us.

Moses spent great amounts of time in and near the Presence of God. Check it out for yourself. Moses even glowed from it, once, and it clearly affected his physical constitution. Spending time with God, in His Presence, in His Word, will renew your youth; physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Are you feeling old today? Get into His Presence; get into His Word, and be renewed once again!


Dear Lord, help us stay in Your word and stay renewed so that we can accomplish the things that Your have for each of us to do. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Hold the fort

Luke 19:12-13 (ESV)
12 He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. 13 Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’

During the American Civil War in the 1860's, a fierce battle took place at Altoona Pass. It was a key supply point for the Union Army, so the Confederate Army led by General Hood sought to take Altoona Pass which held over a million and a half rations. When Union General Sherman realized Hood's plans, he dispatched General Corse along with 1,500 men to hold the city.

As the battle ensued, General Corse and his forces were forced into a small fort on a crest of a hill. The Northern army was being overwhelmed, with nearly half the men either killed or wounded in the battle. Things were looking extremely bleak, when in the distance from a mountain top twenty miles away a white flag was being waved, and those in the fort knew the message being sent, "Hold the fort; I am coming. W.T. Sherman."

This sign gave the beleaguered army renewed strength to continue fighting the battle for another three hours until reinforcements finally arrived.

From this battle, a famous Christian song was written and its chorus is so true for us today, "Hold the fort, for I am coming, Jesus signals still; Wave the answer back to heaven, By thy grace we will!"

In the midst of spiritual battles we can often feel overcome with on every side – but HOLD THE FORT! Because He is coming!


Dear Lord, help us hold the fort knowing that You are coming. Give us the strength to continue to do the things that You want us to do. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Give a word of encouragement

Galatians 6:9 (ESV)
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

William Wilberforce led a campaign against the British Parliament to abolish slavery in the late 1700's and early 1800's. During the course of his intense efforts, Wilberforce came to a desperate place of discouragement, feeling he had absolutely no more strength to continue. In this condition, he was about to give up, when his elderly friend, John Wesley, lying on his deathbed, was informed of his friend William's distress. Wesley requested pen and paper, and with a quivering hand, wrote these words,

"Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them stronger than God? Oh be not weary of well-doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery shall vanish away before it."

John Wesley died six days later, but William Wilberforce fought for forty-five more years, and in 1833, three days before his own death, witnessed the abolition of slavery in Britain.

Do not grow weary in well-doing, for we can still triumph! It's exactly when everything looks hopeless that our God has the opportunity to display His awesome power. Even the great men that changed history needed a word of encouragement now and then – so be encouraged, and be an encourager! You never know when you may enable another saint to continue pressing on, or how that may change the world!


Dear Lord, help us be the one to encourage someone today to keep working toward the goal. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Living water

Genesis 26:18-19 (ESV)
18 And Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of Abraham his father, which the Philistines had stopped after the death of Abraham. And he gave them the names that his father had given them. 19 But when Isaac's servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring water.

There are times in our lives that we are going through a spiritual valley and we want to obtain victory -- we want to have answers -- we want God's power to flow through us again.

As we read Isaac found springing water after digging up the wells of his father Abraham again. In Hebrew, the phrase springing water is "mayim chayeem". It literally means "living waters".

The Lord promises us rivers of living water -- not a puddle, not a pond, not a lake -- He said rivers! These waters are not meant to be stagnant and not meant to be dammed up! They need to be flowing -- unrestricted!

We, who are believers in Jesus, have those living waters within us -- but we must clear out the obstacles in our lives that prevent them from flowing! Sins of unforgiveness, resentment, bitterness, and clinging onto pet sins are just a few of the barriers which can damn up the "rivers" of living water! Let's seek the Lord and ask him to search us deeply and thoroughly that we know how to destroy those obstacles that clog the free movement of His Spirit in our lives!


Dear Lord, we pray that we would get rid of the obstacles in our life that are restricting the free movement of the Holy Spirit in our life. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Revival Begins With You

Hosea 10:12  (ESV)
Sow for yourselves righteousness;
    reap steadfast love;
    break up your fallow ground,
for it is the time to seek the Lord,
    that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.

What is "revival", exactly? One of Merriam-Webster's definitions is "a renewed attention to or interest in something". Here are some important questions for us to answer today:

How interested are we in praying to the Lord and truly worshipping His Holy Name?
How interested are we in growing in God's truth and knowing Him deeply?
How interested are we in gaining a greater knowledge and understanding of His Word?
And just how interested are we in sharing those precious things with the dying world around us?

A key aspect of world revival is revival within ourselves. And it's not just a one-time thing, either. Once, a lady asked Billy Sunday "Why do you keep having revival meetings?" He quickly retorted, "Why do you always take a bath?"

Revival is something that needs to happen daily. It's an ongoing transformation of our hearts to be constantly moved by the Spirit of God. We need to be daily breaking up our fallow ground, those places in our hearts which we've allowed to grow hard. We have to ask the Lord to reveal those hard places, pray that He would forgive us and ask Him to heal all our rough edges that we might be soft before Him and sensitive to His leading.

Let's get serious about getting ourselves revived!


Dear Lord, reveal those hard places in our life’s today so that we can be soft to You and sensitive to Your leading. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sold out for Jesus

Romans 12:1 (ESV)
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

As a graduate of Moody Bible Institute I like to read stories of  D.L. Moody. He tells a story about having heard Pastor Henry Varley once say, "The world has yet to see what God will do with and for and through the man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him."

As Moody pondered the pastor's words, He realized something. Pastor Varley did not say that God would use an intelligent person. He didn't say an educated person, nor did he say a person who was ultimately gifted. What the wise pastor said was that the person with whom God will work with and for and through will be the person "who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him".

This radically changed Moody's ministry. Each of us need to realize that God isn’t looking for people with amazing minds or hands or voices or computer skills. He’s not looking for those who are wearing the nicest suits or dresses at church. And He’s not looking for the people with the highest grade point averages at the local Christian College. What God is really looking for, are people who are simply sold out for Him!

One of the great secrets to a successful walk with the Lord is understanding total commitment to Jesus. Being totally committed requires us to daily take up our cross -- leave the past behind us -- and despite all the obstacles the enemy tries to throw in our path, press forward for the Lord and His work!


Dear Lord, Thank you for the great men of faith that we can read about and pattern our life around. Help u sallow YOU to use us just the way You made us today. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

True Patience

Jeremiah 33:3 (ESV)
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.

In today's society, fast food is making billions. Some of these slogans are "have it your way" and "have it hot and have it now". How easy it is for us to fall into this "fast food mentality". It has almost become who we are. But in God's kingdom, there's no fast food. We can't always have it our way and now. When we are caught up in this fast food mentality, we lose the true meaning of patience. True patience is the ability to wait on the Lord through trials without complaining and worrying; it is to be tested and persevere through trial.

We need to be patiently waiting on the Lord to answer us in a new way! We cannot shortcut the things of God. If we want a deeper anointing of the Spirit in our lives, we need to avoid this fast food mentality. We cannot have a deeper walk with the Lord without spending time in his Word, without spending time in intimate prayer, without walking in repentance and humility, and practicing a life of holiness. Is this a tall order? Yes, but when we are focused on God and patiently waiting on Him to answer -- He will be preparing a blessing beyond our imagination!

Let's not settle for a hamburger, fries, and coke — when the Lord has a delicious, heavenly feast prepared for us!


Dear Lord, help us not settle for the fast things in live but instead be patient on the great things that You have prepared for us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.