On Wings Of Eagles

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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

How now shall we live

1 Timothy 2:1-4 (ESV)
1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

The glorification of "Evil" in our media and celebrations today are blessings in disguise. It’s a megaphone to our deaf ears concerning the present invisible and visible reality of forces of evil that are working all around us. Rather than seeing the world as something to be afraid of, condemn, or even worse, mindlessly participate in as if it’s not significant in any way, let’s perceive the opportunity to engage the world with the beauty of Jesus.

As we read our verses today we are to be encouraged toward engaging evil with the gospel; not necessarily through loud displays of spiritual warfare, but through fervent submissive prayer and trust in Jesus’ intercession on our behalf; through Holy living, imitating Christ, service, repentance of sin, and obedience to Jesus. Though the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking to devour all that Christ loves, we must remember that the Lion of Judah—Jesus—has given us the power through his Spirit to resist evil’s advance. In Jesus we come out victorious.

Spend time thanking God for his power over evil, but at the same time recognize its effects around you, in your temptations, and through your sinful flesh.

Pray with me each and every day when it comes to evil—our battle with our flesh and temptation—and our ability to deal with the world, would be the same as that of Paul in Romans 8:5, 15:13: “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit … may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

Dear Lord, help us to set our minds on the things of You.  We pray that You will fill us with Your joy and peace as we face the things of the world. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Invisible Reality

John 10:10 (ESV)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

We live in a world today that's fascinated with holidays that celebrate gluttony and everything dead, and news headlines that exploit human evil actions for ratings. From movies to comics we are inundated with goblins, villains, zombies, skeletons, and ghosts. Let’s not get defensive or “religious” when thinking of all of this evil, but let’s take a moment to reflect on the invisible reality that our world is fascinated in “making visible.”

Ephesians 6:12 tells us that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against … darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” The Bible confirms that the power of witchcraft is real. The Bible also speaks of the realities of “everything dead” (we can assume that demons can manifest in many forms—i.e. goblins, zombies, skeletons, and trolls, etc.). The very fact that our world today longs to “make these things visible” testifies to their invisible reality. God is clear that evil exists.

The Bible is also clear that Satan, the originator of evil, is a thief that longs to kill and destroy anything and everything that God calls good (John 10:10). We know that Jesus is obsessed with all that is helpful, good, and life giving, but Satan is obsessed with everything dead and everything that brings death.

Our world's fascination with evil in every realm of culture should awaken us to our own numbness toward the evil around us, and to the evil within. Satan, demons, our sin, and evil, exist everywhere. They exist invisibly, and as we’ll see in our next Day’s study, they exist visibly. Let the circumstances around us encourage us to renew our resolve to “put on the whole armor of God” (Eph 6:11).

Dear Lord, we pray that each and every day we would face the evils of the world with Your “Whole Armor” on. Help us to stand firm. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Morning Has Broken

Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

“Morning Has Broken” was made popular by Cat Stevens in the early 1970s but is actually a much older Christian hymn.  You may know the lyrics…

”Morning has broken like the first morning. Blackbird has spoken like the first bird.  Praise for the singing. Praise for the morning.  Praise for them springing fresh from the world.  Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven. Like the first dewfall on the first grass. Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden, Sprung in completeness where his feet pass. Mine is the sunlight. Mine is the morning. Born of the one light Eden saw play. Praise with elation, praise ev'ry morning. God's recreation of the new day.”

What is your hope in the morning?  What is your praise as the day begins?  God’s recreation of this new day?

This meditation from the third chapter of Lamentations will help you reclaim hope.  Encounter God in this, his recreation of that first day so long ago.  Its new for Him each morning.  It can be new for you too.

Resting in imaginative contemplation for a moment, remain with your eyes closed...imagine sitting in the morning meadow.  The first morning.  A morning born of the one light Eden saw play.  The morning dew sunlit from heaven.  Absolute perfection.  Everything new.  Sit there.  Fellowship there in the presence of the one who created it.  Elohim.  The creator God who broke this morning new for you.  Be still in his creation.

Today you have the opportunity to be present, mindful, and new with God all day. Expect him to be present and new.  Not only in morning prayers, daily scripture, or worship on Sunday...but his presence to be present and new in every word, every thought, every hope and dream you have.  Be mindful of his new mercies in the morning...at lunch...afternoon, evening, and as you sleep.

Dear Lord, thank You for Your mercies every morning, noon and evening. We pray that we would never forget all that You do for us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Dirty laundry

Galatians 5:13 (ESV)
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

God gifted and instructed each of us to use our gifts to serve Him and others. You may not be the biggest, fastest or strongest, but you can still serve.

Ashland University won the NCAA Division II national championship in 2013. A couple years later, prior to the start of the 2014–15 season the coach knew it would be his last. There was one senior and one junior who had been a part of the national championship team, and he revealed his retirement intentions to the senior, Taylor, before sharing with the rest of the team.

That year, their young team improved throughout the season, eventually finding itself in the regional title matchup, one win away from the Elite Eight. They played their hearts out, but it just was not meant to be. His 35-year coaching career ended, as did Taylor’s stellar playing career.

Soon, however, Taylor demonstrated what it had all been about.

As the coach started walking back from the postgame news conference, he saw his team approaching at the end of a long corridor. Taylor was in the middle of the group. As they got closer, he could see her carrying both bags of dirty laundry, one over each shoulder.

Taylor had just finished the final game of her career, but instead of thinking of herself in that moment, she chose to serve her teammates.

What can be the best way to serve those around you?

Dear Lord, thank You that You see us and know us by name. Thank You for the example of Christ and how He served while on earth. Let us keep You forefront in our faith as we reach out to those who are hurting and in need of Your truth and grace. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Surrender to Serve

Matthew 20:28  (ESV)
Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

While NBA broadcaster Ernie Johnson had been a believer for years, God was calling him to something more, to greater risk and deeper boldness to profess his faith and share his story in a public setting. Johnson stepped out and began sharing his testimony, his first experience coming out of service to a friend.

Johnson reminds us that service is a state of heart, a bending of our own will to seek that of our Father. It’s when we come to the end of our own ability that we are sent out of our comfort zone, and we hear the voice of God nudging us to something unfamiliar. We reach out to do what we think we cannot, surrendering our fears for the sake of someone else.

Jesus, the ultimate picture of servanthood, bent His immortal frame in human flesh, turning down alleyways to call out to the marginalized and forgotten. He submerged His hands in water and washed the feet of His own followers. And He hung on a cross for humanity, bearing the brunt of God’s wrath so we would have an eternal home in Heaven. His example should permeate our every thought and action as we mold our hearts in a posture of vulnerability and take up a servant-minded position like our Savior.

In what ways can you ask God to guide you out of your comfort zone?

Dear Lord, we are thankful that we have the example of Jesus to show us what it means to serve. Sometimes we are afraid to leave what we are used to and sacrifice our time, resources and words to give when it is inconvenient for us. In the Name of Jesus,  Amen.

Friday, October 26, 2018


1 John 3:18 (ESV)
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

Longwood University basketball coach Jayson Gee’s life has been spent in service. Not only to the young men on his teams, but his heart of serving like Christ has been best exemplified in his unflinching belief and dedication to his son, Brandon.

While Brandon suffered years of severe child-onset paranoid schizophrenia, Jayson constantly streamed love and affirmation to his son. He brought the Luke 15 parable of the shepherd going after the one lost sheep to life. Even as he endured streams of verbal and physical tirades from his son, Jayson steadfastly responded to each outburst with a soft, “I love you” and believed in faith that God would make good on His promise to heal Brandon.

Jayson went to extreme levels to give of himself day after day for years for the sake of his son. Much like God, the Father who gave out of love His own Son, who served and suffered for us. We can hold to this sacrifice as an example of lifting others above ourselves when we believe God to do amazing things in the lives of our friends, neighbors, and teammates.

There is healing when we offer our hearts to care for another. And God can take our offering and multiply it beyond what we can imagine. We just need to keep the faith and believe God will do what He says He will do.

Who can you think of that is a difficult person in your life, but God wants you to serve?

Dear Lord, this is a broken and hurting world. So many cry out for mercy and for kindness. You are the light of the world, and You cannot be hidden. We want to pour our self out in service to others to show them Your love; give us the grace to bear another’s burdens. In the Name of Jesus,  Amen.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Give all you have got

1 Peter 4:10 (ESV)
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:

Have you ever been around someone who is “next level” in terms of their passion for what they do? I know people like that, and they inspire me. This brings them a greater sense of purpose and begins to make a difference for those around them.

Serving is about what we can do to meet the needs of others. God wants us to take the things we are most passionate about and use them for the good of others and, ultimately, His glory. There are several qualities that true servants have in common:

Serving requires humility. Those who serve always think highly of others and elevate their needs ahead of their own. Even though they are experts, the best will never make you feel inferior for not knowing what to do. In fact, it’s quite the opposite; they’ll make you feel special.

Serving requires learning. Those who serve are always seeking knowledge and wisdom because others are depending on them. Leaders are made to serve others and need to “stay ahead” of those they serve with insight and knowledge.

Serving requires commitment. Those who serve have an unwavering commitment to others’ success. They don’t give up when challenges or obstacles arise. In fact, those bumps in the road energize them to help you overcome. They reject excuses and encourage you to do the same.

It’s an act of love to lay down your life for another. Using the gifts and talents God has given you is a powerful way to make a big difference for others.

How can you use your passions and gifts to serve others? 

Dear Lord, You have made us and You know us. You know how You want to reach the world through us. Please show us how You can use the things we are passionate about to serve and encourage family and friends. Give us a heart for service that comes from Your love.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


Philippians 2:3-4 (ESV)
3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

No other action a person can take leaves as profound an impact on another as serving. It’s a basic, essential part of the daily Christian walk. Each day, we should be committed to serving others, simply putting their needs and wishes in front of our own.

Jesus’ entire life was one of service to those around Him, the most notable example coming when He washed His disciples’ feet on the evening of His betrayal (John 13:1–17). It was the perfect picture of the humility with which He served the disciples. And it was followed by the greatest act of service in the history of mankind when He went to the cross, died, and was resurrected three days later. He sacrificed all of Himself to save us.

How great would it be if we adopted that mindset in our lives, starting every day with the thought of, “Who can I serve today?” It would be transformational in our families, workplaces, schools and communities if our thoughts, actions, attitudes and words were Spirit-led in such a way that we sought out—and acted upon—opportunities to be salt and light, serving others in all we do.

Who can you serve today?

Dear Lord, You have created the world according to Your desire, and fashioned us in Your image. You call us to care for one another, but we are selfish and sometimes like to only act for our self. Make us like Your Son who made it His life’s ambition to serve those around Him. In the Name of Jesus,  Amen.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Dedicated To Christ

Philippians 2:7-8 (ESV)
7 But emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

I try to live my life completely dedicated to what God wants for me.  It runs deep, but it pales in comparison to many people I read about in God’s Word. Consider the eight known writers of the New Testament books: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, James, Peter and Jude. All were pretty dedicated guys, to say the least. Dedicated enough to go public with the great news of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And all eight of these Holy Spirit-inspired writers paid a high price for their dedication.

Those men were sold-out and dedicated to Jesus, who displayed His dedication to us when He left Heaven as God and became a man on Earth, God the Son, to die on a cross for all of our sins even though we did not—and do not—deserve this forgiveness. Jesus rose from the dead, promising us life with Him forever if we trust Him as Savior and Lord, repenting from our sin.

How do you show your dedication to your faith?

Dear Lord, Thank You for calling us to be Your child. We pray that Jesus’ example of humility, dedication and grace would be the inspiration from which we live our life. Through the trials and the triumphs, help us to keep our eyes on You. In the Name of Jesus,  Amen.

Monday, October 22, 2018


Jeremiah 29:13 (ESV)
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Every athlete understands the concept of dedication. It’s that “all in” mentality of pursuing a goal with everything you have. You commit the time and make sacrifices to make it happen.

Even outside the world of sports, we’re all dedicated to something. It could be a spouse, a relationship, a job, a cause, a goal or an idea. Whatever it is, our dedication is reflected in how we manage our time, our money, and in what we watch or read.

As a believer, though, our goal every day is to be totally dedicated to the things God is dedicated to. Through time spent reading His Word and connecting with Him in prayer. We can be focused on loving and serving others and getting to know God in deeper and more intimate ways.

Through a dedicated relationship with Him, all other commitments in life are transformed. Everything you do, say and see will be done through a different worldview. That paradigm shift in your mind will help you view all things as Christ sees them—cultural and social issues, family, occupation, leisure, whatever it may be. It’s through that lens that your life will be forever changed as you pursue Him with all you have.

What are you most dedicated to in your life?

Dear Lord, You know our heart and our every thought. You know in what and in whom our deepest dedication lies. We pray that through Your power, we would throw aside anything keeping us from pursuing You with everything we have. In the Name of Jesus,  Amen.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Want It. Will It. Work It.

Nehemiah 6:15-16 (ESV)

15 So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. 16 And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell greatly in their own esteem, for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God.

There are so many days where I don’t feel like working out, eating right, or going to bed early enough to wake up refreshed and ready to go. I don’t feel like training when I’m sore or tired or busy. But I do it anyway, because that’s what it takes to be my best. It takes unwavering, uncompromising dedication to the goal.

I’ve discovered the formula for success in reaching a goal can be summarized in three steps:

1. Pick Your Prize: Start with setting a wildly important goal—a goal so bold it stretches you beyond your comfort zones. Identifying the things God has made you passionate about helps you pursue them with the right heart, glorifying God regardless of the outcome (1 Corinthians 9:23-25).

2. Count The Cost: Nothing worth achieving will come easy. Examine the cost. What decisions and disciplines will be required along the way? Jesus encourages us to consider what it will take before we begin (Luke 14:27-29).

3. Pay The Price: Once the first two steps are complete, the real work begins. Making daily progress—regardless of how you feel—is what will keep you on track. You have to crush the little compromises, celebrate small successes, and go to work every day (Colossians 3:23).

Dedicate yourself to pursuing God-sized goals, and get to work. It will be the most exhilarating pursuit of your life.

Dear Lord, we come before You, asking You to show us the God-sized goals You have prepared for us. Show us what and where those are, and fill use with Your Spirit, committing to them with all we have and knowing nothing is impossible through You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

To set apart.

Joshua 3:5 (ESV)
Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”

I have watched sports for pretty much my whole life.  One thing I’ve learned is the most successful coaches and athletes are those who are truly dedicated to their craft. It’s true in all walks of life, but I believe it bears itself out most clearly in athletics. Once the competition begins, pure talent only goes so far; at some point, those who dedicated the most time and energy to training, planning and preparing have the advantage.

Similarly, Joshua wanted the Israelites to prepare. In Joshua 3:5, he instructed them to get ready to be used by God: “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.”

The word “consecrate” is interesting. It means “to set apart; designate or dedicate for a special purpose.” Consecration is a complete surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Put it all together, and that verse is saying to surrender our lives and dedicate all we have to the Lord, for a day will come when He’ll do far beyond what we believe is possible. It’s in Christ, in living and competing for Him, that our true identity and fulfillment can be found.

Live by this belief: We can all be Christ’s ambassadors for His Kingdom, consecrated to fulfill His special purposes here on Earth. – Shane Williamson

Dear Lord, physical training comes natural to a competitor. We know how it impacts their performance. Please shift our mindsets to understand how much more valuable spiritual training is for us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, October 19, 2018


Luke 4:1-2 (ESV)
1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry

I battle with dry mouth syndrome and many times I find I just don’t want to eat.  On the flip side, I need to eat, and I have a tendency to get hangry if I don’t (hangry = hungry + angry)! With that info, you can probably deduce that fasting isn’t exactly my favorite part of the Christian life. However, I think that God intended fasting to be just that—a denial of our temporal pleasure to reset our appetite for what is most satisfying: God.

Fasting is a necessity in the life of a believer, but many Christians have a misunderstanding about what fasting is and what it accomplishes. It’s actually a very simple concept that can profoundly affect our lives.

Many view fasting as some kind of devotional currency they can use to get what they want from God. That’s fake news. At its core, fasting is about bringing the prayer of “less of me and more of you” to life. Fasting is about the denial of self, the shifting of priorities, and the acknowledgment of what it means to hunger not just for mere morsels of food but for the life-changing presence God. It is a resolute course of action anointed by His Spirit, not by our will.

When was the last time you fasted?

Dear Lord, we pray that we would set our minds completely on You. When we fast help us to have our hearts and minds on You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, October 18, 2018


Romans 8:26 (ESV)
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

As maturing believers, we must learn to pray “in the Spirit.” This means not simply praying under the guidance of our own small intellect but allowing the Spirit to actually lead us in prayer. When I was growing up, my church family would call this “praying through.”

Now, there is incredible power in praying in the Spirit using our own words, speaking from our heart to God about our personal thoughts, desires, and petitions. These prayers are led by the power and anointing of the Spirit of God, but they are still made in accordance with our own understanding. This is powerful and essential, but there is another dimension of prayer that many believers seldom experience.

In some circles this aspect of prayer is referred to as a prayer language; in others, it’s referred to as a baptism of the Holy Spirit, which is often evidenced by speaking in what the Bible calls “other tongues.”

Different denominations—and even different churches within the same denomination—can vary in how they interpret Scripture in regards to speaking in tongues or praying in the Spirit. The issue has become so convoluted that what the Bible actually says about praying in tongues is rarely addressed, and I think the result is that one of the beautiful gifts of God is absent from the prayer lives of many believers.

Personally speaking, the greatest moves of God I’ve experienced in my own heart and life were when I moved from praying in my own understanding to praying in the Spirit.

I would describe this as being truly broken before God in prayer and worship. Even if you’ve never experienced this dimension of prayer or the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it is the promise and gift of God to all believers. Find a place to pray and ask God to baptize you in His Spirit, speaking in other tongues just as so many believers in the New Testament experienced regularly. You will never be the same.

Dear Lord, help us to make the decision to really set our self to prayer.  We pray that we would allow the Holy Spirit to completely fill us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


Daniel 6:10 (ESV)
10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.

I recently read a passage of Scripture regarding the call to pray that really struck a chord in my heart. Matthew 26: 36-46 recounts the instance when Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane with his disciples to pray. We find that at a certain point, Jesus instructs the majority of the disciples to stay back while asking Peter, James, and John to come with Him deeper into the garden to pray. Then the Bible says that Jesus “went a little further to pray.”

There is something to be said about the example of Jesus illustrated in those five words: “a little further to pray”. When God desires to take us further in our purpose, He calls us to go further in our prayer life. And in order to go a little further in our purpose, we must purpose to go a little further in our prayers. Sometimes prayer requires an extra effort or a greater intention; sometimes it needs to be elevated in our priorities.

 I once read that if you don’t have a time and place to pray, it won’t happen.  Having a set time and place or an appointment on the calendar helps in making our prayer life more consistent. Sometimes when God wants to take us “a little further,” He calls us to change not the length of our prayer time but the consistency of it.

Our prayer life is not the litmus test for our spiritual discipline but rather the indicator of the health of our relationship with God. Relationships are built and sustained by constant communication. Of course, God already knows the details of our lives, but there is an expressed dependence upon God when we invite Him into those details. The man or woman who does not pray is essentially telling God, “I've got this,” revealing alarming pride and self-sufficiency.

God desires to take us beyond what we can do in our own strength in order to fulfill His purpose in our lives. But truthfully, we can only journey in our calling insofar as we’ve paved the distance in prayer.

God equips us for our destiny in the moments we share with Him in prayer.

How consistent is your prayer life? Do you have a designated time and place to pray?

Dear Lord, help us to set a place and time for prayer. We know we can’t do this thing called life without you. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


1 John 5:14 (ESV)
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.

I read a book several years ago that changed the way I prayed. It’s called Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. In it, Batterson emphasizes the point that in order to see God work in a specific way in our lives, we must pray specifically; conversely, general prayers get general answers.

I know that there have been times that I’ve prayed very generic, vague prayers—prayers like, “Lord, touch my life and lead me in your ways.” Not a bad prayer, right? And that’s a good place to start perhaps, but admittedly it isn’t a very specific prayer. A much more powerful approach to this prayer would be, “Lord, you see what’s happening right now in my life. I am being faced with the difficult decision to relocate due to my job. Align my heart with your will. Examine the motivation of my heart for wanting to follow this opportunity and relocate. Help me see the impact of this move on my life and family five or ten years down the road. Give me clarity about the right decision to make. Your Word instructs me not to lean on my own understanding and to submit all my ways to you. So I submit this opportunity to you. If this is what I should do, make the path plain before me. If it’s not the right direction, close the door before me. I place it in your hands and trust you to be my guide.” That direct prayer will often yield a direct answer from God.

Let me clarify that Jesus isn’t some “genie in a bottle.” But when we make His kingdom our priority and when our lives revolve around His will, the desires of our heart will align with His and He will make a way for us to live out what He has called us to do.

Could your prayers be more specific today?

Dear Lord, help us when we pray to You to be specific on the needs we have. We know that You already know our needs but help us to come before You as Your children. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, October 15, 2018


Job 42:10 (ESV)
And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Today, I have two questions for you…

The first is a question I was asked years ago: “If God answered the prayers you’ve been praying, would it change anyone else’s world but your own?”

The next is a question God put on my heart as I studied about prayer: How much of God’s miraculous power are we unable to experience because we never pray prayers that are bigger than us?

Now of course God is concerned with the details of our lives, and what a glorious truth that is! But He’s much more concerned with His kingdom, will, and glory being expressed through our lives as we activate His power through our prayers on behalf of others.

In the world in which we live, with the deep issues and problems we face as people, we often look to governments, kings, policies, presidents, and world systems to cure the symptoms of the spiritual depravity present in humanity. The truth is, we will always come up short hoping to cure the ills of society with man-made systems. There are many strongholds that dominate our culture. We often point to a people group or a person on which to place all the blame for the issues of our culture. However, the Bible teaches us that it is never merely a person—“flesh and blood”—but spirits—“principalities and powers”—that we actually fight (Ephesians 6:12). Spiritual issues require spiritual solutions. The answer to spiritual strongholds is prayer. Prayer will do more than politics, protests, or even pulpits. Practical solutions are good and necessary to manage symptoms, but they are ultimately inadequate in overcoming them.

Who and what can you pray for today beyond your own immediate circumstances and dreams? How about praying for the several thousand victims of human-trafficking? Pray that God would expose the deeds of evil people and bring rescue to those held captive. How about praying for presidents, kings, and countries? Pray that God would grant godly leadership, justice, and harmony in various places all over the world. How about praying for that girl in your class or that co-worker at your job? Perhaps they need encouragement and hope.

Pray prayers beyond the scope of your own life, and watch what God will do in your own life.

Dear Lord, as we pray help our eyes, ears and hearts be open to the world around us.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen.  

Sunday, October 14, 2018


Proverbs 3:1-6 (ESV)
1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
    but let your heart keep my commandments,
2 for length of days and years of life
    and peace they will add to you. 
3 Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
    bind them around your neck;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 So you will find favor and good success
    in the sight of God and man. 
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

I have heard it said, in one way or another, that prayer is good but that ultimately you have to do something. Although I completely agree with that statement, I have to admit that in my own life, I’m typically very good at “doing something,” From my perspective, we are quick to act and slow to pray when it ought to be that we are quick to pray so that our activity is directed by the clarity and understanding we receive when God aligns our hearts with His.

I’m no car mechanic, and I know just little about car maintenance, but I do know that proper alignment is essential to keeping a vehicle moving in the right direction without constantly pulling one way or the other. In the same way, alignment is integral to the life of the believer. Prayer is about aligning our heart’s preferences with God’s will.

When Jesus teaches the disciples to pray, he begins by saying, “Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, they will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Notice that before we petition God to meet our daily needs or to forgive our sins, we align ourselves with the glory of God and His will for His kingdom.

In your journey today, do you feel your soul pulling to the left or the right? Is your life full of activity but without clear direction? Seek God in consistent prayer, and He will align your steps with His purpose for your life.

Dear Lord, we pray today that You will align our steps in a way that is pleasing to You.  We pray for a clear direction from You today. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, October 13, 2018


Matthew 13:31-32 (ESV)
31 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

Show me a praying person, and I’ll show you a person full of faith!

Before we talk about prayer, we must first address faith. In fact, the prayers we pray say a lot about the faith we possess. It takes faith to pray. Faith is the foundation on which we build our knowledge of the reality of God. Faith is the currency of heaven, and prayer is the means by which we exchange sorrow for joy, ashes for beauty, and spiritual deadness for supernatural power.

When we attempt to fulfill ourselves by placing our faith in anything other than God, we always come up empty. Instead of praying and receiving the joy of the Lord as an outflow of our relationship with Jesus, we try to purchase joy and peace by other means. Life becomes one social escapade after another—buying as much stuff as our credit card limit will allow, hanging out with friend after friend after friend, filling our lives with shallow relationships and meaningless things—and all the while, true joy and real peace and genuine companionship and lasting satisfaction are waiting to be found in an intimate relationship with Jesus, a relationship which is initiated and sustained by faith.

Jesus speaks of faith as a “grain of mustard seed.” In this parable about the mustard seed, Jesus is sharing an important idea with us: faith begins in seed form. Faith in God is planted in the soil of our hearts and cultivated by the Spirit of God, and over time, it produces joy, peace, humility, fulfillment, power, and every other rich quality of the character of God. Faith is the source of these blessings, and prayer is the way that the source gets into the soil.

Some people do not feel inclined to pray because often times, prayer just looks like a seed. Nothing too thrilling about a seed, right? But through the eyes of faith, we don’t just see our prayers for what they are when we’re praying them; we see the potential of what they can become when God answers them! Great prayer reveals great faith, and great faith releases great prayers. Great faith isn’t measured in magnitude but in our resoluteness to believe God against all odds.

Jesus tells the disciples to have faith in God and to speak to mountains without any doubt in their hearts. Perhaps instead of seeds of faith, you’ve had seeds of doubt and fear planted in your heart. Pray for the Spirit of God to uproot those things today and activate your faith through prayer.

Dear Lord, we thank You that we can come to You anytime trough prayer. Help us to get rid of the seeds of doubt and fear that are planted in our heart. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, October 12, 2018

U2 Front Man Bono Extols Love of Psalms, New Testament Through Song Lyrics

Matthew 6:10 (ESV)
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.

It’s difficult to argue that any general market band has injected the Bible into its songs more than Rock & Roll Hall of Fame legends, U2. From the opening track of its 1981 sophomore release October to its 2017 album Songs of Experience the iconic Irish foursome has consistently gone back to its spiritual roots as former members of the Shalom Fellowship in Dublin.

There’s no better example than “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” from the 1987 platinum album The Joshua Tree. Not only did the song provide U2 with its second U.S. #1 radio single, but it was also loaded with biblical references:

I have spoke with the tongue of angels (1 Corinthians 13:1)

I believe in the Kingdom Come (Matthew 6:10)

You broke the bonds/And you loosened the chains (Psalm 107:13-14)

Carried the cross of my shame (1 Peter 2:24)

Four years later, U2 dedicated an entire song from Achtung Baby to Judas (one of the original 12 disciples) and his betrayal of Jesus. “Until The End of the World” begins with a scene from The Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:17-30), continues in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus is betrayed (Matthew 26:36-56), and concludes with a guilt-ridden Judas taking his life (Matthew 27:3-5).

Another example can be found on “Yahweh” from the 2004 release How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. The song title itself references the biblical name of God usually written as Lord in modern English Bibles), which is found in the Hebrew Bible well over 5,000 times and first appears in Genesis 2:4. Then, towards the end of the song, there is this refrain taken from Matthew 5:14-16:

Take this city

A city should be shining on a hill

Take this city

If it be your will

While three of its four members grew up around the Bible, lead singer and primary lyricist Bono is often credited for bringing its content into U2’s musical offerings. His love for the book of Psalms is especially apparent and has even impacted the band’s live performances in unique ways. Bono noted this in the 2016 documentary The Psalms, in which he was featured along with Eugene Peterson, author of The Message.

“In the dressing room before a show, we would read the psalms as a band and then walk out into arenas and stadiums—the words igniting us, inspiring us,” Bono revealed.

The lead singer has also been known to read Psalm 116 from The Message before the band kicks into opening set. Then, at some point in the concert, U2 will play its earliest biblically inspired song, “Gloria” (from the 1981 album October), which references Psalm 51:15. Another popular tune for concertgoers is “40” (from the 1983 album War), which is literally taken from Psalm 40:

I waited patiently for the Lord

He inclined and heard my cry

He brought me up out of the pit

Out of the miry clay

Bono explained his admiration in the introduction to the book Selections From the Book of Psalms.

“At 12, I was a fan of David, he felt familiar…like a pop star could feel familiar. The words of the psalms were as poetic as they were religious and he was a star…He was forced into exile and ended up in a cave, facing the collapse of his ego and abandonment by God. This is where David was said to have composed his first psalm—a blues. That's what a lot of the psalms feel like to me, the blues…Words and music did for me what solid religious argument could never do, they introduced me to God, not belief in God, more an experiential sense of GOD. As a result, the Book of Psalms always felt open to me and led me to the poetry of Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, the book of John.”

Dear Lord, we thank You for the Bible.  We thank You for all the lessons we can learn from applying to all aspects of our life. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Journey Songwriter Jonathan Cain Injects Biblical Themes Into Legendary Catalog

John 8:32 (ESV)
And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Known for their unforgettable rock anthems (e.g. “Don’t Stop Believing,” “Separate Ways,” etc.) and chart-topping power ballads (e.g. “Faithfully,” “Open Arms,” etc.) Journey has been a significant part of America’s pop culture for over 40 years.

The casual fan, however, might not be aware that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band has at times laced its lyrics with biblical references. On the 1978 breakout album Infinity, the hit song “Wheel in the Sky” had some critics and fans speculating that the title might be taken from Ezekiel 1 and the prophet’s elaborate vision.

While the band has never confirmed a direct correlation, there have been other more obvious instances such as the song “Believe” from the 2005 album Generations, which utilizes a portion of John 8:32.

I believe in you, believe in me

I believe in you, believe in me

Oh, I believe the truth will set you free

I believe in you, believe in me

The most obvious shift towards biblically themed lyrics, however, can be found on the 1996 album Trial By Fire, which featured the songwriting team of Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain for the last time before Perry parted ways with Journey. According to Cain, Perry brought his Bible into the studio and the two pondered what would happen if they used some of its text as their inspiration.

One such song was the lead track, “Message of Love,” which included these two lines from the bridge:

I hear…but I never listen

I see…and still I’m blind

Those bars invoked the words of Jesus who explained to the disciples why he used parables to share his message:

“Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.” (Matthew 13:13, NIV)

Another biblically inspired song was the title track, “Trial By Fire,” which invokes Psalm 66:10 and 1 Peter 1:6-7 and includes direct references to 2 Corinthians 4 within the first three lines of the first verse:

Treasures in the jars of clay (v. 7)

Let the light shine out of darkness (v. 6)

Fallen down but not destroyed (v. 9)

It's just another trial by fire

“There I am with a Bible on my console,” Cain recalled. “It was profound and wonderful, and we wrote this beautiful song.”

In 2016, Cain recorded the solo album What God Wants To Hear and for the first time wrote all of the songs based on the Christian faith and the Bible.

“I’ve always been seeking out songs since I was young,” Cain said. “I never had any idea how rich the Bible was with imagery. I got lost in it.”

Dear Lord, we thank You for the way Your word finds its way into the may stream. We pray that those that hear the words will be open to the message. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.