On Wings Of Eagles

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Monday, May 20, 2019

chosen by God

1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

I don’t know if you realized this or not, but you are chosen by God. He’s not stuck with you; he loves you and chose you to be a part of His Kingdom. John 15:16 says ‘You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.’

You’re chosen by God, and also given a task to further his kingdom. What is that task? In specifics, you need to be available for whatever that may be. However, whatever we’re doing, he’s appointed us to bear fruit for him. So not only are you chosen to be a child of God, but you’re also chosen to bear fruit in his name.

We often label ourselves better or worse than others, or perhaps worthless or useless. But God recognizes we’re broken and live in a fallen world, and still values us and has chosen us to be a part of his kingdom! From this day forward, don’t focus on what labels you have for yourself; focus on who God has labeled you, and bear fruit for him!

Dear Lord, thank You for choosing us.  What a blessing it is to be a part of Your kingdom. Help us know the tasks You have laid out for us, and to follow Your will every day. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

You have value

Ephesians 2:4-9 (ESV)
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Throughout our lives, there are days we simply don’t feel valued. Today, we’re going to look at how valued you really are.

When Jesus came to earth, He told us what love is. More than that, He showed us what love is. He brought the dead back to life, He healed diseases and healed hearts. Jesus gave hope to everyone who came to Him, and gave life to all who believed. He lived a perfect life. During that time, He knew there would be a day He was to be betrayed and nailed to the cruel cross.

Crucifixion is the most painful way to die known to man, because they have to die slowly and with extreme pain the entire time. The word ‘excruciating’ was invented to describe the pain on the cross. Yet Jesus, in all his perfect knowledge and wisdom. He left Heaven to be with us on earth, walk with us, teach us, and die for us; all while knowing He would die in the most painful way possible. He knew it was going to happen from the very beginning, and yet still He chose to die for us!

Why did He do that? Because our sin created separation between us and God; but we are loved and valued so much that Jesus wanted to REMOVE any separation between us and Him! You are loved and valued by God!

Dear Lord,  thank you for wanting to know us! We don’t deserve Your love, and yet You still love us. We pray that You help us to value You in our life too!  In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, May 17, 2019

What's my purpose?

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Some things are clearly mysteries. Who left the almost empty milk carton in the fridge? Where’s the TV remote? What did I do with my phone?! What’s that weird smell? And, what on earth am I here for – no really, like what’s my purpose? That’s a heavy question.

It’s easy to get stuck in a circle of crazy questions centered on your purpose.

How do I know my purpose? Why can’t “his” or “her” purpose be my purpose? What if my life doesn’t have a purpose? A few questions turn into a tornado of self inquires, and before long you’re wandering down a lonely road filled with potholes of doubt and hopelessness. You’re tripped up and trapped by your thoughts, sometimes momentarily believing these thoughts are true… “Your life really doesn’t have meaning.” “You’re pretty much useless.” “You have no purpose.”

Those are all lies.

God asks us to trust Him. When the milk carton is empty, the remote is MIA, you don’t even want to know where the stink came from, and yes, even when you can’t find your phone – God says, you can trust Him. But seriously - when you aren’t even sure what your purpose or point on the planet is, God says, “Trust Me.”

God knows the plan and purpose for your life. He knows the questions and doubts you have about who you are and who you’re supposed be. And what your Creator keeps telling you through all the questions, fears, and doubts – “Trust Me.”

He knows the plans laid out for you better than anyone else – even you - and those plans are great! It doesn’t mean everything always turns out like a fairy tale or you’ll be rich, but it does mean, as a child of God, you know God is always with you and one day you will be with Him, face-to-face. Think on that! In that moment, that face-to-face Jesus moment, all things will be right. Just, wow.

Your purpose is found through trusting God and faithfully believing He always knows your plan and purpose. When doubt sneaks in, replace it with truth, like that found in Proverbs 3:5-6 reminding us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight “.

Dear Lord, Thank you, for creating us with a plan and purpose. Help us to trust You in all we do. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

To be honest, some days just stink.

Genesis 1:27 (ESV)
So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

You didn’t even want to crawl out of bed this morning and now you’ve slept through four snooze alarms. Super. How many “Good morning, Sunshine’s”, “Did you just wake up?”, and “Nice hair” comments will you endure today?

The day moves on, and no matter what you say or do, people take you all wrong. Feelings hurt, people become angry and nothing you do helps the situation. You finish the day feeling ignored. Friends, family and even your faithful pet pass by as if you’re some diseased stranger they’d rather not look at.

Days like this can be draining, especially when they hit you one after the next. Difficult situations often leave a person with not-so-great feelings about who they are or who they’re not. Thoughts of being insignificant, no-good or even worthless creep in and try to make themselves a part of our identity. Good news: Our Heavenly Father has much to say about our identity and value.

Our identity is found in Christ. You were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). That’s good to know, right?! While it doesn’t mean you physically look like Christ, it does mean He equipped you to be Christ-like. He created you in His likeness, to be like Him; that is pretty significant!

Our value is found in Christ. Christ loved you so much He was willing to die for you (Romans 5:8). The awesome thing about Christ’s love – you don’t have to do anything to earn it. He is there in the middle of bad days, unthinkable situations and tragedies. He extends His sacrificial love, letting you know, your value is not found in day-to-day feelings or thoughts. Your value is found in the never-ending love Christ gave for you on the cross.

Remind yourself every day, “My value and identity are found in Christ.” In the book of Matthew, Jesus reminded His disciples not to worry about their value or worth because if He was able to keep up with the life of a small sparrow He was definitely able to keep up with their life – even down to how many hairs were on their head.

And guess what? The message Jesus shared with His disciples is true for you today: you are always valuable – no matter what kind of day you’ve had.

Dear Lord, thank you for creating us in Your image, continuously loving us, and always seeing us as valuable. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The comparison game

Philippians 2:3 (ESV)
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Do you ever see someone and think, “Oh my goodness, I am so glad that’s not me”? Maybe it’s the way they dress, play a sport, act, but you are just so thankful, you are better than, well, that. Don’t lie, we all play the comparison game.

God created you unique, special, set apart for a great purpose; but don’t let it go to your head. We are also called to be humble, servant hearted, and encouraging. That is not so easy in this day in age; I completely understand. You watch tv, movies, and see in real life that “Mean Girls” and “Jerks” seem to rule the school. They seem to be the popular ones, and deep down we all wish for just a little glimpse of that.

Friends, this is not what we are called to do as a Christian. We are called to act like Jesus acted, spoiler alert…. He wasn’t a fan of the so called “popular kids” in his day. Jesus hung out with the cripples, the tax collectors, with the people others literally called “dogs”. In our terms today, he hung out with the geeks, those with special needs, the poor. The people the rest of the world thought of as “weird” or “worthless”. The ones the “popular” people bullied because, “Hey, at least we are not like them, we’re better”.

God created each of us amazingly special for His purpose and plan. Who are we to tear apart our Heavenly Fathers work? So next time you start to think worse about someone ask yourself what Jesus would say if you shared those thoughts with him. Would he laugh with you, or would he go to their defense?

Dear Lord, You made each of us different and special. Help us to encourage others instead of tear them down, even in our own mind. Help us remember that we are Your masterpiece, created new in Christ Jesus. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Just Average?

John 1:45-46 (ESV)
45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

I am one of those people you would call, “Average”. I do things well, but I wouldn’t say I am great at anything. There are people who are better at school, sports, serving, and pretty much everything I do. I would never say I am “one of a kind”, “special”, or “unique”; I am just “average”. Do you feel the same way?

While in High school I was in the band. I always thought the drum majors were great. But because I thought so highly of them, I never had the courage to audition for the part myself. In youth group there were kids who would lead Bible studies and be leaders. Again, I thought so highly of them because God set them apart, he made them special for His plan. There was always someone better than me, so I allowed them to be used by God. I would just step in line and follow. 

Do you know what I realize now? There will always be someone better than me, but God doesn’t care. He still wants to use me! He created me special, unique and has a purpose for me. Look at the disciples, they were just fishermen from Galilee. What about Jesus? He was the son of a carpenter from Nazareth. Yet God did some pretty amazing things through them, wouldn’t you agree?

Do you feel like you are one of the “average” people? Nothing special about you, nothing you can offer God? It’s a lie that Satan wants you to believe. You are one in a million and God has such a big plan for you, if you are just willing to trust him. There will always seem to be someone better than you for the role, but God doesn’t always ask for THE best, He asks for YOUR best.

So, are you going to ignore Gods calling for you and let those you believe are better for God’s plan step in and do it. Or are you going to step up and do your best to fulfill the calling God has specifically for the ‘better than average’ you?

Dear Lord, help us to be strong and courageous. We forget at times that you created each of us special for Your plan and purpose. Help us to follow Your will and trust You even when we think others could serve You better. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Following Jesus to the Nations in Our Neighborhood

Luke 4:18-19 (ESV)
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
    and recovering of sight to the blind,
    to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”

As we walk in the footsteps of Jesus right where we live, work, and play, fully alive to God's heart for the nations, with confidence we can make ourselves available to friendships from people in other cultures. People from other countries and cultures are moving in next door to us, right where we live. When they do, we remember when God told Abraham, “I will bless you and . . . all the families on earth will be blessed through you” (Gen. 12:2–3, emphasis added).

Throughout the Old Testament, God kept pressing Israel to be a light to the world, sending Jonah to the Ninevites, Daniel to the Babylonians, and Esther to the Persians. He placed Jerusalem “at the center of the nations,” with lands around her, so the people called to stay at home could still affect the surrounding nations (Ezek. 5:5). God told the prophet Isaiah, “I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth” (Isa. 49:6).

As we interact with soccer moms from China, Uber drivers from Ghana, and elderly grandmothers from Punjab, let’s speak life over people by demonstrating the way life is supposed to be, as Jesus did. The center of many nations are actually coming to us, and we can be a light. Because of our close connection with Jesus, ours should naturally be the life that pours expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet in a humble act of genuine worship, to the whispers of disapproval about this choice (John 12:3–5).

It’s the life that turns over the tables of money changers in the Lord’s temple, speaking of justice in God’s house, in an act of righteous rage because “passion for God’s house will consume me!” (John 2:13–17). It’s the life that fills jars of oil for starving widows while hiding from authorities who wish you dead, and speaks life and faith into action (1 Kings 17:8–16). It’s the life that spends all night praying on a mountain and then chooses twelve disciples to follow him (Luke 6:12–16). Lavish worship, zeal for justice, extreme faith, intense communication with God—all four of these stories illustrate how Jesus modeled the life we are called to live.

As we walk in the footsteps of Jesus right where we live, work, and play, fully alive to God’s heart for the nations, with confidence we can make ourselves available to friendships from people in other cultures. Let’s spend a few minutes asking God to help us see the world as He sees it, for our hearts to mirror His heart, and for new friendships with people from other countries as we follow Jesus, right where we live:

Dear Lord, please shatter any misconceptions we have about our role in reaching the nations. We want to believe that from the very beginning You meant to bless us with the good news of Jesus so that we could be a light that would bless the whole world. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Happy Mother's Day

Philippians 2:1-4 (ESV)
1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 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.

The first Mother’s Day was celebrated in West Virginia in 1912. Mothers were to be recognized as an important part of our culture and lives. The heart of a mother is like a rare jewel. They love their children during the worst and best of times.

Yet all mothers are not the same. Author and speaker Patsy Clairmont says, “Normal is just a setting on your clothes dryer.” We are all different. She shared that as women we may “struggle, fail, start over, and celebrate.” But we are mothers who can love unlike any other person.

God created families and gave mothers a unique place in that unit. We can love, give of ourselves, cook, clean, wash clothes, put Band-Aids on scrapes … be the first one up in the morning or the last one down at night. They juggle a lot of things including raising children, working at jobs, managing a home, and sometimes finding time for ourselves.

Each day is a new beginning of what lies before. We have destiny, purpose, and the power to do and be all that we are called to be. Nothing can stop us except ourselves.
Mothers make up a crucial part of our lives. So whether it is a Hallmark card, dinner out, hug, or a kiss on the cheek, we should show we care. It is so important to give our love to these dedicated women in our lives and don’t take them for granted.

Dear Lord, we thank You for our mothers.  We pray that You would surround them with Your love and your protection as they work hard to keep their family running smooth. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Eve the first mother

Genesis 3:20 (ESV)
The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.

There are people all over the world, past and present, who have wanted to be the first at something. First to reach a high mountain top, first man in space, first person to do this and that. There are many "firsts" but one first I don't think I would want to have been was to be the first mother. I'm glad Eve took that role on for all of us women.

I was thinking about Mother's Day coming up and somehow my thoughts ran to Eve and how things must have been like for her becoming a mother. Of course Eve was the first to sin and other firsts but being the first mother must have made it an interesting life for Eve.

Because of Eve's sin, we all know there is pain in childbirth but she still was the very first to go through it and how that must have been for her. She didn't have Lamaze classes she could attend. She didn't have any pregnancy books or even a doctor. No yearly check ups for her! And just think, no epidurals.

Eve didn't have anyone with her when Cain was born, telling her that, "Eve, women have been doing this for thousands of years. It will be alright".

No, she didn't have any of that. No birthing coach. There wasn't even another woman around that could be her midwife. No nurse at a hospital to wait on her and bring her first baby boy when he wanted fed. No one to take care of her, other than Adam, and he was the "first" husband, newly made and new to the whole thing of life and new to being a husband and father. I wonder how he did?

Eve didn't have any books to read on rearing kids. No famous child psychologist to fill her ears with all sorts of theories on child-rearing. No friends she could share with and discuss her children with. No other mothers to talk to while her boys played at the neighborhood park. No online support groups. She had to figure it all out on her own and do it all on her own.

Poor Eve. She didn't even have a baby store to shop at. She never even had a babysitter so she could get away with Adam for a date night when her first little ones were born. Eve didn't have a mom she could call up and ask advice from. Not even a mother-in-law, although I'm sure some of you may think that would be a good thing.

The Bible mentions Eve's sons, Cain, Abel, and Seth. The Bible also says (Genesis 5:4) that Adam and Eve had other sons and daughters as well. We don't know how many and we don't know to what age Eve lived but we do know (Genesis 5:5) that Adam lived until he was 930 years old.

I'm sure among all this, Eve must have enjoyed her children like all mothers do. I'm confident that Eve had wonderful moments with her first three boys and with her other children when they were babies, toddlers, and small children growing up as we all do with our children. I'm sure Eve had some beautiful memories throughout her life.

Of course, Eve saw heartache resulting from her children. To have the first murder happen within your family and have it to be one of your sons killing the other, must have weighed heavily on Eve.

I do not envy her the task of having to be the first mother to bury one of her children. How could some of us have handled being in Eve's situation?

There really are not too many details written about Eve in the Bible but I still think by reflecting on her life, we can be inspired.

Although Eve's life seems so far away from us and long ago, she still was a women and went through all the things moms do today. Emotions, feelings, childbirth, motherhood, child-rearing, and even was a grandmother, and probably lived to see great-great-great-great (and so on) grandchildren if she lived nearly as long as Adam. She went through all those things associated with being a woman.

Eve was the first woman and mother to go through it all.

I think we don't need to worry about concentrating on any "firsts" ourselves, but we should concentrate on Who we keep first in our lives. When we keep Christ first, it's then we begin to handle our lives like they should be handled.
Putting Christ first will help us as we work on being the kind of man, women, teen or child a Christian should be.

Dear Lord we thank You for what You do for each of us. Help  us to always put You first in all that we do. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Think Like God

Matthew 19:4-6 (ESV)
4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Have you noticed how a declining stock market feeds on itself? As people see their share values go down, they feel the urge to sell. When the herd is selling, prices decline further. The same is true of marriage attitudes. As more children are born into unwed homes, fewer children have a working marriage model to imitate. “Normal” is redefined.

The Pharisees at Jesus’ time (as well as Jesus’ own disciples!) were convinced that lifelong marriage was too heavy an expectation and advocated for quick and easy divorce. They were shocked by Jesus’ strong reaction: “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one” (Matthew 19:4-6).

In other words, marriage doesn’t belong to people to experiment and play with. It belongs to God. It is his invention, designed during creation week itself.

Jesus said that couples are joined together. The phrase in its original Greek means “stuck like glue.” Marriage superglues you to your partner; you are no longer “me” but “we”. In God’s marriage math, one plus one equals one.

Dear Lord, we pray today that in our marriages we would think as we instead of me. We pray that the glue would stick us together and we wouldn’t tear it apart. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Good for Dancing

Psalm 149:1-3 (ESV)
1 Praise the Lord!
Sing to the Lord a new song,
    his praise in the assembly of the godly!
2 Let Israel be glad in his Maker;
    let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!
3 Let them praise his name with dancing,
    making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!

The two-year-old accompanied her mom to the home that would soon be theirs. The paperwork had been signed, and it was just a matter of time before the moving van would arrive with the household belongings.

They walked through each room, and finally her mom showed the little girl the room that would be hers. As soon as she crossed the threshold, she began to twirl around with her arms outstretched. After three revolutions, she stopped and announced to Mom, “This room is good for dancing!”

Are you able to find a place in your life that is “good for dancing”? A place where you find joy and peace? A place where you overflow with praise to God? God created you to rejoice and to praise him, and it is possible your joy could take the form of dancing.

Dear Lord, help us to find a place where we find peace and joy. Help our praise for You to overflow out of us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019


2 Corinthians 13:11 (ESV)
Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

I saw a cartoon that featured a little boy who was obviously discouraged. In the first frame, his mother is concerned about his sad countenance.

“What’s wrong?” his mother asks.

Without missing a beat, the young boy replies, “No one likes me.”

The next frame finds the mom reassuring her offspring. “That’s not true,” she says encouragingly. “I like you!”

In the final frame, the little boy looks up at his mom and responds, “Of course you do. That’s your job!”

I guess that is your job as a parent. You want to encourage your children and help them overcome adversity in every form. But the task of encouraging others isn’t limited to your relationship with your children. Imagine the state of our world if every believer made a conscious effort to encourage others.

Dear Lord, we want to be an encourager to the people in our family, in our church, in our neighborhood, and in the world beyond. Teach us to encourage others with our words and with our actions. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Calling on Him

Psalm 145:18 (ESV)
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.

Have you ever noticed what happens when a young person yells “Mom!” at a gathering with several mothers present? Heads turn, ears perk up, and almost without fail, every mother there will momentarily respond to the call, just in case it is her child calling. Even moms whose children aren’t there will temporarily forget that the child they hear could not possibly be hers.

Kids call and moms answer. That’s just the way it is; and that’s the way it is with God too. He’s right there—ready, willing, and able to answer when one of his children calls to him. That is a promise that is incredibly reassuring.

Dear Lord, thank You for hearing our cry. Knowing You listen, You hear, and You respond in love to us is amazing and reassuring. Let us always call to You knowing You will answer. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Listen and Learn

Proverbs 1:5 (ESV)
Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
    and the one who understands obtain guidance.

It’s important for you to be available for your older child but to refrain from being an interruption in their life. That may sound a little confusing. What does it mean to be available without interrupting? Let me give you a practical example.

I’d encourage you to volunteer to drive a carload of kids to an event, either school or church related. If you are quiet and don’t interrupt as you drive, you’ll discover a vast amount of information. What are these kids interested in? Are they boy crazy, girl crazy, or sports crazy? Do they have an interest in spiritual things? Are they respectful or teasing as they talk to one another?

If you chauffer the kids and don’t interrupt, before long you’ll become invisible—and from that invisible state you can be a student of your own child and his peers. You’re offering a service to the kids, not companionship; and by listening, you will learn a great deal that can be of help to you as a parent.

Too often we miss an opportunity to learn more about our child because want don’t take the time to listen.

Dear Lord, we thank You for our children. Help us to take the time to listen to them. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.  

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Peter Sank

Matthew 14:28-30 (ESV)
28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”

I read a story about a family gathered around the kitchen table as mom read the devotional message for the day. It was the story of Peter walking on the water.

After the mom finished reading and praying, one of the kids surprised his mom with these words. “Hey guys,” he said, addressing everyone in the family. “I know why Peter sank.”

His mother had a doubtful look in her eye but gestured for him to continue. “It’s simple,” he said. “Peter quit lookin’ at Jesus.”

Yes, that is what happened. Peter took his eyes off of the Lord and instead focused on the wind and the waves. That’s when he started going under.

That simple explanation is true, not only for Peter but also for us. When you take your eyes off of Jesus and look at your situation, you may find yourself sinking. Keep your focus where it belongs—on the Lord.

Dear Lord, help us to keep our eyes on You in everything we do. We know that when we focus on other things we will sink. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Under His Wings

Matthew 23:37 (ESV)
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!

My wife and I are having a lot of fun at Egg Valley. We have enjoyed learning all about chickens as we interact with them on a daily basis.  One of the things we have not experienced yet is watching a mother hen taking care of her chicks. However from reading we have an idea of how a hen might feel when it comes to protecting her chicks. The hen has a nurturing nature, and she wants to keep her little ones safe. I think there’s actually a “motherhood thing” going on—not just a “chicken thing.” Perhaps what’s really going on is a Jesus thing.

The Lord has a nurturing nature when it comes to his children. He wants to guide you and keep you safe, to draw you close to him just as that hen does when she gathers her chicks under her wings. As a mom, you exhibit that same nature when you draw your children to your side—to the shelter of your presence.

As a parent, you know how heartbreaking it would be for your children to stay at arm’s length and resist the safety and love you provide. Are you keeping the Lord at a distance by rejecting his love and protection?

Dear Lord, we pray that we would not distance our self from You but would let You surround us with your loving arms. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, May 3, 2019

What to Do When You’re Worried

Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Martin Luther once wrote in a letter to his wife, “Pray, and let God worry.”

God isn’t going to worry, of course. But we still need to pray, because we worry about a lot of things. And sometimes we even will elevate worry as a virtue, saying things like, “I worry because I care.”

But is worry actually a virtue? I don’t think so. In fact, I think worry can be a sin. I’m not saying that all worry is a sin, but I am saying that it can be. And I would readily admit that worry is a sin I have committed.

I’ve unnecessarily worried about things. I’ve fretted and have been filled with anxiety. So why is it potentially a sin? Because it’s a lack of trust in God. When we worry, we’re essentially saying, “God isn’t in control. He isn’t taking care of me in this situation. I’m not trusting in the providence of God.”

But if you are a real Christian and believe the Bible, then you will know that God is in control of all circumstances that surround your life, and there are no so-called accidents in the life of a believer.

That is an important thing to remember, because worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength.

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

Turn your worries into prayers. The next time you are gripped by fear and worry, turn it into a prayer like this one: “Lord, I don’t know what to do, but I trust You. You are in control, and I commit this to You right now.” Look to the Lord, and let Him give you His peace.

Dear Lord, we thank You that we can turn everything over to You and You are I control. Help us to not worry but to trust You completely.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

National Day of Prayer 2019

2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV)
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

In 1952 President Harry Truman signed a bill into law, making the National Day of Prayer for America an annual event on the first Thursday of May, encouraging millions across our nation to unite together to pray.

We've come a long way since that day.  And now, maybe more than ever, our nation needs our continued prayers for God’s healing, help, and peace.

Yet, sometimes it's hard to know where to begin or how to pray. We just know we have a deep ache in our hearts that cries out for God's mercy, and a longing to see him heal our land. And maybe other times we wonder how effective our prayers even are.

But no matter how we feel, we can be confident that God is faithful. He is aware and His Spirit is at work, over all that swirls around us in our nation today. That same power that broke prison chains, raised Lazarus from the dead, and parted the Red Sea, the same power that healed the blind man, and delivered the delirious from demons, that same power is at work still today.

He is the same. Yesterday, today, and forever.

May we stand together as believers, and pray for God to heal our land, and strengthen His people. May we pray for all those in authority. May we pray for God’s miraculous intervening, for blind eyes to be opened, for many to see the power of our Lord as never before.

At this important time in our nation’s history, we can do nothing more important than pray.

Remembering today this powerful truth upon which this nation was founded. We are "One Nation Under God." He is where our real hope is found, not in our leaders, not in our economy, not in the condition of our nation today, or any other day.  "...my hope comes from Him." 

Dear Lord, You are God of heaven and earth and we honor you today. We come before you praying for our beloved country. We have strayed far from your principles and from your plans for this country. Help us to find our way back to your paths of righteousness. We pray for our leaders. We pray that they will take a serious look at their personal integrity. We pray that they will become dissatisfied with any area, in their personal character, that is in rebellion to you. Inspire them to be men and women of prayer. Inspire them to passionately pray for wisdom. Inspire them to be hungry for your guidance. Inspire them to rise up with godly boldness and determination to be the best leader they are capable of being. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Demonstrated Affection

John 16:27 (ESV)
For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.

“The Father loves you.”

The night before He died, Jesus told His disciples that the Father loved them. The word “love” here does not denote a dutiful concern or a self-forgetful, sacrificial devotion. It carries the sense of “demonstrated affection”—love that’s full of warmth and openly shown. This is so important to grasp. The Father’s love is not a dutiful or a formal love. No, the sense of Jesus’ words here is that “The Father loves you deeply, dearly and demonstrably.” What a great love this is! So many earthly fathers are distant, either physically or emotionally. This is not so with our Heavenly Father; when Jesus died and rose again, He ascended to Heaven and from there poured out the Holy Spirit upon His followers. He filled His disciples so full of the Spirit of adoption that they began to cry out “Father!” From that moment on, they knew the Father loved them with a demonstrated affection—with His strong and comforting arms of love. This is what Jesus wants for us too. Let’s ask Him to help us to know this in our hearts, not just in our heads. Let’s experience the Father’s demonstrated affection.

Dear Lord, we ask You to help us to know in our heart that the Father Himself loves us deeply, dearly and demonstrably. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.