Monday, June 18, 2018

The Daily Grace - Smile!

A recent study I read concluded that smiling can be good for your health. Research shows that smiling slows down the heart and reduces stress. But smiling isn't just good for you; a genuine smile blesses those on the receiving end as well. Without saying a word, it can tell others that you like them and that you are pleased with them. A smile can hug someone with love without giving them even the slightest touch.

Life does not always give us a reason to smile. But when we see a heartfelt smile on a child's face or through aged wrinkles, our hearts are encouraged. Smiles are also a hint of the image of God in us. In the ancient blessing recorded in the book of Numbers we get an indication that God "smiles": The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace" (Num. 6:25-26). Those words are a Hebrew idiom for the favor of God on a person's life, asking God to smile on His children. 

So today, remember that you are loved by God. And that, He is pleased to be gracious to you and to shine His face upon you. Your smile could be a message of cheer from God to a needy soul. Paint a smile on your face today!

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, open my eyes as I turn to Your word. I long to know You, to understand life, and to be changed. Examine me, Lord, by the floodlight of Your truth.

Our sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo. Forgive what our lips tremble to name, what our hearts can no longer bear, and what has become for us a consuming fire of judgment. Set us free from a past that we cannot change; open to us a future in which we can be changed; and grant us grace to grow more and more in Your likeness and image.

I pray that I and Your whole church, the body of all faithful people, will know Your peace, and live in harmony and unity, one with another, in accordance with your wishes. This I pray to You, who lives and reigns forever.


Today's Godly Reminder - Philippians 3:8

Our highest ambition is the excellence of the knowledge of Christ. It is growing more deeply and thoroughly acquainted with Him—a joy unequaled. The word “excellence” is a verb which means to be held over or beyond. It means to be superior, to excel. The Greek indicates that his superiority is the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord. This knowledge is constantly superior. Nothing else is worth living for in the light of his superiority.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Daily Grace - Teaching by Example

While waiting for an eye examination, I was struck by a statement I saw in the optometrist's office: "Eighty percent of everything children learn in their first 12 years is through their eyes". I began thinking of all that children visually process through reading, television, film, events, surroundings, and observing the behavior of others, especially their families.

Fathers can have an especially powerful influence on their children. Paul urged fathers not to frustrate them to the point of anger, but to "bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4). Think of the powerful example of a dad whose behavior and consistency inspire admiration from his children. He's not perfect, but he's moving in the right direction. A great power for good is at work when our actions reflect the character of God, rather than distort it.

That's challenging for any parent, so it's no coincidence that Paul urges us to "be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might" (Eph. 6:10). Only through His strength can we reflect the love and patience of our Heavenly Father. We teach our children far more from how we live than by what we say. We honor fathers who not only gave us life but who also show us how to live.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, may my life be so pleasing to You that You are pleased to have Your face shine on me. And as You graciously smile on my life, may I find someone today with whom I can share Your love through a smile. Thank You for the promises in Your Word that assure us You’ve planned our path and remain with us and for us, no matter what comes.

Work another miracle, a prodigy of grace. Make my soul a beautiful, living Tabernacle where You will ever dwell. Let me never leave You alone, but remind me to return hundreds of times in the day and have a word with You.

All through this day, O Lord, by the power of Your quickening Spirit, let me touch the lives of others for good, whether through the word I speak, the prayer I speak, or the life I live. Let me be a channel of blessing to everyone today. This I pray, in Christ's Name.


Today's Godly Reminder - Numbers 6:25

The Lord make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious. He will be kind, merciful, and giving favor to you. He will be surrounding you with loving-kindness by His grace. God smile on you and gift you with a lot of blessings because of your love to Him.

May the Lord’s face radiate with joy because of you. May He be gracious to you, show you his favor, and give you his peace. He will show you mercy and kindness. Receive those favors today!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Today We Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, I need to know Your love in order to love others. I want to experience and share Your patience and kindness with those I care about. Fill me and use me.

Cleanse the thoughts of my heart by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love You and worthily praise Your holy name. I lift up my soul and heart; do not allow Thy creation to perish, but free me from the single and greatest enemy — sin. Grant, O Lord, that I may endure anxiety and sorrows of the soul with the same patience as the joy with which I receive the satisfaction of heart. 

May the God of hope fill me and all of us with the joy and peace that comes from believing, so that we may abound in hope, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Here I commit myself to Thy mercy, begging Thee to destroy within me all that is offensive to Thee and to unite me to the assembly of Thy chosen. This I pray, in Christ's Name.