Friday, November 17, 2017
Dear Lord, You are good and You are our great comforter. No matter what will happen in our lives, whether it is pleasing or not, still You are a great God. We praise You for Your unending love to us.
Please forgive me if sometimes I am like a sheep that have gone astray. I am sorry if sometimes I am not listening to Your Words and directions. Comfort me Lord when trials come into my life, I sometimes fail and being stubborn.
Renew our minds, renew our strength. Help us to grow so that other people will be inspired by our lives, having You in our ups and downs. And, they will know that You are a good Father to us that provides tranquility.
Always practice in building each other up. Don't acquire that crab mentality, it doesn't pleases the Lord. Encouraging one another pleases Him because it is His commandment also in Hebrews 11:25. God talked several times in the Bible about encouraging one another. Discover those words more by studying deeply in His Word, by yourself or with your accountability partners.
Keep doing good things around you. Be kind to others and show the love of Christ to them. When they are sad, comfort them. When they are happy, rejoice with them. Let us help one another as the day comes.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
A friend who is a commercial pilot told me about a flight in which he encountered a serious mechanical issue - a problem with dangerous implications. When the situation occurred, the warning lights in the cockpit informed him of the problem and he monitored it all the way to the destination, ultimately landing safely. Once on the ground, the pilot immediately went to the maintenance staff and reported it. To his surprise, the mechanics responded, "We already know about the problem and are ready to fix it. When you got the cockpit warning, we automatically got an electronic warning as well".
As he shared that incident, I couldn't help but compare it to Jesus' words about our heavenly Father: "Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him" (Matt. 6:8). He said this in contrast to people who believe that they must "use vain repetitions. . . For they think that they will be heard for their many words" (v. 7). Jesus presupposes God's knowledge of and concern for His children. Even though God knows our needs, He still wants us to share our hearts with Him. He stands ready to hear our prayer and to repair our brokenness by His grace. Prayer is the voice of faith, trusting that God knows and cares.
Dear Lord, we know that our enemy seeks to devour us. Please protect us from him. We believe Your Word that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.
I am battle-ravaged by my sin, sick by my own will. The pure spirit You gave me is wreckage and rubble. Forgive me, dear Christ, and replenish me with Your infinite mercy, with Your pure, clear, perfect love, until I am restored to the perfect beauty and peace of soul that can be found only by Your grace.
I pray to You for all the graces I need to know You, to love You and serve You faithfully unto death, and to save my soul. Give me a tender and fervent devotion to Your sacred passion by which I was redeemed, venerating You each day in prayer. And, teach me how to unite sorrows and sufferings of my life with Your own.
"No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you."
All your life, no one will be able to hold out against you. In the same way that God was with Moses, He will be with you. He won’t give up on you. And, He won’t leave you.
Receive this promise from the Lord today that He will not leave us or give up on us. This is what He did to Moses. Live on this promise and trust in Him because He already did this to our ancestors. He will always help us.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
When actors and actresses make a movie, it's the director who sees the "big picture" and the overall direction. Actress Marion Cotillard admits she didn't understand everything the director was doing in one of her films. She said, "I found it very interesting to allow myself to be lost, because I knew that I had this amazing guide. . . You abandon yourself for a story and a director that will make it all work".
I think Joshua could have said something similar about the director of his life. In Joshua 1, the newly comissioned leader of Israel is standing at the threshold of the Pormised Land. More than 2 million Israelites are looking to him to lead them. How would he do it? God didn't give him a detailed script, but He gave him the assurance that He would go with him.
God said, "I will be with you. I will not leave you" (Josh. 1:5). He commanded Joshua to study and practice everything written in His Word (vv. 7-8), and He promised to be with Joshua wherever he went. Joshua responded with complete devotion and surrender to his amazing Guide, and "not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken" (21:45). We too can abandon ourselves to our Director and rest in His faithfulness. As Oswald Chambers quote, "Faith never knows where it is being led; it knows and loves the One who is leading".
Dear God, You have given me another day. Bring Your Holy Spirit into my mind and my life, so that I may walk this day in Your presence. Let me feel Your presence throughout the day, remembering always that you sent Your Spirit that You might be a living force in all I see and all I do.
Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities.
When I feel temptation or begin to stray, show me Your path. Correct me, comfort me, let me live Your will; that I may be happy in this life and blessed in the life to come. This I pray in the name of Christ, my Lord.
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."
Be well balanced and self-disciplined. Also, be alert and cautious at all times. It is because that enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion. He is fiercely hungry like a lion, seeking someone to devour.
Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack. Do not be tempted.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Upon winning $314 million in a 2002 lottery, a happy business owner expressed noble desires. He wanted to start a charitable foundation, put laid-off workers back on the job, and do nice things for his family. Already wealthy, he told reporters the big win wouldn't change him. A few years later, a follow-up article described a different outcome. Since winning the biggest of all lotteries, the man had run intol legal problems, lost his personal reputation, and gambled away all of his money.
A thoughtful man by the name of Agur wrote words that anticipate such heartbreak. Brought low by the awareness of his own natural inclinations (Prov. 30:2-3), Agur saw the dangers of having too much or too little. So he prayed, "Give me neither poverty nor riches - feed me with the food allotted to me; lest I be full and deny You, and say, 'Who is the Lord?' Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God" (vv. 8-9).
Agur saw the special challenges that come both with wealth and poverty, but also with our own tendencies. Each gives us reason for caution. Together they show our need for the One who taught us to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread". Discontentment makes rich people poor, while contentment makes poor people rich.
Dear God, You are ushering in another day, untouched and freshly new, so here I come to ask You God for renewal. Forgive the many errors, that I made yesterday, and let me try again dear God, to walk closer in Thy way. But Father, I am well aware, I can't make it on my own, so take my hand and hold it tight, for I can't walk alone.
I was born a weak, defenseless child, but Your angel spread his wings over my cradle to defend me. From birth until now, Your love has illumined my path and has wondrously guided me towards the light of eternity; from birth until now the generous gifts of Your providence have been marvelously showered upon me. I give You thanks for every step of my life's journey, together with all who have come to know you, who call upon your name.
Support me all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes. And, the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over and my work is done. Then of Thy mercy, grant me a safe lodging, and a holy rest and a peace at last through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
This verse is about supplication and provision. Trust God that He will provide. Whatever you ask in His Name, it will be given to you. He will not also leave us nor forsake us. He will supply all our needs. Whatever it is, He will give it to you.
Monday, November 13, 2017
When American country singer George Jones died at the age of 81, his fans remembered his remarkable voice and his hard life and personal struggles. While many of his songs reflected his own despair and longing, it was the way he sang them that touched people deeply. Chicago Tribune music critic Greg Kot said, "His voice was made for conveying heartbreak".
The book of Lamentations records Jeremiah's anguish over the nation of Judah's stubborn refusal to follow God. Often called "the weeping prophet", he witness the destruction of Jerusalem and saw his people carried into captivity. He wandered the streets of the city, overwhelmed by grief (Lam. 1:1-5). Yet, in Jeremiah's darkest hour, he said, "This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness" (3:21-23).
Whether we suffer for our own choices or from those of others, despair may threaten to overwhelm us. When all seems lost, we can cling to the Lord's faithfulness. " 'The Lord is my portion', says my soul. 'Therefore I hope in Him!' " (v. 24). The anchor of God's faithfulness holds firm in the strongest storms.
Dear God, help me to trust You. Give me strength and wisdom so that whatever happens honors my loved one and You. Thank You for hearing me and answering my prayer.
I'm thankful for Your faithfulness, even in the times when I am unfaithful. Help me to remember that my hope comes from You, not from my circumstances. Cleanse my heart and soul so I may live joyously in your love.
Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that you direct my way unto You. Make me and all of us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end that we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before you, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. In the name of Christ, I ask it.
The Apostle Paul describes Jesus as the "Indescribable Gift" that God has given to the world. How do we describe this "Incredible Gift" that God has given to a dying world? The Apostle Paul says "we can't" because God's love is a love that is not only "Indescribable", but also unexplainable! God offered this "Indescribable Gift" to the world over 2,000 years ago and again today, "The Sovereign God," is making that same offer/plea to the hearts of men, women, boys and girls around the world.
Have you heard God calling you to open up your heart to receive His "Indescribable Gift" called Jesus? I know He is calling you. When you hear His voice, harden not your hearts is what He is saying to you. Salvation by grace through faith alone is what's being offered on today by this "Indescribable Gift" called "Jesus" to those who would believe and receive Him on today. Indeed, Jesus is the gift that the human mind cannot fully grasp, but yet we must believe in Him! Apart from this gift, we are all hopeless, lost and sitting in the dark awaiting destruction.
Sunday, November 12, 2017
I love Christmas. The celebration of the birth of Christ and the beauty and wonder of the season make it "the most wonderful time of the year" for me. In recent years, however, the season has been accompanied by a growing irritation. Ever year, "Christmas stuff" comes out earlier and earlier - creeping all the way back to early fall.
Christmas used to be limited to December. But now, we find radio stations playing Christmas music in early November. Stores start advertising Christmas specials in October, and Christmas candy appears in late September. If we're not careful, this growing deluge can numb us - even sour us to what should be a season of gratitude and awe.
When that irritation begins to rise in my spirit, I try to do one thing: Remember. I remind myself what Christmas means, who Jesus is, and why He came. I remember the love and grace of a forgiving God who sent us rescue in the Person of His Son. I remember that, ultimately, only one gift really matters - God's "indescribable gift"! (2 Cor. 9:15). I remember that the salvation Christ came to provide is both the gift and the Giver all wrapped up in one. Jesus is our life all year long, and He is the greatest wonder. "O come, let us adore Him!"
Dear God, let me live this day as the gift it is, for You have truly blessed me to live it. And if I may suffer, I will carry with me the certainty that one day I will see You face to face, a day when all things will become clear and my pain will be made whole through the grace of Christ, my God. Blessed be you, oh Lord my God, and blessed be the day you have given me.
I thank You for the unspeakable gift of Your Son. Draw my heart to Your own, that my worship to and gratitude for Your Son will never be diminished by the distractions of the world around me. I ask for the grace to be able to hand over my life to You and experience the joy of that freedom.
I can open up my heart to You and I can tell You everything that troubles me. I know you care about all the concerns in my life. Teach me to live in the knowledge that you who care for me today, will care for me tomorrow and all the days of my life.
"Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing"
Look at the evening sky! Who created the stars? Who gave them each a name? Who leads them like an army? It is our Heavenly Father! The Lord is so powerful that none of the stars are ever missing.
He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing. Look to the Lord and His strength. Experience His mighty power through His creations.
Saturday, November 11, 2017
What started as an emptly 11-acre field in Belfast, Northern Island, ended up as the largest land portrait in the British Isles. Wish, by artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, is made from 30,000 wooden pegs, 2,000 tons of soil, 2,000 tons of sand, and miscellaneous items such as grass, stones, and string. At the beginning, only the artist knew what the final artwork was going to look like. He hired workers and recruited volunteers to haul materials and move them into place. As they worked, they saw little indication that something amazing look like much. But it did. From the ground, it doesn't look like much. But from above, viewers see a huge portrait - the smiling face of a little girl.
God is doing something on a grander scale in the world. He's the artist who sees the final picture. We're His "fellow workers" (1 Cor. 3:9) who are helping to make it a reality. Through the prophet Isaiah, God reminded His people that it is He who "sits above the circle of the earth" and "stretches out the heavens like a curtain" (Isa. 40:22). We can't see the final picture, but we continue on in faith, knowing that we're part of an amazing work of art - one that is being created on earth but will be best seen from heaven. God is using us to help create a masterpiece.
Dear Heavenly Father, Your love embraces everyone. Through the Resurrection of Your Son, You call me and all the members of Your church into Your wonderful light. Dispel our darkness and make us a people with one heart and one voice, forever singing Your praise.
Be gracious to my necessities, and guard me, and all I love, from Evil this day. May the sick and afflicted, be now, and ever thy care. And heartily do I pray for the safety of all that travel by Land or by Sea, for the comfort & protection of the Orphan and Widow and that thy pity may be shewn upon all Captives and Prisoners.
Now, oh heavenly Father, I ask to be called as a witness to your love by the love I extend to others; a precursor of your justice by my unfailing commitment to what is right and good; a lamp set on a hill, reflecting the light of Christ in my forgiveness, mercy and compassion; and a harvester of souls through my humble and dedicated servanthood. In Jesus' name, I pray.
Waiting may be hard sometimes. Likely, we will feel impatience while waiting. But the Lord is good. If we will wait on Him and will seek His will more and more, He will show you his greatness and power through this period. The Lord is just testing you. Have faith in the waiting period.
Friday, November 10, 2017
On December 4, 2007, a 19-year-old soldier serving in Iraq saw a grenade being thrown from a rooftop. Manning the machine gun in the turret of his Humvee, he tried to deflect the explosive - but it fell inside his vehicle. He had time to jump to safety. Instead, he threw his body over the grenade in a stunningly selfless act that saved the lives of four fellow soldiers.
This almost unexplainable act of self-sacrifice may help us understand why the Bible tells us that there is a kind of love that is more honorable than having great knowledge or faith (1 Cor. 13:1-3). This kind of love can be hard to find - leading the apostle Paul to lament that more people care for themselves than for the interests of Christ (Phil. 2:20-21). That's why he was so grateful for Epaphroditus, a co-worker who "came close to death, not regarding his life" in order to serve others (v. 30). If we think we could never put our own life on the line for others, Epaphroditus shows us the first step with his selfless example. Such love is neither normal nor common, and it doesn't come from us. It comes from the Spirit of God, who can give us the desire and ability to feel for others some of the inexpresible affection God has for us. You can measure your love for God by showing your love for others.
Dear Heavenly Father, Your love embraces everyone. Through the Resurrection of your Son you call me and all the members of your church into your wonderful light. Dispel our darkness and make us a people with one heart and one voice, forever singing your praise
Thank You for redeeming me and giving me new life. Give me compassion for those who are still lost in spiritual darkness. Use me to be a light that points others to You, the Light of the world.
Now, oh heavenly Father, I ask to be called as a witness to Your love by the love I extend to others; a precursor of your justice by my unfailing commitment to what is right and good; a lamp set on a hill, reflecting the light of Christ in my forgiveness, mercy and compassion; and a harvester of souls through my humble and dedicated servanthood. In Jesus' name, I pray.
Whenever we are troubled, we can always cry out to the Lord freely. Call on His Name when things go wrong. He is the only One that we can cling to if everything is not doing good. If we need a desperate answer, He will answer you.
Don't hesitate to come into His throne. He will always welcome you with His loving arms. He is ready to listen. And, He is ready to comfort you in times of trouble. When in trouble, pray. Take your troubles to the Lord.
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Several years ago, I was driving down the freeway when my car died. I pulled over to the side of the road, got out of the car, and opened the hood. As I looked at the engine I thought, "a lot of good this does me. I know nothing about cars. I don't even know where to start!"
That's how we might sometimes feel about prayer: Where do I start? That's what the disciples wanted to know when they asked Jesus, "Teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1). The best place to look for instruction is in the example and teaching of Jesus. If Jesus needed to pray, how can we do less?
Two questions you may have are: 1) Where should I pray? Jesus prayed in the temple, in the wilderness (Luke 4), in quiet places (Matt. 14:22-23), in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22), and on the cross (Luke 23:34, 46). He prayed alone and with others. Look at His life, follow His example, and pray wherever you are; 2) What should we pray? In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus taught us to ask that God's name be honored and that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Ask Him for your daily provisions, for forgiveness of sin, and for deliverance from temptation and evil (Luke 11:2-4). So if you're looking for a good place to start, follow the example of the Lord's Prayer.
Dear God, I have tried in vain to reform myself, and I have failed. Only You can truly change my heart. I pray that You will do it, by the power of Your Holy Spirit.
Make me Your instrument, Holy God. Replace every prideful thought with a psalm, every angry instinct with a prayer of love and forgiveness. Rebuke me not in Your anger, nor chasten me in Your wrath.
Let the sight of me radiate Your glory, not mine. Let every word that comes from my mouth be music from Your harp and every thought in my mind the dove of Your Spirit. Inhabit me, infuse me, reform me, that I may live only in Christ, and He in me.
This world is harsh. There are evil thoughts and acts rising. But inspite of these things, make a difference. Shine the light. Radiate joy everywhere and be the light in this dark world.
Prove yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God. Without blemish in the midst of a morally crooked and spiritually perverted generation, among whom you are seen as bright lights. You are beacons, shining out clearly in the world of darkness. So, carry the light-giving Message into the night. It will have a good cause in the end.
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
In her book Food in Medieval Times, author Melitta Adamson writes of Eurpoean culinary delights in the Middle Ages. Wild game, pastries, puddings, and other exotic foods illustrate the creative joy taken in food preparation. But with all these wonderful entrees, there was a problem - overeating. This tendency was compounded by the Christian calendar. Abstaining from meals was often followed by gluttony. To address this problem, theologian Thomas Aquinas uplifted the Christian character quality of temperance, calling it "a special virtue". He saw how self-restraing should extend to all areas of life.
For the believer, temeprance, or moderation, does not derive from sheer human willpower. Instead, it comes from the Holy Spirit who gives us self-control: "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Gal. 5:22-23). Self-control is the Spirit-produced quality that enables us to be "temeprate in all things" (1 Cor. 9:25). Overindulgence in food, rest, work, recreation, ministry, and a variety of "good things" can be corrected only through the balance of self-control. Take a few minutes to ask God to produce that special virtue in you. To gain self-control, give the Spirit control.
Dear God, You know my weakness and failings, and that without Your help I can accomplish nothing for the good of souls, my own and others'. Grant me, therefore, the help of Your grace, according to my particular needs this day. Enable me to see the tasks You will set before me in the daily routine of my life, and let me set my hand to these tasks with the vigor and joy of one with whom You abide.
I pray that You will accept my thanks for all the little things that make my life possible, and pleasant. The necessary things, and the beautiful things, and the things that smell good, and the things that make me laugh. Everything that I will never remember to thank You for specifically, I thank You for now.
Now fulfill in my contrite heart the promise of redeeming grace. Forgive all my sins, and cleanse me from an evil conscience; through the perfect sacrifice of Christ Jesus our Lord. And turn my heart to Your will at every moment, I pray.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."
This is what will happen if we live in God's way. He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Let us practice these fruits of the spirit. These are the nine christian virtues in our life, too. Having these characteristics, we are also portraying His character to the world. This is the result of His presence within us.
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Faith is like a paranoia in reverse. A truly paranoid person organizes his or her life around a common perspective of fear. Anything that happens feeds that fear. But, feeding your faith helps starve your fears.
Faith works in reverse. A faithful person organizes his or her life around a common perspective of trust, not fear. Despite the apparent chaos of the present moment, God does reign. Regardless of how I may feel, I truly matter to a God of love.
What could happen if we in God's kingdom truly acted as if the words of the apostle John were literally true: "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4). What if we really started living as if the most-repeated prayer in Christendom has actually been answered - that God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven? My friends, have faith and do not fear. God is greater than anything in this world. We have Him on our side, always!
Dear Lord, thank You for another day that You have given to us. I let go of the worries, resentments and fears that I can sometimes hold on to so tightly. Let me open my hands and my heart to receive freely all the gifts that I need at this time.
Please deepen my understanding of Your word. Let Your Holy Spirit guide me and enlighten my heart as I pursue Your truth so that I might walk in Your ways. Hide Your Word in my heart so that I might not sin against You.
May the God of peace, who declared victory over death by the resurrection of His only Son, Jesus Christ, make me perfect in every thought and act through His grace, that my life might be pleasing in His sight and that I might share the perfect peace that is only possible through Him, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
"...Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God"
Display the admirable character of the Lord. Be with moral courage and personal integrity. Live well for the Master. Make Him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. Live a life that honors the Lord, and you will always please him by doing good deeds. You will come to know God even better. Your lives will produce every kind of good fruit if you walk with Him.
Monday, November 6, 2017
I love reading church slogans. You know, the ones you see on the marquee in front of churches. Recently I noticed a slogan that said, "Come in and experience the presence of God". That one caught my attention, primarily because it's an important promise to make and sometimes a hard promise to keep. Hard, because if we're not careful our churches might reflect the presence of its people more than the presence of our God.
So what would a church have to do to display the presence of God? Its people would have to live like Him! Dynamics like hospitality, the loving acceptance of all kinds of people, a quickness to serve, a tangible love for one another that makes people feel safe and included regardless of color or class, and a patient tolerance of one another's weaknesses would all be a great way to start. Paul said we should walk in a manner "worthy of the Lord" (Col. 1:10). And he also said that being worthy means that we will be humble, gentle, bearing with one another in love, eagerly maintaining the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:2-3).
Let's live in such a way that others will experience the presence of the God who lives in us - wherever we are, but especially at church. Those who walk with Christ bring the presence of God to everyone around them. The world gets a glimpse of God when those who claim to be the followers of Jesus Christ are living righteously.
Dear God, enlighten my heart with the grace of Your Holy Spirit. Grant that I may ever be obedient to Your commandments. Let me never be separated from You.
Into Your hands and into the hands of Your holy angels, this day I entrust my soul. I also entrust my relatives, my benefactors, my friends and enemies, and all who confess Your holy name. Keep me today from all evil and unruly desires, from all sins and temptations of the devil, from a sudden and unprovided death, and from the pains of hell.
God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and Spirit of God amidst us, direct our way unto You. Make us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before You, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
Like newborn babies, you should long for the pure milk of the word. So that by it. you may be nurtured and grow in respect to salvation. You will know more about life's ultimate fulfillment. Make it a goal that you will really grow in Christ.
You’ve had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God. Keep growing!
Sunday, November 5, 2017
What we value shapes our character. And, it will ultimately define how we lead or whether we can lead at all. This does not apply to leaders, however. For the follower of Christ, values are even more significant.
When Paul wrote to the believers at Colosse, he said, "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth" (Col. 3:2). His point is that only as we allow our values to be motivated and shaped by the eternal (not the temporal) will we be effective ambassadors of Christ in the world. It is in the understanding that we are pilgrims in this world, not tourists, that we can keep a clear perspective and an undistracted heart - and can more effectively serve the Lord. It has been said that we live in a world that knows the cost of everything but the value of nothing.
In this world of the "here and now", however, followers of Christ are called to build our values around what lasts forever. To say it another way: The effectiveness of a believer is directly proportional to that believer's values. Nothing is hid from God. Hold tightly to what is eternal, but loosely to what is temporal.
Dear God, thank You for Your creation. You have provided so many majestic creatures for us to enjoy. But, help us to recognize with thankfulness the special place we have in creation.
As I offer You all that is ordinary and everyday in my life, I ask You to give me the power of Your Spirit that I may transform each day by living with a positive attitude, looking for the best in people and situations. Inspire me to live in Your presence every day so that I may have a full share of the hope only Your Spirit can bring. Lead me do the ordinary things of life in an extraordinary way, to Your glory.
Now, oh heavenly Father, I ask to be called as a witness to Your love by the love I extend to others. Let me be a precursor of Your justice by my unfailing commitment to what is right and good, a lamp set on a hill, reflecting the light of Christ in my forgiveness, mercy and compassion, and a harvester of souls through my humble and dedicated servanthood. In Jesus' name, I pray.
You are God's Masterpiece, His wonderful and marvelous creation. As well all know, God is a perfect One. He has no flaws. Even his creation, everything He made is perfect, so you are. You are wonderful and marvelous, created by the Lord.
By God's wise designing, we are wonderfully made. Every part essential and in perfect balance laid. Every part of us is uniquely made. We are indeed made in His own perfect image. We are wonderfully made by the perfect God.
Saturday, November 4, 2017
Caerleon is a Welsh village with deep historical roots. It was one of the three sites in the United Kingdom where Roman legions were posted during Rome's occupation of Britain. While the military presence ended some 1,500 years ago, the imprint of that occupation can still be seen today. People come from all over the world to visit the military fort, the barracks, and the amphitheatre that are reminders of the days when Rome ruled the world and occupied Wales. It amazes me that 15 centuries later, the evidence of Rome's presence can still so clearly be seen in that small community.
I wonder, though, about another kind of imprint - the imprint of Christ on our lives. Do we allow His presence to be clearly seen by others? Is it possible for people who interact with us to know that Jesus occupies our lives? Jesus calls us to make known His presence in our lives to the glory of God the Father.
He says, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matt. 5:16). Through the light of our testimony and the impact of our deeds of service, people should be able to see evidence of the presence of God in our lives. Is it true? Can they see His imprint? Let your testimony be written in large enough letters so the world can always read it.
Dear God, I am just beginning to realize how much You love me. Your son, Jesus was humble and obedient. He fulfilled Your will for him by becoming human and suffering with us.
I ask You for the desire to become more humble so that my own life might also bear witness to You. I want to use the small sufferings I have in this world to give You glory. Please, Lord, guide my mind with Your truth.
Nay the love of the Lord Jesus draw us to Himself; May the power of the Lord Jesus strengthen us in his service; May the joy of the Lord Jesus fill our souls. May the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among us and remain with us always.
We are the light of the world. We are a city on a hill. Let the light shine on us. Jesus is our light and source of light. We should let Him shine everywhere we go.
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence. And, they may recognize, honor and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Once they will see the light in us, people will follow through it and can see Jesus in it. Let's make Jesus famous wherever we will go. He deserves all the praises and adoration.
Friday, November 3, 2017
We often hear it said, "Perception is reality". That idea for Americans may have dawned on September 26, 1960 - the date of the first televised debate between two presidential candidates. In front of the cameras, John Kennedy appeared composed; Richard Nixon appeared nervous. The perception was that Kennedy would be a stronger leader. The debate not only turned that election, but it also changed the way politics is done in the US. Politics by perception became the rule of the day.
Sometimes perception is reality. But not always - especially our perceptions about God. When Jesus and His disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee in a small fishing vessel, a sudden storm threatened to sink the boat. With Jesus asleep and the disciples on the verge of panic, they began to stir Him, asking, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" (Mark 4:38).
Their question sounds similar to questions I've asked. At times I perceive God's apparent inactivity as a lack of care. But His care for me goes well beyond what I can see or measure. Our God is deeply concerned for what concerns us. He urges us to place all our care upon Him, "for He cares for [us]" (1 Pet. 5:7). That is true reality. Even when we don't sense God's presence, His loving care is all around us.
Dear God, who has created all things, seen and unseen, this day is Your creation. I give thanks to live in it. I pray that I will not shut You out of the day you have made, blinded by the petty concerns of life, but that I may be always open to Your presence.
I pray for peace and goodwill in our world. I ask You to help me to change my own attitude for the better, so that peace and goodwill may start with the way I behave towards those who have hurt me. Inspire me to be as generous to others as I would like them to be with me.
Walk with me so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in Your presence. Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark with sin. I pray that I may reflect the light of Your truth, to inspire others as I have been inspired.