Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Daily Grace - Hurrying

In the midst of the busyness and stresses of our days, there are patches of beauty all around us, glimpses of God's goodness that we catch here and there along the way. These are the places in the walls of the universe where heaven is breaking through - if only we will take the time to stop and to reflect upon God's love for us.

What if Moses had taken only a fleeting glance a the bush that was burning but "was not consumed"? (Ex. 3:2). What if he had ignored it and hurried on to other things? (He had those sheep to take care of, you know, and important work to do.) He would have missed an epic, life-changing encounter with the living God (vv. 4-12).

Sometimes in life we must hurry. But overall, life should be less hurrying and more noticing. Life is the present. Life is being aware; it is seeing God's love breaking through. It is turning aside to the miracle of something like a sunrise. Something transitory, yet symbolic of the eternity that awaits us.

Today We Pray

Dear Jesus, I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I want to accept You as my Lord and Savior and follow You. Please forgive my sins and help me, from this moment on, to live a life that is pleasing to You.

I pray thus for grace, to make me your own even in my imperfection, through the miracle you gave us in the life and death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ. I give You all my love and thanks for stooping to remember me, to rescue me, and to make me perfect that I may have your blessing. I humbly pray you so to guide and govern me by your Holy Spirit, that in all the joys, occupations, and cares of this day I may never forget you, but remember that I am ever walking in your sight.

I pray for the grace of Christ, that I may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness of all the sins of this life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Today's Godly Reminder - Psalm 119:18

"Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law."

Let your spiritual eyes be open to the wonders of His Words. Let your life be known to the spiritual truth. It is the truth that will set our hearts free. It is the truth that will set us free from any bondage.

Let God also reveal His miracle-wonders to us. He is a miraculous God. Experience His power today. Believe in His Name.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Daily Grace - Consider the Lilies

I enjoy nature and giving praise to its Creator, but I sometimes wrongly feel guilty for admiring it too much. Then I remember that Jesus used nature as a teaching tool. To encourage people not to worry, He used simple wildflowers as an example. "Consider the lilies," He said, and then reminded people that even though flowers do no work at all, God dresses them in splendor. His conclusion? If God clothes something temporary in such glory, He surely will do much more for us (Matt. 6:28-34).

Other portions of the Scripture indicate that creation is one of the ways God uses to tell us about Himself: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork," wrote David. "Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge" (Ps. 19:1-2). "Let the heavens declare His righteousness, for God Himself is Judge", Asaph said (50:6). And Paul wrote, "For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse" (Rom. 1:20).

God so loves us and wants us to know Him that He put evidence of Himself everywhere we look. In God's pattern book of nature, we can trace many valuable lessons. Appreciate the Creator today. Look around you, He is worthy to be praised and adored!

Today We Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you this morning for all that I have; even if I have problems with my health, I am alive today. If I have money problems, I will eat today. I have clothes to wear, a roof to protect me, and air to breathe.

It seems that I drink far too often from the waters of the world that cannot satisfy. Forgive me, and teach me to find in Christ the water that can quench the thirst of my heart and draw me ever closer to You. I pray to live this day in joy and thankfulness for what I have, remembering always who made me and who keeps me. 

I bind myself to you this day, oh Christ, in your truth and in your sacrifice. I give to you my anxiety and my fear, my depression and my doubt, for you have promised to take them if we only ask; and I take upon myself your burden, for it is light and your way is gentle. May I keep this in my heart and mind all this day.

Today's Godly Reminder - Psalms‬ ‭19:1‬

“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands." - Psalms‬ ‭19:1‬ ‭

God’s glory is on tour in the skies. God-craft on exhibit across the horizon. It is seen everywhere. His wonders will be shown throughout the world.

Everyday, we can see His greatness and power. Just look above, look around you. Isn't it wonderful? By looking at these things, you can now see His sovereignty. Indeed, He is worthy to be praised and adored.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Daily Grace - All Things Are Possible

In the Chinese historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, author Luo Guanzhong describes the "Empty Fort Strategy", a use of reverse psychology to deceive the enemy. When 150, 000 troops from the Wei Kingdom reached Xicheng, which had less than 2,500 soldiers, they found the city gate wide open and the famous military tactician Zhuge Liang calmly praying the zither with two children beside him. The Wei general, baffled by the scene and believing it was an ambush, ordered a full retreat.

The Bible offers another example of a bewildering battle strategy. In Judges 7, God had Gideon use 300 men, horns, jars, and blazing torches against armies that were "as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number" (v. 12). Could Israel defeat such a formidable foe? It was humanly impossible! They had neither the manpower nor the military hardware. But they had one thing that worked for them and that was all they needed. They had God's promise: "With these 300 men I will rescue you and give you victory" (v. 7, NLT). The result? Victory!

Are you facing a formidable challenge? The Lord has said, "Behold I am the Lord God, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?" (Jer. 32:27). With God, all things are possible.

Today We Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, Your love is overwhelmingly evident, yet so often we miss it. Thank You for the unfailing reminders of Your grace, love and mercy. Give us eyes to see Your beauty in Your creation.

May grace come, and may this world pass away. Hosanna to the God of David. If anyone is holy, let him come; if anyone is not, let him repent. Come, oh Lord!

I pray to be filled with your Holy Spirit for the rest of this day. Let me go forth, walking with your Spirit in my heart, that I may be filled with the joy and energy and praise for your entire creation, thankful in the many gifts you have given me, and showing forth your light in my every word and deed. This is all we ask through Christ our Lord.


Today's Godly Reminder - Romans 12:2

As a Christian, let us be the salt and light into this world. We all know that the world is full of ungodly things. In this kind of environment, let us be the light that shine through them. Let Jesus be seen in our lives. Ask God to change the way you think. When He changed it, then you will know His will for you that is perfect.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Daily Grace - He Navigates Our Lives

The navigator has a big responsibility. Its primary responsibility is to be aware of ship or aircraft position at all times. Responsibilities include planning the journey, advising the ship's captain or aircraft commander of estimated timing to destinations while en route, and ensuring hazards are avoided. It is a complicated task to do because they are in charge of everything in order for the vehicle to function to be able to reach their destinations safely.

In our daily lives, as we navigate the sea of life, we also have a reliable source of spiritual direction - the Bible. The psalmist wrote, "Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day" (Ps. 199:97). Rather than occasionally glancing at God's Word, he spoke of pondering the Lord's directions throughout each day: "Your testimonies are my meditation" (v.99). This was coupled with a commitment to obey the Author: "I have sworn and confirmed that I will keep Your righteous judgments" (v. 106).

Like the mariners of old, we need a constant guide to help us find our way and stay on course. That's what happens when we seek the Lord day by day with an open heart and a willing spirit that says, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path". We need God's guidance from above, His daily leading and His love. As we trust Him for direction, to our course, He'll give correction. With God as your navigator, you're headed in the right direction.

Today We Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, we praise Your Name today. Fill my spirit, and the spirit of all the people of your universal church, with faith and hope; for a new day has dawned, and the way to life stands open in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Raise us, we pray, that we may totally respond to the supreme, unknown, ultimate, and splendid height of your words, mysterious and inspired.

Please show the wonder of Your great love through me to others today so that they might know they need not walk through life alone. Let my heart personally experience and display Your care. Help me to practice radical love to others.

Let me go forth in thanks for the victory I have been given through our Lord Jesus Christ. May I be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. And, always remembering that in the Lord our labor is not in vain.


Today's Godly Reminder - 1 John 4:10

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."

Real love isn’t our love for God, but his love for us. God sent his Son to be the sacrifice by which our sins are forgiven. My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. 

This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God. But that, He loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God. This is how wonderful His agape love to us!

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Daily Grace - Gift of Rest

Sometimes, we need to be reminded to lie down. We also need to rest. In Psalm 23, we learn that our Good Shepherd makes us "lie down in green pastures" and leads us "beside the still waters". He knows that we need the calm and rest that these provide, even when we don't realize it ourselves.

Our bodies are designed to have regular rest. God Himself rested on the seventh day after His work of creation (Gen. 2:2-3; Ex. 20:9-11). Jesus knew there was a time to minister to the crowds and a time to rest. He instructed His disciples to "come aside ... and rest a while" (Mark 6:31). 

When we rest, we refocus and are refreshed. When we are filling every hour with activity - even with worthwhile things - God often gets our attention by making us "lie down". Rest is a gift - a good gift from our Creator who knows exactly what we need. Praise Him that He sometimes makes us "lie down in green pastures". If we don't come apart and rest awhile, we may just plain come apart. So, have a rest.

Today We Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, You are the radiant dawn bringing life into the world. Thank You for Your care for our well-being in every area of our lives. Help us to be rested and refreshed in You.

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.

Shine down Your blessings and wisdom upon me like the sun upon a field. And, may I keep You in the forefront of my every thought and deed, throughout this day, and evermore. This is all I ask, through Christ our Lord and Savior.


Today's Godly Reminder - Psalm 23:2-3

"He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake."

He will always grant us rest if we just ask in His Name. This rest is like lying on a green grass. When we're looking for peace, He will lead us to streams of peaceful water. And, He refreshes our lives.

He is always true to His name. He is true to His Words, too. He will lead us along the right paths. He will send us in the right direction.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Daily Grace - Wait for His Return

Jesus told His followers that He would soon be leaving them and they would need to wait for His return in a little while. After His resurrection, they saw Him again and they hoped He would be establishing His kingdom on earth at that time. But, He told them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority" (Acts 1:7). They would have to wait even longer.

But they were to do more than wait. Jesus told His followers that they were to be witnesses to Him in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). And, He gave them the Holy Spirit to empower them to do this. It is all about witnessing.

We still wait for Jesus' return. And while we do, it's our delight, in the Holy Spirit's power, to tell and show others who He is, what He has done for all of us through His death and resurrection, and that He has promised to return. Wait and witness until Jesus returns. Be prepared, too.

Today We Pray

Dear God, I have tasted Your goodness and it has satisfied me, yet it has made me thirst for even more. I am so painfully aware of my need for even more grace than I now enjoy; and even when I do not want more, I am ashamed of my lack of desire. I want You completely,
 mighty God, and I want to want You even more than I do.

Fill me with longing for you; make me even thirstier. Show me your glory, I pray, so that I may know you always better and better, growing in my faith and love. From your infinite mercy, begin a new work of love within me this moment.

Let the whole earth also worship You. Let all nations obey You, all tongues confess and bless you. And, men and women everywhere love You and serve You in peace.


Today's Godly Reminder - Jeremiah 32:27

Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?

- We can see in this verse the power of the Lord. Indeed, He is sovereign. Imagine, nothing is hard for Him. He is indeed the God of all flesh.

This is also an avenue that we can trust Him. He can do everything. He can make the impossible, possible. Have faith in God in everything.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Daily Grace - Limitless Love

One popular hymn has a lyrics that goes like this: "Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made, were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade; to write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry; nor could the scroll contain the whole through stretched from sky to sky." These words are part of an ancient Jewish poem and were once found on the wall of a patient's room in an insane asylum. Also, Frederick M. Lehman was so moved by the poem that he desired to expand on it. In 1917, while seated on a lemon box during his lunch break from his job as a laborer, he added the words of the first two stanzas and the chorus, completing the song "The Love of God".

The psalmist describes the comforting assurance of God's love in Psalm 36: "Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens" (v. 5, ESV). Regardless of the circumstances of life - whether in a moment of sanity in a mind otherwise muddled with confusion or during a dark time of trial - God's love is a beacon of hope, our ever-present, inexhaustible source of strength and confidence. You are loved with everlasting love.

Today We Pray

Dear God, Jesus is calling me to a new beginning; to a fresh call to discipleship. You are asking me to deny myself, take up my cross and follow You. It was at my baptism that you claimed me as Your child.

Today, I affirm that I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. I surrender my will, my desires and my life to You, O God. I commit myself to Your call to discipleship: to pray, study Your Word, worship You, invite other people to a life of discipleship, encourage Christians in their life of faith, serve those in need, and give joyfully of the gifts that You first gave me.

The blessing of the Lord rest and remain upon all his people, in every land, of every tongue. The Lord meet in mercy all that seek him; the Lord comfort all who suffer and mourn. And, the Lord hasten His coming, and give us, his people, the blessing of peace, this day and always.


Today's Godly Reminder - Psalm 36:5

"Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds"

His lovingkindness and graciousness will always extend to the skies. His unfailing love reaches beyond the clouds. His love is faithful and even the clouds in the sky can depend on you. He is indeed a sovereign God.

His love is meteoric. His loyalty is astronomic. His purpose is titanic. His verdicts are oceanic. Yet in his largeness, nothing gets lost. Not a man, not a mouse, slips through the cracks.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Daily Grace - A Healthy Church

As believers in Christ, we have the privilege and responsibility of encouraging one another in our faith. The writer of Hebrews said, "Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works" (Heb. 10:24). The church is not just an institution or a mere social club. It is where we, who have been brought near to God and washed from sin, can help one another grow in Christlikeness. 

The purpose of meeting together as a corporate body is to exhort and encourage one another. No believer can function alone. To live as our Lord Jesus wants us to, we need the community of believers. As you meet with other believers, think of who you can come alongside and encourage by your words and actions to be more like the Christ we love and serve.

A healthy church is the best witness to a hurting world. The church is the hospital of sinners. You are all welcome there. It is good to belong in a church where we can encourage one another.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, I freely and with my whole heart yield all things to Your will and direction. You are mine and I am yours. Let this be for eternity.

I humbly pray that we may always prove ourselves a people who remember your favor and are glad to do Your will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way.

And finally, may the grace of Christ our Savior, and the Father's boundless love, with the Holy Spirit's favor, rest upon me, and all of us, from above. Thus may we abide in union, with each other and the Lord, and possess, in sweet communion, joys which earth cannot afford. This is all I ask through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Today's Godly Reminder - Hebrews 10:24

So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps His word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the Big Day approaching. We should keep on encouraging each other to be thoughtful and to do helpful things. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Daily Grace - Witnessing to Others

It's easier to do things yourself than to train others, yet Jesus poured Himself into a dozen disciples through whom His work would reach the world. In the midst of the pressing need of people clamoring to be healed, He climbed a mountain where "He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out" (Mark 3:14)". One of the snowboarders in Colorado said of her discipleship training: "I've never been able to build relationships with family or friends; I've kept them at arm's length. God's love was shown to me. It opened me to reach out to people".

Experiencing Jesus' love and being in company with Him and His followers, we find courage to act and speak in ways that honor our Lord. Witnessing isn't a job to be done but a life to be lived. Let us go forth, as called of God, redeemed by Jesus' precious blood. Let us show His love, live like His life, speak the Message and give mercy to others.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, You are an almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day. I give You thanks for all the blessings in my life. In Your grace and mercy, may we know that you watch over us.

Give me wisdom each day to see which things are important, and which things are not. Show me the best time on how to use the talents that you have given me. Help me to use all my opportunities wisely, that I may share the good gifts I have received from you.

Help me to be a good steward of yours. Help me to spread Your love more and more to the people around me. We receive this gift of salvation that you gave long ago that comes from You. We love You, Lord.


Today's Godly Reminder - Ephesians 4:1-2

Paul appealed to us believers while he's still in prison to live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior. A life that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation. Paul suffered a lot in prison. This is his loving reminder to us because he learned a lot and his faith for God grew while he is still there.

Let us follow Paul's ways and examples. He was humbled down and totally changed. He was lost but now he's found, by the grace of God. So, with all humility, forsaking self-righteousness and maintaining self-control, bear that unselfish love to others just like Paul did.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Daily Grace - God Our Refuge

In the Old Testament, they have this concept of the cities of refuge. Cities of refuge (Num. 35:6) were established to be a safe haven for people who had accidentally killed someone and were needing protection. God had the people establish such cities to provide that refuge. This concept, however, was not intended to be simply a practice for ancient Israel.

More than that, cities of refuge reflected the heart of God for all people. He Himself longs to be our safe haven and our city of refuge in the failures, heartaches, and losses of life. Psalm 5:16-17 says, "I will sing of Your power. Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; for You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble. To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises; for God is my defense, my God of mercy."

For the hurting heart of every generation, our "city of refuge" is not a place. Our city of refuge is a Person - the God who loves us with an everlasting love. May we find our refuge and rest in Him. Refuge can be found in the Rock of Ages, which is our God.

Today We Pray

Dear God,  may I trust You that I am exactly where I am meant to be. May I not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May I use those gifts that I have received, and pass on the love that has been given to me.

May I be confident knowing I am a child of God. Let this presence settle into my bones, and allow my soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. Let peace rule my heart this week.

Let Your words be planted deeply in my mind and heart. Help me not to walk away and forget it, but to meditate on it and obey it and so built my life on the rock of your truth. This I pray in Christ's name.


Today's Godly Reminder - Psalm 32:1

"Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered."

No matter how sinful we are, we will still be blessed. If we just ask for forgiveness and cleansing, we will be blessed. He is merciful. He forgives our sins no matter how heavy it is.

We are fortunate, prosperous, favored by God if our sins are forgiven. Take this opportunity. If we just genuinely ask for forgiveness, it will be granted. Trust the Lord that we will be cleansed as white as now.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Daily Grace - When Trials Come

February 19, 1942 was a fascinating day for Canada. It was "If Day" - a World War II staging of a fake Nazi invasion of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The intent was to show what it would be like "if" Canada fell under the harsh occupation of Nazi forces, and so that Canadians would support the war effort more fully. As one person described the event: "If Day brought home the reality of Nazi occupation. Manitobans got a very bitter taste of nearly every aspect of Nazi brutality". The key word there is nearly. While "If Day" was a valiant attempt to educate people about danger in the world, it could not begin to recreate the actual suffering that was sweeping Europe.

Real trials in life are not ifs - they are whens. In fact life's most profound lessons cannot simply be observed, they must be experienced. It is there, in actual seasons of heartache and loss, that we gain greater insights into life, faith, and our need of God. To that end, James wrote, "My bretheren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience" (James 1:2-3).

Trials come because we live in a broken world, but we decide if we will learn the lessons taught. There are no "ifs"about it - it is an important way to grow. Tough times can teach us to trust. And, tough times can teach us to grow.

Today We Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, I think you for this day, when your holy priesthood gathers around the world to celebrate your victory over death, in the resurrection of our Savior, Christ Jesus. Help me always to keep in mind that the Sabbath was made for men, and that your commandment to keep one day holy, not to work and not to suffer others to work, was made for our benefit. Keep me from the temptation of adding to my worldly wealth on this day, for all wisdom is yours, and you have commanded us to make this a day of rest and worship.

Open my eyes, gracious Lord, 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.

May I go in peace, with God and with his other children. And, may we love one another as Christ taught us. May I follow the example of good men of old, and may God comfort and help me and all who believe in Him, both in this world and in the world which is to come.


Today's Godly Reminder - James 1:2-3

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance."

When you encounter trials in life, be glad. This will lead to spiritual maturity and inner peace. It is because your faith is tested because of this. So, this will be the reward.

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Daily Grace - Helping Others

To some people, the term helper carries with it second-class connotations. Classroom helpers assist trained teachers in their classes. Helpers assist trained electricians, plumbers, and lawyers on the job. Because they aren't as skilled in the profession, they might be viewed as having less value. But everyone is needed to accomplish the task.

The apostle Paul had many helpers in his work of ministry. He listed them in his letter to Rome (Rom. 16). He made special reference to Phoebe, who "has been a helper of many and of myself also" (v. 2). Priscilla and Aquila risked their own lives for Paul (vv. 3-4). And Mary, Paul said, "labored much for us" (v. 6).

Helping is a spiritual gift, according to 1 Corinthians 12:28. Paul listed it among the gifts from the Holy Spirit that are given to believers in Christ's body, the church. The gift of "helps" is just as needed as the others that are listed. Even the Holy Spirit is called a "Helper". Jesus said, "The Helper, the Holy Spirit, . . . will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you" (John 14:26). In whatever ways the Holy Spirit, the Helper, has gifted you, let Him use you for His honor. You are a necessary part of the whole.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, I thank You today for Your amazing grace! Thank You for showing me, in the greatest way possible, that You love me. Help my life to demonstrate my love for You.

Thank You for the gifts You have given me so that I might serve the body of Christ. Help me to be faithful to use my gifts to bring You glory. Have compassion on my weakness, and mercifully give me those things which for my unworthiness I dare not, and for my blindness I cannot ask.

Grant me, O Lord, to design only what is lawful and right. And, afford me calmness of mind and steadiness of purpose, that I may so do thy will in this short life, as to obtain happiness in the world to come, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord.


Today's Godly Reminder - John 14:26

"But the Holy Spirit will come and help you, because the Father will send the Spirit to take my place. The Spirit will teach you everything and will remind you of what I said while I was with you."

God will always help us. He is our greatest Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby. He is everything. He will never leave us nor forsake us.

The Holy Spirit will take its place to help us. Acknowledge it in your lives. Let the Holy Spirit be your partner and your teacher. It is to help us to remind what God had promised to us, which is to help us, too. Welcome the Holy Spirit in your lives today.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Daily Grace - All About Listening

"God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason", the saying goes. The ability to listen is an essential life skill. Counselors tell us to listen to each other. Spiritual leaders tell us to listen to God. But hardly anyone says, "Listen to yourself". We need to listen to ourselves in order to learn how others might be receiving our words. The Israelites could have used this advice when Moses was leading them out of Egypt. Within days of their miraculous deliverance, they were complaining (Ex. 16:2). Although their need for food was legitimate, their way of expressing the need was not (v. 3).

Whenever we speak out of fear, anger, ignorance, or pride - even if what we say is true - those who listen will hear more than our words. They hear emotion. But they don't know whether the emotion comes from love and concern or disdain and disrespect, so we risk misunderstanding. If we listen to ourselves before speaking out loud, we can judge our hearts before our careless words harm others or sadden our God. Words spoken rashly do more harm than good.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, I bless You for the day you have made. I pray that I may spend this day rejoicing in Your creation. I pray for Your Holy Spirit to fill me with the joy of my salvation, so that Your light may shine through me into the world, that Your honor and glory may be known to all people.

Help me to think before I speak, to check my heart. Help me to control my tongue and to express myself clearly so that I won't cause dissension. Set a guard on my lips.

And now let me go forth praising you, O Lord, with all my heart, telling of all your wonders, with my words and in my actions. I will be glad and rejoice in you this day. I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.


Today's Godly Reminder - Ecclesiastes 5:2

Always be reminded that be careful with the words that you throw each day, especially in making promises. Out of the abundance of your heart, your heart also speaks. It also reflects your character. Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Entrust your tongues and your speech to the Lord so that He may guide you in every talk that you do.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Daily Grace - Why Cause Grief?

Pastors make an easy target for criticism. Every week they are on display, carefully explaining God's Word, challenging us toward Christlike living. But sometimes we look to find things to criticize. It's easy to overlook all the good things a pastor does and focus on our personal opinions.

Like all of us, our pastors are not perfect. So I'm not saying that we should follow them blindly and never confront error through the proper channels. But some words from the writer of Hebrews may help us find the right way of thinking about our leaders who are presenting God's truth and modeling servant leadership. The writer says, "Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account" (13:17, NIV).

Think about that. Before God, our pastor is responsible for guiding us spiritually. We should want that burden to be joyous, not grievous. The passage indicates that causing grief for the pastor "would be of no benefit". (v. 17). We honor God and make things better for our church when we give honor to those He has appointed as our leaders. Pastors who preach God's Word need a good word from God's people.

Today We Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, as I face this new day, let me be aware of the work You have done for me as I slept. I praise You that Your loving care never slumbers, but has been with me while I was least aware of it. And, that You renew me and the whole world, fresh every day, preparing Your plans for me.

I pray that I may seek Your will this day, Your plan for my life, and carry out Your plan in my every action. I lay my hopes and fears on an altar before You, that Your Holy Spirit may guide my hopes toward the light of Your holiness. And, may quiet my fears with the knowledge of Your infinite peace, in total confidence that Your grace will save me from the evils of this world.

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within me all this day. Dispel our darkness and make us a people with one heart and one voice, forever singing Your praise. And, whatever I do in word or deed, may I do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.


Today's Godly Reminder - Proverbs 15:18

Keep calm and carry on. When you encounter difficult people, be a peacemaker. If you are a hot-tempered person, you will cause a lot of troubles around. But, if you are slow to anger and patient, you can calm disputes.

You will also appear contented if you don't lose temper that much. Show love to that person instead of hating back. It is okay to be angry, but in your anger, do not sin (Eph. 4:26). Handle temper carefully so that it will not stumble others.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Daily Grace - Share His Love

Do you know some people who need the Savior in their lives? In what ways we can share His love to them? There are a lot of ways, actually. But by asking wisdom in His Name, we can do it. We can share His love.

How to share? Pray for it first. Let the Lord check our hearts. Let our motives be right in sharing His Word to others. Ask the Lord to guide you and lead you to the right words that you will be saying. Also, ask Him to prepare your hearts whatever might happen and you will be ready for it.

For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). Point them to Jesus. He went here on this earth to save us. Pray for those people that they will receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, like yours. Christian life may not be easy but it will be worth it in the end. It is because we will be reunited with God in Heaven and experience eternal life.

Today We Pray

Dear God, blessed are You for ever. Great is your mercy for Your people. In the morning I cry out to You, Holy is Your Name.

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

I bless You for calling me to be one of Your holy people. Remain in my heart, and guide me in my love and service all of this day. Help me to shine your light before others and lead them to the way of faith.


Today's Godly Reminder - Romans 5:4

"And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation."

Spiritual maturity is possible when we will just endure in times of failures and trials. This proven character will lead us to hope and confident assurance of eternal salvation. If we just strengthen our faith in Christ, then we will be blessed. We can make it through.

There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Daily Grace - Showing Real Love

Today, we celebrate the famous fad in the world, Valentine's Day. It is the time that we can express love to our loved ones by giving gifts and the like. They represent tokens of love. But, there is a love that encompasses above all things.

Our Lord Jesus Christ commanded His disciples to "love one another," because "by this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34-35). The love that our Lord wants His disciples to have for one another is different from the romantic kind displayed between loving couples and the brotherly kind shown between friends or family. It's an unselfish love. The Greek word John used in Jesus' command is agape - God's kind of love that expects nothing in return. This is the love that encompasses above all things.

That was what Jesus showed to His disciples when He "poured water into a basin and began to was the disciples' feet" (John 13:5). That is the kind of love He displayed when He went to the cross for us. Today, look for someone to whom you can show such unselfish love. Let us celebrate the Love Month meaningfully.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, we love You. Teach us the secret of loving, the love You are asking today. Then, help us to love one another, for this we most earnestly pray.

You gave me life and the gift of freedom, through Your love I exist in this world. May I never take the gift of life for granted. May I always respect the right to life of others.

Make me and all who confess your holy name people of this light. Make me faithful to your Word that I may bring your life to the waiting world. Grant this through Christ our Lord.


Today's Godly Reminder - John 13:35

"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

God is the Author of Love. So, love starts with Him. If you have love and unselfish concern for one another, everyone will know that we are God's disciples. It is because we are reflecting His love to everyone, too.

Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other (v. 34-35). This Love Month, show your love to everyone so that others will feel His love, too.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Daily Grace - Character or Reputation?

In the book of Revelation, we find the words of the risen Christ to seven churches in Asia. To the church in Sardis, Jesus said, "I know your works, that you have a name [reputation] that you are alive, but you are dead" (Rev. 3:1). The Lord knew the truth about them, and no doubt deep down they knew it too. Jesus told them to wake up and strengthen the spiritual life inside them that was about to die (v. 2). He urged them to remember the truth they have received, obey it, then turn around and start moving in a new direction (v. 3).

When the Lord shows us what's wrong in our lives, He always provides a remedy for change. When we turn from our sins, He forgives and strengthens us to start over. How liberating to exchange a false spiritual reputation for the true, life-giving character that comes from knowing Christ our Lord! The true test of our character is what we do when no one is watching.

Today We Pray

Dear God, as I cross the threshold of this day, I commit myself, soul, body, affairs, friends, to Your care. Watch over, keep, guide, direct, sanctify, bless me. Incline my heart to Your ways, mold me completely into the image of Jesus, as a potter forms clay.

May my lips be a well-tuned harp to sound Your praise. Let those around see me living by Your Spirit, trampling the world underfoot, unconformed to lying vanities, transformed by a renewed mind, clothed in the entire armour of God, shining as a never-dimmed light, showing holiness in all my doings. Let no evil this day soil my thoughts, words, and hands.

Let me not forget you as I go forth into the world this day, blessed Lord. May my every word be a prayer, and my every act be testimony to your love and truth. And, may I know your presence every second of this day.