Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Daily Grace - Water for the World

Although seventy percent of the world is covered by water, less than one percent of it is drinkable by humans. Water conservation and sanitation are crucial matters in many parts of the world, as all life depends on having sanitary water. 

Jesus went out of His way to introduce a lost woman to another kind of life-giving water. He deliberately chose to go to a town in Samaria, a place where no respectable rabii would set foot. There, He told this woman about "living water". Those who drink of it, He said, "will never thirst". It will "become in Him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14).

The living water is Jesus Himself. Those who receive Him have eternal life. But the living water He provides also serves another function. Jesus said of those who receive it: "Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38). The living water that refreshes us is to refresh others also. As fresh-water distribution is uneven in the world, so too is the distribution of living water.  Many people do not know followers of Jesus who really care about them. It is our privilege to share Him. Christ is, after all, the living water for whom people are thirsting.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, thank You for giving me another morning! I am blessed to be alive on Your beautiful planet, so full of marvelous things and the beautiful plants and animals and all the people You have created in Your image. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit, now and all day long, until I go to sleep, because I want to live with You every minute of this day. 

I want to live for You. May Your life and love flow through me as I go about my duties today. So that, others may see You through me and be drawn to the living water.

Now to Him who has given me grace in accordance with His gospel, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for many ages past, but now revealed and made known by the command of the eternal God, so that all mankind might find the obedience that comes from faith; to the only God, the God of wisdom and truth, be glory forever through His only son, Jesus Christ.


Today's Godly Reminder - John 7:38

"Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them."

Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in the Lord this way, just as the Scripture says. Have faith in God. And, you will have life-giving water flowing from deep inside you. Anyone who believes in God may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart'.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Daily Grace - There is Blessing in Every Failure

How do you respond to failures? What do you do after you fail? Sometimes, like an inventor, we followers of Jesus Christ may also find ourselves frozen in fear after a failure in our personal lives. We are unsure on how to pick up the pieces and move on. We might even spend our remaining time, waiting for a big idea or action that can help us recover from a previous failure.

Do not forget that Jesus has already done that on our behalf. He covered our shame. And, He set us free to fellowship with God and serve Him daily. It is because He gave His life, and rose again. When we fall, we can arise with Him, for He delights in mercy.

The moment we find Jesus, our eternity with Him begins. He walks alongside us so He can change us into the people we long to be. We are created to be like Him. Look up from your failure, and you'll find God standing ready to receive you. Remember, there is blessing in every failure you encounter. Trust in Him always.

Today We Pray

Dear Jesus, grant me Your grace, that it may be with me and labor with me and dwell within me, this day and all the days of my short life. Give me grace always to desire and seek what is most acceptable to You; whatever is most pleasing in Your sight, let me do that. Let my will always follow Yours; let Your will be mine.

Reform me into a spiritual perfection impossible for the world, which might be gained only by Your grace. And, help me to live in accord with it. Save me, Christ, I pray, out of love; for unworthy I might be, yet I love You dearly.

I am one of Your people, the sheep of Your flock. I pray for You to heal those who are wounded, touch those who are in pain, clean those who are soiled, warm those who are cold. Help me to know the Father's love through Jesus the shepherd, and through the Spirit.


Today's Godly Reminder - Colossians 3:23

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."

Whatever your task may be, work from the soul. Put in your very best effort. It is something done for the Lord, not for your earthly masters. God has put you there, so put every effort as if you are working for Him.

Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God. Be confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Daily Grace - Small Ways in Small Places

Often I meet with people who serve in what they think are seemingly small ways in small places. They are frequently discouraged by loneliness, feeling that their acts of service are insignificant. When I hear them speak, I think of one of the angels in C.S. Lewis' book "Out of the Silent Planet". He said: "My people have a law never to speak of sizes or numbers to you. . . It makes you do reverence to nothings and pass by what is really great."

Sometimes, culture says bigger is better - that size is the truest measure of success. It takes a strong person to resist that trend, especially if he or she is laboring in a small place. But we must not "pass by what is really great". It's not that numbers aren't important (after all, the apostles counted their converts; See Acts 2:41). Numbers represent living people with eternal needs. We should all work and pray for large numbers of people to enter the kingdom, but numbers mustn't be the basis for self-esteem.

God doesn't call us to find fulfillment in the amount of work we do for Him, or the number of people who are a part of that work, but in faithfully doing our work for His sake. Serving our great God with His strength in a small way is not a stepping-stone to greatness - it is greatness. Anyone doing God's work in God's way is important in His sight. God appreciates your great work!

Today We Pray

Dear God, the author of all good, I come to You for the grace another day will require for its duties and events. I step out into a wicked world; I carry about with me an evil heart. I know that without You I can do nothing, that everything with which I shall be concerned, however harmless in itself, may prove an occasion of sin or folly, unless I am kept by Your power.

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.

I thank You for salvation, for your mercy, full and free. Take my all in consecration. Glorify Yourself in me.


Today's Godly Reminder - 1 John 4:7

Love one another. God commanded us countless times in the Bible that we must never stop loving others. Even if they are unlovable, try your best to love them. Ask God for it to help you.

We are also unlovable, human as we are, we sin countless times too. But God still accepted us, who is the Author of Love. So, it is a challenge to have love to others no matter who are they and what they are. Be filled with His love so that you can love others.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Daily Grace - Allergic To. . .

One of my friends is allergic to several kinds of foods. Milk, cheese, eggs, and ice cream are among the items she has to avoid. Even a small amount of these things is detrimental to her health. She's not alone in being required to avoid certain things in life. While her allergies are related to her physical well-being, each of us as believers in Jesus has dangers we need to stay away from to maintain spiritual health. Scripture gives us a clear indication of what we are "allergic to" spiritually.

Every kind of evil (1 Thess. 5:22). This should cause us to think about the choices we make, because taking part in what is clearly evil is not good for our spiritual vitality.
Foolish disputes and arguments (2 Tim. 2:23; Titus 3:9). This takes discernment, for some arguments have merit in defending the faith. But those for which there is no answer or which have no bearing on truth only cause dissension.
Sexual Immorality (1 Thess. 4:3). The Bible says that any sexual activity outside the boundaries of a marriage between a man and a woman is immoral (Gen. 2:24; Ex. 20:14; 1 Cor. 7:2; Heb. 13:4).

Are we willing to make the effort to steer clear of things we are spiritually "allergic to"? To avoid sin, nip it in the bud of temptation. Today, avoid sin and temptations that will lure you to evil thoughts. Don't let sinful things take control and master you someday.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, when I come into Your presence, I know that You are here. You created me out of Love. Your presence, O Lord, is the greatest of all.

May I never take the gift of freedom for granted. You gave me the great blessing of freedom of spirit. Fill my spirit with Your peace and Your joy.

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 - 1 Thessalonians 5:22

Reject evilness. Throw out anything tainted with evil. Withdraw and keep away from it. Do things that don’t have anything to do it. Stay away from every kind of evil.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Daily Grace - Disappointed

Scanning my e-mail inbox, I stopped in excitement when I saw a particular name. As I opened the e-mail, I held my breath in anticipation of what I would see. Waiting to hear about a manuscript I had sent in, I ready through the e-mail quickly looking for the publisher's response. Disappointment flooded my thoughts, however, when I read the letter. While the assessment had been accurate - the manuscript still needed a lot of work - I couldn't stop the tears from falling from my eyes. I had a significant work to do if I intended to proceed further.

Disappointment is a normal, human reaction to an unmet desire. Proverbs 13:12 says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life". We were intrinsically designed for hope, but living in a fallen world means facing disappointment. What we do with it makes all the difference.

Anytime we let disappointment rule our emotions and lives, we're believing that what we want is more important than anything or anyone else. God wants to bring good things into our lives. As proof, He has offered Himself as the unfailing hope (Rom. 10:11). The problem comes when we think we deserve something; and, we make our happiness dependent on whether we get what we want. In contrast, God asks that we live a life surrendered to and dependent on Him (Ps. 37:3-5)

Today We Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the glory of the sun. And thank You for the health I have to get my duty done. I shall devote the hours of this golden day to You, by honoring Your Holy Name in everything I do. 

I will pursue my daily art without complaint or fear and spend my every effort to be friendly and sincere. I know there have been many days that I have whiled away. But this is one that I will try, to make Your special day.

Please depend on me because I want to honor You for all eternity. I am so sorry, Lord, that I let the worries of the day push ahead of You in my mind. Please help me to keep Your Holy Spirit in the forefront of my thoughts, throughout the day.


Today's Godly Reminder - Proverbs 13:12

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."

Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick. If disappointments are always attacking your life, it will indeed put you down. Not getting what you want can make you feel sick. But later on, a wish that comes true is a life-giving tree. A sudden good break can turn life around. So, don't give up. Disappointments sometimes lead us to blessings.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Daily Chained - Feeling Chained?

Boethius lived in sixth-century Italy and served the royal court as a highly skilled politician. Unfortunately, he fell into disfavor with the king. He was accused of treason and imprisoned. While awaiting execution, he asked for writing materials so he could compose his reflections. Later, these became an enduring spiritual classic on consolation.

As Boethius sat in prison, pondering his bleak prospects, his faith in Christ infused his perspective: "Nothing is miserable but what is thought so, and contrariwise, every estate is happy if he that bears it be content". He understood that our view of changing circumstances and contentment is a personal choice. The apostle Paul reinforced the idea that the way we view our circumstances is more important than the circumstances themselves. While he too was in prison, he wrote: "I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content" (Phil. 4:11). Both men could be content because they drew their ultimate satisfaction from God, who never changes.

Do you feel chained to difficult circumstances? God can give you contentment. Lasting satisfaction can be found only with Him, for in His "presence is fullness of joy; at [His] right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Ps. 16:11). When all you have is God, you have all you need.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, I acknowledge and confess my guilt, in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of this day. I have called on thee for pardon and forgiveness of sins, but so coldly and carelessly, that my prayers are become my sin and stand in need of pardon. 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.

Lead me today as You see best. Use the gifts You've given me to encourage others on their journey. Help me not to compare myself with others but to be content.

And now let me go forth praising You, O Lord, with all my heart, telling of all yYur 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 - Philippians 4:11

Paul instructed us to one of his letters in Philippians to be contented with whatever circumstances we are in. He himself had suffered prison for how many years. And, God let him learn a lesson and realize about being contented. It is being self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where you are not disturbed or uneasy.

Contentment can also help you prioritize important things in life. It will also help you do be a good giver and responsible steward. Learn to be contented with everything that you have. It is really okay to ask something for the Lord. But first, He will let you practice contentment in everything.

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Daily Grace - Judge Not!

When Jesus commanded, "Judge not", He was not implying that we should be naive or imprudent. Of course, we need to think critically and analytically in this world where we are often confronted with error and wrongdoing. Instead, He meant that we should not be condemning or accusing, a point Paul made eloquently: "Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts" (1 Cor. 4:5).

Poet Robert Burns made a similar point, writing of those whose actions are in doubt: "One point must still be greatly dark - the [motive]. Why they do it". No one knows another's motives. God alone can bring to light what is hidden in darkness; He alone can expose the intentions of the heart.

Jesus knows the latent forces that motivate others: the cruel beginnings, the fear, the disappointment, the broken heart, the sin that is resisted. Moreover, He is working in every submissive heart to bring it to maturity. Thus in the end - quite often contrary to our expectations - He will bring praise to those He has brought to completion. The Lord alone can try the heart. Until He returns, let's ask Him to help us examine our own. Be slow to judge others, but quick to judge yourself.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, I abandon myself into Your hands. Do with me what You will. I give You my whole self, Lord, that You may grow in me, so that it is you who lives, works and prays in me.

Whatever You may do, I thank You. I am ready for all, I accept all. Let only Your will be done in me, and in all Your creatures — I wish no more than this, O Lord.

 Above all, I give You my heart that You may love in me. Let the whole earth also worship You, all nations obey You, all tongues confess and bless You, and men and women everywhere love You and serve You in peace. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, I pray.


Today's Godly Reminder - Matthew 7:1

Do not judge and criticize. Do not condemn others unfairly with an attitude of self-righteous superiority as though assuming the office of a judge. Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn others, and God won’t condemn you. So that, you will not be judged unfairly.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Daily Grace - Dear or No Deal

If you're like me, you love a good deal. Not just bargain shopping, but when you manage to cut a great deal for yourself without giving anything up in return. So, if you can identify with these kind of deals, you'll understand the prodigal son's scheme when he decided to return home.

There were three kinds of servants in those days: day workers who were paid on a day-to-day basis; hired servants who worked long hours on the estate but lived in town with their independence intact; or bond servants who lived on the estate and gave all of themselves to serving the family. When the prodigal son hit rock bottom, it's interesting that his planned apology involved asking if he could be like a hired servant. Why not a grateful bond servant? Some commentators suggest that perhaps he was trying to negotiate a deal - a way to get a paycheck and keep his independence as well.

Often we approach God like, "I'll serve You but You can't take away my freedom". It may seem like a good deal at the time, but God's deal is so much better. Just like the boy's father, His arms are ready and willing to receive repentant sinners as part of His family. There could be no better deal and no better way to serve Him!

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, take my life and make it wholly Thine. Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine. Take all my will, my passions, self, and pride.

Thank You, that 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.

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. May I always be aware of your presence, Your power and your Love, all the days of my life.


Today's Godly Reminder - John 12:26

If anyone serves the Lord, he must continue to faithfully follow Him. It should be without hesitation, holding steadfastly to Him, conforming to His example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Him. And, wherever He is in heaven’s glory, there will His servant be also. If anyone serves Him, the Father will honor him.

If any of you wants to serve Him, then follow Him. Then you’ll be where He is, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves the Lord. Serve the Lord with gladness.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Daily Grace - The Poor Among Us

Francis Chan, in his book Crazy Love, tells of a family with an interesting Christmas tradition. On Christmas morning, the Robynson family doesn't focus on opening presents under the Christmas tree. Instead, they make pancakes and coffee, and serve the breakfast to the homeless. This is a small but creative way to show God's love and generosity to the poor.

God expected this kind of generosity from His people. In Deuteronomy 15, Moses emphasized the reality of poverty and how the more affluent must deal with it. They were warned of four dangers: 1) A hard heart, ignoring the needs of the poor (v. 7). 2) A closed hand, withholding what the poor lacked (v. 7). 3) An evil thought, hesitating or refusing to loan money to the poor because the year of canceling debts was nearing (v. 9). 4) A grudging spirit, a reluctance to satisfy the needs of the poor among them (v. 10). Not only were they warned about selfishness, but more important, they were encouraged to be spontaneously generous (vv. 8, 10-11).

Among God's people, there must always be a spirit of generosity toward the poor. Let's open our hearts and our hands. Generosity stems from the heart that has experienced God's grace. One grace each child of God can show is giving from a willing heart.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, You are the God the King eternal, who divides the day from the darkness, and has turned the shadow of death into the light of morning. I pray that this day You will incline my heart to keep Your commandments, driving temptation from my mind. Guide my feet into the way of peace; that having done Your will with cheerfulness while it was day, I may, when the night comes, rejoice in giving You thanks for a day lived in Your presence.

O Lord, have mercy upon me, miserable offender. Spare those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore those who are penitent; according to Your promises declared unto men in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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 - Deuteronomy 15:7

When you happen on someone who’s in trouble or needs help among your people with whom you live in this land that God, your God, is giving you, don’t look the other way pretending you don’t see him. Don’t keep a tight grip on your purse. No. Look at him, open your purse, lend whatever and as much as he needs. Don’t count the cost. Don’t be mean and selfish with your money.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Daily Grace - Paranoia in Reverse

Television news reports in 1991 shows non-violent revolution took place in the streets of Moscow. Russians who had grown up in totalitarianism suddenly declared, "We will act as if we are free", taking to the streets and staring down tanks. The contrast between the faces of the leaders inside and the masses outside showed who was really afraid, and who was really free. Picturing this scenario, I came up with a new definition of faith: paranoia in reverse. A truly paranoid person organizes his or her life around a common perspective of fear. Anything that happens feeds that fear.

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? Feeding your faith helps starve your fears. As John 4:18 said, "there is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment".

Today We Pray

Dear God, You are the only God in heaven above or the earth below. I walk before You with all my heart. I bless Your name in the morning when I rise and in the evening when I sleep, and all the day when Your creation fills my eye. 

Bless me to remember You this day. When I see and hear the thousand miracles of Your creation, let me see them anew, recalling that You have made them, and no other; that I may live in your presence among the common miracles I take for granted. I rest in You, God, fulfill Your purposes through me.

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.


Today's Godly Reminder - 1 John 4:18

Perfect love expels all fears. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. Receive the perfect love of the Lord today. His love drives out fear in our lives.

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Daily Grace - The Doers of the World

Just after we moved to a house in a new neighborhood, we invited my sister-in-law and her husband over for Sunday dinner. As we were greeting them at the door, an odd noise directed their eyes toward the kitchen. As I followed their gaze, I froze in horror. An errant hose of our old portable dishwasher was whipping about like the trunk of an angry elephant, spewing water everywhere! 

My sister-in-law went into action mode. Dropping her purse, she was in the kitchen before me, shutting off the water and calling for towels and a mop. We spent the first 15 minutes of their visit in our knees mopping the floor. She is a doer - and the world is a better place because of the doers of the world. These are the people who are always ready to pitch in, to be involved, and even to lead if necessary.

Many of the doers of the world are also doers of the Word. These are the followers of Jesus who have taken the challenge of James to heart: "Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only" (1:22). Are you doing all that you know God wants you to do? As you read God's Word, put what you've learned into practice. First hear - then do. God's blessing comes as a result of our obedience (James 1:25). The value of the Bible does not consist merely in knowing it, but in obeying it.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, I give You thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Lead me, Lord, and let Your Holy Spirit guide me.

Let me do Your will in my every action, and know Your will, that I might do it. Help me not be deceived by false assertions or glib intelligence, by those who would excuse or promote sinful actions, by those who simply do not know; and above all, help me not to deceive myself. Guide me away from excuses and rationalizations when I have sinned, but into Your holy truth, that I might know my sin, and correct what I can, and ask forgiveness for what I cannot.

As I travel through the rest of my day, may the God of hope fill me with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit I may abound in hope. By the grace and mercy of holy Christ, I ask this. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.


Today's Godly Reminder - James 1:22-24

Let us prove to others that we are doers of His word, not just listeners only. We should actively and continually obeying God’s precepts. Let us not hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning. Do not be deceived by the unsound reasoning contrary to the truth and its meaning.

If we only listen to the word without obeying it, we are like a man who looks very carefully at his natural face in a mirror. For once he has looked at himself and gone away, he immediately forgets what he looked like. Let us not be like that. We should apply what we learned in His Word everywhere we go.

Sunday, July 9, 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 Lord, Your blessings every morning know no limit. Yet I often rush by not seeing them, I fear. Let me take a moment this and every morning, God, I pray, to remember all of them, and know that you are here.

Hold me in the palm of your hand. I pray that You will mold me into what you want me to be. May I joyfully fill the role you have given to me and feel your peace deep in my soul, today and always.

I bless and thank you for finding me, Lord. May I never more take a breath without a heart filled with your Spirit. This is all we ask, through Christ our Lord.


Today's Godly Reminder - 2 Corinthians 12:9

God's lovingkindness and His mercy are more than enough. It is always available regardless of the situation. His power is being perfected and is completed always. And, shows itself most effectively in our weaknesses.

His grace is enough. It is all we need. His strength comes into its own in our weaknesses. Let Christ take over! And so the weaker we get, the stronger we become.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Daily Grace - Asking Different Questions

When tragedy strikes, questions follow. Our loss of a loved one may lead us to ask God any number of pointed questions: "Why did You let this happen?", "Whose fault was this?", "Don't You care about my pain?". Believe me, as the wife of my colleague whose husband died tragically, these questions may be asked by her.

The book of Job records the questions Job asks as he sits down with friends to lament his suffering. He had lost his family as well as his health and possessions. At one point, he asks, "Why is light given to him who is in misery, and life to the bitter of soul?" (3:20). Later, he asks, "What strength do I have, that I should hope?" (6:11). And, "Does it seem good to You that You should oppress?" (10:3). Many have stood near a headstone placed to early and asked similar questions.

But when you read all the way to the end of the book, you get a surprise. When God responds to Job (Chs. 38-41), He does it in an unexpected way. He turns the tables and asks Job questions - different questions that show His wisdom and sovereignty. Questions about His magnificent creation - the earth, starts, and sea. And the questions all point to this: God is sovereign. God is all-powerful. God is love. And, God knows what He is doing. Our greatest comfort in sorrow is to know that God is in control.

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 4:7

God will give us peace that reassures our hearts. Once we receive that peace, our hearts will stay calm and be still. 'Coz we are already consumed by the peace of God that surpasses all understanding, we will be blessed a thousand folds. It will stand over our hearts and minds.

Once we belong to Jesus Christ, God will bless us with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel. Trust God that He will be in control always. Be surprised with His amazing love to you.

The Daily Grace - Uncertain Times

During a major economic downturn several years ago, many people lost their jobs. Sadly. my brother-in-law was one of them. Writing to me about their situation, my sister shared that although there were uncertainties, they had peace because they knew that God would care for them.

Believers in Jesus can have peace in the midst of uncertainties because we have the assurance that our heavenly Father loves His children and cares for our needs (Matt. 6:25-34). We can bring all our concerns to Him with an attitude of thankfulness, trusting Him to meet our needs and give us peace (Phil. 4:6-7). "The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding", writes the apostle Paul, "will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (v. 7). To say the peace of God surpasses all understanding reveals that we can't explain it, but we can experience it as He guards our hearts and minds. Our peace comes from the confidence that the Lord loves us and He is in control. He alone provides the comfort that settles our nerves, fills our minds with hope, and allows us to relax even in the midst of changes and challenges.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Today We Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, You are all-wise, all-powerful, and all-loving. Glory to You, O God, from age to age. I pray that You will fill my heart with the blessing of Your Holy Spirit.

In the midst of uncertainties, help me to rest in the certainty of who You are. I thank You that Your peace will guard my heart. I place my trust in You.

I pray that I may be blessed every step of my path this day by the great God of light. May Your sun shine upon me; as the moon moves the tide, may Your Spirit move my emotions with every grace and magic; may my heart sing with the voice of Your angels and my hearth be warm; and may this and every blessed day You have given me be filled with joy.


Today's Godly Reminder - Psalm 46:10

What does it mean to be still? It means to calm down. It also means "hands off", because God is in control. It is entrusting everything to His Name and letting Him take over. Cease striving.

In being still, we can recognize and understand that He is God. His sovereignty will be shown if we just let Him handle everything. That's what God wants, to exalt and honor Him in His ways. So, step out of the traffic of life! Take a long, loving look your High God, above politics, above everything.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Daily Grace - Beware of What You Want

Sometimes, I wonder why God didn't list the Ten Commandments in reverse order, since the 10th commandment correlates to the first sin - desire. Eve's sin wasn't simply her desire for a piece of fruit; it was the desire for knowledge that Satan told her would make her like God (Gen. 3:5). Eve's covetousness caused her to violate both the first and tenth commands that God later gave to Moses.

When we don't covet, we pretty much eliminate our reasons to disobey the other commands. Wanting what isn't ours causes us to lie, steal, commit adultery, murder and refuse to honor our parents. We refuse to rest because we can't get what we want in 6 days of work. We misuse God's name when we use it to justify something that we want to do. We make gods out of wealth and relationships because we don't want to have to put all our trust in God.

I have a hard time coming up with sins that don't involve some form of covetousness. Yet because it's the last in the list, we tend to think of it as being the least important. But it's not. When we stop sin while it is still in our hearts and heads, we avoid making others the victim of our sin, and we avoid many of the serious consequences of sin. Contentment is realizing that God has already given me all I need. Just remember that God's gifts to you were designed for you and you alone.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, I pray that this day, You will continue to bless me, that I may be a blessing to others. Keep me strong that I may help the weak. Keep me uplifted that I may have words of encouragement for others.

When this world closes in on me, let me remember the example of my Lord and Savior: to slip away and find a quiet place to pray. Remind me, nudge me, let me remember to find You when I’m feel like I'm pushed beyond my limits. I come to You, Lord.

Send me Your light and truth, to keep this day and all the days of my life. And may Your mighty hand protect me, and all my brothers and sisters who have joined me in prayer this day, blessing our homes and our lives. In Christ's name, I pray.


Today's Godly Reminder - Proverbs 16:8

It better to be right and poor than to be wrong and rich. Also, it’s better to be honest and poor than to be dishonest and rich. Better to have little, with godliness. This talks about contentment.

Many of the proverbs touch this admonition that men should be satisfied with `little,' and that they should restrain their greed for more. A truly righteous man may have but little of this world's goods. But. his small pittance is better than great revenues without right. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Daily Grace - Something Better

Abel doesn't seem to fit in the first half of Hebrews 11. He's the first "ancient" listed, but his story isn't like the others mentioned here. Enoch went to heaven without dying. Noah saved mankind. Abraham started a people group. Isaac was a noted patriarch. Joseph rose to the top in Egypt. Moses led the greatest exodus ever.

Clearly, their faith was rewarded. By faith, they did what God asked, and He poured out blessings on them. They saw God's promises fulfilled before their eyes. But Abel? The second son of of Adam and Even had faith, and what did he get for it? Murdered. That sounds more like the folks in Hebrews 11:35-38, who found that trusting God doesn't always lead to immediate blessing. They faced "mockings", "imprisonment", and being "sawn in to". "Thanks, but no thanks", we might say. We would all prefer to be heroic Abraham instead of someone "destitute, afflicted, tormented" (v. 37). Yet in God's plan, there are no guarantees of ease and fame even for the devout.

While we might experience some blessings in this life, we may also have to wait until "something better" (Heb. 11:40) comes along - the completion of God's promises in Glory. Until then, let's keep living "by faith". What is done for Christ right now will be rewarded in eternity. Press on in your service for Jesus. One day, you'll receive your reward.

Today We Pray

Dear God, who has commanded us to love one another without fail, purify my soul. Let Your Holy Spirit empower me throughout this day, to be obedient to the truth at every moment, so that I might love my brothers and sisters earnestly, from a pure heart. And let me always remember that I have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of Your Son.

Turn Your face upon me, O Lord, I pray, and have mercy on me, for You are full of mercy and truth. Give strength to Your servant and show me a sign for good, that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed of their hard hearts, and turn to you for help and comfort, as I do. If I am confused or do not know what to think or do, let me think of Your Son, Jesus Christ, and ask myself what He would have done.

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; the Lord hasten his coming, and give us, his people, the blessing of peace.