Friday, August 18, 2017

Today's Godly Reminder - Isaiah 40:31



"But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint."

Those who expect, look for, and hope in the Lord will gain new strength and renew their power. They get fresh strength. Those who trust in Him will find new strength. They will lift up their wings and rise up close to God like eagles rising toward the sun. They will be strong like eagles soaring upward on wings. They will run and not become weary. They will walk and not grow tired. Find strength in Him always when things get tough. Good things come to those who wait.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Daily Grace - Is Somebody Singing?




From 200 miles above Earth, Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut and commander of the International Space Station, joined in song with a group of students in a studio on Earth. Together they performed "Is Somebody Singing", co-written by Hadfield and Ed Robertson. One phrase of the song goes like this: "You can't make out borders from up here". Although we humans draw many lines to separate ourselves from one another - national, ethnic, ideological - the song is reminding us that God doesn't see such distinctions. The important thing to God is that we love Him and love each other (Mark 12:30-31).

Like a loving father, God wants His family united. We cannot accomplish what God has for us to do if we refuse to be reconciled with one another. In His most impassioned prayer, on the night before He was crucified, Jesus pleaded with God to unite His followers: "That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us" (John 17:21). Singing illustrates unity as we agree on the lyrics, chords, and rhythms. Singing can also promote unity as it binds us together in peace, proclaims God's power through praise, and demonstrates God's glory to the world. Singing God's praises will never go out of style.

Today We Pray




Dear God, with You, there is nothing that cannot be redeemed. You are love; You are Creator and Redeemer. I praise You with my every ounce.

Grant me, I beseech You, Your divine helping grace. Endow me with patience and strength to endure my tribulations with complete submission to Your will. You know my misery and suffering.

Eternal God, heavenly Father, You have graciously accepted me as a living member of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and You have blessed me with the grace of forgiveness through the sacrifice He made for me and for all people. Send me now into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve You with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord.

Amen


Today's Godly Reminder - 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.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Daily Grace - Believing in Advance



In a German prison camp in World War 2, undiscovered by the guards, some Americans built a homemade radio. One day news came that the German high command had surrendered, ending the war. Because of a communications breakdown, however, the guards did not yet know this. As word spread among the prisoners, a loud celebration broke out. For 3 days, they sang, waved at guards, and shared jokes over meals. On the fourth day, they awoke to find that all the Germans had fled. Their waiting had come to an end.

A number of Bible stories center on waiting: Abraham waiting for a child (Gen. 12-21). The Israelites waiting for deliverance from Egypt. Prophets waiting for the fulfillment of their own predictions. The disciples waiting for Jesus to act like the powerful Messiah they anticipated. Jesus' final words at the end of Revelation are "I am coming quickly", followed by an urgent, echoing prayer, "Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" (2:20). For this, we still wait.

Here's the question I ask myself: As we wait, why are we so often fearful and anxious? We can, like the Allied prisoners, act on the good news we say we believe. What is faith in God, after all, but believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse? Waiting tries our faith and so we wait in hope.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, what is present to me is what has a hold on my becoming. I reflect on Your presence that is always there in love, amidst the many things that have a hold on me. I pause and pray that I may let You affect my becoming in this precise moment.

You created me to live in freedom. May Your Holy Spirit guide me to follow You freely. Instill in my heart a desire to know and love You more each day.

May Your Holy Spirit guide me in all my dealings with others. May I use the gift of speech with kindness. This is all I ask through Christ our Lord.

Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - John 17:21



"I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in You. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me."

The goal is for all of the people in this world to become one heart and mind. Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you. So, they might be one heart and mind with us. Then they’ll be mature in this oneness. And, give the godless world evidence that He loved them in the same way He loved each and everyone of us. Let us be one with each other, just as I am one with you and you are one with me. I also want them to be one with us.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Daily Grace - Without Power



In late October 2012, a hurricane-spawned superstorm struck the heavily populated northeastern US, leaving massive flooding and destruction in its wake. During the storm, more than 8 million customers lost electricity. Power outages alone caused shortages of food, fuel and water, along with the chaos of gridlocked transportation. The howling winds and surging waters left many neighborhoods crushed, flooded, and choked with mountains of sand. Media coverage of the event reported: "Millions Without Power".

Like a storm of nature, a personal tragedy can often leave us feeling powerless and in the dark. During such times, God's Word assures us of His help: "He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength" (Isa. 40:29). At our lowest point, drained of emotional resources, we can place our hope in the Lord and find our strength in Him. He promises us that, for each new day, "Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, the shall walk and not faint" (v. 31).


God is our spiritual power source in every storm of life. It is because it takes the storm to provide the real shelter, which is in Christ alone. He is our help in ages past, our hope for years to come. And, He is our shelter from the storm blast, and our eternal home.

Today We Pray



Dear marvelous God, You are my light, my life, and my salvation. Grant to me, I pray, such fullness of faith and such a consciousness of Your love and goodness. Let Your blessed Spirit dwell within me, giving me healthy body, peace of mind, faithfulness of heart, and holiness of life and being.

Hold us all in your loving arms. Let us be comforted by the strength and peace You make available to us through the birth of Your son, Jesus. Thank You for all the many gifts You offer us, during our life on earth and for all eternity.

I dedicate this day to You, mighty God. I pray that your Spirit will lift me up this day. Let Your face shine upon me all the day long, that I might do Your will and lead a new life in Christ, reborn in the Spirit.


Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - John 13:35



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). Show your love to everyone so that others will feel His love, too.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Daily Grace - Mightier Than All




Iguazu Falls on the border of Brazil and Argentina is a spectacular waterfall system of 275 falls along 2.7 km (1.67 miles) of the Iguazu River. Etched on a wall on the Brazilian side of the Falls are the words of Psalm 93:4, "Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty!" (RSV). Below it are these words, "God is always greater than all of our troubles".

The writer of Psalm 93, who penned its words during the time that kings reigned, knew that God is the ultimate King over all. "The Lord reigns", he wrote. "Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting" (vv. 1-2). No matter how high the floods or waves, the Lord remains greater than them all.

The roar of a waterfall is truly majestic, but it is quite a different matter to be in the water hurtling toward the falls. That may be the situation you are in today. Physical, financial, or relational problems loom ever larger and you feel like you are about to go over the falls. In such situations, the Christian has Someone to turn to. He is the Lord, "who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Eph. 3:20) for He is greater than all of our troubles. Never measure God's unlimited power by your limited expectations.

Today We Pray



Dear Lord, the heavens are telling of Your glory and the wonders of Your love. Yet, as clouds will cover Your sky in gloom, as the ceilings of men's buildings hide the sky from my sight, so the cares of this existence block Your majesty from my mind. I look with hope to the day when my knowledge of Your glory will never be hidden by the concerns of the world.

Look upon me, O Lord, and let all the darkness of my soul vanish before the beams of thy brightness. Fill me with holy love, and open to me the treasures of thy wisdom. All my desire is known unto thee; therefore perfect what thou hast begun, and what thy Spirit has awakened me to ask in prayer.

I seek thy face. Turn thy face unto me and show me thy glory. Then shall my longing be satisfied, and my peace shall be perfect.

Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - Psalm 93:1


"The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The Lord has clothed and girded Himself with strength; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved."

He is the King. He is robed and surging with strength. And yes, the world is firm and immovable. But, His throne is ever firm. He is Eternal. Majesty and power are His royal robes. He put the world in place. And, it will never be moved.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Daily Grace - Being Thankful



Isn't it great to be thanked for a job well done? Doesn't a good, hearty "thank you" brighten your day? Doesn't a simple gratitude from someone make your day? And, doesn't it make your relationships a little more special - just to know that your work is not being taken for granted? 

Everybody loves to be thanked. Even God. Our heavenly Father finds pleasure in our expression of thanks to Him. It's His will that we tell Him "Thank You". "Give thanks in all circumstances", Paul said, "for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thess. 5:18). The writer of Hebrews took it a step further by saying, "Let us be thankful, and so worship God" (12:28).


Keep looking for ways to improve your relationship with God. Don't forget what may be the most basic way to worship and honor Him: Tell Him "Thanks". The worship most acceptable to God comes from a thankful heart. Then, let us adore and give Him His right, all glory and power, all wisdom and might, all honor and blessing, with angels above, and thanks never ceasing for infinite love.

Today We Pray



Dear God, who has created all things, seen and unseen, this day is Your creation and 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. All that I am, I open to You and I return to You, giving thanks every moment of my life for the blessings that fill this day.

I open my eyes and ears to You, thankful for the light of Your Word, which has brought me out of the shadow of ignorance. I open my heart to You, aglow with thanks for Your love, filling me with compassion, understanding, and peace. I open my soul to You, grateful for your Spirit, who fills me with wisdom when I take a moment to listen.

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, and I pray that I may reflect the light of your truth, to inspire others as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all whom I may meet.


Amen

Todays Godly Reminder - Psalms 150:6


Let every breathe of life will praise His Name. Every living creature will shout praises to the Lord. Everything that breathes will give glory to His Name. And, that includes us, His people.

Praise His mighty Name, today. Let His Name be known. Let His Name be glorified among the earth. Give glory to His Name, forevermore.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Daily Grace - The Power of Praise



Praise is powerful! When Scottish pastor Robert Murray McCheyne was troubled with a coldness of heart toward the things of the Lord, he would sing the praises of God until he felt revived in his spirit. Those in his household were often able to tell what hour he awoke because he began the day with a psalm of praise. One day, while he was trying to prepare his heart for preaching, he wrote in his journal: "Is it the desire of my heart to be made altogether holy? . . . Lord, You know all things . . . I've felt so much deadness and grief that I cannot grieve for this deadness. Toward evening I revived. Got a calm spirit through [singing psalms] and prayer". McCheyne had been uplifted by praising God.


Perhaps you feel as if you are mired in what John Bunyan called the "slough of despond". Lift a song of praise to the Lord. The psalmist said, "I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever" (89:1). When we do that, the praise will flow not only from our lips but also from our heart. The Lord delights to give "the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness" (Isa. 61:3). Yes, "it is good to sing praises to our God" - at all times (Ps. 147:1). If you find yourself wearing a spirit of heaviness, try on a garment of praise.

Today We Pray



Dear Lord, give me a thankful sense of the Blessings in which I live, of the many comforts of my lot; that I may not deserve to lose them by Discontent or Indifference. 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.

Above all other blessings Oh! God, for myself, and my fellow-creatures, I implore Thee to quicken our sense of thy Mercy in the redemption of the World, of the Value of that Holy Religion in which we have been brought up, that we may not, by our own neglect, throw away the salvation thou hast given us, nor be Christians only in name. Hear me Almighty God, for His sake who has redeemed me, and taught me thus to pray.

May the God the Father bless us. May Christ take care of us, the Holy Ghost enlighten us all the days of our life. The Lord be our defender and keeper of body and soul, both now and for ever, to the ages of ages.


Amen

Todays Godly Reminder - 1 Peter 5:6-7


Be reminded that you must always be humble in everything you do. If you're not, it has a negative impact to others, especially to your character impression. God will be exalted if you will be humble in His Name, depending on Him. Tell Him all your anxieties, too. God cares for all of us, God has our back.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Daily Grace - God Will Carry Your Burdens



Sometimes, our lives can seem overloaded with fears, struggles and heartaches. We can even feel that we are in danger of going under. In those times, however, it is reassuring to remember that we have a remarkable source. We have a Heavenly Father who stands ready to help us carry that load.

The apostle Peter said, "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:6-7). He is capable of handling the cares that overwhelms us. No matter how heavy your burdens are, He can carry it. He is a God who is strong and mighty and there's our God cannot do.

Through the testings of life may feel like a burden too heavy to bear, we can have full assurance that our Heavenly Father loves us deeply and knows our load limits. Whatever we face, He will help us to bear it. God may lead us into troubled waters to deepen our trust in Him. Be still and know that He is God.

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.

Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - Romans 12:4-5


Each of us has a part in the Body of Christ, just like our physical bodies. All of us has different functions. God created us uniquely. I am unique, you are unique, we are unique. Make use of your abilities all for His glory and honor. Do not waste it. Let us be united in service for our Living God.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Daily Grace - Copy Me


As we sat at the table one day last week, my oldest son began protesting about his little sister "always" copying him. When she imitates his laughs or eats her French fries before her burger like he does, it annoys him. My wife and I tried to get him to realize that he has an opportunity to influence her by setting a good example.

Unlike my son, Paul invited others to copy his example (1 Cor. 11:1). In this verse, he concluded his discussion from chapter 10 about the Corinthians loving others enough to limit their freedom. He said that when they were invited to a nonbeliever's home for dinner, they were free to eat what was set before them (v. 27). But if their freedom to eat the meat offered to idols caused another believer to question whether or not what they were doing was right, they were to limit their freedom for the good of the "weaker" believer (v. 28).

Paul encouraged the people to follow his example in this matter, in the same way he followed Christ's example. Paul did not seek his own good, but the good of others by imitating Jesus' example of love, unity, acceptance and sacrifice. In the same way, we are to follow Jesus' example so closely that we can say with confidence to our brothers and sisters, "Copy me as I copy Christ". Live a life worth imitating by imitating Christ.

Today We Pray



Dear Lord, show me the way. Let my light shine as an example of good to mankind. Help them to see the partners of Thee, shining in beauty, lived out in me.

Let me follow Jesus Christ. Let me shine as a light, a beacon in a world where darkness seeks to overcome us in every thing and at every moment. And help me to hold fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ's return I may be proud that I did not strive in vain.

Now, to God the Father, who first loved us, and made us accepted in the Beloved; to God the Son, who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood; to God the Holy Ghost, who sheddeth the love of God abroad in our hearts, be all love and all glory in time and to all eternity.

Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - 1 Corinthians 11:1



"Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ."

This is Paul's words to the Corinth. Since Paul is a good and perfect example of a follower of Christ, he instructed them that they should imitate him like Paul imitated Jesus. We, Christians, should do godly things in this world. We should be the role models to the people of this world. 

Let our lives be a blessing to others. Let others see Jesus in you. Let us follow His ways and His examples on how He relate to the people. Be a blessing today by imitating Christ.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Daily Grace - Now is Not Forever




"Think about how good it will feel when it stops hurting", said my father. I received this advice from Dad often while I was growing up, usually after some minor bump or scrape had resulted in a major dramatic reaction. At the time, the advice didn't help. I was incapable of focusing on anything other than my pain, and loud wails accompanied by buckets of tears seemed the only appropriate response. Through the years, however, Dad's advice has pulled me through some truly miserable situations. Whether it was the pain of a broken heart or the misery of a drawn-out illness, I would remind myself: Now is not forever. 

The confidence we have as Christians is that God has something good planned for us. Suffering was not part of His original act of creation, but it serves as a temporary reminder of what happens in a world where God's order has been broken. It also motivates us to spread the word about God's plan to redeem the world from the suffering caused by sin. Although we cannot avoid pain and disappointment (John 16:33), we know that it's only temporary. Some sorrow will be relieved in this life, but all of it will be relieved when God finally and firmly establishes His new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21:1). Now is not forever. The gains of heaven will more than compensate for the losses of earth.

Today We Pray




Dear Lord, hold me tight. Give me the strength to endure the pain. Give me the certainty of hope to avoid the anxiety.

Let me grow in You, that I might see my own wrongdoing and with the help of Your Spirit. Simply dissolve it away. It is in this world that Satan can find his prey, the fertile soil for evil. 

Now all glory to God, who is able to keep me from falling away and will bring me with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time.

Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - Revelations 21:4


All things will be made new by Christ at the right time. Be prepared in His coming. Repent on your sins. Turn from your wicked ways so that you will inherit His Kingdom.

All of the negatives will be gone forever when He will come back again. Look forward to it. Just believe in His Name and have faith. Then, at the right time, you will experience the wonderful things that He has promised. Trust in the Lord!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Daily Grace - Loving God



Perhaps in your early marriage, you husbands already knew the shortcut to your wife's heart. You may arrive home one night with a bouquet of a dozen roses behind your back. When you presented the flowers to your wife, she thanked you graciously, sniffed the flowers and then took them into the kitchen. Not quite the response you had expected, for some.

It may be an introductory lesson in the reality that perhaps flowers are not your wife's primary language of love. While she appreciate the gesture, perhaps she was mentally calculating the cost of an expensive bouquet of flowers - a budget breaker for a young couple! And as you've discovered through the years, she is far more interested in your time and attention. When you devote yourself to her in an uninterrupted and attentive way, that's when she really feels loved.


Did you ever wonder how God wants us to show that we love Him? We get a clue when we read, "He who loves God must love his brother also" (1 John 4:21). It's that simple.  One of the primary ways we show our love for God is by loving our brothers and sisters in Christ. When we genuinely love each other, it brings pleasure to our heavenly Father. So, watch for opportunities to tell Jesus that you love Him. He's infinitely worth whatever it costs. To show your love for God, share your love with others.

Today We Pray



Dear Jesus, who returned from this world to the Father and loved those who were here in this world, make my mind turn from worldly preoccupations to the contemplation of heaven. For it to despise everything transitory and to yearn only for celestial things, and to burn with the glowing fire of your love. Cleanse also my heart by pouring in the radiance of the Holy Spirit, so that I may be able to love you, our Lord Jesus Christ, in all things and above all else.

We want our hopes and dreams and our hearts to align with Yours. We want to be in line to Your will. Teach us to praise You when we are tempted to doubt Your goodness.

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip me with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in me what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.


Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - Romans 9:12

                                        

Since the love of God to us is real and genuine, we must genuinely love others too. Loving others with pretension is wrong. Hate what is wrong. Cling to what is good by having real love for others.

By doing this, we are also spreading the genuine love of God to others. This is God wants: people will love Him and will come to Him and experience His greatness. Experiencing God is the best feeling that you will ever had.

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Daily Grace - God is Here




Leslie and her two daughters were about to be evicted from their home. Although Leslie believed that God could help, so far He hadn't given a clue as to how. She wondered, Where is God? As she drove to the courthouse, she prayed for God's intervention. Then she heard a song on the radio proclaiming, "God is here! Let the brokenhearted rejoice." Could this be the assurance from God that she was longing to hear?

Inside the courtroom, Leslie stood before the judge, heard his decision, and signed the legal documents, but still God had not given her an answer. As Leslie was walking to her car, a truck pulled up beside her. "Ma'am", said the driver, "I heard your testimony inside the courtroom, and I believe God wants me to help you". And he did. Gary helped Leslie get in contact with a woman from a local church who was able to work with parties involved to reverse the process so that she and her girls could stay in their home.


When people ask, "Where is God?", the answer is, "Right here". One way God is at work is through Christians like Gary who are continuing the work Jesus started - healing the brokenhearted and binding up their wounds (Ps. 147:3). When we love God, we will serve people. Do not fear, Your God is near.

Today We Pray


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.

Amen.

Today's Godly Reminder - Hebrews 3:8



"Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness"

Do not harden your hearts. Like what happened in the rebellion of Israel and their provocation and embitterment of Him in the day of testing in the wilderness. Don’t be stubborn! Don’t rebel like those people who were tested in the desert.

In times of trials, be strong. God is with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Trust the Lord that He got your back. Leave it all to Him and live a worry-free life!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Daily Grace - Clearing Clutter



Have you ever tried to convince a packrat to throw something away? If so, then you know just how difficult it is to get a person who hates to part with anything - even the most unnecessary items - to let stuff go. Interior Designer William Morris suggests, "Have nothing in your home you don't know to be useful and believe to be beautiful". Reducing clutter "isn't a competition to see who has the fewest things", writes the editor of Simple Living magazine. "It's about living in a way that keeps your time, money, and energy available for the things that truly matter to you".

In his letter to the Philippians, the Apostle Paul discloses that he once had a hoarding problem. While he wasn't necessarily filling his house with stuff, we find that Paul was obsessed with keeping the Jewish law. He amassed accolade after superfluous accolade for being a great Pharisee. His self-confidence and legalistic righteousness were overflowing! (3:3-6).

Paul didn't see that what he was accumulating had no good use. "But now", he said after a radical heart conversion, "I consider them worthless. . . when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake, I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with Him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God's way of making us right with Himself depends on faith (vv. 7-9). There is a time for everything, our wise teacher King Solomon explains, and that includes: "A time to keep and a time to throw away" (Ecclesiastes 3:6). What should you discard in order to know Christ better?

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, we give You glory and honor. It is You alone who can save our souls. O Lord, as You withdraw sleep from the eyes of my body, grant me wakefulness of mind so that I may stand before You in awe and sing Your praises worthily, all of this day.

I thank You that You have answered me and have become my salvation. Let me be strong in faith and strong in Your Spirit; for only by You, Lord Christ, may the gates of righteousness be opened to a sinner. I pray that I may be part of the foundation of Your church on earth and that by Your grace, the gates of righteousness may be opened to me and to all who confess Your holy name.

The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant; Make me perfect in every good work to do Your will, working in me that which is well pleasing in Your sight; through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.

Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - Philippians 3:7


"But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ."

Whatever former things were gains to us, as we thought then, these things, once regarded as advancements in merit, have come to consider as a loss. Absolutely worthless. This is for the sake of Christ and the purpose which He has given our life. Everything is for Him!

This is an act of humbleness. This is not humble-bragging but for the sake of Christ. We consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. It is because of the amazing things that He has done. We will see the glory in it. And, it is unfathomable because of His greatness that can't be explained in words.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Daily Grace - Broken But Beautiful


Recently, a friend showed me her collection of sea glass. Also known as beach glass, the varied bits of colored glass are sometimes pieces of pottery but often they are pieces of shattered glass bottles. Originally, the glass had a purpose, but then it was casually thrown away and became broken. If the discarded glass ends up in an ocean, its journey is just beginning. As it is relentlessly tossed about by currents and tides, its jagged edges are ground down by the sand and waves and eventually are smoothed away and rounded off. The result is something beautiful. The jewel-like sea glass has found new life and is treasured by collectors and artists. 

In a similar way, a broken life can be renewed when it is touched by God's love and grace. In the Old Testament, when the prophet Jeremiah watched a potter working, he noticed that if an object was marred the potter simply reshaped it (Jer. 18:1-6). God explained that in His hands the people of ancient Israel were like clay, which He would shape as He saw best. We are never too badly broken for God to reshape. He loves us in spite of our imperfections and past mistakes, and He desires to make us beautiful. When melted by trial, we can be fully molded by the Potter.

Today We Pray



Dear Lord, help me to be fully alive to Your Holy presence. Enfold me in Your love. Let my heart become one with Yours.

Instill in my heart the desire to know and love you more. May I respond to Your will for my life. Fulfill now, O Lord, the desires, and petitions of Your servants, as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of Your truth, and in the world to come life everlasting.

Let me not forget my prayers as I go out into the world. Holy Spirit, be with me and let me praise You and remember you in my every action and thought, for the entire week to come. In Christ's name, I ask this.

Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - Psalm 51:17



"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart— these, O God, You will not despise."

The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit. Also, a broken and contrite heart. A heart and spirit that is broken with sorrow for sin, thoroughly penitent. God-worship is learned when our pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice. The way to please Him is to feel sorrow deep in our hearts, This is the kind of sacrifice He won’t refuse because this is an act of humbleness. He will not reject a broken and repentant heart


Friday, August 4, 2017

The Daily Grace - The Devil Made Me Do It



In March 2009, a 62-year-old woman was charged with stealing more than $73,000 from her church in the state of Washington. When the detectives interrogated her, she told them: "Satan had a big part in the theft". It sounds like she was saying that the devil made her do it. Satan may have played a role in her choices, but she has some faulty thinking about temptation and sin.

The devil tempts believers, but he doesn't make us sin. James tells us that God isn't to blame either: "Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone" (James 1:13). He is good and holy. So who is to blame for our sin? James says, "Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed" (v. 14). Just as a fisherman uses a bait to lure his prey, so our own evil, unchecked desires lead to giving in to temptation and sin.

When we disobey God by sinning, let's not shift the blame or justify our actions with the faulty "the devil made me do it" theology. Instead, let's take full responsibility for our actions, confess our sins to a gracious and forgiving Father, and pursue right living again. When we sin, the blame lies within. It's wise to feel when tempted, a fool is one who'd stay. For those who toy with evil soon learn it doesn't pay.

Today We Pray




Dear Lord, I confess with faith and adore You. Dispel from my soul the darkness of sin and ignorance, and at this hour enlighten my mind, that I may pray to You according to Your will, and receive from You the fulfillment of my supplications. Have mercy upon Your Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

Teach me to treat every person with the pure love of Christ. Do not let me hate any person, but to forgive them when they sin, and to disregard every external attribute that prejudices one person against another. For we are all your children, equally loved, although we be sinners all.

Into Your hands, O Lord, Jesus Christ, my God, I commend my spirit. Bless me and all those who pray in faith of You this day. Save us and grant unto us everlasting life.

Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - Matthew 6:8b



"For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him"

The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Daily Grace - The Unknown Giver




I don't know about you, but I tend to enjoy getting credit when I do stuff for others. And, I don't think I'm alone in appreciating thank you cards and words of gratitude. I also know, however, that there's something to be said for anonymity. This must be a good way to give, because Jesus endorsed it.

That's why, I was impressed with a gift that arrived anonymously on our front porch one day. We had been out of town; and when we returned, there stood several flower pots - each holding a blooming sunflower. We knew the reason - they were left on our doorstep on the birthday of our late daughter, Melissa, who loved sunflowers. Someone was telling us, "We remember Mell". By giving anonymously, they focused completely on our family rather than on themselves.

Imagine a world in which we all gave generously and selflessly. Jesus mentioned secret giving in Matthew 6. He said, "When you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret" (vv. 3-4). Realistically, we can't always give anonymously. But our giving should always be marked with the same spirit of selfless humility and God-directed charity. Self-sacrifice is the true measure of our giving.

Today We Pray




Dear Lord, grant me, I pray, Your divine helping grace. Endow me with patience and strength to endure my tribulations with complete submission to Your will. You know my misery and suffering and to you, my only hope and refuge, I flee for relief and comfort.

May it please You, my good Lord, that there may come a day when I can repay a little of my great debt to you. O Jesus, strengthen my soul, You who are good above all good. Here is my life, my honor and my will; I have given them all to You and they are Yours: use me to do whatever You want.

Give me grace today, so to live that by obedience I may increase in faith and in the understanding of Your Holy Word. I submit to Your Holy Word. Help me to meditate on it day and night.

Amen


Today's Godly Reminder - James 1:14



"But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed."

 Each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed and baited to commit sin by his own worldly desire like lust. Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Beware! Help yourself not to be tempted. Ask God for help to drag temptations away.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Daily Grace - Out of Orbit




I still find it amazing that we can launch probes into deep space. But think of how wasteful it would be if on the way to Mars, our probe got caught in the gravitational pull of a lesser, insignificant object. Beware! That might be happening in our lives.

When Jesus called His disciples to follow Him, He meant for them to begin a journey to passionately pursue Him. Followers of Christ have been launched into a trajectory that is defined by drawing closer and closer to Him. But in the process, we are often distracted and succumb to the gravitational pull of lesser, alluring things. When that happens, we cease our pursuit of Him and go into orbit around stuff that in the end is empty and unsatisfying.

Psalm 63 is the cure for lives stuck in orbit. David pursued God, knowing that He alone could satisfy his inner longings because His "lovingkindness is better than life" (v. 3). The joy of God's presences consumed every moment. "When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches" (v. 6). David understood that true joy and purpose come not in admiring God from a safe distance, but from chasing hard after Him. Let's get back on track and pursue an increasingly closer walk with God! The closer you walk with God, the less room for anything to come between.