Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Daily Grace - Dont Be Distracted

Some universities provides laptop computers for its students. While this can be an aid to the students in many ways, somehow it also hinders learning. The laptops can become a distraction during class. Because the students take notes on their laptops, they have them open on their desks during class. The problem is that they find texting their friends, visiting Facebook, or checking things on the Internet more interesting than their professor's lectures. A laptop loses value in the learning environment if it becomes a distraction - even if what the students are doing is positive.

Good things can do that. Things that have value can draw our attention away from what we should be paying attention to. This was true for Martha. Luke 10:40 says she was "distracted with much serving", which took her away from spending time with Jesus.

In the same way, a good hobby can have value in and of itself. But if it distracts you from your family responsibilities or relationship with God, some changes are needed. Are life's good options distracting you from what your primary priorities should be? Return, as Jesus told Martha, to what is needed.

Today We Pray

Dear God, my soul longs for your presence. When I turn my thoughts to You, I find peace and contentment. You are indeed the Prince of Peace.

Grant that Your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart. Let those barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live together in justice and peace. Please build the heart of Christ into my heart that those around me will see Him clearly and desire to know Him too.

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


Todays Godly Reminder - John 3:30

"He must increase, but I must decrease."

Our God should be greater above all things. He must be higher than any other. It is because His power is awesome. That's how sovereign our Lord is! He must increase in prominence, but we must decrease.

Jesus must become more important, while we become less important. He must become greater and greater; we must become less and less. We are just human beings and we have no power over anything. But our God is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He deserves all the glory. That is what humbleness is all about.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Daily Grace - Praising God throughout Eternity

Some words used to describe the opening ceremony of the 2008 summer Olympics were "awesome", "breathtaking", and "extravagant". One commentator observed, "This shows what happens when you give an artist an unlimited budget". That's what God did at creation! He held nothing back. The resulting universe is stunning in beauty, staggering in complexity, extravagant in all regards.

The Olympic ceremony was perfect in its precision; but if just one drummer or dancer had decided to alter the artist's vision, the whole ceremony would have been flawed. That's what happened shortly after creation. Unlike the Olympic producer, God allowed free choice, and His work of art was marred by Adam and Eve's idea of a better way. In Isaiah's words, "we have turned, every one, to his own way" (53:6).

God's solution to our waywardness was unimaginable: The Artist paid the price to recreate what we ruined. One day, there will be another opening ceremony, and everyone in Heaven and on earth will bow at the name of Jesus (Phil. 2:10). And those from every nation who have accepted God's plan in Christ will worship together in the flawless New Jerusalem (Rev. 15:4). We have all eternity to praise God, begin today.

Today We Pray

Dear God, I am full of the sound of my own voice, that lump of pride deep within me that will not go away, no matter how I try. Give me the strength through the power of Your Holy Spirit to hear your voice and follow it, fighting the temptation to sin that bubbles up inside me whenever my mind strays from you. Thy will be done.

You have commanded us to love one another, this I know without a doubt. And yet all day I am filled with judgments, with resentments, with anger that sneaks in and grabs me when I am not paying attention to you. I pray dear God, that you will soften my heart to my fellow humans, no matter how sinfully they may act, and leave the judging to you, as you have commanded.

Fill me with acceptance in place of judgment, sympathy in place of anger, faith in place of resentment. For my judgments and anger are the creatures of pride. May I do thy will this day, in the name of Christ I pray.


Today's Godly Reminder - Ephesians 2:4-5

"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved."

Even when we were spiritually dead and separated from Him because of our sins, He made us spiritually alive together with Christ. For by His grace—His undeserved favor and mercy—you have been saved from God’s judgment. It is also because of His great and wonderful love with which He loved us. Indeed, God is so very rich in mercy. God was merciful! We were dead because of our sins, but God loved us so much that he made us alive with Christ, and God’s wonderful kindness is what saves you.

It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, He embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Daily Grace - Zealous for Jesus

All of us are capable of being zealous, regardless of our personality type. Even the most phlegmatic person can be passionate about something. Some people are into soccer, for others it's food. So the issue isn't whether or not one can be zealous, but where a person's devotion lies.

In Romans 12, the apostle Paul provides some instruction that includes being zealous in serving the Lord. John Piper paraphrased it this way: "Do lots of work for Christ, passionately". The words "never be lazy, but work hard. . . enthusiastically" (v. 11) emphasizes being earnest and devoted in getting things done. What does that look like? Consider the following questions: Are we efficient, or do we procrastinate?; Do we work hard to get things done, or do we give up halfway?

Romans 12:11 also contains this idea: Do lots of work for the Lord passionately - not being grouchy. A person passionate about serving the Lord doesn't consider the number of hours he has clocked in for the Lord. He's willing to do more, and he does it without complaint or protest. The reason is simple. Serving Jesus is the highest privilege in the universe for human beings. In view of God's mercy, let's strive to be zealous Christians - passionately serving Jesus.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, I thank You for all that You have done while I was asleep, watching over me and all Your children while we slept unaware. And, I pray that my thoughts and acts this day may show forth my love and thanks for You and all you have done for me. May Your spirit guide me to seek Your Loving presence more and more.

Help me through Your Holy Spirit, that I may remember what You have taught me in the Bible and it may show forth in my every deed. Let me not wander into the hands of sin, nor into the hands of pride or perversity, nor into the hands of temptation, nor into the hands of shame, but steer my inclinations towards goodness and charity this morning and all the day. Guide me always to do Your holy will knowing that Your strength will carry me through.

Now unto Him that is able to keep me from falling, and to present me faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.


Today's Godly Reminder - Romans 12:11

"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord."

Don’t burn out! Keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times. Pray all the harder. Never give up. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Daily Grace - Guidance Needed

We can all certainly identify with the need of guidance. In fact, Jesus addressed this very need during His Upper Room Discourse. He said that after His departure, the Holy Spirit would play a crucial role in the lives of believers. As part of that role, Jesus promised, "When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth" (John 16:13).

What a marvelous provision! In a world of confusion and fear, guidance is often needed. We can easily be misdirected by the culture around us or by the brokenness within us (1 John 2:15-17). God's Spirit, however, is here to help, to direct, and to guide. How thankful we can be that the Spirit of truth has come to give us the guidance that we often so desperately need.

Set your course by His life, and you will reach safe harbor. The Spirit is a reliable guide in all of life's seas. Let Him guide you. We may be weak, but He is mighty. He will hold us always with His powerful hands.

Today We Pray

Dear God and most merciful father, who commanded the children of Israel to offer a daily sacrifice to thee, that thereby they might glorify and praise thee for thy protection both night and day; receive, O Lord, my morning sacrifice which I now offer up to thee. I yield thee humble and hearty thanks that thou has preserved me from the danger of the night past, and brought me to the light of the day, and the comforts thereof, a day which is consecrated to thine own service and for thine own honor. Let my heart, therefore, Gracious God, be so affected with the glory and majesty of it, that I may not do my own works, but wait on thee, and discharge those weighty duties thou require of me.

Grant that the same Spirit may perfect in my life the work of Your grace and love, and that I may bear my cross with You. And with courage, overcome the obstacles that interfere with my salvation. Teach me to be Your faithful disciple and animate me in every way with Your Spirit.

Bless all your people, and all your flock. Give your peace, your help, and your love unto us your servants, the sheep of your fold, that we may be united in the bond of peace and love, one body and one spirit, in one hope of our calling, in your divine and boundless love. Through Christ, Our Lord we pray.


Todays Godly Reminder - Psalm 121:5

The Lord will always keep you. He is your shade. He is always there at your side. He will never leave you.

Wherever you will go, He is always there. He is your Guardian. He will be right at your side to protect you. Shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moonstroke. Do not be afraid.

Sunday, August 27, 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 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.


Todays Godly Reminder - Jeremiah 31:3

God's love is everlasting. God's love is unfailing. It is His Words long before. Cling to His Words and accept it with all of your hearts. Then, you will experience a life that is so promising.

Therefore, with loving kindness, He have drawn you and continued His faithfulness to us. He never quit loving us and never will. Expect love, love, and more love! And so now, He'll start over with you and build you up again,

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Daily Grace - Praise Him for the Blessings

So often we focus on small disappointments that cause us to grumble and complain rather than focusing on the wonderful things God has brought into our lives, not the least of which is His everlasting love and eternal salvation. When we complain about the small dissatisfactions of life, we're asking, in effect, "Lord, why?". Were you asking the same question if you were disappointed? Are you complaining right away?

Paul wrote, "In everything give thanks" (1 Thes. 5:18). We may not be thankful for everything that comes our way, but we can give thanks in everything. It may be difficult to be grateful when we lose our job or our health fails, but we can be thankful for the good that God has brought to us in this life and grateful for the life to come. As endless as God's blessings are, so should our praises be. Instead of being preoccupied with our problems, let's praise the Lord for His blessings. 

Today We Pray

Dear God, 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.

Remind me of your blessings with every tribulation I may face, so that I may act with energy, forgiveness and love, ever mindful of the grace You have shown to me. Help me to perform the work which you have put at my hand. Deliver me, I pray, in my work, from coveting material goods, from falling into the temptation of serving mammon and putting money in the forefront of my life.

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 - Ecclessiastes 12:13

"The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person."

Fear God. Worship Him with awe-filled reverence. Know that He is almighty God. Do what He tells you. Respect and obey God! This is what life is all about. This is everyone’s duty.

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Daily Grace - Older or Better?

We know we're getting older when we say things like, "Can you believe how young those professional baseball players are?" And it's a sure sign of aging when we no longer ask, "How are you?" but say, "Hey, you look terrific" - as if we're surprised.

Aging is inevitable. Unfortunately, society has taught us to fear advancing age and to disguise its reality as much as possible. But aging can actually be a wonderful thing. Followers of Jesus have the capacity to get significantly better with age. As Paul put it: "Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day" (2 Cor. 4:16).

Just as there are physical signs that reveal we're getting older, there are signs that show we are getting better. Rather than becoming more crotchety, intolerant, and unloving, the maturing follower of Jesus grows better at forgiving, loving, and caring. Growing older is a continuation of the journey to become more like Jesus, which means that as time goes on our heart and attitudes should increasingly resonate with and reflect the compelling character and winsome ways of our Savior. So as we grow older, let's embrace the opportunity to become spiritually more like Jesus. Our friends will notice that we look better with age. Don't just grow older - grow better as a follower of Jesus.

Today We Pray

Dear God, as I face another day, I know I am going to face many challenges: to my faith, to my patience, to my love for others. I am going to have constant temptations to lapse into sin. Come to me now, Lord, and stay with me all day. 

Let Your Spirit encompass my mind. Let me know Your presence. Steer my hand, direct my words, guide my thoughts in everything I think and say and do. 

I resolve to live this day as a beacon of Your glory, the best I can, with Your help. I commit myself to give this day to You. In the name of Christ, be with me and help me.


Today's Godly Reminder - 2 Corinthians 4:16

"Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day."

Though our outer self is wasting away, yet our inner self is being renewed day by day. So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. We ourselves are being made stronger each day. Do not become discouraged. Don't be spiritless, disappointed, or afraid. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Daily Grace - Sunshine Chaser

Diana and Dave love to ride their jet skis on the lake, skimming across the water on warm sunny days. But one morning, the weather was cool and mostly cloudy, and Diana couldn't convince Dave to go out. So she went on her own. It was so cold that she flitted back and forth across the lake, trying to keep herself in the sunshine for some needed warmth. But every time she reached a sunny area, the clouds moved and it quickly turned to shade. Realizing the futility and silliness of chasing the sunshine, she finally gave up because it didn't bring her what she wanted.

King Solomon did another kind of chasing that couldn't bring him satisfaction (Eccl. 2:1). In the first 11 verses of Ecclesiastes 2 alone, he mentions that he chased after pleasure, laughter, wine, wisdom, houses, gardens, money, possessions, and music. But his evaluation was that "all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun" (2:11). Those pursuits were empty - "vanity of vanities" (1:2). He wisely concluded: "Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all" (12:13).

Are you chasing after some of the things that Solomon was? It's a vain pursuit. Purpose and satisfaction come only from knowing and obeying God. Only God can fill an empty heart. Chasing after empty pleasure will not satisfy one's heart. But, to those who follow Jesus, life's fulfillment He'll impart.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, let me read Your Word until something new sinks in. Let me pray until I hear Your voice, until all smugness has given way to gratitude. By the power of your Holy Spirit, renew me afresh in Your Word and power, today and every day, energizing me in Your great commission. 

 I have sinned against heaven and before You. Receive me like the Prodigal Son, and clothe me with the garment of innocence, of which I was deprived by sin. Have mercy upon Your Creatures and upon me, a great sinner, in the name of Christ.

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within me all this day. 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. In Christ's name, I pray.


Todays Godly Reminder - Proverbs 12:25

Worry just weigh us down. So, do not worry. Do not let yourself be dismayed because of worrying. Do not let your day be ruined because of worry.

Instead, be filled with encouragement. Be cheerful when troubles come. Encourage one another and be glad. Worry weighs us down; a cheerful word picks us up.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Daily Grace - Contentment

A poet once wrote: "As a rule, man's a fool. When it's hot, he wants it cool. And when it's cool, he wants it hot. Always wanting what is not".

What an insightful observation on human nature! So when we read in Philippians 4:11, "I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content" we wonder, can this be possible? For Paul it was. Philippians 4:12-13 describes Paul's response to life. "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength".

Paul's relationship with God superseded whatever he did or did not have. His contentment was not based on his circumstances, but on his relationship with Christ. Paul reminds us that contentment doesn't happen overnight. It's something that we learn. As our relationship with God develops over time and through experiences, we learn to trust God more and ourselves less. Paul knew that Christ would give him the strength to persevere in whatever situation he encountered (v. 13). No matter what you're facing today, through prayer you can receive the strength to be content. We find contentment at the same place we find salvation - in Christ.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, great is Your mercy toward me, and You have delivered my soul from the depths of hell. All praise be to You, Oh God my Redeemer, today and forever. I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forever more. 

Teach me Your way and I will walk in Your truth. Unite my heart to fear Your name. May Your Church be constantly renewed, in prayer, in Your Word and in Your worship.

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.


Today's Godly Reminder - 1 Thessalonians 5:18

In every situation, be thankful. No matter what the circumstances, continually give thanks to God. Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. It is because this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. And, this is what God wants you to do. Be thankful today.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Daily Grace - Keeping Darkness at Bay

In J.R.R. Tolkien's book The Hobbit, the wizard Gandalf explains why he has selected a small hobbit like Bilbo to accompany the dwarves to fight the enemy. He says, "Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love".

That's what Jesus teaches us as well. Warning us that we would live in dark times, He reminded us that because of Him we are "the light of the world" (Matt. 5:14) and that our good deeds would be the power against the darkness for the glory of God (v. 16). And Peter, writing to believers in Christ who were facing severe persecution, told them to live so that those accusing them would "by [their] good works which they observe, glorify God" (1 Pet. 2:12).  There is one force that the darkness cannot conquer - the force of loving acts of kindness done in Jesus' name.

It is God's people who turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, and forgive and even love their enemies who oppose them who have the power to turn the tide against evil. So, look for the privileged opportunity to perform acts of kindness today to bring the light of Christ to others. Light up your world with an act of kindness. Be kind!

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, help me to go about the tasks and duties of this day with the remembrance that I am Your servant therein. Make me honest, painstaking, and cheerful. And, grant that all I do and say may bring good to others and glory to Your Holy Name.

Teach me the folly of trying to repay evil for evil. May I be so grateful to You for the loving acts of kindness that You have shown me that I gladly look to share good deeds with others as well. May I always be aware of Your presence, Your power and Your Love, all the days of my life.

The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, this day and evermore.


Today's Godly Reminder - Matthew 5:14

Here’s another way to put it: we’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. We are the light of Christ to the world. We are like light for the whole world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. A city built on top of a hill cannot be hidden.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Daily Grace - Be the Light!

A friend of mine has the opportunity each winter to attend the Super Bowl as a journalist. His job is to garner interviews with Christian athletes and National Football League personnel for a faith-based radio program. When he first started covering the big game a few years ago, he grew disillusioned with the self-serving, pleasure-seeking atmosphere during Super Bowl week. "I found it to be a very dark place," he says.

One day he told a former NFL player, a Christian, how he was feeling. The athlete looked at my friend and said, "Brother, you are being light in this dark place." That comment reminded my friend why he was there, and it helped renew his excitement for serving God in a place where the light of the gospel is needed. It spurred him to shine his light.

Perhaps you work in a setting where God is not acknowledged, faith is mocked, and godless living is applauded. Maybe you feel that you are going into "a very dark place." Why not be a light (Eph. 5:8) - through your smiles, kind words and deeds, and diligent work. Ask God to bring opportunities to share the good news of Jesus Christ. You may be the only light a co-worker sees today. Our witness for Christ is a light in a dark world.

- Dave Brannon, Our Daily Bread

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. 

And finally, grant me O Lord, I pray, the lamp of charity which never fails, that it may burn in me and shed its light on those around me. And that by its brightness I may share a vision of that holy City, where dwells the true and never-failing Light, Jesus Christ our Lord.  In Jesus' name I pray.


Today's Godly Reminder - 2 Peter 1:16

"For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty."

The word “for” connects the thought with Peter’s previous words. The sense is, “I want you to always be able to call these things to mind after I’m gone, because they are true. We didn’t make up clever stories. We were eyewitnesses of what we are handing off to you.”

So the foundation of our faith is the apostolic witness to Jesus Christ. We can note four things about this apostolic witness: The apostles explicitly deny making up tales about Jesus Christ; The apostolic witness centers exclusively on the person of Jesus Christ as the glorious, majestic Son of God, equal with the Father; The apostolic witness affirmed that Jesus Christ is coming again in power and glory; The apostles affirm being eyewitnesses of the majesty of Jesus Christ on the mount of transfiguration.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Daily Grace - Promises, Promises

When people say with a sigh, "Promises, promises", it's often when they've been disappointed by someone who failed to keep a commitment. The more it happens, the greater the sadness and the deeper the sigh. Have you ever felt that God doesn't keep His promises? It's an attitude that can subtly develop over time.

After God promised Abraham, "I will make you a great nation" (Gen. 12:2), 25 years elapsed before the birth of his son Isaac (21:5). During that period, Abraham questioned God about his lack of a child (15:2), and he even resorted to fathering a son through his wife's handmaiden (16:15). Yet, through the ups and downs, God kept reminding Abraham of His promise to give him a child, while urging him to walk faithfully with Him and believe (17:1-2). 

When we claim one of God's promises in the Bible, whether it is for peace of mind, courage, or provision of our needs, we place ourselves in His hands and on His schedule. As we wait, it may at times seem as if the Lord has forgotten us. But trust embraces the reality that when we stand on a promise of God, He remains faithful. The assurance is in our hearts, and the timing is in His hands. All of God's promises are backed by His wisdom, love and power.

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, August 19, 2017

The Daily Grace - Time to Grow Up

While browsing through some birthday cards in a gift shop, I found one that made me laugh. Its message read: "You are only young once, but you can be immature forever". That card tickled my funny bone. There is something winsome about never having to grow up, as any fan of Peter Pan can attest.

But we all know that perpetual immaturity is not only inappropriate, it's also unacceptable. For the Christian, it's vital that we mature. After we are born again and become followers of Christ, we are not expected to stay spiritual babies. The Scriptures challenge us to grow to be more like Him. 

When writing to the church at Corinth - a church with many problems - Paul said that their issues were rooted in a lack of spiritual development. In 1 Corinthians 3:1, he said, "I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ." How do we grow beyond being just spiritual babes? Peter urged, "Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 3:18). We do this by meditating on the Word of God and devoting ourselves to prayer (Ps. 119:97-104; Acts 1:14). Like the troubled church of Corinth, it may be time for us to grow up. Spiritual growth occurs when faith is cultivated.

Today We Pray

Dear God, as You gave us the sun to lighten our days, so You have given us Your Word to lighten our minds and our souls. I pray that You will pour out on me Your Spirit as I pray today, that my heart . and mind may be opened to your Word. And that, I may learn and accept Your will for my life.

Today I celebrate the resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ, the supreme victory over death that belongs to You alone. I pray that I may, today and in the coming week, act in appreciation of the ultimate gift You have given to me and to all who confess the name of Christ. Fill me with love and humility.

Make my heart clean within me, I pray, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that my every thought and deed will reflect the graciousness of the salvation given to me, not by my merit but by your love; and that I may continue to learn your word, and accept even what I do not want to hear, and always act in accordance with Your will. In the name of Christ I pray.


Today's Godly Reminder - 2 Peter 3:18

Let us always strive for spiritual maturity. Strive to grow in His love. Strive to grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Once you're spiritually matured, you will be able to handle things very well.

How to grow? Simply devote yourselves to the Lord. Devote your time and efforts to Him. And, you will experience is extravagant love everyday of your life.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Daily Grace - Mozart's Pet Bird

Mozart is revered as a genius of musical composition. In one instance, he was even inspired by the melody of a bird. Mozart had a pet starling whose song so fascinated him that some say he wrote a piece of music based on the melody he heard in the bird's chirps. 

Birds were also an inspiration to the psalmist. In Psalm 104, he praises God for caring for the living creatures He put on the earth. Included in his observations are birds who fly in the heavens above, perch in the branches of trees, and sing songs of heartfelt joy: "The birds of the heavens have their home; they sing among the branches" (v. 12). Nature filled the psalmist's heart with praise to God, and I think that must have included the musical sounds of the birds. 

Often the marvels we see in creation prompt us to worship. This theme is repeated throughout Scripture: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork" (Ps. 19:1). Creation's stimulus to praise need not be limited to the visual. It can also be widened to include hearing nature's songs. As we go about our daily routine, we can tune our hearts to the melodies God has placed in His creatures and let them serve as an added springboard of praise to the Creator. All of nature is a grand symphony conducted by the Creator. As Mozart added the song of a bird to a musical innovation, let's all add our voice to the worldwide song of praise to the God of creation.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, give me the strength to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely on Your holy will. Reveal Your will to me every hour of the day.

In all my deeds and words, guide my thoughts and feelings. In unexpected events, let me not forget that all are sent by You. Direct my will, teach me to pray.

May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May Your law and Your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of Your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions today, and always.


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.


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.