Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Daily Grace - God's Promise of Revival

Revival starts with us. God tells us that the problem of backsliding and sluggishness of our spirit begins with His people and ends with His people. If the sin of God's people brought them into this situation, then it is their turning from these same sins that will bring the needed help to deliver them from their situation. In other words, unless we can identify our sins, acknowledge them and take full responsibility for them, then we have no hope. We cannot change this world by political reformation and improved educational funding. A church will only be able to turn back from their spiritual decline by carefully following the principles outlined in 2 Chronicles 7:14. This is not the only place these principles are mentioned, but they are clearly articulated here.

Promises are the backbone of the believer. They are what shapes the whole character of the church. Anytime that the church wants to stand erect, it may. There is no question as if God has once and for all left His people to degenerate. In the bleakest of situations, the church can call out to God, and God will hear. This promise is a golden key to unlock the most stubborn door we might run into and bring courage to our unbelieving hearts.

If you are a believer, then this promise is for you. You and I need only to follow the instructions, and we will find refreshing renewal come to our lives. These people are associated with Yahweh, God their Maker. They have decided to come back to Him. Experiences might differ, but they know the Lord and now desire His tender compassion rather than His judgments. Let us see what these steps of action that we need to take to find this renewal.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, I confess to You all the sins of my wickedness committed before You, now and in the past. Forgive me for them for the sake of Your Holy Name, and save my soul, which You have redeemed with Your precious Blood. I entrust myself to Your mercy.

When we observe the Lord's Supper, help us avoid the trap of letting our observance grow routine. May we always be moved with gratitude for the wonderful gift of ritual. Do with me according to You mercy and not according to my evil and wickedness.

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


Today's Godly Reminder - Colossians 3:16

"Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts."

Let the spoken word of Christ have its home within you. Let it dwell in your heart and mind—permeating every aspect of your being. Teach spiritual things, admonish and train one another with all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let the message about Christ completely fill your lives, while you use all your wisdom to teach and instruct each other. With thankful hearts, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Daily Grace - Come Back

The people of Israel had backsliden, and God wanted Hosea to show them how much that hurt Him. So, in the first few chapters of Hosea, we read a bizarre story: God commanded the prophet to marry a prostitute named Gomer. Put on display as the faithful husband of an unfaithful spouse, Hosea experienced a pain similar to what God felt when Israel was spiritually unfaithful. As Hosea wrote the ending of his book, he made it clear that despite the pain the people of Israel caused the living God, He still promised healing, forgiveness, and fruitfulness if they would return to Him: "I will heal their backsliding", He said. "I will love them freely. . . . Those who dwell under his shadow shall return" (Hos. 14:4-7).

Life for the person who turns hk on God is often characterized by guilt and disatisfaction. The truly born-again believer who has fallen into a lifestyle of sin knows deep down that spiritual unfaithfulness to God takes a toll. But just as the God of grace offered Israel forgiveness and fruitfulness, even so today He offers restoration to the truly repentant (1 John 1:9). Have you made poor choices that have caused you to slip away? Come back. Repent and seek restored fellowship with the Lord today. It's not too late to make a fresh start with God.

Today We Pray

Dear God, I truly want to carry Your truth into the world as You have commanded us to do, and to live every moment of my life in Your Holy Spirit. But sometimes I feel weak and discouraged, like it is too much for me. Let me always remember Your words, that we should put on Your armor and be strong, not in our own power, but in the strength of Your might.

Help me to stop calling on my own power and learn to call upon the power of Your Spirit, that dwells always within me and loves me, and waits only to be called. For I am weak, but Your strength know no limit, and it is mine to have in Your service. Embolden and empower me to fight evil wherever I may find it, and to tell the world of Your grace in Christ Jesus.

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 - 1 Corinthians 11:24

"And when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, 'This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me'."

We often here this statement when we partake the Lord's Supper. This is a reminder that every time we celebrate Lord's Supper in our respective churches, we are doing this in remembrance of the death of Jesus on the cross. Before He was crucified, He had a meeting with His disciples. He reminded His disciples about remembering Him. The bread symbolizes His body and the wine symbolizes His blood that He shed on the cross. As we partake the Lord's Supper this day, let us be reminded Jesus' love for us by dying on the cross to pay the price for our sins. Forgiveness is now possible because of His death.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Daily Grace - A Fresh Start

In many countries, health laws prohibit reselling or reusing old mattresses. Only landfills will take them. Tim Keenan tackled the problem and today his business employs a dozen people to extract the individual components of metal, fabric, and foam in old mattresses for recycling. But that's only part of the story. Journalist Bill Vogrin wrote, "Of all the items Keenan recycles. . . it's the people that may be his biggest success" (The Gazette, Colorado Springs). Keenan hires men from halfway houses and homeless shelters, giving them a job and a second chance. He says, "We take guys nobody else wants".

Luke 5:17-26 tells how Jesus healed the body and the soul of a paralyzed man. Following that miraculous event, Levi answered Jesus' call to follow Him and then invited his fellow tax collectors and friends to a banquet in honor of the Lord (vv. 27-29). When some people accused Jesus of associating with undesirables (v. 30), He reminded them that healthy people don't need a doctor - adding, "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance" (v. 32).

To everyone who feels like a "throwaway" headed for the landfill of life, Jesus opens His arms of love and offers a fres beginning. That's why He came! Salvation is receiving a new life. The power of God can turn a heart from evil and the power of sin. The love of God can change a life and make it new and cleansed within.

Today We Pray

Dear Jesus, I come to You today longing for Your presence. I desire to love You as You love me. May nothing ever separate me from You.

Work another miracle, a prodigy of grace. Make my soul a beautiful, living Tabernacle where You will ever dwell. Let me never leave You alone, but remind me to return hundreds of times in the day and have a word with You.

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


Today's Godly Reminder - Hosea 14:4

"I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from him."

Did you ran away from God? You were on fire before but now, the fire is gone? It is not yet too late to go back to God. He will still accept you. This verse is His promise to His people who turned away from Him. You are healed! You are still loved. His anger turned away from you.

Bring back the fire in your heart. Repent and you will be forgiven. Don't turn back from your sins anymore. You will be a new creation if you accept Christ again in your hearts and let Him rule in your life.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Daily Grace - Every Hardship

Like many towns, Enterprise, Alabama, has a prominent monument. But the monument in Enterprise is unlike any other. The statue doesn't recognize a leading citizen; it celebrates the work of a beetle. In the early 1900s, this boll weevil made its way from Mexico to the southern US. Within a few years it had destroyed entire crops of cotton, the primary source of revenue. In desperation, farmers started growing another crop - peanuts. Realizing they had been dependent on one crop for too long, they credited the beetle with forcing them to diversify, which led to increased prosperity.

The boll weevil is like things that come into our lives and destroy what we have worked hard to accomplish. Devastation results - sometimes financial, emotional, or physical - and it is frightening. We witness the end of life as we know it. But as the people of Enterprise learned, the loss of what is old is an opportunity to discover something new. God may use hardships to get us to give up a bad habit or learn a new virtue. He used a thorn in Paul's flesh to teach him about grace (2 Cor. 12:7-9).

Instead of striving to preserve old habits that are no longer effective, we can view every hardship as an opportunity for God to cultivate a new virtue in us. God often uses bitter experiences to make us better.

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.

May these promises be planted deeply in my mind and heart. Help me not to walk away and forget it, but to meditate on it and obey it and so built my life on the rock of Your truth. In the name of Christ I pray.


Today's Godly Reminder - 1 Peter 4:9

Love each other by being hospitable as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Daily Grace - Pursuing Hospitality

In the New Testament, hospitality is a hallmark of Christian living. It is listed as a characteristic of church leaders (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:8) and is commanded for every follower of Jesus as an expression of love (Rom. 12:13; 1 Pet. 4:9). But its meaning goes deeper than being a gracious host or opening our homes to guests. The Greek word translated "hospitality" means "love of strangers". When Paul speaks of being "given to hospitality" (Rom. 12:13), he is calling us to pursue relationships with people who are in need. It is not an easy task.

Writer Henri Nouwen likens it to reaching out to those we meet on our way through life - people who may be estranged from their culture, country, friends, family or even from God. Nouwen writes: "Hospitality, therefore, means primarily the creation of a free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place".

Whether we inhabit a home, a college dorm, a prison cell, or a military barracks, we can welcome others as a way of showing our love for them and for Christ. Hospitality is making room for people in need. Hospitality can fill the emptiness of a lonely heart. Reach out to needy people, show them love and care. It is one way that God can use us to bring hope to their despair.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, through Your works have revealed the everlasting structure of the world. You, Lord, created the earth. You are faithful throughout all generations, righteous in Your judgments, marvelous in strength and majesty, wise in creating and prudent in establishing what exists, good in all that is observed and faithful to those who trust in You, merciful and compassionate.

Forgive us our sins and our injustices, our transgressions and our shortcomings. Do not take into account every sin of Your servants, but cleanse us with the cleansing of Your truth. And, direct our steps to walk in holiness and righteousness and purity of heart, and to do what is good and pleasing in Your sight and in the sight of our rulers.

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 - 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.

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Daily Grace - You've Got a Friend

One of the ironic consequences of the sweeping growth of social media is that we often find ourselves more personally isolated. One online article warns: "Those who oppose leading one's life primarily or exclusively online claim that virtual friends are not adequate substitutes for real-world friends, and . . . individuals who substitute virtual friends for physical friends become even lonelier and more depressive than before".

Technology aside, all of us battle with seasons of loneliness, wondering if anyone knows, understands, or cares about the burdens we carry or the struggles we face. But followers of Christ have an assurance that brings comfort to our weary hearts. The comforting presence of the Savior is promised in words that are undeniable, for the psalmist David wrote, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me" (Ps. 23:4).

Whether isolated by our own choices, by the cultural trends that surrounds us, or by the painful losses of life, all who know Christ can rest in the presence of the Shepherd of our hearts. Those who know Jesus as their Friend are never alone. What a friend we have in Jesus!

Today We Pray

I pause for a moment
and think of the love and the grace
that God showers on me,
creating me in his image and likeness,
making me his temple.
God is within me and me in Him.

What most often stops me achieving freedom is my tendency
to be caught up in fears and expectations
about what I 'ought' or 'should' be.
My usual automatic responses tie me down
and inhibit me from exploring new areas of growth.
I ask and pray for a greater sense of inner freedom and
that I might reach the fresh and challenging possibilities
that God wishes me to realize.

Lead me Lord to where you need me to be.

Todays Godly Reminder - Ruth 2:12

"May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge."

 The Lord will repay you for your kindness. Your reward will be full from the Lord. As long as you work for him and never give up, you will reap what you sow. Just wait and be patient. God will reward you well for what you’ve done—and with a generous bonus besides from God, to whom you’ve come seeking protection under his wings. And now that you have come to him for protection, I pray that he will bless you. Wait for that prize from the Lord!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Daily Grace - The Wise Old Owl

Years ago, an anonymous writer penned a short poem about the merits of measuring our words.
A wise old owl sat in an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard;
Why can't we all be like that wise old bird?

There is a connection between wisdom and limiting what we say. Proverbs 10:19 says, "In the multitude of words, sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise". We are wise to be careful about what we say or how much we say in certain situations. It makes sense to guard our words when we are angry. James urged his fellow believers, "Be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" (James 1:19).

Restraining our words can also show reverence for God. Solomon said, "God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few" (Eccl. 5:2). When others are grieving, our silent presence may help more than abundant expressions of sympathy: "No one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great" (Job 2:13). Although there is a time to be quiet and a time to speak (Eccl. 3:7), choosing to speak less allows us to hear more. Let your speech be better than silence; otherwise be silent.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, please grant me wisdom to know when to speak and when to listen. I want to encourage others and to care for them as You have cared for me. I am no longer my own, but Yours.

Help me to find You, Lord. Help me not to read Your Word and then ignore it in my actions. Affirm my sincerity and help me to see my vast hypocrisy and, by the power of Your Almighty Spirit, overcome it. 

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


Today's Godly Reminder - Proverbs 10:19

"In the multitude of words, sin is not lacking; but he who restrains his lips is wise."

When there are many words, transgression and offense are unavoidable. But he who controls his lips and keeps thoughtful silence is wise. The more talk, the less truth. But, the wise measure their words. You will say the wrong thing if you talk too much. So, be sensible and watch what you say. Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Daily Grace - The Language of Whistling

On La Gomera, one of the smallest of the Canary Islands, a language that sounds like a bird song is being revived. In a land of deep valleys and steep ravines, schoolchildren and tourists are learning how whistling was once used to communicate for distances up to 2 miles. One goat herder who is using this ancient language once again to communicate with his flock said, "They recognize my whistle as they recognize my voice".

The practice of whistling also shows up in the Bible, where God is described as a shepherd whistling for His sheep. This image could be what the prophet had in mind when he described how God will one day whistle to bring a wandering and scattered people back to Himself (Zech. 10:8). Many years later Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" (John 10:27). That may be the whistle of a shepherd. Sheep don't understand words, but they know the sound that signals the shepherd's presence.

Misleading voices and distracting noises still compete for our attention. Yet God has ways of signaling us, even without words. By events that can be alarming or encouraging, He reminds us of His guiding, protecting, and reassuring presence. The call of God can always be heard.

Today We Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, it is a noisy world. Thank You for always calling to us above the din and ruckus that distracts us. Help us to recognize Your voice and follow Your leading.

Take away from me my sins, and mercifully kindle in me the fire of thy Holy Spirit. Take away from me the heart of stone, and give me a heart of flesh, a heart to love and adore Thee, a heart to delight in Thee, to follow and enjoy Thee. I humbly pray to You for Your holy church, that You would be pleased to fill it with all truth. 

O God and Father of all, whom the whole heavens adore, 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 - John 10:27

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me."

We are His sheep and His pasture. The sheep that are His own hear His voice and listen to Him. He know them, and they follow Him. His sheep recognize His voice. He give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of His hand. The Father who put them under His care is so much greater than the Destroyer and Thief. No one could ever get them away from him. Are you one of His sheep? Think and reflect.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Daily Grace - A Mighty Stream

The prophet Amos used the metaphor of a stream to illustrate the transforming power of righteousness. Appalled at Israel's dead religious ritual and their exploitation of the poor (Amos 2:6-8; 5:21-27), he called for justice and righteousness to prevail. He saw that God's people were stuck in the stagnant pond of injustice toward others when what they needed was a life marked by "righteousness like a mighty stream". 

Justice is the clarion call for Christians. We cannot step aside from what God said. He has told us how to treat our neighbor. And, we must follow on the path He's led.

Likewise, God desires for us to allow justice to "run down like water" from our lives. One way that can happen is to strive for just laws and to champion loving care for the poor. May we seek to be a part of God's mighty stream of His righteousness until Christ returns. Righteousness follows when truth springs into action.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, may every day bring new chances to grow, new beautiful things to see, new plans to do, and new goals to pursue. As every new day is Your miracle day. Guide us throughout the week as we start another journey.

If things get tough today, Lord — and in all hard times — let me stay motivated and calm. Let me look at how far I have come rather than how far I still have to go. Let me continue counting my blessings, not what I've been missing.

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. Grant that I might never feel lonely in my faith; and help me to let others feel the comfort of Christian community. This I pray to you, who lives and reigns forever.


Today's Godly Reminder - Romans 14:13

"Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way."

Let us not criticize one another anymore. But rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block or a source of temptation in another believer’s way. Forget about deciding what’s right for each other. Here’s what you need to be concerned about: that you don’t get in the way of someone else, making life more difficult than it already is. Be convinced that everything as it is in itself is holy. We, of course, by the way we treat it or talk about it, can contaminate it. We must stop judging others. We must also make up our minds not to upset anyone’s faith.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Daily Grace - Is It True?

"Trust, but verify". I love this quote from Ronald Reagan. During his time in office, the former US President wanted to believe everything he was told in his political dealings with others. But since the security of his country depended on the truth being told - he strived to verify everything

Acts 17:11 tells us that the Bereans had a similar attitude about knowing the truth. "They received the Word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so". In other words, the Beareans didn't simply believe what someone else was telling them. They also verified it on their own - on a daily basis. 

That's important for us to consider as well. Whether we receive our Bible teaching through church, Sunday school, radio, or TV - we need to test what we hear again'st God's inspired Word (2 Tim. 3:16-17). We are to "be diligent to present [ourselves] approved to God, . . . rightly dividing the Word of truth" (2:15). If we do this, we won't become prey to those who teach "a different gospel", and those who "want to pervert the gospel of Christ" (Gal. 1:6-7) - false teachers who come as wolves in sheep's clothing (Matt. 7:15). Remember, trust - but verify! Knowing what's true is the first step in knowing what's false.

Today We Pray

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

How wonderful it is to be able to enter into Your presence Lord. No matter what time it is and no matter which land I am in, I need only to speak Your name. I ask for the grace to believe in what I could be and do if I only allowed God, my loving Creator, to continue to create me, guide me and shape me.

God of love, Father of all, the darkness that covered the earth has given way to the bright dawn of Your Word made flesh. Make me and all who confess Your holy name people of this light and 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 - 2 Timothy 3:16-17

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."

All Scriptures are given by divine inspiration. These profitable for instruction, for conviction of sin, for correction of error and restoration to obedience and for training in righteousness. These are useful for learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Daily Grace - Navigational System

Have you ever wondered how an airplane pilot knows how to get from point A to point B? Most likely, he uses VOR, short for VHF Omnidirectional Radio Range, a navigational system invented in the early 1950s. It still guides many aircraft to their destination today. The pilot sets the course of the aircraft on his dial. If the aircraft drifts from that set course, the instrument shows the pilot that the plane is deviating so he can correct it to align the aircraft to the set course again.

The nation of Israel in Isaiah's day badly needed a reliable VOR system. And God wanted to be that for them. But despite God's warning, they decided to align with Egypt (Isa. 30:1-2). God graciously promised that one day, however, He would be their navigator: "Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it'. Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left" (v. 21).

Today, Christians have an internal navigational system. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, who lives in us to "guide [us] into all truth" (John 16:13). If you need direction as to where to set the course of your life, don't rely on your own way. Use God's VOR system. He will surely lead you in the right direction. The Spirit is our navigational system.

Today We Pray

Dear Jesus, Your death on the cross has set me free. I can live joyously and freely without fear of death. Your mercy knows no bounds.

I bless You for the day You have made. I pray that I may spend this day rejoicing in Your creation. And, 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.

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 - John 16:13

"When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come."

When He comes, He will guide you into all the full and complete truth. For He will not speak on His own initiative, but He will speak whatever He hears from the Father—the message regarding the Son. He will disclose to you what is to come in the future. He will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is.

The Spirit shows what is true and will come and guide you into the full truth. The Spirit doesn’t speak on his own. He will tell you only what he has heard from me, and he will let you know what is going to happen. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Daily Grace - Dogged Devotion

Maggie doesn't care much for television. She would rather look out a window than stare at a small screen. Reading doesn't thrill her either. She has been known to "chew" on books, but only in the strictly literal sense. Nevertheless, when Jay and I read or watch TV, Maggie participates. Even though she doesn't enjoy what we're doing, she enjoys being with us. Maggie is our very devoted dog. More than anything (well, just about anything) Maggie wants to be with us.

The word dogged means determined and persistent. These words describe Maggie. They should also describe us. When we are devoted to God, we want to be with Him even when He's doing something that makes no sense to us. We may ask, "Why, Lord?" when He seems angry (Ps. 88:14) or when He seems to be napping (44:23), or when the wicked prosper (Jer. 12:1). But when we remain devoted to God despite our questions, we find fullness of joy in His presence (Ps. 16:11).

Jesus knew that we would have questions. To prepare us for them, He urged us to abide in His love (John 15:11). Even when God's ways are inexplicable, His love is reliable. So we remain doggedly devoted to Him. We find joy when we learn to abide in Jesus' love.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, You are always there waiting for me. May I never be too busy to find time to spend in Your presence. Guide me always to do Your holy will knowing that your strength will carry me through.

Help me to be always aware of the important things in life. Help me to care for those around me. And, help me to seek Your presence in all I meet.

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. Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm, whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm, be there at my sleeping. And give me, I pray, Your peace in my heart, Lord, at the end of the day.


Today's Godly Reminder - Psalm 16:11

He got our feet on the life path. He is all radiant from the shining of His face. Ever since He took our hand, we will always be on the right way. There is indeed a fullness of joy when we are always in His presence. 

He will show us the path of life. In His right hand, there are pleasures forevermore. When we let God guide our steps, He will always show us the right way. Let Him guide you and walk you to the right direction. Delight yourself in Him.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Daily Grace - Heart Matters

Our hearts pump at a rate of 70-75 beats per minute. Though weighing only 11 ounces on average, a healthy heart pumps 2,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels each day. Every day, the heart creates enough energy to drive a truck 20 miles. In a lifetime, that is equivalent to driving to the moon and back. A healthy heart can do amazing things. Conversely, if our heart malfunctions, our whole body shuts down.

The same could be said of our "spiritual heart". In Scripture, the word heart represents the center of our emotions, thinking, and reasoning. It is the "command center" of our life. So when we read, "Keep your heart with all diligence" (Prov. 4:23), it makes a lot of sense. But, it's a difficult advice to keep.

Life will always make demands upon our time and energy that cry out for immediate attention. By comparison, taking time to hear God's Word and to do what it says may not shout quite so loudly. We may not notice the consequences of neglect right away, but over time it may give way to a spiritual heart attack. I'm thankful God has given us His Word. We need His help not to neglect it, but to use it to align our hearts with His every day. To keep spiritually fit, consult the Great Physician.

Today We Pray

Dear God, who has given me life and breath, and another day: I do not know what this day might bring. For men make plans, and their plans come to naught, as You will it. Thus I take this day out of my hands and submit it to Your will.

Let me follow only Your way. Let me hear only Your voice, not the voices of those who do not believe in Your teachings. Let me celebrate and rejoice with those who do believe in You.

Take my heart and hand. May Your sweet love grow more like You day by day. In His name, I pray, let my day be Yours, and let it be filled with goodness and faith.


Todays Godly Reminder - Our Protector

God is our Ultimate Protector from the works of the enemies. The enemy is like a devouring lion, ready to attack us anytime. But, we must not be deceived by the enemy. Ask God for protection everyday, and He will carry you in His mighty arms.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Daily Grace - The Blame Game

When Jenny's husband left her for another woman, she vowed that she would never meet his new wife. But when she realized that her bitterness was damaging her children's relationship with their father, she asked for God's help to take the first steps towards overcoming bitterness in a situation she couldn't change.

In Genesis 16, there's a story of a couple to whom God later promised a baby. When Sarai suggested that her husband Abram have a child with their servant Hagar, she wasn't fully trusting God for the child He had promised. When the baby was born, Hagar despised Sarai (Gen. 16:3-4), and Sarai became bitter (vv. 5-6). Hagar had been the slave with no rights and suddenly she was special. How did Sarai react? By blaming others, including Abram (v. 5). God's promise was realized in the birth of Isaac 14 years later. Even his weaning celebration was spoiled by Sarai's attitude (21:8-10).

It may never have been easy for Sarai to have lived with the consequences of their decision to go ahead of God. It may have taken a miracle of grace to change her attitude, but that could have transformed everything. Sarai couldn't reverse the decision but through God's strength, she could have lived with it differently and given God the glory. By God's grace, we can reflect His light in the dark times.

Today We Pray

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

Teach me what it means to run to You and have You as my sanctuary. Help me not to worry about the words I say, but just to express my heart to You and to nestle down close to You. Incline my heart to Your ways. 

Oh Lord Jesus Christ, who said to Your Apostles, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you”; 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 - Psalm 27:4

"One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple."

Let us ask God, for one thing, only one thing: to live with Him in His house our whole life long. Let us live in His house every day of our life to see how wonderful He is. And to pray in His temple. We’ll contemplate His beauty. We’ll study at his feet. This is an amazing thing to do, living in our Heavenly Father's house. Just praising in His Name and asking in His Name.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Daily Grace - A Heart for Prayer

While traveling on an airplane with her 4- and 2-year-old daughters, a young mom worked at keeping them busy so they wouldn't disturb others. When the pilot's voice came over the intercom for an announcement, Catherine, the younger girl, paused from her activities and put her head down. When the pilot finished, she whispered, "Amen". Perhaps because there had been a recent natural disaster, she thought the pilot was praying.

Like that little girl, I want a heart that turns my thoughts toward prayer quickly. I think it would be fair to say that the psalmist David had that kind of heart. We get hints of that in Psalm 27 as he speaks of facing difficult foes (v. 2). He said, "Your face, Lord, I will seek" (v. 8). Some say that David was remembering the time he was fleeing from Saul (1 Sam. 21:10) or from his son Absalom (2 Sam. 15:13-14) when he wrote this psalm. Prayer and dependence on God were in the forefront of David's thinking, and he found Him to be his sanctuary (Ps. 27:4-5).

We need a sanctuary as well. Perhaps reading or praying this psalm and others could help us to develop that closeness to our Father-God. As God becomes our sanctuary, we'll more readily turn our hearts toward Him in prayer. In prayer, God can still our hearts and quiet our minds.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, who decreed that we should take one day of rest, one special day in remembrance of You, today I celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the moment of His glorious victory over death. I add my voice to countless millions of others in thanks, in praise, and in awe of Your sacrifice for us. Help me, dear Lord, to dedicate these few moments to You completely.

Help us to appreciate the work that others do, the service given from their hearts, their sacrifice for You. You have taught us that we may dwell with You, even while we are caught in this difficult world, and I pray to dwell with you fully now. Guard me against wandering of mind and the intrusion of mundane thought, so that I may be fully present with You, through the power of Your Holy Spirit.

And in the coming week, I pray that my mind may constantly turn to You, so that I may always remember You when I am tempted to anger, to selfishness, to lust for power and the vanities of this world or any of the myriad temptations that might assail me in the course of life. Send me Your light and truth, to keep this day and all the days of my life. In the name of Christ and through faith in Him, I pray.