Monday, February 28, 2011

Daily Dose 2-28-11

Psalm 44:6-8 I put no trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame. In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever.

Our battles are a bit different than the fields of war today. But, the source of our victories is the same. We are quick to call on God for help in crisis, but not always as quick to credit Him for the victory. Take some time to list your past battles. Whether they be financial struggles, health crisis, divorce, rejection, loneliness, or a host of other issues – look for God’s Hand of protection or provision in those battles. Record them and praise Him. Share your list with others and give God the glory for your victories. Then, the next time you are faced with a battle, take out the list again. Praise Him for His faithfulness and give Him your sword and bow!

Holy God, Even though I don’t deserve it, You continually fight my battles. Even when I don’t know I am at war, Your protective shield covers me. I give You glory, honor and praise for my past victories; and thank You in advance for future conquests! I love You, Amen

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Daily Dose 2-27-11

Mark 9:2-6 After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)

Spiritual mountaintops are the best! Those in pursuit of God are promised to find Him. In those times when we find a new level of intimacy, we want to stay put. It is tempting to retreat from the world and enjoy basking in the glow of a transfigured relationship. We may be enjoying time on the mountaintop with strong spiritual mentors – enjoying new blessings for our life or ministry. Use these times to soak in all that God has in store, but realize the real work of a Christ follower is in the valley. When Jesus and His three closest disciples descended from the transfiguration, they were faced with challenges. Those empowered to minister had been rendered ineffective – some believe the other disciples may have been dealing with envy since they weren’t invited to the mountain. There were followers in need of healing. Take advantage of your mountaintops. Let them energize and empower you for the real work you will face as you descend.

God, Thank You for the spiritual mountaintops. I respectfully ask for more soon! While I want the intimacy with You, I also want that time to make me more effective for Your kingdom. Transfigure me! Amen

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Daily Dose 2-26-11

Mark 8:34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

The picture of Jesus carrying the cross through the streets is heartbreaking. The heavy instrument of torture that led to His horrific death would eventually be the symbol of His tremendous victory. We all have struggles. There are things we face that seem unfair. When we think about fairness…we should think about HIS cross. People He came to love and save, rejected and crucified Him. Whatever your cross may be, it cannot be tougher than His. Whenever you feel alone in your struggles, remember the cross. What is your cross? Is it struggling with a particular sin, financial or physical hardships, rejection and loneliness, or a rebellious spirit? Whatever it may be, Jesus expects us to be aware of it…know that it was intended by satan to harm or diminish our effectiveness; but, because of the victory Jesus had over His cross, we can also be conquerors. Pick up your cross, take it to Jesus, and allow Him to make you victorious! Then, your cross – and testimony of victory - can lead others to Him.

Precious Savior, I have no idea how You endured Your cross. The pain, humiliation, and grief You experienced was the epitome of unfair! May I always keep Your sacrifice forefront when I am tempted to whine or complain. Take my cross and turn it into Your victory! Amen

Friday, February 25, 2011

Daily Dose 2-25-11

Mark 7:6-8 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 
They worship me in vain; 
their teachings are merely human rules. You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

What do your actions say about your heart? Do you follow the letter of the law or the heart of the law? It is so easy for Christians to get caught up in “religion” and forget about righteousness. We live our lives sometimes as though we want to operate under a checklist yoke. Instead of changing our hearts to follow the actions of Christ, we place the human interpretations of Christ’s teachings at the center of our hearts. What spews forth can be a harsh, judgmental litany of rules and regulations that people must follow to follow Christ. Obedience should never get short changed; but a walk in life with the Savior is one that obeys from love, not because it’s required.

Father, Help my heart! Change it to be like Jesus. He came to free us from law keeping and shape our obedience through love. Reshape my heart to adjust my actions to follow Him. Amen

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Daily Dose 2-24-11

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

No matter how strong our faith, there are still challenges in life that bring anxiety and fear. God’s call is not to chastise us for not having enough faith; it is to encourage and remind us of His ever-faithful presence in our lives. It’s not always easy to do, but we must learn to pause in our struggle and completely turn it over to God in sacrifice. Somehow, we feel better about a situation when we can control the outcome. That is a direct manipulation from satan to keep us focused on circumstances instead of the One who controls the circumstances. Give your fears and concerns to the One who CAN bring control to chaos, life to loneliness, and victory to vulnerability.

Father, I am so naive to think that I can control situations, and prideful to think that I should! Forgive my worry and busyness – it is not from You. Let me rest in the comfort of Your embrace and the submission to Your control. Amen

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Daily Dose 2-23-11

Psalm 40:1-3 I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; 
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. 
Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.

What is your slimy pit, mud and mire? When David was writing this Psalm, he had endured many needs for physical rescue. Whether it was defending his sheep from wild animals as a young shepherd boy, or on the run from an angry king, David trusted God. However, someone who goes down in Biblical history as a man after God’s own heart, he was not most concerned with physical rescue. David pursed God with such passion, he was eager to be rescued from spiritual dangers. What is satan using to keep you trapped in muck and mire? Is it unforgiveness, debt, resentment, selfishness, or pride? One of the most effective mud pits satan throws us into is complacency - an apathetic, lackadaisical attitude about the things that break the heart of God. Are you there? Look at your pit, whatever it may be, and cry out to God for rescue!

Father, Too often I get comfortable rolling around in a pit of attitudes that break Your heart. Lift me up and place me on the rock of Your perspective. Give me Your eyes to see where You are working in my world – and the courage to join You!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Daily Dose 2-22-11

Mark 6:4-6 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

Perception can become reality. When Jesus met people throughout His ministry, He was able to heal diseases and raise people from the dead. Great multitudes followed Him and saw Him as a great teacher and healer, the Messiah. As a result, they experienced His healing power in their lives. Their perception of Him became reality. On the other hand, the hometown crowd of Jesus was tough. They could not get their perception of Him out of their heads – the carpenter’s son, “He played with my kids” – just an ordinary man. As a result, their reality with Him was ordinary. His ability to have a powerful impact on their lives was diminished. What is your perception of Jesus? Is His church a mere activity you have participated in since childhood? Does your relationship with Him consist of a few wrote prayers and only looking to Him in distress – has He become ordinary to You? If so, then His level of impact will only be ordinary in Your life. Change Your perception! Acknowledge the authority and power of Jesus Christ – let Him change your reality!

Powerful Savior, You are anything but ordinary! Please keep my perception of You real. Let me always see You as the One who changed my reality from lost alone and hopeless, to saved, cherished and healed. Amen

Monday, February 21, 2011

Daily Dose 2-21-11

Mark 5:30-34 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ” But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

Can Jesus feel your faith? The woman who had an issue of blood for 12 years was desperate for healing. She knew her only hope was Jesus. Despite the crowds and her “unclean” status, she pushed through in faith. She knew that even brief contact with Him would be worth the effort. How hard do you work to pursue Christ? We take our accessibility to Christ – and His power – for granted. We don’t need to push through crowds to get to Jesus. More than likely, it is our own busyness that stands in the way. Push through the crowded schedule of your life and reach out to Him in faithful prayer.

Powerful Savior, I desperately need You and the power faith in You can bring. I pray my outstretched faith will be strong enough for You to feel. Amen

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Daily Dose 2-20-11

Psalm 37:39-40 The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

Webster defines refuge as a shelter or protection from danger or distress; something to which one has recourse in difficulty. These are great descriptors of God’s desire to help us and comfort us when times are dark and scary in life. Webster also offers another definition as how to how we should proactively live with God - a place that provides shelter or protection. The first definition describes protection from something that is seen or known. The latter, just implies overall protection. It’s common for us to run to God when things are scary or tough. But, seeking refuge in God through a consistent love relationship with Him means you are asking and trusting God to protect you from things you may never see. When you live in constant refuge with God, you learn to accept His answers in life. When we pray so hard and with such great faith for a particular outcome that doesn’t go our way, we learn to accept the “no” as God’s hand of protection. Seek refuge in the security of God’s love in times of crisis; but also learn to live in the refuge of His loving protection every day.

Protecting Father, I know there are times You thwart a crisis in my life that I have no idea was a threat. Help me remember that when I ask for something and You say no. I want to live in Your refuge, Your timing and Your will. You are my stronghold…in crisis and in calm. Amen

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Daily Dose 2-19-11

Psalm 37:23-24 The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; 
though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

This scripture conjures up the image of a toddler learning to take his first steps. You can hear the giggles as the babe realizes a new independence. You can see the parents, overjoyed with progress, yet clearing obstacles out of his path. When a child is taking those first steps, his hands are usually in the air, balancing and pointed toward his goal. Along the journey, he may pause to prevent a fall. The parents quickly extend their hands to steady him for the next step. He is delighted to take his steps and celebrate in the arms of his parents. Our spiritual walk in this life should be similar to that toddler’s steps. God wants us to grow and become more independent. He wants us to accept the challenges each new step brings. He is overjoyed with our progress as He removes obstacles from our path. He steadies us with His hand as we stumble over temptations or hardships – or pause in fear. He longs for our delight as we walk toward Him with arms raised and joyful hearts. Celebrate new steps in your life today. Focus your walk toward the end goal of the LORD’s embrace. Know that whatever obstacle is in your path, your loving Father is eager to move it out of your way. Delight in Him with arms raised in praise, balancing your life for a walk with Him.

Father, Sometimes this life seems like a long journey with many obstacles along the way. In Your time of eternity, my path is comparable to a toddler’s walk from the sofa to his parents’ arms. Help me keep my balance. Remove the obstacles and keep my eyes focused on You. I long to celebrate in Your embrace. Amen

Friday, February 18, 2011

Daily Dose 2-18-11

Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

This is a popular scripture. We love to think of God granting every desire, want, and wish. While God does want to grant our desires, like any good parent, He will only grant what is best for us. The first part of this scripture determines the fulfillment of the last. If we truly take our delights in the LORD, our desires will be easier for our loving Father to fulfill. Delighting in the LORD is characterized by someone who is eager to be with the LORD through His Word, prayer and worship. Someone who delights in the LORD seeks ways to make Him proud. Delighting in the LORD leads to a love relationship with Him. That love relationship leads to a natural desire to want what He wants for you.

Loving Father, You know what’s best for me and how You can best use me for Your glory. Change my heart to seek the desires of Your heart. I adore You! Amen

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Daily Dose 2-17-11

Psalm 36:5-7 Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, LORD, preserve both people and animals. How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

We all talk about God’s love, but how often do we revel in it? The creator of the universe, the omnipotent God knows and adores each one of us individually and passionately. When we haven’t had a thought about Him, His mind and heart longs for us to look p. When we are trying to go it alone, He desperately wants to take us under His protective wings. How can people reject that kind of love? How can we who have accepted His love take it for granted? Pause in your day today and think about how much He really love you. Look up and praise Him for placing you at the top of His mind and the center of His heart.

Loving Father, I can’t fully comprehend Your love for me. Please help me feel Your love as passionately as You give it. May I never leave the protection of Your loving embrace. Amen

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Daily Dose 2-16-11

Mark 1:34 …and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

Timing is everything. In our fast-paced, get-what-we-want-now world, we are not accustomed to waiting. Yet, Jesus was able to hold back when He knew an avenue to spread word of His true identity sooner. It’s east to rationalize that having demons come out and proclaim Him as the Son of God would have gathered some followers. Why stop them? Why tell those who had been healed to remain silent? It makes no sense that Jesus was simply tired and needed a break. That was not His style. He was on a focused mission from God. If He was willing to face crucifixion, exhaustion should be a piece of cake. He knew timing was everything. He knew God had a plan and a way His identity would be revealed. He wasn’t into a fast-track system of getting things done His way. He wanted God’s way. Are You willing to wait for what God has in store? Or, do you try to push and maneuver God to fit His ways into your plan?

Patient Father, Give me the wisdom to truly understand Your timing is always best. Help me to live day-to- day in faith waiting for Your plans to be revealed. I know waiting does not mean stopping. Help me to listen to Your voice and stay close in Your Word as I carry on with Your commands and leadings each day. I trust Your timing over mine. Amen

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Daily Dose 2-15-11

Exodus 39:42-43 The Israelites had done all the work just as the LORD had commanded Moses. Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the LORD had commanded. So Moses blessed them.

The instructions God gave Moses for the construction of the tabernacle were pretty specific and intense. This, after all, would be the place where God would dwell near His people. It was built to host His presence, bring honor and glory to God, and make His glory known for all to see. He repeatedly assured Moses He had equipped people with the necessary skills to accomplish this great work. God hasn’t changed. He is still in the business of great plans that would bring others to Him. God could have miraculously made the tabernacle appear yet He chose to work through His people. His plans today still involve creating a place that would draw others to Him. Just as He did in the days of Moses, He still works through His people. He has equipped you with special gifts, talents and abilities. Are you building your part of the tabernacle? Are you using your abilities to draw people to the Glory of God? Never underestimate what God can do with you and through you. All He needs is your availability!

Father, Make me aware of what You want me to do to bring Your glory to others. May my life be the tabernacle, blessed and worthy for Your presence to dwell. Thank You for Your son who has purified me so that I can be used by You. Amen

Monday, February 14, 2011

Daily Dose 2-14-11

Psalm 34:17-18 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

As red paper hearts and boxes of heart-shaped candy are passed around today in joy, there are many who face the day alone. Some have lost the loves of their lives to the graves. Some have endured betrayal or rejection; others long for a love that is yet to come. Whether you celebrate today in ecstatic joy over love in your life, or face the day brokenhearted, remember there is an Ultimate Valentine who is desperately in love with you. He gave you love letters in scripture declaring His love and promises of His commitment to You. He gave the gift beyond value as He placed His son on a cross for you. As the red blood of His sacrifice rolled down that hill, His call to you is, “Be Mine.” Don’t let the day of great love go by without professing your love for the One who is absolutely crazy about you. If you have never known the love of Jesus, open your heart to Him today. He stands as a valentine that offers you more than chocolate candy. He offers the taste of abundant life on earth, and the promise of feasting at His table for eternity.

Loving Father, Thank You for the true love You bring to my life. Help me to model Your love to others so that they may open their hearts to receive the greatest Valentine ever…Your loving salvation. Amen

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Daily Dose 2-13-11

Matthew 27:50-52 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.

What if you had been one of those people raised from the dead as Jess took His last breath on the cross? What would you say to your family, friends…anyone you saw along the way? Don’t you think you would be so excited about an opportunity for new life that no one could contain your enthusiasm? Really, our new lives as Christians should be no different today than when those who had risen from the dead appeared to those whom they knew. The last breath of Jesus that raised them from their graves of dirt is the same sacrifice that raised us from our graves of sin. Remember as you go out today that you have new life. Life is a gift to be shared. This new life is one that comes with an extended warranty! Once our physical bodies are worn out, our lives can go on for eternity in the presence of God Almighty! Share that good news with those around you so they may also live in new life and have the promise of life eternal!

Father, Thank you so much for the sacrifice of Your Son. I can’t imagine in full depth what He went through for me. Keep that sacrifice always on my mind and in my heart. Give me courage to share the good news so that lost souls You love may be raised to new life. Amen

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Daily Dose 2-12-11

Exodus 34:29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD.

Can you imagine what it would be like to be in the physical presence of God like Moses? Moses was so eager to share with the people what God had said, that he didn’t realize how he had been changed in God’s presence. We may not be able to physically meet the LORD on a mountain today, but there is nothing that should stop us from being in His presence spiritually each day. Wake every morning with a sense of wonder of what God may have to say. Ask Him to meet you through His Word. Invite the Holy Spirit to guide you to God’s mountain for you that day. Spending time in His presence WILL leave its mark on you! Soak yourself in His word and communicate – that means listening too – with Him in prayer. Over time, your life will radiate the glory of God.

Radiant God, May I be so eager and focused to spend time with You that I am unaware of the gradual change You make in me. May I unveil Your Glory to those I meet each day to share the wonder of Your powerful, redeeming love. Amen

Friday, February 11, 2011

Daily Dose 2-11-11

Exodus 32:2-4 Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”

There are several lessons we can learn from this story of God’s people. First, we are not patient with God. Instead of waiting on His timing we like to take matters into our own hands…and sometimes worship the result. Is there anything you have taken control of in your life that you now worship the result? Second, we are created to worship. When we take our eyes off of worship to the only One worthy of praise, we worship others – work, possessions, relationships, sports teams…what do you worship? Third, we all have gifts given to us by God for His work – how do we use them? As God was giving Moses instructions on how to build the ark and the tabernacle, He repeatedly said to Moses there were people He had given skills to use for these purposes. In this scripture, we read some of those skills were used to “fashion” this calf to worship. How do you use the gifts and talents God has given you?

Holy One, You are the only One worthy of my worship. Forgive me for the golden calves I have fashioned and tend to bow down to. Help me keep my eyes focused on You and for You. May I use the gifts You have bestowed for Your glory. Amen

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Daily Dose 2-10-11

Psalm 32:7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

This scripture is a beautiful picture of God’s unfailing love. Prior to this verse, David had talked about confession and how God forgave his sins. He knew that God’s love was greater than any sin he could commit, but in order to receive that shelter, confession was necessary. Maybe we don’t feel comfortable and secure in God’s forgiveness because we aren’t completely honest with Him in confession. If it weren’t so sad, it would be humorous. The thought of us “hiding” our sin from God is inconceivable, yet we do it all the time. Maybe it’s pride that prevents us from complete confession. Maybe we don’t want to admit to ourselves the sins that we commit; much less take them to God. That is a great tool for satan to se to minimize our relationship with the Almighty. Guilt creates a barrier that limits the warmth of God’s embrace. Stop trying to hide sin from yourself and most importantly to God. Confess boldly to Him and allow His loving forgiveness to break the guilt barrier and hold You tightly in His redemptive, protective embrace.

Father, I am so naive to think I can hide or minimize sin in my life. You see my heart and my actions and know each shortcoming in detail – yet You love me anyway! I am so humbled to know that despite all You know about me, You are eager and waiting for me to uncover my full self to You so that You can fully redeem and protect me. I love You. Amen

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Daily Dose 2-9-11

Matthew 26:14-16 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
What could have happened to make Judas betray Jesus? We look at his situation in disbelief – and some disgust. We quickly judge Judas and wonder how he could have sold out his savior for such a small amount. Our actions today may not have us receive a pay off to put Jesus on the cross, but face it – sin is sin. The more subtle betrayal we portray when we allow sin to rule in our hearts, or refuse to obey when we know God is calling us to action, drove the nails in His hands just as much as the betrayal for thirty pieces of silver. What is it that the world or your own selfish desires offer you that make you willing to put Him on the cross?
Precious Savior, I may not be willing to take a bribe to disown you, but I know that sin in my life put you on the cross just as much as Judas’ pay off did. Please help me visualize that exchange whenever I am tempted or allow life to get ahead of You in my priorities. Thank You for loving Judas as You went to the cross for him – and me. Amen

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Daily Dose 2-8-11

Proverbs 8:12-13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.

Have we as Christians become so desensitized to evil that we have become tolerant? Have we gone from hating evil to ignoring it – then from ignoring it to accepting it? An old analogy explains how to cook a live frog. If you place in live frog in a pot of boiling water, it will jump out to its freedom. If you place a live frog in warm water, it becomes comfortable and will stay. As the heat is gradually increased, the frog eventually meets his demise in the pot where he once became comfortable. This same concept is a tool satan uses to desensitize Christians from evil. We have become tolerant, sometimes even comfortable in the warm pot of evil. We no longer recognize the peril we face in compromising our values, character and Godly convictions. We have become so focused on being politically correct that we no longer give the Holy Spirit authority to make us spiritually correct. Open your eyes and ears to the evil around you. Make at least one small stand a day – even if it is as simple as turning off the television. Lift your arm out of the comfortable, warm pot of evil and ask God to rescue you from its gradual influence on your life. One less Christian in satan’s evil pot is one more out to warn others of its danger!

My Rescuer, Please forgive my acceptance of things that break Your heart. Forgive my willingness to be influenced by things that Your Word warns me against. Soften my heart again to evil, and give me the courage to jump out of its peril. Amen

Monday, February 7, 2011

Daily Dose 2-7-11

Proverbs 8:10-11 Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.
This section of Proverbs is called “Wisdom’s Call.” We read in scripture where God promises wisdom to those who ask. This is a beautiful picture of wisdom pursuing us. The image is almost like wisdom saying, “Pick me!” There are many requests we make of God to rectify situations or improve circumstances. Often things we are requesting may have already been taken care of it we had approached them with Godly wisdom in the first place. Try a new prayer request. Instead of asking God to intervene in a situation, ask Him to supply you with His wisdom for that purpose. In those moments when you know what to do, your faith will be increased and you can share the Glory of God in praising Him to others.
All Wise Father, So often I want You to fix things when You want to strengthen my faith by giving me Your wisdom to handle my circumstances. Give me Your wisdom to prevent future challenges and fix current situations. Reveal to me – and make it very clear through Your Word – to discern between Your wisdom and being wise in my own eyes. Amen

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Daily Dose 2-6-11

Psalm 30:11-12 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise you forever.

God’s desire is for His people to be overcomers. Too often, we are so engrossed in our heartache or challenges that we fail to look to the One who cold change the circumstances. God wants us to be in such a close relationship with Him that we immediately go to Him and turn our broken hearts and weary souls in to Him. In exchange, He WILL help us overcome! He never promised that we would have a life free of struggles, but He does promise peace and perspective. If you feel like your wailing will never turn to dancing, give the situation COMPLETELY to Him in unbridled praise. Don’t hold back a sliver of the problem – visualize yourself packing it all up and putting it at His feet. When your hands are free from carrying burdens alone, they can be raised in praise – that’s when perspective can change!

Holy Father, I praise You for taking my burdens and replacing my perspective! You are my strength, my rescuer and my encourager. I praise You for the past struggles You helped me overcome. I praise You in the midst of current concerns; and I praise You in advance for Your Hand remaining with me. I do not deserve Your love and provision. Thank You for the sacrifice of Jesus that allows me to stand before You – pure, redeemed and ready for blessing! Amen

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Daily Dose 2-5-11

Psalm 29:11 The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.

Peace seems to be an elusive commodity in our society. We are focused on getting more, doing more, and gaining more success. All this focus leads us to continually want more. There is certainly nothing wrong with setting goals and working hard to achieve them. The problem comes when we leave the LORD out of the process. We tend to either prioritize the work or obsession above the LORD; or we forget He is the One to be praised in the victories. Those who are not workaholics may think this does not apply, but anything or anyone placed in a higher priority than the LORD in our lives will leave us feeling empty and void of God’s peace – the peace that passes all understanding. What do you place above the LORD? Work? Family? Friends? Relationships – or the lack of them? Entertainment? Know that true peace comes from an intimate relationship with God and placing that above everything else. Be one of “God’s people” and receive the blessing of His peace.

LORD of Peace, Please help me stay focused on You in this distracting world. May I be so intent on gaining more of You that I have the peace to accomplish the work that You have for me to do. Amen

Friday, February 4, 2011

Daily Dose 2-4-11

Psalm 28:6-7 Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.

What is your heart song? With David, his heart was always pursuing God. His heart was broken when he sinned, overjoyed in praise with victory and comforted in fear. Athletes train to get their hearts in condition to maximize each work out to the fullest and run their races with endurance. How are you training your heart for life? If David were here to do a seminar on how to capture the heart of God, his first lesson would more than likely be -PRAISE! Tune your heart to develop your own personal composition to God…no matter what your circumstances may be.

Father, I am so humbled to think of You desiring my pursuit of Your heart. I praise You for hearing my cries for mercy and Your constant and unconditional love. May I tune my heart daily to praise You – my strength and my salvation. Amen

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Daily Dose 2-3-11

Exodus 17:10-13 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

God can quite easily accomplish any task He chooses to do alone. He doesn’t NEED our help. The beauty of God’s love is shown when He chooses to accomplish His work WITH us and THROUGH us. At some point, we will all be in similar roles described in this scripture. Sometimes, we are called to be Moses and serve as the leader, encourager or prayer warrior. Other times, we will be like Aaron and Hur, supporting and serving leaders to carry out God’s will. Then, there will be days we are Joshua, fighting in the trenches. Our battles are tough and they seem impossible. We may not “see” God or the ones He has chosen to assist us, but we know when the power of God is shown. Where are you? Do you think your role of supporting leaders is insignificant? Think of Aaron and Hur! Are you a leader feeling weary and tired? Call on Godly people to help! Are you in the trenches feeling embattled and alone? Look to spiritual leaders to lift their arms for you! God doesn’t call us to fight our battles alone!

Father, Thank you for the leaders and prayer warriors You have placed in my life through the years. May I always be open and eager to serve in any role You ask of me to accomplish Your will. Amen

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Daily Dose 2-2-11

Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? 
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?

Sometimes life can be a little scary. We may not be hiding in caves from an angry king trying to kill us like David was, but we still experience fear. For some it may be financial fears in this tough economy. Others may have health issues that threaten to end or diminish life. There are others still that are plagued by the fear of loneliness when relationships have ended or changed. Whatever fear may be trying to grip you, know the heavenly God of the universe is keenly aware. He is your source of light on dark days. His salvation brings hope where there is despair. His strength and power is holding you up when you may feel like you can’t go on. Stand up against fear and walk on in faith with the confidence God intends for you to have as His child!

My Stronghold, When fear and anxiety begins to creep in my life, help me stand firm. Keep me focused on you and in Your Word so I may always have Your light when darkness looms. Amen

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Daily Dose 2-1-11

Exodus 13:19-20 Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel.

Sometimes, we see the cloud of God’s protection clearly. Our faith is strong and we look forward knowing God will guide us through difficult challenges. Other times, we are confused. We feel as though we are following what God told us to do; yet we still seem to be wandering in the desert. We may wonder if God has left us; question why He is no longer guiding. It’s at that point that we need to stand firm and get ready to move! At times, God moves from leader – because He’s already told us what to do – to protector, guarding our backs as enemies or naysayers nip at our heels – or the temptations are great to go back to the bondage of sin. What mission does God have you on for Him? What Red Sea does He want you to cross? Move on…He’s got your back!

Protective Father, Thank You for the many times I have seen Your guidance and protection. Help me to use past experiences and examples in scripture to KNOW that You’re still guiding and protecting through challenges – especially when the mission is for You. Give me courage to walk through! Amen