Monday, January 31, 2011

Daily Dose 1-31-11

Exodus 13:14 “In days to come, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ say to him, ‘With a mighty hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery…”

We are no longer burdened with the law keeping of feasts and animal sacrifices. However, with that freedom, we may have lost the purpose behind them. Whenever God established a feast, its purposes were two-fold. First and foremost it is an act of praise and thanksgiving to God for His provision. Secondly, it is a way to pass our faith in God through the generations. The stories of God’s faithfulness are vital in the lineage of a family. So many are focused on genealogy right now and tracing family roots. If families operated as God intended, the research would be easy. The stories would be handed down generation to generation. More importantly than who was born to which branch of the family when, descendants would recount how the LORD God Almighty provided, sustained and strengthened the family tree. What stories are you sharing now for generations to come to follow the trail of God’s faithfulness?

Father of All, May I never forget how Your Hand of protection and provision has been upon me and my family. May I always recount Your faithfulness in praise and as a tool for other generations to know Your love and power is real. Amen

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Daily Dose 1-30-11

Psalm 25:14-15 The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. 
My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare.

Oh to be so close to hear the secrets and musings of the heart of God! This Psalm of David paints a beautiful picture of the intimacy God desires with us. Think of the relationships where you trust enough to confide. You are vulnerable, open and willing to share all of yourself. You turn to them first in crisis and in joy, as well as the day-today happenings. Those relationships aren’t formed overnight. They are often tested and change when true intimacy is not found. Through David’s Psalm, God is telling us He wants to be so much closer to us. He wants to reveal His heart to us. What is the snare we must be released from? Maybe it is putting people and earthly relationships before Him. Maybe, it is the pride we have in assuming we know what is best. Instead of the healthy fear of the LORD and taking situations to Him, we spin in circles trying to fix them on our own. All the while, the Holy God of the Universe is waiting to whisper in our ears!

Holy God, May you always be my most intimate friend. I want to be close enough to You to hear the musings of Your heart. Rescue me from the snare of self! I adore You! Amen

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Daily Dose 1-29-11

Matthew 13:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

When Jesus said these words it was following the rich man’s sadness at being asked to give up his wealth and give to the poor. Jesus shared with his disciples how challenging it is for the rich to enter the kingdom. Out of context, this verse is a great motivation to put your trust in God to achieve lofty goals and overcome obstacles. It is true and a very good thing. Within the context, this is a call for prioritizing our trust. The rich man was “faithful” and looked really good on the outside – as if he loved and trusted God. But Jesus saw his heart. Jesus knew the man loved his possessions and trusted in his wealth – those he could not give up. What is it that you really love more than God – possessions, family, friends? What is it that you rely on before you look to God? Is it your job and work ethic that you think provides for you? Examine your heart and give it ALL to God. What seems impossible will be made possible when filtered through His loving hands.

Father, I do love You and want to follow You. Show me today what stands in the way of my heart being fully Yours. May I give it to You in joy and not walk away saddened by the call to prioritize and sacrifice. Amen

Friday, January 28, 2011

Daily Dose 1-28-11

Psalm 23:1-6 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 
He makes me lie down in green pastures, 
he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. 
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
 I will fear no evil, for you are with me; 
your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. 
You anoint my head with oil; 
my cup overflows. 
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, 
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD 

Committing scripture to memory is a wonderful thing. It allows you to tuck meaningful promises, guidance and comfort away in your heart to bring up when you are tempted to be overcome by fear or despair. Most Christians can quote the 23rd Psalm. With good reason, it is one of the most popular passages in the Bible. Whether you know this scripture by heart or not - read it like you are reading it for the first time. Meditate on the beautiful imagery an let the God of all comfort refresh your soul!

Father, I look forward to the day I will live in Your house forever. But for now, there are valleys and paths I must walk . Thank You for the green pastures of Your peace and the still waters of Your Word. May I never take them for granted and call upon them every day to refresh my soul for better service for You. Amen

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Daily Dose 1-27-11

Matthew 18:4b-5 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

When you look at the life of a child, you can see the type of trusting faith Christ desires for us. Children rely upon adults for their protection and provision. When they are hurt, they run to their parents for comfort. They laugh and jump into the arms of loving adults. When they are afraid, they come to their parents for assurance. Little children believe what they are told without over-analyzing every word. Does that describe your faith? Do you seek God in your hurt and fears? Do you run to Him in loving praise? Do you believe His promises?

Loving Father, I am Your child. You look upon me with love and Your desire is for me to be close to You and love You. Too often, I feel the need to “grow up” and do it on my own, in areas where You say, “I’ve got this one for you.” Help me to trust more and worry less – praise more and fret less. You are MY Father. I am Your child. I believe You! Amen

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Daily Dose 1-26-11

Exodus 2:14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

We are all on a journey of learning more about God and who He is. The fear Moses experienced at the burning bush must have been great. To hear the voice of God from the bush was enough; but to be given such a huge assignment was unbelievable. How could God use Moses, an orphan, a murderer, and exile on the run? The answer was simple, “I am.” God intended to use a man whose heart was passionate for God and His people. He had weaknesses and disadvantages, but it didn’t matter because God pledged His support and assistance. Is God calling you to a mission you don’t think you are capable of accomplishing? The truth is, you probably can’t – but with I AM in you – all things are possible.

Great I AM, So often I am full of “I can’t” and worries of failing or disappointing You or others. Help me remember that when I can’t, I AM in me can! Empower me through Your Spirit to do what You would have me to do. No assignment from You is too small or too great.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Daily Dose 1-25-11

Genesis 50:19-21 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

TRUE forgiveness is a tough thing. We look at the forgiveness Jesus offered and are amazed and as Christian seek to emulate that behavior. However, when our level of pure, complete forgiveness doesn’t measure up, it’s easy to say, “I’m not Jesus.” God gives us pictures of other people in the Bible to serve as examples as well. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery. They tortured their father with grief making him believe Joseph was dead. Once Jacob was dead, the brothers feared Joseph would do what common sense would tell him to do and have the brothers imprisoned or killed. But Joseph knew that was not God’s plan. He forgave. He provided for all their needs – and the last is a kicker – he spoke kindly to them. THAT is complete, true forgiveness. If we can deal with kindness those who have wronged us, we can experience more of God’s blessings.

Father, It’s easy to say I forgive. Let my actions speak louder than my words. May I deal with kindness to those who common sense tells me do not deserve my kindness. I certainly do not deserve the kindness You and Your son have afforded me. Thank You! Amen

Monday, January 24, 2011

Daily Dose 1-24-11

Proverbs 4:20-27 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. 
Keep your mouth free of perversity keep corrupt talk far from your lips. 
Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. 
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.

Proverbs is a manual for living out a Godly life. Wisdom is a trait we should all beg for, just as King Solomon did. This particular scripture again focuses on the heart as the source of who we are and how we act and react in situations. God knows that it is best for us to live intentional lives for Him. When we are focused on His plan and His will, we will not stray; we will not fall. It is when we are distracted by the choices and demands of life that our paths become cluttered and complicated. Focus on the eyes of Jesus to maintain the compass for your life. He will help you manage the potholes and difficult trails on life’s journey!

Dear God of All Wisdom, Give me Your wisdom! Soften my heart to do Your will so that my journey in life will be a direct path to Your heart. Fix my yes upon Jesus and shield them form the distractions that pop along the way. I love that You will not ever let me walk alone! Amen

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Daily Dose 1-23-11

Psalm 19:14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart 
be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Maybe David was considered the Man After God’s Own Heart because he was so concerned about the condition of his own heart. We read studies and follow guidelines for heart healthy lifestyles for our physical hearts; but what do we do to keep our spiritual hearts in condition? Praying for protection is a first step. Ask God to soften, prick and strengthen your heart to remain molded to His will. Second, spend time feasting on God’s word…no calories there! Meditate on its laws and commands. Stand on the promises; and revel with joy at the unconditional love and salvation provided by our Holy God and His sacrificial son. Third, have a daily check-up to test the condition of your heart by listening to the words that come from it. Are they words of encouragement, blessing and peace to those around you? Do you deal with others with kindness and respect? As with any ailment, early detection is always best for a cure!

Father, Provide the therapy my heart needs to be in its best condition for You. Massage the hardened areas that prevent the growth of the Fruit of Your Spirit. Protect my heart from bitterness and fill it with Your joy! Amen

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Daily Dose 1-22-11

Matthew 14:28-31 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
Peter always gets the bad rap on this one, doesn’t he? Everyone remembers that he focused on the wind instead of Jesus and began to sink. Some may read frustration in Jesus’ tone when He questioned Peter about his doubt. However, it seems more likely Jesus was thrilled that Peter got out of the boat and tried. He invested a great deal of effort to growing the faith of these men. To have one step out in faith with courage was rewarding. The tone was probably more of a disappointment FOR Peter not disappointed IN Peter. He was sad that he didn’t continue the experience. What is it Jesus has asked you to get out of the boat and do with Him? If you feel the winds of fear blowing, focus on the eyes of Jesus, not the eye of the storm!

Father, Jesus wants me to be bold in my faith. I want to be bolder, but over-thinking and fears distract me. Keep my eyes focused on Jesus and keep me walking with Him! Amen

Friday, January 21, 2011

Daily Dose 1-21-11

Psalm 18:35-36 You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great. You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way.

The picture brought to mind by this scripture is one of a hiking guide leading someone up a treacherous path. The guide is keenly aware of the dangers on the journey. He shields his walker from falling debris. He holds the hand and walks backward, clearing the path before the walker takes a step. That hiking guide for us is Jesus. His sacrifice shields us from the sins that would cause eternal death. He holds us up and clears the path for our safety. He doesn’t promise the hike of life will be an easy one, but with our eyes fixed on Him, our walk is secure.

Dear Jesus, Thank You that I am not walking this path of life alone. Even though there are times when the incline is steep and the path is rough, You sustain and strengthen me. Holding Your hand, I know that when I trip, You will steady my feet and be my support to walk again. I pray for those who do not have You walking with them. May they take Your hand and find the joy and comfort of Your strengthening guidance. Amen

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Daily Dose 1-20-11

Psalm 18:1-2 I love you, LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 18 is a major thank you note from David to God after he had been rescued from the heavy pursuit of King Saul. David doesn’t offer a polite thank you and move on. He showers God with love, adoration and acknowledges Him as his source of strength. One can assume he did not have his head quietly bowed as he whispered his praise. More than likely, he was talking with his hands and acting out God’s might with gestures of strength. Oh to have been an angel on the shoulder of God as He listened in on this praise from His child!

Father, Unleash my inhibitions and allow me to REALLY thank you. May I learn to praise with the enthusiasm of David. Take my heart to a new level of praise so that my unbridled gratitude may make Your heart glad and bring a smile upon Your face. Amen

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Daily Dose 1-19-11

Genesis 41:15-16 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”

It could have been easy for Joseph to be down and discouraged and think God had deserted him. Not only had his brothers sold him into slavery, he was also falsely accused by his master’s wife and imprisoned. He had a track record for accurately predicting dreams. He could have interpreted and received the glory for himself. However, Joseph knew that no matter how difficult his life may have seemed, God had His Hand over him. He quickly knew to whom all credit should be given. He humbly set self aside and gave God the glory.

Father, Even though life is not always what I want it to be or think it should be, I know You are with me. Thank You for Your blessings and Hand of protection. May I always be quick to use gifts You have bestowed for Your glory. Amen

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Daily Dose 1-18-11

Psalm 16:7-8 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

In the midst of fear, in the heated flee from his enemies - or when times were good - David knew where his focus should be. He kept his eyes on the LORD. David was not a perfect man – he had some major blunders in his walk with God. But, no matter what, David’s heart was focused in praise and quick to repent when he did wrong. He stood firm in the LORD, knowing God would guide his steps. Are you a little shaky in life’s walk? Have you had some rough roads to travel? Turn your eyes to the ONE who can steady your steps and walk you through. Let your last thoughts at night be words of thanksgiving and praise; and open your eyes each morning with hope. Know that no matter what challenges you face – there is a nail-scarred hand holding yours as you journey through the hills and valleys of life.

Dear Jesus, David had a great relationship with God that I desire. However, I have more than David did – I have You as the One to lead me to the heart of the Father! Thank You for making me pure and holy in His eyes, so that my eyes can confidently look to Him for strength. Steady my walk in this life. Thank You for taking my right hand in Yours. May I never let go! Amen

Monday, January 17, 2011

Daily Dose 1-17-11

Genesis 35:7b, 10 There he built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel, because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother…God said to him, “Your name is Jacob,, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel.” So he named him Israel.

The story of Jacob is intriguing. Some of his actions we read about in scripture, like the deceiving his brother Esau, cause us to pause and wonder why God chose him to be the one through which God’s people would be blessed. The one common motive that can be observed about Jacob was his desire for God’s blessing – not for selfish gain – but because he loved God so much. God seemed to love Jacob’s pursuit and continued to bless him. However, God did not change his name to solidify the promise to Abraham through him until Jacob had been reconciled to Esau. Could that be an early scriptural lesson in unity? What blessing does God want to pour out on you or your church, but He waits for reconciliation?

Father, I want your blessing for our church, our community, and me. Guide me and others you love toward the reconciliation You desire. Mend broken relationships and heal wounded hearts. Amen

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Daily Dose 1-16-11

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

The words in red are always special in scripture. If you are trying to follow Christ, the words spoken directly by Him have great insight. Sometimes He spoke in parables with a need to interpret and find understanding. Other times, like in this scripture, He speaks plainly. How many of us have weary souls from fighting the battles of life? Jesus wants us to turn to Him. He longs to comfort, support and strengthen us. His “yoke,” or what binds us to Him in service, is His teaching from scripture and living before others with a humble and gentle heart. Go to Him for comfort and strength. Be replenished and rest in His words. Then, take His yoke upon you and with a humble and gentle heart give His rest to other weary souls.

Loving Savor, Lord, You must have been exhausted when You spoke those words! I am often tired from struggles in this life, but Your words give me comfort and rest. Please soften my heart to be humble and gentle like Yours. Allow me to be so yoked in service with You that I will see the needs of others. Give me Your desire to comfort and replenish others instead of seeking just my rest. It is then that You give rest to my soul! Amen

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Daily Dose 1-15-11

Psalm 13:5-6 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the LORD’s praise, for He has been good to me.

Prior to this part of David’s psalm, he was crying out to the LORD in fear and sorrow. Life was tough and he felt like God had forgotten Him. Are you there? Are you weary and afraid in the midst of life’s challenges? Be encouraged to know that even David – a man after God’s own heart – felt the same way at times! The true test of our faith and whether or not we are in pursuit of God is if we can praise Him in the midst of His silence. If you feel alone, afraid, full of sorrow – or just plain tired – lift your face and praise! A heart loving God always reaches our loving God!

Father, Forgive me for thinking You have turned away at times. I know Your love is constant and abiding, no matter how little I deserve it! Prick my heart to praise instead of pout! Amen

Friday, January 14, 2011

Daily Dose 1-14-11

Matthew 10:16-17a “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard…”

When Jesus spoke, He was never thinking just of that moment or just those He was addressing…He spoke for ALL to hear. The apostles were entering communities where people knew about a Messiah to come. They had an image of what he would look like, and it didn’t look like Jesus – there was sure to be resistance. Jesus warned them – as He does us – to be on guard. He was concerned for their safety, but He was also concerned about their mission. In order to be effective messengers of the Messiah, they had to be wise to the ways of the world and respond appropriately. Our situation is different. The early Jews had envisioned a powerful, political figure as their Messiah. In our circles today, most people see Jesus as loving kindness, gentle and wise, willing to help or serve. Every day we move through different communities of people through work, school, associations or just those we bump into in everyday occurrences. Why do many people resist or reject Jesus today? They have an image of what He should look like and how He would react. When they see people around them who profess to be Christians, yet act no differently than others, they choose to remain without Jesus. When people see you, do they see their “vision” of Jesus?

Father, Help me today to have open eyes for opportunities to share my faith with Your lost ones. Give me wisdom to avoid any snares satan may put in my way. Help me respond in gentleness to any challenges so that others may be drawn to Jesus through me. Amen

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Daily Dose 1-13-11

Genesis 29:35 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the LORD.” So she named him Judah.

Poor Leah! The story of the less attractive, older sister whose father deceived Jacob to get him to marry her seems disturbing. All she wanted was to be loved by her husband. She had three sons, hoping each would be the key to unlock Jacob’s affections. At the birth of her fourth, she did something different, she praised God in the acceptance of her rejection and moved on. Through that action, she produced the lineage of Jesus, the savior of the world! Have you ever worked so hard to gain the affection of others that you miss the big picture of how much you are TRULY loved! Stop living in rejection! Realize that some people will care about you, others won’t. Your job is to love no matter what. Love others with the acceptance you have received by God through Christ. Who knows what God may have in store for you once you decide to move on!

Accepting, Loving Father, Too often I spin my wheels seeking love and acceptance from others when my goal should be to live out YOUR love and acceptance for me and others. Take my focus away from what I want and mold my heart to be what you need. Amen

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Daily Dose 1-12-11

Proverbs 3:9-10 Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.

In tough economic times, it is easy to slack off on our offerings to the lord. Some may read this scripture and see giving from wealth and interpret that to mean, “If I were wealthy, I would give more.” However, the next part of the scripture shows that we give from firstfruits…straight from the top. When we learn to put God and His work first in our lives – and in our budgets – everything else will fall into place. Resolve in this new year to develop a new budget. Make the first line item GOD.

God, You are my Provider. Please help me to stay focused on You first and remain faithful that You will provide all that I need – just as you always have. Help me adjust my desires to the desires that bring You honor. Amen

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Daily Dose 1-11-11

Matthew 8:23-27 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

It is easy for us to look at the apostles in that boat and be completely dismayed by their lack of faith. How could they be worried? They had Jesus – with skin on – in the boat with them! They witnesses first-hand His miracles. Why worry? We are no different. When the storms of life rock our boat, we feel as if Jesus is asleep at the helm. Even though we may not see Him with skin on in our boat, know that He said the One – the Holy Spirit - who would come to us after His death would be better for us (John 16:1-11). Just as the apostles in the boat, we have a choice. Will we cry out in fear when our storms hit, or will we confidently go to the source of our strength and comfort and ride out the waves in faith?

God, my Protector, You have sent Your Holy Spirit to live within me as a constant reminder of your love and protection. Calm the storms in my heart and strengthen my faith! Amen

Monday, January 10, 2011

Daily Dose 1-10-11

Proverbs 3:3-6 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart 
and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

What does it look like to have love and faithfulness bound around your neck and written on the tablet of your heart? The analogy probably goes back to the way slaves or cattle were bound to their masters in chains. If Christ is our master, we are bound to His ministry of love. Could it be that when His love is bound so tightly, there is no opportunity for bitterness and hate to penetrate? It’s interesting the source of binding - the neck - lies between the head and the heart. Our mind can quickly affect what comes into our hearts. What Christ desires, is for us to subject our hearts to Him. Then, the flow will be reversed. Our hearts, bound to Christ, will change our thoughts. When our thoughts become engrained with hearts chained to His, our actions become motivated by love.

Loving Father, I try so hard to figure things out with my head. Your desire is for me to purify my heart and allow your love to figure it out for me. Bind me today! Amen

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Daily Dose 1-9-11

Matthew 7:17-20 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

What if we could physically see fruit when we look at one another? What would people see when they see you? Would there be a reason people would be drawn to you? Would they see sweet fruit full of life-giving nourishment? When they come close and share what your life has to offer, would they taste the loving kindness of the Savior? Would they be drawn to fruit that looks beautiful on the outside, but is filled with bitterness, selfishness, unforgiveness, dishonesty or pride? It is important to use the Word of God and quiet time in prayer to give the Holy Spirit permission to let us see our own fruit in private. When we taste what we are bearing, we may want to do some pruning.

Father, I stand before you open and willing to have You inspect my fruit. Prune from me the branches that produce bad fruit. Allow my life to be one that brings Your nourishment to others. Forgive me for watering bad seeds that yield bad fruit. Be my gardener. Love and tend to my heart so that others my see Your fruit in me. Amen

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Daily Dose 1-8-11

Proverbs 2:6-8 For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 
He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.

We all want success, especially if it is “our” definition of success. We all want protection and guidance. But often we only seek protection and guidance from and through situations of which we are aware. Do we consider the protection and guidance God is giving us through our unknowns? If you read promises from God for success, yet have not attained specific goals by which you measure success, does that mean God has let you down? There are two ways to look at this scripture. First, review your life against what is expected to receive those promises – upright, blameless, just and faithful. God knows we will never maintain perfection. He does not expect it. He does however expect us to walk honestly with Him in a spirit of humility and seeking His will at all times. If you are doing your best in those areas and in that relationship with Him, maybe your definition of success is not God’s definition of your success. What you see as failure to achieve may be God’s protection and guidance over an unknown situation your “success” may bring. Seek God’s will and He will grant you His view of your success.

Dear Holy One, Please help me remember the only job that will determine my success is to walk humbly and obediently with You. I love You and stand on Your promises. Amen

Friday, January 7, 2011

Daily Dose 1-7-11

Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Forgiveness is what we need the most from God, yet what seems to be the hardest to give to others. It’s always easier to forgive those who come to you with a repentant heart - but what about those who don’t seem to notice or care that they have hurt you? How do you forgive and move on? The need for God’s forgiveness is greater when you struggle to forgive others than any sin you can commit. Christ tells us our lack of forgiveness stops God’s flow of mercy to us. You must begin to visualize the bitterness you feel toward others being projected by God onto you.

Abba Father, Help me. I need Your heart and eyes to forgive others and see them through Your loving eyes. I can’t bear to think of my unforgiveness separating me from Your mercy and grace. Forgive me. Help my heart heal and flow Your forgiveness to others – even when they don’t seem to care. Amen

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Daily Dose 1-6-11

Genesis 15:1 …“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”

God has not preserved the scriptures all these years simply as a historical document. We are to use the examples we read in scripture to build our own faith and see how God wants to develop a relationship with us. Abram, later known as Abraham, was not a perfect man. He was not some mythical being with great powers…he was just a man. However, he loved God, walked faithfully with Him, and was known as God’s friend. If you are embarking on a new adventure with the LORD, know that He will be there to protect you and revel in your success – just as He did with Abram.

God of Abraham, I know that I have the potential to be called your friend. Please shape my eyes and form my heart to begin to see myself as You would have me to be. I know Your plans for me are greater than I can imagine. Allow me to see a glimpse and guide my steps. Thank You for being my shield. No matter what comes, I know You are and always will be my greatest reward. Amen.

Daily Dose 1-5-11

Matthew 4:18-20 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

Jesus asked, they responded AT ONCE. Those two words are powerful. At once means they didn’t go around to friends and family seeking input and counsel. They didn’t explain to Him why the sacrifice could not be made at this time. They didn’t procrastinate. They dropped nets and followed. While seeking counsel is not a bad thing (many times that’s how we receive confirmation), there are times that we KNOW what Jesus is asking or requires of us. It is then we should respond – AT ONCE.

Jesus, Please forgive me when I procrastinate and doubt. Work on my heart so that my relationship with You is so close that I KNOW without reservation what You are asking. Give me a strong desire and courage to respond AT ONCE every day as I drop my nets for You. Amen

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Daily Dose 1-4-11

Genesis 3:13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The heart of God must have broken that day in the Garden of Eden. Those He created, loved, cherished, and enjoyed a sweet relationship with had lost their innocence. They chose rebellion over relationship. Their actions not only affected their relationship with God, generations through the course of time would never experience that same level of intimacy with Him. Through God’s grace and the willingness of Jesus to make the sacrifice, we can choose relationship over rebellion. That choice daily restores our innocence before the Father so we may once again walk in the garden with Him.

All Loving Father, I am so humbled that what You desire most is an honest relationship with me. May I allow Your Spirit to guide my heart to choose relationship with You over rebellion in all my actions. Amen

Monday, January 3, 2011

Daily Dose 1-3-11

Matthew 5:23-25a Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Settle matters quickly…

God is serious about reconciliation. He created us for worship. As much as He loves our gestures to worship and praise Him, it means nothing if we have discord with another of His children. Division, especially among God’s people, is a valuable tool for satan. Don’t allow him to use it on you!

God, You are so passionate about reconciliation that You sent Your son to die a cruel death so I may be reconciled to You. Show me what sacrifice You would have me make to be reconciled to others so I may offer a pure sacrifice to You. Amen.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Daily Dose 1-2-11

Genesis 6:22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

God has not stopped commanding and guiding His people to do great things. He may not be asking you to construct an ark of gopher wood, but what is He asking you to do? What burdens have been heavy on your heart? What characters in the Bible jump off the page to inspire you? Open your eyes to the world around you. There may not be a flood coming to destroy the earth, but there is one who is seeking lives to destroy. Join God in His work to lift up the broken-hearted and bring the news of salvation to those drowning in the waters of satan’s lies.

Father, so often I want to give You the ideas and tell You how to work in my life and the lives of those around me. Had I been Noah, I may have tried to convince You that oak would be better than gopher wood! Forgive me for thinking I know best. Guide my heart to be like Noah’s. May I do everything just as You command me. Amen

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Daily Dose 1-1-11

Psalm 1:1a-6 Blessed is the one… whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.

When we are at a new starting point, there is a tinge of excitement. There is hope that what is to come will be better than what was. As we approach a new year, remember the foundation of God’s blessings comes through our delight in Him and His Word.

Father, as I begin this new year, let me do so with delight – an inexplicable joy – in my relationship with You. Let my delight in You and Your word guide my thoughts and actions. I ask for Your blessing as I serve as Your instrument to bless others. Amen