Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Daily Dose 4-30-14

John 1:9-13 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

It’s hard to truly fathom the sacrifice Jesus made for us. He watched and worked with God to create heaven and earth. He was completely pure, dwelling beside the Father. He was intimately communing with God. Was that why He was willing to come? In such an intimate relationship with God, could He see how the sins of the people He created and loved were breaking the heart of God. Was it at that point He said, “Let me fix it for You and them! Use me to bring them back to You!” Jesus was so concerned and grieved for the breaking heart of God, He was willing to be rejected, tortured, and ultimately separated from God Himself so that we could return to God. Are you willing to make sacrifices for the things that break the heart of God? We aren’t called to be crucified too often, yet we are called to step outside of our busyness and self-absorbed lives to minister to those God loves. We are called to let others know how to turn to Him. We are called to comfort the weary, feed the hungry and show compassion and mercy to the fallen. Does your heart break for the things that break the heart of God…or do you even notice?

God, Give me Your eyes to see what breaks Your heart. Give me the heart of Jesus to know how to respond. I love You! Amen

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Daily Dose 4-29-14

Psalm 100:1-5 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 
Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 
Know that the LORD is God. 
It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Some days you don’t feel like praise…Hurts and disappointments are commonplace in this life. However, when we feel our lowest and most vulnerable is when He is the closest. That should free us to praise. It doesn’t take much spiritual depth to praise Him in the good days. Our spiritual muscles are built and our faith is strengthened for endurance when we can praise him in the storms of life.

All-knowing, All-powerful God, Prick my heart to praise You when all I want to do is plead! Amen

Monday, April 28, 2014

Daily Dose 4-28-14

Proverbs 14:10 Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.

Life can feel lonely sometimes. No matter how close our relationships on earth may be, no human TRULY knows our hearts. God, the One who made you, Jesus, the One who died for you, and Holy Spirit, the One who inhabits your soul knows the real you. The good news is – no matter how much they know you – they still love you! People will disappoint, reject and ignore your needs at some point, but this Trinity of power stands firmly committed to You. Jesus patiently waits at the door of your heart…knocking and waiting. Open Your heart and let Him in…He knows what it looks like in there and would love to be a part of doing some spring cleaning!

Father, You know my heart – yet You still love me. Thank You seems woefully inadequate. I love You! Amen

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Daily Dose 4-27-14

Luke 23:39-43 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

What was it like for the thief on the cross with Jesus to be greeted by Him in paradise? We can only imagine! A man that led such a harsh and unscrupulous life, turned his eternity upside down when he professed his belief in Jesus. What an example he left for us! No matter how our lives have been before, when we come to the cross, we are on the level ground of salvation. Take your broken and messed up life to Jesus – let Him cleanse you. Take your self-righteous heart that has “been good” and remember your sins put Jesus on the cross just like the sins of the thief. Praise Him for the salvation that can come to us all because of the sacrifice He made.

Dear Jesus, Thank You for looking beyond what I deserve and loving me enough to endure the cross. How can I ever thank You enough? I love You!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Daily Dose 4-26-14

Judges 6:39-40 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.

Gideon wanted no doubt that God was with Him before he attempted to overthrow the Midianites for Israel. He was not the obvious choice, the youngest and weakest of the youngest and weakest. However, that is sometimes the vessel God likes to use the most! Are you trying to make a decision to find God’s presence…keep moving forward! Gideon put out the fleece, but before that, he obeyed by destroying Baal’s altar and the asherah pole that ha built to worship idols. Are you trying to set out fleece without first being obedient in other areas God has commanded? Examine your heart and see what needs to be removed so God can have room to do His work in you and through you!

Father, There are things I still struggle with that You want changed. Give me the strength and courage to do what you’ve asked so I can be ready for your next step! I love you! Amen

Friday, April 25, 2014

Daily Dose 4-25-14

Psalm 94:18-19 When I said, “My foot is slipping,” 
 your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.

This scripture brings to mind a mountain climber scaling a great peak. One slip of the foot on a rock placed to bolster him to the next level could lead to a horrific fall or loss of progress. Sometimes in life we face mountain peaks. God doesn’t always take them from our path, because He wants us to see the view from the top. He does promise to be with us through the climb as our support, encouragement and protector. You may not feel like climbing the mountains in Your life, but know that He is never closer than when we feel He’s far away. He’s got your feet…now, climb!

Father, I look back on life and see a chain of mountain peaks You have helped me climb to victory. Keep those views from the top in my mind as I struggle on this climb. You give me strength and help me keep climbing. I love You! Amen

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Daily Dose 4-24-14

Luke 22:31-32 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

The walk of a Christ follower is one who desires consistency, but will inevitably trip along the way. Some of those incidences will be slight, and others will leave us flat on our faces. Sin is sin whether it is categorized as a minor indiscretion or blatant rebellion. In either case and for those in between – Jesus went to the cross to make it possible for you to get back up and on His path again. This scripture of His words to Peter should give us great insight to the kind of Savior we have. The next time you trip in life, remember His words to Peter – He speaks them to you as well, “I have prayed for you.” That’s right, Jesus prays over you and cheers you on when you are walking tall, steadies you in your little slips, pulls you up the rough hills in life with His outstretched hand, and picks you up when you fall flat on your face! Remember, in this life it’s not a matter of if you will fall – it’s a matter of when. How you go down and get back up makes all the difference in your walk. Go down GRACEfully, rise triumphantly! Jesus will never waste a hurt or failure. Get back up to help others along the way!

Father, Thank You for sending Your son to provide a way for me to get up when I fall. Thank You for His support that brings balance to my unsteady gate in this life walk. Empower Your Spirit to keep me on path and close to my guiding Savior. Amen

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Daily Dose 4-23-14

Psalm 91:14-16 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Are you in trouble and needing God’s deliverance right now? PRAISE! We tend to face our struggles with prayers that lean more toward pleading and pitiful instead of power and promise. Call on the name of the LORD in love and adoration for Him. Call on the power of His name, knowing the same power that brought Jesus from the grave is available to you because of that victory! Put your struggles before God and leave them there while you exclaim over His majesty and adore Him in unbridled praise!

Holy One – I lay it all at the foot of the cross – every worry, every hurt and every struggle. Jesus’ victory enables me to have the confidence that You love me completely and You have the power to act when I call. I’m calling to You in loving praise – waiting for Your deliverance!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Daily Dose 4-22-14

Luke 21:25-28 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

Could His return be soon…really soon? Every generation since Christ’s last physical steps on this earth has thought the signs were there. He may not be coming back for several more generations, but look around…wars, great tsunamis, floods, tornadoes, terrorism, and such disregard for Holiness abound. It may take more generations before His return, but why risk it? Be ready today; and be sure others are ready. May we be found crying, “Maranatha! Lord, come quickly!”

Dear God, I know You will send Your Son like a thief in the night…when no one will know the time. Help my heart to be ready no matter when that time may be. Prick the hearts of those I love to long for Your coming and reward! Maranatha! Amen

Monday, April 21, 2014

Daily Dose 4-21-14

Joshua 23:9-11 “The LORD has driven out before you great and powerful nations; to this day no one has been able to withstand you. One of you routs a thousand, because the LORD your God fights for you, just as he promised. So be very careful to love the LORD your God.”

As Joshua neared the end of his life, he began to prepare the Israelites to continue without him. His farewell was a pep talk that reminded them of God’s fulfilled promises. It also held strong words of warning against rebellion and disobedience. This scripture at the end of his address boils down the key to their obedience – love. He knew that they – and we, generations later – act upon the conditions of the heart. Obedience that is based upon ritual or guilt never lasts. But, obedience based upon love for the LORD eases the burden and brings blessings. If you have an obedience problem, check your heart…it may be a love problem.

Faithful Father, I DO love You with all my heart, soul and mind. Yet, I still struggle in areas for complete obedience. Forgive me, and soften my heart to love You more. Amen

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Daily Dose 4-20-14

Luke 24:2-6 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!

He IS risen and He lives today! The victory Jesus had over death was not temporary and it was not for a select group alone. All of our sins placed the nails in His hands. He endured the agony of the cross and the separation in the grave so that those sins could be forgiven. With His resurrection, He purified all to have the authority to approach the throne of God, in confidence, to receive His grace and salvation. Today is a perfect day to accept that gift if You have never received it. If you accepted long ago, but wandered away, it’s a great day to come home. If the cross doesn’t seem personal to you, imagine His exit from the tomb as He calls your name to the Father as, “Forgiven!”

Forgiving Father, I am so humbled by the sacrifice of Jesus. It pains me to know what He endured for me. Please prick my heart to be more aware of my sin and quickly repentant. Help me to never take the cross for granted. I call upon the resurrection power that Jesus made available to me that day to help me overcome the grave my sins want me to stay in. Because He is risen – I too can rise above where I am to be who You have called me to be! Thankful…Amen

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Daily Dose 4-19-14

Luke 19:37-40 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

There is no doubt about it. The name of Jesus will be praised no matter what we do. This triumphal entry Jesus received as He entered Jerusalem for the last time before the crucifixion was bittersweet for our Savior. While He cherished the praise of the people He loved and the City His Father had chosen to bless, He knew there was about to be a dramatic change. In mere days, the sweet sounds of praise would be dulled by the roars of, “Crucify Him!” Our praise may not be drowned out by calling for His crucifixion however, it is silenced by the self-absorbed, busyness of our days. Do you get so involved in this life – even church work – that you forget to remember to spend some time in private praise? Keep the rocks silent today!

Sweet Jesus, You endured so much for me to have the privilege to come to the throne of God in complete confidence. Your sacrifice endures forever and covers me daily. How can I not cry out to You in praise and thanksgiving? You are my love. You are my breath. You are my life. I love You! Amen

Friday, April 18, 2014

Daily Dose 4-18-14

Luke 19:5-7 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

Zaccheus wanted a vantage point just to see Jesus. He never assumed he would be called out by Him, much less, asked to be his guest.Zaccheus was not a man walking the walk or talking the talk of Jesus’ teachings. He was a dishonest tax collector, considered then to be some of the greatest of sinners. But Jesus saw his potential. He saw a heart willing to climb heights just catch a glimpse of God’s glory. How are you putting yourself out there to see God’s glory? Are you investing in lives that may not look like they have much Kingdom potenial, but Jesus sees their hearts longing for Him? Look at little deeper into the lives that you – on the surface- assume they would never accept Jesus. Maybe they have climbed into your life to get a glimpse of God’s glory through you!

Father, I’ve often prayed to be the hands and feet of Jesus to serve for You. Please let me be His eyes as well and see potential among people instead of judgment. Help me know how You want me to approach them so thy may catch a glimpse of Jesus and turn to His salvation. Amen

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Daily Dose 4-17-14

Psalm 86:11-12 Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; 
give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. 
I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.

David understood one thing clearly – God’s blessings are tied to our heart for Him. HE is always faithful. But, in His faithfulness, He will not reward rebellion or a divided heart. Most Christians quickly acknowledge that God’s ways are better than our ways. Yet, when the time comes to choose a path, we often opt for our own path. Our hearts were made to worship God, yet we have allowed our hearts to be divided among the idols of our day. We scoff at the Israelites for worshiping a golden calf, but our hearts do the same thing. We worship sports teams, possessions, busyness, work – even family and friends can divide our hearts’ focus on Him. Do a heart check today. Do you see rebellion to or division from God? If so, align and mend your heart in repentant praise, and look for His faithfulness!

Father, Forgive me for thinking I know best at times. Put me on Your path! Forgive my divided heart and heal it with Your love. I am in awe of You! Amen

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Daily Dose 4 -16-14

Luke 18:6-8 (MSG) Then the Master said, "Do you hear what that judge, corrupt as he is, is saying? So what makes you think God won't step in and work justice for his chosen people, who continue to cry out for help? Won't he stick up for them? I assure you, he will. He will not drag his feet. But how much of that kind of persistent faith will the Son of Man find on the earth when he returns?"

It’s comforting that Jesus encourages us to be persistent in prayer. There are some who teach that repetitive requests before God are selfish. Granted, our prayer life should be filled with as much praise, confession and thanksgiving as requests. However, God loves to respond to His people. He enjoys using the faith of His children to reveal His glory. The last words of Jesus in this parable ask if will we be found faithful. Are we making requests that have Kingdom impact and do we REALLY have faith that God can do what we request? If you are weary praying the same prayer, switch it up. Instead of asking God, pray a prayer of advanced thanksgiving. Show God you believe He can and will do what you request. Visualize it happening and show God how you would glorify Him. Hold on in obedient faith and watch God work!

Father, Forgive me for giving up too soon. May I be found faithful and persistence in my requests and your ability to show up! I love you! Amen

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Daily Dose 4-15-14

Luke 17:26-27 “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.”

In all the plans you are making today, are you planning for what REALLY matters? We so easily get caught up in this life that we forget about the next. This life is temporary and will be a blink of an eye in eternity, yet we hold on so tightly to each moment. We should plan and live productive lives one earth, but each action should have an eternal perspective woven in it somewhere. Are you chauffeuring children back and forth to activities? Use the drive time as teachable moments for eternity. Are you consumed with work pressure? Chances are a co-worker is as well. Use it as an opportunity to share how God is sustaining you. Are you enduring a great loss or hardship? Persevere it by sharing statements of faith to those who seek to comfort you. Let your reaction to struggle be a testimony to the One who overcame the ultimate struggle. Take a look at your day and plan time for the day when time will never end!

Father, Forgive me for getting caught up in the temporary. Give me an eternal vision. Help me to send each thought and action through an eternity filter. May my daily prayer be, Maranatha! LORD come quickly! Amen

Monday, April 14, 2014

Daily Dose 4-14-14

Luke 16:19-31 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

There are some who choose to water down scripture and only speak of God’s loving kindness and forgiveness. It is true that God is love and desperately loves each one of us. His desire is for us to accept His son, the forgiveness that salvation brings and have eternal life. However, God is also just. This parable from Jesus is pretty clear that there is a place of judgment and torment after this life. There should be a sense of urgency among us to prevent all those we know and love from facing this demise. Who do you need to reach today?

Father, Forgive me for thinking we have plenty of time. Show me today how to reach someone TODAY for You. I love You. Amen

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Daily Dose 4-13-14

Luke 16:10-12 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?”

How we manage our daily lives on earth has an impact on how we will live out the rest of our lives here – and for eternity. God longs to bless His people. He also knows who is capable of handling material blessings. Wealth can be a great stumbling block to faith. Maybe you do not have earthly riches because God knows the way you would manage – or be managed by - the wealth. More importantly, God may be protecting your heart from deserting Him for money. This is discussed as though we are all looking for more earthly rewards, when in fact, we ARE ALL wealthy according to the rest of the world. The most desperate, living at or below the poverty line in the United States, are considered among the most wealthy people in the world. No matter your financial status, examine your spiritual standing. Show God that your small faith is working hard for His kingdom, so that He may increase your faith and empower you to do greater things on earth that will pay high dividends for eternity. Our focus should not be on our riches today, but we should be keenly aware every day what we are investing in eternity – what’s your net worth?

Father, Forgive me for allowing short term thinking to skew Your vision for my eternity. Nudge me today and every day to invest my time, talent and treasure where You are working. Open my eyes to the opportunities You set before me – don’t let me miss any! I love you! Amen

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Daily Dose 4-12-14

Psalm 81:11-12 But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices.

Is God tired of you not listening? Is it possible He has given you over to follow your own plan? It sounds harsh, but sometimes it’s the only way He can get our attention. But, there is good news! Because of the sacrifice of Jesus, He is eager to accept our repentance and bring us back to Him! God is a gentleman. He doesn’t force or coerce us to follow Him in obedience, or love Him with all our hearts. The choice is ours. Following our own path and plan may feel right for a while but, at some point, it all unravels. God’s plan and His way will always be best. You have His map in scripture. You have His compass from the Holy Spirit. You have His encouragement through prayer – should you decide to accept it. The choice is yours!

Father, I know better now. I have lived firsthand the consequences of going my way. I don’t ever want to choose that path again. Keep me close to You and in Your Word. Prick my heart quickly to stay on Your path. Thank You for Jesus whose sacrifice always me to come back in line with You! I love You! Amen

Friday, April 11, 2014

Daily Dose 4-11-14

Joshua 3:20-24 And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God.”

What remembrance stones have you set up to show others God’s faithfulness to you? We may not pile rocks in a heap on our front lawn today, but we must be vigilant in sharing what God has done in our lives. We tend to be very excited when God has brought us through great trials initially – then the excitement wanes. We get caught up in the busyness and hectic schedules of our lives and forget to remember. What Jordan did God allow you to pass on dry ground? Was it surviving a devastating diagnosis? Provisions made at the last minute before bills were due? A job offer at the most needed time? A child conceived when doctors said no? The ability to breath when your breath was knocked out of you from devastating loss? However small or large your blessings from God may be, they were not intended for you alone. God does not waste a hurt or a victory in the lives of His people. There is a always a greater purpose. Take an inventory today. List the times God has shown His faithfulness to you and your family. Find a way to share those stories with others. Place a reminder in your home that may cause others to ask. God wants to do big things in the lives of those who recognize and appreciate the action!

Watchful Father, My list is long! You have always protected, provided and made a way for me. I can’t begin to praise You enough for the appreciation I feel. Help me know how I should share so that the maximum benefit You intended is carried to fruition. I love You and stand in faith that You are not done yet! Amen

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Daily Dose 4-10-14

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua had BIG shoes to fill. He had seen firsthand the miracles God performed through Moses. He had witnessed the wisdom and counsel Moses provided the people. He also knew the frustrations brought upon Moses by their rebellion. That frustration led to Moses never being able to enter the Promised Land himself. Pressure? It was great. But, repeatedly God reminded Joshua to be strong and courageous, remembering He would be there for him. What Jordan are you preparing to cross? Are you in transition? The LORD does not intend for fear to be in your vocabulary. Just as He commanded Joshua, He commands you today. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Guiding LORD, When I look back on my life, I see Your hand orchestrating events in Your timing. Help me remember those times and know that You have never left me, nor will You. Whenever I doubt or fear, prick my heart to remind me You are near. Amen

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Daily Dose 4-9-14

Proverbs 12: 25 Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.

The words we speak – or fail to speak – to one another hold such power. With a kind word a person can lift the spirits and concerns of another who is struggling. A kind word or thoughtful gesture can bring hope and comfort to the weary. To the contrary, thoughtless ramblings can trample fragile hearts and bring oppression upon those who are challenged by life’s hardships and demands. But, what about the power of words never spoken? There are people who are lonely, isolated and feel no one really cares. Solitude leads to feelings of rejection and unworthiness. If we are truly being the hands and feet of Jesus, we will look with our hearts to remember those who feel forgotten. Take time in your busyness to include someone who wants to be a part of your life. Often, it is small, simple things that matter most. Your words hold power. Use them for good today!

Father, Open my heart to see with Your eyes today someone who needs my kind words. Help me remember today someone who feels forgotten so I may be the hands and feet of Jesus and remind them of His love. Thank You for never forgetting me.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Daily Dose 4-8-14

Luke 12:35-38 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak.”

Could today be the day? Would you be ready? We talk about longing for Jesus’ return and being eager for the rewards of heaven, but are we ready? Are our minds focused on Him and work on earth that will add to our treasures in heaven? Or, are we more consumed with work and activities now to accumulate treasures on earth? This life is but a vapor. Don’t get so caught up in it that you forget about the life that is everlasting.

Father, Open my eyes to Your priorities today. I have my To Do list, but help me to be ready to shift to a For You list. I love You and want to be ready. Amen

Monday, April 7, 2014

Daily Dose 4-7-14

Deuteronomy 31:7-8 Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Transition is never easy. We allow our human anxieties and concerns to overwhelm us at times. We often forget who goes before us. Are you at a new phase or a transition in life? Approach it with boldness and faith that God is with you! Remain close to Him and in His Word. Walk with Him in humble obedience. He longs to give you your “land flowing with milk and honey” instead of the desert and wasteland of the past. Look to your future with renewed confidence and trust, knowing He will never leave your side…what more do you need?

Guiding Father, I trust You for whatever will be. Prick my heart to be obedient to You; for I know it is in obedience where I receive Your blessings. Forgive me when I fall and pick me back up to walk with You on this new journey. Thank You for never leaving my side! I love You! Amen

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Daily Dose 4-6-14

Deuteronomy 30:11-14 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 1It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

The speech Moses gave the Israelites before they entered the Promised Land was very moving. This section of scripture is titled The Offer of Life and Death. What had Moses commanded them? In a nutshell, it was to love God and walk in obedience with Him. Moses spelled out the very clear consequences of a walk of obedience vs. a walk of rebellion. We have the same choices today. Our society doesn’t like to paint the picture of a God who punishes or allows us to suffer the consequences of disobedience, but He is just. The Israelites witnessed it firsthand. Know the choices they made are still options we have today. We may not bow before a golden calf, but our knees are sore from worshipping our earthly pleasures, desires and distractions. Before you start your day each day, commit it to the LORD. Pause before actions and consider what obedience to God looks like in that situation. Life is full of choices every day…choose wisely based upon the One you have chosen to love, trust and obey!

Holy and Just God, I know You have higher standards for me than I have attained. Forgive me for the choices I have made that were not in Your plan. Prick my heart to choose wisely each day! I love You. Amen

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Daily Dose 4-5-14

Luke 11:23 (MSG) "This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you're not on my side, you're the enemy; if you're not helping, you're making things worse.”

The Message Version of this scripture puts the words of Jesus in pretty unarguably clear perspective. Complacency and neutrality are not options once you choose to follow Jesus. You either believe Him, follow His path and work for Him – or, you are trying to destroy Him. Jesus does not call us to follow Him and then expect to compete in our schedule. We cannot expect to attend a weekly worship service, toss some money in the plate, write another check for a good cause, avoid doing anything “really bad” and pray when we are stressed and think that is the equivalent of following Christ. He expects more, and certainly deserves more. We think that by trying to look like the American picture of a church-going Christian, we are following Christ. Could it be that when Jesus looks at the picture we have painted of what Christianity looks like, to Him, it appears like a surrealist painter’s view of a distorted reality? From His words in Luke 11:23, it seems that picture may be a flag and battle cry for satan’s victory. Take some time today to look at opportunities around you from His perspective. Are you following Him or fighting Him – there’s no other option, it’s one or the other! Choose to follow!

Dear Jesus, I say I am a follower, but my path seems very crooked behind Your straight steps. Your words in this scripture are piercing. I would never intentionally fight against You, but my actions may speak otherwise. Give me Your eyes today and Your courage to follow and fight with You, not against You! I love You! Amen

Friday, April 4, 2014

Daily Dose 4-4-14

Proverbs 12:16 Fools show their annoyance at once, 
but the prudent overlook an insult.

We are so quick to demand respect from others, especially when it relates to our time, but God calls us to patience. It’s so easy to become annoyed with those who don’t operate the way we prefer. When you extend the courtesy to be on time for an agreed appointment and the other person is late, it’s easy to quickly be annoyed and feel disrespected. When you take the time to properly prepare work or ministry assignments and others hustle at the last minute, it can be frustrating. When you take the time to organize and plan a task, and team members “shoot from the hip,” it can create conflict. God’s wisdom calls us to patience with His people and warns us against the perils of becoming quickly angered or annoyed. The next time you are tempted to judge and criticize those who do not follow your mode of operation, remember how often you don’t respond the way God wants you to, yet He continuously extends grace and patience.

Father, Forgive my impatience with others at times. Help me to have the same patience with those You place in my path that I desire from You. Show me ways to be more helpful and less critical. I love You Amen

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Daily Dose 4-3-14

Luke 10:21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

God delights in using those who are not the obvious choice. It’s easier to see His glory through one who is not capable alone, but with God, makes all things possible. Before you utter the words, “But, I can’t,” think of the One living inside you and know, “HE can!”

Father, Let me see the tasks You set before me through Your eyes. May I always be quick to say yes knowing You can! Amen

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Daily Dose 4-2-14

Luke 9: 57-62 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Jesus did not tap dance around the seriousness of a commitment to Him. We look at this scripture and explain the differences between then and now. They were trying to introduce Jesus for the first time. Jesus often spoke figuratively, so He didn’t really mean it that way. He was calling a particular group of people…He hasn’t called me to this level. Whatever your justification is for the interpretation of this scripture, it is impossible to escape the bottom line. Jesus expected – and expects – commitment to Him and the service to which He calls you to come first. Whatever is in your life that causes you to say, “Yes, Lord, but…,” is probably an issue that You are placing before Him. Look closely at each situation where He is asking you to make a change or do something for, or with Him; let your reply be, “Yes, LORD!”

Dear Jesus, Help me to know when You are calling me. Give me the nudge, courage and strength to say, “YES!” Thank You for not giving up on me yet! I love You! Amen

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Daily Dose 4-1-13

Luke 9:46-48 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”

It’s reassuring to know those who walked in the flesh with Jesus everyday still didn’t get it. It makes it easier to understand our own shortcomings in our faith walk. If the apostles, in the presence of Jesus himself still had relationship issues and allowing pride to cause conflict, then it’s no wonder we are such a mess at times! The answer Jesus gave them then, is the same one He has for us today – serve one another. If you are in conflict with a brother or sister in Christ, serve them and serve others with them. Serving hearts heal a multitude of conflicts.

Father, Forgive me for allowing pride to come in the way of relationships. Help me to see where I can serve that will heal broken relationships. Open my eyes and open their hearts. Amen.