Saturday, February 28, 2015

Daily Dose 2-28-15

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

Friday, February 27, 2015

Daily Dose 2-27-15

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

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Daily Dose 2-26-15

Psalm 42:6-8 (MSG) When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you, From Jordan depths to Hermon heights, including Mount Mizar. Chaos calls to chaos, to the tune of whitewater rapids. Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers crash and crush me. Then God promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night! My life is God's prayer.

If life seems to be crushing you down, praising is a better solution than pouting. Taking the time to pause from self-pity to God-praise accomplishes a great deal. First of all, God is honored. He is worthy of the praise, so give it. Second, we begin to see the size of God vs. the size of our problems. He is big enough to conquer any challenge before us, or support us to get through it all. Third, we find love and comfort. God will never disregard the unbridled praise of His children focused on Him. When we empty our heart and mind of everything but Him, He WILL fill us up!

Father, I love our praise time together! Thank you for loving me back and lifting me up! I’m in awe of You! Amen

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Daily Dose 2-25-15

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

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Daily Dose 2-24-15

Mark 7:20-23 (MSG) He went on: "It's what comes out of a person that pollutes: obscenities, lusts, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, depravity, deceptive dealings, carousing, mean looks, slander, arrogance, foolishness—all these are vomit from the heart. There is the source of your pollution."

These words of Jesus were pretty blunt. The Pharisees were very concerned about the letter of the Law. However, they had elevated the letter of the Law above the Spirit of the law. Just as Moses came to free the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt, Jesus came to free all people from the bondage – and eventual failure – of Law keeping. Reading through Leviticus you will find detailed instructions on all kinds of ceremonial purifications, sacrifices and feasts. Through generations of teaching and enforcement, the people became pretty good at ritualistic processes. The problem is, they forgot the purpose behind the process. Jesus turned everything they knew upside down by declaring all foods clean. Without this huge section of the Law to consider, they were forced to consider their hearts… a much tougher exercise. Are you more comfortable with law keeping than heart checking? Is it easier for you to check off church attendance and throwing a donation in the collection plate than checking your motives behind your actions? Are you willing to serve in outreach ministry, but tend to judge those you serve? To truly follow Jesus means to love with a pure heart. Your service is worthless if your heart is not engaged. Listen carefully to the thoughts that come to your mind and the words that come out of your mouth. Even though you may not commit “horrible” sins, would Jesus declare you unclean? He came to purify you … let Him - give your whole heart, not just your checked off list!

Purifying Jesus, Clean my heart to know and spew forth Your perfect love. Prick my heart to set aside the unseen sins that lead to judgement of others and bitterness. Thank You for considering me worthy of Your sacrifice. Today is a new day. I give You my whole heart. Amen

Monday, February 23, 2015

Daily Dose 2-23-15

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!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Daily Dose 2-22-15

Proverbs 10:10 (MSG) An evasive eye is a sign of trouble ahead, but an open, face-to-face meeting results in peace.

The Message version of this nugget of wisdom in Proverbs shows us a starting point for healing conflict in relationships. When we are hurt by others - whether they intended it or not - our behavior toward them changes. We get the evasive eye. We avoid interaction with them. We turn away instead of embrace. We talk to others about our hurt without confronting the source of hurt. We operate under the anthem of, “some things are better left unsaid,” to avoid the tough conversations. We try to sweep emotions under the rug to move on in peace. The problem with that is that emotions and hurts have a way of mushrooming under the rug, causing us to trip on our walk. When we fail to work issues out at the time of conflict, they perpetuate an unending cycle of hurt. The one who unintentionally caused the hurt becomes hurt in the aftermath. Over time, a small misunderstanding leads to a broken relationship. At some point, the divide is so wide it seems impossible to cross. Resolve conflicts quickly, especially among believers. Instead of saying or writing an apology, live it face-to-face. People believe actions of love, not words of intention.

Father, Forgive me for my part in rug sweeping. Give me Your wisdom to stop talking about healing relationships, and move forward to act in the love of Your Son. I long for Your perfect love. Amen

Saturday, February 21, 2015

DailyDose 2-21-15

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

Friday, February 20, 2015

Daily Dose 2-20-15

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

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Daily Dose 2-19-15

Mark 4:24-25 (MSG) "Listen carefully to what I am saying—and be wary of the shrewd advice that tells you how to get ahead in the world on your own. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. Stinginess impoverishes."

Following Christ does not always make sense by the world’s standards. The world teaches us to look out for number one to get ahead. We learn phrases like, “It’s not personal. It’s business.” Jesus teaches us that everything in life is personal. How we treat others – especially those underprivileged or under our influence – is a direct reflection of how others see Jesus in us. As followers, we are intended to live generous lives. We are to be consumed with giving, not receiving. So, what does that look like? In our relationships, we love more and are less concerned with how we are loved in return. We worry more about collecting memories instead of creating monetary stuff. We confidently give when we are not sure if we can afford it. We open our eyes to the needs of others as opposed to focusing in on fulfilling our wants. We trust in God’s provision for us as we provide for others. Does it make a lot of sense? Not really. The equation to out-give our bottom line does not balance on the scales of the world; but Jesus came to tip those scales with generosity, grace, mercy and love. As His followers, we should measure up accordingly!

Father, Help me live out what I know in my heart. Get me out of the way in my life so Jesus can be seen in me! I love You! Amen

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Daily Dose 2-18-15

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

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Daily Dose 2-17-15

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 up. 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

Monday, February 16, 2015

Daily Dose 2-16-15

Mark 1:40-41 (MSG) A leper came to him, begging on his knees, "If you want to, you can cleanse me." Deeply moved, Jesus put out his hand, touched him, and said, "I want to. Be clean." Then and there the leprosy was gone, his skin smooth and healthy.

Many of us who have known the LORD a long time have little trouble believing His ability to great things for His people. We know in our hearts and minds the power and strength that raised Jesus from the dead is not dead – it is alive and active today. Often, our faith struggle comes from believing God would use His power on us. Can you relate to the man with leprosy? Do you approach Jesus with, “If You want to?” We know that Jesus knows us too well. We know He is aware of our shortcomings and sins. If you can relate to this man, take a lesson from his boldness. What we see in these verses is his humility and doubt – not in Jesus, but whether or not Jesus would consider him worthy. However, the fact that he was there at all speaks volumes. Leprosy was an alienating disease. Not only was there physical pain and discomfort, but also because of the fear of spread, lepers were banished from society. There were supposed to remain a safe distance from people a yell, “Unclean!” if anyone approached them. Imagine the loneliness this man had endured. He was as starved for an emotional touch as he was for physical healing. Can you relate even more? Have you been abandoned or discounted in relationships? Have you allowed the value – or lack of – others place on you determine your value before Him? If you can relate to this man, gather his courage and boldly go to Jesus with all your hurts, disappointments and rejection. Imagine His hand extending to you saying, “I want to.”  He is ready to do big things in your life whether it’s removing your burdens or helping you carry them. Instead of approaching Him with, “If You will,” try, “I am here because I know You can!”

Dear Jesus, I am lonely at times, but because of you, I am never alone. Thank you for the value You place on me – as unworthy as I may be. Strengthen my faith to be bold and believing in Your best for ME! I love You! Amen

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Daily Dose 2-15-15

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

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Daily Dose 2-14-15

Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

On this day where love and affection are celebrated as a holiday, remember to share the greatest love story of all. Jesus, God’s son who was with Him in the glory and splendor of heaven, left His side to be born as the humble baby to a carpenter’s family. He grew as a boy and ministered to the needs of the lonely, outcast and forsaken as a man. He endured ridicule and shame as those who followed Him, turned against Him to be crucified as the sacrificial lamb for all of us. He buried out sins with Him in the grave, and arose victoriously, bringing victory to us all for eternity. His request for those of us who have received His gift of salvation? Share His love story with others. Just like teachers for our grade school Valentine parties required each student to bring a valentine for every member of the class, we are to share His heart with a lost world. Give the ultimate valentine today…share the love of Jesus with someone who doesn’t know Him!

Dear Jesus, Thank You for loving me that day and every day. Give me the opportunity and courage to give your message of love with someone else today. I love You! Amen

Friday, February 13, 2015

Daily Dose 2-13-15

Psalm 34:4-5 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.

God knows how crippling fear can be in the lives of His children. He gets it and wants to deliver us from fear. He may not always remove what we are fearful of, but He will walk with us to see us through. When we are facing fear, it’s OK to acknowledge that we are afraid. However, it is when we acknowledge the One in whom we place our trust that bears witness to the power of God’s presence in our lives. David’s mention of a radiant face goes back to the days when Moses would be with God on the mountain. When He came back, His face had to be veiled because He was literally glowing with the presence of God. Oh to be that filled with Him! It is power to change the perspective of our fears. A rule for confrontation with animals is to show no fear. We may be shaking on the inside, but it is dangerous to retreat or tremble. The same holds true for our fearful circumstances in life. Satan uses them to trap us in fear and diminish what God may have in store for us, or others, through facing that trial. Pray up and look up! Approach your greatest challenges with the radiant face of faith, not the crippling face of fear!

Father, You know my greatest struggles and fears. I do have fear, but I choose to look to You for rescue instead of allowing satan to trap me in the fear. I love You! Amen

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Daily Dose 2-12-15

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

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Daily Dose 2-11-15

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

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Daily Dose 2-10-15

Psalm 32:9-10 Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding 
but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.

Are you feeling convicted about an action the LORD wants you to take? Do you feel nudges either through scriptures you read, in your prayer time, reminders throughout the day in circumstances, or through encouragement of other believers? Each time we submit to those nudges or callings from the LORD and step out in faith, we learn to recognize His voice and the guiding of the Spirit in our lives. Each time we discount or disregard what we feel called to do, we quench the Spirit’s ability to convict us. Just like God loves a cheerful giver, He adores one who eagerly steps out in faith! Learn to listen, trust and obey. Your love relationship with the LORD grows a little deeper each time you take a step of faith!

Father, I know Your voice and the Spirit’s direction. Help me to respond with gentle nudges and not have to be forced to act for Your kingdom work. I want to nurture the Spirit’s power to guide my life; not quench it with disobedience or fear. I love You! Amen

Monday, February 9, 2015

Daily Dose 2-9-15

Matthew 26:36-39 Then Jesus went with them to a garden called Gethsemane and told his disciples, "Stay here while I go over there and pray." Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he plunged into an agonizing sorrow. Then he said, "This sorrow is crushing my life out. Stay here and keep vigil with me." Going a little ahead, he fell on his face, praying, "My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this. But please, not what I want. You, what do you want?"

We read scriptures about praying with faith. We cling to the words Jesus shared about the mustard seed faith that can move mountains. Then, we see this – God’s own son begging and pleading in prayer for God to make another way. He did not want to endure the agony and humiliation of the cross – and certainly not the separation from God that would have to occur. He was facing a mountain and He wanted it moved! Many have called the Lord’s Prayer His model to teach us how to pray. However, no lesson is more significant than this.  Jesus made His will known to God; but His heart was willing to submit to God’s will. Are you praying in faith for something, only to remain disappointed? Instead of pushing Your will before the Father, make your will known, but submit to His plan. Then, ask for His wisdom and strength to help you accept it. You may not ever understand this side of heaven why God said no to your request. Disappointments are tough; but fortunately, we have a Savior who really understands what it’s like for God to say no to a request. Take your disappointments to the cross and ask Jesus to help you move on in the will of God. Count your disappointments as another way to bring you closer to Jesus – He completely gets it!

Father, I hate disappointment, especially when my prayers are for good things and ways I can see to bring You glory. Help me to see that it’s not my place to determine how You will be glorified. It’s my place to glorify You in the disappointments as much, if not more, than in the victories. Help me approach each prayer I lay before You as Jesus did – finding a way to want what You want to be what I want most of all. I love You! Amen

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Daily Dose 2-8-15

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

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Daily Dose 2-7-15

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

Friday, February 6, 2015

Daily Dose 2-6-15

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

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Daily Dose 2-5-15

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

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Daily Dose 2-4-15

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

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Daily Dose 2-3-15

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

Monday, February 2, 2015

Daily Dose 2-2-15

Exodus 16:19-20 Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.” However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.

We tend to be so appalled and frustrated with the Israelites when reading about the mighty Exodus from Egypt. The wonders they saw were things our eyes crave to behold. We scoff at their lack of faith and truly believe if we had seen what they saw, we would behave differently. But would we? Do we now? When they were hungry, God gave them manna for each day – a blessing from above! There only payment due was to have faith it would be there for the next day. Instead, some in their midst hoarded manna in their tents – either afraid it wouldn’t appear the next day, or they didn’t want to have to gather the next day. The results? A sickening stench from rotted manna infested with maggots. God provided blessings, but they held more tightly to the blessing than the Giver of the blessing. Are we so different? Even when we have difficult circumstances, God makes provisions and protects us. Our faith test comes with how we view those blessings. Do we fret and worry about holding on to what He has given because we are afraid He won’t provide again? Do we complain about the way He blesses because we want hot rolls with butter instead of honey-laced manna? Do we fail to praise in Thanksgiving because we are so consumed with what will come next? God expects us to trust Him and walk with Him one day at a time. Acknowledge the gifts of each day. Praise Him with thanksgiving in advance of future blessings because He has assured you with His blessings in the past.

Father, I confess I’m not crazy about the manna concept. I like to plan ahead and know what’s coming to adjust accordingly. You call me to just know that You are ahead of me and rest in that peace.  I thank You for the reminder and praise You for the manna of today! I love You! Amen

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Daily Dose 2-1-15

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