Sunday, May 31, 2015

Daily Dose 5-31-15

Psalm 119:144 Your statutes are always righteous; give me understanding that I may live.

So often, we settle for mediocrity in life. A life lived in righteousness is an abundant life! We allow satan to infiltrate our lives with conflict, busyness or confusion. Righteousness and living Spirit-filled lives comes through the meditation on and understanding of God’s Word. It is through the understanding and application of scripture in our lives that we switch from existing to truly living.

Father, I long to live in your righteousness and resist satan’s plan to rob my peace and joy. Soften my heart to apply Your Words so I may live righteously. Protect my heart from satan’s schemes and give me Your wisdom and understanding. I want to live, not just exist! I love You! Amen

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Daily Dose 5-30-15

Psalm 119:114-116 You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. Away from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commands of my God! Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.

Do you have hope for things in your own word, or are your hopes formed from God’s Word? What does it mean to have hope in God’s Word and then pray that those hopes aren’t dashed? Maybe it’s the fact that satan often uses our earthly hopes to distract us from our eternal hopes. Therefore, we need God as our refuge and shield to protect us from his attacks. When we hope in God’s Word, our focus is on Him and His will. We look at our plans and dreams in view of His Kingdom perspective. We have hope that in all we do, we will emulate Christ and His love to a lost world. We long for ways to be more effective in His work. Those hopes are dashed when sin and disobedience creep in through the whispers of satan to distract our focus. Thank God that through the saving blood of His son, we have the promise our hopes in the Word will be restored through His grace. What are you hoping for today?

Father, I’m tired of my own hopes. I want to focus my hopes through Your Word. Protect me from satan’s attempts to focus my hopes on my own word and plans. I love You. Amen

Friday, May 29, 2015

Daily Dose 5-29-15

Proverbs 6:9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

We all have great ideas and plans for how our lives should go. We set the compasses of our hearts toward directions that may or may not be what God knows is best for us. Sometimes, He grants our desires even when He knows there could be peril. The best way to navigate plans in life is to stay attuned to the will of God through scripture, applying it to our lives in obedience and intimate prayer time. View every life plan through the filter of how our service to the Kingdom could be strengthened by the decision at hand. Before heading out on any new plan your heart desires, remember to pack plenty of time in the Word and prayer ahead of time. Then, the LORD will direct your steps and provide His support and peace for the journey.

Father, Please protect me from my own plans. I want to be on a path that makes me closer to You and allows me to have a greater impact for Your kingdom. Help me see less of my heart’s desire and more of Your heart’s desire. I beg for Your wisdom, strength and peace to stay on Your path. I love You. Amen

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Daily Dose 5-28-15

John 17:20-23 My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

The last prayer of Jesus while on this earth was for unity. He knew that united believers would provide much joy, support and encouragement to one another. He also knew that unity would attract non-believers to save the lost. How are we doing on fulfilling His desire? Examine your role in unifying – or divisive – behaviors. Are you part of the solution, or part of the problem?

Father, I beg for Your wisdom and guidance. Please teach me to be an instrument of the unifying love of Christ. Help me to know how to heal broken relationships and move forward for Your kingdom. Soften my heart and the hearts of others so that we may love each other as You love us – and through that love, bring others to know Your saving grace. Amen

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Daily Dose 5-27-15

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Jesus pretty much assures us life will not be easy. We will be hurt. We will have struggles. We will have pain. The difference in a Christian’s life is that these struggles are not faced alone. Just before this statement, Jesus promised the coming of the Holy Spirit to be our comforter and guide through the struggles of life. The ability of the Holy Spirit to be active and powerful in our lives is up to us. We can quench the spirit when we choose disobedience over His suggested path. We inhibit the Spirit when we arrogantly think we know best. We weaken the Spirit’s influence when we do not empower Him through our time in the Word and in prayer. However devastating your struggle may be, stand encouraged. We know the rest of the story…Jesus wins! Through His victory and our faith in Him, we obtain peace on earth through all trials and the gift of everlasting life with Him where struggles will no longer be a part of our vocabulary!

Father, I appreciate so very much the way You, through Your Holy Spirit, have carried me through trials and continue to support me when I am struggling. Give me the wisdom to do all I can to allow Your Spirit to be more active and powerful in my life. I desperately seek the guidance and peace that comes from You. I love You! Amen

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Daily Dose 5-26-15

Psalm 119:33-35 Teach me, LORD, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.

The “Tipping Point” where a Christian can begin to have spiritual maturity and become more of the person God intends, comes when God’s laws become a cherished way of life instead of a burden or requirement. God never created laws to be a harsh taskmaster. He created guidelines to help us live life more abundantly. When we realize that, we can begin walking in obedience with more joy on the journey. What area of your life is most difficult to maintain complete obedience? Look at it from God’s perspective and determine what it is He wants you to control or do to receive His best for you.

Holy God, I have walked in my own will enough to know I want Your will above all. Show me clearly Your paths and keep me away from my “wants” that interfere with my obedience to you. I Love you. Amen

Monday, May 25, 2015

Daily Dose 5-25-15

Proverbs 16:2-3 All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

Life decisions are never easy. We weigh pros and cons and struggle to know what is our will and what is God’s plan. We can easily justify any decision we make as being “from the LORD,” even if it is far from what He knows is best. Spending more time in the Word and in submissive prayer opens our heart to His will more than our own. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the motives of your heart today and turn them over to God. His plan will always be much better.

Father, I am through making life decisions based on my thoughts. Please make very clear to me what Your will and plans may be. Then, I beg You for the strength and courage to carry out Your plan instead of deviating down my own path. I love You. Amen

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Daily Dose 5-24-15

John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Love is easy when everyone is loveable…but how often does that happen? It should be obvious that we love one anther; so obvious that it shouldn’t have to be a command. But, Jesus knows our tendencies. We are inclined to selfishness, judgment and arrogance – three of the greatest barriers to love. Jesus wasn’t speaking to His apostles about loving the lost, He told them to reach the lost, they must love one another. How does Jesus find the love level among Christians today? Is He pleased seeing the lost so jealous for the relationships they witness that they are drawn to find Him? Or, does He see Christians tearing one another down? Does He see selfishness, arrogance and judgment among His church? To learn how to love one another the way Christ loved, we must practice breaking down the barriers to love. When selfishness creeps in and you want your way – serve! When arrogance is in your heart and you feel like You always know best – humble yourself to ask for help. When you are tempted to judge – make a list of your own sins and focus on overcoming them. Life is too short to let the barriers of love prevail. When you think unloving thoughts about someone, put on your Jesus glasses and view them through His eyes – and love!

Father, I know that to love the unlovely and those who reject or discount my love is the greatest way to reflect Your son – but God, it is NOT easy! Help me overcome barriers to love and show me how to love those who may not show love for me the way Jesus would have me do. Amen

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Daily Dose 5-23-15

Psalm 119:10-11 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

The seeds we plant and nurture in our hearts determine our actions and reactions. If we sow seeds of the world and nurture them through dangerous behaviors, we will constantly struggle with sin. The seeds of the world form a vine around or hearts that looks pretty on the outside, but eventually entraps and chokes the heart from the convicting beat of the Holy Spirit. If we sow seeds from the Word and nurture them through humility and prayer, we can overcome the snares of satan’s temptations. Hiding God’s Word in your heart plants the seeds that grow a hedge of protection. The Holy Spirit uses the two sides of the hedge - one will distance us from the desires of that satan uses to entrap, the other side has the ability to prick our hearts to warn us of danger and encourage us to repentance when we do sin. May your hedge be strong to withstand satan’s schemes and alert you when he is moving toward your heart – nurture your hedge in prayer!

Father, Please thicken the hedge around my heart to protect me against satan’s schemes. Sharpen the leaves inside that hedge to prick my heart quickly to avoid sin and convict me before I do any harm. I don’t want to sin against You. Empower You Holy Spirit within me and give me the wisdom to never quench His strength. I love You! Amen

Friday, May 22, 2015

Daily Dose 5-22-15

John 12 :42-43 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God.

What must it have been like to be a Jewish leader who did believe in Jesus, yet stood by as He was beaten and crucified? It’s so easy for us to judge them and feel like if only we had been there, we would have stood up and defended Him…but would we? How are we doing with our own stands today? Since our society has become so politically correct, we face similar choices. Instead of proudly proclaiming the name of Jesus, we subdue our passion for Him and say nothing about who He is or what He has done in our lives. How different is that from the leaders who believed Jesus? We do not want to be rejected or ridiculed by men, so we remain silent. In our silence Jesus is crucified all over again.

Father, Give me courage, insight and wisdom to take a stand for You and Your son, even though it may not be politically correct. Guide me to be a bold extension of Jesus’ ministry, not one who cowers at the protocol of men. I beg for courage, insight and wisdom and plead with You to forgive my missed opportunities. I love You. Amen

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Daily Dose 5-21-15

Psalm 118:1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

There is something about consistency in a relationship that brings great comfort. When you know that you know that you know you can depend on someone, proceeding through tough times seems more possible. The problem with depending solely on people is that they will, at some point, leave us disappointed. The most intimate, loving relationships will not be able to meet all our needs. The love we have in the LORD is consistent, no matter how inconsistent we are. His love is unconditional, no matter how many compromising conditions we allow. His love is pure, no matter how impure our motives may be. His love endures, no matter how distracted we become in our love for Him. Lift your arms and open your heart to Him. Allow the Father of the universe to embrace you in His never-ending love.

Holy LORD, Thank You for loving me far beyond what I could ever deserve. Thank You for You Son who purifies me in Your sight. Help me love others with the love You have shown to me. Amen

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Daily Dose 5-20-15

John 11:33-35 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept.

It’s always been somewhat of a mystery as to why Jesus would weep over the death of Lazarus when He knew He was about to bring him back to life. Maybe it was only for us to see His example to follow. We may not be able to raise the dead for those we love that have lost someone they love, but we can certainly be there to weep with them. Often, people avoid mourners because they don’t know what to say. Jesus shows us that in many instances you don’t have to say anything, empathy is a great comforter. Empathy does not explain the whys of loss or how to respond appropriately. Empathy isn't laced with flowery words or motivational quotes. The same goes for those who are dealing with sickness, financial struggles, acknowledging their sin, or a host of other struggles.  "Jesus wept," teaches us is the importance of being there for people who are hurting.

Father, Give me Your insight to know who in my life may need a listening ear and a shared tear. Redeem my time and help me to be available to meet needs as You meet my needs. I love You! Amen

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Daily Dose 5-19-15

1 Samuel 24:5-7 David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the LORD.” With these words David sharply rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way.

Some options we have make so much sense from the human perspective. Saul was chasing David, trying to kill him for no fault of David’s. From the human perspective, David should have killed Saul that day. But as Saul pursued David, David pursued the heart of God. He remembered that Saul was appointed by God and he could not harm the king. What spear are you “justified” to throw today? Pursue God’s heart to determine if there is a better way. Ask God to give you wisdom to act the way that would most please Him.

Father, May I pursue Your heart so strongly that the only way I see to respond is Your way. Give me strength and courage to do Your will, not what I justify as right in my own eyes. I love You! Amen

Monday, May 18, 2015

Daily Dose 5-18-15

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

The salvation Jesus brings is not just eternal life; it is for abundant life here as well. He doesn’t promise everything will always be easy, but He promises to be with us through it all and protect us from the thievery of satan. Life with Jesus is peace – satan tries to rob that peace during trials. Life with Jesus is love and unity – satan tries to steal that by stirring up conflict and discord. Life with Jesus is confidence – satan tries to steal that through insecurity. Life with Jesus is contentment – satan tries to steal that by convincing us more is better and we deserve it. What is satan poised to steal from you today? Turn to the gate of your Shepherd in God’s Word and pray for His protection. Turn your eyes to Him and know that, despite any circumstances, you can have full life. He grants peace through trials, dispels discord through love, brings confidence from insecurity, and sends contentment to the needy. If you’re thinking you are under attack, run to the Shepherd’s gate!

Father, Your Son made it possible to have a great life in this not so perfect world. Take my eyes away from the lures of satan as he tries to steal what only you can provide. I love You! Amen

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Daily Dose 5-17-15

John 9:39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

The judgment of Jesus lies in our ability to see. Physical sight is not necessary to follow Christ, but spiritual sight is imperative. It is our spiritual sight that allows us to see Jesus, His sacrifice and open our hearts to His truth. What we do with that truth determines the judgment. There are many Christians who claim to know truth, just like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, yet they live as if they are blinded to Him. If our lives revolve around discord and turmoil, yet we claim to see and know Christ, maybe we are actually blind. The blurred spiritual vision is a tool in satan’s battle against us. If He can skew how we look at others instead of seeing them through the vision of Christ, he can break the unity of the saints and weaken the kingdom. When all those around you seem to be wrong, put the spiritual glasses of the Holy Spirit on and get in the Word. Allow God to open our eyes, and in turn, open your heart. Are you living your life with 20/20 spiritual vision?

Father, I need physical glasses, but they are cumbersome and inconvenient, yet without them my vision is compromised. May I never compromise my spiritual vision! Open my eyes to Your truth, even when it is hard to see. Give me the insight and wisdom to correct my view so that others may see You in me. I love You! Amen

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Daily Dose 5-16-15

John 8:42-46 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

To whom are you listening? It’s pretty black and white. Satan is a whisperer of lies to deceive, entrap and belittle us. His words tear us down and magnify any insecurities. He is the reason we doubt, fear and manipulate. God whispers truth, hope, love and encouragement. Isn’t that what we all need? Yet, when it comes down to it, who’s voice do we turn the volume up to hear? If we are unsettled, fearful, anxious, insecure, self-justifying and divisive, chances are we have not only turned up satan’s volume, we have given him surround sound. If we have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, most likely we are spending time in His Word, tuning in and turning up the volume of the Holy Spirit. We will never achieve all of the attributes of the Spirit every day, and again, that’s where satan’s voice will convince us we are failures and encourage us to give up. It’s clear. You make a choice. Listen to one voice or the other. Who’s voice will you choose to hear?

Father, I choose to listen to You and I want to be Yours and Yours alone. Yet, satan does come through loud and clear. PLEASE tear his speakers from my head! Tune me in to hear You and only You. Give me discernment and courage to recognize the lies and take a stand against satan’s schemes. I love you! Amen

Friday, May 15, 2015

Daily Dose 5-15-15

1 Samuel 17:44-47 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

Goliath ridiculed the Israelites, but more importantly God, when he referred to them as Saul’s servants. All God needed to rescue His people was one person willing to take a stand in HIS name. The innocence of David’s youth and his passionate heart for God left him appalled at the fear of the Israelites. He willingly stepped forth and refused the cumbersome weight of Saul’s armor, but chose only the protection and power of God as His weapon and defense. We know the rest of David’s story…what is your story? Are you trying to fight the battles of this life alone? Do you look to others for your weapons and defense? Give God the credit for what He can do and is waiting to do in your life – then trust Him to do it! Stay in the Word and in prayer for the Holy Spirit to reveal your next steps. Trust in God, the One Who turned a sling and a stone into weapons to take down a giant. What giants are taunting you? Trust and obey!

Father, I have great faith in Your ability to do all things in all circumstances. My struggle often comes in my insecurity as to whether or not You choose to do great things for me? I recount Your past provisions and praise You, yet satan still whispers to me, “unworthy.” Please drown the sound of his whispers from my ears and let me hear Your voice say, “Chosen and made worthy by the blood of my Son.” I love You! Amen

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Daily Dose 5-14-15

Samuel 15:20-23 “But I did obey the LORD,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the LORD assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God at Gilgal.” But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? 
To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. 
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”

Saul had convinced himself he was obedient, when clearly, God’s orders were not followed. We can so easily justify our actions and claim obedience, but so often, we don’t check our hearts. God does not want our obedience for Hs own power kick to boss us around. He longs for our full obedience because He longs for our full love. If there is an area of your life where you struggle to obey, look closer. It may not be a discipline or obedience problem, it may be a love problem.

Father, I DO want to love You fully! Empower Your Holy Spirit in me to prick my heart to full obedience. Protect me from satan’s schemes of self-justification. God, I am so thankful for the blood of Jesus that has the power to cover my failures. Help me to put to death anything that stands in the way of my full love for You in the same way Jesus put to death the sins of all on the cross. Amen

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Daily Dose 5-13-15

Psalm 109:30-31 With my mouth I will greatly extol the LORD; in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him. 
For he stands at the right hand of the needy, to save their lives from those who would condemn them.

This entire Psalm consists of David’s pleading with God to overtake his enemy. He is being tormented and oppressed, yet he knows where to take his struggle – straight to God’s throne. Even though David has great ideas for how his enemy should be punished, he ultimately turns it over to God. He knows in faith that God stands beside him. Are you struggling with a bully? The childhood bullies don’t always stop their torment when they become adults! No matter what age you and your oppressor may be, turn you hurt over to God. Praise Him for who He is and for loving you. Acknowledge the power He has to help you overcome. David’s enemies were literal warriors. So often, we deal with those who battle our confidence and allow room for satan’s lies of doubt and lack of worth to creep in. Don’t allow it! Praise Him and stand strong knowing He will overcome for you!

Father, I praise You for Your love for the oppressed. I praise you that You have the power to soften the hearts of the oppressors. I put my struggles in Your hands, knowing I am Yours. Guide my heart and my reactions to be pleasing to You. I love You! Amen

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

DailyDose 5-12-15

Psalm 108:2-5 I will awaken the dawn. I will praise you, LORD, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.

There’s something special about praising before dawn. God’s heart is touched when He comes first in our hearts. Before the cares of the day begin to sap your energy and strength, give praise and honor to God. Taking time to put Him first puts the rest of the day in a different perspective. When we spend time praising and acknowledging His provision in the morning, we see more clearly how He provides throughout the day. When we empty ourselves of our own pride and concerns, He can fill us up with His wisdom and grace. Think of each day as a long drive…it’s better to start on a full tank of gas!

Father, I love our time together in the mornings and I am amazed by the difference You make in my day. Thank You for being my alarm clock! Let me never hit snooze when You’ve got something to say! I love You! Amen

Monday, May 11, 2015

Daily Dose 5-11-15

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

We are not programmed for gentle in our society. We are programmed to defend and pursue. How differently would the people around us react if all our actions were executed with the gentleness of Christ? We so often want to defend our thoughts, actions and plans that we forget who we are at times. When you sense the “perfect” reaction or zinger to belittle someone who may have provoked you, take a breath and let the reaction go through a gentleness filter and choose the Godly response.

Father, Change my heart so the words that come from my lips will be pleasing to You and have a kingdom impact on those who hear. Forgive my prideful responses and prick my heart to be gentle with Your children. I love You! Amen

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Daily Dose 5-10-15

1 Samuel 8:6-9 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day,forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”

Sometimes, God gives us exactly what we ask! Israel did have some good kings, but also suffered at the hand of many of them. God knew this was not what was best, but He granted them the desire of their hearts – even if it broke His. God had powerfully rescued His people over and over. And, over and over, they rejected Him to disobedience or idol worship. It’s easy to sit in judgment of these people as we read scripture and see the heart of God’s reaction. What if we could see the heart of God’s reaction to our behavior and requests today? Would He be full of joy and pride over our choices? Or, would He accept our rejection of His wisdom and love and grant what we request over what He wants for us?

Abba Father, I love You and want Your love above all! I am weary of asking requests of You that are based upon my own thoughts or desires. I want what You want for me and how You need me to be for Your Kingdom! Please help me have Your wisdom and insight to determine what is Your way. Prick my heart to know when I am pursuing my path that is not what You choose and give me the courage to flee! Thank You for never giving up on me! Amen

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Daily Dose 5-9-15

Psalm 106:28-31 They yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor 
and ate sacrifices offered to lifeless gods; they aroused the LORD’s anger by their wicked deeds, and a plague broke out among them. 
But Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was checked. 
This was credited to him as righteousness 
for endless generations to come.

How often do we stand up and intervene? Our culture has programmed us to be politically correct and embrace all beliefs, even if they discount the One true God and His son Jesus. The political correctness we should show is to lovingly embrace the people – never their beliefs. Our goal as Christians is to reach souls, bringing them to Christ for salvation. We need to love the lost, but also take a stand. God never tires of taking a stand for us!

Father, Give me the courage, wisdom and insight to take a stronger stance for You. May my actions show Your love and power and bring others to the cross of Your son. Amen

Friday, May 8, 2015

Daily Dose 5-8-15

Proverbs 14:30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

Discontentment is a health hazard. We are taught to focus on foods that are healthy, get exercise and plenty of rest. Yet, it is not stressed in our culture how to rest our souls in contentment – quite the opposite! We are bombarded with messages every day telling us how our bodies don’t look right, our cars aren’t cool enough, and our homes aren’t posh enough. Discontentment is encouraged to set us up for the sale of the world’s products. Those who can “purchase the dream” are pushed to want more. Those who can’t afford the price pay with their souls struggling with envy. How do we avoid this snare of satan? Learn to be thankful every day, for each provision you have. It is an exercise that leads to strengthen the internal muscle of contentment. Contentment leads to peace!

LORD, You are my provider and You have done so abundantly! I am blessed beyond measure and thank You for remembering me. Grant me contentment so I may dwell in your peace forever! Thank You most of all for loving me. It is my greatest gift! Amen

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Daily Dose 5-7-15

Samuel 1:19-21 Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, saying, “May the LORD give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to[i] the LORD.” Then they would go home. And the LORD was gracious to Hannah; she gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD.

Hannah certainly believed in the power of prayer! She desperately cried out to the LORD for a child – like many of us who offer desperate prayers. She made a promise to God if He would bless her with her request – like many of us do. However, Hannah’s follow-through was unique. She had promised to dedicate the child she desperately prayed for to the LORD – and she did. Not just by her teaching, but she literaly gave her son to Eli to be raised by the priest who blessed her prayer of anguish. Imagine the prayers Hannah prayed over Samuel while she was separated from him. Imagine the joyful tears of blessing that went into each stitch of the robes she made for him every year. When you make promises to the LORD – remember and fulfill! He never forgets His promises to us!

Father, I have made many promises over the years. Some I have obediently fulfilled, some half-hearted, and some have been forgotten. Prick my heart to remember and give me the courage and strength to follow through. Thank You for keeping all of Your promises. I love You! Amen

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Daily Dose 5-6-15

Ruth 2:10-12 She bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?” Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”

Have you ever wondered why Ruth chose to stay with Naomi after her husband died? The custom was for her to return to her parents since Naomi had no other sons for her. Ruth insisted he stay with Naomi and care for her. Was it her idea, or did she sense God’s leading? The decision could not have been easy, but she stepped out on faith, prepared for whatever God had in store. She was obedient to God and Naomi’s instruction. The resulting blessing? The childless widow struggling with what appeared to be a limited future became a mother in the lineage of the Messiah! Choosing the right path in a difficult decision can have far-reaching impact. Give your decisions to the LORD and obediently follow His lead.

Father, I struggle so often for understanding between what is my idea and what is Your will. As I make choices, please give me Your wisdom and discernment…be obvious, I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer at times! I love You! Amen

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Daily Dose 5-5-15

John 4:21-24 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

The test of whether or not we worship in spirit and in truth is not just how we praise, but how we live. The days of animal sacrifices and celebrating commanded feasts may be gone, but the intentional reflection God sought by instituting those commands remains. He wants the focus of our everyday lives to have His will at the core. He wants our hearts to be receptive to the work He is doing around us. He wants our eyes to be open to join Him in His constant invitations to join Him in His work. Worship is not just singing to God, it’s living Godly lives.

Father, Keep me ever mindful of where You are working around me. Give me the awareness to know and the strength and courage to act. I want my life to be worship to You. Amen

Monday, May 4, 2015

Daily Dose 5-4-15

Psalm 104:33-34 I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD.

True praise aims to please…not the praiser(s), but the One to whom the praise is extolled. Often in our worship services, or personal praise, we focus more on how we sound or how we look. The only thing God looks for are hearts looking to Him. The sounds He longs to hear are hearts tuned to the key of adoration. Should we always strive for excellence? Absolutely! But we should always remember Who we are aiming to please.

Father, I praise You for Who You are. I am humbled that You are eager to hear my meager praise that is not worthy for others to hear, but to You it is beautiful. I love You! Amen

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Daily Dose 5-3-15

John 3:119-21 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

The light Jesus brings to our lives should do two things: Reflect His image through us; and expose our hearts to others. In both scenarios, we are vulnerable, exposed and open. Are we comfortable with that? It seems like sometimes we want to be venetian blind Christians where we control when His light shines through us and when His light is allowed to expose our hearts. But Jesus wants us to be transparent. When we are willing to be transparent – even if it’s not pretty – He can see better how to purify and cleanse our hearts. Take down the blinds and let Him get to work!

Father, Thank You for the saving light Your Son brings. May I be open and transparent so He may shine through me and work in me. Amen

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Daily Dose 5-2-15

Psalm 103:1-5 Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The way God loves is hard for us to truly comprehend. We think we know love based on our earthly relationships, but that love can’t compare to the love God has for us. The benefits of earthly love bring companionship, support and encouragement. The benefits of God’s love lead to our eternal salvation. While He loves unconditionally, He does not force us to accept it. The full benefits of His love come with our full acceptance.

Loving Father, I want to completely accept and remember Your love so I may fully know all Your benefits. Soften my heart to love You even more! Amen

Friday, May 1, 2015

Daily Dose 5-1-15

John 1:43-45 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

When the word find or found is used, it is most often the result of an intended search. Jesus knew Philip before Philip had any idea who Jesus was. Jesus made an intentional decision to leave for Galilee…where He found Philip. What was it about Philip that made Jesus look for him? If the whole finding as a result of searching theory is true, it’s revealed when scripture shares Philip’s words to Nathanael…“We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law…” Could it be he found the Messiah because he was earnestly waiting and searching for Him? Could it be that Jesus chose Philip because He knew His heart would not be able to wait to tell others about Him? Are you searching for Jesus, His ways, and His teachings in all you do? Are you so thrilled with what You find in Him that you search out others to tell. Take a tip from Philip, being found by Jesus should inspire us to search for those who do not yet know Him.

Dear Jesus, I sometimes don’t understand why you would have searched for me, but I’m so glad You did. Give me the courage to search and tell others how wonderful it is to be found by You! Amen