Monday, August 29, 2016

Daily Dose 8-29-16

2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (MSG) Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We're free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.

The older translations of this scripture are beautiful, but something about The Message version makes it real and exciting. When Moses used to go to the mountain to visit God, he had to veil his face upon his return for two reasons: one, the people were blinded by the glory of God, and, two, they lost interest as they saw the glory from his face begin to fade. Because of the freedom Christ gives us, we can go to the mountain with God as often as we like. We don’t have to wait for an appointed time like Moses did. Our lives should be reflecting His glory on all those we deal with each day. It should become progressively brighter as we grow in Christ and deeper in our relationship with God. Strip your veil away! If there is anything that hinders you from getting that radiant glow from God’s glory, get rid of it! If your glow has begun to fade, recharge it! Fall before the LORD with a repentant heart and ask Him to show you His glory anew!

Father, Too often, I veil Your glory with my own thoughts, desires and sins. Help me to strip all that away so that others see You in me! I love You! Amen

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Daily Dose 8-27-16

2 Corinthians 2:9-11 Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

Forgiveness is an act of obedience, plain and simple. It is not something we do for the one we are forgiving. It’s not even something we do for us. It is something we do because the sacrifice of Christ requires it. Anytime we obey, there are blessings to follow. This scripture points out a hazard of not forgiving that is not often discussed. Satan uses unforgiveness – especially among Christians – as an open door to havoc. He convinces us that we are justified in our withholding of forgiveness. It is that point where we welcome in his plan to our lives. Satan is strategic, calculating and patient. He des not always expect immediate results with his snares. Often, we don’t realize he has caught us until years, or even decades later. Forgiveness is not always easy. However, each time we struggle to forgive, we must visualize Christ on the cross begging forgiveness for his accusers – and us who would follow. No matter how grievously someone has wronged us, it cannot compare to how Christ suffered – unjustified, so that we may stand before God, justified and pure. Beware of satan’s trap of unforgiveness – don’t allow him victory to surpass the victory Christ offers to you!

Father, Thank You for helping me to overcome unforgiveness. It is a continual process and I pray You will make it easier for me each time I am required to forgive. I can’t imagine my life without the forgiveness afforded to me by Jesus. I remember His sacrifice and sacrifice my own justification to those who have hurt me. I love You! Amen  

Friday, August 26, 2016

Daily Dose 8-26-16

2 Corinthians 1:3-6 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.

We often talk about the lessons we learn during suffering. Some of our challenges could be consequences of our sin that lead to repentance. It’s through trials that we draw closer to God. We acknowledge things during tough times that He may not have been able to get us to see otherwise. However, there could also be times when your suffering has nothing to do with you at all. You may be the only one who will be able to minister to another who will walk the same rough road one day. During your trials, look inward. See if repentance or lessons are needed for you to grow closer to God. But also, take the time to remember how God carries you through the trial. Journal so you don’t forget the details. Who knows what your experience may do for another one day!

Father, During my struggles, keep me cognizant of Your presence and provision. Help me to focus on how You carry me through each challenge and heartache. Use me as a testimony to share Your faithfulness to bring comfort to others. I love You! Amen

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Daily Dose 8-23-16

Psalm 38:15-18 LORD, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God. For I said, “Do not let them gloat or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.” For I am about to fall, and my pain is ever with me. I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.

Periods of waiting on the LORD can be difficult. When we are fearful or anxious it is easy to feel like God has deserted us. However, it is in the wait that we build great faith. While we wait, there should be two important activities – praise and self-examination. Praise is obvious. When we can wait on the LORD and remain faithful to praise, we demonstrate that our relationship with God is more important to us than what He can provide. When we examine our hearts, we may be able to see what God is trying to purify in us. Sometimes, what we seek rescue from is a consequence of our sin. If you are in a period of waiting on God’s rescue, spend time with Him in praise and confession. Ask Him to reveal what He needs to change in you to be ready for His next step in your life.

Father, I don’t need to bring a worry list to You. You know my needs more than I do. I bring to You a heart completely in love with You. I bring my broken heart, crushed by my sin, to You. I know full well You are eager to forgive and mend my heart to be completely pure for service to You. I wait in faith. I love You! Amen

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Daily Dose 8-20-16

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…

Most of us have heard and read this scripture many times and many even have it committed to memory. It’s a scripture many “know” but have a hard time putting into practice. This section of the Word is the foundational principle of walking out the ministry of Christ. Yet, it is often the hardest thing we do. To practice real love – with all those we encounter – is the truest test of how we allow Christ to reveal Himself through us.

Father, Help me remember the challenge You have placed on my heart: To love the unlovely and those who reject or discount my love is the way Christ is seen in me. I love You. Amen

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Daily Dose 8-17-16

1 Corinthians 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

Who are you following, and who’s following you? Our natural instinct is to follow. Even the natural-born leaders follow someone or some view. Be on guard to find Godly role models – not to put them on a pedestal or worship them – but to see faith walked out in action. Study the Word to learn more about our ultimate role model, Jesus Christ. It is important to remember that no matter how insignificant you may feel, someone is always following you whether you realize it or not. Your life may be the only glimpse of Christ some co-workers, friends or associates have seen. Follow Christ and others who follow Him – you never know how long the line is of those who are following you!

Father, Reveal to me in each circumstance of my day how Jesus would respond in the same situation. Keep me on His path so that I don’t cause others to wander away from Him. I love You! Amen

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Daily Dose 8-16-16

Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

When we are overcome by struggles in life, it is easy to feel as if God has deserted us. However, our loving Father is never closer than when we feel all alone. When you are hurting and afraid, when you feel your heart breaking, visualize God picking you up as a parent caresses a crying child. Know that although He holds the world in His Hands, He is still available to stitch the seams of your broken heart. Give all your brokenness, worries and concerns completely to Him and let Him begin gently putting the pieces together.

Loving Father, I am overwhelmed with life at times, but more overwhelmed by Your concern for me. Help me to see what I keep trying to fix on my own and completely surrender it all to You. I trust You with my broken pieces. I love You. Amen

Monday, August 15, 2016

Daily Dose 8-15-16

1 Corinthians 9:12-13 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

God is into our protection, but He does not eliminate our temptations or struggles. Our temptations, while personal to us individually are not unique. The greatest temptation of one could be something another would never consider. That helps us when we need someone strong to hold us accountable. However, there’s nothing like being accountable to someone who truly shares your desires and understands the temptations – and has overcome. Sometimes, God allows people to endure so they can came been victorious and walk others through the path of escape He provides. If you are frustrated because of temptations, realize God may be preparing you to win your race to be able to coach someone else through. Watch for His signals of escape. He reveals them through the Word, in your prayer time, as you feel the Holy Spirit nudging you, and often through people who have overcome your temptation. God never wastes a struggle. Whatever you are enduring will be the perfect testimony someone else needs to hear to overcome!

Father, Help me to be victorious each day with temptations satan places before me. Show me how You need me to guide others who may need encouragement. You are my rock. As long as I firmly stand in faith and on Your Word, I will be victorious. I love You! Amen

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Daily Dose 8-14-16

Psalm 33:12-15 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth—he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.

What could God be seeing when He examines the individual hearts across our nation? There’s no doubt He will be greatly pleased with many. Despite how far our nation collectively seems to be straying from God and His Will, there are many who still fear the LORD and love Him with great passion. However, it seems some hearts, in their pursuit of restoring us to a Godly nation, have acted in very ungodly ways. The bitter discourse and disrespectful banter is just as displeasing to God as those who choose to shake or destroy the Godly foundations upon which our Country was founded. Christians should be active in the political process, bold in their stance for God, but respectful and Godly with their presentation of the facts.

Guiding Father, Lead our nation to repentance! Prick the hearts of the Godly to pursue leadership roles in the running of our nation, states and communities – and protect their hearts when they get there. Guide me to do my part in proclaiming Your will boldly without acting disrespectfully which discredits Your authority. Bless America and soften American hearts to be the people You call us to be. I Love You! Amen

Friday, August 12, 2016

Daily Dose 8-12-16

Nehemiah 4:15-20 When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work. From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me. Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”

God’s people were passionate about rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. Their enemies were just as passionate about stopping them. They worked with all their hearts to rebuild, but were also prepared to fight. Do you ever feel paralyzed from progress because you feel threatened? Know that God understands your fears. However, He wants you to move forward in a positive attitude while being prepared for the worst. Join with others to fight with you and for you in prayer. But know you are not fighting the enemies in life alone. Build your section of God’s wall!

Father, Sometimes when I look at the section of the wall You have called me to rebuild, I am overwhelmed. Help me remember You are with me and will fight for me. I love You! Amen

Monday, August 8, 2016

Daily Dose 8-8-16

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.

Tiny progress is worthy of great praise. We so often postpone the BIG praise waiting for the complete manifestation of our prayers. However, it is beautiful to God when we praise through the journey. Examples? Maybe you are in a life transition. The complete view of the new life isn’t there, but there are glimpses of hope and inexplicable peace. Maybe you have received a horrible diagnosis. God brought you through the first stage victoriously, but treatments continue. Maybe you are trying to overcome debt. You still have balances, but they are decreasing. Maybe you have broken relationships. There is not complete reconciliation yet, but a peaceful conversation. Whatever journey you are on PRAISE! Show God that you acknowledge His presence with you on the journey. The purpose of what you are going through may have nothing to do with the end result, but how you walk along the way!

Guiding Father, You are the great and mighty creator of the universe, yet You are intrinsically involved in my meager life. I praise You for my breath each day. I praise You for Your peace when so many things seem up in the air. You are my sustainer, provider, champion, and loving friend! I am overwhelmed by Your grace and revel in Your affection! I love You! Amen

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Daily Dose 8-7-16

Proverbs 20:27 The Lord’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive. (NLT)

The closer we become to God, the more we give up trying to put our best face forward. The further our relationship deepens, the more our true heart and intentions are exposed. Revealing our true motives is not a “Gotcha” opportunity to God. It is His way of molding us into the version of us He intended. When God reveals an impure motive, we have options. We can deny truth and continue on our own path. We can argue with God, trying to convince Him He has misunderstood. Or, we can boldly confess it to God and ask for His power to enable us to change or hearts. When our motives are lined up to fulfill God’s will instead of our own, our end result is better than our selfish motives hoped to accomplish!

Father, Show me what You see. Allow me to know what motives are not in line with Your will. Keep my heart pure, looking for where the path leads to Your glory revealed in me. I love You! Amen

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Daily Dose 8-6-16

1 Corinthians 2:14-16 (MSG) The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion. Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics. Isaiah’s question, “Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit, anyone who knows what he is doing?” has been answered: Christ knows, and we have Christ’s Spirit.

Decisions in life aren’t always easy. The spirit of the world is in constant conflict for our choices. To the world, our life path should be based upon material achievement and financial security/success. Anything less is foolish. However, when we are in tune with the Spirit of God, we see choices based upon different priorities. We learn to look inwardly and see which path would improve our influence for the Kingdom, our relationship with God and others. The world demands that our choices be based upon leaving an inheritance of wealth and a legacy of achievement. The Spirit of Christ within us calls us to leave behind souls who have an inheritance in heaven, and a legacy of love. Which will you allow to influence your choices today?

Holy Spirit, I need Your wisdom to be strong in my mind. Forgive me for quenching Your power with my own thoughts and desires. Help me to know that things that don’t make sense by worldly standards could be Your call for a step of faith. I submit to Your lead! Amen

Friday, August 5, 2016

Daily Dose 8-5-16

Psalm 27:13-14 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

In our times of oppression - whether it be from sickness, other people, or just the struggles of life - there is the temptation to give up. Sometimes, God rescues us quickly from a tough situation. Other times, He remains with us through the struggles. To try and determine in our own wisdom why things are the way they are is futile. True faith is knowing that His timing is perfect, His provision is what we need, and we are never alone. God knows each struggle and hurt. On our own, struggles are hopeless – with God all things are possible. Turn your oppression over to Your champion and wait for the LORD. When life has beaten you down and you feel inferior or insecure, take His hand and stand with great confidence knowing that while you don’t understand, you are loved and cherished by the One who knows all and has all control!

Father, There is so much I don’t understand. There is so much that I don’t know. But I am so thankful that in my unknowing, I know that I am loved and protected by You – the One who knows all! I love You! Amen

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Daily Dose 8-4-16

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

There are times in life when we face crossroads. The picture of where we are doesn’t look like we had planned. To stand still and do nothing seems to be a pursuit in mediocrity. One path looks scary and has red flags. Another seems ominous because there is so much unknown. These crossroads usually evoke one common emotion – fear. When you are at a point in life where, “I don’t know” has become a common phrase, remember what you do know. God is with You. Jesus gave everything for You. The Holy Spirit will empower you. Fear is not of the LORD! Turn to Him at the crossroad. Take His hand and stand with confidence. The roads may not be Your plan, but with God, the plans could be better than you imagined!

Father, Life is hard and lonely sometimes. Please help me remember that with You I am never alone; and, because of You, I can and will go on. I love You! Amen

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Daily Dose 8-3-16

Romans 16:17-18 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.

The last prayer of Jesus while on earth was for unity. Christians who cause divisions in the Church break the heart of Christ. Divisions can come in many forms. The most obvious is prideful bickering. However, the deepest divisions may come when no words are spoken at all. When Christians fail to restore broken relationships and continue to live in avoidance as opposed to acceptance, the obstacle of alienation is thrown in the pathway of love. Hearts have been broken and spirits crushed when brothers and sisters move on from broken relationships under the guise of maintaining peace. We must learn to repair and restore the broken hearts in our midst before we can be truly successful in healing the hearts of the lost.

Father, Show me what You would have me do to restore broken relationships among Your people. Help me to be an instrument of Your reconciling love. Amen

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Daily Dose 8-2-16

2 Chronicles 32:6-8 He appointed military officers over the people and assembled them before him in the square at the city gate and encouraged them with these words: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.

King Hezekiah worked hard in his own strength to obediently do what the LORD commanded him to do to protect the people of Judah. He rallied the troops and fortified the city. But when the enemy approached, the people were afraid. When he saw their fear, Hezekiah didn’t remind them of what they had done, he assured them of what God would do! As we build our lives and fortify our families and churches against the enemy, on whom do we rely? Be faithful to work with God, but remember the victory will come because He is with You, not because of anything you do on your own.

Father, Without You I am overcome. Be with me always and keep my focus on Your commands. I love You! Amen

Monday, August 1, 2016

Daily Dose 8-1-16

Psalm 25:4-5 Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

The world offers lots of instruction. There are many paths presented to us on a daily basis, but not all those paths are God’s choice for our lives. Are you at a crossroad? Do you sense a need for a new path, but have no idea where to go? Turn to God and spend time in His Word and in prayer. Your path will be revealed to you in time. Be aware of things God may be trying to work in you or through you in preparation for His path. Waiting doesn’t always mean doing nothing. Often, the waiting place is where God does His best work in us if we yield it all to Him. Seek Him, He will not let you down.

Holy God, I long to be on Your path. Show me how and where I can be most effective for You. Make very clear to me what You want me to do as I await You next assignment. I love You! Amen