Monday, July 24, 2017

Daily Dose 7-24-17

Romans 8:26-28 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

There are certainly times when our prayers need to be specific. God needs to see our faith exercised in bold belief that He can and will answer. However, there are also times that we need to be less concerned about what we are praying for than who we are praying through. The sacrifice of Jesus gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit living inside us. He even told His apostles it was better for Him to leave so the Spirit could come...What? There’s something better than Jesus in flesh? Apparently so, yet we don’t live that way. We continually push our wants, desires and needs and quench the Spirit’s ability to show us what our wants, desires and needs should be. Try spending some time in prayer truly allowing the Spirit to intercede for you. Step back, and submit to God’s will, whatever it may be. He probably has better plans than you could ever imagine!

Whatever LORD! I kneel behind Your Spirit submitted to Your will. I love You! Amen

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Daily Dose 7-20-17

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

There’s a lot in life that can shake us. Sickness, loss of loved ones, financial struggles, rejection and loneliness are just a few. However, when we live in a mode of praise and gratitude to God, our trials become bearable and possible to overcome. Maximize His counsel for you by increasing your praise of Him. Love Him boldly. Trust Him courageously. Take His hand and walk securely down whatever path you may face. He’s got you covered.

Father, I am overcome when I think of doing life without You. How do those who don't have you manage? I am so grateful to Know You have my right hand and will pick me up when I fall and pull me up the hills and mountains I face. I praise You for who You are and Your unfailing love and support to me – one who is so unworthy. I love You. Amen

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Daily Dose 7-19-17

I Chronicles 28:19-20 “All this,” David said, “I have in writing as a result of the LORD’s hand on me, and he enabled me to understand all the details of the plan.” David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished."

David wanted desperately to build the temple. God had given him the plans, he visualized it, he was passionate about it – but God said no. As a warrior, David’s hands would not be the one to construct the temple. God told him it would be his son Solomon who would be the chosen one. David was accustomed to getting his way. He could have pleaded with God. He could have mourned over the loss of his dream. He could have turned his back. Instead, David saw his role in God’s plan as a supporter, encourager and a philanthroper. He gave Solomon the plans and blessed and encouraged him. He gave of his own wealth to fund the construction and encouraged others to do the same. Is there something you want to do for God, but He has said no? Look deeper. He may have a role for you that you did not expect. Humble yourself to be willing to do whatever job God presents…you will find blessings and peace!

Father, I dream big dreams and make big plans, but I am not sure they are always Your plans. I will submit to whatever role You have for me. Show me what You will have me do. I love You. Amen

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Daily Dose 7-18-17

Romans 5:3-5 … but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Every trial comes with a choice. We can face it with peaceful hope in Christ, or we can turn our backs on His peace and endure it alone. It is tough to live up to this scripture and rejoice in suffering, but each trial faced with hope brings us closer to that standard. If we look toward the end of the trial and know the rewards God has in store, we endure with hope. If we turn from Him in bitterness and anger, the results are bitterness and anger multiplied. These results often give birth to more trials. Attitude is everything; and hope in Christ forms a positive attitude – no matter what the trial.

Father, Remind me when trials come that You hold it all in Your Hands. I know You love me and will walk with me down the roughest roads of life. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit that gives me the strength, courage and companionship to carry on in Your hope. I love You! Amen

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Daily Dose 7-16-17

Romans 3:22-24 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

It doesn’t matter who we are or where we come from, Christ’s sacrifice is for all. This free gift comes to us and asks that we accept and believe. Through that belief, we are drawn to a close relationship with Jesus that changes our lives. Look to Him in faith. Believe His loving forgiveness; and walk in His ways. He doesn’t expect perfection, but His sacrifice should lead us to long for progress on our journey with Him.

Father, I lift up to You those who have not accepted the gift of Your Son’s sacrifice. I pray You will soften hearts and lead them to the cross for salvation. Use me however You can and will to join in Your work. I love You! Amen.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Daily Dose 7-15-17

Proverbs 19:11 A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.

We are so quick to rush to judgment of someone – especially if their offense is against us. We assume we know their hearts and all the facts; connect the dots and take it personally. This Proverb encourages us to be patient with people and not assume you know all the details. God is pleased when we believe the best in others without quickly assuming the worst.

Father, I struggle at times with connecting too many dots. Teach me to patiently trust You and patiently believe the best in others. I love You! Amen

Friday, July 14, 2017

Daily Dose 7-14-17

Romans 2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

It seems to be so easy to look at someone else’s life and declare right and wrong. However, we must remember the old adage, “When you point your finger at someone, three more are pointing back at you.” We tend to confuse holding someone accountable and standing for truth with judgment. The difference is the heart behind the action. We are called to encourage one other to live pure and holy lives. When we speak against sin to a brother or sister, remember this verse. Instead of judgment and accusation, prayerfully practice conviction and adoration. Judging someone to condemn may lead to your own imprisonment one day. Convicting someone through loving support can lead to healing and freedom for both.

Father, Guide my heart away from judgment and into more love. Help me remember to lovingly convict to correct when I must stand for Your truth, instead of pridefully judging to condemn. Thank You for the grace the blood of Your Son purchased for me. I love you! Amen

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Daily Dose 7-13-17

Psalm 10:14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. 
The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.

There are times we see our hardships or struggles others are going through and we just want to fix it. We are trained to pull ourselves up from our bootstraps and go on. We want to be the champion to those in pain and go in and remedy situations to make everything all better. But sometimes, the only One to pull those bootstraps or champion the cause is the LORD God Almighty. We have to learn that He knows the hurts more than we feel or see them. He understands the root cause of struggles and has the power to fix it. Sometimes, all we can do is trust. If you are struggling or hurting for those who do, stop spinning in circles trying to make things right. Spend time before the LORD in prayer, praise, and in His Word. TRUST. His mercies are new every morning and He is close to the hurting. He WILL handle it with His justice. In His hands, all WILL be made right

Father, I am a fixer. I see the pain and oppression of so many and I want to go in with an action plan, execute the strategies and celebrate the victory. But there are things so much bigger than my meager scope or vision. I turn to You and beg You to handle it. Soften hearts that inflict cruelty on others, mend wounded relationships, comfort those enduring unspeakable grief, befriend the lonely and strengthen the weary. I am trusting You, and You alone. I love You. Amen

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Daily Dose 7-12-17

Romans 1:11-12 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.

God did not provide our Spiritual gifts for our own use. Our gifts are to be used to reach the lost and encourage others in the faith to stand strong. Paul longed to see the church in Rome to lift them up and encourage them. By doing so, he would also be encouraged. Reach out to lift someone else up today. By doing so, you may bring a new perspective to your own struggles.

Father, I need encouragement. Show me who needs me today so that I can be encouraged by being an instrument in Your Hands. I love You. Amen

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Daily Dose 7-11-17

Psalm 9:9-10 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 
Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You.

If you are feeling oppressed and overcome by the struggles of life, know there is a place of reprieve. In the intimate relationship with God, He can mend your broken heart, bandage your wounds, dry your tears and provide shelter until the storms of life have passed. He never promises our lives will be without struggle, but He is always faithful to us when we turn to Him.

My Stronghold, Thank You for Your faithfulness to me throughout my darkest days.I have felt Your calming presence in trials and know Your resolve to care for me. Thank You seems inadequate. I cling to You now more than ever. I love You. Amen

Monday, July 10, 2017

Daily Dose 7-10-17

Psalm 8:3-4 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?

The massive structures and tiny details we witness in creation show us God’s amazing power and supremacy. He holds time and space in His Hand, yet cares enough to collect our tears in a bottle. Take the time today to observe flowers, trees, mountains or seas. Know that the same God who gives the oceans their borders and the flowers their delicate petals is the same God who is mindful of you. Your cries to Him are not mute. He is aware of your needs. He invests in your life through blessings and discipline. He carries you through struggles and lifts you up in celebrations. As you notice the beauty and details of creation, know that the same attention to detail is spent on you. Repay Him for the good He has done with your praise!

Majestic Creator God, My words seem so inadequate to share my love for You. Yet, I know You long to hear from me. That’s tough to comprehend at times. You – the creator of heaven and earth – WANT to hear from ME, a sinner who constantly falls short of who You intended me to be. Thank You for knowing me, loving me, and being mindful of me. It is a gift beyond measure. I love You Amen

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Daily Dose 7-8-17

Psalm 7:17 I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD Most High.

Life throws curveballs and sometimes things don’t make sense. But in the midst of pain, struggles and confusion, there is always one constant – the righteousness of God. Since He is who He says He is, He is worthy of praise. Before the anxieties of the day have time to wear you down, praise Him who is worthy and He will lift you up. Any day that starts with the LORD Most High is bound to be better than one started with worries.

Father, Your righteousness, grace and loving mercy allow me to start each day with a clean slate. Make this one good for Your Kingdom. Allow me to be an instrument in Your hands. I love You. Amen

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Daily Dose 7-8-17

1 Chronicles 5:20 They were helped in fighting them, and God delivered the Hagrites and all their allies into their hands, because they cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him.

The children of Israel were accustomed to physical wars and battles in life. They had the stories passed through generations accounting God’s faithfulness in battle and they experienced His protection and provision firsthand. This verse recounts another victory. At first blush you can assume God gave them the victory because they cried out to Him. But at the end, you see it wasn’t their cry but their trust that brought His favorable response. It’s easy to cry out – what we do after is what matters to God. We can cry out in anger, confusion, hurt and fear; but, if we end in trust, He is pleased and wants to honor our requests. Does that mean if we trust we win every battle in life? Jesus would tell us no. He begged for the cross to be removed from His path, yet He trusted. Christ did endure the cross with all its suffering and shame, which seemed like defeat. Yet, the victory God brought from it was not only Christ’s victory over death, it became our victory over the chains of sin and a life separated from God. Are you enduring a tough battle? Are you facing a cruel cross? TRUST Him! He may not remove the obstacle or pain, but He will see you though it. Your victory may not look like what you wanted, but it may lead to salvation victories for generations to come when they tell of your great trust during trials.

Father, It’s so easy for me to cry out to You when life is tough. The trust part tends to be more challenging. My heart KNOWS to trust You, yet my brain doesn’t always get the message. Turn off the part of my mind that causes doubt and prick my heart to live a life of complete trust – no matter the circumstances. I love You; and may I show that love through my trust! Amen

Friday, July 7, 2017

Daily Dose 7-7-17

Psalm 5:3 In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.

So many of us are ready to put our requests before the LORD, but how do we do at listening? Prayer is not a one-way conversation. We may not have burning bush moments where we audibly hear God’s response; but the more we practice listening the more we recognize His voice. God reveals His answers to us through His Word, circumstances and confirmation of others. When you spend time in the Word after prayer, you will often see a scripture in a new light that pricks your heart. If it is a stronghold you are praying to overcome, studying scripture on the subject puts satan on notice. There are times when God reveals His answers through circumstances by having doors open or shut to guide you. God also uses His people to answer your prayers. Having a prayer partner you trust to truly lift up your requests and seek wise counsel on your behalf is priceless. Cherish and protect those relationships. The hardest answer to hear sometimes is, “Wait.” Waiting on the LORD’s timing is not easy, but its rewards are great. Learning to trust Him increases your love for Him. God ever fails to answer your prayers, just be sure you’re ready to listen!

Father, I love talking with You through prayer. Thank You for helping me recognize Your voice more clearly each day. Attune my heart to hear in ways my ears could not comprehend. I love You! Amen

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Daily Dose 7-6-17

Psalm 4:6 Many, LORD, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” Let the light of your face shine on us.

As Americans, we look at our struggling economy and wonder what happened. Could it be we are experiencing the consequences of our nation’s shift from the Godly foundation it was built upon? Are we looking for the blessings from God as we tip toe through political correctness and avoid acknowledging Him? Do we expect His provision when we hold back our praise? Take time today to pray for our nation. Lift up the Godly servants who are in office to ask God to increase their courage, influence and protect them from the snares of satan. Pray those who seek to turn our country into one nation under itself will soften their hearts and be touched by God to know of Him and His Son and be led by the Holy Spirit. Ask God to raise up Godly leaders to seek office to return our country to its foundation – under God.

Father, I am so thankful for the freedoms and blessings of living in this great nation. I love America and those who fought to build it, protect it, and continue to defend it. Father, I lift our leaders to You and ask You to touch hearts. Rise up leaders You know will bring us back to Your principles. I love You. Amen

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Daily Dose 7-5-17

Proverbs 18:14 The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?

There are some pains worse than physical suffering. Rejection, failure, betrayals, loss of a loved one, disappointment and loneliness are a few of the things that can crush the human spirit. No matter what hurt may be crushing you right now, know that God is near to the brokenhearted and He wants to lift Your burdens. He sent His son to endure the same struggles we face so we have a Savior who can relate to our emotions. Turn to Him who is able to relieve your stress, console your grief and comfort you in your pain.

Comforting Father, There are many things I don’t understand, but I do understand Your love for me and those around me. Intervene today and lift the burdens that are crushing spirits. Comfort the way only You can. I love You! Amen

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Daily Dose 7-4-17

Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.

Millions of dollars have been spent on self-help and how-to-succeed books. People desperately seek the answers to how to be the best and get the most out of life. Sadly, most search for things away from God and His Word when He desires to give them all they need. To truly delight in the law of the LORD and meditate on it will change your perspective in all aspects of life. If you live in step with His Word, your walk will bring contentment and peace. God doesn’t promise us a Midas touch or that life will always be easy; but He des promise to be with us all the way. That constant companionship and support is where we are able to find joy amidst suffering, peace among trials, and strength in adversity – that is a most successful life!

Father, Thank You for getting me through the tough times and showering me with Your blessings. Life is hard sometimes, but with You by my side and Your Word in my heart, I know I can persevere. Thank You for the peace that only You can provide! I love You! Amen

Monday, July 3, 2017

Daily Dose 7-3-17

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

Life can be painful and scary at times. Suffering, hardships, loss and disappointment are all around us. The constant hope and security we have as Christians is the access we have to our Father, the LORD of all, the Great Physician, our Rescuer, our Comforter. Whatever your need may be, He is more than able to provide and eager to hear your call.

Father, My heart runs to Your strong tower. There are so many needs surrounding me; not just my own, but people I love are in immense struggles. Use me to guide them to Your tower of protection. Father, I know You do not always remove the source of our pain or struggle, but You empower us to make it through them. Thank You for Your strength and protection. I love You! Amen

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Daily Dose 7-2-17

2 Kings 22:1-2 (MSG) Josiah was eight years old when he became king. He ruled for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath. He lived the way God wanted. He kept straight on the path blazed by his ancestor David, not one step to either left or right.

It’s hard for us to imagine a child becoming the leader of our country. Josiah was next in line for the throne. Despite his age, it was his time. What he did with his time as king was remarkable. He is praised in scripture as one of the greatest kings ever because He stood strong for God’s Word and remained obedient without question We often hear generational slurs as older discounts younger as being irresponsible; younger scoffs at older for being out of touch. One thing we learn through scripture is age is irrelevant to God. He uses the young like Josiah to lead and He chooses the old like Sarah to bear a child who will be a leader. No matter where you are on your life timeline, God has a purpose for you in His time. Don’t think you’re too young to make a difference or you’ve missed your time because of your increasing age.  Remember that as you view those of another generation. Be an encourager to the young and a cheerleader to the old. Help others fulfill their purpose and plan that God created them to achieve – encouraging someone to do great things may be your great thing!

Father, Open my eyes to what you are doing through those around me. Remove the filters that tell me it doesn’t look like it’s supposed to look. Help me see with Your eyes and respond with Your heart! Don’t let me miss a thing! I love You! Amen

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Daily Dose 7-1-17

Psalm 149:4-5 the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds.

Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine the Holy God of the universe delighting in us as individuals. We tend to feel like God loves everyone and we are lumped in that group. However, God’s love for us is very personal. He knows our worst and best qualities and completely adores us anyway. That thought is humbling – which makes Him adore us more! The Psalmist references the honor we have because of this and it leads the faithful to sing for joy on their beds. This reference probably means praises to God are the last thoughts as we fall asleep and the first thoughts as we arise in the morning. Wake up each day knowing your loving Father, the Holy creator of heaven and earth sang over you as you drifted to sleep and gently nudges You as your eyes are opening! He absolutely adores you!

Father, I am overwhelmed when I think of all You know about me and You still adore me. You know each flaw, each weakness, each shortcoming, yet You choose to focus on each quality that is good or has potential to be good. I’m overcome with praise when I think of Your delight over me…undeserved, but so appreciated! I love You! Amen

Friday, June 30, 2017

Daily Dose 6-30-17

Acts 20:22-24 And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

Paul faced as many hardships for the cause of Christ as others endured at his hand as he tried to prevent the spread of Christ’s message. He persevered despite shipwrecks, beatings and imprisonment. He was close enough to God to discern what seemed to be conflicting messages from the Holy Spirit. The Spirit compelled him to go to Jerusalem, yet warned him that he would face many hardships including the possible loss of his life. Have you felt compelled by the Spirit to do something for the cause of Christ that was later dismissed because of the risk? Think of Paul, pray for the same discernment he had, and be bold! Paul faced beating, imprisonment and death. Often, the biggest obstacle we face is tripping over our pride as we face rejection or ridicule.

Father, I want to do what You intend for me to do to further Your Kingdom. Give me discernment to know how to be most effective and back it up by giving me the courage to follow through. I love you! Amen

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Daily Dose 6-8-17

Psalm 126:5 Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.

The soil of God’s heart is fertile ground for a harvest of joy. He is full of compassion and loves to have His children come to Him when life’s burdens are too much to bear. Take your weary, broken heart before the LORD. Sow the seeds of your tears with Him. He will gently cover them with His love and water them with the sweat and blood of His Son’s sacrifice for you. Waiting obediently on Him, you will begin to see sprouts of peace. The situation causing your heartbreak may never change, but the Great Gardener will produce a crop of peace, joy, and victory from the anguish.

Loving Father, I can’t fully comprehend Your love for me, but I know I am hopeless without the ability to come to You when my heart is broken. Thank You for growing my tears into joy. I love You. Amen

Monday, June 5, 2017

Daily Dose 6-5-17

2 Samuel 24:24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

What kind of offerings do we make to the LORD today? Do we throw a few dollars in the plate out of habit or to relieve some guilt, or do we truly sacrifice in order to please Him? There are times God asks us to sacrifice time; that is when we become financially generous. We would rather throw money at a problem than get our hands dirty in service. There are times when God asks us to sacrifice our pride and concede on an argument of preference; it’s then that we become vigilant for the cause. When God asks for our vigilance, to take a stand; we claim peace and humility, becoming politically correct. When will we rise above giving God what we want Him to have versus what He requires of us?

Father, I know my sacrifices often fall into convenient giving. Give me Your eyes to see what You require of me beyond what I currently give. Prick my heart to know what is Your desire versus what I am comfortable giving. I love You Amen

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Daily Dose 6-1-17

2 Samuel 18:32-33 The king asked the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” The Cushite replied, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up to harm you be like that young man.” The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!”

We see a glimpse of the heart of God through the man who constantly pursued it. David loved his son Absalom just as God loves us. Absalom was prideful and rebellious just as we can be. Even though King David ordered thousands to bring Absalom in safely, his son was killed in an accident pursuing David’s men. Ironically, his hair – the source of his good looks that formed his great pride – caught in the low hanging branches of an oak tree. Does your pride put you in conflict against the One who loves you most? Is it a snare for you? Do you find yourself in conflict with the people (fellow Christians) He sends to bring you back? Just as King David was just, he knew his son must be held accountable and brought in, yet he still loved. Just as God is just, by the grace of Christ’s blood, He forgives, but knows there will still be consequences for our sin. Absalom wanted to be king of the kingdom and push his father from the throne. Are you trying to be the LORD of your life and push your Father from the throne of your soul? If so, God’s heart is breaking just like David’s did.

Father, Forgive my prideful heart and mold it to pursue Yours as David did. Protect me from consequences and restore fractured relationships. I love You.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Daily Dose 5-31-17

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

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Daily Dose 5-18-17

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

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Daily Dose 5-17-17

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

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Daily Dose 5-16-17

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

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Daily Dose 5-11-17

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

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Daily Dose 5-10-17

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

Friday, May 5, 2017

Daily Dose 5-5-17

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

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Daily Dose 5-3-17

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

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Daily Dose 4-30-17

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

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

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

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Daily Dose 4-27-17

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

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

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

Monday, April 24, 2017

Daily Dose 4-24-17

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

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

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

Friday, April 21, 2017

Daily Dose 4-21-17

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

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

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

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Daily Dose 4-20-17

Joshua 21:43-45 So the LORD gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there. The LORD gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their ancestors. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the LORD gave all their enemies into their hands. Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.

Are there promises you are believing God to fulfill? If you are struggling with the wait, do a heart check. God’s faithfulness is linked to our obedience. Sometimes, He is also waiting on the right timing for the promise to be fulfilled at a greater capacity than we imagined. As the children of Israel were making bricks in the hot sands of Egypt, they never imagined the beauty and rest that was waiting for them in the Promised Land. Unfortunately, because of their constant rebellion, that generation did not know the rest God promised. He was faithful. He did provide. But His promise was fulfilled in the next generation. Are You living in obedience, believing God? Be sure there’s not a bit more refining He needs to do to get you ready to receive!

Faithful Father, Show me what needs to change in my heart to make me ready to receive. Give me the strength and courage to make those changes. I love You!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Daily Dose 4-17-17

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

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

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

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Daily Dose 4-16-17

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

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

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

Friday, April 14, 2017

Daily Dose 4-14-17

What's your choice this Good Friday?

John 18:39-40 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?” They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!”

Was there a glimmer of hope on that day so many years ago? Jesus had prayed so fervently to avoid the cross the night before, yet accepted the will of His father. But at this instant–when Pilot offered the people a choice–did the vision of possibility run through His head? As He looked among the crowd, did He see those He had healed and ministered to with hope? Was He like a child for a moment waiting for the kickball team captain to choose Him? He was omnipotent. He knew in His heart the choice that would be made but He also knew the God He served, His Father, was able to make another way. For a split-second did He think this could be the way? The people He loved so dearly would choose Him over a common criminal? God could make that work! It didn't take long for the answer. The people shouted, "No!" We often desperately long for acceptance, friendship and love from people–often times, we are rejected. Our rejection may lead to sadness, disappointment or frustration. The rejection Jesus experienced that day led Him to cruel torture, a horrific death and most sadly, separation from His Father. Have you accepted that sacrifice? He still looks among the lost today saying, "Choose Me!" Will you do as the crowd did that day?

Precious Jesus, I chose You so long ago and that choice has made such an impact in my life. However, You don't ask for a one-time acceptance. Your sacrifice is worthy of my daily choice. I choose You over the sins that seek to condemn me knowing Your sacrifice that day paid the price for my escape. Thank You seems inadequate. Let my thanks be choosing You and Your ways all day, every day. I love You!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Daily Dose 4-11-17

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

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

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

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Daily Dose 4-8-17

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

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

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

Friday, April 7, 2017

Daily Dose 4-7-17

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

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

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

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Daily Dose 4-2-17

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

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

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

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Daily Dose 4-1-17

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

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

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

Friday, March 31, 2017

Daily Dose 3-31-17

Psalm 72:12-14 He will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.

There are times when the most robust and healthy are afflicted; the strong and independent are pitiful and dying inside; the tough and mighty are oppressed and persecuted. We all need deliverance, some more often than others. Always remember when you are being oppressed by someone, there is probably something they need deliverance from. Cry out to the LORD on their behalf and ask Him to provide their deliverance through you!

Father, help me remember that those who break hearts are often heartbroken. Heal my heart so that I may be Your agent to deliver others from their pain. I love You…and them. Amen

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Daily Dose 3-28-17

Luke 8:16-17 No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.

The smallest of lights can overpower utter darkness. A simple match struck in a dark cave can illuminate the way to escape. How much more powerful is the light of Jesus? He came to this dark earth to show us the way to the secure passage for eternal life. He wants our lives to be His light for others as we show them the way. When the light of Jesus is allowed to shine into a situation, things change. Are you willing to expose Him to others through your life? It may take being vulnerable and sharing some dark sins or struggles in your past that the saving power of Christ has brought you through to stand in His light. With some people, your testimony may be the only light of Jesus they are willing to see…let Him shine through you!

Dear Savior, Make me aware of opportunities You put in front of me to be Your light. Shine Your light into the dark places of my heart so they may be forgiven, strengthened and serve as a light to guide others from their own darkness. Thank You for lighting my way. Amen

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Daily Dose 3-26-17

Psalm 69:5,13-14 You, God, know my folly; my guilt is not hidden from you. But I pray to you, LORD, in the time of your favor; 
in your great love, O God, 
answer me with your sure salvation. Rescue me from the mire, 
do not let me sink; 
deliver me from those who hate me, 
from the deep waters.

God knows us like no other. He knows every motivation and nuance of the workings of our hearts. He knows why we get stuck in mire and why people would turn against us. He knows why we are often in over our heads. He knows all this…yet He loves. David was not known as a man without sin. He was known as a man after God’s own heart. Start pursuing God and His favor by first acknowledging that He knows your junk and loves You anyway. Pursue His heart with passion and that pursuit will begin to cleanse away the junk. Pursue Him with honesty and strokes of obedience and you will begin swimming through waters that once engulfed you. Pursue Him in love and others will be drawn to you in love.

Loving Abba, You know my heart and know that I am unworthy of your love or the pure love of others…yet You love me anyway. Tune my heart to sing Your praises and pursue You instead of pursuing the love and affection of others. Help me know in faith You provide all I need. I love You. Amen

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Daily Dose 3-21-17

Luke 5:4-6 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

Jesus changes circumstances. How many times has, “We tried that before,” squelched ideas for the Kingdom? Peter, James and John had trolled the waters all night and didn’t catch a thing, but when Jesus said so, their nets were full to the point of sinking the boat. There are times when the Spirit may be ready for a new work in an old plan. Be careful not to quickly say no to an opportunity that may have its timing ordained. In the same vein, we must be careful not to stop something or jump into new projects just for the sake of doing something new. When leaders stay the Word and in tune with the Spirit through prayer, their suggestions may not always make sense. Be in prayer for your spiritual leaders. Ask God to give them discernment to know when Jesus says to try again, or try something new. Ask God to lead their hearts to His fishing spot and join them by casting down your nets!

Guiding Father, Please be with the leaders of Your Church. Give them Your discernment and confirmation. Show me where You want me to cast nets with them to work for You. Amen

Monday, March 20, 2017

Daily Dose 3-20-17

Psalm 63:3-5 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 
I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

In our society, do we know what it is like to be fully satisfied? We are programmed to want more…marketers are actually convincing us we NEED or DESERVE more. Accumulation of power, stuff and pleasures is a high priority. When David wrote this Psalm, he was in the desert of Judah, probably on the run from King Saul who was trying to kill him. His prayer was not in fear begging for protection. His prayer was full of praise and professing that he loved God more than his life. All he needed for complete satisfaction was the love of God. Do we love God more than life? Or, do we love the life God can provide? Look to Him for your satisfaction today. He will never leave, He will never disappoint, God’s love truly does satisfy!

Loving Abba, Your love is my greatest possession and gift. Remind me when I come to You with requests and plans, that I have all I need. Let me never long for the love of others more than reveling in the love I have found in You. Amen

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Daily Dose 3-19-17

Psalm 62:5-8 Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. 
My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. 
Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

The Webster Dictionary offers three definitions for the word hope. All three can describe our walk of faith down the different paths of life. The first is to cherish a desire with anticipation. When our true hope comes from God, it is our desire to look for the ways we can deepen and strengthen our relationship with Him. We cherish our time with Him and anticipate how we may work with Him each day. We hope for an assignment from God that glorifies Him and gives us fulfillment. The second is to desire with expectation of obtainment. This is the hope we have that God is our sustainer, provider, rescuer and constant companion. We expect Him to be our rock when the world around us feels so shaky. We look to Him to receive our honor instead of looking to those around us to find our worth. The third is to expect with confidence, trust. This is where we walk through life with an eternal perspective. We see the big picture of salvation and KNOW it is a sure thing. We find joy in small things and peace in the midst of heartache and trials. Live in hope! Look forward to time with God and building your love relationship with Him. Have no fear of day-to-day worries. And finally, live in peaceful confidence that this life is fleeting and your real home awaits!

Father, You are my hope. I thank You that I can live in the hope and knowledge of Your salvation. Remind me each day that no matter what, You are the One who determines my worth. Thank You for valuing me when I feel so unworthy at times. I love You. Amen

Friday, March 17, 2017

Daily Dose 3-17-17

Luke 2:33-35 (MSG) Jesus' father and mother were speechless with surprise at these words. Simeon went on to bless them, and said to Mary his mother, “This child marks both the failure and the recovery of many in Israel, A figure misunderstood and contradicted—the pain of a sword-thrust through you—But the rejection will force honesty, as God reveals who they really are.”

Simeon was an old man who had received the promise that he would not die before seeing the Messiah. He followed the leading of the Spirit to the temple and knew this baby would be the One to bring salvation and be a “God-revealing light to the non-Jewish nations, and of glory for your people Israel.” This blessing brought great joy to the young parents, but did they truly hear his caution of the pain that would come upon them because of His mission? To witness parents who lose a child is heart-wrenching. The description of a sword thrust through them seems to be fitting. We know the sacrifice Jesus made for our salvation was incomprehensible. However, imaging the pain of Mary and Joseph should also bring us pause. The baby they accepted as a great mission from God was also their precious boy. Joseph had probably passed on by the time the hardest parts of Jesus’ ministry began.For Mary to watch –especially without Joseph– the rejection, pain and horrific death He endured must have made her question why. Often, the path God has for some is painful. In many cases, it’s as difficult for those who love the one on the mission to witness the pain. Be sensitive to those who are enduring great hardships for the cause of Christ – and also remember those who love them. The biggest question we must ask today is are we doing anything that is really sacrificial for Christ today? If the answer is no, maybe we need to spend some time seeking guidance from the Spirit. Jesus never promised His followers an easy life-quite the contrary. Examine your mission plan and ask God to use you, despite how challenging it may be. The end result will surely be worth the pain!

Father, I know You must have more in mind for me to do for Your Kingdom than I am currently doing. Reveal Your plan, but not without the courage and strength I need to execute. Without You, I am a miserable failure. I love You! Amen

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Daily Dose 3-15-17

Proverbs 11:12-13 (NLT) It is foolish to belittle one’s neighbor; 
a sensible person keeps quiet. A gossip goes around telling secrets, 
but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.

God’s Word is full of common sense instruction and wisdom to help us live more abundant lives. This scripture in Proverbs is a small section of some of those gems of advice. How we treat people says a lot about who we are. When we are quick to criticize and belittle others, we show that our hearts are full of pride and self-righteous judgment. When we “stir the pot” of controversy through gossip or by betraying a confidence, we show that our hearts beat to the pace of discord. As Christ followers, we need to learn to step back from situations when we are drawn into controversy. We should never shirk from defending Truth, but be very careful satan isn’t luring you into a trap. Many Christians have been baited by satan under the pretense of doing good, only to be handed a spoon to stir a boiling pot that should never have been allowed to simmer. Be careful and remember the one stirring the pot is most likely to get burned!

Father, Forgive me for times I have been baited into controversy that broke Your heart. Give me Your wisdom to be silent when it is not of You, and the courage to speak only what You desire when it is Your timing. Guard my heart and my mouth that spews its contents. Amen

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Daily Dose 3-14-17

Luke 1:37-38 “…For no word from God will ever fail.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Have you had a word from the LORD? Has He asked you to do something that seems impossible? We often get caught up in the logistics and realities when trying to fulfill a task from God. We view situations through human eyes and our limited experiences. Faith asks us to put on God glasses and begin to view things from His perspective. Our human insecurities and frailties look and a situation and see all of the challenges. We are somewhat programmed to take a risk management approach, analyze the circumstances and halt the experience. We have a lot to learn from a teenaged girl who had every reason to say no. She faced ridicule and humiliation, yet she rejoiced in her opportunity. Has God invited you to do what seems impossible? Then press on! For nothing is impossible with God!

Faithful God, You are always true to Your Word. I get impatient waiting. I begin to wonder if I was wrong in interpreting Your promise. Give me Your eyes today. Let me see Your possibilities instead of what I see as impossible. Amen

Monday, March 6, 2017

Daily Dose 3-6-17

Numbers 6:22-26 The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: “‘“The LORD bless you and keep you; 
the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’

The language from the Word is so beautiful. No one really talks this way anymore. We are working so hard to keep up in such a fast-paced world that we forget what living among each other is like. When we stop long enough to really look at the lives around us, we are sure to see many in need of blessing. We become the hands and feet of Jesus when we meet needs. We are the fulfillment of the Israelite priesthood when we extend blessings. This small blessing packs a powerful punch. Find someone today, look them in the eye, and speak this blessing over them…the Holy Spirit will do the rest!

Father of all blessings, Give me the courage to begin extending YOUR much needed blessings on others. Nudge me to know who needs it and prepare their hearts to receive it. I want to be Your instrument of blessing to others. Amen

Friday, February 24, 2017

Daily Dose 2-24-17

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

No matter how strong our faith, there are still challenges in life that bring anxiety and fear. God’s call is not to chastise us for not having enough faith; it is to encourage and remind us of His ever-faithful presence in our lives. It’s not always easy to do, but we must learn to pause in our struggle and completely turn it over to God in sacrifice. Somehow, we feel better about a situation when we can control the outcome. That is a direct manipulation from satan to keep us focused on circumstances instead of the One who controls the circumstances. Give your fears and concerns to the One who CAN bring control to chaos, life to loneliness, and victory to vulnerability.

Father, I am so naive to think that I can control situations, and prideful to think that I should! Forgive my worry and busyness – it is not from You. Let me rest in the comfort of Your embrace and the submission to Your control. Amen

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Daily Dose 2-23-17

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!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Daily Dose 2-21-17

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

Monday, February 20, 2017

Daily Dose 2-20-17

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

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Daily Dose 2-19-17

Psalm 37:23-24 The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; 
though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

This scripture conjures up the image of a toddler learning to take his first steps. You can hear the giggles as the babe realizes a new independence. You can see the parents, overjoyed with progress, yet clearing obstacles out of his path. When a child is taking those first steps, his hands are usually in the air, balancing and pointed toward his goal. Along the journey, he may pause to prevent a fall. The parents quickly extend their hands to steady him for the next step. He is delighted to take his steps and celebrate in the arms of his parents. Our spiritual walk in this life should be similar to that toddler’s steps. God wants us to grow and become more independent. He wants us to accept the challenges each new step brings. He is overjoyed with our progress as He removes obstacles from our path. He steadies us with His hand as we stumble over temptations or hardships – or pause in fear. He longs for our delight as we walk toward Him with arms raised and joyful hearts. Celebrate new steps in your life today. Focus your walk toward the end goal of the LORD’s embrace. Know that whatever obstacle is in your path, your loving Father is eager to move it out of your way. Delight in Him with arms raised in praise, balancing your life for a walk with Him.

Father, Sometimes this life seems like a long journey with many obstacles along the way. In Your time of eternity, my path is comparable to a toddler’s walk from the sofa to his parents’ arms. Help me keep my balance. Remove the obstacles and keep my eyes focused on You. I long to celebrate in Your embrace. Amen

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Daily Dose 2-16-17

Mark 1:34 …and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

Timing is everything. In our fast-paced, get-what-we-want-now world, we are not accustomed to waiting. Yet, Jesus was able to hold back when He knew an avenue to spread word of His true identity sooner. It’s easy to rationalize that having demons come out and proclaim Him as the Son of God would have gathered some followers. Why stop them? Why tell those who had been healed to remain silent? It makes no sense that Jesus was simply tired and needed a break. That was not His style. He was on a focused mission from God. If He was willing to face crucifixion, exhaustion should be a piece of cake. He knew timing was everything. He knew God had a plan and a way His identity would be revealed. He wasn’t into a fast-track system of getting things done His way. He wanted God’s way. Are You willing to wait for what God has in store? Or, do you try to push and maneuver God to fit His ways into your plan?

Patient Father, Give me the wisdom to truly understand Your timing is always best. Help me to live day-to- day in faith waiting for Your plans to be revealed. I know waiting does not mean stopping. Help me to listen to Your voice and stay close in Your Word as I carry on with Your commands and leadings each day. I trust Your timing over mine. Amen

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Daily Dose 2-14-17

Psalm 34:17-18 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

As red paper hearts and boxes of heart-shaped candy are passed around today in joy, there are many who face the day alone. Some have lost the loves of their lives to the graves. Some have endured betrayal or rejection; others long for a love that is yet to come. Whether you celebrate today in ecstatic joy over love in your life, or face the day brokenhearted, remember there is an Ultimate Valentine who is desperately in love with you. He gave you love letters in scripture declaring His love and promises of His commitment to You. He gave the gift beyond value as He placed His son on a cross for you. As the red blood of His sacrifice rolled down that hill, His call to you is, “Be Mine.” Don’t let the day of great love go by without professing your love for the One who is absolutely crazy about you. If you have never known the love of Jesus, open your heart to Him today. He stands as a valentine that offers you more than chocolate candy. He offers the taste of abundant life on earth, and the promise of feasting at His table for eternity.

Loving Father, Thank You for the true love You bring to my life. Help me to model Your love to others so that they may open their hearts to receive the greatest Valentine ever…Your loving salvation. Amen

Monday, February 13, 2017

Daily Dose 2-13-17

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

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Daily Dose 2-12-17

Exodus 34:14 Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

It’s strange to think of God as jealous. He is the Almighty creator of the Universe; what could we have to offer that He would want us so badly? Have you ever pursued a relationship – either a romantic interest or a desired friendship? You find yourself thinking of the object of your affection in small ways throughout the day. You let them know either through gestures or words you are interested in them.  You find ways to be where you know they will be. If you see them with another where you are not invited, your heart breaks a bit.  If they approach you, you are wiling to drop whatever you are doing to make time for them. God created us in His own image. We learned the relationship pursuit from Him. He thinks of us all the time. He blesses us in amazing ways we often miss each day. He made the grandest gesture of all by giving His Son as a sacrifice so we could come to Him. Despite holding the world in His Hand, His ear is turned to hear our cries for help and shouts of joy. He hovers close to be near us, waiting for our call…how do you respond to His pursuit? Do you compartmentalize areas of your life where He is allowed here, you want Him there, but He is not invited to certain areas? Just like with the Israelites, God is jealous for you. Say yes to His relationship pursuit!

Father, I am overwhelmed to think of You pursuing me – especially since you really know me. I can’t imagine how it must sadden and frustrate you when I spend so much energy trying to validate my worth through the affections of others, when You lavish Your love on me. Forgive me. I invite You to have my whole heart. Amen

Friday, February 10, 2017

Daily Dose 2-10-17

Psalm 32:7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

This scripture is a beautiful picture of God’s unfailing love. Prior to this verse, David had talked about confession and how God forgave his sins. He knew that God’s love was greater than any sin he could commit, but in order to receive that shelter, confession was necessary. Maybe we don’t feel comfortable and secure in God’s forgiveness because we aren’t completely honest with Him in confession. If it weren’t so sad, it would be humorous. The thought of us “hiding” our sin from God is inconceivable, yet we do it all the time. Maybe it’s pride that prevents us from complete confession. Maybe we don’t want to admit to ourselves the sins that we commit; much less take them to God. That is a great tool for satan to se to minimize our relationship with the Almighty. Guilt creates a barrier that limits the warmth of God’s embrace. Stop trying to hide sin from yourself and most importantly to God. Confess boldly to Him and allow His loving forgiveness to break the guilt barrier and hold You tightly in His redemptive, protective embrace.

Father, I am so naive to think I can hide or minimize sin in my life. You see my heart and my actions and know each shortcoming in detail – yet You love me anyway! I am so humbled to know that despite all You know about me, You are eager and waiting for me to uncover my full self to You so that You can fully redeem and protect me. I love You. Amen

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Daily Dose 2-8-17

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

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Daily Dose 2-7-17

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

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Daily Dose 2-5-17

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

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Daily Dose 2-4-17

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

Friday, February 3, 2017

Daily Dose 2-3-17

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

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Daily Dose 2-2-17

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?

Sometimes life can be a little scary. We may not be hiding in caves from an angry king trying to kill us like David was, but we still experience fear. For some it may be financial fears in this tough economy. Others may have health issues that threaten to end or diminish life. There are others still that are plagued by the fear of loneliness when relationships have ended or changed. Whatever fear may be trying to grip you, know the heavenly God of the universe is keenly aware. He is your source of light on dark days. His salvation brings hope where there is despair. His strength and power is holding you up when you may feel like you can’t go on. Stand up against fear and walk on in faith with the confidence God intends for you to have as His child!

My Stronghold, When fear and anxiety begins to creep in my life, help me stand firm. Keep me focused on you and in Your Word so I may always have Your light when darkness looms. Amen

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Daily Dose 1-31-17

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

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

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

Monday, January 30, 2017

Daily Dose 1-30-17

Matthew 20:26-28 “…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Jesus had just shared with the apostles He was about to be mocked, flogged and crucified and on the third day raised to life. What did they really hear? Immediately after, the mother of James and John knelt before Him asking that her sons be seated at His left and right when He established His kingdom- obviously thinking it would be an earthly, political kingdom. An argument broke out among them as they squabbled over who should have those positions. The lesson Jesus shared with them applies to us today. In politics, candidates are accused of flip-flopping on issues. Jesus came to flip the process, for sure! The powerful, rich and influential are exalted in our society. Jesus flips that equation to show us how we will receive the ultimate exaltation of eternal life. We are to use any influence, riches and power we must have in order to serve others with no expectations of exaltation on this earth. Are you serving hoping to get a pat on the back or an, “Atta boy” from someone on earth? Flip your perspective! Have no expectations or desires for acknowledgement now…wait for your, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” What a sweet statement that will be!

Father, I confess I am too concerned about how others value me on earth. Flip my perspective. Remind me my only concern should be how my work brings value to your kingdom. I love You! Amen

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Daily Dose 1-29-17

Matthew 19:21-22 (MSG) "If you want to give it all you've got," Jesus replied, "go sell your possessions; give everything to the poor. All your wealth will then be in heaven. Then come follow me." That was the last thing the young man expected to hear. And so, crest-fallen, he walked away. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and he couldn't bear to let go.

We often look at the young man in this story with a judgmental eye, thinking that we would never let wealth stand in our way of following Jesus – especially if He was standing right in front of us! The deal is, Jesus knew that was the one thing that the man would put in front of Him. He knew that when push came to shove, wealth and power would come before a choice to stand for Him. Jesus just let the man choose upfront before he started following. If you consider yourself a follower now, what is it that you would cling to if Jesus said to let it go? What is it that divides your heart? Are you someone who would easily sell all your possessions and give to the poor, yet you still hold on to the hurt and unforgiveness toward someone who did you wrong? Do you easily forgive in situations where it’s called for, but put relationships with family and friends before following Jesus? Are you someone who has prioritized possessions, forgiveness and relationships appropriately in line with Jesus, but hold on to fear and insecurity instead of stepping boldly into the mission Jesus has for you? Put yourself back in that story. What is it Jesus would ask you to sacrifice to follow Him? Know this – He IS asking! Are you willing?

Father, I can’t imagine the sacrifice that You made in allowing Jesus to be the sacrifice for me. His willingness to follow Your will above His own for my benefit should motivate me to live more boldly for Him. Help me to see what’s in my way and give me the courage to let go! I love You! Amen