Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Daily Dose 7-25-17

2 Chronicles 14:7-9 At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the LORD, he delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”

For 35 years King Asa sought the LORD as he ruled Judah. They defeated enemies and enjoyed living in peace as Asa removed idols and sought God. Then, something changed. When confronted with opposition, Asa took treasures from the LORD’s temple and made a treaty with men. The rest of Asa’s reign was spent in war, turmoil and his own physical distress. We can learn a lot from Asa. God did great things through him and He wanted to continue. Yet, Asa chose to look to men instead of God and he made his own plans. What in your life does God want to help you overcome, yet you continue looking to people for help? Turn to His Word, spend time in prayer, seek HIM. Be so committed to the LORD that His eyes must stop on you as He seeks those to strengthen. God wants to increase your faith by helping you overcome. Allow Him to show off through you!

LORD, I seek You and You alone for guidance. Show me Your way and Your plans. I need Your strength, and I cherish Your love. Amen

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