Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Resolution

What is it about a New Year that makes us want to make some necessary changes in our lives?  And what is it about our human nature that makes the chances of those changes lasting slim to none?  You know what I'm talking about.  We think of everything from losing weight to kicking bad habits.  We might even try to pick up a few good habits.  Resolutions are on our minds.  Christmas has passed, but we're still busy making lists.

On January 1st, we come out of the gate like Kentucky thoroughbreds, ready to run the good race and complete our goal.  Somewhere around the track, though, we tend to lose some speed.  Some of us even fall out of the race completely.  Why do you think we do this year after year?  I think maybe it's because we try to do things in our own power, thus the failure to follow through and succeed in our desires to change.  It's the embodiment of Romans 7:15, "I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."  That chapter goes on to say, "For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing."  It seems that this is a cycle that mankind has wrested with long before we started our obsession and battle with New Year's resolutions.  Our sin controls us and we try to control it and the battle rages on.  We want to do the right thing, but we simply cannot do it in our own power.

So why do I bring this up, if there is no way we can make the changes we want to make in our lives?  I bring it up, because there is still hope.  Fortunately, Romans did not end with chapter 7!  Romans continued into Chapter 8 saying, "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."  So what, if we can't do it on our own...we have the power of Christ on our side to help us.  It is only when we ask Him to help us make the changes we need, or want, to make that we can even begin to make any progress.  The One who overcame death is perfectly able to help us overcome what we perceive as failures in our own lives.  He's able to help us make the changes we need to make to succeed. 

So what changes do you want to make in the upcoming New Year?  Are you willing to give your list to God and ask Him to navigate the journey?  Are you willing to give up your own will and submit to His?  Are you ready for a real change?  I know I am and I know He is my only Hope.

Here is my list of things I want God to help me with in my own life:
- Increased focus and daily time in the Word and in prayer
- Ministry growth and outreach
- Healthy eating
- Weight maintenance
- Regular Exercise
- More organization in all aspects of my life

So tomorrow is the start of 2012.  With God on my side, and with His help, I'm ready to make some changes.  With Him, I can run the race and make it to the finish line.  Without Him, I know I don't even have a chance of getting out of the gate.  Thanks for another year Lord!  My resolution is simple.  All my desires to change can be wrapped up into one...Please help me to yield to You and Your will in 2012. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

How's your Weather?

It's not often that I use my windshield wipers and wear sunglasses at the same time.  Today was one of those rare occasions.  I felt like the universe was ever so slightly tilted beyond normal today.  Within minutes I experienced rain, snow, sleet, and possibly hail (okay, it was pretty small, but I'm the one qualifying here) in Chicago-land today.  Whimsically, I wondered if I were caught in the middle of a public relations infomercial for the postal service.  If not...well, they missed a great opportunity!  It was a bit un-nerving, yet oddly tantalizing at the same time.  The clouds were dark, then the sun was bright.  It was like the weather just didn't know what to do.  I was mesmerized.  How odd.  How strange.  How wonderful (well, all but the snow part).

Today's weather reminds me of myself.  These days, my body climate can go from what seems like 98 to 120 degrees in mere seconds.  My husband might also say that I can go from cloudy to sunny, or vice-versa, just as quickly - but who's asking him!  That's a little bit funny, but in the "heat" of the moment...not so much!  I'm convinced that hormones have little red horns and probably pack a pitchfork, but that's just my opinion. 

What I really thought about today, though, in all the weather confusion, is how our spiritual climate can fluctuate just as bizarrely.  On a daily, hourly, sometimes minute-by-minute basis, we can go from sunny to cloudy and our attitudes can become a little off-kilter.  Life is like the weather (and hormones).  It's unpredictable.  It can produce crazy storms.  On the other hand, our God is our source of light.  We may not always see Him, but that doesn't mean He isn't always there.  The clouds may be all we can see momentarily, but the sun will shine again.  If we can just keep our perspective, and focus, the SON will bring us through our seasons and our storms.  Keep your sunglasses handy.  He's about to shine! 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Read and Believe

Good day my friends!  Today, I'm going free-style.  I'm just sharing what is on my heart.  That being said, I still gotta share some scripture, because truth is so exciting.  I LOVE this passage from John 20:30-31!  "In his disciples' presence Jesus performed many other miracles which are not written down in this book.  But these have been written in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through your faith in him you may have life." GNT

Many accounts of Jesus' life are told by different writers in the gospels.  John, however, has the dubious distinction of sharing some stories not mentioned elsewhere in scripture.  He talks about the miracle at Cana, Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman at the well, the lame man at the pool of Bethesda, the man born blind, and Lazarus being raised from the dead.  Those are some major stories from our Book of life.  Many of us have been impacted by these stories.  I think that is why I love this passage so very much.  It clearly says, "But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God."

I'm thankful that God inspired John to share with us these truths in His Word.  All of these stories build my faith and help me believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.  I'm one in a long line of people who have believed.  These stories were written specifically for you and me to read them and to believe.  They're compelling.  I urge you to pick up the bible and have the best read you've had in a long while.  The stories, therein, will make a believer out of you.  After all, that is their purpose.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

He owns it all!

The 10/26 verse comes from 1 Corinthians 10:26, "For, as the scripture says, The earth and everything in it belong to the Lord."  GNT

Such a simple statement.  Such a simple truth.  Scriptures like this remind me that the Lord doesn't actually need anything from us.  He owns the whole world and everything in it.  But I am so glad He cares enough to pursue me and my affections - even though He doesn't need me.  He cares about you too.  He wants us all to really know Him intimately. 

I'm on board with that!  Our God is good and faithful.  He simply wants our hearts.  For our own good - not His!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We need each other!

The verse for today, 10/25, is Hebrews 10:25, "We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming."  GW

The writer of Hebrews knew that God's people needed encouragement, then, and now.  He knew that community and unity were essential in our faith.  He knew that, as people, we get better together.  Yet, we, as people, do protest.  Simply said, some people do not like to come under the authority of God, much less a body of believers, aka the church.  They like to do it their own way and they don't want anyone "judging" them or telling them what to do.  They had rather be lone rangers than BE the church.

What is the problem with this?  Honestly - it goes against scripture.  It's true that you don't have to go to church to be a Christian.  But, it's also true that unity, love, and encouragement among fellow believers is what God wanted His church to look like.  He wanted us to give up individual pride and selfishness in favor of unified love and humility.  In other words, God wanted us to love others more than ourselves.  He wanted us to get along and work out our differences.  Because we have such a hard time doing these things, we have a hard time embracing the church.  It's sad, really, because when we resist God's way, we ultimately resist His best for us.  God wants us to bless each other and become united as one, a body of believers surrendered to loving Him and each other.  Yes, He wanted us to BE the church, together.

Have you watched the news lately?  Our society and this world are spiraling out of control.  The moral climate is pathetic.  The writer of Hebrews got it right...we need each other!  Especially, since the world, and the devil, continually try to tear us down and apart.  Every day, we're closer to the Lord's return.  As Christians, let's band together and encourage each other with the love and hope of Jesus Christ.  Being the church is so much better than being alone.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Third Day - A Worship Response

Yesterday, I had the great opportunity to go see the Christian musicians, Third Day, in concert.  I say that, rather loosely, because the word concert doesn't even do justice to a Third Day experience.  We had church, Y'all!  I've seen them several times, but this time was the best.  There's something about a second row seat that gives you renewed passion and appreciation for an authentic worship band.  It's our Savior we're singing to, and about, but surrendered vessels usher in God's Spirit mighty fine.  He was welcomed; He was honored; He was adored! 

I'm making up for not posting a verse yesterday by doubling up today.  Hebrews is one of my favorite books of the bible.  It's fitting that I'm talking about worship, above, because the book of Hebrews talks a lot about the old way people used to worship God, before Jesus came and died for us, and how the sacrifice of Jesus changed all that.  The sacrifice of Jesus' blood and body for our sins gives us an up-close-and-personal kind of access to worship.  I was up close to the worship band, Third Day, yesterday.  But we were all worshipping Jesus directly.  I didn't have to go through the lead singer to get to God...God was already in our presence.  The death and resurrection of Jesus, on the Third Day, created a whole new world of possibilities for us.  Our response should be to worship Him.

I am grateful to a Savior who has saved me; a Savior who I can call on anytime, anywhere, and any way!  I want to worship Him always and I live tell others about the hope I have in Him so they can experience the same joy and love that I have.  So, with all that said, I will leave you with Hebrews 10:23-24 as the verses I want to share for yesterday and today, "Let us hold on firmly to the hope we profess, because we can trust God to keep his promise.  Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good."  GNT

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Just waiting

The 10/22 verse of the day is from Hebrews 10:22, "let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water."  NLT

God went to a great amount of trouble to be accessible to anyone who loves Him and believes in His son, Jesus.  He has sent us an invitation to come to Him.  We'd be crazy not to show up and bid His calling! 

Don't hesitate or procrastinate any longer.  I can almost hear God saying, "Come to me!"  If you listen closely, you might just hear Him too.  His arms are always open wide...just waiting for you and for me.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Opened Curtain

I'm using a passage from Hebrews for both 10/20 and 10/21.  I like simplicity.  It seems like Jesus did too, when He made a way for us.  See Hebrews 10:19-21 for these inclusive verses:

"So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into "the Holy Place." Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The "curtain" into God's presence is his body."  MSG

In Old Testament days, there were complex rules to follow, and priests involved, in order to offer sacrifices to a Holy God.  Access to God was a complex series of cleansing and sacrifice.  And not just once - it had to occur each time someone wanted to worship.  Thank God, things are different for us today, all because of Jesus, our ultimate High Priest.  When He came to earth and sacrificed His own life for our sins, He simplified things for us.  He did away with the repetitions and rituals of Old Testament law.  The Holy Place became an accessible place for us....through the blood and body of Jesus. 

I am so grateful for Jesus and how He became our access to God.  There was once a physical curtain that separated people from the Holy Place of God; only priests could enter into the Holy Place.  What was once impossible for us was made possible by the sacrifice of Jesus.  That's why I view our Lord's sacrifice as a beautiful tapestry, the most wonderful story ever told.  That tapestry became our opened curtain into God's presence.  Oh, how I love that access.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Turn Off the Flow

The 10/19 verse is from Proverbs 10:19, "Don't talk too much, for it fosters sin.  Be sensible and turn off the flow!"  NLT

What sage advice!  We've all heard the saying that God gave us two ears and only one mouth for a reason.  It goes back to the thought that we should listen more, and talk less.  How many of us can say that nothing bad ever comes out of our mouths, or that we never say the wrong thing?  I've often asked myself, "Did I really say that?"  It's never a good feeling when I have to do that.

Many of us are susceptible to the tongue trap.  We use it far too often.  We tear down others, we slander others, we gossip about others.  In short, we sin.  May I suggest that the tongue is just the instrument and the problem goes really much deeper?  When we don't recognize that gossip is a sin, it is either because we don't exercise knowledge, discipline and character, or we really don't care.  Many of us may think that it's not really the same kind of sin as those "other" sins.  We would be wrong.  Any kind of sin breaks God's heart.  I think gossip, particularly, saddens God because we indulge in it so frequently.  It's wilful disobedience and it's all too common.

With the technology advances we have these days, there are even more ways to gossip and slander.  People don't even have to open their mouths to gossip these days.  They can simply let their fingers do the talking.  The internet and email provides ample opportunity to say whatever anyone wants to say...unfortunately. 

So what are we going to do with this Proverb?  What are we going to do about our sin problem?  Maybe its time we turned off the flow. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

He volunteered!

The 10/18 verse of the day is John 10:18, "No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded."  NLT

We've watched, in horror, the movie - The Passion of the Christ - wherein Jesus is beaten, flogged, scourged, and tortured to the point of being unrecognizable.  We've felt anger and indignation towards those we thought were responsible for His death.  However, the verse above reveals that Jesus knew the plan....and He went along with it - willingly!  No one else was responsible for the death of Jesus.  He gave His life voluntarily, all for us!  He knew His blood was the only acceptable price for our sins and He gave Himself up so we could live forever in heaven with Him.  Such love can never be equaled.

What an amazing Savior and Lord.  God's plan was to give everything He had, and was, in order to give us what we could never have, or be, on our own.  Jesus was, and still is, the plan and He always knew it.  How about you?  Do you know Jesus is the only plan that will give you eternal life?  He lay down His life for you and me.  When we surrender our life to Him, we are the ones getting the deal of a lifetime...and beyond.

Monday, October 17, 2011

What's in a Name?

It's 10/17 and the verse I'm sharing today is from Luke 10:17, "The 70 disciples came back very happy. They said, “Lord, even demons obey us when we use the power and authority of your name!” GW

What's in a name?  When that name is Jesus, the answer is, "Everything!"  He is all powerful.  His is the name above every other name.  These disciples used His name to rebuke demons.  Would you be surprised to know that we can also use the power and authority of His name?  It's absolutely true!  There is power in the name of Jesus.

The best way to get to know the power of Jesus' name is to use it.  Jesus must love it when we talk to Him .  Jesus must love it when we realize that He has given us authority to use His name in praise, in prayer, and in warfare.  Acknowledging Jesus and His Lordship in our life is a great way to experience His presence and power.  Let the name of Jesus resonate in your heart and rest on your lips.  Think about Jesus and revel in His goodness, His love, and His power.  Oh, how I love the name of Jesus...just like I love Him!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Rejoicing in God's Plan

My apologies for missing several days of verses.  My mom became very ill on October 11th and her soul left this earth on October 12th and entered her heavenly home.  I mourn her presence, but I rejoice that she has finally made it home.  She no longer has the discomforts and restraints of an earthly mind and body.  Now, she is in the presence of her Lord and she has been reunited with the loved ones who have gone on before her, including my dad.  I know she is looking forward to the day the rest of her loved ones will join her forever.  She was a wonderful mother who loved her family and loved her God.  I loved her very much and I will miss her greatly.  Yet, I know she is happier now than she has ever been.  She would not come back if she could and I wouldn't ask her to.  I know she is right where God wants her and I am blessed to have had her for a mom as long as I did.

Considering that I missed posting for several days, I've chosen several verses from Hebrews to encompass several days.  This passage represents the new covenant and God's perfect plan to redeem us through His perfect son, Jesus.  I think it is very appropriate since my mom knew that Jesus was her high priest; that He had made the ultimate sacrifice, once and for all, for her sins and the sins of the world. 

The Message translates Hebrews 10:11-18 like this, "Every priest goes to work at the altar each day, offers the same old sacrifices year in, year out, and never makes a dent in the sin problem. As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process. The Holy Spirit confirms this:
This new plan I'm making with Israel isn't going to be written on paper, isn't going to be chiseled in stone; This time "I'm writing out the plan in them, carving it on the lining of their hearts."  He concludes, I'll forever wipe the slate clean of their sins.  Once sins are taken care of for good, there's no longer any need to offer sacrifices for them."

I know my mom was thankful that Jesus paid the price and made the sacrifice for her sins.  Because she believed that and trusted in Him, she is now going to be with Him forever.  That is good news for her and good news for me.  I will see her again some day and be with her and Jesus for eternity.  My heart rejoices in that truth.  God's plan is perfect.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Don't get snake-bit

The 10/11 verse is from Ecclesiastes 10:11, "Knowing how to charm a snake is of no use if you let the snake bite first."  GNT

My response to this?  Why would you mess around with a snake to begin with?!  Snakes are creepy.  They never give me a warm and fuzzy feeling.  As a matter of fact, I think of evil when I think of a snake.  The bible used a snake to symbolize satan.  Needless to say, snakes are not on my list of favorite things.  I like to keep my distance from all things evil, especially snakes and satan. 

If you play with fire, you are going to get burned.  If you play with snakes, you are going to get bit.  Take my advice and do everything in your power to just stay clear of anything that represents a snake in your life.  You're sure to save yourself from lots of trouble if you do.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Who is your Moses?

The 10/10 verse of the day is from Deut 10:10, "I stayed there on the mountain forty days and nights, just as I did the first time. And God listened to me, just as he did the first time: God decided not to destroy you."  MSG

We could all use a prayer warrior, an intercessor, like Moses.  He's telling the Israelites how he sought the Lord on their behalf...again!  He's reminding them how God loved them and spared them, even in their sin, time and time again.

Can you relate?  I sure can.  None of us are perfect, least of all me.  I am so grateful for those that have prayed for me throughout my life, like my mother.  I am grateful for those that prayed, and those that still pray, for me and my husband.  I'm grateful that the fervent effectual prayer of a righteous person has much power.  I'm grateful God listens.  I'm grateful for His mercy and grace. 

How about you?  Have you had a Moses in your life?  Aren't you grateful?!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Salvation 101

It's 10/9 and today's verse is from Roman 10:9, "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."  NLT

Every verse in the bible has great significance and all contribute to the truth that God wants us to read, hear, and know in order to be saved from our sins and spend eternity with Him.  Yet, if I could pick some verses that, by themselves, closely represent the big picture entirely, this verse would have to be among them.  This verse is like gold!  It requires conscious action that bears a promise; the most important action and the most important promise anyone could ever imagine.  It's what I like to refer to as Salvation 101.  

I believe this verse with my whole heart, soul, and mind.  I believe you should too.  I have studied this verse and taken the actions instructed therein.  Because of that, I have received the promise of salvation.  How about you?  Have you confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord?  Have you believed in your heart that God raised Him from the dead?  If you have, then congratulations - you are saved!  If you haven't, please consider doing so.  God went to the greatest lengths to be in relationship with us and to make a way for us to be with Him forever.  He tells us clearly, in this verse, what we must do to be saved.  We all have a choice to believe in Jesus or to ignore Him.  I hope you choose to believe.  Your salvation and your eternal home depends upon your choice. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Victory in Jesus

The verse for 10/8 is from Joshua 10:8, “Do not be afraid of them,” the Lord said to Joshua, “for I have given you victory over them. Not a single one of them will be able to stand up to you.”  NLT

There is nothing like having the Lord on your side!  When He fights our battles, no matter what they are, we can rest in Him and leave the results up to Him.  Just as the Lord instructed Joshua not to be afraid, He instructs us to trust Him and not to be afraid.  I think He can win my battles a lot more easily than I can.  He has proven that to me time and time again. 

I cannot control all that happens to me.  But I readily hand over the reins of my life to the One who is in control.  Yes, there is always victory in Jesus.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Throwing out the White Flag

It's 10/7 and the verse of the day is from Judges 10:7, "So the Lord burned with anger against Israel, and he turned them over to the Philistines and the Ammonites,"  NLT

 It appears that the Israelites just couldn't get it right.  The verse prior to this one says that, again, the Israelites did evil in the LORD's sight.  They worshipped false idols and gods.  The worst part of their evil was that they abandoned the LORD and no longer served Him at all.  That's when the LORD sort of took His hand of protection off of them and let the enemies that were oppressing them have their way with them.  When it was too late, they recognized that the false gods they were following could do nothing to rescue them. 

I'm consistently reminded that our society is as challenged as the Israelites.  We are a rebellious people who turn our backs on our God.  At first, it is subtle.  We just do little things that seem like they won't matter much in the whole scheme of things, then, before we know it, we've compromised who we are and what we believe and..more importantly...we've started to look to ourselves or other things to do what only our God can do.  But only He can rescue us. 

Let's learn from history and not be as hard-headed and hard-hearted as the Israelites.  Let's turn back to God while His mercy still washes over us.  I don't want to find out what it would mean to have His anger burn against us and to have Him turn us over to all that could conquer and oppress us.  No, I'm throwing out the white flag now and asking Him to rescue us before it is too late.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I'll take the Real Thing!

The 10/6 verse is from Jeremiah 10:6, "Lord, there is no one like you!  For you are great, and your name is full of power."  NLT

The prophet Jeremiah was heartbroken by the idolatry and rebellion of God's people.  Because of their sin and indifference, Jeremiah knew that their homeland would one day be reduced to a heap of ruins.  In the beginning of the book of Jeremiah, it says that God touched Jeremiah's mouth and put words in them.  Jeremiah preached a hard message to a hardened people.  Do you think that made him the most popular preacher in town?  Most assuredly not, but he had to deliver the message God gave him. 

Jeremiah knew that God's judgement would be poured out on an unrepentant people who worshipped other gods, idols they had made themselves.  He knew those gods were powerless and that the people were foolish for worshipping such false empty idols.  In the verse above, he is crying out to the one and only true God.  He knows the difference between the all-powerful Creator and the gods that were created by man.  There was no comparison.  There still is no comparison.

I must admit that I see some similarities in these rebellious people and the people in our own culture.  It alarms me.  Not to the degree that I am fearful, but I am wise enough to be mindful that our God will not continue to be mocked forever.  He has administered His grace repeatedly, yet many continue to be hard-hearted and selfish in their ways.  I hear the Jeremiahs that God is using today to urge people to turn away from their idolatry and their sinful ways.  Many people still turn deaf ears to God's plea for them to look to Him and not to the world for their happiness, for their future.  I have to wonder, how long will God put up with such selfishness?

Well, I've read the book of Revelation and I know how this ends!  God wins!  God's people win!  There in no one like our God!  He is great and His name is full of power!  I'm going to stand on that truth amidst a world that is rebellious and indifferent.  I think if Jeremiah were here today he would say, "Listen up, people!  Are you going to choose God or are you going to choose the things of this world?  Are you going to take the Real Thing or an imitation?"  There is no comparison.  I'm going to take the Real Thing!  I hear ya, Jeremiah!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Join in the Harvest

The verse for 10/5 is Proverbs 10:5, "A sensible person gathers the crops when they are ready; it is a disgrace to sleep through the time of harvest."  GNT

Proverbs is a book of wisdom.  I think a lot of the verses, therein, deal with character.  The verse above reminds me that it is wise to always be alert and ready.  Complaceny, laziness, or a lukewarm attitude don't lend themselves toward productivity or success in any area of our lives.

I'm thinking about our Christian walk in this application.  This morning I heard someone say that a comfortable faith is no faith at all.  When we get comfortable or complacent, we tend to sit back and let everyone else do all the work.  If we've taken a back seat in sharing the Good News of Christ, a character check might indicate that we need a dose of passion.  Our Savior wasn't complacent or comfortable when He endured death on a cross on our behalf.  Likewise, I don't think it is sensible for us to be complacent in introducing everyone we can to the Christ who saved us.

It is autumn, the time of year that is often thought of as a time of harvest.  Are we alert; ready for God's harvest?  I can't help but think God wants to reap a great harvest of souls for His kingdom.  I'd hate to be asleep and disgrace Him now, or anytime.  There are many people who need to know Him.  There are many who are ready.  Let's wake up and join in the harvest!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It is Finished!

The verse for 10/4 is from Romans 10:4, "For Christ has brought the Law to an end, so that everyone who believes is put right with God."  GNT

Before Jesus Christ was born and, then, gave His life for the payment of our sins, the only way humans knew to follow God was to follow the law of Moses.  But the Good News is that God sent His only son, Jesus Christ, as the only acceptable sacrifice for our sins.  He introduced grace like no one had ever experienced it before.

Believe it or not, there are still people who adhere to the law of Moses and reject the grace of Jesus.  My heart breaks for them.  They think "doing" things according to the old law makes them right with God.  Scripture clearly states that the work has already been "done"!  Jesus Christ finished what all of our efforts combined could never accomplish.  Our only logical response is to believe Jesus paid it all.  His death on the cross was the transaction that cancelled our debt.  It is can believe that.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Divine Weapons

The verse I've chosen for 10/3 is from 2 Cor 10:3.  The NLT says, "We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do."

As Christians, we should stand apart from the shenanigans of this world.  That's not something we can accomplish on our own.  But, alas, we don't have to.  God equips and empowers us to overcome.  One of my favorite references is Zondervan's Freedom In Christ bible, edited by Neil Anderson.  I love the way God's truth and wisdom is supported in the insightful commentary.  My closing comments are gleaned from that commentary.

This verse is talking about mental strongholds.  Every believer has divine weapons at their disposal to tear down these mental strongholds.  Mental strongholds are raised up against the knowledge of God.  Since the knowledge of God is Truth, these mental strongholds can be construed as anything that opposes God's truth.  Our weaponry is powered by the "mind of Christ" and the Spirit of truth within us, as believers.  I don't know about you, but I have a hard time coming up with anything that is even remotely that powerful.  I'm opting for the divine weapons.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ditch the Stinking Thinking

The 10/2 verse of the day is from Ecclesiastes 10:2, "Wise thinking leads to right living; Stupid thinking leads to wrong living." MSG

It doesn't take a genius to figure out what this verse is telling us, yet how many of us have found ourselves on the wrong side, knee-deep in wrong living?  I know I have been there and I would venture to say that most of us can admit to a few bouts of messed-up thinking in our lifetime.  I wish I could say that I'm past that kind of thinking, but that might be a little premature.  You see, in my own little world, I can quickly revert to stinking thinking.  I need God's wisdom and guidance, every day, to help me live right.

I'm thankful that God didn't give up on any of us, that His grace gives us a few mulligans in this thing called life.  Where would we be without His amazing grace?  I cannot speak for everyone, but stupidity is not something I want to live by.  I'd much rather ditch the stinking thinking and choose wisdom. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Telling His Story

The verse for 10/1 is from Luke 10:1, "The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit." NLT

God has been in the business of sending His followers out to spread His Good News for a very long time, as this verse demonstrates.  There are still so many people that don't have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  They are unaware that He is God's plan A.  There is no Plan B, as far as salvation is concerned.  I believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah.  I believe He paid for my sins by dying on the cross.  I believe that, by trusting and believing in Him, I will get to be with Him in heaven for eternity.  My goal....I want to take as many people with me as possible! 

My husband and I are so blessed and humbled to get to tell others about the goodness of God.  What a privilege to be used by Him to spread His Good News to others.  Our story is not pretty, but we're so thankful God has changed the ending.  We will spend the rest of our lives telling others our story and, more importantly, His story. 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Unwarranted Grace

For 9/30 I'm going to use a passage from the Message translation of Romans 9:30.  As the Message often does, in this instance it uses several verses surrounding one particular verse to bring a story to life.  See Romans 9:20-33, below.  As one who did not deserve God's grace - I found it anyway.  That's because He graciously made it available to me.  I hope you find yourself in the story, as well. 

Romans 9:20-33 MSG:
Who in the world do you think you are to second-guess God? Do you for one moment suppose any of us knows enough to call God into question? Clay doesn't talk back to the fingers that mold it, saying, "Why did you shape me like this?" Isn't it obvious that a potter has a perfect right to shape one lump of clay into a vase for holding flowers and another into a pot for cooking beans? If God needs one style of pottery especially designed to show his angry displeasure and another style carefully crafted to show his glorious goodness, isn't that all right? Either or both happens to Jews, but it also happens to the other people. Hosea put it well:

I'll call nobodies and make them somebodies;
I'll call the unloved and make them beloved.
In the place where they yelled out, "You're nobody!"
they're calling you "God's living children."

Isaiah maintained this same emphasis:
If each grain of sand on the seashore were numbered
and the sum labeled "chosen of God,"
They'd be numbers still, not names;
salvation comes by personal selection.
God doesn't count us; he calls us by name.
Arithmetic is not his focus.
Isaiah had looked ahead and spoken the truth:
If our powerful God
had not provided us a legacy of living children,
We would have ended up like ghost towns,
like Sodom and Gomorrah.

How can we sum this up? All those people who didn't seem interested in what God was doing actually embraced what God was doing as he straightened out their lives. And Israel, who seemed so interested in reading and talking about what God was doing, missed it. How could they miss it? Because instead of trusting God, they took over. They were absorbed in what they themselves were doing. They were so absorbed in their "God projects" that they didn't notice God right in front of them, like a huge rock in the middle of the road. And so they stumbled into him and went sprawling. Isaiah (again!) gives us the metaphor for pulling this together:

Careful! I've put a huge stone on the road to Mount Zion, a stone you can't get around. But the stone is me! If you're looking for me, you'll find me on the way, not in the way.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Take it to the Lord in Prayer

It's 9/29....National Coffee Day!  Grab a cup and enjoy it with me today.  I'm going to talk about one of my favorite things - prayer.  I touched on this same passage a few days ago, but it deserves being repeated.  Today's verse is Mark 9:29, "Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer."  NLT

Prayer is essential if we want to have a relationship with God.  Through prayer, we thank Him.  Through prayer, we praise Him.  Through prayer, we worship Him.  Through prayer, we acknowledge Him.  Through prayer, we petition Him.  Through prayer, we experience Him.  Through prayer, we hear Him.  Through prayer, He draws our hearts to Him.  Through prayer, He intercedes for us with the Father. 

Prayer...what a marvelous and magnificent gift.  It's ours to utilize, if we choose to do so.  Suffice it to say, I am thankful that God allows us to pray.  I am even more thankful that He hears us when we pray.  He answers according to His good and perfect will and His perfect timing.  I have to trust that He's still God and will always be God.  No one fills that position better than Him.  Do you have anything to be thankful for today?  Take it to the Lord in Prayer.  Do you have any concerns today?  Take it to the Lord in prayer.  Do you need His comfort today?  Take it to the Lord in prayer.  Is your heart heavy today?  Take it to the Lord in prayer.  Are you happy or sad?  Take it to the Lord in prayer.  Is life good or bad?  Again....Take it to the Lord in prayer! 

The Maker of Miracles is waiting patiently to meet us in a sweet time of prayer.  He can handle the "this kinds" in our lives.  He's just waiting for us to turn them over to Him.  Today is a great day to take it to the Lord in prayer!

An Uncommon God

The daily verse for 9/28 is from Nehemiah 9:28, "When peace returned, they sinned again, and again you let their enemies conquer them. Yet when they repented and asked you to save them, in heaven you heard, and time after time you rescued them in your great mercy."  GNT

As the leaders of the Levites called out to their people, they praised the Lord and recounted how He had provided for and blessed their ancestors time and time again.  Their praise was focused on One whose love, mercy, and grace were common denominators of an uncommon God.  He loved their ancestors, and them, despite themselves.  They kept messing up, yet He kept showering His mercy upon them.  Every time they turned back to Him, He was there to receive, forgive and bless them.  How uncommon!

This is the same God who receives, forgives and blesses us when we turn to Him.  He is such a God of love, mercy, and grace.  He loves us despite ourselves.  He remains the same and I love our uncommon God!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Within Reach

Today is 9/27 and the verse of the day is from Mark 9:27, "But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him to his feet, and he stood up."  NLT

Appearances can be deceiving.  Jesus had cast an evil spirit out of a boy, but he appeared to be dead.  People started writing him off; giving up on him.  Then, wouldn't you know it, Jesus reached down and took him by the hand and helped him to his feet.  With Jesus' help, the boy finally stood up.

It's like that with us, you know.  People give up on us, and we even give up on ourselves.  We think we've gone too far or done too much.  We think we will never rise above our circumstances.  But, help is within reach.  Jesus has never given up on us.  He reaches down for our hand and He wants to help us to our feet.  It's amazing that His help can really change everything.  He can help us stand when everyone else has written us off.  He's always reaching out His hand to us.  So, what are we waiting for?  Help is not on the way...He's already here...reaching for us.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Show and Tell

Luke 9:26 is the verse of the day for 9/26, "If people are ashamed of me and what I say, the Son of Man will be ashamed of those people when he comes in the glory that he shares with the Father and the holy angels."  GW

Jesus did not mince words in this statement.  The meaning is pretty clear.  It should make us examine ourselves and see how we're doing in this respect.  Personally, it makes me want to pray that God will show me how I can be the kind of follower that pleases Jesus.  I pray that He will make me wise and bold in His truth and give me the courage and discernment to show and tell others just who Jesus is; how great He is, and how much He loves us. 

Dear Lord, help us to never be so influenced by the world, it's ways, and it's people, that we become ashamed and embarrassed of You and your truth.  Help us to stand on that truth and boldly proclaim our trust and faith in You.  Help us not to be deceived by the enemy and by this world.  You are the Lord God Almighty!  Yes, I pray that I will forever show and tell that truth to others.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My Prize

Today is 9/25 and the verse for the day is from 1 Corinthians 9:25, "Every athlete in training submits to strict discipline, in order to be crowned with a wreath that will not last; but we do it for one that will last forever."  GNT

Athletes know that discipline is required to be the best at their sport.  If they don't train, practice, condition and keep healthy, they will not be very good at their sport and they will have little or no chance of winning.  The ones that are really disciplined are focused on the prize; they really want to win and are willing to put in the time, effort, and sacrifice to do so.

The verse above references how an athlete is training for a prize that is only temporary.  On the others hand, as Christ followers, our discipline goes beyond earthly rewards; it is so much more meaningful than that.  It's important to run a good race, but when we cross the finish line, we will spend eternity with our Savior in Heaven.  No race is more worthy of running.  No discipline will yield such rewards.
I'm not much of an earthly runner, but I want to keep running this race toward heaven and I want to run it well.  When I cross the finish line I will embrace my prize.  His name is Jesus.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

This Kind

Today is 9/24 and the verse for today is Mark 9:24, "The father instantly replied, "I do believe, but help me not to doubt!"  NLT

This verse comes in the middle of a story about a man who has brought his demon-possessed son for Jesus to heal.  He had asked Jesus' disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they could not.  His plea to Jesus was, "Do something if you can."  Jesus response?  "What do you mean, "If I can?  Anything is possible if a person believes." 

Jesus had seemed a little perturbed when He said aloud, "You faithless people!  How long must I be with you until you believe?  How long must I put up with you?  Bring the boy to me."  I think His disappointment was in His disciples, those who had been with Him and could testify to His power and greatness.  Even though they had witnessed Him perform miracles, they still lacked the faith to use the power He gave them to do likewise.

Later in the story, Jesus answered his disciples' question as to why they could not cast out the evil spirit.  He told them that "this kind" could only be cast out by prayer.  Do you know what that tells me?  It tells me that when we doubt - and we all do from time to time - that we need never work in our own strength and power.  God may give us power to overcome evil, but He never expects us to use it on our own.  He expects us to bring it to Him and ask for His help.  Prayer is consulting with the King.  Prayer is listening to the King.  Prayer is accomplishing, through Him, what God has appointed us to do.  Prayer is powerful friends!  He will empower us and He will move in power, in answer to humble earnest prayers that are surrendered to His will.

Have you ever had any "this kinds" in your life?  If you're like me, you certainly have.  Can Jesus heal us, deliver us, protect us, provide for us, and bless us?  I have no doubt that He can.  And if you're not there yet, He can help you believe.  How can you get there?  You can take it to the Lord in prayer.  He is always willing to meet us there.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Keep Looking Up

I know I'm not playing by the rules of delivering "A Verse Each Day" when I combine verses and days, BUT when I think about the fact that I am the one who made up the rules, I find it easier to break them.  I always pray that God guides me on the daily choices I make, so I am okay with being flexible every now and then.  All this to say....sorry I missed posting yesterday....and today I am posting an excerpt from the Message translation of a passage in Numbers that I really love.  It's several verses, but it is pretty self-explanatory.  I want the kind of obedience to God that makes me keep my eyes on Him daily, watching to see where He leads me and being obedient to follow. 

See how the Israelites were dependent on God for their daily needs in the following verses of Numbers 9:17-23, "When the Cloud lifted above the Tent, the People of Israel marched out; and when the Cloud descended the people camped. The People of Israel marched at God's command and they camped at his command. As long as the Cloud was over The Dwelling, they camped. Even when the Cloud hovered over The Dwelling for many days, they honored God's command and wouldn't march. They stayed in camp, obedient to God's command, as long as the Cloud was over The Dwelling, but the moment God issued orders they marched. If the Cloud stayed only from sunset to daybreak and then lifted at daybreak, they marched. Night or day, it made no difference—when the Cloud lifted, they marched. It made no difference whether the Cloud hovered over The Dwelling for two days or a month or a year, as long as the Cloud was there, they were there. And when the Cloud went up, they got up and marched. They camped at God's command and they marched at God's command. They lived obediently by God's orders as delivered by Moses."

I've always loved clouds.  I take pictures of them often because I am in awe of their beauty.  I view them as God's artwork and I love to see the pictures He paints daily.  More importantly, I like that they remind me of being obedient to God, of focusing on Him daily.  The clouds keep me looking up in expectation and that's exactly how I want to live.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Crescendo

The verse for 9/16 is from Exodus 9:16, "But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."  NIV

In this verse the Lord is instructing Moses to say this to Pharaoh.  In layman terms, I can imagine the Lord saying something like, "Hey look, Buster, the only reason you're still around is because I've allowed it!"  Pharaoh thought he was all that, but he was really just a means to an end.  And the end of God's people being enslaved in Egypt was in process.  I love the way God created an epic saga of events that crescendoed into a rescue so spectacular that no one could deny the glory of God. 

I mean, really!  It seems like God was just toying with Pharaoh when He used an onslaught of things like blood, frogs, a variety of bugs, cows, boils, hail and darkness to persuade him to let the Israelites go.  He knew Pharaoh would resist.  In fact, God even hardened Pharaoh's heart so he would not give in and let His people go.  Why would God do this, you might ask.  Well, I'm not completely sure, but I've watched Charlton Heston and the Ten Commandments many times and I have to tell you that the parting of the Red Sea was spectacular, beyond monumental.  God made a way for His own people to cross over safely to freedom and when Pharaoh's army tried to follow suite, they were completely swallowed up as the waters came crashing in.  Victory!  No one, other than Almighty God, could have delivered His people with such power and glory. 

I think we are in our own kind of saga in today's society.  Prominent people have come to think they are in control and their hearts are hardened toward God and His people.  I can truly envision God finally getting fed up and saying, "Hey look, Buster!"  The same God that saved and delivered the Israelites is still in control.  He will not be mocked forever.  In case we've forgotten, He knows how to deliver His people in magnificent fashion.  I've no doubt that He will continue to show His power.  Yes, His name will be proclaimed in all the earth...a crescendo that will proudly declare His glory!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Too Wonderful for Words!

The verse for 9/15 is from 2 Corinthians 9:15, "Thank God for His Son - a gift too wonderful for words!"  NLT

In context, this verse is the conclusion of a chapter wherein the Apostle Paul is writing to the Corinthians about how the grace of God inspires generosity in people who are godly.  His words remind me that a harvest of good results from trusting God and being authentic in our faith.  When we are obedient to God, we are generous in love and deeds to others and we glorify God in the process.  In essence, we become examples of the Good News and love of Jesus Christ when we are sensitive to the needs of others. 

Paul knew that Jesus and His grace is the gift that keeps on giving.  That inspires me to follow Him with passion and authenticity.  He is undoubtedly too wonderful for words!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Who am I?

The verse for 9/14 is from Job 9:14, "So who am I, that I should try to answer God or even reason with him?  NLT

Job was in a bad situation.  His friends were making judgements about him and his dilemna.  None of their ideas were good ones.  Job didn't have all the answers either, but he stood up pretty well under all the accusations and suggestions of his so-called friends.  I like his comment to them in the verse above.  It reminds me of the sovereignty of God.

In today's culture, we've come to a place that has all kinds of distorted views of who God is and how He should act.  Many people feel like we should say whatever we like, whenever we like, to the God who created us.  To me, that's like a rebellious child being disrespectful and disobedient to a loving parent who has their best interest at heart.  Yet, I do know that our God has incredible patience with us.  He allows us to question Him when we don't understand and He shows us much love, grace and mercy in our ignorance of who He is and how much He really loves us. 

We don't know why evil people hurt innocent people or bad things happen to good people.  But we know that it has something to do with the fall of mankind and the sin that has separated us from God since we were created.  People make bad decisions that hurt other people and, sometimes, bad things just happen.  But, like Job, I'm going to defer to God.   He is so much wiser than we are and He gave His own son's life so we could be with Him forever.  The choice as to whether we accept, or opt out, of His perfect plan for us is still entirely up to us.  But the obvious remains.  He is God and I'm not.  So, who am I that I should try to answer God or even reason with Him?  I'll just trust Him and leave the results up to Him.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Matters of the Heart

It's 9/13 and the verse of the day is 2 Samuel 9:13, "And Mephibosheth, who was crippled in both feet, moved to Jerusalem to live at the palace."  NLT

I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking, "Why in the world would anyone choose this kind of verse as a daily verse?"  I'm so glad you asked!  I found this obscure verse in this obscure chapter in the bible - if there is such a thing.  The story encouraged me, as I hope it will encourage you.

The entire 9th chapter of 2 Samuel is a magnificent story that paints a picture of King David's character and compassion.  Before his friend Jonathon died, King David had promised him that he would show his family kindness.  Jonathon's father, King Saul, had relentlessly pursued David and tried to kill him, so one would almost understand if David chose not to follow through with such a promise.  Yet that is not what happened. 

One day, King David asked if anyone from Saul's family was still alive.  It turned out that one of Jonathon's sons, Mephibosheth, was still alive, but was crippled.  King David had him brought to him and he told him he was honoring a vow he had made to his father.  He gave him all the land that had once belonged to Mephibosheth's grandfather, Saul.  But he didn't stop there, he invited him to live in the palace with him, just as if he were one of his own sons.  In essence, because of a promise he had made a long time ago to a dear friend, King David adopted this crippled man.  What a guy! 

I love the mercy and faithfulness King David portrays in this story.  He was faithful to the promise he made his friend and he was merciful to his crippled son.  We can all learn valuable lessons from such a great example of integrity.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all kept our promises and honored others?  And what if we went out of our way to take care of the disadvantaged and helped them whenever we could?  

Sometimes, showing kindness to others blesses us way more than it blesses them.  Why do you think that is so?  I think it's because such behavior makes all of us better people.  It's no wonder King David was a man after God's own heart.  He certainly had a big heart himself.  And speaking of hearts, he sure makes mine smile:)

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Doctor Referral

For 9/12, I've picked Matthew 9:12 as the verse of the day, "On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick."  NIV

When the Pharisees began to ridicule Jesus for being in the company of sinners, He had a few choice words for them.  They were so well-versed in their laws and tradition that they missed the big picture. Their religion had become an elite club that cared more about dotting the I's and crossing the T's than it did about taking care of the needs of man and introducing them to their God.  It seems to me that these religious elitist were arrogant and prideful.    Something had gone awry!  Somewhere along their selfish way they had taken their eye off of God and represented something far removed from Him.

Lest we think we have arrived, let's be sure to check ourselves and our motives as we identify ourselves by a "religion".  I've often heard it said that religion is man-made and not what God intended for His followers.  He is looking for a relationship with us.  We should be careful not to let denomination or religion identify us, but to let our belief in Christ define us.  We are His.  When we act like it, people see Him in us.  They don't see a religion, they see a Savior.  They see how He has changed us.  Knowing Him changes us from the inside out and our relationship with Him becomes evident. 

I'm convinced that Christ wants us to reach out to those who need Him and to represent His love and mercy.  We cannot do that through religion.  We can do that by inviting them into our world and going out and telling them what He has done for us and can do for them.  We can represent what a relationship with Jesus looks like.  They need a doctor.  Let's refer them to our Great Physician...the One who loves to make house calls.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Forever God

Today is 9/11.  The day has great significance to many of us.  Anyone who was around on 9/11/2001, and old enough to know what was going on, remembers where they were and what they were doing when terrorists attacked our country via four hi-jacked airplanes.  The aftermath was horrific and the losses still grieve us. 

Personally, I have an additional reason for remembering 9/11.  My dad passed away one year after the terrorists attacks, on 9/11/2002.  I miss his presence here on earth, but it is a sweet blessing to know my daddy is with the Lord and that I will see him again some day and spend eternity with him in heaven.

My prayer for the survivors and the loved ones of 9/11 victoms is that they may have the peace of Jesus to give them the same hope and future that my dad is now experiencing.  Death, nor man, cannot rob us of eternal life when we have placed our hope and trust in Jesus Christ.  It is that hope that gives many of us the joy and strength to face an uncertain world, yet rest in a certain future with our Lord.

Today's verse reminds me of the power of the awesome God who rescues us and brings victory out of death for believers in Christ.  It comes from Nehemiah 9:11, "You divided the sea for your people so they could walk through on dry land! And then you hurled their enemies into the depths of the sea. They sank like stones beneath the mighty waters."  NLT

This verse reminds me that the seas of life will roar, but if God is for us, then the victory is already ours.  He gives us safe passage to the other side and defeats our enemies, even in death.  Life on earth is limited, but life in heaven is our eternal reward.  That's the kind of God we have...a Forever God! 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Praise Him Daily

Today is 9/10 and I have a few scriptures that stand out to me.  I'm going to share three verses today.  They all speak of the greatness of our Lord. 

Job 9:10, "He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.  NIV

Psalm 9:10, "Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.  NIV

Proverbs 9:10, "To be wise you must first have reverence for the Lord. If you know the Holy One, you have understanding.  GNT

If I were to encapsulate what the verses above speak to me, I would paraphrase this way:
"Our great God is beyond human comprehension, but not beyond human reach.  He has always rescued us and continues to be our Deliverer.  Even when we feel like we cannot reach Him, He reaches out to us and lifts us up.  When we trust Him, we are never left to our own devices, for His Spirit is with us - ever guiding us in His ways.  How do I know this?  He has shown me these truths repeatedly so I could learn to live in His promises.  He promised that He would give us knowledge of Him when we place Him above all things.  Knowing Him is the greatest knowledge one could ever attain.  It goes beyond human effort and intellect.  What a beautiful thing that simple surrender makes us the wisest people on earth.  Yes, He's given me an honorary PHD.  What do I do with such an honor?  I offer it back up to Him and Praise Him Daily."

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Place at the Table

Today is 9/9 and Matthew 9:9 says, "As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him."  NLT

I love what this verse represents.  It represents grace and acceptance.  People were not hanging out with Matthew.  No, Mr. Popularity he was not!  His job did not lend itself, or him, to an honorable status.  Most people would not give him the time of day, much less offer him a place at the table.  But Jesus wasn't just anyone - He was the Messiah!  He gives grace to the unacceptable in our society.  He gave that grace to Matthew.  And God bless Matthew....he was drawn to the Savior.  He "jumped" at the chance to leave his sorry circumstances and follow Jesus. 

Matthew ended up sitting at the table with Jesus, breaking bread with Him.  Jesus gives us that same opportunity to have relationship with Him and to follow Him, to have a place at the table.  That's the way of our Lord.  When society looks down on us, we can still look up to Jesus who accepts us and forgives us and offers us grace - no matter where we are, or where we've come from.  He gives us the same grace He gave to Matthew.  And, like Matthew, I'm jumping at the chance to walk with Him!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Conceited vs. Wise People

The verse for 9/8 is from Proverbs 9:8, "Never correct conceited people; they will hate you for it. But if you correct the wise, they will respect you."  GNT

I like this translation of this verse because it uses the word "conceited".  Conceited means having an excessively high opinion of oneself.  In other words, correction toward a conceited person will fall on deaf ears - they will hate you for it.  Do you know anyone like that?  I thought so!

When correcting someone in love, we hope to make them aware that their behavior or choices can have negative effects on themselves or others.  A lot of people call that judging.  I have to agree, but with a caveat.  In 1 Corinthians 5:12, believers are given permission to hold other believers accountable for sinful behavior.  Most people like to overlook this part of scripture because, frankly, they're conceited.  They don't want anyone telling them they need to change their behavior.  People will rationalize their behaviors and choices to the moon and back and consider you the bad person for calling a spade a spade.  I guess I should have read this proverb before trying to correct a few people.  I discovered it's wisdom the hard way....a little too late.

People always go back to the "log in the eye" scripture in answer to being held accountable.  Many times, they are justified in doing so, but other times they just need to own their actions and their situation.  That's not easy for most of us to do.  Today's verse indicates that there are those who just won't receive a correction well and will be offended by anyone who could ever have the nerve to call them out on it.  But the verse goes on to tell how a wise person reacts to correction.  It says that the wise will receive your correction and respect you for it. 

I've come to realize that people have to learn to know, believe and obey God's Word for themselves. When they do, their wisdom will lead them to respond accordingly.  Until then, well, let's just say that I'm asking God to give me His discernment on when to open my mouth.   

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It All Depends on Whose Hands It's In

The verse for 9/7 is 2 Corinthians 9:7, "You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully."  NLT

As humans who are born of the flesh, we have a hard time getting our minds around the concept of giving.  By nature, we are selfish and tend to think of ourselves before others, and even before the God who created us.  The bible is full of parables and verses about giving vs. greed.  God wants us to get this one right.  He wants us to see that what we hold in high esteem has control of our hearts.  If we are greedy and only look to profit ourselves, we sow our thoughts, our treasures, everything we have, into our flesh for self-promotion.  On the other hand, if we want to bless God and others, we give ourselves and our treasures away more freely.  It's all kind of counter-cultural isn't it?  I think that's why God talks about it so much.  He knew we would be bombarded by the world and it's attractions, that our flesh would want to feed our earthly desires.  He wanted to make His truth available against a culture of lies.  If we can grasp it, we can learn how to live by God's Spirit, not by our fleshly desires.

What this entire subject really exposes is attitude.  What is our attitude about what we have?  Do we feel like we are responsible for and can do whatever we want with what we have?  Or do we realize that everything we have is a blessing from a good God?  Do we give out of an obligation to obey the law or do we give out of worship and gratitude to a God who has provided for our needs?  Do we hold onto what we have tightly or do we offer our treasures back to God and ask Him to multiply whatever we have given to bless others and honor Him?

These are hard questions, but I think they really get to the "heart" of the matter.  Our willingness to give ourselves and all that we deem as ours to the One who blessed us with it to begin with, is very telling about whether we are sowing to the flesh or sowing to the Spirit.  Our lives will reap whatever and wherever we sow.  The harvest is up to God.  He can do so much more with it than we ever could on our own.  The value of what we give all depends of whose hands it's in.  In our hands it has mere earthly value, but in God's hands it has eternal value.  With that, I cheerfully offer whatever is in my hands into the hands of God. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

All we need is YOU!

The verse for 9/6 is Nehemiah 9:6, "You alone are the Lord. You made the skies and the heavens and all the stars. You made the earth and the seas and everything in them. You preserve them all, and the angels of heaven worship you."  NLT

As the priest Ezra led the city of Jerusalem in revival, by preaching the long-forgotten word of God and leading the people in worship and celebration, people began to confess their sins and called out to other people to join them in praising God.   The verse above is a portion of their praise to the Lord.  What strikes me is that the praises remain true and we can sing the same praises to the same God.

That is what we are doing as a church right now.  We are calling out to the Lord.  We are confessing our sins and asking Him to bring us back to the heart of worship.  We are praying and praising and waiting.  We are reminding ourselves and reminding our God that He is, by character, faithful.  God wants to bring us back into covenant relationship with Him.  We have been reminded that this is exactly where we need to be - in His presence, in His will, and in His likeness. 

Revive us, O Lord, for we are more in need of You than anything You could ever do for us or give to us.  All we need is YOU!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Our august God!

Sorry for not posting the last 3 days friends.  To make up for it, today's comments will encompass 3 verses.  In Daniel Chapter 9, Daniel had just read what the prophet Jeremiah had written about the Lord saying that Jerusalem must lie desolate for 70 years.  Things are looking dire for him and his people.  So what does Daniel do?  He prays! 

Let's take a look at Daniel 9:3,4,5: "I turned to the Master God, asking for an answer—praying earnestly, fasting from meals, wearing rough penitential burlap, and kneeling in the ashes. I poured out my heart, baring my soul to God, my God: 'O Master, great and august God. You never waver in your covenant commitment, never give up on those who love you and do what you say. Yet we have sinned in every way imaginable. We've done evil things, rebelled, dodged and taken detours around your clearly marked paths...'"  MSG

I had to look up the definition of august, as an adjective, above.  I've always thought it was just a summer month:)  To my great pleasure, I found that it means "marked by majestic dignity and grandeur."  How fitting that our Lord be called an august God!  It looks like we could learn a thing or two from Daniel in how He addresses an approachable, yet Holy God.  He first humbles himself and extols the virtues of a faithful God.  He then takes responsibility and owns up to the sins he and his people have committed.  The prayer goes on, and we will look at some later verses as the month goes on.  But, today, I just want to look at the example of Daniel.

As a church, we have been going before the Lord, seeking His face, for the position we have found ourselves in.  We realized that the hearts of our people needed to be united as one, in total commitment to our august God.  As we have met Him in prayer, daily, we have found that, like Daniel, we are  relying on God, alone, to come to our rescue.  We are seeing, more and more, that He is faithful.  But, more importantly, we are seeing that our confidence in God comes from our communication with Him.  He wants us to seek Him, to talk to Him.  When our eyes are fixed on Him, our hearts follow suite.  When our eyes are fixed on Him, it is far more difficult to go in the wrong direction.  When our eyes are fixed on Him, we leave the results of our prayers in His hands.  Our august God is more than able!

As the chapter continues, it reveals how God responded to Daniel's prayers.  God sent the angel Gabriel to give Daniel insight and understanding about what was to come.  He told Daniel that the moment he began praying a command was given.  He also told Daniel that God loved him very much.  We can have that same assurance, I believe, because the same God that responded to Daniel responds to us.  We eagerly wait for His insight and understanding and we believe that He has given a command on our behalf.  We are trusting in our faithful august God.  Oh how He loves us!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Down in my Heart

The verse for 9/2 is Psalm 9:2, "I will be filled with joy because of you.  I will sing praises to your name, O Most High."  NLT

This passage is pretty clear.  It speaks volumes on it's own and rings oh so true to me.  True joy comes from knowing God.  It's that simple.  And, like David, I can't help but sing praises to such a wonderful God!  I guess one could say that I have the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart...and I'm forever grateful to the One who put it there!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

We Will!

It's the first day of September, 9/1.  I'm choosing Psalm 9:1 for today's verse: "I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done."  NLT

It is no wonder David was a man after God's own heart!  David was a deliberate worshipper.  He purposed to praise God.  I love the way he prefaces this Psalm with his intentions, I will praise...I will tell."  His words were not hollow.  They rang true and heartfelt. 

I echo David's words in this Psalm.  I think sometimes the Lord blesses me just to see my reaction:)  Or maybe He knows I won't keep my mouth shut...I'm sure to tell others the marvelous things He has done!  But, more probably, He wants to use me to bless someone else.  He knows that if they see and hear what He has done for me, they may know that He will do just as much for them.  They may begin to realize that God is real, that He is good, and that He loves them.  That's beyond exciting to me. 

When we realize our blessings are not so much about us, but more about the goodness of God, I think we will become more and more like men and women after God's heart.  I doubt if any of us will be able to keep our mouths shut.  We will praise Him and we will tell all the marvelous things He has done!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Our God is GREATER!

The verse for 8/31 is Romans 8:31, "What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?"  NLT

Unless we've been living in a bubble, we are all aware that we have an enemy who is definitely against us.  My understanding from this scripture is that, with God on our side, we cannot lose.  The next verse goes on to say, "Since God did not spare even His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, won’t God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else?"  Friends, that's powerful!  Our God is into making a way for us! He paid the highest price imaginable just so you and I could be with Him forever.  After all is said and done, He still wins....and so do we!
Let this verse remind us that, no matter what we are facing, our God is GREATER!  Nothing is too monumental for Him to master.  He has made us victorious just because of WHO He is.  Let's start acting like we believe that!

Click on the title above to hear Chris Tomlin's "Our God is Greater".  Go ahead sing out loud:)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hands Lifted High

Today is 8/30 and the verse for this day is from 1 Kings 8:30, "Hear my prayers and the prayers of your people when they face this place and pray. In your home in heaven hear us and forgive us."  GNT

With hands lifted high, King Solomon praised and prayed to His God.  With great passion, he had built an earthly temple for the Lord; a place to come and honor Him.  When it was completed, the glory of the Lord filled the place....what else could Solomon and the Israelites do but praise and pray?!

This timely verse encourages me that, as a church, we are looking in the right direction.  The leaders of our church have built a place to honor and glorify God.  We yearn for it to be a place worthy of His presence.  We invite Him to dwell in our hearts and in our midst as we come together to worship.  We are engaged in a 21-day prayer campaign where we are searching our hearts, seeking His face, and praising Him for being our God.  We want His glory to fill our individual temple and our corporate temple and to make His presence known in our lives and in our circumstances.  As He continues to demonstrate His love and power in our lives and in our church, we can only have one response ...we will stand with our hands lifted high in praise to Him!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Living Under His Influence

The bible verse I'm sharing for 8/29 is from Acts 8:29, "The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.”  NLT

I don't know about you, but I want to be able to hear the Holy Spirit like Philip did.  Furthermore, I want to act as quickly and obediently as Philip did.  I think Philip is a great example of letting God's Holy Spirit guide us and be used by Him for His purposes.  Because Philip ran to do as the Spirit led him, the man in the carriage was saved!  If Philip had hesitated to question this prompting or felt embarrassed to do as he was instructed, this story may not have ended in a saved soul and the baptism of the unlikely man who was in the carriage.

This story is one of many conversions of faith represented through the book of Acts.  Philip was an evangelist who was eager to tell everyone about the Jesus who rocked his world.  Jesus had left his Spirit in believers, so they could be comforted and guided by Him.  Obviously, Philip was keenly aware that he had divine guidance. 

Friends, the only difference between us and Philip is awareness and obedience.  The same Holy Spirit that guided Philip wants to guide you and me.  I want to be led and used by the Spirit, more now than ever before.  My prayer is that my heart will be completely surrendered to God and His leading.  That's my prayer for you, as well.  May we live like we have a Savior living within us and not be ashamed to let others see Him in and through us.  It could be a life-changer for all of us - not only for eternity, but for the present.  Our human shells house an awesome treasure in the supernatural presence of the Holy Spirit.  I think it's time we start to think, act and live like it.  Lord, let us live under your influence.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Trust me on this

Today is 8/28 and the obvious verse for today is Romans 8:28, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."  NLT

None of us are exempt from bad things happening to us or our loved ones.  I know people who have faced, or are facing, some really tough situations in life.  My own life hasn't been problem-free, but I live blessed and grateful today, because I have a God who held me through it all and brought something good out of every tough situation in my life.  I know He will do the same for you.

Despite our trials in life, we can be assured that God causes all things to work for good for those of us who love Him.  Our pain can be turned into peace if we surrender it to the Prince of Peace.  Our mess can be turned into a masterpiece if we let Artist God complete our picture.  As Christians, we are God's children and He has a purpose for each and every one of us.  I think part of that purpose is to recognize who He is and tell others what He has done in our lives.  He is good and He will cause something good to come out of every situation if we just trust Him.  How do I know?  Trust me - He's given me a lot to tell others.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Be Amazed!

The verse for 8/27 is from Matthew 8:27, "Everyone was amazed. What kind of man is this? they said. Even the winds and the waves obey him!"  GNT

Storms threaten our lives from time to time.  Right now, there are winds and waves roaring along the eastern seaboard as Hurricane Irene barrels in - uninvited.  Right now, there are people who may feel like they have their own virtual hurricane crashing in around them.  They don't have to be on the East Coast to experience a horrendous storm.  They may be in the mid-west, the south-west, or the deep south.  None of us are exempt and storms come from time to time - again, uninvited. 

It's what we do in the midst of our storms that determines how we will get through them.  I believe this passage was intended to represent the power Jesus has to calm the storms in our life.  The disciples where threatened by a storm.  They were afraid and they called on Jesus to save them from peril.  Jesus had only to rebuke the waves and wind and suddenly everything was calm.  We can do the same.  We don't have to be afraid.  We can call on our Savior to still the waters and calm our storms.  Much like the disciples, I think we will be amazed at Christ's display of power when we invite Him into the storms of our life. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Prayer by Osmosis

The verse for 8/26 is from Romans 8:26, "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."  NIV

Have you ever tried to pray, or wanted to pray, but just didn't know how to express yourself?  I'll admit, I've been there.  I treasure times when my heart is in such surrendered accord with my Lord, that no words are necessary.  Not that I don't want to talk to God, but that His spirit, in me, has already ushered my words to the heart of my Father.  I'm not sure what kind of osmosis that is...but I totally desire to experience the fullness it brings to my soul.  Besides, God's vocabulary is so much better than my own.  And it strikes me that, when you are the WORD, it sort of negates the necessity of using them!

Lord, never let me stop communing with you in prayer, but keep my mouth shut and my mind quieted long enough to trust that your Holy Spirit within me can take over when I've got nothing.  Empty me out Lord, so I may be filled with You.  As the Amy Grant song says, "That's better than a Hallelujah!"

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

He won't let us go down!

I want to share a passage from the Message for 8/24 and 8/25.  Matthew 8:23-25 says, "Then he got in the boat, his disciples with him. The next thing they knew, they were in a severe storm. Waves were crashing into the boat—and he was sound asleep! They roused him, pleading, "Master, save us! We're going down!"

The disciples were in a storm and they panicked...with Jesus right in the boat with them.  We've all done the same, haven't we?  When storms rock our world, the first inclination is to panic.  We tend to forget that, as Christ followers, Jesus is with us. 

The disciples still knew where to turn for help, when the storm hit.  They called on Jesus and He heard their cry.  Storms can literally rock our world, but when we call out to Jesus, He hears us and He comes to our rescue.  He may calm the storm, or He may just hold His children until we get through it.  Either way, I am assured that He won't let us go down if we call on him and hold on to Him with all of our strength. 

"Call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory."  Psalm 50:15

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We hear you, Lord!

On 8/23 I want to share a couple of verses.  They are very special to me and remind me that our God is ever-present and ever-caring!

And he prayed, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion." 1 Kings 8:23 - NLT

"So we fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would take care of us, and he heard our prayer."
Ezra 8:23 - NLT

All I can say is, "I hear you Lord...I'm listening!"  He has reminded us, with these two very timely verses, that He is in control.  Yesterday, we started an unplanned 21-day prayer campaign at our church.  In bold faith and belief in a God who owns everything, we are seeking Him in prayer to change our hearts.  A week ago, we were making our plans.  Today, God is ordering our steps.  It is obvious that His plan doesn't always look like ours - it is so much better!

He is above all things, Lord of all, Maker of heaven and earth!  We humbley give Him our full devotion and leave the results up to Him. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Don't be left in the dark

Today and tomorrow, 8/21 and 8/22, I'm using a Message passage from Isaiah 8:19-22 as the verses for these days.  It suggests that sometimes people put their hopes in things of this world, rather than trusting completely in God and His word.  But, looking to dark sources can only leave us in the dark. 

"When people tell you, "Try out the fortunetellers. Consult the spiritualists.  Why not tap into the spirit-world, get in touch with the dead?"  Tell them, "No, we're going to study the Scriptures." People who try the other ways get nowhere—a dead end!  Frustrated and famished, they try one thing after another.  When nothing works out they get angry, cursing first this god and then that one, looking this way and that, up, down, and sideways—and seeing nothing, A blank wall, an empty hole. They end up in the dark with nothing."  MSG

The NLT puts verse 21 this way, "My people will be led away as captives, weary and hungry.  And because they are hungry, they will rage and shake their fists at heaven and curse their king and their God."  In other words, it's a trap; a trap of this world and an enemy who wants us to do anything but look to God for our present and future.  Satan lures us with things that are not of God.  We will never be satisfied with these things because they are based on lies and darkness, rather than God's truth and light.  It baffles me how we fall for these schemes again and again, and then get mad at the true God when we are disappointed and come up empty in life.  Why would we ever look to the author of lies for truth?  Why would we be tempted by things like astrology and new-age theories?  Do we think they can give us a future better than God's promises? 

God wants us to resist such darkness and rely on His Word for our future.  I don't believe in fortune tellers and crystal balls, but this I can predict: those who trust in Jesus will live forever with Him in eternity.  No other source can give me that security and no other source can take it away from me.  God knows my past, my present and my future.  Looking to the light of the world will ensure that we are never left in the dark.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


On 8/20 we are taking a look at Proverbs 8:20, "I walk in the way of righteousness, on the paths of justice,"  GW

This verse is part of a passage that is referring to wisdom.  King Solomon is writing about the virtues of wisdom and how it can benefit your earthly walk and your spiritual awareness.  According to scripture, wisdom is many things and we would be well-served to seek it whole-heartedly. Wisdom will help us make right decisions in this life and help us have an eternal perspective in our journey.  I cannot imagine why any of us would not pursue and embrace wisdom.

The truth about wisdom is that it comes from God.  He wants to give us the gift of wisdom so we can know Him and His truth.  Wisdom reveals the character of God and draws us closer to Him.  When we are wise to His truth, we are wise indeed.  I want that whole-heartedly.  Don't you?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Exponential Power

Today is 8/19 and the verse I've chosen is a continuation of yesterday's passage.  Mark 8:19 says, "When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets did you fill with leftover pieces?They told him, “Twelve.”  GW

God shouldn't have to remind us that He has been perfectly capable of handling situations in our past and can do the same in the present and in the future.  Yet, our human condition causes us to have spiritual amnesia.  The Israelite in all of us rises up to take matters into our own hands because we suddenly think God has taken His eye off the ball.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Our God never takes his eye off of His children.  Even when we face trials, we can trust that He is with us and He cares. 

Today's world is in financial chaos, but we can bank on this - Our God is with us and He will walk with us through whatever valley we are in.  I heard a Christian speaker on the radio this morning say this, "Patience is not the ability to wait.  Patience is how you act while you're waiting."  The Israelites blew it.  They grew impatient and forgot that God wanted them to look to Him, and not themselves, for their provision.  Their impulsiveness caused them to stay stuck for a long time.  God doesn't want us making the same mistakes they did.  He wants us to look to Him, with complete surrender, and leave the outcome of our circumstances completely to Him.  He is indeed able to do exceedingly more than we could ever hope or imagine. 

When we consider that God specializes in multiplying on the curve, it seems a little silly to think that He cannot take what little we have and move in exponential power.  That little that we have doesn't involve only finances.  More importantly, it involves faith.  When we deposit our hearts and our trust into His hands, we leave the math in His hands also.  In little and in plenty, His exponential power will be enough.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Mark 8:18 is the verse for 8/18, "You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear?  Don’t you remember anything at all?"  NLT

This is not the first time the Lord asked this direct question.  He had to ask it in Jer 5:21, and here Jesus is asking it again of His disciples.  In modern day lingo, I think it would sound something like, "Hello?  Do you remember who I am?"  He may even be thinking the same thing and shaking His head as we even dare to go there again today.  What makes me think so?  I'm human and my way of thinking is often flawed.  We have a way of doubting God, even after He has provided for us time and time again, even though He loves us beyond reason.

The disciples saw the love of Jesus first-hand.  They saw miracles of provision and healing, yet they could not seem to see and hear that it was more about Jesus, Himself, than the things He did.  If they had genuinely grasped the character of the Giver, their focus may have been more on Him and less on the gifts He gave.  Yet, those guys aren't much different from you or I.  God has given us great evidence of His all-knowing, all-powerful character.  But, sometimes, we still doubt that He cares, that He will take care of us.  Don't we remember anything at all?

I'm reflecting on all Jesus has done for me today.  I'm also reflecting on who He is.  Great hope and comfort comes in knowing that He always was, is and will be.  He never changes and I hope I never forget that.

Monday, August 15, 2011

What's Next, Papa?!

The book of Romans is just too rich...I absolutely LOVE it!  I am taking advantage of this 8th month - August - to share one of my favorite chapters in the bible and parlay many of the gems therein.  For 8/15, 8/16 and 8/17, let's check out how the Message communicates Romans 8:15-17:
"This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him!"

What if we really lived like this; like God wants us to?  What if we woke up expectantly every day with a childlike, "What's next, Papa?"  I imagine our lives would be radically different.  I imagine we would experience relationship with our God on a much deeper and intimate level.  I imagine it would be awesome!

Here's a thought...let's do it!  Let's greet our Father with expectancy each morning, walk in His presence daily, and bask in how much He loves us as He tucks us in at night.  He's the King and we are His children.  There is absolutely nothing more exciting than that.  Will you join me in saying, "What's next, Papa?!"

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Things to do and places to go!

Romans 8:12-14 says exactly what is on my heart for 8/13 and 8/14. Take a look at the Message version:
"So don't you see that we don't owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There's nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God's Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go." MSG

I give that passage a resounding "Amen!" This is my soapbox, if you will, and I think understanding and living out this truth is key to living a surrendered life in our Lord. When He comes into the equation of our life, his Holy Spirit trumps anything we used to believe about ourselves and who we used to be. If we are to believe God's word - and I do - we know that He calls us someone new. We are not the old person. In Christ, we are someone new; a new creature, with new and right desires.

While we may be someone new, we have to believe it and learn to walk in that new identity. Without that adjustment in our thought and actions, we will continue to believe the lies Satan has told us for so long. Renewing our minds through spending time with God, reading and studying His Word, praying and asking God to change us, helps us live as God intends us to. We don't have to live like we used to. Jesus died so we wouldn't have to!

So why do we hang on to old hurts , habits and hang-ups? God's Spirit shows us a better way. It's time to leave the old self behind, where it belongs, and believe we are who God says we are. As new creations, we've got things to do and places to go.

Friday, August 12, 2011


The verse I have chosen for 8/12 is Hebrews 8:12, "And I will forgive their wrongdoings, and I will never again remember their sins.". NLT

Isn't it reassuring to know that we have a Savior that not only forgives our sins, but forgets them as well?! That is what Jesus does for us when we put our trust in Him and humbly confess our sins and ask Him to forgive us. He says, "YES!"

I want to be in that grace-filled kind of relationship and covenant with my Lord. I know that if I am faithful to confess, He is even more faithful to forgive. To that, I can only say "YES", as well.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Today is 8/11 and the verse for the day is Isaiah 8:11, "The Lord has said to me in the strongest terms: 'Do not think like everyone else does."  NLT

Although Isaiah is speaking of a word given to him by the Lord, I could say, "Ditto!"  I think God would say this to any one of us who have ears that are willing to hear.  God's word is full of scripture that tells us not to adhere to the ways of the world, but to keep our eyes fixed on Him.  Doing so makes such a difference in the way we live.  

Everyone one else thinks our answers in life are found in the world.  God says our answers are found in Him.  If we watch the news channels or read the headlines of our current culture we will hear any number of talking heads suggesting their remedies for whatever ails us.  The world is a mess and it just keeps getting messier. We made the mess and we're arrogant enough to think we can fix it.  I don't know about you, but that looks a little like insanity to me.

I am 100% sure that my God doesn't want me to think like everyone else.  He wants me to have the mind of Christ; to think like Him.  The world would have us lean on our own understanding, but God says we are to trust in Him.  I want to stand up for God and stand out to God; to be recognised by Him as the one who follows Him, and not the world.  I don't want to be like everyone else.  Do you?