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Showing posts from August, 2018

A Beautiful Way To Pray Today

Morning Inspiration!
I have heard all about you, Lord. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. And in your anger, remember your mercy.
Habakkuk 3:1–2 This prayer was sung by the prophet Habakkuk, & is a wonderful example of how we should pray today.
Truly stopping to consider God’s amazing works, always overwhelms us with His power & creativity!
Recognizing how much we need Him, & learning the miraculous ways the Lord has helped His people in the past, fills us with confidence & hope, even in our darkest times. Knowing that we deserve God’s anger for the wrongs we have done, makes us incredibly grateful for the love & grace we are promised through our faith in Jesus.

Jesus Prayed for You!

Morning Inspiration! “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.”
Jesus, quoted in John 17:20–21 Jesus knew He was just hours away from horrible death by crucifixion. His greatest concern was not for Himself, but those He loved deeply, & had entrusted with the Word of God...the Disciples. Jesus realized everything He lived for, & everything He would die for, rested on their shoulders. In praying for them to continue spreading His earth shattering message, Jesus prayed for us too! His prayerful desire from 2,000 years ago, continues for us today: Be united as one with God & all believers; Live our faith by loving others enough to tell them the truth; Share the Good News with everyone possible, until ALL the world believes!

Honoring The Good & The Godly

Morning Inspiration: “If you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God, you will be given the same reward as a prophet. And if you welcome good & godly people because of their righteousness, you will be given a reward like theirs. And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.” Jesus, quoted in Matthew 10:41–42 This key passage of Scripture should be burned into our memory bank, & practiced every chance we get! Think of the word prophet, as one who teaches about the kingdom of God. Pastors, preachers, missionaries & Bible teachers are some examples. The term ‘receive them’ speaks to how we welcome, accept & listen to them. When we honor their service & sacrifice to the Lord, God the Father is pleased. Never forget the importance of helping other believers, especially those who might not seem important in the eyes of the world. Make them feel welcome. Accept & listen to them as equals. When you reach…

Putting On Your New You!

Morning Inspiration: Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from Him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. Ephesians 4:21–24 As True Believers, we should be different today, from how we were yesterday, & all the days before.
Like old clothes that no longer fit, we are to throw off our old behaviors. Get rid of anything
that has ties, with bad habits like lusting & lies! When we let God’s Holy Spirit take control, we are refreshed & renewed. Jesus makes us more & more like Him; set apart to serve the One True God.

His Mercy Never Ends

Morning Inspiration: The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By His mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each day. Lamentations 3:22-23 Feeling no hope, as if you're at the end of your rope? Lamentations is often referred to as the book of tears. It’s not a place in the Bible I would normally think of going for encouragement. Yet, this message, from the prophet Jeremiah, is as uplifting as anything ever written! I am reminded of this biblical truth every time I speak with those who have survived unimaginable tragedy, pain, & loss, by trusting deeply in Jesus. They learned to lean heavily on God’s promises, and we can too, because every single day, His mercies are brand new! Head out into the world today, trusting Jesus to protect you.

Life Is Unpredictable!

Morning Inspiration: People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a trap, people are caught by sudden tragedy. Ecclesiastes 9:12 I’m doing my best to try & comfort a single mom of 5, whose teen son was shot in the head a few days ago. We are praying for about a dozen friends in various stages of their fight against deadly cancer. I stay in touch with several men whose wonderful wives passed away recently. Our bed ministry constantly works with those who have been plunged into poverty & even homelessness, due to unforeseen tragedy. Even when they aren’t happening to us personally, these situations can hurt us. Our responses tend to vary widely; from becoming worried, fearful & depressed...to thinking those terrible things only happen to other people. Neither of these are right in God’s sight. While we can never know what kind of difficulties life may bring, we can trust in Jesus, who promises never to leave us or forsa…

To Hear & See...Spiritually!

Morning Inspiration: Ears to hear & eyes to see-both are gifts from the Lord. Proverbs 20:12 Normal hearing & sight are INCREDIBLE blessings, that we often, never even think about or appreciate. We should thank God daily for the joys & abilities they bring us. Jesus takes it one important step further, repeatedly asking God to give us “Ears to hear & eyes to see”. Not just in a physical way, but Spirituallly, so we will have clarity in understanding what God is telling & showing us every single day! “Jesus, my spiritual ability to hear & see, helps me know all that you have planned for me. Help me to use these gifts wisely.”

Praise In Private & In Public

Morning Inspiration: I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High. Psalm 9:1–2
As King David showed us, praising God is something we should do both privately & publicly. Our first challenge is to develop much better awareness of all the amazing blessings in our lives. There is so much we just take for granted. Recognize that all good things come from the Lord, through His kindness to us & His provision for us. This develops an attitude of gratitude, & prompts us to thank & praise Him every chance we get. Praising Jesus in the privacy of our prayers is a great place to start. As we do this more & more, God will show us many ways to magnify His praise...by telling others of the marvelous things He does for us.

Understanding The Road We Travel

Morning Inspiration: How can we understand the road we travel? It is the Lord who directs our steps. Proverbs 20:24 God gives us all a pathway to follow in life, but Jesus made it clear: the choice of the road we choose is ours. When we insist on our own way, we must prepare for the consequences. If we listen carefully & seek His divine guidance, our journey is often more fruitful & much less painful. Yet that’s not always the case. Even when we try our best to follow God’s lead, negative circumstances can develop along the way. Many of our biblical heroes suffered tragically, doing exactly what God led them to do. We won’t always understand why things happen. It may take years for us to see how God’s grand plan for good in our life (& often the lives of many others), was set into motion by something that seemed terrible. Likewise, we may see abundant blessings we don’t expect or deserve. True faith requires us to simply trust in Jesus & His design, even when we can’t…

Building A Wall of Spiritual Protection

Morning Inspiration: A person without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls. Proverbs 25:28 In ancient times, cities built large, well fortified walls around themselves for protection. While these walls somewhat restricted their movements, they kept them safe from attacks by predators & enemies. Self-control is the willingness & ability, to restrict & control our own actions & impulses. We are often much more successful with our self control, when we are surrounded by a support team of other believers, who advise & encourage us! Like a city wall, their input, combined with our improved understanding of the Lord, protect us from the enemy...& also from ourselves! In behaviors ranging from alcohol & drug abuse, to wrong relationships, over-eating, or just being lazy in the pursuit of our knowledge of God...self-control is the key to a great life! You say you don’t have any self-control? Jesus teaches, that we don’t have...because we…

We Show We Care, So We Can Share

Morning Inspiration: When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings. 1 Corinthians 9:22–23 Paul’s prescription for spreading the Good News about Jesus, includes getting to know people, & figuring out how we are alike. We never want to appear (or even think) we are superior, & should always do our best to share their burdens, worries & concerns. Carefully listening to them, helps us find similarities in our situations & behaviors. That helps us build a foundation of trust & understanding, so that they will become more open to hearing the truth about Jesus. This pattern of caring-then sharing, blesses us as well as them.

No Good Work Is Ever Wasted

Morning Inspiration: So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
1 Corinthians 15:58 There are things we do for the Lord that are fun, exciting, & even exhilarating. Many other duties can be lonely, difficult or painful. Paul the Apostle knew this all too well. His encouragement here is important, because it comes from his personal experience. We won’t always be able to see the purpose, or the results of our efforts. Often, it will seem as if we have failed in our assignment. Yet it’s critical that we maintain an ongoing enthusiasm for whatever it is Jesus has placed in our hearts to do. God has plans & purposes that He doesn’t always allow us to understand. We can trust Him to know that when we are being obedient to the Lord, nothing we do or say is ever wasted. Even what seems like utter defeat or devastation today, often leads to positive results that we can…

Am I Ashamed of Jesus? Are You?

Morning Inspiration: “If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
Jesus, quoted in Mark 8:38 Most serious Christians would never imagine that we could be ashamed of Jesus. Yet this Scripture warns us to take a deeper look at our behaviors. Do we ever refrain from mentioning His name in mixed company, because we’re afraid of the response from others? Do we skip the prayer before meals in public places? Are we hesitant to say what the Bible teaches, when we discuss current events with those we work, play & live with? An answer of yes to any of these, indicates that we are embarrassed by our faith...& that’s the same as being ashamed of Jesus! While nothing says we must stand on a corner, shaking our fists at unbelievers, we are told to share the Good News of Jesus with the world. I find that gently stating my beliefs (or quoting Scrip…

Perfect Discipline

Morning Inspiration: For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in His holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. Hebrews 12:10–11 A good parent disciplines their children out of care, concern & love. We want them to avoid danger, develop good character & learn right from wrong. Try as we might, parents make mistakes. We can over punish, or let poor behaviors slide by uncorrected. God, as our Holy Father, disciplines His children perfectly. We usually don’t like it while it’s happening, but can trust we will be better for having gone through it. Know that the purpose of our being disciplined, is to learn to become more like Jesus. That helps us accept it in the right way, & to look toward some very positive results.

What Happens When You Give More

Morning Inspiration: Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 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.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 2nd Corinthians 9:6-8 We are often afraid we won’t have enough for ourselves, so we hesitate to give our money away to those in need. God’s word shows that when we plant more seeds (as in giving away our wealth), we grow more of a harvest (increasing income, resources, wealth). It works in amazing ways on this earth, & will greatly multiply our reward in paradise. We can give away our riches to churches, ministries & individuals in need, with great joy, knowing that our money will return to us in even greater numbers. When we give, our wea…

Living Though We Are Dying

Morning Inspiration: Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever. 2nd Corinthians ‪4:16-18‬ Paul reminds us the ‘trash’ we have to deal with now, is building the treasure we are promised in the near future. We can’t allow things like rejection, pain, loss, illness or even deadly disease to wear us down, and make us think of quitting. We are all in the process of dying, yet Jesus wants us to live life to the fullest each day! Paul learned to focus the power of the Holy Spirit on the great reward that is still to come. That renewed his enthusiasm and commitment...and it will do the same for us! “Lord Jesus, give me your strength to …

The Enemy Within Us

Morning Inspiration: But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.
Galatians 5:15–16 This Scripture applies to all aspects of our lives; family, friends, work, community, government & yes, especially the church. We often do more damage to ourselves from within our walls, than the enemy could ever do from the outside. Stop criticizing, complaining, gossiping & backbiting. Even when you disagree with someone, pray for them in a positive, sincere way. Focus on their good qualities & do your honest best to understand why they feel as they do. Remember you are here to love & serve them, not to be their judge. Even Jesus didn’t judge the first time He came (though He will on His return). Share His words. Show His love. Through your relationship with Jesus, give others the love & acceptance you yourself crave.

Using Freedom Wisely

Morning Inspiration: For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Galatians 5:13–14 In one way, freedom is a lot like money. Spend it only on yourself & you will be miserable. Use it for the good of others, & your life will be blessed on multiple levels. “Lord help us each to clearly see, that the blessings you give us, are not to be used selfishly. Help us to magnify & multiply your love, by showing others that all great things come from You above.”

Jesus Set Me Truly Free

Morning Inspiration: So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.
Galatians 5:1 These two simple sentences go deeply into the clear understanding of our faith. Jesus sacrificed His life for our freedom. Freedom from sin, & from the long list of detailed & cumbersome rules of the law. Both used to enslave us, & rule our lives. Now, through our faith in Jesus, we are truly free! Not free to do whatever we want, because that would only lead us back into the slavery of our previous habits & behaviors. This freedom allows us to live our lives unselfishly, in accordance with the laws that matter most: To love God with everything we have; & to love others as much as we love ourselves. Any other man-made ‘church rules’ are useless attempts to bring us back under the old system of the law, which was impossible to live up to. So Christ died to free us from an endless list of useless exercises, which bec…

Amazed God Can Use Us!

Morning Inspiration: I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him, even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 1:12–14 I could never even begin to compare myself to the amazing Apostle Paul. Yet, I see I have a lot in common with him, & I bet you do too! We who are driven to do God’s work, clearly understand that the strength required to do so, comes from the Lord Himself, not from ourselves. We’re not only grateful Jesus chooses to use us, but stunned He would...considering our past! It hurts me to recall the things I said & did against the faith & the ones I called “Those Jesus Freaks”! Now I am one! Remembering what terrible sinners we used to be, ma…

Finding The Comfort & Strength We Need

Morning Inspiration: Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, Who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.
2nd Thessalonians 2:16–17 God Himself, through His grace (forgiveness) to us, promises Believers peace & comfort for eternity. As we learn to trust in His Word, we grow into this wonderful hope of all the amazing things that we know are coming soon. It is this hope in His Truth, that gives us the comfort & strength to ‘get through’ the difficult days ahead. This allows us, even encourages us, to continue doing & saying the many good things planned for us by Jesus, for others he places in our path.

What Could Possibly Be Better?

Morning Inspiration: A single day in your courts
is better than a thousand anywhere else!
I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory.
The Lord will withhold no good thing
from those who do what is right.
Psalm 84:10–11 Even just one day in the presence of God, is worth more than a lifetime of luxury spent with those who don’t know Jesus! In God’s economy, it’s better to be a servant to the Lord, than to rule over others. God provides for & protects His children. A close relationship with Jesus brings us everything He knows we need.