Thursday, July 2, 2015

Teach Me Through My Trials

Romans 2:29
No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.

Lord, I want to be this kind of person. I think I'm becoming this kind of person. You certainly are changing my heart and I like it! It's not always a fun process, but you are always here to help me through all of it.

In your perfect love, you see the big picture while I can only see a tiny part of it. 


You know that I need to go through specific trials to get to the end result which you can already see.


I'm so glad that yours is not a weak, oh-poor-baby, let-me-comfort-you-and-take-away-the-pain kind of love. No, yours is a this-is-for-your-best-good and you-need-to-experience-this-pain-to-learn-from-it kind of love. Please help my heart to always be soft so I can learn what you are teaching me. I love you, Daddy! In Jesus' name, amen.


MEMORY VERSE
Isaiah 26:3-4
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock.
Isaiah 26:3-4

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Jesus, Please Wake Us Up!

Romans 1:21
Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn't worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.

Lord, this is the state of so many people in our world. It makes me so sad! So many simply refuse to believe the overwhelming evidence that surrounds them. They prefer to believe a lie.

Romans 1:24-25
So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other's bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshipped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.

Now we are dealing with a culture that seems to have been abandoned by you to do whatever shameful things their hearts desire. The leading law of our land has even declared these vile and degrading things to be legal.

Lord, you know that homosexuality is not the only sin that our culture is burdened with. All kinds of sexual sin is rampant; adultery, living together while unmarried, one-night stands and everything in between. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Romans 1:29-31
Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy.

Lord, these people don't need our judgement, they need YOUR love.


Oh, Lord Jesus! We desperately need revival! Please wake up those of us who still worship you as God and get us busy praying. Lord, there are hoards of people running headlong into an eternity of torment in hell. We can not afford to be complacent.

Lord, please send us to those who are ready to hear the gospel and submit their lives to you. Please bring others to that place of readiness. Prepare your fields for harvest and send us out! 


MEMORY VERSE
Isaiah 26:3-4
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock.
Isaiah 26:3-4

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Power of the Resurrection

John 20:6-9
Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus' head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed - for until then they still hadn't understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead.

It was seeing the tomb and the linen wrappings that caused these two disciples to believe. We still have the empty tomb and even the Shroud of Turin to testify to the validity of these events.

Lord, I feel you nudging me to compare the resurrection of Lazarus to your resurrection.
Jesus' ResurrectionLazarus' Resurrection
Purpose: Break the power of sin and deathPurpose: Bring glory to Jesus and prove he was God's Son
Left his grave clothes behindCame out wrapped in his grave clothes
Raised himself from the deadWas raised by Jesus
Became the first to rise from the dead. 1 Cor. 15:20; Rev. 1:5Was one among many raised from the dead
Went to be with his FatherEventually had to die again
Had his imperishable bodyStill had his perishable body
Had been foretold by many Scriptures and Jesus himselfJesus said that his sickness would not end in death John 11:4
Caused many to believeCaused many to believe John 11:45

Jesus, I praise you for breaking the power of sin and death in my life! Like Lazarus, I can remove my grave clothes and put on the robes of righteousness. You have raised me from my spiritual death. My body will eventually die, but my soul will live forever! Lord, may the life I live in YOU cause many to believe. In Jesus' name, amen!

MEMORY VERSE
Isaiah 26:3-4
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock.
Isaiah 26:3-4

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Think On These Things

John 16:33
"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."

I praise you, Jesus, for the peace you give me. There are indeed many trials and sorrows here on this earth. But if I keep my focus on you, then I can continue to have sweet peace.

It's interesting to me that the world is constantly searching for peace of mind, yet it can only be found in you, who they are rejecting.

Isaiah 26:3-4
You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Trust in the LORD always,
for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock.

Jesus, help me to keep my thoughts fixed on you. Help me to not worry about anything, but instead, pray about everything. Let me trust in you always, for you are the eternal Rock.

Philippians 4:6-8
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

I need to be intentional and proactive about this. Worry will come. When it does, I must have a plan of attack. That plan is to bring it to God, tell him what I need, thank him for what he has already done, and then put the matter out of my mind. I can do this because I trust the One who is the eternal Rock.

In addition to this, I need to fix my thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. I need to only think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

If I am to do this, I need to be careful about what I allow into my mind. If I am always watching or listening to things that are full of this world's lies and hypocrisies, then I will find it very difficult to keep my thoughts on things that are excellent and worthy of praise. In fact, you tell us to get rid of all the filth and evil in our lives. I'm sure this is part of the reason you told us to do that.

James 1:21
So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

Lord, help me to be wise about what I watch and listen to. I want to keep my thoughts fixed on you. I make that harder for myself if I feed garbage into my mind. It may not always appear as garbage on the surface. Help me to use discernment when choosing. Help me to get rid of all the filth and evil in my life. Help me to see the things I entertain myself with the way YOU see them. In Jesus' name, amen.

MEMORY VERSES
James 1:19-21
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters. You must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.
James 1:19-21

John 12:49-50
"I don't speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say."
John 12:49-50

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I Don't Belong Here

John 15:18-19
"If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you."


I shouldn't be surprised by the hostile attitude toward Christians in this world. We are foreigners in this world. Our behavior, customs, and very thoughts tend to be different from the citizens of this world. If we are remaining in Christ and he in us, then we are in the process of becoming new people by letting God change the way we think.

This world can't understand us and we make them uncomfortable. But it's not really us they hate. It's the one we are growing to resemble more and more. It's the one we follow and emulate.

MEMORY VERSES
James 1:19-21
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters. You must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.
James 1:19-21

John 12:49-50
"I don't speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say."
John 12:49-50

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Holy Spirit, Fill Me Up

John 14:15-17
"If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth."

Thank you, Jesus, for not abandoning us as orphans. Thank you for leaving the Holy Spirit with us. I'm so glad that the Holy Spirit will never leave me. Somehow, I'd gotten this crazy idea that I need to be refilled with the Holy Spirit every day. While that is true, in my brain, I figured it was because I had somehow used up my small portion of him. Now I see that is not true. He never leaves me and I can never use up his power in me.

 The reason I need to be "topped off" every day is to push my flesh out of the way. Each day I want more of the Holy Spirit so I can be more like Jesus and less like me. Hopefully every day there is less of me, making more room for HIM!



MEMORY VERSES
James 1:19-21
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters. You must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.
James 1:19-21

John 12:49-50
"I don't speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say."
John 12:49-50

Romans 1:16 (NIV)
I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
Romans 1:16 (NIV)

Monday, June 22, 2015

One Way

John 14:6
Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me."
Jesus, you are the only way to eternal life. You are the only way to the Father. Only what you did on the cross gave us access to the Father.


Hebrews 9:13-15
Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer could cleanse people's bodies from ceremonial impurity. Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under the first covenant.

Hebrews 9:22
In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.

Leviticus 17:11
for the life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the LORD. It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible.

Thank you, Jesus, for giving your blood and exchanging your life for mine so that I can be made pure. Nothing impure can ever enter God's presence. Your sacrifice has purified my conscience from sinful deeds so I can now boldly come to the throne of grace and worship the living God.

MEMORY VERSES
James 1:19-21
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters. You must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.
James 1:19-21

John 12:49-50
"I don't speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say."
John 12:49-50

Romans 1:16 (NIV)
I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
Romans 1:16 (NIV)