Barangay Frances

SHOUT TO THE LORD. . .




(Courtesy of our dear friend and ka-FES Rox Barrett)

June 22, 2007

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.


1 John 3:1, New International Version

Thoughts    Some gifts are too precious for words and too wonderful to fully appreciate. The greatest of these gifts is that we are God's children! We have been adopted into the Father's family! Jesus claims us as his younger siblings! Even though the world may not acknowledge this, that doesn't make it any less true. After all, the world didn't recognize its Creator when he became flesh and lived among the people he had made. God's Word, however, still proclaims the truth; we ARE the children of God!

Prayer

   
Thank you, dear Heavenly Father, for the incredible blessing of being your child. I know that I haven't begun to understand all the glorious things this gift means. However, dear Father, I look forward to what I can learn now about what it means, and I joyously anticipate the day when I can see you face to face and fully know the meaning of this joy. In Jesus' name. Amen.

June 21, 2007


Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Psalm 34:11, New International Version

Thoughts

    What better goal for a father or mother could there be? Even if you have no children of your own, or if your "own" children are grown, God gives you his children at your congregation so you can teach them to love, honor, and reverence their one and only heavenly Father.

Prayer

    Loving Father, help me to be involved in teaching your children and as I teach, please bless my efforts to teach them to love, honor, and reverence you, the one true and holy God. In Jesus' name I ask for this help and grace. Amen.

June 20, 2007

We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:12, New International Version

Thoughts

    I can't think of a more lofty goal for today than that the name of Jesus be glorified in what we do and say. But then Paul takes it a step further -- that we find our glory by being identified with him! As the famed old hymn "Beneath the Cross of Jesus" says it, "My glory all the cross."

Prayer

    Father of majesty and might, please help me as I strive to plan what my daily activities will be and then prioritize those activities so that my focus and passion are on bringing you glory in all that I do, think, and say. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

June 19, 2007

Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit."

John 3:5, New International Version

Thoughts

    Water and Spirit -- they track together as key components in conversion and the new birth throughout the New Testament. One is an act of submission and surrender. The other is a gift and reminder that only God can make us new by his power. No wonder Jesus made them so important to being a part of his Kingdom.

Prayer

    Holy and righteous Father, I acknowledge that my best efforts often fail and my consistency isn't always consistent. That's why I'm so thankful you have given me your grace in Jesus and made me new by my spiritual birth into your family. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

June 18, 2007

I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.

Jeremiah 10:23, New International Version

Thoughts

    While we may have goals and a sense of mission about our lives, our lives are not really ours to plan. Every day must be greeted as a gift from God. Every goal must ultimately be pursued to his glory. Every true sense of direction is a gift to us from our Father's Word or his Spirit.

Prayer

    Wise and loving Father, lead me by your Holy Spirit. Fill me with your holy wisdom. Guide me into a more complete understanding of your will for my life. Please give me the wisdom to live each day with character and holy grace. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

June 15, 2007

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

Mark 6:34, New International Version

Thoughts

    Jesus reminds us of the incredible importance of teaching. While we might have expected miracles or wonders arising out of Jesus' compassion, what shepherd-less sheep most need is good, solid, down to earth, practical teaching from a teacher who knows them and cares for them.

Prayer

    Almighty God, please bless your Church with dynamic, compassionate, and effective teachers. Please give your people, your sheep, a hunger for your Word and a willingness to put it into practice in our lives. In Jesus' name. Amen.

June 14, 2007

May the God of peace ... that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will.

Hebrews 13:20-21, New International Version

Thoughts

    A good shepherd equips his sheep to face the trials of life. But as Psalm 23 reminds us, no shepherd equips his sheep quite like the ultimate Shepherd. Let's unleash his power in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ by specifically praying for God to equip them with everything they need to do his good work!

Prayer

    O Great Shepherd of the sheep, please release the power of your Spirit in your people and equip us to do great things in our day, like the first Christians did in their day. May it all be done to your glory, in the name of my hero, Jesus. Amen.

June 12, 2007

Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.

Hebrews 3:13, New International Version

Thoughts

    How serious are we about sin? The Bible reminds us how seriously God views it. The power of sin to entice us, entrap us, and ultimately engulf us in its power can be offset by loving Christian friends who encourage each other daily.

Prayer

    Father, I know sin's power is deceptive. Help me see those who need my encouragement today, so that together, we can help each other escape sin's traps. In the name of Jesus, who withstood all of Satan's tests, I pray. Amen.

June 11, 2007

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

John 10:11, New International Version

Thoughts

    The Bible uses the term "shepherd" for all kinds of good leaders. But only One is the quintessential Shepherd. He shows us that the heart of godly leadership is sacrifice not status, service not selfishness. We follow this Shepherd because we know he values us above his own life.

Prayer

    Holy and sacrificial Father, I am humbled to silence by your plan to have Jesus be both Lord and Lamb, Shepherd and Sacrifice. Thank you for giving me life by his death and leadership by his example. I offer you my undying thanks in Jesus' name. Amen.


June 6, 2007

Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.

Psalm 28:9, New International Version

Thoughts

   
While most of us are familiar with the very personal declaration about God as shepherd in Psalm 23, this Psalm is a plea for God to actively shepherd all of his people today and into the far distant future. It is also a great reminder of how important it is for us to pray for God's presence in the lives of his children wherever, and "whenever" they are!

Prayer

   
Eternal Father, the great "I AM," please bless me as I seek to pass on faith to my children. Bless them and their generation, and lead them in your truth so that they may pass on a vibrant and passionate faith to their children. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

June 4, 2007

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

Romans 10:14, New International Version

Thoughts

   
Since "calling on the name of the Lord" is essential for salvation, then what is going to happen if we don't speak about Jesus with those who do not know him? We must share Jesus with everyone who will listen. That "someone preaching to them" must be us!

Prayer

   
Concerned and loving Father, I know the people in my life were put there by you. Please make me bolder in my witness to others about Jesus and his sacrifice. Please give me wisdom to know when to speak to them about the Gospel. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

June 1, 2007

We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 1:3, New International Version

Thoughts

   
In a world that falls for facades and seems to give more credit for intentions than actions, don't you find it refreshing that Paul expects that faith, hope, and love will naturally produce certain actions?

Prayer

   
Mighty God of deliverance, I want to honor you with a life of observable faith, hope, and love. Please revive and refresh me with your Holy Spirit so that my life will be full of the actions that your grace and character inspire. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

May 31, 2007

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

Hebrews 13:7, New International Version

Thoughts

   
What makes a great Christian leader? The Holy Spirit emphasizes three things in this passage: 1) they teach others the word of God; 2) they live as great examples for others; and 3) they have observable faith. God puts each of us in positions of influence with our children, our friends, our work acquaintances, and our neighbors. What kind of spiritual leadership are we showing them?

Prayer

 
   God of all grace and Father of all compassion, please help me to be a better Christian leader to the people you have put in my sphere of influence. Empower me to have a life worth imitating. In Jesus' name I ask this. Amen.

May 30, 2007

Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men.

Psalm 107:31, New International Version

Thoughts

   
I'm not sure I can fully comprehend "unfailing love." To always do the loving thing, whether it's discipline or reward, fun or pain, I'm not sure I can fully understand it. But I can tell you this: I am eternally grateful for it! It's not hard to give thanks for a God like ours!

Prayer

   
Thank you Almighty God for revealing yourself as Abba Father! Thank you for loving me so much that you give me what I need, not what I want or deserve! Thank you for the very many kindnesses and loving deeds you have done for me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

May 29, 2007

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.

Luke 19:10, New International Version

Thoughts

   
Jesus came so that the last could be first, the sick could be healed, the sinners could be saved, and the lost could be found. That was his purpose: to fix that which was broken -- not just us, but our world, our humanity, and all that goes with it. So how can we wear the name of Jesus and not live with his passion and purpose toward what we see lost in our world?

Prayer

 
   O loving Father and Almighty God, please stir a holy passion in your people, and especially in me, so that we may more nearly reflect Jesus' purpose in our lives, our families, and our churches. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

May 24, 2007

In faithfulness he [God] will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope.

Isaiah 42:3-4, New International Version

Thoughts

   
God will not falter! In a world where justice so seldom prevails, God is our only real assurance that justice will ultimately triumph. The hope for all lands and all peoples is for Jesus to return and bring with him God's truth and justice. Maranatha, come O Lord!

Prayer

   
Righteous and merciful Father, I am sick of the corruption in our world and the injustice done to good, but powerless, people. Please send Jesus back soon and bring with him the righteous and just rule of your Kingdom. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

May 23, 2007

Boldly and without hindrance he [Paul] preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 28:31, New International Version

Thoughts

  
  So often, we give excuses why we can't do evangelism. Throughout his life, Paul shows us how lame our excuses really are! He is under house arrest and having to support himself, yet he still manages to get the Gospel out to the lost!

Prayer

  
  Loving and Almighty God, forgive my excuses and my fear. Please make me bold to share your saving truth in the Gospel. May all who know me also come to know more about Jesus through me! In his precious name I pray. Amen.

May 22, 2007

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem , and in all Judea and Samaria , and to the ends of the earth.

Acts 1:8, New International Version

Thoughts

  
  Sometimes the most profound truths are very simple. The power to reach the world for Christ involves God's might through the Holy Spirit, God's plan of beginning where we are and reaching out to the world, and our willingness to tell others what God has done for us in Jesus.

Prayer

   
Father of all people, fill us with your powerful Holy Spirit, enable us to be effective in sharing our faith, and motivate us to reach our city, our region, and our world with the Gospel. I still believe, Father, that you desire to do in our day what happened long ago. Make your Name great. Exalt your holiness in the eyes of all people. Use me and the rest of your people to accomplish your will of reaching all nations with the Gospel of grace. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

May 21, 2007

Help us, O God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name's sake.

Psalm 79:9, New International Version

Thoughts

   
I am sure at times that God gets disgusted with our behavior and our lack of seeking after him. I'm sure there are moments when he acts to bless us only because we are his people and we wear his name. But when we cry out, confessing our sins and shortcomings, he is still our Savior. Even when we are not what we should be, God can act out of compassion and preserve the glory of his name.

Prayer

   
Holy and righteous God, our Savior and Abba Father, please forgive us for our sins, rebellion, failures, and duplicity. Deliver us, not just from the consequences of our sin, but also from the mediocrity that permeates our commitment to you. Set fire to your holy zeal in us to seek your glory and the glory of your name. You alone, O God, are our Savior! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

May 19, 2007

You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Psalm 139:13-14, New International Version

Thoughts

    I am made by God! You are made by God. Just as surely as ANYone has been made by God, we have been made by God. He knew us before anyone knew we were there. He had plans for us before anyone planned our arrival. And he made us well! How do we know? Look at all God has made.

Prayer

    God Almighty, my Savior and Redeemer, thank you for knowing me before I was able to know. Thank you for choosing my life and giving it to me. Thank you for giving me the gifts, abilities and talents that you have given me. Now please help me live as if I was made special by you, because I am! Through Jesus I pray. Amen.


May 18, 2007

If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?

1 John 3:17, New International Version

Thoughts

    I love the Bible because it is so gritty with the dirt of real life. In the previous verse, John told his churches that they should be willing to lay down their lives for each other. That's pretty good in theory, especially when you don't think it will ever be necessary. But this verse makes the application of that principle an every day reality: If there is somebody in your church in need, then be moved to help them -- that's what laying down your life is all about!

Prayer

    Use me, holy and righteous Father, to be your hands and heart in helping those around me. Give me the generosity and the patience it takes to be a blessing to those in need who are a part of my church family, and also those who have not yet come to know Jesus as Lord. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen


May 15, 2007

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.

Luke 19:10, New International Version

Thoughts

    Jesus came so that the last could be first, the sick could be healed, the sinners could be saved, and the lost could be found. That was his purpose: to fix that which was broken -- not just us, but our world, our humanity, and all that goes with it. So how can we wear the name of Jesus and not live with his passion and purpose toward what we see lost in our world?

Prayer

    O loving Father and Almighty God, please stir a holy passion in your people, and especially in me, so that we may more nearly reflect Jesus' purpose in our lives, our families, and our churches. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


May 10, 2007

From infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:15, New International Version

Thoughts

    From infancy! If you had a godly mom that brought you into the world surrounded by faith in Jesus, stories from the Bible, and lullabies of faith, then praise God and thank her. If you didn't, then make a commitment that your children and your grandchildren will be given this head start in life. Yes, personal faith will be won in adolescence or adulthood, but beginning in infancy is such a blessing. To fill a child's world with love and hope and promise because of Jesus is the greatest gift a parent can give!

Prayer

    Holy and attentive Father, I thank you for the incredible gift of believing parents. I pray that more of us who do believe will be active in sharing our faith with our children. Please make my family and my life a place where children and grandchildren can find it easy to believe and safe to rejoice in Jesus. In his precious name I praise and thank you. Amen


May 9, 2009

You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers...

1 Thessalonians 1:6-7, New International Version

Thoughts

    The cycle of faithfulness is illustrated in this passage. The Lord is our great example. People of faith model the Lord's character and passion to us. We then live that life of faith as an example to others. In other words, the Gospel is more than words! The Gospel is the good news of Jesus taking root in the life of a person until the fruit it bears is enough of an example of the Lord that someone else sees it and begins to live it, too! The Gospel is both caught and taught!

Prayer

    Holy God, thank you for making your character known both in Scripture and in human flesh through Jesus. Through your Holy Spirit, I ask that you form in me the character of Christ so that others may see Jesus in my example and live for him. In the precious name of the Savior Jesus I pray. Amen.


May 7, 2007

Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits -- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases ....

Psalm 103:2-3, New International Version

Thoughts

    Our God is an awesome God. He not only defines and defeats sin; he delivers us from the consequences of sin by forgiving our sins and purifying us. True healing means more than just curing a sick body -- and we praise God for the times he has done that in our lives. No, true healing means to forgive and deliver us from what breaks our spirits and makes our souls and bodies unhealthy. Only God offers this "benefit" as part of his retirement package!

Prayer

    How can I sufficiently praise you, Abba Father, for your mercy and grace that has forgiven, pardoned, and cleansed me of my sin. Help me never to forget the joy of being forgiven and included in your family. Thank you for your salvation. In Jesus' name I praise you. Amen.


May 3, 2007

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9, New International Version

Thoughts

    Far from being a vindictive God looking for some reason to condemn us, God wants all people, of all races and languages, to come to know him, to turn to him in repentance, and follow his Son as Lord and Savior. That's why Jesus came (cf. John 3:16)! That's why Jesus' return has not yet happened. So if our desire is to do the LORD's will and please him in what we do, shouldn't we be doing something to bring all the people of the world to a knowledge of simple truth about Jesus? Shouldn't we do everything we can to help them know his grace and call them to repent and follow Jesus as Lord?

Prayer

    Righteous and loving Father, please help me as I try to share my faith with friends. Please give me the courage, wisdom, and timing to know when and how to reach outside my comfort zone to share the Gospel with others. Please bless all efforts to lead the lost to repentance and to help them follow Jesus as Lord. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


May 2, 2007

How can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

Romans 10:15, New International Version

Thoughts

    How beautiful are your feet? People with beautiful feet are either "sending folks" or they are "going folks" who share the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. Which are you? If we're not one of those two options, we're Christians with ugly feet. Now would anybody want that to be said of him or her? So let's make a partnership agreement with other believers by either going and asking for their support and help, or by helping and supporting others while they are going!

Prayer

    Almighty God of the nations, I know it pains your heart to see so many people in our world today that do not even know the name of your Son, much less trust in him as their Lord. Through your Holy Spirit, stir in us the desire to have beautiful feet just like our brothers and sisters had in those early chapters of the book of Acts. May the Gospel spread in our day as it did in theirs! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


May 1, 2007

We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers.

1 Thessalonians 1:2, New International Version

Thoughts

    Why is it so hard to share with others that we have thanked God for bringing them into our lives? God let his Son Jesus know his love and approval. Remember his words at Jesus' baptism and transfiguration? "This is my Son, whom I love ...." The apostle Paul also let the struggling churches he started know that he was praying for them regularly (cf. Philippians 1:3). It's a great blessing to thank God for someone special in our lives. It's a double blessing to let those people know we've thanked God for their being in our lives. Let's commit to be a "double blessing" people today!

Prayer

    Gracious Father, you have blessed me in so many ways! Today, however, I'm especially aware of the many incredible ways you have blessed me through other people. I want to thank you now for the following wonderful Christian people you have placed in my life ... (put the names of special people in here and then be sure and let them know you've thanked God for them). Please guard and strengthen them and use them to bless others as they have blessed me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen


April 30, 2007


And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19, New International Version

Thoughts

    Paul gives the Philippians this promise only after he has emphasized to them that he had found the Lord's grace sufficient in good times and tough times, in times of plenty and in times of lack. The key to this promise is not just God's provision, but also our trust in him to satisfy what we most need in Christ Jesus. When our hearts yearn to be full of him, to be pleasing to him, to be blessed by his presence, to be given the assurance of life beyond death, surely we can rely on his supplying everything we truly need!

Prayer

    Give me eyes to see, O God, all the many wonderful ways you are providing for me and graciously providing the abundance you have poured into my life. I confess that my vision is shortsighted and narrow. I need to see the panoramic view of your graciousness. Yet the "little" part of your blessings that I am able to recognize is lavish, gracious, and fulfilling. I know you have blessed me with many more things that I do not see. Thank you for being so generous! In Jesus' name! Amen.


April 27, 2007


If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

James 1:26, New International Version

"It's no big deal!" That's the whine of a believer rationalizing vulgar, inappropriate, or hurtful speech. However, a friend confessed to me a long time ago, "Our moral plunge in the office began when we let our language slip. It didn't seem like that big a deal at the time, but what it led to was disastrous." Religion that is not reflected in everyday speech is empty and hollow. So let's use our speech to bless and encourage, not to curse, slander, or gossip.

Holy and incomparable God, please forgive me for not using my speech redemptively. Forgive me for the times I've used my words to wound another or in ways that dishonor you and your holy claim on my life. Use my words today, and every day, to bless, encourage, and comfort so others may know your grace through me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

April 26, 2007

But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.

Psalm 10:14, New International Version

Just as God saw the plight of the Israelites in Egypt and heard their cries for help, he still sees and hears today. But now, he hears not only because he is omnipotent; he hears also because of the intercession of his Son and our Savior, Jesus. Jesus has been here. Jesus has faced the specter of death and the pain of torture and ridicule. Jesus means God not only hears our cries for help; he also feels the agony with us. That is why he came. He is our assurance that God feels, cares, acts, and ultimately saves.

God, Father and Savior, please be with those who are bearing the incredible weight of agony and pain. Some of these I know and pray for personally. Others I do not know, but they still need your comfort, strength, and grace to sustain them in their days of agony and grief. Please bless them with clear evidence of your care. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

April 25, 2007

Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

Acts 2:41, New International Version

Wow! Wouldn't it be great to see 3,000 added to God's people in church today? Those who accepted Peter's message at Pentecost were baptized and the early church started with an incredible bang. Earlier that day, only a small group of Jesus' followers had met to pray just as they had done for several days since Jesus' ascension. As night falls in Jerusalem , the number has jumped to over 3,000! Acts 2 stands as a hallmark passage showing us the message of salvation, what the response of open hearts will be, and how the Holy Spirit uses this simple message to bring seeking hearts to salvation and community. Why don't you read Acts 2 today? Jot down what Peter says about Jesus. Notice what Peter tells the people to do to be saved. The Gospel is still just as simple, so let's not only study it; let's share it, praying for God to bring revival to our times and to our broken land!

Holy and Most High God, please breathe your Holy Spirit out upon us and bring true revival today to our churches and salvation for thousands who are lost. I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.

April 24, 2007

But godliness with contentment is great gain.

1 Timothy 6:6, New International Version

What determines our financial worth? Do we compute it in terms of dollars, or possessions, or investments? Paul reminded Timothy that ultimate gain, the gain of inestimable value, is really determined by a very simple formula: net worth = (godly character) X (contentment). What would happen if we recognized the truly wealthy as those who were godly in their character and contented with their blessings in life?

O LORD God, the one from whom every blessing flows, readjust my values from the greed of this world to a holy set of financial convictions. Conform my character to the godliness that Jesus demonstrated in his daily life. Teach me the contentment that can be found only in you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

April 23, 2007

Praise the LORD, O my soul. I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

Psalm 146:1-2, New International Version

"Hallelujah!" This is a hallelujah Psalm! "Praise the LORD" is our translation for "Hallelujah!" I love the dimensions of praise given in this Psalm: my soul, all my life, and as long as live. That is pretty all-encompassing. Our lives are to be a "holy praise" to the LORD as long as we have life! So how's your praise? Only been letting it out at church? Hmmm, maybe it's time to let the rest of your life have a few hallelujahs!

I praise you, God of Israel and God of the Covenant, for your mighty work bringing salvation through Israel to all nations through Jesus Christ. My heart praises you for your joy and comfort, my head praises you for all your wondrous creation, and my soul praises you for your abiding presence through the Holy Spirit. Please hear my life, my heart, and my voice as they all cry, "Hallelujah!" to you, who alone are God! In the name of the Messiah Jesus, I pray. Amen.

April 19, 2007

I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another.

Romans 15:14, New International Version

While we may be flawed and imperfect, Paul reminds us of how important, competent, and useful we can be to each other. While our hope is in God, he has given us each other in our walk of faith. Let's not live as isolated islands of faith, but lean on each other and learn from each other as we look to Christ for our salvation and strength.

Thank you, dear Father, for placing the people in my life who have shaped, taught, corrected, and supported me in my life with you. I am thankful for your support of me through their words, example, and touch. Thank you for giving me a family to travel with on my journey home to you. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

April 18, 2007

The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.

Psalm 103:6, New International Version

There are times in our world history when this promise of God seems like a mirage in the face of brutal governments, racial hatred, and human injustice. But over time, brutal governments are smashed. Despots go to their graves. Moral indignation replaces complacency. As Kingdom people, don't you think we are called to model the ethics and values of God's will? So let's renew the prayer Jesus taught us: "Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!" And let's also demonstrate God's will in our families, friendships, and churches!

Holy and righteous God, I know you are even more repulsed than we are by the inhumanity that stains our world and crushes precious and innocent peoples. Please, Father, show your will and discipline those nations that are ruthless in their injustice. Convict us, your people, that we as individuals and as congregations must be places of reconciliation, justice, healing, and hope. Use me, along with my brothers and sisters in our congregation to show your righteousness and your justice toward those in our community who need freedom from oppression and who need someone to help stand up for justice in every area of life. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

April 17, 2007

For the Lord is good and his mercy endure forever

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

Philippians 4:4-5, New International Version

Because the Lord is near, we can rejoice and treat others with gentleness. He is near because he lives in us through his Spirit. He is near because his coming is at hand. He is near because when we gather with other believers, serve others who are in need, or share the Gospel with friends and people of other cultures, he has promised to be with us. There is nothing more infectious than a joyous and kind person. Because Jesus lives in us, works through us, and is coming for us, we can be both joyful and tender!

Father, I am thrilled to know that I will never be alone. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for my sins. Thank you for sending Jesus to join me when I meet with other believers, when I serve others in Jesus' name, and when I share the Gospel. Please let the abiding joy I feel because of his presence be evident in the way I live and the way I serve others. In Jesus' precious name I pray. Amen.

April 16, 2007

I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.

Psalm 145:1-2, New International Version

The way we praise God forever, the way we honor our pledge to give him glory for all the days of our life, is really pretty simple: we do it today. As long as we praise God today, the forever takes care of itself. So as you commit to lift high the name of God and praise him for all eternity, remember the place it starts: praise God today from your heart -- not only in the things that you say, but also in the way that you live!

Mighty God and loving Father, today I want to tell you how marvelous and wonderful I believe you to be. You are righteous, faithful, holy, and merciful. You are tender, loving, and yet magnificent in glory and incomparable in strength. You have redeemed me from my sin and given me hope beyond my own death. You have filled my life full of good people and have promised me a home with you. You, O God, are without peer and without rival. You are my King, my awesome and majestic Father. In Jesus' name I praise you, today and forever. Amen.

April 13, 2007

Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.

Psalm 144:4, New International Version

Time is so precious -- time with our families, our children, our parents, our friends, as well as our brothers and sisters in Christ. How do you invest your time? Where do you invest it? You know, it's really more valuable than the money we invest. Once it's gone, it can't be reclaimed. So as you begin each day, ask God that you will be able to "know the time," to see it for what it is and to use it for its greatest good. Time passes quickly, and like the shadows of early evening, it's not long before it is absorbed into the gathering darkness of night.

Eternal God, please give me the wisdom to use the time given me today to do what is best, right, good, and profitable. I want to invest my time in what is truly enduring. Please help me use my time to influence and to bless all those with whom I interact so that they are brought closer to you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

April 12, 2007

Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.

Amos 5:15, New International Version

While we teach our children that we must not hate people, we also must teach them to loathe injustice, evil, prejudice, and the mistreatment of the weak. Amos reminded Israel that God demands justice be administered fairly for both rich and poor, resident and alien. Their repeated refusals of God's will in these areas brought destruction upon their land despite their apparent affluence and power in Amos' day.

Holy God, I know you are furious at the injustice in so many lands and are enraged at the ethnic hatred setting our world ablaze. Please make your people, your Church, a place of justice, equity, compassion, love, racial healing, and hope. Please begin in my heart and with my hands to build this better world. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

April 11, 2007

These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

Colossians 2:17, New International Version

In the world of religious ideas, Paul reminds the Colossian Christians that while the shiny religions around them may sound good and may better fit their desired lifestyle, these religions are only a shadow of what God offers us in Jesus. In Jesus, we have reality: spiritual reality and human reality. God has become one of us in Jesus so we could be one with him. What is real is what we find in Jesus.

Give me focus, O Lord, to follow your Son with all my heart. I know so many other religious ideas are out there, but I also know that only Jesus showed how much you love me by dying for me and saving me from sin and death. I want to not only trust him and follow him, but I also want my character to be conformed to his. In the name of the only true Savior, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

April 5, 2007

I call to God, and the LORD saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.

Psalm 55:16-17, New International Version

Wow, this Psalm of confidence in God suddenly has a much more powerful ring to it after remembering the resurrection of Christ! God does save us. God does listen to our voices. We can be sure he both hears and acts to bring salvation for us. The only question is whether we call out to God evening, morning and noon trusting in his response?

Abba Father, I have burdens on my heart about things in my own life that need your grace and power. Please hear my voice and my heart as I share these concerns with you ... In addition, dear Father, please place your loving touch on the following people for whom I'm concerned ... Thank you for hearing me and saving me. In the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

April 4, 2007

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

John 20:19, New International Version

"Overjoyed" would be an understatement! After having every dream shattered, now they share the unspeakable joy of seeing what was not possible and experiencing what was unthinkable. The power available to them is now unlimited and their future is without boundary. Jesus, their Teacher, is Lord of all and their future is in his hands.

I praise you, O mighty God, for raising Jesus from the dead and for the assurance that I will one day be with you and with all those who love you. Thank you for doing what is not possible and giving me faith in what is unimaginable. Please use this power to conform my character to your will and to the example of Christ. In Christ Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

April 3, 2007

Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate's permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night.

John 19:38-39, New International Version

The power of the Cross is demonstrated in the lives of these two men, neither of whom showed himself fully to be a disciple of Jesus in his ministry. Now in his death, they make sure he is given a proper burial, making themselves unclean for the Passover and proving themselves loyal to the Lord at the worst time for them to do so. The Cross touched them when nothing else could, just as it has touched us!

Righteous Father, I know the cross was a brutal symbol of being cursed. Yet to me it is as precious as it is brutal and it is as beautiful as it was hideous. Through the Cross, you saved me from my sin and showed how much you loved me. Thank you! Please use my life in some small way to glorify you and your indescribable gift at Calvary . In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

April 2, 2007

Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.

John 18:2, New International Version

Judas knew where to find Jesus during this intense period of religious preparation. It was no secret that Jesus would be with his disciples in the garden praying together. If we had someone who wanted to betray us, where would that person tell our enemies to find us? Would they know where we would go to be in prayer? Interesting questions aren't they? Can you imagine a better complement than our enemies knowing that they could find us in the place of prayer?

Forgive me, Father, for not joining you more faithfully in the precious time of prayer. I confess that I get busy, distracted, and even disinterested in my prayer time with you. I am sorry. I am not sure why I have to approach this blessing as a discipline. I pray for your Spirit to create a burning in my heart that calls me joyfully to this grace of prayer. Your presence and concern truly are my sustaining hope. Thank you for always listening even when I've been neglectful, in Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

March 30, 2007

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

John 12:46, New International Version

One of the great stories in the Gospel of John is Nicodemus. He came to Jesus at night and Jesus told him that those who love the truth come to the light. Later, Nicodemus spoke up for Jesus even though he was ridiculed for it. Then, at the worst possible time politically and religiously, he showed himself as Jesus' disciple: he took the broken and dead body of Jesus and helped Joseph of Arimathea place him in a tomb. Nicodemus didn't stay in the darkness. Neither should we. Jesus is the light of the world; if our light cannot be found in him, how deep is our darkness!

Father, I want to walk in the light with you. The darkness of Calvary did not extinguish the light in Jesus; it made it burn more brightly for me. At the cross, I see your love for me. At the cross, I realize that Jesus took my sins away. At the cross, I see Jesus' love for both you and me perfected. Thank you, Father for your gracious salvation. Thank you, Jesus for your incredible sacrifice. In the name Jesus, your perfect Lamb I pray. Amen.

March 27, 2007

He has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.

Colossians 1:22, New International Version

"Christians aren't perfect; they're just forgiven." We know we are not perfect. We know our weaknesses, inadequacies, sinfulness, pettiness, immaturity, cowardice ... But Jesus demonstrated his love for us on the Cross as he offered his body and shed his blood. His sacrifice means that God looks at us as "perfect." Jesus' sacrifice means we are holy, without blemish, and without chargeable offense in God's presence! Jesus' perfect sacrifice has brought us perfect reconciliation with God!

Forgive me, Almighty God, for my sins. I get sick of them and frustrated with my own inability to completely overcome them. Strengthen me, dear Father, so that I will have more fortitude and courage to face temptation victoriously. Thank you, God of glory, for sharing your perfection and glory with me by sending Jesus. I praise you O God, my Rock and my Redeemer, for you have made me your child! In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

March 26, 2007

...while we wait for the blessed hope -- the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Titus 2:13-14, New International Version

Some of the most basic and elevated statements about Jesus are made in 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. These letters are devoted to help ministers mature churches in difficult places. They are incredibly practical, but also are rooted in the work of Jesus, his divinity, and his faithfulness. We are waiting for the Faithful One! We trust that he will come for us because of what he sacrificed to redeem us. While we wait, we honor his mission by being a people eager to do what is good, showing in our lives that he is our Lord.

O God, I find myself waiting for Jesus. Because he is coming for me, I know my life has direction and meaning even on those days that are long, hard, and seemingly fruitless. Fire my heart to wait longingly for Jesus' glorious appearing and stir my desires to want what is only good and holy. I want to see you! But, dear Lord, I also long to be like you! In the glorious name

March 24, 2007

May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me, O Lord, the LORD Almighty; may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me, O God of Israel .

Psalm 69:6, New International Version

What a beautiful prayer for any Christian! In a world that is so self-absorbed, isn't it refreshing to be reminded of the powerful impact for good and bad that we can have? Let's not only be reminded of the devastating impact of our hypocrisy and rebellion, let's also pray that our failures will not be destructive to the Kingdom's increase nor to our brothers and sisters in Christ as they seek to serve and honor the Lord!

O gracious and mighty God, I do not want to sin. I know it is rebellion against you and it breaks your heart. I do not want to sin because I know it diminishes me and makes me even more vulnerable to Satan's attacks in the future. I don't want to sin and bring disgrace upon your cause O God. And Father, I don't want to sin and be the cause of those seeking you to stumble. Please forgive my sins, but please Father, strengthen me and help me not stumble in my time of temptation. In the name of the one who conquered temptation and sin, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

March 23, 2007

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.

Colossians 1:21, New International Version

So many people reject God because of the things they do not want to give up for him. They may couch it in an intellectual argument, but quite often they do not want to surrender their will to God because it will mean giving up something they love that is in conflict with the character of God. Many evangelists know that intellectual arguments seldom will win this kind of person to the truth. Instead, they must come to know Jesus and his sacrificial love for them before they are able to realize that God's demand for holiness in them is because he is their ally, not their enemy.

Holy and almighty God, I praise you for your love and holiness. Thank you for demonstrating both by sending Jesus to save me. I regret the times that I saw your desire for holiness to be too demanding or harsh. I thank you for loving me enough to not only save me in Jesus, but also to call me to a holy life under your protection and care. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

March 22, 2007

ABBA Father you know our thought you know our need even before we ask
All you want from us is to seek you first  and all this will be DONE ACCORDING TO YOUR WILL
Father I ask in Jesus name for the healing of our Nanay Irene
Thank you Father GOD for all you have done in our life.
GOD SPEAK TO US IN MANY WAY ’S  I BELEVE OUR DAILY BREAD IS ONE OF THEM
Praise Father GOD  praise JESUS  and the HOLY SPIRIT

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.

Psalm 46:1-2, New International Version

God is not only our protector; he is our helper. Even when our world seems to be crashing around us, he is there. He will deliver us from death or deliver us through death. He will deliver us from evil or he will deliver us to overcome evil. Our task is to trust that in the midst of our earthquakes and tidal waves that we are not alone and not abandoned.

Holy God, I pray for those today who are in the middle of life's earthquakes. You know those for whom I am concerned. You know I care about their struggles which are too big for me to mitigate and too painful for me to truly bring comfort. I ask you now to bless them, be with them, and please deliver them quickly. You are our only true hope and Jesus is our only sure redeemer. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

March 21, 2007

To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.

Proverbs 8:13, New International Version

When we have a deep and reverential respect for our holy God, we are going to love what he loves and hate what he hates. We need to realize, however, that the word "hate" is used very carefully in Scripture. This strong verb is not used often, and when it is used with God as the subject, the object of God's hatred needs to be noticed. God hates evil, which in this case is defined as pride, arrogance, evil behavior, and vile speech. These are things that Christians not only avoid, but they also loathe. God wants his people to be people of character -- people of humility, moral behavior, and helpful speech.

O holy and righteous Father, forgive me of my pride and self-interest. Forgive me for my arrogance and deceptive tongue. Remake me by your Spirit to be holy in word and deed, compassionate toward those in need, and freed from evil. To you, O LORD, be the glory in my life and in your Church, forever and ever. In Jesus' name. Amen.

March 20, 2007

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace with his blood, shed on the cross.

Colossians 1:19-20, New International Version

How do you comprehend both the majesty and the sacrifice of Jesus? We've been looking at our Lord's identity all this month and still we find ourselves amazed, delighted, bewildered, and blessed by his glorious and humble character. The main thing, however, is that he made peace between a perfect heaven and a flawed humanity. He made this peace at horrific cost, the shedding of his own blood on the torture tree at Calvary . He did this with all of God's pleasure and nature in himself. He did this because of our sin. He did this because of love.

O Father, I am sorry that it took such a great sacrifice to atone for my sin. I am thankful that you loved so much that you would pay the price for that sacrifice. I praise you for bridging the distance that I could not cover that my sin created between you and me. May you be as pleased with me today and see my life as a praise for your costly grace. In Jesus' name I thank you. Amen.

March 19, 2007

Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.

1 Timothy 3:16, New International Version

Why would Jesus do it? How did he do it? How was he "God with us" and still in "human flesh"? We cannot fully comprehend it, but he was! The Son of God was also Jesus of Nazareth, born and placed in a manger and crucified on a cross. But he was raised from the dead and shown to be God's Son with power. He was seen by angels, both on earth after his resurrection and in heaven at the throne of God. He has been preached and believed on by people all over the world. The glory that he has he will one day show and share with us. If you want to understand godliness, then you begin with Jesus!

Holy and marvelous God, your plan to redeem and save a sinner like me, along with those like me all around the world, is incredible. Your love that led you to such sacrifice is beyond comprehension. I thank you for this overwhelming grace. I ask you to forgive me of my sins. Please empower me with your Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead so the mystery of your godliness may be seen in my life today, in my family, among my friends, before my co-workers, by those with whom I attend school, and especially in the presence of my enemies. In Jesus' mighty name I pray. Amen.

March 16, 2007

He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

Colossians 1:18, New International Version

Jesus is the living leader and head of his church. There is no man who has this right. No one but Jesus has earned this position. Jesus is supreme. Even though supremacy is rightfully his because of his divinity, he has earned his supremacy by what he has done for us. He was there before there was a beginning, he was the Creator of all that is, and he was the one who passed through death victoriously for us.

Lord Jesus, I ask you to take control of your church, your Body. Please glorify yourself in us and permeate our leaders' hearts with your will. We want the world to see your supremacy because of our unity and devotion to you. And Holy God, please glorify yourself in Jesus through the Church. To you, Lord God, and to your Son and our Savior Jesus, be all honor and glory and praise for now, and forevermore. Amen.

March 15, 2007

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death -- that is, the devil.

Hebrews 2:14, New International Version

Did you know that Jesus is not only our Savior, but he is also our brother! "He had to be made like his brothers" the Holy Spirit says after today's Scripture. We were God's lost children so Jesus came and shared our mortality, our human skin with all its limitations, so that he could defeat our worst enemy, the evil death-maker Satan. Death no longer has its hooks in us or its hold on us, because our big brother has defeated it and has gone to prepare our place at the Father's side!

Almighty God, thank you for sending Jesus to be like me and live among people like me. As I think of your sacrifice and his love, I am overwhelmed to insignificance and then I realize that Jesus' gift has now made me your child and Jesus is now my older brother. Some days, Abba Father, it is hard for me to wait for our family reunion. Until that great reunion day, please use me to help others know about your family, your gift, and your Son! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

March 14, 2007

Restore us, O God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.

Psalm 80:7, New International Version

This passage makes me want to cry out to God: "Please restore us God! Restore us, your people, O God, who have lost their sense of wonder! Restore our old withered hearts to their innocence. Restore our lives to their unsoiled perfection and intention. Restore us to yourself, O God Almighty!" While not every Christian has lost his or her sense of wonder and while not every one of us has an old withered heart, we all need God's presence to shine upon us and renew us!

O God, the maker of new things, sometimes I feel so old and worn; my soul is weary from the fight. I need your presence and strength to restore me. Please restore me to your side and make your grace alive in me. Please restore me to your love and share it with others through me. Please restore me to your righteousness so others can see your character in me. Please restore me, and not just me, please restore all those who call on your mighty name so that the world may see you in us and come to know your saving grace. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

March 13, 2007

He [Jesus] is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Colossians 1:17, New International Version

Before there was an earth, universe, or nature, there was Jesus! He was before they were made. He will be after they are long gone. In fact, his power and his presence are what hold our world, our universe, and our nature together. He is the sustaining force, the enabling power, and the generous preserver of life as we know it. So since he could provide us these things and they are but a faint anticipation of what is yet to be, won't it be great to see him, just as he is, and share in his glory with him?!

Thank you, Jesus, for your gracious providence this day. Thank you for creating this incredible world in which I live. You are worthy of all praise, honor, glory, and thanks! I look forward to the day, dear Lord, when I can worship you face to face, and give thanks to our Father with you, for his wonderful love. To you, and in your name, dear Jesus, I offer all my thanks and praise. Amen.

March 12, 2007

Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear but like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail.

Isaiah 51:6, New International Version

I don't know about you, but it seems to me that sometimes the Bible is so brutally honest it hurts! We consider our world, our earth, to have been here a long time and assume it will be here a long time more. But God reminds us that it is temporary! We are even more temporary: just like flies, we're here for a short while, and then we're gone. But not gone, gone! Christians are just gone from the temporary existence of earth because our lives are caught up with Christ in God's salvation which lasts forever and God's righteousness that will never end or fail.

O Righteous Father who hears my prayers and strengthens me for the journey, thank you for the assurance that what I have as a Christian with you goes beyond the boundaries of death, the limitations of my humanity, and the vulnerabilities of my weaknesses. Thank you that I am tied to you and your salvation and that because of Jesus, you see me as your righteous and holy child. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

March 10, 2007

God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Acts 2:36, New International Version

More than titles, these two names of Jesus are the pillars around which we can build our new lives in God's Kingdom. Jesus is Lord! He is our Ruler and King. He is our Master and Teacher. Our hearts are yielded to his will and open to his leading. We hold no rival to Jesus in our hearts and lives. Jesus is the Christ! He is the Messiah, the promised Savior of the Old Testament. He is the one of whom the prophets spoke. Ruler and Savior, Master and Messiah, Jesus is God's gift to bring us home. Jesus is the one who went to the Cross to bring us forgiveness, redemption, and salvation. The Crucified One is both Lord and Christ.

We praise your mighty Name, O Lord, and thank you for your gracious and sacrificial love. We praise you dear Father, for sending your Son Jesus to die for our sins and to be raised for our hope and salvation. Please help me, Sovereign God, to yield my heart to Jesus my Lord as well as open my lips in praise to the Christ of my salvation. In the mighty name Jesus and through the intercession of the Spirit I pray. Amen.

March 9, 2007

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect...

1 Peter 3:15, New International Version

Having Jesus as our Lord does not mean that we bulldoze over others with this important eternal reality. Gentleness and respect are the character traits of those who have Jesus as their Lord. After all, Jesus loved others enough to die for them. Jesus even asked for those who crucified him and those who mocked him as he died to be forgiven. Having such a Lord means we have prepared a response when we are given and opportunity to share the basis of our hope in him. Those around us may not appear interested, but many are seeking for something they have not yet identified. Let's be ready when their time is right to meet Jesus!

Holy and gracious God, please give me wisdom to see the opportunities to share the love of Jesus with those around me. I ask you to especially help me be able to share Jesus with several of my friends that I now mention by name... Father, please give me the gentleness to do this redemptively, showing them the same respect Jesus did with those to whom he ministered. In the name of the Savior, your Son Jesus, I pray. Amen

March 7, 2007

For by him [Jesus] all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.

Colossians 1:16, New International Version

"Jesus is Lord!" That doesn't just mean that we have yielded our lives to his will and trusted in his grace. "Jesus is Lord!" This means that everything that is created is his. All angels, demons, and spirits are below him and their purpose is to honor and serve him. Even though demons have chosen not to honor and serve him, that decision does not change what their purpose should be or the fact that Jesus showed his superiority over them in his crucifixion and resurrection. It means the universe, with its vast expanse and glory, was made by him and made to declare his glory. As God's image to us, God's presence for us to know and see, he is our King, Lord, and Savior. If our life is in his hands and our hearts are yielded to his will, then no one and nothing can prevent his ultimate victory for us and in us.

Holy and Almighty God, thank you for revealing yourself in Jesus. Thank you for triumphing over all powers and created beings. Thank you for giving me the confidence that since I belong to you, no outside force or any power of creation can have what belongs to you. In the name of the Creator and King of all I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007
 
My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm.

Isaiah 51:5, New International Version

God's promises stand through the ages. He has fulfilled them in many different ways. He has punished evil nations, he has redeemed Israel according to his promises, and he has sent Jesus as Savior and redeemer. But most importantly of all, Jesus stands at the edge of history waiting to return and bring full redemption for God's people and salvation for those everywhere who long for his return.

Sovereign Lord, I see so much injustice in the world and I long for truth, righteousness, and justice to triumph. While I long for the return of Jesus, my heart also breaks for the many that do not know Jesus and for those who are in rebellion to your will. I don't know what to ask other than that your will be done on earth as it is in heaven and may the triumph of your will begin with me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Friday, March 2, 2007
 
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.

Acts 4:12, New International Version

While many substitute Messiahs have been offered, only the True Messiah saves. While we often live for many lords, only one Lord liberates and sets us free from sin and death. While many ways are claimed to bring us close to God, Jesus insists that he is the only way. So we're driven to one ultimate reality: do we believe salvation is in Jesus alone, or do we not. It's our choice. But what we decide about Jesus is really deciding about everything. Is Jesus your Lord? Is Jesus the name above all names in your life? Is Jesus your Savior? If not, then please reconsider, for the Bible says: "Salvation is found in no one else."

Thank you, Almighty God, for choosing to share your grace with me in Jesus. May I never take the precious name of Jesus in vain. May Jesus himself come and reign as Lord in my heart and in my life. May Jesus be seen in the way I treat others. May Jesus know that there is no other rival for my allegiance to him. In that precious name of Jesus, your Son and my Savior, I pray. Amen.

March 1, 2007

As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Psalm 103:12, New International Version

Now that's a long way - from sun rising to sun setting, that's how far God has removed our sins. But the key word is removed. When we sin and come to God in repentance, God doesn't just forgive our sin; he purifies us of all unrighteousness. What was unholy in me is made righteous in him. What was impure is now clean. What was stained is spotless. Why? How? We can now see more fully what the Psalmist could know only in part. God doesn't see our sin, but Jesus' sacrifice. His blood purifies and cleanses us! Our sin is gone and we are clean.

Father of mercies, thank you for not only forgiving my sins, but for removing them. I thank you that I can stand before you holy and without fault because of the blood of Jesus and your gracious desire to forgive. I now ask, Righteous Father, that you strengthen me with your Holy Spirit so that my conduct will reflect your estimate of me in Jesus. In the name of the Christ, your Son and my Savior, I pray. Amen.

February 28, 2007

I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another.

Romans 15:14, New International Version

While we may be flawed and imperfect, Paul reminds us of how important, competent, and useful we can be to each other. While our hope is in God, he has given us each other in our walk of faith. Let's not live as isolated islands of faith, but lean on each other and learn from each other as we look to Christ for our salvation and strength.

Thank you, dear Father, for placing the people in my life who have shaped, taught, corrected, and supported me in my life with you. I am thankful for your support of me through their words, example, and touch. Thank you for giving me a family to travel with on my journey home to you. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?

Isaiah 2:22, New International Version

How many times have you been disappointed by someone for whom you voted, been betrayed by a friend, abandoned by a loved one, or let down by a church leader? While we love others and care about them, every other person in our world is just like us -- a flawed human being who breathes the same air and walks the same ground as we do. Only One is worthy of our ultimate trust. He showed his trustworthiness to us by sacrificing what was most precious to him so we could know his love. Let's not put our hope in other mere mortals; only God can safeguard our trust. Let's put our hope in him!

Father, you know the broken places in my heart that were caused by the failure of people in my life. I confess that I have sometimes become disillusioned with your way because of the failures and inconsistencies in your people. Deep down I know, dear Father that their failures do not mean your failure, but it is hard for it not to feel that way. Call me close to you. Give me a more gracious heart toward those who fail me. Establish my faith, strong and firm in you, O LORD. In you I put my trust. In Jesus name. Amen.


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