In Step

September 17, 2017

Lord, let me be in step with you today. Let gratitude snuff out envy! Let your shalom snuff out worry! Let love cover over and protect against a multitude of sins! Let me live your Word today!

(Galatians 5:16, 22, 26)

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For Goodness Sake

September 13, 2017

Lord, Let my reasons and motivations be for the sake of your name, rather than trying to win the approval of man. (Galatians 1:10). Let it be your wisdom and your Spirit’s illumination of the word that compels me and motivates my words. Let there be true and deep passion for the truth of your gospel being caught and lived out. Not by some human ingenuity but by your Spirit. Lord let the desire to see your face compel all that I do. Shine into the lives of those around us and rearrange our loves back to you. Jesus, let us shepherd your children well. In Jesus, amen!

Pursuing The Person

May 10, 2016

Lord, let me pursue you above everything today and let the deep and full wisdom found in you be poured out in love for others and true works of grace and kindness through me. Let me live the life of the selfless servant today. Where are the feet that need to be washed (John 13:1-17)? Open my eyes to the needs that I you can meet through me. Kill pride and arrogance and let me kneel down on the floor and take the lowliest position for the sake of your glory and praise. Let my life echo the love you’ve shown me and the Spirit you’ve placed in my heart and soul and mind. Lord, please let me move well beyond simple acceptance of the Word to belief in the Word so that my life would be different; always growing stronger, always increasing outward. Please, Lord let me abide in you and you in me (John 15:4). Lord, I believe in You. Please let that play out in real practical ways today. Show me who to serve! In Jesus, Amen!

Attitude Check

March 17, 2016

Think for a second about a time in your life when you didn’t want to do something at first but then ended up enjoying it when you finally got up the nerve to do it.
For me it was waterslides. As a kid I was morbidly afraid of heights. So, as you can imagine a little flimsy plastic tube elevated fifty feet in the air was not particularly inviting to me. But when I finally took the risk and rode down that first slide at “Water Country” I was hooked. To this day, I don’t think twice about riding the slide.

For most of us that’s what its like to be a part of God’s plan; to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. A little scary at first but then pretty thrilling and fulfilling when we realize what we’re into.

But what do we notice about Jonah’s attitude even after he’s obeyed God’s calling in the first few chapters of the book titled after the prophet? He holds onto bitterness and keeps making himself upset over God’s grace toward “the enemy” (Assyria). He misses the enjoyment of being a part of God’s plan because his attitude is so bad. He understand who God is BUT he doesn’t apply the grace and joy of God to himself. He sets his heart on being grumpy and he actually misses the miracle of a whole nation turning to God. How depressing is that?!?!?

Why is attitude important? Because a bad attitude can keep us from experiencing the joy of God’s calling and from seeing the miracles of His grace and mercy.

What miracles will you see and celebrate this week as you joyfully serve the Lord? Who else close to you could benefit from your happy obedience?

Elijah

February 9, 2016

1 Kings 19:4

This “giving up” moment comes right after God has moved mighty through Elijah and burned up a soaking wet alter! What happened to this confident, bold man? FEAR leads him to take matters into his own hands.
Depression or great arresting sadness is not necessarily equivalent to lack of faith. However, fear is the opposite of faith. When fear causes us to run or take matters into our own hands or give up instead of preserving through suffering we miss the opportunity to fall into God’s arms; to fall apart at his feet under His care. God may be my only hope when the fog of sadness rolls in. Does my faith cause me to run to Him, go into self-preserving mode, or give up?

His Light

February 2, 2016

O Lord, with much dimness I draw nigh to You. Clear the dimness away from me and flood me with the light of Your countenance.-Oswald Chambers

Isaiah 50:10-11

Well Done!

February 1, 2016

Matthew 25:23, 37-40

Wanting to hear these words is grafted into our very DNA. We want to hear “Well done!” from our employers, our family, our friends. We will go to great lengths to be successful, working more hours, setting lofty benchmarks and keeping a rigorous pace.

But the desire to be successful at work or at home or in hobbies (like riding bike, home making or stamp-collecting…) are all tied into the foundational desire to hear “well done” from our Lord Jesus. If we don’t see success through the eyes of God we will never truly be satisfied no matter how fast we get or how beautiful we make it or how many we have. We will never truly be satisfied with any other “well done!” unless it is from the lips of our Savior (every other “well done” fades into oblivion).

There is nothing wrong with success and excelling at the areas of life that we’re passionate about. The problem comes when we believe that our ultimate fulfillment comes from these “well done’s” and we fail to see our success through the lens of success in Jesus Christ.

When success in Jesus Christ is properly viewed as the end-all-be-all (and as the filter we view all others success through) there is the hope of finding success in Him, hearing Him say “Well done!” and being completely and fully and eternally satisfied.

What does this look like? Jesus tells us. It looks like serving the least of these. It looks like hanging out with the have-nots and pouring out all we have for them (not jus the left overs).

It means framing up success in the way Jesus defines success. Getting around others and pouring out the love, patience and kindness that overflows from our relationship with Him.

Lord, let me know you today and the power of your love, patience, kindness and peace. Let the attitudes of a heart anchored in You overflow out onto everything I do. Lord, let me strive for success in You above all else. Give me eyes to see and respond to the least of these. Let all my striving be defined and compelled by your “well done”. In Jesus, Amen!

One or the Other

January 26, 2016

John 8:37

“But you want to kill me, because my teaching makes no progress among you.”

But you are seeking to kill me…

We are either seeking first the kingdom or we are seeking to crucify Him. We are either knocking on the door or we are denying that it even exists. We are either practicing what we’ve heard from the Father or we are rehearsing self-deception.

Lord, by your grace alone I can seek first the kingdom. Lord, by your grace I can knock and trust that you will answer. Lord, by your grace I can put into practice what I’ve heard from You.

Lord, thank you for your grace. Please show me how to walk in your way today. In Jesus, Amen!

The Practice

January 18, 2016

John 8:34

…truly, truly I say to you that everyone (all) who “makes a practice of sin” (commits sin repeatedly) is slave to sin.

The truth about sin, in general, is practice makes perfect. In John 8 we can see the Pharisees specific sin is continued and ongoing disbelief. They are so practiced in the art of denying Jesus that even when the evidence for the truth of His claims begins to mount they still refuse to accept Him. They are so practiced at discrediting and undercutting Jesus they can’t see the truth of who He is; God in the flesh. They are slaves to their own sin; their own self-deception.

What are we knowingly or unknowingly practicing that is keeping us from seeing the truth? What are we holding fast to that may be holding us back? Where have we deceived ourselves?

Lord, let me come face to face with the truth today. Tear down the self-deception and the disbelief that keeps me from seeing you more fully. Take off the veil from my eyes so I can see the reality of this life that you’ve given me. You have moved me from death and made me alive in You. You have set your Word in my mind and put your Spirit in my heart. Lord, let me practice peace, patience, kindness and love today. Let me practice your way. Lord, let me live abandoned to You; unhindered and unafraid. Rearrange my heart so that I can rearrange my life for the sake of those around me and for the praise and glory of your name. In Jesus, Amen!

Initiative

January 13, 2016

John 8:28-30

28 Then Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and I do nothing on my own initiative, but I speak just what the Father taught me. 8:29 And the one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do those things that please him.” 8:30 While he was saying these things, many people believed in him.1

Lord, this is my prayer today. That I would do nothing out of my own initiative but that I would follow the prompting of your Holy Spirit. Please make me aware of your presence. Let me be one with you as you are one with the Father. Let me speak the words that you have taught me. Let the Holy Spirit continue to be my teacher. You’ve educated my soul and mind and body. Let none of that go to waste. Continue to work your mighty power through me and sharpen me by your word. What are you trying to teach me in this moment; in this season of life? Open my eyes to the blindspots that keep me from seeing you clearly and obeying you wholeheartedly. Move in my heart now with a passion and power to do those things that please you. Lord, please use me that many people would not only believe in you but follow you into your great and perfect plan. Lord, this is my prayer. Please hear my prayer. Please answer it in ways more wonderful than I can even imagine. In Jesus, Amen!

1. Biblical Studies Press. (2005). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Jn 8:28–30). Biblical Studies Press.

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