One Thing I Ask

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Holy Father, giver of all things good, I thank you for your church. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your family and for the encouragement I receive from my brothers and sisters. Use me to further your cause. Guide me to be where you want me to be. Forgive me when I fail to do and to be all I should be. I ask you for unity among your people. Help us to love each other and to show it so we can attract those who do not know you. As you are holy, so we are to be your holy temple so help us always follow your will. I pray in the name of Jesus.

I Will Seek You In The Morning

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Give ear to my words, O Lord;
consider my meditation.
Harken to the to the voice of my cry,
my King and my God,
for unto you do I pray.
O Lord, in the morning will I direct my prayers;
Unto you I look up and wait with expectation. Psalm 5 1-3

How does your day begin?

The first thing David did each morning was to lift his voice to the Lord. His first words of the day were to God. He goes on, “In the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” What a perfect way to begin the day!

Lift your voice to God in prayer. Lay your requests before Him. Set out before Him the things you are going to have to do that day. Commit to Him the problems, the difficulties you anticipate. Submit all your decisions to Him.

Morning prayer sets the tone for the day. If our morning begins with worry, that will only increase as the day moves along. But if we start out by enjoying time with God and receiving strength from God, we will more likely remain in his peace as the day continues. There’s no better way to begin the day than with prayer.

May we each bring our requests before Him often…waiting with expectation.

Loving Father, thank you for meeting me in this prayer time. I know that you hear me and care about what I share with you. Thank you for paying attention to someone like me and accepting me as your precious child. Thank you, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Choosing Friends Wisely

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As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

Did you know that the deepest need of the human heart is for intimacy? That’s just another way of saying friendship. Now, I’m not talking about casual acquaintances or false friends, but true friends.

Proverbs 27:17 reminds us of a practical truth about sharpening iron, and to teach a spiritual truth about our relationships with others: “You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another”

I think we have all had the experience of friends who encourage us to be better than we are, and friends who don’t. A godly Christian friend can sharpen you in areas they are strong. For example, a wise friend can make you wiser. A godly loving friend can expand your capacity to love. A biblically knowledgeable friend can enhance your understanding of Scripture. Proverbs 13:20 says, “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”

The Bible has a lot to say about friendship. One of my favorite pictures of friendship is the friendship that was between David and Jonathan found in 1 samuel.  Jonathan and David’s friendship has a lot to teach us about power, self-sacrifice and loyalty.

As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. And David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. And this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.

According to Scripture, a friend is one who challenges you to become all that God intends you to be. Jonathan could have succeeded his father to become the next king of Israel. But he loved his friend David, and he encouraged him to follow God’s will, even though it meant Jonathan would forfeit his own claim to the throne (1 Sam. 19:1-7).

As a Christian, we struggle with many things. Just as Paul says in Romans 7:19, “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” Because of this very point, we NEED accountability from godly people to help encourage us to do the good that we as Christians want to do, but ultimately struggle with because of our flesh.

One thing is certain, we all need friends, but more importantly, we all need at least that one, close, true friend who we can share our weaknesses with and not have to worry that they’ll gossip to others about it. We all need someone close to us that we can share our burdens and joys with.

We have all gone through many discouraging times, where we may feel God has turned His back on us. But it’s times like these that we need encouragement from our “Jonathan’s” to encourage us and to strengthen us to keep on going.

Having a “Jonathan” and being a “Jonathan” to others is one of the most beautiful gifts God could have given us. It truly represents the relationship we have with Christ. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

 

Meditation of my Heart

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Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

I think we have all learned that words can bring hope, encouragement and love. They can strengthen us, and nourish our spirit when we are emotionally weary. They can help us draw together in peacefulness. Words can be like comfort food. We have also learned that Words can also bring bitterness and resentment. Words can spread anger and division between us, breaking relationships apart. They can burn, sting, and crush us apart inside, destroying our peace. Words can be poison.

Too often when we are dealing with: gossip, mean thoughts towards others, course language, lust, you name it, we try to just stop ourselves from saying the words or thinking the thoughts.

Instead, we should be getting to the root of the problem, our heart.  It all boils down to the meditation of our heart, which should ever be on Christ.

This Psalm 19:14 reminds us that the words of our mouth begin with the meditations of our heart.  If we meditate on God’s word, then the words of our mouth will be naturally sweetened by God’s goodness and kindness.

O Holy and Almighty God, I want this day to be a day of worship and honor to you. May my life praise you: not just in thought, not just in words, but also in action. In the name Jesus I pray. Amen.

Love The Lord our God

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“Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ ” Matthew 22:37-38

Love Completely

Let us seek to love and honor the Lord with every part of our being – to love as Christ loved us – to love Him with our heart, our mind, our thoughts and our motives.

God alone is worthy of our worship, admiration and affection. Everything and everyone else pales in comparison to this great and loving God!

We are called to take every thought captive to the Lord so that we may remain in sweet fellowship with the God of our salvation.

When the eyes of our heart are totally fixed on Him in thankfulness for His dying on the cross at Calvary for our sins. We who have been forgiven much are called to love much.  Indeed, it should be our complete joy

Only if we pursue loving God can we live out a life of meaning. May we all become people who love God. Amen!

My Prayer

Loving Father thank You for loving me when I was dead in my sins and for bringing me into Your family, simply because I trusted the Lord Jesus as Savior – Lord I want to love you with every part of my being. May I live as You would choose and love You with all my heart and soul and strength and mind, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.

Restore The Joy Of Our Salvation

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Here we see that David’s heart is broken. He comes with a humble and repentant heart before God.  He seeks reconciliation, mercy, and cleansing. He requests that God would restore to him a clean heart, gladness, and the joy of his salvation.

David doesn’t just say, “I’m sorry.” He means it. He pleads with God to have mercy on him. He acknowledges and feels the weight of his sins, which are “always before him” (Psalm 51:1-3). When we’re really sorry, we acknowledge our sins without making excuses and sincerely seek forgiveness.

When we are truly repentant, we want to learn and grow from our mistakes. David begs God to change His heart and restore their relationship: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:10-12).

When our hearts are aligned with God’s, our actions will be, too (Psalm 51:17-19). And when that happens, God works through us to share His message of salvation with others (Psalm 51:13).

Lord God, I am so thankful for your willingness to forgive me. I know that on my own there is nothing I can do to ever be right with you because my sin has come between us. I also know that because of your great love, your tender mercy and your marvelous grace, you have provided a way of salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus your Son. As your child, help me live every moment of every day in a way that brings honor to you and shows Jesus living in me. Give your peace to those who are hurting and grieving. I pray in the name of Jesus my Savior.

For I Am Not Ashamed

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Romans 1:16-17

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.

Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel. He was full of zeal for those who didn’t know about Jesus.

We are called to have a certain amount of boldness in our lives. We need to have a fire burning for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our passion should be to see our lost loved ones come to know Jesus Christ as their personal savior. We should look out over our city and weep because so many don’t know the saving truth. The Gospel transforms our lives. God sent his only son to die in our place so that the penalty for our sin could be paid. When this debt is removed it is replaced with true righteousness that brings about a union with God. We can now go to Him freely and worship him. Don’t be ashamed of your faith. Ask for a boldness for the gospel of Jesus Christ that will compel you to share it with others.

Heavenly Father, Help me to be bold when proclaiming the Gospel today. Give me eyes to see those who are waiting to be told. Fill me up with your Spirit so that I will not be ashamed but will gladly proclaim the story of Jesus. Fill my life with the hope of Jesus’ glorious and victorious return so that I might share it with passion and others will know of your grace. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen

He Has Overcome The World

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Praise the Lord, the final outcome is already determined and Christians “win big” through Jesus. And this victory is a forever win!

Thank you, God, for giving me the victory through Jesus Christ my Lord. I greet the future with anticipation because I know each day brings me closer to you and the glorious future you have planned for all of your children. Until then, I pray that I may never lose sight of that victory and yearn for the day of its arrival! In the name of Jesus,

What Does The Lord Require

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Have you ever found yourself pleading with God to show you what to do? How to please and serve Him…but not knowing how?

Well, here is a good place to start: Micah 6:8, we need to handle those around us justly — practicing patience and dealing with others in fairness, without partiality. We need to practice mercy — blessing others in need with what they don’t deserve but so greatly need. We need to walk humbly with our God.

It’s interesting to note that although there is action involved, each of those requirements starts with a soft and loving heart. We won’t act justly if we harbor resentment or hate. We won’t show kindness and mercy if we seek to serve ourselves. And a prideful heart will always walk ahead of God.  Finding God’s will for your life is really pretty simple. He wants all of your heart. He wants a surrendered life.

Maybe all God is asking of us is to stand for what is right … to choose kindness … and to walk closely to Him, submitting our will daily.

As for me, I want to embrace all that God has for me, and that means obeying what He’s already shown me.

I hope God’s Word encourages you today. Maybe it really is this simple. Act justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God. Now, the choice is yours.

Father, please make of me what you will. As you fashion me, please bless me as I seek to be a person of justice, mercy, and humility. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

He Will Cover You With His Feathers

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I wonder if there are times when God would like to have comforted us “under his wings” but instead of coming to Him, we depended on our own resources. When He covers us, the forces of evil cannot penetrate His protection.

God’s wings provide safety and refuge. In Psalm 17:8 David asked the Lord to hide him in the shadow of His wings, protecting him from danger and attack. I may not have physical enemies attacking me but Satan is continually attacking me with fears, despair, discouragement, and countless other negative thoughts. When I cry out to God for His protection, His Word and Spirit are my refuge.

If you are experiencing pressures or satan’s attacks in your life today, just ask the Lord in faith to help you.  Say, “God, you said you’d be my refuge!”  If you’ve run out of strength , remember that he is your strength.  Now you have to run to him!  Begin by praising him right now for loving you and for being all that you need.  Thank God that he is greater than every problem you may encounter.  Tell him, “Thank you, Lord, for who you are!”  Then trust him to be your refuge and your strength, at this very moment in your life.

Father, what words can I offer that are sufficient to thank and praise you for your deliverance that is greater than death? You are the Alpha and the Omega. You are the God who was and is and is to come. You are my Abba Father, who has adopted me and made me your own. I place my trust, my hope, and future in you and I will not be afraid. I find my refuge under your wings! All praise to you in the name of Jesus. Amen.