Sunday, August 30, 2009
She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully.
Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes.
Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way six blocks to Rexall’s Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Father, there isn't a challenge I will ever face that will be too hard for You to solve. Nothing can outsmart You. The world’s wisdom is foolishness in Your sight. Your wisdom is increasing in me as I meditate on Your Word. It leads, guides and protects me. It gives me greater insight and credentials than the world has to offer. You have said in Your Word that the person who gets wisdom loves his own soul. I cherish understanding and I will prosper for your glory. Hallelujah! In Jesus name. Amen.
Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is there anything too hard for Me?
Jeremiah 32:27 [AMP]
For this world's wisdom is foolishness (absurdity and stupidity) with God, for it is written, He lays hold of the wise in their [own] craftiness;
1st Corinthians 3:19 [AMP]
Pray Without Ceasing
Heavenly Father, may my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. Thank you for the Holy Spirit Who helps me maintain an attitude of prayer, and even helps me when I don't know how or what to pray. Thank you for hearing me whether I'm praying aloud or reaching out to you in silence. Jesus, you are my example in prayer, and whatever I ask for in prayer, I believe that it is granted me, and I will receive it. In the name of Jesus and with the help of the Holy Spirit, I will pray without ceasing. Amen
Let my prayer be set forth as incense before You, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
Psalm 141:2 [AMP]
For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].
Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly];
1st Thessalonians 5:17 [AMP]
God's glory is on tour in the skies, God-craft on exhibit across the horizon,God makes a huge dome for the sun—a superdome...
Psalm 19:1&4 [Message]
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
He was just a little boy,
On a week's first day.
Wandering home from Bible school,
And dawdling on the way.
He scuffed his shoes into the grass;
He even found a caterpillar.
He found a fluffy milkweed pod,
And blew out all the 'filler.'
A bird's nest in a tree overhead,
So wisely placed up so high.
Was just another wonder,
That caught his eager eye.
A neighbor watched his zig-zag course,
And hailed him from the lawn;
Asked him where he'd been that day
And what was going on.
'I've been to Bible School ,'
He said and turned a piece of sod.
He picked up a wiggly worm replying,
'I've learned a lot about God.'
'M'm very fine way,' the neighbor said,
'for a boy to spend his time.'
'If you'll tell me where God is,
I'll give you a brand new dime.'
Quick as a flash the answer came!
Nor were his accents faint.
'I'll give you a dollar, Mister,
If you can tell me where God ain't.'
Sunday, August 23, 2009
“Daniel purposed in his heart...”
Daniel 1:8 [NKJV]
Daniel was a victim of circumstances far beyond his control.
King Nebuchadnezzar had conquered his homeland and carried him off into exile in Babylon. He lost his freedom, his home, his culture, his friendships and his status as one of Israel’s nobility.
He had to learn to speak a foreign language and live in a place he never wanted to be. If you’d been Daniel, wouldn’t you have been tempted to focus on the things you couldn’t control, like complaining what a bad leader Nebuchadnezzar was, blaming exile for your unhappiness and feeling sorry for yourself? Not Daniel! He “determined that he would not defile himself by eating the king’s food...” (Daniel 1:8).
He spent time thinking about what he most deeply valued and decided to honor God and live by his convictions; even in small things.
Small battles train us to win big ones. If Daniel hadn’t taken action early on, he wouldn’t have had the strength to say no to idol worship and face the lion’s den without fear or compromise.
Maybe you can’t do anything right now about the house you live in or the job you work at, but you can change your life by taking action in small things. Maybe like Daniel it will involve what you eat, what you feed your mind, or what comes out of your mouth. You can refuse to allow your boss or your spouse the power to dictate what kind of mood you’ll be in based on how they treat you.
Like Daniel, you can choose. When you “purpose in your heart” to honor God, He blesses you and becomes involved in your life in ways you never thought possible.
Pastor Ng Francis
Always Answers Prayer
When the idea is not right, God says, “No.”
No - when the idea is absolutely wrong.
No - when though it may help you, it could create problems for someone else.
When the time is not right, God says, “Slow.”
When you are not right, God says, “Grow.”
The cautious person must grow in courage.
The timid person must grow in confidence.
The dominating person must grow in humility.
The critical person must grow in tolerance.
The negative person must grow in positive attitudes.
The pleasure-seeking person must grow in compassion for suffering people.
When everythng is all right, God says, “Go.”
A drug addict finds release!
A doubter becomes as a child in his belief.
Diseased tissue responds to treatment and healing begins.
The door to your dream suddenly swings open and there stands God saying, “Go!”
If the Lord has you on hold... hold on!
If the Lord has said “NO” to you... thank Him!
If the Lords is molding your heart and mind... go with His change!
If the Lord opens doors that you have asking Him to open... Praise Him!
Be blessed wherever you are in your life today! God has His hands on the situation!
You say: “It’s impossible”
God says: All things are possible
You say: “I’m too tired”
God says: I will give you rest
You say: “Nobody really loves me”
God says: I love you
John 3:16 & John 3:34
You say: “I can’t go on”
God says: My grace is sufficient
2 Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15
You say: “I can’t figure things out”
God says: I will direct your steps
You say: “I can’t do it”
God says: You can do all things
You say: “I’m not able”
God says: I am able
2 Corinthians 9:8
You say: “It’s not worth it”
God says: It will be worth it
You say: “I can’t forgive myself”
God says: I Forgive you
1 John 1:9 & Romans 8:1
You say: “I can’t manage”
God says: I will supply all your needs
You say: “I’m afraid”
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear
2 Timothy 1:7
You say: “I’m always worried and frustrated”
God says: Cast all your cares on ME
1 Peter 5:7
You say: “I’m not smart enough”
God says: I give you wisdom
1 Corinthians 1:30
You say: “I feel all alone”
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you
PASS THIS ON
Believe God is there just for you...
YOU NEVER KNOW WHO MAY BE IN NEED !
From R Shanta Kumari, Singapore
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"
Although John the Baptist was a tremendous man of God, he was simply a messenger for God with a very clear message: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." God's call was for the people to repent, to literally change their mind. They were to stop serving false gods and turn back to the True and Living God. The people were following a road that would keep them separated from God, but John cried for the people to turn around. Jesus put it this way…
"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:13-14).
There may be some of you reading this today who are on the broad road -- the road that only leads to destruction -- but the plea of Jesus for you this very day is that you would make a change of mind and direction. Recognize that you are on the wrong road and choose to follow Jesus. By making that decision, you will step foot onto the road that leads to life.And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God (1 John 5:11-13).
Mike is pastor of Horizon Christian Fellowship in San Diego, California.
“Let us not become weary in doing good...we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Galatians 6:9 [NIV]
The name Corrie ten Boom is widely recognized in Christian circles, but few people know about her nephew Peter who was also instrumental in saving Jews from Nazi persecution. When Dutch patriots heard that SS troops were sending Jewish orphans to concentration camps, they smuggled children out of orphanages and brought them to the ten Boom house until they could be placed for adoption.
At sixteen, Peter, a committed Christian, defied the Germans by pulling out all the stops on the church organ and playing the Dutch national anthem while the congregation stood up and sang. After World War II, he travelled the world with the same message as his aunt - that forgiveness is the only answer to hatred.
On tour in Israel, Peter had a heart attack and needed surgery. Talking with him the night before his operation the cardiologist asked, “Are you by any chance related to the ten Booms of Holland?”
Peter replied, “Yes, that’s my family.”
The doctor responded, “I’m one of the babies your family saved!”
The next day, the man whose life had been saved forty years earlier repaid the debt by saving Peter van Woerden’s life.
The Bible says when you, “Cast your bread upon the waters... after many days you will find it again” (Ecclesiastes 11:1 NIV). What you sow - good or bad - comes back to you. So, “Let us not become weary in doing good... at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Remember, God is no man’s debtor, and no matter how long it takes, He will honour His Word.
Pastor Ng Francis
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
- Spend a lot of time with God. Honor Him with you time.
- Obey Him... keep a clean conscience before God.
- Be careful how you treat people
Thanks to Joyce Meyer.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Father, You are an awesome God. You set earth on a firm foundation so that nothing can shake it, ever. You blanketed earth with ocean, covered the mountains with deep waters. Then You roared and the water ran away—Your thunder crash put it to flight. Mountains pushed up, valleys spread out in the places You assigned them. You set boundaries between earth and sea; never again will earth be flooded. You started the springs and rivers, sent them flowing among the hills. Oh, my God, you are an Awesome God!
You laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be moved forever. You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. At Your rebuke they fled; at the voice of Your thunder they hastened away. The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place which You appointed for them. You have set a boundary [for the waters] which they may not pass over, that they turn not again to deluge the earth. He sends forth springs into the valleys; their waters run among the mountains.
Psalm 104:5-10 [AMP]
Words of Life
Father, my delight is in the law of the Lord, on Your law I meditate day and night. I am like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever I do prospers Thank You for Your Word that goes out from Your mouth: it will not return to You empty, but will accomplish what You desire and achieve the purpose for which You sent it. I submit to Your Word and will speak words of life, in the name of Jesus. Amen
But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night. And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity].
Psalm 1:2-3 [AMP]
So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:11 [AMP]
Working Out Personal Salvation
Father, by grace I am saved through faith; and that is not of myself; it is the gift from You. I became a partaker of Your divine nature, and my spirit was made brand new. Now, thank You that You are helping me work out my own salvation with fear and trembling as I resolve the consequences of the sin issue in my everyday life. As I renew my mind to Your Word, the engrafted Word will save my soul bringing my entire being—my spirit, soul and body-into harmony. Thank You for enabling me to walk out my salvation to Your glory, in the name of Jesus. Amen
For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God; Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]
Ephesians 2:8-9 [AMP]
By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature.
2nd Peter 1:4 [AMP]
Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!
2nd Corinthians 5:17 [AMP]
Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only [with the enthusiasm you would show] in my presence but much more because I am absent, work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ).
Philippians 2:12 [AMP]
So get rid of all uncleanness and the rampant outgrowth of wickedness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls.
James 1:21 [AMP]
The Lord Forgives All Our Iniquities
Fortunate is the man to whom the LORD imputes (counts) not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile or deceit. I am looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify us as a peculiar people unto Himself, zealous of good works. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all our iniquities; Who heals all our diseases…. Amen
Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
Psalm 32:2 [AMP]
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Titus 2:13-14 [KJV]
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;
18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
19 The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
20 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.
21 Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.
22 Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.
Psalm 103 [KJV]
God of peace, I pray that You will sanctify me wholly; and I pray that my whole spirit and soul and body will be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. In the name of Jesus, I give thanks to You because You have from the beginning chosen me to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. You called me by the gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, I stand fast, and hold the traditions, which I have been taught in the name of Jesus. Amen.
But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
2nd Thessalonians 2:13-15 [KJV]
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1st Thessalonians 5:23 [KJV]
Walking in Sanctification
Father, thank You for sanctifying me by the truth; Your Word is truth. In the name of Jesus, I repent and turn from my wicked ways. I cleanse myself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. I cease to do evil, and I am learning to do right. Anoint my ears to understand truth, and help me exercise my senses to discern both good and evil. Amen
Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth. And so for their sake and on their behalf I sanctify (dedicate, consecrate) Myself, that they also may be sanctified (dedicated, consecrated, made holy) in the Truth.
John 17:17, 19 [AMP]
THEREFORE, SINCE these [great] promises are ours, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that contaminates and defiles body and spirit, and bring [our] consecration to completeness in the [reverential] fear of God.
2nd Corinthians 7:1 [KJV]
But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law.
Hebrews 5:14 [KJV]
To Bear Fruit
Father, I am Your garden under cultivation, and You are the Vinedresser. Lord Jesus, You are the Vine and I am the branch. You chose me and appointed me to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. I am like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth fruit in its season. My leaf shall not wither, and whatever I do shall prosper in the name of Jesus. Amen.
The Vine and the Branches
1-3 “I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.
4 “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.
5-8 “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.
9-10 “I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.
11-15 “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.
16 “You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.
17 “But remember the root command: Love one another.
Hated by the World
18-19 “If you find the godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating me. If you lived on the world’s terms, the world would love you as one of its own. But since I picked you to live on God’s terms and no longer on the world’s terms, the world is going to hate you.
20 “When that happens, remember this: Servants don’t get better treatment than their masters. If they beat on me, they will certainly beat on you. If they did what I told them, they will do what you tell them.
21-25 “They are going to do all these things to you because of the way they treated me, because they don’t know the One who sent me. If I hadn’t come and told them all this in plain language, it wouldn’t be so bad. As it is, they have no excuse. Hate me, hate my Father—it’s all the same. If I hadn’t done what I have done among them, works no one has ever done, they wouldn’t be to blame. But they saw the God-signs and hated anyway, both me and my Father. Interesting—they have verified the truth of their own Scriptures where it is written, ’They hated me for no good reason.’
26-27 “When the Friend I plan to send you from the Father comes—the Spirit of Truth issuing from the Father—he will confirm everything about me. You, too, from your side must give your confirming evidence, since you are in this with me from the start.”
John 15 [MSG]
1 How well God must like you— you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon, you don’t slink along Dead-End Road,
you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College.
2-3 Instead you thrill to God’s Word,
you chew on Scripture day and night.
You’re a tree replanted in Eden,
bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf,
always in blossom.
4-5 You’re not at all like the wicked,
who are mere windblown dust—
Without defense in court,
unfit company for innocent people.
6 God charts the road you take.
The road they take is Skid Row.
Psalm 1 [MSG]
..the Lord is all I need. He takes care of me. My share in life has been pleasant; my part has been beautiful. Psalm 16:5&6
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple.
LORD, I seek You with my whole heart, and desire to walk in Your ways. I praise You today with uprightness of heart. With my whole heart I seek You; do not let me wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You. Blessed are You, O LORD! Teach me Your statues, in the name of Jesus, I pray. You are a Rewarder of those who diligently seek You. Amen
One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple.
Psalm 27:4 [AMP]
BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, to be envied) are the undefiled (the upright, truly sincere, and blameless) in the way [of the revealed will of God], who walk (order their conduct and conversation) in the law of the Lord (the whole of God's revealed will). Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are they who keep His testimonies, and who seek, inquire for and of Him and crave Him with the whole heart. Yes, they do no unrighteousness [no willful wandering from His precepts]; they walk in His ways. You have commanded us to keep Your precepts, that we should observe them diligently. Oh, that my ways were directed and established to observe Your statutes [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying them]! Then shall I not be put to shame [by failing to inherit Your promises] when I have respect to all Your commandments. I will praise and give thanks to You with uprightness of heart when I learn [by sanctified experiences] Your righteous judgments [Your decisions against and punishments for particular lines of thought and conduct]. I will keep Your statutes; O forsake me not utterly. How shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed and keeping watch [on himself] according to Your word [conforming his life to it]. With my whole heart have I sought You, inquiring for and of You and yearning for You; Oh, let me not wander or step aside [either in ignorance or willfully] from Your commandments. Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You. Blessed are You, O Lord; teach me Your statutes. With my lips have I declared and recounted all the ordinances of Your mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts and have respect to Your ways [the paths of life marked out by Your law]. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.
Psalm 119:1-16 [AMP]
But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].
Hebrews 11:6 [AMP]
And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be His people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
-Revelation 21:2-4 (New Living Translation)
Sunday, August 9, 2009
How Big is Your God?
Are you acquainted with this awesome God who wants you to know Him intimately? Think about the wondrous things He has done beginning with the beauty of the earth. Hear the sounds of heaven released in the nighttime as the creatures of the earth make a symphony to the Lord. Who is like our God? Consider the bright light of a full moon as it shines through the oak trees creating playful shadows; twinkling stars announcing that our God rides on the wings of the wind. Hush, don’t you hear them singing the song of the Lord? Yet you and I sing a song that they cannot sing – the song of the redeemed! Isn’t you heart overwhelmed with the awesomeness of God? Just think the Creator is your God, your Lord, and your Savior! There is none who can compare to Him. He is a big God, yet He is small enough to live within your heart, even the heart of a child. Who is like unto our God?
Who among the gods is like You, O Lord? Who is like You--majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, or with the breadth of His hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? You are magnificence, a big God, yet You have taken Your place in my heart. You abide in me and I abide in You. Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God. You have done great things. Who, O God, is like unto You? You are my Lord and Savior, Creator of the heavens and earth. You are a big God – more than enough to help me in any situation. Oh, my God – You went before me and prepared the pathway that I am to walk. I love You with my whole heart, soul and mind. Amen
Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, awesome in splendor, doing wonders?
Exodus 15:11 [AMP]
Messages of Comfort
Prepare for God’s Arrival1-2 “Comfort, oh comfort my people,”
says your God.
“Speak softly and tenderly to Jerusalem,
but also make it very clear
That she has served her sentence,
that her sin is taken care of—forgiven!
She’s been punished enough and more than enough,
and now it’s over and done with.”
3-5Thunder in the desert!
“Prepare for God’s arrival!
Make the road straight and smooth,
a highway fit for our God.
Fill in the valleys,
level off the hills,
Smooth out the ruts,
clear out the rocks.
Then God’s bright glory will shine
and everyone will see it.
Yes. Just as God has said.”
6-8A voice says, “Shout!”
I said, “What shall I shout?”
“These people are nothing but grass,
their love fragile as wildflowers.
The grass withers, the wildflowers fade,
if God so much as puffs on them.
Aren’t these people just so much grass?
True, the grass withers and the wildflowers fade,
but our God’s Word stands firm and forever.”
9-11Climb a high mountain, Zion.
You’re the preacher of good news.
Raise your voice. Make it good and loud, Jerusalem.
You’re the preacher of good news.
Speak loud and clear. Don’t be timid!
Tell the cities of Judah,
“Look! Your God!”
Look at him! God, the Master, comes in power,
ready to go into action.
He is going to pay back his enemies
and reward those who have loved him.
Like a shepherd, he will care for his flock,
gathering the lambs in his arms,
Hugging them as he carries them,
leading the nursing ewes to good pasture.
The Creator of All You Can See or Imagine12-17Who has scooped up the ocean
in his two hands,
or measured the sky between his thumb and little finger,
Who has put all the earth’s dirt in one of his baskets,
weighed each mountain and hill?
Who could ever have told God what to do
or taught him his business?
What expert would he have gone to for advice,
what school would he attend to learn justice?
What god do you suppose might have taught him what he knows,
showed him how things work?
Why, the nations are but a drop in a bucket,
a mere smudge on a window.
Watch him sweep up the islands
like so much dust off the floor!
There aren’t enough trees in Lebanon
nor enough animals in those vast forests
to furnish adequate fuel and offerings for his worship.
All the nations add up to simply nothing before him—
less than nothing is more like it. A minus.
18-20So who even comes close to being like God?
To whom or what can you compare him?
Some no-god idol? Ridiculous!
It’s made in a workshop, cast in bronze,
Given a thin veneer of gold,
and draped with silver filigree.
Or, perhaps someone will select a fine wood—
olive wood, say—that won’t rot,
Then hire a woodcarver to make a no-god,
giving special care to its base so it won’t tip over!
21-24Have you not been paying attention?
Have you not been listening?
Haven’t you heard these stories all your life?
Don’t you understand the foundation of all things?
God sits high above the round ball of earth.
The people look like mere ants.
He stretches out the skies like a canvas—
yes, like a tent canvas to live under.
He ignores what all the princes say and do.
The rulers of the earth count for nothing.
Princes and rulers don’t amount to much.
Like seeds barely rooted, just sprouted,
They shrivel when God blows on them.
Like flecks of chaff, they’re gone with the wind.
25-26“So—who is like me?
Who holds a candle to me?” says The Holy.
Look at the night skies:
Who do you think made all this?
Who marches this army of stars out each night,
counts them off, calls each by name
—so magnificent! so powerful!—
and never overlooks a single one?
27-31Why would you ever complain, O Jacob,
or, whine, Israel, saying,
“God has lost track of me.
He doesn’t care what happens to me”?
Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?
God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
they walk and don’t lag behind.
Isaiah 40 [Message]
Your righteousness also, O God, is very high [reaching to the heavens], You Who have done great things; O God, who is like You, or who is Your equal?
Psalm 71:19 [AMP]
Lord, You are my shield, my glory, and my only hope. You alone can lift my head, now bowed in shame. I cried out to the Lord, and He heard me from His Holy Temple. Then I lay down and slept in peace and woke up safely, for the Lord was watching over me. And now, although ten thousand enemies surround me on every side, I am not afraid. Salvation comes from God. Jesus is my Lord! What joys He gives to all His people. Amen
3 But you, O Lord, are a shield around me;
you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.
4 I cried out to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy mountain.
5 I lay down and slept,
yet I woke up in safety,
for the Lord was watching over me.
6 I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies
who surround me on every side.
7 Arise, O Lord!
Rescue me, my God!
Slap all my enemies in the face!
Shatter the teeth of the wicked!
8 Victory comes from you, O Lord.
May you bless your people.
Psalm 3:3-8 [NLT]
Confidence and Strength
Lord, You are my confidence and will keep my foot from being caught in a trap or hidden danger. I have returned to You and waited for You and I am saved; in quietness and confidence is my strength. In Christ and through faith in Him I approach God with freedom and confidence, and I will not throw away my confidence; it will be richly rewarded in the name of Jesus. Amen
For the Lord shall be your confidence, firm and strong, and shall keep your foot from being caught [in a trap or some hidden danger].
Proverbs 3:26 [AMP]
15 This is what the Sovereign Lord,
the Holy One of Israel, says:
“Only in returning to me
and resting in me will you be saved.
In quietness and confidence is your strength.
But you would have none of it.
Isaiah 30:15 [NLT]
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Ephesians 3:12 [NIV]
Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
Hebrews 10:35 [NAS]
Called to Fellowship
God, You called me into fellowship with Your Son Jesus Christ my Lord and You are faithful. You called me to this through the gospel that I might share in the glory of my Lord Jesus Christ. You saved me and chose me for this holy work not because I deserved it but because that was Your plan long before the world began--to show Your love and kindness to me through Christ Jesus. Thank You for calling me; You are faithful to confirm Your word with signs and wonders for Your glory. I love You, my Lord God, with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind (intellect), and I shall love my neighbor as I do myself. Jesus, You are Lord! Amen
God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1st Corinthians 1:9 [AMP]
[It was] to this end that He called you through our Gospel, so that you may obtain and share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).
2nd Thessalonians 2:14 [AMP]
For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.
2nd Timothy 1:9 [NLT]
Faithful is He Who is calling you [to Himself] and utterly trustworthy, and He will also do it [fulfill His call by hallowing and keeping you].
1st Thessalonians 5:24 [AMP]
“This is the day the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Our God Reigns
Heavenly Father, You are the Lord of my life. You made my spirit the candle of the Lord that searches out my innermost being, and I submit to the Holy Spirit who searches my heart and He knows Your will for my life. Everything is exposed to Your Word, and I submit to the constant ministry of transformation by the Holy Spirit. Thank You for healing all my hurts, fulfilling all my needs and for helping me process and resolve all issues perfectly with the Word of God. I choose this day to submit to Your Lordship and declare with confidence: my God reigns over my life! Amen
The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity],
Luke 4:18 [AMP]
The spirit of man [that factor in human personality which proceeds immediately from God] is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.
Proverbs 20:27 [AMP]
So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance. And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God's will.
Romans 8:26-27 [AMP]
For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, naked and defenseless to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do.
Hebrews 4:12-13 [AMP]
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest"
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
“There on the beach we knelt to pray.”
- Acts 21:5
Do you have an unusual, even strange place where you pray to the Lord?
In Acts 21, you read that Paul and the disciples took a moment to pray on the beach before he departed from Tyre. It’s important to remember that first century Christians, for the most part, met in homes or in borrowed rooms. They had no church buildings or cathedrals. They studied, worshiped and prayed where they could...when they could.
Prayer is a conversation with God. It’s not an event to be confined to any one location. Since God is in all places at all times, He is with you and will hear you...whether you’re in a church, on the beach, in the car driving down the street, or in some other unusual place. So next time you feel led by God to pray for the Troops and the nation, don’t worry about where you’re at physically. Obediently and immediately engage your spiritual self and intercede…knowing you can pray anytime, anywhere – and the Lord will listen to your cry and answer you.
Recommended Reading: Jonah 2:1-10
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Report: North Korea Publicly Executes Christian Woman for Distributing BibleFriday , July 24, 2009
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea publicly executed a Christian woman last month for distributing the Bible, which is banned in the communist nation, South Korean activists said Friday.
Ri Hyon Ok, 33, was also accused of spying for South Korea and the United States and organizing dissidents. She was executed in the northwestern city of Ryongchon near the border with China on June 16, according to a report from an alliance of several dozen anti-North Korea groups.
Ri's parents, husband and three children were sent to a political prison camp in the northeastern city of Hoeryong the following day, the report said, citing unidentified documents it says were obtained from North Korea. It showed a copy of Ri's North Korean government-issued photo ID. It is virtually impossible to verify such reports about secretive North Korea, where the government tightly controls the lives of its citizens and does not allow dissent.
On Thursday, an annual report from a state-run South Korean think tank on human rights in the North said that public executions, though dropping in number in recent years, were still carried out for crimes ranging from murder to circulating foreign movies.
North Korea claims to guarantee freedom of religion for its 24 million people but in reality severely restricts religious observances. The cult of personality surrounding national founder Kim Il Sung and his son, current leader Kim Jong Il, is a virtual state religion.
The government has authorized four state churches, one Catholic, two Protestant and one Russian Orthodox, but they cater to foreigners and ordinary North Koreans cannot attend. However, defectors and activists say more than 30,000 North Koreans are believed to practice Christianity secretly.
The U.S. State Department reported last year that “genuine religious freedom does not exist” in North Korea.
“North Korea appears to have judged that Christian forces could pose a threat to its regime,” Do Hee-youn, a leading activist, told reporters, claiming public executions, arrest and detention of North Koreans are prevalent.
For more information about this story, please visit the Associated Press website.
Power of Words
The Bible has much to say about words. A man’s [moral] self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth; and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil]. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life] (Proverbs 18:20-21). Listen to your words; are they producing life or death? What are you speaking about yourself, your family, your job? Renew you mind, fill your heart with the powerful, transforming Word of God, and you will eat the fruit of life; healing, health, well-being, prosperity and good relationships. God’s words will not return unto him void. They will produce a crop of blessings!
O LORD, set a guard over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth. Your words are spirit and life, and I pray that the Word of God may dwell richly in me with all wisdom. Then my words will be seasoned with grace, and my tongue will keep me from calamity, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Set a guard, O Lord, before my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips.
Psalm 141:3 [AMP]
It is not what goes into the mouth of a man that makes him unclean and defiled, but what comes out of the mouth; this makes a man unclean and defiles [him].
Matthew 15:11 [AMP]
Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.
Ephesians 4:29 [AMP]
He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from troubles.
Proverbs 21:23 [AMP]
Open My Eyes
Lord, I ask You to open my eyes that I may see the wonderful things in Your law. Thank You for the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father has sent in Your name. He will teach me all things and will remind me of everything You have said. Lord Jesus, thank You for opening my understanding and for showing me how to read my Bible. Amen
Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law.
Psalm 119:18 [AMP]
He went on to open their understanding of the Word of God, showing them how to read their Bibles this way. He said, “You can see now how it is written that the Messiah suffers, rises from the dead on the third day, and then a total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in his name to all nations—starting from here, from Jerusalem! You’re the first to hear and see it. You’re the witnesses. What comes next is very important: I am sending what my Father promised to you, so stay here in the city until he arrives, until you’re equipped with power from on high.”
Luke 24:45-49 [Message]
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
John 14:26 [NAS]
Christ is your Sufficiency
Sooner or later everyone has to deal with pride. We trust in our own resources and blame others when life doesn’t turn out as we plan. We can’t ask anyone for help because pride convinces us that we are sufficient unto ourselves. We even think that we know more and are smarter than all our teachers. This stronghold of pride not only hinders healthy relationships, but prevents us from seeking God. God is faithful and He will turn it around when we choose to acknowledge and humble ourselves before Him. He is more than enough. He is our sufficiency! He has made us fit, worthy and sufficient to be His ministers in the marketplace as an employer or employee, at home, in our communities and abroad. Choose to be teachable and contrite, Christ will be your sufficiency one day at a time. He is more than enough and you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
Father, it is true, I can’t do a solitary thing on my own: I listen, and then I decide. I’m not out to get my own way but only to carry out Your orders. Not because I think I can do anything of lasting value by myself. My only power and success comes from God. Your grace is sufficient for me, for Your power is made perfect in my weakness. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Amen
“I can’t do a solitary thing on my own: ”
John 5:30 [Message]
It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.
2nd Corinthians 3:5 [NLT]
But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!
2nd Corinthians 12:9 [AMP]
I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].
Philippians 4:13 [AMP]
Seated with Christ
I ask the God of our Lord Jesus Christ the glorious Father to give me the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that I may know Him better... that the eyes of my heart may be enlightened... that I may know the hope to which He has called me the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints... His incomparably great power for all who believe. And God raised me up with Christ and seated me with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus far above all rule and authority power and dominion and every title that can be given not only in the present age but also in the one to come. In Jesus name. Amen
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
Ephesians 1:17-21 [NIV]
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
Ephesians 2:6 [NIV]
In the name of Jesus, I am blessed. My Lord, I delight in Your law, and on Your law I meditate day and night. I am like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever I do prospers. Jesus, You have been made unto me wisdom, righteousness and sanctification, and I enjoy living in the Way of Truth. Thank you, Lord, for watching over the way of the righteous. Amen
1 BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather. 2 But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night. 3 And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]. 4 Not so the wicked [those disobedient and living without God are not so]. But they are like the chaff [worthless, dead, without substance] which the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked [those disobedient and living without God] shall not stand [justified] in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous [those who are upright and in right standing with God]. 6 For the Lord knows and is fully acquainted with the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly [those living outside God’s will] shall perish (end in ruin and come to nought).
My choice is you, God, first and only.
And now I find I’m your choice!
You set me up with a house and yard.
And then you made me your heir!
Psalm 16:5-6 [The Message]