Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Road of Discipleship

The Road of Discipleship

Today’s Passage: Galatians 1:11-17

Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning.  I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ. You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion—how I violently persecuted God’s church. I did my best to destroy it.  I was far ahead of my fellow Jews in my zeal for the traditions of my ancestors. (Verses 11-14)

Words of Devotion from Scripture

After Paul's conversion, he disappeared into the desert for three years, during which time the Holy Spirit instructed him in the ways of God. He emerged, ready to communicate divine truth.

The Lord speaks to believers so that they will comprehend the truth, conform to the truth, and communicate the truth. These same steps form a roadmap to discipleship. What happened during Paul's desert years was only the beginning of a life-long process—God renewed his mind and transformed him into the image of Christ. For the apostle, that change began with connecting his rich biblical knowledge to the revelation that Jesus Christ was the Son of God.

Paul knew Scripture thoroughly, but the truth that Jesus was the promised Messiah made him reconsider the foundation he'd been trusting. Everything he knew about God had to be reevaluated in light of this new information. Paul had a history of wanting to please God, so the Holy Spirit no doubt found him a willing pupil.

The apostle's spirit had to be shaped according to the Father's will. And the Lord kept working on him long after Paul left the desert and began his ministry. Every person who reads his letters is a witness to the work of God in a submissive man.

The Lord's discipleship roadmap looks similar for every believer. Like Paul, you are the Holy Spirit's student, and the knowledge you reap from Scripture should be changing your life. Be like the apostle in this way to become a disciple maker by sharing what you learn with others.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011



Scripture for TodayLuke 18:1 
Then He spoke a parable to them that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.

Words of Devotion

Samuel Morse was a man of many talents. He was a professional artist, inventor of the electric telegraph and originator of the Morse Code. He once went to England to study art. After his arrival and settling into a regular routine, he realized that it would take months before he would receive a letter from his mother.

Distressed, he wrote her, “Three thousand miles aren’t passed over in an instant.” After thinking for a moment, he asked, “Why must this be?” It was that question that challenged him to begin experimenting with long Distance communication. After a period of thinking and drawing many sketches of what an electric telegraph might look like, he began to experiment with long distance communication.

After some time, and with God’s help, he invented the telegraph and sent his first message: “What hath God wrought?”

It was his love for his mother that led him to action. And it was God’s love that led Him to send His Son to redeem us. It was that act of redemption that enables us to communicate directly with Him and make our requests known to Him.

One day Jesus was talking with His disciples about the importance of prayer and the necessity of being persistent in our prayers to God. He told them the story of a widow who demanded that God answer her prayer and told them of the need for constant prayer and the importance of never giving up on God.
He did not tell them to offer endless repetitions of empty words or lengthy prayers to God. Rather, they were to continually make their requests until God heard their pleas and answered them.

Prayer:  Lord, give us the determination to come boldly to the throne of grace, and with confidence and persistence, make our requests known until You grant them. In Jesus ‘Name Amen

Monday, November 28, 2011



Scripture for Today …and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.  2 Corinthians 5:15

A machinist who worked for the Ford Motor Company in Detroit for years had stolen many tools. One Sunday morning during a revival meeting, he became a Christian and was baptized that evening.
The next morning he reported to his foreman at the plant with boxes of the tools he had stolen over the years. He confessed his sin to his boss and asked to be forgiven.
This was such a surprise and shock to his foreman that he could not decide what to do. So, he contacted Henry Ford and asked for advice.
Upon hearing the story, Ford said, “Dam up the Detroit River and baptize the whole plant!”

Words of Devotion from Scripture

Paul wrote that “He died for everyone so that those who receive His new life will no longer live to please themselves. Instead, they will live to please Christ, who died and was raised from the dead.”

Paul and his co-workers set great examples for us. Whatever they did, they did it to honor God. It was their love for Christ that controlled their minds, hearts and lives.

They believed that those who received this new life through Christ should live for Him and that their lives would reflect a change to prove that point: they were to live a life that pleased Christ and honored Him in all that they did.

Christians should follow Paul and his co-workers example. Because they were brand new people on the inside, the change made its way to the outside. They were not afraid to let others see the change that Christ had made in them. The born-again are not reformed, rehabilitated or reeducated: they are re-created – new creation, from the inside out.

What is keeping you from beginning a new life through Christ?

The choice is up to you, eternal life or eternal death.

Prayer:  Help us, Heavenly Father, to be grateful for our new life and to live a different, Christ-like and God-honoring life through the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ Name Amen

Saturday, November 26, 2011

He Has Said

He Has Said

Today’s Text: Hebrews 13:5b

For He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Words of Devotion from Scripture

Have you ever made an empty promise? Has anyone ever made an empty promise to you? Maybe you’ve assured someone that you would perform a task with the best of intentions, only to fail in completing it? There are a host of issues surrounding any person assuring another of anything.

 Often times, it can be difficult to maintain trust in others even if this particular person has never let you down. This is because we know that at the end of the day, he or she is still a human, and will inevitably disappoint. But how should we respond to God when He makes a promise to us?

“He has said” is a profound statement. When we read these words it should cause us to pay keen attention to any phrase that would follow...

Remember, when God speaks things happen, He isn’t a human.

He spoke the universe into existence (Psalm 33:8-9)

Determined when and where we would live (Acts 17:26)  

Sustains all things by His word (Hebrews 1:3)

Of this statement Spurgeon so aptly commented that “whether for delight in our quietude, or strength in our conflict, “He hath said!” This must be our daily resort”. What is it that “he has said”? “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” His promise is sure.
Walk in peace and confidence today, knowing that amidst any trial or uncertainty we have a covenant promise from the Creator of all things. We will never be alone.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Now What Do You Say?

Now What Do You Say?

Today’s Passage: Nehemiah 12:27

And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps.

Words of Ministry

In the checkout line at Wal Mart a child begged for money to play the video games. The mother, already checked out, purchases bagged up and ready to go, refused, telling the little boy she had no cash. The lady next in line handed the little blonde haired boy a dollar bill. The mother trying to refuse finally allowed the boy to accept the gift.  Looking at her son who was tightly holding on to the dollar, the mother said, "Now what do you say?"  The little boy replied, "Can I go play the game now?"

This being November, the month of Thanksgiving, everyone is thinking about thankfulness, something we should think about every day.  As we think of all the gifts that God hands to us, we should ask ourselves," What should we say?” not," Now can we go play?"

As I studied on thanks this last week I found the Bible has so much to say about thanks.  God's Word suggest that we Give Thanks, Commands that We Give Thanks, Tells Us How, WhereWhen, Why and How Often We Should Give Thanks.
God's Word also shows Jesus setting an Example for Us, His Children, and by Himself Giving Thanks
Here are only a few of the verses that give us instructions on giving thanks.


Psalm 92:1
It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to His name, O most High.


I Chronicles 16:8 
Give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name, and make known His deeds among the people.

How (instantly)

Luke 2:38
And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord

Hebrews 13:15
By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.


II Samuel 22; 50 
Therefore I will give thanks unto thee O Lord among the heathen, and I will sing praise unto thy name.

Psalm 105:1
O Give thanks unto the Lord call upon his name, make know his deeds among the people.


Psalm 119:62
At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You because of Your righteous judgments

How Often

Ephesians 5:20
Giving thanks always for all things to God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Why (repeated seven times)

Psalm 106:1 Praise the Lord, O give thanks to the Lord for He is good for His mercy endures forever

Psalm 107:1 O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good, for His mercy endures forever

Psalm 118:1
O give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for His mercy endures forever

Psalm 136:1
O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good, for His mercy endures forever

Psalm 136:2
O give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for His mercy endures forever

Psalm 136: 3
O give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for His mercy endures forever

Psalm 136:26
O give thanks to God of heaven for His mercy endures forever

They Did

Ezra 3:11
And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord because He is good for His mercy endures forever toward Israel.  And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.


Matthew 15:36
Then He took the seven loaves and the fish, and when He had given thanks, He broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people.

Matthew 26:27
And He took the cup and gave thanks and gave it to them saying, “Drink from it, all of you”.

Luke 22:19
And He took bread and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave it to them saying, “This is my body which is given for you, do this in remembrance of me”.

Surely We Will

Psalm 140:13
Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; the upright shall dwell in Your presence.

Now what do you say?

I am thankful that even when life seems hopeless God is still in control and will provide for all of my needs according to His riches in Glory.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Morning Dawns with New Hope

The Morning Dawns with New Hope

Today’s Passage: PSALM 59:16

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.

Words of Ministry

You are a woman of excellence. You are strong and powerful in your own right. Occasionally, if God wills, He sends to an excellent woman to be a friend. Occasionally, He will send someone to sing the songs your heart longs to hear.

Occasionally, he will send a strong arm to wrap around a weary body and give you a moment of rest and tranquility. But none of these experience will ever take place of the ultimate experience. For the greatest morning you will ever know is the drawing of faith in Jesus, your Lord.

No matter what sorrow life has brought you, don’t stop until you see morning, because morning does come. It is at the end of setbacks, betrayals, delays and denials, but when they’re all over, morning. It does come.

Do not allow the tragedies of life to so depress you that you lose your hope. Do not allow the bitter disappointments and looses your face to rob your expectations of daybreak. Wake up singing hallelujah in the morning.

Breathe in the fresh air; expel the stale air of your past and say, ‘I can feel the breaking of day”. And it will overcome obstacles with confidence. Rise above trauma triumph. Feel solace through sorrow. Know comfort in the midst of crisis. The morning does come!

Some year ago, John Newton penned these words during a crisis in the life. They are words to a hymn that strengthens the heart and rekindles the will to survive. He wrote.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me;
I once was lost, but now am found Was blind but now I see.

Isn’t that what morning is all about? Stepping out of blindness into seeing? 

It is my prayer that the darkness will roll back from every issue in your life, like clouds being pushed across the sky by a strong wind. The Lord can do that for you. He will bring you grace and hope. He will help you see, for He watches over you through the night.

 Morning is drawing.

Monday, November 21, 2011

We Are Desperate for Change

God has promised us that he is faithful to redeem us because he lavishes grace upon us.

We Are Desperate for Change

Broken people–which is all of us–want change. Devastated by what sin has done against us and despairing in sinful responses, we desire to be redeemed from it all. We want freedom from pain, suffering, and condemnation. For Christians, change is linked to repentance. Our brokenness translates into godly sorrow, which brings a “heart change”. We desire to be different. We want to be like Jesus. We don’t want to sin. In most cases, change happens slowly. Slowly, our thoughts, motives, desires, and behaviors are altered by the Holy Spirit as we trust God to change us. 

When a believer is stuck in a rut, there's a frustration with self. We take a look at ourselves and fixate on the problem. A solution is in order. We anxiously survey the “self help” options like an overweight person perusing the diet ads. Motivated by wanting a fix for our broken selves, we shop around. 

Redemption, then, becomes a desirable product to be purchased. Like an infomercial, we are inspired by the befores and afters, hoping and coveting results. Except, it isn’t weight loss that we're after; it's our heart that need change. 

You Can’t Buy Redemption

Redemption is about the Redeemer, but so easily, we make it about the results. We want His gifts often more than Jesus, Himself. Redemption isn’t a commodity; it is what God does for us that result in our transformation. One can want redemption, but it begins and ends with wanting Jesus. It is a subtle yet significant difference to see people thirsty for redemption's results more than craving the redeemer for lasting satisfaction. We are tempted to focus on being changed rather than fixing our heart’s gaze on Christ.

For example, the self-aware man that finds himself frustrated in a perplexing cycle of condemnation and temptation wants out. He wants change. He might be tempted to be more curious about analysis than repentance and a relationship with Christ.

The people-pleaser gal that finds she never measuring up to the expectations of everyone in her life might be tempted to dutifully work out her change process instead of focusing on Jesus, who is already pleased.

The lonely, abused man wants healing, yet the only lasting satisfaction is being known by God.
“We are tempted to focus on being changed rather than fixing our heart’s gaze on Christ.”

Wanting redemption more than wanting God is a delusion. Because God loves us beyond our comprehension, we can’t fathom the scope of redemption that is available in Christ. Like missing the forest for the trees, our vision is blurred when we fixate on change and miss Jesus. We can’t bring redemption to ourselves or muster up change. We need a miracle.

 Jesus Bought Miraculous Redemption

You are already loved. Redemption is as certain as Christ’s resurrection. As “heart change” happens, so can our realization of the miracle that occurs. Jesus died in our place for our redemption. His blood was shed so that ours wouldn’t have to be. He endured the cross so that we wouldn’t have to pay the penalty for sin. Often, we stumble through life ignoring this miracle of redemption. Instead, we work for our own redemption. Before we know it, we’ve put God on the sidelines in the game and we play as if becoming a “better person.” Change is inevitable as the Holy Spirit is given room to transform us. Repenting to Jesus ignites the grace that God freely gives us. Our hearts are changed because God intends for us to become more like Jesus. Jesus is our redemption. 

It's ALL Grace

Tempted to “fix ourselves,” (which is impossible) we focus on the “change process” instead of the “changer” himself. His grace makes redemption possible.

In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. - Ephesians 1:7

God has promised us that He is faithful to redeem us because He lavishes grace upon us. Through the blood of Jesus, we are changed, we are loved.

Believing that God’s grace is abounding, we need to remind others to not be dazzled by the change process but to fix our eyes on Jesus wholeheartedly. 

Jesus already bought redemption for us, and we can stand in confidence. He has lavished His love upon us. We can gaze at His face, changed by His grace, and believe that He will (eventually) change us into His image.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Declare His Glory

Declare His Glory

Today’s Passage: Psalm 96:3, Judges 7:2-3

Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. Psalm 96:3

The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’ 3 Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.  Judges 7:2-3

Word of Ministry
One of God’s characteristics is that He does things to bring glory to Himself.  God’s splendor, creativity and majesty are seen in every part of creation.   He made everything we see in the earth and universe and all of it testifies about His glory.  He made each of us from dirt and water, and then breathed life into us.  We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and far exceed the efficiency, complexity and beauty of anything man has made.

Even with all the evidence of God around us, many people fail to give God the praise and honor He so deserves. Failing to give God the honor, credit and glory that He deserves has the potential to give evil a foothold in our lives.  Consider the sobering account from Romans 1:20-21:

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--His eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God and neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him. but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

When this group of Romans failed to glorify and thank God, their thinking and mindset became corrupted.  We too can be susceptible to such corruption, so it’s a good practice to worship and thank God each day. This helps us to retain a God-focused mindset and protect from becoming self-centered. Example for ways to incorporate worship to your daily routine should include: 

thanking God for everything you can think of, singing/listening worship songs during your quiet time, reading the Word daily, and over all filling your mind with praise, worship and prayer.

Another aspect of worship is to declare God’s glory to other people. Acts 12:21-23 gives us a sobering reminder of the premium God puts on His glory.  God struck King Herod dead when he accepted praise as if he was a god.  God puts great value on glory.  He wants us to give Him glory in our lives by what we say, what we think, our actions/reactions and how we live. 
Example ways to do this include telling people about answered prayers and telling people about what God is doing in your live and being a reflection of Christ.
There seems to be a connection between healing and glorifying God.  Several times in the New Testament Jesus noted that healing was performed to glorify God.  

If you are seeking healing or deliverance, how do you plan to glorify God when He heals you?  Will you tell people, risking embarrassment, or will you quietly accept the healing and move on with your life?  
When you tell others about what God has done in you, several other people may seek God because of your testimonial! 

Questions for further thought:

How can familiarity blind us to the amazing evidence of God all around us?

How much time do you spend thanking God for the “little things” that you have been blessed with in your life?

What is it about human nature that resists giving God His due glory? (James 4:6-7; 1 John 2:15-16)

Prayer: “Heavenly Father, I thank you for your great mercy and love for me.  Thank you for sending Jesus to die for my sins and be resurrected so that I may now live for you in righteousness.  Please forgive me for not giving you the Glory and Honor due for all that You are and all that You have done.  Please help me rediscover the magnificence of your creation and all that you are.  There is none like you, O Lord.  You are Wonderful, Mighty, Glorious, Majestic, Just, Holy, Loving, Kind and Merciful.  I submit myself to you as your servant.  May everything I say, think and do bring Glory to your name from this day forward.  I praise you now and forever, Amen!” 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Glory That Follows

The Glory That Follows

Today’s Passage: Mark 9:1-9:29

After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them (Mark 9:2).

Words of Ministry

A remarkable event! There are four dramatic occurrences in this account that immediately capture our attention:

First, there is the glorious change in the person of the Lord Himself: Suddenly, as they were with Jesus there on that mountain, His countenance altered. His face began to shine, His garments became white, and His whole being radiated Glory. What happened to Jesus? We can only understand this when we see that what He did was to slip back into eternity, in a sense, back into His pre-human Glory. 

It is evident therefore that our Lord did not have to die. That is one of the meanings of the transfiguration. It makes clear that He had no reason to pass through death. He could have stepped back across the boundary of time into eternity without passing through death.

The second thing that grips us is the account of the heavenly visitors, Moses and Elijah. The disciples seemed to have no difficulty at all in recognizing instantly who these men were. Jesus did not say, Now, Peter, James, and John, I'd like you to meet Moses and Elijah. No, they knew instantly who they were. There will be no need for introductions in Glory.

The third element of great interest in this account is the proposal that Peter makes. After hearing these men discussing these strange events together, Peter, in his usual manner, interrupts: Master, it is good for us to be here. This is tremendous! Let's make three booths and live here. Let's settle down here and make this our world headquarters. We'll make one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. He evidently has in mind that they would transform that mountain into the headquarters for the worldwide reformation movement that was going to start.

They would operate right from that mountain, as the center of all activity. That shows how foolish he was and how little he understood what Jesus had been trying to tell him. Someone has said that there are only two kinds of speakers: those who have something to say, and those who have to say something! Peter was someone who just had to say something. So he makes this proposal that they make this their headquarters for a great campaign to take over the world.

But he scarcely had gotten the words out when he was interrupted, and the fourth dramatic event occurred.

Suddenly they were overshadowed with a cloud. It is my conviction that it was the identical cloud mentioned in the Old Testament, which hovered over the tabernacle during the day--the glory of God, called the Shekinah. They heard a voice speaking out of the cloud saying, “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to Him”. There is no doubt that this is a correction of Peter's brash statement. The Father Himself is saying, Peter, do not put Jesus on a par with Moses and Elijah. You listen to Him. He is the one of whom Moses and Elijah spoke. He is the one who fulfilled all the predictions of the prophets and the sacrifices of the law. Listen to Him; this is my beloved Son.

Prayer: Lord. I am grateful for this preview of glory. Teach me to stand back in awe at who You are and what You have planned for me.

Life Application: Jesus' disciples witnessed an eye-opening revelation of the majesty and deity of Jesus. What are the amazing implications for us as we read of His transfiguration?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Reflect Your Glory

Reflect Your Glory

Today’s Passage: Romans 12:1-2, 2 Cor. 3:18

“I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind . . .” Romans 12:1-2

“But we all with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” 2 Cor. 3:18

Word of Ministry

In Romans, we find the definition of true worship, “To be living and holy sacrifices”.  In other words, make our lives an expression of Holiness that puts the Glory of Christ on display.  Its as if Paul says in Romans 12, "take a look at the last 11 chapters I've written and see all the Mercy Christ has placed on you”…

...choosing us...calling us...offering Himself for us...saving us...rescuing us...sanctifying us...lavishing such an amazing love on us that nothing can separate us from...making us more than conquerors...keeping every promise and being completely trustworthy

Take a look at this Mercy...and now live to worship!  It's so much more than songs.  It's so much more than religion.  It's your life!"

We are mirrors of God’s GloryWe are the church...the body of Christ which fills all in all.

God wants to put our lives on display to show the incredible riches of His Glory!  As John Piper puts it, "God aims to fill the universe with the glory of His son by making the church the showcase of His perfection .

. . . by putting the church on display as the embodiment of His Son . . . by showing the universe His body."

God created us and saved us with this in mind …

 “That we would have the incredible privilege of being Jesus to the world”. 

We've all heard the imagery and the cliché of being Jesus' hands and feet and many of us might be tired of that by now, but the literal, God-centered truth of the matter is that we are His image to the world.  

We are His bodyWe are His glory and when we fail to show Him as the most Glorious, all-satisfying thing in existence for all time and to all people, we do injustice to His mercy and Grace.  

Let us all look at our lives and seek God to put the spotlight into the dark shadows on whatever doesn't reflect His Glory.  Then ask Him to take the cleansing fire to us and purify us of anything that isn't Holy.  Let all God's people say, 


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Like a River Glorious

Like a River Glorious

Today’s Passage:  Isaiah 66:12

“Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream."

Word of Ministry

During her forty-three years on earth, Frances Havergal often was sick. But even though her body was frail, she learned to trust in God and even rejoice in His goodness. 

In 1876, while vacationing in Wales, she caught a severe cold that developed into an inflammation of the lungs. Her condition deteriorated, and she was told that she might actually die. But she did not react with fear. In fact, she reacted with such peace that her friends were amazed. She commented, “If I am really going, it is too good to be true.” 

But soon, she did recover, and decided to write a hymn that described the perfect peace God had given her. It was called, “Like a River Glorious.” 

She knew that God had promised to provide “peace like a river” and to provide “perfect peace” to those who kept their minds focused on Him and who trusted in Him (Isaiah 26:3). 

As she knew from her own life, God’s perfect peace flows “like a river glorious.” In fact, it flows “fuller every day,” and it even grows “deeper all the way.” As we rest in God, we can be safe from every foe and freed of every care. 

No matter what we go through, we can trust God. In conclusion, she stated, “Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.” 

Today, in the midst of a complex and often difficult world, God offers you perfect peace and rest—not just a little peace, but a glorious river, an overwhelming flood of peace! Start thinking about Him. Seek Him, and share your needs with Him. Confess the promises in His Word. Praise and worship Him. Begin thanking Him for His presence. Receive His peace.

Father, I place my trust in You. Thank You for giving me perfect peace. Thank You that Your promises are true for me. In Jesus’ name Amen.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Glimpse of Glory

A Glimpse of Glory

Today’s Passage: Colossians 3:1

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 

Words of Ministry

Praise is the outward expression of your deep joy! We praise God in worship on Sunday morning. We praise our team when they do well at sporting events. We praise our kids when they achieve a goal or do something special. 

Isn't cheering someone's success and accomplishments an invigorating experience? You'll find the same energy within your spiritual life when you consider the mighty acts of God in the past and in the presence, as well as His acts in your own life.  It will allow you to celebrate the joy and wonder of your relationship with Jesus Christ.

Praise not only is an expression of your joy in the Lord, but it also gives you a taste of what heaven will be like. If you read the last book of the Bible, Revelation, you'll see what I mean. There's a lot of praise and worship going on. I think God wants us to learn that praiseful attitude in this life, in preparation for the next. 

Few things will strengthen your faith more than when you cultivate a rich understanding of God through worship.  Praise Him by remembering His faithfulness to you throughout your years and by looking forward to His promises.  When you worship Him, your faith will be strengthened, your heart encouraged, and your vision of who God is and how He works will grow.

"Praise now is one of the great duties of the redeemed. It will be their employment forever." - Albert Barnes (1798-1870)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Humility at Its Best

Humility at Its Best

Today’s Passage: James 3:13

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

Words of Ministry

Though often overlooked, the Old Testament character Jonathan is one of the most remarkable men in the Bible. Being the oldest son of King Saul, he was the heir to the throne of Israel. He was an experienced soldier, distinguished for his courage in battle.  

The Old Testament character, David, was a shepherd boy . . . probably 15 years younger than Jonathan. Despite their differences, however, Jonathan and David formed a remarkable friendship, in part due to Jonathan's humility.  

When David was anointed to succeed King Saul, Jonathan didn't claim his right to the throne.  David wasn't in line for this honor. He wasn't the king's son. Jonathan was. But Jonathan defended and protected David, the one taking his place. He even defended him against his own father. Saul repeatedly tried to kill David, but Jonathan risked his life to protect and encourage his friend.  

Are you willing to give up your rights or position? Or do you dig in your heels and arrogantly proclaim your entitlement? Surrender what's due you and see God's grace unfold in ways you couldn't imagine.  

"To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals courtesy, to inferiors nobleness." - Ben Franklin (1706-1790)