These blog entries are teasers. Insights and revelations to encourage you to read the bible, the greatest piece of literature that was written especially for you, God's child.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Psalm 68:1 (KJV) Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.
You're at the end of your rope. You slaved for months to get a promotion. And watched it slide by. You changed your hair, lost the weight. But when you look at the mirror all you feel is hate. You read self-help books, memorized psychological techniques. Yet your marriage remains in shambles. You're not alone. Give up the fight. Let God arise.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Judges 2:10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.
The next generation will determine the future of this planet. Their collective choices will determine life and increase for the future, or death. Therefore, God is calling you to teach the next generation about Christ and raise them to be leaders. Are you mentoring someone from the next generation? Are you telling them about your relationship with Christ? Are you encouraging them to read the bible so they will know their God? Are you a role model in what you say and do? Today, invest in someone from the next generation, and plant the seed of eternity in their hearts.
Family tree is from http://genealogy.about.com
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Worry can wear you out. It can toss you onto the couch of sloth, where all you do is think and think, and sink and sink deeper into action-paralysis. And nothing in your situation changes. Worry can also toss you onto the treadmill of work, where you plan and plan, and run and run, and get more and more. But no matter how much you run, you remain worried and dissatisfied.
Today, stop staring into the face of worry. Turn your eyes to your Author and step into His adventure-filled plan. He promises to satisfy your soul.
Picture: "Hand Writing" by Tony Karp (www.ti-journal.com)
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
A new heart, a new spirit, what can be more delightful? Gone are the resentments that nibble at your heart during offense. Gone is your lack of compassion when you stare into the eyes of poverty and pain. Gone are the walls as you let your Savior pursue you and love you. He replaces your heart with His. All you need to do is ask. Today.
Monday, July 27, 2009
"Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts." Hebrews 4:7
God is calling you.
He knows you woke up late,
And you're scurrying to get to an appointment.
But He is calling you to pray.
He knows your spouse or friend was inconsiderate, self-centered and rightfully deserves to be punished.
But He is calling you to forgive.
He knows that you are independent, efficient
Yet burdened by your own strength.
God is calling you surrender.
He wants you to put Him first.
God is calling you.
Open your heart, surrender and sink into His loving arms today.
Photo from www.newscientist.com
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Matthew 28:19 (NIV) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
If you already have a relationship with Jesus, do not keep Him to yourself. Share Him with your family, friends and co-workers. You don't have to do anything grandiose. You can speak about how He changed your life in a casual conversation. You can pray for someone who is ill or going through difficult times. You can forward biblical readings and devotionals. You can encourage a fellow believer to take the next step in their walk by reading the bible or joining a local church. You can start a bible study at work.
Make an effort to bring someone one step closer to Christ today.
Artwork is called "Together-White" by Cynsaga (http://cynsaga.wordpress.com)
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Isaiah 45:9 "Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, 'What are you making?' Does your work say, 'He has no hands'?
Have you ever asked God--Why? Why me? Why is my spouse so difficult? Why do I have a special needs child? Why can't I ever provide enough for my family? Why was I abused and not her? God is molding you like clay on a wheel. He wants you to be more Christ-like, so you can be His vessel for others. Challenging times teach you to lean on Him for provision and healing. Difficult people mold you into the humble, kind and patient person He wants you to be. Trust your Potter and His perfect hands today.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Joshua 6:21 They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.
God doesn't want you to cling to Him only during personal battles and crises. He wants you to continue to remember Him and put Him first during your victorious moments. If you are experiencing a victory today--a victory over your finances, an illness, a relationship--remember to thank the Lord and obey Him no matter what.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Joshua 6:20 When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city.
God tears walls down. He tears down the walls of our negative thoughts through His word, so we may experience His clarity and peace. He tears down hurdles to opportunities through His people because He wants to enlarge our territory. He tears down communication barriers through forgiveness because He wants to bless us with joy. And He tears down the walls of our hearts so we may receive His undying love for us and live with Him in eternity.
If you are going through a battle this week, remember that God tears down walls. He will send people to help you fight your battle. He will reveal His perfect plan. Your job is to see His blessings in the midst of the battle, and declare His power and word over your situation. Today, pray and expect God to tear down the walls of your situation, so you may step in and claim His victory.
Illustration from http://www.bible-stories-library.com/walls-of-jericho.shtml
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Joshua 6:13 The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the LORD and blowing the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the LORD, while the trumpets kept sounding.
When you are facing a battle, God sends you people and reveals His plans. Our job is to accept His divine appointments and obey His plans. It is also our job to blow the trumpet, which is to declare God's promises of victory, over and over again until the words settle in our hearts and our faith increases.
Today, look for bible verses that declare God's victory over your battles. If you are wrestling with debt, read and declare Deuteronomy 8 over your finances. If you are consumed with fear, declare 2 Timothy 1:7 until your anxiety wanes. If you are fighting off temptation, declare 1 Corinthians 10:13 until the craving withers. Magnify the Lord, and declare His words and power over your battle today.
(Check out www.bibletopics.com for verses that correspond to your specific battles).
Painting: "Blow Your Own Trumpet" by Karen Piercy (www.artyfarty.org.nz)
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Read Joshua 6:1-14.
God is a God of detail and He has a specific plan for the battle you are facing this week. Today, listen to God's battle plan. If your battle this week is unemployment, then God's plan may be for you to craft an excellent resume. If your battle is to recover from an illness, then God's plan for you may be to consult doctors and do research on your treatment options. If your battle is an unresolved conflict, then God may be telling you to forgive and reach out to the other person today.
Your battle plan may be revealed through bible passages, a friend, or an "aha" moment during prayer. Today, pray that you receive God's battle plan. Pray for a clear revelation and the courage to obey His plan today, and know in your heart that you are just a step away from victory.
Photo from http://www.cleanhouston.org/images/blueprint.gif
Monday, July 20, 2009
Joshua 5:13 (NIV) Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, "Are you for us or for our enemies?"14 "Neither," he replied, "but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, "What message does my Lord have for his servant?"15 The commander of the LORD's army replied, "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so.
We all have battles that we need to face this week: work we haven't done, unresolved conflicts, a temptation, an illness, or finances we're too ashamed to look at. The Lord never meant for us to face these battles alone. He is with us, walking ahead, fighting our battles along the way.
Many times, God also sends us people to help us face our battles. These divine appointments can be in the form of friends, fellow churchgoers, counselors or doctors. Today, pray for God to send you someone to face your battle this week. Pray that you will recognize this person and do your part to engage them. Also, pray that you will be that person God sends to help another face their battle.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Philippians 4:6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Are you anxious about today and the week ahead? Are you asking yourself--How am I going to finish all the work I need to do? How will I pay my bills? How will I resolve my problem with this difficult person? How will I find time to spend with my family? God tells us not to be anxious about anything, which means that when we are, we're not walking in His will. Today, choose to hand your worries to Him. Then thank Him for all the blessings and the trials this week, and by prayer and petition, present your request to the your living God. He promises to answer you.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Has God ever delivered you from debt? A destructive relationship? Temptation? Has He guided you through a difficult marriage or career decision? Has he healed your body and spirit in the past? Today, enumerate the times God answered your prayers and delivered you from difficult situations. These events serve as memorial stones that you can revisit to succesfully face future trials.--Read Joshua 4
Photo from www.cradleofnhs.org.uk
Friday, July 17, 2009
Are you addicted to something? This may be cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, shopping, destructive relationships, food, the internet or video games. An addiction is a form of bondage, and just like the Israelites who were slaves to the Egyptians during Moses' time, the Lord wants to liberate you from your bondage right now.
If you are addicted to something, admit the problem and your powerlessness over it. Lay the addiction at Jesus's feet and trust that He is delivering you from your bondage right now. Know in your heart that no alcohol or drugs or relationship can fill the emptiness in your soul. Only Jesus can. Gaze at Jesus and believe that He is the only way, the truth and the life. Only He can fill your emptiness. --Read John 14:6
Painting: "Smoking" by Kevin Montanaro (http://fineartamerica.com)
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Deuteronomy 29:29 (ESV) The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
God is reaching out to you. He's reaching out through family members, friends, church leaders, visions and dreams. But the most practical way He reaches out is through His living Word, the bible. There are many things we don't know about our Father, but there are many more things He wants to reveal to you--His undying love for you, His wisdom that gives direction, His boundaries that ensure you are living inside His circle of blessing.
Today, open your bible, or read an online one. Remember that the bible is His personal love letter to you. Pray that He reveals Himself to you in a very personal way as He speaks a revelation into your heart.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Jesus shows us otherwise. He is the greatest and most influential leader that ever lived, but when we examine His life, it wasn't about being first. It was about serving others. He taught, He healed, He washed feet. He told stories, He counseled, He performed miracles, and He died for us. He died for our sins and He died to save us even if we don't deserve it. He died for you because He loves you and He promises to pursue you until you turn to Him.
Today, step up and be a servant-leader like Jesus. Help someone in need, share an inspiring story, heal a broken spirit, or die to something negative in yourself. It might just be what's best for another person.--Read Matthew 20:20-28
Painting is from www.lavistachurchofchrist.org
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
God speaks, and every word that He speak will come to pass. Is He telling you something today? Is He saying that it's time to lead a team at work or bible study? Or is it time to take charge of your family and its affairs? Or is He telling you that it's time to move to a new home? A new city?
Sometimes, our first instinct is to resist Him--But, Lord, that is impossible. I'm not good enough, smart enough, talented enough. I don't have enough money nor connections. I'm scared. I can't do it. People don't listen to me. I have no capacity to lead.
The Lord's response--I'm already there, ahead of you, leading the way. I will always be with you. I will never leave nor forsake you. Do not be afraid, do not be dismayed.
Take that step into the unknown today and know in your heart that Lord is with you.--Read Deuteronomy 31:7-8
Painting by Jesse Brodd (www.jessebrodd.com)
Monday, July 13, 2009
"The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."--1 Samuel 16:7
God knows you better than you know yourself, and He reads your heart. He knows who and what is first in your life. He knows every feeling and thought that circulates. Yet His love for you is immense and undying. Today, find a quiet space, close the door, close your eyes and focus on Jesus. Return Him to the rightful place in your heart. Worship Him.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
You may have parents who were annoying. They always nagged you to clean up. They never listened to your opinions and acknowledged that you're all grown up. You may have parents who were neglectful. A father or mother who was never around, and these conjure memories of loneliness and abandonment. You may have parents who were abusive, always putting you down. Always angry and violent.
Whatever the case, God commands us to honor our parents, and He promises that we will live long in the land He has given us if we follow. Many of you are thinking--It's impossible. I'm still very angry with them. They still annoy me. I didn't deserve the neglect. I didn't deserve the abuse.We can't forgive and get over our feelings on our own. Today, remember your Heavenly Father who loved you first and sacrificed His only son for you. You are the apple of His eye. Remember that He forgave you and gave you a blank slate when you didn't deserve it. Ask for His supernatural love so you may be able to forgive your parents. Also think about your parents likable traits and the positive impact they've had on your life. And when you're ready, give them a call and pay them a visit. --Read Exodus 20:12
Painting: "Family Portrait by Vladimir Komarovskiy (www.savitskycollection.org)
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Humility can feel like a slap on the face. It forces us to look at ourselves and admit that we are limited. Sometimes humility leaves a sour feeling in our hearts accompanied with whispered thoughts--
I don't know anything. I feel so dumb.
I don't know why I'm forced to follow a boss I don't respect.
I'm wrong. I'm always wrong!
I've done everything but nothing is working!
The only one who seems pleased when our egos are squashed is our Heavenly Father who opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Today, take a humble stance before the Lord, and listen to the gentle whispers of a humbled heart that can turn your life around--
I don't know much about this, so I need to learn it.
I don't like my boss but I will practice submitting to authority.
I'm wrong. I need to change.
I'm addicted. I need help.
I've done everything in my power but nothing has changed. God take over. Be the center of my life.
--Read James 4:6
Friday, July 10, 2009
Have you ever felt defeated by your inner struggles? You promised you wouldn't touch alcohol for another year, yet the lure of scotch with its golden hue is too difficult to resist. You promised you would keep your temper under control, yet you find yourself yelling at your spouse after a frustrating day. You're the single person who promised to wait until you are married yet you succumbed to what felt like the most natural thing to do. We've all given in to our flesh.
If you are experiencing an inner struggle today, gaze upon the eyes of Jesus and remember that He sent you His Spirit to dwell in your heart. You don't have to struggle alone. Ask for His guidance so you may live by the Spirit, walk by the Spirit, and experience its growing fruit in your life--love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. --Read Galatians 5:16-25
Painting: "Fruit" by Keith Bland (www.keithbland.com)
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Psalm 9:1 (NIV) I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonders.
2 I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
"For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord." Jeremiah 31:17. The Lord knows you intimately. He created every cell in your body and he knows even the number of hairs you have on your head. Therefore He has the power to heal every disease and sickness of any human being in the planet. If you have an illness or know of someone who does--the illness may be leukemia, breast cancer, skin diseases, a mental illness like depression or bipolar disorder, slip discs, spinal disorders, being infertile or barren, throat diseases--humbly approach the throne of the Lord and kneel before Him. Remember that He is larger than any disease, which is nothing but a minuscule germ in His loving hands. Magnify the Lord, ask for complete physical healing and believe in your heart that He wants to restore your health and heal your wounds today.
Photo is from www.howstuffworks.com
Monday, July 6, 2009
This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. (Psalm 118:24) It's a new day, a new morning, a new chance to walk with God! Let's leave the mistakes of yesterday behind. Close the door on resentment, guilt and whatever steals your joy and holds you back. Instead, choose to focus on Jesus, rejoice in His presence and make the most out of the blank slate He has blessed you with today.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Appreciate the body God has given you for it was flawlessly made. Who can fathom one of the most complex machines in the universe? We have hearts that pump so our blood can carry nutrients to our cells. We have muscles and bones to walk, run jump and swim. We have skin to protect us from harmful elements, and we have fat to maintain healthy skin and hair. Therefore, appreciate the body you have and ensure that you take care of it by eating healthy food, engaging in regular exercise and getting enough sleep and rest. For your body is a vessel for God's Spirit, created to glorify Him and bless others through loving actions. -- Read 1 Corinthians 6:19
Saturday, July 4, 2009
"Give us each day our daily bread." (Luke 11:3 NIV) Each of us needs something today--money to pay the rent, assurance that a relationship is working, physical healing, a revelation from the Lord about our next step. Trust that the Lord knows you intimately. He knows you more than you know yourself. He knows exactly what you need today and how much you need. Pray for your daily bread today--the money, the Word, the healing--and have faith that the Lord will provide.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Many of us think we're not good enough. We're not thin enough, smart enough, wealthy enough, old enough or charismatic enough to pursue what God wants us to do. Remember that before you were formed in your mother's womb, you Heavenly Father knew you, and created you, quirks and all. You are His perfect craftsmanship! He also gifted you with talents to glorify Him and bless others. If you feel that God is calling you to do something for Him--teach, open up a business, take care of an ailing parent--don't hesitate. Remember who you are in God's eyes, hold your head up high and trust that you are perfectly designed to do what He wants you to do. -- Read Jeremiah 1:5
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Ensure that God is first in your heart, mind and soul, for He is a jealous God. He desires to be your first love, above your marriage, family and friendships, as well as the center of these. He desires to be above your work, a mere tool to glorify Him. He desires to be the first priority when it comes to your time and money, so ensure that you spend quiet time with Him everyday and tithe. Choose to put God first in your life today and delight in Him, and He promises to give you the desires of your heart. –Read Exodus 20:1-6, Psalm 37:4The Lord loves it when you it when you praise Him through songs. Check out "Hosanna in the Highest" by Hillsong United.