Wednesday, May 20, 2009

God's Power - Let it rain!

Psalm 97:1 The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad, let the distant shores rejoice

This series of verses are proclaimed on Michael W. Smith's Worship CD in the son "Let it Rain". They are a perfect picture of God's power.

Even if we don't worship the Lord, the earth will.

Psalm 97:3-5 Fire goes before him and consumes our foes on every side. His lightening lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the Lord.

Lord, let me remember your power and that your righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne. Thank you for your power and for your protection Lord. Let the people proclaim your righteousness and may ALL the people see your glory.

Sports fans have nothing on believers when it comes to recognizing the power of the One that we worship. Listen to the whole song by Michael W. Smith. Feel the power.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Word is light

Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of your words gives light. It gives understanding to the simple.

We know that God is the Word. The Word is love. It sheds light on all situations and gives us understanding - even to the simple.

In my 35+ year walk with the Lord, the Word is still unfolding. I see new things and even the old things that first impressed me, I now see with fresh eyes.

Lord, let my hunger for you continue that I would be fed and that your Word would be planted in my heart.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

His will IS His pleasure

1 John 5:14-15 This is the confidence we have before Him that if we ask anything according to HIS will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know we have the requests which we have asked of Him.

All of 1st John focuses on living in love and not living in sin & idolatry. Love and loving our brother IS His will, so our requests of Him need to line up with that. If we are just asking for things that serve ourselves or our love of things and money (for their own sake), then we need to rethink our motives.

Since it is His good pleasure for us to live according to His will, it is also His pleasure to fulfill our requests.

Lord, teach me to love. Empower me by your Holy Spirit to love the unlovable.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Change your pattern

John 21:6 And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right hand side of the boat, and you will find a catch." They cast it and they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish.

When we don't see results from our efforts (e.g. fishing all night without a catch) and he directs us to change our pattern, we should listen!

Not just because God himself is talking and speaking with knowledge but because He knows that we get stuck in unproductive patterns.

I speak from personal knowledge, as I have felt stuck for over a year in an unproductive pattern. I am ready to "find a catch".

Bring it on Lord! Speak so that I can change my pattern.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ask that your joy may be full

John 16:24 Until now you have asked for nothing in my name. ASK and you will receive that your joy may be full.

Joy is defined by Webster as the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation. God defines it differently. He sees our needs and He desires to fill them. He just wants us to check our "alignment" with His will first.

Did your kids, or a friend or a co-worker ever approach you saying "I don't know if you'll agree, but.....". Actually, they generally already have an inkling, something that they know about you that lets them know that the answer will likely be no.

Asking "in His name" requires knowing Him and understanding His nature. As we get to know Him through His Word and through spending time with Him, every day we have a clearer picture of His plan for our lives. It is so much easier to ask for things when we know His propensity to say yes! If we seek His will for us, then asking takes on a whole new dimension!

As I seek to have a deeper relationship with Jesus and with Papa God, my requests will automatically be more in alignment with His will for our lives. And when He says yes, that is what produces true, lasting joy.

Lord, make my joy complete by revealing your will to me.

Monday, May 11, 2009

They will know you by your love

John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you may also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.

So often we look at the outward things - even the religious things (going to church, study and prayer) as measures of our service. But those can all be done with an impure heart and self-centered motives (pride) and as such are not effective. He wanted us to mirror His behavior, His love.

I need to look at my heart and my motives for each act of service. I need to love without condition as He loves me. True service comes out of the heart, not out of the action itself.

Lord, may your love be visible in me. I pray that those that you have put in my path will be touched by your love, through me. Send your Helper to teach me how to love the unlovable. Show me how to serve the homeless.

Thank you for your unfailing love.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

His unfailing love

Psalm 32:10 Many are the woes of the wicked but the Lord's unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in Him.

All we have to do is read the paper, online headlines or listen to the news to hear the woes of the world.

Perhaps you think the word "wicked" is too harsh, but at the core we all suffer from the wickedness of our natural self.

As verse 7 says, our deliverance from that wickedness comes not from our own strength, but from trusting in His unfailing love. He is our hiding place, He will protect us from trouble and surround us with the songs of deliverance and victory.

Let the song be heard in Tampa today Lord! Thank you for your unfailing and unconditional love.

Broken and Contrite

Ps 51:10-12 Create in me a clean heart o God and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant to me a willing spirit to sustain me.

David had sinned big time. Not only did he see Bathsheba bathing and even though she was married, sent for her, slept with her and got her pregnant, but he had her husband sent to the front lines to be killed. Talk about a gross misuse of power.

David knew what it was like to be in God's presence and to have His Holy Spirit's influence in his life.

In Psalm 51, David turned to God, knowing that to do otherwise would separate him from God forever, and likely speed up his own death. He had seen many others die for less. He knew sacrifices wouldn't cut it. That would be external only - action without intent of the heart.

The sacrifice God wanted was a broken spirit - which David had - and a contrite heart - a willingness to TURN back in God's direction rather than following his own lusts and desires.

Psalm 51:10-12 is that cry of David's heart.

Lord, every day, create in me a clean heart and give me the joy of knowing You and You knowing me by name.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Ask, that your joy may be full

John 16:24 Until now you have asked for nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive that our joy may be made full.

Asking in Jesus' name requires knowing Him. You wouldn't ask your spouse to do something that you knew they didn't approve of or that they hated to do. If we seek His will for us, asking takes on a new dimension.

As I seek to have a deeper relationship with my Creator, my requests will automatically be more in alignment with His will for my life.

Lord, make my joy complete by revealing Your will to me.

TARP and the unmerciful servant

Do you suppose there is a link between how the banks that received TARP money are behaving and Matthew:18:23-35? They received TARP money to bail out their debt and now in many cases are showing no mercy (and even bullying and threatening) to those that owe them money.

23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

By the way Wells Fargo/Wachovia.... I don't want debt forgiveness, just mercy and grace, which is what the US Government and the American people gave to you.