Thursday, April 30, 2009

"Sweet Hour Of Prayer"

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Matthew 7:7

I am pulled between two words to give you this morning so I believe I am to give you both. They are both on the subject of prayer. Yesterday we talked about how life will knock us to our knees sometimes and when it does we are in a perfect position to pray. So why don't we pray, even when we are "knocked down"? Prayer is not always an easy thing. I remember my mother in law years ago making the comment about the song "Sweet Hour of Prayer". She commented that the time spent with Jesus is sweet, there is nothing like being in His presence, but it's not always a "sweet hour" sometimes it's work, sometimes it's difficult.

We often have struggles praying because it is "work". It's work in the sense of disciplining your flesh and bringing it under subjection to pray- it does not like to pray. It's work because it sometimes involves "travail". When the needs are great, the prayers become more effectual and more intense and we have to "push" a little harder to make our request known. When I think of prayer being hard work, I am reminded of Jesus in the garden. His prayers were so agonizing that He sweat drops of blood. It's work to stay in prayer until the answer comes, we tend to try to hurry it up. Prayer takes perseverance. The woman with the issue of blood had a prayer- to touch His hem- the pressing through the crowd was literally her prayer. She did not stop pressing and received the answer.

The second thing I want to say is, prayer puts us in a 'low" place- on our knees or on our face before the Lord. When we are low, there is only one direction to look-- up-- up to God. The good news is that when we look up, we don't have to look very far because God will come down low to meet us where we are. He may sit high, but He looks low. He will draw near to us when we draw near to Him. He isn't a God that is afar off. He is a very present help in time of trouble. He is right there with us. He will come to where you are.

Don't put off prayer. Don't let the "work" that it is sometimes cause you to hold back and neglect it. It may be work, it may be travail, it may involve knocking, persistence and perseverance, but it is worth it. God will come to you in prayer, where you are, even in a low place.

Have a great day. Prayer is work, but the rewards are sweet- it brings God close and He answers.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Positioned To Pray"

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." Philippians 4:6

Last night I came upon a quote that I thought was go good. I want to share it with you this morning. "When life knocks you to your knees, you are in a perfect position to pray." (Isn't that a good.) Life often tends to "knock us down", but what do we do when it does?

When you feel as if the situation has knocked you down, what do you do? Do you whine about it? Do you complain about it? Do you lay there and wallow in it? Do you start feeling sorry for yourself? Do you look for someone to blame? Do you blame God? Do you try to find help in getting up through the arm of flesh? What do you do?

Does it ever occur to you that since you are already "down" to just stay there and pray? Pray until the victory comes. Pray until you touch the hem of His garment. Pray until peace is restored. Pray until you have been strengthened to get up. Pray until you have heard from the Lord. Too often prayer is the last resort during these times. May I say that it should be the first course of action. Jesus told us that some solutions only come through prayer. The Bible tells us that we have not because we ask not. We are also told to pray without ceasing- that means all the time and in every situation.

The Father tells us that when we pray He will answer, yet prayer is so neglected. Actually, He promises us that He will hear and answer our prayers. So why do you try everything else then "try" prayer because nothing else has worked? Prayer is your key. If you have been "knocked to your knees" stay there and cry out to God, and stay there until the answer comes.

Have a great day. "When life knocks you to your knees, you are in a perfect position to pray."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"Pay Your Vow"

"Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." Psalm 50:14,15

This morning you'll notice that I used two scriptures as our reference. I was reading the other morning in Psalm 50 and my attention was drawn to these two verses. I have them both underlined in my Bible and have read them numerous times, but I saw them in a different light this time.

If you'll notice, just because the first verse ended the sentence didn't. That means it was one thought. So, in that one sentence the Lord says to us that when we offer God thanksgiving and we pay our vows to Him, when we call upon Him in the day of trouble He will deliver us. The end result will be that we shall glorify Him for His deliverance and answer.

The verses are telling us that if we want God's delivering power in our situation, we need to give Him thanksgiving and pay the vows we make to Him. Are you paying your vows? Have you promised Him something yet you haven't fulfilled that promise? Have you made a "deal" or "bargain" with Him about a particular situation and He answered but you have not kept your end of the bargain?

The vow may have been made in haste in the heat of an urgent moment, it may have been made without any careful thought given, it may have been such a "small" vow- one which seems insignificant now. It doesn't matter when or how it was made, it needs to be kept. Making a vow to God is a serious matter. Ecclesiastes 5:4,5- "When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay."

God remembers the vows we make to Him and expects us to keep them, just like we remember the vows/promises that He makes to us and we expect Him to keep them. Are you keeping your vows? Is there a vow that you have neglected to pay? Then pay it if you are still able to do so.

Have a great day. Give God thanksgiving, pay your vows you make to Him, and when you call on Him in times of trouble, He'll deliver you.

Monday, April 27, 2009


"But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel." Philippians 1:12

This verse in the Amplified Bible reads as follows: "Now I want you to know and continue to rest assured, brethren, that what [has happened] to me [this imprisonment] has actually only served to advance and give a renewed impetus to the [spreading of the] good news (the Gospel)." What a wonderful outlook on the situation. Paul knew that he was called by the Lord to spread the gospel, he knew that he was called to reach the lost, he knew he had been given a commission to fulfill and he knew that his steps were ordered by the Lord. Therefore, he knew that whatever he went through, even imprisonment, that it served a purpose. He knew that all things work together for the good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. He knew he wasn't in prison by accident. He knew he was there by the divine will of God. He knew that if God had ordered his steps into the prison, then God was going to get glory from it somehow and it was to be an instrument to help further the gospel.

I wonder if we were Paul living in prison would we be able to say the same thing? I wonder if we would see it as an opportunity to spread the gospel? I wonder if we would see any "good" in it? I wonder if we would have the same outlook? I wonder if we "do"? I haven't been imprisoned, but I face many trying situations. I find myself going through stormy times, perplexing times, times of illness, times of attack by the enemy, times of weariness and times when the enemy tries to hold me captive to a bondage of the flesh. If I know that I am called to represent the kingdom of God and help spread the good news about Jesus, then I need to realize that whatever comes my way is an opportunity to help further the gospel.

How so? The way I handle the situation either lifts Jesus up or pulls Him down. It either testifies of who He is or it testifies against Him. It either shines the light on His power, love and glory or it hides it. When I go through these times, I can either moan and groan, murmur and complain, feel sorry for myself, ask endless "whys" or I can exhibit the peace of God, the joy of the Lord, praise Him in spite of the situation, point to Him as my source of strength, help and grace. When I do the latter, I am helping to further the gospel because I am lifting Jesus up and He said that if He was lifted up He would draw all men to Himself.

Have a great day. What are you "spreading" in your situation?

Friday, April 24, 2009

"Cleaning Out"

"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

I am looking at my office this morning thinking, "What a mess!" Last night I had to go through boxes of business papers and receipts looking for some important documents from a particular year. I discovered that much of the paper work that was taking up space was unnecessary and needs to be discarded. So I am sure that today I will take time to sort, re-file and discard this endless stack of papers.

When I do some cleaning out in my house I discard things that are no longer needed, things that have become just clutter, things that aren't valuable, things that are unproductive and take up space needed for something else, and things I never use. "Cleaning out" isn't just confined to my physical house, I have to do it spiritually as well.

There are so many unnecessary, unuseful things, space wasting things that we hold on to in our lives that need to be discarded. Bitterness, for one, takes up space that is needed for love. Jealousy needs to be cleaned out and discarded. Grudges that have set in your heart for years and years stop you from being productive. It's time to stop holding on to past failures- there is nothing productive about them, they just waste space. Are you getting the picture?

Many of us need to do some cleaning out. We are holding on to things that should have been discarded a long time ago. We are holding on to things that are unnecessary. We are holding on to things that are wasters- wasters of our time, our peace, God's plan, our talents and gifts. We are long overdue a cleaning out. That's the difference between cleaning out my physical house and my spiritual one. I clean out the physical when the mood hits me. The spiritual should be done on a regular basis-- daily. If it were, we would not have so much spiritual clutter weighing us down and hindering us from making the best use of the "space".

Have a great day. How long has it been since you have done a "spiritual cleaning out", and what are you holding on to that should be discarded?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"Writing Off God"

"The foolishness of man subverts his way [ruins his affairs]; then his heart is resentful and frets against the Lord." Proverbs 19:3- Amplified Bible

The other day the Lord spoke a word to my heart to give to His people. I am to share it with you this morning. He said, "Didn't I tell you all things were possible to him that believes? So why are you writing the situation off? Why are you writing Me off? I am the One who hung the sun and moon in place and calls the stars by name."

I have not been able to get away from the words He spoke, "Why are you writing Me off?" When we "write someone off" it means that we don't care to have anything to do with them any longer. Usually it's because we don't trust them any longer, we don't see them as necessary, they have failed us or let us down, they aren't what we need or want. When we say this to God, we are saying that we can't trust Him, He hasn't come through for us, He hasn't provided what we need, therefore, we will look somewhere else, to some other source. We are saying that He had His chance but He let us down so we don't need His help- we don't need Him any more.

Have you "written God off" because He didn't come through for you in the way you desired or when you thought He should? Do you feel like He let you down? Have you turned from looking to Him to someone or something else? Do you realize that you are "writing off" your only true source of help? You are "writing off" the One who is the creator, the One who is all knowing, all wise, all powerful, with Whom nothing is impossible. You should "think again" before you turn from Him feeling like He can't help you. He is the only one who can!

Have a great day. Have you written God off in your situation because you feel like He has let you down?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


"For I am the Lord, I change not.." Malachi 3:6a

I saw a sign yesterday that said, "Life is good". The reality of it is that life isn't "always" good. Sometimes life can hand you some pretty "bad" things-- grief, pain, heartache. Things in life don't always go good. All our days are not always filled with sunshine. But when life isn't treating you so good, there is something that you need to remember-- "God is still good, all the time".

Life is full of good times, and God is good in the good times. Life is full of bad times, but God is still good in the bad times. Life has times of sunshine, God is good in the sunshine. Life has dark, stormy times, but God is still good in the stormy times. Sometimes it's raining, sometimes it's painful, sometimes there are valleys, deserts and night, but God is still good. Just because life went from good to bad doesn't mean that God changed. He is still the same.

There is a word I want you to remember and add to your vocabulary as you face life, that word is "still". This wonderful God who is good, is not only good when things are going good, when there is plenty of money for bills, when you have a job, when your body is not sick, when your relationships are fine, when you have food on your table, etc., is "STILL" good when you're sitting in the dark, when all have forsaken you, when there is no money, when there is no food, when there is no job, when there is nothing- when it all looks bad. Like the song says, "The God of the good times, is still God in the bad times. The God of the day, is still God in the night."

Have a great day. God is STILL good all the time.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Out Of Order"

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Mt. 6:33)

Do you ever feel like your life is "out of order"? You aren't functioning properly; something is amiss? You just can't seem to get things going or headed in the right direction? The harder you try the further behind you get? You just can't "get it together"? You find yourself majoring on the minors and vice versa?

The opposite of "out of order" is "in order". There is a very simple explanation as to how our lives get "out of order", and there is a simple solution to getting them "in order". The reason our lives are "out of order" is because of the order of our priorities. The first place you have to look is at the "front of the line" in your life. What is in first place? What are you putting first? What is your first priority? If Jesus is not "first" in your life, there's your reason and your answer. If He is second, third, fifth, way down the line or last, then you can never expect to get your life "in order"- it will remain "out of order".

When I have to go somewhere, there is an "order" that I follow in getting ready- I take a shower, put on my clothes, get in my vehicle and drive to wherever it is I am going. I don't get in my vehicle first, then put on my clothes, then take a shower. That is all backwards. It's out of order and would cause me to have to start all over again. I have never seen a train with the engine in the middle- it's always in front. If the "power source" of that train in not in front (first place) that train is not going anywhere. Neither will your life if Jesus is not in front leading and empowering you.

If your life is "out of order", you need to do some "rearranging". You need to change the order of what is priority, what is most important, what should be first, then it will get in order. And until you rearrange it to where Jesus is first, it will always be out of order.

Have a great day. If your life is out of order, look at the front of the line and see what is in first place. If that's out of order, everything else will be.

Monday, April 20, 2009

"Falling Away"

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." 2 Thessalonians 2:3

Last night I felt the Lord said to me that there was going to be a "falling away" in the church. Many believe a great revival is coming (possibly), but there will be a falling away. Even now we are seeing it. I have noticed many Christians have turned their back on the Lord and walked away from Him. I have noticed that some who were once "on fire" have become cool, lukewarm and indifferent. I have also noticed that so many seem unexcited and weary concerning the things of God. Many just sit "unmoved", "uninterested" and "preoccupied" during our church services.

I remember when you could hardly wait to go to church, knowing that God was going to meet you there. There was a hunger and thirst for the presence of God. Now we only "talk" about that hunger-- it's not pursued. Prayer and Bible reading were daily disciplines, now they are neglected for weeks at a time.

Am I describing you? Has there been a "falling away" from God in your life? Are you neglecting your relationship with Him? Have you lost the excitement for Him that you once had? Does going to His house "bore" you? Is reading the Bible a "chore"? Are you too busy for God? Do you still have the joy of your salvation? Are you more interested in and more concerned with other things than the things of God? Have you lost the excitement and anticipation of meeting with the Lord and having Him speak to your heart? Have you lost your first love? How would you describe your relationship with the Lord-- hot, warm, cold, exciting, unenthused?

If that describes you, you need to lay down all unnecessary distractions that are in your life, find a prayer closet, go in, shut the door behind you and stay there until you "touch the hem of His garment" and have a personal encounter with the living God and allow Him to cause the flames of revival to begin to blaze and burn within you.

Have a great day. Don't be numbered among those who are falling away.. fall back to Him.

Friday, April 17, 2009


"We love him, because he first loved us." 1 John 4:19

A few days ago we talked about paying God the honor and glory that He is due. I have wondered why do we have to be "reminded" to honor Him, to love Him, to trust Him, to serve and obey Him. Why do I have to be reminded to praise God? Why do I have to be reminded to love Him with all my heart? Why do I have to be reminded to give Him first place in my life? You would think that after all He has done for us there would never be a question about giving Him what is due- it would be the result and automatic response of a heart of gratitude.

I don't have to be reminded to love my husband. I don't have to be reminded to do nice things for him. I don't have to be reminded to give him a word of praise when he does something kind for me. So why must I be constantly reminded to "honor" my Lord and Savior?

I will leave you with this thought to ponder this weekend and in doing so examine your relationship with the Lord and see if you are always having to be reminded to look to Him, to give Him what He is due, to love, trust and obey Him. If what you do where the Lord is concerned doesn't, for the most part, come automatically out of response to His great love for you, perhaps you need to go back and get reacquainted with Him.

Have a great day. We should not have to be reminded to love Him and put Him first.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"Eternal Opportunities"

"Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:16

The Amplified Bible says, "Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil." Are you making the most of your time? I am not necessarily talking about using your time wisely to get a lot of earthly responsibilities taken care of- although you should manage your time wisely, not be lazy or slothful and accomplish what is required of you. I am talking about using your time wisely where the kingdom of God is concerned. Are you using your time wisely on those things which have eternal value? This world will not last forever. The time of Christ's return is drawing near. The end of this age as we know it will one day soon come to an end. The days are evil and getting more evil with each passing day. Therefore, it is not the time to be wasting time.

"Buy up each opportunity." Are you buying up each opportunity to let your light shine before men so that they will glorify God? Are you buying up each opportunity by sharing the good news that Jesus saves with those who are lost? Are you using your "talents" to bring a "profit" to the kingdom? Are you buying up each opportunity as a way to lay up treasures in heaven. Are you buying up each opportunity by allowing God's hand of love to reach out through you to those who are suffering, to the weak, to the rejected, to the confused, to the discouraged? Are you buying up each opportunity by being obedient to the wooing of the Holy Spirit to go where He leads you? Are you buying up each opportunity to point people to Christ and lift Him up by speaking a word of comfort to the hurting, by feeding the hungry, by clothing the naked, by visiting the sick and imprisoned, by giving a cup of cold water to the thirsty?

Each day is a day filled with opportunity after opportunity for us to give honor to God and bring souls that are lost into His kingdom. As I said earlier, this world will not last forever, but the things that are done for Christ's kingdom will. It's those opportunities that we need to take advantage of and buy up because they are investments in eternity.

Have a great day. Are you using your time to buy up those opportunities that have eternal value?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Pay What You Owe"

"Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor." Romans 13:7

As I opened the Bible resource where I get each morning's scripture from, I noticed the verse of the day. I thought it was "interesting/funny" that it was this verse that talked about paying taxes given the fact that today is tax day in the United States. In this verse we are told to pay what we owe. If you owe taxes, pay them. If you owe a bill, pay it. If you owe someone money, pay them. We should never try to get out of paying our debts- it's called integrity, and God's people should be people of integrity.

It also says that if someone is due honor or respect, give it to them. So what about the Lord? Doesn't that include Him? Doesn't He deserve honor? Are we giving Him the respect and honor that He deserves? We owe Him so much. We owe Him a debt of gratitude that we can never repay. But just because we can never repay it doesn't mean that we should forget the debt and take Him for granted. We should be giving Him the highest honor possible. We should be holding Him in high regard. We should honor Him above anyone and anything else.

How do we give Him honor? By giving Him what He is due- our love, devotion, worship and obedience. And we give Him our love, devotion, worship and obedience by keeping His commandments; by acknowledging Him in all that we do; by giving Him first place in our lives; by surrendering total control of our lives to Him; by being imitators of Him before the world; by being people who are following Him- His plan and His agenda- not our own.

As you are paying "what" you owe, make sure you are paying "all" that you owe, and all "who" you owe... including the Lord.

Have a great day. We should always pay what we owe, and first on our list should be the Lord.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"Two Voices"

"Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand." Psalm 37:24

When babies first start learning to walk, they do a lot of falling down. My grandbaby is walking very well now, but a few weeks ago she was spending a lot of time falling down. Each time she would fall, I would clap and laugh and act like it was a great accomplishment. As a result, she would get right on up with a great big smile on her face and take off walking again- she didn't lay there and cry, or wait for you to pick her up and she didn't give up.

Do every feel like that baby learning to walk? Do you ever feel like you spend more time falling down than you do walking? Do you ever feel like for every step you take forward you take two steps back? Do you feel like you make one step then trip and fall on the second step? Honestly, I have felt like that. I still feel like that some times. Some days it's just so hard to get my "land legs". Some days my footing isn't very secure. Some times I feel like I am always falling flat on my face.

When I do wind up "on the ground- flat on my face", I hear two voices speaking to me. One is the voice of enemy who spews out his lies, accusations and condemnations at me. He tells me that I will never "get it right". He tells me I am a failure. He tells me I need to just give up. He encourages me to stay down and not try again. He tells me to lay there and feel sorry for myself- wallow in my pain and hurt and inability. He tries to heap guilt on me.

Then there is the other voice. It is the voice of my Father who tells me that it will be all right. Who tells me to get up and try again. Who tells me "you can do it". Who does for me what I did for my grandbaby. He cheers me on. He tells me I will succeed. He reaches for me, helps me up, stands me back on my feet, dusts me off and sends me on my way. He tells me He still loves me.

I know the same two voices come to you also when you fall. The question is which one are you going to listen to? Are you going to listen to the enemy and lay there and give up? Or are you going to listen to the voice of your loving heavenly Father cheering you on?

Have a great day. The voice you listen to will determine whether you stay down in defeat or get up and walk in victory.

Monday, April 13, 2009

"Can You Praise Him?"

"I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth." Psalm 34:1

Most mornings the scene outside my window is one of sunshine. This morning there is nothing to see out there but fog. Last night the scene was flashes of lightening, heavy rain and swaying trees. The scene outside my window seems to constantly be changing. The one I like best is the one that is full of sunshine.

Life can be compared to the view of a window. Some days we see sunshine, some days we see rain, some days there is fog, some days there are lightening flashes. I am sure if we had our pick we would much prefer the days that are filled with sunshine- no storms, no dreariness, no threatening wind. But life doesn't happen like that. The question then comes to mind, "Can you still praise Him regardless of what comes?"

Can you still praise Him in the storms like you do in the sunshine? Can you still praise Him in the fog? Can you still praise Him when it's raining? Can you still praise Him when all is "not" so well? Can you still praise Him when the fog of life is obscuring your view of Him; when His hand and provisions are hid from sight; when His "face" is hard to see; when His presence is not easily felt? Can you praise Him in times of battle when the victory seems to be no where in sight? Can you still praise Him when the boat is filling with water; when the furnace is seven times hotter; when the giant is making his threats; when the sea is hindering? Can you still praise Him?

Have a great day. Can you still praise Him? Or maybe I should said, "Will you?"

Friday, April 10, 2009

"He Lives"

"He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay." Matthew 28:6

I have had songs on my heart all week. This morning is no different, therefore, I just had to post this wonderful old hymn. In a couple of days we are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. He died on the cross but death could not hold Him. Of all those throughout history who have desired to be worshipped, of all those who have massed a following, of all those who made claims to be "God", of all those who are the "idol" of various religions, there is not a one of them who died and came back to life. In their tombs you will find bones, ashes or dust.... but not in Jesus' tomb. In His tomb there is no sign of death... because He is not dead. As you celebrate Resurrection Sunday, remember that... your God is risen from the dead. Your God is alive... and He lives forever more!!!! Hallelujah!

Have a great day. He lives, He lives... He is not dead!

" He Lives"

I serve a risen Saviour,He's in the world today;
I know that He is living,Whatever men may say;
I see His hand of mercy,I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need HimHe's always near.

Chorus: He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and He talks with me
Along life's narrow way.
He lives, He live, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives: He lives within my heart.

In all the world around me I see His loving care,
And tho my heart grows wearyI never will despair;
I know that He is leading
Thro' all the stormy blast,
The day of His appearing
Will come at last.

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian,Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahsTo Jesus Christ the King!
The hope of all who seek Him,The help of all who find,
None other is so loving,
So good and kind.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

"The Glory He Is Due"

"Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness." Psalm 29:2

As I was praising the Lord the other day- giving Him the glory that was due His holy name- it dawned on me... how can I give Him the glory that He is due? How can I give Him the glory that He rightfully deserves? How can I whose frame is dust, who is a vapor that is here today and gone tomorrow, who am slow of speech, who is finite, who is a created being, whose existence is like the grass of the field, who is a mere mortal... give Him the glory that is due His holy name? How can I give Him glory to the degree in which He is worthy?

When I give Him glory and honor and praise and worship, I fall so short of what He is truly due. He is the King of glory, He is the Creator of the universe, He is the Eternal One, the All Powerful, All Knowing, Almighty God. He is worthy of, and He is due, so much more glory than I can give. He is worthy of so much more than I can articulate. He is worthy of greater accolades than I can bestow on Him. The glory He is due is not in my vocabulary or within my ability to give. My tongue can't give Him the praise He actually deserves- even if I had a thousand tongues I would come up short.

So what can I give Him? What praise can I offer? Will He accept my praise and worship even though it falls short and does not come close to giving Him what He is due? I am reminded of the widow in the Bible with the two mites. She was in the temple bringing an offering to the Lord. She didn't have much, she only had two mites. It was far less than what the Lord deserved. It was so very little. It fell short of what the Lord deserved. But Jesus took note of it. He acknowledged that it was an offering that was acceptable by the Lord. Why? Because she gave all she had. She gave all that was in her ability to give. She didn't hold back anything she had from the Lord. She gave sacrificially and unselfishly. She gave what she had even though it was little and did not come close to what He deserves yet Jesus acknowledged it.

Our praise falls so short of what He is due, but if we will not withhold it, if we will give Him all we have, if we will give it to Him unselfishly from our hearts, He will acknowledge it and He will receive it.

Have a great day. He deserves more glory than we have the ability to give Him, but we must give Him all that we have, even if it's a little.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"The Bird's Song - Part 2"

"And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." Luke 19:40

Yesterday when we talked about the birds, I said that I was sure that their chirping was not chirps of fear, doubt, complaining, etc. I believe they are singing songs of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord who so graciously meets their every need everyday. As I thought about the birds praising the Lord, it made me think about the scripture above when Jesus said that if the people didn't praise Him, the rocks would cry out in praise.

I don't know about you, but like the song says, "Ain't no rock gonna praise in my place". And I am not going to let a bird, a rock, a flower, a cat- anything that has breath, or doesn't have breath- out praise me either. I am the one who was made in His image. I am the one that He died for on the cross. I am the one whose sins have been washed away. I am the one who has been forgiven. I am the one who has received the gift of salvation and eternal life and has a home prepared for me in His house. So I ought to be the one giving Him more praise. I ought to be the one praising Him more loudly. I ought to be the one out-praising every other thing on earth. To the birds, the grass of the field, the rocks, etc., He is their Creator but He is my Heavenly Father- so I should out praise them.

When I think about who He is and what He's done for me, I have to praise Him. When I am lost, He is my Savior. When I am sick, He is my healer. When I am in bondage, He is my deliverer. When I am weak, He is my strength. When I am confused, He is my peace. When I am in need, He is my provider. When I am hungry, He is my bread. When I am thirsty, He is my water. When I'm in prison, He's the key that opens the door. When I am weary, He's my refreshing. When I'm sad, He's my joy. When I am overwhelmed, He's the lifter of my head. When I'm in darkness, He's my light. When I'm afraid, He's my comforter. Can a rock say that? Can a bird? Can a tree? Can any other creation? Can they do a better job of praising Him? Am I going to let them do a better job? Not as long as I have breath!

Have a great day. I am not going to let anything out praise me!... are you?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"The Bird's Song"

"Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD." Psalm 150:6

As day was breaking this morning I heard a little bird outside my window chirping loudly. I wondered what he was "saying". Of course, I can't interpret "bird language" but I have a feeling that he wasn't complaining about how it has turned off cold. I don't think he was bemoaning the state of the economy. I don't think he was fearfully wondering where his next meal was coming from. I don't think he was singing a song of gloom, despair, worry or fear.

I believe he was singing a song of praise- praise to God for giving him a new day, for watching over him and taking care of him. May I remind you this morning that the birds don't have jobs, they don't have grocery stores, they don't live in heated and cooled houses, they live in nests, they catch bugs and dig for worm, yet they have everything that they need. How? Because there is a God above who feeds them and attends to all their needs.

This God is our heavenly Father. So may I remind you also that if He cares so much for the birds that He feeds them every day, doesn't He care for you more? Aren't you more valuable to Him then they are? So why are you singing the song of worry? Why is your conversation one of fear? Why are you complaining? Why aren't you speaking in faith? Why aren't your words filled with praise? "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?" (Matthew 6:25,26) "Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows." (Luke 12:6,7)

Have a great day. If God doesn't forsake the birds' needs, if He takes care of them, if He provides for them, won't He do the same for you... and much more.

Monday, April 6, 2009

"Who's In The Spotlight?"

"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass." Zachariah 9:9

Yesterday we celebrated Palm Sunday- Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem, all eyes were upon Him. All the shouts of praise were for Him. All the celebration was about Him. Everything and everyone was focused on HIM! But how did he get to Jerusalem? How did He arrive in the city? Did He walk? Did the disciples carry Him on their shoulders? Was He driven in a cart or a chariot? Did He come riding on a great white stallion? He made His triumphant entry riding on a donkey's colt.

This little colt was the vessel upon which Jesus made His entry. But as glorious an entry as it was, it was not about the colt. The colt got no attention. No one made a shrine to the colt. The colt wasn't inducted into some "hall of fame". It's wasn't the colt's day of fame. People didn't exalt the colt; people didn't applaud the colt; people didn't point at the colt in adoration. It was not about the colt, it was about the one riding on the colt.

My point this morning is that you and I are "vessels" that carry the glory of the Lord. It's our "job" to put Him in the "lime light". It's our "job" to take Him into places where He will be exalted. It's our "job" to "lift Him up so that all men are drawn to 'Him'". It's our "job" to make sure that we are pointing others to Him and not to ourselves. It is not about us- it's not about the vessel. It's about Him- the one "riding" the vessel. It's about us decreasing so that He might increase. It's about us taking the back seat so that He might have the front seat. It's about us exalting Him, not self. It's about making sure that He is the one who is high and lifted up, not ourselves. God never intended for us to put more emphasis on the vessels that He uses. He intended for us to be vessels that have one desire only-- to see the emphasis on Him. When God uses you as a vessel for His glory, don't let it go to your head and try to get in the spotlight. Like that colt, you have one purpose and that purpose is to get Jesus into a place where HE is in the spotlight.

Have a great day. What kind of "vessel" are you? One that tries to "steal" the spotlight, or makes sure He alone is placed in it?

Friday, April 3, 2009

"How Much Are You Worth?"

"For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Corinthians 6:20

Do you know what determines the value of something? It's the price that one is willing to pay for it. If there is something that I really want badly, and deem as valuable, I will pay the asking price- it doesn't matter how much it cost. I might have to make some sacrifices in order to purchase it, but I will make them because I consider that thing worth it. Why am I willing to do without something else in order to have this thing? Why am I willing to spend everything I have for it? Because it's something of great value to me. On the other hand if it isn't something that I consider valuable, I won't care if I have it or not. Therefore, I am not willing to pay whatever the asking price is for it.

Did you know that you are valuable? Do you know just how valuable you are? Do you know that you are priceless? Do you realize you are the most valuable thing in the universe? God is the one who determined the value of your life and He is the one who determined that you are priceless. He loves you and set His affection on you. He loved you so much He had to have you for His own but in order to "have you" He had to "buy you" out of the slavery of sin. The price was high- very high- but He was willing to pay it because He valued you that highly, and wanted you that badly.

When I get a chance to listen to the news I hear monetary numbers like "billions" and "trillions" (I am not sure I can count that high), that's a lot of money. But those figures don't even begin to come close to the price that was paid for you. You were purchased with the blood of Jesus. Purchased with blood not silver, not gold, not precious jewels. That blood was not the blood of animals, angels or some other person. The blood that purchased you was that of the only begotten Son of God, the King of kings and Lord of lords. The Son of God Himself paid the price for you with His own blood. Why? Because He loved you so much and placed a high value on you and was willing to pay that price and make the sacrifice to have you. (1 Peter 1:18,19)

Have a great day. The God of heaven was willing to pay the highest price that could be paid in order to have you... you are that valuable to Him.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

"Here I Am To Worship"

"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him." John 4:23

I was listening to this wonderful worship song last night and begin to think that I would love to be in a really great worship service. You know the kind I am talking about. The presence of God is so overwhelming, the place feels electrified by His presence, you are "raptured" in a sense of His love for you, time stands still, nothing else matters, your heart is pouring out it's deepest love and affection on Him. I truly love those times. (Can you only image what heaven will be like?)

As I thought about this, my thought was more of a prayer, then the Lord spoke this to my heart-- you don't have to wait until you are in the company of some large crowd to worship and experience that place where our hearts touch each others. I know this to be true for I have experienced those times when it was just me and the Lord.

Corporate worship is great, we are told not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together with one another. There is something that happens when two or more are gathered in His name. When the body of Christ comes together, we should worship in one accord offering up a sacrifice of praise that invokes His presence. But our worship time should not be restricted to only the times when we are gathered together with others.

Worship is as much a private thing as it is a public thing. Worship is as much an individual thing as it is a corporate thing. Worship should never be confined within the assembly of the church only. Worship is a place within the heart. Worship is not about the number of people present, it's not about the place, it's not about a gathering with others-- it's about touching the heart of God and that can be done whether you are alone or with others.

Have a great day. If you are not spending time worshipping Him when there is no one there but you and Him, you are missing out on the intimate fellowship that He desires to give you.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


"For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death." 2 Corinthians 7:10

I have to admit that I missed it this morning. I rolled back over in bed and fell back asleep. What's so bad about that? The Lord woke me up a little earlier to spend some extra time with Him before my day got started. I knew it was Him and I didn't get on up. I really regret that I didn't because it's getting late in the morning, I have several things already wanting my time, I have some responsibilities that must be attended to but I still need to have that extra time with the Lord. Other than confession being good for the soul, I told you all this because when I told the Lord I was sorry, He spoke back and said, "It's not about being sorry, it's about being repentant".

Being sorry and repentance are not the same thing. Sorry is more of an "emotional" thing and repentance is a complete change of mind. Sorry often involves regrets- regrets over something that you lost, something that you forfeited, something that you missed out on. Sorry also more often responds to the consequences. It's like the little child who gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar after his mother told him he could not have the cookie. He is sorry because he got caught. He is sorry because he doesn't want to face the punishment and is hoping to avoid it. But when mother turns her back he's in the cookie jar again- he wasn't repentant.

Repentance involves a change of mind. When the Lord spoke that to me this morning, He meant that He did not want me to just be sorry because of what I missed, but He wants me to have a totally different outlook on it. He wants me to change my way of thinking and get up just because He said to get up. Repentance motivates me to do the right thing for the right reason. My earthly sorrow does not lead to repentance- how I look at the situation- but godly sorrow does- how does God look at the situation.

Have a great day. It's not about being sorry, it's about repentance.