Prayer for Today

Jesus in the drivers seat

January 13, 2016

Father, as I begin to make plans and set goals for myself, my family and my professional life for this year, don’t let me forget that my plans must take a backseat to the plans You have for me. Nothing I plan is going to be better for me than what You have already ordained.

I know everything is not going to go the way I want it to go, but I am sure that everything will go the way You’ve ordained it to go if I allow You to lead me. Help me to mature to the point that when what You’ve ordained overrides my plans, I do not fret, complain or grumble. Instead of complaining I rest in the knowledge that You have my best interest at heart.

You planned my perfect path long ago, and You know what’s best for me. You will improve me until I fit into Your plan for me. Thank you, Lord, for caring enough about me that You planned for my greatness in the land of the living.

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Scripture References:

Proverbs 19:21

Psalms 65:9

Isaiah 25:1

 

Living Above Mediocrity

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Prayer for Today

Prayer-faith-God-stones

September 30, 2015

Father, if I think back, take a good look at my life and am honest with myself, I have no reason to complain. If I take the time to examine where You brought me from and what You’ve brought me through I see the good You have shown me over the course of my days far out weights the bad. Thank You!

Even in the bad times You were working to mature and groom me in an effort to prepare me to become the person You created me to be. Today Father, I will not complain about whatever comes my way. Instead of complaining I will thank You for Your goodness and Your mercy, which is new to me every morning.

I will take time to consider Your goodness toward me and I will speak of Your love for me all day long. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Scripture references:

Lamentations 3:39

Matthew 6:25 – 34

Philippians 4:11 – 12

I Timothy 6:6-8

Hebrews 13:5

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Prayer for Today

 

Diversity face

September 1, 2015

Father, it has gotten to the point I hate watching the news. Killings are mounting up daily, and every day we see citizens killing citizens, police killing citizens and citizens killing police. It is just too much!

All types of movements are springing up and saying this life matters and that life matters, as if You didn’t make all life and all life doesn’t matter to You. Forgive us Father!

Lord, for those of us in the body of Christ who have been given the charge of loving You and loving mankind, help us to see human life; which born or unborn,  Black, White, Hispanic, Asian or other, is important to You.

When Jesus came to die for the sins of the world, it wasn’t just for Jewish sinners, Muslim sinners or Christian sinners. He didn’t just die for sexual sins or moral sins. Jesus loved all sinners enough to die for all our sins. Forgive us Father for acting like, and treating others as if their sins are greater than our own. For we have all sinned and fallen short of Your glory.

You have told us to love each other to the point that we are willing to lay down our lives for theirs. You did not tell us to judge them by their lifestyle, their tattoos or their hairstyles. Your word says, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Father, increase our hearts capacities to love others like You love us; without finding fault, without holding our sins against us and without treating us as outcasts. You loved us back to wholeness in You; help us do the same for someone else that needs You as much as we need You.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!

Scripture references:

John 3:16 – 18

Romans 3:22 – 24

Romans 5:8

I John 3:16

I John 4:7 – 8

 

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Go With What You Know

Slingshot

 

I Samuel 17:38 – 39

Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.”

In the scripture above David was going out to kill Goliath. That was his plan from the beginning; to kill the person who was bringing reproach against the God of Israel. Yes, there were other people who heard Goliath’s threats and they planned to do nothing. Yes, there were people who were better prepared, with more experience and better equipped than David to battle Goliath but they didn’t have the heart, the passion or the resolve of David to protect the name of the Lord.

Everyone is always talking about how David went out to kill Goliath with a slingshot and five smooth stones but I think David went out with much more than human eyes can see. First, David went out to kill Goliath with history. He knew what God would do in order to protect him. God had given David the strength to fight and kill a bear and a lion, two foes that were mightier and fiercer than any man.

Second, David went out against Goliath with courage. To fight a bear and a lion in order to save some sheep means David had a level of courage locked in his DNA that not everyone has at their disposal. It’s like the Marines, policemen, firemen or another first responder; while everyone else is running away from terror or a disaster, they are running towards it. Not everyone has what it takes to do these types of jobs. David had what it took to lay his life on the line for some sheep; certainly, he had what it took to lay his life on the line to protect the name and character of his God.

Third, David went out to kill Goliath with equipment he was accustomed to using when he was in battle. Saul tried to give David his equipment but David declined because Saul’s equipment didn’t fit David; it was not designed for the type of fighting David was used to doing.

There are things that God has told, or will tell, you do to that looks like someone else is better qualified to do, but they don’t have what it takes. They don’t have the heart, the passion or the resolve to do what God needs to have done. That’s why He’s asked, or will ask, you to do it!

You have everything you need to do what God has asked, or will ask, you to do. You have the history, the internal resolve and the equipment you need to get it done!

Oh yes, there is one more thing about David that should be admired and imitated; he didn’t procrastinate! He went out to kill Goliath right away. He didn’t give himself or anyone else time to talk him out of it.

When God asked us to do something we need to move out quickly and go with what we know!

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17

 

 

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Be Careful

No evil trio

 

Luke 6:45

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

When I was a child there was a song that our children’s choir sang that said, “Be careful little eyes what you see. Be careful little eyes what you see. For the Father up above is looking down with love. So be careful little eyes what you see.” The song went on to warn ears to be careful what they hear and little tongues to be careful what they say. I don’t know if children choirs still sing this song in most churches today, but I think they should because this song is correct in its warnings.

What we take in through our eye and ear gates is going to be what we put into our hearts and what comes out through our mouths!

If you know someone with a nasty attitude or a sour disposition and you HATE talking to them because you know they are going to be negative, nasty or uncooperative, it is because they have taken in nasty, negative uncooperative things. Jesus said it best in the above quoted scripture. We act, respond and deal with other people and things based on what’s in our hearts.

We take in so much without really thinking about it. We watch all types of TV shows, “The Have and Have Nots”, “Devious Maids, “Scandal”, “Modern Family”, “Blacklist” “Empire” and the list goes on and on. Do we ever stop and think about what we’re really taking into our hearts and minds? Do we really stop and think about the type of lifestyles we’re cheering for while we watch our favorite shows?

We read and watch all types of videos and stories on-line. We watch and read stories of people fighting each other in the street, bullies mistreating other people at school, teachers being hit and beat while they are trying to teach their classes, near pornographic dance moves and again, the list goes on and on. And we sit there looking and listening, in taking without thinking that these images and words are going to manifest themselves in us at one time or another.

I know I’m guilty of leaving of eye and ear gates open to feeding my heart ungodliness. So how about you? What are you taking in through your eye and ear gates?

“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:10

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Out of the Box

Created Chosen Called

August 12, 2015

Genesis 1:26

“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

When I purchase a rose for my garden, I have a plan. I know where I’m going to put the rose, the nutrient levels I need the soil to possess and how to feed, water and protect the rose until its root system stabilizes in its new environment. I have a plan that the rose doesn’t know anything about.

The rose is shipped to me in a plain brown cardboard box. There is nothing in the box with the rose except other bare root roses that I may have purchased at the same time. If I purchased a single rose, it is in the box by itself.

I can only image how the rose must feel when I plant it in its new place. It goes from being in a dark empty box without soil or water into an open air space with at least six hours of sunlight, soil, vitamins and food. What a shock to its fragile system!

I’m sure if my roses could complain they would. They have probably become use to living in the dark bareness of the box but, in order to live, the rose must have the sun, soil, water and food, things that the roses can’t get while in the box. So, they may have become accustom to living in the box, if they stay there, they will die.

Yes, God does the same thing to and for us. You and I ask God for growth; financial, spiritual or personal growth so we can do more, have more or become more for the Kingdom of God. He answers our prayers and responses to our request. He begins to move us from our dark and confining boxes to new places where we can grow. And what do we do? We complain!

We wanted to grow where we were, in the confines of the boxes we have put ourselves in! We don’t want to change, we don’t want other things to change, we don’t want to do anything different, and we just want to grow where we are. Sorry! It doesn’t work that way!

God did not create us to be confined to dark, lifeless boxes. He created us to live in His Son and in the sun. What does that mean? It means God created us to live our spiritual lives in the light, soil and be feed by the life of His son AND to live our natural lives in the abundance here on earth. God never designed us to live in lack or less than. Neither in this life nor the one to come.

In order for us to grow, God has to move us to a place where the totality of who we are can be used and displaced as we experience new things. God is taking out of our boxes because He wants us to live and not die in the dark empty lives so many of us are now living.

Yes, it’s time to come out of your box!

“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” II Corinthians 9:10

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You Were Chosen

Picked out

 

Matthew 22:14

For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

When I chose a rose for my garden, I don’t pick it based on one characteristics of the rose; I pick it based on the totality of the rose. So not only do I pick a rose based on its color, I chose it on how the blooms are going to look. Will the blooms have lots and lots of petals or just a few?  I chose it based on the fragrance; is it lightly fragranced or is it heavily fragranced?  Does it smell like honey or does it smell like a traditional rose?

I also look at the type of leaves the rose is going to have. Will the leaves be bright green and shiny or will they be a matted green? I also look at the stem of the roses; will they be long-stemmed so I can use the rose in a single rose vase or will they be short stemmed so I can use them in an arrangement?

So you see, everything that the rose is goes into my decision-making process of whether or not I’m going to plant the rose in my garden. Yes, each facet of the rose is important, but one piece without the others doesn’t make the rose what it really is. It is the totality of the rose plant that makes the rose what I want in my garden.

God does the same thing with us. When God chooses us to do a particular assignment He chooses us based on the totality of who we are; our temperament, the things that we’ve gone through in order to bring us to the place where we are now, our looks, our background and upbringing. All these things make us who we are and are the reasons God chooses us for our assignments.

Unfortunately, all too often we look at ourselves through the eyes of the world system and only see what we think the world sees when it looks at us. The world system says over and over again, we have to be super model thin in order to be considered worthy of being called attractive. The world system says we have to be rich or famous in order to be counted amount those whom others should listen to. The world system says we have to be educated with the right type of degrees and from the right schools or we’ll be outsiders and not allowed to join them at the popular table. But, no matter what the world tells us, it does not stop God from doing what He’s going to do and it shouldn’t stop us from doing what God has assigned us to do.

If God has given you an assignment, and He has given us all an assignment, what the world system says about you doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. When God gave each of us our assignments, He has already measured the totality of who we are and He knows we can successfully complete the assignment.

The world system only knows the labels it has placed on us. God knows who He created us to be.

 

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” I Corinthians 1:27

 

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It’s A Virus and It Spreads – Part III (Revised)

computer virus multiple

 

From the book: It’s Still Relative (The Word of God for Today’s World)

I John 3:4 – 6

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.  But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.”

The virus on my computer started one place and then branched out to other parts of my computer. The virus moved so quickly and stealthily, I could barely get the system to download the remedy for the virus. Then things got worse.

I got an email from an old boss saying that I had sent him a virus. The virus sent itself out to everyone in my contact list. UGGHH!!! I had use another computer to tell people don’t open an email from me. My computer virus nightmare seemed like it would never end. Then finally, the new anti-virus software I had downloaded kicked in and my computer was virus free.

There is no way to contain a virus in one section of your computer. Once your computer is infected the virus can move freely throughout the system doing damage, collecting data or sending out messages without your knowledge. So it is with sin.

One habitual sin left in our lives can worm its way into every facet of our lives. Just like the computer virus, sin can destroy all that we’ve worked to accomplish in our spiritual lives.

First it’s just little things. We’re not praying or reading the Bible as much as we use to. We’re not attending Bible study as often. Then, another sin, we thought we were delivered from rears its ugly head and we heed the call.

Not only does the sin bring “birth to death” (James 1:15)  in us but also to the people who are watching us. Our spouses, children, friends, family members and even some people we don’t know are watching us. They are watching how we live because we say we’re Christians.

When we purpose to leave habitual sin in our lives the people who are watching us think they can live like we do because we’re following Christ so it must be okay, right? Wrong! But they don’t know it’s wrong because they are following us. Now, the virus of habitual sin has spread from us to them.

Some people will say, “They shouldn’t follow me, they should follow Jesus.” Well, if you say you’re a Christian and you’re following Jesus, why can’t they follow you? You may be the only Bible some people see or hear. Don’t you think you should represent Jesus in such a way that others can follow you?

The virus of sin never stays in one area of our lives. In fact, it doesn’t stay in our lives. Just like a computer virus can spread to other systems that are connected to the infected computer, so can sin. Our sin can spread to anyone who is watching how we live and infect their lives just like it has infected ours. But, we can download the God’s word and begin to remove the infection from our lives.

“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:2 – 4

 

P.S. If you don’t want other people to follow you as you follow Christ, please stop telling people you’re a Christian. You’re messing up the testimony of Jesus Christ for the rest of us!

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Prayer for Today

 

Ask believe receive

July 17, 2015

Father God, I trust You and my faith in You does not waiver. My issue is waiting for You to manifest what I need after I’ve prayer, waited, prayed and waited some more. I know You will do “it”, but when? This is the sticking point of my faith.

Forgive me for worrying and fretting when things don’t go the way I think they should. Forgive me for grumbling and complaining when Your timing doesn’t coincide with my timetable.

I trust You Lord. I have faith that You will so everything You said You’d do. I’ve allowed the reality of our microwave society to creep into my relationship with You and distort my perception of time.

I trust You and have faith in You, but too often I allow bad judgement or bad decisions that I’ve made to put me in a bind and then I expect You to run to my rescue. Over time, I’ve put myself in bad situations but, I want you to get me out of the mess I’ve made in an instant. Forgive me!

The truth is, You don’t operate on the world’s timetable and, for my own good; hopefully to teach me a lesson, You allow me to be uncomfortable so I can learn to be content with what I have, be content with where I am and involve You in my decisions.

Father, it is not my intent to operate with a lack of faith. Please help me to wait. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Scripture References:

Psalm 27:14       Psalm 130:5        II Corinthians 5:7

Psalm 37:1 – 8   Isaiah 30:18        Philippians 2:14

Psalm 40:1          Romans 10:17

 

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Hold On – Part I (Revised)

 

waiting on God under tree

Psalm 27:1 – 2

The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.”

 

There is an old Sam and Dave song that has a hook that says, “Hold on, I’m comin!’” Thankfully, we did not enter into our Promised Lands with Sam and Dave. If we had, when we were in trouble, we would have had to wait until they got to us before they could help.

We entered our Promised Lands with God the Father, who is always with us. In fact, Deuteronomy 31:8 states God goes before us, therefore, we do not have to be afraid nor discouraged because God is always with us. If God had a song like Sam and Dave’s His hook would be, “Hold on, I’m here!”

We don’t have to worry if God is going to rescue us from our enemies. We don’t have to fret about God’s showing up on time. God is with us even when it feels like our enemies are overwhelming us and He never needs to be rescued. He’s always the mighty one. There is nothing and no one greater than God and He will never leave us!

All of us had to fight to get into our Promised Land. We had to fight our pasts, our disappointments, our worries and our anxieties.  We had to fight our low self-esteem, our heartbreak and our intimidators. Through all of these things, God was with us. By God’s grace and His mercy we made! Through hard-fought battles, most won but some lost, we made it.

Here we stand on the soil of our Promised Land, and guess what? We still have to fight! Just like the Israelites had to fight when they marched into their Promised Land; they had to battle at Jericho, Ai and other enemies, so do we. The good news is, just like God was with the Israelites, He is with us! He is our very present help in the time of trouble.

DO NOT GIVE UP NOW! God has been and will continue to be with you. He sees what you’re going through and He’s right beside you helping you get through it. This is not the time or the place to give up! Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. God is with you. Remember His hook, “Hold on, I’m here!”

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

 

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