Monday, April 13, 2009

Strength for Each Day

"So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Lord I pray to you, creator of all things and the source of my help for my every need, that you would just quicken my faith and increase my trust in you in my every day life. I pray that you would help me see your will in my life and help me walk that out in a way that would glorify you. I pray for the strength and tenacity to resist temptation to take the easy roads in life and to see hope and direction in times of cloudiness. Remind me Father that your love is all the hope and strength I will ever need, and that you have never, and will never give me more than I can handle. Thank you for the relationship I have with you and for all of the undeserved blessings you have poured out on my life and continue to do so. Amen

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:1-2

Monday, March 30, 2009

What Lies Ahead

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."

Psalm 37:4

Throughout my life, one thing I have always struggled with was looking for my peace of mind in the circumstances of my life. As long as the circumstances in my life were good, I was happy. However it was when things and circumstances in my life turned south or not as I would want them, that I would begin to stay up all night pondering on what to do and try to picture how things would unfold from here. It was during those times where my joy would seem to fade.

As Christians we need something that will help us when we don't know what to do or where to turn. And so we should turn to God, and pray for the solution that we can't seem to find. But God has more for us that just a solution, for He wants to do more for us than just solve a problem or answering a question on our hearts.

One of my memories as a kid, was when my dad would give me an allowance of 25 cents a week. I remember he would never just give it to me unless my mom told him to, but he would hold it tightly in his hand and turn it into a game. I had to pry his fingers open one by one to get it. I remember he would drag this game out and would make me pry with all my might until I had each finger pried back, until I got the quarter. I remember as soon as I got the quarter I would take it a run to my piggy bank, which really was a pig, and count all my money.

As Christians we sometimes when we come to God, we come for the quarter in his hand. God I need a job. God I need to do well. God I need a such and such. When we reach for the quarter, and when God grants our prayer we push his hand away and go on with our lives. But I Must remind myself that God offers us something so more valuable than just the quarter in his hand, but he offers us His hand. God offers us a relationship, not just a solution to the troubles that keep us up at night, but offers us a companionship with himself through his son Jesus Christ, and it is in that friendship that we will ultimately find joy.

That is why in Psalm 37, the Psalmist exhorts us to take delight in the Lord, for it is through friendship with Jesus that we find the desires of our heart met beyond expectation.

"There's no better way to insure a good nights sleep than through knowing God is your friend and knowing that you can enjoy that friendship forever."

Monday, March 23, 2009

Only By Your Grace

"For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

1 Corinthians 4:7

God I just ask and pray that you continually remind me that by nature, I am no better than others. Remind me Father of what I would be, without the continual influence of your grace in my life. Remind me that whatever I am, that I have nothing to make myself proud. Remind me Father that the only thing I would have been great at in life without you, would have been sinning and living in my own misery. Thank you Father for making me different and for saving me from the trespasses and sins in which I once walked, and for continually pouring out your grace in my life.

How Deep The Father's Love For Us

How deep the Father's love for us, how vast beyond all measure
That he should give his only son, to make a wretch his treasure
How great the pain of searing loss, the Father turned his face away
As wounds which mar the chosen one, bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon a cross, my sin upon his shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held him there until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life; I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything: no gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ; his death and resurrection
Why should I gain from his reward? I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart: his wounds have paid my ransom

Monday, March 9, 2009

Gimme Gimme

"Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it."
- Mark 10:15

As I was reading in Mark I came across this verse which kind of tied into a book I am currently reading titled The Pleasures of God. In the book, one of the main points Piper keeps mentioning is how it is God's pleasure to give us the kingdom. He makes the point that Jesus does not say, sell you the kingdom, or trade you the kingdom, but how it is the Father's pleasure to give you the kingdom.

As a child, most of us our always like gimme gimme gimme. I am so thankful that God is like a mountain spring and not like a watering trough. I am grateful that he delights to overflow, and to give and give and give, and that is why the gospel is the good news that God does not need a measuring cup, but people who will drink. The qualification for receiving his kingdom is not strength but thirst. How great is it that its our Father's pleasure to give us the kingdom, and to give it freely.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Footprints in the Sand

"One night a man dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. As scenes of his life flashed before him, he noticed that there were two sets of footprints in the sand. He also noticed at his saddest, lowest times there was but one set of footprints. This bothered the man. He asked the Lord, "Did you not promise that if I gave my heart to you that you'd be with me all the way? Then why is there but one set of footprints during my most troubled times?" The Lord replied, "My precious child, I love you and I would never forsake you. For you see, during those times of trial and suffering, when you only see one set of footprints, was when I carried you."

As I look back in my life, seeing how God has carried me numerous and numerous of times, I know I can look to the future without fear, knowing that what ever the future may bring, God will be there. Knowing this there should be no reason for me or anyone to fear the future, but to just trust in the loving arms of God to carry us there.

'Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold
you with my righteous right hand.'

Isaiah 41:10

Monday, February 16, 2009

Biblical Fellowship

''We should not...think of our fellowship with other Christians as a spiritual luxury, an optional addition to the exercises of private devotion. We should recognize rather that such fellowship is a spiritual necessity; for God has made us in such a way that our fellowship with himself is fed by our fellowship with fellow-Christians, and requires to be so fed constantly for its own deepening and enrichment."

J. I. Packer

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Morning Prayer

Good Morning, VOV

As I cross the threshold of this day
I commit myself, soul, body, affairs, friends, to thy care;
Watch over, keep, guide, direct, sanctify, bless me.
Incline my heart to thy ways;
Mould me wholly into the image of Jesus,
as a potter forms clay;
May my lips be a well-tuned harp
to sound thy praise;
Let those around see me living by thy Spirit,
trampling the world underfoot,
unconformed to lying vanities,
transformed by a renewed mind,
clad in the entire armour of God,
shining as a never0dimmed light,
showing holiness in all my doings.
Let no evil this day soil my thoughts, words, hands.
May I travel miry paths with a life pure from spot or stain.
In needful transactions let my affection
be in heaven,
and my love soar upwards in flames of fire,
my gaze fixed on unseen things,
my eyes open to the emptiness, fragility,
mockery of earth and its vanities.
May I view all things in the mirror of eternity,
waiting for the coming of my Lord,
listening for the last trumpet call,
hastening unto the new heaven and earth.
Order this day all my communications
according to thy wisdom,
and to the gain of mutual good.
Forbid that I should not be profited
or made profitable.
May I speak each word as if my last word,
and walk each step as my final one.
If my life should end today,
let this be my best day.