Saturday, March 28, 2009


The Lord is close to all who call on him,
yes, to all who call on him in truth.
Psalm 145:18 NLT

How are you doing today? Having a great day with a sense of the Lord’s nearness? Or have you had better days and today isn’t one of them?

Life can be a battle, with the enemy working on our minds, especially when we are tired and discouraged, telling us – “it will never get better - you won’t get out of this - there’s no hope - God doesn’t care for you.”

But just the opposite is true! Our Lord is close to praying people. God’s Word shows us that He is near to us no matter how we may feel. It says, “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.” Psalm 23:9 “For God has said I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5

The truth is our Lord is always close to us. It’s only when we pay attention to Satan’s whispered lies that doubts begin to fill our minds and God seems far away. We need to deliberately choose to trust His promises and “call on him in truth.” Praying “in truth” is praying in faith until the answer comes. The answer may come surprisingly soon or it may take a long time. The important point is that we keep on praying until we get the answer. Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” Luke 11:5-10 The context deals with persistence in prayer until the answer comes.

So if today finds you feeling sorry for yourself – downhearted and God seems a million miles away – cry out to Him for help and focus on His promises rather than the negative stuff the enemy tells you. Remember – “The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth.”

Let’s Pray-
Father, if someone reading this today has fallen for the lies of the enemy – please grant them faith to claim your promises and come to know your nearness once again.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


“Do to others whatever
you would like them to do to you.
This is the essence of all that is taught
in the law and the prophets.”
Matthew 7:12 NLT


Recently, Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News has been closing his broadcast with a story entitled “Making a Difference” which deals with people showing kindness to others. It’s a refreshing break from all the cruelty and bad stuff that fills the rest of the news. I recently noticed a Liberty Mutual ad on TV which was entirely made up of multiple scenes - one right after another - of small deeds of kindnesses. This sort of thing catches people’s attention everywhere. Who doesn’t appreciate being treated kindly?

All of us know how pleasant it is when someone shows kindness to us. Stands-to-reason, others have the same reaction. Jesus said “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone was kind – all the time?
Well, that isn’t going to happen in this present world! However, you and I can start making a difference. Psalm 145:17 says “The Lord is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness.” As His children we have the capacity to be like our Father. And kindness is also a fruit that the Holy Spirit produces in us when we are filled with Him. Galatians 5:22

God has made every provision for us to be kind to everyone. We can start today to be more consistently kind to all the people in our lives – at home – neighborhood – at work, etc. I have a feeling if we are more consistently kind at home, (even when we feel grumpy) it will be easier to be kind everywhere else.

Let’s Pray –
Father, forgive us when we are snippy with those who are closest to us. Help us to treat everyone the way we would like to be treated.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


“For the word of God is alive and powerful.
It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword,
cutting between soul and spirit,
between joint and marrow.
It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”
Hebrews 4:12 NLT

More than 100 million Bibles are sold throughout the world every year - making it the top seller every year. In the US 92% of households own at least one copy of the Bible. The average number is three. This includes not only the homes of practicing Christians but hundreds of thousands of atheists as well. Although most Americans own a Bible, (according to 2000 Gallup poll) 59% read it only occasionally. The percentage of Americans who read the Bible at least once a week is only 37%.

As we need to eat food daily so we need to feed on God’s Word every day. Jesus said in Matthew 4. “People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

We may own dozens of Bibles, but unless we faithfully read it and apply its truths to our lives, we will miss out on what God desires to accomplish in us. This week’s key verse highlights how incredibly active God’s Word is.

First, God’s Word is ALIVE! It’s not just a historical record of happenings and teachings. It has the living quality of the seed Jesus talked about in Luke 8
when He explained the Parable of the sower. He said, “The seed is God’s word.… And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.”

Second, God’s Word is POWERFUL!
The power of God’s spoken word is seen in creation. God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. So it was with all of creation. God said it, and it happened. The power of God’s written word has the ability to change how we think, and therefore how we live. As Paul says in Romans 12 “let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Third, God’s Word CUTS and EXPOSES. There is no part of our being that the Word of God can not penetrate and lay bare. It has a way of revealing our heart’s hidden motives and convicting us of sin.

Let’s Pray-
Father, thank you for the gift of your Word which feeds, enlightens, and transforms our lives. Grant us victory over the temptation to neglect spending time in it, and putting it into practice.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


“They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:31 KJV
This is a favorite Bible verse for many people, including myself. It is not uncommon for us, from time to time, to get emotionally weary and worn out. Various pressures bear down on us until our strength is gone and we are close to giving up. We may be aware of what the pressure is or maybe it’s just a nameless load which zaps our strength. Our mind is so occupied with our weariness that we are unable to see a way out. It all seems dark and hopeless. But there is a way out, and there is hope as we see in today’s Scripture!

If we fill our mind with what weighs us down, it just adds to our load. But, if we start looking to the Lord for help, His Word promises, “The LORD shall renew their strength;” Renew in this context literally means “exchange.” In other words, the Lord will exchange “strength” for weariness - just what we so desperately need. You and I can be included in this exchange, if we “wait upon the LORD.” To “wait upon” means to “wait for” – “look for” with expectation. So if we look to the Lord – with expectant faith - strength will come at just the right time. It is amazing how the Lord uses our weakness to draw us to Himself to expectantly wait for His strength.

Three things happen to us when the Lord renews our “strength.” We “shall mount up with wings as eagles.” We “shall run, and not be weary.” We “shall walk, and not faint.” While we are promised all three of these expressions of strength, I don’t think we should necessarily expect them to happen in this order.

As we “wait on the Lord” we will at times have “mountain top” experiences, when we “mount up with wings as eagles” and feel like we are above all the weariness of life. However, more often than fly, we “shall run, and not be weary” - times when the Lord gives us “a second wind” just at the right time, enabling us to run with renewed energy. But most of our life with God is a “walk.” We “shall walk, and not faint.” He enables us to put one foot in front of the other – day after day – year after year, and gives us strength to keep on going, and going, with Him until we get Home.

Let’s Pray –
Oh Lord, thank you for your promise of strength in exchange for our weakness. Help us to expectantly look to you for your strength to “fly, run, and walk” without wearing out.