Friday 1/4 ~ Rediscover your joy

The scripture for today, January 4 (1/4), is Philippians 1:4 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Cover-Thumbnail“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy.”

Are you sad about something? Do your prayers consist mostly of give me this, help me with that? Begin today to keep an on-going list of your prayer requests for the year, and another one of thanksgiving for when those prayers are answered. Begin today to tell God “Thank you.”

Also, begin today to look around at your circumstances ~ whatever they may be ~ with joy. There can be some kind of joy in every situation if you look at it through eyes of joy.

The above quotation is from a letter to Philippi in northern Greece bordering today’s Bulgaria.  Here, a majority of the citizens were barbarian-looking warrior Thracians. But these rough semi-professional warriors also brought the world joy with their beautiful sculptures.

Philippians is a book about peace and joy. This is the book that says, “And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (4:7)

This is also the book that says, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (4:13).

From now on, tell God, “Thank you,” and in the process rediscover your joy.

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Tuesday 1/1 ~ Once again, God is walking with you

The scripture for today, January 1 (1/1), is John 1:1f, 14a as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Silver Cover-KINDLE-thumbnail“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning….The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”

Genesis 3:8 says God walked on earth in the Garden of Eden. When Jesus came, God once again walked with us. But when Jesus left, did he leave us with no one to walk with?

Jesus said in John 14:17 that he was going to send another Comforter ~ the Spirit of Truth. And in John 17:17 he said God’s Word is Truth. So, just as Jesus was the Word that people could watch, the Spirit is the Word that people can read.

We do not have to guess what God is wanting us to do. We have it written down to read, and consider, and contemplate, and re-read as many times as we want.

If you have a Bible in your home, why not read it through in a year beginning today? There are suggested schedules on the internet. Or you could even divide up the number of pages in your Bible by 365 to know how many pages to read each day. After each reading, spend time in prayer praising God, confessing to God, thanking God. And when you ask for anything, ask a whole lot for others and a little bit for you and yours.

Just remember, every time you get out your Bible and read it then respond in prayer, once again God is walking with you.

 

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Sunday 12/23 ~ God loves to answer prayer

The scripture for today, December 23 (12/23), is 1st Samuel 12:23 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-Cover-KINDLE-Thumbnail-New“As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.”

It’s a sin not to pray for others!

Do your prayers get bogged down in the mire of me and mine? Do you wonder why you can’t pray for more than a couple minutes ~ five on a good day? Satan gets you to do this; he is the enemy of prayer because he knows how powerful it is.

Who is on your prayer list? Pray for people by name. Your neighbors. People you work with. Your government officials ~ both good and bad. People in nursing homes. People in your congregation. People in the military. People being persecuted, imprisoned and even killed because they are Christians. Missionaries. Children in an orphan home. Salespeople at the store. Local school teachers. People in your newspaper.

Pray for 15 minutes a day. Half an hour each day. An hour every day. It’s oh so easy when you stop praying only for you and yours and pray for others.

Pray for people by name. God doesn’t need to hear their names but you do. And tell those you pray for. Some people have never been told, “I am praying for you”. God loves to answer prayer.

Do not sin by praying only for yourself and your family.  Take the time to take others soaring with you when you pray. Then stand back and watch God respond to your prayers with power that will astound you. 

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How can you be so patient, God, when we are so set in our ways? You’ve told us over and over what things are sin but we do them anyway. It doesn’t even occur to us that we are hurting you, our Father, and shaming you. It doesn’t even occur to us that Satan is laughing the whole time because we have believed his lies instead of your truths. Though you agonize for us, you love us still. I cannot begin to comprehend such patient love.

Thank you, Lord, for a warm house on these cold days, bright lamps on these dark days, colorful furniture on these bleak days, food on these barren days. Thank you for rescuing me from illnesses, moodiness, danger on the street and icy paths. Thank you for allowing me to stop and rest sometimes and holding my spirit in your strong, yet, gentle arms until my soul sees the sunrise.

Tuesday 11/20 ~ Never give up on them

The scripture for today, November 20 (11/20), is Hebrews 11:20ff as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

08-Come Fly-ChildsCartoonThumbnailCover“By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future. By faith Jacob when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons….By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.”

Do you have children that were loving and good when they were young, but when they became older, they changed? Do you sometimes wonder, “How could I have gone so wrong with my children?” True, they have free will. But do you feel like a failure because your children did not turn out the way you had hoped and prayed?

Have faith ~ the faith of Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Isaac blessed his sons with his land, even though he did not yet own the land. Jacob blessed his sons with power, even though they did yet not have power. Joseph blessed his sons and his brothers’ sons with the land, yet they no longer lived there.

Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph all blessed their children with something they believed would happen someday, even though the evidence was not there. Why? Because they had faith in their children? Actually, it was mostly because they had faith in God. They had faith in what God would do for their children.

Don’t give up. Keep trusting God. Never stop having faith in what God (even after we die) will (not can, but will) do for your children.

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My prayer for Today

Image result for jesus resurrection returning to body

I praise and adore you, God of the universe, for all you do is right and good and just. At the same time, I tremble before your anger when I do wrong, realizing I am doing something that is hurting myself and you are trying to stop me.  I do not and cannot fully understand you, even though you revealed what I can understand in your Word.  I know you are perfect and cannot co-exist with the imperfect. Yet, you love me anyway and continually run after me when I sin, calling for me to stop, turn around, and return to you. You never give up on me. Through everything that life holds, you are my God and I worship you.

Once again, Lord, it is Sunday morning and the sun is just starting to rise as Jesus did when he returned to his body that morning so long ago. It proved who he was and proved his promise would come true that all Christians: When we close our eyes and die here on earth, we will open our eyes and step into true life in heaven. How wonderful! How glorious! How amazing. How can I thank you? I do not deserve it. But you love me even more than I love myself. I do not understand such love but I bow before you in gratitude.

My prayer for Wednesday

Image result for rainbow and clouds

Lord God, I praise you for the pattern you have set in motion here on earth.  The pattern of birth, life, and death. The pattern of planting, growing, and harvesting. Millenniums ago you set the cycle in motion by putting people on earth. We have been good sometimes and bad sometimes but never perfect.  As for me, I was born, grew up, and now I await my own harvest. When will harvest be when the world ends? I long for harvest time. Then I will be able to praise you day and night without interruptions from Satan and his emissaries.  Then it will be sunset on earth forever and sunrise in heaven for all eternity. Oh, glorious day.

This morning the sun is rising a little later as winter nears. The sky is all reds and yellows. There are dark clouds behind it. That’s okay. I shall prepare for the storms coming behind the sunrise. I will turn on all the lights so that “sunshine” is within. Then, when insults come, I shall smile. When delays come, I shall smile. When accidents come, I shall smile. No matter what, I know ~ because of your promises ~ that the storm will be followed by a rainbow. And that will be your smile. Thank you.