Prayers God Loves to Hear

24 Apr

ScriptureLuke 18:1-23

God’s Message to Us: (What God is saying to us through these verses)praytogether

NEVER GIVE UP on praying.  Tell Me your deepest needs and don’t hesitate to keep at it until you receive peace about it.  My peace is always present for you to grasp onto in times of deep need.  Remember, I am not your genie to assure you of an amazing life, but I am your ever-present comforter through life’s storms.  Tell Me your needs rather than telling Me what to do.   Your prayers reflect your faith in Me to carry you through the toughest of times.   

  • Adoration: How comforting to know You are always with us.
  • Confession: We too often tell you what we want you to do.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank you for not answering our every prayer.
  • Supplication: Help us to pray without ceasing and trust Your answers.

HUMILITY IS OF great value in My sight.  You don’t need to tell Me all your virtues thinking I need to be reminded of how valuable you are.  There is nothing about you hidden from Me.  I love you just the way you are but long to hear you admit your failures rather than brag on your successes.  Humility puts you in the perfect spot to be of great blessing to Me. The world may look on success as the desired outcome, but I know the greater value of humility for you.   

  • Adoration: We trust You completely for Your great wisdom.
  • Confession: We struggle with genuine humility.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank You for sharing the importance of humility.
  • Supplication: Help us to be humble instead of honoring ourselves.

MY PRIDE AND joy is found in the faith of children.  I entrust parents with teaching them about Me and bringing them into My presence through prayer.  The faith of children is complete and perfect.  They have no doubts but are completely trusting.  Oh, that all were as innocent as a child.  Parents who fails to bring up their children believing in Jesus have missed the greatest opportunity in life.  A solid foundation will prevent many problems later in life.   

  • Adoration: We are honored to bring children into Your presence.
  • Confession: We didn’t always nurture our children’s faith in You enough.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank You for making up for our parenting deficiencies.
  • Supplication: Help us to come before You trusting as a child.

God’s Question for me: When is the last time you humbled yourself before Me?

God’s Promise to me:  You are of immense value to Me when you humble yourself and let Me lift you up at the proper time. 

 

 

Advertisements

Are You Ready?

23 Apr

ScriptureLuke 17:20-37

God’s Message to Us: (What God is saying to us through these verses)Are You Ready? sign with sky background

TO BE PREPARED is always the best idea.  Whether you are baking, gardening, going to a wedding, taking a trip or building a house—get prepared. You don’t take flour on a trip or to a wedding, but you can’t bake without it.  You don’t wear a wedding garment to build a house and you don’t take your building tools to a wedding.  If you know how to prepare for events on this earth don’t you think it is good advice to get prepared for eternity? 

  • Adoration: Your Word is just what we need to prepare for eternity.
  • Confession: We admit we often prepare more for Christmas than for eternity.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank You for patiently putting up with our earthly mentality.
  • Supplication: Help us to live each day with eternity’s values in view. 

JESUS WILL RETURN when you least expect it.  The whole purpose of My Word is to help you get ready for this epic event.  It is not something to fear or forget about but to prepare for.  The preparation you must make is not something you just do on Sunday, in church, but involves your everyday life.  Each day is preparation day.  My Word guides how to behave toward others, all others.  So, live as My ambassadors to your world as you go to work, go shopping, in your garden, at a wedding, while baking, taking a trip or building a house. 

  • Adoration: What an honor to serve as Your ambassadors.
  • Confession: We often forget that we are to treat others as we would treat You.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank you for this simple way to relate to You—through others.
  • Supplication: Help us to consider whatever we do for others is done for You.

BE ACTION MAKERS in your little corner of the world.  Use every opportunity to touch others lives and give them hope and encouragement.  Be a light that makes My love visible to others.  First, they must see My love visible in you before they will be drawn to Me.  Your hands are My hands.  Your feet are My feet.  What you do is what I am doing for others.  Where there is sadness, bring hope.  Whatever I have blessed you with, be ready to share with others.  My ambassadors are all about building up My kingdom.  In building up others you receive the greater blessing.  This is the best way to prepare for eternity. 

  • Adoration: How precious that by loving others we are loving You.
  • Confession: We get so preoccupied with our own concerns we ignore Yours.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank You that we can serve as Your hands and feet.
  • Supplication: Help us to evaluate every endeavor by how it blesses others.

God’s Question for me: Are you ready to respond to the needs of others around you?

God’s Promise to me:  I have prepared you for the mission field right in your own backyard. 

 

 

How Am I Responsible?

22 Apr

ScriptureLuke 17:1-19

God’s Message to Us: (What God is saying to us through these verses)responsibility

YOU ARE YOUR brothers keeper! (verses 1-2) No one lives entirely to themselves for every choice you make affects others.  Choose loyalty, honesty and forgiveness and be a blessing to all you meet.  Choose to live to please self, without regard for others, and you contribute to their downfall.  If any of your freedoms to choose causes another to stumble, you are responsible.  Love your brother as yourself means to choose to live above reproach.  Jesus set the example. 

  • Adoration: Your ways are best because of Your love for us.
  • Confession: We too often choose to please ourselves, forgetting about others.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank You that Jesus chose to live to make up for our failures.
  • Supplication: Help us to choose to live that we might not cause others to stumble.

FORGIVENESS IS ALWAYS an option.  (verses 3-10) Even if a person does wrong to you repeatedly, then says they are sorry, always forgive.  Isn’t that the way you live, asking for My forgiveness over and over, for the same thing.  Don’t expect from Me what you won’t give others.  If you have faith in Me, you will forgive as I forgive.  Let me deal with the offender. My followers forgive, forgive, and forgive some more.  They don’t go around with a chip on their shoulder looking for something they don’t like.  Instead, they jump on every opportunity to forgive an offense before it becomes an irritation.   

  • Adoration: Where would we be without your constant forgiveness?
  • Confession: We admit we expect more from you than we will give others.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank You for giving us the strength to forgive repeatedly.
  • Supplication: Help us to not take offense so easily but willingly forgive.

GRATITUDE PRECLUDES GRACE.  (verses 11-19) What would you ask of Me?  My ear is turned when your requests are preceded with genuine gratitude.  Not gratitude just to win Me over.  You may think you can pull the wool over my eyes, but I see beyond the wool and into your heart.  I understand clearly your intentions and thoughts.  Daily, I provide you with the very essence of life and long to hear some words of gratitude for these life-giving benefits:  air, water, food, shelter.  Genuine gratitude is evidenced by your choices in caring for others, forgiving them and following Jesus’ example for living. 

  • Adoration: With You there is complete justice coupled with grace.
  • Confession: We are so focused on self we seldom take time to say Thanks.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank You for patiently enduring our many failures.
  • Supplication: Help us to be gracious for all You do for us. 

God’s Question for me: Do you understand why you must forgive others to get My forgiveness? 

God’s Promise to me: To those who restrain their freedoms to help another who is struggling I consider a real hero. 

 

 

The Best Policy–Honesty

21 Apr

ScriptureLuke 16

God’s Message to Us: (What God is saying to us through these verses)honesty-is-the-best-policy

USE EVERY ADVERSITY to stimulate your creative survival. (verses 1-9) Instead of giving up when times are tough ask for My help in getting through the storms of life.  Don’t look for loop holes but honestly seek solutions just as though you were cutting a business deal with Me.  Yes, treat every person you deal with, even during adversity, as though you were dealing with Me.  That helps you keep things on the up and up.  And I am more prone to come to your aid. 

  • Adoration: You have been our help through all of life’s storms.
  • Confession: We don’t usually treat our adversaries as we would treat You.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank You for reminding us to keep things open and honest.
  • Supplication: Help us treat our adversaries as though it were You.

HONESTY ALWAYS PAYS. (verses 10-18)  Find a person honest in the trivial things and you can know they will be honest in the important things.  If someone will cheat on your behalf, they will cheat against you.  As you wish people to be honest with you, you be honest in all your dealings.  Nothing is too small to dismiss.  Big dishonesty’s begin with small ones.  Therefore, it is important for parents to be completely honest in full view of their children.  Cheating parents raise cheating children. You cannot receive what you do not give.   Always be honest—always! 

  • Adoration: How grateful we are that we can completely trust You.
  • Confession: We admit that we have been less than honest at times.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank You for Your faithful teachings on the value of honesty.
  • Supplication: Help us to be as attentive to small honesty’s as large ones.

LISTEN WHILE LIVING while there is a chance to adjust your course. (verses 19-31) In these verses you will find that you get out of life what you have invested in.  The rich man in this story spent his life in the lap of luxury—not caring for the poor.  In the afterlife the poor man sat in My lap of luxury and the rich man begged for his mercy.  I have provided My Word to teach you how to live life investing in things eternal.  You can’t take your treasures with you, but you can send them on ahead by investing in others.  Treasures laid up in heaven pay huge dividends.

  • Adoration: We praise You for Your Word where we find eternities values in view.
  • Confession: We are sorry that we too often live for our own pleasures.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank you for sharing how to lay up treasures in heaven.
  • Supplication: Help us to look for opportunities to share Your love with others.

God’s Question for me:  Will you be as honest with others as you would be with Me?  

God’s Promise to me: My forgiveness is willing given to those who are honest with Me. (meaning honest with everyone)

 

 

Choose Forgiveness

20 Apr

Scripture Luke 15:11-32

God’s Message to Us: (What God is saying to us through these verses)choose forgiveness

YOU ARE FREE to have your own way!  I do not dictate your every move but let you make your own choices throughout life.  Adam and Eve were the first ones to receive My gift of freedom of choice.  I carefully explained to them the way to live a carefree and wonderful life in the garden.  But they chose to allow themselves to be tempted to try something outside of my boundary for them.  They were free to make their choices but not free from the consequences.

  • Adoration: We appreciate our freedom but love Your guidelines for safety.
  • Confession: We too allow temptations to lure us into trouble.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank You for Your Word that provide boundaries of protection.
  • Supplication: Help us to guard our hearts from being tempted into sin.

CHILDREN WITHOUT BOUNDARIES are a danger to themselves and others.  That is why I gave them parents to love, guide and protect them during the formative years.  But some insist on learning the hard way.  It often ends in disaster for them and for those who love them.  They think they know best and are mature enough for their own choices.  But freedom without boundaries always spells disaster.

  • Adoration: We are honored to be given the privilege of parenting.
  • Confession: We admit we did not take that job as seriously as we could have.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank You for your forgiveness for both us and our children.
  • Supplication: Help us to welcome Your boundaries into our lives.

FORGIVENESS IS ALWAYS needed to be given to others.  As you need My forgiveness, I need you to forgive others.  Forgiveness is such a win-win activity.  Nothing can compare to the wonderful feeling of peace that forgiveness provides.  When you feel you are forced into a corner with no way out there is always the balm of forgiveness.  Not because the other person deserves it—but to show Me how you wish Me to forgive you.  Having a tough time forgiving?  I am right there beside you, giving you the strength to offer another what you wish from Me.

  • Adoration: Your forgiveness is such a balm for our weary souls.
  • Confession: Oh, how often we fail at forgiving others.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank You for Jesus example of forgiving His murderers.
  • Supplication: Help us choose to forgive whatever we have against another.

God’s Question for me: How can I help you forgive the unforgivable?

God’s Promise to me: My strength is sufficient for whatever difficult challenges you face.

 

 

When Heaven Celebrates

19 Apr

ScriptureLuke 15:1-10

God’s Message to Us: (What God is saying to us through these verses)Jesus and sheep

THOSE OF DOUBTFUL reputations were hanging around Jesus, listening intently.  The religious leaders were not happy.  They claimed Jesus was taking in sinners, eating with them and treating them like old friends.  Instead of being happy these people were listening to Jesus they wanted them to stay away. Jesus’ message of salvation is for everyone and not just for a select few inside the walls of the church buildings.  Take to the streets and treat others as you wish Jesus to treat you.    

  • Adoration: Jesus loves everyone and we all benefit from that.
  • Confession: We too have often ignored those of “doubtful reputation.”
  • Thanksgiving: Thank You for this reminder to reach out with Jesus’ love.
  • Supplication: Help us to treat all others as equals in Your sight.

JESUS CHOSE THE lost sheep story to explain what He was all about.  If you have 100 sheep and 99 of them are safely in the fold is that good enough?  No, He says the shepherd will leave the 99 and go look for the one that is lost.  When he finds him, he will call in his friends in for a celebration that the lost was found.  This story shows the joy that heavens feels when one lost sinner’s life is rescued.  The purpose of the church is to rescue the lost, not coddle the saints.  My call to you is be about the rescue business. 

  • Adoration: How blessed we are that You care about rescuing us all.
  • Confession: We admit we often fail to reach out to the lost.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank you for Jesus’ example of what to focus on.
  • Supplication: Help us to care as much as Jesus did about the lost.

EVER LOST SOME money?  Do you sit around and cry about it or get busy doing something about it? You are probably like the wise woman in this story Jesus told.  She scoured the house looking for it.  When she found it, she called in her friends and neighbors to celebrate.  Jesus used these stories about the lost sheep and the lost coin to help folks understand the kind of celebration in heaven when a lost soul turns to God.  You are My ambassador to the lost around you.  Be a light that draws them to repentance and salvation. 

  • Adoration: It is our honor to be an ambassador on Your behalf.
  • Confession: We are tempted to focus on our own business and ignore others.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank You for Your concern that all come to know You.
  • Supplication: Help us to be a light that attracts others to You.

God’s Question for me: Who will meet you in heaven and say “thank you” for telling me about the Lord?

God’s Promise to me: Be about My business of reaching out to the lost and I will provide the words you will need to be my ambassador.

 

 

What’s in Your Hands?

18 Apr

Scripture Luke 14:25-35

God’s Message to Us: (What God is saying to us through these verses)  hands

DRAWING A CROWD is easy to do.  You give them something that adds value to their lives and they will follow you anywhere.  The crowds clamored after Jesus because He had a way with words.  But many were just looking for His ability to heal their diseases. In today’s passage Jesus let the crowds know that coming to Him meant leaving some things behind. As He came to earth knowing that the cross was His destiny, He calls His followers to find their cross in life and be willing to shoulder it.  In the cross you find your salvation and your calling.    

  • Adoration: Jesus endured the cross to show us the extent of self-sacrifice.  
  • Confession: We want Your blessings but the cross we hesitate to take up.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank You for Jesus example of willingly enduring the cross.
  • Supplication: Help us to realize the joy of bearing our cross on Your behalf.

FINISH WHAT YOU started is My encouragement to you.  Jesus could have refused the cross for He certainly had the power.  But He came to earth to finish a task on your behalf.  Look to the cross where you will find the power and strength to finish the tasks given you.  What are those tasks?  Well, what is in your hands?  What are your strengths and abilities?  Look around you to the needs of your world.  How have I blessed you?  That is how I call you to bless others.  

  • Adoration: You bless us with gifts and abilities that we enjoy doing.
  • Confession: We too often use these for our pleasure only.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank You for the joy found in using our gifts to serve You.
  • Supplication: Help us discover Your calling on our lives—our cross to carry.

DINNER IS SERVED but where are the guests? When Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins, that was an event worth celebrating and throwing a big dinner party. But when those who were invited to celebrate, instead celebrated his death, the invitation was sent out to “whosoever will come.”  And that invitation is open even today.  Jesus was a Jew and came from Jewish lineage completely fulfilling the prophecies about the coming Messiah.  The Jewish people rejected Him and have rejected the salvation He came to bring them.    

  • Adoration: We are grateful for your acceptance of we who are non-Jews.
  • Confession: We are sorry that the Jewish people reject Your offer of salvation.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank You for Jesus love for all mankind.
  • Supplication: Help us to celebrate Jesus life, death and resurrection.

God’s Question for me: Where are you putting the bulk of your energies, skills and abilities?

God’s Promise to me:  Salvation, purchased by the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins. 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: