Confession

I confess I’ve sinned in being selfish and lacking in genuine love for others. I’ve been putting self first. God is so gracious to bring these words to my attention this morning:

Love others well, and don’t hide behind a mask; love authentically. Despise evil; pursue what is good as if your life depends on it. Live in true devotion to one another, loving each other as sisters and brothers. Be first to honor others by putting them first….share what you have with the saints, so they lack nothing; take every opportunity to open your life and home to others.” Romans 12:9-13 (The Voice)

“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit….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.” Luke 6:43-45 (NIV)

Father, please forgive me for being selfish. Help me Lord. I want to love others authentically and with a full and open heart. I don’t want to just go through the motions. Please, fill me Holy Spirit. Love others through me. Thank You for Your grace and forgiveness. Thank You Jesus that You already paid the price for my sin on the cross. Help me now to live to Your glory by loving others as You’ve loved me. I can’t do it in my own power. Help me walk in submission to You. I love You Lord!

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Selling Our Children

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I’m heartbroken over how we’re corrupting our children.
Allowing them to fill their minds with twisted lyrics, videos, and images.
Messages that steal innocence and load them with burdensome knowledge.
Where is goodness, truth, and beauty?
Where is the purity of love?
We’re serving them lust and lies.
All for profit.

We’re sacrificing what is most precious, those who are priceless
to buy what results in emptiness and pain.

Where is the profit when we sell our souls in order to indulge temporary pleasures?

Father,

Open our eyes to the truth. I don’t know how to pray Lord. Our world is so corrupt. Babies are killed in the womb. Children are bought and sold for lustful pleasure. Thousands of little ones suffer from hunger and deprivation. Abuse, poverty, war, and hatred abound. Have mercy Lord!

Oh Lord, thank You that You sent Jesus to rescue us, to show us the way. Thank You that you redeemed us from the curse. Let Your message be spread throughout the earth! Please grip the heart of every believer, pastor, teacher, missionary, and truth-teller to spread the word boldly. We need You. Our children need You. Let the gospel spread throughout the world so every soul is brought to You. Then come quickly Lord. Pour out Your Spirit. Work through Your people. Work through me.

Please make everything right.

If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matthew 18:6

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Help in the Storm

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Father,

When the world around me is shaking, You’re my solid Rock.

When the storms rage, Your wings carry me above the clouds.

When I face a barrage of hatred and lies, Your truth sustains me.

Even if everything crumbles around me, You stand firm.

You never let go.

You are undefeatable and have already won the war.

You are trustworthy when all others fail.

You hold me firm in spite of my weakness.

I love you Lord.

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I Need Hope.

Guide me.
Teach me.
My God.
My Savior.
My Hope.
My hope is in You all day long.

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His Glory Will Erase Suffering

“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23:6

My heart hurts for the suffering happening around the world. Disasters have become common. We will always face problems or the threat of trouble on this earth. Some seem to suffer more than others but we all experience suffering. If we live long enough, our bodies will slowly wear out until we like every other human face death.

King David shared such beautiful truth here. His goodness and mercy follow us every day of our life! In spite of the trouble in our lives, we can always list hundreds if not thousands of good gifts God gives us. We’re surrounded by the bounty of His goodness. Most of all His goodness in giving us salvation through Jesus Christ.

His unfailing love is ours forever. His love had no beginning and will have no end. It’s an eternal love. He thought of us before He created the world.

The greatest truth: He knew the suffering in this world would be a minute out of all eternity. He planned for those who love Him to live with Him forever. The experiences of this life are nothing compared to what we will have when we spend the rest of our unending existence with Him.

Thank You Father for Your unfailing love. Thank You that we will live with You forever!

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I Need Confidence

“I just need more confidence.” I thought.

I tend to doubt myself. This has always been a struggle for me. I angst over being able to manage a certain lesson or class as a substitute teacher or wonder if I’ll be able to keep writing articles. I too often second guess myself in decisions.

What always gets me through the day, the lesson, or daily decisions is when I rely on Jesus Christ for what I need. He recently reminded me He is my confidence. I don’t need more confidence in myself. I need to remember I walk in dependence on Him. He is my strength and shield. Scripture teaches when I am weak, He is strong.

He is the source of my strength, my confidence, my hope, my all.

For you have been my hope, Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth.” Psalm 71:5

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Formed By God’s Hand

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.Genesis 2:7

I cringed at the sight of the photo just taken. Wrinkles, double-chin, goofy expression … I’m not one to post selfies on social media. I don’t particularly like mirrors either.  I tend to focus on perceived flaws when I look at myself.

What if I focused on the miracles instead?

God Almighty took dust from the ground and formed a man—like a potter takes a lump of clay and makes an exquisite piece of pottery. Only after God formed His masterpiece, He breathed into him and he became a living being with a soul, spirit, and body. The miracles contained within the human body are countless. I’m a walking exhibition of wonders that should boggle the mind.

The eye alone has two million working parts! Each person’s eyes are unique, unlike any other. Everything about us is one of a kind. There’s no one exactly like you or me and never will be. Every person is a complex, delicate, and amazing creation. My life is not random. I’m not an accident, a mistake, ugly, or meaningless. Almighty God formed the first man and gave him the DNA from which we all descended. Each of us is a masterpiece.

We’re formed by the hand of God. You’re a beautiful work of art. As you look in the mirror, may you see the astounding work of a master Creator.

What miracles do you find when you look at yourself?

Originally published at iBelieve.com

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Don’t Be Afraid. God Wins!

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The LORD foils the plans of the nations; He thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.” Psalm 33:10-11

Bad things will and do happen. Life on this earth includes suffering, pain, and sorrow. One day, the earth as we know it will end. The day of tribulation will come. But the plans and purposes of the LORD God Almighty, the One who created all things and redeemed us through His Son, will be fulfilled and nothing can stop them. The LORD thwarts the plans and purposes of the peoples and nations of the earth. They do not stop or hinder His. Nothing and no one can overcome the plans of our Lord. He has already overcome. The end has been known from the beginning. His purposes are eternal.

We do not have to live in fear. We do not have to tremble wondering what will happen. God has already won! There was never the slightest question of whether evil would win. The only reason God has allowed these years to go by was so He could bring all His sheep into the fold. He waits now so that every person possible will be saved. His purposes go deeper than we can comprehend. We must trust in His character and rest in His truth. We depend on His unchanging nature. He is not like men. He has always been truth and love and He always will be. He has always been absolutely pure and just and He always will be. He is Holy, All-powerful, All-knowing and there is nothing we have or do that isn’t a gift from Him.

I love You Father! I rest in Your truth, Your love, and Your absolute grace. I cling to You as my solid Rock. You are my security and peace. Please let Your will be done in and through me.

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Help Me, Jesus

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Jesus, help me.
Help me remember it’s all about You.

It’s not about Scripture knowledge.
It’s not about knowing the answers.
It’s not about living right or behaving or being good.

It’s not about church attendance.
It’s not about saying the right things.
You, Jesus, are the Rock.
You’re the center of everything.
You’re the Door.
The Gate.
The Foundation.
The Truth.
The Way.
Apart from You I have nothing.
My existence is because of You.
My worth comes from You.
Any good thing in me or my life is a gift from You.
My meaning, my purpose, my future are set in You.
Why am I so easily led astray to empty things?
Why do I look to the comforts of this world?
Why do I sometimes resist hearing from You?
You are the only one with the words of life.
You are the only one who knows exactly who I am and loves me unconditionally.

I cause my own pain.
Escapes into books, movies, food, or comfort are momentary.
Then the hole gets deeper.
The ache only You can fill.
You anchor my soul.
Forgive me my Jesus.
Be my strength.
You are my Strength.
Help me yield.
Help me let go.
Help me be willing to hear anything You say.
Please help me stop resisting.
Help me trust You unconditionally.
What am I not hearing, Lord?
Open my ears to hear.
My eyes to see.
Please, please let Your will be done, not mine.

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20 Psalms and Songs of Peace for a Worried Spirit

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Overwhelmed with unceasing negative news, I’ve restricted my time on social media. My peace was under constant attack. What fills our minds affects our entire being. While it’s difficult to distinguish truth from distortion or lies, the Bible provides an unfailing, reliable source that helps us discern the truth from all that is false. Meditating on Scripture calms our fears and gives us hope. The book of Psalms is filled with contemplations that bring peace.

1. Psalm 3:4-6

“I call out to the LORD, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.”

Sleep is often scarce when anxiety rushes in. Rely on God’s strength.

2. Psalm 13:1-3, 5-6

“How long LORD?… How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death… But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me.”

Be honest with God. Cry out to Him, leaning on His unfailing love. Mediate on all He’s given you and praise Him.

3. Psalm 23:1-4

“The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul… 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.”

God is our Shepherd; we’re complete. He is always with us.

 

 

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