Blessed Memorial Day

On Memorial Day we honor those who have given their lives in service to our country. On this day we should also remember their friends and family who also made great sacrifices in the defense of our country. Our prayers go out to all of you who had a service person lose their life. We also offer our prayers for those who are serving in military service currently. May you all have a blessed Memorial Day.

Anxiety to Peace

Philippians 4:6 – 7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Today I’m just taking you along on a journey with me. I hope you don’t mind. This verse is where I’m living since my wrist injury. I have needed God’s peace, and this verse teaches us how to have it. Prayer, drawing near to the Lord, is the way to the peace of the Lord.

This verse is set up on two poles; one is in anxiety; the other is peace. They are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Today’s verse is intended to show us how to move from anxiety to peace. This peace is God’s peace. It is beyond any kind of peace we know in the natural. God’s peace is being calm and assured even in times and situations when it would seem impossible to be so. The situation around you, the circumstances might seem to call for anxiety and fretting, but in God’s peace you can still have confidence even in the worst of circumstances. Most of us would prefer to live in that kind of peace than in anxiety. Now we know how we can avail ourselves of divine peace. It is through prayer.

Prayer has more functions than just begging God to do something for us. In fact, at its base, the most important thing about prayer is simply communion with God. Prayer is spending time with God and time spent with God is good for the soul. It is healing and comfort, and because of that, it leads our hearts away from anxiety into perfect peace. Most of us do not pray enough. I hope today’s Word will be encouragement to spend more time in prayer. As I said, this isn’t just begging God to do something for us, so let us look at the elements of this kind of prayer.

Today’s verse tells us that there are three parts To this prayer. Part one is simple. It is the petition or more importantly the communion and communication with God. However, the peace of God comes with adding the two other components. The first is supplication. Supplication can best be defined as humility. As we lay our hearts and petitions before God, it is important that we humble ourselves. There are times we can make a demand off of a promise God has given us. This prayer, however, is one of humility. We are to humble ourselves before the Lord as we lay our petition at his feet.

Second, this prayer is to be accompanied by thanksgiving. Thanksgiving puts your heart in a state to receive. When you combine thanksgiving with humility, you’re able to receive the peace of God, the peace which surpasses human understanding.

This is not prayer without confidence, however. God does not require that you bow and kowtow. You may still pray, going into his throne room with confidence even as you enter with humility and thanksgiving. It is our knowledge of Him as a great and wonderful father that gives us confidence to enter into His throne room of grace. Humbly enter in. Lay your petitions at his feet. Give him praise and Thanksgiving for all that He is doing for you and will do for you. Believe confidently that you are about to receive the peace which surpasses understanding. Trade in your anxiety for the peace of God.


2 Chronicles 15: 2

And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him.

Do you really want to find God? It turns out that it is not so hard. Just seek Him. It is like a game of Hide and Go Seek where God isn’t hiding. All you have to do is seek.

Have you ever played Hide and go Seek with a young child? You have to hide in plain view because they couldn’t find you if you hid in a really good hiding place. They would only get frustrated. The next thing you know, they are crying because they think they have lost you. So, you hide where they can find you. In other words, as the adult, your whole purpose is to be found, so you hide accordingly.

God hides himself in plain view. All you need do is lift up your eyes. He positions himself where you will see Him if you open your eyes. His whole purpose is to be found by you. Just lift up your eyes. Honestly, He is right in front of you.

Works by Grace

Ephesians 2: 8 – 11

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Well now, that is a little confusing. Is it about works, or isn’t it? Within a couple of phrases Paul talks about “not works” and then seems to say we should be involved in good works. Well, which is it?

The body of Christ has really had trouble with this. We get our wires a bit crossed over the concept of works. The church has dealt with this confusion going back to near antiquity. People try to get into heaven by their good works. That is the part Paul is addressing in the negative. No one is ever going to impress God through their holiness and good works. Even on our very best day we will never rise to that level. What impresses God is the blood of the lamb. The only admission ticket to heaven is that precious blood. If you have it, you get in. If you don’t, well . . . we’ll let God handle that one. But it won’t be on your good works that you gain admittance.

I am constantly surprised by the number of people who think they “have” to do good works. It is only by the grace of God that we are saved. But … once you are saved, love should begin to flow outward. Prior to getting saved many people are self interested, self absorbed. Everything is supposed to flow towards them. After you get saved love, blessings, kindness, etc. are supposed to start flowing out of you. We don’t do good works to get God to love us, to approve of us, or to stamp our boarding ticket for heaven. Good works are a by-product of the love of God springing forth in our spirits.

And when you are thinking of “good works” try to get out of the traditional view of works and towards a more spiritual sense. This scripture says we are to walk in these good works that were prepared beforehand. Let us then think of sowing to the Spirit instead of sowing to the flesh. Once a person can get himself off his mind, then many kinds of spiritual works present themselves, including praying for others, forgiveness, and walking in the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5: 22 – 23). Don’t get yourself so bogged down mentally or emotionally that you overlook the works of the Spirit. Feeding the poor is a great thing to do, and I encourage it, certainly, but it does not cover unforgiveness in a person’s heart. Nor do any good works cover gossiping, backbiting, lying, etc. First sow to the Spirit and then let the fruit of the Spirit manifest in your life. When you do that, you will be balanced, and good works of all sorts will just flow from you because you will take on the very nature of God. You will be a giver because God is a giver. You will be kind because He is kind. These are the real works we are supposed to be walking in. Once we have these priorities in correct sequence, then all sorts of good works will just be natural extensions of who we are. But don’t forsake what is first for what should be second for remember, it all began with grace.

Problem Solver

Ephesians 1: 15 – 18

For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you, and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.

This is a very moving prayer that the Apostle Paul prayed for his followers from Ephesus. I think it will touch your heart when you read it slowly and hear the love and admiration Paul was feeling for the people of Ephesus. But why am I sharing it with you today?

This is very much like the prayer I pray for you each day and I want you to receive this down into your spirit so that daily you can be lifted up and have new grace and revelation flowing into your spirit from the Father of grace.

There is no problem that a revelation from God cannot resolve. If you have a fresh revelation from God every day, there will be nothing too difficult for you. There is no situation that will not bow to the wisdom of God. The more you have revelation of God and from God, the more the problems of this world will not even touch you. You will be lifted up above them. This is really true. Many of the things of this world begin to just fade into insignificance.

Every day, open yourself to receive a fresh word from God, our Father. Knowing that a prayer similar to this one is going up to God for you every day, let your spirit receive the blessing that flows there from. Every morning thank God and tell Him you are ready to receive your wisdom and revelation and the enlightenment of your heart.

All Good

Psalm 119: 68

Thou art good and do good.

Do you believe this verse? Do you believe God is only good and does only good? It is really more difficult than it sounds. Of course, most of us would say, “Yes, I believe that,” but when bad things happen, we wonder where God is, why He let this bad thing happen and why He isn’t standing up for us.

Let me begin by sharing with you that it may be a good exercise to read the entire psalm. Warning: it is long. I do believe you can lift this verse out and it have meaning, but I also believe we benefit from seeing the landscape of the entire passage.

No one knows who wrote this psalm, but it certainly sounds like David. The psalmist was being antagonized and mistreated by the enemy. The psalmist in this time of reproach and incrimination turned to the Word of God. In other words, his response to being lied about and attacked was to turn to the Father and His statutes and precepts. David, if he be the psalmist, knew that vindication and ultimately salvation was in the law of the Lord. He was being treated unfairly and in an ungodly manner but rather than fighting with worldly means, he sought the Lord through Torah.

Does this in any way encourage you? I certainly hope so, because this shows us that we have an advocate. We are not alone, never alone. Do we feel alone, isolated and persecuted? Yes. None the less, our God is our strong right hand and will never forsake us. The psalmist, in his great time of need, in a time when he was being misused and taken advantage of, turned to the Word. He knew that the Word would rescue Him because He knew His Father was there in those pages. His strength was there awaiting him.

This is encouraging because we have many more writings than he did. Yet, he found solace in the Word. When the pressure is on, you may not feel like picking up your Bible and reading. You may be angry and not even want to sit still. I get it, but the Lord, our God and Father is awaiting to help us. Moreover, He is able to prevent us from stumbling. I know when you are hurt and angry, the last thing you want to do is to quiet yourself down and pray or read your Bible, but that is when you need Jesus the most. That is exactly when he wants you to let him be Lord. Let Jesus minister life and light to you. Remember he is good and does good and wants to pour out goodness on you but as the psalmist believed, the way is in the Word.

St. Patrick

Psalm 23: 1 – 3

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!!  I decided to donate today’s devotional to Saint Patrick. Did you know St. Patrick was a shepherd? His story reminds me  of David who was also a shepherd boy. Patrick was abducted from his home in England and sold into slavery to an Irish land holder. There, much like David, he spent his youth tending sheep.

I wrote to you recently about feeling alone. I said you are never really alone because God is always there with you. There is a big difference between solitude and loneliness. These two lads, David and Patrick, spent much time with only the company of God and sheep. In that solitude with God, their faith was forged. They learned how to be by themselves without ever truly being alone. In their shepherding, they met THE shepherd, the great shepherd. In this famous psalm, David portrays, beautifully, the characteristics and manner of the shepherding God.

Patrick said that in his solitude, he grew closer and closer to God. The time he spent watching sheep was also spent in prayer. The more he prayed, he said, the more the Spirit grew in him. He was not bothered by cold temperatures nor was he plagued by fear.

As I ponder these two shepherd boys who grew to be giants of faith, I realize how little quiet and solitude most of us enjoy. Sometimes I feel we are a lost generation. We are either too busy, filling our days with every kind of distraction, or we are lost in loneliness when we should be reveling in time with our beloved. How is it that neither Patrick nor David fell into despair in the night watches?

Do you long to know Jesus as they did? Do you hunger for the kind of confidence in God they knew? It is for all of us, but there is a price. We must spend time in prayer and in seeking. What did their prayer look like? They were out in the fields for days and weeks. Did they pray like we have been taught, or did it take on the tone of conversation? Did they praise and worship God?

We have an opportunity to never be lonely again and to grow in the strength and confidence of the Lord. It takes humility, which I understand, can be a stumbling block. None the less, we can know what Patrick’s development looked like if we would begin our own journey in prayer. It begins with opening your heart and then your mouth to God. Begin to speak to Him. When we have spoken with Him for hours, then we shall find it possible to pray for days.

Did you ever wonder why the great shepherd leads us beside quiet waters? I think we have found the answer.