Listening

Been up since 4 AM,
Listening to the silence of a sleeping house.
Listening for the still, quiet voice of You.
Listening with expectant ears.
Listening with a hopeful heart.
Listening
This world is noisy and my ears are tired.
Too many voices.
Too many sounds.
But now the silence, oh the silence.

[Tick, tock]
[Distant car engine outside]
[House creaking]

Even those small noises are loud.
Longing for silence, if just for a moment.
No distractions.
Just You.
I need Your voice.
I’m here,
Listening,
For You.

Yes God!

Yes God! My Father and King, holy and true and reigning on high, it is right and salutary that i praise You always and everywhere and at all times. You sent Jesus to redeem a fallen creation – coming in love to save my soul. You reign in glory to shine Your light. Oh God, my King, defend me from those who would rip me away from Your love. Protect me from the Evil One – sending him scurrying away back to hell. Lead me through the storms that rage. Fix my eyes that I my fix them on Jesus. Tune my ears that I may listen to Your voice. Heal my hurts that I run to others – shouting the glory of Your name.
You are faithful and true.
Mighty and gentle.
Awesome and holy.
Oh God, my Father and King – YES! – it is right to praise You.

God Still Reigns

In this tumultuous political climate, I take great comfort in the fact that no matter who is in secular leadership, Jesus is still King and always will be. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He is the King of Glory. He is the Son of God, Redeemer and Savior. Jesus is our hope and life. He is Immanuel – God with us. And what a great reminder as we move into the Advent season next week – a season of waiting and anticipation. No, we are not waiting for a birth but for the second advent of Jesus – his coming to claim his bride, the Church. And so, as you watch leaders fight and scrap for power and position in this world, take comfort in the fact that God already reigns – full of power, authority and dominion. God reigns over all creation and God is for you. Tumultuous now, but peace forever in His kingdom. Praise be to God. Amen.

Purpose

Creator God, this day is Yours – masterfully designed and purposed by You. I am Yours – wonderfully knit together in my mother’s womb and purposed by You. Bring me together with this day and send me forth empowered for Your purposes and Yours alone.
May I seek no glory for myself but seek to display Your glory.
May I make much of You and less of me.
May I decrease and You increase.
May Your will – Your purposes – be done.
Creator God, Creator of this day and me, You beautifully created both and for that I will praise Your holy name – my purpose in life.
In the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior I pray, Amen.

Love Not Hate

There are many people with whom I disagree, but it doesn’t mean I hate them. Even if they hate what I stand for and call me names, I do not hate them. Satan would like it if I were to hate them but I will not. I confess that it is hard at times but that’s why I commend this to God and ask Him for help. Only God can give me the strength and fortitude to stand strong in the face of opposition. Only God can love me with a love that spills out for others to see that glorifies Him.

In the past, I didn’t always think this way (not that I am perfect now) and for that I confess my sins and repent of my behavior. Not that I necessarily hated the people with whom I was disagreeing, but I can see now how some of my statements would come off that way. You see, I have often taken to social media to express my beliefs and run to the defense of like-minded people/organizations. As if those who oppose them are going to be swayed by anything I say or write. At times, I have been downright feisty – sometimes to the point of my heart racing with emotions and crossing the line at times. Once again, I repent.

As Christians, we are never going to lead people to the Truth – Jesus Christ – through hatred, but only through love. You can’t hate someone and then proclaim Christ to them. It’s as it says in James 3:10-12…

10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

I regret the bridges that I have burned through hasty speech on social media and through other mediums. God forgive me. Brothers and sisters, let us bridle our tongues/words as we engage those with whom we disagree. Don’t come off as arrogant, morally self-righteous, or anything of the sort. Humbly approach each and every person and situation with the love of Christ – genuinely wanting people to come to the knowledge of the Truth. Pray for your heart. Pray for those who oppose you. Pray for your words. May blessings flow and not curses, that God may be glorified.

Holy God, bless the fountain that is my mouth and have holy dominion over my tongue. May the words that enter the arena for others to see/hear be holy words that glorify You. May disagreements be seen as mission fields and not battle grounds – opportunities to witness to the Truth. May my words be Your Words. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Morning Gaze

To God be the glory, to Him alone.
To God be the glory for He’s enthroned.
Reigning on high and yet close to me.
Reigning on high and always near me.
You are my God,
My Lord,
And my King.
You are my Rock my praise I will bring.
In the morning I lift up my voice,
At the noontide I will still rejoice.
For you are mighty and full of grace.
You are love, i’ll will never be displaced.
Through Jesus Your Son I confess my sins.
Through Jesus Your Son, my new life begins.
To You be all glory,
all honor
and all praise.
To you be all worship on You i’ll set my gaze.

Confident Praying

For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me; you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord , faithful God. [Psalms 31:3‭-‬5 ESV]


Just think on those verses for a moment. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

[Pondering]

…and now consider this: Into your hand I commit my spirit are words that Jesus prayed while on the cross – right before he breathed his last breath (Luke 23:46). With his dying breath he was praying the Word of God. No doubt, the rest of this Psalm was on his heart as he was dying:

~ You are my rock and fortress.
~ For Your name’s sake You, oh Father, lead me and guide me.
~ You are my deliverer – taking me out of their net.
~ You are my refuge.
~ My life is Yours for You have redeemed me.
~ Father, You are faithful.

What a powerful prayer to be prayed at that time. A prayer of faith, for Jesus knows the Father like no one else. Jesus knew what was coming and thus he endured the cross FOR YOU. Jesus knew his Father was and is faithful. Jesus knew God’s plan would be fulfilled. Jesus knew God would be glorified. Knowing all of this, Jesus prayed with confidence – praying for your salvation – and with his dying breath.

And now, we sit here on this side of the cross looking back. Looking back to see Jesus’ incredible love for you and for me. He died for our sins and rose from the grave that we could have the hope of the resurrection. He committed his life to God and His plan of redemption so we could be saved. What an awesome God we have. Knowing this and knowing that God wants to hear from us, it behooves us to commune with Him.

But maybe you are feeling dry in your prayer life or just need something different. Try praying the Psalms like Jesus did. Pray Psalm 31, for example, and let the Holy Spirit carry you on a wave of joy – splashing you with the love of God. Start with verse one and then meditate – praying what comes to mind, and then move on to the next verse and so on – taking your time. It is like you are carrying on a conversation with God. He speaks to you through His Word and you pray back to him. And then God speaks and then you. What a fun scene. A child and daddy communing together in intimate joy.

If you run out of time, that’s alright. Just pick up where you leave off next time. Pray, pray and pray some more. Pray with confidence – in faith – and through your dying breath, knowing:
~ God is your rock and fortress.
~ For His name’s sake, God will lead and guide you.
~ God is your deliverer – taking you out of the nets set for you.
~ God is your refuge.
~ Your life is His for God has redeemed you through Jesus Christ.
~ Your Father is faithful.

Jesus prayed this with complete confidence and thus, through faith, you can and should as well. God wants you to. Give thanks and praise and worship to God – committing your life to Him. Pray confidently, as Jesus did. Take refuge in God and chat with your heavenly daddy. He’s waiting for you.

So, are you ready? Okay then, let’s pray…