Thursday, March 31, 2011

Give Freely and Spontaneously

(7-9) When you happen on someone who's in trouble or needs help among your people with whom you live in this land that God, your God, is giving you, don't look the other way pretending you don't see him. Don't keep a tight grip on your purse. No. Look at him, open your purse, lend whatever and as much as he needs. Don't count the cost. Don't listen to that selfish voice saying, "It's almost the seventh year, the year of All-Debts-Are-Canceled," and turn aside and leave your needy neighbor in the lurch, refusing to help him. He'll call God's attention to you and your blatant sin. (10-11) Give freely and spontaneously. Don't have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God, your God's, blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures. There are always going to be poor and needy people among you. So I command you: Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and hurting neighbors. -- Deuteronomy 15:7-11 (MSG)

Count it all joy!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Sweetest Words He Ever Said Were...

"The sweetest words He ever said were...
'I forgive!'"
-- Joel Hemphill, Gospel Songwriter

On the Cross, Jesus said,
“Father, forgive them,for they don’t know what they are doing.”
Luke 22:34 (NLT)

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

He Will Crush Your Head

(14) So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. (15) And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
-- Genesis 3:14-15 (NIV)

Holiness Unto the LORD!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Generosity or Stinginess?

Generosity begets generosity. Stinginess impoverishes.
-- Luke 8:18 (The Message Paraphrase)

Lord, in a world that tends to be intimidated and is characterized by clinched fists, I want to live inspired with my hands wide open as You did. In Your Name, Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Count it all joy.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pray for a Vision of the Harvest

Really, is there a sadder verse in the whole written Word of Holy God than Jeremiah 8:20?

“The harvest is finished, and the summer is gone,” the people cry, “yet we are not saved!” -- Jeremiah 8:20 (NLT)

This Old Testament verse speaks to "opportunity lost", yes in two words the weeping prophet is crying out: "TOO LATE!"

And then, in Matthew 9:35-38, we find this description of what Jesus was up to while on planet earth and we also hear Him in these verses calling on us to ask, yes, to pray to the Lord of the harvest for more harvesters, yes workers and witnesses to partner with the Lord, to bring lost souls into safety before it's too late:

(35) Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And He healed every kind of disease and illness. (36) When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (37) He said to His disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. (38) So pray to the Lord Who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send more workers into His fields.”

Lord of the harvest, place Your fire in me. More than praying for the harvest, give me a vision for the harvest, yes, I want to see the world You bled and died for through the eyes of Your compassionate heart. I want to be Your Holy-Spirit-filled witness! Amen.

Click here: - Shout to the North - Delirious

Count it all joy.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

"Lord, Lord!"

(46) “So why do you keep calling Me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? (47) I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to Me, listens to My teaching, and then follows it. (48) It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. (49) But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.”
-- Jesus' Words in Luke 6:46-50 (NLT)

(21) "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who do what my Father in Heaven wants will enter. (22) "Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord! Lord! Didn't we prophesy in your name? Didn't we drive out demons in your name? Didn't we do many miracles in your name?' (23) Then I will tell them clearly, 'I never knew you. Get away from me, you who do evil!' -- Jesus' Words in Matthew 7:21-23 (NIRV)

Click here: - You Are My King/Amazing Love/-Newsboys

Lord, in all I do. I want to honor You, my Lord, my King! Amen.

Holiness Unto the LORD!

Friday, March 25, 2011

I Will Not Fail Or Abandon You!

No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.
-- Joshua 1:5 (NLT)

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

You Don't Love... As You Did At First.

(1) “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the One who walks among the seven gold lampstands: (2) “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. (3) You have patiently suffered for Me without quitting. (4) “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love Me or each other as you did at first! (5) Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to Me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. (6) But this is in your favor: You hate the evil deeds of the Nicolaitans, just as I do. (7) “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what He is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God."
-- Revelation 2:1-7 (NLT)

Holiness unto the LORD!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

God is Real!

If there were no God, there would be no atheists.
-- G. K. Chesterton

But without faith no one can please God. We must believe that God is real and that He rewards everyone who searches for Him.
-- Hebrews 11:6 (CEV)

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I Know The One In Whom I Trust

... for I know the One in whom I trust, and I am sure that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until the day of His return.
-- 2 Timothy 1:12 b (NLT)

My Granddaddy Gray's favorite Gospel group, The Chuck Wagon Gang, singing the old beloved hymn, I Know Whom I Have Believed:

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Monday, March 21, 2011

God Will Not Abandon You

Today, as God's people, let us hold onto these words of encouragement spoken by the outgoing leader, Moses, to the incoming leader, Joshua, as all the people listened on:

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you.
-- Deuteronomy 31:8 (NLT)

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Write the Vision Down. It Will Happen!

(1) While standing guard on the watchtower, I waited for the LORD's answer, before explaining the reason for my complaint. (2) Then the LORD told me: "I will give you my message in the form of a vision. Write it clearly enough to be read at a glance. (3) At the time I have decided, my words will come true. You can trust what I say about the future. It may take a long time, but keep on waiting-- it will happen!
-- Habakkuk 2:1-3 (CEV)

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Learn to Fly. Release the Reigns.

The words of this Crystal Lewis song titled "Learn to Fly" are pure poetry to the soul.

Sometimes I sit wondering
I wonder what the future brings
I wonder what tomorrow means
I've thoughts of fear, they frighten me
About days ahead that I can't see
I want to know with certainty
So I'm faced with a choice
A fork in the road
I can raise my voice in protest
Or surrender and let go

And learn to fly
Learn to soar
Above the doubts around my door
Learn to see
Learn to try
Learn to trust
Let go and fly

Life isn't always fair it seems
At times I feel cheated out of my dreams
Where I am isn't where I planned to be
My plans are changed without my consent
To come this way wasn't my intent
The road I face isn't the one I meant to take
So I'm faced with a choice
A fork in the road
I can raise my voice in protest
Or surrender and let go

I look beyond the boundaries of my expectations
There is so much more to life than what it seems
The past is preparation for the future
I release the reigns I've held and let you lead

Click here: - Crystal Lewis - Learn to Fly

Oh, that I had wings like a dove;
then I would fly away and rest!
-- Psalm 55:6 (NLT)

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Were It Not For Grace!

I know I have posted these lyrics before, however, this song of gratitude sung by Larnelle Harris is on my mind often and especially now. I love repeating the good stuff.

"Were it Not for Grace"

Time measured out my days
Life carried me along
In my soul I yearned to follow God
But knew I’d never be so strong
I looked hard at this world
To learn how Heaven could be gained
Just to end where I began
Where human effort is all in vain

Were it not for grace
I can tell you where I’d be
Wandering down some pointless road to nowhere
With my salvation up to me
I know how that would go
The battles I would face
Forever running but losing this race
Were it not for grace

So here is all my praise
Expressed with all my heart
Offered to the Friend who took my place
And ran a course I could not start
And when He saw in full
Just how much His would cost
He still went the final mile between me and Heaven
So I would not be lost

Repeat Chorus

Forever running but losing this race
Were it not for grace

Lord, remind us that while Your grace is indeed covering for sins, Your grace is also power over sinning. Cure? For sure! But also prevention! Amazing grace, indeed! In Jesus' name. Amen.

There but for the grace of God, go I... -- (Author Uncertain)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Be Careful. Obey. Listen. Honor the Lord.

(16) ... be careful. Don't let your heart be deceived so that you turn away from the Lord and serve and worship other gods. (17) If you do, the Lord's anger will burn against you...
-- Deuteronomy 11:16-17 (NLT)

You will be blessed if you obey the commands of the Lord...
-- Deuteronomy 11:27 (NLT)

The Lord will be merciful only if you listen and keep all His commands...
Deuteronomy 13:18 (NLT)

... honor the Lord your God. Bring God a voluntary offering in proportion to the blessings you have received from Him.
-- Deuteronomy 16:10 (NLT)

(1) Dear friends, God is good. So I beg you to offer your bodies to Him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing. That's the most sensible way to serve God. (2) Don't be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to Him.
-- Romans 12:1-2 (CEV)

Click here: YouTube - Tim Hughes- Here I Am To Worship

Lord, I want to live a careful and prayer life before You. Let my life be a life of worshipping only You, my Lord, in the Beauty of Your Holiness. Amen.

Holiness Unto the LORD!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

To Truly Believe? A Test of Love.

The real challenge is to allow yourself to be forgiven, to be healed, to be given something. To truly believe "God yearns to wipe away all your guilt and shame and give you a new heart and new spirit" is a test of love. -- Henri Nouwen

(16) God loved the people of this world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who has faith in Him will have eternal life and never really die. (17) God did not send His Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent Him to save them! (18) No one who has faith in God's Son will be condemned. But everyone who doesn't have faith in Him has already been condemned for not having faith in God's only Son. -- John 3:16-18 (CEV)

Lord, help our unbelief... Amen.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

For Your Own Good

(12) ...what does the Lord your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases Him, and love Him and serve Him with all your heart and soul. (13) And you must always obey... for your own good.
-- A Portion of Deuteronomy 10:12-13 (NLT)

Holiness Unto the LORD!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Stand Between the Dead And The Living

Aaron stood between the dead and the living, and the plague stopped. -- Numbers 16:48 (NLT)

Are we willing to take a stand today like Aaron did on that day?

Holiness Unto the LORD!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Earthquakes in Many Places? Inescapable!

As I reflect over the past year or so, I am immediately reminded of three earthquakes around the globe, literally -- Haiti, New Zealand, and Japan. These words from the lips of our Lord are inescapable:

(7) When you hear about wars and threats of wars, don't be afraid. These things will have to happen first, but that isn't the end. (8) Nations and kingdoms will go to war against each other. There will be earthquakes in many places, and people will starve to death. But this is just the beginning of troubles. (9) Be on your guard! You will be taken to courts and beaten with whips in their meeting places. And because of Me, you will have to stand before rulers and kings to tell about your faith. (10) But before the end comes, the good news must be preached to all nations. -- Mark 13:7-10 (CEV)

Click: Need Perspective? A Thousand Questions

And I said: Here am I, send me.
-- Isaiah 6:8 (NIV)

On Christ The Solid Rock We Stand!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Upholder, My Sustainer

Behold, God is my Helper and Ally; the Lord is my Upholder (my Sustainer)... -- Psalm 54:4 (Amplified Bible)

Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken. -- Psalm 55:22 (NIV)

Lord, search my motives, my mind, and my mysteries...

Friday, March 11, 2011

What Are You Thinking?

From that time Jesus began to preach and to say: "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." -- Matthew 4:17 (KJV)

And so, the commencement of Jesus' ministry as the public cryer was well underway, and He broke the silence by continuously crying out: "What are you thinking? Reconsider how you think. Turn around from the darkness and walk in the light. The King of the Heavenly Kingdom is here and now."
-- Matthew 4:17 (An Amplified Paraphrase from the Original Greek)

Lord, I want to be among "The Repenters!" Those who desire the mind of Christ. Amen.

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Of Caleb and Joshua, Moses said:
...for they have wholeheartedly followed the Lord.
-- Numbers 32:12 (NLT)

Lord, let the same be said of us!

Holiness Unto the LORD!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Absent from the Body=Present with the Lord

(7) For we live by believing and not by seeing. (8) Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.
-- 2 Corinthians 5:7-8 (NLT)

Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! -- Revelation 22:20b (NIV)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Why Worry?

Let's hear and heed the words of Jesus concerning worry.

(22) Jesus said to His disciples: I tell you not to worry about your life! Don't worry about having something to eat or wear. (23) Life is more than food or clothing. (24) Look at the crows! They don't plant or harvest, and they don't have storehouses or barns. But God takes care of them. You are much more important than any birds. (25) Can worry make you live longer? (26) If you don't have power over small things, why worry about everything else? (27) Look how the wild flowers grow! They don't work hard to make their clothes. But I tell you that Solomon with all his wealth wasn't as well clothed as one of these flowers. (28) God gives such beauty to everything that grows in the fields, even though it is here today and thrown into a fire tomorrow. Won't He do even more for you? You have such little faith! (29) Don't keep worrying about having something to eat or drink. (30) Only people who don't know God are always worrying about such things. Your Father knows what you need. (31) But put God's work first, and these things will be yours as well.

-- Matthew 6:25-31(CEV)

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Sailor's 23rd Psalm

I was raised on an island where the sea meets the land. The imagery that inspires me most deeply is ocean imagery. I recently found in my research this sailor's paraphrase of the 23rd Psalm. I hope it encourages you as it does me:

The Lord is my Pilot, I shall not drift.
He guides me across the dark waters.
He steers me through deep channels.
He keeps my log.
Yea, though I sail ‘mid the thunders
and tempest of life,
I shall dread no anger, for He is with me;
His love and His care, shelter me.
He prepares a quiet harbor before me.
He anoints the waves with oil
My ship rides calmly.
Surely sunlight and starlight
shall guide me on the voyage I take,
And I will rest in the Heaven's port forever.

Here's a favorite old song of Seaside souls:
Click here: YouTube - Bessie Griffin: Old Ship Of Zion

Peace, be still...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Facedown on the Ground

Moses and Aaron... they fell facedown on the ground, THEN the glorious presence of the LORD appeared to them.
-- Numbers 20:6 (NLT)

If My people... will humble themselves and pray...
-- 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT)

Holiness Unto the LORD!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

What An Unbelieving World Simply Finds Unbelievable?

"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable." -- Brennan Manning

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. -- Proverbs 11:30 (KJV)

Lord, with our lips and especially with our lives, we prove to be either foolishly fake as we lose souls or wonderfully wise as we win souls. We want wisdom that comes from You, Jesus! Amen.

Click here: YouTube - DC Talk - What if I Stumble W/Lyrics

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Friday, March 4, 2011

But Among You It Will Be Different.

In this New Testament passage, Jesus teaches His own about serving others. The first seven words of verse 43 is where Jesus really nails the truth home for those of us who will be called "His fully devoted disciples".

(35) Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came over and spoke to Him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do us a favor.” (36) “What is your request?” He asked. (37) They replied, “When You sit on Your glorious throne, we want to sit in places of honor next to You, one on Your right and the other on Your left.” (38) But Jesus said to them, “You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink? Are you able to be baptized with the baptism of suffering I must be baptized with?” (39) “Oh yes,” they replied, “we are able!” Then Jesus told them, “You will indeed drink from My bitter cup and be baptized with My baptism of suffering. (40) But I have no right to say who will sit on My right or My left. God has prepared those places for the ones He has chosen.” (41) When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant. (42) So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. (43) But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, (44) and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. (45) For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
-- Mark 10:35-43 (NLT)

Consider it all joy. -- James 1:2-4

Thursday, March 3, 2011

How Will They Know Unless We Tell Them?

An early 1980's neighbor of mine, Joe, was a master guitarist with great love for The Master, Jesus. When I say he was a master guitarist, I mean just that. Joe had a master's degree in guitar. In other words, he was very good with the wood and the strings. Joe was also a songwriter. When I say he had great love for The Master, I mean he wrote songs from a Jesus perspective.

Joe's best song, or at least my favorite song that he played and sang, was based on Romans 10:13-14. I don't remember all of the lyrics but the lyrics that I do remember are forever engraved in my mind:

How will they know unless we tell them?
Unless we tell them one-by-one?
All the love of God's dear Son?
How will they know unless we tell them?

Joe Lovell, whenever I used to walk into your house, you knew I wouldn't leave until you picked up your guitar and sang to me that soul-searching song. It still challenges me today, almost 30 years later. So, wherever you are, my brother, I say a huge thanks for playing and singing over-and-over, again-and-again for me your simple and profound love song for lost souls.

(13) For “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” (14) But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? --- Romans 10:13-14 (NLT)

Will we tell them? Will you? Will I?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

We Still Have Some Life In Us!

In my reading recently, I ran across these somewhat amplified Scripture paraphrases adapted from portions of the cherished 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 passage. I pray the words will encourage you as they encouraged and still encourage me:

We are subjected to every kind of hardship, but never distressed; we see no way out but we never despair; we are pursued but never cut off; knocked down, but still have some life in us; always we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus, too, may be visible in our ... mortal flesh. (Version Unknown)

If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us. As it is, there's not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we're not much to look at. We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, He does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus' sake, which makes Jesus' life all the more evident in us. While we're going through the worst, you're getting in on the best!
-- 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 (The Message)

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Holiness Revival -- Personal And Corporate

Recently I had the opportunity to meet for over a week with church leaders from around the world. Dr. Filimao Chambo, a native regional director for the International Church of the Nazarene in Africa asked our group: How will the lost know they can be found unless we tell them?

Then in five words he gave the #1 secret initiative he believes to be responsible for the rapid growth of the Church of the Nazarene across the continent of Africa:

"Holiness Revival -- Personal and Corporate."

Holiness Unto the LORD!