Tuesday, August 30, 2011

+DEV+ Meet Our Needs Today

Date: August 30, 2011
Topic: +DEV+ Meet Our Needs Today

Meet Our Needs Today

"Give us today our daily bread." (MATTHEW 6:11) "Jesus declared, 'I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.'" (JOHN 6:35)
Scripture Focus: Exodus 16:1-32, John 6:28-38

In our verse today Jesus identifies Himself as “I AM”, the Becoming One, always the same, yet always becoming to His people (you and me) what they need. In Exodus manna was the bread God rained down each day for His people to eat during their time in the wilderness. The Lord instructed the people to collect only as much as they needed each day. If they collected more and saved it, the next morning it was spoiled and could not be eaten. But on the sixth day they were told to collect twice as much as usual, because the seventh day was the Sabbath, the day of rest. There would be no manna on that day. The morning of the seventh day they ate fresh, maggot-free manna. And so it continued throughout their wandering years.

Manna sustained physical life for the Jews in the barren desert. Jesus came from heaven to provide spiritual life for all who open their hearts to Him. He provides for our physical, emotional and spiritual needs. This miracle happens daily, always in exactly the portions we need.

Insight: As We Read The Bible, We Receive All The Spiritual Food And Refreshment Our Hearts, Minds And Souls Need For All Our Todays.

+DEV+ Your Will Be Done

Date: August 30, 2011
Topic: +DEV+ Your Will Be Done

Your Will Be Done

"He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion." (PHILIPPIANS 1:6) "For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." (PHILIPPIANS 2:13)
Scripture Focus: Matthew 6:9-13

When I pray, "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven," I ask the Lord to help me obey as the angels do. When God directs them to do something, they don't question, argue, or refuse. I want to live like that. But sometimes I become cantankerous and build a wall between us. However, I know that He will crash through that wall anytime He wants. In the deepest recesses of my heart, I desire His will for my life.

In the allegory, Hinds Feet on High Places, the heroine walks on a path leading to high places where God will fix her flaws. When the path meanders up the face of a mountain, she panics and calls for her Shepherd. He comes immediately. She tells Him she's changed her mind and doesn't want her imperfection fixed after all. She doesn't want to be on the high places with Him. Gently, He says, "My little maiden, I know your heart better than you do. I know you want to have your flaws healed and to be with me on high places." May God's will to draw you to Himself be done today.

Insight: God Knows Our Hearts Better Than We Do. He Knows Our Greatest Desire Is To Be With Him And To Have Him Correct Our Flaws.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

+DEV+ Your Kingdom Come

Date: August 28, 2011
Topic: +DEV+ Your Kingdom Come

Your Kingdom Come

"Pilate summoned Jesus and asked Him, 'Are you king of the Jews?' Jesus said, 'My kingdom is not of this world, my kingdom is from another place’.” (JOHN 18:33, 36)
Scripture Focus: Matthew 6:9-13, John 18:29-38

During His ministry Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news" (Mark 1:15) When Jesus comes again at the close of this age, He will set up His physical, earthly kingdom here. But for now, His kingdom is spiritual, made up of all who repent and believe that Jesus' death on the cross frees them from sin.

Jesus, righteous King of kings and Lord of lords, will rule supreme. He will establish His complete love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (see Galatians 5:22-23) in the new earth. Kings rule over their subjects. But the Bible says our Righteous King does not consider us subjects but friends and family.

Today, as kingdom people, we are freed from the chains of sin. Jesus helps us overcome our deadly enemy. This doesn't mean that we won't experience difficulties in this life. It does mean that Kingdom people will never experience God's wrath. Jesus already endured that at the cross for us.

Insight: As Kingdom People When We Pray "Your Kingdom Come," We Are Asking Jesus To Rule In Our Hearts And Minds Today.

Friday, August 26, 2011

+DEV+ Our Father in Heaven

Date: August 26, 2011
Topic: +DEV+ Our Father in Heaven

Our Father in Heaven

"For this is what the high and lofty One says--he who lives for ever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.’” (ISAIAH 57:15)
Scripture Focus: Matthew 6:9-13

We use forms of the word "heaven" to refer to different places. We call the atmosphere encircling our earth the heavens. The vast area of space made up of planets, stars, solar systems, etc., has been called "the heavenlies." But the scope of heaven - where God dwells and where loved ones of ours who've gone on before us are - is outside of our human imagination.

On the earth there are billions of people including you and me. Have you ever felt insignificant in the midst of all of this? Really, we're hardly more than mere microscopic specks. To think that the Father in Heaven would be interested in us!

It's beyond our comprehension to know how the Lord can hear all of us - perhaps millions of prayers offered up at the same time! The Bible tells us that God, the high and lofty One, is also our Loving Father who intimately knows and loves each of us. His Holy Spirit is infused within us so that throughout our lives, He is always present. Our Father reigns in heaven, but He also reigns in our hearts.

Insight: As We Read Our Bibles And Pray, We Learn More About Our Father Who Loves Us, Cares About Us And Is With Us Forever.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Starbuck's Frozen Coffee Frappuccino Recipe....

Starbuck's Frozen Coffee Frappuccino Recipe....

3/4 cup double-strength brewed coffee, cold
1 cup low-fat milk
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 cups ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until ice is crushed and drink is smooth.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

+DEV+ Our Father

Date: August 24, 2011
Topic: +DEV+ Our Father

Our Father

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." (MARK 7:7)
“This, then, is how you should pray." (MATTHEW 6:9)
Scripture Focus: Matthew 6:9-13

Jesus taught His own prayer to His disciples. An example of how we also should pray, it is a perfect prayer. Often I have repeated its words without thinking about the power behind them. In the countless ways that we can come to the Lord in prayer, many people like to begin with the confession of sins. When I start thinking about my sins, however, I quickly become distracted. Rather than dwelling on the Lord, I think all about myself.

Beginning the way Jesus began helps me focus on Him. "Our Father,” this first phrase emphasizes our relationship with God. He is our Father, and we are His children, the sons and daughters of the Living God. Jesus is God's Son, which means He is our brother. We have an intimate relationship with the almighty God of the universe. Knowing that ought to encourage us when we are discouraged and show us how precious we are when we feel worthless. God is always with us when we feel abandoned, and His love for us abounds even when we feel unlovable.

Insight: Because of Jesus' sacrifice we are members of God's family, if we believe Him. Remember to thank Him for that in your prayers.

+DEV+ Our Father

Date: August 24, 2011
Topic: +DEV+ Our Father

Our Father

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." (MARK 7:7)
“This, then, is how you should pray." (MATTHEW 6:9)
Scripture Focus: Matthew 6:9-13

Jesus taught His own prayer to His disciples. An example of how we also should pray, it is a perfect prayer. Often I have repeated its words without thinking about the power behind them. In the countless ways that we can come to the Lord in prayer, many people like to begin with the confession of sins. When I start thinking about my sins, however, I quickly become distracted. Rather than dwelling on the Lord, I think all about myself.

Beginning the way Jesus began helps me focus on Him. "Our Father,” this first phrase emphasizes our relationship with God. He is our Father, and we are His children, the sons and daughters of the Living God. Jesus is God's Son, which means He is our brother. We have an intimate relationship with the almighty God of the universe. Knowing that ought to encourage us when we are discouraged and show us how precious we are when we feel worthless. God is always with us when we feel abandoned, and His love for us abounds even when we feel unlovable.

Insight: Because of Jesus' sacrifice we are members of God's family, if we believe Him. Remember to thank Him for that in your prayers.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

+DEV+ The Source of Joy

Date: August 21, 2011
Topic: +DEV+ The Source of Joy

The Source of Joy

"I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them." (JOHN 17:13) Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. (NEHEMIAH 8:10)
Scripture Focus: John 17:6-26

When I broke my back, I learned joy is not something we switch on like a light. Depression and pain drained me physically, emotionally and spiritually. But beyond the pain, the Lord's joy made me strong enough to face that overwhelming situation. I wasn't happy that I became disabled. But, because God was with me, I knew I would survive and know joy again.

Most people think joy is brought on by pleasant circumstances. True joy does not depend on good things happening. If this were so, Jesus would not have experienced it as He faced the cruelty of His death on the cross. Jesus said that in this world believers would experience heart-rending trials, situations that looked impossible to handle. Do those sound like reasons to be joyful?

His joy implanted deep in us remains in spite of the fiercest storms and most fiery trials we face. The joy of the Lord is our strength because He gave up all the joys of heaven so that we might experience true joy and one day be with Him.

Insight: Joy is one of the gifts the Lord offers us. His true joy makes us strong. We need to accept his gift today.

Friday, August 19, 2011

+DEV+ Jesus Prays for Us

Date: August 19, 2011
Topic: +DEV+ Jesus Prays for Us

Jesus Prays for Us

"I pray also for those who will believe in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (JOHN 17:20, 23)
Scripture Focus: John 17:6-26

Even though Jesus prayed this prayer thousands of years ago for believers, His prayer is for you and me, also. The heading in my Bible says, "Jesus Prays for Future Believers." In vs. 21 Jesus asks the Father "that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I in you." God desires unity and harmony among all believers. Unity in us proves to the world that God is real.

Jesus reveals God the Father to believers. In His prayer, He commits Himself to continue teaching us about God. This is a life-long process. He also prays that we realize that the Father loves us as much as He loves Jesus. How breathtaking the thought!

We may forget this when we fail, when we are discouraged, when we question God's love for us. When I, broke my back, I said to God, "This doesn't feel like love." But God's love for us is not based on warm, fuzzy feelings. Even when our dreams are destroyed, we need to remember His infinite love for us never fails, and we can rest solidly in that.

Insight: This amazing truth is beyond our ability to comprehend. God loves you and me as much as he loves Jesus!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

+DEV+ The Time Had Come

Date: August 17, 2011
Topic: +DEV+ The Time Had Come

The Time Had Come

"After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: 'Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.'" (JOHN 17:1)
Scripture Focus: John 17:1-5

For about three years Jesus healed the sick and lame, performed miracles, and taught people about God and His Kingdom. His life's actions and words demonstrated to the world what the Father is like. The cross always before Him, He knew he would die for us before the world was even created. He came to save us all by giving His perfect life for our sin-tainted lives. The gospel writers reveal many of Jesus' thoughts as He walked through life with the cross looming in His future. Each time someone tried to kill Him, He said that His time had not come yet. His work was not yet completed.

But in due time the hour had come to complete His mission. Jesus' death is God's provision that enables us to have everlasting life. His time had come to save the world, to free us from the bonds of sin and death. This was the reason He was born; this was the reason He died and came back to life. He suffered our punishment - our hell - when the sins every person in the past, present and future were rolled onto Him.

Insight: When we open our lives to Jesus, we will never experience God's wrath. is there any way we can refuse god's life-giving gift?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

+DEV+ The Glorifying Life

Date: August 16, 2011
Topic: +DEV+ The Glorifying Life

The Glorifying Life

"I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began." (JOHN 17:4)
Scripture Focus: John 17:1-5

Jesus fulfilled every prophecy about Him made in the Old Testament of the Bible. Everything Jesus accomplished glorified God His Father. We bring glory to God when we do His will. Though we aren't perfect, the will of God should be the driving force in our lives.

We are not here by accident. God has a plan and a purpose for our lives. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that He knows the plans He has for us, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." In a world filled with people wandering aimlessly, believers are focused because of their faith in God. His will gives meaning and direction to our lives.

Believers know the answers to difficult questions people ask:

Who am I and where did I come from? Why am I here and where am I going? I am a child created by the loving, living God, made to glorify and enjoy Him, walking each day on the Heavenly Highway that leads me home.

Insight: When we choose to follow God's plans for us, we bring glory to Him. doing His will gives us rewarding, purpose-filled, focused lives.

Monday, August 15, 2011

+DEV+ An Unfailing Faith

Date: August 15, 2011
Topic: +DEV+ An Unfailing Faith

An Unfailing Faith

"'Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.'" (LUKE 22:31-32)
Scripture Focus: Luke 22:31-34; 54-62

Imagine having Jesus Christ tell you personally, as He told Peter, that He's praying your faith would not fail! All the trials, temptations, and heartaches in our lives would not seem so intimidating. In fact, we do not have to imagine that; Jesus is praying for us.

Peter feared what others thought of him and consequently renounced Jesus three times (vs. 54-62). But God had implanted faith deep in Peter's heart. Peter repented, just as Jesus said he would, and became a great leader of believers, encouraging and strengthening Christians through the ages, even us today.

I've known many people who identify with Peter and have given in to the fear of man. Myself included, we have denied Jesus by our words or actions. Yet we remember that faith in Jesus is infused into our hearts, into every part of us, once we believe in Him. Jesus does not favor one person over another. What He prayed for Peter, He is praying for us right now. This reality has comforted and strengthened me again and again.

Insight: Right now Jesus is praying for you and me, praying that our faith will not fail. He is the source of our faith.

Friday, August 12, 2011

+DEV+ Repentant Prayers

Date: August 12, 2011
Topic: +DEV+ Repentant Prayers

Repentant Prayers

"Then Job replied to the Lord, 'I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. My eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent.'" (JOB 42:2, 5-6)
Scripture Focus: Job 42

It was the Lord who allowed His faithful servant Job to be ravaged by hardship, yet we find Job repenting in the end.

Job's friends and wife were no help to him as his life fell apart. They suggested it must have been his sinfulness bringing on the apparent punishment. They encouraged Job to curse God altogether. Through many chapters' worth of contemplating, he tries to make sense of his tragedies. At last, he realizes that though trials yet to come may bring even worse pain, his Redeemer lives (19:25). While illness, the deaths of his children, and great financial losses plague him, he confidently proclaims that His Lord will stand in the end, even if he himself does not. Job repents because his questioning and challenging the Lord were wrong. His repentant prayer is heard just as surely as his despairing cries.

Likewise for you and me. The Lord is grieved by sin. But that grief didn't go unanswered. Just as He restored Job to twice the riches in the end, so He has restored us, with exponentially great riches in Christ.

Insight: When a friend's advice is not pointing you to the Lord and his grace, go find your gracious redeemer through prayer and the word.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

+DEV+ Nehemiah's Arrow Prayer

Date: August 11, 2011
Topic: +DEV+ Nehemiah's Arrow Prayer

Nehemiah's Arrow Prayer

"’I was very much afraid’ The king said to me, 'What is it you want?' Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king." (NEHEMIAH 2:2B, 4-5A)
Scripture Focus: Nehemiah 2:1-9

Nehemiah was cup bearer to Artaxerxes, King of Persia. The king could execute anyone who displeased him. Even showing negative emotions in his presence was dangerous. But Nehemiah was downhearted, and it showed. When he approached Artaxerxes, he risked his life. "Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart," Artaxerxes said (vs. 2).

How would the king respond to his request to return to his homeland? He had fasted and prayed before approaching the king. Now Nehemiah prayed for guidance before answering. With mingled fear and faith, he sought God's direction in a short "arrow prayer."

My faith falters at times as did Nehemiah's. Emotions, problems, or pain keep me from realizing God is always ready to hear and answer even my short "arrow prayers." Sometimes I am at a loss for words. But the Holy Spirit guides (see Romans 8:26), and God's own Son, Jesus, intercedes. Our Savior loves us and hears our every cry.

Insight: We don't need to be free from fear and strong in faith for our loving God to hear us and answer even our "arrow prayers".

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

+DEV+ A King's Humble Prayer

Date: August 10, 2011
Topic: +DEV+ A King's Humble Prayer

A King's Humble Prayer

"King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said, 'Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? You know your servant." (2 SAMUEL 7:18, 20)
Scripture Focus: 2 Samuel 7:8-29

"You know what I'm really like," David confided to the Lord. His family members were humble people, not wealthy, not royalty. David, the youngest of eight sons, previously had the lowly job of caring for sheep. Even his father didn't consider him king material (see 1 Samuel 16:6-13). God knew all this yet chose David to be King of Israel. God said, "I have found David a man after my own heart" (Acts 13:22).

God knew what he was like. He knew all about David's flaws. At times, his faith wavered just as ours does. He experienced depression, discouragement, fear, anger, envy. Many of the psalms David wrote reveal these emotions. He made mistakes. He sometimes disobeyed God. He had an affair with another man's wife and attempted to cover it up through murder. Would God ever forgive him?

When confronted, David didn't make excuses. He humbly asked God to forgive him. God does not excuse our sin either, but because of Jesus' sacrifice, we are forgiven.

Insight: God knows what we are really like. as we seek to serve Him may we, like David, be people after His own heart.

Monday, August 8, 2011

T-bone steaks, yellow roses and friendship

T-bone steaks, yellow roses and friendship

READ THIS!!!! and then reread it. Especially the last part...

I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying groceries. I wasn't hungry.. The pain of losing my husband of 57 years was still too raw. And this grocery store held so many sweet memories..

He often came with me and almost every time he'd pretend to go off and look for something special. I knew what he was up to. I'd always spot him walking down the aisle with the three yellow roses in his hands.

He knew I loved yellow roses. With a heart filled with grief, I only wanted to buy my few items and leave, but even grocery shopping was different since he had passed on.

Shopping for one took time, a little more thought than it had for two. Standing by the meat, I searched for the perfect small steak and remembered how he had loved his steak.

Suddenly a woman came beside me. She was blonde, slim and lovely in a soft green pantsuit. I watched as she picked up a large package of T-bones, dropped them in her basket... hesitated, and then put them back. She turned to go and once again reached for the pack of steaks.

She saw me watching her and she smiled. 'My husband loves T-bones, but honestly, at these prices, I don't know.'

I swallowed the emotion down my throat and met her pale blue eyes.

'My husband passed away eight days ago,' I told her. Glancing at the package in her hands, I fought to control the tremble in my voice. 'Buy him the steaks. And cherish every moment you have together.'

She shook her head and I saw the emotion in her eyes as she placed the package in her basket and wheeled away

I turned and pushed my cart across the length of the store to the dairy products. There I stood, trying to decide which size milk I should buy. A

Quart, I finally decided and moved on to the ice cream. If nothing else, I could always fix myself an ice cream cone.

I placed the ice cream in my cart and looked down the aisle toward the front. I saw first the green suit, then recognized the pretty lady coming

towards me. In her arms she carried a package. On her face was the brightest smile I had ever seen! I would swear a soft halo encircled her blonde hair as she kept walking toward me, her eyes holding mine.

As she came closer, I saw what she held and tears began misting in my eyes.. 'These are for you,' she said and placed three beautiful long stemmed yellow roses in my arms. 'When you go through the line, they will know these are paid for.' She leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on my cheek, then smiled again. I wanted to tell her what she'd done, what the roses meant, but still unable to speak, I watched as she walked away as tears clouded my vision

I looked down at the beautiful roses nestled in the green tissue wrapping and found it almost unreal. How did she know? Suddenly the answer seemed so clear. I wasn't alone.

Oh, you haven't forgotten me, have you? I whispered, with tears in my eyes.. He was still with me, and she was his angel.

Every day be thankful for what you have and who you are.

(Please read all of this, it is really nice)

This is a simple request. If you appreciate life, send this to your friends, including the person that sent it to you.

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings. Thank you, Lord, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.

Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as possible. Thank you, Lord , that I can see. Many are blind.

Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising. Thank you, Lord, that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden.

Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned, tempers are short, and my children are so loud.

Thank you, Lord, for my family.. There are many who are lonely.

Even though our breakfast table never looks like the picture in magazines and the menu is at times unbalanced..

Thank you, Lord, for the food we have. There are many who are hungry.

Even though the routine of my job often is monotonous. Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to work. There are many who have no job.

Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest.

Thank you, Lord, for life.

Pass this on to the friends you know. It might help a bit to make this world a better place to live, right? A friend is someone we turn to when our spirits need a lift. A friend is someone to treasure.

For friendship is a gift. A friend is someone who fills our lives with Beauty, Joy and Grace and makes the world we live in a better and happier place!


God bless you and yours.

Now send this to every friend you have.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

+DEV+ Joshua Meets His Commander

Date: August 7, 2011
Topic: +DEV+ Joshua Meets His Commander

Joshua Meets His Commander

“’As commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.' Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, 'What message does my Lord have for his servant?" (JOSHUA 5:14)
Scripture Focus: Joshua 1:1-9, 5:13-6:16

Joshua faced a daunting battle with the wall around Jericho being 25 feet high and 20 feet thick. He stood looking at the fortress, perhaps strategizing what he would do first. Suddenly, a Man with a drawn sword in His hand stood in front of him. Joshua found himself face to face with the Commander in Chief, ruler of the universe and heavenly armies as well as of Israel. He fell to the ground in awe. This prefigured Christ gave Joshua the strategy and fought with him all the way to victory.

This is what our Lord does for us even today, when we face conflicts and feel as if the wall we must get through is as impenetrable as Jericho's wall. We have Jesus, the Commander in Chief, standing beside us, drawn sword in His hands. He will fight every battle we will face today and tomorrow. Though we feel afraid and powerless, we can fall on our faces in reverence for the Mighty One who will lead us on to victory, if not in this world, then surely in the next.

Insight: We overcome and triumph in conflicts because Jesus and the whole army of Heaven are on our side, fighting for us and with us.

Friday, August 5, 2011

+DEV+ Prayer Where and When?

Date: August 5, 2011
Topic: +DEV+ Prayer Where and When?

Prayer Where and When?

"From inside the fish Jonah prayed 'In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry.'" (JONAH 2:1-2)
Scripture Focus: Jonah 1:1, 3:3

Is there a proper place to pray? You'd be hard pressed to make a case for that since God's people prayed everywhere from inside of caves to out in the desert to inside of a fish. No ornate church of any kind is required. It seems that a good time for Jonah to talk to God would have been when God commissioned him to preach to a Gentile city and Jonah was unwilling to go. If he had, he might not have ended up in a fish's stomach, praying desperately. But even from within his unwelcome host, Jonah sought the Lord through prayer.

"I have been banished from your sight," Jonah said (2:4). He was wrong. God knew exactly where Jonah was. He always knows precisely where we are, no matter how lost we may be. When we feel billions of miles away from Him, suffocating in darkness, He hears our prayers.

We see God's grace toward His disobedient child, Jonah, as He gave him a second chance. God's grace is ours, even when we try to run from His will. His grace and kindness lead us to repentance.

Insight: No matter what our circumstances, the proper place to pray is anywhere we are. the proper time to pray is now.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

+DEV+ Seeing the Invisible

Date: August 3, 2011
Topic: +DEV+ Seeing the Invisible

Seeing the Invisible

"[Moses] regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. He persevered because he saw him who is invisible." (HEBREWS 11:26, 27)
Scripture Focus: Hebrews 11:1-40

Prayer, like faith, involves being certain of what we do not see. Many people in the Bible actually had conversations with God (A few even were in His very presence!). Hebrews 11 speaks of several who had faith in and prayed to their infinite, all-knowing, all-powerful God.

Look at Moses. Though reluctant to be God's mouthpiece and often weak in his shortcomings, Moses obeyed God and became His friend. Moses even stood in the presence of his invisible God while pagans nearby worshiped idols they could see and had made with their own hands.

Man has always had a deep need to see and believe. Thomas needed evidence before he would believe that Jesus was the risen Lord. Yet Paul reminds us that we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen because it is eternal (see 2 Corinthians 4:18). Like Moses and many who have gone before us, we pray to a God we cannot see with our eyes. But He answers our prayers often in very tangible and visible ways that we see through eyes of faith.

Insight: By faith, we see God through His Word, by His working in our lives, in the lives of others and by answered prayers.

+DEV+ Sarah's Lie

Date: August 3, 2011
Topic: +DEV+ Sarah's Lie

Sarah's Lie

"'Why did Sarah laugh and say, Will I really have a child, now that I am old? Is anything too hard for the Lord?'Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, 'I did not laugh.' But he said, 'Yes, you did laugh.'" (GENESIS 18:13-15)
Scripture Focus: Genesis 18:9-15

God told Abraham, age 100 and Sarah, age 90, they would have a child, though they felt too old to fulfill God's promise. The thought of having a son seemed ridiculously impossible to Sarah. She laughed to herself.

Well, of course God knew she'd laughed because He knows our thoughts even before they reach our lips. When God confronted her, she lied. What would I have said to Sarah? Probably, "Shame on you for lying! Now there will be no son for you!" But God didn't scold her. He gently exposed the truth. "I know you did laugh." Even to His dishonest, untrusting people, His promises never fail and His compassion never ends.

I've heard people say, "I can't pray about that subject. I just can't talk to God about it." Since God knows everything about us, it's illogical to think anything could be kept from Him. He sees the hidden places of our souls. Can we hide anything from Him? He knows all our thoughts, including the "top-secret" things buried deep in our hearts. And He loves us still!

Insight: God is the same today. He whispers, "i know everything about you, my child - the good and the bad. i love you unconditionally."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

+DEV+ God Does What is Right

Date: August 2, 2011
Topic: +DEV+ God Does What is Right

God Does What is Right

"Far be it from you to do such a thing — to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (GENESIS 18:25)
Scripture Focus: Genesis 18:1, 16-33

People today ask questions similar to Abraham's. "Is it fair of God to condemn people who don't trust in Jesus even though they are decent people? What happens to people who have never heard about Jesus?" We know from Scripture that the Creator of all people from every nation on earth will judge each individual fairly.

God reveals Himself to everyone throughout all of time and in all places. Those in crowded metropolitan cities, rural towns or isolated bush areas can know Him (see Romans 1:17-21). He gives people many opportunities to yield their lives to Him, and some actually do. Those who harden their hearts won't have any defense. God will not treat those who believe and those who reject Him the same way.

But praise God that our heavenly Father, whose justice and goodness are complete, has already accepted the payment for all sin through the perfect life and death of His own Son. While He demands payment for sin because He is just, He also has paid our debt in full because He is good.

Insight: No matter what happens in our lives, we can trust that the Judge of the universe, our loving God, will always do what is right.