Sunday, August 19th

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Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away. Matthew 24:35

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for reminding me of the terribly temporary nature of this world and everything which make sentimental. Make me sentimentally attached to your word and the insights they teach me. Today, bring to mind the verses you want me to have for the challenges and opportunities that lay before me. Do not leave me alone with my temporal things. 

AMEN

Sooner or later everything except God and people end up being sold at garage sale values.

Additional Reading: Psalm 1, Psalm 119

Saturday, August 18th

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I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God." -Isaiah 43:11-12

Dear Heavenly Father,

There is so much pressure today in the news, in high schools, universities, and in the general public to believe that all faiths are the creation of human minds springing from our culture and our need for security.  These voices want to mute the offensive and beautiful message that you are the only true God and that you want all humanity back under your redeeming grace.  Help me not to believe the muting lie that all faiths are equal.  You are the only God for me and everyone else.  Give me boldness to challenge everyone who is lost around me with your confrontational love.  

AMEN

When you know you are loved by someone perfectly, you will show it by your boldness in defending their reputation, God included.

 Additional Reading: Isaiah 8:16-22, Romans 1:18-32

 

Friday, August 17th

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Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. - Ephesians 6:10

Dear Jesus,

 I always seem to get myself into trouble when I feel strong and confident.  I believe it’s because, too often, I’m feeling strong in myself without you.  Then, by myself, I do something rambunctious and I hurt others or myself.  I want to be strong in you.  I want your gentle, firm strength to speak the truth forcefully but in love, to be a support for others but not in my own strength, to be a beacon for the weak and troubled but not to be their Savior.  Will you give me that strength today so that when I am weak I am strong?  

AMEN

True spiritual strength is a gift from Christ and not a force or a philosophy.

Additional Reading: Colossians 2

 

Thursday, August 16th

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Give us today our daily bread. - Luke 11:3

Dear Lord Jesus,

I confess that I spend too much time living in the past and evaluating all my decisions and disappointments.  When I dwell on the past, I’m not looking up to you and what you promise me today.  The past has no bearing on the fact that you are going to give me what I need for today.  Help me to let go of the past when I pray the Lord's Prayer, "Give me today my daily bread."  Thank you that you have covered the past, even yesterday, with your life, death, and resurrection. Your life cuts my life free from my failures.  The release enables me to enjoy a good day under the sunshine of your grace.  I know you will bless my body and soul with all that I need for today.

AMEN

When you look up to Jesus, you can see past every dark cloud.

Additional Reading: Hebrews 13:5-5, Matthew 6:19-34, Psalm 37

Wednesday, August 15th

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My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. - Psalm 73:26

Dear heavenly Father,

Although I do many things to love and care for the body you have given me, it’s going to fail me.  Up until now, it has only partially failed me but I know  the hour is coming when no matter how badly I want to stay here, my body will check out on my soul. But you will never check out on my soul.  You have redeemed me and you promise to raise me up with a restored and renewed body on the last day.  You are my portion and my strength forever, oh God.  You will hold me close to you even when my body will make it hard for others to look at me.  This makes me love you more than life itself.  

AMEN

Our souls never age, never die, have no gender or race and are dearly loved by the one who created them.

Additional Reading: Luke 23:39-43, 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:10

 

Tuesday, August 14th

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And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. - 2 Timothy 2:24-26

Dear Jesus,

I want to stand up for the truth and help sinners find their way back to you, but I do not want to be a rude know it all that always picks a fight with everyone. Help me to set my heart on winning people over with gentle prodding instead of clubbing them with my frustration.  When I am with my family, help me to encourage them so they feel their heart overflowing.  When I need to defend your truth help me to protect their feelings while I correct them so they are attracted by the beauty of love as much as he brightness of truth.

AMEN

Love is powerful, gentle, and life changing, but never brash or rude.

Additional Reading: Galatians 5:22-23, 6:1-5, Philippians 4:4-9

 

Monday, August 13th

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Therefore as we have opportunity let us do good to all people especially those that belong to the family of believers. – Galatians 6:10

Dear Jesus,

Today, help me see my deep connection to the entire human family and to own the happiness and needs of fellow humans as my own personal mission. Help me to leave behind selfish ambitions and singular, personal goals that are only all about me. In my heart set aside your bride, the church, as my own sacred family so that I deeply serve every believer I know from a mind enlightened by your grace and truth, not counting our differences as worthy of a passing glance.

AMEN

No one is too small or too far gone for Jesus to love them through us.

Additional Reading: Ecclesiastes 11, Mathew 25:31-46, James 2:1-13

 

Sunday, August 12th

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Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. - Philippians 3:20-21

Dear Lord Jesus,

In recent months I have had to sit by and watch as the bodies of my nearest and dearest friends failed them until finally their soul was released to you.  It’s the most difficult experience in our lives.  It reminds me that my turn to let go of my borrowed space is nearer.  If it were not for your short life, death, and resurrection, I would be hopeless and unable to enjoy anything.  The thought of the end would rob me of joy.  Your gracious gift of rescue is my dearest friend and it becomes more precious to me as each loved one passes.  Help me to live in the hope of heaven today and to reflect this hope to all those who are suffering from the deep disappointment that comes from the loss of a dear one.

AMEN

Be happy.  Because of Jesus we will have the time of our lives once the time of our lives is over.

Additional Reading:  Luke 21:25-28, Hebrews 2:5-18

 

Saturday, August 11th

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My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:20

Dear Father in heaven,

What Paul told the Philippians is true for me, my family, and my friends.  You will meet all of our needs.  You won't hold back because of our sins and you won't miss any of our needs by being distracted.  So, I have chosen to give up worrying about anything today.  I give all my needs and wants to you.  I know you care for me and I know you will come through at exactly the right time.  Help my friends and family to let go of worry also.  Give them peace that their mental mulling squirrel cage could never give.  Help us all find the peace that comes from trust.

AMEN

God never feels unprepared to meet our needs.

Additional Reading: Matthew 6:19-34

Friday, August 10th

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Oh Lord, teach us to number our days that we might gain a heart of wisdom ... Establish the work of our hands, yes, establish the work of our hands. Psalm 90

 Dear heavenly Father,

You have already planned the length of my life. Sometimes, I live as if I will be here forever and I know deep down that’s not true. Help me to do the right things and the important things today, so that this day, which otherwise seems insignificant, will take its proper place in a meaningful life. Use your supernatural power to make even the insignificant moments to have an impact down the road in a positive way. And I pray for all of my friends and family that are between jobs.  Remind them that you have their next job waiting for them and that you will make today meaningful even though they are not employed by some human entity.  

 AMEN

 For a believer every day is a gift exchange with God.

 Additional Reading: Ecclesiastes 1-3

Thursday, August 9th

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For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. - 1 Corinthians 13:12

Dear Jesus,

Even your apostle Paul, who was inspired to teach us things unseen, lived his life without knowing many answers to his deepest questions. You tell us all that we need to know, but not all that we want to know.  We cannot handle the answers to every question.  Help me to accept this and then to let go of all the unanswered questions in my life.  It’s enough just to know that you are the Author, the Provider, the Savior, and the welcoming party at the end.  I want to rest in faith and not perfect knowledge.  I give to you all the stress of trying to make sense out of tragedy.  When I get to where you are, you can tell me more.  And when I get there, I still won't need to know everything.  Just to know you more than today will be enough.  

AMEN

Wanting to know why instead of wanting to know love is a major character flaw in us all.

Additional Reading: Galatians 5, 1 John 4

 

Wednesday, August 8th

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There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. - John 1:6-10

Dear Jesus,

I know that you will keep sending special people into my life too bless me and help me grow just like you sent John the Baptist.  When they come, help me not to expect too much from them.  It’s easy to think that they should give me more than they are capable.  There is only one you, one Savior, one author of my soul.  In gratitude for the family, friends, and leaders you give me, I will live in peace with their failings and I will look to you for things that only a god could give.  That way I will not resent their humanness.  Be my light today so I reflect your love and truth to myself and others.  

AMEN

People cannot let you down if you do not raise them up.

Additional Reading: 1 Corinthians 3, Psalm 1

 

Tuesday, August 7th

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Many times God delivered Israel, but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin.  Yet he took note of their distress when he heard their cry; for their sake he remembered his covenant  and out of his great love he relented. He caused all who held them captive to show them mercy. Save us, Lord our God! - Psalm 106:43-47

Dear heavenly Father,

Too often I have viewed your discipline as punishment for my sins.  I’d have thought that you were expressing harsh rejection and dissatisfaction. But I know now that your harsh punishment for me was exhausted at the cross of your Son. So, when I hit a hard time, sometimes as a consequence of my sin and sometimes as a training ground under your love, I see it as acceptance and love not rejection and irritation.  I would not have this insight without your word.  Thank you for showing me today that you had the very same relationship with Israel.  Because of your eternal covenant of love for her, you kept rescuing and disciplining.  Help me find security in the discipline I experience from your hand, because in Christ, everything is good.

 AMEN

Love is not unbroken approval of our actions but unbroken acceptance of our whole being.

Additional Reading: Hebrews 12

 

Monday, August 6th

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But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups (Gentile and Jew) one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity and in one body reconcile them both to himself through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. - Ephesians 2:14-16

Dear Jesus,

You removed all hostility that exists between your Father and people and any hostility that exists between sinners who hurt one another. In that single, solitary act of dying for both perpetrator and victim, you reconciled everyone in all directions in one instant.  Help me take what you did for us on the cross and make it the reason and the power that I declare myself reconciled to the people who have hurt me or let me down. Use your gospel to remove the hostility between people I don’t like and me for my own "good" reasons.  Give me peace that makes me boldly live in the presence of folks that give me the willies.  Give me the cross shaped love that keeps me from being unhappy to see anyone.  Use your salvation to save me from my own unhealthy aloneness.  

AMEN

In heaven you will have the joy of not being angry with anyone. Why not get a head start and stop being angry now.

Additional Reading: Genesis 50, Matthew 6

 

Sunday, August 5th

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The highest heavens belong to the Lord but the earth he has given to humanity. - Psalm 115:16

Dear Lord,

We all run around this globe and compete for our little piece of the pie.  But in reality the whole earth is a gift to all of us from you.  We get to use it for our short lives and then we have to let go of it to others.  What a wonderful gift from you.  Every flower, every tree, every mountain, every sunrise and sunset, all of wildlife and domestic creatures, even the people you allow me to live with; they all point to you.  You are an amazing creator and benevolent donor of all things.  Today, I will enjoy my little corner of your world with its multifaceted blessings and I will worship you in my heart because you are the author of it all.  

AMEN

Creation is never an end.  It always is the means which God uses to bless us and to draw us to himself.

Additional Reading: Psalm 19, Psalm 53, Romans 1:18-22

Saturday, August 4th

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If the law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.  - Galatians 3:21-22

Dear Jesus,

I trust that you have saved me completely.  As hard as I may try to live a good life, it will never get me safely to the other side. You have done that for me.  When I think about living right at the present time, I want to work at it in order to say thanks to you.  I do not think I am earning your love or attention.  But here is my problem, I still try to earn my own self-respect and when I sin it takes me too long to get over my own self condemnation.  Help me Jesus to follow your lead and forgive myself the second I discover my failings so I can live in love without the distractions of self-criticism and guilt.  

AMEN 

Care not what you think but what God thinks and your life will make sense.

Additional Reading: Hebrews 4:12, Jeremiah 17:5-17

 

Friday, August 3rd

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The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. - Genesis 39:2

Dear heavenly Father,

Had you not been with Old Testament Joseph all of his problems would have ended poorly.  But you never left his side and therefore every problem was used to work some good.   You promise to never leave my side either.  So, I know that you will prosper me in ways I could never imagine.  Life will be good and fulfilling as long as I have you with me. That's all that matters.  In the optimism that comes from knowing you are with me, I start my day with you.  Bless my heart with insight along the way, my hands with productive things to do, and my mouth to speak hope to others. Bless those you send to help me, also.  Make them useful and happy in their service to others.  In all of our lives, show the world that you are the God who saves.  

AMEN

We don't need to know what will happen next.  We just need to know God will be in the 'next' with us.

Additional Reading: Philippians 2:1-11

Thursday, August 2nd

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This is the day the LORD has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it! - Psalm 118:24

Dear Heavenly Father,

Some of us are at the beginning of life with so many unanswered questions. Others are in the middle where we are so busy we forget things and miss important moments. Still others have only one question to answer; "Will this be my last day or will it come tomorrow?" But this one common denominator we all have together. We all have today as a gift of your grace. We all have your promise of an eternal tomorrow. We all have a past riddled with blessings to sort through when we are bored. We all have hope and peace and love in your Son. This is a day of good times and we will learn to be thankful in it.

AMEN

Living in the moment as a thankful child of God is an act of faith.

Additional Reading: Psalm 37

 

Wednesday, August 1st

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Behold, the hour is coming and indeed has come when you will be scattered, each to his own home, yet I am not alone. For, the Father is with me. - John 16:32

Dear Jesus,

The lonely road I walk through life, no one who fully understands.  Being left alone with all my thoughts, feelings, and emotions is sometimes too much to bear. I know it was not originally meant to be this way but it is for every one of us. You experienced loneliness more than all of us when you were here. You felt aloneness but you told us that you were not alone.  The presence of your Father comforted you.  You understand my aloneness.  Don’t let it turn to loneliness.   You and my Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit see my every thought and understand me even better than I do myself. I find comfort in knowing you are with me close by on the journey and that you can touch my frustration of being alone. So, I pray, fill me with your presence and drive out loneliness from my life so that I reach past myself to bless others with friendship.

Amen

The fall into sin makes everyone lonely at times. Jesus makes everyone loved all the time.

Additional Reading: Psalm 139

 

Tuesday, July 31st

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Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. - John 17:17

Dear Jesus,

You said these words the night before you died in your prayer to your Father. They have been a light for my path ever since I discovered them.  The way that you teach my heart is by your word.  Everyone has their own opinion and frankly many of them sound very good although they are very wrong.  Your word gives me heaven's opinion of all things.  They have rung true in every circumstance even when what they say hurts me. They always bless me in the end.  Help me to digest your word deeply today and to apply it to the challenges I’m facing so that I act out on earth what you desire from heaven.  Guide me in your truth.  

 AMEN

There is no worthy substitute for the truth regarding any matter on earth, from rocket science to personal relationships. 

Additional Reading: Psalm 25, Psalm 119