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1/26/15 8:35 A

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A Reminder of Who is in Charge

by Max Lucado • January 26

Prayer reminds us of who is in charge. You don’t take your requests to someone with less authority. You take them to someone who outranks you in the solutions department.

The same is true in prayer. You don’t pray just to let God know what’s going on. He’s way ahead of you on that one. You pray to transfer “my will be done” to “God’s will be done.” And, since he’s in charge, he knows the best solution. Prayer transfers the burden to God and He lightens your load. Prayer pushes us through life’s slumps, propels us over the humps, and pulls us out of the dumps. Prayer is the oomph we need to get the answers we seek. So, pray…today!

From Max on Life


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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1/25/15 4:13 P

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Love is a Decision

by Max Lucado

When we look at the love of Christ, we make a wonderful discovery. Love is more a decision than an emotion! Christ-like love applauds good behavior. At the same time Christ-like love refuses to endorse misbehavior. Jesus loved his apostles, but he wasn’t silent when they were faithless. Jesus loved the people in the temple, but he didn’t sit still when they were hypocritical.

Love does whatever is in the best interest of a person. The cheating husband says to his wife, “If you loved me, you’d forget what has happened and let me come home.” That may not be true. Love does what’s in the best interest of a person. Love sets boundaries and seeks counsel.

The love of Christ is no sweet sentiment—but rather a heartfelt resolve to do what’s in the best interest of another person. Sometimes that means dying on a cross!

From Max on Life



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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1/25/15 1:13 A

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IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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1/24/15 11:14 P

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AMEN!

~Mako~


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1/24/15 9:43 P

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EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS AND MEDITATE ON IT.

Do You Have Room
for God?



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
(Psalm 46:10, NIV)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



Being fruitful means being productive and excelling in everything you do. When you’re fruitful, life isn’t a drain, it doesn’t wear you out and you don’t have to force things to happen. When you confuse fruitfulness with busyness, you can head down a path that wears you out and robs God of His glory. You can be content when you’re being fruitful because you know you’re living a life that is pleasing to God. A fruitful life blesses others and receives God’s blessings in return. This is how God intended your life to be!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

God, I know that I am often too busy for my own good. Help me to slow down when necessary and even say “no” to some things so I can give You my best. Thank You for Your love and for designing me to be fruitful! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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1/22/15 10:56 P

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IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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1/22/15 11:28 A

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Don’t Count Sheep

by Max Lucado • January 22

Fretting over tomorrow’s problems siphons the strength you need for today, leaving you anemic and weak. So, when you can’t sleep—don’t count sheep. Read Scripture.

Worry takes a look at catastrophes and groans, “It’s all coming unraveled.” But God says in Romans 8:28 that “every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

Worry claims, “The world has gone crazy.” God’s Word disagrees. Mark 7:37 says, “He has done it all and done it well.”

Worry wonders if anyone is in control. Yet God’s Word calls Him “the blessed controller of all things.” (1 Tim. 6:14-15 Phillips)

Worry whispers this lie: “God doesn’t know what I need.” But God’s Word declares in Philippians 4:19, “God will take care of everything you need.”

Worry never sleeps. But God’s children do!

From Max on Life


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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1/21/15 9:32 P

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Yes and Amen.

~Mako~


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1/21/15 2:00 A

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Don’t Replace God

by Max Lucado • January

Vengeance fixes your attention on life’s ugliest moments. Score settling freezes your stare at cruel events in your past. Is that where you want to look? Will rehearsing and reliving your hurts make you a better person? By no means. It will destroy you. Revenge moves God away from the equation. It replaces God.

“I’m not sure you can handle this one, Lord. You may punish too little or too slowly. I’ll take this matter into my hands.”

So, God reminds us in Romans 12:19, “I’ll do the judging. I’ll take care of it.” [My paraphrase] Only God assesses accurate judgments. Vengeance is His job. Leave your enemies in God’s hands. Forgiveness is not endorsement of misbehavior. You can hate what someone did without letting hatred consume you. Remember, God occupies the only seat on the supreme court of heaven!

From Max on Life


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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1/20/15 1:18 P

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emoticon for sharing. God bless your day.

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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1/20/15 10:43 A

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I need to share this with some others today. emoticon

~Mako~


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Getting Over It

by Max Lucado • January 19

You’ve been hurt! Part of you is broken, and the other part is bitter. Part of you wants to cry, and part of you wants to fight. And you’re left with a decision. Do I get over it or get even? Do I release it or resent it?

Resentment is when you allow what’s eating you to eat you up. Revenge is the raging fire that consumes the arsonist. Bitterness is the trap that snares the hunter. And mercy is the choice that can set them all free.

“Blessed are the merciful,” Jesus said on the mountain. “They shall be shown mercy.” (Mt. 5:7)

Forgiving others allows us to see how God has forgiven us. The dynamic of giving grace is the key to understanding grace. For it is when we forgive others that we begin to feel what God feels. Set your enemy—and yourself—free!

From Max on Life



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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1/19/15 1:25 A

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Nothing Wasted



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, ‘Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.’ ”
(John 6:12, NIV)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



The Bible tells of a time when Jesus fed a crowd of five thousand with only five loaves and two fishes. He blessed it and multiplied it. That day, everyone had more than enough to eat, and there were still twelve baskets full of bread and fish left over. That’s because we serve a God of abundance! Then Jesus told the disciples to collect all the leftovers “so that nothing is wasted.” With God, nothing is ever wasted. He’ll never waste an experience; He’ll never waste a hurt; He’ll never waste a dream; He’ll never waste even a single piece of bread.

If you’ve felt like you’ve wasted years of your life in the wrong job, hanging around the wrong people or doing the wrong things, God will gather those years and restore them to you. He’ll take those experiences that the enemy meant for your harm and turn them around for your good. He’ll make you stronger, wiser and better off than you were before. He can launch you further into your destiny than before. Be encouraged today because with God, all things are possible! He is your provider, and nothing is ever wasted!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, I give You every bit of my life, my past, my present and my future. Thank You for taking every experience and turning it around for my good. I know that with You, nothing is ever wasted in Jesus’ name! Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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1/18/15 2:35 A

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Romans 8:28

by Max Lucado

Romans 8:28 reminds us, “We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love Him.” This is one of the most helpful, comforting verses of the entire Bible, announcing God’s sovereignty in any painful, tragic situation we face.

God works. Paul’s word for this is sunergeo—the great-great-grandfather of the term synergy. Paul is saying that God can make all things sunergeo for the good. Blending faith with the failings, triumphs with the tears.

James makes the same point in James 1:2 when he says, “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

So what do we do in the meantime? We trust. We trust totally, and remember God is working for the good!

From Max on Life


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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1/17/15 12:15 P

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Don’t Allow Fear to Win

by Max Lucado

The fear-filled cannot love deeply. They cannot give to the poor. Benevolence has no guarantee of return. They cannot dream wildly. What if their dreams sputter and fall from the sky? Fear paralyzes people. Are you afraid? Afraid of job loss? Afraid of what people are saying about you?

Jesus wages a war against fear. In Matthew 10:28 He says, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” In John 14:27 Jesus says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Fear’s main goal is to keep you from God’s plan for your life. Don’t allow it to win! Punch fear in the face! If anything should be afraid, it should be fear itself.

From Max on Life


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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1/16/15 3:58 A

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You Were Born to Win



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“If God is for us, who is against us?”
(Romans 8:31, NASB)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



The Bible says that we are more than conquerors through Christ. Rise up and see yourself as a champion in Him! You can be and you will be victorious through Him. The problems that so often intimidate and defeat many people won’t have a firm hold on you when you’re walking with Christ and have the joy of the Lord! When you walk with Christ, strength and victory is yours through Him. Here’s something to remember today: if Christ is on your side, it doesn’t really matter who is against you! The opponents you face don’t really matter, and don’t amount to much. Friend, take another look at your life today, YOU are a friend of God! No matter what you may face or who may seem against you let this truth anchor deep within you — God is for you. Now go out in joy making a difference for Him today, knowing who is on your side!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

God, I know that You are on my side and that the other side doesn’t matter. Please give me the strength to stand against the giants that intimidate me. Thank you for your joy and strength and for always being by my side! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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1/15/15 5:46 P

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Go After the Small Drips

by Max Lucado • January 15

I wonder what formed the Grand Canyon? Maybe a few drips here and there. Slowly more and more water built up. Thunderstorms and lightning… angry expressions from the sky spilling out in the raging river of the Colorado. A once innocent stream now full of power and purpose. As years go by, the crevasse is dug.

Our anger builds like the Colorado. Slowly, small things drip, drip, drip down, annoying, irritating, finally enraging. That was mine! Drip. Get out of my way! Drip. Don’t tell me what to do! Drip. The pressure and the buildup unleashing a frenzy of anger, pouring out in our words, sweeping away our loved ones, our homes, and our peace.

Don’t wait until you have a gushing fire hydrant. Go after the small drips. Address every little irritant with forgiveness and prayer. Do it before your anger digs a canyon in your life!

From Max on Life



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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1/14/15 3:45 A

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A Season of Suffering

by Max Lucado

God uses our struggles for His glory! The last three years of my dad’s life were scarred by ALS. The disease took him from being a healthy mechanic to being a bed-bound paralytic. He lost his voice and his muscles, but he never lost his faith. Visitors noticed. Not so much in what he said, but more in what he didn’t say. Never outwardly angry or bitter, Jack Lucado suffered with dignity.

His faith led one man to seek a like faith. This man sought me out and told me because of my dad’s example, he became a Jesus follower. Did God orchestrate my father’s illness for that very reason? Knowing the value God places on one soul, I wouldn’t be surprised. And imagining the splendor of heaven, I know my father is not complaining. A season of suffering is a small assignment when compared to the great reward!

From Max on Life


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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1/13/15 3:07 A

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The Spring of Laughter



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst — not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.”
(John 4:14, MSG)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



When you make Jesus the Lord of your life, God puts within you an eternal well that will never run dry. You have an unlimited supply of good things inside you which should be continually bubbling out of you. But Satan doesn’t want your joy, happiness, or laughter to flow freely. So he comes along and throws a stone of, say, worry into your well. You may think, “That’s just one little stone. It’s not hurting anything. The water is still flowing pretty well.” But Satan will be back soon with another stone, whether it’s fear, self-pity, or hopelessness. If you haven’t dealt individually with each of these stones and gotten rid of them, your nice, free-flowing well of good things will become clogged. Take the time today and every day to evaluate your well. Ask God to give you revelation and to help you keep your well clean!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, thank You for the spring of eternal life and joy that You have placed within me. Help me deal with the stones that can block the free flow of goodness, joy, and laughter. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Regular Repentance

by Max Lucado • January 12

My college roommate, Steve, was neat. Not just neat in the sense of a lot of fun but neat in the sense of not sloppy. I on the other hand, tend to be sloppy. Why make up a bed you’re going to sleep in that night? Steve was very gracious. Little by little he helped me change. I learned the purpose of hangers. The reason for toothpaste lids. Our four years of rooming together were four years of regular repentance. Then he turned me over to Denalyn and she’s still working on me.

The same thing happens to Christians. As Christ moves in and takes up residence in his life, the Christian sees how sloppy he is. Over time, his language changes. His habits change. He lives a lifestyle of repentance. The longer we hang out with Jesus, the more we see what needs to change. Repentance becomes a lifestyle!

From Max on Life



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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1/11/15 1:26 A

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Slow Down and Enjoy the Journey



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
(Psalm 118:24, NKJV)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



Everyone wants to live joyful and victorious lives. That’s what God wants for you, too, and He knows the best way to get you there. But He also wants you to enjoy the trip! Here are two things to remember today that will help you slow down and enjoy this day God has given you. First, God is in control! He is directing your steps according to His plan. Second, God has your best interest in mind at all times. That means His plan for you is good, one that is designed to help you be the person He created you to be. So relax and enjoy the journey! Let God take you where He wants you to be in His timing, not yours. Remember, God is never late!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

God, thank You that You have my best in mind. Give me patience as I wait upon Your timing and make the journey one step at a time. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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1/10/15 5:38 P

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God’s Grace

by Max Lucado

Nothing fosters courage like a clear grasp of grace. And nothing fosters fear like an ignorance of mercy.

May I speak candidly? If you haven’t accepted God’s forgiveness, you’re doomed to live in fear. Nothing can deliver you from the gnawing realization that you have disregarded your Maker and disobeyed his instruction. No pill, pep talk, psychiatrist, or possession can set the sinner’s heart at ease. You may deaden the fear, but you can’t remove it. Only God’s grace can.

1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Your prayer can be as simple as, “Father, I need forgiveness. Please forgive me. I place my soul in your hands and trust in your grace. Through Jesus I pray, amen.”

Having received God’s forgiveness, live forgiven!

From Max on Life



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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emoticon Mako emoticon

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Thanks for the devotionals, Irene.

~Mako~


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God Can Use You

by Max Lucado

If God chose only righteous people to change the world, you could count them all on one finger—Jesus! Instead he included others in his plan—sinners, the ungodly, the imperfect. God used and uses people to change the world. People! Crooks, creeps, lovers, and liars—he uses them all!

If you ever wonder how God can use you to make a difference in your world, just look at those he has already used, and take heart. No matter who you are or what you’ve done, God can use you. Because you’re imperfect, you can speak of making mistakes. Because you’re a sinner, you can speak of forgiveness. God restores the broken and the brittle, then parades them before the world as trophies of his love and strength. And when the world sees the ungodly turn godly, they know God must love them too.

God can use you, my friend!

From Max on Life

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Keep Looking Ahead!



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.”
(Proverbs 4:25, NIV)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



In order to fulfill your divine destiny, you have to know your purpose. You need a plan and then you must work within that plan. You should wake up each day knowing where you’re going, which direction you will take to get there and what you want to accomplish. Once you find your purpose, stick with it! Don’t allow the distractions of life to get you off course. Ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing moving me toward my God-given destiny? Am I staying focused? Is this my purpose or am I just wasting my time being busy?” Don’t be distracted and spend your time and energy on things that may be interesting, but are not helping you fulfill your destiny. Remember, God’s plans are blessed and as you walk in His plan for your life, you will experience His abundant blessing on everything you set your hand to!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

God, Your Word promises that You will guide me if I seek You. Show me how to order my time and arrange my schedule to accomplish Your will. In Jesus’ Name. Amen

— Joel & Victoria Osteen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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The First Fruit

by Max Lucado • January 8

Impatience is selfishness with time. We don’t like to waste it. People get in our way and slow things down, so we burn them with impatience! Patience recognizes that we share time with others—it’s not just our time. Patience knows other factors are at work—that some things can be sped up with encouragement, not flames of retribution. The best way to turn down the flame of impatience is with love.

I Corinthians 13:4 says, “Love is patient.” Love is a fruit hanging from the tree of Galatians 5:22. It’s the first-fruit and some say the most important. The seeds of love produce the harvest of all the other fruits: joy, peace, patience. . . So, if you have the Holy Spirit, then you have the potential of making patience a part of your life. Thankfully, God is patient while you find that patience!

From Max on Life



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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1/7/15 6:27 A

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True Confession

by Max Lucado

In Psalm 32:5, David says,“I confessed my rebellion to the Lord.’ And you forgave me. All my guilt is gone.”

Confession is not complaining. If I merely recite my problems and tell you how tough my life is, I’m not confessing. Confession is not blaming. Pointing fingers at others may feel good for a while, but it does nothing to remove the conflict within me. Confession is coming clean with God.

David discovered this. As if his affair with Bathsheba wasn’t enough. As if the murder of her husband wasn’t enough. David danced around the truth. It took a prophet to bring the truth to the surface, but when he did, David did not like what he saw. He confessed. He came clean with God. And the result? He proclaimed, “And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone!” (Ps. 32:5).

Want to get rid of your guilt? Come clean with God!

From Max on Life



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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We’re Not Good Enough

by Max Lucado

Simply put—we are not good enough to go to heaven. So what can we do? We could start doing good deeds. Perhaps if we do enough good deeds, they’ll offset our bad deeds. The question then becomes how many good deeds? If I spend one year being greedy, how many years should I be generous?

No one knows the answer to that question. A rule sheet can’t be found. A code has not been discovered. Why? Because God doesn’t operate this way. God has been so kind to us. We have no way of balancing the scales. All we can do is ask for mercy. And God, because of his kindness, gives it.

God turned over our sins to his Son. Jesus Christ died for us. He did what we could not do so that we might become what we dare not dream—citizens of heaven!

From Max on Life


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Yes indeed!

~Mako~


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TRUTH, not feelings! JESUS is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE! emoticon


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What Are Your Goals?



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward — to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”
(Philippians 3:13–14, MSG)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



The reason it is so important for you to set and achieve goals is that you have a unique purpose that only you can fulfill. It’s kind of like building your own house — something you had better not attempt without a clear vision of your goals and a good set of blueprints, or you may wind up with some extra doors or windows and no place to put them!God is the architect of your life. His Word is a blueprint of His hopes and plans for your life. Trust Him to help you set your goals. If you have a problem being focused and setting goals for your life, one of the best things you can do is to start writing them down, both short-term and long-term ones. It’s amazing how your life can begin to take shape when you can see on paper where you want to go.



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

God, thank You that You are the architect of my life. Give me the wisdom to follow Your blueprint and set goals that reflect Your desires for me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Just Do It

Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.”
(I Chronicles 28:20, ESV)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



Fear not. That is the message David had for his son, Solomon. For many years, David wanted to build a temple for the Lord. But God told Him that specific job belonged to his son, Solomon. Solomon was young and inexperienced, and even though he knew he had a mandate from God, he was intimidated by the prospect of building a great house of worship, one that would be a dwelling place for the Most High. You can probably understand his apprehension.

But his father David had some good advice for him. He told his son, “Forget your fear. God is bigger than your problems. He is bigger than the temple you are going to build. He is bigger than any adversity that you might face. So just get busy and do your part and God will do the rest.”

Perhaps as this new year approaches, you have some changes that need to be made. Maybe you need a renovation in your marriage, finances, health, or emotions. Whatever your individual needs may be, notice the words of David, “Be strong and courageous, and do it. Fear not, be not dismayed, for the Lord God, my God, is with you.”



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

God, I’m excited to see what You have planned for me this year. Whatever I face, I will not be intimidated. I will begin this year by seeing myself as You do — happy, healthy, and prosperous. Thank you for the gift of another year. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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I very much depend on the story of the rebellious son (prodigal son) and his loving father! emoticon


CATHLEEN


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emoticon

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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emoticon Irene!

~Mako~


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You Can Count on Him

by Max Lucado

I was seven years old. I’d had enough of my father’s rules and decided I could make it on my own, thank you very much. I got to the end of the alley and remembered I was hungry, so I went back home! Did Dad know of my insurrection? I suspect he did. Was I still his son? Apparently so. No one else was sitting in my place at the table.

Suppose someone had asked my father, “Mr. Lucado, your son says he has no need of a father. Do you still consider him your son?” What do you think my dad would have said? He considered himself my father even when I didn’t consider myself his son. His commitment to me was greater than my commitment to him. So is God’s. I can count on him to be in my corner no matter what! And you can too!

From Max on Life


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Let Him Order
Your Steps



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“...nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
(Luke 22:42, NKJV)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



Like most people at this time of year, you are probably thinking about some pretty big dreams and goals. That’s great. We should. But no matter what has happened in the past or what you’re dreaming for in the future, why don’t you let your New Year’s prayer be, “God, not my will, but Yours be done.”

Maybe you’ve gone through a disappointment. You don’t understand it. You could easily be bitter and give up on your dreams. Realize today that God is at work in your life. He is directing your steps. What you thought was a setback is going to turn out to be a setup for a comeback! When you surrender your will to Him, when you humble yourself before Him, that’s when God can take you to another level. Let your prayer be, “Not my will, but Yours be done.”

Today, as we finish the last few days of 2014, know that God has you in the palm of His hand. He has good plans in store for your future! Surrender to His will, trust Him with your whole heart, and let Him order your steps in the New Year!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, today I surrender every area of my heart, mind and life to You. Have Your way in me. Order my steps and let everything I am bring glory to You in Jesus’ name! Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Let Go of What Didn’t Work Out



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, nor with things too profound for me.”
(Psalm 131:1, NKJV)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



When things happen in your life that you don’t plan, do you find yourself trying to reason it all out, or looking for a place to file it all in your mind? What happens when you can’t find a “file” to put it in? What if you can’t make sense of it all?

Here’s the answer: Every one of us needs to create a file in our thinking called an “I Don’t Understand It” file. When things come up that don’t make sense or you can’t figure out, instead of getting frustrated or confused, simply put it in your “I Don’t Understand It” file and leave it alone. Especially at this time of year. Don’t start the New Year off with old frustrations. Don’t carry bitterness into your season of new beginnings. Don’t put a question mark where God has placed a period. Trust that He is good. Trust that He is working things out for your good. Keep believing, keep praying, keep hoping for the future. Let go of what didn’t work out in 2014 and get ready for the new season God has for you in 2015!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, today I surrender my questions; I surrender my past; I surrender my need to have all the answers. Today I choose to trust that You have all the answers, and You will reveal all things in time in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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A Hope-Filled Heart

by Max Lucado • December 31

You and I live in a trashy world. Unwanted garbage comes our way on a regular basis. Haven’t you been handed a trash sack of mishaps and heartaches? Sure you have. May I ask, what are you going to do with it? You could hide it. Pretend it isn’t there. But sooner or later it will start to stink. So what will you do?

If you follow the example of Christ, you’ll learn to see tough times differently. God wants you to have a hope-filled heart. . .just like Jesus. Wouldn’t you want that? Jesus saw his Father’s presence in the problem. Sure, Max, but Jesus was God. I can’t see the way he saw. Not yet, maybe. But don’t underestimate God’s power. He can change the way you look at life.

From The Lucado Inspirational Reader


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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God’s Never Failing Love

by Max Lucado

God will not let you go. The big news of the Bible is not that you love God but that God loves you! He tattooed your name on the palm of his hand. His thoughts of you outnumber the sand on the shore. You never leave his mind, escape his sight, flee his thoughts. You need not win his love. You already have it. He sees the worst of you and loves you still. Your sins of tomorrow and failings of the future will not surprise him; he sees them now. Every day and deed of your life has passed before his eyes and been calculated in his decision.

He knows you better than you know you and has reached this verdict: he loves you still! No discovery will disillusion him. No rebellion will dissuade him. He loves you with an everlasting love. God’s love– never failing, never ending.

From Lucado Inspirational Reader



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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“The Prince of Peace”



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“...and his name shall be called...The Prince of Peace.”
(Isaiah 9:6, KJV)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



Jesus doesn’t just have peace; He is peace. With Jesus, we can have peace when things around us aren’t peaceful. We can have peace in the midst of the storm. We can have peace when gas prices go up and the housing market goes down. We can have peace that passes understanding because we are connected to the true source of peace — the Prince of Peace!

Do you need peace in any area of your life today? Call on the Prince of Peace. Give Him your burdens and cares. Focus on His goodness knowing that He is working behind the scenes on your behalf. Let His peace lead and guide you. You don’t have to be worried about anything. When God gives you peace, nothing in the world can take it away. Choose today to walk and live in His perfect peace every day of your life!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for Your peace that passes understanding. I receive Your peace knowing that Your plans are for my good. I cast my cares on You and thank You for leading me and guiding me in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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God with Us



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“Behold, the virgin shall become pregnant and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel — which, when translated, means, God with us.”
(Matthew 1:23, AMP)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



In scripture, Jesus was called by many names according to His attributes. In today’s verse, He is called Emmanuel, which means God with us. He’s not far away; He’s looking down on us; He is closer than the air we breathe. That means you never have to be alone or feel afraid. You never have to wonder where God is! But, we have to do our part. In the natural, you can have someone sitting right next to you and never really know them. It’s the same way with God. We have to take time to acknowledge Him as Lord and talk to Him throughout the day. When you draw near to God, He will draw near to you!

Today, take some time to meditate on this verse. Be aware of His presence around you. Praise Him and thank Him for being Emmanuel — God with us!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for being close to me today and giving me Your comfort and peace. I acknowledge You and yield my heart to You so that I can bring You glory in everything I do in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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The Secret of Forgiveness

by Max Lucado • December 26



You will never forgive anyone more than God has already forgiven you. Is it still hard to consider the thought of forgiving the one who hurt you? If so, go one more time to the room. Watch Jesus as he goes from disciple to disciple. Can you see him? Can you hear the water splash? Can you hear him shuffle on the floor to the next person? Keep that image.

John 13:12 says, “When he had finished washing their feet. . .” Please note, he finished washing their feet. That means he left no one out. Why is that important? Because that means he washed the feet of Judas. Jesus washed the feet of his betrayer. That’s not to say it was easy for Jesus, and that’s not to say it’s easy for you. It IS to say, God will never call you to do what he hasn’t already done!

From Inspirational Reader



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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More Than a Christmas Story

by Max Lucado

The virgin birth is more, much more, than a Christmas story. It’s a story of how close Christ will come to you! The first stop on His itinerary was a womb. Where will God go to touch the world? Look deep inside Mary for an answer. Better still—look deep within yourself.

“Christ in you, the hope of glory!” the scripture says (Col. 1:27). Christ grew in Mary until He had to come out. Christ will grow in you until the same occurs. He will come out in your speech, in your actions, in your decisions. Every place you live will be a Bethlehem. And every day you live will be a Christmas. Deliver Christ into the world…your world.

From In the Manger



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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emoticon Mako emoticon

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Your devotionals are a blessing to me and I'm sure many others. Thank you for taking the time each day to post them. Merry Christmas and may you have a blessed day!

~Mako~


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With the Angels



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’ ”
(Luke 2:13–14, NIV)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



On the night Jesus was born, there were some shepherds out in the field. An angel appeared to them to tell them about Christ’s birth. Then suddenly, a host of angels appeared who were praising God.

Scripture tells us that there are angels in heaven singing God’s praises day and night. Think about this: When you praise God, you are joining with the angels in heaven! What an awesome thought that we can be one with the heavenly hosts when we worship.

As you celebrate Christmas Eve, take time to rejoice with the angels. Turn your thoughts toward Him because He is good and worthy of all our praise!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, what an awesome privilege it is to come before Your throne of grace and worship You. Thank You for sending Your son, Jesus, so that I can live forever and join the heavenly hosts in Jesus’ name! Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Anything But a King

by Max Lucado

In Bethlehem, the human being who best understood who God was and what He was doing, was a teenage girl in a smelly stable. As Mary looked into the face of the baby, her son, her Lord, His majesty—she couldn’t take her eyes off Him. Somehow Mary knew she was holding God. So this is He. And she remembered the words of the angel when he said, “His kingdom will never end!”

He looked like anything but a King. His cry, though strong and healthy, was still the helpless and piercing cry of a baby. Majesty in the midst of the mundane. Holiness in the filth of sheep manure and sweat. Divinity entering the world on the floor of a stable, through the womb of a teenager and in the presence of a carpenter. God came near! Luke 1:33 says, “His kingdom will never end!” May you be a part of it.

From In the Manger



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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He is Not Limited by Your Limitations



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“Is anything too hard for the LORD? ...”
(Genesis 18:14, NIV)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



If you could see what God has stored up for you, the people you’re going to meet, the places you’re going to go, the good breaks that are going to find you, you would be amazed. It’s going to be the surpassing greatness of God’s favor. But too often, we make excuses. We come up with reasons why this is not going to happen for us. “Well, that sounds good, but I don’t have the training, the talent, the connections.” Or, “I come from the wrong family. I’m the wrong nationality. I’m too short. I’ll never come into my garden.”

No, God is not limited by your circumstances, your family or who is against you. When God breathed His life into you, He put a blessing on you that overrides anything that comes against you! The blessings God has stored up for you cannot be stopped by people, bad breaks or injustice. God has the final say. Be encouraged today because God is taking you to a place of blessing. Don’t focus on your circumstances; focus on your God because He is not limited by your limitations!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for blessing me beyond what I can see. Thank You for empowering me to rise above my circumstances and any limitations to boldly embrace the blessing You have for me in Jesus’ name. Amen!

— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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~Mako~


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Go to the Place
of Blessing



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan.”
(1 Kings 17:3, ESV)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



In the scripture, the prophet Elijah was living in a certain city. God said to him, “Leave this place and go down to the brook Cherith for I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” When he got to the brook, every morning just like clockwork, the ravens brought him food. He had his provision; a prepared blessing. Here’s the key. Elijah didn’t have to try to find the ravens. He just had to get to where God wanted him to be and the ravens found him.

In the same way, there is a place where God has commanded you to be blessed. The ravens are already there — your provision, favor, abundance. The real question today is will you do what’s required to get to your place of blessing? Elijah could have said, “God, I don’t want to leave. I’m comfortable. I like it here. My friends are here.” But if he had stayed, he would have missed where he was commanded to be blessed.

Are you willing to do what God is asking you to do today? Listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit inside, follow His leading, and enter into the place of blessing!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for leading me to a place of blessing. Thank You for sustaining me and empowering me to fulfill Your call on my life. I choose to follow Your leading so that I can be in the place You’ve called me to in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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