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7/13/14 2:18 A

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July 12

Psalms 88:4-5

I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am a man that hath no strength: Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in thy grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from they hand.

Annette sat with red-rimmed eyes. She had been crying for quite some time. Everything in her life felt like it was going wrong. She called herself a Christian, but she kept doing things she knew were wrong. She asked forgiveness, but she felt like a liar and a hypocrite. She wanted God to love her, but she kept being so unlovable. One of her friends told her that she was going to hell, because God would judge her for all the lies she told and all the sins she committed. Now, she sat sobbing, not knowing what to do.

It is hard to be good when we are so weak. Even the great apostle, Paul, spoke of doing things he knew he should not do. No one ever rises completely above sin. God wants people who will try and who will strive to do better, even when they know they can't be perfect. God will judge us on the intentions of our hearts. We cannot separate ourselves from God's love as long as we desire in our hearts to be reconciled to Him. He loves us that much.

Prayer: Forgive my weakness, fill me with strength, and continually remind me of Your great mercy. Though I am not worthy, I am love, and therefore, I am saved. Hallelujah! Amen.

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7/11/14 5:11 P

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July 11

Psalm 86:17 Corrected to NKJV from Old KJV

Show me a sign for good,
That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed,
Because You, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

During high school, Chris had been a total loser. He had partied heavily and bullied other kids, forcing them to give up their lunch money in order to avoid a beating. Everyone walked in fear of Chris. Ten years was a long time, but no one expected such a great change from Chris. At the reunion, Chris came into a room that was still somewhat fearful of the old bully. What the people found was a man of grace and charm, who extended a warm hand to everyone he saw. In a few cases, Chris apologized for his behavior ten years gone by. When asked what had made the difference in his life, Chris replied simply, "I'm a Christian now."

Christ is the changer of lives. He will give us a token that will attract people's attention. When others see the miracle of God in our lives, then cannot help but be touched themselves. God works through us to touch others. Open yourself to His guidance, and He will use you greatly.

Prayer: Take my life and use it to Your will, Father. If I can be the instrument that leads someone to You, then don't hesitate to bring me into service. Let me give to others a portion of what You have given to me. Amen.


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7/11/14 4:45 P

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Be back with an up-date

Edited by: JUDITH316 at: 7/11/2014 (17:03)
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7/10/14 5:21 A

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July 10

Psalms 86:15

But thou, O Lor d, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.

Erin thought the minister would be more understanding. She had gone to him with her problems because she thought he would be forgiving and loving. Instead, he made her feel dirty and sinful. There was no love in what he told her. He just said that what she had done was evil and she had to ask God's forgiveness and hope He would hear her. How could he call himself a Christian, let alone a minister? Erin left the church worse off than when she went in.

Pastors are people, too. They make mistakes, and just because they choose to serve God does not mean they will do everything the way God would do it. Too many people place pastors high up on pedestals, only to watch them come tumbling down. Only God is capable of total love and care. His forgiveness is what really matters. Often pastors can help us find God's will for our lives, but in those cases where they do not, God will still reach down to us, lifting us in love, sharing with us His mercy and truth.

Prayer: Lord, when people let me down, be with me to help me understand them. Shower Your love upon me, and deal with me with compassion. I need to feel Your love. Amen.



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7/9/14 6:37 A

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July 9

Psalms 85:11

Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

Marge had denied God's existence for years. She had grown up in a huge city, and she rarely got out of it. Her argument against God was that a loving being wouldn't allow people to live in such terrible conditions as existed in so much of the city. Argument did nothing to persuade her. Marge's mind was made up.

When she was twenty-six, she went with friends into the mountains of Vermont. Like a wide-eyed child, she soaked in the awesome beauty of the hills. One evening, at sunset, her heart was filled with an unbelievable joy, and she somehow knew that God did exist. Cities weren't God's fault, they were the creation of men and women. Nature was God's expression of reality, and that reality was too good to deny. The truth rose up out of God's green earth to convince here. Never again would she say God did not exist.

Prayer: What a wonderful world we live in, Lord. You give us happiness, and yet we create sorrow. Turn our tears into laughter, God, that we may enjoy this blessed gift of life we have been given. Amen.

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7/8/14 4:40 A

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July 8

Psalms 85:9

Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.

Roger was the best cop in the precinct. His record was sparkling clean, and he was the model for most rookies to follow. His most frequent piece of advice was simple: Pay attention. Roger had watched a lot of his friends blow it, just because they got careless. Police work was not for careless people. Bad things happened to careless people; things that couldn't be undone. The best way to be was careful. The last thing Roger wanted to have happen was for his career, or his life, to come to an end over some stupid mistake.
One of the best ways we can honor our Lord is to pay attention and be careful. Other people see the way we live our lives, and if we are sloppy and sinful, we can hardly hope to make others see the benefits of being Christian. Once we have been touched by the saving grace of God, we need to pay attention and live as careful a life a possible.

Prayer: Make me a good example, Lord, of a life made new through Your love. Help others to see in me that Your way is the best way. Amen.


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7/7/14 1:49 A

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July 6

Psalms 84:10

For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

Mike had seen pictures of most of the places he visited before he went. Even so, he was not prepared for the beauty he found. Pictures lost the magnitude, somehow. Traveling across the country brought everything into sharp focus. Being in it was a thousand times better than just seeing pictures of it.

Nothing beats the real thing. Once we are touched by the grace of God, nothing else compares. What this world has to offer us is but a snapshot of what we can really have. The real thing is best. Embrace God, and all that He is, and all that He does. You'll never need anything else.

Prayer: Lord, nothing can compare with You. In my life I have experienced wonderful things, but none so wonderful as Your love. Thank You. Amen.


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7/5/14 6:59 A

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July 5

Psalms 84:3

Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine alters, O Lord of hosts, my King, a nd my God.

Rosa had no place left to turn. She was in the country illegally, but for her children's sake, she had to try to stay. She found herself with her two boys on the steps of a New Mexico church. Inside, she hoped to find the sanctuary she needed. There was no hope if the church turned her away.

Many people in this country are in deep trouble for offering sanctuary to illegal immigrants. There men and women have taken seriously God's charge to care for all His children, even at the risk of personal safety and security. Some have gone to jail, so strongly do they believe.

The church should be a place where people find hope and safety. If it does not provide these things, it is not really the church. We need to reach out to those who reach to us. Only by doing so can we stand proud, calling Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Prayer: Let the feelings of my heart be made real through my actions, Lord. Help me to live out the things that I believe. Amen.


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7/3/14 1:45 P

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July 3

Psalms 82:6

I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

The wood carver who made himself a son out of a stump of a tree did so out of love. He wanted someone to love and care for, to teach and to guide, to spend time with and to share with. Pinocchio was the answer to the prayers of a lonely old man. In the end, the old man's love brought the boy made of wood to life.

God carved for Himself men and women to be with Him forever. He filled them with good things. He made them to love, and care, and learn, and grow. He fashioned them out of clay, then He made them as He was. He made us just less than Himself. He calls us gods and children, the greatest of all His creation. In God's eyes, we are sacred and good. Let us do everything we can to live up to His holy expectations.

Prayer: Make me worthy, Lord, of the great love which You have given to me. Turn me from my woodenness to true life; life which comes from Your indwelling Spirit. Amen.

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7/3/14 1:04 A

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Thanks for this Judith. Isn't it nice to know that Christ is our Live Preserver?

Darlene

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills. From whence commeth my help? My help commeth from the Lord who made heaven and earth. flemidg


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7/2/14 3:46 P

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July 2

Psalms 81:15

The haters of the Lord should have submitted themselves unto him; but their time should have endured for ever.

Water stretched out in every direction, as far as the man could see. He didn't know what direction would lead him most quickly to safety. He kept swimming, not knowing whether the shore was any closer or not. Each direction he tried seemed as hard as the last. The current was against him, no matter which way he turned. He was so tired. Every muscle ached. His heart filled with fear and anxiety. He wondered if the nightmare would ever end.

Such is the fate of one who realizes too late that God is who He says He is. All the futility of life comes crashing in. Sadness and frustration will reign. God wants us to turn to Him so we never have to face such despair. Christ is the life jacket that keeps us afloat when life gets too much for us. Nothing else will suffice.

Prayer: The waters are rough sometimes, and I need something to keep me from sinking. Th ank You for throwing me a lifeline; Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen

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7/2/14 12:43 A

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July 1

Psalms 81:9

There shall no str ange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.

Chrissy was a smart girl. It was hard to understand why she would want to run off to some strange communal religious group. She had been active at church all her young life. Then, out of the blue, she started hanging around with a bunch of college students who belonged to a commune called Light of Life. One day her parents came home to find a note. All Chrissy's things were gone; she was now a member of Light of Life.

Thousands of people turn to cults and sects, hoping to find something Christianity can't give them. Usually, they don't want to take the responsibility Christ gives to live a holy and upright life. It is easier to run away to somewhere where the self doesn't matter so much, then to face the problems right in front of us. Sadly, there is no place to run. Jesus is the only true answer to a life that is empty and void. Strange gods come and go. They have no staying power. They may be attractive for awhile, but only God endures forever.

Prayer: When I get discouraged in my faith, Lord, turn me back to You, that I might know Your truth. Do not let me be swayed by false teachings that sound so appealing. Protect me with Your love. Amen.


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6/30/14 2:14 P

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June 30

Psalms 81:2

Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.

Beth was different when she was singing. Somehow the pressures of the world disappeared when the music filled her head and heart. Her whole life felt somehow lighter, brighter, when she lifted her voice in praise through song. Music was the best expression of who she was and what she believed. Music made God real to Beth.

Music is a universal language. Every culture has its music, and it is revered as one of the finest arts. Music brings people together and can move us closer to God. God loves music and the spirit from which music springs. The quality is not nearly as important as the intention of the heart. Sing out to God, and He will bless you richly.

Prayer: Music touches my heart in a special way, Lord. Speak to me through the beauty of music. Touch me day by day. Amen.

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6/30/14 12:11 A

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June 29

Psalms 80:13

The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it.

Betty loved her flowers and plants. She spent hours pruning, planting, and paring. Her garden was her pride and joy. Betty invested so much of herself into her plants. For that reason, Betty was at war with the woodland animals that made their way into her yard. They would always get through the fences somehow and mutilate her beautiful garden. To Betty, the plants were beauty and joy, but to the animals, they were nothing more than lunch.

We have the capacity to truly appreciate the beauty and splendor of God's creation. Why, then, do so many people trash God's gift as blindly as animals destroy a beautiful garden? Why don't we appreciate nature more, and respect it? The Lord gave us His ability to see the beauty in things. Let us use that gift, and protect and defend the wonders of the world in which we live.

Prayer: Do not let me stomp through life like some wild an imal. Help me to see all creation as You see it. Fill me with the beauty of this world. Amen.

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6/29/14 1:49 A

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June 28

Psalms 80:3

Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

The silly-looking little clown wobbled back and forth across the tabletop. He would jerk along in a funny walk, then, as his foot cleared the edge of the table, he would rock back, spin, and head off in a new direction, barely averting disaster.

We are a lot like that clown. We head off in wrong directions and then have to change our ways time and time again in order to avoid bad consequences. The word [repent] means to turn away from or toward. God wants us to turn from the things that are wrong in our lives and to turn toward Him. If we will always try to do just that, the Lord's face will shine upon us, and we shall be saved.

Prayer: Be patient with me, Lord, I run off in so many wrong directions, but I want always to come back to You. Thank You for not giving up on me. Amen.


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6/28/14 12:37 A

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June 27

Psalm 79:11

Let the sighting of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die.

Jack sat with his head hanging, hands dangling between his knees. Just over a year had gone by since he was convicted of murdering his girlfriend. He didn't do it, but no one believed him. Within hours, his life would be at an end, and the truth would never be known. What had his life really been for? He closed his eyes and prayed to God. Sometime during his prayer, a stay of execution came through. New evidence would reopen a case almost permanently closed.

When we despair of life itself, the Lord comes to us gently and with love. He stays beside us, bringing us comfort when we need it most. Through Jesus Christ, we have received the reprieve from death. Our prayers are heard, and the Lord will be faithful to answer every one.

Prayer: Sometimes I feel like my life is hopeless, Lord. It seems that I am serving out some kind of sentence. Lift that burden from me and let me experience life the way You meant for it to be. Amen.

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6/27/14 2:14 A

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June 26

Psalms 79:6

Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name.

It's not easy loving unlovable people. Some people do such terrible things. King David looked at evil men and felt nothing but contempt. Why should evil men prosper while good men struggled just to get by? Why should hateful women set their hearts' desires while virtuous women could hardly lift their heads? David wrestled with God's justice throughout his lifetime.

It is difficult to remember that God's justice plays itself out in eternity, not just in our lifetime. In the end of times, righteous people will prevail, while the evildoers are left out in the cold. The Lord has little desire to reward only good people and punish those who are bad. If He did that, people would follow Him for the wrong reason. God wants His children to come to Him because they love Him, not because they think it will bring them good things.

Prayer: Help me to accept the fact that bad things happen to good people, and that bad people are often prosperous. I may not like it now, but I need to keep in mind that one day each of us will receive exactly what he deserves. Amen.


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6/25/14 8:35 P

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June 25

Psalms 78:45-46

He sent divers sorts of flies among them, which devoured them; and frogs, which destroyed them. He gave also their increase unt o the caterpillar, and their labour unto the locust.

God sent plagues upon the Egyptians, who persecuted the Hebrew people. Through these afflictions, God sent the message that no one could do evil for long and get away unpunished. Our Lord doesn't supersede the laws of nature often, but when He does, it is with good cause. And yet, even in the face of the terrible plagues, the Egyptian pharaoh refused to believe. People who lack the love of God in their lives so often refuse to admit they might be wrong. It is easier to deny God than to do what is necessary to please Him. The Christian refuses to deny her heart, and she continually acknowledges God's great works for what they really are. In our own day, the Lord does not send many plagues to afflict us, but there are definitely enough hardships to make us want to reach out to Him. We need God, and thankfully we have Him, every step of the way.

Prayer: My eyes are blind to many of Your great works, Lord. I miss so much of Your greatness and love. Help me to see You in new ways each day. Amen.

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June 11

Psalms 74:9

We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long.

A friend lamented to me, " Our problem today is that the voice of God is silent. We have not prophets. What we need is a good Jeremiah or Isaiah."

The crowd that listened to Jeremiah and Isaiah lamented to their contemporaries that what they needed was a good prophet like Elijah. In every age, the people long for a different voice than the one they are hearing. God speaks to us in many different ways. The trick is to be open to His call. We often don't see signs because they are not the signs we hope to see. Almost everything that God communicates to us means that we must be willing to give and to serve. The only communication that God has made with no duty involved on our part was His Son, Jesus Christ. Looking for signs and longing for prophets does us no good. God has made known what He wants us to do. The job is before us. Let's do it.

Prayer: Lord, I am not even doing the things I already know I should do. Why then do I look for something more? Help me to do what I can now, and make me open to Your messages as they come in this age. Amen.


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June 23

Psalms 78:20

Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? Can he provide flesh for his people.

Brittany wanted a car, and she got a car. She wanted to go to an expensive college. She wanted her nice clothes, a stereo, a microwave, a television. There was no end to Brittany's wants. Nothing satisfied her. No matter how much she was given, she wanted more.

We need to be careful that we don't approach God that way. God wants us to truly appreciate what we have before we go asking for more. He gives good things to His children, and He is willing to give abundantly, but He desires us to learn the real meaning of thankfulness.

Prayer: Dear God, make me appreciative of all the wonderful gifts You give. When I take things for granted, show me the error of my ways. Fill my mind and heart with gratitude for the many blessings I have. Amen.


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6/22/14 5:34 P

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June 22

Psalms 78:14

In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire.

The chosen people were afraid. They had to cross a barren wasteland, a desert, with no provisions and not definite sense of where they would end up. The scorching sun frightened them. The dark, cold nights frightened them. They were a people afraid. But the Lord saw their fear, and He sent a cloud to block the scorching sun, and He placed a bright fireball in the sky at night to light their way. The people of God came through the desert safe and sound.

God brings us through the wastelands of our live sin the same way. He will not allow us to be tested beyond our strength and endurance. Trust in God's mercy and love, and He will bring you through any situation.

Prayer: Lord, I am sometimes frightened by the challenges I am called on to face. Be with me, and let me lean upon Your strength for support. Amen.

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June 21

Psalms 78:6

That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children.

There is a wall in Washington, DC, which has engraved in it the names of all the men and women who gave their lives in active service during the war in Vietnam. It stands as a testimonial to their courage and a black warning against ever having another war. To remember them and what they did is important. We need reminders of where we have been and what we have done. The monument should make us both proud and ashamed. It should swell our hearts wit joy that the war is at an end, and sorrow that it cost so much to attain to little. We need to know these things. God wants us to know these things, and He wants our children to know them after us. Perhaps on day we will learn enough so that such monuments are no longer necessary, and we can get on with being god's people. Let us hope so.

Prayer: Let me remember not only the good things in life, but also the bad. The good helps me to rejoice, the bad helps me avoid making the same mistakes again. Lord, let me learn from my mistakes. Amen.

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June 20

Psalms 78:2

I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old.

Sarah, the old woman with mysteries to tell. The whole town buzzed around Sarah's house. Sarah had lived in the same house in the same town for seventy years. She was a throwback to an earlier time. She dressed in fashions of the twenties, and she talked a language that sounded foreign to young ears. Sarah was a walking clichT. She remember the stories and sayings of old, and so she was a treasure chest of days gone by. Everyone loved Sarah, for Sarah was history come to life.

Life is a story. It is a parable we live through day by day. Just as a parable has a hidden meaning, so, too, the events of our daily living have significance and deeper meanings. Our present and our past are important components of who we are. We like to hold onto the past, and we strive to make the present the best it can be. God, the greatest storyteller of all, is a part of our past and our present. He can shape our parable for us if we will let Him. When we do so, we can be confident that our story has a happy ending.

Prayer: I don't have any idea what the outcome of my story will be, Lord, but I thank You for giving my life an interesting and unique plot. Go with me through the chapters of my life, Lord. Amen.


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June 19

Psalms 77:18

The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.

The little airplane bobbed and weaved. The storm was playing havoc with its small engines. Arthur looked out of the cabin windows. His gaze was met with pitch blackness, but he continued to look out, anyway. He said a short prayer to God for safety, and as he finished, a bolt of lightning lit up the entire sky. Down below, a town was exposed by the flash, and Arthur was struck by the calm beauty and peace of the village. The plane was closer to the ground than he had realized, and he was suddenly convinced that everything would be perfectly all right. A strange peace filled his heart, and he sat back and relaxed for the rest of the flight.

The fury of a storm can be frightening, but the hand of God is mightier, and His hand is ever upon our heart. Though we might feel tossed around, we are in God's care, and nothing bad can happen to us.

Prayer: O Lord, I do not know what Your will is for me this day, but I do know that whatever happens to me, it will be the best possible thing. Your love rules my life, and I trust you completely. Amen.


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June 18

Psalms 77:9

Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies?

Liz lay on her back, looking up at the stars. She and Jim had watched the stars together a thousand times. She still couldn't figure out why he'd broken up wit her. She thought they were perfect together. She had thanked God a million times for Jim. Now she wondered whether God even cared about her at all. Why would he break up such a great relationship?

Perhaps we give God too much credit for being active in our lives. There are some things He wants us to handle on our own. Christ works inside of us to make us Kingdom people, but we have to make choices on our own. We need to take the things Christ teaches and use them in our relationships, our actions, our lives. God is with us to comfort us when we fail and to celebrate with us when we triumph, but He still allows us to make our own choices. It's not always what we want, but our God is the God of freedom of will. He will not make the world work our way just because we think He should.

Prayer: Lord, I want many things. I have asked You to make me happy, but I need to take some responsibility for my own happiness. Grant me the encouragement I need to make the right decisions. Amen.

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June 17

Psalms 77:2

In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceases n ot: my soul refused to be comforted.

The sharp ache kept bringing Fran fully awake. The tooth was bad, but there was nothing she could do about it until the next day. She wanted to slip into blessed sleep to escape the pain, but the fool tooth wouldn't let her. She prayed continually for God to ease her suffering enough for her to fall asleep. She was on the verge of tears when she felt He wasn't listening. He wasn't doing anything to help her.

Too often we want god to make it all better, when that just simply isn't the way He operates. Sometimes we have to endure pain or suffering, and God isn't going to make it go away. When our pain threatens our very being, then He will intercede for us, but when we experience the pain of normal everyday living, God allows us to endure it. Endurance builds us up and helps us grow. We can seek the Lord, and He will be with us, but He may not take away the irritation we suffer with.

Prayer: Lord, I'm sorry that I often ask You to deal with things that I should deal with myself. I am lazy, and sometimes I refuse to face everyday life. Help me get over my selfishness. Amen.


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June 16

Psalms 76:11

Vow, and pay unto the Lord your God: let all that he round about him bring presents unto him that ought to be feared.

[Oh, no,] thought Kent, [here comes the old pitch.] We don't have enough money. We can't keep the doors open. Give till it hurts. On and on and on and on. He gave five bucks a week. That was enough. He didn't see others beating him out of the way to give more. Hey, a movie cost about five bucks, and you got two hours of entertainment. For the same price he only got an hour's worth at church. Get real. Sometimes it annoyed him enough to make him put his wallet back in his coat without taking anything out. This morning? What the heck, he was in a generous mood.

People forget where their financial support originates. Without the lord, no one would receive anything. The Bible says that ten percent off the top should go to the Lord. This isn't charity on our part, but a return to God of what is really His, anyway. We tithe out of gratitude for what God has given. The Lord teaches to give so we will not think too highly of material wealth, and instead will remain committed to the wealth that cannot be destroyed. God's wealth endures forever.

Prayer: O Lord, I possess more than I really need. There is something that I could do without. Help me to learn to give, as You Yourself have given: freely, joyfully, and completely. Amen.


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Wonderful teaching, and so true. We all need others sometimes. We were created to be one body together.

Darlene

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills. From whence commeth my help? My help commeth from the Lord who made heaven and earth. flemidg


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June 15

Psalms 76:5

The stouthearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep: and none of the men of might have found their hands.

Bob didn't need anybody. He had always done things on his own. He thought he would do well in sports, but he couldn't play as part of a team. He thought he would settle down and have a happy marriage, but he couldn't stand having to answer to another person. He couldn't hold a job because he could neither take nor give orders graciously. No, Bob didn't need anyone, which was a lucky thing. No one needed Bob.

We were created to live with and for one another. When we think the universe revolves around us, we upset god's intended order. Our goal in life should be to reach out to a s many of God's children as we possibly can. When we learn to walk with others, we have learned to walk with God.

Prayer: Lord, do not let me become spoiled and conceited. I want to share my life and to share the lives of others. Help me to know others better, and in s o doing, know You better, too. Amen.

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June 14

Psalms 75:6-7

For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, a nd setteth up another.

Evelyn came from Charity Hill, the most expensive section of town. She had always received everything her heart desired, and she considered herself to be one of the finest people she knew. Jane came from Cheesebox, the poor side of town, so named because all the houses there looked like cardboard cheese boxes. She had never had much of anything special, and felt she really didn't deserve better, anyway. Both women worked for an ad agency that wanted a new production designer. Evelyn knew she would do well in the position. To her dismay, Jane did even better.

Things don't always work so well in real life. The rich often get richer while the poor sink lower. And yet, God has promised that in the end, justice will always carry the day. God knows every heart and every situation. He will set all things right, if we will only trust in His wisdom.

Prayer: Nothing I do, Lord, will increase Your love for me, but still I want to do all that I can. Search my heart and know that I do truly love You. Help me to show that love. Amen.


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June 13

Psalms 74:21

O let the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name.

A government official was asked why more wasn't being done for the poor and starving. He answered, "We have no right to impose our culture on their chosen life-style. These people do nothing to better themselves, so they must want to live as they do. What should we be expected to do, in a case like that?"

Why do we look for ways to shame the poor and destitute? Of course, there are a few who are poor because they choose nothing better for their lives, but they are a distinct minority. All too often, poor people are made out to be lazy, evil, and greedy, when nothing could be further from the truth. The poor are our brothers and sisters, and they are worthy of our help, just because Christ said so. God blesses the poor and those who help them. Take hold of your blessing. Help someone in need.

Prayer: All your children deserve dignity and respect. Let me give all people the respect th at I would give You, Lord. Humble my heart when I feel myself looking down on those around me. Amen

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June 12

Psalms 74:20

Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.

A new government had seemed the best solution. The overthrow had taken place a new government was installed, and then something had gone wrong. The new president sat enthroned in a palatial estate, where no one could get in to see him. The proposals of the new majority went unheeded. The oppressors had not been eradicated, they had merely changed faces and places. The people were betrayed, and the cruelty continued.

Broken promises. They litter the land of most countries. Trust is offered, then it is trampled on. A man or woman's word is only as good as the individual chooses to make it. Thank God that He is constant and true. His covenants are eternal. God never turns from His people, and they never need to fear that they will be forgotten. Let us work in our lives to copy God's commitment to covenant in the promises that we make.

Prayer: Make my word was good as the finest gold, dear Lord. Help me to accept the fact that I am lied to each day, and to forgive those who offer up the lies. Amen!

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June 11

Psalms 74:9

We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long.

A friend lamented to me, " Our problem today is that the voice of God is silent. We have not prophets. What we need is a good Jeremiah or Isaiah."

The crowd that listened to Jeremiah and Isaiah lamented to their contemporaries that what they needed was a good prophet like Elijah. In every age, the people long for a different voice than the one they are hearing. God speaks to us in many different ways. The trick is to be open to His call. We often don't see signs because they are not the signs we hope to see. Almost everything that God communicates to us means that we must be willing to give and to serve. The only communication that God has made with no duty involved on our part was His Son, Jesus Christ. Looking for signs and longing for prophets does us no good. God has made known what He wants us to do. The job is before us. Let's do it.

Prayer: Lord, I am not even doing the things I already know I should do. Why then do I look for something more? Help me to do what I can now, and make me open to Your messages as they come in this age. Amen.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Wisdom from the Psalms








June 10

Psalms 74:4

Thine enemies roar in the midst of thy congregations; they set up their ensigns for signs.

The pastor felt the focus of the church year should be missions. Definitely missions. The head of the church school wanted education to be the main concern. Finance felt that stewardship was the ticket. Each committee of the church had its own banner to wave. The conflicts that arose over the issue left deep wounds, and some left the church. The different groups sat together on Sunday morning, but they left the sanctuary engaged in bitter argument.

What kind of behavior is that for Christians? We are supposed to rise above the pettiness that rules the outside world. If we cannot learn to deal with one another in love, what business have we calling ourselves Christ's church? Our Lord is a Lord of compromise, sacrifice, and caring. No Christian should be our enemy. We are all members of the same body, and Christ blesses those who strive to live in peace and harmony with one another.

Prayer: Remind me, Lord, that I am a Christian first and foremost. The causes I support are second to the fact that I follow Jesus Christ. Let Him rule in my heart, and lead me in the ways I should walk. Amen.

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6/9/14 11:31 P

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Beautiful message.

Darlene

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills. From whence commeth my help? My help commeth from the Lord who made heaven and earth. flemidg


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June 9

Psalms 73:26

My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

Pete faced the idea of death with calm. In his day, Pete had been a strong, good-looking man. He had watched himself grow old, but that was okay. He had lived a wonderful life. Sometimes he wished he were young again, but mostly he was happy with where he was in life. Even though his flesh grew wrinkled and his heart didn't pump quite as well as it had before, his mind was still sharp and his spirit was good. To live was wonderful, but dying would be okay, too. He'd done well on earth; maybe it was time to see how he'd fare in heaven.

Christ makes us strangers to the earth. His home is in heaven, and when He dwells with us, He prepares us for our true, eternal home. The longer Christ is with us, the more He readies us to leave this place, to enter into heaven. Death need hold ho fear. On the other side waits God and an eternity spent in His loving care.

Prayer: With Paul, I can claim that to live is Christ, to die is gain. Whatever Your will for my life, Lord, whether long or short, help me to accept it. Amen.


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June 8

Psalms 73:13

Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.

Lisa tried so hard to be a good girl. She did what she knew was right. Many of her friends were immoral and wild, but she had always been quiet and sweet. For what? Everytime she came home, her parents interrogated her, trying to find out if she had done something she shouldn't have done. She had never given her parents any reason to mistrust her, and yet they treated her like a dangerous criminal. It wasn't worth it. Sometimes she felt like going out and doing something wrong just to justify her parents' suspicions.

Our world is upside down. We reward the wrongdoer and we chastise the righteous. To be good is equal to being somehow deficient. Words like [virtue], [purity], and [sweetness] have taken on negative connotations. To be good is foreign or alien to the majority. The key is not to give up. The Lord will reward those who persevere in the face of persecution and frustration. God loves the pure in heart, and it is well worth it to hold on for His sake.

Prayer: Be with me, Lord, to cleanse me, to strengthen me, and to help me deal with people who think wrong is right. I want to be Your child. Not a child of the world. Amen.



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June 7

Psalms 72:11

Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.

Imagine a world where everyone acknowledged God and promised to try to live by His will.

Imagine leaders who were committed to love and peace and justice. Imagine a world where people forgave one another instead of living for revenge. Imagine world where no one felt the need for bombs and guns and wars. Imagine. God gave us a beautiful world and gave the choice of what it would become to us. He said, "Imagine!" Is this the best we could do?

Prayer: Lord, where have we failed to be Your people on earth? Guide me as I try to be the person I think You want me to be. Help me to strive for the world I imagine this one could be, with Your aid. Amen.

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June 6

Psalms 72:6

He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth.

Bud looked out on soil with cracks so wide you could put your hand in them. The summer had been brutal. Weeks ago, Bud had given up any hope of a harvest, but now he wondered whether he would even have a farm much longer. The sky remained cloudless. So many people cursed the rain because it spoiled picnics and closed parks. Foolish to cruse the rain. It was the lifeblood of all that lived Bud wondered what he would do if the drought lasted much longer.

Many of us have experienced spiritual drought. We find ourselves in a desert of doubt and apathy. Nothing seems to be the way we want it to be, and frankly, we really don't care. We wonder if God is listening; all we hear is the echo of our own voices. God's loving touch is so necessary in our lives. We cannot live without the water that Jesus offered the woman at the well. This living water quenches the spiritual thirst and brings our drought to an end. Ask God for the living water. He will issue forth a flood to wash you and refresh you.

Prayer: I am waiting, Lord, for Your Spirit to rain down upon me and soak me with Your loving kindness. Drench me in the waters of love and life. Amen.


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June 5

Psalms 72

He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall sa ve the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.

A story. A man of humble means walked along a road and encountered Jesus seated on a rock with a thin child on His lap. The man looked at Jesus, threw himself down before Him, and worshipped Him. Jesus sat, unmoved. The man praised Jesus, and still Jesus was impassive. In frustration, the man asked Jesus what was wrong. Jesus looked down to the child in His lap. The child had grown thinner and was on the verge of starving to death. The man turned away from Jesus in disgust and walked on his way.

While we worship Jesus, people are dying. Jesus holds those dying children in His arms. To come before Jesus means to come before the needy of this world. Jesus said unless you do good unto your brothers and sisters, you have not done good unto Him. We cannot expect Jesus to pay attention to us unless we're willing to pay attention to the things that matter to Him. Let us join with our Lord in being saviors to a world in need.

Prayer: Forgive me for wrong priorities, Lord. I worship often in word, but not in deed. Let my actions reinforce the faith I confess with my heart. Amen.



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June 1

Psalms 69:21

They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

Sometimes we think things are going really bad in our lives. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking we're worse off than anyone else. When we feel sorry for ourselves, all we need do is turn to the story of Jesus' last few hours on earth. There the man who knew no sin became sin for us, so we might have eternal life. He was tripped, beaten, spit upon, and when, as His dying request, He asked for a drink to wet His lips, they put vinegar before Him instead of water. No kindness was shown the Prince of Peace, the one who had done nothing in His life to warrant such cruel mistreatment. Compared with the trial and misfortune of our Lord, we have very little to complain about. To even compare ourselves to Him is to open ourselves to shame. Christ endured torment and death upon a cross for our sakes. Now, He abides with us to help us endure every trial.

Prayer: I can hardly be lieve all that You did for me, Lord. You walked this earth so that I might one day walk with You in heaven. Thank you for giving me so much. Amen.


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May 30

Psalms 69:3

I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.

There comes a point where there are not more tears to cry. The sadness remains, but the waters dry up. It is in this calm after the storm that we can make sense of things. David cried unto the Lord often. He needed to vent the emotions and pressures that built up inside him. Being the king of a headstrong people was not easy. David experienced periods of intense joy, but also of excruciating heartache. He learned the value of a purging cry. In moments of desperation, David let down all his defenses to stand exposed before God. In those times, God was sure to come to him and offer David all the comfort he needed. In our times of desperation, the Lord will give us comfort, too.

Prayer: When there are not more tears to cry, Lord, fill me with Your peace and consolation, Father. Amen.


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May 29

Psalms 69

Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.

The canoe creaked once, twice, then a seam began to split. Water rushed in through the gap and filled the bottom of the small boat. The nearest bank was hundreds of feet away, and the current was swift. Jill and Ann began to scream and bail water as fast as they could. Trying to fight panic, they grabbed hold of their life jackets and plunged into the river. Their counselor saw their plights and acted. She moved up on them quickly and fished them out of the strong current.

As we fight to stay afloat in life. It seems like new leaks spring up every day. Luckily, the Lord of the fleet is watching over us, and He will never let the water rise above our heads. His loving kindness keeps us afloat and rescues us when troubled waters threaten us.

Prayer: I'm trying to keep my head above water, Lord. Thank You for being an island in the stream, where I can climb out of the water, rest from the struggle, and re new myself for the swim ahead. Amen.

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5/29/14 1:44 A

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May 28

Psalms 68:19

Blessed by the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.

When we ask God for our daily bread, what do we mean? Is it merely food to nourish our body? Is it all the basic necessities of life? Does it include the bread Jesus spoke of: the Word of God? It is all these things and more. Our heavenly Father wants us to have everything we need to affirm His image within us. God never calls His children to tasks they are not ready for, and He will not abandon us without the resources we need to succeed. Our God provides us with everything we need to be the best people we can be. Call upon the Lord to load you daily with benefits. He will do even more than you expect.

Prayer: Lord, I do not even know what I need to be better than I am today, but in Your wisdom, You see my every need. Give me what You will, in order that I might be an honor and a glory to You. Amen.

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5/27/14 10:30 P

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May 27

Psalms 68:5

A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy h abitation.

Andy was a saint. It wasn't enough that he had a wife and a large family to take care of. He chose to adopt every person he met who was in need. He befriended a young boy in the neighborhood who had no father, and spent precious time with him. He sought out the widows and single women on the block and offered to do whatever they needed done around their houses. He never took payment for what he did. Instead, he shared a Christlike love and spirit, and served everyone unselfishly.

The Andys of the world are those rare individuals who take seriously their call to be perfect as God is perfect. They strive to be the best people they can be, and they do this by exemplifying love and sacrifice. God gives us the Andys to prove that it can be done. We, too, can walk in the steps of Christ, if we will only give ourselves totally to God. It means nothing more than giving to God what He has given to us.

Prayer: I want to walk in Your footsteps, Lord. Help me to be willing to share with others what I have been given. Teach me to use my time, my talents, my gifts, and my service to show Your glory. Amen.

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5/26/14 11:31 A

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May 26

Psalms 68:2

As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.

The conference room was a fog of cigarette smoke. Everyone sat red-eyed, both smoker and nonsmoker alike. It was hard to utter a sentence without choking. Finally, someone discovered switches that turned on exhaust fans. The room cleared, and breathing was possible once more.

Evil is as oppressive as a thick cloud of smoke. It envelops people and chokes them, making it impossible for them to function. The Lord will one day dispel all evil as a fan dispels smoke. On that day, all good people will breathe richly of the fragrance of God, and no more will we be covered by the haze of sin.

Prayer: Lord, send the breath of Your Spirit to cleanse me of all sin. Free me from the oppression of all that I have done wrong, through Your blessed forgiveness. Amen.

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5/26/14 1:14 A

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Isn't it amazing to know that God wants to hear how we are doing? Even though He knows everything we do, He still wants us to talk to Him and tell Him everything that is going on in our lives. He is so amazing.

Darlene

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills. From whence commeth my help? My help commeth from the Lord who made heaven and earth. flemidg


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5/26/14 12:50 A

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May 25

Psalms 66:20

Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.

Think of it! God is actually waiting to hear from us. It's not that God doesn't have other things to do, but that there is nothing He'd rather do than spend time with the children He loves. It boggles the mind to realize that God loves us that much. He has made us to be like Him, and He anxiously awaits our call. Offer your prayers to God. He will hear them, and He will send His mercy upon them.

Prayer: Hear me, O God. Though I may have nothing of much importance to say to You, I need to know that You will listen to me and respond. I love You, Lord. Amen



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5/23/14 5:33 P

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May 23

Psalms 66:5

Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.

In the days of Jesus, a common usage of the word [terrible] meant "incredible." To be terrible meant to be beyond belief. God truly is beyond belief. We cannot begin to understand all He has done and He continues to do in our world. A walk through the country will expose us to more miracles than we can count. A look at the night sky will fill us with wonder to the core of our being. God has offered us untold questions to explore and contemplate. Come and see the works of the Lord. They are incredible!

Prayer: Lord, I do not pretend to understand You, but I do surely love You. Show me new wonders and teach me new questions, that I might come to know You better each day. Amen.

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5/23/14 1:49 A

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May 22

Psalms 65:13

The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing.

Each year the rice paddies were laid out and the tender plants were planted. Each year the people of the village waited with anxious hope, looking to see whether the storms would come and wash the fields away. Many times, the people would watch as their hard labor was destroyed, but other times they rejoiced to see their crops full and bountiful. After each harvest, the village offered a portion of their harvest to God, thanking Him for his mercy and grace.

What do we offer to God when we are blessed with good things? Do we even remember to say thank you? The Lord has given us so much, and we should always and everywhere give Him thanks and praise.

Prayer: In bad times, please be my strength; in good times, celebrate with me, Lord. Thanks for being with me, doing so much for me, and giving so much to me. Amen.

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5/22/14 12:46 A

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May 21

Psalms 65:11

Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.

Dick was thankful. The year had been a good one. He wasn't a wealthy store owner. He lived from week to week, and it was vitally important to him that things work out well. He watched friends of his go under all the time. There was no such thing as a sure thing in business anymore. The lord had been good to Dick, and he was indeed grateful.

Not everything in life does the way we would like it. Sometimes we make out okay, other times things just don't seem to work out. In both cases, the Lord is with us, and He wants to help us make the best of things. God has given good things to His children, and when one thing doesn't work out, we can rest assured that something else is soon to come along. When things do work out, we need to remember to give thanks to the one who made it all possible.

Prayer: You give so many good things, Lord. Help me to see past the things that are wrong in my life and see all the things that are so right. Thank You for all the blessings You have given me. Amen.


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5/21/14 1:31 A

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May 20

Psalms 65:7

Which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people.
The two boys stood out on the rocks, looking at the crashing waves. They tried to shout above the roar of the surf, but finally gave up. The water thundered as it hit the rocks. Both boys were a little frightened and a little thrilled by the deafening sound.

When we get a little cocky and conceited, a trip to the ocean can bring us back to reality really fast. The water rolls into shore in great, whitecapped waves, hits the rocks, sending spray high into the air, and crates a noise that obliterates every other sound. The sound of the water on the rocks is the voice of God thundering out through creation, "it is good!" Human beings in all their wisdom and genius have created nothing to compare with the least of God's creations. His power, might, and majesty humble us and help us to remember that He alone is God.

Prayer: Show forth Your might through Your creation, O Lord. Remind me of Your greatness and power throughout the day. You are wonderful, Lord, and I thank You that I can worship You. Amen.


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5/19/14 5:33 P

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May 19

Psalms 65:6

Which by his strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power.

Todd's teacher talked about the mountains he had visited just the summer before. The teacher said that thousands of years ago, the mountains weren't nearly so high. With each passing year, they jutted higher and higher. Amazing power pushed them skyward. Todd had walked along the ridge of one mountain, taking for granted that it had always been there. The world was a really fascinating place.

It is wonderful to think of our God as the creator of all that is. There is so much that truly is fascinating, and we cannot begin to understand it all. God set the mountains in their places, and He changes them ever so slightly all the time. A God powerful enough to do all that is a God worthy of our praise and devotion. Put your faith in God, and you will be moved no more easily than a mountain can be.

Prayer: Lord, You have done so many wonderful things. Your power is beyond imagining. Send t hat power to me, that I might stand fast in my faith and be unmoved in a world full of temptation. Amen.

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5/18/14 8:05 P

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May 18

Psalms 64:7

But God shall shoot at them with an arrow: suddenly shall they be wounded.

Jesus stood with a group of His followers. In the distance, a crowd appeared, pushing a naked woman along in front of them. They cast her down at the Lord's feet and said, "What should we do with this adultress?" They hoped to trap Jesus into advising sin.

Aware of the trap, Jesus gazed deeply into the eyes of the people. He stooped down and scribbled in the dust. Abruptly, He stood back up and said, "The one among you who is without sin, let him cast the first stone."

His answer struck like a bolt of lightning. Words of pure love and power exploded their conceit, and they were forced to look at the truth of God openly and honestly. The sin was not at issue. What mattered was forgiveness. The hateful crowd was shot through the heart by an arrow of God's goodness. Killed was the sin of unrighteousness, God will expose it for what it is.

Prayer: Turn my darkness into light, O Lord, and guide me away from things that are sinful and wrong. Teach me to love my neighbors rather than judge them. Let me cast love and peace, instead of stones. Amen.

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5/17/14 4:48 P

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May 17

Psalms 64:2

Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity.

The charges were ridiculous. Didn't people have anything better to do than create perverse fantasies about other people? Cliff had been helping Judy through a really tough time in her life. The two had spend many long hours together, often sitting up through the night in Cliff's apartment, talking. Now, a select committee from the school was calling into question Cliff's fitness to teach "young, impressionable minds." Important matters would take a backseat to an imagined scandal. It was ironic that when a person tried his hardest to do something good, his motives were most suspect.

Doing what is right and good is sometimes risky. There is always someone who will question our motives and try to undermine the good we hope to accomplish. Be assured that God sees all things, and He will richly reward those who continue to do right, even in the face of stiff opposition.

Prayer: I need to know that You are on my side and that You will not leave me to fight on my own. I am constantly made aware of how hard it is to do good things. Fill me with perseverance, Lord. Amen.



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5/16/14 10:18 A

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May 16

Psalms 63:9-10

But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth. They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes.

Tracy couldn't believe the girls at school would be so cruel. She never did anything to any of them, but they were always finding some way to hurt her. It was all she could do to keep from telling them all off. Her mother told her to ignore them, but that was hard to do. Her mother also said that they would eventually have to pay for all the nasty things they did, but Tracy wished that day would come soon.

No one likes to be picked on. Some people love to spend time making others unhappy. These people will have to answer to God for their actions. We are called to love one another and to look for ways to give one another encouragement. While the nasty people will answer in shame for their deeds, the kind will rejoice with Christ in heaven.

Prayer: Help me to shrug off the unkind words and actions of the pe ople around me. Lift me above the hurts that come from unthinking and cruel people. Teach me to respond in love, no matter how I am treated. Amen.


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5/16/14 1:06 A

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May 15

Psalms 63

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thy irsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.

The rock face extended straight up. Terry was halfway up, and his arms ached. From the ground it hadn't looked nearly so great a distance. The sun was scorching, and all Terry could think of was a cool drink of water. He would give anything to be able to stop and drink, but there was not safe place to even think of doing it. The more he thought of water, the worse his thirst got. He comforted himself by thinking the next drink he took would be the best he'd ever had.

We often don't appreciate the simple things in life until we are unable to enjoy them. Taking god's gifts for granted is easy to do. Clean air, water to drink, food on the table; these things come easily to most of us, and so we are not as thankful as we might be if we didn't have them. Many in our world have to do without. Remember than even the most basic of our needs is met by the loving grace of God. Thank Him for everything He has given.

Prayer: For the air that I breath, the warmth of the springtime sun, the food that nourishes me, and for so much more, I lift my voice in thanks and praise to You, Lord. Amen.

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5/14/14 4:57 P

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May 14

Psalms 62:10

Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.

Glenn prayed for things to get easier. Every day he lifted his concerns to the Lord. Each day he faithfully read the Bible and thought about the Lord's loving works. Finally, his financial woes began to turn around. He thanked God for hearing him and helping him. His wealth began to increase, but as it did, Glenn turned less and less to God. He rarely prayed, almost never did he turn to God's World, and he spent his time thinking of all the wonderful things he could do with his newfound wealth. Glenn attained a level where he could have been called a rich man. At the same time, Glenn attained a level of spiritual bankruptcy. The cost of wealth is often our very faith. Let not the wealth of the world turn you from God. There is the devil's finest work.

Prayer: Forgive me when I let things come between us, Lord. Material wealth is nice, but not if it mea ns that I lose my relationship with You. Help me be satisfied with what I have, and keep my mind and my heart on You. Amen.

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