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1/19/17 5:19 A

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January 19

Psalms 9:1

I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.
Audrey loved the little children, and they dearly loved her. She would walk with them through the gardens and fields, showing them all the wonders of nature. She would sit with them for hours and tell them stories. She would read to them from her Bible, then explain what she had read. She would remind the children of all the good things God could do. For the main part of her life, Audrey taught little children the reality of God.

To be truly in love with God is a consuming passion. We can't wait to tell the world of the wonderful truth we know. The spirit of God enters in, and our lives are never the same again. Praise the Lord with your whole heart, and show forth all His wonderful works.

Prayer: Each new day brings new wonders to my attention. Thank You, O Lord, for creating such a beautiful world with so many miracles to behold. Amen.

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1/19/17 2:28 A

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January 18

Psalms 8:5

Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

There are not many days that go by where I feel very holy. As much as I might like to be a reflection of Jesus Christ, I am afraid that my image is a very dim one at best. For each success I have at walking in the footsteps of Christ, I have a dozen failures where I have strayed from the path. And through it all, God still loves me totally. In my imperfection, God still reveres me and thinks I am good. It boggles the mind to realize that human beings are God's pride and joy. Despite the grief and frustration we must be, God believes in us and helps us to be the best people that we can be. He loves His children and rejoices in their victories. Our Lord created us just lower than the angels; the most perfect of His creations.

Despair not. No matter how inadequate we might feel, we are considered beautiful by our Creator, and in the end it is His opinion, not ours, that makes all the difference in the world.

Prayer: Grant me spiritual wings that I might soar as an angel on this earth, O Lord. Help me to live up to the intention You had at my creation. Let me wear my crown wisely and proudly, to Your glory. Amen.

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1/18/17 12:26 A

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January 17

Psalms 8:3-4

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

A devout man refused to enter into a church because he said that he was not worthy to read on holy ground. Whenever he saw a cross, he burst into tears and turned his eyes away. He humbled himself whenever he could, and he lamented that he would never be good enough to hope for salvation.

One day, a traveling minister entered the hometown of the man. He saw the devout man sitting on the stones outside the church building, and so he stopped to talk. When he found out the man'' thoughts, he told him, "God is not looking for worthy men, but willing children. He doesn't want to be surrounded by people trying to impress Him with how much they can love Him. He merely wants people who will receive the great love He has to give. You are wise in saying you will never be worthy, but do not be foolish in not realizing that you are loved. Come, and receive the gift of the Lord. He set the earth and skies in motion, the birds in the air, the fish in the sea, the creatures on the earth; a nd He did it all for you, my friend."

Prayer: Though I do not deserve Your great love, Father God, I thank You that You give it so freely. Embrace me as a child, cradle me in Your strong and tender arms, and help me remember that I am Yours. Amen.


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1/16/17 5:22 A

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January 16

Psalms 7:8

The Lord shall judge the people: judge me, O Lord; according to my righteousness , and according to mine integrity that is in me.

If we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that it's a very scary thought that God might actually judge us according to our measure of righteousness and integrity. Under the careful scrutiny of the Lord, all our blemishes surface and we are exposed for what we really are: sinners in a need of a good cleaning! Praise God that the cleaning is available to us through the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. By the forgiveness of sin offered through the cross and resurrection of Christ, we are made clean and pure and able to pass the scrutinous (sic) eye of God. Christ's righteousness becomes the righteousness of all who believe in Him and turn their hearts over to Him. Jesus paid the penalty that would have come to us. WE now have no fear of condemnation from the Lord. All we have is the promise of love and forgiveness to those who repent of their sins and follow in the ways of the Lord.

Prayer: Make me like You, O Lord. In the ways I am lacking, remake me in the image of Christ. Create in me a new and clean heart, and bless the paths I am to walk. Amen.


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1/14/17 4:05 P

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January 14

Psalms 6:2

Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak; O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed.

The closer we get to God, the more glaring are our faults. The brighter the light of perfection that we subject ourselves to, the more flaws are revealed. The better we understand the awesome magnificence of God, the more we expose our own imperfection. As the great men and women of the Bible came to realize, the stronger we become in the faith, the more wretched we sometimes fee.

This, however, is no cause for despair. Our Lord wants nothing more than for us to come to depend on Him. We can only truly become dependent as we acknowledge our inadequacies. As the Apostle Paul found out, true strength comes from admitting our weakness, and total healing comes by realizing that without God we are sickly and terminally diseased by sin. Cry out for the mercy of God and He will strengthen you; ask for His healing and you will be made whole.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I try to be perfect and find that I am hopelessly deficient. Nothing I can do will bring me the perfection You intend for me. Fill me with Your Spirit and do for me all that I cannot do for myself. Amen.


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1/13/17 12:45 P

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January 13

Psalms 6:1

O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

Child experts have discovered that one of the most traumatic experiences children face is to have their parents scold or punish them in front of their friends. The humiliation that accompanies the punishment can leave deep emotional scars. The actual punishment pales in comparison with the embarrassment the child suffers. Most children would rather face any penalty other than public chastisement.

Just as loving parents guard and protect their children's dignity, so our Lord protects the dignity of His children. To believe that God would punish us in such a way as to rob us of our self-esteem is ridiculous. God would never do such a thing. God does not deal with us in hot anger, for He loves us too much. He watches us closely, guiding us gently, and regarding us as valuable creations. We need never believe that God has punished us in order to humiliate us. His own Son was humbled by men and women, but the Lord of all life lifted Him up, and He will lift us up, also.

Prayer: Though I face trials and problems, I know that You are not to blame, Lord. You give so much, and You help me in times when I most need You. Have patience with me, God, and help me to grow. Amen.

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1/11/17 11:59 P

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January 11

Psalms 5:3

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

The sun had just begun to climb into the sky, and the dew shone brightly on the field below. Though not ordinarily a morning person, Ann always loved those special times when she rose in time to see the sunrise. On mornings like this, who could doubt that there is a God? Ann's heart filled with a joy beyond words, and nothing could remove that joy during the day. Taking a Bible, she went to a clearing to sit and to read and to pray.

God gives us special times in order that we might find joy and that we might find Him. He has created a glorious world, and He has freely given it to us. The early quiet of the day is a beautiful time to encounter the Lord. Give Him your early hours, and He will give you all the blessings you can hold.

Prayer: I raise my voice to You in the morning, Lord. Help me to appreciate Your new day, and use it to the fullest. Open my eyes to the splendor of all Your creation. Amen.

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1/9/17 10:14 A

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January 9

Psalms 4

Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.

Jeffrey was a quiet man; so quiet, in fact, that many people forget that he was around. He rode the train into New York every morning with the same crowd of people, never speaking to anyone, sitting alone at the back of the car. One morning a man a few rows up began to choke on a roll he was eating. In a flash, Jeffrey jumped to the man's aid, grabbing him and dislodging the piece of roll. All of the riders were amazed that the quiet man from the back of the train had been able to come forward in a time of emergency.

We are all capable of great things in time of distress. The Lord gives to His children the ability to serve one another, even so much as to save another life. It is important that we continually pray for God to guide our actions and show us ways to serve. When we open ourselves to the will of God, we will be surprised at the wonderful things we can do.


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1/9/17 12:09 A

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January 8

Psalms 3:6

I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round abou t.

All of the customers had been so hateful and belligerent. Nancy thought that if one more unpleasant person assaulted her, she would scream. To make matters worse, the store owners were being unreasonable and hard to get along with. She didn't know how much more she could take. She rested here chin on her chest and heaved a heavy sight. Then, the cross she wore around her neck caught her eye, and she felt strangely calm. The frustrations of the day melted away as the peace of Christ settled upon her heart.

In the daily battles we find ourselves engaged in, it is vital that we remember we have an ally who is greater than anyone who might oppose us or wish to make us unhappy. Jesus Christ became victor over everything this world could throw at Him; even death itself. It we will give Him control of our hearts, He will be true to us and grant us victory in the struggles we face.

Prayer: Father, You have made me a conqueror through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Help me to live as a victor and not as one defeated. Lift me up to be a sign to the world that in Christ we need never be afraid. Amen.

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1/7/17 6:03 A

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January 7

Psalms 3:3

But thou, O lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

I was walking along one day, deeply troubled and feeling quite alone. Pressures and problems seemed too much to bear, and I found nothing to make me feel hopeful. My deep thought was broken by a flutter of wings and a flash of color. A butterfly flitted in front of my face, then alighted on my shoulder. The grace and beauty of the small creature broke through my depression and caused me to smile. The great weight I was feeling in my heart lifted, and I began chastising myself for having been so foolish. In a world where such glory exists, why do we continually allow worldly concerns to occupy so much our attention? Let God be our glory, and indeed, when we find ourselves most down, He will lift our heads up and show us all the wonders of His magnificent creation.

Prayer: Lord, protect me from those things that turn my attention from You. Clear the eyes of my heart so they can focus on the splendor of Your creation. Thank You for the blessings of this day. Amen.


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1/7/17 4:17 A

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oops re-posted same one from yesterday in error, todays is being posted in new window for you...

Edited by: JUDITH316 at: 1/7/2017 (06:04)
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1/6/17 5:19 A

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January 6

Psalms 2:12

Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

What a beautiful image is presented when we think of being able to kiss the Son of God. As family members embrace and kiss when they meet, so we are able to look forward to a day when we will be welcomed as family of Jesus Christ. He awaits us in love and care, and we have no need to fear anything, for we will one day be united. In fact, we are already united through the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is God's kiss, blown to us on earth, and we can receive it with joy. We will never know greater love than the love God has for us. He sent His only Son to be our Savior and Lord. He gave us all that He had to give, out of a divine love for us. Rejoice in the love of God and let it carry you throughout each day of the year.

Prayer: Welcome, dear Lord, into the depths of my heart. Dwell there in love, and never leave me. I am whole only when You are with me. Thank You for loving me so very much. Amen.

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1/6/17 12:50 A

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January 5

Psalms 2:11

Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

The fire licked up the outside walls and cascaded up into the night. All around the building, fire fighters scampered, trundling huge hoses into position to battle the blaze. Jerry stood with sweat pouring down his face and the spray from the hose soaking his body. He loved his work and felt he really served well. He knew the dangers that were involved, but he fought fires anyway. His job was one of the greatest joys of his life.

Not all things that inspire fear should be avoided. A wise person knows his limits and knows what situations he can handle and what ones he cannot. A little fear is healthy. It gives us respect and appreciation. It causes us to not get careless. Fear of the Lord should not drive us from Him, but should help us to understand Him and deal with Him reverently and respectfully. When we encounter our Lord with both joy and trembling, we know Him in a special and meaningful way.

Prayer: Lord, help me to never forget Your awesome power, as well as Your awesome love. Allow me to feel a healthy fear, but never let that fear separate me from You. Amen.


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1/5/17 12:43 A

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January 4

Psalms 2:10

Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.

Where is the voice of God in our world today? In times past, God's people were listened to, and the influence of the faithful was amazing. Why isn't that so true today?

I heard a man say not too long ago that, "We're too bright for that religious stuff now. We've grown up, and are learning to deal with problems sensibly." What could be further from the truth? Without the counsel of the Lord, everything is ignorance. In trying to deal with our problems apart from God, we are creating more problems than we can handle. The answer is not in running from the Lord, but in running to Him.

In our own lives, we need to learn to let the Lord rule. Giving God control of our lives is not a sign of weakness, but it is the greatest show of strength we will ever make. Under the guidance of God, we become conquerors in a world that tries hard to break us down.

Prayer: O Lord, be close to me, building me up and keeping me ever in Your loving care. Do not let me be swayed from the path You have set me on. Others may fail me, but You never will. Hallelujah! Amen.


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1/3/17 1:01 P

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January 3

Psalms 2:2

The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed.

Just reading a newspaper or watching a newscast can be a terrifying experience these days. The horrors of our modern world are mind-boggling. We search for some shred of sanity, and we find almost none. World leaders appear to be bent on destruction, and our voices simply aren't heard. It has ever been thus. In the time of King David, in the time of our Lord, Jesus Christ, in many times since, the rulers of the world have given little heed to the teachings of God or the concerns of His people. For this reason, we, as children of God, need to hold fast to our faith and spread God'[s Word wherever and whenever we can. The only true stabilizing force we have in this life is the Word of God. God's Word will be our shield and our strength in the most troubled of times. Turn to it daily, and you will be renewed.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, calm my soul, place Your peace within my heart, and be a source of sanity in my life. When things look most dismal, shine Your light upon me. Amen.


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November 17

Psalms 138:2

I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

"I believe in God, but I have no use for the Bible. People take it and twist it, and it's no good to anyone. The Bible just gives some people an excuse to feel superior to other people."

The young man who expressed these sentiments is right. . .to some extent. God's Word has been misused many times throughout history. It has a destructive component when used by the wrong people for the wrong reasons, but that is no reason to reject it. What God intends for his Word and what people do with it are two completely different things. God does reveal Himself through His Word, and it is nearly impossible to come to a deep understanding of Him apart from the Holy Scriptures. God has magnified Himself through His Word, and enables us to know Him when we read it in a spirit of openness, with a desire for the truth.

Prayer: Illumine the pages of Your Word, Lord. Bless me with understanding of Your Holy Scripture, and help me to keep an open mind as I learn and grow. Amen.

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November 16

Psalms 138:1

I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.

Linda had the chance to sing before a huge audience. Due to an audition at her college, she had chosen to appear on a well-known television show. All her friends made suggestions about what she should sing, but Linda had ideas of her own. Her grandmother had always loved the song "Amazing Grace" and told Linda that she should always look for ways to let people know what she believed. This was a chance to do just that. Linda would sing her heart out; for her grandmother, and for the Lord.

Perhaps singing is not your talent, but each of us can find ways to proclaim the power of christ in our lives. If God is really important in our lives, we should be excited to let the whole world know how we feel. Praise God with your whole heart, and sing forth His glory always.

Prayer: I cannot express how grateful I am to have You in my life, Father. Help me to share Your love with the people I meet this day. Amen.

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November 14

Psalms 137:6

If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my ch ief joy

Brett joined the church when he as fourteen. In the sixty years following his confirmation, he set foot in a church no more than a half-dozen times. Just prior to his seventy-fifth birthday, Brett died and stood before the lord.

The Lord said, "You joined my church long years ago. Why?"

Brett stood speechless and ashamed. No answer or excuse, and Brett had many of them, seemed adequate. No apology covered his negligence. All Brett could do was hang his head and cry, for he only now began to realize why he had needed the church.

If we forget our Lord, we will find ourselves steeped in shame when we stand before Him. To call Him Lord, master, Guardian, Friend requires commitment on our part. We cannot take continually without giving something back. Remember the Lord, and speak forth with joy in His presence, for you have known Him, and indeed He knows you.

Prayer: Lord, forgive me when I neglect You and turn to other things. Help me to keep You fully in my mind and heart. Prepare me for Your glory. Amen.

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November 13

Psalms 137:4

How shall we sign the Lord's song in a strange land?

College was a foreign land for Diane. Even after three years, she felt alienated and alone. Her values just didn't mesh with the values of the people she went to class with. Sometimes she wondered why she even bothered having morals, with all the immorality rampant on campus. She was thankful that she was a Christian, but there were times when even that was small consolation. God was hard to find in a strange place that obviously didn't know Him very well. Face it, Jesus Christ was not big man on campus. It was hard, but down deep inside Diane knew things would get better. She just hoped it would be soon.

It is hard to be in a strange land. That is what we become when we ask Christ into our lives. He transforms us into Kingdom people while we are yet in our earthly existence. What that does is make us homesick for the one true home above. Thankfully, God is ever with His children, and He will hear our cries. In our times of silence we will hear His song, and we will be able t o sing forth ourselves, no matter how strange the land.

Prayer: Lord, hear my prayers. Let me know that I am not alone; that You are truly close to me. When I feel most lonesome, fill me with Your presence. Amen.


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November 7

Psalm 134:2

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord.

It was weird. Jane had never been to a service like it before. All the people murmured the Lord's name during the prayers, raised their hands, and rocked back and forth in the pews. At first, she had been very uncomfortable, but as she got accustomed to the goings-on around her, she began to relax. Suddenly, she realized that everyone didn't have to express their faith the same way. Though she didn't feel comfortable displaying her faith with physical expressions, she found that she readily accepted others who did. The sincerity of the worship and the energy of the congregation excited Jane. A whole new aspect of her faith was opening up to her.

Open-mindedness is the greatest need in our churches today. Somehow we must learn to affirm and respect the other members of the body of Christ who don't choose to function as we do. There is room for any and all honest expressions of love and devotion to our Lord. Whether we approach Him on bended knees deep in the silence of our o wn hearts, or with hearts, hands, and heads lifted in jubilant praise, we can know beyond doubt that God accepts us and is honored by our expressions of worship.

Prayer: Receive me as I am, Lord. I worship You in the best way I know how. Help me to be open to new and different expressions of faith, and teach me to grow. Amen.

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November 6

Psalm 133:1

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

Rob had been through the death of one congregation; he didn't want to see it happen again. There really weren't any problems that couldn't be worked out in Christian love. This church had been through a lot, and there was no reason to believe that it couldn't weather a lot more storms. If everyone would just remember that they were there to serve Christ, then everything would work out fine. If Christ could calm the Sea of Galilee, He should have no trouble with the First Church.

Christ built His church as a place for harmony and unity. It is a place for people to come together in celebration and love. Christ rejoices when His family lives together in peace. We, too, can rejoice, for there is nothing better than being able to dwell together in His love.

Prayer: The best friends in the world to have are those who are bonded together with me through my faith. Bring joy to my relationships, Lord, and bless me with harmony and unity. Amen.

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November 5

Psalm 132:14

This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.

The climb was steep and treacherous, and there were no level places to stop. The sun was beating down, and the two climbers were exhausted. Both were beginning to question the wisdom of the climb. Just as they began to despair of ever making it alive, a ledge jutted into the cliff, and both climbers pulled themselves up onto it. There, in the cool shade cast by the rock, the climbers were renewed and strengthened, enabled to finish their ascent.

The Lord provides us with a place to rest in this climb of ours through life. He welcomes us, shades us, protects us, and enables us to go forth strengthened and renewed. We are never far from this rest. All we need do is turn to the Lord, and He will grant us respite.

Prayer: Lord, take me into Your loving arms to comfort and energize me. I get so tired sometimes, and I need a place to escape. Help me to turn inward, to dwell with Christ, and to draw upon His power. Amen.

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November 3

Psalm 132:4, 5

I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, Until I find a place for the Lord, and habitation for the migh ty God of Jacob.

Rachel closed the door and hung her head. Three o'clock in the morning. She wondered whether the project was ever going to get done. All she wanted to do was collapse in bed, but first there was something she had to do. She dressed for bed, then took the Bible from her dresser and went to the kitchen table to read and to pray. In all of her adult life, she had never gone to sleep without first spending time with God. She was determined that nothing would ever come between her and this special time. It made no difference how tired she was, God came before sleep.

When days become hectic and full, it is easy to allow God to be pushed aside. We need to protect our time with the Lord and give it top priority. If we will keep the Lord close to us, he will sustain us and give us strength in tough times. Without Him, we can never hope to be our best.

Prayer: Convict my heart with the determination to spend time with You. Let nothing come between us, Lord. When other things demand my time, remind me that I gave myself to You first. Amen.

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10/26/16 3:14 P

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October 26

Psalm 128: 1, 2

Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shall eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.

Jack sat down to supper with his family. Even after twenty years, there was something special about a meal that came from their own farm. Jack could imagine thousands of families sitting down to similar meals of produce from his farm. It made him feel like there was purpose to his life. The work was hard, there were worries about the future, but it was all worth it. The farm was Jack's life. It would never be said that Jack was not fulfilled in his work. He couldn't be happier.

Many people find no satisfaction in the work they do. Their lives lack purpose and meaning. Christians have an alternative source of meaning in their lives. If a Christian does a job, no matter how large or small, to God's glory, then that person will find satisfaction. God doesn't much care what we do, but He is always interested in how we do our jobs. If we do our work without grumbling and with a joyful heart, then we are witnessing to His power in our lives and we are pleasing to Him.

Prayer: Let me be not so concerned with the prestige of my job, or the salary it pays, or what other people think of it. Instead, assist me to always do the best that I can, to Your glory, Father. Amen.

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10/24/16 9:45 A

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October 24

Psalm 127:2

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

Rodney couldn't sleep. He tossed and turned, thinking of the bills yet to pay, the braces needed for the children's teeth, the pressures at work, the promises made but not yet fulfilled. Each time he pushed one demon thought from his mind, another popped in. His health was beginning to be affected by his lack of sleep. That added just one more thing to his list of worries.

Worry is the last thing that will help our problems. In fact, worry can immobilize us from being able to take any kind of positive steps toward solutions. The only purpose for worry is to indicate to us that we need to turn our problems over to God. Once we enlist the help of our Lord, then we can rest easy. God will carry us through any situation, and He will grant us peace of mind and peace of heart.

Prayer: So often I am haunted by problems and concerns, Lord. Lift th eir weight from my shoulders and allow me to rest. Amen.

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October 23

Psalm 127:1

Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

A great cathedral was constructed to God's glory, while hungry and sick people sat outside its walls. The cathedral was called, "The Greatest Achievement in the Name of God." Millions flocked from all over to enter its doors. Thousands went away disturbed that the ministry of the church was contained completely within its walls. As the years passed, the church lost its luster, and it became just another church. The poor were still there, but nothing had yet been done to help them. God looked down on the cathedral and said, "This is the poorest excuse of a church I have seen."

When men and women try to take the church out of God's hands, it ceases to be the church. Only churches built upon the spiritual rock of salvation can claim to be God's churches. Our achievements in the name of God must bear His signature, not our own, otherwise they have been done in vain. God is the author of all that is good; we are merely His helpers. Whatever God builds will last forever, while hum ankind's creations crumble to the dust.

Prayer: Use my talents to do Your will, Lord, not my own. Remind me that I am doing Your work with You, not my own work for You. Bless all my endeavors in Your name. Amen.

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10/21/16 3:47 P

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October 21

Psalm 126:2
Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them.

Young people all seemed to think you had to get drunk to have a good time. Steve and Dan were out to teach them otherwise. One of the high priorities in their youth ministry was to show teenagers that Christians could have even more fun than non-Christians. They entered the lives of the young people, bringing them laughter, joy, and a message of Good News. Soon, both Christians and non-Christians hung out with the duo. All the kids wanted to be part of the experience.

Too often we take our faith seriously in the wrong ways. When we present only the somber, quiet side of faith, without expressing the joy, the result is not always so attractive. Christians have gained the reputation of not being too much fun, and nothing should be further from the truth. Being a Christian is the most joy-filled and lively experience we can have. Others need to see that. Live the happiness, laughter, and singing of being a Christian, so the whole world might know.

Prayer: Never let me forget the intense joy that accompanies being a Christian. Turn my tears to laughter, my sorrow to dancing, and let me spread my delight to everyone. Amen.

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10/15/16 5:04 A

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October 15

Psalms 122:7

Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.

Some people's homes are war zones. Families in conflict abound in our society. So much unhappiness comes from people no longer knowing how to share and give. Too many people are looking out for themselves, and they aren't willing to look out for each other. Mothers fight with daughters, sons with fathers, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, each feeding the beast of hurt and discord. We are lost without a peacemaker, one who knows our hearts and can pave the way to reconciliation. Luckily, Christians have such a peacemaker. Christ came to unite all God's children, brothers, and sisters in the faith. He works in the home to call us to a deep love that is consecrated in blood. If we strive for peace within the walls, then we are one step closer to peace between our nations. God will heal all wounds, if we will only welcome Him in.

Prayer: Christ, You have broken down the dividing walls of hostility, and You are waiting to build bridges of love. Begin with me, Lord, and move forth in love. Amen.

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October 5

Psalm 119:105

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Nick and Davy thought it would be fun to explore deeper in the cave. When they saw their chance, they separated from the rest of their class and headed down a corridor that was roped off. They walked on through twisting and turning shafts until they were no longer sure how to get back. They stood in total darkness, feeling the cavern close in around them. Just as they verged on panic, Davy looked down and noticed a fine, dim glow. Phosphorescent stone was embedded in the cave floor, and it cast off a dull shine. By following the path of light, the boys made it back to the safety of the well-lit shafts.

Darkness can close in around us quickly in this world today. It seems to be getting darker all the time. However, we are recipients of the light that cannot be put out and will never fade away. The Word of God will guide us through even the darkest times, and He will be close by to comfort us in time of trouble. Rely upon the light of the Lord.

Prayer: Light my way, dear God, and keep me from stumbling down the wrong path. Keep me from my own folly. Amen.

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10/2/16 9:35 P

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October 2

Psalm 119:99

I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.

Jesus amazed the learned men in the temple when He was just twelve years old. He had never received professional schooling in the history and law of the Hebrew people, and yet He displayed an incredible insight into even the most complex meanings of Holy Scripture. His understanding far surpassed that of many of the elders present. Where did His incredible knowledge and wisdom come from? God, of course.

True knowledge is not found in books. God has granted us each a measure of common sense and logic. He is willing and able to instruct us in all His ways, if we will take time to contemplate His mysteries. We, too, can amaze the learned of our age by speaking forth the truth of God, which surpasses even the most complex knowledge. Like Christ, we can know more than we ought, through the guidance and counsel of God Himself.

Prayer: Instruct my mind, heart, and soul in all of Your ways, O Lord. Teach me those things that are truly important, and enable me to spread what I learn to others. Amen.

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September 15

Psalm 116:3

The sorrows of death encompassed me, and the pains of hell laid hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.

Julie didn't want to think about dying, but ever since her third heart attack, she could think of little else. She was so afraid of dying, and she simply hated the hospital. Worrying was the worst thing she could do. She needed a positive frame of mind, but try as she might, her thoughts always turned to gloom and despair.

It is unfortunate that so many people are ignorant of the everlasting life that can follow this one. Through God's promise of glory in eternity, we no longer have anything to fear from death. Whatever befalls us in this lifetime, it is nothing in relation to the eternal home that awaits us. We need to focus on the life to come in times of trial and sorrow. In the face of death we can feel secure that everything will be just fine.

Prayer: In times of fear, dread, and sorrow, shine Your light of love upon me, God. Help me to remember that I have life everlasting, and nothing that occurs now can keep me from it. Amen.


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September 10

Psalms 113:2

Blessed by the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore.

Jimmy had heard it all before, but this time there was something different. Though he couldn't quite put his finger on it, suddenly the idea of relationship with Jesus Christ made perfect sense. Before, he had missed the logic, somehow. The image of being born again was so appropriate. A part of Jimmy felt like it had never lived. From this day forward, his life was going to be different. He wasn't sure how it would change, he simply knew nothing would ever really be the same again.

At various times in our lives, the reality of Christ will come crashing through the ordinariness of our days. From those times we face life anew; changed at the very core of our being. We move forward in a new, deeper, strengthened relationship with the Lord.

Prayer: From this day forward, Lord, help me to praise You in new ways. Lead me to a deeper relationship with You through Christ Jesus. Shed Your light upon me, that I might know You better. Amen.

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9/8/16 6:36 A

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September 8

Psalms 112:4

Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

Jerry and Ed were different as night and day, though they were the best of friends. Jerry loved fun and games, and it was difficult for him to be serious about anything for very long. Ed was studious and hardworking, and nothing swayed him from his course once his mind was made up. The two boys decided they were going to enter a ten-mile run sponsored by their school. Ed practiced every day, exercising and running, and eating foods that would get him in shape. Jerry exercised occasionally, ran a few times, and paid little attention to his diet. When the race came and went, Ed led the pack and Jerry couldn't even finish.

Leading an upright life prepares us for the race that God has waiting for us. Our spiritual fitness puts us in shape to run that race of life. Without a healthy spirit, we cannot hope to finish. Life without God beats us down and defeats us. Life in the Spirit lifts us above any obstacle and empowers us to meet every challenge.

Prayer: Like Paul the Apostle, I want to run the good race and fight the good fight. Make me fit to be a member of Your team, Lord. Inspire me to prepare my spirit to meet all the challenges which might come my way. Amen.

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September 7

Psalms 111:10

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

Brian had been told time after time to stay away from the neighbor's dog. Still, he didn't look too ferocious, and Brian wanted to pet him. While no one looked, Brian crept over to the fence and stuck his hand through to pet the dog. Cries of terror and pain brought the adults running, and Brian learned a lesson he would never forget.

God gives us His laws and commandments for our own good. He is not controlling or domineering. He simply knows what is best for His children, and He tries to instruct them in the ways that will make them happiest. If we decide to violate God's will, then we have to pay the consequences. Once we suffer the costs, we learn what is involved, and a deep wisdom begins to set in. Our lessons may often be difficult and painful, but in all ways, they will help us to be better than we have been before.

Prayer: Forgive me when I go my own way, O God. I do not mean to be disobedient, but there are times when I just need to experience things for myself. Be patient while I learn my lessons, and protect me from lasting harm, I pray. Amen.

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September 6

Psalms 111

Praise ye the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.

In one church, we had things called "Say-sos." These were times for members of the church to stand up in front of the rest of the congregation to share their personal faith testimonies.

The power of the stories of people's lives is immense. We are walking through this life together. Others share our experiences and pains and joys, but most of the time we are totally unaware of them. Proclaim your faith and the power of Jesus Christ in your life. Share your story. Praise the Lord with your whole heart in the assembly of the upright. You will find new unity through the grace of Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Father, give me the courage to share my faith and proclaim Your transforming power in my life. Bring to me others who have been touched by Your great love. Help me praise You every day. Amen.

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September 5

Psalms 110:3

Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.

Sylvia often lamented the fact that she became a Christian so late in life. Her teenage years had been such a lonely time. College had not been much better. If only she had felt the need for God in her life then. She would have had so many opportunities to spend time with other people. Now her youth was gone and she had only regrets of what might have been.

When we feel we have all the time in the world, there is no urgency to make decisions right now. Yet, if we put off our decision for Christ, we hurt no one but ourselves. We should be willing to follow Christ today, not sometime in the future. We miss so much when we are not in fellowship with other believers. Praise the Lord that He has seen fit to offer us the blessed community of the church.

Prayer: Help me to make the most of each day, Father. When I feel the urge to put off my commitment to You, fill me with the urgency and the joy of being in fellowship with You immediately. Amen.

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September 4

Psalms 110:1

The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Ben was a diligent worker in his firm. He put forth his best effort in all he did, but unfortunately he lacked the assertive personality so many of his co-workers possessed. Promotions came and went, always passing Ben by, falling to the men and women whose personalities caused them to be noticed. After thirty years of service, Ben struck out on his own, forming a new company. Within months the new company rose to the top of the field, and many of Ben's former co-workers came to work for him.

It is easy to begrudge others their fortune when they are no more deserving to them than we are. Yet, God calls us to rejoice in the triumphs of others, and to await His justice rather than seeking our own. Often we must wait a long time, but the justice of the Lord will prevail, and those who once kept us down will be made a footstool for our feet. Have faith in the Lord, and He will set all things right.

Prayer: Fill me with Your patience, Lord. When I see others receive rewards, help me to rejoice in their benefit rather than be bitter that I did not receive it. Amen.

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September 3

Psalms 109:29

Let mine adversaries be clothe d with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.

The executive was beginning to sweat. He thought he'd covered his tracks fairly well, but now the tangled web he had woven was collapsing around him as his double dealings were uncovered. The questions came at him fast and furious, and he had little time to make sure he wasn't contradicting himself. By the time the hearing ended, all his dealings were in ruin, and he had no one to blame but himself.

Let the conniving and deceitful people be warned: The time will come when you will be called to account before God. He is watching each of us, to see how we handle our lives. Those of us who entangle ourselves in less than honest practices will one day have to pay. The Lord wants us to deal with our earthly affairs with the purity and honesty we use in our relationship with Him. Anything less is not good enough. If we will deal with others as if they are our Lord Jesus Christ, then we will never suffer through the confusion of the deceitful.

Prayer: The only way to avoid the traps of subterfuge is to avoid evil dealings altogether. Make me to walk in the way of righteousness, always acting toward others as I try to act toward You. Amen.

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September 2

Psalms 109:23

I am gone like the shadow when it declineth; I am tossed up and down as the locust.

Doug was bullied by all the other children. Some days he would dream of being bigger than everyone else; then he would show them. In the morning he would walk to school, watching his shadow loom out large before him. Oh, if only he were as big as his shadow. Then the other children would run! But each day by noontime, Doug's shadow had dwindled in size and he had to turn his dreams to other solutions.

Often we try to put our hopes on solutions that just aren't real. We kid ourselves into thinking that maybe our problems will take care of themselves and will require little effort on our part. Earthly, easy solutions fade away like shadows in the daylight. We shouldn't look to shadows for answers, but to the light. God is the source of all our solutions. Unlike the shadows, nothing causes God to fade into nothingness. His solutions are forever.

Prayer: Shine the light of Your truth into my life, and help me to see that there is no solution too large for Your love to handle. Reassure me in times of doubt, O Lord, Amen


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September 1

Psalms 109:17

As he loved cursing, so let it co me unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him.

The young tennis star was known both for his fiery play and his fiery language. Whereas he excelled in the mastery of the game, he had not yet matured in the art of sportsmanlike conduct. His wrath was vented each time he disagreed with the umpire's call. He cursed, stomped, screamed, and kicked. Never was he known to back down and admit his own fault. In time, he lost even his own following of fans, because they tired of his childish outbursts.

People who live by selfish emotions find themselves empty and alone most of the time. Their bitterness causes them to curse their life, their friends, their God. Finally, they find it nearly impossible to utter any kind words at all. Those people will not find blessing in their own lives, because they refuse to bring it to others' lives. It is a fact that the blessing we share is the blessing that comes back to us. Likewise, the curse we impart comes back on us, to make us unhappy and guilty.

Prayer: Though things don't always go the way I would like, Lord, help me to accept all that happens with grace and peace. Amen.

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8/30/16 12:04 P

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Amen

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August 29

Psalms 107:26

They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths : their soul is melted because of trouble.

The waves were rolling and crashing, and the luxury liner was pitching with each and every one. It would ride high upon the crest of one wave, then plummet to the trough of the next. The passengers were despairing of life itself. Even the most stout-hearted grew uneasy in the roiling sea.

Our lives are like tempest-tossed boat rides sometimes. We climb to breathtaking heights and fall to desperate lows, and there are times when we feel as though we just can't go on. The Lord understands these feelings. He was exalted on Sunday and nailed to a cross just five days later. He has experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and He, too, felt Himself melt in the face of distress. It is well to remember that the Lord is with us, and He can truly be of help to us because He has walked our path before us. When the storms of life toss us the hardest, that is when we can count on the Lord to be closest.

Prayer: In both good times and bad, Lord, be close by me to help me keep my head about me. Do not let me be swept up in temporary situations, losing sight of Your hand on my life, but let me always feel Your guiding presence. Amen.

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Happy you are enjoying these devotions and emoticon with you my friend...

August 27

Psalms 107:21

Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Jay was one of the most unpopular men in the office. He never had a good word to say to anyone. He was critical, snide, self-centered, and jealous. People simply got tired of hearing all the negative comments coming from his mouth. Just once they wanted to hear something good come from his lips.

Negative people get on our nerves quickly. They get on God's nerves, too. He calls us to praise Him and life our voices in positive ways. If only more people would praise the Lord for His goodness, what a wonderful place our world would become. We need to occupy our thoughts with what is good, and turn away from what is bad. Praise God throughout the day, and see what wonderful feelings you find along the way.

Prayer: Erase from my vocabulary all negative words and from my mind all negative thoughts, Lord. Create in me a fountain of positive feeling and goodwill. Share Your grace through my witness. Amen.

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8/26/16 11:46 A

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excellent! this describes a woman after my own heart.

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August 26

Psalms 107:14

He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.

Mabel made sure that children in her neighborhood got a better start than she had. Each day she would invite children into her home, and she would help them with their reading. She would labor long and hard with some, but she was determined that they would never have to face a life lived in darkness and ignorance. Illiteracy was a terrible kind of slavery that no one should suffer under. Mabel's special ministry of love helped children in her area break free from the bonds of ignorance and led them into a bright and exciting light.

God has given us minds to use and wonderful technologies. There is no excuse for living in fear and darkness in our world today. He has liberated us from ignorance and has granted us knowledge and wisdom beyond measure. Take hold of the great gift of the mind, and thank God daily for it.

Prayer: Shed Your light upon my heart and mind, fath er, that I might know all that I can about You, Your creation, and Your will. Be the source of my understanding and my liberation. Amen

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August 25

Psalms 107:2-3

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; And gathered them out of the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north, and from the south.

The missionaries were prepared to share the Word of God with the natives of the small isle off the North Africa coast. They were well stocked with crosses and Bibles, and they had become well versed in the native tongue. Nothing, however, prepared them for the shock when they deplaned and were greeted by a band of natives singing out, "God bless you; Jesus loves you!"

The reality of God has spread to the four corners of our globe. Voices sing out His praises continually, and it is often true that our poorer brothers and sisters have the clearest and loudest voices. We can learn a great deal from those people who live day to day in the shadow of poverty, who truly understand how fortunate they are to be alive. Let every woman, man and child sing forth in praise to God. He has been good to us all.

Prayer: I have been transformed by a love far beyond my understanding. Thank You, Lord, for taking my life and making it something holy and special. Make my life a glory to Your name. Amen.

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August 17

Psalms 104

Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with hounour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain.

As the car crested the hill, the entire family drew in its breath. The sky was painted with a hundred different colors and hues. Pinks, reds, oranges, blues, lavenders, and golds blended into a canvas of glory and light. God in His awesome beauty once again presented the proof of His existence. Only a blind fool would deny God in the face of such splendor.

Time and again God offers us signs of His power and wonder. If we will just keep our eyes open, the truth of God's existence will present itself over and over. God gives graciously to His children. Relax and enjoy the show that God puts on. It is nothing less than perfection.

Prayer: Do not let me turn blind eyes to the beauty of Your world, Lord. Throughout Your creation is Your signature. I cannot doubt Your existence in a world of such amazing splendor. Amen.

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August 16

Psalms 103:17

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children.

Some people can't understand how the raging, harsh God of the Old Testament can be the same God of love in the New Testament. Has God really changed? Of course not. God is the same in all times and in all places. What has changed is men and women's views of God. It is difficult to make sense of all that God does, and we all must do our best to understand Him. From the beginning of time until this day, God is the same. The righteousness He held forth for the children of Israel is the same righteousness He holds forth for us today. In a world where all else changes so quickly, we can find great security in knowing that our Lord never changes.

Prayer: Be the anchor in my life, O Lord, so that I might not be tossed around by all the winds of change in my world. Make my faith constant; remaining true to You. Amen.

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August 15

Psalms 103:15

As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.

Deanna built a career on her looks. She had been the dream girl of Hollywood and had loved living the fast life. Now, her looks were fading and Deanna had nothing to fall back on. She had believed her charmed life would never end, but the hard reality was that she no longer could bank on her beauty.

We are given each day as a gift. Once a day is gone, it can never be recaptured. Too often we live our lives as if they are going to go on forever just as they are. Lives change, and we need to be ready to change with them. God helps us to accept where we are and to grow to new levels of maturity. Before this day passes and is gone, call upon the Lord to help you make the most of it. Then, when the new day dawns, be ready for the challenges it brings.

Prayer: Help me to live for what is important this day, so that I might truly be ready for all the days to come. Your gifts are so won derful, Lord. Please don't allow me to take them for granted. Amen.

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August 14

Psalms 103:12

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

A woman asked God for forgiveness for a sin she had committed. He granted her pardon, but she had a tough time forgetting what she had done. She just couldn't let go of her guilt. In desperation she returned to God to ask His forgiveness once more. When she asked Him to remember what she had done, He said, "I can't remember what you're talking about. It never happened. Once sin is forgiven, it is dropped into the sea of forgetfulness, and it is no more. Go your way. No one condemns you; not even I."

It is not that God has a bad memory, but that His love is so complete and boundless that He will not retain the memory of something we ask to be forgiven for. He erases the sins from our slate, and we start fresh. As far as the east is from the west, that is how far God removes our sin from us.

Prayer: Though I don't deserve Your loving care and forgiveness, Lord, I conti nually thank You that You give it to me so freely. Help me to accept it graciously, and to know that You hold nothing against me once I ask Your pardon. Amen.

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August 13

Psalms 103:10

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

Karl sat outside the principal's office feeling the sweat begin to trickle down his back. Mr. Creed was notorious for dealing out harsh punishments. "Crusher" Creed was what the older kids called him. Karl had never been to him before, but he didn't like it, that was for sure. Minutes dragged by, feeling like hours, and Karl began to tremble. It was all he could do to keep from crying. When the door finally opened, Karl sobbed, "I'll never do it again." The principal comforted the boy and told him why what he had done was unacceptable. Karl left the office still shaken, but not so much that he couldn't dream up a juicy story of the tortures he suffered at the hand of "Crusher" Creed.

God deals with His children with love and forgiveness. Often, we are much harder on ourselves than God will ever be. Many times we feel alone in our trials because we need to think of what is wrong with what we do. Our sins can be a great ground of learning, and though God waits willingly to forgive us, He wants us to benefit from our errors as much as we can. God will deal with us, not according to what we have done wrong, but according to our desire to make things right through repentance.

Prayer: My mind runs wild with worries and fears, Lord. I have done wrong, and I need Your forgiveness. Accept my apologies, God, and create in me a new heart. Amen.


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August 12

Psalms 103:8

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

Mara welcomed her sister and did everything in her power to make her feel at home. In return, Dani complained about everything and tried to take over. She bossed Mara around, arranged the house to her own liking, and imposed her opinion on the way Mara raised her two boys. Mara took it all in stride, with a smile on her face. No matter how grave the insult, Mara never waivered in her hospitality. The bonds of sisterhood overcame even the hardest of times, and love gave her the strength of character she needed.

God puts up with an awful lot from His creation. We turn ungrateful hands toward the Lord, always expecting more. We often insult him by the way we regard His world and all the wonderful things in it. Thankfully, He is slow to anger and plenteous in mercy, for we test Him constantly. We can learn from God's long-suffering patience with His children, and in turn we can share the same compassion and caring with those around us.

Prayer: Make me merciful and caring, Lord. Help me to improve my attitude toward others and You. Do not allow me to take for granted the great gifts You give. Amen.


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August 8

Psalms 101:8

I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the Lord.

No one mourned when the old skinflint died. He had held the future of hundreds of people in his hand during the course of his life, and he had never missed an opportunity to hurt them whenever he could. He loved to wield his power mercilessly. His every thought had been of himself. Now, at the day of his death, it seemed like a black, noisome cloud had finally been lifted. New hope dawned in the lives of so many who had been oppressed for so long.

The dawn of a new day will one day come for all of God's people. Evil will have no place in the Kingdom of God. It will be wiped away; dissipated like a storm cloud after it is spent. When we live in the storm, we find it hard to see the future, which will be brighter. Trust God. His light conquers the blackest clouds, and once conquered they will never come again.

Prayer: The days are certainly dark, Lord. The clouds are closing in, and there are times when no light can be seen at all. Help me to remember that You are here, O God, and that the light which never fails will one day shine forth. Amen.

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August 7

Psalm 101:5

Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.

Bess was the blight of the bridge club. For some unknown reason, she had taken it upon herself to be judge and jury over the actions of her friends. Whenever the women got together for cards, they were treated to Bess's opinion of what everyone else was doing wrong. When anyone got tired of hearing what Bess had to say and tried to back away, she became Bess's next target of attack. People were afraid to be friends with her, and they were even more afraid to not be friends with her.

No one likes to hear gossip and criticism all the time. Gossips are usually avoided, and thus they become outcast from the rest of the world. God will outcast the gossip. There is not room in His Kingdom for those who delight in the shortcomings of others. Christ within us should build up, not tear down. If we give our hearts over to Christ, then we ill never say damaging things against our neighbors. Speak only with the tongue of Christ, and you will be a blessing to everyone you meet.

Prayer: Remove from me a malicious and gossiping nature, Lord. Fill me with praise and joy and spiritual thoughts. Let my words bless others with kindness and love. Amen.

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August 5

Psalms 100:3

Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Jeff loved spending his days out on horseback, checking the livestock around the ranch. The animals were undisturbed by Jeff's approach, and he often thought that they must look forward to his arrival. Many of the animals rushed out to meet him whenever he appeared. They sensed in him a friend and protector. Indeed, on those rare occasions when he found the animals threatened by wild creatures, Jeff had not hesitated to do what was necessary to protect the stock.

Our Lord watches over us carefully and lovingly. He wants us to look forward to the times we spend with Him. He also wants us to be assured that He will take care of us and protect us. As a shepherd gives everything possible to protect his flock, so God gives everything He can to guard His followers. Trust in Him, and He will watch over you.

Prayer: Lord, I need to know that You are watching me. You are the source of my confidence and security. Lead me to spend all of my time pursuing Your love and protection. Amen.

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August 4

Psalms 98:7

Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

Paul's nerves were shot. Everywhere he turned there were crowds of people. Cars sped by on all the streets, and the noise of the city was deafening. He was beginning to feel like there was nowhere to go to find peace and quiet. A little silence was all he was looking for. Nothing more.

If this world of noise and confusion, where can we find a place of peace and tranquillity? If Christ is the Lord of our hearts, then we can turn inward. Christ is the giver of peace. He transforms our hearts into refuges, where the clamor of the outside world cannot enter in. Call upon the Lord, and He will surely grant you peace.

Prayer: Father, I am tired of the furious pace of the world. Sometimes I just want to run and hide. Allow me to run to You. Be the source of my peace, Lord. Amen.

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July 27

Psalms 94:8-9

Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planteth the ear, shall be not bear? He that formed the eye, shall he not see?

There's no fooling God. There is no place we can go where He does not see our every move. Those people who think they have God fooled are only fooling themselves. God sees all things, He hears all things, and nothing escapes His attention. For those who live in sin, that is a very frightening thought. For those who walk in righteousness, there is no problem. Let the Lord watch. It is good to know that He is here.

Prayer: Lord, be with me this day. Search my life, and help me to correct the wrong things that I do. Keep me walking in the light, and prevent me from straying into darkness. Amen.


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7/24/16 6:57 P

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July 24

Psalm 92:3

Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.

Dana's fingers lovingly flew across the strings. The guitar took on life beneath his fingertips. As his eyes closed and his head tilted back, the man and the guitar became one. The music that cam forth was not from the fingers or the instrument, but from the heart. The music was the rhythm of creation. The beauty and majesty of God's love flowed through the air. When the music played, God's presence was not to be denied.

Psalms is full of musical imagery. Throughout time, music has been used to express the divine. God loves harmony and purity of tone. Together, we can become a melody of beauty and praise. We can become the rhythm of creation by affirming who God created us to be. Let the music of the Lord fill your heart, and get carried away in its beauty and power.

Prayer: If there is any discordance in my life, Lord, remove it from me. I want my life to be harmonious and beautiful, reflecting the divine music which You alone compose. Play me, Lord, that I might be Your song. Amen.

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7/20/16 5:06 P

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July 20

Psalms 90:17

And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

Cheryl loved her artwork. She could express so many things with canvas and paint that she couldn't express any other way. She showed the depths of her soul. All her work had a spiritual sense to it. It came from a deep and beautiful place inside her own soul. Cheryl felt that the image of God in her was best displayed through the works of her hands and heart.

Within each of us is a wellspring of beauty that comes from God above. How we express it varies from person to person, but it is there, nonetheless. Reach deep into your soul and share the wealth of beauty buried there. To do so is to share God.

Prayer: Enter into my life, O Lord, and make it something beautiful and special. Whatever talents I have are Yours. Bless them, that they might produce much, Father. Amen.

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7/11/16 7:15 P

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July 11

Psalm 86:17

Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, Lord, hast holpen me, 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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7/4/16 3:48 P

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July 4

Psalms 83:14-15

As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire; So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm.

The fireworks lit up the Independence Day night sky. Children watched wide-eyed, and parents exclaimed appropriately at each burst. The town echoed with the booming blasts of each rocket. The show was spectacular, and everyone had a good time. A few even remembered why the celebration took place. Some remembered that the fireworks represented all the bombs that had burst for freedom. A handful walked away from the celebration with a hope beating in their breasts. The hope was that there would come a time when no more bombs would burst, when no one would have to live in fear for their lives. Some hoped for a day when peace would rule the land.

Some fear is healthy. It brings us to our senses and forces us to look at things with a level head. War is a terrible thing. It breaks down and destroys. God wants us to consider well the consequences of war. What we do to one another, He will not undo. Perhaps a fear of the Lord would bring us to our senses. Maybe we would then realize wh ere we stand, and we would choose to stand closer to God.

Prayer: I pray for independence and freedom for all of creation, Lord. While we celebrate and laugh at the bursting bombs, some cower in fear and trembling. Be with them, Father. Amen.


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7/3/16 3:07 P

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July 3

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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6/29/16 2:34 P

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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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6/23/16 2:37 A

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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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6/15/16 6:39 P

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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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6/13/16 6:20 A

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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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6/6/16 3:33 P

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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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6/2/16 6:41 A

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June 2

Psalms 70

Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O Lor d.

Kathy thought she was going to scream. The man came into the office and paced back and forth until she had gotten off the phone and was able to ask him what he wanted. He fidgeted at the desk, telling her that he was a very busy man and didn't have time to wait around. She told him to have a seat. In the next five minutes he sat drumming his fingers on a table looked at this watch a dozen times, asked twice whether it would be much longer, and intermittently sighed heavily. Kathy had no patience with people who lacked patience themselves.

Patience is not a strong virtue in the twentieth century. We are a people of instant gratification. We want what we want when we want it. We don't like to wait. Unfortunately, we worship a God of eternity who chooses to operate on His time schedule, not ours. Therefore, patience is a vital component of the happy Christian life. Ask the Lord for patience. You'll need it.

Prayer: Father, I need to learn to wait graciously and patiently. Fill my heart with peace and give me a spirit of acceptance, that I might know happiness even when things don't happen fast enough to suit me. Amen.

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5/26/16 3:49 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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5/21/16 5:01 P

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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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5/7/16 9:14 A

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May 7

Psalms 55:21

The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

Carrie couldn't believe that she had been taken in so completely. The man had talked of love and peace and equality, and it had all sounded so right. Then he began teaching that the only way to achieve peace was through violence. She had gone along with it for awhile because she really waned to believe the man was good. What he really was was a terrorist, using young people to wage his war for him. Why did people have to live by the lie?

We live in a world dominated by smooth talkers who proclaim goodness but are corrupt to the core. Jesus warned that many false prophets would come preaching harmony and love, but that they were wolves in sheep's clothing. Ask God's wisdom and guidance as you make choices in your life. He will expose the darkness of lie and deceit through His holy light.

Prayer: Grant me a careful and disce rning spirit, Lord. Make sure that I use the common sense You have given me. Protect me from those who would try to take advantage of me. Amen.

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5/4/16 6:56 A

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May 4

Psalms 55:5

Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.

Liz sat crying in the small cafT. It looked as though she might be pregnant, and she was terrified. Her parents would yell at her, her boyfriend would probably leave her, and everyone would think she was somehow cheap and dirty; at least, that was how they would make her feel. This wasn't something she wanted or was proud of. She had made a terrible mistake. She had given in to sin. Now she was a very scared young girl, with nowhere to turn.

Sin makes us a prisoner. It takes away our freedom, and it controls us with fear and guilt. Luckily, we have a Savior who crushes the power of sin and sets us free. Jesus Christian died to let us know we are loved, and God forgives us when we fall. Nothing w do can separate us from that love, so we have nothing to fear at all.

Prayer: Lift me from the horrors of sin, Lord. Set my feet upon right paths, and lead me away from things that will harm me. Give me courage in the face of frightening situations. Amen.

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April 20

Psalms 45:17

I will make thy name to be remember in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.

The sculptor looked at the piece of stone and thought. His mind whirled at the possibilities the stone presented. He could make anything he wanted. He could carve out great beauty.

He could create a monument to himself. He could immortalize a great figure from history. He could sculpt a statement of power and dignity. His mind danced with imagination. He began to dream of the ultimate statement he could make. He looked into the sky and saw the glories there. He looked at the trees and flowers. He watched people walking past. He thought of waterfalls and rainbows and beautiful music. His heart swelled full, then sank.

What could be possibly carve into stone that would do justice to the world of wonder he lived in? He set about his carving, working with great care and determination. After days of labor and love, he unveiled the greatest work his life could offer. Three letters, finely shaped, lovingly created. The greatest legacy the artist could give. The name was GOD.

Prayer: Make my life a symbol of Your love and a sign of Your grace. I live my life in Your will, trying to be the best person I can be. Accept my life as an offering of love. Amen.

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April 18

Psalms 44:20-21

If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a stran ge god; Shall not God search this out? For he knoweth the secrets of the heart.

Alan decided he would play it safe. Believe in everything; something had to be right. His home was cluttered with statues and pictures; incense burned in little tin pots. Bibles, writings of other faiths, prayer cards, and rosaries littered various tables. He told his friends he was Eastern Western Unorthodox. It worked for awhile, but finally Alan realized that believing everything was the same as believing nothing. Gravity kept pushing him off the spiritual fence he was straddling. What he found was that he was afraid to commit to any one thing. In the end, he committed to nothing.

We need to be careful. Our spiritual lives are very fragile things. They need attention and care. We cannot toss our spiritual selves around too freely. The Lord gave us a need to search and question. He understands our doubts. Be patient. Ask the Lord to grant you understanding, and true wisdom will be yours.

Prayer: I stand at the crossroads of a thousand different paths. I get so confused, Lord. Each road has a sign marked truth, and I know that Can't be right. Lead me down the proper path, Lord. Take me where You want me to be. Amen.

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4/14/16 10:31 P

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April 14

Psalms 41

Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.

Curse the beggars! It was impossible to go anywhere without seeing someone with his hand out.Ted refused to look into their faces. He despised people who were always looking for a handout. He worked hard for what he got; why couldn't they? It made him so mad. He rounded the corner and abruptly stopped in front of a young boy cradling the head of his mother in his lap. The woman was obviously very ill. The boy looked up into Ted's face and sobbed one word. "Please?"

All the excuses, all the anger, all the contempt melted away. Ted's eyes were opened for the first time. These people really needed help, and he had the power to make a difference. Perhaps he couldn't solve the whole problem, or even a big part, but he could help the boy and his mother. With new resolve, Ted swore to open his eyes to the less fortunate and give as much as he could.

Prayer: Father, am I doing all I can? In my times of need, I cry out for someone to help me. Make me sensitive to others as they cry out. Amen.

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April 9

Psalms 38:10

My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.

Emma was as old as the hills. She had mothered a dozen children, tended a hundred grandchildren, and no one knew how many great- and great-great-grandchildren. She worked every day of the first ninety years of her life, then she decided to rest.

In her one hundred and third year, she lost her sight, and two years later she was confined to a wheelchair. For awhile she was resentful of losing her faculties, but in time she accepted it. After all, hadn't she lived more than a full life? Hadn't God given her more family than any one woman had a right to have? When all was said and done, Emma had had a wonderful life, and a few inconveniences at the end certainly weren't going to get her down.

We have two simple options when afflictions strike. We can moan about our fate and give up, or we can face it boldly and make the best of it. God grants us the power to become more than conquerors, if we will only choose to use it.

Prayer: I know there will be times when my strength fails and my will is drained. At those times, fill my heart with Your will and power. Make me a fighter, Lord. Amen.



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4/7/16 6:11 P

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April 7

Psalms 37:8

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

Gordon was still shaking. He had never meant to hit his son, not so hard, anyway. When his little boy looked back up at him, his nose was bleeding and his eye was swelling. The rage of moments before was completely gone. Spent was the anger that had caused the injury. In Gordon's heart a heavy shame rose up, along with a vow to put to rest the beast called anger that lurked within his heart.

We are all capable of great anger. The passion is within each of us. However, we must rule the passion, instead of letting the passion rule us. God helps us control the beasts within. His is a power to set our hearts right and dispel our evil with His own goodness. Ask God's help, and He will help you to cease from anger and strife.

Prayer: Take from me the bent to anger and harm, Almighty God. Reshape me in the loving image of Your Son. Reign in my heart with peace and love. Amen.


judithscott.wordpress.com/
Team Leader Shining for Jesus
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Co-Team Leader for I Can Do All Things Through Christ


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4/6/16 11:48 P

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April 6

Psalms 37:4

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

I remember thinking, when I first because a Christian, how wonderful prayer would be. All I would have to do was let God know what I wanted, and He promised that I would have it. I began searching my life for the true desires of my heart, and was surprised to find that they weren't cars, money, or houses, but love, peace of mind, and happiness. The more I prayed, the more I became aware that the true desires of my heart were the desires of Jesus' own heart. They had been there all along, but I had never recognized them before.

Prayer is not a way for us to make ourselves wealthy and prosperous. The Christian's mind should be set on higher things. When we pray to the Lord, always remembering to say, "Thy will done," we will find the truth of Christ squarely centered in our lives.

Prayer: There are few people I would rather spend my time with than You. Lord, though often I do n't spend time with You as I should. Forgive me when I forget to turn to You. Make Your desires my desires. Amen.

judithscott.wordpress.com/
Team Leader Shining for Jesus
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4/5/16 11:57 P

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April 5

Psalms 36:7

How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

The chicks scurried around as the rain began to fall. They had been out in the yard in front of the coop. When the storm hit, they flew into a panic. Carefully, but quickly, the mother hen gathered her chicks to herself, enfolding them in her wings.

Jesus used the same image to show His disciples how God would save His children in time of distress. We have no need to fear, for the Lord is watching over us, and He will pull us toward Himself during bad times. The love of God is beyond human comprehension. We need not understand it, only accept it.

Prayer: Father of all creation, You care for us in very special ways. We turn to You for comfort and security in a frightening time. Be with us always. Amen.

judithscott.wordpress.com/
Team Leader Shining for Jesus
Team Leader God's Amazing Grace
Team Leader God Answers Prayer
Team Leader Partnership Accountability to the Finish Line
Co-Team Leader for I Can Do All Things Through Christ


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