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JUDITH316's Photo JUDITH316 Posts: 151,490
6/25/17 7:38 A

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June 25

Psalms 78:45-46

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

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

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

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6/10/17 3:27 A

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June 10

Psalms 73:26

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

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

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

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

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6/7/17 3:12 A

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June 7

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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6/3/17 12:53 P

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June 3

Psalms 71:9

Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.

Once, older people were revered for the wealth of knowledge and wisdom they possessed.

Today they are often treated as an inconvenience. They are shoved aside and ignored. Certainly, this is not true in every case, but that is happens at all is a tragedy. Older men and women are gifts from God. They are the conquerors in this life. They have fought the battles, and they have war stories to tell that can benefit us all. To have lived a full and fruitful life should be a joy, not a burden. In a society gone youth crazy, the need for the elderly is greater than ever. They provide the balance we need. Theirs is the voice of reason and experience. Theirs are the spirits of perseverance and triumph. They have walked our roads before us, and they can guide us when times get rough. Reach out to the older branch of God's family. Reach out and grasp the treasure.

Prayer: As I grow older, Lord, let me not worry whether or not I will be welcome. Open my heart to older people, and have me treat them as I will one day want to be treated. Amen.

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6/1/17 5:47 A

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June 1

Psalms 69:21

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

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

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

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5/12/17 5:55 P

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May 12

Psalms 60:2

Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it: heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh.

Bombs burst, shaking the walls of the nearby houses. Villagers huddled inside, wondering when the thundering blasts would end. Finally, the assault slacked off, and quiet replaced the horrendous noise. Cautiously, people made their way from their homes to view the devastation that lay around them. Their once-scenic village lay mostly in ruin, the bombs having torn apart the beauty that had existed before.

Wars come and end, and always God has slowly and carefully covered the scars of battle with beauty once more. His great power stands against the worst that humankind can do. So far we have not done irreparable damage, and by God's grace we never will, but it is good to know that the Lord is with us, to heal all wounds and make all things new.

Prayer: The power of humankind does not even compare with Your might, Lord. Save us from our own destructiveness, and renew Your creation, which we carelessly destroy. Amen.


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5/10/17 11:02 P

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May 10

Psalms 58:3

The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

Larry had developed quite a reputation over the years. Most people in his life said he couldn't be trusted. If there were a way for Larry to rip them off, he would do it. It had been Larry's nature from the time he was very small. As a child, he had told lies with unbelievable ease. He bullied other children without the least bit of guilt or remorse. In school he had cheated his way to the top of his class. He bought answers to tests in college, and entered the business world believing that anything he wanted could be gotten my means both legal and illegal. It was all the same to Larry.

There are people in our world who have lived their entire lives by selfish and evil means. It's as if something good was left out of them, and they are incapable of doing what is good. The way we deal with people like that is to forgive them and vow we will never be like them. Evil people are not to be hated, but pitied. They are our mission in life. Lives devoid of the Good News are lives not worth living. Reach out to people who do wrong through your prayers. They need them most of all.

Prayer: Lord, show me how to love even the most unlovable people. Instead of showing anger, let me show compassion, and grant me a deeper understanding of why people can be so bad. Fill my heart with Your love to share. Amen.

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5/4/17 3:00 A

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May 3-4

Psalms 54:4

Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul.

Mabel never walked alone. In her hand was an old leather Bible, which she read from all the time. It was bulging with papers and sayings and handcrafted bookmarks, and all her favorite passages were underlined in red pencil. She delighted in sitting down with someone and showing him all the history she had tucked away in her holy book. Mabel was never without her holy book, never without her smile. Mabel loved the Lord, and nothing gave her more pleasure than sharing Him with the people she met.

Prayer: Help me to seek after You, Lord. In the morning and throughout the day, give me reminders that You are with me. Remind me to tell others of Your love, that I might share the great gift I have been given. Amen.

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4/30/17 2:48 A

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April 29

Psalms 51:17

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Thomas was a proud man. He had never liked admitting that he might need help from someone else. His daddy had taught him that the only way a man was worth his salt was to stand on his own two feet. Thomas had always tried to live by that rule, but now he was at a loss. His wife was sick, and he didn't know where to turn. The doctors were doing all they could, but Thomas felt helpless. Though it felt strange to him, Thomas got down on his knees to pray. Self-consciously, Thomas asked the Lord's help, and in his hour of quiet desperation, he was answered.

God wants us to need Him. He made us to need help, not to try to do everything on our own. When times get tough, God wants us to open our hearts to Him, that He might be made real to us. Call upon God from your brokenness, and He will be faithful to answer.

Prayer: When all else fails, I turn to You, Lord . I should not wait until situations get bad, but I do. Be with me to help me in the hardest of times, and stay with me in all times, that I might know You better. Amen.

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4/29/17 1:31 A

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April 28

Psalms 51:10

Create in my a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

I remember seeing a healthy and diseased heart side by side in one of my college classes. The healthy heart looked strong and fit. The diseased heart was a sickly color, and looked bloated and spongy. That image sticks in my mind. The diseased heart symbolizes for me the sin-sick heart, discolored by evil emotions and intentions, bloated by selfishness, and spongy through lack of love giving and compassion. The only solution for a sin-sick heart is a transplant by the Giver of all new life. God can take a diseased heart and make it new, fresh, and alive. Pray for God to remove the disease of sin, and He will heal you.

Prayer: Lord, I want to be made new and alive. Remove the dead tissue caused by sin and replace it with tissue that is strong and healthy. Create in me a new heart, and renew my spirit within me. Amen.

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4/27/17 5:31 A

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April 27

Psalms 51:4

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

Sin is not merely doing what is wrong, but doing what is wrong in the sight of the Lord. God has offered us suggestions for living full and happy lives. Our being disobedient to those suggestions doesn't hurt God, it hurts us. God is saddened by out refusal to be obedient, but He is always willing to hear our petition for forgiveness, and He will show us His mercy. When we sin, it is a private matter between God and ourselves. Take your sins before God, repent of each one, and glory in the grace of God, by which we receive full pardon of all we do wrong.

Prayer: Forgive me, Lord. Make a new creation out of this old soul. Prepare me for the Kingdom to come, each day of my life. Amen.

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4/24/17 5:44 P

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April 24

Psalms 48

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.

A journey through the Holy Scriptures can be a thrilling experience. To hear the tales of God and His people is a joy. No one can deny the power of the Scriptures. When we find our faith on the ebb, we need only turn to the Word of God in order to find renewal. The greatness of God has touched the lives of men and women throughout history. He still touches our lives today. Spend time with the Lord, and He will teach you amazing things.

Prayer: Indeed, Lord, You are great. Teach me new things every day. Show me the glories of Your world. Help me to know You better this day. Amen.

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4/23/17 11:47 P

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April 23

Psalms 47

O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

What a wonderful feeling. Greg had wanted to tell his friends what he thought for a long time, but he had been afraid they would make fun of him. Drinking and driving was stupid, but he had always done it in the past so he could fit in. Finally, it just got to him. He didn't want to do it anymore. He told them how he felt, and instead of making fun of him, two of his friends agreed with him, and they had made a deal to not drink and drive anymore. His other friends had been as afraid as he was. Sure, some wouldn't ever understand, but that was their problem. Right now, Greg felt great that he had done something good and right. He wanted to shout about it.

When we do what is truly right, we need to rejoice. God celebrates with us, and He will honor our righteousness. To do right is to affirm who God wants us to be. The peace that comes from doing right is wonderful.

Prayer: Give me the courage I need to be the person I want to be. Let me know the triumph that comes from standing up for my values. Let me feel the power You share with hose who strive for what is right. Amen.

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4/20/17 4:12 A

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April 20

Psalms 46

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

The cross I wear around my neck is not there for show, nor is it the object of my worship. I would not be lost without it, though I do like it. I do not believe it has some mystical power, nor does it protect me. The cross that I wear reminds me of the great love that God has for me. Christ's gift of eternal life is made real to me each time I look down at the cross or feel it lightly resting on my chest. In difficult times, I look at the cross and feel warmth and comfort. From its gentle reminder I draw strength when I am weary, refuge when I need to rest. Whether I wear my cross or not, God is with me, but sometimes it is nice to have a small reminder.

Prayer: I run to You when I need rest, Lord. You take me in Your arms and protect me from the pressures of the day. In every time of trial, You are the source of my help. Thank You. Amen.

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4/9/17 12:53 A

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April 8

Psalms 37:11

But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Marchers circle in front of the atomic plant. Not everyone agreed with the sentiments of the protesters, but at least they were getting out and speaking their minds, which was more than most did. One woman was concerned for the future of her children, another worried about the ecological effects, and a man carried a petition with signatures of over 9,000 citizens from the area, voicing outrage at the sloppy safety standards.

It did not good to sit idly by while others made all the decisions. Peace and safety were worth speaking out for. What is worth defending, if not peace? We live in a world of war and fighting. Battlegrounds pop up in every nation of the world. Our Lord, however, is the Prince of Peace. How can we remain unconcerned about world harmony? We cannot. Our mission in this world is to spread the peace of Christ wherever we go. As we spread peace, we find comfort in facing the future, and we come to know the peace which passeth all understanding: God's own peace.

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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.

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3/25/17 6:47 A

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March 25

Psalms 31:18

Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

Lisa couldn't quite believe everything the preacher was saying. He went on and on about how members of other Christian denominations were misguided and on the road to destruction. That didn't make sense. How could the pastor know that he was right and everyone else was wrong? He said that God had told him, but surely God talked to others, too. It was awfully confusing.

One day, everyone who speaks in order to hurt others will have to pay for what they say. So many things are said and done in the name of Christianity that are in no way Christian. Our law is the law of love and forgiveness, not judgment and narrow-mindedness. Ask the Lord to open your heart to those you disagree with and wonderful things will begin to happen.

Prayer: I know so little and I say so much, Father. Help me to reach out to people that I don't understand or agree wit h. Make me an instrument of unity and fellowship. Amen.

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3/23/17 4:22 P

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March 23

Psalms 31:6

I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the Lord.

Elijah looked at the worshipers of Baal with despair. How could they follow such a loathsome god? Where was their integrity? He could not understand how anyone could turn from the love of the one true God to worship something so evil. The priests of Baal paraded around in fancy robes, and they thrilled their followers with petty magician's tricks. They had lost sight of religion through pageantry and vanity. Elijah would show them the error of their ways, or at least God would. When God and Elijah were finished, no one could doubt who the real God was.

Elijah's story from First Kings is the perfect example of what happens to people who lose sight of God and turn instead to worldly things. Vanity kills faith and undermines humility. Look to the Lord in all things, and you will never have to worry.

Prayer: Lord, I am sometimes tempted by the flashy things I see. I forget truth, and I chase after fantasy. Break through my blindness with Your divine light, Almighty God. Amen.

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3/22/17 10:09 A

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March 22

Psalms 31:3

For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.

The rabbit tensed every muscle. The fox had caught its scent, and was stealthily moving in for the kill. Timing was everything. The brambles were just yards away, but the fox was fast. As the fox pounced, the rabbit broke into a hopping sprint and wriggled into the brambles. Fox teeth closed on air, mere inches behind.

The rabbit knows where it should go in times of trouble. It is well aware of where its fortress is. Are we as wise as the rabbit? Our fortress is the Lord. In times of desperate need, we should immediately turn to Him. There is no better place to rest and be safe.

Prayer: Never let me stray too far from Your loving protection, Almighty God. I need You more than I even realize. Open Your arms to me, Lord. Amen.

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3/21/17 5:03 A

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March 21

Psalms 30:9

What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? Shall it declare thy truth?

Most people want to be well remembered when they die. We want to leave a legacy of some kind. What will our legacy be? Will it be money, or a building, or a statue? Will it be something that will last a short while, then be done? Why can't we leave something truly important?

The greatest legacy we can leave is a life well lived. As Christians, we need to be an example of how wonderful Christ can be. We can honestly usher in the Kingdom of God on earth if we will devote ourselves to leading Kingdom lives. There is profit in the blood of a Christian. Christ's own blood was shed that we might all inherit eternal life. If God was willing to shed His own blood for us, should we be willing to do any less? God's legacy to us is life eternal. What will our legacy to others be?

Prayer: May each day I live be considered a gift, Father. Guide me, so th at I can live each gift to the fullest. Let others see You through me, I pray. Amen.

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March 8

Psalms 25:7

Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O Lord.

Perry had paid the penalty a thousand times. The guilt that he carried with him gnawed away constantly. When he was teenager, he had foolishly tossed a firecracker at a friend of his, to scare him. The explosive had gone off in his friend's face, blinding him. Perry played the scene over and over in his mind, even though many years had passed. His friend had forgiven him, and he had even asked forgiveness from God. His pastor told him that the sin was forgiven, but Perry just couldn't forgive himself.

Who are we to hold onto past sins when our Lord has forgiven and forgotten them? As long as we're human, we will have pasts filled with sins abundant. To dwell on them is to make ourselves less than God wants us to be. Ask forgiveness from the Lord, receive it, and move forward in the glory of God's grace. Your sins are forgiven, indeed!

Prayer: Teach me to let go of the things I have done wrong in the past, Lord. Cleanse me and prepare me for the wonderful life that is to come. May I learn from my mistakes and grow from them, without allowing them to control my life, O Lord. Amen.

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March 5

Psalms 23:5

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anoitest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Some people never find satisfaction in the things they do have, but spend their entire lives wishing for things they don't have. They are never happy with where their lives are going, they feel empty in their relationships, and therefore they find it impossible to give thanks for the many blessings they have been given.

As Christians, we are people of praise. Every prayer we offer unto God should acknowledge the many wonderful things that He has done for us. Only a blind person can deny the beauty and splendor of this world. God gives good things to His children, and we should be thankful for all that we have.

Prayer: Lord, I cannot believe how much I have been given. Help open my eyes to the many blessings that have been bestowed upon me. Make me thankful, Lord. Amen.

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March 4

Psalms 23:4

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

To look at Bess and to listen to her talk, you would never have thought she was dying of cancer. She always had the same smile on her face and a kind word for everyone who came to see her. The other patients spent a lot of time with her, because her spirit seemed to be contagious. She ministered to her roommates by remaining cheerful and positive. Even the thought of death couldn't take Bess's dynamic humor from her.

The love of God can help us to endure many things. Circumstances that ordinarily knock us flat are a s nothing when face-to-face with the power of God. Cry out to God in times of affliction, and He will comfort you and lift you above the fear of evil things. Truly, our help is in the Lord.

Prayer: There is nothing in this life, Lord, that I cannot face as long as You are with me. Amen.

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March 2

Psalms 22:6

The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your hear shall live for ever.

Stella never asked for very much. She was a quiet woman, and everyone who knew her adored her. She came to all the church functions and sat down by herself, never wanting to impose on anyone. In no time at all, her table was filled with people who wanted to be with her. Her kindness and gentleness attracted people to her. Stella never wanted for company and attention, because her meek spirit shone forth like a beautiful light.

Prayer: O Lord, please break my spirit of pride and aggressiveness. Let me reflect the peace and tranquillity of heart that Your love inspires. In a world of torrent and turmoil, let me stay calm. Fill me with gentleness and meekness. Amen.

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February 28

Psalms 22:14

I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

I had a friend who thought some boys were trying to mug him. In his efforts to run away, he fell down a flight of stairs and landed in a pile of garbage. He suffered many broken bones and scrapes, and required a large number of stitches. As he lay in pain and refuse, he heard the boys draw close. He prayed to God for help. He heard the boys getting steadily closer, and as his prayers increased, the boys moved out of the alley and across to the top of the steps. IN the light that shined there, the man saw that the boys were scouts. IN a wave of relief and embarrassment, my friend sank back into the garbage and passed out.

It is good to know that even in our own foolishness we can turn to the Lord for help. Often we are our own worst enemies, but that doesn't matter to the Lord. In our brokenness, God reaches out to us and love us.

Prayer: Lord, I often am guilty of doing foolish things. I hurt myself in so many needless ways. Protect me from myself, and in my times of greatest suffering and pain, be the source of my comfort. Amen.

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February 27

Psalms 22:2

O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

Prayer is a tricky thing, It was never meant as a "gimme' list by which we can get things from God. It is not a gripe time to vent frustrations and woes. It is not a time to show off our piety. Rather, it is a time to draw close to God in order to be open to His will and guidance. So often we feel that God is not listening because we don't get what we ask for. We want results immediately, and we decide beforehand what we will accept as an answer and what we will not. Who says that we get to make the rules?

The Lord hears us, and His is true to answer us, but He always measures His responses according to His divine wisdom. He knows what is best for us, even when it doesn't agree with what we want. It is natural and human to doubt the Lord sometimes. He understands that. Just don't give up. The Lord breaks through our desert spots, to comfort us when we cry.

Prayer: Lift me, Lord, into Your loving arms. Grace me with the sweet memory of Your care, that I might never doubt You in times of trial. Amen.

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February 25

Psalms 22

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

I lay awake, crying in the night. I though of all the things happening in my life, and I was frightened by the feeling of aloneness I was experiencing. Never had my life looked so bleak. Suicide wasn't an answer, because I was too afraid to die. I thought God was with me, but my prayers simply faded in the darkness, with no one to hear them. God had abandoned me, and I didn't know what I'd done to deserve it. I rolled over in my bed and noticed a shaft of moonlight shining through my window, coming to rest on a picture of my grandfather. Grandpa would have know what to do. He would have told me to quit feeling sorry for myself and take control of my own circumstances. He never let anything rule over him...except God. Suddenly, the light of the Lord broke through my depression. In an instant I realized that God had been with me all along; I had just chosen to look the other way. His divine love broke through on the wings of a moonbeam, and His answer moved through my heart with the memory of my grandpa. Never does the Lord forsake His own. The only distance that is ever between us is the distance that we put there.

Prayer: Gift of my life, continue to shower me with Your love. Let me feel Your gentle weight upon my heart, and keep me ever mindful of Your presence in my life. Amen

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February 23

Psalms 21:8

Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy rig ht hand shall find out those that hate thee.

Hiding was useless. Tim knew that he would be found out soon enough. He'd pushed his luck just a little too far. At first, stealing had been for fun, just to see if he could get away with it. Then, it turned into a kind of sport, until finally he could hardly help himself. Now he'd been seen, and it was just a matter of time till someone caught up with him. What had seemed so cool before now seemed pretty stupid. There was no way out. He was in big trouble.

It seems to be a part of human nature to ignore consequences until it is too late. God gives us an awful lot of opportunity to make up our minds whether or not we will follow Him, but we cannot expect Him to wait forever. God knows our hearts right this very minute. There is no hiding from Him. If we are not for Him, we are against Him. The choice is ours. Each day gives us a new opportunity to reconfirm our faith in God. Let us take each and every opportunity.

Prayer: I get tired of hiding, Lord. Seek me out and inspire me to be a better person today than I was yesterday. I want to follow You and walk in the ways of Your Son. Amen.

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February 22

Psalms 20:7

Some trust in chariots, and some is horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.

Grayson was as old as the hills. He had farmed the same stretch of land for better than sixty years. Every year, the farms around old Grayson's invested in fancy new equipment and machinery. Grayson farmed with the same equipment year after year; once new, now antique. His neighbors tried to encourage him to upgrade his tools, but Grayson just shook his head. His justification for his stubbornness was simple: If the Lord wanted him to have a bountiful harvest, he would. It wasn't the machinery that made the farm. It wasn't the latest technology. It was the will of the Lord.

His neighbors secretly laughed at the simplistic reasoning of the old man, but time and again they ended up amazed at what he was able to do with his simple means. When harvest time came round, Grayson held his own with the best of them.

The simple faith of a single man or woman is a mighty thing. Trust in the Lord, and you will marvel at all that can be done.

Prayer: Make me faithful, Lord, I doubt so often, and I put my faith in other things. Those things will pass away, but I know that You will endure forever. Thanks be to Your love and grace. Amen.

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February 20

Psalms 19:9

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

Patty always laughed whenever anyone tried to tell her that what she did was sinful. She would mock her friends, telling them they sounded like old ladies. Gwen couldn't understand how Patty could do the things she did and still call herself a Christian. Gwen was surprised to see Patty standing at her door in tears.

Patty had begun to wake up to the fact that she really was living a wrong life-style. The more she thought about it, the worse she felt. She hoped that Gwen could help her. Gwen told her that she was already on the right track to finding help. Realizing that what you do is wrong is the first step. Fearing what might happen because of what you do is the next step. Fear can be a healthy thing for us when it forces us to clean up our lives and walk the straight path. Once on the right path, we can leave fear behind, for nothing can harm us once we are in the Lord's camp. God's judgments are righteous and true, and He will always help us make the changes that allow u s to clean up our lives, if we will only ask Him to.

Prayer: I need to respect You more, Lord. I need to be reminded that Your way is the only way, so that I won't be so tempted to stray. Be with me to guide me. Amen.


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February 18

Psalms 19

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Steve slammed on the brakes and pulled to the side of the road in anger and frustration. Grabbing the map and a flashlight from the glove compartment, he burst up out of the car. He knew he was lost, but he didn't have the slightest idea how to get himself found again. He leaned on the roof of the car, tracing out his location on the map. After a few moments, he snapped off the light, closed his eyes, and laid his head against the metal of the car.

When he opened his eyes, he was startled by the number and beauty of the stars in the Arizona sky. Like a child, he gazed at the heavens with his mouth hanging open. Never before could he remember such a beautiful sight. A peace came over him that totally removed the rage of a few minutes before. Forgetting the time or the situation, Steve climbed up on the hood of his car, leaving back to soak in the splendor of God's creation.

This day, we need to stop for a moment to open new eyes to the wonder of God's world. If we will only try to see it through His eyes rather than our own, we will find new beauty that we never noticed before. His is a world of wonder and miracle. See it.

Prayer: Lord, open my eyes, that I might see all that this world is meant to be. Do not let the pressures of the day create a cloud that prevents me from seeing Your beauty. Amen.


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February 16

Psalms 18:34

He teached my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by my arms.

Angela was the youngest of six children. Her memories and childhood conjured images of constant fighting and competition. She had learned very early how to fight. Her young years had been a painful lesson in the survival of the fittest.

It was only after she left home that she found out that living didn't mean fighting. She met and married a strong Christian man whose strength came not from any physical source, but from a keep and abiding faith in the Lord. He taught her patience and compassion and peace. Her world was turned upside down as she realized that true strength came not from fighting, but from refusing to fight. God granted her a power greater than any she'd known. By her peace of mind and spirit, Angela broke free from the bondage of her past and faced the future with the assurance that nothing could ever defeat her again.

Prayer: Lord, remove from me my spirit of competit ion in trying to be better than other people. Whenever my will says to fight back in anger, let my spirit prevail with a desire to forgive. Make me strong in Your love. Amen.


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February 15

Psalms 18:33

He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.

Her grace and beauty was breathtaking. The doe paused for a moment, then she sprang forth in a poetic dance of joy. Effortlessly, she scaled the rocky incline, never missing her footing, until she stood out against the autumn sky. Her gentle eyes scanned the horizon, she sniffed delicately, shook her head once, and then was off.

God has equipped His creation with many wonderful and amazing qualities. The doe who can climb steep mountains with nary a misstep, the jaguar that can outrun any prey and turn sharply at its fastest pace, the eagle who can span vast distances in a matter of hours; all these creatures are strong because they use their God-given talents as they were intended to.

There is a lesson to learn from such creatures. We, too, have been given many wonderful gifts and talents. When we affirm the talents we have been given, then God will surely bless us, and we will be a sign to others of His goodness. God has given us hinds' feet, wings to fly, power, grace, an d a multitude of other gifts. Embrace them and know that the Lord is good.

Prayer: Teach me to use the gifts I have been given. Aid me as I test my wings and struggle to get my footing. Be patient with me, Lord, and touch me with Your touch of peace and grace. Amen.


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February 12

Psalms 18:17

He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.

Young David was foolish to think he could succeed where the army or Israel had failed. The Philistines were mighty, they were mean, and they were excellent fighters. They had been unstoppable as they marched throughout the lands of the Middle East. What chance had one small boy against the leader of the mightiest fighting machine in history?

Alone, David would not have stood a chance, but David was not alone. As young as David was, he still had the wisdom to call upon God for help in his time of greatest need. Faith is the most powerful force in the universe, and it knows no age. The faith of a child is every bit as mighty as the faith of an older man or woman.

As we face problems that seem much too great for us to handle alone, we need to understand that the same problem is as nothing in the face of God. God is on our side, and He will surely help us whenever we call upon Him. David would not have faced his Goliath without God on his side. Should we ever face our own Goliath s without Him?

Prayer: Lord, send Your might to see me through the storms of life. When trials seem to gigantic to handle, be the source of my strength. Deliver me and comfort me, O Lord. Amen.

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February 11

Psalms 18:3

I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so sha ll I be saved from mine enemies.

When Charlie was a boy, he used to dream of being like his favorite comic book hero. With super powers, Charlie knew he'd be unstoppable. No one could pick on him, no one could tell him what to do, and everybody would love him. As he grew older, Charlie grew sad to realize that no superhero life lay in his future. Superheroes were just myths.

Then, one day, Charlie found a new kind of hero. A friend of his gave him a New Testament and asked him to read it. Charlie was swept into a world where sin and evil came to an end, where good really did win, and where love was the strongest power of all. And the best thing was, everyone who believed could be a hero, too.

We need to choose our heroes carefully. Only one hero is worthy of our praise and allegiance, and that is Jesus Christ. Jesus will save us from our enemies, and He will set all things right. Follow Him, and He will grant you a power beyond belief.

Prayer: Dear God, I follow so many false heroes, thinking they might have something I need. Help me to remember that all I could ever need or want, You have already given me though the life of Your blessed Son. Amen.

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February 9

Psalms 17:5

Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.

Burt had worked in high-rise construction all his life. Every day he would walk the girders high above the ground with apparent ease. In his lifetime he had seen a number of men plunge from the girders due to a mere moment of carelessness. As for himself, he knew he had been lucky. Each morning he began work only after saying a short prayer, asking the Lord to watch his movements through the day, keeping him safe from any mishap.

Though most of us never do anything as dangerous or risky as high-rise construction, we do stand in danger of falling to temptation. A fall like that is as devastating to the soul as a plunge from a high girder would be to our physical being. No matter how careful we try to be, we need someone to catch us when we stumble. God is that someone. He waits with open arms to catch His children when they fall. Rest easy in the knowledge that God guides your steps. He will protect those who put their trust in Him.

Prayer: I need Your guiding love, Almighty God. Without it, I am sure to fall. Thank You for being with me picking me up when I fall. Amen.

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February 6

Psalms 16:4

Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.

Ralph had grown up desiring to be wealthy one day. He had worked hard, devoting himself to the pursuit of his precious money. Now he could honestly call himself rich, but he wasn't sure it was all he had dreamed it would be. He spent so much of his time protecting what he had accumulated. He lay awake at night worrying about investments, deals, taxes; anything and everything that might ruin his status. His every waking moment was tied up in the acquisition of more and more wealth. On rare occasions, Ralph found himself wishing for just a little peace of mind and a chance to forget about money for awhile.

The pursuit of God is one of the few life choices we can make that has no strings attached. We give very little, and receive so much. Money, fame, power, prestige all sound nice, but they require more effort than they are worth. Worse, they pay temporary benefits that fade away, leaving us empty, lost, and alone. Give your life to God, and walk in the ways that He chooses, and you will find that He will bless you continually.

Prayer: Turn me from the things that cannot offer me lasting satisfaction. Turn me instead, Lord, to the things that are eternal and holy. Amen.

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February 5

Psalms 15:5

He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

The young man was quite proud of himself. He ran a lawn-care service specifically targeted to older people who could not do the work for themselves. But, because he had them in a tough position, he charged them more than he ordinarily could have. Since they couldn't do the work themselves, and they often didn't know anyone else to contact, they had to pay his price. Publicly, he gained the reputation of being a champion of the elderly. Privately, he gloated over his shrewd maneuvering.

The Bible tells us that when we receive our rewards on earth, we have nothing to look forward to from God in the future. Our duty is to love and defend others, not take advantage of them. When we put other people's interests ahead of our own, then we can count on God's favor in the days to come.

Prayer: You have created everyone equally. Lord, and no one is more precious in Your sight than anyone else. Help me to see the value in all people, and do everything in my power to serve them and love them. Amen.



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February 3

Psalm 14:4

Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? Who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord.

Cory rode along the street on his bicycle, lighting huge firecrackers and tossing them onto the doorsteps of houses along the way. He would listen for the mighty explosions and then laugh as frightened home owners came to the door to see what had happened. His terrorizing spree came to an end as one firecracker with too short a fuse blew up in Cory's hand, severely injuring him.

Do the people who abuse and oppress others really think there is no penalty to pay for what they do? It seems that way. Workers of iniquity who pride themselves on their brilliance and accomplishment are in fact some of the most ignorant people alive. Those who do not know the Lord, do not know much of anything. True knowledge and wisdom comes through love and respect of the one who died to make our salvation possible: Jesus Christ.

Prayer: O Lord, steer me away from th ose who, through ignorance of You, cause pain and destruction. Help me, instead, to build up and defend all that is right and good. Amen.

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February 1

Psalms 14:1

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

The Reverend Dave Scott stood trembling at the doorway to the sanctuary. During the night, vandals had broken into the church. They hadn't taken anything, but they had destroyed just about everything. Windows were shattered, pews splintered, Bible ripped apart. Reverend Scott felt a terrible sickness in the pit of his stomach. Who could do such things? Was nothing sacred anymore?

We need to ask ourselves these questions, because we face such situations all the time. Terrible things are done all around us, and often they happen without regard or respect for things we hold sacred. Foolish people hold our God in contempt, and we can only find consolation in the fact that the Lord sees all, and His justice will one day be done. For us, we must hold onto His goodness and His strength so we can endure such inconceivable crimes. Our Lord is greater than the "things" foolish people destroy. His will be done!

Prayer: O Lord, while the evil days keep coming, grant me strength enough to endure until the end. Remind me that I worship you, and nothing any man or woman can do will ever destroy that. Amen.

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January 31

Psalms 13:3

Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death.

Bill was beginning to doubt his faith. He had been confirmed into a church almost twenty years ago, he had once read the Bible regularly, and he still prayed occasionally, always at meals. Still, he felt like he was just stumbling through life like a sleepwalker. Nothing seemed to matter, and Bill felt that his life laced purpose. There had to be something more, but Bill was wondering what it was.

If the Lord is not a real and vital part of our lives, then we are only half living. God renews us and puts purpose into our being. We are spiritual batteries which constantly need to be recharged. We cannot be recharged apart from the power source: Jesus Christ. The Bible, the church, fellowship with other believers, prayer; these and many other activities draw us close to God and therefore energize our spiritual lives. Draw close to God and feel the power. It's waiting right now, and it is given freely.

Prayer: Energize my life with the power of Your Holy Spirit, Lord. Grant that I might live life fully, not halfway. Open my eyes to the glorious life I have been given. Amen.


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January 29

Psalms 12:5

For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord.

Something is terribly wrong in our world. Some of God's children are ill-fed, homeless, diseased, and abused. Many people do not know the comforts of a home, nor the security of a free state. Who will care for these lowly children of God?

The Bible says that the Lord will rise up in behalf of these people, but it also says that He will do so through His servants and followers. That means that God will provide for His poorer children through the grace of His richer ones. We are called to give from our blessed abundance, that others less fortunate might live. This is not an option for Christians, but a basic mandate upon which our faith is built. We are the hands, the feet, the eyes, and the voice of the Lord. Let us serve Him well.

Prayer: Use me as You will, O Lord. Make me an instrument of Thy glory and will. Send the power of Your Spirit into the world through me. Amen.

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January 28

Psalms 12:3

The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things.

A friend of mine tells of a man he worked with who believed that he knew everything there was to know about God. If people expressed their beliefs, the man would criticize and analyze them, telling them what he felt was wrong with their way of thinking. He bragged of all the things he had read, of the people he had met, and the numbers he had let to Christ. His religion was worn as a badge to impress others. However, when things got hard the man, he found that he was ill-equipped to deal with the pressures.

Our faith in Christ is not to be a source of bragging and pride; but a source of comfort and service. Being Christian doesn't make us better than other people, just better off. We are blessed by the gift of God's love, and we should receive it with humility and grace.

Prayer: Creator God, You have made me in Your image, and I sometimes forget how thankful I should be. All that I am, and all that I can be, is a gift from You, and nothing that I have done on my own. Forgive my foolish pride. Amen.

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January 25

Psalms 11

In the Lord put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?

Yani meant well, but sometimes Gail got so mad at her. Gail was a strong Christian, but Yani felt that Christianity was false, and so she kept trying to persuade Gail to try an Eastern faith. Gail had no trouble with Yani believing as she did, but she wanted them to be abl3e to simple share the truth of their separate beliefs in order to grow and learn more. Yani wanted nothing to do with Christian teaching, and she vehemently fought to convince Gail of her erroneous faith. Gail saw no reason to flee from Christianity when in her heart she knew it was right.

We are overexposed to choices. Every day someone will try to tell us that we need one more thing in order to make our lives complete. Ads tells us that we should be dissatisfied with what we have, that we need something different. The truth is, when we find what works, or what is right, or what we like, no one should be able to tell us that we're wrong. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one and nothi ng can ever take His place. We are already Kingdom people. There's no reason to try anything else.

Prayer: When I feel surrounded by doubts and I question my faith, Father, reach out to me, that I might know I have nothing to fear. Teach me Your truth each day. Amen.


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January 24

Psalms 10:17

Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear.

The jury had argued the merits of the case for hours. Nelson had remained silent through the entire debate, but now he leaned forward and began to speak. Immediately everyone silenced themselves and turned to listen to what Nelson had to say. Because he had said little previously, his words had a strange impact, and his argument persuaded the jury members.

When someone talks all the time, the tendency is to tune that person out. NO one wants to be around someone who chatters incessantly. What a joy it is to find someone who employs an economy of words. The person who speaks infrequently tends to be heard the most.

When we learn to speak to God of the more important desires of our hearts, we can be assured that He is hearing us and will answer our prayers. When we merely chatter on to God about every little annoyance or inconvenience, we may find that He is slower to answer, in hopes that we will learn to take care of problems that are within our own power to solve. Use wisdom in your dealing with God, and you will find your relationship enriched.

Prayer: Teach me humility and wisdom, O Lord, that I might speak wisely of the things that are most important. Help me to know what I am able to deal with and what I am not. Guide me as I grow. Amen.

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January 23

Psalms 10:4

The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

A successful corporate leader once said, "It's not that I don't believe in God, it's just that I don't have time for Him. If I did all the things that God wanted me to do, I'd never have time left for business." What a telling statement! Being a Christian means so much more than just believing in the existence of Christ. Many people believe in Christ, but they consciously remove Him from their hearts and minds. They don't have time for Him. What a tragedy! Too many people see life in Christ as slavery rather than freedom. They feel oppressed by the only true liberator that exists.

To understand Christ, we must spend time with Him. If we reject Him without even getting to know Him, we rob ourselves of any chance at redemption and salvation. As Christian people, we need to keep God close by us. We need to read His Word, dwell upon Him in our hearts, and speak of Him wherever and whenever possible. Keep the Lord close by you, and will never feel alone.

Prayer: Be with me, O my Lord. Plant Yourself firmly in my thoughts, and never let me turn from You. Amen.

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January 22

Psalms 9:19-20

Arise, O Lord; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight. Put them in fear, O Lord: that the nations may know themselves to be but men.

It is frightening to listen to the decrees made by some of our world leaders. They hold the lives of so many people in their hands, and all too often they seem bent on destruction, not only of themselves, but of as many people as they can take with them. Were it true that they really had the ultimate power, there would be no reason for hope.

We know better, however. The only true power in this world is the power of God, and our fate will not be decided by men and women, but by God. WE are created for eternity, and so we do not need to fear the decisions made by corrupt human beings in this age. Our trust is in the Lord of all creation, and in Him there is never reason to fear or doubt.

Prayer: Father God, sustainer of life and giver of sanity in an insane world, hear the prayers of Your people and give us peace and confidence of a bright new age to come. Amen.

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January 21

Psalms 9:10

And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

The crowd in the office seemed to have no morals whatsoever. Beth could hardly believe some of the things she heard the other employees talking about. They used foul language, spent weekends in drunken fogs, and had no compunction about their loose sexual behavior.

Sometimes Beth felt so alone. It was hard to spend so much time out of the day with people she disagreed with so strongly. Her thoughts always turned to her close friends, and she was glad to have others who felt as she did to turn to. Her friends were all Christian, and it really did make a difference. She didn't feel like an outsider when she was with Christian friends. Having such good friends made it easier to deal with the people at work. She wondered what she would do if she didn't have friends who felt as she did.

So many people have no idea what it means to have the Spirit of Christ in their hearts. They believe that their lives are fine just as they are. How sad that they do not know enough to put their tr ust in God. It is our job, as the voice and hands of God, to let people know of the truth of Christ, so they, too, might come to put their trust in Him.

Prayer: Make me an agent of Your will and word. Help me to teach others by the example of my life what it means to be Christian. I will put my trust in You. Help me to share that trust with others. Amen.

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January 20

Psalms 9:9

The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

Ellen lived in a tiny shack on the edge of a small backwater town. She no modern conveniences; no car, no electricity, no fancy clothing. She just lived a simple life, giving of herself to others, sharing what little she did have with anyone who needed it. Often people tried to help Ellen, but she just smiled and said she didn't want for anything. When asked why she lived as she did, Ellen said, "God has made sure that I've had enough to get by on. I don't need any more than that. He and I have a nice deal. When He needs me, He lets me know and shows me what I can do, and when I need Him, all I have to do is call. I've faced hard times, but the Lord has always given me strength and given me a place to run to."

The Lord is our refuge and our strength. It takes a great deal of wisdom to realize that. Our lives are much more than possessions and positions. Our lives are gifts from God; given to us and to others for His glory. We need not ask what more God can do for us, but wh at we might do for God. He will surely let us know.

Prayer: Father, I sometimes need to escape: from the world, from myself, from the things that tie me down. Be my liberation and my sanctuary. Strengthen me for Your service. Amen.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

judithscott.wordpress.com/
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