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1/24/15 1:55 P

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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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1/24/15 12:49 A

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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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1/23/15 1:35 A

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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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1/20/15 4:16 A

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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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1/19/15 11:29 P

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January 19

Psalms 9:1

I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.

Audrey loved the little children, and they dearly loved her. She would walk with them through the gardens and fields, showing them all the wonders of nature. She would sit with them for hours and tell them stories. She would read to them from her Bible, then explain what she had read. She would remind the children of all the good things God could do. For the main part of her life, Audrey taught little children the reality of God.

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

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

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1/18/15 9:39 P

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January 18

Psalms 8:5

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

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

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

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

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1/18/15 1:48 A

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January 17

Psalms 8:3-4

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

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

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

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

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1/17/15 12:33 A

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January 16

Psalms 7:8

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

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

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


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1/15/15 5:41 A

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January 15

Psalms 7

O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me.

Greg couldn't believe his ears. His teacher had just asked the class if anyone belonged to a church youth group. Greg attended one faithfully, but he was too embarrassed to let any of his school friends know about it. Most of the kids in the youth group were considered to be freaks by the "in crowd" at the high school. Only a couple of the other kids were raising their hands. For a moment Greg hesitated, the he slowly raised his hand. To his surprise, no one laughed, and a couple of his school friends even showed interest in his church involvement. Greg began to wonder what he had really been afraid of.

There are an awful lot of people in this world who will not understand our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They will ridicule us, persecute us, and turn us aside. That does not justify us hiding our faith. We are to shine as a light in this world. If we are proud of our faith, we will find that God will give us special strength to stand up in the face of ridicule. As Scripture says, if we will be proud of the Father, He will be proud of us. If we are ashamed of Him, however, then Christ will also be ashamed of us.

Prayer: Lord, You are the brightest light shining in my life. Help me to reflect Your light in all that I do and say. Save me from persecutors, and enable me to be everything You would have me to be. Amen.

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1/14/15 11:03 A

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January 14

Psalms 6:2

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

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

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

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

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1/12/15 8:40 A

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January 12

Psalms 5:8

Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.

Barry hated to be left out of the good times his friends had, but he hated it even worse when they went out drinking and cruising. He didn't like to drink, and his friends always mocked him because of it. Thank goodness for Jean. She had come along and given him an excuse not to go out. She really disapproved of drinking and driving, so Barry could do for Jean what he had never been able to do for himself: say no!

God gives us the reason to say no. In those areas of our life where we are too weak to say no to our friends, we can learn to say no because we know that God wants us to. So many people would lead us from path of God, many of them unintentionally. Ask the Lord for guidance. In the face of our strongest temptations, God will give us the strength and the reason to resist.

Prayer: O God, I find myself in some terrible situations that I don't want to be in. Help me to free myself from those things I know displease You. Guide me, strengthen me, liberate me, I pray. Amen.


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1/10/15 10:09 P

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January 10

Psalms 4:4

Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.

Jennifer lay in her bed, listening to the approaching thunder. Storms scared her, yet something deep inside thrilled at their coming. She closed her eyes and imagined the thunder as the voice of God spreading across the face of the earth. There was a strange comfort in the thought that God would thunder forth in such a way. Jennifer began to pray to God, confident that He would hear her and be with her. In the wee small hours of the night. Jennifer drifted off, asleep in the loving arms of God until morning.

In the face of the storms of life, we need the confidence that our Lord will be with us and that He will grant us peace. The peace of the Lord is the strongest force on earth, and those who find their peace in the Lord need never fear. Look deep inside and dwell with the Spirit of God in your heart. There you will find the calm that no storm can disturb.

Prayer: O Lord, grant me Thy perfect peace, and lift me above the storms of my life. I trust in Your great love. Be with me, I pray. Amen.

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1/9/15 6:41 A

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January 9

Psalms 4

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

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

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

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1/8/15 6:49 A

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January 8

Psalms 3:6

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

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

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

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


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1/7/15 4:10 A

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January 7

Psalm 119:9

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.

It was a strange feeling to be back in control. The last few years were just a fog in Al's memory. He had spent them in a haze of dope and alcohol. Thank God that Janet came along. She saw the trouble he was in and offered him a friendly hand. She had invited him to her church, and there he found a circle of friends that he'd decided could never exist.

Miraculously, withdrawal had been easier than he dreamed. The church people rallied around him and gave him all the support he needed. Now he was clean, and he owed it all to God.

God is the great purifier. He will remove all that is impure in our lives and fill us with good things. We no longer need earthly crutches, because we have found total healing in the Lord. All that is required is a willingness to change. The Lord will help us do the rest.

Prayer: Make me a new person, Lord. I may not be hung up on drugs, bu t there is plenty in my life that should not be there. Help to wash it all away, and replace it with Your blessed love. Amen.

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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 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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January 2

Psalms 1:6

For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Jeff got so discouraged sometimes. He worked so hard while his roommates messed around, but they always seemed to do every bit as well as he did. Whenever he let up even a little bit, his grades fell. It just didn't seem fair.

It's hard to look around and see so many undeserving people receive such wonderful rewards. We like to feel that justice is going to be done, but we hardly ever see it. Luckily, our trust is in the Lord and His promises. Those who receive all their blessings now have nothing more to come, while those who patiently wait upon God and His justice will find themselves face-to-face with an eternity of joy and peace. Nothing escapes the watchful eye of God. He sees the way of the righteous, and He will surely reward them.

Prayer: Lord, help me to wait patiently for Your will to be done, and do not let me envy the blessings of others. Keep my eyes fixed upon Your great love. Amen.

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January 1

Psalms 1:1

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

A time for starting over. A new beginning. A wonderful time to take stock of life and look for ways to improve and grow. Too often, careless resolutions are made that are never kept, and so one year blends into the next with little change. The fact is, all of us have areas in our lives that could stand some improvement. As this new year begins, let us look at our lives with honesty and candor. Let us approach change with a positive spirit, and work toward finding ways to become the people that god wants us to be. Most importantly, ask the Lord to guide and strengthen, for it is through His power that we are able to conquer our failings and turn them into strengths. God is able to see us both as we are and as we can be, and we need that sight in order to truly change. He will steer us away from the ungodly. He will liberate us from the way of sin. He will lead us from scorn to joy. The Lord will do all this and more because of His great and abiding love for His children. Rejoice i n the love of God. he has given us a new year, and desires to give us a new life.

Prayer: O Lord, cleanse my soul of all wrong. Help me grow in the light of Your love. Lift me above what I have been, and set me onto a new path of righteousness and grace. Amen.

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12/30/14 5:58 A

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December 30

Psalms 150:3

Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.

The choir prepared to sing. They had come from all over the state to be a part of this event. Hundreds of people were joining their voices together in praise of God. They hoped that other people would take notice. God was worthy of their time, talents, and devotion. Many in the choir felt they had little else to give, other than their voices. They sang beautifully. They poured out their hearts. Hundreds of people heard them, and the Spirit of God was shared by them all.

Prayer: Music is a language that speaks to us all. Let me make a joyful noise unto You, Lord. My heart sings Your praises forever and ever. Amen.


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December 29

Psalms 150:2

Praise Him for his mighty acts: praise Him according to His excellent greatness.

Jeff was beside himself. His wife had gone into labor hours ago, and a nurse had just come out to tell him that there were complications. There was a good chance that they might lose either the mother or the child. Jeff could only wait and pray. Time passed slowly, but when everything was finally done, both mother and child were fine, and Jeff prayed a silent prayer of thanks.

God does mighty acts in our lives. There are times when things don't always work out the way we want them, but God is there to pick us up and help us deal with our trials. Praise the Lord that He is good and kind. His goodness is unending, and we are always in His care.

Prayer: I cannot begin to understand all that You have done, Lord, but I praise You for what I have seen and felt. You have given so much. Thank You. Amen.

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December 28

Psalms 150:1

Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

Before there were churches, before there were preachers, before Christ came to this earth, God had created His sanctuaries. On the mountaintops, God was worshipped. In the valleys, God was worshipped. In the forests, by lakesides, in caves; wherever God's handiwork was found, there He was worshipped.

We can praise God anywhere. Church isn't a place, it is an entity made up of living parts.Wherever we gather in the name of God, there is His sanctuary. Lift your voices to the Lord. Praise Him wherever you may be. He is with you where you are.

Prayer: I will praise and worship You with all my heart and mind and soul. Hear my words, Lord, and be pleased by the love I have for You. Amen.

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December 27

Psalms 149:5

Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.

Carol dreaded going into the nursing home. She had been in others in the past, and she had never felt very good about them. There was something very sad and depressing about them. As she entered the front door, she was surprised that she wasn't met with moans and groans, but with the sound of singing. She followed the sound to a large community room.

There, dozens of men and women sat together around a piano, singing songs from their younger days. None of the people looked unhappy. Quite the contrary, they looked joyful and content. Carol moved quietly into the group and began to sing along. Perhaps at last she had found a place where she could be comfortable.

The older segment of our population is a wonderful resource that we have. Too often they are shoved out of the way and not allowed to enjoy their golden years. God loves His oldest children. When they join together, they have a blessed opportunity to continue to grow and enjoy life.

Prayer: Number me among the saints of the body of Christ, O Lord. When I feel like groaning about the way things are, fill my heart with song, instead. Amen.

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December 26

Psalms 149:4

For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.

Jesus looked around at the people of Nazareth. There were people of all kinds there. He knew that He had been sent to them all, but He also knew that there were some who would reject Him. He knew there would also be those who would accept Him readily: His people. His people were the poor and oppressed. They were the slaves and the widows and the orphans. They were the outcasts: prostitutes and tax collectors and lepers. In a world where so much value was placed on beauty, His people were the dregs. But he had something to offer them that would make them beautiful. Through His grace, His people would be elevated to the level of angels, and even higher. In God's wisdom, the last-His people-would be first, and the first would be last. Jesus set out, looking to find His people.

Are we His people? Do we accept Him, and fashion our life to His will, or do we reject Him, continuing to live by our own rules? Christ will beautify the meek with salvation. It is in our meekness that we realize our need for God. Let God beautify you, and you will find His pleasure.

Prayer: Make me meek, Lord. Break my spirit of willfulness and recreate me with Your beauty. Amen.

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12/24/14 4:49 A

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December 24

Psalms 149:1

Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.

Pete took his dinner from the oven and sat down at the table to eat. He hadn't decided whether or not to go to church. For some reason the spirit just didn't seem to be moving him. Maybe he was getting too old for Christmas. As he bowed his head to pray over his meal, he heard the voices of distant carolers singing familiar old Christmas songs. His head flooded with joyous memories of the days of Christmases past. The spirit so absent moments before surged through him. With a lightness of heart, Pete dug into his meal, eating quickly to insure that he wouldn't be late for the Christmas Eve service.

Prayer: Fill my heart with songs of praise and joy. Send the light of the world into my life, and shine forth through me so that others might see how wonderful You are. Amen.

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12/23/14 5:46 A

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December 23

Psalms 148:11-13

Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth... Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.

The wise men never took their eyes from the star. They had spent the better part of their adult lives watching for this very star to usher in the new Messiah. A new age was come upon the earth, and they devoted everything they had to meet it when it started. They had traveled for months, hoping for little more than a glimpse of the new babe who would set the world straight. Three of the most powerful men of the world committed themselves to worshipping the baby Jesus. Nothing was more important in all the world.

Is that true for us? Is Jesus the most important thing in all the world? Christ comes to us anew each Christmas, and we must ask ourselves what He means to us. For some, He will make us willing to give up everything to follow Him. For others, He will make us willing to begin the journey of the faith. Regardless of where we are in our faith, He will come to meet us there, and He will come with love and understanding.

Prayer: Come to me, O Lord. Search my heart to find where I am in my walk of faith. Walk with me, Lord. Help me to make Christ the most important person in my life. Amen.


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12/22/14 3:57 A

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December 22

Psalms 148:5

Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created.

The shepherds sat in their fields, watching over their flocks. The evening was mild, and the night sky was clear. The stars shone brilliantly, especially the one toward Bethlehem. The sheep were calm and silent.

Little did the band of shepherds know that a visit was being planned for them. So great was their devotion, belief, and faithfulness, that they were to be among the first to know of the Messiah's birth. The shepherds had a special tie with their God. They lived each day of their lives close to His creation. The depended upon Him to provide for their needs. They continually praised the name of the Lord, for He took good care of them.

Those who live in close communion with God have a better understanding of His will and His ways. If we will devote ourselves to God, He will reveal Himself to us in so many ways. Rejoice in God's creation. Embrace it, and know God.

Prayer: I wait in anxious anticipation of the coming of Your Son once more. Reveal Him to me in new ways, Lord. Let Him be born in my heart anew. Amen.

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12/22/14 12:42 A

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December 21

Psalms 148:3

Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.

All the children were so disappointed. The snows had been so heavy that the power lines had been knocked out. No Christmas lights twinkled. No record players spun out carols. With the trees unlit, something seemed to be missing.

Then, a wonderful thing happened. The clouds parted, and a huge, glowing moon peeked through. The ice and snow below sparkled with brilliant light. The landscape came alive, and in the breeze, the icicles twinkled in the branches. Children cam forth from every house to see the most spectacular display of lights ever imagined. God had supplied what the power company could not. In all their lives, the children could not hope to find trees and lights more beautiful than the ones God gave them this Christmas.

Prayer: Everything we create, Lord, is a poor imitation of the beauty You have created in nature. Let our lives be lit up with your glorious stars, suns, and moons. Let each of these lights be reminders of Your light. Amen

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12/21/14 1:41 A

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December 20

Psalms 148:2

Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.

Becky was an angel in the school play. She and a group of her friends got to tell the whole world about the birth of baby Jesus. Becky realized what an important part she had. If it weren't for her, the shepherds wouldn't know about Jesus, and the kings wouldn't find their way. No one would watch over Jesus, if it weren't for the angels. Yes, Becky knew that Mary and Joseph were important, but she thought that just maybe the angels were the most important characters in the entire story.

The angels in heaven above are still rejoicing over the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Two thousand years has not diminished their enthusiasm. Likewise, all the angels in heaven above rejoice when there is a soul saved. Let all the earth and all of heaven praise the Lord, for He alone is worthy to be praised.

Prayer: Let my voice join the heavenly host in worshipping and praising Thee, O Lord. Thank You for Your unending love. Amen.

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December 19

Psalms 147:16-17

He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes. He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold?
Toby wasn't afraid of anything, but that made him foolish rather than brave. He had heard the weather forecast and had laughed it off. After all, he was a good driver, and nothing would happen to him as long as he was careful. But the roads were treacherous, and the snow was blinding. He wasn't sure exactly where he was, and the gas gauge was near empty. Toby cursed himself for always thinking he could handle every situation. It was beginning to dawn on him that maybe there were things bigger than he was.

God is too powerful to take lightly. He has created in nature awesome forces, which are much too big for any one person to handle. Winter is a keen reminder of the power of nature. The cold temperatures, the ice and snow, and the darkness; they all add to the tremendous power. The wise woman or man will acknowledge his limitations, conceding to nature its supremacy and admitting to God that he, indeed, reigns above all else.

Prayer: Wisdom is the one thing I lack most often, Lord. Teach me to be honest with myself. Let me do the things I can, but help me to understand what things I cannot do. Amen.


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December 18

Psalms 147:6

The Lord lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.

The message came to the small town: "I will arrive to select one of you to dine with me. Put on your best behavior. You will be judged accordingly." The townspeople knew that Jesus was a special man, and so they dressed in their finest clothes. The merchant stood at the front of the line, followed by the carpenter, the tent maker, and the miller. A poor girl came along and tried to get in line. The merchant shoved her aside and called her a name. The carpenter threatened to hit her, and the tent maker pushed her into the dirt. The miller raised a boot to kick her, but stopped. The four men realized that they were being watched. They looked up to see Jesus watching their behavior. Christ stepped forward and took the girl by the hand. He said, "Come. Dine with me."

To the others, He said, "Depart from me. You know me not, and so I neither know you."

This story was written about 1700 years ago. Though it is not from the Bible, it reflects well the sentiment of God toward the poo r and abused. He will raise up the afflicted, but the abuser will He cast aside. Look kindly upon the poor, viewing them with Christ's own eyes. Then will He be real in you.

Prayer: In my desire to impress You, Lord, let me not neglect my duty to my neighbor. Stretch forth my hands as You would Your own. Help me to help others. Amen

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12/17/14 3:18 A

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December 17

Psalms 147:5

Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding in infinite.

The snow was falling in chunks, now. The blizzard had begun six hours ago, and the world had ground to a holt; at least, the world in northwest New York State. It was astonishing to watch the snow accumulate, not into mounds, but into mountains. Somewhere, Stuart had learned in his childhood that no two snowflakes were ever the same. Incredible! The Lord never ceased to create. Billions of snowflakes fell to earth, and not one matched any other. How could people doubt that some creative force was behind the universe?

When we stop to admire the may miracles in nature, we are met with the indisputable evidence of a mastermind who brought everything into being. The power of the Lord is beyond our comprehension, and His wisdom and understanding are beyond our knowing. We should be thankful that the Lord has given us so much beauty. We are blessed by the Lord's continuing creativity.

Prayer: Dear Father, You have shared so many good things with me. Let me fully appreciate them all. Show me the wonders of this world, and let me receive them with the wonder and amazement of a child. Amen.

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December 15

Psalms 146:9

The Lord preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

Teri had never been on her own before. She had married fresh out of high school, and her husband had taken care of her for twenty years. When he died, she was suddenly faced with making it on her own for the first time in her life. The whole idea frightened her. More than anything else, she was afraid of being alone. She thought she could make it, if only she had someone to turn to for help and consolation.

God is our consolation and help. When we are alone against the world, we most need His strength. He offers us all the help we need, if we will but ask. He loves to help His children, and He will not turn us away.

Prayer: Lord, grant me rest in Your loving arms. I can handle anything, just as long as I know that You are with me. Preserve me in times of weakness and frustration. Amen.

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12/14/14 10:18 P

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December 14

Psalms 146:3

Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

Jack called at meeting in the chairman's absence. During the meeting, he outlined a new proposal for restructuring a part of the firm. It was voted on and approved, ignoring the rules that stated that no action could be taken in the chairman's absence. When the chairman returned, he reconvened the meeting, overturned the decision, and reminded the entire council of their bylaws. Jack was reprimanded for usurping authority that was not his, and things got back to normal.

It is always wise to seek answers from the true authority. Decisions made by people unqualified to make them often end in disaster. When we put our trust in the wrong places, we may end up being hurt. The only safe place to put our trust is in God. He will guide us in our decisions, He will give us sound direction, and He will always be honest and truthful with us.

Prayer: I look to many sources for guidance, Lord, but no one can offer me the help You can. Help me place my total trust in You. Amen.

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12/11/14 4:48 P

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December 11

Psalms 145:2

Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.

Janet, Ann, and Jenny all agreed. This year they were going to get together daily to pray together and share their experiences. Over the past few months they had spent more time in fellowship with one another, and it was the best part of their weeks. They all worked in the same office, ate lunch together, went to church together, and they lived close enough that they could meet at one another's homes when necessary. In covenant with God and one another, they promised to get together for praise and prayer.

Perhaps such a set-up is not feasible for everyone, but it is easier and more enjoyable when we can share our faith with others. Other people hold us accountable to the commitment we make in a way that God does not. He will not force anyone to make time for Him. It is from a willing heart that God wants our time with Him to come. Friends and prayer partners can help us remember God every day, and thereby help us praise Him always.

Prayer: Every day will I praise Thee, Lord. I will try to take time each day to reflect on the great gifts I have been given and the wonderful love that is in my heart. Thank You for that love. Amen.

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12/10/14 10:53 P

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December 10

Psalms 144:3

Lord, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! Or the son of man, that thou makest account of him!

Ricky walked home from school past the front of the church. He noticed that the nativity scene had been set up, so he stopped long enough to check it out. All of the figures towered above him, but one in particular caught his eye. An angel looked down from the roof of the creche, and Ricky thought it was looking right at him. He thought to himself, "I wonder if real angels are watching me right now? I wonder if God is?" Ricky left the nativity scene in awe, thinking maybe he was being watched over, and the thought filled him with joy.

Though we cannot fathom why God would love us so much, He does indeed watch over us. He knows all our movements and thoughts, and He cares deeply about the things we face in life. Know that the Lord is mindful of you, and be glad. In God's sight you are precious.

Prayer: Watch over me, Lord. Thank You for making me important by loving me so much. I am a new person in Your love. Use me to spread Your joy. Amen.

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12/9/14 12:45 A

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December 8

Psalms 143:2

And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.

Claire found fault with everyone. The mailman was always late, the grocery clerk was always slow, the paperboy was always rude, the minister was always boring, her friends were always too loud, too quiet, too fat, too skinny, too immoral, too prudish. In Claire's eyes, no one was really worth much at all.

Forgiveness was one word which was not found in Claire's vocabulary. She could not forgive people for being human. Luckily, God does acknowledge our humanness, and He loves us just the same. God has yet to see the perfect human being, apart from Jesus Christ, but that doesn't change His feeling for us. When we see others through the eyes of God's love, then we find that we can accept their failings and love them as they are.

Prayer: Help to find the lovable in all people, Lord. Destroy in me the tendency to be judgmental. Instead, teach me new ways to affirm others and spread Your grace. Amen

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12/7/14 11:51 P

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December 7

Psalms 142:7

Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

Mikhail was released after seven years in prison. Because of his political views, he had been detained in a small cell, isolated from the other prisoners. His only human contact had been with his jailer, who brought him food once a day. Walking into the sunlight, Mikhail lifted his head skyward, tears flowed down his cheeks, and he began praising God. Many thought he had gone mad in captivity, but others knew that he was merely giving thanks to the one who had sustained him through his imprisonment.

When we find ourselves trapped by situations that have no end in sight, we need to draw on the courage and power of the Lord Jesus Christ. He will enable us to survive any trial, whether it be long or short. We have the assurance that God is greater than any problem that might arise. Call upon the Lord, and He will life you up.

Prayer: Lord, I need to feel Your presence near me. Alone, I get so tired and afraid. This life has many trials that I'm not ready to deal with. Free me from the captivity of my fears and doubts, and empower me to praise Your name always. Amen

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12/6/14 3:55 A

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December 6

Psalms 142:4

I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed m e: no man cared for my soul.

Terry knew he was in big trouble. He had stolen the test answers along with three of his friends, but they all took off, and he was the only one caught. He tried to tell the principal, but all he got was a lecture on not getting his friends in trouble and facing his punishment like a man. His friends had not intention of coming forth with the truth. He was alone in this mess, and there was no one to bail him out.

Often friends desert us, allies are hard to find, and we stand alone in what we do, right or wrong. Sometimes we face the music for sins we have committed. Other times we stand alone for something we believe in. Comfort comes to us when we realize that, no matter how many earthly friends desert us, God is always standing right beside us. We need face no trial alone. Whether we have sinned or stood up for what is right, God will be near to us, to protect and defend.

Prayer: Lord, I need to have You near me. I feel alone and abandoned sometimes. Stand with me, hold me in Your arms, and fill me with Your love. Amen.

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12/5/14 2:22 A

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December 4

Psalms 141:5

Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.

"You were really out of line back there."

Alan looked over at Barbara and nodded. He had been angry about a mix-up at the bank and had taken out his wrath on a poor, innocent teller. His temper often got him into hot water. Without a word, the two turned around and headed back to the bank. Though the line was long, Alan waited until he could return to the same teller, where he then apologized.

We need to have loving friends around us who will let us know when we are doing something wrong. If we are to grow, we need to have our shortcomings pointed out to us, so we can turn our weaknesses into strengths. Loving, constructive criticism will not hurt us; in fact, it will make us feel better. Love each other enough to criticize, for in caring criticism is the seed of maturity.

Prayer: I do so many foolish things. I allow my own emotions to get the best of me at times. Channel my passions into constructive streams, and show me the better ways to go. Amen.

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12/3/14 3:59 P

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December 3

Psalms 141:4

Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.

The company had been after some low-income housing property for over a year. They hoped to put the new headquarters in what was fast becoming the disgrace of the city. Minority families lived in an apartment complex that had gone in ruin. Now, three weeks before Christmas, the company took ownership. The task ahead was to get the tenants moved out; the sooner, the better. As David sat looking at the notices, he felt sick to his stomach. He knew what the property meant to the company, but he also thought about what the housing meant to the people. He poised his pen over the notices a number of times, but something would not allow him to sign them. After hours of struggle, David turned in the blank notices, along with a resignation letter that stated he could not in good conscience continue to work for a firm with such shady values. Walking into the wintry air, David found that he was not sorry to leave, but that Christmas had come a little early.

Prayer: Help me to stand firm against that which is evil. Let me not kid myself into believing that I can remain unaffected by the wickedness that surrounds me. Guide me to new avenues by which I might do good. Amen.


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12/2/14 11:24 P

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December 2

Psalms 140:12

I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.

John sat back in his chair, folded his arms, and said, "Look, if poor and starving people were doing what they were supposed to, they wouldn't be having the problems they do! God would take care of them if they were worth taking care of."

As cruel and narrow as they may sound, comments like these are made all the time. Somehow, some people believe that the poor and needy in our world are that way because they've done something to deserve it. They figure God would solve the problem if it was supposed to be solved. They don't realize that God is trying to solve the problem, but that the solution involves us. We are God's eyes, hands, and feet. He has blessed us with the resources needed to solve the problem. All that remains is for us to find the love and compassion within ourselves to make God's plan a reality. As we prepare to share in the blessings of Christmas, it is good to think of ways we might repay the Lord for the greatest gift ever given. How better can we return thanks for the life of Christ, than to share in saving the life of another?

Prayer: As Your Son came into this world to save, so send me, that I might help give life to those in need. Use me to solve the problem of poverty. Amen.

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11/30/14 11:51 P

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November 30

Psalms 140:7

God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.

Larry had to face the fact: His surgery was less than three days away, and he was scared. He'd hardly been sick a day in his life, and now he was preparing to go under the knife for heart surgery. Nothing had ever prepared him for something like this. He lay back and closed his eyes and began to pray. As he did, an image came into his mind. He was dressed as a soldier, and the surgery ahead was a foe to defeat. But, Larry didn't stand alone. God was with him, and beside the awesome image of God, the foe didn't look large at all. When Larry ended his prayer, he opened his eyes with a renewed sense of hope and a heart that was strangely calm. The Lord had prepared him for battle, and Larry felt that it was already won.

Prayer: Lord, I put my trust in You. As I face the challenges of everyday life, help me to remember that You stand with me, supplying my strength and my courage. Amen.

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11/28/14 5:08 P

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November 28

Psalms 139:23-24

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Carrie hated criticism. She wanted to be a good journalist, but she hated to feel she wasn't good enough. He editor kept turning her pieces away, forcing her to write and rewrite a half-dozen times. Now, she had done the piece of her life. Never had she been so proud of her work before, and she was afraid to show it to her editor for fear of what he might say. The only thing was, if she didn't show him and get his comments, how could she ever hope to get better? With all her courage and resolution, Carrie marched into the editor's office to see what he thought.

To grow means to be willing to change. God has great things in mind for us, but we must be able to accept criticism and guidance. The Lord can only do with us what we allow Him to. Examine yourself daily in the light of Christ, willing to see the flaws and weaknesses, and ask God to help you change. The results may surprise you.

Prayer: Lord, make me over and over again, until I begin to resemble the dream You have for me. Break down my defensiveness and my walls of resistance. Help me to grow, Lord. Amen.

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11/27/14 3:00 A

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November 26

Psalms 139:14

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

The potter sat at his wheel, turning the clay into beautiful pots. It was hypnotizing to watch. After a time, the pot looked as though it were emerging directly from the potter's hand. With love and care, the potter put his style and mark on every piece he created. Each piece was different, but each bore the striking mark of its maker.

We, too, are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are individual, yet we bear the stamp of our maker. God's image dwells within us all. With love and care we are fashioned, emerging from the Father's hand, and one day we will return to Him, where we will be afforded a place of honor and love. God's works are marvelous, and His Spirit fills them all.

Prayer: By Your hands I came into being. Make me useful, Lord, to do that which I was created for. Then, when the time comes, I may stand before You, fulfi lled and confident that I have served You well. Amen

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11/26/14 1:36 A

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November 25

Psalms 139:12

Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

Sam stuck close to his dad. The old building was dark, and Sam wasn't sure what might be out in that darkness. All he knew for sure was that his dad was big and brave, and he wasn't afraid of the dark. Sam hoped that one day he would be like his dad: able to walk in darkness just like he would in broad daylight.

Our Lord goes with us into the dark times of our lives. He holds us by the hand and lets us know that we have nothing to fear. Darkness and light are the same to the Lord. He will lead us through our times of fear and bring us back into the light every time.

Prayer: When I am fearful, Lord, I will reach out to You. Walk with me through the dark times. Fill me with your courage. Teach me to walk in Your light always. Amen.

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11/24/14 1:04 A

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November 23

Psalms 139:7

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from they presence?

Benjy ran away from home about three times a week. His mother always left the door unlocked, counted to a hundred, then listened to hear the door creak open and Benjy's soft footsteps on the hallway carpet. Benjy always got to the end of the block, assessed his options, realized he didn't have any, and headed for home.

We're all Benjys now and then. We wonder why God isn't doing all He ought to be doing, we get discouraged, and then we turn away a little bit. But, just like Benjy, when we look at the options, we find that nothing comes close to our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherever we go, whatever we do, whatever our need might be, God is right there with us. Nothing can do for us what God can. We might as well stay home, because we can't ever have it any better than we have it right now.

Prayer: I may think that other solutions will work in dealing with my life's problems, Lord , but bring me back to the realization that nothing will do more for me than You can. There is nowhere that I would rather be than with You. Amen.

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11/22/14 8:31 A

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November 22

Psalms 138:4

For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.

Kirk loved working with the young actors and actresses. They had such enthusiasm, and they wanted so hard to please. Kirk had many offers to move on to more "serious" theater opportunities, but he always chose to stay with the high school crowd. Little did it matter that each opening night gave him gray hairs. He died every time one of his kids muffed a line, but the feeling of triumph after every show made it worthwhile. He would live and die for his kids. He loved them.

Like the director of a play who knows all his actors' lines by heart, so God knows the thoughts and words we possess. He stands anxiously, waiting to see if we will use our mouths to glorify and uplift, or if we will muff our lines and turn to other things. He always knows what he would like us to say, but He still allows us the freedom to choose what will actually come out. Let us use our tongues to the glory and honor of God. Proclaim the love of God, and you'll never muff a line.

Prayer: O Lord, may the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be truly acceptable in Thy sight, for You are the source of my strength, and my salvation. Amen.


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11/21/14 2:17 A

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November 20

Psalms 139:1

O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

Kent really wanted the new security job. The aeronautics company was one of the largest, and was considered to be the up-and-coming industry leader. His job could possible become one of the most important around. He sat down at the desk of his interviewer. The man pulled out Kent's file, which appeared to be about three hundred pages thick. The company had sent a team of investigators to find out everything they could about Kent. Though he knew it was necessary, he couldn't help feeling a little angry and alarmed that they were able to find out so much about him. It was frightening to see someone hold your life's stories and secrets in his hands.

Our Lord holds the complete file on each and every one of us. He knows us much better than we even know ourselves. Yet, that is nothing to be alarmed about. In His infinite love, He has forgiven us for all that we have done wrong, and he is able to help us in our deepest need.

Prayer: It is strange to think that You know me so well, Lord, but I am thankful that You do. Only someone who knows me as You do could possible understand what I go through and what I need. Thank You. Amen.


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11/20/14 12:40 A

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November 19

Psalms 138:7

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wil t revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.

Chet and Alex had been great friends since elementary school. Now they were starting together on the high school football team; Alex the star running back, and Chet his number one blocker. Chet opened the holes to let Alex get running room, and Alex took off. Throughout their lives together, things had worked pretty much the same way. Chet was always looking out for Alex, making sure he was okay. Together they were an unbeatable pair.

Life sometimes feels like a football game. We've got the ball, and everybody else is out to flatten us. In that case, we want to have the best blocker in front of us that we can. God will assume that role for us, if we ask Him to. God sticks with us in the midst of trouble. He picks us up when we fall, He reaches out to help us along when we get bogged down, and He clears our way to deal with problems rather than let us be beaten by them. Nothing can harm us so long as God is on our side.

Prayer: There are days, Lord, when I feel like I'm losing ground all the time. I get tired of trying so hard to make things work out and feeling like they just get worse. When I face those times, O God, be with me to lift me up and make me a conquer. Amen.

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11/17/14 11:49 P

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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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11/16/14 4:56 A

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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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11/16/14 2:33 A

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November 15

Psalm 137:8

O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou served us.

"Doesn't God care? Why do evil people get away with all the things they do?"The question is asked almost every day. Evil seems to be having its way all the time. Don't worry. God sees everything, and He will not forget what evil people have done. Our God, though a God of love, is a God of justice. He will reward those who honor Him, and he will punish those who have rejected Him and His ways. We are responsible for the way God will deal with us. If we choose to ignore Him, we cannot hope for good things, but if we pursue God with all our hearts, we will experience blessing and joy beyond measure.

Prayer: I know that You care, and I know that You will do right by all who love You. Give me patience to accept what seems unfair now. Make me deserving Your grace. 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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11/13/14 1:45 P

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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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11/11/14 11:28 P

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November 11

Psalms 136:3-13

O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. . . .To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Tracey sat thinking about her troubles. Her mother kept telling her to pray about them, but she didn't know whether that would do any good or not. She wanted to believe, but it seemed a little far-fetched to think praying would really do anything. She wasn't even sure that her prayers got through.

Doubt is a killer. It kills faith. Our God is the God who freed the Hebrew people from captivity in Egypt. He parted the waters and let the chosen people through before washing away the Egyptian army. If God could handle the trials of an entire people, then He can handle what we lift up to Him. Give thanks to the Lord, and trust Him with your every though. His mercy does endure forever.

Prayer: Hear me, Lord, as I pray for your guidance and help me in my life. I cannot handle all of the problems that come my way, and I need to know You stand with me. Give me that assurance. Amen.

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11/10/14 7:26 P

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November 10

Psalm 136:2, 7

O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. . . .To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Griffin had gone through college as an atheist. No one could get him to believe that there was a God out there somewhere who made everything go. That was before he began working with the space program. The more he saw the scope and majesty of the cosmos, the more convinced he was that there had to be someone out there who authored all the miracles he saw. To see the power of a billion suns shining through millions of miles of space boggled the mind. They couldn't have just happened. Some great mind had to have a part in bringing it all about. Griffin had come far. His briefcase was always packed with pictures and books, but no book was more important than the Bible that never left his side.

People who don't believe in God reject Him, not because they know so much, but because they just haven't learned enough. Even in the most scientific and complex equation, God can be found. Wisdom comes not when we say we know all we need to, but when we admit there is much left to learn. Open your heart and mind to God, and watch the universe unfold.

Prayer: A billion stars pierce the infinite darkness of space. Surely Your light can break through the darkness of my ignorance. Shine the light of true wisdom through me, Lord, and let me share in Your glory. Amen.


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11/9/14 12:03 A

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November 8

Psalm 135:5

For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.

Brooke had tried everything. She had started in business, done quite well, then the bottom dropped out. Broke and disillusioned, she moved home with her parents. There she began attending church and studying the Word. Then she was offered a job with a large corporation, and she jumped at the chance. It didn't work out the way she expected, nor did the relationship she got involved in with one of her co-workers. Disillusioned once more, she returned to her hometown. Once more she involved herself with the church, and she was amazed to realize who much she had missed it. The problems she'd been having didn't seem so great anymore. Without even realizing it, Brooke had been developing a faith that helped her through. While everything else in her life changed, mostly for the worse, God stayed the same, and He was waiting to embrace His prodigal daughter the minute she returned.

Our Lord is great, and His love is far beyond our comprehension. No earthly temptation that we try to elevate to the status of a god can ever compare with the one true God. He alone can make our lives worthwhile.

Prayer: You have changed my life for the better, Father, and I will never again turn from the blessings You alone can supply. Please let nothing ever come between me and Your love. Amen.

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11/8/14 2:22 A

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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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11/7/14 1:58 A

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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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11/6/14 1:57 A

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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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11/5/14 2:45 A

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November 4

Psalm 132:9

Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy.

Reverend Fields felt very strongly about the matter. If a person was going to be a representative of the church, he needed to live a clean and upright life. Leaders need to lead by example, therefore church leaders ministered to others by the way they lived their lives. If a person wasn't ready to steer clear of questionable activities, then maybe he wasn't ready to step into a key role in the church.

All Christians assume the responsibility of being an example of nonbelievers. It is an awesome task, but one we must assume. Christ call us to a life of perfection. Each day we should strive harder to be more perfect than we were the day before. With God's help, we can clothe ourselves in righteousness, thus sending the message that to be Christian means to be different from the rest of the world. In Christ we are made new. Our newness is a light for all the world to see.

Prayer: Clothe me in Your righteousness, Lord, and make me an example of a new life in Christ. Let me serve You through my actions. Move me onward toward perfection. Amen.

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11/4/14 1:03 A

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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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11/2/14 10:49 P

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November 2

Psalm 131:2

Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.

Thomas got so sick of his sister telling him to grow up and act his age. Sure, he blew his temper sometimes, but so what? Everybody does. Who did she thing she was, telling him to grow up? He was plenty grown-up. It was other people who needed to grow up, not him. Anybody who thought differently just didn't know what he was talking about.

At some point in our lives, we pass from thinking only of ourselves to thinking of others. We become less defensive and more peaceful. We admit when we are wrong, and we affirm others in their opinions. The Apostle Paul says that we must come to a place in our lives where we put aside childish things. Christian maturity comes when we begin to think less of self, more of those around us. There are times in all our lives where the message is clear: We need to grow up.

Prayer: Help me to grow and mature in my faith, Lord. Turn my attention to the needs of others. Turn my selfishness into selflessness. Amen.

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11/2/14 1:31 A

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November 1

Psalm 131:1

Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.

When John had started out, all his superiors told him that he was destined to go far in the firm. Now they all shook their heads in wonder that he had never climbed the corporate ladder. John just smiled to himself. Dog-eat-dog was fine for some, but John was content to just do the work he loved. He didn't care what anyone else thought, he was happy, and that was worth more than all the prestige in the world.

Grow where you're planted, the saying goes. When you find a place of contentment, guard it. Don't be ready to throw it away for what may or may not be better. Too often we get into situations over our heads, and then it is too late to go back. God will not be impressed by your fame or wealth. What pleases the Lord is someone who uses his talents and makes peace for himself in the work that he does.

Prayer: Make my aspiratio ns for myself realistic and worthwhile. Help me to keep my wits about me, to do the things I like rather than those things that are done merely to impress others. Amen.

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October 31

Psalm 130:5

I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

Elizabeth sat by her nightstand, reading from her Bible. Each night before bed, she read from the Scriptures. She always claimed that the key to a long and happy life was to keep in contact with God. Each night as she turned out the light, Elizabeth smiled to herself. She wondered how much longer she would live, but not with any fear or dread. She knew that her heavenly home was waiting for her, and that thought held only comfort. As she drifted off to sleep, she prayed for God's will to be done, and she knew in her heart that it would be.

Prayer: Lord, do Your will in my life. If I live but one more day, help me make it the best day of my life. If I live for years, help me to fill them with peace, joy, contentment, and service. Amen.

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10/29/14 1:56 A

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October 28

Psalms 129:3

The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows.

The rookie lawyer made his case, than sat down feeling very pleased with himself. Then the fireworks began. The defense picked apart every argument he made and humiliated him before judge and jury. The judge pulled him aside and told him to put in more time next time, and the opposing lawyer just laughed and thanked him for making his job so easy. With tail tucked between his legs, the young lawyer beat a hasty retreat.

There will be days when things don't just go wrong, they self-destruct totally. When we feel we've gone as low as we possible can, something else comes along to drive us deeper still. From those depths there is only one place to turn: God. He has seen all, He knows how you feel, and He patiently waits to take you into His arms to comfort and soothe you. When we feel pushed beyond our ability to cope, it is good to know God is there.

Prayer: In times of total darkness, shine Your light into my life. Help me to pick myself up and start again. Give me strength, Lord. Amen.

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October 27

Psalm 129:2

Many a time have they afflicted me f rom my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me.

Saundra was handicapped. Her hands were twisted beyond usefulness, and she had lived with them since birth. They caused her not only physical pain, but emotional anguish as well. Throughout her childhood, cruel children had mocked her. The damage done to her self-esteem was immense, and for a long period she believed that she could never do anything. In college she had met a friend who led her to Christ. In Christ she found a new desire to succeed and beat her affliction. She received a Master's degree in Therapy and Handicapped Services and became national spokeswoman for a handicap-awareness campaign. Though her detractors had always had something to say, Saundra prevailed and rose above her handicap.

The Lord gives us all the ability to rise above the things that limit us. If we will only lean upon Him, He will give us the will and drive to succeed in every situation. His power can be our power when we call upon His holy name.

Prayer: There are times, dear Lord, when I feel I don't amount to much. My self-image is bruised, and my determination is crushed. Be with me in those times, and lift me up. Amen.

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10/26/14 2:39 A

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October 25

Psalm 127: 4, 5

As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak wi th the enemies in the gate.

Beverly belonged to a large family. Friends of hers always told her how sorry they were for her being the middle child of nine, but she could never quite understand their sympathy. She lived having lots of sisters and brothers. They were all close, and she never felt lonely or unsupported. Contrary to her friends' belief that there would be less love because it was spread so thin, there was all the more. Beverly couldn't imagine being loved more than she was by her whole family.

God gave families as a blessing. Not only blood families, but church families also qualify as blessings of love. Anyone can belong to a family in God's world, for we are all His family. All it takes is to reach out to others. There is strength, safety, and joy in numbers. The closer we unite, the stronger we will be.

Prayer: Draw me close to my sisters and brothers in Christ, O Lord. Expand my family each and every day. Teach me to reach out to those around me. Fill me with a love that never fails. 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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10/24/14 2:54 A

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October 23

Psalm 127:1

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

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

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

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


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10/23/14 1:47 A

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October 22

Psalm 126:5

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

Just when Amy thought her work might go down the drain, a miracle came through. Working with the poor in Atlanta was the best job and the worst job she had ever had. She specifically worked in drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and there was nothing more gratifying than getting someone back on his feet. Yet, for every one that got cleaned up, there were a dozen more in need. Money was tight, and things didn't look good. Amy went home at night and cried for all the work left undone and all the people in misery. Then, the grant came through: Enough money to keep the doors open for a year. Amy felt like God truly did care about what she was doing. All the sweat and tears paid off?Joy that comes to us in times of despair is twice as sweet. When we care intensely about our world and the people in it, we will be moved to tears, and at times we will even feel like giving up. Thankfully, the tears will turn to joy, for all is in God's hands. He will transform this old world and make all things new. Those who care most deeply will rejoice all the more. Take heart!

Prayer: Help me to see a brighter future for my world, O Lord. I get discouraged when it seems like evil triumphs so much of the time. Show me the good, Father. Amen.

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10/21/14 12:18 A

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October 20

Psalm 125:4

Do good, O Lord, unto those that be good, and to them that are upright in their hearts.

Mrs. Hendricks was the most popular music teacher around. Young and old alike hired her to teach them how to play and sing. Actually, the only thing Mrs. Hendricks did differently from other teachers was to make you feel good about what you were trying to do. She complimented, encouraged, and affirmed at every possible opportunity.

We like to be around people who make us feel good. We all need to be affirmed and supported. We look to the Lord for approval, because we want more than anything for Him to be proud of us. He is. When we try to live upright and holy lives, we are doing that which makes Him happiest. He will continually bless those who do good, for to them belongs the Kingdom of God.

Prayer: Help me know that I'm on the right track, dear God. Let me know that what I am trying to do pleases You. Keep me ever in Your care. Amen.

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10/19/14 10:50 P

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Awesome. I love how the Lord surrounds me with His love. He is my protection.

Darlene

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


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October 19

Psalm 125:2

As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.

Peggy love the island. Her grandfather had purchased the land and built a cottage on it before the first World War. Now it was hers, and she felt safe and surrounded and at home. Some of her friends thought it would be unpleasant to be completely surrounded by water, but she said it was just like having a private moat. To Peggy, this was a paradise.

For some people, being surround is a great source of security. Our Lord awaits to surround us in His love. From time immemorial, the Lord has gathered His children to Himself, encircling them in His protective care. We are held in that circle today. Rejoice that the Lord is near. He protects and defends us, and will continue to do so forever.

Prayer: Circle me in Your love, Lord. Surround me and keep me safe, I pray, and help me to draw others to You. Amen.

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October 18

Psalm 124:7

Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are expected.

Clifford was a strange man. He served his country in Vietnam and spent three years as a prisoner of war. While a prisoner, he amazed his companions by never complaining about their situation. In fact, when questioned about it, he smiled and said, "I'm not really here, anyway." Once Cliff returned to the States, he shared what he had meant. Each day he sat against the stone wall and began listing in his mind all the places he had ever been that he had loved. He pictured those places, and he selected a different one every day. In his mind he journeyed to the beloved spots and he turned off the reality around him.

As Christians, we need to do the same thing. We're not from here. Our true home is with God in heaven. When the reality around us gets too intense and hard to handle, we should turn our thoughts to God. We can be liberated from the trap if we will only call upon the Lord. God offers us a way to escape the harshness of our earthly life by entering into quiet time with H im. Reach out. His peace awaits.

Prayer: Rescue me from the craziness around me. Be my refuge when life gets too hectic. Lift me out of the race and grant me rest. Amen.

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October 17

Psalm 123:3
Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.

The Greens couldn't tolerate the Reds, because the Reds read their Bibles out loud. The Reds couldn't stand the Blues because they sang too many songs and they didn't always sing words the Reds knew. The Blues didn't like the Golds, because the Golds never did any mission work, and the Golds didn't like anybody else, because no one else took in a much money on a Sunday morning.

The things we let divide us! God shakes His head in disbelief at the contempt we hold for others who don't quite agree with us. We live a country where there are almost three hundred different denominations, all claiming to have a special understanding of the Christian Gospel. What is more important than any point of faith is that we love one another, and that we treat one another accordingly. We need to ask God's forgiveness for our bent toward judging others. Each of us has enough to keep us busy with his own faith. When we start pointing fingers at others, that's when we prove positively that our own faith is in serious need of help.

Prayer: Have mercy upon me, Lord. I apologize for all the times I have judged another person's faith, when my own faith is in such need of help. Remove the enormous plank from my own eye, O God, that I might truly begin to see. Amen.


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October 16

Psalm 123:2

Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy up on us.

Ryan had trained dogs for almost thirty years. A lot of people didn't like his tactics, because he demanded that the animals learn respect fast. He never raised his voice, but he was quick to discipline with sharp, painful shots to the rump and muzzle. Within a few short days, his dogs knew what was expected of them and what they could expect if they disobeyed. By the turn of a hand, Ryan was able to make his dogs do most anything.

As we wait upon the Lord, we should think about what is expected of us and how well we are doing what we should. We know what is expected of us, and we know what might befall us in our disobedience. We look expectantly to God, and it is right that we should, but we should also look at ourselves to see that we are doing all we know we ought to be.

Prayer: Have mercy upon me, Lord, in my disobedience. I am trying to learn Your will for my life. Help me to grow in all of Your ways. Amen.

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