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4/23/18 5:28 P

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April 23

Psalms 47

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

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

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

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

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4/22/18 4:14 A

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April 22

Psalms 46:10

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I w ill be exalted in the earth.

The city was roaring with noise. Car horns blasted, construction noise filled the air, radios blared, people shouted. As the day wore on, the noise steadily increased. After a while, you adjusted. It wasn't until you were able to move into a quiet place that you realized how loud the noise had been. In the silence, everything seemed to change. Waves of calm and quiet rolled in. The silence was a little alarming and unsettling. In the silence, thoughts could creep out and be heard.

God comes to us in silence. We have lost the art of being still. Everything is rush, rush, rush, and few people take time to be still. Noise provides us with a place to hide, where we don't have to face ourselves. Heavy schedules block honest reflection and renewal. Only through the still times in our lives can we hope for God to break through to help us make sense of our lives. Be still, and know that God is there.

Prayer: The day closes in on me, Lord, and I feel myself buried beneath a heavy layer of noise and activity. Break me free of the bondage of commotion. Bless me with quiet and peace. Amen.

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4/20/18 5:18 A

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April 20

Psalms 46

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

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

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

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4/20/18 2:47 A

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April 19

Psalms 45:17

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

The sculptor looked at the piece of stone and thought. His mind whirled at the possibilities the stone presented. He could make anything he wanted. He could carve out great beauty. He could create a monument to himself. He could immortalize a great figure from history. He could sculpt a statement of power and dignity. His mind danced with imagination. He began to dream of the ultimate statement he could make. He looked into the sky and saw the glories there. He looked at the trees and flowers. He watched people walking past. He thought of waterfalls and rainbows and beautiful music. His heart swelled full, then sank. What could be possibly carve into stone that would do justice to the world of wonder he lived in? He set about his carving, working with great care and determination. After days of labor and love, he unveiled the greatest work his life could offer. Three letters, finely shaped, lovingly created. The greatest legacy the artist could give. The name was GOD.

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

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4/18/18 12:39 P

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April 18

Psalms 44:20-21

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

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

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

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

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4/17/18 6:22 P

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April 17

Psalms 43:3

O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.

The tiny lighthouse sat out upon the rocky shore. Without fail, its bright beacon pierced the night, and its bellowing horn echoed from the rocks, warning ships of dangers and perils. Countless boats strayed off course in dense fog, to be steered from danger by the tiny lighthouse.

True light, sent out through the clouds and darkness, can save lives. A voice speaking the truth of Christ has real power behind it; the power of salvation. Be proud of who you are and all that Christ has done for you. It matters little whether you are big, strong, smart, or powerful. What matters is that you have the truth of Christ to share, and there is no greater force in all creation.

Prayer: May my light shine in the darkness until all darkness ceases to be. Let me reflect Your divine light, Lord, clearing away the fog and helping others come into the safety of Your love. Amen.


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4/16/18 3:42 P

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April 16

Psalms 42:5

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

Philip fidgeted in the starting block. This was his race. Everyone said he was the favorite. He knew he could win, but something in him was causing quite a stir. His nerves were on fire. He tried to pray, but he felt like he was getting a busy signal. He knew that God was with him, but still he felt nervous. The starter was lifting his pistol. Soon it would be over, and the time for nervousness gone.

There are times when we feel anxiety that will not easily be gotten rid of. That's all right. Even in those times. God is with us. Trust in the Lord, and He will guide you. It is not so important that we feel His presence with us as it is that we have faith in His being with us always. Feelings come and go, but the presence of God in our lives never changes.

Prayer: Be with me, Father, in tense times as well as calm. Let me sense Your loving arms around me, but when I don't help me to remember that You are there, anyway. Amen.


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4/15/18 3:04 A

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April 14

Psalms 41

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

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

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

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

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4/12/18 4:13 A

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April 12

Psalms 40:2

He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.

Gina held onto the branch for dear life. The floodwaters swirled around her, pulling at her, threatening to carry her off in the raging torrent. The pouring rain blinded her, and large clumps of mud kept bumping into her. Her arms ached and throbbed. The last of her strength gave out, but as she let the branch slip through her fingers, a strong hand gripped her wrist. Gina felt herself slide up onto the bank of the swollen river, and she spread herself out to feel the firm ground beneath her.

There are days that feel like a struggle for life. How wonderful it would be to have someone come along and lift us up out of the struggle. God can do that. His Spirit renews and strengthens us. Through the loving power of God, we are pulled out of the darkest pit and set upon solid ground.

Prayer: Lord, hear me as I call out to You. Whether my prob lems are huge or tiny, I find I need Your help to get me through. Pull me up into Your loving arms, and surround me in Your love. Amen.


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4/10/18 5:09 P

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April 10

Psalms 38:13

But I, as a deaf man, hear not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.

Simon Peter became the cornerstone of the church, but only after facing some tremendous trials. Jesus walked with His disciples for almost three years, and during that time He taught many things. Peter, who listened intently to all He said, never really understood what He meant until Jesus returned from the grave. When he called upon to affirm his faith in Jesus, he denied Him three times.

We can be so much like Simon Peter. We listen, but we do not hear. We have opportunity to testify to the glory of the Lord, and we keep silent. The Lord wants us to know Him. completely and share our faith with all we meet. Hear what the Lord has to say, and proclaim it with your mouth and with your actions.

Prayer: Break through the thick cloud of confusion that so often covers us, Lord, and speak through us when we have the opportunity to share Your Good News. Amen.

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4/9/18 1:27 A

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April 8

Psalms 37:11

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

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

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

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4/7/18 6:56 A

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April 7

Psalms 37:8

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

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

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

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


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April 6

Psalms 37:4

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

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

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

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

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April 5

Psalms 36:7

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

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

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

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

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April 4

Psalms 35:4

Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.

Tommy was an angry young man. He took every opportunity to vent his anger at those around him. Anytime he felt the least bit put upon, he would lash out, trying to make others feel pain the way he felt it. Usually people would rather fight back, but occasionally someone would merely take Tommy's assault. At those times, Tommy felt a little ashamed and sorry for his actions.

There are many unhappy people living in the world today. The saying goes, misery loves company. Miserable people spread their misery around. On the other hand, people who possess joy can also share it. Our God shines forth His blessed light in order to destroy the darkness of anger and shame. As Christians, we should reach out in love, not only to those who care for us and build us up, but also to those who devise our unhappiness. They are the ones who need it most.

Prayer: My Lord, You have filled my heart with Your love. Whenever I see sadness, let me try to meet it with a measure of Your joy. Amen.

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April 3

Psalms 35

Plead my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.

We need friends and supporters. Jesus sent the disciples out two by two because He knew how important it was to have someone to share with and to support. Standing alone, we feel like our strength is limited, but the someone else by our side, new reserves of strength surface. Psychologically, we need confirmation that what we believe in is true. Just one other person can give us all the confirmation we need.

It is good to remember that our Lord strives along beside us, never leaving us, pleading our cause at every step. He understands us, loves us, and never turns away from us. Because of the mighty love of God, we can be assured that we are never alone.

Prayer: Lord, be with me this day. Support me in the things I desire to do, and help me to always follow the right path. Amen.

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March 31

Psalms 34:13

Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.

Before she could stop herself, the words were out of her mouth. She hadn't meant to say anything, but all her friends were talking, so she put in her thoughts. Trouble was, when she began speaking, the girl they were bad-mouthing walked into the room. Actually, she liked the girl, but now any chance they had of being friends was ruined. All because she had been thoughtless and cruel.

James says that our tongues are mighty rudders, guiding the body where it will go. We should be very careful of the words that come out of our mouths. We can do the greatest good, and the most terrible evil, by the use of our mouths. Christians should let the truth and grace of Christ govern their language. Otherwise, terrible problems can occur. Let our words reflect our commitment to Christ, and God will bless us and defend us.

Prayer: Watch me, Lord, that I don't use my gifts for evil. Help me to use my mouth only for praise and encouragement, and keep me from saying things which could hurt someone or lessen their faith. Amen.


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March 29

Psalms 33:6

By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

With a simple breath, inhale and exhale, the Lord brought magnificence into creation. The stars planets that revolve through space came forth on the breath of the Lord. The host, heavenly and earthly, sprang from His mouth . Our world and every last thing in it came into being by His Word. How can the splendor and mystery of our God ever be denied? Our Lord is above all things, and there is nothing that is beyond His control. His breath is within us; the breath of all life. Rejoice.

Prayer: Creator, Your imagination has yielded wonders beyond our comprehension. We stand in awe before Your mighty power. Thank You for finding a place in all of this for me. Your love shines forth throughout all of Your creation. Praise be unto You. Amen.

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March 28

Psalms 33:3

Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.

I looked at my watch through bleary eyes, to see that it was just after five in the morning. Downstairs a horrendous noise shook the whole house. I stumbled along to find out what was happening. In the family room, the two small children of friends of mine stood, one with a drum, one with a harmonica; a hymnal spread out in front of them. They were, to their way of thinking, playing a selection of inspirational greats. I couldn't help but smile. At first, the children thought I might be mad at them, but their worry faded as I entered the room and began to sing along with their cacophony. Noisy it was, but is was definitely joyful. I'm sure it was the best the Lord heard all day!

Prayer: I make sure that I take time out of this day to lift my voice to You in praise and worship. Fill my heart with songs to Your glory. Remind me of all I should be thankful for. Amen.


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March 27

Psalms 32:9

Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.

Miriam did exactly as she pleased, whether it was wise or not. Her stubborn streak was a mile wide, and no one could dissuade her, once her mind was made up. On many occasions she had been hurt simply because she refused to use good sense. Each lesson she encountered she chose to ignore, so very little growing ever took place. In time Miriam grew bitter and angry because her unhappiness grew.

Let's face it: We need guidance. Our willfulness gets us into trouble when we refuse to unite it with common sense. Our Lord is the author of good sense and levelheadedness. It only makes sense that we should turn our lives over to Him. He is faithful to guide and direct us. He teaches and nurtures us, enabling us to be the best that we can be.

Prayer: Break my willful pride, O Lord, and let me recognize my limitations. Nee ding guidance is not weakness. Help me to see the strength which can only come from depending on You. Amen.


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March 26

Psalms 32:3

When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.

Agnes drank way too much. If anyone ever mentioned it, she got very defensive and came up with all kinds of arguments to prove that she didn't. She had argued so many times, so many ways, that even she had begun to believe her own tales. The trouble was, the mirror didn't lie. Every time she took a look in the mirror, an older, ill-looking woman stared back. Perhaps the woman in the mirror did have a problem, but not Agnes.

We can only deny our sins so long before they catch up with us. The Lord wants us to confess our sins, to repent of them, and to fill our lives with other things that will not do us harm. He created life to be lived to its fullest, not be to destroyed. God gives life, not us. We have no right to devalue God's great beauty. Confess sin, and God will renew your life.

Prayer: Why do I do such stupid things, Lord? I have so much, I guess I take it for granted. Let me be honest with myself and with You. Grant me Your forgiveness, and make me clean. Amen.


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March 24

Psalms 31:9

Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.

Beverly felt guilty that she had not been to church for so long. Somehow things had gotten so hectic, and church had just kind of slipped away. Her husband worked six days a week, and she worked Saturday nights, so Sunday became the only day they really had together. The more she thought about missing church, the more guilt she felt, and the more guilt she felt, the harder it was to go back. She was thrilled and surprised when the pastor came past and told her how much they had been missed. When she tried to offer an excuse, he told her that he wasn't there to scold, just to show concern.

We too often let guilt determine what our actions will be, rather than living as forgiven people. The Lord is ore than willing to shower His children with mercy and grace. All we need do is ask with a penitent heart. The Lord will forgive us all that we ask.

Prayer: Thank You for Your gracious forgiving love, Lord. I am nothing without Your loving kindness. Hear me when I call out to You, Father, and be with me. Amen.

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March 12

Psalms 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

The group of demonstrators refused to move along, as the police instructed them. They were committed to their cause, and no amount of threat or coercion was going to sway them. They were standing up for what they believed in. Though many went off to prison, none complained, for they knew they had done what was pleasing to God. By His grace, they had no cause to fear.

God doesn't want worthy people nearly as much as He wants committed people. Those individuals who stand up and say, "Here am I, Lord! Take me," are the ones who please Him most. To those who give their all to the Lord, He will give comfort and peace. They will have no cause to fear anything.

Prayer: Make me a reflection of Your divine light, O God. By Your light all fear is erased and all darkness dispelled. Amen.

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March 9

Psalm 25:15

Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.

Jerry was terrified of heights. He had been all his life. Unfortunately, his new job required that he climb ladders and travel across catwalks high above the ground. With great courage and resolve, Jerry worked on overcoming his fear. Whenever he had to climb or walk the catwalks, he would focus his attention on the end of the line and pretend that Jesus was waiting there with outstretched arms. His fear left him completely, and he was able to scale great heights without concern.

It we will set our sights on the Lord, He will make sure our steps. No snare, trap, or pitfall can stop us when our eyes are on the Lord. He will guard us each step of the way.

Prayer: I am uncertain, Lord, and often I am afraid. Dispel my fears, and instill me with Your holy confidence. I place my trust in You, that I might walk a good walk of faith and never stumble. Amen.

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March 8

Psalms 25:7

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

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

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

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

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March 7

Psalms 25:2

O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.

Gail called herself a good Christian. She read her Bible, prayed daily, attended church every Sunday, and pitched in whenever her church needed her. God seemed to be a very real part of Gail's life, and yet, whenever her faith was put to the test, she seemed to give up. Her answer for everything was, "Well, God couldn't be bothered with me, I suppose." The truth was, Gail was afraid to put her full faith in God, for fear He might let her down. Her feelings of unworthiness blocked her from putting her trust totally in God.

Trust takes time. We need to practice putting our trust in the Lord, but when we do, we find a new confidence that He will be faithful to us. The more we trust, the more we are convinced that our trust is well placed. The key to trust is to try. Try putting your faith in the Lord, and watch wonderful things happen.

Prayer: Assist me as I try to let go of my doubt and fear and put my trust in You. I sometimes become my own worst enemy, Father. Save me from myself. Amen.

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March 3

Psalms 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

On their own, sheep will starve. They do not have enough sense to move on to greener pastures when their own is stripped of foliage. They will wander off into traps, standing helplessly while predators stalk them. Of all God's creatures, few are more helpless that sheep.

It is interesting that God calls us His sheep. WE so often think that we have complete control over our lives, and yet we really are helpless. We need to admit our weaknesses. When we admit weakness, that is our strength, because then we understand our need for God. God will protect us, provide for us, guide us from place to place, and never leave us alone. He truly is the Good Shepherd; the best shepherd we could ever hope to find. We need a shepherd. Thank goodness we have the finest.

Prayer: Lord, I have difficulty admitting that I cannot do everything on my own. Help me to see that leaning on Your strength is not weakness at all, but power beyond measure. By Your wisdom I am saved. Amen.

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March 2

Psalms 22:6

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

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

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

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February 28

Psalms 22:14

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

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

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

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

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February 26

Psalms 22:2

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

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

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

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

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February 22

Psalms 20:7

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

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

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

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

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

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February 21

Psalms 19:14

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

Paula put up a good front. Though she couldn't stand Beth, she never said anything bad to her. She kept quiet until she was alone with her other friends. At odd times, she would think of Beth, and resentment and contempt would rise up within her heart. Still, Paula was quite pleased with herself that she never let Beth know how she truly felt.

It is not enough that we try to put on a good front when we are around people we don't like. We need to search our hearts for reconciliation and forgiveness. We need to tap Christ, which heals all hurts and is the source of all patience and tolerance. God is interested in both the words of our mouths and the deepest ponderings of our hearts. To appear Christlike on the surface is never enough. To be Christlike at the core of our being, that is the key.

Prayer: Creator, God, I want to be a Chris tian to the very depths of my being. Search my heart, and transform it. Let love reign. Amen.

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February 18

Psalms 19

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

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

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

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

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

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February 16

Psalms 18:34

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

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

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

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

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Be back tomorrow....God Bless Team...

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February 14

Psalms 18:28

For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.

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Jeffey dutifully tended the lamp that hung by the altar. The flame had not failed in over thirty years. Throughout that time, Jeffey had daily filled the lamp with oil. People throughout the church marveled at this dedication and persistence.

One day Jeffey took sick and had to go to the hospital. Friends stopped in to see Jeffey, and as each one left, he lifted his head and said, "Don't forget the light, okay?"

One women, puzzled by the urgency of Jeffey's reminder, asked him why the little lamp meant so much to him. His eyes grew misty, and he said, "That light means the world to me. When I was young, tow lights came into my life: my wife and Jesus. My wife died, but then so did Jesus. The lamp reminds me that so long as it shines, both of them are still alive. I guess it wouldn't matter if the lamp went out, but it's important to me."

God sends light into our lives in many ways. The greatest light of all is live, and we know love through His greatest gift, Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Shine forth through the dark reaches of my life, Light of the World, Fill me with Your blessed warmth and glow. Shine through me for others to see. Let me be Your live in this world. Amen.

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February 12

Psalms 18:17

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

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

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

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

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

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February 11

Psalms 18:3

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

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

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

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

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

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February 10

Psalms 18:2

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

Jennifer could hardly wait for her shift to be over. The nurses' station was a mad rush, and there was simply no time to even catch her breath. Some nights she wondered why she had ever gone into nursing. The pace was so crazy, and the work was exhausting, both mentally as well as physically. For a moment, Jennifer closed her eyes and said a quick prayer to the Lord, thanking Him for His great mercy and asking for just enough strength to make it through.

The Lord listens to our prayers, and He responds by giving us the strength we need to meet every situation. He truly is our strength of our fortress. Trust in the Lord, and He will grant you His peace.

Prayer: Dear Lord, there are times when I just don't think I can make it. Please grant me Your power to endure and succeed. Help me to remember that real strength comes from You. Amen.

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February 9

Psalms 17:5

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

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

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

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

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February 8

Psalms 17:3

Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; though hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.

Being a teacher for thirty years teaches you an awful lot. Ann had seen just about every trick in the book. The minute her back was turned, children would try all kinds of things. Often she would leave the room for a few minutes, just to see who her problem children were going to be. She would return suddenly and catch them in all stages of misbehavior. There were the exceptions, of course. Some children sat quietly whether she was in the room or not. Those children were rate treasures, but they often helped her keep her sanity.

All of us behave differently when we think we're being watched. Usually, we are on our best behavior when we know that someone else is around. The funny thing is, somebody is always with us: God. Is God pleased when He sees the way we act when we're alone? It is a wise person who tries to live righteously all the time, both when others are with him or her as well as when he or she is alone. God will help us be the people we are meant to be, if we will only ask. No one is more deserving of our best behavior than God.

Prayer: Lord, help me to give You my best, not my worst. Keep me ever mindful of Your presence, and be proud of who I am becoming. Amen.

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February 7

Psalms 16:8

I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

The little boy rode his bicycle like a demon. He would pedal as fast as he could and fly down the street. He still had training wheels on his bicycle, though they did little to balance it. He had long since gained his balance, but he refused to let his parents remove them. Some of his friends made fun of him, but he felt safe and secure, so long as the training wheels were firmly in place.

All of us have times in our lives when we need something or someone to help us. Sometimes these things become crutches to us, but other times they give us the confidence and support we desperately need. God is the only support we truly need, and we can rest assured that He will always be close by. With God before us, we can stand up against anything. He is not a crutch. He's the source of all strength and power.

Prayer: Lord, be my strength. When I need help to get through the day, be with me and help me to know that You are there. Amen.

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February 6

Psalms 16:4

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

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

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

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

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February 5

Psalms 15:5

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

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

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

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

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February 4

Psalms 15:3

He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.

Ruth attended every church function held, and she never refused to pitch in when there was work to do. She gave liberally of money, time, and talent. There was nothing she would not do for her church. Even so, she found that others did not welcome here or invite her to join in their special functions. One day she complained to the people she was with that, "Too many people think too highly of themselves, and they're jealous of me because I do so much." She began to list by name those whom she meant. Finally, one of her associates stopped her and said, "The reason you're not more welcome is because you always talk about others. You spend a lot of time doing good, then you undo it by gossiping. We get tired of hearing you criticize everyone who doesn't do things like you want them to."

We are all called to be Christian in thought, deed, and word. If the love of God truly dwells in our hearts, then we should show it by the way we treat and talk about others. What we say matters a great deal, and God will judge us on our words and feelings, as well as on our actions.

Prayer: Lord, help me to love with Your divine love. Keep me from judging others, but never let me forget that to grow, I must continually judge myself. Amen.

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February 3

Psalm 14:4

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

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

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

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

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February 2

Psalms 14:2

The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.

"It won't do you any good. All that talk about God is just a crutch. Do your best, live for the day, then lay down and die."

Tim listened to his friend rave on and on, but he never did challenge him. In some ways, he agreed with his friend. Sometimes Jesus was a crutch, but after all, lame people need a crutch. Tim felt like he'd been limping through his entire life before he found Christ. He also believed that God wanted him to do his best and live for the day, but he knew there was more to it than that. Even if all his friends told him that God was a lie, he wouldn't believe it. God was real, and no one could convince him otherwise.

Arguments against the existence of God can sound good, but they amount to nothing more than opinion in the face of fact. We walk by faith, not by sight. God is looking for faith-walkers. If we will follow what we know to be true with our hearts, instead of what we can be convinced of in our minds, then God will lead us and sustain us in all that we do.

Prayer: Be with me, Lord. All around me are people who attack my faith. Dwell in my heart, and let me feel the reality of Your presence within. Amen.

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February 1

Psalms 14:1

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

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

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

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

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January 31

Psalms 13:3

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

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

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

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

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January 29

Psalms 12:5

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

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

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

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

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January 28

Psalms 12:3

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

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

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

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

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January 27

Psalms 12:1

Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.

Sarah thought that going to a Christian college would be an answer to her prayers. She really looked forward to a community of believers where she could feel at home. She especially wanted to find out what it would be like to date Christian guys who wouldn't try to take advantage of her. Boy, had she been wrong. The guys she went out with at the college were no different from the boys in high school. And a lot of the girls partied all the time. Sarah wondered if there was something wrong with her. Maybe being a Christian wasn't what she thought at all.

Many people face a dilemma like Sarah's. Too many people think that being a Christian means believing but not doing. They act as if being a Christian makes their old behaviors somehow right. Nothing is further from the truth! Being a Christian means living a godly life and rejecting many things that the world says are okay. How sad that the people who do live good lives are the ones who feel like freaks. As the days go on, few godly people exist.

Thankfully, God is with those who choose the path of righteousness, and He will be with us always.

Prayer: I live with a foot in two worlds, Lord. Reach out and pull me into the Kingdom, that I might step from this world into Yours. Amen.

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January 26

Psalms 11:4

The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.

Whenever they went to the ocean, Dave remembered Tim and how he had drowned by swimming out too far. No only did he go too far, but he swam in an area without a lifeguard. Since that time, Dave always looked for the lifeguard, and he refused to swim if the lifeguard wasn't present. Once Dave had thought that lifeguards were on the beach to keep people from having too much fun. Now he thought differently.

What comfort there is to know that we are being watched over. This life provides some pretty treacherous waters, and we need to know that there is a divine lifeguard, ready to pull us up at a moment's notice. The Lord watches over us, not to stifle or oppress us, but to insure us a full, happy, and healthy life. We can tread life's waters knowing that there is nothing to fear, for the Lord is watching.

Prayer: when I get in over my head, Lord, be there to life me up. I need You to watch over me and care for me. I put all my faith in You. Amen.

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January 24

Psalms 10:17

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

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

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

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

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

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January 22

Psalms 9:19-20

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

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

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

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

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January 19

Psalms 9:1

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

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

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

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

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January 18

Psalms 8:5

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

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

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

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

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January 17

Psalms 8:3-4

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

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

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

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

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January 16

Psalms 7:8

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

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

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


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January 14

Psalms 6:2

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

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

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

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

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January 13

Psalms 6:1

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

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

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

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


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January 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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January 11

Psalms 5:3

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

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

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

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

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January 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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January 9

Psalms 4

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

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

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


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January 6

Psalms 2:12

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

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

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

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January 5

Psalms 2:11

Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

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

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

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

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Amen our God watches over us and meets all our needs to His Glory, we serve a Mighty God!...There is northing too hard for our God to do.... emoticon

Wisdom from the Psalms

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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@Jan2 My employer is God, and I report exclusively to the one that made and formed me. This takes out any sense of competition, just as the laborers were paid the same whether performing their tasks for 16 hours or 1 hour: God's provision, a full-day's living wage, is paid equally, whether we think we deserve it or not. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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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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Growth in Christ is what being a believer is all about. The Psalms and Proverbs take us through most of the hardest parts of staying steadfast and humble. Great choice for the start of the year. emoticon emoticon

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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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December 31

Psalms 150:6

Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.

God looked down upon His creation and saw that it was good. In time, God's creation looked back and saw that God was good. Together they formed a unity of love and devotion. Through their covenant, all creation was brought into harmony. The Lord loves His children, and many of His children love Him back. Praise the lord with all of your being. With each breath you take, remember that the Lord is God. Nothing you do is done apart from Him. Wherever you go, God is there. He will never leave those who love Him. He gives us new years and new challenges, and he helps us to grow and learn. As we approach the new year, we can enter it confident that God goes forth with us. Praise the Lord, one and all. The Lord has been very good to His children.

Prayer: I thank You for the year just past-the challenges and the joys-and I look forward to the future, asking Your blessing upon it. Be with me, Lord, and with all my loved ones. Keep me in Your care. Shine Your light upon my path, and make me acceptable in Your sight. 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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December 25

Psalms 149:3

Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

A man once said, "I couldn't enjoy myself in heaven. There's too much singing and dancing there for my taste. They started up a long time ago, and it doesn't look like they're anywhere near ready to stop. Ever since Jesus was born, they've had one big, long celebration."

Indeed, since the birth of Jesus Christ, there had been great reason to dance. Death lost all its power, and eternity was opened to all who would choose it. There is reason to dance and sing. Christ came among us, and He is with us to this day. He has given us eternal life and has offered us everything we need to live happy and full lives on earth. Rejoice! Christ has come this day. And He will never leave us alone.

Prayer: Come into my heart, dear Lord. I have waited for Your coming, and I am ready to share my life with You. Be close by me, Lord, and fill me with song and dance and joy. Amen.

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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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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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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 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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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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December 9

Psalms 143:7

Hear me speedily, O Lord: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.

The road was slick with ice and snow. Cars were traveling along too fast for the conditions. Molly gripped the wheel and gritted her teeth. Suddenly, a car veered in front of her and went into a skid. Wide-eyed, Molly gasped, "Oh, Lord, help!"

The car passed by her with mere inches to spare, righted itself, and Molly was able to come to a stop, frightened, but unharmed. Once more Molly breathed out a short prayer, saying merely, "Thanks."

In our times of greatest need, lengthy prayers just won't come. Out sentiments and needs are already in God's heart, so all we need do is express them as our situation demands. The prayers of "help" and "thanks" are both acceptable in the sight of the Lord. Those two words say more than many wordy and pious prayers offered up in quieter times. How we pray is not so important as remembering to pray. The Lord hears them all.

Prayer: There are times when I need Your answer right away, Lord. In times of distress, please be near at hand. Hear my short prayers, and heed them quickly. Amen.

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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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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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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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November 24

Psalms 139:9-10

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

The man sat alone in the prison cell. Seldom did he get to see the light of day. His cell was a cubicle of about five square feet. He could not even stretch out to lie down. He had a straw mat and a can, and that completed the inventory of his possessions. A window three inches wide and a foot high opened to the outside world, but it was at least five feet above his head. The man sat and wept, believing that even God would not find him in such a place as this.

Then, as he sat on the floor, he saw a spider in the corner, weaving a delicate web. It peacefully spun, and created an object of beautiful symmetry. The man watched closely as the hours passed. In his heart, he knew that God would be with him; that He did know where he was. With nothing more to hold onto, the man was able to wait out his sentence in peace and quiet joy.

Prayer: No matter where I may go, Father, be there with me. Help me to know that You are always near and I have not been abandoned. With You by my side, I can make it through anything. Amen.

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November 21

Psalms 139:2-24

Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

Peter and Jeanne had been through a lot together. Peter's wife had died a few years before, and Jeanne's husband had left her. They had spent many long hours talking to each other, pulling each other through dismal times. They had grown so close that they knew each other's thoughts and moods without a word passing between them. In time they decided to marry, and theirs was a match to truly honor God. Their love was a fine example of how wonderful love can be.

We need someone to turn to who knows us and who we can trust. God is that someone. Perhaps we will find an earthly partner who understands us so well, but even if we don't, God will hear us, He will know us, and He will comfort us. He is never too busy for us, and He knows our hearts before we even call upon Him. Talk to the Lord. Take your deepest desires to Him, and rejoice in the blessings He has to give.

Prayer: I need Your counsel, Father. Thank You for knowing me so well, and for being there when I need You. Watch over me, Lord, and fill me with the assurance of Your nearness. Amen.

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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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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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November 18

Psalms 138:4

All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O Lord, when they hear the words of thy mouth.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if all the leaders on earth suddenly found their hearts filled with love, and compassion, and justice? What would happen if they all decided that top priority would be to take care of others first? Perhaps then we would have a taste of what God originally intended. We want to believe that our leaders are listening for the voice of God as they make their difficult decisions, but often we can only wonder. Perhaps one day all the kings of earth will stop their quarreling long enough to hear the gentle urgings of God. Until then, it is the responsibility of every Christian to pray for the leaders and ask God that He might work for good in spite of them, when it is impossible to work with or through them.

Prayer: Amidst the chaos of our world, Lord, You are the center of sanity and reason. Inspire our leaders to work together for the greatest good. Help them to do what is pleasing in Your sight. Amen.


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November 17

Psalms 138:1

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

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

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

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

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November 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 13

Psalms 137:4

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

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

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

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

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November 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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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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November 9

Psalms 135:6

Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.

Imagine the fun the Lord had creating all the animals of this world. With the power to do whatever he pleased, He concocted a menagerie of some wonderful creatures. Consider the giraffe, or the baboon, or the frog. What a host of funny-looking creatures. Think of the splendor of the eagle, the grace of the gazelle, the power of the tiger. God put so much into making His creation a good one. The same is true of His children. God went to great lengths to make sure His children were good. He even imparted in each and every one of them His own image. He offered them free will and all the blessings because they pleased Him. Our God is a God of love, and nothing pleases Him more than to be able to share that love. Indeed, we may be God's funniest creatures, but that only makes Him love us all the more.

Prayer: Father, You must have a wonderful sense of humor to put up with children like me. Forgive me for being less than You created me to be. Help me to grow and mature and develop into Your image. Amen.


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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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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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11/5/17 11:09 P

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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.

judithscott.wordpress.com/
Team Leader Shining for Jesus
Team Leader God's Amazing Grace
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Team Leader Christians Walking in Faith
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11/5/17 12:29 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.

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


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