DAY 1 MONDAY JANUARY, 1. (New Year Day) 2018
LET’S BE READY 1 Jn 2:28; 3:3
Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself (1 Jn 3:3)
Happy New Year. Looking forward to what this new year might bring, I can’t help but wonder if 2018 will be the year when Jesus comes back. But then I also wonder if I’m ready.
All of my life I’ve had to “be ready.” As a child, I had to be ready for dinner by washing my hands. As an adult, being ready for important responsibilities to be an ongoing reality. But I’ve come to realize that nothing is more important than being ready for our reunion with Jesus.
Speaking of Christ’s return, John tells us that “everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself” (1 Jn 3:3). Looking forward to Jesus’ return fills us with hope-not a wish-list kind of hope, but a solid expectations that motivates us to keep our hearts from sinful distractions and rivets our attention on becoming more like Him. If we really believe that this might be the year of His return, we will be more ready to forgive, to seek forgiveness, and to share God’s unconditional love with others. As we consider the possibility that Jesus could return this year, let’s be sure that we are ready. Let’s strive to be pure as He is pure, anticipating the day when tears and sorrow, pain and death will all be replaced with the everlasting joy of His presence – Joe Stowel
PRAYER LINE: Expecting Jesus’ soon return Will help us live a life that’s pure, For if we’re ready when He comes, We will not be ashamed but sure – Sper
Wanting to be ready for Christ’s return will make a difference in the way we live. (ODB)

THE GOOD LIFE Ps 73:21-28
It is good for me to draw near to God. (v28)
Beauty, wealth, power, love, marriage and pleasure are good things, but they’re not the best. The best is loving God and taking in His love – bringing Him glory and making Him our friend for life. That leads to best possible life because it gives us satisfaction and joy now (Jn 10:10) and it’s what Christians are going to be doing forever.
That’s why we should make time for God and rest in His love – the love that made you and me. It is the reason for our existence and the means by which we will make the most of our lives.
I like the way the psalmist put it. “It is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God that I may declare all Your works” (Ps 73:28) In other words, the good life is drawing close to the One who loves us like no other.
And how can we “draw close” to Him? Here’s a practice I began many years ago: Take a few minutes every morning to read some verses from the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) and not what Jesus said or did. After all, He came to show us what God is like (Heb 1:1-3). Put yourself in the story-in the place of the leper. He healed with His loving touch, for examples (Mk 1:40-45). Think about how much He loves you and then thank Him – David Roper
PRAYER LINE: Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Saviour am happy and blest;
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love – Cressby.
The wonder of it all – just to think that Jesus loves me. (ODB)

What does the LORD require of you but to do justify, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (v6)
Many of us make promises to ourselves to mark the beginning of a new year. We make pledges such as I’m going to save more, exercise more, or spend less time on the Internet. We begin the year with good intentions, but before long old ways. We slip up occasionally, then more frequently, and then all the time. Finally, it’s as if our resolution never existed. Instead of choosing our own self-improvement goals, a better approach might be to ask ourselves, “What does the Lord desire of me?” through the prophet Micah, God has revealed that He wants us to do what is right, to be merciful, and to walk humbly with Him (Mic. 6:8). All of these things relate to soul – improvement rather than self-improvement. Thankfully, we don’t have to rely on our own strength. The Holy Spirit has the power to help us as believers in our spiritual growth. God’s Word says, He is able to “strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being” (Eph 3:16). So as we begin a new year, let’s resolve to be more Christ-like. The Spirit will help us as we seek to walk humbly with God – Jennifer Benson Schuldt.
PRAYER LINE: Truthful Spirit, dwell with me; I myself would truthful be And with wisdom kind and clear. Let Thy life in mine appear – Lynch
He who has the Holy Spirit as his resource has already won the victory. (ODB)

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name (v9)
On November 19,1863, two well-known men gave speeches at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg Pennsylvania. The featured speaker, Edward Everett, was a former congressman, governor, and president of Harvard University. Considered one of the greatest creators of his day, Mr. Everett delivered a formal address lasting 2 hours. He was followed by President Abraham Lincoln, whose speech lasted 2 minutes.
Today, Lincoln’s speech, the Gettysburg Address, is widely known and quoted, while Everett’s words have almost been forgotten. It is not just Lincoln’s eloquent brevity that accounts for this. On that occasion, his words touched the wounded spirit of a nation fractured by civil war, offering hope for the days to come. Words do not have to be many to be meaningful. What we call the Lord’s Prayer is among the shortest and most memorable of all the teaching of Jesus. It brings help and healing as it reminds us that God is our heavenly Father whose power is at work on earth, just as it is in heaven (Matt 6:9-10) He provides food, forgiveness and fortitude for each day (vv 11-13) And all honour and glory to Him (v13) There is nothing in our past, present, and future that is not included in our Lord’s brief words that help and heal – David McCasland. PRAYER LINE: How easy it is to use many words And give little thought to the things you say: So willingly yield your lips to the Lord And hearts will be blest by them every day – D. De Haan
Kind words smooth, and quiet, and comfort the hearer – Blaise Pascal. (ODB)

Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that reads it… but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.(vv2-3 KJV)
When God gives you a vision for your life, write it down, keep it before you at all times, and run with it. You say, “But I see no way for it to come to pass.” The Bible says, “The vision is yet for an appointed time… wait for it, because it will surely come.” (v3 NKJV). You may not know how to get from where you are right now to where the vision will ultimately take you, but God does. So ask Him to reveal the next step to you. Whether you’re in prison like Joseph, in a soup kitchen in the inner city, or at home taking care of small children, God will fulfill the vision. He placed in your heart. The more you see yourself leading in the boardroom, launching your own business, serving in ministry, writing your first book, or helping others through your gifts, the sooner it’ll become a reality. Before a vision becomes clear, God gives us glimpses of it, like a picture developing from a soft line into sharp resolution. So take your vision and run with it. Let it motivate you to perform to the best of your ability in your present position, while staying in communication with the One who knows and loves you best. PRAYER LINE: Today pray: “Lord, I know that where I am right now, isn’t where You’re taking me: Give me glimpses of Your vision for my future so that my understanding may grow in accordance with Your timing. Give me patience along the way, and faith to trust that You’re always working for my good. Amen. (TWFT)
The faith of others encourages; a faith of our own transforms.

DON’T GIVE UP – GO THROUGH 1 Sam 30:8-18
“Pursue…overtake…and…recover all” (v8)
When king David and his men returned home from battle, they discovered that the Amelekites had burned their homes to the ground and taken their families prisoner. They were devastated. They wept until they’d no tears left. Then God spoke to them and said, “Pursue…overtake…and…recover all” And with His help they did! So no matter how bad your situation looks right now, don’t give up. Cry if you have to, then dry your tears and go out in God’s strength and take back what the Enemy has stolen from you if necessary, take it an inch at a time, drawing on His strength and not your own. Paul writes, “Let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right; for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint (Gal 6:9 AMP) God won’t quit on you, so don’t quit on Him. He has promised in His Word: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers; they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God” (Isa 43:2-3 NIV) Don’t give up- go through! It’s easy to quit, but it takes faith to go through. When your faith honours God , He honours your faith. And with Him on your side you’ll come out stronger than you were when you went in. So the word for you today is, ‘Pursue…overtake…and…recover all (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Father, thank You for letting me share with You my worries and cares. I am grateful that You stand beside me to comfort and guide. Help me to console others as You look out for Your own. In Jesus’ Name I pray.
God comforts us so that we can comfort others.

DON’T BE AFRAID (1) Mk 4:35-43
“Why are you so fearful? (v40 NKJV)
Notice How the disciples reacted to the storm on the Sea of Galilee, and see if you recognize any of the same traits in yourself. (1) Fear makes us doubt God’s care. The disciples asked Jesus, ‘Do You not care that we are perishing? (v 38NKJV) They didn’t ask about His strength: ‘Can you still the storm?” Or His knowledge: “Are you aware of the storm?’ Or His know how? ‘Do you have any experience with storms?’ Instead they voiced doubts about His character: ‘Do you not care? If you let it, fear will erode your confidence in God’s love and make you forget His faithfulness (2) Fear makes us reach for control. Jesus was asleep, so the disciples woke Him and said, ‘Do something, quick!’ Fear comes from a perceived loss of control. When we’re afraid, we grab for a component of life that we can manage – like our diet, or our job, or the neatness of our house, or in many cases – people. The more insecure we feel, the more controlling we tend to become. (3) Fear makes us forgetful. The Bible says, ‘He cast out the spirit with a word, and healed all who were sick (Matt 8:16 NKJV) What a resume! But fear gives us spiritual amnesia, it makes us forget what Jesus has already done and how good He has been to us. And what was Jesus’ response? Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith? Faith doesn’t eliminate fear; it silences it, robs it of its power, and draws us closer to God. And when that happens, things begin to change for the better. (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: Let’s always keep the prayer lines open, knowing God is always there. For we upon His name may call. Anytime and anywhere – D. De Haan.
True prayer is a way of life, not an emergency detour.

DON’T BE AFRAID (2) Ps 107:6-9
Oh, that (we) would give thanks to the Lord for his goodness. (v8)
when you’ve been through hard times, it can make you want to cut back on trusting God, and start playing it safe when you’ve been through back-to-back storms, the security of the harbor starts looking good. Now it’s okay to rest and regroup, but don’t settle for safety and miss what God has planned for you. The Bible says: ‘Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters… see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep. For He commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea. They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths, their soul melts because of trouble. They reel to and fro… stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness’ (vv 23-31 NKJV) Where do we see God’s wonders? In life’s storms! Jesus issued 125 recorded commandments: Twenty-one of them are ‘Don’t be afraid’ or ‘Have courage.” The second most common commandment to love God and your neighbor, appears on only eight occasions. That means the one statement Jesus made more than any other was ‘Don’t be afraid! Why? Because He wants you to trust Him more! (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: He will never fail us, He will not forsake; His eternal covenant He will never break Onward then, and fear not, Children of the day; For His Word shall never, never pass away –
Our salvation is secure because God does the holding.

DON’T GIVE UP (3) Mk 4:35-43
Why are you so fearful? (v40 NKJV)
Following Jesus invariably means going through storms.
When you’re in over your head and sinking fast, you learn things about the Lord you’d never know otherwise. At first you wonder, ‘How did I get into this mess? Then you start to see His hand at work and end up saying, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him,’ (v41 NKJV) The disciples finally reached a place where they were willing to follow Jesus – without question. And that’s God’s plan for you. ‘Don’t be afraid’ isn’t a call to naivety or ignorance. God doesn’t expect us to be oblivious to the challenges life brings. But as long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus the Waves couldn’t take him under. So look to God, stand on His Word, and recall His goodness. The Bible says, “We must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.’ (Heb 2:1 NAS) Do whatever it takes to keep your eyes on the Lord. C.S. Lewis wrote: “Moods will change, whatever view your reason takes I know that by experience. Now that I’m a Christian I do have moods in which the whole thing looks very improbable; but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable., …that’s why faith is such a necessary virtue. Unless you teach your moods ‘where to get off’ you can never be either a sound Christian or a sound atheist, but just a creature dithering to and from with his beliefs really dependent on the weather and the state of his digestion. Consequently, one must train the habit of faith. So the word for you today is: ‘Don’t be afraid. (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Dear Lord, often when I am faced with an impossible situation I choose to remember that nothing is too hard for You.
Nothing is impossible for the Lord.

‘The LORD roars from Zion and thunders from Jerusalem’ (v2)
God is about to speak to Israel, not in terms of making a few suggestions, but to challenge them with His deep concerns. He wants their attention, so the word that is to come through the prophet is as urgent as a lion’s roar and as powerful as a tornado. Amos was no doubt familiar with the marauding lions and mincing weather that threatened the flocks he managed in Tekoa. Now God was roaring like lion and speaking with the shattering power of a sudden electric storm. God may sometimes gently whisper into our hearts His words of comfort and loving admonition: at other times His word crashes around us like a thunder-clap! A church leader once said: “When I was in college I was told that I was called to comfort the afflicted, but I soon found out that was only half of my calling: the other half was to afflict the comfortable. God never hesitates to comfort us when we become too comfortable. How ‘comfortable’ are you to your spiritual life? If we are honest, far too many of us have settled down in a comfort zone and do not wish to be disturbed.
Amos is a very challenging book. The words recorded in it will bring us face to face with the fact that God will never agree to preserve our comfortable and complacent spiritual status.
PRAYER LINE: Father, help me not to be afraid of Your challenges, for it is often through challenge that I am changed. You comfort me and challenge me. Both are necessary. I receive both from Your loving hands. Amen. (EDWJ)
The God of all comfort and compassion is also the God of all truth.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away (2 Cor 5:17)
More than 80 years ago, a 9-year old boy prayed to ask Jesus to be the Saviour of his life. His mother wrote these words in a memory book: “Clair made a start today.” Clair-my dad-refers to the day when he made his decision to follow Christ as the beginning of his journey. Growing spiritually is a lifelong journey-progress-not a one-time event. So how does a new believer feel his faith and continue to grow? These are some things I observed in my dad’s life over the years. He read the Scriptures regularly to increase his understanding of God and made prayer a daily part of his life (1 Chron 16:11; 1 Thess 5:17) Bible reading and prayer help us grow closer to God and withstand temptation (Ps 119:11; Matt 26:41; Eph 6:11; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 1 Pet 2:2) The Holy Spirit began to develop the “fruit of the Spirit” in him as he surrendered his life in faith and obedience (Gal 5:22-23) We display God’s love through our witness and service.
Our spiritual journey is a process. What a privilege to have a relationship in which we can “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 3:18) – Cindy Hess Kasper.
PRAYER LINE: I want my heart to be in tune with God,
In every stage of life may it ring true;
I want my thoughts and words to honour Him,
To lift Him up in everything I do – Hess
Salvation is the miracle of a moment; Growth is the labour of a life time

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing (Jn 15:5) The Bible says, ‘Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? Or, What shall we drink? Or, ‘Wherewithal shall we be clothed?…But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; all all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt 6:31-33) The Scripture above reveals the secret of divine blessings. Although man is a responsible carrier of God’s image, however, he is dependent on the God whose image he is carrying. For us to be divinely blessed, we must make Jesus Christ our Lord; we must be born again; that is, we must admit what the scripture says in Rom 3:23. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” and quickly do something about it. What we must do is to repent according to the admonition of Peter; “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19) It is high time all men, particularly the children of God, understand the secret of divine blessing; that is, abiding in the Son of the Living God, the True Vine. Let us stop being anxious of what we want to become. The Bible says: “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” (2 Cor 8:9) Read Prov 10:22. PRAYER LINE: Father, please open my eyes to see the secret of divine blessings and let me align myself with it. (O.H)
We’re never without a helper, because we have the Spirit within.

And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. (v22)
The Bible says, “The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” The Lord provides great benefits for us as we go about doing what we must do to fulfill the purpose of our creation. One of these benefits is the victory that God gives to us when we sing His praises, as in Rev 4:10-11.
When Judah began to sing the praise of God, the Lord rose and fought on their behalf (2 Chro 20:21-22) Another thing we must learn in today’s reading is that the Bible says, “he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness…” It is not all praise and worship that is genuine and acceptable unto the Lord; some are unto the flesh. Any song, dance, drama or general work of art that promotes promiscuity is abominable in the sight of God and will do the opposite of genuine songs of praise and worship “And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.” (2 Chron 20:22) O.H
PRAYER LINE: SONG I need Thee ev’ry hour, Most
Gracious Lord; No tender voice like Thine, Can peace
afford –Chorus I need Thee, Oh, I need Thee, Ev’ry hour I need Thee, Oh, bless me now, my Saviour, I come to Thee
If you know Christ, you always have a reason to celebrate.

“The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.” Prosperity; the genuine praise and worship: “And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.” (2 Chron 20:25) When God tells you that He would prosper you; all you need is to believe and obey Him. (Jn 11:40) Is it not amazing, if not unusual, for the soldiers in our bible reading to go to battle with precious jewels and costly outfits as if they were going for wedding ceremonies? The reason for this was that God had determined to bless His people, because He knew from the onset that His people would praise and bless the beauty of His holiness. Another lesson we must learn from this story is that our praise and worship must be Holy Spirit inspired. It must not be offered from our carnal man. Read (Jn 4:23-24) The Almighty demands our praise and worship of Him. He is also prepared to bless our obedience to this divine mandate. If we deny Him the praise that He is worthy of, He will deny us the prosperity that we can so easily get. Throughout today; worship God in truth, in spirit and in holiness as you go about your daily business (O.H) PRAYER LINE: SONG Praise Him praise Him, I will always
Praise Him, praise my Saviour, Allelujah. Amen.
I will praise Him, I will always praise Him, praise my Jesus, Allelujah, Amen.
Faith grows best in the season of trial

The Lord takes pleasure in His people (Ps 149:4a)
The moment you wee born into the world, God was there as an unseen witness, smiling at your birth. He wanted you alive, and your arrival gave Him great pleasure. Bringing enjoyment to God, living for His pleasure, is the first purpose of your life. The Bible says, “Because of his love God had already decided that through Jesus Christ he would make us his children – this was his pleasure and purpose (Eph 1:5)
One of the greatest gifts God has given you is the ability to enjoy pleasure. He wired you with five senses and emotions so you can experience it. We often forget that God has emotions, too. He feels things very deeply. The Bible tells us that God grieves, gets jealous and angry, and feels compassion, pity, sorrow, and sympathy as well as happiness, gladness, and satisfaction. God loves, delights, gets pleasure, rejoices, enjoys, and even laughs. “Bringing pleasure to God is called “worship.” The Bible says, “The Lord is pleased only with those who worship him and trust his love” (Ps 147:11) Anything you do that brings pleasure to God is an act of worship. Anthropologists have noted that worship is a universal urge, hard-wired by God into the very fiber of our being – an inbuilt need to connect with God. – (Rick Warren) PRAYER LINE: Bless the Lord for love victorious, Love that conquered on the tree; For His grace so great and glorious Flowing out from Calvary – Peterson
Love is God’s will in action.

‘I will thank the Lord at all times. My mouth will always praise Him” (v1)
Every part of a church service is an act of worship; praying, Scripture reading, singing,, confession, silence, being still, listening to a sermon, taking notes; giving an offering, baptism, communion, signing a commitment card, and even greeting other worshippers.
(1).Worship is not for your benefit. In Isaiah 29 God complains above worship that is half- hearted and hypocritical. The people were offering God stale prayers insincere praise, empty words, and man-made rituals without even thinking about the meaning. God’s heart is not touched by tradition in worship, but by passion and commitment. The Bible says, ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship for me is made only of rulers by men (Isa 29:2)
(2 ). Worship is not a part of your life; it is your life. Worship is not just for church services. We are told to “worship him continually (Ps 105:4) and to “praise him from sunrise to sunset (Ps 113:3) In the Bible people praised God at work, at home, in battle, in jail, and even in bed. Praise should be the first activity when you open your eyes in the morning and the last activity when you close them at night (Ps 119:147) David said, “I will thank the Lord at all times. My mouth will always praise him” (Ps 34:1) Martin Luther said, “A dairymaid can milk cows to the glory of God.” Read 1 Cor 10:31; Col 3:23 (Rick Warren)
PRAYER LINE: Show me the way, Lord, let my light shine, As an example of good to mankind, Help them to see the patterns of Thee, shinning in beauty, lived out in me – Newer
Let your light shine – whether you’re a candle in a corner or a lighthouse on a hill

Smile on me, your servant; teach me the right way to live (v135 msg)
The smile of God is the goal of your life. Since pleasing God is the first purpose of your life, your most important task is to discover how to do that. The Bible says, ‘Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it.” Fortunately, the Bible gives us a clear example of a life that gives pleasure to God. The man’s name was Noah. The Bible says, “Noah was a pleasure to the Lord (Gen 6:8) Because Noah brought pleasure to God, you and I are alive today. From his life we learn the five acts of worship that make God smile (1) God smiles when we love Him supremely. The Bible tells us that for his entire life, “Noah consistently followed God’s will and enjoyed a close relationship with Him” (Gen 6:9b) God says, ‘I don’t want your sacrifices – I want your love, I don’t want your offerings – I want you to know Me” (Hosea 6:6) Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, this is the first and greatest commandment (Matt 22:37-38) God deeply loves you and desires your love in return. He longs for you to know Him and spend time with Him. This is why learning to love God and be loved by Him should be the greatest objective of your life. Nothing else comes close in importance (Rick Warren)
PRAYER LINE: We are more than Conquerors Through Him who loved us so; The Christ who dwells within us Is the greatest power we know – Carmichael
The Creator of the Universe knows no power failure.

“By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land… As a result Noah became intimate with God (v7)
(2) God smiles when we trust Him completely The second reason Noah pleased God was that he trusted God, even when it didn’t make sense. The Bible says, “By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told… As a result, Noah became intimate with God (Heb 11:7)
There were three problems that could have caused Noah to doubt. (1) First, Noah had never seen rain, because prior to the Flood, God irrigated the earth from the ground up. (2) Second, Noah lived hundreds of miles from the nearest ocean. Even if he could learn to build a ship, how would he get it to water? (3) Third, there was the problem of rounding up all the animals and then caring for them.
Trusting God completely means having faith that he knows what is best for your life. The Bible says, “He takes pleasure in those that honour Him, in those who trust in His constant love” (Ps 147:11) It took Noah 120 years to build the ark. Imagine he faced many discouraging days. With no sign of rain year after year, he was ruthlessly criticized as a ‘crazy man who thinks God speaks to him. Trusting God is an act of worship. The Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Heb 11:6) – (Rick Warren)
PRAYER LINE: I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus – Trusting only Thee; Trusting Thee for full salvation, Great and free – Havergal.
If we could earn our salvation, Christ would not have died to provide it.

“So Noah did everything as God had commanded him (v22)
(3) God Smiles when we obey Him whole heartedly God gave Noah, detailed instructions as to the size, shape, and materials of the ark as well as the different numbers of animals to be brought on board. The Bible tells us Noah’s response: “So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him” (Gen 6:22) Noah obeyed God whole heartedly. God doesn’t owe you an explanation or reason for everything he asks you to do. Understanding can wait, but obedience can’t. instant obedience will teach you more about God than a lifetime of Bible discussion. In fact, you will not understand some commands until you obey them first. Obedience unlocks understanding. Partial obedience is disobedience. Whole hearted obedience is done joyfully, with enthusiansm. The Bible says, “Obey Him gladly (Ps 100:2) David said, “Just tell me what to do and I will do it, Lord, as long as I live I’ll wholeheartedly obey.” (Ps 119:33) James speaking to Christians said, “We please God by what we do and not only by what we believe” (Jas 24:2) God’s Word is clear that you can’t earn your salvation. It comes only by grace, not your effort. An act of obedience is also an act of worship. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments” (Jn 14:15) – Rick Warren
PRAYER LINE: I love to dwell upon the thought That Jesus cares for me, It matters not what life may bring – He loves me tenderly – Admas.
If God cares for sparrows, He surely cares for us.

Then Noah built an altar to the LORD… and sacrificed burnt offerings on it (v 20)
(4) God smiles when we praise and thank Him continually. Few things feel better than receiving, heartfelt praise and appreciation from someone else. God loves it, too. He smiles when we express our adoration and gratitude to him. Noah’s life brought pleasure to God because he lived with a heart of praise and thanksgiving. Noah’s first act after surviving the Flood was to express his thanks to God by offering a sacrifice. The Bible says. “Then Noah built an altar to the LORD… and sacrificed burnt offerings on it.” (Gen 8:20) Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we don’t offer animal sacrifices as Noah did. Instead we are told to offer God “the sacrifice of praise” (Ps Heb 13:15) and “the sacrifice of thanksgiving” (Ps 116:17) We praise God for who He is, and we thank God for what He has done. David said, “I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the LORD. (Ps 69:30-31) An amazing thing happens when we offer praise and thanksgiving to God. When we give God enjoyment, our own hearts are filled with joy!
Worship works both ways, too. We enjoy what God has done for us, and when we express that enjoyment to God, it brings him joy-but it also increases our joy. The righteous are glad and rejoice in his presence; they are happy and shout for joy (Ps 68:3) Rick Warren.
PRAYER LINE: Every knee in heaven is bending To the Lamb for sinners slain; Every voice and harp is swelling – worthy is the Lamb to reign” – Deck.
To honour our King, His praises we sing.

Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth… I now give you everything (v1-3)
(5) God smiles when we use our abilities. After the Flood, God gave Noah these simple instructions: “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth …Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.” (Gen 9:1,3) God said, “It’s time to get on with your life! You may feel that the only time God is pleased with you is when you’re doing “spiritual” activities – like reading the Bible, attending church, praying, or sharing your faith. And you think God is unconcerned about the other parts of your life. Actually God enjoys watching every detail of your life, whether you are working, playing, resting, or eating. “The steps of the godly are directed by the LORD. He delights in every detail of their lives. (Ps 37:23) Like a proud parent, God especially enjoys watching you use the talents and abilities he has given you. God intentionally gifted us differently for his enjoyment. He has made some to be athletic and some to be analytical.
You may be gifted at mechanics or mathematics or music or other skills. All these abilities can bring a smile to God’s face. The Bible says, “He has shaped each person in turn, now he watches everything we do” (Ps 33:15) Read Isa 45:9. Rick Warren.
PRAYER LINE: Every life has been created – God’s handiwork displayed: When we cherish His creation, We value what He’s made – Sper
God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.

God… generously gives us everything for our enjoyment (v17)
(6) God gains pleasure in watching you enjoy his creation
He gave you eyes to enjoy beauty, ears to enjoy sounds, your nose and taste buds to enjoy smells and tastes, and the nerves under your skin to enjoy touch. Every act of enjoyment becomes an act of worship when you thank God for it. The Bible says, ‘God…generously gives us everything for our enjoyment” (1 Tim 6:17)
When you are sleeping, God gazes at you with love, because you were his idea. He loves you as if you were the only person earth. Parents do not require their children to be perfect, or even mature in order to enjoy them. They enjoy them at every stage of development. In the same way, God doesn’t wait for you to reach maturity before he starts liking you. He loves and enjoys you at every stage of your spiritual development. The Bible says , “He certainly knows what we are made of. He bears in mind that we are dust.” (Ps 103:14) What God looks at is the attitude of your heart: Paul’s life goal; “More than anything else, however, we want to please him, whether in our home here or there (2 Cor 5:9) God is looking for people like Noah in the twenty – first century – people willing to live for the pleasure of God. The Bible says, “The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who are wise, who what to please God.” (Ps 14:2) Rick Warren.
PRAYER LINE: I needed the quiet – no prison my bed, But a beautiful valley of blessing instead, A place to grow richer, in Jesus to hide; I needed the quiet, so He drew me aside – Morthson
The Quiet hour is the power hour.

I waited patiently for the LORD, and He inclined to me, and heard my cry (v1)
Waiting is hard. We wait in grocery lines, in traffic, in the doctor’s office. We twinkle our thumbs, stifle our yawns, and fret inwardly in frustration. On another level, we wait for a letter that doesn’t come, for a prodigal child to return, or a child we can hold in our arms. We wait for our heart’s desire. In Ps 40, David says, “I waited patiently for the LORD.” The original language here suggests that David “waited and waited and waited” for God to answer his prayer.
Yet as he looks back at the time of delay, he praised God. As a result, David says God “put a new song… a hymn of praise” in his heart (40:3NJV) “What a chapter can be written of God’s delays” said F.B. Meyer: “It is the mystery of educating human spirits to the finest temper of which they are capable.” Through the discipline of waiting, we can develop the quieter virtues – submission, humility, patience, joyful endurance, persistence in well-doing-virtues that take the longest to learn. What do we do when God seems to withhold our heart’s desire? He is able to help us to love and trust Him enough to accept the delay with joy and to see it as an opportunity to develop these virtues – and to praise Him – David Roper.
PRAYER LINE: Have Thine own way; Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Porter, I am the clay; Mold me and make me after Thy will, While I am waiting, yielded and still – Polland.
Waiting for God is never a waste of time (ODB)

(Look) unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross (v2)
While visiting Australia, I had the opportunity to see the Southern Cross. Located in the Southern Hemisphere, this constellation is one of the most distinctive. Mariners and navigators began relying on it as early as the 15th century for direction and navigation through the seas.
Although relatively small, it is visible throughout most of the year. The Southern Cross was so vivid on that dark night that even I could pick it out of the bundle of stars. It was truly a magnificent sight! The Scriptures tell us of an even more magnificent cross – the cross of Christ. When we look at the stars, we see the handiwork of the Creator: but when we look at the cross, we see the Creator dying for His creation. Hebrews 12:2 calls us to “(look) unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” The wonder of Calvary’s cross is that while we were still in our sins, our Saviour died for us (Rom 5:8). Those who place their trust in Christ are now reconciled to God, and He navigates them through life (2 Cor 1:8-10) Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is the greatest of all wonders! Bill Crowder
PRAYER LINE: When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride – Watts
Christ’s cross provides the only safe crossing into eternity.

According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified. (v20)
I once asked a counsellor what the major issues were that brought people to him. Without hesitation he said, “The roof of many problems is broken expectations; if not dealt with they mature into anger and bitterness.” In our best moment s, it’s easy to expect that we will find ourselves in a good place surrounded by good people who like and affirm us. But life has a way of breaking those expectations. What then? Stuck in jail and beset by fellow believers in Rome who didn’t like him (Phil 1:15-16) Paul remained surprisingly upbeat. As he saw it, God had given him a new mission field. While under house arrest, he witnessed to the guards about Christ, which sent the gospel into Caesar’s house.
And even though those opposing him were preaching the gospel from wrong motives, Christ was being preached so Paul rejoiced (v18) Paul never expected to be in a great place or to be well liked. His only expectation was that “Christ will be magnified through him (v 20) He wasn’t disappointed. If our expectation is to make Christ visible to those around us regardless of where we are or who we are with, we will find those expectations met and even exceeded. Christ will be magnified – Joe Stowell
PRAYER LINE: Lord, forgive me for making my life all about what I expect and not about glorifying You regardless of my circumstances. May Your love, mercy, and justice be magnified through me today.
Make it your only expectation to magnify Christ wherever you are and whoever you are with.

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints (v15)
In response to the news that a mutual friend of ours had died, a wise brother who knew the Lord sent me these words, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints” (Ps 116:15) Our friend’s vibrant faith in Jesus Christ was the dominant characteristic of his life, and we knew he was home with God in heaven. His family had that assurance as well, but I had been focused only on their sorrow. And it’s appropriate to consider others during their grief and loss.
But the verse from Psalms turned my thoughts to how the Lord saw the passing of our friend. Something “precious” is something of great value. Yet, there is a larger meaning here. There is something in the death of a saint that transcends our grief over their absence. “Precious (important and no light matter) in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints (His loving ones)” The Amplified Bible) Another paraphrase says, “His loved ones are very precious to Him and he does not lightly let them die” (The Living Bible) God is not flippant toward death. The marvel of His grace and power is that, as believers, our loss of life on earth also brings great pain. Today we have only a glimpse. One day we’ll understand it in the fullness of His light – David McCasland.
PRAYER LINE: So when my last breath Shall rend the veil in twain
By death I shall escape from death And life eternal gain – Montgomery
Faith builds a bridge across the gulf of death.

HEARD BY GOD 1 Sam 1:9-20
Hannah spoke in her heart… her voice was not heard (v13)
After reading several children’s books with my daughter, I told her that I was going to read a grown up book for a while and then we would look at books together again. I opened the cover and began to read in silence. A few minutes later, she looked at me doubtfully and said, “Mommy, you aren’t really reading.” She assumed that since I wasn’t speaking, I wasn’t processing the words.
Like reading, prayer can be silent. Hannah, who longed for a child of her own, visited the temple and “spoke in her heart” as she prayed. Her lips were moving, but “her voice was not heard” (1 Sam 1:13). Eli the priest saw but misunderstood what was happening. She explained, ‘I…have poured out my soul before the LORD? (v5) God heard Hannah’s silent prayer request and gave her a son (v20) Since God searches our hearts and minds (Jere 17:10), He sees and hears every prayer – even the ones that never escape our lips. His all-knowing nature makes it possible for us to pray with full confidence that He will hear and answer (Matt 6:8,32) Because of this, we can continually praise God, ask Him for help, and thank Him for blessings – even when no one else can hear us. Jennifer Benson Schuldt.(ODB)
PRAYER LINE: Sweet hour of prayer! Sweet hour of prayer That calls me from a world of care, And bids me at my father’s throne Make all my wants and wishes known – Walford
God fills our heart with peace when we pour our heart to Him.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls (Matt 11:29)
It is one thing to answer the call of Jesus Christ, and it is another thing to stay put with Him after we answer the call. Being with Jesus means living by His teachings. He once lamented: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Many call Jesus “Lord” with their mouths but indeed, they do not regard Him as the Lord of their lives. This is why, for the avoidance of doubt, Jesus said: “…If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn 8:31-32)
Two things are clear from our Bible reading for today; The first is, if you have been with Jesus indeed, boldness will be your trademark: The Bible says: “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Rom 8:15) When so-called child of God is living in fear, we must check out whether indeed he has been with Jesus. Secondly; someone who has been with Jesus lives a daily miraculous life, this is another trademark of genuine followers of Jesus Christ. The Bible says; “And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.”(Acts 4:14). When are indeed the light and salt of the world if we chose to be with Jesus, living according to His ideals. Two great things of being with Jesus are: we shall learn of Him, and we shall find rest for our souls. (O.H)
PRAYER LINE: Father, thank You for Your Spirit. Fill us with His love and power. Change us into Christ’s own image Day by day and hour by hour – Anon
If we fear and love God, we will be with Him

Giving thanks always for all things (v20)
Interruptions are nothing new. Rarely does a day go by as planned. Life is filled with inconveniences. Our plans are constantly thwarted by forces beyond our control. The list is long and ever changing. Sickness, Conflict, Traffic jams. Forgetfulness. Appliance malfunctions. Rudeness. Laziness. Impatience. Incompetence. What we cannot see, however, is the other side of inconvenience. We think it has no purpose other than to discourage us, make life more difficult, and thwart our plans.
However, inconvenience could be God’s way of protecting us from some unseen danger, or it could be an opportunity to demonstrate God’s grace and forgiveness. It might be the start of something even better than we had planned. Or it could be a test to see how we respond to adversity. Whatever it is, even though we may not know God’s reason, we can be assured of His motive to make us more like Jesus and to further His kingdom on earth. To say that God’s followers throughout history have been “inconvenienced” would be an understatement. But God had a purpose. Knowing this, we can thank Him, being confident that He is giving us an opportunity to redeem the time (Eph 5:16-20) – Julie Ackerman Link.
PRAYER LINE: Lord, so often it’s the little things in life that get to me, and there seem to be so many of them, Whenever I’m tempted to lose my temper, blame someone or just give up, help me see You.
What happens to us is not nearly as important as what God does in us and through us.

SEEK HIM FIRST. Matt 6:25-34
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you (v33)
When God promises you something, He will move heaven and earth to bring it to pass. He will tear down every contrary circumstance, every wall, every obstacle or opposing force that tries to keep you from receiving His promise. The Old Testament is a divine record of God’s zeal in fulfilling His covenants with His people. The Bible says, “Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (Ps 37:4 NKJV) God will give you your hearts desires if you will delight yourself in Him first. He will give you whatever you have been wanting that is in line with His will and Word. In fact, He will tell you, “You do not have to pay for it or fight for it: I have already handled it.” I am not telling you this in a theoretical sense. I have experienced this wonder in my own life and ministry. If you are going through what seems like a hopeless battle, I advise you to stop for a moment, be still before God, and find out what is on His heart. Then do it. Everything else will work out.
PRAYER LINE: Jesus, right now, I chose to be still and behold Your glory. There is no better time than right now to ask You, Lord, what do You have to say to me? I promise that I will obey and use my eyes of faith (CTC)
When we come to Jesus in our brokenness, He makes us whole.

Sir, we would see Jesus (v21)
One day some Greeks came to Philip saying, ‘Sir, we would see Jesus.” And if you listen – that’s what people around you are still saying today. You say, “Tell them to go to church and they’ll see Jesus.” Maybe, maybe not. Get close to some folks who fill a church pew every Sunday and you just might see the devil at work.
One of America’s finest ministers was sitting on a plane one day reading his Bible. The lady in the next seat turned to him and asked, “Are you a preacher?” He said, “Yes, Ma’am.” Then, she asked, “Do you believe in a real literal devil?” with a chuckle he replied, “Lady, have you ever been to an annual church business meeting?” You may smile, but if you’ve been in church a while you know he’s telling the truth (1) Board member, people are looking for more than just a good budget, they want to see Jesus-in you. (2) Choir member, you may sing like an angel and bring the house down, but when your song ends people want to see Jesus – in you (3) Pastor, you may be a skilled expositor and a gifted orator, but when the sermon’s over people want to see Jesus –in you (4) Sir, lady, when you get through telling the folks at work what you stand for, they want to see Jesus-in you. You don’t have to defend Him, just display Him through your attitudes and actions each day. Jesus said, “If I be lifted up. (‘I’) will draw all men unto me” (Jn 12:32) We do the lifting; Jesus does the drawing – that’s how it works (TWFYT)
PRAYER LINE: When life becomes a heavy load, An upward climb, a winding road, In daily tasks, Lord, let me see That with me You will always be – D. De Haan
Trusting God’s faithfulness stirs up our confidence.

Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of (v55)
Face it, some people are unwilling to take responsibility for their lot in life, so they plough through each day complaining about everything. And because they’re incapable of loving themselves they can’t extend love to others. Often their negative edge just masks their real struggle. Deep down they’re afraid of being rejected, so they don’t get too close to anyone – except kindred spirits.
So how should you respond to such people? Don’t get hooked! If you can’t lift them up, make sure they don’t drag you down. When Nehemiah’s enemies criticized the wall he was building he replied, “I am doing a great work! Why should I stop it to come and visit with you? (Neh 6:3) And what was the result?” The wall was finally finished… just fifty-two days after we had begun! When our enemies… heard about it, they were… humiliated, and they realized that the work had been done with the help of our God.” Was it easy working around people like that? No. how did Nehemiah do it? When he started getting discouraged he prayed, “Lord God, please strength me!” (Neh 6:8 TLB) He asked for strength, maintained a good attitude and prayed that God would take care of his critics. And God did. Many of the people who aggravate you have no idea why – it’s just their nature. When Christ’s own disciples wanted to call down fire on the heads of those who wouldn’t accept their message, Jesus said, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of” (TWFYT) PRAYER LINE: We’re members of Christ’s body, A blessed family, So let’s not fight or quarrel, But live in harmony – Fitzhugh.
Unity among believers comes from their union with Christ.

They trample on the heads of the poor as upon the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed (v7)
There is a widespread view in today’s world that there is no connection between public and private morality.
Surveys show that, generally speaking, people can act as if there is no connection. But the Bible knows no such distinction. As far as God is concerned, morality is one and indivisible. What a person is in private he or she is likely to be in public life. Sir John Templeton once said: “if a man who works for me cheats on his wife then he is likely to cheat on me.” It may be convenient for those in public life to argue otherwise but the truth is there is no real division between private and public: Israel’s civic and commercial leaders, as we see from the verses before us today are judged for oppressing the weak, vulnerable and helpless. These verses also show us that both the boardroom and the bedroom are subject to God’s law. God is affronted by those who cynically exploit the destitute by keeping garments that have been pledged as surety overnight and by binging on confiscated wine in greedy self-indulgence.
What is most serious is that, by their actions, God’s holy name is profaned. By choosing Israel to be His showpiece nation God put His reputation on the line. Such behaviour as Amos now exposes drags God’s good name into disrepute. For this, Judah was sent into exile 150 years later. No wonder Jesus made it first priority for His disciples to pray that God’s name would again be hallowed in Israel.
PRAYER LINE: Father, may my private life and my public life be indivisible, both working to glorify You. Amen (EDWJ)
When melted by trial, we can be fully molded by the Potter.

Resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way (v13)
I haven’t made any New Year’s resolutions since 1975. I haven’t needed any new ones – I’m still working on old ones like these: write at least a short note in my journal everyday: make a strong effort to read my Bible and pray each day: organize my time; try to keep my room clean (this was before I had a whole house to keep clean)
This year, however, I am adding a new resolution that I found in Paul’s letter to the Romans: “Let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way” (14:13) Although this resolution is old (about 2,000 years) it is one that we should renew annually. Like believers in Rome centuries ago, believers today sometimes make up rules for others to follow and insist on adherence to certain behaviours and beliefs that the Bible says little or nothing about. These “stumbling blocks” make it difficult for followers of Jesus to continue in the way of faith that He came to show us that salvation is by grace, not works (Gal 2:16) It requires only that we trust in His death and resurrection for forgiveness. We can celebrate this good news of Christ in the coming year by resolving not to set up hurdles that cause people to stumble – Julie Ackerman Link.
PRAYER LINE: Thank You, Lord, that You sent the Holy Spirit to do the work of convincing and convicting. May I be content with my own assignment: to do what leads to peace and edification.
Faith is the hand that receives God’s gift, then faith is the feet that walk with God. (ODB)

Endeavouring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bound of peace (v3)
A man stranded by himself on an island was finally discovered. His rescuers asked him about the three huts they saw there. He pointed and said, “This one is my home and that one is my church” He then pointed to the third hut: “That was my former church” Though we may laugh at the silliness of this story, it does highlight a concern about unity among believers. The church of Ephesus during the time of the apostle Paul was comprised of both rich and poor, Jews and Gentiles, men and women, masters and slaves. And where differences exist, so does friction. One concern Paul wrote about was the issue of unity. But observe what Paul said about this issue in Eph 4:3. He didn’t tell them to be “eager to produce or to organize unity.” He told them to endeavour “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Unity already exists because believers share one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all. (vv 4-6) How do we “keep the unity”? by expressing our different opinions and convictions with lowliness, gentleness, and patience (v2). The Spirit will give us the power to react in love toward those with whom we disagree – Albert Lee. PRAYER LINE: Lord, may our walk and our service be a picture of the unity of Father, Son, and Spirit in heaven above. Fill us with the fruit of the Spirit that we might love other as You desire.
Unity among believers comes from our union with Christ.

GOD IS AT WORK Exo 14:26; 15:2
He is my God, and I will praise Him (Exo 15:2)
Jack and Trisha were driving to the hospital late one night for the birth of their second child when the unexpected happened. Trisha began to deliver the baby! Jack called 911 and Cherie White, an emergency dispatcher was able to talk Jack through the delivery. But the baby wouldn’t breath. So Cherie then instructed Jack how to give emergency breathing, which he had to do for 6 anxious minutes. Finally the newborn took a breath and cried.
When asked later how they all got through the ordeal and remained calm, Cherie responded, “I’m glad God works midnights.” I love to hear media reports in which God gets the glory He deserves for something good that has happened. In the Bible reading for today, it’s obvious that God should get the credit for parting the Red Sea to help His people escape from Pharaoh, even though Moses was the one who raised his rod. (Exo 14:26-27) All the Israelites and Moses gathered together and sang the Lord’s praises: “Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? (15:11) When something good happens, the Lord deserves the credit, for He is the source of all that is good. Give Him the glory. Aren’t you glad He works midnights? – Anne Cetas.
PRAYER LINE: What may seem like coincidence As we live out our story Is God at work behind the scenes – So give Him all the glory – Sper
Seeing God at work puts a song in our heart (ODB)

He must increase, but I must decrease (v30)
When the crowds left John the Baptist to follow Jesus, he said: “This is the assigned moment for him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines” (Jn 3:30 TM) John thought like a steward. A steward simply manages something for the owner until he comes to take it back. John knew that the crowd leaving him for Christ was never his to begin with. God had simply placed them under his care for a period of time to accomplish certain purposes. With John this was apparently just fine. John’s view of stewardship presents us with an important principle. For his crowds may be our careers, our assets, our natural and spiritual gifts, etc. are these things owned or merely managed in the name of the One Who entrusted them to us? Your answer depends on whether you’re called or driven. Driven people consider them owned; called people don’t. When driven people lose them, nothing’s changed. Why? Because their calling is not to a position, it’s to a person – the person of Christ. Knowing who he was not, was the beginning of John knowing who he was. And who was he? A steward! And he didn’t aspire to anything beyond that. What is success as God counts success? It’s when others hear you, but follow Jesus. It’s when others see some quality in you that cause them to fall more in love with Him. Only then, can you truly say, “Father, I’ve done what You called me to do” (TWFYT)
PRAYER LINE: I once was an outcast stranger on earth, A sinner by choice, and an alien by birth; But I’ve been adopted my name’s written down, An heir to the mansion, a robe, and a crown.
God’s arms are always open to welcome anyone home.

JUST GLOVES Gal 5:16-26
The Holy Spirit…will produce this kind of fruit in us (v22)
We are just the glove. The Holy Spirit is the hand that fills it, empowers it and makes it function. Without Him, we’re sunk. The Christian life isn’t hard, it’s impossible –without God’s indwelling Spirit. “What will the Holy Spirit do?” you ask (1) Move you forward. “The earth was without form, and void…the spirit of God moved… and God said, Let there be light and there was light.” (Gen 1:2-3) The first thing God’s Spirit will do for you is move you out of darkness and into light (understanding). You can’t be filled with God’s Spirit and stay where you are; He’ll always move you forward. (2) Comfort you. Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as the “comforted” who would never leave us (Jn 14:16) When you wake up anxious about your day He whispers. “Don’t worry, I’ve got everything under control.” When you feel like you can’t go on, He holds your hand, stays by your side, strengthens you and says “I’, right here with you.” The Greek word for comforter is paraklete, which means, “one who comes alongside to help.” What a promise! You’re not in this fight alone – you’ve got God’s help. Use it. (3) Protect you. “When the enemy shall come like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him” (Isa 59:19) When the enemy moves against you all you have to do is pray. “Holy Spirit, be my standard bearer and my defender.” Go ahead; try it. Those who did it in Bible days saw their foes scattered, took home the spoils of battle and enjoyed God’s richest blessings – and you will too. (TWFYT)
PRAYER LINE: And He walks with me, and He talks with me; And He tells me I am His own, And the joy we shall as we tarry there, None other has ever known – Miles
Jesus longs for our fellowship even more than we long for His.

Praise the Lord for the Lord is good; sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant (Ps 135:3)
When David seemed to be forgetful of the goodness of the Lord, he decided to preach to his soul (Ps 135:3)
He took his time to list the blessings of God upon his life so that his soul could be grateful for each of them. The first thing he mentioned was the benefit of forgiveness he enjoyed from the Holy One of Israel. Modern day Christians do not appreciate the blessing of forgiveness like David did. We often take the work of redemption for granted. Anyone who appreciates the agonizing death of Jesus Christ on the Cross for the sin of humanity wouldn’t want to indulge in sin any more. Apostle Paul asked. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” (Rom 6:1) Only those who take the issue of sin lightly would say, “Let us sin the more, so that we may enjoy the grace the more,” and they shall not be guiltless according to the Scripture: “for if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” (Heb 10:26-27 Another blessing David listed in his collection of God’s benefits is divine healing. The Psalmist blessed the Lord for healing, whereas, some of us who enjoy divine health have never said thank you to the Giver of good health.
PRAYER LINE: My prayer is that the Lord will grant you divine health which is far superior to healing in Jesus’ name. (O.H)
Our greatest strength may be our ability to stand still and trust God.

Blessed by the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight (Ps 144:1)
The Psalmist blesses the Lord for teaching his hands to war and directing his fingers to fight aright. We must realize that not all figures win in the battles of life, many are destroyed by the hostility of life. This might have influenced David to write: “Bless the Lord O my soul… who redeemeth thy life from destruction (Ps 103:4) David lived to a very old age, though his beloved son overthrew him and sought his life; he survived his external and internal enemies. To him, the kindness God showed to him was not ordinary, it was the loving type. Meaning that kindness has categories. David saw good food, its nourishment and appetite to eat it as blessings from the Lord in verse 5 of our text today. What a grateful creature of the Almighty God David was. “Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight (Ps 144:1) Take a minimum of 15 minutes to thank God for His Goodness and Mercies over your life and that of your loved ones. (Ps 103:1-5)
PRAYER LINE: “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
When we gratefully acknowledge the grace we’ve received, we joyfully give it to those in need.

Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new (2 Cor 5:17)
In the Bible reading for today, we note the terrible things that man is capable of. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, unequivocally said that those who do those things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. However, he wrote, “And such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor 6:11) Our Lord Jesus Christ was speaking to Nicodamus about divine transformation when He said to him; “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Being born of water and of the Spirit brings about divine – transformation. The mystery of the new birth can not be explained by human reasoning except through the enlighten by the Spirit of our God. In the epistle of John: “He that commiteth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil; because he is born of God” (1 Jn 3:8-9)
There are two main avenues for experiencing divine transformation; (1) Genuine repentance; when a man voluntarily submits his will to God in obedience. (2) The pouter in the blood of Jesus Christ; the blood of the new covenant is much more superior to the blood of bull. (Heb 10:4) PRAYER LINE: Father, please cleanse me from all impurities and let my life conform to Your original image. (O. H.)
Justification means our guilt gone, Christ’s righteousness given.

And the spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. (v6)
The story in our Bible reading today reveals a divine transformation in the life of the first king of Israel. King Saul. He was not just anointed as a king; he started to prophesy. The Bible says in 2 Cor 5:17; therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.”
As a result of this experience, the believer becomes a very important personally. Apostle Peter called us chosen, royal priesthood and peculiar. Beloved, do you desire divine transformation? There is only one person who can give you this experience; and this is Jesus Christ. The Bible says; “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes…” (1 Sam 2:8) However, the divine transformation which makes an enemy of God become a friend of this same God, takes some responsibilities. Old things must pass away and the fellow must now live according to the principles of the kingdom of God. Read (1 John 3:3). This reality which king Saul did not pay close attention to might have been responsible for his dethronement. This may also account for the downfall of many children of God. This will not be your portion in Jesus’ name.
PRAYER LINE: Father, please use Your mighty power to give me a pleasant transformation this season in Jesus’ name. (O. H).
The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives (Prov 27:21 NIV)

HOW TO PRAY Lk 11:1-4
Lord, teach us to pray…when ye pray, say, Our Father which at in heaven (6:9-13)
(A) Praise and thank the Lord before petitioning Him Ps 95:2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving. Ps 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; be thankful…and bless his name. Phil 4:6 With thanksgiving let your requests be made known.
(B) If you have the gift of tongues, pray and praise in it. 1 Cor 14:2, 4. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh… unto God (and) edifieth himself. Eph 6:18 Praying always with… supplication in the Spirit Jude 1:20 Building up your… faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. 1 Cor 14:39 Forbid not to speak with tongues.
(C) Be specific and ask for what you need: 1kgs 3:5, 9-10 (God told Solomon) Ask what I shall give the (Matt 7:7-8); seek, and ye shall find Matt 21 21:22 Whatsoever ye ask in prayer… ye shall receive John 16:24 Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. Phil 4:6 Let your requests be made known unto God. Jas 4:2 Ye have not, because ye ask not. (D) Pray to the Father in Jesus’ name. Jn 14:13-14 Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do. Jn 16:23 Whatsoever ye… ask the Father in my name, he will give (Jn 15:16, 16:26, Eph 2:18) (Bible Basics)
PRAYER LINE: And He walks with me, and He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own And the joy we shall as we tarry there,
None other has ever known – Miles
Jesus longs for our fellowship even more than we long for His.

If he call thee… say, “Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth (1 Sam 3:9-10)
E. Prayer also includes you listening to God. Gen 24:63 Isaac went out to meditate in the field at eventide Num 9:8 standstill, and I will hear what the Lord will command. Ps 4:3-4. Lord will hear… commune with your heart… and be still. Ps 46:10. Be still and know that I am God (Eccl 5:1; Zephaniah 1:7; Zechariah 2:13)
F. Listen by meditating on God’s Word. Josh 1:8 Thou shalt meditate therein (the law) day and night. Ps 1:2 In his law doth he meditate day and night. Ps 119:148 (Before) the night watches… I meditate in thy word. 1 Timothy 4:15 Meditate on these things: give thyself wholly to them (a) Be diligent to pray, don’t be lazy. Isa 64:7 There is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth himself to take hold of thee Daniel 9:13 All this evil come upon us: yet made we nor our prayer. Jn 1:6 What meanest though, O sleeper? Arise, call upon God. Luke 22:46 Why sleep ye? Rise and pray. Lk 18:1 Men ought always to pray, and not faint (Bible Basics)
PRAYER LINE: Though I know not what awaits me –
What the future has in store,
Yet I know that God is faithful
For I’ve proved Him oft before – Amen.
God’s guidance in the past gives courage for the future.

Matt 21:21-22 Have faith… doubt not … whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive Mk 11:24 When ye pray, believe that ye receive and ye shall have Rom 4:21 Being fully persuaded that what he had promised, he was able also to perform. Heb 11:6 He that cometh to God must believe that he is Jas 1:5-7 Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (Matt 17:18-20; LK7:1-10)
B. Obey God and do His Will: Jn 9:31; If any man…doeth God’s will, him he heareth. Jn 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 1 Jn 3:22 We ask, we receive, because we keep his commandments. (Isa 58:6-9)
C. Submit yourself to God and pray according to His will: Ps 143:10 Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God. Matt 6:10 Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Lk 22:42. Nevertheless not my will, but thine (God’s) be done. Jn 5:30 (Jesus): I seek not mine own will, but will of (God) 1 Jn 5:14 If we ask anything according to his will, he heareth. D. Pray humbly: Dan 9:16 We do not present our supplications (because of) our righteousness, but for thy great mercies. Lk 18:10-14 The publican (said) God be merciful to me a sinner. Jas 4:6 God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble (Bible Basics)
PRAYER LINE: Heavenly Father, I need to know Your love in order to love others. I want to experience and share Your patience and kindness with those I care about. Fill me and use me.
We honour fathers who not only gave us life but who also show us how to live.

…Are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises (v4)
A. Remind God of His promises when praying Gen 32:6-12 Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed (and prayed reminding God of His promises of protection) Nehemiah 1:4-11 (Nehemiah prayed) Remember…the word that thou commandest thy servant Moses.
B. Some promises to claim in prayer, Ps 37:4-5 Delight thyself in the Lord: and he shall give thee desire. Isa 65:24 Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. (Jere 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things John 15:7 Ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you Jn 15:16 Whatsoever you ask in my name…(God will give it. Ps 81:10 Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
C. The Lord promises to hear prayer: 2 Sam 22:7 In my distress I called… he did hear my voice Ps 34:15,17 The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth: Ps 72:12 He shall deliver the needy when he crieth. Ps 91:15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him.
D. God’s blessings for those who seek Him 2 Chro 26:5 As long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper. 2 Chro 31:21 He (sought God) with all his heart and prospered. (Bible Basics)
PRAYER LINE: No darkness have we who in Jesus abide –
The light of the world is Jesus;
We walk in the light when we follow our Guide –
The light of the world is Jesus – Bliss
The Light of the world knows no power failure

A. Don’t be disobedient: Deut 1:43-45
Ye would not hear, but rebelled against (Word) of the Lord… the Lord would not hearken to your voice. Deut 3:23-27. (Moses’ request to enter Canaan denied) . Num 20:21. 1 Sam 28:5-6 When Saul enquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not – reason in (1 Sam 28:15-19) Isa 1:15 When ye make many prayers, I will not hear Micah 3:4 Then shall they cry unto the Lord, but he will not hear – 1 Sam 13:8-14; 14:37; Hosea 5:6) B. Don’t be disbelieving. Job 9:16 If I called and he answered me, yet would not believe he had harkened unto my voice. Matt 17:19-20 Why could not we cast him out? Because of your unbelief. Heb 11:6 Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is. C. Don’t harbor unrepented sin in heart. Ps 68:18-19. If I regard iniquity in my heart, Lord will not hear. Isa 59:1-2 Your sins have hid his face… that he will not hear. Jas 5:16. Confess your faults… and pray one for another.
D. Don’t doubt or disobey the Word: Prov 1:24-28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer. Prov 28:9 He that turneth ear… his prayer shall be abomination Zechariah 7:12-13 Therefore… they cried, and I would not hear. Jas 1:5-7 Let not that man (who doubts) think he shall receive anything of the Lord. (Bible Basics)
PRAYER LINE: Lord, thank You for the people in my life who influence me toward following You. Help me not to depend on them primarily – but to depend on Your Holy Spirit to guide me.
The faith of others encourages; a faith of our own transforms.

Be quick to listen, slow to speak (v19 NIV)
Want to become a good leader? Become a good listener!
Here are two stories of what happens when we don’t take time to listen. The first is from a young woman hurt by a manager who constantly cut her off. “We expected he would wait and give us answers to serious questions about our work. Many times he walked off when we were in mid-sentence; having heard nothing.” The next is from a church youth director who was fired: “After serving the Lord there for two years, I was called into an elders’ meeting. They took out a list of all the things I’d done wrong in the past two years. Most of what they said was true, for I was brand new in this work. Then they called for my resignation. What did I learn? (a) Not once did anyone care enough to coach or shepherd me (b) I’d no idea or warning that I was doing anything wrong. (c) The church leaders never built a relationship with their staff.” Why is it so difficult for leaders to listen? Because leaders love to talk, and as they gain more authority they think they have less reason to listen. Leaders by their very nature tend to be removed from the frontlines of battle. To win, they must constantly listen to those who are in the trenches and rely on that information to make wise decisions. Before Ezekiel was qualify to prophesy or lead God’s people, he wrote. “I sat among them for seven days- overwhelmed. At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me” (Eze 3:15-16 NIV) (TWFYT) PRAYER LINE: You’ve given us Your Spirit, Lord, To help us grow, mature, and learn, To teach us from Your written Word, So truth from error we’ll discern – Sper.
Let God’s Word fill your memory, rule your heart, and guide your life.

Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the people (v8)
When noted author Studs Terkel was looking for a topic for his next book, one of his friends suggested “death.” While he was resistant at first, the idea gradually began to take shape, but its voice became all too real when Mr. Terkel’s wife of 60 years passed away. Now the book was also a personal search: a yearning to know what lies beyond, where his loved one had just gone. It’s pages are a poignant reminder of our own search for Jesus and the questions and concerns we have about eternity while we walk our faith journey. I’m thankful for the assurance we can have that we will be with Jesus after we die if we have trusted in Him to forgive our sin. There is no greater hope. It is now our privilege to share that hope with as many as we can. First Peter 3:15 encourages us: “…always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” We have the opportunity from God, as David said, to “call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples (1 Chron 16:8) The stories of so many people we love are not yet ended and the privilege to tell them about the love of Jesus is a gift most precious – Randy Kilgore. PRAYER LINE: I love to tell the story; more wonderful it seems Than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams, I love to tell the story, it did so much for me; And that is just the reason I tell it now to thee – Hankey
Let our days be filled with a longing and the opportunities – to tell our story of Jesus. (ODB)

I was envious of the boastful when I saw the prosperity of the wicked – Ps 73:3
Have you ever felt that life is unfair? For those of us who are committed to following the will and ways of Jesus, it’s easy to get frustrated when people who don’t care about Him seem to do well in life. A businessman cheats yet wins a large contract, and the guy who parties all the time is robust and healthy – while you or your loved ones struggle with finances or medical issues. It makes us feel cheated, like may be we’ve been good for nothing. If you’ve ever felt that way, you’re in good company. The writer of Psalm 73 goes through a whole list of how the wicked prosper, and then he says “Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain” (v 13). But the tide of his thoughts turns when he recalls his time in God’s presence. “Then I understood their end” (v17).
When we spend time with God and see things from His point of view, it changes our perspective completely. We may be jealous of the nonbelievers now, but we won’t be at judgment time. As the saying goes, what difference does it make if you win the battle but lose the war? Like the psalmist, let’s praise God for His presence in this life and His promise of the life to come (vv 25-28) He is all you need, even when life seems unfair – Joe Stowell.
PRAYER LINE: All wrongs will one day be set right
By God who sees both bad and good;
All motives and all deeds will then
Be fairly judged and understood – D De Haan
Spending time with God puts everything else in perspective.

Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness (Jere 13)
You can only hide your lack of integrity for so long. Eventually you’ll experience failure, and whatever influence you’ve temporarily gained will be swept away. Hurricane Katrina taught us that. When the storm came the level walls in New Orleans broke and the city went under, ‘You see, integrity is like a wall – erected one brick at a time. That’s why it’s crucial to take care of the little things. A lot of us don’t understand that. We think we can do whatever we want when it comes to small things; we believe so long as we don’t have any major lapses we’re doing well. But that’s not the way it works. Webster’s New International Unabridged Dictionary describes integrity as adherence or moral and ethical principles soundness of character, honesty. Ethical principles are not flexible. A little white lie is still a lie. Theft is still theft, whether, it’s one N1 (Naira) or One dollar or one million, the truth is, if you can’t be trusted at all points you probably can’t be trusted at any point. Each time you break a moral principle you create a crack in the wall of your character and when times get tough it becomes harder to act with integrity – not easier. “Integrity commits itself to character over personal pain, people over things, service over power, discipline over impulse, commitment over convenience, and the long view over the immediate (TWFYT)
PRAYER LINE: Whenever life’s burdens oppress you And trial are too much to face, Remember God’s strength in your weakness; He’ll give you His power and grace – Sper.
The increasing darkness of trials only makes the lamp of grace shine brighter.

THE POWER OF A NAME Prov 18:1-10
The name of the LORD is a strong tower (v10)
Nicknames are often descriptive of some noticeable aspect of a person’s character or physical attributes. Growing up, my elementary school friends brutally called me “liver lips” since at that stage of development my lips seemed disproportionately large. Needless to say, I have always been glad that the name didn’t stick. Unlike my nickname, I love the names of God that describe His magnificent characteristics. God is so wonderfully multifaceted that He has many names that communicate His capabilities and character. To name just a few, He is; Elohim, the God above all gods. Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides, El-shadai, the Almighty God. Jehovah Rapha, our healer God. Jehovah Shalom, our God of peace. Jehovah Shamma, our God who is present. Jehovah Yahweh, our loving, covenant – keeping God. It’s no wonder the writer of Proverbs encourages us to remember that “the name of the LORD is a strong tower,” are safe. (Prov 18:10)
When unwelcome circumstance threaten you and you feel vulnerable reflect on one of God’s names. Be assured – He will be faithful to His name – Joe Stowell
PRAYER LINE: Lord, remind us that Your names reveal Your character. Help us to remember them in our times of need and distress. Thank You for the assurance that You are faithful to Your name.
God’s names, which describe His character, can bring comfort when we need it most.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy peace as you trust in him (v13)
Trusting God is so much simpler than not trusting Him. When you doubt God, His Word and His promises you’re left to your own devices and reasoning when it comes to working things out. And as a result you get stressed out. Take a moment and read the following three verses, then think carefully about what they mean. “But the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. Now we who have believed enter that rest” (Heb 4:2-3 NIV 1984 Edition) “He who has once entered (God’s) rest… has ceased from (the weariness and pain) of human labours” (Heb 4:10 AMP) “Come to Me, all you who labour and are… overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. (I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.)” How are you supposed to approach God? In faith.
The Bible says: ‘Without faith’ it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must (necessarily) believe that… He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him (out)’ (Heb 11:6 AMP)
That means when you come to God, you must do the believing. And when you do, you’ll receive His joy and peace. These two things are God’s will for you; they were bought and paid for at the cross. Christ’s work is already finished, and the only thing that remains to be accomplished is for you to believe. When you do that, God will respond and bless you every time. (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: God’s hand that holds the ocean’s depths Can hold my small affairs; His hand that guides the universe Can carry all my cares – Anon
Our work is to cast care; God’s work is to take care.

Abraham called the name of the place – The LORD – will provide; as it is said to this day “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided (v 14) (Jiehovah Jireh)
God, why did that so-and-so take that position from me? Why did You let that happen?”
Have you ever said something like that? Do not get sad or angry when people take everything away from you. Get glad! Say, “It looks like God is about to show me another side of His glory. I am about to discover why He calls Himself Jehovah –Jireh, ‘or the Lord Will Provide.”
Above all, do not pray against people who misuse or abuse you. Do not rebuke the situation; just hang on to see what the end will be. Your prayer should be, “I want to see another side of God.” He loves to surprise us with His glory, power and beauty. Whatever trap you think you are in right now, rejoice! It is just another opportunity to see God come through for you. Read – Abraham named that place, “The LORD Will Provide” And even now, people say “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” The LORD’s angel called out from heaven a second time: You were willing to offer the Lord your only son, and so he makes you this solemn promise, “I will bless you and give you such a large family, that someday your descendants will be more numerous than the stars in the sky or… You have obeyed me, and so you and your descendants will be a blessing to all nations on earth” (Gen 22:14-18)
PRAYER LINE: Lord Jesus, I know that You are about to show me another side of Yourself. I refuse to worry about it any longer. Show Yourself strong, Lord! Amen. (CTC)

Jesus said “I have called you friends (Jn 15:15)
One of the ironic consequences of the sweeping growth of social media is that we often find our selves more personally isolated. One online article warns: “Those who oppose leading one life primarily or exclusively online claim that virtual friends are not adequate substitutes for real-world friends, and …individuals who substitute virtual friends for physical friends become even lonelier and more depressive than before.” Technology aside, all of us battle with seasons of loneliness, wondering if anyone knows, understands, or cares about the burdens we carry or the struggles we face. But followers of Christ have an assurance that brings comfort to our weary hearts. The comforting presence at the Saviour is promised on words that are undeniable for the psalmist David wrote: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me. Your rod and Your staff they comfort me” (Ps 23:4) Whether isolated by our own choices, by the cultural trends that surround us, or by the losses of life, all who know Christ can rest in the presence of the shepherd of our hearts. What a friend we have in Jesus! Bill Crowder.
PRAYER LINE: I’ve found a friend, O such a Friend!
He loved me ere I knew Him;
He drew me with the cords of love,
And thus He bound me to Him – Small
Those who know Jesus as their Friend are never alone.

My Peace I give you… Do not let your heart be troubled and …afraid (v27)
The Peace Jesus gives brings a sense of assurance that no matter what happens to you now it is well with my soul.” He says to us, ‘My peace I give you, I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and … afraid.’ The peace Jesus gives doesn’t depend on conditions and circumstances. It comes from knowing you’re God’s child and that your Father controls the universe, loves you and always has your best interest at heart.
That’s why people who’ve lost everything will often tell you they wouldn’t trade what they’ve learned, even if it meant recouping all their losses. Join Erikson Tada discovered a supernatural peace when an accident confined her to a wheelchair, and Corie Ten Boom found it in a Nazi death camp. Missionary Elizabeth Elliot found it ministering to the Indian tribe who massacred her husband. Peace … not in resignation. “There’s a big difference! Author Creath Davis points out that” Resignation is surrender to fate. Acceptance is surrender to God. Resignation lies down quietly in an empty universe. Acceptance rises up to meet the God who fills that universe with purpose and destiny. Resignation says, “I can’t.” Acceptance says, “God can.” Resignation paralyses the life process. Acceptance says, ‘Now that I’m here, what’s next, Lord?” Resignation says, “What a waste.” Acceptance says, “In what redemptive way will you use this mess, Lord?” Resignation says, ‘I’m alone.” Acceptance says, ‘I belong to you, Lord.” (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: If we commit ourselves to Christ And follow in His way, He’ll give us life that satisfies With purpose for each day – Sper
If you want someone to know what Christ will do for him, let him see what Christ has done for you.

“But the Lord said tohim, “Go for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name, before the Gentiles …(v15)
Helen Keller was asked what it was like not to be able to see she said, “It’s better to have no sight, than it is to have no vision.” It saddens me when I realize just how many people have not taken the time to think about what they want their lives to be five or ten years from now. Many people have not considered where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing even as little as one year from now. Not having a vision of where you are going in your life is like going on vacation by walking out your door, suitcase in hand, getting in your car and driving no place in particular. Most of us would not even consider such a foolish thing, yet we spend more time and energy planning our one and two-week vacations than we do our lives. Creating a vision for your future is a fun and empowering exercise that will encourage you to expand your sense of what is possible and show you pictures of a bright, abundant future. Pictures which you will then begin to create for yourself. (Jim Donovan) In Gen 37:5-11 Joseph dreamt of greatness. There were challenges, but the divine vision came to pass. PRAYER LINE: Don’t worry for your future needs,
It will only bring you sorrow;
But give them to the Lord instead –
He’ll take care of your tomorrow – Sper
We lose the joy of living in the present when we worry about the future

“And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valour” (v13)
The LORD said to Gideon, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?… surely, I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.” (vv14-16)
The world famous actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, wanted to live in America. He took up weightlifting since it was at that time, an American sport. Having read about a weightlifter who won Mr. Universe title and went to America to star as Hercules in a movie, Schwarzenegger decided this would be his way to accomplish his dream as well. He began by, in his words, “Painting a picture in my mind” of himself standing on a pedestal at the Mr. Universe contest and everyone applauding. That became his vision. He affirmed that he would win The Mr. Universe title and get into the movies in America. At the time, he was fourteen years old, with his vision held strongly in his mind, he began training to become a world class weightlifter. When he was twenty years of age, he became the youngest person in history to be crowned Mr. Universe. Three years later he was cast in his first movie, Hercules in New York. The rest, as they say, is history. (Jim Donovan)
PRAYER LINE: Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow – blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside – Chisholm
God gives by promise that we may take by faith.

ONE MAN’S STORY Acts 9:1-9
Then he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?
Saul the persecutor became Paul the persecuted. It was a transformation, a determination and a vision realized. Let us look at One man’s story as revealed by Jim Donovan in his book – Take Charge of Your Destiny. Recently, I met a man at the graduation ceremony for a non-profit agency that helps people change their lives.
Two years prior to that night, he was homeless and addicted to drugs. It was then that he made a life altering decision. He decided to seek the help that was available and enrolled in the self-sufficiency programme offered by the agency, the Bucks County Opportunity Council. I could feel his pain as he told about his struggle to first, get off drugs, and then to get a job and a place to live. He told about the obstacles and challenges he had to overcome to make it through the programme, not an easy task for anyone. I had tears in my eyes when he told the audience that night about his new job, wife and baby girl. In just two short years, this man went from living at the bottom of society to beginning the life of his dreams. He did it by having a vision and by taking the steps necessary to have the life he wanted. The following year, the man told how he was now about to purchase a home for him and his family. (Jim Donovan) Are you in a similar situation?
PRAYER LINE: Search me, O God, my heart discern; Try me, my inmost thoughts to learn, Help me to keep from sin , I pray, Guarding my mind Throughout this day. You will surely testify.- Osagima.
Self-examination is one test from which no Christian is excused.

WHY WE DO THIS? Acts 9:1-9
“And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”(v5)
In addition to providing you with a road map to your dreams, your vision serves as a way for you to manage your emotional energy. It is pretty well accepted that attract that which we think about consistently. Whatever you focus your attention on day in day out, will eventually come to pass. This is a law, like gravity. By having a clear vision of your future and having identified what you want in your life, you will have created a tool to put yourself in that energy or vibration of attracting that which you want. You will use your vision statement as a powerful affirmation and read it whenever you want to put yourself into the energy of attraction. The balancing act. One of the keys to an exciting, fulfilling and incredible life is balance . it is important to have balance in your life. Make certain that you include several different areas of your life in your vision. It is important to consider several key areas of your life in order to create a life that is well rounded. As you progress, you will find that you have a tendency to concentrate in one or two specific areas at a time. In order to have a truly joyous and successful life, it is important to be growing in each of the key areas. (Jim Donovan)
PRAYER LINE: The Lord has given us commands
And told us to obey,
Our own, designs are sure to fail
If we neglect His way – Henry Bosch
Don’t blame the rule if you don’t measure up.

DAY 61 FRIDAY MARCH, 2. 2018
You have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. (v1)
Legendary basketball coach John Wooden (1910-2010) believed that character is far more important than reputation. “Your reputation is what you’re perceived to be by others.” Coach Wooden often told his players, “but your character is what you really are. You’re the only one that knows your character. You can fool others, but you can’t fool yourself.” In the book of Revelation, we find the words of the risen Christ to seven churches in Asia. To the church in Sardis, Jesus said, “I know your works that you have a name (reputation) that you are alive, but you are dead.” (Rev 3:1) The Lord knew the truth about them, and no doubt deep down they knew it too. Jesus told them to wake up and strengthen the spiritual life inside them that was about to die (v2) He urged them to remember the truth they had received, obey it, then turn around and start moving in a new direction (v3) When the Lord shows us what’s wrong in our lives, He always provides a remedy for change. When we turn from our sins, He forgives and strengthens us to start over. How liberating to exchange a false spiritual reputation for the true life – giving character that comes from knowing Christ our Lord – David McCasland.
PRAYER LINE: Men talk much of gold and fame,
And not enough about a name;
And yet a good name’s better far
Than all earth’s glistering jewels are – Guest
The true test of our character is what we do when no one is watching.

These things I command you, that ye love one another (Jn 15:17)
The Bible takes the subject of love so seriously that love is equated to the sum total of all the commandments of God.
The Bible in 1 Cor 13:1-2 says,: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become a sounding brass… and have not charity, I am nothing.” The above passage speaks clearly about the importance of love and how children of God should view or rate love on the scale of spirituality. Here, God compared some special gifts of uncommon value to love. Speaking in the tongues of men and angels seems to mean the ability to speak in heavenly tongues and at the same time interprets it in the language of men.
If one should have the gift of prophesy, understand all mysteries and have all knowledge, even if the person should have enough faith to do great miracles, without love, such a person amounts to nothing in the eyes of God. This means that love is the golden rule by which whatever gifts we exhibit and whatever services we offer to God are measured. Therefore, love is the ultimate commandment. Rom 13:10 says: “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” Your service to God must come from your heart rendered in love, as God is love. Do you know that faith requires the oil of love to operate effectively? (Gal 5:6)
PRAYER LINE: Father, help me to love You with all of my heart in Jesus’ name. (O.H)
Even strong trials cannot blow down a person who is rooted in God.

DAY 63 SUNDAY MARCH, 4. 2018
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments (1 Jn 5:2)
The big question is, in what sense does love fulfill the totality of the law? And how does the idea of fulfilling the law through love compare to doing the works of the law? Rom 13:9-10 says; “For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shall love thy neigbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neigbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” If the love of God is shed abroad in your heart, you will be able to fulfill the law without grumbling, but with joy. This is why Paul reduced the commandments to only one, “Love is the fulfilling of the law.” Love can reduce the length of an assignment from years to days by filling each day with excitement, hope and fun. Jacob served seven years for Rachel, because of the love he had for her. (Gen 29:20) No price is too much to pay for the one you love. Jacob served a total of 14 years waiting for Rachel. The one who loves you will not compel you to sleep with him before you are married. Obedience is the natural result of love. You will never want to disobey or rebel against the authority of someone you truly love. All the vices – adultery, murder, stealing, false witness, covetousness, and others are not compatible with love.
PRAYER LINE: Father, please help me to love You and my neighbours in practical terms, in Jesus’ name.
God’s forgiveness frees us from the chains of regret. (O.H)

DAY 64 MONDAY MARCH, 5. 2018
A. Don’t hold resentment in your heart. Mk 11:25 When ye stand praying, forgive, if you have ought against any that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
B. Don’t have selfish motives: Jas 4:3 Ye ask, and receives not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Deut 23:4-5 Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee. They hired against thee Balaam…curse thee (But the Lord would not hearken unto Balaam.
C. Don’t pray in pride, but sincerely and humbly; Matt 6:5-6 Not be as hypocrites (who) love to pray (publicly) Lk 18:10-14 God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are.
D. Don’t pray long, repetitive prayers. Eccl. 5:2 God is in heaven. Let thy words be few. Matt 6:7-8 When ye pray, use not vain repetitions. Matt 23:14 (God told Joshua to stop praying and get up) E. What happens when we don’t pray. Jas 4:2 Ye have not, because ye ask not – (Isa 64:2) (Bible Basics)
PRAYER LINE: Our God is God – He does not change;
His truth, His love remain each day the same, He’s faithful to His matchless name, For God is God – He does not change – D De Haan
Let the sameness of God waft over your heart with His peace in your storms.

(A) Private Prayer. Matt6:6 When thou prayest, enter into thy closet… in secret Mk 1:35 He…departed into a solitary place, and there prayed Mk 6:46 He sent them away, he departed to a mountain to pray. Lk 5:16 He withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.
(B) United prayer. Matt 18:19-20 Where two or three are gathered together in my name. Acts 1:13-15 These all (120 people) continued with one accord in prayer… in an upper room. Acts 4:23-31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
(C) “Watching in prayer. 1 Sam 15:11. It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king; for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the Lord all night. Matt 26:40-41 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? (v40) Lk 6:12 He (Jesus) continued all night in prayer to God. Acts 12:5 Peter was kept in prison… prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. Eph 6:18 Praying always … and watching thereunto (Bible Basics)
PRAYER LINE: Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin? The blood of Jesus whispers peace within… Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown? Jesus we know, and He is on the throne – Bickersteth
Only in Christ can true peace be realized.

WHEN TO PRAY (1) 1 Chron 16:11
“Seek the Lord…seek his face continually (v11)
(A) Be in a continual attitude of prayer Prov 3:6. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct. Lk 18:1 Men ought always to pray Lk 21:36. Watch ye therefore, and pray always 1 Thess 5:17 Pray without ceasing. Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints
(B) Pray in time of special need. Ps 50:15 Call upon me in the day of trouble. Ps 27:8 When thou saidst, “Seek ye my face” Ps 107:19. They cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth. Heb 4:16. Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may… find …help in time of need Jas 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray 2 Chro 14:11-12 And Asa cried out to the LORD his God, and said, ‘LORD, it is nothing for You to help… So the LORD struck the Ethiopians before Asa and Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. Ps 34:4,6 He who has clean hands and a pure heart…who seek Your face.
(C) Morning Prayer: Ps 5:3 In the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee. Ps 63:1 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee Ps 119:147 I (rose before) the dawning of the morning; and cried. Prov 8:17 Those that seek me early, shall find me. Mk 1:35. In the morning, rising up before day, he….prayed.
PRAYER LINE: I love to tell the story, for some have never heard The message of Salvation. From God’s own holy Word – Hankey.
Past stories of grace inspire future stories of faith.

DAY 67 THURSDAY MARCH, 8. (Mothers’ Day) 2018
WHEN TO PRAY (2) (Mk 6:46-47)
(Jesus) departed to mountain to pray…even was come
(A) Evening prayer – “And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray…the boat was at the middle of the sea, and He was alone on the land (Mk 6:446-47) Gen 24:63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted his eyes and looked, and there, the camels were coming. Ps 55:17 Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud. And He shall hear my voice. Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward. Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom, since early days. (E) Prayer in the night. Lam. 2:19 Arise, cry out in the night… pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord. Ps 42:8 The LORD will command His loving kindness in the daytime. And in the night His song shall be with me. A prayer to the God of my life. Ps 63:5-6 When I … meditate on thee in the night watches. Isa 26:9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night. Lk 6:12 (Jesus) continued all night in Prayer to God. Acts 16:25 At midnight Paul and Silas prayed; and sang praises. Read Ps 4:4; 119:55, 62 (Bible Basics)
PRAYER LINE: Our prayers ascend to heaven’s throne Regardless of the form we use; Our Father always hears His Own; Regardless of the worlds we choose – D. De Haan.
God is always available to hear the prayers of His children.

DAY 68 FRIDAY MARCH, 9. 2018
DON’T WORRY 1 Pet 5:1-11
Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you (v7)
George Burns, American actor and humanist, said, “If you ask, “What is the single most important key to longevity?” I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress, and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still say it.” Burns, who lived to be 100, enjoyed making people laugh, and apparently followed his own advice.
But how can we keep from worrying when our lives are so uncertain, so filled with problems and needs? The apostle Peter offered this encouragement to the followers of Jesus who had been forcibly scattered across Asia during the first century. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Pet 3:6-7) Peter’s instructions were not given to help us avoid suffering (v9), but so we can find peace and power to stand victorious against the attacks of Satan (vv8-10). Instead of being consumed by anxiety and worry, we are set free to enjoy God’s love for us and express it to each other.
Our goal should not be to see how many years we can live but instead to live fully in loving service to the Lord for all the years we are given – David McCasland
PRAYER LINE: Lord I admit that I take things into my own hands and worry. That weighs my spirit down and sometimes robs my nights of rest. Lift the heaviness from my heart as I lean into You.
God is my Father, I will never think of anything that He will forget, so why should I worry: Osward Chambers. (ODB)

“Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires” (v12NIV) Self-Control is one of the great keys to success in life. And since God’s Word has a lot to say about it, if you ask Him He will help you to cultivate it. What you struggled with when you were young will be different from the things you struggle with when you’re older, but you’ll face temptation in one form or another as long as you live. Self-control is one of the nine fruits of the Spirit listed in the Bible (Gal 5:22-23) It calls for bringing every aspect of your life under the mastery of the Holy Spirit. It’s a lifestyle characterized by discipline, not impulse. The Greek word for “Self-control” comes from a root word meaning ‘to grip.’ It calls for getting a grip on your spending so that you don’t go into debt for things you don’t need and can’t pay for. It calls for getting a grip on your temper and not saying things you’ll later regret.
“Better…a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city’ (Prov 16:32 NIV). It calls for getting a grip on your desires. (If Joseph had failed to say no to the repeated advances of his boss’ wife, he’d never have seen his life’s dream fulfilled and sat on the throne of Egypt. Understand this: Satan has discerned your destiny and he’s out to stop you from reaching it. So pray for self-control and practice it on a daily basis. (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: He touched me, oh, He touched me,
And oh, The joy that floods my soul!
Something happened and now I know
He touched me and made me whole – Gaither
Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling.

DAY 70 SUNDAY MARCH, 11. 2018
Nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You
When Jesus told Peter he would deny his Lord, Peter boasted, ‘Others may, but not me.” Yet within few hour he was sweating and disavowing any knowledge of Jesus. It can happen to any of us. The Bible says, “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own (particular) desires and enticed’ (Jas 1:14 NKJV) We all have areas of vulnerability which if not disciplined by character and commitment, have the potential to defeat or even destroy us. What can you do? (1) Recognize it. Before you yield to temptation you usually go through certain stages. By neglecting prayer and Bible reading you become indifferent to God, insensitive to danger and find yourself drawn like a moth to a flame. Then you begin to rationalize your disobedience and think, ‘Nobody knows, What harm will it do? And the more you silence the voice of conscience, the stronger your carnal appetites become. Then you surround yourself with people who do the same things, or are at least willing to look the other way. Jesus said; Pray… that you may not enter into temptation (Mk 14:38 AMP) Pray for strength before temptation comes (2) Reach for help When Jehoshaphat came up against an enemy too big to handle alone, he prayed. We have no power against this great multitude…nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You. Jehoshaphat knew he was no match for the Enemy, and he knew where to turn for help. What’s the secret of victory? Lean less on yourself and more on God (TWFT).
PRAYER LINE: It was grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved; How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed – Newton
We can expect God’s peace when we accept God’s grace.

DAY 71 MONDAY MARCH, 12. 2018
I have given you… (physical and mental strength)
Here’s A plan for victory (1) No matter how often you fall, get back up. ‘Though a righteous man falls seven times, ‘he rises again’ (Prov 24:16 NIV) Becoming spiritually mature is a lifelong process. It happens every time you turn to God in weakness and allow Him to do for you what you can’t do for yourself (2) Don’t deny it, deal with it. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted (Ps 34:18 NAS) God always responds with grace to a repentant heart. He’ll meet you at your lowest point, walk with you through the valley of regret and repentance, and bring you out stronger. (3) Write down what you’ve learned through temptation. As you reflect on it you’ll see what needs to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:2 KJV) And be sure to write down new habits you want to integrate into your life-prayer, accountability to a friend. Bible reading and memorization, identifying weak spots, and watching yourself more closely (4) Use what you’ve learned, Jesus told Peter, ‘Satan hath desired to have you… But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren’ (Lk 22:31-32 KJV) Let today mark a new beginning by using what you’ve learned not only to avoid falling again, but to help others facing temptation (5) Believe you can walk in victory. Jesus said, ‘I have given you (physical and mental strength…) over all the power that the enemy (possesses). Get rid of your ‘I can’t attitude, and draw today on God’s strength. (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: The stories in the Word of God Are there for us to see How God has worked in people’s lives Throughout all history – Sper
The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to teach the people of God.

DAY 72 TUESDAY MARCH, 13. 2018
‘He ran from the house (Gen 39:12 NLT)
The Bible says, “Joseph was a very handsome and well-built young man, and Potiphar’s wife … began to look at him lustfully, “come and sleep with me” She demanded. But Joseph refused. “Look,” he told her; my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. How could I do such a wicket thing? It would be a great sin against God.’ She kept out of her way as much as possible. One day, however, no one else was around when he went to do his work. She came and grabbed him by his cloak, demanding, ‘Come on, sleep with me!” Joseph tone himself away, but he left his cloak in her hand as he ran from the house’ (vv 6-12 NLT) Note the words; ‘She kept putting pressure on Joseph day after day. Joseph temptation kept happening when he was around a certain person Potiphar’s wife. And it kept happening when he was in a certain place: Potiphar’s house. So he ran. Not because he was weak but because he was wise. He understood that if you hang around temptation too long you’re playing with fire and setting yourself up to get “burned.” So, what people and what places do you need to avoid? What sources of temptation do you need to remove from your life in order to live victoriously? Remember the old Kenny Rogers song: “You got to know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em, know when to walk away and know when to run? God isn’t dishonoured when you run – you’re dishonoured when you don’t. (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Whatever trouble may assail, Of this we can sure; God’s promises can never fail, They always will endure – Hess
Faith knows that God always performs what He promises.

“Its fruit looked delicious… So she…ate it.” (Gen 3:6 NLT)
Let’s Look at the first time in Scripture anyone was tempted and see what we can learn. The Bible says, “The serpent was the shrewdest of all the (creatures) the Lord God had made… he asked the woman, “Did God really say…? (v1NLT) (1) First Satan will blind you to all good things God has in store for you. Then he’ll take mood-altering substances like drugs or alcohol, or somebody else’s husband or wife, or Internet porn, and tell you it won’t hurt you. Don’t bite! He’s a liar! Don’t believe him! Temptation comes from our own desires. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is swallowed to grow, it gives birth to death. So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters’ (Jas 1:14-16 NLT) Any weakness that’s constantly indulged, excused, denied, or hidden has the power to enslave you. Failure to identity and target your weakness strengthens it. Ignoring your areas of vulnerability makes defeat inevitable. Satan has assigned certain people to feed your weaknesses. Be discerning. Your weakness will be drawn to any friendship that accepts it, enjoy it and feeds on it. It has an agenda of its own-to take over your life and sabotage God’s plan for you. It’s always bond with the wrong people and make you uncomfortable in the presence of the right ones.
And it can emerge at anytime, including your later years. So how do you overcome your weakness? Through willpower? No, through God’s power. And it’s available to you today – so reach for it (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: O Prince of Peace, keep us, we pray; From Strife and enmity; Help us to speak with loving words That quell hostility – Branon.
Never invite trouble, it always accepts.

”Then the LORD said to him, “Take your sandals off your feet…” (v33)
“I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object descending like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners, and it came to me. And I heard a voice saying to me,” Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” (Acts 11:5-7)
“Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is a nightmare – Japanese Proverb. You will find the following exercise to be an inspiring and liberating experience that will leave you excited about your life and eager to get moving toward your dreams. That is its purpose, along with providing you with a tool that you can use to align your energy with what you want in your life, thereby greatly increasing the likelihood of you having it. Once you become energetically matched to what it is you want, you begin to draw it to you according to what is known as the law of attraction. The law of attraction sometimes called the “law of similar” states that “like attracts like.” This applies to everything in our lives and is always working whether or not we choose to acknowledge it. From Matthew’s verse in the Bible, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” to Emerson who said “A man’s what he thinks about all day,” to Marcus Aurelins who said, “Our life is what our thoughts make of it.” The more you work with your vision and hold your attention on thoughts of that which you want in your life, the faster you will achieve it. (Jim Donavan)
PRAYER LINE: You are called with a holy calling The light of the world to be; To lift up the lamp of the Saviour, That others His light may see – Anon.
Believers help the host to find their way home when their life shines brightly.

DAY 75 FRIDAY MARCH, 16. 2018
So get yourself ready; I am sending you back to Egypt (v34)
In your vision, be sure to include something from each of the following categories:
Spiritually and Religion – In five years where are you spiritually? What is your relationship to your Creator? Do you spend time each day in prayer and meditation? Are you living a spiritual life? What is your connection to your community? Where do you give back? Self-development – What have you done to enrich your mind? Have you added to your education? Did you obtain a degree or learn a new skill? Have you studied a new language? What are you doing regularly to expand your mind? Do you make a habit of reading uplifting, inspirational material each day? Doing this for just fifteen minutes a day will help you keep a positive attitude and will contribute more to your success than any other action you can take.
Health and Fitness – How is your health? Are you becoming more fit. What are you doing to nurture your self regularly? Do you exercise? What about sports and leisure activities? Do you have regular medical checkups? Are you taking extraordinary care of your body?
Family and Relationships – What about your relationships do you have a great relationship with your spouse and loved ones? What about friends? Have you developed meaningful relationships with people who support you and have your best interest in mind? (Jim Donavan)
PRAYER LINE: Because of the grace and forgiveness that You have shown me, Lord, I want to live a life that’s worthy of knowing You. Help me to follow Your plans that You’ve laid out in the Scriptures. Amen.
The Bible is the Christian’s blueprint for life.

“God said ‘kneel and pray; You are in a holy place; on holy ground (v33 MSG)
Career and Business – In your five-year vision where have you gone in your career or business? What is your work day like? What are the feelings you experience in your chosen work? How great is it? Have you begun your own business? How has it grown? What are you doing each day? Where are you contributing to society? Remember the idea of a big vision, one that will excite you just thinking about living it.
Social and Material – What are you doing socially? Where are you vacationing? Have you taken your family to a great restaurant/event? What are you doing? What do you own? Have you added an incredible media center to your home? A new computer; New furniture? A great wardrobe? What have you been able to buy for your family?
Money and Investments – How much money are you earning? What have you invested in? How much are you saving each month? What are you using your money for? Have you set aside the money for your children’s education? Are you tithing regularly?
As the late Norman Vincent Peale considered to be one of the pioneers of the modern self-help movement.” Great! You now have an inspiring, motivating rich vision of how you want your life to be in five years. Read it every day with excitement and passion a possibility of making it a reality (Jim Donovan)
PRAYER LINE: Silently now I wait for Thee, Ready, my God, Thy will to see; Open my heart – illuminate me, Spirit Divine – Scott
The Holy Spirit works powerfully, though invisibly.

DAY 77 SUNDAY MARCH, 18. 2018
The measure (of thought and study) you give (to the truth you hear) will be the measure (of virtue and knowledge) that comes back to you (v 24)
Martin Luther said studying the Bible was like picking apples. First you shake the trunk, then you shake the limb, then you shake the branch, then you shake the twing, then you look under every leaf. There’s no other book in the world like it. You can read the same Bible verse a dozen times and get a dozen different insights. That’s because it’s God-breathed’ (2 Tim 3:16 NIV) Here’s what Jesus said about studying God’s Word. ‘(Things are hidden temporarily only as a means to revelation) for there is nothing hidden except to be revealed, nor is anything (temporarily) kept secret except in order that it may be made known (Mk 4:22 AMP) Then He adds; ‘Be careful what you are hearing. The measure (of thought and study) you give (to the truth you hear) will be the measure (of virtue and knowledge) that come back to you-and more (beside) will be given to you who hear” Do you want to grow spiritually? Build better relationships? Succeed in your career? Conquer anxiety and find peace? Break a bad habit? Be healed from the emotional wounds of your past? Then meditate on, ponder, think about, practice mentally, and verbalize the word of God. Instead of living off someone else’s spiritual insight, study God’s Word for yourself and allow the Holy Spirit to bless you with life transforming insights. Jesus said, ‘The Spirit takes my message and tells it to you’ (Jn 16:15 CEV) And you’ll experience the truth of those words when you personalize the Scripture you’re reading (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: The Bible stands, and it will forever When the world has passed away; By inspiration it has been given – All its precepts I will obey – Lillenas
God’s word needs no additions or subtractions.

DAY 78 SUNDAY MARCH, 19. 2018
Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called…bearing with one another in love (vv1-2)
In the book God in the Dock, author C.S. Lewis describes the kind of people we have trouble getting along with. Selfishness, anger, jealousy, or other quirks often sabotage our relationship with them. We sometimes think, life would be much easier if we didn’t have to contend with such difficult people. Lewis then turns the tables on us by pointing out that these frustrations are what God has to endure with each of us every day. He writes; “You are just that sort of person. you also have a fatal flaw in your character. All the hopes and plans of others have again and again shipwrecked on your character just as your hopes and plans have shipwrecked on theirs.”
This self awareness should motivate us to try to show the same patience and acceptance to others that God shows to us daily. In Ephesians, Paul exhorts us to arm ourselves relationally with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love” (4:2) The one who is patient is better able to deal with difficult person without becoming provoked to anger and retaliation.
Instead, he or she is able to endure, exhibiting grace in spite of upsetting behaviour. Are there difficult people in your life? Ask God to show His love through you – Dennis Fisher.
PRAYER LINE: Some people can be difficult to love,
And so we do not even try to care;
But God says, “Love them just as I’ve loved you –
You’ll bring Me glory as My love you share” Cetas
See others as God sees you.

DAY 79 MONDAY MARCH, 20. 2018
Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD (v8)
According to an African fable, four fingers and a thumb lived together on a hand. They were inseparable friends.
One day, they noticed a gold ring lying next to them and conspired to take it. The thumb said it would be wrong to steal the ring, but the four fingers called him a self-righteous coward and refused to be his friend. That was just fine with the thumb; he wanted nothing to do with their mischief. This is why, the legend goes, the thumb still stands separate from the other fingers. This tale reminds me that at times we may feel we’re standing alone when wrong doing surrounds us. In Noah’s day, the earth was filled with violence, every thought in every heart was “evil continually” (Gen 6:5,11) Yet “Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (v8)
Fully devoted to God, Noah obeyed Him and built the ark. The Lord, in His grace, spared him and his family.
We too have been shown God’s grace through His Son Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. We have every reason to bring Him Honour and stand strong for Him in our daily lives. He is always near, even abiding in us, so we never really stand alone. His ears are open to (our) cry.” Ps 34:15) Jennifer Benson Schuldt.
PRAYER LINE: They show their colours when they stand For what is true and right; And those who venture all on God Are pleasing in His sight – D De Haan
It’s easy to stand with a crowd; it takes courage to stand alone.

The LORD hates… one who sows discord among brethren (v16,19)
The language of Prov 6:16-19 is strong. In the citing of seven things the Lord hates, sowing “discord among brethren” makes the list. The reason for naming this sin is that it spoils the unity that Christ desires for His followers (Jn 17:21-22) Those who sow discord may not initially set out to create divisions. They may be preoccupied instead with their personal needs or interests of a group they belong to (Jas 4:1-10) Consider how Lot’s herdsmen argued with those of Abraham. (Gen 13:1-18) Christ’s disciples argued about personal preeminence (Lk 9:46) and divisive groups in the church at Corinth elevated party factions above the unity of the Spirit (1 Cor 3:1-7) So what is the best way to promote unity? It begins with the transformation of the heart. When we adopt the mind of Christ we develop an attitude of humility and we focus on service toward others (Phil 2:5-11) Only in Him can we access the power to “look out not only for (our) own interest, but also for the interests of others” (v4) Soon the needs and hopes of others become more important to us than our own.
With growing bonds of love among us, we find discord replaced with joy and unity (Ps 133:1) – Dennis Fisher
PRAYER LINE: Like a mighty army moves the church of God,
Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod
We are not divided, all one body – One in hope and doctrine, one in charity – Baring Gould.
We can accomplish more together than we can alone. (ODB)

THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK (1) Acts 2:36-39, 41
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus Lord and Christ” (v36)
The early church of the book of Acts experienced abundant life in its fullness. And just as in the book of Acts, three things are about to happen when the Holy Spirit begins are about to happen when the Holy Spirit begins to work in all His wonderful power.
(1) People Will Be Saved (Acts 2) When the Holy Spirit fell at Pentecost, Peter was transformed into a fearless preacher of truth. Preaching to the assembled crowd on that day with a boldness birthed of the Spirit, Peter was uncompromising in his message.
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do.?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall received the gift of the Holy Spirit.” “for the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call,”…Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them, (Acts 2:36-39,41) (Benny Hinn)
PRAYER LINE: My Father and my God, thank You for the gift of Jesus Christ for the remission of my sins and Your promise to extend the gift of the Holy Spirit to my children and children’s children.
To show His love, Jesus died for us; to show our love, we live for Him.

DAY 82 FRIDAY MARCH, 23. 2018
THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK (2) Acts 3:1-10
Now Peter and John went up to the temple at the hour of prayer, being ninth hour,” (v1)
(2) People Will Be Healed
When the Holy Spirit is truly at work, evangelism and healing will always be found, each pointing to and setting the stage for the other. In Acts 2, three thousand people came to the Saviour in a single day.
Just think of it! The effect on Jerusalem was electric. All eyes were on the leaders of the mighty movement.
“Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, when they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.
Then Peter said, “Silver and Gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them – walking, heaping and praising God. So healing followed evangelism. Peter used the healing that captured the public’s attention to preach the gospel to them (Read Acts 3:11-21) (Benny Hinn)
PRAYER LINE: My Gracious Lord, I thank You for the power in the Name of Jesus. For by His stripes and His shed blood, we are healed.
The unseen Spirit of God is the greatest protection against sin’s unseen dangers.

THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK (3) Acts 4:29-35
“ Now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, “ (v29)
(3) People Will Experience “No Lack”
First there was salvation (Acts 2), Then there was healing (Acts 3), and then there was a most wonderful blessing of the Father that Acts 4 refers to as “no lack.”
As the gospel continued to be preached with resolute authority, the three thousand who surrendered to Jesus the Messiah quickly grew to more than eight thousand (Acts 4:4), and later multitudes were saved as the Scripture clearly states. The power of the proclamation of the gospel was again accompanied by a mighty manifestation of miracle-working power after they had prayed, say:
“Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus. “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together, was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:29-31) Immediately after this – (Read Acts 4:32-35) In the midst of the mighty manifestation of the saving and healing power of the Lord Jesus, our heavenly Father provided for those saints such that they never lacked. As they surrendered to the God who had saved them and healed them, that same God prospered them and they experienced no lack (Benny Hinn)
PRAYER LINE: Father, please let me through the Holy Spirit pray aright and receive abundant blessings, in Jesus’ name I pray.
Keep your eyes fixed on the prize.

DAY 84 SUNDAY MARCH, 25.(Palm Sunday) 2018
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (v4)
The disappointments of life can cause you to see nothing but negativity in your future. You express hopelessness, belittle your own abilities, refuse to take any risk, say no to personal growth opportunities, complain about the unfairness of life, and say that nothing you do will make a difference in a particular circumstance. Do you recognize any of these attitudes in yourself? If so, there’s good news. Dr. Paul Meier, a Christian psychiatrist, said, “Attitudes are nothing more than habits of thought, and habits can be acquired. An action repeated becomes an attitude realized. That means with practice, you can develop an overcoming attitude. Here’ how: (1) Be honest about your quest to conquer pessimism. Give someone you respect the permission to point out when you are being negative. (2) Limit your exposure to negative input. Since you become like the company you keep, look for people who fortify your faith and not feed your fears. “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise” (Prov 13:20) (3) Volunteer to serve others who are less fortunate. Serving creates positive feelings and gives you a sense of value, it’s also the right thing to do. (4) Look for the good in every situation and always express faith that it’s there. President Henry Truman, “A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities, and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties. “When you face a difficulty today: see it as an opportunity because” He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Come quickly, Lord, to help me. Teach me to trust You in times of trouble. Remind me of Your presence and of the fact that You hold me in Your loving arms.
Cling to your heavenly Father, He is your only hope.

DAY 85 MONDAY MARCH, 26. 2018
BIBLICAL BLESSING (1) Eccl 2:24-26
“godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim 6:6)
God’s blessing is about so much more than material riches. People who focus on material riches to the exclusion of the rest of God’s blessings limit God and fail to notice the veritable myriad of ways that He blesses us moment by moment. Now having said that, I have to agree with something I heard Zig Ziglar say once to a group of people. “I’ve been poor, and I’ve been rich. And let me tell you, it’s better to be rich. After the audience stopped laughing, he went on to make crucial point: Money will buy a bed but not sleep; books but not brains; food but not appetite; finery but not beauty; a house but not a home; medicine but not health; luxuries but not culture; amusements but not happiness; religion but not salvation.
Riches are beside the point, for the Scriptures affirm that “godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Tim 6:6) Without contentment, you will never have enough. With contentment, you can experience joy in the most desolate areas on earth. Riches will not bring happiness. Obedience brings happiness, for Solomon himself plainly declares: “There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy… a chasing after the wind (Eccl 2:24-26 NIV) Benny Hinn.
PRAYER LINE: Oh make me, Lord, so much like Thee. My life controlled by power divine. That I a shining light may be, From which Thy grace may never shine – Robertson
The smallest light still shines in the darkest night.

DAY 86 TUESDAY MARCH, 27. 2018
“Bring/ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house… to receive it (v10)
R.T. Rendall has a penetrating insight on the promises in (Mal 3:10-11)
These promises point to a material return as one kind of blessing from the Lord. Obviously some will prosper more than others, owing to gifts, place of responsibility, or opportunity. But at the bottom of it all is a promise of all believers that they will be honoured even at a material level in such a way that, whether it be more or less than others, it is more than it would have been had they not been faithful in Christian stewardship. There are countless testimonies that could be brought forward that tell of financial hardship, debt and distress, until tithing was begun. Not that such people became millionaires or drove Rolls –Royces, but they lived without the terror of constant financial adversity. “When we experience the wonderful blessing described in the Scripture as “no lack,” each day is an adventure as we find our loving heavenly Father meeting our needs and so much more in ways that we would never have anticipated. But not only do we experience the adventure of having our own needs met, we get to experience the blessing of responding to the leading of the Holy Spirit to meet the needs of others. (Benny Hinn)
PRAYER LINE: The name above all other names
Is Jesus Christ the Lord;
He came to save us from our sins
So we could be restored. – Sper
“The riches we impart are the only wealth we shall always retain” – Matthew Heniy:

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (v5)
One problem with the English word meek is that it rhymes with week, and people have linked the two words together for years. A popular dictionary offers a secondary definition of meek as “too submissive easily imposed on; spineless; spiritless” This causes some people to question why Jesus would say; “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (Mk 5:5) Greek scholar W.E. Vine says that meekness in the Bible is an attitude toward God” in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting.” We see this in Jesus who found His delight in doing the will of His Father. Vine goes on to say that “the meekness manifested by the Lord and commended to the believer in the fruit of power… The Lord was “meek” because He had the infinite resources of God at His command.” He could have called angels from heaven to prevent His crucifixion.
Jesus told His weary, burdened followers. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am (meek) and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your soils.” (Matt 11:29) He was the perfect model of meekness. When we are tired and troubled, Jesus invites us to discover the peace of meekly trusting Him – David McCasland.
PRAYER LINE: Love sent the Saviour to die in my stead,
Why should He love me so?
Meekly to Calvary’s cross He was led.
Why should He love me so? – Harkness.
God has two dwellings, one in heaven and the other in a meek and thankful heart – Walton. (ODB)

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God (v14)
The very nature and character of God are revealed through His ultimate act of giving when He offered His son, Jesus Christ, as the supreme sacrifice for humankind. As a father, I cannot even begin to fathom the pain that our wonderful heavenly Father endured by allowing His Son to die the terrible death of Calvary. There is no greater thing that the Father could do to demonstrate His love for us than send His Son to die in our place and for our sins. As much as He grieved at the suffering inflicted upon Jesus, the thought of men and women spending eternity in hell grieved Him even more. No greater gift has ever been given nor has such love been equaled in all of history.
Yet if the Father sacrificed so much to make away for us to partake of eternal life with Him, does it make sense that a God of such love would stop there in waiting to bless children? The apostle Paul’s clarion answer is as compelling today as it was in the first century.
“If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?…shall be able to separate us from Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:31b -39) Every good thing in our lives is a direct gift from our loving Father, (Jas 1:17) (Benny Hinn)
PRAYER LINE: Gracious and loving Father, how can I thank You enough for imparting into me Your unconquerable gladness? No matter what happens, all is well with my soul, in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…(Jas 1:17)

DAY 89 FRIDAY MARCH, 30. 2018
God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble – (Jas 4:6)
During the Easter season, my wife and I attended a church service where the participants sought to model the events that Jesus and His disciples experienced on the night before He was crucified. As part of the service, the church staff members washed the feet of some of the church volunteers. As I watched, I wondered which was more humbling in our day – to wash yours. Both those who were serving and those being served were presenting distinct pictures of humility.
When Jesus and His disciples were gathered for the last Supper (Jn 13:1-20). Jesus in humble servanthood, washed His disciples’ feet. But Simon Peter resisted, saying. “You shall never wash my feet.” Then Jesus answered, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me” (13:8). Washing their feet was not a mere ritual. It could also be seen as picture of our need of Christ’s Cleansing – a cleansing that will never be realized unless we are willing to be humble before the Saviour.
James wrote, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Jas 4:6) We receive God’s grace when we acknowledge the greatness of God, who humbles Himself at the cross (Phil 2:5-11) – Bill Crowder
PRAYER LINE: My faith looks up to Thee
Thou Lamb of Calvary, Saviour divine;
Now hear me when I pray, take all my sin away,
O let me from this day be wholly Thine – Palmer
The most powerful position on earth is kneeling before the Lord of the universe. (ODB)

If these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (v8)
I want to help you invest wisely in your future. That’s what the financial advisor said as he began his talk about investing in 401(k)s and retirement funds. He wanted his listeners to continue putting money in the stock market during all the ups and downs of the economy because historically a good return will eventually occur. God wants us to invest wisely in our spiritual future as well. Through the ups and downs of life’s circumstances we should continually invest in a “spiritual account” our character. The apostle Peter tells us to be diligent about character development (2 Pet 1:5-11). After we trust in Christ for salvation, we are to invest these qualities into our character; faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.’
The future returns on our investment in character will be godliness (vv5-7), fruitfulness in the knowledge of Jesus Christ (v8), assurance of our calling (v9), and victory over sin (v10).
Investing money in retirement funds can be profitable but investing in our spiritual lives offers the best kind of return for our future. Anne Cetas PRAYER LINE: Let us grow up into Christ,
Claiming His life and its powers – The triumphs of grace in the heavenly place That our conquering Lord has made ours – Flint
Now is the time to invest in eternity. (ODB)

DAY 91 SUNDAY APRIL, 1. (Easter Day) 2018
RUN TO THE CROSS Heb 10:28-39
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (v31)
Whenever a tsunami warning is given on the northern coastline of Maui; Hawai, the people living in Hana rush up the side of a mountain to a high place of safety. Nearly is a tall wooden cross that was placed there many years ago. For their physical safety, people run to the area where the cross is located.
In a similar way, all of us used a place of spiritual safety. Why? Because the Lord gives us these warnings in His Word; “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and “the wages of sin is death (Rom 3:23; 6:23) Heb 9:27 states. “It is appointed for me to die once; but after this the judgment.” We might not like to think about what the consequences of our sin will be as we face a holy God, but it’s a serious thing” to fall into the hands of the living God”(10:31)
The good news is that out of love for us, the Father has provided a place of safety! He sent His Son Jesus to die so we wouldn’t have to be separated from Him forever (Rom 5:8-10: Col 1:19-22).
Because of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead, that place of safety is available. Have you run to the Cross – Anne Cetas. PRAYER LINE:
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame:
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain – Benard
To escape sin’s curse, run to the cross.

DAY 92 MONDAY APRIL, 2. (Easter Monday) 2018
God will wipe away every tear from their eyes…There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away (v4)
Just 4 weeks after our son Mark joined the US Army, he injured his knee seriously in a training exercise. As a result, he was released from the military. So, at age 19, he had to use a cane to get around for a while; and because of the severity of the injury he endured 2 years of recovery, rest, and rehab. Finally, Mark was able to set aside the knee braces he had worn since the accident. Although he still experiences residual pain, the long slow healing process has brought him back to full use of his leg.
Physical healing is often much slower than we anticipate. This is true of spiritual healing as well. The consequences of unwise choices or the burdens or wounds that endure for a lifetime. But for the child of God, there is hope. Although full restoration is not always experienced in this life, the promise of healing is sure. The apostle John wrote, “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev 21:4)
In our seasons of pain, it is comforting to know that eventually; in His awesome presence, we will be whole forever. Bill Crowder.
PRAYER LINE: Father, I thank You that in all of our pains and struggles we can find comfort in You. Help us to bring all our hurts to You – both spiritual and physical – and to trust that You will make us whole
When we come to Christ in our brokenness, He makes us whole.

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits. The God of our salvation (Ps 68:19)
God wants to bless His children. As a father, I love to give gifts to my children and provide for them. And nothing brings me greater joy than to see the twinkle in their eyes as they unwrap a gift or to hear them giggle with delight as I give them some thing they have desired. If a mere human being like me can find such joy through giving gifts to my children, just imagine how much joy our heavenly Father receives when He bestows good gifts upon us. Truly, our loving heavenly Father longs to bless His children-if for no other reason than for the pure joy of knowing the pleasure we receive when He provides for us. How easy it can be to miss this very simple principle. God loves you and wants the very best for you. The Lord Jesus drives home this point so forcefully as to remove any doubt whatsoever about the Father’s love toward us: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?… how much more will your Father who is in heaven give you good things to those who ask Him” (Matt 7:7-11) (Benny Hinn)
PRAYER LINE: Holy Spirit, help us hear Your inner promptings, soft and clear; And help us know Your still small voice So we may make God’s will our choice – D. De Haan.
Make the right choice: Obey the Spirit’s voice.

FATHER’S LOVE Matt 10:30
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered (v30)
Our heavenly Father’s love towards us is so consuming, so complete, that Scripture reveals that “the very hairs of (our heads) are all numbered.” (Matt 10:30) Lets look at Matt 10:29-31. “Are not two little sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s leave (consent) and notice. But even the very hair of your head are all numbered. Fear not, then; you are of more value than many sparrows (Amplified) What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail –even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries (TMG) Kathryn Kuhlman once told a story about going to her father, asking for things that she deeply desired. Although he didn’t have the necessary funds to provide what she desired at the moment, her father loved her so much, he was determined to get them for her. He eventually borrowed the money to get the items she wanted. He was willing to do whatever was necessary just to bring joy to her. If a natural father will go to such lengths and is so motivated for his child, how much more God the Father is concerned for His children, for He loves deeply (Benny Hinn)
PRAYER LINE: When amazed by His love for me,
To love Him back became my prayer
I sought an answer sincerely –
It was: Love the Neighbour who’s there – Verway
The proof of our love for God is our obedience to the commands of God.

For I will pour water on him who is thirsty…And My blessing on your offspring (Isa 44:3)
Throughout Scripture, we find many references to God’s willingness and earnest desire to bless His children. And because you are a believer, many of these blessings are promised to you and your children. (Read Isa 44:3) The nation of Israel had a special covenant with God. The blessings held out to Israel show not only the Father’s desire to bless, but also the many areas in which He desires to bless: “And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle…You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And the LORD will make you the head, and not the tail, you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD you God…” (Deut. 28:2-13) “Nevertheless I am continually with You. You hold me by my right hand.” (Ps 73:23) “The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it. (Prov. 10:22)” for the LORD God is a sun and shield. The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those that walk uprightly” (Ps 84:11) His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed.” (Ps 112:2) (Benny Hinn)
PRAYER LINE: When amazed by His love for me,
To love Him back became my prayer
I sought an answer sincerely –
It was: Love the neighbour who’s there –Verway
The proof of our love for God is our obedience to the commands of God.

DAY 96 FRIDAY APRIL, 6. 2018
So they shall put My name on the children of Israel. I will bless them (Num 6:27)
God’s love for His children and He’s willing to bless the children of Israel. His faithfulness to them year after year extended into every aspect of their lives. And the promises of God to the children of Israel found throughout the old covenant are extended to you and me as His children today. The children of Israel knew supernatural provision for they experienced no lack. The Scriptures are so bold as to assert:
“For the LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand … you have lacked nothing” (Deut 2:7) And I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you…” (Deut 29:5) Forty years You sustained them in the wilderness. They lacked nothing. …And their feet did not smell…” (Neh 9:21). When we experience no lack, God is meeting our need and not our greed. Our loving heavenly Father promised to make the nation Israel a testimony of His faithfulness to bless generation after generation. “I will make you a great nation … And you shall be a blessing (Gen 12:2) Blessing I will bless you, and multiply I will multiply your descendants…(Gen 22:17) For the LORD your God will bless you just as He promised you…(Deut 15:6) The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses…(Deut 28:8) And He will love you and bless you and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your womb (Deut 7:13) Divine health was also included in God’s promised blessings… (Exo 23:25) (Benny Hinn)
PRAYER LINE: Show me the way, Lord, let my light shine, Help them to see the pattern of Thee, Shining in beauty, lived out in me –Newer
Let your light shine – whether you’re a candle in a corner or a lighthouse on a hill.

“Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known. (v19)
The Channel Tunnel opened on May 6, 1994, nearly two centuries after it was first proposed in 1802 by Napolean’s engineer, Albert Matthew. Today the 31-mile passage beneath the English Channel allows thousands of people, car, and trucks to travel by train each day between England and France. For centuries, people had sailed across the Channel until this surprising new way to go under it was completed.
God planned an unexpected route for His people too-one we read about in Exo 14:10-22. Faced with certain death, either from Pharaoh’s army or by drowning, the Israelites were near panic. But God parted the Red Sea and they walked through on dry land. Years later, the psalm writer Asaph used this event as evidence of God’s mighty power. “Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters – a pathway no one knew was there! You led Your people along that road like a flock of sheep, with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds” (Ps 77:19-20) God can create roads where we see only obstacles. When the way ahead of us seems uncertain, it’s good to remember what God has done in the past. He specializes in pathways in any circumstance – pathways that point us to His love and power – David McCasland.
PRAYER LINE: Thank You, God, for the miraculous ways. You have worked in the past. Help me to remember Your power and faithfulness when I can see only trouble and difficulty.
The God who created a way for our salvation can certainly see us through our daily trials.

DAY 98 SUNDAY APRIL, 8. 2018
WHAT’S IN A NAME? Jn 1:35-42
“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. “
My friend wrote a letter to his new-born child that he wanted him to read when he was older: “My dear boy, Daddy and Mummy wish that you will find and stay focused on the light. Your Chinese name is Xin Suan. Xin means faithfulness, contentment and integrity; Xuan stands for warmth and light.” He and his wife carefully chose a name based on their hopes for their baby boy. When Jesus renamed Simon as Peter/Cephas (Jn 1:42), it wasn’t a random choice. Peter means “the rock.” But it took a while for him to live up to his new name. the account of his life reveals him as a fisherman known for his rash ways – a shifting – sand kind of guy. Peter disagreed with Jesus (Matt 16:22-23), Struck a man with a sword (Jn 18:10-11), and even denied knowing Jesus (Jn 18:13-27). But in Acts, we read that God worked in and through him to establish His church. Peter truly became a rock. If you like Peter, are a follower of Jesus, you have a new identity. In Acts 11:26, we read “The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” The name “Christians” means “Christ-ones.” You now are one of the Christ –ones. This title lifts up who you are and calls you to become what you are not yet. God is faithful, and He will complete His good work in you (Phil. 1:6) – Poh Fang Chia
PRAYER LINE: Dear Father, thank You for the incredible privilege of being called Your child. May we understand more fully what it means to be identified with Your Son. Jesus Christ. Work in us and through us.
We honour God’s name we call Him our Father and live like His children. (ODB)

DAY 99 MONDAY APRIL, 9. 2018
“I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet… I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you (Jn 13:14-15)
Thank You Jesus The story is told that in the late 1800s a group of European pastors attended D.L. Moody’s Bible conference in Massachusetts. Following their custom, they put their shoes outside their room before they slept, expecting them to be cleaned by hotel workers. When Moody saw the shoes, he mentioned the need to others because he knew their custom. But he was met with silence. Moody collected all the shoes and cleaned them himself. A friend who made an unexpected visit to his room revealed what Moody had done. The word spread, and the next few nights others took turns doing the clearing.
Moody’s leadership style of humility inspired others to follow his example. The apostle Paul reminded Timothy to “be strong in grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others’ (2 Tim 2:1-2 NIV) When we remember that our strength is a result of God’s grace, that keeps us humble. Then in humility we pass on God’s truth by being an example that encourages and inspires others to follow. Jesus Himself is our example of servanthood. He gave His very life for us. – Albert Lee.
PRAYER LINE: Lord Jesus, I know little about humility, show me and teach me as I read about Your example in Your Word. Give me the grace to humble myself and serve others.
Humility is the result of knowing God and knowing yourself. (ODB)

DAY 100 TUESDAY APRIL, 10. 2018
(Bear) with one another in love, endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph 4:2-3)
From 200 miles above Earth, Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut and commander of the International Space Station, joined in song with a group of students in a studio on earth. Together they performed “Is somebody singing,” co-written by Hadfield and Ed Robertson.
One praise of the song caught my attention. “You can’t make out borders from up here.” Although we humans draw many lines to separate ourselves from one another – national, ethnic, ideological – the song reminded me that God doesn’t see much distinction.
The important thing to God is that we love Him and each other. (Mk 12:30-31) Like a loving father, God wants His family united. We cannot accomplish what God has for us to do if we refuse to be reconciled with one another. In His most impassioned prayer, on the night before He was crucified, Jesus pleaded with God to unite His followers: “That they may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; “that they also maybe one in Us” (Jn 17:21) Singing, illustrates unity as we agree on the lyrics, chords, and rhythms. Singing can also promote unity as it binds us together in peace, proclaims God’s power through praise, and demonstrates God’s glory to the world – Julie Ackerman Link.
PRAYER LINE: O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and king.
The triumphs of His grace – Wesley
Singing God’s praises will never go out of style. (ODB)

Surely I am coming quickly (v20)
In a German prison camp in World War 11, undiscovered by the guards, some Americans built a homemade, radio. One day news came that the German high command had surrendered, ending the war. Because of a communication breakdown, however, the guards did not yet know this. As word spread among the prisons, a loud celebration broke out. For 3 days, they sang, waved at guards, and shared jokes over meals. On the fourth day, they awoke to find that all the Germans had fled. Their waiting had come to an end.
A number of Bible stories center on waiting: Abraham waiting for a child (Gen 12:21). The Israelites waiting for deliverance from Egypt. Prophets waiting for the fulfillment of their own predictions. The disciples waiting for Jesus to act like the powerful Messiah than anticipated. Jesus’ final words at the end of Revelation are “I am coming quickly,” followed by an urgent, echoing prayer, “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (22:20) For this, we still wait. Here’s the question I ask myself: As we wait, why are we so often fearful and anxious? We can, like the Allied prisoners, act on the good news we say we believe. What is faith in God, after all, but believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse? – Philip Yancey.
PRAYER LINE: Faith looks beyond the shadow
Of dread and doubt and fear
And finds the Saviour waiting
And always standing near – French.
Waiting tries our faith and so we wait in hope.

DAY 102 THURSDAY APRIL, 12. 2018
For the LORD God is a sun and “shield; the LORD will give grace and glory; no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly (v11)
Grace means God’s favour to the undeserving. So it is only in the context of sin that grace can be appreciated. Where is God’s grace here? It is in three things. (1) Adam and Eve did not die, at least not immediately. Some writers have pointed out that Adam and Eve did die spiritually, which they showed by trying to hide from God when he came to them in the Garden following their disobedience and fall. That is true. But the physical death was also punishment for sin, and God said, “When you eat of it you will surely die.” Fallen, but alive. They now had time to repent of their sin, and believe God about the Saviour who would come, just as earlier they had doubted God’s word and they disobey him. (2) God promised a Redeemer who would undo the devil’s work. The second great demonstration of the grace of God in the account of Adam and Eve’s fall is in the promise of a Redeemer found in verse 15. Adam named his wife Eve (Gen 3:20) Eve means “life” or life giver” and Adam named her Eve because of the promise of God to send a life – giving Saviour through her. (3) God saved our first parents. That is, God justified them on the basis of what Jesus was to do (they looked forward to it) just as God justifies us through faith in what Jesus has done. Adam and Eve expected to die. Instead they found life. (James Montgomery Boice)
PRAYER LINE: Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o’ver His foes; He arose a Victor from the dark domain, And He forever with His saints to reign- Lowry
‘Jesus’ resurrection spelled the death of deaths

DAY 103 FRIDAY APRIL, 13. 2018
AMAZED BY GRACE (1) Esther 2:17
And the king loved Esther above all the woman, and she obtained grace, and favour in the sight more than all the virgins…” (v17)
Do you remember Thomas? He was the doubting disciple, the one who said that he would not believe in Jesus’ resurrection unless he should see the wounds in Christ’s hands and be able to thrust his hand into the wound in Christ’s side. Why should Thomas have been saved? After all, his cynical worlds expressed utter disbelief, not faith. Yet even Thomas was surprised by grace when Jesus, instead of condemning him or abandoning him, appeared to him and invited him to perform his empirical test. Instead of doing it, instead of putting his finger or hand in Christ’s wounds, Thomas was overwhelmed by grace and fell in Jesus’ feet, exclaiming, “My Lord and my God.” (Jn 20:28)
And how about Peter? Peter had boasted of being able to stand by Jesus even unto death. How little he knew himself? That very night he denied the Lord three times. But although he was rightly ashamed of what he had done and wept bitterly afterwards Jesus did not cast him off. Instead Jesus came to Peter to recommission him to serve. “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Jesus asked. “Yes,” said Peter. “Take care of my sheep,” said Jesus. Jesus repeated the question and charge three times, corresponding to Peters’ three denials (Jn 21:15-17) That was grace in salvation and commissioning to service. (James Montgomery Boice) PRAYER LINE: Father, please grant me grace in salvation and grace commissioning me to useful service to You.
The name of Jesus is at the heart of our faith and our hope.

DAY 104 SATURDAY APRIL, 14. 2018
AMAZED BY GRACE (2) Ezra 9:8
“And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.”
And Paul, the first great persecutor of the church? He took his hatred of Christians to the point of securing the condemnation and death of Steven, the first martyr.
And when he had accomplished that he left for Damascus, with the thought of arresting and likewise punishing the believers there. If ever anyone deserved a swift retaliatory judgment, it was Paul. Yet Paul too, was surprised by grace as Jesus stopped him on his fiercely bigoted path, calling, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? (Acts 9:4) And when Paul responded in faith, recognizing that the one he was persecuting was Christ, the very Son of God. Jesus commissioned him to be the first great missionary to the Gentiles.
“Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. “ (Acts 26:17-18) Surprised by grace? Yes! That is exactly it. “Surprised by grace” is the story of all who have found salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. (James Mortgomery Boice)
PRAYER LINE: Praise, my soul, the king of heaven,
To His feet thy tribute bring;
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Evermore His praises sing, – Lyte
Jesus specializes in restoration.

DAY 105 SUNDAY APRIL, 15. 2018
“Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God,”(v15)
On November 24, 1971, a man known today as D.B. Cooper hijacked a commercial flight between Portland and settle by threatening to blow up the plane unless he received $200,000. After landing to receive a ransom, he ordered the plane back into the air. Then the rear stairs of the 727 aircraft were lowered, and he parachuted into the night. He was never captured, and the case is still unresolved. This act hastened the age of airport security in which trust and confidence have been replaced by suspicion and fear. What he did affected us all.
The Bible describes two actions that changed the world in a far more significant way. Through Adam’s choice, sin and death entered the world, “and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Rom 5:12) But through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, God provided a remedy for the results of sin. “Through one man’s (Adam’s) offense judgment came to all men, resulting in justification of life (v18)
Christ did what no one else could do when He broke the power of sin and death by His resurrection. He offers forgiveness and eternal life to all who will accept His gift. And for that, we thank Him with all our hearts – David MacCasland.
PRAYER LINE: When Adam sinned, death spread to all –
One act condemned the human race –
But Jesus’ death upon the cross
Provides mankind God’s saving grace – Sper.
The cross of Christ can cure the condemnation of Adam’s choice. (ODB)

DAY 106 MONDAY APRIL, 16. 2018
WALKING WITH GOD (1) Deut 5:30-33
And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him (Gen 5:24)
Walking with God can be highly rewarding if we can pay the price. The price, however, is very easy if we are humble – hearted, after all Jesus said: “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” The first man and woman listened to the devil, who deceived them by telling them that God’s word was a lie. He persuaded them by telling them that God’s word was a lie. He persuaded them to eat the forbidden fruit, and as a result, they bungled their walk with God and God’s presence began to frighten them.
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. (Gen 3:6)
This is exactly what is still happening today. People find it difficult to live by the words of the Holy Scriptures because they feel it is out-dated. Some theologians are already saying that the ideals of Christ in the gospels are no longer relevant or tenable in the 21st century! These only remind me of what God said concerning His Word and concerning the latter days; Jesus said. “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 5:18-19) Beloved, walking with God is a command that doesn’t just please God but also benefits us greatly. The Bible says: “Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.” (Deut. 5:33)
PRAYER LINE: Father, please help me to walk with You in complete obedience to Your Word. (O.H)
To understand God is impossible but to worship Him is imperative.
DAY 107 TUESDAY APRIL, 17. 2018
WALKING WITH GOD (2) Deut 8:1-6
“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” (Isa 28:16)
Walking with God requires knowing His ways. There is no way you can walk with God if you do not know His ways. This is because God is invisible and yet only walking with Him guarantees safety and prosperity. Another thing about walking in His ways is that His ways are more often not our ways: The Bible says: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”(Isa 55:8-9) God says that His people should remember all the ways in which He led them for forty years. He gave them food and water on a daily basis without them labouring. Even their clothes and sandals did not wear out. “And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.” (Deut 8:3-4) The above passage shows that people of God should not disobey God because of what they will eat or drink. This was the truth that guided Jesus when the devil wanted to bring Him down with food in Lk 4:4. Jesus taught His disciples, re-assuring them that as long as they walked with God in His ways through His words, all their needs would be met. Read (Matt 6:25) (O.H)
PRAYER LINE: Father, please help me to always trust and take you by Your infallible Word in Jesus’ name.
Being imperfect emphasizes our depends on God’s mercy

WALKING WITH GOD (3) Deut 8:1-6
He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. (v4)
Walking with God requires living holy because God is holy. According to the Scriptures, two can’t walk together if they do not agree. When we live holy, we are in agreement with God. The Lord spoke with Abraham thus: “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” (Gen 17:1). In Ps 24:3-6, we are confronted with some fundamental requirements. The first one is clean hands. What is it that defiles a man’s hand? Blood money; money that belongs to another person or organization but you have taken unlawfully. Also, your hands are defiled by the unlawful touch of another man’s wife or another woman’s husband. “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.” (Prov 6:27-27) Only a man with a pure heart can effectively and acceptably walk with God. The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, but God is able to remove this wickedness. The Scripture says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. If we confess our sins to God, He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness: “And I will give them one heart…and they shall be my people, and will be their God.” (Eze 11:19-20) Jesus Christ said we cannot serve God and Mammon. The love of money can hinder our Christian walk with God.
PRAYER LINE: Using 2 Cor 6:14-18 pray that God will enable you to shun anything that will hinder your walk with Him. May the Lord deliver you from anything that works against your walk with God in Jesus’ name. (O.H)
Our highest privilege is to walk with God.

DAY 109 THURSDAY APRIL, 19. 2018
GOOD THINGS DO HAPPEN (1) Acts 14:8-18
And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked: (v8)
When Paul and Barnabas arrived at Lystra in Asia Minor on the first missionary journey, they were confronted by a lame man almost as soon as they entered the city, and Paul healed him. When the crowds saw it, they assumed they had been visited by the gods and called out in their Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form” (Acts 14:11) When the missionaries discovered what was going on, they were aghast. They tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: “Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you” (v5) Paul started where they did have understanding and spoke of God as the Creator of all things and as the source of common grace: We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and see and everything in them. In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy (Acts 14:15-17) This is a statement of what common grace is about. (1) Rain from heaven (2) Crops in their season (3) Joy and (4) Delay of judgment (in the past, he (God) let all nations go their own way) (James Mortgomery Boice)
PRAYER LINE: Please help me, Lord, in all I do, To act and think with motives true; And by Your love reveal to me Those sins that only You can see – D. De Haan.
In our desire to help, lets love with pure motives

DAY 110 FRIDAY APRIL, 20. 2018
GOOD THINGS DO HAPPEN (2) Acts 17:22-34
“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.” (v22)
In Acts 17, we have an account of Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill in Athens. It also deals with common grace, following a line similar to Paul’s sermon in Lystra. After calling the peoples’ attention to their altar “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD” and declaring his attention of proclaiming this “unknown God.” To them, Paul said “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;” (Acts 17:24-26) In this sermon Paul mentions (1) The breath of life. We may use our breath to curse God, but even the atheist who shakes his fist at heaven, shouting, “There is no God” does so with the breath, speech, intellect, and strength that God has given him. (2) A place to live. This is a significant statement about the territories possessed by the world’s nations. These are not arbitrary possessions, still less the rightful spoils of war according to Paul’s teaching. Rather they are the gift of a gracious God to all the worlds peoples. (3) Everything else Paul may have elaborated this in the actual delivery of his sermon, since the biblical accounts are undoubtedly shortened versions of what happened (J. Mortgomery Boice)
PRAYER LINE: Oh, taste the goodness of the Lord And savor all that He has done; Draw close and give your praise to Him – The holy, sovereign faithful One – Sper.
God alone is gracious. Don’t settle for second best.

DAY 111 SATURDAY APRIL, 21. 2018
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (v17)
What in your life do you regard as very good? Make a list (1) Your job? It has been given you by God. If you reply that you got it by hard work and by possessing talents and skills that someone else did not have, it is God who has given you those skills and endowed you with both the will and capacity to work hard. (2) Your family? The people you love were created by God and have been given to you as a part of his benevolent ordering of life’s events. (3) Peace? God is the author of peace. Whatever good thing you can think of, it is God who has given it to you or made it possible for you to enjoy it. You enjoy it only because God is a gracious God. There is one more thing we need to learn about common grace from Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill. It is the words that followed… “God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:27-28) God wants us to recognize his goodness, to turn from sin, to reach out and find Him, and so be able to express our gratitude in a true faith and proper obedience. Paul in Romans, observed that the “kindness, tolerance and patience” of God are meant to lead us to repentance (Rom 2:4) James Mortgomery Boice.
PRAYER LINE: Turn not aside, discouraged one; stir up your gift, pursue your goal; In God’s own time you’ll see Him work; He’ll give you hope and lift your soul – D. De Haan.
God is worth waiting for, His time is always best.

DAY 112 SUNDAY APRIL, 22. 2018
“But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not.” (v12)
First, Israel is found guilty of mistreating the Nazirites. The Nazirites were a select group of people specially dedicated to God who wore their hair long and abstained from alcohol (Num 6) Not every one was expected to share their lifestyle but their presence was to be a symbol of the whole nations consecration to the Lord. Such special “saints” were to act as the ‘leaven’ in the lump, the ‘salt’ in society. But Israel forced the Nazirites to compromise their purity. How true it is that when God’s people have compromised and live comfortably with self-indulgent lives they cannot bear the sight of holiness. And what the nation of Israel did to the Nazirites (God’s salt), it did also to God’s prophets (His light). Their God-given messages were suppressed or censured and God’s voice through them silenced. This is why Amos was such an uncomfortable presence. We do well to recall the great heroes of the faith – the Puritans and prophets, the saints and martyrs-and to keep their memory alive as a stirring example of the difference God can make to an ordinary life. Someone said: “The great problem of our times is that there is not enough difference between the men and women of the world and the men and women in the church. We ought not to glory in being different but being different is glory.
PRAYER LINE: Heavenly Father, I long to be what You want me to be – “salt” and “light” in this world. May I shine for You in the darkness and may others see what a difference You can make to an ordinary life. In Jesus’ name. Amen (EDWJ)
Christ deserves full-time followers.

DAY 113 MONDAY APRIL, 23. 2018
And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, “Arise and eat.” (v5)
Charles Whilesey was a hero’s hero. Leader of the so-called “Lost Battalion’ in World War 1. He was awarded the medal of Honour for his bravery when his unit was trapped behind enemy lines. When the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was dedicated, Charles was chosen to serve as pallbearer for the first soldier laid to rest there. Two weeks later, it is presumed that he ended his own life by stepping off a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean.
Like Elijah (1 Kings 19:1-7) Charles was publicly strong, but in the quiet, post-public moments, his feelings of despair set in. People today frequently face situations bigger than they can handle. Sometimes it’s temporary despair brought on by fatigue, as in Elijah’s case. He had been part of a great victory over the prophets of Baal (18:20-40), but then he feared for his life and ran into the wilderness (19:1-3), But often, it’s more than despair and it’s more than temporary. That’s why it is imperative than we talk about depression openly and compassionately. God offers His presence to us in life’s darkest moments which enables us, in turn, to be His presence to the hurting. Giving out for help-from others and from God-may be the strongest moment of our lives – Randy Kilgore.
PRAYER LINE: Father, grant us the candor to admit to each other that sometimes life overwhelms us. And grant us the courage to help others find help – and to seek it when we need it.
Hope comes with help from God and others. (ODB)

DAY 114 TUESDAY APRIL, 24. 2018
CHOOSE LIFE Deut 30:11-20
“Choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God; that you may obey his voice (vv19-20)
What is God’s will for my life? The question haunted me when I find it? What if I didn’t reconnize it? God’s will seemed like a needle in a haystack. Hidden. Obscured by look-alikes. Outnumbered by counterfeits. But my view of God’s will was wrong because my view of God was wrong. God takes no pleasure in seeing us lost, wandering, searching. He wants us to know His will. He makes it clear and He makes it simple. He doesn’t even make it multiple –choice. He gives just two choices: “life and good” or death and evil” (Deut 30:15) In case the best choice isn’t obvious He even says which one to choose: “Choose life” (v19) To choose life is to choose God Himself and obey His Word. When Moses addressed the Israelites for the last time, he pleaded with them to make the right choice by observing “all the words of this law …Because it is your life” (32:66-47) God’s will for us is life, His Word is life. And Jesus is the Word. God may not give a prescription for every decision, but He gave us a perfect example to follow – Jesus. The right choice may not be easy, but when the Word is our guide and worship is our goal, God will grant us the wisdom to make life- affirming choices – Julie Ackerman Link.
PRAYER LINE: Lord Jesus, we know that true wisdom comes from leaning on You. Help us to trust You and to seek Your face and Your will that we find in Your life – giving Word.
The evidence of God’s guidance can be seen more clearly by looking back than by looking forward. (ODB)

THE FEAR OF THE LORD Prov. 14:26-27
In the…fear of the Lord there is strong confidence (v26 AMP)
when you submit to God, you don’t have to be afraid of anything because He becomes your ‘refuge and strength’ (Ps 46:1) Fearing God doesn’t mean being afraid He’s going to hurt you. He’s a good God! “The fear of the Lord just means you follow His directions and recognize His authority in all things. You’ve probably noticed there’s not a lot of respect for authority those days; we’ve developed the kind of mentality that says “Nobody is going to tell me what to do!’ But the Bible says, ‘In the reverent and worshipful fear means being respectful and obedient. It means you’ll do what God says to do, and your confidence and trust in Him will continue to grow. And you’ll notice something else that’s important. The more reverential fear and awe you have of God, the more careful and courteous you’ll be in your dealings with others. That’s because you know you’re accountable to God for your actions, and you recognize that other people are just as valuable to Him as you are. Solomon writes. “Here is the conclusion of the matter. Fear God and keep his commandments… this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl 12:13 NIV 1984 Edition) Moses told the children of Israel, “What does the LORD your God ask of you, but to fear the LORD your God. .. walk in all his ways…love him…serve the LORD your God with all your heart and soul’ (Deut 10:12 NIV 1984 Edition). It’s not complicated (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Holy Spirit, Light divine, Shine upon this heart of mine; Chase the shades of might away; Turn my darkness into day – Reel
The Holy Spirit guides us unto knowledge and spiritual growth.

DAY 116 THURSDAY APRIL, 26. 2018
The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid (v6)
FIRST, be willing to take a risk. Yes, you might be hurt or embarrassed – so what? To overcome insecurity and confidence you must allow yourself the freedom to take a chance. Start writing that book, take those music, stand up and speak at the meeting. Feel the fear and do it anyway! “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trust in the LORD is kept safe” (Prov 29:25 NIV 2011 Edition) SECOND, Learn to laugh at yourself. Get over your obsessive need for approval and acceptance and learn to laugh at your mistakes. We’re all human; stop taking yourself so seriously! When you make a mistake, be the first to see the funny side, and you’ll find people more supportive than you think. THIRD, start thinking realistically. It’s time to drop the security blanket and realize it’s not all about you. You are not the center of the universe, and your title faux pass don’t mean that much in the bigger scheme of things. Besides, mistakes are often better teachers than success. FORTH, reward yourself for little victories. When you complete a project, reward yourself. When you take advice or correction without retaliation, reward yourself. Often the people we lash out at, are those trying the hardest to help us. Get used to the idea that you’re valuable. Stop scrutinizing yourself through distorted lenses and start seeing yourself with 20/20 vision. Once you can do that, your fears will be replaced by confidence in yourself and in your future (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: The Rock of Ages stands secure, He always will be there; He watches over all own To calm their anxious care – keith
The question is not where is God, but where isn’t He?

DAY 117 FRIDAY APRIL, 27. 2018
And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness. For one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (v15)
Good things happen even to bad people. But bad things also happen to them, to remind us of the destructive nature of sin, the shortness of life, and the need for redemption, so that we will seek God and find Him, if not through the unmixed good things, then through the bad things. The loss of a job teach us of the uncertainty of everything in life and of the need to seek our only true or lasting security in God. The loss of a family member should remind you of eternity and of the need to prepare for it. That is why we often read words from Ps 90 at funeral services: “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” (Ps 90:10,12) The loss of good things should turn you from the rampant materialism that surrounds you and remind you that “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of peace, whether personal or political, should cause you to seek “peace with God” through the work of Jesus Christ (Rom 5:1) Read Phil 4:7 (James Mortgomery Boice)
PRAYER LINE: Father, it is a noisy world. Thank You for always calling to us above the din and ruckus that distracts us. Help us to recognize Your voice and follow You, in Jesus’ name we ask it. Amen.
The increasing darkness of trials only makes the lamp of grace shine brighter.

DAY 118 SATURDAY APRIL, 28. 2018
“Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD.” (Isa 26:10)
Jesus once compared His ministry and that of John the Baptist. John was an austere figure who lived in the desert and preached a sober message of repentance from sin. Jesus moved among the masses and participated in such joyful affairs as weddings. So Jesus said:
“But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.” (Matt 11:16-19) People do not respond to common grace. It does not matter whether common grace expresses itself in the good things of life that should lead us to seek out and thank God who is the source of all good things, or whether it expresses itself in bad things, like natural disasters, that are intended as a warning of the even greater disaster of God’s final judgment. If anyone is going to be saved from sin and brought to true faith in God and obedience, it is going to be by special grace and not by common grace-by the electing grace of God. – James Mortgomery Boice.
PRAYER LINE: Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me – All His wonderful passion and purity! O Thou Spirit divine, all my nature, refine, Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me – Orsborn.
A forgiving heart is the fountain of beauty.

DAY 119 SUNDAY APRIL, 29. 2018
Strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”
After Paul and Barnabas had stopped the crowd from sacrificing to them as if they were gods, they taught them the Word of God. But enemies of the gospel from Antioch and Iconium came to Lystra and turned the crowd against the two missionaries. As a result, the same crowd, which days before was ready to worship Barnabas as Zeus and Paul as Hermes, then stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city and left him for dead. People are always fickle until God brings true stability into their lives through the gospel. If anything of any permanence is to happen – if lives are to be changed, if the seed of the Word is to fall into good soil and bear fruit, and do it year after year – it will only be through the special electing and regenerating grace of God. This is what happened in Lystra as well as in the other cities Paul was visiting. Because of the stoning, Paul left Lystra the next day. He went to Derbe and taught there. Paul and Barnabas went back through the cities they had visited, including Lystra, “Strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith.” (Acts 14:22) This means that God had worked in the lives of some of these unstable, pagan people to bring them to faith in Jesus Christ. (Mortgomery Boice)
PRAYER LINE: God, give me the faith of a little child! A faith that will look to Thee – That never will falter and never fail, But follow Thee trustingly – Showerman.
Trust God to put His arms underneath you.

DAY 120 MONDAY APRIL, 30. 2018
Blow the trumpet in zion, And sound an alarm in my holy mountain …(Joel 2:1-2)
The land had experienced a devastating invasion of locusts in Joel’s day, probably identical to a notable invasion of Palestine by locusts in 1915, as described by John D. Whiting in the December 1915 issue of National Geographic magazine. In 1915, the locusts consumed everything in the region so that there was literally nothing to eat. In a predominantly agricultural economy, which Judah’s was, this was an unmitigated disaster, and Joel does not hesitate to call it exactly that. In his opening chapter he calls on various classes in the society to recognize the evil as evil and weep because of it.
As the prophecy continues, Joel makes three more important points (1) God is responsible for the disaster (2) Although it was dreadful, the invasion of the locusts would be followed in time by an even greater disaster: God’s final judgment, He calls it “the day of the LORD” and describes it as “a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness” (Joel 2:1-2) The present evil and the greater coming evil should lead people to repent of their sin and seek God. Joel’s classic words are: Read your heart and not your garment…He may return and have pity and leave behind a blessing… (Joel 2:13-14) James Mortgomery Boice.
PRAYER LINE: I would be quiet, Lord, and rest content, By grace I would not pine or fret. With You to guide and care, my joy be this; Not one small need of mine will You forget – Bosch.
He is rich who is satisfied with what he has.

DAY 121 TUESDAY MAY, 1. 2018
WHEN GOD CALLS YOU (1) 1 Cor 15:50-58
“Give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord” (v58 NIV 2011 Edition)
A career is something you choose; a calling is something you receive. A career is something you do for yourself, a calling is something you do for God. A career promises status, money, and power, a calling generally promises difficulty, suffering, and the opportunity to be used by God. A career may end with retirement and lots of toys, a calling doesn’t end until you die. A career can be disrupted by any number of events, but God enables you to fulfill your calling even in the most difficult circumstances. For some people in Scripture obeying the call of God meant living in slavery, being captured and sent into exile, or being put to death. Their career trajectories didn’t look promising, yet they fulfilled their calling in extraordinary ways. Chuk Colson had one of the highest profile careers in America. He had access to power and influence in the Nixon White House, yet he landed in prison. His career was over, but his calling was just beginning. He was called to reach others just like himself. He reflects; “The real legacy of my life was my biggest failure – that I was an ex-convict. My great humiliation – being sent to prison – was the beginning of God’s greatest use of my life. He chose the one experience in which I couldn’t glory (and used it) for His glory. “In the providence of God, the end of your career can be the beginning of your calling. So whatever God has called you to do, the Bible says, “Give yourselves fully to the work …because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.” (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Gracious God, help me to come to Your arms, to Your ways. You alone have the words of eternal life. Grant me the grace to fulfill Your plans and purpose for my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Faith is believing that God called you for service.

DAY 122 WEDNESDAY MAY, 2. 2018
WHEN GOD CALLS YOU (2) 1 Cor 12:1-11
God works through different (people) in different ways (v6 Philips)
Skilled Potters recognize that when they press clay it presses back, giving them an indication of what it can and cannot become.
Amateur potters often lack that discernment –and the end work proves it. When you don’t honour your raw material, reality becomes your enemy. The word vocation comes from the Latin word for ‘voice.’ Discovering your calling involves listening very carefully. If you close your ears and pursue something you’re neither called nor equipped to do you’ll end up living with anxiety that whispers. “You’re trying to do something God didn’t tell you to do.” The courage to acknowledge what you’re not brings great freedom; the lack of it imprisons you. Parker Palmer writes, “You cannot choose your calling, you must let your life speak” Perhaps, you were created to learn, and in so doing to benefit others. If you are, you’ll find yourself drawn to reading, reflecting, writing, and teaching. However, if you’re convinced (or allow others to convince you) that you must be a corporate success in order for your life to count, you’ll always be sawing against the grain of your life. Instead, learn to ride the horse in the direction it’s going. Philosopher Mortiner Adler writes about brilliant minds called to sit at the table of what he terms ‘the great conversation of the human race.’ Well, guess what? Ninety-nine percent of us will never sit at that table! But we can look forward to the commendation “Well done…good and faithful servant” (Matt 25:21 NLT), That God promised to those who hear His call, accept it, and devote their lives to fulfilling it. (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: It matters not how dark the way, How thick the clouds from day to day. God will direct in all we do If we take time to pray it through – Mead.
If you’re looking for guidance, follow Christ as your guide.

DAY 123 THURSDAY MAY, 3. 2018
WHEN GOD CALLS YOU (3) 1 Sam 3:1-10
The LORD called Samuel again the third time” (v3:8 NKJV)
You didn’t arrive on this planet with your calling prequalified and your gifts pre-developed. Discerning God’s calling usually involves attempts and failures. He called Samuel four times before he recognized the divine voice. Before Peter walked on the water he said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And (Jesus) said, “come” (Matt 14:28-29 NASB) Here’s a lesson you can learn from this: You are not in charge of water-walking. Jesus is! It’s not about having power at your disposal to be used any time you choose, for whatever you please. Before you decide to get out of the boat you’d better be sure it’s what you’ve been called to-and that Jesus is the One calling you. God’s looking for more than impulsiveness. Sometimes we make reckless decisions about relationships, finances, or work, then rationalize them using the veneer of spiritual language. In many self-help books risk-taking is seen as commendable, but as a Christian the risks you take should be in direct response to God. If you’re a thrill-seeking personality you may be particularly susceptible in this area. Boredom can make you vulnerable, and tempt you to solve your problem by making rash decisions that are out of step with God’s will. There’s a line between “Thou shalt not be afraid” and ‘Thou shalt not be stupid.’ – one that’s easily blurred. Knowing when to step out of the boat and take a risk doesn’t just call for courage, it calls for wisdom to ask the right questions, discernment to recognize the Master’s voice, and patience to wait until He says, “Come!’ (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: God’s strength is made perfect in weakness, For when we are weak He is strong; He gives us His grace and His power To overcome in us what’s wrong – Sper.
It’s good to learn of our weakness if it drives us to lean on God’s strength.

DAY 124 FRIDAY MAY, 4. 2018
What we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later (Rom 8:18 NLT)
Sometimes we view the call of God on our lives through rose-coloured glasses. But hearing His call isn’t the same thing as falling into your dream career. When God called Jeremiah to preach to a people who refused to listen, he cried so much he became known as “the weeping prophet.” Our first response to a God-sized assignment is generally-fear. Henry Blackaby writes. “Some people say, ‘God will never ask me to do something I can’t do” I’ve come to the place in my life that if the assignment I sense God giving me is something I know I can handle, I know it’s probably not from God. The kind of assignments God gives in the Bible are always God-sized. They’re beyond what people can do, because He wants to demonstrate His nature, His strength…and His kindness…to a watching world. Saying yes to God’s call often means putting in hours of effort when you’d rather not. And it doesn’t always reward you with the kind of recognition you’d hoped for. People may disapprove of what you’re doing and try to block you. For sure, it’ll involve trial and error and some false starts. And natural talent isn’t enough to honour your calling: you’ll need ideas, strength, and creativity beyond your own resources to do what God requires of you. Paul says, ‘We are labourers together with God.” (1 Cor 3:9 KJV) because in order to succeed it has to be God and you doing it together. He doesn’t just call you to work for Him; He calls you to work with Him (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: Give of your best to the Master; Give Him first place in your heart; Give Him first place in your service, Consecrate every part – Guoise
Honesty means never having to look over your shoulder.

DAY 125 SATURDAY MAY, 5. 2018
For, God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (vv19-20)
One of the major works that Christ came to accomplish here on earth is to reconcile the world to God through His death on the cross. It is important to note that people are reconciled to God (“to Himself”) not that God is reconciled to people. To make peace through His blood means to cause God’s enemies (Rom 5:10; Col 1:21) to become by faith, His friends and His children (Eph 2:11-19)
God’s mercy and unconditional love made Him to prepare Himself through Jesus Christ for reconciliation with humankind. God made Jesus the perfect bridge between humankind and God in the sense that He was both divine and human (1 Tim 2:5) He began the ministry of reconciliation by blotting out all the records of sin against us and commissioning us to the ministry of reconciliation. For this reason, we must be grateful to God for this grace and live a pleasing and acceptable life. You are an ambassador of Christ reconciling the world to Him. If our Master is in the business of reconciliation, what other business should we have? Join a group of believers who have taken the task of witnessing Christ seriously.
PRAYER LINE: Read 2 Cor 5:19 – To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
Father, make me a channel through which many will be reconciled to You. This we ask, in Jesus’ name. Amen. (NBC)
Forgive, Reconcile, Be Transformed.

DAY 126 SUNDAY MAY, 6. 2018
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ (v3NIV)
Today’s text reveals that God blesses us in the heavenly realms with all spiritual blessing in Christ. What are these blessings? Spiritual blessings are: (1) Divine election as saints (v4) God’s holiness is the reason for our election. This implies that we can come to Him without any hindrance (2) Common identity and status with Christ (v5) God gave all who believe in Him power to become His children (Jn 1:12) (3) Uncommon favour (v6) This infers that we now enjoy what we do not deserve. (4) Redemption and forgiveness (v7) This was made possible through the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ.
All these spiritual blessings are readily accessible to everyone who believes in Jesus Christ. To access daily and maintain these spiritual blessings, you must be ready to obey and keep all the commands of God. Note however that the only way to obey God fully is through faith in Jesus Christ. With this, you can be assured that this new month shall be filled with all spiritual blessings. Spiritual blessings are success factors that differentiate a believer from an unbeliever. Every believer is loaded and empowered to overcome. Reflect on the essence of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
PRAYER LINE: O Lord, help me to take advantage of Your spiritual blessings (NBC)
To recharge your spiritual battery, plug into the Source.

DAY 127 SUNDAY MAY, 7. 2018
So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs (v4NIV)
A true son represents his father anywhere and anytime. In today’s text, we see God maintain the imprint of Himself on Jesus Christ. This, not only is Jesus the exact representation of God, He is God Himself, the complete expression of God in human form. He is the image of God’s being. The writer of Hebrews emphasizes Jesus’ superiority over persons, beings or angels. This implies that (1) God speaks to us through Jesus Christ in these last days (v2) (2) He is appointed heir of all things (v2b; Col 1:15) (3) He is the brightness of God’s glory (4) He is the exact likeness (relica) of God’s image (v6b) (5) He upholds all things by the Word of His might (v3c) (6) He purged our sins, which is the permanent redemption from sin.
Believers should not regard any intermediary or authority who claims superiority over Jesus Christ because He is God and He alone deserves our worship. He is eternally perfect, intelligent and superior to all, even the angels. We must not worship any creature (angel or deity); or creation (trees, rivers, animals), but God through Jesus Christ. When you depend solely on Jesus, He will imprint His nature on you also. Jesus is superior to any person or angel. Therefore, never give a thought to satanic comparisons with Jesus.
PRAYER LINE: Lord, let the imprint of Your authority, through Jesus Christ work wonders in my life (NBC)
Jesus is superior to any person or angel.

DAY 128 MONDAY MAY, 8. 2018
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy (v2)
Following the death of computer pioneer Steve Jobs in 2011, more than one million people from around the world posted tributes to him online. The common theme was how Jobs had changed their lives. They said they lived differently because of his creative innovations, and they wanted to express their appreciation and their sorrow.
The screen of one tablet computer said in large letters: sad. Gratitude fuels expression, which is exactly what Ps 107 describes. “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy” (v2) The theme of this psalm is people in great trouble who were delivered by the Lord. Some were homeless and in need (vv4-5); some had rebelled against God’s Word (vv10-11); others were at their wits end when they cried out to God (vv 26-27). All were rescued by God. “Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (vv8,15,21,31)
When we consider the greatness of God’s love, His grace in sending Jesus Christ to die for us and rise again, and what He has delivered us from, we cannot keep from praising Him and wanting to tell others how He changed our lives! – David McCasland.
PRAYER LINE: O God, my heart is filled with praise for all that You have done for me, You have changed the focus and purpose of my life because You sent Your Son Thank You.
Our gratitude to God for salvation fuels our witness to others. (ODB)

DAY 129 TUESDAY MAY, 9. 2018
When the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were around me (v5)
Here’s a true saying: “The family that prays together, stays together.” Here’s another true saying: “The family that eats together and communicates, raises well-adjusted children.” When the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center studied five hundred teenagers, here’s what they discovered: Children whose parents ate dinner with them five times a week or more were the least likely to be on drugs, to be depressed, or to be in trouble with the law. They were also more likely to do well in school, and be surrounded by a supportive circle of friends. Even when families met together at a fast-food restaurant they got the same results. By contrast, the more poorly adjusted teens ate with their parents only three times a week or less. What do these findings mean? (1) You need to make time to be involved with your children on a daily basis, especially during the formative years. (2) When you give your children things you give them short-term pleasure and excitement, but when you give them time you give them self-work. This may call for working fewer hours or eliminating certain activities, but it’s an investment you’ll never regret. Job was one of the wealthiest men in his generation. But after tragedy struck and all ten of his children died in a single day, he looked back and wrote, “The Almighty was yet with me, when my children were around me.” You need to ask yourself, “Am I spending enough time with my family? If you don’t like the answer, start changing things (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessing, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. Oatsman.
Remembering God’s faithfulness in the past strengthens us for the future.

DAY 130 THURSDAY MAY, 10. 2018
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the (atoning sacrifice) for our sins (v10)
Books on leadership often appear on best-seller lists. Most of them tell how to become a powerful and effective leader. But Henri Nouwen’s book In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership is written from a different perspective. The former university professor who spent many years serving in a community of developmentally disabled adults says: “The question is not: How many people take you seriously? How much are you going to accomplish? Can you show some results? But. Are you in love with Jesus? …In our world of loneliness and despair, there is an enormous need for men women who knew the heart of God, a heart that forgives, that cares, that reaches out and wants to heal.”
John wrote. “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice) for our sins” (1 Jn 4:9-10)
“The Christian leader of the future,” writes Nouwen,” is the one who truly knows the heart of God as it has become flesh … in Jesus,” In Him, we discover and experience God’s unconditional, unlimited love-David McCasland.
PRAYER LINE: Father, please show the wonder of Your great love through me to others today so that they might know they need not walk through life alone. Let my heart personally experience and display Your care.
God’s love in our heart gives us a heart for others. (ODB)

DAY 131 FRIDAY MAY, 11. 2018
The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein (Ps 24:1)
When Amanda Benavides was a sophomore at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California, she began to rethink her earth. Amada had grown up thinking that being conscious of the environment had nothing to do with her relationship with Jesus. All this changed when she was challenged to consider planet-especially how that relates to reading the most needy in the world. Our stewardship of the beautiful world God gave us, and our care for the people in it, express our reverence for God and is grounded in two biblical principles.
First, the earth belongs to God (Ps 24:1-2) The psalmist praised the Lord for His creation and His ownership of it. The heavens, the earth, and all that are in it are His. He created it, He is sovereign over it (93:1-2) and He cares for it (Matt 6:26-30) Second, God delegated the responsibility for the well-being of His earth to us (Gen 1:26-28) This includes appreciation of and care for both nature (Lev. 25:2-5, 11; Prov 12:10) and people (Rom 15:2)
This is our Father’s world. Let’s show Him how much we love Him by respecting it and caring for the people who populate it – Marvin Williams.
PRAYER LINE: The natural world that God has made must not be used at whim; We serve as stewards of His earth, Responsible to Him – D. De. Haan.
To mistreat God’s creation is to offend the Creator.

DAY 132 SATURDAY MAY, 12. 2018
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Heb 4:15)
Have you ever noticed how heard it is to communicate with people who will not give you their attention? Pain will continue to rehearse itself in the life of a preoccupied, distracted person. Distracted people almost seem weird. They do not respond? Every woman has something she wishes she could forget. There is a principle to learn here. Forgetting isn’t a memory lapse; it is a memory release! Like carbon dioxide the body can no longer use, exhale it and let it go out of your spirit. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind,… and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. (Phil 3:13-15) Jesus set the infirmed woman in Lk 13 free. She was able to stand upright. The crippling condition of her infirmity was removed by the God who cares, sees and calls the infirmity to the dispensary of healing and deliverance. He can call upon Him even in the middle of the night Like a 24-hour medical center, you can reach Him at anytime. He is touched by the feeling of your infirmity. In the name of our High Priest, Jesus Christ, I curse the infirmity that has bowed the backs of God’s women. I pray that, as we shall together out of the Word of God, the Holy Spirit would roll you into the recovery room where you can fully realize that the trauma is over. PRAYER LINE: May God reveal healing and purpose as we continue to seek Him (T. D. Jakes)
Forgetting isn’t a memory lapse; it is a memory release.

DAY 133 SUNDAY MAY, 13. 2018
“Along unfamiliar paths I will guide them’
To do God’s will, Moses had to leave his comfort zone. “Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter… He thought it was better to suffer than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward (Heb 11:24-25 NLT) To fulfill the assignment God gave him, Moses had to be willing to give up two things: (1) Comfort. Ease is a greater threat to your progress than hardship. After living in a palace, Moses spent his next forty years in the desert tending sheep. He married one of Jethro’s daughters managed her father’s business, and enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle. Can you imagine leaving all that to go back and face Pharaoh? God’s plan for your life will bless and reward you, but never assume it will be easy. (2) Security. When God called him, Moses had many doubts and questions: Who am I that I should go? (Exo 3:11 NKJV) ‘What shall I say to them? (Exo 3:13 NKJV). Suppose they will not believe in me? (Exo 4:1 NKJV) ‘But I am slow of speech’ (Exo 4:13 NIV 2011 Edition) Have you been doing that? Fortunately, God wouldn’t take no for an answer, and Moses finally did the one thing that works when you’re uncertain about the future. He obeyed God, entrusting the details of the future to Him. In doing that Moses agreed to answer God’s call, leave his comfort zone, and return to Egypt. As a result the children of Israel were delivered from slavery, and Moses’ Name became a household word (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: O Father of light and leading, from the top of each rising hill Let me cast my eye on the road gone by To mark the steps of Thy will – Matheson
We can trust our all-knowing God for the unknown future.

DAY 134 MONDAY MAY, 14. 2018
I will…make the rough places smooth (v16 NIV 2011 Edition)
Observe (1) It’s not easy to leave your comfort zone Moses probably didn’t relish leaving the luxury of Pharaoh’s palace or the security, of his new family in Midian. Yet if he hadn’t, he’d have failed to fulfill God’s call. Just because you don’t feel like doing something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. The greater the assignment, the greater the sacrifice. (2) Real growth begins once you leave your comfort zone.
For forty years Moses benefited from everything Egypt had to offer. But only after he left Egypt for the first time did he begin to learn what was really important namely, God’s purposes. It took another forty years in the desert to discover how God intended to use him-and by then he’d been humbled and made over. This bottom line is, before you can go-you have to grow. (3) Staying in your comfort zone will rob you of your greatest moments and memories. Your life story is written in risks-those you took and those you avoided. Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed about the risks you didn’t take than the ones you did. The way to pre-empt tomorrow’s regret is by moving forward today into the ‘faith zone’. You say, ‘But there’s so much I didn’t know or understand.’ That may be true, but here’s a promise you can stand on: ‘I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them…turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These…things I will do: I will not forsake them (v16 NIV 2011 Edition) What more assurance do you need? (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: Lord, I’m fearful sometimes when You ask me to do something out of my comfort zone. Help me to remember that as I step out in faith, You will provide the power to obey.
He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it – 1 Thess 5:24 (ODB)

DAY 135 TUESDAY MAY, 15. 2018
A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance (v4)
Most of us would agree that life has its ups and downs. Wise king Solomon believe this and reflected on our responses to fluctuating circumstances. In Ecclesiastes he wrote: “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven… a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (3:1-4)
Solomon’s father, David, was called “a man after (God’s) own heart.” (1 Sam 13:14; Acts 13:22) Yet David’s life illustrates how life is filled with seasons of ups and downs. David wept over his and Bathsheba’s first child who was fatally ill (2 Sam 12:22). Yet he also wrote songs of praise and joyous laughter (Ps 126:1-3). With the death of his rebellious son Absalom, David experienced a time of deem mourning (2 Sam 18:33) And when the ark was brought to Jerusalem, David, in spiritual ecstasy, danced before the Lord (2 Sam 6:12-15) We do a disservice to ourselves and others when we portray the Christian life as peaceful and happy all the time. Instead, the Bible portrays the believer’s life as consisting of seasons of ups and downs. In what season should are you? Whether a time of joy or sadness each season motivate us to seek the Lord and trust Him – Dennis Fisher
PRAYER LINE: Dear Lord, help us to turn to You not only in sadness but also in joy. We know You give us both good times and bad to draw us to You and help us grow; May we learn to trust You in all seasons of life. Amen.
Every season needs faith to get us through it (ODB)

DAY 136 WEDNESDAY MAY, 16. 2018
GREAT JOY (1) Prov 17:21-25
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine; but a broken spirit direth the bones” (v22)
As an automobile moves by the power of gasoline, so a man moves by the power of joy in his heart. When the heart of a man loses its joy and the heart is filled with gloom and sadness, this man does not want to meet other people or participate in any social activities. He simply secludes himself from society and may even commit suicide. For this reason, joy is considered a great motivating power in life. The greater joy we have the more courage and power we have, and joy causes us to carry out our work with more enthusiasm. In addition, joy in our heart makes us live a healthier life. The Bible tells us in Prov 17:22 that a cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Furthermore, joy is a trademark of those who trust in Jesus Christ. We may visit people and invite them to believe in Jesus Christ, We may ask them to believe and receive eternal life. But if the listener cannot find any vestige of joy in the life of the speaker, such a witness will never be heard. However when they see overflowing joy in your eyes, they will pay close attention to what you say to them. That’s why the apostle Paul admonished us in Philippians. Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say again Rejoice. There was great joy in city of Samaria (Acts 8:4-8) It was not small joy, but great joy. (Yongi Cho)
PRAYER LINE: Father, please teach us to find the secret of the great joy which the people of Samaria enjoyed, so we can share the joy with others. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
When we put our problems in God’s hands He puts His peace and joy in our hearts.

DAY 137 THURSDAY MAY, 17. 2018
Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ unto them (v5)
The Bible says that Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Jesus Christ and the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spoke and as a result great joy came. Why was it that the joy in their heart came when they heard the gospel of Jesus Christ? Brothers and sisters, remember that Jesus Christ is more than a religion. He is more than a philosophy. Jesus Christ came to the world as our Saviour. He came to the world to set us free from all the shackles of sin that had been pushing us into the world of bondage ever since the fall of Adam our forefather. On the day when the Republic of Korea was liberated from the 36-year-long rule of the Japanese, our people greatly rejoiced. When such worldly liberation gives us this much joy, how much greater joy we shall have when we receive eternal freedom from the power of darkness through Jesus Christ. Like the people of Samaria who received great joy when they heard Philip preaching Jesus Christ, those who listened to us preaching this same Jesus Christ shall have great joy as well. In Gen 2:17. God said to Adam, “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” When a human being loses fellowship with God, he is as good as dead. (David Yongi Cho) PRAYER LINE: Help me, Lord, to use my words not to tear down others or build up my own reputation, but to seek the good of others first, and in so doing to serve You and Your kingdom.
The more you feast on God’s Word, the healthier you will become.

DAY 138 FRIDAY MAY, 18. 2018
GREAT JOY (3) Rom 5:17-19
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men (v18)
When Jesus Christ the last Adam is preached and the Gospel is heard, the dead are quickened, and fellowship with God is restored. Eternal life comes into our life, the Holy Spirit comes and communion with God begins again. (Rom 5:17-19)…Just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. Since one man Adam, sinned, many have become sinners, but by the obedience of one man, Jesus Christ, many have become righteous. Through the offence of Adam death reigned, but by the righteous act of Christ life reigned, but by the righteous act of Jesus Christ life reigns among us. Therefore, we cannot help rejoicing to hear the Good News that what was lost in Adam was restored again in Jesus Christ. Furthermore, when we hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are liberated from the curse and tolls in life, from all those thorns and thistles that are coming out of our lives. In Gen 3:17-19. To Adam, he said…for dust you are and to dust you will return” Nothing is more tragic than the solemn state of God concerning the fate of mankind. Gal 3:13 says “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written. Curse is everyone who is hung on a tree” In 1 Cor 15:42-45 Read. Jesus gave us a new living spirit, we are given the privilege of being sons and daughters of God by believing in Jesus Christ (Yongi Cho)
PRAYER LINE: Let my hands perform His bidding, Let my feet run in His ways, Let my eyes see Jesus only. Let my lips speak forth His praise – James
When we walk with God, we leave behind a sweet fragrance that can inspire others to follow.

DAY 139 SATURDAY MAY, 19. 2018
GREAT JOY (4) 1 Jn 3:7-10
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (v8)
(1) The Bible speaks of dirty demons. The Bible also says that there are wicked demons, such as wrath, jealousy, covetousness, quarreling and disputes. They plant discord between husbands and wives, parents and children, among brothers and sisters. (2) The Bible also tells us there are lying demons. People possessed with lying demons find it difficult to tell the truth. Lying demons are responsible for countless of people telling lie after lie. (3) Another kind of demon is the fortunetelling demons. These demons try to lead as many foolish souls as possible to believe what the demons tell them about their future. Foolish souls wish to forget cares, worries, or fears by what they hear from these fortunetelling demons, but all of them will be led into hell. (4) The Bible tells us about the demons of sickness. These demons cause many people to suffer from all kinds of illnesses. Who can deliver us from these spiritual forces of evil? The Bible says in 1Jn4:4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. The season the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” Thus when men are liberated from such demonic oppression or possession, real joy begins to flow out of their lives and into their family and work relationships (Dr. David Yongi Cho)
PRAYER LINE: Wonderful, wonderful, Jesus is to me, Counselor, Prince of Peace Mighty God is He; Saving me, keeping me from all sin and shame. Wonderful is my Redeemer, praise His name – Lillenas
If you seek wise counsel, you multiply your chances for sound decisions

DAY 140 SUNDAY MAY, 20. 2018
You proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes (v26)
At a communion service my wife and I attended, the congregation was invited to come forward to receive the bread and cup from one of the pastors or elders. They told each one personally of Jesus’ sacrifice for him or her. It was an especially moving experience during what can often become just routine.
After we returned to our seats, I watched as others slowly and quietly filled past. It was striking to see how many had tears in their eyes. For me, and for others I talked with later, they were tears of gratitude.
The reason for tears of gratitude is seen in the reason for the communion table itself. Paul, after instructing the church at Corinth about the meaning of the memorial supper, punctuated his comments with these powerful word: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord; death till He comes” (1 Cor 11:26) With the elements of communion pointing directly to the cross and the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf, that service was about so much than ritual – it was about Christ. His love. His sacrifice. His cross. For us. How inadequate words are to convey the extraordinary worth of Christ! Sometimes tears of gratitude speak what words can’t fully express – Bill Crowder. PRAYER LINE: Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all – Watts
The love Christ showed for us on the cross is greater than words could ever express. (ODB)

DAY 141 MONDAY MAY, 21. 2018
GREAT JOY (5) 1 Jn 4:4
You, dear children are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world (v4)
The paralytics were healed, and the people that were crippled were healed. In the course of our lives we often have physical deformities. It is very sad that we have physical handicaps and severe sickness. Some suffer from arthritis, some from cancer, some from neuralgia, some from polio, some from paralysis, and many other physical disabilities. When a person has suffered for many years and is liberated from his suffering, what boundless joy he has!
Today many people are experiencing the healing and deliverance power of Jesus Christ. More important than the physical deformity of sickness confronting so many today is the sickness of one’s heart or those who have lost hope and now have more anxieties, uneasiness, wrath, frustration, and gloom than they can handle. These are more serious than physical sickness. Why? Physical sickness seen by our physical eye may draw the sympathy of other people, but the sickness of one’s heart will never be seen to draw compassion and prayer from others. Though not seen to the eye, these people undergo unlimited stress or pain. Who can deliver them from these mental problems? Only Jesus Christ can help! He only comes to give new hope and joy, and takes away anxiety, worry, fear, and frustration. (Dr. David Yong Cho) PRAYER LINE: Dear Lord, thank You for sacrificing Your life for our sins, so that we might live. We’re thankful that because You died and rose again, we can have assurance that one day we’ll be with You in a place of no more death.
Because Christ is alive, we too shall live.

DAY 142 TUESDAY MAY, 22. 2018
Blessed are those who find wisdom (v13)
Every spring college and universities hold commencement ceremonies to celebrate the success of students who have completed their studies and earned their degrees. After the students cross the state, these graduates will enter a world that will challenge them. Just having academic knowledge wont’ be good enough. The key to success in life will be in wisely applying everything they have learned.
Throughout Scripture, wisdom is celebrated as a treasure that is worth seeking. It is better than riches (Prov 3:13-18) It’s source is God, who alone is perfectly wise (Rom 16:27). And it is found in the actions and attitude of Jesus, in whom “all the treasures of wisdom” are found (Col 23) Wisdom comes from reading and applying the Scripture. We have an example of this in the way Jesus applied His knowledge when He was tempted (Lk 4:1-13). In other words, the truly wise person tries to see life from God’s point of view and choose to live according to His wisdom.
What’s the pay off for this kind of life? Proverbs tells us that wisdom is like sweetness of money on the tongue (Prov 24:13-14) “Blessed are those who find wisdom” (3:13) So seek wisdom, for it is more profitable than silver or gold – Joe Stowell.
PRAYER LINE: Lord, strengthen my resolve to live by the wisdom that comes only from You. Give me the discernment to live all of life from Your point of view that I might know the blessings of a life lived wisely.
Blessing comes from seeking wisdom and living by it. (ODB)

DAY 143 WEDNESDAY MAY, 23. 2018
Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead (v13NLT)
There are things inside you that must be dealt with before you can move ahead. Every experience you’ve had from birth until the present moment has helped shape who you are. The things that happen to you, good and bad, are instrumental in determining how you’ll act and react for the rest of your life. Paul talks about ‘forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. “You ask. ‘What did Paul have to forget’?
A lot! On Paul’s orders Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was stoned to death while he looked on. Before he met Christ on the Damascus Road, Paul routinely imprisoned and put Christians to death. The fact is, if he hadn’t overcome his past he would never have written half the New Testament and helped establish a church that would last two millenniums. Was Paul perfect? Not even close! That’s why he said: ‘I keep working toward that when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be…I am still not all that I should be but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing. Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us’ (vv12-14 TLB) The only place the past can live is your memory, and the only power it has over you is the power you give it. So the word for you today is: Start looking forward (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: Sins confessed you must forget; Look not back to yesterday – Full of failure and regret; Look ahead and seek God’s way – D. De Haan.
Don’t let yesterday’s failures bankrupt tomorrow’s efforts.

DAY 144 THURSDAY MAY, 24. 2018
LAUNCH OUT Lk 5:1-11
‘Launch out into the deep.’ (Lk 5:4)
Dr. Robert Schuller’s hobbies include raising koi fish. Asked why some grow big while others stay small, he replied “if a koi fish lives in a small tank it will never grow longer than two or three inches. In a larger pond they can grow up to ten inches long in ponds the size of mine they’ll get to be eighteen inches long but if they live in a huge lake where they can swim and stretch, they can grow up to three feet long. The size of the pond determines the size of the fish. Similarly, little ideas in little thinking minds produce little achievements.” Jesus said, ‘According to your faith and your vision determines the outcome of your idea. Edison had to install electric lights for free in an office building before anyone even came to look at them. The first sewing machine invented was destroyed by a mob in France. Morse waited for ten years before the world showed interest in hi telegraph. And when the idea of travelling by railroad was introduced, people scoffed because it was widely believed that travelling at thirty miles per hour stopped blood circulation in the human body. Ronald E. Osborn said, ‘Undertake something difficult, it will do you good. Unless you try something beyond what you have already mastered, you’ll never grow’ You attain in direct proportion to what you attempt, which is why Jesus said to His disciples, Launch out into the deep (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: When circumstances overwhelm And seem too much to bear, Depend upon the Lord for strength And trust His tender care – Sper
When we have nothing left but God, we discover that God is more than enough

DAY 145 FRIDAY MAY, 25. 2018
No one knows the things of God excerpt the Spirit of God.
When we quote The Apostles Creed, we say, ‘I believe in the Holy Spirit.” Author J.B Phillips said “Every time we say (this) we mean that believe that (the Spirit) is a human personality and change it.”
Sometimes we forget that the Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force. The Bible describes him as God. He possesses the attributes of God: He is present everywhere (Ps 139:7-8) He knows all things (1 Cor 2:10-11), and He has infinite power (Lk 1:35) He also does things that only God can do: create (Gen 1:2) and give life (Rom 8:2) He is equal in every way with the other Persons of the Trinity – the Father and the Son.
The Holy Spirit is a Person who engages in personal ways with us. He grieves when we sin (Eph 4:30) He teaches us (1 Cor 2:13), prays for us (Rom 8:16), guides us (Jn 16:13), gives us spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12:11), and assures us of salvation (Rom 8:16) The Holy Spirit indwells us if we have received forgiveness of sin through of sins through Jesus. He desires to transform us so that we become more and more like Jesus. Let’s cooperate with the Spirit by reading God’s Word and relying on His power to obey what we learn. – Marvin Williams.
PRAYER LINE: God’s guidance and help that we need day to day. Is given to all who believe; The Spirit has sealed us – He’s God’s guarantee of power that we can receive – Branon
The Christian who neglects the Holy Spirit is like a lamp that’s not plugged in. (ODB)

DAY 146 SATURDAY MAY, 26. 2018
NEW BIRTH Ps 139:7-16
You formed me inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb (v13)
What is there about babies that makes us smile? Many people will stop everything at the sight or sound of a baby and will flock to gaze at the little one. I noticed this when I visited my dad at a nursing home. Though most of the residents were wheelchair-bound and suffered from dementia, the visit of a family with a baby almost unfailingly brought a spark of joy to their eyes that – tentatively at first but then undoubtedly – became a smile. Perhaps babies bring a smile because of the wonder of a new life – so precious, tiny, and full of promise. Seeing a baby can remind us of our awesome God and the great love He has for us. He loved us so much that He gave us life ad formed us in our mother’s womb. “You formed my inward parts.” The psalmist says, “You covered me in my mother’s womb.” (Ps 139:13) Not only does He give us physical life but He also offers us spiritual rebirth through Jesus (Jn 3:3-8). God promises believers new bodies and life eternal when Jesus returns (1 Cor 15:50-52)
Physical life and spiritual rebirth –gifts to celebrate from our father Alyson Kieda
PRAYER LINE: In His own image God created man,
He formed his body from the dust of earth: But more than that to all who are in Christ He gives eternal life by second birth – Hess
I will praise You…; marvelous are Your works Ps 139:14 (ODB)

DAY 147 SUNDAY MAY, 27. (Children’s Day) 2018
“What a man desires is unfailing love’ (v22)
True kindness is to have the same attitude as Jesus Christ – Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.’ (Phil 2:5) – We must consider how to develop and grow in kindness. The poetess Ella Wheeler Wilcox says in her poem “The World’s Need’:
So many gods, so many creeds, So many paths that wind and wind. When all that this sad world needs, Is just the art of being kind.
Human kindness may be important, but God-infused kindness is even more unimportant. It is indeed, what ‘this sad world needs.’ The importance of kindness is seen by the fact that an act of kindness lingers on in the memory. Once, I was due to speak to a large audience at the Colston Hall, Bristol, but was feeling a little weighed down by personal circumstances. Just as I was about to step onto the platform a few ladies who represented an organization called “Women Aglow’ handed me a little box in which was a beautiful flower. With it was a message: “We love you and are praying for you.” That kindness and the spirit that prompted it, was like a star on a dark night. I have never forgotten it and I never will forget it. If kindness can minister such comfort and encouragement then how imperative it is that we ask God to ripen this fruit within us. Of the many things associated with Paul’s shipwreck on Malta, Luke recalls in particular that the ‘Islanders showed us unusual kindness” (Acts 28:2)
PRAYER LINE: Father, help me to demonstrate Your fruit of kindness this day so that somebody, somewhere may use it as a light to lighten their darkness. In Jesus’ name I ask this. Amen (EDWJ)
Is there someone you could encourage today with a simple act of kindness?

DAY 148 MONDAY MAY, 28. 2018
‘There is nothing concealed that will not be discovered, or hidden that will not be made known’ (v2) Both the universe and we ourselves have been created for truth and honesty, and both … are alien to untruth and dishonesty. The universe has been made for the same thing as we have been, namely righteousness. Not only the face of God but the face of the universe is set against those who do not live according to His design. Though I know this may sound somewhat hollow in an age that appears rife with dishonesty and corruption, I stand by it nevertheless. The universe has not been created for the success of dishonesty and corruption. A lie breaks itself upon the moral universe-perhaps not today, not tomorrow, but certainly at some point in the future. The Tamils of south India have a saying: “The life of the cleverest lie is only eight days! I once heard another saying: ‘Lies have short legs.” During World War II some altered that saying to “lies have one leg’ because Goebbels, the German propaganda minister, had one leg that was shorter than the other. A passionate antagonist of communism is reported to have claimed. ‘In our fight against communism we are handicapped by our decency and honesty. Since when was honesty and decency a handicap? It is indecency and dishonesty that are handicaps: they bring us into bondage. Inwardly and outwardly. Governments, organizations and institutions that practice dishonesty will be broken from within. History has proved that. The Roman Empire was destroyed not from without, but from within –broken upon the rock of its own corruption. Believe me, no one gets away with anything in a moral universe. No one.
PRAYER LINE: Gracious Father, I see that dishonesty does not belong in Your universe. Please flow into me through Your Holy Spirit so that truth and righteousness will flow out of me every day and everywhere. In Jesus’ name. Amen. (EDWJ)
There is a saying – ‘Walls have ears.” How true!

DAY 149 TUESDAY MAY, 29. 2018
MYSTERIOUS DETOURS Gen 12:1-10; 13:1
Our fathers, trusted in You, they trusted, and You delivered them (Ps 22:4)
Before my wife and I embarked on a 400-mile road trip, I set up the GPS with our daughter’s home in Missouri as the destination. As we travelled through Illinois, the GPS instructed as to get off the Interstate, resulting in a detour through the city of Harvey. After the GPS directed us back to 1-80, I was baffled by this mysterious detour. Why were we directed off a perfectly good highway? I’ll never know the answer. We continued on our way, and we trusted the GPS to get us there and home again.
That got me to thinking about detours in life. We may seem to be traveling on a smooth pathway. Then for some reason, God redirects us into an unfamiliar area. Perhaps it is an illness, or a crisis at work or school, or an unexpected tragedy occurs. We don’t understand what God is doing. Abraham faced a mysterious detour when God told him “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house’ (Gen 12:1). Surely Abraham must have wondered why God was routing him to the Neger desert. But he trusted God and His good purposes.
A GPS may make mistakes, but we can trust our unfailing God. (Ps 22:4) He will guide us through all our mysterious detours and lead us where He wants us to go – Dave Branon.
PRAYER LINE: We seek Your guidance, Lord, but we understand that our path won’t always be without challenges. Help us to trust You through the detours – Knowing that You have our best interests and Your honour at heart.
We don’t need to see the way when we stay close to the One who does (ODB)

DAY 150 WEDNESDAY MAY, 30. 2018
‘Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.” (v39 NKJV)
A big stone blocked the entrance to the tomb of Lazarus. And before Christ raised him from the dead, He said, “Take away the stone.’ There’s a lesson here. God will restore what you’ve lost when you’re willing to remove the hindrance that stand in the way. What was behind that stone? A corpse and it was stinking! John writes: ‘If our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God’ (1Jn 3:21 NKJV) Your confidence in approaching God comes from knowing you’ve dealt with the stuff that separates you from Him. And it requires courage. But you’ll never experience new life until you’re willing to do it. God can give you back what life has taken. He can restore what you’ve lost. But only if you’re willing to face the truth.
King David caused a big stink: adultery and murder. Now your issues may not smell that bad but before God can answer your prayer and you must acknowledge them. A more contrite and consecrated David wrote: ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear. But certainly God has heard me. He has attended to the voice of my prayer’ (Ps 66:18-19 NKJV) This is why when you counsel an addict it’s not just about what they’re addicted to, but about what they’re trying to cover up writing their addiction. It may take months or even years of therapy, but change begins when you’re willing to ‘take the stone’ and allow God to deal with what’s behind it (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Father God, please use me in the lives of others. Remind me to talk about who Jesus is and about His life and teachings. And not to be dragged into debates, but to share Jesus’ amazing life.
The risen Christ is the reason for our witness.

DAY 151 THURSDAY MAY, 31. 2018
Let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me (v24)
Chris Langan has an IQ higher than Albert Einstein’s. Moustafa Ismail has 31-inch biceps and can lift 600 pounds. Bill Gates is estimated to be worth billions. Those who have extraordinary abilities or possessions might be tempted to think more highly of themselves than they should. But we don’t have to be wildly smart, strong, or wealthy to want to take credit for our achievements. Any size of accomplishment carries with it this question. Who will get the credit? During a time of judgment, God spoke to the Israelites through the prophet Jeremiah. He said: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom. Let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches.” (Jer 9:23). Rather, “Let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me” (v24). God wanted His people to prize Him and His Excellence above anything else. If we allow praise to inflate our self-image, we’re forgetting that “every good gift…comes down from the Father (Jas 1:17). It’s better to give God the glory –not only because it protects our hearts from pride but also because He rightfully deserves it. He is God, the One “who does great things…marvelous things without number” (Job 5:9) Jennifer Benson Schuldt.
PRAYER LINE: Not I, but Christ, be honoured, loved, exalted; Not I, but Christ, be seen, be known, be heard; Not I, but Christ, in every look, and action, Not I, but Christ, in every thought and word-Whiddinton
We were created to give God the glory.

DAY 152 FRIDAY JUNE, 1. 2018
Be still, and know that I am God (v 10)
I remember bobbing for apples when I was a child, a game that required me to have my hands tied behind my back. Trying to grab a floating apple with my teeth without the use of my hands was a frustrating experience. It reminded me of the vital importance of our hands – we eat with them, greet with them, and use them to do just about anything that is vital to our existence.
When I read Ps 46:10, I find it interesting that God says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” The Hebrew word for “still” means to “cease striving,” or, literally, “to put our hands at our side.” At first glance this seems to be a rather risky piece of advice, since our first instinct in trouble is to keep our hands on the situation and control it to our advantage. God in essence is saying, “Hands off”! let Me deal with your problem, and rest assured that the outcome is in My hands.”
But knowing when to take our hands off and let God work can make us feel vulnerable. Unless, that is, we believe that God is indeed “our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (v1) and that “the LORD of host is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge (v7) In the midst of trouble, we can rest in God’s care – Joe Stowell.
PRAYER LINE: Lord forgive me for always wanting to manage my own affairs. Teach me to trust in Your wise and timely intervention in my life and to keep my hands out of Your way.
When we put our problems in God’s hands, He puts His peace in our hearts.

DAY 153 SATURDAY JUNE, 2. 2018
YOU CAN DO IT Phil 4:13
‘I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency’ (v13 AMP)
One of Satan’s favourite strategies is making you feel incapable of accomplishing anything worthwhile. He’ll remind you of your past mistakes so that even when you do make an effort, your fear of failure will sabotage you. This is commonly referred to as “Failure Syndrom” Satan wants you to feel so bad about yourself that you’ll have no confidence at all. But the fact is you don’t need confidence in yourself – you need confidence in the God who lives within you! Without that, you’re like a plane without fuel sitting on the runway, you look good but you’ve no power. Hear this: Through Christ you have the power to do what you never could on your own. Once you learn this truth, anytime the Devil tells you, “You can’t do anything right,” your response will be, “Maybe not, but Jesus in me can; and He will because I’m relying on Him and not myself. His Word says I’ll succeed in everything I put my hand to.” (Josh 1:7) When the enemy says to you, “You’re not able to do this, so don’t even try! You’ll fail again like you did in the past’ your response should be “It’s true without Jesus I’m not able to do a single thing. But with Him, and in Him, I can do all I need to do.” Read these words, get them down into your heart and stand on them today. “I have strength for all things in Christ who empowers me (I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me. I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency) The word for you today is: You can do it! (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Thank You, Lord, that I can trust in Your faithful presence even when I feel alone. Help me to wait patiently for You to manifest Your steadfast loving presence.
When everyone else fails, Jesus is your most trusted friend.

DAY 154 SUNDAY JUNE, 3. 2018
Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean. (v2)
Mally wanted her dad’s help, but she was afraid to ask. She knew that when he was working on his computer he didn’t want to be interrupted. He might get upset at me, she though, so she didn’t ask him. We need not have such fears when we come to Jesus. In Matt 8:1-4, we read about a leper who didn’t hesitate to interrupt Jesus with his needs. His disease made him desperate-he had been ostracized from society and was in emotional distress. Jesus was busy with “great multitudes,” but the leper made his way through the crowd to talk with Jesus. Matthew’s gospel says that the leper came and “worshiped Him” (v2). He approached Jesus in worship, with trust in His power, and with humility, acknowledging that the choice to help belonged to Jesus. He said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean” (v2). In compassion, Jesus touched him (leprosy had made him “untouchable” by the standards of Jewish law), and he was cleansed immediately.
Like the leper, we don’t need to hesitate to approach Jesus with our desire for His help. As we go to Him in humility and worship, we can trust that He will make the best choices for us – Anne Cetas
PRAYER LINE: What an example this leper is to me, Lord. Give me a heart of worship, of confidence in Your power, and of trust that when I bring my needs to You, You’ll make the best choice. May I surrender to Your will.
Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy – Hebrews 4:16. (ODB)

DAY 155 MONDAY JUNE, 4. 2018
“The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort.” (v4NLT)
Before the crisis comes, God can prepare you in advance by giving you ‘words of wisdom.’ He did for Isaiah: You say, ‘But Isaiah was a prophet.” Yes but when God first called him, he protested, ‘I am a sinful man’ (Isa 6:5 NLT) That means you can be flawed and still hear from God! Ever been in a room when somebody said something that grabbed your attention? Like a light coming on, your mind was illuminated and you stopped talking. Why? Because what you were hearing were “words of wisdom.” And God won’t just give you wisdom to share with others. And if you’re humble enough not to dominate every conversation, He’ll also speak to you through them. Think about it. God didn’t create the universe brick by brick. He spoke it into existence with a single sentence. So imagine your possibilities when He gives you words of wisdom. But first you must learn to recognize His voice, and that takes time. The first few times God spoke to Samuel he thought it was Eli the high priest talking to him. But he kept listening, and eventually he became God’s voice to the nation. Indeed, he became so good at it that he was able to tell two different kings; ‘This is what the Lord says.’ The point is, you must want to hear, take time to hear from Him, and practice listening until you become familiar with His voice. (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Lord, help me to spend myself on what will last not on what will fade away one day, I give my life to You that I might spend and be spent for others and Your will. Amen
Conversion takes only a moment – Transformation takes a life time.

DAY 156 TUESDAY JUNE, 5. 2018
“rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander of every kind’ (2:1)
Resentment dominates the lives of many people –even those who have been Christians for many years. When I was deeply involved in counseling I found that lingering resentment played a major part in the struggle of eight out of ten people I met in the counseling room. C. S. Lewis observed that there is measure in resentment.
Writing in his book The Four Loves he said, ‘If anyone says he does not know the pleasures of resentment he is either a liar or a saint.’ I have come to the conclusion that resentment is not a primary emotion. What happens, I think is that we get hurt, and because hurt is such an unpleasant feeling we cover it over with resentment. Resentment is a more agreeable feeling than hurt as it puts us into the driving seat. It gives us a feeling of power, of being in control. It is scratching ourselves when we get an itch; the relief is pleasant but only as an alternative to the irritation. Perhaps this is what C.S Lewis meant when he spoke of the pleasures of resentment. Lewis talked also about how madly one cherishes this base part as if it were one’s dearest possession! And make no mistake about it – it is a base part of us. While waiting in line in a supermarket once, I heard a woman comment, ‘She burns me up. I thought to myself, ‘Whoever this woman is, if you let her continue burning you up then you will be the loser. With the help of Jesus we can learn to be free from resentment before it masters us.
PRAYER LINE: Heavenly Father, I know You have fashioned me for love, not resentment. Save me from allowing the self-brewed poison of resentment to fester in my heart, In Jesus’ name Amen. (EDWJ)
When there’s bad news, our hope is the good news of Jesus.

David strengthened himself in the Lord (v6NKJV)
David had just won a string of spectacular military victories. But when he returned from battle and found his home destroyed by the Amelekites and his family captured, he was heart sick. He and his men fell to the ground and wept, until they could weep no more. But he didn’t stay down. “David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them? And He answered him, pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.” (v8NKJV) And David’s self-encouragement, coupled with God’s guidance, led him to his next victory. There’s a lesson here. You must learn how to talk to yourself the right way, how to quote God’s promises, and how to pray for yourself. And here’s a promise from the Psalms that you can stand on. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Ps 30:5 KJV) Your joy will return. God has promised it. So look in the mirror today and declare: “This too shall pass.” What doesn’t destroy me makes me stronger. In the meantime I’ll let this situation drive me closer to You, Lord. “Come on-start encouraging yourself! The biggest battles being the biggest victories. Your weaknesses can become discovery points for strengths you never knew you had. Recalling the worst time in his life Joseph said, “God turned into good what you meant for evil” (Gen 50:20 TLB) And He still does that. Other people don’t control your destiny. God does, and He is not like others. He can turn your pain into gain and your scars into stars. Regroup, refocus and resolve to press on – Encourage yourself (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Saviour all the day long. This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long – Cosby.
I will make music to the LORD, the God of Israel.

DAY 158 THURSDAY JUNE, 7. 2018
A FOREVER HELLO 2 Cor 4:16-58
He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit (v5)
After a week’s vacation with her daughter and 4 month-old grandson, Oliver, Kathy had to say goodbye until she could see them again. She wrote to me saying, “Sweet reunions like we had make my heart long for heaven. There, we won’t have to try to capture memories to our mind. There, we won’t have to pray for the time to go slowly and the days to last long. These, our hello will never turn into goodbye. Heaven will be a “forever hello,’ and I can’t wait”
As a first time grandma, she wants to be with her grandson Oliver as much as possible! She’s thankful for any time she can be with him for the hope of heaven – where the wonderful moments will never end.
Our good days do seem too short, and our difficult days far too long. But both kinds of days cause us to long for even better days ahead. The apostle Paul said that he and the Corinthians longed to be “ clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal maybe swallowed up by life” (2 Cor 5:4 NKJV). Although the Lord is with us in this life, we cannot see Him face to face. Now live we by faith not by sight (v7) God made us for the very purpose of being near to Him always (v5). Heaven will be forever hello – Anne Cetas
PRAYER LINE: Face to face – O blissful moment!
Face to face – to see and know;
Face to face with my Redeemer,
Jesus Christ who loves me so – Breck
_________________________________________________________ Now we see Jesus in the Bible, but them, face to face (ODB)

DAY 159 FRIDAY JUNE, 8. 2018
HEART MATTERS Prov 4:40-27
Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life (v23)
Our hearts pump at a rate of 70-75 beats per minute. Though weighing only II ounces on average, a healthy heart pumps 2,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels each day. Every day, the heart create enough energy to drive a truck 20 miles. In a lifetime, that is equivalent to driving to the moon and back. A healthy heart can do amazing things. Conversely, if our heart malfunctions, our whole body shuts down. The same could be said of our “spiritual heart.’ In scripture, the word heart represents the center of our emotions, thinking, and reasoning. It is the “command center” of our life.
So when we read, ‘keep your heart with all diligence” (Prov 4:23), it makes a lot of sense. But it’s difficult advice to keep. Life will always make demands upon our time and energy that cry out for immediate attention. By comparison, taking time to hear God’s ‘Word and not notice the consequences of neglect right away, but over time. It may give way to a spiritual attack.
I’m thankful God has given us His Word. We need His help not to neglect it, but to use it to align our hearts with His every day – Poh Fung Chia
PRAYER LINE: Dear Jesus, take my heart and hand And grant me this, I pray That I through Your sweet love may grow More like You day by day – Garrison
To keep spiritually fit, consult the Great Physician.(ODB)

DAY 160 SATURDAY JUNE, 9. 2018
SMILE Num 6:22-27
The LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you (v25)
A recent study that I read concluded that smiling can be good you’re your health. Research shows that sailing slows down the heart and reduces stress.
But smiling isn’t just good for you, a genuine smile blesses those on the receiving end as well. Without saying a word, it can tell others that you like them and that you are pleased with them. A smile can hug someone with love without giving them even the slightest touch.
Life does not always give us a reason to smile. But when we see a heart felt smile on a child’s face or through aged wrinkles, our hearts are encouraged.
Smiles are also a hint of the image of God in us. In the ancient blessing recorded in the book of Numbers we get an indication that God “smiles”. The LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you, the LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” (Num 6:25-26). Those words are a Hebrew idiom for the favour of God on a person’s life, asking God to smile on His children.
So today, remember that you are loved by God, and that He is pleased to be gracious to you and to shine His face upon you – Joe Stowell.
PRAYER LINE: Lord, may my life be so pleasing to You that You are pleased to have Your face shine on me. And as You graciously smile on my life, may I find someone today with whom I can share Your love through a smile.
Your smile could be a message of cheer from God to a needy soul. (ODB)

DAY 161 SUNDAY JUNE, 10. 2018
We are gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children (v7)
Max runs a small farm as a bubby. Recently when he checked on the cows he is raising, he was surprised to see a new born calf! When he bought the cattle, he had no idea one was pregnant. Sadly, the mother cow had complications and died shortly. Max purchased sow powdered milk so he could feed the calf from a bottle. “The calf thinks I’m its mother!” Max said. The tender story of Max’s new role with the calf reminded me of how Paul likened himself to a caring mother in dealing with the believers at Thessalonica: “We were gentle among you” he said, “just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children” (1 Thess 27) Paul adopted a nurturing attitude when teaching people. He knew believers needed the “milk of the word” for spiritual growth (1 Pet 2:2). But he also gave special attention to the concerns of those he cared for. “We dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children” Paul said ‘encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God” (1 Thess 2:11-12 NIV) As we serve each other, may we serve with the tender loving care of our Saviour, encouraging each other in our spiritual journey (Heb 10:25) – Dennis Fisher.
PRAYER LINE: Dear Lord, help me to be sensitive and caring as I serve others, Help me to love others tenderly as You so tenderly love and care for me.
God pours His love into our hearts to flow out to others’ lives (ODB)

DAY 162 MONDAY JUNE, 11. 2018
PRAY FIRST 1 Sam 23:1-5
David inquired of the LORD” (v2)
When my husband and I supervise our son’s piano practice sessions, we begin by asking God to help us. We pray first because neither my husband nor I know how to play the instrument. Together, all three of us are coming to understand musical mysteries such as the meaning of “staccato” and “legato” and when to use the piano’s black key.
Prayer becomes a priority when we realize that we need God’s help. David needed God’s assistance in a dangerous situation as he considered fighting the Philistines in the city of Kellah. Before engaging in battle, “(David) inquired of the LORD, saying ‘shall I go and attack these Philistines?” (1 Sam 23:2) God gave His approval. However, David’s men admitted that the enemy forces intimidated them. Before a single sword was lifted against the Philistines, David prayed again. God promised him the victory he later claimed (v4).
Does prayer guide our lives, or is it our last resort when trouble strikes? We sometimes fall into the habit of making plans and then asking God to bless them, or praying only in moments of desperation. God does want us to turn to Him in moments of need. But He also wants us to remember that we need Him all the time (Prov 35:6) Jennifer Benson Schuldt
PRAYER LINE: Dear God, please guide me as I walk through this life. Help me not to act only by my own wisdom, but to seek Your will in every situation
God wants us to pray before we do anything at all. (ODB)

DAY 163 TUESDAY JUNE, 12. 2018
He comforted them and spoke kindly to them (v21)
The years following World War II were labeled the Cold War as nations exchanged threats and jockeyed for power. The Berlin Wall, built in August 1961, stood for almost 3 decades as one of the most powerful symbols of the smoldering animosity. Then on November 9, 1989, it was announced that citizens could cross freely from East to West Berlin. The entire wall was demolished the following year.
The familiar Old Testament story of Joseph follows a favourite son whose brothers hated him (Gen 37:50) Yet Joseph refused to build a wall of hatred between himself and his brothers who sold him into slavery. When a famine brought them face to face after many years, Joseph treated his brothers with kindness, saying, “You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good.
And he comforted and spoke kindly to them (50:20-21) helping to restore the relationship between them.
Over 25years ago, an oppressive man –made barrier was opened. If we’ve built walls of anger and separation between ourselves and others, the Lord is willing and able to help us begin tearing them down today – David McCasland.
PRAYER LINE: Heavenly Father, examine my heart; reveal to me where I have erected walls in relationships. Show me the way to start tearing them down that there might be reconciliation.
Anger builds walls; love breaks them down (ODB)

DAY 164 WEDNESDAY JUNE, 13. 2018
Whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant (v43)
Some people feel like a small pebble lost in the immensity of a canyon. But no matter how insignificant we judge ourselves to be, we can be greatly used by God.
In a sermon early in 1968, Marlin Luther King Jr. quoted Jesus’ words from Mk 10 about servanthood. Then he said, “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve…You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.”
When Jesus’ disciples quarreled about who would get the places honour in heaven, He told them; “Whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mk 10:43-45).
I wonder about us. Is that our understanding of greatness? Are we gladly serving, doing tasks that may be unnoticed? Is the purpose of our serving to please our Lord rather than to gain applause? If we are willing to be a servant, our lives will point to the One who is truly great – Vernon Grounds
PRAYER LINE: No service in itself is small None great, though earth it fill; But that is small that seeks its own, And great that does God’s will – Anon
Little things done in Christ’s name are great things.

DAY 165 THURSDAY JUNE, 14. 2018
He said’…As commander of the army of the LORD I have now come’…And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to Him “What does my Lord say to His servant?” (v14)
We have looked at the story of Jericho again and again for a reason. Here is once again, just in case it is not clear. Are you tired of your mess? Are you tired of being pulled out of life by the devil? Are you sick and tired of waking up every day sick and tired? Are you tired of having everything taken from you instead of enjoying the divine favour of God? Are you tired of people pulling you back down? Are you tired of spiritual warfare, of not sleeping at night, or of fighting the schemes of the devil? Are you tired of walking around with all this pain in your mind and body?
It is time to do something about it.
Once you decide to live by the Scriptures and are secure in the fact that the joy of the Lord is your strength, things will change in your life. When you decide to turn around and stop running, you will not have to fight your enemies alone. The Captain of the Lord’s army always shows up to protect His own – you are not alone.
Jesus Christ is waiting for you to turn around will you do it? Will you face your Jericho?
PRAYER LINE: Lord Jesus, I am weary of running, pretending, and hiding things, I receive Your word as a proclamation of emancipation today. I am free, and as long as You are before me and at my side, I will face my past and my failures head-on, covered by the blood of the lamb and the Word of God. Thank You for a new life (CTC)
The quiet hour is the power hour.

DAY 166 FRIDAY JUNE, 15. 2018
“Integrity of the upright guides them” (v3NIV 2011 Edition)
The word integrity derives from the word integer, a mathematical term for a whole number as opposed to a fraction. So when you walk to integrity, that means you tell the whole truth and not just a fraction of it. That’s why we take an oath in court to tell ‘the truth, “the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.” Why do we start the truth, embellish it, and tell half-truth? Sometimes it’s for financial gain, other times it’s for social advantage. Sometimes it’s to hide our actions, other times it’s to avail ourselves of certain benefits. Jacob, whose name means “trickster,” conspired with his mother and deceived his father into giving him the birthright of the firstborn – twice as much of their father’s inheritance which rightfully belonged to his older brother Esau. And Jacob paid dearly for it. He spent the next fourteen years as a fugitive working for his father-in-law who was an even bigger and better cheat than Jacob. Finally, in despair, Jacob had an encounter with God and heard these words: “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go… I will not leave until I have done what I have promised you.” (Gen 28:15 NIV 2011 Edition) That day Jacob’s value system changed, and the taker became the giver. He told God. “of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.” (vv22NIV) And after that God blessed him beyond his wildest dreams. He returned home after many years with a beautiful family great riches, and a new name, Israel. The truth is, integrity pays, dividends every time. Why? Because God guarantees it (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: As I walk a long life’s pathway, Though the way I cannot see, I shall follow in His footstep, For He has a plan for me – Thiesen
A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps. Prov. 16:9

DAY 167 SATURDAY JUNE, 16. 2018
I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant. (v10)
Unlike those who think highly of themselves. Jacob knew that he had been ruined by sin (Gen 32:10) He thought himself a man unworthy of God’s grace. He had cheated his brother Esau out of his birthright (ch 27) and his brother hated him for it. Now, years later, Jacob was going to face Esau again.
“I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies,” Jacob prayed, using a word for “least” that suggests the tiniest object. ‘Deliver me, I pray” (32:10-11). How odd to see those phrases side by side: I am unworthy of Your mercies…Deliver me! Yet Jacob could pray for mercy because his hope lay not in his own worth, but in God’s promise to look with favour to those who throw themselves at His feet. Humility and contrition are the keys that open the heart of God. Someone has said that the best disposition for praying is being stripped of everything. It is crying out of the depths. It comes from the soul that knows its deep depravity. Such prayers are offered by those who are thoroughly convicted of their sin and shame, but at the same time, are convinced of God’s grace that goes out to undeserving sinners. God hears best those who cry out. “God be merciful to me a sinner!” (Lk 18:13) – David Roper.
PRAYER LINE: Lord, I am like Jacob, in need of Your mercy, I have failed You, and I bow at Your feet today, Thank You for being a merciful God, ready and able to forgive and restore me.
It is fitting for a great God to forgive great sinners (ODB)

DAY 168 SUNDAY JUNE, 17. 2018
And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves: lay thee an ambush for the city behind it. (v2)
After a painful lesson about the dangers of secret sins in the camp, Joshua and the Israelites repented and “Cleansed house.” Once that was done, God spoke to them in concrete terms about how they would do to Ai what they did to Jericho. Defeat was not even a possibility. Sure enough, Israel won a decisive victory over Jericho’s neighbouring town of Ai. This time, God allowed the Israelites to take possession of the cattle and any valuable items in the conflict.
Victory is yours because you heard the Word and put it into practice. Now openly declare to the enemy of your soul. “This is my time and season to take the spoils of war and reap the blessings of victory”
The best part of a victory of war is that once you capture and defeat your enemy, he or it cannot rise up in your life anymore. God’s power has totally defeated the second city of offense, the place of covetousness and trespass. Now it has no power over you or your future. PRAYER LINE: -Prayer of thanksgiving,
Lord Jesus, I am glad You are directing my steps and fighting, on my behalf in this drive to possess Your promises in my life. Whether I face a Jericho, a chief sin that has fortified and strengthen its position in my life, or an Ai, a secondary stronghold rooted in secret and concealed sin, I choose this day to confront them at Your word. This is my season to possess the spoils and celebrate Your faithfulness. (C.T.C)
Perseverance comes not only from a strong will but also from a strong won’t .

DAY 169 MONDAY JUNE, 18. 2018
“So Peter went out and wept bitterly (v62)
Peter had been crushed with the feeling of hopelessness. Hopelessness is a fruit of shame. I believe that hopelessness is the ultimate goal of temptation. I don’t believe that Satan’s primary goal when tempting us with evil is to get us to commit acts of sin. Satan’s desire is to get us to commit sin. But this is not his ultimate goal. Satan’s primary purpose is that if or when we give in to his temptations, he then can come to us with a sense of hopelessness. Such hopelessness strips us of any expectation of ever being able to be freed from his demonic control over our minds and the dictates of our flesh.
What happened with Peter is a perfect example of this method of self-destruction. As we look at Peter’s life, we can see the cancerous process of hopelessness.
Right after Peter, for the third time, vehemently denied that he knew Jesus, LK 22:62 records these seven words; “So Peter went out and wept bitterly within these seven words we can hear the fierce pain and despair of a man who had failed God. After his denial came shame and disgust over his cowardice. Then his shame gave birth to hopelessness, which results in three self-destructive attitudes. (Mike FehlaueR)
PRAYER LINE: Let the road be rough and dreary,
And its end far out of sight,
Foot it bravely, strong or weary;
Trust in God and do the right –Macleod
Courage is fear that has said its prayers

DAY 170 TUESDAY JUNE, 19. 2018
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”
Once hopelessness set in, Peter then resigned himself to his failure. He abandoned himself to defeat. Hopelessness will cause us to lose all sight of the ability to conquer our passions. Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life (AMP) “Understanding disappointment leaves you heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around (The Message) Each time hopelessness sets in, every other failure of the past will come back to our minds like a torrent. We begin to calculate the effect of every defeat, resulting in the conclusion that we will never win over our weaknesses. “What’s the use, “we say. I’ve always been a slave to my desires and it appears that I always will be.”
This is exactly what satan wants you and I to think. Satan wants us to surrender ourselves to his destructive heading. The problem is, once we embrace this attitude, we will never escape the shame of the past. Nor will we discover the confidence and strength we need to resist the temptations of today. We will find ourselves in a cycle of defeat that will leave us forever crushed and in despair. (Mike FehlaueR)
PRAYER LINE: Lord, break me, then cleanse me and fill me And keep me abiding in Thee, That fellowship may be unbroken And Thy name be hallowed in me – Adkins
A small step of obedience is a giant step to blessing.

DAY 171 WEDNESDAY JUNE, 20. 2018
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (v9)
Hopelessness allows the past to have the final word. Whether the past represents something we have done or something that has been done to us, hopelessness gives the past a higher place of honour than the finished work of Christ. Hopelessness accepts the natural (our sin or failure) over the supernatural (Christ’s sacrifice on the cross).
When we lose hope, we begin to place more value on our actions and the actions of others than we do on Jesus’ ultimate act of love.
By doing so, whether we realize it or not, we are dishonouring the cross. We are placing more faith on what has happened in our lives than upon what happened two thousand years ago at Calvary. This is the ultimate example of pride. Is simply lifting up our opinion and feelings above the truth of the Scriptures. The Scriptures declare that we are forgiven. The Word of God declares that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. (If we (freely) admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He will forgive our sins (dismiss our lawlessness) and (continuously) cleanse us from all unrighteousness) everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, though, and action) (AMP) 1 Jn 1:9.
His Holy Word says that regardless of what anyone has done to us, we are His glory, His prized possession, His ultimate satisfaction. (Mike FehlaueR)
PRAYER LINE: Disappointment – His appointment, No good thing will He withhold; From denials oft we gather Treasures of His love untold – Young.
Look for God’s purpose in your next interruptions.

DAY 172 THURSDAY JUNE, 21. 2018
“But go, tell His disciples – and Peter – that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him as He said to you” (v7)
The third thing hopelessness does is steal our sense of purpose. Once we lose hope, we lose vision. Our destiny becomes clouded by the events of the past. Our eyes are darkened, and we become blind to our future. We learn a deaf ear to the encouraging words of our friends. Our senses are shadowed by our distorted reasonings and perceptions. The encouraging words we read in Scripture mean little, if anything, to us. Even the apostle Peter initially refused to accept the encouragement of Jesus Himself. Jesus prophesied that Peter would deny Him. But He also tried to encourage Peter, saying that after being restored, he would be a vessel used to strengthen others.
After Jesus’ Resurrection, the angel at the tomb instructed Mary to tell the disciples – including Peter – of His resurrection (Mk 16:7) Jesus wanted to make sure that Peter knew that he was still included in the gospel mission. The Book of Luke indicates that when the apostles received Mary’s words of Jesus’ Resurrection, the others “did not believe them” (Lk 24:11) “Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.” (v12) And yet, after all this, Peter still lost his vision. (Mike FehlaueR)
PRAYER LINE: Father, my actions aren’t adequate to fix my failures Thank You for doing that through Your Son Jesus who gave Himself for us. Help me to look up and walk with You.
“Look up from your failure and you’ll find God standing ready to receive you.

DAY 173 FRIDAY JUNE, 22. 2018
After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, (Jn 21:1)
Peter had given up hope of ever being used by God again, and he decided to go back to what he was doing before he met Jesus. Yet, Jesus was determined to demonstrate His love for Peter and to clearly express to Peter that His purpose for him had not changed. What Jesus does here is amazing. The rest of this incredible story is one of the most beautiful examples of God’s love and grace in the Scriptures (Jn 21:1-19) As we look at Jesus’ intervention in Peter’s life at this point, it is important to understand what Jesus is about to do for Peter’s sake. Peter’s failure had not changed Jesus’ heart. God had not changed His mind toward Peter. Nothing new is about to be created here – except in the heart of Peter.
When Peter first met Jesus and was told he would become a “fisher of men,” Peter had been fishing all night long without a single catch (Lk 5:5) Peter hadn’t been alone that fateful day – James and John had been with him then, just as they were with him now when he goes fishing after Jesus Resurrection. Like Peter, God has NEVER changed his mind about you. God’s purpose for you need not be poisoned by your past. Your past doesn’t determine your future – but how you respond to your past does. Allow His spirit to breath in you again afresh vision for your future. (Mike FehlaueR)
PRAYER LINE: Lord Jesus, we know that true wisdom comes from leaning on You. Help us to trust in You and to seek Your face and Your will that we find in Your life-giving Word.
In the realm of grace, the word “deserve” does not apply.

DAY 174 SATURDAY JUNE, 23. 2018
My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him (v5)
Cha Sa-Soon a 69-year old Korean woman finally received her driving license after 3years of trying to pass the written test. She wanted the license so she could take her grandchildren to the zoo.
She was persistent in what is normally an instant world. When we want something and cannot get it, we often complain and demand. At other times, we give up and move on if what we want cannot be quickly gratified. “Wait” is a word we hate to hear! Yet many times the Bible tells us that God wants us to wait on Him for the right timing.
Waiting on God means patiently looking to Him for what we need. David recognized why he had to wait on the Lord. First, his salvation came from Him (Ps 62:1) He learned that no one else could deliver him. His only hope was in God (v5), for God alone hears our prayers (v8)
Our prayers often revolve around asking God to hurry up and bless what we want to do. What if God’s answer to us is simply, “Be patient. Wait upon Me”? We can pray with David: “Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly (Ps 5:3 NLT) We can trust His response, even if it doesn’t come in the time we expect – C.P. Hia
PRAYER LINE: When we call out to You, O Lord, And wait for answers to our prayer, Give us the patience that we need And help us sense Your love and care – Sper
The bottom line of every prayer should be, “Your will be done.” (ODB).

DAY 175 SUNDAY JUNE, 24. 2018
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should not be a cast-away (v27)
The very best of us camouflage the very worst in us with religions colloquialisms that reduce Christianity to more of an act than an attitude. Even the most pious among us – while in the quiet of some confessional or kneeling in solitude at the edge of our beds – must murmur our confessions before God: We have earnestly pursued a place in You that we have not attained. Our struggle continues to feed the ravenous appetite of our holy Guest, whose divine hunger requires, that which we alone know God wants from us.
Paul battled to bring into submission the hidden things in his life that could bring destruction. Perhaps they were putrid thoughts, or vain imaginations, or pride; but whatever they were, he declared war on them if they resisted change, he keeps his body in chains, beating back the forces of evil. This is the struggle of the same man who wrote the majority of the New Testament! With a testimony like this, I pay very little attention to those among us who feel obligated to impress us with the ludicrous idea they have already attained what is meant to be a lifelong pursuit. The renewal of the old man is a daily exercise of the heart. It progressively strengthens the character day by day, not overnight (T.D. Jakes)
PRAYER LINE: When we must explain when we do what is wrong, Our tongue seems to have many uses But we cannot cover our sins from God’s view With all of our flimsy excuses – Branon.
The renewal of the old man is a daily exercise of the heart.

DAY 176 MONDAY JUNE, 25. 2018
“They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” (v23)
Are you living with regret over the time you’ve wasted, the opportunities you’ve squandered, the sins you’ve committed, and the relationships you’re destroyed? Regret is a waste of time, unless it teaches you wisdom and fuels your resolve to do better next time. And as long as you’re breathing, there will be a next time. The Bible describes God this way. “Great is his faithfulness, his mercies begin afresh each morning.” So how should you handle regret? By doing three things (1) Recall. Stop and consider the actions, thoughts, and emotions that drove you to do what you did. Take an honest inventory of your mistakes. Own them! There’s no solution in excuses. When Adam was confronted with his sin, he hid in the bushes. When David was confronted with his, he said, ‘I’m guilty before God.” Follow David’s example. (2) Repent. The Bible says, ‘Godly sorrow worketh repentance (2 Cor 7:10 KJV). When you’re caught in a cycle of repeated sin, a glib “Now I lay me down to sleep’ kind of prayer won’t help you! Sin hurts God, hurts you, and hurts others. The idea behind repentance is to get you to where you loathe sin, and decide to renounce and forsake it. (3) Refocus One of the Bibles’s central themes is ‘resurrection. That means you can rise again. God said in His Word, “Forget… what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand new (Isa 43:17-18 MSG) It’s a new day with a new opportunity to get your life together and move onto greater things. Don’t waste it looking back in regret (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Marvelous message we bring, Glorous carol we sing, Wonderful work of the King; Jesus is coming again! – Peterson
Live as if Christ is coming back today

DAY 177 TUESDAY JUNE, 26. 2018
IN HARMONY 1 Pet 4:7-11
As each one has received a gift minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace f God. (v10)
I love plying the 5-string banjo. But it has one drawback. The fifth string will harmonize with only a limited number of simple chords. When other musicians want to play more complicated music, the banjoist has to adapt. He can end marvelous melodic tones to a jam session only by making the right adjustments.
Just as musicians adjust with their instruments, we as believers also need to make adjustments with our spiritual gifts if we want to harmonize with others to serve God. For instance, those who have the gift of teaching must coordinate with those who have the gift of organizing meetings and with those who make sure meeting rooms are set up and cleansed. All of us have spiritual gifts, and we must work together if God’s work is to get done.
The apostle Peter said, “As each one has receive a gift, minister to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Pet 4:10) Stewardship requires cooperation. Think about your spiritual gifts. (Rom 12; 1 Cor 12, Eph 4; 1 Pet 4) Now reflect on how you can dovetail their use with the gifts of other believers. When our talents are used in a complimentary way, the result is harmony and glory to God. – Dennis fisher.
PRAYER LINE: Without a note we sing in tune, An anthem loud we bring, When willingly we give our gifts of labour to our King – Branon.
Keeping in tune with Christ keeps harmony in the church. (ODB)

DAY 178 WEDNESDAY JUNE, 27. 2018
HIS TIME TABLE Ps 105:16-19
“Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character.” (v19 NLT)
God works according to His own timetable. And when you accept that, you’ll be able to enjoy where you are right now, and get to where He wants you to be.
Furthermore, God may not answer all your questions, at least not in the way you’d like Him to. But he assured He is working, And since what He’s working on is often bigger than you can comprehend. He won’t bother you with details you can’t handle. Think if God had told you all the things you’d have to go through to get to where you are right now, could you have handled it? He knows how long it’ll take and how hard it’ll be- that’s why He’s silent. If He showed you your whole life in advance you’d faint. Joseph discovered during his time in prison that when God gives you a vision and you commit yourself to it, there’s no ‘Opt-out clause.’ So stop projecting into the future. When you live in yesterday you end up with a case of the ‘if only,’ and when you try to live in tomorrow you get a case of the “what ifs.’ Remember the popular hit song. ‘One day at a time, sweet Jesus, that’s all I’m asking of you. Just give me the strength to do every day what I have to do. Yesterday’s gone, sweet Jesus, and tomorrow may never be mine. Lord help me today, show me the way, one day at a time. ‘What should you do? Trust God to work things out for you according to His timetable (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: The God who made the firmament, Who made the deepest sea, The God who put the stars in place Is the God who cares for me – Berg.
Trusting God’s faithfulness stirs up our confidence.

DAY 179 THURSDAY JUNE, 28. 2018
SHADOWED Jere 42:1-12
The LORD is my light and any salvation, whom shall I fear (Ps 27:1)
Someone was shadowing me. In a darkened hall way, I turned the corner to go up a flight of stairs and was alarmed by what I saw, stopping dead in my tracks. It happened again a few days later. I came around the back of a favourite coffee shop and saw the large shape of a person coming at me. Both incidents ended with a smile, however, I’d been frightened by my own shadow.
The prophet Jeremiah talked about the difference between real and imagined fears. A group of his Jewish countrymen asked him to find out whether the Lord wanted them to stay in Jerusalem or return to Egypt for safety because they feared the king of Babylon (Jer 42:1-3) Jeremiah told them that if they stayed and trusted God, they didn’t need to be afraid (vv10-12). But if they returned to Egypt, the king of Babylon would find them. (vv15-16) In a world of real dangers, God had already rescued them from Egypt. Centuries later, the long-awaited Messiah died for us to deliver us from our own sin and fear of death. May our Almighty God show us today how to live in the security of His shadow, rather than in shadowy fears of our own making – Mark DeHaan.
PRAYER LINE: Trust when your skies are darkening,
Trust when your light grows dim,
Trust when the shadows gather,
Trust and look up to Him. – Anon
Under the protecting shadow of God’s wing the little shadows of life lose their terror. (ODB)

DAY 180 FRIDAY JUNE, 29. 2018
“The tongue that brings health is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” (v4)
What are some of the areas of life in which we need to have self-control? The three most important areas are : (1) The first is the area of sex. Within the boundaries of God’s design, sex is wonderfully creative and satisfying, but when sex is unrestricted and without boundaries it becomes chaotic, within the marriage relationship, which is where God designed sex to be, there is need for self-control too. If one’s partner becomes the means of self-gratification instead of person to be loved and respected then disrespect sets in. You cannot use another without abusing yourself. Your attitudes towards another become your attitudes towards yourself. If you use another for sexual purposes them sex uses you. Sex is a dedication or it is a desecration, and when it is a desecration it becomes degradation. (2) Another area of life in which we need the self-control that the Spirit provides is the tongue. James points out that the tongue is an important indicator of how well we control ourselves. (Jas 3:2-12). It has been said that there are three stages in verbal communication: impulse, consideration and speech. Many omit the second and jump from impulse to speech. The person who has self-control pansies between impulse and speech and gives time for consideration. The Holy Spirit – if we let Him comes to our aid to help us be sure that what we say is what we ought to say.
PRAYER LINE: God, help me to be a disciplined person in thought, word and deed. And help me to know when to hold my tongue and when to speak, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
With God as your navigator, you’re headed in the right direction (EDWJ)

DAY 181 SATURDAY JUNE, 30. 2018
‘The joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (v10 KJV)
You get to choose your outlook each day, so choose wisely and well. Observe (1) A joyful outlook gives you the winning edge. When world heavyweight champion Joe Louis got knocked down by Tony ‘Two Ton’ Galento in Yankee stadium, he immediately jumped up and went after his opponent. When his trainer protested, ‘Why?’ growled Louis. ‘And give him all that time to rest?’ Then he went out and won the fight. (2) A joyful outlook determines how others respond to you. When you smile, people tend to smile back. But if you come across as hardnosed, they’re likely to respond in kind. If you want to enjoy people as you go through your day, think well of them. This isn’t rocket science, but it’s easily forgotten. (3) A joyful outlook brings happiness. English literary figure Samuel Johnson said: ‘He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts, and multiply the grief!…he proposes to remove. (4) A joyful outlook always brings the best result. Successful people embrace this truth, whether it’s a surgeon going into the operating room, a pastor preparing a sermon, or an executive launching a new business venture. Confidence increases your chance of success every time. So when you approach a task, especially one you don’t relish, fix your mind on God’s promise and not your feeling. It’ll get you back on track every time guaranteed! (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Help us Lord, not to be just hearers of the Word; help us to be doers as well. Teach us to be honest with ourselves about who we really are, We want to walk in Your ways and to guide others to You
The strength of our actions should match the strength of our words.

DAY 182 SUNDAY JULY, 1. 2018
‘What good is that…? (v9 NLT)
Observe what the disciples said to Jesus just before He fed five thousand hungry people. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd? End of story? No. “Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people…And they all ate as much as they wanted…So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scarps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves’ (vv 11-13 NLT)
God always gives you something to start with. But you have to look for it, recognize it, and put it into His hands. The miracle of multiplication happened when a boy took what he had, and made it available to Jesus. The Bible says, “Do not despise this small beginning, for the eyes of the Lord rejoice to see the work begin. (Zecha 4:10 TLB) Don’t be afraid to take small steps, just make sure they’re steps of faith and God will work through you. Jesus said, ‘I will build my church’ (Matt 16:18) And what did He build it with? Twelve flawed people just like us! But when He poured Himself into them, the mix was so concentrated that when two of them got together they could turn whole towns upside down (Acts 17:6) You say, ‘But I’ve so many short comings.’ We all come to the Lord damaged and in need of repair. But the good news is, you can be strong in some areas and struggling in others and God can still use you – as long as you’re willing to start with what you’ve got. (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: The sweet-though trial may not cease, Though pains afflict, though fears appall – To feel my comforts still increase, To say, “My Father sends them all” – Anon.
Through suffering God teaches us lessons we would not or could not learn any other way.

DAY 183 MONDAY JULY, 2. 2018
LORD, how they have increased who trouble me! (v1)
My friend handed me a tall glass of water and told me to hold it. The longer I held it, the heavier it felt. Finally my hand grew tired, and I had to put the glass down. “I’ve learned that worry can be like holding that glass.” She said. “The longer I worry about something, the more my fears weigh me down.”
King David knew about fear. His whole life had been turned upside down. His son Absalom had stolen the allegiance of the nation of Israel from him and was attempting to take the throne for himself. David didn’t know who was loyal to him and who was against him. His only option seemed to be to run. He said to his servants “Make haste to depart, lest (Absalom) overtake us suddenly and bring disaster upon us” (2 Sam 15:14)
In a psalm that David may have written while he was fleeing for his life, he wrote: “I cried to the LORD with my voice and He heard me from His holy hill” (Ps 3:4) In the midst of his fear, David looked to the Lord. God showed him grace and restored him to the throne.
There are plenty of worries that can weigh us down. But as we release them to God’s strong hands, He will help us through our trials – Anne Cetas.
PRAYER LINE: Thank You, Lord, that we do not have to be weighed down by worry. Help us to place our concerns in Your care so that we do not fear tomorrow.
Worry is a burden that God never meant for us to bear (ODB)

DAY 184 TUESDAY JULY, 3. 2018
“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (v27)
(3) A third area of life in which we need self-control is that which has to do with our own bodies (see D183) The body by its very nature, is comfort-loving, but too much comfort is debilitating and we need to cultivate a healthy lifestyles. The mother of John Wesley is reported to have said. ‘whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, however innocent it may be in itself- that thing is sin to you.’ David Hill: a Christian writer; puts it this way: ‘There is before each one of us an altar of sacrifice, unseen but real and present; and on this altar we are called to offer ourselves. There is some crucifixion of the flesh, some physical self-sacrifice, the abandonment of some bodily indulgence which the spirit of man knows that he is called to make.’ What are some of the things our bodies clamour for? (1) One is food, and generally speaking, those who leave in the West eat far more than is good. (1) Another is sleep, People differ in the amount of sleep that they need, and too much sleep can be as unhelpful as too little. It has been said that the luxuries of one generation become the bare necessities of the next. We should be cautious not to go too far down this road and regard our body as an enemy. Self-control helps the Christian to offer to God a responsive personality that is not cloyed by comfort or impulsive from indulgence but sensitive to guidance and ready to live according to His perfect will.
PRAYER LINE: Lord Jesus, please help me to be free from the strong desires that would cancel out my effectiveness. This I ask in and through Your peerless and precious name. Amen (EDWJ)

OUR BODIES 1 Cor 6:15-20
“But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (v28)
One of the best ways of glorifying God is through our bodies. The believers’ bodies are not their own property any more. It is God’s own temple. 1 Cor 6:19 says: “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? What do we do in the temple? We pray (Acts 3:1) says: Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. This means our bodies are places of prayer. We fellowship and teach the word of God in the temple (Acts 5:21a) This means that the believers’ bodies are places of fellowship with the Father, Son and the Spirit. 1 Cor 3:16 says “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? Believers are pillars in the temple of God – Rev 3:12 states – “He who overcomes, I will make Him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of my God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. My new name.
Pillars support structures and give strength to weaker components. God places high premium on believers’ body and therefore gives directives on proper usage and cautions against wrong usage. Body (with soul and spirit must be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord (1 Thess 5:23) God will destroy those who defile His temple (1 Cor 3:17) The body is not for fornication but for the Lord (1 Cor 6:15) The body must not be joined to a harlot but be joined to the Lord (1 Cor 6:17) This means we are just trustees of our body (RCCG)
PRAYER LINE: Father, please save this generation from destruction through the sin of fornication and adultery
The Christian life is a process in which we learn complete dependence on God.

DAY 186 THURSDAY JULY, 5. 2018
“Friends come and…go but true friend sticks by you like family” (v24 MSG)
Who are your true friends? Stop and think about that for a moment. How many of the people you consider friends, truly care about you? How many encourage you in your visions and dreams, and are there for you when you hit a wall? If we’re honest, most of us would have to concede that a significant number of so-called friends and associates aren’t there for as in a pinch. In fact, many of the people we spend time with are time-wasters who drain our energy and trivialize our dreams. In the Old Testament David and Jonathan were willing to lay down their lives for each other. And Ruth told Naomi. “Wherever you go, I will go” (Ruth 1:16 NKJV) Do you have friends like that? If not, spend more time, cultivating relationships with those who genuinely care about you; who don’t feel threatened by your success and want to see you succeed. You don’t need to be cold or rude to the others. Maintain their friendship, but spend your serious time with friends who believe in you and want you to achieve your God-given potential. Novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard said, “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” Here’s a fall-safe principle when it comes to cultivating great friendships. Whatever you desire in your own life, you must first give to others. If you want true friends, you must become a true friend. If you want a harvest of blessing in your own life, plant seeds of blessing in the lives of others. (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: I am a stranger here, within a foreign land, My home is far away, upon a golden strand. Ambassador to be of realm beyond the sea, I’m here on business for the king! –Cassel
There are friends and there is friend, no friend like Jesus.

DAY 187 FRIDAY JULY, 6. 2018
GOD SAYS “YES” 2 Cor 1:20
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ.” (2 Cor 1:20 NIV 2011 Edition)
You will notice that in the Old Testament God’s promises came with conditions that had to be met in other words, you had to do something. “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land” (Isa 1:19 NIV 1984 Edition). To receive God’s promise there was a price to be paid, conditions to be met, and a performance of certain things on your part. But all that changed at the cross. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” the Greek text could literally be translated “paid in full.” Hence Paul writes, ‘For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the “Amen is spoken by us to the glory of God.” Are you a redeemed child of God? Are you “in Christ?” The God says, “Yes I’ll meet your needs. I’ll do for you what I have promised.” Just as a bank will tell you, “You’re pre-qualified for the credit card,” as a believer you’re pre-qualified for the promises. God has made to you in His Word.
Under the Old Testament law God said, “If” But to those who are in Christ and living under grace, He says, “Yes.” And what should your response be? “Amen” which means “So be it.” This is a life-changing truth! Now you understand why Paul could confidently write, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19 NKJV) Not only is God able to meet “all” your needs. He’s looking for opportunities to do it. (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: I love to tell the story of unseen things above of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love, I love to tell the story, because I know ‘tis true; It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do-Hankey
A caring word can accomplish more than we could ever imagine.

DAY 188 SATURDAY JULY, 7. 2018
‘But I said, “Should a man like me run away’?… I will not go” (v11)
Nothing that we do in life is without consequences. Someone has put it like this: Every effect has a cause and every cause produces an effect. Many of our difficulties in life arise from the fact that we forget the principle that consequences follow our actions. The devil often inveigles us into thinking that the situation we are in is an isolated event, and he persuades us to believe that what we do, or are about to do or say, will have little or no effect upon others. He is very skillful at getting us preoccupied on which we focus then takes up our whole attention and we become oblivious of everything else, including the results that may follow our actions. This is one of the devil’s strategies and the sooner we are aware of it the better. Troubled though the psalmist was, in his heart he considered the consequences of his actions. And this is what Nehemiah did in today’s passage. A false ‘friend’ came to him and told him that he should not risk his life. The proposition undoubtedly appealed to him, but Nehemiah considered the consequences and stayed where he was. If he hadn’t, the whole course of Israel’s history would have been changed. Believe me, this one principle alone – carefully considering consequences – would save us from endless difficulties if we were to take it and consistently apply it.
PRAYER LINE: Father, how grateful I am that Your inspired Word teaches me the importance of consequences. Help me take in this truth and apply it when next I am tempted. Make me a doer of Your Word and not just a hearer, In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. (EDWJ)
Valuable lessons are learned from examining the lives of God’s people who’ve gone before.

DAY 189 SUNDAY JULY, 8. 2018
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt”
The psalmist (D189) realized that if he were to speak as he was tempted to speak, the immediate consequence would be the hurt of God’s people – so he chose to keep his thoughts and feelings to himself. He was not sure about the goodness of God but he was sure it would not be right to be a stumbling block to God’s children – and he held onto that fact. We can struggle in the midst of our doubts, waiting for some great revelation to hit us, and fail to apply the remedy that is immediately to hand. The psalmist saved himself from shipping by saying to himself, ‘My heart is full of doubts and uncertainties and I cannot say with conviction that God is good. But one thing I am certain of: it is wrong to hurt others because of my own doubts and uncertainties. Therefore I will say nothing. ‘By all means we can discuss our thoughts with a mature Christian who could speak wisdom into our life, but we should carefully consider how we express our doubts and uncertainties to other Christians, especially those who are young in their journey. This principle applies also to those of no faith, partners, or family members. If we can say nothing helpful we should say nothing at all. The psalmist determined to say nothing until he could say: “God is good to Israel.” Then he was entitled to speak.
PRAYER LINE: Gracious and loving God, I can do no better today than frame my prayer in the words of Your servant David: ‘Set a guard, Lord over my mouth, Lord: keep watch over the door of my lips. ‘Help me, my Father. In Jesus’ name. Amen. (EDWJ)
God writes opportunity on one side of the door and responsibility on the other.

DAY 190 MONDAY JULY, 9. 2018
“GOD IS” (1) Ps 46
God is …a very present help in trouble” (v1)
The Bible says, “God is…a very present help in trouble “But first you must believe that ‘God is,’ otherwise the best you can hope for is good luck or human help. And how far do you think that’ll get you? When the doctor says he can’t do any more to save you or a loved one, who will you turn to? When you’ve run out of answers and need guidance, where will you go to find them? When you’re guilt ridden and long for peace and forgiveness, who’ll provide them for you? When you do away with God you become your own god, because you recognize no greater power in the universe than yourself. You can see why the Bible says, ‘The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God” (Ps 14:1NKJV)
How foolish to cut yourself off from the greatest source of help in all the universe! For the next few days let’s talk about why “God is”, and why you should put your trust in Him. First: let’s look at astronomy: The Bible says: The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship… night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word…Yet their message has gone throughout the earth (Ps 19:1-4) Did you know that 90 percent of the world’s astronomers believe in God? That’s a higher percentage than can be found among butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers! The great minds who have thoroughly examined His handwork, believe that ‘God is’. How about you? (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Whenever life’s burden oppress you, And trials are too much to face, Remember God’s strength in your weakness; He’ll give you His power and grace – Sper
Welding your power is no substitute for yielding our will to God’s power.

DAY 191 TUESDAY JULY, 10. 2018
“GOD IS” (2) Isa 40:26
“Left your eyes…to the heavens: who created all these?” (v26)
Many of the world’s greatest thinkers believe that God not only exists, but that He created the universe and its inhabitants. So the next time someone tells you that only simple, uneducated people believe in God-don’t buy it. Dr Robert Jastrow, founder and director of the God – dard Institute for Space Studies at NASA, writes in his blockbuster book, God and the Astronomers; “The astronomical evidence supports the biblical view of the origin of the world.
The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same.
…Science has proved that the universe exploded into being at a certain moment… What cause produced this effect? Who or what put the matter or energy into the universe? Scientist cannot answer these questions… and for the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance…is about to conquer the highest peak, and as he pulls himself over the final rock he’s greeted by a band of theologians who’ve been sitting there for centuries.’ Pierre- Simon Laplace, another of the world’s great astronomers, said that proof in favour of an intelligent God was infinitely more probable than that a set of writing implements thrown promiscuously against parchment would produce Homer’s illiad. The evidence for God as opposed to the evidence against Him as the Creator of this universe is infinity to one it can’t even be measured. So rejoice; “God is,” He’s accessible and available , if you’ll just take time to pray and invite Him into your life (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Do not whispers, “Thou art such a blot; He cannot love poor thee; If what I am He love thee; If what I am lovest not, He loves what I shall be – Mac Donald.
God works in us to grow us into what He wants us to be.

DAY 192 WEDNESDAY JULY, 11. 2018
“GOD IS” (3) Isa 40:28
“The LORD is… the Creator of …the earth” (v28)
Contrary to what we’ve been led to believe, science and scripture aren’t necessarily opposed. The ranks of Bible –believing scientists have grown rapidly since the discovery of quantum physics, which demonstrates the amazing symmetry and order that make up the universe. Did you know that one of the most brilliant scientific books of our time was written by no less than sixty notable scientists including twenty-four Nobel Prize winners? The book’s title is Cosmos, Theos, which means Universe, Life, and God. And one of the contributing authors, Yale physicist Professor Henry Margenau, concludes, “There’s only one convincing answer’ for the intricate laws that exist in nature.
And what does this brilliant man think it is? Evolution? Coincidence? Happenstance? No! Margenau believes that ‘creation is by an omni potent omniscient God.’ So to believe in God is to believe in science…and the infallible Word of God. The Bible says: “The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth …He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak …those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk ad not be faint (vv28-31 NIV 2011 Edition) That means through prayer you can tap into the greatest power and most loving care in the universe. Amazing! How you face each day depends on Who you’re looking to. So look to God. Put your trust in Him. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed’ (Prov 16:3 NIV 1984 Edition)
PRAYER LINE: He whose heart is kind beyond all measure Gives unto each day what He deems best – Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure, Mingling toil with peace and rest – Berg.
In the midst of troubles peace can be found in Jesus.

DAY 193 THURSDAY JULY, 12. 2018
“GOD IS” (4) Isa 45:12
“I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. “ (v12)
Ever wonder why we’ve failed to find life on any other planet, yet ours is designed to sustain us and meet our most basic everyday needs? It makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Do you think it’s just a coincidence? Not according to the Bible. In it God says, I…made the earth and created mankind upon it. Did you know that if the earth was 10 percent larger or 10percent smaller, life as we know it wouldn’t be possible? Or that we’re just the right distance from the sun so we receive the right amount of heat and light? If we were any farther away we’d freeze, and if we were closer we wouldn’t be able to survive. Consider for a moment the amazing tilt of the axis of the earth. None of the other planets are tilted like ours at 23 degrees. This angle allows the sun’s rays to touch every part of earth’s surface over the course of a year, as the earth circles the sun. If there was no tilt to the axis, the poles would accumulate enormous masses of ice, and the center of the earth would become so hot we couldn’t stand it. Like an excited parent designing a room for the arrival of their newborn child, God made the earth specifically for us. For this is what the LORD says…he who created the heavens, he is God, he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it, he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited” (v18 NIV 2011) That’s how much God cares for us (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Father, we want to learn and experience more of who You are in our relationship with You. Teach us so that we will grow in our understanding of You and Your plan for our lives.
There is no fine print in God’s communication with us.

DAY 194 FRIDAY JULY, 13. 2018
“GOD IS” (5) Ps 104:19
“The moon marks off the seasons’ (v19)
Here’s an amazing thing. Without the moon it would be impossible for us to live on this planet. And if anyone ever succeeded in deflecting the moon from its orbit, all life would cease. It acts like a maid to clean up the ocean and the shores. Without the tides created by the moon, our harbours and shores would become one big stench pool of garbage and it would be impossible to live anywhere near them. Because of the tides, continuous waves break upon the shores of the ocean, aerating the waters of the planet and providing oxygen for plankton the very foundation of our food chain. Without plankton there would be no oxygen, and all life would end. God is a creative genius, isn’t He? He made the moon the right size, and placed it the right distance from the earth to create the exact atmosphere we need. We live within a great ocean of air-78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen. These elements are continually mixed by the tidal effect of the moon upon the atmosphere. This has the same effect it has upon the seas and always provide the same proportion of oxygen. Though we keep dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, it’s absorbed unto the ocean and we’re able to continue to live. If the atmosphere wasn’t as thick as it is, we’d be crushed by billions of pieces of cosmic debris and meteorites that fall continually upon our planet. Who takes good care of you? God! And He’s on the job twenty-four/seven! Aren’t you glad? (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Be still and know that He is God for bathways steep and rough; Not what He brings, but what He is will always be enough – Amen
God will never lead you down a wrong path.

“GOD IS” (6) Nehe 9:6
“You give life to everything” (v6)
Let’s Look at another miracle of God’s creative genius, the nitrogen cycle. Nitrogen is extremely inert- if it wasn’t we’d be poisoned by different forms of nitrous combinations. However, because of its inertness, it’s impossible for us to get nitrogen to combine naturally with other things. But it’s definitely needed for plants in the ground, so what provision does God make for getting it out of the air and into the soil? Lightning! A hundred thousand lightning bolts strike our planet daily, creating a hundred million tens of usable nitrogen plant food in the soil every year.
Forty miles up, there’s a thin layer of ozone. If compressed it would be only a quarter of an inch thick, yet without it life wouldn’t be sustainable. Eight killer rays continually fall on our planet from the sun, without ozone we’d be turned blinded or boiled. The ultraviolet rays come in two forms, longer rays, which are deadly and are screamed out, and short rays, which are necessary for life on earth and are administered through the ozone layer. Furthermore, the most deadly of these rays allowed through the ozone layer in a very limited amount, just enough to kill the green algae which otherwise could grow to fill the lakes, rivers, and oceans of the world. No doubt about it, we are totally dependent on God’s goodness. That’s why the Psalmist said,” All look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things (Ps 104:27-28 NIV) 1984 Edition) (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Never a burden that He does not carry; Never a sorrow that He does not share; whether the days may be sunny or dreary, Jesus is always there – Lillenas.
No sorrow is too heavy for our Saviour to bear.

DAY 196 SUNDAY JULY 15 2018
“GOD IS” (7) Ps 104:13
“He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. “ (v13)
Have you ever wondered why nowhere else in the universe do we find water in any abundance, excerpt here on earth? To date all our telescopes and space travelers confirm that. Water the amazing solvent dissolves almost everything upon this earth excerpt those things that are life-sustaining. This amazing liquid we take for granted exists as ice, breaks up rocks, and produces soil. As snow, it stores up water in the valleys. As rain, it waters and cleanses the earth. As vapor, it provides moisture for much of the arable land on earth. It exists as cloud cover in just the right amount. If it had clouds like Venus, the earth couldn’t support life. But we have exactly 50 percent of the surface of the earth covered by clouds at any one time, allowing just the right amount of sunlight to filter through. As stream, for centuries water has run some of the most powerful machinery we have. Other than bismuth, it’s the only liquid heavier at four degrees. Celsius than it is at freezing if this were not so life as we know it could not exist on this planet. Therefore when it’s frozen it’s lighter and it rises. If this wasn’t the case, our lakes and rivers would freeze from the bottom up and kill all the fish, the algae would be destroyed, Oxygen supply would cease, and mankind would die. So when you feel like God doesn’t notice you or care about you, drink a glass of water and say, “Thank You, Lord” (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: He whose heart is kind beyond all measure Gives unto each day what He deems best – Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure Mingling toil with peace and rest – Berg.
What we see of God’s provisions teaches us to trust Him for what we cannot see of His purposes.

DAY 197 MONDAY JULY 16 2018
The LORD is with me as a mighty, awesome One (v11)
As a young boy, my father had to deliver stop to hungry pigs on the farm where he grew up. He hated this job because the pigs would knock him over when he entered their pen. This task might have been impossible except for a faithful helper who accompanied my dad-a German shepherd named Sugarbear. She would maneuver herself between my father and the pigs and hold them back until my dad finished his chore.
The prophet Jeremiah had the difficult job of proclaiming God’s messages to the Israelites. This required him to endure physical abuse, verbal attacks, imprisonment, and isolation. Although Jeremiah struggled with deep discouragement, he had a Helper all of his trouble. God promised him. “I am with you… to deliver you” (Jere 1:19)
God did not desert Jeremiah, and He will not desert us. We have His continual aid through the power of the Spirit who lives inside every believer (Jn 14:16-17) The Help gives us hope (Rom 15:13), Steers us toward spiritual truth (Jn 16:13), and pours out God’s love in our hearts (Rom 5:5) We can trust that God faithfully helps us as we endure hardship. We can say with Jeremiah. “The LORD is with me as a mighty, awesome One” (Jer 20:11) Jennifer Benson Schuld
PRAYER LINE: You, God, have been our help forever, And You are our hope now and into eternity. We thank You that You will never desert us. You will be faithful.
Our greatest hope here below is help from God above. (ODB)

DAY 198 TUESDAY JULY 17 2018
TAKE THE RISK Matt 25:14-30
Give it to the one who risked the most (v28 MSG)
Remember the three stewards who were each given a sum of money to invest? The first two doubled theirs; the third buried his in the ground. The first two were promoted; the third was fired. “Get rid of this “play-it-safe” …won’t go out on a limb’ (v30MSG). could there be a more powerful incentive to taking a risk of faith based on what God promised you? You say, “But what if I fail? Failure trains you for success! It can show you what need to change in order to move forward. Think of it this way. As a redeemed child of God you have a security net that allows you to fail safely. But if your reputation and self-worth are all tied up in knots over some failed enterprise, you’ll not be motivated to try again.
It’s human nature to want to feel good, to succeed, to win the price, to move forward. But just like a world class athlete backs up to gain the momentum to run faster, sometimes a few steps backward now will fuel your progress later. And here’s something else to keep in mind. God assesses our accomplishments differently than people. A failure in the eyes of men is often a success in the eyes of God. Remember Noah? Before the flood he looked like a loser; afterward he became the most successful man on earth. Your most fulfilling reward isn’t human approval, it’s God’s ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’ (Matt 25:21 NIV 2011 Edition) (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Lord, so often we want complete and perfect solutions here and now. But You work gratuitously in Your good time. Let Your goodness and patience and virtue shine through us so that we may bless others.
The Christian life is a process in which we learn complete dependence on God.

“Humility accept, the word planted in you, which can save you. (v21)
Some Christians confuse humility with lack of ambition.
Christians in whom the harvest of the Spirit is being reaped may or may not lack worldly ambition, but in the spiritual area of life they are exceedingly ambitious because their hearts are not set on human status symbols such as titles, honours, distinctions or money but on God Himself. For them, life reaches its fulfillment not in things of the earth but in God.
“Humility” said William Barclay, ‘is a gentle, gracious and submissive spirit.’ He went on to suggest that in order to understand humility properly we need to look at five significant passages of Scripture.
The first is from today’s passage – Jas 1:21; which the The Message puts beautifully: In simple humility, let our gardener; God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life. Humility is a teachable spirit – an attitude that recognizes our own limitations and accepts the fact that without God’s help we cannot understand the depths of truth. Every Christian who has a good understanding of Scripture will, to some degree, be humble, for those who approach the Bible with a proud and know-all attitude will find it formly shut and it will not reveal anything to them.
PRAYER LINE: Heavenly Father, give me a teachable spirit-especially in relation to Scripture. Help me to lay aside my own ideas when it comes to Your Word so that I might be able to absorb Your ideas. In Jesus’ name I ask it. Amen. (EDWJ)
Humility leads to a humble heart.

“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (v8)
The Second passage to look at to understand humility is Gal 6:1 “If someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently! Paul’s advice is that if someone has committed a particular sin, they should be approached in a spirit of humility. Humility is the spirit that makes restoration an incentive and not a reason to be disheartened, a means to hope and not a cause of despair. (3) The Third scripture William Barclay suggested is 2 Tim 2:25 “Those who oppose him he must gently instruct.” Paul is saying here that when we encounter those who disagree with us, and whom we think to be mistaken, we must not attempt to ‘hammer’ them into changing their minds but treat them with the utmost gentleness and respect.
Suppose we go into a room on a bitterly cold day and find the windows are frozen on the inside of the window panes, or we can light a fire in the grate or turn on the central heating and allow the window to clear itself. Heat does quickly what rubbing may take a long time to do. When dealing with those whom you believe to be in error or mistaken, always remember that gentle humility will accomplish what no amount of battering could ever do.
There is a story about a sun and the wind competing to get a coat off a man’s back. The wind did its best but the man held his coat more tightly around him. Then the sun came out and it was not long before the man took off his coat.
PRAYER LINE: Father, I sense that the ways You teach me through Your Word are also written in me. I am at my best only as I follow You. Help me, dear Lord, always to follow You in the path of humility. Amen. (EDWJ)
God gives fresh starts from the inside out.

DAY 201 FRIDAY JULY 20 2018
Be anxious for nothing, but…let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God…will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Phil 4:6-7)
When my husband, Tom, was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, I began to call family members. My sister and her husband came right away to be with me, and we prayed as we waited. Tom’s sister listened to my anxious voice on the phone and immediately said, “Cindy, can I pray with you? “When my pastor and his wife arrived, he too prayed for us (Jas 5:13-16)
Oswald Chambers wrote: “We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all. At its root, prayer Simply a conversation with God, speaking in expectation that God hears and answers. Prayer should not be a last resort. In His Word, God encourages us to engage Him in prayer (Phil 4:6) We also have His promise that when “two or three are gathered together” in the His name, He will be “there in the midst of them” (Matt 18:20)
For those who have experienced the power of the Almighty our first inclination often will be to cry out to Him. Nineteen-century pastor Andrew Murray said: “Prayer opens the way for God Himself to do His work in us and through us” – Cindy Kasper
PRAYER LINE: When I come before His presence
In the secret place of prayer. Do I know the wondrous greatness of His power to meet me there?
Pray first! (ODB)

“Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honour.’ (v12)
The Fourth scripture on humility is 1 Pet 3:15 which reads “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you – But do this with gentleness and respect.” Real Christian witness always has a gracious humility and gentleness about it, which is far more effective than the aggressive approach of those who attempt to force people to accept the gospel message. The Fifth and final text is Jas 3:13 “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.” The real highlight of a life that is pleasing to God is a humble and quiet spirit. Those who think they are not gifted by temperament to relate to people with gentleness and humility need not despair. The Spirit who dwells in you will, if you allow Him, transform your temperament so that it becomes increasingly Christ like. Paul’s spiritual progress may be measured by the fact that in 1 Cor 15:9 he says, “I am the least of the apostles.’ Writing later to the Ephesians, he says, “I am less than the least,” not now of the apostles but of all God’s people” (Eph. 3:8). Still later, when writing to Timothy, he says that Christ Jesus came into the World to save sinners- of whom I am the worst.” (1 Tim 1:15)
“I dwell – with him who has a contrite and humble spirit” (Isa 57:115 NKJV) God opposes the proud (Jas 4:6) As Ps 138:6 tells us, the proud He knows only from afar; it is to the humble that He gives grace.
PRAYER LINE: Lord Jesus, I cannot be too much of You. I cannot be too much like You or have too much of Your Spirit. Please fill me to overflowing so that I become more and more like You. Amen. (EDWJ)
When we uncover our sins in repentance God will cover them.

DAY 203 SUNDAY JULY 22 2018
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (Jn 6:63)
The Word of God is the secret of every hidden treasure, and until you engage the Word, you will be operating at the level of ‘ordinary.’ Those that are in the flesh will always be under the power of the carnal mind, but those that are in the spirit will always allow the Word of God to guide and direct them. It is the Spirit of God that brings the body to life through His Word. There is so much power in the Word to save and to set one free from every bondage and satanic oppression. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb 4:12) The Word of God as the shepherd staff should not be rejected or compromised. When we open our lives to the Word of God, there is salvation for us from every path of destruction, because the Word will redirect us to where we will find safety for our lives.
When we open our lives to the Word of God, we are corrected, rebuked warned and guided away from the path of perdition. There is great joy in the Word if we are disciplined enough to hold unto it. As long as we look unto the Word of liberty, there will be no fear in our hearts because He that watches us is committed to delivering us from the horrors of sin and death. Reading and meditating on the Word of God give access to the Word “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim 2:15) The Word creates (Gen 1:3)
PRAYER LINE: As you study the Word, every area where darkness has interrupted the plan and purpose of God for your life will be flooded with light, in Jesus’ Name.
It is the Word that you honour that delivers. (O.H)

DAY 204 MONDAY JULY 23 2018
His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. (Jn 2:5) Every genuine child of God has a covenant right of divine health amongst other things. In Exo 15:26, God said: “I am the Lord that healeth thee.” The one asking you not to fear is the original physician. The storms of sicknesses and disease are much more dangerous than any other form of attack against humanity. Diseases and sicknesses have different durations in the human body. God’s ultimate plan for His children is to live a life that is not afflicted with sickness. He is interested in our well being. Healing is possible and it can be obtained through faith and in obedience to the Word of God. When one is suffering from one form of sickness or the other, it affects other things. It drains the finances of its victim and cause stagnation. The anointing on Jesus Christ is to destroy all that God has not planted in your life. Jesus came to destroy the yoke of sickness. There are certain instructions that you may have to work with if you want your miracle to be permanent. Our Bible passage reveals of the Syrian army officer suffering from a particular sickness. The man of God asked him to wash in the Jordan River seven times. It took the intervention of a God-sent messenger for him to access his miracles. Obedience to the instruction of God is very crucial to the release of our miracles in life.
Why are you still in that problem. Could it be that there are certain instructions to you and you have not obeyed or your obedience has not been complete?
PRAYER LINE: Father, remove every self-inflicted hindrance to my miracle, in Jesus’ name.
Prayer is an acknowledgement of our need for God. (O.H)

DAY 205 TUESDAY JULY 24 2018
WINDFALL Prov 30:1-9
Give us this day our daily bread (Matt 6:11)
Upon wining $341 million in a 2002 lottery, a happy business owner expressed noble desires. He wanted to start a charitable foundation, put a laid-off workers back on the job, and do nice things for his family. Already wealthy, he told reporters the big win wouldn’t change him. A few years later, a follow-up article described a different outcome. Since winning the biggest of all lotteries, the man had run into legal problems, lost his personal reputation, and gambled away all of his money.
A thoughtful man by the name of Agur wrote words that anticipate such heartbreak. Brought low by the awesomeness of his own natural inclinations (Prov 30:2-3). Agur saw the dangers of having too much or too little. So he prayed, “Give me neither poverty nor riches-feed me with the food allotted to me, lest I be full and deny You, and say, ‘Who is the LORD?” Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God.” (vv8-9)
Agur saw the special challenges that come both with wealth and poverty, but also with our own tendencies. Each gives us reason for caution. Together they show our need for the One who taught us to pray. “Give us this day our daily bread” – Mart DeHaan.
PRAYER LINE: Lord, as we seek Your face today to ask for what we need, help us to keep in mind that You are as wise in what You don’t give us as what You do give us. So often, You rescue us from our own sinful tendencies. Thank You.
Discontentment makes rich people poor, while contentment makes poor people rich. (ODB)

GOOD BYE Num 11:1-10
When the people complained, it displeased the LORD, for the LORD heard it, and His anger was aroused (v1)
When Max Lucado participated in a half-Ironman triathlon, he experienced the negative power of complaint. He said, “After the 1.2 mile swim and the 56-mile bike ride, I didn’t have much energy left for the 13.1-mile run. Neither did the fellow jogging nest to me. He said, ‘This stinks. This race is the dumbest decision I’ve ever made! I said, ‘Goodbye’ Max knew that if he listened too long, he would start agreeing with him. So he said goodbye and kept running.
Among the Israelites, too many people listened too long to complaints and began to agree with them. This displeased God, and for good reason. God had delivered the Israelites from slavery, and agreed to live in their midst, but they still complained. Beyond the hardship of the desert, they were dissatisfied with God’s provision of manna. In their complaint, Israel forgot that the manna was a gift to them from God’s loving hand (Num 11:6) Because complaining poisons the heart with ingratitude and can be a contagion, God had to judge it. This is a sure way to say “goodbye” to complaining and ingratitude: Each day, let’s rehearse the faithfulness and goodness of God to us – Marvin Williams.
PRAYER LINE: Lord, You have given us so much. Forgive us for our short memories and bad attitudes. Help us to remember and be grateful for all that You have provided. And help us to tell others of the good things You have done for us.
Proclaiming God’s faithfulness silences discontentment. (ODB)

CAN YOU HELP? Jas 2:14-20
Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead (v17)
The administrators of the high school in Barrow, Alaska, were tired of seeing students get into trouble and drop out at a rate of 50 percent. To keep student interested, they started a football team, which offered them a chance to develop personal skills, teamwork, and learn life lessons. The problem with football in Barrow, which is farther north than Iceland, is that it’s hard to plant a grass field. So they competed on a gravel field. Four thousand miles away in Florida, a woman named Cathy Parker heard about the football team and their dangerous field. Feeling that God was prompting her to help, and impressed by the positive changes she saw in the students, she went to work. About a year later, they dedicated their new field, complete with a beautiful artificial-turf playing surface. She had raised thousands of dollars to help some kids she didn’t even know.
This is not about football- or money. It is about remembering “to do good and to share” (Heb 13:16)
The apostle James reminds us that we demonstrate our faith by our actions (2:18) The needs in our world are varied and overwhelming but when we love our neighbour as ourselves, as Jesus said (Mk12:31), we reach people with God’s love – Dave Branon
PRAYER LINE: Open our eyes, dear Father, to those in need. Allow us to find ways-monetarily and otherwise – to help meet those needs. Help us to take the focus off ourselves and place it on those who can use our assistance.
Open your heart to God to learn compassion and open your hand to give help. (ODB)

DAY 208 FRIDAY JULY 27 2018
Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Mathias; so he was added to the eleven apostles (v26NIV)
The tradition of lot casting is a common practice among the Hebrews. Lot casting takes some form of throwing a die or flipping of coin to determine chances. Apart from the fact that God controlled the casting of lots (Prov 16:33) He also commanded that the division of lands among the Israelites should be done through lot casting (Num 26:52-55) They used it to determine God’s will (Josh 18:6-10) This tradition continued until the time of Christ (Matt 27:35) and the apostles used it to determine Judas’s replacement after prayer (Acts1:26)
It was believed that casting of lot to know God’s will or mind is necessary since believers had not yet received the Holy Spirit then. Lot casting among the disciples ceased after the Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4)
Christian’s decisions should not be based on chances or gambling’s. God’s Word and the Holy Spirit’s guidance through earnest prayer, are to be our means of discerning the will or mind of God. Decision-making in the church, family, offices, and even choice of life partner must be toughly soaked in prayer and guided by the Holy Spirit. Remember that you are saved to serve. Only God is irreplaceable, no humankind is.
The servers are greater than the served in the kingdom of God. Follow Jesus, His Word and Spirit and you will not get lost.
PRAYER LINE: Lord, change me so I would not be a cast away on the Last Day (NBC)
If God sends you on stormy paths, He will provide you with strong shoes.

“Faith comes from hearing” Rom 10:17 NIV (2011 Edition)
You may doubt your own ability, but never doubt God’s or His promises and His willingness to fulfill them.
The Psalmist wrote, “You have magnified Your word above Your name” (Ps 138:2 NKJV) The only thing in the universe that God has placed above His name is His Word. So fill your mind with it, speak it daily, and don’t ever question it. Doubt often originates from our inclination to portray ourselves as self-confident-Self-confidence is a concept touted by the world; it encourages us to rely on our own skills and abilities. But the Bible says, “He who trusts in himself is a fool.” (Prov 28:26 NIV 1984 Edition) Reportedly, the verse at the center of the Bible is “it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man” (Ps 118:8NKJV). So center your confidence around God, not yourself or anybody else. Do you doubt yourself and your own worth? Do you question your ability to pursue your career? Do you doubt your aptitude to form healthy relationships? Despite having His promise that He’d rise again from the dead, Thomas still said, “Unless I can see his wounds and touch him, I will not believe” (Jn 20:25) Did Jesus turn His back on Thomas because of his doubts? No. He never rejects a sincere doubting heart. Jesus showed up in person and resolved all of Thomas doubts. And as you read His word and seek His face, He will alleviate your misgivings and qualms too. When you stop living in the “sense” realm and learn to “walk by faith,” your doubts will begin to die (2 Cor 5:7) (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Father, please increase my faith to be enriched with Your Word and be an inspiration to others.
God can use you at any age – if you are willing

DAY 210 SUNDAY JULY 29 2018
‘May the kind One correct me” (v5MSG)
The greatest indictment against not knowing is not learning. If you look at it the right way every experience in life is a school, and every new acquaintance is a teacher.
So seize every opportunity to learn. Just make sure you pick the right teachers: those who’ve earned the right to come alongside, and when appropriate ask the hard questions, bring perspective, and keep you on track. Solomon said, “Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket. To one who listens, valid criticism is a gold earring” (Prov 25:11-12 NLT) When God sends someone to help you (1) Show your appreciation. Never take others for granted and never forget to say thank you. An attitude of ‘I don’t expect appreciation so I ‘don’t give it” will hurt you and close doors to your future (2) Pull your weight. Don’t be self-serving and opportunistic. Look for ways to make your presence an asset, not a liability. Life owes you nothing except an opportunity to grow. (3) Understand the boundaries. Other people may know someone well enough to address them by their first name, but that doesn’t mean you should – especially not a potential mentor. If someone says, “Hello, my name is Charles,” don’t come back with, “what’s up. Charlie” Show respect, and don’t try to change the protocol to suit the environment you’re used to. Observe boundaries, respect others, listen, and you’ll always have people willing to help you get whore you need to go. (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Saviour, like a shepherd lead us, Much we need They tender care, In Thy pleasant pastures feed us, For our use Thy folds prepare – Thrapp
The best preparation for tomorrow is the right use of today.

DAY 211 MONDAY JULY 30 2018
FASTING AND PRAYING (1) Matt 6:16-18
Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. (v16)
Fasting means to refrain from eating while praying to God People who fast and pray have a burning desire for God that is beyond human comprehension.
One of the strongest desires man has is the desire to eat. Of course we have other desires, but they have nothing to do with survival.
Praying and fasting generates power to control our desires and lust. The enemy seeks to rob, kill, and destroy us through the lust of our flesh and through greed. When we control lust and greed through sincere fasting and praying, the enemy cannot harm us. In fasting and praying, our hearts are cleansed and purified and we become filled with the Holy Spirit so that we are able to break the power of Satan.
Fasting also humbles us before God. Compared to ordinary prayer, prayer accompanied by fasting gives us power beyond our imagination. If we do not fast and pray, we give up a special privilege of having the Lord reveal His power in us. However, it is important that we fast and pray the right way (Dr. David Yongi Cho) Fasting that pleases God Ps 56:9 When I cry out to You, Then my enemies will turn back, This I know, because God is for me. Joel 1:14 Consecrate a fast…Matt 4:2. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Mk 2:20 – But the days will come… they will fast in those days.
PRAYER LINE: Father, let the lesson in fasting and prayer enrich my life and let me harvest the benefits of fasting and prayer to win souls for You. Amen.
God’s grace accepted is God’s peace experienced.

DAY 212 TUESDAY JULY 31 2018
“Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (v2)
(1) Fasting should begin with repentance
If we fast and pray without understanding the real meaning of fasting, our fasting and praying is in vain.
(a) We must repent from all sin. The Bible says “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matt 3:2). If we want to fast and pray sincerely, we must first repent of all sin. Otherwise, it is not real fasting and praying and not acceptable to the Lord.
(b) We should give up all worldly pleasures during fasting
Watching television, reading magazine, or talking with friends is not helpful during a fast. God wants us to be humble, and these pleasures can keep us from being humble
(c) We must concentrate completely on God. All business dealings must be set aside during a fast. This is one of the reasons why it is helpful to fast and pray at a place like Prayer (Mountain). In an isolated place, we are not tempted with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. We can concentrate completely on the Lord with our whole heart.
(d) We must forgive others. We must also repent of the sins of hatred, anger, complaining, and grumbling. The miraculous power of fasting and praying can never be manifested in us until our hearts are right with God.
In order to fast and pray in a way that is both pleasing and acceptable to God, we must follow the four steps, Stated above PRAYER LINE: Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burden, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? (Isa 58:6) (Dr. David Yonggi Cho)
Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice to the Lord.

DAY 213 WEDNESDAY August 1 2018
(1)The purpose and power of fasting.
Many people fast and pray without understanding the purpose of fasting and praying. It is important to know why fasting and praying is powerful. (a) Fasting has the power to loose the bands of wickedness
The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Paul was aware of this when he wrote, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Pet 5:8) After ordaining His twelve disciples, Jesus commanded them to “drive out demons” (Mk 5:15) We, too, can have this same power to cast out evil spirits, unclean spirits, deceiving spirits, spirits of divination, and spirits of fornication. In Mk chapter 9, we see an example of the power of fasting and praying. After descending from the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus, Peter, James, and John returned to the other disciples. A large crowd had gathered around these disciples. The disciples were arguing with the Pharisees and Scribes over a demon possessed boy. The powerless disciples were in an awkward situation. At the sight of Jesus, the father of the boy pleaded, “Teacher I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech…if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us” Jesus responded, “If you can believe, everything is possible for him who believes” Then He rebuked the unclean spirit saying,” You death and dumb spirit, I command you to come out and never enter him again.
The unclean spirit lift the boy. The disciples were puzzled. They asked privately, “why couldn’t we drive it out? This kind can come out only by prayer (Dr David Yonggi Cho)
PRAYER LINE: Father, let my anointing through prayers win souls for You. Amen
Waiting for God is never a waste of time.

DAY 214 THURSDAY August 2 2018
And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. (vv1-2)
(b) Fasting has the power to release heavy burdens.
Many people are bound by bad habits and tempers. They cannot free themselves from this bondage because they are trapped by Satan. Sometimes even after repentance, bad tempers are apt to flare up again. This is much like a pig that returns to the mud after a nice clean bath. Only through fasting and praying can bad tempers vanish completely. Many people suffer from bad habits such as smoking, drinking, or drug addiction. It is impossible to be free from these kinds of bondage through medical care alone. Only through the power of fasting and praying can these diseases be completely healed.
(c)Fasting has the power to let the oppressed go free. People in the 21st century live in a fast-moving, industrial society. The rapid pace of life coupled with anxiety and worry can cause severe depression and melancholia that results eventually in mental derangement for some people. Doctors agree that over 60 percent of all disease in the world is caused by stress. Sometimes ago, a mentally ill university student brutally knifed and murdered his professor at the door way of the lecture room. This is an example of how badly people need Jesus Christ to free them from pressure and stress (Dr. David Yonggi Cho)
PRAYER LINE: Father, open my eyes to see my failing, open my heart to receive Your discipline, and open my will to embrace Your loving purposes. When I fall, I pray that You will make me whole and restore my joy in You.
The roots of stability come from being grounded in God’s word and prayer.

DAY 215 FRIDAY August 3 2018
“He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done (v17)
(2) Actions that should follow fasting and praying.
Isaiah tells us in Chapter 58:7 that certain actions should follow fasting and praying. It is not enough that we fast and pray. We must follow up our fasting and praying with specific kinds of behavior. We must share our food with the hungry. When we are indifferent to people in need of food, our fasting and praying is not effective. We must meet the needs of the people around us as best we can. We must also share our homes with the homeless. There are people who have no place to go. They have no home of their own. The Bible says: He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again. (Prov. 19:17). 2 Cor 9:9 says, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.” Too many people are caught up with themselves and their own needs. They ignore and do not see the needs of those around them. Living a successful Christian life involves having compassion for our neighbours and meeting the needs they have as best we can. Isaiah also tells us not to hide ourselves from our own flesh” We can get so caught up in meeting the needs of People we don’t know that we totally neglect the needs of our own family. God warns us that if we avoid our own flesh, our fasting will be to no avail. 1 Tim 5:8 says, But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. (Dr. David Yonggi Cho)
PRAYER LINE: Father, please give me the grace to live a worthy Christian life. Amen.
The Christian’s race is not a sprint-it’s a marathon

DAY 216 SATURDAY August 4 2018
Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.(v8)
(4) The results of fasting and praying
Isaiah 58:8-9 explains the result of sincere fasting and praying.Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity. The phrase, “Then your light will break forth like the dawn,” means your understanding of the Word of God will be renewed. You will be able to understand Scriptural truth you did not understand before fasting and praying. “Your healing will quickly appear” means you will experience deliverance from sickness and affliction. “The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard” means you will experience new blessings and prosperity in the things you are doing. “Here am I,” means you will see fast and pray, we must be sure we take care of the needs of our own household, then we can take care of the needs of church members. May God richly bless you as you discover new power and deliverance through effective fasting and praying. (Dr. David Yonggi Cho)
PRAYER LINE: Father, our days are filled with pleasures and struggles. We would like, for life just to have the joys, but we know that’s not realistic in this sinful world. Help us to fast and pray while we wait for Your divine response
In good times and bad, God never changes

DAY 217 SUNDAY August 5 2018
(1) ANGER (a) Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended, but one thing I do forgetting those things which are behind… which are ahead (v13)
( 1) The first symptom of which to be aware is Anger. Anger usually results when we feel that we have lost control of a situation or circumstance. Shame from the past will create thoughts of hopelessness, resulting in a sense that our lives are spinning out of control. Many times anger is the result. We become less tolerant of those around us. Even though anger is an attempt to control a situation or an individual with whom we are not pleased, it is actually an indication that we are not pleased with ourselves or with our own lives. A preacher friend of mine whom I consider a mentor once told me that he believed there was a direct correlation between anger and lying. Many times anger is an attempt to cover for areas of deception in our lives. Outward burst of wrath are easy to detect. But there is an expression of anger that is harder to recognize. It also needs to be viewed as a “red flag” to indicate a troubled heart. This form of anger is called sarcasm. Anger turned inward often expresses itself in the form of sarcasm. Many times this form of anger is veiled in humour. Even though it seems harmless, it has a detectable “edge.” Sarcasm fires subtle darts of hidden criticism designed to demean its intended target (Mike FehlaueR)
PRAYER LINE: Lord, I want to be sold out for You. I want to love You with my whole heart, soul, mind and strength. Give me the power to be who You want me to be, and to walk in Your ways.
Following Jesus demands our all.

DAY 218 MONDAY August 6 2018
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil (vv 26-27)
This scripture is not giving a license to you and me to entertain the emotion of anger. The scripture is saying that when we are confronted with this damaging emotion we must deal with it before the day ends. If not, we will give place to Satan, allowing him to torment us with our own bitterness and disappointment, God began to show me the anger that had been a large part of my life for so many years. I had responded to the slightest infraction or disappointment with an explosive display of my displeasure, many times sending Bonnie and the children fleeing to a corner of the house to deal with my anger, God graciously gave me several penetrating scriptures on this subject. One was Prov 14:17. It reads: A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, and a man of wicked intentions is hated. I certainly had acted foolishly in my life. Another verse that God directed me to, reads: He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city (Prov 16:32) I was reminded of the fact that there have been men in history who ruled nations, but who could not rule their own lives or passions. Ultimately this lack of self-control cost them their kingdoms (Mike FehlaueR)
PRAYER LINE: O Lord, listen to our cry for mercy; in Your faithfulness come to the relief of those who are in danger because of their anger For Your name’s sake, preserve their lives; in Your righteousness, bring them out of trouble. In Jesus’ name we pray.
God may deny our request, but He will never disappoint our trust.

DAY 219 TUESDAY August 7 2018
THE ELIJAH SYNDROME 1 kgs 18:21-40
Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust…(v38)
(2) A second emotional symptom of being imprisoned by our past is what I call the Elijah syndrome.
This is a mind-set that leads to a victim mentality. It is extremely dangerous for anyone. I have seen it paralyse the effectiveness of many wonderful and sincere Christians. This symptom is displayed in the infamous church service described in 1kgs 18:21-40. The crowd stood there frozen in suspense, anticipating what would happen next. The power of prayer put to the test – The God that would answer by fire would be the one true God. After hours of useless beseeching from the prophets of Baal, Elijah prayed. The ground was licked dry by the tongues of heavenly fire and four hundred fifty prophets of Baal lay motionless in a bloody heap. Yet, by the time we read through to chapter 19, we see a different Elijah. And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? So he said I alone am left: they seek to take my life (1kgs 19:9-10) Look at what Elijah says in 1kgs 19:10. I have been jealous for the LORD God of hosts…” Notice what God said in v18. Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.” When we are having difficulty in dealing with the past, even the slightest confrontation with any kind of obstacle can lend to one of the most effective lies from Satan… that we are facing the difficulty alone. (Mike FehlaueR)
PRAYER LINE: As you pray… Notice – In Elijah’s situation, the power of God not only exposed some falsehood in the mind of Elijah. Pray, Lord, please expose the falsehood in the issues I contend with, in Jesus’ name I pray.
The Word of God is a strong tower for the believer.

DAY 220 WEDNESDAY August 8 2018
A LACK OF VISION Phil 3:10-20
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (v13)
( 3) The Third Symptom of being imprisoned by our past is a lack of Vision. This is characterized by our inability to see our lives correctly. This lack of vision will affect the sense of our own life’s purpose and direction. A person who is enslaved by his or her past is unable to have a clear vision of the future. In Phil 3:13, The apostle Paul states a twofold dynamic necessary in life – “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” It is impossible to reach forward with vision if we haven’t learned how to forget those things behind.
We see the power of vision in Habakkuk 2:2; Write the vision and make it on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” Vision brings a sense of purpose that will always provide direction for our lives. Without it, we become slaves to circumstances and opinions of men. Helen Keller was asked once what would be worse than being born blind. She quickly responded, “To have sight and no vision.” When we have a clear sense of vision for our life’s calling, we are less likely to expend our energy through useless distractions and unnecessary friends. Living in the past robs us of our vision for the future. (Mike FehlaueR).
PRAYER LINE: Lord, Your Word is a treasure – priceless and beyond compare. I’m not the best at memorizing but I do want Your words to saturate my mind and heart. Please use Your Word in obvious ways in my life today.
When God’s Word is hidden in our heart, His ways will become our ways.

DAY 221 THURSDAY August 9 2018
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” (Prov 29:18)
A clear vision of our personal relationship with Jesus will enable us to run with direction and conviction. Through the neglect of our personal relationship with Christ, our vision of who and what we are in Him lacks the clarity and conviction necessary to make decisions that guard our integrity and bring God’s best to our lives and family. Take a look at Prov. 29:18: Where there is no vision, the people are restrained, but happy is he who keeps the law (NAS)
Just as our vision serves as a compass, giving our lives clear direction, our values serve a similar purpose. When we lose our vision, we no longer have a clarity of values. God’s Word determines what our values should be. But for us to experience the benefit of these values, they must, through the work of the Holy Spirit, be internalized and integrated into our daily decision – making process. Notice what the apostle Paul writes in Phil 1:9-10 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. (Also Read AMV) Paul is saying in v10, this greater discernment would enable them to sense what is of real value in life. Discovering what is of real value is the secret to finding the strength to make “life-giving” choices (Mike FehlaueR)
PRAYER LINE: Come Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise – Robinson
Those who know God’s grace show God’s grace.

DAY 222 FRIDAY August 10 2018
“God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”
I cannot stress enough the impact our choices have in life. Our lives today are the culmination of the choices that we made yesterday. Even though there is forgiveness and restoration through the love of God, many situations bear consequences with which we must live-due to the choice that we have made. Our decisions not only affect our lives, but the lives of those whom we have not even met. Pastor Ted shared a time when he was in college at Oral Roberts University. He had heard of the persecutions of Christians that were taking place in the country of Albannia.
One form of persecution was to take the Christians out to the edge of the sea, place them in barrels, and then shove the barrels into the ocean. At this point, soldiers would begin to shoot at the barrels. As you can imagine one of two things would happen. Either the Christians would be shot as the bullets ripped through the barrels, or if per chance the bullets missed them, the bullet-riddled barred would begin to fill with water and sink, and these dear saint would drown. In Heb 11:40 we read “God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.” The passage showed the persecution of the saints endured for the sake of the gospel. Heb 12:1 continues Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” (Mike FehlaueR)
PRAYER LINE: God, please, someday use me to be part of the answer to the prayers rising up from the persecution of Christians.
In tribulations, chose not to become angry.

DAY 223 SATURDAY August 11 2018
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (v2)
The choices that we make today affect not only our lives, but also the lives of the saints who have gone before us. Their perfection is tied to the way we run our race!
The completion of what they believed and for which they died is dependent upon us finishing our course. God will have a church, who complete their race. The question is, Are we going to play a part in bringing His purposes to pass? The bottom line is that your life matters. You are not insignificant! Regardless of your occupation in life, you can make a difference. Someone is counting on you to make the right decision today. We are made in the image and likeness of God. This involves many things. One of those things is that we, like God, have a free will. I am convinced that no matter demonized a person might be, that person never loses his or her ability to choose. Also, God will never override a person’s free will. In the same way, Satan cannot usurp a man’s power of choice. We have the God-given ability, in the face of circumstances, to choose what our actions and thoughts will be. It is important to understand that our decisions affect people we may meet five years from now. You and I need to be in the place that God has for us in years to come. Regardless of what happened in your past, you have an opportunity to make a difference. You matter to God, as well as to others. It is never too late to choose to believe in His future for you. (Mike FehlaueR)
PRAYER LINE: Harbouring hatred in the heart will not lead to success; But following truth and love and grace Will lead to blessedness – Hess
Hatred promotes self-destruction; love fulfills Christ’s instructions.

DAY 224 SUNDAY August 12 2018
That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. (v10)
It is clear that our choices carry powerful consequences. We may instinctively know that our life is a sum total of our choices. We understand that our life, like a ship on the ocean, has been piloted by the rudder of our decisions. Consequently, in our desire to undo the mistakes of yesterday, we desire to lunch out into the depths of godly choices. Yet, most of the time we never get beyond the shores of good intentions.
In order to discover the divine process for making the right choices in life, let’s once again look at what the apostle Paul says in Phil 1:10: That you may…approve and prize what is…of real value. (AMP)
Within this scripture we see an amazing principle: Even as our lives are a reflection of our choices, Our choices are a reflection of our values. According to Phil 1:10, Instead of focusing our attention on choices, we need to focus our attention on establishing life values. The secret is understanding the values in our souls. In humility, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to breathe upon us and cement these value in our hearts.
This is what Paul meant when he said that out of a greater depth of acquaintance with Jesus, we would have greater insight so that we may learn to sense what is of real value. (Mike FehlaueR)
PRAYER LINE: Oh, to be like Him, tender and kind, Gentle in spirit, lowly in mind; More like to Jesus, day after day, Filled with His Spirit now and always – Ellsworth
Our love for Christ is only as real as our love for our neighbour.

DAY 225 MONDAY August 13 2018
And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. (v13)
Allow me to further explain how this has impacted my own life. Through my own selfishness and disobedience to God’s Word. I nearly forfeited my relationship with Bonnie, Janae, and Josaiah. Consequently, family has become an important value in my life. As God gave me a vision for my family, this vision translated by which I evaluate and make decisions. I have regulated my schedule of speaking engagements primarily to weekends. As I receive invitations that would cause me to be away from home for long periods of time, it is not difficult for me to arrive at a decision. I will not do it. I have two teenagers at home. The time that Bonnie and I have with them equates to the “blink of an eye.” I believe that the teenage years are precarious. They are a real defining period of time. At this point in the life of the family, I need to be home and very much a part of my children’s daily lives. Once our children are grown and out of the home, Bonnie and I will have plenty of time to travel and minister all over the world. Accepting invitations that keep me away from home for extended periods of time violates a very real value to which I am committed. Family is now valuable to me than the temporary recognition that comes from ministry (Mike FehlaueR)
PRAYER LINE Lord, help me to follow Jesus, To be His faithful disciple And please Him in every way – Fitzhugh.
Our character is measured by what we do when no one is looking.

DAY 226 TUESDAY August 14 2018
And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, (v14)
Another example – the most valuable possession that we have is our integrity. I traded my integrity for what probably added up only to a few hours of fleshly pleasure. As a result, integrity has now become an important value in my life. When I am presented with opportunities to compromise my integrity, it doesn’t require long times of prayer to choose honesty – regardless of the cost. A decision of truth may be painful now, but it will always bring great dividends in the future. Integrity is more valuable to me now than the temporary convenience that deception brings. In Mk 3:14-15 we read, “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils.” Our first calling is to be with Him and to know Him. In the past, whenever I read Scriptures or prayed, I had in mind the next sermon I would preach. I want to challenge you to ask the Holy Spirit to establish His values for you and your family. Walk through that door way of love and discover a greater intimacy with Jesus. Admit that you don’t have what it takes – and never will – to live according to His standards. Once you do, a dynamic thing will take place. He will empower you to make the decisions that you always wanted to make, but for which you lacked the strength. You’ll discover that your choices in life will begin reflecting your new found values (Mike FehlaueR)
PRAYER LINE: Be not weary in your serving; Do your best for those in need; Kindnesses will be rewarded By the Lord who prompts the deed – Anon.
Kindness is Christianity with its working clothes on.

DAY 227 WEDNESDAY August 15 2018
I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.(v6)
On a November day in 1963, the Beach Boy’s Brian Wilson and Mike Love wrote a song quite unlike the band’s typically upbeat tunes. It was a mournful song about love that’s been lost. Mike said later, ‘As hard as that kind of loss is, the one good that comes from it is having had the experience of being in love in the first place.” They titled it “The Warmth of the Sun.”
Sorrow serving as a catalyst for songwriting is nothing new. Some of David’s most moving psalms were penned in times of deep personal loss, including Psalm 6. Though we aren’t told the events that prompted its writing, the lyrics are filled with grief: “I am weary with my groaning: all night I make my bed swim, I drench my couch with my tears. My eye wastes away because of grief (vv6-7)
But that’s not where the song ends. David knew pain and loss, but he also knew God’s comfort. And so he wrote, “The LORD has heard my supplication, the LORD will receive my prayer (v9). In his grief, David not only found a song, he also found reason to trust God, whose faithfulness bridges all of life’s hard seasons. In the warmth of His presence, our sorrows gain a hopeful perspective – Bill Crowder.
PRAYER LINE: Heavenly Father, life can be so wonderful, but also so hard. Help us to seek You in the good times as well as the bad. Help us to always be mindful that You are our sure hope in a world that doesn’t always seem to care.
A song of sadness can turn our hearts to the God whose joy for us is forever (ODB)

DAY 228 THURSDAY August 16 2018
THE POWER OF ONE (1) Judges 6:11-27
“And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?” (v14)
Gideon came from a family of idol worshippers, so he didn’t think he had much of a future. But God thought differently. He said to him, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you? And today Gideon is remembered as one of the greatest leaders in the Bible. That’s what’s known as “the power of one.” Do you doubt that one person make a difference? Wilson Churchill convinced England (see D315) they could survive the Nazi war machine. Lee Lacocca turned Chrysler around and saved the company. Flovence Nightingale transformed the care of patients by emphasizing sanitary design and hygiene in hospitals, practices that carry over to this day. Rosa Parks, a lone black woman, overturned two centuries of racial discrimination. But you don’t have to be a George Washington, an Abraham Lincoln, or a Mother Teresa to make a difference. Your influence may not be as far-reaching as theirs, but “charity begins at home,” which means you can grow and thrive where you’re planted. In A Psalm of Life, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow writes, “Lives of great men all remind us, we can make our lives subline, and departing, leaving behind us, footprints on the sands of time.” Like Gideon, you may not be able to change your family history or undo your past mistakes. But you can learn from them, grow, and created a legacay that outshines your heritage. Not sure where to start? Commit your life to Christ and start following His footsteps (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Father, please use me to make a difference in the lives of others to Your glory.
God can use a surrendered life to make a difference

DAY 229 FRIDAY August 17 2018
THE POWER OF ONE (2) Deut 30:11-20
See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil (v15)
God told His people “See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction (life). For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God can start a chain reaction. John Wilkes Booth shocked the world by assassinating President Abraham Lincoln. At the time, Booth’s brother Edwin was considered one of the greatest actors in America. Believing the family name had been shamed forever, he retired from acting and went into seclusion. But his legacy turned out not to be one of death and disappointment, but of life and influence. A few years before Lincoln’s assassination, Edwin was at a train station Jersey City, New Jersey. He was standing nearby when a young man lost his footing on the platform and almost fell into the path of a moving train. Without hesitation Edwin rescued the young man by reaching down and pulling him up by his collar. There was a brief exchange of gratitude but Edwin never dreamed how significant that moment would become. Some years later he received a letter from then President Wysses Grant thanking him for his heroic deed. Why? Because the young man he had saved was Robert Todd Lincoln, the son of Abraham Lincoln. Edwin Booth took that letter to his grave; a reminder that we may not be able to change our past, but we can certainly change our future. And by God’s grace you can change yours too! (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Dear God, You have given us so much by providing our salvation. Help us to make the gospel attractive to others by the way we shine Jesus’ light on those we encounter each day.
The beauty of a changed life can attract others to the One who make us beautiful.

DAY 230 SATURDAY August 18 2018
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. (v13)
During the Second World War, Corrie ten Boom’s family owned a watch making business in the Netherlands and they actively worked to protect Jewish families. Eventually, the entire ten Boom family was sent to a concentration camp, where Corrie’s father died 10 days later. Her sister Betsie also died in the camp together. Bêtise’s faith helped to strengthen Corrie’s. That faith led Corrie to forgive even the ruthless men who served as guards during her concentration camp days. While hate and the desire for revenge continued to destroy many lives long after the concentration camps were gone, Corrie knew the truth. Hate hurts hater more than the hated, no matter how justified it may seem.
Like Corrie we each have the opportunity to love our enemy and choose forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t excuse the offense, but when we forgive we show Christ to the world. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph 4:32) God will help you let go of every angry grudge as you watch the Spirit build into you a place where others see the Saviour – Randy Kilgore. PRAYER LINE: The love of God within our hearts Enables us to show Forgiveness that is underserved So others too might know – Sper.
When we forgive someone, we look more like Jesus than at any other moment in our life. (ODB)

DAY 231 SUNDAY August 19 2018
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.(v33 KJV)
The Bibles says, ‘Male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27 NIV) 2011 Edition) God created women to be more than a slightly altered version of men. Adam was all male. Eve was all female – as different from each other as day is from night. They thought, felt, talked, and acted differently. Their priorities differed. They needed different things from each other. And just as getting along under the same roof was essential for them then – it is for us now. And it calls for things like understanding, patience, unselfishness, mutual effort, and showing grace. Following Paul’s philosophy is fundamental to a happy marriage – the husband must understand that his wife needs his love, and the wife must understand that her husband needs her respect. Dr. Emerson Eggerichs reminds us that men and women speak different relationship languages, based on their differing needs. Yes, both need love and respect, but husbands feel loved when they’re given their wife’s unconditional respect, and wives feel respected when they’re given their husband’s unconditional love. Notice that Paul’s words are not simply wise words of counsel, but divine orders to be observed and obeyed. The husband “must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” God doesn’t require him to earn her unconditionally at the cost of His life. And He calls us to do the same for each other. As the author of marriage; God knows what really works, so follow His guidance at home. (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Father, I lift my beloved to You, knowing that You love him/her seven more than I do and You understand just what to do to meet his/her need. I commit him/her to Your care
Prayer is the voice of faith trusting that God knows and cares.

DAY 232 MONDAY August 20 2018
GOD HAS SUBSTITUTES 1 Sam 15:16;16:1
And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou. (1 Sam 15:28)
One truth that everyone born of God must have at the back of their minds is that God has substitutes. He can therefore not be held hostage by anyone. Whenever God decides to use a person, if that fellow does not yield to God at the time of His requisition, God will move on to use another person to fulfill His purpose. More often than not, such substitutes are better than the original recipients of God’s mandate. Such was the case with king Saul. And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou. (1 Sam 15:28) The Lord through Samuel reminded king Saul that there was nothing special about him before He made him king over Israel (1 Sam 9:21) God does not use the qualified rather, He qualified the fellow He wants to use.
When king Saul began to feel too big to obey the Lord’s commandment, he was replaced with a ready-made substitutes whom the Lord declared to be better than king Saul. My prayer for you is that you will not be replaced in the scheme of things in God’s kingdom in Jesus’ Name. Beloved, we should know that God has substitutes that can readily replace us if we fail to yield to His instructions. Never see yourself as being indispensible before God. Take heed to what the Lord Jesus Christ said concerning this in Matt 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father, for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”
PRAYER LINE: Father, please help me to overcome anything I am doing now that may eventually make You find a substitute for me in Your kingdom. Please don’t replace me with anyone or anything. (O.H)
No life is more secure than a life surrendered to God.

DAY 233 TUESDAY August 21 2018
THE WORD 1 JN 2:1-10
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God (v1)
The unsurrendered self can disguise itself in many forms. The American writer and lecturer Dale Carngie once spoke of a bright vigorous girl who became unwell in order to feel important. One day she realized that she was getting on in age and was not married. The lonely years stretched out ahead of her so she took to her bed with a mysterious condition. For ten years her mother cared for her by nursing her, carrying her food to her and doing everything that was needed. Then one day the mother, weary of service lay down and died. After the funeral the daughter, realizing there was no one to look after her, got up out of bed and resumed living again. John Dewey, a one-time Senator in the USA, has commented, “The deepest urge is the desire to be important. And if illness makes us feel important, we take to illness.” Sometimes a driven self makes us try to ‘add a cubit to our length,’ so to speak by putting undue emphasis on titles. There is nothing wrong with having a title. We can only find our significance in who we are in God, not in what we do. Catherine the Great, I learned while studying her life, would never open a letter unless it was addressed to “Her imperial Majesty.” And yet this is what the angel told Joseph before Jesus was born: “You are to give him the name Jesus” (Matt1:21) Not a title but just one word – Jesus. But that one word has become the Word.
PRAYER LINE: Lord God, save me from myself. May I not attempt to add a cubit to my height in order to make myself feel more significant. Show me how to be myself – in You. For Jesus’ sake. Amen (EDWJ)
Discontentment makes us poor while contentment makes us rich!

DAY 234 WEDNESDAY August 22 2018
“Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate.
It’s been said that the depth of your hurt determines the width of your response. So it’s likely that when someone hurts you, your first impulse will be to get even. But any momentary satisfaction you experience will invariably be followed by a lingering sense of regret. What is that? Because you know you’ve failed God by retaliating. We retaliate in two ways. (1) ‘Tit for tat.’ Before you make your offender suffer, carefully consider these words. Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honourable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone…never take revenge. Leave that to God for the Scriptures say, ‘I will take revenge; I will pay them back; says the Lord (Rom 12:17-19NLT) (2) By involving others. Not only do you have the right to strike back, you don’t have the right to tear down your offender in front of others. Joseph not only refused to punish his brothers for their betrayal, he refused to publish the details of those who worked in his courts. Why? Because he saw God’s hand at work, and realized that what he’d suffered at his brothers’ hands had made him the man he was. Peter writes; ‘Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.” (1 Pet 3:9NLT) So if you walk in the blessing of God today, take the high road. (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Help us, heavenly Father, to see the many ways You love and encourage us; then help us so that they can see those around us so they can see You in us.
The nail-pieced hands of Jesus reveal the love – filled heart of God.

DAY 235 THURSDAY August 23 2018
When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. (v4)
The pain and perplexity did not end when the psalmist stopped himself from slipping. His thought still went around in circles and he continued to have great anguish of heart and mind. How then, were his thoughts and perplexities concerning the prosperity of those who disregarded God resolved? Not by grabbing at superficial answers, but by going into the sanctuary of God, where he would have his entire perspective changed and begin to see the whole situation from God’s point of view. This is how he puts it:
“When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God: then I understood their final destiny’ (Ps 73:16-17). The word “sanctuary” here literally means the physical house of God. Some transactions use the phrase, ‘till I entered the secret of God’, but that is in my view incorrect.
Read the next Psalm – Ps 74 – and you will find that it refers to the material building where God was worshipped. Had the psalmist, I wonder, like so many of us when we are filled with doubt and uncertainty, stayed away from the sanctuary of God? How strange that the last thing we want to do when our hearts are filled with doubts and misunderstandings is meet with other Christians in the house of God. Yet that is the very first thing we ought to do.
PRAYER LINE: Gracious Father, I am so grateful that You tell us in Your Word to meet together and it is not left to chance – Help me understand more clearly than ever the value and benefits that flow from being with Your people. In Jesus’ name I ask it. Amen.
Hope can be ignited by a spark of encouragement. (EDWJ)

DAY 236 FRIDAY August 24 2018
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.(v25) The Psalmist has been prevented from falling by considering the consequences of his actions upon his church family, so now his next step is to go and meet with them in the sanctuary. Whether in a cathedral or a cottage, how wonderful it is to meet with the family of God. It is not so much the place that is important as the redeeming and healing friendship and fellowship we find there. Often times people find release just by sitting down amongst their brothers and sisters and feeling the healing power of their warmth and love. Dr. Martyr Lloyed – Jones said: “The house of God has delivered me from ‘the mumps and measles of the soul” a thousand times and more. What is it about being in God’s sanctuary that is so helpful and encouraging? One thing is the very fact that our Christian family is there. You see, in our primary misery and perplexity we could easily think there is nothing very much in the Christian faith after all. And that it is not worth our going on. But when we enter into God’s house and see others coming together, often our doubts soon disappear. We say to ourselves albeit unconsciously: ‘Here are people who think the Christian life is worth continuing with. Meeting together in Christian fellowship can bring about a radical change in our perspective. An old illustration reminds us that when a piece of coal is taken out of the fire it begins to cool down. When the coal is placed back in the fire it soon heats up again.
PRAYER LINE: Father, help me see, even more clearly than ever, the strength that flows towards me from my Christian family. Just as I am encouraged by it, help me to encourage others, in Jesus’ name I ask. Amen. EDWJ
When we die to all about us, we live to God above us.

DAY 237 SATURDAY August 25 2018
‘The Lord knows how to rescue the goodly from trials’ (v9)
You see a lady who suffers debilitating pain and yet she is there singing God’s praises. You hear the inspiring prayers of a father who yearns for his family to come to Christ. You see a single-parent mother who struggles to make ends meet. You see all these and it has a powerful effect on your perspective. Paul reminds us in 1 Cor 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” One of the things the devil delights to do is to persuade us that the trial we are going through is unique, that no one has ever experienced our problem to the degree we are experiencing it. When you come in contact with others in the family of God you begin to see that is just not true. You rub shoulders with people you know have gone through difficult and desperate experiences – experiences more distressing than you have ever faced. Yet they still continue to stand and worship. You see, in the church we have an opportunity to evaluate 1 Cor 10:13 in a clear light The truth is seen in its highest form. Others have gone through what we have gone through and the knowledge of this helps us in our suffering.
PRAYER LINE: Father, the more I dwell on the benefits of Christian fellowship, the more I see how wise and considerate are Your purposes. Help me not to neglect this most marvelous and helpful means of grace. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. (EDWJ)
The unseen Spirit of God is the greatest protection against sin’s unseen dangers.

DAY 238 SUNDAY August 26 2018
“To be conformed to the likeness of his Son’(v29)
The Bible says, “Those God foreknew he… predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son. When you read the preceding verses in the chapter you discover God does this through prayer. This should encourage you to pray. Many times we don’t pray because we don’t think anything’s happening. But with God, something’s always happening! We wonder. “When is He going to work? What we fail to understand is – He’s always working. When it comes to prayer He’s either answering the way you hoped, or changing your heart through the Spirit’s intercession to bring your prayer into harmony with His will. You say, “But I don’t see anything happening.’ When you plant a seed, you don’t come back the next day expecting greet shoots and leaves. Does that mean nothing’s happening? No, a host of necessary processes are taking place below the ground where you can’t see them. Don’t make the mistake of thinking because you don’t see the evidence that nothing’s happening. It’s just not harvest time yet. One way in which God is making us more like Jesus is by helping us to pray the way Jesus prayed. ‘Not my will, but thine, be done’ (Lk 22:42 KJV) That means when your prayer lines up with His will, He’s already working on it even though you can’t see it. And if your prayer isn’t in accordance with His will, He’s working to change your request by changing you. Unanswered prayer can be as big a blessing as answered prayer, when it keeps us from violating God’s will. And, what is God’s will? To make you more like Jesus! (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Father, please make my prayer life make me like Jesus. This I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prayer works when we yield to Jesus.

DAY 239 MONDAY August 27 2018
And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. (v4)
Recently, my daughter showed me her collection of sea glass. Also known as beach glass, the varied bits of coloured glass are sometimes pieces of pottery but often thy are pieces of shattered glass bottles. Originally the glass had a purpose, but then it was casually thrown away and became broken. If the discarded glass ends up in an ocean, its journey is just beginning. As it is relentlessly tossed about by currents and tides, its jugged edges are ground down by the sand and waves and eventually are smoothed away and rounded off. The result is something beautiful. The jewel-like see glass has found new life and is treasured by collectors and artists. In a similar way, a broken life can be renewed when it is touched by God’s love and grace.
In Old Testament, we read that when the prophet Jeremiah watched a potter working, he noticed that if an object was marred the potter simply reshaped it (Jer 18:1-6) God explained that in His hands the people of ancient Israel were like clay, which He would shape as He saw best.
We are never too badly broken for God to reshape. He loves us in spite of our imperfections and past mistakes, and He desires to make us beautiful – Cindy Hess Kasper
PRAYER LINE: Have Thine owe way Lord! Have Thine own way
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay;
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still – Pollard.
When melted by trial, we can be fully molded by the Potter (ODB)

DAY 240 TUESDAY August 28 2018
FOR SALE “AS IS” Rev 5:1-12
“And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.” (v9)
A house listed for sale “As Is” usually means the seller is unable or unwilling to spend any money to repair it or made it attractive. Any necessary repairs or desired improvements are the responsibility of the buyer after the purchase is complete. “As Is” on a real estate listing is equivalent to saying, “Buyer beware. Home may require significant further investment.” How remarkable that when Jesus died, He paid the highest price for each of us, regardless of our condition. Revelation 5 describes a scene in heaven where only “The lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David” is found worthy to open and read a sealed scroll (vv3-5) He appears as a Lamb and becomes the object of praise in a new song.” For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth (vv 9-10) Jesus Christ willingly purchased us for God with His blood. We were bought “as is” faults, defects, needed renovation included. By faith we are now under His Ownership, in the process of remodeling for God’s glory. How wonderful that God knew us, loved us, and bought us just as we are – David McCasland. PRAYER LINE: Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow – Hall
God knows us inside and out. No renovation project is too big for Him (ODB)

DAY 241 WEDNESDAY August 29 2018
Praise the LORD! Ps 150:1
Psalm 150 is not a beautiful expression of praise, it’s also a lesson in praising the Lord. It tells us where to praise, why we’re to praise, how we’re to praise, and who should offer praise.
Where do we praise? In God’s “sanctuary” and “mighty firmament” (v.1) Wherever we are in the world is a proper place to praise the One who created all things.
Why do we praise? First, because of what God does. He performs “mighty acts.” Second, because of who God is. The psalmist praised Him for “His excellent greatness” (v2) The all powerful Creator is the sustainer of the universe.
How should we praise? Loudly, Softly, Smoothingly, Enthusiastically, Rhythmically, Boldly, Unexpectedly. Fearlessly, In other words, we can praise God in many ways and on many occasions (vv3-5)
Who should praise? “Everything that has breath” (v6) Young and old, Rich and poor, Weak and strong, Every living creature. God’s will is for everyone to whom He gave the breath of life to use that breath to acknowledge His power and greatness.
Praise is our enthusiastic expression of gratitude to God for reigning in glory forever – Julis Ackerman Link.
PRAYER LINE: Let every creature rise and bring Peculiar honours to our king; Angels descend with songs again; And earth repeat the loud amen! – Watts
Praise is the overflow of a joyful heart. (ODB)

DAY 242 THURSDAY August 30 2018
He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. (v22)
A restaurant owner in the village of Abu Ghost, just outside Jerusalem, offered a 50-percent discount for patrons who turned off their call phones. Jaw dat Ibrahim believes that smart phones have shifted the focus of meals from companionship and conversation to surfing, texting, and business calls. “Technology is very good” Ibrahim says, “But …when you are with your family and your friends, you can just wait for half an hour and enjoy the food and enjoy the company.” How easily we can be distracted by many things whether in our relationship with others or with the Lord. Jesus told His followers that spiritual distraction begins with hearts that have grown dull, ears that are hard of hearing, and eyes that are closed (Matt 13:15) Using the illustration of a farmer scattering seed, Jesus compared the seed that fell among thorns to a person which hears God’s Word but whose heart is focused on other things. “The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (v22) There is great value in having times throughout each day when we turn off the distractions of mind and heart and focus on the Lord – David McCasland
PRAYER LINE: O Lord, help me to turn off all the distractions around me and focus on You, May my heart be good soil for the seed of Your Word today.
Focusing on Christ puts everything else in perspective. (ODB)

DAY 243 FRIDAY August 31 2018
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (v16)
When Deng Jinjie saw people struggling in the water of The Sunshi River in the Hunan province of China, he didn’t just walk by. In an act of heroism, he jumped into the water and helped save four members of a family. Unfortunately, the family left the area while he was still in the water. Sadly, Jinjie, exhausted from his rescue efforts, was overwhelmed and swept away by the river and drowned.
When we were drowning in our sin, Jesus Christ gave His life to come to our aid. We were the ones He came to rescue. He came down from heaven above and pulled us to safety. He did this by taking the punishment for all of our wrongdoing as He died on the cross. (1 Pet 2:24) and 3 days later was resurrected. The Bible says, “By this we know love, because (Jesus) laid down His life for us” (1Jn 3:16) Jesus’ sacrificial love for us now inspires us to show genuine love “in deed in truth” (v18) to others with whom we have relationships.
If we overlook Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice on our behalf, we’ll fail to see and experience His love. Today, consider the connection between His sacrifice and His love for you. He has come for your rescue – Jennifer Benson Schuldt.
PRAYER LINE: Rescued: By Jesus’ love;
Rescued: for life above;
Rescued; to serve my king;
Rescued; My praise to bring – Verway
Jesus laid down His life to show His love for us (ODB)

“But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. “ (v26)
The first attitude that chains us to the past is unforgiveness. Nothing will reveal the health of our relationship with God more than how we respond to those who have wronged us. Nothing has more potential for poisoning our lives and sabotaging our future than the way in which we handle life’s offences. There are three basic misconceptions that serve as barriers to a life of forgiveness.
Once we are wronged, we are faced with the opportunity to make a decision to forgive – to release that person from their wrongdoing. This requires an act of the will, usually in the face of some very real and intense emotions of hurt, disappointment, and anger. Many believe that forgiveness is accompanied simply by this choice. We mistakenly assume that forgiveness as defined by our decision not to “return evil for evil.” The first step in experiencing this work is to realize our own inability either to forgive or to forget offences. Achieving a resolution to these emotions takes a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. In Lk 17:4 Jesus speaks regarding forgiveness “And if he sins against you seven times in a day and seventy times in a day return to you, saying “I repent” you should forgive Him. In Matt 18:22 Jesus takes this thought several steps further by saying that we must forgive “seventy times seven” (Mike FehlaueR)
PRAYER LINE: Father, help me through the supernatural word of the Holy Spirit to forgive and forget offences, in Jesus’ Name, I ask. Amen.
Faith steps in when pride steps out.

…’I repent; you should forgive him’
(2)I AM ONLY REQUIRED TO FORGIVE THOSE WHO ASK FOR FORGIVENESS Many come to this conclusion based on the verse in Lk 17:4. (Read) It is important that the teaching on forgiveness in this verse is not all – inclusive. When Jesus hung on the cross, there were seven statements that He made, one of which was, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” In Ephesians we read, And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph 4:32)
How were we forgiven? Christ forgave us long before we asked for forgiveness or knew that we needed to be forgiven. True forgiveness must be based on our decision and upon the work of God that has been established in our hearts apart from and unaffected by the action and attitudes of others.
(3)UNFORGIVENESS GIVES CONTROL. There is much about forgiveness within the parable of the unforgiving servant found in Matt 18:22-35. Verse 34 says, And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. In this verse, Jesus teaches that when we attempt to imprison with our unforgiveness, it is actually we who are imprisoned and tormented. We have not regained control, we have actually relinquished control of our hearts and emotions. It is so important for us to discover the security we have in God’s love. (Mike FehlaueR)
PRAYER LINE: We lack wisdom, Lord, in many situations. We know we’ll make mistakes, but teach us to be dependent on You. Thank You that You will be faithful. Grow our roots deep in You.
Real wisdom is looking at the world from God’s point of view.

‘Judge not, that ye be not judged’ (v1)
Jesus warns about the danger of sitting in judgment of others with His words of caution in Matt 7:1-6. Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use it will be measured neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. Traditionally, we have interpreted verse 6 to mean that we should not attempt to witness to those who do not want to hear the gospel. If we do, they will treat our words with contempt and turn on us in some way. Actually, Jesus is still talking about the danger of sitting in judgment over someone’s life. He is saying when we climb on someone else’s back in judgment, we are taking the pearl of God’s mercy (that which is holy) and giving Satan an opportunity to trample God’s mercy that has been covering our transgressions. Remember the words of Jesus in Matt 7:1-2 Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. One man felt it necessary to publicly judge another man, and within a year his own private sin was exposed to the public. Unforgivness is definitely a door that must, by the grace of God, Slam shut. (Mike FehlaueR)
PRAYER LINE: Lord, help us to come into Your presence with eyes and hearts wide open to all that You are and want us to become. Thank You for revealing Yourself to us and for the joy of basking in the greatness of Your glory.
Stay close to God and you will never be the same.

“A GOOD name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold” (v1)
Visitors to a zoo were outraged when the “African Lion” started barking instead of roaring. Zoo staff said they had disguised a Tibetan mastiff – a very large dog- as a lion because they could not afford the real thing. Needless to say, the zoo’s reputation was sullied and people will think twice before visiting it. Reputation is fragile, once it’s damaged, it’s hard to restore. It is not uncommon to sacrifice a good reputation on the altar of power, prestige, or profit. This too could be our story. Scripture encourages us: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches” (Prov 22:1) God is telling us that true value must be placed not in what we have but in who we are .
Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates said, “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavour to be what you desire to appear.” As followers of Jesus, we hear His name. because of His love for us, we strive to walk worthy of Him, reflecting His likeness in our words and deeds.
When we fall, He picks us up again by His love. By our example, others around us will be led to praise the God who has redeemed and transformed us (Matt 5:16) for the name of the Lord is worthy of glory, honour, and all praise – Poh Fang Chia.
PRAYER LINE: Lord, I do want to walk worthy of Your name because You have made me Your own. I know I can’t live perfectly, but I want to reflect to others a little of who You are. Please show Yourself through me.
The purest treasure mortal times afford is a spotless reputation – Shakespeare. (ODB)

“ For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (v14)
In 1859, during the turbulent years prior to America Civil War, Abraham Lincoln had the opportunity to speak to the Agricultural Society in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As he spoke, he shared with them the story of an ancient monarch’s search for a sentence that was “true and appropriate in all times and situations” His wise men, faced with this heady challenge, gave him the sentence, “And this, too, shall pass away.” This is certainly true of our present world – it is constantly in the process of deterioration. And it’s not happening just to the world; we also face the reality in our lives that our days are numbered. James wrote, “For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (Jas 4:14) Although our current life is temporary and will pass away, the God we worship and serve is eternal. He has shared that eternity with us through the gift of His Son Jesus Christ. He promises us a life that will never pass away: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (Jn 3:16)
When Christ returns, He will take us home to be with Him forever – Bill Crowder.
PRAYER LINE: Awake my soul and sing Of Him who died for thee, And hail Him as thy matchless king Through all eternity – Bridges Thring.
For hope today, remember the end of the story-eternity with God. (ODB)

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,”(v8)
While I was pasturing a church early in my ministry, my daughter Libby asked me, “Dad, are we famous”? To which I replied, ‘No, Libby, we’re not famous. “She thought for a moment and then said rather indignantly, “Well, we would be if more people knew about us.”
Poor Libby! Only 7 years old and already struggling with what many of us struggle with throughout life: Who recognizes us, and are we getting the recognition we think we deserve? Our desire for recognition wouldn’t be such a problem if it didn’t tend to replace Jesus as the focus of our attention. But being absorbed with ourselves crowds Him out of the picture. Life cannot be all about us and all about Jesus at the same time. This makes Paul’s statement that he counted “everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ” (Phil 3:8 ESV) strategically important. Faced with a choice between himself and Jesus, Paul intentionally discarded the things that would draw attention to himself so he could concentrate on knowing and experiencing Jesus (vv7-8,10) For us, the decision is the same. Will we live to draw attention to ourselves? Or will we focus on the privilege of knowing and experiencing Jesus more intimately? Joe Stowell.
PAYER LINE: Lord, thank You for reminding me of the Value of knowing You more intimately, Help me to keep myself out f the way as I pursue a deeper walk with You.
Do our choices bring honour to God or to us?

“Even when we were dead in sins, (Go) quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” (v5)
Can a man be officially alive after being declared legally dead? That question became international news when a man from Ohio showed up in good health after being reported missing more than 25 years earlier. At the time of his disappearance he had been unemployed, addicted, and hopelessly behind in child support payments. So he decided to go into hiding. On his return, however, he discovered how hard it is to come back from the dead. When the man went to court to reverse the ruling that had declared him legally dead, the judge turned down his request , citing a 5-year time limit for changing a death ruling.
That unusual request of a human court turns out to be common experience for God. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians tells us that though we were spiritually dead, God “make us alive with Christ” (Eph 21:5)
Yet declaring and making us spiritually alive was a deeply painful matter for God. Our sin and its consequent spiritual death required the suffering death and resurrection of God’s Son (vv4-7)
It’s one thing to show evidence of physical life. Our challenge is to show evidence of spiritual life Having been declared alive in Christ, we are called to live in gratitude for the immeasurable mercy and life given in us – Mart De Haan.
PRAYER LINE: Father in heaven, our hearts are full of gratitude for the way You reached out to us when we were dead in our sins. May we live joyfully and with unending appreciation for what You did to give us life.
Jesus died that we might live (ODB)

“I will not forget Your word. (v16)
Once in a while my wife and I open the mail to find a letter with no words on it. When we take the “letter” out of the envelope, we see a piece of paper with nothing more on it than a colourful mark made with a felt pen. Those “letters” warm our hearts because they’re from our preschool granddaughter Katie, who lives in another state. Even without words, these letters tell us that she loves us and is thinking about us.
We all cherish letters from those we love and those who love us. That’s why there is so much encouragement in the fact that our heavenly Father has given us a letter called the Bible. The value of Scripture goes beyond its words of power, challenge, and wisdom. Amid all of the stories, teaching, and guidance this Book provides, the overriding idea is that God loves us and has planned our rescue. It tells us of His love in overseeing our existence. (Ps 139), meeting our needs (Matt 6:31-34) comforting us (2 Cor 1:3-4), and saving us through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus (Rom 1:16-17)
You are loved beyond imagination. God says so in His inspired and inspiring message to you. No wonder the psalmist wrote, I will not forget Your word’ (Ps 119:165). It is one amazing letter – Dave Branon.
Lord, help me to examine the Bible’s pages, understand its truths, and apply its teachings to my life. May I be as excited about Your letter to me as I am about a letter, email, or Facebook posting by a friend.
The love of God for us is revealed in His letter to us – the Bible (ODB)

“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.” (v1)
Healing of emotional wounds is a process, not something that takes place all at once or overnight. It requires an investment of time and diligent obedience to God’s commands.
Very often, it seems no progress is being made at all. You may feel you have so many problems you are getting absolutely nowhere. But you are. You have to keep in mind that even though you have a long way to go, you have also come a long way. The solution is to thank God for the progress you have made thus far and to trust Him to lead you on to eventual victory – one step at a time.
One Step At A Time. This is you when you first start the process of transformation with God. You’re all knotted up. Each knot represents a different problem in your life. Untangling those knots and straightening out those problems is going to take a bit of time and effort, so don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t happen all at once. If you want to receive emotional healing from and come into an area of wholeness, you must realize that healing is a process and allow the Lord to heal you and your problems in His own way and in His own time. Your part is to cooperate with Him in whatever area He chooses to start dealing with you first (Joyce Meyer)
PRAYER LINE: Read books about God’s unconditional, unending love. Believe God loves you. Read God’s love as Apostle Paul encourages us to do in Eph 3. Learn to Forgive, Reconcile, your transformation will come, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
In every challenge, there is an open door.

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (v14)
One of the problems is that in our modern, instantaneous society we tend to jump from one thing to another. We have come to expect everything to be quick and easy. We won’t stick with a problem until we see a breakthrough and know that we have victory in that area.
It sometimes seems you are not making any progress because the Lord is untying your knots one at a time. It may be hard, it may take time, but if you will “stick with the programme,” sooner or later you will see the victory and experience the freedom you have wanted so long. Keep Pressing On. The main thing God asks or requires we do to bring about the answer to our problems is to believe and keep pressing on. Study the word of God and spend time with Him. What else can we do? Just because we have a knot in our life does not mean we are able to untie it ourselves. Some knots are harder than others to untie. In fact, if we are not careful we can even make them worse than they were. Problems People Manifest (1) Some people experience feelings of unworthiness. They have shame-based self-hatred, a sense of rejection (2) Other people become perfectionists. They are always trying to prove their worth and gain love and acceptance through performance (3) Still others are supersensitive Recall what Paul says about love in 1 Cor 13:5… Are you ‘touchy’? (4) Some suffer from poor self-esteem. They allow themselves to be controlled by others (Joyce Meyer)
PRAYER LINE: God does not require you to be perfect. Which is why He sent Jesus the Perfect Sacrifice for us. Father, please help me to get over issues that erode my confidence in Your Word. In Jesus Name. Amen.
We might look good on the outside without really being good on the inside.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (v6)
Many people are hurting so badly, and they are crying out for help. The problem is, they are not willing to receive the help they need from God.
The truth is, no matter how much we may want or need help, we are never going to receive it until we are willing to do things God’s way. It is amazing how many times we want help, but we want God to do it our way. God wants us to do it His way. In Jn 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the Way.” What Jesus meant when He said, “I am the Way,” is that He has a certain way of doing things, and if we will submit to His way, everything will work out for us. But so often we wrestle and struggle with Him, trying to get Him to do things our way. It just won’t work. The Bible plainly teaches that if we will learn and act on the Word, God will bless our lives. The world will tell us that if we humble ourselves, apologize for our wrongs, and do the thing necessary for peace, we are being weak and letting others walk all over us. But God says it is meekness not weakness. Whenever God looks for someone to use, He always looks for a meek person. Only a meek person will consistently obey God. The Bible says that Moses was the meekest man on the face of the earth when God called him to do the job He had set aside for him. (Num 12:3) All we have to do today is what Moses had to do – Obey (Joyce Meyer )
PRAYER LINE: What a fellowship, what a joy divine, Leaning on the everlasting arms; O how bright the path grows from day to day, Leaning on the everlasting arms – Hottman
With God’s strength behind you and His arms beneath you, you can face whatever lies ahead of you.

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (v22)
To receive from God what He has promised us in His Word, we must obey the Word. Yes, we must receive the Word, but then we must become doers of the Word and not hearers only. We need to go to Bible study and church to hear the Word, but we also need to go out into the world and put that Word into practice in our daily lives.
There will be times when doing what the Word says is not easy; times when we don’t feel like doing what it tells us to do. Obeying the Word requires consistency. It can’t be hit or miss. We can’t just do it for a while to see if it works. There must be a dedication and commitment to do the Word whatever the outcome. “Yes,” you may say, “but I have been doing the Word for a long time, and I still don’t have the victory! “Then do it some more. Nobody knows exactly how long it is going to take for the Word to begin in his life. But I assure you that if you keep at it, sooner or later it will work. God’s way works. And there is no other way that does. I know it is often a struggle to “keep on keeping on” – especially when it seems that nothing is happening. I know it’s a fight. I know Satan tries to keep you out of the Word, and once you do get into the Word, he tries everything in his power to keep you from putting the Word into practice in your life.
PRAYER LINE: Ask God to help by giving you a desire to get into His Word and to do it no matter how hard it is or how long it takes to produce any results in your life. (Joyce Meyer)
‘People who doubt what we say may change their minds when they see what we do.

“Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” (v8)
There was a certain man there who had suffered with a deep-seated and lingering disorder for thirty – eight years. When Jesus noticed him lying there (helpless) knowing that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, “Do you want to become well”? (Jn 5:5-6.) Isn’t this an amazing question for Jesus to ask this poor man who had been sick for thirty –eight long years. “Do you really want to become well?” That is the Lord’s question to you as you read these words right now: “Do you really want to become well? “Do you know there are people who really don’t want to get well? They just want to talk about their problem. Are you one of those people? Do you really want to get well or you just want to talk about your problem?
Sometimes people get addicted to having a problem. It becomes their identity; their life. It defines everything they think and say and do. All their being is centered around it. If you have ‘ “deep-seated and lingering disorder,” the Lord wants you to know that it does not have to be the central focal point of your entire existence. He wants you to trust Him and cooperate with Him as He leads you to victory over that problem one step at a time (Joyce Meyer)
PRAYER LINE: Whatever your problem may be, God has promised to meet your need and to repay you for the loss, Father, teach me to face the truth to unlock the prison doors that many have held me in bondage. In Jesus name I pray. Amen
Our highest privilege is to talk to God.

Instead of your (former shame you shall have a twofold recompense; instead of dishonor and reproach (your people) shall rejoice in their position. Therefore in their land they shall possess double (what they had forfeited); everlasting joy shall be theirs (Isa 61:7)
The word recompense means “repayment.” So when the prophet says that the Lord will recompense us for our shame, dishonour, and reproach, he means that God will make it up to us for all the hurts we have experienced in life. The Bible says, Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for (God’s) wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine. I will repay (requite), says the Lord (Rom. 12:19) One of the greatest mistakes we make is trying to avenge ourselves, to get even, to bring the scales of justice into balance, rather than trusting God to do that for us. If we try to do it ourselves, we only wind up making a huge mess. The Bible says, in Ps 37:1-2: Fret not yourself because of evildoers, neither be envious against those who work unrighteous (that which is not upright or in the right standing with God) For they shall soon be cut down like grass and wither as the green herb. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Rom 5:5) Too often believers don’t seem to realize they are not to take matters into their hands. Part of the problem is that we as Christians have not yet learned that “into each life some rain must fall” Ps 34:19 says Many evils confront the (consistently) righteous…But the Bible teaches that if we continue to trust God no matter what happens to us, if we have our eyes on Him and have faith and confidence in Him He will balance out the scales (Read Ps 34:19b) (Joyce Meyer)
PRAYER LINE: Father, I thank You that in all of our pains and struggles we can find comfort in You. Help us to bring all our hurts to You – both spiritual and physical – and to trust that You will make a way.
True justice is worth waiting for.

“After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward” (v1)
In this passage we see that the Lord came to Abraham and promised that if he would be faithful and obedient to Him, He Himself would be his great recompense and reward. Later in Gal. 3 we are told that the blessing of Abraham was not just for him alone, but for all of us who are the Children of Abraham through faith in God’s Son Jesus Christ. Each of us can be blessed as Abraham was, if we will be as faithful and obedient as he was. God will bless you too – if you will walk in His ways and trust Him to be your recompense, your very great reward, your vindicator. In Gen 2:3, as part of the covenant the Lord made with Abraham, God told Abraham that if he would obey Him, God would bless those who blessed him and curse those who cursed him. If you will stop being angry at all the things that have happened to you and quit trying to get revenge on all those who have harmed you, the God of Justice will balance it all out and make it all right. All of us manifest what has happened to us in our life. Our past experiences are the cause of much of our negative attitude and behaviours. But while it may be the reason we are the way we are, it is not any reason to stay that way. If you will learn to trust all of your past to the Lord, He will repay you twofold for the misery you have suffered. (Joyce Meyer)
PRAYER LINE: Father, please help me to trust You and not dwell on anger and revenge and reward me for amazing testimony that will win souls for the kingdom, In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Compassion offers whatever is necessary to heal.

“When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek. “ (V8)
While travelling on an airplane with her 4 and 2 year old daughters, a young mom worked at keeping them busy so they wouldn’t disturb others. When the pilot’s voice came over the intercom for an announcement, Catherine, the young girl, paused from her activities and put her head down. When the pilot finished, she whispered “Amen.” Perhaps because there had been recent natural disaster, she thought the pilot was praying. Like the little girl, I want a heart that turns my thoughts toward prayer quickly. I think it would be fair to say that the psalmist David had that kind of hearts. We get hints of that in Psalm 27 as he speaks of facing difficult foes (v2). He said, “Your face, LORD, I will seek” (v8) Some say that David was remembering the time he was fleeing from Saul (1 Sam 21:10) or from his son Absalom (2 Sam 15:13-14) when he wrote this psalm. Prayer and dependence on God were in the forefront of David’s thinking, and he found Him to be his sanctuary (Ps 27:4-5) We need a sanctuary as well. Perhaps reading or praying this psalm and others could help us to develop that closeness to our Father-God. As God becomes our sanctuary, we’ll more readily turn our hearts toward Him in prayer – Anne Cetas.
Teach me, Father, what it means to run to You and have You as my sanctuary. Help me not to worry about the words I say, but just to express my heart to You and to nestle down close to You.
In prayer, God can still our hearts and quiet our minds (ODB)

THE SMALL GIANT 1 Sam 17:32-37
“… The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee” (v37)
The towering enemy strides into the Valley of Elah. He stands 9 feet tall, and his coat of armor, made of many small bronze plates, glimmers in the sunlight. The shaft of his spear is wrapped with cords so it can spin through the air and be thrown with greater distance and accuracy. Goliath looks invincible.
But David knows better. While Goliath may look a giant and act like a giant, in contrast to the living God he is small. David has a right view of God and therefore a right view of the circumstances. He sees Goliath as one who is defying the armies of the living God (1 Sam 17:26) He confidently appears before Goliath in his shepherd’s clothes, armed with only his staff, five stones, and a sling. His confidence is not in what he has but in who is with him (v45)
What ‘Goliath’ are you facing right now? It may be an impossible situation at work, a financial difficulty, or a broken relationship. With God all things are small in comparison. Nothing is too big for Him. The words of the hymn writer Charles Wesley remind us, ‘Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees, and looks to that alone, laughs at impossibilities, and cries it shall be done.” God is able to deliver you if that’s His desire, and He may do so in ways you don’t expect – Poh Fang Chia.
PRAYER LINE: Not to be strong is the battle, Not to be swift is the race; Yet to the true and the faithful Victory is promised through grace – Crosby
Don’t tell God how big your giants are, Tell your giants how big your God is.

For with God, nothing shall be impossible (Lk 1:37)
The awesomeness of God is made manifest in situation that are tagged impossible. Our God likes to get involved in such cases so that they serve as reference points to those who have doubts in their hearts about Him. What is the impossible situation you are confronted with? God can use it to demonstrate to the world that there is no situation no matter how bad, that He cannot reverse. Abraham and Sarah had given up and were no longer optimistic about the promise of a child to them. Sarah could not help laughing when she heard that time and life would be restored to her, because she knew her age and the deadness of her womb. Then the Lord asked, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Are you looking at the doctor’s professional report concerning your case? I want to let you know that the report of the Lord will override every negative report concerning you in Jesus’ Name.
Lazarus was dead and was already buried for four days (Jn 11:39) Nobody wanted to get close to his tomb because he was already stinking; yet the Lord went to that hopeless situation and reversed the irreversible. Have you been labeled a permanent failure. Know that there is God in heaven who works wonders. He changes times and seasons” (Dan 2:21) He removeth kings, and setteth up kings (Dan 2:21) He giveth wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding (Dan 2:21)
PRAYER LINE: With those assurances, you should thank God and praise Him all your life, knowing that your desires will come to pass. There shall be expedited reversal of every negative circumstance in your life today, in Jesus’ Name.
There is no impossibility with God (O.H)

GENTLE JESUS Matt 18:1-10
“… Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. “ (v3)
Charles Wesley (1707-1788) was a Methodist evangelist who wrote more than 9,000 hymns and sacred poems. Some, like “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing,” are great, soaring hymns of praise. But his poem “Gentle Jesus, Meek and Mild,” first published in 1742, is a child’s quiet prayer that captures the essence of how all of us should seek the Lord in sincere, simple faith. Loving Jesus, gentle Lamb In Thy gracious hands I am, Make me, Saviour, what Thou art. Live Thyself within my heart. When some followers of Jesus were jockeying for position in His kingdom, the Lord “called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of Heaven” (Matt 18:2-3) Not many children seek position or power. Instead, they want acceptance and security. They cling to the adults who love and care for them, Jesus never turned children away. The last stanza of Wesley’s poem shows a child’s desire to be like Jesus.
I shall then show forth Thy praise Serve Thee all my happy days Then the world shall always see Christ the holy Child in me.” – David McCasland
PRAYER LINE: Father, give me the faith of a little child. I want to know Your love and care, and to rest in Your embrace. Grant my desire to be like You in all my ways that I might live for Your honour.
Faith shines brightest in a childlike heart. (ODB)

THE BLAME GAME Gen 16:1-6,21:8-13
“… My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.” (Gen 16:5)
When Jenny’s husband left her for another woman, she vowed that she would never meet his new wife. But when she realized that her bitterness was damaging her children’s relationship with their father, she asked for God’s help to take the first steps towards overcoming bitterness in a situation she couldn’t change. In Gen 16. we read the story of a couple to whom God later promised a baby. When Sarai suggested that her husband Abram have a child with their servant Hagar, she wasn’t fully trusting God for the child He had promised. When the baby was born, Hagar depised Sarai (Gen 16:3-4), and Sarai became bitter (vv5-6) Hagar had been the slave with no rights and suddenly she was special. How did Sarai react? By blaming others, including Abram (v5). God’s promise was realized in the birth of Isaac 14years later. Even his weaning celebration was spoiled by Sarai’s attitude (21:8-10) It may never have been easy for Sarai to have lived with the consequences of their decision to go ahead of God. It may have taken a miracle of grace to change her attitude, but that could have transformed everything. Sarai couldn’t reverse the decision, but through God’s strength she could have lived with it differently and given God the glory – Marion Stroud.
PRAYER LINE: Thank You, Lord, that though our situations may not change, Your grace is strong enough to change us in our situations. Help us as we struggle sometimes to live in this sinful world.
By God’s grace, we reflect His light in the dark times (ODB)

STAYING POWER (1) 2 Cor 4:7-15
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair” (v8)
Here’s a saying that has proven to be true. What doesn’t destroy us makes us stronger. And here are four sayings that have proved to be false. (1) When you become a Christian all your problems are over. Whoever told you that didn’t get it from Scripture. Paul said, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed, perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned, struck down, but not destroyed” (vv 8-9) (2) All the problems you’ll ever encounter are addressed in the Bible” God tells us many things in His Word, but He still require us to “walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7 KJV) That means receiving guidance from His Word, from the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and from the course of godly friends. (3) If you’re having problems you must be unspiritual” The opposite is true. Satan’s attack is proof that you haven’t been conquered, that you represent a threat to the kingdom of darkness, and that you’re doing the will of God. And the greater the attack, the greater the level of blessing that awaits you beyond it, so keep going. (4) Being exposed to sound Bible teaching automatically solves every problem. It will certainly help you solve your problem, but it won’t solve them for you. You must be a doer of the word and not a ‘hearer only’ (Jas 1:23) Paul writes, ‘Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power; Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies (and tricks) of the devil (Eph 6:10-11 NLT) In other words, you need “staying power” (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Let my hands perform His bidding, Let my feet run in His ways, Let my eyes see Jesus only Let my lips speak forth His praise – James
When we walk with God, we leave behind a sweet fragrance that can inspire others to follow.

STAYING POWER (2) Jn 16:25-33
Here on earth you will have many trials (v33)
Two more reasons you need to develop staying power are (1) It overcomes prolonged illness. When sickness saps your physical, emotional, and mental strength – that’s when you need staying power. The Bible says, The strong spirit of a man (or woman) sustains him in bodily pain or trouble, but a weak and broken spirit who can raise up or bear? (Prov 18:14 AMP) Charles Spurgeon was known to multitudes as “the prince of preachers. His ministry impacted London and much of the British Isles. Yet he was so sick that he had to spend a lot of his time resting in Southern France. His wife, who became an invalid after the birth of their twin sons, transcended her physical limitations with staying power. And it’s largely because of her staying power that Spurgeon’s books are on the Shelves of more people around the world than the books of most other ministers. (2) It overcomes financial limitations. George Muller, who founded homes for orphans in England, is a prime example of staying power. He saved the lives of thousands of children, and he did it by faith. Many times he didn’t have the money to buy food for their next meal, but he never complained. Instead the prayed. And in response to his faith, money poured in all over the world, much of it from people he never knew. Muller lived by the scriptural principle, Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer; (Rom 12:11-12 NIV 2011 Edition) (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: I was lost but Jesus found me Found the sheep that went astray, Threw His loving arms around me, Drew me back into His way – Rowley
Angels rejoice when we repent.

STAYING POWER (3) Judges 11:34-40
I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back (v35 KJV)
Staying power overcomes family opposition. When Jephthan’s family disowned him and threw him out of the house, he built an army that delivered Israel from the hands of their enemies. As a result, he ended up becoming the nations’ youngest judge. When faced with the challenge to “fold up or hold up,” David Livingstone demonstrated staying power. His wife, Mary, gave him so much trouble, always complaining and criticizing, that she made his life’s work almost impossible. The tension between them became so great that Livingstone sent her home to England for a period of more than twelve years while he suffered, bled, and ultimately died in Africa for the cause of Christ. When Jesus went home to Nazareth to minister to the people, He grew up around, some of them tried to throw Him off a cliff. And in spite of His teachings and miracles His family thought He was mad. Did that hurt Him? Of course. But He didn’t let it stop Him. He said: “Anyone who wants to be my follower must love me far more than he does his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers or sisters – yes more than his own life – otherwise, he cannot be my disciple. And no one can be my disciple who does not carry his own cross and follow me…don’t begin until you (first) count the cost (Lk 14:26-28 TLB) When your family opposes you, love them and pray for them because God can change their hearts. And until He does, keep serving Him. (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: My life, my love, I give to Thee, Thou Lamb of God who died for me, Oh, may I ever faithful be, My Saviour and my God! – Hudson
Love calls for commitment.

STAYING POWER (4) Gen 37:1-11
Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him (v5)
Staying power overcomes misunderstanding and rejection. Sometimes the people you count on to support you will actually try to undercut you. When God gives you a vision too big for them to handle, they’ll say, “You’re getting too big for your boots, and then try to cut you down to size! Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, then went home and told their father he’d been killed by a wild beast. Can you imagine how Joseph felt when someone asked, “Tell me about your family?”
General Dwight D Eisenhower said, “There are no victories at bargain prices.” And sadly, betrayal happens as often in church as in secular society. When Charles Spurgeon was in his early twenties, such large crowds came to his church that the building couldn’t accommodate them. So he met with thirty of his church leaders and suggested they build an auditorium that would seat 5,500 people. Allegedly, he told them that if any of them doubted the possibility of accomplishing this should leave. And twenty – three did! But Spurgeon held true to the vision God had given him. He had the ‘stick ability to see it through, and for over thirty-five years crowds parked the Metropolitan Tabernacle morning and night, making it one of the most influential churches in history. ‘Got any rivers you think are un-crossable? Got any mountain you can’t tunnel through? God specializes in things thought impossible. He can do just what no other can do (Eliason) (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: My hope is in the Lord who gave Himself for me; And paid the price of all my sin at Calvary, For me He died, for me He lives,
And everlasting life and light He freely gives – Clayton
Christ is the ultimate answer to life’s greatest questions.

“I am the LORD, who heals you.”(Exo 15:26)
The doctors I know are smart, hard-working, and compassionate. They have relieved my suffering on many occasions, and I am grateful for their expertise in diagnosing illnesses, prescribing medication, setting broken bones, and stitching up wounds. But this does not mean that I place my faith in physicians rather than in God.
For reasons known only to God, He appointed humans to be His partners in the work of caring for creation (Gen 2:15), and doctors are among them. Doctors study medical science and learn how God designed the body. They use this knowledge to help restore us to a healthy condition. But the only reason doctors can do anything to make us better is that God created us with the ability to heal. Surgeons would be useless if incisions didn’t heal. Scientists can learn how God created our bodies to function, and they devise therapies to help restore or cure us, but they are not healers; God is (Exo 15:26). Doctors simply cooperate with God’s original intent and design. So I am grateful for science and doctors, but my praise and thanksgiving go to God, who designed an orderly universe and who created us with minds that can discover how it works. I believe, therefore, that all healing is divine because no healing takes place apart from God. – Julie Ackerman Link
PRAYER LINE: Father God, You are the Great Physician, and I ask for healing, Whether mind, body, spirit, or in all of these. I believe You will give what is best. Thank You for Your goodness, Kindness, and love in things.
When you think of all that’s good, give thanks to God. (ODB)

BE AN ESTHER 1 Cor 10:1-13
These things happened to them as examples for us (v11)
It’s a mistake to think the great achievers in the Bible were somehow different from us and say, ‘In my situation a life like that isn’t possible.’ Esther was born into slavery, and because of her beauty a pagan king made her one of his wives. Talk about feeling out of Haman ploted to have the Jews exterminated, Esther was strategically positioned by God to save them. She discovered her life’s purpose when her uncle Mordecai told her she had ‘come to the kingdom for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14 NKJV), And what was her response? I will go to the king (on behalf of my people) …and if I perish, I perish! (v 16 NKJV) But instead of perishing, she prevailed. So what can we learn from Esther? (1) When you first start out, God won’t give you all the details. That doesn’t mean He doesn’t have a plan. It’s in seeking Him that you discover His plan and draw on His strength. (2) Knowledge is power. Whether you’re a slave or sovereign, when you know God has called you it enables you to overcome each obstacles as it arises. (3) Knowing God’s in control gives you boldness. When Esther said, if I perish, I perish, she was simply putting herself into God’s hands, knowing that even death can be faced with confidence when you trust Him. Not only does God have a place for you here on earth, He has an even better one for you in heaven. And that puts you in the ultimate win-win situation. (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: Lord, give me the grace to accept life right where it has put me, and help me to overcome the fear that would waste my days. Give me the wisdom and desire to make everyday count for You
Life matters –make the most of it.

EVERY HARDSHIP 2 Cor 12:7-10
My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness (v9)
Like many towns, Enterprise, Alabama, has a prominent monument. But the monument in Enterprise is unlike any other. The statute doesn’t recognize a leading citizen it celebrates the work of a beetle. In the early 1900s, this boll weevil made its way from Mexico to the southern US. Within a few years it had destroyed entire crops of cotton; the primary source of revenue. In desperation, farmers started growing another crop-peanuts. Realizing they had been dependent on one crop for too long, they credited the beetle with forcing them to diversify, which led to increased prosperity. The boll weevil is like things that come into our lives and destroy what we have worked hard to accomplish. Devastation results – sometimes financial, emotional, or physical – and it is frightening. We witness the end of life as we know it. But as the people of Enterprise learned, the loss of what is old is an opportunity to discover something new. God may use hardship to get us to give up a bad habit or learn a new virtue. He used a thorn in Paul’s flesh to teach him about grace ( 2 Cor 12:7-9)
Instead of striving to preserve old habits that are no longer effective, we can view every hardship as an opportunity for God to cultivate a new virtue in us – Julie Ackerman Link
PRAYER LINE: O much-tried saint, with fainting heart, The thorn with its abiding pain, With all its wearing, ceaseless ache, Can be the means of priceless gain – Anon.
God often uses bitter experiences to make us better (ODB)

For by grace you have been saved through faith (v8)
Pressed into service in the Royal Navy, John Newton was dismissed for insubordination and turned to a career trafficking in slaves. Notorious for cursing and blasphemy, Newton served on a slave ship during the cruelest days of trans-Atlantic slavery, finally working his way up to captain. A dramatic conversion on the high seas set him on the path to grace. He always felt a sense of under servedness for his new life. He became a rousing evangelical preacher and eventually a leader in the abolitionist movement. Newton appeared before Parliament, giving irrefutable eyewitness testimony to the horror and immorality of the slave. We also know him as the author of the lyrics of perhaps the best-loved hymn of all time. “Amazing Grace”
Newton described any good in himself as an outworking of God’s grace. In doing so, he stands with these great heroes – a murderer and adulterer (king David), a coward (the apostle Peter), and a persecutor of Christian (the apostle Paul)
This same grace is available to all who call upon God, for ‘in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph 1:7) – Philip Yancey.
PRAYER LINE: Amazing grace – how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind but now I see – Newton
Lives rooted in God’s unchanging grace can never be up rooted (ODB)

It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come about which we are speaking (v5)
In line with today’s topic, Loren Jacob in his paper titled “An Angel You Ought to Know” said, “the modern mind cannot conceive of angelic beings. This is due in part to medieval art and literature, which relegate belief in angels to the realm of superstition.” However, angels played notable roles in the Bible. The word “angel” means “messenger” (malaki in Hebrew). They are part of God’s plan in fulfilling His agenda for man. Angels perform many roles which include: (1)They deliver messages from God to man (Lk 1:26-27): (2) They are ministering spirits to man . (Heb 1:14) (3) They are warriors and fight battles on behalf of God. (Dan 10:12-13) (4) They will play prominent roles in the final judgment of the world. (5) They will gather the saints on the last day. In spite of all these, God has not put the world or humanity under their subjection since man will judge them at the end of age. (1 Cor 6:3). Thus, angels are not to be worshipped or glorified. They should be seen as beings meant to serve the believers in God’s plan for humanity.
Angels excel in strength, but they are servants to man. Man’s divine destiny is superior to angels. Consciously resolve in your mind not to see angels as superior to you.
PRAYER LINE: Lord, help me to walk in Your superior revelation for my life. Amen. (NBC)
When we put our problems in God’s hands, He puts His peace in our hearts.

“In this (living hope) you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials” – 1 Pet 1:6.
When I opened my Bible to read Jeremiah 1 through 4, the sub-head ascribed to the book startled me: “Hope in Time of weeping.” I almost cried. The timing was perfect, as I was walking through a season of weeping over the death of my mom.
Felt much the same way after hearing my pastor’s sermon the day before. The title was “Joy in Suffering,” taken from 1 Pet 1:3-9. He gave us an illustration from his own life: the one-year anniversary of his father’s death. The sermon was meaningful for many, but for me it was a gift from God. These and other events were indications backed up by His Word that God would not leave me alone in my grief. Even though the way of sorrow is hard, God sends reminders of His enduring presence. To the Israelites expelled from the Promised Land due to disobedience, God made His presence known by sending prophets like Jeremiah to offer them hope –hope for reconciliation through repentance. And to those He leads through times of testing. He shows His presence through a community of believers who “love one another fervently with a pure heart” (1 Pet 1:22) These indications of God’s presence during trials on earth affirm God’s promise of the living hope awaiting us at the resurrection – Julie Ackerman Link.
PRAYER LINE: Does Jesus care when I’ve said goodbye
To the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad heart aches fill it nearly breaks
Is it ought to Him? Does He see? O yes, He cares – Graceff
We need never be ashamed of our tears – Dickens (ODB)

RESTING IN GOD Rom 4:16-22
He did not waver… through unbelief… being fully convinced that what (God) had promised He was also able to perform (vv20-21)
It was our last holiday together as a family before our eldest son went off to college. As we filled the back pew, in the little seaside church, my heart filled with love as I glanced along the row of my five reasonably tidy children. “Please protect them spiritually and keep them close to You, Lord.” I prayed silently, thinking of the pressures and challenges each of them faced. The final hymn had a rousing chorus based on the words of 2 Tim 1:12 “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that God would keep their souls. Years have passed since then. There have been times of wandering for some of my children, and outright rebellion for others. Sometimes I’ve wondered about God’s faithfulness. Then I remembered Abraham. He stumbled but never failed in his trust in the promise he’d received (Gen 15:5-6, Rom 4:20-21) Through years of waiting and mistaken attempts until Isaac was born. I find this reminder to trust encouraging. We tell God our request. We remember that He cares. We know He is powerful. We thank Him for His faithfulness – Marion Stroud.
PRAYER LINE: Lord, my patience is often lacking and my timetable often does not match Yours. Forgive me for my times of doubt, and help me to trust You more. Thank You for Your faithfulness
Some lessons of patience take a long time to learn (ODB)

IN THE STORM Mk 4:35-41
(Jesus) said to the sea, “Peace, be still” (v39)
A storm was brewing-not just on the horizon but also in a friend’s home. “When I was in Hong Kong,” she shared, “the local meteorological service announced that there was a super storm approaching. But more than the storm that was looming outside my window, there was a storm brewing at home. While my dad was in the hospital, family member were trying to balance their home and work responsibilities while also traveling to and from the hospital. They were so tired that patience was wearing thin, and the situation at home was tense.”
Life can feel like a storm – tossing us around with winds of misfortune, grief, or stress, where can we turn? When Jesus’ disciples were caught in a great windstorm and wondered if He cared, they still knew where to turn. He demonstrated His power by calming the howling storm (Mk 4:38-39)
But often He does not calm the storm immediately. And like the disciples, we may feel that He doesn’t care. To calm our fears, we can cling to faith in who God is and what He can do. We can take shelter in Him (Ps 91:1) We can find His help to relate to others with grace. We can rest in an all powerful, all wise, and all-loving God. He is with us in the storm and cradles us through the storm. Poh Fay Chia
PRAYER LINE: Whether the wrath of the storm –tossed sea,
Or demons or men, or whatever it be
No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of the ocean, and earth, and skies – Baker
One need not cry out very loudly; He is nearer to us than we think – Brother Lawrence (ODB)

They say “who is the Almighty, that we should serve him?… But their prosperity is not in their own hands, (vv14-16)
ENVY (1) Wrong comparison.
The psalmist in Ps 73 said ”Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments”. Paraphrase – “Here I am, living a godly life, keeping my heart and hands clean, avoiding sin, meditating on the things of God and devoting myself to pleasing God, yes despite this I am facing all kinds of troubles and sorrows. What’s the advantage in serving God if He doesn’t protect me from the difficulties I’m in? The problem, then, is not so much the perceived prosperity of the wicked as the fact that he himself is passing through a period of trials and difficulties while they are let off the hook completely. We begin now to see the roots of the envy to which the psalmist referred earlier. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked’ (v3) Envy is often born out of two things – misunderstanding, and a wrong comparison. (1) Take, first, a wrong comparison. ‘Almost all our problems.’ I remember reading once, ‘beginning in a wrong comparison.’ How true this is. We compare our looks, our height, our income, our homes, our training and our abilities with those of others and soon we lose sight of our own individuality and specialness. To compare ourselves with Jesus is a healthy spiritual discipline, but to indulge in comparison with those we think are more prosperous and fortunate than we are is the direct road to envy.
PRAYER LINE: Lord, save me, I pray, from the habit of wrongly comparing myself with others. Help me to satisfy the impulse I have for making comparisons by always focusing on Your Son, Jesus. In Jesus’ name. Amen. (ODB)
The state of our heart is more important than the size of our gift.

‘He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes’ (v3)
ENVY (2) Misunderstanding. Envy is born out of two things – misunderstanding and making wrong comparisons. Having seen how a wrong comparison can produce envy, we focus now on misunderstanding. How can misunderstanding give rise to envy? Far too often our perceptions of people are based only on what we see, and we fail to take into account other things that may be going on in their lives. A.G. Gardiner wrote a short essay on Lord Simon and spoke at length of his many successes , describing him as ‘prancing down a rose strewn path to a shining goal.’ Gardiner thought that success, in the measure Lord Simon had experienced it, was free of all sorrow. Then he remembered some of Lord Simon’s bitter disappointments and struggles and so he added in parentheses “I speak here only of his public career.”
Many of us forget the parentheses. We see simply the surface of others’ lives and know nothing of their secret struggles and sorrows. If we saw beneath the surface of those lives we tend to envy-the hidden hurts, the emptiness, the repressed conflicts, the heart aches, the pain, the remorse, the quilts and the fears – then the reason for the envy would be diminished. But even if there were no secret sorrows or inner conflicts at all and God allowed others to walk a path of blazing sunshine, we would still have no real reason to envy them. God is the rightful Lord of all life: “It is He who has made us and not we ourselves’ (Ps 100:3 NKJV) Let us keep our eyes fixed only on Jesus and resist all other attempts at comparison. Practice comparing yourself with Him, and only good will come out of it.
PRAYER LINE: Dear Lord Jesus, I see easily the spirit of envy can steal away my peace and happiness. Root out this rank weed in my heart and teach me to compare myself with no one else but You. In Jesus’ name. Amen (EDWJ)
See others as God sees you.

NO HINDRANCE Zech 4:7-11
“Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it” (v7)
You must never allow anything to hinder you from becoming what God wants you to become. Don’t give in to the lies and fears the devil is sending against you. There are mountains that stand between us and the things God wants us to achieve. These mountains could be issues that are hindering the actualization of our set goals. The mountain could be people who do not see or understand what God is saying to you, but you can be sure that God will always reduce all your mountains into plains. There are certain burdens and problems that are too big for you to carry. All you need to do is hand them over to the Burden Bearer. In Num 16:1-35, three men, Korah Dathan and Abiram, came with intention of hindering the assignment that God gave to Moses. They accused him of turning the leadership of the congregation to a family affairs. Moses turned to God for intervention. By the time God was through with the mountains, they had all become plains. When mountains rise up against you, don’t waste your time entertaining any fear. The Bible says in (Ps 30:5; “Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning” If it is poverty that wants to hinder all the great dreams that the Almighty God has given to you, do not fear because He will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory. Just relax God who levels all mountains knows the best judgment for your enemies. He has assured you that when the enemies come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against them.
PRAYER LINE: God will still all the storms rocking your boat. The Egyptians you see today, you will see them no more, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
There is no mountain that is beyond God (O.H)

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (v6) There is nothing like an atmosphere of peace either in a nation or in the life at an individual. It is the greatest thing the world is searching for today and it is the best thing that can happen to a person. Peace is saying no to violence and creating room for harmony and love. Those who do not have peace in a place, it exposes everyone to hostility. Finding peace is finding Jesus Christ. He came to restore the broken relationship between man and God. He came to reconcile us back to the Father. Jesus is the one who broke down every wall of partition between us and God. “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us” (Eph 2:14) No matter what you are going through in your life, there is a solution in Christ Jesus. In what area are you experiencing problems? Come to the Prince of peace and He will give you rest. Are you having troubles and fierce storms in your marriage? Come to Jesus and He will step into the center of your home and give you peace “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (Jn 14:27) There will be trying times in the life of every child of God but you can be rest assured that in your troubled times you are not alone. God will never allow the trouble to overwhelm you. He will make you experience calmness in the situation. Jesus will always bring high into every darkness. He will always speak into every storm. PRAYER LINE: Father, let your peace overrule all my worries in Jesus’ name.
Jesus presides over every unpleasant situation (O.H.)

AMANI 1 Sam 16:14-23
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7)
Amani, which means “peace” in Swahili, is the name of a Labrador retriever pup that has some special friends. Amani lives with two young cheetahs at the Dallas Zoo. Zoologists placed the animals together so the cheetahs could learn Amani’s relaxed ways. Since dogs are generally at ease in public settings, the experts predict that Amani will be a “calming influence” in the cheetahs’ lives as they grow up together. David was a soothing influence in king Saul’s life when a ‘distressing spirit’ troubled him (1 Sam 16:14). When Saul’s servants learned of his problem, they thought music might ease his affliction. One servant summoned David, who was skilled harpist. Whenever the king became troubled, David would play the harp. “Then Saul would become refreshed and well. (v23)
We crave refreshment and well – being when we are plagued by anger, fear, or sadness. The God of the Bible is a “God of peace” (Heb 13:20-21) One who gives His Holy Spirit to everyone who believes in Him. When we’re agitated or anxious, we can remember that God’s Spirit produces power, love, and self – control (2 Tim 1:7) God’s influence in our lives can create a calming effect- one that leads to comfort and wholeness – Jenifer Benson Schuldt.
PRAYER LINE: We’re grateful , Father, for the peace that You offer for our hearts Nothing has the power to take that away. Thank You that Your peace has come to stay.
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” – Jesus (ODB)

For Christ’s love compels us because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died (v14)
In English the word ‘love’ has a variety of meanings. It is used for the mighty passion that moves in the heart as the fluttering of the heart, an extramarital affair, even chocolate or sport. The one word ‘love’ has to cover a multiplicity of diverse meanings. The Greek language is much richer in this respect. It has four words for love. One is eros, meaning love between the sexes. Another is philia, meaning affectionate human love. Then there is the word storge, meaning family love. The most powerful word for love, however, is agape, which means unconditional love – the love that resides in the heart of God. Everything God does is motivated by love. He can do nothing without love being the controlling factor. When Paul says in Gal 5:22 that “the fruit of the Spirit is love” the word he uses for “love” is “agape.” The love we are invited to experience and demonstrate when we are indwelt by the Spirit is not a general kind of love but love of a specific kind – the love that swells in the heart of God and is seen exemplified in Jesus. In today’s text Paul says “For Christ’s love of achievement , of success, of a cause, of a fight. Respectfully I ask: what compels you – the love of a cause or the love of Christ? The enemies of the early Christians complained that these followers of Jesus love each other even before they are acquainted. They did. They couldn’t help it, for the very nature of the faith they had embraced was love.
PRAYER LINE: Father God, as I examine my motives, may I see that I, like the apostle Paul, can be compelled by the love of Christ. Please pour Your love in so that I may pour it out to others. In Jesus’ name. Amen. (EDWJ)
The Christian race is not a sprint – It’s a marathon

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another (v34)
The love that flows in our hearts when we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit is not general but special – the agape enables us to more maturely deal with many things not least a lack of appreciation. Shakespeare was no doubt thinking of this high degree of love when he wrote Sonnet 116
Love is not love, Which Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove, Oh not it is an ever fixed mark, That looks on tempests and is never shaken.
Lets follow this thought through a little more deeply. The nine qualities that are the fruit of the Spirit were all exemplified in Jesus’ life on earth. It is the purpose on the Holy Spirit to nurture these qualities in us as we abide in Jesus and maintain a close day-by-day relationship with Him. If we allow God to do this, what a tremendous difference it will make to our lives and communities. This is what God wants for us. To emphasis again, when we allow the Spirit to work in our lives the very first evidence of His presence is agape love. This is not a give – and – take kind of love, a love that is reciprocal: It is a love that descends from above and is showered on the deserving and the undeserving Christians who dwell deeply in God find that they are changed from people who just love occasionally, when it is convenient, to people whose controlling purpose is love. Love becomes the compelling motive and passion in their lives. Agape love never fails for, even though it may not always have an effect on others and change them. It most definitely affects us. We are the better for loving.
PRAYER LINE: Father, I see that by expressing love I become more loving even when the other person doesn’t accept my love. I am so thankful. Amen. (EDWJ)
A daily dose of God’s wisdom will heal the heart disease of envy.

Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD (v3)
The second fruit of the Spirit – joy or, as The Message version expresses it, an exuberance about life.” It is not by accident that joy focus on finding love then joy will seek you out, as the natural outcome of love is an exuberance about life. Again let’s remember that the nine qualities that are the fruit of the Spirit are not natural attributes but supernatural ones. We cannot manufacture them. They grow and develop in our lives as we allow the Holy Spirit to work within us. Sadly many Christians find it difficult to accept that joy is a fruit of the Spirit. And not only do they not expect joy – they believe we shouldn’t want it. A grim Christian once told me, ‘At the heart of our faith is a cross. This means we ought to be spending our time weeping, not laughing.” Well, it is true that the cross is at the heart of the Christian faith and that following Jesus is at times difficult, but this is set against the fact that the second fruit of the Spirit is joy. No one can deny that from time to time each of us has to face suffering. However, a Christian possesses a subterranean spring of joy that will, if we allow it, burst upwards even in times of struggle and difficulties. Joy, like love, is the essence of our faith. The empty tomb takes away our empty gloom. We have an Easter morning to celebrate in our faith, and that means there is always a reason to rejoice. Friends, as we are open to God’s love, the other fruits of the Spirit, including joy, will grow in the soul of our hearts naturally.
PRAYER LINE: Father, I am so grateful that Your Holy Spirit touches my life at the deepest level, which means I can experience joy even on the most of struggles. Thank You, dear Father. Amen (EDWJ)
A small step of obedience is a giant step to blessing.

A WORK OF PEACE Jas 3:13-18
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace (v18)
The small church in Umbarger, Texas, was an unlikely place for an international work of art. But toward the end of World War II, seven Italian prisoners of war, who were being held at a large camp nearby, were chosen to help decorate the church’s plain brick walls.
The prisoners were reluctant to aid their captors, but they agreed on the condition that their efforts be considered a contribution toward Christian brotherhood and understanding. But as they worked on their paintings and a woodcarving of the Last Super, one of the Pow’s later recalled, “A spontaneous stream of good feeling began almost at once to flow among us.” No one spoke of the war or the past because “we were here for a work of peace and love.” Our lives are filled with unlikely settings for introducing God’s peace. We can feel imprisoned by hard feelings, strained relationships, and confining circumstances. But peace has the power to break out anywhere. James reminded us that “the wisdom that is from above is…peaceable, gentle, willing to yield… The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who made peace.” (Jas 3:17-18) Wherever we are today, let’s ask the Lord to use us as His peacemakers – David McCasland. PRAYER LINE: O Prince of Peace, keep us, we pray From strife and enmity; Help us to speak with loving words That calm hostility – Branon
The best peacemakers are those who know the peace of God. (ODB)

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (v7)
The Third fruit of the Spirit – peace. The order is an inspired one: first love because love is pre-eminent, then joy because joy comes as a result of love and then peace, which is the consequence of joy. This sequence is significant. When we love with the love that Jesus puts in our hearts by His Spirit then joy and peace follow as natural consequences. “Peace,” said someone, ‘is joy grown quiet and assured.’ A church leader once compared joy and peace in this way: ‘Joy is peace with its hat thrown high in the air and peace is joy with its arms folded in severe assurance.” How beautiful. William Barclay said that the word ‘peace’ came into the New Testament with a great history. It corresponds to the Hebrew word shalom. In classical Greek ‘peace’ was mainly negative implying freedom from war or hostilities but in the New Testament the word gathers up the positive elements conveyed by the word shalom. The central meaning is completeness and harmony. “Peace” occurs 88 times in the New Testament, and it appears in every book except 1Jn. This makes the New Testament a book of peace.
Once again it is important to remember that peace is not something that can be manufactured. We cannot work it up anymore than we can create any other fruit of the Spirit. It is divinely infused – a glorious consequence of God’s presence in the soul. Jesus knew this kind of peace and He offers the same “completeness” to every one of His disciples: ‘my peace I give you’ – “Do not let your hearts be troubled” (Jn 14:27). When we remain in Jesus we are given a peace that not only transcends all understanding – but all misunderstanding also.
PRAYER LINE: Father, I am conscious that the peace You desire to give me is a peace that reaches right down to the depth of my being . Help me to open up those depths to You today. Amen. (EDWJ)
Humility toward God makes us gentle toward others.

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride (v8)
The Fourth fruit of the Spirit is patience. The central meaning of this word is ‘good temper.’ It denotes a person who does not easily ‘fly off the handle.’ One commentator says, “This forth fruit of the Spirit expresses the attitude to people which never loses patience with them, however unreasonable they may be, and never loses hope for them, however unlovely and unteachable they maybe! Archbishop Trench defined the word “patience” as a long holding out of the mind before it gives room to action or to passion, the self-restraint which does not hastily retaliate a wrong.’ And Moffatt describes patience as “the tenacity with which faith holds out! Good temper must not, however, be confused with apathy. In the day of the Early Church, a group called the stoics made indifference a virtue. They argued that nothing is worth suffering for, so taught people to build a wall around their hearts to keep out all sense of feeling. The early Christians did not share that view, however, for Christians care –and because they cared, they suffered. But through the ministry of the Spirit in their lives, they found poise and good temper amidst their sufferings. Often, the more we care, the more sensitive we will be to things that are likely to block our goal of caring, and that is why patience is so necessary. Once an evangelist addressing a meeting was subjected to persistent heckling. Unfortunately he lost his temper – and also his audience. They saw he had little to offer except words.
PRAYER LINE: Father, help me to become a person of good temper. Please dwell in me deeply so that I shall be patient and peaceful exception amid the disturbed surroundings that I encounter day by day (EDWJ)
Past stories of grace inspire future stories of faith.

“… as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering” (v12)
The fifth fruit of the Spirit listed in Gal 5:22 is kindness “Kindness” is a very beautiful word; it means “a kindly disposition or warm goodwill towards others.’ The Message describes kindness as ‘a sense of compassion in the heart. Mother Teresa once gave this instruction, which reflects that meaning nicely: “Be the living expression of God’s kindness – give – not only your care, but also your heart. I once asked a church youth group which fruit of the Spirit they would be willing to do without if they had to settle for eight instead of nine. Surprisingly, almost everyone in the group said ‘kindness.” When I asked why, they explained that for them the word conjured up sentimentality. One person said, ‘It makes me think of my kind old aunt. She’s a lovely person really but a little gullible, sentimental and easily taken in.’ The group had a distorted picture of kindness because it is a misconception to equate a kindly disposition with maudlin sentimentality. So let’s be quite clear what we are talking about when we use the word ‘Kindness.” It is a God-given virtue endowed by the Holy Spirit that infuses our whole personality and engenders as a sense of compassion towards others. It’s there inside us; all we have to do is let it flow out.
PRAYER LINE: Gracious Father, help me today to be clothed with kindness Make me a person who can show warmth and goodwill to others. I ask this for Your own dear name’s sake. Amen (EDWJ)
When we yield ourselves to the Spirit’s control, we do not lose our self – control.

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him”(v38)
The sixth fruit of the Spirit – goodness. Most commentators agree that it is the hardest fruit to define as the word ‘good’ is used so widely that it can mean almost everything and nearly nothing. The Message refers to goodness as a “conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people.” Edwin Chaplain, a Christian writer, put it well when he said, “Goodness consists not just in the outward things we do but in the inward thing we are.’ Goodness, like kindness, has first to be an attitude before it becomes an action. In fact, some commentators believe it is more non-verbal than verbal – it is evidenced not so much in words as in one’s whole demeanour. And it is a goodness that unconsciously proclaims itself. Those who possess it have a certain presence about them. It is radiated so powerfully that it is doubtful whether anyone could be near to it and yet be unaware of it. Many people, especially non – Christians, might not be able to describe what they feel in the presence of this goodness, but they do feel something nevertheless. And that something is the character of Jesus flowing in and through one of His followers. How wonderful it is to meet a Christian and feel Jesus words. It is Christ likeness at its best.
PRAYER LINE: Father, how I long to be the channel and not the stepping place of all Your blessings to me. Let this grace, as well as the others be seen in me. I Jesus’ name I pray. Amen (EDWJ)
Of all that is precious, Jesus tops the list.

Surely you desire truth in the inner parts (v6)
The seventh fruit of the Spirit – faithfulness. Faithfulness is the quality of reliability, trustworthiness or loyal commitment that not only relates to God but makes a Christian someone on whom others can utterly rely and whose word they can utterly accept. It has been said that the ultimate test of a person’s character is: Are there any circumstances in which that person will lie? A Christian worker known to me puts in many hours of service and is prepared to come to the aid of anyone in need, but sadly he cannot always be relied upon to speak the truth. Lack of honesty cancels out much of the value of his accomplishments. In one country, church leaders are obliged to fill out a tax return ‘for their church leaders are obliged to fill out a tax return “for their church and declare its assets. One church owned a valuable gold cross. So that they would not have to pay a large amount of tax, the leaders decided to devalue the cross on the tax return and value it at only a fraction of its worth. One day the cross was stolen and broken up into small pieces. When the police eventually recovered the pieces, the church leaders went to court to prove the pieces belonged to them. The judge called for a value he declared that the cross could not belong to the church as the stolen cross was of much higher value than the one listed on the church’s tax return. So the gold was confiscated by the police. The church leaders remained silent on the issue and did not confess to their falsehood. They lost not only the cross, they also lost their good character. PRAYER LINE: Father, help me see even more clearly that unless I live in the truth and by the truth, I dishonour You. May I be faithful to You in all things, dear Lord. For Your name’s sake. Amen
Let Christ be first in your thoughts in the morning, and last in your thoughts at night.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart (v29)
The eight fruit of the Spirit – gentleness or meekness.
The original Greek word prautes is translated in various ways in different translations of the New Testament. One version uses the word ‘tolerance’. This Greek word has no exact equivalent in English, and, after examining the words used in the different translations, my personal opinion is that the Good News Bible gets closest to the true meaning when it uses the word ‘humility.’ The words ‘humble’ and ‘gentle’ are found together a number of times in the New Testament, as, for example, in our text for today: ‘I am gentle and humble in heart.’ (Eph 4:2 and Col 3:12) The mature Christian in whom the Spirit dwells is a person who is gentle and humble. It has been said that apart from love, nothing is more characteristic of a Christian, and nothing more caricatured and misunderstood than humility. Generally, the world has not had much time for gentleness or humility, “Throughout the ages,” says one writer, ‘it is a virtue that has not been greatly praised – except by a few.’ To understand the true strength humility calls for it is helpful to look at how The Message paraphrase describes gentleness, ‘not needing to force our way in life.’ A lady once came up to me at the end of a Bible study I had just given on humility and said, ‘I do love to hear a preacher expound the subject of humility. You see, it is one of my greatest qualities, and I want to know as much as I can about it, I felt that sadly, by highlighting her humility, she was showing that this quality was probably lacking in her life.
PRAYER LINE: Lord Jesus Christ, my Saviour and my Redeemer, I long so much to be like You, – gentle and humble. And as I seek to walk the path of humility, help me not to lose my way. In Your dear name I ask it. Amen (EDWJ)
A change in behaviour begins with a change in the heart.

“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city” (v32)
The ninth fruit of the Spirit – self-control underlying the word is the idea of self-restraint, a fine mastery of one’s personality, a controlled and disciplined nature. When the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives He not only gives us the power to do what we should but also the power not to do what is wrong. It is noteworthy that Paul puts self-control last. Most systems of thought, both ancient and modern, would put it first. Consider the various philosophies that have fascinated people over past centuries and what do you find? They have all sought to produce a happy and contented person through self-control. Some have advocated thought-control, some breath-control, others will-control. The Christian way is different-it produces joyful and contented people, not primarily by thought-control or even will-control, but by Christ-empowered living. Christians are people who are self-controlled, ‘able to marshal and direct our energies wisely’ (The Message), not self –effort alone but through the gracious work of the Holy Spirit who lives within us. We do not gain the things of the Spirit through self-control, we gain self-control through the presence of the Spirit in our lives. You see, if we begin with self- control then we are the centre – we are controlling ourselves. But if we begin as Paul did, with the first fruit of the Spirit –love then the spring of action is outgoing and we are released from self-preoccupation. When we begin with love, we end with self-control, as the Holy Spirit cultivates the fruits in our hearts. But it is not a nervous, anxious self-control: it is a control that is natural and unstrained.
PRAYER LINE: Gracious Father, help me grasp the thought that self-control is the result when Jesus is in control. When You are in control You empower me for life. Thank You, dear Father. Amen.
When we yield ourselves to the Spirits control we do not lose our self-control.

GROWING IN LOVE 2 Thess 1:2-12
“Your love for one another is growing” (v3)
When Paul says, ‘Your love for one another is growing,” It’s not the Kind where life’s perfect and everybody accommodates you. God’s intention is to ‘grow’ you into the kind of love that’s not defined by your feelings, but a sacrificial love that says, ‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me’ (Gal 2:20 NIV 2011 Edition). It’s possible to be in love with the idea of a perfect marriage, without actually loving your mate. Or the dream of what your kids could become, if only they’d follow your advice. But when it comes to loving a rebellious teen who acts like ‘the other side of the family,’ it’s a growing process that puts your love to the test. Jesus said, “As I have loved you… You must love one another’ (Jn 12:34 NIV 2011 Edition), and He never asks us to do anything without giving us the ability to do it. So are you ready to do a little growing? Author Kristin Armstrong says, When we’re hurt it’s common to withdraw. But the worse thing a parent can do is to withdraw affection in response to a child’s behaviour. A child’s heart grows when it’s nurtured with unconditional love. Affection doesn’t depend on behaviour, mood or circumstances. Being pleasing does not equate to being loveable. Imagine if Jesus loved us only when we behaved perfectly. We’d never experience His affection, and consequently we’d wither away. And since Jesus is our example, we need to love others with Christlike grace. He loves us according to His capacity, not according to the degree of our merit. We must love others… not by our standards but by His (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Father, give me the courage to reach out to those I may not want to reach. Show Your love through me in ways that will bring glory to You and true peace in my corner of the world.
Kindness is in our power even when soundness is not. – Samuel John.

“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place” (v14)
Characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit – “faithfulness’ – honesty, reliability and a deep concern for truth. A further characteristic is the willingness to carry through on all God’s commands to us – keeping faith to the end, which is what Peterson describes as ‘loyal commitment’ in The Message. To help us come through the periods of testing everyone has to face at some time, the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to see things through to the end. One Christian writer has listed what he believes to be the eight fiercest tests a believer has to face in this world. First, humiliation – a savage and plausible attack on our reputation. Second, suffering – physical, mental or spiritual. Third, bereavement – especially the death of a loved one whose passing was untimely. Fourth, estrangement or treachery from one’s family and friends, Fifth, doubt-deep dark and awful. Sixth, failure – the breaking up of one’s life work. Seventh, Dereliction – the sense of being forsaken by God. Eight, a slow, painful and un-illumined death. Not all of us encounter all of these trials, but meeting any one of them can be a strong and severe test. How does a Christian remain faithful in the midst of such fience circumstances as those listed above? Any overcoming we experience at such times is through the strength of the Holy Spirit. He dwells in us not just for the pleasure of inhabiting our beings, but to enable us to walk through life’s struggles. Perhaps you are facing one or more of those eight points of testing this very moment. Then take courage – invite Him in and allow Him to carry you through today. PRAYER LINE: Father, I am grateful that Your Spirit dwells within me to lead me through life. Help me to stay faithful in all things. Thank You, Father. Amen (EDWJ)
If you’re a tunnel of discouragement , keep walking toward the Light.

DON’T QUIT 2 Cor 4:7-15
“We have this treasure in jars of clay,’ (v7)
Paul writes: “We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” Jars of clay” refers to cups, bowls, pots, etc, and what really matters is what’s in them. A vessel may be chipped and flawed, but once it’s washed and cleaned it can be used again. So don’t quit because someone discovered you’re a jar of clay with chips and flaws. There’s a cry from the Jericho Road nobody except you may ever hear. Some dying thief will be saved if you’ll just keep preaching through your pain, because the message that saves others is the one that saves us too. Accepting the fallen is the strength- not a weakness – of the Gospel. There’s a word of difference between the coldness of a rebellious heart and the cry of a troubled heart that says, “God save me from myself.” One glimpse of God’s grace brings all of us to our knees confessing and forsaking sin, “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor 10:5 KJV). One pastor writes: “People listen to our one sided testimonies of success and become discouraged. They think that while they struggle; we have it all together. That’s because we falsified the records and failed to tell the whole truth. God help us! Our message is we were saved by grace, we are being saved by grace, and we will be saved by grace.” If need be, go down into the Potter’s house and let Him put you back on the wheel and remake you but don’t quit. (Jere 18:1-4) (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: A mighty fortress is our God; A bulwark never failing;
Our helper He amid the flood Of mortal ills prevailing. – Luther.
God’s unchanging nature is our security during seasons of change.

WORDS (1) Ps 39
“I will…not sin in what I say, I will hold my tongue.” (v1 NLT)
An unknown poet wrote: “A careless word may kindle strife, a cruel word may wreck a life. A bitter word may have instill, a brutal word may smite and kill. A gracious word may smooth the way, a joyous word may light the day. A timely word may lessen stress, a loving word may heal and bless.” The Bible says, “No man can tame the tongue” (Jas 3:8 NKJV) “Well, if it can’t be done,” you ask, “How am I supposed to do it”? By pausing before you speak, cultivating a sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit within you and drawing on His power, By reminding yourself that once a word has left your lips it can never be taken back, and all the “I’m sorrys” in the world won’t alter that. The Palmist, who’d evidently made the mistake of taking when he should’ve been listening wrote “I will watch what I do and not sin in what I say I will hold my tongue.” In Bible, abstaining from food for a period of time is called “fasting.” It has a spiritually cleansing effect. It draws us closer to God. It strengthens and sharpens us. So here’s an idea for you. How about going on a verbal fast for the next thirty days? At least a partial one. Isaiah said “The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary” (Isa 50:4 NLT) Instead of your tongue doing the leading and you doing the following, let your mouth become Spirit guided (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: Father, forgive me when I go bumping through life on the broken springs of pleasure when I ought to be journeying in joy. I submit my life to You today for spiritual repairs. I limp in-please help me to leap out. Amen.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

WORDS (2) Ps 49
“My mouth will speak words of wisdom” (v3 NIV)
The Bible says that you are to be gracious in what you say. That means your goal in conversation should always be to bring out the best in others, not denigrate them or cut them off. Good communication makes good friends, so you need to be clear when it comes to your personal boundaries, beliefs, values, and desires. It may well be true that more problems are forgotten than are ever solved, but healthy relationships sometimes call for healthy confrontation. And there’s a right time and a right way to do it. When you have to deal with a difficult situation, pray and stand on this Scripture: “My mouth will speak words of wisdom, the utterance from my heart will give understanding.” Your words are the vehicle through which your thoughts are conveyed, and your tongue is the driver. So if you don’t want to end up on the wrong road, or end up in a wreck, pray, “Lord, give me words of wisdom. Help me to say the right thing, in the right way, at the right time.” The Holy Spirit is a great driving instructor! He will guide you, instruct you, and keep working with you until you get it right. He will help you grow in grace until you reach the place of maturity in your relationships where you’re able to say, “My advice is wholesome. There is nothing devious or crooked in it. My words are plain to anyone with understanding , clear to those with knowledge” (Prov 8:8-9 NLT) PRAYER LINE: Jesus, let me find in You a sense that I am loved. And may my heart not grow cold and cluttered by anger and wounds from the past so that others can see Your reflection in me.
May I never be the barrier that blocks one’s view of God.

“Stop turning my Father’s house into a market’ (v16)
Christians never need to pretend about anything. Whether we worry, envy, resent, hate, we are to acknowledge the reality of who we are at any given moment. Fully admitting to ourselves and to God that we are angry, worried or full of doubts, is right response. It only becomes problematic when we constantly focus on it and allow it to drag us down into despair. But does this mean that in order to experience emotional health we let everything out and tell everybody exactly how we feel? I think the answer to that question is ‘No,” but it is an answer that must be qualified – When seeking help from a trusted or close friend, counsellor or minister, it would be right to share how you feel. The principle I suggest we adopt in relation to this is as follows: we may express our acknowledged emotions only when such expression is consistent with God’s purpose. When Jesus turned the money changers out of the Temple, His anger was not piqued at what was happening to Him, but grief at what was happening to His Father’s house –hence it was in line with the Father’s purpose. This is a critical point and it must be understood. Responsible expression is not to “let it all hang out” but to be selective expressing only those emotions that are in harmony with God’s purposes. We can freely admit to ourselves and to God what is happening to us, but then we must carefully and selectively consider whether it is right and in line with God’s purposes to share what we feel with others.
PRAYER LINE: Gracious and loving Father, help me to be honest with my feelings, yet willing to hold the expression of them in both timing and manner to Your perfect will. In Jesus’ name, I ask it. Amen (EDWJ)
Wisdom is seeing things from God’s perspective.

“The fruit of the Spirit is… self-control” (vv22-23)
The Amplified Bible translates Ps 73:15 “Had I spoken thus (and given expression to my feelings), I would have been untrue and have dealt treacherously against the generation of Your children.” Notice that although the psalmist experienced strong feelings of uncertainty and doubt, he refrained from expressing these emotions because they would have had a negative effect upon his church community. He acknowledged the emotions that were reverberating inside him, but he refused to express them because he know they would confuse and confound the family of God. Expression of our feelings with no thought of another’s welfare amounts to thoughtless, selfish indulgence. We can allow ourselves to feel the full weight of our emotions but then hold their expression to the purposes of God. Only if it is God’s will for us to share those feelings with others, do we do so. Consequently, the apostle could write stinging words to the Corinthian church because his words were in harmony with God’s purposes. We have to be on our guard here, because whenever we feel angry, and vent out anger on someone, it is so easy to justify our angry feelings by saying, “God wanted to use me to teach you a lesson.’ But more often than not, if we examine our hearts we will find that our goal was not the will of God but the desire to get those angry feelings out from inside us. Selective expression of feelings is a mature and spiritual response; indiscriminate expression is immature and unspiritual.
PRAYER LINE: Gracious God and loving heavenly Father, forgive me for the times I have hurt others by the indiscriminate expression of my negative feelings. Help me understand and apply this principle of ‘selective expression’ in Jesus’ name. Amen.
We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails.

“God is faithful (1 Cor 10:13)
Eric was struggling with an addiction, and he knew it. His friends and family members encouraged him to stop. He agreed that it would be best for his health and relationships, but he felt helpless. When others told him how they had quit their bad habits, he replied, “I’m happy for you, but I can’t seem to stop.” I wish I had never been tempted in the first place. I want God to take the desire away right now.”
Immediately deliverance may happen for some, but most face a daily battle. While we don’t always understand why the temptation doesn’t go away, we can turn to God on whatever path we find ourselves. And perhaps that is the most important part of our struggle. We learn to exchange our futile efforts to change for complete dependence on God.
Jesus was tempted also, just as we are, so He understands what we’re feeling (Mk 1:13) He sympathizes with your struggles (Heb 4:15), and we can “come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (v16). He also uses others, including trained professionals, who we can lean on along the way.
Whatever battles we may be facing today, we know this God loves us much more than we can imagine, and He is faithful to come to our assistance – Anne Cetas.
PRAYER LINE: As you pray – Read Matt 4:1-11 about how Jesus handled temptations. Also read 1 Cor 10:11-13 to learn how He can help us when we are tempted. God bless you as you do so.
We are not tempted because we are evil; we are tempted because we are human.

“Wives…support your husbands… Husbands, go all out in love for your wives.”
Picture two little rowing boats setting off across a choppy lake. A man sits in one and woman in the other. They have every intention of rowing side by side, yet they begin drifting in opposite directions until they can hardly hear each other above the wind. Soon the man finds himself at one end of the lake and the woman at the other. Neither knows how they drifted apart, or how to reconnect. Now picture two newlyweds. They stand at the altar and pledge to live together in love and harmony. Unfortunately, 50 percent of the time it doesn’t work that way. Unless their relationship is maintained and cultivated, they will grow distant. That is why two romantic little row boats often drift toward opposite ends of the lake. So how can husbands and wives stay in love, and stay together for a lifetime? The answer is to row like crazy! Take time for romantic activities. Think about each other through the day. Avoid that which breeds conflict and resentment. Be aware of each other’s needs and desires. These are the keys to harmony and friendship. Yes, it’s difficult to keep two rowboats together, but it can be done if each partner is determined to row. Nothing beats a good marriage, but you have to work at it because the currents of culture and the stresses of life can cause you to drift apart. Hence the Bible says, “Wives, understand and support your husbands by submitting to them in ways that honour the Master. Husbands, go all out in love for your wives” (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: Thanks for roses by the wayside, Thanks for thorns their stems contain. Thanks for homes and thanks for fireside Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain! – Storm
In all circumstances, we can give thanks that God has not left us on our own.

“Satan hath desired to have you… But I have prayed for thee.” (vv31-32 KJV) Your problem child could be a child of promise God has a special destiny in mind for them, that’s why there’s been so much drama around him or her. Satan has targeted them because he sees their potential. He has discerned God’s plan for them and he’s out to stop it. Would Satan do that? Yes! He used Pharaoh to get to Moses, and king Herod to get to Jesus before they were two years old. Why? Because one day they would arise as deliverers and fulfill God’s plan. Likewise, Satan will attack your child of destiny. Paul said, ‘It pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and call me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles’ (Gal 1:15-16 NKJV). But Paul spent the first thirty years of his life going the wrong way before he met Jesus and started going the right. So as the parent of a child of promise, what should fulfill and the attack of Satan that would soon come against him Jesus told Peter: “Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren’ (Lk 22:31-32 NKJV) When your children are young lay your hands on them and speak God’s Word over their lives. And as they enter their teenage years continue to pray and speak God’s blessing upon them. Fight for your child of promise. (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Speak truly, and each word of thine Shall be a fruitful seed; Live truly and thy life shall be A great and noble creed – Bonar
Don’t talk cream and live skim milk.

“Jephthah … was a mighty man… but he was the son of a harlot.’ (v1)
Genes are powerful things! They can determine a child’s hair colour, eye colour, and proclivities that make them like their father or mother. But when a child grows up and constantly makes bad choices it may not be genetic, it may be that the enemy has targeted them because he’s discerned their destiny. That’s when God steps in. Moses’ mother placed him in a basket and hid him in the Nile River. But God arranged for Pharaoh’s own daughter to find him, take to the palace, and raised him as a leader in Egypt. As a parent, when you do your part God will do His God arranged for Pharaoh’s own daughter to find him, take him to the palace, and raised him as a leader in Egypt. As a parent, when you do your part God will do His. When you do all you can for your child, God will intervene and do what you cannot do. Paul writes, ‘We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his promises for them (Rom 8:28 NLT) God has a ‘purpose’ for your problem child, so keep loving them and praying for them however long it takes. The Bible says, ‘Jephthah… was a mighty man of valour, but he was the son of a harlot! Your child may have been born in less than ideal circumstances, but that won’t stop God from blessing them. On the contrary, He can use every circumstance in their past to fuel their future with wisdom and strengthen them to fulfill the thing to which He’s called them. So don’t give up on your child of promise. PRAYER LINE: Father, Lord, You promised it, I believe it And it will come to pass (TWFT)
We should trust God and pray for the child of promise.

“I sought for a man among them who would…stand in the gap” (v20 NKJV)
Sometimes your child of promise may get into trouble at school, mix with the wrong crowd, and experiment with drugs, alcohol, gangs, sex, etc. They may rebel against everything you’ve taught them. But that doesn’t mean they won’t eventually respond to God and do His will. Before Saul of Tarsus because Paul the apostle, God had to throw him off his horse, humble him before his peers, and blind him for a season. Do you remember what Jesus said to Saul of Tarsus on the Damascus road that day? “It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks (thorns) (Acts 9:5 KJV) Sometimes your child of promise will come the easy way, other times they’ come kicking and screaming, they won’t get there overnight. God took Paul into the wilderness for three years to detox him from wrong thinking and reprogramme him with the truth of His Word because that was necessary to equip him for his calling. So when your child of promise seems to be lost in the wilderness, blind to their destiny, or even down in the dust, don’t despair. God is still at work. What should you do? God said,’ I sought for a man (or woman) among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of … (Eze 22:30) build a wall of protective prayer around your child. “Stand in the gap” and pray God’s Word over them. Jesus promised that when you pray God’s Word over them Jesus promised that when you pray with authority here on earth, He will move heaven on your behalf (Matt 18:19) (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: O keep up your courage, each day to the end; Go forth in the strength of the Lord; Trust wholly in Jesus, thy Saviour and Friend And feed on His own blessed Word – Miles
When people share their fears with you, share your courage with them.

“Time would fall me to tell of … Jephthah” (Heb. 11:32 NKJV)
Your child of promise may be far from perfect today, and their transition into God’s kingdom may be anything but smooth. ‘Time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, because valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of aliens (vv 32-34 NKJV) When you read these names and know their stories, you realize Satan will fight your child of promise from the day they’re born until the day they die. And if he can’t get to them, he will try to get to their children. Jephthah had to rise above the stigma of having a prostitute for a mother and a father who wanted nothing to do with him. But he overcame all this, led Israel to victory over their enemies, became known as ‘a mighty man of valour.” (Judg 11:1 KJV), and ended up listed alongside the Bible’s greatest heroes, including Abraham, Moses, Esther, Ruth and David. Abandonment, abuse, addiction, absenteeism, anger, and aggression – none of these can stop God from using your child of promise, if you’ll ‘stand in the gap,’ pray on their behalf, and keep speaking God’s Word over them. What is the gap? You ask. It’s the difference between what is and what can be, the difference between who your child is right now and who God knows he or she will become in the future (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Help me to watch and pray, And on And on Thyself rely;
And let me never my trust betray; But press to realms on high –Wesley.
Many give Christianity their countenance but not their heart.

WISE WORDS Prov 10:18-21; 12:17-19
There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health. (Prov 12:18)
What is the strongest muscle in the human body? Some say it’s the tongue, but it’s hard to determine which muscle is the most powerful because muscles don’t work alone. But we do know that the tongue is strong. For a small muscle, it can do a lot of damage. This active little muscular organ that helps us eat, swallow, taste, and begin digestion has a tendency to also assist us in saying things we shouldn’t. The tongue is guilty of flattery, cursing, lying, boasting, and harming others.
And that’s just the short list. It sounds like a pretty dangerous muscle, doesn’t it? But here’s the good thing. It doesn’t have to be that way. When we are controlled by the Holy Spirit, our tongues can be turned to great good. We can speak of God’s righteousness (Ps 35:28) and confess sin (1 Jn 1:9) The writer of Prov 12:18 spells out one of the best uses of the tongue: “The tongue of the wise brings healing” Imagine who we could glorify the One who made our tongues when He helps us use it to bring healing – not harm – to everyone we talk to.
PRAYER LINE: Please guard each word we say so we reflect You and Your love, Help our tongues speak words of Healing and not harm.
Encourage one another and build each other up (1 Thess 5:11) (ODB)

For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. (v10)
Today’s text introduces the idea that believers in Christ are running in a contest (vv 1-3,7) Having endurance means ability to tolerate pains, setbacks and troubles which are inevitable in a believer’s life (Acts 14:22; Jn 16:33) as the discipline of God (vv 5-13) This will help believer’s to display biblical obedience (Rom 1:5; 16:26) which is one of the goals of the Gospel. The encouragement is that the discipline of God yields fruits (Heb 12:9-11). God commits Himself to discipline as a good Father. He disciplines and chastises those He loves. Whatever motive parents may have in disciplining their children, it cannot be compared with God’s motive of discipline which is always for our good. God’s discipline is motivated purely by love (vv 6,10) Through discipline, we share in God’s holiness (v10) Though it may take time and our experience during this time may be painful, we can be assured that joy and happiness will be the result eventually. God’s discipline produces ‘a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (v11) The fruit of discipline is appealing to all, but tough to grow. A discipline children brings joy to the parents’ heart. Train up your children properly in the fear of the Lord.
PRAYER LINE: O Lord, help me to bear peaceful fruit all the days of my life. (NBC)
The best preparation for tomorrow is the right use of today.

“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.(v1)
August 10, 1628, was a dark day in naval history. On that day the royal warship Vasa set out on her maiden voyage. After taking 2 years to build, being lavishly decorated and holding 64 cannons, the pride of the Swedish navy sank only one mile out to sea. What went wrong? The excessive load was too heavy to make her seaworthy. Excess weight pulled the Vasa to the bottom of the ocean. The Christian life can also be weighed down by excess baggage. Encouraging us in our spiritual journey, the book of Hebrews says: “Let us throw of everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith (12:12)
Like the lavishly decorated ship, we may project to others an impressive exterior. But if on the inside we are weighed down with sin, our perseverance can be impaired. There is a remedy, however. By relying on God’s guidance and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, our load can be lightened and our perseverance buoyant.
Forgiveness and grace are always available to the spiritual traveler. Dennis Fisher. PRAYER LINE: Father, in heaven, too often I try to mask the burden and weight of sin in my life with the outward activities of the Christian life. Forgive me. Help me to set aside the things that keep me from running a good race.
Perseverance is as much about a strong won’t as a strong will. (ODB)

“He …encouraged them for the service of the house of the Lord.”
The Bible says King Josiah “set the priests in their duties and encouraged them for the service of the house of the Lord.”
Josiah did two things: He instructed them, and encouraged them. Why? Because one without the other doesn’t work. How often have you left church feeling lifted, encouraged and inspired by the sermon? Question: Have you ever thought of telling your pastor how much it meant to you, or sending them an email to let them know you appreciate their ministry? Pastors get more kicks than kisses. Some 37 per cent quit the ministry because of discouragement. Did you know that? Even the great apostle Paul got discouraged. “When we arrived in Macedonia province, we couldn’t settle down. The fights in the church and the fears in our hearts kept us on pins and needles. We couldn’t relax because we didn’t know how it would turn out. Then the God who lifts up the downcast lifted our hearts with the arrival of Titus. We were glad just to see him, but the true reassurance came in what he told us about you; how much you cared… how concerned you were for me. I went from worry to tranquility in no time.’ (2 Cor 7:5-7 MSG) Titus encouraged Paul in two ways: (1) By showing up. We were glad just to see him. “Like it or not, when you don’t go to church you’re saying, “Pastor, you’re not worth coming to hear” (2) By offering encouragement. “True reassurance came in what he told us” This week, encourage your pastor. (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: Father Lord, its easy to let discouragement sap the energy of those in the ministry. Please make me an agent of comfort to those who are weary and need encouragement.
If you are in the tunnel of discouragement, keep walking toward the light.

“And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God” (v11)
Then John saw a multitude of people from every nation, tribe and tongue, who were standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. This is the same group mentioned in Rev 6:9, but here they were wearing white robes and holding palm branches, apparently signifying righteous triumph. As this multitude ascribed salvation to God and to the Lamb, all the angels, the twenty four elders and the four living creatures joined them in worship as they did in Rev 5:9-10.
This multitude in heaven comprises all those who remained faithful to God throughout their generations. God includes and protects each of us to guarantee us a place in His presence. As Christians, we shall all stand before God in worship because this will be our sole responsibility in heaven. It will be a time of reunion of believers from every tribe and nation. We should never worship spirit-beings like angels. Our worship should always be for the Lord of lords and King of kings. Believers must worship God in Spirit and truth because when we get to heaven, it will be worship unlimited in the presence of God. Cultivate this habit and you will never be the same. Our worship should be to the Lord alone. Are you involved in the worship of spirit beings other than God Almighty? Decide and cultivate the habit of worshipping God.
PRAYER LINE: Father Lord, teach me to worship You in spirit and in truth. (NBC)
God is the only true God.

He who testifies to those things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen, come, Lord Jesus (v20)
John fell down to worship the angel when he saw this revelation, but he was rebuked and reminded that angels should not be worshipped. Only Jesus is to be worshipped. (19:10) “Maranatha! Behold, I am coming soon! “These are the same words as those at the beginning of v7. In connection with His return, which will be “soon,” a reward is promised to His saints for what they have done for Christ. The reference is to the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor 5:10-1) The final judgments of both the wicked and the righteous will be judgments of works. This is the joyous expectation of those who are faithful and the fear of those who have not been faithful. The wonderful invitation extends to every generation till the coming of Christ. Those who recognize their need and realize that Christ is the Saviour are exhorted to come before judgment so it will not be too late. As the Scriptures make it clear, the gift of eternal life is free. It has been paid for by the death of Christ on the cross and is extended to all who are willing to receive it in simple faith. The coming of the Lord will be unexpected. Are you ready of His coming? Do a study on the coming of the Lord.
PRAYER LINE: Father Lord, may I never miss the glorious appearance of Jesus and the reception of glory, in Jesus’ name. (NBC)
When you’re weary in life’s struggles, find your rest in the Lord.

“That you… may have power…together with all the Lord’s holy people; to grasp” (vv17-18)
It is the will of God that we meet together and He has arranged it not only that we might come to know each other better, but that we might also come to know Him better. And here’s the interesting thing – the more effectively we relate to one another, the more effectively we relate with Him. We come to know God better through the act of corporate worship than when we worship on our own. That is not to say that those who for various reasons cannot meet together in worship, cannot know God intimately, but something special and unique flows out of the act of corporate worship.
“Listen to how C.S. Lewis puts it: “God can show Himself as He really is only to real men. And that means not simply men who are individually good but to men who are united together in a body, loving one another, helping one another, showing Him to one another. For that is what God meant humanity to be like; like players in one band, or organs in one body. Consequently the only really adequate instruments for learning about God is the whole Christian community, waiting for Him together. Christian brotherhood is, so to speak, the technical equipment for the science – the laboratory outfit.’
Christians who neglect meeting together at the house of God, or choose to deprive themselves of fellowship with learning about God.
PRAYER LINE: My Father and my God, I am so thankful that, although I can know You when I am alone, I can know You even better through meeting with others. Help me to learn life’s greatest science in company of others. Amen. (EDWJ)
People are at the heart of God’s heart.

“Now Thomas… was not with the disciples when Jesus came.” (v24)
People who neglect attendance at the house of God are behaving unwisely because on some favoured occasion something special and powerful will happen – and they will not be there.’ The passage we have read today highlights the glorious post – resurrection appearance of Jesus to His disciples. The disciples thought He was dead, and although there were rumours of His resurrection, they were not convinced. Suddenly, within the walls of that small room, He appeared to them – they saw Him, heard Him, and felt the impact of His powerful presence. But here is the heart –rending tragedy of it: Thomas was not with the disciples when Jesus came. Why, we ask ourselves, was Thomas missing from that meeting? Many commentators have speculated on the reasons for his absence and they vary from Thomas not expecting Jesus to be there, to being afraid of his life. One suggests that the real reason was that he was disappointed with the other disciples. My own view, for what it is worth, is that there was something wrong with Thomas himself. The root cause of his absence, so I believe, was his own doubting and denying heart. My own experience in the ministry has taught me that those who profess to be Christians and yet deliberately absent themselves from the community of God, are the ones who are usually most in need of this company.
PRAYER LINE: Gracious and loving heavenly Father, help me realize that when I am at my lowest spiritually it is the very time I need to be with my brothers and sisters. Burn this truth into the depths of my soul. In Jesus’ name. Amen (EDWJ)
Unity among believers comes from our union with Christ.

FAILURE IS NOT FATAL ( SEE D229) Jn 18:15-27
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God (Jn 6:69)
Prime Minister Winston Churchill knew how to bolster the spirits of the British people during World War II. On June 18, 1940, he told a frightened populace, “Hitler know that he will have to break us… or lose the war… Let us therefore brace…and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire (lasts) for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour!.”
We would all like to be remembered for our “finest hour!.” Perhaps the apostle Peter’s finest hour was when he proclaimed “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Jn 6:69 NKJV) Sometimes, however, we let our failures define us. After Peter repeatedly denied that he knew Jesus, he went out and wept bitterly (Matt 26:75; Jn 1:8) “He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light”.
Like Peter, we all fall short – in our relationships, in our struggles with sin, in our faithfulness to God. But “failure is not fatal,,” as Churchill also said. Thankfully. This is true in or spiritual life. Jesus forgave the repentant Peter for his failure (Jn 21) and used him to preach and lead many to the Saviour.
Failure is not fatal. God lovingly restores those who turn back to Him. – Cindy Hess Kasper.
Dear Father, thank You for Your forgiveness.
Thank You that Your mercy and grace are given freely through the shed blood of Your Son, Jesus.
When God forgives, He removes the sin and restores the soul.

“If the Son liberates you (make you free men), then you are really and unquestionably free (v36 AMP)
We live in a world of pear pressure. Others set the standard and we ware it, drive it, quote it, or do it. In some cases that’s okay, but not when it comes to your life’s direction. Jesus said, ‘If the Son liberates you (makes you free men), then you are really and unquestionably free.” That means you’re free from the pressures others try to put on you, free to be the person God called you to be; free to look to Him for answers instead of always looking to other people. The Bible says, “A man must be content to receive the gift which is given him from heaven” (Jn 3:27 AMP Classic Edition) When you scratch the surface you discover that deep down many of us struggle with insecurity. We’re competitive, always comparing ourselves to others. We’re envious of their possessions, abilities, and accomplishments. We find ourselves trying to keep up with certain people, or be just like them. And as a result we get frustrated because we’re operating outside of what God called us to be. In other words, we’re not being ourselves. Understand this: The Christian life is a race, and you must run on your own track. You’ll never enjoy the fullness of God’s blessing until you commit to being the person He created you to be. So look in the mirror today and announce, “I am what I am. I can’t be anything other than what God called me to be. So I’m going to concentrate on being the best me I can be – and celebrate every moment of it.” (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Thank You, God, for Your stable and unchanging nature. Help me to hide myself in You when trouble comes my way. Remind me that I don’t have to fight my own battles.
Refuge can be found in the Rock of Ages.

” Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (v4)
During a visit to India, some friends who were transporting me to a meeting began to talk about the change that Jesus makes in our lives when we surrender to Him. They told me about a man they knew was from a tribe that was looked down upon by every other in India. A sense of inferiority was in every breath he breathed when he was a boy. Someone, however, gave him the good news about Jesus and he became a Christian. Within a year or two, as a result of his Christlike character, he had become a powerful influence in the community, winning hundreds to the Saviour. He married and had six children, every one of whom became a college graduate. In his home, I understand, there is an amazing sense of peace. So great is the change in this man that people find it difficult to reconcile his present with his past. Many other illustrations of people overcoming deprived and difficult early environments spring to mind. I once visited a man in prison who had been converted. He told me a story of rejection, abuse and emotional deprivation in his early life such as I have never heard before. I wondered just how he would recover from all this. After leaving prison, however, he joined a church and found a job. Eventually he got married and trained to be a counsellor. Now he is one of the finest counselors I know. The wounds in his soul have all been healed. His new heredity shines through.
PRAYER LINE: Father, how can I ever thank You sufficiently for making me a participant in “the divine nature”? Help me grow and transform day by day into the image of Your Son. In His precious name, I pray. Amen. (EDWJ)
Jesus knows the way – follow Him.

“I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (v20)
Overcoming childhood Environment. Perhaps you are saying to yourself, “Even though I am a Christian I am still affected by what happened in my childhood. I feel as if the inner child of the past has not only survive but has thrived. I have grown up on the outside but not on the inside! If that is so how do you resolve the situation? How do you gain freedom from it? First, let me take you back to something said yesterday; when we belong to Jesus we ‘participate in the divine nature’ – we have a new heredity. The new can cancel out the old. If we are willing. There’s the rub: If we are willing. Martin Luther used to talk about ‘the divine exchange. “As far as I can tell, this is what he meant: the more we give ourselves to God the more He gives Himself to us. If we give only a little of ourselves to Him then He is able to give only a little of Himself to us.
Why is it, I have asked myself a thousand times that some Christians advance more in a year than others do in a lifetime? The answer, I think, is that our growth as Christians is governed by how much of ourselves we are prepared to entrust to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. My experience of dealing with People and my understanding of God’s Word have convinced me that when we open ourselves to Jesus, a work can be done in our hearts. It all depends of course, on how much we are willing to trust Him. We have full access to our Father God.
PRAYER LINE: Father, I want You to have all there is of me. Forgive me that I draw back from opening up the whole of my life to You. I am making the decision to change that – today. In Jesus’ name Amen. (EDWJ)
Christians can erase from their memory what God has erased from the record.

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things”(v11)
Here, we are talking of teaming up with God so that we receive and draw on His resources and do not rely on our own. Another principle is based on something Paul mentions in the chapter we have read today. He tells us that when he was a child he talked like a child, thought like a child, reasoned like a child, but when he became a man he put childish ways behind him. The Greek word he uses here to indicate the putting away of childish things Katargeo-means ‘to render inoperative’ He used that word to indicate that he had made a clear decision to have done with childish things. When seeking to be free of negative emotional influence from childhood, it is good to see the issue as one that needs to be dealt with, and then to enlist God’s help. The apostle James tells us that often the reason why we don’t receive is that we don’t ask (Jas 4:2) If early emotional influences have lift you with wounds, then ask God to render their influences inoperative. Many years ago, I sat with a seventy-year-old man who wept as he admitted the whole of his life had been plagued with memories of a bad childhood. ‘Have you ever asked God to deliver you from them? I asked. ‘No,’ he replied. ‘I have never seen them as something I ought to bring to God. ‘Shall we do so now?’ I suggested. God did something very powerful in that man’s life. If you, too, are struggling, He can do the same for you. PRAYER LINE: Father, help me to receive Your help in overcoming negative childhood influences and to let the new work that You have begun reach every part of me. I wait before You. May Your power be at work this very hour. Amen (EDWJ)
God’s warnings are to protect us, not to punish us.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet 5:8)
The roaring lion is the legendary “king of the jungle.” But the only lions many of us see are the lethargic felines that reside in zoos. Their days are filled with lots of rest, and their dinner is served to them without the lions having to lift a single paw. In their natural habitat, however, lions aren’t always living a laid-back life. Their hunger tells them to go hunting, and in doing so they seek the young, weak, sick, or injured Crouching in tall grasses, they slowly creep forward. Then with a sudden pounce, they clamp their jaws to the body of their victim.
Peter used “a roaring lion” as a metaphor for Satan.
He is a confident predator, looking for easy prey to devour (1 Peter 5:8). In dealing with this adversary, God’s children must be vigilant at putting “on the whole armour of God” and thus they can “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Eph 6:10-11)
The good news is that Satan is a defeated adversary. While he is a powerful foe, those who are protected by salvation, prayer, and the Word of God need not be paralyzed in fear at this roaring lion. We are “kept by the power of God” (1 Pet 1:5); Jas 4:7 assures us; “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” – Cindy Hess Kasper
PRAYER LINE: Lord, we knew that our enemy seeks to devour us please protect us from him. We believe Your Word that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.
No evil can penetrate the armour of God.

“Humility and fear of the Lord bring wealth and honour and life” (v4 NIV 1984 Edition)
When Benjamin Franklin was twenty – two he was living in Phildelphia after escaping an oppressive apprenticeship. He was, as they say, “trying to find himself. “One question burned in his heart. “what are the greatest priorities of my life?” In answer, he developed twelve “virtues” – Values that would govern his life. They were temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry sincerity, justice, order, resolution, cleanliness, tranquility, and chastity. Franklin took his list of virtues to an old Quaker friend and asked his opinion. His friend read them and said, “Benjamin, you’ve forgotten, the most important one.” Surprised, Franklin asked which one. The old man replied, “Humility.” Franklin immediately added it to his list. He organized his life into repeating thirteen-week cycles, focusing on one of those virtues each week. At seventy-eight years of age, he began reflecting on his life and the qualities he’d built it around. Though he felt pretty good about having achieved most of them, here’s what he said about humility. ‘I cannot boast of much success in acquiring the quality of this virtue, but I have had a good deal with regard to the appearance of it.” The Bible says, “Humility is an interesting virtue; you’re supposed to show it – but not know it! Jonathan Edwards said, “Nothing sets a person so much out of the Devil’s reach as humility.” If there’s one thing in this world your ego will neither seek nor strive for, it’s humility. Yet true and lasting success depends on it (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: Love is giving for the world’s need, Love is sharing as the Spirit leads. Love is caring when the world cries, Love is compassion with Christlike eyes.
Everyone can do something to make the world better – we can let Christ shine through us.

“Humility brings honour” (v23 NLT)
The story’s told of a young pastor who was widely known to be a gifted preacher. But as his congregation swelled so did his head! One Sunday after he’d delivered his latest masterpiece, a church member shook his hand and said, ‘You are, without a doubt, one of the greatest preachers of our generation.” It was all the young minister could do to squeeze his head into the car as he slid behind the steering wheel. And as he and his wife drove home he told her what his parishioner had said. She didn’t respond, so after fishing for affirmation he said, “I wonder just how many ‘great preachers there are in this generation?” She replied, “One fewer than you think, dear! “Try to imagine Jesus kneeling down with a towel and a basin to wash the dirt from your feet. In those days of unpaved streets, it was a common courtesy. When you visited someone’s home they’d wash your feet as a way of saying, ‘I welcome and honour you.” When Jesus’ disciples protested, He said to them, “I have given you an example to follow; do as I have done to you… That is the path of blessing” (Jn 13:15-17 TLB). Someone once said Leonard Bernstern, the brilliant New York Philharmonic conductor, what the most difficult position in the orchestra was. He replied, “Second fiddle.” Everybody wants to sit in the first chair. But in God’s kingdom we’re called to consider others first and ourselves second. When we do, God promises to honour us. (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: Tell me the story of Jesus, write on my heart every word; Tell me the story most precious, sweetest that ever was heard – Crosby
Jesus is humility exemplified; Imitate Him.

“You could fall on your face as easily as anyone else” (v12MSG)
Writing about mistakes some of God’s people made in the past, the apostle Paul penned these words. “These are all warning makers – DANGER- in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel – they are the beginning, we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fail flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence. No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down, He’ll never let you be pushed past your limit, he’ll always be there to help you come through it” (vv. 11-13 MSG). Here Paul addresses two kinds of people who are particularly at risk. (1) Those who think they’re in capable of falling. “You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone.” (2) Those who believe they’ll never be able to get back up again. “God will never let you down; He’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; He’ll always be there to help you come through it.” Isn’t that great news? God not only understands your struggle, He promises you an exit strategy, a way to get through it. So the word for you today is. More closer to God and stay there. (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: Lord, give me the grace to trust in Your power to ultimately prevail in the midst of the challenges of life. May my trust in You be rewarded by the power in Your overcoming strength.
The power of God within you is greater than the pressure of troubles around you.

THE TWO WAYS Matt 7:13-14
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat” (v13) Enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it” (Matt 7:13-14)
We have seen that Jesus said “I am the way.” Here in this passage, He speaks of two different ways: the broad way that leads to destruction and the narrow way that leads to life. As I was meditating on this passage, the Lord quickened it to me by saying, “Joyce, on the road way there is room for all kinds of fleshly things like bitterness and unforgiveness and resentment and vindictiveness. But on the narrow way there is only room for the Spirit.
In the flesh it is easy to take the broad path, but the end result is destruction. It is much harder to take the narrow path that leads to life.
Emotions move us to take the easy way, to do what feels good for the moment. Wisdom moves us to take the hard way that leads to life.
The question is which will we choose? (Joyce Meyer)
PRAYER LINE: Father, thank You for letting us share with You our worries and cares. We’re grateful that You stand beside us to comfort and guide. Help us to console others as You look out for Your own.
God comforts us so that we can comfort others.

“And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you…they that wait for him (KJV)
“And therefore the Lord (earnestly) waits (expecting, looking, and longing) to be gracious to you, and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of Justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate to be envied) are all those who (earnestly) wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him (for His victory; His favour, His love, His peace, His joy and His matchless, unbroken companionship” (Isa 30:18 MSG)
Notice again that God is a God of Justice! He waits and expects and looks and longs to do the right thing! Hebrews 6:10 tells us. For God is not unrighteous to forget or overlook your labour and the love which you have shown for His name’s sake… That’s why all of us who earnestly wait for Him are blessed. God is in His heaven waiting to be good to you and me. He is a God of mercy and justice, not of anger and punishment. He wants to balance out the scales of our lives, to make it up to us for all the hurts and wounds we have suffered no matter what they may be. Whatever your present situation or past experience, God wants to be good to you. He has a good plan for your life. (Joyce Meyer). PRAYER LINE: Give me a strong desire, O Lord, to look into Your Word each day. Help me hide it in my heart so that I might not stray from Your truth. Feed me and teach me about Yourself and Your will for me.
We honour God’s name when we call Him our Father and live like His children.

“And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (v21)
No matter what has happened to you in your lifetime, even if you have been abandoned by your spouse or abused by your parents or hurt by your children or others, if you will stay on that narrow path and leave all your excess baggage behind, sooner or later you will find the peace, joy, and fulfillment you seek. Jesus is the way, and He has shown us the way in which we are to walk. The Lord has sent upon us His Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in the way we are to go, the narrow way that leads to life and not the broad way that leads to destruction. We must keep walking in the ways of the Lord. And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen our courage and faint (Gal 6:9) The Bible does not promise that when do right, we will reap the reward immediately. But it does assure us that if we keep doing right, eventually we will be rewarded. God says, “As long as the earth remains, there will be seedtime and harvest” (Gen 8:22, author’s paraphrase). We might read it like this, “As long as the earth remains, there will be SEED, TIME and HARVEST.” We must be patient like the farmer. He plants the seed and expectantly waits for the harvest. He looks forward to and talks about the harvest. (Joyce Meyer)
PRAYER LINE: O to be like Thee, blessed Redeemer! This is my constant longing and prayer; Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures, Jesus Thy perfect likeness to wear – Chisholm
Holiness is a journey that leads to Godliness.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul and all that is within me, bless his holy name.”
We are who we are in Christ Jesus because of the goodness of God. For these reasons and many more, we need to make thanksgiving our lifestyle. Thanks –giving is an indispensable activity for every child of God. For our lives to experience the blessings of the Lord on a continuous basis, we need to thank Him. A lifestyle of thanksgiving can make a lot of thanksgiving, lost glory can be restored, as was the case with king Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 4:14-17) Thanksgiving is the door that ushers you into God’s blessings. For His greatness, goodness and wonderful works to the children of men, we must thank Him. We walk with our shoulders high because He is our Defense and Deliverer. He remains our Rock and source of strength in every situation. Whenever we gather together as a congregation. We thank God whole heartedly. There are blessings reserved for those who thank the Lord. He will always launch them to the realm of unimaginable favour. Our thanksgiving will only be acceptable if it comes from a heart of worship. For you to worship God in truth, you must live a holy life. We must be able to lift up clean hands and a pure heart to our Maker at all times (Ps 24:3-4; Phil 4:6) We must be honest and upright in character and reflect the nature of God in our dealings. PRAYER LINE: With a pure heart, you can make your request known to God and there will be instant response from the throne of grace.
Those who come before God with thanksgiving can never live by the mercy of men (O.H)

WHEN GOD IS QUIET 1kgs 19:1-12
“And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat” (v5)
I love to take pictures of sunsets at Lake Michigan. Some are subtle shades of pastel. Others are bold strokes of bright colour. Sometimes the sun sinks quietly behind the lake. Other times it goes down in what looks like a fiery explosion.
In pictures and in person, I prefer the latter. Both show the handiwork of God. When it comes to God’s work in the world, my preferences are the same. I would rather see dramatic answers to prayer than ordinary provisions of daily bread. But both are the work of God. Elijah may have had similar preferences. He had grown accustomed to being the center of God’s grand displays of power. When he prayed, God showed up in dramatic ways – first in a miraculous defeat against the prophets of Baal and then in the end to a long and devastating drought (1kgs 18). But then Elijah felt afraid and started to run. God sent an angel to feed him to strengthen him for his journey. after 40 days he arrived in Horeb. God showed him that He was now communicating in a still small voice, not in flashy miracles (1 kgs 19:11-12) If you’re discouraged because God hasn’t shown up in a blaze of glory, perhaps He’s revealing Himself with His quiet presence – Julie Ackerman Link PRAYER LINE: Lord, may we see You today in the small details of life in ways that we hadn’t noticed before. Thank You for the gift of Your quiet presence, whenever we may find it today.
God is in the small things as well as the great. (ODB)

“… I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (vv 13-14)
I was having lunch with two men who had opened their lives to Christ while they were in prison. The younger man had been discouraged by the fact that the family from whom he had stolen would not forgive him. “My crime was violent,” the old man said. “It continue to haunt and affect the family to this day. They have not forgiven me… the pain is just too great. At first, I found myself paralyzed by this longing for their forgiveness.” He continued his story: Then one day it’s a lot expect that the family forgive me – I was focused on what I felt I needed to heal from my past. It took sometime to realize that their forgiveness of me was a matter between them and God.”
“How can you stand it? The young man asked. The older man explained that God did for him what he didn’t deserve and what others simply can’t do. He died for our sins, and He keeps His promise to move our sins ‘as far as the east is from the west” (Ps 103:12) and ‘remembers (our) sins no more” (Isa 43-25) In the face of such great love, we honour Him by accepting His forgiveness as sufficient. We forget what lies behind and keep pressing forward (Phil 3:13-14) Kandy Kilgore
PRAYER LINE: Thank You, Father, for the work of Christ on the cross. Help me to understand and accept what it means for me, and to be a messenger of that forgiveness to those I meet along the way.
The work of Christ is sufficient for every sin. (ODB)

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life (v25a)
Death was walking toward a city one morning and a man asked, “What are you going to do?” “In going to take 100 people,” Death said. “That’s what I do.” The man hurried to warn everyone he could about death’s plan. As evening fell, he met Death again. “You told me you were going to take 100 people,” the man said,” “Why did 1,000 die?” I kept my word,” Death responded.
“I only took 100 people. Worry took the others.” Mental health experts have expressed concern over the growing plague of worry a cross the world, considering the rising statistics of people with mental health issues. The modern world is full of challenges to which believers are not immune. Many things are calling for attention and the natural response is to worry about them. “How do I pay my house rent? How do I pay the ever-increasing school fees of my children. “How do I cope with old age symptoms?” These and many more are often causes for worry. But in the midst of all these, Jesus Christ confidently tells us not to worry. Does that sound like an impossible thing? It will sound impossible if our faith and trust is not in the One one says “Do not worry,” Billy Graham said “worry is the natural result when our hopes are centred in anything short of God and His will for us.” What are your worries today? Lay them down for the Master who cares so much for you (1 Peter 5:7) Instead of worrying, pray about those concerns and have faith that God will take care of them. PRAYER LINE: Lord Jesus, help me to always pray and not to worry. (NBC)
Prayer is an acknowledgment of our need for God.

“Honour…marriage.” (Heb 13:4NLT)
Here are Ten Commandments for building a great marriage.
(1) God said, “Honour… marriage” so remain faithful to one another. Forsaking all others, put your mate before your mother, your father, your son, and your daughter. Your mate is your lifelong companion.
(2) Remember, “You …are the temple of God and… the Spirit of God lives in you” (1 Cor 3:16 NLT) Don’t abuse your health with excessive food, tobacco, drugs, and alcohol, and hopefully you’ll enjoy a long, healthy life around the people you love. (3) Never permit your business or hobby to make you a stranger to your own family. “Children are a gift from the Lord…a reward from him” (Ps 127:3 NLT), and the most precious gift you can give them is your time. (4) Don’t forget that cleanliness is a virtue. (5) Willingly share all your worldly goods, and don’t make your mate a beggar” (Eph 5:25 MSG) (6) ‘Don’t forget to say,” I love you.” Even though your love may be constant, your mate never gets tired of hearing those words. (7) Remember that the approval of your spouse is worth more than the admiring glances of a hundred strangers. (8) Keep your home peaceful and in good repair, for out of it comes the joys of old age. (9) Always forgive with grace, for who among us doesn’t need to be forgiven? “Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive… as quickly and thoroughly as…Christ forgave you” (Eph 4:32 MSG) (10) Honour God, and your children are much more likely to group up and honour you. (Prov 22:6) (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Admitting that we’re guilty, Acknowledging our sin,
Then trusting in Christ’s sacrifice Will make us clean within – Sper
Confession to God brings cleansing from God.

“Go at once to Zarephath… and stay there.” (v9 NIV 2011 Edition)
The stream Elijah had been drinking from dried up and the ravens that brought him food every day stopped coming. When that happens God’s trying to get your attention! He’s getting you ready to move. Next, God sent Elijah to an impoverished widow in the town of Zarephath, assuring him that she’d feed him. That must have been difficult for a leader who was used to ministering to others. Elijah found the widow in the middle of a famine, cooking one last meal for herself and her son. Nevertheless he changed her to obey God, promising, “There will always be flour and olive oil… in your containers until… the Lord sends rain and cruse grow” (v14NLT) What gave Elijah the faith to say that? Because he’d proven God’s faithfulness in his own life! You can only talk in faith when you walk in faith. And associating with people of faith is contagious; it builds your faith. That’s what happened to this widow. She and her son may not have eaten a five course meal every night, but God made sure that for the duration of the famine they had all they needed. So if you don’t have everything you want right now, obey God with what He’s given you and trust Him that when the time is right He’ll send an increase. Notice also, the faith of both the widow and the prophet was tested. So whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned believer, tests of faith will keep coming your way.
Is God directing you to your own personal Zarephath today? Don’t argue “Go at once,” because His blessing hinges on your obedience. (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Father, please direct me to my Zarephath, I pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
God’s kingdom is a treasure meant to be shared

DON’T MISS IT Mk 3:1-6
He looked round at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand” (v5)
What must we do to be rid of resentment? First, accept that all resentment is wrong even if it is seemingly justified. Many seek to justify their resentment by calling it “righteous indignation,’ when I was young I thought that if anyone held resentment against me it was unrighteous indignation, but if I held resentment against them it was righteous indignation. Since then I have learned differently,
Of course, there is such a thing as righteous indignation. Jesus demonstrated it in the synagogue, as we see from our reading today. The account says that He was deeply distressed at the people’s stubbornness. This is one way to tell if our indignation is righteous or unrighteous when we are distressed at what is happening to others, and not responding simply to what is happening to us, then the indignation can be described as righteous. Next, realize, as Heb 12:15 tells us, that resentment arises as a consequence of our missing the grace of God. ‘See to it that no one missed the grace of God,’ this verse warns us, ‘and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.’ Grace flows towards us every moment of our lives enabling us to respond to all that happens in a godly way. If we ignore that grace and therefore miss it, then a root of bitterness is likely to spring up. It’s no good saying, ‘I can’t help being resentful. It’s my nature.’ God’s grace is available to help you overcome your natural instincts. It’s there for you every time you are hurt. Don’t miss it. PRAYER LINE: Lord, I know I simply must learn these lessons if I am to thrive in Your kingdom. May nothing take root in me that does not come from You. In Jesus’ name. Amen. (EDWJ)
The more we understand God’s love for us the more love we’ll show to others.

“In your anger do not sin.” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (v26)
Today’s text refers to anger and not resentment (anger is a flare-up of the emotions, resentment is a slow burn), but the principle is the same. Deal with it before it begins to deal with you. Simply confess your resentment to God, surrender it to Him, tell Him you don’t want it to rule your life and put the whole matter into His hands. Whatever you do, don’t attempt to deal with resentment in your own strength. If you try to suppress it, all you will do is push it into the subconscious where it will continue to burn and smolder. Remember that you never bury any emotion dead – you burry it alive. And emotions can have a harmful effect on the body. In Christian terms, the need, as Corrie ten Boom used to say, is not to wrestle but to nestle. Another principle to follow if we are to be free from lingering resentment is: forgive everyone against whom you feel resentment. This can be extremely challenging. Immediately after teaching the disciples the Lord’s Prayer Jesus said. “But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matt 6:15) The following statement, which I read in a momentary, pulled me up sharply: “God cannot forgive the unforgiving. His hands are tied. His hands are released in forgiving us when we decide to forgive others who may have hurt us.” How powerful; if we refuse to forgive we break the bridge over which we ourselves must pass. Give yourself into your loving Father’s hands today. PRAYER LINE: Gracious and forgiving God, help me to forgive others as freely and as fully as You forgive me. May I take forgiveness with one hand and give it with the other. In Jesus’ name. Amen (EDWJ)
Compassion is the capacity to put Christ like love into action.

‘Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (v5)
When we refuse to forgive others, we inhibit God’s forgiveness reaching us. It is not that God does not want to forgive us; the problem is that we are putting ourselves in a position where we are unable to fully receive His forgiveness. We read in today’s text that we are to treat each other in the same way that Jesus treats us. And how does He treat us? With kindness, consideration and forgiveness. When He forgives, He forgives wholly; when He forgets, He forgets wholly. ‘You may well find this final suggestion difficult, but, with God’s help, try to do good to anyone against whom you have help resentment. The story is told in the USA of a preacher who walked fifty miles to plead with George Washington to spare the life of a man who had been sentenced to death for dereliction of duty, “I am sorry,” said Washington after listening to the preacher’s plea,” but I cannot grant the request for your friend’s pardon “But he’s not my friend,” the preacher responded. ‘For some reason he has made himself my greatest enemy.’ Surely you are not pleading for your enemy.’ Washington exclaimed. ‘I am,’ replied the preacher. ‘Then,’ said Washington, ‘I will grant the pardon.’ I believe if you learn and then live out the principles I have outlined, not only will they prevent you from becoming a sour, morose and embittered soul but they will transform you into the image of Jesus. The more you love, the more like Him you will become. PRAYER LINE: Lord Jesus, You not only suffered for those who hammered You to the cross, You prayed for them also. Help me, when wronged, to forgive my enemies too and to pray for them. For Your own dear name’s sake. Amen (EDWJ)
The words of our prayers are not as important as the condition of our hearts.

“Do not turn…to the right or… the left, that you may be successful wherever you go” Josh 1:7 NIV (2011 Edition)
Peter McWilliams said, ‘To avoid situations in which you might make mistakes, may be overcome to succeed in life.
(1) Situations. Do you feel like you’re mired in a dead end one? Maybe you’d like to go to college, but you can’t afford it. Or change jobs, but you feel trapped by your salary or the fear of forfeiting your retirement pension. Perhaps you feel trapped by a physical handicap or illness. The
Secret to overcoming is to divide your circumstances into situations you can change and those you can’t. Nearly everything in life can be changed, or approached in a different way. But it can’t always be done right now. Make a list of things you can change. Too many of us fail-and keep failing – because we persist in trying to change what can’t be altered. Stop banging your head against a wall, and practice realistic thinking. Understanding the difference between faith and fantasy. Somebody said, “For every problem under the sun, there is a remedy or there is none. If there’s a solution go and find it, and if there isn’t, never mind it.’ God has given you certain gifts. When you discover, develop, and deploy them. He’ll give you success in the face of seemingly impossible odds. Ignore what you can’t change, focus on what you can and opportunities will reveal themselves. As Hannibal said during his famous march across the Alps, ‘We will either find a way, or make one.” You need that spirit too. (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: There’s so much wisdom to be learned, So many ways for me to grow, Lord, I would listen like a child, And learned what You would have me know – D Dee Haan
Wisdom is understanding what’s really important.

“In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.” (v21)
Meeting together with other members of God’s family is one of the most powerful ways to bringing about a changed perspective.
Another thing that happens when we go to church or meet together is that we are reminded that the very existence of the church in today’s world is proof positive that God is on the throne. I believe it was Voltaire, the French philosopher, who said, ‘It required eleven men to build the church; I will prove that it needs only one man to knock it down.’ He couldn’t have been much further from the truth. Firstly, it wasn’t eleven men who built the church, but one man, the-God-man Jesus Christ, whose birth we will always celebrate. And Secondly, this one man declared: “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome t.” (Matt 16:18) The mere existence of the Church is, decisive proof that the living Christ is in the midst of it. Voltaire is dust; Jesus lives on. Think of the tempests the Church has weathered through the centuries. Think also of the persecutions through which it has victoriously come, the inquisitions, the outrages, the martyrdoms and try, if you can, to account for this extraordinary phenomenon apart from the fact that its founder and protector is Jesus Christ . The next time you meet together with your church fellowship, reflect on the fact that, although every generation has produced people who have predicted the down fall and disappearance of the Christian Church – it is still here. The realization of this is yet another thing, that helps to put our doubts into the right perspective. PRAYER LINE: Lord Jesus, how can I thank You enough for the times my own perspective has been changed after meeting together with Your people? I see even more clearly now why You commanded us not to neglect assembly together. And I am grateful. Amen. (EDWJ)
The Bible is the History of His story.

“I’m giving it everything I’ve got (v27MSG)
( 2) The Second, issue you’ll have to address is your emotions. While they can be a gauge of how you feel and a clue to what needs to be changed in your life, never let emotion alone dictate your decisios. Ask anyone who has to perform at the top of their game, and you’ll find that much of their time is spent overriding their emotions.
However, listening to your emotions to get to the core of what’s bothering you can be a very revealing indicator of our condition. Consider these two statements. (1) I don’t feel like working today. Why not? Did you stay up too late last night? Perhaps you need to change your schedule. Are you eating well? Maybe you need to adjust your diet. Not motivated? Talk to God, read His Word, spend time with an encouraging friend, etc. don’t just sit there, do something, (2) I’m a little depressed. Are you getting enough relaxation? Have you taken a vacation lately? Our moods generally swing up after exercise; so start moving and get into shape. You can’t afford to live life based on your emotions. They’ll delay you, stop you, and create detours on your journey to success. You say ‘I’m waiting for inspiration. A novelist Jack London said, ‘You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.” Follow Paul’s example. ‘I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me. I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else about it and then missing out myself. (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Dear Lord, we want to be a testimony for You. Give us wisdom to know when to speak or not speak, and what to say or not say. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for Your direction today.
Silence can be one tool to overcome.

“Though it cost all you have, get understanding” (Prov 4:7)
( 3) The Third, thing you must overcome on your way to success is Ignorance. As writer Don Wood quipped. “Stupid is forever, ignorance can be fixed.” Far too often we don’t think realistically, or we fail to seek out the information and expertise we need. Edison failed many times, but his eventual success didn’t come from luck – it came from preparation. Many of us undervalue knowledge. For example, because computers allow us to try and to fail so many times, we don’t take time to read the manual. Because we’re so rushed, we’re reluctant to stop and find out what we really need to know. Because young people feel pressured into getting a job, often they fail to see the value of investing time in higher education. Gold champion Jack Nicklaus said, ‘Learn the fundamentals of the game and stick to them. Band Aid remedies never last. “You may be fortunate enough to get promoted beyond your level of competence. But if your knowledge doesn’t keep up with your position, you’re doomed to fail. Here are some scriptural words to live by.” You’re blessed when you meet Lady Wisdom, when you make friends with Madam Insight, she’s worth far more than money in the bank, her friendship is better than a big salary. Her value exceeds all the trappings of wealth, nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her. With one hand she gives long life, with the other she confers recognition. Her manner is beautiful, her life wonderfully complete. She’s the very Tree of life to those who embrace her. Hold her tight-and be blessed (Prov 3:13-18 MSG) (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: Repentance is to leave the sin That I had loved before, And show that I am grieved by it By doing it no more – Anon.
We do not repent in order to go to Christ we go to Christ in order to repent.

(Jesus) looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house” (v5)
At the beginning of the academic year, a school principal in our city pledged to learn the names of all 600 students in her school. Anyone who doubted her ability or resolve could look at her track record. During the previous year she had learned the names of 700 students, and prior to that, 400 children in a different school. Thinking of what it must have meant to these students to be recognized and greeted by name. The story of Zacchaeus and Jesus (Lk 19:1-10) contains a surprising element of personal recognition. As Jesus passed through the city of Jericho, a wealthy tax collector named Zacchaeus climbed a tree in order to see Him. “When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house (v5). Instead of ignoring Zaccchaeus or saying “Hey, you in the tree,” Jesu called him by name. From that moment on, his life began to change. When it seems that no one knows you or cares who you are, remember Jesus. He knows us by name and longs for us to know Him in a personal way. Our Father in heaven sees us through His eyes of love and cares about every detail of our lives – David McCasland. PRAYER LINE: Father, thank You that my value in Your eyes is not determined by what I do but simply by the fact that You created me. Help me to recognize that same value in others as I represent You to the world.
Jesus knows you by name and longs for you to know Him (ODB)

“Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” (v5)
When discussing this subject, many Christians seem to put their faith on one side and bring out all the prejudices and worldly arguments they have been accustomed to using over the years. Not everyone does this, of course, but nevertheless it happens all too frequently. What does this say to us? It reveals our great need to break with the idea that life can be viewed on two levels – the natural and the spiritual.
As disciples of Jesus we learn to look at everything from a spiritual viewpoint or otherwise we will fall prey to the same problems as the psalmist. The great preacher C. H Spurgeon once told a group of theological students that after they entered the ministry they should not be surprised to find that people who prayed like angels in a church prayer meeting could act like devils in a church business meeting,.
Unfortunately the history of the church proves his statement to be true. How can this happen? It’s because in a prayer meeting people think spiritually, but in a business meeting they revert to their purely human patterns of thinking with all its prejudices and approaches to life. The spirit of rivalry and competitiveness rises within them and as soon as anyone bumps against them – out it comes. As today’s passage shows so clearly, the incarnate Son of God never used His position to His own advantage, but in the hour of overwhelming testing He was able to say, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” PRAYER LINE: My Father and my God, forgive me that so often my thinking is based on my usual patterns, rather than spiritual perspectives. I think spiritually about some aspects but not all. Help me, dear Lord, In Jesus’ name. Amen. (EDWJ)
Confession to God always brings cleansing from God.

“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” (v12)
Try to slot yourself based on-one of these statements: (a) I’m always ethical. (b) I’m mostly ethical. (c) I’m somewhat ethical. (d) I’m seldom ethical. (e) I’m never ethical. Which slot do you fall into? If we’re truthful, most of us would likely put ourselves in slot (b) Why? Because of personal convenience. Think about it. Paying the price for success is inconvenient. Putting others first is inconvenient. Practicing personal discipline is inconvenient. Risking confrontation is inconvenient. Most of us think being ethical is fine-unless we’re on the losing end of somebody else’s ethical lapse. But if you’re serious about establishing an ethical standard to live by, you need look no further than the Golden Rule: “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you” And (1) It brings peace and self-worth. When all is said and done, you need to be able to live with yourself because “wherever you go you take yourself with you.” If the only way you can win is by cheating, you lose self-respect; fear being exposed, lack confidence in approaching God, and your successes feel hollow. (2) It results in a win win. Are you the kind of person who thinks that in order for you to win, somebody else must lose? That philosophy doesn’t work. When you treat other people the way you want to be treated, they win, and when they reciprocate, you win. There are no losers. (3) It’s easy to understand. You simply put yourself in the other person’s shoes. That’s it. There are no complicated rules and no loopholes. (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: O Christians remember you bear His dear name, Your lives are for others to view; you’re living examples – men praise you or blame, And measure your Saviour by you – Anon.
The most valuable commentary on the Bible is a godly life.

“For you will be treated as you treat others.” (v2NLT)
In His book Running with the Giants, John Maxwell tells of a new pastor who shared the following eight rules with his congregation (1) If you’ve a problem with me, come and see me privately. I’ll do the same for you (2) If someone else has a problem with me and comes to you, send him to me. I’ll do the same. (3) If someone won’t come to me, say, “Let’s go see him together. “I’ll do the same (4) Be careful how you interpret me- I’d rather do that. It’s too easy to misinterpret intentions, I’ll also be careful how I interpret you. (5) If it’s confidential, don’t tell. If you or anyone else comes to me in confidence, I won’t tell, unless they’re going to harm themselves, harm someone else, or a child has been physically or sexually abused. I expect the same from you. (6) I don’t read unsigned letters. (7) I don’t manipulate. I won’t be manipulated. Don’t let others manipulate you. And don’t let others try to manipulate you. (8) when in doubt, just say so. If I can answer without misrepresenting something or breaking a confidence, I will. Those eight rules can be reduced to one sentence. “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” Good marriages, business relationships, and friendships are based on the Golden Rule Jesus gave us. One final thoughts, “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thess 5:22 KJV) If people could construe that you’re taking advantage of them even after you’ve had a chance to explain your motives, you may need to rethink your idea. (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: Lord, help us to see how much we need each other in our Christian walk. May we show Your love to others who are different than us. Give us an open heart to learn. Anon.
We need one another in order to be who God wants us to be.

THE GOLDEN RULE (3) Matt 22:
“Love your neighbour as yourself.” (v39 NIV 2011 Edition)
To make the Golden Rule part of your daily life, you must try to do three things for others (1) Trust them. Without trust there can be no real relationship. Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson said: “The chief lesson I’ve learned in a long life is that the only way to make a man trustworthy is by trusting him, and the surest way to make him untrustworthy is to distrust him and show your distrust.” Is it always easy? No, especially when it’s someone you don’t know very well. Nevertheless, that’s Christ’s Golden Rule. As you strive to invest confidence in others just as you’d like it to be invested in you, remember that the person who trusts others will always lose less than the person who distrusts them. (2) Thank them. Human relations expert Donald Laird said; “Always help people increase their self-esteem… There’s hardly a higher compliment you can to fired satisfaction in his usefulness.” How do you do that? By letting them know you appreciate their efforts.
By making a point of praising them in the presence of those closest to them. As Broadway producer Billy Rose observed: “It’s hard for a fellow to keep a clip on his shoulder if you allow him to take a bow.” (3) Value them. Surveys confirm that 70 percent of workers who leave their jobs do so because they don’t feel valued. That’s an indictment of how poorly some leaders treat employees.’ There isn’t a person in the world who doesn’t want to be appreciated. Don’t you? So make a habit of practicing the Golden Rule. (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: Search me, O God, and know my heart today Try me, O Saviour, know my thoughts, I pray, See if there be some wicked way in me cleanse me from every sin and set me free – Orr
Confession to God always brings cleansing from God.

“But as for me, it is good for me to be near God (v28)
Let’s remind ourselves what the psalmist has taught us. Life is filled with many painful and perplexing problems which at times cause us to cry out: ‘Lord, why don’t you do something? ‘Yet just as our feet are about to slip and slide, something always comes to us – an idea or a thought, which if we hold on to it, serves to steady our downward progress. We discover that when we act responsibly and do what is right even though we do not feel like it, we put ourselves in the way of experiencing inward change.
But it is not God’s purpose to bring about only a little change – He desires to bring about a lot of change. How does He achieve this? He does it by bringing us into His presence and revealing it to us His Word.
There we discover that our greatest problems are not the ones that are outside us but the ones that are inside us – our perspectives are out of kilter. Real change comes not when our feelings are soothed, but when our thinking is changed. Changed thinking lead, to changed aspirations. When our perspectives are controlled by the Word rather than by the world then, as surely as night follows day, we will experience inner peace and tranquility. The psalmist resolved to draw near to God and stay close to Him so that he could see life steadily, and see it whole.’ As we look forwards year 2019, let’s make it our resolution too.
PRAYER LINE: Father, I see that the secret of effective living is looking at life from Your point of view. I resolve by Your grace to give myself more and more to learning this secret. Help me, my Father. In Jesus’ name I ask it. Amen (EDWJ).
No life is more secure than a life surrendered to God.

“By You I have been upheld from birth (Ps 7:1-6)
Our heart beats about 100,000 times every day, pumping blood to every cell in our bodies. This adds up to about 35 million beats a year and 2.5 billion beats in an average lifetime. Medical science tells us that every contraction is similar to the effort it would take for us to hold a tennis ball in our palm and give it a good hard squeeze.
Yet as amazing as our heart is, it is only one example of a natural world that is designed to tell us something about our Creator. This is the idea behind the story of a man named Job. Broken by a series of mounting troubles, Job felt abandoned. When God finally spoke, He didn’t tell Job why he was suffering. Nor did the Creator tell him that someday, He would suffer for Job. Instead, He drew Job’s attention to a series of natural wonders that are always whispering to us – and sometimes shouting – about a wisdom and power far greater than our own (Job 38:1-11) So what can we learn from the complexity of this hard-working muscle, the heart? The message may be similar to the sound of waves coming to shore and stars quietly shining in the night sky. The power and wisdom of our Creator give us reason to trust Him – Mart. De Haan.
PRAYER LINE: Lord, we are Yours, You are our God; We have been made so wonderously; This human frame in every part Your wisdom, power, and love we see – Anon.
When we reflect on the power of God’s creation, we see the power of His care for us (ODB)

“Jesus replied, “You are in error, because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” (v29)
The person who knows and understands the Bible will be acquainted with elements they need to have in order to come to right and sound conclusions. The more familiar we are with those truths the more sound our conclusions, and the more we will see life as a whole.
So immerse yourself in the Bible – read it, live it understand that human nature is marred and, apart from God’s grace and power men and women cannot live up to their original design and destiny. Realize that the spiritual is more powerful than the material, and unless the spirit is in the driving seat we will be driving by physical and immediate wants. Where will you find the answer to the claim that humanity is improving and that sin and evil are just growing pains? You find it in the Scriptures – and only from the Scriptures. What does the Bible tell us about evil? It says it is part of the human condition and can never be rooted out except through the power and the grace of God. So study the Bible. Read it, memories it, and meditate on it. When next you feel dispirited because you cannot make sense of something, ask yourself – what are the facts? Dig into the Scriptures and draw your perspective from what the Bible says. The root of many of our emotional problems lies in a lack of clear thinking – clear thinking based on Scripture. Think as God thinks about issues and you feel as God feels about them. For you are not what you think you are, but what God says you are.
PRAYER LINE: Father, I see now why so often my thinking about life is so confused my thinking is not based on the facts. Help me draw my deductions not from what I see in the world, but from what I see in the World. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Our greatest hope here below is help from God above.

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. (v14)
In the pages of Scripture, several baby – boy births stand out. Cain the firstborn after creation. Isaac, the hope of Israel’s future. Samuel, the answer to a mother’s fervent prayer. All extremely important. All joyously expected. And all described exactly the same by the chroniclers of Scripture. In each case, we are told that mother conceived and bore a son (Gen 4:1; 21:2-3; 1 Sam 1:20)
Now consider one more baby boy’s birth. The description of this arrival was much more greatly detailed: a few words were clearly not enough to tell of Jesus’ birth. In Micah, we were told where He would be born – Bethlehem (5:2). In Isaiah, that His mother would be a virgin (7:14), and that He was coming to save people from their sin (Ch 53).
In the New Testament, we were given such key information as what His name would be and why (Matt 1:21) where He was born in fulfillment of prophesy (2:6), and how both His birth mother and His adoptive father were part of God’s plan (1:16) Jesus’ birth stands above all births. His coming changed the world and can change our lives. Let’s celebrate Him – Dave Brason
PRAYER LINE: Mild He lays His glory by, Born that man no more may die, Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth – Wesley.
Christ is the greatest gift known to man.

‘I’M AFRAID OF THE DARK’ Prov 12:1-8
“The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous stands firm.” (v7)
When the psalmist looked at the bigger picture and considered the future of those who lived their lives without God, everything dropped into focus. How grim and cheerless was the view of life held by Dr. Marrett, a rationalist and head of one of the colleges in Oxford, especially, as it relates to the end. He wrote near to end of his life: “I have nothing to look forward to but chill autumn and still chillier winter and yet I must somehow try not to lose heart.” H.G. wells, who ridiculed and scoffed at Christianity with its doctrine of sin and salvation, said at the end of his life that he was utterly baffled and bewildered. The title of his last book summed up his view of things – Mind at the End of its Tether: A noticed atheist, when he was dying, asked one of his relatives for a lighted candle to be placed in his hand.” Why a lighted candle? Asked the concerned relative. He replied “Because I am afraid to go out into the dark.” It’s so short –term and immediate when we look enviously at the lifestyle of those who don’t know God, focusing only on their present successes and the marvelous time they seem to be having, without considering their end. We ought never to forget that no matter how glittering their lifestyle, death and eternity is a matter that must be faced. PRAYER LINE: Lord God, let this sobering thought not only free me from envy but kindle a deep concern for those who do not know You. May I be used in some way to halt the progress of someone on the road to a lost eternity. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. (EDWJ)
The storms that threaten to destroy us God will use to strengthen us.

I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you (Gen 17:7 NIV)
Covenant is an agreement between two or more people. God made an everlasting covenant with Abraham as a proof of fulfilling His promises (Gen 12:1-3). For this promise to be a reality, Abraham had to be upright in his walk with God (v1) The content of the covenant reveals that God wanted to be to be the God of Abraham and his descendants. The token of the covenant was circumcision. Abraham got circumcised at the age of ninety-nine and then the promised child arrived. God is faithful to His words but believers must play their own part. Walking uprightly is necessary on the part of believers. When flesh dominates a life, such life has no power and no sense of right judgment. The continuous existence and performance of God’s covenant is hinged on obedience on the part of believers. Obey God today and His purpose will be fulfilled in your life. You cannot enjoy the blessings of God if you live in disobedience of His word. Walking with God is as important as walking in obedience with Him. Partial obedience is total disobedience, therefore, obey God completely today. PRAYER LINE: Lord, give me the grace to obey You throughout my life, I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen (NBC)
God is a covenant Keeper. So must you.

“Elijah was a man just like us (v17 NIV 1984 Edition)
Elijah who’d been fearless for the three years, became frightened when Jezebel threatened his life. So he ran to the desert, where he became depressed and announced, “I have had enough, Lord … Take my life” (1 kgs 19:4 NIV 2011 Edition) Elijah became a prime candidate for depression when he got physically tired, emotionally drained, and felt threatened. He was a basket case of emotional problems, fear resentment, guilt, anger, loneliness, and worry. And the Bible says, “Elijah was a man just like us” He wrestled with the same problems we do. He got so depressed that he wanted to die! Why do we get ourselves into such emotional messes? Sometimes it’s because of what happens to us – bad circumstances that occur in our lives. But more often it’s due to faulty thinking. The truth is our emotions are generated by our thoughts, and when we think in destructive ways we are going to feel depressed. Our emotions spring from how we interpret life, and if you always see things from a negative viewpoint you’re going to get down. To rid yourself of harmful emotions you must learn to change the way you think. That’s why the Bible talks about being “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom 12:2 KJV) To overcome depression you must learn to correct your wrong thinking and attitudes about life. In the words of Jesus, when you ‘know the truth, the truth will set you free” (Jn 8:32 NIV 2011 Edition) Looking at things from the right point of view – God’s viewpoint – is the path to overcoming depression (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: When life’s journey gets so difficult That it feels too much to bear, Just remember, we don’t walk alone – Our almighty God is there- Sper
The storms of life remind us, to take shelter in the loving arms of our Saviour.

“He …collapsed… wanting… to be done with it all (v4 MSG)
The Bible says; “When Elijah saw how things were, he ran for dear life to Beersheba… He left his young servant there and…went on into the desert another day’s journey. He came to a lone broom bush and collapsed in its shade; wanting in the worst way to be done with it all just to die” (vv3-4 MSG). What was Elijah’s mistake? The same one we sometimes make when we’re depressed. We focus on our feelings rather than on the facts of the situation. It happens when we got down. Elijah felt like a failure because of one incident that intimidated him. He thought to himself, “I’m such a coward – why am I running?” And because he felt like a failure he assumed he was a failure. Feelings often lie, and when we focus on how we feel instead of focusing on reality we get into trouble. For instance, when we make a mistake in one area, we tend to feel like we’re failures at all of life in general. That’s a misconception. Everyone is entitled to make mistakes, and you can fail in some areas without being a failure as a person. Mental health experts encourage us to vent our feelings and get them out. But that’s not the complete answer, because feelings are notoriously unreliable. God doesn’t tell us to get in touch with our feelings, but to get in touch with the truth of His Word because ultimately that’s what sets us free (Jn 8:32) To overcome depression you must study God’s Word and practice bringing your feelings into alignment with what it says (TWFT)
PRAYER LINE: Are you facing challenges too much to bear? Call on the Burden Bearer now. Surrender to Him absolutely and your burden will be lifted, in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
Fear not, for the burden Bearer is beside you.

“Lord… Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors
Another cause for depression is comparing ourselves with other people. We think, “If I could just be like so and so I’d be happy.” When you compare yourself with other people you’re asking for trouble (2 Cor 10:12) There’s only one person you should strive to be – and that’s yourself. When you try to imitate another person and act like them in variably you end up depressed. You need to be honest with yourself, and be who you are. That’s all God wants. That’s all He expects. When we start comparing ourselves with other people, we fall into another trap: We compare our weaknesses with their strengths. We forget that those people may be weak in areas where we are strong. What’s more, we try to motivate ourselves through self-criticism and condemnation. We do it by “shielding” our selves. I should be able to be like that person. I should be able to act better. “I should be able to accomplish it. I should be able to stop it” – as if whipping ourselves verbally is going to change us! Nagging doesn’t work when we do it to another person, and nagging ourselves doesn’t work either. So what’s the solution? Start programming your mind with God’s Word. “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself…has given us great and precious promises… that enable us to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human cares” (2 Pet 1:3-4 NLT) (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: Exhaustless store of treasured gems, within this Book I hold; And as I read, it comes alive, New treasures to unfold – Mortenson
Rich treasures of God’s truth are waiting to be discovered by you.

“I’ve been working my heart out for…God.” (v10MSG)
After Elijah fled to the desert and hid in a cave, God asked him, “What are you doing here? (v9MSG) Where upon Elijah replied, ‘I’ve been working my heart out…because the people of Israel have abandoned your covenant, destroyed your places of worship, and murdered your prophets. I’m the only one left, and now they’re trying to kill me, (v14MSG) Another thing that causes depression is assuming false blame. When we take on a responsibility God never gave us, it’s too heavy a burden to bear. If you’re in the habit of helping people, you soon realize they don’t always respond in the way you’d like. And that’s the case whether it’s your children, your friends, your spouse, or the people you work with. People react in many different ways, and you can’t assume personal responsibility for their responses. God has given each of us a free will, and when you accept responsibility for other people’s decisions you take on a burden that will only depress you. At best, you can influence but you can’t control them. The final decision is theirs, so don’t let yourself get down over something that you can’t control. When you know you’ve done what God told you to do, trust Him to do what you can’t do. Any time you try to convict, convince, convert, control or change another person, you’re setting yourself up for misery. The Bible says, “It is God who works in you (and others) to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Phil 2:13 NIV 1984 Edition) So when you’ve done your part, back off and let God do His. (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: The heart of man is stained by sin, From Adam’s fall this has been true; Yet God in Christ can make a change – Through faith in Him we are made new – Fitzhugh
For a new start, ask God for a new heart.

“They are trying to kill me too” (v10 NIV 2011 Edition)
Here’s another mistake that triggered Elijah’s depression. He exaggerated the negative. It’s that old “everybody’s against me!” Thinking. The fact is, almost nobody was against Elijah. Only one person opposed him, and her threat wasn’t real. Queen Jezebel didn’t dare kill Elijah. Think about it. If she’d really intended to kill him she wouldn’t have sent a messenger to warn him, she’d have sent a hit man. Jezebel feared Elijah’s influence. If he’d ended up a martyr, that would have increased his influence and likely caused a revolution. Having just witnessed what God did to the prophets of Baal, Jezebel was probably afraid of what God would do to her if she touched His prophet. So her words were empty threats. But instead of stopping to realistically evaluate the situation, Elijah ran away. When we’re depressed we tend to exaggerate the negative. In reality, Elijah wasn’t the only person still faithful to God. There were seven thousand other prophets who hadn’t succumbed to pagan religion (v18. NIV), but Elijah exaggerated the problem and ended up sinking lower than ever. If you feel depressed today, put your trust in God. Rise up and say, “This too shall pass. What does not destroy me will only make me stronger.” Here’s a promise you can stand on with complete confidence. “Your goodness is so great! You have stored up great blessings for those who honour you. You have done so much for those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world” (Ps 31:19 NLT) (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: Open my eyes that I may see, Glimpses of truth, Thou hast for me; Place in my hands the wonderful key That shall unclasp and set me free – Scott.
Lord open our eyes that we may see.

The grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus (v14)
Charles Dickson’s Novel a Christmas Carol was released on December 19, 1843, and has never been out of print. It tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a wealthy, sour, stingy man who says, “Every idiot who goes about with “Merry Christmas,” on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding!” Yet, one Christmas Eve, Scrooge is radically changed into a generous and happy man. With great humour and insight, Dickson’s book captures the universal longing for inner peace. As a young man the apostle Paul opposed Jesus and His followers with a vengeful spirit. He “made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison (Acts 8:3). But one day he encountered the risen Christ, and his life became a different story (9:1-16) In a letter to Timothy, his son in the faith, Paul described that life-changing event by saying, even though he was ‘a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man…the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 1:13-14) Jesus was born into our world and gave His life so that we can be forgiven and transformed through faith in Him. This is the heart of Christmas – David McCasland. PRAYER LINE: Then let us all with one accord Sing praises to our heavenly Lord, That hath made heaven and earth of naught, And with His blood mankind and bought – English Carol.
A change in behaviour begins with Jesus changing our heart (ODB)

IN JESUS’ NAME Jn 14:12-21
Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (Jn 16:24)
One of my favourite collections of photos is of a family dinner. Preserved in an album are images of Dad, his sons and their wives, and his grandchildren in a time of thanksgiving and intercession.
Dad had suffered a series of strokes and was not as verbal as usual. But during that time of prayer, I heard him say with heartfelt conviction: “We pray in Jesus’ name!” About a year later, Dad passed from this world into the presence of the One in whose name he placed such trust. Jesus taught us to pray in His name. the night before He was crucified, He gave a promise to His disciples: “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (Jn 16:24). But the promise of asking in Jesus’ name is not a blank cheque that we might get anything to fulfill our personal whims.
Earlier that evening, Jesus taught that he answers requests made in His name so that He will bring glory to the Father (Jn 14:13). And later that night, Jesus Himself prayed in anguish ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matt 26:39) As we pray, we yield to God’s wisdom, love, and sovereignty, and we confidently ask “in Jesus’ name.” – Dennis Fisher.
PRAYER LINE: Father in heaven, help us worry less about what we can get from You and more about what we can learn from You. As Your followers said, “ Increase our faith” (Lk 17:5)
Nothing lies beyond the reach of prayer except that which lies outside the will of God. (ODB)

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (v9)
The psalmist examined himself in the presence of God and discovered that three things had led him astray.
(1)First, he saw that he had allowed his heart to rule his head: When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant (Ps 73:21-22) What’s the background to this? Many of our troubles arise because we are governed by the feelings in our hearts rather than the clear thinking that ought to be going on in our heads. When the heart gets in control, it persuades us into believing things that are not true. It makes us susceptible. The psalmist thought that his feelings about those who disregard God were facts, but this was nothing more than what psychologists call “emotional reasoning” – believing that what you feel is the way things really are. The moment the psalmist’s feelings were corrected by the facts, the feeling disappeared. There was no real problem at all. He had worked himself up as we say, into a self-induced frenzy.
I have done it myself (and so, I am sure, have you) when I have allowed my feelings to dominate me to such an extent that I have begun to believe that molehills are mountains and trivial issues are problems of gigantic proportions. The real trouble in the psalmist’s life was not what was going on in his outer world, but what was going on in his inner world. In other words, the real source of his trouble was – himself.
PRAYER LINE: Father, I see more clearly every day that most of my struggles are the ones I make for myself by my wrong thinking and wrong perceptions. Help me keep my heart under control-by clear biblical thinking, In Jesus’ name I ask it. Amen (EDWJ)
Let your light shine – whether you’re a candle in a corner or a lighthouse on a hill.

“THINK, MAN, THINK” Rom 12:1-8
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (v2)
(2)The Second thing the writer of Psalm 73 learned about himself as he paused in self-examination was this – ‘I saw myself so stupid and so ignorant” (v22TLB) There were things he knew which he had foolishly chosen to forget. He forgot that success and prosperity were temporary. He forgot the purpose of godly living. He forgot that God always has the last word. If you and I respond as the psalmist did to trials and life’s struggles – Then there is only one thing that can be said about us – we too are forgetful. (3) The Third thing the psalmist learned about himself was that he had reacted like an animal –irrationally and instinctively: “I was a brute beast before you” (v22) What is the difference between a beast and a human being? An animal lacks the full faculty of reason and is unable to consider itself and its actions. It responds to any stimulus mechanically and instinctively without any interval for thought. The psalmist had been doing that – he had failed to put an interval of thought between the stimulus and the response. Once he did stop to think, and put the situation in a different context, his negative feelings immediately dissolved. Is not this the value of the Bible? As we read it, it reasons with us. It tells us not to react instinctively to things, but to think them through and ask God for His perspective. It gives us a new framework for our understanding, a new context in which to think. The more we draw our understanding from the scriptures and learn to think God’s thoughts after Him, the more secure and the more effective our lives become. PRAYER LINE: Father, I am grateful that You have made me like Yourself – with ability to think. Help me to build up thought pattern from Your Word. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. (EDWJ)
What may seem upside down to us is right side up to God.

“Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another (v13 NKJV)
For some people Christmas is not a time of joy, but depression. In some cases it’s because their families are fractured by divorce and their memories are painful. In their book, None of These Diseases. S.I. McMillen and David Stern described the damage we inflict on ourselves when we dislike someone or refuse to forgive them. “The moment I begin to hate a man, I become his slave. He controls my thought. He controls my feelings. He even controls my dreams. Stress hormones constantly surge through my blood stream and wear down my body… the one hate hounds me wherever I go. “As your family gathers for Christmas, perhaps there’s a member you don’t like or haven’t forgiven. If so, remember that Jesus came into the world to love the unlovely and forgive the unworthy. The word “grace” means “unearned, unmerited, undeserved favour.” And Christ will flush the anger and resentment out of your heart if you let Him. If you’re not looking forward to seeing someone in your family this Christmas, offer this prayer. “Lord, I confess that I don’t like… and I’m dreading being with them. Help me to forgive and show grace. Let the love of Christ flow through me this Christmas. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. “You say, But they don’t deserve to be forgiven.” Yes, and neither did you deserve God’s love and forgiveness either. Jesus said, “Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. Do to others as you would like them to do to you” (Lk 6:27-28,31 NLT) That is Christmas spirit (TWFT).
PRAYER LINE: Father, help our hearts to know the love of Christ and to honour Him with our unyielding devotion in this and every season. We love You.
Jesus understands.

“That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world”(Jn 1:9)
In the Czech Republic and other places, the Christmas celebration includes “Christingles.” A Christingle is an orange, representing the world, with a candle placed in the top of it to symbolize Christ the light of the world. A red ribbon encircles the orange, symbolizing the blood of Jesus. Four tooth picks with dried fruits are placed through the ribbon into the sides of the orange, representing the fruits of the earth.
This simple visual and vividly represents the purpose behind Christ’s coming – to bring light into the darkness and to redeem a broken world by shedding His blood. In John’s account of Christ’s life, the disciple describes Jesus as the Light of the world. He wrote of Christ: “That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world” (Jn1:9) Not only did Christ the Light come to penetrate our world’s darkness, but He is also “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (v29) Think of it! The baby of Bethlehem became the living, risen Christ who has rescued us from our sin. And so John instructs us to “walk in the light as He is in the light” (1Jn 1:7) May all who have experienced His rescue find in Jesus the peace of walking in His light – Bill Crowder
PRAYER LINE: Yet in thy dark streets shineth The everlasting Light;
The hope and fears of all the years Are met in Thee tonight – Brooks
The newborn Christ-child became the Light of the world and the Lamb of God.

WHY JESUS CAME Gen 5:21-32
“Enoch walked with God 300 years.” (Gen 5:22 NIV 1984 Edition)
Life is a journey with a definite beginning and end. And if you’re wise you’ll do what Enoch did for 300 years – he walked with God. Can you imagine how well you’d know God after spending all those years with Him? There’s nothing dull or boring about walking with God. The Psalmist says, “You have made known to me the path of life, you fill me with joy in your present” (Ps 16:11 NIV 1984 Edition) God made you for Himself, and only when you discover His purpose for your life will you find peace and joy. If you were to take a fish out of the ocean and place it on the beach, you’d see its scales dry up as it gasped for breath. Is that fish happy? No. if you covered it with a mountain of cash would it be happy? No. Would an Ipad, a good book, and a cool drink make it happy? No. Would a new wardrobe? No. Only one thing will make it happy: putting it back in the water. That fish will never be happy on the beach because it wasn’t made for the beach. It was made for the ocean, in the same way you were made for fellowships with God. You’ll always feel like a fish out of water – never knowing peace and joy – till you find Him. And the good news is He’s as close to you as a prayer. Once you ask Him into your heart, you’ll never feel empty again. Do you know why Jesus came that first Christmas? He tells us “so that (you) may have the full measure of my joy within” (Jn 17:13 NIV 2011 Edition) (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: Lord, I’m amazed that You, the greatest One of all, would take up residence within us! Help us to treasure the gift of Your presence as our ultimate joy. Draw us to Yourself to enjoy intimacy with You.
Take advantage of the gift of God’s presence

“For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us” (V14)
On Christmas Eve 1914, during the first World War, the guns fell silent along a 30-mile stretch of the Western Front. Soldiers peered consciously over the tops of trenches while a few emerged to repair their positions and bury the dead. As darkness fell, some German troops set out lanterns and sang Christmas carols. Men on the British side applauded and shouted greetings.
The next day, German, French and British troops met in no man’s land to shake hands, share food, and exchange gifts. It was a brief respite from war that soon ended when the artillery and machine guns roared to life again. But no one who experienced “The Christmas Truce,” as it became known, would ever forget how it felt and how it fueled their longing for lasting peace. In Isaiah’s prophecy of the coming of the Messiah we read, “His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isa 9:6) By His death on the cross, Jesus removed the ‘no man’s land between us and God.’ For He Himself is our peace” (Eph 2:14)In Jesus we can find lasting peace with God and harmony with each other. This is the life-changing message of Christmas – David McCasland. PRAYER LINE: Hark! The herald angels sing “Glory to the newborn King; Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!” – Wesley.
Only in Christ can true peace be realized. (ODB)

“The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (v3)
Praise works like a magnifying glass. It causes what you’re focusing on to get bigger, to be “magnified.” David said, “Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name, together. I sought the Lord, and He leard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” (Ps 34:3-4 NKJV) It’s a mistake to wait until you’ve no problems, fewer problems, or your problems are solved before you praise the Lord. Praise is one of the great scriptural keys to problem-solving because it gets your focus on God, the problem solver. Charles Spurgeon said: “My happiest moments are when I am worshipping God. Really adoring the Lord Jesus Christ… in that worship I forget the cares of the church and everything else. To me it is the nearest approach to what it will be in heaven.” God has promised you “the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. “It works like this. When you begin to praise Him with a heavy heart, you experience a new sense of hope and joy. Through worship you are reminded that God is bigger than the situation you face, that He’s not only capable of managing your concerns but willing, wanting, and waiting to. The Psalmist wrote: “Seven times a day I praise You” (Ps 119:164 NKJV)
Fill your day with praise. Don’t just take coffee breaks and tea breaks, take “praise break.” Begin to praise God for two things. (1) His attributes. His power, love, grace, favour, guidance, etc (2) His acts . recall His goodness to you. Go ahead; take off the spirit of heaviness and put on the garment of praise. (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the new born King; Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!” – Wesley.
Only in Christ can true peace be realized.

“Come near to God and he will come near to you” (v8)
“Those who are far from you will perish: you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge – I will tell of all your deeds” (Ps 73:27-28)
The psalmist has finished his review of the past and is now hammering out a philosophy for the future. He is resolved that no matter what anyone else may do, he is going to live close to God. He helps us to see the importance of this resolution by putting it in the form of a contrast: “Those who are far from you will perish…but as for me, it is good to be near God.
Really, when it comes down to it, there are only two positions in life – close to God or far away from Him. I wonder, was something like this going through the psalmist’s mind: What caused me so much trouble recently and accounted for all my difficulties was the fact that I didn’t keep close to God. I mistakenly believed that the cause of my problems was the prosperity of those who disregard God, but having entered into God’s house I see that this was not the cause at all. My problems came because I had not kept close to Him. From now on, only one thing matters – staying close to God. How are things with you at this moment? Do you fell close to God? If you don’t then let me share with you some words from a wayside pulpit that once arrested my attention. If you feel that God is far away ‘ guess who moved? PRAYER LINE: Father, I am grateful for the promise of Your Word to me today that when I come near to You, You will come near to me. Help me put those words to the test by moving, closer to You that I have ever done before. In Jesus’ name Amen (EDWJ)
Make it your only expectation to magnify Christ wherever you are and whoever you are with.

“He leads me beside the still waters (v2)
In Istanbul, Turkey, in 2005, one sheep jumped of a cliff and then nearly 1,500 others followed! In the end, about one-third of them died. Not knowing which way to go, sheep mindlessly follow other members of the flock. No better word picture than sheep can be found to illustrate our need for a trustworthy leader. We are all, Isaiah wrote, like sheep (Isa 53:6) We tend to go our own way, yet we desperately need the sure direction of a shepherd. Psalm 23 describes the trustworthiness of our Good shepherd. He cures for us (v1): He provides for our physical needs (v2) He shows us how to live holy lives (v3). He restores us, comforts us, heals us, and bountifully blesses us (vv 3-5); and He will not abandon us (v6)
What a comfort to know that God gently but firmly leads us! He does so through the urging of the Holy Spirit, the reading of His Word, and through prayer God is the reliable leader we need.
In acknowledgement of our dependence on the Lord, we can say with the psalmist, “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.” – Dave Egner. PRAYER LINE: Like sheep that sometimes wander from the flock In tangled paths of life to lose their way, I need my Shepherd’s hand and watchful eye To keep me always, lest I go astray – Sanders.
The Lamb who died to save us is the Shepherd who lives to guide us.

THE NEW YEAR (1) Ps 65:11
“You have crowned the year with bounty, and Your paths drip with fatness.” Ps 65:11 NAS
ONE Bible teacher says, “Like most people you’ve probably made New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, exercise, eat better… and improve your life. But did you know that the desire to improve your life with each New Year started in the heart of God? David said ‘You have crowned the year with your bounty, and Your paths drip with fatness.’ In Bible times ‘fatness’ was considered a sign of material success. Moses sent twelve spies in to scout out the Promised Land and report back on whether it was “fat or lean.” They brought back word saying that it “flowed with milk and honey” (See Number 13:26-27). The land was so fruitful that it took two men to carry one cluster of grapes! So what will it take for you to experience God’s blessing this coming year? Note the words “crowned,” “bounty,” and “paths.” In the same way a crown encircles your head, this Year you can be surrounded by God’s bountiful goodness. But something is required on your part. You must walk in His “paths”. Throughout the year, because only His paths ‘drip with fatness.’ You can’t expect to experience the success God offers if you’re not willing to walk in close fellowship with Him every day. Ezekiel expresses a similar thought: ‘I will make them and the places around about My hill a blessing… there shall be showers of blessing (of good insured by God’s favour)” (Ezekiel 34:26 AMP Classic Edition). The places around God’s habitation will be showered with blessing and goodness; so endeavor to stay close to God each day of this year.” (TWFT) PRAYER LINE: The paths of leadership are trod by those who humbly walk with God their gracious spirit holds a sway That makes you want to go their way – D. De Haan
A qualified leader is on who has learned to serve.