Thursday, December 31, 2015

Praise the LORD!
Praise God 
       in His sanctuary,
praise Him
  in His mighty firmament!
Praise Him for 
         His mighty deeds,
praise Him according to
  His exceeding greatness!

                 Psalm 150. 1-2

(Even in that
we may not understand 
This is a great chapter
      in the Scriptures 
and verses in our hearts
               to end the year
and begin the next.)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

His delight is not in the
       strength of the horse,
nor His pleasure in the legs
       of a man,
but the LORD takes pleasure 
   in those who fear Him,
in those who hope
   in His steadfast love.

                 Psalm 147. 10-11

(What matters most to God
are not your achievements,
nor even what you do "for Him,"
but a loving relationship with Him. 
God loves you more 
       than you can know.)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Open your mouth 
           for the dumb,
for the rights of all
     who are left desolate.
Open your mouth,
    judge righteously,
maintain the rights
     of the poor and needy.

                Proverbs 31. 8-9

(God changes me
    not just to think of others,
 but to love them
              and serve Him.
My life is not my own,
             but His.
May I be conscious of it,
may I even be unconscious
                          of it.
It is His Spirit moving in me.)

Monday, December 28, 2015

...the fine linen
     is the righteous deeds
     of the saints.

          Revelation 19. 8

(Our deeds always have
       a deeper purpose
   and no expiration date.
That which is
good, gracious,
          loving and just
   is woven seamlessly together
   to bring Him glory
             and lasts forever.
How does that change my vision
    for what He places
    before me today?)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Happy is he
whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope
     is in the LORD his God...

                    Psalm 146. 5

(The key to happiness
                is no secret,
but in the LORD,
    from Whom there is help,
    in Whom there is hope.)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The LORD is gracious
            and merciful,
slow to anger
and abounding in steadfast love.
The LORD is good to all,
and His compassion is over
   all that He has made.
...The LORD is faithful
            in all His words,
and gracious in all His deeds.
...The LORD is just 
          in all His ways
and kind in all His doings.

          Psalm 145. 8-9, 13, 17

(That is not what God is like.
        That is who He is.
It is not that we are to just
         reflect His attributes
but His Presence
                     changes us
    so that we do.)

Friday, December 25, 2015

For God so loved the world
that He gave His only Son
that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish
but have eternal life.
For God sent the Son
               into the world,
not to condemn the world,
but that the world
  might be saved through Him.

                  John 3. 16-17

(That is the Christmas story.
You are loved.
You belong.)

Merry Christmas, my friend!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

And in that region
there were shepherds
         out in the field,
keeping watch 
    over their flock by night.
And an angel of the Lord
                appeared to them,
and the glory of the Lord
     shone around them,
and they were filled with fear.
And the angel said to them,
           be not afraid.

                    Luke 2. 8-10

(Light show tonight!
        Don't miss it.
Be not afraid.
Jesus has come
            to the rescue!)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Not by might,
not by power,
but by My Spirit,
    says the LORD of hosts.

                Zechariah 4. 6

(Impossible situation
    or just an "ordinary" day?
"Follow Me into it,"
                  God says.
Don't even attempt
           to go it alone.
No need to.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

And I lifted up my eyes and saw,
                  and behold...

                        Zechariah 2. 1

(Am I looking only
            at circumstances,
   totally enmeshed by the problems at hand,
or looking toward the LORD
              in the midst of them?
What am I missing out on
     because I am preoccupied?
Seek the LORD,
        not just an answer.)

Monday, December 21, 2015

Return to Me,
     says the LORD of hosts,
and I will return to you,
     says the LORD of hosts.

              Zechariah 1. 3

(God's door is always open.
His light is always on.
Listen, hear and heed.
Perhaps it is not that God is silent,
   but we are not silent before Him.)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Take courage,
   all you people of the land,
                    says the LORD;
work for I am with you,
       says the LORD of hosts...
...My Spirit abides among you;
                           fear not...
...and in this place
      I will give prosperity,
      says the LORD of hosts.

                            Haggai 2. 4-5, 9

(My responsibility is
  to be faithful to God in my work
                 and in my walk.
God directs the outcome.
The path of obedience is paved
   with blessings of every shape
          and in unexpected places.
The path of faithfulness
        always provides for others,
   bearing fruit even for those
                        I will never know.)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The LORD, your God,
        is in your midst,
a warrior who gives victory;
He will rejoice over you
                with gladness,
He will renew you
            in His love,
He will exult over you
with loud singing
       as on a day of festival.
              Zephaniah 3. 17

(You are precious in His sight.
Don't ever forget it.
You are not alone in this life.
      You are greatly loved.)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Though the fig tree
       do not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
   and the field yield no food,
the flock be cut off
                from the fold
and there be no herd
                in the stalls,
   I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will joy in the
          God of my salvation.
God, the Lord,
       is my strength;
He makes my feet
            like hinds' feet,
He makes me tread
      upon my high places.

               Habakkuk 3. 17-19

(Circumstances do not prevail
        nor do they matter,
but only the Almighty God,
my joy and my strength.)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The LORD is good,
a stronghold 
         in the day of trouble;
He knows those 
     who take refuge in Him.

               Habakkuk 1. 7

(His refuge is 
       not a place of hiding
       but of strengthening,
a place from which
                  to go forth.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are little to be
     among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for Me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose origin is from old,
                 from ancient days.

                             Micah 5. 2

(These words were penned 
in the 8th century BC,
pinpointing exactly where
      the Messiah was to be born.
Jesus did not just come to earth
       as a reason to have Christmas,
but to save us from our sin,
God's redemptive plan all along.
God loves us that much.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

...and they shall beat their swords
                   into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks,
nation shall not lift up
                    sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore,
but they shall sit every man
  under his vine and under his fig tree,
and none shall make them afraid...

                           Micah 4. 3-4

(A change of affection,
a change of direction.
Overcome evil with good.
    How does that look today?
You are an agent of His healing
and walk in the power of His love.)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Then Jonah prayed to 
   the LORD his God
from the belly of the fish,
saying, "I called to the LORD,
out of my distress,
and He answered me;
out of the belly of Sheol
            I cried,
and You heard my voice."

                 Jonah 2. 1-2

(There is no place
      beyond the grace of God,
no darkness too deep,
no distress without hope.
There is always a way out
         right into His arms.
Repentance is the first step
           of God's redeeming.)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

will not enter my house
           or get into my bed,
I will not give sleep to my eyes
           or slumber to my eyelids,
until I find a place for the LORD,
a dwelling place
      for the Mighty One of Jacob.

                        Psalm 132. 3-5

(Because the LORD 
     changes everything about me.
Not part of my life,
not even prominent,
        but preeminent.)

Saturday, December 12, 2015

I stand at the door and knock;
if anyone hears My voice
           and opens the door,
I will come in to him
and eat with him,
     and he with Me.

          Revelation 3. 20

(Jesus is waiting
   to spend the day with you,
to change every dimension
                 of your life.
He redeems our broken places
    and makes all things new.
Nothing can ever be the same
    in hearts where He dwells.)

Friday, December 11, 2015

For lo,
He who forms the mountains,
       and creates the wind,
and declares to man
           what is his thought,
who makes the morning darkness,
and treads 
   on the heights of the earth
   --- the LORD, God of hosts,
                   is His name!

                           Amos 4. 13

(You are not alone in this life.
God reveals Himself 
           everyday to you
    in the ordinary
    that is really the extraordinary.
His Presence is unmistakable
  even in what you take for granted.)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Lord GOD has spoken,
     who can but prophesy?

                           Amos 3. 8

(To prophesy is not 
       to speak of the future,
 but to bear the truth 
        right where you are,
   the reality of God in our lives.
For we cannot but speak of what
we have seen and heard
            and know of the LORD.
Excuse me,
    but the presence of God
    is showing in you.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

...and leave a blessing behind him...

                          Joel 2. 14

(Wherever I am today,
in whatever I do,
may the LORD reveal
    the ramifications of His Presence.
Bring the name of Jesus there.
Use words when necessary.
And He will do the rest.
I am not responsible for the outcome,
     but to be faithful.)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Sow for yourselves righteousness,
reap steadfast love,
break up your fallow ground,
for it is the time 
           to seek the LORD,
that He may come
and rain righteousness upon you.

                              Hosea 10. 12

(Intentional efforts to seek the LORD
            always bear fruit.
He will change your life.)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Let us know,
let us press on
      to know the LORD;
His going forth is
   as sure as the dawn;
He will come to us as the showers,
  as the spring rains
           that water the earth.

                     Hosea 6. 3

(How can I know Him more today?
How can I align myself
        with His day for me,
with His purposes,
with His grace toward others?
Pressing on
 requires not just a mind set,
         but a heart set on Him.)

Sunday, December 6, 2015

For the LORD has a controversy
with the inhabitants of the land.
There is no faithfulness
                 or steadfast love,
and no knowledge of God in the land;
there is swearing, lying, murder,
stealing and committing adultery;
they break all bounds
and bloodshed follows bloodshed.
Therefore the land mourns,
and all who dwell in it languish.

                         Hosea 4. 1-3

steadfast love,
and knowledge of the LORD
         are the gatekeepers.
When we choose to rebel against God,
                everyone suffers for it.
When we reject God's ways,
there is nothing to restrain the darkness.)

Saturday, December 5, 2015

...and make the Valley of Achor
               a door of hope.

                                Hosea 2. 15

(Achor quite literally means "trouble."
God redeems the most unlikely places
and the most impossible situations
when we turn to Him,
and He changes the outcome
 by allowing us to see it differently.
God reveals the door of hope
               right where we are.
Seek His way in it.)

Friday, December 4, 2015

And those who are wise shall shine
   like the brightness of the sky above,
and those who turn many to righteousness
like the stars forever and ever.

                                Daniel 12. 3

(Christ changes me down to the bone,
and thereby affects everyone around me.
Righteousness seeks the welfare of all,
but wickedness cannot see beyond self.
What is the impact of my life?
             Christ abiding in me.
What does that look like today?)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

... called by Your name.

                     Daniel 9. 19

(May we act that way.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

When I, Daniel,
had seen the vision,
I sought to understand it...

                Daniel 8. 15

(We don't often grasp
the significance of what God is doing
or even what is going on in our lives,
but God always has profound purposes
                    beyond our understanding.
Seek God in it,
      not just the answers.
He will guide you in it
              and through it
and reveal Himself to you.)

Monday, November 30, 2015

...make every effort 
to supplement your faith
            with virtue,
and virtue with knowledge,
and knowledge with self control,
and self control with steadfastness,
and steadfastness with godliness,
and godliness with 
              brotherly affection,
and brotherly affection with love.

                         2 Peter 1. 5-7

(It doesn't just happen.
As my friend Chris Davis says,
"The proof of desire
                is in the pursuit."
New affections are the basis
        of new behaviors.)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

...He who saved Daniel
from the power 
               of the lions.

             Daniel 6. 27

(The same Almighty God
    who is more powerful
than anything 
                you face)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

A faithful man
    will abound with blessings...

                      Proverbs 28. 20

(Because he knows
money and stuff
have nothing to do with it)

Friday, November 27, 2015

...but there is a God in heaven...

                    Daniel 2. 28

(And that changes everything.)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

We give thanks to You,
                O God;
we give thanks;
we call on Your name
and recount
    Your wondrous deeds.

                      Psalm 75. 1

( Count
          and recount,
an ongoing chronicle of
   God's faithfulness.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Whatever is true,
whatever is honorable,
whatever is just,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is commendable,
if there is any excellence,
if there is anything
     worthy of praise,
think about these things.

            Philippians 4.8

(What to bring
as your contribution
to the Thanksgiving
Think about,
pray about,
and use your words!)

Monday, November 23, 2015

...a burnt offering
          to the LORD daily,
morning by morning...

                  Ezekiel 46. 13

(A burnt offering 
was not for atonement for sin,
but consecration to
     a course of life
     pleasing to God.
Worship is a daily pursuit,
a daily state of being,
not just a Sunday action.
What course 
       am I choosing today?)


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Then He brought me back
to the outer gate of the sanctuary,
which faces east,
and it was shut.

                   Ezekiel 44. 1

(Why do we focus more on what
              is closed to us
instead of what is open?
There is a reason in closed doors,
a purpose deeper 
       than what we can understand.
What God closes
          opens us to another.)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Then He led me out
       into the inner court,
toward the north,
and He brought me
to the chambers which were 
     opposite to the temple yard
and opposite the building
                    on the north.

                      Ezekiel 42. 1

(Make us sensitive, O LORD,
to where you have placed us
to explore every nook and cranny
        and opportunity,
spaces of great purpose
     that we do not yet understand.
Aware of the symmetry, 
the inner passages,
not just to the exits,
but the deeper places
              and hidden doors.)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Its vestibule faced the outer court,
and it had palm trees on its jambs,
one on either side;
and its stairway had eight steps.

                        Ezekiel 40. 37

(Even the most intricate details
have profound significance
                    in God's eyes.
There is not just a reason for it,
       but great purpose in it.
Palm trees are not
         a random embellishment,
but a symbol of hope.
Palm trees thrive
           in desert-like conditions.)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

...set your mind
upon all that I show you,
for you were brought here
in order that 
       I might show it to you...

                        Ezekiel 40. 4

(You are exactly where
    God has appointed you today.
Even when we don't see the point
or will ever realize the outcome,
God's divine placement
      and His Presence prevail.
There is not just a reason for it,
but God's design and purposes
                        intricately woven.
Set your mind on that.)


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

...when My sanctuary
     is in the midst of them.

                       Ezekiel 37. 28

(When I choose to seek God,
His Presence changes
everything I see,
I desire,
I do,
I worship,
         and who I am.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A new heart
       I will give you,
and a new spirit
  I will put within you;
and I will take out of your flesh
           the heart of stone
and give you a heart of flesh.

                       Ezekiel 36. 26

(There is nothing the matter with you
or your life
or your circumstances
         or the world,
that a new heart cannot change.
Heart conditions
             are God's specialty.)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Jesus Christ is the same
and today
and for ever.

                 Hebrews 13. 8

(On that,
       you can stake your life.
He is not subject
            to public opinion.
His Gospel never changes,
His grace never fails.)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Strive for peace with all men,
and for the holiness
without which no one
        will see the Lord.

                Hebrews 12. 14

(It doesn't just happen.
Strive for Christ's rightful place
               in your heart.
It will change 
            the core of who you are
and impact everyone around you.
Peace in God,
       peace with all men.)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.

                  Proverbs 27. 17

(Seek out
     those kind of friends.)

Friday, November 13, 2015

So you shall be 
      a sign to them,
and they will know
that I am the LORD.

                   Ezekiel 24. 27

(In all that I say and do today,
             faithful to the Almighty.
To what,
to whom is my life pointing
by how I live,
by my affections and behaviors
                       and joy?)