Monday, May 29, 2017

A man's mind
  plans his way,
but the LORD 
  directs his steps.

       Proverbs 16. 9

(God always has
so much more in mind
than we can imagine.
Set my heart, O LORD,
to follow You,
even into what appears
unexpected to me.
God's vision 
is so much bigger,
His purposes deeper 
than I can ever know.
Even in this.
Every road block,
every detour,
every pothole
          along the way
  has profound meaning.)
    

Sunday, May 28, 2017

I hope in Your Word.

          Psalm 119. 81

(Saturate your heart 
       in God's Word.
Stake your life on it.
His Word 
will not just throw you
     a life preserver
   to keep your head
   above the rising flood,
but provide
  a life raft for others.
Every day in His Word
prepares me
for the storms of life,
   not if they come,
           but when.
God's Word is
not just a point of rescue,
but a place of flourishing.)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Peace
    I leave with you,
My peace 
    I give to you;
not as the world gives
   do I give to you.
Let not your hearts
      be troubled,
neither let them
      be afraid.

        John 14. 27

(Jesus gives shalom,
   a wholeness 
that saturates 
despite circumstances.
He's got this situation.
He's got you.
He is doing something
far more profound 
  than you can know.)

Friday, May 26, 2017

Commit your work 
      to the LORD,
and your plans
 will be established. 

           Proverbs 16. 3

(Commit means
  "to give in charge."
It is not that we lay
our plans 
      before the LORD,
but He lays His plans
      before us.
It is not that
we fit God 
   into what we do,
but God
seamlessly weaves us
into what He is doing.
Most often,
beyond what
   we can ever know.)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

I will not leave you desolate;
I will come to you.

                  John 14. 18

(No matter how hard it is,
God will reveal Himself
     to you in this.
You are not alone.
This difficult situation,
     your very life,
is profoundly different 
    because of Jesus.)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

...and he said,
"The LORD has broken through 
       my enemies before me,
like a bursting flood."
Therefore the name of the place
is called Baal-perazim.

              2 Samuel 5. 20

(Which quite literally means
"the Lord of breaking through."
God breaks through my fears,
my worries,
through the most impossible
     situations.
The LORD provides a way
where there seems 
             to be no way.
Follow Him into it.)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Jeaus answered him,
"What I am doing
you do not know now,
but afterward
      you will understand."

                 John 13. 7

(Even though 
I do not comprehend
what God is up to
--this impossible situation,
      this long waiting,
      this awkward timing--
does not mean
that it does not bear
God's profound 
     and divine purposes.
I just cannot see it yet.)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Truly, truly, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat
falls into the earth and dies,
it remains alone;
but if it dies,
    it bears much fruit.

                 John 12. 24

(When we are self-less
   --however that may look
         in this situation--
God alters 
    the entire landscape.)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

But David strengthened himself
     in the LORD his God.
  
                 1 Samuel 30. 6

(May what the adversary meant 
to bring me down,
draw me even deeper to God,
to trigger faithfulness,
                  not despair.
Not dwelling 
       on the circumstances,
but seeking the LORD,
"What is Your way in this?"
God specializes 
      in impossible situations.)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

But when Jesus heard it,
He said,
"This illness is not unto death;
it is for the glory of God,
so that
the Son of God may be glorified
         by means of it."
   
                       John 11. 4

(There is something 
   much deeper going on here
than what is obvious.
This difficulty you have
is a deeper passage
into His goodness 
and that His hand
     may be revealed,
"so that you may believe."
God knew this.
Now watch 
       what God will do with it, 
what only He can do,
how only He can redeem,
beyond what you can know.)

Friday, May 19, 2017

So the Jews gathered round Him
and said to Him,
"How long will you
keep us in suspense?
If your are the Christ,
        tell us plainly."
Jesus answered them,
"... I and the Father are one."
...The Jews answered Him,
"It is not for a good work
that we stone you
       but for blasphemy;
because you,
   being a man,
            make yourself God."

                   John 10. 24, 30, 33

(Jesus is who He said He is.
The Greek word Christ
    means Messiah.
Jesus did not just make a claim,
but revealed who He is,
the anointed One to save the world.
He came to die for you.
He rose again
     to confirm who He is.)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Then David inquired of the LORD
                      again.

                     1 Samuel 23. 4

(Again and again and again,
seeking God
    not just in the crisis.
Don't leave home without it.
Don't go into your day
          without listening first.
Establish that pattern
    on the every days,
because there is 
   no ordinary days 
         on God's calendar.)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

But the lad knew nothing...

                  1 Samuel 20. 39

(He never knew 
how God used him powerfully.
Neither do we,
   when we are faithful to Him,
even in our own little corner.
God never works
      in singular outcomes.
There are no small obediences.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

And David had success
       in all his undertakings,
for the LORD was with him.

            1 Samuel 18. 14

(David did not go it alone.
He knew obedience,
faithfulness to God,
and fruitfulness 
are seamlessly woven.
Learning to go with the LORD,
practiced 
     on the most ordinary days,
provides strength in the crisis.
David's obedience
     had a long track record.)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Then David said to the Philistine,
"You come to me
with sword
and with a spear
and with a javelin,
but I come to you
   in the name 
       of the LORD of hosts..."

              1 Samuel 17. 45

(Who or what
      is your "Goliath?"
Go into your day,
   not on your own strength 
but on the track record
      of God's faithfulness 
and in His name.
For Your glory, O LORD,
       even in this
       overwhelming situation 
and among impossible people.
God is faithful
even when we cannot yet
                 see the outcome.
Even when we never see the outcome,
    His purposes prevail,
beyond our wildest imagination.)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

And Samuel said,
"Has the LORD as great delight
in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obeying 
    the voice of the LORD?
Behold,
   to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to hearken
         than the fat of rams.

                1 Samuel 15. 22

(Obedience is simply
listening and responding 
                  in love to God,
Am I willing to follow Him
     and His way in this?)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

...it may be that the LORD
     will work for us,
for nothing can hinder the LORD
  from saving by many
  or by few.

                    1 Samuel 14. 6

(Remember that God is
         in this equation.
You are not alone.
Follow the LORD through this,
even in what seems impossible.
The LORD is never
          limited by the odds.
Trusting Him in it
    means not yet seeing
what He is bringing about.
Let Him surprise you
    by what He does
                     and how.)

Friday, May 12, 2017

With God 
   we shall do valiantly;
it is He
who will tread down 
                   our foes.

               Psalm 108. 13

(The outcome 
may not be the triumph,
success
may not be the point,
but His victory 
   every step
   of the journey.
Our foes are anything 
        we fear,
both real and imagined.)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

...do whatever
     your hand finds to do,
for God is with you.

            1 Samuel 10. 7

(God has placed you
strategically for His purposes.
Even here, 
even in this mess,
even in this impossible situation.
That is what 
     faithfulness looks like,
nothing too mighty,
no task below me,
His purposes
   are deeper 
   than I will ever know.)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

...it was kept for you
    until the hour appointed...

             1 Samuel 9. 24

(God's incredible provision,
God's exact timing,
God's divine encounters,
all those intricate designs 
      that don't "just happen."
And oh, what I miss,
          because of my impatience.)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Then Samuel took a stone
and set it up 
between Mizpah and Jeshanah,
and called its name
                  Ebenezer,
for he said,
"Hitherto the LORD 
           has helped us."

              1 Samuel 7. 12
(And God will not stop now.
What are the big rocks
of God's faithfulness 
           in your life,
the stones that remind
    of His long history
    of His goodness to you
                   by His hand?
This impossible situation 
   is just another
   revealing of His Presence.)

Monday, May 8, 2017

For those who honor Me,
        I will honor.

              1 Samuel 2. 30

(However that may
      look like today,
think about honoring God
             in this.
Even in this.)


Sunday, May 7, 2017

She was deeply distressed
     and prayed to the LORD...

                 1 Samuel 1. 10

(That is the changing point.
Learn a different response
    when despair invades.
Let your anxiety draw you
     to pray more deeply.
God is at work in you.
Even in this.)

Saturday, May 6, 2017

So she set forth and went 
and gleaned in the field
       after the reapers,
and she happened to come 
to the part of the field
belonging to Boaz.

                      Ruth 2. 3

(Nothing "just happens."
But God's sovereign 
   strategic timing and design
transform what we consider
the most ordinary of days
     into what is profound.
Even in what  
    we may never see.
Faithfulness to God
always bears
    fruit in some dimension,
beyond your wildest dreams.)
    
        

Friday, May 5, 2017

He had to pass
      through Samaria.

                John 4. 4

(That route may not have been
the only way,
but Jesus had purpose 
                in going there.
Sometimes God leads us
where we would not choose,
but always there is
          divine purpose in it,
even in what we cannot understand 
or may never see.
Even in this.
Even here.
LORD, help me
to hear Your Voice and no other.)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

He must increase,
      but I must decrease.

                     John 3. 30

(How does that look like today
     in what God has put on my path
and among whom
     He has placed on my radar
                      or my heart?
His name, 
His voice 
His glory, 
His way,
               not mine.)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

For God so loved the world
that He gave His only Son,
that whoever believes in Him
should 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

(The gospel is not just a promise
    for the other side of life,
but the reality of now.
Saved, released, redeemed,
   transformed by His love.
All that you have always been seeking
            is found in Him.
You are loved
      more than you can realize.)



            

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

...and the Spirit of the LORD
    came mightily upon him...

                  Judges 15. 14

(This is the point of change,
Samson's source of strength 
             and ours.
It is not in me,
        but God.
God is never limited
          by the odds.)

Monday, May 1, 2017

...and offered it
upon the rock to the LORD,
to Him who works wonders.

              Judges 13. 19

(It is not the unknown
       you are facing,
but the unfolding
   of His wonders in your life
and His narrative
      live streamed through you.)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

He came for testimony,
to bear witness
       to the light,
that all might believe
through him.

         John 1. 7

(You are not
       on jury duty.
You are on the stand
as a witness 
to reveal the truth.
Your life 
  is evidence of 
  the gospel in real life,
the power of His Spirit
   live streaming in you.
Why are you here
in this place,
in this awkward situation,
among these people?
Bear witness to the light.
Even in this.)

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Serve the LORD 
   with gladness!

         Psalm 100. 2

(What does that 
look like today?
In this.
Even in this.
Am I bringing Him
glory in the hard places
or just my complaints?
How can I approach 
this with a happy heart?)

Friday, April 28, 2017

...and it became a snare to Gideon
          and his family.

                  Judges 8. 27

(What has a hold on you?
Do not let a good thing
         or even a great thing
become the ultimate thing.
Idols usually start small,
and the worship of any idol
       always becomes a snare.
The first warning sign of an idol
is that it erodes our relationships
    with others and with God.
And it always comes with
a list of justifications.)



Thursday, April 27, 2017

And Gideon divided the 300 men
into three companies,
and put trumpets 
into the hands of all of them
          and empty jars,
with torches inside the jars.

                  Judges 7. 16

(God always uses the unlikely 
against the odds
to do impossible things
in overwhelming situations
       for His glory.
God is never limited by what
    is stacked against us.
His greater victory
emerges in unexpected ways.
Even in what you are facing,
         "Trust Me.")

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

And he said to him,
"Pray, Lord,
     how can I deliver Israel?
Behold, my clan is weakest 
                 in Manasseh,
and I am least in my family."
And the LORD said to him,
"But I will be with you..."

               Judges 6. 15-16

(His Presence makes
      all the difference.
There is always victory
          in obedience
sometimes in ways
    beyond our understanding.
"But I will be with you..."
How does that reality change
my vision in this situation?
How does God 
        change my heart?)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Does not the LORD go out
        before you?

             Judges 4. 14

(Follow the LORD into this,
not for a particular outcome,
but in faithfulness to Him.
The first step of His victory
     is a willing heart.)

Monday, April 24, 2017

It is good to give thanks
          to the LORD,
to sing praises
          to Your name,
          O Most High,
to declareYour steadfast love
   in the morning,
and Your faithfulness 
                 by night.

               Psalm 92. 1-2

(Bookends of the day
and everything inbetween.
Circumstances may
            or may not change,
but God transforms
                      my heart.
Even better.)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Because you have 
    made the LORD your refuge,
the Most High your habitation,
no evil shall befall you,
no scourge 
     come near your tent.
For He will give
    His angels charge of you
to guard you 
           in all your ways.

                  Psalm 91. 9-11

(Not "it will be easy and fun,"
    but "I am with you
       no. matter. what."
   Even in this.)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

This will be a time
    for you to bear testimony.

                       Luke 21. 13

(Even here,
 even in this difficulty ,
no matter where,
no matter among whom,
point others to Jesus
      and practice grace.)

Friday, April 21, 2017

...but a faithful envoy
           brings healing.

           Proverbs 13. 17

(What am I bringing
      to the table?
To this impossible situation?
To this relationship?
To love the LORD,
to bear a witness to Him,
to bring God glory,
to walk in the light
    of His countenance,
               even in this.
His healing,
   not my agenda.
When I don't know what to do,
     take just one step,
               and then another.
Your heart, O LORD,
            over mine.)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

I will sing of your steadfast love,
O LORD, for ever;
with my mouth 
      I will proclaim
Your faithfulness 
      to all generations.

               Psalm 89. 1

(Wherever you are,
among whomever you are,
leave behind something more
            of Him.
What lingers
     from the conversation,
what points them to God?
Making others aware
    of His Presence,
even in what seems obvious.)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

...He sent two of His disciples, saying,
"Go into the village in front of you,
where on entering 
      you will find a colt tied,
on which no one 
             has ever sat.
Untie it and bring it here.
If anyone asks you,
"Why are you untying it?"
you shall say this:
"The Lord has need of it."

                    Luke 19. 30-31

(When obedience makes
     no sense to me
or appears as 
   a meaningless task,
that is when trust kicks in.
God designs profound purpose 
even when I don't understand.)