Wednesday, November 22, 2017

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

                  Ezekiel 44. 1

(Closed doors are never random
       but designed intricately by God,
                     always for good reason.
It is not a closed door at all,
    but a deeper one beckoning
for His infinite purposes
           and profound direction.
It may be about
    bringing His light and grace 
                     to a new place).


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

...and pray for one another
         that you may be healed.

                         James 5. 16

(One of the many side effects
of prayer:
God's healing over relationships.
"Confession and forgiveness
are the concrete forms
in which we sinful people
             love each other."
                    -- Henri Nouwen
                         In the Name of Jesus)

Monday, November 20, 2017

...beyond the nave.

               Ezekiel 41. 4

(Am I willing
to go deeper
    and grow deeper
in my relationship with God,
or just satisfied 
with being in the big room?
Daily choices,
      little steps in faithfulness).

Sunday, November 19, 2017

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

                  Ezekiel 40. 4

(What is the sense in this?
We are strategically placed
for His profound purposes,
perhaps even more so when we
don't see the point in it.
His glory sometimes comes with
       a side of deep mystery 
and incredible wonders
                yet to be revealed).

Saturday, November 18, 2017

...being no hearer that forgets
     but a doer that acts,
he shall be blessed
                in his doing.

                     James 1. 25

(What has God placed
before me today?
Put feet on your faith
    and grace in your hands).

Friday, November 17, 2017

If any of you lacks wisdom,
let him ask God,
Who gives to all men
     generously 
         and without reproaching,
and it will be given him.
  
                       James 1. 5

(Did it even occur to me
   to ask God
   for His wisdom in this?
Even now.
Even in this.
No excuses.
No exclusions.
There is nothing small,
      or too small,
in God's economy,
nothing random,
everything profoundly used).

Thursday, November 16, 2017

...but we seek the city
      which is to come.

                 Hebrews 13. 14

(Living in light of eternity
   looks very different.
Even today,
even in this
    impossible situation,
even here,
bring the name of Jesus there,
on so many levels).

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

From the rising of the sun 
         to its setting,
the name of the LORD
   is to be praised.

                  Psalm 113. 3

(Bookends of the day
     and all the way through.
How radically different my heart,
my vision,
my first response,
my life,
if I started and ended the day
         in praise to God Almighty?)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

...let us run with perseverance 
       the race that is set before us,
looking to Jesus...

                   Hebrews 12. 1-2

(What is the course
    God has set before me today?
God has embedded profound purpose
in His training program
for the strength I will need
and to encourage others
                     along the way).

Monday, November 13, 2017

By faith
Rahab the harlot did not perish
with those who were disobedient,
because she had given
       friendly welcome to the spies.

                          Hebrews 11. 31

(The world says love yourself.
God calls us to Him,
to love those on our path,
to love strangers,
even to love those against us.
I need not know the outcome
nor the magnitude
           of even a friendly welcome,
   but just that God uses it.
A kindness is never small,
        but ever profound.
Even here.
Even in this).

Sunday, November 12, 2017

With my mouth
I will give great thanks to the LORD;
I will praise Him 
    in the midst of the throng.

                         Psalm 109. 30

(Faith is revealed
in both word and work
         seamlessly woven.
And perhaps,
the LORD has brought you here
in this place,
in this circumstance,
in this conversation,
       for such a time as this,
to bring the name of Jesus there.
Praise and thanks to God 
in our culture
do not stick out like a sore thumb,
but manifest hope
               in very dark places
and the grayness of the ordinary).

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Let us consider
how to stir up one another
      to love and good works,
not neglecting to meet together,
as is the habit of some,
but encouraging one another,
and all the more as you see
the Day drawing near.

                  Hebrews 10. 24-25

(God designed us for community.
There is enormous purpose
                  in fellowship.
God never intended for us 
                to just attend church,
         but be the Church,
our love and encouragement for each other
    brimming over,
               transforming lives,
and getting all over the world around us).

Friday, November 10, 2017

O grant us help against the foe,
for vain is the help of man.
With God
       we shall do valiantly;
it is He who will
              tread down our foes.

                       Psalm 108. 12-13

(Who am I looking for help?
         Or not at all?
Work hard, do not fear,
and trust God for the outcome.
God provides and delivers
    in unexpected ways
    and multiple layers).

"Courage means being afraid
and saddling up anyway."
                   -- John Wayne

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Let the redeemed of the LORD
              say so....

                    Psalm 107. 2

(What story has God given you
    to point others to Him?
Acknowledge God
     even in this,
     even here,
     even among the rebellious.
You can never know how God
   is using you in the lives of others).

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Save us, O LORD our God,
and gather us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks
          to Your holy name
and glory in Your praise.

                 Psalm 106.47

(Seeking God 
      with singular mindset
and every dimension today
     to glorify Him).

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

...and make the dry tree flourish.

                      Ezekiel 17. 24

(Rooted in Him,
    the LORD will bear fruit through you
        wherever He places you.
God is not limited
    by favorable circumstances.
Indeed, His most incredible work
thrives in the most impossible places.
Even here.
Even now.
Even in this).

Monday, November 6, 2017

He rebuked the Red Sea,
         and it became dry,
and He led them 
          through the deep
   as though through a desert.
So He saved them 
from the hand of the foe,
and delivered them
from the power of the enemy.

                      Psalm 106. 9-10

(No matter what overwhelms you,
     God leads you through.
Give me wisdom and grace, O LORD,
   to know how to navigate this day
       in a way that honors You).

Sunday, November 5, 2017

In the morning,
the word of the LORD came to me,
"Son of man,
has not the house of Israel,
the rebellious house, said to you,
        "What are you doing?"

                                  Ezekiel 12. 9

(Walking with God
         will always look differently.
Live in such a way
  that others can't help
                  but ask why.
What is different about you?
         His embedded grace).

Saturday, November 4, 2017

... to seize the hope
         set before us.

                  Hebrews 6. 18

(To seize the hope before us,
not the despair around us.
Because of Christ,
     life is very different).

Friday, November 3, 2017

Seek the LORD and His strength,
seek His Presence continually.

                           Psalm 105. 4

(Not just seeking an answer,
       nor a particular outcome,
nor an open door,
            but seeking the LORD.
God has something
              completely different
              already woven in place,
and that is always
       rooted in relationship with Him.)

    

Thursday, November 2, 2017

...and you shall know
     that I am the LORD.

                  Ezekiel 6. 7

(This phrase is repeated 62 times
in the book of Ezekiel.
What does it take
       for me to realize that?)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

...and the hand of the LORD
          was upon him there.

                         Ezekiel 1. 3

(Wherever God strategically
                   places us,
whenever we are responsive to Him.
No matter what appears as the outcome,
obedience to God always brings along
            an unexpected blessing,
    even what we may never see.
"We are called to be faithful,
           not successful."
                     --Mother Teresa)

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

But You, O LORD,
         reign forever;
Your throne endures
         to all generations.

              Lamentations 5. 19

(Am I forgetting that
God is mightier than anything
       that is before me?
But this,
but that,
but what about?
        But You, O LORD, reign.
Fear and anxiety flee
    at the sound of Your Holy name).
    

Monday, October 30, 2017

But this I call to mind,
     and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD
                     never ceases,
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.

                Lamentations 3. 21-23

(The whole message of the Bible:
   God loves you more than you can know.
Dwell on that.
May this truth repeat in a continual loop
             in your thoughts,
His fresh mercies to feast on,
His song resounding in your heart 
                          through the day).

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Pour out your heart like water
before the presence of the LORD.

                Lamentations 2. 19

(God never intended 
for you to carry this
               by yourself.
He loves you more
   than you can even imagine).

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Know that the LORD is God.
It is He that made us,
        and not we ourselves;
we are His people,
and the sheep
             of His pasture.

                 Psalm 100. 3

(You are loved.
You belong.
You are made by God.
Dwell on that truth,
     live in the reality
     of His steadfast love.

Friday, October 27, 2017

It is He 
who made the earth
                by His power,
who established the world
                by His wisdom,
and by His understanding 
    stretched out the heavens.
...the LORD of hosts
                      is His name.

                Jeremiah 51. 15, 19

(He is far more than able 
 to handle what is before me,
                even this.
"Be faithful to Me.
Trust Me in this.
Follow Me into it.
       I am working.")

Thursday, October 26, 2017

O sing to the LORD a new song,
for He has done
            marvelous things!

                          Psalm 98. 1

(Find yet another way to praise Him,
                   yet another reason.
Do something different today
                 to bless Him.
Thinking,
doing,
saying outloud.
Praising God
         changes your heart
         and restores your vision).

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

As for you,
always be steady,
endure suffering,
do the work of an evangelist,
fulfill your ministry.

              2 Timothy 4. 5

(You are on personal assignment,
strategically placed
         by the King of Kings.
Bring the name of Jesus there).
    
     

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

But fear not, O Jacob My servant,
nor be dismayed, O Israel;
for lo,
I will save you from afar,
and your offspring
   from the land of their captivity...
Fear not, O Jacob My servant,
                    says the LORD,
for I am with you.

                   Jeremiah 46. 27-28

(Fear not
     O [insert your name here] My servant,
says the LORD,
            for I am with you.
Live in the reality
                   of His Presence,
wherever you are today).

Monday, October 23, 2017

...that the LORD your God
may show us the way we should go,
and the thing that we should do.

                     Jeremiah 42. 3

(Am I willing to follow God
          into this?
Am I listening for Him,
am I listening to Him?
Never ignore
    the power of the supernatural.
God is at work in you
  and powerfully around you,
His purposes deeper 
           than you can know.
His steps are revealed
         in unexpected ways
and on the most ordinary of days).

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Let the favor of the LORD
           be upon us,
and establish 
  the work of our hands upon us,
yea, establish the work of our hands.

                              Psalm 90. 17

(In His name,
for His kingdom,
for His goodness sake,
for His glory.
God's fingerprints
     all over who we are
     and what we do).

Saturday, October 21, 2017

But as for you, man of God,
shun all this;
aim at righteousness,
godliness,
faith,
love,
steadfastness,
gentleness.

                     1 Timothy 6. 11

(How do I handle this mess,
    this volatile situation,
even this most ordinary of days?
These are the tools in your toolbox.
Don't leave home
    without them in your pockets,
    without them in your heart.
Live with the purpose and intention
of one who has been called by Christ.
As a friend once told me,
    put yourself on His path).

Friday, October 20, 2017

So also good deeds are conspicuous;
and even when they are not,
      they cannot remain hidden.

                      1 Timothy 5. 25

(Not for recognition,
not for our own glory,
  but meeting the needs of others
                 for His glory,
and planting fruit trees
      that will outlive us.
Fruit sometimes takes
    a long time to ripen).

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The word of the LORD
came to Jeremiah a second time,
while he was still shut up
        in the court of the guard...

                     Jeremiah 33. 1

(Why am I here
     in this impossible place?
Maybe just to be able
          to hear You more.
God sees our situation
           very differently,
with promise,
with His profound purposes,
for His glory
      even when
      -- maybe especially when --
                 I don't understand).

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

If your enemy is hungry,
give him bread to eat,
and if he is thirsty,
give him water to drink,
for you will heap
    coals of fire on his head,
and the LORD will reward you.

                 Proverbs 25. 21-22

(There is a different way in this,
not a natural expected reaction,
   but a supernatural response.
Love is always the most powerful,
and there are no small kindnesses).

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

In the latter days
     you will understand this...

                Jeremiah 30. 24

(Just because I don't understand
doesn't mean God is not at work
                                      in this.
These hard things
  beyond my comprehension
are usually the most profound.
"Trust Me in this.")

Monday, October 16, 2017

But seek the welfare of the city
where I have sent you into exile,
and pray to the LORD
               on its behalf,
for in its welfare,
   you will find your welfare.

                 Jeremiah 29. 7

(You are not here
 in this hard place,
difficult situation,
among impossible people
       for some random reason,
but strategically placed by God
for His glory,
for His kingdom,
in His name).

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Faithfulness will spring up
          from the ground,
and righteousness will look down
           from the sky.
Yea, the Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him,
   and make His footsteps a way.

                         Psalm 85. 11-13

(There may not always be a path,
but God always provides a way.
Sometimes a highway,
sometimes the next step).