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.)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

So Joshua said
    the people of Israel,
"How long will
        you put off
going in
to take possession
of the land,
which the LORD,
the God of your father's,
has given you?"

           Joshua 18. 3

(I may not know
His purposes in this,
nor even His direction,
but I can take
    the one step before me,
        and then the next.
Obedience is measured
           in steps,
faithfulness in the very details.)

Monday, April 17, 2017

And when  he came near,
He asked him,
"What do you want Me
to do for you?"

                   Luke 18:40-41

(How would you answer Him
              today?)


Sunday, April 16, 2017

But the angel said 
       to the women,
"Do not be afraid,
for I know that
      you seek Jesus
      who was crucified.
He is not here,
         for He has risen,
as He said.

           Matthew 28. 5-6

(And nothing
   will ever be the same.
He is risen.
He is risen indeed.)

A joyous Easter to you.
Practice resurrection!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

On the way to Jerusalem
He was passing along
between Samaria and Galilee.

                            Luke 17. 11

(There are only ordinary days
          and ordinary ways
         in God's economy.
God's most profound purposes
      emerge along the way,
His faithfulness in the details,
      not just the destination.)

Friday, April 14, 2017

...but did not ask counsel
          from the LORD.

               Joshua 9:14

(Big mistake number 1)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

...but hold yourselves
     all in readiness...

             Joshua 8. 4

(Not just aware
      of your surroundings,
but mindful of the LORD.
Live expectantly.
Not if God leads,
        but how.
Faithfulness in the long haul
grows in the smallest details.)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

And the commander
    of the LORD'S army
    said to Joshua,
"Put off your shoes
         from your feet,
for the place where you stand
               is holy."

                  Joshua 5. 15

(God considers holy
every step
   of obedience to Him,
any place
   where His name dwells.
God makes the ordinary
    extraordinary.)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

...that you may know the way
          you shall go,
for you have not
   passed this way before.
            Joshua 3. 4
(Follow God into it,
     one step at a time.
Take the one step of obedience
        that is before you,
and the next step will rise up.)

Sunday, April 9, 2017


As He said this,
all His adversaries 
   were put to shame...

             Luke 13. 17

(Accusations 
        cannot stick
to a heart of grace,
compassion 
and sheer love for others.
They were put to shame
because they knew
     He loved them too.)

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Lay to heart
all the words
which I enjoin 
   upon you this day.
...For it is
no trifle for you,
but it is your life...

     Deuteronomy 32. 46-47

(Obedience to God
              matters.
It matters a lot.
It changes 
the trajectory of your life.
And impacts 
      generations 
              after you,
His Word
flourishing in you).

Friday, April 7, 2017

For I will proclaim
      the name of the LORD.
Ascribe greatness to our God.

              Deuteronomy 32. 3

(How can I bless the LORD
        in this before me,
whatever it may be?
There are many things
            I could do,
but I choose
    to bring Him glory.
It is not giving up anything,
but moving toward
          a higher calling
even in unexpected places.
There are no small things,
no ordinary days,
               in His name
     and for His glory).

Thursday, April 6, 2017

...that He may
     establish you this day
                 as His people,
and that He may be your God...

                   Deuteronomy 29. 13

(and that pretty much
    changes your heart
    and the course of your life)

             

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Your way was through the sea,
Your path
    through the great waters,
yet
   Your footprints were unseen.

                   Psalm 77. 19

(God leads me
through impossible places
and in unexpected ways.
Even when walking in mystery
        or in shadows
        or silence,
when I don't know what I am doing,
nor understand,
              I am not alone.
God is at work.
That is what the extraordinary
   looks like in ordinary places.)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

And there
you shall build an altar
    to the LORD your God...

                 Deuteronomy 27. 5

(Here?  Are you kidding me?
In this hard place,
   in this impossible situation,
   among these difficult people?
Wherever 
      the LORD places me today
             is holy to the LORD,
even the rocky terrain,
     even the miry bog
is holy ground to God
and a divinely appointed place
     to bring His name there
and worship God
            in all I do and say.
May His glory
   get all over everything.)

Monday, April 3, 2017

"Which of the three,
do you think,
proved neighbor to the man
who fell among the robbers?"
He said,
"The one who showed mercy on him."
And Jesus said,
        "Go and do likewise."

                      Luke 10. 36

(It's not about accomplishment,
or efficiency,
       but all about loving people
whom God puts on our path.
Mercy for the strangers,
   mercy even for those we know.
Mercy is both undeserved
     and always unexpected.)

Sunday, April 2, 2017

...sent them on ahead of Him,
two by two,
into every town and place
where He Himself
      was about to come.

                   Luke 10. 1

(I may never see an outcome
         or God's purposes in this,
nor any response at all,
but I may be simply
preparing His way
       in the lives of others.
There are no small obediences.)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

...it seemed to me
       a wearisome task,
until I went
into the sanctuary of God...

                 Psalm 73. 16-17

(Bringing it before the LORD
does not necessarily
           change the circumstances
but God changes my heart.
He drains despair 
               from the situation
and helps me to 
       see Him in it
       and seek His glory.
Even in this.)
      
...it seemed to me
       a wearisome task,
until I went
into the sanctuary of God...

                 Psalm 73. 16-17

(Bringing it before the LORD
does not necessarily
           change the circumstances
but God changes my heart.
He drains despair 
               from the situation
and helps me to 
       see Him in it
       and seek His glory.
Even in this.)
      

Friday, March 31, 2017

...at the place
which the LORD will choose,
to make His name 
                dwell there.

          Deuteronomy 16. 2

(Why do we always assume
     that is someplace else
     where the LORD is leading,
and not where He has led me
       right where I am today?)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

And before the LORD your God,
in the place where 
                He will choose,
to make His name dwell there...

                    Deuteronomy 14. 23

(Wherever He leads me today
    -- even in unexpected places
and among impossible people--
I am there
    to bear His name
and fulfill His purposes.)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Be careful to heed
all these words
which I command you,
that it may go well with you
and your children after you
                                for ever,
when you do what is
          good and right 
in the sight of the LORD your God.

                      Deuteronomy 12. 28

(Be careful to hear
                and heed.
There is profound purpose 
           in faithfulness to God.
God will sustain you,
strategically appoint you,
transform the trajectory of your life,
and directly impact
  those all around you
  and those who come after you,
people you will never know
               on this side of life.)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

And as for the good soil,
they are those who,
hearing the Word,
           hold it fast
in an honest and a good heart,
and bring forth fruit
with patience.

                      Luke 8. 15

(Hear the Word,
               hold it fast.
Whatever I am holding on tight
   changes the course
   of my day
 and the trajectory of my life.)

Monday, March 27, 2017

O God,
You know me fully,
the wrongs I have done
   are not hidden from You.
Let not those who hope in You
   be put to shame through me,
       O LORD God of hosts,
let not those who seek You
    be brought to dishonor
    through me,
          O God of Israel.
           
                  Psalm 69. 5-6

(Let what I do
      point others to You,
not away from You.
May I always be mindful
               of You,
of doing what is right,
or choosing what is wrong.
Others are always watching
      and impacted by it.)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Rebuke the beasts
    that dwell among the reeds.

                    Psalm 68. 30

(Do not let what might be
overshadow what you do know.
What is unknown to me
   not unknown to God.
God is victorious 
      over beasts,
      over phantoms,
over foes both real
                and imagined.
He is my strength. )

Saturday, March 25, 2017

...even among the rebellious,
that the LORD God
        may dwell there.

             Psalm 68. 18

(Even here.  Even now.
     Yes, even among 
     the people around you.
See them differently.
Love them differently.
The rebellious are only those
     who are desperate for God.
May we be faithful
          wherever
          He strategically places us.
Why am I here?
Bring the love of Jesus there.)

Friday, March 24, 2017

For the LORD your God
has blessed you
in all the work of your hands.
He knows
    your going through
    this great wilderness;
these forty years
the LORD has been with you;
you have lacked nothing.

                 Deuteronomy 2. 7

(God knows exactly
    what you are going through.
There is not just a plan in it,
but purposes embedded
in every step of the journey,
     not just the outcome for you,
but even generations after you.
God is faithful.
He is not about 
     to abandon you now.
God never promised
          life would be easy,
but "I am with you."
Watch for His fingerprints.)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

...You let men ride over our heads,
we went through fire
       and through water,
yet
   You have brought us forth
         to a spacious place.

                  Psalm 66. 12

(Sometimes God's deliverance
   is right through the impossible.
"Yet" is trusting Him in it,
     that which we cannot see from here.
"Yet" makes a path of dry ground
             in the midst of an angry sea
     and even with an army close behind.
"Yet" is a chronicle
          of God's faithfulness.
Things are not going to be ok;
        God is doing something extraordinary.)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

And he left everything,
     and rose
and followed Him.

              Luke 5. 28

(What is Jesus 
     calling me into?
Not always to go,
but sometimes to stay
      right where I am.
Not always what to do,
but always
              who to be.)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

And when He had ceased speaking,
he said to Simon,
"Put out into the deep
and let down you nets
               for a catch."
And Simon answered,
"Master, we toiled all night
          and took nothing!
But at Your word
I will let down the nets."
And when they had done this,
they enclosed 
           a great shoal of fish;
and as their nets were breaking,
they beckoned to their partners
in the other boat to come
                   and help them.
And they came
         and filled both boats,
so that they began to sink.

                         Luke 5. 4-7

(Our responding to God
     impacts everyone around us.
What impossible thing
         is God nudging you to do?
Even in what seems to
    make no sense at all.
Put out into the deep
    and let down your nets.
God always redeems 
         wholly following Him,
even in ways we may never see,
and sometimes in ways
               that break our nets.)

Monday, March 20, 2017

And Jesus answered him,
"It is written,
'You shall worship
     the Lord your God,
and Him only
                shall you worship."

                        Luke 4. 8

(Everyone worships something.
We are wired that way.
If you do not serve the LORD,
a lesser god will take
               His rightful place.
What or whom I worship
    changes the trajectory
              of my life
and impacts everyone 
                      around me.)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

...the son of Maath,
the son of Mattathias,
the son of Semein,
the son of Josech,
the son of Joda...

             Luke 3. 26

(All men and sons
I have never heard of,
but all who were
       faithful to God,
generation
           upon generation,
a lineage of faithfulness.
And too,
our personal relationship
                 with God
and choosing to be
       faithful to Him
profoundly impacts children
      to the furthest generation.
There are
    no small obediences,
no trivial decisions,
no insignificant faithfulness.)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Bear fruits
that befit repentance.

                   Luke 3. 8

(What does  a changed heart 
                 look like?
God changes a natural reaction,
    into a supernatural response.
It is not in me,
                 but You, O LORD.
You produce in me
a different way,
     a new kind of fruit,
faithfulness
even in an unchanging landscape
       and difficult soil.
Not just in what I do,
     but who I am
     and Whose I am.)

Friday, March 17, 2017

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

                    Psalm 60. 12

(Trusting in Him,
God conquers those things you fear,
                 both real and imagined.
God is bringing you 
         through this hard place,
probably in unexpected ways.
There are no small victories
               in God's economy.
But don't go forth alone.
Cling to the first two words:
               With God.)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

But I will sing of Your might;
I will sing aloud
of Your steadfast love
         in the morning.

               Psalm 59. 16

(Music is not just 
          entertainment.
But God gave
   the power of music
                 to worship Him,
to push back the darkness,
to give us strength.
What songs am I singing?
A soundtrack of despair
         or of praise?)
            

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

O God,
break the teeth in their mouths,
tear out the fangs
        of the young lions,
                    O LORD!

                      Psalm 58. 6

(Those things that I fear
      lose their grip on me.
That is what trust,
forgiveness,
and obedience do.)