Tuesday, February 28, 2017

...and He said to them,
"If any one would be first,
he must be last of all
    and servant of all."

                Mark 9. 35

(How do I know
when I have a servant heart:
     What is my attitude 
     when I am treated
                  like one?)

Monday, February 27, 2017

Why are you cast down,
       O my soul,
and why are you
  disquieted within me?
Hope in God,
for I shall again praise Him,
my help and my God.

                Psalm 43. 5

(Why is my heart uneasy?
Because I have left God out
          of the equation.
The LORD is my first response,
               not last resort.)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

For whoever would 
             save his life
     will lose it,
and whoever loses his life
          for My sake
          and the gospel's
  will save it.

                  Mark 8. 35

(What am I holding back?
Faithfulness is built
           on daily choices.
Don't miss out
on the incredible life
God intends for you.)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

And Moses did
as the LORD commanded him.

               Leviticus 16. 34

(Not out of compulsion,
 but out of his love for God.
And as a result,
Moses followed the LORD
    into an astonishing life.
God is writing an incredible
        story in you.
Faithfulness to God
     always bears fruit.)

Friday, February 24, 2017

The goat shall bear
all their iniquities upon him
     to a solitary land,
and he shall let the goat go
in the wilderness.

               Leviticus 16. 22

(Confess sin,
repent of wrongdoing,
     and ask forgiveness,
and let the goat go.
God has forgiven it,
      live in that reality.
Let it go.)

"But constantly forgiven,
we have power to
   love others more."
           -- Henri Nouwen

Thursday, February 23, 2017

I waited patiently
        for the LORD,
He inclined to me
   and heard my cry.
He drew me up
   from the desolate pit,
          out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my feet secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust
            in the LORD.

                  Psalm 40. 1-3

(God never intended for us
       to dwell in the miry pit,
but to seek Him through it.
The adversary says, 
          "You are stuck forever."
God says,
     "Follow Me."
He gives you a new song
  not dependent on circumstances,
but abiding in Him.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

And now, Lord,
   for what do I wait?
My hope is in You.

              Psalm 39. 7

(Not for an answer,
not for the solution,
   nor a way of escape,
nor a set of directions,
    but seeking the LORD.
Hope in the Bible
is not wishful thinking,
but that on Whom
       I can stake my life.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

all my longing
         is known to You,
my sighing
    is not hidden from You.
My heart throbs,
my strength fails me,
and the light of my eyes
  --it has also gone from me.
...But for You, O LORD,
           do I wait;
it is You,
O LORD my God,
     who will answer.

                Psalm 38. 9-10, 15

(Pray expectantly.
Pray against the odds.
Seek not the answer
   but the LORD who answers.)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Then Moses said, 
          to Aaron,
"Draw near
        to the altar..."

       Leviticus 9. 7

(What do I do
with this difficulty,
this fear,
this opportunity,
this unexpected 
this bad attitude,
this difficult person
(including myself)?
Bring it first
before the LORD,
listen and watch
for what only He
           can do.)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

And other seeds
fell into good soil
and brought forth
growing up
and increasing
and yielding
   thirty fold 
and sixty fold 
and a 

             Mark 4. 8

(What God does
    in a willing heart.
God brings the growth.
God does not add.
          He multiplies.)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Be still 
  before the LORD,
and wait 
  patiently for Him.

               Psalm 37. 7

(Don't get
ahead of God
           in this.
There may be
--there probably is--
something profound
you cannot yet see.)

Friday, February 17, 2017

Your steadfast love,
O LORD,  extends 
       to the heavens,
Your faithfulness 
          to the clouds.

               Psalm 36. 5

(How much 
     are you loved?
God has a picture
      to show you.
Go outside
      and look up.
Even more
   than you can see,
beyond what
    you can imagine.)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

...a pleasing odor
        to the LORD.

       Leviticus 2. 2

(What are my
    intentions today?
Do I even consider
 pleasing God in this?
No pleasant aroma
lingers if my attitude

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Say to my soul,
"I am your deliverance."

                 Psalm 35. 3

(Jesus meets me
      at my place of need
and at the point of realizing
              my need for Him.
This is too much
              for me alone.
Help me to see beyond this,
help me to see You,
help me to follow You 
                 through this.
The LORD's deliverance comes
not just through an exit
      but through many doors
and sometimes 
           right where I am.
   But never alone.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

And he made the laver of bronze
and its base of bronze,
from the mirrors
    of the ministering women
who ministered at the door
of the tent of meeting.

                    Exodus 38. 8

(What can God do with this?
We have no idea 
how God transforms
   even a single step of obedience
                   for His glory.
We have no grasp the extent
  of what God does
           with a willing heart.
The LORD does not just use
        what we bring before Him.
The LORD redeems.)

Monday, February 13, 2017

O taste and see 
    that the LORD is good.

                          Psalm 34. 8

(Just watch what the LORD
      can do with this.)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

And when Peter went out
            to the porch,
another maid saw him,
and she said to the bystanders,
"This man was with
         Jesus of Nazareth."

              Matthew 26. 71

(Something different about him
    because he was with Jesus.
Something distinct about us
    because He has
changed our hearts
and recalibrated
     the trajectory of our lives.
The deep marks of His grace,
His healing hand,
His indwelling Presence,
the life-altering evidence
             of being forgiven
      and in forgiving others.
We are surrounded by bystanders
who desperately watch
not to see that we are perfect
but to know that God is real.
Right now, even in this.)

Friday, February 10, 2017

Therefore let every one who is godly
             offer prayer to You;
in a time of finding only distress,
in the rush of great waters,
     they shall not reach him.
You are a hiding place for me,
You preserve me from trouble;
You encompass me
         with shouts of deliverance.

                           Psalm 32. 6-7

(First response is to pray,
                not panic.
The LORD may not pluck you 
    out of circumstances,
but He will bring you through.
What is Your way in this, O LORD?
Praying is not just a 9-1-1 call,
but an ongoing conversation, 
                   speaking with God
                   and learning how to listen.
"Come to Me.  Come with Me!")

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Watch and pray
that you may not enter
             into temptation;
the spirit is indeed willing,
   but the flesh is weak.

                   Matthew 26. 41

(Do not attempt
to do this on your own,
not just huge decisions,
           good intentions,
     but everyday details.
Everything is significant.
First order of action:
              Watch and pray.
"Listen to Me.
    I will lead you through.")

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Then the righteous will answer Him,
"Lord, when did we see You hungry
               and feed You,
or thirsty and give You drink?
And when did we see You
   as a stranger and welcome You,
or naked and clothe You?
And when did we see You sick
   or in prison and visit You?
And the King will answer them,
"Truly, I say to you,
as you did it to one
of the least of these my brethren,
      you did it to Me."

                  Matthew 25. 37-40

help us that we would not just
see a need and fill it,
or see it as ministry
              and fulfill it,
but see real people
         and see You in them
and serve and love You
                     in them.
My relationship with Christ
radically impacts
     how I  see others
         and how I love them.)


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

And see that you make them
after the pattern for them,
which is being shown you
on the mountain.

                      Exodus 25. 40

(Every tiny stitch
             of following Him
--even when it makes
no sense to me --
   bears great significance
             on His side of things.
That is what faithfulness looks like,
having no idea what I am doing,
          but knowing He does.
The LORD reveals not His purpose 
               not the outcome
but how I can trust Him
                   this one step
     and follow Him into the next.
Not my design,
                      but His.)

Monday, February 6, 2017

I will not drive them out
from before you in one year,
lest the land become desolate
and the wild beasts
        multiply against you.
Little by little
I will drive them out
                    before you,
until you are increased
      and possess the land.

               Exodus 23. 29-30

(This is a hard and scary place.
Where is God when I need Him?
God is at work.
There is a reason for His timing.
There is a reason
           for our faithfulness.
This may be a place
       of strengthening.)

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Ascribe to the LORD,
       O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the LORD
           glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD
    the glory of His name,
worship the LORD
            in holy array.

              Psalm 29. 1-2

(Worship impacts you
and impacts everyone around you.
There is a reason for it.
And worship was never meant
to be confined within church walls.
Stand in awe of God Almighty.
How you see Him
   changes everything about you.
Worship is not just acknowledging God
but inscribing His name
                on my life.)

Saturday, February 4, 2017

...in every place
where I cause My name
      to be remembered,
I will come to you
               and bless you.

              Exodus 20. 24

(Even here.
Even now.
Do I bring
   the name of the LORD
        to this difficult situation,
    to this hard passage,
             to this rocky trail?
The very ground
           wherever He leads
           is sacred,
because of His Presence.
God may not change
     my place,
     my circumstances,
   or these difficult people,
but He transforms my heart
     and redeems every inch.)

Friday, February 3, 2017

Whenever Moses held up his hand,
                      Israel prevailed;
and whenever he lowered his hand,
                      Amalek prevailed.

                               Exodus 17. 11

(Praying matters more than 
          we can ever imagine.
What am I spreading out
      before the LORD?
Who am I lifting up to Him?
How different our lives would be.
How radically different
            this world would be.)

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Then Moses led Israel onward
               from the Red Sea,
and they went into
      the wilderness of Shur;
they went three days
in the wilderness
           and found no water.

                    Exodus 15. 22

(We find His Presence
    in the most impossible places,
even in what
       is not what we would choose.
Even then
           God is faithful.
Even then
            His purposes prevail.
Even then
            the LORD provides
      His way through your wilderness,
      His surprises along the way.
"Trust Me a little deeper.
Come to know Me
                 a little more.")

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

But God led the people
around by the way
        of the wilderness
toward the Red Sea.

               Exodus 13. 18

(God leads
not always in the way
          that we expect.
God leads
even when
 it doesn't make sense to us.
But the LORD is leading.
"Trust Me in this.")