Wednesday, May 31, 2017

But You are near, O LORD...

                  Psalm 119. 151

(I need that truth repeating
in a continual loop
in my thoughts.
His Presence
     changes everything.
When circumstances 
              are not looking good,
when my heart says
         time to panic
              or despair,
the LORD says,
"I'm already here.
You are not alone.
     Follow Me into it.
Do not be afraid."
The peace Jesus promises
is not the absence of conflict,
     but His shalom
     in impossible places.)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

And David said,
I pray to You,
turn the counsel
of Ahithophel
  into foolishness."

         2 Samuel 15. 31

(Turn the tide,
       O LORD.
There may be 
nothing I can do
to change things,
but I can pray.
Praying is always
against the odds.
Praying opens up
every door, window
and crevice 
to the power of God
          in this,
beyond what 
I can comprehend,
or even know how
      to pray for.
Seek God in this,
not just the answer.)

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

    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
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

                     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,
     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?
   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 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,
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 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 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
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.)