September 24

Today’s verse and prayer.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Romans 12:1 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the guidance and wisdom we find in Your Word. Your ways are perfect and Your Word is truth. Lord Jesus, we know You have a perfect plan for today and that You are going to be with us throughout. Please help us to listen to Your voice, to obey Your Word. Lord, let our hearts not be hard, but soft and humble. Lord, let our words be praise and thanksgiving. Lord, please shine Your light into our day and shine through us to others. Please, touch the hurting and heal the sick. Lord, bring back the captive and the wayward. Lord, please break the chains of addiction and idolatry. Lord Jesus, shine Your light and save the lost. Let the whole Earth be filled with Your glory. Amen.

Desires of the heart

It’s been several days.

I’m not even sure when the Lord began talking with me about it.

Yet, His faithfulness is evident in His consistent love.

He’s been pointing out an area of my heart I’m struggling with.

When does the heart set itself upon a particular desire?

How does it suddenly become a treasure you guard and hide?

Nothing should be so important, no desire so attractive, that it begins to be “off limits”.

In other words, the Lord has been pointing out a desire which has grown out of proportion.

He’s been bring it to my attention and saying:

Give this to Me.

My answer: “Yes, Lord.”

But my emotions are less obedient,

And thus I’ve struggled.

It’s so much harder to untwine the tendrils of desire than for them to grow.

Especially, when it’s a perfectly normal desire.

Yet, God is Sovereign.

He knows when a desire has gotten out of line, encroaching upon my willingness to surrender all.

I’m thankful He loves me so much as to show me this danger.

I’m thankful He’s so patient with me and my unruly emotions.

I’m certain He has my best at heart.

So, I’m being purposeful in replacing my overgrown desire with God’s Word.

Psalm 10:17 NKJV — LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear,

“Lord, help me to be humble. To understand Your will is best, mine is shortsighted. Please prepare my heart.”

Psalm 40:8 NKJV — I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.”

“Lord, please help me to trust You with every detail of my life. Lord, each time this desire, or any other, begins to grow, clip it back, bring it under submission to Your perfect will.”

Psalm 37:31 NKJV — The law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall slide.

“Lord, please help me to keep You on the throne of my heart. Keep my devotion to You pure. Please be with my thoughts, help me take each one captive. Please be with my eyes, help me be wise as to what I look at.”

Romans 13:14 NKJV — But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

“Lord Jesus, I never want to feed my sinful nature, but instead, I want to put on Your attributes, Your love, Your mercy, Your grace. Please help my heart to follow You.”

Ephesians 6:11 NKJV — Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

“Lord, thank You for this armor. Thank You for protecting me. Please help me to be focused and purposeful each day.”

“Dear Lord Jesus,

You know my heart. You know what I am struggling with. I choose to place all my desires in Your hands and to walk forward into Your perfect truth. Thank You again for showing me this. Thank You for Your patient endurance of my struggle. I know in You my heart, mind, and emotions will line up with Yor will. May Your name be glorified! Amen.

“Be anxious for…”

“nothing…”

No matter your treasures.

No matter your need.

No matter what is prepared for you today, these words from Philippians are worth remembering.

Philippians 4:6 NKJV — Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

The Lord knows all and He wants us to trust Him, to find our treasure in Him.

Because a bank account or status doesn’t bring security or peace.

Neither do relationships, property, or the nation where one resides.

The only way to be anxious for nothing is to look at Jesus, the Savior.

It’s easy to get tied up in the every day or the list of “to do”, but with practice and persistence it can become a way of life.

Which is where we want to be.

Philippians 4:7 NKJV — and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Definitely a wonderful way to live, in the peace of God.

May it be your residence.


Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Lord, You know what is best. You have all these things in Your hands. Please help us to surrender daily to Your will. Please let us not be stubborn or stiff-necked, but instead walk with love and trust. Lord, please help our hearts to be completely Yours. Lord, use our lives to reach others. Let our light shine brightly into the darkness, that people might see You. Lord, please heal the sick and hurting. Please restore the lost and the prodigal. Lord, please guide and direct our leaders and let the hearts of the nations return to You. Thank You, Jesus. You are incredible. I praise Your holy name! love is unfathomable! Amen.

Doing all

Colossians 3:17 NKJV — And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

There’s two important truths in this verse.

The first is: “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,” Col. 3:17a

As followers of Christ our entire lives are to be a reflection of our choice.

Which can seem difficult on the day-to-day scheme.

Yet, we are called to live unto Christ, no matter the task at hand.

Which is an encouraging thought.

No longer does the mundane task mean nothing.

If my attitude is to accomplish those things with a heart of serving Christ, mundane can become mighty, an opportunity to serve Christ no matter the task.

It’s always about the heart and what is residing there: servanthood or selfishness.

The second truth is another opportunity: “giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Col. 3:17b

When our lives are a reflection of Christ, we have the privilege to praise at the same time.

Praising and thanking God for His marvelous works of salvation, restoration, and provision are a natural reaction.

Or it should be.

If one finds their heart is following through with the daily tasks, but the gratitude is lost, it’s a warning.

Can the “doing all” be missing? Could the motivation of the tasks been lost to living for something else other than Christ?

The human heart constantly requires self discipline to remain in line with the commandments of scripture.

It’s good to do a heart check.

Therefore we need both truths in this verse.

And as we step out into each day, may we keep these truths close to our hearts.

It will take effort and perseverance to train our lives into living each part unto Christ, but that’s why this is a journey.

Walking with Jesus is a growing stretching building beautiful journey.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for this verse. Thank You for the truths You have given us so we can live aware of our actions and attitudes. Lord Jesus, You know that we often find it difficult to follow Your Word. Our hearts don’t easily surrender to Your will. Please, walk with us today, hone our hearts and minds and hold our hand, that we might follow You in all things. Please keep us from evil. Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. For Thine is the kingdom and the glory forever. Amen.

“What is it?”

Our granddaughter says this phrase a good deal.

She has a few words she uses, but she’s yet to speak fluidly.

Her curiosity and joy at life are infectious.

Her little smiles, her little hands grasping toys or books or patting, her little eyes looking up so innocently, all these brings us such joy.

And while she is learning about her world and the people in it, she’s asking:

What is it?

It’s something I ask my Heavenly Father frequently.

I’ll hear of an event, see something on the news, or be surprised by a post and my heart will leap:

“God! What is it?”

“Why did that person do that? What caused the behavior there? What were they thinking?”

But He always leads me gently back to the truth.

No matter what I see on the surface there’s something deeper.

A spiritual battle going on which often affects us when we least realize it.

So, again comes the question:

“What is it?”

And added to this:

“How do I pray?”

The answers are as varied and numerous as one might expect.

Each circumstance is unique and therefore holds different points to pray for.

Sometimes, I don’t receive an answer right away and therefore turn to scripture.

I ask God to give me a verse or group of verses to pray.

I seek Him personally, to be sure nothing is hindering my prayers.

Sometimes, I just pray and thank God for whatever He is doing that I don’t understand.

But I am so blessed to be able to go before God, the Creator, and lift up people.

The privilege of talking with the Almighty about anything and everything is overwhelming good.

To find peace and security in His voice, His direction, His Sovereignty.

It’s comfort to my soul, not unlike when our granddaughter gets lifted up to her father’s shoulder.

She leans in and rests her head on him and smiles.

She’s content in the arms of her father.

I can be as well.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for letting me lift up my heart to You. Thank You for opportunities to pray. Lord, thank You for the comfort I find in You and in Your Word. Lord Jesus, please hold me in Your arms and continue to teach me how to pray. I want to be able to stand in the gap, to lift up others bed You, to know You as a Father and a friend. Lord Jesus, thank You for walking with me daily. I give You my all. Please be glorified in me today. Amen.

Surrender brings rest

I’ve never thought about it before, but it’s true.

Surrender to Jesus brings rest to my soul.

Why?

Because it causes self to be powerless.

As a child and youth I was always worried about how others’ thought of me.

Who I was always needed forming into the ideas of those around me.

I had to live up to their expectations.

I had to follow through on what they wanted.

Of course, I couldn’t.

So, with every failure I felt it was a proof that I was a failure.

Therefore, with each failing, my value became less and my need to prove myself became greater.

Yes, I did believe in Jesus during this time.

No, I didn’t walk in submission to Him, nor did I understand what that was.

But as I walked in adulthood and learned the truths of scripture, I began to understand.

As I’ve walked in obedience to my Father and Lord, I’ve found such blessed freedom.

It’s been a slow process and a long journey, but well worth it.

When my heart gained understanding and humility, my burden to prove myself, rolled off.

My need to order and control my life also died.

Yes, I still work at living a self disciplined and scheduled way, but that is completely different from trying to control circumstances or order life into my ideas of how it should be.

And I can tell you how peaceful and beautiful it is to surrender.

No, I don’t always understand what’s occurring around me or how to handle specific circumstances.

No, I don’t need to have all the control, call the shots, or be in charge.

Yes, I know the One Who does.

And as I grow in the knowledge of God Almighty, I grow in love, peace, and assurance.

He is good.

He is loving.

He is truth.

Why strive against Him by stubborn refusal to submit my whole heart, my whole life to His perfect plan?

Yes, my soul has found rest.

Rest in the Lord , and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret— it only causes harm.
Psalms 37:7‭-‬8 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for teaching me how to surrender to You. Thank You for Your patience and Your grace. Lord, often I become stiff-necked and willful. I forget all Your past faithfulness and try to do things in my own strength. Lord, how foolish and what a waste! Please continue to patiently bring me back to this place of rest.

Using my time wisely

These are a few of the things I’ve been making while having to stay in my room due to the air quality.

I hadn’t planned on being confined, so when it became obvious that I would be, I began praying.

Seeking the Lord, for His plans during this time.

I wanted to use my time wisely.

Of course I continued to home school.

But I felt there were other things the Lord wanted me to do as well.

So, my yarn box came out of the closet and I began working.

I’m actually very grateful to God.

He helped me so much!

I’ve been able to make six Christmas gifts while under confinement.

Nothing fancy, but definitely a blessing.

Christmas is a long way off, but since we have three birthdays that month, I’ve learned to work earlier.

Last year I didn’t think about shipping times, so several gifts were very late.

This year I’m trying to get it done in plenty of time to avoid a replay.

As I am able to leave my room and return to my household duties, I’m still praying for wisdom.

Just because I’m able to do more, doesn’t mean I always know the best use for my time.

But, I know how to find out what is.

Time with Jesus.

He always answers and guides my day if I let Him lead.

Of course there are times when I don’t.

I get busy with my own agenda and off I go…

I normally end up with something going sideways which brings me back to the Shepherd.

I’m so thankful to Him for His faithfulness.

Although there is such tragedy and difficult things happening all around us, I am encouraged by the personal testimonies of people helping and loving one another.

I’m not able to go out and do those things.

But I can stand in prayer for them.

I can do what God puts on my heart daily and trust Him.

I can use my time wisely, and honor God with my praise.

I can thank Him for all the ways He is helping the hurting and saving the lost.

I can be obedient in today and let go of the things I can’t do.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for being in today. Thank You for being a part of each day. Thank You for shining Your truth into my heart and mind. Lord, I want to use my time wisely, because I don’t know how much I get and I don’t want to waste any. Thank You for always being so faithful, for guiding and directing me, especially when I’m heading in the wrong way. Lord, please keep my feet firmly in Your paths. Please keep my eyes fixed upon You. Please keep the throne of my heart as only You deserve to be there. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Colossians 4:5 NKJV — Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.

We are never alone

Genesis 16:13 NKJV — Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”

I love this.

Hagar was fleeing, in the wilderness, alone, or she thought she was.

Genesis 16:7 NKJV — Now the Angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur.

He spoke to her of the future and sent her back to her Mistress.

God provided for Hagar her entire life.

And He does the same for us.

Psalm 23:4 NKJV — Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

No matter where we are, He is there.

Psalm 73:23 NKJV — Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand.

No matter what we are experiencing, He knows.

Psalm 139:18 NKJV — If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.

Even when we are unaware of Him, He is still with us.

And the best part of it all, is He’s waiting.

He’s ready to be invited into our every day.

He’s available to comfort, teach, exhort, and love us.

He’s offering each of us freedom from sin, death, and evil.

All we have to do is surrender ourselves to Him.

And He promised never to leave us for forsake us.

Matthew 28:20 NKJV — “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Praise the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your promises. Thank You for Your faithfulness and love. Lord, please continue to enlarge my understanding of how present You are in my every moment. Lord, nothing escapes Your notice. No matter what today holds, thank You for being with me. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

I included more verses here at the end. I hope it encourages you. God bless.

Genesis 31:3 NKJV — Then the LORD said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you.”

Genesis 26:24 NKJV — And the LORD appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake.”

Joshua 1:9 NKJV — “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

2 Samuel 7:9 NKJV — “And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth.

1 Chronicles 22:18 NKJV — “Is not the LORD your God with you? And has He not given you rest on every side? For He has given the inhabitants of the land into my hand, and the land is subdued before the LORD and before His people.

Another Tuesday

Dear Reader, please understand that this post is extremely difficult for me to publish as it is very personal. My prayer time with the Father is not something I like or want to share for so many reasons. However, I must obey the Lord. In no way are my prayers meant to teach any specific theology or to declare a form that works or in anyway be an example. It is simply my time with Jesus and I hope you can respect the privacy that I’m sharing with you. God bless.💗

“Good morning, Lord.”

Good morning, Little one. I know, you are weary.

“Yes, Lord, I am.”

“Jesus, please fix me, my attitude is poor, my body is cranky, my mind is fuzzy. I’m a mess. I need Your strength to do home school, to pray for others, to smile at my family. I’m empty, please fill me up.”

Child, why are you empty? Or are you?

“You’re right. I’m not.”

What you are is Mine.

“Yes, Lord. Please forgive me. I allowed my emotions and my physical to crowd out the truth. Thank You for reminding me.”

I love you. I am with you.

“Yes, Lord. Thank You, so much. Jesus, please guide me as to what Your will is today.”

I will. I am. Don’t forget to praise.

“Yes, Jesus! What a blessing and what joy to glorify Your name! Lord Jesus, You alone are worthy of all praise. You are incredible! You give me breath, life, food, all that I need. You have blessed me with family and friends and a place to live and clothes to wear. Thank You! God, how awesome is Your name! How precious are Your ways! You alone are worthy of all praise! Jesus, I so much want others to be able to enjoy the relationship You are wanting to have with each one. Please open the hearts and minds of those who have yet to know You. Please deepen the walk of those who already know You. Lord, please don’t let us simply know about You, and then go our own way, please let us walk with You in all things.”

“Lord Jesus, there is so much hurt, loss, and fear right now and I know You understand the hurting far better than anyone. You see the heart. You love more than we can ever have the capacity to love. I also know that I can trust You in all of this. I don’t understand all that You are doing, but I know You are.”

Yes child, I know. Trust Me and pray.

“Lord, thank You for all Your wonderous works. Whether we see them or understand them, I know You are working. Lord Jesus, please heal the hurting and the sick. Lord touch the hearts. Please, soften the bitter. Open those spiritual eyes who have grown dim or blind to truth. Unstop the ears, let Your truth be heard. Shut the mouth of violence. Stop the ways of wickedness. Put an end to harming the innocent. Please strengthen the feeble. Please protect those who are doing what is right. Please guard those who are risking themselves for others. Please put Your hand on those who have lost a loved one in the line of duty. God, put an end to hate between people. The only thing we should hate is evil. Lord, please raise up leaders who are people of integrity, honor, and truth. Please let fathers be responsible, loving, kind. Men who do what is right each and every day. Men who love their wives, work hard, provide for their families, lead the home in teaching and worshipping You. Lord, please let the men of this country be Mighty Men of Valor, able in word and deed. Men who love to serve You and those around them. Not vulgar, not addicted, not lazy, not angry, but full of peace, love, integrity, and truth: Your Word. Lord, please let women be praying for their husbands, their children, their communities, their homes. Let us be steadfast in caring for our families and our friends. Lord, let us raise our children to know You, to be honorable, to be humble. Lord, please help us women to be full of virtue, not lazy, not addicted, not bitter, not angry, not depressed, not held down by lies. Lord Jesus, please let us be Women of Worth. Please whatever the task at hand let us do it with all our might, in love, in service, in gentleness and kindness. Lord, raise up women who will speak the truth with love to those around them. Women who lovingly serve no matter the personal cost. Women who support and exhort their husbands and their children. Women who love You more than life itself. Lord, there is so much more. Thank You so much for loving us. Thank You for salvation. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your unwavering support. Jesus, I love You. May Your name be glorified throughout the whole Earth.”

The presence of God

Picture by K. Wolfe

Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.
Exodus 3:6 NKJV

Moses was standing before God.

And He was afraid.

Very understandable.

In fact it’s wise, because God Almighty is holy and we are sinners.

The Bible doesn’t record Adam or Eve being afraid of God before the fall in Genesis 3.

Afterwards, all it took was hearing Him, to make them afraid.

Genesis 3:8 KJV — And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

Our sin makes us unclean.

And the Bible gives us other examples that mankind are sinners and God is holy.

Isaiah, a prophet of God, a man who served God diligently, records his encounter with the LORD.

Isaiah 6:5 KJV — Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

Simon Peter’s reaction after the miracle of the catch of fish shows his understanding of his sin and Jesus’s holiness.

Luke 5:8 NKJV — When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”

Standing before God is a privilege and not a single sinner deserves the right to be there.

Even the angels have a distinction of standing before God’s presence.

Luke 1:19 KJV — And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.

And yet, we see God reaching through the gap to us.

That’s why Jesus came, to bridge the gulf between sinners and Himself.

John 3:17 NKJV — “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

For those who have left their burden of sin at the foot of the cross, it is such a joyous freedom and responsibility.

For freedom from sin brings our lives into a right relationship with God.

But it’s not a “Get out of Jail free” card to slap upon the table of judgement and turn to hop down the block, living anyway we please.

It’s a relationship, where we daily have the opportunity to draw nearer to God Most High.

It’s a journey, where we become more like Christ as He hones and polishes our character.

As we walk in the joy and privilege of drawing close to God, let us never forget that He is holy.

May our spiritual insight never be dimmed by familiarity.

There’s an example in scripture as to the consequence of growing familiar with God’s grace and blessing while growing blind to His holiness.

1 Chronicles 13:9-10 KJV — And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.

The Ark had been staying in Uzza’s father’s house and at some point Uzza grew calloused to God’s holiness.

His heart condition was revealed in his actions.

The same is true for us and God will respond accordingly.

who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them ) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
Romans 2:15‭-‬16 NKJV

As each of us walks in our day-to-day, let each one remember that God is holy.

Let our hearts meditate on how incredible He truly is and how unworthy we ever will be of the love He so generously pours out upon us daily.

Like Moses, a man who was in God’s presence regularly and is also described as a very humble man (Numbers 12:3), we need to fear God, to revere Him, while speaking with Him daily.

May we never grow callous to the privilege of being in God’s presence.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word which guides and directs. Thank You for this story of Moses. Please help us to both seek Your presence and honor it. Help our hearts to grasp the incredible love You have for each one of us and the chasm You bridged just to have a personal relationship with us.