Inspiration

“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. 6 Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”

-Luke 8:5-8

I know my heart is hard and shallow but You who made the entire world can change my heart. Let Your Word and Spirit take root in the soil of my heart and grow. Lord, may Your Word and Spirit find my heart to be fertile ground. Let me be fruitful and share the bounty of love and forgiveness that only You can  grow in me.

Amen.

Inspiration

Psalm 130 – A song of ascents.

Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.
Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.

After reading this Psalm the other day I copied it into my prayer journal but substituting America for Israel:

Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning.
America, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.
He himself will redeem America from all their sins.

Given everything we see in the media deriding and even attacking those who want to hold fast to Biblical principles…

Given the moral direction our nation is headed…

Given the threats of enemies both foreign and domestic…

Given the growing hatred and intolerance of those who don’t share the same ideology or views…

…could this prayer be any more appropriate?

Inspiration

Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.

Psalm 127:1-2

I have been very stressed of late. I’m worried about our jobs, our health, our finances, our kids, and our grand kids. I see what’s going on with looming debt crisis and threats from abroad and they add to my worries. It has gotten so bad lately that my sleep has been affected. For almost a week I have been waking up several times a night literally in terror, convinced someone was in the house and about to do us harm. When I could sleep nightmares seemed to plague me all night long.

Each time I would wake up I would check the house (no one was there) and only praying for God’s protection would would allow me to get back to sleep. The lack of sleep was taking a toll on my relationship with Wonderful Wife and having a negative impact on my ability to do my job. I was so tired I wold catch myself dozing of on conference calls, meetings, while reading or watching TV.

That is why this Psalm really resonated with me and made me want to share it.

It helped me to realize that anything I do on my own, as the work of mortal hands, is only temporary. No matter how hard we work and toil in our personal lives, no matter what we do to protect ourselves or our nation none of it matters unless God is with us…and more importantly, we are with Him.

Many use this as a reason (excuse) to give up trying to do anything but that is not what the Bible tells us. God works through us and we still have to do our part but the success is through Him and His will. Not our own efforts.

Understanding that lifted the burden and the worry from my shoulders. His strength and peace filled me.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30

Yes Father, it is. Thank you.

God bless

Inspiration (Part 2)

Earlier today I posted a verse from Psalm 121:

From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.

-Psalm 121:1-2

I also prayed for those who were struggling and posted a few words of encouragement. Little did I know that I would need that same prayer and those same words today…

I found out today that a man that I respected deeply, a man I worked with for ten years and a man who had encouraged me and helped me to find Jesus as my Lordand Savior passed away. He was a great spirit who was always positive and always cheerful despite so many health issues. The only time I ever saw C upset or cranky was when his blood sugar tanked. He was diabetic. When he almost didn’t make it through a kidney transplant he was busy consoling others. When he had to quite driving because of his declining health we all knew how much that hurt him he still smiled. He loved his cars and driving them. When a lost young man was struggling to find himself he showed, by example, what a man should aspire to be. He wasn’t perfect. But he was forgiven and touched by Grace. As long as I can hold true, stay on the narrow way and make it through the small gate I will see him again on the other side.

I never told him how much he influenced me. I never told him how much I respected him and even admired him. There is a lesson there.

God bless you C. You will be missed…until we meet again.

Inspiration

From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.

-Psalm 121:1-2

Everyone I have ever known has faced struggles and trials I their lives. We may not always see or hear about them but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

God doesn’t promise us a life without such things. He promises us the strength to and courage to get through them…if we are willing to lean on Him.

If you are struggling, know that you are not alone, know that He is with you and that you will prevail.

Lord in heaven, I lift up prayers for all who are struggling. Please be with them, comfort them, give them strength and guide them. Help them to find You in their times of need. In Jesus holy name, amen.

Inspiration

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees.
With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.
I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.
I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.
I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.
-Psalm 119:10-16

When I abide by the words of this Psalm I am a better man in every way. Nevertheless, I frequently give in to temptation; temptation to be lazy, temptation to focus on the things of this world instead of Him…

Christians are not perfect. In fact, there is no guarantee that any given Christian is any better than anyone else in the world. But by accepting the sacrifice Jesus made for us, we commit ourselves to working to emulate Him in every way. We continually strive to be better, more Christlike, individuals. To be better than we would have been without Him.

To be frank, if Christians were perfect we wouldn’t need the Grace and forgiveness of Christ. I have heard folks say that they cannot be Christians because they are too bad, evil, sinful, or broken.  I have heard folks say that they have done things that are unforgivable but that is EXACTLY the reason He came and sacrificed Himself for us; because no one is that bad, evil, sinful or broken…

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

-Mark 2:17

Paul persecuted Christians before his conversion. He was personally responsible for the torture and death of many who followed Jesus and not only was he saved but God used him to spread the word throughout Asia and Europe.

As long as we can accept Jesus as our Savior and repent (turn away) from our sins any of us can be saved…even you…even me…

And for that, I can never be grateful enough.

God Bless