A Prayer for You for Family

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“Holy Father, I lift up my family to You today.  I thank You for placing each member of my family in my life and I thank You for how You are working in each one’s life.  Father, I thank You that I can mention their names before You and You already know everything that is going on in their lives.  God, help me be a source of strength and encouragement to my children and my spouse.  God, I know I fail so often, but my heart is to show them my love.  My heart is for them.  Father God, I pray that You will bless our relationships with each other and cause us to know You as a family.  God, bring joy and peace into their hearts and bring others who know You into their lives as well.  Father, You know their needs and I know You can reach them, even in times when I can’t.  I pray that You will deliver them from temptations and give them a spirit of knowledge and wisdom.  Deliver them from the attacks of the enemy and open their eyes and show them the path You would have them go down.

Father, I love my family and I know You love them even more.  God, I pray that You will cause them to become seekers of You.  Father, I pray that You will guard them and protect them from evil and darkness.  I pray that You will grow them spiritually and cause them to be the best they can be at their jobs.  Help me, Father, to be what my family needs me to be.  Help me be sensitive and understanding.  Help me be compassionate and merciful.  Help me be purposeful and always point my family to You.  Father God, show me today that You are working in my family’s life.  Thank You, Father, for inviting us to come into Your family.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.”

 

A Prayer for You for Discernment

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Holy Father, I come to you today with a humble heart knowing that you are the God who sees all things.  I give you my life and submit to your authority over me.  Father God, I know you said in your Word that the last days will be full of great deceptions and lying wonders, so I come asking for spiritual discernment.  Unless you open my eyes and let me see, I will remain blind to what the enemy is doing all around me.  Father God, open my eyes and give me understanding for the times that I live in.  Father God, my family and friends need me to be able to tell the difference between what is false and what is true.  Lord, I don’t know if I’ve ever lived in a more confusing time, and I know Your word says that You are not the author of confusion, but I know who is.  Jesus, you rebuked the religious leaders of your day because they could forecast the weather, but they were blind to Your presence.  Father God, You know the truth about what is going on in our world and in our own country.  Lord, You know the truth about diseases and viruses and vaccines, and You know the truth about greater agendas and men who still want to rule and control the world.  Father, it seems too much for me and too overwhelming to me, but that is why I have come today, because You see all things and know all things and You have the power to protect and guide.  Give me ears to hear and eyes to see what You would have me do in this time of deception.  I look to You in faith to show me the way and give me the faith to follow You no matter what.  I ask this in Jesus Name, Amen!

Here Comes Trouble

Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble,” and we might say that’s really an understatement of our struggles in this life.  Trouble comes in such a variety of forms and degrees and long-term effects.  The troubles we face are like the waves lined up in rows coming to shore, they just keep coming.  No matter how far you walk down the shoreline, they are there.

Here is the reality when it comes to trouble in our lives—there are some people who invite trouble, like Jonah.  He knew what God was telling him to do, but decided to go in another direction.  Jonah actually invited trouble due to his disobedience.  Some people have trouble in their lives because they live with or are closely connected to people like Jonah.

Then there are some people who make trouble wherever they go.  They are constantly stirring things up and causing strife and arguments.  We call them troublemakers, and the world is full of them.  Troublemakers will always find something wrong and it’s like they live to disturb the peace.  Many troublemakers were raised up by parents who were troublemakers, and so the cycle of contention gets passed on.  Troublemakers can really only live in peace when everyone around them submits and agrees to their demands.

Some invite trouble, some are troublemakers, and then some, like Job, experience and endure trouble and live to testify to the faithfulness of God in their trouble.  If anyone could ever say, “I’ve had some trouble in my life,” it would certainly be Job who had everything he held dear in his life stripped away.  His wife and friends couldn’t help him in his trouble, but he still got through it.  Job didn’t know the first and last part of John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  Job didn’t invite trouble, nor did he make trouble, but he got more than his fair share.  What did Job have to say about the troubles in life?

Man who is born of woman Is of few days And full of trouble – Job 14:1

Jesus Christ also experienced and endured more trouble than anyone who ever lived.  But Jesus did something with trouble, He took it to the cross so that we can have peace even in the presence of our trouble.  The key to having peace in the presence of trouble is to be “in Him” when trouble comes.

Change

It seems like things never change, but the reality is, things are always changing.  On a personal level and on a global level you need to know and prepare yourself for the change that is coming.  Our hope is that life will always change for the better, but we have learned from our own experiences and the life of other people, that that is not always the case.  God takes us through a variety of spiritual landscapes meant to mold and shape us and draw us closer to Him.  There are changes in our families, health, jobs, and places where we live, again some incredibly good changes, and others we would rather skip.  What you see now, you will not always be able to see.  Who you are with now may not always be with you, so you and I should live not in suspense of life changing, but always clinging to the only One who does not change.

Whatever you do, don’t stop preparing your heart and mind for the radical change that is coming on this world.  It will be a global change and it will directly change your life and the way you live.  Our great God and King is coming, but before He gets here, the landscape is going to change.  Don’t be like the one who says, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:4. Those are the words of a mocker who does not understand the tender mercies of God.  Change is coming and you should feel it in your heart, and it’s nothing to be afraid of, but certainly something to prepare for.  But how do you prepare for change?  Whether it’s personal change or much bigger, train yourself to keep your eyes on Jesus, the unchanging One.

Covered

If you are going to survive in a world of adversity, challenges, and outright opposition, you are going to be need to be covered.  Being covered is what happens when you go to bed at night and pull the comforter up to your neck.  People cover themselves when they pop up the umbrella when walking in the rain.  You also cover yourself when you step out of the shower and put your clothes on, but there is another covering that everyone needs.

In I Samuel 19, David was the number one man on King Saul’s hit list.  Saul wanted David dead, and he made it known to all his servants.  By persuasion, Jonathan tried to be a peacemaker, but his efforts backfired and almost got David killed and David went home.  Saul sent messengers to David’s house to take him and kill him, but instead David got covered.

SCRIPTURE

“So Michal let David down through a window. And he went and fled and escaped. 13 And Michal took an image and laid [it] in the bed, put a cover of goats’ [hair] for his head, and covered [it] with clothes.“  I Samuel 19:12-13

To cover someone means to protect them and shield them from harm.  Michal went to great lengths to cover David from her own father.  She knew that David would not survive unless she provided the cover for him.  What a great example Michal gave for covering her family, one spouse covering the other.

Covering someone is Biblical.  It’s what happened when the Pharisees threw a woman caught in adultery at the feet of Jesus.  Jesus covered and protected her.  It’s what Jesus did for the women who broke open the alabaster jar of ointment to anoint Jesus.  Jesus covered a woman from the religious and the greedy.  And Michal covered her husband from a jealous man who wanted to be praised.  The greatest covering of all is what took place on the cross where Jesus died and shed His own blood.  As children of God, we are covered by the greatest covering of all, the blood of Jesus.  Jesus has covered you if you have accepted Him as Savior and Lord.

So how can you cover?  You cover people sometimes in practical ways, but mostly you cover them when you lift them up to God in prayer.  You also cover people when they have done wrong, helping them see there is a different way.  Be a cover for someone today because you may need a cover tomorrow.

 

The World is a Mess, but…

The world we live in is a mess, but God is still good.  If we’re not careful we can get fixated on all the troubles, and what appear to be unresolvable issues in our society, and forget that God is good!  When I think of all the things right now that are causing divisions and are being fueled by those with power with world-wide agendas, I tend to forget that God is good.  When I focus on my personal issues and struggles, I tend to forget that God is good.  I know there is hurt and heartache all around, but I know that God is good.  God is good even when things are bad and out of control and have turned our world upside down.  God is good when I am alone and God is good when I feel rejected.  God is good because He can’t be anything else, whereas, you and I have an option.  Jesus said these words,

So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one [is] good but One, [that is,] God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”   Matthew 19:17

The rich young ruler thought he was good enough to be accepted by God into eternal life.  He thought he had done enough and had been good enough to get into heaven.  According to what Jesus said, no one has met the standard of goodness, but then that’s why Jesus came.  God is good because He sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins and meet the standard for us so that we could be accepted by God.

Perhaps you need to be reminded today that God is good, even when life is hard and painful.  Because God is good, one day He is going to right every wrong, and you need to rest in that truth.  Because God is good, you can expect your situation to turn around or for God to show you another perspective.  Because God is good, you can turn to Him and pour out your heart, all your struggles and issues, and know He still loves you with an everlasting love.  When things are bad in your life, tell God, “I know You are good.”

You Can’t Afford to Miss!

Recently I had the opportunity to visit with a young lady who was struggling with some life issues and some choices she was making.  She was also struggling with some of the people in her life and trying to decide whether she needed to separate herself from them or not.  She told me flat out she was not going in the right direction.  I started asking her about what church she attended and how that was going, and she said she hadn’t been to church in two weeks.  At that I looked at her and said, “You are not the kind of person who can afford to miss a single Sunday.”  She looked back at me in silence.  I began telling her that she had not traveled far enough in her walk of faith to have the leisure of missing a Sunday sitting under the preaching and teaching of God’s word and being surrounded by God’s people in fellowship.  I then looked at her and said, “You might think I’m being judgmental, but listen, you can tell me the same exact thing.”  What’s amazing is that even though this young lady was silent at my first statement concerning missing church, she said, “You’re right.”  She wasn’t offended because she knew the truth about her life.

Do you know the truth about your life concerning your relationship to the gathered body of Christ, called the church?  Do you think that Hebrews 10:24-25 applies to you?

You can afford to miss the hunting trip or golf tournament and you can afford to miss the trip to the lake on Sunday.  You can afford to miss the ball game and the concert and a huge list of other things people do on Sundays, but you personally and me personally cannot afford to miss when God’s people come together.  The truth is, we—including myself—can’t afford to miss a gathering on Sunday because we are not as spiritually mature as we think we are, or as spiritually grounded or spiritually strong as we think we are.  In addition to that, God has so uniquely gifted you that you have something the church body needs to be all it can be in Christ and for the world.  God, help us love the church You sent Your Son to die on the cross for, and help us to show up every Sunday to consider others and get ready for that Day that is coming!

What’s So Funny?

I noticed when talking to someone recently that every time the subject of faith in Christ and eternal life was mentioned it somehow turned funny, like it was a joke.  There’s certainly nothing wrong with laughing and having fun and I believe God wants us to do that, but there should be moments when we are serious about our eternal future.  I’ve had moments in my life and you probably have too when something was funny, and you couldn’t stop laughing.  That’s not good especially when you’re in a place where it’s not appropriate, but you still can’t stop.

What the Lord showed me is that when someone laughs when you are trying to be serious about spiritual matters is, that is their defense mechanism.  I’ve even heard people laugh and make jokes about spending eternity in hell with all their friends.  My response is, you may go there and be surrounded by a thousand people, but you would never know it because of the agony of that place.  If laughing and making light out of spiritual matters is not a defense mechanism, it is an outright defiance of God and a way of mocking the faith.  Mockers laugh and try to joke their way out of the issues of their heart.  It’s true and this reaction is exactly what Peter spoke of concerning the last days.

“Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in [both of] which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), 2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, 3 knowing this first: that scoffers/mockers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of creation.”                           2 Peter 3:1-4

Those mockers Peter spoke of may not come right out and ask the question, “Where is the promise of His coming,” but they will live their lives in such a manner that dismisses even the notion of the Lord’s return.  Unfortunately the mockers are not just outside the church today, but inside and even in many pulpits trying to get a laugh out of people.  A day is coming when there will be nothing at all to laugh at and the defense or defiance mechanism won’t work.  The sound of laughter will be completely absent in hell, never to be heard again.  You should laugh today and enjoy your life, but when the subject of spiritual matters comes up, don’t try to dodge it with a joke.  Be serious about God, because He is very serious about you and me.

Driving at Night Without Lights

I was recently pulled over by a city police officer for driving without my headlights on.  I’ve never been pulled over for such a violation, but on this occasion I was preoccupied with what my wife spoon feeding me some amazing ice cream we had just stopped and picked up.  When we left the store, the parking lot was so well lit I never turned my lights on and once I turned onto the street, there were so many cars around me with their headlights lighting the way that I wasn’t even aware my lights were not on.  The fact that my headlights were not on hit me right after I saw the red and blue flashing lights in my rearview mirror.  Fortunately, the officer only wrote me a warning ticket and let me go.  What I was doing was not only dangerous to me and my wife, but to other people as well.

God showed me that what happened to me driving at night without lights happens more often than we might think.  God wasn’t speaking to me about the dangers of driving at night without headlights, but He was speaking to me about a great deception that happens in the church today.  There are those in the church who have no light at all because the Spirit of God doesn’t live in them.  They have no light, but they live so close to those whose lights are shining and lighting the way that they can’t see their own need for light.  Many only have the light of their religion, when what is needed is the light that comes from a relationship with Christ.  I was driving by the light of the vehicles all around me and the street lights over me, but not my own lights.  I wasn’t doing it on purpose, and I don’t think those in the church who live off the spiritual light of others do it on purpose either.  It could be they have always lived on the spiritual light of others and the false glow of religion.  It could be the enemy has just deceived them into thinking the light is coming from them, but they are living in danger.  When Jesus told His disciples, “You are the light of the world,” He didn’t intend for them to be the only lights.  Our lives should shine so bright that it is obvious to those who have no light.

Let me ask you, are your spiritual lights on, or have you been living on the lights of those around you?  Your spiritual light will never come on by itself, but God must command the light of Jesus to shine in your heart as He did in the beginning of creation.  Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”      John 8:12

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”  I Peter 2:9

There must come a point in your life that you no longer live off the spiritual lights of those around you.  There must come a point when you evaluate whether the spiritual light is yours or someone else’s.  If you truly have the light of Jesus in you, then let it shine!

 

Airplane Mode

You don’t have to turn your phone off in order to disable it’s ability to send and receive a signal.  It’s called “Airplane Mode.”  You have to go into the settings feature of your device to turn on this operational feature.  When you turn it on, you automatically turn off the phones normal communication functions.  The mode is named because most airlines prohibit the use of equipment that transmit RF signals while in flight.  So what does that have to do with you and me?  And how often do you use your airplane mode or have you ever used it?  You may never use it, but if it depended on you safely arriving at your destination, you would use the airplane mode.

God has designed you and me to go into an airplane mode personally and spiritually.  One of our greatest needs is to turn off the signals we are getting from the world, so we can be alone with Him in prayer.  If you take your phone with you into your quiet time with the Lord, it’s not a bad idea to put it on airplane mode so you won’t be distracted.  But then you need to go into airplane mode because there’s only one signal you need to be in contact with and that is with Him.  One of the highest marks of spiritual maturity is found in your ability to shut everything off and to patiently spend time alone with God.  It’s probably the greatest need in the Christian community today, to have meaningful time alone with the Lord.

SCRIPTURE

“And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.” Mark 6:31

“Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors. 35 For whoever finds me finds life, And obtains favor from the LORD”  Proverbs 8:34-35

You don’t have to board an airplane and fly to high altitudes in order to go into airplane mode, but you can cut off all signals from the world wherever you are.  You have been seated in the heavenlies according to Ephesians 2:6, so the airplane mode is right for you.

 

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