I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD (Psalm 116:17 New King James Version).
Often we take for granted the very things we have surrounded ourselves with. We take for granted we are going to wake up the next day and our cars will start; we’ll sleep through the night in a safe home and our children are safe. We expect to always have hot water, soap, fresh food, health, whatever – we tend to take it for granted we have it and we forget all we have is temporary until it’s gone. We forget every good and perfect gift is from God and when we forget this, we can become ungrateful when we lose what we have. It is through our ungrateful attitudes we find it hard to give God thanks and praise when our lives become difficult, and we lose what we held so dearly.
God is very gracious and merciful, which makes it so easy to cultivate thankful hearts. Look around; begin to give Him thanks for what you do have! If you are working, thank Him for your job. If you are reading this, thank Him for the computer. If your entire family woke up this morning, thank Him for life! Thank Him for your trying times as well; if you are sick, thank Him for life at this moment; if you have lost your job, thank Him for His provision; if you have prodigal family members or loved ones, thank Him for leaving the 99 to look for the 1 no matter how long it takes. Thank Him for every little thing in your life, no matter how small or mundane or ordinary you think it is, it is extraordinary and special to God, which is why He has gifted it to you. He has a purpose and a plan for each of us, and His purposes and plans come with tests, trials and difficulties – if they didn’t we wouldn’t grow. Thank Him for His plan for you.
Let’s Pray; Dear Heavenly Father, You are so incredible, so perfect and so beautiful! You are so loving and caring and faithful! You have blessed us with immeasurable gifts and blessings, today we want to give You thanks for all things and in all thing! We want to thank You for this day, for this breath, for the water we drink, for the food we eat. We thank You for the giving us the sun and the moon so that we may see, we thank You for Your word and Your wisdom, Your guidance along the path You’ve carved out for us. Father, may we continue to cultivate hearts of gratitude, never forgetting the blessings You have given us. May our grateful hearts be light among the lost, opening doors for us to share Your love and faithfulness with those who don’t know You. We love You Father, and we give You all glory and honor and praise. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: Take some time today with God and just thank Him. Thank Him for all that you have, for all that He’s going to do, for answered prayer, for anything that the Holy Spirit brings to mind. Confess any ungrateful attitudes that you may have.
Additional Scriptures: Psalm 50:14; Psalm 69:30; Psalm 100:4; Hebrews 13:15; James 1:17; Philippians 4:6
“All our discontents about what we want appear to me to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have” (Daniel Dafoe)
A Harvest Is Coming
But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matthew 9: 36-38 New King James Version).
Over the years, one of the constant themes the Lord has shown me about deals with harvest. There is a harvest coming; He is working to prepare His people for it. The Lord showed me a picture of an old time farm before heavy and modern machinery. When harvest time came, the farmer enlisted extra help with reaping. Harvest season, while rewarding, was a time sensitive, back breaking, and laborious task. Crops had to be picked at certain times, in certain ways and stored accordingly. Everyone worked together to get through the season, no one was above anyone else, they all got sweaty and dirty.
The next picture I saw was the inside of a church. It was filled with people interacting with each other. The doors to the church were closed and locked from the inside, while people stood outside peering in, hoping for an invitation to join the conversation. The people inside were so busy chatting it up with one another, they completely ignored those looking in as though they were not there, yet all over the church were signs declaring “Help the lost find home”, “We are a growing community” and “Bring a friend to church”. Eventually, the people outside walked away in despair. The one place they desperately wanted and needed to be was the one place where they weren’t wanted. This was, by far, the most saddest picture I have ever been shown, and makes me pause to reflect on my behavior towards those who are lost and hurting.
Church, a harvest is coming and we need to prepare. There are people who peer into our lives, hoping to be invited to join the conversation. Let’s open the doors, let’s invite them in! They may not look like we think they should, they probably won’t speak the way we think they should, but they are broken, lonely, lost, hurting and searching for God. Who are we to ignore them and pretend they aren’t there? God is directing people to our churches, we need to make sure we aren’t so caught up with ourselves that we ignore the heart cry of those who are looking for shelter in their storms. It’s time to get sweaty and dirty working together in preparation for the harvest to come.
Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, You are most Holy and awesome! We come before You exalting Your name and giving You praise! There is none like You, and there is nothing too hard for You! You are love and Your love is everlasting and great! Father, increase our capacity to love others and to extend grace to others. All we have, we received from You, help us to pass it on to those who seek You. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear so that we are no longer focused on ourselves, multiply the compassion within our hearts. Prepare us for the harvest and prepare the harvest for us. We give You all glory and honor, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: Each of us has a circle of influence, begin to reach beyond your circle. Speak to others of the love of Christ, and what’s he’s done for you. This is not the time to be beating others over the head with the Bible. If you look at the life of Christ, He most often quoted Scripture when he was speaking to the religious elite.
Additional Scriptures: Genesis 8:22; Philippians 2:3-4; James 2:2-4
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen (Ephesians 3:14-21 New King James Version).
Is Jesus enough for you? Think about this for a moment. Is He really enough for you?
Many of us don’t quite know how to be content. Yes, God wants to bless us according to His riches in glory, but this doesn’t always mean financial and material gain as some would like to claim. Verse 16 says, “that He would grant us, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in our inner man.” Going on, verse 19 says, “to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Strengthened and full. Wow! In Jesus, by His Spirit, God strengthens and fills us with the love of Christ. We are loved so much that this love is enough to fill us, to strengthen us, to encourage us, to bring us understanding and knowledge by the power of God’s Spirit who lives in us. We do not need to seek after material wealth and financial gain to receive this love; we do not have to have the best of everything to be spiritually full. We don’t have to attend the most popular church, or have the most popular friends, or support the most popular preachers to gain God’s riches in glory. We will have the provision we need because of God’s love for us. Because of the strength He grants us, our inner man is able to withstand adversity and the trials we will go through. It is by strengthening our inner man that we will be able to withstand temptation, walk away from what is not spiritually healthy for us, see and understand material things do not make us who we are in Christ, and witness when God has blesses and answers our prayers.
Let’s Pray: Dear Lord, You are enough, yes, You are enough. You are all we need and You deserve all of our praise and adoration. Thank You for Your strength and fullness. Thank You for Your love. We pray that we truly comprehend Your love that passes knowledge and that we are filled with Your fullness. We thank You for going above all we ask, exceedingly and abundantly, according to Your Spirit. You are faithful, worthy, mighty, sovereign and Holy, oh, so, so, Holy. We thank You for hearing our prayers, for answering them according to Your will, for pouring out Your love and Your Spirit over us. We thank You for singing over us with Your song of love, and we thank You for opportunities to share Your love with others. We pray for those who are still seeking for more and haven’t yet realized that You are enough, that You are all we need. We ask that You touch their hearts and speak to them in a special way, Jesus, that opens their hearts, eyes and ears to Your fullness, to Your love. May they be receptive to Your love and fullness. We love You, we give You all our praise and we bow in worship at Your feet. We give You all glory and honor, in Your name, Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: Think back to times when you received a blessing from God. Do you remember what it was you needed? Think about how He answered it. What was one of your first feelings when you realized that your prayer was answered? My answer to this question is love, God’s love for me, God is love. Because of His love for me, He answers me and meets my needs and it is always more than I could have ever expected. When our Lord is enough, we don’t need to go after anything else. Jesus is all we need, and when we rest in the fact that He is enough, everything else will fall into place.
Additional Scriptures: Philippians 4:10-12; 1 Timothy 6:3-8; Hebrews 13:5
The secret of contentment is the realization that life is a gift, not a right (Author Unknown).
ARE YOU STARVING YOURSELF?
“For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” John 6:33 New King James Version).
Jesus is our bread from heaven, and eating of heaven’s bread ensures eternal life. Jesus is also the Word (see John 1:1-18) made flesh. As I read God’s holy word, I notice many references between the Word and food. Taste and see God is good (Psalm 34:8); His words are sweet to our taste (Psalm 119:103); to desire the pure milk of the word so we grow (1 Peter 2:2). Jesus Himself said man couldn’t live by bread alone but by every word proceeding from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). How wonderful! We can read the Bible to become spiritually fed, as well as gain knowledge of God’s character. Just as food and drink nourishes our bodies, God’s word nourishes our spirits. Staying on a healthy diet of Scripture ensures we are getting enough milk and meat to grow.
God has equipped our bodies to process the food we take in with digestive juices and such, but He equipped our spirits to digest His spiritual food with prayer, praise, thanksgiving, worship and fellowship. All of this, together, works in conjunction to bring us understanding of who God is and what He does. It also keeps us spiritually on our toes, making us healthy. To have only part of the formula means we are missing so much more. It is not enough to just pray, or to just praise, or just simply enjoy fellowship…we are lacking precious nutrients which benefit our entire spiritual being by engaging in only one. We must participate in all of God’s spiritual digestive processes so we don’t miss the blessings He desires to give us; blessings of His voice, His guidance, and His purposes.
If we aren’t participants in every part of this, eventually we will spiritually starve. We won’t pray as much, spend time in praise or worship, or listen to Christian music. We would not be reading our bibles as much anymore, thus enabling the world to seep in. It is like eating only take out and junk food…we become malnourished; we won’t survive very long this way.
God is so gracious, because when we find ourselves starving, He’s got a banquet table prepared for us. He fills us anew, nourishing our starving spirits. He takes our hands, guiding us to His milk, meat, bread and water. He wants to do this for us. He wants us to draw ever closer to Him, to fellowship with Him over a wonderful meal full of knowledge, understanding, praise and thanksgiving! If you have been leaving out a portion of this healthy, balanced meal from God I encourage you to put in a worship CD, call on Jesus, open your bible and read, pray, sing and fellowship. Feast on the Bread of Heaven.
Let’s pray: Dear Sweet Wonderful Holy Father, we thank You for this day. We thank You for Your Holy Food, for Your Bread, Your living water, Your banquet table filled with love, knowledge, wisdom, and revelations of You. Words cannot express the gratitude we have for showing us mercy each day and allowing us this benefit and blessing. We pray and lift up those that are starving and have gotten into spiritual junk food. We ask for Your mercy and grace to cover them, we pray that they turn their hearts back to You to be filled at Your table. We ask that they seek out those areas that they are missing and turn to You to fill them. We need more and more and more of You each day. Please reveal Yourself to us, show us Your glory, be glorified through us! We love You, we thank You and we give You all praise and honor. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: Examine your bible study habits and your prayer life. Do you spend quality time with God? Do you spend quality time in His word? Do you find yourself spiritually dry and thirsty? These are signs that you are starving yourself. Readjust your priorities so that you can spend quality time on kingdom things!
Additional Scriptures: Refer to passage
Yes, it is a press, certainly, but a press from which shall flow in inexhaustible streams, the most abundant and most marvelous liquor that has ever flowed to relieve the thirst of men! Through it, God will spread His Word. A spring of truth shall flow from it: like a new star it shall scatter the darkness of ignorance, and cause a light heretofore unknown to shine amongst men (Johannes Gutenberg).
NOTHING TOO HARD, REALLY!
Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You (Jeremiah 32:17 New King James Version).
I don’t care what anyone says, there is absolutely nothing God cannot do. He is our creator, the one who made the heavens and the earth, the one who breathed life into our bodies. He is the alpha and the omega. There is no problem too great for Him to fix, no fragmented marriage incapable of reconciliation through Him, or sin nonredeemable. With God, there are no limits to His possibilities. So, why, oh why, do we put Him in a box and limit what He does?
God is God. He has a purpose and a plan for each of us, He has called us according to His purpose. This life we live and have given to Him is not about us, it’s about Him. When we are ready to throw in the towel, or when we simply cannot deal with situations or relationships anymore, we need to be careful we are not moving ahead of God and outside of His will. We need to make sure the Holy Spirit is leading us to throw in the towel or have no more dealings in the particular situation or relationship. If God has called us to do something, whether it is to work on our marriage, or continue to minister to difficult family members, or even serve in a ministry we don’t feel qualified for, we need to continue on and trust God to do the seemingly impossible. There really is nothing too hard for God.
Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for this day! This is the day that You have made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!! Father, we realize that there is nothing too hard for You, but we also realize that You answer our prayers according to Your will and not ours. If there is anything within our hearts that makes us want to jump ahead of You or step outside Your will, reveal it to us. Forgive us for those times we limited Your abilities, forgive us for placing You in a box and making You fit into our comprehension of who You are. Forgive us for not trusting You completely to heal our relationships, to speak life into dead situations, to guide us along Your path. Father, we love You and we desire to see more of You. Clean our hearts, fill us with Your Spirit. Revive us according to Your word. You are great and greatly to be praised! You are the beginning and the end, You are the creator and the life-giver. You formed this earth and You told the waters where to go and when to stop! Father, we desire to see more and more of You. We offer ourselves to You and we praise Your Holy Name! We give You all glory and honor. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: Surrender your problem areas, your children, your circumstances, your marriage, your troubles to the Lord. Live with a sense of expectancy that He will answer and pray for open eyes and ears to witness His answer. Believe that you have already received.
Additional Scriptures: Jeremiah 32:17-27; Jeremiah 33:2-3; Luke 18:27; Mark 11:22-24
WALK ON WATER
Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:25-31 New King James Version)
How many of us lose focus after God commands us to do the seemingly impossible because the wind blows? Here we see Jesus calling for Peter to come to Him, and Peter climbing out of the boat to walk towards Jesus. However, when Peter noticed the wind was boisterous, he began to sink. He took his focus off Jesus.
While here on earth, God could call us to do what we think is impossible. He will take us out of our comfort zones, and put us places we would ordinarily not go. He sometimes will require us to start over, or try something new. The storms will be mighty, and the winds will be boisterous, but God has called us to do what is not impossible for Him. As long as we remain focused on God, there is nothing we cannot do! Jesus said “Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22). He said “but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Remember, Jesus also calmed the storm (Matthew 8:26).
If God has called you to do the impossible-stop trying to ignore it, stop questioning it, stop fighting it. Take a deep breath, say “Ok, Lord, Here I am.” Go ahead and climb on out of the boat. Begin to walk on those waters, take one step at a time and FOCUS on JESUS!
Let’s Pray: Dear Lord, today we come before You with gratitude. We thank You for this new day in which to be a witness for you. We thank You for the work that You have done in our lives, for the changes You have made in us, and for the growth that we have experienced. Each day that You grant us is a blessing, it allows us to see more clearly Your hand upon this earth. Please forgive us for losing focus on You sometimes, for questioning Your purpose for our lives. We know that You see all things, but You don’t always reveal to us everything because You know that we are not ready for all of it yet. Help us to remain focused on You during every storm. Help us to be prepared for what You have called us to do. Grant us Your mighty strength to withstand the boisterous winds that will blow against us as we go about Your business. Show us favor when we begin to take that first impossible step. Illuminate our paths as we begin to walk in our callings. To You be all the glory and honor, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: Be like the toddler just beginning to walk. Place one foot in front of the other and reach for God’s hand to steady you and guide you. If He’s holding your hand, you are surely not going to fall!
Additional scriptures: See passage
Praying With Jesus
“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get.But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
“When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him (Matthew 6:5-8 New Living Translation)!
Yesterday my church had the honor of having David Sliker from International House of Prayer in Kansas City preach. For me, the message was a pivotal teaching on prayer and I was extremely blessed by it. He taught in such a way as to prompt me to evaluate the depth of my prayer life and personal relationship with Christ. When I read scripture, there are times where I take it very literally and Matthew 6:5-8 is no exception. Pastor Sliker gave a completely different perspective on these verses which made me look at them very differently. And, his teaching made perfect sense.
Jesus is the greatest intercessor and teacher, and digging into this portion of Scripture is a window into His heart. What I learned yesterday is to connect with Jesus through prayer. To be a hypocrite is to look to others for my value and reward instead of looking to Jesus. So, the questions I have to ask myself are do I really care what others think of me, or of what I do? Do I look to be given compliments and status based on my outward show of holiness and my talents? Do I want the reward of man instead of the heavenly rewards my Father wants to lavish upon me? After reflection, I honestly have to say yes, I admit, I secretly do. Well, now, after admitting this do I feel Jesus loves me less? No, I do not. I know He loves me regardless since He knows my heart and it’s weaknesses. I know He’s been interceding on my behalf because He knows my heart, and He and our Father are conversing about all their plans for me. Now that I also know this part of my heart, I can begin to let Him change me in ways that will only benefit me. My heart’s focus can now change to impress my audience of One, instead of the people around me.
As I sit down to pray, my connection with Jesus is stronger now and my heart reflects His heart. This is integral to my walk, and growth. Because of His light in my heart, this will also permeate all my areas of influence, allowing for those things which offended me in the past to simply slide off my back and into the pool of God’s love. When we realize the depth, width and greatness of God’s love for us, we come to the knowledge that no person on earth can give us what only He can.
Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, thank You for the love You have shown us! Thank You for teaching us how to connect with You and pray Your heart. May we desire more and more of You, drawing closer to You and our family, the Church. Father, may we do all for the audience of One, and not seek to find our value, worth and identity in the audience of man. Help us to forgive others when they offend us, and to seek forgiveness when we offend others. Let us not segregate ourselves, but dive fully into loving people. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: Connect to God today and pray with Jesus.
BREATHE ON ME
The grass withers, the flower fades, because the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:7-8 New King James Version).
I once had a vision of the church filled with flowers, like a spring meadow, and I saw the breath of God blow across the meadow, withering the flowers. Church, we need to have our flesh withered. Our spiritual man will not be in control, allowing for personal revival if we do not let our flesh die. I am not referring to physical death. Galatians 5:24 says, “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” We live in an age where so many want their needs fulfilled and satisfied, where “me” comes first, and where we don’t like putting the needs of others ahead of our own. We warm pews Sunday mornings, then go about our business the rest of the week, with maybe a passing thought towards God. We often have a mindset to leave Kingdom work for someone else to do because it’s not our problem; we pick apart portions of our services, take offense at things, or claim we’d do a better job without actually getting our hands dirty.
Wake up, Church! We are the Church! The Body of Christ! We are His skin, hands, feet, mouthpiece and vessel for the amount of time He gives us to live on this earth! If we expect revival in the Church, we need personal revival. If we expect and desire to see miraculous healing, hear testimonies of great deliverance, and bear witness to life transformation – we must allow our flesh to wither. Church, it’s time to get on our knees and cry out for God to breathe on us!
Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for this blessing of a new day! May this day be filled with Your breath, withering our flesh, pruning off the dead areas, disciplining us where we need it. Father, we thank You that You have brought to our minds that which does not please You, that which does not bring glory to You and we repent of it. Father, we lay our sins down at Your feet and we walk away from them. Help us to crucify our flesh moment by moment, bring us to our knees that we may seek Your face. Grant us discernment to know the difference between our fleshly desires and Your desires, open our ears to hear and our eyes to see and place within us hearts of gratitude. Father, You are glorious and merciful, faithful and true. May we see Your truth in every situation and may we develop hearts of compassion like Yours. Father, we give You all glory, all honor and all our praise and our worship. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: Look into your life’s situations at this moment, is there an area in which you are wanting your own way and none other? Is there another person involved, who perhaps, does not know Jesus and Jesus is asking you to allow your flesh to be withered so that you can be a light in their darkness? This is not about us, God will take care of us if we would but take our eyes off ourselves and put them where He desires us to look instead.
Additional Scriptures: Galatians 5:19-25; Matthew 16:24; Luke 9:23
We must feel toward our people as a father toward his children; yea, the most tender love of a mother must not surpass ours. We must even travail in birth, till Christ be formed in them. They should see that we care for no outward thing, neither liberty, nor honor, nor life, in comparison to their salvation… When the people see that you truly love them, they will hear anything from you…Oh therefore, see that you feel a tender love for your people in your hearts, and let them perceive it in your speech and conduct. Let them see that you spend and are spent for their sakes (Richard Baxter).
Therefore the Lord said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men, Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work among this people, a marvelous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden” (Isaiah 29:13-14 New King James Version).
What are our motives for serving the Lord? Do we serve Him with our whole heart? Are we seeking His face before involving ourselves in ministry? Did God even ask us to serve in a particular area for this season? Are we joyful in serving God? Are we exhilarated each time we perform our service? Why are we serving in this ministry? Is it because God has called us, or because we don’t want to let others down? As leaders, do we use guilt as a means to get ministry helpers? Are we allowing God to lead and prosper our ministries? Are we humble enough to accept when someone tells us they don’t feel God leading them in a particular direction; are we humble enough to tell someone God is not leading us in that direction? God does not need our help in deciding who serves in what ministry because He has called all of us according to His purpose. The above are questions we should ask ourselves often. If we are serving God in a ministry or performing a service to make others happy, our hearts are far from the Lord. We pay Him lip service. If we are not obedient to the Lord, no matter what He may tell us to do, we are not pleasing God and our motives have moved from Christ -centered to man -centered.
God has ways of dealing with us when we become man-centered. He will sometimes either remove the leader or the servant. Circumstances could arise that prevent us from serving in ministry. He is in complete control and He wants our obedience, not our busyness in His name. If He has not called us to serve in that capacity, no one should tell us we have to. God has someone else in mind for that position and we shouldn’t stand in the way of what God has for someone else. No matter what it is we do, we need to maintain our focus on the One who has given us the ability to serve and we need to go where He tells us to go regardless of how different, how painful, how lonely or how difficult it may seem. He is preparing and training us for the purpose He has for us and we must become God-pleasers instead of man-pleasers.
Dear sweet precious Jesus, we exalt You and we praise Your Holy name. It is because of You that we are where we are today. We thank You for saving us, we thank You for leading us as our Shepherd. We would still be wandering lost, lonely, hungry and thirsty in the world if You hadn’t whispered our names. Forgive us for trying to look busy to others when perhaps You have called us to be still. Help us to maintain our focus on You, oh Great Shepherd! You are the One who teaches, You are the One who leads, You have our hearts and our devotion. Please allow us to see when we are trying to do things on our own. Please reveal to us those areas in which we are not pleasing You but trying to make man and our flesh happy. Give us the courage to turn from our fleshly ways and desires in order to be obedient to You and to follow You. Holy Spirit, come and fill the empty places of our hearts that have been swept clean of our fleshly desires. Lord, grant us Your grace and humility to move where You would have us, give us courage to speak what You desire and the strength to carry out Your commands. We give You glory and honor today and bless Your name! In the merciful name of Jesus, Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: Remember it was the work Christ did at Calvary, in paying the ultimate price for our sin, that we are forgiven and have salvation and a place in heaven. It is not how busy we are, how talented we are, how much we know or how much we can do; it’s not how greatly we are liked, nor how popular we are – none of this will make one difference regarding our salvation or the purpose our Father has for us; it’s the work on the cross that Christ did for us. When we take our focus off Christ and put it on our appearance before men, we have turned our hearts from God. Get before the Lord today and pour your heart out to Him and ask for Him to search you and show you those areas in which you seek man’s approval and seek to keep up an appearance before men, and then make a point to become Christ-centered instead of man-centered, even if it means you become “disliked by men”.
Additional Scriptures: Genesis 39:1-41:57; 1 Samuel 15:11, 22-23; Daniel 1:8; Galatians 1:10; 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
“A man may be theologically knowing and spiritually ignorant” (Stephen Charnock).