Saturday, March 26, 2011

Proverbs 20:15

"Wise words are more valuable
than much gold and many rubies."
If wise speech is more valuable than rubies and gold (and presumably rarer), then perhaps we need to be more careful about our words. What if we treated them as more valuable than the finest jewelry? What will you say (or not say) today because each word is tremendously valuable (at least potentially so)? Another proverb states that words carry the power of life or death. Choose wise words that others will consider more valuable than the most valuable jewelry … and see what happens.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Genesis 22:16-18

"'This is what the LORD says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.'"
Do you catch the excitement in God's words here? How he loves it when we trust and obey! How eager he is to bless such trust and obedience. How expansive his blessings are. Make God delight in you today: Trust and obey!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Genesis 22:12

"'Don't lay a hand on the boy!' the angel said. 'Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.'"
Much is emphasized in the Bible, especially the Old Testament, about fearing the Lord. Here we see it's all about belief and obedience. It's about putting God absolutely in first place, obeying and trusting and believing even if it doesn't make sense. How could God ask Abraham to sacrifice the son God himself gave Abraham in such a miraculous way? How could God fulfill his promises, which all involved Isaac, if Isaac were killed? Abraham could not understand, but he could and did obey. You obey if you trust and believe. That is "the fear of the Lord."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Genesis 22:7-8a

"Isaac turned to Abraham and said, 'Father?'

  "'Yes, my son?' Abraham replied.

  "'We have the fire and the wood,' the boy said, 'but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?'

  "'God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,' Abraham answered."
The essence of Abraham's faith, upon which God founded a nation and then a universal church, is right here: "God will provide a sheep for the sacrifice." He provided one for Abraham and Isaac immediately, and eventually, in the fullness of time, he provided the true Lamb, Jesus, for the whole world. God's plan is marvelous, but it took a long time to unfold. God always provides, in his time, for the deepest need, for the deepest good.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Genesis 21:14-19

"So Abraham got up early the next morning, prepared food and a container of water, and strapped them on Hagar's shoulders. Then he sent her away with their son, and she wandered aimlessly in the wilderness of Beersheba.

  "When the water was gone, she put the boy in the shade of a bush. Then she went and sat down by herself about a hundred yards away. 'I don't want to watch the boy die,' she said, as she burst into tears.

  "But God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, 'Hagar, what's wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.'

  "Then God opened Hagar's eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink."
Hagar was, for the second time, a victim of Sarah's wrath. Did she still trust in "the One who sees me"? When her water ran out, she gave in to despair. But God was indeed still with her. He reassured her and, most importantly, opened her eyes to a well that was always there. She had not seen it because she was so engulfed in her own despair. How often do we not see the answer to our need because we're focusing on our own (real) pain? Ask God to open your eyes to any answers or resources you need.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Matthew 7:17-20

"'A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can't produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can't produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.'"
We are to discern the heart of someone by the fruit we see in his or her life. What's in a person's heart will come out in actions and words, in the results produced. The fruit depends on the root. This is true for you, too. Whatever is in your life is a result of what's underneath, what's in your heart. If you're not satisfied with the fruit, tend to the root. Get your heart right. Heal your heart issues. And when you pray for others, pray for their heart issues. It always starts with the heart

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Prayer to Life Your Burdens

Dear Lord,

I need you now because I am full of stress and anxiety. Reading your Word brings comfort, as I ask you to come and take my heavy burdens.  I take each burden, one by one, and lay them at your feet. Please carry them for me so that I don't have to.  Replace them with your humble and gentle yoke so that I will find rest for my soul today.  I receive your gift of peace of mind and heart.  Thank you that I can lie down tonight in peace and sleep.  I know that you, Lord, will keep me safe.  I am not afraid because you are always with me.  Please keep me daily, Lord, in your perfect peace.

Have a Great Day!
'Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.'