Wednesday, August 23, 2017
On a whim I signed up for metal shop in eighth-grade. I learned that iron, a relatively soft metal, is turned into hardened steel by heat, pressure and temperature change. The iron is repeatedly heated red-hot, pounded and pressured, then placed in water to cool it quickly. This tempering process presses the ore’s molecules tightly together. Character is built the same way. No one enjoys the conflicts that forge us, yet it is the heat, pressure, pounding and cooling process that gives our character hardened steel strength. Lord God, I marvel at Your wisdom and power to transform. Make and mold me strong for the battles ahead. Refine my heart and shape my life to do Your will.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
The construction of highways through mountainous terrain has always intrigued me. Millions of tons of rock must be repositioned to build a roadbed and most of it can only be unearthed with explosives. Ironically, a violent process is necessary to produce a safe and peaceful journey for travelers. It occurs to me that many things in my soul must also be “unearthed” to live a life prepared for heaven. Only the power of God’s Word and Spirit can construct a freeway through the mounds of waywardness, stubbornness and hardheartedness imbedded in the human soul. Father, You offer my heart a thruway of truth and guidance through worldly obstructions, but stubborn barriers must be blasted away. Grant me daily grace for the unearthing process.
Monday, August 21, 2017
God wants to love others through me but I sometimes cringe at His choices. Not that I think I am more worthy of His love than others, it is just so difficult at times. However, there is no escape for the heart where God dwells; to experience His love opens our heart to the surge of His love for all. While I mostly enjoy this process, there are moments when I wish to shut off the valve after quenching my own thirst, but He will have none of that nonsense. Restricting the love-flow from His heart to my heart and from my heart to others is a heinous crime. Lord of Love, I get it; no cringing allowed! Forgive me for holding back Your love from others. Make me an open-valve fountain of blessing.
Sunday, August 20, 2017
Even after so many years I can still remember the comforting encouragement of a teacher’s hand gently folded over my own as I drew my first circles. It felt like I was controlling the movements, but now I know the truth. Though I took pride in my improved drawing, it was those teachers who were humble partners in my development as a young artist. Nothing has really changed; every move I make in the right direction still requires a guiding hand. You, O Lord are my Teacher, guiding me into Your highest and best. I am thankful You never let go. I need Your divine touch more today than ever. Help me learn the rhythm of Your embrace.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Though everything in this world can be shaken, God’s unfailing love never is; it is not of this world nor bound by its frailties. Truth, administered in His limitless love, is the only thing that can diagnose what is wrong with me and is the only cure for my wrongdoing. A herdsman chases down his wandering lambs and so does the Shepherd of Our Souls. God’s passion for His people is relentless in its pursuit. Lord of All Mercies, thank You for sending your love to heal my brokenness and discipline my rebellion. In Your hands I will safely pass through every tempest, traverse every desert and scale every mountain in confident peace.
Friday, August 18, 2017
Potiphar's wife falsely accused Joseph; Potiphar believed her and Joseph was imprisoned. Once anger is aroused truth becomes irrelevant. Two years later, Joseph is miraculously put into the second most powerful role in Egypt. Sadly, Potiphar, who had been so blessed with Joseph’s presence in his household, is never mentioned again, lies cut both ways. The lesson here is sobering; lying and believing unsubstantiated lies strip away our blessings and set us aside from usefulness in the Kingdom, whereas, steady faithfulness delivers us from traps of the enemy and qualifies us for greater things. LORD of Truth, in Your Mercy, put Your coals of fire to my ears and mouth.
Thursday, August 17, 2017
The slightest touch of a rudder can change the course of a vessel. Swift turns are dangerous on the water, so a series of small adjustments provide the safest approach. The same is true of my soul. While we often seek something colossal to shift our course, God mostly uses small things to guide us into His best. Zechariah warns us: “Do not despise these small beginnings”. Every great oak begins as an acorn. But how can something with the potential to populate the entire planet with trees fit in the palm of my hand? Yet, it can. Father, remind me to pay attention to Your smallest touch. Guide me today into the center of Your will. May the full potential You designed me for be fully realized.
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