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“For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” 2 Chronicles 16:9 (NASB). I like to cook, so I end up in the grocery store quite a bit. Young moms are usually distracted with shopping and there sits a young child in the basket taking in all the sights and sounds. I often catch their eye with a smile. I get everything from a busy glance to an occasional “eyes-locked-on smile”. How pleasant those few seconds are! It’s hard to imagine, but God’s eyes are also looking “to and fro” for those moments with us, His children. He is looking to bless and "strongly support" us in fulfilling our created purpose, but we’re often too distracted. LORD, remind me to “lift up my eyes” to You today in all I do. Father, sweep my heart into Your glorious glance and use me to bless others with Your amazing love.
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In the last portion of Nehemiah 10:9 (ESV) a divine secret is revealed: “And do not be grieved, for thejoyoftheLord is your strength.” Although we can be made happy by many things, it is always temporal and dependent upon circumstances. This is something very different. It is a force from heaven that is not dependent upon human circumstances, in fact, the Joy of the Lord changes circumstances! The joy of the LORD isHis Joyimpartedto us. It is Eternal Joy, His Joy: “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save,He will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love,He will joy over thee with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 (KJV). Imagine that, The LORD God Almighty sitting on the throne of heaven joyfully singing over His people. But it’s not a dream, it is what He does! Father, may I never settle for circumstantial joy! Flood my heart and life with YOUR JOY.


“Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?” Proverbs 6:6-0 (ESV). The lessons of God are imbedded in everything He has made, everything we experience and in every single moment. However, development of deeper understanding requires patience and hunger to learn. Spiritless pursuit of understanding leads to nothing, rather but hunger-driven yearning to discover reveals deeper truth. Each life circumstance, both good and bad, offers treasure troves easily missed by the impatient. We must learn to take it all in and not miss a thing. Lord of All Knowledge and Wisdom calm me down when I rush past concealed yet discernible insights. Reign in my futile striving and point me to those hidden treasures that truly matter.


“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another,” John 13:34 (ESV). Cultivating connections and cooperation with others is one of God’s principle means of developing divine qualities within us. As we learn to be truly grateful for this process, we make huge spiritual strides. After all, it is in the trenches of relational interaction where life unfolds, and we learn what love and hate truly is. Raw truth without the test of practical application, would leave me fundamentally unchanged. So, the many obstacles of relationship development is no accident. In fact, the blessings and challenges of walking in love toward others have God’s fingerprints all over them. Lord, thank you for the relentless tests of love. Guide me through the maze of forgiving, blessing and lifting others.


It has become a cultural virtue to shame others, especially online. Total strangers find personal value out of joining an hateful mob with virtual pitchforks in their hands while burning a total stranger at the stake. Jesus, on the other hand, called out sin and hypocrisy to the face, but offered a path of redemption. David cried out: “O Lord, let me not be put to shame, for I call upon you,” Psalm 31:17 (ESV). Jesus straightforwardly called out sin but took our shame upon Himself on the Cross, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24 (ESV). Haters must remember we “reap what we sow”. Shaming is a loser’s game. LORD, increase my kindness, especially toward those with whom I vehemently disagree. Help me stand firm for truth yet always “speaking the truth in love.”


We live in a townhome community where everything is very neat and uniform. It pretty much looks the same most of the time, except on trash day. Even then, we each have exactly the same huge garbage and recycle bins engineered to be emptied by an automated refuse system. It all seems so tidy, but let’s face it, inside those bins is garbage. They stand at attention, symmetrically spaced, lids closed, but no matter how we dress it up, what is inside is messy. Jesus was pointing out the hypocrisy of dressing up the outside while leaving garbage within. Glorious Father forgive my attempts to hide my rubbish, especially from my brothers and sister in Christ. My wrongdoing knows too few limits, yet You do not turn away in disgust. Instead, you deal with the garbage while cleaning the container. Lord, cleanse me afresh and use me to help others.


I am thankful that God does not hold grudges against His children. While I have rightfully felt His displeasure at my failures, one genuine tear of repentance opens the floodgate of His forgiveness. The psalmist declares: “For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalms 30:5 (ESV). Since my Redeemer so freely washes away my constant failings, who am I to hold hatred toward those who have harmed me? How can I justify denying to others the grace and forgiveness upon which I so fully depend? Father, though I my sins are as scarlet, in Your mercy You wash me white as snow and Your favor remains. Cleanse my soul of all acrimony toward others and teach me Your ways of grudge-free love.