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CUTS BOTH WAYS

In Exodus 23:1 (ESV) we read, ““You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.” Potiphar's wife falsely accused Joseph. Potiphar believed her false report and Joseph was imprisoned. Once anger is aroused truth becomes irrelevant to those with malice in their hearts. 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.
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I DIE DAILY

At the end of verse 1 Corinthians 15:31 (NKJV) the apostle Paul make this simple statement, “I die daily”. While he often faced physical death and was eventually martyred for his faith, this passage reveals something we all must do; die to self. Paul could live with the constant death threats he faced because he was already dead: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me,” Galatians 2:20 (ESV). Fear of physical death holds no power over those who are already dead, granting courage to live our faith openly and without reserve. It begs the question, “what would you do today if there was no tomorrow?”. LORD, help me embrace the reality of eternal life. Help me make the biggest splash in this life so I may happily take hold of that which is to come.

BATTLEFIELD VICTORY

Romans 12:2 (ESV) warns, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Ideas come from somewhere. Some are harmless while others are inspired, still others can be very toxic. The mind is surely our most constant battlefield, but we are not powerless.“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” 2 Corinthians10:3-5 (ESV). And again, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” My LORD, Captain of My Soul,te…

BONA FIDE GRATITUDE

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 God commands: “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Thankfulness is a power move against all attacks of the enemy. Bona fide gratitude magnifies the Alpha & Omega instead of our passing circumstances. Thankfulness comes to mind fairly easily for me, but all too often, it is my second response instead of my first. A battle I regularly face when it comes to gratitude is that even when I feel it, it can easily morph into another version of my incessant need to be happy. But today I awake with authentic thankfulness; for my amazing wife and family, friends both old-and-new, powerful victories, redeemed defeats, needed lessons, still waters, tall mountains, blue skies and stormy passages alike. Father You are good beyond earthly comprehension and Your mercies endure forever! My heart overflows with thankfulness for Your Goodness and Grace.

TODAY

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it,” Psalm 118:24 (ESV). A new day is dawning. Unfinished business, past, present and future is already invading my awakening from every side. Will I turn the page or will I try to rehash the disappointments of yesterday or its predecessors? The challenges and opportunities of today now await me; there is little value in dreaming about what could have been. This new day is another undeserved gift from the Ancient of Days and I must seize it with renewed gusto. I do not want to disregard its value by dwelling on the past nor waste time in anxiety about the future. I give praise to You My Creator and Redeemer for today. You made it, You rule it, now I will rejoice and be glad in it. My heart is attuned to Your Voice. Today.

SKULKING PRIDE

“One's pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor,” Proverbs 29:23 (ESV). Even after so many years of mistakes, failures and God’s patient dealings with me far too much human pride still remains within. While increasingly pushed out of the spotlight, pride still stubbornly skulks around in the shadows, giving way only in forced increments. Though sometimes diagnosed and stopped before popping out in my words or actions, far too often, my hubris leaps back on center-stage in full-blossom. Frankly, it is both surprising and embarrassing that it still remains in such quantity. I am grateful that God’s Goodness will not leave me in this unreliable state. Thank You Father, Son and Holy Spirit for Your holy work of deliverance from swaggering pretentiousness. Blessed riddance. I must decrease, You must increase.

REST STOPS & COMFORT ZONES

“There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience,” Hebrews 4:9-11 (ESV). Rest and comfort seem similar but are actually quite different. Rest prepares me for what is next; comfort settles me into what has been. Everyone needs comfort, but too much of it feeds selfishness and feelings of entitlement, leaving us maladjusted for sacrifice. Rest stops are for those going somewhere but comfort zones easily become dead zones. The flesh defines rest as relaxation; Biblical rest is rooted in peace that only God can grant and ceasing from doing things our way instead of God’s way. Father teach me to enter Your rest and to esteem your Spirit’s comfort above all other comforts.