When he walked on the earth, my son suffered temptation. He was perfect in every way. His spirit was absolutely in tune with mine and with my will. When temptation came his way, he did not give in. However, he did suffer when experiencing temptation. You see, he was so perfect and so right with my will, that even the exposure to sin through temptation made him suffer.
As you grow closer to me, closer to my will and walk with me, then temptation will cause you to suffer as well. Just the exposure to sin will hurt your heart, because it hurts mine. I know that you will still give in to temptation, unlike my son, you are not perfect. You will certainly suffer when you sin, not only due to our damaged relationship, but also because you were not made for sin. You were born for my kingdom. Hold on as you suffer and remember my son suffered temptation and so much more for you.
There when you suffer, I AM
Verses for consideration: Hebrews 2:18, Romans 8:14-17, Philippians 1:27-30
As I write this, the snow is falling gently. Work is cancelled, the house is warm and I have no need to go out. There are no big decisions to be made today, no pressing business, either personal or work related. Perhaps this is a rare day, but a wonderful one nonetheless, when I do not feel any great need whatsoever.
However, I am overpowered with this thought, even the most “normal” day, the most “simple and easy day” has an overwhelming need for God. I cannot explain the feeling or where it comes from, but I am convinced that I cannot get through the day without the Father. Certainly I have marched onward on my own many times on days where hugely important matters were at stake without a thought to God’s will or His help. Today, however, I know that every day is in need of His help and Salvation. I pray I do not soon forget that truth.
In need of Salvation everyday, I am
Verses for consideration: James 4:13-17, Hebrews 3:13, Proverbs 8:32-36
Will you serve me when there is no fanfare? Will you serve me when you are passed over and others you deem less qualified are chosen and you are left behind? Will you serve me where there are no normal comforts you are so accustomed to enjoying? Will you still do good works when others get credit for them? Will you minister to those who can never pay you back? Will you serve those who are less mature than you, less worthy than you think yourself to be? Will you lay aside any hope of fame, fortune, prosperity, and the accolades of men and serve me on the battlefield of everyday life? Will you continue on day after day in the mundane for the simple reason I have asked you to endure?
Your life may suffer active persecution at times, but the day to day life of my servant, my child, is often one of humility and service in the trenches of the mundane. Many of my servants have faced death for what they believe and sadly many more will face such a choice. However, for you today, the choice is not heroic sacrifice or cowardly denial of your Lord, but rather the choice to serve on when only you and I will notice the service and the sacrifice made.
Calling you to serve daily, I AM
Verses for consideration: Philippians 2:5-11, Romans 5:1-5
My son Paul wrote in my word “to live is Christ and to die is gain”. These words have echoed throughout the history of Christianity, and are no less true today. I have saved you so that each day, in the mundane and the extraordinary you can be a witness of the salvation of my Son. I have enabled you to live so that you can show others there is freedom from the prison of sin. I have saved you so that every heartache and every joy can be used to testify to my goodness and how sweet a life exists in me, even in the bitter times.
Death as well has its place. Do not fear death. When you die, it will be a glorious transformation to be in my presence. Whatever temporary hurt you experience will pale in comparison to the eternal reality of my heavenly kingdom. Live for me today and do not fear death.
In Life and Death, I AM
Verses for consideration: Philippians 1:19-26, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Galatians 2:19-21
The story of Mary is a beautiful, familiar one. Though she was only a young girl, not mature in her parents or anyone else’s eyes, she was chosen to be blessed to bear my son, nurture him and be his earthly mother. I chose Mary for my purposes and blessed her because of it. Oh, she suffered heart ache beyond imagination, but she was blessed beyond human comprehension to have held her Lord in her arms.
While you do not question the choice of Mary as my vessel for bringing my son into the world, you so often question your own identity in me. While you will not give birth to the savior, is my plan for you any less important? Have I not chosen you for my purposes? Have I not given you the skills and opportunities you have for use in my kingdom? Are you not favored by my purpose for your life?
Favoring you, I AM
Verses for consideration: Luke 1:26-38, Romans 12:1-8, 1 Corinthians 10:31
No, the concept of tithing has never been popular and it is a hard discipline for most to learn. From the days of the law until now, greed is a sin that the human heart has to struggle to overcome. My son warned about how greed for this world and the things of it can keep a man from finding spiritual truth and knowing true wealth in my grace. He was so right when he said you cannot love both me and the riches of this world.
So why tithe? If you learn to trust me with the first ten percent, you will learn to trust me with anything. If you give me the first ten percent, I will teach you how to have contentment and live within your means. If you give me the first ten percent I will make the ninety percent adequate for your needs and bless you with abundance, because in giving to me the first ten percent it will show that I own one hundred percent of your heart.
Desiring one hundred percent of your heart, I AM
Verses for consideration: Deuteronomy 14:22, Malachi 3:10, Luke 16:13
Once you have become alive in me, then you have died to this old world. Its pleasures grow dimmer and dimmer the closer you and I become. This world grows cold and unfulfilling and when you attempt to return to it, it does not satisfy. What use to be sweet to you is now bitter and what was a delight to consume now turns to ashes even before you swallow. Oh, it is not that you are not tempted by the old world, but when you succumb to the temptation the delusion that it can satisfy is no more. My Spirit constantly reminds you that the old life is gone and only the new one exists for you.
The damage that sin has done to this world cannot be undone short of my creating a new heaven and a new earth. The old must pass away. In the meantime, you only sojourn here wandering in a wilderness like the children of old. As I watched over them, know that I will see you through your sojourn here.
The Way, I AM
Verses for consideration: John 14:1-14, Hebrews 3:7-19, Luke 13:16-30
Real relationship requires truth. With acquaintances you may exchange some pleasant, often meaningless words, but with a true friend, you share your heart. The good, the bad, the joy and the heartbreak are all things that true friends share. You might say, they are true friends because they share their hearts with each other.
There is no way for us to have real relationship without sharing your heart and listening when I share mine. There will times when you are angry at me, and I at you. There will be misunderstandings, broken hearted weeping and overwhelming joy we will share if we have a true relationship. You will have to open your heart and trust your deepest of feelings with me, even those you know will risk displeasing me. Likewise, you will have to listen, really listen, giving me your undivided attention, so that you will hear my heart when I share it. When you will open your heart that way with me, then true friendship will follow and you will be blessed because of it.
Your true friend, I AM
Verses for consideration: 1 Samuel 20, Proverbs 17:17, Proverbs 27:6, John 15:9-17
Remember the story of my son you call “the feeding of the 5,000”? Faced with great need my son took a few meager offerings and blessed them to meet the need of thousands who had listened to his teaching. With the help of his disciples, the food was distributed and all those that were hungry that day had enough. In the telling of the story, it is often overlooked that the disciples were just as hungry as those in the crowd. They had been with Jesus just as long as the crowds. They were just as far from sources of food for sale to meet their own hunger. While the disciples were participants in the miracle by helping my son, they were also recipients of the miracle. While no one’s meal that day can be called a feast, from the smallest to the greatest their needs were met, including the disciples.
Child, if I took care of the disciples in their service to my son, will I not take care of your needs while you serve my people? If I blessed the offering of that day to be adequate for the need, will I not bless the offering of your day to be adequate as well? Put aside the worry and fear and follow me. I am the same God today as I was then.
Feeding you and so many more, I AM
Verses for consideration: Matthew 14:13-21, Psalms 37:25-26, Luke 12:4-7
I have seen the weed of bitterness take root in the human heart. I have watched its tendrils wrap around the heart and squeeze out life and joy. I have seen hearts harden and bitterness replace tenderness with suspicion, joy with distrust and care for others with disdain. Once bitterness takes root it destroys relationships, drives out joy and leaves a wasteland of emptiness and grief.
Listen my child, do not delay, take the antidote for bitterness immediately and often. What is the antidote? Thankfulness. Bitterness cannot take root in a grateful heart. Bitterness cannot survive when the joy and peace of thankfulness are present. Oh my child, take the weed killer of thankfulness today, tomorrow and every day of your life so you are not overcome by bitterness.
The Cure, I AM
Verses for consideration: Ephesians 4:29-32, Colossians 4:2-6, Colossians 2:6-7