THANKSGIVING

LEANING ON GOD

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-4-09-44-pm…FATHER, my enemy is strong and persistent, while I am weak and lazy. But, yoked with CHRIST I am able to overcome the devil. You have given me a Godlike heart and enabled me to walk beside CHRIST to work my heart’s righteousness out through my members (Rom 6:13). Thank You for giving me commands and making me able to keep them.

When my soul cleaves to the dust; revive me according to Your Word. When I have told You of my ways, You will answer me (Ps 119:25,26). Teach me Your statutes; make me understand the way of Your precepts, so that I will meditate on Your wonders (Ps 119:27).

When You will enlarge my heart, I’ll run the way of Your commandments (Ps 119:32). So, FATHER, enlarge my heart, I pray.

I weep because of grief. Strengthen me—remove the false way from me, then I will not be ashamed (Ps 119:28-29). You have ordained Your precepts that I should keep them diligently. Oh, that my way be established to keep Your statutes (Ps 119:4-5)!

When I look upon You—when I keep Your statutes, I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart (Ps 119:2). I will be blessed and give thanks when You will enlarge my heart (Ps 119:32). I will wait for You—enlarge my heart, please.

Deal bountifully with me that I may live and keep Your Word. Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things (Ps 119:17-18). Crush my soul with longing after Your ordinances; make Your testimonies my counselors and my delight (Ps 119:20,24).

May Your lovingkindness comfort me according to Your Word; may Your compassion come to me that I might live (Ps 119:76-77). My eyes fail with longing for Your Word; my soul languishes for Your salvation. I wait for Your Word (Ps 119:82,81).

Revive me according to Your lovingkindness so that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth (Ps 119:88). Sustain me according to Your Word that I may live. Do not let me be ashamed of my hope (Ps 119:116).

Establish my footsteps in Your promise; don’t let iniquity have dominion over me. Redeem me from oppression that I may keep Your precepts (Ps 119:133-134). Your testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding that my soul may live—that I may praise You (Ps 119:144,175).

I have gone astray like a lost sheep. Seek me for I do not forget Your commandments (Ps 119:176).

THANKSGIVING

HEIRS OF GOD’S PROMISES AND GOD HIMSELF

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-1-20-39-pm…FATHER, my irrepressible joy comes from the consciousness of Your favor and protection (Ps 97:11). I thank You not only for everything Your covenant promises but for You. You are my portion and inheritance (Num 18:20). You adopt me into Your family. You are my share (Lam 3:24). Therefore I have an infinite interest in every perfection of Your divine nature Octavius Winslow (ref#61, Sept 12th).

In You, FATHER, there is “an all-sufficiency of love to comfort us; an all-sufficiency of strength to uphold us; an all-sufficiency of power to protect us; an all-sufficiency of good to satisfy us; an all-sufficiency of wisdom to guide us; an all-sufficiency of glory to reward us; and an all-sufficiency of bliss to make us happy here, and happy to all eternity” Octavius Winslow (ref#61, Sept 12th).

THANKSGIVING

THY LOVINGKINDNESS IS BETTER THAN LIFE

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 10.40.07 AMBecause Thy lovingkindness is better than life, I will bless Thee (Ps 63:3,4) even when I’m a prisoner in the valley and have to backtrack to the elementary principles of CHRIST (Heb 6:1). Thy lovingkindness is better than anything, LORD—even when I’m feeling dejected and alone.

Certainly I would be hypocritical praising You with only the words: “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God;…” (Isa 61:10 ESV) when I am so downcast. But, if I read on in this Isaiah prayer I discover a way to burst open the prison door.

…for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Isa 61:10 AMP).

LORD, You have given me a mantel of righteousness—glorious and beautiful (Ex 28:40)! Just by reading these words I find myself standing before You with no rationale to remain in the valley any longer.

FATHER, Your words break the snare of the negative cycle; the door is open and I can escape (Ps 124:7). You give me the strength to believe, “You have clothed me with the garments of salvation; You have covered me with the robe of righteousness.” I do not have to stay a prisoner.

All praise to You, FATHER, for if You are not on my side the enemy swallows me alive (Ps 124:2-3). My help is in You, LORD (Ps 124:8). You give me the faith I need, so with joy my lips bless Thee (Ps 63:3). Thy lovingkindness IS better than life.

THANKSGIVING

GOD’S WORD IN NATURE-CHANGING

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 3.17.40 PM…FATHER, I thank You for Your Scriptures. And I thank You for providing the SPIRIT who guides me as I read.

I can easily fall back into reading with the mind of my flesh, using my natural “sense and reasons without the Holy Spirit…” (Rom 8:6 AMP). But by reading this way I’m only looking for information to help me. Without the SPIRIT to help, Your Word is external. It does not change me inside. It only gives me advice to act independently of You.

“God’s word,…is still living; it is instinct with energy; it is keener than any two-edged sword: that can but pierce flesh, but this finds its way to the dividing line between the animal life and the immortal spirit: it pierces the deepest recesses of our nature; it analyses the very emotions and purposes of the inmost heart” Arthur S. Way (ref#38, p229, [Heb 4:12]).

I praise You that Your Word “is a sifter of the reflections and conceptions of the heart” Kenneth S. Wuest (ref#37, p519, [Heb 4:12]). Its energy seeks to get into and stay with me. It has the ability to stir me and work in me to a degree that I can’t get away from it (ref#28, p83).

All thanks to You, FATHER, that Your Scriptures are able to instruct, reproof, and train me in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16). Thank You that Your Word will never pass away (Matt 24:35). The HOLY SPIRIT brings life to me through the Word which grants life to me both now and forever (Rom 8:6). Thank You. AMEN!

THANKSGIVING

GOD SIGHTINGS

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 2.37.45 PM…FATHER, my heart can become excited about what You say about Yourself in Scripture to the point of wanting to share the information with others. My heart can become excited when I personally feel Your touch of love to the point of wanting to share the experience with others. But, FATHER, when You allow me to encounter Your supernatural powers—I DEFINITELY WANT TO TELL SOMEBODY.

When I see You change the direction people are moving and realize I prayed for that change in direction, I become a part of what You are doing in this world. It is more than me telling about Your power, or feeling Your power, or observing Your power, but it is about me actually being in union with You through prayer.

GOD sightings of changed courses or changed hearts—all honoring to Your purposes—makes me anxious to open my mouth and declare Your excellencies (1 Pet 2:9). It moves me from what You do for me to You period.

By being a part of what You are doing makes me aware that I’m not the center of my existence. These GOD sightings keep me on my toes with an expectation of something going on and I don’t want to miss it. FATHER, keep me in wonder, so I’m quick to not move too fast and miss out on some beauty or truth or goodness that I have yet to recognize or understand (ref#58, p 28).

Eugene Peterson writes about the scene at the tomb Easter morning:

“I love the contrast between those Roman guards—insensible and sprawled on the ground, paralyzed by fear—and the two exuberant women kneeling on the same ground, energized by fear. It is the same word in both cases—fear.  But it’s not the same thing. There is a fear that incapacitates us for dealing with God, and there is a fear that pulls us out of our preoccupation with ourselves, our feelings, or our circumstances into a world of wonder. It pulls us out of ourselves into the very action of God” Eugene Peterson (ref#58, p16,17).

FATHER, these “GOD sightings” are like Corrie Ten Boom shaking the hand of the Nazi guard, or the crowd witnessing JESUS healing—happenings that can only be attributed to Your supernatural power. GOD sightings that I see and hear are Your blessings to me just like You blessed the crowds in JESUS day. They had to tell somebody—I have to tell somebody.

“‘O Lord God, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as yours” (Deut 3:24 ESV)?

THANKSGIVING

CARRIED THROUGH TRIBULATION

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 12.22.46 PM“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?  Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (Ps 42:11 ESV).

“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by” (Ps 57:1-3 ESV).

FATHER, when my body reels from fright and I can’t stop the reaction though my thoughts tell me that everything is fine.  I collapse in tears at Your feet.  I know full well that there is nothing in this world to be frightened of with You brooding over every circumstance You give me.

I know I must use my faith to span the gap between how I feel and what I know.  But, I thank You that You make up what is lacking of my faith (Jer 3:22).  You send out Your light and Your truth; You give me a lantern, compass and a map so I can find You (Ps 43:3).  You are the only one who can fulfill Your purpose for me, I can’t.  You must come form heaven and save me (Ps 57:2-3).

And thank You that You do send Your truth and light to me.  You meet me with all I ask You for (Ps 59:10).  You bring me out from under the burdens (Ex 6:6).  You send out Your steadfast love and faithfulness to me and make me praise You again (Ps 57:3).

THANKSGIVING

THE BRIDE OF CHRIST

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 2.13.27 PM“My beloved is mine, and I am his;…” (Song 2:16 ESV).

FATHER, CHRIST is mine, “I possess him, I have interest in him, as my head and my husband; and I am his, possessed of him, owned by him, given up unto him: and that as to my Beloved in a conjugal relation” John Owen (ref#35, p153). CHRIST and I are far from equal—He never sins, I do—but I am part of His bride, the church, and will attend the “marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev 19:9).

FATHER, remind me that CHRIST and I always stand facing each other holding hands in mutual resignation like couples in a marriage service. He takes me to be His, to love and care for me; I take Him to be mine giving myself up to be His in obedience.

He says, “…I know by experience those that are mine, and those that are mine know me by experience, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father…”  Kenneth S. Wuest (ref#37, p238, [John 10:14-15]). And so, CHRIST, if I love You, then I am known by You (1 Cor 8:3). You make rich provision for my needs, You pay all my debts and I can share in Your wealth and You even allow me to assume Your name (ref#34, July 22nd AM). My sin is covered by my Bridegroom. His puts on me His very own comeliness that makes me beautiful—even perfect (ref#35, p156).

And, on my part it is to consent to accept all He gives—to “receive, embrace, and submit unto the Lord Jesus, as…husband, Lord, and Savior—to abide with him…and be ruled by him forever” John Owen (ref#35, p157).

FATHER, I thank You that You have made me prefer CHRIST counting everything else as rubbish compared to Him (Php 3:8). Thank You for my heart change so I am willing to give myself up to Him. I desire He see my face and hear my voice and count it as sweet and lovely (Song 2:14).

“He is…your Husband, never seeking a divorce; your Friend, sticking closer than a brother; your Shepherd, with you in death’s dark vale. He is your help and your deliverer; your castle and your high tower; the horn of your strength, your confidence, your joy, your all in all…” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, April 19th PM).

THANKSGIVING

GOD HEALS MY FAITHLESSNESS

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 6.13.10 AM…FATHER, You know what I’m thinking (Ps 139:2). You know what I need before I ask You (Matt 6:8) and You generously provide.

My faith is small but You heal my faithlessness (Jer 3:22). When my mind cannot fathom a good outcome to a situation, You do not leave me at that dead end. When I walk by faith, it does not have to be a blind faith.

Your countenance always shines light on my path ahead if I’m in Your presence. You never allow me to see the end of the situation, but You provide a way so I can take a forward step. I walk by faith in the light You provide; it is a seeing faith not a blind faith. This seeing faith is real to me even though I have yet to come to the end of the situation and experience it with my senses (1 John 1:7).

The light You provide directly in front of me encourages me and provides endurance (Rom 15:5) so I might continue walking in faith—this seeing faith solidifies for me that You are in the situation and will bring it to a good end. I thank You for helping my unbelief (Mark 9:24). How full of gratitude I am for You always provide enough faith for me to take one step forward.

THANKSGIVING

“The most powerful worship will be among people whose minds…and whose hearts—whose emotions—are as near the fire of God as they can be without being consumed” Elyse Fitzpatrick (ref#75, p195).

PSALM 63

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 2.58.57 PMOh my FATHER, this is where I want to be. This is my most urgent prayer.

“O GOD, praise waiteth for thee, and to render it is my noblest exercise;…” says the Puritan (ref#76, p14). I must wait for You to pass by before I am able to offer up praise. I can’t just pick up my guitar or sit at the piano and sing praise songs anytime. O FATHER, compel me to wait near the fire of GOD.

Elijah came to a cave and lodged in it. There the word of the LORD came to him (1 Kings 19:9). The LORD passed by him and a strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but He was not in the wind. And, after the wind, an earthquake, but He was not in the earthquake.   And, after the earthquake, a fire, but He was not in the fire. But, after the fire the LORD came in a low whisper (1 Kings 19:11-12).

The LORD favors those who wait for His lovingkindness (Ps 147:11). Your name and remembrance are the desire of my soul (Isa 26:8). I will tie myself down and wait for Your low whisper.

“O God, you are my God;

earnestly I seek you;

my soul thirsts for you;

my flesh faints for you,…” (Ps 63:1 ESV).

 

“…I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,

beholding your power and glory.

Because your steadfast love is better than life,

my lips will praise you” (Ps 63:2-3 ESV).

 

“…in your name I will lift up my hands.

…my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,

for you have been my help,

and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy” (Ps 63:4,5,7 ESV).

THANKSGIVING

BENEVOLENT

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 2.03.41 PM…FATHER, You open Your hand (Ps 145:16).

You are kindly and charitable—

benevolent (ref#110, p129).

You are merciful and compassionate (ref#110, p584).

 

You satisfy the desire of every living thing (Ps 145:16).

You are indispensable—

necessary and essential.

You alone are absolutely vital (ref#110, p1493).

 

You are righteous in all Your ways;

You are kind in all Your works (Ps 145:17).

You give assistance and help (ref#110, p1337).

You are large hearted and generous (ref#110, p761).

 

To You, LORD, belong mercy and forgiveness (Dan 9:9).

You are “tender and loving”—

affectionate (ref#110, p22).

You show kindness and are gracious (ref#110, p584).