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Chatting with Jesus

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Lord, the psalmist wrote that You send Your Spirit over all the Earth, offering all people divine redemption and a new life, (Psalm 107:3). Verses 4 through 9 tells how You reach people searching for life’s meaning (Psalm 107:4–9). Verses 10 through 16 describes those poor souls in bondages to addictions that metastasized out of control.

We never intended to live this way. Did this nightmare start with just a hit from a recreational drug? We knew better, but hey, everybody’s doing it. What’s a little snort or puff gonna hurt? I’ll never become like those derelicts passed out on the sidewalks in the inner cities.

Maybe this road to alcoholism began with just a glass of eggnog or a few beverages at a July 4th picnic. Perhaps curiosity gave way to temptations that led to hours on end viewing pornographic websites. These seemingly harmless temptations have to destructive addictions that have devastated families, ruined careers, destroyed friendships, and caused many good people to find themselves broken in body, soul, and spirit. How did we one day wake up to find ourselves powerless against these destructive habits and powerful addictions?

“Please God, help me,” they cried. “I’m broken. I can’t live like this any longer.”

True to Your faithfulness, You came into their life, changed them on the inside, and restored them to a meaningful life that honors You. If this is your story, speak out what God has done for you. Otherstrapped in bondage need to hear your story how God rescued you from the gates of Hell by His amazing grace.

Lord, we cannot remain silent after all You have done for us. Your amazing grace is greater, more powerful than the power of any addiction.  

Jesus, Loving Your redemptive grace, Amen

Chatting with Jesus

Monday, November 28, 2022

Lord, You left the glories of Heaven to come down here to this fallen world to rescue its fallen people.  Scripture states Your purpose in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world He gave His only Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” You can’t get much plainer than that. The psalmist encouraged all whom the Lord has redeemed to enthusiastically speak up about what He has done (Psalm 107:2). He then lists all who is eligible for salvation, which includes just about everyone.

In Psalm 107:4–9, we start with everyday people, lost and wandering through life, looking for meaning, wanting to satisfy the ageless question: why am I here? These are not bad people, not wicked and evil, just ordinary folks wanting a meaningful, stable life. As a child, they may have learned about You in Sunday school, or perhaps a relative or friend told them Your story. But they did not know You. After trying everything the world has to offer and finding no answers, they called out to You—“God, if You’re real, I need You.”

True to Your faithfulness, You come into their life, change them on the inside, fill that void in their heart with Your love, and give them meaning to their life. Strange, now they look at others in a different light, seeing the emptiness in them only You can fill.

If this is you, don’t remain silent. Be that one to bless someone by telling them what God has done for you. Jesus will show you how. Speak up!

Amen, Jesus.

Chatting with Jesus
Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Lord, today, we echo the psalmist in giving thanks, declaring publicly in this broken world, “We give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His unfailing love endures forever,” (Psalm 107:1). We celebrate Your goodness for our immeasurable blessings.

Thank You, Lord, for the blessing of living in America. Although as a nation we are far from perfect, shunning Your precepts, still, You guide us back where we should be. We give thanks, and as one people, may we offer this prayer that the psalmist prayed:
“As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by liv
ing as I should! I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me! / America, (Psalm 119:7, 8).

Thank you, Lord, for inspiring our Founding Fathers to establish our Bill of Rights and our incredible, God-ordained Constitution based on Judeo-Christian principles. We give thanks for godly leaders, who seek to have a heart after You. We’re thankful You give them courage to govern and lead us in the ways of righteousness.

Thank you, Lord, that By Your divine power, You have given us everything we need for living a godly life, and escape the corruption of this world, (2 Peter 1:3). Thank You for Your promise to protect Your “remnant,” those believers who endure corruption, when the leaders have turned away from You, (Romans 9:27).

We are thankful that whether in times of peace or turmoil, You will never leave nor forsake us. And we’re thankful we can take that promise to our spiritual bank. Amen, Jesus.

Thankful to be thankful

Chatting with Jesus

Monday, November 21, 2022

Lord, as we begin this Thanksgiving week, we’re reminded every day should be a day of Thanksgiving. Our seen and unseen blessings are innumerable. Is there any wonder why the psalmist began so many songs declaring Your goodness and unfailing love? All lists of blessings begin with Your goodness to all men.

Thankful for Your plan to redeem fallen man back to You through sending Your son Jesus to pay our sin debt we could not pay. We’re thankful for Your great promise of John 3:16—”For God so love the world [you and me] that He gave His only Son [Jesus], that whosoever [again, you and me] believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” We’re thankful for the hope we ‘whosoevers’ have in You, that this life in this fallen world is not all there is, but we will spend eternity in Heaven with You, and our loved ones who have gone before us.

Thankful You sent Your Holy Spirit to come live inside us once we placed our faith in You, Jesus. Thankful that You hear our prayers, regardless how menial they may seem to us. Your ear is always open when we call out to You. Thankful You rescue us from ourselves.  

Thankful for our family still with us. Thankful to hug our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren. our parents and grandparents, and siblings. Thankful even for our weird uncles and strange aunts who always amuse us at Thanksgiving. Thankful even if it’s me.

Yes, Lord, these blessings are just the tip of Your bountiful blessings and goodness to us. Thankful You are a good God. Amen.

Chatting with Jesus

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Lord, the psalmist wrote numerous songs about his enemies. He cried out to You—”Rescue me, O God. Destroy my enemies,” (Psalm 18:37) The poor psalmist. Enemies surrounded him. But not me. I’m a good guy/sweet lady. I have no enemies. Who would want to destroy me?

Lord, Your Spirit brought me back to reality. You opened my spiritual eyes to see how enemies surround me too, desiring to kill my soul and my relationship with You.

My biggest and fiercest enemy that wishes to consume me is pride. Oh, how pride boasts. “Look what all I’ve done—all I’ve accomplished, my many achievements.” Pride robs You of Your glory, Lord, and foolishly places it on me. May it never be. All glory goes to You.

Another deadly enemy exaggeration, often called little white lies, or telling half-truths, is really lying. This evil enemy destroys my credibility as a Christ follower and causes other to question the validity of the sacred Scriptures  Other enemies such as doubt, greed, lust, sexual impurity, bigotry, hatred, unforgiveness, destructive addictions, and other countless evils lie in wait to wreck my soul.

I might not be attacked by physical enemies that kill the body, but my enemies are just as deadly, killing my soul. How did the psalmist defeat his enemies? Through continued praise and worship with a grateful heart.

“I will exalt You, Lord, for You rescued me. You refused to let my enemies’ triumph over me.”—Psalm 30:1

May I do the same, Jesus. In Your power. Amen

Chatting with Jesus

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Lord, we are wonderfully created in Your image. Psalm 139 describes the intricacies of our amazing human body You created. You planned each life before time—as we know time—began. We’re unique. No one else in the world is like us. Scripture explains how You gave our creative being the right of choice: we can choose to follow You, or to follow our own desires. When Eve said, “Here, Adam, you’re gonna love this apple turnover,” the battle to choose began in earnest.

As the psalmist pondered over the direction of his life, (Psalm 119:59) he reminded himself of this eternal truth:

“You made me, You created me. Now give me the sense to follow Your commands”— Psalm 119:73

The psalmist determined to choose Your ways if he were to completely follow You. He’d been deceived into following his own ways one time too many.

Today, I face the same choice: Your way, Lord, or my way? Put another way: Your will, Lord, or my will? And like the psalmist pleaded, “Give me the sense to follow Your commands,” my plea should be likewise.

Who hasn’t made impulsive decisions they later regretted? I certainly have. How many times have I ask myself, “How could I be so stupid?” But here I’m humbled to repentence by new levels of Your tender mercies and incredible grace.

Lord, help me discipline myself to stay focused on You and order my actions and words according to Your standards. Guide me along in my journey with You here and beyond.

Jesus, hear my simple prayer. Give me good sense to completely obey and follow You. Amen.

Chatting with Jesus

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Lord, how many times did the people who cared about the psalmist ask him, “How’s that abandoning God’s ways thingy working out for you?” Hopefully, many prayed and warned him to turn around—he was headed toward a cliff.

Like many who follow You, there was a period when the psalmist ignored Your edits to live as he desired. After all, he was a believer and took for granted You would bless his actions. God didn’t quite see it that way. Scripture tells of the psalmist’s plight: everything that could go wrong, went wrong. God, You loved him too much to let him continue on that downward path.

In mercy, You opened his spiritual eyes and he acknowledged his folly:

I pondered the direction of my life and turned to follow Your laws. Psalm 119:59

The psalmist was so human, just as we are. When he looked back at the close relationship he once had with You, and where that relationship stood now, did he scold himself—“What was I thinking? I gotta turn this ship around.” Did he humbly bow before You with a grateful heart for rescuing him from himself. He followed You faithfully the rest of his life, living Your blessings.

Lord, may I learn from the psalmist’s experience. When I ponder my life’s direction, may it be staying close to You, trusting Your leading all the way. True contentment and happiness are found living by Your precepts.

In Your love and authority, Jesus, Amen. 

Chatting with Jesus

Monday, November 14, 2022

Lord, as for Christ followers, life is good but isn’t always fair. How disturbing to see the wicked seemingly get away with their corruption without paying any consequences. For all who love righteousness and justice, this injustice is unsettling.

Nothing has changed over the millenniums. Like many today, I’m sure the psalmist must have wanted to pull his hair out over the injustices. His writings depict his frustration at the wicked thumbing their noses at You, mocking all that is sacred.

“What does God know?” they ask. “Does the Most High even know what’s happening?” They don’t have troubles like other people. They’re not plagued with problems like everyone else. These fat cats have everything their hearts could wish for.”—Psalm 73:5, 7, 11 (NLT)

Lord, these Scriptures describe the corruption of the wicked, but their judgment day is coming. Maybe not be in this life, but judgment is guaranteed, (Hebrews 9:27). You could not have spokenclearer when You told the greedy man, “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth, but not have a rich relationship with God, (Luke 12:21).

The psalmist knew this truth. “Lord, who do I have in Heaven but You? What else could I desire on Earth?” (Psalm 73:25) You are our everything.

I am determined regardless of what I face today, or what may await me tomorrow, my hope rests in You alone, O Lord. I will base my faith on this one thing: despite good or bad circumstances, Lord God, You are good.

Amen.

Thankful for Our Vets

Chatting with Jesus

Friday, November 11, 2022

Lord, today we honor our veterans. In the prime of their life, millions put their life on hold to serve our country.

Many were stationed in hostile places, facing danger and death every day. Others served keeping the peace, but stealth enemies often proved a threat. Some flew over enemy lands, while others defended the homeland skies. Our Navy sailed the oceans, keeping free and open seas, yet always prepared for any conflict. The Army and Marines slugged it out on the ground against forces opposed to liberty. Brave men and women all who faced some of the most challenging times in history.

Our thanks seem so insufficient for the insurmountable debt of gratitude we owe our veterans. Millions  who made the ultimate sacrifice now rest in peace on sacred grounds around the world. Thousands lost arms or legs, broken in body but not in spirit, fighting the evils that entrapped mankind. Untold numbers came home appearing physically whole yet tortured by demons that accompanied them, haunting their memories from horrors no humans should have to see. Thankfully, most returned safely and now live normal, productive lives.

God, bless and keep our vets. Protect and provice for our homeless vets, abandoned by their government’s promise to care for them. Move upon the hearts of our government officials to do the right things and support them. Protect our vets from a spirit of suicide. Lord, we can’t lose them that way after what they have been through. You have been with them through their many trials and You’ve never abandoned them. As Matthew West sings, You are the God who stays.

Lord, we ask You to reserve a special place in Heaven for our vets. In Your love and authority, Jesus, amen.

Thankful Ego has to Go

Chatting with Jesus

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Lord, talk about blind. Why do people with obnoxious egos wonder why others cannot see their brilliance? (gag) This political season has tested our patience. Candidates ranted and railed that they must be elected, since only they can cancel Armageddon, which their opponent had scheduled the next week. Their boastful claims make me to roll my eyes, knowing their hot air only increases global warming.

Since the serpent convinced Adam and Eve that the apple would send them to the head of the class, ego, along with its buddy pride, plagues mankind—for those who exalt themselves above others to those who must endure their narcissistic behaviors.

In his day, the Apostle Paul encountered people, who despite being Christ followers, dealt with ego issues. Even though Psalm 139 vividly descriptions our finding our worth in You, ego refuses to go down easily. Paul pulled no punches:

“Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived”. —Galatians 6:1–3 (MSG).

Paul reminded the Philippians believers of the way Christ Jesus thought of Himself.

“He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of Himself that He had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all.” — Philippians 2:5 (MSG)

Should we not also have this same attitude? By all means. Prideful, egotistical, arrogant, narcissistic Christ followers are so shallow and un-Christlike. Sadly, such attitudes turn off more people who are seeking a relationship with You.

May we never fall among that group, Jesus. Amen