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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Lord, when we pray, help us accept the truth that You don’t always answer like we expect. We dwell on our circumstances, analyze every option we might have, play and replay in our mind how we want every scenario to play out. This is how we want You to answer our prayer, Lord. After all, Your Word plainly states in Matthew 6:8 —“You know the things we need before we ask You.” More often than not, we offer up self-centered prayers. Quoting John 14:14, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it,” we overlook two crucial words in our companion verse: “You know the things we need . . .“

Not only do You know what we want, You also know our motives. But more importantly, You know what we need. Help me set aside my wants, my desires. Instead, may I seek and desire what “You know I need,” which is always the best for me.  

Thankful You, Lord, know what I need, especially when I don’t have a clue. In Your name, Amen

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Monday, October 18, 2021

Lord, when we experience Your love and forgiveness, how Your grace washes away our sins and takes our shame, we are, without a doubt, changed.  We can never be the same. As the Scriptures declare, Your love “compels us” to share this Good News with those in our world. No longer do we look at people the way we used to. How quickly we judged on external appearances. We dismissed some as big-time losers, insignificant, criticizing their poor life choices, all the while placing ourselves as superior to hide our insecurities. But Your love changed all that. By Your grace, we see people differently now. We see them as precious souls You gave Your life for. On the cross, You took the punishment for their sins just like You did for mine. You conquered spiritual death for them as You did for me. Then on Easter Sunday, Your resurrection obtained eternal life for them as You obtained eternal life for me. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:14–17). 

Lord, may I always see others through Your eyes. Keep me from seeing them any other way.

Without a doubt, Your love and grace changes us, Lord. Thank You. Amen

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Friday, October 15, 2021

Lord, today’s cancel culture is cruel and heartless. The finger-pointers love to condemn their latest whipping boy, someone who in a moment of weakness or frustration, acted human and said or wrote something they wished they could take back. The feeding frenzy begins as the cancelers set themselves up as a judge higher than You. But unlike You, their “woke” arrogance leaves no room for forgiveness and grace. A person’s past mistake will define them the rest of their life. The cancelers ignore Matthew 7:1–2, “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment.  That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging” (the Message translation). They dismiss this scripture as not applicable to them.  “Meh,” they shrug. “They had it coming.”

The cancel culture may have redefined “sanctimonious,” but You define “redemption.” You say, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing [in you] (Isaiah 43:18). You say, “Come on now, let’s discuss this!” says the Lord. “Though your sins are bright red, they will become as white as snow. Though they are dark red, they will become as white as wool (Isaiah 1:18 God’s Word translation).  Thank You, Jesus, that You define us, those who have trusted in You—we’re forgiven, righteous, and holy. When the finger-pointer becomes fodder for the cancelers and become the canceled, let us show them the same grace You have shown us. Let them see what Your cancel culture is all about—our sins are canceled and we are a new cration in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Thankful to be a part of Your  cancel culture, Lord Jesus. Amen.

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Thursday, October 14, 2021

Lord, man defines “poor” as “having insufficient resources to meet the necessities or comforts of life.” Who would want to be poor? Not me. So I was confused when You used “blessed” and “poor” in the same sentence until Your Spirit revealed the beauty of this sacred verse: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:3). Poor in spirit? That was me. Talk about a spiritually bankrupt account? I had nothing to offer You, Jesus, except my flaws, failures, my sin and shame. All that remained was a sin debt charged to my account, waiting for me to square up on one day. Working hard at doing good left me worn out and frustrated since that didn’t work either.  But when You said, “Believe in Me and I’ll swap all your sins for My righteousness and make forgiveness, peace, joy— everything in the Kingdom of Heaven that you need—available to you,” that seemed too good to be true. But as Romans 4:22 explained, it was all true. That’s when the blessing of being “poor” in spirit” became clear, and I’ve never been the same since.

Thank You, Jesus, that being poor in spirit leads us to be blessed in the Kingdom of Heaven through the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Lord, we have talked about this in the past. I promised I’d change, and for a while, I did. But Lord, You know what happens every fall—Texas A&M football becomes my passion. You’d think that year after year I’d learn, but sadly, before I realize, I’m  eating, breathing, walking, talking  Aggie football.

How did I fumble my priorities so easily? Did my passion for the Kingdom of God run out of bounds? No! Thankfully, Your Spirit has kept me in bounds, but to my shame, I must repent—again— of my priorities being ‘off sides.’ Lord, help me to go on the offense with the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17) and march down the field and defeat the devil to score and expand the Kingdom of God.  Renew my passion for clearly laying out Your game plan, the Good News that Jesus came to save sinners and heal the broken, just like You did for me. And Lord, may we all run up the score on the devil in leading others to win the game that counts, eternal life with You.

Thankful You are keeping me in bounds and on Your winning side, Jesus. Amen.

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Monday, October 11, 2021

Lord, help me not fret. I don’t want a worrying heart. I want a faithful heart. You are my God and I want to believe You are in control of all things. My carnal self wants to question if You really are in control when I cannot understand why things turn out as they do, or not go as I planned. Did I sign up for this when I committed to following You, Jesus?  But as I seek You, the part of me that wants to grumble is suppressed by the Holy Spirit. Your Spirit reminds my born-again spiritual self how You have met my needs in the past. As only You can, Lord, You worked out circumstances I found unsolvable, changed people’s attitude toward me, or redirected my steps to avoid costly setbacks. I may be fearful at times, and that’s okay. That’s normal. But because You are my God, I need not be afraid. You’re my solid foundation that I stand upon. As Proverbs 16:9 states “we make our plans, but You [Lord] direct our steps.”

Thank You, Lord, for the confidence to know You are in control of all things. Amen.

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Thursday, October 7, 2021
Lord, only You could implement such a plan. It is beyond our comprehension. Why would You leave the glories of Heaven and come to Earth as a flesh-and-blood human being, just like us, and live among us in this broken world (Philippians 2:5–7). It must be Your Love that we do not deserve, but humbly accept. Because our humanity is vulnerable, strong one minute, weak the next, You gave the Holy Spirit to live within all Christ-followers. Without the Holy Spirit, we’d be sitting ducks for the devil. But one reason You came was so You’d know exactly what it’s like to be tempted. like us. With all the hatred of Hell, the devil had to hubris to tempt You, the very Son of God. What makes us think the devil will not tempt us? Lord Jesus, You know what we feel because You too experienced the same thing as a human. Now You are at the right hand of our heavenly Father, interceding when we’re tempted. How thankful we are You can empathize with us (Hebrews 4:14–16).
Thank You, Lord, for giving us the Holy Spirit to fight the enemy’s temptations. Through You, we overcome. Amen

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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Lord, when my focus drifts from Your plan for my life and I dwell on what others are doing, the enemy of our soul tempts me to move to Comparistan and compare my life with those who “have it all together.” I’m such a dud! Why can’t I be like them? They do everything perfectly, never stumble in faith. They always obey You completely. But not me! I daily fail You and fall short of Your standards (Romans 3:23). The devil lies, claiming I’m the only Christ-follower who constantly sins. The perfect ones never do. Funny, the devil is telling the perfect ones the same lies.

Thankfully, Your Spirit knocks this nonsense out of me. “Why do you listen to such rubbish?” You ask. “That’s not who you are. You’re my child, the redeemed.” My identity if found in You, Lord Jesus. Your Love is my love, Your Joy my joy, Your Peace my peace, Your Plan for me is uniquely for me only. Help me completely flee Comparistan, Lord.

Renouncing my citizenship in Comparistan, Jesus. Amen.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Lord, being called to follow You means we are to stand out, be different from the world. Help me stand out, but in a good way. Maybe not like John the Baptist, who wore camel-skin clothes held together by a leather belt and had grasshopper parts stuck between his teeth. And not like some crazy, multi-colored hair, tambourine banging prophet of doom, wearing a sandwich board saying “The End Is Near!” and telling everyone they’re going to Hell. Lord, I want to be like You. In true humility, may I stand out from the herd, having a holy confidence and a peace when the world is falling apart. I want to stand out by loving as You loved, Jesus. Help me show kindness to all, especially the rude and unlovely.  May I not jump on the judgmental bandwagon when the world is jumping on some poor soul who is down and feels hopeless. Show me how to be a friend and lead them to see their worth and value is found in You.  May I not let my achievements give me the big head, but keep me humble, knowing my success comes from You Lord.   And may I always tell of Your grace and mercy  as I share my story how You, Jesus, changed my life.

To You all the glory, Lord God. Amen.

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Friday, October 1, 2021

Lord, following You isn’t about just barely scraping by in this life. For those who have trusted Your work on the cross, Jesus, You offer so much more than life in this broken world offers. . Following You is relishing the full, abundant and purposeful life You give. We’re never left on our own to figure out life or wonder what Your will is for us. You requested, and the Father sent the Holy Spirit to live within each of Your followers (John 16:5–16). So when life doesn’t turn out the way I expected, and I may struggle to understand the circumstances, Your Spirit within me assures me You got this. And may I never forget also that the same Spirit that raised You from the grave on Easter Sunday dwells within me (Romans 8:11). Therefore, no matter what I may face, God, You are greater and Your grace sustains me as You develop more of Your character in me.

Enjoying the benefits of following You, Jesus, amen.

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