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Chatting with Jesus

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Lord, as Christ followers, how often we are misjudged, labeled as bigoted, hateful, intolerant, and at times, downright looney? No wonder in times of weakness, we have even questioned our worth.

We live in a hostile environment that rejects the truths of Your sovereignty. This leaves our fallen world with no shortage of wounded souls. The world chews people up, then spits them out once their usefulness has depleted. Why the broken continually reject Your invitation to a new life of grace and forgiveness through Jesus is bewildering to me. Lord, the world today needs a relationship with You.

As Christ followers, we see how the enemy of our soul dresses up the glitz of this world to offer one surefire thing yet delivers the opposite. Fallen man is the only creature who would rather die than be considered worthless. Who doesn’t want to feel valuable? How many dear souls have been left crushed in spirit after chasing the false promises of “worth and purpose can be attained by your own merits without Christ” only to discover it turned out to be just that—false promises. Seeking man’s approval for our worth always leaves us vulnerable.

Christ followers have great worth. How much? Jesus said our worth is to die for. And He did. He took all our sin and transgression upon Himself when He willingly went to the cross on our behalf.

Lord Jesus, once we understand how the impact of Your Cross gives us worth, no one can ever make us feel worthless again. Amen.

Chatting with Jesus

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Lord, this day is our opportunity to begin righting the wrongs we have committed against You and our fellow man. For numerous reason, our nation has turned away from You. Our nonchalant attitude toward our God-given rights has created a mess. Lord, we need to return to Your model of government: leaders are to serve their constituents. We have drifted far from that standard.

All Christ followers should vote. Men and women have sacrificed their lives to secure and maintain this privilege. Billions oppressed around the world would crawl over broken glass to have the voting rights we have.

Thankfully, Lord, You haven’t called us to set up a theocracy. Our first amendment rights respect the beliefs of all its citizens, religious or non-religious. Instead, You called Your people to set up a government that is fair and transparent, and to be ruled by just laws, (Isaiah 1:16, 17). We pray Lady Justice no longer lifts her blindfold to wink-wink at injustice but will render justice fairly to everyone.

Every candidate for office is a flawed, imperfect human. No amount of PR money will change this truth. All have fallen short of Your glory. We pray we will vote according to biblical principles and pray for our leaders to turn their hearts toward You, and that our nation will suppress evil and promote good for all people.

As believers, we will pray and vote. That’s our part of faith. And may we continue to trust You whether we agree or disagree with the outcome. That’s also our part of faith.You got this, Jesus, Amen

Chatting with Jesus

Monday, November 7, 2022

Lord, are you as disgusted with politics as we are? What began in the 60s as Vietnam War protests metastasized over the decades into irreconcilable distrust between the Left’s radical ideology and the Right’s conservative views. From the old-timers of the “Greatest Generation” to the up-and-coming Millennials, most agree our nation is dangerously divided. Politics has become a blood sport. No doubt corruption when found should be righteously called out, but even among Christ followers, many eagerly participate in the hateful verbiage of personal destruction. This should not be. It only hurts the cause of Christ and gives fodder to the kingdom of darkness.

As Christ followers, we believe:

“The Lord is God! He made us . . . we are his people, the sheep of his pasture,” —Psalm 100:3).

Lord, we knew what to expect when You said we would be as “sheep sent among wolves.” However, most Christ followers were not prepared when we were sent as “sheep among sheep.” Your sheep are forgiven, but oh, are we flawed. We experience another reality—sheep bite.

Sheep bite other sheep. Sheep will lie and cheat to move up in the sheep pecking order. Sheep are jealous. Sheep gossip. Sheep lust. Sheep judge lost sheep. Sheep judge redeemed sheep. Sheep frequently fail to demonstrate Your mandate “to love your neighbor as yourself.”

The apostle Paul warned the Galatian believers of the dangers of infighting among the redeemed. Paul wrote:

“If you keep on biting and devouring one another, watch out, or you will be consumed by one another,” —Galatians 5:15 (NLT)

Lord, if sheep are gonna bite, help us instead to bite chunks out of the devil’s kingdom of darkness. Amen, Jesus

Chatting with Jesus

Friday, November 4, 2022

Lord, as a Christ follower, when we determined to fully follow You, the skeptics and mockers crawl out of every nook and cranny just to point an accusing finger at us. Even friends will sometimes join the chorus of doubters, secretly hoping we fail. Everything we do, every word we say, everyone we talk to is under their microscope. In ancient times, TMZ wasn’t following the psalmist around, but he certainly had his share of critics. He wrote how to handle the naysayers Your way.

“Even princes sit and speak against me, but I will meditate on Your decrees. Your laws please me; they give me good advice”—Psalm 119:23, 24.

The psalmist found spiritual and emotional strength when meditating on Your promises. Your Word revealed how pleased You were by his firm resolve to follow Your precepts. He could disregard what “friends” and enemies say, since Your Word described how You see him: Your beloved child, fully forgiven and an heir to all Your heavenly blessings.

Did the psalmist live a perfect life? Hardly. Scripture doesn’t hide his multiple failures. Scripture also doesn’t hide the extent of Your grace and mercy with each fall. With each failure, he humbled himself, acknowledged his sin and fell upon Your mercy. You graciously forgave and restored him.

Do Christ followers live flawlessly today? LOL! Wondrously, we find the same strength by following this ancient wisdom. Your Word never changes. Your grace is always abundant, Your unfailing love never ceases, Your Spirit still draws the broken and gives us peace with You. Our critics miss out on so much of life by not knowing You.

Lord, strengthen our spirit as we meditate on Your Word. Only what You think of us matters. Amen, Jesus.

Chatting with Jesus

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Lord, You’ve seen no matter how hard I try, I cannot hide anything from You. You see it all. Attempting to sneak an un-Christlike action, word salad, or carnal thought past You is truly the proverbial exercise in futility.

The psalmist acknowledged Your omniscience in all matters. With his soul fully exposed, he stood defenseless when You revealed that “You have tested my thoughts . . .” (Psalm 17:3). You alone, Lord, possess all knowledge about everything, even the deepest secrets buried within each person’s heart.

Lord, that’s a wake-up call for me too. Knowing You test my every thought against Your holiness, I’ve surely failed the tests more times than passed. I echo the psalmist’s plea in this vital area of my life:

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord—Psalm 19:14.

The world measures our words by the world’s standards, The “woke” standards, which change daily, if not hourly, leave many walking on eggshells, fearful of offending anyone and being cancelled. The world’s standard has no room for grace, forgiveness, or redemption.

Not so with You, Lord. The holy standard by which my words are measured leave me at Your mercy. Any excuses I make to justify my wayward thoughts fall flat, since my lame excuses are from my flawed, yet by Your grace, forgiven heart. You offer grace. You offer forgiveness. You offer redemption.

On a good note, as Christ followers, we please You when our thoughts match Your thoughts, and our ways match Your ways, (Isaiah 55:8, 9). By meditating on Your promises and precepts, You reveal new truths of Your holy character. If we are to keep our minds dwelling on You, we need Your divine help, so when other observe us they will want to know how we remain hopeful, despite living in this chaotic world.

And Lord, in this hostile political season, help me keep my thoughts and statements Christlike. I don’t want to sin by what I say.

By Your love and in Your authority, Jesus, Amen.

Chatting with Jesus

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Lord, please give us an extra dose of Your grace. We’re saturated by politics. TV, Internet, social media, news outlets spew propaganda how one candidate has lived angelic-like their entire life, while their opponent is cousin to Satan himself. Bombarded by half-baked promises that stretch reality beyond believability, most normal people wanna pull their hair out and put millions of hair stylist and barbers out of business.

Normal people hate lying. It’s nothing new. Neither is cheating. Nor fraud. Nor switch-and-bait. And because we are emotional beings, we find it difficult to remain silent when someone outright lies or voices an opinion different from ours. Disregarding facts, many will declare “their truth” as gospel. This nonsense can drive sane people to verbally lash out at the TV or radio, or angrily pound on their keyboard to correct some misguided political junkie. Sadly, many Christ followers fall into this category. I’m not exempt.

Lord, from Genesis to Revelation, Your Word says much about being careful what we say. The ancient psalmist fought to keep his words in check. Oh, how often we spout off without thinking. At least, the psalmist and I do. Read his declaration:

“I am determined not to sin in what I say”—Psalm 17:3

I should make his pledge mine too, but this pledge is impossible to keep without divine help.

Lord, not only during this political season, but every day, cover our words, seasoned with Your grace. May we always speak the truth in love to those willing to listen. And give us wisdom to keep our mouths shut when we need to.

In Your love and authority, Jesus, amen.

Chatting with Jesus

Monday, October 31, 2022

Lord, the psalmist wrote eloquent, beautifully flowing, yet powerful prose that moves the most hardened heart. Most must think he had his act all together. I’m not believing that for a minute. The psalmist was as human as we are. Daily, his God-regenerated spirit man battled his human nature.

Like the psalmist, trials, problems, or temptations led me to a crossroads. My choice. I want to do what my God-filled spirit says I must do—trust You, Lord God. Yet my human nature insists I do something NOW—anything—to resolve the calamity.

Who among us hasn’t stood at this intersection? Read the words of the psalmist’s crossroads experience. His decision appears to be telling his spirit to fall in line with Your Word. Had he got ahead of God before? Oh, yeah. Haven’t we all.

“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him”—Psalm 62:5

Our humanity hates to wait. It goes so against our human nature. This phenomenon is especially a challenge for those with a take charge temperament. Waiting makes us anxious. And we know as Christ followers, we are to be led by Your Spirit and not be ruled by our fickle, up-and-down human nature, (Galatians 5:16).

Lord, when I’m tempted to get ahead of You, strengthen my resolve to wait patiently on You for You are my God, and maybe it won’t happen as soon as I wish, but in Your timing, You will do what You say You will do. You are my hope.

Lord, I want to do all things Your way. Amen, Jesus

Chatting with Jesus

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Lord, Your revelation of who You are starts with, In the beginning, God, created the heavens and the Earth, (Genesis 1-3). The heavens declare Your indescribable glory. You spoke, and the universe with all its splendor came into existence.

But with man, Your greatest creation, You did not speak us into existence. Instead, You personally hand-crafted us, creating us in Your image. Then You breathed Your breath of life into man, and we became a living soul. Because we’re created in Your image, You have trusted us with free will, with the power to choose to follow You or do our own thing.

Because You created everything, all creation belongs to You. Every mountain, tree, river, ocean, plant, including broccoli, belongs to You. Every animal, from the enormous whales swimming the oceans and elephants roaming the savannah down to the cutest little Yorkies dancing around our house slippers, belong to You. From the mighty eagle soaring on the thermals to the smallest field mouse scurrying along the ground—even the hawk that sweeps in to take the mouse to lunch—belong to You.

You own it all—except for one thing. And You want this one thing more than any other treasure.

You want our heart. Since we’re created in Your image, we own our heart. It is ours to keep or give away. And since we have a spirit as You, we sense being incomplete unless our heart is beating with Your heart. Relying on myself to guide my heart has not always worked to my good. The human heart is deceitful of all things, (Jeremiah 17:9) Who can trust it?

Lord, You opened my eyes to see how all my life You have been paving my road leading to You. I choose to give You my heart. My declaration mirrors the psalmist:

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart, He is mine forever—Psalm 73:26

Amen.

Chatting with Jesus

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Lord, Old Testament prophets preached to Your wandering people to return to You in repentance, for Your love and grace endure forever. And as common to all believers throughout the centuries, at times we ignore Your precepts and wander off the path You have chosen for us and do our own thing.

Many will write off  as a lost cause those Christ followers who stray time and again. But that’s not who You are. We’re grateful You do not abandon us to the wolves who seek to devour us when we wander from the fold.

The psalmist wrote from personal experience the truths of Your grace.

The Lord is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray—Psalm 25:8(NLT).

When the psalmist strayed, Lord, You didn’t write him off as wolf fodder. Instead, You pursued him by orchestrating events and placing people in his life to call him back to You.  

The Apostle Peter wrote about his denial and the emotional and spiritual pain he suffered. His words encourages us and gives us hope today when we’re off track. He thought his failure as unredeemable, but Your grace said differently.

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent— 2 Peter 3:9 (NLT).

Lord, many have similar stories to the psalmist and Peter. And when we stumble and stray, if Your love and mercy did not endure forever, we [read me] would be so lost and without hope. Thank You for extending Your grace to all—especially me.Amen, Jesus

Chatting with Jesus

Monday, October 24, 2022

Lord, how many untold billions of people have asked You What is my purpose?

I’m certainly one.

The psalmist wrote how our days were recorded in Your Book before we were born, so You must have a purpose for each person, (Psalm 139:16). When we come to You, do You immediately reveal our purpose so we can get to work right away for You? Sometimes. Or do You leave it up to us to unfold this mystery by vigorously studying Your Word? After all, in the Bible we discover who You are and who we are.

So Lord, we ask You to help us discover Your purpose for our life. You did not redeem us from the kingdom of darkness and into the Kingdom of Light to let us aimlessly wander through life with no sense of direction, contributing little to Your kingdom.

The Apostle Paul, writing to the Roman believers, addressed this search for finding our purpose. “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us,” (Romans 12:6). Therefore, according to this great truth, we each have something unique that only we can offer to the world and the Kingdom of God.

Lord, show us creative ways to use our God-given gifts to point those in our world to You and bring You honor. To keep our gifts and talents to ourselves would rob others of blessings and encouragement You intended for them.

May my prayer be that of the psalmist who wrote, “O God, fulfill Your purpose for me,” (Psalm 57:2).

Amen, Jesus.