Friday, September 10, 2021,  

Lord, I need to stay close to You. This fallen world offers so many distractions vying for my attention.  I’m troubled how easily I get off-track in living for You. You warned us how “our salt can lose its saltiness and become useless” (Matthew 5:13). Lord, help me be known as a salty Christ-follower. I will need Your Spirit’s help in keeping my saltiness from being corrupted by unbelief, or carnal influences that compromise my integrity. Or worse—little sins I do that I consider “innocent.” Your cross says those “innocent” sins put You on the cross just as much as those sins Scripture calls an abomination. Forgive me, Lord, and cleanse the impurities from my saltshaker.  May my words and actions represent what Your Gospel is all about — mercy, grace, and forgiveness for all wounded souls who are broken in spirit. Holy Spirit, use my salt to point them to You. The closer I get to You, Jesus, the more Your salt rubs off on me.

Let me be a willing saltshaker to let Your salt flavor the world around me, Jesus. Amen

Thankful to Spread Salt

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Lord, since You called me to be the “salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13), help me remember my purpose as a saltshaker.  Not only does my salt add flavor to life, but my salt also preserves that which it gives flavor. The message of the salt, that Jesus took my place on the cross to save me from my sins and give me eternal life, preserves my grateful heart and the joys that salt brings. Intimately daily worshipping You increases my salt intake, communing and listening to Your voice, adoring Your goodness preserves my faith and enables me to encourage others who need a daily dose of salt to keep going. Oh, Lord, enlarge my saltshaker to hold more salt to disperse.

Help me spread salt everywhere I go, Lord, Amen.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Lord, You called me to make a difference in my world. We are to have an impact on those around us, as I live a changed life with a righteousness that is not of my own doing. So, help me understand the significance of being “the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13). When I chose to surrender my life to You and become a Christ-follower, did I also become a salt lick? Seriously, Lord, what do You mean I’m the salt of the earth? Considering the purpose of salt, Your meaning slowly emerged.

Salt adds flavor. Salt makes the bland come alive, the ho-hum to rousing, the another boring day into “What are You gonna do today, Lord?” The joy of redemption from sin and made alive in Jesus—this “salt”—is hard to contain. Our soul burst forth with a new zeal for life and a love for others we can’t explain as other than our regenerated spirit for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

May I become a saltshaker to those Your Holy Spirit sends my way.. Help me be relentless in telling my story with those searching for meaning and purpose. Your forgiveness and grace brought joy to my spiritually aimless life, Jesus, You can give them significance as Your child. Who says salt is unhealthy?

Thankful being Your saltshaker, Jesus, Amen.

Friday, September 3, 2021

Lord, You do for us what is impossible for us to do. You called us to “be perfect, as Your heavenly Father is perfect” Matthew 5:48. What? Your comment leaves us dumbfounded, wondering how we can keep such an impossible command. How can we keep Your command to be “perfect” when we were born with a sin nature? You know it’s impossible for us to keep Your edit, so You made a divine plan to do what we can’t do, which involved Your marvelous grace, but also involved the cross — shame, suffering, and death — and resurrection on Easter Sunday.  Jesus, when we trust in Your finished work on the cross, where You exchanged Your righteousness, Your perfection, for our sins and failures, You would declare all who did so as righteous, or “perfect.” That doesn’t sound like a fair exchange, but demonstrating Your marvelous love and grace, we’re thankful You were willing to do that. You explained there was no other way for us to be redeemed from our sins except by the cross (Hebrews 9:22).  Now, when our heavenly Father sees us, those who have placed their faith in You, we can you hear Him saying, “Sins? What sins? I only see my Son Jesus’ righteousness all over you. My child, you’re perfect!”

Living in perfection by Your grace, Lord God, Amen!

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Lord, our human words fail to adequately describe Your mercy. Why would You, our Great God, the Creator of the universe, choose to hang out with sinful man when You came to us?  Your tenderness toward the lost sheep of this broken world irritated the religious elites. What a pity they tried so hard to earn their way into the Kingdom of Heaven, keeping every rule and regulation to the “T” hoping You saw how righteous they were. Talk about arrogant? Talk about critical? “Look at Him,” they said, pointing a condemning finger at Jesus. “He eats with tax-collectors and sinners!” (Matthew 9:11). The self-righteous displayed little mercy for sinners or the outcasts of society. They wouldn’t be caught dead doing such a thing.

But not You, Jesus. Thank You for caring about sinners like me, the redeemed. You showed us what true love, mercy and grace is. Knowing what You have done for us, Jesus, that we could never in a thousand lifetimes work our way to heaven, but only by Your grace we have eternal life, makes us want to be more like You, and extend that same grace to all—even to the religious elites.

Thank You for coming to save sinners and outcasts like me, Jesus. Amen.  

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Lord, I can’t believe how easily I messed up—again!  I would think after serving You these many years, I’d be a more “spiritual” Christ-follower, yet shamefully, I’m left shaking my head in embarrassment, beating myself up for falling to temptation again, or just plain losing my cool in frustration. Forgive me, Lord, and remind me how I’m a work in progress (Philippians 1:6). My flaws are not my identity, nor are my mistakes the end of my story. Because of Your finished work on the cross, You stubbornly refuse to give up on me as a lost cause.  Instead, You are daily transforming me into the person You created me to be. May I never forget this truth, Lord.

Bless and protect our friends recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Ida.  Give them wisdom as they rebuild. Expose all who would defraud those seeking to rebuild. Provide their needs and show the people You are the Great I AM and You are all they need You to be. Protect the people from the scam artists out to do the devil’s work. May people call on You, Lord God, during this time. We pray that people will come to You and find You as Lord and Savior because of this hurricane. Only You, God, can bring good out of this catastrophe.

Being transformed daily to be more like You, Jesus, amen! 

Monday, August 30, 2021

Lord, we call upon Your mercy today.  Chaos and disasters seem waiting around every corner. Forgive our sins, Lord, and may we as a people fall on our knees and in reverence and humility call upon Your mercy and grace. Bless and protect our brave men and women who wear our uniform, who help in every natural and manmade disasters, who unselfishly serve our country, giving of themselves for a higher purpose. We pray Your warrior angels to surround those serving in harm’s way. And may those brave souls who have made the ultimate sacrifice rest in Your eternal arms. As only You can, bless and comfort those families and friends who have lost loved ones while serving and protecting others. Bless and protect our first responders, police, firefighters, paramedics and all who serve their communities and put their lives on the line daily. Bless and protect the innocents trapped in Afghanistan, who through no fault of their own, are surrounded by evil.  Give supernatural strength and courage to all Your followers who are persecuted for their faith. Bless and protect those effected by Hurricane Ida. Bless and protect all those who have lost everything in the wildfires roaring throughout the country. Be merciful, O God. Be the Great I AM to all who are seeking Your mercy and grace,

Thankful our Lord God is the Great I AM! Amen.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Lord, we all carried so much baggage when we came to You. Gotta be honest—we were a mess. We felt unworthy of Your grace. The world saw us as just a clump of junk, judged worthless by many, labeled losers to most self-righteous folks. However, You saw us differently. You saw us as a clump of unrefined gold and began removing our dross. You saw all our impurities, yet You chose to see the pure treasure that lay deep within us. Sometimes we complained as You brought us through the refining fires, but unless we went through the fires, You couldn’t bring out the beauty within us. In his deep pain, Job stated his faith: “When He has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). The refiner knows the gold is pure when he looks into the gold and sees his clear reflection. In the same way, Lord, Your ultimate purpose is to refine me to where all will see Your reflection in me.

Thankful, Lord, that You saw something in me I could not see for myself. Amen.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Lord, reading the story in Matthew 8 of the leper You cleansed of his leprosy, I see my plight similar to his. He was hopeless, helpless to make himself clean.  But then he heard about You, Jesus. When he approached You, he declared his faith, pleading, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

“I am willing,” You said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. 

How am I like the leper? The disease I carried was the “leprosy of sin” and nothing I did would rid my soul of this disease. I looked at my life and saw how helpless and hopeless my situation was, but when I asked, “Lord if You are willing, You can make me clean,” I’ll never forget Your reply.

“If I’m willing? I am so willing I went to the cross, shed my blood for you and gave my life to cleanse you of your sins. Be cleaned! Immediately, I was cleansed of my sins.

Such love. Such mercy. Such grace. It’s all You, Jesus. Amen.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Lord, Matthew 8:1–4 details Your encounter with a leper. You just finished teachings Your followers the Beatitudes, in what we call the Sermon on the Mount. You taught how God is our heavenly Father, not some distant divine entity we couldn’t know. You taught how to love one another, even our enemies. These teachings were like none they ever heard. Many decided to become one of Your followers. As You came down the mountain a large crowd followed You, still listening and placing their faith in Your every Word.

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a leper came running and knelt before You. In ancient Israel, lepers were thought to be cursed by God and to be driven from society. They were afflicted because they or their parents had sinned. Leper were not allowed around healthy people.

I wonder, Lord. If I were in that crowd, how would I react to this encounter with the leper? Was my encounter with Jesus just an emotional experience, or did Jesus really touch my heart? Would my new-found faith stand? Society said to drive the leper from your midst, even casting stone if need be to drive them away. Besides, the leper knew better than to approach a healthy person unannounced, as he did to Jesus and all us. Would I revert to worldly ways and cast stones at this leper? Or would I follow what Jesus did, to show compassion for this poor soul and their plight.

Today, Lord, when I encounter a “leper” of society, I pray You do whatever it takes to keep me from taking up judgmental “stones” and help me take up Your compassion to love and reach out to this poor lost soul with the good news You change lives.

Praying I will live the Beatitudes, Jesus. Amen