Thursday, May 29, 2014

Psalm 40:4-10 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/30/2014)...

"What if God wants to impact your today so that it changes your tomorrow?"
- Peter Hise (What Life Are You Waiting For?)

Psalm 40:8-10 (NLT) I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.” I have told all your people about your justice. I have not been afraid to speak out, as you, O LORD, well know. I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Jude 1:7 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/29/2014)..,

Sodom had no churches...we have thousands.
Sodom had no Bible...we have millions.
Sodom had no preachers...we have ten thousand plus thousands.
Sodom had no Bible schools...we have at least two hundred and fifty.
Sodom had no prayer meetings...we have thousands .
Sodom had no gospel broadcasts...we are richly blessed with Christian broadcasts.
Sodom had no histories of God's judgment to warn it of danger...We have volumes of them.
Sodom perished in spite of all these disadvantages. America today is living only by the mercy of God. The only reason we are not smoking in the fire-wrath of a holy God is mercy...M-E-R-C-Y, prolonged mercy!
- Leonard Ravenhill ("Sodom Had No Bible" 1979)

Jude 1:7 (NLT) And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

1 Thessalonians 1:8-10 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/28/2014)...

​"When I enter that beautiful city and the saints all around me appear, I hope that someone will tell me: 'It was you who invited me here.'"
- Corrie Ten Boom​

1 Thessalonians 1:8-10 (NLT) And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don’t need to tell them about it, for they keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God. And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Philippians 1:25-27 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/27/2014)...

Jesus has many who love his kingdom in heaven, but few who bear his cross. He has many who desire comfort, but few who desire suffering. He finds many to share his feast, but few his fasting. All desire to rejoice with him, but few are willing to suffer for his sake. Many follow Jesus to the breaking of bread, but few to the drinking of the cup of his passion. Many admire his miracles, but few follow him in the humiliation of the cross.
- Thomas a Kempis

Philippians 1:27-30 (NLT) Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

John 15:13 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/26/2014)...

We owe this freedom of choice and action to those men and women in uniform who have served this nation and its interests in time of need. In particular, we are forever indebted to those who have given their lives that we might be free.
- Ronald Reagan (May 26, 1983)

John 15:13 (NLT) There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Luke 12:16-21 (NLT).,,

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/23/2014)...

"He who provides for this life, but takes no care for eternity, is wise for a moment, but a fool forever."
- John Tillotson

Luke 12:16-21 (NLT) Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Jonah 2:1-10 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/22/2014)...

"Prayer is the most deeply human action in which we can engage. Behavior we have in common with the animals. Thinking we have in common with the angels. But prayer - the attentiveness and responsiveness of the human being before God - is human...prayer is our core activity. The life of prayer, the practice of prayer, is at the center of the human enterprise."
- Eugene H. Peterson (Under The Unpredictable Plant, p. 111)

Jonah 2:1-10 (NLT) Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from inside the fish. He said, 
"I cried out to the LORD in my great trouble, and he answered me. I called to you from the land of the dead, and LORD, you heard me! You threw me into the ocean depths, and I sank down to the heart of the sea. The mighty waters engulfed me; I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves. Then I said, ‘O LORD, you have driven me from your presence. Yet I will look once more toward your holy Temple.’ 
“I sank beneath the waves, and the waters closed over me. Seaweed wrapped itself around my head. I sank down to the very roots of the mountains. I was imprisoned in the earth, whose gates lock shut forever. But you, O LORD my God, snatched me from the jaws of death! As my life was slipping away, I remembered the LORD. And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy Temple. Those who worship false gods turn their backs on all God’s mercies. But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the LORD alone.” 
Then the LORD ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto the beach. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Jonah 1:7-2:2 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/21/2014)...

"Whenever I am in trouble, I pray. And since I'm always in trouble, I pray a lot."
- Isaac Bashevis Singer

Jonah 1:17-2:2 (NLT) Now the LORD had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights. Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from inside the fish. He said, “I cried out to the LORD in my great trouble, and he answered me. I called to you from the land of the dead, and LORD, you heard me! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Jonah 1:3-6; Acts 27:22-26 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/20/2014)...

"Trouble, at least extreme trouble, storm-trouble, strips us to the essentials and reveals the basic reality of our lives. In Jonah it was prayerlessness, in Paul prayerfulness. The storm revealed Jonah to be a prophet who did not pray. The storm revealed Paul to be an apostle who prayed."
- Eugene H. Peterson (Under The Unpredictable Plant, p. 71)

JONAH - (Jonah 1:4-6 NLT) But the LORD hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart. Fearing for their lives, the desperate sailors shouted to their gods for help and threw the cargo overboard to lighten the ship. But all this time Jonah was sound asleep down in the hold. So the captain went down after him. “How can you sleep at a time like this?” he shouted. “Get up and pray to your god! Maybe he will pay attention to us and spare our lives.” (Sadly...Jonah did not pray)

PAUL - (Acts 27:22-26) But take courage! None of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down. For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said. But we will be shipwrecked on an island.” (Paul heard from God)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

John 6:34, 38; Philippians 2:13-14

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/19/2014)..,

Every Christ-follower should embrace God's call to word-of-God work.

John 6:34 (NLT) Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. 

John 6:38 (NLT) For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. 

Philippians 2:12-13 (NLT) Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Friday, May 16, 2014

John 12:24-26 (NLT)..,

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/16/2014)...

"God took seeds from other worlds and sowed them on this earth and made his garden grow, and everything that could come up came up, but whatever grows is alive and lives only through the feeling of its contact with other mysterious worlds; if that feeling grows weak or is destroyed in you then what has grown up in you will also die. Then you will become indifferent to life and even grow to hate it."
- Dostoevsky, The Brother's Karamazov, p. 245

John 12:24-26 (NLT) 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. 25 Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. 26 Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Matthews 16:24-26 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/15/2014)...
"I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The dye has been cast. I have stepped over the line, the decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. 
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m fininshed and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. My face is set, my gate is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up for the cause of Jesus Christ. 
I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till everyone knows, work till He stopes me, and when He comes for His own, He will have no trouble recognizing me because my banner will have been clear."
SOURCE: Provided by Love Worth Finding Ministries, the author’s name is unknown. This quote is reported to have been found in the home of an African preacher.

Matthew 16:24-26 (NLT) Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Joshua 1:8-9 (NLT)..,

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/14/2014)...

The Bible is either absolute, or it's obsolete.
- Leonard Ravenhill

Joshua 1:8-9 (NLT) Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the lord your God is with you wherever you go.” 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Titus 2:11-14 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/13/2014)...

"The field was a cornfield, or what had recently been a cornfield. Asphalt strips of pavement wound through it now, and tract houses in which people sat and watched TV, ate corn flakes for breakfast, and slipped a frozen pizza into a microwave when they got seriously hungry. They left these houses for several hours every day to make what they call 'a living.' What they make, in fact, is money. It is the only thing they make...it is not easy to believe in God and live a life of passion in the middle of a cornfield overlaid with asphalt."
- Eugene H. Peterson (Under The Unpredictable Plant, p. 48)

Titus 2:11-14 (NLT) For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Philippians 2:14-18 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/12/2014)...

"Chaim (Chaim Potok), I know you want to be a writer, but listen to your mama. Be a brain surgeon. You'll keep a lot of people from dying; you'll make a lot of money. "
"Mama, I don't want to keep people from dying; I want to show them how to live.!"
- Eugene H. Peterson (Under The Unpredictable Plant, p. 47)

Philippians 2:14-18 (NLT) Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Ephesians 4:31-32 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/9/2014)...

“People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. Love them anyway. If you do good, people may accuse you of selfish motives. Do good anyway. If you are successful, you may win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway. People who really want help may attack you if you help them. Help them anyway. Give the world the best you have and you may get hurt. Give the world your best anyway.”
― Mother Teresa

Ephesians 4:31-32 (NLT) Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Deuteronomy 31:8 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/8/2014)...

The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, 'O God, forgive me,' or 'Help me.'
- Billy Graham

Deuteronomy 31:8 (NLT) Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

1 Corinthians 15:9-11 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/7/2014)...

"God buries the workman and carries on His work."
- John Wesley (on his monument in Westminster Abbey) 

1 Corinthians 15:9-11 (NLT) For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church. But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. So it makes no difference whether I preach or they preach, for we all preach the same message you have already believed. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Genesis 2:15 (NKJV)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/6/2014)...

"I take as a given that all of us would prefer to be our own gods than to worship God...from tending the Garden to running the Garden."
- Eugene H. Peterson (Under the Unpredictable Plant)

Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. (Genesis 2:15 NKJV)

Exodus 20:3-6 (NLT) “You must not have any other god but me. “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands. 

Deuteronomy 13:3-4 (NLT)...The lord your God is testing you to see if you truly love him with all your heart and soul. Serve only the lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Acts 1:8 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/5/2014)...

Acts 1:8 (NKJV) But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 

NOTE: The word "witness" (Greek: martus) came to be used as one who dies for their faith - only AFTER those who were called "witnesses" to the life of Jesus refused to change their story even under threat of death. Having held the cloaks when Stephen became the first witness/martyr, Paul clearly knew this could happen and would be the by product of being "witnesses". Nonetheless, he constantly urged us to be faithful witnesses. And Paul lived it to the very end.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/2/2014)...

God delights to increase the faith of His children. We ought, instead of wanting no trials before victory, no exercise for patience, to be willing to take them from God's hands as a means. Trials, obstacles, difficulties and sometimes defeats, are the very food of faith.
- George Mueller

Romans 5:3-5 (NLT) We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.