It is interesting living this out by going with God’s plan and asking Him to bless it, rather than making up my own and hoping He will bless that.

Psalm 16:7

7  I will bless the Lord, Who has given me counsel; yes, my heart instructs me in the night seasons.8  I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

It is human nature to make our own plans and then ask God to bless them. Instead, we should seek God’s will first. By constantly thinking about the Lord and his way of living, we will gain insights that will help us make right decisions and live the way God desires. Communicating with God allows him to counsel us and give us wisdom.

(ref: http://www.youversion.com/?reading_plan=life-application-study-bible-devotion)


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for the wisdom and direction You have given me when it comes to what’s next. I thank You that You have provided me with peace and comfort knowing that You are opening the right door for Your purpose. Thank You for relationships where I can learn that I wasn’t supposed to walk through door number one, but to learn there are 2 or more doors that I might be walking through. As I look at what is before me, I knock on the door knowing that if Your plan is for that door it will be opened and nothing will be able to close it. If it doesn’t open, I know that You will help me to walk through the right door. I continue to look to you for counsel and will be obedient to Your Spirit so that in the right time I will accomplish Your goals and purposes in my life. Thank You Lord for sticking so close to me and speaking to me about every situation so that I don’t become discouraged, but am encouraged and find peace. I lift You up today giving You all the praise and honor and glory, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Psalm 27

1  THE LORD is my Light and my Salvation–whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life–of whom shall I be afraid?2  When the wicked, even my enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.3  Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, [even then] in this will I be confident.4  One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple. 5  For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; in the secret place of His tent will He hide me; He will set me high upon a rock.6  And now shall my head be lifted up above my enemies round about me; in His tent I will offer sacrifices and shouting of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.7  Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; have mercy and be gracious to me and answer me!8  You have said, Seek My face [inquire for and require My presence as your vital need]. My heart says to You, Your face (Your presence), Lord, will I seek, inquire for, and require [of necessity and on the authority of Your Word].9  Hide not Your face from me; turn not Your servant away in anger, You Who have been my help! Cast me not off, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation!10  Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child]. 11  Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain and even path because of my enemies [those who lie in wait for me].12  Give me not up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen up against me; they breathe out cruelty and violence.13  [What, what would have become of me] had I not believed that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!14  Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.


Fear Not, Just Believe – Faith is the antidote for fear

Heavenly Father,
Allow those faith building moments where the enemy tries to create and cause fear in us to be times when You help to embolden us against the enemy of our soul, the devil, and just walk closer to You and put all of our hope and trust in You. The enemy will go around like a roaring lion seeking who he may devour, but You have taken away the sting and the bite, by allowing us to be in relationship with You and not being afraid, but putting our hope and trust, our faith in You. Fill us with faith. Help us remember the testimonies and victories You have already done in and through our lives so that as we look forward, remembering what is behind us that we may walk out in faith knowing and trusting in You without fear or trembling because You are with us and You will never leave us nor forsake us and You are our rock and fortress. Praise be to God in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Proverbs 27

1  DO NOT boast of [yourself and] tomorrow, for you know not what a day may bring forth. 2  Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.3  Stone is heavy and sand weighty, but a fool’s [unreasoning] wrath is heavier and more intolerable than both of them.4  Wrath is cruel and anger is an overwhelming flood, but who is able to stand before jealousy?5  Open rebuke is better than love that is hidden. 6  Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are lavish and deceitful.7  He who is satiated [with sensual pleasures] loathes and treads underfoot a honeycomb, but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.8  Like a bird that wanders from her nest, so is a man who strays from his home.9  Oil and perfume rejoice the heart; so does the sweetness of a friend’s counsel that comes from the heart.10  Your own friend and your father’s friend, forsake them not; neither go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is near [in spirit] than a brother who is far off [in heart].11  My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him who reproaches me [as having failed in my parental duty]. 12  A prudent man sees the evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished [with suffering].13  [The judge tells the creditor] Take the garment of one who is security for a stranger; and hold him in pledge when he is security for foreigners. 14  The flatterer who loudly praises and glorifies his neighbor, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted as cursing him [for he will be suspected of sinister purposes].15  A continual dripping on a day of violent showers and a contentious woman are alike; 16  Whoever attempts to restrain [a contentious woman] might as well try to stop the wind–his right hand encounters oil [and she slips through his fingers].17  Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend [to show rage or worthy purpose].18  Whoever tends the fig tree shall eat its fruit; so he who patiently and faithfully guards and heeds his master shall be honored. 19  As in water face answers to and reflects face, so the heart of man to man.20  Sheol (the place of the dead) and Abaddon (the place of destruction) are never satisfied; so [the lust of] the eyes of man is never satisfied. 21  As the refining pot for silver and the furnace for gold [bring forth all the impurities of the metal], so let a man be in his trial of praise [ridding himself of all that is base or insincere; for a man is judged by what he praises and of what he boasts].22  Even though like grain you should pound a fool in a mortar with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.23  Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and look well to your herds;24  For riches are not forever; does a crown endure to all generations?25  When the hay is gone, the tender grass shows itself, and herbs of the mountain are gathered in,26  The lambs will be for your clothing, and the goats [will furnish you] the price of a field.27  And there will be goats’ milk enough for your food, for the food of your household, and for the maintenance of your maids.


Ever wonder why people act out when they aren’t receiving love?

People tend to like having some attention and if they aren’t getting it in a form of love, you may find them acting out and getting into trouble. Consider kids. It is interesting that the Bible warns us of this problem. People will know they are loved if you are correcting them when they do wrong. So how will you let people know you love them, you care for them today? Will you hide it from them or share it with them openly? What will your choice be? (Proverbs 27:5)

Hold on – I know it is harder than giving up, so hold on tight.

Psalm 13:5

5  But I have trusted, leaned on, and been confident in Your mercy and loving-kindness; my heart shall rejoice and be in high spirits in Your salvation.6  I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.

David was faithful to God and trusted wholeheartedly in him, but he felt the pressure of his problems as much as anyone. Instead of giving up or giving in, however, David held on to his faith. In times of despair, it is much harder to hold on than to give up. But if you give up on God, you give in to a life of despair.
(ref: http://www.youversion.com/?reading_plan=life-application-study-bible-devotion)


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for all that is within it. I thank You that Your Word is never late as it speaks hope and encouragement in just the right way and at just the right time. As I ponder Your plans and will for me along with where You want me to be and do, I put my hope and trust in You for I may not know how, but I do know Who. I may not know when, but I do know Who. I believe that You have shown me where and who. I may not know why, but I do know Who. I may not know what, but I do know Who. Who is in control – it is You my Lord. Who is setting the timing – it is You my Lord. Who is orchestrating the events that I need to walk into – it is You my Lord. Lord, as I look to You, I look with great anticipation and expectations for what You have in store. I look to You in obedience, trusting in You that I may walk connected to the vine and bearing much fruit for You. Lord, may my character reflect who You are. May everything I say and do bring glory to You. Thank You Lord for the peace and hope that You put into my heart and mind. May I respond out of obedience to You and Your Word and humble myself rather than getting all puffed up and allowing pride to rob me of the plans and purposes You have for me. God, thank You. Thank You for helping me to be in alignment with You. Thank You for the pruning that You have had to do in order to position me where I am today, ready and willing to be and do what You want in, through, and out of my life. I turn this day over to You trusting and believing that Greater Things are yet to come and that through being obedient to You (where You go  I go, where You stay I stay, when You move I move, I will follow You) that I may bare more fruit for You. I praise You today in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Psalm 26

1  VINDICATE ME, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity; I have [expectantly] trusted in, leaned on, and relied on the Lord without wavering and I shall not slide.2  Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; test my heart and my mind.3  For Your loving-kindness is before my eyes, and I have walked in Your truth [faithfully].4  I do not sit with false persons, nor fellowship with pretenders;5  I hate the company of evildoers and will not sit with the wicked.6  I will wash my hands in innocence, and go about Your altar, O Lord,7  That I may make the voice of thanksgiving heard and may tell of all Your wondrous works.8  Lord, I love the habitation of Your house, and the place where Your glory dwells.9  Gather me not with sinners and sweep me not away [with them], nor my life with bloodthirsty men,10  In whose hands is wickedness, and their right hands are full of bribes.11  But as for me, I will walk in my integrity; redeem me and be merciful and gracious to me.12  My foot stands on an even place; in the congregations will I bless the Lord.

Proverbs 26

1  LIKE SNOW in summer and like rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a [self-confident] fool. 2  Like the sparrow in her wandering, like the swallow in her flying, so the causeless curse does not alight. 3  A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a [straight, slender] rod for the backs of [self-confident] fools.4  Answer not a [self-confident] fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him.5  Answer a [self-confident] fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes and conceit. 6  He who sends a message by the hand of a fool cuts off the feet [of satisfactory delivery] and drinks the damage. 7  Like the legs of a lame man which hang loose, so is a parable in the mouth of a fool.8  Like he who binds a stone in a sling, so is he who gives honor to a [self-confident] fool.9  Like a thorn that goes [without being felt] into the hand of a drunken man, so is a proverb in the mouth of a [self-confident] fool.10  [But] like an archer who wounds all, so is he who hires a fool or chance passers-by.11  As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly.12  Do you see a man wise in his own eyes and conceit? There is more hope for a [self-confident] fool than for him. 13  The sluggard says, There is a lion in the way! A lion is in the streets! 14  As the door turns on its hinges, so does the lazy man [move not from his place] upon his bed.15  The slothful and self-indulgent buries his hand in his bosom; it distresses and wearies him to bring it again to his mouth. 16  The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes and conceit than seven men who can render a reason and answer discreetly.17  He who, passing by, stops to meddle with strife that is none of his business is like one who takes a dog by the ears.18  Like a madman who casts firebrands, arrows, and death,19  So is the man who deceives his neighbor and then says, Was I not joking? 20  For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, contention ceases.21  As coals are to hot embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man to inflame strife. 22  The words of a whisperer or slanderer are like dainty morsels or words of sport [to some, but to others are like deadly wounds]; and they go down into the innermost parts of the body [or of the victim’s nature].23  Burning lips [uttering insincere words of love] and a wicked heart are like an earthen vessel covered with the scum thrown off from molten silver [making it appear to be solid silver].24  He who hates pretends with his lips, but stores up deceit within himself.25  When he speaks kindly, do not trust him, for seven abominations are in his heart.26  Though his hatred covers itself with guile, his wickedness shall be shown openly before the assembly.27  Whoever digs a pit [for another man’s feet] shall fall into it himself, and he who rolls a stone [up a height to do mischief], it will return upon him. 28  A lying tongue hates those it wounds and crushes, and a flattering mouth works ruin.


 

Day Seven: Vision


When I was 13 my best friend asked me to feed his parakeet while he was away. Having no bird-care experience, I was hesitant. “It’s easy,” he said. “Just empty out the old food, and fill it with the new bird seed.” I reluctantly agreed.
Every day for two weeks, I rode my bike the half-mile to my friend’s place. Every day I unlocked the door, and walked into the cold, dark house to the back door where the parakeet was kept. Every day I emptied the out the old food and filled it up again, and every day I rode back home. It was a lot of work, but, hey, what are friends for.
When my friend returned home, he called me on the phone. I could hear laughter in the background. It turns out that I had been diligently filling the parakeet’s tray with chicken feed. I took time out of every day to give that parakeet food that he couldn’t—or wouldn’t—eat. No wonder he always looked so annoyed.
This simple story illustrates an important truth—hard work and good intentions won’t feed a parakeet. You need a clear vision of what is to be done.
Jesus said in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Jesus modeled for us a life of love, forgiveness, and self-sacrifice. He summed up his whole life’s example in one command—“Love one another” (John 13:34). This command could not be simpler, but in the tedium of the day-to-day, our vision of living the Christian life can get off course—so much so that we can miss the point entirely.
Look at the fruit of your life. Do these words describe what you see: loving, compassionate, forgiving, joyful? The fact that you are setting aside time to read this devotional is proof that you are motivated to seek God. You are probably putting effort into a number of things that you hope will make you a better Christian. Have your efforts served to produce good things in your life? Or have you been feeding chicken feed to a parakeet?
The truth is, effort is worthless if it is producing the wrong result. Remember Jesus’ words, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” Take 5 minutes right now to let Jesus breathe a fresh vision in you. Let him draw out of you the fruit that he wants to see in your life. As we remain in him (the vine) and allow him to direct our vision, our goals, and our desires, we will bear much fruit, showing ourselves to be his disciples.

Dan Metteer Eastridge Church Eastridge Church Greater Things Vision

Ever wonder what God says about you? Ever wonder what He promises? Take time to read His Word which is pure and never changing.

Psalm 12:6

6  The words and promises of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in an earthen furnace, purified seven times over.

Sincerity and truth are extremely valuable because they are so rare. Many people are deceivers, liars, flatterers; they think they will get what they want by deception. As a king, David certainly faced his share of such people, who hoped to win his favor and gain advancement through flattery. When we feel as though sincerity and truth have nearly gone out of existence, we have one hope-the Word of God. God’s words are as flawless as refined silver. So listen carefully when he speaks.
(ref: http://www.youversion.com/?reading_plan=life-application-study-bible-devotion)


Did you know that God’s Word is a love letter to you and to me? Have you ever checked out http://fathersloveletter.com/?


Psalm 25

1  UNTO YOU, O Lord, do I bring my life.2  O my God, I trust, lean on, rely on, and am confident in You. Let me not be put to shame or [my hope in You] be disappointed; let not my enemies triumph over me.3  Yes, let none who trust and wait hopefully and look for You be put to shame or be disappointed; let them be ashamed who forsake the right or deal treacherously without cause.4  Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.5  Guide me in Your truth and faithfulness and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You [You only and altogether] do I wait [expectantly] all the day long.6  Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercy and loving-kindness; for they have been ever from of old.7  Remember not the sins (the lapses and frailties) of my youth or my transgressions; according to Your mercy and steadfast love remember me, for Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.8  Good and upright is the Lord; therefore will He instruct sinners in [His] way.9  He leads the humble in what is right, and the humble He teaches His way.10  All the paths of the Lord are mercy and steadfast love, even truth and faithfulness are they for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.11  For Your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my iniquity and my guilt, for [they are] great.12  Who is the man who reverently fears and worships the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way that he should choose.13  He himself shall dwell at ease, and his offspring shall inherit the land.14  The secret [of the sweet, satisfying companionship] of the Lord have they who fear (revere and worship) Him, and He will show them His covenant and reveal to them its [deep, inner] meaning. 15  My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will pluck my feet out of the net.16  [Lord] turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.17  The troubles of my heart are multiplied; bring me out of my distresses.18  Behold my affliction and my pain and forgive all my sins [of thinking and doing].19  Consider my enemies, for they abound; they hate me with cruel hatred.20  O keep me, Lord, and deliver me; let me not be ashamed or disappointed, for my trust and my refuge are in You.21  Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for and expect You.22  Redeem Israel, O God, out of all their troubles.

Proverbs 25

1  THESE ARE also the proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied: 2  It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the glory of kings is to search out a thing. 3  As the heavens for height and the earth for depth, so the hearts and minds of kings are unsearchable.4  Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth [the material for] a vessel for the silversmith [to work up]. 5  Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness (moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation).6  Be not forward (self-assertive and boastfully ambitious) in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men;7  For better it is that it should be said to you, Come up here, than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince, whose eyes have seen you. 8  Rush not forth soon to quarrel [before magistrates or elsewhere], lest you know not what to do in the end when your neighbor has put you to shame. 9  Argue your cause with your neighbor himself; discover not and disclose not another’s secret, 10  Lest he who hears you revile you and bring shame upon you and your ill repute have no end.11  A word fitly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver. 12  Like an earring or nose ring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise reprover to an ear that listens and obeys.13  Like the cold of snow [brought from the mountains] in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to those who send him; for he refreshes the life of his masters.14  Whoever falsely boasts of gifts [he does not give] is like clouds and wind without rain. 15  By long forbearance and calmness of spirit a judge or ruler is persuaded, and soft speech breaks down the most bonelike resistance. 16  Have you found [pleasure sweet like] honey? Eat only as much as is sufficient for you, lest, being filled with it, you vomit it.17  Let your foot seldom be in your neighbor’s house, lest he become tired of you and hate you.18  A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a heavy sledgehammer and a sword and a sharp arrow.19  Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth or a foot out of joint.20  He who sings songs to a heavy heart is like him who lays off a garment in cold weather and like vinegar upon soda. 21  If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; 22  For in doing so, you will heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord will reward you.23  The north wind brings forth rain; so does a backbiting tongue bring forth an angry countenance.24  It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop than to share a house with a disagreeing, quarrelsome, and scolding woman. 25  Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far [home] country.26  Like a muddied fountain and a polluted spring is a righteous man who yields, falls down, and compromises his integrity before the wicked.27  It is not good to eat much honey; so for men to seek glory, their own glory, causes suffering and is not glory.28  He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls.

God has his eye on you, because He loves you.

Psalm 11:4

4  The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven. His eyes behold; His eyelids test and prove the children of men.


When the foundations are shaking and you wish you could hide, remember that God is still in control. His power is not diminished by any turn of events. Nothing happens without his knowledge and permission. When you feel like running away-run to God. He will restore justice and goodness on the earth in his good time.
(ref:http://www.youversion.com/?reading_plan=life-application-study-bible-devotion)


We need to remember as we walk through each day that the Lord is on His throne and is still in charge. He sees everything that is going and wants to purify our heats that the areas that need to be removed come out. He sent Jesus that we would be reconciled back unto Him and be able to approach Him and have relationship with Him for eternity. There might be things that need to be removed, and pruning hurts, but He is more interested in our character than in our comfort and will do what is necessary to help us to grow and develop into the people of God He has planned since before we were born, for He knew us while we were in our mother’s womb. Don’t walk in fear, but walk in faith. Keeping your eyes on God and building your life on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ. Make sure to take time daily to be in His Word – the Bible, and then keep talking to Him through out the day. It isn’t just a Sunday thing or a morning thing but start an intimate relationship where You bring Him into every situation of every day.


Psalm 24

1  THE EARTH is the Lord’s, and the fullness of it, the world and they who dwell in it. 2  For He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the currents and the rivers.3  Who shall go up into the mountain of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His Holy Place?4  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted himself up to falsehood or to what is false, nor sworn deceitfully. 5  He shall receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.6  This is the generation [description] of those who seek Him [who inquire of and for Him and of necessity require Him], who seek Your face, [O God of] Jacob. Selah [pause, and think of that]! 7  Lift up your heads, O you gates; and be lifted up, you age-abiding doors, that the King of glory may come in.8  Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.9  Lift up your heads, O you gates; yes, lift them up, you age-abiding doors, that the King of glory may come in.10  Who is [He then] this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah [pause, and think of that]!

Proverbs 24

1  BE NOT envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them;2  For their minds plot oppression and devise violence, and their lips talk of causing trouble and vexation.3  Through skillful and godly Wisdom is a house (a life, a home, a family) built, and by understanding it is established [on a sound and good foundation],4  And by knowledge shall its chambers [of every area] be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.5  A wise man is strong and is better than a strong man , and a man of knowledge increases and strengthens his power; 6  For by wise counsel you can wage your war, and in an abundance of counselors there is victory and safety.7  Wisdom is too high for a fool; he opens not his mouth in the gate [where the city’s rulers sit in judgment].8  He who plans to do evil will be called a mischief-maker.9  The plans of the foolish and the thought of foolishness are sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to men.10  If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.11  Deliver those who are drawn away to death, and those who totter to the slaughter, hold them back [from their doom].12  If you [profess ignorance and] say, Behold, we did not know this, does not He Who weighs and ponders the heart perceive and consider it? And He Who guards your life, does not He know it? And shall not He render to [you and] every man according to his works?13  My son, eat honey, because it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.14  So shall you know skillful and godly Wisdom to be thus to your life; if you find it, then shall there be a future and a reward, and your hope and expectation shall not be cut off.15  Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the [uncompromisingly] righteous (the upright, in right standing with God); destroy not his resting-place;16  For a righteous man falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked are overthrown by calamity. 17  Rejoice not when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles or is overthrown,18  Lest the Lord see it and it be evil in His eyes and displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him [to expend it upon you, the worse offender].19  Fret not because of evildoers, neither be envious of the wicked,20  For there shall be no reward for the evil man; the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.21  My son, [reverently] fear the Lord and the king, and do not associate with those who are given to change [of allegiance, and are revolutionary],22  For their calamity shall rise suddenly, and who knows the punishment and ruin which both [the Lord and the king] will bring upon [the rebellious]?23  These also are sayings of the wise: To discriminate and show partiality, having respect of persons in judging, is not good.24  He who says to the wicked, You are righteous and innocent–peoples will curse him, nations will defy and abhor him.25  But to those [upright judges] who rebuke the wicked, it will go well with them and they will find delight, and a good blessing will be upon them.26  He kisses the lips [and wins the hearts of men] who give a right answer.27  [Put first things first.] Prepare your work outside and get it ready for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house and establish a home.28  Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause, and deceive not with your lips. 29  Say not, I will do to him as he has done to me; I will pay the man back for his deed. 30  I went by the field of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;31  And, behold, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles were covering its face, and its stone wall was broken down.32  Then I beheld and considered it well; I looked and received instruction.33  Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep–34  So shall your poverty come as a robber, and your want as an armed man.


When you are asking God for something, consider your motives, for He can search your heart and He knows the true motive behind your asking.

Psalm 9:13-14

13  Have mercy upon me and be gracious to me, O Lord; consider how I am afflicted by those who hate me, You Who lift me up from the gates of death,14  That I may show forth (recount and tell aloud) all Your praises! In the gates of the Daughter of Zion I will rejoice in Your salvation and Your saving help.

All of us want God to help us when we are in trouble, but often for different reasons. Some want God’s help so that they will be successful and other people will like them. Others want God’s help so that they will be comfortable and feel good about themselves. David, however, wanted help from God so that justice would be restored to Israel and so that he could show others God’s power. When you call to God for help, consider your motive. Is it to save yourself pain and embarrassment or to bring God glory and honor? (ref: http://www.youversion.com/?reading_plan=life-application-study-bible-devotion)


Are you asking for things that are in alignment with God’s Word? Are you asking for God’s kingdom to come and God’s will to be done? Are you asking so that others are looking to you or so that others can see God’s power? What is the motive, for God will search our heart and He knows exactly what we are asking and why we are asking it. His answer will be for our own good. His response will be in alignment with His plans and purposes for our lives. Let’s focus on trying to bring God glory and honor today in all we say and all we do. Let’s be vessels that bring the love and power of God into the lives of those we will encounter.

Jesus has given us a pattern of how to pray in the Lord’s prayer. He has also spoken to us in John 16 about praying in His name as He is interceding for you and me.

Let’s take a look at the Lord’s prayer and break it down into its pieces:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name

  • First things first, let’s praise God. Let’s tell Him how much He means to us. Let’s praise all that He has done. Let’s praise the beauty of this world that He has created. Let’s praise the incredible love He has for us. Let’s praise Him for what He has done and will do in our lives.

Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven

  • Next, let’s pray for His plans and His purpose to come to fruition in and around and through our lives.

Give us this day our daily bread

  • Next, let’s pray for our daily provision. God knows what we have need of, but since His Word says we have not because we ask not, let’s ask for what we have need of today. Let’s pray for what we need to make it through today – let’s pray for wisdom and discernment, let’s pray for nourishment and provision to meet the needs of today.

Forgive us our debts // Forgive us our trespasses

  • Now let’s lift up our transgressions, our mistakes, areas where we have said or done things that missed the mark, things we did that we shouldn’t have done, things we have said that we shouldn’t have said, things we didn’t do that we should have done, things we kept quiet about when we should have spoken up, and any other areas that you want to request forgiveness from God. And remember that once we have confessed and given it up to God, He is righteous and just to forgive us and to put it as far away from us as the East is from the West. So it is dealt with. It is taken care of. We may need to work through the healing necessary of this, but it has been washed away by the blood of Jesus making us as white as pure as snow.

As we forgive those who trespass against us // as we also have forgiven our debtors

  • Now in the same way that God forgives us, let us forgive those in our lives that need our forgiveness. Let’s forgive those who have done something that they shouldn’t have or didn’t do something that they should have. Let’s forgive those who have said something they shouldn’t have or didn’t say something they should have. And as God’s Word says, what we bind on earth it will be bound in heaven and what is loosed on earth will be loosed in heaven. This not only is for them, but also for us so that we don’t walk around carrying burdens and bitterness that God doesn’t want us to be carrying around. Never mind just a day but especially even years which will hamper or hurt us and them.

And lead us not into temptation

  • Ask God for help. Ask God for wisdom. Ask God for discernment. God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to handle. He will always give us a way out.

But deliver us from the evil one

  • Ask for protection. Ask for discernment on how to avoid the traps and snares of the devil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

  • Let’s praise God and give him all the praise and honor and glory as we close this prayer. And closing with Amen – so be it, affirming God’s will and purpose.

In John 16, we get another nugget from Jesus

22  So for the present you are also in sorrow (in distress and depressed); but I will see you again and [then] your hearts will rejoice, and no one can take from you your joy (gladness, delight).23  And when that time comes, you will ask nothing of Me [you will need to ask Me no questions]. I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that My Father will grant you whatever you ask in My Name [as presenting all that I AM]. 24  Up to this time you have not asked a [single] thing in My Name [as presenting all that I AM]; but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full and complete.25  I have told you these things in parables (veiled language, allegories, dark sayings); the hour is now coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures of speech, but I shall tell you about the Father in plain words and openly (without reserve).26  At that time you will ask (pray) in My Name; and I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf [for it will be unnecessary].27  For the Father Himself [tenderly] loves you because you have loved Me and have believed that I came out from the Father.28  I came out from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father.29  His disciples said, Ah, now You are speaking plainly to us and not in parables (veiled language and figures of speech)!30  Now we know that You are acquainted with everything and have no need to be asked questions. Because of this we believe that you [really] came from God.


Psalm 23

1  THE LORD is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.2  He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters. 3  He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him--not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake.4  Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.5  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over.6  Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place.

 

Proverbs 23

1  WHEN YOU sit down to eat with a ruler, consider who and what are before you;2  For you will put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to desire.3  Be not desirous of his dainties, for it is deceitful food [offered with questionable motives].4  Weary not yourself to be rich; cease from your own [human] wisdom. 5  Will you set your eyes upon wealth, when [suddenly] it is gone? For riches certainly make themselves wings, like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.6  Eat not the bread of him who has a hard, grudging, and envious eye, neither desire his dainty foods;7  For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. As one who reckons, he says to you, eat and drink, yet his heart is not with you [but is grudging the cost].8  The morsel which you have eaten you will vomit up, and your complimentary words will be wasted.9  Speak not in the ears of a [self-confident] fool, for he will despise the [godly] Wisdom of your words. 10  Remove not the ancient landmark and enter not into the fields of the fatherless, 11  For their Redeemer is mighty; He will plead their cause against you.12  Apply your mind to instruction and correction and your ears to words of knowledge.13  Withhold not discipline from the child; for if you strike and punish him with the [reedlike] rod, he will not die.14  You shall whip him with the rod and deliver his life from Sheol (Hades, the place of the dead).15  My son, if your heart is wise, my heart will be glad, even mine;16  Yes, my heart will rejoice when your lips speak right things.17  Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord all the day long.18  For surely there is a latter end [a future and a reward], and your hope and expectation shall not be cut off.19  Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your mind in the way [of the Lord].20  Do not associate with winebibbers; be not among them nor among gluttonous eaters of meat, 21  For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty, and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.22  Hearken to your father, who begot you, and despise not your mother when she is old.23  Buy the truth and sell it not; not only that, but also get discernment and judgment, instruction and understanding.24  The father of the [uncompromisingly] righteous (the upright, in right standing with God) shall greatly rejoice, and he who becomes the father of a wise child shall have joy in him.25  Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her who bore you rejoice.26  My son, give me your heart and let your eyes observe and delight in my ways,27  For a harlot is a deep ditch, and a loose woman is a narrow pit.28  She also lies in wait as a robber or as one waits for prey, and she increases the treacherous among men.29  Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness and dimness of eyes?30  Those who tarry long at the wine, those who go to seek and try mixed wine. 31  Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the wineglass, when it goes down smoothly.32  At the last it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder.33  [Under the influence of wine] your eyes will behold strange things [and loose women] and your mind will utter things turned the wrong way [untrue, incorrect, and petulant].34  Yes, you will be [as unsteady] as he who lies down in the midst of the sea, and [as open to disaster] as he who lies upon the top of a mast.35  You will say, They struck me, but I was not hurt! They beat me [as with a hammer], but I did not feel it! When shall I awake? I will crave and seek more wine again [and escape reality].

The praise of children is greater than anything the devil can bring.

Psalm 8:2

2  Out of the mouths of babes and unweaned infants You have established strength because of Your foes, that You might silence the enemy and the avenger.

Children are able to trust and praise God without doubts or reservations. As we get older, many of us find this more and more difficult to do. Ask God to give you childlike faith, removing any barriers to having a closer walk with him. Get in touch with this childlike quality in yourself so that you can be more expressive.
(ref: http://www.youversion.com/?reading_plan=life-application-study-bible-devotion)

The Message puts it this way:

2 Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you; toddlers shout the songs that drown out enemy talk, and silence atheist babble.

The New Living Translation puts it this way:

2 You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.


Ever wonder, Where did that phrase come from?

There are so many times that we hear people use a phrase and wonder where that came from. Today’s reading is another such example when a child makes a statement, we here people say, “From the mouth of babes”, meaning that they are so open and transparent that they will speak. As in many cases though when you look back to find the origin of many such phrases you find out that it is from the Word of God. Be it the “writing on the wall” or “out of the mouth of babes”, being connected to the Word of God and meditating on it daily helps you to realize and even share where the meaning really comes from. Next time someone says about a statement made by a child, “out of the mouth of babes”, you can now tell them it is from a Psalm in the bible proclaiming how the children praise and trust in God so much that they are able to just do it. No fear and no trembling.

Since I brought up the “writing on the wall” statement, I thought I should provide you the location of where to put that too as it tracks back Check out Daniel 5 for the Story where Daniel is called to explain the meaning of the writing on the wall for the King.


Psalm 22

1  MY GOD, my God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning? 2  O my God, I cry in the daytime, but You answer not; and by night I am not silent or find no rest.3  But You are holy, O You Who dwell in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered].4  Our fathers trusted in You; they trusted (leaned on, relied on You, and were confident) and You delivered them.5  They cried to You and were delivered; they trusted in, leaned on, and confidently relied on You, and were not ashamed or confounded or disappointed.6  But I am a worm, and no man; I am the scorn of men, and despised by the people. 7  All who see me laugh at me and mock me; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, 8  He trusted and rolled himself on the Lord, that He would deliver him. Let Him deliver him, seeing that He delights in him! 9  Yet You are He Who took me out of the womb; You made me hope and trust when I was on my mother’s breasts.10  I was cast upon You from my very birth; from my mother’s womb You have been my God.11  Be not far from me, for trouble is near and there is none to help.12  Many [foes like] bulls have surrounded me; strong bulls of Bashan have hedged me in. 13  Against me they opened their mouths wide, like a ravening and roaring lion.14  I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax; it is softened [with anguish] and melted down within me.15  My strength is dried up like a fragment of clay pottery; [with thirst] my tongue cleaves to my jaws; and You have brought me into the dust of death. 16  For [like a pack of] dogs they have encompassed me; a company of evildoers has encircled me, they pierced my hands and my feet. 17  I can count all my bones; [the evildoers] gaze at me. 18  They part my clothing among them and cast lots for my raiment (a long, shirtlike garment, a seamless undertunic). )19  But be not far from me, O Lord; O my Help, hasten to aid me!20  Deliver my life from the sword, my dear life [my only one] from the power of the dog [the agent of execution].21  Save me from the lion’s mouth; for You have answered me [kindly] from the horns of the wild oxen.22  I will declare Your name to my brethren; in the midst of the congregation will I praise You. 23  You who fear (revere and worship) the Lord, praise Him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify Him. Fear (revere and worship) Him, all you offspring of Israel.24  For He has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither has He hidden His face from him, but when he cried to Him, He heard.25  My praise shall be of You in the great congregation. I will pay to Him my vows [made in the time of trouble] before them who fear (revere and worship) Him.26  The poor and afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; they shall praise the Lord–they who [diligently] seek for, inquire of and for Him, and require Him [as their greatest need]. May your hearts be quickened now and forever!27  All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall bow down and worship before You,28  For the kingship and the kingdom are the Lord’s, and He is the ruler over the nations.29  All the mighty ones upon earth shall eat [in thanksgiving] and worship; all they that go down to the dust shall bow before Him, even he who cannot keep himself alive.30  Posterity shall serve Him; they shall tell of the Lord to the next generation.31  They shall come and shall declare His righteousness to a people yet to be born–that He has done it [that it is finished]!

Proverbs 22

1  A GOOD name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.2  The rich and poor meet together; the Lord is the Maker of them all. 3  A prudent man sees the evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished [with suffering].4  The reward of humility and the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.5  Thorns and snares are in the way of the obstinate and willful; he who guards himself will be far from them.6  Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it. 7  The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.8  He who sows iniquity will reap calamity and futility, and the rod of his wrath [with which he smites others] will fail.9  He who has a bountiful eye shall be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor. 10  Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out; yes, strife and abuse will cease.11  He who loves purity and the pure in heart and who is gracious in speech–because of the grace of his lips will he have the king for his friend.12  The eyes of the Lord keep guard over knowledge and him who has it, but He overthrows the words of the treacherous.13  The sluggard says, There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!14  The mouth of a loose woman is a deep pit [for ensnaring wild animals]; he with whom the Lord is indignant and who is abhorrent to Him will fall into it.15  Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.16  He who oppresses the poor to get gain for himself and he who gives to the rich–both will surely come to want.17  Listen (consent and submit) to the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge;18  For it will be pleasant if you keep them in your mind [believing them]; your lips will be accustomed to [confessing] them.19  So that your trust (belief, reliance, support, and confidence) may be in the Lord, I have made known these things to you today, even to you.20  Have I not written to you [long ago] excellent things in counsels and knowledge,21  To make you know the certainty of the words of truth, that you may give a true answer to those who sent you? 22  Rob not the poor [being tempted by their helplessness], neither oppress the afflicted at the gate [where the city court is held], 23  For the Lord will plead their cause and deprive of life those who deprive [the poor or afflicted]. 24  Make no friendships with a man given to anger, and with a wrathful man do not associate,25  Lest you learn his ways and get yourself into a snare.26  Be not one of those who strike hands and pledge themselves, or of those who become security for another’s debts.27  If you have nothing with which to pay, why should he take your bed from under you?28  Remove not the ancient landmark which your fathers have set up.29  Do you see a man diligent and skillful in his business? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.

Do you remember to Thank God for who He is and for what He is doing in and through your life?

Psalm 7:17

17  I will give to the Lord the thanks due to His rightness and justice, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.

During a time of great evil and injustice, David was grateful that God is righteous. When we wonder if anyone is honest or fair, we can be assured that God will continue to bring justice and fairness when we involve him in our activities. If you ever feel that you are being treated unfairly, ask the one who is always fair and just to be with you. Then thank him for his presence. (ref: http://www.youversion.com/?reading_plan=life-application-study-bible-devotion)


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for all that is in it. I thank You Lord for being my rock – my solid foundation who is fair and just. I thank You Lord for being there every moment of every day, never leaving me nor forsaking me, but leading me and encouraging me to step out and step forward in faith after You. I thank You Lord that now what the circumstance that I need to go through, You are great and calling me to keep my focus on You and be obedient to Your direction. Thank You for the pep talks in the car. Thank You for the wisdom that You provide for my questions through the Holy Spirit and His still quiet voice as well as through the radio song selections. God be glorified today I pray. I lift up this cold I am fighting and ask that You will bring healing through the stripes of Jesus we are healed, and I grab onto that truth today. And Lord, I will give You all the praise and the honor and the glory, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Psalm 21

1  THE KING [David] shall joy in Your strength, O Lord; and in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!2  You have given him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah [pause, and think of that]!3  For You send blessings of good things to meet him; You set a crown of pure gold on his head.4  He asked life of You, and You gave it to him–long life forever and evermore.5  His glory is great because of Your aid; splendor and majesty You bestow upon him.6  For You make him to be blessed and a blessing forever; You make him exceedingly glad with the joy of Your presence. 7  For the king trusts, relies on, and is confident in the Lord, and through the mercy and steadfast love of the Most High he will never be moved.8  Your hand shall find all Your enemies; Your right hand shall find all those who hate You.9  You will make them as if in a blazing oven in the time of Your anger; the Lord will swallow them up in His wrath, and the fire will utterly consume them.10  Their offspring You will destroy from the earth, and their sons from among the children of men.11  For they planned evil against You; they conceived a mischievous plot which they are not able to perform.12  For You will make them turn their backs; You will aim Your bow [of divine justice] at their faces.13  Be exalted, Lord, in Your strength; we will sing and praise Your power.

Proverbs 21

1  THE KING’S heart is in the hand of the Lord, as are the watercourses; He turns it whichever way He wills.2  Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs and tries the hearts. 3  To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. 4  Haughtiness of eyes and a proud heart, even the tillage of the wicked or the lamp [of joy] to them [whatever it may be], are sin [in the eyes of God].5  The thoughts of the [steadily] diligent tend only to plenteousness, but everyone who is impatient and hasty hastens only to want.6  Securing treasures by a lying tongue is a vapor driven to and fro; those who seek them seek death.7  The violence of the wicked shall sweep them away, because they refuse to do justice.8  The way of the guilty is exceedingly crooked, but as for the pure, his work is right and his conduct is straight.9  It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop [on the flat oriental roof, exposed to all kinds of weather] than in a house shared with a nagging, quarrelsome, and faultfinding woman.10  The soul or life of the wicked craves and seeks evil; his neighbor finds no favor in his eyes. 11  When the scoffer is punished, the fool gets a lesson in being wise; but men of [godly] Wisdom and good sense learn by being instructed.12  The [uncompromisingly] righteous man considers well the house of the wicked–how the wicked are cast down to ruin.13  Whoever stops his ears at the cry of the poor will cry out himself and not be heard. 14  A gift in secret pacifies and turns away anger, and a bribe in the lap, strong wrath.15  When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous (the upright, in right standing with God), but to the evildoers it is dismay, calamity, and ruin.16  A man who wanders out of the way of understanding shall abide in the congregation of the spirits (of the dead).17  He who loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.18  The wicked become a ransom for the [uncompromisingly] righteous, and the treacherous for the upright [because the wicked themselves fall into the traps and pits they have dug for the good].19  It is better to dwell in a desert land than with a contentious woman and with vexation.20  There are precious treasures and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a self-confident and foolish man swallows it up and wastes it.21  He who earnestly seeks after and craves righteousness, mercy, and loving-kindness will find life in addition to righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God) and honor. 22  A wise man scales the city walls of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.23  He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from troubles. 24  The proud and haughty man–Scoffer is his name–deals and acts with overbearing pride.25  The desire of the slothful kills him, for his hands refuse to labor.26  He covets greedily all the day long, but the [uncompromisingly] righteous gives and does not withhold. 27  The sacrifice of the wicked is exceedingly disgusting and abhorrent [to the Lord]–how much more when he brings it with evil intention?28  A false witness will perish, but the word of a man who hears attentively will endure and go unchallenged.29  A wicked man puts on the bold, unfeeling face [of guilt], but as for the upright, he considers, directs, and establishes his way [with the confidence of integrity].30  There is no [human] wisdom or understanding or counsel [that can prevail] against the Lord.31  The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance and victory are of the Lord.