Psalm 12:6-7a The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times. You, O Lord will keep them;...Just a short statement but important to remember. God's words are pure words. Words that speak truth and have no hidden meanings. They are straight forward and tell how men have acted over the years. Some are good actions and some are very bad even by people who claimed to be righteous but were not. God's word has been tested over the years and God has kept them from being destroyed or distorted by the wickedness of men.History gives the account of many men and rulers that have tried to destroy the bible but none have succeeded because they were fighting God. Russia under communism tried to keep the bible out of their country but they did not succeed. China has tried to do the same but they have failed as well. There is a list of countries and rulers who have tried to do the same but all have failed.The statement "You O Lord will keep them;" is very clear who the protector of the scriptures is. I am moved by this to cherish and treasure the scriptures even more. I want them to be the guiding force of my life.Thank You Lord for Your giving us the scriptures and for protecting them and the Holy Spirit to teach us them. Not only is the Holy Spirit our teacher but He brings them to our mind if we have studied them when we need them.
Lord, I thank You that You care for all people and long to see everyone come to know You in all Your splendor. You want to give us good things and You desire to see us accomplish great things for Your kingdom. You want us to be available to You so You might do this work that in many ways is impossible for us. Lord, You know how weak and frail we are even when we think we are strong.I realize that quietness and being still before You is an act of worship of You. Help me not to always be seeking to do something but to be patient and still before You. Help me learn to rest and to reflect on Your greatness and to trust You to use this time in a way that would honor and glorify You.Lord, guide Lou and me as we get ready for this trip to be at Steve's retirement ceremony and dinner. I want to be ready to share what is appropriate and what will honor what You have done in Steve and Melisssa's lives these past 20 years. I pray it would also be an encouragement to believe You for greater things in the years ahead as they raise their girls to walk with You and to honor You.I pray You would direct in our time with the team on Sat so we each would profit and see the work You are doing in all our lives. I pray each person would see You more clearly and see the work You have for us as individuals and as a team. We are here for You to do Your pleasure through us. A work that would benefit generations to come in Estonia or wherever they may live. Lord, meet us in prayer for encouragement and vision in what is ahead.This is Your Work and we are your servants. I pray for You to be honored and glorified in all we do or say.
Psalm 11:1-3 In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, "flee as a bird to your mountain; for, behold the wicked bend the bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, to shoot in darkness at the upright in heart. If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?"If the Lord is my refuge then there is no better place to be. My mountain is not as secure as being under the protection of God. The wicked may want to take my life but God will not allow that until the time He chooses. This confidence in God is a foundation to my faith and my life. If I allow the foundations of my life to be destroyed what good can I do? Not very much! I must protect the foundations of my faith at all cost.Lord, I do want You to be my refuge and my strength. I do want to protect the foundations of my faith and not allow the enemy to destroy my faith with his lies. Lord, help me to think wisely and have the wisdom that comes from You.
O Eternal God I ask that I might grasp a little more today the awesome meaning of Your name. Thank You for the privilege to come into Your presence because of Your Son Jesus the Christ of God. Guide me as I worship You and seek to honor You with my whole life.Help me to know Your name in such a way that I would completely trust You for everything I seek to do. There is nothing I might need that You cannot provide. You are the Mighty God that is above all the gods of this world. Lord, would You deliever Melanie from the awful mess she is in and give her a new hunger for You and Your Word. Give her some encouragement today in the midst of all that has gone wrong for her. Open her eyes and heart to the great truths You want to teach her and prepare her for the great work You have for her. Give her courage but also give her humulity. O God give me wisdom in how to pray for her and how You want me to help her.
Psalm 9:10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.If I truly know God's name and know what is behind that name I will have complete confidence in Him. In Isaiah 9:6b the scriptures say "And His name will be called Wonderful,Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Not only can God be fully trusted but He has never forsaken any one who truly seeksHim. I guess I must ask myself do I truly know God's name and understand who He truly is. Maybe I should spend some time thinking on what does His name mean and how would I act differently if I truly believe He is what His name says.Lord, deliever me from shallow thinking. Help me to think deeply and seriously about who You are and how Your names define who You are. There is noone more Wonderful than God, there is no one who can give the perfect Counsel but God, He is the Mighty God because there are no other gods that come close to the one and only true God. He is the Eternal Father who has no beginning and no end. He is also the Prince of Peace, the one who brings peace into our lives and into our world. Since Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and the Father are all one then Jesus has all the qualities. Lord help me to grasp this truth more today.
Jesus said in the scripture that we should pray in this way. He did not tell us to pray this prayer. But because we do not study the scriptures that much we tend to repeat what He said and not learn beyond that. We find it difficult to apply scripture to where we live but instead we know what the bible says and we think that is enough.In brief the prayer model begins with honor and reverence for God and for what He is doing. Second, it deals with us and our needs and last it goes back to God and shows honor to Him again.So when I approach God I should begin with respect and honor to the One who is above all things. I must not forget that I am approaching a Holy God who has a Kingdom and a desire for the whole world. I want to do His will more than mine and want to honor His plan for my life more than mine.I must acknowledge that God is the one who provides for me and He is the one who forgives me when I sin. I need His help and protection in all I do. I am in a struggle with evil and God is my only protection.Also notice that the prayer has a plural note to it so we know that God expects us to work in community and not alone. We need one another to encourage each other and to battle against evil. Still we must also have God because He is the only one who is strong enough to truly defeat evil.I close by recognizing again that God is the Almighty and that His Kingdom is eternal and His power is the greatest and He is to receive all glory. If I were to meditate on this more I would have this prayer model or framework clear in my mind and heart and I would be more effective in prayer. Lord help me to grasp this firmly in my heart and life.
Pray, then, in this way:
Our Father who is in heaven, Holy be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread,and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen
Lord, I thank You for the thoughts You gave me this morning concerning the lack of energy I am struggling with. Help Lou and I to work on the disciplines that we discussed. Help me to continue to be attentive to what the Holy Spirit wants me to do and how to apply His instructions to my life.Lord continue to help Melanie to be attentive to You as well in her situation. Guide in our conversation with her today. Lord encourage her as only You can do today. Provide for her needs and show her what is on Your heart for her and her ministry. Give Stella safety in her travels from Germany and use her closing moments with Michaela and her friends and family to minister to them. Bring Stella back encouraged and eager to move ahead in the ministry You have for her. I give You thanks and praise for watching over her as she has been away these days.Continue to minister to Piret and Romain as they wind up their time together in France. I pray it would be an honoring time to You as well as each other. Give them both a great opportunity to minister to Romain's family and friends. I pray both Romain and Piret will be greatly encouraged because of the time You have provided for them both.I also pray that Robert would be greatly encouraged by these closing days that he has in Canada with his family and friends. I pray he would return to Estonia refreshed and eager to move forward in his life and ministry. I pray he would be more eager to draw closer to the Lord in his everyday life. I pray he would want to focus more on ministry than on his businesses. Prosper him Lord, so he would be able to do just this.Lord, guide us as we come together this week after being apart for these few weeks. Help us as we reconnect and pray we would have a great time when we gather together on Sat. the 13th. Lord refresh us in our desire to make an impact in Estonia with the message of discipleship.
Psalm 5:1-3 Give ear to my word, O Lord, consider my groaning. Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You do I pray. In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.I love the simplicity of this prayer and the heart cry that is expressed. I think that the psalmist knows God will hear but he is reminding himself that he must believe that God will hear him. This is a child like faith that believes that God will not forsake him but will hear and will answer. He acknowledges that God is his God and his King. He promises to pray to Him in the morning and he will eagerly watch for the answers. Do I eagerly look for the answers from my requests that I express to God? Not as much as I ought!Lord, I pray that my words would be few and that I would express clearly what is on my heart. I pray I would have the child like faith to believe that You will answer me and that I would eagerly look for Your answers to my requests. I want to express clearly my appreciation to You for the answers You give me regardless of how You answer. You may grant my request or You may say wait or possibly "No". I know You will give to me what is best for me and for the work of Your kingdom.
Prayer is a wonderful privilege that God has made available to everyone. The sinner that needs forgiveness and a place to begin a new life. The new believer that needs to know God's love even in day to day issues and practical matters. Then there is the growing Christian who has learned a little more about Christian responsibilities and has learned that God wants us to obey His word. The mature believer who knows the lies of satan and know he uses scripture but in a distorted way. Then last of all the Christian leader that must be a teacher and be an example to all those listed above who are seeking to honor the Lord by their lives and ministry.Prayer is available to all of the above but there are different requirements based on what they know or have learned. John 16:24 and Matt 21:22 is true for everyone and must be done regardless of my maturity. I must ask God for my requests and I must ask in faith. Then there are the instructions to ask in Jesus name. As I learn more of God through His Word I see that John 15:7 teaches that I must abide in Him and His Word must in me. Most young believers do not know or understand this but they are heard and answered by God. Then there is Ps 66:18 that tells us God will not hear us if we have sin in our lives and refuse to let it go or give it to God. My thoughts here are not thorough or exhaustive but it does remind me that although prayer is simple and available to all it does have limitations depending on our maturity and knowledge of God's Word. It is very powerful to the mature Christian who know how to prayer scripture and to pray according to God's will. I John 5:14-15 or John 15:16.The challenge I have received in meditation on these verses on prayer is that I must handle prayer wisely just as I must handle the Word of God wisely. There is much to do in prayer but also much to learn. So as Jesus disciples said to Jesus so we should say to Him, Lord, teach us to pray.
Psalm 62:8 Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.Matthew 21:22 And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.I John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Lord, I only want to express to You today my gratitude for what You have done for me. I know You know my needs before I even ask and You give often when I fail to ask. Most of all I want to Thank You for who You are the Almighty One who has created all things and sustains all things and provided forgiveness of all my sins in Your Son Jesus the Christ.Thank You for drawing me to Yourself and revealing Jesus to me when I was a young man 21 years old. That You brought Sid into my life who not only shared the gospel with me but nurtured me and taught me Your Word and how to walk with You. I thank You for Sid's godly character that was such an example to me of what a believer should be and do.Thank You for all those You have used in my life to build up my faith and to guide me in Your ways. Thank You for wise godly counsellors that You sent to me such as Jim Downing, Jesse Miller and many others who gave me counsel based on Your Word.Lord, help me to be forever grateful for all the small and big events in my life that I know could only come from You. Thank You for Your committed ones who have been my strength and encouragement in all the years You have allowed me to serve You in various parts of Your world.
Psalm 4:1-3 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; be gracious to me and hear my prayer. O sons of men how long will my honor become a reproach? How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception? But know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself; the Lord hears when I call to Him.I know that God is almighty and that He hears me when I pray. I know the psalmist knows that as well but he keeps asking God to hear him. I feel the request is more for the psalmist benefit than it is a request to God. I feel the same way. I need to keep reminding myself and make sure I am convinced that God will hear me and that He will answer me. The person who is not godly does the most foolish things and they do develop a love for some of the most worthless things. We can be influenced by their lives more than we imagine if we are not careful. They even deceive themselves and become blind to what is really of true value.God is so gracious to me when I seek Him and desire to honor Him. He will protect me and help me with the issues of life because He loves me so much. Oh, to serve my Lord who has given me His righteousness.The Lord does hear and answers and gives to me what is best for me. God is good and gives only good things and I must not allow the world, my ungodly friends, satan or anyone or anything to influence me to believe anything else. Lord thank You for Your patience with me and Your wonderful mercy and grace.You are worthy of all praise, honor and glory.
The verses that I have been meditating on today seem to have two emphasis. The verses in Jeremiah and in Ephesians are talking of the great power of God and that it is more than we can even imagine. The other two verses in Colossians and Philippians's have a great emphasis on being thankful as I pray.It is so easy to be asking God for things that we get in the rut and we begin to think that is what prayer is all about. We forget that to be thankful for what God gives us is probably more important than anything else. In I Thess 5:18 God says "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." I think that is pretty clear on the importance of being grateful for what God gives us. Many times when I have gone to prayer I have disciplined myself not to ask God for anything but to just be thankful to God over and over again for all He has done for me. Have you ever tried this? Try it. I think you will find it to be a great blessing and I think the Lord will appreciate your words of gratefulness.Have a wonderful day and enjoy the Lord in everything.
There are a lot of verses I have memorized on prayer so I will only list a few and do some meditating on them today.Jeremiah 33:3 Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. AmenColossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgivingPhilippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I have just finished my bible study this week on prayer so I think I am more prepared now than this morning when I wrote out a prayer and then the Internet ate it up. That prayer went directly to the Lord in cyber space.Lord, You are the Almighty and the One that rules over all things. There are no accidents with You and there is a reason in everything. I am so grateful that You are my God and that I am learning to trust You in everything. I have been praying as a Christian for nearly 52 years but sometime I feel like I am still a beginner.Lord, I want to grow more in prayer this year and see more results in prayer. I want to be more attentive to any sin that would hinder You from hearing or answering my prayer. I want to be more conscious of what I say in prayer and how I approach You in prayer. It truly is amazing that You have given us such a privilege to come directly to You and to pour out our hearts to You.I need more strength to do what I should than I have had recently. Would You give the the physical, mental and emotional strength to accomplish the work You have for me to do. Give me wisdom in what I should do to find out what is happening in my body that is taking my strength away from me.Guide me in what my application should be from the bible study I have done on prayer. I know there is much that I need to do but I want to be realistic in what I can do with the energy I now have. I think it is more a matter of using my energy more wisely and being careful not to waste my energy on things that are not as important as others.Lord, I need ideas on the message I need to give at Steve's retirement ceremony. I desire that it would minister to Steve and his guests and that You would be lifted up. I again need Your wisdom in knowing what to say and how to say it. I am grateful for the opportunity and I trust You to give the right content and the way You want me to present it a few weeks from now.Thank You Lord for the day spent in meditation on the verses about prayer that You gave me this morning. Continue to burn Your truths about prayer into my heart and life.
Psalm 3:3-4 But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head. I was crying to the Lord with my voice, and He answered me from His holy mountain.God is my shield from all that would harm me, the one who give me value and shows me that I am needed, and also the One who lifts me up when I feel discouraged or feel I am not accomplishing much.When I cry out to the Lord with my voice or when I am speaking with God knowing that He alone can help me then I can be confident that He will answer me.God wants to hear from me and He has promised to answer. The bible is full of this truth and I must act upon this truth. When I do not then I am missing out on such an amazing truth about God.Lord, help me to be more serious about prayer this year. I know I should pray and I want to pray but I know that I do not pray near as much as I should. I spend so little time in protracted times in prayer. So I am reminded again this morning that God is waiting to hear my voice and He will answer me when I speak with Him.
John 3:16-21 has probably been used more than any other verses to communicate God's love to the lost and dying world. It is so clear and simple and yet such an amazing truth. The creator of the whole earth loves me and provided salvation for me though His Son Jesus Christ. And there are no tasks that I must accomplish. All I must do is believe that in Jesus Christ is eternal life and the forgiveness of all my sin. Jesus did not come to judge me but to rescue me. If I choose not to believe then judgement is already hanging over my head. To do nothing is to reject God's loving provision and I will be judged the moment I die. God's provision is not to be taken lightly it will determining my destiny in eternity. The rest of the passage explains further why we may not come to Him and what a loss that will be.
I think it is appropriate to do some meditation on verses I have memorized connected with sharing Christ with others. I will list a few and make some comments later in my meditations.John 3:16-18 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."John 1:12-13 "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man but of God."
Lord, thank You for our little team of Piret, Stella, Robert, Lou and me. Would You help us to continue to grow in knowledge of Your Word and the grace and ability to live it out in our lives? Help us to grow in the spiritual disciplines that we need, so we can reproduce this in the lives of others You bring to us.Lord, protect us from the distractions that satan brings into our lives and help us to be focused on what You have called us to do. Matt 28:18-20 Jesus tells us to go and make disciples. Keep it clear to us what biblical disciples look like in character and focus. Lord, I pray for Piret and Romain as they are in France that You would be their strength and shield as they live for You in the midst of Romain's family. Use them as lights to bring honor and glory to You. Do the same for Stella as she is with Michaela and her family over the Christmas holiday's. Use Stella to be a light in Germany among those she is spending this Christmas season. Then there is Robert in Canada with his family and friends. Lord, use us all to help others to know the value of a deeper walk with God and to share with others how this may be done.Lord, give us people in Estonia who will respond to the message of biblical discipleship. Help us to model it in our lives and give us folks that are hungry for the knowledge of the Word and the desire to help others in their personal walk with God. Lord, give us strength to make whatever sacrifices we need to make to be used by You in the lives of others. Make this a burning desire for each of us as we move forward in 2007.
Psalms 2:7-9 "I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord; He said to Me, "You are My Son, today I have begotten You." "Ask of Me and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession." "You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware." This is God speaking to His Son, Jesus, but Jesus had not come in the flesh at this time. It does reveal what God's plan was long before Jesus was born as a human. God was going to give the nations to Jesus and His Kingdom which we are a part. There is a day coming when Jesus will deal harshly with the nations that are fighting against God.The Lord has burdened Lou and I for the nation of Estonia and we have prayed that Estonia would become a nation that would fear God. We have asked in Jesus name that many from Estonia would be followers of Jesus Christ and would reach out to their own people as well as other peoples with the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.Lord we have only scratched the surface of what needs to be done. Will You do more in Estonia this year to build a team of laborers working to make biblical disciples throughout this country. I am so grateful for the team You have begun. Help us to grow and to begin to multiply for Your honor and glory. We ask in Jesus name as You have urged us to do and we believe that You will do as You have said.
Although I have known Psalms 1 for years it has been awhile since I have done much meditating on it. I will do this today and write out a few thoughts on it this evening before I go to bed.It has been a good day and I have been encouraged with my meditations on Psalm 1. A man is truly blessed or happy when he does not hang around the wrong crowd who are seeking to hurt or taking advantage of others rather than to help them or do good for them. It is God who created us who knows what we should do with our lives to be able to enjoy it. What man in general thinks is good or fun is often using people for their benefit and for their pleasure and really thinks of no one more than self. That is called wicked thinking by God. The wicked have no permanent place to be secure because they are displeasing to God and eventually will be caught up in their own evil practices. The Lord says that the way of the wicked will perish. So we have a choice to follow God and righteous living or follow the way of the evil which will end up with nothing. Psalm 1 is an outline for the whole book of Psalms. The choice is always before us and we can choose which one we want to follow. I think the way of God is the best. It really is the Only way worth considering!
Psalms 1:1-6 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous , but the way of the wicked will perish.
Lord, You are the Almighty and the God of the ages and You have given me another year to live and to be Your servant. I am grateful and want to be so conscious of the value of each day and each moment of every day. Help me to make my words few and to express my heart to You in a way that would be honoring to You and I would get to know my own heart. You already know my heart and know all about me but I want my heart to be in tune with Yours.Help me Lord to delight in Your Word and to improve on meditating on it day and night. Help me today to begin a new direction in making the time you give me to be more productive and more honoring to You. It looks like it could take a lot of time but if it truly helps me then I want to give the time to it. Most of all I want my life to be more honoring to You above all.Guide Lou and me as we talk and pray about this year and what we should be focusing on in our life and ministry. Help us to make realistic plans and not glorious ones that we cannot keep. Lord be the focus of our plans guide us to Your plans for us, our family and our close spiritual family.Again I am grateful for all You have done for my family and Lou and me. Thank you for these years in Estonia and the wonderful people You have brought into our lives. We only have this year and a few months before we leave and we need Your strength to do what You have sent us here to do for them. You know how inadequate I feel but my confidence is not in myself but in You. O God bring Your great impossible wonderful things into the lives of those You have brought into our lives.
Psalm 1:2But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.It is one thing to delight in the bible and to read it and study it but to go further I must meditate in it during the day and at night when I have the opportunity. I think on a lot of different things during the day and at night. I realize that many of my thoughts are not that profitable and some evolve into sin. If I were to be more conscious of using unproductive time to meditate on God's Word the benefits would be outstanding. Just how do I go about to meditate on the scriptures day and night? For a starter I must spend some time and come up with a workable plan that is easy to follow. I must have a way to determine if I am truly doing this and maybe I should record the results of my doing this. I could use my daily devotions or my daily reading of the bible as the source of my meditations. The most ideal would be to use the scriptures I have memorized as this source of meditation.I have been thinking of writing out some of my prayer time on this blog as a stimulus to making my prayer more specific and more meaningful to me. I could also do the same for my recording of some of my meditations. So I would have devotions, prayer, meditations and scripture review all on this blog.Lord, these are all idea to help me to meditate more on Your Word day and night. I do not want to be doing more just to be doing it but if it will help me to be more faithful in those areas that I feel are so very important than it will be a worthy discipline. Today is a good day to begin.