Month of Prayer, Day 24

Your testimonies are wonderful, Lord; therefore my soul keeps them.  The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.  I opened my mouth and panted, for I longed for Your commandments.

Look upon me and be merciful to me, as Your custom is toward those who love Your name.  Direct my steps by Your Word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me.  Redeem me from the oppression of man, that I may keep Your precepts.  Make Your face shine upon Your servant, and teach me Your statutes.

I do not desire to be with evil men, but desire that my heart and my home be built by Your wisdom.  I desire that they be filled with the pleasant and precious riches of our knowledge of You.  I desire to be strong, in You, Lord.  Counsel me according to Your will.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Month of Prayer, Day 20

Lord, I do love knowing Your Word.  I love that throughout the day, Your Word is in my mind and in my mouth.  I love how Your Word guides my steps and equips me.

Knowing that You are with me gives me strength.  Knowing Your law gives me wisdom.  Knowing that I am Yours gives me confidence.  Lord, where would I be without Your Word?  I know where I have ended up during times before when I chose to ignore Your Word and Your Holy Spirit.  Those were times of loneliness and sin that left me with much regret.

In contrast, Lord, when I look back over the times in my life when I allowed You to truly be Lord of my life, I have no regrets.  I never regret serving You.  I never regret choosing to following Your Word, or the leading of Your Holy Spirit.  I never regret trusting You, Lord.  Thank You for the peace that comes from serving You.

Lord, surrendering to You means that I truly have freedom!  There is freedom that comes from the peace of submitting to my Savior.  In light of that, Lord, Your words truly are sweet to my taste.  Your Word and Your Spirit are my treasures.  Your faithfulness is the solid foundation that keeps me upright.

Sin no longer looks good when I know that it’s fruit is loneliness, bitterness, sadness, and regret.  When I know that sin takes me away from You, Lord, I no longer want it.  I want to be safe in the arms of my Father.  I want to be in the shadow of Your wings; the apple of Your eye.

Lord, Pr. 20:7 says, “The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.”  Lord, I want my children to be blessed because I chose to walk with You.  I want my children to find the same trust and security in You that I have found.

I do not want them to have to find out the hard way, as I did, so I try to tell them of Your greatness and Your faithfulness when I can.  Help me to keep Your Word on my lips, encouraging them and telling them of Your greatness.  Oh, that their ears will be open to hear.

Let me walk in integrity, Lord, and be a living example of Your love and Your might for my children.  Let their eyes be open to see.  As You guide my steps, guide theirs ever closer to You, as well.  I long that my children will know and trust and serve You.  I long for them to live in the freedom that comes from serving You.  I defy the bonds of sin that would threaten to ensnare them, in Jesus’ name.

As I meditate on Your Word today, Lord, let it drip from my tongue and taste sweeter than honey to my children, Father.  Let them long for more.

In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen.

Month of Prayer, Day 16

Lord, I love you this morning.  I woke up thinking about trusting You.  I’m so thankful that was my first thought of the day.  Pr. 16:20 says, “Whoever trust in the Lord, happy is he.”  How true that is!

Lord, the running theme in my verses this morning was that no matter our plans or ideas, You have the final Word.  But better than that is the fact that You are faithful and You are directing us into good things.  Even when we are afflicted, it is to produce something good in our lives.

Yesterday I read again that trials produce perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint.  What a wonderful thing to know.  Thank You for that reassurance and those promises.  No matter what the affliction, we can trust that You are producing endurance, character, and hope in our lives.  Thank You.  I see no reason not to trust in the One who does these things.

Help me to depart from evil today.  Help me to rule my spirit and not allow anger to drive me.  Help my words to be pleasant today, as Your Word says that pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.

I love you, Lord.  I am so proud and honored to be called Yours.  I know that as You direct my steps, Your love is with me.  Thank You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Who is protecting you?

Pr. 2:8:  “He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints.”

Perhaps it is because I am reading through The Hobbit again, but this verse brings to my mind visions of dragons, trolls, goblins, rangers, and elves.

If you have never read the novels by J. R. R. Tolkien, let me introduce you to a character from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, named Aragorn.  He pledges himself to be the protector of a Hobbit (small man) named Frodo Baggins.  He guarded and looked after Frodo along some very dangerous paths.  Even near the end of the story, when Frodo was far from Aragorn’s reach, Aragorn was basing his decisions on what would help Frodo.

As outstanding and mighty as Aragorn is, his strength and protection can never match that of the Lord and Creator of the Universe.  When we walk uprightly, when we make decisions that keep us on paths of righteousness, God guards and protects us.

The Lord has pledged Himself to His children.  He is not only our Protector, but also our Refuge, our Strength, our Deliverer, our Restorer, our Provider.  He loves us so much that He even offered up His own Son to die for OUR sins.  (not His)  He does not desire that any of His children should perish, so protecting and caring for us, He made a way of grace for us to spend eternity in heaven with Him.

Ps. 94:14 tells us that the Lord will not forsake His inheritance.  He is always with us and always on our side.

Ps. 37:23-24 tells us even more:  “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.”

We may fall while on the path (Frodo was stabbed by a poisoned blade under Aragorn’s watch), but the Lord is ever there to reach down, grab us, and pull us to safety.  He continues to protect and care for us.

Do not fear.  Continue to walk on the path of justice and righteousness.  God is ever by your side, guarding and protecting you until the very end.  He longs for us to be together for eternity.  He will do all He can for His children who desire the same.

Under His protection,

jamie

…to God my exceeding joy

Pr. 20:24:  “A man’s steps are of the Lord; how then can a man understand this own way?”

The Lord understands how to work all things together for our good.  We should not try to make decisions independently of Him.  We do not understand all His ways, as they are very different from our own; however, through faith, we know that He is in control for our good.

Today my prayer for you and for me is that we will determine to follow Him.  Pray with me now from Ps. 43:3-4:  “Oh, send out Your light and Your truth!  Let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle.  Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God.”

Our destination is heaven; our goal eternal life with Him.  I think we can trust Him to show us the way.

Looking forward in faith,

jamie

Watch your step!

Pr. 2:20 “So you may walk in the way of goodness, and keep to the paths of righteousness.”

We are encouraged to walk on paths of righteousness.  Have you ever thought about where that path ends?  The next verse tells us that we will one day present ourselves to God.

Ro. 6:12-13:  “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.  And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”

We all sin, but Paul reminds us that sin should not have dominance in our lives.  We should not blindly follow and obey our lusts.

We present ourselves before our living God.  Does that fact make you want to change anything about your life?  Jesus made us His righteousness when He took our sins.  We are called to be instruments of that righteousness.

Not only will our path lead to the Lord, but while we’re on that path our lives are being examined.  Our children are learning how to live by watching us.  Our family is taking notes as we walk along.  Our friends are looking for hope.  Our acquaintances are watching for discrepancies.

Let’s make sure that goodness is before us on the path before we step.  If you see a dark spot on the road before you, don’t step there.  Look for the light beside it.  The Lord always offers us a way around the darkness!  Keep to the paths of your Savior and you will present yourself a living sacrifice to your Father and to Jesus Christ who laid down His life for us all.

The path of righteousness doesn’t buy our way into heaven.  The only way is through Jesus.  However, the path of righteousness will be a witness of our love for Christ and will help us point others to Him.

Walking toward the light,

jamie

 

What are your plans?

Pr. 16: 9:  “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”

Have you ever had a plan that you never saw fulfilled?  In my younger days I wanted to join the Peace Corps.  Living in a foreign country with little distractions or possessions, all while helping others seemed like the perfect life to me.  I never saw that plan take place.  At times I have wondered how that experience would have been.

Now, there is nothing wrong with joining the Peace Corps.  Helping others should certainly be a priority in our lives.  Looking back; however, I find that the part I wanted most was the selfish, isolated lifestyle that would allow me to feel a sense of freedom, not being tied down to 1 place or to any 1 person.  I wanted to live like a nomad.  I wanted to help by doing physical labor, but I didn’t want to make connections with people as I went.

I am so thankful the Lord has directed my steps and my plans were never completed.  In my recent years I have been privileged to participate in mission work.  I have even made it to a foreign country where I was able to dig ditches, scrub walls, pick up trash, and learn a little bit about plumbing.  The most fulfilling part of those trips; however, had nothing to do with physical work and certainly didn’t come from being isolated and selfish.  The best part of the mission work I have done has been the connections.  The very thing I planned to leave out of my life is the very thing that makes my life fulfilling.  Working for the Lord offers something that the Peace Corps never could…an eternal reason behind the actions.

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Notice I didn’t attach a picture of the plumbing  🙂

Don’t be afraid to connect.  When we have the Lord, we have so much to offer and there are so many in our world that need Him.  We can’t keep His love and His Word to ourselves.  If we will truly trust in the Lord and in His provision, we can know that God will help us, even with the relationships.  He won’t leave you speechless and uncertain.  He has a word for someone that maybe only you can deliver.  Give your plans over to Him today and let Him direct your steps to the exact place where He needs you.  You will never regret it!

Thankful for my unfulfilled plans and rejoicing in my eternal work!

jamie