Monday, February 28, 2005
Good morning, Lord Jesus. Help me focus in on You. Let Your name become the only thought on my mind as I watch and wait for Your leading. ... The corner of a hotel lobby is a harder place to wait in the silence of surrender than my prayer chair at home. Yet the challenge of seeking some quiet time with You in the communion of prayer is always before us. Sometimes the people around us wrestle for our attention; sometimes the thoughts swirling around us fight for our focus. But ultimately, seeking You in prayer is a choice. Our circumstances can conspire to tempt us to look away, but the truth is nothing can stop us from praying if we choose to pray. Prayer is a choice. If we will not make the choice, we will never begin to pray. "The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told Him all they had done and taught. He said to them, 'Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.' For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves" (Mark 6.30-32). Even if it's just for moment, even if the circumstances and people try to follow us, help us learn how to get away to a deserted place with You to rest in the quiet of Your presence for just a little while. Help us learn how to go down into the prayer closet of our spirit and close the door to the world for even a few moments in the midst of wherever we are. This is where "deep calls to deep" as our human spirits cry out for Your Holy Spirit deep down inside in the communion of prayer (Psalm 42.7). A moment in Your presence can supernaturally empower us to face every circumstance that awaits us when we come back again. You are the Living Water we drink; You are the Bread of Life we eat in the deserted place deep down in our spirits with You. By Your grace, we choose to pray. We choose to eat and drink of Your presence in the deserted place with You for at least a little while every day. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com Our mailing address: 2800 Tates Creek Rd; Lexington, KY 40502. God bless you!
Sunday, February 27, 2005
Good morning, Lord Jesus. Let me begin every day with my eyes looking to You, my mind thinking of You, my heart open to You, my spirit seeking You. This is my spiritual act of worship as everything else must take its place in submission to You. I will have no other gods before You. ... The old hymn of complete surrender to the blessing of entire sanctification, to the baptism of Your Holy Spirit, is Your call to worship this morning: "All to Jesus, I surrender; all to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him; in His presence daily live. ... All to Jesus, I surrender; Lord I give myself to Thee; Fill me with Thy love and power; Let Thy blessing fall on me. ... I surrender all; I surrender all. All to Thee, my blessed Savior; I surrender all." Yes, Lord. Give us the grace and the courage to surrender all -- holding nothing back, having no other gods before You; emptied of ourselves that we may be filled with You. Bring us to the place of complete surrender where we can say, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ Who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2.19-20). Let us receive the blessing of Your Spirit's prayer for us through Paul, "May the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and my your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless and the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5.23). Fill us with Your love and power while we receive "the promise of the Father" as we are emptied completely of ourselves that we may be filled completely with You: "While staying with them, He ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. 'This,' he said, 'is what you heard from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now' " (Acts 1.4-5). Lord, let that day be this day and every day -- not a one-time, never-repeatable event, but an event that is repeated every moment of every day throughout our lives, as we continually surrender all to You. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays Friends, thank you so much for your prayers for our missions conference with the Methodist Men in Georgia. The Lord moved on all of our hearts to bring us to a deeper place of surrender to Him. I pray the same for each of you as you have prayed for us. To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com Our mailing address: 2800 Tates Creek Rd; Lexington, KY 40502. God bless you!
Saturday, February 26, 2005
Good morning, Lord Jesus. I arise to follow You this day. ... On our journey from Kentucky to Georgia yesterday, we drove through the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. It was cloudy and dark as we journeyed up the mountain along the creek from Gatlinburg to Cherokee. But the higher we climbed, the lighter it became until we wound around a side of the mountain. We were almost stunned by the brilliant blue sky that suddenly spread out before us through the tops of the trees. We pulled over the edge as soon as we could to look out over the vista and far off across the ridges and peaks, stretching high in the light of the sun. We had come up high above the clouds, which were thick and white, gathered like puffs of cotton into the valleys below. It was as if night had turned to day. Only as the light of the sun bathed our faces did we really realize how dark it had been below. As we breathed in the crisp, cool air, in the light of the majesty of Your creation, we were refreshed and renewed for our journey down the other side of the mountain. What a picture of our journey through life. Sometimes we don't even realize how dark life has become. Sometimes we have enough light to see to keep moving forward, but we've grown accustomed to the gloom and our vision has adjusted to the darkness. Though we are still moving, we are winding around the mountains, taking every turn as it comes, without getting much of a chance to look beyond the tasks of the moment. There are creeks and trees and beauty along the way, but sometimes there is still a faint shroud of darkness that seems to cover it all. But You are calling us to come up higher. You are bringing us closer to You, up the mountain of Your presence. You are lifting us up above the clouds and gloom, into the light of Your glory. There are places You are leading us where we will be able to look out beyond the trees and over the valleys to see far with the vision of Your perspective. Those are the places that are bathed in Your light, where the darkness and gloom break away like clouds beneath our feet, as we stand on the mountain of Your presence. Let us answer Your call to come up higher and into Your light. That's where You are leading us if we will let You, taking every turn as it comes. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com Our mailing address: 2800 Tates Creek Rd; Lexington, KY 40502. God bless you!
Friday, February 25, 2005
Good morning, Lord Jesus. Fill me with Your Spirit as You lift my heart up to heaven to behold the Lamb of God. Worthy is the Lamb of all glory and honor and praise. ... As we worship our King, we enter in to Your Kingdom. You are the "King of kings" and worthy of our worship (Revelation 17.14). As You said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me" (Matthew 28.18). Yet at the same time, You made it clear that You are King of different kind of Kingdom than the kingdoms of this world, saying, "My Kingdom is not from this world" (John 18.36). Your Kingdom is the Kingdom of God. As we look to You and worship our King, the Kingdom of God comes near. If fact, the Kingdom of God is within us when we allow the King of Glory to rule and reign in our hearts (Luke 17.21). We know we are living in Your Kingdom and Your Kingdom has come in us, when we see the fruit and the power of Your Kingdom being made manifest in our lives. "For the Kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14.16). As we live our lives more and more into Your nature of righteousness and holiness by Your grace, we know we are living in Your Kingdom. As we grow in the knowledge of Your peace that surpasses all understanding no matter what our circumstances, we know we are living in Your Kingdom. As we experience more and more of the joy of the Lord in our spirits whatever we face, we know we are living in Your Kingdom. These things come by the power and presence of Your Holy Spirit abiding in us as we abide in You. You are King of those who bow their hearts to You, and Your Kingdom comes to all who worship You as King. You are the King of glory. You are our King of kings. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays Friends, we will travel near Atlanta today, where I'll be teaching on prayer and fasting at a missions conference with the Methodist Men of the North Georgia Conference. Please keep us in your prayers and I pray for each of you to walk in the fullness of your calling in the grace of God and to know the fullness of His Kingdom in your lives. To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com Our mailing address: 2800 Tates Creek Rd; Lexington, KY 40502. God bless you!
Thursday, February 24, 2005
Good morning, Lord Jesus. In the words of the worship song, "I sing praises to Your name, O Lord, for Your name is great and greatly to be praised!" ... You love to demonstrate Your love in power. You love to gather up the broken pieces of our lives and hold them in Your hands as You heal us with Your touch. You love to break every stronghold that keeps us bound to the past and burdened down by sin or shame or pain. You love to deliver us from the enemy of our souls and liberate us from our spiritual captors who seek to destroy us and defile Your image imprinted upon us. You love to bind up the brokenhearted and set the captives free. You love us in all these ways and more because You are love, and nothing is more powerful on this earth than the power of Your love. "I give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify Your name forever. For great is Your steadfast love toward me; You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol. O God, the insolent rise up against me; a band of ruffians seeks my life, and they do not set You before them. But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness" (Psalm 86.12-15). You are our Lord and Savior, our Healer and Deliverer, our Fortress and Refuge. You are the One Who loves us the most. With thanksgiving for Your love and gratefulness for Your power, we sing praises to Your name. For Your name is great and greatly to be praised! In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com Our mailing address: 2800 Tates Creek Rd; Lexington, KY 40502. God bless you!
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Good morning, Lord Jesus. I call upon Your name and rest upon Your promises. When we cry out to You, You will answer; when we seek You, we will find You. How You choose to manifest Your presence to us is up to You and Your purposes in teaching us many things of Your nature and Your ways in our journey with You. Yet, You are here in every place where You are welcomed in humility and faith. As we speak Your name, we are welcoming You; as we call You "Lord" we are humbling ourselves in faith. Be welcome, Lord Jesus, in our hearts and in our day. ... Today, a man is coming to receive Your ministry of deliverance. You came to bind up the brokenhearted and set the captives free (Luke 4.18, fulfilling Isaiah 61.1-4). "The Son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3.8). Thank You for Your compassion for us to break the yoke of our oppressor and loose us from the bondage that bind us. You promise deliverance from the enemy of our souls when we humble ourselves before You and call upon Your name. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (James 4.7). "On that day his burden will be removed from your shoulder, and his yoke will be destroyed from your neck" (Isaiah 10.27). Today will be a battle as we enforce the victory of the cross in Your name and by Your blood, in the power of Your Holy Spirit, to the glory of our Father. We will obey Your command to Your church: "Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and He sent them out to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal" (Luke 9.1-2). As You said, "Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father" (John 14.12). "As the Father sent Me, so I send you" (John 20.21). Yet now is the time when we prepare for the battle to come. To seek Your face, to be emptied of ourselves and filled with You, as we decrease and You increase. Apart from You we can do nothing (John 15.5); yet we go forward to fight as we abide in You and as You lead in the strength of Your power. "Finally be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm" (Ephesians 6.10-13). Thank you for the cry of "Freedom!" rising up in our spirits as we go forth into battle today. Stir in each of our spirits as we all go forth into the battles we will fight today in the power of Your strength. You have already won the victory through the blood of Your cross. Empower us to enforce Your victory in obedience to You in every battle we face. Open our eyes to see the captives you are setting free and the broken hearts You are binding up. Let the power of Your presence be released through us in the compassion of Your love wherever You send us today. Filled with Your Spirit and united together, we are "the body of Christ" on earth (1 Corinthians 12.27; Ephesians 4.11-13). In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Good morning, Lord Jesus. Let me hear the sound of Your voice. Let me sense the leading of Your Spirit. I watch and wait for You in the quiet stillness of the morning. ... Every day of these last days is precious in Your sight. Every generation of these last generations has a purpose and calling in Your plan to prepare the way of the Lord. Let us not waste our time. Let us not be distracted. There are so many good things, important things to do; yet there is only one thing at a time You have called us to do. We can only do what You have called us to do as we become who You have called us to become. Every distraction that would mislead us and every deterrence that would hinder us is our enemy -- to be identified and overcome. You call us to single-mindedness, to whole-heartedness -- to give You our undivided attention and our undivided loyalty. Then we will receive the gift of significance. Our lives will be fulfilling for we will have fulfilled the calling of our destiny in Christ in our days and for our generation. You are freeing us to take time to listen -- if we will let go of the things that entangle us and entrust them to You. You are calling us to wait in Your presence for the leading of Your voice -- if we humble ourselves to be silent before You. Nothing could be more important. "I give You thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing Your praise; I bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name for Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness; for You have exalted Your name and Your word above everything. On the day I called, You answered me, You increased the strength of my soul.... Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; You stretch out Your hand, and Your right hand delivers me. The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of Your hands" (Psalm 138.1-8). O Lord, fulfill Your purpose for each of us. Let us receive the gift of significance. Teach us how to quiet our souls from our own thoughts and concerns for a moment as we call out to You in our hearts. Let us not waste another moment of our lives because we were too busy and too proud to humble ourselves in the quiet silence of Your presence. Only there will we sense the leading of Your still, small voice. Only then will we discern the next step in the journey of our destiny in Christ. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays Friends, I will be teaching two weekend sessions of training for inner healing prayer ministry with people from the Madisonville District of the Methodist Church in western Kentucky 3/18-19 and 5/6-7. Please contact us if you would like to come; there are some prerequisites, including review of tapes from our foundational session, but all are welcome. Please keep us in prayer as we train and equip others for the ministry of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!
Monday, February 21, 2005
Good morning, Lord Jesus. I decrease as You increase. I listen for the leading of Your voice as I humble myself in the silence of surrender before You. ... Thoughts and concerns for the day often try to come pressing in, pushing our minds around like bullies on a playground, trying to steal our time with You. But we have a choice. We can choose to give in or to stand our ground. By Your grace, we choose to stand -- to look to You and to You alone, to share the first moments of our morning with You and with no other. You are worthy of our undivided attention; You are worthy of the sacrifice of our time. There will be time enough to face the thoughts and concerns of the day, but they will not rule over us now, for You alone are our Ruler. Lord Jesus, be Lord of our thoughts now, we pray. ... "I am Lord over those who willingly submit to My lordship. I do not force Myself in. I do not control. I stand at the door and knock, longing for you to open the door of your mind to Me -- not only your heart, but also your mind. I am a jealous God -- I am jealous for the time and attention and focus of those I have created for relationship with Me. You honor Me and welcome Me when you seek Me and surrender your thoughts to Me. As you do, I bring wisdom to your mind, passion to your heart, and peace to your soul. I go before you to prepare the way and order your steps throughout the day. This is how I lead you beside the still waters, because you have allowed Me to still the waters of your soul." Yes, Lord. Thank you for the gift of Your peace and the calming power of Your presence. Let us be refreshed and renewed, empowered and encouraged in these first moments of the morning focused on You. Let this become part of our relationship and not just a ritual. Let this become our lifestyle and just a little act of obedience when we can. We were created for more than this, we were created for You. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!
Sunday, February 20, 2005
Good morning, Lord Jesus. Be high and exalted, enthroned on the praises of my heart as I begin this day in worship and prayer and praise to You. ... "All the earth worships You; they sing praises to You, sing praise to Your name" (Psalm 66.4). We worship the One Who is worthy of all praise. When we worship, we turn our eyes to You and away from ourselves; we lift up our hearts to the Lord instead of letting them be weighed down by the burdens of our lives. Praise begins to push up our spirits and push out all that was weighing us down. Worship is a means of Your grace for restoring our vision and hope, a gift of God for renewing our minds and our hearts. Thank You, Lord, for the gift of worship. You are worthy of our worship because of Who You are, yet You use our worship as means of changing us. As we behold You in Your glory, You are changing us into Your image, from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3.17-18). Worship is one of the ways Your Spirit is preparing us to be the glorious bride to receive the coming of our glorious King. "O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand" (Psalm 95.6-7). Change us, Lord, as we lift our eyes, our hearts, and our voices to You. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!
Saturday, February 19, 2005
Good morning, Lord Jesus. I invite You into my heart today and every day. ... The mystery of Your presence here in my heart while You are there in the hearts of all who have invited You in to theirs also is almost beyond comprehension. We could never grasp this truth without understanding the nature of Your Holy Spirit, Who comes from our Father to abide in our human spirits, as we commit ourselves to You (John 14.16-17). Then we receive the promise of our Father to all the children of God: "To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory" (1 Colossians 1.27). Help us understand and embrace this life-changing truth of Your living presence living in us. "But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He Who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through His Spirit that dwells in you" (Romans 8.9-11). "Spirit of Christ," come dwell in us, we pray. We open our hearts to you. Come possess us and change us into Your nature, that we may be the holy people our Holy Father has created us to be, with Your Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts to the glory of God. Then we will know this Word is true: "Christ in you, the hope of glory." Lord, let it be so. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!
Friday, February 18, 2005
Good morning, Lord Jesus. I come to You now, as best as I can and all by Your grace, to wait humbly in Your presence. I desire to know every dimension of Your nature more intimately -- as my Father, as my Lord and Savior and best Friend, and as the Holy Spirit of the Living God. As I rest in You and trust in You and the power of Your love, let Your Holy Spirit go forth to order my thoughts, my desires, and my day to bring about Your purposes through me as You desire to do through all Your children. ... Why does the morning matter so much, Lord? Why does it seem to be so important to start the morning in prayer. In times when I have not or it seemed I could not, I've seen the difference it makes in my day. Why is that? "My son, this is part of the principle of first things. The first thing is the beginning. The beginning sets the course for the journey. Every day is a journey. To begin every journey, to begin every day with Me is to allow Me to set Your course. You will make many decisions along the way and you can even change course, yet how you begin has much bearing upon how you will journey and how you will end. It really is as simple as that. First things are very important. Let Me be first and I will be foremost in all things that you face along the journey." Yes, Lord. You are bringing to mind one of the patterns of the Old Covenant intended to teach us Your principles for life to be fulfilled through Your New Covenant: "On the first day you shall hold a solemn assembly, and on the seventh day a solemn assembly; no work shall be done on those days; only what everyone must eat, that alone may be prepared for you" (Exodus 12.16). Lord, teach us how to begin and end with You, as we rest from our own efforts and plans so we can receive Yours and live them out in Your power. Let us eat of Your Word and drink of Your Spirit alone as the first things of our day so that the last things will be a completion of what You have begun in us. You are "the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end" (Revelation 22.13). Let us begin and end with You on every journey and on every day. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays Friends, please come join us if you can and pray for us if you can't at The Fountain, our monthly citywide gathering for prayer, praise, and healing worship in the intimacy of the presence of the Lord. We meet in the chapel of Centenary Methodist in Lexington at 7 pm (prayer at 6 pm) on the 3rd Saturday night of every month. All are welcome. To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!
Thursday, February 17, 2005
Good morning, Lord Jesus. I humble myself in Your sight and pray You would lift me up into Your presence in the communion of prayer. ... You woke me this morning with the words of an old hymn written by another one of Your Methodist ministers from Kentucky: "Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, blessings all mine with ten thousand beside. Great is Thy faithfulness. Great is Thy faithfulness. Morning by morning, new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand hath provided. Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me." (Rev. Tommy Chisholm). Moment by moment, morning by morning, lead us more deeply into the intimacy of communion with You. Teach us how to look to You and trust You to be our strength and our hope as we commit our lives to You afresh every morning. You will be faithful to bless us with Your presence wherever we go and whatever we do. You will be faithful to cause our thoughts to be more like Your thoughts and cause our ways to be more like Your ways, as You are maturing us and conforming us into the image of Christ, a little more each day. "Be strong and let your heart take courage, all who wait for the Lord" (Psalm 31.24). "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I hope" (Psalm 130.5). "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3.22-23). You are our strength for today; You are our hope for tomorrow. Great is Thy faithfulness! We praise Your holy name with thankful hearts, moment by moment and morning by morning. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays Friends, "strength for today and hope for tomorrow" will be the theme at the annual Aldersgate Conference on Spirit-filled living in the Wesleyan tradition in Overland Park, Kansas this summer. I'm excited to be one of the teachers for an equipping seminar again. Please come join us if you can. Get details and register online at http://www.aldersgaterenewal.org/ (you might also be interested in ordering my tapes or others from last year's powerful conference in Lexington, KY). To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Good morning, Lord Jesus. There will be time for thinking about the responsibilities of the day, for working in the marketplaces of our lives, for interceding and ministering for the kingdom of God, but right now it is time to simply turn our thoughts and our hearts to You. ... "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him" (Psalm 37.7). There is so much activity in our lives. Some is led by Your Spirit as You advance Your kingdom through Your people. But, if we were to be really honest, we would also have to admit that some of our activity is of the flesh. Much of what we do, even in Your name, is driven by our own sense of urgency rather than Yours, by our own plans and ambitions rather than Yours. Much of our striving and anxiety and stress come out of our fear of failure rather than our placing our faith in You. Let us see the power of watching and waiting on You in the first moments of the morning. Let this set in motion the pattern for our day -- to entrust our lives to You, to let Your peace rise up within us, to listen for the leading of Your voice. Then we will not worry; we will be anxious for nothing. Then we will fear not, for will know that You are with us. Because we have entrusted our thoughts to You in the silence of surrender, You will be able to fill our minds with Your thoughts and fill our hearts with Your desires. "Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him, and He will act" (Psalm 37.5). Yes, Lord. We are refreshed and renewed by resting in Your presence. We are focused as our eyes are fixed on You. Our minds are cleared from confusion as we center our thoughts on You. Teach us how to experience and enjoy the simplicity of devotion to Christ as we offer You the sacrifice of the first thoughts of our morning. "For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken.... For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken" (Psalm 62.1-6). Thank You for the peace and security that come as we take time to watch and wait in the quiet of Your presence. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Good morning, Lord Jesus. I welcome the glory of Your manifest presence in my heart and in my life. Prepare me to receive You in the communion of prayer. ... You moved upon the heart of Solomon to build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, the holy city of God. What You were doing in this physical house speaks of what You are doing in our spiritual hearts, for our hearts are the house of the Lord: "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?" (1 Corinthians 3.16). As they prepared the earthly temple for the filling of the glory of the Lord, so You call us to prepare our hearts for the filling of that same glory. "So they brought up the ark of the Lord, the tent of meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the tent; the priests and the Levites brought them up.... Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, in the inner sanctuary of the house, in the most holy place, underneath the wings of the cherubim.... And when the priests came out of the holy place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord" (1 Kings 8.4-11). Lord, teach us how to welcome the ark of Your presence into our hearts, to spread before You the tent of meeting in prayer, and to set apart our lives as holy vessels unto the Lord. Lead us in to the inner sanctuary of our spirits, guarded by the covering of Your angels in the holy of holies of communion in prayer with You. Let Your glory fill our hearts and our lives with the fullness of Your presence. Let us be the house of the Lord and the city of God. You call out to all who will come: "Like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 2.5). Lord, we come. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!
Monday, February 14, 2005
Good morning, Lord Jesus. I turn my eyes upon You and let everything else fade out of view in these first moments of my day. ... This is a day all the world celebrates love. There will be heart-shaped candies and boxes and heart-shaped cards and gifts to celebrate Valentine's Day. Some will express their love with tender words and some will express it by underlining the words on a card. Some will want the day to last forever and some will wish it had never come. Sometimes love will be distorted into something that's no longer love at all and sometimes it will be guarded and nurtured as the purest gift of all. So whether we love it or despise it, the day of celebration of love has come. Either way, let it remind us that we are all created for love. The world celebrates love for a day because You've created us with the desire for love in our hearts. We are driven to find love because we are driven to find You. "Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love" (1 John 4.8). Lord, redeem our desire for love as You turn our eyes toward You, the source and gift of all true love. Let us celebrate our love for one another because we celebrate Your love for us. "We love because He first loved us" (1 John 4.19). In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays Friends, please Come to The Fountain this Sat. night 2/19 if you can at 7pm in the chapel of Centenary Methodist in Lexington -- our ministry's monthly citywide gathering for prayer, praise, and healing worship. Please pray for us if you can't come and God bless you as you welcome His presence in your city and in your hearts. To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!
Sunday, February 13, 2005
Good morning, Lord Jesus. Let Your life fill my spirit; let Your words fill my mind. I look and listen for the leading of Your voice. ... "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Psalm 119.105). This day, Your Word is being proclaimed throughout all the earth. Though Your Word goes forth every day, on this day it goes forth in abundance through the mouths of Your servants and into the hearts of Your people. Let us listen before we speak; let us bow in prayers of humility before we preach and teach with boldness; let us proclaim to others only what we hear from You. Let us see what the Father is doing and hear what the Father is saying -- slow to speak, quick to listen, so that when we do speak we can speak with the authority of one who has heard from You. Then it will be Your words that go forth and not our own; it will be the Word of God that is heard and not merely the words of man. It is Your Word that is "firmly fixed in heaven," not ours (Psalm 119.89). As You have decreed, "So shall My Word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but It shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent It" (Isaiah 55.11). Send forth Your Word this day and every day, as we receive It in our souls. Let us see the power and the effect of Your Word in the transformation of our hearts. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!
Saturday, February 12, 2005
Good morning, Lord Jesus. We begin another day together in the communion of prayer. I watch and wait for the leading of Your Spirit. ... Each day begins with light, as the light of the morning overcomes the darkness of night. So it has been from the beginning: "Then God said, 'Let there be light'; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day" (Genesis 1.3-5). Lord, let the light of Your morning overcome the darkness of the evening in our souls. Bring all things out of the darkness and into Your light, for darkness loses it's power in the light. What has been veiled becomes open, what was hidden becomes exposed, and what was lost becomes found. Give us the humility to acknowledge the dark places of our souls where we have not yet let Your light shine. Maybe we're afraid; maybe we're ashamed. Maybe we just need somebody to trust enough to help lead us out of the darkness and into Your light. "And this is the judgment, that the light has comes into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so all their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God" (John 3.19-21). Lord Jesus, send Your Holy Spirit to help us bring all things out of the darkness and into Your light. The truth is we do not fully see all the dark places in our souls, yet You only ask that we give You permission to come in so You can lead us out of the darkness and into Your light. As You have said before, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life" (John 8.12). Come, Lord Jesus, and lead us into Your light. Let this be the morning of a new day as Your light overcomes every darkness. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!
Friday, February 11, 2005
Good morning, Lord Jesus. I humble my heart at Your feet and pray You'd lift my eyes to Your face. Your Spirit is always leading me to You, and You are always revealing the heart of my Father, Who is always sending His Spirit to lead me to You. Praise You, Lord God Almighty -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You are One and You are holy. You are worthy of all honor and glory and praise. ... When we turn our thoughts to You, to behold Your glory, we realize how far beyond comprehension and words You really are. As the praise song declares, "You are beautiful beyond description, too marvelous for words." So we "stand in awe of You." Our human words and categories cannot do justice to describe Your nature or Your glory. Even the inspired images of Your Own Word only give a glimpse of Who You are in a way that we can only begin to understand. Yet, one day we will see You as You are and know You as You desire to be known. "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we shall see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known" (1 Corinthians 13.12). "No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that God has sent His Son as the Savior of the world. God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as He is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4.12-17). Of all the titles, descriptions, and categories to try to understand You and Your relationship with us, perhaps this is the best of all -- You are Love, and You love us. One day soon, when we behold You face to face, we will know what love really is, for we will "know fully" Who Love really is. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays Dear Praying Friends, if the Lord is ministering His love and encouragement to you through our ministry, please consider including us in your monthly charitable giving. Even a small amount is a wonderful blessing and encouragement to us. Contributions to "Messiah Ministries" are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated. God bless you! Messiah Ministries; 2800 Tates Creek Rd.; Lexington, KY 40502 To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Good morning, Lord Jesus. As I behold You, You are changing me. ... We've begun now what many traditions of the faith call the season of Lent. We begin forty days of preparation to mark Your journey to the cross and then the celebration of Your resurrection. Many begin this season of the journey with the "imposition of ashes" in the sign of the cross as a sacramental act of a spiritual truth. Let the mark of the cross upon our foreheads be a sign and seal of the mark of Christ upon our hearts. Let us not be afraid to stand out or to stand up. Let us be willing to be marked and identified with You as servants of God (Revelation 7.2-3). Let it be an outward symbol of the inward grace in our hearts. Let it not only be a physical act, but much more importantly, a spiritual truth. Teach us now how to bear the mark of Christ in these little ways, so that we will not flinch to bear the mark of Christ in the days to come when it will cost us much more than our pride. Fill us now with Your Spirit and teach us now Your ways, that we may stand and be counted as ones who follow You no matter the cost. "In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in Him, were marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance towards redemption as God's own people, to the praise of His glory" (Ephesians 1.13-14). In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Good morning, Lord Jesus. As best as I can and all by Your grace, I humble myself in Your sight and wait in the silence of surrender for Your lead. ... Today is the day many traditions throughout the body of Christ call "Ash Wednesday." The ashes seem to speak of humility before God, recognizing our need for repentance and cleansing of all that defiles our souls. Under the Old Covenant, You used the laws and rituals to teach Your people Your spiritual truths, to point Your people to You. If anyone became unclean through the things they had done or the things done to them, they knew they needed to be cleansed. So it was for any who became unclean through the defilement of death in their camp: "For the unclean shall take some ashes from the burnt purification offering, and running water shall be added in a vessel; then a clean person shall take hyssop, dip it in the water, and sprinkle it on the tent, on all the furnishings, on all the persons who were there, and on whoever touched the bone, the slain, the corpse, or the grave. The clean person shall sprinkle the unclean ones on the third day and on the seventh day, thus purifying them on the seventh day. Then they shall wash their clothes and bathe themselves in water, and at evening they shall be clean" (Numbers 19.17-19). We are unclean by the sin in our hearts, and we feel unclean by the shame we bear from the things we have done and the things done to us. As David cried out, "Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.... Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me and I shall be whiter than snow" (Psalm 51). We all fall short of the glory of God; we all need the cleansing of Your Living Water and the purification that comes only by the Blood of the Lamb of God, willingly and eternally sacrificed in Your love for us. All that was foreshadowed in the laws of the Old Covenant is now revealed in the grace of the New Covenant through coming of the promised Messiah. Though we were dead to ourselves, we are now alive in Christ. You have taken the hyssop wood of the Cross to apply the Blood of the Lamb to our sins and shame. We are washed in the Living Waters of Your Word, for You are the Word. On the third day, You rose from the grave and sprinkled us clean by Your victory over sin and death. On the seventh day, we enter in to the rest that You have prepared for us. We are holy and pure by the sacrifice of Your love, as we cease from striving to earn our salvation or earn our purification, but simply trust in You with repentant and thankful hearts. "For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, how much more will the Blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God" (Hebrews 9.13-14). Thank You, Lord, for letting us see our need to repent in the humility of ashes so that we can turn to You by Your grace and be made clean. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Good morning, Lord Jesus. Before anything else begins to cloud my mind this day, I devote my thoughts to You. ... There is a stirring in the spirit and a moving in the heavenlies, it seems. The image of swirling winds, like a hurricane, comes to mind; but I see it in a cup and saucer. I hear the old phrase, "a tempest in a teapot." As I look into Your Word for direction, I find this Scripture: "Our God comes and does not keep silence, before Him is a devouring fire, and a mighty tempest all around Him. He calls to the heavens above and to the earth that He may judge His people: 'Gather to Me My faithful ones, who made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.' The heavens declare His righteousness for God Himself is judge" (Psalm 50.3-6). Lord, what do these images and words mean? What is this stirring in the spirit, in a cup? "All the world is Mine and I am moving throughout the earth. The actions of those throughout all the earth affect one another, throughout all generations. None are isolated; none are exempt. All things move together. Nation affects nation; person affects person; generation affects generation. The earth is as cup of tea to Me. I am stirring in the earth, so I am stirring everywhere. None are isolated; none are exempt." Lord, open our eyes to see the reality of these days. Free us from any sense of false security, to think the storms in other regions and other families and other generations do not affect our own. Let us prepare now to find our security in You. Let us strengthen our relationship with You now, as we devote our thoughts to You, to be able to move with You and not against You. Sweep us into Your arms, so that we are not swept away in the tempest that swirls in the cup of our world. "When the tempest passes, the wicked are no more, but the righteous are established forever" (Proverbs 10.25). Lord, we have no righteousness apart from relationship with You. By the mercy of Your grace, move in our hearts like a tempest, as Your tempest moves in our world. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!
Monday, February 07, 2005
Good morning, Lord Jesus. In these first moments of the morning, let me see nothing but what You show me, let me hear nothing but what You say. ... "Arise, my soul, arise!" The words of one of Charles Wesley's ancient hymns stir my soul in worship and prayer this morning. Your Holy Spirit brings the confirmation of Your written Word to mind from Solomon and Isaiah: "My Beloved speaks and says to me: 'Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away" -- Song of Solomon 2.10. "Arise, shine; for your Light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the face of the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and His glory will appear over you" -- Isaiah 60.1-2. Yes, Lord. Let our souls arise. Awaken us from our slumber. In the Spirit, the season of winter is passing and the calling of spring is coming. There comes a season of new beginnings, of awakenings. Stir the souls of Your people to arise and to awaken. As You called out to the generation of Your first disciples, so You are calling out to our generation, "the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force" -- Matthew 11.12. "Arise, My people, arise! Awaken from your stupor as I revive you with My Spirit. Arise and take your places in My kingdom. Awaken and hold your positions in My army. You will move as one at My command. You will overcome the kingdoms of violence in the power of My love. Out of My love for My people who are lost and bound, I will send forth My army and advance My kingdom. Arise now that you may be prepared. Awaken now that you may be trained and equipped, ready to march against the kingdom of darkness in the light of My glory." Yes, Lord. We have much to learn. Give us a teachable spirit that You may train our hands for war in this spiritual battle we will fight on our knees with the weapons of love. You are Love, and Your love is compelling us to be prepared to fight. Forgive us for our passivity and complacence; forgive us for sleeping on our watch. Stir our souls to arise and shine, for our Light has come and Your glory is rising upon us -- the glory of Your Light, Who overcomes the darkness. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!
Sunday, February 06, 2005
Morning by Morning, Sunday 2-6-05 Good morning, Lord Jesus. I watch for You to come and wait for You to lead as I listen in the silence of surrender. ... Your ways are wonderful; Your words are life. You call us to surrender and to listen in silence. Then You can fill us with the fullness of Your presence. Then You can lift us to the heights of Your heavens. Teach us to pray -- to watch and to wait. Teach us to stay and not quick to pull away. You reward those who seek You with wisdom and peace. You come to those who come to You with bended hearts on bended knees. You bless us with Your presence as You open our eyes. You order the steps of our day before the sunrise. Help us to surrender all things to Your hands. To set aside the foolishness of our own mortal plans. Lead us on an adventure in the journey of pray. Take us to places where only angels are there. Open Your heavens, draw us near to Your side. Mount us on Your heavenly horses who lift us as we ride. Holy are You, Lord, and worthy of praise. King of Kings, Lord of Lords, The Ancient of Days. Eyes have not seen and ears have not heard The glories You'll show us as we come seek Your face. Yes, Lord. Thank you for this poem of prayer You've written this morning. Let it stir our hearts to seek You and join You in this journey of prayer. We are blessed that You want to include us on the adventure -- Revelation 19.11-16. As the worship song says, "Yes, Lord, we'll ride with You!" In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays Friends, some haved asked to use or add music to some of these poems or songs that come in the morning sometimes. Please feel free to use them and share them as the Lord leads. They belong to Him! To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!
Saturday, February 05, 2005
Saturday, February 5, 2005 -- Morning by Morning Good morning, Lord Jesus. Come fill my thoughts and fill my heart with Your presence and Your words. ... "Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, that He may come and rain righteousness upon You" -- Hosea 10.12. Yes, Lord. We confess that we have fallow ground in our lives -- the hardened places of our hearts where we've compromised our complete devotion to You. We've let the cares and worries and the busyness of life grow up like weeds in our hearts and harden the soil of our souls. At times it grows hard to hear the leading of Your voice and sense the nearness of Your presence. Let this be a sign to us and a call to repentance. Let the dryness of our spiritual life expose the hardness and barrenness of our hearts where the life of a living faith has been slowly choked off and overcome by the season of wilderness. Like soil intended to bring harvest, the soul always returns to the state of wilderness without the continual and deliberate process of cultivation and nurture. Forgive us for our passivity and the ways we fail to continually cultivate our relationship with You and allow the soil of our souls to become fallow and hard, in the wilderness apart from You. "Plow up, plow up the hardness of your hearts and the soil of your souls! Call to Me and I will answer. Look to Me and you will see. Open your hearts and I will come in. It is not fallow, hardened souls that I desire, but open hearts ready to receive the rain of My righteousness. Then your lives will bear much fruit, My fruit. Then I shall cause to spring up My harvest of holiness throughout all the earth. Then My glory shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea!" Yes, Lord. By Your grace and Your power, we choose this day to look to You and open our hearts to You. Come plow up the fallow ground, plant again Your seeds of life, and bring forth Your harvest in due season. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!
Friday, February 04, 2005
Friday, February 4, 2004 -- Morning by Morning Good morning, Lord Jesus. Lead me in to the holy of holies in the communion of prayer, as I get quiet and still in Your presence. ... I hear You saying: "Humility is the key. Faith is important; obedience is important; courage is important -- but humility is the key." Yes, Lord. How hard it is to humble our hearts and bow our knees, to be emptied of ourselves that we may be filled with You. Humility slays our pride. Humility takes our minds off of ourselves and turns our hearts to others. Humility prepares the way for holiness, and holiness prepares the way for Your power. There is no revival without repentance and no repentance without humility. You modeled the key of humility when You humbled Yourself to the will of our Father to come into our world as Son of Man. "Do nothing from self ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, Who though He was in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being formed in human form, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death -- even death on a cross" -- Philippians 2.3-8. There is something about the call to humility that cuts through our pride, breaks down the walls of passionless religion and the traditions of man. To literally get down on our knees makes us feel weak and vulnerable as our pride is crushed. That's the point, isn't it, Lord? To come the place that we know and we are willing to show to You, to ourselves, and to others, that apart from You, we can do nothing. Your power is made perfect in our weakness, for whenever we are weak then we are truly strong -- 2 Corinthians 12.9-10. This mind that was in Christ Jesus cuts against every stirring of the flesh within us, and cuts against every teaching of the world around us. Teach us how to take up this key of the kingdom that unlocks the door to Your power being released through our lives. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!
Thursday, February 03, 2005
Thursday, February 3, 2005 -- Morning by Morning Good morning, Lord Jesus. Be high and lifted up, enthroned on the praises of a thankful heart. Help me to look and listen, to watch and wait for Your leading. ... "Worship the Lord with gladness; come into His presence with singing. Know that the Lord is God. It is He that made us, and we are His; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name" -- Psalm 100.2-4. You created us for a relationship of love with You, for You are Love and You created us in Your image -- 1 John 4.16. Yet true love requires the freedom to choose to accept Your love or not, to obey Your will or not. Without that freedom, there would really be no love at all; we would just be robots. You have created us for a much more intimate relationship, one of trusting surrender and loving obedience. So You do not override our freedom to choose to love You and obey You, even though out of that same freedom comes the sin and destruction of ourselves, of one another, and of Your creation in our broken, fallen world. Our world is broken and fallen because of the choices we have made in the freedom You have given us -- freedom that is necessary, yet having both the power for good and for evil. Forgive us for the sin of using our freedom for our purposes to satisfy our own desires, rather than choosing to willingly submit our wills to Your will so that Your desires become our desires. This is the sin of pride -- self-centeredness and self-satisfaction and self-glorification. In pride, we exalt ourselves and worship ourselves, bowing down to our own graven image that we have created and worship and want others to worship. In Your mercy, break down our graven images and let our brokenness lead us to repentance, that You may forgive our sin of idolatry and pride. When we worship You and come into Your presence with songs of faith and love to You, our eyes are lifted from ourselves and restored to You. You are high and lifted up, enthroned again in Your place of Lordship in our lives. Our hearts are cleansed and restored as we worship You with thanksgiving in our hearts and praises on our lips. Thank You for the gift and the blessing of worship and praise. You use them as a means of Your grace to restore us into the intimate relationship of love we were created to live with You. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Wednesday, February 2, 2005 -- Morning by Morning Good morning, Lord Jesus. As best as I can, I choose to turn my eyes and my attention to You -- to behold Your glory and to welcome Your presence. ... Each day is an opportunity to choose this day Whom we will serve. By Your grace, we can choose how to begin -- with our eyes on You or ourselves, on Your provision or our lack, on Your peace or our problems. What a difference it makes to offer You the first fruits of our morning with the first thoughts of our minds. As we humble ourselves in Your sight, You exalt us into the glory of Your presence. As we watch and wait on You, You order the steps of our day. You seat us in the heavenly places as our eyes are fixed upon You, before we turn our attention to the callings of this world. Those callings are important, for You have placed us here in these earthly places to serve and to love the world as You so loved the world. But to give the callings and the needs of this world the first fruits of our first thoughts is just another form of idolatry. Forgive us of our sin of looking to others before You and answering the call of this world before answering the call of Your Spirit. Forgive us when we convince ourselves there is something just as holy or just as important about doing the things we need to do without first being the people we're called to be. "And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of this world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" -- Luke 12.29-32. As we learn to abide in You and in Your kingdom and as we learn to seek first Your kingdom, You bestow on us Your "blessings forever" and make us "glad with the joy of Your presence" -- Psalm 21.6. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
Tuesday, February 1, 2005 -- Morning by Morning Good morning, Lord Jesus. You are alive and living in me--here in my heart and the hearts of all who believe in You and surrender their lives to You. Come fill me afresh and continually with Your Holy Spirit, the Promised Presence of our Father in heaven. ... "But God, Who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which He loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved--and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus"--Ephesians 2.4-7. How amazing! Somehow by Your grace and in Your sovereignty, You have already seated us with Christ in the heavenly places. We live out our lives in this earthly realm, where time passes day by day; yet at the same time, we are also living out our lives in the eternity of the heavenly realm, where there is no limitation of time and space. In that realm, all things are present to You; and we are also already in that realm, because we are alive in Christ and Christ is alive in us. By the mystery and miracle of Your grace, every decision we will ever make has already been made in that dimension. Every sin that we will confess has already been forgiven; every wound we will receive has already been healed; and every bond that will ever bind us has already been broken. All that You will ever redeem by the power and authority of the blood of the Lamb through the sacrifice of Your life has already been redeemed--eternally. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places"--Ephesians 1.3. Thank You for Your amazing love and grace. Help us live our lives the certainty of hope that these words are true and they can be trusted. Teach us how to live in this eternal dimension with the One Who holds all eternity in Your hands. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- MessiahMin@aol.com God bless you!