Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Morning by Morning, November 30 - Confidence of Faith
Good morning, Lord Jesus. I am Yours and You are mine. Let me be of one heart and one mind with You today. ...
"Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet 'in a very little while, the One who is coming will come and will not delay; but My righteous one will live by faith. My soul takes no pleasure in anyone who shrinks back.' But we are not among those who shrink back and so are lost, but among those who have faith and so are saved" (Hebrews 10:35-39).
My confidence is in You, Lord. I'm confident that You love me, that You're for me, that You're always with me, that You always go before me preparing the way for me to walk in Your will and Your ways by the power of Your grace.
So when challenges come, when battles are fierce, when the enemy of my soul tries to press his attack, I will press on until I press through, by grace through faith, not shrinking back. "Through faith and patience (I will) inherit the promises" (v. 6:12). May I never surrender and never retreat, but always advance with the endurance and confidence of the faith You're building in me. "So (I) can say with confidence, 'The Lord is my Helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?'" (v. 13:6) In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
May you be confident in faith, never shrinking back, that you never surrender and never retreat, but always advance into the fullness of the God's promises for you, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Morning by Morning, November 29 - "The Implanted Word"
Good morning, Lord Jesus. I begin my day seeking Your face and listening for Your voice. ...
"You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God's righteousness. Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls" (James 1:19-21).
With meekness, I welcome Your implanted word. Like a seed planted in a plowed field, plant the seed of Your word in my heart. Help me listen; help me hear. Help me trust and believe by faith that Your word has the power to save my soul and produce in me a harvest of Your righteousness.
"Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). So as I listen and as I hear, Your words, implanted in my heart, are "spirit and life" to my soul (John 6:63). Let them find "good soil" in my heart that's wide open to Your will and Your words (Mark 4:8). Let them grow to maturity and produce the full measure of the harvest You've purposed for my life -- "growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold" (Mark 4:8). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
I pray "the implanted word" of God will find good soil in your heart to produce God's great harvest through your life today and every day, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!
Monday, November 28, 2016
Morning by Morning, November 28 -- Ask for Wisdom
Good morning, Lord Jesus. You are One with the Father, One with the Holy Spirit. Be One within me today in the communion of prayer and throughout the moments of my day. ...
"My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who give to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given to you" (James 1:2-5).
You invite me to ask You for wisdom. And You promise You'll give it. You know I need it. Because without Your wisdom, I can't grow to be mature and complete and I can't embrace and endure the trials and tests of my faith until they have their full effect.
My wisdom would say, "Run." The world's wisdom would say, "Fight back by any means necessary." Yet Your wisdom says, "Embrace. Endure. Press through. Learn and grow and overcome." That's the nature of Your "wisdom from above" that "is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy" (v. 3:13).
Good Lord, give me Your wisdom from above today. Give me Your grace to live it out, humbly and willingly choosing to be desperately dependent upon You alone. Give me faith to believe, without wavering or doubting, that this is Your good will to give me this good gift of Your wisdom to address and overcome every challenge I'll face this day. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
I pray you receive the widow of God you need to endure and overcome every trial and test you face, as you keep growing every day to be mature and complete in Christ , in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!
Friday, November 18, 2016
Morning by Morning, November 18 - Eyes of Eternity
Good morning, Lord Jesus. Help me see as You see, hear as You hear, so I can walk as You walk. Now help me look and listen to see what's on Your heart today for me to pray today, O Lord, my God -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. ...
"For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:17).
Help me see with the eyes of eternity. Help me "walk by faith, not by sight" (v. 5:7). Help me trust that You are at work in all things, causing all things to work together for Your plans and Your purpose. What looks messy to me, looks like a masterpiece to You. Help me see the masterpiece, as I keep looking to the Master and trusting in Your master plan.
"As it is written, 'What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him' -- these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God" (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). By grace, through faith, I choose to see with the eyes of eternity and trust in this "eternal weight of glory beyond all measure" You are preparing for me and all who are willing to believe. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
I pray you will see will the eyes of eternity and embrace by faith all our awesome God has prepared for you , in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Morning by Morning, November 17 - "Live in Harmony" to "Speak with One Voice"
Good morning, Lord Jesus. Good Shepherd, let me hear Your voice. ...
"May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 15:5-6).
These days we don't have to go far to hear a different opinion -- most of them firmly-held and fiercely-defended. In fact, that's one of the gifts of our freedom and even the beauty of Your creation -- we are all fearfully and wonderfully made, growing in our uniqueness of experience and diversity of personality. So when we respect one another's opinions, even and especially if we don't agree, it's respecting You and Your creativity and it's respecting the hard-fought freedom of our country.
And at the same time, in the midst of all the creativity and diversity, Your Spirit draws us to "live in harmony with one another." It's not "conformity to one another" but "harmony with one another." Though maybe a lot less challenging and much more peaceful, the conformity of all opinions being exactly the same would be so much more boring and would provide so little opportunity for growing in maturity.
So how is it that You create us with diversity but also call us to live in harmony to the degree that we speak with "one voice?" ...
It seems I hear You saying, "You speak with one voice when you remember to glorify Me in the expression of your thoughts and opinions. When you speak from a heart of honor and respect, even when you speak your different opinions from your different perspectives, you speak with one voice because you speak by My Spirit. Do you not know that you are My temple and My Spirit dwells in each of you?"
Yes, Lord. We are Your temple and Your Spirit dwells in each of us -- individually and personally, but also together as one (1 Corinthians 3:16). You call us to "be one" (John 17:11). You call us "to lead a life worthy of the calling to which (we) have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as (we) were called to the one hope of (our) calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all" (Ephesians 4:1-6).
Sometimes, we have to ask ourselves "What part of 'all' am I not understanding?" and "What part of 'one body' have I forgotten?" Probably the answer is it's the "the unity of the Spirit" and "the bond of peace" that I'm breaking by my bad attitude of giving in to my flesh instead following the leading of Your Spirit to respect and honor the one who disagrees with my opinion from my perspective. It's hard to speak "with one voice" to "glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" when we're all speaking by our flesh instead of living by Your Spirit.
"Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh.... By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit" (Galatians 5:16-26).
Come, Holy Spirit. Come fill Your temple -- each one personally and in our together as the body of Christ. Crucify our flesh. Purify our hearts. Sanctify our tongues. No matter our opinions -- only You truly know who is right and who is wrong -- by the power of Your grace at work within us, let us "live in harmony with one another" and speak "with one voice," with honor and respect for You and one another, that we may "glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
I pray you will be filled with the Holy Spirit, united as one in your heart with the body of Christ, living in harmony, speaking with honor and respect, to glorify God with your words and opinions, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Morning by Morning, November 16 - Spirit of God's Spirit of Love
Good morning, Lord Jesus. Make me more like You today (1 John 4:17). ...
"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.... God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them" (1 John 4:12-16).
If I sincerely want to know if God is living in me, if the Spirit of God abides in me, my question is not "Am I a good person?" or "Am I a powerful person?" It's not even "Am I an obedient person?" or "Am I a faithful person?" The question Your Word sets before me to ask of myself is "Am I a loving person?" Everything else follows and flows out of that. "By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit" -- His Spirit of Love (v. 4:13).
You drove home Your point through the Apostle Paul. Despite all the power and authority, the wisdom and maturity, the affirmation and confirmation of his calling and anointing, he had the honesty and humility to acknowledge his need of Your Spirit of Love, saying: "If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all mu possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing" (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
Your first disciples said, "Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1). And rightly so. But maybe the more urgent request to meet our deepest need is, "Lord, teach us to love." In fact, You're the One who said, "all the law and the prophets" hand on this (Matthew 22:40).
So come, Holy Spirit -- Spirit of the Living God who lives in me, who abides in me, who makes me more like You each day. "Spirit of Christ," let the nature of Christ be formed in me, as You teach me how to love, as You increase my capacity to give love and receive love, as I'm learning to love You, love others, and even love myself in the ways You've called me to (Romans 8:9). Because as You are, so am I to be in this world (1 John 4:17; Romans 8:29). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
I pray you will grow every day in your capacity to love and be loved, learning to love by the power and the grace of the Spirit of God in you, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Morning by Morning, November 15 - "Be Radiant"
Good morning, Lord Jesus. O Lord, my God -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- I worship You and welcome You into my heart and into my day. ...
"Look to Him, and be radiant" (Psalm 34:5).
As I look to You, Your Spirit shines on me. As I worship You, Your Spirit awakens me. As I seek You first and Your kingdom and Your righteousness, Your Spirit changes me, aligning my thoughts with Your thoughts and my desires with Your desires, causing my nature to be more like Your nature. You make me radiant with the glory of Your manifest Presence -- here in me and here upon me.
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, with unveiled face, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).
Come, Holy Spirit. Lift up my eyes to my Maker, open up my spirit to my Savior. Let me "arise, shine; for (my) Light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon (me).... Then (I) shall see and be radiant; (my) heart shall thrill and rejoice!" (Isaiah 60:1-5).
By Your grace I embrace the blessing of Your radiance: "The Lord bless (me) and keep (me); the Lord make His face to shine upon (me), and be gracious to (me); the Lord lift up His countenance upon (me), and give (me) peace" (Numbers 6:22). Then let me arise and shine to carry the radiance of Your glory everywhere You send me today. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
I pray you will arise and shine everywhere the Lord sends you today, in the radiance of His glory upon you, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!
Monday, November 14, 2016
Morning by Morning, November 14 - "So Great a Salvation"
Good morning, Lord Jesus. Help me hear what's on Your heart, as You align Your thoughts and Your desires with mine, here in these first moments of my morning. ...
"Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, He himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear He did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore He had to become like His brothers and sisters in every respect, so that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because He himself was tested by what He suffered, He is able to help those who are being tested" (Hebrews 2:14-18).
You became like me so that I could become like You. You died for my sins so that I could live by the power of Your grace. You were tested by Your sufferings so that I could come through every test in the power of the One who overcame every test for me. You destroyed the one who has the power of death so that I can have abundant life in You.
You've come to help us, as the descendants of Abraham. And every day we put our faith in You, You are "bringing many children to glory" Hebrews 2:10). You are the Son of God; and now, by the grace of God through all You've done for me in Your sacrifice of love, I am a son of God. "The One who sanctifies and those being sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call (us) brothers and sisters" (v. 2:11).
Let me never "neglect so great a salvation" (v. 2:3). Every day, by the power of Your grace, "I will put my trust in (You)" (v. 2:13). I will choose to "see Jesus" (v. 2:9). And I will choose to live each day of my life for the One who gave His life for me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
I pray you will live in the fullness and abundance of life you have in Christ through so great a salvation you have in Him, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!
Friday, November 11, 2016
Morning by Morning, November 11 - Veteran's Day -- Sacrifice of Love for Us
Good morning, Lord Jesus. Put Your thoughts in my mind and Your desires in my heart, as I seek to humble myself to hear Your voice and pray by the leading of Your Spirit. ...
"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends" (John 15:13 NKJV).
On this Veteran's Day, we honor the men and women who have loved and served our nation with their lives for our freedom. All have sacrificed, many with the ultimate sacrifice, that we might be secure at home and source of strength for good in our world. Their great love deserves our great respect and honor -- this day and every day.
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your sacrifice of love for us. You endured the cross to lay down Your life for each one of us. "We do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone" (Hebrews 2:9). There is no greater love.
As the people of a free nation, under God, may we honor our veterans and may we honor our Savior. May we live our lives today and every day in a way at honors Your sacrifice and theirs for us. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Be encouraged today! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays
Tommy, I pray your life today will honor our Savior and those who have been willing to sacrifice their lives for us, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. And I join with you in prayer for America to be a nation under God, honoring the Lord our God with the gifts and calling He has entrusted to us as a nation in our world. God bless you, my friend!