Thursday, March 28, 2019
Morning by Morning, March 28 - Jesus Said "I AM"
Good morning, Lord Jesus. I speak out Your name and listen for Your leading, Good Shepherd of my soul. ...
"Jesus said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.' Then they took up stones to throw at Him" (John 8:58-59 NKJV).
"I am the Bread of Life" (John 6:48);
"I am the Light of the World" (John 8:12);
"I am the Gate" (John 10:9);
"I am the Good Shepherd" (John 10:11);
"I am the Resurrection and the Life" (John 11:26);
"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6); and
"I am the Vine" (John 15:5).
You said, "I am." And I believe You are. One with the Father, one with the Holy Spirit, You are the great "I AM" (Exodus 3:14; John 14:10). As You said to those who challenged Your identity, Your dominion, and Your authority: "Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I AM" (John 8:58). And they knew the claim You were making, as they picked up stones to stone You to death for blasphemy, not understanding that You were the very Stone the builders rejected that was the very Cornerstone of heaven and earth (Psalm 118:22; Acts 4:11).
You are I AM; You are my "All in All;" and You are the Source of all that am and all that I need (Ephesians 2:23; John 1:1-4). For "all things have been created through (You) and for (You)" and You are to "have first place in everything" (Colossians 1:10, 18): "(Our Lord Jesus Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in Him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers -- all things have been created through Him and for Him. He Himself is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He might come to have first place in everything. For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him God was pleased to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the Blood of His Cross" (Colossians 1:15-20).
Lord Jesus, be my Bread, be my Light, be my Gate, be my Good Shepherd, be my Resurrection and Life, be my Way, my Truth, my Life, be my Vine. Be my All in All. Be First Place in my life, as I believe in my heart and confess with my lips "that Jesus is Lord" (Romans 10:9).
Be I AM, as I believe in You and fully entrust myself to You this day and every day. "To all who received (You), who believed in (Your) name, (You) gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:12). And "from (Your) fullness we have all received grace upon grace" (John 1:16). You said "I AM" and I believe You are. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
My friend, may you embrace the One who says "I AM" -- as your Source of all that you are and all that you need in the power and unity of God's love -- God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit , in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Morning by Morning, March 26 - Beholding the Glory of the Lord
Good morning, Lord Jesus. You are welcome in my heart and every moment of my day -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God. ...
"Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:17 NKJV).
Spirit of the Lord, Spirit of the Living God, come fill me afresh today (Ephesians 5:18). Come set me free in Your liberty to passionately pursue the Presence of God. You lift up my eyes, You open up my heart. You move away every veil and break through every barrier so I can behold the glory of the Lord. "When one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away" for "the veil is taken away in Christ" (2 Corinthians 3:14-16).
Lord, as I "behold" You, I worship You. As I "behold" You, I seek You first, I hold no other gods before You, I allow nothing to have any place in my heart that only You are to have. As I "behold" You, I take hold of You and allow You to take hold of me, I open up my heart in love with You and allow You to pour out Your love into my heart "because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit" (Romans 5:5). And as I "behold You, You "show me Your glory" and change me into Your image "from glory to glory" (Exodus 33:19, Corinthians 3:18).
Morning by morning, moment by moment, step by step, You're making me more like You -- "from glory to glory" -- as I "behold" You. Beholding You in worship, communing with You in prayer, surrendering to You in trusting faith, and allowing You to change me into Your image is Your discipleship program, Your mentoring project, and Your church growth plan. It's Your strategic plan to turn the world upside down (Acts 17:6) until the kingdoms of the world have become the Kingdom of our God and His Christ (Revelation 11:15) and the knowledge of the glory of the Lord covers the earth as the waters cover the sea! (Habakkuk 2:14)
Come, Holy Spirit. My Father God, in Jesus' name and by the power of Your grace through Jesus' blood, keep changing me. Keep transforming me. Keep making me more like You each day. As You are, so am I to become in this world (1 John 4:17). Your nature is to become my nature (Romans 8:29; 2 Peter 1:4). And Your life is become my life (Colossians 3:4). Keep taking me deeper and lifting me higher until I can say "it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20).
Grounded in Your Word, filled with Your Spirit, beholding Your Glory, may I "grow up in all things into Him who is the head -- Christ," may I grow up in spiritual maturity as a child of God and a disciple of Christ "to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" along with all who are called by Your name and living for the praise of Your glory (Ephesians 4:11-16). "Christ in (me), the hope of glory!" (Colossians 1:27). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
My friend, may you grow up into Christ, being changed into His image from glory to glory -- grounded in His Word, filled His Spirit, and beholding His glory, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!
Friday, March 22, 2019
Morning by Morning, March 22 - Going Through the Gate of Greater Expectation on Our Great Adventure of Faith
Good morning, Lord Jesus. As begin to stir in my day, You're already stirring in my heart with great anticipation for another day in my great adventure of faith with You -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God. ...
"O that You would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at Your Presence -- as when fire kindles brushwood and fire cause water to boil -- to make Your name known to Your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at Your Presence! When You did awesome deeds that we did not expect, You came down, the mountains quaked at Your Presence! From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, who works for those who wait for Him!" (Isaiah 64:1-4)
Great and awesome God, who does great and awesome things -- You've torn open the heavens and entered my heart, You've broken through barriers of my rebellion and pride and set me free, You've ignited a fire down in my soul that I can't contain and can't control and set me ablaze with a passion for You. And the amazing thing is -- You've given me great, expectant faith to believe the best is yet to come!
We face battles every day, but they are battles You've already won! Every day, we face mountains that seem to hard to climb and valleys that seem to deep to cross, but You've already provide all we'll ever need to get over and get us through, building our confidence and faith all along way. Every problem is an invitation to take hold of Your promises. Every obstacle is an opportunity to become overcomers and more than conquerors.
We can't be overcomers unless we've had something to overcome. We can't be more than conquerors unless we've had something to conquer. Just like we can't have a testimony unless we've passed some tests. But all things are possible for You and for those who believe! (Mark 10:27 and 9:23) And though apart from You we can do nothing, we never have to be apart from You (John 15:5). Just as You said long ago, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become My disciples. As the Father loved Me, so I have loved you; abide in My love" (John 15:7-9).
This is our great adventure of faith! And I'm excited to see what You will do in my life today and in the season ahead. Come and do Your great and awesome deeds we do not even expect, even has You come and take us through the gate of even greater expectations of faith in You! By the power of Your grace we will "Go through! Go through! Go through the gates!" (Isaiah 62:10) In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
My Friend, may you be stirred in your spirit to keep arising and shining and going through the gate of greater exceptions on you great adventure of faith in our God, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!
Friends, please keep us in prayer this weekend for our Rapha God Ministries Retreat at Lake LBJ near Austin with all our volunteer prayer ministers for a time of renewal and joy together in the Presence of the Lord! Our theme this is year has been "Go Through the Gates!" I pray the Lord's refreshing and renewal for you too! Go through the gates and God bless you!
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Morning by Morning, March 21 - "Look Up!"
Good morning, Lord Jesus. I speak out Your name and listen for Your voice, here in my heart, rising up in my thoughts, and guiding my steps -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God. ...
"I look up to the hills, but where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let me be defeated. He who guards (me) never sleeps.... The Lord will protect (me) from all dangers; He will guard (my) life. The Lord will guard (me) as (I) come and go, both now and forever!" (Psalm 121:1-8 NCV)
I believe I hear You saying in my heart, "Look up! No matter what you see before you, Look up! No matter what you see coming against you, Look up! See Me above all your challenges, all your circumstances. See Me high and lifted up, sovereign and exalted over all. As you look up to Me, I lift you up in Me so that you overcome all that I have already overcome."
Yes, Lord. I look up to You. My help comes from You. I am in You and You are in me (John 15:4). "God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love which He has loved us even when we were dead through or trespasses, made us alive tougher with Christ -- by grace you have been saved -- and raise us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:4-7).
As I look up, You lift me up. So by the power of Your grace always at work within me, I keep looking up and You keep lifting me. "In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us!" (Romans 8:37). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
My friend, may you keep looking up as the Lord keeps lifting you up over all that face as an overcomer and more than a conqueror in Him, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!
Friends, please keep us in prayer as we travel today for our Rapha God Ministries Retreat at Horeshoe Bay with all our volunteer prayer ministers for a time of renewal and joy together in the Presence of the Lord! I pray the Lord's refreshing and renewal for you too! God bless you!
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Morning by Morning, March 19 - Communion with God in the Tent of Meeting
Good morning, Lord Jesus. Just as closer walk with You, a little closer every day -- here in the communion of prayer and throughout every moment of my day -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God. ...
"Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two lambs a year old regularly each day. One lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer in the evening ... with it a grain offering and its drink offering ... for a pleasing odor, an offering by fire to the Lord. It shall be a regular burnt offering throughout your generations at the entrance of the tent of meeting before the Lord, where I will meet with you, to speak to you there. I will meet with the Israelites there, and it shall be sanctified by My glory; I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar; Aaron also and his sons I will consecrate, to serve Me as priests. I will dwell among the Israelites, and I will be their God. And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt that I mighty dwell among them; I am the Lord their God" (Exodus 29:3846).
All that was spoken as a type and shadow in the Old Covenant is fulfilled in Christ in the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:5-6). Their tent of meeting was a temple of cloth; while my tent of meeting in the temple of my heart. They were on a journey out of the bondage of Egypt, through the wilderness of testing their faith, and into the promised land of their inheritance of God; while my journey is a spiritual journey of the bondage of my self-centeredness and sin, through the wilderness of the testing of my faith, and into the fulfillment of my inheritance, my identity, and my destiny as a child of God in the promises of the Word of God. All the while, I'm learning to love, learning to trust, learning to obey, and learning to live into the fullness of all I am in You and all You are in me as a child of God and disciple of Christ.
Every morning, every evening, and throughout the moments of my day, I receive can receive the gift of Your abiding Presence through the Blood of the Lamb. I can come into the tent of meeting with You through Your holy communion with me -- Heart to heart, Spirit to spirit, Deep to deep. "Anyone united to the Lord becomes one with Him" (1 Corinthians 6:17). Through the Blood of the Lamb, I am "God's temple" and "God's Spirit dwells in (me)" (1 Corinthians 3:16). Through the Blood of the Lamb, I have "the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit" (2 Corinthians 13:13).
My life -- surrendered and yielded to You, as best as I can and all by Your grace -- is my burnt offering that releases a pleasing aroma to You as "an offering by fire to the Lord." By all You've done for me, I am "a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is (my) spiritual worship" for You (Romans 12:1).
Lord, let me never take this for granted -- the gift of Your Presence, the glory of the manifest Presence of God with me every morning, every evening, and throughout the moments of my day. The "tent of meeting" is always open to me. You abide in me as I abide in You (John 15:4). You are with me always (Matthew 28:20). You are our God and we are Your people; You are my Father and I am Your child (Romans 8:16). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
My friend, may you join in communion with God in the tent of meeting in your heart every morning, every evening, and throughout the moments of your day through the Blood of the Lamb provided for you, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!
Monday, March 18, 2019
Morning by Morning, March 18 - "According to Your Faith"
Good morning, Lord Jesus. My Father and Friend, my Master and Mentor, my Lord and Lover of my soul, You are my All in All; and I give my all to You today -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God. ...
"As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying loudly, 'Have mercy on us, Son of David!' When He entered the house, the blind men came to Him; and Jesus said to them, 'Do you believe that I am able to do this?' They said to Him, 'Yes, Lord.' Then He touched their eyes and said, 'According to your faith let it be done to you.' And their eyes were opened" (Matthew 9:27-30).
My faith matters. "According to (my) faith" it will "be done to (me)."
So Lord, open my eyes to see with eyes of faith. Open my ears to listen for the words of God. Open my heart to receive all that's in Your heart to give. Like the blind men, let my spirit say "Yes, Lord" with expectant faith to look and see what God will do.
Where disappointment and doubt say "No," let my faith say "Yes." Where naysayers and negative nellies say "No,' let my faith say "Yes." Faith accepts nothing less than God's best. Faith dares to believe there's always more of Your goodness and grace, that You know the plans You have for me, to provide for me and never harm me, to give me a certain hope and a clear future where my faith is fulfilled in You and Your good will for me (Jeremiah 29:11).
Let me "think on these things" -- these good things of Your goodness and grace (Philippians 4:8 NKJV). For "as (one) thinks in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7 KJV). And it will be done for me "according to (my) faith" (Matthew 9:29). By the power of Your grace at work within me, line up my faith with Your will and my hope with Your heart -- holding nothing back and settling for nothing less. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
My friend, may you be free to believe with expectant faith all the Lord has for you, receiving all the goodness and grace of God according to your faith, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!
Friday, March 15, 2019
Morning by Morning, March 15 - "The Confession of Our Hope"
Good morning, Lord Jesus. You're welcome here in my heart and every moment of my day -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God. ...
"Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who has promised is faithful" (Hebrews 10:23).
Faithful One, hold me close to You. Hold fast to me as I hold fast to You. This is my confession -- that You are my Hope. "May the God of hope fill (me) with all joy and peace in believing, so that (I) may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13).
And this is my prayer of surrender to the One who fills me with hope and with all joy and peace in believing -- that as I honestly and sincerely surrender my heart and my life to You, as best as I can all by Your grace, You will guide my steps, putting Your thoughts in my mind and Your desires in my heart. As long as I seek to walk in humility with You, You will clearly confirm my steps that are right and true; and at the same time, You will lovingly correct my steps that are out of alignment with Your will and Your ways.
So as I keep my hope fixed on You, as I keep believing and trusting in You, I can't lose. In that sense, it's all good in God. In that sense, I can be filled with all joy and peace even in the midst of all the "wavering" and unclear "confession" of what is right and true going on around me. My hope is in the One who does not change, the One who never wavers, the One who has promised to be faithful to me to the end. You are "the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). You "will never leave (me) or forsake (me). So (I) can say with confidence, 'The Lord is my Helper; I will not be afraid'" (Hebrews 13:5-6).
"Now may the God of peace (and hope), who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the Great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make (me) complete in everything good so that (I) may do His will, working among us what is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever!" (Hebrews 13:20-21) In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
My friend, may you hold fast to the confession of our hope, holding fast to the One who is holding fast to You, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!