Be encouraged today! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays
Friday, February 28, 2020
Morning by Morning, February 28 - See and Say the Vision of the Lord
Good morning, Lord Jesus. Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Order my steps and lead me throughout the moments of my day in the joy of my salvation -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God. ...
"I will stand at my watchpost, and station myself on the rampart; I will keep watch to see what He will say to me, and what He will answer concerning my complaint. Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it. For there is still a vision for the appointed time...." (Habakkuk 2:1-3).
I will look to see what You say, Lord. Open the eyes of my heart to see with Your vision, to see with Your eyes, to see with Your heart. "I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give (me) a spirit of wisdom and revelation as (I) come to know Him, so that, with the eyes of (my) heart enlightened, (I) may know what is the hope to which He has called (me), which are the riches of His glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power for us who believe, according to the working of His great power" (Ephesians 1:17-19).
As I see it, let me say it. As I see it, let me write it. Write Your vision plain on the tablet of my heart, so I can read it and run with it and express it to all who need to hear it -- beginning with me in my own heart, now in my own generation. "My ears You have opened" (Psalm 40:6). "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You" (Job 42:5). "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (Revelation 3:22). "Bless are (our) eyes, because they see; and (our) ears, because they hear. 'For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what (we) see, and did not see it, and to hear what (we) hear, and did not hear it" (Matthew 13:16-17).
In the sovereignty of Your grace, in the fullness of Your time, "there is still a vision for the appointed time" (Habakkuk 2:3). And that appointed time is today! "For He says, 'At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you.' See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!" (2 Corinthians 6:2)
So by Your grace, I will see and I will say what You have for me and for my generation today. "I will stand at my watchpost" (Habakkuk 2:1) -- which is the place of prayer, the place of deep intimacy in communion with You -- spirit to Spirit, heart to Heart, deep to Deep. "Anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him" (1 Corinthians 6:17). "I will station myself on the rampart" (Habakkuk 2:1) -- which is the place of repentance that prepares the way of the Lord in my heart and in my land, as I turn away from myself and my selfishness and my self-centeredness and my sinfulness to turn to You with all my heart and mind and soul and strength (Matthew 22:37).
I see repentance before revival. I say repentance before revival. I bow my knees and humble my heart to turn wholeheartedly to You -- for myself and my land, which is all You've entrusted to my care, to my watch, with responsibility and with authority. I do see and I do say, "Revival is coming!" along with all who are joining in prayer and joining in proclamation for Your heart in our hearts, for Your heart in our land, for Your heart in our day (2 Chronicles 7:14). Lord, let it be so! "Revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You!" (Psalm 85:6) In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Be encouraged today! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays
My friend, may you take your place at your watchpost and on your rampart, in the deep place of intimacy in prayer, to hear and to see and to say the vision of the Lord in all the spheres of responsibility and authority He has entrusted to you at this appointed time, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!
Thursday, February 27, 2020
Morning by Morning, February 27 - Believe and See. Stand Firm and Succeed.
Good morning, Lord Jesus. Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart. ...
"Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, 'Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in His prophets and you will succeed!" (2 Chronicles 20:20 NKJV)
Through faith, we believe. Through prophecy, we see. When we believe, we stand firm. When we see, we succeed.
Come, Holy Spirit of the Living God! Stir in our hearts to believe. Stir in our spirits to see. Empower us to stand firm in faith to believe; anoint us to see the truth of Your will and succeed.
Almighty Father God, let us see what You're doing. Let us hear what You're saying. Let us join in the heart of heaven to see the Kingdom of Heaven made manifest here on earth as it is in heaven. Through prayer and prophecy, may we become more intimate with You and become more faithful to You, to know Your will and obey it. Let us see what You're doing and do it; let us hear what You're saying and speak it. "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven" (Matthew 7:21).
Dear Lord Jesus, abide in us as we abide in You, for apart from You we can do nothing (John 15:5). But as we abide in You, we hear Your voice and receive Your words so we can speak out Your will and live in Your ways to bear much fruit and glorify God. As You said, "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" (John 15:7).
It was "early" in the morning when King Jehoshaphat was moved to speak the army of the Lord, when he encouraged them to believe and to see, so they would stand firm and succeed (2 Chronicles 20:20). And "early" in the morning, Your Spirit moves in our spirits to draw near to You, to listen for Your leading, to hear what You're saying and see what You're doing, as we offer the first-fruits of each day to You. You invite us to "Seek first the Kingdom of God" (Matthew 6:33). Then we can pray it; then we can prophesy it; then we can live it -- because we believe it and we've seen it. Then we can stand firm in it and succeed in it, as Your Kingdom comes and Your will is done, on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).
Just as You gave Jehoshaphat and the army of the Lord great victory as they sang praises of Your faithfulness and love, You'll give us great victory over whatever stands between the Kingdom of Heaven in our hearts and in our world (2 Chronicles 20:21-26). Early every morning, let us pray and let us praise; let us believe and let us see; let us stand firm and let us succeed -- for that's where the battle for our day will be fought and that's where the victory of our day will be won! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Be encouraged today! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays
My friend, may you believe and see, may you stand firm and succeed, as you draw near to God in the depths of prayer and the heights of praise, with great victory in the battles of your day, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Morning by Morning, February 26 - Standing in Faith Between the Living and the Dead with the Incense of Prayer
Good morning, Lord Jesus. I seek Your face and call on Your name to begin my day embraced by my Father, centered in Christ, and filled with Your Holy Spirit. ...
"On the next day, however, the whole congregation of the Israelites rebelled against Moses and against Aaron, saying, 'You have killed the people of the Lord.' And when the congregation assembled against them, Moses and Aaron turned toward the Tent of Meeting; the cloud had covered it and the glory of the Lord appeared. Then Moses and Aaron came to the front of the Tent of Meeting, and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'Get away from this congregation, so that I may consume them in a moment.' And they fell on their faces. Moses said to Aaron, 'Take your censer, put fire on it from the altar and lay incense on it, and carry it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them. For wrath has gone out from the Lord; the plague has begun.' So Aaron took it as Moses had ordered, and ran into the middle of the assembly, where the plague had already begun among the people. He put on the incense, and made atonement for the people. He stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stopped" (Numbers 16:41-48).
The stories of the Old Covenant speak to us about spiritual principles of the New Covenant. "Now these things occurred as examples to us, so that we might not desire evil as they did" (1 Corinthians 10:6). An evil desire that arose in the hearts of the Israelites, as Moses and Aaron led them out of Egypt and through the wilderness, was the desire to rebel against God and His leadership of the people through Moses and Aaron. First, Korah spoke against Moses and assembled the people in rebellion, but suffered the consequences of his rebellion and disobedience at the hands of the wrath of God (Numbers 16:1-35). And now, "the whole congregation" were joining in rebellion against God and His leaders, accusing them of being the hand of God's wrath against Korah and his followers (Numbers 16:41). They too would now suffer the wrath of God in response to their rebellion, as a great plague began to move throughout their camp, taking the lives of those who stood in rebellion -- "for wrath has gone out from the Lord; the plague has begun" (Numbers 16:46).
Even then, Moses and Aaron did not join in accusation against the people for their rebellion against God and His leaders. Instead, they turned to God (Numbers 16:42), they "fell on their faces" in humility and prayer to make intercession for the people that mercy would triumph over judgment, even when judgment was deserved (Numbers 16:45).
The thought came to Moses' heart to send Aaron with his censor of fire and its burning incense from the altar of the Tabernacle into the midst of the people to "make atonement for them" (Numbers 16:46). "(Aaron) stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stopped" (Numbers 16:48).
There are many spiritual principles to learn from this account. But one that speaks to me today is the power of prayer in the face of a plague. No matter the source of the plague, even if we are the ones who have opened the door to our own destruction in our lives or in our world, the heart of God is to call us to prayer. The burning incense speaks of intercession. Carrying the censor from the Tabernacle to the place of the plague speaks of putting action to our prayers and running to the battle instead of hiding in fear. Standing between the living and the dead speaks of standing in our place of authority in the name of the Lord to speak against the plague, the sickness, the disease, the destruction, and the death that would seek to consume us. And that the plague was stopped speaks of the mercy of God, that mercy triumphs over judgment, that prayer prevails, that's there's authority of life over death, that faith in God overcomes whatever we face.
In this Old Covenant story, Aaron the priest went among the people to "make atonement" for the sins of the people and to stop the plague (Numbers 16:46). Under our New Covenant in You, the Blood of Jesus has made atonement for us. "For in (Jesus Christ) 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 1:19-20).
Through the Blood of Your Cross, You have taken upon Yourself every plague or virus, every sickness we endure and every sin we allow, that we could humble ourselves before You in prayer and take our stand with You in faith against all we face. "Surely He has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted Him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgression, crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the punishment that made us whole, and by His bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid upon Him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:4-6 fulfilled in Jesus Christ, Matthew 8:16-17). "He Himself bore our sins on His Body on the Cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by His wounds (we) have been healed" (1 Peter 2:24).
Come, Holy Spirit. Draw us to the deep place of intimate prayer, to the humble place of willingly choosing to be desperately dependent upon You alone, to the trusting place of believing in faith that You see every form of sickness or death, virus or plague, in our hearts or our bodies or our world, coming against us to destroy us. Rise up within us to take our stand, with authority and prayer in the power of the name of Jesus and in the mercy of the atoning Blood of our Savior, even between the living the dead. Let our prayers arise like burning incense; let Your mercy triumph over judgment (James 2:13); and let life in You prevail over the sickness, disease, and death of this world (John 10:10). The Coronavirus cannot trump the Crown of Christ!
In the authority of Your name, let us run to the battle and not hide away in fear. Let us declare in the authority and power of Your name, "This far and no more!" (Job 38:11) In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Be encouraged today! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays
My friend, may you run to the battle for your family and all the Lord has entrusted to you with responsibility and authority in the name of Jesus to take your stand with the incense of prayer and see His mercy triumph and His life prevail over whatever you face, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Morning by Morning, February 25 - "This Far and No More!"
Good morning, Lord Jesus. I'm waiting and watching for Your leading -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God. ...
"Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind ... 'Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb? -- when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed bounds for it, and set bars and doors, and said, 'Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stopped?'" (Job 38:1-11)
You said to the sea, "This far and no more." And You continue to speak in Your sovereignty, "This far and no more" to all that would seek to overwhelm us and overcome us.
We live daily in a broken and fallen world, where choices have consequences and where many choices are made in the freedom we have that are wrong choices, even wicked choices, that break Your heart, that oppose Your will, that unleash evil and destruction in our world. But none of that will have the last word, as we turn to You and call on Your name. There are boundaries to our brokenness and there are limits to the license of our freedom.
No matter what we endure, no matter how much it breaks Your heart or violates Your will, You are there with us by Your Word and by Your Spirit to redeem it and cause it to work together for good (Romans 8:28). You never "will" evil and You never "will" sin -- those are our choices from our will -- but You will never let the evil and the sin our choices have its full say or have the last word. Your Word is the final word and Your sovereignty has the final say. Even our spiritual enemy -- the thief who comes to kill and steal and destroy (John 10:10) -- must yield to Your rebuke (Zechariah 3:2; Jude 1:9) and must bow to the authority of Your name (Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 28:18). And You are with us through whatever we face (Isaiah 43:1-7; Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 28:20).
As with the boundaries of the sea, "You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth" (Psalm 104:9). "Do you not fear Me? says the Lord; Do you not tremble before Me? I placed the sand as a boundary for the sea, a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass; though the waves toss they cannot prevail, though they roar, they cannot pass over it" (Jeremiah 5:22). You assure us of Your sovereignty, even as we endure our challenges. "No testing has overtaken (us) that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and He will not let (us) be tested beyond (our) strength, but with testing He will also provide the way out ("the way of escape" NKJV) so that (we) may be able to endure it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).
One of the ways You provide for us is for us to intercede in prayer and to stand up and speak out in the authority we have in Your name as children of God and disciples of Christ (John 14:13; Matthew 18:19 and 21:22; John 15:7). As You said to Your first disciples, You continue to speak to all Your disciples, "Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and thrown into the sea,' and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for. You. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours" (Mark 11:22-24).
So Lord, in these days of Coronavirus, of famines or plagues or earthquakes or terror or political turmoil, or worries of economic collapse or spiritual warfare or suffering the consequences of selfish and sinful choices in our lives and our generations, "teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1). Teach us to take our authority in Your name, as we seek Your face, listen for Your voice, and obey Your will from the deep place of intimate prayer. As You said long ago, You continue to say: "See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you" (Luke 10:19).
Teach us how to pray and teach us how live into our identity and authority in You. Teach us how to trust in Your sovereign will and make right choices in submission to Your will in the freedom You allow. Teach us how to agree with Your word we've heard from You in prayer to speak to the mountain of whatever we face in the authority of Your name, "This far and no more!" In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
My friend, may you be drawn into the deep place of intimate prayer to hear and to speak what the voice of the Lord is saying with authority in faith to whatever you face, "This far and no more!" in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!
Gandalf in Lord of the Rings
Monday, February 24, 2020
Morning by Morning, February 24 - Who Am I?
Good morning, Lord Jesus. I welcome You here in my heart and in every moment of my day -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God. ...
"What are mere mortals that You should think about them, human beings that You should care for them? Yet You made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them charge of everything You made, putting all things under their authority.... O Lord, our Lord, Your majestic name fills the earth!" (Psalm 8:4-9 NLT)
Lord, who am I, that You should think of me? Who am I, that You should care for me? Who am I, that You should crown me with glory and honor, that You would entrust me with such authority and dominion in Your creation? ...
All that was lost in Adam has been restored and redeemed in Christ. "Yes, Adam's one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ's one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone.... So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God's wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 5:18-21 NLT)
Who am I that You would humble Yourself in the likeness of human flesh and blood for me, that You should die for me, that You should pay the sacrifice of Your blood for me? (Philippians 2:5-11)
Yet, even as I ask, I hear Your Spirit speaking to my spirit. ...
"You are My beloved son, a child of God, created in My image for My glory. You are forgiven and free in Me, called by My name, cleansed in My blood, sealed with My Spirit. You are worth the Sacrifice and I want you to see yourself as I see you." ...
Yes, Lord. "For in Christ Jesus (we) are all sons of God, through faith" (Galatians 3:26 ESV). "To all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God" (John 1:12). "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are" (1 John 3:1). "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10). "(We) are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that (we) may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called (us) out of darkness and into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9). "(We) are God's temple and God's Spirit dwells in (us)" (1 Corinthians 3:16).
By the power of Your grace, I choose to see myself as You see me. And instead of denying Your wonderful grace and extravagant cost of Your incomprehensible Sacrifice out of some sense of false religious pride or false religious humility, I choose to embrace Your gift and my identity as a beloved son, a beloved child of God -- literally worth dying for.
You first loved me, and now I love You (1 John 4:19). You laid down Your life as a Sacrifice for me, and now I lay down my life as a living sacrifice for You (Romans 12:1). Secure in my identity, may I honor You with my destiny. All that I am, all that I have, and all that I do, may I "do everything for the glory of God" as a beloved child of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
My friend, may you be secure in your identity as a beloved child of God and honor God with you life as you live into your destiny in Him, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!
Friday, February 21, 2020
Morning by Morning, February 21 - "Come, Enter the Joy of the Master"
Good morning, Lord Jesus. Take me deep into Your presence to hear Your voice and sense Your leading -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. ...
"Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last -- dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on. His trip. The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master's money. After a long time their mast returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money" (Matthew 25:14-19 NLT).
You've created each of us uniquely from anyone else on the face of the earth. We are each "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14). No two leaves on a tree, no two fingerprints on our hands, no two snowflakes that fall from the sky are the same; and neither are any of the children of Your creation. And You have called us and gifted us and anointed us "in proportion to (our) abilities" and according to Your purposes. And in a sense, You've "entrusted" Your Kingdom to us. "God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him.... We are Christ's ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us" (2 Corinthians 5:18-20 NLT).
One day soon, You will return. And like the master in the story, You will call us each one to give account of all You've entrusted to us and commissioned us to do in the authority of Your name in security of our identity as sons and daughters of God, as ambassadors of Christ. "Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God" (Romans 14:12 NLT).
As in the story, we won't be judged in comparison to one another, but by what we've done with what You've entrusted to each of us based upon our abilities and assignments. Two servants served the master well. "The master was full of praise. 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!'" (Matthew 25:21 NLT). But one servant buried what he had in a hole. He didn't waste the master's money, but he did waste his opportunity to please his master as a faithful steward and servant. His fear held him back so that he wasted what he had and squandered his opportunity to find fulfillment in his master's joy (Matthew 24:25).
Lord, I know Your love for me will never change, no matter what I do or don't do, even if I were to waste every moment of my life and squander away every opportunity and assignment You entrust to me. Nothing will separate me from Your love (Romans 8:38-39). 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). Like Billy Graham always said "There's nothing I could ever do to make You love me more; there's nothing I could ever do to make You love me less." And at the same time, I know You desire so much more for me. I know You desire for me to be found faithful in obedience, to be found fruitful in service, and to find fulfillment in bringing joy to Your heart, as I live into my identity in You as a child of God and ambassador of Christ.
You're the One who given me the abilities and entrusted me with the calling that fits exactly who You've created me and called me to be, unlike anyone else. You're the One who's put the very desire in my heart to please You with my life. And when it's all been said and done, I long to hear Your words, "Well done, My good and faithful servant, My beloved child. Come, enter your reward. Come, enter the joy of your Master" (from Matthew 25:21). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
My friend, may you find fulfillment as you enter into the Master's joy, being found faithful in obedience and service to Him in all He has uniquely entrusted to you, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!