I CHOOSE

It’s quiet.  It’s early.  For the next 12 hours I’ll be exposed to the day’s demands.  It’s now that I must make a choice.  And so I choose—love. I will love God and what God loves.

maxlucado1I choose joy.
I choose peace. I will live forgiven.
I choose patience—Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I’ll thank God for a moment to pray.
I choose kindness—for that’s how God has treated me.
I choose goodness.
I choose faithfulness.  Today I’ll keep my promises. My wife will not question my love.
I choose gentleness.  If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.
I choose self-control.  I will be impassioned only by my faith and influenced only by God.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. When this day is done, I’ll place my head on my pillow and rest. (1Timothy 6:11)

By Max Lucado
From:  When God Whispers Your Name

Used by permission

EVERYTHING ELSE CHANGED

anchorI the LORD do not change.” Malachi 3:6

It is good that, despite all the variableness of life, there is One who cannot change. One whose heart can never alter, and on whose brow uncertainty can make no furrows.

Everything else has changed. All things are changing. The sun itself dims with age; the world is growing old; the folding up of the worn-out clothing has commenced. The heavens and earth must soon pass away. They will perish, growing old like a garment. But there is One who only has immortality, of whose years there is no end, and in whose person there is no change. The delight which the sailor feels when he steps upon the solid shore after having been tossed about for many a day, is the satisfaction of a Christian when amidst all the changes of this life, he rests the foot of his faith upon this truth “I the LORD do not change.”

The anchor gives a ship its stability. Likewise, the Christian’s hope gives him stability when he fixes on the glorious truth that with God, “who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17) Whatever His attributes were yesterday, they remain today: His power, His wisdom, His justice, and His truth, are all unchanged. He has always been the refuge of His people, their stronghold in their day of trouble, and He is still their reliable Helper.

He is unchanging in His love. He has loved His people with an everlasting love and He loves us now as much as ever He did. When all earthly things shall have melted away, His love will still wear the dew of its youth. Precious is the assurance that He never changes! The wheel of providence turns, but its axle is eternal love.

Death and change are busy ever, Man decays, and ages move; But His mercy waneth never; God is wisdom, God is love.”

Question: How does God’s unchanging nature give you comfort in difficult times of instability?

YOU’RE NOT ALONE

walk-with-christWhen you place your faith in Christ, Christ places his Spirit before, behind, and within you. Not a strange spirit, but the same Spirit: the parakletos. Everything Jesus did for his followers, his Spirit does for you. Jesus taught; the Spirit teaches. Jesus healed; the Spirit heals. Jesus comforted; his Spirit comforts. As Jesus sends you into new seasons, he sends his counselor to go with you.

God treats you the way one mother treated her young son, Timmy. She didn’t like the thought of Timmy walking to his first-grade class unaccompanied. But he was too grown-up to be seen with his mother. “Besides,” he explained, “I can walk with a friend.” So she did her best to stay calm, quoting the Twenty-third Psalm to him every morning: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”

One school day she came up with an idea. She asked a neighbor to follow Timmy to school in the mornings, staying at a distance, lest he notice her. The neighbor was happy to oblige. She took her toddler on morning walks anyway.

After several days Timmy’s friend noticed the lady and the child.

Do you know who that woman is who follows us to school?”

Timmy answered. “That’s Shirley Goodnest and her daughter Marcy.”

Who?”

My mom reads about them every day in the Twenty-third Psalm. She says, Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life. Guess I’ll have to get used to them.”

You will too. God never sends you out alone. Are you on the eve of change? Do you find yourself looking into a new chapter? Is the foliage of your world showing signs of a new season? Heaven’s message for you is clear: when everything else changes, God presence never does. You journey in the company of the Holy Spirit, who “will teach you and will remind you of everything I have told you.” John 14:26 (NLT).

By Max Lucado
Used by permission

HERE WE ARE ~ Sung by Don Moen

And here we are, lifting our hands to You
Here we are giving You thanks for all You do
As we praise and worship Your holy name
You are here, dwelling within our praise

For every answered prayer
For always being there
For love that hears us when we call
For arms that lift us when we fall

O, You have always been right beside us
Leading us all along the way
And we made it through
(We made it through)
Because of You

And here we are lifting our hands to You
Here we are, giving You thanks for all You do
As we praise and worship Your holy name
You are here, dwelling within our praise

For days we cannot see
(For days we cannot see)
For all that yet to be
(So much is yet to be)

The trials we may have to face
When we’ll be leaning on Your grace
It will be Your strength, that saves us
Your love that makes us strong

And through it all
(Through it all)
We’ll sing this song

Here we are, lifting our hands to You
Here we are, giving You thanks for all You do
As we praise and worship Your holy name
You are here, dwelling within our praise

You are here, dwelling within our praise
You are here, dwelling within our praise

***

Sung by praise, worship leader, singer,
and songwriter Don Moen
Directly licensed
for internet public performance

Psalm 34:1 (KJV)
I will bless the Lord at all times:
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Prayer of Compassion

Originally posted on Source of Inspiration:

alcoholicDear Lord,

Thank-you for this erring man
in my life, and the opportunity
to show him a better way.
May I have the compassion,
the patience
to shine the Light of Love
on his path.
May I not let his unfavorable ways
lessen my love of his soul.
May the power of goodness
be my master in all I say and do.

May I be a living channel
of spiritual light for he who
sits in darkness, thus transforming
my own soul. How precious is
my brother. Have mercy on us
both that we may know the
full measure of Your love.

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DARK SIDE

I saw a car the other day that looked normal but as it turned the corner, I was caught by surprise – the whole passenger side was completely smashed in!

Have you ever considered that people are something like that car? We have a good side that we parade around for all to see and a dark side that we hide from view.

In the book of Matthew, a young man comes to Jesus wanting to know how he can have eternal life and Jesus tells him he must obey the commandments. The young man proclaims that he has obeyed all of them. He’s parading his good side for Jesus to see.

He then asked what else he needed to do.

Jesus told him, “. . . go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matthew. 19:20-22)

dark sideWith laser-like precision Jesus goes after the dark side of his heart.

Showing off our good sides and concealing our dark sides is second nature, but we can’t hide our dark sides from God.

Jesus is in the business of changing EVERY PART of us – the good and the bad. This process of change can be terrifying, excruciating, seemingly unbearable at times but it’s in this struggle and pain that our true beauty can be brought forth.

Will you let God in to work on your dark side?