Are you enjoying your good days?
June 28, 2010

TODAY’S VERSE: Ecclesiastes 7:14

“On a good day, enjoy yourself; On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days So that we won’t take anything for granted.” [The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson]

TODAY’S MESSAGE

After several months without seeing her, these past two weekends I have been truly blessed to enjoy my beautiful 7-year old Veronica, especially on Father’s Day. And, through the end of next month, we’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy each other under a warm and beautiful Summer here in Ohio! 🙂

Being away from our loved ones for months is not the ideal scenario for anyone, especially those of us who are family oriented, for the sense of loneliness that it produces is nothing to be desired. However, when the good days to be with them come, we surely praise God and enjoy them to the fullest, for we know these special moments will not last forever.

My friend, never take for granted the blessings you currently have, for our earthly journey is not a very long one. Let us enjoy them while we have them, and trust God for His strength and comfort when our time to depart from them arrives.

TODAY’S PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being such a wonderful Father always there even when at times we find ourselves away from our loved ones. Thank You for never forsaking us, and for allowing us to enjoy good days while making us strong for the not-so-good ones. Keep us always safe and strong no matter what. In Jesus’ precious name, amen.

Are you recharging from your Power Source?
June 14, 2010

TODAY’S VERSES: Psalm 121:1

“I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.” [The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson]

TODAY’S MESSAGE

If you have one you might experience the same thing I do. Every single day my cell phone needs to be recharged or else it will die on me by the time the day is over. So part of my daily routine is to make sure I am recharging it in my vehicle while driving or at home while it is not being used.

Our spiritual life, specifically our connection with God, is very much like a mobile phone. If we do not make it a habit (or discipline) to recharge our spiritual batteries frequently we will find ourselves feeling empty or alone in this world. But when we make it our priority to seek His will every single day we will definitely experience the satisfaction of experiencing a deep connection with our True Source of power, strength, and love. And nothing becomes an impossibility as our faith builds on this daily connection, believe me.

TODAY’S PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for always being available to grant me power and strength to carry on with my daily challenges and pressures. Forgive me when I have not made it a priority to recharge my connection with you on a daily basis, and help to me make the most of my time as I strive to follow Your lead. In Jesus’ precious name, amen.

Are we taking God’s grace for granted?
June 7, 2010

TODAY’S VERSES: 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.” [The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H.  Peterson]

TODAY’S MESSAGE

A few days ago a Whispers subscriber shared with me the following incident:

“Yesterday, I was standing in line at a local Walmart. The lady behind me was on the phone telling someone that she was a … teacher who had just been wrongfully selected for permanent layoff. She started to murmur and complain about how hard the job was and how she had been mistreated by her superiors. She went on to say “as a Christian God had seen her struggles and how he would avenge her.” She said God knows me and he knows how I am!”

“What she didn’t remember was that sometime ago she prayed to God that he would give her that job, and how God had answered that prayer, and how God knew she would be strong enough to be a light in a place of great darkness. She didn’t realize that many others believers prayed for that same position but he gave it to her!”

“I was hoping to hear her thank the Lord for answering her prayer and for seeing her through a time of great trial but she never did.”

Does this scenario sound familiar? How many times have we complained and complained about our circumstances while missing the fact that it is God Who has graciously answered our prayers and provided for our daily needs? Isn’t it sad that we sometimes choose to be upset and murmur about everything going on in our life without taking the time to thank God for His everlasting goodness and faithfulness?

While God’s love and care for us are eternal, there’s no guarantee that our earthly blessings will be there tomorrow. Therefore, let us give thanks to God at all times recognizing Him as our Ultimate Source of our entire life. Perhaps this daily expression of humbleness before God might help us enjoy our blessings even longer.

TODAY’S PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being Yahve-Jireh –my Supreme Provider–, always there when I need You. Forgive me when I have taken Your grace and love for granted many times, not realizing that everything I am and everything I have comes from You. Teach me to be thankful no matter what, for You have promised not to forsake Your children. In Jesus’ precious name I stand, amen.

Are we listening?
June 1, 2010

TODAY’S VERSES: Hebrews 3:7b-8a, 15a, 4:7b

“Today, please listen, don’t turn a deaf ear…” [The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H.  Peterson]

TODAY’S MESSAGE

God speaks to us every single day in many different ways. Even when we don’t realize this reality, every single moment God, through The Holy Spirit residing in every believer, is there guiding us every step of our earthly journey. And for this purpose He will use His Word, our neighbor, a song, a book, an e-mail, a stranger… and the list goes on and on.

Why? Because (1) you and I are now His special possession, bought with Jesus’ blood in Calvary and translated from the kingdom of darkness to His Kingdom of light, (2) you and I have a divinely-appointed mission to accomplish while on this earth, and (3) you and I need Him to help us carry our earthly purpose while striving to live a life of holiness and integrity that cares for others and brings them to the truth of who they were also designed to be.

God will use anything and anyone to speak to you and me today. The question is not “Is God speaking?” but rather “Are we listening?”

TODAY’S PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for caring so much for me and not giving up even when I have not listened nor obeyed Your daily instruction. I ask forgiveness for those times I have lived according to my own limited understanding and have failed to recognize that Your way is always best. Thank You for Your forgiveness and for continuing to mold my heart to Yours. In Jesus’ precious name, amen.

Are we loving and gracious like our Father?
May 24, 2010

TODAY’S VERSES: Psalm 145:8, 9, 13b, 17
“God is all mercy and grace— not quick to anger, is rich in love.”
“God is good to one and all; everything he does is suffused with grace.”
“God always does what he says, and is gracious in everything he does.”
“Everything God does is right— the trademark on all his works is love.”
[The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H.  Peterson]
TODAY’S MESSAGE
In times of social and economic challenges like the ones we live in, it is very easy to lose sight of our call to be gracious and loving toward others at all times. As earthly creatures our tendency is to fight for survival, even when that means stepping upon others to prevail. Especially if we’re faced with lack or adversity of some kind, we see ourselves as priority number one and helping others becomes second.
The plain truth is that our Heavenly Father is not like that, and the good news is that we do not have to live like that either. As today’s verses declare, our God is a gracious and loving God, good to all and always doing what’s good and right for us. He is our utmost example of how we should live our daily life, for virtues such as love and grace are not bound by circumstantial realities but profound character. And living beyond circumstances while developing a strong character is key to successful living.
Aren’t we glad God is Who He is?
TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being such an awesome God –always quick to love and working with our best interest at heart. Forgive me when I have lost focus of my divine call to be like You, and help me to share Your love and grace to those around me. In Jesus’ precious name, amen.

Declare that God is good despite what you see
May 18, 2010

TODAY’S VERSE: Psalm 34:8

“Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see— how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him.” [The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson]

“O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good!” [Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation]

“Discover for yourself that the LORD is kind. Come to him for protection, and you will be glad.” –CEV [Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society]

TODAY’S MESSAGE:

I know how difficult it is at times to understand why things happen in life, why our circumstances are not the way we planned or expected, why we are here when we should be there. As a human just like you I’ve also failed God many times by not honoring His Word or listening to His still voice on a timely manner. Worst yet, I know first hand what it means to make not-so-wise decisions that eventually catch up with us and become an inevitable gap that hinders us from seizing that awesome opportunity that just slipped from our hands because we were not ready for it. I know how that feels, and I’m sure sometime in your life you’ve felt the same way.

But despite how we see our present or our future, one single truth remains: God is good and will continue to be good! If we were able to uncover and see the many times our life has been spared from death, or the many ways we’ve been protected from harmful intentions, or the countless times our simplest prayers have been answered when least expected, I’m sure you and I would agree that God is indeed faithful, far beyond what we imagine possible.

Let us make it a priority to praise God every day for Who He is, and not focus so much on where we are right now. For the truth of the matter is that every stage in life is temporary, and where God will place us tomorrow does not compare to where we stand today. God has better plans for you and me. He always knows what’s best, and will take us there.

TODAY’S PRAYER:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being such an Awesome and Faithful God even when at times I fail and mess things up. Thank You for always being so patient as to not count my faults against me. I ask forgiveness for not relying 100% on You, and commit to praise You every day, for You are worthy of my adoration and will forever be good. In Jesus’ precious name, amen.

Develop a breakthrough mentality
May 17, 2010

TODAY’S VERSE: Romans 12:1-2

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” [The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson]

TODAY’S MESSAGE:

According to United States history, an emancipation proclamation was announced during the American Civil War under President Abraham Lincoln (circa 1863) that granted freedom to slaves. Slavery was a reality in those days, and close to 4 million slaves were declared free by summer of 1865. However, even after such presidential order took effect, many of these individuals and families who had lived all their life in bondage continued to live this way –mainly due to the simple fact of not knowing or understanding the new freedom law. They had been declared free, but were not exercising their right to live in freedom.

Today (21st century), bondage and slavery still exist in many forms. From constant fear to financial debt to physical illness, circumstances can try to control our life and steal our daily peace and joy. However, even in the midst of all these things, the Bible declares that we are free, so you and I are indeed able to choose *not* to live under the control of our circumstances. Yes, you and I can do all things through Him Who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13) –if only we focus on following the Spirit’s guidance and renewing our minds with God’s Word according to Romans 12:2.

The true Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about developing a life characterized by a breakthrough mentality. A lifestyle of joy, peace and grace surrounded by blessings is the primary result of a personal relationship with God vs. simply following a religion. Thus, there is no reason why we should conform to a self-defeated and worry-full lifestyle when Jesus came to set us free once and for all!

Start today developing a breakthrough and abundance mindset. Declare God’s Word every day. Walk in your God-given destiny. Reclaim your peace and joy. Live a life of love. Let God take care of the rest.

TODAY’S PRAYER:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for setting me free through Your Son Jesus, and providing me a way to experience genuine peace, joy and love through my relationship with You. I commit to develop a breakthrough mentality and tear down every argument and thought against Your perfect will for my life. Despite my present circumstances, I rejoice in Your faithfulness and salvation and proclaim my freedom in Jesus’ mighty name, amen!