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.

Let’s stand and pray for our persecuted Brothers and Sisters
November 9, 2009

(If you wish to receive these business-day devotionals directly via e-mail, subscribe by e-mailing Brother Abnel at todayswhisper@gmail.com)

TODAY’S VERSE: 1 Peter 4:16

“…if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” [Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.]

TODAY’S MESSAGE

Yesterday, November 8th was declared International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. I personally did not know this until I read it in an e-mail shared with me. So, I saw it as God’s desire for me to intercede for our Brothers and Sisters around the world who are suffering for Jesus’ sake.

This morning, I feel the need to ask you to join me in praying for the persecuted Church. If you are able right at this moment, or later today or this week, please do so. Only God knows what circumstances our dear Christian brethren are experiencing, and you and I have a powerful resource in prayer to assist them in their mission and journey.

As a helpful guide, here are a few prayer points, provided by Open Doors USA (a ministry committed to encouraging persecuted Christians):

• Pray for the safety and faith of the secret believers in countries where it is illegal to share about Christ;
• Pray for the health, perseverance, and encouragement of believers who are imprisoned for the gospel;
• Pray that those whose loved ones have died due to martyrdom will rely on God for their strength.
TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the blessing I have in my country to freely worship You, attend church services and share my faith openly with others. I pray right now for all my Brothers and Sisters who do not share these same privileges, but are continuously persecuted for Your sake. I pray for safety, health, perseverance, and encouragement for those believers facing imprisonment and extreme challenges, and for Your grace, favor and protection over the families of those who have died for their faith. We know that You are a Just God, and you will reward those Who serve You even to the point of death. In Jesus’ name we trust and pray, amen.

“Welcome home!” …God
September 1, 2009

(If you wish to receive these business-day devotionals directly via e-mail, subscribe by e-mailing Brother Abnel at todayswhisper@gmail.com)

TODAY’S VERSE: Luke 15:20b

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” [New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society]

TODAY’S MESSAGE

The past couple of mornings I have been profoundly ministered by renowned Christian artist Ron Kenoly’s Welcome Home music CD (Hosanna Music, ISBN: 7472005533). In this live recording Ron shares how one of his sons decided one day to leave home, and after a while such son called to let Ron know he wished to come back. The worship songs in this CD around such meaningful moment in the Kenoly’s family have truly blessed my heart in a way that I have personally felt welcomed home by my Heavenly Father these past few days after a sense of loss and disconnection in different areas of my life.

And I’m sure sometime in your life you have felt like you have drifted away from God… or perhaps you decided one day not to serve him anymore… or perhaps you gave up on trusting and believing that He would take care of all your problems… or maybe you have just felt like He no longer cares…

But the truth is that God is always reaching out in love toward us, and every single day He awaits the opportunity to meet us, hug us, and demonstrate how much He truly cares for you and me. And regardless of our circumstances and failures, His message every day is exactly the same: “Welcome home!”

TODAY’S PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me so much despite how many times I have failed You. I ask forgiveness for the many times I have not paid attention to your small sweet voice calling me to a deeper relationship with You. Thank You for extending me a second chance to return home and stengthen my faith in You. In Jesus’ precious name, amen.

Are you trusting God’s provision?
August 19, 2009

(If you wish to receive these business-day devotionals directly via e-mail, subscribe by e-mailing Brother Abnel at todayswhisper@gmail.com)

TODAY’S VERSE: Genesis 22:5-8
“Abraham told his two young servants, ‘Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I are going over there to worship; then we’ll come back to you.’ ”

“Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and gave it to Isaac his son to carry. He carried the flint and the knife. The two of them went off together.”

Isaac said to Abraham his father, ‘Father?’ ‘Yes, my son.’ ‘We have flint and wood, but where’s the sheep for the burnt offering?’  Abraham said, ‘Son, God will see to it that there’s a sheep for the burnt offering.’ And they kept on walking together.”  [The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson]

TODAY’S MESSAGE
The Bible verses above describe the moment Abraham was determined to follow God’s instructions and offer his only son Isaac as an offering to God. Knowing God on a very personal level, it appears to me that Abraham knew God was up to something, and somehow He would provide the right sheep or animal for the completion of this assignment. Or, even if Abraham had no choice than to kill his beloved son, God would somehow raise him up from the dead, for he seemed confident that the child would return with him from this journey.

Many of us will experience testing times like these sometime in our lifetime –when we are not clear what the end result will be. But God only needs us to trust Him, for He definitely knows the future and will lovingly provide the solution we so desperately need. Simply trust Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for caring for Your children even when we do not understand the purpose behind our circumstances. Teach me to be patient and trust You regardless of what I see today, for my future is in Your hands and You always know what’s best. This I pray with a sincere and trusting heart in Jesus’ name, amen.

Will you give away what you love most for God’s best?
August 18, 2009

(If you wish to receive these business-day devotionals directly via e-mail, subscribe by e-mailing Brother Abnel at todayswhisper@gmail.com)

TODAY’S VERSE: Genesis 22:15-17a

“The angel of God spoke from Heaven a second time to Abraham: “I swear—God’s sure word!—because you have gone through with this, and have not refused to give me your son, your dear, dear son, I’ll bless you—oh, how I’ll bless you!” [The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson]

TODAY’S MESSAGE

The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five.   Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box.

“Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please!”

Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl’s upturned face.   “A dollar ninety-five.   That’s almost $2.00.   If you really want them, I’ll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself.   Your birthday’s only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma.”

As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies.   After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick dandelions for ten cents.   On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.

Jenny loved her pearls.   They made her feel dressed up and grown up.   She wore them everywhere ~ Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed.   The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath.   Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.

Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story.   One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny, “Do you love me?”

“Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you.”

“Then give me your pearls.”

“Oh, Daddy, not my pearls.   But you can have Princess ~ the white horse from my collection.   The one with the pink tail.   Remember, Daddy?   The one you gave me.   She’s my favorite.”

“That’s okay, Honey.   Daddy loves you.   Good night.”   And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.   About a week later, after the story time, Jenny’s daddy asked again, “Do you love me?”

“Daddy, you know I love you.”

“Then give me your pearls.”

“Oh Daddy, not my pearls.   But you can have my babydoll.   The brand new one I got for my birthday.   She is so beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper.”

“That’s okay.   Sleep well.   God bless you, little one.   Daddy loves you.”   And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.

A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style.   As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek.   “What is it, Jenny? What’s the matter?”

Jenny didn’t say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy.   And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace.   With a little quiver, she finally said, “Here, Daddy.  It’s for you.”

With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny’s kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny.   He had them all the time.   He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her genuine treasure.  —anonymous

TODAY’S PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for always being so good to me and demonstrating Your awesome love every single day in so many ways. Forgive me when I have not surrendered it all to You, but have doubted Your grace and favor. Teach me to trust You even when I do not understand what’s going on, for You always know what’s best. In Jesus’ precious name, amen.

Humans are prone to fail. Not God. He is always good.
August 17, 2009

(If you wish to receive these business-day devotionals directly via e-mail, subscribe by e-mailing Brother Abnel at todayswhisper@gmail.com)

TODAY’S VERSE: Psalm 73:1

“No doubt about it! God is good— good to good people, good to the good-hearted.” [The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson]

TODAY’S MESSAGE

If we take the time to thoroughly read the detailed story of every renowned character in the Holy Scriptures, we will find out that all of them -except Jesus- failed at least once.  In the Old Testament alone, highly respected biblical characters like Noah, Moses, Abraham, King David, and King Salomon, to mention a few, made big mistakes in their lifetime that would easily disqualify them from being chosen by God for a special mission. However, due to God’s enormous goodness, grace, mercy and love, each of their lives was made an instrument of God’s eternal plan on earth despite their human imperfections.

And the same is true today. Every leader –even in the Christian world– is prone to fail, for each of them is as human as we are. All of us are far from perfect, full of limitations and weaknesses. But not God. God has always been good, and will always be good, for He is Who He is: God.

In your most difficult and challenging life moments run to God, your Creator. He knows all of you, and He will never fail you. For His goodness and love endure forever!

TODAY’S PRAYER

Thank You, Heavenly Father for always being so good to me despite my human imperfections. Thank You for Your daily forgiveness and grace that continue to make my life whole in You. Teach me to always stay focused on You regardless of my circumstances and failures, for You are indeed faithful to the end. In Jesus’ precious name, amen.

Are your moves motivated by love?
May 28, 2009

(If you wish to receive these business-day devotionals directly via e-mail, subscribe by e-mailing Brother Abnel at todayswhisper@gmail.com)

TODAY’S VERSE: John 15:12
“This is My commandment: that you love one another [just] as I have loved you.” [Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation]

TODAY’S MESSAGE
The true mark of a Christian is not a cross, a church building, nor a Bible. The true mark of a Christian is genuine love.

Love is the true distinction between Christianity and the rest of the world. True Christianity calls for a lifestyle based on love, for the basis of our belief is a God of love, compassion, and mercy, Who took the initiative to sacrifice His Son to reconcile humanity with Himself, so that we may experience eternal life. This is the essence of the Christian message, the good news we need to share with those around us.

But the truth is also that it is very hard to love unconditionally in our human nature. For our human tendency is to be selfish, to exercise *our* control and to do things for *our* own benefit and comfort. That is why we need God’s love pouring daily in our lives, so we may love just as God loves us. For as humans alone we cannot exercise pure love, but with God’s love everything is possible! Only God’s unlimited and awesome lovingkindness can make human experience worthwhile. Only God’s unfailing love can make the impossible possible. And only living in God’s never-changing love can we reach new heights and make a real difference in our world.

Let us make sure all our moves are guided by God’s love. Let us be determined in reaching out to others in need with a genuine commitment to loving them, regardless of the cost. For there is no price we will ever be able to pay for the love God has poured into our life… eternal love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for extending Your awesome love toward me, and for giving me eternal life through Jesus. Help me to exercise Your love in all my daily moves, so that Jesus may be glorified and others be touched and changed by Your unfailing love. In Jesus’ precious name, amen.

Is your love true?
May 14, 2009

(If you wish to receive these business-day devotionals directly via e-mail, subscribe by e-mailing Brother Abnel at todayswhisper@gmail.com)

TODAY’S VERSE: 1 Corinthians 13:3b
“So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.” [The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson]

TODAY’S MESSAGE
Jesus was truly committed to His disciples throughout His earthly mission. A clear sign of this is demonstrated through His three years of ministry and teaching, when He walked daily with them and prepared them to be the leaders they became. Quality time with His first followers was a major part of His ministry, and is a clear indication that both commitment **and** connection need to be present if our love is true and genuine.

As humans, our relationships work the same way. If we are truly committed to love and care for another person, we need to find ways to connect with her/him in a deep level; otherwise, the relationship becomes an end in itself instead of a means to personal and relational growth, development, and satisfaction. On the other hand, we may be deeply connected with another person, but if there is no expressed and lived-out commitment to the relationship, security is uncertain, and any of the parties involved may choose to abandon the relationship, creating much emotional dissapointment and hurt.

God not only loved us so much to sacrifice His only Son Jesus (connection), but He has promised to be with us “until the end of the world” (commitment). In the same way, God not only desires our commitment to His kingdom, but needs our deep loving connection. And the way we develop this “committed connection” is through daily quiet times with Him, being sensitive to His Spirit’s voice within us, and making sure we obey and follow His daily lead.

The decision to commit and connect is ultimately yours. Are you willing to commit to God’s plan for your life? Are you committed to follow His lead wherever He takes you? If so, then make a way to connect at a deeper level with God. Reserve daily spaces to be alone with Him and develop a deep relationship with your Heavenly Father. Once you commit to doing this your whole life and perspective on true love will never be the same again.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your awesome love and never-ending care for me. Thank You for showing through many ways Your committed connection to me. Forgive me when I have taken Your love for granted, and help me to express my love to You and others in the same way You have done so. I am willing to deepen my relationship with you on a daily basis, and I thank You for the results of my obedience. In Jesus’ precious name, amen.

God’s Love is Key
February 13, 2009

(If you wish to receive these business-day devotionals directly via e-mail, subscribe by e-mailing Brother Abnel at todayswhisper@gmail.com)

TODAY’S VERSE: Romans 8:38-39
“I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” [The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson]

TODAY’S MESSAGE
When it comes to loving unconditionally, committing 100% to someone or something, or going “above and beyond,” what is the one key area that will always take us to succeed no matter what?

Well… the following anonymous message appears simplistic in nature yet clearly reveals the plain truth that answers this question:

——————————
What Equals 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been in situations where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 101%? What equals 100% in life?

Here’s a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:

If: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
is represented as:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Then:

K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E = 11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%
and
H-A-R-D-W-O-R- K = 8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%
but
A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E = 1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

NOW, look how far the love of God will take you:

L-O-V-E-O-F-G-O-D = 12+15+22+5+15+6+7+15+4 = 101%!

Therefore, one can conclude through this exercise that, while Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it’s the Love of God that will always put you over the top!

Simple, isn’t it? In essence, live immersed in God’s love, and love others through God’s love, and you’ll definitely succeed!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for revealing Your awesome love in so many ways, especially through the death of Your Son Jesus for my sins. I commit my life to Your love, and thank You for the success that lies before me just because of Who You are. In Jesus’ precious name, amen.

Is your love true?
February 10, 2009

(If you wish to receive these business-day devotionals directly via e-mail, subscribe by e-mailing Brother Abnel at todayswhisper@gmail.com)

TODAY’S VERSE: 1 Corinthians 13:3b
“So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.”  [The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson]

TODAY’S MESSAGE
Jesus was truly committed to His disciples throughout His earthly mission. A clear sign of this is demonstrated through His three years of ministry and teaching, where He walked daily with them and prepared them to be the leaders they became. Quality time with His first followers was a major part of His ministry, and is a clear indication that both commitment *and* connection need to be present if our love is true and genuine.

As humans, our relationships work the same way. If we are truly committed to love and care for another person, we need to find ways to deeply connect with her/him; otherwise, the relationship becomes an end in itself instead of a means to personal and relational growth, development, and satisfaction. On the other hand, we may be deeply connected with another person, but if there is no expressed and lived-out commitment to the relationship, security is uncertain, and any of the parties involved may choose to abandon the relationship, creating much emotional dissapointment and hurt.

God not only loved us so much to sacrifice His only Son Jesus (connection), but He has promised to be with us “until the end of the world” (commitment). In the same way, God not only desires our commitment to His kingdom, but needs our deep loving connection. And the way we develop this “committed connection” is through daily quiet times with Him, being sensitive to His Spirit’s voice within us, and making sure we obey and follow His daily lead.

The decision to commit and connect is ultimately ours. Am I willing to commit to God’s plan for my life? Am I committed to follow His lead wherever He takes me? If so, then make a way to connect at a deeper level with Him. Reserve daily spaces to be alone with Him and develop a deep relationship with your Heavenly Father. Once you commit to doing this your whole life and perspective on true love will never be the same again.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your awesome love and never-ending care for me. Thank You for showing through many ways Your committed connection to me and my loved ones. Forgive me when I have taken Your love for granted, and help me to express my love to You and others in genuine ways. I am willing to deepen my relationship with you on a daily basis, and I thank You for the results of my obedience. In Jesus’ precious name, amen.