Before the Lord – Day 9

And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” Genesis 22:5

Worship has been defined in our day as a portion of the Sunday morning service when we all sing. From this first biblical mention of the word worship its true definition is clear.  Abraham and Isaac were not on a path to a song service, rather it was a path of faith and obedience. Abraham was submitted to obey the word of God, even if it were this most difficult task. Abraham’s faith had determined that when he had finished binding his son, and burning his remains,  God in His faithfulness would raise Isaac from the ashes. I have not been called to such a horrific task of fire and sacrifice. However, I am still called to count the Lord worthy of my faith and obedience. 

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way,
to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

My prayer today:

Help me Lord to learn your will through your word and to surrender my all upon the altar of obedience. Help me trust and obey.

Before the Lord – Day 8

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” Matthew 6:26

In the dreadfulness of despair the soul may become haunted by endless questions. Questions of self-worth, significances or purpose of life. One may even question friendships, relationships and who really cares. It is the adversary who clutters the mind with such doubts and clouds the mind of the true answers. Our blessed Shepherd steps into our darkness and invites us to take a stroll through a nearby field. “Take a look around”, He suggests. Notice the birds of the air and consider His care for them. Let your hands fall by your side and brush through the lilies. Is it not our precious Lord who cares for them? If the question of His care for you comes to mind, remember His answer, “Are ye not much better than they?”.

My prayer today:

Precious Lord, cause my eyes to be lifted from gloom to your glory. Roll back the clouds that cause such darkness and let me see thy face.

Before the Lord – Day 7

Let no corrupt communications out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29

Today I will have the opportunity to meet and fellowship with other believers. Experience has taught me the power of a conversation and the bible has plainly spoken to the same. I have had a whole day ruined by a mouth full of words and I’m certain to have ruined the day for many others by my words. However, the scripture has taught that it is not just a loose lip that should concern me. The words of my mouth are product of my heart. Either a volcano of destructive lava and ash spew from my lips, or stream of sweet refreshment. But, it can’t be both.

My prayer today:

Oh Father, search out my words and the thought in which they are birthed. Let me minister grace instead of grudge, hope instead of hurt, care instead of criticism. “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight”.

Before the Lord – Day 6

“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” Romans 10:1

When I read the sincere prayer and evident desire of the Apostle Paul to see his family saved, I am convicted and challenged.  I want my family to know Christ and His salvation. I want them to have eternal life. The alternative is more than I can bear to think upon. However, at times, it is easier to talk to a complete stranger about eternity than those I love so dearly. In error, I have often prayed “Lord should I say something?”. Of course I should say something! Their eternity hangs in the balance! Putting obstacles aside, I must let nothing stand in the way of proclaiming the love of Christ and the clear unchanging way of salvation to my loved ones. 

My prayer today:

Lord give me wisdom to speak my family in the right way. Grant me the right spirit to approach them and opportunity to have this life changing conversation before it is too late. Please save my family for your name’s sake.

Before the Lord – Day 5

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” Colossians 3:15

I start with bible reading and prayer and am certain I know God’s will for my next step. Then it seems the slightest word or action can set off the greatest storms in my life. These perplexing situations often cause me to demonstrate a reactionary lifestyle. I start questioning my position, my direction, my decisions, and change my course accordingly. However, I have a promise that “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” I have no need to let confusion or conflict dictate my steps. I must let peace rule in my heart.

My prayer today:

Lord, help me base my actions on the peace of God and stay the course. Help my eyes not to wonder away from the Peace Speaker when trouble howls around me.

Before the Lord – Day 4

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” Colossians 1:18

Christ does not want to be number one on a list of many. Christ wants to be the center of attention in every number on my list. He is not first, to which I give attention and hastily move on to second, third and fourth. He must be the center matter of every issue of my life. I must learn to give Him preeminence in my private life. He must retain preeminence in my personal relationships. He must be preeminent in my public dealings.  As I yield to the preeminence of Christ, He takes the role of centric force that holds everything else in its proper place.

My prayer today:

My Gracious Savior, empower me to dethrone anything or being in my life that sits in the center seat of preeminence. May I properly relinquish every area of my life to thee. So, I may behold you in your glory from every aspect of my life.

Before the Lord – Day 3

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh” Ezekiel 36:26

I see so much filth, I hear so much drama in the world and feel the pain of personal attacks. It’s hard not to become cold hearted. A great deal of the trouble I experience comes from professed believers. It seems easier to close my heart to everything and everyone rather than suffer any more hurt. However, as I become desensitized to all that is going on around me, I also become insensitive to the Lord and His moving. The inevitable outcome is a cold, callused heart toward God. More times than I care to mention, God has performed an operation on my life to break me and tender me once again. I do not like these heart breaking operations, but I need them.

My prayer today:

Dear Heavenly Father, do your work in my heart. Chisel away the calluses and give me a tender heart for thee.

Before the Lord – Day 2

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.” Psalm 63:1-2

Desires can be cultivated and enhanced by investing my time, attention and ultimately my affection to a specific subject. While the list of things I desire is vast, I have a need to enhance my craving for fellowship with the Lord. Oh how I want set my affection on things above, not on things on the earth. I know the Lord loves me and I love Him. Yet, I should hunger and thirst for Him. I must spend less time seeking after my fleshly cravings and devote myself to know more of my Lord.

My prayer today:

My Father, increase my desire to know you. May worldly desires diminish as my longing for you grows.

Before the Lord – Day 1

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9

Forgiveness of sin is a precious gift from the Lord and one that I need to utilize. Forgiveness has been offered but it is up to me seek it as quickly as I realize I am at fault. Forgetfulness is a great tool used by my adversary. If I forget to seek forgiveness for a particular sin, I may go on for years with this wedge between me and God. I need to identify my sin. I need to agree with the Lord that it is sin. I need to forsake it and seek the forgiveness of God. 

The old hymn says, Nothing between my soul and the Savior, So that His blessed face may be seen; Nothing preventing the least of His favor, Keep the way clear! Let nothing between.

My prayer today:

Dear Lord, forgive my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness.