Thursday, January 26, 2012

Meditation: Psalm 145:9

"The LORD is good to all;
He has compassion on all He has made."
Psalm 145:9

When was the last time you stopped to consider the LORD"S goodness and His tender love? The LORD is excellent. He is kind. He is right. He is merciful. The LORD is all! Take time, today, to reflect on the goodness God has shown to you. Thank Him and celebrate His great love!

LORD God, You are good and You show compassion to all those You created! Forgive me for failing to stop and meditate on Your everlasting love. Thank you for Your mercy that is new every day. Help me to be still, and consider the great things You have done! In the Name of Your Son, Jesus, I pray...Amen.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

SMART Spiritual Goals

"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus"
Philippians 3:14 (NAS)

As I pray about and identify my God-centered priorities  for the new year, I recognize the benefit of writing spiritual goals.

A goal is "the distant mark looked at; the end one has in view." Written goals help remind us and provide us with structure. They help us stay focused on what we need to accomplish. We can expect greater success when we put our spiritual goals in writing.

Pray first for God's direction in setting spiritual goals; then, write SMART goals.

SMART goals are:

S - Specific: Identify what you are going to do, and how you are going to do it. I desire to know Christ and His Word. It's my priority.  Rather than, "I will study the Bible in 2012," my written spiritual goal is "I will study the book of James, completing all daily assignments,  for 9 weeks. Weekly, I will meet with my small group to discuss material and watch the video session."

M - Measurable: Identify how you will know that you have accomplished your goal. By completing all five days of homework and the video listening guide, I  know I am progressing toward my goal.

A - Attainable: Determine how your goal can be accomplished. My Bible study goal can be accomplished by spending 30 - 40 minutes completing each lesson.

R - Realistic: The goal should be do-able, and something you are willing to strive toward. My goal is realistic because I experienced past successes.

T - Time-bound: Identify the amount of time in which you will accomplish your goal. My Bible study goal can be accomplished in 9 weeks. 

Paul pressed on,  persistent and undeterred,  toward the goal, as a runner races to the finish line. God's beloved, let us press on together, eagerly seeking a deeper relationship with our Lord and Savior, cheering one another along every step of the way!

Lord God Almighty, You are my Creator and worthy of my praise! Forgive me for times I have not commited my ways to You. Thank you for giving me strength and enabling me to carry out Your Will. Help me to remain stedfast and disciplined. Give me wisdom to maintain priorities and goals that please You. In the Name of Jesus, I pray...Amen.

What specific spiritual goals have your set for the New Year? Leave us a comment...we'd love to hear from you, and pray for you!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Prayer for Families

Father God,

We thank You for our families. For those who don't know You yet, touch their hearts and open their eyes to see their need for You. Bring Christians who they will listen to into their lives.

Reconcile our families, Father. Erase past hurts and restore love for each other.

Help us Father to acknowledge You in all ways, for You say in Your Word that it is then that You will direct our path (Proverbs 3:6).

Put a hedge of protection around our families. Keep them in health and provide for all their needs. Pour an anointing of love over our families, and let them see Jesus in us.

We ask this in the Mighty Name of Jesus. We thank You for the answer, for we know that You say in Your Word, "This is the confidence we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His Will, He hears us and if we know that He hears us, we know we have the petitions that we desire" (I John 1:14-15).


(prayer by s.p.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


"Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness..." Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

In the final hours of 2011, a holiday letter communicated the death of a dear friend. Four months after the cancer diagnosis, Cherie went to be with the Lord. She was 55 years old. The news caused me to reevaluate my priorities.

Priorities help keep us focused on what is important, and everyone has them. Merriam-Webster defines "priority" as something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives. 

Jesus said the greatest commandment is  "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind"; and the second is "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22: 36-40). Priorities of first-century Christians included devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer (Acts 2:42).

What is involved in making and keeping Biblical priorities?

* Pray: Ask God for His wisdom and direction to identify three areas for improvement (Philippians 4:6; Psalm 37:5). How do these priorities align with God's Word? Do they flow from a desire to please the Lord? Commit your priorities to Him.

* Practice: How will you live out these priorities before the Lord and others? What example will you set? Depend on God's strength rather than human strength and good intentions (James 1: 22-25; Philippians 4:13).

* Progress-check: Take time to evaluate your progress. When circumstances or distractions blow you off course, repent, refocus, and recommit your way to God, staying accountable to Him (Psalm 139: 23-24).

* Praise: Thank the Lord God for your successes (Philippians 1:6; 2 Cor. 2:14).

As we begin the New Year, pray for one another and our descendants to make and keep godly priorities.

After prayerful consideration, what are your top three priorities for 2012? Let us know in the Comments section...we'd love to pray for you! May God bless you in the New Year and fill you with His joy!