Live Loved

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.

[Ecclesiastes 3:1]

Facing the Future with God

What person passes through life surprise free? If you don’t want change, go to a soda machine; that’s the only place you won’t find any. Remember the summary of Solomon? “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) …

God dispenses life the way he manages his cosmos: through seasons. When it comes to the earth, we understand God’s management strategy. Nature needs winter to rest and spring to awaken. We don’t dash into underground shelters at the sight of spring’s tree buds. Autumn colors don’t prompt warning sirens. Earthly seasons don’t upset us. But unexpected personal ones certainly do…

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’s presence never does. You journey in the company of the Holy Spirit, who “will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I myself have told you” (John 14:26).

So make friends with whatever’s next.

Embrace it. Accept it. Don’t resist it. Change is not only a part of life; change is a necessary part of God’s strategy. To use us to change the world, he alters our assignments. Gideon: from farmer to general; Mary: from peasant girl to the mother of Christ; Paul: from local rabbi to world evangelist. God transitioned Joseph from a baby brother to an Egyptian prince. He changed David from a shepherd to a king. Peter wanted to fish the Sea of Galilee. God called him to lead the first church. God makes reassignments.

But he wants you to know: you’ll never face the future without his help.

[Fearless]

Father God,

You know how frightening the future can be, with unexpected twists and turns in the road of life. Help us remember that you ordain the days of our lives. You assign each stage of the journey, but you walk the path with us,

Amen.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.

[Psalm 37:23-24]

The ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths.

[Proverbs 5:21]

~ Max Lucado ~

Evening Prayer

GODLY CHOICES

[Deuteronomy 30:19; 1 Peter 4:3]

In Jesus’ Name, I Pray God’s Will for You Tonight

Recognize that life is full of choices. I pray that you will choose the life exemplified by Christ. May God grant you the discernment and conviction to make the right choices in life. May you always choose what brings life – that which is righteous and pure. May you reject anything that will kill your soul – all that is wrong and detestable to God. Realize that you are always going to choose between blessings and curses. I pray that you will choose blessings that come with righteousness so that you may enjoy the abundant peace and prosperity of a godly life.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

[Also may God Bless Barcelona tonight.]

Alone With God

Matthew 17:8

“Left alone!” What different emotions these words bring to mind for each of us! To some they mean loneliness and grief, but to others they may mean rest and quiet. To be left alone without God would be too horrible for words, while being left alone with him is a taste of heaven! And if his followers spent more time alone with him, we would have spiritual giants again.

Our Master set an example for us. Remember how often he went to be alone with God? And there was a powerful purpose behind his command, “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray” (Matthew 6:6 [emphasis added]).

The greatest miracles of Elijah and Elisha took place when they were alone with God. Jacob was alone with God when he became a prince (see Genesis 32:28) … Joshua was alone when the Lord came to him (see Joshua 1:1). Gideon and Jephthah were by themselves when commissioned to save Israel (see Judges 6:11; 11:29). Moses was by himself at the burning bush (see Exodus 3:1–5). Cornelius was praying by himself when the angel of God came to him (see Acts 10:1–4). No one was with Peter on the housetop when he was instructed to go to the Gentiles (see Acts 10:9–28). John the Baptist was alone in the wilderness (see Luke 1:80), and John the Beloved was alone on the island of Patmos when he was the closest to God (see Revelation 1:9).

Earnestly desire to get alone with God. If we neglect to do so, we not only rob ourselves of a blessing but rob others as well, since we will have no blessing to pass on to them. It may mean that we do less outward, visible work, but the work we do will have more depth and power. Another wonderful result will be that people will see “no one except Jesus” (Matthew 17:8) in our lives.

The impact of being alone with God in prayer cannot be overemphasized.

Walk With Jesus

UNITY AND DIVERSITY IN THE BODY

For we are members of his body.

[Ephesians 5:30]

Every cell in the human body is alike in some ways to every other. But different cells perform different functions in the body—an analogy C. S.

Lewis draws on and applies to your role in the body of Christ.

WALK WITH C. S. LEWIS

“The society into which the Christian is called is not a collective but a body. It is in fact that body of which the family unit is an image on the natural level.

“If anyone came to it with the misconception that the church was a massing together of persons as if they were pennies or chips, he would be corrected at the threshold by the discovery that the Head of this body is utterly unlike its inferior members—they share no divinity with him except by analogy.

“We are summoned at the outset to combine as creatures with our Creator, as mortals with immortal, as redeemed sinners with sinless Redeemer.

“His presence, the interaction between him and us, must always be the overwhelmingly dominant factor in the life we are to lead within the body; and any conception of Christian fellowship which does not mean primarily fellowship with him is out of order.”*

WALK CLOSER TO GOD

You are a cell in the body of Christ—like millions of other Christians.

But are you a nerve cell (to feel)? blood cell (to nourish)? brain cell (to direct)? muscle cell (to strengthen)? bone cell (to support)?

Cells are alike, yet each is different. And each is crucial to the effective functioning of the body. The nucleus of all these cells is Christ himself. Without the nucleus, the cell dies. Unity is found only in Christ; diversity of function is vital in his body.