Dec. 1 SparkysHeart 2 CORINTHIANS 10-13
Sparky's Prayer: Help us, Lord God: always to aim for the highest goals of Christian living, expressing love for God and others daily. Help us to be more patient with others. Help us to not to examine the weaknesses of others, but of ourselves. Help us to remember that there are weaknesses in our own lives that need attention. Lord God, help us to remember that our goal is to strive to be like Jesus. Help us to remember that unity is precious to God. In Jesus' mighty saving name, we pray. Amen.
Philippians 4:5 The End Is Near
PAUL'S PRAYER: Dear Father God, Victorious Deliverer: Everything points to the fact that we live in the last days, so let us not waste time sleeping. Salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is far-gone. The day is at hand. Help us cast off all the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us conduct ourselves as becomes one of Your people, not in reveling or drunkenness, not in dishonesty and wastefulness, not in quarreling or jealousy. Rather let us put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provisions for the flesh, to gratify its desires. In Jesus' mighty saving name and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen.
VERSE: Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God this is your spiritual act of worship. ~ Romans 12:1 (NIV)
THOUGHT: Our worship is not confined to Sunday! Each day that we offer ourselves to Jesus as His servants, we also are offering Him our worship. Every time that we consciously resist evil and choose good, we are offering pleasing and acceptable worship to God. Is it not exciting that worship does not happen just in a church building! Isn't it incredible that each day our decisions and actions are a crucial part of our worship to God!
PRAYER: Holy LORD, God Almighty, please accept the offering of our thoughts, our words, and our actions today, and each that follows, as our loving worship to You. In Jesus' mighty saving name, we pray. Amen.
WHAT JESUS DID! The Company of Friends
Matthew 26:36-38 (NLT) Then Jesus brought them to an olive grove called Gethsemane, and He said, "Sit here while I go on ahead to pray." He took Peter and Zebedee's two sons, James and John, and He began to be filled with anguish and deep distress. He told them, "My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and watch with Me."
WJD THOUGHT: It is hard to imagine Jesus needing anything if we divorce His divine nature from His human nature. But God never allowed that divorce. Jesus faced the same struggles and needs we do as mortals. He knows what lies ahead for Him. He knows He will be abandoned by all those He has invested Himself in. But before that that horrible journey begins, He wants the companionship of those closest to Him. And He wants this companionship while He prays!
WJD PRAYER: Heavenly Father God, we confess that sometimes we are caught up in our own self-sufficiency and wrongful thoughts of independence when we know; deep down, that we need the strength and support of other believers. Forgive us when we think too much of our own strength and when we are too proud to ask for the help of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Lord, humble us gently so that we will open our hearts to the help and companionship of Christian's friends. In Jesus' mighty saving name and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen.
WHAT JESUS DID! Anxious to Please the Crowd
Mark 15:15 (NLT) So Pilate, anxious to please the crowd, released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, and then turned Him over to the Roman soldiers to crucify Him.
WJD THOUGHT: Pilate knows Jesus is innocent, yet gives in totally to the wishes of the mob he first has Jesus scoured ("flogged with a lead-tipped whip") and then turns Jesus over to be crucified. Why does he do it? Pilate has to keep Rome happy by maintaining order. To maintain order, Pilate has to appease the crowd. Even though he has already pronounced Jesus "not guilty" of any crime, Pilate has the final say. In his mind, his word is law. In the eyes of the crowd, Pilate's word is law. Jesus, however, knows that Pilate has no power to act, rule, or enforce his verdict apart from God's granting him that power. Pilate is a puppet who cannot recognize that he acts in concert with the crowd's will, Rome's desire, and God's plan. Jesus is allowed to be crucified both by Pilate, to appease the crowd, which is being manipulated by the religious leaders, and also by God, Who is using this horrifying event to save the world. If God can bring such a great redemption out of such an unfair injustice, imagine what He can do with our suffering for His sake.
WJD PRAYER: O Father God, You are the Almighty, The One in control even when we cannot see Your control. Help us to understand that You will redeem every injustice brought upon Your people at Your chosen time. Give us the faith and strength to endure such times and the courage to live our lives in the hope that even if the scales of justice are not balanced in our lifetime, they will be at the end of time. In Jesus' mighty saving name, we pray. Amen.
WHAT JESUS DID! The Devil's Henchmen
Luke 22:1-6 (NLT) The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which begins with the Passover celebration, was drawing near. The leading priests and teachers of religious law were actively plotting Jesus' murder. But they wanted to kill Him without starting a riot, a possibility they greatly feared. Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples, and he went over to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted that he was ready to help them, and they promised him a reward. So he began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus so they could arrest Him quietly when the crowds were not around.
WJD THOUGHT: I cannot help feeling unbelievably sad when I read this passage. Men who are called by God to intercede for His people and to expertly interpret the Scriptures for His people are plotting the worst of all things the murder of the Son of God. Judas, one of Jesus' 12 apostles, comes up with a plot to betray the Lord to the religious leaders. The Temple guard is in on the murderous scheming. Satan, of course, is behind it all. I wish that we could say these things do not happen today. Unfortunately, when God's leaders get caught up in self-interest and religious politics, Satan steps in and leads them astray and horrible things happen. Pray that God will protect His leaders from the devious ways of the evil one who seeks to rip apart godly leaders and destroy the work of the Kingdom.
WJD PRAYER: Father God, please intervene directly in the life of our church leaders and cast out any influence of Satan, all self-seeking and party spirit, and every hint of life-destroying political scheming. In Jesus' mighty saving name, we pray. Amen.
WHAT JESUS DID! The Gamble
John 19:23-24 (NLT) When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided His clothes among the four of them. They also took His robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said, "Let us not tear it but throw dice to see who gets it." This fulfilled the Scripture that says, "They divided my clothes among themselves and threw dice for my robe." So that is what they did.
WJD THOUGHT: There was a whole lot more gambling going on at the Cross-than just the gamble for Jesus' seamless robe. Some gambled that their understanding was correct enough to put another man to death even though He did amazing things. Some gambled that Jesus was just another Jewish criminal being executed, never imagining they were putting nails in the hand of God Himself. Others gambled that their mockery was justified and had a worthy target. No one should look at the Cross and then reject it without realizing the horrible gamble being made. If Jesus is the Son of God, then everything is completely different ... new ... clean ... holy!
WJD PRAYER: We are simply amazed and stunned at Your bold "risk" of love in Jesus. We, Your people, have often rejected Your greatest gifts of love. How could You keep loving us so much, heavenly Father, that You would offer, and dare we say it, risk, such a costly gift? We do not understand it, but we do believe it and we offer you our lives, our love and our all. In Jesus' mighty saving name and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen.
Daily Guide to Miracles from Oral Roberts Ministries
Resist the Devil's Oppression by Lindsay Roberts
One night we had a birthday party for Richard's mother, Evelyn, and our daughter Jordan. Their birthdays are only a day apart. To my dismay, I had a sore throat and absolutely no voice. I was in so much pain that it hurt even to try to whisper. We had the birthday celebration, and afterwards, my father-in-law, Oral, asked, "Lindsay, are you ready to get your voice back and get rid of that sore throat?"
I thought, Why didn't I think of that? Of course, I was ready to get rid of it. Oral's question made me realize that I didn't have to tolerate satan's oppression anymore.
Oral laid hands on me and prayed, and it was as if I went from darkness to light. I didn't receive total use of my voice at that moment, but 75 percent of it returned right then. However, my determination to get rid of the pain increased.
As I started talking, the pain in my throat stopped. Suddenly, it was gone. Richard prophesied that my voice would return totally by the next day. I received that word in Jesus' Name, and my voice started coming back immediately.
Are you ready to get rid of whatever is hindering you? If it's not from God, make a decision that you're not going to put up with it any longer! The Word tells you what to do. James 4:7 says, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
My Declaration of Faith for Today: Lord, I submit myself to You, and as I resist the devil, Your Word says he will run from me.
Remember, "Something GOOD is going to happen to you!"
Visit the Make Your Day Count website: http://www.makeyourdaycount.com
The Boulders Of Life
From the privacy of the car, I watched a little two-year-old bundle of all-boy energy. With infectious delight, he was climbing the large rock boulders that marked the perimeter of the parking lot.
I saw the moment when his eyes focused on the biggest boulder there, probably about thirty inches high.
The face of it was smooth, with no footholds. Reaching to his highest stretch, he could just barely reach his fingertips to the rounded top. He kicked and reached but could find no way to conquer this "mountain". Frustrated, he called for help, but he was rewarded with nothing more than an ignoring smile. I watched him struggle, his determination admirable, but finally he was forced to admit defeat. He shuffled off, head down. Then, he gave one last reluctant look over his shoulder.
Immediately, his body language changed, and he turned and raced back to the boulder.
He had not realized that this boulder had another side to it, a side that had a convenient step naturally provided in the cut of the stone. Reaching his short little leg as high as he could, he was just able to catch the top of the step with his boot, and in a second, pull himself up to sit triumphantly on the top of his "mountain". I heard the exuberance in his voice as he exclaimed, "I made it! I made it! It is amazing! It is amazing!"
I saw the lesson immediately.
How often we look at the "boulder" circumstances of our lives from only one side. If we walk around to God's side of it, we find that He has already provided a step, a way to conquer it, to climb to the top and experience the exuberance of victory! The accomplishment of overcoming, to the point where our view is through God's eyes and not our own, is that we see His purposes, and then our joyous victory song can be heard by all who are watching! "I made it! God is amazing!"
1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (NKJV)
We come in agreement with Julie's Prayer: Dear Father God, help us not to view the boulders of our lives from the side of defeat, but rather, with childlike faith, to look for the side where You have already provided the way of escape, the way to victory! To all who are watching, help us to proclaim through our attitudes and actions that our God truly is amazing! Thank You for Jesus Who was born and came to show us the "steps" to an overcoming life! In Jesus' mighty saving name we pray. Amen.
Julie Klassen juliefrompearls@...
Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK OF NOV 30
It is the greatest of all his wordless miracles and yet we are unsatisfied with him and want more. He is not the God any of us would have chosen but, as Brueggemann marvelously concludes, he is the God who has chosen us. Michael Card
Seeking: Lord Jesus, how have you used these words to expand my understanding of you? How does it lift my heart to know that you have chosen me? How relieved I am, Lord Jesus, that you do not fit my molds, my expectations, my petty theological formulas. You come into my life unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. You meet me in the dark hallways of lost hope and suffering. You take off the thief's mask and behold, the face of compassion, eyes wet with tears. Change my desires so that they are only for your presence. Amen.
From: "PARIS" GRACENTHETRUTH@...
WHAT JESUS DID! There were 276 souls of us in the ship.
Acts 27:37-38 All told there were 276 souls of us in the ship.  And after they had eaten sufficiently, [they proceeded] to lighten the ship, throwing out the wheat into the sea.