Sept. 1 SparkysHeart EZEKIEL 20-22
Sparky's Prayer: Help us Lord God that we will learn from the Scripture so that we will not have to experience the pain of bitter feelings and heartaches. Please cleanse us from our weakness, evil, and shortcoming, so that our communication with You will remain clear. Help us to remember that heartbreak always come when we disobey God's Word and Will on how we treat the poor and powerless. Thank You for saving us for Your sake. In Jesus' mighty saving name, we pray. Amen.
2 Timothy 4:9-22 An Everlasting Kingdom
PAUL'S PRAYER: Dear Father God: Help us not to be in love with this present world. Enable us to live for the sake of Your everlasting kingdom. Help us come to the defense of those who are attacked wrongly or who need defending for Your sake. Stand by us, dear Father God, and give us the strength to live for You and to proclaim Your word fully, as it deserves. Rescue us from the lion's mouth. Rescue us from every evil and save us for Your heavenly kingdom. Be with our spirits. Grant abundant grace to us in every way. To You be the glory forever and ever. In Jesus' mighty saving name and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen.
VERSE: I will praise You, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. ~ Psalm 9:1, (NIV)
THOUGHT: The words of Jessie Brown Pound's old hymn say it best: "If the light of His presence has brightened your way, O will you not tell it today?" Prayerfully select someone who needs to know of the goodness and graciousness of God and share Jesus with that person. A heart filled with praise to God will not only praise Him, but will lead others to do so as well!
PRAYER: We do praise You from the bottom of our hearts, O Father God, but bless us today as we seek to bring others to know and to praise You more fully. In Jesus' mighty saving name, we pray. Amen.
WHAT JESUS DID! The Necessity of Forgiveness
Matthew 18:34-35 (NLT) Then the angry king sent the man to prison until he had paid every penny. "That is what My heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters in your heart."
WJD THOUGHT: God is gracious and merciful until He finds those to whom He has freely dispensed mercy and they withhold it from others. The key principle of mercy and grace is this: it must be shared when it is received or it is never appreciated. God is very angry with an unforgiving, unmerciful, and uncharitable heart. So let us be gracious and tender and kind. Let us do it without regard to social rank or racial heritage or ethnic origin. Let us do it simply because God's first done it to us!
WJD PRAYER: Holy Father God, help us to be more merciful with those who stumble and more harsh with those who refuse to forgive. Please give us a sense of balance so that we will know, celebrate, and proclaim Your mercy in its radical glory. In Jesus' mighty saving name and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen.
WHAT JESUS DID! Sad You See!
Mark 12:18 (NLT) Then the Sadducees stepped forward a group of Jews who say there is no resurrection after death. They posed this question:
WJD THOUGHT: Clearly, this period of Jesus' ministry is filled with the carefully crafted questions of His enemies. Pharisees, supporters of Herod (vs. 13), and Sadducees were not good friends normally. They all had their political, religious, and social agendas. However, Jesus' popularity with the common people, His willingness to speak the truth of God boldly without relying on the support of other religious leaders, and His acceptance of the titles of Son of God, Son of David, and King of the Jews as He entered JerUSAlem scared them to death. They were going to do their best to trap Him with their questions. The Sadducees would have very deep differences with Jesus because they did not believe in angels or the resurrection. They were wedded to the world as they found it and survived with their faith by accommodating it to the political winds of the time. As we read the following verses, Jesus will not use polite or politically correct speech. Like the apostle Paul does in 1 Corinthians 15, Jesus directly rebukes the wrong-headed lie that denies the resurrection. Of course, Jesus' greatest exclamation mark on the truth of the resurrection will be His own empty tomb and His appearances to His disciples after His death.
WJD PRAYER: Father in heaven, You are the eternal God. From everlasting to everlasting You have been, will be, and are God. We confess that we cannot completely fathom the truth of this. However, dear Father God, we do trust it with all our hearts. Father God, we believe in Your Son and we have shared with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection through baptism. By the power of Your Holy Spirit, we live to honor You each day. We believe that the Holy Spirit will bring us safely into Your presence for eternity. Thank You for such great hope. Help us to never compromise our faith in this glorious truth. In Jesus' mighty saving name, we pray. Amen.
WHAT JESUS DID! Longing to Protect the City
Luke 13:34-35 (NLT) "O JerUSAlem, JerUSAlem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God's messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you would not let Me. And now look, your house is left to you empty. And you will never see Me again until you say, `Bless The One Who Comes in The Name of The Lord!'"
WJD THOUGHT: Does not this passage, this haunting cry of Jesus, seem very poignant even today? God longs to bless the people of JerUSAlem. In fact, the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts remind us again and again of God's love for the great cities of the world JerUSAlem, Antioch, Ephesus, Athens, Corinth, and Rome and how He longs to reach them with His grace through the Gospel. Yet so often the cities, like JerUSAlem, which will be the scene of Jesus' rejection, reject the message of Jesus. Their rejection of God's grace, ethics, and morals ends up bringing destruction on the cities themselves. For JerUSAlem, however, the rejection of Jesus is the rejection of their Messiah, their hope, and their Savior. Let us not be guilty of the same rejection. Let us understand God's desire to bring us under His wing of protection and respond by offering Him our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.
WJD PRAYER: Tender Shepherd, our Father God, thank You for Your Son and our Savior and Lord. Use us to be a blessing to our city and empower us to share Your saving grace given through Jesus, in Whose mighty saving name, we pray. Amen.
WHAT JESUS DID! The Idol of Popularity
John 12:42-43 (NLT) Many people, including some of the Jewish leaders, believed in Him. But they would not admit it to anyone because of their fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.
WJD THOUGHT: What would make you afraid to show your faith? To lose ones place in the synagogue was a huge loss for someone in Jesus' day. While we rightfully are disgusted with the lack of courage and integrity by those mentioned in this verse, we need to ask ourselves how often have we failed to stand up for Jesus when the stakes were much less high. The real issue with fear and faith is our confidence in what we believe. If we truly believe in Jesus, how could we give Him up? If we truly want to honor God, then how could the approval of mere mortal people become more important? God calls us to love Him without rival. Anything that would interfere with our honoring God becomes our idol, even if it is the fear of rejection or the desire for popularity.
WJD PRAYER: Father God, give us courage to stand up and confess our faith in Jesus with graciousness. We truly believe that You sent Jesus to die for our sins and give us power over sin and death. Please help us live that faith before the people with whom we interact regardless of their acceptance or rejection of us because of that faith. In Jesus' mighty saving name and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen.
Daily Guide to Miracles from Oral Roberts Ministries
Everyone Needs a "Mimi" by Patricia Salem
When my grandson Roman was two years old, he decided he did not want to call me "Grandma" like all of the other grandchildren. He said, "I am going to call you `Mimi'!" Everyone at the time thought, Well, he is two. We will talk him out of it eventually! But instead, he talked everyone else into it, and today I am everyone's "Mimi"-family, neighbors, friends, even the television crew on my daughter's television show, Make Your Day Count!
I always tell each of my grandchildren, "Honey, I love you, no matter what!" If you do not have a Mimi who loves you like that, you need one. God loves you unconditionally, no matter what. He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV)
My Declaration of Faith for Today: I am unconditionally loved by my heavenly Father.
Remember, "Something GOOD is going to happen to you this very DAY!"
Visit the Make Your Day Count website: http://www.makeyourdaycount.com
Romans 5:3-5 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, Whom He has given us. (NIV)
It was the worst mud I have ever encountered. Within minutes, I was three inches taller! The soles of my boots were caked with the stuff, and trying to get it off was next to impossible; it dried like cement. How I hated lurching through that gumbo after every rain. The results of the rain, however, created much new and needed growth across the normally dry and dusty landscape.
Likewise, I must admit that I also hate walking through suffering. I hate the pain that penetrates my thoughts and squeezes the cockles of my heart with agonizing strength and regularity. I hate how suffering can turn an ordinary 24-hour period into a moment-by-moment effort, like slogging through the mud, an endeavour that seeks to sap my well-being and yes, even my faith.
Amidst suffering, I never seem to be able to envision the end, but when the finale eventually arrives, something amazing has always happened. I am bigger. I am stronger. I am taller in Christian faith, peace, love, joy, and understanding.
Somehow, these suffering experiences stick to my innermost being, my soul. And as the apostle Paul wrote, in Christ, they produce perseverance, character, and hope. And God-induced hope never, ever disappoints us. In turn, I have discovered that though I still do not ever enjoy slogging through the gumbo of suffering when it comes, in the end, the results are totally worthwhile.
We come in agreement with Lynne's Prayer: Wonderful Lord and loving Father God, we thank You in advance for the miracle of growth in Christ, which You are able to produce within our lives when this world rains its suffering down upon us. Bless us this day with Your power and grace to meet whatever may come our way, with Christ-like poise and dignity. In Jesus' mighty saving name, we pray. Amen.
Lynne Phipps lynnephipps@...
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada
WHAT JESUS DID! Paul had stated that they were about to see his face no more
Acts 20:37-38 And they all wept freely and threw their arms around Paul's neck and kissed him fervently and repeatedly,  Being especially distressed and sorrowful because he had stated that they were about to see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.
And God Said
TODAY'S SCRIPTURE: "And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light."
Genesis 1:3 (NIV)
TODAY'S WORD: When God commanded light to come forth, it came at 186,000 miles per second! Friend, when God commands something, you can be sure that it is going to happen.
Just like He commanded the worlds to be formed, God has commanded that you be blessed. He has commanded that you prosper and increase. He has commanded that you be above only and not beneath. As a believer and follower of Jesus, you are called to be the head and not the tail. If you will get into agreement with God and not let other people or your own thoughts talk you out of it, then you will see this commanded blessing take you further than you ever thought possible.
Today; set your heart and mind on His goodness. Believe that He is ready to take you places that you have never dreamed. Receive His promises because He is faithful. If God said it, He will do it! Get ready because He is pouring out His blessing on every area of your life!
A PRAYER FOR TODAY: Father God, thank You for Your goodness and faithfulness. Thank You for the power in Your Word to change my world. I choose to get into agreement with You and declare that Your will be done in my life. In Jesus' mighty saving name, we pray. Amen.
www.JoelOsteen.com & www.VictoriaOsteen.com