Saturday, December 31, 2016


John 6:43-51  Jesus therefore answered and said to them, "Do not murmur among yourselves.  No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws them in; and I will raise him up at the last day.  It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall be taught by God.'  Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.  Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.  Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.  I am the bread of life.  Your fathers ate manna in the wilderness and are dead.  This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.  I am the livving bread which came down from heaven.  If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."

Jesus, only You can make us whole and complete.  You came so that we may have life and it cost You Your life to do it.  Nothing but you will ever satisfy us the way You can because it is only through You that every good and perfect gift makes sense and has purpose.  Fill us with Your presence, well up in us a fountain of living water that we may not thirst, and give us the daily bread we desperately need to move from surviving to thriving.  Amen.

Friday, December 30, 2016


John 6:41-42  The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven."  And they said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?  How is it then that He says, 'I have come down from heaven'?"

I can't imagine what it was like to know who You are, knowing all You had to give, only to be rejected, doubted, questioned, and mocked by the very people who should have recognized You immediately.  I also can't imagine what it's like for You when I fail to recognize Your voice, intervention, and presence because my focus is fixated on my fears, anxieties, and worries.  Jesus, open my eyes to the things You have revealed that I did not see, my ears to the things I did not hear, and my heart to the things You've given I have not embraced.  You remained strong through the misperceptions, misunderstandings, and miscommunications because You knew the truth.  Satisfy me with thoughts of Your never ending love and faithfulness that make the enemy's fiery darts useless.  Remind me that I am Yours.  Amen

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Natural Rhythm

John 6:35-40  And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life.  He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.  But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not beleive.  All that the Father gives to Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me will by no means be cast out.  For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, bu the will of Him who sent Me.  This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up on the last day.  And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise Him up on the last day."

Jesus, You satisfy the longing aches that are deep inside my heart.  Nothing on this earth can do what You can.  When I meet with You to hear Your voice and to rest at Your feet, I know that You are tending to my deepest needs.  Help me to be Your hands and feet and give the comfort You give me.  Help me to live as You lived in the unforced rhythms of grace.  Amen.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

What's Been Done

John 6:28-34  Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?"  Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."  Therefore they said to Him, "What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You?  What work will You do?  Our father's ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"  Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."  Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always."

It is easy to get caught up in one particular thought that puts You in a box that limits who You are because my mind can't conceive the magnitude of Your greatness.  Somehow I manage to forget that You are the bread come down from heaven and I place restrictions on who I say You are and all that You are meant to be.  Help me to remember that my vision is limited and that containing You is not possible.  I don't need You to give a commanding performance of Your abilities to believe You, I just desperately need reminders of all that You've done in grace and mercy so that I stop doubting if You are with me.  Amen.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Taste and See

John 6:22-27  On the following day, when the people who were standing on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except that one which His disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with His disciples, but His disciples had gone away alone ~ however other boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks ~ when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.  And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You come here?"  Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.  do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."

Father, for a long time now, I must confess that I have sought you for knowledge, answers, and help.  I have treated Your word like a well written advice column.  My satisfaction, joy, and strength are meant to come from You not what I am capable of learning about You and applying to my life.  I want to have my hunger satisfied because You are speaking to me and because You are filling me.  The only thing I can do on physical food is survive.  In order to thrive, I need You alone.  Amen

Monday, December 26, 2016


John 6:15-21  Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force and make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.  Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum.  And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them.  Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing.  So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat, and they were afraid.  But He said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid."  Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.

Father it is easy for me to get stressed out or anxious over the expectations (real or perceived) of others and become frozen in place rather than retreat to be with You.  But You are my refuge and You should always be my first inclination because You are my best option.  When I am overwhelmed with fear, anxiety, worry, sadness, or any emotion that threatens my joy or faith in You, I can be honest about where I am so that You can give me Your peace.  I want to stop ignoring my feelings and allow You to take care of them and tend to them.  Amen

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Nothing is Wasted

John 6:12-14  So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, "Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost."  Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the fiver barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.  Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world."

Father, nothing in Your hands is wasted.  There are no scraps or fragments that won't be picked up and gathered back to You that You have blessed.  Whether it's bread that is broken and shared pieces of a life that has fallen apart, or a heart shattered into a million pieces, You will find all the bits, put them aside, and use them, not as leftovers but to fill another need.  Help me to see the things that seem wasted in my life the same way ~ worthy and worthwhile to be used despite jagged edges, being discarded by someone else, and left behind by those who'd had enough.  Help me to see the things You multiply and expand as the miracles they are.  Amen.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Needs Met

John 6:7-11 Philip answered Him, "Two hundred denari worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little."  One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to Him, "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?"  Then Jesus said, "Make the people sit down."  Now there was much grass in the place.  So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.  And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.

Father, in Your hands, the little bit I have which You have given me, is capable of doing so much more than I realize.  It's not 'just enough' to fill my current need, but enough to fill the needs of another, too.  Help me release the things I cling tightest to knowing that You can do so much more with my willingness than with my help itself.  Help me to remember that You see the needs for what they really are, not just what they appear to be.  It's not always about meeting a physical need, sometimes it's much more about meeting a spiritual need for others to witness the divine.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Just Breathe

John 6:1-6  After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, whic is the Sea of Tiberias.  Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased.  And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.
Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews was near.  Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?"  But this He said to test Him, for He Himself knew what He would do.

Father, after doing much, even You retreated with friends for just a moment to be refreshed before beginning again.  You even sat down when You stopped and closed Your eyes.  Maybe you were deep in thought, prayer, or just taking time to breathe and be still.  I confess, I am not very good at stopping or resting and I know through Your example that it's something I must work on.

Father, remind me that when You ask a question, it's not because You are seeking the answer, it's because You know it, You know my limited ability to see the impossible outside of the circumstances, and because You are likely getting ready to blow my mind with something I can't even imagine.  You can do all things and I am given the honor of witnessing them and playing a part.  Amen

I'm not sure why it's so hard for us to just stop.  What I do know is that it's important.  If you honestly can not remember the last time you weren't multitasking, maybe it's time to start intentionally tending to your need for the kind of rest that replenishes your soul.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Seek and Find

John 5:41-47  "I do not receive honor from men.  But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you.  I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me;  if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.  How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?  Do not think I shall accuse you to the Father' there is one who accuses you, Moses ~ in whom you trust.  For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.  But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?"

Father I am not even sure I know what it means to seek honor that comes from You.  I know what it means to honor You and to do things that honor You but to seek honor that You would give is beyond my ability to understand.  Give me the wisdom and understanding necessary to read the words of Moses, to see his witness and testimony of You, so that I can believe Your words.  I have spent hours pouring over things You say, and I may "know" them with a fair amount of intellectual ability, but I want to believe them.  You said that if I can hear Your words they will make me live.  I want to stop just existing and start living.  Open my eyes, make my ears sensitive to Your whispers, and break the protective wall I have managed to build around my heart.  Amen.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Come to Me

John 5:31-40  If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true.  There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true.  You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth.  Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved.  He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.  But I have a greater witness than John's; for the works which the father has given Me to finish ~ the very works I do ~ bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.  And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me.  You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.  But You do not have His Word abiding in You, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.  You search th Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.  But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

The first time I read this passage in John I about fell flat on my face.  I didn't realize what I had grown accustomed to doing when reading my Bible and it lead to some pretty difficult internal dialogue.  My prayer at that time was this:

Father, I don't know how this all got so twisted and distorted but I have managed to take Your Word and dissociate it from You.  So now I have to learn how to see You in it, so that I can abide in You and come to You so that I can live.  I have to deal with the things I just moved past and let you have at them to fix and mend what is broken.  I know this is going to hurt but I also know that You will comfort me through it.

It wasn't until I wrote out these verses in my journal that I saw what I had been doing.  I was looking for Jesus in the transcripts of His life and expecting those transcripts to fix a lot of things.  It would almost be like going to trial and expecting a verdict without giving it to the judge or jury to determine the outcome.  I seemed to have become very good at looking for the answers but not asking the One who would ultimately give them.  Needless to say, there was a major malfunction in my theological application of Scripture.

I was forced to take a look at why this happened, maybe attempt to figure out how it happened, and then respond to it in a way that would prevent it from happening in the future.  I was forced to look at unanswered prayers, hurtful experiences, and painful memories.  I had to accept that instead of giving Jesus my broken heart, I took His words and covered my world with band-aids that I wrote His thoughts on.  If someone had hurt me I reminded myself that I had to forgive as I had been forgiven.  If a prayer was going unanswered, I repeated the truth that God had a plan for my life and it was for my good not my harm.  And if a painful memory shot up, I focused on the fact that He works out all things for good.  Sadly, I labeled all of this 'spiritual maturity.'  It sounded good, at least to me, until I realized I had suppressed every emotion a human being made in the image of God was created to feel.  I wasn't honest with myself, I wasn't honest with others, and I surely was not being honest with God.

In her book The Broken Way, Ann Voskamp writes, "And this is always the choice: pain demands to be felt or will demand you feel nothing at all."  That was a moment of revelation for me.  I didn't have a choice anymore.  I had to start dealing with my stuff.

I'm not going to unpack suitcases here, but this section of Scripture has started a revolution of sorts in me.  Learning how to express my emotions, particularly without the fear of abandonment, has been at the top of my to do list.  It's not easy....when you are the constant peacemaker and just want things to be simple, expressing hurt feelings is not an easy task because it rocks the boat.  And let me make this perfectly clear, I'm not talking about mean words here.  I'm talking about things said in non~threatening ways that hit straight to the core of who you are as a person and makes light of them.  For example, from childhood through today, I will fall asleep anywhere, at any time, especially in a movie theater.  Lights go out and I'm asleep in minutes.  This only got worse over time with lupus.  Exhaustion is just generally a part of my life.  But when it becomes the constant butt of jokes, and it's not something you can help or fix with any amount of sleep, it gets quite tiresome.  But telling someone they said something that hurt your feelings generally leads to a defensive reaction.  So I've just kept quiet, built up walls, ignored anything that left a mark, and just moved past it.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I walk around 'offended' constantly.  But I couldn't even be honest with God about my feelings and He's the One I should be taking it all to in the first place so that He can help me process it and be at peace with who I am and how He's created me.  Sadly that wasn't even on my radar. Thankfully, it now is.  But it's a process and sometimes it feels like turning the syrup bottle upside down and waiting for the last of it to slide down the sides and just come out.

So, no, I still have not had a good, solid cry.  I've had tears roll down my cheeks over a couple of difficult moments, but I haven't 'cried' in years.  From what I can remember of the last time, it was early 2011.  I feel it welling up, and I know it's going to be ugly when it happens, but when that floodgate finally busts wide open, I have a feeling that those cleansing waters and going to wash away a lot of baggage that's moved from one place to the next.

If you like me are one that keeps things bottled up, I humbly suggest that you begin by taking it all to Jesus.  Not searching the Scriptures for Him, just go straight to the source.  I've got a journey ahead of me that feels a bit overwhelming at times, but I also know that in the end, this one will be well worth it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Resurrected Life

John 5:26-30  "For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgement also, because He is the Son of Man.  Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth ~ those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil ~ to the resurrection of condemnation.  I can of myself do nothing.  As I hear, I judge; and My judgement is righteous because I do not seek my own will bu the will of the Father who sent Me."

Father, I see this mess, where things are clearly not as You intend and I'm not sure how I got here and I certainly do not know how to fix it.  What I do know is that You came to give me life to the full and clearly I am not living it.  Point out where I went wrong.  I know my emotions are not meant to control me but mine are too buried.  Show me where the walls of protection have been fortified that need to come down.  Give me Your strength and perspective on how to deal with them properly and effectively.  Light each step that I am to take and keep me on the path to getting well.  Resurrect in me the life you saw when You created me, the one where I am in step with You in every decision. The one where I keep trying to take control, the one I've only been functional through for years, simply does not work.  Amen

Monday, December 19, 2016


John 5:24-25  Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come in to judgement, but has passed from death into life.  Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live."

Father, You speak and things change.  The non-existant becomes reality, the sick are healed, and the dead live.  Your words have power.  Put Your words in my mouth when I speak to others to encourage, to pray, or to remind them of You.  Use Your words when I am talking to myself to uplift, comfort, or correct rather than the doubt filled words of the world.  Let me hear Your words every day so that I can move from a point of existance to a point of living.  Amen

James warns us clearly that the tongue is "a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body." That isn't just about the words you use when you speak to others ~ it most definitely includes the words you speak to yourself.  If your words are not speaking life, choose to find new words.  No one is given permission to speak badly about any of God's creation, even the creation itself.  Remember you are His masterpiece, you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and you are a child of God.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

wHoly Pursuit

John 5:21-23  "For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.  For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgement to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father.  He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him."

Father, the inseparable nature of the three parts of You are perfect.  As Father You create and give life, as Son You redeem and restore life, as Spirit You speak life.  Wholeness and wellness can only be found when there is equality and balance in our pursuit of You in Your entire being because focus more on one than another will leave us unhealthy and fragmented.  Help me to find that balance, help me seek You for all that You are and pursue You for the love You show in allowing Yourself to be found.  The life You give me is the only one I want to live.  Help me not to just recognize it, but to use it wisely to make a difference in and through You.  Amen

Saturday, December 17, 2016

All Things

John 5:19-20  Then Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.  For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that You may marvel."

Father, help me see the things that You have done and then open my eyes to the chances before me to imitate Your actions.  Whether it is an act of forgiveness, of grace, or an abundant blessing in some capacity, I want to do what You have done.  Remind me that You are always with me, clear the path You are calling me to walk with You, help me hear Your instructions, and let me experience what it means to truly do something that could have only happened in Your strength.  Mark my boundaries so that I don't attempt to get ahead of You, fall too far behind, or worst of all, attempt to take control.  Father, let everything I do shine light on Your glory and goodness, let me just be a reflection of You so bright that Your love is the only element visible in what was done.  Amen.

Jesus said that God would show Him greater things to do that you may marvel.  What was the last thing God did that made you marvel?

It's easy to be tempted to focus on the big things, the miraculous things Jesus did, and think we can't do them.  And while we aren't likely to change water to wine, return sight to the blind, or raise a friend from the dead, we are capable of forgiving as Jesus did, loving as Jesus did, and showing the compassion and mercy Jesus did.  Our words can bring life to dreams, our forgiveness can restore a broken heart, and our generosity can lead others to hope in the God who truly cares about meeting needs.  What you have seen Jesus do in your own life, go do that.


Friday, December 16, 2016

Work Ethic

John 5:16-18  For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath.  But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working."  Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.

Father, I never want 'rules' to be in a more prominent place than seeking You in prayer over the best thing to do in any situation.  It is so simple to take the easy way out, to make a checklist, to be more concerned with following protocol that involves no intentional action or direction from You.  Open my eyes to the places You are working and if I'm meant to be involved, show me how to be involved and to what extent.  Father help me steward my energy, time, and body wisely.  Prevent me from getting caught up to the point that I miss when the rest that coms from You is most critical.  Remind me that I can call on You at any time for help, something I don't understand the magnitude of or what's available to me when I do.  Amen.

Thursday, December 15, 2016


John 5:7-15  The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me."  Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed, and walk."  And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.  And that day was the Sabbath.  The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, "It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed."  He answered them, "He who made me well said to me, 'Take up your bed and walk.'"  Then they asked him, "Who is the man who said to you, 'Take up your bed and walk'?"  But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place.  Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well.  Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you."  The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who made him well.

Father, help me to actively and intentionally puruse what will make me well.  I don't need to wait for an angel to stir water, I just need to seek You in all circumstances that keep me sick.  Show me the power of Your words to fix what is broken, heal what is hurt, and comfort what aches.  And when others ask who it was that healed me, give me the right words that will pierce hearts with Your truth and love.

Sometimes we need a reminder that we were made for more than we are currently experiencing in our reality.  Don't ever let your past define your present or future. #Rise

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Be Made Well

John 5:1-6  After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches.  In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water.  For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.  Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?"

Father, You never force Your will or our hand to do anything.  You encourage, equip, convict, point out pros and cons, and knock.  You do everything You can to make us want to, but You never force it.  Why?  Because a desired and sought change lasts while a forced change is resented.  You give us the option, not because we'll do it perfectly if we choose it, but because we'll recognize that You're the one bringing it about.  The part that astounds me though is the you want to be made well.  It seems that the logical answer anyone would have is "yes" but reality says otherwise because change, even for the better is hard, brings out our deepest fears, and ultimately calls us to action.  Father I pray that the greatest changes in me are the ones You bring about in my heart and mind and that I wholeheartedly answer this question with a 'yes'.  I pray that the comfort of 'the known' would not keep me bound in my current state.  And most of all, I pray that the work You do in and through me would shine a light on Your glory and goodness that is undeniable in its scope, power, and influence to a world seeking relief.  Amen

If Jesus were to ask you today, "Do you want to be made well?", what would your response be?

If the answer to that question is 'Yes', what would being made well look like and what are you willing to do to get there?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Faith by Hearing

John 4:50-54  Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your son lives."  So the man believed the word Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way.  And as he was going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, "Your son lives!"  Then he inquired of them the hour he got better.  And they said to him, "Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him."  So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, "Your son lives."  And he himself believed, and his whole household.  This again is the second sign Jesus did when He had come out of Judea into Galilee.

Father, Your word has been a comfort, a guide, an anchor, and a lifeboat in the most trying of times that I have gone through.  I can look back and see things you've coordinated, moved, solved, and defeated for me.  Build up my faith in the first moment You speak knowing that Your word is always true, that there is no deceit in You, that even if I feel faithless You remain faithful, and that Your timing to respond is all about maximum impact.  Remind me that when I'm scared I can trust You always adn that just by shouting Your name I can bring down walls.  Amen

Monday, December 12, 2016

Yesterday, Today, Forever

John 4:46-49  So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine.  And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum.  When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death.  Then Jesus said to him, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will be no means believe."  The nobleman said to Him, "Sir, come down before my child dies!"

Father, it's hard to believe without seeing proof to believe.  Sometimes it's proof that is visible and tangible like someone reaceiving healing and sometimes it's proof that can't be quantified but rather experienced when someone changes the type of person they are because of You.  The hardest part is the faith to believe that You are moving in and through a difficulty when the resolution has not yet arrived.  When the tears are still falling and the heart is still broken and the questions remain unanswered.  I want to overcome any unbelief that remains in me.  I want to remain firm in the knowledge that even though I may not see the pieces You are lining up that You are still working on it.  Help me to be still and know, above all, that You are God.  Amen

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Beyond Sight

John 4:43-45  Now after the two days He departed from there and went to Galilee.  For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country.  So when He came to Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen the things He did in Jerusalem at the feast, for they also had gone to the feast.

Father, to know that there were people Jesus knew, met, and interacted with that did not accept Him is both perplexing and comforting.  How anyone could be in the presence of pure love and reject it is completely beyond my comprehension.  It didn't stop Him from going and it didn't stop Him from reaching out to those in need, it just limited His time because He had other places to go.  At the same time, He didn't ignore the ones who accepted Him only  because of what they had seen.  He didn't hold their reason for acceptance against them but rather reinforced it to make it stronger.  Help me to keep my pride in check.  This isn't about the how or why, this is about bringing others to You so that they can have the freedom You give.  I am just Your hands and feet reaching out with Your love.  Keep my focus clear, my purpose pure, and my motives about glorifying You.  Amen

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Still, Small Voice

John 4:39-42  And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, "He told me all that I ever did."  So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days.  And many more believed because of His own word.  Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world."

Father, my testimony to who You are and what You have done matters.  Every word I speak sharing Your goodness and glory shines light on You.  Help me boldly proclaim the things You have done, the things You have shown me,  and the words You have spoken to my heart so that others seek You for themselves and find You to be their Savior, also.  It will never be my responsibility to convince people to love You, but if I love You well and love others well because of You, what they will truly see is You, and that kind of draw is too powerful to resist.  Amen

Friday, December 9, 2016

Finish His Work

John 4:34-38  Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work.  Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'?  Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!  And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.  For in this the saying is true: 'One sows and another reaps'. I sent you to reap for that which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered in to their labors."

Father, my joy and my delight come through You from watching You move, build up, encourage, and love through Your blessings.  The things You do for those who follow You, the way You lead them, step by step through the work of Your Spirit in them is amazing.  And in the process, You invite us to work with You, to labor on Your behalf, and we are the ones who receive the wages!  Remove the veil from my eyes to see what is ready to be gathered, go before me to clear the way in, guard behind me that I don't miss any opportunities, and help me to celebrate all those who come to know You, who played a part in the work, and the astounding work of Your hands.  I am surrounded by things my mind can not imagine, my eyes have not seen or my ears heard.  And they satisfy in indescribable ways.  Amen.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Not By Bread Alone

John 4:31-33  In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat."  But He said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know."  Therefore the disciples said to one another, "Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?"

Father, physical concerns always seem to trump all other concerns from a fleshy perspective.  Do you have enough to eat, a place to sleep, clothes to put on?  The things we can tangibly give or encourage others to obtain appear in our human eyes the most critical.  But Jesus says He has food and everyone is confused because no one has given Him anything edible in the group, and no one can see any evidence of anything that is, or was, edible.  They knew who He was yet they didn't appear to notice where His strength was coming from or why He was satisfied.  Help me to make those things in my life known, obvious, and undeniable.  Give me a testimony that shows You are more crucial than anything else because the reality is You have taught us that seeking You first is the greatest priority and that after that, all other needs will be be added on and met.  Amen

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

All the Things I've Ever Done

John 4:27-30  And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, "What do you seek?" or "Why are You talking with her?"  The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, "Come see a Man who told me all the things I ever did.  Could this be the Christ?"  Then they went out of the city and came to Him.

Father, from the very first day, You know everything I've ever done.  You know every breath, every tear, every hope, every dream and regret.  You know every time I listened to Your calll and every time I avoided You.  You have kept me safe, met my every need, and have given me a journey of faithfulness to look back upon in order to move forward in the present.  I am a woman and You talk to me.  You don't need to ask what I am seeking because all I seek is You.  And I don't have to ask why You talk to me because I know it's because You love me passionately.  Help me to be like this woman, ready to drop her own way of fulfilling her thirst to tell others about You so that they too can never thirst again.  Amen