A PRAYER FOR AMERICA

Almighty God,

In all history, there has been only one nation like America—founded by pilgrims seeking freedom to worship, established on a vast continent between two oceans, dedicated to the proposition that we are created equal and endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights: One nation under God.

You have delivered us in war, prospered us in peace, and raised up generations willing to offer the last full measure of their devotion for the preservation of liberty at home and abroad. We have been a light for the world. From our shores has gone the greatest missionary force in history.

But now, Lord, America has fallen into darkness, disobedience, and indifference. We have sinned; and we, Your people, Lord, humble ourselves, and pray and seek Your face, and turn from our wicked ways. Please forgive our sin and heal our land.

Give us leaders who understand the times and know what we should do. May the torch of liberty burn brightly, inflamed by the goodness of Your people. God, bless America. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

2 Chronicles 7:14

–Rev. Dr. David Jeremiah

THE WORLD SITUATION

(A teaching from Isaiah 54-55)

O Lord, what is happening in Your world today? There are fires, floods, disease, unrest, drought, and people all over the world are in a state of despair. There are many who are suffering and grieving from these events. Many wonder, “Why? “ What has happened? If there really is a God, why has He allowed this to happen?

It has been a long time since I have heard anyone refer to God without fearing retribution—outside of church, that is. Even many preachers have gone with the flow of the world and succumbed to merely entertaining, instead of preaching the Gospel, which sometimes can be confronting if you have strayed from the path, but be comforted for there is hope. Why do preachers not preach the word? Why put off the inevitable—God is calling His people back—can you hear His call?

Isaiah prophesized this long ago. Since God’s Word is ever-new to every generation, this message lives through the ages into eternity—it is infinite. This is what Isaiah wrote: “You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. (Isa. 54:4)…The Lord will call you back…I have compassion on you, says the Lord your Redeemer” Isaiah also writes that today is like the days of Noah when he “swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth.”(Isa.54:9) God promises to rebuild the lives of people who believe. Isaiah calls out, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call him while He is near…Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him.” How can this be? Because God is God, the Creator, and His thoughts and ways are not our thoughts and ways. (Isa. 55:8ff)

What happens when it is finally understood what God has been telling those He created? Once again, Isaiah tells us: “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Isa. 55:12) Isn’t that a wonderful scene to behold? When you think about it, you can’t but help smile and breathe out all the “stuff” you have packed inside of you. The air becomes clean and fresh filled with the sweet fragrance of Christ.

The truth is some preachers need to take off the restraints that keep them from preaching the complete, loving word of God. It is not the time to tiptoe through the tulips, as Tiny Tim use to sing. And people who are there in person, or online, need to have the eyes of their hearts opened to see what God is trying to tell them and their ears opened to hear it. Without open hearts, the hearing just goes—as they say—in one ear and out the other.

God is yearning for a relationship with you. How do you come into a relationship with God? The answer is prayer, which is holding a conversation with Him as with a friend. It is not just a grocery list of what you think you need or want. It is enjoying sharing your ideas and listening to God’s ideas for the path He has chosen for you. II Chronicles 7:14 gives us the recipe for peace and healing: “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”

So, here it is, we need to hear the pure unadulterated word, then do what it says! Ultimately, peace is in the hands, thoughts, words, feet, and hearts of each one of us, because He, the Holy Spirit of God, lives within us.

Yes the world is a mess, but God proclaims to all of us, “I am in control!” He always was, is, and will be. Do you hope for peace? Then, by faith, it shall be. As the writer of Hebrews states: “…faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (11:1). For the unbelievers “seeing is believing.” But, for the believer, “believing is seeing.” Which are you? Are you at peace amid this chaotic world? You can be.

O Lord, help me to understand what You are calling me to do. This is truly the day You have made, help me to rejoice and be glad in it. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

Eyes of My Heart

“…open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.”

 Acts 26:18(Holman CSB)

Have you ever thought about your heart having eyes? Your heart does much more than pump blood through-out your system, it houses the Holy Spirit of God. When you open the door of your heart and invite Jesus and the Holy Spirit in, you have then opened the eyes of your heart. A blind heart or a shut up heart cannot see that which the Lord is calling you to do. You cannot see someone in need. And because you cannot see, you also cannot hear the cry of the needy. We cannot find the path that God wants us to take. We stumble as if in darkness. There may be a flash of light from time to time, but when it goes out, we are blinded to the great opportunities God has planned for us. Yes, we have eyes in our heart.

Without the eyes of your heart being open you cannot see God! Let me warn you, when the eyes of your heart are closed it gives your mind a chance to be in control. When there is no communication between your heart and your mind there can be trouble. It is to your mind that Satan speaks, and makes whatever he says sound good, but all he speaks is lies.  Without being grounded in the love of God and believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, we leave our hearts open to temptation. But, Satan cannot control or infiltrate the heart in which the love of Jesus and the guidance of the Holy Spirit indwells.

You cannot buy the protection of the Holy Spirit. No amount of money, gold, or silver will ever be enough. He wants your love, your willingness to serve the Father and the humbleness to give God all glory and honor. As it is written in the Book of Acts when Peter confronted a Sorcerer, “May your silver be destroyed with you, because you thought the gift of God could be obtained with money! You have no part or share in this matter, because your heart is not right before God. “(Acts 8:20, 21; Holman CSB)

There are times when the eyes of our hearts are closed. But, do not be discouraged. God is waiting and will minister to you when you speak to Him sincerely in your prayers. Hear Him now as He speaks to you, “Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20, Holman CSB)

Michael W. Smith recorded a song entitled: “Open the Eyes of My Heart.” The words are:

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord/Open the eyes of my heart.

  I want to see You/I want to see You.

To see You high and lifted up/Shinin’ in the light of Your glory

Pour out Your power and love/As we sing holy, holy, holy.

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord/Open the eyes of my heart.

I want to see You/ I want to see You.

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Lord, open the eyes of my heart that I may see glimpses of Your truth everywhere. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

A Prophesy

“When the Lord first spoke to Hosea He said to him: ‘Go and marry a promiscuous wife and have children of promiscuity…’” Hosea 1:2

Many years ago there was a young woman who had been abused and a victim of unfaithfulness. It almost destroyed her. But, she went on to eventually marry a fine upstanding man, but again became a victim of the urging of a little excitement outside of her marriage bed. Fortunately, she became aware of her wrong doing. She sought forgiveness from the Lord, whom she had come to know and love, and from her husband. They both forgave her and she was blessed with many years of serving the Lord.

This young woman had turned her life over to the Lord. And now, she was determined to follow Him. She learned, through many years of not “getting it right,” through trial and error, by trying to live life in her own way; she learned that without God there is no real life—“everything is vanity” as the writer of Ecclesiastes wrote. She also learned as Paul wrote, “…all things work together for good of those who love God; those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

But, I have opened with a scripture from Hosea and you might be wondering, “How does this fit?” For years I have wondered the same thing. What does Hosea (a prophet of God) being told to marry an adulterous woman have to do with who God is?”

Well, you see, this is an allegory which means that it is a story which has a hidden meaning usually pertaining to morality. So while on the surface the story of Hosea and his unfaithful wife, Gomer, and ultimately his forgiveness, is really about God and His chosen people, Israel, their bowing to other gods and finally their humble understanding of who God is which led to God’s forgiveness.

We cannot leave this on the doorstep of Hosea and Gomer. For you see, once again the scriptures speak. “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man [or woman] of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16) So, this holds true for us today, for as the writer of Hebrews wrote, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) and promises to “never leave you or forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

This also speaks loudly to our nation which is in the midst of moral decay. We have turned away from the teachings of God. We have turned to their own ways and do whatever feels right to us. We are all being pulled down into the pit with the idolaters and unbelievers. We cannot let ourselves be fooled by the feel good words of the liars. We must measure everything according to the Holy Scriptures and follow the teachings of Jesus—no matter what—for in the end our reward will be great! Moses told his people to “choose life” so that you and your descendants may live, love the Lord your God, obey Him, and remain faithful to Him. For He is your life…” (Deuteronomy 30:19b, 20a)

There is no much to learn about life from reading God’s Word. Read it with an open heart and mind, not as you would a history book, but allow it to speak to the inner workings of your soul. When you confess your allegiance to God by realizing that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23) which includes you and me, and that, “the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23) and then, remember Jesus’ words from the cross, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do,” (Luke 23:34) we become renewed. For even when we were dead in Christ, God forgave us all our sins. (Colossians 2:13) There is a way, you see, only one way—Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Him.” (John 14:6)

The young woman I told you about? It is a true story. One which I know personally and can attest to every word as truth. Life is a learning and sometimes it leaves some scars, but God is the Great Physician and covers our wounds. Praise The Lord!!

Dear Lord, thank You for saving me. I am not perfect, but with You beside me, I pray that I might be able to make a difference for Your honor and glory. In Your Precious name I pray. Amen

Humble Yourself

“Father, give me the share of the estate I have coming to me,”

Luke 15:12

A young son came to his father and asked him to give him the money that he was saving for him. His father agreed and the young son left his comfortable home to go out on his own. He soon spent all the money and was so destitute that he wanted to eat the feed that was given to the animals. Then he remembered, “My father was good to me; he fed me; he put a roof over my head. I have gone and thrown that all away because of my pride of wanting to do it myself!”

This is the story of what has been entitled “The Prodigal Son.” A prodigal is someone who is wastefully extravagant. The son or daughter leaves his or her parents to do things that they do not approve of; ultimately they see the error of their ways and seek forgiveness.

This story has an older brother who stays at home and helps his father. He is jealous of his younger brother, but his father tells him how much he loves him and he will never leave him.

Now, the father, who is the epitome of love. He loves his young son, so much he is willing to let him go knowing that the teachings of his childhood will bring him through. The fact is, each one of us must learn our own way. The path to righteousness (right living) cannot be taught—we must experience life ourselves.

 The father also loves his older son. I can’t imagine that he was happy with him when he came in from the fields whining that his father was giving a party for his brother who left home and squandered all his money on raucous living! “Dad never gave me a party!” he said. Yet, his father left the party of the younger son to meet his eldest son in the midst of his rage. He told him, “Son, I know you are upset because I have done this for your brother. But, please know that I love you today, tomorrow, and always. You will always be my firstborn whom will receive all I have.” I can imagine that after that he invited his son to come and join them. Also, that the brothers became friends again. The scripture doesn’t say this, but God never does things half-way.

This is a parable about pride and humility. Solomon in his wisdom wrote in the book of Proverbs, “Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18) But, as humans we have only so much power and wisdom on our own—usually after suffering many wrong decisions—we must turn ourselves over to a higher power—to God the Father. We learn that all He requires of us is to “act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with our God.” (Micah 6:8) And, in God’s “Amazing Grace,” He receives us back into His arms.

In the words of a song by Robert Byron Hudson: “Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord/And He shall lift you up…/Up into Heaven/He shall lift you up.”

This is God’s amazing grace, that He receives us as His children even after we have turned our backs on Him. So, ask for forgiveness and repent of your sin and He will lift you up. Nothing you have done is so bad that God will not forgive, receive you into His family, and make you His own.

“Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me

Once I was lost but now I am found

Was blind but now I see” (John Newton, 1779)

Dear Lord, humble me in Your sight and make me a blessing to someone each and every day. In Jesus’ name. Amen

The Prodigal

“When he came to his senses…” Luke 15:17

The young son/daughter was used to living impetuously. Everything on the spur of the moment. He/she did and said anything that came to mind without thinking. This works sometimes, but more often than not, it doesn’t. What you are actually doing is digging a hole for yourself and pretty soon it is almost impossible to climb out. Therefore, you think that you need to get away to a place where there are no constraints.

You pack all your things, take whatever money you may have and head out to a far country. Things look good for a while. You feel free. You are happy. You make many friends. For a while you can actually see what God’s creation looks like—then the need to be accepted and loved overtakes you. You have found it in your new place of employment, but that doesn’t seem to be enough. You found it in the place you are living, but still, it isn’t enough. Pretty soon you are craving more and more. It becomes an insatiable appetite.

The Prodigal Son, in the “Parable of the Lost Son,” found in Luke 15:11-31, is a teaching about the living of an unrighteous life. The fact is, this young man had to take himself with him along with his money and possessions. “Himself” is the one thing he neglected to pay attention to. Whatever he was unhappy about at home, he eventually became unhappy about out on his own. There was no peace inside him because he had not made peace with God.

I have heard someone say, “All I want is peace.” That person may never find it. At least, not until they look inside themselves and fill that gaping hole with the love and presence of Jesus Christ. His love is so great that, when you realize it, you will be able to climb out of the valley you have created for yourself and stand upon the rock atop the mountain.

 I think the most important words in “The Parable of the Lost Son” is: “When he came to his senses,” (Holman Bible Luke 15:17) or “When he came to himself,” (NRSV Luke 15:17). You see, he didn’t go home because he was hungry and ran out of resources—although this was the impetus—but he went home because he came to the awareness that he was wrong and from deep within came an urge for a new beginning. He needed to tell his father he was sorry and ask for forgiveness. He needed to be redeemed.

So in fear and trembling the Prodigal headed toward home. He was surprised and overwhelmed to see his father running towards him, and when they met, his father threw his arms around him and lavished him with love, for this son of his was lost, but now had been found.

Our Heavenly Father is sitting on the porch waiting for you to “come to yourself” and come to Him. He is watching and waiting. When you do come to understand that your salvation is within you, you will also acknowledge that you are a sinner in need of your Father’s love, grace, and mercy. When you do, you will have peace in your soul. A new beginning is on the horizon—NO!—it is right there ready for you to live it! Do not neglect to love and worship the author of all life—Almighty God!

Say out loud—“I don’t know what to do Lord, but You do.”

                                    Then you will understand:

“Where there seems to be no way, God will make a way.”

Dear Lord, hold us close to Your heart. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit. May we experience peace beyond all understanding. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

Praise God, Even So

Photo by RODNAE Productions on

He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.  Job 1:21

Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17

And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. Genesis 45:5

Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster befall a city, unless the Lord has done it? Amos 3:6

Giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20

Lord, You mean we are to praise You no matter what? Right now we live in an angry world. I don’t think many even know why they are angry. We have unruly protests, police killings, lootings, angry words being tossed about, I could go on and on. People are losing their homes and lives due to fires and violent storms. And then there is the Covid-19. We may ask, “God why are You allowing all this to happen? But, actually we should be praising You, for You know the future and are getting us ready for it. According to Job, James, Joseph, and Paul, we need to be praising You even in the face of all our troubles, because You have a plan and are teaching us so we will be ready.

Friends, what do you think? Are you ready? Do you have oil in your lamps?

Dear Lord, send Your Holy Spirit into our hearts. Give us singing in our soul, for one day we will be coming home. Make us ready, Lord. In Your precious name I pray. Amen

Even a Cup of Water

“…and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.” Matthew 10:42

“…Truly I tell you, just as you did to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to Me.” Matthew 25:40

“For God is not unjust; He will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for His sake in serving the saints, as you still do.” Hebrews 6:10

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Who are the little ones? Perhaps, the elderly man who has difficulty walking and is struggling to get his groceries from the cart into his vehicle. Or, maybe it is the young man checking us out at the grocery store with a look of sadness in his eyes. Or, maybe we are the “little ones” who received help from a passerby who lifted a heavy watermelon into our golf cart.

We offered to help the elderly man and he immediately began to tell us his tale of woe. He had dropped a 5 gallon pail of paint on his foot, it had gotten infected—he needed someone to talk to.

Then the young man with the sad eyes, needed to hear a word of appreciation. When my husband finished talking to him and we both asked the Lord to bless him, he was smiling.

Finally, the man who helped us. We allowed him to help us and we received a welcomed blessing, parting with a feeling of peace.

Actions do speak louder than words. As we depart from our homes to go out into the world, perhaps it would be a good thing to whisper a prayer asking God to lead us to someone who needs a word of encouragement today.

Dear Lord, you are God the Great I AM! Let me remember each and every day, that this is the day You have made and make me glad and rejoice in it. (Psalm 118:24) In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

The Tempter/Temptation

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity…Then the tempter approached Him…”

 I Corinthians 10:13a/Matthew 4:3a

Temptations are everywhere. The tempter also is everywhere. We need to be on guard at all times and in all places. Paul writes to the church at Ephesus, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil.” (6:11) Paul goes on the say that our battles are not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of darkness and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. (vs. 12)

My friends, these words are not only for “those people” in Ephesus in AD 62, but for all people in all times, including today! We need to take heed and beware of the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Temptations come in all sorts of forms. They come disguised as work, friends, food, riches, prominence, all sorts of risks, and even fun. Anything that can get your mind off God, Satan will turn on his charms and tempt you. He will even use relationships. We need to use as our example of resistance the words of Jesus– “Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.” Matthew 4:10.

We need to put on the full armor of God—truth like a belt; righteousness like armor on your chest; sandals of peace on your feet; always put on the shield of faith on your chest—(protect your heart); on your head the helmet of salvation (protect your mind); and in your hand the sword of the Spirit (God’s Holy Word, the Bible). Then cover it all with skin—prayer for all the saints (believers). (Ephesians 6:10-20)

Doing all this will keep the tempter at bay. But, be assured he is waiting for a small crack in your armor to enter in. Be on your guard. Live in the fear of the Lord, obeying His commands and spending time with Him every day. Even if temptations do overtake you there is nothing God cannot overcome. His word says, “…He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape, so that you are able to bear it. “ (I Corinthians 10:13b)

Lastly, Paul writes to the church at Corinth—and to you and me—“Whoever thinks he stands must be careful not to fall.” (I Corinthians 10:12) You may like to have fun, there is nothing wrong with fun, but it can also become an idol and turn your face from God. And at this point, it is a disguise to use up the time that you should be spending with God. “Do not have other gods beside Me. Do not make an idol for yourself…” (Exodus 20:3, 4a) says the Lord.

Dear Lord, make me obedient to Your Word. Show me how You want me to live my life. Honor and glory are Yours, Heavenly Father. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

Memorial Day

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend. For many it is beach-time or bar-be-que-time. It is time for fun and sun and relaxation. But, it is much more than that! It is a time to remember. Remember all the men and women who gave their lives, so that we have the freedom to do those things afore mentioned. Just try to imagine what it would be like if they hadn’t sacrificed their lives and allowed the enemy to overtake our land! There would be no beach-time or bar-be-que-time or fun-time or family-time—none of the things we enjoy in our freedom. We must pause to remember!

The same is true of our Lord who gave His life on the cross, so that, we could be saved from the Enemy that seeks to destroy our freedom to love God and one another. We must pause our fun-time to worship and praise His Holy name. We must remember that He lived and died and arose to give us abundant life.

Remember and be filled with joy, peace, and love. There is no other way to be happy in Jesus. He formed us and gave us gifts—talents—to use to love and honor one another and bring glory to His name. As Paul wrote to the church at Philippi—which is still true for us today…

I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 ESV

DO NOT FORGET—REMEMBER

AMEN