Good morning! You are so loved by God. As you spend time in His Word, He will speak to you concerning His love for you, His plan for your life and the reality of His presence. The Holy Spirit is in you to teach you, guide you and help you this day! This is the day the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it!
Can you sense the Lord drawing you to spend time with Him in the secret place? I love the Words of our Lord to His disciples. “But when you pray, go into your inner room and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father Who is in secret, and the Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:6. If you look up the verse today you will see that He proceeds to give them a pattern of how to pray in what we refer to as the Lord’s Prayer. He instructs them in fasting, giving, money, the cares of this world, God’s provision and His kingdom. It a great chapter to read today and I encourage you to meditate on it. Can you imagine that the Lord, the Creator of the universe, our Father of love, our Redeemer, wants to meet with us in secret. And knowing our need, He calls us to pray and ask and seek and promises to respond to our cry!
We can pray like David in Psalm 61. “Hear my cry. O God; Give heed to my prayer, From the ends of the earth I call to You, when my heart is faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you are my Refuge, A tower of strength against the enemy, Let me dwell in Your tent forever; Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.” Sometimes we feel far from the Lord, as far as to the end of the earth! Our heart grows faint and we feel so overwhelmed, so inadequate. But it is at this time that He leads us to Himself, to the secret place where we can take refuge in Him. He beckons us to come spend time in the private place and cry to Him, call to Him for help and pray. Make time to spend with the Lover of your soul in the secret place of His presence as you begin your day. Then you can continue to abide in Him, in continual fellowship and prayer throughout your day. Draw near, and He will draw near. He is our Refuge and our Dwelling Place. He will teach us how to pray in the secret place of His presence.
Thank you Lord! We love You, and we worship You!
Good morning! You are loved and highly favored by the Lord today, because you belong to Him and He lives in you. Wow!
I’m so excited about Matthew 6:6. Jesus instructs all who will hear today, “When you pray, go into your room and close the door and pray to your Father Who is in secret. And the Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you openly.” We have access to that secret place because of the blood of Jesus – there is now no separation between us and God.
Throughout the gospels we see Jesus often departing to a secret place, a solitary place to meet with the Father and pray. If we are to live as He lived on this earth, we must follow His example of meeting with the Father in secret.
As we come into our “secret place” with the Lord, we can be sure that He is near to all who call upon Him. As we draw near to Him, He draws near to us.
Real prayer is calling upon God – He is our Father. In the “secret place” we will discover Him as our Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in time of need. We will know Him as we pray.
Psalm 9:9-10 says, “those who know you will put their trust in You. For you oh Lord have not forsaken those who seek You.”
As we seek Him in the secret place we will find Him. As we yield to His Word, we will be transformed. We may come into the secret place weighed down by sin, but we can receive forgiveness, cleansing and freedom! In the Secret Place an amazing exchange occurs: our weakness, swallowed by His strength. Our anxiety and fear exchanged for His joy.
Don’t be anxious about anything, pray about everything, with much thanksgiving!
As we renew our minds to the truth of His Word, our perspective becomes clear instead of foggy. In His presence is fullness of joy. As we wait upon Him, He is our All in All, the All Sufficient One who loves us with an everlasting love. In the secret place the Holy Spirit will direct us how to pray for our family, our loved ones, our church, our city, our nation and the precious people of the nations of the world. He is our personal Teacher in prayer. Prayer is the pipeline that brings God’s will to this earth, and in the secret place He will teach us to pray His very will into existence.
All the angels are on alert waiting for the prayers of the saints so that the Father can give them their assignments to fulfill His purposes. You can be sure He is attentive to your cry, He hears when you call. Matthew 6:6 How awesome!
Father, thank you for Your love and presence in our lives. Thank you for Your redeeming blood that forgives and washes us now. Thank You for Your Word! Jesus we love You. Teach us to abide in You, know You, and recognize Your leading. Open our understanding to the times we are in, live in us and through us to bring your love to those around us. Holy Spirit, we honor You and welcome You. In Jesus Name.
Prayer in the “Secret Place” is the key to our life in Christ. Jesus said in Matthew 6:6, “When you pray, Go into your room (closet, private place) and close the door and pray to your Father Who is in secret. And Your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
Meditate on it, think about it, ask the Lord to reveal Truth that you will live out as you obey this Word! Can you sense the Father drawing you to meet with Him in this secret place before your day begins, or during your day, or before you go to bed? In the secret place of His presence is where we will have relationship with Him. Be sure to have your Bible, because prayer has two components:
- It is listening to God by reading His Word with an open heart. Sometimes it is just being still in His presence, waiting upon Him, loving Him, worshiping Him, receiving from Him, BEING with Him!
- The other side of prayer is our speaking. If you will spend more time listening, yielding and receiving than speaking, then the words that you do pray will be powerful and led by the Holy Spirit.
I’m not an avid movie watcher but once in a while a commercial will come on the TV about a certain movie about to be released and my curiosity will arise about the subject of the film. A few years back I was challenged in that way about the advertisements of a certain movie entitled “The Perfect Storm”. Oddly enough, I received a book for Christmas that year entitled “Storms Don’t Bother Me”. This book was written by Charles G. Scott, the Bishop of a large church denomination called the Pentecostal Church of God.
The book thoughts were taken from the 27th chapter of the Book of Acts in the New Testament of the Bible. I don’t think there is one living person on this earth that hasn’t felt like at some time or another in their life that they were going through a storm. Storms are not fun!
Back in 1989 my late husband and I were living in South Carolina when Hurricane Hugo hit the east coast and came 150 miles inland with the eye of the storm passing right over our little town. I had never encountered such a wind and noise that I heard that night. I knew by the time the morning came that I was “prayed up and ready to go up!” We lived in a double-wide mobile home on one acre of land full of tall Georgia Pine trees. Around 3 o’clock in the morning those tall pines got to swapping places on our property and we could hear branches breaking and trees falling and the wind howling like a freight train coming through. When morning broke and we could assess the damage, we were just amazed at all the damage to our acreage yet not one shingle was off our roof; neither one of our cars were touched, and we still had electricity. I’m sorry but I just have to declare that it was truly a “GOD THING”.
The story given in the Bible in Acts 27 speaks of a terrible storm at sea. I think that may be why I was drawn to the television commercial about the movie “The Perfect Storm”. As I began to read Bishop Scott’s book entitled “Storms Don’t Bother Me” I could quickly understand what he was trying to convey to each reader how the natural elements of nature can also be compared to the spiritual happenings in ones life here on earth.
The Bible says that the storm came “quickly” upon the ship as it sailed through the Mediterranean Sea. The common words, “all of a sudden”, come up in conversations nearly every day. One can be going through life, enjoying their surroundings, happy as a lark, when “all of a sudden” a “storm” begins to rise in their life. What use to be calm and peaceful suddenly becomes a torrent of fear, strife, and just unbelievable turmoil. Turbulence is something none of us like to encounter. I’ve had a few airplane trips that started out nice and smooth only to be met with a sudden spot of turbulence and my stomach dropped as quickly as the plane did! Storms can develop quickly and one needs to be prepared for the “all of a sudden” syndrome.
My own personal experiences of sudden storms in life have brought lessons of courage, strength, and trust in a God that never fails His people. Storms of life can really test ones spiritual strength. A well-known Southern Gospel Music Family called The McKamey’s sing a song written by Tracy Dartt entitled “God On The Mountain”. The lyrics say….. Life is easy, when you’re up on the mountain, and you’ve got peace of mind like you’ve never known. But then things change and you’re down in the valley; don’t lose faith for you’re never alone. For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley, when things go wrong, He’ll make them right. For the God of the good times is still God in the bad times…the God of the day is still God in the night.
Hebrews 13:8 ”Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever.” God never changes! Through natural storms or spiritual storms, He will protect His children and He can make things right.
Proverbs 3:5 ”Trust in the Lord with all your heart…..” The Perfect Storm may come into your life but hopefully you’ll be able to say through it all…. “Storms Don’t Bother Me”.
What a powerful prayer that Paul prayed, led by the Holy Spirit, for strength for the Ephesians. I’m praying this today for you. I’m praying this today for my family. You can too.
Ephesians 3:16 New Living Translation (NLT)True Strength comes from the Spirit of the Living God who empowers us from the inside out. Let’s pray for this limitless strength today from our Lord. And as we pray, let’s believe God hears and answers our prayer.
I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources
He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit...
I’m so excited to pray this prayer with great faith for you and your family right now. Would you pray for me now as well? How we need His Strength for this journey!
Memorize Paul’s prayer and pray it often, knowing that His resources are glorious and have no limit.
His resources are His Word.
He is the Word.
Through the living Word of God there is a continual flow of supply. We can’t empower ourselves but we can pray and yield to the One who empowers us with His supply.
The precious Holy Spirit abides in you -- He is not far away. We don’t need to pray for strength to come through a pipeline from a distant source. No, He is closer than our breath and has an unlimited supply of strength now. Our prayers are the faucet that turns on the supply.
Oh how we need His unlimited supply of glorious, resources and strength from the inside out today! We are not weak but strong in the strength of God who supplies more than enough strength for ourselves with a surplus for us to give to others in unlimited supply. Thank you Lord!
Strength and Honor,
At last, Mother’s Day is approaching! What other time of the year can mom sit back on a Sunday afternoon while dad and the kids pamper her silly, cooking and cleaning up after the family dinner meal? What other time of year can mom splurge a bit on herself, adding to her collection the latest “appreciation gift” handed out Sunday morning. (Last year it was a new whisk filled with chocolate!)
Mother’s Day is a time for us to express our love and appreciation to the woman who birthed us into the world. It’s a time to celebrate all that is beautiful and mysterious about motherhood, and a time to honor and show respect and admiration to the one who changed our dirty diapers, washed our faces with “mom cleaner” (aka, her spit), and to the one who stands beside us through thick and thin.
In my own life, I take joy in honoring and lavishing appreciation on my mother and grandmothers; including the ones I’ve inherited through marriage. As a young woman approaching her 30th birthday this year, and as someone who has yet to join the notorious “mommy club”, I believe one of the greatest arenas of forgotten motherhood can often times be that of spiritual motherhood. Spiritual mothers are the women who often go unnoticed and unidentified by those around us. Most recently one of my own spiritual mothers and I shared words concerning the dream we both have to unite spiritual mothers and daughters right here in our district. It’s our passion and relentless burden to stand betwixt generations of women, connecting the elder generation of women and this younger of girls coming of age into the Kingdom of God.
Just this afternoon, before sitting down to pen my thoughts on the subject of what it means to be defined as a mother, I had the privilege of connecting with a mighty woman of God, pastoring one of our local churches here in Indiana. She’s a simple, humble woman, who truly exemplifies what it means to be hidden behind the cross. She defines what it means to be both an earthly and spiritual mother. As she shared her story and words of wisdom from her life in ministry over the past 30 plus years, the Holy Spirit quickened within my spirit that these are the moments that will define me as a spiritual daughter.
A spiritual daughter is teachable. She is meek, and gentle. She listens before speaking, and has open ears and receptive heart yearning to glean from the mothers in her life. She may not share the same sense of style as her mother, but she shares the same heart; a heart to worship and serve our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She may not share the same taste in music, décor, or even cooking, but she shares the same spirit in Christ Jesus.
I soak in a fresh perspective today on the scripture found in Titus chapter 2. “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind…”
I am deeply grateful for the mothers in my life. I am grateful that I have opportunity to glean from the wisdom of these women of God. I am grateful that I have mothers who not only celebrate the life God has given me, rejoicing with me in victories, and weeping with me in sorrows, but for the mothers who provide instruction and discipline in my life. Those who serve to be a vessel that God uses to sharpen me, perfect me, and make me into the woman He desires to work through.
So this Mother’s Day, while all the mommies in the world are celebrated, take the time to pour out encouragement and appreciation to your spiritual mothers. Perhaps you are not certain who these women might be in your life. God will show you. In His time He will reveal her to you, and lead her into your life. On Mother’s Day celebrate not only your early mothers, but the women who have paved the way in the Kingdom, the women who “train up” this generation of young girls to be mighty warriors in the Kingdom; empowered women in Christ.
I’m certain your GPS has never been lost, but mine has been at times. The saddest part is the fact that it does not know that it is lost! Sadder still is the fact that if it is lost, I am usually lost with it! Being lost in the middle of nowhere and having to stop for directions is one thing, but being lost in the body of Christ is a whole different matter.
My husband says that my sense of direction is so poor that I could not find my way out of a paper bag. While that may be only a slight exaggeration, I have had to learn how to compensate for this shortcoming over the years. My compass, mapquest.com, and now my GPS can be very helpful navigational tools at times.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (KJV). An expected end is a destination or a bull’s eye. It is helpful to know what your destination is and have a general sense of where it is located. It is a good idea to plot out a basic plan to get there. If you fail to do your homework, you could wind up somewhere you did not want to go.
God has given an expected end to each one of us. Where is your expected end? For some, discovering their own personal expected end seems about as easy as finding the appropriate end to open on a produce department plastic bag. Am I the only one who has difficulty finding the designated end? You have your hands full of fresh fruits and veggies when you decide to find a bag that will protect it until you get home—except that you lose half of it on the floor while trying to open the bag in the middle of the grocery aisle. Sometimes it seems that finding what God has called you to do is just as challenging!
I am certain some of you may have heard from God as children, knew exactly what you were called to do and have been pursuing it ever since. If it was that easy for you, praise God and keep running for the prize. For others for whom God’s plan and purpose, His expected end, gifts and callings have been more elusive, the vision for the future may seem vague.
On my way to a preaching engagement, I found it necessary to use my GPS to help me find my destination. I programmed the address of the church into my phone and waited while it chose an appropriate course. It took a few minutes, but soon it began barking out commands to take me to my intended destination. The church was located in a remote area outside of Millersburg, OH. I knew that the church was somewhere on the west side of Millersburg. I trusted the GPS on my phone to take me to the exact location. We had planned to stop along the way for breakfast, but we got a later start than I had intended. No fear, we decided to snack on some cheese and make our way to Mansfield, OH. Then, if we had enough time, we would stop there to eat. Once we made it to Mansfield, I was a little apprehensive about the time, so we decided to proceed to our destination and find the church before eating.
Again, I knew that it was located on the west side of Millersburg, but strangely enough we found ourselves in the middle of town. Finally the GPS proudly announced, “You have arrived at your destination, it is approaching on your left.” There was no church in sight; obviously, we were nowhere near it. I looked at the church’s address once again and checked what I had programmed into the GPS. To my dismay, I discovered that the GPS had been unable to locate the address I had given it. Therefore, it had randomly directed us to a site in the center of Millersburg. It had not even warned me that it could not find the exact address. Now we were almost ten miles too far east and had to turn around and drive back to find the church. We stopped along the way at a gas station to ask for directions.
There was no time left for breakfast, even if there had been a restaurant open. (It seems everything is closed on Sunday in Amish country.) We did find our way to the church in time, but we did it without eating. If only I had spent more time plotting out our course, we would not have gotten lost! Perhaps we would even have found time to eat breakfast along the way. How many people fail to plan for their future, fail to plot the course to their destination and then become lost on their journey to their expected end?
You can plot a course for a successful future.
You must first seek the face of God for His gifts and His calling for which He created you. Then you must dream the dream and see the vision; write it out and make it plain. Once you have a written vision, you must plot your course and act upon the plan. Walk it out, endure the hardships, and diligently work the plan until you arrive at your intended destination. Paul said it best in Philippians 3:14, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”