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Downtime… there are times in everyone’s day when they are not working, eating, socializing or sleeping. These are some of the times when satan will sneak into your space and try to divert you from God’s purpose for your life. Be diligent, fill your downtime with prayer. Pray for those whose needs you know and those whose needs are unknown. Pray for the strength to conquer, pray for the wisdom to keep on God’s path, pray for your own soul and pray for those you love.

Praise God for all the blessings in your life. Praise God for His divine mercy. Praise God for your friends and family. Praise God for your trials past, present and future. Praise God for the time that He has set aside for you to come before Him.

Worship the Lord for He alone is worthy. Worship the Lord for He is the great Creator. Worship the Lord at every opportunity. Worship the Lord with joy and thanksgiving because all that you are and all that you have comes from Him.

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Today dawned bright and full of hope. It is the day each week when we take a rest from our labors and rededicate ourselves to the Lord. Each Christian worships Jesus, prays for their needs and the needs of others and goes before God. In many places with many different ceremonies, we each bow to the Lord, some in church, some in their homes, some in the forests and the beaches and on the water.

Our prayers are lifted up, our voices become one, our songs are a sweet sound to the Lord. Just thinking about the unity of the voices that occurs in heaven makes me forget the disunity of the universal church here on earth. God sees us in all of our diversity, God loves us in all of our contentiousness and God is pleased with our worship.

Praise the Lord for today and pray for Him to supply the strength for all of our tomorrows. For as we move forward in this life we will certainly need His help and His mercy. Pray for Him to show the way, to show where you can bring Jesus and His light to the hurting and needy.

How do you express your relationship with God? This is what I try to do:

Start every day in prayer thanking God for all that He has done for me, for my family and for all of humanity. Continue every day in thankful praise, acknowledging each moment as a blessing and a gift from God. Strive to show each person I see the love that Christ has for them.

Every decision that I make is done after prayerfully asking for God’s will to be done. Every day begins with a petition that He show me what His will is and that He bring people into my life that I can help.

Why do you go to church? No really… why?

The reason that brings you to church is as important as the act of attending services. If you go to church only because it is your duty to be there and do so with no sense of joy then you miss the point. Sunday service is the time to come together as a body of believers to worship and praise the Lord for He is worthy of all praise.

Church on Sunday should be a time set aside for you to renew your spirit and worship the Lord. If you go to church solely to be seen by people to impress them with your piety beware. Jesus knows your heart and you will be rewarded according to what He sees there.

Friendship, fellowship, time to share, time to laugh and time to cry, time to console and time to make plans together are also a part of Sunday service. So, church on Sunday is vital to the spiritual health of all Christians.

If you do not have one, find a church home that will nurture your soul and stretch your faith.

We all have times when we wake up and do not immediately feel the presence of the Lord. I have no idea why this happens and frankly I don’t care. For those of us who are blessed by marriage to a godly woman there is an awesome remedy to this situation. Prayer. Start every day with prayer together and end every day with prayer together.

Normally I lead the morning prayer and Linda leads the evening prayer. This morning I was not feeling the presence of the Lord in my life, my spirit was troubled and as we lay in bed Linda started leading the prayer. I still haven’t asked why and I only know that peace was restored to my spirit by her prayer and instead of a troubled day I am now blessed with an awesome day.

Not only is this the first day of our Spiritual Life Conference led by Bill Ury, it is Sunday the day to worship and praise the Lord. Find a church today that speaks to your heart like mine speaks to my heart and go to the Lord in humility to praise Him, thank Him and above all surrender yourself, all of you, to Jesus. I pray that you know the peace of the Lord and if you don’t, I pray that you will find the peace of the Lord.

As we drove from Dothan to Berea, we watched the season move from late spring to early spring, from green trees to trees just beginning to bud. It was almost like time reversing itself and taking us back to a new beginning. A new beginning with all the possibilities that a fresh start has.

Of course we know that this is an illusion. There is only one way to get a second chance to do the right thing. If you have led a life that seems to be going nowhere, doing the right thing and not feeling blessed. Maybe you are doing the right thing for the wrong reason. If you are trying to earn your way to heaven and into God’s favor then disappointment will always be your lot.

Only by the grace of God does heaven even become a possibility for you. Your good works mean nothing if they are not done with the love and compassion of God. You can do nothing to earn or deserve the love of God. Jesus died for your sins when you were still sinning. He loved you when you were unlovable. Praise God for your changed heart.

God loves me, not abstractly as in God loves man but personally as I am, warts and all. He has always loved me and will always love me no matter what I do or who I become. I know that I do not deserve this unconditional love, yet there it is. God loves each of us individually and without reservation.

How you respond to this love is an individual choice. Some reject it breaking His heart, some embrace it, some question it and some just bask in it. There is no single right way to respond to the love of God as long as we have prayed about our path and discerned what God’s will is to the best of our ability.

Remember that Martha’s response was to serve Jesus and Mary’s response was to sit and listen and worship Him. When Martha saw Mary just sitting she tried to have Jesus tell Mary to serve also. His response tells us that service is good and necessary but that worship is primary. So volunteer and help others as they travel through this world but do not forget to worship the Lord with your quiet time.

Psalms 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

When Monday morning comes and you see all that has been laid out for you to do and you are overwhelmed and want to start right away… don’t. Remember who is sovereign. It is not you and it is not the work. The Lord is over the day. Leave Him in charge of your thoughts and actions.

Time spent with the Lord is never lost time. Time spent listening to Him, learning His Word and finding His will for your life is time truly well spent.

Resolve to start every day with God and every day will be fruitful. There will always be time enough for the Lord’s work and as for the rest… of what importance is any work that is not done for the Lord? Make certain that the Lord is honored in all that you do and all that you do will be blessed.

As I wake let me raise my voice in praise and worship to the one true God, the Creator who spoke the universe into being, the Father who breathed life into each of us, the Son who became a man to suffer and die for our salvation and the Holy Spirit who guides us into the paths of righteousness.

Thank you Father God for today, thank You for every minute allotted to me on this earth and thank You for the assurance that I will be with You when my time here is done.

Every minute of every day let my thoughts be on You and let my actions be guided by You. Whether I am on the mountaintop full of joy or in the valley full of despair I will be content if my thoughts are on You. For I know that You, o Lord, are my strength and my salvation and You will never leave me nor forsake me but keep me in the palm of Your mighty hand.

As you start the New Year ask yourself these questions. Did you accomplish what you expected last year and do you still feel empty? Do your good deeds seem to be meaningless? Do you start every year with lofty New Year’s resolutions and quit by the second or third month?

Why are you surprised? When you long for and strive for things and goals that have no meaning and are temporary expect to be disappointed even if you obtain them. I heard in church this week that when we long for empty things we wind up empty.

Resolve this year to strive for a closer walk with God. Make your goal a better knowledge of Jesus, a closer relationship with the Almighty. This year, try defining your goals in terms of what God wants for you, what His plans are for you, who Jesus wants you to be.

Do this with a full confession of how you have lived, repent of all of your sins and let God have His way in your life. This will begin your transformation, a process of sanctification that will last the rest of your life and leave you breathless with wonder every day.

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