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Post  Admin on Tue 10 Jul 2012, 8:06 pm

July 10, 2012
God's Faithfulness amidst Our Confusion
by Charles R. Swindoll

Job 13:15
Elie Wiesel gives readers a tragic perspective on the horror of the holocaust. Wiesel's book, Night, will grab you and not let you go. In terse, tightly packed sentences, he describes those scenes and his own confusion as he witnessed (in his teenage years) a chapter of life we would prefer to erase.

This young Jew saw it all. Fellow Jews from his village were stripped of their possessions and loaded into cattle cars, where a third of them died before they reached their destination. He saw babies pitchforked, little children hanged, weak and emaciated men killed by fellow prisoners for a single piece of molded bread. He even saw his mother, his lovely little sister, and all his family disappear into an oven fueled with human flesh.

Wiesel's God was murdered at Birkenbau. Something dear and precious within his soul also died as all his dreams turned to dust.

Francois Mauriac, the Nobel-prizewinning French author, in writing the foreword to Wiesel's book, describes the time he first met Wiesel:

It was then that I understood what had first drawn me to the young Israeli: that look, as of a Lazarus risen from the dead, yet still a prisoner within the grim confines where he had strayed, stumbling among the shameful corpses. For him, Nietzsche's cry expressed an almost physical reality: God is dead, the God of love, of gentleness, of comfort, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob, has vanished forevermore, beneath the gaze of this child, in the smoke of a human holocaust exacted by Race, the most voracious of all idols. And how many pious Jews have experienced this death. On that day, horrible even among those days of horror, when the child watched the hanging (yes) of another child, who, he tells us, had the face of a sad angel, he heard someone behind him groan: "Where is God? Where is He? Where can He be now?"¹

Confusion. Tragic, horrible confusion. Experiences like those we've just read will do that to you.

But the vast difference between Elie Wiesel and those like Corrie ten Boom cannot be ignored. Servants like Corrie ten Boom, who endure hard consequences victoriously, testify of God's precious faithfulness, even during days of confusion.

1. Elie Wiesel, Night (New York: Avon Books, 1969), 9.
Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1981), 186--87. Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Mon 09 Jul 2012, 9:43 pm

July 9, 2012
Paul Was Normal, Like Us
by Charles R. Swindoll

2 Corinthians 11:26--28

Funny, we seldom think that a great apostle like Paul ever suffered from insomnia, but he did. He couldn't sleep sometimes because of acute deprivations, like hunger, cold, and exposure . . . and sometimes because of his concern for the many ministries to which he had given himself. "Daily pressure," he calls it. Read his own words:

I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure upon me of concern for all the churches. (2 Corinthians 11:27--28)

Now that's being under pressure.

Paul even mentioned the disillusioning times of mistreatment and imprisonment (see 11:26). There certainly must have been times he did not know where to turn---or to whom. Doubt and questions might well have haunted him with maddening regularity.

Here was one of those great men, "too good for this world," being pushed around, threatened, and living on the raw edge of constant danger. If you imagine yourself in those many situations and toss in several imprisonments to boot---you can start to feel beaten down and defeated. Your mind plays tricks on you. You wonder where God is, and you occasionally even doubt God. You get disoriented, "mixed up" inside. And on top of all that is the one most common experience all who have been in prison admit---profound loneliness.

Mix all that together . . . and you've got the picture.
Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1981), 182--83. Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Sat 07 Jul 2012, 10:47 pm

July 7, 2012
Dealing with Rejection
by Charles R. Swindoll
Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 4:9

If you enjoy watching and playing the game of football (I certainly do), you have observed a curious activity called a "spike." It's rather unusual. A team fights its way toward the goal line yard by yard. Minutes seem like hours as the offensive team plods along. Suddenly, it happens. A play works beautifully, and streaking to the long-awaited touchdown is a muscular running back or some fleet-footed split-end. Six points! But as soon as he crosses the line, this athlete takes the ball and slams the little thing to the ground. With all his might! The guy doesn't so much as say, "Thanks, ball."

I've thought, What if that ball had feeling? What if it could talk? Can you imagine how it would react after being spiked? It had done its job well. Stayed inflated. Didn't jump out of the player's arms---no fumble. And after all that, all the thanks it gets is a vicious spike. Talk about rejection! So it is with God's servants. We do what is right . . . and we get tossed aside. Sometimes, "spiked" viciously. It hurts.

I urge you to listen up! Every once in a while we are going to get kicked. Now, this doesn't mean God has abandoned us or that we are out of His will. It just means people are people, sheep are sheep. It's all part of the humbling process God uses in shaping our lives "to bear the family likeness of His Son" (Romans 8:29 Phillips).

"Struck down"---as Paul puts it in 2 Corinthians 4:9---this is the idea of being thrown down, shoved aside, or cast off. This explains why J. B. Phillips paraphrases it, "we may be knocked down." Amazing thing! Even though we may faithfully and consistently do our job, help and serve and give to others, we can expect, on occasion, to be thrown aside and rejected. Let's don't be caught off guard.
Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1981), 180--81. Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.
July 6, 2012
Our Common Struggles: Affliction, Confusion, Persecution
by Charles R. Swindoll
2 Corinthians 4:8--9

In yesterday's post, we were introduced to four common struggles all servants of God deal with. Really, they're consequences. In 2 Corinthians 4:8--9 we read them: afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, struck down.

The first word, translated "afflicted," comes from a Greek term that suggests the idea of pressure. This is stress brought on by difficult circumstances or by antagonistic people. In other words, when servants are "afflicted," they feel under pressure, harassed, and oppressed. The Greek verb, thlibo, is a strong one, meaning at times "to treat with hostility."

Paul goes on to write there are times when servants of God become "perplexed." Interestingly, the combination of Greek terms that comprise the original word means "without a way." It is a picture of confusion---not knowing where or to whom to turn for help. Included in the meaning of this word would be such perplexing predicaments as being without necessary resources, feeling embarrassed, and in doubt so far as procedure is concerned. We have the phrase "at a loss" which adequately describes that uncertain feeling. There is more.

Originally, the term persecution meant "to run after, pursue." It's the idea of being chased, having others "on our case," we would say. It is an active, aggressive word conveying everything from being intimidated to being assaulted, actually attacked. Servants will suffer persecution. You may recall Paul's words, written to Timothy: "Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Timothy 3:12). Persecution is one of those painful consequences, along with affliction and confusion.

Finally, he names one more consequence---rejection. That's tomorrow.
Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1981), 179--80. Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.
July 5, 2012
The Dark Side of Serving Others
by Charles R. Swindoll
2 Corinthians 4:5--9
Read the words of the apostle Paul---an honest, humble, transparent servant of God:

For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves. (2 Corinthians 4:5--7)

We Christians have received a priceless treasure (the glorious gospel) in a very frail and perishable container (our weak bodies). There is a reason. So nobody will have any question about the source of power, it must be of God and not of any human origin.

And so---to verify just how frail our humanity is, Paul lists four common struggles servants live with. I'm calling them consequences. Let's see all four in the two verses that follow before we analyze each one in the next few posts.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8--9)

If you have a pencil handy, you might circle the four terms in your Bible: afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, struck down. These are four consequences of serving God. Although we'll unpack and apply these terms in the next few posts, take a moment and read those verses again---emphasizing words you've circled.

Have you experienced these consequences---yet?
Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1981), 178--79. Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Thu 05 Jul 2012, 9:56 am

July 4, 2012
Responding to Treatment That Is Wrong
by Charles R. Swindoll

Hebrews 11:35--39

Greathearted, loving, caring, sacrificial servants of the living God have known ill treatment down through the centuries. The consequence of serving is no new phenomenon. It goes a long way back in time.

I'm not aware of a more moving section of Scripture than these verses out of Hebrews 11, which declare the reality of the consequences of serving:

And some women, through faith, received their loved ones back again from death. But others trusted God and were beaten to death, preferring to die rather than turn from God and be free---trusting that they would rise to a better life afterwards. Some were laughed at and their backs cut open with whips, and others were chained in dungeons. Some died by stoning and some by being sawed in two; others were promised freedom if they would renounce their faith, then were killed with the sword. Some went about in skins of sheep and goats, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in dens and caves. They were hungry and sick and ill-treated---too good for this world. And these men of faith, though they trusted God and won his approval, none of them received all that God had promised them. (Hebrews 11:35--39 TLB)

Tortured. Rejected. Threatened. Hungry. Sick. Martyred. People who were "too good for this world" were kicked around like big rag dolls . . . even though they gave and they served. If it happened to them---need I say more? Yes, maybe I should.

My major goal in my upcoming posts is to help prepare you for the inevitable. Bitterness is often bred in a context of disillusionment. Many a Christian, regrettably, is sidelined today, eaten up by the acid of resentment and bitterness, because he or she was mistreated after doing what was right. My hope for you is that you will be preserved from the paralyzing sting of bitterness and disillusionment.
Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1981), 177--78. Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Wed 04 Jul 2012, 12:14 am

July 3, 2012
Suffering for Doing What Is Right
by Charles R. Swindoll

1 Peter 2:20--24; 3:17--18

As you serve people in ministry, you will give, forgive, forget, release your own will, obey God to the maximum, and wash dirty feet with an attitude of gentleness and humility. And after all those beautiful things, you will get ripped off occasionally. Knowing all this ahead of time will help "improve your serve," believe me.

The Bible doesn't hide this painful reality from us. In 1 Peter 2:20 (addressed to servants, by the way---see verse 18), we read: "For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God."

Part of this "makes sense," according to our logical and fair standard. Part of it doesn't. If a person does wrong and then suffers the consequences, even though he or she patiently endures the punishment, nobody applauds.

But---now get this clearly fixed in your mind---when you do what is right and suffer for it with grace and patience, God applauds! Illustration: Jesus Christ's suffering and death on the cross. He, the perfect God-man, was mistreated, hated, maligned, beaten, and finally nailed cruelly to a cross. He suffered awful consequences, even though He spent His life giving and serving (1 Peter 3:17--18).

One thing is certain: if people treated a perfect individual that way, then imperfect people cannot expect to escape mistreatment. If mistreatment hasn't happened to you yet, it will.
Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1981), 176--77. Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 6:40 pm

July 2, 2012
A Realistic Appraisal of Serving Others
by Charles R. Swindoll

1 Peter 2:20--24; 3:17--18

We Americans like things to be logical and fair. We not only like that, we operate our lives on that basis. Logic and fairness are big guns in our society.

Meaning this: if I do what is right, good will come to me, and if I do what is wrong, bad things will happen to me. Right brings rewards, and wrong brings consequences. That's a very logical and fair axiom of life, but there's only one problem with it. It isn't always true. Life doesn't work out quite that well.

There isn't a person reading these words who hasn't had the tables turned. All of us have had the unhappy and unfortunate experience of doing what is right, yet we suffered for it. And we have also done what is wrong on a few occasions without being punished. The latter, we can handle rather easily . . . but the former is a tough pill to swallow.

I don't find it a nagging problem, for example, to drive 75 miles an hour on the highway and get away with it. Normally, I don't lie awake through the night feeling bad because an officer failed to give me a ticket---even though, in all fairness, I deserved one. But you let one of those guys ticket me when I have done nothing wrong, and I'm fit to be tied! And so are you. We hate being ripped off. Consequences belong to wrong actions. When they attach themselves to right actions, we struggle with resentment and anger.

I wish I could say that the only place such things happen is in our driving, but I cannot. They also happen in our serving in ministry.
Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1981), 175--76. Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Sat 30 Jun 2012, 9:47 pm

June 30, 2012
A Prayer for Mothers
by Charles R. Swindoll

"As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you."

---Isaiah 66:13

We do worship You, our Father, and in our worship we give You our thanks. We thank You, not only for our own mothers and grandmothers but for all women who have filled that role. We remember those who are now deceased, who helped shape our lives, who taught us faithfully, and who enduringly loved us. Thank You for the contribution of fine women all over this world who live lives dedicated to Your service, to their families, to their extended families. Thank You for each. You have written in Your Word that their "worth is far above jewels."

Thank You for the tenderness and compassion mothers contribute to a world that's cold and raw and careless and harsh. Thank You for their affirmation and words of affection in the midst of a society bent on high achievement, self-serving goals, and short-sighted pursuits. Thank You for their hours of investment in others. Thank You for their contribution to You in the work of the church down through the centuries. Thank You for using women through the ages to improve their homes, their families, and other's lives. Thank You for their vision, for their strength of character. Most of all, for their hearts, tender to You and affectionate toward those they love.

Dear Father, so many of these things represent Your wisdom which is, as You have written, more precious than silver---better than gold. In light of that, we rededicate ourselves to Your work, to Your service, and to those who need our love. We commit our future to You for however many months or years You may give us. May we faithfully and relentlessly serve the Master.

In the name of the Savior, we pray. Amen.

See also Exodus 20:12; Proverbs 6:20; 20:20; 30:17.
Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Post  Admin on Fri 29 Jun 2012, 11:56 pm

June 29, 2012
For a Fresh Start
by Charles R. Swindoll

Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.

---Psalm 51:1--2

Our Father, in a dry and barren world, where sin is so rampant and society is so filthy, we need a fountain of fresh, clean water full of blessing, truth, and strength. We need water that's never bitter . . . always sweet to the taste. Most of all, we need You. "Come Thou fount of every blessing."

In a world that has no song to sing and whose stories are often coarse and vulgar, we need a song. Teach us to sing Your songs of praise from our hearts, reengaging our minds to things that are pure and holy and good and right and just and lovely and of good report.

We are thirsty today, our Father, for the living water. May it do its work in cleansing us. May it wash our minds. May it cleanse our motives. May it scrub away the shameful secrets of our private world so that You can lead us onto right paths. Admittedly, we are prone to wander . . . prone to leave the God we love. And only Your cleansing, fresh water of the Spirit can make us clean deep within. Make us clean today, our Father. Dig deeply into our lives, and reveal truth. We pray You will find within us no rival, no resistance, no pride, no lies. And we now lay before You our very selves. We give ourselves to Your sacred work, to be set apart for Your best use, for Your greater glory. In the name of Jesus, our "fount of every blessing," we pray. Amen.

See also Proverbs 20:9; Jeremiah 33:8; Ezekiel 36:25; 2 Corinthians 7:1.
Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Post  Admin on Thu 28 Jun 2012, 8:40 pm

Chuck Swindoll delivers a special message on the air today about Insight for Living's core mission. Be sure to tune in today or listen online to hear "Insight for Living's DNA."
June 28, 2012
For Strong Families
by Charles R. Swindoll

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one's youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate.

---Psalm 127:4--5

Marriage. A husband and wife coming together as one. Family. Rearing children. These things are so much of what life is about, our Father. They give us hours of pleasure . . . and hours of frustration. There's probably nothing that most of us work harder at and sometimes feel more guilty about than those things. What a mystery! And yet, You have it all figured out. Somewhere between what You wrote and what we do, there's been a breakdown. We need help. We know it won't be easy or quick, but it'll come as we learn from You. Help us unlearn our many habits and patterns that are not in line with Your Word and will. Forgive us for having clung to them.

We like things that make sense. We like things that have a clear ring to them. We like things that help us feel good. But often, Lord, the things You have to say about marriage and family are none of the above. That's tough for us to handle, especially when we feel like salmon swimming against the stream. We work with people who scoff at marriage. We live around people who are unfaithful in their marriages. We struggle in our own concepts of marriage. Help us, Lord.

The family is so important to You. With confidence, we commit our families to You. In Jesus's name. Amen.

See also Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:6--7; Proverbs 1:8; Colossians 3:18--20.
Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Post  Admin on Wed 27 Jun 2012, 7:20 pm

June 27, 2012
For Strength in the Battle Against Evil
by Charles R. Swindoll

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. ---Ephesians 6:10--11

Almighty God, You are our all-powerful and invincible Lord. None can overcome You. None can stand against You. How we need You, especially when the battle against evil rages! Thank You for standing by our side, for being our strong shield and defender. We have no strength in ourselves. We face an adversary far more powerful, more brilliant, and more experienced than we. The enemy stands firmly against us, ready to attack at every weak point. We know that our enemy will not let up, that he will fight to the bitter end. And so, with confidence, we want to put on and wear the whole armor of God . . . and, in Your strength alone, we can resist the wicked forces that desire to bring us down.

Give us new hope, Lord---hope that we can one day get beyond the struggle raging for our lives. We look forward to that day soon when Christ will once and for all win the victory that already belongs to Him because of the cross. Encourage us with the thought that, in Christ, we triumph! In His victorious name we pray. Amen.

See also Luke 4:13; 2 Corinthians 4:16--18; Ephesians 4:26--27; 1 Peter 5:8--10.
Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Post  Admin on Tue 26 Jun 2012, 9:53 pm

June 26, 2012
Overcoming Fear
by Charles R. Swindoll

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

---Psalm 23:4

Lord God, fear threatens to overtake us, to hinder us from trusting You. We often seek to rely on ourselves, trusting in our own strength to accomplish our own desires. Because we recognize the realities and the dangers of this distressed world, we thank You for making Your plan clear to ultimately remove all fear and anxiety and worry. Thank You for communicating the truth about fear in terms we can grasp. Thank You for challenging us to trust You as You unfold Your plan in the teaching of Scripture. Give us a commitment to Your truth, so that we live differently and think differently. Help us to be passionate about what matters so that we care more about the eternal and less about the temporal.

Shake us awake, our Father, with the reality that the world is heading in the wrong direction. Remind us that we have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people, despite the lawless times . . . if we would but trust You. Deliver us from fear that holds us back, that we might magnify the name of Jesus Christ, regardless of our work, our calling, and our involvements. For Jesus's sake we pray. Amen.

See also Genesis 26:24; Deuteronomy 3:22; Psalm 46:1--2; Luke 12:7
Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Post  Admin on Mon 25 Jun 2012, 10:18 pm

June 25, 2012
Anticipating His Joyful Return
by Charles R. Swindoll

You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

---Psalm 16:11

Father, we are delighted with the sure expectation of Your Son's return. Thank You for telling us Your plan and not leaving us in a hopeless quandary. At the same time, thank You for not telling us everything. If every last detail were spelled out, who would need to walk by faith? What would hold our attention and capture our curiosity, especially in those moments on this earth that suddenly remind us, this could be the day?

Thank You also for giving us instruction that prepares us for eternity with You. Thank You, Father, for Your Son, who completed His mission while He was on this earth and will return for us at any moment.

We thank You for the joy that floods us when we anticipate such an event. The cares of this age finally gone. The crippling diseases, the painful trials, and the clammy fingers of death around our necks will be gone, gone forever! Heartbreaks, broken promises, and afflicting sorrows will all pass away when we are brought face-to-face with the Savior. How wonderful! We exult in this, Lord. And we praise Your wonderful name for including us in Your eternal plans. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus. Amen.

See also Psalm 21:6; 98:1--9; Isaiah 26:19; 1 Thessalonians 2:19.
Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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June 23, 2012
For Willingness to Express Generosity
by Charles R. Swindoll

Many will seek the favor of a generous man,
And every man is a friend to him who gives gifts.

---Proverbs 19:6

We stand before You, our Father, as an act of allegiance and submission. And we bow before You in humility and trust. We desire to follow You. Every day, it's an uphill climb. It is often an internal battle to stand firm in what we believe and to model what You have asked of Your people in a world that is self-serving. We ask that we will be stirred from within and moved in our hearts, so that our actions reveal change. May we practice acts of generosity over and above what we have ever considered. We pray that You will convince and convict us deep within and that You will then find us as obedient as the ancient Hebrews who gave to You to the point of having to be restrained from giving more. We are Your people. We are the sheep of Your pasture who belong to You---nothing is too difficult for You. So we pray that we will be able to focus our attention, our thoughts, and ultimately our wills on what You have said, what You have promised, and how You will provide. May we be stimulated to good works in ways we have never known before.

And now, Father, we acknowledge that we have been the recipients of numerous benefits: blessing, healing, forgiveness, grace, mercy, even relief from guilt and shame and long-standing grudges we've held against others. We stand before You in allegiance and in submission, in generosity and joy. In the name of Jesus, our strong Savior, we pray. Amen.

See also Deuteronomy 15:10; Proverbs 11:25; 2 Corinthians 9:7; 1 Timothy 6:18
Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Post  Admin on Fri 22 Jun 2012, 1:09 pm

June 22, 2012
For Pure Motives in Service
by Charles R. Swindoll

But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body. ---1 Corinthians 12:18--20

Father, You made all of us with different personalities, with different gifts and responsibilities, and yet You choose to mingle us together in the same body of believers, over which Christ is Head. You provide us endless opportunities to give of ourselves, to teach others, to guide the confused, to help those in need, and to carry the burdens of others. As we serve Your people and touch the lives of those outside the church, we face great temptations to be in charge, to force others to get in line, to make things more uniform and rigid, to get narrow and demanding, to set our expectations too high, to handle the work of ministry and life in general as if they were secular enterprises. God, we need You to keep things fresh and unpredictable and especially to keep us authentic, servant-hearted people who are easy to live with. Remind us that You are the Potter and we are the clay.

So give us new hope . . . hope beyond religion, hope that motivates us to press on, to serve You with pure motives, strong minds, and humble hearts. Thank You for Your grace, our only hope . . . in Jesus’s name. Amen.
See also Acts 2:44--47; 9:31; 1 Corinthians 11:16; Philippians 2:3--4
June 21, 2012
Overcoming Rebellion
by Charles R. Swindoll

“How many are my iniquities and sins?
Make known to me my rebellion and my sin.”
---Job 13:23

Lord, You know that the human heart is rebellious. You are fully aware that this is a fallen world. We see evidence of it before our very eyes on every evening news broadcast. We witness again and again the ugly realities of stubbornness and resistance and selfishness. We not only watch the flesh battle the flesh, we're engaged in the battle ourselves! Our Father, please give Your people the ability to survive these difficult times.

I pray, Lord, that our fallen condition will not cause us to compromise our convictions in the delicate days of the future. May we stand on tiptoe, like the ancient Hebrews in Exodus 19, who heard the horn as it blew and saw the smoke and the cloud and the lightning that flashed on Sinai and realized that You are to be taken seriously. Find in us hearts willing to do that. Give us an unselfish generosity---great heartedness---in the process of transitioning us from the way we were to the place we will be.

Lord, may we trust You completely. Just as Moses trusted You to get the Hebrews out of Egypt, so we trust You to get us into the promised land, bringing us safely to the other side of death, through bodily resurrection and on to new life in a new creation. Go before us, Lord, stay behind us, and surround us with what we need to overcome our rebellion. Give us a sense of peace and confidence that You are in the lead, not us. And cause us to trust You completely as we walk sensitively and humbly with our God through the days before us. We ask it in Jesus's name. Amen.

See also Genesis 4:7; Psalm 25:7; Ecclesiastes 8:12; Isaiah 1:5.
Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Post  Admin on Wed 20 Jun 2012, 4:16 pm

June 20, 2012
Gratitude for God's Guidance
by Charles R. Swindoll

O LORD, lead me in Your righteousness because of my foes;
Make Your way straight before me.

---Psalm 5:8

Our Father, for centuries, You have used Your Word in the hearts of men and women in cultures and countries around this world. You have sent to difficult and obscure places faith-filled missionaries with the Word of God tucked away in their hearts. They have declared it, and You have blessed it. Your Word has spread like wildfire, and, as Your children, we are all recipients of Your faithfulness. Many of us had godly mothers and dads who taught us the way from birth. Some of us learned the truth from mentors when we became adults. Others getting up in years discovered what they had been missing all their lives. We have been redeemed, bought by Christ's blood, delivered from a life of bondage and addiction, and relieved of despair and slavery to sin. How grateful we are!

Thank You, Father, for leading us in our own personal exodus---leading us from start to finish; leading us when we didn't even want to know You; leading us even when we were running from You. Thank You for deliverance from the pharaohs of our lives---cruel taskmasters, all of them---and bringing us to the gentle Shepherd of our souls.

And so, Father, we pause at this moment in quiet worship to remember Your leading. We praise You in the name of Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

See also Exodus 13:21; Psalm 25:5; 139:9--10; Isaiah 11:6.
Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Post  Admin on Wed 20 Jun 2012, 12:53 am

June 19, 2012
The Antidote to Anxiety
by Charles R. Swindoll

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

---Philippians 4:4--7

We all have experienced anxiety, our Father. How helpful it is to be reminded, nevertheless, that we are to celebrate Your name, Your work, Your power, Your character, all day every day, so that we might come to the place where we revel in You. What a grand reminder it is that Your Son could come at any moment. Find us ready for that, Lord.

Yet we cannot be ready as long as anxiety lives enthroned within us, so I pray that You will begin to do a work right now in the lives of those who love to worry. What a waste that we have spent so long in our lives fretting and worrying. Remind us today and in the days to come that prayer can truly displace our worries. Time with You can become such a magnificent turning point, not only in the moment but in the day---in fact, in our lives---so that we might begin to realize the power of Your peace as it settles us down. Give us the ability, the discipline of mind, to meditate on and focus our attention toward that which is true and noble, reputable and authentic, compelling and gracious.

In the marvelous name of Christ, our Savior. Amen.

See also Psalm 37:5; 55:22; Jeremiah 17:8; Matthew 6:26--34.
Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Post  Admin on Mon 18 Jun 2012, 9:48 pm

June 18, 2012
God's Holiness, Our Need
by Charles R. Swindoll

Sing praise to the LORD, you His godly ones,
And give thanks to His holy name.

---Psalm 30:4

We come before You, our Father, and we acknowledge that it is Your holiness that draws us to You. And it is that lack of holiness in ourselves that brings from within us such a hunger to know You better. We affirm with Paul that our determined purpose is that we may know Him. That we may progressively become more intimately acquainted with Him. Oh, God, that is what we want. More important, that is what we need.

In a culture that's adrift and in a world that's broken, there is something about Your character that draws us, warms the coldness of our hearts, breaks our stubborn wills. And we stand before You, our holy God, acknowledging that You are pristine, free of corruption, without a hint of sin or transgression.

We are reproved by Peter's words, "'You be holy even as I am holy,' says the Lord." The angels acknowledge You by saying, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty." You are high and lifted up. You have full perspective and understanding. Your character is unflawed, and we are lost in the wonder of it. We are caught up in the perfection of Your person.

We've never known a Father like You, as good as our fathers may have been. We've never known one so full of compassion and grace and love and mercy. Introduce us again to that this day. Remind us of it again and again, especially when we fail and see ourselves so unworthy. Remind us that none of that blocks Your wondrous forgiveness. Thank You. Thank You.

In the matchless name of Jesus, Your Son and our Savior, we pray. Amen.

See also Isaiah 6:1--7; Romans 12:1; Ephesians 1:3--4; Philippians 3:10; 1 Peter 1:14--16.
Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Post  Admin on Sun 17 Jun 2012, 8:30 am

June 16, 2012
Leaving a Legacy of Trust
by Charles R. Swindoll

How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood. ---Psalm 40:4


Our heavenly Father, how grateful we are for Your Son, Jesus. Where would we be without Him? How could we operate our lives without firm confidence in Him? It is sweet to trust in Jesus, to take Him at His word. And we willingly do that, our Father. We release to You the pressures of the home and the office, the unexplained events that are mysterious to us at this moment, the mysteries that remain unsolved. We still trust You. For answers that we have not yet experienced, we trust You. To bring about the desires of our hearts which we are unable to do for ourselves, we trust You, Father.

We take You at Your word. What You have promised, You will fulfill. What You have written, You will keep. And You have made your Word known to us in our own tongue so that we can read it, not simply in black print on white pages but as truth to live by and, if necessary, to die for.

May our children remember us as parents who loved You---as parents who brought them up in a way that pleased You. Help our children to grow and learn to respect You, to have a deep and abiding trust in You, just as we have. How easily the church can become a greenhouse where growth seems normal and predictable, and yet it is far removed from the real world. Help us to bridge for our children what it means to live for Christ in a world that has long since lost its way.

It's sweet to trust in Jesus, and we do so, Father, with all our hearts. In His great name. Amen.

See also Psalm 37:5; 56:3; Proverbs 3:5--6; Isaiah 12:2.

Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Post  Admin on Fri 15 Jun 2012, 2:58 pm

June 15, 2012
Overcoming Unfair Treatment
by Charles R. Swindoll

The LORD is righteous within her;
He will do no injustice.
Every morning He brings His justice to light;
He does not fail.
But the unjust knows no shame.

---Zephaniah 3:5

Dear Lord, we want You to find a yielded and quiet spirit within us. To make that happen, we need You to come in like a flood. Occupy us like water filling empty spaces. Occupy reserved portions of our lives where anger is festering and the secret places where grudges are being stored. Sweep through the houses of our hearts . . . don't miss one room or a single area---cleanse every dark closet, look under every rug. Let nothing go unnoticed as You take full control of our motives as well as our actions. Deep within our hearts, sweep us clean of blame and revenge, of self-pity and keeping score. Enable each one of us to be big enough to press on, regardless what unfair treatment we've had to endure. Take away the scars of ugly treatment and harsh words. Keep us from licking our wounds. Forgiveness comes hard . . . but it's essential. Help us forgive, even those who never acknowledge their wrongdoing toward us. Give us peace over turmoil, and erase the memories that keep us offended. We need fresh hope to go on! We ask this in the name of Him who had no sin and did no wrong but died, the just for the unjust: Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

See also Leviticus 19:15; Romans 12:19; Colossians 4:1; 1 Peter 2:20--24.
Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

June 14, 2012
For Assurance of Salvation
by Charles R. Swindoll

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand." ---John 10:27--28


Gracious Father, loving Lord, the beauty of the natural world and its elements that never rebel remind us that we're serving a living Savior. These things tell us that You are very much alive and in full control. The life around us reminds us that Your Son has been raised from the dead. The world around us testifies to Your working in the world as well as Your care for Your creation. While all this should soothe our doubts about You, Your promises, and Your power, all too often, it doesn't.

We come with a desire to be renewed within. We are totally dependent upon You to do that, to effect within us that which we cannot do within ourselves. Enlighten those dark shadows and give truth where now ignorance and superstition and fear abide. Replace our many doubts with the assurance of our great salvation. Increase our faith. May it not be dependent upon the flimsy and fragile web of feelings but upon the solid granite of God's truth.

And then having done that, give us a song that brightens our day and lightens our way. Help us to live in Your truth that removes our burden of doubt. In the name of Christ, to whom we give first place, we pray. Amen.
See also Colossians 2:1--3; Hebrews 3:14; 6:11; 10:22; 11:1; 1 John 5:11--13.

Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Post  Admin on Thu 14 Jun 2012, 10:26 pm

June 13, 2012
Putting Down Pride
by Charles R. Swindoll

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. ---1 John 2:16

Now, our Father, in the simple, plain terms of sinners, we thank You for using for your glory those of us who are given to ugly pride and controlling dominance. We also thank You for finding ways to reduce our pride, either through Your Word or through our experiences. I thank You that we can still be who we are while we are engaged in exalting Christ and bringing ourselves in line with Your desires for our lives.

As You rip from our hearts the self-satisfaction that we would love to cling to, Father, and, as we bleed within, remind us that nothing we surrender goes unrewarded. Remind us that as You reduce us and crush us, You make us anew. You help us point our lives to the Savior. Give us satisfaction in the roles You have placed us, and help us not to worry about being in some place of authority. Ultimately, exalt the name of Christ in our lives. At the same time, use Your Word and Your Spirit to humble us, enabling us to see our pride for what it is.

We praise You for Your work through Jesus. Amen.

See also Psalm 75:5; Proverbs 8:13; 29:23; 2 Corinthians 5:12.
Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Post  Admin on Wed 13 Jun 2012, 11:08 am

June 12, 2012
Living the Truth
by Charles R. Swindoll

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. . . . Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. ---Colossians 3:12--13, 17

It's as though You have written these words to us today, Father . . . indeed, You have. Though they date back to the first century, they fit the twenty-first century like a well-tailored garment. They touch every aspect of our being. Your words address our position in Christ and our practice on earth. They specify our struggles without overlooking the important, positive side of compassion, love, forgiveness, patience, humility, and gentleness. How we long to live as we say we believe. How far short of that we often fall. And we realize it again even this day, as we recognize the straight line of truth so clearly marked in Your inspired Word---God-breathed, preserved, and now provided for us in our language. Help us to live according to Your standards, day in, day out.

As You do soul-surgery in our hearts, may we allow the scalpel of the Spirit to pierce whatever area needs to be addressed. May each of us open ourselves to it. Guard us from hypocrisy. Few things are more detestable than a phony Christian! May we speak truth today. More important, may we live truth today. May we declare it to others in a way that makes sense. May Your Spirit take it from there and drive it home. May our lives and theirs be changed as a result of it.

It's in the name of Jesus Christ we offer our words of prayer. Amen.
See also Psalm 1:1; 89:15; Hosea 14:9; Ephesians 4:15.
Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
June 11, 2012
Living Life to the Fullest
by Charles R. Swindoll

Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. ---Colossians 4:5--6

Our desire, Father, is to be fully present---all there---wherever we are. We want to live to the hilt every situation we believe to be Your will. You have placed us in the twenty-first century, with our specific families, in our particular neighborhoods. May we live here, now, fully, completely, passionately. In our occupations, may we fulfill wholeheartedly our calling there as well. You have given us the joy of the fellowship of the saints in a local church. May we make the most of every opportunity to welcome others into it.

Lord God, deliver the body of Christ from becoming a museum full of aging memories---dusty, dull, irrelevant, and out of touch. At the same time, keep us attached to our past---to the great truths of Your timeless Word and to the great music of the ages. In all of this, may we stay in touch with our world today. The needs are enormous and numerous. Help us know how to build bridges across the moat that separates us from a needy world, so that we become a point of comfort and authenticity, a place of hope, a harbor of relief, and rescue for those who have lost their way.

In Jesus's name we pray. Amen.
See also Psalm 31:23--24; 119:1--2; Proverbs 3:5--6; Matthew 22:36--39.

Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Post  Admin on Sat 09 Jun 2012, 7:28 pm

June 9, 2012
The Lord Is Near
by Charles R. Swindoll
I called on Your name, O LORD,
Out of the lowest pit.
You have heard my voice,
"Do not hide Your ear from my prayer for relief,
From my cry for help."
You drew near when I called on You;
You said, "Do not fear!"
---Lamentations 3:55--57

Our Father, we find relief in knowing that You're here. We talk to You as though You are sitting right next to us. For indeed, though we cannot see You, by faith we believe You're here. You bring us such relief in life, our Father. We would be so lonely without You. The nights would linger interminably; the pressure would be more than we could bear. The tests would be incalculable were we on this journey alone. But thankfully we're not.

You are here with us. And You are in control. We ask You to take every part of that which makes us who we are . . . our temperaments, our personalities, our gifts, our drives, our ambitions, our dreams, our failures, our hopes, our sorrows, our disappointments, and everything that makes up life for us. Take whatever we have, take whomever we love, take us wherever You find us, and let it all be set apart to You.

We ask You to take care of those people and situations that are beyond our ability to fix or change. Relieve our minds of the worry of it all, because, like thorns and briars that encroach upon a lovely garden and finally choke out its blooms, these things have a way of choking us so that we are unable to hear what You have to say.

We trust You to answer our prayer. In the merciful name of Jesus our Savior and our tender God we pray. Amen.

See also Job 5:17--18; Psalm 94:12--14; 2 Thessalonians 1:6--8.
Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
June 8, 2012
Acknowledging Our Weakness
by Charles R. Swindoll

For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you.

---2 Corinthians 13:4

Our Father, we all struggle with weakness. We're reminded almost every day that we don't have it all together. We need You. We have heartaches and disappointments that haven't gone away . . . the grief of broken relationships, illnesses, and recent deaths. We invite You to enter in, Lord. Enter into all of that on our behalf. Through Your presence may we find relief and release from that which has bound us, tied us up within. We're able to take only so much, and sometimes we come to a virtual breaking point. In our times of physical and emotional weakness, we need Your comfort and Your strength.

We are also stalked by sin. We need Your grace. Sin has taken a terrible toll on the human condition. And though we are well-versed in every possible way of ignoring it or explaining it away, today we come to terms with it. Surely we have failed or fallen in some area just this week, and the ache of that nags us and troubles us---some needless words, some outburst of anger, some lingering resentment, or some caustic response. Lord, thank You for the blood of Christ that keeps on cleansing us from all sins, including these. Forgive us, our Father. Remove from us the enemy's desire to make us ashamed and to drag us under the load of that failure. May we remember that in Your grace You not only forgive, You wipe the slate clean. Thank You that You know our weakness and love us nevertheless.

In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
See also Romans 8:26; 15:1; 1 Corinthians 1:25; Hebrews 4:15.
Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Post  Admin on Fri 08 Jun 2012, 8:28 am

June 7, 2012
Fighting Against Self-Focus
by Charles R. Swindoll

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. ---Philippians 2:3--4


Our Father, we who operate in such selfish realms often find ourselves preoccupied with stuff of our own. We focus on messes we've made back in the yesterdays of our lives, consumed with fears of tomorrow, knowing our propensity toward messing things up and uncertain about where this will lead. And then, of all things, in this ever-present now, we find ourselves again preoccupied with what someone may think . . . or say or do or how we will look in their eyes.

Deliver us, Father, if only for today, from our preoccupation with self. Help us to envision You as King, the very essence of life---God over all; God who forgives all messes, who understands all frustrations, who calms all fears; King who reigns over our lives supremely. Because we have come to the cross and met You on Your terms, Lord, may we understand that Your will is really best, even when we cannot explain it, understand it, or for that matter, defend it. You're King. You're the Monarch, the Master. We're the servants. You're the Potter, we're the clay.

Whatever it is we are dealing with today, quiet our spirits. Bring Your presence to our immediate attention. May it eclipse everything else. May Your sovereignty reassure us and Your hand on our life humble us.

In the great name of Your Son, Jesus, our King, our Lord, and our life. Amen.

See also Proverbs 23:6; Matthew 23:25; James 3:14, 16.

Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Post  Admin on Thu 07 Jun 2012, 9:54 am

June 6, 2012
For Finding Rest in God
by Charles R. Swindoll

On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.
---Psalm 62:7--8

Our dear Father, we are grateful for the rest that is found in Christ. Our souls were like waves crashing against a shoreline, and our lives were in tumult and disarray, confusion and chaos. And then You rescued us. You brought us forgiveness and relief, and You introduced us to a wonderful four-letter word that has become for us a lifeline for survival: rest. Thank You for the peace that accompanies this rest. Thank You for the freedom from worry. Thank You for carrying the weights that we used to carry on our own shoulders, for giving us literally thousands of promises that become ours to claim, to grow in, and to be comforted by.

Father, You have the ability, being who You are, to know each need in each heart, each concern in each mind. So we pause and release to You those things that have plagued us long enough. We give them over to You now. In doing so, we invite the Spirit of God to plow the soil of our souls so the seed of God's Word can be sown, take root, and be watered in time so as to produce spiritual abundance.

We commit these valued moments to You, resting in You. And may this allow us to be lost in wonder and love and praise. In Jesus's name, amen.

See also Genesis 2:2--3; Joshua 21:44; Psalm 22:2--3; Hebrews 4:9.
Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Post  Admin on Tue 05 Jun 2012, 9:22 pm

June 5, 2012
Forgive Our Trespasses
by Charles R. Swindoll

"Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him; nor have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets." ---Daniel 9:8--10

Forgive us, our Father, for being attracted to the pleasures of sin . . . to what appears to be full of ecstasy and satisfaction but is, in fact, empty and stupid. Thank You for bringing conviction, for pointing out our rebellion. We need that reminder every day, so that we might invest ourselves in that which endures. We want to pursue the things of God, the things You consider important and valuable---a righteous walk, a pure heart, a committed lifestyle. We long to place family above fortune and purpose above fame and righteousness above riches.

Our Father, You instruct us and teach us in the way we should go. Thank You for that. You shine a bright light on our path from Your Word. Thank You for the relief that comes with being forgiven and the peace of mind that accompanies a clean heart. Finally, thank You for Your mercies, new every morning, and Your grace, needed every day.

We thank You in the dear name of Jesus. Amen.

See also Matthew 6:12; Acts 10:43; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:22.
Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
June 4, 2012
For a Heart of Service
by Charles R. Swindoll

"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,
and to give His life a ransom for many."
---Mark 10:45

It's a pretty awesome thing, Lord, to be in Your service. It's a lot easier to begin and run a company, even a big corporation, than it is to serve the body of Christ. As humans, we see the outward appearance, but You look at the heart. We reward achievements that everybody notices, but You reward those things that nobody knows about. You reward motives behind actions. You reward generosity that is never publicly announced. You reward sacrifice, which is merely the MO of a real servant. And so, Father, thank You for the joy of serving You---supporting Your work, believing in Your ministry, trusting You with our whole hearts, and leaning not on our own understanding.

Guide us, O Lord. Our desire is to serve with quality, authenticity, humility, grace, mercy, and compassion. May we serve better in deeds than in words. Make us a people who have a heart for the whole world, not just our own little backyard. Guard us from acts of the flesh, from foolish decisions, from rash actions, from impatient reactions, from selfish motives. Lord, Your reputation is at stake, not ours. We hold You in highest esteem. Our desire is to know Christ intimately, and in knowing Him, to model His life of service in an authentic manner.

We pray this in His name. Amen.

See also Isaiah 32:17; Romans 12:1; Ephesians 2:8--10; 1 Timothy 1:12.
Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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