Scripture of the Day

“Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.” — Romans 4:7-8

Martin Luther knew this to be true, and that’s why he fathered the Reformation and put his life on the line with the Catholic church in the 1500s. How great is it to know that your sins are covered by the blood of Jesus! 

 

Turn Thee Unto Me

prostrate-in-prayer
(iStock photo)

Note: This is a guest post from my good friend, Doug Apple, and his blog, “My Heart is On Fire.”

I’m Doug Apple … and my heart is on fire!  (Luke 24:32)

Here is a simple prayer you can pray anytime, for anyone, starting with yourself.

Four simple words:  turn Thee unto me.

Turn Thee unto me.

Yes, that’s the old King James English, and it’s pretty simple.  It’s a simple prayer saying, “Lord, please turn towards me.”

And when the Lord turns toward us…well imagine a shepherd surrounded by sheep.  Then imagine the shepherd turning his attention specifically to one particular sheep.  He kneels down.  He cares for the sheep.  He loves on the sheep.  He checks on the sheep.

A sheep never feels more loved and secure and KNOWN than when the shepherd turns toward that particular sheep.

And that’s what this prayer encapsulates.  “Lord, turn Thee unto me.”

It’s asking for God’s specific attention, for His specific favor and care and love and mercy.  It’s asking for His guidance and wisdom and light.

It all comes when the Shepherd turns Thee unto me.

So you can pray this for yourself, just like David did in Psalm 25:16.

Or you can pray it for others, anyone and everyone!

“Lord, turn Thee unto my brother.”  “Lord, turn Thee unto my sister.”  Lord, turn Thee unto my boss and my coworkers and my pastor and my church.”  “Lord, turn Thee unto our president and our senators and congressmen.”

It’s a powerful prayer, and it doesn’t require a bunch of words, because there is an eternity full of power in this one simple prayer.

“Turn Thee unto me.”

God bless you, today.

I’m Doug Apple. {eoa}

Doug Apple is the general manager of WAVE 94.1 FM Christian radio in Tallahassee, Florida.

Scripture of the Day – Hebrews 11:6

take-up-cross-daily
(iStock photo)

“And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”

Believing that God exists is on the beginning. God wants your faith to lead to a personal dynamic relationship. Do you believe because faith makes sense, or because faith doesn’t make sense? The truth is, God gave us minds that should be developed and used. God wants our trust and faith, even while we ponder and wonder about so many matters that are mysterious to us. 

Prayer

Lord, help me today to trust you in everything. Sometimes, things don’t make sense to us and our finite human minds. Your ways are not our ways. We know that everything is meant for the good of those who love him and trust Him. Help us to know, even in our trials and tribulations, that you will work EVERYTHING out for the good.”

My Wife, My Rock

me-and-patty

Jesus is the foundation on which I try to live my life every day. I have discovered, especially recently, that if I don’t have Him then I have absolutely nothing.

He has given me everything—my salvation, my relationships (wife, children, family, friends), my home and my job. Everything I am and everything I do is because of Christ. And while He is my Everything, I would be sorely remiss if I didn’t honor the “rock” He placed in my life more than 20 years ago.

You may ask, why do I call my wife, Patty, the “rock?” Years ago during a small group session at a friend’s house, Patty and I were prophesied over concerning our family and our spiritual lives. We were told that our marriage—while it may bend and be stretched to the limit—would never break.

Like most couples, we have endured tough times—financially, emotionally, physically and even spiritually. We have navigated through job losses, huge bills, philosophical differences, frustration with our children, broken promises (on my part) and heated arguments I thought would doom us.

But through it all, besides Jesus’ obvious involvement, Patty has been the steady rock that has held our family together. That name for her was included in the prophecy, and that’s why I call her that.

Every time I have felt down and discouraged—and there have been many of those—Patty is always there to pick me up with an encouraging word or action. While sometimes it is not always received well (because of self-pity), I know I can always count on her—for everything.

Yes, I am the priest of our home. And yes, I try diligently to use the gifts God has given me to be the spiritual leader of our family.  But make no mistake, Patty is the reason we are still together since we were married in December 1997. Besides being much more financially savvy than myself, her heart is huge and she is always thinking of people other than herself. She is a wonderful mother to Rachel and Joshua, and to put up with me for this long, she must be a saint.

Proverbs 18:22 says it best, “Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor of the Lord” (MEV). I must have obtained favor from the Lord because he gave me Patty.

But in order for you to have a solid marriage, you must have two things: One, Jesus MUST be the foundation. Without Him, you’ll simply drift along and live as roommates instead of husband and wife. That is a given.

But second, you must die to self. I know a lot of husbands, including myself, who have yet to learn to do that. Luke 9:23-24 says, “Then Jesus said to them all, ‘If anyone will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever will save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.'”

During our wedding ceremony, my friend, Pastor Randy Claypoole, told us that marriage “is not a 50-50 proposition. We each needed to give 100 percent.” In other words, the word “self” needs to be deleted from your vocabulary.

As my friend, Hery Alonso, says in his new book, I’m All In, coming out soon, “We have to understand that as long as ‘self’ is in control, God can’t have His way in us. … When we deny ourselves, or die to self, it is not a thing we do only once. It will be more of a constant dying as Jesus helps us remove unnecessary things inside us that bog down our journey.”

I realize that it’s way past time for “self” to be extracted from my character.  Going forward, I am dedicating myself to serving my wife and being the husband she deserves and giving her 100 percent. “Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:24-25, MEV).

Husbands—and wives for that matter—doesn’t your spouse deserve your best? I know Patty does. And I know I want to enjoy the full intimacy of my marriage that God has promised in His Word. But I also know that it starts with me, and it starts with dying to self.

In his book, Hery follows up with this, “Women desire to feel safe and secure along with unconditional love. If a woman feels unstable or insecure in the commitment or love, she won’t blossom to her fullest capability of being the ideal helpmate for her husband.”

So my suggestion is this: Turn off the television. Put down your phone. Stay away from your computer. Ask God how you can “die to self.”  I ask for your prayers for my marriage, and I will pray for your marriage to rid itself of this toxic four-letter word so that it can flourish the way God intended.

My prayers are with you always. God bless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Supposed to Love People … But How?

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Sometimes, loving people is a tough thing to do. (Flickr)

Note: This is a guest post from my friend and brother in Christ, Doug Apple, the general manager of WAVE 94-FM Christian radio in Tallahassee, Florida. He’s got some gems in here.

I’m Doug Apple…and my heart is on fire!  (Luke 24:32)

Yes, yes, yes, I know I’m supposed to love people…but how?

I think we all know that if we are on our way to Jericho and we come across a beaten man, we’re supposed to load him on our donkey and take him to the inn, right?  Like the good Samaritan.

But life is full of people and their drama, full of neighbors and friends and strangers and people we like and people we don’t like so now what?

We’re supposed to love them…but how?

First let me note that love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.  (Galatians 5:22)  So the more we let the living water of the Holy Spirit flow in our lives, the more we will love people, automatically.

And the more we quench and grieve the Holy Spirit by our own sin and selfishness and disobedience and laziness, the less we will love people…automatically.

But I’m getting to a prayer we can pray, and this has really set my heart on fire.

Philippians 1:9 says, “And this is my prayer:  that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.”

So that’s my prayer.  “God, please give me that depth of insight into how to love people, each and every one of them.”

I’m a father of four adult children, all married.  I need to love them in different ways than when they were 5, 7, 9 and 11.  What do I say?  What do I give?  When do I act?  When do I offer my insanely wise advice, and when do I keep my big mouth shut?

To love them well I need depth of insight!

The homeless man on the corner, or at least he says he’s homeless.  See how I am?  I need depth of insight!

And so I pray, “Lord, please, I love You so much, and to love all these people You bring into my life, I need to abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.”

Amen.

God bless you, today.

I’m Doug Apple.