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Monday Morning Encouragement -- Morning Meeting

"I rise before dawn and cry for help. I wait for your words."  Psalm 119:47

I'm a morning person. Morning is my favorite time of day. It's when I have the most energy and the clearest mind. Things that seemed overwhelming the day before somehow become more manageable in the morning light.

Monday Morning Encouragement -- Fruit Production


"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." Galatians 5:22-25

A healthy fruit-bearing tree, bush or vine will produce luscious fruit in season. In the Gospel of John Jesus speaks about the importance of His followers bearing fruit as they abide in Him. It is the proof that they are His disciples (John 15:8). 

Monday Morning Encouragement -- Evidence of God's Love


"For the Lord will not cast off forever, but though He cause grief, He will have compassion according to the abundance of His steadfast love; for He does not afflict from His heart or grieve the children of men." Lamentations 3:31-33

When bad things happen, it's sometimes difficult to believe that God loves us. We can read verses like this one, or hear similar words from a friend, yet still we wonder if it's true that God cares.

Monday Morning Encouragement -- Trust and Worship

"Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." (Job 13:15 NKJV)

In 1999 my husband of thirty years was hospitalized for two weeks in the cardiac intensive care unit. At the time he was in such poor shape that the top cardiologist in the area was called in to assess his condition and make recommendations. After examination, he told us that Jim's heart was the worst heart he had ever seen, and he recommended a heart transplant. But first, he would need to get Jim stabilized and strong enough to withstand the transplant. And so began a journey of uncertainty, for we had no idea how long all this would take, nor did we know if Jim would even survive. My world was turned upside down.

Monday Morning Encouragement -- The Right Father


"As a father shows compassion to his children,
    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him." Psalm 103:13

A number of years ago my brother and his wife tragically lost their youngest son. Overcome with grief, my sister-in-law rushed to her parent's home for comfort; specifically to her father. 

Unfortunately, her father failed to react in the way she had hoped. He was on his way to the hardware store to buy paint and invited her to come along. In her own words:

Monday Morning Encouragement - The Power of Prayer

"The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."  James 5:16

George Ferdinand Mueller was a preacher and evangelist who along with his wife, Mary, founded an orphanage in Bristol. In 1832 they began caring for orphans in their own home until the needs outweighed the size of their home, and neighbors began to complain. 

Eventually the Muellers built five houses which became known as the Ashley Down Orphanage. Throughout its history around 18,000 orphans were cared for there.

Monday Morning Encouragement -- Does Holiness Matter? (And a Giveaway Winner)

"These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you." (Psalm 50:21

Earlier this year I posted a devotional entitled The Beauty of Holiness. It's a topic that I'm intensely interested in, and, in fact am currently in a small group Bible study The Pursuit of Holiness written by the late Jerry Bridges of The Navigators.

Today I ask the question, "Does Holiness Matter?" I ask it because the moral decline of our culture is so dramatic. And, sadly, it's not limited to unbelievers. It's in the American church, too. Not every church, of course. But in enough churches that an alarm is going off.

Monday Morning Encouragement -- Shepherd of My Soul

"For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls." 1 Peter 2:25

This past week while reading my Bible I came to today's scripture verse: "For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls." Peter's words jumped off the page and I stopped for awhile and let those blessed words sink in. Jesus is the Shepherd of my soul. He is the Overseer of my soul.

Monday Morning Encouragement -- As Noah Walked, and a Giveaway


"Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God."
Genesis 6:9

In the midst of a decaying culture so violent God had determined to destroy it with a great flood, one man stood out. A godly man. A man who didn't follow the crowd. A man who walked through his life with God. His name was Noah. 

Monday Moraning Encouragement -- Our Refuge


“I love You, O LORD, my strength.” The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies." Psalm 18:1-3

This is a psalm of deliverance, written by David after the Lord saved Him from all his enemies and the hand of Saul. David called God his rock and fortress. Rock is solid, a fortress is impenetrable. Then David described God as his shield, the horn of his salvation, and his stronghold. 

Monday Morning Encouragement -- What Delights God?


"For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
         You are not pleased with burnt offering. 
    The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
         A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise."
Psalm 51:16-17

It's not the work of our hands that delights God, but the work of our heart. It begins when we repent of our sins with broken and humble hearts that yearn to be in fellowship with Him.