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"From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised," Psalm 113:3.

Heavenly Father, You are a great and awesome God, majestic, wonderous, highly exalted and to be praised. Thank You for Your abundant blessings. Transform us into Your image as we gaze on You and praise Your name.

Prison Ministry




"through Him we have our access in one Spirit to the Father."

Ephesians 2:16

I remember the first time I read Job 1:6, "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them." My reaction to that verse was, "Wow! Satan had access to God? He could go into His presence and talk to Him?" The thought astounded me. Fast forward to this side of the cross; to us. WE have access to God. We are able to go into His presence through the Spirit. Are we taking advantage of the opportunity? Do we pray about our needs and return in prayer to thank Him for His answers? (Philippians 4:6) Maybe we take advantage of the opportunity sometimes, but not as often as we might. If so, let's begin today to take advantage of our remarkable opportunity to have access to the Father.

Heavenly Father, I need You. I need Your strength, healing, and empowerment to live rightly before You. Thank You that I have access to You. Thank You for Your love, forgiveness, grace, and empowerment. Make my life a reflection of You. In Jesus' name, Amen.



"might RECONCILE them God through the cross,"

Ephesians 2:16

Yesterday, while editing my Bible study on 1 Corinthians, I reviewed a comment I'd made that we no longer deal with "meat sacrificed to idols" as the Corinthians did. However, after work, I went to a nail salon and noticed a plate of apples in front of two Buddhas. I asked the Vietnamese lady doing my nails if she ate the apples after offering them to Budda. We had an interesting discussion as she explained Buddha couldn't really eat them. "So, can you?" I asked. "Or, do they just sit on the plate and turn brown?" As we visited, I began wondering, "Would I eat one of those apples if she offered it to me?" I realized that the issue of "meat sacrificed to idols" was still pertinent. Then, I had the opportunity to visit with her about Jesus. "No, I do not sacrifice to Jesus. Jesus made the sacrifice for me by dying on the cross." As Ephesians 2:16 explains, Jesus did it all. He reconciled us to God through the cross. The Vietnamese lady will continue to offer food to the non living Buddha. We, on the other hand, offer ourselves to the living God to whom we are reconciled. Aren't you grateful?  

Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus Christ who reconciled us to You through the cross. Jesus, we love You and praise You!



"We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,"

Ephesians 2:10

"I am God's workmanship." Say it to yourself. Be humbled by it. But He not only created us as human beings; He recreated us in Christ Jesus. In other words, He made us anew. The word "created" in verse 10 means "to form, shape, to completely change or transform."* That means we have a new start in Christ Jesus. And with our new start, come new works - good works. Maybe we look at our past and think of the times we've blown it. But our past is just that - past. After we've repented of our "bad works," God calls us to today and to the good works for which He created us. I'm walking as His workmanship today. So are you.

Heavenly Father, what a delight to start over every day and to know that Your mercies and compassion are fresh every morning. Teach us how to walk as Your workmanship.




"We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

Ephesians 2:10

I'm sitting in Room 804 of a hotel in Ft Worth, Texas. As I look out the window, I wonder, "What does God want of me today?" Then, I realize I already have the answer. He wants me to walk in the good works He has prepared for me. What are those good works? I don't know the details yet. But, I know my walk must begin with a prayer, "Fill me with Your Spirit so that I walk by Your Spirit today." I know my walk will involve choosing to be selfless. It will involve turning from temptation. It will demand I purposefully yield my will to His leading. It is a moment by moment walk. And, at the end of the day, I will look back and see the good works that God prepared for me to walk in. I'll also see some mis-steps. No doubt, I'll have to confess mud puddles of sin into which I walked when I wasn't paying attention. But, it will be a walk on which Jesus is ever present; patiently whispering my name to guide me back on path. 

Heavenly Father, thank You for the good works You prepared in which I am to walk. Forgive me when I stray. Quicken me to be increasingly sensitive to Your promptings and the good works You've prepared for me to do.



"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."

Ephesians 2:8-9

Meriam Ibrahim.  Are you familiar with her?  She is a Sudanese woman who faced being lashed and hung because she is a Christian. After giving birth to her son while in prison in ankle chains; she, her newborn, and 2 year old child remained in prison while her Christian husband fought for her release. There was NOTHING she could do to save herself. She was in shackles. She was imprisoned. And, so are we until we turn our faces heavenward and cry out to Jesus. We cannot save ourselves. But we can be saved. Someone beyond the prison cell, someone higher than Meriam, knew of her inability to save herself and did the necessary work to save her and rescue her from the domain of darkness in which she was captive. Today, if God has saved you; praise Him for the gift of your salvation. Praise Jesus for doing the work of paying for the price of your sins in His body on the cross. Praise them for rescuing you from the domain of Satan's darkness. Praise them and say with deep hearted gratefulness, "I am saved."

Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus Christ, may a day not go by that I am not keenly aware of the blessing of being able to say, "I am saved."