Good News Daily – April 7

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(please note April 8 edition is below April 7 as I posted them out of order!)

Dear friend, 
Today I woke up with such a thankful heart. More and more, I find myself talking to my friends about how thankful to the Lord I am. For the Lord Himself, for forever with Him through faith in and a life devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ, and for His countless blessings right down to the very breath He gives me. I still am so prone to negativity, complaining, and self-pity, and I can find reasons in a heartbeat when I look at my life story and circumstances to go down that awful path, but I am making a conscious effort day by day to focus on the Lord, His Word, and on being thankful.

Speaking of thankful, I am thankful to have the opportunity to use the gifts He has given me to fulfill my life’s calling to help people find and forever follow Him. And I am thankful for every person He sends my way whom I pray is loved, helped, encouraged, and blessed in sharing with me the messages He places upon my heart.

Please enjoy today’s FOUR devotionals as you read my Good News Daily.

love & blessings,

lara

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A Wild Night with the Lord

Sometimes I wake in the night for no apparent reason. I don’t tend to sleep too well. Other times I wake in the night for a vital reason. The Lord wants to speak to my heart. I had a wild night with the Lord one time. He gave me this message. So wild. Hard. So very important.

“I woke you up for a reason,” the Holy Spirit told me. “You have many reasons to be upset given the challenges you face on a daily basis. But being upset does not bring me glory. It does not bring [me]praise. It does not bring me honor. It does not show me trust It is flesh that needs to be burned in the refining fire. I give you one word, and this word when you practice it will show me and others the praise I am due.”

Can you imagine what word the Lord gave me? Talk about convicting.

“REJOICE. This is all. Go back to sleep.”

What? Go back to sleep? After that? Being told to rejoice when I’m upset? Instead of being upset? Now wait a second. Lord? Lord!

“How do I deal with all the upset? With how unfair it seems sometimes? With how overwhelmed I get? With how much I think I need help?” I asked the Lord.

“REJOICE,” the Holy Spirit replied. “What more can I say? Die to your flesh. Choose to rejoice.”

“You are done hearing from me,” He finished.

Enough said. Message clear.

Oh, what a long, long way I have to go. I still get too easily upset. And so often I forget this message. But the Lord reminds me. To be thankful. And, yes, to rejoice.

Need this message? I know I do! And continual reminders!

Oh, Lord God, my beloved Father, thank you for your love, grace, and mercy. Thank you for being so kind to me when I fall so very far short each and every day. Thank you for being so patient with me as I learn to walk in your ways. Lord, we all need your love. We all need your mercy. We all need your blessed forgiveness. And I believe many of us need this message. Help us, dear Lord, to remember to rejoice. Not conditionally based on when everything is good and we feel wonderful. But please help us to rejoice on an ongoing basis. You, dear Jesus, dear Father, precious Lord, you are our reason for rejoicing. No matter our circumstances. And your blessings go on and on and on. When we stop to think, dear Lord, and to reflect on you and the Bible and our lives, oh, Father, there is so much, so very much in the way of reasons to rejoice. Help us to bring you praise, honor, and glory as we rejoice in you, dear Lord. In your name, AMEN!

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4:9
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What Are You Looking At?

If you think simply calling Jesus Christ Lord and calling yourself a Christian secures you a free ticket to heaven when your life on this earth is over, think again. Everlasting life with the Lord instead of forever in hell and the lake of fire is for those who acknowledge we are sinners, turn from our wickedness, believe Jesus died on the cross to pay our sin penalty and was raised from the dead, and TURN TO GOD AND HIS WAYS.

Truly believing in Christ as Lord means we genuinely follow Christ as Lord, and following Jesus involves a change in lifestyle. We no longer live according to the world’s ways. We devote our hearts and lives to Jesus and His ways. Included in this new way of life is leaving behind that which hurts the heart of God. Leaving behind sin. And repenting when God shows us we are wrong and choosing to do what is right in His eyes.

Speaking of eyes, the Lord cares about what we set before our eyes. Is there anything in your life you are watching that displeases God? Anything in books, magazines, television, movies, the Internet, walking down the street, on the beach, in private, in public, etc. in any way, shape, or form that goes against the Lord’s will? Maybe even how often and the way and the motive behind and your response regarding looking at yourself?

We can try all we want to convince ourselves what is wrong is right, but wrong is wrong and wrong must be forsaken for Christ’s sake.

If the Lord right now is tugging on your heartstrings and is pointing out to you something in your life you have been looking at that dishonors Him, do what is right, friend. Honor God and get rid of it. Ask Him for the strength to leave it behind, and reach out to His followers for love and support in so doing.

Oh Father, help us to see what in our lives displeases you including regarding what we do with our eyes. Temptations are endless, Lord, but you will give us the strength to say no. Lord, please work on the hearts of those reading this. Whether it’s pornography, ungodly television shows, movies filled with cursing and sexual immorality, absolutely anything at all that dishonors you concerning what we look at, help us to look away. Help us to look to you, oh Lord, and to be pleasing to you with our eyes and in all things. Give us strength, Lord, for we are weak. Demolish our pride, Jesus, for we must humble ourselves before you. Have mercy on us, Lord, and help us to desire to do what is right. Help us to live our lives in a manner pleasing to you, precious Father. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, AMEN!

“I will set nothing wicked before my eyes;…” Psalm 101:3

“Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”” 2 Timothy 2:19

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Real Meditation

The world is filled with various forms of meditation that dishonor the Lord in their ties to false religion, false teachers, and false gods, but there is one real, true, awesome meditation to which all human beings are called – the meditation brought to light in the Bible. We are to meditate on God almighty, on the Bible, and on His endless goodness and blessings.

The psalmist in Psalm 145 helps us see the two main aspects of meditation to which we should all aspire and devote ourselves. To meditating on the Lord Himself, and His majesty, splendor, glory, etc., and on His works, i.e. all He has done, is doing, and will do.

The Hebrew word that translates into “meditate” in the Bible per Strong’s concordance includes in its meaning to murmur, ponder, meditate, study, and speak. I am not an expert on the original languages of the Bible, but suffice it to say we should absolutely make it a regular practice in our lives to think about and talk about the Lord and His indescribably wonderful awesomeness and blessings!

Lord, I pray you would drive out of our hearts and lives every kind of meditation that is sin against you. That you would drive out every false god, false religion, false belief, false anything and everything. That you would drive wickedness out of our lives. That no matter how many people around us might practice meditation involving false religion, gods, and beliefs, that you would give us the desire, willingness, and strength to leave it all behind. Teach us to meditate day by day in a way that brings you pleasure, honor, praise, and glory. AMEN!

“I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty,
And on Your wondrous works.” Psalm 143:5
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Thankful for the Little Things

I was looking at the photograph I had taken of paralyzed streets ministry doggy Mr. Simeon hanging over the side of my motel bed with his pillows for the umpteenth time having fallen over the edge out of his reach – so Mommy (me) could retrieve them YET AGAIN. That is when this message came to me.

My life is nothing in the way of hard compared to so many people worldwide, but for me it’s been a pretty challenging one. Decades of challenges in fact. Relentless struggle. Even when things have “gone well”, I still struggle day by day with so very much. Details don’t matter. Suffice it to say I’m a struggler. I am also a very intense person who takes life and ministry very seriously. And I live in a world as you know that is filled with endless sorrows, trials, tragedies, tribulations, evil, etc.

The Lord has been working on me for some time now to be thankful, but I confess I for so long have thought of thanksgiving as being about the big things in life. When in fact God’s blessings are infinitely big – such as Himself – all the way down to unbelievably little. Like watching my paralyzed dog hang off the side of the motel bed waiting for me to give his pillows back to him so he can rest more comfortably on his big bed.

Friend, please remember to be thankful each and every day. To the Lord. For the Lord. And for all his blessings – of all sizes. Thank Him. And tell others of how thankful you are because it’s a wonderful testimony to the world when we tell others how glorious and good is our almighty God!

Dear Lord, my beloved Father, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Jesus forever Lord, please forgive me for every single time I have ever or will ever fall short of being thankful to you for who you are, what you have done, are doing, and will do. You are glorious! No words are enough to praise you with the praise you are due! No thankfulness would ever be sufficient to tell you how thankful I am – and how thankful we are. Nevertheless, I can only imagine it blesses you to see your children thankful. And to hear of their thanksgiving. So I pray in Jesus’ name you would remind us as often as we need reminders to express our thanksgiving to you and to tell the world how thankful to you we are.

Thank you for the biggest and the smallest of things, dear Lord. Thank you for it all. Most of all, my beloved God, thank you for you and that through Jesus I get to spend forever with you dear Father. Please help those reading this to remember day by day to be thankful. To express their thanksgiving, yes, and also to be in a state of thanksgiving. To feel thankful. To think thankful thoughts. Help us all, oh Lord, in all things, that we may bring you honor, glory, and joy, AMEN!

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!” Psalm 105:1

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