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Although I experienced God’s love when I accepted Christ at the age of 8, I did not fully experience His grace.  This was because of my focus upon my schoolwork to get acceptance from my family members.  I thought I had to earn God’s love.  I was away from God during my teenage years.  When I returned, this feeling that I had to earn God’s love continued in my twenties.  It was only when God taught me of His grace through studying His Word and experiencing His grace and love firsthand through prayer.  It was then that I was set free from the need to please others and God.  I could praise God for His unmerited grace.


“We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are” (Acts 4:33, NIV).



Grace is “the unmerited love and favor of God toward human beings” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary).  It is “unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary).  “There is stress on its freeness and universality, its spontaneous character, as in the case of God’s redemptive mercy, and the pleasure or joy He designs for the recipient” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words).


God’s grace is indeed unmerited.  God loves us unconditionally.  This does not mean that He will not correct us when we sin.  God loves us and desires close fellowship with us as we are forgiven by His unmerited grace and love.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24, NIV).

Read Romans 3:23-24. What have all people done?

What do we fall short of?

How are we justified?

Who did the redemption come by?

We have indeed fallen short of the glory of God.  Thank the Lord for His grace.  God redeems us by what Jesus did for us on the cross.

“And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace” (Romans 11:6, NIV).

Read Romans 11:6. What can it not be based on?

Why is this so?

Many times in our lives, we try to earn God’s favor by our works.  I know I did for many years.  I thought that if I were good enough then God would love and accept me.  It took me a while to learn about God’s unmerited favor and grace.  God loves us unconditionally.

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5, NIV).

Read Ephesians 2:4-5. What is God rich in?

What did He make us with Christ?

What did He do even when we were dead in?

How have we been saved?

God loves us so much.  He desires for us to come to Him.  God is rich in mercy and calls us to come to Him.  We have been saved by grace.


“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word” (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17, NIV).  God gives us hope through His grace and mercy.  We can thank God for His eternal encouragement and good hope.

How did you view God’s grace as a young Christian?

How has this changed?

Name a time when you cried out to God for His grace.

What Scripture spoke to you during this time?

How did God answer your cries for help and grace?

God’s grace is infinite and unconditional.  God will encourage and strengthen us when we come to Him.  God will indeed answer our pleas for His help and grace.


Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your grace.  Fill me with understanding by Your Word about Your infinite grace.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Nothing whatever pertaining to godliness and real holiness can be accomplished without grace.  Augustine of Hippo

I take the love of God and self-denial to be the sum of all saving grace and religion.  Richard Baxter

What God promises, we ourselves do not through choice or nature, but he himself does by grace.  Augustine of Hippo

God doesn’t just give us grace, He gives us Jesus, the Lord of grace.  Joni Eareckson Tada

No one is safe by his own strength, but he is safe by the grace and mercy of God.  Cyprian



I will never forget the lesson God showed me on His mercy.  During my teenage years, I shut God out of my life.  I thought I could do it on my own.  However, my independent spirit left me feeling empty.  At the age of 25, I reached out to God for help.  God met me right where I was at with these words, I have already forgiven you, My child, you must forgive yourself.  My initial reaction was thinking that I had nothing to be forgiven of.  I looked to the people who molested me as a child.  However, through the years following this encounter with God, these were the words I needed to hear.  I found it more difficult to forgive myself of my shortcomings than to forgive those who hurt me.  Each time I faced a new memory of how I rebelled against God, God reminded me of the words He spoke to me.  I found great comfort in His mercy and grace.


“But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God” (Nehemiah 9:31, NIV).




Mercy is “kindness in excess of what may be expected or demanded by fairness; forbearance and compassion” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary).  It is “lenient or compassionate treatment” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary).  “Mercy is an act of God, peace is the resulting experience in the heart of man.  Grace describes God’s attitude toward the lawbreaker and the rebel; mercy is His attitude toward those who are in distress” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words).



God is abounding in mercy to us as believers.  He is quick to forgive us when we repent.  We will indeed have His peace that passes all understanding when we are in a right relationship with God.


“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23, NIV).


Read Lamentations 3:22-23.  Why are we not consumed?


What never fails?


What are His compassions every morning?


What is God’s faithfulness?


God is faithful and merciful to us because of His unconditional love toward us.  God never fails in His compassion toward us.  They are indeed new every morning.

“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6, NIV).

Read Psalm 23:6. What two things will follow us?


How long will goodness and love follow us?


How long will we dwell in the house of the Lord?


God’s goodness and mercy and love will indeed follow us all the days of our lives.  We can find comfort both in this world and in going to heaven to come.  I find great comfort in this Scripture as I am facing stage 4 colon cancer.  I can praise God because I am in a win-win situation.

“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Proverbs 28:13, NIV).

Read Proverbs 28:13. Who does not prosper?


Who finds mercy?


When we try to hide our sins from God, we will pay the price.  However, when we come to God in repentance, we will find mercy.  We can praise God for always being there for us and for being quick to forgive us our sins.


“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16, NIV).

Read Hebrews 4:16. How is God’s throne described?


How are we to approach God’s throne of grace?


What will we receive?


What will we find help for?


We can find comfort that we can approach God’s throne of grace with confidence.  God is there for us and desires a close, intimate relationship with us.  We will indeed obtain mercy and find grace to help us in our trials.


“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8, NIV).  Our God is a merciful God.  We can praise His name for being there for us.  God extends mercy to us so that we can be merciful toward others.  “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36, NIV).


Name a time when you were struggling with a sin.


How did you feel?


How did you come to God in repentance?


How did you feel?


What Scripture spoke to you during this time?


How did you extend mercy toward others in praise of God who extended mercy to you?


God’s mercy is abounding.  When we repent of our sins, we will find immediate relief.  We can praise God for forgiving us our sins.  God will then bring people along our path to extend mercy to in the same way He was merciful toward us.


Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being merciful with me as I repent of my sins.  Help me to be merciful toward others.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.



Mercy is compassion in action.  Author unknown

Two works of mercy set a man free: forgive and you will be forgiven, and give and you will receive.  Augustine of Hippo.


Do you wish to receive mercy: Show mercy to your neighbor.  John Chrysostom

God’s mercy was not increased when Jesus came to earth, it was illustrated!  Illustrated in a way we can understand.  Eugenia Price


There’s a wideness in God’s mercy, like the wideness of the sea.  F.W. Faber




“God, help me!”  I cried out to God one day.  I was in my first semester of graduate school.  The fibromyalgia seemed unbearable at times.  This was one of these times.  As I cried out to God, I will never forget His response.  At first, tears of sorrow went down my face.  I realized the deep sorrow I felt toward losing my brother at the age of 12.  However, God was not through.  The muscle spasms in my leg began to relax until I no longer felt any pain.  I thanked God for answering my simple plea for help as He relieved me of the pain and spasms of fibromyalgia.


“Lord, I will wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God” (Psalm 38:15, NIV).



To pray is “to implore or beseech” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary).  It is “to address God…with adoration, confession, supplication, or thanksgiving” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary).  It is “a wanting, a need…then, an asking, entreaty, supplication” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words).


God desires to answer our prayers.  God is right there, waiting to meet our needs.  However, we must ask God in prayer for our needs.  If we do not ask, we will have not (James 4:2).  We can pray a prayer as simple as, “Help me!”  God is right there for us when we cry out to Him.

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24, NIV).

Read Mark 11:24. What must we do after we ask God in prayer for something?

What will happen as a result?

An important thing to remember in this verse that it must be according to God’s will.  If it is, then God will grant us our requests as we believe we have received it.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20, NIV).

Read Ephesians 3:20. What is God able to do?

What is this according to?

We serve a powerful God.  We can ask God for anything.  The closer we are to God, the more in line we are to His will.  When we are in line with God’s will, God will grant our prayers.

“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3, NIV).

Read James 4:3. What happened when these followers asked God for something?

Why was this so?

What did they desire to do with their requests?

We must ask God in prayer with pure motives.  When we ask with a wrong motive, we will not get what we ask.  God does this for our own good.  He knows what is best for us and the right timing to grant our requests.

“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (1 Peter 3:12, NIV).

Read 1 Peter 3:12. Who are the eyes of the Lord on?

How does God respond to the prayers of the righteous?

Who is God against?

God is attentive to the prayers of the righteous.  God desires to answer our heartfelt pleas for help and strength.  When we desire to live like Christ, God will hear and meet our prayers.


God is with us.  What a comforting statement!  God is right there for us when we cry out to Him.  God’s answer to our prayers may be yes, no, or not now.  It may not be the right timing but God hears the prayers of the righteous.

Name a time when you cried out to God in prayer.

What type of need did you have?

How did God respond to your prayer?

How did this strengthen your relationship with God?

God desires a close, intimate relationship with us.  We must come to Him in faith and believe that we have received what we ask for in prayer if it is according to His will.


Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for hearing my heartfelt pleas for help.  Thank You for being there for me when I ask you for something in prayer.  I pray that it is according to Your will.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Seven days without prayer makes one weak.  Author unknown

If Christians spent as much time praying as grumbling, they would soon have nothing to grumble about.  Author unknown

He who ceases to pray ceases to prosper.  William Gurney Benham

Prayer is weakness leaning on omnipotence.  W.S. Bowden

Keep praying in order to get a perfect understanding of God Himself.  Oswald Chambers


I had just been diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  The disease became so severe that I had to take time off from graduate school.  I felt lost and alone.  I knew I needed to take the time out to face the past pain of being sexually abused as a child and my brother’s suicide.  I had turned my back after my brother’s suicide.  However, at the age of 25, I knew I could not do this in my own strength.  I cried out to God for help for the first time in years.  God met me right where I was at and I felt God’s presence in the room.  It was both comforting and holy.  God did indeed help me face my past emotional pain little by little in the years to come.  I praised God as the one and only Holy God.


“Your ways, God, are holy.  What god is as great as our God?” (Psalm 77:13, NIV).



Holy is “spiritually perfect or pure; untainted by evil or sin; sinless” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary).  It is “exalted or complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary).  It is “sanctity…of God” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words). 


Our God is indeed a Holy God.  Many people will see God as their pal.  However, we must exalt God and lift His name on high.  When we do so, we will fear the Lord, which means to hold God up in awe and reverence for the Holy God that He is.

“Who among the gods is like you, Lord?  Who is like you – majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders” (Exodus 15:11, NIV).

Read Exodus 15:11. What question begins this verse?

What is God majestic in?

What is God awesome in?

What does God work?

God is indeed an awesome God.  God works wonders too high for our finite minds to comprehend.  The Lord desires that we praise His name as a Holy God.

“There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2:2, NIV).

Read 1 Samuel 2:2. What is no one holy like?

What is none like our God?

Our God is our solid rock on which we stand.  We may feel like we our sinking in the midst of trials and hardship but God is always there for us.  We can worship God and give thanks for God who does mighty things and changes us from the inside out.

“And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations.  Then they will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 38:23, NIV).

Read Ezekiel 38:23. What two things will God show?

Who will God show these two things to?

What will the nations then know?

God is great and holy.  God desires for us to hold Him up in awe and reverence.  God will make Himself known to us when we seek Him in the fear and reverence required for our Holy God.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship” (Romans 12:1, NIV).

Read Romans 12:1. In view of what did Paul urge his fellow believers?

What are we to offer our bodies as?

What two things will these be to God?

What type of worship will this be?

We worship and adore God alone.  We offer our bodies as a living sacrifice.  This will in turn be holy and pleasing to God.


“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3, NIV).  God is majestic in His holiness.  We should give all glory and praise to God.  When we fear God as a holy God, we will be filled with His wisdom as we ask Him.

Name a time when you felt alone.

How did you cry out to God?

How did God show His holiness to you?

What Scripture spoke to you during this time?

How did you praise God for the Holy God that He is?

“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name” (Psalm 103:1, NIV).  Praising God throughout the day lifts our spirits as we place God in first place in our everyday lives.  Our deepest inmost being can praise His holy name.


Dear Heavenly Father, I worship You and lift Your name on high as my Holy God.  I stand in awe of Your mighty presence.  I pray that You be with me throughout this day.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


A true love of God must begin with a delight in his holiness.  Jonathan Edwards

The pursuit of holiness is a joint venture between God and the Christian.  Jerry Bridges

The Bible as a whole speaks more of God’s holiness than of His love.  Walter Chantry

Holiness involves friendship with God.  Basil Hume

The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire.  A.W. Tozer


Although my home was filled with turmoil, I had a childlike trust in God after I was saved at the age of eight.  However, that trust was shattered when my 21-year-old brother committed suicide when I was 12.  I thought that it was God’s fault that He took my brother away and I became angry at Him.  This led to much stress during my teen years as I thought that I could do life on my own.  At the age of 25, I returned to the Lord and He filled me with His unconditional love.  I vowed at that time to never turn my back on God ever again.  God has shown Himself to be dependable through the bipolar episodes and, recently, the colon cancer diagnosis.  I thanked God for being a dependable God.


“My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge” (Psalm 62:7, NIV).



Dependable is “trustworthy; reliable” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary).  One is “capable of being depended upon” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary). 


At times, we may feel lost and alone in this world.  We may have been hurt by someone we thought we could rely on in good times and bad times.  However, we can hold tightly to the good news that we can depend upon God in good times and bad times.

“Were not the Cushites and Lybyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen?  Yet when you relied on the Lord, he delivered them into your hand” (2 Chronicles 16:8, NIV).

Read 2 Chronicles 16:8. Who were the two enemies here?

What did these enemies have great numbers of?

What happened when they relied upon the Lord?

God will deliver us from harm when we rely upon Him.  If we were hurt by someone as a child, it may be difficult to trust God.  However, God will be there for us as we trust in Him.

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16, NIV).

Read John 4:16. What do we rely upon?

How is God described in this passage?

Who lives in God?

God desires to love us.  We can rely upon Him.  God is dependable.  God is indeed love.  As we love others through the Holy Spirit, we can know the love of God more deeply.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, NIV).

Read Romans 8:28. What does God do in all things?

Who does He do this for?

How have we been called?

I clung to this verse as I struggled with the ups and downs of bipolar disorder.  I did not think anything good could come out of it.  I depended upon God’s strength to get me through each episode.  God did indeed bring it to good as I wrote about my experiences with bipolar to the glory of God.  We can depend upon God to carry us through each trial and bring good out of it as we depend upon Him.


“You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely” (Psalm 59:17, NIV).  We can sing praises to God as we depend upon Him throughout each day.  He desires for us to give Him our load of cares each day.

Name a time when you were hurt by someone.

Did you rely upon yourself to deal with the problem?

What was the result?

How did you draw near to God?

What Scripture spoke to you during this time?

How did God help you deal with the hurt and relieve you as you depended upon Him?

We can depend upon God in all things.  God desires to work all things together for good.  However, we must come to God and depend upon Him and His strength.  When we do, we will be relieved of the cares we try to carry on our own.


Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that I can depend upon You in good times and in bad times.  Every trial You will bring good out of if I rely upon Your strength instead of my own.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


He who trusts in himself is lost.  He who trusts in God can do all things.  Alphonsus Liguori

Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love and the future to God’s providence.  Augustine of Hippo

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trust Jesus, and you are saved.  Trust self, and you are lost.  C.H. Spurgeon

Trust in God, and do something.  Mary Lyon


I was confused and upset.  I had just found out that I had stage 4 colon cancer which had spread to my liver.  I had an appointment with the oncologist that afternoon to discuss my treatment of chemotherapy.  I had done some research and discovered that chemotherapy can sometimes trigger a manic episode.  That sparked anxiety within me.  I had been free from a manic episode for ten years with medication and did not want to have another one.  I prayed to God for His peace.  I then knew that my quality of life was more important to me than prolonged life with chemotherapy.  As my friend and I parked later that afternoon in the parking lot of the oncologist, we prayed.  The words strengthened me.  As I talked with the oncologist, he wanted a treatment regimen of chemo – colon surgery – chemo – liver surgery – more chemo!  As I told him that I did not want to be treated, I felt the Holy Spirit help me to speak boldly to the oncologist.  As I exited the office, I had a spring in my step as I felt a load lifted.


“This is what the Lord says – your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the Lord your GOd, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go’” (Isaiah 48:17, NIV).



Direct is “an authoritative order or command” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary).  It is “to show or point out the way for” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary).  It is “the Lord’s guidance of the feet of His people” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words).


Step is “any of a series of acts, processes” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary).  It is “a stage in a process” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary). 


In today’s world, it is easy for us to feel overwhelmed with a sense of being alone.  However, God is always with us.  He has promised to never leave us or forsake us.  We can cry out to Him for guidance and direction and He will never let us down.

“I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.  I keep my eyes always on the Lord.  With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (Psalm 16:7-8, NIV).

Read Psalm 16:7-8. What did David start out doing in these passages?

What did the Lord do?

What happened at night for David?

What did David always do?

What did David say would not be shaken?

We do not have to be shaken because God is for us.  He longs to direct our steps.  David praised the Lord for His counsel and direction.  When he went to God for answers, David was not shaken.

“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.  Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Psalm 25:4-5, NIV).

Read Psalm 25:4-5. What did David ask God to show him?

What did David desire for God to teach him?

What did David request to guide him?

Who was David’s hope in?

As I began my writing career, I read this Psalm aloud every day.  I so desired for God to guide me in His truth and teach me.  We can all come to God to guide and direct our steps.  When we do so, we will not feel overwhelmed but comforted in times of trouble.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV).

Read Proverbs 3:5-6. What are we to do with all our hearts?

What are we not to lean on?

Who are we to acknowledge?

What will God do in response?

God brought these verses to me often as I was convicted of my addiction to reasoning.  As a child, I tried to make sense of the trouble surrounding me.  It was a defense mechanism.  However, God desired for me to submit to Him and let go of my human reasoning.  When I did, I felt a load lifted.


“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps” (Proverbs 16:9, NIV).  It can be easy for us to plan our futures without seeking the Lord.  However, God desires to guide and establish our steps.  When we surrender to God’s plan, we will find relief and peace.

Name a time when you relied on your human understanding.

What was the result?

How did you cry out to God?

What was His guidance?

What Scripture spoke to you during this time?

How did you feel after you surrendered to God’s guidance?

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you” (Psalm 32:8, NIV).  God is our Instructor and Teacher.  Through the Holy Spirit, God will guide us in the way we should go through His Word and His still, small voice.  We can praise God for always being there to instruct us in the way we should go.


Dear Heavenly Father, I surrender my plans to You this day.  Guide and direct my steps and the will You have for me this day.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Where God guides, He provides.  Author unknown

And if any sudden call should occur, which we are not prepared meet, let us not apply to others, till we first seek Christ.  Author unknown

When we fail to wait prayerfully for God’s guidance and strength, we are saying with our actions if not our lips, that we do not need him.  Charles Hummel

Man proposes, God disposes.  Proverb

For what Jesus would do, and how he would do it, may always stand as the best guide to us.  C.H. Spurgeon


“Our God is an awesome God, He reigns from heaven above…”  When I first sang this song, tears and gratefulness filled my soul.  I was so thankful for God getting me through the hard time of working through my past pain.  However, nothing could compare to what happened just a few years later.  I had my first manic episode.  I was out of control and loving it.  However, when I recovered, I looked back on how God protected me from harm in His awesome strength.  This led to increasing fervor as I sang how God was my awesome God.


“For the Lord Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth” (Psalm 47:2, NIV).



Awesome is “wonderful; impressive; excellent” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary).  Awe is “an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary).  Awe is “reverence” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words). 


God indeed is a mighty and awesome God.  We must worship and adore Him.  We can praise God for all He is and all He has done in our lives.

“For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes” (Deuteronomy 10:17, NIV).

Read Deuteronomy 10:17. Who is the Lord our God?

What two words describe God in this verse?

What does God not show?

What does God not accept?

Our God is a great and mighty God.  He deserves first place in our hearts.  Obedience and prayer are key to a close relationship with Him after we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior.  God shows no partiality and knows each of us intricately.

“Say to God, ‘How awesome are your deeds!’  So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you…Come and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind!” (Psalm 66:3, 5, NIV).

Read Psalm 66: 3, 5.  What are we to say to God?

What is great in God?

What do His enemies do?

What are we to come and see?

How are His deeds described?

God’s deeds are indeed awesome.  We can stand in awe of how much God has done in our lives.  God’s mighty power will carry us through any trial that comes our way.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, NIV).

Read Romans 8:28. What does God do in all things?

Who does He do this for?

What have them been called to?

This is a comforting Scripture to many.  Our awesome God is with us to work all things out for our good.  I clung to this Scripture in the midst of my trials.  In the same way, we can find comfort and peace through meditating on this Scripture.


“You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.  Praise be to God!” (Psalm 68:35, NIV).  Our God is an awesome God.  He strengthens us in our times of need.  We can praise God and lift Him up for His mighty deeds that He does in our lives.

Name a trial in your life when you felt overwhelmed.

How did God strengthen you?

How did He bring you peace?

What Scripture spoke to you during this time?

How did God bring good out of the trial?

How did you praise God as your awesome God.

“Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit” (Psalm 147:5, NIV).  God understands us to the most intricate detail.  After all, God formed us in our mother’s womb.  God is there for us to strengthen us as our awesome God in our times of need.  We can then praise God for bringing us through the trial to the other side.


Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being an awesome God.  I stand in awe of You.  You are indeed worthy of all praise.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


He truly Is, because He is unchangeable.  Augustine of Hippo

God never built a Christian strong enough to carry today’s duties and tomorrow’s anxieties piled on top of them.  Theodore Ledyard Cuyler

God loves us the way we are, but too much to leave us that way.  Leighton Ford

He who knows about depth knows about God.  Paul Tillich

The God of the Christians is a God of love and consolation, a God who fills the soul and hearts of his own.  Blaise Pascal


Ever since I was 15, I struggled with what I called “staring spells.”  At first, the doctor thought it was epilepsy but the tests came back normal.  They told me that it was psychological because I had been sexually abused.  The doctors called them “pseudo seizures.”  Pseudo means false, so they were telling me that I was having false seizures.  I felt so alone and not validated by my suffering.  I cried out to God on numerous occasions but the doctors’ response was still the same.  I stopped going to neurologists because they ignored my suffering.  I suffered 15 long years. 

That was until I moved to Arizona.  The “spells” were getting worse and I decided to go to a neurologist once again.  As I was waiting for the doctor to call me, I prayed fervently like I had never done before.  When the neurologist called my name, I began gathering my stuff.  As I was doing so, a man went up to the neurologist and gave him a book.  I overheard him say that he had been in the Christian bookstore and felt God nudging him to purchase a Bible for him.  I was overwhelmed with gladness.  God had placed me in the hands of a Christian neurologist!  I felt peace and joy in my spirit. 

When I went into the appointment, the doctor wanted to start from scratch and run tests.  The tests showed I had scar tissue in my brain which was causing my seizures.  I finally had a diagnosis. A surgeon removed the scar tissue.  That was in 1999.  I went from having several seizures a month to having very few mild ones.  I praised God for answering my diligent prayer and placing me in the hands of a Christian neurologist.


“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:18, NIV).



Prayer is “an earnest request; entreaty; supplication” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary).  It is “an address as a petition to God…in word or thought” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary).  “Prayer is to be offered in the Name of the Lord Jesus…that is, the prayer must accord with His character, and must be presented in the same spirit of dependence and submission that marked Him” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words).


God desires to answer our prayers.  However, we must come to Him in faith, believing that He hears us.  God knows our desires before we ask.  However, God desires a close relationship with us through prayer.  When we ask, we must spend time in silence so that we can hear the answers from God.

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3, NIV).

Read Jeremiah 33:3. Who are we to call to?

What will God do in response?

What will God tell us?

When God answers our prayers, we stand amazed at the answers we receive.  The answers may not be what we asked for.  However, it may be much better.  We can then praise God for His answers which are perfect for the situations we are facing.

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.  Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” (Matthew 6:6-7, NIV).

Read Matthew 6:6-7. How are we to pray?

How is God described?

What does God see?

What will God do in response to our prayers done in secret?

Who should we not be like when we pray?

Why do the pagans believe they would be heard?

Religious leaders in Jesus’ day would babble on and on.  They thought the more words the better.  They also prayed out in public to receive recognition from the people.  However, Jesus shows us a better way.  When we spend time with God in secret, He will reward us openly.  This does not mean we cannot pray in public such as when we share grace before a meal.  It means that God desires an intimate relationship with us.


“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer” (Matthew 21:22, NIV).  This verse does not mean that we will receive whatever we ask God for in prayer.  We must pray that we receive the answer to the prayers we pray if it is God’s will.  It is then that God will answer our heartfelt pleas.

Name a trial in your life which was difficult to endure.

How did you cry out to God?

What was your prayer?

How did God answer your prayer?

God desires to answer our pleas.  However, He desires a close, intimate relationship with us first and foremost.  When we spend time speaking our prayers and listening to Him, the intimacy will be strengthened.  Diligent prayers are answered.


Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that You answer my heartfelt pleas if they are according to Your will.  I pray that You guide and direct my steps each day.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


The purpose of asking is that you may get to know God better.  Oswald Chambers

God denies a Christian nothing, but with a design to give him something better.  Richard Cecil

Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.  D.L. Moody

Prayer is taking our troubles to God.  Faith is leaving them there.  Author unknown

Prayer is the application of the heart to God, and the internal exercise of love.  Madame Guyon


Growing up as a child, I felt as if it was my own fault for the sexual abuse I endured.  I put myself down and felt shameful.  I will never forget the message God gave me when I returned to Him at the age of 25:  I have already forgiven you, My child, you must forgive yourself.  These were the exact words I needed to hear as I faced the abuse and emotional pain I endured as a child.  I found it easier to forgive those who hurt me than myself.  However, God’s words came back to me each time I faced a decision to forgive myself.  I thanked God for giving me the words I needed to hear so that I could be released from self-hatred and self-contempt.


“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matthew 6:14, NIV).



To forgive is “to give up resentment against or the desire to punish; stop being angry with; pardon” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary).  It is “to cease to feel resentment against an offender” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary).  It is “a dismissal, release” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words).


We are called to diligent forgiveness.  Sometimes it is difficult to forgive another person, especially if he or she deeply harmed us.  Like myself, it can also be difficult to forgive ourselves.  However, God does not ask us to do something that is impossible to do.  Forgiveness frees us from the burden of unforgiveness.

“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me?  Up to seven times?’  Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times but seventy-seven times’” (Matthew 18:21-22, NIV).

Read Matthew 18:21-22. Who came to Jesus?

What did Peter ask?

What was the response of Jesus?

Sometimes, we want to put a limit on the number of times we forgive another person.  We may become frustrated with the person.  However, Jesus calls us to forgive countlessly.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43-44, NIV).

Read Matthew 5:43-44. What did Jesus say in the beginning?

However, who does He say we must love?

Who are we to pray for?

Jesus turned the world upside-down in His life on earth.  What made since to the disciples Jesus challenged.  We are called to love our enemies and pray for them.  This will give us a peace that passes all understanding instead of the pain of unforgiveness.

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins” (Mark 11:25, NIV).

Read Mark 11:25. What must we do first before praying?

What will our Father in Heaven do for us?

It is difficult to pray when we hold unforgiveness in our hearts.  However, when we forgive others, we are set free.  God will then forgive us our sins.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8, NIV).

Read 1 Peter 4:8. What are we to do to each other?

What does love cover?

Love does indeed cover a multitude of sins.  Love leads us to forgiveness.  When we forgive others, we act in love.


“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32, NIV).  God forgave us our sins through Jesus dying on the cross for our sins.  We must be kind and compassionate to one another.  When we forgive others, we will be set free from the bondage of unforgiveness. 

Name a time when you found it difficult to forgive another person.

How did God convict you of your unforgiveness?

What Scripture spoke to you during this time?

How did you feel when you forgave the person?

How did that renew your fellowship with God and the other person?

We must be diligent in forgiveness.  Unforgiveness weight heavily upon our spirits.  However, that burden is lifted when we choose to forgive others.


Dear Heavenly Father, help me to forgive promptly.  Do not allow unforgiveness to remain in my spirit.  I choose to have fellowship with you this day.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Forgiveness is the key to happiness.  Author unknown

I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves.  C.S. Lewis

Forgiveness is all-powerful.  Forgiveness heals all ills.  Catherine Ponder

Forgiveness is not an occasional act:  it is an attitude.  Martin Luther King, Jr.

The more a man knows, the more he forgives.  Catherine the Great


I will never forget the lesson I learned on servanthood.  I had attended a Christian retreat where I experienced the joy of agape love.  I was overwhelmed with the love I experienced.  A year later, I was called upon to now serve at the same retreat.  As a “cookie,” I served the pilgrims by cooking and cleaning and keeping up the grounds.  I also had the privilege of showering the pilgrims with gifts as we sang songs of joy.  I commented to my friend after the retreat that I experienced more joy and satisfaction from serving rather than being served.  I thanked God for this experience of diligent servanthood which brought me great joy.


“Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling” (Psalm 2:11, NIV).



A servant is “a person employed to perform services…such as household duties, for another” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary).  It is “one who performs duties about the person” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary).  It is “servants of righteousness” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words).


In a “me first” society, it can be difficult to see servanthood in people.  However, Jesus did not come to be served but to serve.  In the same way, we must copy His example and serve others.

“The greatest among you will be your servant.  For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Matthew 23:11-12, NIV).

Read Matthew 23:11-12. Who will the greatest among you be?

What will happen to those who exalt themselves?

What will happen to those who humble themselves?

Jesus introduced an upside-down way of living which was against the way others lived.  We are called the greatest when we are a servant.  Pride interferes with a servant mentality.  However, God will humble those who have pride while exalting the humble.

“Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all’” (Mark 9:35, NIV).

Read Mark 9:35. Who is Jesus speaking to in this Scripture verse?

What must one who wants to be first?

Who will they serve?

The servant of all – Jesus makes it clear that society has it wrong.  When we follow Jesus’ example of servanthood, we will be blessed.  The first must indeed be the very last.

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21, NIV).

Read Ephesians 5:21. What must we do to one another?

Out of what for Christ is submission done?

Submission is defined as “the act of…yielding or surrendering” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary).  Out of reverence to Christ, we must yield to one another.  Submission leads to servanthood.  We will be blessed as we take on a servant’s attitude.

“Rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Philippians 2:7, NIV).

Read Philippians 2:7. Who does this verse describe?

What did Jesus make Himself?

What nature did Jesus take on?

What was He being made of?

Jesus came from Heaven to being made in human likeness.  Jesus took on a servant’s attitude.  We must copy the example of Jesus in the Scriptures.


As I was abused in my childhood, my level of trust diminished.  I looked out for myself in fear of being taken advantage of.  As I came back to God, He helped me to be a servant and serve others with gladness.

Name a time when you were called to be a servant.

How did this copy Jesus in the Scriptures?

What Scripture spoke to you during this time?

What reward came from serving others?

We will indeed be blessed when we serve others in humility.  The world calls us to look out for ourselves.  However, Jesus calls us to look out for others and serve them.


Dear Heavenly Father, remind me to keep a servant’s attitude as I go about my day today.  Open my eyes to opportunities to serve others and put a smile on their faces.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


The greatest reward for serving others is the satisfaction found in your own heart.  Author unknown

The head grows by taking in but the heart grows by giving out.  Author unknown

To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.  Donald A. Adams

In the time we have it is surely our duty to do all the good we can to all the people we can in all the ways we can.  William Barclay

Our lives will harmonize best with God’s will and the demands of the Law when they serve other people best.  John Calvin