26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.
Ezekiel 36:26 (NLT)
A stony, stubborn heart one hardened by sin, and selfishness can be changed, renewed by the Lord. With His love, mercy, and grace He can open and soften a heart of stone. The Holy Spirit infuses us with love and leads us from a self-centered life into a God-centered life, and to a new heart that is compassionate, and tender.
Where do you need God to open your heart and to give you a new and more responsive heart?
Prayer: Our Heavenly Father, open our hearts to Your Word and ways. Thank you, for being tendered hearted to us, teach us to be tenderhearted to others. Take away our stony, stubborn, self-centered hearts and replace them with new hearts that are loving and caring. Like the sunflower blossoms are different but join together into a beautiful display, teach us to join together, displaying love and compassion for each other. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen
I thought you would enjoy this video of people from 50 countries affected by COVID-19 singing Amazing Grace.
78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.
LUKE 1:78-79 (NIV)
In Luke, Zachariah prophesied about his son John the Baptist and Jesus “The Rising Sun.” In different versions of the Bible, Jesus is called the “Sun of Righteousness,” “Heaven’s Dawn,” and “Dayspring from on High” all terms to describe the light that Jesus brings into the world. God, in His great and tender mercy, gives us Jesus. He is the light shining on those in darkness, a guide to our feet showing us which way to go, and illuminating our path to peace. Jesus leads us to spiritual peace here and eternal peace in Heaven.
When you are surrounded by confusion and unrest where do you go for peace? Jesus, “The Rising Sun,” is waiting for your call.
Prayer: Our tender and merciful Father, we thank you for the gift of light, Your Son, “The Rising Sun,” Jesus. He shines, light into our dark places, and leads us through the shadow of death, guiding our feet on the path of peace. Like the agave, and impatiens flowers highlight and brighten a pathway, teach us to brighten our surroundings by shining Your light, highlighting the path toward peace. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:21 (NIV)
The bible is full of quotes about loving one another. Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39). When it seems evil is winning, we often become frustrated, angry, and want revenge. May the Lord’s love and mercy give us strength during times of unrest. Lord open our hearts and help us to overcome evil with good. Teach us to work together to strive for the good of all mankind, to spread love, and overcome evil.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
To overcome evil we need to respond with love. Where can you be a good neighbor and spread love today?
Prayer: Our Heavenly Father, where there is hatred, let us spread love. Help us to love one another and overcome evil with good works. Let your light shine upon us and drive out the darkness. As the bright peony blossoms soften and enhance a concrete path, teach us to soften our hearts and follow your path by sharing Your love. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.
I kneel in worship facing your holy temple and say it again: “Thank you!” Thank you for your love, thank you for your faithfulness; Most holy is your name, most holy is your Word. The moment I called out, you stepped in; you made my life large with strength.
Psalm 138:2-3 (MSG)
2 I will bow down toward Your holy house. And I will give thanks to Your name for Your loving-kindness and Your truth. For You have honored Your Word because of what Your name is. As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.
Psalm 138:2-3 (NLV)
This a psalm of David radiates with praise and thanks. A reminder to thank God for His love and faithfulness. A prompt to praise God for His loving kindness, His words of hope, and His fulfillment of promises. Reaffirming that when we call out and pray for help, God will give us strength and encouragement. A call to worship and praise God, our strength, redeemer, and hope. Lord, we are in awe of your great works, and we give you our praise and thanks.
David was lavish in his praise for God. When you pray, do you joyfully thank the Lord for His compassion, faithfulness, and loving-kindness?
Prayer: Our Heavenly Father, we are in awe of your mercy and grace to us. We thank you for your loving-kindness and patience toward us. We praise Your Holy name for your forgiveness of our sins and Your unconditional love for us. As the pansies and spring flowers bring joy and hope after winter, let us with joy, praise, and thanksgiving celebrate the hope and strength You give us. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen
24 What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.
Psalm 104:24 (MSG)
We are sometimes so immersed in the problems of the day that we miss the natural wonder around us. God in His wisdom created all, He made earth overflow with diverse and wonderful creations. Even if you are sheltering at home, take time to look and enjoy nature outside your window. Take time to appreciate the small flower growing in a crack in the sidewalk, a bird filling our morning with a song, the sun shining through the clouds, the buzzing bee pollinating our crops and beautiful flowers, the joy of children singing, and the smile on the face of a neighbor walking by. Thank you Lord, for creating this wildly wonderful world, for us, to enjoy.
Will you take time to relax and enjoy God’s wildly wonderful world today?
Dear Lord, we thank You for making the earth overflow with wonderful creations. Open our eyes to the splendor and majesty that surrounds us. As the lovely bright and colorful flowers of the hibiscus grow upwards illuminated by the sun, help us to grow and be upright embracing Your Word, glowing with Your light, and sharing Your love. Our Father, we thank you for creating our wildly wonderful world and for Your loving care for us. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.
I think you will enjoy this video of second graders (a virtual choir) from Great Hearts Archway School singing “What a Wonderful World.”
20 Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us; 21 glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus for all generations, forever and always. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21 (CEB)
This scripture is a portion of Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians, a prayer to increase their faith in the power of the Lord. We achieve the power of God when we let the Holy Spirit work in us, giving us strength, and power to accomplish things beyond our comprehension. Glory to God is when we honor Him in our thoughts and actions when we strive to serve and bring joy to our heavenly Father. Paul closes by praying that all future generations will experience the power, glory, and hope found in Christ Jesus.
Are you limiting your expectations to what you perceive you can do or are you letting the power of God work through you?
Prayer: Our Heavenly Father, we praise and glorify your name. Strengthen us and guide us to accomplish things beyond our comprehension through Your power and strength. Like the fuchsia plant is clothed in open, bright, and bold flowers teach us to be open, shine brightly, and boldly rely on Your power God. In Christ Jesus’ holy name, we pray. Amen.
5Praise him with resounding cymbals; praise him with clashing cymbals. 6Let everything that breathes praise the LORD. Hallelujah!
Psalm 150:6 CEB
In the early spring mornings, my backyard is a natural symphony filled with birds in song. It is an uplifting start to my day. How so must the Lord feel when we awake to praise and worship Him. When we start the day with praise, adoration, and glory to God, it opens our hearts to our many blessings. No, we don’t need cymbals or even perfect songs, just love and adoration for Our Father, the Creator of earth. Hallelujah, praise the Lord! He is good!
How will you praise the Lord today, with prayer, song, glowing words, or with cymbals? Or perhaps all the above.
Prayer: Our holy, and loving Father, we thank you for your love, grace, and blessings. We adore You and praise You. You are our hope and our joy. As the bell-like campanula flowers seem to ring in a symphony of blooms, let our voices rise in a symphony of praise for You our threefold God. In Jesus’ holy name. Hallelujah! Amen.
8 “Blessed [anticipating God’s presence, spiritually mature] are the pure in heart [those with integrity, moral courage, and godly character], for they will see God.
Matthew 5:8 (AMP)
The heart is considered a symbol of love, but often the heart values may be corrupt. Jesus said that about the Pharisees, they projected outward purity, but their hearts and thoughts were not pure. To be pure in heart, we need to obey the Lord’s rules, to follow His will, and to live a life pleasing to God. Then we will see Him and be with Him in eternity.
Are you pure in heart, or is your heart focused instead on earthly material objects?
Prayer: Our Heavenly Father, forgive us for our hearts are often not pure, and our values and motives not godly. We ask you to help us to focus on living a life that is pleasing to You. Lord teach us to be pure in heart. Like the bleeding heart flowers open and expand as they bloom, teach us to open our hearts to You and expand in love toward one another. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen
For you bless the godly, O LORD; you surround them with your shield of love.
Psalm 5:12 (NLT)
To be considered godly, we need to be focused on God, to live a God-centered lifestyle, and to adore God. Godliness is something that we need to pursue, to work at. No special talent is needed for God supplies all we need. When we embrace a godly life, we go forward in security and peace, knowing God is with us. God blesses the godly surrounding them with His shield of love.
God’s shield of love is available to everyone. How could you be more focused on living a God-centered life?
Prayer: Our Heavenly Father, we thank you for your grace and forgiveness of us. Teach us to live a more godly life. Like the redbud tree blossoms are gathered together and glow reflecting sunlight, let us gather together in praise and glow with Your light. We thank you for blessing us and surrounding us with your shield of love. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
The Lord our God, is with us wherever we go. He is with us, He loves us, and He forgives our sins, we just have to ask. The Lord reminded Joshua to be strong and courageous, not to fear for God was with him. God is with us also. Our Heavenly Father is faithful to His promises. We need to be strong in the Spirit, to have faith, and to trust in the Lord. Faith enables us to feel secure to be strong for we know that we are not alone for God is with us always.
When you are dismayed, and trembling with fears, struggling to be strong, where do you turn for strength? God is patiently waiting to hear from you.
Prayer: Our Heavenly Father, we thank you for surrounding us with Your love, and for being with us always. Dear Lord, we know that we are weak, but you are strong. Like the impressive display of gathered flowers on the doublefile viburnum branch, teach us to display our faith and find our strength in You. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen