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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Exodus 20:1-2, 15 And God spoke all these words, saying, "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. ... You shall not steal."

James 3:5-6 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.

How often is the tongue used thoughtlessly and carelessly to steal the Shalom of a community or to break the joy of a relationship? It burglarizes joy, peace, contentment, justice, and righteousness from among Your people. Teach me, Lord, to always make my tongue submissive to the oversight of the Holy Spirit.

Exodus 20:1-2,16

And God spoke all these words, saying, "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. ... "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."

How often do I duck an issue rather than speak Truth in love? I'm bearing "false witness" if I refuse through cowardice to bring the Word of God into the conversation on matters of morals and ethics. I contribute to the weakening of the Christian voice in the marketplace of ideas when I behave so cravenly. Is not this a form of denying my Lord before men? I need to be quaking in my boots for fear that He will deny me before the Father.

Psalm 119: 145-147 With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O LORD! I will keep your statutes. I call to you; save me, that I may observe your testimonies. I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.

Lord, I join with the writer in crying to You for help in applying my salvation to Your Kingdom. I thank You and praise You for the forgetting of my sins, that You remember them no more.

Now, lead me and teach me to observe all Your statutes and to carry the evidence of Your Grace through deed and word. You have carved out a sphere of influence that is uniquely mine to serve You in. Through Your power, manifest in the Holy Spirit, I am equipped for the task.

Psalm 119:150-152 They draw near who persecute me with evil purpose; they are far from Your law. But You are near, O LORD, and all Your commandments are true. Long have I known from Your testimonies that You have founded them forever.

Lord, there is great contentment in Your presence, a peace without equal and a joy of complete fulfillment. It comes from knowing You and knowing that Your commandments are the necessary and sufficient Truth. It comes from the presence of Your Holy Spirit within me as the seal on my acceptance into Your Kingdom and as my guide through life. It comes and I receive it with thanksgiving, praise and gratitude.

Praise You, my Lord and Savior.

Exodus 20:1-3 And God spoke all these words, saying, "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me."

Ephesians 5:15-17 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

How often, Lord God Almighty, does the unwise and unwholesome use of my time reflect that I have put some other god before You? The answer has to be, "Always!" How can I be obedient to Your directive to love You with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and then indulge in activities that bring dishonor to Your Name? And to take this a step farther, how can I be engaged in any activity that does not bring honor to Your name?

Psalm 88:1-5 A Song. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. To the choirmaster: according to Mahalath Leannoth. A Maskil of Heman the Ezrahite. O LORD, God of my salvation; I cry out day and night before You. Let my prayer come before You; incline Your ear to my cry! For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol. I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am a man who has no strength, like one set loose among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom You remember no more, for they are cut off from Your hand.

Lord, there is no strength in me, not of myself or of my own will and determination. I cannot restore my life, let alone the life of another. My soul is troubled by what I see in me and by what I fear for others. It is so difficult to remember and obey "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7)

Bring the Truth of this passage into my soul. Brand it on my heart. That it will be at the forefront of my mind and standing in the gate of my conscience.

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Exodus 34:21 "Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.

Lord, why do I always think I know better than You and that I don't need a day of rest and refreshment? Why cannot I learn that there is divine wisdom in Your words and Father knows best? Will I rest today? Will I revel in Your presence today? Will I set aside all the cares and worries of my work-a-day week? Will I obey? Lead me, Lord.

Psalm 89:19- 29 Of old You spoke in a vision to Your godly one, and said: "I have granted help to one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen from the people. I have found David, My servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him, so that My hand shall be established with him; My arm also shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not outwit him; the wicked shall not humble him. I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him. My faithfulness and My steadfast love shall be with him, and in My name shall his horn be exalted. I will set his hand on the sea and his right hand on the rivers. He shall cry to Me, 'You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.' And I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth. My steadfast love I will keep for him forever, and My covenant will stand firm for him. I will establish his offspring forever and his throne as the days of the heavens.

Your covenant, LORD, stands from generation, without flaw or blemish. You have covenanted that one of David's descendants would rule forever and His throne would be as the days of the heavens. You set your Son, the son of David and the Son of God at Your right hand and put all things under Him, to rule in justice and righteousness from everlasting to everlasting.

Psalm 119:169-172 Let my cry come before you, O LORD; give me understanding according to your Word! Let my plea come before you; deliver me according to your Word. My lips will pour forth praise, for you teach me your statutes. My tongue will sing of your word, for all your commandments are right.

You are faithful, Lord, you do hear my cry, give me understanding and deliver me. My pleas do come before you, you are the all hearing One.

Great is your faithfulness. Oh God, my Father. Morning by morning, no turning I see. Your Word does not fail me, it guides and sustains me. Always there, always complete, always true, it defines goodness, righteousness and holiness.

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of the Holy Spirit to lead me into all truth. Thank you that you are opening the eyes of my heart to see and practice the unseen, those things which are eternal and speak of You and your Glory.

Psalm 119:173-176 Let your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts. I long for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight. Let my soul live and praise you, and let your rules help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.

Your precepts, your law, your rules, your commandments, Your Word. I long to grow and live wholly within the national borders of your Kingdom. I was one of the lost sheep, now I am one of the Chosen Ones. Praise your Holy Name.

Psalm 119:25

My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word!

My soul clings to those old, filthy habits. Lord, why is it that I know that those ways of living are no longer necessary, that they are disobedient to Your word, that they are abhorrent to You and destructive to me? Why do I cling? Why will I not let go?

Will, Lord, my will versus Your will. The battle continues. Why is it that I cheer for You but secretly aid and abet the enemy? Lord, give me life; destroy my will, teach me to submit to Your will.

Exodus 20:1-2, 16

And God spoke all these words, saying, "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. ... "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."

Does the delightful old sport of gossip fall under this prohibition? Do I spread rumors and "slight exaggerations" about my friends and neighbors? Is it a way of elevating myself at someone else's expense? How often do I premise my tale with the warning "That you oughta know about ..."?

Forgive me, Lord, change my heart O, God, for I am a sinful man and do not love my neighbor as myself.

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