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The Story of George McCluskey - Sunday August 28

‘...Pour out your heart… for… your… children...’ Lamentations 2:19 NKJV

When George McCluskey started a family, he decided to invest one hour every day in prayer because he wanted his children to follow Christ. Then he expanded his prayers to include his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Every day between 11am and noon he prayed for the next three generations. As the years went by his two daughters committed their lives to Christ and married men who went into the ministry.

These two couples produced four girls and one boy. Each of the girls married a minister and the boy became a pastor. The first two children born to this generation were both boys. After leaving secondary school, the two cousins chose the same college and became roommates. During their second  year one boy decided to go into the ministry. The other didn’t. He undoubtedly felt lots of pressure to continue the family legacy, but he chose instead to go his own way and pursue his interest in psychology. He earned his doctorate and eventually wrote books for parents that became bestsellers. Eventually he started a radio programme that was heard around the world each day.

The man’s name? James Dobson. So now you know the story of George McCluskey! He was just an ordinary man, but his prayers had an extraordinary effect on much of the world. If you are a parent or a grandparent, the Word for you today is, ‘Arise, cry out in the night… pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your … children.’ 

You’ll Win! - Saturday August 27

‘To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me...’Psalm 3:4 NIV

Regardless of when or why you stumbled, God wants to pick you up and put you back on your feet. People who have never experienced failure usually don’t accomplish much. There’s a certain security in playing it safe. Nothing’s lost, but nothing’s won. They never get out of the boat and walk on the water. Wouldn’t it be better to almost drown and have to be saved, than never to experience God’s power working through you? Adversity is like yeast; when the heat is turned up, it rises. And the hotter it gets, the more it rises. The truth is that every opportunity God gives you will come with obstacles, and you’ll have to rise above them.

Look at the children of Israel in Egypt: ‘...the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew...’ (Exodus 1:12 NKJV). Often the bad times do more to strengthen your faith than the good ones. You say, ‘But I blew it!’ God says, ‘...My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness...’ (2 Corinthians 12:9). You say, ‘But the people I trusted let me down, and those I thought were for me were really against me.’ The Psalmist said, ‘Many are saying… “God will not deliver him.” But…To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me...’ (Psalm 3:2-4 NIV).

It’s hard to accept that some people don’t want you to succeed. But many people ‘saying’ it doesn’t make it so! The most secure place in the world is in the will of God. If you align your plan with His purpose, ultimately you’ll win, and there’s nothing they can do to stop you!

Looking Forward to Better Days - Friday August 26

‘I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord...’Psalm 27:13 NIV

When a player begins to score, the opposing team assigns their best players to block him. So the attack you’re experiencing right now could be an indication of your value to God. Paul wrote, ‘I’ve had to… struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I’ve been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. I’ve known drudgery and hard labour, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather. And that’s not the half of it, when you throw in the daily pressures and anxieties of all the churches...’ (2 Corinthians 11:26-28 TM).

How did Paul handle these experiences? By ‘...Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead’ (Philippians 3:13 NLT). Now, Paul didn’t forget any of it; he could remember names, places, faces, and even record it. But here’s the difference: he refused to let what was done to him affect his outlook. That’s the attitude you need!

When your desire to go forward becomes greater than the memories of your past, you’ll begin to live again. ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish...’ (Proverbs 29:18). Until you have a vision of tomorrow, you’ll live in yesterday’s struggles. The very fact that God is putting desire back into your spirit means that better days are coming! So rise up and say with the Psalmist, ‘I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.’ 

Don’t Worry, You Will Have Enough! - Thursday August 25

‘My God shall supply all your need...’Philippians 4:19

Are you afraid you won’t have enough to meet your needs? Let’s read the story of the feeding of the 5,000 and observe three things about the disciples. First, they tried to escape the problem. They told Jesus, ‘Send them away, that they may go… and buy themselves bread’ (Mark 6:36 NKJV). But He said no. Jesus understood that you grow by dealing with problems, not avoiding them. Your faith increases only as you place a demand on it. Lazy, inactive faith will fail you in the hour of need, so you must feed on God’s Word and exercise your faith regularly.

Second,  the disciples thought what they had wasn’t enough: ‘There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?’ (John 6:9 NKJV). God will ask you to look at what you’ve got because even though it doesn’t look like much, when you factor Him in, it’ll be more than enough to meet the need. In the disciples’ hands it was just lunch for one, but in Christ’s hands it became dinner for 5,000. So put what you have into God’s hands and let Him work.

Third, only when the disciples obeyed His plan was their need met. When you ask God for a miracle He will often give you a plan with a set of instructions. At that point your obedience sets the timer, activates the plan and determines the results. With God, there’s no lack and no limit. When it was over, ‘...they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish’ (Mark 6:43 NKJV). Don’t worry, you will have enough!

Knowing Where You Stand with God - Wednesday August 24

‘But Christ gave himself… one sacrifice for all time.’ Hebrews 10:12 TLB

Notice how God dealt with sin in the Old Testament. The priest took a lamb, shed its blood and offered it on the altar. As the sacrificial smoke went up, the priest would sprinkle the ashes on the ground, then stand on them. At that moment the person’s sin was atoned for and their guilt removed. What a beautiful picture of your salvation! At Calvary, the fires of God’s wrath were fully expended on Christ. In that moment, He was both your High Priest and your sacrificial lamb. When He cried, ‘...”It is finished”...’ (John 19:30 NIV), your sins were paid for – from the cradle to the grave. And the minute you trust in Christ as your Saviour, your standing before God is altered; you are ‘...made righteous...’ (2 Corinthians 5:21).

In the early days of the American West one of the greatest fears the wagon train masters had was prairie fires. The hot sun could start them, and before you knew it you were engulfed in flames. But a wise wagon train master would immediately give the order to back up the horses and wagons on to the ground that had already been burned. Why? Because the fire could not come where the fire had already been!

Charles Wesley wrote, ‘Payment God will not twice demand; first at my bleeding surety’s hand, and then again at mine.’ Jesus ‘took the heat’ for every one of us. ‘He… bore our sins in his body on the tree...’ (1 Peter 2:24 NIV). So today, if the devil is beating you up because of your faults and failures, tell him, ‘I may not be perfect, but I’m redeemed, loved and accepted by God!’