Monday
 
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."
New International Version
 
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...
 
I sometimes long for the pillar of fire at night and the cloud by day to guide me as I make my way through this world. But I am reminded of God's abiding presence in the Spirit and his promise to never forsake me. I believe that if I seek his glory he will get me where I need to be to do his will.
 
MY PRAYER...
 
Guide me, O Father, guide me to the places you want me to be, the ministries you want me to offer, and the people you want me to touch. Capture my heart to do your work and never let me lose sight of your coming glory. In Jesus name. Amen.
 
Tuesday
 
What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you -- guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
New International Version
 
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...
 
We live in a world of keys, locks, alarms, and security systems. Paul's words here, shouldn't come as a surprise to us. The things that are most valuable to us we protect. What is more precious to us than the truth of God's saving grace in the Gospel. Thankfully, God has pre-wired all of us with a security system to help protect that incredibly precious hope. This security system lives in us. It is the Holy Spirit.
 
MY PRAYER...
 
Help me, O God, to not compromise your truth to legalism or license. I want to live, and show others how to live, a holy life. I want to share with them your grace and mercy. But most of all Father, I want them to join with me in welcoming Jesus when he returns. Please empower me by your Spirit to see through falsehood and error and protect and live your truth. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
 
Wednesday
 
[Jesus said,] "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
New International Version
 
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...
 
Last words. The last words of a parent to a child leaving for college. The last words of a loved one at the bedside of someone dying. The last words of a friend before moving to a distant place. These last words are chosen with care because they leave a lasting impact. Jesus' last words are our marching orders. "Go make disciples of all peoples! To do this," he emphasized, "you must go where they are, baptize them, and then teach them to do what I taught you to do." Not hard to understand, so what are we doing about obeying those last commands?
 
MY PRAYER...
 
Father from whom all peoples derive their hope, use your Spirit to rouse within me a passion to share your grace with all peoples. Nudge me out of my safety zone and call me into your empowering and sacrificial grace so that I help others come to know you. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
 
Thursday
 
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."
New International Version
 
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...
 
At many Christian funerals, the preacher emphasizes how Jesus has left to make a place ready for us to join him in heaven. Then he is going to come back for us. But just a few verses later, Jesus adds this promise. He's telling us that until we can come be with him at his place, he will come live with us here in our hearts. It all hinges on one thing, our willingness to obey him. Not a bad deal, is it. So let's not let obedience be a forgotten word in our lifestyle!
 
MY PRAYER...
 
Holy God, I know Jesus came to earth and obeyed your will. Give me discernment that my obedience will not simply be the obedience of your words, but will also be the obedience of your will. I long to honor you because you have done so much to save me. Thank you. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
 
Friday
 
We proclaim him [Jesus], admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we present everyone perfect in Christ.
New International Version
 
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...
 
Our goal as Christians is not to obey some law, to adhere to some set of rules, or even be followers of some discipline. Our goal as Christians is to be conformed to the character and ministry of Jesus. This is the Spirit's work in us (2 Cor. 3:18) and as Paul makes clear here and in other places (Galatians 4:19) that this is his goal in working with others.
 
MY PRAYER...
 
Holy Lord, conform my heart, my words, my life, my ministry, and my actions to those of Jesus. I want him to be my Lord, not just in my words but also in my life. Through him I pray. Amen.
 
Saturday
 
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
New International Version
 
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...
 
We want the Spirit to be at work in us to make us like Jesus. For this to happen, we must open our heart to the will of God. There are no greater words God wants to hear than "teach me to do your will." That is what it means for him to be God, to have control over our life and our will.
 
MY PRAYER...
 
Almighty God, I want you to truly be God in my life. I renounce any attempt on my part to try to manipulate or use your grace and kindness for my benefit. I submit my will to yours. But Holy Father, I confess that I struggle at times with my own selfish and evil desires that lead me astray. Please forgive me when my heart is cold and my ears are deaf to your will. Please, take control of my life today. Through Jesus my Lord, I ask you to assert your will as God in my life. Amen.
 
Sunday
 
Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love, and in endurance.
New International Version
 
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...
 
Worthy of respect!  What a goal for our lives whether we are men or women!  Don't you want your life to reflect the character of God because our faith expresses itself in a life of self-control. This work of the Spirit in our lives happens only as we dedicate ourselves to being what he is at work trying to accomplish in us.
 
MY PRAYER...
 
Father, please strengthen me through your Spirit so that I may gain better control of my passions, my speech, my example, and my habits. Help me put to death the things that would rob me of my spiritual passion and my influence for good to those who do not know Jesus. Through whom I pray. Amen.