Monday
 
Be imitators of God as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:1-2
 New International Version
 
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...
 
 Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.  If we are to sincerely flatter God by being like him, imitation may be the most costly form of flattery as well.  You see, love for God is never something that occurs just in our minds or our hearts.  Love is something we do for another -- it is action. John said in 1 John 4 that we must love in both our deeds and our words.  Love means to give ourselves up -- what we want, our rights, our desires -- to honor God and serve others.  This is a kind of love that can change the world, or a marriage, or a family.
 
MY PRAYER...
 
Abba Father, I will never fully understand how you could love me so much that you would allow your son to die for me as my sacrifice.  Please help me love others sacrificially.  I know the power to do this is not within me, so please pour your love into my heart so that I may share that love with others. Through Jesus, my brother and my sacrifice, I pray.  Amen. 
 
Tuesday
 
Seek good, not evil, that you may live.  Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is.  Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts.
Amos 5:14-15
New International Version
 
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...
 
A whole bunch of folks claim that God is on their side.  In reality, that's not important at all.  The real question is whether we are on God's side!  That's determined more by what we seek and do rather than what we say and believe.  God longs to be with us, but he will not sacrifice his character to extend us cheap grace, a grace that does not call us to be like him.  He's looking for believers who put their character where their mouth is.
 
MY PRAYER...
 
Most Holy God.  Your righteousness and holiness are beyond me and my ability to attain.  Yet I long, dear Father, to be more like you in every way humanly possible.  Let me know of your presence with me as I seek  you and your character in my life.  Through Jesus the Righteous One I pray.  Amen.
 
Wednesday
 
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not corrupt and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-20
New International Version
 
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...
 
Where do you hide your heart?  What we most value is where we will find our heart.  So it is an important question.  You see, we can treasure riches, control, security, relationships, and even church.  Jesus comes to remind us that it is only by turning loose of the things that most of us keep as our treasures that we find what is truly treasure.
 
MY PRAYER...
 
Majestic Father, I pray that out of the riches of your grace, you may help me find my treasure in you and nothing else.  Today, I want to offer you all that I am and have to your glory.  Through Jesus my example and Savior I pray.  Amen.
 
Thursday
 
1 Peter 1:15-16
--1 Peter 1:15-16
New International Version
 
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...
 
"Holy" is one of those words we generally associate with the "stained glass ghetto" -- a word only "church folks" use.  That may be true, but it's still a great concept.  Every kid knows that you don't eat hot dogs and potato chips on china.       Mom's china is reserved for "special company" or "special occasions."  Hot dogs are for paper plates and every day, china is for special events.  When God is calling us to be holy, he's calling us to be china -- something special just for him, and as Peter emphasizes, just like him.
 
MY PRAYER...
 
Holy Lord, God Almighty, I come before you knowing how great the distance is between your holiness and my commonness.  I thank you for making me holy through the sacrifice of Jesus and by sending your Holy Spirit to live inside of me.  Please receive my life today as a holy offering to you.  Through Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith I pray.  Amen.
 
Friday
 
In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free.  The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?
Psalms 118:5-6
New International Version
 
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...
 
The beginning of the year has been a trying time for people I care about.  Maybe it's been that way for you or those you love.  My prayer for you, and for them, is that they may know the comfort of God's presence. Whether it's the popular little poem "Footprints" or the familiar "Yea though I walk through the shadow of death, thou art with me," the presence of the Lord is absolutely vital to standing up against our anguish! The Lord does long to be with us, especially at those moments when we feel most alone.  He told us that by experiencing it himself at the cross.
 
MY PRAYER...
 
I am thankful, O God, that you refused to be God from a safe distance.  Because you came and felt what it was like to be abandoned, forsaken, and alone, I know  I can trust that I will never be forsaken by you. Please give me a clearer sense of your presence with me in my life today, I pray through Jesus. Amen.
 
Saturday
 
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:26-29
New International Version
 
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...
 
One.  Basic, simple, and easy to understand.  When we become Christians through faith and baptism into Christ, we are made one with all other Christians around the world.  Race, gender, and social status are gone.  All that's left is One, the One, Jesus. Our lives are his and thus are connected to each other.
 Our destination is the same, heaven.  Our family is the church.  No barriers.  No closed doors.  We are one.
 
MY PRAYER...
 
Abba Father, thank you for adopting me into your family. May we be one earth now, as we will be when we are all together round your throne in heaven.  I pray for unity among all those who call upon your name and share your Spirit so the world may know there is a solution to conflict, strife and division. Through Jesus our Savior, I pray.  Amen.
 
Sunday
 
God has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.  We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 5:19-20
New International Version
 
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...
 
The price has been paid.  The ransom is provided.  God's judgment was averted, not because of anything we did to appease him, but by his own sacrifice of Jesus for our sins.  If God has gone to such great lengths to reconcile us to himself and adopt us into his family, how can we refuse?  We must not! Father God, we offer you our hearts!
 
MY PRAYER...
 
O Gracious God, I know my sin has broken your heart and offended your holiness.  Words, therefore, cannot communicate my thankfulness to you.  You were hurt by my sin and yet provided a sacrifice to redeem me from it and reconcile me to you.  I praise you for your grace, thank you for your love, and promise to share your mercy.  Through Jesus my sacrifice I pray.  Amen.