Monday

I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -- this is your spiritual act of worship.
--Romans 12:1
New International Version

THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...

Because God went first and sacrificed what is most precious to him to save us, he can ask us to surrender ourselves to him. Only one problem: The sacrifice wants to keep crawling off the altar. But, since we are that sacrifice, let's offer ourselves fully to God!

MY PRAYER...
 
Holy and Righteous Savior, I want to surrender my life, my body, and will to you. But I confess, there are little things (and maybe some big things), that I keep from ever placing on that altar. Things I don't want to give up. To the best of my ability, I pledge today to live for you in a way that leaves nothing outside your Lordship and control. I offer you me -- all that I have and am -- to be yours today. Through Jesus. Amen.
 
Tuesday
 
It is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.
--Ephesians 2:8-9
New International Version
 
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...
 
Don't you love gifts!  When they're truly given, with no strings attached, all we have to do is receive them. The
greatest gift we've ever received has nothing to do with our efforts.  It is a gift from God. We didn't earn it,
deserve it, or purchase it. God gave it through his sacrificial gift so our salvation would not be our boast, but
his kindness.
 
MY PRAYER...
 
Holy God, I can never thank you enough for sending Jesus and paying the debt for my sin. May I never presume on your grace or take the cost of your gift lightly.  At the same time, Father, I want to live confidently, knowing that my salvation is not dependent on my mistakes but upon your grace. Because of such a lavish gift, I pledge to live for you today in a way that reflects the joy I have at receiving such an awesome gift. Through Jesus, my Grace, I pray.  Amen.
 
Wednesday
 
Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
--1 Peter 5:8-9
New International Version
 
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...
 
Satan is real.  He and his power are intended to harm. But rather than spending our time worrying about him, let's resist him when we are tempted and focus on Jesus. He's the one who won the big showdown at Calvary, triumphing over Satan. He took Satan's greatest tool and disarmed it. Now we can resist and Satan will flee.
 
MY PRAYER...
 
Thank you, Almighty God, for sending Jesus to break Satan's stranglehold over us. Through the Savior's death you have assured me that mine won't be the end of our relationship, but the beginning of life with you. Today, however, I ask that you help me especially resist Satan's power over my life in the following ways...Through Jesus I pray.  Amen.

Thursday

Pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.
--Ephesians 1:18
New International Version

THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...

Heaven is something we see with our heart. When we are discouraged, doubtful, and depressed, we need  to have the eyes of our hearts "enlightened." The dawn needs to rise in ourdarkness, and then we will see  the dawn of hope and the riches of our inheritance. But when things look bad, the only way to remember  these things is to sing them, pray them, and read God's promises of them.

MY PRAYER...

O God, you are my Hope.  I trust in you and your promises. But I admit that at times, like even right now, I struggle with the confidence that you will act in response to my prayers and do what I've trusted you with my life to do. Please fill me with your Spirit, comfort my doubts, and kindle my passion so that I may serve you with boldness and share your grace with others. Through my Lord Jesus I pray. Amen.

Friday

You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
--1 Peter 2:9
New International Version

THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...

We've been picked to be on God's team, and we were picked first! We have an important role to play in the  unfolding of the world's history. We're here to declare God's praises to those who don't know him so they can find his marvelous light and leave their world of darkness.

MY PRAYER...

O Great Light of Eternal Hope, I praise you and thank you for including me in your people. Now move me and empower me to share your Gospel with others so the world might truly know that Jesus is Lord. Through him I pray. Amen.

Saturday

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God  has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
--Romans 13:1
New International Version

THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...

Yes, there are things we don't like about our government. But God has truly blessed us to enjoy the protection of the authorities. But we also live in the time of some of the greatest persecution ever known in the Christian era. So as we pray for our leaders and thank God for our freedoms, let's not forget the persecuted church all over the world.

MY PRAYER...

O Great Deliverer, God of the Exodus, as you have shown your power and deliverance in the past, we ask that you act today and bless every believer who is persecuted for your sake. Show them tenderness, healing, and protection on this day.  Through Jesus we ask it.  Amen.

Sunday

He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant - not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
--2 Corinthians 3:6
New International Version

THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...

A new covenant -- God willingly entered into a new agreement with us, his creatures, sealed it with the blood of his Son Jesus, and sent the Spirit to give us the power to live the life of this new covenant. God has made a covenant of love and grace with us. The Almighty has then turned around and made us worthy and competent to share that covenant with others. Now wonder it is life-giving: it brings life to us and through us!

MY PRAYER...

O holy and majestic God, thank you for your grace that has saved me from sin and has redeemed me from the law of sin and death. Thank you for sending the gift of your Son and the gift of your Spirit so that I can live with you in a covenant of life, grace, and love. While I confess my weaknesses, I also promise you that I will live to honor your sacrifice, love and covenant, trusting that you will ultimately empower me to be what you are calling me to be. In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.