Monday

"I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed -- I, and not  some foreign God among you.   You are my witnesses," declares the Lord, "that I am God."
--Isaiah 43:11-12
New International Version

THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...

1 Peter 2 reminds us that we are here as witnesses to "declare the praises of him who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light."  We have seen and experienced God's saving work.  We are recipients of his blessing.  We are the people who anticipate his mighty deliverance yet to come.  How can we remain silent?  How can we remain bitter, pessimistic, or discouraged?  The God who made the tomb empty and made the corpse our living Lord is our God and he is mighty to save.  He is our Savior!

MY PRAYER...

O Mighty God, I confess that I slip so easily into my day-to-day rut that I grow immune to the joy and excitement of your salvation.  Give me eyes to see and a voice to tell of your glorious deeds, your mighty works, and your answered promises.  I believe you are leading me to glory, so help me show and share that glory with those who do  not know you as God, Savior, and King.   Through Jesus I pray.  Amen.

Tuesday

It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere.  Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.
--Deuteronomy 13:4
New International Version

THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...

So many people want us to follow their lead and obey their voice.   But God has proved himself faithful and loving through the ages.  In his might he is to be revered.  But rather than seeing reverence as a "church thing,"  we are reminded by Moses it is a "life thing."  We are to obey and keep his commandments, and we are to serve him and depend upon him in our daily lives.  Rather than silence in the assembly, reverence is action to his glory!

MY PRAYER...

Holy and Righteous Father, help me take my worship outside the church building into my day to day life as I try to live what I sing, practice what I say, and pursue what I pray.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

Wednesday

Listen to advice and accept instruction and in the end you will be wise.  Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.
--Proverbs 19:20-21
New International Version

THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...

"Man proposes, heaven disposes."  Most of us rush to give advice and make grandiose plans.  The wise man reminds us that wisdom comes from submitting to instruction for a significant period of time and then, only at the end of long listening, does it come.  If you are like me, you would do much better to let your plans ripen a bit more in  the light of the Lord before you launch into them.  I am comforted that James, the wisdom writer of the New Testament, reminds us that God will give that wisdom if we seek it and not doubt.

MY PRAYER...

Almighty God, teach me your ways and help me discern your paths for my life.  I have so many plans and schemes, but I know if they are not from you, they will not stand.  Lead me to your wisdom and I pledge to you that I  will not only seek to know it, but also seek to live it.  Through Jesus I pray.
Amen.

Thursday

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
--Psalms 62:8
New International Version

THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...

It is so hard to share the secrets of our hearts with anyone.  We want to keep our secret failings, embarrassments, and sins hidden, fearing others would reject us and we would shame ourselves.  But hidden sin is only hidden from us, not from our Father.  Hidden sin festers in our hearts and drives a wedge between us and the God who would forgive us and empower us to triumph over it if only we would pour out our hearts to him, because he is our refuge.

MY PRAYER...

Loving Father and Holy God, today I want to confess to you several things on my heart.  Father, I am afraid for others to know that I have. Holy God, I have sinned and ask your forgiveness for. Eternal Lord, I get anxious about. You alone are my refuge and strength.  I trust these confessions with you and ask that you strengthen me by the power of your Holy Spirit not to fall into these same traps again and again.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.

Friday

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and  he will make your paths straight.
--Proverbs 3:5-6
New International Version

THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...

When things are tough, I find it easy to call on God and lean on his mercy and grace.  He's my ripcord Savior.  But I must confess, when I'm reveling in his blessings and things are going well, I am so much like the Israelites and forget to acknowledge that all the blessings I have and all the opportunities I have received come because of his grace.  In my joy and success, I need to learn to acknowledge him!

MY PRAYER...

Gracious Father, every good thing I have in my life has come because of you.  The family I have been blessed with, the protection I have received, the values that I hold, the successes I have enjoyed, the hope I have, the salvation I have received, and the future I anticipate are all mine because of your grace and not my goodness.  Thank you! Thank you! Through Jesus I thank you more!  Amen.

Saturday

"I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
--Jeremiah 29:11
New International Version

THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...

When Israel lay devastated in the face of a ruthless enemy that would rob all glory and strip bare the very soul of God's people, God issued his promise.  While the destruction visited upon them was in response to their rebellion and sin, God's punishment wasn't punitive alone, but redemptive.  In their destruction, God promised prosperity, hope, and a future.  Just as a doctor must cause pain when he sets a broken bone so it may heal, God's discipline is not capricious but curative and ultimately life-giving.

MY PRAYER...

In my struggles, O Lord, help me find your grace -- not in the relief of struggle and pain, but in redemption and change to your glory.   By your grace and through my Savior I say it. Amen.

Sunday

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing, and perfect will.
--Romans 12:2
New International Version

THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY'S VERSE...

Don't be molded by the world.  Wow, isn't that a tough one to obey?  It's a reminder that what we think is one of the places of greatest spiritual warfare.  Sloppy thinking is more than sloppy, it's dangerous because we are fed messages constantly that distort God's truth and holy values.  But rather than being incensed by the world acting like the world, let's be transformed by renewing our minds and doing what Paul said he did -- take every thought, every word, captive for Christ.  We often think a tithe is giving ten percent of our money, but an even more vital tithe is giving ten percent of our thought time totally to the things of God!

MY PRAYER...

O Lord, please guard my soul from pride, my heart from callousness, and my mind from too much focus on unimportant things and not enough on your things.  Teach me in my heart what it means to be about my Father's business, especially in the world of my thoughts!  Through Jesus, my greatest example of time spent with you. Amen.