Friday, October 21, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
"The way of the LORD is a stronghold to those with integrity,
but it destroys the wicked.
The godly will never be disturbed,
but the wicked will be removed from the land."
In our world of moral grayness, it's easy to forget that there are really only two ways. There is "the way of the LORD"—i.e., Reality—and there is the way that attempts to go against Reality, which will always meet with failure. When you live according to Reality, life is definitely smoother. When you go against that grain, you will get splinters. Ultimately, there is no gray area. There is only God's way (life) and any other path (death). Remember this when you're tempted, and you'll never be disturbed.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
the people you have redeemed.
In your might, you guide them
to your sacred home.'"
Friday, October 14, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
"Then the LORD gave these instructions to Moses: 'Order the Israelites to turn back and camp by Pi-hahiroth between Migdol and the sea. Camp there along the shore, across from Baal-zephon. Then Pharaoh will think, "The Israelites are confused. They are trapped in the wilderness!" And once again I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will chase after you. I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole army. After this the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD!' So the Israelites camped there as they were told. …
The Egyptians chased after them with all the forces in Pharaoh's army—all his horses and chariots, his charioteers, and his troops. The Egyptians caught up with the people of Israel as they were camped beside the shore near Pi-hahiroth, across from Baal-zephon.
As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the LORD, and they said to Moses, 'Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren't there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? Didn't we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, "Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It's better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!'"
But Moses told the people, 'Don't be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.'"
God told the people, through Moses, that he would cause Pharaoh to chase after them and that this would be for God's glory. They camped where he told them, but they obviously didn't understand what God said because when they saw the Egyptians coming after them, they panicked. So Moses reiterated the promise that God would deliver them. They just had to stand and watch what God would do. How many times have you doubted his promises because you were looking at your circumstances? Stand still and watch God come through on his promise!
Monday, October 10, 2011
"The LORD went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire. This allowed them to travel by day or by night. And the LORD did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire from its place in front of the people."
God guided his people by day and by night. He led them by something that contrasted with their environment: a pillar of cloud by day, a pillar of fire by night. Do you need God's direction? His guidance may be something you won't see if you're looking at your environment. You need to look to God's Word and allow the Holy Spirit in you to point the way. Those are the two things he'll never remove.
Friday, October 7, 2011
"Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of Israel swear to do this. He said, 'God will certainly come to help you. When he does, you must take my bones with you from this place.'"
Here is a glimpse into the nature of faith. We see Joseph's faith that God would help his people. That's the kind of God Joseph had come to know. Joseph had made the "sons of Israel" swear to take his bones with them when that happened. His faith may have been a spiritual anchor during the years of the Israelites' slavery in Egypt. Joseph's faith carried what happened to him in the past into the future, until finally it was fulfilled in history. What anchors of faith keep you going?
Thursday, October 6, 2011
"The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, 'How did the fig tree wither so quickly?'
Then Jesus told them, 'I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don't doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, "May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea," and it will happen. You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.' "
Faith without doubts about what is possible can work miracles. Jesus had faith in his authority to make things happen. He has also given us great authority to rule this world if we do so while under his guidance. Our faith in Jesus' authority gives us access to it. We can expect changes in this world through our faith, which leads us to pray according to God's will. What do you need to believe and ask God for in prayer?
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
"Declare me innocent, O LORD,
for I have acted with integrity;
I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.
Put me on trial, LORD, and cross-examine me.
Test my motives and my heart.
For I am always aware of your unfailing love,
and I have lived according to your truth."
Trust and an awareness of God's unfailing love form the basis of right actions. They lead to integrity and a clear conscience. Remember that holiness starts in the heart; it's a result of knowing experientially who God is and what he's like. Don't try to be good; simply steep yourself in God's character. Knowing God should be the goal of any reading of the Bible. Knowing God is what transforms you.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
and he adds no sorrow with it."
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
"For the honor of your name, O LORD,
forgive my many, many sins.
Who are those who fear the LORD?
He will show them the path they should choose.
They will live in prosperity,
and their children will inherit the land.
The LORD is a friend to those who fear him.
He teaches them his covenant.
My eyes are always on the LORD,
for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies."
What a life we have when we walk with God! Forgiveness of sins, no matter how many or how bad, is ours. Continual guidance in the way of life. Prosperity. A future for our children. Friendship with God himself. Revelation of his covenant. Rescue from the traps of enemies. Praise God for all you possess in him!
Monday, September 26, 2011
"The LORD is good and does what is right;
he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
He leads the humble in doing right,
teaching them his way.
The LORD leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
all who keep his covenant and obey his demands. …
My eyes are always on the LORD,
for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies."
If you need guidance, remember these verses. You need only ask him humbly to guide and lead you. Remember that he wants to! Keep your eyes on God and obey what you are certain he is asking of you, and he will lead you to the next step. He will also rescue you from any traps set for you. You need not walk in fear. Look to God and walk, confident that he's guiding each step.
Friday, September 23, 2011
"'That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first. When those hired at five o'clock were paid, each received a full day's wage. When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day's wage. When they received their pay, they protested to the owner, "Those people worked only one hour, and yet you've paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat."
'He answered one of them, "Friend, I haven't been unfair! Didn't you agree to work all day for the usual wage? Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?"'"
We all know life is not fair. But grace isn't fair either! Grace gives more than is required or expected. The workers hired first were hired under particular conditions to which they agreed. The workers hired last were given grace. God's ways are not ours, not only because he is sometimes mysterious but because he gives so much more than we ever would. God's grace does not conform to our standards but to his love and authority.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Be sensible and keep your mouth shut."
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
"Show me the right path, O LORD;
point out the road for me to follow.
Lead me by your truth and teach me,
for you are the God who saves me.
All day long I put my hope in you."
Here's a prayer we can pray every day of our lives. Every day, every moment, we need God's direction. Every day, every moment, we need God's truth. We need him to save us from our own sin and the sins of others, from outside harm. Every day, every moment, we put our hope in him, for there is no other good place to put our hope.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
I trust in you, my God!
Do not let me be disgraced,
or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others."
Monday, September 19, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I'll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!'
The disciples were astounded. 'Then who in the world can be saved?' they asked.
Jesus looked at them intently and said, 'Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.'"
Trusting in riches instead of God is so natural to us that we can't break out of it without God's help. It is the default condition of the sinful human heart. Our hearts will trust either in our own abilities and results (wealth) or in God. Our focus will be on either heaven or earth, never both. That is why we must focus on God's good character before we can let go of the world's things and trust God.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
"This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: 'Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners'—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen."
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
slandering others makes you a fool."
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
"'But I will make Pharaoh's heart stubborn so I can multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. Even then Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you. So I will bring down my fist on Egypt. Then I will rescue my forces—my people, the Israelites—from the land of Egypt with great acts of judgment. When I raise my powerful hand and bring out the Israelites, the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.'"
God tells Moses that God himself will be the one behind Pharaoh's hardened heart. Why? So that he can reveal his power and ultimately cause everyone to realize who he is ("the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD"). God is always revealing his character. What he reveals of his character at any particular time aligns with his purposes and his relationship with humans. In this case, he is about to reveal his judgments, his power, and his ability and desire to rescue his special people.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
"Before Moses left Midian, the Lord said to him, 'Return to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you have died.'
So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey, and headed back to the land of Egypt. In his hand he carried the staff of God.
Friday, August 19, 2011
"So Moses went back home to Jethro, his father-in-law. 'Please let me return to my relatives in Egypt,' Moses said. 'I don't even know if they are still alive.'
'Go in peace,' Jethro replied.
Before Moses left Midian, the LORD said to him, 'Return to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you have died.'
So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey, and headed back to the land of Egypt. In his hand he carried the staff of God."
Moses' staff was an ordinary object, something he used every day as he tended his sheep. God took this ordinary thing and turned it into an extraordinary tool that would be instrumental in Moses' fulfilling God's plan for his people. What is your "staff"? What do you do or use every day that God can transform by his power into something extraordinary? It could be your home, an ability, an inheritance, even a vehicle. Ask God to show you your "staff" and how he can use it for his great purposes.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
"But Moses protested again, 'What if they won't believe me or listen to me? What if they say, "The Lord never appeared to you"?'
Then the LORD asked him, 'What is that in your hand?'
'A shepherd's staff,' Moses replied.
'Throw it down on the ground,' the LORD told him. So Moses threw down the staff, and it turned into a snake! Moses jumped back.
Then the LORD told him, 'Reach out and grab its tail.' So Moses reached out and grabbed it, and it turned back into a shepherd's staff in his hand."
Moses doubted his ability to carry out God's plan. He felt he lacked credibility with the people of Israel, whom he was to rescue. (He was right.) So God gave him his credibility booster. Note that Moses ran away from his staff-turned-snake. But when God called him back, he obeyed: he grabbed the tail of the thing he feared, and God protected him. Has God asked you to do something you're afraid of? Take your fear by the tail in faith that God is with you.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
but babbling fools fall flat on their faces.
People with integrity walk safely,
but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall."
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Friday, August 5, 2011
Thursday, August 4, 2011
"Soon Pharaoh's daughter came down to bathe in the river, and her attendants walked along the riverbank. When the princess saw the basket among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it for her. When the princess opened it, she saw the baby. The little boy was crying, and she felt sorry for him. 'This must be one of the Hebrew children,' she said.
"Then the baby's sister approached the princess. 'Should I go and find one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?' she asked.
"'Yes, do!' the princess replied. So the girl went and called the baby's mother.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
"Then Jesus called his disciples and told them, 'I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. I don't want to send them away hungry, or they will faint along the way.' The disciples replied, 'Where would we get enough food here in the wilderness for such a huge crowd?'
Jesus asked, 'How much bread do you have?'
They replied, 'Seven loaves, and a few small fish.'"
Jesus wanted to feed the crowd. The disciples couldn't see how that was possible. They believed that what they had was not nearly enough. They were looking at their circumstances, logic, and past experience (the food they had would never feed that many). Jesus asked them to entrust to him what little they had. Jesus blows away the criteria of circumstances, logic, and past experiences. He can do miracles with any small thing we are willing to give to him.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
"Then he asked them, 'But who do you say I am?'
Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.'
Sunday, July 24, 2011
How does one do that? What can motivate a single-minded love? How does that love manifest itself in our lives? These are questions that Batterson asked and sought to find answers for.
As one reads the book, it would be possible to state that Batterson was giving us a prescription for how to love God with all that is within us and with all that we are and have. In reality, I believe that Batterson seeks to provoke us to think about how we can love God and glorify Him in loving Him. In other words, this is not a twelve step book to loving God. This is a book that says, "Here is what I have learned about loving God, and how that changed my life. Perhaps it will be an encouragement to you to seek to break out of your ruts and chains and truly love God."
This book is a different sort of book. It is not written in a point, by point systematic theology style. It seems to meander its way through the issue of loving God and manifesting that love. At the same time, that is not necessarily a negative point. Batterson never truly leaves the subject, and the main theme is always before the reader.
Friday, July 22, 2011
May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm.
May he send you help from his sanctuary
and strengthen you from Jerusalem. …
May he grant your heart's desires
and make all your plans succeed.
May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory
and raise a victory banner in the name of our God.
May the LORD answer all your prayers."
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment."
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
"Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o'clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, 'It's a ghost!'
But Jesus spoke to them at once. 'Don't be afraid,' he said. 'Take courage. I am here!'
Then Peter called to him, 'Lord, if it's really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.'
'Yes, come,' Jesus said.
So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. 'Save me, Lord!' he shouted.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
"So Jacob set out for Egypt with all his possessions. And when he came to Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father, Isaac. During the night God spoke to him in a vision. 'Jacob! Jacob!' he called.
"'Here I am,' Jacob replied.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
she has carved its seven columns.
She has prepared a great banquet,
mixed the wines, and set the table.
She has sent her servants to invite everyone to come.
She calls out from the heights overlooking the city.
'Come in with me,' she urges the simple.
To those who lack good judgment, she says,
'Come, eat my food,
and drink the wine I have mixed.
Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live;
learn to use good judgment."
Monday, July 4, 2011
All the LORD's promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection."
Friday, July 1, 2011
watching for me daily at my gates,
waiting for me outside my home!
For whoever finds me finds life
and receives favor from the LORD.
But those who miss me injure themselves.
All who hate me love death.'"
Thursday, June 30, 2011
The LORD, my God, lights up my darkness.
In your strength I can crush an army;
with my God I can scale any wall."
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
he restored me because of my innocence.
For I have kept the ways of the LORD;
I have not turned from my God to follow evil.
I have followed all his regulations;
I have never abandoned his decrees.
I am blameless before God;
I have kept myself from sin."
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemies,
from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,
but the LORD supported me.
He led me to a place of safety;
he rescued me because he delights in me."
Monday, June 27, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
and don't be upset when he corrects you.
For the LORD corrects those he loves,
just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights."
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
you are my strength.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.
I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and he saved me from my enemies."
Monday, June 20, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
you will not understand.
When you see what I do,
you will not comprehend.
For the hearts of these people are hardened,
and their ears cannot hear,
and they have closed their eyes—
so their eyes cannot see,
and their ears cannot hear,
and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
and let me heal them."
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
They hear, but they don't really listen or understand.'"
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
and knowledge rather than pure gold.
For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies.
Nothing you desire can compare with it."
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
Everything I say is right,
for I speak the truth
and detest every kind of deception.
My advice is wholesome.
There is nothing devious or crooked in it.
My words are plain to anyone with understanding,
clear to those with knowledge."
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Hear as understanding raises her voice!
On the hilltop along the road,
she takes her stand at the crossroads.
By the gates at the entrance to the town,
on the road leading in, she cries aloud,
'I call to you, to all of you!
I raise my voice to all people.
You simple people, use good judgment.
You foolish people, show some understanding.'"