Saturday, January 26, 2013

Psalm 128:5–6

"May the LORD continually bless you from Zion.
May you see Jerusalem prosper as long as you live.
May you live to enjoy your grandchildren.
May Israel have peace!"

Turn this into a prayer for blessing. "Lord, please continually bless me from your heavenly throne. May I see my family, my neighborhood, my state, and my country prosper as long as I live. Please help my spouse and me to live to see our grandchildren, and please give us and our country quietness and rest. Help me to do whatever I can to foster peace. Amen." Of course, you can pray this prayer for your loved ones and church as well.

1 Kings 8:41–42, 60

"'In the future, foreigners who do not belong to your people Israel will hear of you. They will come from distant lands because of your name, for they will hear of your great name and your strong hand and your powerful arm. … Then people all over the earth will know that the LORD alone is God and there is no other.'"

Even at this point in Israel's history, Solomon foresees that God has a big plan, not just for Israel but for the whole world. All the nations will fear God and know him as he truly is. This has been God's plan from the beginning, throughout Israel's history, and now through what he's doing in the church. The culmination will be all tribes and peoples worshiping the Lamb of God around the throne of heaven. This is God's passion. Is it yours?

Friday, January 25, 2013

1 Kings 8:58

"'May he give us the desire to do his will in everything and to obey all the commands, decrees, and regulations that he gave our ancestors.'"


Life with God is about having the heartfelt desire to please him. If you don't have this desire at the moment (or at any moment), you can pray for it. This might also apply to particular areas we struggle with, such as forgiving someone. We know we should, yet we don't really want to. First, pray for the desire to obey, to forgive, to serve, or to do whatever the Holy Spirit brings to mind. If we can't immediately obey, we can ask God to change our hearts first.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Acts 8:1, 4

"A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria. … But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went."


The disciples no doubt preferred to be together and enjoy fellowship in peace. However, God prodded them out of their comfort zones because he had some big plans to accomplish through them. God allowed the disciples to be persecuted for a time so that they would scatter and preach the gospel in places they probably wouldn't have traveled to otherwise. When life throws you curveballs, know that there is a purpose in it. And that purpose likely has something to do with communicating the Good News in some way!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Proverbs 28:1

"The wicked run away when no one is chasing them,
but the godly are as bold as lions."

Those who do not follow God, without anything other than themselves to depend on, often live fear-based lives. Who can blame them? It's probably a sign of sanity to be fearful when you don't trust God. In contrast, the godly are bold. They feel they can do anything; they are not afraid to try and fail at things. They do not fear unreal things. They do not run away from problems but boldly look for ways to solve them. These are two very distinct approaches, based on underlying beliefs and overall orientation toward God, with very different emotional outcomes