Kerusso® Daily Devotionals help you make more room for Jesus. Here you’ll find faith, hope, and joy — bite-sized moments of inspiration for busy believers. ABOUT THE KERUSSO DAILY DEVOTIONAL — Developed by Kerusso®, makers of Christian apparel, accessories, and gifts, the Kerusso Daily Devotional:…
Have you ever wondered what your place in this world is? Of course, you have. That's the human experience. Alone with our thoughts, we wonder who we even are, and what we are meant to do. It's a mysterious journey, but the fog lifts and the way becomes clear when we get to know King Jesus. Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." You were made for something! You were made to do things for your Lord. The truly beautiful thing is, God created a custom plan just for you. If you aren't a famous athlete like Tim Tebow, you can still share your faith in wonderful ways. Ways that are life-changing for those you encounter. Think of that verse again. God made you for a purpose! Created to have the mind of Christ in making this world a better place and making disciples for Him. And God prepared it all long, long ago. You are His child. That's who you are. Let's pray. Lord, when we begin to understand even a little bit of your love for us, it transforms us and renews our minds and hearts. Thank you so much for that! Amen.
At an address in Columbus Ohio in 1900, former slave Booker T. Washington kept the room spellbound. This man, who had built Tuskegee Institute to lift blacks out of economic bondage, was revered around the world. But he said something that surprised more than a few in the audience. He said that one of his main priorities for the Institute was hiring more Bible teachers! Washington, who had been forced to work in an evil system, once felt powerless. Yes, an American president legally freed the slaves. But Washington's faith in Christ was the real key in lifting him up. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Are you down and out right now? Are you chained to problems too big for you to overcome? Take Paul's letter to heart and realize that all things are possible for your future, through faith in Christ. He has perfect strength, all you'll ever need. Tell him that today. Let's pray. Lord, your perfect will is more than enough to help us escape a terrible past and future. Our future is what you have told us it will be. Thank you for that blessing. Amen.
If you're like most people, the more chaotic life gets, the more you need a solution broken down in easy-to-understand concepts. We've been discussing what happens when people move away from God, and the consequences that impact us. Isaiah 40:31 says, “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Besides the soothing beauty of the language, notice that God gives us several elements to meditate on, as we walk the road to peace. We are clearly told here to hope in the Lord. He will then strengthen us. After this comes the fun part! Close your eyes and see yourself floating on the winds of peace, high above the chaos and troubles below. Finally, we are told that our strengths in the Lord will not wear out. When God redeems, He does it completely — and with no strings attached! He loves you that much. Let's pray. Lord, you actually make it easy for us to leave the chains that confine us. We praise Your Name. Amen
Sandy was facing some really tough choices. Her daughter needed a life-saving treatment. The girl's father was out of the picture, and she faced this moment without support. Even the doctors didn't seem overly optimistic. So this embattled mom did what moms do. She prayed. She told God she didn't have the strength to see this thing through. No bright light appeared, and things didn't get better instantly or even the next day, but God healed her little girl. Philippians 4:13 says "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Sandy remembered what her own parents had taught her about faith. She remembered that the Apostle Paul, who suffered beatings and imprisonment for preaching the gospel, once said, "I know whom I have believed." Belief, that's the key. When your strength is gone, you go to your prayer closet and you pour out your grief to God. And you remember that God's Word tells us that all things are possible through Christ. Let's pray. Father God, life just hurts sometimes. We feel weak and lethargic, and on our own we'll never be enough. We praise you for being our strength, all the time. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Have you ever been in such a dark place that you wondered if God cares about you, or even exists? Maybe it's all some cosmic joke, right? We've all been there. Humans doubt. We doubt ourselves, we doubt product labels, we doubt our kids. We question everything. But the worst one is trying to figure out where God is in the middle of great difficulties. Sometimes the world is just flat-out mean, and it seems like it's an entity that's trying to break you in half. That is the very moment God's ancient and eternal words come to us. Isaiah 41:10 says, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Honestly, it doesn't get better than that! Jesus lives so that you will live forever. And in the interim, He will walk with you and carry you when necessary. He never fails and what's more, His willingness to never leave us has been proven over and over again, in a billion different ways. If you need Him right now, don't doubt Him. Call out to Him. Your circumstances might seem impossible and impossibly unique. Don't believe it. Believe Him instead. Let's pray. Lord, you promised you would never leave us. We know that's true, but help us with our faith in our weak moments. Amen.
It's almost universally believed that tech guru, Steve Jobs, floated into mega success with Apple, the company he co-founded with Steve Wozniak. Job's first go around with Apple didn't end well — in 1985, he was forced out. His next effort wasn't a home run either, yet Job puts his head down like a fullback and plowed ahead. Next up for him was founding Pixar and finally, more than a decade after his humiliating exit from Apple, Jobs returned there as CEO and revolutionized the way people interacted with computers. Writing about him after his death, Jason Demur said that, “Steve Jobs is lasting evidence that you should never count somebody out – even yourself.” In other words, even if someone pushes you back, you have to keep moving forward. Believe it or not a fellow tech icon, Bill Gates, also had to learn the hard way. His first venture with business partner Paul Allen was a complete failure, but Gates said many times in the years since that learning from failures leads to success, and Microsoft is proof of that. Christian Ministry leader, Jo Walls, has some interesting things to say to Christians who have perhaps grown too comfortable in their faith, and she addresses herself first. She says, “God's been talking to me lately about being too comfortable. He's challenging me in some ways that I'm not real thrilled about. He's pushing me to grow and in fact, He's telling me ‘cheer up buttercup – life can be a grind,' and that's when we need to push through.” Even though it can sometimes sting when someone tells us to chin up, it's ultimately for our good. And let's face it – most of us know it feels good to overcome something really difficult. Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” When your life is spent following Jesus, fear disappears in the light of God's reassuring love. He has a plan for you, and you don't have to walk in the shadows when God's got your back. Every moment of every day is brighter knowing our Heavenly Father watches over us. The unknown doesn't have to be cause for worry. It's an opportunity for God to work on your behalf. Hand the details over to Him and wait patiently and faithfully for His good plan to come to flourish. The joy of knowing we can always depend on God is a message worth sharing. Let's Pray. Lord, we need your strength every single day. We know that some things just don't come easy. Thank you for bringing us along the way you do. We pray and believe. It feels good to emerge from difficulty and realize that the strength you gave us pull us out of despair. In Jesus' name. Amen.
As we wrap up our series on precious jewels, it is kind of fun to spotlight one last gemstone. One that isn't immediately beautiful or desired. But it is the rarest! Discovered in east Asia by British mineralogist Arthur Pain, the so-called “Painite” gemstone can be found in several colors, and the various hues seen as light hits them give an uncommon view. Incredibly, only 25 such stones exist today, and the value per gram works out to $9,000! Despite the fact that many people have never heard of it, Painite is the rarest of rare jewels. For the longest time, only two had been found the world over. That kind of rarity stands out in a crowd. Proverbs 31:10 says, “She is far more precious than jewels.” Think of how rare and precious a true Proverbs 31 woman is. She is a woman remembered vividly, even with emotion, long after she goes to be with her Lord. Are you a mother beloved by your children? Do they think of you fondly? Does your husband honor you for your uncommon strength and love? Will friends seek you out when they can't turn to anyone else? If so, you are that rare gem. And you are loved indeed. Let's pray. Lord, help us be that rarest of jewels, one that points others to the light and majesty of Christ, forevermore. Amen.
In its natural state, the jaw-dropping gem known as emerald often resembles an ancient barrel-shaped decree from a king. It tells us things nothing else can. Today, the glittering green stone stops an onlooker. It takes our breath away. When set against a backdrop of shimmering gold, it is something that transfixes us. The calming color of an emerald actually gives the eyes a rest after working for a while. In fact, some think looking at emeralds relieves eye strain, a sparkling, homeopathic remedy for the overworked. Proverbs 31:10 says, “She is far more precious than jewels.” Among the most sought-after gemstones, an emerald speaks of a royal court. A monarch. One who is destined to lead people to greatness. Like humans, an emerald without blemish is very, very rare. Perfection is not common. So too is perfection in humans, since only Christ is perfect. His example is our ideal and goal, and He shapes us throughout our lives, refining us into rare and beautiful examples of His love. A Proverbs 31 woman has been set apart by the Lord Himself. He sets her in a throne of gold, so that those she comes in contact with will stop and listen to her. God asks the Proverbs 31 woman to wear her beauty well. Not for her own glory, but for the glory of the Lord. Let's pray. Lord, out of kindness and care for us you provided a glorious rainbow of color in your world. Thank you for such beauty, and for what it can mean to us. Amen.
We don't have direct evidence, of course. The Bible doesn't tell us this exactly… But tradition says that the Ten Commandments were carved from a solid slab of sapphire. It's a beautiful thought, isn't it? The rich blue of the sapphire gemstone reminds us of royalty, and the regal King Jesus. It fits! Proverbs 31:10 says, “She is far more precious than jewels.” When a woman admires a sapphire necklace, or turns her hand in order to catch the light on that beautiful blue sapphire ring, she is presenting a picture of what it means to be a Proverbs 31 woman. The ring of a ruler, one that loves all people and values them, the sapphire can be seen from a very long distance. There is no mistaking that this is a treasure that draws the best kind of admiration from everyone who comes in contact. If you want to stand out from the crowd in the best sense of the term, remind yourself that your King is the royal regent who has set you apart to be His ambassador here on Earth. See yourself the way He sees you: a precious and priceless gem. Let's pray. Lord, like the sapphire, we desire to stand out from the crowd for the right reasons: to point the way to King Jesus. Help us to shine for you! Amen.
Diamonds. The very word calls to mind something so beautiful and rare, people everywhere immediately form a sharp mental image. Who hasn't dreamed of handfuls of these sparkling, valuable gemstones running through their hands? Nothing speaks of high value more than a diamond solitaire. Such a piece of jewelry signals to the world that a couple considers their relationship to be both priceless and eternal. Proverbs 31:10 says, “She is far more precious than jewels.” Yes, this is it. A Proverbs 31 woman has literally been made by the Lord to be a clear, radiant light so that people can see Christ living in her. Honestly? What humans label as beauty often misses the mark. Light comes from within, not from the surface. A woman who knows her worth in Christ Jesus is that stunning girl turning heads, and engaging and inspiring hearts. Not only is a woman who is an ambassador for Christ lovely, she is also durable. She is not smashed by the cares of life. When life presses in on her, she turns to her Lord and emerges as a thing that cuts the enemy to pieces. She shines for all time. Let's pray. Lord, the beauty you create is not matched by human creativity. Thank you for the sparkling ‘diamonds' that come into and enrich our lives. Amen.
Everyone loves the beauty of nature's gems. The greens, blues, and reds of natural gemstones have set apart jewelry since the beginning of time. These precious jewels are relatively rare, and desired by people from all walks of life. None more than the ruby. The second hardest gemstone, rubies have always been striking for their deep reds that flash in the light. They have been used in the crowns of monarchs for centuries, and for the rings and necklaces we can find in jewelry stores today. Jewelers tell us the ruby is one of the most coveted stones. Four times rubies are mentioned in the Bible, and each time the reference is to beauty or wisdom. Proverbs 31:10 says, “She is far more precious than jewels.” A godly woman is one who stands out for her internal beauty and wisdom. She is admired for all the right reasons as she walks in the light, revealing the kind of attributes only God can craft and provide. In the famous “Proverbs 31” chapter of the Bible, we read a fairly detailed account of this wonderful woman. Many of us count them as mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters. How they bless us! Let's pray. Lord, the Proverbs 31 woman, like a fine ruby, is easy to spot. We value them for all the right reasons. Thank you for the blessing of knowing and appreciating women such as these. Amen.
If we're honest and open to the truth, miracles have always been a part of our world. In the beginning, God made a dazzling world full of diversity—beautiful animals, gorgeous sunsets, streams of water. He also made us to enjoy it all, and to keep it for Him. But just like the entrance of sin into our world, which marred the original beauty, we sometimes get weighed down with worry and cares of life. We look up one day and the drudgery of our days overwhelms us. The supernatural seems far away. And that's the very moment God will act. He has always been with us and one of his greatest promises is that He will be with us to the end, to the moment He ushers in an eternity too wonderful to fully know now. Revelation 22: 1–3 says, "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river, stood the tree of life, bearing 12 crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse." In the meantime, maybe you're really going through a challenge in your life. You need a miracle. Do you know that you can simply ask Jesus for this? He's answered too many people, too many times not to be real. And if we're honest, the presence and regularity of miracles today are staggering. They're everywhere. So, why not you? 1 Corinthians 1: 1–2 says, "To those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours, grace and peace to you from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." There's such peace in this. Put aside your doubts and your fears. Just ask Him to help you. And He can. He will. In fact, He will bless you so much, you won't be able to stay quiet about it. You have to tell people. You are a miracle. Let's pray. Father God, you rescue us all the time, in ways, big and small. Your faithfulness in helping us is worthy of our worship. Thank you for making miracles part of everyday life. In Jesus' name. Amen.
When Hurricane Katrina rolled through, the spinning white satellite image on TV screens actually looked evil. For residents of New Orleans, waiting for that hurricane that's exactly what it felt like. Thousands of people were affected by the brutal storm that poured in from the Gulf. In many ways, the city still hasn't recovered. But in the chaos, God was there. For more than 20 years, water pump operator Rufus Burkhalter and Bobby Brown had worked at pumping station number 6 along the 17th Street Canal. When they realized how bad it was going to be, the pair did an amazing thing. They stayed at their posts. They kept working even after the levees broke. One of the world's largest pumping stations was still being operated by two good men who risked their lives for others. When it was all said and done both lost their homes due to storm damage. The seawater and raging winds devastated their lives and yet they chose to help others. That kind of love for one's fellow man is rooted in the love of Christ. Psalm 93:4 says "Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea. The Lord on high is mighty." God is infinitely stronger than the storms in your life. He's there guiding you and he is there caring for you through it all, all the time. In the horrifying days of Katrina and through the aftermath many people displayed a reliance on the Lord who stood up to the evil that invaded their community. When we lean on God in every situation, especially during the storms in our lives it builds our faith and places us on solid ground. Let's pray. Father, Almighty One, nothing is scarier than the dark deep waters that overwhelm us sometimes. We know though that your word is our anchor established and true. We can rely on it every single time. Thank you for guiding, protecting, and loving us always, in all of your ways in Jesus' name. Amen.
In the Tom Hanks film “Castaway,” the main character, “Chuck,” finds himself in the ultimate terrifying situation. Chuck's plane goes down in the ocean, and he finds himself stranded on a very deserted island. Years pass. Chuck's family and friends long ago gave up on him, and why not? No one could have known he was sitting on a remote pile of sand in the Pacific Ocean. He learns to survive, but then reflects on the future. What happens if he gets sick? What happens if he's injured? Staying put isn't an option. **SPOILER ALERT** Next thing you know, he's pushing away from the island on a homemade raft. This risky adventure eventually puts him right in the path of a ship. When He went to be with His Father in heaven, Jesus left his disciples with a simple but big adventure idea: Go tell people about me. It won't be safe, and you might even be in danger, but life depends on it. Mark 16:15 says, “He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.'” Jesus called us to ride the ultimate wave. Let's pray. Lord, sometimes life intimidates us. But we have you as our lifeboat, and we thank you for not letting us drift away. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Hurricane Dorian caused a lot of anxiety and destruction. Many of us worried about the East coast of our own country, but the Bahamas were hit really hard, with the storm basically stationary for many hours. Residents there hunkered down and sought higher ground, wondering when the onslaught would end, and the storm would pass. The physical damage left by the lengthy storm was devastating. When the winds of life blow fiercely, rain pours down, and the water rises, it is tempting to give in to panic. In the midst of the storm, sometimes we let the noise and chaos of our present circumstances become louder than the voice of our Lord and Savior. The still small voice in our hearts may only be a whisper, but the power behind that presence outranks any circumstance of this life. Colossians 1:17 says, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Jesus was not only with the people of the Bahamas, He is with you in every storm you face. He isn't simply the fleeting ‘eye of the hurricane,' either. His presence and power and love for us is greater than any storm life can hit us with. Let's pray. Lord, thank you for being our steadfast shelter, our provider, and peace-giver in every situation. It's who you are. No storm can shake us when we build on a foundation of faith. Amen.
Have you ever gotten tired of treading water? Martha is a 20-something-old lifeguard in Los Angeles. Besides dealing with deck chairs purposely thrown into the water and parents asking her to babysit poolside, she's noticed another aspect of the job that really tugs at your heart. "Kids pretend to drown in the pool so that I will pay attention to them." Wow. Think about that. At a young age, humans need to be nurtured and cared for. They want to be loved. So a young lifeguard becomes their emotional lifeline. These kids were actually pretending to nearly die so that someone would pay attention. It's pretty sad, but not that different from the rest of us. Everyone wants to belong, and sometimes life is like a raging storm, and problems can flood the soul. In Matthew 14, we read the story of Jesus providing comfort to his disciples in a difficult situation. He had gone to pray on a mountain while they stayed behind in a boat on the Sea of Galilee. Normally, this is a very picturesque, calm lake, but this night, a storm came up. As the waves were about to capsize the boat, the men looked and saw a figure walking on the water. Peter cried out, and Jesus told him to get out of the boat and walk toward him. Peter, known for his passionate faith, got out. But as he took his eyes off Jesus and began looking at the storm around him, he sank. Jesus, though, grabbed his arm and pulled him up. "Why did you doubt?" He asked Peter. It's a valid question for anyone. Jesus has proven himself to us many times over. When you feel overwhelmed, remember to call out to him, and he will lift your burden. Let's pray. Father God, sometimes it feels like life is just pulling us under. We thank you so much that we have examples from scripture where you rescued drowning people. You're indeed our lifeguard. Help us keep this in our hearts and our minds daily so that we can be reminded of your blessed assurance and to call out your name, the one who provides for all of our needs. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Isn't it fascinating that a secular definition of the word blessed is “made holy; consecrated.” It seems the whole world really knows, even deep down, that blessings are from God. Psalm 107:1 says, "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." The psalm tells us several things at once. Meditate on each one. We are to give thanks. He is good. His love for us is eternal. That's quite a good God. Whatever our Creator blesses us with is holy. Unblemished. Our blessings come from a pure heart that wants what is good for us. This is really important to remember all the time, especially when life is difficult. If you are in that season, stop what you're doing—even for two minutes—and really think about all the ways you are blessed. If you are in financial difficulties, do you have enough to eat? If your health isn't the greatest, do you have medicine, and doctors to help? There are dozens of blessings staring us in the face every single day. Think about that. Let's pray. Lord, you shower us with blessings; help us to remember to give thanks to you, our Source. Thank you! In Jesus' name. Amen.
How would you feel, if you suddenly lost the gifts so many of us take for granted, such as vision, hearing, or the ability to walk? Fanny Crosby was struck blind at just 6 weeks of age, but God had a plan for her. She was raised by her mother and grandmother after her father's death when she was about 6 months old, and although she grew up poor, she was blessed to attend an excellent school for the blind in New York state, near where the family lived. Fanny enrolled at the New York Institution for the Blind in 1835, just before her 15th birthday. She was a student of the school for 11 years, eventually joining the faculty as a teacher for another 12 years. During her time at the school, she learned to play the piano, organ, harp, and guitar, and became a good soprano singer. After graduation, she joined a group of lobbyists in Washington, D.C. arguing for support of education for the blind. Fanny was the first woman to speak in the United States Senate when she read a poem on the Senate floor encouraging funding for state schools for the blind. Fanny befriended 17-year-old Grover Cleveland, future President of the United States, while she was a teacher, and in fact she knew each of the presidents who served during her lifetime through her work as a celebrated poet and songwriter. She later stated: “It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.” Let's pray. Lord, help us to set aside every distraction and focus on your plan for us. We often take for granted the gifts you've given us. Remind us to be grateful, and to use our gifts for your glory. Amen.
This may be hard to visualize as we're right in the middle of Summer, but during Christmas of 1944, American soldiers were dug in against the Germans. The dark, frozen Belgian forest added to the bleak atmosphere. Morale was low, ammo was low, and food supplies were low. But just when things looked the worst, General Patton's Third Army showed up almost out of nowhere. The men who fought in the Battle of the Bulge and survived remembered many things about that strangest of Christmas holidays. Mostly they remembered the first hot food they'd had in six weeks! The steaming coffee overflowed. The bounty and some rest prepared them to win that battle, and then win the war. Psalm 23:5 says, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” That's the way life often works. Your back is to the wall, and then God shows up. The reinforcements appear suddenly. The Holy Spirit lifts you up — mind, body, and soul. He feeds us with spiritual nourishment so that we can fight back against evil and prevail. If you're in a war, don't give up. God is coming. Let's pray. Lord, you are always with us and that is just one thing that makes you unique. We can't live without you. In you, we thrive. Amen.
In the spring of 2014 Daniel and Colleen Jaquith, American missionaries to the Philippines, were awakened suddenly by the sounds of gunfire and shouts. Before they could react a gunman appeared in their bedroom doorway, and he was holding a gun to the head of their pastor. Demanding money, the intruder was distracted when their pastor suggested he look in another part of the room for money. This gave the pastor just enough time to overpower him. This whole time, the Jaquiths were on their knees praying. Now, how many of us would've had the steadiness to do something like that instead of diving for cover? This couple, full of faith and trusting in the strength of the Lord, had the discipline to pray while their pastor struggled with the intruder. Incredibly, the intruder yelled at them to stop praying. The scene was surreal. And yet the spirit of the Lord was in the room that night. As the pastor began to overpower him, a wild shot hit Dan in the arm. This began another ordeal in the following hours, as they made their way by boat, a 16-hour trip, to a mainland hospital on Luzon. While relaxing back in the US, Dan recalled the lessons they learned in the aftermath. Here's what he said, "I share this testimony with deep gratefulness to be alive, and for the ability to give the Lord praise for His mighty deliverance during that desperate time of trouble.” His wife Colleen remembered what it was like helping her bleeding husband, aware that many more hours of praying were coming. Little more than six months later, they had returned home to Oregon for a visit, where they were able to enjoy seeing family and friends. Truly, they were so happy to be alive and thriving they forgot about the stress of their ordeal in the Philippines. In this amazing story, we're reminded in Luke 1:45 that God supernaturally takes away our stress when we believe in Him: “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her.” Let's pray. Lord, thank you for the path You've secured for us in a stressful world. Your kindness to us is almost too much to process, because You not only make a way for us to receive your promises, but You bless us too. You're a good God and if we just claim the promises you've already provided, we can experience abundant life, even in a chaotic world. In Jesus' name. Amen.
The area surrounding Ein Gedi, near the Dead Sea, is bleak. Desert scenes and HOT temps! It isn't a place you'd go just for fun. It really wasn't fun when David was hiding from King Saul. The guy who whipped a rock at Goliath's head was already a legend among the people. Saul couldn't stand that, and so he did what power-hungry leaders do: he decided to eliminate the competition. David hid from the King's henchmen for a long time, eventually settling south of Jerusalem, in a bleak place. Sitting there looking up at the stars in the night sky, he wrote some of the most famous words of all time, words that comfort us to this day. Psalm 23:5 says, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Ein Gedi is an oasis in the desert. Cool water flows from the cliffs into deep pools, and green plants hang from the rocks. It was here that David first understood just how far God's mercy and grace go. It was here he felt the presence of the Lord in a powerful way. He fed David there, in the wilderness, even as the King's men hunted him all around. God treats us the same way. He loves us through the terror, and provides for us in our own times of hardship. Let's pray. Lord, your mercies follow us everywhere. We thank you for your provision, all the time. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Honestly, sometimes as Christians, we think things are going to be easy. After all, when Jesus saves you, it doesn't get any better than that! The joy we feel is genuine, and lasting. But that doesn't mean we escape this world. Bad things can and do happen. This week we're talking about having enough grit to get to the glory. Romans 5:3–4 says, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Part of our Christian walk is developing a personal faith that lasts. As Paul tells us in Romans, leaning-in and learning to last is the key to it all. Listen, if you are walking through a really dark valley right now, you are not alone! Many, many people have and are going through exactly what you're going through now. If you bought into the idea that being a Christian means your life becomes easy, go ahead and let that one go. True faith requires us to look to the Lord when things go wrong. Stand up on your feet, Christian, and let Jesus steady you. Hold Fast! Let's pray. Lord, your strength sustains us. We love you for that, and so many more things. Amen.
Standing in the door of the plane, with a fierce wind whipping his whole body, Curtis wondered why he'd volunteered for the paratroopers. It was glamorous, they said. It'll make a man out of you, they said. Shutting his eyes, Curtis prayed the most honest prayer of his life. He stretched out his hands and took a step… Lamentations 3:25–26: "The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord." Rolling on the ground wrapped in silk, Curtis realized he had followed his instructions to the letter. With his landing, he graded out the highest of anyone in his company. That story is exactly how we are to interact with our Savior. When we let go, confident that Jesus has us, we have no more pressure on us. He is carrying us to safety. We land in the right place every time. Let's pray. Lord, we have so much gratitude for the countless ways you lead us through life. We love you. Amen.
Whenever we have to overcome an obstacle in our lives, we are thinking about a million different things. Our minds race. We might even be aware that our Creator is there to help. But have you ever considered that even when life gets tough, you can still have joy? Romans 12:12 says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Sheila Walsh has said that what got her through a bout of depression was the knowledge that God the Father loved her and wanted the best for her. Today, one of her missions in life is to help others recover their joy, by pointing them to the Lord. The truth is, this life sometimes beats us up, but those circumstances don't have to win. It isn't inevitable. It's when we learn to rejoice while clinging to hope that true joy comes. Let's pray. Lord, in our lowest moments, we cling to you and your promises. Thank you for that joy.
We all screw up. We all fail in some way. We fall short of goals, or get embarrassed in some kind of career implosion or other events. It's easy then to feel like we'll never win again. That is not how God sees you. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For 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.” Hope and a future. That's what's ahead, not depression and failure. The Bible is full of stories of people God would not allow to slip away. Peter denied Christ, and the Savior forgave him! Sarah mocked the idea that she would ever have a child, but God let her be a mother late in life! This is the world God created. Not one of misery and losing. Does it make sense that He would create you in very specific ways, uniquely gifted as you are, and then just give up on you? Don't let that be your story. Your part in it is refusing to believe the enemy when you hear that voice that tells you it's all over. God knows the plans He has for you! Remember that. Let's pray. Lord, thank you that you don't let us sink out of sight. Thank you for setting us on our feet, and helping us move forward. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Our world needs many things. We have environmental concerns, broken relationships, and disease that still stalks too many countries. It is also true that God doesn't leave us in despair. He doesn't allow our problems to overcome us, if we trust Him. Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” This is our anchor, the blessing of hope. This week we're talking about hope and joy, and these are given to us freely by our Loving Father. Do you have hope? Are you anchored in anything? If not, tell God that you need Him. You'll find that He not only comes to you in need, but He will use you afterward to spread hope and joy. It has been said that people can't live without hope, and that is so true. Let's pray. Lord, thank you for giving us hope. Help us spread that message wherever we go. Amen.
Have you ever thought about the fact that you have an obligation to defend our nation's freedoms? You live in the Land of the Free; your contributions are needed. We all have a role. Joshua 1:9 commands us, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Sure, maybe you're not a Navy SEAL. Maybe you don't fly supersonic jets in combat. You never served in the military. Most citizens haven't, and won't. But that doesn't mean we can sit on our hands and not participate. Your gift and contribution might be instilling values in your children. Or you might be in the medical field, helping keep folks healthy. Maybe you've been entrusted by the Lord to be a pastor, protecting your congregation from spiritual dangers. Many things have joined forces to make America a place millions want to come, to improve their lives. It takes a lot of effort and many moving parts. Many of our ancestors moved through New York Harbor and shielded their eyes from the sun so they could see the Statue of Liberty. Each of them made the choice to be a piece of a large quilt that makes up our nation. It is up to us to be courageous and continue the tradition. Our freedom depends on it. Let's pray. Lord, we acknowledge those who came before us. We take up our own responsibility to do our part. Amen.
Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to be one of the original settlers in America? As a person leaving the safety of England to come to the New World and start over? Those people came here for religious freedom and risked it all. And when they landed in New England, they literally put down roots as they built and planted the beginnings of an amazing experiment that is still ongoing. Colossians 2:6–7 says, "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." Our ancestors were definitely strengthened in their faith as they faced challenges and danger. But the payoff was worth it. Maybe you're going through something similar. You've moved to a new place. New job. New social circle. And you want to find a church! Just tell Jesus you need help with all these things and He'll be right by your side. Let's pray. Lord, forever you have walked with us and forever you will keep us close, making us strong in the faith. Thank you for your faithfulness to your mission. Amen.
From earliest times, God has commanded His people to see their national home through His holy eyes. In other words, countries around the world are to follow the Lord. Of course, many don't. Jeremiah 30:22 says, “So you will be my people, and I will be your God.” Many great civilizations have risen, but few last beyond a couple hundred years. Although history is debated, the foundations of America see a people who wanted to live holy unto the Lord. Modern America is still an ongoing experiment, but our Pledge of Allegiance, adopted in 1942, used the phrase “Under God.” Lincoln used it for the first time during his Gettysburg Address, when he told the people that from that point on, we would be one people, united under the Living God. This is something to celebrate, and we should! Our nation is always stretching to do better, and fulfill an ideal that is more than just some slogan. It is our calling to be this way. Under God. Let's pray. Lord, thank you that Christ has been proclaimed in freedom in our nation! Help us continue this sacred calling. Amen.
Today in America, two million men and women serve in our armed forces. More than 200,000 of them are deployed to various points around the world. Joshua 1:9 reminds us, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” The Lord has told us directly not to be afraid. We aren't even to be discouraged! He's told us through His promises that He'll be with us every step of the way. If we stop and think about the amazing history of this country, we can see that God has literally been with us every minute of every hour. He was at Yorktown. He dropped a last-minute winning strategy into Chamberlain's mind at Gettysburg. God went with our invasion forces in the Pacific and in Europe during World War 2, because people were enslaved and in need of rescue. He has been with us since the terrible moments of 9/11. Be strong and of good courage in the Land of the Free! Let's pray. Lord, your provision for us in all times and places is wonderful. Thank you for never leaving us. Amen.
Most countries relish their histories…famous eras and the glory of battle and all that. Americans love this beautiful land, as well. But the Bible tells us the true source of our blessings. It points us to the One who made all things possible. Psalm 115:1 tells us, “Not to us, LORD, not to us, but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” We are incredibly blessed in America for a lot of reasons. From sufficient food to freedom to make our own choices, we have so much. But do we always acknowledge the source of our blessings? Our forefathers did. George Washington's tomb at Mt. Vernon has Scripture etched into the stones. The Father of our country knew his heavenly Father! The Bible tells us that we should glory first in our great God. He is the one we owe our lives to. Every breath we take. We owe our Savior Jesus our eternal lives. It is to Him that all honor and glory belongs. As proud Americans, we stand on our faith. Of our almost limitless blessings, that is number one. To God be the glory! Let's pray. Lord, your mercies are available to us each day. As we get ready for a new day, help us to remember that You are our source. Amen.
A huge benefit of being a believer is the knowledge that we can help others after going through the valley ourselves. It's one thing to endure and overcome and find your joy, but it's maybe even better when you see a friend emerge into the light because you were there for them. Romans 12:12 says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” When you're in the middle of something difficult, it's hard to even think. Scripture tells us the way out, but it helps to have someone in your life who has been there, done that. Even having a friend gently remind you that it might take time to recover is a help. Being reminded to be faithful and consistent in prayer tips the balance. As we learn to rejoice in hope, attaining that abundant life Jesus talked about, let us remember others who are in trouble. Let's pray. Lord, you are always faithful. You never let us down. Thank you for the joy that comes from overcoming. Amen.
Some of the greatest stories of believers down through time have involved those who really studied God's Word. These people have gone before us to show us the way. From Charles Spurgeon to a missionary mother in China, daily study of the Word, and prayer, prepared them to mentor entire generations. Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” We also read in Romans 10 that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. We have to do it, so that others know how. Remember, there is no substitute for spending time in God's Word. In order to properly train an apprentice, you need to obviously be prepared and adept. Anything less leads to weak faith, or no faith at all. This is what the Great Commission, sharing the Gospel, has always been about. Duplicating disciples. Grounding your own faith in the Bible, then imparting that to others. That is the essence of true iron sharpening iron. Let's pray. Lord, keep us about your work by daily reminding us to spend time with you in Your Word. Amen.
Who likes to wait for what we need or want? Basically — nobody. Of those nine elements that make up the Fruit of the Spirit, patience may be the hardest. Romans 8:25 says, “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” And patience is learned, which makes it one of the sweetest fruits the Spirit gives us. Waiting for a payoff of some kind makes the end result that much more rewarding, and life teaches us that. A childless Hannah endured mocking and ridicule, but the Bible tells us in First Samuel that she prayed, and she waited. Imagine how she felt when the date of her delivery drew near. She eventually had several children, but it was her patience in waiting on Samuel that made all the difference. If you're waiting for something very important, read and meditate on the Fruits of the Spirit, especially patience. Let's pray. Lord, give us the patience of Hannah when we're frustrated by waiting, and teach us humility in the process in Jesus' name. Amen.
Tribes usually think a lot of themselves. Exclusive groups are sometimes arrogant. Even whole nations can be this way. In the 19th century, several European countries felt they were the descendants of the first people in the world. With religion, this can be infinitely worse. With Christianity, critics often say the exclusive nature of it is just unfair. They cite the Christian view that the only way to be reconciled to God is through Jesus Christ, and say that's degrading to people of other faiths, or those with no faith. Other worldviews claim to have truth and a few claim a superior view of the world, but none are quite like the Christian faith. Romans 3:23 says "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." All meaning all. That's the meaning of the verse, and this is offensive to a lot of people. Christianity though, doesn't force itself on anyone, at least not in the modern world. It's been said that the holy spirit is a gentleman, meaning he won't force a person to yield to God. Instead, God offers grace to all who want it. Paul made it clear in particular that in order to be born again, one must believe in Jesus Christ. Rather than see this as exclusive, maybe we should change our perspective just a little and see how inclusive it really is. Many religions claim truth, but not absolute truth. Along with that, many believe all religions lead to God, but the totality of scripture tells us clearly that it is in Jesus that we find the truth, and satisfy the longing in our souls. In John 8:31–32, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples and then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." So you see, far from being a hateful dominant view, the Christian faith shows people everywhere how to be free from sin. Not a work-spaced religion, but one that makes the very most of God's grace and that is true truth. Let's pray. Father God, your Word is truth. In it, we discover who we are and what our relationship with you can be. Thank you that you haven't left us in the dark about our world and the world beyond. In Jesus' name. Amen.
In all the world, there are almost countless ways people try to find God. Some people are drawn to the mystical, while others chase after the practical. Does it work? God knew we would all look to fill the void in our spirits, the one put there when man first sinned. He also already knew what our escape route would be, the path back to Him. Romans 10:9–10 says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” The so-called “Roman Road” is in reality a face-to-face with the Living God. Jesus Christ Himself is our aim, and our benefactor. He loved us so much that He offered Himself as a sacrifice for sin. It's very simple really. God accepted the sacrifice and raised His precious Son from the dead. Now it is there waiting for us to accept that great and priceless gift. Let's pray. Lord, we complicate things sometimes, but your salvation is a simple choice, and it is free. Blessed be your name forever and forever! Amen.
God's Word is a collection of individual books about the history of the world, poetry, worship songs, letters, and the beginnings of the Church. But it's also all about Jesus! Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Jesus, who came to our world as God in the flesh, is actually the Creator of everything that exists. Most amazing, He is alive today. He was crucified and laid in a tomb 2,000 years ago, but rose again and lives to be the King of our lives. As the Word, He is aware of literally everything, including our thoughts. He hears the cries of your heart. He knows when you are depressed. He knows your thoughts and how you feel about things. If He does all that, why not talk to Him today? Tell Jesus how you feel. His story isn't just words on a page. He is the Living Word. Let's pray. Lord, your mercy and grace for us are incredible! We are grateful that you sent Jesus to defeat evil and death. And it's in Jesus' name that we pray. Amen.
Did you know God's Word is indestructible? Many ancient books have been lost to history. Others sit still buried under the sands of the Middle East. But after thousands of years, the Bible is more widely read than ever. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” There's an interesting story in the Old Testament book of Jeremiah. We are told that the wicked king of Judah didn't like the Word given by God to the prophet, so he threw it in the fire! But God simply had Jeremiah do it again, and today we have the story recorded in our Bibles. Whenever men decide they want to get rid of the Bible, whether in Nazi Germany or today in countries where dictators hurt their own people, God's Word survives, and it finds its way into the hands of even more people. A God who can do that is the true God, and the only One worthy of worship! Let's pray. Lord, your Word is something that we can't get away from, even when we are rebellious. Thank you for preserving your Word so that we all have access to it. In Jesus' name. Amen.
The world is full of interesting ancient books. The Indian Vedas, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, even ancient clay tablets from Sumeria. In the Bible though, we read that God's Word is alive, not dead. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Notice that word, ‘active.' That's a very interesting way to describe a book. It sits on a shelf, or stares back at us from our phones. The writer of Hebrews says that the Word of God is for all people in all times and all places. And while we might not like the idea that it can see into our hearts and minds, it is part of God's plan for our benefit. It brings freedom and peace. Do you need either of those today? Freedom, and peace? Then try reading the Living Word! Let's pray. Lord, you made us and you know literally everything about us. Nothing is hidden from you, just as your Word tells us. Thank you for loving us, and for that ultimate intimate relationship you have provided. We love you. In Jesus' name. Amen.
People have different views on just what God's Word actually is. Some think it's an ancient book of wisdom. Others think it's just kind of an interesting piece of historical literature. But the Word itself tells us that it has amazing benefits for those who read it and believe it. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” It's not a dead book! Notice that the Bible is “alive and active.” That means that even though we might let it gather dust on a shelf, it doesn't gather dust in our hearts. God's Word tells us exactly who we are, and who God is. It establishes that relationship. And it's very important to remember that as you read it, you'll see that Jesus Christ is seen all through the Bible. The Word of God reveals the Word, which is what John chapter 1 calls Jesus. It's an amazing book within the Bible and is a good place to start to discover who Jesus is. He is the Living Word! Let's pray. Lord, you are good to us all the time. You don't leave us in our sin, but give us a way out, through Jesus Christ, the Living Word. It's in His name that we pray. Amen.
The Bible. Audaciously, it's been called the foundation of our civilization, a sacred book, even our guide for life. And actually, it's more than that. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” From ancient times, God decided that He would communicate with humans through language, the written Word. He wanted us to have our history and His instructions for living in a form that we couldn't forget or lose. In effect, the Bible is like a mirror we can hold up and look into. Do we see a reflection of Christ? Have we spent time with God today? Are we helping share the Gospel in our daily walk? The Word of God is eternal. We can hold it in our hands and read it and apply it to our lives. Do yourself a favor and read some of it today! We're doing some of that together right now, but go spend some time in the Word today. Let's pray. Lord, thank you for giving us your thoughts, and for helping us know you better through your Word. It's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Today, we have a special Father's Day episode for you. The week leading up to Father's Day is traditionally the time to give dads and granddads in your life an extra thumbs-up, and we've created a list of specific ways for you to pray for dads, any time. Number one, pray for a loving nature. John 13:34–35 says, “A new command I give you. Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. And by this, everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Number two, pray for wisdom. Philippians 1:9 says, “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment.” Number three, pray for patience. Ephesians 4:2 says, “Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another.” Number four, pray for perseverance. Romans 5:3–4 says, “We exalt in our tribulations knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance, and perseverance proven character, and proven character, hope.” Number five, pray for servant leadership. Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, rather in humility, value others above yourselves.” Six, pray for support. Ecclesiastes 4:9–10 says, “Two or better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow, but woe to him who is alone when he falls, and doesn't have anyone to lift him up. Number seven, pray for strength. Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like Eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint.” Number eight, pray for courage. First Corinthians 16:13 says, “Be on your guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be men of courage, be strong.” Number nine, pray for peace. Second Corinthians 1:2 says, “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Number ten, pray for rest. Exodus 33:14 says, “And he said, ‘My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.'” Let's pray. Heavenly Father, we ask you to bless every dad in the world. You've gifted these men with children, and have asked them to train those children in the way they should go. Prepare their hearts daily for this task, and bless them with the strength of character and sustaining faith they need, to be the father that you intend for them to be. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Noah was far from perfect, but he was a humble man, and protective of his family. He stands out among fathers in the Bible as a man who remained loyal to God, in spite of the wickedness of the world around him. Doesn't that sound a lot like life today? Fathers who choose to follow a life of faith are surrounded by temptation and downright evil in this world, but God is pleased by our devotion, and He has a plan for each of us — even when circumstances are frustrating or difficult. Genesis 6 verses 5–8 says, “The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, ‘I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.' But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” The Bible tells us Noah, father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, was a righteous man and walked faithfully with God. For this reason, God chose Noah to build an incredible boat – the ark – that would save not only mankind, but every variety of living creature on the earth — from peril. Sometimes fathers feel like their job is a thankless one. They tackle the honey-do list on weekends, help with dinner, keep the kids in line, and help to wrangle them at bedtime...and they don't hear “thank you,” or “great job,” often enough. But God knows everything you do for your family, from breadwinning to caretaking and everything in between, and He takes delight in your devotion to your family, and to Him. Deuteronomy 30:2–3 says, “And when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you.” Modern-day fathers can learn valuable lessons from Noah: God promises to bless and protect those who faithfully follow and obey him. A man who obeys the Lord will inspire faith in his children as well. Obedience is not a sprint but a marathon; It means a lifetime of faithful devotion, even (and especially!) when the going gets tough. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, Thank you for calling out Noah's faithful obedience to you so many years ago, and for providing for the safety and provision of his entire family when the world had gone astray. Bless every father who hears this message, Lord, that they might grow closer in their walk with you, and inspire their children to follow in their footsteps. Amen.
Moses was the father of two sons, Gershom and Eliezer, and he also served as a father figure to the entire Hebrew people as they escaped from slavery in Egypt. He loved his people, and helped discipline and provide for them on their 40-year journey to the Promised Land. Imagine leading a frustrated, tired, hungry group of travelers through the desert — without air conditioning or handheld electronics — for four decades! So many aspects of Moses's life story seem larger-than-life, and he was indeed a hero of his time — but he was also merely a man. Moses' perseverance in the face of incredible challenges over the course of his life shows today's fathers that overwhelming tasks can be achieved when we stay close to God. Exodus 16:11–12 says, “The Lord said to Moses, ‘I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.'” The Israelites were afraid they would starve in the barren desert after fleeing Egypt and complained to Moses that it would have been better if they had died by the Lord's hand in Egypt, where they had enough to eat than to wander the desert without provisions. Imagine how frustrated Moses must have been! The Lord had miraculously saved the Israelites from slavery, and now they worried God wouldn't provide what they needed to survive. Through God's faithful guidance, Moses was able to shepherd the Israelites through 40 years of wilderness living. They quarreled with Moses. They accused him of leading them to disaster and ruin. They complained frequently — even after they had seen God's promises fulfilled. Yet still, Moses carried on. He brought every concern to the Lord, and with God's blessing and guidance, he was able to keep going. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Moses teaches fathers that with God, all things are possible. God answers prayer and desires intimate fellowship with every believer. No one can follow God's laws perfectly. We all need a Savior. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, sometimes parenting is exhausting! Thank you for the blessing of children, and we ask you to bless dads with patience to spare and to make your presence known to tired dads in the trenches who need your wisdom, and your grace. Amen.
One of the things that mark a healthy society is the consistency between generations. In other words, adults who care about the future for their children will invest the time to make sure tomorrow is bright. God the Father is the ultimate parent, and we would do well to model His love for us. Luke 18:1 says, “One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.” Passing the torch, or training up the next generation, involves taking the time to do it properly. If you love your kids, you will make time for them. You won't take the easy way out and settle for schools or the culture at large to raise them. Teach them that we all experience tough times in this life, but sticking to God's plan for their lives is the key to winning. Living the abundant life Jesus taught about, and sharing His Good News is the ultimate win. But we don't get there by quitting when the going gets tough. Let's pray. Lord, you never leave us, and you never abandon the human community to evil. You are a great God, and we thank you for your commitment to us. Amen.
Adam, a first time father, looked down at his newborn son with love. Adam and his wife had made mistakes in the past and suffered greatly for it, but this child, their firstborn, was a chance to start fresh. The new family didn't have the support of friends or relatives, but they did their best, and figured it out as they went along. When the family was blessed with another son a few years later, they were so grateful to the Lord, and excited to watch their boys grow and play together. The family of four worked hard, loved God, and they were in it together. Sometimes, though, the sins of our past have a way of catching up with us. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and were banished from the Garden of Eden, they plunged the world into sin. They couldn't have known at the time just how far-reaching the consequences of this event would be for their family — that their son Cain would one day grow jealous of his brother Abel's favor in the eyes of the Lord, and commit the very first murder. Adam, the first man, and very first human father, has much to teach today's fathers about the consequences of our actions and the absolute necessity of obeying God. Micah 6:8 says, “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Lessons we can learn from Adam include: Obedience: God wants us to freely obey Him, to trust Him, and to submit to his love. A man who follows and obeys the Lord can be a child's first example of obedience. Integrity: Fathers with integrity know that nothing is hidden from God's sight. Even when no one is around, God sees our actions; men with integrity act accordingly. Responsibility: Godly fathers take responsibility for their own failures and shortcomings, rather than blaming others for their mistakes. The ability to accept responsibility is not a show of weakness, but a sign of strength. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, Adam, the first human father, had no blueprint for fatherhood. Thank you for the wisdom and knowledge we can glean from fathers before us in your Holy Word, the Bible. Uphold fathers, Lord, and open their eyes to your love, and your good plan for their family. Give them the support they need to follow you, and to humbly obey your commands. Amen.
Where are you headed, friend? Psalm 25:4 says, “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.” Whether you've lived in the same place your entire life, or you've been blessed to travel the world, each and every life is a journey. An opportunity to learn, grow, and impact others as we follow the path God has planned for us. Moses and the Israelites must have been expert travelers by the time they finally reached the Promised Land, and their journey was no pleasure trip. God sent 10 devastating plagues to the land of Egypt, causing Pharaoh to release the Israelites from bondage. And God's people were promised a land where milk and honey flowed—the Promised Land—also known as Canaan. So Moses and the Israelites traveled to the borders of Canaan. For 40 days, a group of 12 chosen men secretly scouted out the land. Ten of the men reported that the people were well-armed, and just way too strong to overcome. Despite God's promise of victory, the Israelites were afraid, and were certain they could not overcome the people of Canaan. They doubted God's promises. And in turn, he caused them to wander the desert for 40 years: one year for each of the 40 days they had explored the land. Because of this, no one over the age of 20 would step foot into the Promised Land, including Moses, and an entire adult generation lost out on the blessings God had planned for them—all because they allowed their fear to be greater than their faith in God's plan. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, how many times have you delivered us? Not because we're deserving, but because you love us. Help us to keep the faith and stay on your path for us, every step of the journey. Your goodness is beyond question, and we're grateful for your presence in our lives, and your boundless saving grace. In Jesus' name. Amen.
When God asks us to love our neighbor as ourselves, what exactly does He mean? In Luke 10 verses 25–37, Jesus shares the Parable of the Good Samaritan to illustrate what it means to love our neighbors the way Jesus loves us. “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,' he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'” The Lord asks us not to dole out kindness sparingly, but to generously pour love and compassion over the hurting people we meet...even complete strangers we encounter on the road of life. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and hands to help the broken and bruised people in our midst every day. There are lost and wounded souls in every corner of this world, and we ask for the courage to reach out to them with love. In Jesus' name. Amen.
As followers of Jesus we are meant to be witnesses, and Christ's majesty and power are meant to blanket our world. He is also intimately aware of you, and where you are in life. Isaiah 60:1 says, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.” When we trust Christ—when we believe the Gospel—we're called to get in the game. If you've been changed, and if you believe that—sitting on such good news doesn't make a whole lot of sense, does it? Are you guilty of failing to shine a light in a dark world? If you're a friend of God just as the Bible says Abraham was long ago, you are to invite others to live in his healing light. The glory of the Lord rises on you each morning. Put your feet on the floor, and share His glory with the people that you encounter. God is so good! Walk in His light and see what He'll do in countless lives! Let's pray. Lord, there are so many opportunities for us to share your love and your light with the world. God, give us opportunities to do that, and give us the energy to seize them. Amen.
The story of the Prodigal Son is one we can all relate to. The Bible tells the story of a brash young man who leaves his home after asking for his inheritance. His loving father complies and let's just say the son learns some valuable lessons on his travels. Eventually, he humbles himself and comes home; he needs his father and his family. It's really a story of Jesus and us. Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” We screw up sometimes. And maybe it's so bad that we can't possibly see a way back. That's when Jesus stretches out His arms and welcomes us home. He isn't as concerned with where we've been as He is where we end up. His perfect love and forgiveness are the only real healing for our self-inflicted wounds. If you think you've screwed up too much, put that out of your mind and simply tell Jesus you need Him. Let's pray. Lord, your willingness to welcome us back to fellowship is something to behold. We are grateful for your grace. Amen.
Have you ever been lost? For the directionally challenged among us, being lost is terrible. Imagine a time before Google Maps, before cell phones, and even before boxy little GPS devices for the car. Now imagine a time, way, way back — before every square inch of our world had been mapped. And those who journeyed far weren't sure what they'd encounter, or whether they'd even make it home again. Have you ever felt lost? That's when a life of faith makes a difference. When you're feeling like you don't belong. When you have doubts. When you need hope. Look for the signs of Jesus in your life: Love, hope, peace, and joy. God provides guidance and direction to the lost. Trust God to safely guide your footsteps, and believe that whatever you encounter, He'll be right there beside you. Faith is an open invitation to lose yourself entirely in God's plan for your life. So, yes. Get lost…in Jesus. Psalm 32:8 says, “The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.'” Letting God lead takes guts. Courage. Trust. It takes steadfast faith, persistent prayer, and no small measure of redirection when we falter. But it's worth it. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, all signs point to you, God. And we thank you for being the light that guides our way and the voice in the darkness that reassures us we're on the right path. God, we're sometimes stubborn and we're sure we know the way to go, but we rest in the assurance that your way is always the best way. Please make your presence known in our lives, and lead us on the path of righteousness in Jesus' name. Amen.