Monday, December 10, 2018

Pray

You can count on me to recognize and honor you for the rest of my life. I'm committed to maintaining a lifelong conversation with you by constantly turning to you. ~ Psalm 63:4 (ABP)

First of all, I ask you to pray for everyone. Ask God to help and bless them all, and tell God how thankful you are for each of them. ~ 1 Timothy 2:1 (CEV)

KEY IDEA:
Keep in conversation with God.
PRAYER:
Lord, I'm thankful that you talk with me - -  and that you want to talk with me. I'm not always so good at keeping up a conversation. My mind drifts and I'm easily distracted -- even during good conversations. I worry over how to say things and what others think of how I am talking. I am constantly looking for affirmation and recognition. Coach me in the best ways to stay engaged in the conversation. I'm looking forward to participating in all the good you're doing in this way. Amen.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Fakes!

The Second Sunday in Advent

I am the Lord ... I expose the false prophets as liars and make fools of fortune-tellers. ~ Isaiah 44:24 (part), 25a (NLT)

My dear friends, don’t believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world. ~ 1 John 4:1a (MSG)

KEY IDEA:
There is no shortage of fake God-talkers.
PRAYER:
Lord God, you are so true and so reliable. But there are so many people who talk about you who are total fakes. How can that be? I have a hard time trusting anyone who talks non-stop about you-or about themselves and their special relationship with you. I mean, having a relationship with you is important but so many of us use you to promote ourselves. Save me from becoming such a person and give me wisdom to discern between those sent with your message and those who are mostly interested in self-promotion. I am going to stick close to you and trust that you'll make everything clear. Amen.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Sorrow

Job said to God: I had only heard of you, but now I see you with my own eyes. This is why I hate myself. This is why I'm sitting in this pile of dust and ashes. I want to show you that I am a changed person with a whole new approach to you and life. ~ Job 42:5-6 (ABP)

Peter remembered Jesus’ words, “Before the rooster crows you will deny me three times.” And Peter went out and cried uncontrollably. ~ Matthew 26:75 (CEB)

KEY IDEA:
Self-awareness can be a difficult experience.
PRAYER:
Lord God, you put up with a lot to be around us. I am so unreliable. Just when I think I have life figured out I make the same old mistakes. And I feel like I am nothing. But you graciously welcome me back. Help me to realize the depths of your grace so that I can skip the drama and simply enjoy your kindness without making everything about me and my shortcomings. I'm going to live a grace-filled life. Amen.

Friday, December 7, 2018

King of Kings

Lord God of Israel, your throne is above the winged creatures. You created the heavens and the earth, and you alone rule the kingdoms of this world. ~ 2 Kings 19:15 (CEV)

You alone are holy, and all nations will come and worship you, because you have shown that you judge with fairness.” ~ Revelation 15:4b (CEV)

KEY IDEA:
Since God is the only true ruler, and eventually the world will figure this out, it would be wise to live in his service starting now!
PRAYER:
Almighty God, you are the one and only totally unique ruler. And while I know that it would make sense to start serving you and you alone, it is so easy to get caught up in the politics of the moment and to expect that the eternal future of the world rests with whomever claims power. This creates anxiety in me because I am really unhappy with the people who have been given leadership responsibility. Help me to Chill out and trust in you, the King of Kings, and the power and authority which uniquely flow from you. I am going to talk about the hope I have in you. Amen.