Saturday, March 23, 2019

The right race

You guide me with your advice, and later you will receive me in honor. ~ Psalm 73:24 (NCV)

Paul wrote: I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that’s left now is the shouting—God’s applause! Depend on it, he’s an honest judge. He’ll do right not only by me, but by everyone eager for his coming. ~ 2 Timothy 4:7-8 (MSG)

KEY IDEA:
Run the right race for the right prize.
PRAYER:
Lord, thank you for being an honest judge. You are a straight shooter. When it comes to overseeing the race of life your judgment is impeccable. I confess, though, that I spend way too much of life in the wrong competition. And I try to impress the wrong judge. Lord, give me a fresh vision of what the race is really all about. I want to run for the honors that you bestow. Amen.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Bird watching

Let us, your servants, see you work again; let our children see your glory. ~ Psalm 90:16 (NLT)

Look at the birds in the sky! They don’t plant or harvest. They don’t even store grain in barns. Yet your Father in heaven takes care of them. Aren’t you worth more than birds? ~ Matthew 6:26 (CEV)

KEY IDEA:
Our heavenly Father takes care of us.
PRAYER:
Heavenly Father, your loving provision is beyond our comprehension. No matter how smart we are, we can only grasp a little of your care. Forgive me for not even trying, though. I prefer to worry over every little thing or to doubt that anything good might come my way apart from a grand effort on my part. Help me to trust you more than I already do. Help me to give up worry. I'm going to watch the birds and let them teach me. Amen.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Push on!

The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down. ~ Psalm 146:8 (NLT)

In the middle of our trouble and hard times here, just knowing how you’re doing keeps us going. Knowing that your faith is alive keeps us alive. ~ 1 Thessalonians 3:7-8 (MSG)

KEY IDEA:
Hard times come but the Lord lifts up his faithful people.
PRAYER:
Lord, thank you for the lift. I confess that I get discouraged when hard times come -- self-convinced that I must be doing faith wrong or that it is not worth the effort. Refresh my faith and grow it so that I can see that difficulties are normal -- even for faithful people. I am going to keep on trusting in you. Amen.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Obey

“We will obey the Lord and do everything he has commanded!” ~ Exodus 24:7 (CEV)

Jesus says, "Anyone who obeys my Father in heaven is my brother or sister or mother." ~ Matthew 12:50 (CEV)

KEY IDEA:
Being connected with God is more about acting on his agenda and commands than about wearing the right label.
PRAYER:
Thank you, Jesus, for connecting us to your Father -- helping us to become his adopted children -- your brothers and sisters. We too often misinterpret what that means. I pay too much attention to church labels and associations with well-known people. Help me to shift my focus to obedience -- trusting you so much that I (and we) do what you say. That's the radical kind of faith I want to live. Amen.