Thursday, February 23, 2017

Right with God

Create a clean heart for me, God; put a new, faithful spirit deep inside me! ~ Psalm 51:10 (CEB)

The son in the parable said: I will get up and go to my father... (CEB) Luke 15:18a

KEY IDEA:
We long to be made clean and right with God.
PRAYER:
Lord, thank you for so quickly welcoming wandering sinners like me. It's always unsettling to acknowledge that I have let you down and need forgiveness, but at the same time it is like coming home -- safe and comfortable. Help me so that this is more than a ritual. I really do want to turn from everything wrong and toward you and all that is right. I want to enjoy the sense of being with you and being clean. I know that it is so through the work of Christ Jesus my Savior. Amen.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Godly wisdom

So once again I will do things that shock and amaze them, and I will destroy the wisdom of those who claim to know and understand. ~ Isaiah 29:14 (CEV)

The angel spoke about John: He will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly. ~ Luke 1:16-17 (NLT)

KEY IDEA:
In order to accept Christ and his ways we need to move beyond the wisdom that is really just cleverness, to the wisdom that is godly.
PRAYER:
Lord, in spite of your many great gifts we are still full of ourselves. We, and I include myself, think too highly of our wisdom about how the world works. Turn my heart toward you again so that I can replace the tainted wisdom with the wisdom that comes from you. I desire to have your understanding -- and to live accordingly. Might Christ Jesus be glorified through my life. Amen.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Creator and Lord

Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. ~ Isaiah 40:26a (NLT)

Everything was created by him, everything in heaven and on earth, everything seen and unseen, including all forces... ~ Colossians 1:16a (CEV)

KEY IDEA:
If the vast creation answers to the call of Christ Jesus, it would be wise to join them in doing the same thing.
PRAYER:
Great God -- Everything was created by you and answers to you. Thank you for making it all so beautiful. I confess that I am not as responsive as the stars to your commands. I'm sorry about that. I want to act promptly and completely. Please continue to fine tune me so that I am joyfully responding to your word. I'm going to be like the stars. Amen.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Don't give up

God spoke: The rainbow that I have put in the sky will be my sign to you and to every living creature on earth. ~ Genesis 9:13 (CEV)

But you must stay deeply rooted and firm in your faith. You must not give up the hope you received when you heard the good news. It was preached to everyone on earth... ~ Colossians 1:23 (CEV)

KEY IDEA:
Don't give up on God and the hope he gives.
PRAYER:
Lord, sometimes I give up too quickly. I think that things would be better if I were just left alone to fix things by myself. But then I remember that that's how things got so bad in the first place -- people trying to make things work without you. Thank you for your patience with me. Please encourage me when I'm stressed out because things don't seem to be going well. Help me to sink my roots even more deeply into Christ Jesus. I'm going to be one of his solid trees.  Amen.