Wednesday, July 29, 2009
So, if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. John 13:14 HCSB
Janitor. Garbage collector. Plumber. How would our homes, schools, businesses, and churches look and smell if no one ever did these jobs? Sometimes, someone has to do the dirty work.
God wants us to serve others. But what if serving others means lowering ourselves to do something we feel is beneath us?
Jesus served His disciples by washing their feet. A job which was normally done by a servant was done by the Son of God. When He should have been sitting at the head of the table being served, Jesus chose to lower Himself in order to serve His disciples. By doing this, Jesus showed them the importance of self-sacrificing service.
Jesus is our example. He served others, even if it meant lowering Himself. He served His disciples by washing their feet. He served us all by lowering Himself to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. He wants us to serve others as well, even if it means lowering ourselves.
Lord, help us be willing to do the dirty work when necessary.
Monday, July 27, 2009
In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. She was always doing good works and acts of charity. Acts 9:36 HCSB
What can you do? Can you play the guitar? Can you design websites? Are you good in science? Are you good at making friends?
What do you have? Do you have an ipod? Do you own a car? Do you have extra money? Do you live in a big house?
Who do you know? Do you know someone famous? Do you have interesting friends? Are you a leader? Can you influence others?
What would you give? Would you be willing to give Jesus what you can do, what you have, and who you know in order to reach people for Christ?
Tabitha’s ministry to others was so well known that it was written in the Bible. As a follower of Jesus, God wants you to do good works as well. God has gifted you with an abundance of talents, abilities, possessions, and money. He wants you to use these gifts to serve others and to further the mission of Christ.
Lord, let me serve You with what you have given me.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
For as he thinks within himself, so he is. Proverbs 23:7a HCSB
Taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5b HCSB
Sometimes when I’m talking, my words can’t keep up with my thoughts. I wonder why we think faster than we speak. Probably so we can think twice. Bill Watterson*
One of my favorite lines from Star Wars takes place when Luke Skywalker tells Han Solo that if he helps to rescue Princess Leia the reward would be more money than he could imagine. Han Solo quickly remarks, “I don’t know. I can imagine quite a bit.”
Creative people are often like Han Solo. We can imagine quite a bit. We often let our minds roam free in order to begin or continue the creative process. The only problem with this is that sometimes an idle mind left to wander can quickly lead us to sinful actions.
In Matthew 5:27-28, while speaking of lust and adultery, Jesus made the connection between our thoughts and our actions. We are responsible for what we think. When an ungodly thought enters our mind, we must take it captive and make it obedient to Jesus.
Lord, help us think godly thoughts.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The people must be hungry, exhausted, and thirsty in the desert 2 Samuel 17:29b
For a minute, imagine that you are very thirsty. Your mouth is dry. It’s hard for you to swallow. All you can think of is water. Now, imagine someone giving you a bottle of water. How do you feel about this person? How do you think he knew that you were thirsty?
In today’s scripture passage, King David and his men had been traveling through the desert. Even though these men were strong and brave, they were probably tired, hungry, and thirsty.
When Barzillai and his friends learned that King David and his men were in the desert, they decided to help them. They collected beds, food, and water and delivered them to the King. Barzillai and his friends saw a need and decided to take action.
As Christians, we are called to take action when we see needs around us. However, many of us do not see the needs of others because we do not consider the lives of others. We are too focused on other things. We are too focused on ourselves.
What about you? What needs are in your community, your school, or even in your own home? God wants you to be sensitive to the needs around you, whether big or small. So, pay attention to what’s going on. Listen to others. Look around you. Think about how you can help. Then, do something about it.
Monday, July 20, 2009
The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation. Psalm 33:11 HCSB
Hurricanes. Global Financial Crises. Widespread Disease. Divorce. Corrupt Politicians. Immoral Pastors. Sometimes the world seems like it’s out of control. With all of this chaos everywhere, is there any hope for you? Is there anyone you can trust?
Lots of things in life are confusing. Many people you know may turn out to be untrustworthy. But the God who created everything is still in control and He cares about you.
Read Psalm 33:10-22. Now read verse 11 again.
What does the word faithfulness mean to you?
What does this passage teach you about the faithfulness of God?
According to verse 11, how long will the counsel of the Lord last?
Do you think God ever gives up on His plans? Why or why not?
Are there areas in your life where you do not fully trust the Lord?
Even when the world feels out of control, you can trust God. He existed before time began and is more powerful than anything in the Universe. He loves you so much that He sent Jesus to die on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins. He has proven Himself to be faithful. He has great plans for your life. He will always be there for you. He will never let you down. No matter how chaotic life gets, He will not be shaken. His plans will always succeed.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
“Chenaniah, the leader of the Levites, was to direct the music because he was skillful.” 1 Chronicles 15:22 HCSB
“We are the music-makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams, wandering by lone sea-breakers, and sitting by desolate streams, world-losers and world-forsakers, on whom the pale moon gleams: yet we are the movers and shakers of the world forever, it seems.” Arthur O’Shaughnessy*
When the ark of the covenant was brought into Jerusalem, David told the Levites to appoint their relatives as musicians. The singers were to sing joyfully while the harps, cymbals, and lyres played. Seven priests were to go before the ark playing trumpets. A celebration was about to take place. David was going to dance before the Lord. There had to be music. And Chenaniah, who was skillful in music, was selected as the main worship leader.
Chenaniah was the music maker for King David that day. The entrance of the ark just wouldn’t have been the same without him. Today, we are the music makers. We have been selected to lead the people of God in celebration of His new covenant with us. And it wouldn’t be the same without us.
Lord, we will sing for You!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:7-12 HSCB
There have been times in my life when I’ve thought, “Okay, everybody in the world is stupid. I don’t need anyone but God, so I’ll just make sure everything is good between the two of us and then I can just ignore other people altogether.” I’ve pictured myself as some type of wild looking hermit monk who lived in isolation being content to worship God without any contact with other people. Even though I would often like for that to be my reality, it just isn’t God’s plan.
God designed us to love Him and to love one another. He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to earth to make a way for us to have an eternal relationship with Him. God wants us to love each other as He loves us. Loving one another means more than simply being nice to each other. It means digging deep into each others lives, being open with each other, exploring the good and the bad parts of one another and then loving each other as Jesus would.
Are you ready to love others as Jesus loves you? If so, pray and ask God to show you someone with whom you need to build a relationship.
God, thank You for loving me so much that You sent Jesus to earth to pay the penalty for my sins. Teach me to love others as much as You love me so that Your love might be perfected in me.
To learn a little more about loving one another, read 1 John 3:16-24.
Monday, July 13, 2009
The course of my life is in Your power; deliver me from the power of my enemies and from my persecutors. Psalm 31:15 HCSB
Have you ever really needed help? Have you ever had to run for your life? Have you ever been in the place where you felt as if all would be lost if someone amazing didn’t lend you a hand? Have you ever needed a hero?
Read Psalm 31:14-25 and focus on verse 15.
Why did David, the writer of this Psalm, need help in verse 15?
What did David say contained the course of his life?
What do these verses teach you about the power of the Lord?
Are you afraid of something? Have you talked to God about it? Why or why not?
David was a man who encountered many enemies. As a shepherd boy, he faced lions and bears. As a young man, he faced Goliath in battle. Later, he faced King Saul who chased him across the country. As an older man, he faced his son Absalom, who tried to steal his kingdom from him. David knew what it was like to have enemies. However, David also understood that God was in control.
No matter what troubles we may face, we need to remember that God is in control. He is greater than any enemy or any problem that we may encounter. The course of our lives is in His power.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14 HCSB
Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings – always darker, emptier, and simpler. Friedrich Nietzche*
Have you ever wondered how life would be different if you were able to hear the thoughts of other people? What would it be like to know the real price of a vehicle in the dealer’s head? How would your life be different if you could read the mind of every teacher who ever asked the class a verbal question? How would your marriage be different if you could read the thoughts of your spouse?
Now let’s put a twist on the above questions.
How would you do business if you knew the other person could hear your thoughts? If your teachers and mentors always knew what you were thinking, would you try to think different thoughts? What type of marriage would you have if your spouse could always read your mind?
God knows what we are thinking all the time. Since that is the case, what type of thoughts should we be thinking?
Lord, have Your way in my thoughts.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I called to the Lord in my distress, and I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry to Him reached His ears. Psalm 18:6 HCSB
When the thunder shakes the mighty hills and trembles ev’ry tree, Then I know a God so great and strong can surely harbor me. Barbara Fowler Gaultney*
Sometimes in life, terrible things happen. Everything seems fine, then suddenly unexpected bills arrive, tires go flat, health problems arise, family members go crazy, and friends turn their back on you. During these times, you may be surrounded by hundreds of people but you constantly feel hopelessly alone. You begin to cry from confusion as you realize that you’ve never quite been in this situation before. Through your tears, you see that there’s no safety net, no personal flotation device, no phone a friend, and no help available. You need a Savior. So, finally, at the end of yourself, you cry out to God for help. Even in His temple, He hears your faint voice calling to Him. He will come and save you.
Lord, thank You for always hearing me.
*My Lord Is Near Me All The Time
Monday, July 6, 2009
“Our Lord and God, You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because You have created all things, and because of Your will they exist and were created.” Revelation 4:11 HCSB
“When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, We’ll sing and shout the victory.” Eliza E. Hewitt*
According to Revelation, there is a throne in heaven. The One who sits on the throne is surrounded by a rainbow that resembles an emerald. Before the throne is a sea of glass and seven fiery torches. Thunder, rumblings, and flashes of lightning all emanate from the throne. Four creatures around the throne never stop proclaiming the holiness of God. Whenever the creatures give praise to the Lord, 24 elders bow before the throne and worship. In total submission, they remove their crowns and present them to God, the One who sits on the throne.
When we get to heaven, we will celebrate the victory! In total submission and without pretense, we will fall down and worship the One who lives forever and ever.
Lord, You are worthy! I worship You.
*When We All Get To Heaven
Thursday, July 2, 2009
If the God we serve exists, then He can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He can rescue us from the power of you, the king. But even if He does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up. Daniel 3:17-18 HCSB
Sometimes questions are more important than answers. Nancy Willard*
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood up to King Nebuchadnezzar, so he had them thrown into a huge fiery furnace. The Lord intervened and they were saved. In fact, the Bible indicates in Daniel 3:27 that not a hair of their heads was singed.
John the Baptist spoke against King Herod, who threw him into prison. Jesus said of John in Luke 7:28 that among those born of women no one is greater than John. However, Jesus did not intervene and John was later beheaded.
Sometimes God works miracles. Sometimes He allows bad things to happen. Regardless, we are called to serve Him and worship Him with our very lives, no matter what the consequences might be.
Lord, help us to serve you no matter what the consequences.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure. Malachi 3:10b HCSB
Thro’ days of toil when heart doth fail, God will take care of you; Civilla D. Martin*
Several years ago, my wife Kathy and I spent a year as missionaries in Central Asia. As our time of service was coming to an end, we realized that we were almost out of money. Our plane tickets were being provided, but we had no money for the three days of travel and layovers in four different countries. We didn’t know what to do, so we prayed hard that God would provide. Three days before we were to leave, as we were sorting through our belongings, I came across a collapsible bag full of toilet paper. I wanted to keep the bag, so I dumped out the toilet paper onto a pile on our bed. As I looked at the mound of toilet paper, I was stunned. There, on top of the pile was $2,000 in cash. God had provided for us in a mighty way.
Lord, thank You for taking care of us.
*God Will Take Care of You