Monday, March 19th


By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.- Hebrews 11:8

Dear Jesus, you would not tell Abraham where he was going but you told him to leave his comfort zone and follow you. Not knowing what that meant for his family and him was exactly what you wanted.  You purposefully kept him in the dark.  For a long time, I have wondered why you do this to us. I think you don't tell us what is next in our lives so we will stay close to you with an open heart to who you are. You made us to live with you.  We tend to live by ourselves, especially when we think we know how things will go for us.  Even us Christians are often functional atheists.   You held Abraham close, as your friend, by keeping him in the dark. Hold me close to, dear Jesus.   I don't know what huge challenges and great opportunities wait for me. I can’t figure it out. But I can stay close to you. If you will stay close to me and fill me with the fruits of your Spirit, I will boldly step into an unknown tomorrow. I will go where you lead me. Take the wheel, Jesus.  Just don't ever kick me out of your car. AMEN

God keeps us from knowing what's next in order to keep us close to him now and in the 'what's next'! Having us close to him is why he made us in the first place.

Additional Readings: Genesis 12:1-9, Acts 7:1-8, Hebrews 11 

Sunday, March 18th

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  - 1 Peter 1:3-5

Dear heavenly Father, by sending Jesus for me you have given me a living hope. He conquered death and gives me the grace and power to live forever after I die. Believing this gives me a sense of optimism even while I am a realist about my situation. My biggest goal is to live joyfully in faith while I love others in your name. Help me be honest with myself about whatever challenges and problems I face, but not depressed by them.  I do not have to resolve every problem or achieve every goal when you have promised I will leave them all behind anyway. Oh, Father, make me honest about my earthly life and hopeful in my eternal life at the same time. AMEN

Real faith honestly treats earthly matters with passing concern and heavenly matters with tenacious respect.  


Additional Readings:  Luke 12:13-21, 2 Timothy 4:6-8, Mark 8:36


Saturday, March 17th

 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.  - Romans 12:4-5

Dear heavenly Father,

You make a very bold statement that I belong to every other Christian and every other Christian belongs to me.  We own each other like family.  I confess that by nature I like to pick and choose who I want to consider as a brother or sister.  I know others can tell it, too.  I can tell when they are picking and choosing, also.  Lord, forgive us all for being choosy and not submitting to your truth that we are all brothers and sisters who must serve each other in every way. Help me to lead the way by "being there" for others.  When I reach my limit and cannot help another Christian that I know needs help, then raise up other Christians to reach out with unconditional love to help that brother or sister in need.  Oh, Lord, help us love each other the way you want us to.  


In Christ there are no “black sheep.”  All have been made white in the blood of the spotless Lamb who purchased them.


Additional Readings: 1 Corinthians 12:7-26, Ephesians 2:19-22, 1 Peter 4:7-11, Colossians 3:11-12


Friday, March 16th

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.  - Philippians 3:7-8

Dear Jesus,

I know the story of Paul's life and how you took away all of his earthly status and renewed him in the status of grace. He had been so proud of his own accomplishments and then suddenly they meant nothing to him anymore.  In the same way, I have already thrown away my childhood trophies, but I struggle to cling to what I consider adult accomplishments.  I try not to talk about them but I still caress them in my thoughts and measure my life by them when I daydream.  By your Holy Spirit, I am begging you to free me from the temptation to measure my life by anything other than your grace.  Help me to consider even those things I have accomplished as a Christian to be garbage compared to having your unmerited favor. That way, I will be immune to both diseases called success and failure.


When Christ fills the room in our hearts we forget who we were and relax in who we are in him. 


Additional Readings: Matthew 13:44-46, Luke 14:33-35, Jeremiah 9:23-24, John 17:3, 2 Peter 1:2-11, Psalm 73


Thursday, March 15th


I want to be found in Christ, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. - Philippians 3:9-11

Dear God,

You sent your Son to give me what I needed in order to give back to you.  I could never be completely right in your eyes.  I know what you want.  I even nod in approval.  But still, I somehow choose to fall short and do my own will each day. Then you, like a mother giving her child the money he needs to buy her a present, give me Jesus to be the righteousness you desire. I believe this, and so I cannot leave your side. Help me to know what it means to live in your Son and to obediently participate in his sufferings.  My generation tells me to seek comfort and convenience but you tell me to seek love and sacrifice.  It scares me to think that you have called me to suffer, but I believe it is holy and right to selflessly serve.  Now, by your grace, help me experience the sacrificial Christian life with a spiritually mature heart. AMEN

Jesus came to save us, change us and then make us a replica of him for our generation.

Additional Readings: Romans 3:9-28, Romans 6:23, Romans 8:1-4, Jeremiah 33:14-16,

Wednesday, March 14th

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 3:12-14

Dear Jesus,

I know that my life isn't quite over because I am still here.  I know that at the moment my body dies, my soul will be perfected.  Until I receive that gift, I have a purpose for my life; it's to live out faith and love in your name in an athletic way.  It’s to press on in ardent, concentrated love toward the day I experience your perfect love and power in heaven.  Every now and then, I am overcome by memories of past failures. They turn me inward and downward.  But in this passage, Paul tells me that even he willfully forgot what was behind, so he could live fully in the present.  Help me today to forget all of my sins and failures as well as every supposed accomplishment. These two impostures only distract me from today.  Instead, give me the singular purpose to live today the way you have called me to. Thanks for paving the way for me to do this with your pure grace.  


God has promised to give us grace and forgiveness for the rest of our lives.  Let's promise him to run in that sphere with all the spiritual agility we can muster.

Additional Readings: 1 Corinthians 13, 1 Timothy 6:12, Luke 9:62, Hebrews 10:36-39, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Romans 8:28-29

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Tuesday, March 13


I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. - Ephesians 3:17-18

Dear Jesus,

Today, I willingly lay aside all my requests that you fix this or that in my life or in the lives of those I love.  Instead, according to your word above, I ask with Paul, one thing: enlarge your love and power in my heart, so that I grasp more than ever before, how real and powerful that love is to make me secure, to give me peace and hope, to enable me to want to be there for other people, even those who irritate me, and to fill me to overflowing with love for everyone.  


You don’t have what it takes to know the depth and breadth of God’s love.  This you must receive as a gift from Him who loves everyone incomprehensibly.  

Additional Readings: Romans 11:33-36, 1 Corinthians 2:6-10, 1 Corinthians 13

Monday, March 12


Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. - Romans 12:19

Dear Jesus,

You modeled this word from the Holy Spirit perfectly.  In grace you kept going back to get your wayward disciples without rejecting them.  From the cross you forgave those murdering you.  But me?  I stumble and struggle.  A big part of me wants to see all bullies fall into grave trouble.  The pain they cause magnifies my sense of justice.  I naturally want them to pay for their wrongs.   But your love and redemption is sublimely more powerful, putting justice back in its cage.  Fill me with your supernatural love so completely that I forgive those who have hurt or ignored me.  Make me not wish any negative experience on them.  But instead, help me seek to bless their lives in creative ways.  I am yours.  Change me into the peaceful, redemptive person that you are.  


Christ forgave everyone living with him when he walked the earth.  Now, through us, he wants to forgive everyone living today. 

Additional Readings: Lev 19:18, Proverbs 20:22, Proverbs 24:29, Deut. 32:35, Genesis 50:15-21, 1 Samuel 26:5-11.

Sunday, March 11th

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What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.  - James 4:1-3

Lord, every time I read this passage I want to say, "Really? It's that simple?"  But I know it is.  I cannot blame any fighting or discontent on all the people around me.  I have to admit it; I have desires that well up in me and they make me work hard and fast to get them met. But here you correct me.  You tell me that praying to you, oh God, ends fighting.  It replaces lust with trust and brings you back into every relationship.  I know this by experience.  When I have prayed for what love or blessing I want from others instead of fighting for it, you either moved them to give me what I need or you changed my heart to want to serve more than be served.  Prayer ends fights.  Lord, help me to remember to pray about things that bother me today more than I scheme on how to fix them. Then give me eyes to see when you answer my prayer tenfold.  AMEN

It's not what's happening or not happening outside of us that dictates our peace and joy.  It's what is happening or not happening within us.

 Additional Reading: Titus 3:3-11, Romans 7:23, Matthew 15:10-20, Ephesians 3:31-32, 1 John 3:15-24,



Saturday, March 10th


Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. - Psalm 51:6

Dear heavenly Father, you saw my need for your presence to keep me honest and humble even from my mother's womb.  You were teaching my heart the difference between truth and error even there.  Since then I have had so many voices teach me otherwise.  Sometimes, I get confused and cannot tell the difference between right and wrong.  But your word is light for my darkened soul.  Help me today to be honest enough with myself to consult your word and those who know it well, in order to guide my life into pleasing you.  I want to get as close to living like Jesus as I can, not for any prideful reason, but because that will be what is best for the people you have decided would see me today.  AMEN

Why would we work so hard to pretend that we are not all that sinful when Jesus' gospel says that the very reason he came was to redeem us from a boat load of sins?

 Additional Reading: Genesis 6:5-8, 9:12-17, John 4:1-26, Hebrews 4:12-13,


Friday, March 9th


The heavens declare the glory of God. The skies show the work of his hands.  - Psalm 19:1

Dear Lord, I see your creativity and amazing power in every sunrise and sunset. They remind me that you are there and that you govern everything happening under them.  It gives me peace to know that it is your gracious and forgiving hand that turns the world and paints the sky. I know how little I deserve your blessing, but I also know that I am loved as much as everyone else. I will dedicate myself to loving everyone today in the same way that you paint skies for the evil and the good. Amen

God loves each of us so much that he counts our hairs every morning, and paints us a picture in the skies every night.


Additional Reading: Psalm 50, Psalm 89, Isaiah 40:21-22, Acts 14:14-18, Romans 1:18-20

Thursday, March 8th


We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. - Isaiah 53:6

Dear Lord, if John 3:16 is the gospel in a nutshell, then this passage is the gospel in a matchbox. It actually is very comforting to be able to admit that I am a sheep that strays every day.  It gives me freedom from trying to be perfect in order to feel good about life.  Instead, I get to feel good about this; you have laid my iniquity on your Son.  Thank you for signing up to be my God and Savior. I realize it cost you everything. I gladly sign up to be your sheep.  I will do all I can to receive your grace with a grateful heart and will try to be good to all your other sheep for your glory and their good. AMEN

When you know who and what you are and stop trying to be something you're not, then you have made a giant stride in spiritual growth.


Additional Reading:  Psalm 130, 1 Peter 2:21-25, Romans 4:25 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Ephesians 4:32


Wednesday: WDJD - You have been returned.

Wednesday’s readings: Psalm 23, John 10, Hebrews 13

1 Peter 2:24-25 – He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree; so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness.  By his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but you have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Lord Jesus, you have done so much for me.  When I was lost and going astray, you turned me back by your gentle call and your loving staff.  By your redemption, you have adopted me into the family of God and I belong to you. By your life, you have given me a perfect standing before God. And now, you promise, that you are the Shepherd and Overseer of my soul.  No matter what things may happen to me, God you are watching over my soul.  You are shepherding me along every path.  Lord, help me to trust your guiding, your protecting and your planning.  I was lost, but now I’m find. Keep me close to you all the days of my life that I may be yours now and forever.  Amen.

Tuesday: WDJD - Christ left you an example.

Tuesday’s readings: Matthew 5:38-48, Romans 12:9-21

1 Peter 2:21-23 - For you were called to this, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.  He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth; when he was insulted, he did not insult in return but entrusted himself to the one who judges justly.

Lord Jesus, when people hurt me, it is so easy for me to hurt back in the same way that they hurt me, even worse.  I want to get even with them.  I want to hurt them back.  But that’s not the kind of life that I learn from you.  You did the very opposite of what my nature would do.  Teach me to follow your example.  Help me learn from you.  Help me learn to be like you when people insult me and false say all kinds of evil against me.  Help me learn to keep my mouth closed, but instead find comfort and assurance in what you say about me.  Their words may sting.  Their words may ruin my reputation.  But, Lord God, eternally and before you in heaven, their words have no standing.  Your word has the final say-so.  And Lord, when people hurt me, when they abuse me, teach me to trust you to handle things.  It is not my responsibility to get justice.  That belongs to you, Lord. Help me to trust you to get justice in the right way at the right time.  You claim that right.  And it rightly belongs you.  Yes, Lord, justice does belong to you.  Teach me to follow the example that Christ left me.  Help me learn from him to keep my mouth closed and heart trusting you in the face of the harm that comes to me.

Monday: WDJD – Christ suffered for you.

Monday’s readings: Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, Psalm 88

1 Peter 2:21 – For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you.

Lord Jesus, it is such a marvel to watch you.  And it hits me that all this that you suffered at the hands of wicked men, all this injustice, all the false accusation, you did it for me.  It was for me that you suffered like this.  It was for me that you kept your mouth closed when you had every reason to retaliate.  It was for me that you were condemned so that I might be set free from condemnation.  It was all for me.  That’s what you did for me, dear Jesus.  Let your cross me a constant reminder to me of how deeply and how dearly you love me.  Let your cross tell me what you gave and what you did for me so that I could be yours.  And then, Lord Jesus, by your suffering and death, grant peace to my soul because all that you did, you did it for me.  Amen.

The Right Thing


Saturdays Readings: 1 John 1-5

1 Peter 2:19-20 - For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.

Dear Father, Peter places such an emphasis on the way that I live and especially on the way that I live within the relationships of my life. He urges me to do the right thing no matter way. It’s easy when a boss is overbearing or when the government is unjust for us to think that it is justifiable to fight back, to rebel, and to push back against it. Then, we wear the suffering that comes like a badge of honor when it was our sin that earned that us that suffering. I wonder to myself how much of the suffering in my life was earned because I acted in a way that was out of line with my calling, when I acted in a way that was unloving and disrespectful. I look back at some of the suffering in my life and realize in repentance that I deserved that pain because I was out of line. Lord God, help me to simply live in my callings and to fit into my place. If suffering comes unjustly, I know, dear Lord, that you are watching me and you will reward me graciously with heaven and your loving commendation. If suffering comes to me because of my own sin, lead me, dear Savior, to repent of my sin and to fit back into my place. Help me, dear Lord, to do the right thing no matter what the consequences may be for my body and life. Amen.

God's the Big Boss


Fridays Readings: 1 Corinthians 7:17-24, Philemon

1 Peter 2:18 - Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.

Lord God, my callings in life constantly guide me and give me my place in this world. You have placed me in all kinds of relationships and teach me to submit within all of those relationships. You have put me in a workplace with bosses over me and people under me. They are my bosses and you call me to submit to them, even if they’re not that great of a boss. You have put me in a family relationship; there you call me to honor my parents, love my spouse, and submit to my husband. You tell me to do all this without giving any perspective to whether my boss is good or bad, whether my parents are good or bad. You tell me to fit into my place simply because you are the big boss. You, God, in your grace and mercy have put bosses over me at work, husbands over wives, parents over children. This is the way you have ordered things in my life for my good and for my benefit. As I go to work today, help me to remember that you are the big boss and that when I work for my boss, I’m working for you. Help me to do my job with all my might because you’re the big boss. Amen.

Fit in.


Thursdays Readings: Numbers 11-12, Numbers 16-17

1 Peter 2:17 - Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

Lord God, my place in this world has been given to me by you.  I know, by my callings, exactly where I fit.  I sit underneath the government; I am a citizen and I owe all my leaders whether I like them or not honor, respect and obedience.  I sit inside the family of believers; I am a member of that family and I owe each member of that body a love that makes them first.  I owe all people in this world respect, simply because they are created by you.  Most of all God, I owe you fear and respect, awe and wonder, because you are the great God of this universe and the Savior of the World.  You are truly worthy of awe and wonder.  Help me to know my place and to fit in just where you put me.  Keep me from longing to be outside of my place in my callings.  Keep me from fighting against the order that you have established in my life. Make it clear to me where I fit in and help me to fill my callings. Amen.

Audience of One


Wednesdays Readings: Colossians 3, Romans 13

1 Peter 2:16 - Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.

Lord God, as I walk out into this new day it’s so easy to forget who I am. I often I identify myself by my vocations. I identify myself by my callings in my life.  I’m a husband.  I’m a father.  I’m a worker.  I’m a friend.  And within those vocations, I often find myself seeking my own goals, desires, and pleasures.  It’s what’s I do.  But God, those are just my callings and not my identity. And I am certainly not to be seeking my own pleasures.  Forgive me and help me to see myself as you do.  Help me to see that my identity comes from you.  I am your child, holy and dearly loved.  I am redeemed by you and adopted into your family.  My life now is wholly directed to you.  You are the audience for whose applause I play.  You are the one I seek to serve.  As I walk out into this day, dear Lord, help me to remember who I am and live my life for you and you alone.  Amen.

Grace is not an excuse.


Tuesdays Readings: Numbers 10-13, Psalm 90

1 Peter 2:16 – Submit as free people, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but as God’s slaves.

O God, it’s easy for me to use your grace and your forgiveness as an excuse to do whatever I want.  I can talk how I want because you’ll forgive me.  I can do what I want because you’ll forgive me.  There’s always more grace, I think to myself.  But God that’s sinful thinking.  That’s wicked thinking. Your grace is not an excuse for evil, for sin, for anything outside of your will. Your always new and never ending forgiveness is never an excuse for me to do what I want.  Lord God, keep me from using your grace as an excuse.  Instead, let your grace and your daily forgiveness drive and compel me to live for you. This is your day, help me to live in it as your child and your redeemed slave. Amen.