Thursday, July 25th


Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be sober-minded and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  1 Peter 1:13 

Holy Spirit, Your Word is so practical.  It’s never just words on a page that I’m meant to know intellectually, like my math facts, figures and formulas.  it’s never just useless knowledge.  There is always a “therefore.”  There is always a very practical application of the truths that your Word unveils for me.  The promises and the truths that your Spirit has unveiled give me such hope and excitement for my future life on this earth and an even greater anticipation for the glories that you have stored up in heaven for me.  More than that with my heart filled with hope, these truths and promises give me a boldness and confidence to live my life for you.  Lord continue to strengthen and embolden my spirit that I may live for you.  Continue to compel and move me by these truths to spend myself for you.  Amen. 

Wednesday, July 24th


“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy: I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  John 10:10 

Dear Jesus, How hard it must be for you to see us people tempted to think that our lives are full only when we have accumulated lots of things, accomplishments memories and money.  All these are like cotton candy.  They satisfy for a moment and then we just want more.  You give a fullness deep in our souls.  It’s free and it doesn’t disappoint.  It brings contentment, peace, self-control, courage and adequacy.  It’s created by the grace that gives love undeserved and makes me feel at home being on a journey to my final destination.  It speaks to me in my soul in every circumstance.  “This is not your home.  Yours is better.”  Protect me Lord Jesus from attractive, shiny worldly things that would steal peace, hope and contentment from my soul.  Amen. 

When we are rich in heart, our outward wealth or poverty is irrelevant.   

Tuesday, July 23rd


“Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began.”  Psalm 139:16 

Dear Father in heaven, As I look ahead at the year that is in front of me, I like to think that I have a grasp on what this year will bring.  This year is full of hopes and dreams for me.  It is also full of uncertainties that creep into my heart and are bringing fear into my heart.  It sometimes feels like all the balls of my life are thrown into the air all at once and I am left dashing back and forth trying to keep them from hitting the ground.  Father, I can’t handle that.  It’s too much.  What hope you give me when you tell me that you knew me before I was born, that you have written the story of my life before it began!  It’s amazing that you would care so much about me that you would lay out a plan for my life, that you would use everything in my life for my eternal good.  Lord, thank you for writing my story and for including me in your story of salvation.  Set my heart at rest knowing that you have good plans for me, plans to save me, to give me hope and a future.  Amen. 

Monday, July 22nd


“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him.”  Ephesians 1:4 

Dearest Lord Jesus, I can’t believe it.  It seems to be good too good to be true.  I know well my failures and my flaws.  I know well how I have sinned against you and against so many other people.  But you chose me to be yours.  You redeemed me with your own blood.  You made me holy and blameless through your blood and perfect life.  You picked and chose me to be yours.  What a precious choosing!  Lord Jesus, now I pray, keep me in this faith to which you have called me.  Keep me from falling away from this grace you gave me.  Keep me from wandering away after my own devices.  Lord Jesus, just as you chose me in love to be yours, so in love keep me safe in the faith until I reach eternity with you.  Amen. 

Sunday, July 21st


“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will e revealed in us.”  Romans 8:18 

Dearest Jesus, Thank you for giving me the freedom not to try to make sense out of my suffering but rather to carry my mind away with thoughts about heaven.  Sometimes my problems seem so big that they fill every corner of my heart.  Use my thoughts about heaven to crowd out my useless mulling over unresolved issues.  Help me smile and be happy and content over what is going to be rather than sad over what is.  And thank you for giving me the hope of going to heaven through grace without any merit of my own.  Amen. 

Heaven gives us something to look forward to for our whole lives.   

Saturday, July 20th


“How happy is the one who does not walk in the advice of the wicked or stand in the pathway with sinners or sit in the company of mockers!  Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night.  He is like a tree planted besides flowing streams that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not whither.  Whatever he does prospers.”  Psalm 1:1-3 

Dearest Lord, one thing is needful; Lord, this treasure, teach me highly to regard.  All else, though it first gives pleasure, is a yoke that presses hard.  Beneath it my heart is still fretting and striving, no true, lasting happiness ever deriving.  This one thing is needful; all others are vain-I count all but loss that I Christ may obtain.  Amen. 

Friday, July 19th


“You have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.  Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.”  Colossians 3:10-11 

Dear Jesus, You have changed my identity.  I don’t have to look at myself based on my race, gender, accomplishments, failures or sins.  I get to look at myself as a Christian washed clean and made acceptable in your sight.  It gives me loving, confident independence from my own critique and the critique of others.  Finally, I am free from performance-based living.  I’m also free to love people without measuring whether they pass or fail in my book.  I can forgive, give, help, and comfort even the most storied person.  I am not defined by the tragedies, illness or problems that chase me either.  I am defined by you.  I have your righteousness and your destiny.  In you I have a new start every morning.  So, I will live this day in my new self, a blood bought, Christ empowered soul who has a life to give for this world.  Amen. 

Jesus reshapes every life he touches into a life-giving stream.   

Thursday, July 18th


“So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.”  Ephesians 2:19-20 

Lord Jesus, You have given me such a foundation on which to build my faith and to lead my life.  You have inspired them to write your Words for me and for my salvation.  They aren’t making stuff up out from their own imaginations.  It’s not coming from a smoke-filled room.  Their words are your words, and they are perfect, good in every way.  Every word of the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit.  Help me to open my ears and my hearts to listen carefully to every Word that you have given.  Teach me to lead my life and build my faith on the sure and certain foundation of your Word.  Amen.  

Wednesday, July 17th


“We are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”  Acts 4:20 

“Dear Lord Jesus, when you conquered death and appeared to your disciples, when you poured out your Holy Spirit on your disciples, they lived and preached with a whole new boldness and confidence.  Where they were previously timid and afraid, now they were unafraid and unabashed in their preaching and ministry.  Lord Jesus, let your resurrection fill me with the same confidence.  Let your Spirit give me the same boldness.  I am yours!  You bought me and I belong to you.  I cannot lose since you conquered death and defeated all my enemies.  Your message is true and powerful whether people believe it or not.  It will never return to you empty or void, but is like the rain that pours down from heaven.  Set me on fire with resurrection and Spirit-given swagger to keep on living.  Let these words of Peter be mine: “I can’t stop speaking about what I believe!”  Amen.  

Tuesday, July 16th


“In God I trust and am not afraid.  What can mere mortals do to me?”  Psalm 56:4 

Dear Heavenly Father, So many things make me nervous.  Because I hear on the news about home invasions and every now and then I catch a show about crime, I spend too much time thinking about what could happen if someone came to rob my house or harm my family and me.  I know you put angels all around me and you are not fearful of anyone you have made.  I choose to trust that you are protecting me in every circumstance.  With that peace I will spend my energy loving people instead of pulling in to my shell like a frightened tortoise.  Amen. 

God wants us to spend energy on loving others not preserving ourselves. 

Monday, July 15th


“After saying this, he told him, “’Follow me.’”  John 21:19 

Dear Jesus, After all the ways in which Peter betrayed, abandoned and failed you, these last words you speak to him are amazing to hear.  Even after all the ways in which he had abandoned you, you never abandoned him.  In fact, even after all the ways in which he had failed you, you still wanted to use him for the kingdom; you even touched my faith and life by his writing and his teaching!  God, this inspires so much hope in me.  Your compassion and mercies are new for me each day.  This day, Lord, forgive me as this day begins.  Cleanse me and create in me a new heart, O God.  Your calling to follow you is new this day too, Lord Jesus.  Help me to follow you as my Lord and God, today.  Wonder of wonders, you still call me to follow and you still desire to use me.  Help me make the most of my moments today.  Amen. 

Sunday, July 14th


“I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5 

Dear Jesus, Apart from you I can’t be spiritual, I can’t do the right things for the right reasons, I can’t cope with the tragedies that strike me.  But when I am with you my attitude changes and I can do wonderful things for the right reasons.  Then I can cope with tragedy because you promise to turn everything for my good.  You and your word are the spiritual blood in my spiritual vascular system, giving strength, life and meaning to everything I my life.  Help me stay connected to you today by reminding me of your words when I need them to bring spiritual sap to my heart.  Amen. 

God designed us to run our lives off his power and not our own. 

Saturday, July 13th


“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24 

Lord Jesus, I recently thought about your words, “Why do you worry about your life?  You cannot make it one hour longer by worrying.”  These words from Paul are similar.  It’s misguided energy to worry about my life and illness and how long I have left before heaven.  Our best way to spend our lives is to employ our hands, feet, tongue and teeth, money and time spreading the wonderful good news that you have saved sinners from the dead end they have created for themselves.  Help me find new ways to teach people your spiritual word for their eternal benefit and help me order my life better around making disciples for you, even in my family relationships.  Amen. 

Our lives will be spent no matter what we choose to do with them.  We have the choice to make them a waste or an investment for eternal rewards.   

Friday, July 12th


“Jesus did this, the first of his signs; in Cana of Galilee.  He revealed his glory and his disciples believed in him.”  John 2:11 

Lord God, The Bible is full of accounts from your ministry and life that demonstrate your power and your glory, your grace and mercy, your compassion.  Each story presents you to me as my Savior.  Each story shows me what you are like and how deeply and dearly you care about me.  Each story drives me to believe in you and put my trust in you.  As I follow you this year, and dive into your Word, show me who you are that I may believe in you and be saved by you.  Amen. 

Thursday, July 11th


“Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”  2 Corinthians 4:16 

Dear Jesus, Just this week a friend told me I was looking old.  He’s right.  The bell tolls for me too.  My body moves slower and creaks more every week.  But my soul is as young as it became the day you saved me.  I am renewed in eternal youth by the promise of restoration.  I choose to think about this renewal more than about my aches and pains.  I love you for releasing me of the spiritual aging effects of guilt and shame.  Amen. 

Wednesday, July 10th


“When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus.”  Acts 4:13 

Dear Lord God, You called, trained, and then used fisherman to be your disciples, to be your apostles and even to lay the foundation for the church through the Spirit-inspired teaching, preaching and writing.  Father, you have called me to be your child.  You have made me holy by your Son’s blood and by the Spirit’s work.  Use me, just as I am, just as you have created me, to serve you this year.  Equip and disciple me this year for every work that you have prepared in advance for me to walk in it. Inspire and set me on fire to follow you with devotion and dedication this year.  This is your year and the life you have given me to live.  Help me dedicate all that I do to you and to your glory.  Amen. 

Tuesday, July 9th


“But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”  Galatians 5:13 

Dear Jesus, I heard in the news last week about a man who had just been released from prison who went on a rampage and killed several people.  I thought to myself, “How sad that he used his freedom to continue wreaking havoc.”  Then I remembered how many times I had felt bold to sin because I knew you would forgive me.  In my more quiet moments the guilt of such exploitative behavior haunts me.  How could I do that to you?  I’m begging you to build me up in your Spirit to use my freedom under grace to serve others freely from a loving heart.  Take away the puny strength of the law and replace it with gospel appreciation.  Make me a willing and faithful servant of all.  Amen. 

There is nothing in all the universe more liberating than divine love.   

Monday, July 8th


“After this, Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples by the Sea of Galilee.  He revealed himself in this way.”  John 21:1 

Dear Lord Jesus, This one word captures my heart: “again.”  For three years you essentially taught your disciples the same truths always taking them further up and further into your Word.  For three years you appeared to them again and again, taught them again and again.  And even after your resurrection when one appearance should have proved the point, you appeared to them repeatedly to make it overwhelmingly clear to them.  Again and again.  Jesus don’t give up on me.  Don’t give up on this world.  Keep coming to me by your and sacrament to prove to me convincingly that you are who you say you are.  Keep sending your people into this world to show yourself again and again to those who do not yet know you are alive.  Don’t give up on me and don’t give up on the world.  Send your Spirit and come to gather people to yourself.  Amen. 

Sunday, July 7th


“Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.”  Romans 15:2 

Dear Lord Jesus, I will never know perfectly what it’s like to live 100% for others and their welfare.  That’s why this passage and its cousins in Scripture will always resonate with me.  I naturally want to please myself and not people around me.  By your Holy Spirit, cleanse out of my heart today the new selfish motives that have precipitated there.  Give me a deep love for others and their welfare at every level so I do and say what is best for them.  I want to spread the good news and be the good news for everyone I meet.  Amen. 

Make someone’s day today and you will create a memory for them that keeps on giving long after today is forgotten

Saturday, July 6th


“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”  1 Corinthians 1:10 

Dear Jesus, Unity is in the center of your will.  You want to see people united in love, faith and holiness.  The devil knows this and works hard to whisper doubt and distrust into each of our minds.  He makes us foolishly scheme to fulfill our ambitions and to overcome our fears.  He loves it when we isolate, hate and distrust.  He wants us to be surly loners.  He loves party spirits and negative press campaigns.  Forgive me Lord Jesus for succumbing to all of these at one time or another.  Wash away my guilt and restore me to being an honest, grace filled lover of souls.  Make me a champion for unity and unconditional love even with people who have hurt me.  Use your word to bind us all together.  Amen. 

Any fool can separate from others.  Wisdom and love unite people around God and his word.