Thursday, August 22nd

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“But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who continues to hear the word and understands it.  This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”  Matthew 13:23 

Dear Jesus, I want to continue hearing your word and understanding it for myself and others.  I want to be able to speak it with meaning to my spouse, children, and friends.  I want my friends to learn your word from conversations with me.  I want to react better to situations and let my light shine instead of spread the byproducts of my sinful nature.  I want the peace, hope and love that the gospel releases to emanate from my life.  Make this happen by your Holy Spirit so I produce seeds that will produce more seeds many years after I’m gone.  Make my life count for you, oh Jesus.  Amen. 

God’s word produces good things whenever it lands in a heart softened by grace and truth. 

Wednesday, August 21st

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“If you appeal to the Father who judges impartially according to each one’s work, you are to conduct your lies in reverence during your time living as strangers.”  1 Peter 1:17 

Lord God, I don’t often take you seriously enough.  I don’t often take your commands and your direction for my conduct with all the seriousness that you demand.  There are some commands that I take into my heart and honor with all my heart.  But there are others that I put off to the side.  Thinking back, I find that the ones that condemn other people I take to heart because then I catch them in their sin, but the ones that catch me in my sin I don’t take seriously enough.  Lord God, you don’t play like that.  You don’t play favorites.  You judge each one of us impartially according to the life each one of us lives.  You judge us only by the same standard and the same commands.  Forgive me, Father, for not listening carefully to all that you’ve told me.  Forgive me and help me to take all of your word into my heart and to work at doing it.  Amen. 

“Therefore, we should fear his anger and not disobey what he commands.” Martin Luther 

Tuesday, August 20th

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For you know you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb.”  1 Peter 1:18-19 

Lord Jesus, What a price you paid!  When God demanded blood for my failure to obey him you shed all your blood.  When God demanded payment for the sins of all people, dear Son of God, you gave your life.  You are truly God and fully man.  And you, dear God-man, you stepped into the scales of justice to make the greatest payment that has ever been paid.  The redemption price for me and for all the world was the holy, innocent and divine blood of Jesus!  What a price you paid for me dear Jesus!  Thank you.  Amen. 

Monday, August 19th

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“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Because in this great mercy he has given us new birth.”  1 Peter 1: 3 

Dear Lord God, My baptism is such a gift to me.  It did for me and for my soul what nothing else could ever do for me.  It raised me from the depths of spiritual death and raised me up for a new life.  Instead of grave clothes and filthy rags, my baptism clothes me in Christ.  Most and best of all, my baptism brings me into your family so that now I get to call you, God, my dear Father in heaven.  Father, hear my prayer today.  Whatever this day brings, whatever hardship, trouble, or challenge or joy, lead me to praise you for this new birth that you’ve given me.  My baptism is one of your greatest gifts to me.  Lead me to praise you for this new birth whatever today brings.  Amen. 

Sunday, August 18th

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He was foreknown before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for you.”  1 Peter 1:20 

Lord God, I continue to marvel at my Redeemer, my Savior, and your plan.  You knew that he would be the world’s Savior before the creation of the world.  You hid in him your quiver until just the right time.  By his life and by the preaching of the apostles you made him known to the world.  Through your Word and through preachers and teachers today you have even made him known to me.  He is great and your plan is great.  O God, my heart stands in awe of my redemption, of my Redeemer, and your plan that made it all happen.  O God, you are truly great.  Amen. 

Saturday, August 17th

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Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”  1 Peter 1:21 

Lord God, The power and glory of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead gives me such hope for my future, such hope for my life, such hope for my eternity.  Your resurrection, Lord Jesus, assures me that you have finished the work of salvation and have secured for me the forgiveness of sins.  Your resurrection, Lord Jesus, shows me that you have conquered death and have overcome every enemy of mine.  Your power, O God, which is so evident when I see you raise your Son from the dead raises up hope in me that there is nothing beyond your control.  You are on my side!  Nothing can separate me from you.  Let the hope that springs from your resurrection, Lord Jesus, inspire me this week as I work for you.  Amen

Friday, August 16th

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“The Lord your God will fight for you.  You need only to be still.”  Exodus 14:14 

Dear Lord, I have found few words more comforting especially when I am facing unresolved problems and big issues in my life.  You had Moses and your people backed up to the Red Sea.  He was standing there with 2 million people including grandparents and infants.  The Egyptian army was coming to annihilate them.  They had nowhere to go and nothing they could do.  Then you stepped in with these words.  “I will fight for you.  Just be still.”  I like to remember them when others criticize me.  I like to remember them when I am blindsided by big problems.  You have adopted me into your fold.  You have put your name on my back and my name in your heart.  You will fight for me.  I’ve seen you turn things around in unbelievable ways throughout my life.  Thanks for giving me a word of comfort to cling to when I am scared.  It gives me peace and confidence.  Amen. 

When we know God is on our side, we feel taller, stronger and more invincible.   

Thursday, August 15th

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Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.  A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.”  Psalm 90:2,4 

Dear Jesus, My short life is like a fading breath on a chilly morning compared to you.  You are before all things, after all things and around all things.  You see everything everywhere all the time.  You know every detail and forget nothing.  You never have a senior moment.  I am a frail and insignificant being.  And yet, you have chosen to love me by sacrificing your own dear Son for me.  I wasn’t just lost.  I was an enemy of yours from birth.  You redeemed me and welcomed me into your grace.  Of all people, I don’t deserve to be at your party.  But I’m here!  Lord of my soul, walk with me and hover over me this small day and make my life a blessing to you after all you have done to make it count.  Amen. 

The spiritual medicine for depression is a return to your roots to be reminded how fortunate you are to be loved by God.  

Wednesday, August 14th

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“It is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD.”  Lamentations 3:26 

Lord Jesus Christ, I need you and I’m waiting on you.  I need more grace.  I really do.  I sin daily constantly.  I need your forgiveness as much today as I have ever needed it, maybe even more because I am more aware than ever of my sins against you.  I need your mercy.  I need you, Lord, to look at my helpless situation and help me.  Here I am a scattered exile in this world, an alien outside of his home country.  I’m living against the stream.  My way of life runs contrary to much of the rest of the people with whom I interact on a daily basis.  Help me live upstream.  Give me strength.  Give me wisdom.  When I seem to be all alone, remind me that you are with me and you are the only One for whom I’m living my life.  Lord, I’m waiting for you like a watchman waits for the morning.  I can’t wait for the morning of your new grace and mercy to dawn in my life.  Lord, keep my eyes open, my faith burning, and my resolution strong as I wait for you to act and pour out more of all that you have for me in your grace and mercy.  Amen. 

Tuesday, August 13th

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“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.  No one will snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all.  No one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”  John 10:28-29 

Dear Savior, There are many times in my life when I don’t feel safe.  I’m afraid of the danger that threatens me.  I’m afraid of the unknown and the uncertainties of my future.  Sometimes I’m even afraid that I’ll lose you as my Savior and my Friend.  Sometimes I’m even afraid that you’ve left me.  These are the most comforting words.  You choose me to be your own.  You called me to be your child.  You are at work in my life to make me holy by your Son.  All my footsteps were known to you.  That means that no path of my life is ever outside of your care.  And no matter where I may be scattered by the winds of life, you will go with me there.  And even there you will keep me safe.  No one and no thing can separate me from you.  You hold me by my right hand and after all this you will take me into glory.  And the best news of all-you won’t ever let me go.  Amen.  

Monday, August 12th

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“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”  Colossians 3:13 

Dear Jesus, It’s easy for me to think that when someone hurts me, forgets me, rubs me the wrong way or simply annoys me that I have a right to be angry and sulk.  I even feel tempted to get even.  But you change everything.  You say to spring into forgiveness and cover over their sin like you do mine.  I sinned against you and you paid for it.  I do all the sinning in our relationship and you do all the forgiving.  Help me by your Holy Spirit to let go of anger, to let your blood wash away their sins and to forget what they did wrong so we can both live in peace.  Make me an independent forgiveness operator.  Then when I must try to resolve my differences with others give me the supernatural ability to approach them with peace and grace.  Amen. 

God loves it when we get forgiveness right.  It makes his sacrifice all the more pleasing to him.   

Sunday, August 11th

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Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefined and unfailing, kept in heaven for you.”  1 Peter 1: 3-4 

Dear Lord God, So much of my life is spent chasing after the wind and I don’t even know it.  I chase a meal and just a few hours later I need another one.  I chase a paycheck and in just a moment every dollar is spoken for.  I chase treasures and they decay.  I put something aside and someone ruins it or steals it.  It is a chasing after the wind.  I try to hold these treasures, and in a moment, for one reason or another, they’re gone.  But God, the treasure that you’ve given me in your Son and the inheritance stored up for me in heaven isn’t like that.  It isn’t a chasing after the wind.  In fact, it’s not even a chasing!  You’ve already given it to me.  You've already promised it to me as a free gift.  Heaven and its inheritance are already stored up and kept for me by your might and power.  Lord God, help me to treasure your heavenly gifts most of all.  They are the one and only thing that will not perish and will never slip through my fingers.  Grant me faith to hold tightly to these treasures and to let go of every earthly treasure.  Amen. 

Saturday, August 10th

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“By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.  By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.”  Hebrews 11:7 

Dear Jesus, I know that you cherish our faith as we look back to your cross.  But here, you remind me that you also love it when we trust your word over our experience, especially when your word promises a new day when your righteousness will reign.  Noah had that faith.  If you said it, he believed it.  He had never seen rain and yet he believed you were going to flood the world to keep evil from totally overcoming his family and all human kind.  I trust your word that you will do it again in the final judgment.  I have never seen you deluge the entire planet but you promise that with fire you will end all earthly everything and usher in your heaven for your children.  I believe that!  I wait for that!  It both comforts and scares me at the same time.  Keep me close to your word and never let me harden my heart.  Help me stay ready for the beginning of eternity.  Amen. 

The word of God and the Eastern horizon reminds us that a new Day is just over the edge of creation.   

Friday, August 9th

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“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.”  Psalm 19:1-2 

Dear Heavenly Father, Every morning and evening I see your glory in the skies.  You are the master artist of the universe.  The colors and contrasts are breathtaking.  They remind me of your majesty and your creativity.  So many people are busy in their homes and businesses when your beautiful paintings appear in the heavens.  But still you paint them, again and again.  They show that you are the creative force behind everything in nature, including me.  What I see each day is only a microscopic portion of all you produce that day.  O Author of life, accept my puny praise for your powerful and masterful handiwork.  And accept my thanks that you have grace for sinners like me who take up space in your masterpiece.  Amen. 

God paints a new work every day and we have the privilege of living inside it.   

Thursday, August 8th

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“You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”  1 Peter 1:5 

Lord God, Thank you for guarding me with your great power.  The assaults of the Devil against my soul are far beyond my ability to resist.  If you left me alone for a moment, I would fall.  The attacks of my own nature against me are more than I can handle.  The thoughts of my own mind lead me to think that you have abandoned me, that you are against me and not for me.  Don’t leave me alone, Lord, or I won’t make it.  Don’t abandon me, Lord, or I’ll stumble and fall.  You have ascended to your throne Jesus and you sit there ruling all things in my life for my good.  Deliver me from evil.  Shield and guard me by your mighty power that I might be safe in the grasp of your love.  Keep me safe from all the attempts on my life and soul.  With you, I am safe.  Under your care, I am protected.  With your guarding I will make it safely to the end of faith’s race.  Thank you for guarding me with your power.  Amen.  

Wednesday, August 7th

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But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Philippians 3:20 

Dear Jesus, Every time things don’t go my way, every time I am mistreated or ignored, every time my car breaks down, every time I get ill, every time I fail at something important, every time I suffer loss of a dear loved one,-I think, “This is not my home.”  My home is with you where you will wipe every tear from my eyes.  That is; the fear of regret, of sorrow, of disappointment, of pain, of anger and of frustration.  My country is in heaven.  Thank you for giving me the hope of eternal life with you, where difficulty will be a foreign language.  Amen.   

Heaven is our home.  Earth is our journey there.   

Tuesday, August 6th

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“You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials so that the proven character of your faith-more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire-may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  1 Peter 1:6-7 

Lord God, It is so hard to see the good in pain.  It is so hard to understand how I can praise you for pain.  It is so difficult to grasp how hurting is beneficial.  I can see it in other things.  I can see it in the extreme pressure that turns coal into diamonds.  I can see it when gold is smelted in the furnace.  But when I’m the one in the smelting furnace being refined by you it is much harder to sing.  It’s hard to sing when you’re hurting!  Lord God, help me to see-even when I don’t fully understand what you’re doing, even when I don’t know what good you intend to give-that you are doing good things for me and my salvation.  Help me to trust your Father’s heart and your all-knowing, wise plan for me.  Help to find a simple joy in my trials, my pain, and my hardships because it means you love me.  Help me to praise you for the pain because it means that you’re smelting me, disciplining me for my good and for my eternity.  Father, I know you love me.  Help me to praise you for your Father’s care, even when it hurts.  Amen.  

Monday, August 5th

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“You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”  1 Peter 1:5 

Lord Jesus, I can’t wait.  I’m sitting here in faith waiting for you to pull back the veil, to tear apart the heavens again.  I’m waiting for you to tear the heavens apart and to sound the final trumpet when you will come in glory with your angels to bring me home at last.  I’m waiting here, on the edge of my seat, waiting with hope-filled expectation for you to come and create the new heavens and the new earth, my eternal home.  I’m waiting for creation to be restored to paradise instead of this desolate wilderness that it is now.  I can’t wait for you to do this.  Lord Jesus, keep me in the faith until that day.  Keep me from losing hope in this salvation that is about to happen.  Keep me from growing discouraged and hopeless in these last days.  Fill my heart with longing, yearning and excitement as I wait for you to reveal and to give me eternal salvation from the suffering of this earth.  Fill my heart with exceeding joy as I wait for my faith to be turned to sight.  Amen.   

Sunday, August 4th

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“Though you have not seen him, you love him; though not seeing him now, you believe in him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”  1 Peter 1:8-9 

Lord God, As I look at my life and learn to view my suffering in the light of your Fatherly care, I am filled with joy because all of this means that you are on the move!  It means that you are active and not passive.  It means that you are working and not resting.  It means that you are on the move to save me.  It means, that as each day passes, I am always one day closer to the goal of my faith, my salvation.  And, God be praised, I'm still in the faith.  You have brought me safely in the faith to this very day.  I pray, keep me in the faith, keep me afloat.  Keep the waters from coming over my head.  And when they rise, lift me up above those waters so that I am not washed away in the flood.  Amen. 

Saturday, August 3rd

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“Honor your father and mother”-which is the first commandment with a promise--”so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”  Ephesians 6:2-3 

Dear Jesus, Thank you for the parents you gave me who fought with their own human nature every day to rise above selfishness to give me their best and save the left overs for themselves.  Thank you for how they tirelessly taught, corrected, supported and encouraged me.  Thank you for how they forgave me for my sins and refused to remind me of how I embarrassed them with my mistakes.  Thank you for the vacations, the family meals, the rides to church, the laughs, the visits and the words of blessing right before they departed.  You have them safe with you now.  Please tell them how much I appreciate their lives spent on me and my siblings.  The gifts you gave me through them are still blessing me here.  Help children everywhere to bless their parents with honor for the gift they receive through them.  Amen. 

Parental figures are a gift from the heavenly Father no matter how imperfect they may seem.