Nations Praise You

May your ways be known throughout the earth, your saving power among people everywhere. May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you. 
~ Psalm 67:2-3 [NLT]

It’s so beautiful to know the God we serve is not meant for just one nation, one race, or one language. He is a God who saves everyone. Picture it: different skin-toned hands lifted in praise to God, words spoken in different languages, people from different countries all praising the same God. It’s a glorious sight. To see God’s message of forgiveness reaching far and wide around the world brings honor to those who work to see it spread. May the nations praise you, O God!

Evening Prayer

RESPECT SPIRITUAL LEADERS 
1 Thessalonians 5:12-14

In Jesus’ Name, I Pray God’s Will for You

I pray that you will always respect your spiritual leaders who work hard to build you up and guide you in your walk with God. May you hold them in highest regard; submit to them and to their authority. I also pray that you will not be an idle member of your church. May you share in the work of your leaders – encouraging the timid, helping the weak, and instructing the young in faith. May you be a productive member of your church, and may your contributions bring you joy and fulfillment.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Daily Word of God

Silence Not Denial

But he answered her not a word.

~ Matt 15:23

There is something very remarkable in this silence of Christ. Usually He was quick to hear every request made to Him by a sufferer. Scarcely ever had any one to ask twice for a favour. His heart was sensitive, as is a mother’s heart to her child’s cries, and instantly responded to every petition for help. Yet now He stood and listened to this woman’s piteous pleading and answered her not a word. Like a miser with hoards of gold, at whose gates the poor and suffering knock, but who, hearing their cries of need and distress, keeps his gates locked and is deaf to every entreaty, so Jesus stood unmoved by this woman’s cries, though He had all power in His hands.

Why was He thus silent? It was not because He could not help her, for His arm was never weak. The best of us have our weak hours, our days of emptiness, when we have nothing wherewith to help; but His fullness was never exhausted. It was not because He was so engrossed in His own approaching sorrows that He could think of no other one’s sorrow, for even on the cross He forgot Himself to show kindness to others. Evidently the reason for silence was to try this mother’s faith, and to draw it out into still greater strength. He was preparing her to receive in the end a better blessing than she could have received at the beginning.

Our Lord sometimes yet seems to be silent to His people when they cry to Him. To all their earnest supplications He answers not a word. Is His silence a refusal? By no means. Ofttimes, at least, it is meant only to make the suppliants more earnest, and to prepare their hearts to receive richer and greater blessings. So when Christ is silent to our prayers, it is that we may be brought down in deeper humility at His feet, and that our hearts may be made more fit to receive heaven’s gifts and blessings.

Defend the Needy

Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.
~ Proverbs 31:9 [NLT]

This verse answers with a resounding “yes” to the question: Should believers speak up when we see injustice being carried out around them? The wisdom of God’s word pushes us to move past our affiliations, comfort zones, and tells us each to be an advocate for those we come across in our lives that need help being heard. Inaction is not something the Bible makes room for. What an uncomfortable truth, for me and for all of us who would rather live life blinded to the needs of others in our communities. What does action look like? There is not one size-fits-all answer to this question. Some helpful steps to take to find your way to help is to first listen, then pray, and then take God-inspired action.

Daily Quiet Time

The mother of Jesus saith unto Him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.
~ John 2:3-5

In asking for temporal blessings, true wisdom lies in putting the matter into the Lord’s hand, and leaving it there. He knows our sorrows, and, if He sees it is good for us that the water should be turned into wine, He will do it. It is not for us to dictate: He sees what is best for us. When we ask for prosperity, perhaps the thing which we should have is trial. When we want to be relieved of a “thorn in the flesh,” He knows what we should have is an apprehension of the fact that His grace is sufficient for us. So we are put into His school, and have to learn the lessons He has to teach us.

~  W. Hay Aitken

Daily Comfort

“He picked up the mantle that had fallen from Elijah.”
~ 2 Kgs 2:13

We are continually seeing useful lives removed from earth. The loss seems irreparable. But there are no accidents in God’s providence. Everyone’s life is a plan of God, and no faithful servant is taken away–until his part in the great plan is finished. There is abundance of work remaining–but it is the work of others, not of him who is gone. His mantle falls at someone’s feet– yours, perhaps.

A godly father dies, and there is grief in the home. How he will be missed! Yes, but an elder son stands by the coffin, strong and gifted, blessed with the blessing of the father’s life and teaching. At his feet the mantle falls from the father’s shoulders. He must take it up, and with it lift the burdens and responsibilities of manhood. He must become now his mother’s protector, and the shelter and defender of his younger brothers and sisters.

A godly mother dies, and when a gentle mother goes out of a home–the loss indeed seems irreparable. But if there is an elder daughter in the sorrowing group at the grave, at her feet the mantle falls.

So it is in all the breaches which death makes in Christian homes and communities, in every case the mantle falls at someone’s feet. God makes provision that his work shall not suffer, unless his servants fail in their duty. We must be ready always to take up what is ours.

Evening Prayer

GROWING DESIRE TO PLEASE GOD 
James 1:4; 2 Peter 1:3-4, 8

In Jesus’ Name, I Pray God’s Will for You

I pray that as you grow in your relationship with the Lord, your heart’s only desire will be to please Him. I pray that you will make every effort to learn what brings joy to God. May you increase your knowledge of Him through His Word. May you remember that God has given you everything you need for life and godliness. I pray that the Holy Spirit will help you grow spiritually and live a life that is pleasing to Him. I pray that your desire to please God will be evident in your life.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Live Loved

“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 
~ ACTS 1:8

“You Will Be My Witnesses” 

The tall one in the corner—that’s Peter. Galilee thickened his accent. Fishing nets thickened his hands. Stubbornness thickened his skull. His biggest catch in life thus far has come with fins and gills. Odd. The guy pegged to lead the next great work of God knows more about bass and boat docks than he does about Roman culture or Egyptian leaders.

And his cronies: Andrew, James, Nathanael. Never traveled farther than a week’s walk from home. Haven’t studied the ways of Asia or the culture of Greece. Their passports aren’t worn; their ways aren’t sophisticated. Do they have any formal education? 

In fact, what do they have? Humility? They jockeyed for cabinet positions. Sound theology? Peter told Jesus to forget the cross. Sensitivity? John wanted to torch the Gentiles. Loyalty? When Jesus needed prayers, they snoozed. When Jesus was arrested, they ran. Thanks to their cowardice, Christ had more enemies than friends at his execution.

Yet look at them six weeks later, crammed into the second floor of a Jerusalem house, abuzz as if they’d just won tickets to the World Cup Finals. High fives and wide eyes. Wondering what in the world Jesus had in mind with his final commission: “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NIV).

You hillbillies will be my witnesses. 

You uneducated and simple folk will be my witnesses.

You who once called me crazy, who shouted at me in the boat and doubted me in the Upper Room.

You will be my witnesses.

You will spearhead a movement that will explode out of Jerusalem like a just-opened fire hydrant and spill into the ends of the earth: into the streets of Paris, the districts of Rome, and the ports of Athens, Istanbul, Shanghai, and Buenos Aires.

I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. 
~ PSALM 9:1