Begin with God
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 (NIV)
Begin this year with the God who brought life from the void of the earth and he will bring life from the blank calendar in your days ahead. The new year may cause you to be apprehensive, but whatever may befall, know that you will not be alone. The Creator of time, days, and lives will not leave you. The same Lord who walked with Adam through the unexplored land of Eden will walk with you through the uncharted year ahead.
Faith in God is sometimes easier to hold onto as we travel through the unknown, rather than the known. We would likely be more fearful of the year ahead if we knew the details of each of its days, but instead we have been given opportunity to begin with God.
Let’s pray today that we will not give way to fear for the days ahead, but that we would walk in faith, one day at a time.
Calvary in Eden
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.“ Genesis 3:15 (NIV)
The promise of Christ was declared in Eden, Satan would bruise us but Calvary would stop him in his tracks. Satan’s attack is against our head because he seeks to influence us and ruin our ability to think straight. The devil doesn’t outright destroy us, but he deceives us and little by little draws our affection away from the Savior. However, the promise is sure, the crushing bruise against his heel will bring Satan to his end.
Sinfulness has become the default position of our fallen nature but thankfully the prophesied promise of the coming Christ would beat Satan at his own game of temptation by teaching us to counter with faith in Calvary.
Let’s pray today to trust in the promise given at Eden, that Satan will be crushed and our Savior redeems.
Creator of the Climate
“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” Genesis 8:22 (NIV)
Do not join the fear on the topic of the environment because the Creator of the climate says the seasons will not cease. Our God is the Creator of the earth and the times are in His hands. We respect the environment, but we do not worship creation above the Creator. Satan can create nothing but lies and while he does seek to arouse confusion through convincing voices, take heart that God’s Word is certain and sure.
Life has enough worries of its own packed into its 24 hours but the world is bent on adding to our fears. Nature, has a Creator and He has promised that the climate will not cease its purpose of sustaining life.
Let’s pray today that we may trust in the word of God and not fear for our planet but for our souls.
“I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.” Genesis 9:15 (NIV)
The rainbow stands in the sky as a sign that the Creator God will be patient with mankind until the day of the Lord. He will not halt all life on earth, as He did during the days of the flood, until the end of all that is prophesied in Daniel and Revelation. He wants us to trust Him as the covenant keeping God and be saved in Jesus just as Noah was saved in the ark.
Like the days of Noah, we must find safety in the ark of Jesus Christ or be left to parish in our own unrepentant sins, but in that approaching day the cleansing will not be by flood but by the renewing fire that will make all things new.
Let’s pray today to remember God’s covenant when we see His rainbow in the sky.
“I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:3 (NIV)
The nation of Israel has long been in Satan’s cross hairs because God has promised to bless those who bless Israel. Of course, the opposite is true, because those who curse Israel are themselves cursed. You can’t ignore history. Israel has had God’s divine hand against the wicked who have sought to exterminate, terrorize, and kill the earthly family chosen by Heaven to bless the world.
The church of Jesus Christ is grafted in as spiritual Israel but like a loving parent who weeps and still works for their prodigal, God’s favor has not been withdrawn from the nation that stands as an oasis of blessing in a warring Middle East.
Let’s pray today for the people of Israel to come to know Jesus as their personal Messiah.
The Self-Evident God
“God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.” Exodus 3:14 (NIV)
The God of the Bible is self-evident, timeless, eternal, unchanging, and forever faithful to His own word. Just as you can not look at a building and deny the existence of an architect, neither can you honestly look upon creation and deny the existence of a God who was, is, and yet to be. The God we serve may be beyond our finite mind’s comprehension, but He is also beyond all possible doubt.
The true God is not hidden or out of reach. The true God is self-defined by His Word and by His own creation, just look at the colorful flowers of the fields, the majesty of the mountain range, or the beauty of the sunset beyond the soft sands of a warm beach.
Let’s pray today that we always remember we serve a God who is faithful to His promises.
Follow in Faith
“Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” Exodus 4:12 (NIV)
Excuses are for our own convincing when we are afraid to commit, but God works with our frailty and leads only as we follow in faith. Moses didn’t think he was the man God needed but that is precisely why God was able to use him. We ought not to rely on our own abilities when we are to act for God’s glory, but in our faithful action He leads and empowers us.
We follow in faith believing that God will do what we can not do for ourselves. There is no impediment to our physical body or human life that the Lord can not turn around as a witness for His glory and as a reminder for us to stay reliant on Him.
Let’s pray today that we may be ready to respond to our Lord’s commands in faithful obedience.
Redemption from Judgment
“The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.” Exodus 12:13 (NIV)
The Passover still reminds us that without the shedding of blood there can be no redemption from judgment. The blood was not from the Israelite’s themselves, but from a perfect lamb who was the sacrifice and by nature of the very sacrifice it is salvation by grace through faith in the word of God. God’s people were saved from judgment by the blood of the Lamb.
Jesus is the perfect Lamb of God whose blood was shed for our sins that we may pass from death to life. Ours is a death that is due us because of willful sinning, but eternal life is gift of that is appropriated through faith in the blood shed by Jesus.
Let’s pray today that we may trust in the blood of the Lamb of God for salvation and from judgment.
The Lord our Healer
“If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” Exodus 15:26 (NIV)
There are physical benefits to the principles and precepts of the Bible, including belief in the Lord our Healer. When we follow Jesus we enjoy a new life that rejects things that war against life. Yes, we still have a sinful nature and we battle to live right but as the Holy Spirit leads we begin to follow His convictions, and that includes choosing what’s best for the life God gave us now.
Sometimes the most strict of health practices can still leave us vulnerable to sickness and diseases, because we are fallen humans in a fallen world. Thankfully, our Lord is our Creator, Healer, and the great Physician whom we can turn to in all our infirmaries.
Let’s pray today that we may follow our Lord’s lead in healthful choices and look toward Him when we are ill.
The Law of God
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” Exodus 20:2 (NIV)
The 10 Commandments were given to a people redeemed from bondage that they may now live accordingly and not like they are still in bondage. When we have fallen at the foot of the Cross and have seen our sin in the nailed scarred hands of the Savior, we will rightly understand the law as the reflection of God’s righteous character. Though our sinful hearts fail to measure up, we plead the promise of grace and the power of the Holy Spirit.
We serve a Lord of law and order, not one of changing feelings or questionable temperament that leaves us guessing about His mood. In the 10 Commandments we see the behavior standard the Spirit of God is seeking to build in our lives.
Let’s pray today that we grow in grace and in a relationship with God’s Spirit so we uphold His law in our lives.
Lessons on Life
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12 (NIV)
To honor family, respect marriage, and love your parents as you can is to further your posterity and prosperity. We may not have the perfect lineage, but by our Heavenly Father we can appreciate the good qualities and godly intentions of those that brought us into this world. Every happy and successful adult was first a grateful child who heeded a parent’s lesson on life.
Respecting the divine structure of the family leads to the quality of life that our Lord wants us to live. The influence handed down to us is what we tend to pass on to our children, good or bad, but if that is less than ideal, we can change that by doing our life in Christ.
Let’s pray today that those with ungodly parents will come to terms regarding that, with their Father in Heaven.
Peace of God
“The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14 (NIV)
How do people live without God or go through the grief of life without the presence of God’s peace? It’s a rhetorical question but one that a believer in the Lord finds difficult to answer. There is no true life, at least a life of peace, without the presence of the Lord to comfort, guide, and strengthen when the walls of this world crumble about us. Without the Lord there is restlessness that knows no satisfaction.
The genuine Christian life is one that intentionally invites the Lord’s presence into every aspect of our life. It is including the Word of the Lord into our daily thoughts and weighing every decision we face in light of it. It is finding rest from our cares by turning to the Lord daily in prayer.
Let’s pray today for the peace of God’s presence to give us rest for the trials of life.
Blessings of His Name
“So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:27 (NIV)
Where the name of the Lord is cherished, the presence of the Lord is free to bless His people in fellowship. Our God inhabits the praise of His people, and like the priesthood of the Israelites, pastors today are called to pray the blessings of the Lord among the fellowship they shepherd. The name of the Lord is the very character of our God and in His name is His presence.
Our homes and our churches should be all about embracing our identity as a child of God and lifting up the name of our Lord in teaching, worship, prayer, and conversations. When we do, we will see God’s blessings.
Let’s pray today that we may choose to praise the name of Jesus in our daily conversations.
The Lord Provider
“But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.” Deuteronomy 8:18 (NIV)
Every good thing comes from the Lord, so if every bad thing is coming your way, first check with the Lord. There are hardships that befall the best of God’s people, but even in lean times we can find contentment. When life seems to be a sequence of down turns the solution is not in complaining but in turning to the Lord and seeing what lesson is meant to be learned. Seek the Lord’s face and His hand will be open to you.
Resolve to be grateful to God every time you have gains and provisions, and voice that appreciation to others as a testimony to His goodness. In making a habit of recognizing your Provider, it will keep your focus on Him and away from your wants.
Let’s pray today that we may resist blaming or excuses, and humbly turn to the Lord for our needs.
Rejection of Jesus
“If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.” Deuteronomy 8:19 (NIV)
Hell is for those who intentionally reject the truth as it is in Jesus and willfully follow the lies of Satan. The devil tempts men to turn from the common sense of the Bible. Men who rave about falsehoods of other men, who will perish in hell, not because they believe the obvious lies but because they reject the Lord Jesus Christ and all who stand with Him in truth.
Our only safeguard in our spiritual journey is in Scripture. As we spend time in God’s Word and grow in its counsel and as we depend more on claiming the promises of God found through its pages, the more consistent our faith in Jesus Christ becomes.
Let’s pray today that we will fix our eyes on Jesus and not turn from His Word.
“Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 12:28 (NIV)
Obedience to God’s word and choosing right is the best way for men to strengthen their children’s character. If a man will fall for anything, if he lives a weak life, if he is indecisive or always making poor decisions, he will be successful with at least one thing and that is teaching his children to do the same. Being a godly man doesn’t mean being perfect but it means you know the One who is.
If you are a wife or a child, you are not exempt from a man’s godly influence, because you can impact your husbands, fathers, and male leaders within your lives at church, school, and community through the power of prayer.
Let’s pray today that we may encourage the men in our lives to obey God at all cost and at all times.
Blessings Where Planted
“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.” Deuteronomy 18:15 (NIV)
The grass may appear greener on the other side, but it is where you are planted that you will find God’s blessings. Moses told the Israelites that his successor would come from among them, and that principle is true for most of God’s blessings. Stop thinking “if only I’d” and start saying “thank you Lord” for blessing me right where I am.
Be faithful with what you are entrusted with and be patient about waiting for what God places before you next, and in the meantime honor those who hold the position of authority you may want, because God blesses according to where we are now not where we want to be.
Let’s pray today that we would stop gazing at circumstances and start fixing our eyes on Jesus the Lord.
In God’s Strength
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)
Too often we concern ourselves with others when God asks that we just concern ourselves with Him. Do not give your enemies, people or otherwise, credit beyond what they deserve, but put them in their place, beneath and subject to the God you serve. Face the day in the Lord’s strength and be courageous in His character, not yours, for your God is with you.
David didn’t bring down Goliath by admiring how big he was, but by focusing on how big his God was. He didn’t even focus on his own weakness, but he found his strength and courage in knowing that the Lord was going with him and would help him.
Let’s pray today that we will depend on the Lord’s strength and go confidently forward in Him.
God is with You
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)
Don’t draw back from your future but draw closer to God because He has promised to be with you. You may feel alone, you may wonder if anyone cares, you may fell like no one notices your trials or recognizes the same obstacles you are facing, but the Alpha and the Omega, the God who went with Moses and is returning to reign is with you.
This means that the Lord will not lead you somewhere that He has never been. Is your journey taking you through grief, or pain, or deep sorrow? He has been there, He knows the emotions you face, and that is why He is there with you.
Let’s pray today that when we feel neglected by others we may turn to God and find comfort.
“I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.” Joshua 1:3 (NIV)
The enemies of Israel complain about their land, but God has given them borders beyond what they occupy now. Satan and those who follow him tend to blame Israel for all things evil, though they themselves are the purveyors of wickedness. God will not tolerate the nations suppressing His children forever but will soon answer them in His wrath.
Just as God led the Israelite’s conquest of heathen nations into the promised land, so He will lead us through these difficult times into our eternal promised land of a New Earth and New Jerusalem.
Let’s pray today for the peace of Jerusalem and the conversion of Jews to their Messiah.
Meditate on Scripture
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8 (NIV)
The secret to experiencing the power of God’s word is in mediating upon its verses, day in and day out. We do not need to enroll in theological seminary coursework in order to grow in faith, but we do need to regularly fill ourselves with the Bible, little by little, and as we progress in our life we will draw from its well of wisdom, truth, and promises.
It is not always in deep topical study comparing verses as proof texts that we grow in our faith, but it is also by the practice of contemplation of a single verse that we find guiding truth to live by and to draw from.
Let’s pray today that we may be faithful today to meditate on the word of God and allow its truth to soak in.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
God’s people are in want of leaders who are courageous in their calling and not cowardly in an oppressive culture. We are a people among a wicked world that promotes individual weakness by dumbing down education and legislating political expediency at the expense of truth. The wicked threaten, shame, and blame the righteous, but they can not stand against us when we are strong in our Lord Jesus Christ.
To know God is to be courageous in His might, not ours. It is impossible to go through the pages of Scripture without taking away a confidence in God’s willingness to go with us wherever we may go.
Let’s pray today that we may stand strong for God and firm in the power of His strength.
“He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness.” 1 Samuel 2:9 (NIV)
A man may force his wickedness upon you, but he is no match before your God who has the final judgment. Even if an evil man prevails through violence or any means that oppress and overtakes your God given rights, know that death itself is not the end. Our God will have the final say in all human affairs and only we who trust in the Lord will be redeemed.
The victory of God over evil may not come as quickly as we want, but it will be a forever victory. Satan will be silenced and the meticulous working of the plan of redemption will cause us to praise the wisdom of God throughout ceaseless ages.
Let’s pray today that we may put our trust in the Lord to vindicate us and His saints when the wicked assault us.
The Softening Spirit
“The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.” 1 Samuel 10:6 (NIV)
God prepares us for His assignments by giving us the Holy Spirit which births in us a new heart for that work. When we respond to follow God we receive a new compassion, a new passion, a new life. Jesus doesn’t change, but with Jesus we change. The Holy Spirit softens our hard disposition and warms our cold attitudes into a new outlook that sees as our Lord sees.
The Spirit of God and His leading in our lives is something that we should earnestly pray for, so we may walk in a Christlike power. By the influence and direction of the Spirit the words of God are made plain and our steps are made certain.
Let’s pray today to allow the Holy Spirit to soften our hardened hearts so that we may be used by Him.
Praying for Others
“As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.” 1 Samuel 12:23 (NIV)
No one is helpless to aid another when they are a believer in the prayer answering God of the Bible. You might not have the money to give or a skill to use or a talent to share or the right word to comfort a neighbor in need, but what you do have is a ministry of prayer. The same God who answers your prayers for you is able to answer your prayers for another.
Your intercession on behalf of another could be the very thing the Lord is waiting for so He may act on their behalf. Prayer is our means of invitation for the Spirit of God to intervene against strongholds that are crippling the lives of others.
Let’s pray today that we would be faithful in praying for others in need.
Remembering His Blessings
“The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:37 (NIV)
Remembering how the Lord has led you in your past will strengthen your faith for your future. In fact, there is nothing to fear about facing tomorrow’s challenges except that we forget how our Lord has led us through yesterday’s challenges. When we share the blessings of God in our life with family and friends, it becomes easier to remember His goodness as we face problems.
We can easily forget the goodness of the Lord, especially when the cares of the world pressure us, but that is the time we need to reflect on His leading in our past. Keeping the leading of the Lord fresh in our mind will help fuel our faith in the future.
Let’s pray today that we may remember and share the Lord’s blessings that our faith will be strong.
God is in Control
“Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.” 1 Chronicles 29:12 (NIV)
God rules over both the wicked and the righteous, and He blesses who He wishes according to His will. We are sometimes bewildered at a wicked man’s success and forget to consider that God’s will for that is unknown to us. We wonder how some get elevated above the righteous and forget that God has a plan that we do not know.
It is not always clear why a good man can fall from authority and an evil man can ascend to authority. What we can be certain of is that God is in control and like the movement of chess pieces on a board, God has an ultimate end in mind.
Let’s pray today that we may find hope in knowing that our Lord is aware of earth’s events and He is in control.
A Humble Nation
“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
Our nation is lost without a people willing to humble themselves before the God who forgives and heals. A humble heart is willing to lay aside self and receive the Savior Jesus Christ. Being humble is how we get honest with our sin and how we desire the righteousness of Christ and the grace of Calvary, and that is how we influence our nation for His Kingdom.
Men can not turn from their pride and pursuit of political power without the conviction of the Holy Spirit descending upon them, and that is why we must labor for those who lead through prayer and intercession.
Let’s pray today that we will back down from self exultation and humbly stand at Calvary.
Staying Close to God
“The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.” 2 Chronicles 15:2 (NIV)
Don’t get into a crisis and wonder why God seems absent when you’ve spent years running from Him. God operates by the principle of love not force, and He will not impose His righteousness upon you when you have been sticking your wickedness in His eye. Salvation is a gift, but it is a gift that can’t be received by a heart that is forced and unable to appreciate its value.
Until we realize that we are sinful in our own right, and not capable of obtaining a perfect character worthy of our entrance into Heaven, then we can repent from running away from God and do a u-turn right into His forgiveness and gift of grace.
Let’s pray today that we may have a willing humble heart to stay close to God in good and tough times.
“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7 (NIV)
Doing the right thing takes courage and being courageous starts when we recognize the reward is future. The lazy man wants the pay day before the work week and the reaping before the sowing. However for the godly man and woman facing challenges, they seek God’s glory now by knowing their rewards in the future.
It is human to want to walk away, to want the easy way, or to resist the longest path, but we are not aiming for an earthly award — we are putting our sights on an eternal life in an eternal home where the trials of this world will be no more.
Let’s pray today to find courage in our Lord’s strength and be patient for a reward in heaven.
“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV)
When we are joyless we can turn to our Lord on Calvary and allow His joy to fill our mind, hearts, and soul. When sadness sinks us low in despair or we fear for our future, it is in Jesus that we can be lifted by His love, His righteousness, His salvation. Out of the pain of the cross comes joy that lasts and strength to know that we too will not just survive but thrive in eternity.
In the experiences of humanity there is a time for grieving our losses, but at some point we must raise our eyes upon the Lord and accept His strength. Jesus knows our sorrows and in these times of sadness we will find His arms outstretched to us.
Let’s pray today that we will not remain in despair but will turn to the Lord and find strength in His joy.