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“The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.” Zechariah 8:5 (NIV)
Our society is increasingly favoring laws that value death and downplay life, but in our eternal home we will have none of it! Life will be celebrated. When you see children out in public with no worry of harm, you’ll see life and know there is safety. Heaven will be like that. You’ll see it as the lamb and lion tussle together without fear and in the presence of children freely playing.
Life in our eternal home will be unlike our society today with its sinful consequences. There will be no fear of evil disrupting our days when we are in Heaven because every inhabitant will be in harmony with the righteousness of the Lord.
Let’s pray today that the children in our families will follow Jesus and join with us in life.
“Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.” Zechariah 9:12 (NIV)
The enemy of souls may have stolen your joy, but the Lord has promised to restore to you double. You may have lost health, career, family, but the Lord God declares that He will restore to you twice as much. The delay may try your faith and the pain may push you to doubt, but wait on the Lord for your double blessing.
Just as our days on earth are fleeting moments of time that cause us to wonder where our lives went, so will we soon find ourselves in the place of double blessings. Our hope may be realized yet on earth but it is certain in Heaven.
Let’s pray today to be patient in endurance and hopeful as we wait on our Lord’s promise.
“On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.” Zechariah 13:1 (NIV)
All our righteousness is as filthy rags, it can’t cleanse us from sin and it can’t get us in Heaven. Jesus Christ offers His own righteousness as a fount of living cleansing water. Have no fear of failing when you live by faith, because fail as you will, with the Spirit of Christ within you, the fount of living water continues to flow, forgive, and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
The Savior gives like a fountain that brings forth an endless stream of refreshing water. The needs of mankind through the ages is Jesus the prophesied Messiah who has come to cleanse us from sin so we may have eternal life.
Let’s pray today that we may trust in the living water of Christ’s Spirit to forgive and save.
More Like God
“This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.‘” Zechariah 13:9 (NIV)
There is a people of God who call upon the Lord and whom the Lord recognizes as His own. Not necessarily a people by membership in a church, but who have been born again by the blood of Lamb, who have heard Him through answers of prayer, through conviction of the Bible, in fellowship with other followers of Christ Jesus. God’s people are more like God than the world around them.
The people of God are often refined by the fires of tribulation and in that testing, like metal in the refiner’s fire, are made pure. It is easy to give praise to the Lord in our times of plenty, but it is in the trials that our character is shaped more like Christ.
Let’s pray today that we will faithfully show the world the character of God in us.
Return to Jesus
“Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.” Malachi 3:7 (NIV)
Don’t think that you have been away from God for so long that He would never take you back. Don’t think that He wouldn’t want you, or that He has moved on to help others. The Lord died for you on Calvary’s cross and His investment in you and every wayward soul is immeasurably great. Turn back to God just as you are and He shall make you just as you were and move you by His Spirit to just where you should be.
Your family history may be against the things of God but that doesn’t have to define you and your choices today. Now is the right time to do the right thing. Returning to Jesus while we still have breath is good for us and our family’s future.
Let’s pray today that our loved ones would stop running from God and allow Him to help.
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Malachi 3:10 (NIV)
The church is God’s ordained means of distributing gospel food to a world starving for truth. When we contribute to the mission of the gospel through our talents, our time, and our resources, the Provider God which we serve returns back to us through providential provision. The very practice of giving becomes God’s provision for receiving.
God does not need our resources, but we certainly need His. Every good thing we have and are is from God. When we willingly participate in God’s work of providing to others we find that His blessings often become ours.
Let’s pray today to be faithful in returning gratitude in tithes and offerings to the work of God.
“On the day when I act, says the Lord Almighty, they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him.” Malachi 3:17 (NIV)
A quick look across the pews won’t tell you who truly believes in Jesus, but the return of Jesus will. The difference between those who serve the Lord and those who don’t isn’t always clear, but we all serve somebody. Some serve self, some serve money, some serve power, but when the end of all things is final and Jesus returns for His own, it will be clear to all and for all eternity.
The genuine followers of the Lord Jesus will make up God’s treasured possession and they will be spared the wrath meant for those who willfully reject divine mercy. On the day that our God acts, the true saints of the Lord will be saved.
Let’s pray today that we may not serve anyone or anything above our Lord and Savior.
“He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” Malachi 4:6 (NIV)
God is concerned about families, which is why the gospel repairs broken hearts, relationships, and homes. This is why Satan seeks to attack the institution of marriage and why he drives a wedge between fathers and children. This is also why Jesus seeks reconciliation between families and offers His Spirit to turn hearts toward home.
The outcome of homes intentionally without a parent, sons without fathers and daughters without mothers, is detrimental to the development of wholeness in future adults unless the Holy Spirit intervenes with healing and hope.
Let’s pray today that we will guard our parenting and family relationships by His Spirit.
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21 (NIV)
Our God does not demand that we reach Him, instead He has reached us by His Son Jesus Christ. He was born into the human family as the second Adam, He understands our frailty, and He alone saves. Jesus lived the sinless life for the forgiveness of our sins. No other god can claim such love birthed from divinity to save those who will believe in faith that His grace is sufficient to forgive our sins.
How different is the God of the Bible than other gods of man’s religions, because ours has come to us, seeking a relationship. The Lord left His glory in Heaven and entered into our world for the purpose of becoming the sacrifice for our sins.
Let’s pray today that we may rejoice in the good news Jesus saves and we will be with Him for all eternity.
Word of God
“Jesus answered, It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 (NIV)
Food is required to keep us healthy and alive to see tomorrow, but the Bible is required to keep us healthy and alive to see eternal life in Heaven. The Bible is the word of life, the word of truth, the word of God and is far more important for an abundant life – on earth and in heaven – than every crumb of food that may pass through our lips. So let us live our days in hunger for the very words of our God.
The Bible is not meant to be a reference book for sporadic referral in times of trials or problems. We should go to it in the circumstances that try us but God’s Word is our daily spiritual sustenance required for life, even more than bread.
Let’s pray today for the Spirit of God to stir our yearning to digest the words of eternal life.
Broken for Heaven
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3 (NIV)
Being heartbroken, deeply saddened, in the depths of despair can sometimes seem like a prerequisite for Heaven. It’s hard to feel like we actually have a future when we feel broken, but Jesus says that the future belongs to such. This world may reward the ambitious confident go-getter, but the Kingdom of Heaven is about rewarding redemption to the broken-hearted.
It is hard to be prideful and feel self-sufficient when our heart’s are shattered with sorrow or our attitude is depressed of any positivity. However, it is in these times we can turn to the Lord and appreciate His sacrifice that we have the hope of Heaven.
Let’s pray today that when we feel our life is in pieces we will go to Jesus and find healing.
No More Grief
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 (NIV)
Grief is a very lonely feeling that leaves the mourner wondering if things will ever be normal again. Jesus knows your grief and with the story of the death Lazarus we saw that he knows the tears that grief brings. The day is coming when mortal shall put on immortal and sorrow will be replaced with eternal peace and the empty void of loss will end in the comforting arms of God in Heaven.
Comfort does not always come as we may expect because family and friends may stay at a distance, but the Lord is always near. Allow our times of mourning to drive us to find comfort from the Lord, in His promises, and in the blessed hope.
Let’s pray today for those who miss loved ones and that we will all long for Heaven.
Humble for Heaven
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5 (NIV)
Our society doesn’t always recognize meekness as a quality to be cherished, but our Father in Heaven does. No one wants to spend eternity with boisterous proud people, but rather with those who humbly recognize the high cost of salvation, which is why God rewards those who stand faithful to heavenly principles above earthly gains.
Heaven will be filled with those who lived quiet lives, like the faithful mother who lived mostly unknown outside her family and the steadfast father who labored without worldly ambition. Thankfully, the Lord sees the humble and the new earth is their reward.
Let’s pray today that we will not become hardened by others but stand for truth, humbly.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6 (NIV)
If you hunger to be right with the Lord, you will, because in our emptiness we have room for His grace. The Spirit of God is fully available to those who acknowledge their need, who ask, who seek Jesus, and who willfully follow after Him. As we deal with our shortcomings, we become thirsty for His grace and that living water always satisfies.
A love for what is righteous is evidenced by our hunger and thirst for the way and works of God. God’s grace brings a satisfaction to our soul that fills us, yet causes us to increase in hunger and thirst after His righteousness.
Let’s pray today to not hide our sins, but let’s seek the grace of Christ to forgive and restore.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7 (NIV)
As you are merciful toward others, so will God in his judgment be merciful toward you. We all want God’s grace, not the wrath we deserve, but when we realize our own sinfulness it’s easier to be merciful toward others. When we are grateful for Calvary and appreciate the price Christ paid, it’s easier to be merciful with others.
Sometimes circumstances and relationships may tempt us to judge harshly but often, through prayerful contemplation, we can extend mercy in attitude and deed when we are reminded of the undeserved mercy the Lord has extended to us.
Let’s pray today to have compassion and patience with others for the sake of Christ.
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:6 (NIV)
God does not overlook or ignore the unspoken private heartfelt prayers of His people. A meaningful relationship with our Lord is not dependent on outward religiosity but on genuine gratitude, simple petitions, and personal communion with Him. Our prayer life may be unnoticed by those around us or even unadvertised by us, but the power of prayer is not in us but in the God we approach in prayer.
Every believer in Jesus Christ can share in the high privilege of prayer with Heaven and it is not dependent upon recognition or approval of anyone else. Prayer is communication between us and the Lord anytime and in any need.
Let’s pray today in a continual communion with our Lord, spoken or unspoken.
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)
The best way to know that we understand God’s grace is to evaluate how we extend grace to others. To know that we are forgiven by God is to know that we are forgiving of others. It is easy to willingly forgive another for their sinfulness expressed toward us when we are fully aware of how much our Lord has willingly forgiven us.
It is in our appreciation for God’s forgiveness of our sins that our attitude softens toward others in similar sin. When we realize that God has turned our own life around we can begin to view others with a hope that He can do the same for them.
Let’s pray today that we would allow God to handle those who hurt or harm us and stay in His grace.
“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:20-21 (NIV)
Investments of earth will depreciate and decay but investments in Heaven will give you eternal returns. Nothing of this earth lasts, and nothing of this earth is guaranteed to remain secure or safe. Only our treasures of gospel worth will return dividends to last into eternity. What we invest in faithfulness to Christ is all that will last.
If we are consumed with investing our energies into the things of this earth, we’ll come to the end of our days unprepared for Heaven. If we have sowed our life into the things of Heaven, we’ll reap a great joy when it comes time to meet the Lord.
Let’s pray today that we would give of our heart and mind, all that we are and have to Heaven.
Start with God
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
Getting life right begins by putting God first and starting all we do with God’s Kingdom in mind. First we seek His face and that means we focus on Him not on us, on His promises not our problems, on the healing wounds of Calvary not our own hurts. If we only think about our grievances we’ll never be able to ascend to God’s Kingdom and His righteousness, so let’s start each day fixed on God, not ourselves.
Each decision we may face should be filtered through its impact upon our place in the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Every choice we make ought to reinforce our faith and draw us closer to our eternal home.
Let’s pray today that we may give the first fruits of our thoughts and actions to God and His Kingdom.
“For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:2 (NIV)
Followers of Christ should be the most discerning of others because except for the grace of God we’d be the same. While we can’t read men’s hearts, we know our own, and we can be keen to ungodliness and rightly judge beyond mere words. We judge character in light of God’s grace, knowing how He has changed us, but we cannot forfeit honesty for the sake of earthly gain.
Talk is cheap to a dishonest person, but behavior determines one’s true self. It is not our calling to be worried about evaluating everyone’s intent, but when it matters to us we should remember that actions speak louder than words.
Let’s pray today that we may be Spirit-led with wisdom to know God’s grace as we deal with others.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)
When we know the love of God for us and His desire to bless us, it is motivation to pray more persistently. Too often we ask once then move on, even lamenting that praying didn’t work, but the truth is we stopped asking because of our disbelief in the very character and willingness of our Heavenly Father to answer. The test is not in the answer but in our asking.
This promise offers a nice visual regarding persistent prayer as asking to receive, seeking to find, and knocking on the doors before us for the answer we prayed for. Prayer is not just a one-time passive shot, but a persistent activity of faith.
Let’s pray today to be faithful to ask, seek, and knock for answered prayers that honor God.
Speak of Jesus
“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10:32 (NIV)
When you publicly speak honor to the name of Jesus on earth you become the conversation in Heaven. This is far bigger than a chance conversation with a Hollywood celebrity, this is the Creator of all things talking about you! When we don’t shrink back from our testimony of faith before others and freely give glory to the Lord, Jesus will talk us up before the Father.
The Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven is fully aware of our testimony for Him on earth, and that should be all the more encouraging to us to confidently speak His name before others. The name of Jesus carries power above all names.
Let’s pray today to be bold in declaring the name of Jesus before others as often as we have opportunity.
“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:39 (NIV)
A Christian does not live their own life, we live Christ’s life through faith and by His indwelling Spirit. When we believe the Bible and respond to the gospel we follow our Lord in newness of life. We die to self and arise to a new life that is no longer governed by selfish ambition, but we seek to bring glory to God in all that we do, say, and think.
We may not always perfectly represent our new life in Christ, because we are sinful human flesh, but the Lord is our advocate whose grace is sufficient for us in our weakness. There is no limit on repentance, forgiveness, and faith to live Christ’s life.
Let’s pray today to allow the Spirit of God to have control of our every thought and actions.
The Church Wins
“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” Matthew 16:18 (NIV)
The church may appear to be losing the culture war but the faithful word of God says it wins. It may appear that the lawless godless men in positions of authority are crushing its mission, but their wicked boldness is arousing slumbering saints to stand in revival of righteousness. The very gates of hell can not and will not be moved against the church triumphant.
We must remember that the weeds will grow with the wheat until the final harvest when the separation of the false and true will be made clear. Until the Lord returns, we have this promise that the church whom Christ died for will be redeemed.
Let’s pray today that we would not lose heart or give in to rampant disregard of the truth of God’s word.
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20 (NIV)
Our Lord does not only show up if the crowd is big, but when the gathered church is simple and few. Congregational programs and hi-tech productions do not impress the Savior of men. Jesus is there when you and another will simply meet as the church you are with the purpose of worship and the intent of growing in grace and knowledge of Him.
The church in large gatherings is not at a greater heavenly advantage than a smaller gathering of a few. In fact, the promise of Jesus’ presence is made for those who seek a simple New Testament fellowship with as many as two or three.
Let’s pray today for simple church gatherings everywhere to meet for the glory of Him.
“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” Matthew 19:26 (NIV)
Don’t hold back your big prayers from God, because prayer can do anything that God can do. Nothing is impossible for the God who created all things and who asks your full assurance of trust in Him for salvation. No relationship is too broken, no problem is too bad, nothing is impossible for the prayer answering God of the Bible.
Whatever the challenge of our life, the answer is prayer because it puts us in communion with the God who is not hindered by impossibility. With God it is possible and that is exactly why we share our heart and mind with the Lord through prayer.
Let’s pray today that we would share our greatest needs and dreams with our Father in Heaven.
Answers to Prayer
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22 (NIV)
Answers to prayer are not limited by our lack of religious works, but by our lack of biblical faith. A lack of faith in the promises of God’s word is what hinders our effective communication with the Lord. Prayer may go unanswered when we ask in doubt and criticism or when we ask against His will, but God does honor His promises.
It is possible that a request we make to the omniscient Lord is not what’s best for us and that may go unanswered, but in our prayerful laboring through the promises of Scripture we may discover that. Through prayer our faith grows stronger.
Let’s pray today that we may pray in a clinging faith based on the very promises of God.
No Soul Overlooked
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14 (NIV)
God has planned for everyone to have an opportunity to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. The proclamation of the gospel has been a global effort and in these last days it will be magnified as the Spirit of Truth pierces these dark days with chances to turn to Christ. When the last trump sounds and the Lord’s return occurs no soul will have been overlooked by a choice between heaven or hell.
Heaven will be filled with those who intentionally rest in Jesus Christ through faith and hell will be filled with those who intentionally reject Jesus Christ through works. The records of our decisions will testify to which choices we made.
Let’s pray today for all around to recognize and accept Jesus as their Savior.
“So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Matthew 24:44 (NIV)
Being ready for Jesus’ return at any moment comes when your every moment is looking for Jesus. Prophecy charts may be helpful in understanding timelines of events, but they can’t turn your heart toward the Savior in readiness. There is no waiting till the last minute to be ready for the Lord’s return, because you don’t know when it is. So rather than always looking around or looking down, we can always be ready by always looking up.
We may live our days around tasks and activities that require our attention but the longing for the Savior’s promised return to take us to Heaven is the blessed hope of the Christian life. Regardless of what we are doing, our heart and soul is looking up.
Let’s pray today that we may stay focused on the Savior and looking for His return.
“I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” Matthew 26:29 (NIV)
In eternity, when we are with our Lord Jesus we will enjoy personal, genuine, forever fellowship with Him. We will enjoy the intimacy of eating and drinking together, being together, and having a close relationship together. The Lord has given us the practice of communion to remind us of this and is longing for the day when we will be together again at His Father’s table.
The bread and wine are symbols to remind us of the life of Christ but even more so is the reminder to look forward to the Lord’s return. When Jesus returns we will be with Him forever and truly know the extent of His sacrifice for us.
Let’s pray today that the Spirit may give us a longing heart to be with Jesus in eternal fellowship.
The Great Promise
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
The great commission from Jesus Christ is a great promise to be shared, that He has not left us and He is returning for us. Jesus has not escaped us by leaving us behind to defend for ourselves against the world. We can collectively and cooperatively preach all the teachings of Scripture, because the promise of our Lord is that He will never leave us, never forsake us, never forget us, never ever even until the end of time.
As the church we are not left without direction, but we have this directive from the Lord Jesus Christ to go and make more disciples. Every believer and every congregation that claims the Lordship of Christ has this great promise to live by.
Let’s pray today that we may be led by the Holy Spirit to share the great promise with others.
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Copyright © 2018, 2023 by Steve Durkac. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.