- Tuesday, 1/17/23 Psalm 119:17, Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word. Prayer is not for us to get God to do our will; it’s for us to do His will. Maybe if we prayed more for
the things that are important to Him (holiness, gratitude, souls, others), we’d see more answers. Psalm 119:19, I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me. By birth we are citizens of this world and very attuned to it. By the new birth, we become citizens of Heaven, and we must work on getting used to the customs and procedures of our new country. We need to ask Him to teach us the culture and philosophies of His world.
- Wednesday, 1/18/23 Proverbs 15:14, The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness. Perhaps a good measuring stick is what we do with our spare time: do we search for truth or how to help people, or do we automatically go to our phones (social media, ESPN, games, email?) I know what I do far more often than I should... Ezekiel 28:17, Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness. Don’t let your good points become a source of sin. Whatever good you are or do or feel or desire or think is because of Christ’s grace and goodness. And, not just God: others were used to teach you and correct you and mature you. We are the sum total of A LOT of others.
- Thursday, 1/19/23 Philemon 1:4, I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers. How often in his writings does Paul tell others that he’s praying for them? Maybe we should do a lot more of that: telling others that we actually prayed for them. Even the lost: pray that they’d know salvation. Maybe it would get them thinking about eternity and open a door for us to open our mouths. Psalm 119:37, Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way. Also, Psalm 141:3, Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Pray for protection over your troublesome body parts. This means you’ve got to be honest with God re: your weak spots. Is it your eyes? Ears? Heart? Lusts? Mouth? Tongue? Morality? Be honest with Him and seek His help.
- Friday, 1/20/23 Psalm 114:7, Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob. Very simply: do you fear God? Yes, on some level we are to be outright scared of Him. Yes, He’s our loving Father and sweet Saviour, but He is also the awesome, terrible omnipotent One. Yes, we are loved children, saved saints, forgiven believers: but we are still to be afraid of Him also. Matthew 10:28 uses the very same word to say how to feel toward a murderer and the Lord. Having relationship issues? Marriage? Boss? Co-workers? Church? Feel like if “they” (whoever “they” is) would simply man up and take their share of the blame that things could be worked out? Please stop and realize that fixing blame NEVER fixed any situation. Why? Because the one who deserves the lion’s share of the blame, as shown by the very nature of that statement, is not spiritual enough to humbly acknowledge their faults. (Also, their pride wants the finger pointed elsewhere.) (Or, is it that YOU deserve most of the blame?) But assigning blame doesn’t work. What works? Taking undeserved blame. Isaiah 53:6, All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Jesus took blame that He didn’t deserve...and fixed everything. Isn’t that what “going the second mile” is all about? It’s impressive to own up to what you truly did, but to fix things, take ownership of what you didn’t do or are accused of doing. Romans 12:18, ...as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
- Saturday, 1/21/23 Psalm 90:3, Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. We all sin, and we all sin willfully. After the sin, in a moment of clarity (“I shouldn’t have done that...”), God shows us where that road is leading. How we respond in that moment will determine a whole lot of our happiness. Psalm 91:2, I WILL SAY of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. To whom are we to say this? 1) To ourselves. David encouraged himself in the Lord. Talk to yourself. 2) Say it to God. Tell Him He’s stuck with you. 3) Say it to others to encourage them, or to declare your position. Go on record as to Who’s side you're on: it may prevent some temptation from coming your way.
- Sunday, 1/22/23 Luke 13:15, The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? I wonder, if we really looked at our lives, how many instances of hypocrisy we could find? Your walk talks and your talk talks, but your walk talks louder than your talk talks. Are you willing to look at your life with a critical, objective eye? Psalm 93:4, The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea. We sure have an awesome God, don’t we? He’s strong enough to do whatever is necessary; loving enough to want to do it for His kids; wise enough to do when it needs to be done; and patient enough to put up with us when we whine about our situation. Go hug your God today.
- Monday, 1/23/23 What is one of your favorite songs at church? Take a 3x5 card, right now, and write the title. Now, put it where you’ll see it all day, and sing to your wonderful Lord. Psalm 95:1, O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Psalm 94:12-13, Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law; that thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked. At times, the Lord does deal harshly with us. However, 1) He is aware that we are His and He treats us differently than He does the heathen. 2) The “meanness” is to stop a bad action in us or to spur us to new heights. 3) So the “bad” treatment is for our good. 4) Being rough-housed by God proves that we’re saved. [You don’t spank the neighbor’s kids, do you?] 5) Reacting rightly may shorten the duration of the “meanness.” 6) God is still God and can choose any time and any area of your life to insert Himself. “Do you want Me to get out the paddle?”