Week of April 15, 2019
Don’t Be Afraid to Run to God
Job 22:21–23 (NIV)
Submit to God and be at peace with him;
in this way prosperity will come to you.
Accept instruction from his mouth
and lay up his words in your heart.
If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored…
Sometimes the thought of turning to God with our problems sounds like a bad idea.
Maybe we messed up in a relationship and feel like God is mad at us. Or maybe we’re busy and distracted.
But God has been waiting for this moment.
Today, don’t wait. Just go to Him. Approach Him and you will find peace for your life and relationships. You will grow as a person and your ways will prosper.
In the presence of your loving heavenly Father, you will find the answer for brokenness and wisdom for current relationships.
Pray this way: Father, thank You for Your Word. I ask for forgiveness for the times I’ve turned away from You, and I run to You today for Your help. In the name of Jesus, amen.
Mercy Is Waiting for You
2 Samuel 9:7–8
“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”
Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”
Do you feel you are worth loving? Why or why not?
King David wanted to show love and mercy to the son of his dear friend Jonathan by giving Mephibosheth all the things that had belonged to his grandfather. But the young man did not feel worthy to receive these things and called himself a “dead dog.”
God is like the king. In His mercy He wants to bless your life in all areas, even if you feel unworthy and it’s hard for you to believe He loves you.
If you have messed up—perhaps in this area of dating and relationships—don’t be afraid. God’s heart beats for you.
Pray this way: Father God, thank You for Your mercy and love. Right now I accept and receive all the blessings You’ve promised to Your children. Help me to see how much You really love me. In the name of Jesus, amen.
Learning to Be Brilliant
2 Corinthians 4:6–7
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
Before Jesus came into our lives, we did things blindly because we lived in darkness.
But as we came to know Jesus and received His presence into our lives, the world became clearer.
This treasure of God’s presence is contained in our imperfection. We mess up, we fall short, we make mistakes in relationships, people reject us and we reject them—we are far from perfect. We were literally made out of mud (Gen. 2:7)!
We are jars of clay. But when we listen to the wisdom of God and put it into practice, everything shines and our tasks are perfected.
If you want to become a “brilliant” person, receive the light of God. Step closer to Him. Seek Him out. Let Him into your heart.
Pray this way: Father God, thank You because the presence and words of Jesus illuminate my life. I want to receive even more of You, because I need You. Your power is great, and I am amazed that I get to see You work in my life and relationships. In the name of Jesus, amen.
“What should we do then?” the crowd asked.
John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”
Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”
“Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.
Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”
He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”
Love is a choice, not just a feeling. When we choose to love the people around us, we invite Heaven to come into our situations and begin to do mighty things.
When people asked John the Baptist how to be right with God, he basically said, “Show love.” Help the needy, be kind—choose to love.
What can you do today to show God’s love to someone near you?
Pray this way: Father God, thank You for the way You have loved me all this time. Thank You for the promises You have given me about my future and what You are doing. Please help me to carry Your heart, so others can begin to see You more clearly. In the name of Jesus, amen.
Focusing on God Instead of the World
Psalm 112:1, 7–9
Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
who find great delight in his commands…
Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
they will be remembered forever.
They will have no fear of bad news;
their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor,
their righteousness endures forever;
their horn will be lifted high in honor.
These days, it’s pretty easy to get caught up in bad news. We can quickly start to focus on things we’re afraid of instead of putting our attention on God.
But our heavenly Father invites us to a higher road, one that is lasting and brings peace. Don’t be afraid to let down your walls and step into His love.
Something special happens when we delight in God and choose to follow His ways. He’s the One who guards our steps. He is the safety that allows us to sleep peacefully.
With our eyes on Him, we won’t be afraid of bad news. Our good deeds will be remembered, and we will have honor and influence in society.
A complete change of life waits for us as we put our attention on God.
Pray this way: Father God, thank You for being an active part of my life. I choose to trust You with all my heart. Please help me to be a blessing to my loved ones and the other people around me. In the name of Jesus, amen.
Trusting in God When Life Is Hard
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
We might not have an answer for the bad things that happen in life, but we can trust that God loves us and wants to move on our behalf.
Perhaps you’ve just suffered a bad breakup. Maybe you’re lonely or feeling rejected. It can be difficult to keep believing when a long time has passed, when the money runs out, when someone is sick, when there are family problems, when dreams seem unattainable.
But God healed the blind man, and He will also glorify Himself in your life.
Pray like this: Father, I know You can make my dark days end. Show Your power in my life and increase my faith to believe what Your Word says. In the name of Jesus, amen.
Trusting God with Your Marriage
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.
Do you trust the Lord in the area of marriage? Why or why not?
When we put our trust in God, we are filled up with love, joy, patience, and the other fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22–23). His Word is real to us.
And amazingly, in this place of trusting in Him, adverse circumstances do not affect us.
The deeper our roots in God—the deeper our communion with Him—the richer our growth and the more abundant our fruit.
Trust the Lord with your marriage, and let Him pour out abundant life upon you. He is doing great things.
Pray like this: Father God, I know what it’s like to run after things of the world, and I don’t want to do that anymore. I renounce my past ways that separated me from You, and I direct everything I am toward You, so my life will produce much fruit. In the name of Jesus, amen.