Week of July 15, 2019
Matthew 9:9 (NIV)
As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
When Jesus met Matthew, He didn’t make him jump through hoops. He didn’t tell him, “Well, first you need to clean up your life, and THEN you can follow Me.” All He did was invite him to come close and be with Him.
As a tax collector, Matthew likely was not an honest man. Not in the beginning. But Jesus looked at him and saw someone He wanted on His team. “Follow Me,” He said, without any rules or judgments or stipulations.
Today, Jesus is saying the same thing to you. So often we make it more difficult than it really is. We think we need to change something or be a better person before God will invite us onto His team. But that just isn’t true.
Today’s prayer: My Father, thank You for accepting me just as I am. Please open up my heart so I can really start to understand what Your acceptance means. In the name of Jesus, amen.
May your Monday be blessed!
God’s Voice vs. Fear
John 10:27–29 (NLT)
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else.
It’s really easy to hear bad news these days. If we’re not careful, we can start feeling like the world is falling apart and everything is terrible. We can find ourselves dealing with fear that nearly paralyzes us, and it steals the strength we need for more important things.
But no matter how bad a situation might seem, we don’t have to listen to fear’s voice. We have a Voice that is more powerful than any other.
When you listen to Jesus’ voice and follow Him, you put yourself in the hands of God, who is more than able to take care of you and your family. Give Him your attention, and you will find peace for your soul.
Today’s prayer: Father God, I put my life in Your hands and trust You to keep me safe. You are more powerful than anything in this world, and I know You have good plans for me. In the name of Jesus, amen.
May your Tuesday be blessed!
The Power of Trust
James 4:7 (NLT)
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
When you’re struggling as a single, or dealing with a relationship that isn’t going the way you hoped it would, the most important thing you can do is step closer to God. “Humble” yourself by seeking Him and following His gentle leading in your life.
Resisting the devil might sound hard, but it’s actually something we do every day as we choose to trust God and His Word more than fear, shame, hopelessness, or any other trap the enemy has set for us.
What has God told you? What is the enemy doing to tear down God’s voice in your life? Resist the devil and he will run!
Today’s prayer: Lord, You are stronger than any other voice in my life. Today I choose to draw near to You for guidance. In the name of Jesus, amen.
May your Wednesday be blessed!
Hope in Your Father
Hebrews 11:3 (NLT)
By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.
God isn’t normal. That is, He is different than everything around us. He doesn’t fit into any grid or category we try to put Him in.
We know a lot about animals, the human body, and how gravity works. But God is altogether different, and sometimes we don’t see clearly because we start thinking He’s on our “level,” something we can figure out.
He spoke and formed the universe, just with His words. He is still the God who loves to bring things into existence. Even when it seems like nothing is there—God sees something beautiful.
Are you at the end of your rope? Does it seem like everything is lost? Put your hope in Creator God, because He has a plan and it’s a good one.
Today’s prayer: Lord, please open my eyes to see You as You really are. Thank You for being different than the world and strong enough to help me. In the name of Jesus, amen.
May your Thursday be blessed!
Pure in God’s Sight
Ephesians 4:24 (NIV)
Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
You are free FOREVER, and the truth about you is Jesus.
So many people fall into the trap of trying to prove their worth to God. They make sure they’re good and follow all the “rules” so He will accept them.
But we don’t have to worry about rules. If we’ve given our lives to Jesus, we are brand-new people who look like Him. HE is the light inside us, not something we’ve worked hard to earn.
We are 100 percent loved and accepted because when God the Father looks at us, He sees His Son.
Today’s prayer: Jesus, You made a way for me to stand before You completely blameless. Thank You for the price You paid so I can be with You! Please help me to understand this incredible gift You’ve given me. In the name of Jesus, amen.
May your Friday be blessed!
Love Clears the Way
1 John 2:10 (NIV)
Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.
Love is the heartbeat of God. It’s amazing how choosing to love someone can actually cause us to “live in the light,” like John talked about.
When we take a risk and choose to love, we are set free on the inside. It’s like our hearts are washed clean. The internal things that would have tripped us up are suddenly gone. We can run fast and freely, arms out, heads back, knowing the joy of our Father.
Don’t be afraid to step into love. Love clears the way!
Today’s prayer: Lord, I want to love like You do. Would You birth in my heart a deep love for the people around me? Every time they look at me, I want them to see You and how You love them. In the name of Jesus, amen.
May your Saturday be blessed!
Hope When You Mess Up
1 John 2:1 (NIV)
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
Jesus is the “lawyer” who defends you before God’s throne, and the devil is the one who accuses (Rev. 12:10).
Think for a minute about the “voice” you hear when you’ve messed up, said the wrong thing, or acted in a way you now regret. Does your heart hear condemning words saying you’re a failure? Or do you feel hope for the future?
Hope for the future is the only thing that exists for you. Because of Jesus.
The next time you feel condemned, speak the truth out loud: “I am the treasured child of God. He loves me more than I know, and Jesus is the One who stands with me!”
Today’s prayer: Father, I want to be so close to You that I know what You’re thinking the next time I feel like a failure. What YOU say about me is more important than anything the darkness says! In the name of Jesus, amen.
May your Sunday be blessed!
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