Seeking God: What a relief!

Seeking God: What a relief!
He who keeps you will never take His eyes off you and never drift off to sleep..jpg

Reading: Psalm 121, Psalm 34:22

Christ: Taste and see that I am good. Meditate on Psalm 121 and believe it.

I look up at the vast size of the mountains—
    from where will my help come in times of trouble?
The Eternal Creator of heaven and earth and these mountains
    will send the help I need.

He holds you firmly in place;
He will not let you fall.
    He who keeps you will never take His eyes off you and never drift off to sleep.
What a relief! The One who watches over Israel
    never leaves for rest or sleep.

The Eternal keeps you safe,
    so close to Him that His shadow is a cooling shade to you.
Neither bright light of sun
    nor dim light of moon will harm you.

The Eternal will keep you safe
    from all of life’s evils,
From your first breath to the last breath you breathe,
    from this day and forever.

Think: Each day brings its own worries that attempt to distract you from the Spirit’s longing embrace. Like the sun which always shines above the clouds, God never ceases to watch over us regardless of how it appears to us down here.

Pray: Lord, we long to know we are safe. Our whole lives are centered around finding contentment. Let us find our contentment in the right places – in you and in your son Jesus and in the Holy Spirit. If we do not chase after You, we are only chasing after the wind. Keep us this day and always, Amen.

Seeking God: Tickled Ears

Seeking God: Tickled Ears

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and wil.jpgRead: Psalm 81:1-13, Mark 11:17

Christ: You have turned my Father’s house into a den of thieves. There remain many thieves and liars in my Father’s house today. I came so that you would be able to tell the difference between a word from them and a word from Me.

Think: If I spend time with Jesus, reading about Him in the gospels, I will get to know his voice. I will learn how he would react to the things going on around me. Like those games of “Who said it?” I will immediately be able to spot out Jesus’s answer.

Pray: Dear Lord, thank you that you do not let us live on a broken earth without you truth and wisdom. Help us to tell apart the sheep from the wolves. Save us from being eager to believe that which sounds good but has no grounds in your Word. Amen.

Seeking God: Humble Victors

Seeking God: Humble Victors

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Read: Psalm 20:1-9, Zechariah 9:9

Christ: I did not need to be born in a palace – I have a heavenly one. I did not need to be handsome and physically impressive – My spiritual stature was far better. I did not need to enter Jerusalem in a King’s chariot with an honor guard and decoration – the colt of a donkey was just fine.

Think: Real victors do not need to shove it in their opponents’ faces. They have already won and it is obvious. It is only when we see people trying to convince others of their status and wealth that we suspect they are trying to compensate.

Jesus has won and as our inheritance is His victory, God commands humility of us:

Though the Lord is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly;
    though lofty, he sees them from afar.   -Ps 138:6

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.  And he said:“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  -Matthew 18:2-4

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”   –Luke 18:13-14

Jesus’s very life on earth was an act of humility.

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross!   -Philippians 2:8

Pray: Dear Lord, That we must ride a colt in our exile does not mean we are to forget about our victory which awaits us. Help us to remember that our battle is already won. With the war won before it’s begun, we can relax. We know you have taken care of the outcome. Amen.

 

 

Seeking God: Seeking answers

Seeking God: Seeking answers

Read: Psalm 17:1-5, John 16:7

Christ: My disciples fretted about what they didn’t understand instead of coming directly to me. They went to each other like the blind leading the blind, but I am the Way.

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Think: Is God my first resource for answers? Who or what do I consult for answers before going to God?

Pray: Dear Jesus, lead me yourself. Save me from false information. Where am I getting my information about You and Your nature? Teach me yourself. I will rely on none but you. Amen.

Seeking God: Taking the stand

Seeking God: Taking the stand

Read: Psalm 17:1-5, John 14:6

Christ: The only way to come to the Father is through me. There is the idea that all people can find God through different means, but that is not how God sees it. That is man’s idea. Mankind creates his own sort of gospel because he doesn’t like to be told what to do. That’s the definition of sin – proudly believing you have what it takes to save yourself.

I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me..jpg

Think: I thought that way once. We don’t like to be the one to say – Not just anyone can come into the holy throne room of heaven. Not even a perfectly devout person will be allowed without Jesus there to vouch for him.

Pray: Jesus, I cower behind your white robes like a shy child. I could never, would never attempt to stand up in the holy court to represent myself. Braver people than myself might think it possible, but they have never been cut to the heart by the awe of righteousness. If they had, they’d know. Thank you for being my advocate because it is too much for me. Amen.

Seeking God: How to react to a miracle

Seeking God: How to react to a miracle

Read: Psalm 23:1-6, John 9:14-16

Christ: It was the Pharisees who were blind, and anyone else is the truly blind one if they witness a miracle and ignore it. These people deny my work in others’ lives because they can’t control any of it. The Pharisees felt powerless – in attributing this work to God, they lose power in the eyes of the people. However in denying this work of God, they lose the possibility of belief in Me. I work the impossible in your life in order to captivate you and lead you to praise. Don’t feel pressured to explain it away, don’t worry that you can’t control the outcome – just be still and look at what I do.

Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us. (1).jpg

Think: What miracles of faith happen around me?  Am I pleased to see God’s power, or do I stand around looking for someone to blame?

Pray: Let us be glad and rejoice over God’s provision. You gives and takes away, but sometimes You takes away in order to give. Either way, blessed is Your name forever. Amen.

Seeking God: We are going to fly

Seeking God: We are going to fly

Read: Psalm 30:1-12, John 6:40

Christ:  And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. -John 6:39

I will raise you up. Away from this sinking ship of a life you are leading. But don’t think my power is only food for the end of days. I will raise you up NOW.

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Think: How would I live my day today if I knew that at the end of it I’d be raised up into Heaven?  Would I respond to that annoying person in the supermarket any differently? Would I be as quick to put down the remote and help with dinner? Would my focus inward be turned inside out?

Pray: Dear Jesus, we believe but we don’t act like it. I need raising up of my cold hard heart. Take and share it so that my belief shines brightly for all to see. Amen.

Seeking God: The Bread

Seeking God: The Bread

Reading: Psalm 143:1:12, John 6:35-37

Christ: You know when life gets too overwhelming and things start to fall apart? Maybe you don’t realize how you naturally react, but I can see you starting to reach out for comfort from the closest thing. That’s when I have to step in and remind you of who I Am. “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” 

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Think: What does it mean for be to be hungry today in 2016? I know that I am constantly craving something. Media, feed me entertainment. Credit card, feed me happiness. Food, literally feed me way too much. Technology, feed me social status (and virtual status!) As David is literally hungering for the Lord in this passage, can we also recognize the various hungers that we live with? Take a moment and think about what your “hunger” is right this moment. Maybe it’s hunger of healing, perhaps belonging, perhaps an impossible dream. Whatever it is, Only Jesus can satisfy that hunger beyond what you ever thought possible.

Pray: Dear Lord, Let us rise up and recognize Whose we are. You know our hearts and what it is that we are craving individually. Thank you for  already meeting our needs. Thanks to You, we can live without fear that we might not get our next meal. We no longer crave the things of this world, but the things of Heaven. Amen.

Seeking God: My full attention

Seeking God: My full attention

Reading: Psalm 33:1-12

Christ: Spend some time with me today. Just for a moment put all your worries and cares in a jar on the shelf and focus on Me. I merely spoke and the heavens were created. I breathed and the stars were born. Do you realize then, that if I can do these things, I could surely love you better thank your tiny mind can imagine? Be still with me today and get to know me. For time is what all relationships need.

For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.5 The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love..jpg

Think: What kind of time do I spend with Jesus? Distracted time, worried time, clock-watching time. How can I make the most of the small quiet time I have cut out for myself, instead of whiling it away by distractions of daily life? Perhaps this is a warning that I’m trusting in the busyness of life to make me feel accomplished. But my busyness doesn’t save me, Jesus does.

Pray: Dear Jesus, Thank you for loving to spend time with us. Thank you for your tender care for all our daily hurdles. Sometimes I put more trust in the things that I do for you, than in you yourself. Help me to recognize this as it’s happening and give me the strength and reserve to flip that trust over to you. Jesus, I trust in you. Jesus, I rest in you. Let me sing a new song to you with my life today and seek to find your unfailing love. Amen.

Seeking God: Safety in his arms

Seeking God: Safety in his arms

Reading: Psalm 31:1-5, Ezekiel 34:15-16

Christ: I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:9-10)

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full..jpg

Think: God has promised restoration to those who turn to Him in belief. When I’m overcome with fear, does my heart remember my true safety? Or am I quick to forget the power of His promises?

Pray: Dear Lord, Thank you for being our rock and fortress. We entrust our spirits into your hand. Amen.