Read Judges 6.7-16
Gideon responded, “Excuse me, sir! But if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all the miracles our ancestors have told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and has handed us over to Midian.” The Lord turned to him and said, “You will rescue Israel from Midian with the strength you have. I am sending you.” Gideon said to him, “Excuse me, sir! How can I rescue Israel? Look at my whole family. It’s the weakest one in Manasseh. And me? I’m the least important member of my family.” The Lord replied, “I will be with you. You will defeat Midian as if it were only one man.” (Judges 6:13-16 GWT)
Let’s face it. Sometimes God’s promises seem impossible. You may have heard what He’s done for others, but each circumstance is different and right now yours seems impossible! When you can’t see the light of hope anywhere in your situation and you’ve never heard of or experienced God’s hand working in a particular way, it can seem very probable that things won’t work out in your favor. But isn’t that truly what faith is? The “evidence of things NOT seen”?
How strong is my faith if everyday that I flip on the light switch, the light turns on? I know that if there is no outage and the bill is paid, flipping the switch will give me light. This is proven by how surprised I act when the bulb is blown and a flip of the switch produces only darkness.
It’s the same with God. If I only believe that He will see me through the things that He’s brought others through, that’s not real faith. True faith is blind and deaf. It is activated when there is a never-before-seen moment or an impossible situation. It’s the first time someone flew a plane. The first time a heart was transplanted. The night Barack Obama became president. These moments were all because of faith: “To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1 GNT)
Thank You, Father, for the evidence You give of things not seen. Help us to be sure even when we cannot see. Build our faith until we believe without seeing. Amen.
Read John 13.31-38
“Would you really die for me?” Jesus asked. “I tell you for certain before a rooster crows, you will say three times that you don’t even know me.” (JOHN 13:38 CEV)
The devil loves a clueless Christian. Those who claim to follow Christ, but have no idea why they’re doing so. Without a foundation, a building will topple with the first major storm. We all know how good the devil is at his job, and we know his job is to kill, steal, and destroy.
So why do we follow Jesus? Because our parents drug us to church every Sunday and VBS in the summer? Because we have friends that tell us we should? Because we want people to think we’re “good”?
The reason I believe most of us follow Jesus is for what we think He will do for us. If you attend many of the Christian churches, you may be lead to believe this is the case. So much talk about prosperity and financial blessings led me to think the only thing good about being a Christian is what I can get from it: money, a bigger house, a lavish lifestyle, no problems, etc. This is so wrong and many people that fall into this thinking quickly become unbelievers when things stop going their way.
We must let God direct us in a new life. We can’t put our expectations on Him. Instead we must do the opposite and take on His will for our lives. We have to learn and listen to what He has for us today and not rely on what we how He led us in the past.
Worship Jesus not because of what He has done, but simply because of who He is. Worship Jesus because He is God.
Read Luke 9.18-27
Once when Jesus was praying privately and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” They answered, “Some say you are John the Baptizer, others Elijah, and still others say that one of the prophets from long ago has come back to life.” He asked them, “But who do you say I am?”Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, whom God has sent.” (Luke 9:18-20 GWT)
Who do YOU say He is? Like a one-size-fits-all garment, Jesus fits everyone differently. What you need him to be, may not be everything He is to me.
Jesus is my Voice of Reason. I often need someone to “talk me down” from bad decisions. He does that for me. Jesus is my husband. I’m a single woman that needs help with car trouble and comfort for loneliness. He does that for me. Jesus is my financial benefactor. When there’s no money left or financial emergencies arise, He provides every time.
Others may need Him to be a marriage counselor. Someone else may need a healing doctor, or a lawyer in the court room. Soldiers of war need Him to be a shield of protection. The president needs Him to be a trusted advisor. You may need Him to be a friend.
He does all these things for His followers DAILY. All we need do is ask.
Praise Jesus! Thank You for being a one-size-fits-all Savior. The cost of not following You Is a debt we can’t pay. Thank You for being You! Amen.
Read John 16.33; John 17.6-12
“I pray for them. I’m not praying for the world but for those you gave me, because they are yours. I won’t be in the world much longer, but they are in the world, and I’m coming back to you. Holy Father, keep them safe by the power of your name, the name that you gave me, so that their unity may be like ours.” (John 17:9, 11 GWT)
John 17 reads as the real Lord’s Prayer, where Jesus is praying for His followers. He was about to ascend to Heaven to be with the Father, but before leaving took time to pray over those that love Him.
What’s so exciting about this passage is that He’s praying for me too. His words weren’t just aim at the disciples, but “also praying for those who will believe in me through their message” (John 17:20 GWT). Jesus took the time to pray for us, the ones that would follow Him millennia later!
That gives me peace to know that He was thinking of me even before I was a twinkle in my mom’s eye. He knew I would have troubles in this world and He wanted me to know that for me, He had overcome the world.
Father, thank you for praying for us all those years ago. Thank You for Jesus interceding on our behalf. Thank You for protecting us each day. Amen.
Read Psalm 46
“God is our refuge and strength,an ever-present help in times of trouble. That is why we are not afraid even when the earth quakes or the mountains topple into the depths of the sea. Let go of your concerns! Then you will know that I am God. I rule the nations. I rule the earth.” (Psalm 46:1, 2, 10 GWT)
Just reading this short passage fills me to overflowing! No matter what the situation, no matter the circumstance – God protects those who call Him Father.
I think about all of the ways He covered me, from dangers seen and unseen. I remember one time driving through a red light because I was distracted with too much on my mind. A car was coming through the intersection. I swerved hard to miss, and I came within an inch of slamming into an innocent driver! My child was in the car. All I could do was stop and give God the praise!
When I think of the road I was on, hanging out with the wrong crowd. Drinking and dabbling in drugs. I should have been dead, strung out, or maybe even in jail. I was trying to numb the pain of depression and rejection. But God! He kept me covered with His mighty hand of protection. The situations I’ve put myself in, danger all around. Yet, not even a hair on my head was hurt. God is good!
If you are living a reckless life, taking chances with you future and feeling out of control, cry out to Jesus. Don’t waste another minute of your precious future on things that aren’t eternal. Give it over to God and know the peace and joy that I feel everyday!
Praise You, Father for what you have done. Thank You for keeping me, even when I didn’t want to be kept! Hallelujah to Your name! Amen.
Read Matthew 6.25-34
““Can any of you add a single hour to your life by worrying?” (Matthew 6:27 GWT)
I have always been a worrier! I too easily fall apart when things aren’t going the way I “need” them to. Some worry is legitimate, but often my worry is the result of poor planning or bad choices on my part. That’s thing with my worrying: Should I expect God’s help if I didn’t listen to Him in the first place?
Guilt is a favorite tool of the devil. His M.O. is to get you to doubt God’s word and then he can sit back and watch your life unravel. I’m quite familiar with today’s passage, but this nifty little trick had me reading into it what isn’t there. Nowhere in the passage does God say He will provide IF…. He just says He will provide. Disobedience or leaning on your own understanding versus God’s may lead to a result you don’t like, but He will always protect and provide for His children.
Thank You, Father God, for always providing for us, even when we don’t listen to or wait on You. Thank You for the picture of provision You show us in Your word to encourage us each day. Amen.
Read John 21.1-14
Jesus told them, “Come, have breakfast.” (John 21:12 GWT)
Can you imagine Jesus cooking for you? Even after His resurrection, He is yet being a servant to those He loves: He provides the fish, He protects the catch in the net, and He prepares the meal. There is nothing Jesus won’t do for those He loves.
When Peter realized that it was Jesus calling to them, he immediately went to be with Jesus. Whenever we find ourselves in a dark and lonely place, we can call on our Savior for rescue. He will speak us out of the self-pity we may be feeling and help us focus on things eternal.
As I look back over my life, even just the last week, Jesus has been my comfort, my strength, and my salvation each day. Whether in providing my needs or protecting me from danger, He is there at every turn.
Thank You, Father, for Your protection. Thank You for Your presence. And thank You for the invitation to “come and have breakfast.” Amen.