(Sunday) The Refiner’s fire (Malachi 3) is not particularly fun. Change, especially spiritual growth, can be difficult. Stick it out. It’s worth it.
(Monday) Need motivation to stay the course? Imagine that moment when God looks directly at you and says, “Well done!” Your service isn’t overlooked.
(Tuesday) We are saved by grace alone (Eph. 2:8), but how we live our lives is a reflection of our faith. Let’s not be “wicked & lazy” (Mat. 25:26).
(Wednesday) Unlike the Old Testament with its burnt sacrifices, our new covenant through Jesus compels us to live holy, sacrificial lives (Rom. 12:1).
(Thursday) Throughout Exodus and elsewhere, the Lord demonstrated his power through fire. Spend a few moments expressing your awe through praise.
(Friday) Psalm 44:5, Jeremiah 10:6, Acts 4:10 – the very name of Jesus is powerful! Call on him in your time of need and trust him in faith.
(Saturday) Why is change so difficult? The enemy isn’t going to let you go without a fight. Allow God to help release you from sin’s stranglehold.
Through Jesus’ grace comes forgiveness, redemption, and salvation. (Ephesians 1:7)
Read Eph. 1:19-20 and let it sink into your heart until it is engraved there. God’s mighty power is at work in those who believe in Jesus!
Christians can go through dark times, too. In Eph. 1:18, Paul prays for their hearts to be “flooded with light” and hope. Amen!
Paul adds in Eph. 1:17 that he prays for fellow believers to have wisdom in faith. Lift up people by name as God puts them on your mind.
In Ephesians 1:16, Paul thanks God for his brothers & sisters in Christ. Spend time in prayer today praying for your friends in the faith.
It is an interesting time to be a political science professor, because everyone is talking about the upcoming presidential elections. One question I’ve heard tossed around lately is: What would you do if you were President? The answers range from poignant to completely ludicrous (and make me wonder whether most adults today ever took, much less passed, a basic civics/government class in high school), but I digress …
Instead, I would like to suggest a different question: What if you had a direct line to the President? You know, like in the movies when someone important picks up the phone during an emergency and it rings directly at the Oval Office or aboard Air Force One … Would you use it? What would you say? Would you hesitate and feel like you were pestering the President, or would you feel confident that what you needed to say was worth interrupting our Commander in Chief?
Honestly, you and I probably will not ever be privy to the President’s private line (or Batman’s Batphone, which would be even cooler), but we already have 24/7 access to someone way more awesome: the Creator of the universe. We don’t need any gadgets or special equipment, either! We can talk to the King of Kings (President of Presidents?) anytime, anywhere, for any reason – simply through prayer. In fact, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 encourages us to “Never stop praying.” God wants to be in constant contact with us, and he invites us to chat with him regularly.
Do you take him up on that insider access, or do you feel like you shouldn’t bother God because he might be too busy doing more important things like keeping the planets in orbit? Dear friend, please rest assured that he wants to hear from you. He can handle planetary trajectories and your personal issues simultaneously; I promise.
We ought to be in frequent communication with the Lord about every aspect of our lives – and not only that, but we also need to be praying for each other. I would encourage you to read Ephesians 1:15-20 and see what the apostle Paul had to say to fellow believers about how earnestly he prayed for them. What an example for us to lift each other up in prayer! Let’s focus this week on specific ways that we can do just that.