Psalm 101:5

I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors. I will not endure conceit and pride. 

Insight: As Christ followers we should hold each other accountable. When someone around us begins to speak poorly of others in a way that is not constructive we either need to shut it down or walk away. By involving ourself in the conversation we are part of the problem. We have to cut conceit and pride off with extreme prejudice as it tears down the body of Christ and harms the mission we are on to share Jesus with others.

Prayer: I want to be someone who builds others up and does not tear them down. God, please help me to be part of the solution not the problem. 

Jeremy

1 Kings 3:11-13a

So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies—I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame!

Insight: So often our prayers can become somewhat selfish and self-centered. God wants to pour his favor on us but he also wants us to not get so wrapped up in ourself that we miss the big picture. 

Prayer: God, help me to focus my prayers more on others and not my own needs, wants, and desires. 

Jeremy

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Insight: Paul, Timothy, and Silas were writing to a church that we read were being persecuted, they were encouraging them to keep up the good work that they had heard about. Although we might feel different levels of "persecution" in our personal environments we still have a lot of freedom in our country to share our faith and to live for Christ. No matter our situation the reality is the same - God will give us the strength we need t accomplish the things he has called us to do. And when we do it, Jesus will be honored through our lives.

Prayer: God, help give me the strength to step out of my comfort zone and do the things I feel you urging me to do.

Jeremy

1 Chronicles 28:20

Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly.

Insight: They are about to endeavor on a large task that God is calling them to. King David is reminding them in his address and the same is true today - when you are doing God's work it might be difficult and the work may be hard but God will be with you through the process and his favor will be on the task you are undertaking.

Prayer: God, sometimes I might feel like giving up but in that moment I am reminded that you are always right there with me. That reminder gives me the strength I need to carry things through. Than you for being there for me!

Jeremy

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Insight: Life is hard. Bad things happen because sin is in the world. In order for us to remain joyful we must live a life of prayer and to focus on and be thankful for the blessings we have - not the things that have gone wrong. 

Prayer: God, help me to be a person of prayer not a person who complains and focuses on the negative. I want to be a person who is marked with joy no matter the circumstances of my life.

Jeremy

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died. 

Insight: As Christ followers we are blessed to know that when loved ones who have a relationship with Jesus die we will see them again in heaven. This is such a blessing, although we still mourn we can focus more on celebrating their life than their loss of life here on earth.

Prayer: Lord, we thank you for the time we have with our loved ones here on earth. Help me to not take it for granted.

Jeremy

Psalm 30:4-5a

Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! 

Insight: Like a good parent, God may be frustrated with us at times for the decisions we make but it is short and he doesn't stay there. He wants what is best for us and gives us favor and grace.

Prayer: God I thank you that you don't hold my mistakes against and me and hold a grudge. Thank you for being a good and gracious God who shows me favor I don't deserve. 

Jeremy

 

1 Thessalonians 1:1

Insight: Sometimes the simple things are the most important. God offers us grace and peace. Where do you need grace today? Who needs grace from you? Where do you need peace today? How can you bring peace to every situation you encounter? God offers us something we can’t buy – grace and peace. Walk in them today.

Prayer: Dear God, I invite you to help me be a person of grace and peace today. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Jeffery

Matthew 28:18-20

Insight: Every Christian is invited to join Jesus on his rescue mission – to present hope (Jesus is Lord) and develop people (make disciples). It’s easy to think that it’s the pastors job to present the good news of Jesus – but it’s everyone’s privilege to share that news. Who has God placed in your life: workplace, neighborhood, family, class that you can talk with about Jesus. Know that He will be with you as you share the good news of new life in Christ.

 

Prayer: Lord, I ask you to help me love you in front of others and be bold in sharing the hope and new life I have in you. Help me to press through my fears knowing that you are with me. In Your name I pray, Amen.

Jeffery

Matthew 26:39

Insight: Jesus was fully God and fully man. His humanity showed in his statement, if it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away…” and hid Divinity showed in his humble submission to the process when he said, “Yet I want your will, not mine…” Jesus models for us that there is strength in surrendering to God the Father.

 

Prayer: Take a moment to reflect on the surrender and suffering of Christ on your behalf…. Pray this prayer out loud: Dear Jesus, thank you for taking my sin to the cross and dying in my place, for surrendering your will to the Father. I accept your love – in Jesus Name.

Jeffery

Psalm 32:5

Insights: Sin thrives in secret. But there is power in confession. Our sin loses its grip on us when it gets put into the light. Who do you have in your life that you can be honest with, confess sin, and be reminded by that Jesus came to rescue you? Start with Him and then invite a trusted Christian to walk with you. You’ll love the freedom.

 

Prayer: I don’t deserve your love and forgiveness, but you extend it because of grace. It’s what makes grace amazing. Thank you for making a way for me to live free from the weight of sin and walk in freedom. I confess my sin and accept your forgiveness.

Jeffery

Matthew 24:42

Insight: Jesus told his disciples that no one except God the Father knows when He will return. We don’t have to worry about this because God the Father’s timing is always best for us. We do need to live our lives ready for his return. Many will be surprised and wish they could have “prepared” more. Living our lives in step with the Holy Spirit ensure that we will be ready no matter when that day occurs.

 

Prayer: Thank you God that we don’t have to worry about the future because you have it under control. Help me today to live free from fear and in totally confidence in your timing.

Jeffery

Psalm 51:1-12

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

 

Insight: King David had sinned big-time (not that any sin is little in God’s eyes). He’d blown it and he knew it. But his response when confronted spoke to both his understanding of God and his heart of repentance. As a result, He would be referred to as a “man after God’s own heart.” Remember, God’s grace is greater than your disgrace.

 

Prayer: God, help me to respond to my sin with a repentant heart and to embrace your grace moving forward. I don’t want to minimize what sent Jesus to the cross, but also understand that His resurrection from the dead gives me life and hope. In His name, Amen.

 

Jeffery

Matthew 20:32-33

And stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.”

Insight: Jesus wanted these men to identify what they needed.  How many times have I payed for  general "blessing" but not an individual need?  Asking God for even the little and specific things shows him that we trust him even more.  I wonder if there are times that I did not receive from him what I desired because I simply did not ask ... 

Prayer: Lord, thank you that you are a God of blessing.  That you only want what is best for us.  Help me to remember that in all things that I need from you, that I speak it out and ask for it by name.  Help me to put even more trust into your blessings on my life.  Amen.

Emily

1 Chronicles 16: 39-40

And he left Zadok the priest and his brothers the priests before the tabernacle of the Lord in the high place that was at Gibeon to offer burnt offerings to the Lord on the altar of burnt offering regularly morning and evening, to do all that is written in the Law of the Lord that he commanded Israel.

Insight: The Law of the Lord was very specific about types of sacrifices, worship, and who was able to do all these.  However, now through Jesus' sacrifice, and his atonement for our sins we can worship God directly anywhere and any time we want.  We have been set free from the burden of the rituals of the old testament.

Prayer: God, thank you for sending your son to make a way for us.  That through his sacrifice, your grace covers our sins.  Thank you that I am able to worship you day or night, and that you hear our prayers.  Amen.

Emily

Matthew 18:12

What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?

Insight: Life is full of hills and valleys, ups and downs.  There are times that circumstance causes us to remain in a valley, or we might even put ourselves there.  In these lows I know I can feel so distant from God that it seems like he has forgotten me, but am I always making myself available to be found?

Prayer: God thank you that you have a plan a purpose for my life ... for blessing and a future.  Help me to recognize when I have allowed circumstance to put me in a valley, and when I have put myself there.  Please also help me to make sure that I am looking for you in all things and that I am making myself available to be found by you.  Thank you for your son that you send to die for my sins, that I have life more abundantly.

Emily

Matthew 17:10-12

And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?”  He answered, “Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.”

Insight: I wonder if I ever allow myself not to see God's works that are right before my eyes like the scribes.  They were 100% convinced that Elijah had not come yet, so surely Jesus wasn't anywhere on earth.  Where have I declared absolutes in my life only to come up realizing that I was completely wrong? 

Prayer: God, thank you that you love us so much that you sent your son to die for our sins, and for your grace.  Reveal to me places that I have allowed myself to be blinded to you, and continue to work in my life as you always have.  Help me to be more aware of your works in my life, and to not only be guided by my own knowledge and understanding.  Thank you for the blessings you have given me, and how you continue to guide me through everything.  Amen.

Emily

Psalm 139:13-14

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Insight: Life gets messy, and it can often feel like there's no semblance of order.  However, God created our futures and did not intend for it to be in a state of disorder.  I know I've muddied God's plans for my life with impatience, fear, and even misplaced good intentions.  This psalm reminds us that God created us and our futures with a specific plan in mind, and that it is a wonderful plan.

Prayer: God, thank you for creating me just as I am, and thank you for the plans you have for my life.  Please help me to always seek out your will.  Help me to recognize where I may be causing disorder within my own life, and help realign me with the plans you have for me.  

Emily

Matthew 15:12-14

Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?" He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit."

Insight: There are many people that we interact daily that seem like they have it all together. They may be better spoken, have more money, a nicer car but those things end up not making a difference. If we are developing a relationship with Jesus, we are growing our roots down to last. This scripture causes us to reflect on what we are focusing on and what is truly a value in eternity.

Prayer: God I pray that you give me a Godly perspective. I need help in prioritizing my relationship with you over my family, my job and other friendships. Help me realize what will matter at the end of my life and give me peace that some of the other things I worry about don't matter as much as I  give them credit for.

James