1 Chronicles 22:12-13

"May the Lord give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God.  Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel.  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or discouraged."

Insight:  These were some of King David's last words to his son, Solomon, who was going to follow him as king of Israel.  His advice wasn't about military strategy or how to grow the country economically, but rather it was an admonition to keep the law of the Lord and walk closely with Him.  Then success and favor would follow as he walked with God.  The most important advice we can follow or give to others is to do the same.

Prayer:  Father, help me to follow you closely each day.  May I never think true success comes through any other means than walking with You and in Your Spirit.  Amen.

Heidi Keeler

2 Kings 8:6

"Then he assigned an official to her care and said to him, 'Give back everything that belonged to her, including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now.'"

Insight:  This account of the Shunammite woman is only six verses long but it is truly amazing.  After leaving her home for seven years because of a famine in the land, she returns with her family & approaches the king to see if they could possibly get their land back.  At the exact moment she came in, the king was being told by Elisha's servant how Elisha had befriended this family and had brought their son back to life.  Talk about divine timing!!  And then all that had been lost during the season of famine was not only restored, but the income their land had produced during those seven years was given back as well.   Above and beyond what I am sure they dared to hope for.  That is how our God works.  When we go through a season of famine or loss in our lives, it can feel that so much has been taken from us we that things will never be the same again. or never be as a good as they were before.  But we serve a God who can restore above and beyond our wildest hopes!

Prayer: Father, sometimes things do not go as we have planned and we experience loss in ways that we never expected.  But You are the great Restorer.  Help me to trust You with my areas of loss - not only to bring me through but to one day restore and make right all things.  You are my loving Father and I am always in Your hands.  Amen.

Heidi Keeler

2 Chronicles 20:12, 15-17

"For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you... This is what the Lord says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.  For the battle is not yours, but God's... You will not have to fight this battle.  Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem.'"

Insight: Have you ever prayed this prayer that is recorded at the beginning of this passage - "We do not know what to do"?  I have - many, many times.  What speaks to me most about this portion of Scripture is what follows - "but our eyes are upon you."  When we are overwhelmed and in over our heads, this is the posture we need to take - fixing our eyes on the God who DOES know what to do.  And then we take up our positions (responsibilities), stand firm (against fear, discouragement, opposition) and watch God fight our battles for us.

Prayer:  God, so many times I don't know what to do in the face of situations that are bigger than me and out of my ability to control.  But I thank You for this reminder to fix my eyes upon You and look to You for help and deliverance.  Thank You for fighting for me.  Help me not to run away from my problems or give in to fear, but instead to stand firm knowing that the battle belongs to You and so do I.  Amen.

Heidi Keeler

2 Kings 4:3-6

"Elisha said, 'Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars.  Don't ask for just a few.  Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour the oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.'  She left him and afterward shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring.  When all the jars were full, she said to her son, 'Bring me another one.'  But he replied, 'There is not a jar left.'  Then the oil stopped flowing."

Insight:  This story challenges me.  Do I trust God when I need Him in a big way, or do I assume I will just have to "get by"?  We don't usually know how or when God is going to meet our need, but we do know that He is good and that His reserves are limitless.  When He asks us to trust Him and take action upon that trust, do we do so sparingly and reservedly or wholeheartedly and full of faith in Him.?

Prayer:  Father, when You ask me to trust You, help me to do so with nothing held back.  Help me to trust You for answers to prayers that are bigger and more far reaching than my imagination could even come up with.  Not because of who I am, but because of who You are.  You are not limited by anything or anyone, help me to remember that as I bring my needs and concerns to You.  Amen.

Heidi Keeler

1 Timothy 1:15-16

"... Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners - of whom I am the worst.  But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life."

Insight:  I can run out of patience pretty quickly and sometimes, in human thinking, I assume that God must be running out of it as well when He looks at me.  That is why I love this reminder that Jesus has unlimited patience as He works in us to transform us to be more like Him.  I would have given up on myself a long time ago - but thank You Jesus, that you aren't like me!!

Prayer:  Jesus, thank You that You aren't like me - Your patience and Your love does not wear thin like mine does when I think someone (including myself) is taking "too long" to "get it together".  Thank You for never giving up on me - may my life shout volumes of Your love & mercy to those around me and may I extend the same patience that You have towards me.

Heidi Keeler

Colossians 4:2

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful."

Insight: I don't know about you, but I have a lot of goals & dreams I long to accomplish in my lifetime.  And like any good or worthy goal, they will all take hard work & discipline - or in other words, they will take a measure of devotion.  Sometimes I can get caught up & even overwhelmed when I think of all the things I should be devoting my time to in order to see these dreams & goals become a reality.  But Scripture reminds me that one of the most important things I should be devoted to is prayer - talking with my Father & listening to His heart.  Yes, we need to work hard, but we need to pray harder.  All things of any true significance in our lives will come from & succeed because of communion with our Heavenly Father.

Prayer:  Father, help me to never forget that talking with You is the most important part of my day and my life.  May I be devoted to prayer, more than anything else I might pursue or work towards in life. Amen.

Heidi Keeler

Colossians 3:1-2

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."

Insight:  No one can else can see what goes on inside our heart & our mind, but everything we do and everything we become is shaped by these two powerful forces.  Many things clamor for our attention and affections - it takes an intentional, disciplined effort to daily set our hearts and minds on Christ, but it is the only way to experience the true riches of the lives we were meant to live in Him.

Prayer:  Father, sometimes my mind and my heart can become consumed with other things without me even realizing what has happened.  Worries, fears, goals, ambitions, unforgivenesss, pride - all these things and more can crowd You out.  Help me each day to set my mind and my heart on You - seeking You first above all things and trusting the rest to You.  Let me know by a nudge of your Holy Spirit in my heart when I have allowed my mind or my heart to be filled with anything other You.  My life is in You, Jesus.  Amen.

Heidi Keeler

Colossians 2: 6-7

Therefore, just as you received Jesus Christ as Lord, keep living your life united with Him.  Remain deeply rooted in Him; continue being built up in Him and confirmed in your faith, the way you were taught, so that you overflow in thanksgiving.

Insight: Generally what comes out of our mouth is a good indication of what we believe and what we are conformed in.  In main line denominations they have confirmation classes.  These are to teach new believers (usually the young) what the elementary principles of the faith are.  When we remain deeply rooted in these principles (the Word) there is a natural fl;ow towards thanksgiving for the freedom and life that Jesus has bought for us.

Prayer:  Jesus, You are the Word of God brought to us in the flesh.  Help me to become and remain rooted in your Word.  Now, because You are worthy and I am confirmed in Your Word I can truly worship You and give You an offering of thanksgiving. 

Charlie Goodman

Colossians 1:9

Therefore, from the day we heard of it, we have not stopped praying for you, asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and understanding which the Spirit gives.

Insight:   The Holy Spirit (He is God) is given to us when we believe in Jesus as Messiah (Christ).  He is given as a comforter, a teacher and one called along side.  If we will allow Him, He will give us the wisdom and understanding to walk in Jesus' steps.  The difference between humans and animals is the Spirit.  Our human spirit can be led by the Holy Spirit if we believe (have faith) and trust His word.

Prayer: Blessed is the Lord our God who has given us His Spirit to dwell in us, comfort us and teach us.  Lord, may we be attentive to the voice of Your Holy Spirit as we study Your word and listen to your counsel. Thank you Father that as the God of peace, You have set us apart unto good works; spirit, soul and body.

Charlie Goodman

Philippians 4:6

Don't worry about anything; on the contrary, make your request known to God by prayer and petition with thanksgiving.

Insight:  If we worry we are actually sinning.  Remember that "sin", in the Hebrew language that Jesus grew up with, means to "miss the mark".  Faith in Jesus is the mark we are given by the Lord, not worry.  The remedy then is prayer and petition which brings the peace that passes all understanding.

Prayer:  Lord teach me to focus on that which is true, noble and righteous.  When the temptation to worry tries to engulf me, please forgive me and lead me back unto Your righteous path.  In Jesus Name.

 

Philippians 3:9

And be found in union with Him, not having any righteousness of my own based on legalism, but having that righteousness which comes through the Messiah's faithfulness, the righteousness from God based on faith.

Insight:  The apostle Paul told the church in Corinth that we are given the right standing with God (righteousness) because Jesus has taken our sin upon Himself.  The righteousness that we walk in now is the great gift given to us by Jesus.  If we believe that is true in us then we are righteous, by His choice and design.

Prayer:   Blessed are You Lord our God who has given us a right standing into eternity with the Father.  Lord, teach me to act in righteousness, that I might give glory to the Father in my thought, word and deed.

Charlie Goodman

Philippians 2:2

Then complete my joy by having a common purpose and a common love, by being one in heart and mind.

Insight:  The supreme example of looking out for the interests of others was given by Jesus' descent from the equality with God to die for humanity.  In union with the Messiah, His attitude of humility can be ours.  God rewards such obedience.

Prayer:  Lord please teach me how to "enter into" the common purpose and love that You have called Your body into.  Show me how to be one in heart and mind as You set me apart spirit, soul and body.  I know that the teacher, the "Holy Spirit" dwells within me and that You desire that I conform to Your image.  In Jesus Name.

Charlie Goodman

Phillipians 1:20

It all accords with my earnest expectation and hope that I have nothing to be ashamed of; but rather, now as always, the Messiah will be honored by my body, whether it is alive or dead.

Insight:  We all need to have a "hope" as faith is the evidence of things "hoped" for.  By faith we can have a hope of living a life that we do not need to be ashamed of.  If we "blow it" we can be forgiven and then press on to honor the Lord.

Prayer:  Father, thank you that I am forgiven.  I ask You to teach me how to be filled with a hope and expectation that I do not have to be ashamed of.  May I honor You in my life and in my death.  In Jesus Name.

Ephesians 6:1-3

Children, what you should do in union with the Lord, is obey your parents, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother" this is the first commandment that embodies a promise "so that it may go well with you, and you may live long in the Land."

Insight: Jewish Rabbi tradition states that there are three partners influencing a person; God, one's mother and one's father.  When people honor their parents, they also honor God.  Respect for one's parents is foundational to Judaism.  This was the culture that Jesus walked in, and the Apostle Peter exhorted us to "walk in His steps".

Prayer:  Blessed are You Lord our God who has given us the responsibility to honor our parents.  Lord I thank You for giving us the leading of the Holy Spirit to direct us into a right attitude of love, acceptance and forgiveness toward our parents.  Please give us the grace to become parents ourselves, worthy of honor.  In Jesus Name.

Charlie Goodman

Ephesians 4:16

 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

Insight: The "body of Christ" is a beautiful way of describing the church! Each of us function as a part of the body, with its own special work. As we each live authentically and serve each other, it helps the other parts of the body grow. The good news is that God makes it all fit together perfectly!

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for creating each of us to do our own special work, give us strength to help each other grow! The church is a beautiful expression of the Gospel to a broken world, teach us to pursue unity and health and to be full of love.

Scott...

 

Ephesians 3:16

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.

Insight: What a comfort to know that God has unlimited resources! Think about that for a minute.......unlimited! There will never be a problem or circumstance that can exhaust God's resources. Then to sweeten the pot, God will empower you from his unlimited bank of resources. All this made possible through the work and person of the Holy Spirit!

Prayer:  Jesus, I rest in the fact that you are willing and able to meet my every need, your vast and unlimited resources make this possible. I ask you today to empower me with strength by your Holy Spirit. I love you, Amen.

Scott..

Ephesians 2:8

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.

Insight: The best gifts come with no strings attached, when we believe in Christ we receive grace that we can not earn and do not deserve, it is truly a gift from God! Trying to work for it or take credit for this gift will be a fruitless effort. 

Prayer: Jesus, my default is to work harder and make more promises to be a better person, but I know today that I can not "save my self". I thank you for your grace given to me as a gift, I believe you alone can forgive and save me. I love you, Amen.

Scott.. 

Ephesians 1:8

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.

Insight: Such a powerful reminder that it is God's kindness that drives Him to pursue our freedom! He is not mad at us, He is mad about us.  To often, we assume that God is angry with us and was somehow forced give His one and only son to pay the debt of our sins. God is lovingly pursuing you today, because of His kindness!

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for going the distance for me, your blood purchased my freedom! Thank you for pursuing me with kindness and not in anger. I receive by faith your free gift of grace. In Jesus name, Amen.

Scott..

Proverbs 22:24-25

Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.

Insight: We must be very careful who we become friends with because sooner or later we will become like them. This is not to say that we shouldn’t interact with others in need of the Gospel. Jesus is considered friend of sinners because He pursued them to show them the kingdom of God and to reveal Himself as their Messiah. We should also go and “dwell among them.” But to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth, not to attempt to fit in by behaving like them.

Prayer: Father, thank you for sending Your Son to show us how to be the light in this dark world. May your Holy Spirit guide me as you guided Paul in becoming “a Jew to win the Jews.” May my lifestyle become attractive and an example to those in need to turn away from their sins for your glory. In Your Name. Amen.

Victor

Romans 13:1-4

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good.

Insight: Unless submitting to authority causes us to become disobedient to God, we must obey. In this tumultuous season of politics, it is easier to get into character bashing, not only to our leaders, but also to people who support them. Our sovereign God knows best and it is not for us to go against His will. We must pray for our leaders and ask God to give them the wisdom to rule and lead in a way that pleases Him.

Prayer: Father, I thank you for allowing our country to have rules, stability, and the freedom to worship you. For the sake of unbelievers, please help me lead by example by being a person that brings unity, shares your hope, and submits to and prays for my earthly authority. May I never be a cause of division. In the midst of challenging times, help me be an encourager and your witness. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Victor