Week Forty-three — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Aliens by Faith — Hebrews 11: 9, 10

Sunday

Hebrews 11: 9, 10 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

Prayer: Lord God, in you we trust as we follow your leading.

Thought for the day: The expected delivery date for some heavenly promises is hereafter.

Monday

Colossians 1:21 once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free of accusation.

Prayer: Lord God, when we have come back to you we have come home.

Thought for the day: Heaven bound individuals should keep their passports up to date and ready for inspection.

Tuesday

Ephesians 2:19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.

Prayer: Almighty God, we pledge our allegiance to the Savior for whose kingdom we stand.

Thought for the day: Membership in God’s household is for blood kin.

Wednesday

I Peter 1:17 Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.

Prayer: Lord God, in reverent fear we would live as your holy people in our generation.

Thought for the day: When was the last time someone thought you were strange?

Thursday

2 Corinthians 5:6,7 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, by faith we travel daily the homeward road that leads to everlasting life with you.

Thought for the day: In the dark of night faith still finds the light switch without fumbling.

Friday

Romans 12: 1,2 Therefore I urge you, brothers, in view of god’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – which is your spiritual worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, in holiness and godly living we would be like you.

Thought for the day: The Desert Fathers who left the city found the reason they could not turn back.

Saturday

John 16:33 I [Jesus] have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, in your blessed presence we find ourselves at peace.

Thought for the day: The songwriter said, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glorious grace.

A – L – I – E – N

Abraham Abode – Genesis 20:1

Lifestyle loyalty – I Peter 1:17

Invisible investment – Hebrews 11: 9, 10

Eternity excitement – 2 Corinthians 5:6,7

Nazarene nature – John 16: 33 & Romans 12: 1, 2

 

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Photo: “Abraham and Isaac” by Fr Lawrence Lew OP on http://www.flickr.com

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Week Forty-two — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — I Corinthians 13:13 — These Three Abide

Note: This week begins a new devotional series that tracks a study from I Corinthians 13:13. We will be considering the abiding virtues of faith, hope, and love through the series.  The first three studies are devoted to the meditations focused upon faith.

Sunday

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

Prayer: Lord God, we would be numbered with the saints who trusted you with their all.

Thought for the day: God does not require night vision goggles to see faith in us.

Monday

Hebrews 11: 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and the he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Prayer:  Lord God, may each step of our spiritual pilgrimage lead us closer to you.

Thought for the day: Those who consult the dictionary believe there is a word to be found.

Tuesday

Romans 10: 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we would hear again and again the message of your eternal love.

Thought for the day: An old hymn says, “Sing them over again to me, wonderful words of life, let me more of their beauty see, wonderful words of life.”

Wednesday

Romans 1:16, 17 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:  first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.  For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from the first to last, just as it is written, “The righteous will live by faith.”

Prayer:  Lord God, as your children we in faith claim the righteousness that is given by Christ.

Thought for the day: All live by some faith, but some live by one and only one faith in Christ Jesus.

Thursday

Matthew 17:20 He [Jesus] replied, “Because you have so little faith.  I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to the mountain, ‘Move from here to there and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Prayer:  God, our Heavenly Father, in our small faith we know you to be a great and awesome Creator, Savior, and Lord.

Thought for the day: The mustard greens you eat had to grow from tiny seed.

Friday

Psalm 28: 7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.  My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks for him in song.

Prayer: Lord God, in faith we discover the covering of you mighty love.

Thought for the day: When you let God do the monitoring, your joy will be safe.

Saturday

2 Corinthians 5: 6, 7 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.  We live by faith, not by sight.

Prayer: Lord God, as we make this earthly journey we trust that there shall be a heavenly home for your children.

Thought for the day: Parents rejoice at the coming of a newborn child, while angels rejoice at the coming of one born again.

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photo: “Called to Holiness in Christ” by Fr Lawrence Lew OP on http://www.flickr.com

Week Forty One — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — The Prayers of the Righteous — Ezekiel 14: 19, 20

Sunday

Ezekiel 14:19,20 Or if I send a plague into that land and pour out my wrath upon it through bloodshed, killing its men and their animals, as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, even if Noah, Daniel and Job were in it, they could save neither son nor daughter. They would save only themselves by their righteousness.

Prayer: Lord God, we pray for the salvation of our generation.

Thought for the day: You may be the only Bible some persons read today.

Monday

Genesis 18:32 The he [Abraham] said, “May the lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?” He [God] answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”

Prayer: Lord God, we pray for the salvation of our community.

Thought for the day: You may be the last, best person to pray for your community.

Tuesday

Exodus 32:12,13 Why should the Egyptians say, “it was with evil intent that he [God] brought them out of, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth?” Turn your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by our own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.”

Prayer: Lord God, may we find the shelter in your promises to your saints.

Thought for the day:  Not until a will is executed can an heir become a benefactor.

Wednesday

2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Prayer: Lord God, we humble ourselves before you so that you may hear our prayer for our generation.

Thought for the day: Proceed with caution when you invite someone to pray for you.

Thursday

Daniel 9:18-19 Give ear O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay because your city and your people bear your Name.

Prayer: Lord God, in prayer like Daniel we plead for your mercy because you are merciful.

Thought for the day: We cannot pray aright, if we do not know the nature of the person to whom we pray.

Friday

James 5:16-,7 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of ta righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.

Prayer: Lord God, in this season of confusion and depravity may you hear the cries of your saints for mercy and favor.

Thought for the day: Many are the grandchildren who were saved thanks to the prayers of a grandmother who would not stop praying.

Saturday

Luke 23:33,34 When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals – one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, for all the prayers you have offered for our salvation we give our thanks.

Thought for the day: Hebrews 7:25 reminds us that Jesus intercedes for us even now.

Adult Bible Study – Ezekiel 14: 12-20

The righteous are a F-O-R-C-E for good in their generation.

Faith – The righteous live by faith.

Oblivion – The righteous often live in a generation in spiritual and moral oblivion.

Righteous – The righteous practice what they believe. They are faithfully obedient.

Care – The righteous care for the welfare of their generation.

Entreaty – The righteous become mediators for the salvation of their generation.

 

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Photo: “three good men: Daniel, Job, Noah” by Holly Hayes on http://www.flickr.com

Week Forty — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — A Prophesy for the Coming Messiah — Zechariah 14:9

Note: After the return from captivity the prophets Zechariah, Haggai, and Malachi speak to Israel as they anticipate the coming of the Messiah. The book of Zechariah contains several messianic prophesies such as the death of the Messiah and the return of the Messiah.

Sunday

Zechariah 14:9 The Lord will be king over the whole earth.  On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.

Prayer:  Lord God, may we be a people prepared for the coming of your kingdom on earth.

Thought for the day:  God shall answer Jesus’ prayer, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Monday

Acts 1:11, 12 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky?  The same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back into the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” Then they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we believe you shall come to walk among your children again.

Thought for the day: Both David and Jesus shed tears on the Mount of Olives – David shed tears when his son threatened his life, and Jesus shed tears when he foresaw the doom of Jerusalem.

Tuesday

Mark 13: 32, 33 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.  Be on guard! You do not know when that time will come.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, as we wait for your return we pray for the salvation of the nations.

Thought for the day:  Prayer can be an effective spiritual monitoring app.

Wednesday

I Thessalonians 5: 2,3 For you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, though we cannot know life’s end, we can and do trust you.

Thought for the day: Even meteorologists can be caught in a snowstorm.

Thursday

2 Peter 3:10, 11 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.  Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?  You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, may we so live this day that we speed your coming.

Thought for the day: Why do some speed zones have minimal speed limits?

Friday

Deuteronomy 10:17, 18 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.  He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.

Prayer: Lord God, you are King above all Kings.

Thought for the day:  Henotheism is the belief that there is one God above all gods.

Saturday

Philippians 2: 9,10 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, for your sacrifice for all You deserve a place above all.

Thought for the day:  Nurses know how to use leverage to lift a fallen patient.

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photo: “Second Coming of Jesus 03” by Waiting for the Word on http://www.flickr.com

Week Thirty-nine — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — By Grace Jeremiah is Set Free — Jeremiah 40: 3,4

Note: In chapter 38 Jeremiah is thrown into a cistern by his own countrymen, but he is later rescued.  Eventually Jerusalem does fall as Jeremiah prophesies, and he is swept up in the throng that is to go as captives to Babylon.  However, he is identified and freed by the Babylonian officials, since he faithfully prophesied that they would destroy Jerusalem.

Sunday

Jeremiah 40: 3, 4 [The imperial guard says,] “And now that Lord has brought it about; he has done just as he said he world.  All this happened because you people sinned against the Lord and did not obey him.  But today I am freeing you from the chains on your wrists. Come with me to Babylon, if you like, and I will look after you; but if you do not want to, then don’t come.  Look, the whole country lies before you; go wherever you please.”

Prayer: Lord God, amid the throng you preserve your faithful children.

Thought for the day:  You can find treasure simply by looking under the cushions of your sofa.

Monday

Psalm 106:46, 47 He caused them to be pitied by all who held them captive. Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us form the nations, that we may give thinks to your hold name and glory in your praise.

Prayer: Lord God, you have always found your people.

Thought for the day:  You will never slip through the holes, if you are pocketed in God’s care.

Tuesday

Psalm 119: 44, 45 I will always obey your law, for ever and ever. I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.

Prayer:  Lord God, in the pathway of obedience to you there is freedom.

Thought for the day: One of two choices has the power to save a life: “No” or Naloxone.

Wednesday

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Prayer:  Jesus, we give thanks that you freed us from the burden of sin.

Thought for the day: The finish line of the race of life gets farther away as the weight of sin increases.

Thursday

James 1:25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does.

Prayer:  Lord God, with the strength of will you give us may we obey your will.

Thought for the day: The songwriter said, “Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.”

Friday

I Peter 2:16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.

Prayer:  Jesus, may our lives ever reflect the goodness you have restored in us.

Thought for the day:  In spiritual warfare there are no double-agents.

Saturday

Luke 12:6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.

Prayer: Lord God, we thank you that you are ever mindful of us, your children.

Thought for the day:  Jeremiah’s faith was a both-and faith – faith both in prison and out of prison.

Jeremiah
photo: “Jeremiah” by Fr Lawrence Lew O. P. on http://www.flickr.com

Week Thirty-eight — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Jeremiah’s prophesy survives the fire — Jeremiah 36: 2-3

Note: Chapter 36 includes the dramatic story of how Jeremiah must rewrite a prophesy after the king violently destroys the word. People and officials hearing the word demonstrate their concern, but the king rejects the world to his own undoing.

Sunday

Jeremiah 36:2-3 “take a scroll and write on it all the words I [God] have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah and all the other nations from the time I began speaking to you in the reign of Josiah till now. Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every disaster I plan to inflict on them, each of them will turn from his wicked way; then I will forgive their wickedness and their sin.”

Prayer: Lord God, may we respond to your grace and mercy with contrite hearts of love.

Thought for the day: With God opportunity may knock twice.

Monday

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.

Prayer: Lord God, your word of love and correction is unfailing.

Thought for the day: Promise keeping could eliminate the needs for great quantities of fine print.

Tuesday

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank you for a loving word to lead, correct, inspire, and empower us.

Thought for the day: Familiarity with a vehicle’s owner’s manual can make trips smoother.

Wednesday

2 Peter 1:20,21 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Prayer: Lord God, we trust the scriptures as your word of revelation for us today.

Thought for the day: Opinions like scratch-off tickets are frequently sought and frequently wrong.

Thursday

I Corinthians 15: 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, your life, your ministry, and even your sacrifice for our sins fulfilled God’s prophecies of old.

Thought for the day: Fulfilling one’s promises and well-wishes is a full-time job.

Friday

Hebrews 4:12 The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we give thanks for your forthright and true word of scripture for our world today.

Thought for the day: The “Wrong Way” sign in the median is posted for your protection.

Saturday

John 5: 39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scripture that testify about me.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, may we find in God’s word the testimony of your forgiving love.

Thought for the day: The songwriter said, “Open my eyes Lord, I want to see Jesus. To reach out and touch him and know that he loves me.”

Jeremiah
photo: “Jeremiah” by Fr Lawrence Lew O. P. on http://www.flickr.com

Week Thirty-Seven — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Jeremiah consoles the exiles — Jeremiah 31: 3,4

Sunday

Jeremiah 31: 3,4 The Lord appeared to us I the past saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness, I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel.  Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful.

Prayer:  Lord God, your everlasting love renews life and hope in us today.

Thought for the day: Parents know how to love even when the child does not return the love.

Monday

Deuteronomy 7:7,8 The Lord did not set his affection on you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Prayer:  Lord God, you loved us enough to give us life for one more day, and we thank you.

Thought for the day:  Perfection is not a prerequisite for true parental love.

Tuesday

Malachi 1:2,3 “I have loved you,” says the Lord.  “But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’ Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? The Lord says.  “Yet I have loved Jacob but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.

Prayer:  Lord God, your love for us is our protection and our blessing.

Thought for the day:  For safety sake never get between a mama bear and her cubs.

Wednesday

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Prayer:  Lord God, we give our thanks for the gift of your son.

Thought for the day: For the newborn king the little drummer boy gave what he had; he played on his drum.

Thursday

Ephesians 2: 3,4  All of us lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.  Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich I mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, surely it is a great love that would save us by grace.

Thought for the day: The songwriter called God’s grace wonderful and matchless, since it is greater than all our sin.

Friday

Proverbs 3:11, 12 My son do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

Prayer: Lord God, even though you may discipline us, we would abide in your love.

Thought for the day: The child can endure the discipline, if he or she is confident of being loved.

Saturday

I John 4:7, 8 Dear friends let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Prayer:  Lord God, we are in awe that you would entrust to us the task of loving one another

Thought for the day: To love others we must see them for who they are.

Jeremiah
photo: “Jeremiah” by Fr Lawrence Lew O. P. on http://www.flickr.com