Week Twenty-two — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Jesus’ Ascension — Luke 24:51

Sunday, May 28

Luke 24: 50, 51 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them.  While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.

Prayer:  Jesus, we worship you as our Lord who is ascended to God’s right hand.

Thought for the day: Those who can empathize make the very best leaders.

Monday, May 29

Acts 1: 8, 9 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud his him from their sight.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank you for the Holy Spirit that you have sent to accompany us until you return.

Thought for the day:  A best friend will share the consolation of a friend.

Tuesday, May 30

Acts 7:55, 56 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.  “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

Prayer:  Jesus, in our hour of trial we turn our eyes to heaven to find the strength of your presence.

Thought for the day: Stephen confirmed what Paul later asserted – to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

Wednesday, May 31

Psalm 110:1 The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right had until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

Prayer:  O Jesus, we declare with all the saints, prophets, and angles that you are Lord.

Thought for the day: When you pick your battles, always pick battles where God is on your side.

Thursday, June 1

Matthew 26:63, 64 But Jesus remained silent.  The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God. Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.”  “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied, “But I say to all of you: In the future, you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Prayer:  Almighty God, we believe your son comes again in his glory to reign forevermore.

Thought for the day: Believing the truth can prepare you to meet its consequences.

Friday, June 2

Ephesians 4: 9, 10 What does “He ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions?  He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, to take us to the highest heights you went to the lowest depths.

Thought for the day: The exercise of picking up a penny adds to the wealth of health.

Saturday, June 3

Colossians 3:1, 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.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, may we ever find our minds and hearts lost in thoughts of you.

Thought for the day: In God’s master plan, there is a special place for those who are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good.

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Photo: “Ascension of Jesus” by Fr Lawrence Lew O. P. on http://www.flickr.com

Week Twenty One — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Jesus’ wait time — Luke 24: 49

Sunday, May 21

Luke 24: 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised, but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.

Prayer: Lord, we obediently wait upon the promise of the Spirit.

Thought for the day: No anxiety is required for waiting.

Monday, May 22

Psalm 27: 13, 14 I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Prayer:  Lord God, the manifestation of your goodness shall prevail in due season.

Thought for the day: Mothers know how to make red and wrinkled newborns into beautiful babies.

Tuesday, May 23

Psalm 130:5, 6 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.  My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Prayer:  Lord God, even more comforting that the first light of day is the thought of your presence.

Thought for the day: Filling wait time with trust or filling wait time with worry is a choice.

Wednesday, May 24

Isaiah 8:17 I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, I will put my trust in him.

Prayer:  Lord God, even in the seasons when it appears that you are hidden, may we find the strength to trust in you.

Thought for the day: Some doors without peepholes just have to be opened in faith.

Thursday, May 25

Micah 7:6, 7 For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law a man’s enemies are the members of his own household.  But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.

Prayer:  Lord God, when others fail us, we find consolation in knowing you are ever faithful

Thought for the day:  Excessive pessimism about humanity can cause an allergic reaction.

Friday, May 26

Galatians 5: 5, 6 But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.  For in Christ Jesus nether circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value.  The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we must trust you to perfect our righteousness in your time.

Thought for the day: The sculptor does not begin and end his or her work with the same blow.

Saturday, May 27

I Thessalonians 1: 9, 10 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us.  They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead – Jesus who rescues us form the coming wrath.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we are waiting for your return from heaven.

Thought for the day: If you reached the number for Heaven in error you may hang up, otherwise please stay on the line.  Your approximate wait time will be forgotten when the operator connects you with Jesus.
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Photo: “Ascension of Jesus” by Fr Lawrence Lew O. P. on http://www.flickr.com

Week Twenty – Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Jesus Cares — John 19: 26,27

Note: This week in recognition of Mothers’ Day we focus upon Jesus care for mothers and women.

Sunday, May 14

John 19: 26,27 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is you mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank you that no hour is so dark that you do not care.

Thought for the day: Anyone can adopt a mother for a day.

Monday, May 15

Luke 7: 14, 15 Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.

Prayer: Lord God, thank you for sending one to care in the hours of loss.

Thought for the day:  With God any day can be a family reunion day.

Tuesday, May 16

Luke 8: 47, 48 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.  Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.  Go in peace.”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for looking upon us individually with grace and mercy.

Thought for the day: Those who value their ID don’t lose it in a crowd.

Wednesday, May 17

Matthew 15: 27, 28 “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus answered, “Woman you have great fait! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Prayer:  Jesus, we give thanks for all the times you have shown us grace and mercy.

Thought for the day: God has a recipe for making crumb cake from the scraps of life.

Thursday, May 18

Matthew 26: 12, 13 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.  I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, I memory of her.”

Prayer: Lord God, you are ever watchful, ever loving, ever grateful for the well-deserved honor shown you.  We honor you, O God.

Thought for the day:  The memory of kindness is long savored.

Friday, May 19

Acts 1:14 They all joined together constantly in prayer along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we join with the women and men who knew you best like your mother in your worship.

Thought for the day: Mothers and fathers must quickly become expert judges of character.

Saturday, May 20

John 20:15, 16 “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying?  Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”  Jesus said to her, “Mary.”   She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means teacher.)

Prayer: Lord God, reveal to us the ever-living Christ as he was revealed on Easter morning to the women who followed him.

Thought for the day: As he called Mary by name on the first Easter morning, Jesus will one day call by name his faithful disciples.

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Photo: “Do not be afraid” by Fr Lawrence Lew, O. P. on http://www.flickr.com

Week Nineteen — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — the Resurrected Christ — Luke 24:46

Sunday, May 7

Luke 24:46 He told them, “This is what is written: the Christ must suffer and rise from the dead on the third day.”

Prayer:  Lord God, forever and ever your life-giving word has proven true.

Thought for the day: In God’s eternal plan there is a place for you.

Monday, May 8

Deuteronomy 18:18,19 I will raise up for them a prophet like you [Moses] from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.  If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account.

Prayer:  Lord God, we would hear and obey the prophetic word of Jesus.

Thought for the day: With the ear we hear, and with the heart we listen.

Tuesday, May 9

Isaiah 50:5,6 The sovereign Lord has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious, I have not drawn back.  I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard, I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, you prayed to the Father, “Thy will be done.”

Thought for the day: The experienced batter knows when the ball will strike him or her.

Wednesday, May 10

Psalm 22: 15,16 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth, you lay me in the dust of death, Dogs have surrounded me, a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, the nail prints in your hands and feet remind us of your love.

Thought for the day: None can say Jesus’ crucifixion was a humane execution.

Thursday, May 11

Psalm 69: 8, 9 I am a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my own mother’s sons, for zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, the taunts and mockery you received on the cross were undeserved.

Thought for the day: A songwriter said, “Jesus knows all about our struggles.”

Friday, May 12

Psalm 16: 10, 11 because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.  You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Prayer:  Jesus, with your last breath you entrusted your self to God saying “into thy hands I commend my spirit.”

Thought for the day: No problem you could share with God is a problem that God has not overcome in this life or in eternity.

Saturday, May 13

Psalm 110: 1, 2 The Lord says to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”  The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion, you will rule in the midst of your enemies.

Prayer:  Praise to God the Father who has given the victory over death to Jesus.

Thought for the day: Sooner or later the enemies of an invincible king must surrender or suffer the consequences of defeat.


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photo: “Thomas Doubts 4” by Waiting for the Word on http://www.flickr.com

Week Eighteen — Verse by Verse Devotional — the Resurrected Christ — John 21: 13, 14

Sunday, April 30

John 21: 13, 14 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.  This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Prayer:  Jesus, we give thanks that we serve a risen savior.

Thought for the day: It is not the honoree who complements the organizers on the wake. 

Monday, May 1

Matthew 4: 18,19 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew.  They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  “come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of me.”

Prayer: Lord, may we hear you calling to higher service this day.

Thought for the day: Any service done in the name of the Lord is spiritual service.

Tuesday, May 2

Mark 4: 39, 40 He got us, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.  He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith?”

Prayer:  Lord, in your presence the raging storms of life seem to dwindle to whispers.

Thought for the day: When the winds blow, birds know how to go along for the ride.

Wednesday, May 3

Luke 24: 41, 42 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish.

Prayer: Jesus, we give thanks for the testimony of your bodily resurrection.

Thought for the day: A ghost cannot appreciate a fish sandwich with tartar sauce.

Thursday, May 4

Jonah 1:17 But the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.

Prayer: Lord God, as you rescued Jonah may you rescue us from our unbelief.

Thought for the day: Jonah learned the hard way that you can run from the Lord but you cannot hide.

Friday, May 5

Matthew 12: 39, 40 He answered, ”A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign.  But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.”

Prayer:  Lord God, may you forgive us for seeking the wrong signs.

Thought for the day: Sometimes yield means “go” and sometimes it means “stop.”

Saturday, May 6

I Corinthians 15:3,4 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.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we do serve you, a risen savior.

Thought for the day: God gave us someone to count on no matter what happens.

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photo: “miracle of fishes” by Waiting for the Word on http://www.flickr.com

Week Seventeen — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Words of Jesus in Matthew — Matthew 28: 18, 19

Sunday, April 23

Matthew 28:18-19 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:  Jesus, we honor your authority to give the promise of eternal life.

Thought for the day:  Not until the one who promises has the power to deliver do we take the promise seriously.

Monday, April 24

Acts 2:24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

Prayer: Almighty God our Heavenly Father, even death cannot stop your purposes.

Thought for the day: A single death can halt the reign of terror of a dictator.

Tuesday, April 25

Hebrews 7: 23, 24 Now there have been many of those [high] priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we take comfort in knowing that you shall serve as our high priest forever.

Thought for the day: Term limits are good for politicians and leaders who don’t know when they have outstayed their welcome.

Wednesday, April 26

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, mighty is your name in heaven and on earth.

Thought for the day: Of Jesus’ name the songwriter said, “Kings and kingdoms will all pass away, but there’s just something about that name.”

Thursday, April 27

Jeremiah 32:17 Ah Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm.  Nothing is too hard for you.

Prayer:  Lord God, in you we place our faith, you who created the world and you who raised Jesus from the dead.

Thought for the day: Giving the impossible over to God beats giving in to the impossible every time.

Friday, April 28

Ephesians 1:22, 23 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we who are members of your church honor you as the head of the church this day.

Thought for the day: Nepotism works great if you have a great family.

Saturday, April 29

I Corinthians 15: 21,22 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we who knew so well we were dying have faith that in you we are living anew.

Thought for the day: If you want apples tomorrow, you should check for bad apples today.
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Photo: “Do not be afraid” by Fr Lawrence Lew, O. P. on http://www.flickr.com

Week Sixteen — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Words of Jesus in Matthew — Matthew 28: 8, 9

Sunday, April 16 — Easter Sunday

Matthew 28: 8, 9 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.  Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said.  They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we join our worship with all who have worshiped you beginning on the first Easter Sunday.

Thought for the day: Worthy of worship is the one whose voice awakened you from the slumber of death this day.

Monday, April 17

Acts 2: 23, 24 This man was handed over to you by Gods set purpose and foreknowledge, and you with the help of wicked men put him to death by nailing him to the cross.  But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

Prayer:  Lord God, how often we can say those two miraculous words: “But God.”

Thought for the day: The power of a “mother-of-all-bombs (MOAB)” is no match for an eternal life.

Tuesday, April 18

I Corinthians 15: 19, 20 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Prayer:  Jesus, we praise you for giving us a hope for today and forever.

Thought for the day: The present is a wonderful gift when it is filled with the hope of Christ.

Wednesday, April 19

I Peter 1:3 Praise be to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Prayer:  Lord God, when our failures unsettle us, your mercy calms and renews our spirit, and we rejoice in you.

Thought for the day: The odds of a hope inspired by God are always, absolutely favorable.

Thursday, April 20

Ephesians 2: 5, 6 [God] made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, it is you that welcomes us into the presence of God the Father.

Thought for the day:  Knowing the right person can give you an audience with anyone.

Friday, April 21

Philippians 3:10, 11 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Prayer:  Jesus, you are our example of perfect fellowship with God the father through obedience.

Thought for the day:  Saying Yes to God is good for the soul.

Saturday, April 22

Romans 6:3, 4 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death I order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Prayer:  Jesus, we rejoice that we are cleansed of our sins in you to rise to a new life.

Thought for the day: Like ex-offenders seeking to stay out of prison Christians must follow the teaching of Jesus to remain free.

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photo: “My Lord and my God” by Fr Lawrence Lew, O. P. on http://www.flickr.com

Study for Matthew 28: 8, 9

G – R – E – E – T

Grief led the disciples and women to the tomb on Easter morning.

Respect for the dead led the women to prepare spices for dressing the body.

Empty was the tomb the women and the disciples found that morning.

Encountering a risen Lord Jesus the women worshiped him.

Triumphant was God’s plan to raise Jesus from the dead and to give us hope for life everlasting.