Week Twenty-two — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Isaiah’s Kings — 2 Kings 15: 3, 4

Note: To understand the ministry of Isaiah we must have an understand of the kings of Israel and Judea.  Theirs was a sordid history of success and failure in leading the people to serve God.  Isaiah began his prophetic ministry while Uzziah was still king.

Sunday

2 Kings 15: 3, 4 [Uzziah] did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Amaziah had done.  The high places, however, were not removed, the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.

Prayer:  Lord God, we pray that you will raise up godly leaders in our generation to turn the hearts of the children to you.

Thought for the day: The key that opens a doorway to truth and prosperity for any leader is obedience to God.

Monday

Deuteronomy 17:14, 15 When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” be sure to appoint over you the king the Lord your God chooses.  He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite.

Prayer: Lord God, give us wisdom to choose godly men and women to lead us today.

Thought for the day:  Some vacancies would be better left unfilled.

Tuesday

I Samuel 10:19 “But you [Israel] have now rejected your God, who saves you out of all your calamities and distresses.  And you have said, ‘No set a king over us’ So now present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and clans.”

Prayer:  Lord God, forgive us for all the times we have turned away from your leadership and turned to the world.

Thought for the day:  You can always find someone to lead providing you do not care where they are leading you.

Wednesday

I Samuel 16: 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.  The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Prayer:  Lord God, in choosing David you demonstrated that you are a discerner of the hearts of men and women.

Thought for the day: God required no advertising campaign to discover the leader with godly loyalty.

Thursday

I Kings 9: 4, 5 “As for you [Solomon], if you walk before me in integrity of heart and uprightness, as David you father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’”

Prayer: Lord God, we give thanks for the abundant opportunities you make available for those who are faithful to you.

Thought for the day:  When God has all of you, you can have it all.

Friday

I Kings 11: 11, 12 So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates.  Nevertheless, for the sake of David you father, I will not do it during your lifetime.  I will tear it out of the had of your son.

Prayer:  Lord God, we mourn for the abundant opportunities from you that have been lost due to negligence and disobedience

Thought for the day:  Through disobedience Solomon just lost it all unlike some leaders who had it all, lost it all, and made it back.

Saturday

2 Chronicles 26: 4, 5 [Uzziah] did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Amaziah had done.  He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God.  As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success.

Prayer:  Lord God, for every prophet who has voiced your will and your plan we give thanks.

Thought for the day:  Hearing and heeding the prophet of God of your own hour still promises great rewards.

 

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Week Twenty-one — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Pentecost — Acts 2: 32,33

Sunday

Acts 2: 32, 33 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are witnesses of he fact.  Exalted to the right hand of God he as received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.

Prayer:  Lord God, we give thanks for the Holy Spirit poured forth on Pentecost and accompanying us to this very hour.

Thought for the day:  The Holy Spirit is the comfort bringing spirit.

Monday

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:  Jesus, we honor you as head of the church.

Thought for the day:  Perhaps today’s church would not be divided, if Christ’s followers could just be members of his church.

Tuesday

Colossians 1: 17, 18 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  And he is the head of the body, the church, he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have supremacy.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we honor you as the one chosen by God to lead the children of God.

Thought for the day: Unwillingness to serve is a sign of an individual’s unfitness to rule.

Wednesday

Matthew 16:17,, 18  Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we give thanks for the church built upon faith that overcomes the very gates of Hades.

Thought for the day: Broken safes can hold no treasures.

Thursday

I Corinthians 12: 17, 18 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be?  If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?  But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body every one of them, jus as he wanted them to be.

Prayer: Lord God, in your wisdom you created the church with Christ as the head.

Thought for the day: Where would your grip be without a thumb?

Friday

Acts 20:28 Guard yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, for the unity and mission of your precious church we pray your blessing.

Thought for the day: If the church could speak and act with one voice, what would become of the needs of the poor and suffering?

Saturday

I Peter 2: 4, 5 As you come to him, the living Stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him – you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Lord God, from mean and meaningless lives you have rescued us and given us a purpose to live to your glory in Christ.

Thought for the day: The songwriter said, “We offer up to you a sacrifice of praise, a sacrifice of thanksgiving.”

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Week Twenty — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Godly Women living by Faith — I Samuel 1: 10, 11

Sunday

I Samuel 1: 10, 11 In bitterness of soul Hanna wept much and prayed to the Lord. And she made a vow, saying “O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”

Prayer:  Lord God, may you hear all the prayers of godly mothers praying for their children this day.

Thought for the day:  When the mother was asked if she had prayed for the daughter who was clean for six years she had just one reply.  Yes, and I still pray for her.

Monday

Esther 4: 15, 16 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me.  Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day.  I and my maids will fast ads you do.  When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law.  And if I perish, I perish”

Prayer:  Lord God, we give thanks for all the godly women who have put their lives on the line to impart their faith to us today.

Thought for the day: The cost of disbelief in God is greater than the cost of belief.

Tuesday

Ruth 1: 16, 17 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back form you.  Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.  Your people will be my people and your God my god.  Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.  May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely if anything but death separates you and me.”

Prayer:  Lord God, we are grateful for the faith that binds us to one another as believers in your mercies.

Thought for the day:  Blood is thicker than water, but faith can be thicker than blood.

Wednesday

2 Kings 11: 2, 3 But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes, who were about to be murdered.  She put him and his nurse in a bedroom to hide him from Athaliah, so he was not killed.  He remained hidden with his nurse at the temple of the Lord for six years while Athaliah ruled the land.

Prayer:  Lord God, for all the godly women who have cared for your innocent children we give thanks.

Thought for the day:  Rare is the offspring that can fend for itself upon birth.

Thursday

Luke 1: 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the Angle left her.

Prayer: Lord God, we give thanks for all those like Mary who have yielded to your will.

Thought for the day: To bring you and me into the world required the courage of our mothers.

Friday

Mark 7: 27, 28  “First let the children eat all they want,” [Jesus] told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”  “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

Prayer:  Lord God, we given thanks for all the mothers who would not praying until their children received your blessing.

Thought for the day: The resolved may be disappointed, but only with great difficulty are they ever defeated.

Saturday

Acts 9: 36, 37 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor.  About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room.

Prayer:  Jesus, we give thanks for all the saintly women of the church who faithfully serve you.

Thought for the day: On what tombstone did you last read this epitaph, “She was kind?”

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Week Nineteen — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — 40 Days of Appearances — Luke 24: 50, 51

Note: In 2018, May 10 is the fortieth day since Easter Sunday.  It is the day when Christians remember that Christ ascended on high.

Sunday

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: Lord Jesus, we give thanks for all the days you walked among your disciples on earth.

Thought for the day: Enjoy the company you keep while you still have them.

Monday

Acts 1:10, 11 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.  “Men of Galilee, they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky?  This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Prayer:  Lord God, may we be forgiven for all the times we have neglected the work you have given to us.

Thought for the day: Skylarking can be habit-forming.

Tuesday

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:  Lord Jesus, knowing that you have defeated death we give praise to God.

Thought for the day: The last person you should want to be an enemy is someone who cannot die..

Wednesday

Hebrews 10:12, 13 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.  Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, in God’s plan we find forgiveness in your death and hope in your resurrection.

Thought for the day:  God is so inclusive that God allows some to choose to be his enemies, if they are willing to give up God’s blessings.

Thursday

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, we give thanks that you stepped down to earth for us that you might return to heaven with us.

Thought for the day:  Nurses know there is a wrong way and a right way to assist someone who has fallen.

Friday

2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8 and [Jesus will] give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well.  This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.  He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

Prayer:  Lord God, to not know of your Son’s love would be a punishment indeed.

Thought for the day:  The songwriter said, “When by his grace I shall look on his face that will be glory, glory to me.”

Saturday

John 14: 2, 3 In my Father’s house are many rooms, if it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, do, please do, come back to take your children to a heavenly home.

Thought for the day:  Unclaimed cats and dogs are not the only one that need forever homes.

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Week Eighteen — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Forty Days of Appearances — Acts 13:30, 31

Sunday

Acts 13: 30, 31 But God raised [Jesus] from the dead, and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem.  They are now his witnesses to our people.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we give thanks that you appeared to those who could best verify your resurrection.

Thought for the day: Counterfeits are best spotted by those who know the real thing.

Monday

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.

Prayer: Lord God, we would be pure in heart that we might see you.

Thought for the day:  Dirty mirrors can hide clean complexions.

Tuesday

Psalm 27:8, 9 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek.  Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper.  Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior.

Prayer:  Lord God, in all we do this week, this day, these hours we seek you.

Thought for the day:  Even children know they can increase their wealth by looking under the sofa cushions.

Wednesday

Isaiah 55:6 Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts.  Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our god, for he will freely pardon.

Prayer:  Lord God, as we seek you today may you forgive our tardiness and our procrastination.

Thought for the day: The student who would succeed cannot afford the luxury of procrastination.

Thursday

Psalm 32: 6, 7 Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him. You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Prayer:  Lord God, we would find you this very day that we may hide ourselves in you.

Thought for the day:  Corrie Ten Boom knew that God is the supreme hiding place. 

Friday

Matthew 28: 5, 6 The angel said to the women “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.  Come and see the place where he lay.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, since they found your tomb empty, we may find you present.

Thought for the day: Today Jesus’ tomb is as empty as it was 2000 years ago.

Saturday

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

Prayer:  Lord God, forgive us for ever doubting you, and guide us on the pathway to you.

Thought for the day:  Even the most efficient GPS requires a destination.

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Week Seventeen — Verse by Verse Series — 40 Days of Appearances — Luke 24: 44, 45

Sunday

Luke 24: 44-45 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you.  Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and Psalms.”

Prayer:  Jesus, we give thanks for your obedience in all things.

Thought for the day: Pride prevents belief as easily as ignorance.

Monday

Deuteronomy 18:15 The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you own brothers.  You must listen to him.

Prayer:  Lord God, may we heed the prophetic word you would send to us.

Thought for the day:  Changing the radio channel occasionally can improve hearing.

Tuesday

Ezekiel 34:23, 24 I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them and be their shepherd.  I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David will be the price among them.  I the Lord have spoken.

Prayer:  Jesus, the sheep of your fold need your leadership today.

Thought for the day:  Good disciples cannot disguise the identity of their leader.

Wednesday

Isaiah 53: 9, 10 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he has done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.  Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilty offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we give thanks for your willing sacrifice for us.

Thought for the day:  Pre-arranged funerals are not free.

Thursday

Psalm 16: 10  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:  Lord God, we find hope in knowing that you never abandoned Jesus.

Thought for the day: Leftovers in the fridge in plain sight get eaten first.

Friday

Psalm 118:22, 23 The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, to us you are a precious gem.

Thought for the day:  To a baboon a diamond is just another rock.

Saturday

Daniel 7: 13, 14 In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven.  He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.  He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped.  His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we eagerly await your return.

Thought for the day: Bus stops are not permanent residences.

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Week Sixteen — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Forty Days of Appearances — John 20: 27, 28

Sunday

John 20:27, 28 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it into my side.  Stop doubting and believe.  Thomas said to him “My Lord and my God!”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we give thanks for the evidence of your resurrection.

Thought for the day:  Thomas’ disbelief provided evidence for our belief.

Monday

John 19: 33, 34 But when they came to Jesus ad found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.  Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we remember that you were wounded for our transgressions.

Thought for the day: The scars of love require no plastic surgery.

Tuesday

I Kings 18:38, 39 Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water I the trench.  When all the people saw this they fell prostrate and cried, The Lord he is God! The Lord — he is God!

Prayer: Lord God, may our hearts burn with the worship of you.

Thought for the day:  The evidence of God’s presence is found by those who earnestly seek him.

Wednesday

Psalm 34: 7, 8 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.  Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Prayer:  Lord God, you have given us reason to believe in your love and mercies

Thought for the day: Why do children refuse to eat dishes they have never tasted?

Thursday

Luke 16: 30, 31 “No, father Abraham,’ he said, “but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.  He said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”

Prayer:  Lord God, guard us from the stubbornness of unbelief.

Thought for the day:  The one who claims nothing can convince him or her is surely right.

Friday

I John 1: 1, 2 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.  The life appeared, we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was from the Father and has appeared to us.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we give thanks for the witness your hand-picked disciples share with us

Thought for the day:  If you want to spot a counterfeit, ask an expert.

Saturday

I Peter 1:8 Thought you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him, and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we have heard the testimony of your love, and we have loved you.

Thought for the day:  When was the last time you refused to wear a garment because you refused to believe the manufacturers’ label?

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