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Monday, November 27, 2017

Knowing Better

Now that we have made it through the long Thanksgiving weekend enjoying Family and Friends we are starting the New Week off in the last week of November before we enter into the 12th month of the New Year which will be December but before we get ahead of ourselves lets truly reflect on these words of wisdom Read: 2 Kings 22:1–4, 8–13 Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 30–32; 1 Peter 4 When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes.—2 Kings 22:11 When we brought our adoptive son home from overseas, I was eager to shower him with love and provide what he had lacked over the preceding months, especially quality food, since he had a nutritional deficit. But despite our best efforts, including consulting specialists, he grew very little. After nearly three years, we learned he had some severe food intolerances. After removing those items from his diet, he grew five inches in just a few months. While I grieved at how long I’d unwittingly fed him foods that impaired his growth, I rejoiced at this surge in his health! I suspect Josiah felt similarly when the Book of the Law was discovered after having been lost in the temple for years. Just as I grieved having unintentionally hindered my son’s growth, Josiah grieved having ignorantly missed God’s fullest and best intentions for His people (2 Kings 22:11). Although he is commended for doing what was right in the eyes of the Lord (v. 2), he learned better how to honor God after finding the Law. With his newfound knowledge, he led the people to worship again as God had instructed them (23:22–23). As we learn through the Bible how to honor Him, we may grieve the ways we’ve fallen short of God’s will for us. Yet we can be comforted that He heals and restores us, and leads us gently into deeper understanding. —Kirsten Holmberg Thank You, God, for showing me how to live in a way that pleases You. I’m sorry for the ways I’ve not done that in the past. Help me to honor and obey You now. God gives us a new start.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Take a Number

The weekend has come to an end with Thanksgiving fast approaching we are starting the New Week Off in this Week of Thanksgiving as we take a moment to reflect on ALL the AWESOMENESS of God during this Thanksgiving week, I going to take these words of wisdom to heart and come this Thursday which is Thanksgiving day we should ALL truly have a better understanding of Gratefulness and Thankfulness with these words of wisdom Read: John 14:15–27 Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 14–15; James 2 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.—John 14:27 We have an ancient cherry tree in our backyard that had seen better days and looked like it was dying, so I called in an arborist. He checked it out and declared that it was “unduly stressed” and needed immediate attention. “Take a number,” my wife, Carolyn, muttered to the tree as she walked away. It had been one of those weeks. Indeed, we all have anxious weeks—filled with worries over the direction our culture is drifting or concerns for our children, our marriages, our businesses, our finances, our personal health and well-being. Nevertheless, Jesus has assured us that despite disturbing circumstances we can be at peace. He said, “My peace I give to you” (John 14:27). Jesus’s days were filled with distress and disorder: He was beleaguered by His enemies and misunderstood by His family and friends. He often had no place to lay His head. Yet there was no trace of anxiety or fretfulness in His manner. He possessed an inner calm, a quiet tranquility. This is the peace He has given us—freedom from anxiety concerning the past, present, and future. The peace He exhibited; His peace. In any circumstances, no matter how dire or trivial, we can turn to Jesus in prayer. There in His presence we can make our worries and fears known to Him. Then, Paul assures us, the peace of God will come to “guard [our] hearts and [our] minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7). Even if we’ve had “one of those weeks,” we can have His peace. —David H. Roper Dear Lord, thank You that I can come to You with every care and Your peace will guard my mind. In the midst of troubles, peace can be found in Jesus. INSIGHT: Are you struggling today? Thank God that you can take your cares to Him in prayer and ask Him to help you commit your situation to His care.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Serve and Be Served

The week has come to an end it's FRIDAY! YES! So Thankful as we are getting closer to the Thanksgiving holiday lets take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom Read:Philippians4:10–19 Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 5–7; Hebrews 12 You were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. —Philippians 4:10 Marilyn had been ill for many weeks, and many people had encouraged her through this difficult time. How will I ever repay all their kindnesses? she worried. Then one day she read the words of a written prayer: “Pray that [others] will develop humility, allowing them not only to serve, but also to be served.” Marilyn suddenly realized there was no need to balance any scale, but just to be thankful and allow others to experience the joy of serving. In Philippians 4, the apostle Paul expressed his gratitude for all those who shared “in [his] troubles” (v. 14). He depended on people to support him as he preached and taught the gospel. He understood that the gifts provided for him when he was in need were simply an extension of people’s love for God: “[Your gifts] are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God” (v. 18). It may not be easy to be the one on the receiving end—especially if you’ve usually been the first one to help other people. But with humility, we can allow God to gently care for us by a variety of means when we need help. Paul wrote, “My God will meet all your needs” (v. 19). It was something he had learned during a life of trials. God is faithful and His provision for us has no limits. —Cindy Hess Kasper Dear Lord, thank You for caring for us through Your people. May we graciously give and receive help. Receive love. Give love. Repeat. INSIGHT: Paul was a tentmaker by trade and often worked to support himself while he ministered to people in various cities (see Acts 18:3). However, at times Paul relied on the giving and generosity of others (see Phil 4:14-16). He also encouraged generosity among the churches, calling on members of the global body of Christ to meet each other’s needs (see 1 Cor. 16:1-4). Many times God provides for us through the giving of others. Reflect on how God has provided for you or used you to meet the needs of others. J.R. Hudberg

Monday, November 13, 2017

Multiplied Generosity

So here we are starting a brand New Week as we start this third week of November lets keep in mind what this month is ALL about this is a season of Thanksgiving so lets take these words of wisdom to heart throughout the remainder of this month with these words of wisdom Read: 2 Corinthians 8:1–9 Bible in a Year: Lamentations 1–2; Hebrews 10:1–18 See that you also excel in this grace of giving.—2 Corinthians 8:7 Cheryl was in for a surprise as she pulled up to deliver her next pizza. Expecting to arrive at a home, she instead found herself outside a church. Cheryl confusedly carried the pepperoni pizza inside, where she was met by the pastor. “Is it fair to say life hasn’t been easy for you?” the pastor asked her. Cheryl agreed it hadn’t. With that, he brought out two offering plates that church members had filled with money. The pastor then poured over $750 into Cheryl’s delivery bag as a tip! Unbeknownst to Cheryl, the pastor had asked the pizza shop to send their most financially strapped driver over. Cheryl was stunned. She could now pay some bills. When the first Christians in Jerusalem faced poverty, it was a church that rushed to their aid. Though in need themselves, the Macedonian Christians gave sacrificially, considering it a privilege to do so (2 Cor. 8:1-4). Paul cited their generosity as an example for the Corinthians, and us, to follow. When we use our plenty to supply another’s need, we reflect Jesus, who gave away His riches to meet our own spiritual poverty (v. 9). Cheryl told all her customers about the church’s kindness that day, and, following its example, donated the rest of the day’s tips to others in need. An act of generosity multiplied. And Christ was glorified. —Sheridan Voysey Lord, You meet our needs in surprising ways sometimes. Use us to do that for others as well. Our generosity meets needs and glorifies Jesus. INSIGHT: The believers in Jerusalem were suffering because of a severe famine (see Acts 11:28-29), and the Macedonians—though needy themselves—responded with generous financial aid (2 Cor. 8:1-5). The Corinthians had enthusiastically offered help, but they were slack in carrying it out (8:10-11; 9:1-3). Paul reminded them that God had blessed them abundantly so that they could be generous and share that abundance (8:14-15; 9:8-11). He challenged them to honor their promise completely (8:6-12; 9:5) and quotes Psalm 112:9 to encourage their generous giving (2 Cor. 9:9). How might God be leading you to show generosity today? Sim Kay Tee

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Hand of Comfort

Made it through the first week of November it's FRIDAY! now let us ALL reflect on these words of wisdom Read: 2 Corinthians 1:3–7 Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 48–49; Hebrews 7 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, . . . who comforts us in all our troubles.—2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Patient is combative,” the nurse’s notes read. What she didn’t realize until later was that I was having an allergic reaction as I awakened after a complicated open-heart surgery. I was a mess, with a tube down my throat. My body began shaking violently, straining against the straps on my arms, which were there to keep me from suddenly pulling out my breathing tube. It was a frightening and painful episode. At one point, a nurse’s assistant to the right side of my bed reached down and simply held my hand. It was an unexpected move, and it struck me as especially gentle. I began to relax, which caused my body to stop shaking so badly. Having experienced this with other patients, the nurse’s assistant knew that a hand of comfort could minister to me as well. It was a vivid example of how God uses comfort when His children suffer. Comfort is a powerful and memorable tool for any caregiver, and Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 it’s an important part of God’s toolbox. Not only that, but God also multiplies the impact of His comfort by calling us to use the memory of the comfort He gives us to comfort others in similar situations (vv. 4-7). It is but another sign of His great love; and one we can share with others—sometimes in the simplest of gestures. —Randy Kilgore Thank You, Father, for the comfort You provide to us, either directly or through the acts of Your children. Help us to see where we can apply that same comfort to others in and for Your name. Simple gestures can bring powerful comfort. INSIGHT: This passage demonstrates how our personal pain can help others who suffer. Paul uses the word comfort both vertically and horizontally. God extends comfort to us, then we can offer comfort to others. In this way, our pain can become a conduit of care for those in distress and lead to gratitude in the midst of pain. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3). Can you think of a time when God used others to encourage and comfort you? Dennis Fisher

Monday, November 6, 2017

Our Prayers, God’s Timing

So here we are starting the New Week in the 11th Month of the New Year Welcome to November here are some words of wisdom to help you get through the week with Read: Luke 1:5–17 Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 37–39; Hebrews 3 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.—Ephesians 3:20 Sometimes God takes His time in answering our prayers, and that isn’t always easy for us to understand. That was the situation for Zechariah, a priest whom the angel Gabriel appeared to one day near an altar in the temple in Jerusalem. Gabriel told him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John” (Luke 1:13, italics added). But Zechariah had probably asked God for a child years before, and he struggled with Gabriel’s message because Elizabeth was now well beyond the expected age for childbirth. Still, God answered his prayer. God’s memory is perfect. He is able to remember our prayers not only for years but also for generations beyond our lifetime. He never forgets them and may move in response long after we first brought our requests to Him. Sometimes His answer is “no,” other times it is “wait”—but His response is always measured with love. God’s ways are beyond us, but we can trust that they are good. Zechariah learned this. He asked for a son, but God gave him even more. His son John would grow up to be the very prophet who would announce the arrival of the Messiah. Zechariah’s experience demonstrates a vital truth that should also encourage us as we pray: God’s timing is rarely our own, but it is always worth waiting for. —James Banks What are you praying for today? Tell us at When we cannot see God’s hand at work, we can still trust His heart. INSIGHT: Waiting for God to answer our prayers is hard—especially when we feel the pressures of life. But we have been given the encouragement and promise of the help of the Holy Spirit. How does God’s presence in your prayers strengthen you as you wait? (see Rom. 8). Bill Crowder

Friday, November 3, 2017

Powerful Baby

We have entered into the 11th month of the New Year Welcome to November as we wrap up the end of the week lets take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom Read: Psalm 13 Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 30–31; Philemon How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? . . . But I trust in your unfailing love.—Psalm 13:1, 5 The first time I saw him, I cried. He looked like a perfect newborn asleep in his crib. But we knew he would never wake up. Not until he was in the arms of Jesus. He clung to life for several months. Then his mother told us of his death in a heart-wrenching email. She wrote of “that deep, deep pain that groans inside you.” Then she said, “How deeply God carved His work of love into our hearts through that little life! What a powerful life it was!” Powerful? How could she say that? This family’s precious little boy showed them—and us—that we must depend on God for everything. Especially when things go horribly wrong! The hard yet comforting truth is that God meets us in our pain. He knows the grief of losing a Son. In our deepest pain, we turn to the songs of David because he writes out of his own grief. “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?” he asked (Ps. 13:2). “Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death” (v. 3). Yet David could give his biggest questions to God. “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation” (v. 5). Only God can bring ultimate significance to our most tragic events. —Tim Gustafson Where do I turn when a crisis hits me? Do I ever get angry with God when facing grief and loss? Am I afraid to share my true emotions with Him? Have I ever asked God for His peace? God can do the most with what we think is least. INSIGHT: We may be surprised to hear a cry of abandonment coming from David, a man who knew God intimately. Psalm 13 describes David’s struggle. He was threatened by powerful enemies and distressed by God’s seeming prolonged apathy and absence, feeling forsaken in the time of his greatest need. “How long, Lord?” he asks. David questioned if God would ever come to his rescue (vv. 1-2). Even as he felt the sting of abandonment, David turned his turmoil over to God, asking Him for a deeper understanding of his circumstances (vv. 3-4). Anchoring himself in God’s unfailing covenantal love, David renews his trust in God (vv. 5-6). Like David, you may be going through a rough patch, engulfed by feelings of dread and abandonment. God may seem silent, but He is never absent. Scripture confirms He will never leave or forsake anyone who calls on Him (Heb. 13:5-6). Sim Kay Tee