Monday: Genesis 24
Tuesday: Matthew 24
Wednesday: Esther 1
Thursday: Acts 24
Friday: Genesis 24, Matthew 24, Ester 1, Acts 24
Monday, Genesis 24
How often am I tempted to lower my standards, my expectation of what God will do because it just doesn’t seem possible? But Abraham is unflinching. Surely by now, he knows God will indeed provide exactly what he and his family need. Surely by now, I should, too.
Abraham’s trust seems to be contagious, because his servant, who doubted just verses before now prays a very specific prayer to the Lord. And God answers, even before He was finished speaking. We shouldn’t be surprised. This is always who God is – providing exactly what we need. Now, I am not saying He will always give us exactly what we ask for, and I am not saying He will always do it instantly as He did in this story. But what would it take for us to have the trust of Abraham, the trust of the servant, to lay it all out there to God believing He hears and He will give in accordance to His will? I like that God does not just provide for Abraham and Isaac in this story, but for the servant as well. He gives the servant what he needs to serve his master. And He does the same for us.
What do you need to ask God for more of in order to serve Him well?
Meditate on Philippians 4:19 today, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.”
Tuesday, Matthew 24:
“The one who stands firm to the end will be saved,” Jesus says. What an amazing picture, the Gospel of the Kingdom going out to all nations. It both fills me with awe and reminds me: we are not done yet. We are not done preaching the Gospel to each other and to the world. With our words, with our lives, with our love. May we stand firm to the end!
Who can you share the Good News with today?
Lord Jesus, make us ready. Make us a people standing firm in Your love, Your strength, Your grace. When You come on that day we have all confidence that we will see Your radiance and Your glory and that You will gather us to Yourself. Oh, what joy! Lord, may we not grow weary. May we not grow lukewarm in our love and passion for You. Make us faithful and wise servants until that day when every knee bows before You. Hallelujah!
Wednesday, Esther 1
A.W. Tozer wrote, “Our choices reveal the kind of person we are, but there is another side to the coin. We may, by our choices, also determine what kind of person we will become.” This gives great hope to me that my past mistakes and choices do not have to define me. I doubt Queen Vashti understood the far-reaching consequences of her choice not to come when her husband summoned her. The author doesn’t really reveal her motive. Maybe it was rebellion or defiance; maybe it was a conviction not to be paraded around for show. Either way, her choice set into motion a series of events that would alter the future for many.
Our choices have weight. They have consequences. And today, with the help of the Holy Spirit in Christ, we have the opportunity to determine what kind of person we will become, one small choice at a time.
What choices lie in front of you today?
Ask the Holy Spirit to lead all your steps with wisdom and discernment.
Commit James 1:5 to memory over the next several days, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
Thursday, Acts 24:
There are times when we are tempted to manipulate the truth or our circumstances because we don’t quite trust that God will come through for us. But Paul tells the truth when falsely accused, trusting God alone to be His protector. For years, he refrains from offering bribes, using flattery, or altering the truth even a little bit because He knows that God is His defense.
Is there an area of your life where you feel like you need to come to your own defense?
Have you ever been tempted to manipulate the truth, bribe, or coerce to ensure a certain outcome?
Let’s ask God today to increase our faith in Him alone. Only HE can secure our future and our eternity.
In Isaiah 46:10, God declares that He “makes known the end from the beginning.” He says, “My purpose will stand… what I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.” I have been thinking about this a lot lately, especially as we have passed through several seasons of lots of unknown. It seems we are always either at the beginning of something or right in the middle.
There is a reason that Paul and the writer of Hebrews repeatedly refer to life as a race, a journey requiring perseverance, strength, and above all, the help of the Spirit. But when we dedicate our next steps, our choices, our decisions, our very lives to the Lord, He will give us what we need. He will equip us for what is ahead, all the while holding the end in His loving hands.
Beloved, if you are still reading this, it’s not the end yet.
God isn’t finished yet.
I think of Paul waiting for two years in prison, having already received the promise that he would testify about Christ in Rome. I wonder if there were days when he wondered how he would get there. I think of Abraham, insistent that God will bring Isaac a spouse from his own country and family. I think of myself in my own seasons of uncertainty, when I cannot yet see what God might be trying to accomplish, when it doesn’t quite appear like God’s plans, in fact, are for my good.
I can sit in my own “middle” places and look at my little tribe feeling at a loss, overwhelmed, unequipped. But God knows the end from the beginning. And if this is the place He has called me, if these are the people He has given me, if this is the thing He has put in front of me, He will equip me for the next step, the next right choice, even if the path ahead is hazy.
In the midst of a very dark day recently, a dear friend prayed, “God, help us remember that it ends with us with You.” I clung to that phrase for days.
It ends with us with Him.
Paul can tell the truth because he knows where it will end for him. Abraham can trust that God will fulfill His promise to make him a great nation, because he knows where it will end for him.
And we can stand firm because we know where it will end for us.
Even in the middle of the darkest circumstances, even when we cannot see ahead of us on a winding and hazy path, even when it looks like no good could possibly come from this, we can trust, we can hope, we can believe. Because we know what awaits us. We know that this is not all there is.
We know this all ends with us with Him.