Praise awaits you, O God, in Zion … Where morning dawns and evening fades you call forth songs of joy (Psalm 65:1, 8).
Scripture: Psalm 65:1-8
Song: “I Will Search”
A busload of teens sing as they head to a Friday night football game: “Everywhere we go, people want to know: who we are, so we tell them. We are the Knights, the mighty, mighty Knights!” They shout in high expectation. But should their team lose, the return bus ride home will be hushed and silent.
The psalmist tells us that our God, who hears and answers our prayers, will not fall silent. In fact, He calls forth joyful songs. And His mighty acts of creation and redemption are certainly worthy of constant, noisy praise. Let such songs ring out through the universe, without ceasing!
Since my God is so great, I wonder if He couldn’t use me as a witness to His goodness today? In other words, could this be said of me: “Everywhere I go, people want to know: who I am, so I tell them. I am a child of the king, the mighty, mighty king!”
O Lord, who hears all prayers, You hear me. You forgive me. Your love and care toward me are gracious, relentless, and merciful. I worship You with all my heart, and I come before You to be transformed into Your image. In the holy name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior, I pray. Amen.
April 19-25. SanDee Hardwig, writer, tutor, prison minister, lives in Brown Deer, Wisconsin, with her two cats, Angel and Odie.
If we could somehow love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves, would we would love them twice as much as we do now? Not that we do not want to follow this commandment. It’s just that loving ourselves comes so much more naturally, right?
If you’re like me, you tend to fall back on the ancient words of Cain: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” And the answer to this, if we listen closely to Jesus, is clear: Yes!
Love is the great unifier. And to practice the kind
of love our Lord is speaking of, we’ll likely need a personality change-more patience, more kindness, more forbearance.
Here’s the toughest part for me: We’re not talking about a few additional good deeds or a few extra Christian courtesies. Instead, it’s no more overinflated ego trips; it’s making my mouth smaller, so I’ll have trouble fitting my foot in it.
Perhaps one of the secrets to practicing the kind of love our Lord teaches is this: Concentrate on how much we are alike-in our needs, in our dreams, and in our essential sinnerhood. As someone has said, “The ground is level at the cross.”
Lord, teach me that true loneliness comes when I have forgotten how to love. Let me be the first to reach out today. In Jesus’ name, amen.
You refuse to come to me to have life… . If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me (John 5:40, 46).
Scripture: John 5:39-47
Song: “Believe and Obey”
It happened over 2,000 years ago. It happens still, this refusal to come to Jesus despite all the evidence that He is who He says He is: the Son of God. Without these words, without this divine essence stirring our souls, we are nothing. And if you do not truly believe this, your faith becomes little more than a hobby, as you pick up a bit of a religious tidbit here and a little religious tidbit there, but no substance.
I believe-and it is an explanation of who I have decided to be, as well as who I have decided to follow.
I believe-and behind these words is my Christian conversion already accomplished (or perhaps your own Christian conversion still just over the horizon).
Believe that no man can serve two masters, though many try. Believe, and therefore the Lord is your shepherd. Believe, and therefore in the Lord put all your trust, in full surrender.
It is one thing to see through a glass darkly. It is something else to be totally, terribly blind. Believe, and therefore make a joyful noise unto the Lord.
Almighty God, help me “Shout for joy to the Lord” (Psalm 100:1) and refuse to allow the weakness of a diminished faith to set in. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
This devotion is from the book, 365 Devotions, brought to you by Standard Publishing. Buy 365 Devotions and other great resources at www.standardpub.com.