Are you accountable for the most important things?

Ezra had money problems: he had too much. He also needed to travel a great distance–four months from Babylon to Jerusalem–which exposed him to theft. He trusted God for protection, but he also took diligent steps to minimize his risks. Ezra divided the treasures among 12 priests and said: “Guard them carefully until you weigh them out in the chambers …

You should brag more often.

What is it about your life, that you are most excited about? What are you proud of? What accomplishments are you eager to share? Boasting—whether it happens in conversation with others or in the solitude of our hearts—is the act of declaring what we think is good. Some examples: “My kid scored the winning run.” “My car is awesome.” “My …

How Do You Know If You Are Too Confident?

There are at least two aspects of overconfidence: perceived and actual. Externally, some people are viewed by others as too confident. These people might be humble on the inside, but people don’t see it. This is a reflection of their foolish lack of self-awareness. Naturally, some people are too confident on the inside, and their pride is a reflection of …

Where do you find refuge?

“The Lord has established Zion, and in her his afflicted people will find refuge.” Isaiah 14:32   (a) Where do you find refuge when you are tired, exhausted, hurting or devastated? (b) Where has God created refuge for you? In what prayers or places or people can you find his power and presence and protection? (c) How can you get from …

A Prayer from Ephesians

A prayer written by Tom Holladay: as a summary of his sermon, which you can find here. Lord—I want things to change—really change—in my prayer life. I pray from time to time, I want to learn to pray all of the time. Teach me to pray. I pray casually, I want to learn to pray earnestly. Teach me to pray. …

A prayer for the burdened

Our savior Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) Father. I come …

Prayer from Habakkuk 1:13

Father, Thank you for showing me who you are. Thank you for being holy and just. Help me to know you better, to know you as you actually are, and not as I want you to be. Thank you for not tolerating evil. Thank you for not being OK with the bad things that have happened to me. Help me to …

THIRST, day 40

Scripture: For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:11-12) Prayer: Loving Father, you give me everything I need. Help me to rest in your love, to rely on …

THIRST, day 39

Scripture: This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your …

THIRST, day 38

Scripture: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10) Prayer: Dear Father, protect me from the temptations of the enemy. Guard my heart against his deception. Open my eyes to the true life you offer. Reflection: The devil’s deception promises life but …

THIRST, day 37

Scripture: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30) Prayer: My Friend, I have many …

THIRST, day 36

Scripture: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33) Prayer: God, thank you for your blessings, help me to love you more than your gifts. Reflection: A measure of spiritual maturity is rightly ordered priorities. Often, we don’t love the wrong things, we simply love the right …

THIRST, day 35

Scripture: So then, the word of the LORD to them will become: Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule; a little here, a little there–so that they will go and fall backward, be injured and snared and captured. (Isaiah 28:13) Prayer: God, I need your holy Word in my life. Without it I lack wisdom …

THIRST, day 34

Scripture: All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD. (Proverbs 16:2) Prayer: Lord, help me to understand the things I do and why I do them. Create in me a pure heart. Reflection: The test of every action is the motive from which it springs. We are not called to simply do the …

THIRST, day 33

Scripture: Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8) Prayer: Dear God, help me to love others as a reflection of the love you have shown me. Out of the overflow of your work in my heart, I want to serve others in love. Reflection: …

THIRST, day 32

Scripture: Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14) Prayer: Heavenly Father, satisfy my soul’s thirst. Only you can fill my needs, forgive me when …

THIRST, day 31

Scripture: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:9-10) Prayer: Father, transform my knowledge of you into love for others. If I cannot love others …

THIRST, day 30

Scripture: Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) Prayer: Lord, although there are many worthless things in this world that fight for my attention, you are the one true God, help me to love you …

THIRST, day 29

Scripture: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33) Prayer: God, thank you for your blessings, help me to love you more than your gifts. Reflection: A measure of spiritual maturity is rightly ordered priorities. Often, we don’t love the wrong things, we simply love the right …