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“Did you hear what happened to Jacob?” “What’s the latest on that plane crash?” “I was told they are getting a divorce.” Some people seem to thrive on bad news. They like the drama, the excitement, and the mystery of why and how. Other people simply complain to anyone who will listen, hoping to find someone to share their pain.
But, not everyone is this way:
Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me (Psalm 66:16).
The writer of the psalm urged those who fear God to listen to his testimony. God answers prayers and does incredible things for His people. And when He does, His people need to follow the example of the psalmist by telling others. When one Christian tells another of God’s goodness, of answered prayers, provision, and deliverance, the faith of both are built.
Prayer Suggestion: Jesus, please help me bless others by telling them about Your faithfulness to me.
Quicklook: Psalm 66:16–20
Carlos, the new manager of a once-failing company, was upset. He had worked hard to build a good reputation for the company and to repair relationships within the small community. Now a competitor was spreading lies about him and the company. After worrying and praying, Carlos decided to follow the example of the Psalmist by focusing on God’s faithfulness and proclaiming it.
My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long—though I know not how to relate them all (Psalm 71:15).
Facing the threat of death, the writer has turned to God for protection, cursed those who want to kill him, and promised to proclaim God’s saving acts.
All people who have put their faith in Jesus should be able to follow the psalmist’s example by telling others how God saved them.
As others hear of God’s faithfulness, maybe they, too, will want to follow the only One who can truly save or destroy.
Challenge for Today: Read Psalm 89:1–29 to remember the great things God has done to encourage you in times of trouble.
Quicklook: Psalm 71:9–18
People trust situations and circumstances. They look to their jobs for regular needs, their savings for unexpected emergencies, and their annuity accounts for financial security. All these are good things, but their supply is limited and temporal. In a constantly changing world, security is fleeting. Even Social Security, once considered a guaranteed income for retirees, may need changes to remain solvent.
In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you (Psalm 33:21–22).
Jesus can provide the safety and security that finances and circumstances can’t. Christians who have put their trust in Him can rejoice. If you have never asked Jesus
to be the Lord of your life, now is a good to time trust Him not only for things in this life but in the life to come.
Prayer Suggestion: Lord, I turn my life over to You. Forgive my past mistakes and come live in my heart anew. Thank You for being my Savior.
Quicklook: Psalm 33:18–22
Many people feel overly busy, overwhelmed, and stressed. The sales of time management and scheduling books, seminars, and software continue to climb. People try to cram more events into their already overloaded lives.
Christians especially struggle with these issues: life is fleeting, and there are countless lost souls to reach and disciple. It’s easy to burn out trying this technique or creating that event, sincerely longing to be as effective as possible. Knowing and meditating on God’s Word is the key.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction (Psalm 1:6).
The first psalm clearly describes those who follow God and those who do not. Those who hate God walk the path of destruction. Those who love God and follow His Word are watched over by God and kept from destruction. Those who meditate on God’s Word and follow it will find success in whatever they do.
Prayer Suggestion: Father, help me reap the harvest while staying close to and refreshed by You.
Quicklook: Psalm 1:1–6
Pubic speakers know how crucial it is to study their audiences. To whom will they be speaking? A council of Native American chiefs or Peruvian school children? Gardeners or governors? Two people or two thousand?
The wise employee studies the company when preparing for a job interview. Who is in charge? What is its mission?
Hezekiah had also studied and knew his audience when he prayed to God.
And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth” (2 Kings 19:15).
Hezekiah began his prayer by reminding himself of who God really is. Sometimes God’s people are so busy or overwhelmed that they forget how powerful, wise, loving, and good God is. His ways are much higher than human ways. Remembering this humbles and helps people. People trust God in proportion of their knowledge of Him.
Challenge for Today: Spend time thinking about the things that make God who He is.
Quicklook: 2 Kings 19:14–20
Young King Josiah was rebuilding the Lord’s temple. Former ungodly kings and citizens of Judah had neglected it. When a priest unearthed the Book of the Law from the rubble, Josiah was shocked. After hearing it read, Josiah understood how sinful the nation had been and the punishment it deserved. So, he sent messengers to ask God’s prophet what would happen.
“Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people . . . I also have heard you, declares the Lord” (2 Kings 22:19).
Christians should know Scripture because in Scripture God tells about Himself and His expectations for His people. Studying the Bible and memorizing it is not a natural inclination for most people. But the Holy Spirit can give each person a desire and urgency to know God’s Word and to apply its directives to life.
Prayer Suggestion: God, please help me to know and apply Your Word.
Quicklook: 2 Kings 22:11–20
People often move to foreign countries for work, missions, or family. Most of these expats never quite fit into their adopted culture. Their thoughts, mannerisms, and language were formed by the land of their birth. After decades abroad, they tend to conform to the culture in which they live, to some extent. The ancient Israelites just wanted to fit into their new home.
“They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, ‘Do not do as they do’” (2 Kings 17:15).
God knew that imitating the sinful nations around them would lead to their downfall. And, it did.
Christians are not citizens of this world. Instead, their citizenship and eventual home is in heaven. Unsaved friends and family members are afraid, hopeless, and helpless. They want friends who will share a message that tells them how to transfer their eternal citizenship to
Challenge for Today: Live so that your eternal citizenship is evident to others.
Quicklook: 2 Kings 17:14–20