Upper Room

November 12, 2019

THE GOD BOX

READ Matthew 11:28-30

Cast all your anxiety on [God] because he cares for you.

–1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

What talent can I use to show God’s love to others?

PRAYER

Dear Lord, grant us the courage to trust you with all our worries and fears.  Amen.

Luleen S. Anderson (North Carolina, USA)

November 11, 2019

CELEBRATE

READ Hebrews 13:5-8

Paul wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!”

–Philippians 4:4 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Because of God’s love, I can celebrate every moment of life.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us today, tomorrow, and always.  Amen.

Kevin Evelyn (Florida, USA)

November 10, 2019

TRUST

READ Psalm 36:5-7

Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.

–Luke 18:17 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Trusting God is reason enough to be joyful.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, thank you for being with us in every moment of our lives.  Help us to focus not on our fears but on you.  Amen.

Lidiya Petrova (Varna, Bulgaria)

November 9, 2019

CONSISTENT FAITH

READ Romans 8:35-39

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

–Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God is by my side at all times.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to be more confident in our faith in you, especially as we endure struggles.  Amen.

Ivan Hernandez (Texas, USA)

November 8, 2019

LOVE AND PROVISION

READ 1 John 3:11-24

Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

–1 John 3:18 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

How can I share the aroma of Christ with others today?

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for sending people into our lives who show us your love when we need it most.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Courtney Boulware (Ohio, USA)

November 7, 2019

FORGIVENESS

READ Luke 6:32-36

Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

–Romans 8:39 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Nothing can separate me from God’s love.

PRAYER

Merciful God, thank you for your amazing love.  Help us to forgive others and show them your love.  Amen.

Stephanie Brown (Kansas, USA)

November 6, 2019

SPIRITUAL MYOPIA

READ 1 Samuel 16:1-13

The Lord does not look at the things people look at.  People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

–1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God cares most about what is in my heart.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, remove our blinders and help us to see people as you do, with love and compassion.  Amen.

Narda Luz Vargas Guerrero (Dominican Republic)

November 5, 2019

WORDS OF PEACE

READ Colossians 4:2-6

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you my know how to answer everyone.

–Colossians 4:6 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I want the words I speak to be full of grace.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank you for teaching us that peaceful words and compassionate deeds are a powerful witness.  Help us recognize opportunities to plant seeds of peace.  Amen.

Sydney Avey (California, USA)

November 4, 2019

CREATED FOR GOD’S PURPOSE

READ 1 Corinthians 12:18-27

We are the clay, and you are our potter.  All of us are the work of your hand.

–Isaiah 64:8 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God will equip me for works of service.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for molding us into your image for your works of service.  Show each of us how we can serve your kingdom today.  As Jesus taught us we pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive us our debts. as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matt. 6:9-13 NIV).  Amen

Julie Wicker (South Carolina, USA)

November 3, 2019

SHARING

READ Matthew 14:13-21

In the midst of a very severe trial, [the Macedonian churches’] overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.

–2 Corinthians 8:2 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today, I will share with others what God has given me.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, give us this day our daily bread, and grant us the grace to share it with others.  Amen.

Bill Findlay (Scotland, United Kingdom)

November 2, 2019

HEAVY BURDENS

READ Psalm 46:1-11

The God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.

–1 Peter 5:10 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When I let go of control, I begin to see the way God can lighten my load.

PRAYER

Loving God, may we always be aware of your closeness and willingness to carry our burdens.  Amen.

Jill Maisch (Maryland, USA)

November 1, 2019

ALL SAINTS’ DAY

READ Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

–Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Who has been an example of great faith to me?

PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank you for the faithful ones who have gone before us.  Grant us courage to follow their examples.  Amen.

Wayne Greenwalt (Illinois, USA)

October 31, 2019

STEADFAST

READ Romans 12:9-13

Seek first [your heavenly Father’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these thing will be given to you as well.

–Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will remain focused on what God has called me to do.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to persevere in prayer and service to you and to others.  Amen.

Walter N. Maris (Missouri, USA)

October 30, 2019

WE OF LITTLE FAITH

READ Mark 5:24-34

Paul wrote, “My message and my preaching [were] presented…with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power….so that your faith might no depend on the wisdom of people but on the power of God.”

–1 Corinthians 2:4-5 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God’s power is greater than anything I go through.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to reach out to you in any circumstance, knowing you will hear us.  Amen.

Dorcas Buckley (Washington, USA)

October 29, 2019

GOD LISTENS

READ Ephesians 6:18-20

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

–James 5:16 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Every day, I pray for the Lord’s will to be done.

PRAYER

Faithful God, whenever we are lost and depressed from our trials, give us strength.  Amen.

Aaron Priest (New South Wales, Australia)

October 28, 2019

RETURN FOR DEPOSIT

READ 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

[God] put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

2 Corinthians 1:22 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God’s Spirit in my heart is a reminder of greater things to come.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us see that you care for us so much that you placed your Spirit in us as a guarantee that we will be with you forever.  Amen.

Zack Carden (Georgia, USA)

October 27, 2019

NO LIMITS

READ Matthew 8:14-17

Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

–Matthew 7:7 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

There are no limitations on what God can do.

PRAYER

Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for your compassion and help.  Give us the courage to ask you for what we need and want, not just what we think is possible.  Amen.

Sharon Beaty (Alabama, USA)

October 26, 2019

PASSING IT ON

READ 2 Timothy 3:10-17

God’s righteousness reaches to the grandchildren of those who keep his covenant and remember to keep his commands.

–Psalm 103:17-18 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

For whom will I be a role model of faith today?

PRAYER

Father God, help us to continue on in the truth we have been taught.  Amen.

Glenda Moore (Illinois)

October 25, 2019

KEEP SOWING SEEDS

READ 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

–Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

My display of God’s love today can have a powerful impact–now or later on.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to offer sincere and loving kindness to the people we meet today.  Amen.

Linda Chandra (Banten, Indonesia)

October 24, 2019

ASHES

READ Genesis 33:1-10 

Jacob said to Esau, “To see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably.”

— Genesis 33:10 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I can repair a relationship by forgiving someone as God forgives me.

PRAYER

Forgiving God, thank you for teaching us to forgive so we can be free to love you and each other.  Amen.

Jane Reid (Oregon, USA)

October 23, 2019

WEARING OUR BADGE

READ John 18:25-27

Jesus said to his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

–Matthew 16:24 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Every day I am called to reflect my faith through my words and actions.

PRAYER

Dear Lord Jesus, restore us when we back away from declaring our faith.  Give us strength to let it shine again.  Amen.

Stephen Johnson (California, USA)

 

October 22, 2019

IN GOD’S HANDS

READ Psalm 31:9-16

My times are in your hands.

Psalm 31:15 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will trust God with my time.

PRAYER

God of all times and places, receive our praise and gratitude as we wee your work in our lives.  We pray as Jesus taught us, saying, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.  Amen.” (Matt. 6:9-13, KJV)

Carol S. Marti (Galicia, Spain

October 21, 2019

SIMPLE TASKS

READ Matthew 25:31-40

The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

— Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

What can I do for God and others today?

PRAYER

Gracious God, lead us to all the small tasks we can do today to make the lives of others a little easier.  Amen.

Robert Sorozan (Pennsylvania, USA)

October 20, 2019

GOD IS ALWAYS WITH US

READ Psalm 25:1-7

The Lord your God goes with you;he will never leave you nor forsake you.

–Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

In good times and in bad, God shows me love through the care of others.

PRAYER

Gracious God, thank you for your love and for always taking care of us.  Bring us closer to you, and keep us with you.  Amen.

Kong Peng Sun (Singapore)

October 19, 2019

SQUEEZE OUT FORGIVENESS

READ Matthew 18:21-35

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

–Ephesians 4:31-32 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I show Christlike compassion when I forgive others.

PRAYER

Dear Father, thank you for loving and forgiving us.  Help us to release bitterness and malice so that we may be filled with kindness and compassion.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Tammy C. Van Gils (Virginia, USA)

October 18, 2019

GOD, OUR SHEPARD

READ Psalm 55:1-8

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you.

–Psalm 55:22 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I can bring anything to God in prayer.

PRAYER

Dear God, forgive us when we forget that you are ever-present in our lives.  Help us to remember that even through difficult times, you care for us unconditionally.  Amen.

John W. Brigman (Alabama, USA)

October 17, 2019

GOD’S SALVATION

READ Ephesians 2:1-10

By grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.

–Ephesians 2:8 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God love me regardless of my achievements.

PRAYER

Gracious God, thank you that our salvation does not depend on our achievements.  Help us feel your presence in all times of our lives.  Amen.

Flo Au (Hong Kong, China)

October 26, 2019

INVISIBLE BARRIERS

READ Hebrews 12:1-3

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it?

–Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God can help me discover the invisible barriers that keep me from being free in Christ.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, reveal to us the hidden areas of our lives that prevent us from finding full freedom in Christ.

Steven Thompson (Iowa, USA)

October 15, 2019

A WAY OUT

READ 1 Corinthians 10:8-13

God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

–1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today, with every temptation, I will look to God for the way out.

PRAYER

Mighty God, thank you for delivering us from temptations today.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Vimbai Chizarura (Mashonaland East, Zimbabwe)

October 14, 2019

SANCTUARY

READ Psalm 31:19-22

You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.

–Isaiah 25:4 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

How can I help make my church a true sanctuary?

PRAYER

Loving God, we pray for those who seek shelter from the storms of life.  Amen.

Roland Rink (Gauteng, South Africa)

October 13, 2019

TURNING AROUND

READ Jonah 1:1-3; 3:1-10

You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.

–Isaiah 25:4 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

How can I help make my church a true sanctuary?

PRAYER

Loving God, we pray for those who seek shelter from the storms of life.  Amen.

Roland Rink (Gauteng, South Africa)

October 12, 2019

HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT

READ Galatians 6:1-10

Each one should test their own actions.  Then they can take pride in themselves along, without comparing themselves to someone else.

–Galatians 6:4 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will offer help to those whom God has placed in my path.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, help us to pour out your love to people in need, knowing that our small acts of kindness may change the course of someone’s day. In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Joshua Berrier (North Carolina, USA)

October 11, 2019

AN UNEXPECTED HOUR

READ Luke 10:38-42

Be still, and know that I am God!

–Psalm 46:10 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When I set aside a time to rest with God, I can better serve the rest of the day.

PRAYER

Creator God, help us to balance the mundane task of our day and those things of lasting importance.  Create in us clean hearts and renewed spirits.  Amen.

Marti Williams-Martin (Tennessee, USA)

October 10, 2019

PRODUCTIVE PRUNING

READ John 15:1-8

[God] cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

–John 15:2 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God’s pruning helps me produce more fruit for the kingdom.

PRAYER

Father God, thank you for seasons of pruning that result in greater harvests of fruit for you.  Amen.

Linda Ross Shoaf (Mississippi, USA)

October 9, 2019

INVESTING

READ Micah 6:6-8
What does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
–Micah 6:8 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

What will I do today to invest in my relationship with God?

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for your presence in our lives.  Give us the strength to do justice, love others, and walk humbly with you.  As Jesus taught us, we pray,  “Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.  Give us each day our daily bread.  Forgive us our sins against us.  And lead us not into temptation”  (Luke 11:2-4, NIV).  Amen.

Mike Wilt (West Virginia, USA)

October 8, 2019

WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?

READ Luke 10:25-37

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

–John 3:18 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I express my love for God when I show kindness to my neighbors.

PRAYER

Gracious God, open our eyes and our hearts to our neighbors in need.  May each act of kindness be an expression of our love for you.  Amen.

Geraldine Nicholas (Alberta, Canada)

October 7, 2019

HONEST WITH GOD

READ Romans 8:31-39

Nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord:  not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers or height or depth, or any other thing that is created.

–Romans 8:38-39 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Even when I am angry, God is with me.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to realize that you are God, and that we can bring our hurts to you knowing that you care for us and hear our cries for help.  Amen.

Jennifer Floyd, (Florida, USA)

October 6, 2019

BECOMING KNOWN

READ John 1:1-4

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

–Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

“How good…it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (Ps. 133:1)

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to share our personal stories as we form bonds of faith that are not easily broken.  Amen.

Kenneth Avon White (North Carolina, USA)

October 5, 2019

FINDING KINDNESS

READ Galatians 5:16-25

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

–Galatians 5:22-23 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today, I will look for ways to show the fruit of the Spirit to those around me.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, fill us with the fruit of your Spirit. Help us to seek opportunities to model each one.  Amen.

Dave Caswell (Arkansas, USA)

October 4, 2019

PUSHING PAST OBSTACLES

READ Judges 7:1-8, 8:11-12

Jesus said, “If you have faith and do not doubt,… you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the seas,’ and it will be done.”

–Matthew 21:21 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Even through obstacles, God gives us victory.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for helping us to preserver to reach our goals even through many trials and difficulties.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Sushma Kamlesh Macwan (Gujarat, India)

October 3, 2019

TRUE GRATITUDE

READ 1 Timothy 6:6-16

If we gave food and clothing, we will be content with that.

— 1 Timothy 6:8 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Gratitude to God helps fuel commitment.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us always to appreciate what you have given us.  Amen.

George T. Wilkerson (North Carolina, USA)

October 2, 2019

A LONG WAY FROM HOME

READ Genesis 28:10-22

The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong.

–Isaiah 58:11 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Whatever I do, God will be by my side.

PRAYER

Dear God, it is a great comfort to know that you are with us and will never leave us.  Thank you for your faithfulness to us.  Amen.

Karen Lewis (Florida, USA)

October 1, 2019

STRENGTH IN CHRIST

READ Philippians 4:10-13

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

–Psalm 73:26 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

What may seem impossible for me is possible through Christ.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, give us the strength we need each day to continue in our work, always aware of your purpose for our lives.  Amen.

Gozeila Bilal (South Dakota, USA)

September 30, 2019

JOY ALWAYS

READ Romans 5:3-5

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

–1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Like a good parent, God joyfully supplies what I need.

PRAYER

Holy God, give us strength to remain joyous in all circumstances so that you may be glorified.  Amen.

Stanley Solanki (Maharashtra, India)

September 29, 2019

BLURRED VISION

READ Colossians 3:12-17

Be devoted to one another in love.  Honor one another above yourselves.

–Romans 12:10 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Every day, I will see others the way God sees them.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to love your children as Jesus does–with arms wide open and hands ready to bless.  Amen.

Julie Lavendar (Georgia, USA)

September 28, 2019

ONE DAY AT A TIME

READ Hebrews 13:1-6

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.

–Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God knows my needs and in time will provide.

PRAYER

Dear God, you help us in countless ways.  Continue to remind us that you are with us, even in the major changes of our lives.  Amen.

Ken Claar (Idaho, USA)

September 27, 2019

NAVIGATING THROUGH LIFE

READ Deuteronomy 11:18-21

Your word is a lamp before my fee and a light for my journey.

–Psalm 119:105 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

As we journey through life, God’s word is our road map.

PRAYER

Dear God, increase our desire to read your word, seek your guidance, and follow you.  Amen.

Jan Towne (Virginia, USA)

September 26, 2019

HELPING HANDS

READ Mark 10:42-45

The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

–Mark 10:45 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

My hands are God’s gift to serve others.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, use our hands to serve in any way we can, and lift our hearts in gratitude for all those who are serving.  Amen.

Ruth Brentner (Illinois, USA)

September 25, 2019

HOPE THROUGH TRIALS

READ Jeremiah 29:10-14

“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future..”

— Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God never fails me.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for being faithful and trustworthy in your promises.  Amen.

Seth Stewart (Texas, USA)

September 24, 2019

OPPORTUNITY IN WAITING

READ 2 Peter 3:8-11

I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my savior; my God will hear me.

–Micah 7:7 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will draw closer to God during times of waiting.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to find ways to use our times of waiting to grow closer to you.  Amen.

Cortney Whiting (Georgia, USA)

September 23, 2019

THE OLD COIN

READ Psalm 8:3-9

You are no longer a salve but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

–Galatians 4:7 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I am worth more to God than I can imagine.

PRAYER

Help us, Holy One, to see the worth and dignity in everyone we meet, remembering that we are all your beloved children  We pray in the name of Jesus Christ:  “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one”  (Matt. 6:9-13, NIV).   Amen.

Philip Rice (Michigan, USA)

September 22, 2019

WHICH BOX?

–READ Galatians 3:26-29

There is no difference between the Jew and the Greek:  for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

–Romans 10:12-13 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God’s family includes every color of the rainbow.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for creating everyone in your own special way.  Guide us to see one another as equals and as your children.  Amen.

Breyanna Parr (Texas, USA)

September 21, 2019

EVEN ME

READ Matthew 6:25-33

God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

— John 3:16 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I don’t have to do anything to earn God’s love.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for caring for us — even when we feel we don’t deserve it.  In the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

David Serdyukov (Moscow, Russia)

September 20, 2019

THE GREATEST WITNESS

READ Romans 10:11-15

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect.

–1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Compassionate listening is one way I can show God’s love.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to take any opportunity we have to share the love of Christ in any way we can.  Amen.

Jewell Johnson (Arizona, USA)

September 19, 2019

GOD’S WONDERFUL CREATION

READ Genesis 1:26-31

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

–Genesis 1:31 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

How do I show love for God’s creation?

PRAYER

Dear God, help us see every human as a unique creation of your love.  Amen.

Nathan Melia (Texas, USA)

September 18, 2019

GUIDED TO SERVE

READ 2 Corinthians 1:1-7

The God of all comfort…comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

–2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

While I comfort others, God comforts me.

PRAYER

Dear Father, thank you for shepherding us so well.  Amen.

Christine Duncan (Ontario, Canada)

September 17, 2019

ANSWERED PRAYERS

READ Matthew 7:7-11

Jesus replied to the disciples, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

–Matthew 21:22 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God always answers my prayers — sometimes in surprising ways.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank you for hearing and answering our prayers.  Help us to acknowledge those answers, even when they don’t match our expectations.  Amen.

Max Mardick (Colorado, USA)

September 16, 2019

THE GIFT OF PEACE

READ Psalm 16:5-11

I keep my eyes always on the Lord.  With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.  Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure.

–Psalm 16:8-9

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God has given us the Bible to bring peace to our souls.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us and giving us peace through the reading of your word.  Help us never to grow weary in trusting you.  Amen.

Lydia Masters (Texas, USA)

September 15, 2019

WISE COUNSEL

READ James 1:2-6

Is not wisdom found among the aged?  Does not long life bring understanding?  To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.

–Job 12:12-13 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God offers wise counsel in every season of my life.

PRAYER

Gracious God, when we feel depressed, help us count our blessings and seek your wisdom and counsel.  Amen.

Young Chae Chung (Seoul, South Korea)

September 14, 2019

FREEDOM

READ Psalm 119:44-48

I will always obey your law, for ever and ever.  I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.

— Psalm 119:44-45 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today, I will strive to cheerfully obey God’s commands.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us today to trust you enough to obey you quickly and cheerfully in all that you ask.  Help us to remember that obeying you gives us freedom.  Amen.

Diana Allor (Michigan, USA)

September 13, 2019

FISHING FOR PEOPLE

READ Matthew 4:18-22

“Come follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

–Matthew 4:19 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

With God’s help, I can share my faith with others.

PRAYER

God, our guide, thank you for watching over us and putting others in our lives to help us grow and mature in faith.  amen.

W. Leon McBride (Georgia, USA)

September 12, 2019

CALLED TO OBEY

READ 1 Samuel 15:1-25

Samuel replied [to Saul]:  “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord?  To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

–1 Samuel 15:22 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today, in small things and in great, I will look for the ways God is calling me to obey.

PRAYER

Dear Father, thank you for your word and for guiding us through our days.  Help us to liste for your voice and to obey you even when we don’t understand why.  Amen.

Hannah Blavins (England, United Kingdom)

September 11, 2019

LIFE IN COMUUNITY
READ Acts 2:42-47

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

–Acts 2:42 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

My community strengthens my faith.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, thank you for placing faithful Christians in our lives to support and guide us on our journeys.  Amen.

Marcy Farr (Texas, USA)

 

September 10, 2019

ABUNDANT PEACE

READ  Philippians 4:1-8

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

–Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

In the midst of trouble, I am surrounded by God’s peace.

PRAYER

Compassionate God, send peace to all those who worry over their health and the health of their loved ones.  Fill us with peace that banishes our fears and anxieties.  Amen.

Robert Harris (Georgia, USA)

 

September 9, 2019

FULL ACCESS

READ Hebrews 4:12-16

Through faith in [Christ Jesus our Lord] we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Through prayer, I can reach God at any time and from any place.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank you for the reminders that you are always with us.  Amen.

Nancy K. Grace (Arkansas, USA)

September 8, 2019

CONTENTMENT

READ Zephaniah 3:14-20

[The Lord your God] will rejoice over you with signing.

–Zephaniah 3:17 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Through prayer, I can reach God at any time and from any place.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank you for reminders that you are always with us.  Amen.

Nancy Kay Grace (Arkansas, USA)

September 7, 2019

ORDINARY HEROES

READ Corinthians 1:26-31

God chose what the world considers low-class and low-life — what is considered to be nothing — to reduce what is considered to be something to nothing.

— 1 Corinthians 1:28 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God exalts those who act with faith.

PRAYER

God of all people, help us to look beyond earthly success.  Open our eyes to see the value of all people, just as you do.  Amen.

Bob LaForge (New Jersey, USA)

September 6, 2019

DIRTY DISHES

READ 1 John 1:5-10

If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

–1 John 1:19 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Because God has forgiven me, I am free to forgive others.

PRAYER

Forgiving God, thank you for cleansing us from our sin.  Help us to show your forgiveness to others even as you help us wash the dirt from our lives and our relationships.  Amen.

Conny Hedengren (Jonkoping. Sweden)

September 5, 2019

A FORGOTTEN INSCRIPTION

READ Philippians 2:12-19

God said, “There is no one who can deliver from my hand; I work and who can hinder it.?”

–Isaiah 43:13 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

In what ways can I offer encouragements to new Christians?

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for providing for our needs and giving us Christian mentors in our lives.  Help us to grow in our relationship with you.  Amen.

Greg D. Romano (Indiana, USA)

September 4, 2019

THANKS BE TO GOD

READ Romans 7:14-25

Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

–Romans 7:25 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Although sin abounds, God’s mercy overcomes.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to guard our hearts from evil.  Thank you for delivering us through Jesus Christ, who helps us in our daily battles.  Amen.

Marcela Nwanosike (England, United Kingdom)

September 3, 2019

NEVER ALONE

READ Luke 11:5-13

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

–Luke 11:9-10 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God’s grace and Spirit are always with me.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank you for wrapping us in your love.  Help us to grow in faith so that others will see in us your abiding care.  Amen.

Lois E. Wilson (Ohio, USA)

September 2, 2019

ENTERTAINING ANGELS

READ Matthew 6:1-4

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.

–Hebrews 13:2 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will remain alert for glimpses of God in others.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, thank you for your presence with us.  Bless those who teach us about your love.  Amen.

Robin Wynne (Arkansas, USA)

September 1, 2019

COME NEAR

READ Psalm 113:1-9

Come near to God, and he will come near to you.

–James 4:8 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will make prayer a part of my routine.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to keep you in our thoughts throughout the day so that we may draw nearer to you.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Annie Gipson (Missouri, USA)

August 31, 2019

FLOURISH AGAIN

READ John 15:1-8

Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”

–John 15:1-2 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

What habits or attitudes will I ask God to prune from my life?

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to remain in you so that we may have abundant life.  Amen.

Carol Harrison (Saskatchewan, Canada)

August 30. 2019

RUNNING A GOOD RACE

READ 2 Timothy 4:6-8

Paul wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

–2 Timothy 4:7 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I may feel lonely, but in Christ I’m never alone.

PRAYER

Lord God, thank you for sending Jesus to walk through life with us so that we are never truly alone.  Help us to keep our faith strong until the very end.  Amen.

Sue Carloni (Wisconsin, USA)

August 29, 2019

BEAUTIFULLY DIVERSE

READ Romans 12:3-13

You are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of  it.

1 Corinthians 12:27 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I will honor each person I encounter today as someone created in God’s image.

PRAYER

God of creation, thank you for the diversity in our world.  Help us to be respectful and compassionate toward others as we celebrate your goodness and creativity.  Amen.

Tyler Wood (North Carolina, USA)

August 28, 2019

A HEART FULL OF PRAISE

READ Psalm 92:1-5

Be filled with the spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.  Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:18-19

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

The Lord hears what is in my heart.

PRAYER

O Lord, help us live in a way that pleases you.  May our actions as well as our words be a song of praise to you.  Amen.

Jennifer B. Jones (New York, USA)

August 27, 2019

GOD CARES

READ John 11:1-5

Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

–John 11:40 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Even when a door has closed, God is with me.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for working all things to your glory.  When life seems out of control, help us to trust you.  We pray as Jesus taught us saying, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.  Give us day by day your daily bread.  And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.  And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil” (Luke 11:2-4, (KJV).  Amen.

Tola Babalola (Lagos, Nigeria)

August 26, 2019

A 1962 HUDSON

READ James 2:14-18

Faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

–James 2:17 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When the Holy Spirit enters my heart, I will be moved to act in love.

PRAYER

Guide us, Lord, to your service.  May we reach toward the “lest of these” with grace-filled arms of love.  Amen.

Richard Benson (Florida, USA)

August 25, 2019

THE PELICAN

READ Matthew 6:25-34

Jesus said, “Don’t worry about your life… Look at the birds in the sky.  They don’t sow seed or harvest grain or gather crops into barns.  Yet your heavenly Father feeds them.”

–Matthew 6:25-26 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I will trust God to provide for me today.

PRAYER

Source of all that we have and are, help us to trust that you will provide for us and to be courageous enough to dive in when new opportunities come along.  Amen.

Pamela Hutto (Florida, USA)

August 24, 2019

GOD IS GREAT

READ Psalm 121:1-8

Look!  The Lord does not lack the power to save, nor are his ears too dull to hear.

–Isiah 59:1 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

In all situations I will put my faith in God.

PRAYER

O God, we give you glory, praise, and honor for hearing our prayers and healing our diseases.  Amen.

Robinbhai P. Christian (Gujarat, India)

August 23, 2019

BACK TO SAFETY

READ Ezekiel 34:11-15

Thus says the Lord God:  I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out.

–Ezekiel 34:11 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Like a shepherd leads his sheep, God will lead me to shelter.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for your guidance and protection.  Amen.

Nancy Frantel (Virginia, USA)

August 22, 2019

GOD’S CARE

READ Matthew 7:7-11

God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

–Philippians 4:19 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God’s power is strongest when I am at my weakest.  (See 2 Cor. 12:9-10.)

PRAYER

Father God, thank you for being such a loving, caring God.  Watch over all the people in the world who are hungry today.  Amen.

John Cramer (Oklahoma, USA)

August 21, 2019

FOCUS

READ Genesis 1:1-5

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

–Psalm 19:1 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

How do I focus my life on God?

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, thank you for the wonders of creation.  Help us to remain focused on you so that we can reflect your light and love in all that we say and do.  Amen.

Laura Andrews (Tennessee, USA)

August  20, 2019

THE POWER OF PRAYER

READ Ephesians  3:14-21

Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

–Mark 11:24 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Whom will I pray for today?

PRAYER

Giver of all good things, you have plans for each of us.  You know when our faith is vulnerable, and you respond to renew our hope.  We thank you in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Beatriz Nasso (Uruguay)

August 19, 2019

ALWAYS IN THE STANDS

READ Psalm 68:4-10

A father is fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

–Psalm 68:5 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Like the best earthly fathers, God is always there for me.

PRAYER

Dear Father, continue to show us through others that you are always watching over and guiding us along life’s path.  Amen.

Jason Robinson (Wisconsin, USA)

August 18, 2019

CHILD OF GOD

READ Luke 5:12-16

Live in harmony with another.  Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited.

–Romans 12:16 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will reach out to a struggling child of God.

PRAYER

Open our eyes, O God, to see the needs around us and to hear the human hearts in need of your love.  Amen.

Karen Wingate (Illinois, USA)

August 17, 2019

GOD’S WONDERFUL WORLD

READ John 1:1-5

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it.

–Revelation 1:3 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God’s word can be my constant companion.

PRAYER

Dear Father, lead us day by day as we explore your word.  Amen.

William Finley (Scotland, United Kingdom)

August 16, 2019

HEART OF GRATITUDE

READ Mark 10:13-16

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

–Mark 10:14 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Beginning today I will more readily give thanks to God.

PRAYER

Thank you, God, for all that you do and have done for us.  Give us hearts of gratitude, purity, and humility.  In the name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.

Karen Woodard (North Carolina, USA)

August 15, 2019

REDEEMING LOVE

READ 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.

–1 Corinthians 1:31 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God loves me and accepts me as I am.

PRAYER

Redeeming God, forgive us for wanting to to look good before others.  Remind us that it’s only in you that we are made whole.  Amen.

Jodi Harris (California, USA)

August 14, 2019

GOD’S MYSTERIOUS WAYS

READ Isaiah 40:28-31

Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.

–Jeremiah 17:7 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Unexpected encounters can give me insights from God.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to see that hindrances to our plans can bring us closer to you.  Amen.

Palakunnathu A. Mathew (Kerla, India)

August 13, 2019

STILL USEFUL TO GOD

–READ Psalm 92:12-15 

[The righteous] will still bear fruit in old age.

–Psalm 92:14 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

With God’s help I can bear fruit in any stage of life.

PRAYER

Gracious God, help us not to focus on what we cannot do but instead on what we can do to be useful in your service.  Amen.

Mary Louise Stetser (New Jersey, USA)

August 12, 2019

WHAT REALLY MATTERS

READ Luke 6:47-49

Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

–Matthew 6:33 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

During life’s storms, Jesus is my foundation.

PRAYER

Dear God, as we weather life’s storms, help us to build our lives on the firm foundation of your Son so the world can see the source of our strength.  Amen.

Dennis Denby (Illinois, USA)

August 11, 2019

A CONSTANT COMPANION

READ Psalm 73:23-28

Come near to God and [God] will come near to you.

–James 4:8 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God stays close to me, and I will stay close to God.

PRAYER

Thank you, God, for being a constant presence in our lives.  We need you in all the circumstances of our day-by-day living.  Amen.

Beth DeLong (Hawaii, USA)

August 10, 2019

EXPRESSIONS OF LOVE

READ 1 John 4:7-19

Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment, that you love love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”

–John 13:34 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I follow Jesus’ example when I love others.

PRAYER

God of everlasting love, thank you for loving us completely.  Teach us to love others like Jesus did.  Amen.

Julianis Baez de Pichardo (Dominican Republic)

August 9, 2019

NEVER ALONE

READ Psalm 1:1-6

Keep straight the path of  your feet, and all your ways will be sure.

–Proverbs 4:26 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will pray for an old friend.

PRAYER

Dear God, we thank you for your mercy, love, and understanding.  Thank you for comforting us in every circumstance.  Amen.

Peyton Sherlin (Texas, USA)

August 8, 2019

STRENGTHEN OUR HANDS

READ Nehemiah 6:1-5

All of them were trying to make us afraid, saying, “They will be discouraged, and the work won’t get finished.”  But now, God, strengthen me!

— Nehemiah 6:9 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Even in the gravest situations, God will give me courage.

PRAYER

God of all strength, when we are afraid, help us to trust you and to know that you will help us to complete any task you give us.  Amen.

Hattie L. Carlis (Indiana, USA)

August 7, 2019

WHAT A CHANGE!

READ 1 Corinthians 15:42-49

[The body is] weak when it’s put into the ground, but it’s raised in power.

— 1 Corinthians 15:43 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

No matter how small or wrinkled I feel, God can transform my life.

PRAYER

Creator God, thank you for the transformation hidden in a seed and for the wonder of what that transformation means to us — new life with you.  Amen.

Mark Weinrich (Nevada, USA)

August 6, 2019

LETTER FOR GOD

READ Psalm 28:6-9

Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy.

–Psalm 28:6 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

No matter how I pray, God is listening.

PRAYER

Thank you, Lord, for always hearing us.  We know nothing can separate us from your love.  Sustain us as we put our trust in you.  Amen.

Linawati Santoso (East Java, Indonesia)

August 5, 2019

RUNNING AROUND

READ Acts 27:21-26

Paul said, “Keep up your courage…for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told.  But we will have to run aground on some island.”

–Acts 27:25-26 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will trust that God is with me.

PRAYER

Dear Father, when we experience challenges, thank you for reassuring us of your care.  Amen.

Robbie Mackenzie (Tennessee, USA)

August 4, 2019

SADNESS TO JOY

READ Psalm 30:1-5

Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes on such child in my name welcomes me.”

–Matthew 18:5 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When I show God’s love to others, my sadness turns to joy.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for comforting us in times of sadness.  Help us bring joy to those around us.  Amen.

Shirley Prince (Alabama, USA)

August 3, 2019

THE COURAGE-GIVING FATHER

READ Joshua 1:1-9

Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

–Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

With God, I can face challenges with courage.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, thank you for being by our side and comforting us when we face adversity.  Lead us with courage and divine strength.  Amen.

T. David Livingtson (Bangalore, India)

August 2, 2019

AN HOUR WELL SPENT

READ Isaiah 46:3-9

The Lord says, “I am he who will sustain you.”

–Isaiah 46:4 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Time spent with God in prayer is never wasted.

PRAYER

O God, help us to remember to set apart time each day to spend with you in prayer.  Amen.

Andrea Woronick (Connecticut, USA)

August 1, 2019

SEEKING GUIDANCE

READ Proverbs 3:5-12

In all your ways acknowledge [the Lord], and he will make straight your paths.

–Proverbs 3:6 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Because God is faithful, I can live confidently.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, we thank you for the lives you have given us.  Help us find comfort in you and trust that you are guiding us toward the good.  Amen.

Ed Romero (Texas, USA)

July 31, 2019

COVER TO COVER

READ 2 Timothy 3:14-17

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.

–2 Timothy 3:16 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

What scripture verse can I find new meaning in today?

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for revealing yourself to us in unique ways that help us on our Christian paths.  Amen.

Andrew Billings (Alabama, USA)

July 30, 2019

AMAZING WORLD

READ Psalm 147:1-11

[The Lord] covers the heavens with clouds, prepares rain for the earth, makes grass grow on the hills.

–Psalm 147:8 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God is present all around me.

PRAYER

Thank you, God, for this amazing world you have created.  Help us to recognize all the ways you are present with us.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Sister Confianza del Senor (Colon, Honduras)

July 29, 2019

ETERNAL LOVE

READ 2 Corinthians 5:1-10

We who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage one another with these words.

–1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

How can I inspire others to seek a relationship with God?

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to know that we can never be separated from your love because of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Jon C. Goeringer (Maryland, USA)

July 28, 2019

“ARE YOU THE ONE?”

READ MATTHEW 11:1-6

Jesus said, “Blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”

–Matthew 11:6 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Even when my prayers seem unanswered, God still loves me.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, when disappointments come our way, please help our faith and love for you to remain strong.  Amen.

Victoria P. Creel (Alabama, USA)

July 27, 2019

NEVER FORSAKEN

READ Deuteronomy 31:5-8

The psalmist wrote, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.”

–Psalm 23:4 (KJV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God is faithful in all circumstances.

PRAYER

Thank you, Lord, for your comfort and healing power over us all.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Mike Anwana (Ad Dawhah, Qatar)

July 26, 2019

A GRANDFATHER’S LOVE

READ Ephesians 1:3-14

Paul wrote, “As a prisoner for the Lord…I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”

–Ephesians 4:1 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I want to live a life worthy of God’s great love and sacrifice.

PRAYER

Loving Father, thank you for adopting us as your children.  Give us the courage to confess our sins and release them to you.  Amen.

Anne M. Hayton (Indiana, USA)

July 25, 2019

OUR DWELLING PLACE

READ Psalm 27:1-14

The psalmist wrote, “The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?”

–Psalm 27:1 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God’s constant presence gives me confidence to face my fears.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to bask in your presence at all times.  Amen.

Alonza Jones (Alabama, USA)

July 24, 2019

WHEREVER I AM

READ Isaiah 55:10-12

My word that goes out from my mouth:  It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

–Isaiah 55:11 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Ministry can happen anywhere.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us not to miss new insights about how to serve you.  Amen

Jessica Zolondek (USA)

July 23, 2019

THE WAY

READ John 14:1-7

Jesus said to [Thomas], “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

–John 14:6 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I can be confident in God’s guidance.

PRAYER

Merciful God, continue to guide us on the path that leads to eternal life.  In the name of Jesus who taught us to pray, saying, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matt. 6:9-13, NIV).  Amen.

Priscilla E. Chaves (Alajuela, Costa Rica)

July 22, 2019

“I GOT YOU!”

READ Isaiah 41:1-10

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

–Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God is my ever-present help in times of trouble.  (See Ps. 46:1)

PRAYER

Wonderful Lord, thank you for reassuring us that you are greater than anything we may face.  Amen.

James Baumberger (Connecticut, USA)

July 21, 2019

GOD’S SPECIAL CREATION

READ Psalm 139:13-18

You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

–Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God designed me with special gifts to use in service.

PRAYER

Thank you, almighty God, for sending your son to die for our sins and for creating us individually and uniquely.  Help us to use wisely whatever gift you’ve given us.  Amen.

Kevin Alch (Texas, USA)

July 20, 2019

REAL LIFE GOOD SAMARITANS

READ Luke 10:25-37

A Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.

–Luke 10:33 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When I look through Jesus’ eyes, I can see value in every person.

PRAYER

Thank you, Lord, for using unlikely heroes to help those in need.  Help us to see each person through your eyes and to value every person as your beloved creation.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Tracy Krauss (British Columbia, Canada)

July 19, 2019

CALMED BY PRAYER

READ Philippians 4:4-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

–Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Through prayer, I can find peace and understanding.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for listening to our prayers every time we have a request or need.  Help us to remember to always trust in you to help.  Amen.

Preston Burke (Texas, USA)

July 18, 2019

LORD, HOLD MY HAND

READ Romans 8:38-39

I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

–Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

My heavenly Father will never let go of my hand.

PRAYER

Holy Father, on those days when we are afraid and feel all alone, help us to feel the warmth of your hand holding ours.  Amen.

Dorcas Andrews (Alabama, USA)

July 17, 2019

THE POWER OF FAITH

READ Psalm 18:1-6

The psalmist wrote, “in my distress, I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help.  From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.”

–Psalm 18:6 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When I am attuned to God’s power, I am amazed at what God can do.

PRAYER

Almighty God, thank you for listening to our prayers and sustaining us.  Help us to accept the outcome of our struggles, knowing you are always with us.  Amen.

Ruth R. Mancilla Casalez (Estado de Mexico, Mexico)

July 16, 2019

I CHOOSE YOU

READ 1 Timothy 1:12-16

Jesus said to [the Pharisees], “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

–Mark 2:17 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Regardless of my past, God can still use me.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to bring others closer to you by ministering to them wherever we are.  Amen.

K. Smith (Ohio, USA)

July 15, 2019

NEW PURPOSE

READ 1 Samuel 3:1-10

In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to this purpose.

–Romans 8:28 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I can examine today’s loss to find tomorrow’s service for God.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to see the new purpose that you have built into every dead end we encounter.  Amen.

John McClenahan (Nevada, USA)

July 14, 2019

PEACE IN THE STORM

READ Psalm 46:1-3

The psalmist wrote, “If your Instruction hadn’t been my delight, I would have died because of my suffering.”

–Psalm 119:92 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

In every trial, I can lean on the Lord.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, help us to remember that no storm in life is too devastating for you to handle.  Amen.

Trish Krider (Florida, USA)

July 13, 2019

CHILDREN KNOW BETTER

READ Matthew 18:1-5

Jesus [replied], “Have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”

–Matthew 21:16 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will thank God for the gift of grace through Jesus Christ.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, we thank you for Jesus and for the abundant grace that you have made available through him.  Amen.

Deepika Emmanuel Sagar (Rajasthan, India)

July 12, 2019

MAX

READ John 10:1-14

[The gatekeeper] calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

–John10:3 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When I am lost, God calls me by name.

PRAYER

Dear God, by your grace, help us to listen for and follow your voice.  As Jesus taught us, we pray, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.  Amen.” (Matt.6:9-13, KJV).  Amen

Raymond Lockley (California, USA)

July 11, 2019

SACRED RELATIONSHIPS

READ Romans 5:1-6

Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

–Galatians 6:2 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

In any experience, God offers me opportunities to learn.

PRAYER

O God, help us to be open to your will for us in every circumstance of our lives.  Amen.

Luleen S. Anderson (North Carolina, USA)

July 10, 2019

A SIMPLE MINISTRY

READ Matthew 25:31-40

The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

–Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Wherever I am today I can witness for Christ.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us as we share your love and the story of salvation with others.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Thad H. Carter (Texas, USA)

 

July 9, 2019

EVERY DETAIL MATTERS

READ Psalm 104:10-24

Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us.  None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.

–Psalm 40:5 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God cares for every part of life.

PRAYER

Thank you, Lord, for caring for even the smallest details of our lives.  Help us to remember that everything works together to bring glory and praise to you.  Amen.

Catherine Kwao (Accra, Ghana)

July 8, 2019

COMFORT

READ Jeremiah 29:1-4

“I know the plans I have for you, ” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

No matter my situation, God speaks words of comfort to me.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank you for bringing us comfort in hard times.  Help us to sense your presence, even when circumstances make it hard.  Amen.

Kim Harms (Iowa, USA)

July 7, 2019

TIME REMAINING

READ Ephesians 5:15-17

Teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.

–Psalm 90:12 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I will make the most of the time God has given me.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, help us to be wise in using our time for your good.  Amen.

William Avery Pike, Jr. (Virginia, USA)

July 6, 2019

TRUE LIGHT

READ Psalm 34:1-8

[God] comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

–2 Corinthians 1:4 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God can transform a crisis into and opportunity to serve.

PRAYER

Great God of Comfort, thank you for shining your light and guiding us out of the depths of distress.  Your love is our sustaining life source.  Amen.

Luciria Aguirre Naranjo (Cali, Colombia)

July 5, 2019

CREATED TO CREATE

READ Genesis 1:20-27

God created humanity in God’s own image.


Genesis 1:27 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God made me a creative being.

PRAYER

Dear God, give us ideas and confidence to use the creativity you gave us to make our lives and the lives of others more interesting and joyful.  Amen.

Janet Asbridge (Washington, USA)

July 4, 2019

REJOICE, PRAY, GIVE THANKS

READ 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

–1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I will rejoice with prayerful thanksgiving today and always.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, we praise you for hearing and answering our prayers.  Help us to continue steadfast prayer throughout each day.  Amen.

Ted Whitford (California, USA)

July 3, 2019

TAKING A RISK

READ Matthew 5:11-16

Let  your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

–Matthew 5:16 (KIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Even if others question me, I will be ready to answer God’s call.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to be ready to go where you call us and to trust your guidance so that our lights will shine before others.  Amen.

Amorell Reneisha Browne (Grenada)

July 2, 2019

SEEDS OF COMPASSION

READ Colossians 3:1-12

As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

–Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God’s love and kindness can shine through me to others who are suffering.

PRAYER

God of all, thank you for your daily compassion.  May we seek opportunities to extend your love and grace to those around us.  Amen.

Lin Daniels (Massachusetts, USA)

July 1, 2019

NOT ONLY ME

READ Exodus 17:9-13*

When Moses’ hands grew tired …. Aaron and Hur held his hands up — one on one side, one on the other — so that his hands remained steady till sunset.

–Exodus 17:12 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

How can I rely on others to help me do God’s work.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, open us to accept the help of others to do the good work that you have called us to do.  Amen.

Cameron Catanzano (California, USA)

June 30, 2019

LIKE A FOREST

READ Romans 15:1-7

Accept one another . . . just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

–Romans 15:7 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Though we are scarred and imperfect, God builds the church with us.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to accept others and love them as you do, despite their imperfections — and despite our own.  Amen.

Susan Thogerson Maas (Oregon, USA)

June 29, 2019

FROM WORRY TO JOY

READ Psalm 40:1-3

Jesus said, “I’ve said these things to you so that you will have peace in me.  In the world you have distress.  But be encouraged!  I have conquered the world.”

–John 16:33 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When I share a kind word, I show the love of Christ.

PRAYER

Dear God, when we are burdened with the stress of this world, help us to realize that you are the great Comforter.  Amen.

Randy Jennings (Virginia, USA)

June 28, 2019

DON’T BE AFRAID

READ 2 Kings 6:8-23

[Elisha] replied, “Do not be afraid, for there are more with us than there are with them.

–2 Kings 6:16 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When I am afraid, I will pray and trust God.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for your protection of us each day.  Help us trust you and give our fears to you.  Amen.

Linda Chandra (Banten, Indonesia)

June 27, 2019

GOD DOES THE REST

READ 1 Peter 4:10-11

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

–Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When I say yes, God will do the rest.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for never leaving us no matter what we encounter.  Help us to be humble servants for your kingdom, always trusting in you.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

John D. Brown (Minnesota, USA)

June 26, 2019

SHOWING HONOR

READ Ephesians 4:29-32

Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.

–Romans 12:10 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Following God’s charge to honor others changes the course of my day.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to affirm and to show honor to those around us today.  Amen.

Sheryl H. Boldt (Florida, USA)

June 25, 2019

LIKE FLOWERS IN THE FIELD

READ Matthew 6:25-34

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.  Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy…they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God.

Isaiah 35:1-2 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Though I may not see it, God is always at work in my life.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for being a steadfast presence of love in our lives.  Help us to trust that you are at work even when we cannot see it.  In the name of Jesus, we pray.  Amen.

Patrick Castleberry (Mississippi, USA)

June 24, 2019

LIMITED VISION

READ Psalm 78:9-16

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

–Psalm 32:8 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God knows the way and will lead me forward.

PRAYER

Dear God, when the path ahead is not clear, help us trust you to lead us safely to our destination.  Amen.

Carol Harrison (Saskatchewan, Canada)

June 23, 2019

ENCOUNTERING GOD

READ Isaiah 6:1-8

I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple.  Above him were seraphim, each with six wings.

–Isaiah 6:1-2 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I can encounter God’s holiness in the most unlikely places.

PRAYER

O God, help us always to be open to your presence and leading in our lives.  Amen.

Robert S. Boggs (South Carolina, USA)

June 22, 2019

MORE THAN SKIN DEEP

READ Proverbs 31:10-30

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

–Proverbs 31:30 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God is more interested in what’s in my heart than how I look.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to remember that the way we reflect the image of Christ can influence everyone around us.  Help us to reflect your love to others as we pray, “Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.  Give us each day our daily bread.  Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sings against us.  And lead us not into temptation” (Luke 11:2-4, NIV). Amen.

Jenny McBride (Alabama, USA)

June 21, 2019

FINDING REST

Read Psalm 77:1-12

The psalmist wrote, “I remembered my songs in the night.”

–Psalm 77:6 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When we are weary we can lean on Jesus.

PRAYER

Dear Lord Jesus, we pray for all who suffer from deadly diseases.  Be with them as they pass through the valley of deepest darkness.  Enable them to lean on you and find rest.

T. G. Johnson (Kerala, India)
June 20, 2019

ACTIVE PARTICIPATION

READ Revelation 3:15-22

Because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

–Revelation 3:16 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God wants our active participation.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, stir up our desire to be closer to you and to actively work toward growing in our relationship with you.  Amen.

Margaret Anderson (Kansas, USA)

June 19, 2019

NOW IS THE TIME

READ Luke 18:1-8

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.  Do everything in love.

–1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

No matter what is going on around me, I will stand steadfast for Christ.

PRAYER

God of justice, help us to be more like your Son and to stand firm in sharing the gospel with the world.  Amen.

Walter N. Maris (Missouri, USA)

June 18, 2019

SOWING GOD’S WORD

READ Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!

–Romans 11:33 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

We can give no greater gift than the word of God.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank you for giving us different ways to serve you.  Help us to follow where you lead us.  Amen.

Anne-Lisa Aure (Sunnmore, Norway)

June 17, 2019

OPPORTUNITY

READ John 14:23-27

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you.”

–John 14:27 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

With God’s help I can view challenges as opportunities.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us remember to call on you for the problems and fears we face.  In the name of the Prince of Peach, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Del Bates (Florida, USA)

June 16, 2019

OUR FATHER’S BUSINESS

READ Luke 2:41-52

[Jesus] said unto them, How is it that ye sought me?  [know] ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?

–Luke 2:49 (KJV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Every day I can deliver God’s love and grace to a weary world.

PRAYER

Father God, teach us to be trustworthy in serving you by serving others.  Amen.

Will I. Jackson (North Carolina, USA)

June 15, 2019

CONFIDENCE IN GOD

READ Joshua 1:1-9

The prophet wrote, “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet feel like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.”

–Habakkuk 3:19 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Because God is with me, I can be confident.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank you for your wisdom and guidance.  Amen.

Melissa Wilson (Pennsylvania, USA)

June 14, 2019

RESTORE POINT

READ 2 Corinthians 5:15-21

If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!

–2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God’s grace is always available to help me make a fresh start.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to keep our hearts pure and clean toward you and toward others.  Amen.

Susan Parr (Indiana, USA)

June 13, 2019

GOD CARES FOR ALL OF US

READ Matthew 7:7-12

Give us today our daily bread.

–Matthew 6:11 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I will trust God to provide for me today and every day.

PRAYER

Loving God, we give thanks for the blessings you provide for us, and we pray for those who are facing difficult times.  We trust your providence.  Amen.

Jose’ Vergara (Puebla, Mexico)

June 12, 2019

A SNAKE, A BIBLE, AND ME

READ Lamentations 3:22-26

The psalmist wrote, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

–Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God is good to me — all the time.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for meeting us today and every day.  We need you more than the bread we eat and the air we breathe.  Amen.

Melissa Ferguson (Tennessee, USA)

June 11, 2019

A NEW CREATION

READ Psalm 127:1-5

“See, I am making all things new.”

–Revelation 21:5 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

My Creator is not yet finished making me.

PRAYER

Dear Lord Jesus, help us to know that we are still under construction.  Give us patience and courage to embrace the new life you offer.  Amen.

W. David Lewis (Tennessee, USA)

June 10, 2019

NEVER IN VAIN

READ Romans 1:8-17

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

–Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

My efforts for the Lord are never in vain.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to stay faithful in the work you’ve given us, always remembering its eternal value.  Amen.

Rose McCormick Brandon (Ontario, Canada)

June 9, 2019

UNITY AND HARMONY

READ Acts 2:1-11

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!

–Pslam 133:1 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

The Holy Spirit brings us together in harmony.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to live and worship together in harmony today and every day.   Amen.

Steven Paul Simmons, (Texas, USA)

June 8, 2019

A GOOD SAMARITAN

READ Luke 10:25-37

[The lawyer} answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”

–Luke 10:27 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Whom is God calling me to help today?

PRAYER

Merciful God, thank you for watching over us in unexpected ways and through the people you send into our lives.  Amen.

Rebeca Boyadjian (Montevideo, Uruguay)

June 7, 2019

LOSING FOCUS

READ Matthew 14:22-33

Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But when he saws the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

–Matthew 14:29-33 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God hears me when I call for help and delivers me safely to the shore.

PRAYER

Dear God, our Protector, help us to keep our focus on you so we won’t sink into treacherous waters.  Thank you for being with us.  Amen.

Ron Lazenby (Alabama, USA)

June 6, 2019

ALWAYS A WINNER

READ Philippians 1:20-24

If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord.  So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

–Romans 14:8 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

No matter what I face today, Jesus is always with me.

PRAYER

Thank  you, Lord, that whether in life or in death, you are always with us.  We pray as Jesus taught us saying, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matt. 6:9-13, NIV).  Amen.

Ted De Hass (Iowa, USA)

June 5, 2019

A WALKING TESTIMONY

READ 1 Peter 3:13-17

Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

–1 Timothy 4:12 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will find ways to share God’s word.

PRAYER

Dear God, give us courage and guidance to show others your love and grace.  Amen.

Nancy Lewis Shelton (Missouri, USA)

June 4, 2019

AN UNKINDNESS OF RAVENS

READ Psalm 94:17-19

When my anxieties multiply, your comforting calms me down.

–Pssalm 94:19 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Trusting in God is my answer to worry.

PRAYER

God of peace,  thank you for your powerful and comforting promises that chase away the ravens of worry.  Amen.

Mark Weinrich (Nevada, USA)

June 3, 2019

“DO YOU NOT CARE?”

READ Matthew 8:23-27

What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

–Matthew 8:27 (KJV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Christ is the source of all peace.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank you for the peace you bring today.  We look to you for help always.  In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit we pray.  Amen.

Philip Polo (Nairobi, Kenya)

June 2, 2019

THE GOSPEL THROUGH DEEDS

READ 1 Corinthians 3:3-95

Let  your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

–Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

My actions show my faith in God.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to be doers of the word and not hearers only. (See Jas. 1:22).  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Tatiana Claudy (Indiana, USA)

June 1, 2019

WHO ARE YOU?

READ Galatians 3:23-29

See what great love the father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!

–John 3:1 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

My identity is rooted in God’s deep love for me.

PRAYER

Dear God, you change, transform, restore, and renew.  Thank you for being our Father and giving us a new life in you.  Amen.

Katlyn Council (Tennessee, USA)

May 31, 2019

WINGS OF A DOVE

READ 1 Timothy 6:17-19

I wish I had wings like a dove!  I’d fly away and rest.

–Psalm 55:6 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Our divine calling is to be a blessing for others.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, empower us to become wings of love so that we may reach out to those who are in need.  Amen.

Shaji George Kannothra (Kerala, India)

May 30, 2019

FLEDGING CHRISTIANS

READ 1 Peter 2:1-6

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.

–1 Peter 2:2 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Whose faith will I nurture today?

PRAYER

Dear Lord, open our eyes to the needs of those new in the faith.  Amen.

Shirley G. Brosius (Pennsylvania, USA)

May 29, 2019

BE STILL

READ Exodus 14:10-18

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.

Exodus 14:14 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Because I trust God, I can remain calm in the midst of crisis.

PRAYER

Dear God, in times of trial and doubt when we feel helpless, teach us to trust you.  Amen.

Adam Benson (North Carolina, USA)

May 28, 2019

OPPORTUNITY FROM GOD

READ Galatians 6:1-10

Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.

–Philippians 2:4 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I can bless others by responding joyfully when God calls me to help.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to use the opportunities you provide to care for others.  Guide us to help others in the way they need us most.  Amen.

Linawati Santose (East Java, Indonesia)

May 27, 2019

LOVING OUR NEIGHBORS

READ Matthew 2:7-12

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

–John 15:13 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God calls me to show kindness to everyone I meet.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, teach us to show kindness to strangers.  Help us to treat others the way we want to be treated and to embrace all people as your children.  Amen.

Chad B. McRee (Texas, USA)

May 26, 2019

EXTRAVAGANT LOVE

READ John 13:1-17

Jesus said, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.

–John 13:14 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will look for opportunities to show Christ’s love.

PRAYER

God of love, thank you for the love you poured out on us through your Son.  Fill us to overflowing so that we may share your love with others.  Amen.

Kay Hawk (Ohio, USA)

May 25, 2019

PERFECT TRUST

READ Psalm 34:1-8

This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord, and was saved from every trouble.

–Psalm 34:6 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When I can’t see a way forward, God can.

PRAYER

Loving Father, we bring to you what is broken in our lives.  We place the pieces in your loving hands as we ask for and accept your help.  Amen.

Dorothy O’Neill (South Australia, Australia)

May 24, 2019

A JOB WE CAN DO

READ Luke 8:32-39

Jesus said, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.”  So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

–Luke 8:39 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God loves us all and calls us to different tasks.

PRAYER

Dear Father, bless those who are serving you this day.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Thad H. Carter (Texas, USA)

May 23, 2019

REFUGE FROM THE STORM

READ Psalm 46:1-11

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

–Psalm 18:2 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God is my refuge.

PRAYER

Guardian of our lives, thank you for your constant care and concern for us when we face adversity.  Be our refuge when we are weak, and support us with your strength.  Amen.

Nereida Reyes Santos (Puerto Rico)

May 22, 2019

KEEP WATCH

READ Matthew 26:31-46

[Jesus] said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.  Stay here and keep watch with me.”

–Matthew 26:38 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When God calls, I will be ready.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, even when we don’t seem to have an active part, help us remain engaged with and excited for the work you are doing.  Amen.

Gordon Rowe (Indiana, USA)

May 21, 2019

TASTE AND SEE

READ Psalm 96:1-9

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Psalm 34:8 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

The better I know God, the more I want to share my faith with others.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to desire you in deeper ways day by day.  May we share your sweetness as we pour your love onto others.  Amen.

Callie Daruk (Tennessee, USA)

May 20, 2019

GOD WILL MAKE A WAY

READ Luke 12:22-34

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Each new day brings reassurance from God.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank you for making a way for us.  Help us remember to trust you when we begin to worry or fear for our future.  Amen.

Hassan A. Bello (Kaduna, Nigeria)

May 19, 2019

LEARNING TO FORGIVE

READ Matthew 5:43-48

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

–Luke 23:34 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When I forgive, God heals me.

PRAYER

Dear Father, thank you for forgiving our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.  Amen.

Eileen Thrift (Florida, USA)

May 18, 2019

OUR PATIENT GOD

READ Isaiah 40:27-31

Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength.

–Isaiah 40:31 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I will follow as God leads me to help others start their journey to faith.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, bless all who have been touched by your care, and bring them to a true faith in Jesus our savior.  Amen.

Ken Claar (Idaho, USA)

May 17, 2019

GOD’S LOVE SONG

READ Romans 8:14-21

How beautiful your sandaled feet, O prince’s daughter!

–Song of Songs 7:1 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I don’t have to earn God’s love.

PRAYER

Loving God, help us to walk through today covered in the knowledge of your love for us.  Help us to remember our purpose in you.  Amen.

Jodie Dennis (Northhamptonshire, United Kingdom)

May 16, 2019

A WAY THROUGH

READ Isaiah 43:1-7

No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone, God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but… will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.

–1 Corinthians 10:13 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When life is to hard, God will provide a way through.

PRAYER

Dear God, give us eyes to see the way through that you offer us in times of adversity and the faith to trust your promise.  Amen.

Hope Harle-Mould (New York, USA)

May 15, 2019

NOT AFRAID

READ Psalm 112:6-8

[The righteous] will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

–Psalm 112:7

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

The Lord’s faithfulness is greater than my problems.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, in times of trouble give us the courage to face each day knowing that you are greater than all our worry and fear.  Amen

Ismelalem Woldegiorgis (British Columbia, Canada)

May 14, 2019

ENCOURAGEMENT

READ Acts 15:30-35

Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers.

–Acts 15:32 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God can use me to encourage others.

PRAYER

Dear God, lead us to people who need encouragement, and give us the words to strengthen their faith.  Amen.

Tom Kennedy (Texas, USA)

May 13, 2019

BEFORE WE EVEN SPEAK

READ Luke 7:11-17

The Lord says, “Before they call I will answer.

–Isaiah 65.24 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God knows my pain even before I give voice to it.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us in the midst of pain, and confusion not to forget your presence.  May we at all times be sensitive to your vice as we pray, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.  Amen”  (Matt. 6:9-13, KJV).  Amen.

Neliswa Chigudu (Johannesburg, South Africa)

May 12, 2019

A MOTHER’S FAITH

READ Matthew 7:13-14

Jesus said, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.”

–Luke 13:24 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will find new ways to inspire others to share the good news of Christ.

PRAYER

Dear God, each day give us the courage and strength to live out our lives according to your will.   Amen.

Clint Bowman (North Carolina, USA)

May 11, 2019

TRANSFORMED

READ Romans 12:1-3

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God — what is good and acceptable and perfect.

–Romans 12:2 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I will serve God by serving others.

PRAYER

Dear God, guide us each day so that we may come to love you more and do your will.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

John Groves (Maryland, USA)

May 10, 2019

HOPE OUT OF DESPAIR

READ Zephaniah 3:14-20

The Lord, your God, is in your midst…; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

–Zephaniah 3:17 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When I’m hurting, God is near.

PRAYER

Dear God, when we’re tempted to despair, teach us to put our hope in you.  Amen.

Kate Underwood (Illinois, USA)

May 9, 2019

JOYFUL PRAYER

READ Luke 11:5-13

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

–Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I will approach God today with trust and thanksgiving.

PRAYER

Loving God, give us hearts full of faith so that we may receive in abundance.  Amen.

Hiteshkumar Jashvantbhal Solanki (Gujarat, India)

May 8, 2019

A TALENT TO SHARE

READ Exodus 23:6-9

Don’t take advantage of poor or needy workers, whether they are fellow Israelites or immigrants who live in your land.

Deuteronomy 24:14 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Every day I can depend on God to show me someone in need.

PRAYER

Dear God, open our minds and hearts to ways that we can be of help and encouragement to others.  Amen.

Nancy R. Meyer (Nebraska, USA)

May 7, 2019

FINDING THE FOOD

READ Matthew 28:16-20

Jesus replied, “…People won’t live only by bread, but by every word spoken by God.”

–Matthew 4:4 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God wants us to show others how to find the food of life.

PRAYER

Dear God, guide us in our efforts to show and tell others your life-giving word.  Amen.

Martyn Haynes (California, USA)

May 6, 2019

LEARNING FROM BEES

READ 1 Corinthians 12:4-13

The body is not made up of one part but of many.

–1 Corinthians 12;14 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I am one of many members of the body of Christ.

PRAYER

Almightly God, help us to work for your kingdom united through Christ.  Amen.

Andrea Ramires Zabala (Puerto Rico)

May 5, 2019

LIKE A CHILD

READ Mark 10:46-52

Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

–Matthew 18:4 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I will trust Jesus with a child-like faith as I reach out to those in need.

PRAYER

God of love and mercy, help us to have the faith of children, and may we live out that faith in how we interact with others.  Amen.

Jim Harris (Virginia, USA)

May 4, 2019

FACING CHANGE

READ Isaiah 33:2-6

[The Lord] will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.

–Isaiah 33:6 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God will help me adapt to each new season of life.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to face each change with faith.  Provide stability, wisdom, and strength so that we may adapt to new roles and seasons well.  Amen.

May Patterson (Alabama, USA)

May 3, 2019

STEADFAST LOVE

READ Romans 8:35-39

Give thanks to the God of heaven.  His love endures forever.

–Psalm 136:26 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God’s love is steadfast.  Is mine?

PRAYER

O God, help us to remember that your love for us is infinite and everlasting.  May we remain steadfast in our love for you in every situation.  Amen.

Cassius Rhue (South Carolina, USA)

 

May 2, 2019

I CAN DO IT

READ Exodus 4:1-12

Paul wrote, “[The Lord] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

–2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

“I can do all things through [Christ] who strengthens me” (Phil.4:13 (NRSV).

PRAYER

Dear God, we have many weaknesses, but we know that we can do anything because you are our strength.  Amen.

Meliana Santoso (East Java, Indonesia)

May 1, 2019

VISITING WILLY

READ John 6:43-48*

I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.  I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

–Revelation 3:8 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

My small actions can make a huge difference in someone’s life of faith.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, thank you for opportunities to share your love and grace with others. Amen.

Matt Simmons (Kentucky, USA)

April 30, 2019

STARS

READ Philippians 2:14-16

You will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.

–Philippians 2:15-16 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I am called to shine the light of Jesus.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to shine the light of Christ as we share the good news with others.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Chuck Kralik (Missouri, USA)

April 29, 2019

MIRACULOUS PROVISION

READ 2 kINGS 4:1-7

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and prosper for us the work of our hands–O prosper the work of our hands!

–Psalm 90:17 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God provides for me in miraculous ways.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank you for providing for us in times of need.  Help us to trust you obediently with all you have given us.  Amen.

Megan L. Anderson (Indiana, USA)

April 28, 2019

QUIET COMFORT

READ Job 1:13-22

[Job’s friends] sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.

–Job 2:13 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

My presence can remind others that God loves them.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us remember that  you are always with us and that we can feel your love through the companionship of others.  Amen.

Paul Farley (North Carolina, USA)

April 27, 2019

GREAT IN THE KINGDOM

READ Romans 2:17-21

You…who teach others, do you not teach yourself?   You who preach against stealing, do you steal?  You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery?

–Romans 2:21-22 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I can teach others about Christ through the life I lead.

PRAYER

Dear Father, help us to follow you and act on your word daily.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Fisayo Peters (Lagos, Nigeria)

April 26, 2019

RIDING THE BUS

READ Psalm 23:1-6

[The Lord] makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.

–Psalm 23:2-3 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

The Bible provide words to soothe my soul.

PRAYER

Thank you, God, for creating and loving all of us.   Lead us on new paths to accept people we meet who are different from us.  Amen.

Eve Newman (Minnesota, USA)

April 25, 2019

A GREAT BANQUET

READ Matthew 10:28-31

Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.

–Luke 14:15 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I look forward with joy to participating in God’s great feast.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for good and faithful friends, for the faith and fellowship of the church, and for the hope of eternity which we have in you.  In Christ we pray.  Amen.

Robert E. Townsend (Georgia, USA)

April 24, 2019

MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE

READ Psalm 100:1-5

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

–Psalm 100:1 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I will find a way to praise God today.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for the blessings you have given us.  Help us to praise you joyfully and without hesitation.  Amen.

Carol Elaine Harrison (Saskatchewan, Canada)

April 23, 2019

A NEW CREATION

READ Ephesians 2:1-7

If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

–2 Corinthians 5:17 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God can transform me from broken to new.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, thank you for the new life you give us in Christ.  Amen.

Katherine Briggs (Illinois, USA)

April 22, 2019

CARING FOR CREATION

READ GENESIS 1:26-31

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it.

–Psalm 24:1 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

How am I taking care of God’s world?

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us never to forget that we show our love for you by loving what you have given to us.  Amen.

Mark A. Carter (Oregon, USA)

April 21, 2019

EASTER SUNDAY

READ 2 Timothy 1:8-10

[The women] left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

–Matthew 28:8 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I will offer thanks today for God’s saving grace through Christ.

PRAYER

Thank you, Jesus, for giving your life, so that we can have eternal life in and through you.  Amen.

Fay Torr (South Australia, Australia)

April 20, 2019

DAWN WILL BREAK

READ Isaiah 41:9-13

Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

–Psalm 30:5 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God conquers my fears and brings hope and light to my darkness.

PRAYER

Loving God, replace our fear with hope as we wait for the joy in the morning.  Amen.

Diana Fleming (Georgia, USA)

April 19, 2019

GOOD FRIDAY

READ John 11:17-27

This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.

–John 6:40 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God gives me hope of new beginnings.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to remember the hope we have in you, even when our situation seems hopeless.  Amen.

Nelson Nwosu (Anambra, Nigeria)

April 18, 2019

SACRED MOMENTS

READ Luke 22:14-20

As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water.  What can stand in the way of my being baptized?”

–Acts 8:36 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Baptism is a sign of God’s love and saving grace.

PRAYER

Father God, thank you for giving us moments in our faith journey to respond to your love.  May we never take them lightly but cherish them forever.  In the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Belinda Jo “B.J.” Mathias (Mississippi, USA)

April 17, 2019

 

CHURCH AT ITS BEST

READ Mark 2:1-12

If one suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.

–1 Corinthians 12:26 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When I extend my love to those who are hurting, I am doing the work of God.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for bringing other s alongside us to support us and to show us that you are with us always.  Amen.

Sam Wright (Florida, USA)

April 16, 2019

WHAT IS UNSEEN

READ Luke 10:38-42

We look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.

–Corinthians 4:18 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will slow down and look for God’s presence around me.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help me in my hurried pace to see your presence.  Amen.

Susan Kuhn Melvin (Ohio, USA)

April 15, 2019

CALLED

READ Matthew 22:1-14

Many are invited, but few are chosen.

–Matthew 22:14 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I am empowered to share God’s love with others.

PRAYER

Thank you, God, for reaching out through scripture so that we may mature and grow as your blessed children.  We pray as Jesus taught us, saying, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.  Amen”.  (Matt. 6:9-13, KJV)

Douglas Forrest (Shetland, United Kingdom)

April 14, 2019

PALM SUNDAY

READ Psalm 30:1-12

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

–Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Christ said, “I am with you always” (Matt. 28:20).

PRAYER

Dear Father, help us to know that even in the times of greatest uncertainty, we can be assured of your faithfulness.  Amen.

Lisa Stackpole (Wisconsin, USA)

April 13, 2019

“A CHILD SHALL LEAD THEM’

READ Mark 10:13-16

Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

–Mark 10:15 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Children are the best teachers when it comes to God’s kingdom.

PRAYER

Loving God, may we be reborn with the wonder and joy of seeing you with childlike faith.  Amen.

Brock Knoll (Iowa, USA)

April 12, 2019

BEARING BURDENS

READ Psalm 40:1-5

Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

–Galatians 6:2 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Whose burden is God calling me to help relieve today?

PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank you for those who have helped to carry our burdens.  Help us to share the burdens of others.  Amen.

Mary Wisner (Michigan, USA)

April 11, 2019

LOVING GOD’S WORD

READ Nehemiah 8:1-10, 18

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

–Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

How can I more fully use the Bible I have?

PRAYER

Our God and Father, work in us to will and to act in order to fulfill your god purposes.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Andre de Alburquerque Caetano (Minas Gerais, Brazil)

April 10, 2019

GRACE

READ Romans 8:1-11

If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

–1 John 1:19 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

My guilt is no match for God’s grace.

PRAYER

Thank you Holy Redeemer, for your grace that flows freely to all of us.  Amen.

Lynn Hare (Oregon, USA)

April 9, 2019

GROWING OLDER

READ Psalm 92:5-15

In old age [the righteous] still produce fruit; they are always green and full of sap.

–Psalm 92:14 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

As I grow older, I discover new ways to serve God.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank you for using us for the work of your kingdom in all stages of life.  Help us remember that we can serve you regardless of our age.  Amen.

Jenny Calvert (Texas, USA)

April 8, 2019

DILIGENTLY STRESSED

READ Psalm 62:1-2, 5-8

Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

–Matthew 6:33 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I will take time to seek first the kingdom of God today.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank you for your everlasting love.  Help us to stay faithful during stressful times.  Help us to follow your loving guidance.  Amen.

Angelina Bassi (North Carolina, USA)

April 7, 2019

DAILY WALK WITH CHRIST

READ Proverbs 4:1-9

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.

1 Corinthians 16:13 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13).

PRAYER

Forgiving God, we count on your unfailing strength to help us overcome the stumbling blocks in our faith journey.  Uphold us when we falter, and pick us up when we fall.  Amen.

Jose Laguna Lemus (Atlantico, Colombia)

April 6, 2019

A HEALING BALM

READ Romans 12:9-18

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.

–Hebrews 13:2 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When I offer hospitality, I may be offering God’s healing.

PRAYER

O God, help me to see each person as your creation and to show each of them your love.  Amen.

Pamela Rosales (Oregon, USA)

April 5, 2019

FINISHING WELL

READ Hebrews 12:1-3

The end of a matter is better than its beginning.

–Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

In the race of my Christian life, I want to finish well.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, thank you for speaking to us through life’s lessons.  Help us to be faithful and obedient to you every day.  Amen.

Isaac Broune (Abidjan, Cote d’lvoire)

April 4, 2019

BIRDSONG

READ Matthew 6:25-34

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?

–Matthew 6:26 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God cares for us more than the birds of the sky.

PRAYER

Thank you, Lord, for your love and care.  Thank you for healing, and thank you for your peace.  Amen.

Karen Gower Woodard (North Carolina, USA)

April 3, 2019

THE TINY GREEN SHOOT

READ 1 Samuel 16:1-13 

Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

–Matthew 7:1 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Whom is God calling me to encourage today?

PRAYER

Loving Father, open our eyes to see the potential in others.  Help us to encourage rather than judge.  Amen.

Ann Stewart (South Australia, Australia)

April 2, 2019

RESPONSE REQUIRED

READ John 5:1-9

Jesus said to him, ” Get up!  Pick up your mat and walk.”  At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

–John 5:8-9 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Jesus offers me new life, and then I must live it.

PRAYER

Giver of life, grant us the courage to embrace the new life you offer and live according to your calling.  Amen.

Jennifer Haught (Indiana, USA)

April 1, 2019

YOU NEVER KNOW

READ Colossians 3:1-14

As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

–Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Everywhere I go, God gives me opportunities to show compassion and kindness.

PRAYER

Dear Father, remind us to be patient, kind, and loving toward others as you are patient with us.  Amen.

Scott Jaskier (New York, USA)

March 31, 2019

IN THE THICKET

READ 1 Samuel 1:1-28

The Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

–2 Timothy 1:17 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

“If God is for us, who can be against us?”  (Rom. 8:31)

PRAYER

O God, give us open hearts and minds to hear your words and trust that you know what is best for us.  May we be obedient and courageous in you.  Amen.

Leasa Hodges (North Carolina, USA)

March 30, 2019

JOY IN GOD

READ Hebrews 4:13-16

Jesus said, “The water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

–John 4:14 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Drawing near to God can fill me with incomparable joy.

PRAYER

Thank you, loving God, for inviting us to come to you with confidence and boldness.  Amen.

Pauline Lewis (South Wales, United Kingdom)

March 29, 2019

GOD’S BOTTLE OF TEARS

READ Psalm 56:8-13

You yourself [O God] have kept track of my misery.  Put my tears into your bottle.

–Psalm 56:8 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God knows my deepest needs.

PRAYER

God of comfort, surround us with the love you have revealed in our Savior, and enable us to live as your faithful and loving servants.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Elmer A. Dickson (Florida, USA)

March 28, 2019

BERRY PICKING TIME

READ Matthew 9:35-38

Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations.”

–Matthew 28:19 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” (Matt. 9:37)

PRAYER

Father God, open our eyes to the needs among us.  Give us courage and willingness to respond to your call.  We pray the prayer Jesus taught us, “Our Father which art in heave, Hallowed by thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.  Give us day by day our daily bread.  And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us.  And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil” (Luke 11:2-4 KJV).  Amen.

Kim Sisk (Oklahoma, USA)

March 27, 2019

HONESTY IN PRAYER

READ Psalm 139:1-6

The psalmist wrote, “Before a word is on my tongue, you, Lord, know it completely.”

–Psalm 139:4 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will be honest with God in my prayers.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us not to be afraid to be open and honest when we talk to you, holding nothing back.  Amen.

Adam Weber (South Dakota, USA)

March 26, 2019

HOLDING FAST

READ Jeremiah 29:10-13

The word of God is alive and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

–Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God, the giver of all life, has good plans for me.

PRAYER

God of hope, help us accept the challenges in our lives as part of our spiritual discernment.  Speak to us, and fill our hearts and minds with your truth.  Amen.

Monique Acevedo (Valle del Cauca, Colombia)

March 25, 2019

GOD’S REST

READ 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

–Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When I feel weak, I will turn to God for rest.

PRAYER

Thank you, Lord, for helping us during times of distress and for comforting us with your love.  Amen.

Tim Hayakawa (Hawaii, USA)

March 24, 2019

SET FREE!

READ Romans 6:3-11

We were … buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

–Romans 6:4 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Once I come to know the love of Christ, I can show it to others.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, Give us the desire to show others love as you have loved us and the strength to treat others well regardless of our circumstances.  Amen.

Sheila Qualls (Minnesota, USA)

March 23, 2019

GOD HEARD ME

READ Philippians 4:4-9

Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God….At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.

–Acts 16:25-26 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God hears me when I call.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to know that you hear us when we call.  Amen.

Nwakuche Emeka (Lagos, Nigeria)

March 22, 2019

PRAISE GOD!

READ Psalm 148:1-14

All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praises of your name.

–Psalm 66:4 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

How will I praise God today?

PRAYER

Dear God, Help us become more aware of the many reasons for praising you.  Amen.

Jill Allen Maisch (Maryland, USA)

March 21, 2019

WHY SO AFRAID?

READ Genesis 33:1-11

Jacob prayed, “Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children.”

–Genesis 32:11 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Jesus tells me that worrying cannot add a single hour to my life.  (See Matt. 6:27.)

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, we know you care about every aspect of our lives.  Help us to trust you more and to worry less.  Amen.

Grant Showalter (Florida, USA)

March 20, 2019

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

READ Mark 12:28-33

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

–Luke 6:31 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I serve God when I show kindness to others.

PRAYER

Loving God, use us to show your love through our kind actions and words to people we meet each day.  Amen.

Margaret Martin (Australian Capital Territory, Australia)

March 19, 2019

NEW FOCUS

READ Romans 5:1-6

We… glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope.

–Romans 5:3-4 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God is my strength.

PRAYER

Dear God, in times of discomfort, help us to see opportunities to grow in our faith.  Amen.

Andrea Weaver (New Jersey, USA)

March 18, 2019

TRUST IN GOD

READ Proverbs 3:5-8

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

–Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will keep an open mind to see what God has in store for me.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank you for supporting us when life presents challenges.  Help us to trust you day by day.

Hayden Davenport (North Carolina, USA)

March 17, 2019

MY LOAVES AND FISHES

READ Matthew 14:13-21

They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.

–Matthew 14:20 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

How does God want me to use my gifts today?

PRAYER

Giver of every good gift, we willingly offer whatever we have to you so that we can be a blessing to many.  Amen.

Deepika Emmanuel Sagar (Rajasthan, India)

March 16, 2019

THE GOOD OLD DAYS

READ Philippians 4:10-13

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

–Psalm 118:24 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

What gifts from God can I more fully appreciate today?

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for each day you give us and for your overflowing blessings. Amen.

Scott Martin (New Jersey, USA)

March 15, 2019

BUILDING TOGETHER

READ Exodus 31:1-11

The Lord said, “I have filled [Bezalel] with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills.”

–Exodus 31:3 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God has a purpose for my gifts and abilities.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to use our gifts and talents to honor you.  Amen.

Melinda VanRy (New York, USA)

March 14, 2019

A FATHER’S LOVE

READ Matthew 7:9-12

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.

–Psalm 103:13 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God loves me more than I can know.

PRAYER

Beloved Father, we thank you for earthly fathers who have shown us your love.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen

Linawati Santoso (East Java, Indonesia)

March 13, 2019

GOD IS CALLING

READ Matthew 25:31-46

The  king will answer them. “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”

–Matthew 25:40 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When we meet others’ needs. we answer God’s call.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for the opportunity to serve you whether we feed the hungry or share your word with others.  Amen.

March 12, 2019

A JOYFUL NOISE!

READ Ephesians 5:17-20

[God] will take great delight in you…[and] will rejoice over you with singing.

–Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I can worship God through any type of music.

PRAYER

O God, we delight in the music we make in our hearts for you.  May it fill your heart with joy.  Amen.

Tina Chaves (New Jersey, USA)

March 11, 2019

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS

READ John 14:15-19

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

–Galatians 5:25 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

The more I walk the path of Jesus, the clearer the way becomes.

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, thank you for making your path, the path of life, clear for all to see.  As you taught us to pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matt. 6:9-13, NIV)

Paul Strickland (South Carolina, USA)

March 10, 2019

CITIZENS OF HEAVEN

READ Philippians 3:17-21

Our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

–Philippians 3:20 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God’s grace assures me that I will be welcomed as a citizen of heaven.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to remember that our stay here is temporary.  Thank you for the hope of an eternity with you.  Amen.

Rhoda Manzo (Gombe State, Nigeria)

March 9, 2019

SONGS IN THE NIGHT

READ Psalm 42:5-8

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.

–Psalm 65:8 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Even in the night, God’s songs are there, calling forth joy within me.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for directing your love toward us by day and causing your song to be with us by night.  Amen

Ron Silflow (Idaho, USA)

March 8, 2019

COMPASSIONATE FRIENDS

READ Psalm 18:1-6

In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help.  From his temple he heard my voice.

–Psalm 18:6 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God walks with me through the company of compassionate friends.

PRAYER

Dear Father, thank you for your care, and for the hands of those who share it.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Lucinda J. Rollings (Indiana, USA)

March 7, 2019

LOOK FORWARD

READ Philippians 3:10-14

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

–Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Since God has forgiven my sins, I can look forward in hope.

PRAYER

Dear God, Help us to not look back at past failures.  May we keep our eyes on Jesus and walk the path that he desires for all believers.  Amen.

Bobbie Roper (Florida, USA)

March 6, 2019

ASH WEDNESDAY

READ Acts 16:22-31

The psalmist wrote, “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”

–Psalm 34:1 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When I praise God, my worries are placed int he shadow of God’s greatness.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to keep your praise continually on our lips and in our hearts.  Amen.

Shelley Pierce (Tennessee, USA)

March 5, 2019

FRIENDS?

READ John 15:12-17

The Lord said, “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”

Isaiah 49:16 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God is a friend who never forgets my name.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for loving us and calling us each by name.  Amen.

Patrick C. Kadaali (Alberta, Canada)

March 4, 2019

KISSES IN HAND

READ Joshua 1:1-9

Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.  

–Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Scripture offers comfort when I feel anxious.

PRAYER

Holy Spirit, when we feel anxious or afraid, pour your comfort into our hearts to remind us of your constant presence and love for us.  Amen.

Kristen Lowe (Wisconsin, USA)

March 3, 2019

STRUGGLING TO FORGIVE

READ Matthew 18:23-35

While they were stoning him, Stephen … fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord do not hold this sin against them.”

–Acts 7:59-60 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God’s grace can wash away all sin.

PRAYER

All-forgiving God, free us from guilt and bitterness so that we may rest in your grace.  Amen.

Linda L. Isaacs (New York, USA)

March 2, 2019

MORE THAN KNOWLEDGE

READ Ephesians 3:14-19

I ask that you’ll know the love of Christ that is beyond knowledge so that you will be filled entirely with the fullness of God.

–Ephesians 3:19 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God has gifts for us that only God can give.

PRAYER

Thank you, God, for the gift of Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge.  Amen.

Adam Benson (North Carolina, USA)

March 1, 2019

EACH VALUABLE PART

READ 1 Corinthians 12:12-27*

The members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable.

–1 Corinthians 12:22 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will thank God for all my body can do.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to support other members of the body of Christ and to look out for those who may be feeling left out.  Amen.

Confianza del Senor (Colon, Honduras)

February 28, 2019

FOLLOWING GOD’S LEAD

READ Judges 7:4-15

Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.

–Psalm 127:1

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Focusing on God’s purpose sustains me.

PRAYER

Remind us, O God, that our plans mean nothing if you are not in them.  Amen.

Bobbie Smith Bryant (Kentucky)

February 27, 2019

QUIET SERVICE

READ Matthew 23:1-12

The greatest among you will be your servant.

–Matthew 23:11 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

If God is the only one to see my works, that is enough.

PRAYER

Open our eyes, Lord, to those who serve with patience and grace.  Help us to learn from their example so that we may humbly serve those we meet.  Amen.

Andrea Woronick (Connecticut)

February 26, 2019

TO SEE GOD MORE CLEARLY

READ 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

We live by faith, not by sight.

–2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When I focus on God, my vision is always 20/20.

PRAYER

Dear God, teach us to focus on you and draw closer to you each day.  Amen

Janet Seever (Alberta, Canada)

February 25, 2019

ALL ARE INVITED

READ Galatians 3:26-29

There is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

–Colossians 3:11 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

With Christ, I am never rejected.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us always to be sensitive to the needs of others and invite them to our churches and to the Lord’s Table.  Amen.

Gary Lee Griffin (Georgia)

February 24, 2019

WEEPING WITH US

READ John 11:30-45

Jesus wept.

–John 11:35 (KJV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When I weep, Jesus weeps with me.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for your love and compassion and your constant presence with us.  As Jesus taught us, we pray, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.  Give us day by day our daily bread.  And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.  And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil” (Luke 11:2-4, KJV).  Amen.

Jeffrey A. Lambert (Kentucky)

February 23, 2019

FROM GRUMBLING TO FORGIVENESS

READ James 5:7-12

Do not grumble against another.

–James 5:9 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God can help me move beyond grumbling to forgiveness.

PRAYER

Our God and Father, we need your healing touch in our lives.  Help us to remember your countless blessings so that we do less grumbling and complaining and more loving and forgiving.  Amen.

N. Vijaya Vani (Hyderabad, India)

February 22, 2019

LEND A HAND

READ Matthew 25:31-40

The King will reply, “Truly  I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

–Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

With God’s help, I can make a difference in someone’s life today.

PRAYER

Dear God, forgive us when we put our needs above those of others, and guide us as we look for ways to serve you.  Amen.

Brendan Chase (North Carolina)

February 21, 2019

HELP IS NEAR

READ Philippians 4:4-7

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

–Philippians 4:6 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Each day God will give me strength for my journey.

PRAYER

Faithful God, thank you for offering us your love and strength when we are afraid.  Help us to trust you.  Amen.

Melinda Lazor (Connecticut)

February 20, 2019

SYMBOLS OF VICTORY

Read Revelation 21:1-7

The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white.  I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life.

–Revelation 3:5 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Obstacles are an invitation to persevere in faith.

PRAYER

Dear God, encourage us when we face challenges.  Help us to persevere so that we may find victory in you.  In the name of Jesus.  Amen

Jose Aparecido (Minas Gerais, Brazil)

February 19, 2019

FAITH IN ACTION

READ Romans 12:9-17

Love each other like the members of your family.  Be the best at showing honor to each other.

–Romans 12:10 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Obstacles are an invitation to persevere in faith.

PRAYER

Dear God, encourage us when we face challenges.  Help us to persevere so that we may find victory in you.  In the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Sheila Hester (North Carolina)

February 18, 2019

THROUGH THE WATERS

READ Psalm 46:1-5

The Lord says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.”

–Isaiah 43:2 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God always walks with me.

PRAYER

Thank you, loving God, for lifting us up when life is difficult.  Amen.

Glen Graham (Louisiana)

February 17, 2019

SHOW – AND – TELL

READ 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12

Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.

–Isaiah 43:2 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God always walks with me.

PRAYER
Thank you, loving God, for lifting us up when life is difficult.  Amen.

Glen Graham (Louisiana)

February 16, 2019

DIVINE ADOPTION

READ John 14:15-21

You didn’t receive a spirit of slavery to lead you back again into fear, but you received a Spirit that shows you are adopted as [God’s] children.  With this Spirit, we cry, “Abba, Father.”

–Romans 8:15 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I am loved as a member of God’s family.

PRAYER

Dear Father, help us to grow into the image of your son and our brother, Jesus Christ.  Thank you for always being with us and reassuring us when we feel alone.  Amen.

James R. Hayes (Tennessee)

February 15, 2019

SHARING GOD’S WORD

READ Ephesians 4:7-16

Jesus said, “Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

–Matthew 18:20 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I can find comfort and peace in studying the Bible.

PRAYER

Thank you, God, for guiding us to a peaceful path of fellowship with others as we study your word.  Amen.

Dolly Doss (Texas)

February 14, 2019

HAVE FAITH

READ Mark 2:1-12

The prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.  If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.

–James 5:15 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Prayer is powerful.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to trust that our faithful prayers make a difference.  Amen.

Rando Metsamaa (Estonia)

February 13, 2019

THE LITTLE THINGS

READ Luke 16:10-15

Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much.

–Luke 16:10 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Am I faithful to the gospel in the small things?

PRAYER

O God, you see all, know all, and are with us in all.  Help us to make good choices in all circumstances.  Amen.

Teresa Coda (Rhode Island)

February 12, 2019

LET THE LIGHT SHINE

READ Matthew 6:19-21

“When I sit in darkness, the Lord will  be a light to me.”

–Micah 7:8 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God can be a constant source of light in my life–often where I least expect it.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to see you each day in those around us, and help us to be a light to others.  Amen.

William M. Mazmanian (Michigan)

February 11, 2019

“IT’S NOT FAIR!”

READ Corinthians 13:11-13

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.

–Proverbs 3:5 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God knows best.

PRAYER

Loving Father, help us to trust you more than our own understanding.  Thank you for your love, which is at the heart of all of life.  Amen.

Meg Mangan (New South Wales,, Australia)

February 10, 2019

SOARING

READ Isaiah 40:28-31

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles.

–Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today, I will watch for the special moments that God is giving me to soar.

PRAYER

Gracious Lord, when we re tired or discouraged, bring us into your presence and raise us up so that we may continue to worship and serve you.  Amen.

Harlan M. Baxter (Minnesota)

February 9, 2019

JESUS PAID IT ALL

READ Ephesians 2:1-10

Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.

–Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Jesus paid the ultimate price for my sins.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to rejoice in knowing that our sins were paid for by your son, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Jenny McBride (Alabama)

February 8, 2019

ANCIENT LIGHT

READ John 1:1-8

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.  

–John 1:9 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

No matter where I go, I will let Christ’s light shine through me.

PRAYER

Dear God, by your Holy Spirit we will let your light shine through us each day.  Amen.

Roland Rink (Gauteng, South Africa)

February 7, 2019

FAITHFUL SERVICE

READ Psalm 96:1-9

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord…. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

–Colossians 3:23-24(NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will work for the glory of God.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to commit every moment of each day to you.  Walk with us, and guide our words and actions so that we show your love to all.  Amen.

Heather Artushin (Michigan)

February 6, 2019

“FOLLOW ME”

READ John 1:35-42

Jesus said, “All who want to come after me must… take up their cross and follow me.”

–Matthew 16:24 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

How do my actions show others that I am following Christ?

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, give us strength and courage to follow you — wherever you lead us.  Amen.

Kevin Thomas (Alabama)

February 5, 2019

SERVING GOD

READ Luke 2:36-38

Come, my heart says, seek God’s face.  Lord, I do seek your face!

–Psalm 27:8 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God is present all around us.

PRAYER

Loving God, help us, through your grace, to be open to your presence in our lives.  We pray in the name of Jesus who taught us to pray, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy Kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.  Amen.” (Matt. 6:9-13 (KJV)

Sister Confianza del Senor (Honduras)

February 4, 2019

GOD’S LOVE

READ 1 John 4:7-12

Paul wrote, “I am convinced that neither death nor life…nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

–Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Nothing can separate me from God’s love.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for loving us unconditionally.  May we show the same love to others that you show to us.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Mark Karpinski (North Carolina)

February 3, 2019

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

READ Matthew 5:13-16

Let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven.

–Matthew 5:16 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I can’t do everything to serve God, but I can always do something.

PRAYER

Father God, help us to see beyond our limitations to the potential we all have to serve you each day.  Amen.

Belinda Jo Mathias (Mississippi)

February 2, 2019

EVER-PRESENT LIGHT

READ Psalm 36:5-9

[God’s] lamp shone over my head, and by his light I walked through darkness.

–Job 29:3 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will trust God’s light to lead me.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to trust you endlessly, no matter the hurt, no matter the pain, no matter the depth of darkness we may experience.  Amen.

Uyo Jummai Ani (Kiev, Ukraine)

February 1, 2019

A SECOND CHANCE

READ Proverbs 3:5-6

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

–Psalm 32:8 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I will pray daily and seek God’s purpose for my life.

PRAYER

Thank you, God, for loving us.  Help us not to rely on our own understanding but always to trust in you to lead us in the way we should go.  Amen.

Joseph Carpenter (Tennessee)

January 31, 2019

HANDS AND FEET

READ James 2:14-17

Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

–Luke 9:58 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Whatever good I do for someone today, I do for God.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to meet the needs of those around us today.  Remind us that everything we do for others we do for you.  Amen.

Carolyn Lee Purdy (Virginia)

January 30, 2019

LOOMING MOUNTAINS

READ Psalm 61:1-8

I raise my eyes toward the mountains.  Where will my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.

–Psalm 121:1-2 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

No problem is too big for God.

PRAYER

Creator God, help us always to trust in your strength.  With your help, we can overcome any challenge.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Pat Gerbrandt (Manitoba, Canada)

January 29, 2019

FRIENDS INDEED

READ Job 2:11-13

Many Jews had come to comfort Martha and Mary after their brother’s death.

–John 11:19 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

For whom will I be God’s hands and feet today?

PRAYER

Loving God, thank you for the gift of one another’s presence, through which you empower us to receive and to give.  Amen.

Michael I. Fraley (Texas)

January 28, 2019

WHAT’S MY MESSAGE

READ Ephesians 6:10-20

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly.

— Colossians 3:16 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

What attitudes and actions do I need to “wear” to reflect my life in Christ?

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to choose our words and actions carefully so that they will bring glory to you and lovingly spread your message to the world.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Jessica Lippe (Oregon)

January 27, 2019

SIGHT VERSUS INSIGHT

Encourage one another and build each other up.

— 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

How can I exercise my spiritual muscles today?

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for all of our many blessings.  Help us to grow closer to you each day — especially in times of trial.  Amen.

John Bredenkamp (KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa)

January 26, 2019

WHERE THE WATER BEGINS

READ John 7:37-39

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land w=and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God’s love is a stream that never runs dry.

PRAYER
Source of life, thank you for your love and strength that never fails.  Flow through us as wee seek to love and serve others.  Amen.

Trina Stamey (North Carolina)

January 25, 2019

LOST AND FOUND

READ Luke 15:11-24

The father said to his servants, “This son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”  So they began to celebrate.

–Luke 15:24 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I can always turn to God for safety and direction.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for your abundant grace.  If we lose our way, help us to find the path back to your love and forgiveness.  Amen.

Chad Zeleny (Iowa)

January 24, 2019

SUSTAINED

READ Psalm 62:5-7

God says, “Cry out to me whenever you are in trouble; I will deliver you.”

–Psalm 50:15 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God is my shield.

PRAYER

Thank you gracious God, for your love and mercy.  Help us to trust you, and strengthen us so that we can be your true witnesses.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen

Anoshi Naeem (Punjab, Pakistan)

January 23, 2019

RICH IN FAITH

READ James 1:12-16

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

–James 1:12 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Material things come and go, but spiritual wealth lasts forever.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to avoid the temptations of this world and instead to store up treasure in you.  Amen.

January 22, 2019

ADOPTED

READ Romans 8:12-17

To all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

–John 1:12 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Every person is special to God.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us your son so that we can be adopted into your family.  Help us to show our love to you by following you in faith, word, and deed.  Amen.

January 21, 2019

UNBURDENED

READ Matthew 11:28-30

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

–Psalm 55:22

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I can be free from the weight of worry when I lay down my burdens at the cross.

PRAYER

Compassionate God, thank you for lifting us up and sustaining us.  Amen.

Michael Medeiros (California)

January 20, 2019

ONE DAY AT A TIME

READ Luke 12:22-31

Jesus said, “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.”

–Matthew 11:29 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God carries us into the future one day at a time.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, release us from our worries about the future, and help us to trust you for all our days.  Amen.

Lenore Warton (New South Wales, Australia)

January 19, 2019

GOD CAN

READ Acts 3:1-10

Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

–Luke 11:9 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

What is God inviting me to do today, to which I will say “I can”?

PRAYER

Dear Lord, open our eyes to the things that seem impossible to us, but which can happen through you.  Amen

David McCain (Louisiana)

January 18, 2019

GOD’S ASSURANCE

READ Matthew 28:1-10, 16-20

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

–Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When fears and doubts arise, I can rely on God’s promises.

PRAYER

God of all comfort, thank you for your constant presence with us and for your word that assures us of protection and comfort.  Amen.

Arelene Rains Graber (Kansas)

January 17, 2019

HOUSE OF GOD

READ Ephesians 2:11-22

In [Christ] the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.  And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

–Ephesians 2:21-22 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

My church is much more than a building.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for the gift of fellowship with other Christians.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Riho Pors (Estonia)

January 16, 2019

BUSY DAYS

READ Colossians 2:6-10

Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

–Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

In the midst of a busy world, I will walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us not to be so consumed by busy lives that we fail to find time to share your love with others.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Jenny Iruela (North Carolina)

 January 15, 2019

THE GIFT OF ANOTHER YEAR

READ Psalm 139:1-18

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Each year of life is an opportunity to grow in the knowledge of God.

PRAYER

Gracious God, help us to say yes to your guiding Spirit and to commit ourselves to faithful living in the days and years to come.  We pray as Jesus taught us, saying, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name, your kingdom come, you will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”  (Matt. 6:9-13, NIV).  Amen

Elmer A. Dickson (Florida)

January 14, 2019

IN THE SAME BOAT

READ Matthew 8:23-27

[Jesus] replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”  Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

–Matthew 8:26 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will remember that Jesus is in the boat with me.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, help us to remember who you are and that you are with us, even in times of trouble.  Amen.

Mary Nyokabi Penparadise (Kiambu, Kenya)

January 13, 2019

WELCOMING ALL

READ James 2:1-9

[The Lord declares], “I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’  I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.'”

–Hosea 2:23 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God loves me and knows me by name.

PRAYER

Gracious God, thank  you for sending your son Jesus Christ to show us the way to live.  Help us always to follow his example and show kindness to everyone.  Amen.

Monica A. Andermann (New York)

January 12, 2019

ANSWERING OUR CRIES

READ Matthew 7:7-11

The Lord’s eyes watch the righteous, his ears listen to their cries for help.

–Psalm 34:15 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Whatever my need, God hears my cries.

PRAYER

Dear Father, thank you for hearing and answering our cries for help.  Amen.

Martin Wiles (South Carolina)

January 11, 2019

THE AROMA OF CHRIST

READ 2 Corinithians 2:14-17

Thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him.

–2 Corinthians 2:14 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Every day I will seek to spread the fragrance of Christ.

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, thank you for transforming us — equipping us to carry your fragrance of life and love to the world.  Amen.

Andrea Nelson (Utah)

 

January 10, 2019

RESTORE WITH LOVE

READ Colossians 3:12-14

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

–Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Surround people with love can bring healing and restore community.

PRAYER

Loving God, we confess that we are not perfect.  Forgive us and teach us to follow your example of mercy.  Amen.

Narda Vargas (Dominican Repbulic)

January 9, 2019

LOOK AROUND

READ Jeremiah 2:4-8

The Lord says: What did your ancestors find in me that made them wander so far?  They pursued what was worthless and became worthless.

–Jeremiah 2:5 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Every day I will look around to see God’s great blessings.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, may our eyes always be open to your abundant blessings.  Amen.

Bob LaForge (New Jersey)

January 8, 2019

THE PROMISE OF FORGIVENESS

READ Matthew 6:9-15

If you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

–Matthew 6:14 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

In gratitude for God’s forgiveness, I will forgive others.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to forgive those who have wronged us, just as you forgive us.  Amen.

Christine Baker (Louisiana)

January 7, 2019

THE NEW IS HERE!

READ Isaiah 43:18-21

If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!

–2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I will not let the past take my focus away from God’s purpose for me.

PRAYER

God of new beginnings, be with us during this New Year.  Let our past failures drift away.  Help us to enjoy new days in your presence.  Amen.

Robert Ganzert (North Carolina)

January 6, 2019

GOD OF RESTORATION

READ Philippians 4:10-13

The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

–Job 42:10 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I am assured of God’s love, even in the most difficult circumstances.

PRAYER

We thank you, God, for always watching over us — especially in our struggles.  Amen.

Margaret Young (New South Wales, Australia)

January 5, 2019

GOOD-NEWS CARRIERS

READ Romans 10:12-18

How can they hear without someone preaching to them?  And how can anyone preach if they are sent?  As it is written:  “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news?”

–Romans 10:14-15 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Every day I will look for opportunities to share the gospel.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, may we always be ready to share your word when we have opportunity.  Amen.

Michael J. M. Hutchkiss (Texas)

January 4, 2019

COMFORT AFTER LOSS

READ Jeremiah 31:12-14

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

–Matthew 5:4 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Mourning leads me to seek God’s comfort.

PRAYER

Dear God, Thank you for comforting us when we mourn.  Remind us that mourning is a blessing, for it draws us closer to you.  Amen.

Kate Underwood (Illinois)

January 3, 2019

GOD’S TREE CLIMBERS

READ Luke 19:1-10

Jesus said to Zacchaeus, “Hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.

–Luke 19:5 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

It’s risky to walk with Jesus, but the rewards are eternal.

PRAYER

Father God,  grant us the courage and humility to seek your son, even when it seems risky to do so.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Phillip Catterton (Kansas)

January 2, 2019

“WHERE IS THE NEW?”

READ 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable…. think about these things.

–Philippians 4:8 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

How am I leading a Christ-centered life?

PRAYER

Dear God, give us wisdom to guide us in our life’s journey, and led us to life eternal.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Sriparna Mahanty (Odisha, India)

January 1, 2019

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

READ Psalm 67:1-7*

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. 

–Psalm 62:1

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

How do I want the Lord to help me be me in the coming year?

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, be with us all year long.  Help us to focus on you in all that we do, and help us to trust that you are right by our side every day.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

Bristol E. DeSpain (Missouri)

December 31, 2018

CELEBRATING GOD

READ Acts 2:41-47

Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts.

–Acts 2:46 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will tell others of my abiding hope in God.

PRAYER

God of hope, we ask for your loving guidance and blessing wherever people gather to learn, worship, and pray.  Amen.

Annabella Lemos Cernaz (Valle del Cuaca, Colombia)

December 30, 2018

GOD’S GLORY

READ Psalm 16:1-11

You show me the path of life.  In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

–Psalm 16:11 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will look for the wonder of God in creation.

PRAYER

Creator God, help us to seek your presence each and every day.  Thank you for the many ways you reveal your glory to us.  Amen.

Bob LaForge (New Jersey)

December 29, 2018

FORGIVING FAMILY

READ Colossians 3:12-17

Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged.  Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Whom is God calling me to forgive today?

PRAYER

Thank you, Lord, for the peace and relief we feel when we obey your instruction to forgive each other — and ourselves.  Amen.

Jacinta Fontanelle (Delaware)

December 28, 2018

HEAVENLY FATHER

READ Ephesians 3:14-21

My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

–Philippians 4:19 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Ps.23:1, KJV)

PRAYER
Thank you heavenly Father, for being faithful to us and supplying all our needs.  Amen.

Sarala veni Prabhakar (Andhra Pradesh, South India)

December 27, 2018

A MOTHER’S LOVE

READ Psalm 20:1-9

Jesus said, “How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!”

–Matthew 23:37 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God will always love and protect me.

PRAYER

Loving God, help us to love others the way you love us.  Amen.

Geoffrey L. Snook (Kansas)

December 26, 2018

THE GOLDFISH BOWL

READ Matthew 7:1-5

Jesus looked at [the disciples] and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”

–Mark 10:27 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

With Christ, my possibilities are limitless.

PRAYER

God of endless possibilities, broaden our view of your world to see the uniqueness of all you have created.  Amen.

Nelson Nwosu Chidera Omoregbe (Anambra, Nigeria)

December 25, 2018

CHRISTMAS PERFECTION

READ Luke 2:1-7

[Mary] gave birth to her firstborn, a son.  She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

–Luke 2:7 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Though I am imperfect, God’s love for me isn’t.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, remind us that the imperfect circumstances that Mary went through resulted in a gift of perfect love for the world.  Thank you for the gift of Jesus.  Amen.

Gabrielle Meisel (Michigan)

December 24, 2018

GOD IS WITH ME

READ Luke 1:26-35

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means “God with us”)

–Matthew 1:23 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God is with me during the Christmas season and always.

PRAYER

Thank you, God, that the truth of the Christmas message never changes.  Amen.

Joanie Shawhan (Wisconsin)

December 23, 2018

LOOKING TO GOD

READ Deuteronomy 4:27-31

In your distress, when all these things have happened to you in time to come, you will return to the Lord your God and heed him.

–Deuteronomy 4:30 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I won’t let fear stop me from looking to God.

PRAYER

Wonderful and ever-present God, help us to look to you for guidance, trusting in your love.  Amen.

Kelly Gaylord (North Carolina)

December 22, 2018

LISTENING BETWEEN THE LINES

READ Psalm 125:1-4

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.

–Hebrews 13:2 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Whatever the future holds, God will be with me.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, keep us alert to help those on life’s journey who are worried and afraid.  We pray in the name of Jesus, whose love can cast out all fear.  Amen.

Jim MacLean (Queensland, Australia)

December 21, 2018

STANDING FIRM

READ 1 Peter 4:12-19

Those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

–1 Peter 4:19 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Though I may be suffering, I am a blessed child of God.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to trust you with every victory and every defeat.  Thank you for using both for your purpose and glory.  Amen.

May Patterson (Alabama)

December 20, 2018

OBSTACLE OR OPPORTUNITY

READ James 1:1-5

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.

–Psalm 62:5 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Where I see big obstacles, God sees big opportunities.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, give us the discernment to be thankful for every season, and give us the strength to bring you glory through it all.  Amen.

David Westbrook (Connecticut)

December 19, 2018

ABOVE THE CLAMOR

READ Luke 5:12-16

Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

–Luke 5:16 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will step away from busyness to be alone with God.

PRAYER

Dear God, we are grateful that you want to spend time with us.  May we be faithful in putting you first in the midst of our busy lives.  Amen.

Kim Rumsey (Virginia)

December 18, 2018

TRUST IN GOD

READ 1 Samuel 17:32-50

David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Isreal, whom you have defied.”

–1 Samuel 17:45 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

With God I can conquer anything.

PRAYER

Dear God, Thank you for your protection.  Help us to trust in you so that we can overcome the obstacles of our lives.  We pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen

Hochai Adriano (Luanda, Angola)

December 17, 2018

IN JOY AND IN SORROW

READ Matthew 6:25-34

Do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?”  For… your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

—Matthew 6:31-32 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Even in my deepest grief, God is present.

PRAYER

Gracious and merciful God, thank you for being with us in our joy and in our sorrow.  Amen.

Nina Semingson (Washington)

December 16, 2018

HE WILL COME!

READ Isaiah 40:1-5

A voice cries out:  “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord.”

–Isaiah 40:3(NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

What can I do today to prepare the way for the Lord?

PRAYER

Gracious God, we open ourselves once again to welcome your blessed son as our savior and liberator.  In his name we pray, Amen.

Edson Alves (Minas Gerais, Brazil)

December 15, 2018

TRUST

READ Jeremiah 29:10-14

“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

–Jeremiah 29:11(NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I can find peace when I trust in God’s purpose for my life.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, Help us to recognize the gifts you have given us and trust that you will use them to make the world a more loving place.  Amen.

Noah Saffer (North Carolina)

December 14, 2018

A NEW OPPORTUNITY

READ Luke 6:43-45

Ask, and it will be given you; search and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.  For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds.

–Matthew 7:7-8 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Following God’s leading can bring blessings beyond imagination.

PRAYER

Dear God, teach us to center our lives on you and then trust in your guidance.  Amen.

Deborah Burke Henderson (Massachusetts)

December 13, 2018

WORTH IT

READ Matthew 4:18-22

Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

–Matthew 4:22 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

  God will lead me to what is important.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, guide us to do what is right and to help others.  As Jesus taught us, we pray, “Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.   Give us each day our daily bread.  Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.  And lead us not into temptation” (Luke 11:2-4, NIV).   Amen.

Collin Clarke (North Carolina)

December 12, 2018

THE GLORY OF THE LOWLY

READ Exodus 39:32-43

All the work of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting was finished; the Israelites had done everything just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

–Exodus 39:32 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When I measure my worth by God’s standards, I am always enough.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to view our tasks through your eyes and, in doing so, glorify you with our attitudes and actions.  Amen.

Esther MacDonald (Quebec, Canada)

December 11, 2018

GOD IS GOOD

READ Psalm 13:1-6

The psalmist wrote, “I will sing to the Lord because he has been good to me.”

–Psalm 13:6 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God can transform my sadness into hope.

PRAYER

God of goodness and grace, thank you for delivering us from our fears.  Amen

Debra Pierce (Massachusetts)

December 10, 2018

SHARING WHAT I HAVE

READ Matthew 25:34-40

The King will reply, “truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I can be God’s hands and feet in the world.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, thank you for loving all of us despite our circumstances.  Strengthen us to share your love and kindness with our hurting world.  Amen.

Wilma R. Vernich (Tennessee)

 

December 9, 2018

A PIECE OF CHRISTMAS

READ Luke 2:8-20

When [the shepards] saw [Jesus], they made known what had been told them about this child.

–Luke 2:17 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

How will I share a piece of the good news today?

PRAYER

Loving God, thank you for the joy of Christmas.  Help us to share that joy with others.  Amen.

Hans Vaxby (Helsinki, Finland

December 8, 2018

WE CAN PRAY

READ Romans 12:9-13

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

–Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

In the midst of turmoil, prayer brings me peace.

PRAYER
Almighty God, may we never forget that prayer brings us close to you and that you are the source of our strength and peace.  Amen

Katherine Brock (Georgia)

December 7, 2018

REJOICING IN A BARREN FIELD

READ Habakkuk 3:17-19

Though the produce of the olive fails, and the fields yield no food; … yet I will rejoice in the Lord.

–Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Even in stressful circumstances, I can find joy in God.

PRAYER

Dear Father, give us the perspective and the faith to praise you in the barren seasons of life.  Amen.

Phillip Catterton (Kansas)

December 6, 2018

SWEET PEACE

READ John 16:15-33

Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”

–John 16:33 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God never abandons me.

PRAYER

Gracious God, thank you for your steadfast love.  Sustain us when we give in to doubt.  Amen.

Gerri Nicholas (Alberta, Canada

December 5, 2018

OUR GIFTS

READ 1 Chronicles 29:14-18

Jesus said, ” I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”

–John 16.33 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God never abandons me.

PRAYER

Gracious God, thank you for your steadfast love.  Sustain us when we give in a doubt.  Amen

Gerri Nicholas (Alberta, Canada)

December 4, 2018

CHEMISTRY CLASS

READ Psalm 19:1-6

God saw all that he made, and it was very good.

–Genesis 1:31 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

The more places I look, the more places I can see an awesome God.

PRAYER 

Dear God, thank you for this beautiful world that you have created.  Help us to find your love and compassion in every corner of it.  Amen.

Ali Southard (North Carolina)

December 3, 2018

ANOTHER WAY

READ Exodus 15:1-6

Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and… the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land.

–Exodus 14:21 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God promises never to leave us or foresake us.  (See Deut. 31:6, Heb. 13.5)

PRAYER

Dear God, when we cannot see the way forward, help us to trust that you will make a way clear.  Amen

Cassius Rhue (South Carolina)

December 2, 2018

KEEP IT SIMPLE

READ Isaiah 9:1-7

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.

–Isaiah 9:2 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

This Advent, I will keep it simple by focusing on the Christ child.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, prepare our hearts this Advent.  Help us to open our eyes to the joy of your coming into the world and to focus on the true meaning of Christmas.  Amen

Barb Sanders (South Australia, Australia)

December 1, 2018

WORK IN PROGRESS

READ Philippians 1:3-11

He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

–Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Each day is an opportunity to become more like Christ.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your son, Jesus Christ.  Help us to live each day following the example of his life.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen

John D. Brown (Minnesota)

November 30, 2018

BATTERIES INCLUDED

READ Psalm 118:24-29

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

–Psalm 118:24 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I will show my gratitude to God for the gift of each day.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to pause and appreciate the gift of today and to make the most of what it brings as we seek to serve you.  Amen.

Donyale Fraylon (Texas)

November 29, 2018

GIVING GRACE

READ 2 Samuel 22:29-31

[God’s] way is perfect:  The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.

–2 Samuel 22:31 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today as I make personal decisions, I will listen for the voice of the Lord.

PRAYER

Thank you, wise and loving God, for not acting according to our will but instead showing us your way.  Help us to have open hears to listen and obey.  In the name of Jesus. Amen

Bruna Messias Rodrigues de Souza (Minas Gerais, Brazil)

November 28, 2018

KEEP PRAYING

READ Matthew 21:18-22

[Jesus] left [the disciples] and went away once more and prayed the third time.

–Matthew 26:44 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I will be persistent in my prayers.

PRAYER

Dear heavenly Father, help us to continue praying faithfully, trusting that you will respond.  Amen

James R. Hayes (Tennessee)

November 27, 2018

CHILDLIKE FAITH

READ Psalm 121:1-8

The priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God.

–2 Chronicles 5:14 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

When it comes to God, I can always learn something new.

PRAYER

Dear Father, open our eyes to see you everywhere we are and in everything we do.  Give us a childlike faith that longs for your presence.  We pray through Jesus, our Savior. Amen.

Darlene S. Mackey (Tennessee)

November 26, 2018

ANSWERED PRAYER

READ 1 John 5:11-15

Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.

–Psalm 50:15 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

(Matt. 5:44)

PRAYER

Thank you, God, for your love and protection in difficult times.  We pray in the name of Jesus Christ: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matt.6:9-13, NIV). Amen

Eunice Arao Kakueka (Luanda, Angola)

November 25, 2018

FREEDOM!

READ Exodus 6:1-7

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

–Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Freedom from sin and death is a true treasure from God.

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, thank you for giving your life to set us free.  Help us to share this gift with all those who are still in bondage.  Amen

Gary Mitchell (North Carolina)

November 24, 2018

THE BEST AND WORST OF TIMES

READ 2 Samuel 22:1-7

David sang, “In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God.  From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears.”

–2 Samuel 22:7 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Times of trial can give me new insight into God’s love for me.

PRAYER

Mighty God, remind us that pain and problems do not preclude peace, and that hard times cannot conquer hope.  Amen

Diana C. Derringer (Kentucky)

November 23, 2018

TOWARD THE GOAL

READ Philippians 3:10-14

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

“I press on…because Christ Jesus has made me his own. (Phil. 3:12, NRSV)

PRAYER

Father in heaven, thank you for sending your Son.  Help us to grow in faith until we finish the race.  Amen

Atsushi Nomiyama (Japan)

November 22, 2018

REJOICE IN EVERY BLESSING

READ 1 Chronicles 16:34-36

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

–1 Chronicles 16:34 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Being grateful helps me to recognize God’s blessings.

PRAYER

Dear God, Give us grateful hearts so we may appreciate the work that you do in our lives. Amen

Lisa Braxton (Massachusetts)

November 21, 2018

GETTING OUT OF THE BOAT

READ Matthew 14:22-33

[Jesus] said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus.

–Matthew 14:29 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Before I can follow Jesus, I have to step out of the boat.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, grant us opportunities to follow you and the courage to step out of our comfort zones.  Amen

Adam Benson (North Carolina)

November 20, 2018

ALWAYS CONNECTED

READ Ephesians 1:15-23

Paul wrote, “I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.”

–Ephesians 1:15-16 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God is as close as my prayers.

PRAYER

Dear Father, help us to remember that we are always connected to you and that when we pray, you always hear us.  Amen.

Violet Nesdoly (British Columbia, Canada

November 19, 2018

GOD’S QUIET VOICE

READ 1 Kings 19:1-14

Now there was a great wind, … but the Lord was not in the wind; and …an earthquake,…and…a fire,… and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.

–1 Kings 19:11-12 (NSRV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I will find time today to listen for what God is saying to me.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to rid our thoughts of the useless distractions of this world, and fill our thoughts with your voice and our hearts with your love.   Amen

Raymond Appel (Wisconsin)

November 18, 2018

FORGIVE AND FORGET?

READ Genesis 45:4-15

The Lord says, “I will forgive their iniquity and remember their sin no more.”

–Jeremiah 31:34 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Whatever pain enters my heart can help me grow in Christ.

PRAYER

Compassionate God, thank you for the forgiveness we have in your son.  Help us to honor you today.

Valerie L. Runyan (New Mexico)

November 17, 2018

THE EVER-PRESENT SOURCE

READ Ephesians 3:14-19

I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, [the Father] may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit.

–Ephesians 3:16 (NRSV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God’s supply of strength is always within reach.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to rely on your power that revives us when we become weary.   Amen.

Carol Dunn (Saint Andrew, Jamaica)

November 16, 2018

“PLEASE PRAY FOR ME”

READ James 5:13-16

The prayer of the righteous person is powerful in what it can achieve.

–James 5:16 (CEB)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will look for opportunities to pray with others.

PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, thank you for the privilege of prayer.  May we never miss an opportunity to pray for others.  Amen.

Leigh Sayers (Florida)

November 15, 2018

HEARING GOD’S VOICE

READ JOHN 10:1-6

[The Lord] has shown you, O mortal, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

–Micah 6:8 (NIV)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Today I will listen for God’s guidance.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for walking in front of us and showing us the way.  And, when we fail, thanks for staying with us as we try again.  Amen.

John Cruden (Virginia)