31 Days of Praying For Your Job


work

Genesis 2:15 tells us, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” Work is a blessing from God. Psalm 128:2 explains, “You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.” Honest work also honors God. Therefore, we should consciously devote our work to God (“For we aim at what is honorable, not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man 2 Corinthians 8:21).

In his letters to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul instructs believers that they must work to eat and be dependent on no one. (1 Thessalonians 4:12 and 2 Thessalonians 3:10-14.) A similar command is repeated in 1 Timothy 1 5:8. The Apostle Paul explains further, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. In your work you are serving the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:23-24). We must do the best job we can for God. In the end, it is God who will reward us for our work.

Since we spend the majority of our waking hours at work, it makes sense to ask God for wisdom and guidance in our work lives. For the next month commit to pray for your job, your ability to produce excellent work, your coworkers, and your employer. If you are unemployed, or seeking a new job, pray that God will open the door to the right job for you. Mark 11:24 tells us. “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

(All Scripture is from the ESV.)

Day

Prayers and Verses

1

Ask the Lord to guide you to the career he has designed you for.

Psalm 90:17. “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!

Proverbs 16:3. “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

2

Thank Your Heavenly Father for the gift of a job.

Romans 8:28. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Ephesians 5:20. “Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

3

Ask God for the skills and talents necessary to perform good work.

Exodus 35:35. “He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers.

4

Thank God for the skills and talents he has given you to do your job.

1 Peter 4:10. “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”

Romans 12:6a. “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.”

5

Pray for those appointed over you. Ask God to give them wisdom and compassion, and that they conduct themselves honorably.

Proverbs 3:13. “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding.”

Colossians 4:1. “Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.”

6

Ask God for the ability to properly plan your work and complete it.

Luke 14:28. “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”

1 Corinthians 14:40. “But all things should be done decently and in order.”

7

Pray the Lord will help you work diligently and efficiently.

Ecclesiastes 9:10a. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.”

Proverbs 18:9. “Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.”

8

Pray to get along with coworkers, and remember that in your workplace you may have the opportunity to share Christ with unbelievers.

1 Timothy 2:1-3. “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior.” 

Matthew 5:16. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

9

Pray to have a good attitude about doing things you don’t care to do.

Philippians 2:14. “Do everything without grumbling or arguing.”

Colossians 3:23-24. “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

10

Pray for motivation when you don’t feel like working.

Philippians 4:13. “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength”

John 5:16. “But Jesus answered them, “’My Father has been working until now, and I, too, am working.’”

1 Corinthians 15:58. “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

11

Pray for the humility to be obedient to your superiors.

Titus 3:1. “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work.”

Ephesians 6:5-8. “Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free.”

12

Ask God to help you be satisfied with your wages, and accept those in authority who require taxes and other deductions.

Matthew 20:2-4.”When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. ‘And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the market place; and to those he said, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ And so they went.”

Romans 13:2. “Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.”

Romans 13:6. “For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.”

13

Ask God for the endurance to do the job you have been assigned.

James 1:12. “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”

Colossians 1:11. “May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy”

14

Ask God for the wisdom to perform quality work.

Exodus 36:1-2 “Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whom the Lord has put skill and intelligence to know how to do any work in the construction of the sanctuary shall work in accordance with all that the Lord has commanded.’ And Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whose mind the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do the work.”

15

Ask God for the opportunity and ability to quickly learn new skills and more efficient ways of working.

Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”

Proverbs 1:5. “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.”

Proverbs 9:9. “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.”

16

Pray to be able to focus on the work you’ve been given.

Proverbs 28:10. “Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.”

2 Timothy 2:15. “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”

17

Ask God to help you be a blessing to your employer.

Genesis 39:3-5. “His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field.”

Genesis 39:23. “The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s charge, because the Lord was with him. And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed.”

18

Pray that you will not be tempted to rest, but have the determination to get up and work.

Proverbs 10:4-5. “A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.”

2 Thessalonians 3:10. “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.”

19

Ask God to help you honor him while you work, working honestly, and with integrity.

Proverbs 10: 9. “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.”

Proverbs 28:6. “Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.”

2 Corinthians 8:21. “For we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man.”

20

Ask God to help you advance in your career as you continue to honor Him

Proverbs 22:29. “Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.”

Psalm 37:4. “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

21

Pray for balance between your work life and home life, remembering that God rested from his work.

Proverbs 24:27. “Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.”

Psalm 127:1-2. “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.”

Genesis 2:2-3. “And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

22

Pray for the wisdom to use your employer’s resources wisely.

Matthew 25:20-21. “And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’”

23

Pray to work wisely and make the best use of your time.

Psalm 90:12. “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Ephesians 5:11. “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but expose them.”

Colossians 4:5. “Behave wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of your time.”

24

Ask the Lord for the desire to share with those in need.

Hebrews 13:16. “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

Luke 3:11. “And he answered them, ‘Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.’”

Luke 6:38. “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

Acts 20:35. “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

25

Pray you will not overwork or be overly demanding of the work of those under your control.

Ephesians 6:9. “Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.”

Deuteronomy 24:14. “You shall not oppress a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your brothers or one of the sojourners who are in your land within your towns.”

26

Ask the Lord to help you be honest even when pressured to be dishonest.

Proverbs 16:11. “A just balance and scales are the Lord’s; all the weights in the bag are his work.

Luke 16:11-12. “If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?”

27

When do don’t think you can do the job you are assigned, claim God’s promise that you can do everything with Him.

Psalm 121:2. “My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.”

John 14:13-14. “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”

Philippians 4:13. “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

28

Ask God to remind you that your identity in Christ applies at work too, and you would know the best way to talk to everyone you meet.

Acts 13:47. “For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

Colossians 4:6. “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”

29

Ask God to help you model appropriate behavior at work.

Galatians 5:22-23. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

Titus 2:7-8. “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”

30

Ask God for the humility to treat your superiors with respect, no matter how you are treated.

Ephesians 6:5. “Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ.”

Titus 2:9-12. “Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior. For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.”

1 Peter 2:18. “Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.”

31

Ask God to help you remember that you are working for His glory.

Colossians 3:23-24. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

1 Corinthians 10:31. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

 © Julie Garro, 2016

Prayer Journaling


a-prayer-journal

I’ve been keeping a prayer journal for several years now. This daily ritual helps me remain focused so my mind does not wander. It’s also a record of my requests. I can go back and look at how God has worked in my life. This is part of what I wrote this morning:

Dear Heavenly Father,

It is the dawn of a New Year and I look forward to all the possibilities it holds. But I will need Your perfect guidance in my life. Please be there to silence the lies of the enemy and remind me of whom I am in You. Help me rest in Your truth. Grant me clarity of purpose and the courage to carry out Your will in every aspect of my life.

As I was praying this morning, I was prompted to turn to the prayer I wrote January 1, 2015. Reading that prayer almost brought me to tears. Throughout the year God’s faithfulness was evident as I remembered how he answered my prayers and prepared me for the big change coming to my life.

Keeping a record of your prayers is also a record of the faithfulness of our Lord. Turn back to any date, read your prayer and remember how God has helped you face your struggles by being by your side. It reminds me of how much our Lord has blessed me and helps me feel a renewed sense of gratitude.

If you would like to start a prayer journal today would be a great day to start. You can write your prayers in Bibles created for journaling, in the margins of devotionals, decorative journals, spiral notebooks, or even electronically. (Electronic versions are easier to search, but I prefer to write to God in longhand.) After a few months, go back and review your prayers. Thank God for answering your prayers. This is a great exercise to remind you of our Lord’s faithfulness. If you don’t know what to say, listed below are a few ideas to get you started.

Prayer Prompts:

Copy the Lord’s prayer, and then expand on it. Pray a prayer of confession.
Rewrite the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, and then add to it. Pray for safety.
Pray for someone you don’t like. Pray for the nation’s leaders.
Pray the Psalms. Pray for your health.
Pray for your family. Ask God for the ability to make wise, godly choices.
Pray for your friends. Pray for the world, one country at a time.
Pray for your co-workers, and your boss. Pray for an end to terrorism.
Pray for the military and first responders. Pray for Christians where Christians are in the minority.
Pray for your schools. Thank God for the people in your life.
Pray for every family on your block. Thank God for your job.
Pray for your physicians. Thank God for your possessions.
Pray for your community leaders. (Try to) List your blessings.
Pray for peace and goodness to fill your home. Thank God for pure water and plenty of food.
Pray for your pastors and church elders. Pray for missionaries.
Pray for those who write books that explain God’s Word in more detail. Pray over your daily calendar.
Pray about your goals. Pray for our nation’s leaders.
Ask God to guide you through His Word. Pray for healing to broken relationships.
Pray for Wisdom. Pray for your future.
Pray a prayer of confession. Ask for guidance on how to serve the Lord.
Pray for safety. (Try to) List your blessings.
Pray for the nation’s leaders. Thank God for pure water and plenty of food.
Pray for your health. Pray for missionaries.
Ask God for the ability to make wise, godly choices. Pray over your daily calendar.
Pray for the world, one country at a time. Pray for our nation’s leaders.
Pray for an end to terrorism. Pray for healing to broken relationships.
Pray for Christians where Christians are in the minority. Pray for your future.
Thank God for the people in your life. Ask for guidance on how to serve the Lord.
Thank God for your job. Thank God for your possessions.

 

May you be richly blessed as you discover God’s faithfulness to you as you turn to Him in prayer.

Psalm 77:11-12

“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”

Thankfulness – Day 19


mark 16 19

 

Gracious God,

Today I thank you for the ability to communicate. Thank you for language and the ability to understand one another. Thank you for the ability to read Your Holy Word and other books. Thank you for the blessing of a receiving a card or letter. Help us use your gift of language to spread the gospel and be a blessing to each other.

3 John 1:13-14

I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink. I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.

Scripture: http://www.openbible.info

Image: Google Images

Pi, Nature, and God’s Love


pi

Today is 3/14/15. Some have decided to call it Pi day (π), after the number. Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. It is equal to 3.14159265358979323846… (the digits go on forever without repeating). π is infinite. Perhaps the reason this equation goes on forever is circles have no beginning and no ending. When I consider this mathematical concept I’m reminded that our Creator and His perfect love are infinite. God wants us to know this fact. So, our Creator has placed in nature ways to help us get to know Him. I discovered one of these ways when I opened up my Bible to read Genesis 1.

 Genesis 1:1–5

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

 Genesis 1:16–19

God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

What? Back up! If God did not make the sun, moon, and stars until the fourth day, what was the light on the first day of creation? I went back to verses 1–5 again. The light was there first. Then, God spoke everything else into existence. I had to know more.

As I explored the concept of light, I came to know our glorious Creator in a most remarkable way. Stick with me through a little technical jargon. It will help us understand the many meanings of light and how those meanings help us understand the attributes of God. I promise you will be rewarded for your time.

  •  The Speed of Light. Light travels very quickly, 186,282 miles per second.[i] The photons of light travel in a straight line, and go on (theoretically) forever. Consider how far light travels from distant galaxies. Light is infinite, just as God and His love are infinite. Light is coming to us in the fastest and most direct way possible—that is a straight line.[ii] God is available to us in the fastest and most direct way possible too—with just a prayer.
  •  Visible Light. The light we can see is part of the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum. This spectrum is radiation and is divided into types of waves. EM radiation carries energy, called photons.[iii] The waves we can see are visible light and are between certain frequencies near the middle of the EM spectrum. Jesus is with you even though you can’t see Him.
  •  Color. Each frequency is a different color. In 1670, Sir Isaac Newton demonstrated that white light is composed of all the colors of the spectrum by refracting sunlight through a prism.[iv] White light is the presence of all color, so light is the exclusive source of color in the world. When light disappears, color fades.[v] Colors are made of wavelengths. When we see colors we see the wavelengths of light that are not absorbed by the object.[vi] Black is the absence of color,[vii] or the absence of light.
  •  Sight. Without the gift of light, sight would be meaningless. The ability to see begins when light enters your eyes.[viii] Without God’s gift of light, there would be no sight.

Back to Scripture. In John 1 we learn more about light and “the beginning.”

 John 1:1–5, 9

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

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

Light is a metaphor for our Savior. This metaphor is used early in the life of Jesus. Mary and Joseph took Jesus to present Him at the temple on the eighth day, as required by Jewish law and tradition. In Luke 2:25–32 we find Simeon, a righteous and devout man, enlightened by God. Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God. He said,

 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” Luke 2:29-32

 

In John 8:12, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” This light goes on forever, just as the love of God never ends.

Once we understand that Jesus is light, and light is infinite, we begin to better understand the attributes of God. When we turn to the end of the Bible, in the last chapters of Revelation, we get a glimpse of the New Jerusalem, our heavenly home and we see that light comes from God.

Revelation 21:22-24

I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.

 Revelation 22:5

“There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.”

Take a look at math, science, and nature. What other ways is our Creator expressing himself?

May your day be filled with infinitely beautiful, life-giving, and loving light

Adapted from: Follow the Light, Week One, by Julie Garro, Crossbooks Publishing, October 2013.

 

Scripture: www.biblegateway.com

Image: Google Images

 

 

[i] Brown, T., & Spilman, A.K. (2013). Light. In Public Libraries. Retrieved from
http://www.worldbookonline.com/pl/infofinder/article?id=ar323260

[ii] Wood, Robert, Physics for Kids, 1990, Tab Books, Blue Ridge Summit, PA

[iii] Encyclopædia Britannica Online Library Edition, s.v. “light,” accessed July 26, 2013,http://library.eb.com.arlingtontx.idm.oclc.org/eb/article-9110443.

[iv] Domski, M. (2013). Newton, Sir Isaac. In Public Libraries. Retrieved from
http://www.worldbookonline.com/pl/infofinder/article?id=ar390180

[v] Lauber, Patricia, What Do You see and How Do You See It? Crown Publishers, New York, NY 1994

[vi] Domski, M. (2013). Newton, Sir Isaac. In Public Libraries. Retrieved from
http://www.worldbookonline.com/pl/infofinder/article?id=ar390180

[vii] Encyclopædia Britannica Online Library Edition, s.v. “color,” accessed July 26, 2013,http://library.eb.com.arlingtontx.idm.oclc.org/eb/article-9273736.

[viii] Lauber, Patricia, What Do You see and How Do You See It? Crown Publishers, New York, NY 1994

Dealing With Writer’s Block


dealing_with_writers_block

As long as I can remember writing has been a positive outlet for me. I’ve written poetry, short stories, and a book. I write for my job. But I’ve been dealing with writer’s block for a while now. I want to blog and work on my next project but can’t seem to find any words, much less put the pen to paper. My prayer life is also becoming stagnant and often redundant. Have you ever experienced the same situation?

I ran across the solution. Some time ago I wrote a list of 50 prayer starters – conversations to have with God. It’s just a list of subjects to talk to God about. My hope is that reading and praying about a few of these topics will jump-start your creative writing. Journaling your thoughts about any of these prayer topics will lead to ideas you can blog about later. Here is that list.

  1. I am sharing the light and love of God with others.
  2. I trust God.
  3. I believe God speaks to me.
  4. How often have I been moved by faith stories but never tried to grow in my own faith?
  5. How can God use me?
  6. Am I prideful?
  7. What three biblical characters would I like to have lunch with and why?
  8. What would I ask them?
  9. My favorite verse in the Bible is __________ because _________.
  10. Do acquaintances know I am a Christian?
  11. When have I been the closest to God?
  12. When does God seem most distant?
  13. These are the miracles God has performed in my life.
  14. What changes am I willing to make to grow spiritually?
  15. How big is my God?
  16. How often do I pray?
  17. How often do I read Scripture?
  18. What impact does Scripture have on me? Does it change me?
  19. What biblical miracle speaks to me the most? Why?
  20. My favorite Bible story is __________ because ___________.
  21. What is the quality of my prayer life?
  22. What is my self-talk like?
  23. Do I honor the Sabbath?
  24. Do I break any of God’s commandments frequently?
  25. Are there idols in my life?
  26. I ask God for His wisdom.
  27. Am I thankful? Does my life show gratitude?
  28. Do I need to ask for forgiveness?
  29. Do I need to forgive others?
  30. Have I forgiven myself?
  31. Do I express love and compassion?
  32. Do I tell people how to improve? Why do I do this?
  33. Do I ask for feedback for self-improvement?
  34. Do I seek godly counsel?
  35. Do I treat my body like the temple of the Lord?
  36. What do I value?
  37. Do I tithe?
  38. Do I volunteer regularly at church or for missions to serve others in God’s name?
  39. What five blessings am I most grateful for and why?
  40. Am I now, or have I ever been, in spiritual darkness?
  41. Have I ever passed on my faith to my children?
  42. Have I ever shared Christ with anyone outside my family?
  43. I go to church because I want to, not out of a sense of duty.
  44. If faith was taken out of my life tomorrow morning, how would my life be different? Would anyone know?
  45. If I suddenly found myself in a country where I was unable to practice my faith how would I respond?
  46. How can I be certain my faith is growing? Can faith be measured?
  47. I imagine the second coming of Christ to be ___________.
  48. How has my walk with God grown in the past year?
  49. The past five years?
  50. I want God to change me in this key area:

As I prepared this post I found several websites with lists of writing prompts. If you are dealing with writer’s block, consider looking at some of these suggestions. I look forward to reading your posts.

Psalm 45: 1      My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.

 May the Lord richly bless you as you share your faith with others.

Scripture: http://www.biblegateway.com

Image: http://www.googleimages.com

The Season of Light


christmas-lights

I love Christmas lights. Putting lights on our trees and houses brings a special warmth into the season. Public light displays also add to the festive Spirit. One of our favorite traditions is going to look at the Christmas lights after Christmas Eve services. The history of Christmas lights is interesting; and the information is easy to find. But what is more important to my family is what those lights represent. Light is an expression of God’s love toward us.

Throughout Scripture, God uses various forms of light as a metaphor for His love, and to draw us to Himself.

 “Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness.” Genesis 1:3-4

 “Then Jesus spoke to them again: ‘I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.’”  John 8:12

 During this precious Christmas season, when we admire the lights, turn your attention to the creator of light and give Him your full admiration.

An excerpt from Follow The Light:

…Consult several Bible commentaries discussing the creation story and you will find the word light in Genesis 1:3 is the Hebrew word owr. There are eleven meanings of the word, including light of life and Jehovah as Israel’s light.[i] The MacArthur Bible Commentary explains light as meaning, “That which most clearly reveals and most closely approximates God’s glory.”[ii] Use that sentence in place of the word light in Genesis 1:3 and we learn, “And God said, ‘Let there be that which most clearly reveals and most closely approximates God’s glory,’ and there was that which most clearly reveals and most closely approximates God’s glory.” Remember this thought with the following word equation:

Light = That which most clearly reveals and most closely approximates God’s glory.

 What does glory mean? An excellent word picture is found in Exodus 40:34 (GNT). “Then the cloud covered the Tent and the dazzling light of the Lord’s presence filled it.” In this context, glory means “the weight or worthiness of something. It describes greatness and splendor, and it is sometimes translated as ‘honor.’”[iii] Our word equation looks like this:

 Glory = Worthiness, greatness, splendor, and honor.

 In the Strong’s Bible Dictionary, glory also means owr or light.[iv] Now our word equation looks like this:

 Glory = Light.

So in Genesis 1:3 when God said, “Let there be light,” He was providing His glory, or Himself, as the light! This makes sense because God created man to fellowship with Him. There was no reason for God to withhold His very best. We can rewrite our word equation as:

 Light = God.

 In John 8:12, Jesus tells us He is the light of the world. John 14:10 tells us God and Jesus are one. The author of Hebrews tells us, “God’s Son has all the brightness of God’s own glory and is like him in every way. By His own mighty word, He holds the universe together. After the Son had washed away our sins, He sat down at the right side of the glorious God in heaven.” Hebrews 1:3 (CEV)

The Greek word for glory is doxa. Doxa means “splendor, brightness, and a most glorious condition or exalted state. It also means “the glorious condition of blessedness into which is appointed and promised that Christians shall enter upon their Savior’s return from heaven.”[v]

 The Son is not just reflecting God’s glory; He is God and radiates His own essential glory.[vi] This glory is sent forth and promised to true Christians after Christ’s return.[vii]

_____________________________________________________________

[i] Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for ‘owr (Strong’s 216)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2013. 27 Jul 2013. < http:// http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H216&t=KJV >

[ii] MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary (2005), Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc., Nashville, TN, Page 8

[iii] Ibid, Page 926

[iv] Strong, James, The New Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words, 1996, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc., Nashville, TN, Page 112

[v] Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for doxa (Strong’s 1391)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2013. 27 Jul 2013. < http:// http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1391&t=KJV >

[vi] MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary (2005), Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc., Nashville, TN, Page 1836

[vii] Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for doxa (Strong’s 1391)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2013. 27 Jul 2013. < http:// http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1391&t=KJV >

Scripture: http://www.biblegateway.com

Image: google images

AN EXCERPT FROM FOLLOW THE LIGHT


cover follow the light

Here is a short excerpt from the Bible Study I wrote, Follow The Light. It’s available on lifeway.com and amazon.com.

AN EXCERPT FROM FOLLOW THE LIGHT

 First Words

“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” Genesis 1:3

Meditate on a portion of the creation story: Genesis 1:1–19. Part of the passage is reprinted below.

God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day. Genesis 1:16–19 

What? Back up! God did not make the sun, moon, and stars until the fourth day of creation? What was the light on the first day of creation? Go back and read just verses 1–5.

What were the first words God spoke in Genesis?

What did God say about the light?

What else did God make on the first day?

Turn to the end of the Bible, to Revelation. In the last chapters, we get a glimpse of the New Jerusalem, our heavenly home. Look at Revelation 21:22–27 and 22:3–6. What will God give?

Where will the light come from?

Light is a metaphor for God, and it is used throughout Scripture. Imagine no darkness at all, just the pure and radiant light of God! I look forward to feasting my eyes on that perfect light one day.

1 John 1:5

Now this is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in Him.

Walk in His Light,

Julie