Day 8

January 17 // Michal Tuttle

Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by his love; He will exult over you with loud singing.

This passage really speaks to my heart right now amongst all the chaos that is pouring around in our lives.  Our God is in our midst!  He is among us.  He is present.  So many times, we can feel like we are going through the trials alone, but He is here to see us through all of them.  He has promised that He will fight for us.  He is our rescuer.  He meets us right where we are in it all and holds us up.

You see, God does not want us to press on alone!  He wants us to lean on him in our weaknesses so that He can show His strength. There are so many hardships pressing in, that at times we just can’t do anything but cry out.  In those moments, if we just give it all to Him, He will bring a peace to our hearts and comfort us.  His love is poured out in the lyrics of a worship song, in a child wrapping his arms around you and reminding you that God loves you just as you are. And in that moment, you awake from a bad dream and pick up His Word for comfort.  His love is sufficient to bring peace, joy, hope, and reassurance in every situation.

We don’t know what lies ahead, but He does.  He has a purpose for each and every one of us and He will continue to sing victoriously through it all.  He will make a way and He will keep His Word.  He is faithful and will never fail us.  We just have to be still and let Him do His work in us so that we can be made complete in Him. 

Lord, we thank you so much for your mercy and grace and that you do sing over us.  Please show us the path that leads to you and your love to continually be in your presence.  Make us hungry for more of you.  We can’t walk this life in peace without you.  Help us to see you in every moment so that we might share what an amazing Father you are with others.  You love us, each and every one.  The fact that you love me despite all of my failures just puts me more in awe of you.  Thank you for holding us up when we cannot hold ourselves up.  We are undeserving, but you still rejoice over us with an unconditional love that could never be surpassed.  Thank you, Father!!

Amen.

Day 7

January 16 // Nick Deahl

John 15:9 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Abide in my love.

God has loved me all of my life just as God loves Jesus. In these current times we live in, this verse is a reminder to me of the first two commandments… to love God with all your heart and to love each other. God provides us a perfect example of doing so. Whether it’s a neighbor, family member, friend, or a complete stranger… it is important to love anyone we come in contact with. 

To me, Jesus is saying follow the example God and I have shown you and we will have perfect love. Often times we get distracted by what someone does or says and might completely forget this verse. It may help to stop and think… does God still love me when I cut that person off in traffic… does God still love me when I lose my temper with my family member… does God still love me when I am in a rush and forget my devotion time with Him? 

The answer is yes… always yes! God’s love is present every day and in everything we do. We need to accept God’s love and make it a rule of our life. The truth is, whether we accept it or not, God will still love us and we should be doing the same as Him.

Father thank you for being my example of loving through anything. Thank you for loving me even as I mess up. Thank you for the ability to love. Help me to be better about loving others even as they do wrong to me. I ask that you grant me peace with it, and continue to remind me during troubles of your love and that it is there. Help me to love just as you do.

In your name I pray, Amen.

Day 6

January 15 // Kyle Hearn

Exodus 13:21-22 “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.” 

I remember walking through a forest at science camp with other students trying to have our eyes adjust to the night darkness. Hoping the light from the stars would be enough to guide us. We could see a little in front of us, but without our flashlights we still easily tripped over rocks and roots. There was a lack of clarity because a lack of guidance. 

In today’s passage, Israel was vulnerable to so many enemies and temptations. So, God went before them in this supernatural way of fire and clouds! But we have to realize that God’s guidance and presence comes in many different forms. I wish God’s guidance was this clear today, but instead it is unclear at times. God’s guidance HAS to be sought out. His presence HAS to be discovered. There is no guidance without the presence. 

God’s Word is our guide. We no longer need fire and clouds to guide us. 

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” Psalm 119:105

Where do you feel you are walking in darkness? How has God guided you before? 

We cannot be guided by God if we are not present with God. If you feel you are walking in darkness, danger, or uncertainty, go back to following Jesus’ way. Jesus is our guide. He went before us just like God went before Israel in fire and clouds. When your life and your faith become unclear, look back to God’s word and re-learn the way of Jesus. I promise you will find all the guidance you need. For Jesus himself tells us, “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” -John 8:12

Pray to God today.

God, I’ve walked in darkness too long. Sometimes I look for signs to be my guide instead of  Jesus. For that, I repent. I want to live in your presence. Jesus, be my guide, show me your way, and remind me of your grace when I stumble. Thank you for being my guide, my light, and my God. Guide me today and this week, to see as clearly as you see.

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Day 5

***We apologize for the mistake this morning in crediting this devotional’s author. This message has been corrected with the author’s name.

January 14 // Alana Deen

Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Almighty God, who in His mercy and power created us for His glory to be in His presence, has empowered us to become His children. He wants the very best that He has planned for us. He desires that we would live in awareness of His presence, understand His love for us, and know how much we need His guidance and  Spirit so  we can experience the fullness of His supreme greatness and goodness.

Jesus invites us into His presence by simply calling to Him and drawing near in faith and obedience. All we do is to submit completely and allow our hearts to be impacted and transformed through relationship with Him. Seeking Jesus is a conscious choice, an act of faith and sacrifice to devote your life to the things that matter to the Kingdom of God, to your salvation, and your relationship with Him. We must have a willing attitude and a heart that desires to learn and grow with a hunger and thirst for God’s presence and His righteousness, and in doing so our Father will give us a heart to know Him and our eternal purpose. (Jer 24:7)

As believers, we are equipped with everything we need to seek God’s presence and a Godly life through His Spirit. We come to Him with our whole heart in complete submission, to meditate on His Word serving Him in reverence, fear and humility. Doing so, He promises to bless us as we keep His testimonies. He gives us rest in His presence and He will never leave us nor forsake us. This gives us confidence, hope and assurance in the knowledge we are united to a God who is all powerful, all knowing, all loving who keeps His promises. And as our relationship grows deeper with Him, our desire, gratitude, and confidence magnify Him in our lives. We know that His presence leads to deliverance enlarging our hearts, strengthens our faith to praise and serve Him, we look forward to the day we are in His literal presence receiving a rich welcome into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

We sometimes feel God is silent. Our hearts are not burning for the Lord, but we know His eyes are always searching for us.  He is our Good Shepherd who leads us, desiring we follow the path leading to joy and contentment. We can experience victory in our walk with God through the cross of Jesus Christ, by simply believing in Him, surrendering to His authority. He seeks to rescue the lost and wayward. Do not feel abandoned by God in difficult moments, go to God seeking  His presence and guidance. Call on Him in time of trouble and He will deliver us. 

Holy God, we bow before you, in awe of who You are. Lord we thank You today that You are all-powerful, all-knowing, and always perfectly good. Father, we confess that we do not always see Your presence as we should. We confess that we settle for lesser things, when we know You desire us to have a personal, close relationship with You. Lord, grant us a heart that seeks You above all else.  Help us change our focus to seek Your face and to look to You for strength to know You better.  Teach us Your ways so we may know You and continue to find favor in You. Draw close and give us a heart to know You because we know that our desires are found and fulfilled only in You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 4

January 13 // Devon Ragoonath

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Have you ever wondered what it would actually be like to be in the presence of Jesus when He walked the earth? John, who did, was one to always gaze at Jesus in wonder and worshipped at His feet. John lived with Him, walked with Him, talked with Him, touched Him and always listened intently to Jesus’ words. He spent much time in Jesus’ presence and was one who saw the glory of the Word becoming flesh. But what does John mean by the Word becoming flesh? Well, God didn’t want His message to just be confined to a book, His ultimate message was His living Word which is Jesus coming to earth as a human. God’s written Word is the Bible. Jesus lived and walked the earth as one of us to reveal God to us. But even in human form and burdened with human mortality, God’s glory and presence could still not be hidden. His unfailing love and faithfulness was revealed through His son Jesus.

Gracious, Heavenly Father, thank you. Thank you for your written Word through the Scriptures and thank you for your living Word, Jesus. Thank you Father, for sending your Son Jesus to show us how to live and love like you do. Father, make your presence and your will known to us, as we work to know Jesus better. 

In your name I pray, Amen.

Day 3

January 12 // Michelle Hollingsworth

Psalm 139:7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 

All around us, we have technology and media distracting us. How many times a day do you look at your phone, read texts, watch TV, or listen to music?  I have to make the effort to stop and find a quiet spot to get away from the “noise of the world”.  I know I need to sit with my Bible and pray to be close to God. Sometimes, I don’t feel connected, don’t hear His voice whispering to me. It is okay.

I remind myself to stand on the truth of God’s love and His promise to never leave or forsake me.  I have Jesus in my heart and the Holy Spirit lives in me. I am never alone.

When we take time to be with God, He will reveal himself.  Ask Him to show you His presence in ways that are meaningful to you. It may be a song, a Bible verse, a quote, or words from a friend. I adore nature and often sit by the window, watching the bird feeder. I once counted 5 different birds from a sparrow to a cardinal, all feeding from the same source.  All those birds were being fed daily, even without my help. God reminded me that He will take care of all my needs. I don’t have to worry. This was a visual message of his faithfulness.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, rest assured that there is nothing you can do to escape the loving arms of your heavenly Father.  

I pray you may be strengthened in faith, knowing that God is always with you as you worship Him in Spirit and Truth.

Amen.

Day 2

January 11 // Stephen Moeller

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”

Jesus is the way. He is the one and only way… leading and guiding us on our daily journey of faith in this lifetime and also the way of salvation into heaven. He is telling us to follow Him.

Jesus is the truth. As a man, He was a prophet and taught the way of God in truth. As a King, He is just and true and encompasses all the truths of the gospel.

Jesus is the life. He is the fulfillment of life here on earth and the only way we can know the Father in heaven. 

We must know Jesus. By seeing Jesus, we see the Father’s presence, for the Son proceeds from the Father. Jesus is the reason that God’s presence is no longer resting in one place or on one person like it was in the past.  As John 14:6 says, in order for you to come to the Father you must first see the Son.

Now, how to be in the presence of God is a question with answers that are as numbered as the stars, because God meets us in many places in our lives. There is one thing in common with them all, and it starts with spending time with Him whether that’s praying and speaking truthfully with Him or singing His greatness and goodness. Whatever it is, there are countless ways to be met by God and be in His presence. But, it all starts with looking for Him and being willing to spend time with Him. 

Lord, I pray that you would show me your presence so that I would know it better. I pray you would make clear to me, your words and your actions, so that I may thank you and praise you for all your presences and for all that you have laid your hands in Lord.

Amen.

Day 1

January 10 // Carl Jackson

Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Jesus is telling his disciples to make disciples of all nations. What is a disciple? A disciple is a follower of Jesus Christ. Today Jesus is telling us through the Holy Spirit to make disciples of all nations, all races, all rich people, all poor people. The key word is ALL. Jesus does not want anyone to perish but have eternal life with Him and to have life more abundantly. Once a person has accepted Jesus Christ in their life, they become a disciple of Jesus and are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 

Jesus wants us to teach all people to observe all that He commanded us to do. The two commands that come to my mind are “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” If we could live out these two commandments, this world would be better, our nation would be better, our community would be better. We would not be having all this protesting, looting, and unjust killings. Everyone who is reading this devotion is my neighbor regardless of how rich you are, or how poor you are, no matter your political viewpoint, or your ethnic background. Jesus wants us to love one another and if you love me, you won’t hurt me. Paul said the greatest gift is love.

The good news is that Jesus lives and He lives in you and me. And if Jesus is with us and in us and for us, who can be against us. 

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for your presence in our lives. We ask that you make us more like you. We pray that you would heal our world and our nation. Father God, we need you more now than ever before. Please let Your Holy Spirit, Your Love, Your Peace fall fresh on us. Father God, we pray for our nation and our leaders. We pray for the sick among us and we pray for all those who grieve. Father God, we thank You and praise Your Holy Name! We ask all these things in the mighty name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen.

Week 3 of Day 22

Our perspective changes everything. God has a different perspective of our circumstances than we do. With God there is always more going on in the Spirit realm than meets the natural eye.  We need  a perspective shift in our prayer lives because once our perspective shifts we notice the incredible things that are happening.  We must remove barriers, declare God’s truth and ask the Lord to open our eyes. 

“Then Elisha prayed, ‘O LORD open his eyes and let him see?’ The LORD opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.”

2 KINGS 6:17(NLT)

Discussion Questions 

You can look at a problem from the bottom, from halfway up, or from the top (God’s 

perspective). How can prayer help you shift your perspective? 

Share a time when God delivered to you in the supernatural what seemed 

impossible in the natural. 

Are fear, doubt, or anxiety keeping you from seeing things from God’s perspective? 

Discuss some ways to overcome these barriers, such as speaking truth from the Bible over yourself. 

Talk about a situation that you did not see from God’s perspective until he opened 

your eyes to let you see the problem or the person the way He sees them. 

Prayer Focus 

Think about those areas that loom large like a mountain blocking your path. Ask God to give you His perspective about that situation and to open your eyes to His truth for you. 

Next Steps 

This week, begin to involve God in your daily life. Whether it is a conversation with a family member or a workplace activity, give God a place in everything you do so that you may become more aware of His presence and His voice. 

Week 2 of Day 22

Sometimes it seems like God is on a completely different timeline than we are. When it feels like our prayers aren’t being answered according to our timeline, there is a great hope ahead of us because God is always doing something greater on an even bigger timeline. The power is in God’s growing of the seed, not in the sower. If we all pray in unity today, unimaginable things will happen in the future. 

“It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.” 

1  CORINTHIANS  3:7 

Discussion Questions 

Have you ever thought God was on a different time table than you? How did His supernatural power and timing create an even better outcome than you were praying for? 

We are living in a  time of renewal, in thanks to the seeds that were sown by the previous faithful generation. In what ways do you see the fruits of those prayers today? 

Has there been a time during which you prayed faithfully for someone did not know Jesus? Describe how God moved in that situation. 

The power of prayer is in the seed that is planted, not in the sower. We can’t make things happen, but God can. Discuss a time when you had to pray about a situation and then step aside to let God handle it. 

Prayer Focus 

We can easily put God in a box with the expectations of how we think He should do things. Repent of any expectations you may have limited Him to, and express your trust in God and His timeline. 

Next Steps 

Read Paul’s prayers in Ephesians 1:17-19 and 3:17-20 and begin to pray these prayers over yourself this week. Ask the Lord to also help identify ways to increase your faith and knowledge of who He is and incorporate at least one of these ways into your daily routine.