Scripture reading for January 8th: Matthew 6, Psalm 6, Prov. 6 (Reading through the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs one chapter a day, five days each week in 2019–please join me in the trek!)
Key Scriptures: Matthew 6:9-13 “Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.””
Jesus taught His disciples a pattern of prayer. Prayer was not to be empty repetitions and vain babbling. Prayer is humble and vital communication with a loving Father who hears our every cry. Prayer declares our alignment with the Father and His will and Word and our dependency on Him for daily provision, protection and deliverance from temptation and the evil one. Prayer keeps our alignment right with God and others made in their Father’s image. Prayer is the basic language of the kingdom of heaven.
Faith’s confession: I believe that my Father in heaven hears and answers prayer. I am dependent on Him for provision, protection and forgiveness of my sins and forgiving others. (Action: Search your heart today for unforgiven sins or bitter roots and ask God and/or others for grace to let go and receive restoration.)
Psalm 6:9 “The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer.”
Scripture reading for March 11: Judges 6-8
Poor self-image and discouraging self-talk are common symptoms of a life out of touch with the Lord. It is so easy to focus on our lack and the way we are made. We always seem to magnify our weaknesses, see only the flaws, and are quick to blame them on someone else. Sometimes, we simply rehearse them over and over to ourselves and stew in the negativity. Gideon was just such a man during the days of the Judges. The God we serve loves to use the weak and flawed and make them into mighty warriors, even in spite of themselves!
For seven years the Israelites had been under attack by the Midianites. They cried out to God for help and He sent them a prophet. The prophet told them about God’s mighty power in delivering them from Egypt and His warning not to worship the gods of the Amorites. This was their problem. They had not listened to the Lord!
God then sent his Angel to Gideon. We find Gideon hiding in a wine press, threshing grain. The Angel’s first words to Gideon: “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!” (Judges 6:12) Gideon’s first response is not one of faith. He was not sure why the Midianites were attacking them. He believed that the Lord had abandoned them. This messenger then sent Gideon on a mission to deliver Israel–in the strength he had. (Judges 6:14) Gideon again protests that his clan is the weakest in Manasseh and that he is the weakest of all! What a self-image problem! Or could it be that he is seeing accurately through his natural eyes?
The angel had told him to use the strength he had–little or great! God would be with him and that would make all the difference in the world. God sees each person as special and has a job that they can do. He specializes in taking weak people and infusing them with His strength. When they choose to believe His Word, nothing shall be impossible to them! (1st Corinthians 1:25-29)
As Gideon prepared to deliver Israel, he gathered an army together. God reduced it from 32,000 to 300! He took away their weapons and gave them torches and pitchers! He told them to break the pitchers and wave the torches and shout! Gideon’s faith was strengthened by supernatural signs that he asked for. God met him where he was. God sent him into the enemy camp to hear a prophetic dream about his victory. He obeyed and in the strength he had, delivered Israel from the Midianites! (Judges 7:13-20)
If you are struggling today with a poor self-image or have been engaging in negative self-talk, let this greeting from the Word of God touch your heart today! With God on your side, there are more for you than against you! Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world! “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!”