Ministry, leadership, discipleship, the local church and the deep riches of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
Today's time being shaped by Truth is in Galatians 5:16-26.
Lead me by Your Spirit today. Don't allow me to be led by the wants of my flesh and worldly ways of thinking (16-17). If I will only follow Your Spirit, I will not need to be concerned about staying within the boundaries set by the Law (18) because Your Spirit will keep me in Your boundaries. Today, display in me Your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control so the world will see Your awesomeness (22-23). Don't let me become proud of the fruit as if I were its source (26) since it is impossible for me to promote your greatness and my greatness at the same time.
Today's time being shaped by the Word is in Galatians 5:1-15.
Thank You for freeing me from having to keep the Law to be saved. Don't allow my mind to fall away from trusting exclusively in Your grace. Let me not rest on any goodness of my own as the basis of being pleasing to You (1-4). Cause my faith in Christ to work hard in love (6). Consume my mind with Your truth so I will not trip and fall into rule-based religiosity (7). Don't let me mislead anyone away from grace (8-12). Remind me that Christ took my shameful offenses on the cross so that I would be free to serve Him by serving others (11-15). Be my love for others today when mine is lacking so that You get the glory, and cause Your people to love, not bite and devour each other (14-15).
Today's time meeting with God in His Word is in Galatians 4:21-31.
Let my service to You be a loving response to Your promise of righteousness, and not a measly attempt to keep Your law out of duty (21-23). Prepare me to be persecuted by those who are slaves of rules (29). Thank You for the hope of an inheritance from You (30) and for freedom from worrying that I have to keep the law perfectly to have Your favor (31).
Today's time allowing Christ to be formed in us is in Gal. 4:8-20.
Make me Your slave today so I wont be a slave to the temporary, impotent, fruitless things that have controlled me in the past (8-9). Help me follow You instead of just a set of religious expectations (10-11). Let those who hear my gospel accept it (14). Let me be bold in speaking the truth even when I feel weak (13). Help me follow those who want me to follow You, not those who just want followers of their own (16-18). Make me willing to suffer for the sake of others' spiritual growth in Christ (19). Teach me how to give tough love to those I disciple (20).
Today's meeting with Christ in His Word is in Gal. 3:27-4:7.
Thank You for my new identity in Christ as an adopted child of Yours (3:27;4:5). Bring unity in Your church based on our having the same dad (3:28). You fulfilled Your promise to Abraham by bringing salvation through Jesus at just the perfect time (4:1-4:5). Cause Your Spirit that lives in me to help me obey God as my heavenly dad today (4:6). Let everybody I meet be able to tell who my dad is.
Today's time meeting with Jesus in His Word is in Galatians 3:19-26.
Thank You for giving the Law to help Your people relate righteously with You and each other. You kindly give rules when people are not ruling themselves rightly. So because we are sinful, You lovingly gave Your Law as a redirecting, relationship-protecting, guardian (19,22,24). But Your Law cannot make me righteous because I can't keep it (21). So thank You for faith in Jesus who kept the Law perfectly and gives His righteousness to me, making me Your child as I rely on Him (25-26). Help me share that faith today.
Help me keep relying on You instead any good works to be righteous before You (10-12). Thank You, Jesus, for taking the curse on the cross that I deserved (13) so that I can know the blessing of having Your Spirit inside me (14).
Today's time being shaped by the Word is in Galatians 3:1-9.
Let me not be a fool and think that Jesus gave me His Holy Spirit by grace through faith, but that now my growth in holiness is up to my own ability to obey (1-2). Teach me how to walk daily by the Spirit who originally drew me to You (3). Make me willing to suffer to follow You by faith, anticipating Your Spirit to work powerfully to make me like You (5). Thank You for the absolute truth of Your Word (8), for making me a son of Abraham, (7) and for blessing me with Abraham in Jesus (9).
Today's time being confronted by Truth is in Galatians 2:11-21.
Let me not fear what others will think of me based on my outward religious observance (11-12). Let me not lead others astray into such foolishness (13). Instead, hold my eyes firmly on the "truth of the gospel" (14). Help me live like You so the lost will want You (14). Thank You for Your grace (15-16, 21). Let my will be crucified today, and let Your will give life and movement to my body (19-20). Don't let me belittle The death of Your Son by trusting in anything else but His grace today (21).
Today's time with Jesus in His Word is in Galatians 2:1-10.
Thank You for partners in ministry (1). Don't let me yield for a second to those who may try to impose religious rules that belittle the grace of the gospel (2-5). Don't let me give in to them even if they have earthly positions of influence (6). Show me the specific work that You saved me to do (7-8). Give Your diversely called followers the unity of the "right hand of fellowship." Don't let me forget the poor today.
Today's time being shaped by the Word is in Galatians 1:11-24.
Your gospel is not just something made up by desperate people (11-12). Let me share it with boldness today. Let me do nothing today that would harm Your church, even accidentally (13). Make me zealous about You, not empty traditions (14). Show me what You created me to do for You (15). Let me devote the time needed to be ready to serve as You have called me (16-18). Radically change my thinking, wanting, and doing so that the church will "glorify You because of what they see in me." (22-24).
Today's time listening to our Savior is in Galatians 1:6-10.
Keep me from turning from grace today. Don't let me belittle Your grace by having even a glimmer of a thought that there is anything good I can do to deserve You (1:6). If someone says, implies, or even lives like salvation is by grace plus something else, make me bold to speak the unchanging truth of "grace alone" because I love them (7-8). Let me not forget that I live to please You, today, not people (10).
Today's meeting with Christ in His Word is in Galatians 1:1-5.
Remind me that my assignment today is not from men, it is from You (1). Let Your undeserved kindness and peace flow through me to others today (3). You saved me for Your glory, so let all my choices today be an answer to the question "what would reveal Your glory most" (4-5). Thank You for willing my salvation (4). Let me not steal Your glory today by acting as if my salvation is the result of my own effort or desire. I want you because You enabled me to want You. Increase my want of You by increasing my knowledge of Your glory.
Let my reputation of integrity make swearing unnecessary and keep me from hypocrisy (12). Let my response in every situation be directed toward You, whether a prayer or praise, so Your glory is made known (13-15). Make Your church honest about its failings and start with me (16). Glorify Your power in my praying (16-18). Use me today to help a straying believer to turn back to truth and stand firm in Your salvation (19-20).
Today's time meeting with Jesus in His Word is in James 5:7-11).
Let my life not be consumed by collecting treasure in this life that fades (1-6), but help me wait patiently for treasures in heaven when You come (7). My treasure is You. Come quickly (8). Show me Your holy righteousness so I will not judge others out of self-righteousness (9). Cause me to endure until You come as I speak for You knowing that my outcome is based on Your compassion and mercy, not my present situation (10-11).
Today's time meeting with Jesus in His Word is in James 5:1-6.
You are a holy Judge and You will judge how much I value money and comfort (1-3). Let me not keep one penny that You want to funnel through me to some one in need (4). You are my only true security, not money. The money I misuse and those people I neglect will testify against me when You judge (4). Don't let me live for me today, but for You and for those to whom You want me to serve with all my resources (5). Don't let the needy be as "good as dead" in my eyes today (6). Use me and what You have given me today. Amen
Today's time meeting with God in His Word is in James 4:13-17.
Make all my plans for today concede to what You have for me to do (13, 15). I admit that I do not know enough to plan out my life since I do not even know its length (14). Being so proud as to predict my future successes is not just inappropriate, it is evil (16) and sinful (17) because it sets me up to take the glory that only You deserve. Forgive me for desiring to promote my own greatness instead if Yours.