Moved by Prayer(January 21st)

 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
1 John 5:14


Let’s pray, first. Traveling to help the hungry? Be sure to bathe your mission in prayer. Working to disentangle the knots of injustice? Pray. Weary of a world of racism and division? So is God. And he would love to talk to you about it.

Let’s pray, most. Did God call us to preach without ceasing? Or teach without ceasing? Or have committee meetings without ceasing? Or sing without ceasing? No, but he did call us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Did Jesus declare: My house shall be called a house of study? Fellowship? Music? A house of exposition? A house of activities? No, but he did say, “My house will be called a house of prayer” (Mark 11:17 NIV).

No other spiritual activity is guaranteed such results. “When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action” (Matthew 18:19 MSG). He is moved by the humble, prayerful heart.

He is moved by prayer.

Lucado, Max (2015-12-20T22:58:59). God Is With You Every Day . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

The Final Word (January 20th)

“The Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins.”
Mark 2:10


If you are in Christ, your sin is gone. It was last seen on the back of your Sin Bearer as he headed out to Death Valley. When Jesus cried on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 NIV), he entered the wilderness on your behalf. He carried your sin away.

He has the final word on your life.And his word is grace.

Jesus did his part. Now do yours.

Give God your guilt. Tell Jesus what you did. Hold nothing back. Be abundant in your confession, and . . . Be concrete in your confession. Go into as much detail as you can. Healing happens when the wound is exposed to the atmosphere of grace. Exactly what is it that you need forgiveness for? For being a bad person? That is too general. For losing your patience and calling your coworker a creep? There, you can confess that. Confession, you see, is not a punishment for sin; it is an isolation of sin so it can be exposed and extracted.

Be firm in this prayer. Satan traffics in guilt. So tell his guilt where to get off. Speak to it in the name of Jesus. “I left you at the foot of the cross, you evil spirit. Stay there!”

And, for heaven’s sake, stop tormenting yourself. Jesus is strong enough to carry your sin. Did he not say he would do so? Believe him! He has the final word.

Lucado, Max (2015-12-20T22:58:59). God Is With You Every Day . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

A Spiritual Battle (January 19th)

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:12


For a book about conquests, the book of Joshua sure skimps on military details. What weapons did Joshua’s army use? How many officers did his army have? The answer to these and other questions? We don’t know.

We don’t know because the emphasis is not on a physical battle but a spiritual one. The real conflict wasn’t with Canaanites or Amorites; it was with Satan and his demons.

Canaan was the choicest real estate on earth. It was marked by fertile fields and valleys. Most important, the land was God’s gift to Israel (Genesis 12:7).

God set this property apart for his people and his people apart to be a blessing for the world. God promised Abram, “I will make you a great nation” (12:2). The Hebrews were the couriers of God’s covenant to a galaxy of people. Israel was the parchment on which God’s redemption story would be written.

Satan’s counterstrategy was clear: contaminate the Promised Land and preempt the Promised Child. Destroy God’s people and destroy God’s work.

Joshua’s battle, then, was a spiritual one.
So is ours.

Lucado, Max (2015-12-20T22:58:59). God Is With You Every Day . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Voices of Failure (January 18th)

I waited patiently for the LORD to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Psalm 40:1–3 NLT


Have you heard voices of failure? When you lost your job, flunked the exam, dropped out of school. When your marriage went south. When your business went broke. When you failed. The voices began to howl.

And you joined them!

Failure finds us all. Failure is so universal we have to wonder why more self-help gurus don’t address it. Bookstores overflow with volumes on how to succeed. But you’ll look a long time before you find a section called “How to Succeed at Failing.”

Maybe no one knows what to say. But God does. His book is written for failures. It is full of folks who were foul-ups and flops. David was a moral failure, yet God used him. Elijah was an emotional train wreck after Mount Carmel, but God blessed him. Jonah was in the belly of a fish when he prayed his most honest prayer, and God heard it.

Perfect people? No. Perfect messes? You bet. Yet God used them. A surprising and welcome discovery of the Bible is this: God uses failures.

Lucado, Max (2015-12-20T22:58:59). God Is With You Every Day . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Everyone Can Help Someone (January 17th)

“I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.”
Matthew 25:35–36


Many years ago I heard a woman discuss the work of Matthew 25:31–46. The event wasn’t publicized. The audience was chatty and restless. Yet when she entered the room, all stirring stopped.

She wore her characteristic white Indian sari with a blue border that represented the Missionaries of Charity, the order she had founded in 1950. Her sixty-nine years had bent her already small frame. But there was nothing small about Mother Teresa’s presence.

“Give me your unborn children,” she offered. “Don’t abort them. If you cannot raise them, I will. They are precious to God.” Who would’ve ever pegged this slight Albanian woman as a change agent?

I wonder if God creates people like Mother Teresa so he can prove his point: “See, you can do something today that will outlive your life.”

There are several billion reasons to consider his challenge. Some of them live in your neighborhood; others live in jungles you can’t find and have names you can’t pronounce. Some of them play in cardboard slums or sell sex on a busy street.

None of us can help everyone. But all of us can help someone. And when we help them, we serve Jesus.

Who would want to miss a chance to do that?

Lucado, Max (2015-12-20T22:58:59). God Is With You Every Day . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.