I AM IMMANUEL (February 28th)

I AM IMMANUEL—GOD WITH YOU—an ever-present Help in trouble. No matter what may happen, I am sufficient to provide whatever you need. Instead of imagining how you might respond to terrible things that could happen, draw your mind back to the present and take refuge in My Presence. I am much like a mother hen, eager to cover you with My protective pinions. As you snuggle under My wings, you will not only find refuge; you will also discover a growing ability to trust Me. It is in closeness to Me that you realize how trustworthy I am.

Remember that I am both your Rock and your Redeemer. Though I am impregnable in My vast strength, I became a vulnerable Man so I could redeem you from your sins. The more you take refuge in Me, the more aware you become of My overflowing Love. In Me you are utterly safe, for I am your Rock of everlasting Love!

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
PSALM 19:14


Young, Sarah. 40 Days With Jesus (Jesus Calling®) (p. 7). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.


I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE; all lasting Life emanates from Me. People search for life in many wrong ways: chasing after fleeting pleasures, accumulating possessions and wealth, trying to deny the inevitable effects of aging. Meanwhile, I freely offer abundant Life to everyone who turns toward Me. As you come to Me and take My yoke upon you, I fill you with My very Life. This is how I choose to live in the world and accomplish My purposes. This is also how I bless you with Joy unspeakable and full of Glory. The Joy is Mine, and the Glory is Mine; but I bestow them on you as you live in My Presence, inviting Me to live fully in you.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.”
JOHN 11:25

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
MATTHEW 11:28–29

Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
1 PETER 1:8–9 (KJV)

Young, Sarah. 40 Days With Jesus (Jesus Calling®) (p. 5). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.


I chose you before the foundation of the world, to walk with Me along paths designed uniquely for you. Concentrate on keeping in step with Me, instead of trying to anticipate My plans for you. If you trust that My plans are to prosper you and not to harm you, you can relax and enjoy the present moment.

Your hope and your future are rooted in heaven, where eternal ecstasy awaits you. Nothing can rob you of your inheritance of unimaginable riches and well-being. Sometimes I grant you glimpses of your glorious future, to encourage you and spur you on. But your main focus should be staying close to Me. I set the pace in keeping with your needs and My purposes.

Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.


Young, Sarah. 40 Days With Jesus (Jesus Calling®) (p. 4). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Young, Sarah (2010-12-18T22:58:59). 40 Days With Jesus (Jesus Calling®) . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.


That is all I require of you. In fact, that is the only way to move through this space/time world. You see huge mountains looming, and you start wondering how you’re going to scale those heights. Meanwhile, because you’re not looking where you’re going, you stumble on the easy path where I am leading you now. As I help you get back on your feet, you tell Me how worried you are about the cliffs up ahead. But you don’t know what will happen today, much less tomorrow. Our path may take an abrupt turn, leading you away from those mountains. There may be an easier way up the mountains than is visible from this distance. If I do lead you up the cliffs, I will equip you thoroughly for that strenuous climb. I will even give My angels charge over you, to preserve you in all your ways.

Keep your mind on the present journey, enjoying My Presence. Walk by faith, not by sight, trusting Me to open up the way before you.

For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service]. They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone. PSALM 91:11–12 (AMP)

For we walk by faith, not by sight.


Young, Sarah (2010-12-18T22:58:59). 40 Days With Jesus (Jesus Calling®) . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

LET MY LOVE ENFOLD YOU (February 24th)

LET MY LOVE ENFOLD YOU in the radiance of My Glory. Sit still in the Light of My Presence, and receive My Peace. These quiet moments with Me transcend time, accomplishing far more than you can imagine. Bring Me the sacrifice of your time, and watch to see how abundantly I bless you and your loved ones.

Through the intimacy of our relationship, you are being transformed from the inside out. As you keep your focus on Me, I form you into the one I desire you to be. Your part is to yield to My creative work in you, neither resisting it nor trying to speed it up. Enjoy the tempo of a God-breathed life by letting Me set the pace. Hold My hand in childlike trust, and the way before you will open up step by step.

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
PSALM 73:23–24


Young, Sarah (2010-12-18T22:58:59). 40 Days With Jesus (Jesus Calling®) . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.


The more intimately you experience Me, the more convinced you become of My goodness. I am the Living One who sees you and longs to participate in your life. I am training you to find Me in each moment and to be a channel of My loving Presence. Sometimes My blessings come to you in mysterious ways: through pain and trouble. At such times you can know My goodness only through your trust in Me. Understanding will fail you, but trust will keep you close to Me.

Thank Me for the gift of My Peace, a gift of such immense proportions that you cannot fathom its depth or breadth. When I appeared to My disciples after the resurrection, it was Peace that I communicated first of all. I knew this was their deepest need: to calm their fears and clear their minds. I also speak Peace to you, for I know your anxious thoughts. Listen to Me! Tune out other voices, so that you can hear Me more clearly. I designed you to dwell in Peace all day, every day. Draw near to Me; receive My Peace.

Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
PSALM 34:8

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.


Young, Sarah (2010-12-18T22:58:59). 40 Days With Jesus (Jesus Calling®) . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

WEAVINGS (February 22nd)

You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. PSALM 139:13

God sees your potential. No matter how young or old you are, your abilities or infirmities—your Creator sees what is possible through your life. You are His masterpiece, a work conceived in grace and love. And if you allow Him to, He will weave the circumstances of your life together in such a way that He receives the glory, and your heart will be full.

For many people, this is a hard concept to grasp because of the messages and setbacks they’ve received throughout their lives. Perhaps today you see your life as incomplete or without much worth. It could be that physical, relational, financial, or other personal challenges make you feel hopeless. But God views you from a totally different perspective. When He sees you, He sees a person He loves—of worth and great promise.

Take heart that your every frustration and disappointment has a purpose. And your God will weave all these circumstances together for your good if you will love and trust Him. Therefore, do not despair. Instead, trust Him and let Him make you into the person He knows you can be.

Jesus, You know my life and still call me to You. Thank You for giving me hope and continuing to work out Your plan for my life. Amen.

Stanley , Charles F. (2020-10-26T23:58:59). God's Purpose for Your Life . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.


“Ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Are you exhausted? Does life’s treadmill have you running faster than you can endure? If your answer is yes, you may be chasing earthly security that does not satisfy and causes crisis after crisis. Sadly, when you place your hope in temporal things—money, status, achievements, acceptance, or even the love of your family and friends—your foundation will inevitably crumble. Earthly solutions will not satisfy the deepest needs of your heart and cannot defend against the troubles that arise. Your identity must be based on something greater than what the world offers if you are to stand strong.

As the old saying goes, life is not about who you are; it’s about whose you are. And your exhaustion is evidence that you haven’t given yourself fully to God. Your challenge is to get out of the way so Christ can lead you. Because when you finally see how beloved you are and the abundant life He has for you, you will begin to live for God, through His power. That is the way to find rest for your soul.

Jesus, I confess that I am still trying to be in control. Show me Your ways so I may live in Your strength and for Your glory. Amen.

Stanley , Charles F. (2020-10-26T23:58:59). God's Purpose for Your Life . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

NEAR (February 20th)

For me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge.
PSALM 73:28

Do you ever feel as if God is far from you? Be assured, He is steadfastly near. Do not be disheartened because you don’t see Him in your circumstances.

I saw an illustration of this during a photography excursion I took to the Matterhorn in Switzerland. When I got to the great mountain, I was greeted by a snowstorm that unforgivingly persisted for three days. The blanket of snow was so thick, I never even saw the foot of the mountain. On my last night there, I shared my disappointment with the Lord.

The next day, I awoke at 5:20 a.m. and looked out my window. The storm had been swept away, and there was the Matterhorn in all her glory, with a halo of moonlight crowning her. It was as if God said, “See what happens when you wait for Me.”

The lesson I learned was that God is always near whether I can see Him or not. He is always at work regardless of what is blocking my view. So always keep watching and waiting for Him. The fog will eventually clear, and what He’s accomplished will astound you.

Lord, You know how my heart longs to see You in my situation. Open my spiritual eyes and remove what blocks my view. Amen.

Stanley , Charles F. (2020-10-26T23:58:59). God's Purpose for Your Life . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.


God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.

What do you do when you know that God has revealed His will to you, but you don’t know how it can possibly happen because of your limited resources? This is a question that everyone who follows God faces at one point or another. At such a time, the only thing to do is to obey, step forward by faith, and do as He says. Otherwise, you may miss doing His will and receiving the blessings that He has for you.

Thankfully, you can go forward with the assurance that God can and will provide for your needs in amazing ways as you obey Him (Philippians 4:19). You move forward step-by-step as He commands, and He supplies you provision by provision.

Likewise, God will work through the circumstances of your life to direct you. He will open and close the doors you need each day, moving strategically to answer your prayers and accomplish His purposes. So keep trusting Him and go forward with the faith that you’ll have exactly what you need.

Jesus, thank You for providing for me daily. I confess I am overwhelmed by this need, but I will trust You in it. Amen.

Stanley , Charles F. (2020-10-26T23:58:59). God's Purpose for Your Life . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

YOUR INTERCESSOR (February 18th)

He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

Do you realize Jesus is praying unceasingly for you even at this very moment? As you read these words, He is speaking out the commands that move heaven and earth so His will can be carried out in your life.

You may feel as though you do not have a friend you can turn to for help and encouragement. However, you do—always. Jesus listens to your every prayer, will never leave or forsake you, and is always your Advocate before God’s throne (1 John 2:1). He continuously remains closer to you than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

As your Savior, He wants the very best for you, which is why He is constantly calling you to know and do God’s will (Philippians 2:13). Jesus knows how to lead you so that you will fulfill the purposes for which you were created and glorify Him (Ephesians 2:10).

So today, know you are not alone. Indeed, you have the best Prayer Warrior possible. Listen to Him, trust Him, and be assured that He will never lead you astray.

Jesus, thank You for praying for me and leading me in doing God’s will! I trust You. Amen.

Stanley , Charles F. (2020-10-26T23:58:59). God's Purpose for Your Life . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

JESUS IS THE KEY (February 17th)

An apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life in Christ Jesus.

Jesus is the ultimate key to knowing and living out God’s will. He is your example of the life of faith in every way (Romans 8:29), and He provides you with access to the throne of grace so you can learn His plan (Hebrews 4:16). His Holy Spirit guides you (John 16:13–14), His prayers empower you (Hebrews 7:25), and His Word provides a light to your path (Psalm 119:105).

I say this because many people believe that God’s will is about living by religious or moral rules. At the most basic level, it is—but it is really much more than that. It is about a profound, intimate relationship with God Himself—a relationship that results in a life that overflows with His wisdom, purpose, and power.

The Father has created you with a reason in mind, to fulfill an important role in His kingdom. And it is in Jesus, as a person who is saved by Him, and through Jesus, as His disciple who is in fellowship with Him, that you discover, understand, and walk in His purposes.

Jesus, You are God’s will personified. I fix my eyes on You and know You will lead me in the center of His will. Amen.

Stanley , Charles F. (2020-10-26T23:58:59). God's Purpose for Your Life . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

REVEALED BY STEP (February 16th)

None of those who wait for You will be ashamed.
PSALM 25:3

Waiting is difficult, especially if we are expectantly hoping for God to answer our prayers or lead us in some specific manner. This is compounded by the fact that we live in a society that insists on immediate results—instant food, overnight shipping, downloadable resources, and information at our fingertips. If it can’t happen quickly, we often will be frustrated—tempted to give up and walk away.

However, experiencing the fullness of God’s will is not something that happens immediately. It takes time—often, a lifetime—to see His plan unfold. He may give us an idea as to what His will is, but it takes a life of step-by-step devotion to uncover His complete purpose for our lives. And the truth is, it is His mercy and compassion that limit what He reveals to us, lest we be overwhelmed by discouragement, fear, or—even worse—pride.

Friend, you don’t need the whole plan right now. When God instructs you to step forward, just obey Him. Go forward in faith. And as you trust Him, He will provide what you most long for—His leadership into a bright, fulfilling future.

Jesus, in the mountains and valleys, I follow You step-by-step. I will wait on You and trust You with my future. Amen.

Stanley , Charles F. (2020-10-26T23:58:59). God's Purpose for Your Life . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.


“I will do as You say.”
LUKE 5:5

Fishermen with any experience on the Sea of Galilee knew that the optimal time to catch fish was during the night in shallow water. During the day, the fish dove deep, where it was far more difficult to successfully sink nets to catch them. However, when Jesus instructed Peter to fish during the day, he obeyed—even though he was tired and not completely certain Jesus knew what He was asking.

Perhaps you remember a time when God asked you to do something beyond what you thought reasonable. You did not know if what you were hearing was the right thing to do because it appeared so counterintuitive. Maybe you are in such a season right now. Understand without a shadow of doubt that you will never go wrong obeying God.

Peter did as Jesus asked and pulled in so many fish that his nets began to break. The same will be true in your situation. You may not know exactly why God is calling you to do as He instructs, but you can be sure that when you do as He says, you will experience a blessing beyond your imagination.

Jesus, I will do what You ask. When I don’t understand the path ahead or Your instruction, I will trust You, knowing You have never failed me. Amen.

Stanley , Charles F. (2020-10-26T23:58:59). God's Purpose for Your Life . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

THERE IS A PLAN (February 14th)

The plans of the LORD stand firm forever.

Right now, set your mind on this truth: Our God is a planner. He is not a reactor. He did not set this world in motion to be ruled by chance or unchecked forces. Nor did He create you to live without hope and purpose. He has a plan.

What that means is that the joys, challenges, and trials you are experiencing are all by design for your training and edification. True, at times you may sin, and afflictions may arise as a consequence of your choices. However, none of that is beyond the perfect planning, power, and provision of your Savior.

Just think about how carefully God planned your salvation. The Lord strategically unfolded His grand design to send the Savior throughout the ages—through changes in kings and empires—and nothing impeded Him. Then the good news went from the empty tomb to the disciples and from person to person until it reached you.

If you’ll think about how precisely the Father carried all this out, you’ll realize how deeply He treasures you and how carefully He thinks about your future. So do not fear or be dismayed whatever may come. Trust God’s plan.

Jesus, I know You have a perfect plan, and none of my circumstances surprise You. I will trust You to lead me. Amen.

Stanley , Charles F. (2020-10-26T23:58:59). God's Purpose for Your Life . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

ALWAYS HOPE (February 13th)

Hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is unfailing love. His redemption overflows.

Some days you may wonder, Is there hope for my life? From everything that has happened, the losses you’ve endured, the limitations before you, and the mistakes you’ve made, it can seem like the answer would be no. But if this is where you are, I say to you with confidence: With God, there is always hope, and He has a plan in mind for your tomorrows. Hang on to Him and keep going.

God knows exactly where you are at this very minute, and He understands your every struggle and disappointment. He is the One who has all the answers you need—and each one is found within His Word. Your life may seem to have hit a low point right now, but He is not going to abandon you—not ever (John 14:18). If you will trust Him, He will continue to work in your life. Then you will see His plan for your life unfold in a mighty way. This is His promise to each one of us.

Jesus, thank You for always giving me hope! I know that this is not the end of my journey, but the beginning of something new You are doing in me. Amen.

Stanley , Charles F. (2020-10-26T23:58:59). God's Purpose for Your Life . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

REACHABLE (February 12th)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

God’s will can seem grand and unreachable, can’t it? After decades of hearing believers talk about their struggles, I’ve realized two reasons people get so frustrated with the Christian life: either they don’t understand the nature of the will of God, or they don’t know how to find it. And if you don’t comprehend those two things, you may feel insecure and directionless in your walk with Jesus.

However, take heart today that God is committed to your success—the Lord is dedicated to helping you experience Him, the purposes you were created for, and the full expression of your potential. That means His will for you is not unreachable. In fact, He is constantly communicating it to you. If you set your heart to love and seek Him, He will take you there.

So today, don’t take the frustrating path of trying to guess God’s mind. Rather, seek Him, trust Him to disclose His plans, obey Him, and He will direct your course.

Lord, I want Your will and set my heart to obey You. Reveal Your will and Your ways to me so I may walk in Your perfect path. Amen.

Stanley , Charles F. (2020-10-26T23:58:59). God's Purpose for Your Life . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

A PURPOSE TO ARISE (February 11th)

Indeed, He loves His people; all Your holy ones are in Your hand. They followed in Your steps; they accept and receive direction from You.

What is the reason you get out of bed each morning? Is it because you have a great goal to pursue, a responsibility to fulfill, or some pressure that drives you forth?

Many people face despair as they awake each day because they don’t have a vital sense of purpose, direction, and meaning in their lives. Work, relationships, and other earthly objectives cannot always keep us motivated. Without a basic, unfailing anchor of hope, it is easy to lose heart when life doesn’t go as planned.

But you were created with a purpose—one that can help you arise each day with hopefulness and can motivate you to endure. What is that reason for your existence? God formed you to love you and to be loved by you. His mercies are new every morning. Because of His presence with you, you have everything you need to be victorious.

So go forth today with that knowledge. Get out of bed with the assurance you are loved, are valued, and have all you need to rise up to all you were created to do and enjoy.

Jesus, You are my reason to rise up each morning and have hope. Thank You for loving me and leading me to abundant life. Amen.

Stanley , Charles F. (2020-10-26T23:58:59). God's Purpose for Your Life . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

ALL THE DETAILS (February 10th)

O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; for You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.

When thinking about God’s will, it is easy to accept that He has grand plans for the church, nations, and even the world as a whole. But perhaps it is not so easy for you to believe He has plans for you individually. That would mean that the sovereign Lord of the universe cares about you specifically—about the intimate details of your life, despite your flaws, failures, and mistakes.

Even if we believe that in our minds, sometimes embracing it when things go wrong is not so easy. We wonder how God could let difficult things happen if He really cares for us.

But Jesus says, “The very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:30). If He would pay attention to how many strands of hair you have, do you think He would be less vigilant about the path of your life? He truly cares about all your details, so entrust them to His hands and count on His faithfulness.

Jesus, I believe You care about my future. Teach me to love You more and entrust each moment to Your loving hands. Amen.

Stanley , Charles F. (2020-10-26T23:58:59). God's Purpose for Your Life . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

SON OF MAN (February 9th)


These words are for the humbling of God’s people; they are called God’s vine, but what are they by nature more than others? They, by God’s goodness, have become fruitful, having been planted in a good soil; the Lord has trained them upon the walls of the sanctuary, and they bring forth fruit to His glory. But what are they without their God? What are they without the continual influence of the Spirit, begetting fruitfulness in them? O believer, learn to reject pride, seeing that you have no ground for it. Whatever you are, you have nothing to make you proud. The more you have, the more you are in debt to God; and you should not be proud of that which renders you a debtor. Consider your origin; look back to what you were. Consider what you would have been but for divine grace. Look upon yourself as you are now. Does not your conscience reproach you? Do not your thousand wanderings stand before you and tell you that you are unworthy to be called His son? And if He has made you anything, are you not taught thereby that it is grace that has made you to differ? Great believer, you would have been a great sinner if God had not made you to differ. O you who are valiant for truth, you would have been as valiant for error if grace had not laid hold upon you. Therefore, do not be proud, though you have a large influence—a wide domain of grace, for once you did not have a single thing to call your own except your sin and misery. Oh, strange infatuation that you, who has borrowed everything, should think of exalting yourself—a poor, dependent pensioner upon the bounty of your Savior, one who has a life that dies without fresh streams of life from Jesus, and yet is proud! Fie on you, O silly heart!

Spurgeon, Charles Haddon (2106-02-07T00:28:15). Morning and Evening (Kindle Locations 1190-1204). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

Be Moved (February 8th)

“Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”
Luke 3:11 NIV

Human hurt is not easy on the eyes. Yet there is something fundamentally good about taking time to see a person.

Simon the Pharisee once disdained Jesus’ kindness toward a woman of questionable character. So Jesus tested him: “Do you see this woman?” (Luke 7:44, emphasis mine).

Simon didn’t. He saw a hussy, a streetwalker, a scamp.
What do we see when we see . . .

• the figures beneath the overpass, encircling the fire in a fifty-five-gallon drum?
• the news clips of children in refugee camps?
• the reports of grueling poverty at home and abroad?

“When [Jesus] saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them” (Matthew 9:36).

This word compassion is one of the oddest in Scripture. The New Testament Greek lexicon says this word means “to be moved as to one’s bowel . . . (for the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity).”3 Compassion, then, is a movement deep within—a kick in the gut.

Perhaps that is why we turn away. Why look suffering in the face if we can’t make a difference?

Yet what if by seeing, we were moved to compassion? Moved not just to see, but to do.

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

A Heart Transplant (February 7th)

At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
John 14:20

When grace happens, we receive not a nice compliment from God but a new heart. Give your heart to Christ, and he returns the favor. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you” (Ezekiel 36:26; see also John 14:20; Romans 8:10; Galatians 2:20).

You might call it a spiritual heart transplant.

Tara Storch understands this miracle as much as anyone can. In the spring of 2010, a skiing accident took the life of her thirteen-year-old daughter, Taylor. What followed was every parent’s worst nightmare: a funeral, a burial, a flood of questions and tears. Tara and her husband, Todd, decided to donate their daughter’s organs to needy patients. Few people needed a heart more than Patricia Winters. Her heart had begun to fail five years earlier, leaving her too weak to do much more than sleep. Taylor’s heart gave Patricia a fresh start on life.

Tara had only one request: she wanted to hear the heart of her daughter. She and Todd flew from Dallas to Phoenix and went to Patricia’s home to listen to Taylor’s heart.

The two mothers embraced for a long time. Then Patricia offered Tara and Todd a stethoscope

When they listened to the healthy rhythm, whose heart did they hear? Did they not hear the still-beating heart of their daughter? And when God hears your heart, does he not hear the still-beating heart of his Son?

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

Use Your “You-ness” (February 6th)

Do not neglect the gift that is in you.
1 Timothy 4:14

No one else has your “you-ness.” No one else in all history has your unique history. No one else in God’s great design has your divine design. No one else shares your blend of personality, ability, and ancestry. When God made you, the angels stood in awe and declared, “We’ve never seen one like that before.” And they never will again.

You are heaven’s first and final attempt at you. You are matchless, unprecedented, and unequaled. Consequently, you can do something no one else can do in a fashion no one else can.

Call it what you wish. A talent. A skill set. A gift. An anointing. A divine spark. An unction. A call. The terms are different, but the truth is the same: “The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others” (1 Corinthians 12:7 CEV).

Each of us—not some of us, a few of us, or the elite among us.

Many people stop short of their destiny. They settle for someone else’s story. They fit in, settle in, and blend in. But they never find their call. Don’t make the same mistake.

Your existence is not accidental. Your skills are not incidental. God “shaped each person in turn” (Psalm 33:15 MSG).

Find your “you-ness” and use it for the kingdom.

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

A Prayer . . . for Your Story (February 5th)

God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27 NIV

O Lord, Author of my life, thank you for creating me in your image and starting my story. Help me write it carefully and truly become like you. Come, O come, Immanuel, and help me complete my story well. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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

A One-King Kingdom (February 4th)

“He will be King and sit on his great throne.”
Matthew 25:31 NCV

Christ’s coming will be a normal day. People will drink coffee, endure traffic snarls, laugh at jokes, and take note of the weather. Thousands of people will be born; thousands will die.

His coming will be unexpected. Most people will be oblivious.

His shout will get our attention. “For the LORD Himself will descend from heaven with a shout” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).

The shout of God will trigger the “voice of an archangel . . . with the trumpet of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). He will dispatch armies of angels to their greatest mission: to gather the children of God into one great assemblage.

Whether you are in Peoria or paradise, if you’re a follower of Jesus, you can count on an angelic chaperone into the greatest gathering in history. The saved and lost alike will witness the assembly, for “all the nations will be gathered before him” (Matthew 25:32 NIV). At some point in this grand collection, our spirits will be reunited with our bodies, and the sky will stage a reunion of spirit and flesh.

By this point we will have seen and heard much: the shout of God and the angel, the trumpet blast, the ascension of the bodies, and the great gathering of the nations. But every sight and sound will seem a remote memory compared to what will happen next: “He will be King and sit on his great throne” (Matthew 25:31 NCV).

God’s creation will return to its beginning: a one-King kingdom and all will be well with our souls.

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

Your Helper (February 3rd)

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1

“I will not leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5).

That’s the promise God gave Joshua. And he gives you the same promise. In fact, the writer of Hebrews quoted the words in his epistle: “For [God] has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’ So we can say with confidence, ‘The LORD is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?’ ” (13:5–6 NRSV).

That last question is a troubling one. What can anyone do to me? You know the answers. “Lie to me.” “Deceive me.” “Injure me.” “Terrorize me.” “Bully me.”

But the Scripture asks a different question. If the Lord is your helper, what can anyone do to you?

The Greek word for “helper” in this passage is boētheia, from boē, which means “a shout,” and theō, which means “to run.”2 When you need help, God runs with a shout, “I’m coming!” He never leaves you. Ever! He never takes a break, takes a nap, or takes time off for vacation. He never leaves your side.

Since God is strong, you will be strong. Since he is able, you will be able. Since he has no limits, you have no limits. With the apostle you can boldly say, “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (v. 6).

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

The Problem with Unprayed-for Problems

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous be shaken.
Psalm 55:22 NIV

Take your problems to Jesus. Don’t take your problems to the bar. Jim Beam cannot solve them. Don’t take your problems out on others. Temper tantrums never advance the cause. The moment you sense a problem, however large or small, take it to Christ.

“Max, if I take my problems to Jesus every time I have one, I am going to be talking to Jesus all day long.” (Now you are getting the point.)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6–7 TLB)

An unprayed-for problem is an embedded thorn. It festers and infects—first the finger, then the hand, then the entire arm. Best to go straight to the person who has the tweezers.

Let Jesus take care of you. He knows about thorns.

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

An Honest Look (Febuary 1st)

Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John.
Acts 3:2–4 NIV

Change begins with an honest look.

Just two years ago Bzuneh Tulema was the town drunk in Adama, South Africa. He and his wife were so consumed with alcohol that they farmed out their kids to neighbors and resigned themselves to a drunken demise.

But then someone saw them. Members of an area church began bringing the couple food and clothing. They invited them to worship services. Bzuneh was not interested. However, his wife, Bililie, was. She began to sober up and consider the story of Christ. The promise of a new life. The offer of a second chance. She believed.

Bzuneh was not so quick. He kept drinking until one night he fell so hard he knocked a dent in his face. Friends found him in a gully and took him to church and shared Jesus with him. He hasn’t touched a drop since.

It all began with an honest look and a helping hand. Could this be God’s strategy for human hurt? First, kind eyes meet desperate ones. Next, strong hands help weak ones. Then, the miracle of God.

We do our small part, he does the big part, and life at the Beautiful Gate begins to be just that.

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