1. God Is Good Every Day!
As I looked over my garden today, picking small cucumbers and dill for pickles, and a few ripe tomatoes, I noticed how yellow the bean vines have turned. I don't think there will be any more green beans. I was a little discouraged to see how dry everything looked and commented to Michael about how we really need rain. As I sit and type these devotionals for tomorrow, I can hear the rain blowing against the window. We heard the thunder roar several minutes ago and went outside to see God's wonderful showers of blessing falling from heaven. God is so good. I can say with David, "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah." (Psalms 68:19) When the weather is dry, or when it's raining, in the hot sunny days of summer or dark bitter cold of winter, God is good. He takes care of me every day! This week I want to look at some of the daily things mentioned in the Bible.
2. "Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread."
Part of the prayer that Jesus prayed to teach His disciples to pray says, "Give us this day our daily bread." This shows me two things. First, it tells me that we are to pray daily. I believe that Jesus wants us to depend on Him with renewed faith and trust each morning when we wake up, and begin our day with prayer. Secondly, this verse shows us that it is good to ask the Lord to supply our daily needs. I heard someone say that she did not pray for herself, she only prayed for others. I try to pray about everything, and I have prayed and asked the Lord for something then felt like I shouldn't bother the Lord with such a trivial request. The devil told me that God is too busy with important people and big issues to hear of these small, insignificant problems I have. But in this prayer, Jesus teaches us to pray for "our daily bread". He is concerned with our every need and no problem is too large or too small for Him to hear.
"9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." (Matthew 6:9-13)
3. A Daily Remembrance Of God's Faithfulness
Happy 4th of July! Today is a day of remembering and celebrating the birth of our nation. Our country was founded on Biblical principles and those men of old fought for their religious freedom. Freedom that we still have today, but is being threatened. As Christians today, we are humbled by the state of our country as it regresses farther and farther away from God. The prophet Jeremiah lamented for his people as he saw God's pending judgment but he praised the Lord for His mercies that are renewed every morning. As we celebrate today let's be thankful for God's guiding hand over our nation's past, and let's praise Him and seek Him daily in our prayers for our country and its leaders. We can daily put our hope in Him.
"20 My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.
21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
22 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
25 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD." (Lamentations 3:20-26)
4. Daily Worship
When I began writing these devotionals for my sons in college I was a little worried that I would not be able to find something for the devotions every day. But I started the web site and prayed that God would lead me and use the devotions for His glory. That was in 2003 and in the beginning I had lots of ideas for devotional themes. I cannot believe that God is still leading me to continue with these daily thoughts and that He continues to open my eyes to gospel truths found in His Word. Sometimes the thoughts come from my Bible reading. They may come from a song or memory from the past. Often God uses a verse that I hear from a preacher or teacher. God led me to talk about "Daily Bread" through our pastor's sermon last week. He stressed that we need a daily worship of the Lord, as found in the early church in Acts 2:46-47. "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." We don't have to be in church to worship the Lord. We can worship God in reading His Word, speaking with Him in prayer and thankfulness, and giving Him praise for our salvation and His gifts of love. I try to meditate and seek God's will in writing these daily thoughts and my prayer still today is that He will use them for His glory. Hear the words of the Psalmist, "Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy." (Psalm 99:9)
5. Daily Reading Of God's Word
I had a Great Aunt Eva who only went to school through the third grade and never learned to write, not even her name. There were many things Aunt Eva never learned to do, but she learned to read. She lived with my grandparents and helped take care of my Mom and her siblings while Grandpa and Grandma worked in the cotton mill. Sometimes she watched my sisters and me while Mom and Dad worked in the garden during the summer time. One thing I remember is that when we visited during certain hours of the day we had to sit quietly until they finished their daily Bible reading. We would go in the house and Grandpa, Grandma, and Aunt Eva were all quietly reading their Bibles. Aunt Eva may have only attended school three years, and had a limited education, but she read from her Bible every day. It was important to her. And it should be important to us today. Those in the early church "searched the scriptures daily..." as we read in Acts 17:11, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." It is so important for us to know God's will for our lives, and there is no better way to know than to hear what He has to say to us through His Word. We should say with the Psalmist, "O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day." (Psalm 119:97)
6. Daily Praise
We begin today with a voice of praise! "Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever." (Psalm 145:2) Are we praising the Lord every day? I see men and women praised for their ability in sports. There are many "Awards" shows which praise people for entertainment. People praise their pets on a daily basis. Many even lift up themselves in pride and boastful praise. So, we know how to give praise. I think we need to be more selective to whom we give our praise. God is the One who deserves our praise. And one day He will get all our praise.
"8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever." (Revelation 5:8-13)
7. Work While It Is Day
I am a "list maker". I don't just mean grocery lists. (Usually when I make a grocery list I leave it home on the counter.) I make a packing list when we are going on vacation. I make a list of places we need to go when we are running errands and shopping so that we can keep going in the right direction to get it all done. My longest lists are my "To Do" lists. Each spring I look around the house and make a long list of things that need to be done. I work on them through the spring and summer and try to have my list completed by fall. My problem is that for every job I complete, I usually add two or three more that I see, so my list just keeps growing longer and longer. A list is good because I can pick and choose according to the weather and I can do something like, "wash the car", when little Jedidiah is here to help me. I don't work on the list everyday, but it is here to remind me of the work that needs to be done.
There is work that needs to be done for the cause of Christ and Jesus reminds us to work while it is day. "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." (John 9:4) The Bible is like our "To Do" list for our work for the Lord. We read in James 1:22, "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." We have talked about daily worship, praying daily, and reading the Bible daily. There are more scriptures which help us know what to do in our work for the Lord.
"That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;" (Colossians 1:10)
"Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;" (I Thessalonians 1:3)
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." (I Corinthians 15:58)
"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." (Hebrews 13:20-21)
8. Watching And Waiting
We close the "Daily" devotions by watching and waiting. "Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors." (Proverbs 8:34) Are you watching and waiting? The Lord has promised to return and I believe that it will be very soon. "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." (Matthew 24:42) The Lord is coming back for His children just as He promised.
"8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:8-11)
Paul warned young Timothy of the perilous times in the last days, and we are surely here.
"1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." (II Timothy 3:1-5)
Things may get worse and cause us to grow weary as we watch and wait, but just keep on waiting on the Lord and He shall renew your strength.
"28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (Isaiah 40:28-31)